Thursday, February 28, 2013

An Unfortunate Event

I speak often of my canine contingent and my love for them. Oscar, the old, fat dachshund, is the one I shower with attention. He is 13 and has been the leader of the pack since he arrived. He is stubborn and cares little when he is scolded. He refuses to go out in inclement weather, preferring to simply pee on the floor and let me mop it up. He shows no remorse for creating extra work for me. I am his person of choice and I know he loves me and would defend me ferociously, but he offers no apologies for the trouble he causes.

With this in mind, you know that I am very familiar with my mop and bucket. When it is raining or snowing I feel like I am mopping every 10 minutes. I start the day with a big bucket of hot water with a splash of bleach and Lysol. As the day wears on, that water becomes cold and cloudy.
Something you want to avoid.

Last night as I was escorting the dogs out for the last pee-pee break before bedtime, I grabbed the nasty bucket of Oscar pee and decided to get a head start on my morning by emptying the bucket. If I go outside, Oscar will sometimes grace us with his presence. Not to pee, mind you, but to watch over his kingdom and keep his mommy safe.

So there I stood on the meager piece of stoop not covered with snow, bucket held gingerly away from me, as I was ready for bed. Not in my nightgown, but having already showered that morning, all I needed to do was undress, don my night shirt and crawl under covers. Wall-E and Toni Louise had already climbed the snow mountain range circling the building, created when the 6" of snow slid off the steel roof. Oscar and Martha, the boy cat, were close at hand. Really close.

As I lifted the bucket of Oscar pee water and prepared to fling it outward two things happened at once. Toni Louise decided to investigate my activity and Martha wound himself in my legs. I didn't want the water to hit Toni Louise and then have to bathe her and I turned in mid throw, lost my grip and the water flew straight up ........... then back at me. Missed my face, but caught me just below the chin and covered me to my feet. A very unfortunate event.

I still love Oscar ......

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Snowed In

Piles of dirty snow adorn the parking lot . They are about waist deep to me. The skies are gray and dull ...... and my toes are cold.

Snow is still falling softly, like misting rain. I love the quiet it creates. I feel insulated from the world. It is wet heavy snow. Perfect for the making of snowmen. It does cross my mind as I stand here looking out. Unfortunately I have still not located my snow boots. I have two pair and one is a bright shiny green. Really shouldn't be hard to find. I realize that I have probably looked right at them without recognizing them. I am sure I will stumble on them when the grass is green outside and I have no need of them.

Can't locate the snow shovel either. I think maybe it is the back of His truck ..... He Who is about the business of helping stranded motorists. But, I used a dust pan and made a narrow little path there. As long as you put one foot in front of the other. The snow is heavy and I broke my dustpan! I paid $1 at the Dollar Tree for that!

While the snow is falling, I am still harvesting what is left of the blue jeans I cut into squares. The quilt is done. It is warm and heavy, just like I thought it would be. I have three trash bags full of pieces left. I am determined to use every bit!

This is a rag rug made of 6" by half inch strips. I love this one! I am using a tapestry needle with a big eye and a blunt end. You just thread the needle with the strip and go down and back up so that the two ends are on top. Then tie a knot. Simple. Each one of those blue squares on the grid of rug canvas represents 100 holes. My rug will be 30" X 72" and there are 132 of those squares. That is 13,200 strips of denim.

I have been working on it for almost 3 weeks and have about 1/3 of it done. I have altered my technique as I go. At first I was carefully measuring the strips and cutting them all to size. Then I started to worry that I would run out of material. I still prefer the 6" strip, but I am using 4" strips, too. They are harder to thread and tie, but will help fill in. I found that I could cut on the bias and have a little stretch and that I could cut thicker and thinner than my half inch, so I am no longer measuring and I am not cutting my long strips, but threading them in first.

I am moving a little faster now and this is the perfect project to do in front of the TV by the fire. The rug canvas is from JoAnn's and I used a 50% coupon. It will actually make two rugs of that size. I cut it in half length-wise and then used duct tape to re-enforce the edges. I tried masking tape, but it didn't have staying power.

I am still adding to my oval inseam rug as I harvest new material. It is not big yet. Maybe big enough for a door mat. It would be nice if it turned out to be big enough for an area rug.

