Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Party and The Plans...........

Well, dear friends, the bridal shower on Saturday was a success.  Niece was very happy - especially since most of the guests were groom's family.  Ours are scattered all over the country.  But those of us who live in MN made it.  Even techie son who does not participate in social gatherings came.

The shower was held at the groom's mother's home.  Right from the beginning, I felt like I was in a "reality" TV show.  Holy crap!  You would not believe this house!  Huge, for one.  Decorated in dark burgundy and eggplant color schemes (not together!).  One of those wraparound sofas, with the chaise lounge at the one end; pictures of couples in a French artist kind of way; the master bathroom had a whirlpool tub, candles and scented oil warmers all over the place; satins, silks, suedes in every room.

I asked BH: "if we get divorced, can I have a house like this?"  Yes, she's divorced; don't know what the ex does for a living.  She -- she looks like a "cougar".  Yep, I was in the middle of a "cougar reality TV show".  I know this because "Snooky" and "Kim Kardashian" were there, too.  Actually, I think there were 2 Kardashians; only 1 "Snooky".  What the hell is up with that???

Times like these make me sooooo thankful that I am waayyyy past that time in my life.  Glad to be a middle-aged Granny.  I don't have to put on airs anymore.  I don't have to dress, act and talk like all the empty-headed, full-of-themselves "celebrities" in the media.  Of course the down side to all this is I feel like ----  my mother.  I think I'm becoming my own mother!!  Lord help me!

Anywho, the decision was made on Sunday that I will be having a birthday party for BH next weekend.  Kind of forced on me because the kids wanted to come up for 4th of July.  But after explaining that we have to go to Rochester on Tuesday, and I really want this weekend to relax, I suggested that they all come up next weekend because it's "dad's birthday".  To which they all were very excited by the prospect.

And I had to tell BH, because I need to clean out the camper for extra sleeping arrangements.  I was trying to do this on the QT yesterday, but he kept fighting me about why it had to be done.  "Plenty of room in the house; someone can throw the air mattress on the floor; they did it before.  I don't know why you have to move all that stuff in the camper now and then you're just going to move it back.  Who's all coming up here, anyway?".......blah, blah, blah.  So I had to spill the beans.

Then he tells me that son who lives near us is coming with his friend.  I said I thought he would; I was going to invite him and his family anyway.  "Yeah, but he's gotta bring the 2 kids because his wife has other plans for the weekend".  Well, I planned on the kids being here anyway, with his wife.  So it doesn't matter.

Now I'll be planning a big picnic, shopping, cooking, baking; a cookout, setting up the volleyball net, getting out the crokay set(you know - wires, mallets, stakes and balls; the lawn game), the pool toys, the coolers for beer and pop. 

And next week is already full of things to do: Tuesday, Rochester; Wednesday, take daughter home; Thursday, dentist appointment and then grocery shopping.  Friday, clean house, prepare food, bake and decorate cake, and get everything set up.  I'm tired just thinking about it.

All I can say is "God, please don't let it rain!!"

We're supposed to get thunderstorms today.  Which is a surprise because according to the weatherman last night, there wasn't suppose to be any rain until late tonight. It was supposed to be very hot and humid, which seems to still be on track.  So......that blows the plans for more outside work.  Basic housework is done, so I have 7 skeins of yarn to ball up into cakes, and then more knitting.  Because then it'll be nap time!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Just Saying..........

Yesterday was BH and my 22nd wedding anniversary!!  No big hoopla.  We had a nice quiet day at home.  I fixed Italian chicken breasts w/spaghetti on the side, fresh Italian bread and a salad for supper.  Banana splits for dessert - BH's favorite!!

He cleaned up the front yard.  Lots of debris on the ground after 4 days of heavy rains and strong winds.  I straightened up the house and wrapped gifts for niece's shower.  That took me over an hour.  Trying to configure how to box up the items; should it be one or two boxes? Should I separate daughter's gift from ours?  No, boxed them all together.  The card will have all our names on it.  Then to figure out a nice bow/decoration for the top.  Yikes.  I had to go to the old house and rummage through the craft supplies to find netting, irridescent beads, doves on wedding rings (didn't make the cut), and tiny white silk roses (didn't make the cut).  Put it all together; it does look kind of cute.  I had to use double stick tape to keep everything in place.  Unfortunately, the only tape I had is 1" wide and kind of thick.  But it worked.  I hope it stays in place until gift-opening time!

