Sunday, December 31, 2017

Pampering Myself

For the past few days I have been thinking about some things I want to do. These are things that will require nothing except an investment of my time. Some of my time will be spent on practicing floral arrangements and painting. First though, I need to dismantle Christmas at home and rearrange my possessions to make room for the new ones.

I'm older, don't move as fast as I used to and if I continue to spend so much time on the internet I won't get done all the things I want to get done.

At the hairdressers this past Friday, she asked me what kind of things do I do for myself. She believes that my new hair color should be considered something I'm treating myself to and I need to think about having it done again, when the time comes. One thing I know is that it's made my hair far more manageable than it ever has been and I like that. She also mentioned it makes me look younger, but that doesn't matter to me. I apparently don't have much of the Vanity genetics. However, pampering myself isn't necessarily vain. I just have no idea what I do feel is pampering myself.

I dislike being touched by strangers so I doubt massages or mani-pedis will be a thing with me. Maybe a Reiki session since that's a vibrational thing. I'd like to learn more about aromatherapy so I need to find out where I can seek assistance locally for that. I'd like to find a Tai Chi class for beginners sometime after it warms up. This cold spell is making a hibernating bear out of me. This cold is also drying my skin out so I'll be spending time with the moisturizers trying to cure the alligator that appears to have grafted itself onto my skin.

Something happened this Christmas that allowed me to connect in a joyful way with the spirit of the season. Yes, life is harsh and people are inhumane. I'm no Pollyanna when it comes to the real world, it's just that in the middle of chaos I connected with something positive and I liked it. Now that I know it's there, I feel the need to take time off the internet and nurture it.

I'm just going to keep trying new ideas until I see what works best for me.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Sometimes The Best Gifts Are The Ones You Didn't Know You Wanted

This is the newest addition to our menagerie. Her name is Miss Kitty and she lived here before we did. She actually lived here with my niece and her boyfriend in the home that we tore down and replaced.

The 4 neighbors to the right of me are her aunts and uncles on the maternal side of the family, we represent the paternal side. We knew nothing about this cat when she showed up at our door wanting to come in. They did and they weren't kind enough to tell us.

They knew she was abandoned, one of them caught her and took her to my niece's home where they felt she belonged. How she got back here is pure speculation but she arrived the first week we lived here. We thought she was a barn cat from across the street and so we ignored her. I feel guilty for that because she spent the first winter we lived here outside in the snow and cold without someone to love her..

From Thanksgiving 2016 to March 2017 we have no idea where she was, but we didn't see her. By the time we did see her again, my sister-in-law had called me to tell me about the cat and give me her name.

With the fact that we have 2 cats to start out with, we made the effort to find her a home. When we couldn't find anyone to take her we brought her into the house, had a visit with the vet to bring her and the others up to date on their shots. She's healthy and hasn't tried to leave the house since she came in. Even with the stress of being not very welcomed by the 2 neutered males that live here, she doesn't run out the door even when there is an opportunity to do so.

Our niece claimed the cat won't stay in the house. Our closest neighbor mentioned to my husband that it's too bad such a sweet cat won't stay in the house. All I know is that she came inside in October and despite the fact that our other cats eat her food, use her litter box, torment and bully her every chance they get, she shows no sign of leaving.

She shares my craft room and stays out of whatever I'm doing unless she wants attention. She's content to play with her toys, look out the window and snooze in my chair. When out in the house she likes the couch and the attentions of my husband. She seems happy to be here and although I never really wanted a multiple cat home, I'm happy to have her. She's a little sweetheart and she's ours.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I'll Get Right On That, Tomorrow

I have a habit of walking through my home a few times in the morning to limber up my joints. After doing that and grabbing a cup of coffee I sat down here and looked around. I realized that I just spent 5 or 10 minutes walking past things that need to be picked up and disposed of in the recycling container. For a minute here I thought that combining the two activities would be a great timesaver except, I'm retired and saving time isn't my priority. If I did both together I'd have more time to sit, which isn't as healthy for anyone as moving is.

While thinking about the upcoming Christmas Eve gathering with my family, I remembered a remark my Uncle made last year. He said I was stronger than my Mom was at the same age. There's no magic involved in that. I simply move more than she did.

Somehow she had the idea that because she was of a certain age, she didn't have the strength to accomplish the things she hated doing. She was lazy to start out with and aging gave her an excuse. Older equaled weaker. She'd whine about not being able to do things until she found the receptive ear attached to someone who would do it for her. When faced with something I don't really want to do, I look around and somehow there isn't anyone here to do it except me. I'd whine about life not being fair, however, I suspect that's why I'm healthier than she was. Without someone to con into doing it for me, I get to do it myself.

When it comes to lazy, I have my days. I just spend a day or two getting a grip on myself and then I get up and git er done. I do need to be doing more of the git er done and less of the lazy, which gives me a goal to work on in the new year.

Today I need to go grocery shopping, wrap the rest of the gifts and I probably should do some housekeeping since the maid appears to have quit. Maybe I'll do the housekeeping tomorrow since the other tasks I have planned involve enough movement for the day.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas At My House

I created the wreath, garland and the floral arrangements on the divider shelf. I even made the bows.  My friend of 20 plus years who always took care of whatever florals I wanted, sold her home and moved to the Asheville N. Carolina area. She has a sister and her family living there. She gave me some pieces to work on, some ribbons and flowers, but I used Dollar Tree items because I wanted to save the quality items she gave me until I learn what I'm doing and can make florals for gifts. 

It may very well have been the loss of my friend to another state or a need to shake myself out of a rut, but on December 1, I had my hair dyed plum.

At first it was something I planned for Christmas and once it had faded away or whatever it does, I wasn't going to do it again. Well, as soon as I saw it I loved it and I'm going to keep it for awhile. The desire to do it came out of nowhere. I was looking at a Facebook post that showed different colors of purple that one could have their hair dyed. I saw the Plum and there it is. 

My hair is resistant to perms so we aren't sure how long this will last. With that in mind I'm trying not to wash it more than once a week. The first wash nearly caused me a heart attack when the suds that rinsed off were plum colored. I thought it was all gone, but it wasn't. I'm just not willing to take any chances since I want it as vibrant a plum color for Christmas as I can have it. 

When I get tired of this color, who knows? I just might try Teal. Then again, I might just let it return to it's normal salt and pepper state and let the memory of plum dancing in my hair put a smile on my face. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Playing Favorites Is OK When It's Furbabies, Right?

There are 2 adults in this house and 2 cats. Until this past weekend this allowed both adults to have a lap full of fur whenever we kicked back to relax. Precious made it his life's work to follow my husband around the house like a shadow. Except, of course, at mealtimes. Then he would join Butterscotch in seeing how many ways they could trip me up in order to get the food down to their level quicker. Never works, but they do seem to enjoy trying.

Friday, Hubby was on the couch and I chose to join him in the living room in the recliner. As soon as I sat down, Precious jumped up into my lap and proceeded to make his furry self at home. Well, once Butterscotch got over the shock of seeing HIS lap get stolen out from under him, he saw the spot that Precious wasn't occupying and boosted himself up to claim it. In order to occupy that spot he had to sit his butt onto the chair arm but he didn't seem to care. Neither did I. It was during this lovefest on Friday night that I fully understood how much those cats own us. Neither one of us will disturb a sleeping cat unless we absolutely have to. A situation which forced my husband to get up and get his own snacks instead of asking me to do it. Poor baby.

