Friday, January 31, 2014

Lois McMaster Bujold

There are several series that I have read and listened to more than once.  One is the Miles Vorkasigan series.  There are some chronology problems when I try because even looking up the order and trying to listen to them in sequence, I end up remembering parts that happened earlier in his life but I haven't encountered it yet this time around.  It must be flashbacks in later books.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Audible Wish

I wish Audible would allow grouping by author rather than just title. Music can be pulled up by various categories, but books are only arranged by titles.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Calling a Government Number

Three days to get through to a government number and he accidentally hit a key when he picked up the phone to disconnected him.  However, it didn't take three days to get through again.  Possibly Wednesday was a better day to call than Monday or Tuesday.  He had already called on Friday and that wasn't a good day.
Getting an elbow in my eye last night was horrible...Larry laughing about it wasn't good, either!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Not Finished

It's coming along nicely.  It's a heart-shaped piece of slate. Maybe tomorrow it will be finished.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sweater Care

My cashmere sweaters say to dry clean or hand wash. I had them dry cleaned a few times but they weren't as fluffy cozy feeling. I use a mesh bag and put them in the washing machine on delicate with cold water.   I've tried hand washing but rolling them in a towel makes a lot of towels wet.  I tried delicate cycle on the washing machine with the lid up so they wouldn't spin. I decided the mesh bag keeps them from wrapping around the agitator or otherwise deforming the shape.  Then I put them on sweater racks to dry.  Sometimes I put them in the dryer (not when they are wet) for about five minutes to shake the wrinkles/lines from the sweater rack. 
I've used Woolite, but I've also used liquid Tide and the homemade diy laundry soap.  I use Downy or vinegar for fabric softener to cut the static cling.
I make sure I put them away clean in plastic bags for the off-season.  Last year I put them in the freezer for a few days in case of moths.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Getting a Lot Done

My "to do" list is causing me to get a lot done inside lately.  I put a lot of things on it and then do anything except that one thing.  It used to be grading book reports.  I put off book reports until the last possible minute.  Now it is sewing.  I think I should be able to read and follow directions but it doesn't seem to apply to sewing.  It says something in the directions.  I think about what the thing should look like when it is done, and stutter to a halt.  I guess that's better than not thinking about what it is supposed to look like.  But it still means I'm doing everything on my list rather than work on the sewing project.

Riding Through the Woods

It's been really cold and it will be again, but we've had a few days with temperatures in the 50's and 60's with just a little breeze.  We rode around through the woods in the gator and picked up branches that have blown down.  We threw the branches into erosion washes.  We saw where some of the limbs have blocked the runoff and dirt has begun to fill in the ditches.  The runoff has been so enthusiastic that it washed the piles of branches out of the ditch.
We got the idea of piling branches into the washes from the Permaculture book.  It works, but it isn't fast and doesn't look tidy. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Tossing papers is allowing me to get rid of a set of cubbies. I need to stop saving everything in the world.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hot Water Heater

The hot water heater in my art room was leaking but we have a guest room now so I didn't replace it.  Guests don't have to sleep on the futon in my art room and we have bathrooms with tubs in the house (instead of just a shower).
But I wanted to clean gourds in the greenhouse and couldn't face doing it with ice water (it was three degrees a little before 8 a.m.) and didn't get over freezing today.  So I brought my extra coffee pot out and warmed up a pot of water, floated the gourds in the carafe of hot water, and then scrubbed the gourds.  It was fast and I didn't freeze my hands.  I used rubber gloves as I also didn't want any more cracking on my hands!

Chocolate Pie

Nothing diet about this pie (my mom's old recipe) except I haven't had one in several years.  I'm pretty convinced that counts.  I'll have to check my blood sugar in the morning.  If it is over 100, I just eat one slice tomorrow.

Not Duct Tape

 I've had this leather chair and ottoman for over twenty years.  I love them both.  We started out with one for me and one for Larry but he has worn out several chairs during this time.  But the leather on the left arm on my chair cracked all the way through!  I bought this leather patch from Amazon.  I'd looked at Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's for adhesive-backed leather patches and had no luck.  This patch isn't leather but it feels like it.  It doesn't actually match, but it's better than duct tape!
I'm still carving eggs.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

It Could Be Diet

This is brie dredged in beaten egg and then sesame seeds, bread crumbs, and oregano, then deep fried for a short time.  Then I nuked cranberry sauce.  Cranberry sauce is the part that isn't on my diet.  I could have used a diet fruit spread, but cranberry sauce is lovely on this.

Cleaning Out Old Files

I'm trying to free up some space in my art room.  I decided that the filing cabinets I have under the large picnic table could be further cleared to make more space available for craft books.  That will help clear off some shelves.  I want the shelves to contain the stuff I'll use for my crafts.  So the books need to be relocated.  The problem is that I paid for the hanging files and am having trouble trashing it! I was all right trashing the contents of the folders.

