Thursday, December 31, 2009

I Resolved Everything...

...except #5 on my Year-End Resolutions list. Considering it took me a little more than a month to do it all, that's not bad!

1. My closet is only 25% full thanks to my merciless purging.

2. Same goes for our living room (A big thank you to Husband for helping! I know it was hard for him to part with some books, but he was realistic in admitting he'd never look at them again.).

3. The jaC Jewelry newsletter debuted in its new format this month, thanks to a tip from Alison. I thought finding the right newsletter service was going to be the toughest task on my list; it took about 15 minutes.

4. I have registered for wax carving and am very much looking forward to it!

5. Still haven't seen "The Nutcracker"... The tickets were a little more than I thought; I just checked to see if they are still available, and it appears that the only ones left are $200 a piece. This one is going to wait until next year - and I am OK with that. I did get to see Christmas Spectacular and the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, very last-minute and completely unexpected... It was fantastic. I think it's a worthy substitute. :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Visitor!

If you are wondering why Momma hasn't posted in a while, it's because she has been busy preparing for a GUEST! Not just any guest - her one and only sister! She made last-minute plans to visit us for a long weekend, and I couldn't be more thrilled. Momma thinks my aunt is coming to see her. I know she's coming just to see me. She has not seen me since I had just been adopted this summer and was just a little munchkin. Now I am all grown up and mature at 9 months.

My aunt misses me a whole lot. How do I know? She told me so. She calls me on the telephone when Momma is not home, and we chit chat for quite some time about this and that like all aunts and nieces.

I can't wait! I hope my aunt brings me a big catnip cake. I might share. (But don't hold it against me if I don't.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Have a very happy and safe holiday season! Lots of catnip and tasty treats to you all.

Momma, Papa and I will be taking a few days off to spend time with our family. We will return to blogging next week!

Love,
Ruby

Monday, December 21, 2009

Grand Idea (or I am bad in Math)

Lately I have been getting a little frustrated with the almost-constant mess that our apartment is. We both contribute to the mess, and it seems that once I clean the house, it only takes a day or two for it to fall into its usual disorganized self. What to do?

Eurika! Last week I got an idea: we would spend five minutes every night tidying things up before we go to sleep. I quickly did the math in my head: five times two times five (I gave us two days of slack) is FIFTY minutes! Imagine: we'd spend 50 minutes organizing this and that during the week, and the entropy that usually ensues in our household will certainly be diminished.

I sold this grand idea of mine to Husband, and he was on board.

To this day, we have spent exactly ZERO minutes organizing anything.

It turns out that five times two times five is zero...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Grammar Sunday - Comma Use with Parenthetic Expressions

Here is the next section of the first part of Strunk and White's Elements of Style: ELEMENTARY RULES OF USAGE.

Today's rule:

"3. Enclose parenthetic expressions between commas.

The best way to see a country, unless you are pressed for time, is to travel on foot.

This rule is difficult to apply; it is frequently hard to decide whether a single word, such as however, or a brief phrase is or is not parenthetic. If the interruption to the flow of the sentence is but slight, the commas may be safely omitted. But whether the interruption is slight or considerable, never omit one comma and leave the other. There is no defense for such punctuation as

Marjorie's husband, Colonel Nelson paid us a visit yesterday.
or
My bother you will be pleased to hear, is now in perfect health.

Dates usually contain parenthetic words or figures. Punctuate as follows:

February to July, 1992
April 6, 1986
Wednesday, November 14, 1990

Note that it is customary to omit the comma in
6 April 1988

The last form is an excellent way to write a date; the figures are separated by a word and are, for that reason, quickly grasped.

A name or a title in direct address is parenthetic.

If, Sir, you refuse, I cannot predict what will happen.
Well, Susan, this is a fine mess you are in.

The abbreviations etc., i.e., and e.g., the abbreviations for academic degrees and titles that follow a name are parenthetic and should be punctuated accordingly.

Letters, packages, etc., should go here.
Horace Fulsome, Ph.D., presided.
Rachel Simonds, Attorney
The Reverend Harry Lang., S.J.

No comma, however, should separate a noun from a restrictive term of identification.

Billy the Kid
The novelist Jane Austen
William the Conqueror
The poet Sappho

Although Junior, with its abbreviation Jr., has commonly been regarded as parenthetic, the logic suggests that it is, in fact, restrictive and therefore not in need of a comma.

James Wright Jr."

(to be continued next week)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Trees and Such

Here is the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center. The trees are usually between 70 and 90 feet tall.

Here our Christmas tree, standing tall at two and a half feet.

Here are some festive decorations on the streets of NYC!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Quote

Saw this quote in a book I am reading and loved it:

"Experience is the name so many people give to their mistakes." - Oscar Wilde

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Fruits of my Labor

For the last three months, I have been taking an entry-level jewelry fabrication class! Here are the fruits of my metalsmithing labor.