Anywho, our anniversary and her upcoming wedding bring back tons of memories of "our day".  It was the hottest day of the summer so far.  The church was not air-conditioned.  But everything turned out beautiful.  Our sons rented us a horse-drawn coach the night before, and BH and I went for a lovely ride around town for over an hour!  What a great surprise that was!  Our kids stood up for us.  My oldest gave me away; BH's youngest was his best man. (Both our sons were friends in high school and they set us up on a blind date 2 years before!!)  Our daughter's were bridesmaids and my one-and-only sister was my maid of honor.   My 2 youngest sons, who were 11 and 10 yrs old, were groomsmen.  All the girls were dressed in beautiful tea length gowns, and the guys were in tuxes. My gown was "candlelight" ecru, tea length, lace; and my shoulder length veil was held with a lacy "Juliet" cap.  Purchased at JC Penney's for $110.00.  I love that dress and veil. 

I did all the flower arrangements, even for the altar at church.  Bouquets, hair pieces, boutinerres, and centerpieces for the head table at the reception.

My twin brothers - one played accoustic guitar sang 2 songs during the service - "The Wedding Song" by Paul Stokey(of Peter, Paul and Mary fame) and "In My Life" by John Lennon.  Then he did an instrumental of "Longer" by Dan Fogelberg during communion.  The other twin did the video camera of the whole ceremony.  We have it on tape.

The reception was great.  Everyone had a great time.  There was a DJ to play the music.  Our first dance was  "Just You and I" by Crystal Gayle and Eddie Rabbit.  All our family, friends and some co-workers were guests; I think it totaled about 80 people.

Our wedding cake was made by a friend of my sister's (she has her own cake decorating business).  It was 3-tier and gorgeous!!  Very delicious too!

Then when things really got rockin' and rollin' later that evening, my twin brother(the camera guy) and I jitterbugged to "Let's Go to the Hop" by Danny and the Juniors!!!  He's the only one who can jitterbug!!

When all was said and done, I think the whole thing cost us about $2,000.  Quite a difference now when couples think nothing of spending 10s of thousands on a wedding!  Wow. 

Well, the day after the wedding, we left for our honeymoon.  Took a road trip down south.  Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia.  Saw lots of sites, had a wonderful time.  And we camped the whole way!  Yes. Camped.  We're both avid campers, but by the 12th day, the billboards for "Red Roof Inn" were looking mighty appealing to me!  I would've given anything for a nice soft bed and a hot, relaxing shower!  But we carried on.  BH said "won't it be great to be able to say we camped for the whole 2 weeks of our honeymoon?!"    Ehhh, yeah.

So here we are 22 years later.  Lots of ups and downs; lots of hurts and reconcillations; lots of joys and lots of sorrows.  But we've built this life together, through good times and bad.  A huge accomplishment in itself.  And we take pride in it all.  And as the years pass and our time here wanes, we take comfort in each other, we depend on each other, don't want to be apart from each other and we truly, truly adore, respect and love each other.

And I often think how those 4 songs during our ceremony and reception have come to mean more to me every day and how they have defined our life together.

We wish the very same for our lovely niece and her husband-to-be.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More Random Thoughts...........

**Because we are in our 4th day of rain, cold and darkness, my mind is a globulation of thoughts.  One-liners running together that can't be individually thought out.

**Saturday is my niece's bridal shower.  I still have to wrap the gifts, figure out what to wear - winter or summer?  Trim BH's hair, decide what time to pick up daughter for the trip to the Cities, and how I'm going to respond to the excommunicated daughter who is supposed to show up at the shower.  We haven't spoken since my dad passed away.  But that's another very long, sad story.

**While on this thought, (hey, I guess I can have more than a one-line thought!), it's also rumbling around in my brain how everything will go at the wedding that ex daughter is also supposed to attend.  Not only has she not talked to me, she hasn't talked to her youngest brother, who happens to work for the same company she does (won't acknowledge him at work!), she hasn't talked to my sister for over a year - and never even sent condolences when my mom passed away on New Year's Eve day.

**I've been spending a lot of time spinning and knitting.  Therefore, housework has been a "no go".  And I was on such a "high" when the weather actually seemed like summer.  I was so proud of myself for planning projects and actually getting them done!  But with this crappy weather, I just want to hibernate again.

**I started spinning the blue - what I thought was Cormo, but when splitting it yesterday, I realized it's Merino.  And not a good Merino.  Lots of bumps, clumps and tinnnyyyy pieces of sand-like matter.  All to be picked out as spinning.  Aaaarrggghhh!  But I love the color, and plan on plying it with a striated blue superwash Merino.  Of which I have about 2#s.  What the hell is wrong with me?!  It's my addiction.  Well, despite all that, I know it'll be a beautiful yarn.

