Monday, March 31, 2014


My sleep tape wants me to write down my dreams.  I guess this counts as writing it down, but it is just to show why I think it is a dumb idea.
I'm retired.  Last night I dreamed it was field day at school and I was making screen print tee shirts for the kids and a good friend of mine was visiting.  She was doing bus duty.  See? Nothing inspirational, no guidance, nothing...I didn't even get a good visit in with my friend...she was on bus duty!

Color Is Starting to Show

 This flower bed burned off but the irises are putting up greenery.  I don't know if they'll bloom this year, but they aren't dead:)
 The columbines look great.  This one was by a plastic downspout connector that burned so hot it started burning the board on the porch...but the columbine is fine!
 The plants on the other side of the driveway didn't suffer at all from the fire, but the camilla looks half dead from the snow, ice, and low temperatures we had this winter. I don't know if those branches will put out green leaves or have to be cut back.
 The forsythia has started to bloom, too.  The weeds in the fields are green, but our grass is still brown.
 We have two Japanese magnolia trees that are starting to show color.  They are loaded with buds, but just the top buds are starting to open.
All five peonies in the burned flower bed next to the carport apparently survived. There are still a lot of plants that I don't know about.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Today 3,000 of my steps came from dragging branches. Larry has a huskvarna limb trimmer.  It has a long handle and a short chain saw on the end.  So he cut branches and he and I dragged them to an erosion ditch to pile in, hopefully slowing the rush of water. In the last two days we had 1.7 in. rain so our temporary water features were busy.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Chives Today

I planted chives seeds today, cut out a cute little jacket for an 18 inch doll, and dyed five blown out eggshells purple. It was rainy, windy, and chilly so I didn't get many steps in on my fitbit.

Friday, March 28, 2014

I Wonder

I wonder if I might find some material at a flea market to make doll clothes.  It doesn't take a lot of cloth so even if I bought used clothes and made doll clothes from them, I think it might be an economical source of fabric. Old blue jeans would probably make a cute denim jacket and pants. Old tee shirts should be available, too.

Little Things

I got another hair trim. I'm letting my perm grow out so I decided if I want to live through this, it would be best if somebody cuts it who has a clue. The headband with speakers I've been sleeping with listening to my sleep tape is giving me some interesting morning hair...lots of body (sticking straight up in places) if I'm not particular about what it does.
Cutting out doll clothes pattern pieces took a lot of time.  Maybe I'll cut out material tomorrow.
Pepper seeds and peanuts are planted now.
Lunch was a scrambled egg with onion that was really good.  The onion was sweet and helped the egg a lot. It isn't fast to make scrambled eggs when I blow the eggs out first.  It goes pretty quickly actually.  I want a few eggs to dye purple so maybe I'll eat scrambled eggs again tomorrow. I tried to get Larry to eat a couple but he wasn't interested.  He wanted cheese toast.
We got 0.6 inches of rain so maybe the strawberries will start growing.  I'm not sure the soil is any good since I retrieved it from the burned tires.  Maybe it killed all the good stuff but I'll find out pretty soon I guess.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Vapor Cigarettes

Larry has been listening to a call-in radio station for years.  He likes the announcer and a lot of the callers.  They've been talking about electronic cigarettes and how they are able to not smoke cigarettes any longer so although they are still getting nicotine, they aren't getting the tar and smoke.  They've also reduced the amount of nicotine and some have eventually quit entirely.
So Larry decided he wanted to try it.  I didn't know if I would try it or not.  We went to the place the radio guy was so carried away with.  It was kind of like a wine tasting.  They had a menu of various flavors that we could try.  There were people there sitting at the bar raving about "vaping." Larry asked if they got paid they were so enthusiastic.
Another guy came in and said when he first started he didn't plan to try anything fruity but it turns out he likes the fruit just fine as long as there's nicotine involved.
Anyway, Larry and I both got a set up to give it a try.  Larry was also going to get a vial without nicotine.  He seriously sounds like he wants to quit.  But they were out of the non-nicotine flavor he wanted.
It doesn't smell bad...or smell at all. So when he uses it, it doesn't automatically make me want to, too.
I don't know how it will work out for either one of us, but I guess we'll see.

Dermatologist Visit

My visit to the dermatologist went well.  When it was Larry's turn I went out in the hallway to try to get some steps in.  I'd already walked while waiting for us to be called back.  I go back in six months; he goes back in about a week.  She nurse told him not to bother getting the stitch out...they're just going to trim it off.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Doll Clothes

I looked at patterns and remnants today for doll clothes.  I intend to try to make an outfit for an 18 inch doll when I have a chance...maybe Friday.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


The ziplock bags have seeds I saved from last year.  The packages are seeds to plant this year.  I usually plant seeds in the greenhouse in February.  It's the end of March and I've planted three packages of tomato seeds (yesterday), but mostly I'm waiting until it is warmer.  We had snow flurries this morning and it's supposed to be 21 degrees tonight.  So I'm not in a big hurry to try to get the seeds to start.  It's too cold still.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dresden Files #2 - Audio Reader

The same guy read the first and second of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.  The second one is a much better effort from the reader with no snuffling, sniffing sounds.  I think he should redo the first one because the only reason I got the second one is that I knew the story was good, but was dreading the reader.

