Tuesday, May 31, 2022

A Traditional New England Sandwich

Hi everyone. This is the second day this week where I've posted twice.  I wanted to share my weekly food post at Kathy's Food Wednesday, especially now that for the summer Food Wednesdays is only going to happen on the first Wednesdays of the month.

First let me repost a photo I showed you in the last couple of weeks. 

This past Friday night my husband came home from work early and took me out to dinner. He said he wanted to do something summery as it was a beautiful day and evening.  Plus he said I hadn't had my first lobster roll of the season yet. (On my first trip to Pop's this year the lobster rolls were already sold old.)

I live relatively close to the seacoast (anywhere from a half to an hour away depending where I am exactly going), and the local lobster industry is strong there. That means lobster rolls are on the menus at many restaurants. I think one of the best ones around is at Pop's Clam Shack, which is a seasonal take out restaurant not too far from my house.

I know, the roll is hard to see. Traditionally, New England lobster rolls are served on buttered grilled hot dog rolls (which is New England are traditionally cut along the top not the side). Pops uses mayo to hold the lobster in the  roll together, but in some places butter replaces the mayo. In some places the lobster in the roll is hot, but I prefer cold lobster, and that's what most places in New Hampshire do. 

I had to get a fork to eat some of the lobster, and then I ate the rest of my sandwich in the roll. Lots of restaurants don't fill the rolls as full as Pop's does. I am surprised that this year the cost  at Pop's has only gone up $1 from last year, seeing diesel fuel which many lobster boats run on is over $6 a gallon here in the state. I was talking with my SIL's husband (who works in the food industry in Maine), and he told me that some places in Maine are charging $40 for a lobster roll. OUCH! Right now Pop's is charging $22, which isn't inexpensive by any means, but still in the budget for a couple of summertime splurges before Pop's closes over Labor Day (the first Monday in September).

I may not be able to have many of these this summer, especially if the price goes up any higher, but I will say I did enjoy this one. At Pop's the roll comes with fries, but for $1 more you can upgrade to onion rings which is what I did. 

If you skip the mayo or butter, lobster is pretty healthy to eat, as long as you don't over due your cholesterol for that day because one serving of lobster is about 70% of your daily cholesterol.  But lobster does have a nice amount of omega 3 which helps counteract your blood cholesterol level.  And the grilled hot dog roll doesn't count in these nutritional values either.

Lobster is a low calorie food packed with vitamins and minerals. A 1-cup (145-gram) serving of cooked lobster provides ( 2 ):
Calories: 128.
  • Protein: 27 grams.
  • Fat: 1.2 grams.
  • Carbs: 0 grams.
  • Copper: 198% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Selenium: 190% of the DV.
  • Zinc: 53% of the DV.
  • Vitamin B12: 51% of the DV.

OK, enough chatter from me. Happy June to everyone.

Our Newest Challenge at Try It on Tuesday

 Hi everyone. Happy last day of May.

Thanks to all of you who joined our butterfly challenge at Try It On Tuesday. There was some amazing art linked up.

That challenge has ended, and it is time to begin a new challenge. This time we are thinking ahead to Father's Day. We hope you'll join us for our latest challenge which is

For the Man In Your Life

My page started with some rough watercolor paper that I inked with multiple colors. I also added a few "blobs" of white gesso just to break up the background color a bit. I added some edges of printed paper along the bottom right and upper left side of the page.

I used a stencil on my background before I added the motorcycle picture and also the TH man. He might look a little bit big for the bike, but generally he works.  I also added the gauge and a quote sticker, as well as stenciling some words.

I wanted to add some metal tiny screw top bits to finish off my page, but they were packed away in my art space redo. I hope June will be a much more productive art time for me. I guess I shall have to see what the month brings.

Please don’t forget to check out all the masculine inspired art from the design team too. There are some wonderful pieces. 

At Try It On Tuesday, you can link up any kind of art, and our challenge runs for the next 2 weeks.

I'm looking forward to seeing the man in your life art. Happy last day of May and also to the start of the new month.  Thanks for visiting my blog.