Oddly, since Friday night and my acquisition of a fur lap blanket, both cats have attached themselves to me instead of dividing and giving us one of our own. This is leading to me not having just one but 2 cats accompanying me if I nap, or go to bed earlier than my husband. I now must cook with 2 cats underfoot and my days of having a chance at going to the bathroom without companionship are gone. With only one cat following me in there I stood a chance, once in awhile, of privacy.

Precious is enamored, for some reason, with moving water. He likes to sit on the dividing shelf while I do dishes and bob up and down trying to figure out why the faucet is running. In the bathroom it's the toilet flushing that he has to see. I'm not sure what happens when my husband attends to his need to urinate. Not sure I care to know since at almost 70 his aim ain't what it used to be. Not even going to think about that since Precious chooses to stand on his hind legs at the bowl to watch. All I know is he waits patiently until I stand and turn to face the flush lever when he's with me, which is now almost all the time. Butterscotch was never interested in that part. For him the important thing is petting.

Rather than being an annoyance to me, this is a new situation that makes me feel a little guilty. I am not bonded to Precious in the same way I am to Butterscotch. We only have the pleasure of his company because his prior human neglected him and he got sick. He wasn't going to do anything about it so we stepped in and took him to the vet. Precious spent much of his life locked out of the house in all kinds of weather. He was loaded with ticks and fleas, had tape worms and ear mites. The end result of the vet visit was that $700 was spent getting him well. Dave had agreed to pay it back a little at a time and then changed his mind. At that point I insisted on taking him. I made sure Dave notified the vet that he was giving him away to us and we will be caring for him.

I insisted that he become ours and yet I lack that warm fuzzy feeling for him that I have for Butterscotch. He's a good boy. Goofy, sweet and endearing when he's active. Loves to play and cuddle. Has manners and greets all our company as if they're his best friends. From the beginning he showed himself to be Daddy's Baby and I was happy with that. Selfishly I think. I didn't have to bother too much with him since he seemed to prefer the company of males. It appears that is changing and I guess I'm just going to have to see if I can change with it.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Taking Care Of Myself

The internet steals my positive energy.

If I were the kind of person who is only interested in sharing recipes, pictures of grandchildren, my cats and other mundane stuff, it wouldn't be an issue. Unfortunately it is also my way of staying informed. Informed on what I haven't yet figured out, since everyone lies, but at least I'm informed about that.

Another thing I'm informed about is just how nasty people are when mine or anyone else's opinion doesn't agree with theirs. Heaven forbid if you supply them with facts that call into suggestion the veracity of their opinion. It can get really ugly then. If you can't refute the facts provided with a fact or two of your own, you must kill the messenger. Of course, you can't literally kill the messenger so you just malign the reputation of said messenger and then you brag about how you won. I'm apparently stupid since that tactic won't change the facts, but whatever floats their boats. I haven't yet lowered myself to asking if they're a special kind of stupid but I'm guilty of thinking it.

After realizing that some of the programs used by seniors to stay comfortable in their own homes will be given some fairly harsh cuts in funding and being unable to make certain older Americans understand they're screwing themselves with their support of this impending budget, I quit speaking to them. I'm in hiding, in the real world where my cats can replenish my supply of positive energy. It's a good thing they do that since it helps me figure out what I'm going to be able to do in my old age.

We had figured out that once my husband decides to quit working that we might need to apply for some assistance from HEAP to pay our heating fuel bills in winter. That's being cut entirely in this budget. Along with Weatherization and Community Block Grants which help provide assistance to seniors and disabled veterans so they can live independently in their own homes.

I also figured out that should something happen to my husband I might need HEAP and food stamps to stay in my own home. I live a ways out in the country so I will have to have transportation and that might be an issue, but the bills on the home should be paid without HEAP on my income.

It appears that my Uncle's estate is on the verge of settlement finally. The check I am getting isn't as large as it would have been since we chose not to fight my Uncle's step-children's claim. I'm going to lose $2000 from it as will my surviving Uncle but my share will be placed in a money market fund and added to as much as I can while both my husband and I are in good shape health wise. That should provide a bit of a cushion should the necessary programs be cut off entirely.

I can only do so much, but at least I'm doing something so I can meet my own needs with a minimum of trouble. I just can't help but feel sorry for those who, for one reason or another, can't find a way to help themselves, either because they're too ill and have lived for so long on next to nothing.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Monday Musings About Storms

Someone said to me last night that "this country will survive Trump because he's not a king". I'm thinking someone forgot to send that memo to Trump. I'd laugh but there's too much at stake. There's a part of me that thinks those who voted for him deserve the reality check of actually having to live with the consequences. On the other hand, those who will be hurt by the changes don't deserve what I think will happen. I simply do not understand how people can blame their struggles on those with lower income than they have when the income inequality gap is so wide and under Trump will widen more. I don't understand people and I don't think I ever will.

We had a few warmer days up here in the frozen North and many people started their Spring cleaning. I haven't and don't plan on doing so for at least 2 more weeks. I see no reason to expend that much effort to thoroughly clean when the weather isn't conducive to open windows and Spring breezes. I fail to grasp how one can open windows in the midst of a 2 day Nor'easter. I live where it isn't at all unusual to have a snowfall on Mother's Day which is close to the middle of May. Cleaning will be done by Easter and maybe it will be nice enough to actually open windows then. However, with a Nor'easter on it's way here, this week would not lend itself to open windows. Spring cleaning will have to wait until closer to actual Spring.

While making sure we had what we needed in case of a power outage during this upcoming storm, we've discovered that we can't find Hubby's Coleman propane lantern. We do have those headlight type flashlights but not one that can be held in our hands. The storm is going to start tonight and it's predicted to bring some very heavy snowfall. Today I will round up some containers in which to keep water for flushing the toilet. I can sit them in the bathtubs in both bathrooms although we'll probably only use the master bath since it's in the part of our home that will benefit some from the propane heater. Without power I have no running water since we have a well with an electric pump.

I have 3 large blankets plus the down comforter which works so beautifully to keep us warm at night. I have sandwich makings, milk and cereal so we won't go hungry and plenty of water in gallon jugs in the kitchen. Without power I will have no way of cooking anything hot since my stove is electric but we won't starve or dehydrate. Should the power be out for a few days we might have a frozen pipe issue but there are steps we can take to minimize that. I have never experienced a power outage here for more than a few hours at any time. However it's best to be prepared for one just in case. Especially since we now live where we are responsible for maintaining our water and sewer systems.

The weather report is saying we should get somewhere between a foot and 20 inches of snow Tuesday and Wednesday. That's a normal snowfall total for this region so I feel comfortable that life this week will go on as it normally does. I planned on staying home until Friday this week so a couple of days of snowfall won't force me to change any plans. I love retired life.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Honey, I'm HOME!

On Sunday March 19, my Aunt and Uncle will be coming for a Sunday dinner. I'm making Lasagna and a salad. I haven't decided on a dessert yet, but there will be one. I haven't had the ability to invite more than 1 other person for dinner in my home in at least a decade, maybe more. We were lacking in space in our old home due to having each room serve us in more than one capacity. There was absolutely no way to move our small table around to accommodate more than 1 other person.