Planted Tomato Seeds

I haven't been enthusiastic about doing things even though the weather has been better because my back has been hurting.  I went back to the chiropractor today and he said something about c5 and c6 and said to come back Wednesday if I'm not 75% better.  So I located my hoses and planted three packages of tomato seeds.  That doesn't sound like a lot, but at least it's a start.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Planted Strawberries Today

I planted 150 strawberry plants today. I couldn't find my hose so I walked back and forth to the faucet with a plastic pitcher. I don't know if it was enough water but I'm sure it was more than they were getting in the plastic bags they mailed them in. Maybe tomorrow I'll find my hoses.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Strawberry Garden

I decided to replace the burned tires with a raised bed.  The dirt from the towers is now in the raised bed.  It is two 2x12s high with a 2x6 flat along the two long sides so I can sit on the sides and lean over the bed.  It is four feet across so I should be able to reach to the center.  The lumber is treated so maybe it's all right that I didn't paint it.  The strawberries are here and I need to get them in the dirt.

Storm Front Audio

I like the Jim Butcher Dresden series.  I've read them but decided to get Storm Front, the first in the series, on audio.  The reader is making me nuts.  He breathes and sniffs into the microphone. It's one of the reasons I stopped listening to American Idol...the singers caught their inhalations on mike. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Frost Free Freezer

Yesterday I decided I wanted to use my soda stream to make a diet root beer.  That worked fine but it's the first time I'd used it since last fall when it finally got cold.  All my ice trays were empty.  The frost free thing works nicely, but it evaporates the ice from the ice trays.  Today I had ice:)

Demonstration for Second Graders

Today I took my egg stuff to school and showed a class of second graders how to blow out an egg and some symbols for decorating the eggs.  They were a wonderful audience. I enjoyed interacting with a class again.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Gathering Egg Stuff

I have everything to take to an egg decorating demonstration tomorrow except for the eggs.  I'll pack them tomorrow. A teacher friend asked me to demonstrate blowing the eggs to her second graders.  We always did it when we taught sequence to fourth graders.  She has second graders this year but still teaches sequence.  The kids will enjoy the activity, I'm sure. It's been a while since I had a class of second graders to myself:)

Signs of Spring...Fianlly

 Clumps of daffodils are blooming...enough to cut some for inside:)
 The first of our grape hyacinths are blooming.  That means it's time to go to the field and scout out more to transplant.
Larry is tilling garden spots. He broke ground on where we'll plant this year's gourds.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


My back has been hurting for over a week.  I went to the chiropractor and had some relief, but still have a feeling of strain.  So I've spent a lot of time trying to straighten out my heating pad so I could lean against it. Today I discovered that if I stand up straighter, almost cartoon-soldier straight, it didn't hurt. That's a new attention to posture for me...I've always thought I had good posture.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Raised Bed

Last year I tried to make raised beds for my strawberries.  Then half the towers burned.  It was such a lot of trouble getting tires, making multiple trips to get them, stacking them in some sort of size order, filling them repeatedly as the organic material compressed, painting them...I just couldn't face the idea of doing all that again. So today I bought lumber for a raised bed on the south side.  The tires on the northern side are all right. Saturday I have a young man scheduled to come and build the bed.  I'll still have the problem of filling the bed.

Monday, March 17, 2014


I finally made an appointment with the chiropractor to try to get rid of the pain between my shoulder blade and spine.  So far I don't feel a lot better.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

AARP RX Phone Survey

I wanted to take the survey because I wanted AARP to know why I dropped their plan D and selected another one. The problem was the person on the phone slurred his words together so badly that I had to keep asking him to repeat what he said.  If a person is going to work on the phone, it would be nice if somebody other than his family members can understand what he says.


I like the big package of thick sliced hickory smoked bacon but we don't eat it very fast. I freeze stacks of four strips on a cookie sheet, slice them in half, and then put them in a gallon ziplock bag so I can pull out what I need at a time and never have any spoil.

Rocky II

There was a Rocky marathon yesterday.  We watched the first one and taped 2 through 5.  Today we watched the second one.  I like the Rocky movies. I liked the second one even better than the first. I guess we'll watch the third one tomorrow. 

