Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Estate sailing

This weeken the estate sale was on an old farm - somone's little piece of he, aven.  There were apple, pear . peach and cherry trees blooming along the driveway, 7 raised beds about 4 ft wide and 11 feet long.  The store room had several hundred canning jars ready to go, and three big canning kettles that had seen years of hard use.  And there was this tea pot.  It holda sbout a gallon of tea!  It has the little handle on the front to make it possible to pour.  I realized that it needs to come live with me so that I can spend more time pouring, and less time brewing.  It's blue and white stonewear and a seriou, serious teapot!
We also got a glass butter dish with a lid on it so we h=can keep butter at room temperature with out finding the print of cat tongues on the edge.  And we found a lovely honey pourer.  Life just keeps getting better.

This woman was about my size.  She had a closet full of new shoes.  Yes, they were matronly, but then,so  am I, and $7 for a pair of well made brand-new Naturalizers is hard to beat.  I got two pairs shoes and three belts.  DH snatched up a 1932 copy of The American Woman Cookbook for a dollar.  he loves old cookbooks.

Looking forward to sunshine tomorrow.  Hope to stroll the neighborhood with a camera.  and the next day, we are headed out for that transition cruise. (We have a house-sitter with a shotgun,)  Lots of picture to follow.

Friday, April 29, 2011

sigh - entropy wins in the end.

I have had this belt since I was fifteen.  I love this belt.  I wear it at least once a month.  At least!  For 46 years I have worn this belt at least once a month.  There were periods when I wore it almost daily.  I have gotten my money's worth out of this belt.  And yesterday, when I took it off, it fell apart in my hands.  DH is a machinist.  He knows about metals and repairs and how to fix things.  He tells me that it's "pot metal" and can not be welded.  Oh sigh!

 My dear old belt has passed.  Every thing breaks or runs down in time.  Entropy wins in the end.  I will love DH for several millenia after the sun has collapsed to a cold cinder, but infinity is long.  In time, our very atoms will be recycled in the cosmic mixmaster.

Now there's an interesting thought.  Wonder if I'm using anything that once was used by Atilla the Hun?  A few oxygen molecules? a trace of carbon?  Or maybe an iron atom in my blood once tarnished the sword of Ceasar.    "I'm unstable because some of my calcium once belonged to Rasputin."  Beats, "The dog ate my homework.," as an excuse.

Some things last though.  I went to the dentist today for a cleaning.  Except for four wisdom teeth that proved to be superfluous to requirements in my early 20s, I have all the original equipment.  And they tell me that I'm good for another six months.  Woohoo!  I get to keep my teeth!!  That's  cause for celebration.  Beertender - floss for the house!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is for

XYZ which stands for eXamine Your Zipper - a coy way of warning that the barn door is open and the stallion's running free, or, to put it more prosaically, your fly is open.  Now this, frankly, is the sort of thing I want to be told, by anyone, as soon as it's noticed.  Do I have spinach on my teeth?  Has my deoderant failed me?  Is there toilet paper stuck to my shoe?  Please, please, tell me right away.  Don't let me wander around with my hem tucked into my pantyhose while the general public laughs and mocks me.

Assuming that other people would rather not flash in ignorance, I am quite unembarassed to walk up to total strangers and say, "Your blouse might have some slippery buttons.  Did you mean to show that much?"  Or, "Sir, your fly is open."  I also offer mints to people with bad breath. 

So what is the other side of this?  Would you rather not know?  Would you prefer that I politely ignore that shred of jerkey stuck between your teeth and waving at me each time you laugh?  Should I try to find a more tactful way of saying, "You have baby puke all down your back." 

And have you ever had to tell someone to XYZ?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for


I was out most of yesterday, helping a friend who has cancer, and when I arrived home I found that another friend, the inimitable Heide, had been to my house and left a mat cutter and - oh glory, a beautiful tea cup and saucer.  Heide, you shouldn't have!  And I missed her.  I could have given her tea and hugs and home-made blueberry muffins, but I wasn't home.  Well, sometimes things work out like that.  Thank you, Heide! Internet hugs and virtual tea!

Not only did she bring mat-cutter and tea cup.  She also brought - "Zombie Mints"  "Mmmmm - brain flavored."  I'm not sure I'm ready to try them.  Maybe I'll offer a few to some college kids and see what happens.

