Monthly Archives: May 2010

Visitor

Look who came to visit this afternoon.

Stray Peacock

We have no idea where he came from. As far as we know none of our immediate neighbors have peacocks. This was the best of several pictures that I took. He was running back and forth along the fence trying to get away from me. I was zoomed in all the way. (4X)

This is not the most exotic stray we’ve ever seen in our yard.

UPDATE: I missed the real fun. The Husband just came in to tell me that Three has chased the peacock up a tree.

Sewing

I made this dress last week and wore it on Sunday but everyone was sort of busy so I didn’t bother asking anyone to take a picture of me wearing it. It comes to about 5 inches above my ankles.

New Dress

I absolutely love this dress and I want to make several more. The pattern is Kwik Sew 2671. I altered it a little. It’s intended to be a jumper but I made the neckline a little higher and the armholes smaller so I could wear it alone, without a blouse underneath. I do have one serious complaint about the pattern. It has two different neckline choices and they’re printed one on top of the other so that you can’t use both without tracing one first. That is easy enough but I expect, when I buy a pattern, that I will be able to make each of the garments shown on the package without having to make my own pattern pieces.

When I was a little girl I had a skirt that was made of a white on black paisley fabric. It was one of my favorite garments and I had been trying to find a similar fabric. The fabric I used for this dress is nothing like it other than being white on black paisley; it has more white and is busier overall but I like it and it’s probably as close I’m going to get. I found it at Fabric.com.

Tuesday I went to Sager Creek Quilts and Yarnworks with my mother. It is a wonderful little store. In addition to having lots of great cotton prints, it’s in an old house and I love when people put stores in old houses instead of tearing them down and building something new. The gentleman who runs the place is very nice too. I found a fabric I needed for a future quilt. I had planned to also buy something for another dress like the one above but I couldn’t decide on anything. It was all beautiful fabric and nothing really leaped out at me and said “This is the one.” Often, I will finally decide on what I wanted days after I’ve been to a fabric store. The inspiration still hasn’t come to me but if it does I can order online or go visit my mom again. I just hope she doesn’t start thinking I only go to Siloam Springs for the fabric store.

More About My “Fascinating” Life

UPDATE: Added photo. This is one I took last week.

My cat, Dax

The animal lovers among you will be relieved to know that I did take Dax to the vet for her allergy shot today. There are few things in the world more pitiful and horrifying than Dax in a pet carrier. The noise is unreal! It sounds like someone is torturing some kind of weird extraterrestrial. If there are any movie sound effects people out there I would be glad to let you use Dax’s cries in your next sci-fi horror feature – for an appropriate monetary compensation of course. Actually being at the vet’s and getting the shot was nowhere near as traumatic as the ride in the car. She was a little nervous about it and kept trying to snuggle up close to me – me, the one who took her there in the first place – but she didn’t seem especially freaked out.

* * *

Last night our TV turned itself off and then on again several times. No, it wasn’t the cat walking on the remote again. That was my first thought. Number Two Son (He wasn’t here at the time but I told him about it this morning.) said that it’s possessed. I think being something like 20 years old might have something to do with it but I’m liking the notion of it being possessed. We started getting excited about the possibility that we might need a new TV (even though we’re really hoping we won’t need one for a while) so this evening we went to Wal-mart and looked at all the big, shiny, new flat screen TV’s and wrote down some model numbers and then came home and watched our old TV for a while. I think it knows we’re talking about replacing it because it totally behaved itself tonight.

(edited)

What? Wednesday Already!

I am suddenly overwhelmed by the number of things I need and want to accomplish this week. I suppose I mostly wasted Monday but at the time none of this stuff seemed all that urgent and, to be honest, most of it still isn’t; it just feels like it because I thought about doing it this week and the week is almost half over. Yesterday I went to visit my mother for a while so I don’t really want to call that a wasted day but it was a day in which I did not accomplish anything.

When I separate the things that have to be done this week from the things I just need to do “sometime” there’s really not all that much that I have to do but, maybe because I’m not a very organized person, it looks like more than it is. Also, it doesn’t help that the least urgent things are the things that I most want to do. To be honest, I find very organized people to be highly annoying. It seems like they’re slaves to their to do lists. Being somewhat organized is a good thing but there should be some room for spontaneity built into our lists.

