Showing posts from April, 2008

We Had Snow Today

If you want to make it rain, wash your car.

If you want to make it snow, publicly admit that you are trying to raise a garden.

Monday was 78 degrees, and tonight it is supposed to freeze. I admit, I am no gardener and no one has ever accused me of having so much as a green thumbnail, but I think Mother Nature is going out of her way to defeat our gardening attempts this year. I can't even figure out how to prepare myself for this weather, going to work with an assortment of coats & sweaters and short sleeve shirts, and being 37 I've had a lot more practice at that--how would I know how to get a garden through this? The heat/air conditioning in our office has totally given up--heat one minute, air the next, and half the office complaining of heat stroke while the other half types with mittens.

Hot. Cold. Hot. Cold. Forget Global Warming. This year we have Global Menopause.

It might be time

I admit, the sewing room has lately achieved a level of chaos that can only be described as "extreme crafting." When the cats join me for an evening, they can only be located by the jingle of cat bells. I have kept saying, "I just need to finish one more project, then I'll tidy up," and "Just let me finish this one," but I assure you I have had the best of intentions. Tonight I just finished up a birthday gift (5 days early, mind you), and was just starting to work on another birthday gift (2 1/2 months late, but it's wrong to fixate on these things), when I somehow knocked a pair of heavy scissors, which were obviously not where they are supposed to be, off a table and.....WHAM!

When the sewing room decides to strike back, it's probably time to clean--as soon as I'm done icing my foot....

Stocking Up

has become our "stockpile" pile. Admittedly, the canning jars are REALLY optimistic, considering this
is how well our current round of plants is doing. Nothing green is growing, but there is some white fluffy stuff we assume to be mold. Somewhere along the way we lost the instructions, and my memory was not nearly as good as we had hoped. So, the big debate that rages now--do vegetable plants count as "things" or "food?"

There Is an Art

Thisis not a magazine and an empty oatmeal container. This is a rodent removal system. This sophisticated mechanism--clamp the oatmeal container on top of the rodent, then slide the magazine underneath container and rodent--has removed 7 or 8 creatures from our bedroom already this year. The magic of this system is its flexibility. For live, relatively unhurt animals, it keeps them contained until they can be flung over the back fence into the communal "park" behind us, where they have a sporting chance of relocating before being found by a cat again. For obviously injured vermin, it allows soft-hearted people who are unable to put them out of their misery to fling them out the front door. If the fright of being suddenly airborne doesn't finish them off, the subsequent bounce on the pavement does the trick.

This is going to be a very long summer......

Today is Parental Alienation Awareness Day

When there are has been a divorce involving children, one parent often tries to turn the children against the other parent. The hostile parent can be the mother or the father. It occurs so regularly that it is now referred to as "Parent Alienation."

For information about parent alienation and the awareness day, visit here. If you have experienced hostile parenting, either as the alienated parent or the child, please send them your story. Currently, our laws and our society do little or nothing about protecting the child or the other parent, especially if it is the father. These situations exist, they are a nightmare to live through, and it is time they stop.

If You Weren't Allowed To Buy Anything For 90 Days....

What would you wish you had stockpiled ahead of time?

This month we've rounded up envelopes, pens, thread, fuses for my car (a quirky little issue my car came up with last month wherein I lose all my gauges and get to guess how fast I'm going by how quickly I pass things), STAMPS, tape of all kinds, canning jars (pretty optimistic considering we already killed the first garden attempt), light bulbs, lacquer thinner (I don't actually know what we're doing with this, but we must have lacquer that's a bit on the pudgy side), and we have double-checked the epoxy supplies. I've checked our respective sock/underwear stashes and have come to the conclusion that the college student impulse to delay laundry as long as possible by buying underwear is a habit quite difficult to shake. We have preordered the gifts for birthdays/graduations/weddings that we know will occur during the ban.

Just over two weeks to go, and I know there's something really big I'm forget…

The Online Knitting World Really is Entertaining

While technically I am a member of "Generation X" and we are the first true computer generation (punch cards do not count), I still find it a bit odd sometimes that there are actual communities that exist only "online." While I, in fact, have gotten totally "hip" and "with it" and am part of the virtual knitting world [laughter finally fades], I still struggle with the idea that I "know" people--what they are knitting on, how many tetanus shots they have had to get after impalement by sock needles, whether they are "natural fiberists" or "acrylic lovers" (a VERY hot topic amongst knitters--a guaranteed cure for insomnia amongst anyone else), the yarns they would be tempted to sell their spouses for--yet I have no idea what they actually look like or whether they are really doing all that knitting themselves. Maybe they have stunt doubles? Which isn't actually a bad idea when working with any needles smaller …

The Countdown and the Pressure is ON!!!