Monday, May 30, 2022

T Stands for Flowers and Beer

Hi everyone. I hope if you live in the US you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.   Around my area I saw several lovely memorials to remember those who served but didn't return home..  And if you don't live in the US, I still hope you not only had a nice weekend but a nice start to the new week too.

My weekend wasn't too exciting, but my daughter did come home for a couple of nights. I also spent quite a bit of time starting to organize my new art space, and we had to help get my MIL back into her house for the summer. Supposedly her care person will be stopping by tomorrow and a couple of other days this week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that goes well. 

It is already time for T again over at Bleubeard's and Elizabeth's blog, and this week I want to share some flowers.

Just like last year, I bought a membership at Bedrock Gardens, a local artsy public garden. I like supporting them, since besides being local,  they are fairly new to the public garden scene. They are also members of the American Horticultural Society and being part of that society gives members the perk of reciprocal visiting, meaning I can use my membership to get in free at 345+ gardens in North America. I actually did this 4 times last year, and hopefully I'll get to do that some more times this year. 

I thought today I would share some photos from my first visit of the year.

The next photo shows one of their new pieces of art.  I wish I had my friend stand next to it for some scale as it was quite large. Most of the art in the gardens is made by the woman who originally started them. 

Of course nature’s art is always pretty too.

And for our T day hostess Elizabeth, how about some rust? (This is part of the garden's bone yard. The woman who started the garden uses them for new sculptures-you can see some in my photos. There is a lot more than this photo shows.)

And lastly, my friend Jo, who I usually call my walking friend. She was trying to capture photos of a frog who was in the water.

Sorry for all the photos in this post. I took over 300, not that I will share them all because some are not good and some are too repetitive. I will share a few more some other day.

Since this is my T day post, I need to share my drink with you.
After my friend and I walked through the gardens, we went out to a local restaurant for lunch. I had a yummy turkey and avocado sandwich as well as blackberry sour beer (by the local Smuttynose Brewing).

No I was not drinking 3 drinks. My friend Jo had the glass of white wine. I ordered my beer, and they brought me the one on the right, which was the dregs of keg. The waitress came back a few minutes later with a new beer off the fresh keg, which is the one on the left. And I definitely could not drink both of those beers and drive home, so I just had the fresh one. And you can also see my water. 

And of course I forgot to take a photo of my sandwich, but that's what happens when you're hungry. Smile.

Thanks for visiting. Have a great T day and week ahead.


Hi everyone. Happy end of the weekend and new week to you.

For those of you in the US, I hope you are having a wonderful long weekend. 

The next few days will be a little posting crazy as challenges end and new ones  begin.  Today I have 2 posts to share. Tonight I will share my T day post, and right now I want to share my final post for Matilde's BIRD challenge at Art Journal Journey
I want to thank Matilde for this great challenge theme, and I want to thank everyone for joining us at Art Journal Journey also. It was fun to see how everyone interpreted Matilde's theme. And of course, how can you go wrong seeing birds in art?

And I want to thank Matilde for being a wonderful host also. 

For my final AJJ page, I am sharing this page about a young and budding ornithologist with you.

I began with some printed blue paper and a couple of pages from the index of an old children's bird book. The image in the middle of the binoculars and book are also taken from this book.  Before I attached that image I drew some clouds and used some gesso to paint them. Then I added the centerpiece image and gave it a bit of color. 

I stamped the starling and gave him a branch to hang onto. Then I added the various pieces of washi tape. The quote was a paragraph in the same old book, which I colored and outlined. Finally I added this young ornithologist. Perhaps he is Roger Tory Peterson (1908-1996) by the age of the photo. And finally, I finished my page with a few little foam confetti pieces.

I'm keeping this short as I will be posting again tonight for T. I hope you have a wonderful end of May.Thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, May 28, 2022

Home Sweet Home

 Hi everyone. Happy weekend.

I hope you are enjoying your weekend. May is winding down quickly, which really can't be possible, can it? 

Today I want to share another page for Matilde's bird challenge at Art Journal Journey.