My friend who has cancer needs to gain weight, but since he also has kidney failure, he has to be careful about what he eats.  I took him a lot of fatty treats, and had to take away the jar of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts (with caramel) because they had too much sodium in them.  If I keep the jar here, I will eat every one of those delectable little fat pills. OMG they are GOOD!!  So I am taking them to writer's group today to spread the fat around.  There, I have publicly declared it so I am now committed.  If I keep them all to myself, people will know and I wil be shamed. (and a lot fatter!)  But dear God they are good!

It sounds as if a lot of folks in the midwest are sorry that they were wishing spring would get here.  Floods and tornados all over.  It's been a hell of a year already, and it isn't even half done.  If you wake up in your own bed tomorrow, give thanks for your great good luck!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

W is for

W.C. Fields.  Check out Arlee Bird's popst on Vaudeville Victioms.  He ends with an amazing clip of W.C Fields when he was young doing quite an impressive juggling act.

I got the results of my sleep apnea test last night.  Evidently I stop breathing between 34 and 38 times an hour when I am deeply asleep.  My blood oxygen levels go from 94% down to 84%.  Well no wonder I love taking naps during the day!  No wonder I have some short-term memory loss.  So I am on the list to get a C-pap machine.  This will make daily life a lot more fun, but it will make traveling a bit more difficult.

Which emphasizes my belief that if you want to go somewhere, go while you are young and fit.  If you want to go to Australia, start making specific plans now, because if you wait till you retire, traveling will be a lot less fun.  The knees get creaky, the digestion goes wonky, your resilience and energy wanes a bit each year.  You'll need to make sure you have all your meds for the cholesterol and bloodpressure, your knee brace, the linament for your bad back, your skin care regimen. your hair care products and your denture cream.  And you won't look as cute in your bikini.

And thank goodness for modern medicine!  I'm looking forward to getting used to my breathing buddy and waking up alert and fully oxygenated!  Thanks for all the encouragement about this process.  You guys have taken the fear out of it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

V is for

Sweet violets.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

U is for

In the mail yesterday, we got a package from Janette in Australia.  It had Cadrury chocolae egs which did not survive untill Easter.  And there was this intriguing box . . .  When I first opened it, I was confronted by what appeared to be a dozen bunny tails. Then I realized they were cottonballs!
Packing material for fragile goodies.

 And oh what goodies they are.  Utterly charming pprcelain buttons of Australian critters.  White and black cockatoos, a kookooburra, kangaroo, wallaby, duck=billed platypus and a koala.

 And this wonderful sign : "Sit long, talk much, laugh often".  Now those are words to live by!
 For Easter, we drove out to the country and picked up a friend for a leisurely brunch.  Here's his front yard.

And here's his back deck.  The letter for tomorrow is V - for Verdure!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

T is for

Taking Charge: DH and I were out for dinner, and I had to go to the ladies' room.  There was a line.  The gal in front of me had a baby and was waiting for the handicapped stall which had a changing table in it.  When a regular stall opened, she let me go ahead of her.  She was still waiting when I stepped out, the line behind her was longer, and I could hear little girls giggling in the handicapped stall.  So I rapped loudly on the door and said, in a deep, gruff voice, "Is there a grownup in there with you girls?"  A little voice said, "No?"  So I said, "Well quit goofong around and  get done in there.  People are waiting."  Then I went to wash my hands.  Two little girls (8 and 10?) came out of the handicapped stall and headed for the door back to the restaurant.  "Wash your hands." I ordered them, "Oh, sorry.  I forgot," said the little one, and as I left, they got in line to use the sink.  Good girls!  They just needed a grownup to take charge.

Saturday, we picked up new cabinets for the kitchen.  We are adding more storage and counter space.  DH worked like a trooper all day long, and now our new cabinets are installed!  With shelving above them.  It's so cool!  The cabinets are unfinished, so I have a project ahead of me.  And how do I finish the butcher-block tops?  Suggestions?

Friday, April 22, 2011

S is for


███████████████░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░ 44% DONE.

Install delayed....please wait.

...Installation failed. Please try again. 404 error: Season not found.