19 days left before the spending ban begins AND to find $10 worth of totally useless, pointless, money-poorly-spent articles. The pressure is on, as Andy has already said he has found the "perfect" item. A nicer person might let him win--especially to gain favor after the last post (although he who leaves an empty toilet paper roll in our house should know he would end up on the blog)--but I am insanely competitive when it comes to anything completely stupid or pointless. Board games, I'm good--I can win or lose with grace, but it we ever decide to start something completely ridiculous like the Interspecies Battle of the Sexes in Chateau G-S, Calisto and I are TOTALLY kicking butt.

I found one contender,a football snack bowl that plays some sort of music when it opens, but unfortunately even on clearance it would be more than $10--which baffles the imagination, but rules are rules. I think I'm going to have to visit....THE DOLLAR STORES. All is fair in love &…

Our nation's troubles are over

Enough with Homeland Security, the military reserves, the Army, the Navy, the Marines--no more border patrol and FBI--we no longer need it. I have discovered the PERFECT security system.

We line our borders with these:
They obviously stop men dead in their tracks.

OK, it wasn't quite spring

New lesson learned: Just because it's mid-April, doesn't mean it's actually spring.

It has been unseasonably cold this week (or I guess I should say, colder than the past weekend was, because until about June 3 we can pretty much expect anything in the weather department), so we decided to leave the makeshift coldframe up.

To be fair, I don't think any of the plants froze--I think they were cooked to death. A cucumber:

The plant formerly know as "tomato"And the bell pepper:
The peas, not being covered, actually faired better

or, at least some of them did
and this would be the basil
if it had lived.

My assistant gardeners--
I'm not going to explain their "contribution" to the process.

Looks like we'll be doing a Round Two of the peat pod disks this weekend, which will make nice inside work as it is supposed to snow on Saturday. Have I missed the memo? Did we call off Global Warming?

26 Days to Go!

In 26 short days, Andy's career at Micron will be over, and the 90-day "Can't Buy Anything New" experiment kicks off.

To "celebrate," I went to the bank this week and got:
Between now and the 9th, we each get $50. $40 to spend on anything we want (as I feel a little self-bribery might be in order), and $10 on the most foolish, useless, "Americans-will-buy-anything" item we can find. The winner gets dinner.

The lengths I will go to for a little adventure on a budget....


In general, I have found this a pretty interesting book.
OK, sometimes I have doubted the author's sanity (fruit "leather" made with cottage cheese? Do you really want to see that stuff dehydrated????), and have certainly wondered if anyone visited her house for dinner more than once (dried pickles??????), but today our relationship reached a new level.

Dehydrated bacon.

Bananas, our Appalachian Trail hiker, has discovered that some of her problems early-on in the hike were due to not consuming enough calories (yeah, when was the last time most of us had THAT problem?). So, I was flipping through Mary Bell's book and found a section on dehydrating bacon. Perfect! What food packs more calories than bacon?

Her instructions call for cooking the bacon until crisp, draining it on a paper towel, then dehydrating it until it crumbles easily, making sure to regularly wipe the excess grease off of it. Alrighty.

You know how things sound much better in theory? Well, as I was …


Today it's almost 70 degrees. Yesterday we woke up to frost. Wednesday we woke up to snow. Hello Mother Nature--PICK A SEASON!!!!

Since it's mid April and the little plant starts--especially the peas--are becoming a bit problematic, we decided to take our chances and put the garden in today. Andy has a back-up plan in place--

a make-shift cold frame. This high-tech setup is basically tubing and plastic drop-cloths, and should work nicely. I also asked my inventive spouse for a frame of some sort for the peas to climb and...You can't really see it clearly, but the peas have an entire jungle-gym setup here--twine criss-crossed everywhere and held in place by little grooves on the poles. Our peas can get an entire high-wire act going with this thing.

I planted an insane amount of tomato plants...

or it would be an insane number if I didn't regularly kill tomato plants. As it is, we will not be needing to do anonymous midnight tomato drops around the neighborhood. We&…

Coping With a Hostile Ex Wife, Part Three

NOTE: I am not an attorney, psychologist, counselor or therapist. These are simply my suggestions and thoughts having dealt with a hostile ex-wife for the last 3 years.

So, what if you are the new wife or girlfriend of a man with a bitter ex wife? How do you cope?

First--if you are dating, make sure the divorce has been final for at least a year before getting involved with anyone--male or female. There is a grieving process, and even mentally healthy people can experience anger and bitterness over a recent divorce, so give everyone time to heal and move on. Normal people will generally be over it and moved on after about a year.

Second--if you are dating, find out if the ex wife has moved on. Does she work? Have friends? Is she remarried? Dating? Some women do manage to remain bitter & hostile even after remarrying, but a woman who is working, remarried, and has a life of her own is far less likely to be a problem. In the cases I'm familiar with, the ex wife continues…

Lesson of the Week: You Can Get Used To Anything

I admit, earlier in the week there was some screaming, jumping onto furniture, and loud swearing over the vermin gifts from Theo. Last night, when he deposited a dead vole at my feet under the dinner table, Andy and I had a calm discussion of whether it was a mole, vole, mouse, or some other creature. I cannot believe I have grown accustomed to THIS!!!

