I had some interesting mail as a result of the "Two points of view" post yesterday. I should hasten to add that it was just my quirky sense of humor raising it's head. While I occasionally need to secure my buttons more tightly (Thank goodness I didn't write about marbles), I have NEVER spent the evening with a smear of ketchup on my chin! *G*
February 2004 Archives
At least, that's what I WANT to be saying.
I know that Mother Nature has just given us a teaser. I have no doubt that we will return to the deep freeze for a while yet. Last year, March was a miserable month. Yet, it's supposed to be in the fifties for the next few days, and we are all ready to celebrate the warm weather.
In her mind......
She rose and walked slowly to the hall. He'd been watching her all evening as she worked. Every now and then she'd look up and catch his eyes on her. She'd found it difficult to focus on her work, thinking instead what they could be doing just down the hall....on the couch....on the floor....
She unbuttoned her sweater, slipped it from her shoulders, and caught it with the tips of her fingers. She looked over her shoulder, inviting him to follow, and then leisurely sauntered down the hallway.
Things that need to be turned upside down now and then:
1. The compost pile
2. A shampoo bottle
4. A mattress
5. An hour glass
Angie, my never-ending source of on-line fun, sent me this address: http://www.frontiernet.net/~cdm/age1.html and you should go visit.
Type in your date of birth and see where you fit in the scheme of things.
Okay.....you all need a new test to do....
and see if you can tell your programmers from your killers.
I got eight out of ten right, but I missed the most obvious one.
Actually, it should be a "piecing" update. This weekend I completed the construction of the blocks for the new quilt top. I've posted a picture of four of the blocks in an earlier entry.
The quilt top calls for 42 blocks which are 12 x 12 inches. There will be six blocks across and seven rows down when the blocks are sewn together. This week I have to put up a flannel design wall, and pin the blocks up in the order they will be assembled. I'll sew the blocks into rows, and then assemble the rows. This quilt will have two borders in medium and darker blue, and I think the binding will match the outer border. I have to choose a backing fabric, and a batting, and then it can be sent off to the ladies who machine quilt for me.
I was sewing along at lightning speed this morning, only to find that I was one block short of my goal. I pieced together some of the scraps of batik and made two more blocks, so I have one to spare. If it isn't used, I'll make a pillow out of the block.
When the quilting is done, I'll try to post a picture of the quilt.
I'm in a damned rut! My sense of humor has gone missing. Mother has always said I didn't have a sense of humor, and now I can't find it to prove to her that I have one.
I didn't notice it was missing until I started reading some really funny blogs, and all my responses sound like someone's ready-to-retire HomeEc teacher.
Is a sense of humor related to hormones? I'm willing to consider HRT if it will give me back my sense of humor.
Unfortunately, EVERYONE in my household would be "ooot" in no time.
It's no secret that I enjoy cooking. And, you all know that we are embracing the diabetic diet in this house. To that end, we are cutting carbs and fats and trying to increase the fiber. Unfortunately, our bodies are having a field day with the extra fiber. I'm happy to say that my mother has us all whipped into shape, and no one is allowed to entertain following dinner.
Do you have an alternate existance in your mind? A place where you can see yourself living your life, other than your current reality?
I suppose we all do. Zephraim Cochrane, in Star Trek "First Contact" saw himself on a beach in Polynesia surrounded by naked women. Dear Husband dreams of boats and sailing around the world.
The Friday Five for February 20, 2004
When was the last time you...
1. ...went to the doctor? February 3, 2004
2. ...went to the dentist? Three months ago
3. ...filled your gas tank? February 19, 2004. A week ago I almost drained the tank dry, so I've been more careful about filling up.
4. ...got enough sleep? February 20, 2004 I have the flu, and slept away most of the day and all night.
5. ...backed up your computer? February 13, 2004. I know, I know....I'm supposed to do it every day....
Thanks to The Friday Five for the questions!
Yeah......I'm having a sick day.
It doesn't happen very often. I've had my flu shot, but it seems I'm going through a mild case of it any way. Thank God for flu shots! I got to spend the day bundled up in an extra sweater and a quilt, and the cat held me down. Thank God for cats!