Two things that I need to do that keep getting pushed back are getting my hair cut and taking the cat to the vet for an allergy shot. I feel guilty about that last one. Strangely, that doesn’t seem like as much of an ordeal as getting my hair cut. There’s usually a fairly long wait and when I’m done I’m always a little disappointed. No one has cut my hair exactly right since we moved to Oklahoma. I guess normal women don’t keep the same hair style for 20 years anyway but darn it, it’s my hair and I know how I want it.

We’re having people over on Sunday and I should work on making the house a little bit more presentable and of course there’s the grocery shopping for that, which I’ll do on Friday but I need a few things, like bread for example, that I can’t do without until then.

I had big plans for doing lots of quilting and sewing this week, especially working on the quilt that I intended to have done by the end of March, and though that’s not urgent at all it feels like the most urgent thing. I think it’s really not so much lack of organization as my sense of urgency is all mixed up. Whenever I decide I’m going to do something and have it done by a certain time it becomes urgent in my mind whether it really is or not.

Hot ‘n’ Sunny Links

Upside Down Veggies – We’re growing a tomato plant in one of the Topsy-Turvy planters this year. Some good suggestions in that article. Maybe next year we’ll use buckets.

Sunscreens and cancer – from the “You can’t win” files

Pink katydid – strange

Here, kitty kitty – I think he’s going to need a bigger carrier.

Stone cold ice – These might be the coolest (no pun intended) ice cube trays ever!

Ice cream shoes – actually quite conservative as high heels go but sort of a neat idea

How to fix an overheated PC – Or, perhaps not.

Is it Tuesday yet?

Today did not start out good. My PC suffered a horrible adware attack and an element in my countertop convection oven burned out. And these two day changing events happened within a few minutes of each other. The PC is back to normal but the oven might take a little longer.

The rest of the day wasn’t bad except that, all day I was nervous about using any electronic devices or household appliances.

A Little Brass to Start the (Sunny) Weekend

Generally, I’m not a huge fan of brass but I’ve always liked this bright, perky little movement. This is how I feel about the sun finally coming out after a week of rain. And I think some of you guys might like the soloist, as well as the music.

Quotes From Here and There

It’s hard for New Yorkers to see beyond their city; there are some who no doubt read “Oklahoma Bombing” and think it’s a story about a Broadway revival closing on opening night.here (Aside from the political content of the article, which I won’t comment on, that line certainly seems to be true of the New Yorkers I have “met” online.) (via)

For better or for worse we decided that people shouldn’t think this way, but nature has a way of ignoring our clever ideas.there

Odd – or maybe not so odd; with the economy crashing down, oil rigs blowing up, etc., it’s awfully reassuring to reflect on the good side of screwups.here

It has, in fact, been estimated by behavioral scientists that the Grey Squirrel would have reached the moon at least two million years before man did, had not the squirrel’s calculations revealed that the probability of finding peanuts on the moon was practically nil.there

I don’t know why the kids are suddenly taking such an interest in working out. You’d think they’d get enough exercise with all the running off of their mouths and with all the luck they push.here

Look at the relative age of these “women”. They still carry pacifiers and haven’t developed breasts. They can’t think beyond themselves.there (via)

…I must tell you that daughter #1 mentioned that it is ‘Naked Compline’ at Clare College soon. This means that once a year the choir are starkers under their cassockshere

Look, Richard Dreyfuss is a great actor–amazing and moving and real. I like him a lot. But his conducting is crap.there

Attitude

Still not convinced that having a positive attitude will improve your life? Well, you just haven’t found the right motivation yet. Just remember this:

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. — Herm Albright (1876 – 1944)

Found here.

I’m Still Alive

The worst of the storms passed to the south of us. Funny thing about living in Oklahoma – if you live in Oklahoma and have a blog or post on message boards you have to post something the day after a big storm whether you have anything to say or not because if you don’t everyone who’s been in the habit of reading your nonsense will worry that you have died.

Another funny thing – whenever there is a storm or other event anywhere in your state that makes the national news people outside your state think of it as happening to the whole state. They see horrifying footage of one flattened trailer park and think that’s what most of the state looks like. I don’t think any of last night’s storms were bad enough to make the national news but the local stations acted like it was an End Of The World event as usual with non-stop, uninterrupted coverage.

