Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Brain and Money

A week ago Xup did a post about money - specifically about the things she is very frugal about vs. the things she spares no expense on. I couldn't find my old post on something similar but it's always interesting how everyone is so different about these things. But this isn't about that. What struck me, because this is how my brain works, was when she said, "Friends might rave about the sexy boots they got on sale for $300..."
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As I may have mentioned before (or not) my brain calculates money in air fare. So when I read that sentence, I thought, "Boots for $300!!? That's insane! That's an airplane ticket!!"

In my brain, an airplane ticket is around $300. And usually also in reality. So I always see money as air fare. The picture post I did two posts down about my dead Trucky? All I could think was, "That's TWO plane tickets!!!!" TWO!!!
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So as I was thinking about all of that, I was wondering if other people have some round number they equate with something like that. Maybe some people, upon getting my truck bill would have thought, "That's TWO pairs of sexy boots!" Or maybe "That's three nights in a fine hotel!" Seriously, is it just me, or does anyone else do this?

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Five Words Challenge

When Scarlet did this post about responding to 5 words, she asked if anyone would like to play and I said, "Yes!"
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She gave me her 5 words in the comments of my last post, so here I go:
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OCEAN: I think anyone who reads my blog knows how I feel about the ocean, but if you are reading here for the first time, let me say that I LOVE THE OCEAN. My blog header up there at the top is one of my favorite pics. I took that from the deck of the beach cottage that we rent and it is everyone that I love deeply except for Mom who was standing beside me when I took the picture. My daughter is behind someone, but she is there. You can see her leg. Every time I log into my blog here, I always take time to look at that picture and it makes me happy. All of my favorite people and the ocean. It does not get any better than that.
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DECORATION: I grew up in a very modest household in the 60's and we had very basic stuff. Our living room had a tan couch, a matching chair, a swirly green chair and two end tables. The decor on the end tables was ashtrays. And there was a TV of course. But over our couch was this picture:

It was the only thing in our house that was not functional and I loved it. I always imagined I was the little girl reaching up to Mom on the left. Because I was too young to know about servants, I made the lady on the right my Aunt Ann, who was Mom's youngest sister. I spent a lot of time looking at that picture and making up stories in my head. It had been Granny's picture and we were keeping it for her while she worked in New York. Years later when she came back, she took it back. At some point Granny told me that her grandmother (or mother?) used to do snuff. The snuff company gave stamps or coupons and when Granny's granny (or mother) got a certain amount of stamps, she ordered this picture from the snuff catalogue. It is currently hanging in my entryway over a small cabinet that Granny owned and it is probably my favorite decoration in my house.
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CHILDHOOD: I loved everything about my childhood, but I believe that what made it all so special was Dad being the coach. This is one of the very earliest pictures from when he started out as a softball coach (the kid circled is my brother). After that he got a Little League membership for our community and was the Little League coach for several years. He was even always voted by the county to be the All-Star coach every year. Then he was the Pony League coach. I really loved being around all those boys and being the coach's daughter, I was always treated with the utmost respect. It was like being a princess and I loved every minute of it.

( It's kinda funny, but I can still name a bunch of those guys.)
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HUMOR: "It's all about the funny" is my personal mantra. My Sweetie and I make each other laugh every single day. There is nothing better than making him laugh. And he loves to make me laugh. My last post was titled "None Of This Was Fun." To be honest I had some laughs. When the tow truck guy was all nervous and told me he had worked there for only 3 days and had formerly been a repo guy, I asked if he had seen the movie Repo Man. He didn't know what it was and I told him it was about a repo guy taking a car with an alien in the trunk. Then when he had my little trucky all hooked up and was about to pull away, I said, "Hey. I don't want you to freak out but I'm going to be taking pictures when you drive by. It has nothing to do with you, it's for my blog." He looked at me like I was an alien. I thought it was funny.
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CERVEZA: Because Scarlet is Cuban, she warned anyone that wanted to play the 5 words game that she would possibly throw in a Spanish word. Well, she didn't make this one very challenging for me. But it gave me a funny memory. Dad liked to take me on random vacation trips and one year we went to Puerta Vallarta. It must have been 1996, because I know the Summer Olympics were going on since Dad spent most of his time in the room watching it. In Spanish. I'd come and go from the beach and the bar and he'd be up there watching the Olympics. When he first planned the trip I told him that it would be cool because I had taken 3 years of Spanish en escuela and could order beer and ask for a bathroom. Well the funny thing was the one night we decided to go "into town" for seafood, I needed to iron something. I could not for the life of me think of the Spanish words for "iron" or "ironing board". I called housekeeping, and with no understanding between us, they sent someone to our room. When the cute girl showed up, I did a pantomime of setting up an ironing board and ironing. She laughed and said "Si!" and was back in 3 minutes with both. Dad spent the next two days imitating me doing the ironing board thing. My response was always "Hey! Whatever works."
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If any of you guys want a FIVE WORDS challenge, tell me in the comments section. I would really enjoy picking 5 words for you guys.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Goofiness - Texas Style


