Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cool. Perfect Seat.

Everything looks great for my trip although it will be chillier than expected. I've been to New Orleans three times for Thanksgiving weekend and wore shorts, so Halloween being a month earlier, I expected warmer weather, But I'm cool with it. (Hee hee. Cool.) Here's the Canadian version for my fine Canadian friends:
I also checked my seating and was so tickled to see that I had my very favorite location:

How perfect is that? Since you've all wished me well already, if you want to leave a comment you can just say, "Bon Voyage, you knucklehead!" or say nothing at all ; )

Halloween. Party. Shoes.

I really really hate shopping and had been putting off doing my last minute Halloween shopping and going to the baby store to buy Carole's upcoming grandson a gift. I made three stops and had to park way out at two of the places so I'm counting that as my walking for today. The first stop was the fabric store and unfortunately the store next door was one of those temporary Halloween superstores, so that lot was PACKED. I was hoping that elastic came in different colors because I had decided that the easiest way to attach my hair pieces would be to tie them on with elastic. But elastic comes only in black or white, so I went with black figuring that would sort of disappear in my darkish hair. And there will be gingham ribbon on top of that.
I have no idea why the baby store's parking lot was so full. And times have changed. The gift I have always given mothers to be, because they were my very favorite things, hardly exist anymore. And those are the waterproof flannel pads. Those things made my life so much easier. It's funny how you think young people today have it easier but apparently not. Anyway after searching for what seemed like EVER in that store, I found what I wanted. And then the lines at checkout. And guess what people in the lines have? Yes! They have crying babies.
I finally got home and had maybe 14 seconds to unwind when my daughter and her friend showed up. For years my daughter and I have been carving pumpkins together except for last year. I suppose we could not coordinate our (her) schedules. Last year I just had that pile of uncarved pumpkins by the block of hay. For years I had been carving a scary cat complete with big whiskers, but this year I decided to go with goofy and simple. Mine is the pumpkin on the left. My daughter's pumpkin, in the middle, is a landscape of full moon and mountains. I told her people would think it was a one-eyed creature with one giant tooth. My daughter's friend had not carved a pumpkin in many years and really got a kick out of it. She said my pumpkin looked like a bunny. It was supposed to be a cross-eyed, buck-toothed being, but it does look sort of like Bugs Bunny. The pumpkin carving was fun and I started to unwind a bit, when my daughter started telling her friend about my costume and then I panicked because I realized I had forgotten to pick up my ruby slippers from the shoe place.
I really wanted Thursday to be an IN day because starting Friday, I will have four OUT days in a row. Besides I need to catch up on housework, do laundry and start packing. My Sweetie, who is the sweetiest Sweetie in the world asked me after dinner if I was okay. I told him I had forgotten my shoes and he offered to get them for me. What a relief. Now I can stay home and get a lot done. I want to get out of this rushed stressed feeling mode and back into giddy happy YAY mode. I am ready to party with my best bud in New Orleans. I will be there in 40.5 hours and I can't wait. And for everyone that keeps asking about pictures. Hello? I'm the person that even takes pictures of my meals when I go out to eat. And Lo? She is a fastidious photo chronicler of events. She is worse (better?) than I am about photo ops. Between the two of us we will probably have 100 pictures. And I am so looking forward to making them.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Combining The Two Icks

Because I spend 80 to 90 percent of my life puttering around in my house, I have wimpy feet. And conversely I always take walking vacations. Which require LOTS of walking. To preprare for my trips I try to spend some time on my treadmill. I also like to whiten my teeth before vacations. So tonight, I thought, "Hey! Why not get these two horrible things over at the same time?" It was horribly unpleasant, but now that it's over I'm glad I did it. (Sort of like having a baby or tossing your 18-year-old out of your house.) I strapped a sudoku puzzle book on the top thing of the treadmill with a velcro strap and hopped on there with my teeth whitening trays and took off. That puzzle book really helped and I walked 3/4 of a mile (that's 14 vegemites in the metric system) while trying not to drool all over the place. I didn't make it to the 30 minutes suggested by the teeth whitening product, but decided that 25 was plenty. Besides, with all the drool, I figured there could not be much whitening product left at that point. I found it amusing that although I spent the whole 25 minutes engrossed in my sudoku puzzle, I didn't write in a single number. But hey! It was a "demanding" puzzle. And speaking of demanding, I'm going to do the whole thing all over again. Ick.