In an effort to keep the house warm, I am baking a cake. Really, it is to keep the house warm! It is a healthy cake. Oatmeal and coconut and nuts ..... and butter, And sugar and spice and everything nice!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Signs Of Cabin Fever

I took a reservation on the phone and talked to the caller for 30 minutes! Gee, I hope I didn't scare her away! I just rattled on and on, couldn't seem to stop. I think I need to get out more. I think I may be spending too much time alone.

I didn't even have the Internet today. I needed to reset the modem and it required a trip through the snow to access the switch. It is only about 10 feet. That is if I took the direct route ..... through the drift. It would be about 20 feet to try to go around the drift, but I would still have to negotiate the big drift in front of the door to the water tank house. I decided to go straight for it. I failed to locate my snow boots, so I knew I would get wet. I didn't account for the drift that was in front of the door that opens out. Had to use my hands.

Had to, you know. In case another camper calls for reservations and I feel the need to talk their ears off! I think I should get out of here for awhile tomorrow.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thunder Snow, That's What THey Call It

I awoke this morning fully expecting to see a nice white blanket on my grounds. The weather forecast had told us that the snow would start at about 3 am and to beware of the morning rush hour. The morning rush hour does not apply to me, unless you count the rush to the back door to take my canine crew out to perform their morning ritual.

But, instead of my nice white blanket, There was the same half dead grass winter yard looking bleak. Coffee and dog food taken care of I layered on my cuddle duds and comfy fleece pants and shirt, then climbed onto my love seat with all four pets vying for the favored position next to me. Wall-E won and I turned on the Today Show. The line is running along the bottom of the screen announcing closings and I glance at the window to see if any snow does fall. It doesn't. It is cold, very cold. Low 20's with a much lower wind chill factor. I can see the branches of the evergreen swaying in my back yard.

He Who Tows was out most of the night and I decide I should "be quiet" and let him sleep as long as he can, since the storm is so slow in coming. By "be quiet" I mean that I am going to park my butt in front of the TV and watch all the shows that were on last night without commercials.

Barely into my first half-hour of lazy, I heard He Who sleeps with his cell phone get a call. I look at the window and the snow is falling. Fast and lots of it. I love the snow. It covers all the dirty, ugly ground and makes it look clean.

I doubt I will see much of He Who Tows today. I always wonder why people venture out when road conditions are poor. It's not like they didn't know it was coming. A whole day's warning. I know how to drive in the snow. If I needed to go out. But, it is the people who think they know how to drive in snow that worries me. And they are out there keeping the tow trucks busy.

I tried to encourage my canines to go out again. Wall-E stared up at me with big tears in his eyes, but went out and relieved himself quickly. Oscar simply refused to go out and peed on the floor while I was getting Wall-E out. He doesn't do inclement weather. Toni Louise was gleeful as she bounded through the snow, oblivious to the cold. It is a mixture of sleet and snow and I can hear it hit the ground. Big wet flakes fall on her black fur and melt immediately as she races through the yard. The ground has a good cover already and the forecast has increased to 8 inches. She must be laying trails for later. She is intuitive, my strange little dog with the eyeball sniffing fetish.

As I write this, I see a flash of lightening and hear thunder rumbling. I suppose the forecast was right, just late.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Winter Storm Warning

It is supposed to snow tonight. Three inches. The town is in a tizzy. Everyone is out buying groceries and "getting ready". I am more worried about the firewood that will get wet and prevent me from being warm and toasty in my lair.

But, since I have finished the blue jean quilt, I decided that I would go to the laundry in town and wash and dry it. I heard there was a washer that would hold 50 lbs of laundry. The quilt is heavy. I doubt it weighs that much, but this would work. I planned my trip carefully, deciding to leave the quilt washing while I made a quick run to the grocery ........ Diet Coke is on sale. He Who totes his Bubba mug of Diet Coke will thank me later.

I grabbed a huge handful of quarters and stuffed them in my pocket on the way out the door, figuring that most laundry machines require coins, as opposed to bills. I had never been to this laundromat before. I was pleasantly surprised to find that is was clean and neat. I spied the 50 lb machine and read the instructions carefully. It did not indicate the cost until I had locked my quilt inside. $5.50. Okay, I had that much in my pocket of quarters, so I fed the coin slot and waited to hear the door lock click in place (kind of like my self cleaning oven). I had $2 left in quarters, but took note of the coin machine on the wall in the back. Ready to leave I looked at the counter I had put the quilt on while I counted my coins, Where are my keys? Not on the counter. For a minute before I was able to check my pockets, I was afraid I had locked them in the washer with my quilt! I pictured myself sitting there for 24 minutes waiting to retrieve my keys, unable to even call for He Who rescues me from myself. I had locked my purse and my cell in the car.

