Monthly Archives: June 2011

Random Linkage

On picking battles – BWAHAHAHAHA! This blog is going on my list.

Great photo – Brave pelican? No. Just a birdbrain.

Did Shakespeare smoke weed? – Most likely. It wasn’t illegal in those days, you know.

Flat Earth Map – Fascinating.

World City – If the world’s entire population lived in one city how big would it be? Interesting infographic.

Fascinating trees – Beautiful and interesting

Bollocks Generator

Instant Art Statement, A.K.A. Bollocks Generator. (British profanity is so charming and cultured, don’t you think?) I sort of like the first one it gave me so I’m going to copy it and post here. Who knows… I might need this when I decide to become a world famous, highly respected outsider artist.

My work explores the relationship between the tyranny of ageing and multimedia experiences.

With influences as diverse as Blake and Francis Bacon, new synergies are generated from both traditional and modern layers.

Ever since I was a teenager I have been fascinated by the traditional understanding of the human condition. What starts out as triumph soon becomes corroded into a cacophony of greed, leaving only a sense of what could have been and the inevitability of a new beginning.

As temporal forms become transformed through boundaried and personal practice, the viewer is left with an impression of the possibilities of our condition.

Click on it a few times and you begin to see how it works. Here’s a fun first line:

My work explores the relationship between the body and skateboard ethics.

Hmmmm…. Anyway. Moving on.


10 Myths About Introverts is interesting and even I learned things from it. I’ve always thought that I don’t really fit in either category – introvert or extrovert. I often think I have way too many “why doesn’t anyone ever pay attention to me?” moments to be a true introvert and I like hanging out with other people (Well… some people) but I do need my alone time. If I don’t regularly spend time alone with my own thoughts I tend to get mean and snappy.

I can even handle small talk. What I have the hardest time with is listening to people talk about their problems. It’s not that I’m not sympathetic. (Well, it depends) It would be different if they were asking for my advice but no one ever wants my advice and most people would be offended if gave it to them so when someone is going on and on and on about their problems I’m usually thinking, “Why do I have to listen to this sh__? Why can’t we talk about something interesting?” (And yet, I don’t really know how to steer a conversation in the direction I want it to go.) I would literally rather watch grass grow than to listen to someone whine about their boss or their aching back or the price of groceries or (Number One Hated Topic) female problems. (And you know when I say “literally” that’s what I mean.)

But, you know, sometimes it’s not so much a topic as an attitude or a conversational style. I could listen to my son complain about his in-laws all day because he’s funny and he’s not all “this is so awful my life sucks” about it. And, as a matter of fact, he doesn’t talk about the same thing all day. We have some really interesting and fun conversations sometimes. I could write an entire post just about that.

Anyway, back to the myths about introverts. Number 3 is a good point and partly true about me. As I said I can handle small talk and I have no problem with social pleasantries but I get impatient when someone obviously has a point to make or information to covey and they take too long getting around to it. If you really have something to say just skip the preliminaries and come right out with it. I guess, unlike most people, I’m a business first kind of person. Get the real point out of the way first then we can do the small talk.

Number 6 is not entirely true of me. I don’t only want to talk to one person at a time. Although the one-on-one conversations often are the most interesting, I also enjoy fun group conversations with people who are pleasant and have good attitudes. Like my in-laws, for example. My husband’s brothers and sisters and their families are the most fun people in the world to hang out with and I never get tired of being around them.

Myth #9 “Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.” Yeah, I hate that one. Quiet time, whether alone or with someone else, is relaxing and fun. I do like going out so this is another way in which I’m not sure I’m really an introvert but I hate when someone tries to get me to “loosen up and have fun.” That actually hasn’t happened in a long time. I suppose after you get to a certain age people give up on you and decide you’re just dull and won’t change but I do wish everyone would understand that sometimes just being quiet and thinking is fun.

Finally, #10. Absolutely! Why would I want to “fix myself”? I’m fine; it’s you extroverts who need “fixing”. (Just kidding. You guys are okay too, I guess.)


Life, Sewing, and Everything

My mother gave me her fabric stash. She’s finding it too difficult to sew anymore. I don’t think she has done any sewing for several years but it’s sad to think of her not sewing anymore, ever. I can’t help but look back and think of all the clothes she made for me while I was growing up. By the time I was in elementary school I was picking out my own fabric and patterns and she would make anything I requested. She even made tiny clothes for Barbie dolls and I really, really wish I had kept some of those.