An old friend, a Texan that has been living in Florida for over 15 years sent me a funny e-mail about Texas city names. Here are some of the ones I liked:

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Why travel to other cities? Texas has them all!
Detroit , Texas 75436
Cleveland , Texas 75436
Colorado City , Texas 79512
Denver City , Texas 79323
Klondike , Texas 75448
Nevada , Texas 75173
Memphis , Texas 79245
Miami , Texas 79059
Boston , Texas 75570
Albany, Texas 76430
Santa Fe , Texas 77517
Tennessee Colony , Texas 75861
Reno , Texas 75462
Pasadena , Texas 77506
Columbus , Texas 78934
Beverly Hills, Texas 76711

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Feel like traveling outside the country?
Athens, Texas 75751
Canadian, Texas 79014
China Texas 77613
Egypt, Texas 77436
Ireland, Texas 76538
Italy , Texas 76538
Turkey, Texas 79261
London, Texas 76854
New London, Texas 75682
Paris, Texas 75460
Palestine, Texas 75801

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We have a city named after our state...
Texas City, Texas 77590

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We even have a city named after our planet!
Earth, Texas 79031

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Other city names in Texas , to make you smile...
Frognot , Texas 75424
Bigfoot , Texas 78005
Hogeye , Texas 75423
Cactus , Texas 79013
Notrees , Texas 79759
Best, Texas 76932
Veribest, Texas 76886
Kickapoo, Texas 75763
Dime Box , Texas 77853
Old Dime Box, Texas 77853
Salty, Texas 76567
Telephone, Texas 75488
Telegraph, Texas 76883
Twitty, Texas 79079

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And our favorites...
Cut n Shoot, Texas
Gun Barrell City, Texas
Hoop And Holler, Texas
Pioneer Town, Texas
Muleshoe, Texas
Stampede, Texas

And some interesting Texas facts:

•Beaumont to El Paso : 742 miles and Beaumont to Chicago : 770 miles
•El Paso is closer to California than to Dallas

•King Ranch in South Texas is larger than Rhode Island

•The first word spoken from the moon, July 20,1969, was " Houston ," (although the space center was actually in Clear Lake City at the time.)

•The State Mascot is the Armadillo (an interesting bit of trivia about the armadillo is they always have four babies. They have one egg, which splits into four, and they either have four males or four females.).
Happy Friday & Have a Great Weekend

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So VERY Inept

When I mentioned that I was woefully inept at measuring and making right angles on my last post, XUP left this comment: I'm trying to focus on the fact that you claimed to be "woefully inept" at something. It gave me hope. I then asked if she would like for me to do a post about all the things at which I am inept and she thought it would be a good idea and said she would do one too. The thing is, as I was making the list in my head, I realized that the really biggest one should have its own post.
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I guess most of you know that I take medication for extreme anxiety/panic disorder and social phobia. A few years ago I read that social phobia was a "ridiculous made up disorder for people with no social skills." That may be true. My anxiety/panic disorder on the other hand, is a fact and you can't get crazy readings like that on an EKG or lose muscle control from a lack of social skills. And as Jammie says, everything is hormonal, which in the human body is a chemical and I have realized that I have a malfunctioning adrenal gland. Adrenaline is a major hormone. Although I've known for years that the adrenal gland regulates your "fight or flight" response (which I used to live in a perpetual state of), I only recently discovered it is also responsible for regulating your body temperature, which explains why I have had hot flashes my entire life. But this post is not about that so much as it is about my severe social ineptitude.