Season "Spring" cannot be located. The season you are looking for might

.........Have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

Please try again.
(thatnks, Beth!)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

R is for

ROXIE!  Roxanna, the rowdy!  On my social security Dad put Roxann Lou, and on the Birth Certificate I'm Roxanna Sue.  So I got greedy and kept it all.  I'm Roxanna SueLou Matthews.  Or I guess I could be Roxanna LouSue.  No, I like SueLou.  Makes me sound like a StarTrek pilot.

R is for Robust and Relaxed and Rubicund and Rosey, and Ribald. 
Oddly enough, R is  not for rigourous, rigid or reserved.
R we having fun yet?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for

Que passa?

This is me all hooked up in the home test for sleep apnea equipment.  There is a cannula snuggled into my nose to monitor my breathing.  It must be taped into place and connected to the monitor on my chest.  There is an oxygen monitor on my index finger.  That, too is taped into place and attached to the chest device.  The strap around my chest monitors my chest movements.  More cords and plugs.  There is also a strap around the abdomen to monitor movement there.  Then,  you go to bed, knowing that your breathing is being monitored four ways from Sunday, and try to breathe normally and fall asleep.  Right.  I was still mostly awake an hour later when DH came to bed.  He looked down at me in the midst of my tapes and wires, smiled, and carefully kissed me on the lips.  I do so love that man!

Finally I started telling myself stories, and nodded off.  The monitor tells me it is happy with the results, so I can take it back to the lab today.

While the nice young men were teaching me how to hook things up, they got it all fitted and adjusted and then asked me, "Are  you comfortable with this?"  I replied, "Resistance is futile.  You will be absorbed into the Borg collective." Luckily, they got it and laughed.

The test was painless and only slightly inconvenient.  And I didn't need to buy classy new jammies.  Now to see what results we got.

P is fo

Procrastination.  Better late than never?

Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for

Oysterville, Washington ( a crown of Haiku)

Red House, blue heron,
mist blurs the picture but the
memory is clear.

Memory is clear.
in the dawn, fog shines like pearl -
solitude and peace.

Solitude and peace ,
a gift to early risers.
First boats on the bay.

First boats on the bay,
tidal flats, and oyster shells,
and more oyster shells.

And more oyster shells,
behind the sand ridge, beside
red house, blue heron.

And in Other news,  I get to talk to a pulmonary specialist today to find out why I quit breathing while I sleep.  Apnea?  Not me, surely!  It's just suspenseful, exciting dreams, right?  The fact that I drop off about twenty minutes after I sit down to watch TV surely isn't relevant.  I can even fall asleep while knitting.  In fact, that's how DH can tell I'm nodding off.  The hands slow and stutter to a stop, fold slowly into the lap (still holding the needles and yarn) and soon the snores begin.

But he tells me that sometimes, I will snore, then stop breathing altogether for 30 seconds at a time, then gasp for breath and go back to snoring.  He says some nights I snore more and others less.  And he's gotten used to the snores, so it's not a domestic problem.  What a hero he is!!

Then I get to run to Ikea and pick up some braces to hold up new shelves.  And on the way back, I may swing past the yarn store and get another skein of Cascade 220 for the sweater I'm knitting for DH's best friend.  Even if it's not the same dyelot, I don't care.  I can use it for a sleeve, or cuffs and turtleneck.  And I might not need it, but I can always use another skein of nice gray wool.

A quiet, puttering sort of day.  I probably ought to put some clothes on before I leave the house though. 

By the way, didja catch that full moon?  When I saw it this morning at five AM, I howled, very softly.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

N is for


OK, how about a poem.

November Downtown
Discarded jack-o-lanterns sit behind a dumpster
collapsing into hairy gray mounds
like drunken grandfathers.
Vagrant leaves stumble across the street,
seeking shelter from the wind,
and the Salvation Army
gets a truckload of frozen turkeys
from someone who once
was grateful for a meal.