**I really hope we get back to summer weather soon because I have a lot to get done before my sister comes out here.  She'll be here 2 days before the wedding, staying with us til we all go to the Cities on that Saturday.  I'd like to have things looking just "spiffy"!!  Since she hasn't been here in 5 years!

**BH's birthday is July 9.  He will be 75.  I'd love to have a big party for him, but don't know how I'd pull it off.  July 5, we take daughter to Mayo Clinic for a checkup on her hip replacement;  July 7 I have a dentist appointment.  So I'm kind of trying to talk myself into having it the weekend after.  That way, it'll really be a surprise for him.

**Besides this, to have the kids and brother, sister-in-law come up, some people would have to rent a hotel room.  We live in a small mobile home.  And they would have to spend more money - being that there's the wedding a month later.

**I don't know if I can muster the energy to plan a buffet/picnic meal, make and decorate a cake, shop for all the incidentals and be a hostess with the mostess.  Especially if we're still in the October weather mode.  Not to mention the cost of the whole shibang.  Crap.  I asked him if he would like a party for his birthday (actually I suggested we have a party), he said "no", he doesn't want one; wait until his 80th.  Now that's positive thinking!!

**I  know BH really wants to get away.  We've been talking about doing a lot of camping this summer(?), and he probably would rather do that for his birthday.  But we have this "camping rule" -- no camping on the weekends.  Too crowded, too noisy, too many kids running around, too many jerks running around.

**Well, I gotta plan some trips, with the bulk of them most likely in August when all the hulabaloo is over.

**Every so often, the thought runs through my head if I'm going to do the Craft Show at the school this year.  Haven't done one in about 5-6 years.  But I've got a lot of stuff left over that is stored in the farmhouse, that I'd really like to get rid of, and it's been the motivation for all the spinning and knitting.  BH keeps asking me "how many pairs of socks, how many hats and mitts, how many scarves do you have made?"   I DON'T KNOW!  I JUST KEEP MAKING THEM; I KNOW I HAD TO SEPERATE THEM INTO THEIR OWN STORAGE TOTES!  Geezzz.

**Oh yeah.  I've gotta check the 100 yards of material that is stored, and see if there's something I can make a dress out of for the wedding.  This, of course, is my accumulation of quilting material --- which hasn't seen the light of day for -- eh, maybe 4 years.

**Ok. There's no spinning or knitting getting done while I'm on the computer.  So, I'm going back at it.  Onward and upward.  Slow and steady wins the race.  This is one amazing race.  Dare I say, seemingly with no end in sight!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Enough Is Enough!!.............

Ok. Our 3rd day of rain and cool temps.  It poured all day yesterday - and I do mean poured!!  With winds about 40mph.  Our front yard is littered with tree branches; looks like Paul Bunyon went crazy with the ax - but never cleaned up after himself.

Today is the same.  It is pouring as I write.  Along with occasional thunder and lightening.  BH and I had planned on going to Grand Rapids (MN not MI) to shop. Actually just to get the hell out of the house for a while.  I'm not too enthused about it right now.  I need to take a shower.  But I'm waiting for the chance of lightening to pass.  I'm paranoid about being in the shower during a lightening strike.  I won't even let BH take one.

However, we have a pool almost outside the bathroom window.  1500 gals. of water; and the filter is plugged into the outside recepticle that is -- you guessed it --- right outside the bathroom window.

Well, lightening may blow out the electric, I just don't want it hitting me in the shower!!

And what the hell is this?  Washington state??  I don't think they get this much rain!  BH just told me we're moving to northern Alaska.  He says they don't have this crap up there; it's consistent weather -- cold -- all the time!!  Hehehe, silly man.

While I'm complaining, I do want to say my prayers are with the folks in southern MN.  They are under a flood watch - again.  Apparently the rivers have not receeded much from the previous floods, and they're about to go over their banks again.  Some people have been flooded out 3 times already; this will be the 4th.  God bless you all.

Well, I finished plying the burgundy.  4 bobbins full and a 5th that had to be Nplied.  Oh, and the black Shetland has been Nplied.  So maybe later today or tomorrow they will be skeined and washed.

Finished knitting a beret out of the white, which is actually a cream color.  Added crystal glass beads to it, a technique I saw on "Knitting Daily" with Eunny Jung.  What a great tip this was.  I always add beads while spinning a single and then ply for yarn.  And though there is some wiggle room to move them to another position while knitting, sometimes not enough.  This tip was great - add a bead where you want it.  The beret turned out very nice and the beads look great.  Now I'm knitting up matching fingerless mitts.