In our living room there were 2 computer desks with computer chairs, filing cabinets, a large coffee table and a couch. The bathroom was both bath and laundry room and our bedroom also served as a place to sleep and cramped into a corner was my art table. I had 2 plastic drawer stacks underneath to house all my materials and a stack of boxes with the other things I use in them. Trying to keep that place neat and clean was an undertaking, yet it felt like home.

Then we bought this place. A home of our own that didn't sit on someone else's property. It is bigger, with a dream kitchen, a utility room for laundry. Three bedrooms, 2 baths and the rooms are big. Clean and uncluttered. A space that I could have the fun of decorating and spending money on to make it home. For 4 months I unpacked, found places to put the things that I need and still have uncluttered surfaces that would be easier to keep clean. I had space and enough income to do what I wanted in it.

After the first round of unpacking was almost completed, I realized I would need a new dining set in order to invite people into my home for a meal. I mentioned that to my Aunt at Christmas time as I was opening her gift to us of a brand new set of dishes for 8 people.. She responded by telling me she would look forward to my acquisition and an invite to have a meal with us on the new dishes she bought.

I said it would be a bit before the invite happened since we had depleted our bank account and needed time to pad it up some. We chuckled and went on with our lives after Christmas. A couple of weeks ago she called me to ask if I was still looking for a dining set because she had one that wouldn't cost me anything if I wanted it.

It's probably 30 years old since it was her Mom's. I love it. It isn't just the fact that I got this for nothing, it's the knowledge that something she treasured because of who it belonged to, has been entrusted to my care. This is not just a dining set, it's proof of how well I am loved. 

The dining set was the last of the more costly things I wanted to help me make my house a home. It wasn't until just a couple of days ago that I realized I was thinking like that. I don't know how it happened but my attitude seems to have been that I wasn't home until this was purchased or that was taken care of. It wasn't something I was even conscious of so I'm not sure what it was that caused the adjustment to my attitude. All I know for sure is that I walked into this house on Tuesday and felt that it was no longer this big empty space that I had to keep filling up, it was HOME.

HOME is not a picture in a House Beautiful magazine. HOME is not someplace where life doesn't happen. HOME is not a place where someone feels they can't put their feet on the coffee table, or spill something on the floor. Today HOME is a place that my husband entered and found his mess exactly where he left it because HOME means having enough mess to feel lived in. HOME was something I lost sight of while trying to make this house feel like HOME.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Paintbrushes Won't Leave Me Alone

From the standpoint of design elements that go awry, the following picture has more than it's share. However, despite the oh so many wrongs, I love it.

What I need to do is paint out the center tulip and bring it up higher on the piece, then I need to lower the bud on the left side of the picture. It's dreary out so that's a good job for today.

I've also begun a kitten in a teacup picture on the wood plaque that I had prepped for work. I've positioned the kitten and teacup and begun the wash of background color. 

Kitten will be gray and I'm planning a white teacup with light pink rose motif.  Behind the kitten will be stems of leaves and flowers in light blue and lavender. That is metallic gold painted framing and I plan on adding gold trim to the teacup. 

These will be the two pieces to work on this week and when I'm waiting for paint to dry on these pieces I will be working on the glass bowls and I'm going to try my hand at upcycling tin cans into Easter/Spring floral containers. Another idea I had for the tin cans is summer containers for picnic items like plastic dinnerware and napkins. A tip to Dollar Tree for flowers and plant pokes for the floral containers and whatever else I can find to put in them is on the schedule for this week.. I probably should also price shrink wrap and ribbon for the containers used for things other than florals. 

I still need to seal these pieces but they look so nice on my shelf without varnish that I'm loathe to go and varnish them. I need to do that so they're easier to dust, maybe sometime this weekend when the paint has cured to the clay. We'll see. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Creative Works Final Edition

  All that is left for me to do now is to let them cure for a few days and then seal them.

I haven't made up my mind exactly what resin figures I will be buying to place around these items on the shelf. I've seen some very colorful owls which are a possibility. I've seen some small resin birds with a channel under them that appears to clip down onto a flower pot edge. Those I saw at Dollar General. I still want to look at Family Dollar, Big Lots and Dollar Tree before I make up my mind.

Big Lots has some really cute fairy garden motifs that I saw in their weekly ad. Not sure how they look actually which is why I need to go there.DG and Family Dollar have the frogs and other garden motifs which also would work with the fairy motif pieces from Big Lots. With the careful purchase of a few dollar store items I can have a really interesting indoor garden idea happening on the shelf. 

I also need to check the craft stores for something to put in the pots. I don't think I want flowers, I'm hoping to find artificial greenery, maybe faux succulents for that. The pots are colorful enough without the addition of flowers. I'd have something that was too busy if I placed flowers in them.

So, I stopped to smell the roses and then I sowed pansies and reaped smiles. While doing these pieces I also found that the winter that returned this week after some really gorgeous spring days didn't give me a case of the winter blues. I need to remember when something bothers me that I can control the dreary with a paintbrush, a surface to work on and my own creativity. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Creative Work In Progress Part 2

With the exception of the sealant on the pot, I have the rose motif on moss/cashew pot completed. 

I didn't start work on the second pot yesterday because I couldn't decide whether I wanted hydrangeas or pansies. This morning I decided on pansies so as soon as it's light enough, I'm heading in to complete that pot. 

The rose motif is painted on both sides of the pot but the sentence "Stop and smell the roses." is only on one side. I may add it to the other side today or I might not. It would be on both sides if I planned on selling it and because the shelf it will go on when finished makes the front and back of the pot visible all the time, I probably will add it to the opposite side of the pot as well.

I did the lettering with a Sharpie fine point pen. I'm finding it easier to work with than trying to brush the lettering onto the pot. I do think I'll see about paint pens or at least medium point Sharpies. Some of the brush control is returning, but not enough to letter pieces I plan on selling. 

Yesterday after I finished the pot I sat in the living room with my husband and watched a little TV before getting supper. I had Butterscotch on my lap, he had Precious on his. At one point I looked over at him and he was scratching behind the kitty's ear and smiling. I don't remember a bit of what was said on TV, but the feeling of peace I experienced while watching him is with me still. 

Looking at the picture I see I could stand to straighten up the line between the two colors I used to base the pot. Somehow it just doesn't seem all that important to me. Nothing in life needs to be perfect, it just needs

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Creative Works In Progress

I don't converse much with other people who do artwork except for my friend Jeannie who does florals. I usually have a number of projects in various stages of progress because it makes sense to me to use the paint when I have it out.

If I'm using tube acrylics I'm mixing colors and tend to wind up with a fairly decent supply of whatever I've mixed and unless I'm going to use it on something else it gets discarded. If I'm using bottled or chalk paint from a jar, it's open which allows air to dry it out so why not use as much of it as I can before the air dries it out beyond the point of use? Even if I reseal the bottle, the air has already begun it's work.

What I do is grab whatever surfaces I think I have enough paint for and base them up.

The finished tin sign is still here because I finally realized I strung the jute backwards. The framed tin piece that was based with moss green is waiting for me to decide how I want to treat the framing. The wooden piece is waiting for it's frame treatment as well. 

