2017 Spring & Summer Beginnings

On April 6th, I tried my hand at Paint & Sipping for the first time at the Dryden VFW. Although I’m not in love with my first attempt, it was a really fun experience and now I have something colorful to decorate my front door. I plan to make plenty more “Welcome” signs so I can switch them out to suit my many passing fancies.
May 4th, 2017 Sumo
We enjoyed a few work lunches out on the town (yes, they let us mingle with the public on occasion). This time around, on May 4th, we went to the hibachi, which is one of my favorite things. I love food and a show…and almost getting my eyebrows burned off and getting saki squirted in my mouth (and inevitably down the front of my shirt). I think this was our lab director’s first time at a hibachi so it was fun to see his reaction to things. That experience just never gets old to me.
Before the monsoons came, I had the opportunity to enjoy some great hikes and all of which were right across the street from where I live. Yup, I’ve been living in the same apartment for almost three years now and I never realized that there was an entire network of trails basically right down the street from me. Sometimes I’m a dumb-dumb. I haven’t been able to hike the trails recently because of all the flooding but hopefully things will dry up soon.
On May 20th, my mum (Ling Ling), her boyfriend/my landlord and I went to the Landmark Theater in Syracuse to watch Motown the Musical. It was so wonderful! I’ve always loved that genre of music and to experience Barry Gordy’s life-story in this way was an absolute inspiration. I was just so moved by the entire thing that I even cried at the end. I’m such a sap. After that, we enjoyed lunch at Empire Brewing Company, which is always a tasty pleasure.
In May, I took a week off of work to hit the camper build hard. I worked pretty much day and night and by the end I was beat and nowhere near as far along as I’d hoped I would be. What I managed to finish, I really love but I must admit, I’m feeling a bit downtrodden over it.
May ushered in the Found Flea Market, which is where I’ve found so many treasures. You can’t beat finding a unique wooden octopus napkin holder or a pristine vintage sewing cabinet or two wooden champagne boxes from a place which holds such great memories (the picture of what I made out of them is featured a little later in this post.)
May 21st will live in infamy! After 25 years of being off the air, Twin Peaks restarted. I had friends over to watch the premier and Gomez stole the show, of course. Thus far, we’re nine episodes in and I’m experiencing very mixed feelings. Some episodes are so mind-blowingly amazing, like works of art, and some are falling short. I’m optimistic though because I think that in the end, we’ll be transported to a strange and wonderful place.
Hello Seneca Lake! A few co-workers and I rented a van to enjoy a birthday wine tour. What a blast! I had a great time visiting with friends that I hadn’t seen in years, most of them either own or work at wineries or breweries now. Time has changed much but my adoration of them still lives on. The cat in the photo is the greeter at Lucky Hare Brewing and just so happens to be named Daryl Hall (sadly, John Oates perished on Route 414). I had to molest him bit but he didn’t seem to mind.
This is how we’ve been decompressing at work lately. I found this pillow in the free pile at work and brought it into the lab thinking that my supervisor might want to take it home to her kid. The angry pillow immediately (like within three minutes of it being in the lab) sparked an overwhelming amount of creativity within us. This “Boss Holly” effigy was in our lab for several weeks. We’ve since added a goatee to it and turned it into a likeness of Mani, our lab director. Basically, it’s now an official part of our team.
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Oh Argos, what have you done to us! You’ve raised the bar way too high. Now Eric can’t go anywhere without being disappointed that it’s not Argos. This was Eric and I’s venture out, on May 30th, to give their spring menu a proper send off.
And this is Eric and I on June 4th, once again at Argos, ushering in their Wes Anderson inspired summer drink menu. Sooooo goooooddd! Everything they do is art in a glass. Nothing compares.
I’ve been working on developing my green thumb! I built this planter box when I was avoiding working on the camper… because procrastination is the name of my game. I seriously can’t believe how each plant I chose is absolutely flourishing in their tiny space. I planted a mix of flowers and herbs and they’re all growing like weeds. I also planted a succulent garden in the bed up-top. They haven’t taken off like I’d hoped they would but I blame it on the rain (Milli Vanilli style). They’re still doing great though and I haven’t lost a single one. Next year, I plan to put a small trellis next to the palate planter so that I can grow tomatoes and other veggies.
I know you’ve been waiting for it so here it is…. Petunia love.
Oh what do we have here?! An extra dose of Petunia love.
Just bask in this creature for a moment… We should all strive to be this happy.
Art, art, and more art! I’ve been scooping it up left and right lately! Top left: A set of cards by http://www.skellychic.com. Bottom left: A set of Boss Ross holiday cards by http://www.davepollot.com. Bottom right: A beautiful watercolor by Lisa Baechtle. Top right: A work-in-progress by yours truly…madly, deeply. My apartment is being overrun with art and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
On June 21st (the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, the most epically awesome day of the year because I was born), Petunia and I took our annual birthday hike up Cascadilla Gorge…
and what goes up must come down. We descend through the Ithaca City Cemetery, thus completing my favorite hike.
And although I took my birthday off, I popped back over to work just in time to help us win second place in the watermelon exploding competition. We rocked it! Here’s a facebook video of us in action!
Then I capped off my birthday evening with a Paint Nite at the Dock. This is my second attempt at a “Welcome” sign and I really love this one. (And if you look real close, Bob Ross is making another appearance in this blog post. I’m blessed by the master!)
Here’s my completed sign. I actually did most of this with my fingers when I found the brushes to be a bit too cumbersome. The irony was that the teacher specializes in finger painting so she was thrilled to see me go au naturale.
June 23rd just has to be documented. Two of my friends and I had an impromptu meeting of the minds that will go down in history as one of the best. I love it when the right mix of people, topics and drinks just stir things up.
June 24th at Chateau Dusseau in Locke. I seriously never knew there was a winery this far out in the boonies but there it was and my friends were playing there. What a glorious time! Sunshine, good friends, good tunes and good wine (although I didn’t drink a drop because I was hungover from the night before.) And yes, I know what you’re thinking and no, that’s not Chris Cornell playing guitar. But Levi’s almost an exact doppelganger. Everyone has at least one… I just don’t want to see mine!
And my yearly pilgrimage to Omega in Rhinebeck begins but I must backup for a second and introduce you to my 2013 Nissan Pathfinder. I purchased it on May 8th and I love it. Yup, I still have my Honda Civic (aka the Honda Cervix) and she’s still running like a dream (she’s clocked in at around 230,000 miles as I write this!) but looking to the future I wanted to get a vehicle that could tow a camper so here we are! For my Omega trip, I put an inflatable queen sized mattress in the back and I slept like a king.
Here are some photos of the Omega campus. This year I took a week long Tai Chi Easy training course. From June 25th to the 30th, I was completely immersed in everything Tai Chi. And now I can say that I’m an official practice leader and plan bring what I’ve learned out into the community, starting with Cornell. I’m so glad that I took this course. I feel like I was missing a piece of me that’s now been found.
More pictures of the grounds at Omega.
While in the Hudson Valley, I had the chance to visit with beloved friends and stay at the barn in Saugerties. The barn now has chickens! I wish we had them when I was living there but oh well…better late than never, I guess. On my way back home, I stopped off at Lox of Bagels to get a delicious breakfast sandwich and ate it during an Ulster Landing hike. I miss those views so dang much. I truly miss all of it so much. I wish I still lived there.
Here are some random photos that I just had to share. Top left: My little garden had a salamander visitor. I was so honored that it would find my little corner of the world worthy. Top right: On July 2nd, Danielle & I went to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo to celebrate one of the elephant’s birthdays. While there, I was in complete awe of their vibrant wall garden. Now that’s something to work towards! Their set-up is beautiful! Bottom right: On the same day, I took Petunia for a walk around the Cornell Plantations and noticed the complex, patterned bark on this tree. What a neat visual! Mother nature is bar-none the best artist. Bottom left: Last but not least, this is my view from work. This cow has a window in her stomach so the vet students can learn the ins and outs of the many ruminant stomachs. I love her. She’s just such a sassy pants and always gives the best looks. On this day, she had a miniature horse in the stall with her and she looked completely disgusted by the creature. Ha! I had to snap a pic.
As promised, here’s a picture of what I made with my flea market finds. Although I made this coffee table on the 4th of July, it was actually years in the making. The letterpress box has been with me for about four years, the glass was salvaged this past winter, the legs I had custom made two months ago, and the wooden base is actually scrap from the camper build. I guess I was just waiting for something else… then I found these champagne boxes at the flea market which just so happened to come from a place where I once worked. Also, me and a beloved friend of mine, who has since passed on, spent many nights just sitting together drinking that exact champagne and talking about everything that was in our hearts and minds. Those memories are near and dear to me. I didn’t have any place to keep my treasures safely displayed now that I have a Gomez in my life, so this was a long time in the making. It was worth the wait though because this table might be my favorite thing I own.
Here we are, enjoying our yearly trek to the Lockwood Lavender Festival in Skaneateles and our yearly bee photos.
This year we went on July 8th, picked lavender, bought a lot of crafts (I purchase jewelry every year from one specific vendor, East Street Tins, as a gift to myself. This year I purchased two pieces because I’ve been playing fast and loose with the money lately and because I’ve been extra good…maybe?), we walked around town and then ate yummy food at the Blue Fish Grill. It was the perfect day.
My brother put his beloved dog of 18 years, Pugsly, to sleep yesterday (Friday, July 21st). My heart goes out to him while he tries to live his life without his best buddy in it. He will be missed. Wherever you are Pug-man, I wish you peace and joy. This also brings me to a movie that I watched with past Thursday, which I’d love to recommend to you. It’s called Hachi. I don’t want to give away the story but it’s about how deeply dogs really do love us. Plus, it’s a true story which makes it all that more amazing. Please watch it!

