Friday, September 17, 2010

Where does the time go?

To give you a hint, I have a few pictures today. Joanne H left these for me to do ...

Gifts for family. I'll see her this weekend, so she can get the binding done and deliver them to somebody who's going to be very happy. Here's the back of the pink and black one:

(I hope J doesn't mind that I used her quilt to practice up on some feathers.)

I ha
d to purchase a new washing machine last week. Things were coming out dirtier than they went into the old one. Nice, eh? The new machine cost about double what I paid for the last washer I purchased ... and THAT was with 20 percent off sale. Whew! Is it just me?!? And where's the agitator? Oh ... they don't have agitators any more? Top loader? Front loader? Ohhhhh ... too many decisions. Guess I didn't notice (or didn't even SEE) the little sticker that says, "Use only HE detergent." Tsk. I had to go out shopping before I could use the stupid thing. Okay, that's not entirely true. There was a single-load sample of detergent packed with the machine, so I was able to do one load right away. Talk about too many decisions! There are choices to be made about water temperature and level, how hard you want it to spin, whether or not to use an oxi-product and/or fabric softener. Jillions of buttons to push. And, don't-cha know, they're each labeled with little tiny type, in GREY no less, that requires a magnifying glass to read. Guess I'll have to hang a pair of readers above the washer from now on.
I thought that, considering the washer had not yet been used to wash anything seriously dirty such as barn clothes or the dog's blanket, it would be a good time to yank stuff from the closet that just needs to be freshened up. Without any glasses, I could read "QUICK WASH" and picked that thinking it would be equivalent to a gentle cycle. Maybe not. It looks like I took these garments down to the creek and beat them with a rock. This morning, I picked up the "fact sheet" that was with the machine and read, "garments tend to tangle and twist when you are washing loads of one type of garment ... try mixing different load items to reduce tangling ..." Great. Something tells me I am not going to get along well with this new machine. My blouses and dress slacks must need to have a bodyguard pair of heavy jeans escorting them to avoid getting beat up?!?
I've gotta go -- need to call the eye doctor for an appointment.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I need new glasses ...

I don't seem to be able to get and keep a pair of glasses that work for me. I made the mistake of letting the eye doctor talk me into getting no-line lenses. I had the other kind and was happy with them, but my prescription changed. The no-lines were a big mistake for me. As much as I tried to adjust to them like they told me to do, I couldn't NOT get happy with them. The first week I had them, I bumped into the curb while driving. Not good. Being far-sighted, I often tell myself I can make do by standing farther back, or with "readers" from the drug store. Well ... "standing back" will soon mean going into the next room. And those readers never seem to be where I am. So I squint, push magazines onto the floor so they're a decent distance away, etc. I can only push my chair so far away from the computer monitor before I can no longer reach the keyboard, ya' know?

I was glancing through a quilting magazine that arrived in the mail (sans glasses). There was an ad that, for the life of me, I cannot figure out WHAT is pictured there! What it looks like to me is a fall-colored red leaf with some vague, dark shape to the right, and some smaller "collection" of something on the "leaf" itself. What comes to mind is a caterpillar (the thing on the right) that has eaten some of the leaf and pooped. (Don't mind me ... we've recently been out hunting monarchs to put into a jar for the grandkids to watch go thru metamorphosis. Side note: DH wanted to keep one for himself -- it's fascinating!)

And on one of the knitting sites I visited, there's this:

My reaction: how did I live all these years without a knitted bowling ball cover?!? (Oh ... that's a purse.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

What's so funny?

After posting my dilemma with the bees, a dear friend sent me a message telling me to get my hands on an old flick called "Pure Luck" and watch it -- reminds her of me. It's about two people who have more than their fair share of nonsense in their lives. So much, in fact, that calamity is just the norm. I don't get it ... what's so funny?

Dave and Rose M were here for what turned out to be a marathon of quilting yesterday. They feathered the dickens out of one very large quilt, and then did another. They will be taking these two gifts with them on their next journey overseas. It was a long day, but the quilts turned out great. The pictures? Not so much. Camera trouble. Of course. I was the one trying to use it. Makes perfect sense that first the memory stick would jam and then, once I got that working, the batteries died. I'll post pics tomorrow after I charge the batteries up. Maybe. If all goes well.