Splinters, Cracks, Scratches

My hands are suffering from cleaning the greenhouse (splinter!), messing with decorating eggs (scratches), and winter (cracked cuticles).  I'm using Aquaphor to treat my tiny hurts.  It is helpful to have something that works.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Teva Shoes for Larry

I've worn my Teva sandals for a year now and love them.  
I ordered a pair of Teva shoes for Larry.  It has great traction, protected toe, and it waterproof.
They arrived yesterday and he wore them today.  I hope he likes them as much as I like my sandals.  I have eczema so when it's cold, I wear wool socks and my sandals.  No itching:)  Larry doesn't have such sensitive skin and can wear closed shoes.

Power Off

Today the power was off for a while because the power company decided it would be a good idea to cut some trees that might fall on the lines.  Well, the temperature was really low, and yes, the trees did fall on the lines!
It wasn't a really good time for the power to go off. The generator came on and worked well.  But it only worked in the house so it interfered with Larry's shop work.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Snow Flurries Today

We had snow flurries today but it must have accumulated in some other county where the wind dropped it. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Making a List

I use index cards to make a list of things I want to work on.  I was putting it on my Kindle, but I have a really good supply of index cards and decided that I like thinking about what I want to accomplish while I'm drinking my coffee first thing in the morning.
I put things on it that I intend to work on,...not finish necessarily.  
If it isn't finished, I just continue it on the index card I start the next day.  I don't have to keep up with a book or notebook.
I've been cleaning lately.  Those papers that need to be shredded or burned can go in my tire stacks to help fill them up as well as retain moisture.  I've been saving some of those papers, neatly filed, since 1995.  
I think I will be able to repurpose at least one filing cabinet and maybe one of those cubby things.
Or the cubby thing might be a candidate for the trash.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Larry got me a new carving tip for my dremel.  It is diamond point 7134 and suitable for carving says so on the package.  That's the first time I've seen it.  It works better than the one I've been using for years and haven't been able to find a replacement for.

Free Cell - New High

Statistics for Free Cell on the Kindle are broken down more than the pc version I have.  It is possible to get statistics on time, score, and longest winning streak.  My old winning streak record was 233.  It is now 345. 

Single Portion Containers

I made steel cut oats last night.  This morning I prepared a bowl to eat and divided the rest into three single-portion containers made by rubbermaid.  It has everything in it so I only need to microwave it and my breakfast is ready for the next three days.

End Table

I replaced the magazine holder that had to be picked up when I ran the Roomba with this end table.  Larry made it for me for my birthday.  Since he already gave me a large bench, I don't know if I get to keep both.  The end table was requested by me:) It has a hole in the bottom so the surge protector cord can go out the bottom when I need to charge my gadgets. The top is cherry and beautifully finished.
There are several things that need to be picked up when I use the Roomba.  Two of the things were heavy.  The Roomba will go under this and that leaves only one heavy magazine rack to move.

Tire Garden Jan 2014

The huge amount of organic material I started with (leaves and sawdust) has collapsed and needs to be replenished.  So I put a small stack of paper and tried to mash it down so when I add potting soil in preparation for planting this year's strawberries, maybe it will be stable.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hunt for Red October - Audiobook

The narration in Tom Clancy's Hunt for Red October is pretty awful.  I think if a character is Russian, it is pretty obvious that his speech is going to be in English in a book that is intended for an English-language audience.  But to have the character then sound as if he is speaking English with a Russian accent (even to the extent of saying willage instead of village) is dumb if he is speaking to other Russians on his submarine.  It is a literary convenience to pretend the character is speaking in his native language and the reader or listener understands it.

Today's Color

 Today I carved a few more red quail eggs and died the two remaining quail eggs and one chicken's egg.  I redyed some other eggs in the purple dye.  They had been dyed but didn't take it well.  Some of them still don't look great but somehow the mottled colors look just fine and even add interest to the eggs once they are carved.
I have a friend whose favorite color is purple and I'm trying to get a box together of purple stuff.  There are three purple carved eggs nestled in the pink/purple ribbon scarf.  The scarf turned out really well in the photo, but the eggs don't look purple.  I want to carve a couple more chicken's eggs and the two quail eggs.  Then that box can go in the mail.  Decluttering probably isn't the word when I drag stuff out, leave it out because I'm not finished with it, and then mail it away.  But still.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Lens Change?

We just watched Bones. It seemed that they used a different lens that slightly elongated the actors, making them appear slimmer. I thought it was nicely done.  I wish everybody would see me with that lens. I don't know how to check to see if it is true. I wish I knew.

