Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How the Media Would Report the End of the World

Some days my email inbox gets me off to a great start and today was one of those days. A friend sent me this list of possible headlines titled 

How the Media Would Report the End of the World




Microsoft Systems Journal: APPLE LOSES MARKET SHARE

Victoria's Secret Catalog: OUR FINAL SALE

Sports Illustrated: GAME OVER



Readers Digest: 'BYE






May all your news today be good news, delivered with cheer. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

What does 60 look like?

I've never been good at guessing someone's age, probably because it doesn't matter to me. I have the typical surprised reactions when learning that someone is much older or younger than their physical appearance, but it isn't just a face that makes a person seem a certain age.

While I personally think some styles are best left to the 25 and under age group, I am glad that the age on your driver's license doesn't dictate how you should dress. I do wish there was a common denominator in how people dressed before going out in public (just check People of Walmart to understand my angst), seeing and hearing people in public can make an interesting evening out.

Last night Bill and I went to a Bob Evan's restaurant after seeing a movie. It was well past the Sunday night dinner crowd and there were few booths occupied when we got there. The couple across the aisle from us were done eating but were lingering over coffee, talking. She spoke fairly loudly considering the setting, but he was much LOUDER. Bill and I couldn't help but hearing everything he said. It was annoying but we soon began smiling at each other and quietly commenting on his opinions. According to him, everyone is out to cheat someone. The government is controlling everything. Everyone is basically stupid.

An Elvis look alike wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt came in and sat at the counter behind Mr Loud's dining companion. The two men began a conversation that was even louder than the couple's chat. They both agreed that "the rap music kids listen to is just crap" and lamented what poor examples the rappers gave society. They reminisced about the good old days and "great musicians". Bill and I were ticking off how many had died of overdoses, but I guess that wasn't a bad example, eh?

Elvis admitted that he wasn't married yet (really? no one has fallen under your spell yet?) and that he doesn't consider himself old or young. Therein lies his problem, women don't consider him either, and it has nothing to do with age. Mr Loud proudly announced that he is 60 and that when AARP (controlled by the evil government) sent him an application 5 years ago (I don't think his memory is very good, AARP sends them out before your 50th birthday) and he sent it back with a letter telling them to wait until he turned 65. He added that he bet they never got a letter like that before and slapped the table for emphasis!

"You tell 'em" snickered Bill. I said that his letter is on someone's desk with a sticky note reminding them to resend it in 5 years. Bill and I were beginning to enjoy this more than the movie.

And then Mr Loud said he doesn't look his age because he thinks young. Really? Really?? All of the music kids listen to is crap but you think "young"? I had to wonder what he thought about his too short blue sweat pants with his green socks. Can you guess his hairstyle? You're right if you guessed that he had a comb over.
Lest anyone think I am normally this cruel in my observations of people, I am not unless their mouths, their very loud mouths, catch my attention and make them impossible to overlook.

Here are 8 celebrities that have turned 60 this year (according to an internet search) and 2 that are past 60. One of them is 64, the other 68. Do you know who the two oldest celebs are?
Christine Lahti, David Cassidy, Erin Gray, Cher, Martin Short

Jay Leno, Kathy Baker, Harrison Ford, Joan Lunden, Peter Frampton

I guess Mr Loud did prove one thing about most of us:

Still wondering who the oldest celebrities are? Cher is 64 and Harrison Ford is 68.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Day After

I hope all my American friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday, and all others had a nice Thursday with much to be thankful for on their non-holiday.

My younger son hosted 18 diners at his home yesterday. Bill and I, along with my sister-in-law and nieces provided the food. Some time today we will begin the process of bringing home the clean dishes, silverware, roaster and linens. We were all too pooped last night to deal with carrying anything other than ourselves out to the car.
It was nice having breathing room behind us as we sat down to eat. At my sister-in-law's or our house, at least a few diners are trapped in their chairs once seated. The 5 year old son of one of my nieces asked why we had Christmas dishes and tablecloths when it was Thanksgiving. Don't worry...he could still breathe after I pushed his face into the mashed potatoes. 
We had much to be thankful for. Everyone is healthy, food was abundant and my daughter-in-law and grandson love and are loved by everyone.

Here is Colton wearing his turkey bib
And here he is proving he DOES have a bit of Grandma in his DNA....he was fascinated by my jewelry! He wouldn't leave my bracelets alone, preferring this shiny amethyst one to the plainer one that I wear 24/7 on my right wrist, and he discovered my rings yesterday. If my hands were palm up, he turned them over to examine (and try to taste) the stones.
Grandpa needs to take him to the jewelry store so he can pick out something he likes. I will gladly wear it for his entertainment. I am a good grandma that way. Photobucket

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


Blessed Thanksgiving wishes to one and all! Please click here for a greeting from me to you. 