See that invitation above? Nothing gives me a bigger heart attack than a formal invitation. Unless it is a wedding. You can slip in and out of a wedding relatively unnoticed. Same with funerals. But baby or wedding showers? Aw, hell no. You have to actually participate in group activities and stuff. I just can't do that.
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Think of social relationships as being in tiers. There are the tight knit ones, the next closest to that and so on and so on down to perfect strangers in public. Well I'm only functional in the first and last tier. I am perfectly fine and normal with close friends and family and with total strangers, but with all the folks in between, I am totally lost. The term "casual acquaintance?" I don't even go there. I don't have a map.
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I've been to several happy hours and that type of thing with my husband's co-workers and I can only name 3 of them. It's like my brain doesn't have a place for storage for all the people in between close friends and total strangers. I've even met total strangers on trips and when we start to connect too much my brain gets all floogy, like "OH NO! Now I have to start remembering stuff. Like their names and stuff."
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On the opposite end, with close friends, I remember EVERYTHING. I constantly hear "I can't believe you remembered that!" from them. Just yesterday Lo told me that she had been laughing to herself all week about "shed people." It was from something she said 3 or 4 years ago and I mentioned it to her last week.
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All of this also explains why blogging is so comfortable for me and Facebook makes me tense as hell. Blogging is like talking to strangers in a bar whereas most of my Facebook "friends" are people that are on those tiers of social interaction below close friends and family and above total strangers. And those tiers don't really work for me. Because I am socially inept that way.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I Did It!

Since I did that post in August about my purse/belt thing for my Wizard of Oz Dorothy dress, I thought and rethought the design many times. I was originally going to use newspaper to make a pattern and then realized that when it comes to measuring stuff and making perfect right angles and that sort of thing, I am woefully inept. Then I remembered the giant graph pad that My Sweetie uses to draw imaginary maps:

Yes, he used to be some sort of Dungeons and Dragons gatekeeper or whatever they call themselves, but hey, it's a perfectly harmless hobby. So I made some simple patterns:
Oh and since I did that post I decided I needed an extra pocket for my camera because I figured my camera was the heaviest item. So after a lot of brain damaging sewing I made the two pockets and sewed them to my "liner strip" of muslin.
Okay I also forgot to say that after I tried the dress on again, I realized that the sash was only attached to the dress by the two buttons. Same with the "suspenders." So instead of having to make a whole new sash for the pockets and have to wear that on top of the dress sash, I just removed the two buttons and everything came loose except the suspender things, which were still attached to the dress at the shoulders. This was a great happy time bonus for me because if there is one thing I dislike about sewing, it's having to sew a very long straight seam. Seriously, I was so happy about not having to make a new sash I think I did a whole Disney princess dance number. Not only that, but the suspender things were originally loose and did not lay right on the front of the dress. So really it was a double bonus.
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Okay, so then I flipped my muslin liner part with the two pocket parts over and sewed it to the sash:
Front view:

The big pocket is lined with the muslin and the smaller camera pocket is just double gingham material. After the brain damage I incurred from making the big pocket with a one inch bottom and triangular sides, I kept the camera pocket very very simple. The next thing I had to do was make button holes. Although my 25 year old sewing machine makes button holes, the book said to make practice ones first and I am so glad I read that part. It took three tries to get one right. I was really nervous about the button hole part because that's something that would be hard to fix. Or maybe impossible. But I got them done on the sash. Then I tried on the dress with the sash and made marks through the button holes onto the dress so I'd know where to put the buttons. And since the gingham material was so very thin, I made two little circles of double muslin as button backers:

So the buttons were back on:

Then I had to sew button holes in the suspender things. That part was really tricky because I did not want them to be too loose or too tight. I tried on the dress and and used masking tape to mark where I thought the button holes should go and kept changing my mind. I finally settled on a place. I was super nervous about making those button holes because that was that. But somehow I found the right location and everything worked:

I actually had all my stuff in both pockets (except my hotel room key card, of course). I substituted my cell phone for the camera in the camera pocket since I had to use that to take the picture. It was a lot of work but it is done and I am happy. Now I just have to make my hair pieces. But at least I will not have to make button holes for that.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

...For Your Thoughts

A penny for your thoughts? Going by the fact that a shave and a haircut used to be two bits (25¢), and assuming that's about when your thoughts were worth a penny, your thoughts are now worth $1.20.




