Saturday, February 25, 2012

Spoiled by my everyday life

Recently I had to wash dishes by hand for a week. Not the end of the world by any means, but a reminder of how I take a functioning dishwasher for granted.

Last week, while watching TV in a hotel room, I found myself reaching for the remote to "rewind" and replay a bit of dialog I hadn't heard well. Oops! Can't do that on this cable system.

While away from home I needed to refill a prescription. Just like back home, Walgreens were on every third corner so there would be no problem finding a store to handle my refill. Well, there was a slight home my user name and password is saved on my PC. After a few unsuccessful guesses, I had Walgreens email me the info so I could proceed.

Determined to travel with lighter necessities, I've been using my iPad rather than our laptop. Besides the problems I've discussed lately (and thanks to Blogsy and Opera Mini, I am functioning with more ease), I am frustrated over personal photos. At home I use software to crop and resize photos, or I use Photobucket. I sent photos to Photobucket from my iPhone (don't you love technology?!!) but I can't resize them from my iPad without downloading something else.

When I was first married, dishes were always washed by hand, TV channels were changed by walking over to the dial and turning it (and you needed to be quiet and pay attention to dialog), the pharmacist was known by her first name in a single unit drug store, and the thought of traveling with phones, tablets and e-readers would have been laughed at. Beam me up, Scotty!

I've had a wonderful time being in warm climates twice this winter, exercising my patience and stretching resourcefulness to find ways around my problems, and thankful for the reminder that my everyday conveniences are handy luxuries.

Life is good.

(Especially when everything works!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Win some, lose some

There are a few message boards (forums) that I visit that are use a free provider called InvisionFree. Ever since upgrading my iPad, I have had trouble with the dialog box closing while typing a reply. I went to the Apple Store and am pretty sure I was given t he brush off but couldn't dispute what the mere child (surely he wasn't old enough to have a work permit?!) was saying.

Today I downloaded Opera Mini and that seems to be working for my forum issues. Unfortunately Blogger doesn't like Opera, or at least this version.

Can't they all play nicely together?

Has the title of my blog posts changed to a script-like font? I didn't to that. When I saw it yesterday I rest it. There it is again today. I am wondering if it only looks this way to me or does everyone see that font? It looks the same in either browser. Did Blogsy do that or is Blogger changing something again?

I could go off track and mention that I find it much harder to find things on Facebook since they began using Timeline and whatever other changes, but I won't go there. Just picture me rolling my eyes and grimacing.

I can't use Photobucket unless I download something else (a flash player maybe?) and I don't want to do that while I am trying to solve these other problems.

Heck, I should just tackle world peace, how to pick winning lottery numbers and how to decalorize all the foods that taste good. Surely that would be easier than figuring out what works here!



Monday, February 20, 2012

What the heck...formatting issues

My post about eggs is all one run-on paragraph even though that wasn't how it was written. I am on my iPad. Anyone else have this problem? I am off to google a solution.


I have downloaded an app called Blogsy and it seems to be working.


When it comes to computers, all it takes is money and time. Lots of both.


Step away from the mystery omelet

I like eggs. I enjoy them in all forms and at any time of day. I don't think I am particularly fussy and have eaten scrabbled eggs that were a little dry and over easy eggs that had whites still a little runny. Neither would be my favorite, but it takes a lot before I actually make an ugly face and give up.

Until today, the worst omelet I've encountered was at a chain restaurant near home. Their idea of a cheese omelet is a slice of cheese inside the fold of an omelet, the slice being so thick it doesn't begin to melt. More cheese, again a slice, is served on top of the omelet. Chewy is not a desirable adjective for omelets.

This morning I had a pre-made cheese omelet at a breakfast bar of a national chain hotel. If the idea of a pre-made omelet in a barely warm warming tray screams at you to STOP please heed that inner voice. I should have taken a photo but I'm not sure how to include pictures while posting from my iPad. I tried it with the same bravado as my first taste of mussels. Those I enjoyed, and still do, despite their appearance.