And for a little dark humor.......Hehehehe.............


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Are you the odd one out?

When it seems that everyone likes a movie, a book, a new restaurant, etc and you don't see the appeal, do you ever wonder what everyone likes that you don't? While I don't lose sleep over this, I sometimes feel like the odd one out. I think some people jump on a trend to feel like they fit in. I have no problem trying new foods, authors, you name it, but if I don't like them, I simply quietly go back to my own preferences, don't you?

Years ago when Coors beer was not sold in Michigan, it became The Beer to drink in some circles here. Now the trend is drink micro-brews. I am not disparaging either, but when I want a beer, make it a cold Miller Lite in a long neck.

Ever have trouble buying clothing because the current prevalent style or color looks terrible on you? Heaven help you if you want cute summer outfit with slacks or even shorts instead of capris.
Yesterday a friend and I went to a new burger place that is getting rave word of mouth reviews. We decided we were somehow the wrong demographic and while nothing was bad there, we won't go out of our way to return.
I'm betting that many bloggers currently are or formerly were fans of HGTV. My personal favorites from that channel disappeared years ago. Based on the shows that air now, my kitchen is so outdated, I should be ashamed of myself. We remodeled the kitchen in 1986 and frankly, except for replacing the flooring and counter (vinyl and Formica, respectively), I don't have plans or the desire to do go through the mess or expense of a remodel again. I don't have plans to put my home on the market so I am not concerned with what may appeal to a buyer in 2011.
This isn't about right or wrong, or a question of taste. I just hope that all people taste or try something and base their decisions on their own satisfaction. I know someone living with mauve bathroom fixtures not because she loved the color, but because she was foolishly talked into by someone she thought had better taste than her own. Her finances have drastically changed and she is likely to spend the rest of her life that mauve tub, sink and toilet and good luck finding towels that go with it in today's color palette.
I hope I live long enough for all the things I like and am hanging onto will become retro chic again. Mine will probably have broken, lost or not fit by then, but if lava lamps and platform shoes can make a comeback, a girl can certainly dream. 

* All photos were found using Google search and do not represent the bathroom or burger that I talked about, and that kitchen isn't mine, either before or after. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Do your days go as planned?

I'm not sure why I plan my weeks anymore. They never work out as envisioned, but that isn't a bad thing. The absolute musts seem to get done but the rest of the list....it seems to just evaporate.

Our younger son is hosting Thanksgiving at his house next week. His culinary expertise is pretty much limited to macaroni and cheese, the kind in the blue box. Photobucket  I will be borrowing a roaster from my sis-in-law on Sunday and the yet-to-be-purchased turkey will be cooked in it at Billy's house under the watchful eye of my husband. The roaster, originally his mom's, is his specialty. The stuffing and desserts are my thing. Side dishes will be brought by the various relatives coming and we will have a wonderful time. We always do.

Surely my family isn't the only one who seems to wait until company is coming to finish (or maybe begin?) long delayed home projects. One year we painted the house on the eve of Easter. (Happy Easter, c'mon in, just don't lean against the walls!) My sons are carrying on this tradition. I am making tablecloths to cover 8 ft folding banquet tables and today Bill will helping Billy mount a TV on the wall over his fireplace. This has been talked about for over a year. Photobucket  I no longer get antsy over this last minute activity. Heck, I've been known to plan a party just to get projects done!

Yesterday's flurry of activity included shopping trips and errands outside of the house. It was the first time Grandpa and I took Colton with us. Everything took longer because A) we had to show him the hardware and toy sections of Target (guess who handled which tour); B) we watched him take everything in and therefore walked more slowly; and C) Colton charmed the socks off everyone who paid attention to him. Photobucket

All that charming must have been tiring work. It sure tired me out. I sat in the recliner singing our favorite songs until Colton zonked out. I thought I would wait just a minute longer before moving him but instead, I fell asleep too. Grandpa has learned how to work my camera and here is his proof.
I must say, if your day isn't going to go as planned, this is certainly a nice way to have it go awry.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gobble, gobble, don't spill on me!

If our Thanksgiving turkey looks like this, I may have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!  I'm sure Colton wearing this bib will improve the turkey's image at least 100%.
What is more rare than this brightly colored bird? I didn't buy ANY fabric or thread to make this! Everything but the ribbon was already in the house. I wasn't convinced the neck opening was large enough to fit around Colton's neck and close with Velcro so I decided to add ribbon ties. The only narrow grosgrain  I had was stark white so I made a trip to Joann's for a spool of tan ribbon. The fabrics used for the turkey were coordinating prints left over from a baby quilt made earlier this year. I tried traditional turkey colors first but it looked drab. I don't like drab!