This morning there was a barrage of acorns pummeling the gutters on the front of the house. What a racket! That sound brought to mind something I'd not thought about in many, many years: cap guns. When I was a kid, we used to walk to the store and for a penny (or was it two?), we could get a roll of caps. At any rate, it usually took about four of us to accumulate the needed change to go off and make a double purchase. Then we'd divvy up the rolls so we'd each have a chance to shoot some of them off. It was a long time before we actually got the guns to put the caps in. I can recall always being on a hunt for the best kind of rocks to beat the caps with to make them fire. Some rocks just ruined the spot on the paper without yielding up the S*N*A*P. Eventually, I got a cap gun. So did my brother. His was a big, cowboy-style number. Mine was "a dainty Dillinger pistol." Now, I had and still have no idea what that meant, but that's what I liked to call my little cap gun.

What are caps, anyway? And how come they don't sell them to kids any more? (And where'd all the coyboy movies go?) Wait ... wait! Don't tell me! Let me guess ... caps are made from a mixture of lead, mercury and gun powder -- which have all since been determined to be not such a good idea to let kids play with. And ... oh, yeah ... we used to break the glass tubes from thermometers whenever we got a chance. We liked to watch the little bead of mercury roll around, as in, "Watch this! Lookit go! It's liquid metal! Cool!"

Being the kind of kid to hang onto things I treasured, I wouldn't be surprised to find that little pistol in a box with my other junk again some day. Another possibility is that it ended up at the bottom of the creek behind our house. When my brother got mad at me, he'd pitch something of mine in there to make me wail. Worked for him every time.

I do still have a few of my favorite toys. Among them: a tin bank that when you crank the handle, it recites "A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned" -- frugal living was considered a virtue way back then; a doll for which my older sister made a ton of clothes. It was the best doll ever thanks to her creativity. When I was four, I wanted a toy tractor in the worst way and decided that was what I'd ask for if anyone offered to buy me a gift. An insurance salesman/agent used to come once a week to collect the premiums from my parents. He asked me what I wanted for Christmas, so I promptly told him. He told me I'd never get THAT! THAT is for boys! Well, my dad had been a farmer and I got my tractor. Still have it and can see it from where I sit right now. One other thing of special importance to me that I still have is my toy sewing machine. It's a tiny little thing, but it actually did sew. I guess a lot of my adult interests had very early beginnings.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Taking no chances ...

I decided that what looked unusual about the bee hive was that there were soooooo many bees outside. It needed another super, but I didn't want to risk another sting on the same day. I got DH to come out and take a look, and he agreed to put the extra super on top for me. He was taking no chances. Get a load of the outfit he put on before he'd go out there:

Under the blue coveralls, he's wearing long-legged jeans and a long-sleeved shirt! I wouldn't put on that many clothes to save my life on a day like that (it had reached 90 degrees and was very humid). For those who are unfamiliar, that thing in his hand is a smoker, used to stupify the bees before approaching. (Notice the ever-present kitten is in attendance.)

My face really swelled up in the night, so when I got up in the morning, I looked like the poster child for domestic violence, with both sides of my face red and all puffed up. Then Sunday I got into a tangle with a rose bush while tidying up a flower bed. All the bleeding scratches just added to the effect.

Once when I fractured both arms at the elbows by tumbling ass over teakettle in the road, I went to the ER for X-rays. They must have asked me ten times how I had injured myself, and if I was SURE I wasn't a victim of abuse. I wonder what they would've thought if they could have seen me this time?!?


My knitting has been resurrected. I finally figured out where I left off on the green sweater and am pretty close to having the front finished. Next I'll need to do the sleeves. I'm always stunned at how long it takes to knit a sleeve for anything. I don't know how it always surprises me, as if it hadn't already been discovered over and over. When you look at a sleeve laid out flat, it is apparent that it is nearly as large as the front of any sweater -- so why does it ALWAYS shock me that I cannot get a sleeve done up in jig time? Must I repeat, "Slow Learner Here"?