This pendant was the first project. I used a technique called metal piercing to create this nature-inspired branch pendant from sterling silver.

Next we made rings! I enjoyed making them the most. I made a new wedding band for Husband, because his is too big for him.

I also made matching rings for me and my sister and used a hammer to add a texture to the silver before polishing it. Mine is the same thickness as Husband's. Hers is a little thinner. It will be one of her presents for the holidays.

Next (and final) project was a chain! I made this bracelet, and making a toggle clasp was A LOT more difficult than I thought it would be. It took me about five times, but I did it. :)

Next up is wax carving - it starts in two months! Can't wait.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Grammar Sunday - Comma Use Between Single Conjunctions

Here is the next section of the first part of Strunk and White's Elements of Style: ELEMENTARY RULES OF USAGE.

Today's rule:

"2. In a series of three or more terms with a single conjunction, use a comma after each term except the last.

Thus write,

red, white and blue
gold, silver or copper
He opened the letter, read it, and made a note of its content.

This comma is often referred to as the "serial" comma.

In the names of business firms the last comma is usually omitted. Follow the usage of the individual firm.

Little, Brown and Company
Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Only in NY!

The other night Husband wanted a milkshake.

It was late and freezing out, and we did not want to go out.

I called a restaurant a few blocks away, and 15 minutes later a delicious vanilla extra-thick milkshake with chocolate syrup was delivered right to our door.

Only in NY!

Last night, we repeated the exercise. This time, I got a vanilla milkshake for myself too. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Love Purls!

Have you seen my new toy? Check this out.


It has got to be the prettiest toy ever! It consists of two pieces. Look at those pretty red and white purls! Oh how I love them.

I have a strange feeling that I've been them somewhere before. Wait a minute... (checking something)....

OH NO!!! These are not my toy! These are a pair of earrings that Momma made for a giveaway that she blogged about here! I better go put them back.

I hope Gloria, the winner, will forgive me. I am so so so sorry!

Love,
Ruby

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday Irreplaceables - White Tea

We have heat, but there is a strong draft coming from the windows, especially in the bedroom. To stay warm, I have been enjoying a cup or two of the wonderful Silver Needle Jasmine tea daily.

White tea is my favorite. Did you know that white, green and black tea (and the rest of them, for that matter) are the exact same tea leaves? The only difference is the degree of processing. The darker the tea, the more processed it is. Who would have thought? I was surprised when I read about it in National Geographic a few years ago. Here is what it says on my Rishi tea container:

"White tea is the least processed of all tea types, resulting in a milder flavor without bitterness and a sweeter finish than green tea. Compared to other teas, WHITE TEAS are very low in caffeine and contain high concentrations of antioxidant polyphenols (tea catechins)."

I'd love to try the Jasmine Scented White Peony, Organic White Tea and White Tea Sample Set next!

Monday, December 7, 2009

And the Earrings Go to...

... Gloria! Congratulations to Gloria, and a big thank you to everyone who entered my earrings giveaway!

If you missed out and would like to participate next time, be sure to subscribe to the jaC Jewelry monthly newsletter.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Grammar Sunday - Possessive Singular of Nouns

Well, after weeks of not being able to find the existing copy of Strunk and White's Elements of Style, I went to Barnes and Noble and got a new one! It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you the first part of the guide: ELEMENTARY RULES OF USAGE.

Ready? On to today's rule:

"1. Form the possessive singular of nouns by adding 's

Follow this rule whatever the final consonant. Thus write,

Charlie's friend
Burns's poems
the witch's malice

Exceptions are the possessives of ancient proper names ending in -es and -is, the possessive Jesus', and such forms as for conscience' sake, for righteousness' sake. But such forms as Moses' Laws, Isis' temple are commonly replaced by

the laws of Moses
the temple of Isis

The pronominal possessive hers, its, theirs, yours and ours have no apostrophe to show possession.

one's rights
somebody else's umbrella

A common error is to write it's for its, or vice versa. The first is a contraction, meaning "it is". The second is a possessive.

It's a wise dog that scratches its own fleas."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday Receivables - Christmas Gift Ideas!

Here are a few of my favorite finds on Etsy.

Vintage Retro Gotham TelephoneVintage Retro Gotham Telephone, $55. It would make a fabulous gift (for me)!

FRUITCAKE handspun superwash merino yarn 160 ydsFRUITCAKE handspun superwash merino yarn 160 yds, $26, for the knitter in your life.

Brown Holiday Pogo - eco friendly, handmade stuffed animal Brown Holiday Pogo - eco friendly, handmade stuffed animal, $32, for those who celebrate Christmas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hide-and-Seek

It is my favorite game ever!

Can you see me?

Can you see me now?

What about now? I bet you can't.