Speaking of drab, we have heavy fog AGAIN here in SE Michigan. This has been with us off and on since Tuesday. Please someone, take it away, but don't replace it with the snow that I am hearing about in Minnesota. I'm not asking for all that much....just warm weather and a body that looks and moves like this...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How one thing leads to another....

Many crafters have honed their ability to justify buying new craft supplies. I am no different, but I have been trying to use more from my stashes (plural to reflect many craft interests) rather than buying new with each project. In my last post, I showed you photos of Christmas stockings for my son Chuck and his wife Kim. Grandson Colton's stocking is going to feature a different but related design with a blue background rather than red or green. I was ready to begin but decided I didn't care for the blue yarn in my stash. Both the color and texture were off for what I had in mind. That, of course, led to the purchase of a new skein of yarn BUT the good news as I strive to keep my stashes from taking over is that the blue yarn was the ONLY skein I bought!

The decision that the original blue yarn wasn't going to work was made after stores were closed Tuesday night. That fact, coupled with internet browsing, led me to experiment with a free pattern and black yarn to make a fingerless glove. I wasn't interested in the style that has an opening for the thumb and one large opening for the four fingers, I wanted a true glove with fingertips exposed. The pattern I found not only fit this description, it was knitted from the top down. Typically gloves are knitted from the cuff to the fingertip. Many people knit socks from the cuff to the toe, but I prefer toe-up socks. What can I say? I'm a rebel!

I wasn't too far into this project before I could tell I wasn't going to wear this glove indoors when my hands get cold. It is too thick and bulky to suit me, but I persevered so that I could determine if I liked the pattern enough to use it again with a lighter weight yarn.

Yesterday afternoon I finished the glove with only the loose yarn ends (between the fingers) to weave in, but I wasn't planning to do that since I wasn't going to wear the glove. Enter my husband. The one who never wears sweaters that I knit because he always warm. He asked what I was working on. He told me that he always wanted a pair of these. Was I supposed to guess this? He never said a word about them before yesterday.

The glove fit him perfectly except the cuff needed to be lengthened. I undid the bind off, added more yarn and extended the cuff another inch. Here is the glove:

You know how this story is going to end, don't you? The is glove is now half of a completed project. I had enough black yarn for the experimental glove, but not enough for a pair. This means another shopping trip for yarn. The question is, will I be strong enough to ONLY but ONE skein of yarn for the second time in one week?
So many colors...so little time...and even less storage space!Photobucket

Monday, November 8, 2010

Behind the scenes

I am working on Christmas stockings for Chuck, Kim and Colton. Chuck has a hand knit stocking from his childhood, but I've decided to keep that here for now and give him one suitable for his new role as daddy. I combined designs from two Mary Maxim patterns to make stockings that have different designs on each side. His and Kim's are the same except for background color, Colton's will be a different type of snowman, probably with blue as the background color.

Here is Kim's sock, done except for adding her name.

For those who knit, especially sock knitters, the odd thing about this pattern is that the stocking is knitted flat and seamed when done. I suppose I could knit it as wearable socks are conventionally knit in the round, but I find this method easy when it is time to weave in all those loose ends.

In order to get this pleasant design on the right side of the knitted item
This is what you have on the wrong side. Yikes!
Fortunately, weaving the ends in while watching TV isn't a big problem
Their names will be added soon, done in duplicate stitch which means the names will look like they are knitted into the stocking. Since these stockings have two design sides, I am thinking of adding their first names to one side and Mama and Papa (or Mommy and Daddy) to the others. I'll leave that decision up to them.

If anyone is interested in the pattern, Mary Maxim offers both kits and pattern books here. The yarn used is an acrylic which I find practical for something that is packed away for 11 months of the year without worry of attracting moths. The stockings I made well over 20 years ago still look great and wash well.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

How dare they!!!

U-verse has dropped all the Scripps channels from their line up!  No HGTV, no Food Network, no DIY, no Cooking Channel and no GAC (Great American Country, I think). It was all there Thursday night and all gone yesterday.

Scripps blames U-verse, U-verse blames Scripps.  I am tempted to believe the problem is with U-verse since they just did the same thing a few months ago with all of the Hallmark channels.
All of us, no matter what cable service we're using, are paying a lot of money in my humble opinion. Because these channels are part of the basic package, we don't get a rebate on our bills when they are dropped. U-verse commented somewhere that they substituted "similar" programs. I don't think Bravo is similar to the Food Network, nor is TLC like HGTV and besides....both of those channels are already part of our line up.
U-verse is getting a lot of flak over this and I hope they react in a way favorable for their customers.