My mother and I have differing tastes in clothing and fabrics. She likes polyester knits. I’m a cotton kind of gal. I plan to make most of these fabrics into something for her. There are a few cottons that would be suitable for quilting. Like mine, it’s a relatively small stash. She also included some patterns and a lot of embroidery transfers. I haven’t done much embroidery and I really don’t know how to do anything other than the outline stitch, unlike my mom who used to do a lot of embroidery. Something else she did that I like but have never bothered to figure out how to do is smocking. That’s just one of those things that is probably simple if you know how to do it but seems almost magical to me.

Fortunately, right now I’m in a sewing mood. I’m making an apron that I’m going to give to my mom. I originally bought the fabric for myself. I bought two pieces to make aprons but after making one I decided that I had enough aprons. I actually don’t use them all that often so two are all I need.

I have a good start on another quilt that will be a gift. I need to start another top which will also be for a gift quilt but which I might not get finished this year. I have most of the stuff for another quilt for myself and my Other Half so when I get that one started I can show it off and talk about it. And I have ideas. Lots of ideas. As many ideas as I have I suppose I should consider machine quilting but the actual hand quilting is my favorite part of the process. Well… except for the planning and the buying.

Whenever I start on a quilt I’m always certain it’s going to go faster than the last one and that I will be able to finish it in just about eight weeks, give or take a week, but then other things start getting in the way. I find that I really can’t work on it for more than two hours a day and then I have to skip a day or two of quilting for one reason or another and it ends up taking five or six months to finish. But this time… well, you know.

Some of you are probably going to think I’m crazy but I love this time of year. I don’t even mind that it has been miserably hot lately, hotter than usual for June. Last year we had a relatively cool, pleasant summer and then look at the winter we had! So I’m thinking if the summer is hotter than normal maybe the winter won’t be as bad this year. Of course I could be wrong but why not hope for the best and look on the bright side and all that.

I meant to wax poetic (or something) back on the “First Day of Summer” but I missed the chance. It has always seemed a little strange to me that the solstice is considered the official first day of summer. By that time it has actually been summer for at least a month. Memorial Day is the day I think of as the “real” beginning of summer. But anyway… I love summer. Sure I spend most of it inside, in the air-conditioning but it’s my favorite season. Being outside early on a summer morning is wonderful. And evenings, the symphony of crickets, frogs and other night sounds. And just the long days, the many hours of daylight. The purely practical unpoetic thing I like best about summer is that dressing is a lot simpler. You don’t have to put on layers and think about what jacket to wear when you go out and you’re not burdened with carrying a coat around the store while you shop. Fall is a nice time of year too but the nice part of it is too short. Summer is long. It goes beyond the calender’s summer. From the middle of May to well into September it feels like summer and I guess that’s what some people hate about it but it’s one of the reasons it’s my favorite season.

I have almost completely ignored the flower beds this year. Busy with other things. The garden departments will soon be trying to get rid of the last of their stuff. There will be sales. I’ve been considering getting a few more things to plant – some heat-loving flowers like lantana. I understand those can be a problem in some areas but here they usually die in the winter. I once had one last for two years and it was HUGE the second year. I really should get one or two of them. The butterflies love them.

Shopping Accidents

Ladies, a warning: If you go shopping with your husband you might come home with something you hadn’t planned on.

Little Red Phone Booth

Honestly, I do like it but it’s not what I had in mind to put in this little corner by the door and I’m not sure it really goes with our kitchen. A miniature London phone booth seems more like a funky city thing. But our kitchen is already somewhat “eclectic” (I think that’s Latin for “nothing in the room really goes together”) so I guess it will be okay.

Yesterday we went to Garden Ridge to buy a couple of lampshades for my mother and I looked at the small furniture items. I had two options in mind for this little corner. One was to put nothing there. The broom closet that used to be there came to within inches of the door and it always felt like it was in the way so I was happy about that foot and a half of empty space and was sort of inclined to leave it empty. My other idea was to put one of those tall thin plant stands there and find a small basket with a lid or maybe one or two of those fake books that are actually boxes you can hide stuff in. If I didn’t find anything I liked at Garden Ridge I was going to start looking in the antique shops, of which there are literally hundreds in the area.

There were several things I thought would work okay but nothing I was really excited about. So I was thinking I would look through some antique shops this week but we saw the little phone booth and I thought it was kinda cute and the husband just had to have it. So now we have a little red phone booth by our back door. It’s about 30 inches tall and has shelves inside. I’m not sure what to put in it. Things will probably find their way into it and they won’t necessarily be things I want to show off behind glass doors. Maybe I could get some of those fake books to put in it.