I found the keys in my pocket, off to the grocery, my list in hand. Snowy nights call for a big pot of chili and saltines. My list was short, but I still went up and down every aisle ..... one never knows where a bargain may be lurking! I checked the price of coconut oil, just because. $10.89 for 14 ounces!!!!!! Won't be buying any at this store. Could be why they had only one brand in stock and I wonder how long it had been sitting on the shelf.

After I wiped out their supply of Diet Coke, I left the grocery with my saltines and extra bread (in case we get snowed in with that 3 inch blizzard). I arrived back at the laundry mat to find my quilt still safely locked in the machine I had left it in. I am willing to bet that it did weigh 50 lbs while wet. There were none of those handy dandy carts to transport my wet quilt from the washer to the dryer. I managed to heave it into the closest dryer of the correct size. I had only enough coins for 24 minutes of heavy duty drying.

I pulled some ones out and headed to the coin machine I had made note of. I offered my slick new bill and the machine refused to gobble it up and spit out some quarters, causing me to have to read the instructions. "Machine is out of quarters when light is on." The light was on. I was the only person there, making me wonder how often they serviced the coin changer.

I decided to make do with the 24 minutes and finish drying the quilt at home. I noticed 4 neat stacks of magazines on the folding counter. I picked through them and then started looking at the dates on them. Six years old. Lady's Home Journal. I read an interview with Kyra Sedgewick. Still 16 minutes on my machine. A man comes in with a basket of clothes. He sets them down and heads to the coin changer.

He had words with it. Colorful words and stormed out with his basket of dirty laundry. Another man comes in with baskets of wet clothes and fills the dryers, then leaves with the McDonald's bag he had in his hand. I realize that I am a little hungry myself. There are two vending machines. The one that would have had chips and candy is totally empty. The coke machine is humming away and it says $1. I don't really want to spend as much as I just paid for a 2 litre bottle on a 12 ounce can, but I decide it will help pass the time. Machine takes only quarters. And the coin changer is empty.

Another man enters with a basket in hand, making me wonder if I have been transported to one of those remote cities in Montana that periodically try to lure women with the promise of a multitude of single me. This man also heads to the coin changer. I tell him it is out of coins. He looks hopefully at me and I tell him that I am also out of coins.

I remember that the building right next door is U.S. Bank. I suggest that he may be able to get some coins there. "Nope, they will only give you change if you have an account with them." As he is walking out the door, he adds, "And that's why I don't have an account with them."  Nice. You would think they would want to be helpful in hopes of attracting more accounts.

My machine was done tumbling my quilt around in hot air. It was still damp, but I heaved it on my shoulder and headed home. The chili is simmering and the dryer is fluffing and the fire has flames licking the wet logs. All is well as I wait for the winter storm to pass through.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Coconut Oil

 My new best friend! The cookbook, you say? No. Coconut oil.

This is 31 ounces or less than $10. Way less at WalMart. So? Doesn't sound cheap when you consider the price of other cooking oils? Maybe not, but I didn't buy it to cook with, although, I made some delectable Chex Mix for  He Who complains that we have no snacks. Better for him than butter and it was really good. I used up all the left over Chex cereal and some unsalted peanuts.

Back to my unauthorized product endorsement ....
I am plagued with dry skin and for many years I have kept a bottle of generic baby oil in the shower. After showering, while still wet, I would baste myself with this baby oil. Rub it into my skin and I would hardly need a towel to dry. One little problem. I would be oily for awhile after my shower. Likes hours. If I went outside to mow, the clipped grass would stick to my legs like a bizarre garnish. But, my skin was hydrated and not dry and itchy. Baby oil smells good, too.

Not long ago, my friend, Insomnia, and I discovered coconut oil and it's many uses on Pinterest. Not only is it good in your body, but, also on your body. It will help erase age spots, wrinkles and is a great eye cream when combined with vitamin E. "Hmmmm," my friend, Insomnia, said to me, "perhaps we should purchase this miracle of anti-aging on our next excursion to the mecca of all necessities." So, on my very next adventure to WalMart, while in need of socks and drugs (prescription, of course) I added the coconut oil to the conveyor belt at the check out stand.