A Few Etched Quail Eggs

Chicken eggs are easier.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Worked on Quail Eggs Today

 I had about 67% success with putting the holes in the quail eggs and using the aspirator to empty the shells.
 Some of the ones that crumbled I fried.  There are six on that slice of bread.  One fried quail egg was about the size of a half dollar.
 The ones I blew out, I scrambled.
I used rit dye (the liquid is easier than the powder) to dye the shells.  Tomorrow I will try carving them with my drimmel. They look like cherry tomatoes:)

Wood Heater

One of our neighbors had a big wood heating unit.  It heats hot water and circulates it everywhere therefore warming the house and providing hot water. We had some trees cut and offered them to him.  Today he came to get the one that isn't in the soggy woods.  
I really like his machines and maybe it isn't so awful since he doesn't do it all by hand.  I seriously don't want that kind of heating unit no matter how self-sufficient it makes them.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Pile of Quail Eggs

I had five quail eggs to blow out and decorate.  The shells were so fragile I broke three of them so I told my friend to bring me a bunch more.  I put the keys on them to show the size.  I have thirty-one now and plan to blow them out tomorrow.  
My friend wants several of them and the rest are mine:) Maybe I'll put some in the gift shop.  She thinks they will sell.

Larry's Been Busy

I like how he contrasted the drawer fronts with the lighter tone of the wood.  The brass colored drawer pulls are also well-chosen.


We went to the 1850's Log House Restaurant tonight only to find it closed.  So we got our fish and hush puppies somewhere else.  It was good and we had a box full of leftover fish (and six hush puppies...three showing).  But we were really sad about the 1850's.  I hope it was a temporary situation, but I really think they would have put closed on the door not on the sign beside the highway if it were temporary.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tom Clancy's Locked On

I'm listening to Locked On by Tom Clancy.  I like the Jack Ryan character.  I like the character development in his books, the action, and the part where differing political views are given but the ones who oppose Jack's political views aren't portrayed as evil but rather as committed to a different view.

Atkins Chocolate with Peanuts

I saw these today at WalMart.  I'd been seeing them advertised on television and thought I'd try them when I found them. 
They aren't as good as M&Ms and really, don't stick them in your pocket and forget about them for a while.
They absolutely melt anywhere not just in your mouth.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Getting Ready for Spring

Today I called to order my seeds for this spring.  I don't start them until mid-February so I have to clean up stuff in the greenhouse so it will be ready for my seeds.  I have a better chance of keeping slugs down if I don't have leaf debris everywhere.  I've tried to water less this winter hoping the slugs would not make an appearance.  But when I have flats of soil and little seedlings everywhere, it will be a lot wetter in spite of the care I take.
My cuttings look good, so far.  The plants I've over-wintered are alive though not lush.  I'll give them a bit of fertilizer soon.
I know it's January, but I really feel like spring is just around the corner when I start my seeds.

Congestive Heart Failure

Sometimes at the hospital people come in who have retained a lot of fluid quickly.  They want those people to have a set of scales at home so they can check with their doctors sooner and maybe avoid a hospital stay. That was one of the things the volunteers have been asked to sponsor. Sometimes the people can't afford a supplement for Medicare Part B and the hospital stays are terribly expensive, even if they are just paying the twenty percent that Medicare doesn't pay.


Every January I spend quality time with seed catalogs.  This one is my favorite.  I have my list of what  I want to continue from previous years, what I want to try that's different, and what looks good that I have never even considered.
Today I'll call my order in.  Free shipping until Jan. 31.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Perfect Sunday Morning

 Homemade cinnamon rolls with nuts and raisins, coffee, and my Kindle with
Enya playing from my iPod speaker dock:)

Small Fix

That small place on the upper right side of the switch plate where the electrician cut badly has been bothering me.  I am pretty sure I could have repaired the sheetrock, but it seemed harder than just buying a slightly larger switch plate.
I bought an unfinished wooden switch plate cover and painted it brown with a few smudges of metallic copper and metallic gold.  Then I put a coat of varnish, sanded, and another coat of varnish.  It covered the place I didn't like and looks nice with the light orange paint and the metallic colors of the shower curtain.  Yea, Me!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dog and Bench

Larry wanted me to get a picture of him and his guard dog sitting on the bench he made.  I've been blogging a while but this is the first time he asked me to take a picture and post it.  That is not where the dog stays...he took the little statue down, positioned it, and posed. He asked if I'd posted it yet.  This is an amazing amount of interest he's shown in my blog:)


The box of pins without the little colored balls on the end hurt my fingers when I try to pin anything.  I tried using a thimble to protect myself as I poked the pins in and it turns out I'm absolutely hopeless.  So I looked for pins with colorful round plastic heads.  
They are much more comfortable to use.  I'm tossing the pins, but I guess I'll keep the thimble in case I need it with a hand needle.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Electronic Pest Device

I have had problems with mice in my art room.  I've put D-Con out until all of the signs stopped, but I bought a package of these things that are supposed to deter insects (including spiders) and rodents.  I hope it works.  Reading the package, it sounds as if it is most effective with no furnishings.  My room is really full of stuff so I put two of these in there.