(As you can see, we’re not quite finished yet. We haven’t put in all the baseboard yet and we need to sand and paint the back door but it might be a long time before we get around to that.)

Still Here

We’re still having some connectivity issues. Now I’m thinking it might be our PC but I don’t know; I’m not the expert in these matters. I’m still glad we switched to Hughes Net because it is faster than Wild Blue.

In other entertainment news, we’re getting Direct TV installed on Thursday. I can hardly wait. Right now we’re getting quite a few channels but no HD. I’m actually even looking forward to telling the Cable company that we’re switching. Well, sort of looking forward to it and sort of not. Anyway, we will be getting a lot of channels that we don’t get now, a few of which look interesting and many of which we will never watch. There are a lot of religious channels and Latino channels. (Is it okay to say “Latino” this week? I can’t keep up.) I wish they would let us trade channels. I would gladly trade all of the church channels channels for just one good movie channel.

We’ve been quite busy the last few days. Spent all afternoon yesterday shopping. With the husband! More about that later. I need to take a picture and upload it.


This morning I dreamed that the kitchen ceiling was about to fall. We were all sitting around the table and the ceiling started making creaking noises and sagging so I went into the living room to escape but everyone else kept sitting at the table so I kept going back to look at the ceiling and it just kept falling but never actually fell down. And then I woke up. The ceiling never fell and the real one is fine too. Well, not fine. It’s ugly and we need to cover it up, which is probably why I dreamed that it was falling – because I’ve been thinking about that.

More Diet Silliness

20 Superfoods For Weight Loss. Most of the items on the list are not surprising but a few are the opposite of what we’ve been told for the last couple of decades, at least. Steak? Eggs? I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a wild prediction (but maybe not so wild, considering). Sooner or later the “experts” are going to decide that bacon is actually good for us. Maybe even refined sugar. (Remember you read it here first.) In moderation of course. When they have flip-flopped on everything else several times they are going to have to come up with something “new” to surprise us with and make us read their articles.

Egg Beater

I found this adorable little whisk at Ace Hardware. Isn’t he cute?

Egg beater

The shelf he’s sitting on is a paper towel holder and the other two items are just things I had already that I put there just to have something sort of decorative. I might change the arrangement occasionally, put different things there.


In an earlier post I mentioned Penelope Garcia, the character on Criminal Minds. Because I was talking about her fashion choices I searched for pictures but didn’t find any of her more colorful outfits but I did find a couple of interesting items. First this short article and video. I am delighted to discover that Kirsten Vangsness is not very different from the character she plays.

I also found the Top Ten Garcia Quotes. Yes! She does have some great lines. Must have been hard to narrow it down to only ten. (More quotes)

While we’re talking about Criminal Minds, I have to mention that I think Agent Hotchner, played by Thomas Gibson, is just a wee bit creepy. If anyone ever makes a movie of the classic TV series Dark Shadows they really must get Gibson to play Barnabas Collins. Gosh… thinking about that, much as I dislike remakes of classics, now I really want it to happen.

Sour Cream

I really need to make the fascinating HiLobrow a regular read. (I keep forgetting about it.) The history we learn in school is all about wars, the larger movements of people and the more Earth-shaking inventions but the history of ordinary things is often the most fascinating. Take for example this history of sour cream, which takes us on a trip through Russia, ancient Europe and even Alaska.

Watching the Neighbors

A while back I said that we had heard excavation going on at the rich, snooty neighbors’ across the road from us and we guessed that they were putting in an in-ground pool. We were wrong. Not long after I said that we saw a tornado shelter going in and now there are walls going up. They are building a house behind their existing house, which we’re assuming will be moved when the new one is finished. The new house is huge. It’s really going to say, “We’re rich and snooty” in grand fashion. Obviously I’m terribly envious.

Actually, I’m sure they’re nice enough people. I don’t have a problem with neighbors not being neighborly; I actually prefer it that way. The neighbors on either side of us stay to themselves most of the time too but I just get a different vibe from these people. Two things about the across-the-road neighbors seem to me definite signs of unfriendliness. One is that they never call off their dogs. They have several dogs that, as dogs will do, always bark at me whenever I go to the mailbox or even when I’m just walking around my own front yard. That’s normal dog behavior. Normal human behavior would be to at least try to make the dogs shut up. These neighbors never do. Maybe it’s just me but that really, seriously gets under my skin. It’s the little things. They also never say hello when we’re both outside. I don’t particularly care about that but people around here always say hello when they see you even if they don’t know you at all so it seems unfriendly when someone never, ever says hello or waves or even just give a little nod.