My niece's bridal shower is Saturday.  We'll be staying overnight at son and fiance's place; coming home Sunday afternoon.  It's a "Jack and Jill" shower, which means the men attend also.  Whose bright idea was this??? Probably some insecure little Nellie who wanted to make sure her man wasn't out with the boys while the Hens were oohing and ahhing over household appliances!

Man, I liked it better when it was a "hen" party, starting at 1:00pm, ending at 5:00pm, on a Sunday afternoon, and then everyone went home.  This soire is starting at 5:00pm, ending--------when the beer is gone, says the invitation.  Good grief!

Well, I gotta go make some alternate plans for today.  Hope BH doesn't insist on taking that ride today.  I know - I'll tell him we'll order his telescope today!!  Yeah. That's the ticket!  Once he gets on the computer, it's all over.  There's cribbage to play.  That's good for about 6 hours!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Is There Really Going to Be a Summer??..............

Oh man, this feels like Fall!  Ridiculous.  Rain yesterday, today and for the next 3 days.  Temps not conducive to a "summer rain" either.  Crap.

So today, I will ply the 3 bobbins of burgundy.  Got 2 balls of light blue roving on the schedule for the next spinning job.  I think it's Cormo.  Very pretty.  I don't have any blue yarn spun up.

Yesterday was a nice, relaxing Father's Day, despite the weather.  Just me and BH.  Lots of phone calls from the kids.  Which is always a pleasant surprise ----- that they remembered!!  You know they're always soooo busy!!   So I planned a nice steak dinner, with shrimp cocktail, baked potato, corn and strawberry shortcake for dessert.  He was very happy! 

 For the day, he played cribbage on the computer (his favorite pasttime!), and I worked on Nplying the last of the black Shetland on 1 1/2 bobbins.

I'm hoping this will be enough to get through the shawl on the knitting needles.  Had to put it on "hold" because I ran out.  Remember the dyeing job last week that was supposed to be black?  And wasn't.  Well, I remebered about these 2 bobbins!  What the heck!  It's so crazy, it just might work.  More on that later.

Still maintaining the pool.  Change filter, add chemicals.  I'm beginning to wonder if all will be for naught.  Might be 1500 gallons of water that never have contact with a human body!  I told BH yesterday "I think the water's warming up a bit".  Well, that may be.  But the thought of going in the pool during the rain, just doesn't appeal to me!  He keeps telling me he thinks July and August are going to be HOT.  He's definitely a "Polyanna" - to the extreme.

That's all I've got for today. It's a very blah day.  So, back to the wheel.  Somehow, there's always sun shining (if only in my head) when I'm at the wheel!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Whew! What a Week.............

I managed to get done all I had planned!  It's a "Gold Star" week.  Few and far between.

Sunday: we did get the pool up - in record time!  And considering it hasn't been up for 2 years, we were giddy with ourselves.  It even stayed up overnight.  This is the test, because it seems that there's never enough air in the ring, or the damn thing is cockeyed, and sure enough, next morning, it's half deflated with water pouring out.  Ah, but not this year!  And it's still up!

Monday: skeined the 4 bobbins of white yarn, washed and hung to dry.  Prepared near a pound of grey Shetland to be dyed.  One pot black, one 2 shades of green w/ yellow highlights; the crockpot, maybe a green and burgundy.  Do you find that the prep takes much longer than the actual dyeing? Yikes!  Anywho, the black didn't turn black -- it became a beautiful dark purple wine color with black and grey striations.  Love it!  And the green turned out great!  The crockpot experiment turned into a lighter shade of the dark purple with more silver highlights.  Take a look:

Tuesday:  The pot of dye that was supposed to be black had a lot of color left(my bad - I always use too much dye when trying to get dark colors!)  So, I thought why not prepare more wool and use up the dye.  That's where the dark turquoise color came from.  Another experiment that I am very happy with.  You know, come to think of it, I shouldn't really say I'm dyeing wool - it's really experimenting!
  Also straightened up the house, did a load of laundry, prepared BBQ ribs for supper, filed daughter's paperwork, gathered all my paperwork for Social Security (that turned out to be a waste of time, ie:previous post); changed filter for the pool and added chemicals; ran into town to take care of errands.

Wednesday:  Besides the disappointing trip to the SS office, did get all the business taken care of.

Thursday: I contemplated dyeing more wool.  Thinking of dyeing some white roving a very dark green; and then I could use some solid yellow and pink.  But the weather was crappy, cloudy, rainy, chilly.  So, I balled the white skeins into cakes, balled up the dyed roving and did some spinning.