Monday, October 26, 2009

About New Orleans and Stuff

I am so excited about my upcoming trip to New Orleans on Friday that I can barely think about anything else. That picture was taken in May 2003. That's the last time Lo and I went. In case you forgot, she's going to be the Glinda to my Dorothy on Saturday night. I have only two things left to buy and I will be ready. And I have to pick up my shoes from a place on Wednesday. I took them to The Shoe Hospital to have a rubber padding installed under the ball of the foot part for extra comfort. I have to admit I had a bit of anxiety leaving them there. I'm not even going to pack them in my checked luggage. I'm going to take my entire costume onto the plane in my backpack, because if there is really one time you do not want to lose something if your luggage gets lost, it's your Halloween costume for Halloween. Call me paranoid, but I'd prefer to think I am just being extra careful.


On that last trip in 2003, we visited some of the gorgeous New Orleans cemeteries. Since Sunday will be El Día de los Muertos, I figured we would do that again. That is if we are not too dead ourselves, after Saturday night.


Happy Birthday to Carole! (I hope you had a great Birthday weekend anyway.) Carole's 50th birthday was on Saturday and she had wonderful plans. Her son and DIL flew down from Princeton and they were going to have a great weekend with them as well as her daughter and SIL who live nearby. Unfortunately, Carole's daughter, who is due to have a baby around Thanksgiving was stricken with severely high blood pressure and had to be hospitalized on Friday for the duration of her pregnancy.

Carole loves whimsical things and I gave her those two Halloween figurines. Let's all hope her daughter and new (and first!) grandbaby are going to be fine.


I hope I have time to post again this week. My husband visited the LucasArts headquarters in San Francisco last week on a business trip and brought back some cool pictures. I want to post some of them this week. Here's a Yoda fountain:
I want a Yoda fountain! So anyway, I'm all busy getting ready for my trip and trying to remember to do my normal stuff until Friday. I'm so excited!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What Is This Kitchen Gadget?

Recently I made a little bin thing for a kitchen drawer for my measuring spoons, because they crazily migrate to the back of the drawer every day, and I found this odd little gadget:
At first, I thought it was some special gadget for breaking up sauce muck. (Sauce muck is that thick ring of stuff you get around the top of bottles of barbecue sauce and A-1 sauce and that sort of thing.) But upon closer inspection, I found that it was actually a two part deal. The part I thought was the sauce muck scraper was actually a sort of pull handle:
So then I was really perplexed. Once I pulled the muck scraper out, I realized I had been looking at it upside down. Because now it looked sort of like a cork. But it was inside that other thing. So I wondered: Is this an overly complicated wine cork with a spout? And if so, WHY? Wine bottles pour just fine on their own, so why would I need a metal spout thing? Then I thought maybe it was for olive oil. But my olive oil bottles pour just fine own their own, just like wine bottles. I couldn't think of anything else that might need a cork with a metal spout.
And then I moved on to wondering where it came from and why I had no memory of it. Is it something I brought over from Mom's house last summer? Was it something that came in a gift set from one of my husband's vendors? Did it miraculously appear, placed by that sprite of household oddities? My Sweetie thought maybe it was something you jab (at the spouty end) into a large citrus fruit and then turn it around for pouring. First of all, that would not work very well, and even if it did, why would you need to cork it afterward?
So does anyone know what this is? I thought maybe someone could answer that question because I'm pretty sure no one could tell me how it ended up in my drawer. If I never find out, that's okay too, because I can always use it as a sauce muck scraper.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I Am Solar Powered