The centerpiece is a page of a rather dilapidated  old children's bird book I have.  Before that got added, I started with a piece of watercolor paper that I inked a bit. Then I took an old dictionary page and used some watercolor paints on it. I layered these with my birdhouse page. I sponged a bit of gesso around the edge of the birdhouse paper to make my page look a little less like 3 pages layered together. Then I added some feathers which I cut out from a sheet of clear printed feathers. Finally I added some little foam confetti style pieces and used some letter stickers to title my page.

Not the most complex page, but I like it.

And since my post is about homes,  I can finally report that the spare bedroom redo is finished!!!!!! 

It is very exciting.  I've been working the past few days figuring out where to put my storage pieces and what I want to put into them. I imagine that I will end up changing some things as I go along. And I am not even close to being done yet, but I do need to clean out enough of my other bedroom because my daughter is coming home and will be here Sunday-Tuesday morning. She does need a place to sleep other than the couch. Smile. 

 Except for a new rug I bought for the floor (which is not down yet)  and one other piece, I am recycling what I already have.
Here's a few views.

I love furniture with little drawers or openings. 
These "cubbies" went right back in their old spots. The top piece is something I bought years ago at IKEA and had in my kitchen for awhile. The piece below it is a piece I found years ago at an antique store. It comes out of an old post office. For me it makes a great piece to store small stamps and other little items.

I decided to give up my cork board wall. My wall space in the redone room is a lot less than it was before  because the closet is now missing and  2 walls of space are gone. But the huge amount of light the room now gets makes the loss of  space  worth it.

In the photo above, you can see some old cassette tape holders. My friend Deb had them in her classroom. I told her if she was ever throwing them out I would take them because I saw ink pad holders rather than cassette tape holders. 

At the end of one school year Deb brought them across the hall to my room because she was done with them. I have been happily using them since and thought it was worth covering up the cork board space with them.

Since this room is tucked under the eaves at the back of the house, I don't have a full sized back wall. I also have a lot of paper, some of it is over 20 years old going back to my scrapbooking days. These empty metal cubes are also old; in fact we used to keep my daughter's toys in them. Since then I have arranged them to hold all my assorted papers and paper products, including pages I have started but haven't completed as well as some old magazines I like to cut out pictures from.

Because of the ceiling beam, they didn't quite fit on the back wall, so I put them next to my hardware store "cubbies". I also have a repurposed shoe holder that I will store cutting dies in. It is sitting on a little 2 sided "box" to get it up off the floor a bit.

I've shown you my hardware store "cubbies" before, but in case you don't know what I am talking about, here they are again.

This old hardware store unit will be my general supply area where you can find most of my paints, tapes, clamps, tissue paper rolls, journals I am working on, paint brushes, etc. I've started filling it but haven't finished it yet.
You might remember the little attic door that goes into our under the eaves storage.

I thought it needed a face lift, so the other day I painted it to match the walls. (Ignore the storage pieces I was trying out. I'm not sure if they will go where they are or not.)

And finally my workbench is going along this wall. I will put my die cut machine on it, as well as a box I have that will hold little do-dad embellishments.  I want to still be able to work on it so I don't want too much on it.


As I said, there is still a lot to do. I am very thankful to my husband for doing all this; the room looks amazing. No more smelly carpet. Hurrah for that. Plus it is fun to go through everything and arrange it, although it is a bit hard to purge, and I have no idea where I am going to store my couple of bins of yarn for knitting. 
I am sure the answer will come to me. 

I'm a bit behind commenting as the last few days have been busy, but I will be by this weekend. I apologize in advance if I've missed your post.

 Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!

Friday, May 27, 2022

Imaginary Macaws

Hi everyone. Happy almost weekend. This upcoming weekend is the long Memorial Day weekend here in the US. Not only is it a weekend to remember those who serviced their country and lost their lives, but it is the unofficial start of the summer "season".

The other day I shared some tropical toucans that I saw in Costa Rica, and today I will share another bird I saw while on that trip many years ago, the Scarlet Macaw. OK my bird today isn't exactly a scarlet macaw, just inspired by them, as this bird is more of a species I created for my page using a stencil that looks like a macaw's body.

Macaws are one type of parrot. The little info blurb I included is about a species in the parrot family found in Australia, where macaws are NOT found, but I liked having the info on my page as it makes my imaginary parrot look like a more official species. Smile.

