Lifelong learning

More than anything this year I’m hoping I get a Masterclass Pass for the holidays.

I’m enthralled with the idea of taking classes on subjects taught by the people who excel in those topics.

Bobbi Brown for makeup.

Annie Leibovitz for photography.

Margaret Atwood for creative writing.

What is better than learning more on a topic from an expert in the field?

Has anyone heard of Masterclass and moreover, has anyone bought a subscription to their service?

Mostly, I’d like to learn to take better photos and write better posts for this blog.

Because really when it boils down to it, this is what I enjoy the most and want to succeed at the most.

Also, I seem to have this endless desire to learn something new while sheltering in place so that when covid is under control, I can say that I improved myself instead of spending all my time watching tv and scrolling through TIkTok.

I’m a big advocate of lifelong learning and I think that Masterclass might fit the bill.

Gifting at Christmas

My 90 year old dad is blind, but exactly how blind is usually hard to tell because he functions very well.

The other day however, a circuit blew and the lights in the kitchen turned off suddenly right before dinner time.

My mom and I tried to fix them but figured out pretty quickly that we needed a new fuse.

I shrugged, and suggested that we use my camping lanterns and not tell my dad.

My dad stresses over these things and asks a bazillion questions and issues even more directives, making what would be a tedious task into a torturous job.

I was curious, would he realize we were eating in dim light?

The answer of course, is no.

He had no idea.

So when it came time for me to pick a Christmas present for him, I decided to get him a one-touch Keurig coffee maker.

Seeing him fumble around for a cup and try to fill it with water without missing or spilling before he even adds his coffee grounds or sugar made me stop and think.

He could really use an automatic Keurig.

Put the mug in place, put the coffee pod in place, push one button, and voila. . . coffee!

Today it arrived in the mail, with K-E-U-R-I-G in big letters on the box.

My mom took one look at it and knew what it was for.

And for once, instead of chastising me for spending money, she congratulated me on getting the perfect gift for my father.

This is why I love gifting at Christmas.

Etsy for the win!

My home buffet for birds and squirrels has been a grand success.

The neighborhood ravens are smart and “dig” through the birdseed to find the peanuts which they fly off with.

I’d taken to putting all the peanuts in a pile on top of the birdseed so that they could feast without making a mess of the birdseed.

Just pluck a peanut from off the top and head out.

My buffet was inspired by my friend who rehabilitates ravens.

I like to call her “Mother of Ravens.”

The other day while perusing etsy, I found a beautiful stained glass necklace of a raven and I had to get it for her.

Little did I know that it was going to take nearly three months for the gift to ship from the artist’s studio in St. Petersburg, Russia to California.

But it has finally arrived.

And my friend loves it so it was well worth the wait.

Etsy for the win, folks.

Nothing like a one-of-a-kind handmade gift to tell a friend their friendship is cherished.

Gift ideas: Beverages and more!

A newly curated list of mostly beverage-related items which I think would make cool stocking stuffers or gifts for friends and family:

$150 Seriously blinged out iPhone case

$7 Cute cosmetic bag, many designs but this one has my heart

$24 Silicon wine glasses for the hot tub/bath tub

$23 Folding lap desk so I can stay in bed longer

$25 Boho cotton throw blanket with colors I LOVE

$50  Indoor smores maker for smores, especially when it’s cold out

$13 Wine tumbler with lid, for Burning Man, hot tub fun, etc.

$10 Tweexy for nail polish for a perfect manicure

$19 Stainless steel mugs with lids, perfect for Burning Man

$31 Viking mug because I still think about The Swede

$10 Gardening gloves, or some serious backscratching

$15 Skull ice cube tray because it’s cool

$18 Cutting board, ’tis the season for CHEESE spreads

$46 Bartending kit, because I love a good bartending kit in the wet bar

$15 Tea mug with infuser, which is just TOO CUTE

$200 Oculus VR headset, because everyone needs to experience The Magic (I love it!)

$23 Cocktail kit for airplane rides, just add booze

$64 Cheeseboard, another magnificent cheese board, with knives and pull out trays

 $26 Melamine spreaders so bright and cute

$35 Book-scented candle to pretend like you’re in the library

$10 Multi kitchen tool for perfect meals

$16 Flask because it’s cool

$12 Rainbow party cup for Burner BYOC parties

$8 Narwhal tea infuser because NARWHALS ARE AWESOME AT FIGHTING TERRORISTS

$17 Cocktail garden kit to grow your own herbs for cocktails

$25 Journal for the writer in you 🙂

Packing for Burning Man

I have barely started packing for Burning Man.

This is unusual in that I typically am packed and playa-ready MONTHS ahead of time.

Not so this trip.

