Category Archives: Life ‘n’ Stuff

I Don’t Have Anything To Say But I’m Going to Talk Anyway

Some days I have absolutely nothing to say and other days I have too much to say and no energy to say it and I start to think, “Why am I still doing this? How much longer will I keep doing this?” If Blogger would make one or two more little improvements I might switch back to that. I would miss my links page though. But I need to work on that some so, I don’t know… maybe I’m just getting tired of the whole thing. On the other hand, I want to have something for those times when I do really have something to say. And I like being part of a “community” even if I am destined to always be the weird, lonely girl that almost everyone ignores.

This week is the hottest this year so far. They are forecasting triple digits for this weekend. Everyone is complaining and yeah, I am too a little bit, but I really don’t mind all that much. Now I feel like it’s really summer, not just a perpetual spring. I know I’m making that sound like a bad thing. Of course I am more comfortable when the temps are in the 70′s and 80′s, but it’s August and it’s supposed to be hot. It’s hard to explain. I guess I’m more comfortable (in a different sense) when things are the way they are supposed to be.

I have really slacked off on sewing. I haven’t started one of these yet like I had intended to do. I have been working for over a week on a baby dress that I could have finished in a day. But you know, it’s like that sometimes. Sometimes you feel inspired and feel an urgency (which in my case is almost always imaginary) and other times you just can’t stay interested. Maybe it’s because it’s August. Is this the lazy month?

It’s also the month that school starts. Not something I have to deal with anymore, thank goodness. It always seems wrong to me that school starts in the middle of August. It’s supposed to start in September, the day after Labor Day. Anything else will always be wrong.

We started watching The Strain. I have mixed feelings about this show. It has a little too much “gross horror movie” stuff for my taste but it is also interesting enough that I want to stick with it to see what happens next. The new season of Haven starts soon. I’ve been seeing ads for it. I sort of feel like they started to lose me last season but not completely. I still want to keep watching.

By far my favorite series that’s on right now is Defiance. Here are two behind the scenes videos.

Holy Shi… pping!

UPDATED

Friday evening we noticed that our house wasn’t quite as cool as we are used to. The husband, who is pretty good with this sort of thing, checked out the air conditioner and discovered that it had a bad capacitor. Just so happened we had another one from an old air conditioner so he installed that one and it worked. Yay, we’re cool again. But, not knowing how long that old part would last he looked up a new one online and asked me to order it. The total, with standard shipping, came to $19 and change.

This seemed to me like something we might want in a hurry. If the air conditioner quit completely with temps in the upper 90s we might think an extra $30 or perhaps even an extra $50 would have been worth it. So I looked at the cost for 2 day shipping. There are not enough curse words in the world to express my feelings upon seeing the price for two day shipping. Keep in mind this part is slightly smaller than a 12 ounce soda can and not exceptionally heavy for an object of that size. Total cost for 2 day shipping: $276. Or something like that. It was definitely 3 digits starting with a “2″ and I’m pretty sure there was a “7″ and a “6″ in some order. Sorry, I’m a bit traumatized by the experience. I mean, what the hell? Are they going to hire James Earl Jones to bring it in a limo and deliver it personally to my front door? (Yeah, I’d pay $276 for that.)

Well, anyway, obviously I did not choose that option. Standard shipping will get it here sometime between the 21st and the 26th and maybe the air conditioner will hold out until then. It didn’t. Last night it started short cycling. So we shut it down. Right now the windows are open and fans are running and, at a few minutes before 8:00 in the morning, it’s quite pleasant but the highs are supposed to be in the upper 90s all week. Air conditioners never break while we’re having unseasonably cool temperatures.

There will be as little heat producing as possible this week. No cooking. We will have salads and sandwiches and perhaps Carl’s Jr. one or two nights. And I’m going to shut the computer down as soon as I’m done using it instead of leaving it on all day like I usually do. This morning I had ice tea instead of my usual hot tea and I’ll probably spend the entire week in front of a fan reading a book and moving as little as possible, except when I get in my air conditioned car and drive to some place with air conditioning. We will survive. Everyone used to live like this their entire lives. (I’ll just keep telling myself that.)

UPDATE: We have air conditioning again. Yay! [sigh] All that drama! I really thought it was going to be at least a week but we did get the right part in the Nearby Small Town, along with a couple of other parts. Problem with getting parts locally is that the parts stores keep “bankers hours”. The Internet is always open. I said, ordering stuff online is just a convenient habit that we have gotten into and when we ordered it we really thought we probably had a week or more before the AC finally quit completely.