My background is a mix of different watercolor paints as well as some stamped images. The macaw is stenciled and then colored with watercolor markers, a black marker and a white pen. I drew in the branch and then used many Art by Marlene punch out leaves on the branch. I also  added some mini flowers as this tropical tree that have many types of leaves is flowering. I also added some details to those leaves.

Does my parrot work for Nicole's Face Off challenge? He does have quite a face!

A couple of you asked about my school trip to Costa Rica (which was back in 2013) after reading my toucan post. This trip was a cultural immersion trip to a very small town in in the wilds of the Osa Peninsula, which is in the rain forest. This trip was just for teachers, although the school ran a similar trip for students during the school year. (We went in the summer.) We spent much of our week working in local schools and other than the first couple and last nights where we stayed in a private hostel, we lived with locals for the rest of the time. I stayed with a lovely family who I still keep in touch with through  Facebook. 

 I could also earn graduate credits for like $100 (that was a deal for sure), and besides getting to see some of Costa Rica, I was able to bounce up my credits and reach the next credit level for pay raise too when I returned to school in the fall.  It was win-win situation, but even if I didn't have the grad school opportunity, just visiting Costa Rica was amazing.

We did get to do a few other things when we weren't working in the schools.  We took a rain forest hike; I rode my first horse; we visited a sustainable chocolate farm (the best coco ever as we made it from scratch-starting with roasting the coco beans), and we also took a boat trip to an eco friendly resort. We didn't get to stay at the resort, but we learned about being eco-friendly in Costa Rica and also had an amazing boat trip seeing dolphins and humpback whales.  Since the whole area we stayed in was rainforest, we saw lots of wildlife and local plants. And we had noisy howler monkeys wake us at  like 3 AM. This was my first and only (so far) trip to a Central American tropical rainforest. It was eye-opening, both literally and figuratively.   It was a great experience, and I'm very glad I decided to do it when I had the opportunity. 

Here's a few photos I posted back in August and September of 2013. There's more in various posts I put up at the time.  I'll start with a sign from the eco-resort.

Here's some beautiful tropical flowers,

and some leaf cutter ants carrying their prices along an ant trail.

I'm not sure what type of hummingbird this was.

This is one of the classrooms we worked in.

A view of the Gulfo (the bay) from the town we stayed in.

A new fruit I tried that was delicious once you pealed away the spiny looking skin called maman-chino. It is so called rambutan.

Grinding our roasted coco beans for hot coco.

Another view of the shore from town.

And at another school.

One night we visited a Costa Rican bullfight, which was more like a rodeo with bull roping.

And here's a banana flower, and then more tropical blooms.

And finally, I was pretty fascinated by those leaf cutter ants that seemed to be almost everywhere.

I'm glad I had the chance to go on this trip. It was quite the adventure. 

Thanks for visiting.


Thursday, May 26, 2022

Time to Bloom

HI everyone. Happy Thursday to you.

This week Rain's Thursday challenge theme is Flowers Blooming. 

First let me share this art journal page for Matilde's bird challenge at Art Journal Journey. You can see it has both birds and flowers blooming.

I think flowers in a garden without any birds singing nearby just wouldn't seem complete.

It was very relaxing to make this page and layer all the papers as well as the images. This month has not been the busiest art month for me as I've had lots of indoor and outdoor chores to do. I won't mention the indoor ones, although I am HAPPILY  moving art supplies back into the new space. I'll be sharing  photos soon.  I also get very carried away every spring with my gardens as I love  putting my hands in the dirt and planting. 

The first thing I always plant are my flowers. What can I say, I love flowers. They might be seen as frivolous parts of the plant world as they bloom for such a short time. But they do feed bees and other pollinators. And they  produce the seeds to keep the plant species going. Plus (just as an aside) they just make me happy to look at.

Last week I planted many of the containers on my back deck until I ran out of plants. That's OK because it meant another trip to the greenhouse. Hurrah! Good thing I know this about myself and always budget May as plant buying month. Smile.

Here's some photos to share which I took after we had a little rain shower.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you're having a great week.