I've missed my on-line family! It seems that it's my style to go for a few days between posting, so I really appreciate those of you who take the time to visit, to see if I've been around. Some days I get to browse through blogs, and other days I choose to write instead. I envy those of you who get to do both.
We have been trying to eat meals that are lower in carbs. I found a tasty recipe for beef brisket that I've adjusted a bit, that has been a real hit.
Buy a small beef brisket (two pounds or less) and cut off all the fat. Spray a 13 x 9 metal cooking pan with Pam and set the brisket in the pan. Sprinkle the brisket with a 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, and grind fresh black pepper over it, to taste. Put two to three teaspoons of minced garlic into the pan, along with two bay leaves. Slice two large onions into rings and cover the brisket with the onions. Then, pour 3/4 cup of red wine over the onions and beef. Cover the pan with foil and bake for five to six hours or until very tender, at 300 degrees F.
When you are ready to serve, remove the brisket to a plate and keep it warm. Lift all the onions out of the pan, and puree them in a blender. Return the onions to the wine and juice in the pan and blend them for a wonderful sauce. Cut the brisket into slices across the grain. We served roasted potatoes and baked apples, although garlic mashed potatoes would be wonderful (if higher carb) addition to it.
God and I have very informal talks. There are times when I have the opportunity to hear a new pastor speak and I am overwhelmed by the quality of his prayers. I think...."I WISH I could put my thoughts into phrases that have such a lovely sound."
Usually my prayers are apologies for my shortcomings, and pleas for help to be a stronger, better person. Sometimes they are a litany of the woes in my life. Occasionally they ask for help for friends and family, and some times they are the simple formulas we learned as children....."Now I lay me down to sleep...."
I trust that God will forgive me for my shortcomings in the quality prayer department, because I'm sure that he knows they are heartfelt and sincere. I hope God has a sense of humor, because the prayer that frequently flits through my brain is "Dear God, please give me patience, NOW!"
The front of our house has two half-round windows. Each of them sit above three vertical windows, and they bump out of the roofline in two barrel shapes. Both of those windows are in the rooms assigned to my mother, her sitting room and bedroom.
I wouldn't presume to tell my mother how to decorate her rooms. Besides, she has better taste in decorating than I have. However, it was important to me that the two windows present the same appearance outside. Mother first chose verticle blinds to cover the bottom windows and then she selected honeycomb Duette fans to fill in the half rounds. Those fans are a pale raspberry color. The final touch was a layer of lace curtains with a swag in the center, over the verticle blinds.
I would NEVER have though of combining those three styles, but she made it work. Her decor is very Victorian, and though she's used modern textures, she's created a very feminine room that's faithful to Victorian style.
I'm delighted to say that we no longer have to boil our water. TEN days after the boil order was put into effect, we have finally been told that our water is safe again. The city tests in thirty-three places and until seven days ago, two of those tests each day would come in positive for coliform bacteria. Friday and Saturday all the readings were clear, but they held off until Sunday afternoon to announce the relaxation of the restrictions.
Thursday and Friday we ate out. I was so sure that the boil order would be lifted that I delayed doing dishes Saturday. Finally, on Sunday morning, I couldn't stand it any more. I emptied the dish washer and soaked the dishes in bleach water for 60 seconds and set them out to air dry. I bleached the counters and loaded up the dishwasher again. I did about six loads of laundry, fixed lunch, and repeated the entire process with the dishwasher again. Then I started working on dinner. Just about that time they phoned to say it was all clear.
So, after we finished cleaning up from dinner and bleaching the counters one more time, I cleaned and bleached all the screens in the faucets. I ran the ice cube maker to purge the system, and we ran hot water through the kitchen to clean out the lines. Oddly, the instructions in the newspaper were much less detailed than the original information on what to do following a boil order. I wonder if the situation was less serious than they originally expected.
At any rate, I'm damned happy we're done with that!
