Monday, June 24, 2019

Puzzling Non-Parity

Today Hubby Tony and I were watching the USA/Spain FIFA Women's World Cup game. (Which the United States ended up winning 2-1).

The play by play announcing team did a good job, but I noticed that it was composed of one man and one woman. During halftime the studio commentator team had more females than males, but after the second half stated and they switched back to live action I began to ponder why the on-air team for a major woman's sports event couldn't be completely female.

The tournament has been held every four years since 1991. In more than two decades you'd think  there would have been one or two professional woman soccer players who were interested in performing at a professional level behind the microphone, too.


Five years ago today: Rain On Me

Friday, June 21, 2019

The Onset Of The Season

The Beach Boys singing "Good Vibrations". Is there a better way to celebrate the first day of summer?

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Sounds Like A Pretty Impressive Place

I was laying in bed half awake when my phone rang and woke me up the rest of the way. I didn't recognize the number, so instead of answering it I muted the ringer and went back to bed. When I eventually got up there was a voice mail waiting for me.

The voice mail was from an animal hospital in a time zone to the east of me (which explains why the call came in so early). The message started off with the name of the hospital and an instruction not to be alarmed, but they needed to ask a question about "Georgie", a pet who was there to be neutered. Immediately I realized that they had called my number by mistake, because I definitely had not dropped off a pet to be neutered.

I decided to call them back to let them know they hadn't reached the official pet owner. When the associate answered the phone she asked if I could hold for a minute. I agreed. The on-hold script featured a voice actor with a deep, smooth voice. He talked about the hospital's commitment to providing an environment where animals feels comfortable and safe, that they follow Canine and Feline Behavior Management Guidelines, have separate dog and cat entrances and waiting areas, pipe relaxing spa music into the rooms, use aromatherapy to reduce stress, and offer up-to-date pain management methods (with pre-operative, mid-operation, and post-operative pain killers).

I'm not sure, but I think that the pets that are lucky enough to go to this hospital get more compassionate care than some humans do.

Five years ago today: Just Another One Of The Crowd

Monday, June 17, 2019

Nothing New Under The Fashion Sun

I was at the mall the other day, and almost laughed out loud when I saw that the mannequin was wearing a fanny pack around her waist! How 1980's.


Back at home, a Google search revealed that the correct term for the accessory is now 'belt bag' or 'waist bag', but it's still the same thing with a different name.

Years ago I had several fanny packs. Eventually I got rid of  all of them but one, an orange and black nylon model with two zippered compartments-the large main section and another thin one on top. It comes in handy to hold my cell phone when I do yard work.


I'm rarely on the cutting edge of fashion, but if I wear my fanny pack out in public I guess I would be.

Five years ago today: Phone Vs Phone

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Happy Fathers Day

Wikipedia says that a Dad Joke is:
A short joke, typically a pun, presented as a one-liner or a question and answer, but not a narrative. Generally inoffensive, dad jokes are stereotypically told by fathers among family, either with sincere humorous intent, or to intentionally provoke a negative reaction to its "dagginess".
In honor of Father's Day, here are some good examples:
  • My wife is really mad at the fact that I have no sense of direction. So I packed up my stuff and right.
  • What do you call an elephant that doesn't matter? An irrelephant
  • I bought some shoes from a drug dealer. I don't know what he laced them with, but I was tripping all day!
  • If a child refuses to sleep during nap time, are they guilty of resisting a rest?
  • I thought about going on an all-almond diet. But that's just nuts
  • Did you hear the rumor about butter? Well, I'm not going to spread it!
  • What is the least spoken language in the world? Sign language
  • Want to hear a joke about construction? I'm still working on it.
  • Why can't you hear a pterodactyl go to the bathroom? Because the pee is silent.
  • I could tell a joke about pizza, but it's a little cheesy
  • If you see a robbery at an Apple Store does that make you an iWitness?
  • What’s an astronaut’s favorite part of a computer? The space bar.
  • What's the best part about living in Switzerland? I don't know, but the flag is a big plus.
  • To whoever stole my copy of Microsoft Office, I will find you. You have my Word!
  • What’s Forrest Gump’s password? 1forrest1
  • What do you call a fish without eyes? Fsh.
  • What did the buffalo say to his son when he dropped him off at school? Bison.
  • When does a joke become a dad joke? When it becomes apparent.
Five years ago today: Deliberately Discourteous

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Blues Win!

The first period was nerve-wracking, but the Blues scored first and never looked back.


Five years ago today: Clean And Pristine

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Hummer Time

Over the weekend Son Donald came for dinner. He brought me a belated Mother's Day present - a beautiful hanging basket filled with red and yellow petunias and calibrachoas.


I immediately put the basket on the deck, hanging it on a portable shepherd's hook next to the red bud tree. Ten minutes later we were all in the kitchen, where Hubby Tony pointed out that there was a tiny hummingbird sipping nectar from one of the blooms. I watched as it flitted from flower to flower for several seconds, then flew off.

I haven't seen the bird since then, but since the basket will be there all season I hope it comes back.

Five years ago today: Service Is Denied

Sunday, June 9, 2019

LGB!

LGB (Let's Go Blues!)