Do you remember Hostess fruit pies? (Do they still make them?) The omelet looked like a very yellow fruit pie. The surface was very smooth and the edges of the folded circle looked crimped. How do you crimp an egg?

The answer is you don't. Or at least, you shouldn't.

Is this problem covered by a show on the Food Network? I think I'll look that up, not that I can necessarily call from here. The phone is apparently quirky. What a charming term, eh? The wake up service didn't work and the nightstand lamps stopped working overnight. Did I mention that this a national chain but not one that I chose?

I figure three more faults and hubby will have to swallow his pride and say those painful words: "Yes, dear, you were right".

Until then, I am waiting patiently, in dim light and hungry.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cards by yours truly

I seem to be falling behind again as I get ready for another few weeks of out of the ordinary busy-ness. We have another birthday on Friday, a wedding to attend on Saturday, a bridal shower, my grandson's birthday, my son (his daddy) has a birthday the following day, a few dinner dates with out of towners and of course, the regular old stuff that is supposed to get done. Whew!

I've been in a hurry up and wait mode. The dishwasher part hasn't arrived yet, nor has the toy ordered for Colton's birthday. Fabric just came for his bedroom windows, a sock monkey print that will become valances to coordinate with his new bedding and newly painted walls. The rest of the yarn for the never ending afghan is expected within a day or two.

When it gets hectic like this, I like to make simple jewelry or cards because they can be done in relatively little time and I can see a finished project. Not instant gratification, but quicker than the other ones.

This is the Valentine card I made for Colton who loves (make the LOVES) Kipper the dog. Kipper is shown on Sprout TV, a PBS affiliate. The Kipper series is made in England and I must admit, I like him too. I found an image of Kipper online holding a banner with his own name on it. I drew the image and inserted Colton's name in the banner. He recognizes the letters of his name so hopefully he is enjoying this.
His parents and his Uncle Billy each received this card. I stole the idea from a sample at a scrapbooking store. The eye chart was worded slightly differently and was done with a purchased stamp. They were out of the stamp so I created the chart in word, printed two of them and attached a red glass heart in place of the word "love".
(In case you were here earlier and noticed a change, I've deleted two lines about camera issues here and the inability to post more pictures. I think I have the problem fixed...until the next know how that goes!)

This is for an upcoming bridal shower:
The inside sentiment was done with a stamp
This is the grandson's birthday card. His mommy is having a circus theme for his party.

And while this has nothing to do with cards, here is the Funky Monkey fabric by Moda that will become window valances. The squares are 2 inches. As busy as it looks here, this is going to be perfect on his new blue walls and coordinates with his sock monkey bedding.
 I may have to look for a blue hat like that lovely lady in the second column is wearing. I hate it when a sock monkey is more stylish than me, don't you?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

It is all Jesse White's fault

I know, I isn't nice to blame those who aren't alive to defend themselves, but I call things as I see them.

Ever since Jesse White ceased being the Maytag repairman, customer service has gone downhill.
If you are too young to recognize this man from Maytag commercials, you might not know that people used to buy a brand name because of the manufacturer's reputation, not because of celebrity endorsement.

Maytag won't be getting any endorsements from me, and yes, I know they are now owned by Whirlpool but given that the Whirlpool part also keeps breaking, I'm not too sure of them either. I have just ordered our third replacement latch for an almost 9 year old dishwasher.  Every 2-3 years that &%$# thing breaks. Here is proof, a post from three years ago. Four latches (counting the original) in this amount of time is ridiculous, don't you think? There aren't kids here playing with the door and we don't slam things in the kitchen.

Thanks to Jesse White no longer making sure that Maytag appliances never need service, I am washing dishes by hand (oh, the horror of it!) while we wait for the part to be delivered. Yesterday I baked a cake and cupcakes for my grand-nephew's birthday. Between batter bowls, cake pans, frosting bowls and decorator tips, there was a lot to wash.