I think the framed tin will be given a metallic finish, maybe copper or I might try a faux copper verdigris. I'm thinking gold leaf on the wood piece or metallic gold paint. Actually, I may just antique the whole piece as is and paint a wolf or something on it. Walking on the wild side these days.

The glass ivy bowls will receive roses and either hydrangeas or pansies. That will depend on what colors of the enamel paints I have that are workable. The glass bowl will be a reverse paint watermelon. reverse paint means I start by painting the seeds and the white rind section on the outside of the piece and then paint the outside of the bowl green with the watermelon striping on top of that. Once done looking inside the bowl will show whoever is looking the watermelon slice complete with seeds and rind. Doing something that way also allows the items to be used. 

If I don't have what I need, I can make a trip to Walmart to pick out some different colors. The paints I use on glassware are durable because they're baked in a 350 degree oven once their dry. 

I normally paint seasonal items for holidays and while I will continue to do that for Christmas items, my main focus will be on creating handpainted gifts that aren't always seasonal. Maybe things like glasses, coffee mugs and vases with silk flowers added that are originally glass jars we get with jellies, salsa, peanut butter, etc. 

This will all happen after I get the 3 pieces I want to do for myself done. 

Clay pots for the shelf between the kitchen and living room. I decided on 2 pots and 1 birdhouse. The completely based pot is Moss and Cashew. The one I'm working on is Celery and the upper band will be Ivory. The birdhouse is a 6 sided roundish shape so I'll use the Cashew/Ivory colors on the body of the piece and the 2 greens on the roof. 

I originally planned on doing 3 pots and 2 birdhouses but I got to thinking about all the cute little fairy garden motif items available at the Dollar Stores. Some of the bigger items would add whimsey if mixed in with the pots and the birdhouse. I decide to go that route. 

All this creativity will keep me off the internet where some of my web pals have gone off the deep end with their politics. Misplaced anger and truly unreasonable attitudes makes conversation about anything meaningful totally impossible. When someone I've conversed with for 11 years tells me I'm stupid for not believing in Conservative values when I've witnessed first hand those values deprive our nation's veterans, senior citizens and low income children of some of the help they desperately need, it's time to minimize contact with those who have that attitude. Painting is much more fun.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait?

I found myself in need of a new vacuum cleaner. My old one was used by someone to vacuum up construction debris. It wouldn't have been much of a problem had they emptied the cup instead of allowing so much to be sucked up that it totally clogged the filters and then they kept trying to use it. It was a 12 year old cheap Bissell upright and it now no longer functions. It was left sitting next to a wet/dry canister vac that was designed to do the job the Bissell was forced to do, but it was missing the wands. Those non flexible pipes of plastic that allow one to stand upright when using a vacuum cleaner seem to be easy to misplace. At least for a man they seem to be.

During the time I waited for the perpetrator of the crime to take the Bissell apart and clean all of the debris out of everything, I read a Consumer Report on vacuum cleaners. The vacuum cleaner that was rated #1 was one of the Dyson Ball models that will set one back by $500 or so. I admit, after reading how efficient it is at cleaning all manners of flooring I was yearning. Then I read about the #2 rated vacuum. That one fits the pocketbook amount without robbing anyone to pay anyone else.

I looked at Walmart and they didn't have the exact model I wanted. Neither did Target. I've been around the block a time or more and have learned that a ranking on 1 model manufactured by a company does not apply to all models manufactured by a company, so I came home and went online. Not only did Walmart have it online, it also was on sale and instead of free shipping to store, I qualified for free 2 day shipping to home. On Wednesday the information was it would be delivered today. Do I really believe that?

When I ordered it, I received a confirmation of my order that stated they were processing the order and I would receive an email when it shipped. The confirmation did say the delivery date was 2-24-17. I haven't received the shipment email yet. As far as I understand the shipping date is 2 days after you receive that email, not 2 days after you place the order. Since I haven't received the email, I'll probably not get the cleaner until sometime next week,

I only have carpet in 2 rooms which are not heavily trafficked. They can wait and I can continue to use broom and dust mop on the other floors. The reason I bought this particular vacuum was because it was rated highly on bare floors and when the hose attachments were used. I have 2 cats with fur that sheds. Using a lint brush to remove the fur from furniture doesn't work so well. The Bissell didn't work too well either. If this one does, once I get it, I won't have to work as hard to keep the cat hairs off my visitors. That strikes me as being a good thing. I just wish I really could have it today.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Yes! I'm Really, Really Home.

I am not one to remember dreams. I can be rudely woken by a nightmare and not be able to tell you what transpired that caused me to scream out in fear. Once awake I'm hard pressed to remember any part of any dream no matter how pleasant or how terrifying. I've always resented that, but have decided after this particular dream that my inability to remember dreams occurred because I've never had such a wildly memorable one before.

At first I thought that this dream wasn't just one dream. I had pretty well convinced myself of that until I remembered that in all parts that I remember there was a connection to something that came before it. It's so wild and unreal an experience I'm not sure I can share it in any way that won't cause my readers to experience mass confusion.

It starts out with my husband and myself living in a home we've inherited from someone we don't know. He wants to sell our home and move into this inherited house and I want to sell the inherited house and live in our home. The house is beautiful and logically would bring more money in the market than our home would. He finally agrees with me and we begin the process of inviting a realtor to estimate the value and help us decide if staging would help us sell quickly. When the realtor shows up the fantasy begins.

When I looked out the window to see who has parked the car the house is in one neighborhood. When we open the door to let him in, we have moved, house and all to a different neighborhood. While we are doing the walk through so he can see what there is to sell, I'm slightly ahead of him and I can see the wall to wall carpet in each room expanding into a hump, ripping open and spewing furniture out of the opening which arranges itself in each room. They don't see the carpet hump split they just see the furniture in it's proper place. Strangely I don't find this phenomenon at all disconcerting. Seems normal to me until as he leaves, one of those humps split and spews a pack of dogs.

The dogs all want to be let out and when I open the door, we're again in a new neighborhood which is actually an old one of mine. I lived in a mobile home park decades ago that closed. This house is now situated on the spot where my old home sat. In the dream, the owner of the old park had decided to invest money into making it a double wide community which was now how the house looked on the outside. Everything inside was exactly the same. Although it looked now like a double wide on the outside there were stairs that took you to the second story rooms that existed in the house when it first appeared in my dream.

One of the dogs that came from the hole in the carpet hump was injured and in need of veterinary care. I decided to take him to the emergency vet in the next town, 10 miles away. At the house, there was a vehicle in the driveway but for some reason I didn't load it up and drive off. I loaded the dog into my yard wagon and proceeded to start walking to the vet. At this point my husband is no longer around and I don't know what happened to him nor does it bother me.

The journey to this vet takes me past a former friends home and when she sees me walking with the wagon she volunteers to drive me and this dog to the vet. This is where the trouble starts. She tells me we have to make a stop on the way that won't take a minute except the stop is back to the last neighborhood where I left the house only the house was gone.

We are at a party in a different house in the place where the house I flew to that neighborhood had sat when I was in it last. Somehow my former friend and I become separated and she simply leaves without me. While I'm trying to locate her in this party so we can take the dog to the vet, someone steals the yard wagon and the dog and I get locked out in the rain. I find a shopping cart, put the dog in that, start pushing the cart which morphs into a golf cart which flies us to the vet and as the door of the vet clinic opens I wake up.

