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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

For an Impromptu Birthday Celebration

For an impromptu birthday celebration last night - I desperately felt a cake was in order. I usually make them myself but I was running out of time. I wracked my brain for ideas - and came up with this last-minute cake idea.
I simply bought mini cupcakes from the bakery and doctored-up the presentation.
I used a little stand I had made thanks to Pinterest: simply take a dollar-store candle stick (or one you already have) and a dessert-sized plate. Spray paint both in whatever color, then adhere together using some really good epoxy. (Hint: I was in a hurry, didn't have epoxy - so I used floral clay. Sweet.)
Place the little stand on another plate and you have your cake stand. Don't forget the doilies! I make it a point to have some on hand - you never know when one might come in handy.
To top off the whole thing - get special candles. Light them up, sing happy birthday, and have a great time!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Milk bottle crazy!

This is a really lame post - I haven't done anything creative to show you (just a big unfinished sweater I'm toiling over) so I thought I'd share a great find with you.
Like the milk bottles? I thought that combing every antique shop would be fun, but on the other hand, too labor intensive- so I decided to do a little research on the web.
What I discovered is that there are resources online for these lovely little half-pint bottles. Unfortunately, most are dairy supply so if you need 150 of them, you're all set. If you'd like to order less, the pickings are a little slimmer, but they do exist.
I think I hit pay dirt when I discovered Shop Sweet Lulu. (Not sponsored. Like that will ever happen....)I got a set of six half-pint milk bottles for $20 plus shipping. They're good thick glass so the price of shipping is "Yikes!" . It's still cheaper than combing the countryside!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Scary Spring

It's been unseasonably warm for the past week. I'm loving it, although in the back of my mind I see the beginnings of an awesome action adventure movie about the post-apocalypse.
"It started out innocently enough - the skies cleared, the sun was warm, and then.........." it shows us in the post Apocalypse, wearing a combination of ultra-modern armour and animal skins (the required costuming for post apocalyptic movies) wishing that winter had come.
I'm sure we'll get hit by some more March-like weather soon enough. R says it's going back to the single-digits (that's Celsius, not real temperature). In the meantime, we've been clearing the gardens and doing some advance work around the outside. and by "we", I mean Roger.
This week I'm having the barn over so I'm getting up the energy to clean. Then I'm going to make some stuff, and work on my book.. Arrgh! Writing is hard!
Enjoy this gorgeous -and short-lived- weather!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It feels like spring!

I love these dairyland pint-sized milk bottles - but you've got to hunt for them!
And today I celebrated the sunshine and double-digits and went antiquing in an old factory for two hours! I came across these wonderful old pint milk bottles and bought as many as I could find - six in all. So when I'm doing my milk-and-cookies party next Christmas, we'll have milk served in these cool little bottles. Now I have a raison d'etre for antiquing!
I can think of a million things to use these bottles for other than milk and cookies. I have to admit I high-jacked the milk bottle idea from a wildly popular blogger. I have to tell you, Kelle - get back to Michigan, do some antiquing and get you some real milk bottles for your next kittles party!
Intervention Kitty says too much knitting, not enough noms.
I've also been knitting a bunch - but Intervention Kitty was on the job and occasionally production is halted until further notice.
Thanks for reading - I may be off to do something worthwhile - but then again, maybe not.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuesdays with Milo

Yesterday was our second visit as a Therapy Dog Team

We arrived a little late - and found most of our regulars were involved in an activity. I was happy to see that they keep the residents so busy - and most seem to really enjoy what ever has been planned. I wandered the hallways and I was able to see some people who chose not to or were unable to take part in the day's activites.
 There is Fred, a tall gentleman who enjoys Milo immensely. He talks of his old dog, Spook, who he got on Halloween. He's sharp as a tack, just has trouble getting his words out.
Then there's sweet little Marjory, who loves her bracelets and likes to wear a hat. She's 98 years old, which makes her birth year 1914 - the year the Great War started. No wonder she likes to wear a hat - she's one of The Girls Who Have Hats. Marjory is so so very old - like a little wisp who's waiting to be swept away. I wonder what she thinks about  - does she wonder if God has forgotten her?
When I make my visits often I am moved - what am I going to do when these little wisps are swept away? Milo, when making his rounds through the corridors, will stop at the door of a room he's visited before. The guy has memory like a steel trap! If the room is empty - the resident is out somewhere - Milo looks up at me like he needs to solve this problem: where is his person?
 A quick treat usually distracts him and we're off to the next room, but I can't help but get a tight feeling in my throat. Someday I'll have to deal with it - but in the meantime, distracted by a little treat, Milo is trotting off to the next person, eager to give them a quick kiss and a paw.

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Jamaican Word Processor

On the list of "Rosie's Favorite Things"(they're so much better than Oprah's) are fountain pens. Most of mine are the plastic school-kid variety that you can only find in shops in Europe or through extensive internet searches. I have one or two fine pens - both Lamy's over $50, although I do have one of their school varieties in plastic that I got in a pen store in Manchester, just off the high street heading to he train station.
The pen in the photo is also an acquisition from Manchester. I got this cool screaming-pink pen at WH Smith that was $15US. It's got a great nib, and although it's really hard to get the teeny-weeny cartridges in, it writes very smoothly and doesn't even feather in a Moleskin - the notebook I'm using in the photo.
I wrote a bunch in Jamaica -  sitting under the tiki hut with a cool drink and all Jamaica has to offer (like ackee rice salt fish is nice), especially the sun, the salt air, the gentle breezes and the musical patois of the Jamaicans. I actually completed the outline of my middle-grades book, and got tremendous inspiration for the next book in the series. (I'll give you three guesses where he story will be set.....)
Have a happy week. Thanks for reading.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Is it True? Could it be.....?

The Daffodils are appearing already. Spring, as promised, is on its way.
Our visit to the residence (I'm not sure of my confidentiality constraints here, so I'm being vague) was rewarding and fun. Most of our friends were enjoying a "Tropical Fruit Tasting" in the activity room so Milo and I wandered around a little before making our way back to  catch any we hadn't spoken to yet. Milo was quite bewildered as some of his "regulars" were at the activity and not in their rooms. He refused to go past the room of Verna- a dear new friend of his - and I was forced to scoop him up and move him on.
I'm very impressed by the facility and the dignity with which the residents are treated. Having Milo there makes everyone laugh and smile, and not just the residents. I think he picks up the spirits of the staff and visitors, too!