Or I could tell you about the fun time I had spinning for the grade-schoolers, but that isn't N themed.  It was well organized for starters.  The teachers had recruited a mob of knitters so that there would be enough of us to give the kids one on one attention.  (Actually, it worked out to one on five, but that was do-able.)  The knitters were assembled in the cafeteria.  When the guy in charge came in (his mom is a knitter) he said, "I could tell from outside that you were knitters. You're laughing and talking and everyone is already making friends."  He sorted us into different classrooms where the kids were already winding their skeins of yarn into balls.  They had made their own needles by taking lengths of doweling, putting a point on them in the pencil sharpener, and smoothing them down with sandpaper.  Then the teachers cast on ten stitches for everyone, and got them started knitting.  Meanwhile, I set up my wheel and began to spin. Teachers came up, watched and chatted.  Kids came up, watched and chatted. Other knitters came over, watched and chatted.  And as ever, the males watched the wheel, and the females watched the hands.  After the knitting session, the teachers asembled all the kids into one room to make sure everyone got a chance to see a spinning wheel in action, and to give them a chance to ask questions.  They were astoundinly polight, bright, delightful kids and asked very intelligent questions.

 I told them how, in the old days, if a girl was a good spinner, she could make enough yarn to sell and bring extra money into the family, so she would be let off the hard tasks outdoors to sit by the fire and spin.  Her hands would stay soft from the lanolin in the wool and because she didn't have to do work that built up calluses.  With soft, smooth hands, she could spin very fine yarn and bring in even more money to the family.  But, if she was a sufficiently valuable asset, often her father wouldn't let her get married and leave the family.  So spinster became another name for an old maid.

But in these politically correct days, most of the kids have never heard of an old spinster.  Still, it gave them something to  think about.  Your dad could tell you who to marry.

Next week, the kids are going to a sheep farm to watch a shearing.  Wonder if I can go along?

They are doing a multiple disciplinary study based on the book,  A symphony of sheep which follows wool production from sheep to shawl as it were.  In the sixth grade math class, they will look at gear ratios to explain why the spinning wheel has a big wheel to turn the little spinner and flyer.  In music class, they are composing a song about the book.  In geography class they are looking at places where sheep are raised and for what purposes.  For all I know, they may have mutton pasties to see how sheep taste.  I wish I had gone to such a school.  Learning looks like such a lot of fun there!

Friday, April 15, 2011

M is for

Merino - one of the softer, finer wools.  Easy to spin, friendly to the skin, lustrous and easy to dye.  Wool yarn is innately elastic, so your merino sweater will bounce back and keep its shape.

Mohair - produced by the Angora goat.  (Angora yarn comes from dear fuzzy bunnies)  Again, it takes dye well.  Since it's such a long fiber, it can be spun quite fine, but since it has little crimp, the ends will work free and create a halo.  My middle brother(quite the dandy) had a peach-colored mohair sweater when he was in high school.  I used to sneak into his room and pet it.

Milk fiber - also known as Quiana - produced by  complicated chemical processes from milk that is not acceptable as food. The protein is pulled out, stabilized, colored, and spun to produce a slippery, shiny, drapey yarn. 

Protein fibers such as wool, mohair, silk and quiana are fire-retardant.  Where your synthetic fibers like polyester will melt at relatively low temperatures and catch fire with just a spark, protein fibers do not burn until fire is appled directly to them, and will, given half a chance, self-extinguish.  Furthermore, they insulate against high temperatures.

Yes, I'm doing the speech again.  When flying, it is important to wear protein fibers.  The most dangerous part of a crash is the subsequent fire.  If your polyester pants melt onto your legs and catch fire, your survival chances are slim.  If you are wearing silk pants, they will insulate your skin from the heat and protect you from the flames.  I have a pair of navy silk pants just for traveling.  In the winter, wool is good, but make sure you don't have acetate or polyester linings.  Plant fibers are an adequate second best since they need a lot of oxygen to ignite, burn fast and leave cool ash.  Synthetic fibers become flaming molten plastic stuck to your skin.

Thus endeth the lesson.  Sorry for everyone who has heard this eleven times before but it is one of the few things I know to be true.

M is for the mother instinct inside me.  And if it's not one thing, it's your mother.