Today:  Well, don't know yet.  Looks like it's going to be another gloomy day.  I should do some housework and laundry.  Probably will.  Because I love weekends to myself, with no "have-to's".  I've already spent 2 1/2 hours spinning the burgundy; just about done.  It'll give me 3 bobbins + a little more.

I'm thinking fish fry for supper.  Gotta get the fish out of the freezer.  Maybe potato salad, too.

Wherever you are, whatever you have planned for today, have a great day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

And We Wonder Why........

Warning:  This will eventually turn into a rant!!.....

Well, today was the day.  I went to register for Social Security.  BH and I had this planned for a week.  And being that it's an hour's drive from home, we consolidated our errands.

Most of yesterday was spent gathering all the proofs needed; birth, divorce, marriage, income tax returns, W2 statement, Unemployment confirmation, SS estimation of benefits, and BH's SS award letter for this year.  I was sooooo ready!

Of course we had been checking all this on the internet.  The same site said to apply 3 months before you turned of age and "no appointment necessary".  I also looked up the street by street directions to get there, and printed out the map as a certainty.

We are ready.  The plan was to leave home at exactly 8 am.  Stop at the garbage plant and pay our bill; stop at DMV and register BH's fishing car and the boat; next to the SS office; then to Target for niece's shower gifts; on to the home improvement store for odds and ends - and a new filet knife to replace the one BH can't find.  Then to daughter's to take care of some business with her.  Go to the auto repair shop to have to A/C recharged in the van; last stop is grocery shopping.

So we arrive at the SS office.  The guard greats us and asked the reason for being there.  "I'm  signing for SS", I say politely.  He hands me a clip board, "fill out this paper and here is your number.  You'll be called shortly".  He was very polite.

The little slip from the machine that prints out "next to be served" numbers says mine is 53.  BH and I are the only clients in the building.  I should have known this was a bad omen.  Within 10 minutes, a young lady calls my number.  I should have stood up and looked around the room, then looked at my slip of paper.  But I didn't think it would end as it did........

We walk over to her cubby hole, sit down.  "How can I help you?" she asks.  "I'm here to sign for Social Security" say I, manilla envelope in hand, with every piece of paper that would not only prove who I am, but probably give someone enough information to become me - no problem.   And here's the problem.......

"Oh, you can't do that here.  You can only apply either on-line or over the phone", says she.  "Wh-Wh-What, I can't apply here?"  "That's  right.  You apply over the phone or internet, then we would call you and make an appointment.  All our reps are with other people right now".

With a half smile on my face, because I sure as hell don't want to sound angry or sarcastic, I reply "But there's NO ONE ELSE here".   "Oh, but the reps are on the phones with them; it's a very busy day".  "And", she continues,  "you can only apply at the office, with an appointment, no more than a month before your birthday; but you can apply over the phone or internet up to 4 months before that".

And here's where it gets REAL good and starts the gray matter in your head to just about explode:

"So when I apply over the phone or internet, how do I show all my proofs of identity??"  "THERE'S NO NEED", she says; "IF THE COMPUTER SPITS OUT A PROBLEM WHEN THE REP IS ENTERING YOUR INFO, THEY WILL CALL YOU AND ASK YOU SOME QUESTIONS".     That's it.  You apparently don't have to show them ANY proof of who you are.   And you'll receive the money you have worked hard for all your life, in monthly installments, til you drop dead.

Now, think about this the next time you want to open a bank account.  Federal Law prohibits a bank from issuing you an account without a picture ID, proof of address, and your Social Security card.  There may even be a few other "proofs" you need.  Even if you live in a town of 400 residents, you've been banking there for 15 years, and you know the bank president by name, and she knows you.

And we wonder how ID theft can be sooo prevelant or how illegals can pass themselves off as a card-carrying, tax paying, hard working citizen using our name.

Think about it long and hard the next time you hear the BlowHard politicians ranting how Social Security is breaking the Country!!

Remember this the next time you go to the doctor's or find yourself in the hospital, the same hospital you've gone to all your adult life, and they STILL need to make a copy of your insurance card, and you STILL have to fill out all the info: name, address, phone number, spouse's name, doctor's name, ad nauseum.  AND, they're entering all this on the computer ---- for the umpteenth time!

Oh yeah.  I'll be on the computer tomorrow.  Social Security, here I come!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

We're Gettin' 'Er Done.............

Another gorgeous weekend!  I'm so filled with ambition and energy, I'm giddy with myself!  Yesterday I finally got out and scraped the windows.  We caulked and painted the frames a couple weeks ago. That was a job that was on the list for last year -- didn't get done til now.