Friday, September 18, 2009

Headlines

This headline in the Star-Telegram is both beautifully ironic
and terribly sad:


What would John Wayne say?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Pleasant Surprise

After my August post about my 600th post, I was very pleased to get an e-mail from one of my silent readers. I know most bloggers call them "lurkers" but that has an unfortunate ring to it in my mind. I like to call them "silent readers." I will refer to this person as TSR (the silent reader).
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TSR lives in a town that in my mind looks like the one above, although that picture is of Gothenburg Sweden and that is not where TSR lives. TSR told me a little bit about their life and it sounded very interesting and I think TSR would make a great blogger.
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TSR is retired and had been thinking about volunteering for MOW and I certainly hope my last post did not put them off. Just because my branch is a little flaky, it does not mean they all are. Besides almost every organization goes through a bad spell at some point. The important thing is they do a great service and it is very rewarding work.
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I thought it was really great to get that e-mail from TSR. It was sort of like getting a surprise present in the mail. If any more of my silent readers would like to drop me a line to say "Hi! This is who I am..." I would really love it. My e-mail is geewits(at)yahoo(dot)com. And to TSR: Thanks for dropping me a line and I hope you A) get hooked up with MOW and B) start a blog, which by the way, a great title for it is in the e-mail you sent me. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Meals on Wheels Thing

I am still a MOW volunter but I no longer have a route. Here's what happened:
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I was on my road trip with my daughter on the 5th and 12th of August and when I went back on the 19th, not only had they added back most of the people they had taken off after I told them last time that I had too many people, but they even added a lady that was way out of the way. I was really really irritated and told them to call me the next day.
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The very head lady called me on Thursday the 20th (on my husband's cell phone which has not been my phone number since maybe 2004!) and I was trying to be very concise and clear and intelligent and she did not listen to a word I had to say. I explained to her that it was too many people and the food was getting cold and that the route was ridiculous. I explained how the route had absolutely no flow and that I had to continually backtrack north, south, north, east, west, east, etc. Then it went like this:
HER: We need more people over there.
ME: What happened to all of the people I have trained?
HER: Most people want to sub and do not want to commit to a weekly route.
ME: I imagine it's because when they sub they have a terrible route with too many people. Why don't you split the routes up and call them back and ask if they would commit to a weekly route if you could guarantee them 8 to 10 people?
HER: Most people don't want to commit to a weekly route.
ME: But if you could guarantee them...
HER: Most people do not want to commit to a weekly route. Why don't you renumber the route sheet so that it flows better and fax that to me.
ME: I tried to tell you before. It goes like this, south, west, north, south, west, south, north, west, south, west, east, south, west, east, north, south.
HER: You can write on your current route sheet to show us the better way and fax it over.
ME: I am trying to tell you the route is very bad. The very best way to do it is still not good. I did it the very best way and the last people's food was cold and it took over an hour.
HER: We need more people over there.
At this point I felt like I was talking to a recording that had only three lines and that was it for me.
ME: Well, I want to transfer to "my town"
HER: So you won't be there next Wednesday?
ME: NO! I would never do that. I will give you two weeks to replace me over there and then I want a route over here.
HER: Well there are no openings there.
ME: Then put me down as a sub and I will do that and take the first available spot.
HER: So your last day over there is September 2nd?
ME: If that is two weeks from now, yes.
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I told Mrs. V and she seemed fine with it because she knows I will still come to visit. I'd like to think they could get better organized over there, but after that phone call I doubt it. It was weird being home last Wednesday and I will be home again today. My whole schedule has been sort of thrown off. But I guess I'll get used to it.
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I was thinking about the whole thing and that I did that steadily for 9 years and I realized that I had never done anything steadily for 9 years except eat, sleep, shower and breathe. My first two marriages lasted 4 years and 7 years and the longest job I ever had was 1 year and 9 months. I guess I have a short attention span. I'm still a MOW volunteer though and I'm sure I'll get a spot over here eventually. And on Decenber 2, I will have been married 9 years. So I guess my attention span is improving.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yay!!