Our city's St. Louis Blues played their first National Hockey League season in 1967. They've made it to the Stanley Cup finals several times, but have never been able to win. This might be their year, though.
  • In Round 1 the Blues defeated the Winnipeg Jets four games to two
  • In Round 2 the Blues defeated the Dallas Stars four games to three
  • In Round 3 the Blues defeated the San Jose Sharks four games to two
Now they're in the final round, playing against the Boston Bruins. The Blues lead the best-of-seven series three games to two. Ever since they won their game on Thursday the potential of bring home the Stanley Cup has been the talk of the town. People are wearing their team logo shirts, which in other years have already long been put away. The newspaper is full of ads with a team tie-in. Businesses all have Let's Go Blues signs. The song 'Gloria' by Laura Branigan is this year's team victory song, and when someone says "Play Gloria!" you know exactly what they're talking about.

Sunday is Hubby Tony's night to cook dinner, and he wanted a hockey tie-in before tonight's Game 6. Since there aren't a lot of blue foods he got creative, making some tasty Boston Baked beans (which we demolished!), and a spinach salad with blueberries and blue cheese.


Dessert was a chocolate hockey puck cake drizzled with blueberry syrup (and sherbet, just because).


It would have been nice to finish the series up tonight, but the Bruins ended up winning 5-1. Now all the excitement will be transferred to Wednesday night, when I hope the Blues will come out on top.

Five years ago today: Tear It Up

Thursday, June 6, 2019

No Hubby, No Go

This week my job was to have salespeople from three pre-selected companies come to my house to give me estimates for their products. I started setting up the estimates on Saturday.
  • Company #1 had a nice form on their website that let me choose my own date and time for the estimate. Just a couple of minutes after I sent the form through cyberspace I got an email confirming my choice.
  • Company #2 did not let me schedule online, but they had a nifty pop-up contact form. I entered my contact information, sent it off, and got a call back within a couple of minutes. The representative verified what I was looking for and suggested some appointment times. I chose the one that worked the best with my schedule.
  • Company #3 had a similar contact form on their website. Once again my phone rang almost immediately. After greeting me, the representative started the scheduling process by saying "Our company policy requires both homeowners present when we come to the house. Will that be a problem?"
I was really taken aback by the question. I replied that it would be a problem, because I was in charge of the project. The representative apologized, but repeated it was their company's policy. I had a couple of choices--continue to insist that they come out and talk to me only, or cross my fingers behind my back and agree to their terms. I chose the latter. (Asking Hubby Tony to come home from work to sit in on the presentation with me was not a choice.)

The first two appointments went off without a hitch. It was interesting to see how the companies tried to differentiate themselves. Of course each had the best products on the market, and their competitors was filled with flaws. The day before Company #3's appointment I got a reminder call, which again advised me of their company's policy. For the rest of the day I pondered how I should approach the topic when the sales representative walked in the door. Did I go on the offensive and insist on getting the information I was looking for, or apologize for being alone? Eventually I decided on a combination approach. As soon as the rep mentioned the topic I was going to apologize for Tony being gone, then immediately indicate I would record the presentation with my phone app so he could listen to it and be up to speed in on all the details.

In the end, the rep could have cared less that I was by myself. He was a nice guy, gave me a great presentation of his company and products, wrote out an estimate for me, and told me to contact him if I had any additional questions. He did offer a discount that was only good if the contract was signed on the spot (which I guess is the reason they insist both homeowners are there), but Tony and I wouldn't have done that anyway.

Five years ago today: Instant Garden

Monday, June 3, 2019

Seedlings, Shoots, and Sprouts

At this time of year Mother Nature is busy producing new vegetation. Which means I have to keep busy making sure that vegetation is growing only where it belongs.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We have a large maple tree in the front and back yard, and our neighbor to the left of us has one in his front yard, too. That means there's a lot of helicopter seeds flying through the air in the late spring. After they land the 'wings' quickly disintegrate, leaving no evidence of where they landed. Until a tree sprouts up. See the four arrows and circles in the photo? Those are wannabe trees that weren't there yesterday. They're all gone now, pulled up and tossed in the compost pile.

It's time to get some mulch on this bed!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Years ago I bought a six pack of white alyssum at the garden center. They grew well in the west-facing bed by the front door, getting three inches tall and spreading out to almost a foot in diameter. Since that time they've self-seeded and come back prolifically each year.  If I didn't cull some of the sprouts the bed would be completely covered with the tiny white flowers.  For example, you would think this is one cute little plant, right?  It's actually three individual ones. Two of them got pulled up, leaving just one to spread out.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I don't remember planting purslane in this flower pot, but the surface of the soil is covered in hundreds of its tiny shoots. They're actually doing better than the impatiens and the coleus I put in there this year, so in this instance I may just let the seedlings take over.


Five years ago today: Computer Assistant

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Window Washing Workout

Last night a cold front came through, and we turned off the air conditioner and opened up the house. The nice weather won't be around for long, so I decided to take advantage of it. Instead of showering when I woke up, I put on a sports bra and old clothes. I had a job to do. It was window washing day!

For the past few weeks, every time I look out the dirty windows I think "I should do something about that". The problem is that it's is a big project, because there are a little over 30 windows around the house. The family room, master bedroom, and kitchen each have bump out bays, and the kitchen also has two additional windows over the corner sink. Each of the other rooms has two, including the master bathroom. There's also a decorative window in the foyer, two doors with glass inserts, and sidelights on either side of the front door. That's a lot of glass to clean.

