Sneezes

Can you feel it when a sneeze is on the way?  Do they burst right out, or do they take a while to wind up?

We have a lot of fans in our new home, and plan to have more.  While the air-conditioning is out, sitting beneath a ceiling fan has saved us many an afternoon.  But, I realized that occasionally the fan makes me sneeze, especially in the dining room with the ceiling fan on a “high” setting.  What is it about air rushing past you as you eat or drink that might make you sneeze?

Out of the blue two days ago, I started sneezing.  I must have sneezed ten times before it stopped.  Usually I am one of those people who sneeze three times in a row.  I wonder why we have habits like that?  I really need to surf the subject, when I have more time.

For now, I’m going to blame cleaning supplies and the dust of a house that has not been well-cleaned for years as the cause of most of my sneezing.

Rain

It’s been terribly dry in my neck of the woods lately.  We really need a good saturating rain.    My hoses have been packed, and I don’t know whether they will arrive tomorrow, or whether we have to wait for the POD to be delivered, which might be a week later.  I know the shrubs and perennials need a drink, soon.  We’ve had beautiful clouds, but very spotty showers.

I was in the post office this week and saw a t-shirt that read:  “The rain in Spain stays mainly in Seattle.”  I posted that for my youngest sister, Frankie, who lived in Seattle for a time.

For those of you who have been getting a little too much rain, send some our way. You’d be doing both of us a favor!

Showers

Not the rainy day kind, but the kind you step under to start your morning.  We’ve been staying at a “budget motel” while waiting for our belongings to be delivered to the new house.  Tonight is our last night, and we’ve been here two weeks.

Dear Husband is a tad bit shorter than I am, so this didn’t bother him much, but our shower has apparently been designed  for those who are about 4’11″ tall.  I have to tilt my head back as far as I can to wash my hair.  The flow of water is fine.  The temperature is fine.  My only complaint is that the shower head is a bit low.

Now, I understand that I could have turned around and dropped my head forward, but I’m a bear of little brain, and I’m very much a creature of habit.  It took me until today to figure out the other options.

I was at the new house, cleaning, today, when I realized that Dear Husband is going to have the opposite problem with the shower head in our new bathroom.  It’s been hung high enough so that someone about 6’4” could wash their hair without having to bend their knees.  Again, good water flow and temperature, but the height of the fixture might be a problem.

I guess I’ll have to put a trampoline in the shower.  ;-)

Done and Dusted

…as one of my Scottish friends used to say.

We’ve sold our house and bought another, smaller, house.  I started cleaning in the kitchen today.  I thought all the shelves should be cleaned and covered with a layer of shelving paper before the boxes arrive.  Actually, we stored some foodstuff, rather than throwing it all out, so there is already “stuff” to put away.  As I cleaned, I’be been thinking about how I plan to use each cupboard.

We also made a Hobby Lobby run and picked up extra shelving “hardware,” lights for the bathroom, and bumpers for the cabinet doors.  I forgot to get “Crazy Glue,”  and a clear or white shower curtain.   The “Crazy Glue” is for our vinyl covered wood cabinets that need a tiny bit of mending.  I’d rather glue the loose parts down than replace the door to every cabinet.

I ended our mail hold, and arranged for the  forwarding to our new address,  And, we had a lock specialist come to the house to re-key the doors and to add dead bolts,  The seller told us that he had lost all the keys to the house.  He’d leave the door from the mudroom into the garage unlocked when he left, and just lock the large garage door!  I feel better having everything re-keyed and bolts added, but it sounds as though we are in a very safe neighborhood!

Appliances come tomorrow.  I’d better get to bed!

NCIS

I am a great lover of NCIS.  I watch both the original and NCIS-LA, but I really like the original.  For a long time I ran NCIS episodes while I pieced quilt tops.  Now, we have a new version of NCIS coming our way, based in New Orleans.  Scott Bakula is the main character.  I really enjoyed him in Quantum Leap and Enterprise.

I should surf because we know that NCIS New Orleans is going to be on Tuesday nights, but they aren’t saying what time.  I wonder if NCIS LA is going to continue, and if so, will it still be on Tuesday?  Would you leave NCIS in the 7:00 spot, followed by NOLA and then L.A.?  Or, would you start with NOLA, go to the original, and end with L.A.?  Can you see it: All NCIS! ALL the time!