Congratulations to Fightin' Mad Mary on her Emmy win on Sunday! You should go over there and check out her pictures. I felt like I was there.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sense, Sensibility, Math....Whuh?

This weekend I watched the first two parts of the HBO miniseries "John Adams" which is really great and I saw Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility and I noticed that in both shows the characters used the phrase "I can not tell you" when they meant "I have no frickin' clue." Being a language usage lover, I got a kick out of that because today if someone said, "I can not tell you." it would mean either they were sworn to secrecy or that they thought telling you would be a really bad idea. I really love the English language with all its weirdness and morphiness. (And that you can make up words using the general rules and people know what you mean like the word "morphiness.") I don't remember how it happened, but I happened upon this SAT question of the day thing and I put it on my home page. I really love the language questions but the math questions always depress the hell out of me because they A) Make me feel stupid B) Make me feel like a stereotypical female C) Make me feel like a stereotypical U.S.citizen D) All of the above.
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Yes, the answer is unfortunately D. I have no problem with the other questions, like the one above and the one below:
In fact, they seem too easy. Crazy easy, even. But the math ones..... I get all "Whuh?" Then the other day I got this one and thought , "I can do this!":

Well, I was wrong. And I got it wrong. And it irritated the hell out of me. Then 3 days later, I got this one, and I decided that by golly, I was going to figure it out.

I pulled out a little piece of paper and started trying to figure it out and Holy Cow I got it right!

And if you really want to laugh at me, this is the piece of paper:

So that's how my brain works and that's why I'm not good at math. And if you've been reading my blog for a while, you are probably wondering why I always get the SAT grammar/sentence structure questions right. I can not tell you.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The 4 By 4

Before I get back to the posts you guys voted on, I decided to do a quick post that VioletSky tagged me with. (Tagged me for?) The rule was to open your picture storage folder, then choose the 4th picture from the 4th folder. VioletSky ended up with a beautiful picture of NYC's Central Park. When I saw her picture I figured I'd get something horrible like a picture of my toe or my swollen eye or something so I was really surprised to see this:

That's a picture of Citywalk in Orlando that I took as we were walking back to our hotel. I did a post about that trip last January. I think it's weird that VioletSky and I both had "water" pictures. Okay hers is actually an ice rink, but hey, ice is water. It is! Anyway, I think you should all try this and I think you will be surprised what you find. Even if you are not a blogger you should do the 4 by 4. It may remind you of something good.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Bedford Blues Festival

I had heard about the Bedford Blues Festival for a long time but never made it over there before Saturday. It started in 1995 but was discontinued in 2004. I remember wanting to go several times in those last few years because they were featuring a lot of old bands that I really liked like The Drifters and Al Green, although those aren't really blues bands. I guess it was misnamed and turned into more of just a music festival. Their peak attendance was 78,000 in 2001 but they had only 16,000 people in 2004 - the year they stopped. They decided to revive the thing this year and go back to the roots of the thing which was blues and Texas music.*
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The event was held in a big flat field that I didn't even know existed. It's just south of Airport Freeway in a heavily congested restaurant row area that's also just slightly west of the airport. The field is between the hospital district where I spent my pneumonia days and the local school district's football field. And right next to The Movie Tavern. I had no idea there was a field there.
In the photo above, the red rectangle is where we parked, the yellow rectangle is the VIP tent and the blue spot is about where I made the video at the bottom. Right at the tip of the arrow is where the main stage was.
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It really was just a big flat field and this is a shot of the main stage (there was a smaller one over in the craft/shops area to the left.):