XOXO,
Ruby

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Parade

Here are some pictures from the parade last week! We were about a half a block away, so I could not see anything except the balloons. I think these kids got it right! I love the expressions on their faces. The balloons were magnificent at several stories high!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Just in Time for the Holidays

Tomorrow I am giving away these beautiful pearl, spinel and sterling silver earrings ($25 retail value) to one lucky recipient of my monthly newsletter! Good luck to all jaC Jewelry newsletter subscribers!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A NY Thanksgiving and Hiatus

We are spending Thanksgiving in NY this year! We are planning on going to see the Thanksgiving Parade, but we will see how the cooking goes first.

Since it's just the three of us (Husband, Ruby and myself), I got a little fresh chicken instead of a turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Go ahead, eat way too much - I know we will! :)

I will be on hiatus for the long weekend, but return on Monday!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Need your Opinions!

Do you know what this is? This is the last survivor of a martini glass family of five.

I am sad to say that as a result of my antics this weekend, the glass is no longer usable. I broke it (and the first four earlier). I know. I am not very proud.

Hiding from embarrassment.

To make Momma feel better, I am shopping for a new set of Marini glasses for her! I finally figured out this Google thing (the things I learn because I get myself in trouble!). First up are Temptation Martini Glasses. I like them. They are blue and pretty, and look like they'd be fun to play with.

Or maybe I should get something less tempting... like these Dizzy Cocktail Glasses. Do you think these are suitable for martinis though?

Now this set of Retro Aluminum Martini Glasses is Ruby-proof. The most damage I can do is spill that green Apple Martini all over the cream carpet. On the second thought, that's a LOT of damage. I will do my best not to do it.

Which ones? Thanks for your help, everyone! Much catnip to you all,

Love,
Ruby

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Irreplaceables - MAC Eye Shadow

Ever since I discovered MAC products, I've used the eyeshadow exclusively!

Thanks to MAC paints, it stays on all day, and I love the plethora of colors and shades. My favorites are 4-color palletes like one pictured here. You can fill it up with four shades of your choice!

I've got three or four different ones, and am working on filling up a fifth. I am really loving the neutral colors in this limited edition Notoriety palette. Hmmm maybe I will go ahead and add it to my collection! ;)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Year-End Resolution

Here are the things I'd like to accomplish before the year-end:

1. Clean my closet! I disposed of a good 25-50% of my clothes when we moved in June. Now, the only way to make room for new clothes is to dispose of something old. Well, I've been purchasing new ones, but not getting rid of the old ones! My closet is a mess.

2. De-clutter our living room. Same as above - we have been accumulating "stuff" and storing it in the living room. Everything must go!

3. Figure out a solution for the jaC Jewelry newsletter. My new computer does not have the program I use to create my newsletter. There is no way to get that program, either - it is no longer sold. I keep using my old computer once a month to create my newsletter, but this is a temporary solution. I need a permanent one. This one's going to be the toughest on this list.

4. Figure out if I want to take another jewelry class (wax carving) or photography class next, and sign up. I am really looking forward to this one! I think it's going to be wax carving, but you never know.

5. See "The Nutcracker" ballet. This one should be easy - I already found the venue; all we need to do is pick a date and buy tickets!

See, they are not completely unreasonable. :) What are your goals?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Grammar Sunday - Gone vs. Went

Stacy asked to explain the difference between gone and went. Here it is:

Gone is the past participle of to go. Used as the verb of a sentence, it must always be preceded by an auxiliary verb such as has, have, had, is, am, are, was, were, be, or one of their contractions.

Went is the past tense of to go. It never takes an auxiliary verb.

Incorrect: They gone to the movies.
(Gone needs an auxiliary verb.)

Correct: They have gone to the movies.

Correct: They are gone to the movies.

Correct: They went to the movies.

Incorrect: You could have went with them.
(Went takes no auxiliary verb.)

Correct: You could have gone with them.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

There are Nice People in the World

My boss's boss gives a Fruit and Nut granola bar to one of his subordinates every day. That subordinate is on vacation right now, and the bar goes to his subordinate. His subordinate, who happens to sit next to me, does not like fruit, so he passes the bar next to me. I happen to like Fruit and Nut granola bars very much. How nice is that?

Thank you, my boss's boss's subordinate's subordinate!

And if you followed all that, I will give you a cookie (or a Fruit and Nut granola bar).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I need your Ideas!

I've written 305 posts! That's a whole lot of posts.

I blog almost daily (and Ruby blogs once a week). Sometimes (like today) have a hard time coming up with a topic.

What do you want to know? What do you want to read about? Give me your ideas, please. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Meet My Second Cousin!

Hi everyone -

Allow me to introduce to you my second cousin Monica! Momma's cousin found her on the street with a bad cold and an infected eye that was shut closed. She took Monica to the vet, who gave her some medicine, and then brought her home and nursed her back to health. She was a teeny little thing - only two months old, and couldn't even say "Meow" as she had lost her voice because of the cold.

Thankfully, she has fully recovered now, and as you can see, her eye is just fine! I am really excited to have a second cousin and can't wait to play with her some day!

Much love,
Ruby