Moles & Snow

Last night we actually had TWO moles in the house, courtesy of Theo, and I went to bed wishing it were still winter.

This morning we woke up to this:
Blast it! If I'd have known the universe was going to actually grant me a wish, I would have wished for something much better--like being able to eat pizza all the time without my butt getting bigger. Rats!

In other news, exactly a month from today will kick off our 90-day "can't buy anything new" project (well, and the end of Andy's job after 18 years, his possible unemployment, and potentially a new project called how-do-you-find-enough-things-
-around-the-house-to-keep-Andy-occupied?) The rules will be the same as during our one-month experiment (see here.) Since it's a much longer time frame, we're thinking we need a good ceremonial kickoff--maybe we each get $10 to buy the dumbest, most useless, unnecessary thing(s) we can find?

And Tonight It Was a Mole in the Sewing Room

Dead, thankfully, but when your cat starts flinging it around, dead doesn't seem to matter much.

I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sorry that I complained about winter.

Well, Guess Who's the Best Mouser In the House...


I am.

When I left for work this morning, the Theo had lost the mouse in a pile of clothes we're getting ready to donate to the Idaho Youth Ranch, but was waiting patiently to catch it again.

When I got home, the mouse was curled up in front of the fireplace downstairswhile our brave protectors were snoozing upstairs amid the knitting project sorting.
With the aid of an empty Quaker Oats can, I caught the little vermin and flung him into the park behind our house.

Nobody is getting cat treats tonight. I'm the only one who earned them.

Spring Has Definitely Arrived

The neighbors have tulips and daffodils. We have our first mouse--courtesy of Theo. To be fair, I think the cat door idea was mine, but then again, I am not known for my really good ideas. It has been nice to not need to clean litterboxes all the time, but compared with walking down a dark hallway at 5:30 in the morning and seeing a piece of the carpet move out of the corner of your eye.....litterboxes are sounding fabulous.

Getting Things Done

My idea of a good weekend is to have GOTTEN THINGS DONE. This is a very big thing to me--especially if there is a list involved and I have crossed things off. Just thinking about it gives me chills.

So, this weekend's list of accomplishments:

* Got another package ready to go out to our Appalachian Trail hiker, "Bananas," complete with peanut butter Rice Krispie treats that have enough calories to get my name added to American Diabetes Association's "Enemies List."

* Finished and blocked the "Cheap Thrills" sweater. Pictures here.

* Rounded up and counted all my knitting projects in process but not yet finished. I'm still in shock & not quite ready to talk about that yet.

* Downloaded Quicken to my computer & have managed to convince it that we have a home mortgage, but have not yet convinced it that we have a home. Still working on that one.

* Dried apples and some of my homemade applesauce. I'm not a big fan of cooked apple…

Counting Down

We have just over a month left before Andy's job of 18 years ends and the 90-day "Can't Buy Anything New Experiment" begins.


It was a little easier to go into a one-month experiment, probably largely because we had no idea what we were getting into. This time...we have a little more perspective, which is quite a dangerous thing to have when one is embarking upon a new experiment. If one stops to think of all the things that might happen before one does things, one would probably never leave one's home. I have dated people like that, and while it is a very safe, very calm way to live, it would positively bore me to tears. So, with a little time to prepare, and the spirit of adventure, we're going to dive right in.

Interestingly, I understand that somewhere on the web is a blog with people who have signed up to all do a month of not buying anything new--either March or April, I think. I'm quite pleased, even though I assume we didn't inspire them…
Last night I filled, and I mean FILLED our dehydrator with green peas--4 pounds of them (which tells you what kind of wild night we had). Tonight I thought I'd bag them up for Bananas...

2 not-actually-filled Ziploc sandwich bags. I realize that the whole size thing is why dehydrated foods are great for backpackers, but it's a little demoralizing for those who send food packages to the backpackers.

It's hard to know how much to send to our little Appalachian Trail hiker, so I contacted her husband, Ground Control, to see what he thought, and he said she appreciates anything as he is sending her mostly Pop Tarts, energy bars, and candy bars. My little no-processed-foods-soul shudders at the very thought, so we are dehydrating veggies like fiends. Now we just need to figure out how many pounds of dehydrated peas mitigates 2 frosted Pop Tarts. Rats, I always hated story problems in school.

April Fool's Day

It isn't often that a utility company decides to get involved in cultural traditions, but last night we came home to a subdivision with no power, so we spent the evening reading books by hiking headlamps and barbecuing dinner. Sorry! No blog post--thank you Idaho Power.