His cake is a chocolate football. I didn't want to write Happy Birthday Josh on the cake so I made molded chocolate to spell this out and place on top of the Funfetti cupcakes. All the cupcakes aren't in the photo, but you get the idea.
I could see that I wasn't going to have enough chocolate to melt for the letters so I went to Michaels, thinking I could get in and out of there more quickly than Joann's which is a bigger store. Both are close to my home. I had the chocolate wafers, two sheets of scrapbook paper and some stickers in my hand and waited in line. Only one cashier was working.

I am not usually impatient but it does irritate me that this is often the case at Michaels. I was fine yesterday until the woman ahead of me tried to purchase a $3 item with a $100 bill and there wasn't enough change in the register. A manager had to be called and the cashier finally saw how long the line was and called for another cashier to open.

A second cashier arrived and called for next in line (me) but a woman from somewhere made a beeline to her check out. The cashier didn't correct her. I was annoyed but figured this would still be faster than the first line which was still waiting for cash. Boy, was I wrong! The woman who cut in had an exchange. The manager had to be called to approve that. I was so irritated I didn't dare open my mouth. I wanted to say something nasty to the shopper, to the cashier and to the manager if she ever showed up again.

But I didn't. I am not confrontational and I agree with the philosophy that you can't fix stupid. What I did was uncharacteristic of me. I put what I was going to buy on the counter and walked out. Will anyone but the next shopper in line (she was rolling her eyes and beginning to fume too) know why I did this? Probably not.

Good thing I plan to avoid Michaels for a while because of this recurring cluster-you-know-what at the check out. I figure my picture is probably in the employee break room by now. Not the one you see above and to the right, this one, the customer who made more work for someone.

We have a busy few weeks ahead of us and dishwasher replacement shopping won't begin in earnest until mid March at least. Thankfully, hubby is adept at repairs and even with expedited shipping, the part is only costing us $21. If the latch were my only issue with this dishwasher I would order a few of them.

The only thing stopping me from saying "they don't make appliances like they used to" is that is what old people say. I ain't old yet. I'd say more but I have to get going. If we're going to take advantage of the early bird senior specials at the local restaurant, I need to get going. Do you think I just contradicted myself? I didn't. I'm not old unless there is a discount involved.  Obviously I need to take advantage of them so I can keep buying replacement latches!

See you in Joann's or Hobby Lobby.  If you see my picture in Michaels, please tell I have a nice smile for a mature (sounds better than old) curmudgeon.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Another knitted shawlette

I don't feel like I've been productive with regards to any of my crafts lately, and yet I am still plugging along on things. I've been working on a crocheted afghan for my younger son. His birthday was last month while we were in Hawaii. He got an unfinished gift with a promissory note. Now I've decided it should be bigger so more yarn has been ordered. I can't work on this at knitting, not because it is crocheted, but because the yarn is from another store. It is common courtesy when groups meet in a store that you don't work with yarn from other retailers.

The project that I do work on while in the yarn store is a vest for me that seems only to be worked on while I am there for 2 hours at a time. Good thing it isn't a sweater with sleeves to the rate I'm going that wouldn't be finished until 2014!

There is a completed project that I haven't been able to share here because I wanted it to be a surprise for the intended recipient. You'd think we lived miles apart and each worked 75 hours per week based on how long it has taken us to schedule a lunch date. We finally had our lunch date today and I gave her this shawlette. I still have a hard time with that word, but that is a common name for this type of scarf. Think of it as a large bandana.
The yarn is Grace, a hand dyed 50% merino wool 50% silk blend by Louisa Harding. It was wonderful to work with. Here is a closer look at the stitches.
The pattern is called 198 yds of Heaven by Christy Verity and is available through Ravelry.

Monday, February 6, 2012

An arresting photo

As I stepped outside the door of a small shopping mall in Detroit this afternoon, I heard a noise that registered as out of place. "Clop, clop, clop" isn't something we're used to hearing around here. Look at the pleasant surprise in the parking lot this afternoon:
Detroit's mounted division is often only seen in parades or at events where crowd control might be an issue downtown. I was far from downtown. In fact, if the horse and rider had crossed the street, they would have crossed Detroit's border.

