Monday, August 27, 2012

A little bragging

For a bazillion years, hubby had his own business with close to 40 employees at its peak. It was really only 20 years, but business ownership years are like dog years, only the ratio is greater. I don't say this as a complaint really. Hubby loved what he did, we had great employees (I say "we" as I was the office manager for most of those years along with being the corporate secretary) and we have wonderful memories. The downside of many businesses is that it hard to get away. It is like having another child, one who can be very demanding. Even a trustworthy babysitter doesn't free you from worry when you are away for long.

In retirement, hubby is ready to golf at the chirp of his cell phone. Does anyone know of a golf themed ring tone? I told him if I found one, I was programming his phone with it for when his golf buddies call.

If you've followed me here since the birth of our grandson, you know that Bill is also enjoying being a grandpa. Colton is his buddy. I'm still good for snacks and getting comfortable for naps, but grandpa is Colton's boisterous playmate.

So what does hubby do when he doesn't have a golf date and Colton isn't here? More and more, he works with wood. He is self taught. He examines construction of existing things here or when he is out and about. He watches shows on HGTV and DIY and with each thing he constructs, he gets a bit better.

He has remodeled a good portion of our older son's basement, building walls where there weren't any, adding shelves in work areas and decorative shelving behind the bar to hold both glasses and Detroit Lion's collectibles.
In our younger son's home he built a simple narrow cabinet to fit between the stove and refrigerator. It was one of those odd sizes, not stock, that would have cost more than a ready made cabinet three times it size. The biggest plus isn't the cabinet space but the counter top that holds a spoon rest, timer and a place to set pot holders when our son is cooking. I think that happens 2-3 times a year. (hehehe) He made a replacement table top that turned out well.
From lumber on hand, he built a swing set for our backyard. The only purchases were the swing seats and chains.
The bedroom at our cottage is small and we don't have a headboard on our bed, something that has been on our to-do or to-find list for years with a low priority. Bill is going to make one, but decided to experiment by making a headboard for a twin bed here at the house first.

These pictures aren't the best quality and turned out yellow due to lighting conditions, but you get the idea. The bed normally has more pillows on it, but this shows the headboard.
This one got a bit blurry when I enlarged it but it shows the detail on the corner posts.
Hubby is about to tackle plumbing in the laundry area and replace the tub with a new one that he will enclose with a simple cabinet. I've had fabric skirts velcroed to the front of the tub for years. It was better than looking at the trap and cleaning supplies stored underneath, but not as nice as a cabinet will be!

Next week is our 37th anniversary. I'm definitely keeping him and I think he is willing to keep me. I'd be too expensive to get rid of...."cheaper to keep her"  ya know!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Helloooooo Saturday

I've had an odd week and am glad the weekend is here. Funny that a retiree should still feel different on a Saturday, isn't it?

Just this morning, at 5:15 to be exact, I was thinking about Saturday morning cartoons that were a staple of my childhood. I wasn't up long at 0'dark-thirty, just long enough to wish hubby well as he left for golf and scan a few channels to see if there was anything worth watching should sleep not return. The shows that I like on PBS weren't on that early, not even the local news which starts at 4:30 on week days was on. It was mostly infomercials. One of the cartoon channels had the Flintstones on. I like them but was really hoping for a Warner Brothers fix.
I'm not really into drinking all the drinks in this graphic, but I am into having all kinds of fun with fun being a personal definition. I was supposed to have been in a class today from 10:30-4:30. With the drive time involved, I would have been at least 7.5 hours. It was a class that I'd been looking forward to, so getting a message yesterday that it had been canceled was a big disappointment.

Gosh, is my childhood really gone? Not only are the old cartoons gone on Saturday morning, I was looking forward to a class! On a Saturday!

Remember how the years of cartoon watching on Saturday mornings were replaced with sleeping in as teenagers and then in our twenties, for many (most?) of us, at least occasionally, sleeping in late on Saturday because Friday night had been full of the drinks displayed above?

With the "must do" items completed yesterday in anticipation of being gone all day today, I suddenly have the day wide open and I am ready to have a good time. By my definition. I plan to sew a little. I will knit a little while watching the PBS programs that recorded after I went back to bed this morning. And later I will read a little. A nearly perfect day!