I’ll be sewing up a storm when we get to reruns!

Undercover Restaurant Critics

Dear Husband and I decided to have dinner in a restaurant that was totally new to us.  It’s not terribly far from where we are staying for the duration, and we thought we might enjoy trying something new.

When we walked in, there was a sign announcing that there would be a private party downstairs.  We were seated on the main floor, four or five steps up.  We had the choice of a table or a booth, and choose a booth on the outer edge of the room.  At the time, only one other table was taken, which didn’t surprise us given that we were dining rather early on a Monday.

Our waiter appeared, told us about the restaurant and their aim to buy food locally. The menu had a nice selection, and we both opted for soup, and an entree.  And then things began to  go downhill. Just little things, really.  We talked about it, quietly, during dinner.

For instance, the chipotle honey butter was okay, but it seemed the chef was trying a bit too hard for originality.  Whatever happened to plain butter?  DH ordered a Pepsi, but when it came it seemed that the syrup to soda mix was wrong, and he ultimately sent it back, and settled for water.

I asked what the soup of the day was, and the answer was, “Clam Chowder.”  I had to ask which kind.  When it arrived, it might have been a corn chowder, because there was more corn than clam in it, and it looked like it was  chicken broth thickened with cornstarch.  That’s not my idea of a good New England Clam Chowder.

We finished our soup, and the soup and bread plates were still on the table when a bus boy brought our entrees.  His hands were full.  He couldn’t remove the dishes so that he could set the entrees down, so we had to assist him.  I’m surprised that they didn’t bus the table first.

We ordered two different steak dinners.  Both of us ordered the steak done medium rare. Both our steaks came rare

I rarely order dessert, but I was tempted by the idea of cheesecake.  I asked the waiter (who had been conspicuously absent during our meal) what the cheesecake of the day was.  He said it was chocolate and strawberry.  I asked for a more detailed description.  He said he thought it had a ground oreo base, and had strawberries and chocolate over the regular cheesecake.  I asked if I could get it without the chocolate and he allowed as that was possible.  When it came, it had a graham cracker crust, was slightly overcooked, and had frozen strawberries in sauce over the top. For some reason, I was expecting fresh strawberries…you know, their commitment to fresh produce, grown locally.

Now, I should tell you, that we ate most of our dinners.  What bothered us was that the service was off, and the meal didn’t quite live up to the prices.  The look of the rooms, and the look of the staff told me that we should have had a better experience.  As we left, we realized that our waiter was handling all the outside seating.  Another waiter came along and commented that they were short-handed due to the private party.  I’d have thought they would have made sure they had the staff to cover their needs.

One last thing, I went to the ladies room without my purse.  Too late, I discovered that there was no toilet paper.  Luckily a server was in the next stall and shared with me, but someone should have checked the restrooms to be sure they were stocked following the busy weekend.

So, DH and I have decided to offer ourselves as undercover restaurant critics.  We know enough about fine dining to be able to assess what’s good and what isn’t.  The staff would never guess that we were critics.  We don’t look the part.  I wonder how much that plays into whether the staff makes your experience a good one, dressing up for the occasion?   I have to say we are rather casual these days.

Maybe we can find a local newspaper that wants a restaurant column.  We could really expand this, and make a living eating out!

My first comment will be, “Don’t say ‘How’re you dooin guys?”

A Blast From The Past

I was delighted to receive an e-mail from a friend with whom I used to chat when I was new to the computer.  It’s probably close to 15 years since that group broke up.  I’ve lost contact with many of them, but I’m glad to say there are still a few who visit now and then.

QT sent me a note, asking if I still blogged.  I’ve been a terrible blogger lately, but if this is a way for us to keep in touch, I’d be happy to try to resume.  Of course, all my comments these days have been about the sale of our house, but in time that should ease.

Welcome, QT!  I hope that we’ll have the chance to visit with some of our other friends, too.

Easily Entertained

We are so easily entertained.  When we took breaks in packing or moving boxes we would meet in the kitchen and sit where we could look out at the herb garden and the bird feeders.  We have watched a lot of birds over the years, but we were being entertained by a family of squirrels, a colony of ground squirrels, a bunny or two, and some mourning doves.