A Nice List

Going by this list of 12 Stupid Things Truly Nice People Don’t Do I am a nice person. Well. Oh no, I guess I just broke rule #4. Oh well, nobody’s perfect.

#8 is a particular pet peeve of mine. People who are too helpful are the most difficult people to deal with because, usually, they sincerely think they are being nice. They can’t imagine someone not wanting their help or that their “help” might actually be the opposite of help and no matter how many times you tell them you don’t want their help they just keep on helping. I call this pathologically helpful.

How Lame! She’s Talking About the Weather Again

Yes, I know but seriously? This weather is amazing. It is the middle of July and it’s currently 63°F and last night one of our local meteorologists said that the temperature “might not make it up to 70°” today. Rain and a high of 69° in Oklahoma in July. It’s not unprecedented. I can remember one 4th of July cookout when we were all wearing sweaters or flannel shirts (or wishing we had brought one to wear) but still, on those rare occasions when we get summer weather like this it always feels amazing. (BTW, why does “meteorologist” not mean “one who studies meteors”?)

Aside from the unusual weather we’re having today, this summer has not been really hot hot, which is nice, but the other side of this nice weather is that every time we’ve had a pleasant summer it has been followed by a miserable winter. I would rather deal with a hot summer and a not too bad winter than have a cool summer and a horrible winter.

In other news, we picked our first tomato yesterday. I’m planning a big dinner salad with chicken and feta cheese tonight. It’s the kind of meal I normally plan for hot days. Tonight I should be serving soup of chili. But I have the tomato and I don’t want to wait. We’re not expecting another 90 degree day until next week.

The Proust Questionnaire

I had never heard of the “Famous Proust Questionnaire” until I read David Bowie Answers the Famous Proust Questionnaire on Brain Pickings. The questions all seem pretty basic, the makings of a really lame blog post, but questionnaires are one of the things we bloggers do, so here goes.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? – the simple things in life

What is your most marked characteristic? – I really don’t know. You’d have to ask someone who knows me.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? – My sons.

What is your greatest fear? – Losing people.

What historical figure do you most identify with? – Never thought about it. There are a number of historical figures I find interesting but “identify with”? None of them really. And, we don’t really know historical figures do we? We only know what historians tell us about them. I’m not saying that’s necessarily inaccurate but it is certainly incomplete.

Which living person do you most admire? – My husband. He can be annoying sometimes but he’s really an all around great guy.

Who are your heroes in real life? – Good writers, novelists.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? – Lack of confidence, being easily intimidated by certain kinds of people.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? – Arrogance.

What is your favorite journey? – My daily walk to the mailbox. We have a really long driveway so the walk to the mailbox and back is close to a quarter of a mile.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? – Being a “self starter”. There’s nothing wrong with needing a little help getting started.

Which word or phrases do you most overuse? – Really. (But you knew that already, didn’t you?)

What is your greatest regret? – That I worked while my kids were growing up.

What is your current state of mind? – A little bored.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? – I would have the extended family (and by that I mean in-laws) get together a lot more often.

What is your most treasured possession? – At first that seems like a very tough question because I tend to “treasure” my possessions probably too much so I’m tempted to say “all of them” but when I think about it for a minute it’s actually easy: My sewing machine. It was my grandmother’s, a Singer treadle machine. It’s really beat up looking but it sews great. I have had it since I was 18 and I never have any desire to sew on anything else.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? – Not sure. I don’t think I’ve ever been there.

Where would you like to live? – Right here. A fancier house would be nice but I want it right here.

What is your favorite occupation? – Sewing. Or reading. Or just sitting on the front porch looking at my front yard, listening to the birds, etc.

What is the quality you most like in a man? – The ability to engage in an intelligent conversation.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? – The ability to engage in an intelligent conversation.

What are your favorite names? – Not sure. I like names that are interesting and uncommon but not too weird.

What is your motto? – The secret to lifelong happiness is to learn to love weeds.

Just Move!

Another type of driver to add to my list of “Drivers I Want to Drag Out of Their Cars and Slap Really Hard”: the driver who sits in the middle of the driveway that I’m trying to turn into and furiously motions for me to “go ahead.” Seriously, people who do this, what the hell is wrong with you? You can see that I am in the turn lane, my turn signal is flashing and I am in a car not on a motorcycle therefore there is not enough room for me to turn into the driveway. What do you expect me to do? Jump the curb and drive across the grass?

