Category Archives: Life ‘n’ Stuff

Rules and Such

You know, sometimes it’s hard to tell whether a social media “rule” is actually a generally accepted social convention or merely the opinion of the author of a list of rules like this list of The 29 Rules of Social Media. Now, to start with, I have a rule for blogs and other websites that I wish everyone would follow and that is, DON’T have weird features on your website that make it difficult or confusing for first time visitors like, for example, like having the content not appear until you move your mouse to the right. What the F, dude? Seriously? Why?

But anyway, moving on. Some of the 29 rules are site specific so I’ll skip over the ones for sites I’ve never visited, and I’ll skip over some others because I simply don’t have anything to say about them. First, for all sites:

Share several times a day, but space out your posts every few hours. – I’m not good with scheduling. Well, I’m okay but I share when I have something to say or when I have a few minutes when I have nothing better to do. It’s social media, dude, not like a job.

Respond to all comments as quickly as you can. – I would like to respond quickly but sometimes I just don’t have anything to say and sometimes I don’t think of anything until hours or a day or two later.

Know the art of the hashtag. 1 hashtag is fine. 10 hashtags are not. – Agreed. I don’t use hashtags much anyway.

Always keep the 80/20 rule! Entertain and inform your audience first, sell to them second. – I hadn’t heard of the 80/20 rule. It depends on what I’m looking for. If I’m looking for entertainment I expect it to be 100% entertainment. If I’m looking for shoes or fabric or something it’s okay if you’re trying to sell it to me.

These are for Twitter:

Don’t automatically direct message people that follow you. – Shouldn’t that be “people who follow you”? Anyway. Not sure about this one. Seems like a good rule but I can see how this might seem polite to some people.

Don’t use all 140 characters. Give people room to retweet with a reply. – Ridiculous! Sometimes 140 characters is barely enough and you expect me to limit myself to even fewer?

I haven’t been on Twitter regularly for a long time. I like it, maybe better than Facebook, and keep thinking I want to get back on it but for some reason I just don’t.

For Facebook:

Don’t Like your own post. – Do people do that? Actually, I wouldn’t do it but I don’t see how it could hurt or inconvenience anyone. So someone’s post has 4 likes instead of 3, or 1 instead of none. Is this really a problem? Sure it says something about you if Like your own posts but other than that…

Don’t post or tag photos of fans, customers, or employees without permission. – Probably a good idea for legal reasons.

Don’t tag people or pages that aren’t relevant to your post. – Agreed. I haven’t experienced this myself though.

Don’t ask for Likes, Comments, or Shares. – OMG! YES! Please, please, please stop doing this! I get so freaking tired of the “Share if…” you love your mom, dad, kids, husband, wife, brother, sister, America, Jesus, or puppies images on Facebook. This is one of those things, though, that I was talking about that are probably opinions more than social conventions because almost everyone seems to think this is okay.

I’m not on LinkedIn or Instagram so I won’t comment on those. I signed up for Pinterest but I’ve never used it because there were no instructions or “getting started” guide or anything like that. Or at least not an adequate guide. I can’t remember exactly. Sure I could have figured it out but I hate being a newbie and not knowing how to do anything and having to figure it out as I go along. The rules? I’m not sure. I was interested in Pinterest mainly as a way of keeping track of things I see online that I want to be able to find again so I don’t have to keep bookmarking things and have an endless list of bookmarks which I will probably lose again because I always do eventually. But that was just my idea; I’m not sure how Pinterest really works and it’s kind of annoying to think that if I ever started using it I would have this social obligation to use it a certain way and follow certain rules when all I really want to do is keep track of stuff.

I’m on Google+ but I rarely use it. I think I might (not sure because I haven’t used it that much) like it better than Facebook if anyone I know was actually on it and actually used it but the few family and friends I have that use social media prefer Facebook so that’s where I go too.

Thanks.