No matter what happened in this dream, no matter how far fetched it was, the only constant emotion I experienced was a desire to go home. I woke up at home with a big smile on my face. First because I was home and secondly because apparently my subconscious conjured up a home that disappeared and reappeared as if by magic. Isn't imagination wonderful?  If there is a third reason for the smile on my face it is because no matter how bad my dream experiences got, I simply went about taking care of things in whatever way I could. I simply accepted what happened and kept on moving forward, because sooner or later forward would take me home. And it did, and here I am. Happy to be home.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Problem With Winter Is..

That it's both beautiful and terrible at the same time.

This is the time of the year for me where the beauty of flowers and gorgeous blue skies are found only in pictures or kept as decorative accents inside our homes. For months at a time, Mother Nature rests in a deep frozen slumber designed to refresh herself to meet the demands of Spring and rising sap.

For humans, the winter is a long dark time of cold and depths of snow cover that must be dealt with before we can leave our homes to face a treacherous commute on icy roads to travel to our destinations. For some of us it's a time of anxiety, sadness and depression. For those true lovers of nature in any condition there is skiing, ice skating and snowmobiling.

In between are those like myself. People who no longer need to engage in the rat race and can take the time to contemplate what happens outside our windows. For those of us who are not driven to escape ourselves and our thoughts, no matter how dark, the view outside our windows is not bleak. I suspect that ability stems from our sense of superiority over those who do not have the choices we do.

I can choose to pay attention to the weather forecast and plan accordingly. I don't need to rush out at the last minute to stock up on necessities in case the storm comes. I can plan my outings to take place on the days when the temperatures will be a little warmer and the roads traveled well enough to be bare. If I have an appointment scheduled on a day when the weather will make travel less enjoyable, I can pick up a phone and postpone the appointment.

I can choose to spend a stormy day cleaning house in my pajamas, or wearing sweats and sitting in the easy chair to read. I can sit at my kitchen table and admire the diamond like glitter of a light snowfall on a somewhat sunny winter day. Sadly I don't have the camera equipment or the knowledge to capture that phenomenon digitally. However, I do have knowledge enough to capture the beauty of Winter during a heavy, wet snowfall.

By the time it stopped yesterday my backyard had 10 more inches of snow on the ground. 

I may not be someone who throws themselves into the great outdoors and embraces Winter activities with gusto. I'm content to stay inside where it's warm and toast Mother Nature's efforts with a hot cup of coffee, chocolate or tea. Unfortunately for me, it's also a time when I lose the battle with weight gain. 

I was hoping to have a need for a new wardrobe in April. I've admitted to myself that I'm not quite going to make it and have decided to get by with what I have until Fall. I'm also going to work on losing more than 2 pounds a month once I have the 5 pounds I've regained off. That shouldn't be too hard once I quit contemplating Winter out my windows and get back to moving to the beat of my favorite music. Now I need to go find my "Boogie Shoes". 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Basic Common Sense, Where Are You Hiding?

There are members of my husband's family that qualify for the category known as "Special Kind Of Stupid". It's embarrassing. If they'd spend 6 seconds thinking something through, they'd see the problem with what they repost and what they say about it.

For instance. This morning oldest DIL posted a question about states being allowed to teach English only in schools. To this post she added the words "English only". So. Tell me. How many English speaking families have sent their children to school and had them come home speaking a language other than English? What part of English speaking children can't learn from a teacher who only teaches in Swahili or some other foreign language escapes them? Obviously if the kid is leaning anything at all it's being taught in English, so why is this English Only an issue?

Illegal immigrants from Latin America are sending their children to American Schools and guess what? They are going home speaking English. Are they learning this from teachers not teaching in English? It's a miracle, right?

We have a First Lady born in Slovenia who comes to the US with the ability to speak 5 languages fluently. Can someone explain to me why our kids can't have the same level and quality of education as that? Oh no, we have to dumb down what is being taught so our kids don't have a chance at competing in a global economy. Good paying jobs are just so plentiful here that our kids don't need that kind of education?

Exactly what language do people think these people from India, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam and other countries where our tech corporations recruit employees, are speaking when they come here? To the best of my knowledge, Microsoft and Hewlett Packard don't bring them here and pay them a salary to learn to speak English. They learn that in the schools they attend in their home countries.

Out of 40 countries the US ranks 17th in educational performance. We're also 24th of 60 countries when it comes to literacy. With what remains of my basic common sense I'd call that embarrassing rather than exceptional.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Giving Myself A C But The Experiment Tasted Good

I never did get to a store to buy a candy thermometer. On Thursday I twisted my knee and wasn't able to walk any distance without hanging on to things so I didn't leave the house. I did find my knee brace Friday morning and it helped but was still too painful to walk on for any distance. I decided that since I am capable of baking bread without one I should be able to heat milk to the correct temperature for Paczkis without one. I am not convinced I was wrong, but I'm also not convinced I was right.

The recipe called for Rapid Rise which has a hotter proof, or activate temperature than regular yeast does. Regular yeast is 110 while rapid rise is 120 to 130. Once I got everything mixed in I found I had to use a lot more flour to stop the dough from being sticky. The recipe called for 1.5 cups and a quarter cup for the kneading process. Also, kneading was only supposed to be 50 turns. I found I had to keep adding flour and that resulted in more than 50 turns.  The additional kneading created a final product that had more of a bread consistency than a raised donut consistency.

I am wondering if the size of the egg yolks used might have contributed to the sticky dough? There was no specification as to size but I used jumbo eggs which have quite a bit larger yolks. I'm wondering if that might have contributed more liquid to the recipe than should have been there?

My filling technique needs some practice. Some of the donuts were so stuffed the filling leaked out and others had barely enough in them to taste. I need a longer, slightly narrower tip than the one I have. Also, I got a dozen of them from the recipe but feel I need to cut them slightly larger than I did.

Once I get a candy thermometer I'm going to use the recipe to make cinnamon rolls with. I'm going to use the electric mixer for the first stage of the wet/dry ingredient incorporation which I didn't use when I made the Paczkis. I'm going to use 1 egg yolk instead of 2 to see if that keeps the knead turns to the stated 50.

I probably shouldn't be baking and eating the results but it does me no good to give up everything I love to eat healthy. Setting aside one day a week to eat the things I love isn't a bad thing if I expend the energy to make it. When I got done yesterday I found I had flour and powdered sugar to clean up as well as extra dishes to do and the kitchen floor to mop. It was fun and I was happy so maybe the experiment should earn a C+? For the next baking experiment I'll have to remember to get pictures. Maybe even at different stages in the process if I don't have sticky dough all over my hands. We'll see.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Paczki Experiment

One of the best memories from my childhood was weekends at Granny's and the jelly donuts. We always went grocery shopping on Saturday mornings and if I'd been a particularly good little brat and helped Granny with the dusting and vacuuming my reward would be jelly donuts. Nothing like contributing to the obesity of a minor child, is there?