So anyway… just another day in Flyover Country.

What Not to Say

18 Common Phrases to Avoid in Conversation. (Annoying ad warning) Okay, first of all, don’t ever tell me what to say or how to say it because I am your elder (He said so.) and I know more about these things than you do. Um, anyway… the “right thing to say” depends a lot on who you’re talking to. If you know the person well you probably already know what you should and should not say to them based on their personal hot buttons and if they know you they are used to your speech habits and will usually know what you’re really trying to say when you repeat a common phrase.

The first one in the list is absolutely wrong. They suggest, instead of saying, “You look tired, say “Is everything okay?. I would much rather have someone say to me “You look tired,” than ask me “Is everything okay?” When you ask a question you are putting the person you’re speaking to on the spot to come up with an answer. If everything is not okay they might not want to share. If everything is okay they’ll wonder why on Earth you would ask such a question and think you’re weird and creepy. If you don’t want to say, “You look tired,” you could just stick with the standard, “How are you?” Yes, it’s a question but it’s so common it’s a non-question. It doesn’t demand much in the way of an answer but leaves an opening in case the person you’re asking has more to say than, “Fine.”

The next two, “Wow, you’ve lost a ton of weight!” and You look good for your age,” I would have to agree that you should not say. Of course, if you know the person very well, maybe you know it’s okay to say these things to that person but generally avoid any specific comments about a person’s appearance.

I will completely skip the next two sections, What Not to Say in the Workplace and What Not to Say During a Job Interview because corporate-speak is mostly silly and makes me tired and because it’s still possible that I might someday need a job.

Next is What Not to Say About Pregnancy and Babies. Oh, yes, absolutely right! If you don’t know her, Don’t! Say! Anything! That bears repeating: Don’t! Say! Anything! I have two kids, both grown now, and the one and only thing I hated about being pregnant was that casual acquaintances and even complete strangers thought they had the right to walk up to me and ask very personal questions. And always the same questions. Even if I didn’t mind answering the question once or twice it got really old having to answer it several times a day. The same goes for babies. Just because babies are cute does not mean they are public property. If you just can’t resist, a simple, “What a cute baby,” or the like, would probably be okay but, believe it or not, parents get tired of even this after the first hundred or so times we hear it. Sometimes parents would just rather be left alone with their new little person.

Next is What Not to Say to a Single or Newly Single Person. I think this one entirely depends on how well you know the person and their situation but obviously you should be sensitive to other people’s feelings. Above all don’t think of being single as if it were a disease and don’t make assumptions that could lead you to embarrass yourself.

In What Not to Say During a Fight With Your Beloved, some of the “say this instead” suggestions seem a little too psycho-babble for my taste. If your beloved hates psycho-babble using these kind of phrases could actually make them more angry. Listen, I’ve been married for over 30 years – yes, to the same person – and I know a thing or two. The way to not fight is to simply not fight. I know that sounds ridiculous but most of the time it really is that simple. Just stop. Think. How important is the thing you’re about to complain about, really? Don’t like his dirty socks on the floor? Pick them up your own damn self! It’s not that important. Just because something annoys you doesn’t mean it’s important. Get over yourself. That doesn’t mean you should never complain. Maybe your partner would like to know what bothers you. Just don’t overdo it and whatever it is, say it politely but not in a psycho-babbly way. Say it the way you would want him to say it to you.

That last thing goes for the whole list. Always be polite and whatever you say, think how you would like for someone to say that to you.

Misc. Notes, Updates and Links

The sun is shining! It’s a miracle! Well, after a week of rain it feels like a miracle. The sun did come out yesterday afternoon and that was great but to wake up to sunshine in the morning… It’s been a while. And I must spend a lot of time outdoors today, even though I have a sewing project that I would like to finish. Maybe I’ll save it for the next rainy day though.

Since I mentioned nail polish last week I got inspired to go through my collection and I threw out several old bottles that were dried up or separated but I still have around two dozen. I have more nail polish than I have shoes. Is that normal? I really have no idea. Nail polish costs less than shoes but, on the other hand, you change shoes more often than you change nail polish.