It's glorious out this morning. We started the day with the lightest of snow flurries, and they have passed through leaving us with mostly clear sky and almost blinding light. It's quite a change from the gray we've had.
There are icicles hanging from the gutter outside the window of my office, and they are dripping at a fast pace. The sun on the dark shingles must be melting the snow cover on the roof.
This morning I was getting ready to feed the birds, and looked out the window. What birds? Just a few moments earlier the feeders had been busy, and now there wasn't a bird in sight. Of course, that means there's a hawk nearby. The hawks are having the same problem finding food that plagues the little birds. The chipmunks and voles and mice must all be hibernating.
The hawk had landed in a tree about thirty feet from the feeder. He was absolutely still, and if you looked from the wrong angle, he really blended into his surroundings. But, the smaller birds weren't conned. They all left for safer places. As I walked out the door to fill the feeders, the hawk took off, flying south through the grove. He's a beauty, but I'm glad he didn't get any of our little friends.
We have blue jays, cardinals, mourning doves, Eastern starlings, juncos, nuthatches, chicadees, finches, sparrows, downy, hairy and red-breasted woodpeckers, fox and gray squirrels, rabbits, a possum and deer, that we know of, and probably more who come to our feeders this time of the year. I hope Mr. Hawk continues to find his dinners elsewhere.
What a bunch of fools!
The water department is STILL trying to figure out where the coliform contamination in the water is coming from. Finally, today, they listed information on what to do during a Water Boil. They have known about this problem for one full week, and they have just NOW informed the citizens of the safety proceedures.
The Water Department has been testing thirty sites throughout the city. The contamination they are finding at some of the sites could simply be due to a dirty faucet, since at least two of the sites are in public restrooms. However, there is sufficient evidence that the 4-million gallon, underground clearwell is contaminated to justify shutting it down. We are now drawing water from two one million gallon above-ground reservoir. Unfortunately, the water from the contaminated tank has to be flushed through the system, and our appliances, such as the water heaters, so we are boiling our water.
If you would like more detail on what you must do during a Water Boil, read on.
This is another of those entries that are hard to categorize. It could be "Off the Bookshelves," but it's not just a book review, so I've tossed it into Def-y's.
I just finished J.D. Robb's "Divided in Death." Robb is a nome de plume for Nora Roberts, who is very probably the premier romance writer of the past two decades. In addition to the scads of romance books she has written, she has also penned a series of 18 hard-edged, gory mystery/detective books, with one more book due in August, 2004. The main character is Eve Dallas, a police lieutenant in New York City, in 2059. Her husband, Roarke, is an Irishman of uncommon beauty, who has made his wealth and position through a number of shady deals in the past. Roarke has gone (almost) straight for her, and uses advanced technology created by his companies to help her crack her cases.
All of the books are good. The gore is there, and it is not a wise choice for the impressionable reader. With each passing story, we learn more about their relationship, and of those who people their world. I highly recommend this series to all of you, not just to fans of Roberts or the romance genre. Guys will enjoy her plotting to overcome the bad guys, as much as her vision of the future.
Every home owner learns that there are a plethora of repairs that have to be done if you wish to own a home. Things wear out and things break. If you are not an innate do-it-yourselfer, then you are wise to begin collecting the phone numbers of those repairmen you can trust to do a businesslike job, and not scalp you in the process.
No, this is not a cooking entry. Unfortunately, the city in which I live has announced that we are to boil our water for drinking, brushing teeth, cooking, making ice and any other use where we are likely to imbibe the water.
Friday night, in the middle of quilting bee, all the phones in the house rang. DH answered one of the lines, and it was a recorded message telling us to boil the water for the next two days. Since then, the boil order has been extened to "sometime" this week.
Do you know how something like that can disrupt the running of a household? You have to bring the water to a boil and continue to boil it for five minutes for it to be safe to drink. Then, the water has to cool before you can transfer it to plastic jugs. I purchased six gallons of drinking water on Saturday morning, and we've used part of that water, and keep refiling the empty jugs.