After breakfast, I read the newspaper and spent some time on the computer until I convinced myself it was time to get started. I gathered my supplies and started on the shady west side of the house. First I removed the plastic grilles that make the large panels look like multiple glass panes. Next, I opened the windows to pop out the screens, then closed them almost completely so the cats wouldn't decide to explore. As I washed and dried each window I could feel my shoulders working, and I realized that I was exercising them just as well as if I had gone to the gym. I started to figure out what other body parts I was strengthening:
  • Carrying the bucket of water was good for my biceps
  • Getting to the bottom of the windows required some serious squatting
  • Pulling out the couch to get to the windows in the family room and sitting on the ledge to get the outside of the hard-to-get-to windows took a lot of core strength
  • Walking up and down the stairs was good aerobic work 
  • Squeezing the excess liquid out of the rag helped improve my grip 
  • And as a nice added bonus, by the time the job was done I had completed my steps for the day
I cleaned for 90 minutes before lunch and another two hours after. In addition to the windows themselves, I sprayed off the screens with a hose and cleaned the dirt off the grilles. When the cleaning was done I spent another hour putting all the screens and grilles back where they belonged.

After dinner I collapsed on the couch. It was time to catch up on all the internet surfing I hadn't done during the day.

Five years ago today: Got To Keep On Dancing

Monday, May 27, 2019

Vintage And Adjunct Vintage

This morning Hubby Tony and I attended the Cherokee Caravan, an outdoor antique sale/flea market/ craft show in the historic Antique District.


This is only the second year for this version of the Caravan, which replaced the Gypsy Caravan after it ended in 2017. Six blocks of Cherokee Street were closed off to make room for the vendor tents, food booths, food trucks, and musicians. Some of the stores were also open for business.

We got there about an hour after the event opened. I had fun browsing through actual antiques, vintage items, "old stuff", crafts, and jewelry. At one booth I bought this cute little bud vase:


The copper base looks like a lotus, and holds the glass tube. A copper wire loops around the tube, providing both a handle and support.  I really didn't need it, but I liked the way it looked and it was only a dollar.

My other purchase was not exactly vintage, but something I had been looking for. At a Tupperware dealer booth I ordered new sipper seals for the 30 year-old bell tumblers I still have from my boy's childhoods. Now there's a new generation of children in the family, and I need to be able to give them drinks when they're here.


Five years ago today: Plant Place

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Inoculation Anon

A little more than two months ago I got my first dose of Shingrex vaccine. The instructions they sent me home with said the second dose should be somewhere between two and six months later. After eight weeks I went back to the pharmacy where I got the initial shot to ask if they had any in stock. The pharmacist brusquely told me they would contact me when it was available.

Okey Dokey.

I wanted to be able to cross the task off of my to-do list, though, so I once again proactively stopped into the pharmacies around my house to ask if they had any of the vaccine available. It only took a few tries before I found one who did. Thursday afternoon I held out my arm and got injected.

Last time I had some side effects from the vaccine. Teri told me that it would be helpful if the next time I started taking an anti inflammatory the day before, and then continue it for several days after. Since I obviously didn't know when I was going to come upon the shot it was impossible to pre-dose myself with medicine, but as soon as I got home I popped some acetaminophen. For a few hours I felt great, but by bedtime my arm started to hurt. Friday I felt tired, achy, had chills, and an intermittent headache. It was hard to concentrate on the work I had to do, and I suspect the report I turned in was filled with grammar and punctuation mistakes.

This morning another symptom appeared...a rash on my torso-front and back, from neck to bottom-which alternated between itching and stinging. I spent the day doing as little as possible, mainly laying around and feeling sorry for myself. By the middle of the afternoon I could tell the rash would not be gone, so I cancelled my evening plans to get together with some friends.

For most people, the symptoms from the vaccine only last two or three days, so even though I'm part of the 10% who have a significant reaction, things should be coming to an end soon. At least my issues have been annoying, not life threatening, and from what I've heard having an actual case of shingles is WAY worse.

Five years ago today: First Mass Of Thanksgiving

Friday, May 24, 2019

Don’t Fry Day!

Did you know that the Friday before Memorial Day has been designated as National Sunscreen Day (also known as Don’t Fry Day)? The 'holiday' is designed to encourage sun safety awareness. You probably know that the sun's UV rays are harmful and can lead to skin cancers. Sunscreen is one of the easiest ways to protect against them.

Yours truly a poster child for skin cancer risk. My skin is light, I have freckles and lots of moles, and when I was younger I had a couple of doozy sunburns. All of those lead to a higher risk of skin cancer. Ten years ago I was actually treated for a basal cell carcinoma (the most common type of skin cancer).

Since that time I've been extra vigilant about applying sunscreen as part of my morning routine. In the winter I just have to do my face, because everything else is covered up. However, once the temperatures heat up I'm slathering it on every section of bare skin I can find. If I'm going to be outside for a long time I bring the bottle with me and re-apply it later in the day, too.

I've never found a brand of sunscreen that doesn't make my skin feel sticky, but I keep trying. The alternative is not an attractive option.

Five years ago today: Car Spa

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Unconcerned

Last night the TV meteorologist talked about how we might have some severe weather coming through the area tonight. Every radio newscast I listened to today offered the same information. People seemed to be quite concerned...mainly because any storms might impact the Cardinals baseball game and the Blues hockey playoff game scheduled during the projected worst time period.

There was no sun at all today, which made it feel like the meteorologist might be right. After dinner Hubby Tony and were going to take a quick walk. Right after I put my shoes on Tony said he'd found out that a storm was headed our way, predicted here in approximately 30 minutes. We cancelled our plans. Ten minutes later I was outside tossing something in the compost pile and heard a distant rumble of thunder. Ten minutes after that the tornado siren went off. Tony said they'd sighted a tornado one county to the west of us. He eventually headed downstairs. I headed to my kitchen computer to do some paperwork.