For fun today, I am going to teach 2nd graders how to knit. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

l is for

Late.  I usually try to post in the morning, but I work on Thursdays.  As of today, I am working nine hours on Thursdays.  So on Thursdays, my posts will be late.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for

 K is for knitting, of course!  Hats for the orphans and tea cozies and sweaters and gloves and even (yuck) socks.  I have a dreadful problem with second sock syndrome, and even knitting two at once on the magic loop doesn't lift me past the nuisance value.  I'd rather do gloves, and they are at least as fiddly.  Hats delight me because they're totally mindless and medetative, unless I decide to go silly with them.  I can knit hats in the dark.  And shawls.  The benefit of knitting a shawl in the winter is that it helps keep your lap warm.
 I had a lot of cotton yarn, so I knit up a slew of dishcloths and donated them to a women's shelter.  Cotton dishcloths are machine washable, absorbent, useable as a potholder if dry, and an adequate scrubber of gunk when wet.  And if life is just too damn much, you can fling a wet dishcloth at the refrigerator and do no damage what-so-ever.
 The "Surprise" jacket is a wonder for using up bits and bobs (or "odds and sods" as some of the gals in Oz say) of leftover yarn.  The surprise of the jacket is that, as you knit it, it looks like a bizzarre , mis-shapen mistake and it's not untio you bind off and fold it that the perfect little baby sweater materializes needing only a simple straight seam at the top of the arms.  I have knit dozens of these for the orphanage.  My addiction to taking in leftovers and throw-aways leaves me with lots of little bits of yarn to work into the baby surprise, and they work up SOOO fast!
As with writing, sometimes the creation process takes over, and I wind up with something I did not intend at first.  I was going to make a nice soft bamboo cowl, but as it grew, I realized that it wanted to be something more.  Something - special.  I present, the Ice Queen's Wimple.  Crystal beads around the edges were mandatory.  It also scrunches down around the throat to make a nice cowl.
Knitting is pleasure and therapy, exercise and meditation for me.  The process of creating fabric by interlacing loops of a single string of yarn using nothing more than pointy sticks and human ingenuity is an awesome act of magic every time it happens.  As I knit, sometimes I think of women just like me down through history who have made the socks and sweaters for their family, washed and spun the wool, created and innovated and discovered new ways to make the task lighter and more entertaining.  Ways to show off their expertise to other knitters.  Ways to improve the necessary garments to make them fit better, wear longer, look nicer.  Whoever figured out the strap heel was a freaking genius!!  When I knit, I know myself to be in the company of domestic goddesses.  And that includes all my knitting friends!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J is for


 I dreamed I was hanging out with the great philosophers of history, drinking and laughing and having a grand time.  "I'm going to get another beer."  I announced.  "Any one else want some?"  Renee Descarte said, "Oh, I think not." and disappeared.

If you trip over something that isn't there, is it an obstacle illusion?

So this group of Northern Spanish sheepherders came to Barcelona to make a political statement and were assigned a police escort.  Being very rural folks, the sheepherders were ill-equipped to deal with modern conveniences such as flush toilets, and escalators.  One fellow fell while trying to cross the road in front of a moped, and was injured, so the escort had the rest of them wait in a large doorway till he could get the accident victim to the hospital.  When he returned, he found his charges engaged in pissing contests, competing in harassing the paserbys, and fighting with one another.  The moral of this story is that you should never put all your basques in one exit.

How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?  Fish.

Why did the possum cross the road?  No one knows.  There have never been any survivors.

Heard any good ones lately?

Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for

Inspiration, Initiative, Integrity, Intrepidity!  Today, I am going to learn how to make links so people who want to read my book can go straight to Amazon and buy it.  And, when I review other books, people who read my reviews can find the books right away.  Today I am going to send my inner Barbie out for a manicure, channel my inner Xena, and face the unknown with fortitude.  I will wrestle with those demons of self-doubt and conquer them. ("But learning new things is hard." says Barbie.  "I can do hard things!" says Xena.  "Go decide which color polish you want.")  Saint Lisa will guide me (Thank you Mrs. Nowak) and Susan the Muse will smile on me when I am done.  I can do hard things!  Ayiyiyiyiyiyiyi!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

H is for

 H is for high tea.
 This is not a peach melba.  Maybe I'll call it a peach Hanna.

 And H is for Hats!  Easter is coming.  Do you know where your bonnet is?  I dragged out some of my hat collection and everyone was a wonderfully good sport about wearing them.  It was great fun!
 Merilee in pink.  My mother wore this hat to a wedding once.
 At the left is Tamara in a silly straw confectoion.  Then you can just see the top of Diane in a fifties evening whimsey, Susan in the hat mom wore to my highschool graduation, and the back of MJ's head in a sweet little hat that really suited her.