Today is another beautiful day, so we're putting the pool up.  This will most likely be an all-afternoon affair.  And I'm pretty sure my energy will be zapped for the rest of the day.  But that's ok.  At least it'll be done.

However, according to the weather report, we're expecting 3 days of rain in various degrees, starting tomorrow.  Rats!!  Makes me think we should postpone the pool.  But I know if we do that, it'll never get done, and before you know it ----- it'll be 98 degrees again and I'll be swearing a blue streak!!  Onward and upward.

Tomorrow is being planned as "Wool Day".  Perfect if we get said rain.  I've got 4 skeins that need to be washed, as well as the "ugly socks" and a hat.  Also plan on gathering up my dyeing equipment and get started tomorrow on dyeing some grey Shetland.  I'll do kettle and crockpot.  I really love to do painted roving, but I'm not in the mood right now for all that.  Maybe later this summer.

By the way, check out "Passing Down Crazy"'s blog.  Look at the gorgeous skeins she and the kids dyed!  Love, love, love them!!  What a great first attempt at dyeing!

I was in the old farmhouse yesterday, looking for more lawn ornaments.  As I'm looking around, I said to myself "wow, this isn't so bad.  We could probably get this organized and cleaned out in no time".  Started feeling pretty positive about it.  So, this is definitely going on the list.  Maybe we'll start this coming week, being that it's going to rain anyway.  This job is a thorn in my side!  Been wanting to get at it for a long time.  But everytime I start thinking about it, I can barely get up the gumption to do it.  The thought of  going through everything, organizing, throwing out - yuck.  There's a lot of crap over there!  Not to mention boxes and boxes of craft supplies from back in the day.  Most of that needs to be sorted out and re-boxed.  Maybe for the yard sale this summer.  Another plan that has been going astray for about 5 years --- a yard sale.

I've been collecting stuff for all those years.  Good stuff you really don't want to throw out.  Everytime we come across something while cleaning out something else, I tell BH "No, no, don't throw it out.  Put it over in the house for my Yard Sale".  Right now, I could probably run a month of weekend yard sales!

Today is my baby's birthday.  He is 32 today.  Gotta call him.  Probably be on the phone for a couple of hours.  We usually talk every weekend, but didn't get around to it last week.  I can still remember when he was little.  How he loved to dig holes right behind the house, saying he was building his own house - with a basement; he was digging the basement.  Or how he used to climb up on my lap, with woobie in hands, curl up and watch "Fraggle Rock".  And how, when he started kindergarten, he would hide behind me at the bus stop so he could pop his thumb in his mouth until the bus came!  And now he's grown.  He's our computer techie; our auto mechanic, our handyman.  Nothing this kid can't do!  He's absolutely amazing.  Unfortunately, he doesn't think so.  He could really write his own ticket in life and have a comfortable, prosperous lifestyle if he put his mind to it.  But it's not for him.  I keep praying anyway.

Update on the A/C:  Well, I attempted to drain the water from the so-called "Full" tank.  There is no water!!  Got a few drops out.  I even went so far as to tip the damn thing backward and forward. Nothing.  But I moved it to another window, another outlet by itself (as recommended in the instructions), hoping this would end the TV remote interference.  Nope.  The remote still sets off the settings on the stupid thing.  And it's not even facing that direction.  I did turn it on once and the "Full" light was off and the condensor light was on.  But I didn't leave the machine on for any length of time to see if it was now working properly because ---- it's been in the 60's here.  And I'd rather have the windows open, than the A/C on.  So the story continues...........more updates to come.

Well, I better get my arse in gear; burning daylight here.  Wishing you all a wonderful, beautiful, peaceful weekend.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pictures......and other Thoughts

Before and after:

I think it turned out great!

In other news, today is the 1 year anniversary of my dad passing away.  A very sad day, to be sure. Filled with lots of memories of this day.  My brother and I were with him when he took his last breath. I can vividly remember how he looked.  I miss him very much.   The memories of our whole life are both bitter and sweet.  But thank God, we have these memories as a family.  Sometimes I think it's all that gets us through.

I've been spinning - still working on the burgundy.  And knitting the poncho.  Which appears that it's going to present a problem.  I'm running out of one of the colors.  Have no more to spin up.  I'm gonna have to come up with Plan B.  But I think it'll have to be put aside for a while until I do.  Oh well.  Guess I'll have to start something else.  Not so frustrating right now, because there's other things to get done around the house.  No major knitting marathon.