After the greenie is completed, I hope to start a sweater for my GD. She wants another just like one I made her when she was a tot. A knitter-friend is graciously doing the math for me. I don't trust my own abilities when it comes to math. Ever since 9th grade, when I (normally an honor student) nearly failed a class because of algebra. I struggled for months, trying to "get it" in that class. Then, suddenly it was as if someone whacked me upside the head with a two-by-four and knocked some sense into me. The whole experience left me mathematically scarred for life.

My oldest grand will be starting 9th grade tomorrow. If you're the praying sort, remember him. Not that I think that dreaded math teacher I had is still out there. But just in case ...

Friday, September 3, 2010


I got two bee-stings this morning. I went messing with a hive (did I mention I'm apparently a slow learner?). Something looked a little unusual about their hive, and I decided to get nosy. Got stung on the hand. Several bees had landed on my hand and arm. I shook them off, but one little guy was persistent. No amount of shaking could release his grip. Just as I was about to pling him with my finger to dislodge him -- zzzzzt! Got me! No big deal -- didn't really hurt much at all. No swelling -- really not a big deal. (You KNOW it hurt the bee more than me, right?) Well, that bee must have been issuing a warning, which I should have heeded. The next sting came from a bee on a mission.

That thing came up from the hive at full speed and with perfect aim. Had I not closed my eyes, I probably would be blind right now. That sucker nailed me right on the eyelid. And boy did that hurt. By the time I got inside and pulled his rear end (which was attached to the stinger) out of my skin, my eyelid had already swollen up. It hurts from my nose to my ear.

Now, if that had been a wasp, I'd be madder than a wet hen about the sting. Wasp stings come unprovoked. I hate wasps. I'd just as soon squash them as look at them. But bees are a different story. I was messing with their home. I deserved to be stung. And they were "kind" enough to fire a warning before they pulled out the big guns.

Do you suppose I'll learn a lesson from this? I doubt it. I am fascinated by bees and what goes on inside their hives. I can't help but take a peek now and again.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Slow Learner here ...

I've lived here for over 30 years, done the same thing pretty much every morning, and yet have not learned to dodge the inevitable spider web between the fence and the milk house. Duh! Do you suppose that web is spun day after day, year after year by the same spider? How long do spiders live, anyway? Are we equally dense?

Reminds me ... my sister and I once attended a Master Gardeners' class all about spiders. A spider expert lectured for over an hour and a half -- all about spiders. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about spiders that day. She told us scientific counts show over 11,000 spiders per acre in the U.S. That's a lot of spiders! She also suggested we go out at night with a flashlight and shine it over a grassy field. All the little eyeballs would reflect the light. Does that make you woozy, or what?!?

Yesterday I nearly kilt myself in the hot sun. I wanted to finish tackling the weeds in the asparagus bed, and even though I was beginning to get nauseous from the heat, I thought that if I just continued a little bit longer, I'd have it done and off my ticket. Well, I DID get it done, but had to lie down in the shade of a gate covered in hops vine until I could regain enough strength to stagger inside. Then I grabbed a drink of water and ice packs, and lay down on the bed to recuperate. Yes, I know better, but ...

Today was just as hot, so I didn't try anything so strenuous. I resolved to merely pick whatever needed picking and then head inside before it got too hot. I finally finished up picking beans (I hate picking things, but beans are among the worst) just before noon. I was out there about four hours when it was all said and done. Tomorrow was supposed to be rainy, so I didn't want to leave anything behind, fearing that by the time I could get back out there, I'd have zucchini the size of Montana, and total mushballs for tomatoes. Beans just cannot be trusted on the on the vine one extra day.

Speaking of picking tomatoes ... I wish I had a picture of my geese lined up on the other side of the fence like refugees. When they see me in the tomato patch, they come running, knowing I'll be tossing them goodies over the garden fence. It still cracks me up, after all the years it has been going on in the same way. Did you see the movie, "Nemo"? Geese are like the seagulls in that movie ... "Mine! Mine! Mine!" only their squabbling is more of a honk! honk! Sqawk! (the sound one makes when another pinches it in the butt)

I wound up with a ton of produce that I now have to do something about. DH offered to take it with him to NYC tomorrow and pass it out along his way. Sounds like a plan.

But what shall I have for today for lunch? Hmmm ... choices, choices ...

... and then, there are bagloads more out on the porch to deal with ... (sigh)