Elaine in a dashing purple confection, and the front of MJ.
 Pat really looked a lot cuter in this when she wasn't making faces.
 Jenny in a sweet classic pillbox.  Everyone wore the pillbox because it suits every face.
 Moma in a blue swansdown pillbox.  Tres chic!
Diane adjusting her even hat.  Wish i had gotten a better picture of this.  It was so sweet on her!

Needless to say, we laughed and talked and ate ourselves silly. Tamara brought three flavors of cookies.  The green leaf shapes were almond, the yellow duckies were vanilla, and the rice flour shortbreads tasted as if they had rosewater along with the pistachios.  They were awesome cookies!

Our rosemary is blooming, so I grabbed a few stems and decorated the deviled eggs with rosemary blossoms and a few leaves.  Yummy!  The raspberry cake was so-so.  The strawberries were those big red styrofoam things they strip-mine down in Texas..  The peanut-butter/ chocolatechip cookies were a bit overdone.  And I forgot the ritual blessing.  My first mother-in-law used to spread a gorgeous, sumptous, delicious meal, and as you sat down she would say, "It probably isn't fit to eat."  Every time she said  that, it was a Lucullan repast!  So I adopted it, and every time I have remembered to say, "It probably isn't fit to eat." over a meal, it has turned out quite tasty.  So if there was anything wrong with the food, it was all my fault, because I forgot the ritual blessing.

H is for Hat, highlight, happiness and Hetrodyne, Agatha.

H is for Hot  Why was this Seven-Up ad banned from television?  It's what he's not wearing.

Friday, April 08, 2011

G is for

 Gloryoski, Sandy!  The lacivious magnolias are embracing the sunshine!

No cloud cover last night gave us a little frost (on April 8 in the Willamette Valley?  This is unprecedented cold!) But no cloud cover today gives us SUN!!

Knitting and Literature Society meets here tomorrow.  The theme is New Leaf, since there are so many about right now.  Too bad the colors on this aern't better.  A butter-yellow tablecloth, snow white napkins, butter-yellow Noritake with blue-green edges and snow white centers.  I never met a Noritake pattern I didn't love.

 Since it's getting on toward Easter, I got out the birdie napkin rings.

Cheerful little sods, aren't they?

More photos tomorrow when the strawberries are glimmering in their glass bowl, and the cookies are nestled happily on the plate.  I'm thinking maybe I'll add chocolate chips to a peanut butter recipe.

And I'm making deviled eggs.  Do you think it would be ok to color the egg sstuffing stuff?  Blue and red and basic yellow?  Kind of  cheery and colorful, or just a bit gross?

Yeeha!  Initiate baking frenzy!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

F is for

Frick, Fudge, Fooey, Frack, Frellnet and other expressions of dismay.  Also Flabby and Fail.  I took a Free yoga class from a different teacher yesterday.  If that was Yoga 101, then I have been in Yoga025 -Remedial yoga for the old, fat, and stiff student.  In this new class, we were doing "downward dog." which is an attractive pose in which you place hands and feet flat on the ground and raise your butt as high in the air as possible, with your head dangling "like a ripe fruit".  Then the new instructor said, "Right leg scorpion." I lifted my head to see what the hell she was talking about, and there she was with her right leg arched up behind her like a scorpion stinger, foot poised above her shoulder.  "Yeah," I muttered, "Like that's going to happen."  I can't even balance on three points, let alone cock my leg up behind my head like that. 

Moreover, she practices hot-room yoga, and I was sweating like a pony in the First Five minutes.  I would need a sponge and a bucket to mop up afterwards if I did a full session.  Which is to say that I quit about half-way through.  I didn't have the muscles, the balance or the flexibility to do any of the moves, and I wasn't learning anything, so I took my Flabby ass home and soaked in a hot bathtub for 20 minutes.  And I'm still sore today!  I remember when I was thin and limber and could have bluffed my way through.  Ah well.  I'm still a legend in my own mind.