Anyways these weekends at Granny's pretty much stopped when my parents divorced and Grandpa got sick. No more early Saturday morning shopping trips to stores with the bakeries that made them. By the time I was making my own babysitting money and could get down to the Mohegan Market to purchase one, it would be after noon on Saturday and they would be all sold out.

The Dan Dee Donuts came to town with their 50 different varieties of donuts. Except they didn't make the jelly ones with the same dark red almost purple jelly.  They had strawberry, raspberry in bright red that really didn't have the consistency of jelly. It was more like a really thick glaze type substance. With the other flavors like lemon or pineapple they frosted the top of the donut and there went the powdered sugar mess. Not at all what I was used to, even though I can't tell you what the jelly inside was, the ones Granny bought were better.

After Dan Dee donuts, there was Dunkin donuts and they still didn't make the jelly donut the way I remembered. Also used the bright red slime inside. Then an independent young man from Greece started a regional coffee/donut shop that he called Dippin Donuts. He uses the right jam inside which he tells me is Black Raspberry. The problem is that if you can't be there before 8 am they're sold out, and they're expensive. Also, deep fried. Yeah, not the healthiest choice.

I was giving the wife of the independent Greek a hard time (she's a friend, she expects it) over the lack of jelly donuts at 8:15 am Sunday morning when a nice little Polish lady behind me said I should learn to make Paczkis. I just laughed and said if I did that, I wouldn't have the fun of picking on the wife of the independent Greek. It took until Tuesday for the idea to take hold in my head.

On Tuesday I asked the Google for Paczki recipes and found that I don't have to deep fry them, I can bake them in the oven. I had most of the ingredients on hand, just needed to buy yeast and I did need the icing bag and long tip to fill them with. I don't think I have the right tip. It looks rather big, but it is longer than the others I saw available. If I plan on making them again I'll go to Michaels or Hobby Lobby and see if there is a different tip of this length, assuming this one doesn't work as well, of course.

Friday I am going to have to pick up a candy thermometer to check the temp of the milk used so the yeast won't be killed or retarded by too hot or cool milk. I've never had a use for one since I learned to cook before recipes relied on them. The only candy I make is fudge and soft ball stage is the way I learned to check the progress. Unfortunately for me, the Paczki recipe wouldn't work if I tried a soft ball test for the milk.

The kitchen here is a dream to work in. If it wasn't I probably wouldn't even try this. In my old kitchen I would have had to take everything off the countertop and also use the table for part of the process. Here I have enough room to mix and knead, enough room to cool them down and have all of them together when it's time to sugar and fill them. Plus, even if it's a lot of sugar to be consuming, they aren't deep fried and that makes them healthier than bakery made jelly donuts. The best part is I get to have them my way.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

New Neighbors And A Happy Day

I was in my craft room looking at reference books trying to decide what I wanted to paint. Precious Kitty was sitting in the window and all of a sudden he went ballistic. I looked out to see what he was looking at and there was a black and white cat out there. I closed the door when I left the room in case Precious decided to run when I opened the outside door and went out to see what was up. While observing the little thing through the window I had a glimpse of a collar that appeared to have something written on it and was hoping it would help me locate it's human.

It took me forever to find my small blanket and get my boots and coat on but when I quietly opened the door kitty was still sitting there crying. I really wasn't sure what to do at that point since most cats will run when approached by a stranger but this one was too cold, too hungry to do anything except cry.

I didn't look to see what gender she was but the collar was pink so I'm making an assumption the poor thing was a she. I brought her into the house, took her into Hubby's office and got out the carrier to house her in once I examined her collar. I found a phone number and no other info on the collar. She went into the carrier with the blanket and I called the number and told the voicemail who I was and why I was calling.

I was afraid she was an abandoned kitty whose human hadn't thought to remove her collar and I was in the process of fretting about what I was going to do if that was the case, when the phone rang. It seems that kitty and her companion had recently moved into a home down the road from me. He had her in the bathroom while the movers were bringing in the furniture and his grandchild opened the bathroom door and kitty ran. Poor thing has been out there for a week and it's been cold and snowing every day. No wonder she was so exhausted.

They're a nice couple in their late 50s. Their daughter bought their bigger home from them and they bought this smaller home since there's just the 2 of them and they're getting near retirement age. They were heartbroken by the loss of their cat. That took the shine off the new home experience but now that kitty has come home they're looking forward to many happy years together here.

She was sleeping when he found my voicemail so she didn't know her kitty had been found. I've had 2 calls from her since her husband went home. She just keeps telling me how wonderful I am and asking how they can reward me. My reward was in finding the kitty had a home and was wanted. I'm just grateful I was in my craft room instead of on the computer or I would never have seen Precious get agitated and wouldn't have known that poor cat was out there.

Seems to me that Precious was the wonderful one here. I'm thinking I should quit looking for inspiration in a book and just paint him. We'll see how that works out this week.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Going Shopping In Pajamas

Today while puttering around the house I kept thinking of so many things I could write about. Now that I have the time, I can't think of what I wanted to say. There is this though.

Last week I ordered some surfaces to paint on from Michaels. I decided I needed something new and different and found them at Michaels online. I thought about driving over to the store in New Hartford and then realized the surfaces I chose were not available in the stores. So, I did my first of what may be many online art supply orders. I cross checked the prices between Michaels and Hobby Lobby and discovered Michaels was cheaper and since I would have spent the amount needed to get free shipping had I driven to the store, I placed the order. Got half of it yesterday the rest today.

Since these pieces are to be painted for sale, I should have written down the price per piece so I know what to charge once I'm ready to sell whatever I paint. Then I realized I have the billing info in my email inbox. I also now have close to 25 surfaces so I'm all set for awhile. The only thing I can see myself needing now will be paints in a couple of months.

When I'm ready, I won't be driving to either Michaels or Hobby Lobby and I actually won't be ordering paints from them either. After finding out I do artwork and will order online, a Facebook friend sent me the link to Dick Blick. They have all the paints I use as do the other 2 places however, they have a wider variety of colors and they are the same price. Plus their minimum order size to earn free shipping is less. That part really doesn't matter so much because I can't go into an arts and craft store without dropping $50.

In my case any savings realized from online shopping would be saving the price of gas and avoiding the time it takes to get to New Hartford, shop around and then drive home. I like shopping for art supplies with my friend Jeannie but she's moving to N. Carolina in a few months so I'd have to make the trip alone, which I can do but why?. This way I can order online and the items will be delivered to my door. I can stay home and be a shopping in my PJs kind of hermit.

Something I said to another friend who then proceeded to tell me that it's very important at my age to engage in social activity with others. So I'll tear myself away from my paints and invite someone to dinner now and again, like my Husband for instance. I don't need to get all dressed up and drive 40 miles round trip to buy things I can buy from the comfort of my home. Since I don't live by myself in social isolation, I doubt my health will be affected by my desire not to drive around on snow and ice if I can avoid it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

When You Think You Can't Breathe, Just Breathe

I'm not one who remembers dreams. Once my eyes are open and feet are on the floor whatever transpired while I was asleep is gone. I might have a single moment remembrance of a person, a color, a thing that might have played a part in the dream but without context, it has no meaning.