Although I was not born Texan, and I actually make fun of the Texas obsession with weather, I have to admit that I am surprised that I have not mentioned the weather yet this month. I think that's because it was depressing the hell out of me. October has always been my very favorite month since I've lived in Texas. It means the end of the heat from hell that bakes you slowly inside your own skin. October means beautiful mild bright sunny robin's eggs blue sky days. But this October has been hideously different. It has rained and/or been thickly overcast Every Single Day. Until this past Friday.
And I'm not joking about being solar powered. My whole personality changed when I first moved to Texas and I realized years later that it was the sunshine. When My Sweetie was laid off in 2002 and was considering a job in Seattle he said, "We couldn't live there, there's not enough sun for you." And maybe that's why my Vancouver trip was so depressing. I really need sunshine.
I woke up on Friday to a very bright day. It actually hurt my eyes after weeks of drab. I spent the entire day outside except to eat lunch and post my little poem. I cleaned the deck, the spa, the patio. I put away the pots that no longer had flowers and rearranged some of the random pots (pictured above) in a new little grouping. And just sat. Sat and absorbed the sun. On Saturday, I took my little radio outside and sat in the sun. All afternoon. Just sat and soaked up the sun. Today (Sunday) I moved the table from the patio onto the deck and sat there and did sudoku puzzles, listened to the radio and drank beer. All afternoon. Monday is supposed to be 74° and fully sunny all day, so guess what? I'm going to do it again. You should see my tan.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Poem For Today

Skimming the spa,
Soaking up some rays,
Spiffing up the deck;
What a glorious day!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Latest Tomfoolery

Maybe that title should have been: Not My Usual Chores. Today I did a bunch of stuff that I don't normally do. Okay, have NEVER done. Last week my rock tumbler sort of exploded:

That rubber ring (see arrow left) popped off of the barrel (see arrow right). While the thing was spinning. All that grey stuff? Well it's supposed to be INSIDE the barrel not all over the place. I called my online supply place and talked to a guy and we decided I needed a new barrel. Each barrel has a rubber lip that keeps the rubber ring in place, which keeps the lid sealed, which keeps the grey sludge inside the barrel instead of spewing it all over the place. And although this all happened a week ago, I did not clean it all up until today. Because I am very lazy. The new barrel arrived on Tuesday, so I was ready to get it all going today.
Just after that, my daughter stopped by for a visit and I told her the chimney cleaners were coming at 5:00 and I asked her if I should clean out the fireplace. Half of my brain thought maybe that's like cleaning up before the maid comes and the other half kept saying, "They are CHIMNEY cleaners, not fireplace cleaners." Anyway, I couldn't decide but my daughter said we should not only clean the fireplace, but also take all the stuff off the hearth. So we did that. I've never had my chimney cleaned and forgot to ask the guy, so I didn't know. Oh, and the guy forgot and won't be here until 3:00 this afternoon and I didn't think to ask when he called, so I still don't know. I'll try to remember to ask him.
After she left, I began my dye experiments:

I have two different types of dyes going on. On the left is food coloring and on the right is some tie-dye stuff from an old kit that was my daughter's a million years ago and was never touched. I have test cloths in each bucket The color on the left is not true. The flash missed it and it is shadowed somehow. Anyway, I am leaving the test cloth in there for 24 hours to see which one looks the best because I have to dye some socks. Yes, I can even dye my socks to match my gown, jolly old town!

So that's what I did today. I wonder what the odds are that some other person did those three things today. Probably pretty slim.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


As usual XUP has inspired me with her latest post. It's something I've been thinking about for a while. The subject was what sort of people are attracted (in a general sense, not so much romantically) to you and why do you think that is.

I made the illustration above to try to explain my theory. The colored figures represent personalities. Every personality has appendages and holes. (And that is why I did not do this post when I first thought about it, because I was having trouble thinking of how to illustrate it. I get an idea but I don't always exactly know how to produce it.)
Back to the illustration. I think of personalities like geometric shapes. They float around each other and sometimes pieces fit just right together like in the game Jenga. (That's the game with the wood pieces that fit together like a puzzle.) It's like certain people have certain holes that certain people have plugs for. Or something like that. And the thing is, you can have certain holes that certain people fit into and then they have certain holes that other people fit into, but you do not have a hole for that other person.
And that was the point of why I was thinking about all of this. I was thinking the other day about how blogger life is so similar to real life. In real life you can have two favorite friends that don't particularly like each other or maybe they just don't have anything in common. In the blogger world, we all have our favorite blogs, but maybe we don't care for some of the favorite bloggers of our favorite bloggers.
I guess it all comes down to the word "niche." And the base meaning of that word is like a small place that something fits into. Like my illustration above, friends are the people whose niches you fill and who fill your niches. Or something like that.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Not Like Other Couples