It says "oil", so I was expecting a liquid. But it isn't. It is in a solid form. Not like Crisco. Doesn't smell like coconut, either. It will turn liquid at 77 degrees, so if you dig out a spoonful and put it in your hand it will melt ........ unless your hands are very cold.

So, this is fine in the kitchen where I have a spoon to dig with, but what shall I do in the shower? I was out out of baby oil and my skin was itching. I pondered the problem as I washed the dishes and prepared a meal in the solitude of my kitchen.

I decided I needed a container to keep in the bathroom. A container I could sit in the tub while showering. The heat from the water would liquefy the coconut oil while I showered. But, what container? It would need to be waterproof. A ziploc would work, but I'm pretty sure I would spill it and then probably slip on the spillage and break something, like a hip. Same thing would apply with the open mouth jar-like container it was packaged in.

I was making honey beer bread and used all the honey remaining in the bottle. I left it on the counter and as I was cleaning up I had an epiphany! The honey bottle in question was plastic, held 8 oz. and had a fairly big opening and the lid was made for squeezing a stream out. I had considered the baby oil container, but unless I liquefied the big container I could think of no way to get the coconut oil into the small mouth of the bottle.

The honey bottle was perfect. It works just like I had hoped and liquefies while I shower. But the very best part? It goes on just like the baby oil, but it soaks in with-in 15 minutes or so and I don't look like a turkey basted and ready to cook. My skin is so happy! Soft as a baby's butt. I can't tell yet if my age spots are actually fading, but that would just be an added bonus.

It is certainly more expensive that the baby oil I was using, but that is made up for in the eye cream I am no longer buying. In my next adventure I will be popping corn with coconut oil .......

Friday, February 15, 2013

He Who Annoys

I can't seem to train my husband. For nearly 40 years I have tried. It is the simple things that will drive one crazy ...... and I know crazy!

First impressions are important. Everybody knows that, don't they? With that very simple theory in mind, I always try to keep the store/office neat and tidy ....... well, except my desk, but you really don't see it unless you venture around the counter. Unless you are my friend or a brave and crazy person you stay on the other side of the counter.

Last year when I added more retail space by denying myself a living room, I asked He Who Electrifies to add more lighting to that space, while not eliminating the ceiling fan. I didn't want to stick another window unit in that room and the fan will keep the air circulating enough to avoid that. The fan has no light kit. I asked He Who Knows Electric Things if we could simply add one. No. He even said it with authority, as if he had actually LOOKED at the thing. Okay, that not being an option (he said), I suggested two 4' fluorescent fixtures on either side of the ceiling fan ....... beyond the blades of the fan. I stood under the locations I wanted and pointed to them and He Who Would Appear To Be Listening nodded.

A month or so later, after much nagging and while I was away from the store on an errand, He Who Is Not Afraid Of Live Wires, installed one 4' bank of lights. Snug up to the ceiling fan, not where I had indicated with my pointy finger. I turned my new light on and was quickly disoriented by the strobe light effect that resulted. You can have the light on, or you can have the fan on, but not both. I want to highlight merchandise for sale, not disco dance.

Recently, while on a cleaning binge, I discovered a ceiling light, with a light kit attached. No blades. I save things, just in case. So, I presented my find to He Who would have disposed of my treasure. I suggested that he use the blades on the fan with no light kit and remove the 4' strobe maker. Did he do this? No, he did not. He climbed my handy dandy step stool and he determined that the blades would not fit the new fixture. Then he tried to detach the light kit to attach it to the existing ceiling fan and determined that it didn't work either. Then he went and purchased a new fan (without first consulting me).

He proclaims that this new ceiling fan has blades longer that the old one. It was still in the box and I could see right away that he was so very wrong about that. I commented that he was in error, unless said blades were hinged and folded in half in that little box he had. So, He took the old blades and was going to use them ....... but the screw holes didn't line up (the same problem with my found treasure that was absolutely free). So, once again, while the voice of reason (me) was absent he drilled new holes in the old blades to make it work, then took one outside to spray paint it (I had painted it black), since the new fixture was white and not black. Yellow. Bright yellow.

I can work with yellow, I like yellow. It catches the eye and draws you in. It is a retail space, not my home. But, it gets better. He painted it while the wind was tunneling along at what had to be a record setting day. The paint, on the surface that he had not sanded or prepped in any way sort of bubbled into waves. He did quit after that one blade, and I can fix it. He has been previously banned from painting. I do all the signs, etc. I suppose he thought that rule did not apply to spray cans of paint, since he does mark the dead trees that need to come down.