I have to show off my newest treasure:

Blue and white cup

It was sort of a Mother’s Day present. I got a gift card for The Cracker Barrel so we went to the one in Owasso two days after Mother’s Day and had dinner and looked around the gift shop and I bought this. I love cups with pictures on the inside. It feels like something special – a little something extra. Also this cup is actually both dishwasher and microwave safe, which is a bit unusual. The prettiest cups are usually not.

Here’s a NY Times article about food allergies. It confirms something that I have always thought: that a lot of people who say they are allergic are really not. Usually they really believe they are but in fact they merely had a bad reaction to a particular food once or they had symptoms that may or may not have been caused by the food in question or they are sensitive to it but not really allergic.

And a few more blogs I’ve come across recently…

Russ’ Filtered News – lots of news links, very brief commentary; left leaning (It has those annoying pop-up preview things but other than that I like it.)

Yet Another Weird SF Fan – More current events than SF but I like it. I also like the retro Blogger template. I used to think that was one of Blogger’s uglier templates but now that I almost never see it anymore it always makes me happy to find a blog that’s still using it.

3AM Magazine: Buzzwords – a little art, a little pop culture

Thoughtful Gestures – music, conducting and a little science now and then. Great blog!

Peakfun – a wide variety of interesting stuff: photos, videos, art, unusual things. I like these.

Insert Clever Title Here

I would say I’m taking the day off from blogging but here I am. Which is a bit of a miracle and I don’t know how long I will stay connected. Right now at 7:30AM it is almost as dark as night outside. I only have one quote so I’m saving it for next week unless I miraculously come across several more today. And the music for Friday? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll look for one later, maybe not.

Mostly, I guess I’m just not in the mood. Or maybe not so much “not in the mood” as can’t think of anything interesting or worthwhile to post. Actually, a little of both, I think. Bloggers, do you ever look at your own blog and think, “Ugh! If I was reading this for the first time I probably wouldn’t come back”?

I might start another sewing project today or maybe work on the quilt or the next top. Or maybe I’ll do some house cleaning or maybe just read all day. Possibly at least two of the above. I need to go to the store because I forgot something important yesterday. I’m making chili tonight and can you believe I forgot to buy the meat! Sometimes I hate my brain. I don’t want to go out while it’s storming so if the weather is like this all day I might make something else for supper. But I’m thinking positive. I’ve already started soaking the beans.

The Cure For a Rainy Day

I spent a huge chunk of yesterday working on my new kitchen curtains. First I want to show you the old ones.

Kitchen curtains

I’ve had these curtains for over 10 years. I found just a small piece of this fabric. It wasn’t enough for both this window and the one in the dining area but I loved it so I used it for the little kitchen window and made solid blue curtains for the dining area. Those didn’t turn out so well and I’ve never liked them. I still love the kitchen curtains though and I feel a little twinge of regret for having replaced them.

But, I saw this yellow and blue fabric and loved it so much I had to use it for curtains so that I can look at it every day. And I had already been thinking that maybe it was time for a change.

Kitchen curtains

There is less fabric in these. We never close the kitchen curtains so they don’t really need to be any wider than this. This is not a very good picture. I rushed to take it right after I hung them up there. The ones on the dining area window look better closed but that’s in one of our most junky areas so I can’t get a good picture of those.

I sort of miss my red, white and blue curtains a little bit but I’m very happy with these. They brighten up the place a lot. I think the old ones might end up in a quilt someday. For now I’ll just stash them and wait for the inspiration to come.

New Flip-Flops

After several weeks thinking about the FitFlops that I talked about earlier (Sorry I can’t find a picture of them anymore. I guess they’re sold out.) I bought these instead:

My feet in flip-flops

They cost half what the FitFlops cost, which is a powerful incentive for me, but I think I will still always think, “maybe I should have bought the FitFlops instead.” These are okay. I don’t have any real complaints about them but at the same time they’re not really great either. I also thought about the Orthaheel thongs because they have a definite arch support but they also have all those little bumps and I know those would bother me. I really need to get a job designing shoes because obviously no one else knows how to design them.

By the way, pardon the bragging but, my feet… not bad for 50+ year old feet huh? This is the kind of “old lady feet” you end up with when you wear sensible shoes, girls.