Sunday, December 14, 2014

I used only the good notes

The holiday season used to be so joyful when I was young. I couldn’t imagine ever being sad during Christmas and the New Year. But then I became older and it wasn’t until after the children were grown and my husband became sick that I truly understood why people can become depressed at this time of year.

I had to force myself to put up the little tree this year but I’m glad I did now. I kept putting it off all morning and then finally, it clicked and it began to feel right. “Snap out of it,” I told myself in my best Cher impersonation. (Name that movie). And later in the day, I popped in one of my favorite Christmas movies, and I really began to feel better.

The Holiday, starring Kate Winslet, Jack Black, Jude Law, and Cameron Diaz is what I watched this evening. One of my favorite parts is the one with Jack Black, who writes musical scores for films, and Kate Winslet who is listening to one he’s just written for their new friend, 90-year old Arthur Abbott (played by Eli Wallach) . He’s also written one for her and he tells her that he’s used only the good notes. It’s very sweet.

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My tiny tree in the windowsill of the living room. Some day I’ll have a regular sized tree again. But for now, this one suits me just fine.

This year, my sons and I are doing something quite different for Christmas. We’re taking a trip to Florida to spend it with my in-laws in their new house down on the Gulf Coast. I am really looking forward to it.

And now, a question . . .

What are your favorite holiday movies?

See you in the comments ~

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Thoughts on a Monday night

It’s Monday night and I’m having a cup of chocolate peppermint tea and watching An Affair to Remember on TCM which has just begun. George is resting at my feet because earlier this evening we played tug of war with his rope toy and I guess he’s all tuckered out.

It’s cold outside and the thermometer reads 32 degrees but it sure feels colder. We may have a little weather coming tonight but it could miss us and keep to the west of us.


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This was taken yesterday evening. I stayed home this weekend and got a lot of things crossed off on my to-do list although I just couldn’t get into decorating for the holidays. But it will come, I guess.


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I took this one yesterday too and you can tell it was a bit warmer than today. It also looks weird – like I’m riding the dog. He was standing at the door waiting for me to come inside. I didn’t realize I was in the reflection until I checked to see if the photo came out.

George is doing really well with the medication he’s on for both the seborrhea and the ehrlichia. He has to be bathed twice a week with a special medicated shampoo which then has to soak in for 10-15 minutes. I’ve been taking him to the pet wash to do it because it is a major chore to do it at home in the tub. Plus, there’s a special dryer there.


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He gets bored waiting to be rinsed off.

Silly dog.


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My chocolate peppermint tea in my new teacup, a birthday present from my friend, Daryl. It is beautiful and I love it ~

I highly recommend The Republic of Tea. It makes a great gift for the tea lovers on your Christmas list. They have beautiful sipware and lovely teas. And no – they aren’t compensating me for saying nice things about them. I just like their products.

And speaking of compensating . . . after four years of having advertisements on my site, I decided to call it quits. I never made much money on them, and I always thought they junked up the blog. Maybe you never even noticed but it was time to say goodbye ~

Well, the movie is playing, and I’d like to get back to it. Until tomorrow, then . . .

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014


The flight home from Stockholm on Sunday was an uneventful one, which is always a good thing when it comes to air travel. I watched three movies on the plane: Jersey Boys, The Other Woman, and Million Dollar Arm. Liked all of them, too. During the drive home, traffic was horrible as I neared the Delaware Memorial Bridge on 295 and it was a slow crawl over it and on towards 95. I couldn’t wait to see my dog and was having trouble keeping my eyes open.

All of these images were taken using my phone and I’m posting them here because I can’t write and not have photos to share, you know.


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This was taken on one of my last nights there. I didn’t feel like lugging the big camera with me but when I came across this scene, I wished I had brought it. I took this and the image below using the ‘night portrait’ mode on my Samsung Galaxy S4 but I know my camera would have done it so much more justice.


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They were taken from Skeppsholmen, looking toward Gamla stan. We’d walked there from the city to visit Moderna Museet (Modern Museum) before dinner.

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When I got home, a very excited pup ran to greet me. Oh my gosh – he was so happy I think he was crying. After much cuddling and then dragging the bags upstairs and unpacking, I took a good hard look at my beautiful dog and realized that he looked horrible.

His coat had been looking kind of dull to me lately and I upgraded his feed about 2-3 months ago because of it. I noticed little difference but something I began to notice shortly before I left was flaking skin in his fur. It was nothing too disconcerting, but when I got home, his fur was covered in flaking skin. So I called the vet the next day. I asked for blood work while there, thinking that maybe it was thyroid-related and I’m glad I did. George was diagnosed with seborrhea, which is easily fixed. But the blood work caught a disease called Ehrlichia canis, which is tick-borne. I had never heard of it but it was caught very early and the prognosis is very good.


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George at the vet.

He loves it there because everyone always makes such a big fuss over him.


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I nearly started crying when the bill was presented to me. He was due for a Lyme’s booster and his heartworm, but it was the medications that cost the most. I read on the internet after getting home that the pills George were given had risen in price over 6,000% since the year 2010. They cost $2 per pill, bring the price for those pills alone to nearly $250.

Christmas will definitely not be about presents this year. I’m just glad that my dog will be healthy. And that I asked for blood work.


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On another note,

I think I am ruined for coffee after drinking all the deliciousness that Sweden had to offer.

But I will live ~

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ps – Thank you for all of your wonderful comments on my posts while I was away. I have yet to read most of them, which is why you haven’t heard back from me personally yet. Until next time . . .

Saturday, November 29, 2014

My last day in Stockholm

It’s late Saturday afternoon and in a short while, my son and I are heading to the local market to pick up a few munchies for dinner. We’re having El & Seamus over later and it’s my last night here. Today, we took the ‘Archipelago Tour’ on the SS Stockholm through Stromma tours and it was fantastic.


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The ship left the harbor at noon for a 3-hour tour.

A 3-hour tour.

Ha. I crack myself up.


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It was a thousand times nicer than I thought it would be. We opted for the brunch tour and were treated to some really fantastic food in a dining lounge with linen tablecloths. I thought we’d be sitting on benches or something and would have to keep coming inside to get out of the cold. Silly me.


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But it was a luxury cruise and filled with all kinds of wonderful things to eat – all Swedish and all fantastic.


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We went all the way round to Vaxholm (above) and then back again.


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I kept going outside although it was cold, because the photo opps were so much better than taking images through the windows of the ship.


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And when we pulled back into port at Stockholm, the sun was setting.


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It was the best.


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This has been just the best trip ever.


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Seamus & El, taken with my camera phone.


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Me and Matt.

I have  had the time of my life in this beautiful city. I leave very early tomorrow morning to catch the express train up to the airport north of here and will probably not be posting for several days. Thanks for coming along on the ride with me. I’ll be back here in a little while.

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