Last night a dream provided a noise that woke me up. It was a metallic rumbling type of sound that has no context but it began the process of an anxiety attack. It might not have if I could have convinced myself that I could breathe. Unfortunately the interior of my nasal passages were raw and swollen, incapable of scooping up the volume of oxygen needed by my lungs. Whatever mucous discharge had occurred prior to the noise, had dripped into my throat and apparently grew velcro which allowed it to ball up and stick in one place. In addition to the discomfort of nose and throat, my upper lip felt swollen. I couldn't convince myself that I wasn't drowning, and then I fully woke up.

I got up to walk around and get a grip on myself before the heart pounding started. Had to stop in the bathroom and as I was exiting, the familiar whoosh, whoosh began in my ear. Something drew me to the kitchen and a glass of water which stopped the noise in my ears. Which usually means the rest of it is about to close in on me. So, I sat at the kitchen table with my nose that still wouldn't allow me to breathe and suddenly realized my problem might be dehydration. I drank water and finally went back to bed and slept for a couple more hours. Still, couldn't breathe through my nose, but the lump of whatever in my throat had disappeared.

I haven't been drinking as much water as I need to because we have hard water full of minerals and enough lime to collect in the bottom of the glass. I have been sipping on it all day because I'd prefer not to have another middle of the night problem like last night. I have my other issues under control well enough that the regular panic attacks have stopped. I haven't had one in a year and since they are no longer a regular event, I don't handle them as well as I used to. So I forced myself into sipping what amounts to mineral water all day long.

The swelling in my nose and upper lip has subsided. It still feels raw breathing through it but I can breathe. Everything still feels dry but not painfully so. Dry winter air, forced air heat and no hydration to speak of will take a bit to correct. I will need to buy bottled water when I go shopping this week or some kind of filter system. We will need a whole house system eventually since the amount of lime in the water will use up the filters pretty quickly in a Brita or Pur system. I'm also going to need some Lime Away for the coffee maker. It's starting to drip too slow.

Tonight I'm going to open the window a bit to let in the fresh air even though it's cold fresh air. I need to take the stress off of my sinuses created by dealing with dry, heated indoor air. And not enough drinking of water.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Waiting For The Paint To Dry

Back in the day when I was doing craft shows I was painting regularly If I was at home and my work was done I had a brush in my hand and would work until bedtime on whatever piece I was creating. When my Mom got sick, I stopped doing craft shows or selling my pieces anywhere because the dreaded call could happen anytime. There wasn't any way she could reach me if I was in the middle of a show and she was so sick, recovery wasn't guaranteed. I wanted to be reachable, in case.

After she died, I lost interest in painting and selling for a good number of years. I painted a few pieces every year, usually for gifts. Last year I lucked into an opportunity to sell from a store and the owner isn't demanding that I keep much of an inventory there which works fine for the enjoyment and stress reduction factor. However, not doing paintings all the time for 12 years and being older, I'm finding that I need some practice with techniques that used to come easily.  Like brush lettering.

I know it doesn't look that bad but the tail on the word Live makes the word look like Liver. On all the words the letter L is supposed to be larger allowing the second letters to be placed closer and above the bottom tail. During the lettering process I also managed to set a portion of my arm down onto the piece and the bottom daisy wasn't dry. 

The absolute best thing about paint is it's very forgiving. When you screw up, you just clean it off and start again. The need to do that used to annoy me but I finally figured out that it was because of the pressure to have enough for the next craft show. Something that I loved doing became a job. It might have been a job I enjoyed, but jobs have deadlines and deadlines can be stressful. So can the shoppers at a show.

Now that it's not a job and I don't have a deadline, I can relax and enjoy the process without stressing myself out, even with mistakes, it's fun again.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Better Things To Do

People amaze me and not always in a good way. Someone that I blogged with in the now defunct Blogstream has been exercising his freedom of speech by calling all women who disagree with his support of Trump, things like old hag, bitch and the C word. My only comment to him after 2 days of seeing his behavior was that if supporting Trump meant using the kind of language, I'd pass. I spent the rest of that day deciding that I might need to unfriend him for the sake of my own sanity. Went to Facebook the next morning to do so and found that he'd taken care of the problem for me. This after his spending weeks complaining that people were unfriending him for his politics. Umm, no. Sorry Bryon, it's because of the hate you're spewing in the name of your politics.

Many of my Facebook friends voted for Trump.. Oddly only 3 or 4 have had anything to say about their choice. Those who decided that they wanted a solid Conservative SCOTUS said that was why they voted for him and they didn't celebrate that win because, as Christians, the need to vote for him didn't make them happy. Supporters who keep spewing their anger at those of us who don't support this president seem to have had the wall, the ban on muslim immigrants, abortion or the defeat of the PC people as the reason behind their votes. Those of us who don't fall into lockstep with that particular block of Trumpeters are on the receiving end of their schadenfreude and it's vitriolic expression.

I'm not being bothered by any of them since I don't feel that arguing online is going to solve any problems. Therefore I am not making a target out of myself since my only contribution to the fight is to post articles I know to be closer to the truth than some things one can find online. I also have this little quirk in my personality. I feel that if someone isn't paying my bills, they aren't entitled to an explanation of my beliefs. I say what I think and I have no need to defend that. I'm entitled to that, according to the Constitution. I have a very dim view of people who want what they want at the expense of those less fortunate than they are. I just stay away from them as much as possible and have chosen to leave their fate on Judgement Day in the hands of a higher power than I am. I have my opinions, but, in the end, do they really matter to anyone but me? I don't think so.

Anyway, because of all the turmoil, I am spending much of my time where I can enjoy my life. That place is in the comfort of my castle with the laptop shut off. I might be cooking, cleaning, sitting in my recliner with the cat on my lap and a book in my hand. I might be out shopping or running errands. I might even be doing some painting. That was what I did yesterday. Today I will sign the piece as I have looked and in my mind it is finished the way it is. In another day I will start the sealing process and grab another surface to see what my mind decides needs to be painted onto it. There's a spark of something running around what remains of my brain, we'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, this is what I did yesterday. I think he's flirting with you.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Spending The Day Doing Something For Me

I may not have had much to say so instead of talking I started doing. There is a room, a small one, maybe 7' x 10' that I had decided would be my crafting room. I've never had one before, just a table tucked into the corner of my bedroom which made things a little crowded but I dealt with that. The room as also where we chose to put the freezer but other than that, the room is for me to paint in.

This morning I realized the table was too close to the window and that the cabinet covered a feature on the wall that I was fond of and didn't want covered up, so I rearranged them. Then I saw that the chair I was going to use would not have much room to move in without bumping into the freezer so I moved the freezer closer to the outside wall. Once I did that, I started unpacking boxes and filling the shelves.

Books, blanks, baskets of brushes, daubers, palette knives, palettes, sponges, rollers and just about any tool you can think of. And the paint and finishes of course. I have a lot of stuff and it's now all organized and I'm happy. After the boxes were emptied it was just a matter of cleaning and taking another picture.

A whole room just for my crafts and it's big enough for me to keep things clean and neat. Now all I have to do is decide what I want to create. 

Coffee, Love And Peanuts

I had nothing to say yesterday. I'm not sure I have anything to say today either. 

It's going to be a long 4 years. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Life In My Neck Of The Woods

My husband has a sense of humor and so does his oldest daughter-in-law. She asked him what he wanted for Christmas and he told her he wanted a 6 foot tall blonde back scratcher. She came close. Barbie is probably his favorite gift. He keeps her propped in the chair there. I have to move her or the cat when I want to sit in the living room when he's stretched out on the couch. I always feel bad when I move the cat, not so much when moving Barbie.