I had to call to see whether the dishwasher was an acceptable way to wash our dishes. I couldn't figure out how to rinse the dishes in boiling water with out hurting my hands. They said the dishwasher was safe, but that I should let my water run first to raise the temp of the water going into the dishwasher. Actually....that sounded rather stupid to me, but I was desperate.
I think that music is the determining factor in whether I like a movie or not. In fact, my favorite movies are those with great music.
I have a DVD/VHS player at the table where I piece my quilts. I realized the other day that I choose the same movies over and over as I piece. I thought at first that it was because I was listening to them, and could follow without having to watch the screen. But it occured to me, as I walked through the house singing phrases from the movies, that it's the music that draws me in.
Yep.....that's me. I am totally ticked off!
Like my friend, Jamie, I have been visiting the doctor to try to determine just what's going on, healthwise. Seventeen months ago I was handed off to a new doctor in the practice that oversees my medical needs. My doctor of more than ten years was leaving private practice to research ways to more effectively deliver health care. How could I complain about her going, when it was for such a good reason?
So, here I am with a new doctor, having to break her in on the changes that have taken place in the last year. I complained about something that was really bothering me, and she said "That is probably arthritis." So, I let it pass for a year, and then brought it up once more last October at my next physical.
This evening DH decided to call it quits early. Tomorrow he will have to take the trash down the drive, so it means that he will need to be up earlier than his usual 4:30 a.m. He organized some of the recyclables and walked the dog. On his way in, he commented that they had startled deer in the back yard.
Once you've startled the deer, there's no point in looking for them. They sprint and bound and take off hither and yon. They are a joy to see, when you can catch a glimpse of them.
So, I walked down the hallway to the bedroom, intending to turn back the covers, and the door to the guest room was open. It looks out over the south lawn, and there was one of the deer, standing as still as a statue. I moved so the light from the kitchen was not behind me. I stood and watched that deer for some time, and it never moved. I slipped out of the guestroom and into my bedroom, finished turning back the covers, and looked once more. The deer was still there, checking to make sure that it was safe for the herd to follow.
I know, I know.....it's already Groundhog Day and I haven't posted in February yet. All the hoo-haw over the Super Bowl bummed me out. First, I really don't care for football. Second, I don't like the entire idea of the Super Bowl being the highlight of winter. I was ticked that Beyonce was invited to do the National Anthem, but she was delightful compared to the goings on at the Halftime.
When did we get so far away from simple, wholesome entertainment? I've probably missed the past ten Super Bowls because the commercials received more attention than the competition. Unfortunately, the Super Bowl was on, here, at least for the first half. I noticed that the game was interrupted about every ten minutes for more commercials. I bet the football players just love that their momentum is interrupted every ten minutes. Wait.....what am I saying?? I bet they get a cut of the cost to air those commercials, so who gives a rip about the game?
DH left the room to get some work done, and I was washing dishes. I went to turn the TV off and saw that Janet Jackson was performing at the halftime. Had I stayed just a moment longer, I would have been treated to the sight of her breast. I guess I was lucky. I shut the TV off and went on with my dishwashing, blissfully unaware of the furor.
Personally, I think the entire halftime performance was inappropriate, not just Janet's baring. The style of dance, the style of clothing, the words to the songs.....it's all simply inappropriate. Apologies from CBS are a waste. As the network responsible for the show, they should have known what was planned. I can't believe they thought that MTV would produce a show appropriate for prime time TV on a Sunday night. And furthermore....most of the commercials were just as inappropriate.
Looking over my entry, I suppose this should have been categorized as "On the Soapbox." It's one thing to push the envelope. It's another to totally disregard guidelines that have been put in place for good reasons. Who knows? Perhaps Janet felt she needed to draw some attention away from her brother. Or, maybe she felt her career needed a boost. Maybe she is feeling the competition from the kiddies moving up the ladder behind her, or maybe she's learned from Madonna how to keep a sagging career going.
I don't know the whys and wherefores behind the decision to flash what should have been kept covered, but I'm really glad my TV was turned off at the right time last night.
Grow up, Janet. And while you are at it, find some good taste and talent.