Sufferin' succotash, I would sound boring to the child who loved cartoons, to the teen who was a night owl, and to the young woman who liked to shake off the work week on Friday nights! I'm glad I enjoyed all those stages and still occasionally revisit them. I am thankful that hubby and I have the time and ability to do the things we enjoy.  I hope that is true for all of you. If not today, then I hope you have the opportunity soon.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

You can't fix stupid

I had a post ready to go yesterday and couldn't publish it. It wasn't Blogger, it was me. I just couldn't push the button. I was nearly seething over Todd Akin's interview. Some people can be educated (he has degrees in both engineering and divinity) but they will never be intelligent or compassionate. As Ron White (comedian, part of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour) says, you can't fix stupid.

When I opened my email yesterday, I received this from two different sources. I don't know if it is true or not, but having witnessed similar bloopers first hand, I certainly think these are possible, proving again, you can educate some, you can give them a degree, you can elect them to office (cringe) and put your care in their hands (dear God, please help!) but You Can't Fix Stupid!!!


Actual entries from hospital charts

 1 . The patient refused autopsy.

2. The patient has no previous history of suicides.

3. Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.

4. She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.

5. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

6. On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.

7. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.

8 The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.

9. Discharge status: Alive but without permission.

10. Healthy appearing decrepit 69-year old male, mentally alert but forgetful.

11. Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.

12. She is numb from her toes down.

13. While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.

14. The skin was moist and dry.

15. Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.

16. Patient was alert and unresponsive.

17. Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid. (OMG!  that is some examination)
18. She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life, until she got a divorce.

19. I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.

20. Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.

21. Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.

22 The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.

23. Skin: somewhat pale but present.

24. The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.

25. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.

I am glad that most of these conditions apply to me except for numbers 10, 18, 21 and 22. I haven't had reason to refuse an autopsy yet, but plan to do so if asked. Most of all, I am glad my sense of humor remains unfractured. It is necessary to get through the news some days.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Grandson versus the cupcake

Yesterday I left Pinterest alone long enough to make something I saw on Pinterest, these cupcakes:
I used full size Nilla wafers (Nabisco) cut in half for the ears. I think the mini wafers would have been a better choice. Live and learn. The face/snout is a cookie with an edge sliced off. Eyes, nostrils and mouth and black and red decorating gels.
Did they please His Highness, the Prince of Sweetness?

Why yes, yes they did. The little cannibal ate the vanilla wafers first, then dug into the chocolate.

Whadya mean I can only have one?!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hilarity lives!

Are you a gadget person? I am, to a degree. If I think a gadget is going to be helpful, doesn't take up much storage space, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg, I've probably at least considered buying it. This would explain why I've always had an egg slicer but never owned a treadmill.

My sister-in-law thought an egg slicer was frivolous until she watched me make egg salad one day. She now has one too.

We've probably all seen gadgets advertised on TV that are only available at their website (seldom true), come with lifetime guaranties (?), and wait....if you order within the next 15 minutes, you will get two of the items for the price of one! Never mind that shipping and handling of that second item will boost the price to more than what the item sells for in the "as seen on TV" aisle in your local store.

Some people, upon viewing these gadgets, will immediately proclaim them a waste of time and money. Others will think these are wonderful inventions, want one (or two or three) and wonder why nobody has thought to make these things before.

Other than word of mouth, do you ever hear or read a review of gadgets? No? You need to look at items on Amazon. Today I bring you the Banana Slicer. Can you believe it?...more than one company manufactures this item.

Should you need help in deciding whether to order one for yourself or as a gift for a loved one, check some of the reviews:
5.0 out of 5 stars  No more winning for you, Mr Banana!  March 3, 2011
For decades I have been trying to come up with an ideal way to slice a banana. "Use a knife!" they say. parole officer won't allow me to be around knives. "Shoot it with a gun!" Background check...HELLO! I had to resort to carefully attempt to slice those bananas with my bare hands. 99.9% of the time, I would get so frustrated that I just ended up squishing the fruit in my hands and throwing it against the wall in anger. Then, after a fit of banana-induced rage, my parole officer introduced me to this kitchen marvel and my life was changed. No longer consumed by seething anger and animosity towards thick-skinned yellow fruit, I was able to concentrate on my love of theatre and am writing a musical play about two lovers from rival gangs that just try to make it in the world. I think I'll call it South Side Story.
Banana slicer...thanks to you, I see greatness on the horizon. 