That should give you an idea of how far away we were from the stage. But the food and drinks were right behind us, so that's where I wanted to be. My reasoning was that music is aural anyway, not visual. So we got some simple food and lots of beers and were feeling happy and goofy. It's not like we were wasted or anything, it's just that we had that perfect little buzz where we were silly and giggly. It was probably a combination of the weather being cooler and the good music and the moon being off just one day of full.
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It got dark and we were just standing out there laughing and talking (and I made that goofy video at the bottom) when this happy buzzed couple walked up to us. The last band, The Fabulous Thunderbirds were playing. I had been eyeing the distance to the gates and the crowd and thinking maybe we should head out. Then this couple approached us and said, "We're leaving and we have these VIP bracelets. See that tent over there? They have seats and free beer. You just can't take your beers in or take those beers out." We were sort of caught off guard, but said, "Sure!" They had trouble getting their bracelets off, and had to actually break them, but I had safety pins in my purse, because I am always prepared for anything, so we put them on.:

We made our way over to the VIP tent which had lots of chairs and tables and FREE BEER and was way close to the stage. I had gone from maybe it's time to go to Cool Beans! I am so hanging out here! And the very best thing of all was when I needed "to go" I looked around and there was a bathroom trailer with running water and flushing toilets and paper towels and soap and everything like a real bathroom whereas we had formerly been dealing with port-a-potties. So that was really the best part. When I came back, I said, "I V.I.Peed!" Here's a pic of the VIP tent area (we were sitting outside of the tent and that's the stage on the left):

In the video below, you will see the tent just after I pan to the right by the main stage. Oh and when we got ready to leave, I figured since we were VIPs we'd have a VIP exit. We wandered over the wrong way and were practically backstage:

There was a VIP exit and we avoided the crowds which was good because we actually were there until the end. So I wonder why that couple didn't just take the VIP exit. Why did they walk all the way through the crowd, find us, and give us their bracelets? We'll never know, but I'm glad they did. It was fun. Here's the goofy video. My Sweetie was using a fake southern accent but unfortunately mine was real. I cringed when I heard my "Shut up!" Hopefully you will find it amusing.


video
*Thanks to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for this information.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I Need Your Help

If it seems like I've been avoiding my blog, it's only partially true. I have several things I'd like to post but can't seem to make a decision.
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I'd like your input to help me decide. I'll list and number the topics and you can just put the numbers in the order of interest to you. If a topic doesn't seem interesting to you at all, you don't have to include it. Although I'll still probably post it later . Or not. Who knows?
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They are:
1-My big MOW change
2-Getting VIP'ed at the Blues Festival Saturday Night
3-Another inexpensive home "facelift" I just did
4-A fun little "restaurant review" of a really great salad experience
5-Why you are never too old for coloring books
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I would really appreciate your help because every time I feel like posting, I can't make up my mind, so I just don't post at all.
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I'll leave you with this picture of Bruno. I call him that because he is the only brunette possum around. All the others are grey. I took that Sunday night. He was perched in the tree just outside the side door to the garage. I think he's kinda cute, but I'm wondering if that stinky smell out there was from him. Are possums stinky?:

Saturday, September 05, 2009

I Did Some More Stuff

My Sweetie decided at the last minute to take Friday off, so basically I was computer blocked all day while he battled monsters with other people in the world that also had Friday off. Or maybe some of them do that at work. It wouldn't surprise me.
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I ended up parked for a few hours in front of the tube watching HGTV and suddenly said to myself, "I want to do something." I thought about this guest room chair:
I thought it might be cool to cover the seat with the same toile material that I had used to cover the bench cushion that's in the same room:
So I did:

But then I realized that with that cream color in the room that the bedspread was too white:

