Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happy Campers

(Ok, yes, I did it. I went with the easy title for this.)

Our camping trip was a blast! We went to our usual KOA in Lewiston/Niagara Falls North. A major fire occurred there last summer. The office and camp store burned down. So we like to give them the repeat business as they rebuild. Plus these folks are super friendly and keep one of the cleanest public restrooms I have ever had the pleasure of using. We rough it, no water or electricity hook-ups for us, just clean bathrooms. We use the back tent area, as it’s a bit more private. Who wants to get away from suburban life just to be camping right next to 15 other people?

There’s just something about being in the woods that refreshes and recharges me. I’m like a different person out there. More relaxed, more spontaneous, more me. We ought to camp at least once a month! We only went for two nights. I wish we had booked an extra night… or week. Maybe next time. I want to bring some watercolors and sit in the woods and paint.

It rained Saturday morning so we had to go out to eat because the fire would not light. This is kind of cheating to me, but I cannot go hungry and camp, so we went out to a cute little diner. They had this sign posted:

It was fun to be rained-in in the tent. It rounded out the weather experience for me. I read Cloth, Paper, Scissors while we listened to the rain hit the tent fly. We need to seal the seams as some water came in and soaked my shoes and pillow.

Me sleeping in the tent while it rained.

Although I have lived in Rochester, NY for a long time and have been to Niagara Falls plenty of times, I had never ridden the Maid of the Mist. So we did that. It was an amazing sight! We were on a boat right at the bottom of the falls!! And we got soaking wet from the spray. I put my camera away just in time for the biggest soaking. My blue poncho kept blowing up over my hands. It was windy! I highly recommend you do this if you are there. Huge adrenaline rush!

Now I have 40+ mosquito bites on my ankles. It’s driving me mad. If anyone has a itchiness cure to tell me, I’m all ears.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Falling Slowly

I love this song so much that I thought I would share because it is so good. It gives me the chills sometimes. Very moving. It's called "Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova and is available on the Once (Music from the Motion Picture) Soundtrack. It won the Best Original Song Oscar® this year.

It plays on my computer at least 5 times a day, and I never tire of singing along. That's what I do in my studio alone all day... sing. Poorly. I find that music ties up my internal art critic and allows me to get more work done. (Although I have not been getting much done lately because I cannot shake this fatigue from my thyroid being under active. Hopefully the meds will kick in soon.)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Will You Take a Quarter for That?

Yesterday the phone rang at 8:00 am. Wrong number. Very nice old lady though. But then I could not get back to sleep. So we went to garage sales! I love garage sales. My grandparents financed their winters in Florida for 15+ years on garage sales, antique shows, co-op sales, and flea marketing. Their garage was eternally set up for a sale. You could never park a car in there. It’s in my blood to get good deals. And yesterday I did!

I bought a bike for $10 even though it was priced at $15. As I’ve said before, I am tiny. To find a nice looking bike that is not hot pink and is made for an adolescent girl is difficult. But I found a 16” bike for my tiny frame. (I had a bike but it was a 24” frame, and I kept falling off it because I could not reach the ground with my feet at all while seated.) I rode around the block twice on it and it works great! I’m so happy. Now I can ride the 7 blocks to my sister’s house! Who would have thought that at 33, I would be ecstatic about buying a bicycle!

I also purchased a working electric typewriter for $1.00! How cool is that? I’m going to use it to type out words and phrases for my collage work. It may need a new ribbon soon. I hope I can still get one.

Other assorted things we bought: Scrabble game (for the tiles for collage), dominoes/chess/backgammon game set (for the pieces for collage), a book in French, a Chinese to English dictionary (both books for collage), an old yellow Tupperware canister set like my mother owned, three book ends (what am I going to do with the odd one?), two silver demitasse spoons (for a project), and an original etching that was only $2.00. I’m going to look up the artist to see what it may be worth.

All in all, a very good haul. Plus we got a nice tour of our new neighborhood and surrounding areas. I can now confidently drive all over town without worrying about getting lost! Bonus!

But I gotta’ go now because there’s a bicycle calling my name.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Origami Night!

My sister stopped by yesterday to ask if I had an origami book. Apparently, the origami boats piqued her interest in more paper folding. I had to dig one up from the boxes still filling my studio. My guess was lucky as I got the right box on the first try. We then headed over to her house to see her kids, eat pizza, and fold paper.

We made lazy susan’s, a paper ball shooter and goal hoop, bangle bracelets, a Frisbee, and pop open boxes.

(Click the pictures to see more in my Flickr photostream.)

Origami Book and Lazy Susan

Paper Flying Disc

Folding Paper Shooter

The Paper Shooter

Miss O. Shooting the Ball

Her four-year-old daughter got a big kick out of the paper ball shooter. We played with it for about 30 minutes. I wish she were a bit older so we could have taught her some origami. Frustration would have been the only outcome tonight. But she watched and drew pictures for us. She stayed up an hour past her bedtime! I am sure she is going to show it to her dad and they are going to play with it a lot today.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Toy Boat, Toy Boat, Toy Boat

My twin sister phoned me the other day from work inquiring how to fold an origami boat. I found instructions online and walked her through it over the phone. (We have such a “twin connection” that my hunny joked that I only thought the instructions, and she was able to make the boat.) All she told me was that she had a puddle to float a boat in and, obviously, some downtime at work.

She is a hairdresser. The salon where she works is really nice, although there is a bit of a water problem in the basement. Condensation from the air conditioner collects behind a wall and pools at the bottom of the stairs. This is the “puddle” she was referring to. She sent me the following picture, from her Blackberry, of her three boats.

I think she was trying to make a point to the salon owner about the conditions in the basement.

My hunny got his haircut by her shortly after that picture was taken. She sent him home with one of the boats for me. Being the good sister that I am, I made her a boat in return.

(This picture isn’t as great as I was hoping it would be as it was also taken on my sister’s Blackberry.)

It has a bamboo skewer mast, a paper sail that reads “i love you to the moon and back”, portholes made from eyelets, and is named “USS Shake It!” which is her new catch phrase from Shear Genius.

Since we now only live 7 blocks apart I can just pop over to her house anytime I want to without the hassle of driving far. This opens a whole new world of (harmless) pranking possibilities! My big plan was to get her husband to unlock her car for me so I could surprise her with the boat I made by leaving it in her car. But he was not home when I called to arrange this. So I just went over there and dropped it off to her. We had a fun impromptu evening of goofing around. It was really nice. We watched Shear Genius and worked out some new business card designs for her salon. Fun was had by all!

Monday, July 7, 2008


I picked these about an hour ago. More were ripe, but why be gluttonous? This has to be about 40 raspberries! I had to fight the bees for them. I foresee a tummy ache by day’s end from eating too many of these juicy, red jewels.

With my bounty, I made a huge fruit salad for breakfast. Strawberries, blueberries, peaches and fresh, wild raspberries. Delicious!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Yummy Raspberries

Our neighbor to the west has raspberry bushes along his side fence. They grow through the chain link to our side by our driveway. Before I knew they were raspberries I was going to cut them back. But now they are full of ripe yummy fruit! They can stay.

He says we can have as many as we want. He should be careful or I will eat them all! I love fruit of any kind. These have been great in my morning bowl of fruit and yogurt. Best part: they are free!