Look! Seven Deer

Larry dragged me to the back porch and tried to put binoculars in my hand.  He said there were seven deer all lined up. I didn't want the binoculars as I counted five deer.  I told him I only saw five but two might have already passed through the gap.  He put the binoculars back to his face and said there were seven.  I looked where he was looking and counting.  He was counting a different group!

Lucid Dreams

My sleep tape is really in favor of lucid dreams and keeps telling me I will dream, remember it, be within it and can influence the dream. I know this is true because I've done it before I had the tape.  What I don't know is why I should want it or record it. I dreamed the house was on fire last night and I was trying to put it out with my water hose trying to decide if I would be able to put out all the places where smoke was curling up, some with blue flames, some without.
In my dream I knew it was a dream and everything would be all right when I woke up.  It still wasn't a good dream.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Today's Food

Larry grilled a pork roast. I made baked beans, cornbread patties, and slaw.  Larry also wanted potato salad from the deli. We had a really good day.  The weather was nice. We took a ride on the gator through the woods and around the trees he's planted. He tilled a couple of the little garden areas and charged the riding mower.
It feels like spring is coming. The maple trees are putting the red seeds on.  I used to think the new growth leaves in the spring on maple trees are red, but the whole tree is covered with red seeds before there's any sign of leaves.

Cardinals on Hanging Feeder

The cardinals usually like the platform feeder and the ground beneath it, but they try the hanging feeder, too.
Sometimes there are a lot waiting in the little gem magnolia to the left of the feeder.

Friday, March 14, 2014

First Day at Pebble Isle This Year

It was sunny and breezy today so we sat inside.  We were really glad the Blue Heron Grill has opened for the season.


The moss growing under a couple of trees is really pretty.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Surgery Follow-Up

The surgical center called me today to ask if I'm all right following my procedure yesterday. I think that is extremely nice.

Fitbit Support

I have my new fitbit zip connected to my account.  Thank you, fitbit support!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Fitbit

I've found the problem with trying to get my fitbit to show up on my computer. I have to select a different fitbit because the account will only allow one device and my old one is on it.  I tried deleting it from my computer but that didn't work.  I can't find the option where it says replace existing tracker so I emailed their help department.  Maybe it will make sense to me when I get it.


Yesterday was a crappy day.  I purged for a colonoscopy.  I had it done today and nearly froze.  When I asked for an extra blanket, they brought me one from a warming cabinet.  It was wonderful. The warmth had worn off by the time I was in the operating room and they gave me three more!
The next good thing was whatever anesthetic they used did not make me throw up the rest of today! They said it wouldn't, but I've heard that before.  So I went from the procedure to breakfast and coffee:)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Few Nice Spots

There are several areas that the fire didn't get to.  Between the fire and a week of ice and snow, a lot of my flowers look sad, either dead or burned.  But there are some nice, clean spots to look at.

Radial Tires' Trash

The tires burned hot and melted a lot of the rubber. To clean up that area is difficult.
Trying to get the rubber and wire out of the dirt is slow and dirty.
Three fire trucks went by our house with sirens wailing today.  We had a couple of calls to ask if Larry had set the property on fire again.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Different Fitbit

I'm using a new fitbit.  It works and counts my steps. I installed it on my computer but it isn't talking to it yet.  I think I'll try installing it on my laptop and see how that works. It really needs to communicate with a computer because it is changing back to zero at noon instead of midnight and it thinks it is 10:32 right now instead of 8:42.

Starting the Clean Up

I spent some time today trying to get the radial wires from the wreck of my tire garden.  It is going to take a long time.  I picked out some wire and raked some from the mess.  I put a bit of dirt into the surviving tires.  I really need to do more than I did today if I'm going to get the strawberries planted.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Expecting Phone Calls

We have three phones now and I noticed I had all three of them in the greenhouse with me today.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Screen Doors on Summer Kitchen

The screen doors finished screening in all parts so bugs won't be an issue. He's using the colors we chose for the house so it looks nice to me with the house.

This Heater Works

I brought one like this home yesterday but it didn't work.  I took it back this morning and the guy at the hardware store couldn't get it to work, either.  Then he tried this one at the store before sending it home with me.  It works nicely and my computer room is warm for the first time in weeks.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Propane Service

They closed down some of the branches that deliver propane in my area.  I'm seriously tired of calling and having them tell me when they are in my area they will come by. We have heating, cooking, hot water on demand, my art room and greenhouse on propane.  It uses a lot. It has been a particularly cold winter and we've exceeded our prepay.  But we've been using a minimum of propane trying to stretch it out.  This is the second time this season I'm worried we're going to run out before they deliver.
I bought an additional small electric heater for my art room (I can use it in the greenhouse if we run out of propane).
Today I bought a larger electric heater to put in my computer room because I'm tired of being cold when I use the computer.  I got the heater home and it doesn't work.  I'll take it back tomorrow and get a different one.  The heater is heavy to carry.  It has wheels but I still have to get it into the car, house, store, etc.
I'm very disappointed.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Electric Heater