I did finish the "ugly socks"!  Thank goodness.  I managed to get rid of this superwash Merino thats been hanging around for years.  Am not a fan of superwash!  However, I do love to ply it with other wools.  So, needless to say,  oh yeah.  I have lots of superwash.  I just can't resist the feel and the striated coloring in the roving.  Yep. Sucker.  But I will never, ever spin a yarn of strictly superwash!

Well, what would a rainy, cold day be without a few gripes.  So here goes:

We purchased a new A/C a couple weeks ago.  The tail end of winter was still with us, so there was no need to hook it up right away.  Did this last week.  It is not the same make as the one we already have.  BIG mistake.

We have a Haier that we bought about 5 yrs ago.  It's one of those big ones you can roll around (I can not understand the concept of "rolling around" an A/C!)  Never had a lick of trouble with it. Love it!  Ah, but this time, BH wants to buy the same type from the big box home improvement store.  Because we get a year to pay it off with no interest.  Okey dokey, then.

Unfortunately, it is not a Haier.  It's a name that is just now coming onto the marketplace.  And it's half the size, but a 1/4 more BTU's.  The salesman assured us that it is a top-notch machine! No problems, no complaints.

Not exactly.  First, the window piece to connect the exhaust hose comes in 3 sections.  If it doesn't fit your window, you need to cut the extension piece down.  No problem; done.  Ah, but it's too low in the window; can't connect the hose.  Take the cut off piece, add it to the other extension and create a 2-level connection.  But now there are gaps where the 2 pieces don't quite sit level on top of each other.  No problem.  Get out the duct tape.  Done.  Connect the hose.  But it's fashioned like a clothes dryer hose, and you have to make sure the wire is in the 2 little grooves and then twist it around until it's set; do this on both ends.  Except, when you get the one end secured and start twisting the other, the set one pops out.  Aaarrgggghhh!(This is not the word I used. Let your imagination run wild!)

Finally done.  Whew.  But later that evening, we're watching tv, go to turn the channel, and the temp reading on the unit goes up.  Hit the tv remote again, and a different function on the A/C is engaged.  WTF!!  The tv remote controls the A/C!!  Let me say, the unit is not facing the direction of the tv remote.  A little while later, it doesn't seem like this thing is blowing enough cold air.  The temp is set at the lowest - 61 degrees ---- because it's 98 degrees outside!  AND it seems the condensor is not staying on.  Therefore,  later that evening,  the "Full" light is on.  Which means the water tank is FULL!!  WHAT??!!  Read the manual.

"If the 'Full' light is on, you need to empty the tank.  Place a pan, no deeper than 1" under the drain plug, open plug and let the water drain".   You think so?  There is no room under the drain plug!  It is like 1/4" off the floor!! Shit. Shit. Shit.  Our Haier sits in the hottest part of the house, and in 5 yrs., we have never, ever had to drain the tank!  And the air flow is great! Very powerful.

The tank has not yet been drained and the unit has been off for the last 3 days.  I want to take it back to the store.  I want my money back!  Despite the big tag attached to the unit that read "DO NOT RETURN THIS UNIT TO THE POINT OF PURCHASE".    Yeah.  Right.  You don't know who you're messin' with!

Oh, and one more little glitch to this saga.  The box.  The unit is packed in the box with 3" of styrofoam all around it and a 2" very hard cardboard frame on top and bottom.  You can't get the thing out of the box without ripping apart one side.  And the cardboard frame on the bottom of the unit? Is also the bottom of the box.  There is no bottom to the box.  This makes it a bit difficult to pack it up and take it back to the store.  There is no box left.

I should have stuck with my 17 fans!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Well, Well, Well.........

Lots going on here over the past week or so.  I wound up with a bad cold last Tuesday, was good for nothing all week.  Just what I needed, something else to throw a monkey wrench into my things-to-get-done.

Thursday, I felt a bit better, still congested.  Thought maybe some manual labor would work the crap outta my system.  So, I went out and planted all the pots for the soon-to-be remodeled flower bed.  It looked like rain all the while, but I got 'er done!  Then I died for the rest of the day.  It didn't work the crap outta my system.

Friday - blah.  Saturday, cleaned house (finally!).  Sunday was a gorgeous, warm, sunny day.  BH and I started outside about 10:30am.  He, cutting the grass.  Me, weedwhacking and then - I started tackling the flower bed.

This bed is about 28" off the ground.  It was built up that way to hide the hitch on the front of the mobile home.  The bed is 4' deep x 12' long.  I know.  But at least I didn't have to get on my knees to clean it out.