You may be thinking that all this is why I am annoyed. It's not. I am annoyed because it has been over a week and he still has not finished this project of his. The found fan kit lays on a table with parts and wires dangling, the box and packing from his new drill (he broke his old one and I don't mean anything mechanical ....... he broke the housing!) are all still as he left them in the store, hither and thither. The table under the ceiling fan has all manner of tools and wires and pieces of this and that on it.

I must go now and tidy this area, just in case we have a customer enter in and have this first impression. I would be embarrassed. He knows this. He knows I will tidy it up. And that really annoys me. What he doesn't know is that I would have simply drilled the holes and fit the old blades to the found fixture and put it up instead of buying a new fan. These things really annoy me. You would think I would give up on that training thing after nearly 40 years.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Who Will Be My Valentine

Who could not love this sweet old face? It is only occasionally that I realize how old my sweet boy is. I take a picture and then it hits me. All the white hair and the opaque eyes. Not to mention all the naps. He is still a fine specimen, my handsome old boy.

 Oscar does enjoy his nap. He enjoys the companionship of Wall-E, my sensitive guy. What Wall-E may lack in looks is made up for in his intense loyalty. He is the protector of our world. He sounds the alarm when our space is invaded.

 Best buddies, my two boys.

 Toni Louise has reached her tween stage. No longer a puppy, but not really a grown up dog yet. Loves affection and gets a little miffed when she is denied access to my undivided attention. She is punishing me by refusing to look at me.

 Martha, the boy cat enjoys napping all day, then inciting a riot in the wee hours of the morning. The diet would appear to be in vain. He has learned to hunt and is supplementing his meager portion of cat chow. He is a very handsome specimen, too. Just overlook the fat belly.

Still being punished, I guess. I can't choose, so it looks like I have four Valentines ........

He Who is my real Valentine presented me with a heart shaped cake, piled high with whipped icing and chocolate covered strawberries. He won my heart.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sixty Degrees Indeed!

I watch the news mainly for the weather forecast. This weekend was supposed to be downright balmy with gentle winds and 60 warm degrees. I am not gullible enough to believe everything I hear. I was actually hoping they had under estimated how great the weekend would be. Hope runs deep.

I awoke Saturday and got started on my day. I had a lone cup of coffee and then jumped right into my chores. A recipe for a coconut pound cake had caught my eye the night before as I lurked on Pinterest. I like coconut. He who has a sweet tooth does, too. But, I have two bags of coconut in the pantry that needs to be used. All the ingredients were right there in my house, requiring no trip to a store and the size of the cake was right. A small loaf size, as opposed to big one. There was also a rumor afloat about a visit from some of my favorite kampers. So, a cake would be a good thing.

It was a Martha Stewart recipe. I carefully toasted the coconut, as directed. Too lazy to drag out the big mixer, I grabbed the hand mixer and measured all the ingredients, sifted the flour and followed instructions. As I stood creaming the butter and sugar for EIGHT minutes, I regretted my decision to leave the stand mixer in the cabinet. I didn't have buttermilk on hand, but a little vinegar and milk remedied that.

As I stood mixing, I looked over at the next thing on the instructions ........ naked eyed, no glasses on. I read the instructions to say that I need to save 1/2 of the buttermilk for the topping and I even looked twice when I felt like the batter was too stiff. Nope, I needed to save that much, I thought. I spooned the batter into the loaf pan that had been buttered and floured and popped the cake in the oven and set the timer.

My house was smelling heavenly of toasted coconut and vanilla and I was about the business of hooking another denim rug. This one is being made of 1/2" by 6" strips, using even more scraps of the jeans in the quilt. I plan to squeeze every square inch of usefulness out of those old ragged jeans.

The timer said 10 more minutes were left on my cake, so like all good cooks everywhere, knowing that ovens are not created equal, I stuck a skewer into the very center and withdrew it carefully. The skewer was clean, the cake was done. My first inkling of trouble afoot was the batter being so thick. The recipe said to POUR the batter into the prepared loaf pan. My batter was very thick and had to be spooned into the pan. But, my old go to pound cake recipe has to be spooned in also. The second clue was the weight of the cake I pulled from the oven. It was heavy. Still I cooled the cake as directed and then prepared to turn it out of the pan onto the cooling rack. When I carefully flipped it over, the whole thing slipped from my hands and fell!!!! Onto the counter, thank goodness.