Although, under the encouragement of Tejas, I did put on all the new shoes I bought JUST TO BE SURE THEY FIT.

It’s a good thing Tejas reminded me to test out my shoes because TWO PAIRS did not fit.

The pink quinceañera sneakers and the black orthopedic flip flops did not fit.

So I’m tossing them and replacing them with different shoes, which I will not only test to make sure they fit, but also wear around a little bit at home to make sure they’re comfortable.

These are the lessons you learn after a few failures on playa.

I’ve also tested my costumes to make sure they fit.

Nothing worse than getting to the playa only to discover that the jean shorts you selected to wear with three different outfits is too tight to button.

True story.

My gift to the playa this year is a recycled gift.

I have leftovers of my custom engraved, Burning Man credit-card size bottle opener which I will be giving away to my campmates.

We work in a bar camp, so a bottle opener is an appropriate gift to give (and I had leftovers from 2017).

I can’t believe it’s just a little over a week away until I leave for the playa!

I’m so not ready!

Barbara’s Gift

I don’t know if I’ve said enough about my friend Barbara.

She is the Carrie to my Samantha.

The Louise to my Thelma.

The Laverne to my Shirley.

Barbara always reminds me how special I am.

So over Christmas break, I opted to spend 50 hours of my life making her a quilt to show her how special she is to me.

 

It turned out HEAVENLY.

It’s a checkerboard pattern of nine patch squares and hourglass squares made from Tilda’s Bird Pond fabric.

It’s framed with a narrow border of off-white embossed fabric and then framed with a wide border of fabric by Elizabeths Studio called Hummingbird Bouquet.

The whole quilt is machine pieced, long arm quilted and hand bound.

I love it.

And I think Barbara does too:

 

I’m not going to lie.

There were a few tears (mostly Barbara’s) and a few declarations of undying friendship (mostly mine).

Couldn’t love this lady more.

Happy quilt, Barbara!

I love you!

Burning Man 2016 Flashback: The Magic of the Playa

Last year, magic happened for me when I stumbled across some chapstick-needy burners out in deep playa when I had a bag full of chapstick.

This year, magic happened when I got in line to get ice at Arctica.

The line was an hour long.

In the hot sun.

In the blazing heat.

With no shade.

I was weary, but committed to getting my ice.  For drinks, natch.

Can’t be serving room temperature drinks to my friends on the playa!

A burner with a HUGE military style backpack approached me.

“How many bags do you need?” he asked.

“Two,” I replied.

He opened up his pack and handed me two bags of ice.

I tried to hand him my $6 to pay for the ice.

“No payment. Just a hug,” he grinned. “This is my gift to the playa.”

So I hugged him and rode back to my camp with the ice.

So noted, Playa Angel, so noted!

Burning Man 2016 Flashback: The Magic of the Playa

Last year, magic happened for me when I stumbled across some chapstick-needy burners out in deep playa when I had a bag full of chapstick.

This year, magic happened when I got in line to get ice at Arctica.

The line was an hour long.

In the hot sun.

In the blazing heat.

With no shade.

I was weary, but committed to getting my ice.  For drinks, natch.

Can’t be serving room temperature drinks to my friends on the playa!

A burner with a HUGE military style backpack approached me.

“How many bags do you need?” he asked.

“Two,” I replied.

He opened up his pack and handed me two bags of ice.

I tried to hand him my $6 to pay for the ice.

“No payment. Just a hug,” he grinned. “This is my gift to the playa.”

So I hugged him and rode back to my camp with the ice.

So noted, Playa Angel, so noted!

Cupid

So I’m putting together a Cupid Costume for the Cupid (Bar) Crawl.

It goes a little something like this:

Gorgeous red corset:

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Matching red tutu:

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Red fairy wings, as if there’s not enough red already:

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Red LED heart earring.  Because who doesn’t love things that light up?

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A bow and arrow, because love comes with weapons, no doubt:

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My favorite piece of the WHOLE outfit… the heart shaped fascinator:

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Red glowbys for hair and tutu:

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A little heart-covered baggie to hold all my goodies I plan to give away:

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And the gift I’ll be giving away…

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You didn’t think I was going to tell you what it is, did you?  Not!

 

The post where she single-handedly undermines everything she’s done

Guilt, my friends, is a powerful motivator. And I am suffering from an abundance of it.  My sister will kill me when she reads this blog.

Edward called and I talked to him.

Exhale.

It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. He told me he understood and that he thought my text message wasn’t bad at all.

Yes, he really said that.

My guilt has diminished, but that still hasn’t stopped me from sending him one final gift.

“As Long as it’s Fun” by Herb McCormick on the lives of Lin and Larry Pardey. To remind an old sailor that exquisite adventures still lie ahead.

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