I would have loved to have stepped closer and taken more photos but traffic was backing up in the parking lot. Most people had big smiles. Horses are at great public relations for the city. Some people might have been on their lunch hour though and needed to get going so I took a few pictures and left before I could be arrested for interfering with traffic.

Think about it...if a mounted patrol officer arrests someone, there is no back seat to get into. I would have been expected to get on that poor horse's back behind the officer. I am afraid of heights and not all that agile anymore. I would have resisted arrest and then I would have another charge against me. I know they allow one phone call from jail, but what about one blog post? 

If you had read "Help! Please post bail and get me out of here!" would someone have passed the hat? I might not want to know the truth, so humor me and say that of course you would have come to my aid.

I'm going to be prepared the next time I go to this mall in case this is part of their regular beat. Apples, carrots, my good camera and a heavy duty rasp in case I take too long snapping pictures and have to cut myself out of the slammer.

Horizontal stripes aren't my best look.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mission control, do you read me?

I don't actually have much to say this morning and am pressed for time to say nothing anyway. I need to clean the home office well and get the rest of the house straightened up before this evening, and I will be gone part of the afternoon. No, we're not having a Superbowl party, it is something much bigger. The guy who works his magic with our computers is coming over tonight as we make some major behind the scenes changes.

If any of you email me directly rather than posting a comment here on blogger, please hold off for a day or two. We are switching servers and might be unavailable for 12-24 hours. I think that means that anything I would normally receive in that time frame will be lost.
Did that make sense to anyone? If not, don't worry about it, just believe that this makes me nervous. I rely on the computer to hold so much of my life, from recipes (not that I actually cook ) to photos and there are emails that I save for various reasons. I won't even mention hubby's saved emails. Yikes! I plan to back up everything today and see if any emails should be printed for safe keeping.

I fully expect this little guy, a month away from turning 2, will be able to handle all of our computer issues by the time he is 6 or 7 years old.
Over and out, but hopefully not for long....

Well heck....the computer guy just contacted me to see if we can do this tomorrow night instead. That is ok, it means I can pay attention to Superbowl commercials tonight.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

From the mouths of babes....

I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, 'Mom, that lady isn't wearing a seat belt!'

On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, 'The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents ..'
A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone.. 'Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now She's hitting the bottle.
A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, 'What's the matter, haven't you ever seen a little boy before?'
While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, I was interrupted by a little girl about 6 years old. Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, 'Are you a cop? Yes,' I answered and continued writing the report. My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?' 'Yes, that's right,' I told her. 'Well, then,' she said as she extended her foot toward me, 'would you please tie my shoe?'
It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me. 'Is that a dog you got back there?' he asked.
'It sure is,' I replied.
Puzzled, the boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said, 'What'd he do?
While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by t he various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, 'The tooth fairy will never believe this!'
A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party. When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, 'Daddy, you shouldn't wear that suit.'
'And why not, darling?'
'You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning.'
While walking along the sidewalk in front of his church, our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that proper burial should be performed, they had secured a small box and cotton batting, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased.
The minister's son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his father always said: 'Glory be unto the Faaather, and unto the Sonnn, and into the hole he goooes.' 

A little girl had just finished her first week of school. 'I'm just wasting my time,' she said to her mother. 'I can't read, I can't write, and they won't let me talk!'
A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages.
'Mama, look what I found,' the boy called out.
'What have you got there, dear?'
With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, 'I think it's Adam's underwear!'

Friday, February 3, 2012

Truthful photos

I wasn't really sick yesterday, but I definitely didn't feel well either. With so many around me having colds and the ever present sinus issues, I decided to give in to a lazy day. Some knitting and crocheting was accomplished while watching recorded TV. When the headache lifted, I played with my iPad and explored the photo apps that came with it.