I got up into it, weedwhacker in hand, and started mowing the weeds and lily of the valley down (weeds were about 12" high!)  Worked like a charm!!  No muss, no fuss!!  (well, there actually was a lot of muss).  I love my weedwhacker.  I could probably cut down a decent size tree with it.  I know I can cut the cable line with it! (been there; done that).

Anywho, that done, next came the black plastic.  Easy peezy.  Then the 8 bags of red mulch.  Beautiful!!  Looks great!  Then the decorating.  The solar lights; the various flower pots and a couple of my garden angels.  Done.

There's just one problem.  We have chipmunks.  They have holes all over the yard.  You'd think we have our own Putt-Putt green.  That's not all.  This year, for some unknown reason, maybe the munks thought it was time to put on additions to their maze of tunnels, they dug 2 huge holes in this flower bed.

I covered the holes.  With double thick black plastic and 4" of red mulch.  They're just going to have to rebuild.  Ahh, but every so often, one of them is in the flower bed, trying to figure out just how to go about getting through the mulch and ripping a hole in the plastic.  I am constantly on guard!  Shooing him away when I see him, yelling at him.  (I say it's a "him", because even a female chipmunk would understand and appreciate the beauty of the newly remodeled flower bed!)

I did take "before and after" pictures, but have yet to load them on the computer.  I will.  And I will post them soon.

Right now, I need to be ever vigilant.  It's me against the munks!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I Made It!!!!...........

Well, all most.  This is the month I sign up for........Social Security!!  Next week, in fact.  Can I get a "WooHoo!!"?  OMG, I've been waiting for this for seriously 2 years!  Can't wait to get my first check in October.  Neither can BH.  He has big plans.  He says his goal is to stay alive long enough to enjoy the benefits of my money for a while!  What a dreamer!!

On the home front, both sons came up from the Cities this past weekend; one to fish, one to hang out.  Fishing was not the greatest - not trout, anyway.  The poor kid.  Last week he catches 4 within 15 minutes, but was just testing out the lake.  This time he's loaded for bear - eh, trout, - and Nada!

He also brought up bags and bags of groceries to prepare a delicious trout dinner - all the fixins'.  He called me at 2:00pm to say they had nothing and he hoped I had an alternative for supper. (uh, yah, I'm a fisherman's wife!)  He also said the boat sprung a leak and all their equipment got soaked.  Ohhh boy.
He also said he accidently locked his keys in the trunk!  And all the car doors were locked.  Had to call a locksmith - and it costs him $75.00!!!  Double "Ohhhh boy!".   This is becoming one very expensive fishing weekend!

So, we had Italian sausages w/ fried peppers and onions on bakery rolls, baked beans and corn on the cob.  I did make the 2 pies for dessert - 1 cherry and 1 blueberry.  So all was good.  I also ran up to the store and got 1/2 case of beer --- of which I enjoyed a few bottles myself!!

Sunday was much better.  Only they fished for Bass.  Came home with 5!  We had a Bass fry for supper.  However, when it came time to cleaning the fish, BH couldn't find his filet knife.  "Ryan's got one; use his", says I.   "No, he HAD one", says BH.  "Used it to try and get the trunk open.  Broke the blade".   Ohhh.

So the fish were cleaned using my filet knife ( which has a serated edge - not good), a steak knife and a paring knife.  But they got the job done, and the fish was relatively boneless and delicious!!

Of course, while all this hunting for a proper knife was going on, son yells to me "I hope you had something else planned for supper".   Silly boy.  I already had 7 chicken breasts marinating in the fridge!!

Yep, fried fish, baked and grilled chicken, great fried potatoes (a combo of white, yukons, reds and yams(!) with peppers and onions!  This is son's recipe, the first time for us, but it was great!!  Lots of flavor!   Oh, and he brought 4# of asparagus, which I steamed, and we had watermelon.

So, all in all, it turned out to be a pretty good weekend.  Fishing son left at 7:45am on Monday, mainly because of the storms we had overnight and were supposed to get during the day, and to beat the traffic headed back to the Cities.  Techie son left about 1:15pm.  And it was quiet in the house!  We rested for the remainder of the day.

I've been putzing around the house this week.  Don't know where it came from, but I got hit with a sore throat and nasal congestion on Tuesday night. So I immediately started dosing myself with medicine yesterday morning.  Feeling much better today, thank goodness.

Today I want to get out and plant my flowers --- before the next batch of rain storms (tomorrow).  Gotta go to daughter's tomorrow and stay overnight.  Taking her clothes shopping on Saturday morning.

Sunday is supposed to be a beautiful day, so BH and I are planning on doing the front garden bed.  Can't wait!  I know it's going to look great when we get it done!  Before the next batch of storms -- on Monday.