Anyway… I am interested to see what the house will look like when it’s finished. It will give me even more reason to be ashamed of our house and really glad that’s it’s only barely visible from the road but still, somehow, it makes me happy to see a big, new house going up. I guess because I’ve always been interested in houses. And soon the directions to our house will include the phrase, “right across from the mansion.”

Pointless Rambling

So, now that I’m “well-connected” again I don’t have anything that I simply must say up on the soap box and I’m not particularly in the mood for surfing and reading other blogs. To tell the truth, what I want to do, unfortunately, is shop. I thought of all kinds of things I needed and wanted while our connection was iffy and I didn’t want to take a chance on being in the middle of an order when it went down.

I’ve already ordered (look away gentlemen) an X-back bra so I can wear my sleeveless dresses and tops without looking like trailer trash. I only ordered one but if it fits good I’ll buy at least one, maybe two, more.

I need some more address labels with both our names on them. I get all kinds of free address labels from people who want us to send them money but they always have either my name or the husband’s name, never both. Those are okay for paying bills because those people don’t care as long as they get their money but for sending letters and cards to family I feel that both our names should be on the envelope. So I need more address labels.

I used to buy this Lundberg Country Wild Rice at a local grocery store but they don’t have it anymore. I can get it via but you have to buy six one pound packages of it at a time so I’ve been hesitating to buy it but I finally decided that I must have it. I really love the stuff.

I think I only have one more piece of fabric for summer clothes and a few more fall and winter pieces but I seriously do not need anymore clothes. I need to finally get around to altering and re-making a few garments that I’ve been hanging on to. One is a yellow dress with print skirt and solid bodice that I want to completely take apart and re-make because I don’t like the bodice fabric. I was stupid and bought a poly-cotton blend. It’s very uncomfortable and it’s also too short so I bought some 100 percent cotton to make a new bodice. Another problem is, being a light color it needs a slip which sort of defeats the purpose of cool summer dresses but I’m thinking maybe if I got some cotton lawn and made a slip out of that maybe it would be tolerable when the weather isn’t terribly hot. I really like the dress even though it makes me look like Big Bird’s fatter cousin but I haven’t worn it half a dozen times in several years because it feels so hot and sticky.

I thought of several more things I wanted to say while I was out walking this morning but I’ve forgotten most of them. I lost three pounds this week in spite of the monster-size hamburger I ate last Saturday. I was going to post a picture of the place where we had lunch but all of the pictures came out blurry. I took them with my phone. I did have my camera with me but I think I need a new “memory stick” and I keep forgetting to buy one. It keeps telling me “Reinsert Memory Stick” so I hope it’s the memory stick and not the camera. If it’s the camera I might just do without for a while, maybe get one next year. The phone takes okay pictures when I manage to hold it still. But I’m sure it’s just the memory card. (I don’t know why they call it a “stick”; it’s a little square thing.)

Anyway… the restaurant. If you like history museums and old buildings you must go to Guthrie, Oklahoma sometime, and while you’re there you must eat at Geno’s. It’s in a beautiful historic building. The interior has brick walls, wood floors and pressed tin ceiling. The menu has a lot of of choices of standard American food, hamburgers, chicken, barbecue, salads, etc. I had one of the hamburgers. I forget what they called it but it had bleu cheese on it and it was sinful and heavenly! If anyone ever asks me what I want for my last meal that’s what I’m going to ask for. The fries were just okay. Not bad but I’ve had better.

I need to push myself away from the computer and get busy. I have much much to do today. The grandson is coming this weekend so I have to make cookies. I need to catch up on the laundry which is overflowing the hampers. (How do three people make so many dirty clothes?) I’m thinking about going to the store again but I might wait and hope I have time Saturday morning. But then I probably won’t get around to it until Saturday afternoon when there’s a gazillion people there and I’ll hate myself for waiting. Anyway, have a good weekend everyone. Stay cool.


Fashionably Unfashionable?