Obviously the camera accurately captured that pinched head feeling one gets with a headache and sinus problems.
 Do you ever feel like a block head after taking medication? I sure did.
 When I looked at these images, my face screwed up and I wanted to cry.
But I decided to chill (do you see how cool blue I was?) and channel a little Peter Max for the next shot.
And now that I'm feeling better, I am back to my old self, opening my mouth and sharing everything with you. It all just pours out of me....
Here's to a healthy weekend for everyone.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Does TV give you a headache?

I don't mean the volume of commercials which can grow INCREDIBLY LOUD nor do I mean the spasmodic filming of scenes that I guess is supposed to add to suspense. For the record, I pay attention to clever and cute commercials rather than loud ones and I like a well written script to create suspense. Loud or jerky are cheap tricks that don't cut it for me.

But that isn't what I was going to talk about today. It is content and what the media tells us is news....even if it isn't newsworthy.

I had a bout of insomnia a few nights ago and turned on ABC to a program called America This Morning. This airs from 4:00-4:30 AM and I don't want to be too critical (well, really I do, but I'm pretending) because I haven't seen this before and not likely to intentionally watch it again. Tuning in mid-segment, I have no idea who was being discussed other than it was a celebrity. Or at least a celebrity by early morning media standards. The male host was referring to someone calling a woman the 'H' word. The female host looked puzzled and said "the 'H' word? Do you mean 'whore'?" to which he said yes without batting an eye.


He doesn't know how to spell whore but uses it on a national program? Does someone feed him the stories through a headset? He can't be reading a teleprompter or surely he would have called the woman a wha-hor-ee since phonics works for him.

In the Detroit area right now, the big news is the murder of a woman from Grosse Pointe. Look up Jane Bashara if you are curious, but you may have already heard about it. The story has been mentioned on Good Morning America and Inside Edition, presumably because it happened in what is considered a wealthy community. If it had happened in Detroit or a small blue collar community, it wouldn't make national news unless the murderer filmed the event and was dressed like Sponge Bob Squarepants or something equally eye catching for news promos.

I digressed again. Sorry. I am not making fun of anyone's murder. I may comment in weeks or months ahead on this story and how locals are reacting that has nothing to do with what is seen or heard on TV, or I may spend my time more productively extracting lint from belly buttons around here.

The local NBC affiliate teased viewers all day long with an exclusive interview that tied into the murder story. Yes, we bit. We watched the 11:00 NBC news and recorded the ABC station to compare notes. Basic news coverage was the same but the interview was an exclusive. I was so excited I hurt myself yawning.

But what followed this report? Grammy winning jazz singer Anita Baker called the police who responded to her home in another part of Grosse Pointe. A woman had been seen peering in her windows and fumbling at her door. Let me make this clear, I am not making fun of Ms Baker. She did the right thing and I am glad there turned out to be a simple explanation. The woman was a cleaning lady on a new job and had the wrong address. It was a simple and honest mistake.

Why was any of that newsworthy?

Are you wondering exactly what set me off this morning and made me torture you with my opinions? Kelly Ripa. I know I am one of the five people in America who doesn't adore her but I keep my comments to myself even when hubby leaves the show on through the opening dialog so that he can make comments.  This morning she used the word 'discluded' at least 3 times and her guest co-host used it also. The context was to not include someone in a group. It isn't a widely accepted word in any dictionary but 'urban dictionary' online and on Facebook.

Lord, help us.

New words become legitimate out of common usage, usually with a technological spin. We all 'google' even if we use a different search engine and it wasn't that many years ago that 'texting' was a typo rather than an activity. But 'discluded'? Is it really too much to say 'not included'?

* Sigh *

I have no cleaning lady coming today so I am putting on my Sponge Bob outfit and killing some dust bunnies with or without a film crew. I may be discluded from the in crowd on Facebook with only 118 friends (it only took me 3 minutes to figure out how many friends I have on FB, something that was clearly apparent before they switched to the this Time Line business), but I can honestly say I am not a media wha-hor-ee.