I'm sure I've talked before about how My Sweetie and I are somewhat backwards as far as stereotypes go. For instance, he may order a gin and tonic and I will order a beer and when our order comes out, the beer is set in front of him and the G&T in front of me. We always exchange that knowing glance and laugh. And everyone knows that I do all the plumbing and painting and whatnot. I'm the Ms. Fixit in our house. Don't get the wrong idea. My Sweetie is not a lady or anything. We just have different strengths, tastes and talents He is a serious smart businessman that makes million dollar decisions for his company and while I am doing the stuff I do, he is paying for all of it.
I thought it was funny tonight after our dinner at Chili's that he ordered that little shot glass dessert of hot chocolate syrup and a brownie.
I ordered another beer.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Clean Bar

This post is not only about my freshly cleaned bar area, but about what a difference a camera makes. Or what a different camera makes, or something like that. This is also about my bar which is not really a bar by the general meaning.
When we bought the house, it had this wet bar against the wall there and then a dry bar next to it. I have no idea why. The former owners did not seem like the type of people that would hang out at a bar even in their own house. I hope they did not have people over and serve them lots of alcohol because the wallpaper that used to be in the bathroom next to this bar would have made them throw up. Or at least get very dizzy.
Anyway, I particularly wanted to post this picture for myself because I finally cleaned the worst part of my house. See, I do not not use the bar as a bar. It is my craft area. I do all of my crafts on that bar with the barstools by it. I use that sink to clean my paintbrushes. If you need some perspective, that bar is just over my left shoulder as I type this. This is Texas and we don't have basements, but I guess if we did, this would be our basement. It has two corner computer desks, a TV and TV chair, the stereo and that bar and some other storage units (my Star Wars shelf included). It's really a random room, but I can't call it that because that's what I call the room with the treadmill, the rock tumbler and Mac computer.
I am getting way off subject here but I have to explain some things. I have also mentioned our library many times, so it may sound like we have a great big house, but we have a decent sized house, it's just that we delegate rooms in an odd manner. The library is actually what would be a formal dining room, but we do not formally dine. Heck, we only eat at the kitchen table for Saturday and Sunday lunch. We eat dinner sitting on the floor around the "coffee" table, which is never used to serve coffee. The "random room," formerly known as "the cat room," would be called, by normal people, the third bedroom. This room that I am sitting in, which we call the computer room or bar room, is probably legally, the den.
Okay, so I finally got that whole bar area cleaned and organized. It was bad. It was easy to let it go before because it is the craft area and crafts by nature are messy. It took a lot longer than you would think, because it was more about organizing than cleaning. You have to have a place for everything and that took some time. And now for the camera thing.
And this is crazy. When I took that picture today and it came out so well, I remembered the picture I took in 1996 when I did a post about painting that wall behind the bar. And look how terrible that picture turned out: I know!! That deep "Deep Garnet" is black in the above picture. And in the original post, I wasn't totally clear in that I had to paint two coats of primer and three coats of the red. And it looks like such a little space. It was a bitch. And I realized that even the good picture doesn't do it justice. The painting I mean, not the cleaning. But that straw grass wallpaper stuff was the same color as the wood and it all blended together. The red makes the wood pop. You'd like it if you were here. Also here's the old 2006 picture of the "before."
I used to have my button collection stuck in that grass cloth wallpaper. Hey! Maybe that's why it was so hard to paint. But anyway, I'm glad it is all clean and I am still shocked at the difference in cameras. And I am wondering where my button collection is.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Make-Up Sleep

I had the best make-up sleep this morning. Recipe: To one sleep deprived day add a dark rainy day and a cold front. The temperature in the house has dropped 3 degrees below the AC setting. What a great combination for sleeping like a rock. And now that I am so refreshed, I should go get some housework done. I hope all of you get some great make-up sleep this weekend. It's lovely.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Stirrups Day

One should always wear goofy socks
on Stirrups Day.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Time I Fainted

As often happens, I was inspired by Xup's latest post. It was about fainting. This is the story of the time I fainted:

The summer of my fifteenth year, Dad received a terrible phone call. A boy named Bruce had died in a terrible manner. Bruce was the second oldest of 4 kids in a family that my family knew pretty well. The oldest boy, Tony, was a year older than my brother and they were very good friends. Tony and Bruce both played on my Dad's Little League teams. There was another boy just one year older than me that I always had a crush on and the youngest was a girl that was a year younger than me that I played with on occasion. I once went to White Lake with their family and another time, my brother and I went together to their house to watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas" because they had color TV and we didn't.