People do the same thing in the grocery store. They block the aisle you’re trying to turn into and try to get you to go on. Listen people, if “being polite” inconveniences someone it is not polite.

This ‘n’ That

I had a post about the Hobby Lobby thing just about completely written in my head but when I sat down here to actually write it I thought, “Nope. It’s politics. Don’t go there.” (No guarantee I won’t change my mind later.) So what am I going to write about today? I decided to just start a “This ‘n’ That” and hope I think of more than one thing to say in the next few minutes.

This is cute. British parents, American kids. I can picture it. Kids are so funny. Kids, who just a few short years earlier could barely babble “Mama” and “Dada”, are always so confident that they know more about the language than their parents and this is true even when both kids and parents grew up in the same country.

I’ve been following Grammarly on Facebook for a while but just last night I discovered the Grammarly blog. It’s not the same stuff that’s on their Facebook page, which is really fun, by the way – lots of grammar related comics. The blog has articles.

Here’s a nice little discussion about “fear of color”. You know, I don’t get that. Never have. It’s not just that I’m getting older and don’t care anymore. If you like orange, wear orange. If you like hot pink, wear hot pink. Why does it take “nerve” to wear these colors or any colors you like? I’m crazy for colors but I also like brown and even gray. (Hey, those are colors too.) There is one particular shade of pale lavender that I think looks awful on me and I consider appropriate colors to wear for certain occasions but mostly I never think in terms of “my colors” or “not my colors”. All colors are my colors and they’re all your colors too.

Unfamiliar Machines

I had other things I wanted to write, pictures I wanted to post and a new dress I wanted to talk about but our “main” computer is busy. It was installing something and seems to be stuck. So I’m on my husband’s Surface, which I love because I can look down at the screen but I am not used to typing on it and I’m very slow. I literally have to backspace every three or four keystrokes. And I keep accidentally hitting something that makes the cursor jump back a couple of lines. Weird.

I just need a lot more practice and writing all that stuff I was talking about would be practice I guess but I’m used to not having to think about typing, and it just feels wrong, so it’s hard to concentrate on what I wanted to say. Besides, my pictures are all on the other computer.

It’s funny how we get used to using particular machines or devices and our hands just automatically do what they need to do, so when you have to get used to a new machine it feels so awkward and… alien. That was weird. The screen just suddenly got brighter for no reason.

Anyway, that awkward babbling is all I’ve got this morning. But I promise, tomorrow, or perhaps this evening, will be awesome. Or maybe at least a little bit less lame.

Bees!

We have honeybees again! And over a year’s supply of honey. My husband got a call from someone who had a tree full of bees on their property and wanted them gone. So, now they’re settling in out in our back yard. We had bees a few years ago but lost them to the infamous Colony Collapse Disorder, or perhaps the 20 below temperatures we had one winter had something to do with it.

I like the whole idea of beekeeping, especially the part where you get “free” honey. There is considerable messy work involved but it is rather exciting to see pint after pint of the thick golden treasure slowly flowing into jars. And, later on, knowing I’m eating something that didn’t come from a store. Okay, so I’m a little bit backwoods hippie romantic.

I understand that Oklahoma has rather draconian laws regarding honey. Legally, we cannot even give it to our friends because we don’t have a “certified kitchen.” Of course all the poor corporate honey producers must be protected from those evil upstart cottage industries. But anyway… you don’t want to get me started on the state government. The important thing is, we have honey! Lots of unadulterated, unpasteurized, genuine, all natural honey and with any luck we can get more next year and the next.

Weather Instinct

First of all, to all you dog people out there who insist that dogs are smarter than cats I must say, okay fine. Whatever. I don’t care. Teddy bears are also a lot less intelligent than dogs but they’re more cuddly and a lot less work. So now that we’ve got that out of the way…

Even for a species not known for their intelligence, my cat Dax (named after a Star Trek character) is mentally challenged. Okay, seriously? She’s a freaking moron. Whenever she hears thunder she doesn’t hide under the couch like a normal cat; she begs to go outside to escape. That’s right, outside where the thunder is. So, about 2:30 this morning we heard a few rumblings, nothing serious, and the great brainless wonder starts screaming, and by “screaming” I mean making a really weird, really LOUD, alien horror movie type terrified cat sound.