5.0 out of 5 stars Innovators! Changing the Naner Industry!, August 13, 2012
I  bought the Victorio Kitchen Products 571B Banana Slicer with the intention of increasing productivity at my new vending business, `Naner-on-a-Pick'. With the recent upswing in the economy, the market was `ripe' for a vending cart that specialized in naner slices on toothpicks and I swooped in to corner the business. We had the usual growing pains, but when business started to sky-rocket, I was left without a way to cut uniform naner slices on the fly; enter the Victorio Kitchen Products 571B Banana Slicer. At first we had issues with this product; too often the naners were curved in the opposite direction of the slicer. This frequently left us with non-uniform naner slices and even worse, uncut naner ends where the naner curved outside of the Victorio Kitchen Products 571B Banana Slicer's frame (`naner waste' is the bane of our industry). In frustration I wrote to Victorio Kitchen Products and remarkably, Victor V Victorio himself flew out to address our issue. He studied our dilemma for 3 days and flew in 3 additional Nanologists. Well, finally, after six months and 7 prototypes, they designed and fabricated a machine that makes every naner curve the same way as the Victorio Kitchen Products 571B Banana Slicer. I'm not sure how the `Nanerflipper 2013' works, but I thank my stars every day for it. It's the best $127,209.99 I ever spent.  
And one last example that may offend some, but with my sense of humor, this made me snort-laugh:
5.0 out of 5 stars Works exactly as advertised., August 11, 2012
Great product; works exactly as advertised. I will never go back to slicing bananas with knives.

Also great for cutting elk penis into bite-sized pieces.
I am greatly amused that 64 people took the time to write amusing reviews. They can be seen here. I hope I haven't done anything wrong by quoting the reviews here. These three reviews can be identified at the Amazon site by the review title, shown in bold font.

Decide for yourself if a banana slicer is in your future, but take my advice and get yourself a good egg slicer. It is more than a gadget, it's a tool.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Here's your smile, I hope, maybe....

I'm guessing everyone has seen and heard the original "Call Me Maybe" song and video and some send offs of the hit. All the ones I have seen have been cute and in good taste. Good, clean fun, something we don't always see enough of. This one really tickled me.
Lil Fred is all of 9 years old. He has other videos on YouTube, all shot and edited by his 18 year old brother Justin. That fact endears the family even more to me. Here's one more clip, done to honor National Dairy Month (June).

I think I will go have a glass of cold milk and watch these one more time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Laundry day

Are you folding your laundry this creatively?

No? Me neither. I'm happy just to get it done and put away. Which is what I am off to do right now. Feel free to guess which graphic most applies...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Home again!

Sometimes a benefit of going away is coming home and appreciating your own bed and getting back into comfortable routines. Usually this is felt after a vacation of some length. Our cottage is close enough, and we go there often enough, that this isn't usually felt upon our return. After three days of rain and comparatively cool temperatures though, I was glad to get home yesterday.

I say comparatively cool temps because it has been such a hot summer. Highs in the 70s with overcast skies (between hard rain storms) felt downright chilly at times. Heck, highs in the 70s isn't normal for us in August in a normal year. But what is normal anyway, right?

With all the cloud cover we'd had, it didn't occur to me to step outside Saturday night and look up at the sky. Thank goodness we have good neighbors. One of them waved his flashlight back and forth across our windows to get out attention. The clouds had parted and we watched the Perseid meteor shower. I tried to get photos but neither my camera nor my skills were good enough. The link has some wonderful shots.

Even without the meteors, the sky was beautiful. Stars, a surprising number of planes (or were they UFOs?) and lightning bugs kept us entertained as we stood around looking up until our necks ached. I thought about going in to grab towels or cushions for the deck chairs but I was afraid I'd miss something.

So what did I do to prevent stir craziness while hubby watched cheesy movies? I read John Grisham's The Confession and knitted a vest for Colton.  He's all set for a business casual situation, should one arise.
The pattern is in the Fall 2012 issue of Knit Simple magazine. I used Plymouth brand Encore yarns for most of the vest to keep it kid friendly, meaning machine washable and dry-able.

Today, August 13, is Left Hander's Day.  I am not one, but am all for a celebration so I raise my coffee cup and toast those who are.