It sort of split in the middle, but, I was still optimistic. That would not make it taste any different. I left it to cool completely and gathered the powdered sugar and the remaining buttermilk. At some point I had donned my glasses. I looked at the lone cup of sugar and the 1/2 cup of buttermilk and realized that would not make a drizzle, but a downpour. I went back to the recipe and realized I was only supposed to retain 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk ..........

The light and fluffy pound cake was as dense as a brick. More like the consistancy of chewy bread. A smal slice lays heavy on the stomach. I think I will slice the rest and toast it, then make a bread pudding. It will hopefully lighten up.

Turned out to be the way my day went. The wind was cold and damp. I didn't build a fire when I got up, thinking it would warm up as the day went on. It didn't warm up. It got colder and in the wee hours of the morning a thunderstorm woke me. It rained so hard I could hear it pounding the roof. The dogs were restless and downright scared. The dusk to dawn lights went out and I heard a loud pop of lightning. They came back on an hour or so later, as the worst of the storm passed on through. I had wondered if they had been hit.

Still cold today, with a gray overcast sky. Sunny and 60 degrees indeed!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My Many Talents

The quilt. Not quite done. I have 3 more rows to go. The finished product will measure 112" by 96". It lays nicely on my bed and covers the sides, with a nice hang at the bottom. I still have to come up with some shams, but I haven't given them much thought.

When I started this project, I was just looking for a way to get rid of all the jeans that were not being worn by he who has shrunk in his old age. He would still put these jeans on and cinch them with a belt at his waist. Looked like culottes on him. Not a good look, especially on a man. The jean shorts were even funnier, as he has bird legs. I have never had that problem, remember, he who loves me once told me I had sturdy legs, like ..... bridge pylons. He is so very romantic, but that is not the story I am telling right now.

Back to all these jeans. I purchased some that actually fit him and removed all the ones that were too big. It was an impressive pile and made up over one third of the quilt. I acquired the balance at the thrift store, paying a buck a pair. I started out cutting 8" squares and realized I was losing a lot of fabric and added the 4" squares.

My family will tell you I am loathe to throw anything away. Nothing brings me more pleasure than making something useful out of something useless in it's original form. So, even with my thrifty use of scissors and measuring, I still had leftovers of these jeans. No way was I going to dispose of the zippers, so I tossed the remains in a large bag and set it aside to ponder in the night with my old friend, Insomnia. Insomnia and I have been known to come up with some very inventive ideas.

Jeans are made with flat-felled seams. This is the bulky seam that is 4 layers thick. Then there is the inseam,the hems and the waist bands. Pockets, too. Don't forget the pockets. The zippers are a no-brainer. You can never have too many zippers or buttons ..... and she who dies with most fabric wins.

I was lurking on Pinterest and saw that some enterprising person such as myself had designed some coasters out of the flat-felled seams of old jeans! But, I have no need of coasters with my double insulated glasses that do not sweat, and he who drags a huge bubba mug around like a baby drags his blankie. Not to mention the fact that I have miles of inseams and side seams.

So, here it is. A rug. Not big yet, but still growing. I just wound it round and round. I liked the look of it, but decided I wanted oval and just changed the shape. So far I am just using glue. I was going to sew it by hand, but quickly abandoned that idea when I realized just how hard it was to push that needle through all those layers. Now I think I will use carpet tape on the bottom and glue it to a piece of painter's canvas.

The quilt still has to be washed and dried, then all the threads clipped, But I like the look. It could be reversible, too. It has a nice weight. I like a heavy blanket, so this will be perfect. And denim wears well. Toni Louise is finally past her puppy chewing days. My last quilt has gnawed edges from her teething.

This is what Toni Louise chews on now. It looks like they are viciously fighting, but Mr. Martha loves his dog!

I will need to paint my bedroom and cover my headboard. You know how it is, get just one new thing, then everything has to change. In the meantime, I painted Oscar's portrait. It looks surprisingly like him! What do you think? Am I talented or what?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Whine No More

I read my last post and realized I was whining .... not winning, like Charlie Sheen. Whining is annoying and unbecoming. But it does feel good sometimes ......