So that we, and the people in the next county, could get back to sleep I had no choice but to get up and let her out. I confess I was sort of hoping the thunder would suddenly get closer and much louder after I closed the door but it stopped and we heard nothing for the rest of the night.

This ‘n’ That

A couple of weeks ago Number Two Son and I were watching one of those nature shows about wildlife in Alaska. At one point, talking about the approach of winter, the narrator said, in the usual This Is Seriously Dramatic voice, “The temperature can drop as much as 15 degrees in just a few weeks.” And yes, I’m sure we heard him right. He enunciated very well. He said 15, not 50. We were too stunned to laugh. Fifteen degrees in a few weeks? We do more than that in just one day. In fact, I’ve seen the temp drop 15 degrees in less than an hour. Perhaps he meant the high temperature or the low, or the average. If so he should have said that but still, even if that’s what he meant we can still top it here in Oklahoma. Take yesterday and today, for example. Yesterday’s high was somewhere around 70°F. This morning at 6:30 it was only 40°F. Today’s high is supposed to be 80°. I have no doubt it will get there. How about that Mr. Serious Drama Narrator?

I thought I was going to have another new dress to show off today (Wow! Two in one week!) but it’s not going to happen. The pattern is very simple and I was sure I would finish it in one or two days but I kept taking breaks after each little step and the breaks kept getting longer and so it’s not finished yet. I really have no reason to rush but I’ve been feeling like, “Hurry! Get this one done! Start the next one! Get it done! On to the next one!” and so on. I have a bunch of sewing projects that I want to get done so I can wear them but I don’t really need to rush. I should just slow down and I will have enough things to sew to last all summer. But still, I keep feeling like I need to get all this stuff done. Almost like it’s a job.

I also have some outdoor things to do. Especially weeding! Yikes! Too bad I don’t feel motivated to rush to do that. And soon, planting. We tend to hold off until nearly May because late freezes happen, even hard freezes sometimes. But it is nearly May. Time to start playing in the dirt.

I didn’t manage to collect any quotes for this week. Maybe later I will look around and find a few. No promises. Some weeks they just appear all over the place and other weeks I have to work to find them.

I saw this on Facebook. I’m going to watch it over and over again until I can remember these. Well, most of them. Okay, maybe some of them. (And I did already know a few of them. Two, I think.)

High Chair

I would like for you all to know that I’m not the only maker in the family. My husband built this high chair. We have several other pieces of furniture that he built. This is just the most recent.

Now that’s impressive.

(He didn’t make the tray. That and the hardware came with the plans.)

Color Theory Hypothesis

Kelly and family are moving but first they had to have the whole place painted because the previous resident’s color choices just weren’t their style. Personally, I didn’t think the old colors were bad – well, most of them. The kitchen was highly unappetizing and the one dark blue was way darker than I like, though not really bad. The new colors are more classic – light, soothing neutrals and pastels. The kitchen, though still neutral, looks much brighter and friendlier.

Anyway, as I was looking at the photos I thought the “before” looked like an HGTV “after” from back in the day when they still had real decorating shows instead of mostly real estate shows. And that started me to thinking. I’ve always realized that those shows are primarily about selling paint but I didn’t quite get how it really works. I don’t want to sound too conspiracy theorist about this but, see, I always thought it was all about showing people what they could do with their rooms so they would want to repaint but there’s more going on than that. The decorators on those shows (or designers as they like to be called now days) always encourage people to let them paint the walls bold, trendy colors that make most people uncomfortable. But most people prefer neutrals on the walls. The color, if there is any at all, is in pictures and furnishings. So, they paint the walls these bright colors and they know that if the family doesn’t rush to the paint store as soon as the TV crew is gone, in a few years they will move and the next family to live there will repaint the place. So no matter what there’s a guaranteed paint sale.

Even though I like a lot of color myself, and sometimes wish other people were more colorful, it has always annoyed me the way designers on those shows are always pushing people to “go outside your comfort zone” and “don’t be afraid of color”. It’s called a comfort zone for a reason and why wouldn’t you want to be comfortable in your own home? But anyway, I have mixed feelings and if I was a designer I’d probably be exactly like the rest of them – encouraging people to be more colorful.