My laissez faire attitude towards storms comes from my parents. As a child, hearing a siren meant it was time to go out onto the front porch and see what was going on. I never remember spending time in the basement, no matter how nasty the weather got.


via MEME

Shortly after Tony left the wind picked up and the rain started. For about fifteen minutes it came down at a ridiculous rate. A couple of small pieces of hail hit the skylight in the kitchen. I kept a cautious eye on the kitchen window so I could run and join Tony if the situation warranted, but all I saw were the trees being blown around a little bit.  The storm was over about the time the Blues game was starting. I turned on the radio and Tony came upstairs to join me.

Five years ago today: From Bad.....To Good....

Friday, May 17, 2019

Given With Love

For Mother's Day I received some lovely roses from Son Brian and Nicole. Hubby Tony took me to the garden shop, where he paid for all the annuals I selected for the garden. Son Donald stopped in for a visit. When he asked if there was anything specific I wanted I asked him to buy me a hanging basket for the back yard. I also received a call from Son Tony, who said that he and Ie were busy making cards.

He didn't specify what type of cards they were working on, but two days ago there was a long skinny envelope in the mailbox. Inside was the nicest Mother's Day card I've ever received:


They started with a graphic from a standard greeting card, then attached the graphic to a piece of card stock with photo corners, embellished the card stock with a hand-drawn boarder, and added "buttons" at the top. They really put a lot of work into it!

Five years ago today: Get Hot

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

My Warm Weather Treat

Last weekend it was furnace weather, but things bounced back and then some. For the next few days the highs will be in the upper 80s. It's time for my favorite summer snack, frozen watermelon.

I like conventional watermelon, too, but during the summer I actually prefer the frozen type. And the preparation couldn't be easier. Remove the rind from a seedless watermelon, then chop the fruit into cubes, spread them on a  baking sheet,  put the sheet into the freezer until the pieces flash freeze, and transfer them to a bag for storage.

The sweetness and texture of the frozen watermelon fools my stomach into thinking it's having a bowl of ice cream. The trick is to not let it thaw all the way, or it will be mushy. I think it tastes best after it has set out for about five minutes-just enough to soften a bit so it's easy to bite into.


Five years ago today: Sign The Flag

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Mom Song

Happy Mother's Day!

Whether you're a mom yourself or had a mom when you were growing up I think you can appreciate this.




Five years ago today: Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Blackberry Winter

At this time of year, the average high temperature for my area is 75 °F (and the average low is 56°). On Wednesday it got up to 82°, so I opened up windows, put on a pair of shorts, took the flannel sheets off the bed and replaced them with the warm-weather percale set, washed and stored the winter coats, and stashed the cold-weather shoes in the back of the closet.

Since Wednesday things have gone downhill. Today the high temperature was 50°! I closed up the house, found some heavy clothes to wear, and dug a pair of leather shoes out again. Tonight it's supposed to dip down to the mid-40s. As much as it kills me to do it, I broke down and turned the furnace on again.

However, I guess this cold snap isn't completely unprecedented. According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, we're in a blackberry winter, a term used to describe a brief period of cold weather that coincides with the time the blackberries are in bloom. It typically happens in early to mid May.

And at least one person actually predicted the weather. Dave Murray was a local TV meteorologist for many years. Although he's now retired from that job, he maintains an active Facebook page. Yesterday he posted:
Looking back at my Spring forecast issued in February:
"*** That brings us to the blackberry Winter around the 9,10,11 and 12th of May… I rarely turn my back on this feature in the atmosphere. It is a cold run of weather...and I will not turn my back on it this year...but let’s think more of a cool snap rather than a cold snap during this period."
Dave would have completely nailed it if he had added one day to his snap. According to my phone app, things will be back to normal by Tuesday the 14th. I hope that's right.

Five years ago today: Saturday Morning Bike Ride

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Just A Little Disconcerting

Several weeks before my last plane trip I received an email from my charge card company with the subject Your Upcoming Travel Plans.

I hadn't shared any plans with them, and the whole thing felt slightly creepy. But when I opened the message it reminded me that we had paid for the airline tickets with that particular charge card. Based on that the company had made a note of the date we were leaving. The email went on to say the company had automatically added a travel notice to the card so it wouldn't get declined in the new area.

The whole thing made sense, but still felt a little Big Brother-ish.


Five years ago today: Disremember

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Let's Go Blues!

Tonight our hometown St. Louis Blues hockey team is playing against the Dallas Stars in the seventh (and last) game of the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. The series is tied, and whoever wins gets to move on to the next round. The Blues, who began playing in 1967, are the oldest active NHL team never to have won the Stanley Cup.

I'm a fair weather hockey fan, but for the past few weeks I've been caught up in all the excitement. It looks like I'm not the only one. When Hubby Tony and I were out for a walk tonight, we saw these signs taped to a pole:


A close up of the bottom sign. By the quality of the writing I assumed this passionate follower was on the younger side.


Five years ago today: The Chiropractor Is Usually Right

Friday, May 3, 2019

John Wayne's Five Rules to Remember in Life

I've tried and tried, but cannot find the source of these. If you know, pass the information on so I can give the correct credit.
1. Money cannot buy happiness but its more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.

2. Forgive your enemy but remember the bastard's name.

3. Help someone when they are in trouble, and they will remember you when they're in trouble again.

4. Many people are alive only because it's illegal to shoot them.

5. Alcohol does not solve any problems, but then again, neither does milk.
Five years ago today: The Rubdown

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Amazing Occasions

Hubby Tony and I got home yesterday from a magnificent nine day trip. The time away was divided into three distinct parts.

On the Saturday before Easter we flew to Dallas. That night DIL Ie entered the Catholic church during the Easter Vigil. In total, there were 30 Catechumens (non-baptized individuals) and Candidates (people who were baptized in the Catholic church or another Christian community who had not received the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation). The beautiful ceremony started at sundown and went for almost three hours.


We spent Easter day with Son Tony and Ie. Early Monday morning Ie took us to the airport for the next leg of our journey. This time were in the air for just under two hours. When the plane touched down, the pilot welcomed us to San Jose, California.  It was time to hang out with this guy and his parents!


We were at Son Brian and DIL Nicole's house for four days. During that time we got to shadow on a day care pick up and drop off, and attend a "Take Your Child to Work Day" event at Nicole's company. One day Tony and I took an ambitious walk to the San Jose Rose Garden to see what was blooming. At the end of the day my phone app told me I had walked slightly over 17,000 steps.


On Friday morning Tony picked up a rental car for the third chunk of the trip. We drove out of the Bay Area and over the mountains to Turlock, in the California Central Valley. Later in the day we practiced for the big event that took place Saturday morning...the wedding of Tony and Ie.


Photos and the reception took place on the grounds of a nearby lavender farm. The outdoor venue had comfortable,casual seating areas scattered about, yard games, and plenty of space for the children to run around. There were long wooden farm dining tables arranged next to a covered porch area. While the sun was up huge market umbrellas shaded the tables, but as it got dark the staff moved the umbrellas away, and the white lights strung in the nearby trees came on. The porch area turned into a dance floor (which was very popular). At the end of the night all of the guests got a long sparkler and made an arch for the new bride and groom to run through.

On Sunday we returned to Brian and Nicole's for one more night. This time Son Donald was there, too. The three of us left Monday morning for the flight back to St. Louis.

Five years ago today: International Jazz Day

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Joys Of Modern Air Travel (NOT)

Son Donald is scheduled to fly this afternoon. The ticket that he bought back in late January left St. Louis early in the afternoon for a four-hour nonstop flight, and got him to his destination in time for dinner. It also fit the schedule of the people who were picking him up at the airport.


Yesterday he got a text from the airline saying that flight was cancelled. It offered several alternate options, but the most attractive one was already filled up by time Donald got to the company's website. He chose the next-most attractive option. It leaves approximately the same time as his original flight, but now he has two legs to contend with, and a two-hour layover in between. In addition, his ride from the airport had to re-arrange their schedule in order to be available for him.

Five years ago today: Sheet Snob

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Did You Know?

Oxford University researchers have discovered the heaviest element yet known to science.

The new element, Governmentium (symbol=Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete. Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2 to 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium (symbol=Ad), an element which radiates just as much energy as Governmentium,, since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

Five years ago today: One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure (Part 2)

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter 2019

I hope your day is filled with family, friends, food, and fun. And chocolate.

Patience

Chocolate Easter bunny
In a jelly bean nest,
I'm saving you for very last
Because I love you best.
I'll only take a nibble
From the tip of your ear
And one bite from the other side
So that you won't look queer.
Yum, you're so delicious!
I didn't mean to eat
Your chocolate tail till Tuesday.
Ooops! There go your feet!
I wonder how your back tastes
With all that chocolate hair.
I never thought your tummy
Was only filled with air!
Chocolate Easter bunny
In a jelly bean nest,
I'm saving you for very last
Because I love you best.

~~Bobbie Katz 

Five years ago today: One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure

Thursday, April 18, 2019

To Put It Another Way...

According to the Days Calculator at Time and Date I am:
  • 22,013 days old
  • Or 723 months, 8 days
  • Or 1,902,009,600 seconds
  • Or 528,336 hours
  • Or 22,014 days
  • Or 3144 weeks and 6 days
  • Or 6031.23% of a common year
Anyway you put it, the totals are pretty staggering.

Five years ago today: Superstar

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Nice Try...But It Didn't Work!

Even though Son Donald has moved out of the house he still occasionally gets mail here. Recently the carrier put this official-looking envelope in the mailbox:

Personal information changed to protect the innocent.

I took a picture of the envelope and sent it to Donald, asking him what he wanted me to do. Some time later he responded and asked me to open it. Inside was a Sample Transportation Certificate of Title and an invitation to come to a sale at the dealership where he bought his last car.


Donald said I could put this 'important' letter straight into the recycling bin. I did.

Five years ago today: Random Thoughts

Monday, April 15, 2019

Sunday, April 14, 2019

It's Spring, Dagnabbit!

Last week the temperatures reached 80°, so I opened up the house and enjoyed the fresh air and sounds of nature. But Winter has decided it wasn't quite ready to leave. Last night a big cold front and rainstorm came though, so I closed up the house and turned the furnace back on. This morning when it was time to leave for church the temperature was a chilly 37°, and my phone app told me it actually felt like 32°.

However, it's almost the middle of April, and after my first taste of springy clothes I had no desire to go back to dark colors and heavy leather shoes. I dug around in my closet and found a pair of light-colored pants, which I paired with a long sleeved tee shirt and an ecru sweater with lace insets.


I even went out on a limb and wore a pair of spring shoes. They might be leather, but they're covered with tiny perforations.


When I got out of the car at church, I noticed there were a few sleet pellets mixed in with the rain. A couple of them managed to fall through the holes in the shoes (and I started regretting my decision), but that just made me hustle into the building a little faster than normal.

Five years ago today: Bloomin' Delicious

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Veggie Dog

Yesterday Christine wrote about trying the new IKEA vegetarian hot dog. I didn't know that such a thing existed, but filed her information away for future reference.  Much to my surprise, today I ended up with some jobs that took me right next to the store. Of course I had to check out their veggie dog! After my jobs were finished I drove into the huge IKEA lot, which was very empty at lunchtime on Thursday.

The dogs are served at the Bistro area next to the checkouts. When the associate took my order, she asked if I wanted it topped as it was in the photo with spicy mustard, pickled red cabbage, and roasted onions. I did.


The veggie dog is made with a mix of kale, red lentils, carrots, and ginger. It was more like a cylindrical veggie patty, with no casing like a traditional hot dog. But it was good. The toppings gave it a nice crunch. The sandwich was on the small size, so I was happy I had some vegetables and fruit with me in the car to supplement it.

Five years ago today: Who Wants To Dance?

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Soggy Soles

Over the weekend I stopped by an estate sale and left with a pair of barely worn canvas mule tennis shoes. (It was the second day of the sale, and everything was half priced. My purchase only set me back a dollar. Such a deal!) The comfortable bright pink shoes had laces like a normal pair, but because they didn't have a back it was easy to just slide them on. They also had a nicely cushioned footbed and decent arch support.


Before I wore the shoes, I threw them in the washer and set them in the sun to dry. At the end of the day I brought the shoes inside and placed them in the closet.

Today I was meeting a friend for tea and a chat. The weather was spring-like, and I decided to wear my new sneaks. I put them on right before I left the house, walked into the garage, and sat down in the car. The stop lights were all going my way. When I realized I was going to be a little early to my friend's house, I decided to stop at a grocery store along the way and use the rest room.

As I entered the store I realized that my shoes felt funny, but didn't think anything of it. However, on the way out of the store I realized that they felt wet. And by the time I got to my car I was squishing! Those soft, padded footbeds really held the water. By the time I got to my destination my feet were pretty miserable.

I saw that my friend was going barefoot, so I slipped my shoes off and put them in a patch of sun on her back deck. Two and a half hours later when I left they were pretty much dry, and my trip home was much more comfortable.

Five years ago today: Humm....us

Saturday, April 6, 2019

The Fix

My recent car issue (a blinking 'D' light on the Drive Indicator) turned out to be a transmission sensor. The shop had to order the part, which will be delivered next Tuesday or Wednesday. When it arrives they'll let me know. Until then, the mechanic said I could drive the car without any issues.

That's easier said than done for me. Any type of dashboard light sends me into a tizzy. Even though I logically know there's not a problem, any time I look down and see something flashing I get anxious. Illogical, but that's the way it is.

I have too much to do to go car-less for the next few days. Hubby Tony suggested I could cover up the Drive light with a piece of tape. I thought that was a great idea, but went one step further and found a bird sticker, which also adds a bit of Spring to the dashboard.

Before and after
Five years ago today: Happy Or Sad?

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Get Pumping

When Hubby Tony left for work today he asked me what my day was about. I told him the only definite was a trip to the gym, but then I had a whole slew of errands that needed to get done...and a few that I wanted to do. We laughed about how the day would quickly fill up. An hour later, I was a third of the way to the gym when the 'D' light on the dashboard started blinking. I doubled back to the repair shop, dropped off the car, and got a ride home. All of a sudden I had a home bound day.

I hadn't showered yet, so I decided to get some house work done before I cleaned myself up. I used the step stool to dust all the high places I can't reach from the ground, used the same rag to remove the dust bunnies and cat hair from the front hall and dining room floors, then swept the kitchen floor and cleaned up a couple of coffee drip stains.

It felt good to be moving, but my cleaning didn't take the place of the Body Pump class I would have done at the gym. I'm motivated to get things toned up; Son Tony's wedding will be here before I know it, and the last time I tried on my dress it was a little tight. Suddenly inspiration hit, and I wondered if I could find a video online that would substitute for my aborted trip to the gym. Turns out that YouTube had dozens of options for me.
(If you're not familiar with Body Pump, it's a poplar group weight lifting class. An instructor in the front of the room leads you through ten choreographed sections, each the length of a song. After the warm up song there are tracks for legs, chest, back, triceps, biceps, lunges, shoulders, core, and then a cool down. You do a lot of exercise repetitions with lighter weights. And when the hour is over you're thrilled to be able to put all of your equipment away.)
But before I could start the video, I had to come up with equipment to use. My gym has all the necessary barbells, plates, steps, and mats. The only barbell in this house is a seriously heavy one that Son Donald left when he moved out, and weight plates that are 15 pounds or heavier. (By comparison, I use a bar that's about 4 pounds and plates that are 5 1/2 and 2 1/2 pounds.) However, I improvised with a set of three pound plates, a set of six pound hand weights, and no bar. I chose to rough it and lay on the floor instead of using a step and mat.

I set my laptop on the kitchen counter, except when I was doing the tracks that involved laying down. Then I put it on the floor next to me so I could see it better. The instructor did a good job of calling out the exercises as they came around, and the video was very easy to follow. I'd like to say that I completed the whole thing as enthusiastically as I would at the gym, but the main reason I do group classes is for the extra motivation and the shame of quitting early. Since I didn't have that I cut a few corners, but at the end my muscles were just sore enough I could tell they had worked. That was good enough for me.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Walk On

I didn't know that today was National Walking Day until my city's parks department told me about a promotion they were having in honor of the day. All you had to do is walk three laps around the track (a mile) at the main city park, and you'd be entered into a drawing for prizes.

During the Park Office hours they had snacks and water available. Hubby Tony and I didn't make it to the park until after dinner, but they had also made accommodations for people like us. After we finished we took pictures of each other standing by the park walking trails information board, then emailed them to the City's Recreation Supervisor so we could still be entered into the drawing.


The weather was nice, and Tony and I probably would have walked anyway, but it was nice to get recognized for doing it.

Five years ago today: Elderly Exercise

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Perspective

I was cleaning out my Inbox today and found this gem tucked way at the bottom.  It's too good not to share.
A millionaire wanted his son to understand that the world was made up of those who had great happiness in the world because they never wanted for anything, and those who lived in unhappiness because their struggles were never-ending. He asked one of his lowest-paid workers if his son could stay for a weekend, and the employee agreed.

When the weekend was over, the millionaire picked up his son. On the way home he asked his son, "What did you learn about how others live?"

"A lot," the boy replied as he sat with his shoulders slumped, "We have a dog, but they have three dogs and a couple of cats. They even have chickens and ducks and a donkey. We have a swimming pool, but they have this great big lake. We have a deck, but they have a back yard that stretches for miles and miles. And at dinner, they all sit around a table and laugh and talk together."

The millionaire sat in silence, listening to his son.

"I guess the lesson I learned, Dad, is how poor we really are."

--Author Unknown
Five years ago today: Signs of Spring 2014

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Best Thing Since Sliced...Bagels?

In the last 24 hours, any Internet search you do for bagels offers up results for a St. Louis controversy. It all started when Alek Krautmann, a St. Louis native, tweeted a photo of a box of bread sliced Panera bagels he had brought into the office. The caption for the photo said that he had introduced his co-workers to the "St. Louis secret".


Years ago, the St. Louis Bread Company (AKA Panera outside the metropolitan area) started offering the option of running their bagels through the bread slicing machine to make thin slices. The unconventional method has a lot of advantages. The smaller pieces are easy to dip in your preferred topping. It's easier to eat just part of a bagel, or grab small pieces with one hand while you're on the go. If you're sharing the treat with a friend, it's more sanitary.

Personally, I prefer a real New York style bagel to anything that comes from a chain. However, there are no traditional New York-style bagelries in my neighborhood, so if I want one BreadCo is the next best thing. The crust may not be as crunchy and chewy, but it's acceptable.

What about you? Do you like bagels? Had you heard about bread slicing one before yesterday? Would you consider trying one that way?

Five years ago today: There Are No Accidents...

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Detergent Diversification

Ever since I've belonged to a discount club (first Sam's, now Costco), I've bought large containers of powdered laundry detergent there. Back in the day there were five people making dirty clothes, three of whom were boys. I did a lot of laundry, and it made sense to go to the store as little as possible. In the beginning the plastic tubs weighed 40 pounds; eventually there was a reformulation it which made the tubs half that size. Occasionally the brand name would change, but the stuff inside the container always worked well.

Now there's only two of us making dirty clothes, but I still buy the big containers because I like how they clean and I know how to use them. They just last longer. Last week I realized that we were getting low on detergent. The next time I went to Costco I walked to the section near the back of the store to get another tub. I went from one end of the aisle to the other and back again but I couldn't find what I was looking for. The shelves were filled with bottles of liquid detergent and packages of pods. There were name brands and store brands. The labels touted they were "Ultra", "Concentrated", or even "Ultra Concentrated". Some styles were scented and others fragrance-free. A few even contained fabric softener. But none of them were what I came in for.

Eventually I realized that my powdered detergent tub was unavailable. After comparing the prices for several brands I chose the least expensive liquid. It felt strange to be carrying a bottle out of the store, but I have to admit it was easier to get into my car and carry into my house.

I have now used the liquid detergent for several loads. It seems to wash the clothes just as well, but it's hard for me to see the marking on the cap telling me just how much I need for a load. And right now while the bottle is full, it's hard for me to pick it up with one hand to pour a load's worth into the cap. Change is always inevitable, though, and I bet before too long I'll wonder how I ever did the laundry without that big jug.

Five years ago today: Thanks, But No Thanks

Monday, March 25, 2019

Boy-bys

I've got some exciting news.

Some time ago Son Brian and Daughter-In-Law Nicole announced to the family that they were expecting...IDENTICAL TWINS!  At that point it was too early to go public with the information, and they said they were not planning on any social media announcements. So I waited....and waited.....and eventually asked them when I could share the information with the extended family and my friends.

In the meantime we learned that Grandson Jay would have two new brothers sometime in the middle of the summer.  At the age of two, he's really too young to know exactly what that means but because Mom and Dad are excited he is, too.

Brian and Nicole asked Hubby Tony and I to be available to come and take care of Jay while she's is in the hospital. Of course we said yes! As a matter of fact, we already have our plane tickets for the visit.