And then there was the Fone Foul-up.  When you shove your dress into the washer, you need to make sure your phone is not still in the pocket.  A trip through the wash cycle, even on delicate and cold, didn't do the phone any good at all.  So off to the mall we went.  The AT&T store wanted very, very much to sell us a third phone line to go with the new phone. $250.  They refused to sell us a  phone without also selling us a third phone line.  We didn't NEED a third phone line!  Radio Shack wanted to sell us a new contract to go with a new phone.  $230. Then DH realized that my SIM card worked just fine in his phone.  In fact, it was possible that we even had some old phones at home that would work.  But before we left, we went to the other AT&T store in the mall.  (Why are there two AT&T stores in one mall? ) and the very nice young man there quite happily sold us a new phone for $10.  No camera in it but I have never taken a picture with my phone yet, so I won't miss it.  DH can Fx a rainy day.  He ALWAYS comes up with a solution to my problems!

This post is brought to you by Frustration, Fretting, and Final satisfaction.  By the numbers Five and Fifty, and by the Flowers that bloom in the spring, tra la!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


All clean and shiny! Just like magic.  the secret ingredient is Elbow grease. Now to re-line and re-load the cupboards.  And then go into baking frenzy for Knitting on Saturday.  Our theme is "New Leaf."  I'll use china with green tones in it, and maybe bring in a few leafy twigs.  Raspberry cake with sliced canned peaches (Peaches and raspberries work in that Australia dessert - Peach Nellie.)  Tamara is bringing cookies.  I'll make deviled Eggs, because everyone like them. Don't know what for fresh fruit yet.  Any suggestions?  And maybe scones to make the house smell good on Saturday morning.  Butter and jam, but no honey.  Ants got in through the screw top jar and drowned.  The top of the honey is speckled with honied ants.  I scrpaed most of them out, and will not share honey till the rest are gone.  I don't mind a few dead ants in my tea, but I wouldn't expect my guests to be quite so adventurous.

Drowning in honey.  There's an image!  Maybe that's what happens to people who get too much too easily.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Decades of dirt and grease and scrubbing away the remains of the same have wrecked the finish on our kitchen cupboards.  The varnish is gone here, and the grime is soaking into the bare wood.  So we bit the bullet and checked out various cabinet refinishing companies.  Many of them wouldn't touch it, prefering to sell us new cupboard doors.  But I'm a lumberman's daughter, and these are gorgeous clear grain veneer like youcan't get anymore.  The wood was part of what sold me on the house.  That golden hue is warm  and natural and comforting in this dingy grey weather.  Anyhow, it's foolish to buy whole new cupboard doors when the doors we have are perfectly good except they look grungy.

And then we found N-Hance.
They use a non-toxic solution to clean and prepare the old finish, then touch up the color, and apply a clear finish coat when they're done.  The magic ingredient is elbow grease.  The guys doing this work have impressive shoulders!  The only power tools they use are the screwdrivers that remove and replace the hadware.  They'll be done today, and we can have our kitchen back without clouds of dust, noxious fumes, and ear-abrading sanding.

Theyll be doing the floors, too.
They leave their shoes out on the porch and wear house slippers so they don't track stuff all through the house.  they are polite, hard-working fellows in khaki pants and navy-blue polo shirts.  Very professional.  We are pleased!

Between DH's bonus check, and tax returns, and some inheritance, we have been spending.  Not quite like a drunken sailor.  More like a tipsy sea scout.  But still, we practice economy.  The doctor said we could get some exercise, or we could get a bypass.  So rather than blow money on a gym membership which we don't use anyway, we bit tih bullet and got a treadmill.  It's set up right in front of the TV.  We both played on it last night (I got in 30 minutes at 3.8 miles an hour.  He ran for 20 minutes!) and we both slept like babies!  Today, I'mm going to walk my way through Dancing with the Stars!  (Hooray for Kirstie Alley!!)

This post has been brought to you by the words Dingbat, Damascene, and Dandelion, and by the concepts of  Double, Dozen, Divinity, and Drowsy.

Monday, April 04, 2011

The Alphablog challenge

I have joined the A-z blogging challenge. I am nothing of not a good follower. Lisa , at ,Susan at Wiggle Room (because every woman needs a room of her own) Pat at Pat Lichen are doing this as well. 

(They are also gifted authors.  Pat and Susan have e-books available on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.  Pat has a tree-hugger manifesto that even I, daughter of a lumberman and old school ravager of the environment, was able to enjoy and appreciate.  Unlike most tree-huggers, Pat has a sense of humor and gets her point across without preaching or playing the big guilt card. Kidnapping the Lorax is a damn fine read and lots of fun.