Left Handed Facts and Trivia:
  • Sinistrophobia is the fear of left-handedness or things on the left side.
  • While many people are left handed, very few are 100% left handed. For example, many Left handers golf and bat right handed. On the other hand, there is a high percentage of righties who are 100% right-handed.
  • Lefties are also called "southpaws". The term was coined in baseball to describe a left handed pitcher.
  • Tuesdays are Lefties luck day.
  • Only about 10% of the population is left handed.
  • During the 1600's people, thought left handers were witches and warlocks.
  • International Left Hander's Day was first celebrated on August 13, 1976. It was started by Lefthander's International.
  • They say everyone was born right handed, and only the greatest overcome it. (he,he,he)
  • It is believed that all polar bears are left handed.
  • There is a rumor that octopuses have but one right hand. Scientists are diligently studying this issue.
Anyone wondering how many tax dollars might be going to the study of that octopus issue? 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The prospector and the gunslinger

An old prospector shuffled into the town.
He walked up to the saloon and tied his old mule to the hitch rail.

As he stood there, brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.

The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, "Hey old man, can you dance?"

The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, "No son, I don't dance... never really wanted to"

A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said, "Well, you old fool, you're gonna dance now!" and started shooting at the old man's feet.

The old prospector, not wanting to get a toe blown off, started hopping around like a flea on a hot skillet.

Everybody standing around was laughing.

When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.

The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled 12 gauge shotgun and cocked both hammers.

The young gunslinger heard the sounds too, and he turned around very slowly.

The silence was deafening. The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old timer and the large gaping holes of those twin 12 gauge barrels.

The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man's hands, as he quietly said;

"Son, have you ever kissed a mule's butt?"

The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, "No sir... but... I've always wanted to"

There are a few lessons for all of us here:

*Don't be arrogant.

*Don't waste ammunition.

*Whiskey makes you think you're smarter than you are.

*Always make sure you know who is in control.

*And finally, Don't screw around with old folks; they didn't get old by being stupid!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

This Time Together

I've had my Kindle for a while but just got around to making use of the public library's ebooks. My first book from that source was Carol Burnett's This Time Together (Amazon link). I have always enjoyed Carol Burnett and miss her variety show. Still, and that was a long time ago.

Carol always opened her show with a Q & A session to warm up the audience. Her last tour was done this way. This book is a collection of anecdotes prompted by the most frequently asked questions. It is a light read, and short, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

There is a little about her childhood, her marriages, how her career began, how the series developed and some great stories about some of her favorite celebrity guests. Not a bad word is said about anyone, in fact, not a "bad" word was used at all.

Possibly my favorite quote from the book was by Beverly Sills. Her nickname was Bubbles and she became a great friend of Carol's and was a repeat guest on the show. Beverly Sills was an opera star with a beautiful soprano voice. Her son was born with severe impairments (unspecified in this tale) and was institutionalized at a young age. Her daughter was born deaf.  In a 60 Minutes interview, Mike Wallace brought up the subject of her children and asked Beverly how, with all this tragedy, she always seemed to be so happy. She replied that she wasn't necessarily always happy, but that she always tried to be cheerful.

If you are a Carol Burnett fan or are looking for a light read that is true and fun, consider this book.

You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours

If you ever needed a visual for that old adage, here it is:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fingerless gloves, done!

Aren't you glad my fingerless gloves are done? I mean the temps have been in the 90s for so long, once they dip into the 70s again, we'll probably suffer frostbite!

They wouldn't have taken so long if I hadn't had a dozen or so interruptions and a fit of pique that ended in blood on the previous right hand glove (which no longer exists).
The pattern is Serpentine Mitts by Miriam Felton (click the link to access the pattern). I used Frog Tree Pediboo sock yarn, color 1138. I think I could have gotten two pair out of one skein (100 g/255 yds) without the bloody accident.

I enjoyed the pattern and the yarn, and will probably make a pair for myself at some point. They look teeny, tiny, narrow but stretch to a comfortable fit.
I had doubts about the palms being ribbed at first, but I don't think this is going to feel odd and it should help keep them in shape.

Now to decide what should go on my needles next....

Saturday, August 4, 2012

August 4: Mustard Day, U.S. Coast Guard Day & Chocolate Chip Day!