Quail Eggs

The large egg is a chicken's egg, of course, but the small egg is a quail's egg.  One of the volunteers brought five of them to me today because she knows I like to blow out eggs and decorate them.  I've never had quail eggs before but I thought it would be the same.  Well, the shells were quite fragile.  I managed to end up with two nicely done quail shells and three totally messed up shells.
I don't think I was at fault.  The quails need more calcium in their diet for stronger shells.  If they just want to eat the tiny little eggs, the shells probably aren't an issue.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sugar-Free Mints

These mints are made by Hershey.  The wintergreen flavor was my favorite until I found the cinnamon!  They are like red hots but not chewy. I don't know if the cinnamon flavor is new or just new to us, but it's great!

Bucket List

As a movie, I didn't like it all that much.  Waiting until you know you are about to die to do something you've wanted to do for a long time seems stupid.
However old you are, this is the youngest you are ever going to be so plan what you want to do, save up for it, and do it. Check.  Next?
I have listened to a lot of people saying, "I want...." and then saying why they can't do it.  It's way more fun to figure how to do it. Wanting to do something for year after year and not doing it just means you don't want to do it, you just want to talk about it.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Volunteering Today

Today an employee at the hospital told me that it isn't just the patients that we help...the employees appreciate our smiles and knowing that we don't have to be there, but we choose to.  That was nice to hear.

Larry's Latest Project

When the weather is awful, Larry works in his shop.  Well, the weather has been pretty awful so he's gotten a lot done.  The bench on the porch of the shop is his latest project.  It is my birthday present...early.  When the weather is nicer, we'll put it in my tire garden:)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Last Project and Next

I finally finished my cape last night.  I like how it turned out. 
The efforts toward organizing my paint cleared off the picnic table beside the sewing machine.  I have my next sewing project planned and spread out.
The next project is, obviously, pink:)


I volunteered today and accidentally left my fitbit at home on the charger.  I realized it at some point and still forgot to get it when I got home!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Almost Human

Larry laughs out loud all the time when he's watching television.  I hardly ever do.  Tonight at the end of Almost Human we were both laughing. 

More Messing About

 I was using a tv tray for my end table, but I kept knocking things off of it.  I decided the wooden "tower" Larry made for me to keep my teacher's editions in at school would work well.  I think it is perfect.  Larry pointed out that if I turned it so the openings were toward the chair it would look better.  I showed him I had put trays into the slots so if I wanted something out of it I could pull the tray out.
I moved the paint holder into the other window so I could see out the window when painting which is more of an issue than looking out the window when using the laptop. I like how my play room looks more and more.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Thank Goodness for Global Warming!

Who knows how cold it would be without global warming.


With pillows on the futon it doesn't look so much like a room divider.  I tried it out and it would work nicely for a nap. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Hornworms are hard to see but the evidence of their presence is pretty easy. I'd only found hornworms on tomatoes up until I noticed my coleus looking ragged. So far I've found two in my greenhouse!


 Larry had help today.  This tree's top had died and Larry said the rest of it would go, too.
 In the top left corner it is possible to see the root chunk.  It rains a lot and the wind blows so trees uproot.  Larry found somebody who wants the wood for firewood. So basically, Larry and the boys redid paths through the woods so we can ride through on the gator. It is necessary to go through to make sure nobody is doing anything odd back in there.
This time of year isn't the prettiest, but it is easier to make the paths without so many vines to go through.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Three Days Later

The weather service was predicting temperatures in the single digits and our propane tank was pretty low.  We called and they said we were on the list and he would be there the next day.  Three days later we were still waiting and I had started to wonder if we ran out of propane what would we do.
I've thought about being without power and decided with the generator we should be all right.  I hadn't thought about being without propane.  I finally decided we have two electric heaters and we could cook on the camp stove if necessary.  But yesterday afternoon they finally delivered it. I think if somebody says they are coming on a particular day, it shouldn't be three days later.  Somebody had to be at home all that time.  We were using more gas because it has been colder.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

In Order

 I don't know when I'm going to be through getting this room in order.  I moved the other paint holder near the new one and separated the types of paint.  The birdhouse paints are all together, the metallics, gleams, and glitters are together, and then the regular paints are divided by colors. 
 I've been working on this cape for a long time.  It is finished except for the arm openings and the hem.  I seriously didn't know if I would be able to get them hood on it so I pinned it and then looked at it...I had it backwards.  I'm glad I didn't sew it that way.