I thought I’d use this as an excuse to post a picture of my kitchen. This was taken two years ago and it hasn’t been this clean since. I really miss this. I would like to see this every day but we have more stuff than we have kitchen and the most frequently used stuff always sits out on the countertop. The back of the island is actually the same yellow as the walls. It’s washed out in all the photos. I’m not sure but I think my countertops are the same as the ones in the Sedinger’s new kitchen.

Introvert/Extrovert: Nature or Nurture or Both?

We keep trying to categorize people. That’s not entirely wrong; we can’t help it. It’s the way our brains are wired. The problem is that we too often believe in the absoluteness of our categories. Everyone is either an introvert or an extrovert right? Could it be that’s not true – that maybe some people are somewhere in between or a little of both?

Suppose nature made you an extrovert. You like attention and love being around people. But then you go to school and the other kids reject you or even outright bully you. In time you come to feel that being a loner is safer. You discover that being alone with your own thoughts can even be pleasant. You are an introvert. But if this happened to you couldn’t you still retain some latent extrovertedness? Because it’s your nature, crave the company of others and secretly long to be the center of attention but because of your experiences never be comfortable with the attention you crave?

Or maybe some people are just born in between? Craving company or craving solitude, at different times depending on mood?

People Who Suck

First of all, I want to say (even though you all know this already) spammers suck. This morning I had 46 spam comments, which I suppose isn’t too bad; at least it wasn’t in the hundreds; but it’s a lot more than I usually get. Besides the obvious, another thing that really sucks about that, for me, is that when I have a lot of comments waiting for moderation I always think that maybe one is a genuine on topic comment from a real person – someone who just found this blog or a lurker coming out of hiding – but that hardly ever happens and I think, “Why do I keep hoping?” I’m like a silly child waiting for an impossible wish to come true.

Anyway, that’s not what I really wanted to talk about. The particular Person Who Sucks that I want to talk about is the person in the little maroon car who pulled out in front of us yesterday. We were driving slowly through The Nearby Small Town, which is generally the only way one can drive through The Nearby Small Town because the traffic lights suck but that’s another story.

Anyway (Did I just start two paragraphs in a row with the word “anyway”? Sorry) we were on our way home from Lowe’s where we had just purchased a bunch of “six packs” of pansies and two quart size pots of violas. We were in the Subaru, the back seat was down and the plants were sitting, unsecured, in the back. I think you see where this is going. The little maroon car was sitting in the left turn lane and suddenly decided they didn’t want to be there anymore and moved over in front of us. We managed to avoid hitting them but the plants and especially the dirt in the pots went flying all over the car. I swear this incident violated the laws of physics (or something) because we ended up with way more dirt in the car than was actually in the pots to begin with.

We got the plants home and planted safely in the ground and the car vacuumed out and life goes on, but Person in the Maroon Car, you still suck. You have no idea what you caused. You don’t care. You only care that you didn’t have to wait in the turn lane another second. There’s a little part of me that still wants to hunt you down but I’ll just have to leave that to karma.

What Time Is Three O’ Clock?

This is why I can’t work in retail. I just don’t have the strength of character to not tell an incredibly stupid person that they are being incredibly stupid. Well, actually, I do but having to do it on a regular basis, day after day, is way too stressful and turns me into an unhappy, not very nice person.

In all fairness though – 1. Not everyone who does or says something dumb in public is really that dumb. They might just be having a relatively rare “senior” or “dumb blond” moment which they will be intensely embarrassed about later. 2. #20 might actually be possible in the near future and even if it never is, how is the average, non-geeky person supposed to know in a world where everything has a computer and we’re constantly being warned about viruses?

I really feel, difficult as it is, that we should be patient with stupid people because if they really are that stupid they can’t help it, right? You can’t expect a stupid person to be smart any more than you can expect a person with a limp to walk faster. But the angry and mean people – the #3′s and the #13′s – deserve no mercy. Not everyone can be smart but everyone can be nice, even if it is really really hard sometimes.

That Was Weird

When I was little my grandmother had a green parakeet (budgie) named Mike. In fact, he was a few months older than I was. He could say a few words but mostly stopped talking in his later years. He died when we were eight years old, which is more or less a normal lifespan for a parakeet.