Rabbit ears and aluminum foil anyone? 
Tell Paula that I miss her, and pass the same along to Holmes on Homes for Bill. If they don't resolve this soon, can anyone tell me where U-verse corporate offices are, and do you want to camp out there with me?

Retailmenot coupon site

I've mentioned this site before, but thought it is worth mentioning again. www.retailmenot.com is a handy source for online discounts codes and printable coupons at many stores. Enter the name of the store and you'll get a list of available coupons and codes.

This morning I did some online shopping at Penney's. The total order came to $104.94 before shipping and taxes. I found three discount codes and tried them all. The first one (4holiday) was for free shipping. Using that code, my purchase total would have been $111.24. The second code (Novsur10) was for 15% off, resulting in a cost of $109.12. The third code (Pumpkin) was good for $10 off a $50 order, $15 off of $75 and $20 off of $100 or more.  Using that code, my total came to $104.94 after shipping and taxes. Without any discounts, the total would have been $127.08. Shipping alone was $15.85.

One more bit of advice that I've found is true at least with Penney's sales, if you get their sale catalogs, shop and compare between catalogs and online prices. You might think a sale price is good no mater what product number you use, but that is not the case. Last year I order a quilt, pillow shams and curtains from Penney's after seeing them in a print catalog. The quilt and pillow shams were the same price whether you searched for them online or used the catalog order number. The curtains, however, were $15 cheaper per pair using the catalog number and the valances were $8 less expensive. Two pair of curtains and three valances (one was to be cut in half and added to each full valance) were $54 cheaper using the catalog numbers than as shown online.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kitchen gadgets

If I am not shopping alone, I am likely to be with either my sister-in-law Beth or with my good friend Joyce. With Beth I might be in a yarn store, with Joyce, a quilt shop. In either case we are drawn to the notion and gadget departments. The same is true with both friends and any store that sells kitchen gadgets. Do any of us need another item? No, but we have to look.
When I am reading a blog and caught up in a posted recipe, craft technique or video clip of just about anything, I have to look there too. Today I read this entry in Blondie's Journal where a baking pan intrigued me. It is available at Sur la Table, a store that is within reasonable driving distance. I should explain that "reasonable driving distance" has a flexible definition. If the item is something I really want, and want it right now, an hour's drive in cold rain might be reasonable. On the other hand, going to Kroger at my corner in beautiful weather to buy something to fix for dinner can be totally out of the question if my cooking muse is on strike. Back on topic, I decided to make note of this pan and list it as a gift suggestion when my family asks for ideas for Christmas.
Yesterday a catalog arrived in my mail from a well know flour company. I have never purchased this brand, I'm not sure it is available in my area, and I had no idea they had a gift catalog. There was an odd little gadget that caught my eye. They called it a pie dam or pie gate. It is used to help a pie or casserole retain its shape after a portion has been cut and served.
Would this be helpful or would it wind up unused in a drawer, probably catching and preventing the drawer from opening?
The catalog sold them in a pair for $10.95 with shipping and handling boosting the cost to $17.45.
I can walk away from that but....Sur la Table has this item also! One would cost $5.95 Hmmmm, maybe I do need this?

Are you a gadget gal?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Another dose of email humor

Can you believe it is November 1st already? Time to say Rabbit Rabbit again for good luck and get our day, our week and our new month started. 

Here's a little humor to get us going, sent to me via email.  Some of this may have been fabricated by adults, but we all know children who could have responded in similar manners. God bless them for providing a chuckle or two.

Children Are Quick

TEACHER:     Maria, go to the map and find North America.
MARIA:          Here it  is.
TEACHER:    Correct.  Now class, who discovered America ?
CLASS:         Maria.

TEACHER:     John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN:           You told me to do it without using tables.

TEACHER:  Glenn, how  do you spell 'crocodile?'
GLENN:       K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L'
TEACHER:  No, that's  wrong
GLENN:       Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.

TEACHER:    Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
DONALD:      H I J K L M N O.
TEACHER:    What are you talking about?
DONALD:     Yesterday you said it's H to O.

TEACHER:    Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.
WINNIE:        Me!

TEACHER:    Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN:           Well, I'm a  lot closer to the ground than you are.

TEACHER:      Millie, give me a sentence starting with '  I.  '
MILLIE:           I  is..
TEACHER:      No, Millie..... Always say, 'I  am.'
MILLIE:           All right...  'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.'     

TEACHER:     George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry  tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?
LOUIS:            Because George still had  the axe in his hand....   

TEACHER:     Now, Simon , tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON:          No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.

TEACHER:        Clyde, your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your  brother's. Did you copy his?
CLYDE   :         No, sir. It's  the same dog.   


TEACHER:     Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when  people are no longer interested?
HAROLD:      A teacher