This ‘n’ That

I really fraking hate upgrades! Yesterday I got a notice on my phone that an upgrade needed my approval. It was from AT&T so I figured it was something I needed to do and usually it’s no big deal; nothing changes that I notice. But this time it changed practically everything. Most annoyingly, how to mute the phone or put it on vibrate. Before, I simply held in the right button and a menu popped up that had the options, Power Off, Restart, Airplane Mode, Vibrate, and Mute. Now it just has Power off, Restart, Airplane mode, and Emergency Mode. What the hell is “Emergency Mode”? And where are the rest of the options? I know there must be some way to at least put the phone on vibrate but I have no idea how. Now my only option when I need for it to not make noise is to turn it off completely and that is not acceptable. I am going to look at the AT&T website and see if I can figure it out but this really pisses me off. It should be obvious, or at least easy to figure out own your own.

UPDATE: Okay, I got it. You have to use the volume button. Just turn down the volume down all the way, which makes sense but it’s more “work” and more annoying than the old way.

* * *

Did I already mention this? It’s still in my bookmarks. Wearing a Suit Changes the Way Your Brain Works. People who resist dressing up for anything need to know this. I don’t know… Maybe it wouldn’t make any difference to someone like that. Probably they would see it as another reason to not dress up. I mean, who wants to feel more confident and powerful, right? It’s not all good though. Wearing a suit supposedly also makes you less detail oriented, which would explain a lot about what goes on in the corporate world.

* * *

Did you know that there is an Eat What You Want Day? It was yesterday. I missed it but that’s okay. I pretty much ate what I wanted this past weekend. And the weekend before that. What I really need is a Stop Eating Everything in Sight You Crazy Fool Day. Oh. I guess that should be every day. Seriously, I did really good yesterday and I didn’t even feel especially hungry. I’m planning a really light-eating week and a hopefully not too crazy weekend.

* * *

I am really happy that we have been getting so much rain lately. We need it. But, at the same time, I’m really getting tired of it. It’s been raining almost every day and when it’s not raining it’s still unseasonably cool. Yesterday was sunny but it barely made it up to 70° F. Today is supposed to be the same and tomorrow the rain returns. I’m trying not to be too down about it because rain is good but I am very impatient for warmer weather.

* * *

Last week I found something for a “Thought for the Week” but then I forgot to post it yesterday like I intended so here it is:

“The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.” — B.B. King

Unfair

I hadn’t seen this Calvin and Hobbes strip before. (thanks*) It sort of makes you think… For most of us, life is “unfair in our favor” a lot of the time but we choose not to notice. We see life being unfair in our favor as merely our due, or just life being normal, or maybe even just “good luck”. We might even, if we’re feeling particularly humble, think, “I don’t deserve this,” when something good happens to us. But to think of it as “unfair”? Never.

If we could think of good things happening to us as life being “unfair in our favor” maybe it would help us put those other times when we think “life is not fair” in better perspective.

(*I get way behind on reading her blog. If I skip a day or two there’s always a ton of new stuff to read. Not complaining.)

This ‘n’ That

It’s a pretty typical April, I guess. It has been cool and raining almost every day and on the days when there’s no rain it’s still mostly cloudy. We have had a couple of warm, partly sunny days but I think those just make me more impatient for summer weather.

I haven’t planted anything yet. I did clean out the flower bed at the south side of the house but with all the rain I need to do it again. The dianthus are blooming and the first iris opened a couple of days ago. It’s a pure white one named Immortality. Funny, that’s the only one of my irises that I remember the name of. The dogwoods looked great this year but they’re almost done blooming. I have really been enjoying all the little spring wildflowers that grow everywhere.

I sort of want some of this but my attempts at starting ground covers haven’t gone well. Also, I don’t know exactly where I want it to grow. Thanks.