We were living in Durham, N.C. at the time and had been there for almost three years. My parents had split up that spring and my brother was in the Air Force, so it was just the two of us. Dad was broken hearted and not really one for funerals, but he knew this was one that he must attend. We called Granny to say we were coming down to visit and packed up our stuff and headed "back home."

Growing up in our small communty in the country outside of Goldsboro, many kids spent their summers working on harvesters in the tobacco fields. Bruce had finished up a day of that and was in a tobacco barn with his older brother and a few other guys when he leaned back and placed his hand on a large metal tobacco curing fan. This fan was not properly grounded and Bruce was soaked with sweat. He was, at the age of seventeen, electrocuted to death.

After Dad and I arrived at Granny's house, I realized I had forgotten my shoes. The morning of the funeral, I mean. Granny had teeny tiny feet and suggested that my aunt down the street might have some shoes that would work. My aunt, who was a pretty bulky lady at the time also had remarkably small feet for her size, but she had one pair of bright yellow heels that matched my skirt. They were about one size too small. They were a 6 and I wore a 7. I put them on, we got in the car and solemnly drove across town to the funeral home.

When we got there on that very hot summer day, the funeral home was packed and it was standing room only. There was no AC and the doors were open. People recognizing Dad made way for us to move forward, but we still had to stand. As the service started, I was standing just behind Dad's right shoulder and kept my left hand on his shoulder, trying to soothe him.

The shoes were too tight, my knees were probably locked, it was very very hot and the place was packed. I started to feel woozy. I kept patting Dad's shoulder. And then, after blinking a lot and trying to "shake it off, " I just collapsed. I did not fall down, because it was standing room only. Dad told me later that my hand on his shoulder suddenly felt wrong and he turned around and saw me fainting and caught me along with the folks around me.

I never went completely unconscious but was blind and deaf. I could feel people moving me and it was like I was in a big black bowl of Jello. I thought for sure I had a brain tumor. The next thing I remember was that I was sitting down and people were talking to me through a very long garden hose. I actually thought, "Why are they talking to me through a garden hose?" Over time the words became more clear and my vision started to return. Bruce's mother was somehow in charge of taking care of me and I was mortified. I realized I was on the front porch and her son's body was inside. I felt awful. I found out later that she worked in a hospital and had training for that sort of thing.

I convinced everyone to get back to the funeral and they had me stay out on the porch bench with a cool compress on my head. I felt horrible for ruining everything and when Dad and I left, I cried and apologized the whole time.

Four years later, my brother was home from the Air Force and we were invited to Tony's house for a cookout. We drove down and had a good time. I don't remember a lot of it. I don't even remember owning that shirt:

But I will always remember one big thing. Tony (the one with the beard) said to me: I'll never forget when you fainted at Bruce's funeral. I think you saved my mother that day. I could tell Mom was about to lose it and when you fainted, her training kicked in and she was back into "Mom Mode." I know that taking care of you that day kept her from completely breaking down.

Fainting is never pleasant, but I'm really glad I fainted that day.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Synchronicity of The Week

Yesterday, I thought I heard some music coming from outside and realized my neighbor was out playing his trumpet. It was really lovely. After a few minutes I decided to get my camera and step out to get a video:

Maybe he was camera shy or whatever but he started goofing around and playing silly stuff as you can see. I think he was trying to "score" his son's skateboarding and also made a horse whinnying sound. As I was waiting patiently for a real song, I realized my phone was ringing.
I stopped recording and jumped inside to answer the phone and it was Lo. Lo that is going with me to New Orleans in 4 weeks. For Halloween. The Glinda to my Dorothy.
I stepped into the junk room because I smoke in there. It's at the front of the house and the window was open. Just as I sat down to tell her what I had been doing, he started playing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow."