Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Working for a living

By about 9:30 each Monday through Friday this is what I am thinking.....

make the stupid stop
see more crazy cat pics

It may be a different person, but the stupid part is sadly consistant. :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The best thing about the snow day

even better than work being closed, was....

after I spent the morning getting our closure out to all the news channels and on our website, I laid on the couch with a comfy blanket to watch the morning news (truly a happening for me) to make sure our closure was listed...I fell asleep and woke up to find my little gray kitty sound asleep on my shoulder.

Since I didn't have to go to work, I didn't wake her. I petted her little head and we both took a long winter's nap. :)

That will go down as one of my favorite days.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Under all that snow

are some of the tombstones I set out on Saturday.

Be careful what you wish for.

....I still think Beloved would have looked fantastic in the, I am not bitter, I don't harbor grudges.....husband is just going to have to sleep on the couch.

A pumpkin update

I am sure you are dying to know how is my pumpkin holding up in all the snow.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Part of the graveyard

is now up in the backyard.

It is supposed to snow all weekend. I want some picture of the tombstones in snow.

Husband officially thinks I am crazy - again.

Not happy. He would not help me haul out the angel or beloved....they would have looked awesome, but I cannot move them by myself.


Pictures to come.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ringing in the new holidays

My cell phone rings.

It plays the theme to Halloween (of course.)

Someone says "Isn't that a little out of season?" .


You were not expecting my phone to play "Jingle Bells" were you?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Where the Frog Queen goes

for her Earl Gray tea.

The last snow post

for now :)

Here is my beloved Green Man fountain in the snow.

I have always been drawn to the symbolism of the Green Man. I have a small collection of them. I try not to tell that to too many people, because, yeah, because of what happened with the......the many, many.....frogs.

One insane collection is enough for the red head girl.
Traveling in the UK I have taken several Green Man pictures from different churches. They are commonly found outside of churches, a bit of a bridge from the pagan to Christian. One of the first things I do when we visit a church is look for the Green Man.

Most of my pictures are too fuzzy or very hard to make out, so I won't bore you with them.

Of course, the famous Green Man from Roslin Chapel (thanks Mr. Brown, quite little chapel now has a gift shop larger than the chapel :)

I believe husband took this one...that is why it is not a blurry blob.

One of my favorites is the Green Man from the deconsecrated church outside of Darsie Castle. (St. Mary's Church ) I remember it so well because it was just on the left side of the church by the front doors. They usually hide them in a corner somewhere.
Wish I could find the photo. I probably got disgusted with my terrible photo skills and deleted it :(
Then it is not a big suprise that one of my favorite XTC songs is "Green Man" - it is perfect!

Hats in the snow

Theme happening here as you can see.

We decorated the hats that we wear with our Halloween costume/uniform for an umbrella parade in our fair/small town. Since I really don't do bright and festive, the only way I was going is if I could take my skull hat.

Some people gasped, some chuckled....I overheard a lot of people say "it is the graveyard people" - (big smile)

Got to wear them that same night to a good friends 50th birthday party. We were quite popular.

Anyway, we decided to put them out when it was snowing and get a picture for our Christmas card. Aren't they lovely?

Happy Holidays from the Frog Queen.

Not a frog

...just snow on the pumpkin :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow on the scarecrow

A Chris Folly that was only half completed by October, so it has been shelved, until next year.

Or in this case, leaned up against the garden arbor, until next year. Cause he is going in my garden when he is finished.

The head is made from burlap and fiberglass, we used an over sized Anatomical Chart skeleton head for a mold.

But that is about as far as I got.

Here is my unfinished scarecrow covered in snow...

Ah, I think this means....

I am not a expert at reading tea leaves, but this reading seems pretty obvious to me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I found out that

the neighbors of my friends not only had blow up decorations for Halloween. But they have even more for Christmas. I guess we should have seen that coming.

Since this traumatic event, they have decided that you should always go house shopping in December, so you can see the how bad it is going to be. Or it should be disclosed somewhere in the listing.

One of you works in real estate, can't you get that going? I know it is too late for you, but think of all the suffering you will save others.

Wait, I know you, and "stopping the suffering of others" is no more motivation for you than it would be for me.

Again, I guess that is why we are friends.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

They used to be my friends

But I am not sure anymore. :(

In my head I have been singing I Would Not Stop for Death by Emily Dickinson poem to tune of The Yellow Rose of Texas for DAYS!

I wasn't even singing, I was holding the camera and I am still tainted!

And I thought I was crazy before.

Thanks guys. I promise to return the favor :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

As you have guessed, I am a sucker for

ghost tours. They are one of my favorite things to do.

Odd, because I am a big skeptic and don't actually believe in ghosts. (I know, gasp!)

But they are entertaining. Especially the UK tours where you also get a history lesson. And I do enjoy historical lessons that involve graveyards and ghost stories.

In London we have visited many haunted places, one of the most famous being the Tower of London. You can hear this story on the regular Tower tour, not officially a ghost tour, but with so many beheadings and murders inside those walls, might as well be.

All nicely in contrast around some very big diamonds (this is also where the Royal Jewels are kept - the sparkly ones...I believe the Queen and Camilla have Charles'.)

Ghosts of people executed in the tower walls include:

Thomas Moore
Anne Boleyn
Jane Boleyn (sister)
Lady Jane Gray

Ghosts of people murdered in the tower walls:

Henry VI (stabbed to death while he was praying, that is low)

The sons of King Edward IV went "missing: after their father died in 1483. The bodies of two boys were found under the a staircase in the white tower during an excavation in 1674 are believed to be theirs.

So, who is haunting where?

Anne Boleyn has got the White Tower covered (and the chapel where she is buried)

Lady Jane Gray - probably the most famous ghost, is often seen in the Tower Green.

The sons of Edward IV haunt the "Bloody" Tower, named so for their murder.

Thomas Moore, I believe is in Utopia and has no need for haunting. (I know, I know, that was terrible and I apologize :)

And there are ghost tours aplenty in London. Then there is the graveyard tours of London, old graveyards, plague pits, churches full of tombs and memorials - endlessly entertaining.

Then there are the MANY and I do mean many Jack the Ripper tours. Not all that "ghostly" but definitely creepy running around the Whitechapel area at night - not a bad neighborhood (any longer) but anything is creepy with a guide telling you murder stories.

There are ENDLESS and I mean endless theory books about who Jack the Ripper was. Every guide for any tour we have been on, has written a book, seems to be a pattern.

I know I have pictures at home, I will see if I can find some tonight to post later.

I need more tea (cause they will not let me have wine with lunch at work :)....we will save Edinburgh, Scotland (and it's many, many tours) for another day.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I have visited

the City of the Dead, ghost tour in Scotland.

My favorite ghost tour in Edinburgh. That is saying something, because there are a LOT of them.

Oh, I have been on ALL of them, at least twice, per visit. :) Over all the trips, it is embarrassing to admit how many tours I have taken :)

I would go to one every night I was in town if husband would go. Some nights he wants to see plays or other things :)

The trip before my last one I went on the City of the Dead Graveyard Tour 4 nights in a row, I traded off with different people in the group to go with me different nights, that took care of three of them. The forth one I pulled the "it's my birthday" card for that one and made everyone go with me, and buy me drinks!

So for my birthday we ate dinner at in the Secret Garden at The Witchery (reportedly haunted) and then a ghost tour - that was my second best birthday. (Best birthday - I will save that for another blog entry, it involves ghosts too!)

The City of the Dead graveyard tour is one of my favorites because it visits the Coventers Prison where the world famous McKenzie poltergeist is rumored to be. By many accounts it is one of the most haunted places in the world.

I am not sure if it is the energy of all the people crowded in the mausoleum while the story is told or if there is actually something going on. Either way - one of my favorite things.

I prefer this one over the Mary Kings Close or Vault tours, precisely because most of the tour is in graveyards. The City of the Dead tour office is in a house in the cemetery. I want an office in a cemetery! How great would that be :)

The bulk of (the most interesting bit) takes place in Grayfriar's cemetery. Here are some pictures of it during the day.

There are many mason graves in this small cemetery, you can note them by the skull and bones symbol on the walls of the mausoleums and the tombstones.

The story that is told for why the area is so haunted is that years ago the tomb of "Bloody"Mackenzie was desecrated and some people took his skull. I believe it is back now, but I guess it was too late, he is pissed and has taken to haunting to pass away the rest of eternity. (You know, if I was going to break into a tomb, if someone has the nickname "bloody" - I pass it over and pick the one next to it. :)

In life he was responsible for the death of some of the Jacobite up risers (those loyal to the Scottish Tutor rule of Britain) He kept many of them locked up in an area of the graveyard, where the Black Mausoleum resides. He left them there in winter with little food or water....and to make a long story short (which is hard to do with a Scot, trust me:) he eventually had many of them shot. You can read the whole story here if you are interested.

Here is his tomb, very impressive, I would enjoy recreating it, but as you can see, it quite large, and my yard is not. Mackenzie’s tomb (not the place that is haunted) the gravesite of the specter that haunts the black mausoleum - which around corner in the old coventers prison.

Yes, the red head standing there is the Frog Queen. And she has an unhappy look on her face, because she is FREEEEZING. And scary, but mostly freeeeezing.


a favorite tombstone

This is from the graveyard that was the Cathedral at St. Andrews. The church is very long gone, so the inside of the ruins are a graveyard.

Although this is not one of the older tombstones in the graveyard, it is based on older designs ans it is a family plot tombstone. Something that I have not done in my yard yet.

But I am going to this year.

Halloween in December

Saw a play on Friday with our good friends Jason and Becky, that was written by a couple of friends of ours called Holidazed. Very funny, entertaining and touching. We had a great time, as we knew we would.

It takes place between Halloween and Christmas.

So I was in heaven sitting in a theater with a set full of Halloween decorations listening to Halloween songs......I would have sat down earlier if I had known. : ) I wish I would have taken pictures!!!! Trust me it was cool!

Heart warming to hear a play sticking up for my pagan holidays - but if you are from my work and you are reading this blog (which I hope you are not - for many reasons :) - I didn't meant that "my"pagan thing :)

Anyway, Had a great time. If you are in the Portland area. Go see it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

the year of 14-0848

according to Pantone that is. Is this information important to anyone? Seriously, sometimes they amaze me and I do this for a living.

"Pantone, which provides color standards to design industries, specifically cites mimosa, a vibrant shade illustrated by the flowers of the mimosa tree as well as the brunch-favorite cocktail, as its top shade of the new year, but the company, in general, believes the public will embrace many tones of optimistic yellow."

Now you know everything.

So the purpose of Pantone besides costing me (and every other designer) about $125 a for a new set of color swatches each year they have to find ways to put market "color"

There are about 20+ (last time I checked) different Pantone guides, I use three on a regular basis, formula, uncoated and coated.

Why do I need them? My boss asks me that each time I have to approve a new set in my budget.

Without the books in front of you, it is hard to show, but you would be surprised how different 4516 PMS (Pantone Matching System - yeah, I know what some of you were thinking) looks on matte paper verses printing with a shiny coat (I like shiny). Worthless information, I know, I am full of it.

Then there is process and spot. Spot color - this is when the color I choose actually comes back from the printer matching my pantone deck :) More expensive, very cool. Hardly ever use.

Process, well mixing CMYK, and you get "close enough" - I work in this world most of the time :)

Now that I have bored you to tears, go check your closet to make sure you have the appropriate amount of yellow clothing so you are hip for 2009.....yes, they do have a fashion Pantone guide - would I make that up?

(thanks banshee for reminding me of this, I get an email from them each week full of fabulous information like the color of the year, I read one in 10 :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What could be worse

than 3 dentist appointments in three days?

AND getting your annual review at work?

The chance of a fourth dentist appointment tomorrow (four in four days) for a root canal.

On top of getting called for Jury duty.

Yeah, it may be sunny outside (odd for the Northwest in December) but there is a cloud following me around.

I am going to go dig through my graveyard pictures for new posts, that should cheer me up :)

BTW - when the dentist told me to think of of happy thoughts to keep my blood pressure down (I don't do well with doctors) - I was thinking about ghosts walks in Edinburgh. :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

She scares me

I got these as part of a birthday present from a friend. Someone I have know for years.

I kid you not.

Me, the frog queen, the sarcastic, Halloween obsessed person, got these.


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