* * * * *

Television – Orphan Black (BBC America) is back! I love the weirdness of it and the amazing acting, and I think it’s one of the most technically brilliant shows ever made. We’re also watching Lost Girl. (SyFy) Number Two Son got us to watching that. Personally, I could take it or leave it but it’s okay. Star Talk, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new late night talk show started last night. I haven’t watched it yet; it’s on the DVR. Seems like there are some more good shows starting or returning soon but I can’t remember what.

* * * * *

Some more recipes I want to try:

Beer bread – I have made beer bread before but I want to try this recipe. And here’s another one, called the easiet ever. I don’t know about that. The one I used before had only three ingredients.

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

No-Bake Chocolate Oat Cookies – Great idea for when you need cookies in the summer and you don’t want to bake.

* * * * *

I have been doing a little sewing. If you’re interested you can read about it on my sewing blog.

Like Magic!

I made the ice cream we talked about here and it is amazing! The consistency is exactly like premium ice cream that you buy at the grocery store. And it’s so simple. Why did I not know about this before? I’m looking back at half a lifetime of missed opportunities. I could have made this with my kids, if only I had known.

I tried the Cinnamon Bun flavor first. I did make sort of a little mistake but it turned out wonderful anyway. I used the butter that I already had, which happened to be “lightly salted.” It didn’t ruin the ice cream but I could definitely taste a little saltiness, which is a taste you don’t normally expect in ice cream. I actually did like it but some people might not so this is a detail you might want to watch for when making it.

The recipe says “pour into a two quart container” but it only filled the two quart container about half full so this recipe actually only makes about a quart of ice cream. (Maybe I was too impatient and should whip the cream longer?) Of course that didn’t last long at all.

The store where I bought groceries only had quart size containers of heavy whipping cream so I had enough left to make more ice cream. For the second batch I used French vanilla cappuccino mix to flavor it. It’s good too but it leaves a coffee aftertaste that I, personally, find a little unpleasant.

I’m going to try to restrain myself and not make this too often. Ice cream, though we know it’s not really good for us, seems so wholesome and innocent, but making it yourself, with the heavy whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk, sort of hammers home the fact that it is really pretty fattening stuff. (Darn it) But I will make it again. (many times) I want to experiment and see what other interesting, not-available-in-stores, flavors I can come up with.

UPDATE:Here are those recipes again:
Cinnamon ice cream and more
Coffee Ice Cream

Miles to Go…

There is a little screen on the instrument panel of my new F150 that displays various kinds of helpful information that you can scroll through using a button on the steering wheel. Nifty, huh? One of my favorites is “Miles to Empty”. When I first saw this I was mildly excited about it. You see, I have really bad Quarter Tank Paranoia. If I am driving a vehicle and the gas gauge shows even a hair below a quarter of a tank of gas I cannot – CANNOT, you understand – continue without seeking out the nearest gas station and filling up. Never mind that I know at that point that it can go another 100 miles or even more; it’s down to a quarter tank so I must buy gas immediately.

Well, anyway… the F150 has the usual, traditional gas gauge – it’s rather small and hard to read; the space between the marks is not much more than the thickness of the indicator “needle” – but it also has this neat feature on the screen, that tells you approximately how many miles you have to go before you run out of gas. So I decided that when I got to a quarter of a tank I would just scroll to this information and pay attention to that and not the traditional gauge and that when it got down to 50 miles to go I would fill up. Well, I was about a quarter mile from home, which is about 5 miles from the nearest gas station, when it reached that point and instead of continuing to count down the miles it switched to a LOW FUEL warning.

Of course, you must know how much that bothered me. To me, “LOW FUEL” means “OMG! YOU’RE ALMOST OUT OF GAS! YOU HAVE TO FIND A GAS STATION IMMEDIATELY!” even though I knew it still had a comfortable 50 miles to go. So the next time I went out I filled up at the nearest gas station and was rewarded with a satisfying 479 MILES TO EMPTY. I love a happy ending, don’t you?