I wanted another electric heater but couldn't find one.  I'm worried about running out of propane so I wanted a little electric heater to use if we ran out of propane. But I couldn't find one; Lowe's and WalMart were both out and then we couldn't drive anywhere.  So I ordered one from Amazon and it was delivered today.
 It is quiet and puts out a pretty good amount of heat.  Larry thinks it would be best under a desk, but I think it is pretty perfect as a backup heater for my greenhouse.
I put twenty carved eggs in the mail today and these are almost finished . I've discovered I can write with the Dremel. But with the weather awful, I've spent a lot of time carving the eggs.  My back is pretty unhappy with this prolonged activity.

Good Neighbors

We haven't been able to get out of our driveway since Monday. Today our neighbor brought his tractor with a blade and scraped our driveway so we could get onto the road.  The road had pretty much cleared once the country came through and scraped last night by flashlight.
The mail man took a couple of packages and money and promised to mail them for us and bring the change.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

School's Still Closed

School has been canceled this whole week including tomorrow so far.  It got up to 33 degrees so there was a little melting.  If the sun had been out it might have been better, but we had fog.

Deer Tracks

Today I noticed deer tracks between the mailbox and carport and only a couple of steps from the art room.  There were two sets, actually, a large set and small pointed ones so I'm guessing it was a doe and fawn.

Lavender Crossover Egg

Again my camera skills don't allow this to show up the way I want.  But I etched three lavender spikes onto a red egg.  Then I took purple rit dye and painted over the spikes.  Then I highlighted the right sides with the dremel again.  It is seriously nice and my own idea from the lavender spikes to the second color dye painted on, to the next etching:)
I consider it a crossover because the lavender spikes are adapted from folkart painting.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Rain Gauge

Larry has replaced several rain gauges.  It's possible he'll have to replace more.  But this winter he's been putting one-half inch alcohol in it.  Night before last we got ice.  Yesterday we had snow.  Today he brought the rain gauge inside so the outside would thaw enough to read the accumulation of precipitation. 
It requires paying attention and adding alcohol when the temperature is low enough to freeze the water inside the rain gauge.  With the alcohol, it doesn't freeze and crack the plastic gauge.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Larry's Birdfeeder

Larry took this picture from the front porch.  We had sleet and snow last night and snow all day today. I forgot to get my fitbit off the charger until this afternoon so I have less than 1000 steps on the fitbit.  It wouldn't have been a lot more if I'd worn it all day.  I mostly carved eggs sitting in the greenhouse.
It never got higher than 53 degrees in my art room.
He took one picture of a shivering bluebird but it was fuzzy.

Through the Greenhouse Door

The cardinal is all fluffed up. Larry feeds the birds. We get a lot of different kinds, but the cardinals are my favorite.

Somebody Else's Weather

We got several inches of ice last night and snow on top of it. Footprints go through the snow onto the ice so tiny steps are important. 
I don't know if the garbage truck will run but the top is frozen shut. 
Once we were in the Black Forest when it dumped seven or eight inches of snow overnight. Machinery got out and scooped up the snow and put it in dump trucks.  Then they dumped it in fields outside of town.  That sounds better than scraping all the snow onto parked cars along the sides of the roads. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Volunteer Fire Departments

We'll be checking when the local volunteer fire departments have their fund raisers.  I think we'll be regular supporters from now on!  Thank you, volunteer firemen!


 For a while I just ate roasted, salted almonds.  The almonds are low-carb and are supposed to lower cholesterol. But I eventually got tired of them.
 For the last few months I've been buying several kinds of almonds and also a Cajun Trail Mix, putting them all together, and then putting them in clear plastic containers from WalMart.
I measure out the little container each evening. The strawberry almonds and dark chocolate almonds, and cajun trail mix aren't as low-carb as the plain almonds, but they aren't awful, especially in the amount I'm eating.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

New Low-Carb Side Dish

The hamburger patty needed potatoes with it but my low-carb diet just screamed at me. But the advertisement on television showing ranch dressing potatoes seemed like a good idea with cauliflower instead of potatoes.  So I used peanut oil to wet the cauliflower down.  Then I mixed a packet of dry ranch dressing with red pepper and paprika. I put the cauliflower in a foil-lined pan and cooked it for 25 minutes at 450 degrees.
Both of us liked it well enough to have again.

We Were Lucky

OK We would have been luckier without the fire.  But today we saw that the plastic downspout had caught on fire and flamed hot enough to start on the porch!