Did you all observe National Ice Cream Day on Aug 2?  I did, and I wasn't aware that it was that holiday. I love ice cream but try not to indulge often anymore. Sadly, the ice cream I had a local restaurant that night wasn't even very good. The hot fudge sauce was terrible, and you have to go a long way for me to complain about ice cream and hot fudge. The sundae didn't look anywhere near as good as the one in this photo.
Yesterday, August 3rd, was National Watermelon Day.  I didn't observe that. I love the shade of pink often called watermelon. I like watermelon prints. I like the idea of watermelon, but eating actual thanks. I know, I know, almost everyone likes or loves it. My digestive system doesn't handle melons and cucumbers well (did you know melons and cukes are related?). Both leave an after taste that isn't pleasant and cause me to belch and that really isn't pleasant.

Today, August 4th is U.S. Coast Guard Day; National Mustard Day (observed on the first Saturday of August); President Obama's birthday and my personal favorite: National Chocolate Chip Day!

There is a Coast Guard Station near where I live but I don't think they need me to drop by and say anything. Security as it is these days, I don't know if people can just drop in anyway. As for mustard, I use it in cooking, but it isn't a condiment that I personally use. I could wear Coast Guard whites and eat a hotdog without fear of mustard stains. Ketchup might be another matter though.
Regardless of individual political beliefs, I would like to think that everyone would wish our president (and by this mean any of them while in office) well on their birthday. I'm "old school" in honoring the office even when I have been disappointed with the person in it. That is a general statement and doesn't imply anything. I like to say politically neutral here.
Photo from ABC News
Let's leave that alone and get to good stuff....chocolate chips!
I've met a few people who don't like chocolate. After my initial shock when encountering that phenomena, I realized that for every person who doesn't like chocolate, there is more for the rest of us!  As long as this guy isn't around....
Have a sweet day, watch out for mustard stains, give thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard and if you are baking chocolate chip cookies or making good hot fudge sundaes, give me a call.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Shirley & Marcy

A mother was concerned about her kindergarten son, Timmy, walking to school. He didn't want his mother to walk with him. She wanted to give him the feeling that he had some independence but yet know that he was safe. So she had an idea of how to handle it.

She asked a neighbour if she would please follow him to school in the mornings, staying at a distance, so he probably wouldn't notice her. The neighbour said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well, so she agreed.

The next school day, the neighbour and her little girl set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbour girl he knew. She did this for the whole week.

As the two walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs, Timmy 's little friend noticed the same lady was following them as she seemed to do every day all week. Finally she said to Timmy, 'Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week? Do you know her?'

Timmy nonchalantly replied, 'Yeah, I know who she is.'

The little girl said, 'Well, who is she?'

'That's just Shirley Goodnest ,' Timmy replied, 'and her daughter Marcy ...'

'Shirley Goodnest? Who is she and why is she following us?

'Well,' Timmy explained, 'every night my Mum makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers, 'cuz she worries about me so much. And in the Psalm, it says, 'Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life', so I guess I'll just have to get used to it!'.

May Shirley Goodnest and Marcy be with you today and always.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 1st: Rabbit! Rabbit!

It is August 1st!
Time to say Rabbit! Rabbit! again in hopes of a lucky month for all of us.

Do you know what else August 1st brings to us? No? Well, you are lucky that I'm here to fill you in!

August 1st (in alphabetical order) is:

  • Girlfriend's Day
  • Lughnasa (a Celtic Festival)
  • National Minority Donor Awareness Day
  • National Raspberry Cream Pie Day
  • Respect for Parents Day
  • Rounds Resounding Day
  • Spiderman Day
  • US Air Force Day
  • World Wide Web Day

  • The month of August is:
  • Admit You're Happy Month
  • Family Fun Month
  • National Catfish Month
  • National Eye Exam Month
  • National Golf Month
  • Peach Month
  • Romance Awareness Month
  • Water Quality Month
  • National Picnic Month

  • The first week of August is National Simplify your Life Week

    Today I am going to simplify my life by donating a minority to my Celtic girlfriends, delivering raspberry cream pie to my friends who sing in rounds (- think "row, row, row your boat"...I had to look up Rounds Resounding Day), and use forceful air to remove spiders from the wide webs that reappear overnight on my front porch. I think that covers everything for the first except for respecting parents which I do every day.

    Now go ahead and admit you're happy, that this was fun, that I'm a peach and you love me. That will knock off four monthly observances for you!