In between all of the boozing, painting and tai chi, there’s also been volunteering for Hospicare, which I can’t really photograph. I had one patient that I was visiting at a nursing home on the weekends. He is so darn sweet! These last few weeks I’ve had to take a break from it because it seems like I’ve had something going on every weekend, but I’ll pick it back up when things cool off a bit here and there aren’t as many weekend activities. I’m so honored that I’m allowed to help in such a way. Hospicare is such a wonderful organization.

Oh, that reminds me! I went to a psychic! And she was really good. And she surmised that I helped older folks because a few of them came through to thank me. And I’ve got ghost stories… but I will leave that for another time.

And here are a few of my most recent favorite things:

  • Jim Harold’s Paranormal Podcast and his Campfire podcast. I can’t stop listening.
  • The Beyond the Darkness podcast
  • Welcome to Night Vale and Alice Isn’t Dead podcasts
  • A Dirty Job: A Novel by Christopher Moore
  • The Farseer Trilogy and The Tawny Man Triology by Robin Hobb
  • Oxy-Powder by Global Healing Center. If you have a sluggish gut, like me, this is for you!
  • Dehydrated fruit. I know, it shouldn’t be a big deal but damn, it makes all the difference in my morning oatmeal.
  • Wynonna Earp on Syfy is rocking my world.
  • Pick Up Limes on youtube. Serenity now!
  • Burt’s Bees Soap Bark & Chamomile deep cleansing cream. Holy gawd, it smells deeeeevine! I want to BE that smell!
  • The newly remastered Purple Rain cd and dvd set. Nuff said.

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