As good as it feels, I refuse to succumb again. Today was a perfect day. The sun shone and I had my list of errands ready to go as soon as my feet hit the floor. Oscar, the dachshund needing dentures had a bad night last night. He has always been a demanding little guy. I think he was taken from his litter mates too soon and has separation anxiety. When he is feeling bad he only wants me. We were up about every 3 hours last night. He tried a new dog food yesterday, mixed with his old food, of course. Oscar has a delicate digestive tract. He liked this canned food, so much so that he ate too fast. He is greedy. His powers of domination do not impress Toni Louise or Martha, the boy cat. They will dive right in and share his food dish, so he gobbled it up as fast as he could, given the toothless state he is in. And, I paid for it. He likes to be held in a semi upright position to relieve the indigestion. He burps like a baby, doesn't smell like a baby, but that's another tale for another day.

In my sleep deprived state I ventured out and hit the interstate in search of WalMart and thrift stores. My quilt has made great progress, but I have once again depleted my pile of dollar jeans previously worn by very large men. I need 5 more rows of 8" squares. I have 10 rows of construction done and this thing is getting hard to handle. I scored 4 really big pairs, I did not know that one could actually purchase them with a 50" waist size and still have a fly front with a zipper!

From there I moved on to the grocery in search of Arm and Hammer super washing soda. WalMart does not have that particular item and I have decided to make my own laundry detergent. Two bars of Fels Naptha laundry soap, Borax, the washing soda and baking soda. You can add Purex crystals, too. It serves as a fabric softener and smells good. The hardest part, after locating all the ingredients, was grating the soap. I washed my first load. I didn't add enough of the Purex crystals, but the clothes came out nice and clean. They smell clean. And it only takes two tablespoons of this mixture to do a load of laundry. I have so much I need to include it in my will in case I don't live long enough to use it!

I may have exaggerated a bit, but I have a bucket full. I also purchased coconut oil. This stuff is good for everything. I hear tell it will fade those pesky age spots and is useful as an eye cream. It was $8 for a big jar. Eye cream comes in a tiny little jar at twice the price.

It has occurred to me that I am one thrifty shopper. He Who rescues stranded motorists is one lucky guy ...... I am cheap AND fun! In spite of the recent whining.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Woe Is Me

I never really got comfortable last night. One minute I was toasty warm and drowsy, then suddenly too hot. If my feet were warm, my shoulders were cold. In an effort to remedy that I would yank the covers and expose my feet. The cat would lay on the feet and then they would be too hot. Various toes and dog elbows poked at me throughout my misery. So, I got up and convinced myself that I would pretend to feel great.

Hot coffee soothed the throat and a hot shower made everything right in my world ....... for about 45 minutes. I gathered the tools I would need to clean the office/store and set about my mission. I swept, I dusted, I vacuumed. First I had to fix the vacuum. I emptied and cleaned it and fought with the beater bar. Never did get the beater bar to work, but I swept and then sucked all the dirt and dust with the wand. I was determined. Then I mopped and put all the seasonal stuff away and pulled out the pool stuff and got ready for Spring.

Throughout all this I marveled at how much I was able to accomplish without interruption. I was quite proud of how very fast I thought my achy self was moving. Well, until He Who Tows burst through the door. "Are you okay?" he shouted. I saw the big tow truck in front of the building. He had come just to check on me. But, before I could bask in the glow of his loving concern, he demanded to know why I was not answering the phone. The phone didn't ring, therefore I didn't answer it.

Phone service is out. Business phone. Great. I didn't answer my cell, because I have no idea where it is. I usually call it to find it. Unlike the rest of my family, I rarely use my cell phone. It is usually in my purse, or some obscure place I put it down thinking I would surely remember the location. I found it under a loaf of bread once.

So, I decide to keep going with my cleaning project. I have a new seasonal camper coming either this weekend or next, so I decided to get all the contracts ready to go. I pulled all my folders and started tossing unnecessary stuff and found that I only have one blank contract left. No problem, I think, I will just go pull the document up and print it.

The document file is in my old computer. My old computer that was working just fine yesterday. I open it and wait a second, then touch the screen. Nothing. Wait more. Nothing. Reboot it. Windows has been loading for 30 minutes now. I am profoundly annoyed. I shut it down again.

I can recreate the contract in this computer, it is not the end of the world. It will have a different format and I will have to try to connect this computer to the new printer. I just don't want to. I want to pull it up and print it and be done. Then I can sew. I want to sew.

The cold medication has left my system and I am feeling crappy. I want to stomp my feet and have a small fit. But, I don't have the energy. Instead I sit here by the fire with a cat peering over my shoulder and dog paws digging into my thigh and enchant the land of blog with my woes.

Tomorrow should be better ........