Spring Thoughts

Ah, spring… that lovely time of year when it’s 40 degrees in the morning and 80 in the afternoon. Yeah, I know… “layering”. I hate layering. I can never really make it work for me. Another thing about this time of year is that it seems so cold inside the house in the morning and stays cold but then I go outside and it’s actually nice and I think, “How can it feel warmer outside than inside when it’s 70° inside and only 60° outside?”

But I like spring because I like spring flowers but, perhaps even more, I like spring because it means summer is not too far away. Yes, summer. While everyone else is complaining about the heat I’ll be… well, complaining about the heat sometimes too but mostly being happy that it’s not cold. Happy that I can get up in the morning and put on a light and lovely cotton dress and wear it all day instead of having to layer or to wear one thing in the morning and change into something else in the afternoon.

So now I can start the summer sewing! I was working on a long sleeved blouse last week and I only have to do buttons and buttonholes now. I already started a pair of pants (or trousers or slacks or whatever you prefer) The weather is still very changeable so I think I will get to wear these a few times before it gets too warm for them.

I don’t ever do a major “spring cleaning” but I’m having serious thoughts about closet cleaning. It’s so hard though. There’s only so much you can do with six feet of space. Outside, I need to work on the flower beds. I feel like I should have started that already but until the last few days the weather has not been such as to inspire me to spend time outside.

Sooner Than Expected

I had one of my LED light bulbs burn out this morning. Not completely, it was just very dim. I can’t remember exactly when I put it in but I know it was very recently so I’m thinking it was just a defective one. Or maybe it was the brand: Great Value from Walmart. We have another LED bulb (from Lowe’s) that we’ve been using for a lot longer and it’s still working.

I had a couple more on hand for replacements (also Great Value) so we’ll see how long this one lasts. It’s not as bright though, a 10 watt (60 watt equiv.) and the one that burned out was a 13 watt. I wish I had more of the brighter ones because this is the light over the sink and I feel like I need a brighter light there. Anyway, note to self: Don’t buy any more LEDs from Walmart.

I can relax now… Maybe?

I have been feeling slightly overwhelmed by a long series of Important Things of the sort that make being grown-up not as much fun as we thought it was going to be when we were kids. Oh, nothing bad, just routine things like doing taxes and things associated with buying and registering a new vehicle, and it just seems like I’ve had too many of these things to do lately.

It might be a little hard to explain our Tag Agencies to people in other states. They are privately owned and, having lived in several other states I know that they are way, way better than the typical DMV that other states have. This is one of the things that Oklahoma does right. There are usually no more than half a dozen people waiting in line and I rarely have to wait more than 15 minutes. But, being privately owned they have some flexibility in the matter of days and hours open and services offered. Very few Tag Agencies do Pikepasses.

I would say that Pikepass is another thing that Oklahoma does right but I suppose other states have similar systems. Pikepass is a convenience that I do not want to do without but getting one or updating your account involves a ridiculous amount of hassle. I was going to take care of it online but my online account disappeared somehow. I know I signed up for an online account, forgot my password of course, so I clicked on the forgotten password link and it told me that there was no account associated with my email address. Options: I could email them, chewing them out about my lost account, which I thought would feel very satisfying even if it accomplished nothing. I could sign up for an account again as if I had never had one. I could print out their PDF and fill it out and snail-mail it to get the new Pikepass sticker via snail mail. Or I could go to one of the Tag Agencies that do Pikepasses and get one the same day.

We talked about it, decided on the last option and we waited until last Friday because we were going to go to the Home and Garden show that day and could stop by the Tag Agency on the way home. So, about 2:30 in the afternoon we walked into a Tag Agency, told them what we wanted and filled out a paper, argued with them a bit because it seems I was supposed to have a pin number that I knew nothing about… Also, the woman there indicated that she could only give us a Pikepass because my husband was there, as if we were still living in the 19th century. WTF people? I know this is Oklahoma and we’re a bit backward in some areas but seriously? He works; I do nonsense like this. This is my job and it’s very unusual that he would be available to come with me to do stuff like this.

So anyway, we got the paper filled out and signed and then she told us that it would be about two and half hours before she could give us the Pikepass sticker. Seriously? Two and a half hours? You have the damned stickers right there. Just give us one and tell us it will be a few hours before it’s activated. We live quite some distance from that Tag Agency. The one nearest us does not do Pikepasses. So we decided that I would go back Monday and pick it up and I spent the whole weekend dreading the trip. Both of the most direct routes there are a little bit scary. One way has a long, steep hill with several curves and people driving up and down it way too fast and expecting me to drive equally too fast. The other way goes past a quarry with huge dump trucks going back and forth loaded down with gravel that often bounces off and cracks windshields and dings shiny new paint.

I chose the hill. Everything went fine. I survived the hill and got the sticker with no problems. So all the big annoying things are done. Could I please just relax for a few days now? Probably not because I’m going to keep thinking, “What else do I need to do? What am I forgetting?” until the next big thing comes up. I heard a useful neologism last night. I’m generally not a fan of neologisms but I like this one: kidult. (kid/adult) I think most us spend half our lives wanting to be an adult and then trying to act like a proper adult but we hit our 50s and suddenly realize it’s no use. The kid’s not going away. “Adult” is just a veneer. We are all kidults.

My Friday the 13th

Honestly, I hadn’t even noticed that it was Friday the 13th until the middle of the afternoon when we were having an annoying time trying to do something and for some reason I looked at my phone and suddenly realized that it was Friday the 13th and for just a second I thought, “Well, that figures,” but overall it was a pretty good day and nothing truly “unlucky” happened.

We went to the Tulsa Home and Garden Show, as we do every year. I really enjoy walking around and looking at stuff, though I wish there was more variety. You see a lot of the same things over and over again and do not see some of the more innovative and interesting products that I sometimes see on HGTV and wish I could see in person. Last year it seemed like there were a ridiculous number of tornado shelter or “safe room” companies so this year we decided to count them. There were 14 but we’re sure that was a lot fewer than last year because last year there was at least one on every aisle and this year you could go up and down several aisles without seeing one. We went first thing in the morning and took about two and half hours to walk through it all, which seems like a surprisingly short time to spend in such a huge place.

A few days earlier we had talked about maybe going to an Indian restaurant sometime (We had never been to one.) I had searched and found two in Tulsa. After the Home and Garden Show it seemed like a good opportunity to try one. We headed for Kolam Innovative Indian Cuisine but drove back and forth around the area where it was supposed to be and didn’t see it. Finally we noticed a little place called Himalayas at the exact address where Kolam was supposed to be. So we stopped there since it was at least the right kind of cuisine. The place was small and plain, not at all what you would expect for something that advertises itself as “Tulsa’s Finest Indian Restaurant,” and it was buffet only. I was, at first, disappointed because I had looked at the menu on the Kolam website and had picked out a couple of dishes that I had planned to narrow down to one when I got there. But everything was wonderful. I ate too much, wanted to eat more and I want to go there again.

On the way home we decided to stop at the Tag Agency and get a Pikepass for our new truck so we wouldn’t have wait who knows how long to have one mailed to us. (The Tag Agency in the nearby small town doesn’t do Pikepasses.) The Pikepass system is one of the few things that Oklahoma does right but it is also one of the many things that Oklahoma does wrong. We still do not have our Pikepass and this was where I had my “Friday the 13th” moment. I will have more bad things to say about Oklahoma’s state government after I see how this goes.

It’s a Good Day

The sun is shining. Well, off and on, but hey, sunshine! Haven’t seen that in a while. I actually got a good haircut yesterday, which is a bigger deal for me than you might think because usually when I get my hair cut it’s not quite right somehow. And I finished a sewing project that I had been putting off for a while. Like the t-shirt says, “life is good.”

Speaking of t-shirts, I want one of these so bad but I’m probably not going to get it. I have only one hour left to decide. I hate these limited time only offers. I need days, at least, to decide and these usually don’t show up in my Facebook feed until a day or less before time is up. I don’t need any clothes. I don’t know if I could even stuff one more t-shirt into my t-shirt drawer. And there are other shirts that I want more. I guess I’ll just call this one momentarily hilarious and pass it by. Strange thing though… at the top of the page it says “One hour left” but the countdown at the bottom of the page shows over 6 days. Hmmmm… I don’t know if I can resist temptation for 6 whole days if that’s right.

A few more things…

“Fillyjonk” posted a link to this in the comments on an earlier post: Pattern Behavior. Some of the captions are funny, others, not so much, but I find myself scrolling through looking at the patterns and forgetting to even read the captions. A Dress A Day has been doing entertaining little Pattern Stories for years.

This No Bake Chocolate Oat Cookies recipe might come in handy if you need cookies in the summertime and don’t want to bake.

Finally, and sadly, 10 Best Mr. Spock Quotes. I remember all of these.

A Quick Observation

Have you ever noticed that “getting the last word” on the Internet is not quite the same as getting the last word in the “real world”? It seems like everyone wants to have the last word but in cyberspace if you post the last comment you always wonder, or at least I do, “Did anyone even read that?”

This ‘n’ That

I don’t know who created this but it is perfect for me right now.

But, you know… I don’t know why I feel that way because I really only have a few things going on and none of them are a really huge fat hairy deal and there’s nothing that’s, “OMG! Do this immediately!” but… I don’t know… there are just all these things that I need to be sure and not forget and little things I need to do soon(ish) and things I want to do but I’m putting off for no particular reason except that I want to do them but not right now but I still keep thinking about them anyway and it’s just more than I want to have to think about and yes, I know this is one stupidly long sentence but that’s what my brain is like right now so I’m going to leave it this way. Oh, and also… I’m getting really freaking tired of cold, gray weather.

But, moving on…

I had one of these when I was a little kid but not exactly like these of course. I can’t remember what it was. A dog maybe? Mine was just cheap plastic but it’s amazing how much fun such a simple little toy can be to a little kid. It was easy to understand how it worked but I found it kind of fascinating.

Aren’t these beautiful?! Ever since I saw this sad old hand-crank sewing machine I have sort of wanted one. I say “sort of” only because I don’t know where I would put it if I had it. I have nowhere to display it like it deserves to be and nowhere at all that it wouldn’t be in the way. If I were to find one in an antique shop for a really good price though, I might not be able to resist temptation. I don’t necessarily even want a fully restored one, just one that is somewhat functional and not in too bad a condition.

Sew Cranky is another hand-crank sewing machine site. I do love a clever website name. This one makes me smile. And even more.

I love these glass tables. Actually, the tables themselves are really not my style but I love what they do to the room.

And finally… Apology Notes. It would be really hard to stay mad at #12.

Furry Alarm Clock

I’m a morning person. I am usually up by 6:30 but this morning the bed was feeling especially good and I had no urge get out of it. But then I heard a pitiful meowing in the hallway. The world was coming to an end and I had to get up and fix it. He usually wants to go back outside at that time of morning so, knowing it was cold outside, with several inches of snow and a layer of ice underneath that, I was having gleefully evil thoughts of letting him outside and making him stay there for an hour or two.

So I got up and got dressed and found my two furry friends standing around looking like something was wrong or like they wanted something but they didn’t want out and there was already food and water in their dishes. In no more than a minute they just went and laid down in their favorite spots and went to sleep. They didn’t want out; they didn’t want food; they didn’t even particularly want petting. They just wanted me out of bed. Some friends.

Here’s the guilty party himself:

And… I would say “his partner in crime” but she’s been unusually good this morning.

The Big Blue Valentines Day Gift

Most of our past car buying experiences have gone something like this: We tell the salesperson what we are looking for and add that we are not terribly picky about color except that we absolutely do not want white, black, silver, or gray. So the salesman shows us something in a nice color that has way more bells and whistles than we are willing to pay for. Then he shows us a less expensive model but it’s in one of our do-not-want colors. We buy it anyway because they don’t have anything in a nice color that’s in our price range.

But this time we decided to be “difficult”. You know what being difficult gets you? It gets you a lot of stress, a lot of waiting, a lot of failure to communicate on the part of the car dealership and, eventually, a dark blue, extended cab, 4X4 F-150. Our first choice was the “Flame Blue” (Actually, my first choice would have been yellow but F-150s don’t come in that color anymore.) but this darker blue – they call it “Blue Jean” is nice. It’s acceptable and I’m happy with it. And, aside from the color, this truck is kind of awesome.

We didn’t plan on it being a Valentines Day gift but it just happened that we finally got it two days before Valentines Day so we both agreed that this is it. Actually it’s perfect. I wasn’t asked this year but I had planned, when the question, “What do you want for Valentines Day?” came up, to say, “Something non-fattening.” And that’s exactly what I got.

The Truth About “Superfoods”

Here’s an interesting and useful article: A Closer Look at Dr. Oz’s 15 Superfoods. You’ll notice that many of the health claims made for these foods are at least partly true. It’s just that Dr. Oz and the many other people pushing the idea of “superfoods” have turned it up to 11 when it really needs to be turned down to about 5. And, you know, that seems to be a problem with much of what you see these days both online and in the the “real world” – everything is turned up to 11.

I know that’s not exactly an original thought; everyone says that. But it just seems like it keeps getting worse. There are so many people wanting attention and yes, I want attention too. I want 1,000 page views a day and 50 comments on every post. But I can’t bring myself to turn up the drama like some people do. I’m not even sure it would work for me if I tried.

Wow, that really went off track. This was supposed to be about food. If I could get the whole world to pay attention to me – if I could have my own TV show to tell everyone what to eat – my advice could be summed up with that ancient phrase, “All things in moderation.” Some foods are better for you than others but too much of anything can be bad, so eat just a little more of the good things and less of the bad things. But who would watch a show like that?

This ‘n’ That

* I’ve gone and done it! I started a sewing blog. Yeah, just what I need, another online thing to neglect but most of the sewing bloggers will not read this blog because it’s not exclusively about sewing. I might still post some sewing related stuff here.

A couple of problems already with the new blog: When I tried to create a blogroll it kept telling me to “correct the error in the form” but it didn’t tell me what error and I didn’t see anything wrong. All I know to do is try again later. The other problem is that photos I upload to Blogger appear on my phone and apparently cannot be deleted. (I took the photos with my camera, not my phone.) You know… Google has this motto, “We’re not evil” but they are into everything and everything is connected. They own Blogger now and gMail is on my phone so… Maybe this is just a sign that I’m over the hill but it’s all just a little bit creepy. Another thing is that anyone who sends mail to my gMail account appears in my contacts list on my phone so I have complete strangers in my contacts list. It tells me I can “hide” them but I can’t delete them. Good enough I suppose but I don’t want anyone in my contacts list – or any pictures – that I didn’t put there myself.

So anyway… I posted a question to the Google help forum but no one has answered yet. I guess I solve the photo problem by continuing to use Flickr instead of uploading photos to Blogger but it would be nice if everything would just do what I want it to do and not do anything I don’t want it to do.

* We are in the process of buying a new pickup. We’re getting another F150. We had our old one for over 18 years and it probably would have kept going for another 10, at least, but we thought it was time. Better to buy when there’s no urgency. That way you can tell the salesman to stuff it if he’s not being helpful. The salesman we are dealing with is very nice though, and not in that professionally “nice” salesman kind of way. He really is nice. Our truck won’t be at the dealership for about a week but they went ahead and took our trade-in and gave us a loaner to drive until our truck arrives. The loaner is a crew cab – really scary big truck. I quickly got used to it after driving it a little bit though and I can hardly wait to get ours. It’s so high tech I feel like I’m driving the starship Enterprise. Our truck will be just slightly smaller – a “super cab” which is just a little smaller than a crew cab, I think. Their terminology is a bit confusing.

Do you get emotionally attached to vehicles? Sort of like they’re one level below pets. You know… first human family members, then pets, then cars and trucks. Or maybe for some people it’s the other way around, especially here in Oklahoma. Family is just family but nothing comes between you and your dog or your truck? But anyway, 18 years is a long time to have something in your life. We’ve never had a pet that lived that long. The oldest was about 15 years I think. So it’s a little sad but I’m actually over it already. I’m thrilled about getting a new truck. It has an automatic transmission so not only am I happy, my left knee is ecstatic.

* It’s cool and windy today, after being nearly 80°F yesterday. But it’s still not bad, at least the temperature isn’t too bad – mid 40s – but I am getting very tired of the wind. For the most part I actually like Oklahoma weather. We rarely have the same kind of weather long enough to get tired of it (except maybe the heat and drought in mid to late summer) and it’s an endless source of entertainment, especially if complaining is your favorite sport.

Super Sweet Vanilla Butter Cookies (Beta Version)

I needed some cookies yesterday. Yes, needed. The grandkids were here and you absolutely need cookies when the grandkids come over. So anyway, instead of using one of the gazillion cookie recipes I have I decided to just throw some typical cookie ingredients together. (Inventing is fun and satisfying.) They turned out to be possibly the most awesome cookies ever. (With one little flaw that had nothing to do with taste)

2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

I mixed all that stuff together in the usual manner (I know; I’m terrible at writing recipes.) spooned lumps of cookie dough onto cookie sheets and baked at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes. As I said, they were awesome! Everybody loved them, especially the husband. They were very sweet so if you like less sweet cookies you might want to cut the sugar to just one cup. The problem? They spread out and turned out to be extremely thin. I would post a picture but they’re all gone. So, how do I make them thicker without changing the taste or texture?

Back to the Everyday

I like holidays and vacations; I think most of us do; but sometimes I think one of the best things about major holidays and vacations is that they make us appreciate our routine, everyday lives. Much as I love the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year season, it’s a relief and a pleasure to get back to normal and enjoy just an ordinary day. It’s cold and gloomy outside but I don’t mind. I did what little shopping I had to do yesterday and I have nowhere to go today.

Speaking of “normal”, my weird cat is back to her normal level of weirdness (I know you were all beside yourselves worrying about that, right?) – eating six times an hour as long as there’s food in the dish and yowling like she’s dying whenever her humans are out of her sight. [sigh] Why do the prettiest ones always have personality issues? Actually, she doesn’t really yowl every time we’re out of her sight, just randomly at times, most often at 3:00 AM.

One Day After Yesterday

The Earth circles the sun continuously, with no starting point and no end point but we humans, who so love to measure things, decided to divide time into years and decided that each year would start approximately ten days after the northern hemisphere’s winter solstice. Of course, other humans have used different systems to measure the years, starting the year on different days.

Today is just one day after yesterday. Like every other day of the year, it has no meaning except the meaning we decide to give it. The idea of a “new beginning” is appealing – useful even. So today we begin again. We make big important resolutions and small, perhaps even silly ones.

I don’t formally make resolutions. I don’t get very excited about the new year. This is just the day I get to start a new calendar. But even I can’t entirely keep from thinking about “what I’m going to do this year,” what I want to accomplish, what I want to do differently. And it’s always pretty much the same – eat less, exercise more, spend more time outdoors, read more, sew more, clean out closets, get rid of some junk. Will I actually do those things? Probably not any more than I did last year but it’s good to think about it. But not too much. After all, today is still just one day after yesterday.