So I boiled about 30 individual sized tea bags that I keep just for this purpose. (What happened was, several years ago, My Sweetie bought a box of individual sized tea bags instead of family sized and I used some once and then bought the correct sized bags. But I do not like to waste stuff so I saved them for tea staining.) So after the very thick tea had cooled, I poured it into the bathtub with a lot of cold water and immersed the bedspread and that back pillow pillowcase. I set the timer several times for about 18 minutes to move them around in the water because there were some air pockets and I did not want uneven staining. Then I put the pillowcase and bedspread in a bucket and took them to the laundry room and washed them. I really love the color. I did not take an after picture because I assumed the flash would just wash out the difference, but they came out a nice creamy color. I had tea stained something before so I knew what to expect.
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The funny part was when I came in here to get the stapler. We keep it very near the computer. My Sweetie asked "What do you need that for?" I replied, "I'm stapling tea bags together." He was satisfied with that answer and went back to his World of Warcraft. I think if someone said that to me, I'd be all, "What?" I actually stapled piles of tea bag tags together so that there were only three. It made it much easier to deal with them since there were a LOT of tea bags.
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Later I said, "I can't believe that you didn't ask me why I was stapling tea bags together." When I told him I was tea staining my bedspread and the pillowcase, he actually asked me if that was a real thing. He thought I was making it up. Oh and speaking of that, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME if you have a regular white bathtub. I happen to have a tan (faux marble) acrylic bathtub, so I was not worried about staining it. (If you haven't seen it before, here's an old picture.) I also have a regular white bathtub and I would bet that if I poured tea in there I would remember it every time I looked at it for the rest of my life. So again, do not pour tea in your white bathtub.
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It's going to be a long weekend here and I have a few simple fun things planned. I'm sure you'll hear about it.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

How To Make a Hat Stand From An Old Lamp

Before I tell you how easy this is to do, let me give you a little back story. I found this Sudan fez at Dad's house after he died and it reminded me of Grandpa in Meet Me in St. Louis. He wears a hat like that while dancing around and singing the title song. So I had to have it. I would wear it when I watched the movie because watching musicals at my house is an interactive sport.
Well, after a few years as using it as a play hat, I saw something on TV or somewhere and realized it was a Masonic hat. And I knew my grandfather had been a Mason. Suddenly I realized that this was not a toy. I got on the internet to find a hat stand on which to display it, and they were ridiculously expensive. Then I noticed that one of them reminded me of an old lamp that was in the closet.
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It had been a cheap little novelty lamp that my daughter had gotten at her Dad's house. It spun when it got warm and made patterns on the ceiling. She brought it here when her dad moved. I made some simple adjustments to it and used it for a hat stand.
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In the last few days I have been doing some major "spring" cleaning and we have this cool hat that I found at Mom's last year when I was clearing out the house. It had been awkwardly hanging on the side of the cheval mirror and I decided I wanted a place for it. I remembered my lamp thing for the fez and so today after delivering Meals on Wheels, I went to the Goodwill thrift store. I saw this bathroom hand towel stand:

That would have made an easy hat stand. It cost $10, but the base diameter was really big for where I wanted to use it so I decided on this lamp:

I unscrewed it and clipped the plug. I pulled the cord through:
I then reassembled it with that one large brass plate at the top:

The brass is gross and I wanted to make it go away, so I checked my paint cabinet and had primer and a perfect paint, but the directions said it had to be below 90° and it was 93° outside so since I was in no big hurry to grab some newspaper and masking tape to cover the green part, I decided to check the height for where I wanted to put it. Once I put it in place, I realized you couldn't even see the ugly brass parts so I skipped the painting part even though it would have been pretty simple to do.

Since I was skipping the painting, I moved on to the next step which was preparing the top. There was a rough threaded pipe sticking out of the top that runs all the way through the lamp:

I rummaged through my junk drawer and found a plastic thing that looked like a teeny tiny hat. That seemed appropriate, so I stuck that over the bolt/pipe thing:

I found a 1/2 inch piece of foam in the garage and used a cup that seemed about the right size for that brass disk and traced that:

I cut that out and stuffed it into the brass disk which just happened to have a very sharp lip. If it hadn't fit so easily into the disk, I would have glued it.

Well that was the end of the whole project and I put it in the bedroom behind the little TV:

The whole project cost $6.00. And while I was at the thrift store I picked up a $3.00 lamp in case I ever have another hat I want to display:

On that one, I will probably just clip the cord at the base and cut open an old tennis ball and stick that on top. If you don't have an old tennis ball, you could just wrap a scarf or any peice of cloth around the top. Be creative. And enjoy looking at your hat.