Now here’s the weird thing. Last night I dreamed that Mike was still alive, right now in 2014 at more than 50 years of age, and he had grown very large, about the size of a chicken. There was some kind of gathering and I took Mike out of his cage to show him off. I carried him on my shoulder but held on to him so he wouldn’t fly away. I kept trying to get someone to take a picture of us but everyone was either too busy or they said they would do it but wanted me to do something for them first. I was going to have to leave soon and was running out of time to have the picture taken. And then I woke up and it was my pillow that I was holding.

At first I a little disappointed but then I thought, “Thank goodness! An over-sized parakeet is the last thing I need!”

In the Moment

See, there’s a problem with living in the moment. One moment you’re enjoying a cookie and then sometime later you have another moment in which you discover that you can no longer fasten your favorite jeans.

Spring Indecision

It seems like this time of year is the not really a good time for anything. Unlike fall, there are no holidays to get ready for, except Easter and there’s not a lot of preparation necessary for that, not like the winter holidays. I’m not interested in any of the sports that are played this time of year. It’s too early for most seeds and plants. I am planning to plant some pansies this week. It is getting warm enough to be outside most days. Yesterday was not one of those days. Today is almost warm enough.

And sewing? Do I sew late winter clothes or spring and summer clothes? I have a couple of winter fabrics that I want to sew now because I feel like they are in the way. Every time I go in the closet to get something there they are, right on top of everything. But if I made them up now I would only get to wear them a few times, maybe only once or twice. I’m in the mood to sew some pretty spring and summer fabrics but it would be a month, maybe even two, before I would get to wear them. So, not knowing what to start next, I procrastinate. It would be a good time to finally do some of the re-making and re-styling that I’ve been thinking about but that would mean taking stuff apart and I’m never in the mood for that.

I do have a few fabrics that are destined to be long sleeved spring blouses and I should make those but I think of them like winter stuff – something I will only be able to wear a few times before I have to put them away for next winter.

So, what are you doing during this transitional season?

Open or Not?

How do you feel about “open kitchens”? Apparently they are not as much of a thing in Britain as they are on this side of the pond. And even here, I doubt that they are as universally loved as you might be led to believe by watching HGTV and reading kitchen decor magazines.

I am not sure if I would like an open kitchen or not. It seems like it might be nice to be able to talk with people in the living room and see the TV while I’m in the kitchen but I just feel like the kitchen needs to be a separate room. I would rather have a big, eat-in country kitchen with space for people to hang out out of the way of the actual cooking zone.

What about you? What would your dream kitchen look like?

The Home and Garden Show

Saturday we went to the Tulsa Home and Garden Show. I always really enjoy it, and I did this year as well, but I have to say that in terms of the variety of stuff on display it was the most lame big event ever. There was very little that you couldn’t see any day at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Fifty flooring companies with the exact same hardwood flooring; fifty countertop companies with the exact same granite counter tops; fifty window and siding companies with essentially the same windows and siding; and 500,000,000 tornado shelter companies… Okay, I might be exaggerating a little bit on that last one.

They also had a few things that don’t have anything to do with “home and garden”, like vehicles, and, because this is Oklahoma, by “vehicles” I mean big-ass pickups that are big enough to live in and you’ll probably have to if you buy one because they cost as much as a decent house, which you won’t be able to afford and make payments on the pickup too. Oh, okay, I get it now. That’s the connection.

It was all nice. I did enjoy walking around and looking at all that stuff but for the $8 per person entry fee I really expect to see at least a few things I can’t see at the local home and garden store. I want to see some of the stuff I’ve only seen on TV or on the Internet, like the lightweight composite building blocks or translucent concrete blocks or the windows that go opaque at the flip of a switch. Perhaps the companies who make these things don’t exist in Oklahoma but you would think some of them would be interested in traveling to the show just to see if there’s a market for their products in this area.

And one more thing. Message to the sales people: Leave me alone! Don’t talk to me. Don’t ask me how I’m doing. Don’t ask me if I’m thinking about installing hardwood flooring or windows or whatever it is you’re selling. Just be there and if I’m interested in talking to you I will start the conversation.

Anyway, in spite of my complaints it was fun to walk around and look at stuff, even though it wasn’t all the stuff I would like to have seen, and we will probably go again next year.

Life in the Arctic

It is 1°F outside. Yesterday’s high was 13°. Our pipes have been frozen since yesterday morning. We (and by “we” I mean mostly the husband) have been trying to thaw them out but they are staying stubbornly frozen. We do have a “frost proof hydrant” outside which is still working so we are not completely without water, just terribly, terribly inconvenienced.

We spent most of the weekend being couch potatoes, watching movies on SyFy. We had already seen most of them before. One was new to me: Sin City, a very cool movie. It was done in black and white “noir” style, except a few things were in color. And, weirdly, blood was bright white. Except, sometimes it was dark red, depending on which character was bleeding. The action was what I call “deliberately bad” – like a parody but all done very dark and serious. Anyway, very weird/cool/fun movie.

We finished off the weekend with Raiders of the Lost Ark, which never gets old. That ended at 8:00 so we watched a biography of Josephine Baker. That was very interesting. I had heard of her but didn’t know anything about her. So, that was our weekend. It’s still supposed to stay below freezing today. Perhaps tomorrow we will begin to thaw out.

This ‘n’ That

Last night we watched the movie, Up. It was on CBS or ABC; I forget which. Sad, sad, sad, sad movie. I know it’s supposed to be cute and uplifting but all I could think was, “What good is it to have your dream finally come true if the person you first dreamed it with isn’t there to share it with you?”

We are finally out of the deep freeze. Well, at least for this week. It’s supposed to be cold again on Sunday. But today it may get up to 70°F! That is spring, my friends! Sure, the calendar says it’s still a few weeks away but spring is more than just a date. We have had winter near the end of April and spring in February, as we’re having now.

I have been watching some of the Olympics. I’m glad they’re on NBC again. CBS spoils the Olympics when they’re on that network. It seems like it’s always 30 minutes of OMG! Drama! Drama! Drama! for every 10 minutes of sports. NBC actually focuses on the sports. I used to love the Winter Olympics and would watch every minute of it but it’s more fun when you have someone who loves it as much as you do. Now I just defer to the rest of the family. I do want to see some more curling. Strange sport. I got hooked on it two Olympics ago.

Sewing – I finished another thing I want to show off but my first attempt at self-photography didn’t turn out good at all. The flash, auto-focus and the self timer don’t seem to work well together so I will try it outside one day this week. I started another pair of slacks and then decided that I want to put a zipper in them instead of doing the pocket trick. That doesn’t work as well if you have to use a different, lighter weight, fabric for the pockets. So I ordered a zipper because Walmart only has them in two colors so now I’m thinking I might start something else today so I’ll have something to work on while I’m waiting on the zipper. By the way, Wawak.com has all kinds of zippers in lots of colors.

I first saw this on Facebook. I absolutely love it!

An Unmotivated Post

It’s another cold, dreary Monday. Tuesday will be the same but by Thursday the weather is supposed to be more pleasant. I’m having a hard time believing it though. It just feels like it’s going to be cold and gloomy forever.

Back in November I had several sewing projects that I planned to get done by Christmas. Actually, not so much planned as had in mind to maybe sew before the end of the year. Most of these things I did not do. Now, on the one hand, I’m wanting to hurry up and finish all of them while it’s still cold, but on the other hand, I’m thinking maybe I should just save them for next fall and winter. The purple flannel top I mentioned in another post didn’t turn out so well. I’m disappointed because I really like the fabric and I used a pattern that I have used successfully several times before so I don’t know what happened. I could wear it just around the house or maybe even to Wal-mart. It honestly doesn’t look all that bad but it has problems. Worst of all is that it rides up in front so that the neckline, which is several inches below the base of my neck ends up choking me. I really don’t know why it does that or what to do about it.

Right now I’m almost finished with another shirt that is turning out much better. After a failure I always try to sew a guaranteed success. Well… I would have thought the purple one was a guaranteed success. In fact, I think of everything as a guaranteed success, until it isn’t. Oh well. Tip for you non-sewing people: Even after more than 30 years sewing you will still have occasional failures. Nobody’s perfect so if you really want to sew just get over whatever is keeping you from it and get started already.

I’m feeling particularly unmotivated and lacking imagination lately. NOT depressed; I’m feeling just fine. It’s just that when I think, “What do I want to do today?” or “What can I post on the blog today?” nothing comes to me. And when I look around and see the house is a mess I just think, “No hurry; I’ll clean that up later.” And I’m only working on the sewing just a few minutes a day. And so on. I’m going to blame the weather. Anyway, the good side of that is that I’ve been doing a lot more reading than usual and that’s good because, well, reading is always good and because I just recently downloaded two more $1.99 specials that look really good.