Last week, while I was trying to decide what to wear Saturday on our little day trip to Guthrie, He Who Shall Not Be Named told me that I dress like a blue-haired old lady. Actually, he said he doesn’t like my new pink pants because blue-haired old ladies wear pink pants. But I’m not offended. (well… not much) I choose to be amused instead, which is easy because it is rather amusing.

First of all, men commenting on women’s fashions is always hilarious. All men care about when it comes to women’s fashions (and they will tell you this themselves) is how well a garment shows off a woman’s legs, boobs and butt. This is okay. It’s just nature. But we gals should keep this fact in mind whenever we are tempted to ask him what he thinks we should wear.

As I’ve said before, I’ve never cared about being fashionable. If I were fashionable that would just mean I was following the crowd. I do like to look good. I like to be colorful and well-coordinated. Yes, the bottoms must go well with the tops. I must be comfortable too. I guess you could say those are my three C’s of fashion: comfortable, colorful and coordinated. I like more subdued colors and neutrals too so not always so colorful.

To be honest, a character I greatly admire for her fashion choices is Penelope Garcia on Criminal Minds. I guess her flamboyant style is supposed to be a joke but I actually think some of her outfits look really good but mostly I like that she wears what she likes and doesn’t try to be proper or fashionable.

Finally, as to what “blue-haired old ladies” wear – perhaps they are the ones who have the superior fashion sense. After all they have experience. Most of them have followed every silly fad to come along for several decades. They’ve tried it all and gotten over it and decided to wear what they want to wear no matter what is “in” this season. So if I dress like an old woman that just means I’m precocious.

Technical Issues Update

Did I mention that we’re now up and running on Hughes Net? It is definitely faster than Wild Blue – not amazing, just noticeably a little faster. As they say, every little bit helps. However, the atmosphere is still the atmosphere and we’re having a thunderstorm this morning so the connection keeps coming and going as it always does in bad weather. But I’m happy that it’s raining. It’s been sunny and hot for a few weeks and we needed this.

Big Enough?

The former Aaron Spelling mansion has been sold. Its size is 57,000 square feet. Fifty seven thousand square feet!!! (Sorry but that really needs more than one exclamation mark.) I knew it was huge but actually seeing the number is a bit shocking. I did the math; that is about 38 times the size of my house. (The listing says 56,500 square feet but the property is only 4.7 acres. Ha! I have more land and it’s not all taken up by house.)

Spelling’s widow said that she wanted to downsize. So what is she downsizing to? A 15,555 square foot penthouse. Well, that is somewhat smaller but still more than I can imagine living in. A while back when I came across a floor plan for a 7,000 square foot Victorian (which I couldn’t find again) I thought, “Wow, that’s a huge house but I can see myself living in it.” I can’t see myself living in 15,555 square feet and certainly not 57,000 square feet. (Although… if someone twisted my arm I might be willing to give it a try.)

By the way, what do you think of the decor in the Spelling mansion? I like the style well enough but it’s an awful lot of white. Nothing says “I don’t do my own housework” like white carpet and upholstery.

Random Linkage

Wall – Best ultra-short story ever! So much said in so few words.

Clever garden table

Unfortunate abbreviation

Detouring around Internet censorship

Stuck in Customs – a very nice travel photography blog. Many of the photos appear to have been manipulated for artistic effect.

Robo-signing – Your signature goes high tech

Evolutionary basis of superstition – Does this mean that evolution makes some people deny evolution?

“Fun” With Spammers

While the cat’s away the spammers will play, I guess. Fortunately I don’t get a lot of spam comments, usually fewer than 10 a week, but since I haven’t been able to spend as much time online they sort of pile up a bit and I had quite a few to delete this morning. Since the spammers post without actually reading this site many of the spam comments are quite funny. I got one on one of my “Quotes From Here and There” posts saying that it was a wonderful article and they really appreciated the information but it was too short and could I please make the article longer.

And then there was this comment from someone apparently trying to sell perfume: Certainly like your website but you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I will definitely come back again. Spelling issues? Me? I know I’m not perfect so there might be a spelling error here and there but “rife with spelling issues”? I’m usually the one complaining about the spelling on other sites.

I know these people never actually visit this site, never see the posts they’re “commenting on”, but sometimes I really wish I could talk back to them. I want to tell them how obvious it is that they never read my site and how silly their comments look. But then, other times I just want to tie them up and break their fingers one a time.

UPDATE: Sometimes, when I am feeling a bit mischievous, I leave the “nice” spam comments and just remove the URL. I just got one today that says “You are a very skilled blogger.” Heh.