I had taken some pictures of the neighborhood a couple of weekends after we moved in.

I was taking this picture and something started moving in my field of vision. It was a weird sensation because I couldn't really see anything except movement. So, I zoomed in to see if there was anything there that could move or was I hallucinating.

One of the few remaining Fall days they could be let out of the barn after milking. We had the first snow storm just 2 days after I took those pictures.

It hung around until Christmas which gave us the first truly white one in a couple of years. It made shopping so much more fun except for the crazy drivers trying to kill me. I don't go fast enough for them. One of them was trying to force me to move faster by tailgating me. I started ignoring him and when I finally looked in my rearview mirror, he was on the other side of the road trying to turn his car around. Odd how he stayed off my bumper after that. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Birdhouses, Flowers, Paints and Preserving My Sanity

Last week while shopping in Walmart I was in crafts and saw 2 wooden birdhouses in the paint section. I didn't pay much attention because I was looking for unique containers that could be used for artificial floral arrangements. Didn't find anything worth spending money on. Mostly glass bowls and vases. I have those.

On Sunday while arranging the nursery rocker in the living room, something caused those birdhouses to pop back into my mind. They would be the right size for that shelf. My first thought was to paint them and glue flowers to the roof and that would be alright, but wouldn't give me a change in height I need on the shelf. All of a sudden it dawned on me. Pots! Terra cotta pots.

Like this:

I painted the last one many moons ago and sold it for $12. The other 2 I found on Google, painted by someone else. 

I can take them to my BFF for the addition of a floral arrangement which will give me the height. I won't have spent a lot of money. If I do 3 pots and 2 birdhouses on the 7 foot shelf it should give me color without going overboard. I expect to spend $20 for the pots and birdhouses. I have the paints and then there will be the expense of the flowers for at least 2 of them. I'm thinking I'll leave 1 pot empty. 

So, this means I need to get my craft room rearranged and ready to go this week because my BFF will be moving to N. Carolina later this year. Painting will give me something to concentrate on and hopefully help me to ignore the political goings on. I'll stay saner that way.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Solving Problems One At A Time

I am the proud possessor of an antique nursery rocker. It was made, according to my grandmother, by her maternal Uncle Jake. He made it for his sister to use while feeding my grandmother who was born in 1898. There isn't a single bit of metal in it anywhere. The legs connect by insertion into the seat as does the back and arms.

The joints after all this time are solid, the wood is in good condition, the finish is not so nice these days. It's not really worth a lot of money since it wasn't created by a popular wood worker of the time. It is a connection between myself and those who came before me. My Mom had it and once she passed away I acquired it but kept it in storage for 10 years since I didn't think it would survive the woodstove heat. I am tempted to sand it down and either stain it or repaint it, but I have no place to work on it right now. I gave it a bath with Murphy's Oil Soap and took off all the dirt I could get. 

I am happy that I now have the space, and no woodstove to overheat and loosen the joints. It can now become part of my daily life in the living room where it should have been for the past decade. It gives me more seating than just the couch and recliner. Not necessarily comfortable seating since it was built for someone who was much shorter and smaller than we are today. I weigh 180 now and I fit in it without a creak or groan. I don't sit in it for too long since my legs do come in contact with the arm braces. After awhile I feel the pressure and it does become uncomfortable. The wood is hard.

I decided that I needed more color and then remembered that I had purchased a fleece throw as a planned Christmas gift. I had changed my mind and stored the throw away for a future purchase. You can see part of it in the picture sitting on the recliner.

If I remember correctly, I spent $8 on it at Dollar General. It provides the perfect color pop on that side of the living room.

After looking at this picture, I need to add a window scarf to the windows. I love the lace curtains but they need a little help in here. They can wait because I still have that 7 foot shelf to think about. Although after solving the problem of the antique rocking chair, my mind has moved to birdhouses and flowers. Endless possibilities there.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

And The Beat Goes On

First orders of the inauguration day were to remove the LGBT rights page and the Climate Change page from the Whitehouse website Also a suspension of the small deduction in the costs of FHA mortgage insurance for first time homebuyers. According to incoming Press Secretary Spicer, the Donald only signed 3 innocuous Executive Orders. So, liar-in-chief is still liar-in-chief and transparency is kaput. Since liberalism no longer has a real voice in government, I'm going to remind the Alt-Right of that whenever they start whining about how hard life is getting. Even my Conservative daughter-in-law woke up. She posted in Facebook the Dow and Nasdaq results. The price of gas and the unemployment figures so that she could go to her Memories Page to see just how great America becomes.

We want all the things, even when we don't have the ability to afford them. The last time my husband and I went out to eat was on a birthday of mine. It was so long ago, I don't remember what birthday.. On the other hand my husband's children go out to eat every week and they complain they haven't enough money for other things. Youngest and wife go to the movies every week as well. How long ago was it since I went? Well, the movie I saw was "Platoon". Now we watch them at home. Cheaper that way.

When I worked I saw a lot of people living in the Senior buildings who used to run to the corner convenience store as soon as their checks came in and they'd drop $20 plus dollars on Lottery tickets. After not making back the money, they'd take themselves out to the closest fast food place for a lunch. After that they'd head to the smoke shop to buy a bag or 2 of tobacco and a box or 2 of tubes to roll their own cigarettes.  Next day they'd order a pizza for delivery that would cost them another $12 or $20 bucks depending on whether or not the order included wings. Within 4 days they would have spent $50 to $100 of their Social Security check. When food stamps came they'd spend all of it in one trip to the grocers and the last week of the month they'd be at the Food Pantry.  I always found it odd that they could slow down their smoking to last the full month but couldn't see that all the rest of the spending is why they were out of money and food a week to 10 days before the check came. Senior buildings and property are smoke free facilities here. The walk off the property a few times a day probably did some of them good.

I hear how hard it is and how different it is from when I was younger. They aren't kidding. When I was younger, my parents had a home of their own and only 1 car. We had a TV antenna on the roof and could only watch 4 TV channels. None of our entertainment cost a lot of money because it didn't happen every week. We didn't have cake, candy, cookies, ice cream or pie every day. They were treats. Without freezers to keep it in, ice cream was bought by the pint and consumed when we got home. Sometimes during the summer a trip to the ice cream parlor happened. Today's kids get these things almost daily and they live with the things it took years for their parents to gain. Somehow they think they can do all the treats, have all the things they're used to and still have everything else they want.

They aren't prepared for life. Somehow they think it's going to be perfect all the time and easy to have everything they want without muss, fuss or bother. I look at life like this. It's waking up in the morning to the most glorious sunrise you can imagine and then turning away from the window only to step in a puked up hairball with bare feet. Today's kids have to be anesthetized with whatever drug of choice they consume. When they feel the heat, they rage at everything and everyone else. They expect easy street all the time. That's just not the way it works. I wonder what would happen if parents actually taught that? I'm thinking we might find out since we have a new broom in the White House and I'm pretty sure things aren't going to change for the better. I'm just glad my parents taught me about life so I know I can get through whatever happens in one piece.