Lisa is bringing out a Young Adult Novel with a stock-car racing theme in which the teen protagonist finally starts to get his sh-t together.  It will make you laugh out loud with it's cheeky humor, and it will make you cry because Lisa can be really mean to her characters and she makes them suffer for their mistakes.

 Susan offers a mystery called Blind Leading the Blind  that offers laugh out loud humor, gritty child-welfare procedurals, a blind woman and her useless but charming guide dog, and the female detective that falls in love with her.)

Since I am late to the game, I have to blog on three letters today.

A is for ambition. I have an ambition to be a writer. A writer is someone who writes. I do not particularly have an ambition to be an Author. An Author is someone who is acclaimed for their writing. Acclaim is great stuff, and I suck it up like a greedy piggy, but it is not my Ambition to Attain Acclaim. My ambition is to let the stories and characters in my head run out of my fingers, and onto the page where they can play with everyone.

B is for Biddable. I have always been a biddable kid. I do what people tell me, at least until I get Bored. So here I am, joining the Alphablog challenge, like a fish entering a Bicycle race.

C is for Challenge. And Conscientious. And Conforming. All of them Concepts which I do not like. They make me feel Constrained and Claustrophobic. So I use my Creativity to Change the game while still following the rules.

When I was a kid, Dad used to play a car game with us, saying, "I'm going on a trip and I'm going to pack my anemometer." The next person would say, "I'm going on a trip and I'm going to pack my anemometer, and my bear traps." The next person would say, "I'm going on a trip and I'm going to pack my anemometer, my bear traps, and my coat." And so on. If you forgot a word, or couldn't come up with one, everyone would prompt you. No one was ever out, because then they would sulk and be sullen, and the point of the game was to keep the damn kids entertained in the car! My brothers delighted in using big words, and dad would always explain them for us little kids, so the alphabet game is a long-time favorite of mine.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Seasons go round

 Adam's Apple continues to send up determined shoots.  By this time next year, we may bue up to buds and blossoms.

.  And in preparation for summer festivities, we scalped the lawn.  Well, DH, RW and the mighty Taylor scalped the lawn, while MJ and I shopped for cabinet hardware.  And when we got back, I realized that the handles we haa selected did not go with the hinges.  I took them back and got shiny handles instead.  Easier and cheaper to replace handles than to replace handles AND hinges.
Today, DH and I picked up some groundcloth and bandaged the scalped spot to prevent the infection of weeds and grass under our new terrace, Or whatever. What do you call it? A shade structure over a paved area.  The veranda?  the pallazzo? the summer house?  It's gonna be awesome sauce for knitting in the summer!
And just because I wanted to share it, here's that lascivious magnolia unfurling her tender buds.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

There were these big black things on the ground

I think the big black things are called shadoos or something.  It's been so long since I've seen anythiing like them.  the sky wasn't any shade of white or gray at all - it was blue!  Blue!  Honest - I wouldn't lie to you.  The sky overhead was blue. and this bright white light was shining down, making all the colors so vivid and pretty!  The flowers almost seem to glow!  Furthermore, that big light made things warmer, too!  I was out without a coat.  In my shirtsleeves, just like people in cruise commercials.

The trees obviously like this white light.  You could almost hear the leaf buds popping open.  The neighbort's birch tree has leaves  the size of a mouse's ear.  And our magnolia tree is doing its usual lacivious, tumnescent display of sensually swelling buds. 

People are out in droves with dogs and strollers; and the song of the lawnmower is heard in the land.  Teens are overwhelmed with surging hormones,  office workers are drawn to snatch a sandwich outside, the postman is having a picnic in the park, andbicycles are having their tires re-inflated.

This is an all too brief interlude.  The rain will return in a few hours.  But Oh my God we will make the most of the sun while we can.  This is the first day since November when the temp is over  60.  In March, it rained 30 out of 31 days, and the one dry day was damn cloudy. 

Bear in mind, all this warmth and glory occurred on April first.  This few hours is not a harbinger of  spring.  It is merely Mother Nature's notion of an April Fool's prank.  We are now back to 50 degrees and rain,  but we can face it with hope.  The sun DOES exist.  The sky IS blue, and those big black shadoo things on the ground are perfectly normal.