There was a constant circus going on below both the feeders, but the one closest to the kitchen window provided more cover from which the  ground squirrels attacked.  As with most species, there was definitely a king of the ground squirrel colony, and when others got too close to the prime seed snatching areas, he would run them off. Everybody headed for the highlands rather than risk his wrath!  There were ground squirrels running through the day lilies, the oregano, the thyme, and the choke cherry shrubs,

At one point seven gray squirrels and four mourning doves were peacefully eating seed when the entire chipmunk population decided to run through. Gray squirrels hopped up into the air, and came down and continued to eat.  Some of the doves raised a wing to ward off the little beggars and others were bowled over by them.  I’ll have to see if I can get some video of the circus to save to the computer.

At the end of the day the chipmunks and squirrels had discovered that there is finally a choke cherry branch that leans far enough out over the feeder that they can get to the feeder from above.  Baffles below the feeder have frustrated them for years.  We watched as they tried all the branches until they found the right one.  The squirrels would hang from the eave of the feeder and scoop food into their mouths just as fast as they could.  They understood that if they sat on the bar, the feeder would close.  It’s astonishing that they can hang from one foot for such a long time!

I’ll miss all this entertainment.  It will be interesting to see what visits our back yard at the new house..  You can be sure I’ll put up bird feeders!

The Close of an Era

We are coming to the end of our stay in the house that Dear Husband and I built 25 years ago.  We have fabulous memories  of those 25 years.  My mother, and DH’s second son lived with us for many of those years.  We entertained family at Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter.  We watched my youngest sister’s girls grow in the first half of those years, and have been watching our granddaughters the last ten years.

We will sign the closing papers in two days, and if the walk-through goes well, will close on the sale July 30th.  That day, we’ll do a walk-through for the house we  wish to buy, and July 31st we’ll do the closing.  So…by August 1st we will begin to move things into the new house.

We will need to buy new appliances, and at least three carpets (entry, dining and living room).  There are hardwood floors in the public areas of the house.   I want to have the locks changed, and add deadbolts to the doors.   My friends are baby sitting both my indoor and outdoor plants until we get settled, so I need to get to know the house so we can decide where those plants will do the best.

If all goes well, the movers will bring about two-thirds of our belongings, including the beds, the oak table, chairs, kitchen and quilt studio on August 4th.  Once all that is squared away, we’ll need to have the 16 foot POD delivered.  That has more books, the china, clothing, and more kitchen stuff. (I suspect there is more, but I just can’t remember what was in those boxes.  The most difficult part of our move will be deciding what we keep and what goes.  We’ll have half the room now, so we’ll need to get rid of half the “Stuff!”

Wish us well!  :-)

 

Visiting

My youngest niece, who is a grown woman, is visiting.  She and one of her girlfriends arrived on July 3rd, and the two of them and Dear Husband spent the day and evening on Lake Michigan for the Fourth of July.   They took in the fireworks off Navy Pier in Chicago, and were home close to 1:30 in the morning.  I had the pleasure of playing in my studio all day!

I spent some time yesterday teaching beginning quilting to the girlfriend.  S. has never sewn, and wanted to start a simple Log Cabin pattern. We talked about color layout, and designs that could be created with Log Cabin blocks, and then made a trip to an area quilt shop to buy fabric. S. has never used a sewing machine, so I hope that her mother will be able to instruct her on how to use their sewing machine.  We covered how to cut the strips, and how to sew the pattern.  I had her sew part of a block on my machine.  I sent her home with completed samples, a spare cutting mat, rotary cutter and ruler.  I washed the fabrics for her last night, so she will be ready to start cutting strips tonight. when she returns home.  I’ll work with my niece this week, who wants to try her hand at one of the star quilt patterns.

My niece has come to give us a hand packing boxes.  We’ll be working in the basement and garage, trying to get as much cleared out as possible.  I’m very glad to have the help.  The job is dwindling, but still seems very daunting.  We are moving some things that we probably should be pitching, but we wanted to see what kind of room we had in our new home before giving things up.

It’s a lot of fun to have 20-somethings around.  It’s very refreshing to see the world from their point of view!