We're both delighted for all of the changes that are coming for the family. I can't wait to have new babies to hug and cuddle with.  This is going to be the best summer ever!

Five years ago today: A Tale of Two Temperatures

Sunday, March 24, 2019

No Cow Milk Needed

This morning Hubby Tony and I did something unique. We took a class to learn how to make vegan cheese! The class was held at the Bike Stop Cafe in Chesterfield, and taught by Stephanie Bosch, who is a Culinary Nutritionist.

We arrived at the cafe a couple of minutes early, where we signed in and collected a packet of recipes. Right on time Stephanie invited the approximately dozen people into the back kitchen area, which was where the class took place. Everyone put their personal things away and washed their hands, then took places around the work table in the center of the room. There was a large, beautifully arranged cheese board in the center of the table for us to sample.  As most of the recipes were finished, we got to taste them too.

To start, Stephanie had everyone introduce themselves and tell why they were taking the class. Some people were there for themselves, and others because they wanted to cook healthier for their family members. The common denominator, though, was that everyone was following a predominantly plant-based diet.

Over the course of two hours Stephanie showed us how to make three cashew-based cheeses (and one based on almonds). All of them started with soaked nuts, which were pureed in a blender with spices and other ingredients. Some of the recipes included nutritional yeast, and others used thickening agents. Some were cooked, and some were not.

The first recipe Stephanie made was a queso cheese, which was a simple blend of cashews, nutritional yeast, spices, and a canned chipotle in adobo sauce, served with tortilla chips.  This one was pretty good (and I even went back for seconds), but I personally would have added more heat to it. I did not take a photo of this one.

For the second cheese Stephanie made a "Melty, Stretchy, Gooey" mozzarella that she said was great for grilled cheese, quesadillas, or vegetarian lasagna. A combination of soaked cashews, yogurt, acid, nut milk, nutritional yeast, and tapioca starch were blended together and cooked. Stephanie said it was important to stir the entire time the cheese was on the heat.  This was served with toasted sourdough bread. 

Cooking the mozzarella
Next, Stephanie changed gears and made some chèvre from almonds.  She started by blending soaked blanched almonds with water and salt, then poured the mixture into a nut milk bag and squeezing out as much liquid as possible. (I learned that if you sweetened this liquid a little bit you could call it almond milk.) However, it was the solids that Stephanie used for the cheese. To them she added apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, refined coconut oil, and spices. Although she told us this cheese would be best if it aged for at least 24 hours we sampled it immediately. It was still good.

Blended almond solids-the beginning of chèvre
The last cheese was a pepper jack, which Stephanie told us could be cubed, grated, or sliced.  It was the most complicated recipe, and used several new-to-me ingredients. After the cashews were blended with plant-based milk cider vinegar, coconut oil, spices, tapioca starch, inulin, and carrageenan it was heated to a specific temperature. Stephanie mixed in diced jalapeno, red pepper, and pepper flakes, then scooped the mixture into molds. There wasn't time for the cheese to completely set up, so we were not able to sample this variety. It sure looked good, though.

Spreading pepperjack into molds
I couldn't believe how fast the two hours flew by. I don't know how soon I'll be incorporating all of these new cheeses into my daily eating plan, but at least now I have options

Five years ago today: But I Saw It On The Internet!

Friday, March 22, 2019

A Parking Miracle

Yesterday I had an appointment at an apartment building downtown. In theory, there should have been two reserved parking spaces right in front of the building. However, those were already taken, so I had to drive around looking for other options.

The hourly rate in the garages I passed was more than I wanted to spend. I would have to use a meter, but I didn't have any change to feed it. Eventually after driving around for several blocks I found a spot with a meter that took credit cards.

There was only one problem. The spot had cars in front of it and behind it. I rarely have to parallel park, and since I never practice I don't do it well. As a matter of fact, I usually go to great lengths to avoid having to do it, but time was running out and this was my only option.

Crossing my fingers, I pulled up even with the car in front of the spot, then put the car into reverse, turned my wheel to the right, then to the left when I was halfway in. Much to my surprise the car slid neatly into the space right next to the curb!

Wikipedia
Five years ago today: Mapping Of The Cat Brain

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

First Day Of Spring Color

Last week a friend sent out an email inviting a small group to meet her at the botanical garden to see the orchid show and have lunch in the garden's cafe. Seven people responded that they were in. This morning at 10:00 we all met in the lobby for our "moment of Zen" field trip.

It was a little ironic that ten days ago when the original message went out it was still cold and cruddy. Today was overcast, but overall this week there's been a hint of the new season in the air.  The orchid show was held is a large room in the main building of the garden. There was an incredible selection of orchids arrayed against a backdrop of tropical greenery. A path meandered around and through the room.

After everyone in the group had their fill of admiring the beautiful flowers we took the elevator upstairs and filed into the cafeteria. The menu had a large variety of items, and it was hard for me to decide. In the end I ordered a Kale Caesar salad, with the traditional dressing, Parmesan, and croutons paired with large pieces of kale.

The rest of the group was going to explore more of the garden, but I was expecting a phone call, so I said my goodbyes and left. Instead of driving home down the freeway I took the surface road so I could pull off if my call came in. At the halfway point I passed a garden shop with a rolling cart of pansies outside. The pop of color took me by surprise, and I was past the shop before I could react and pull in. However, several miles to the west when I passed a big box hardware store I didn't make the same mistake twice.  I've never bought outside flowers on the first day of spring, but it felt like an appropriate postscript to my morning.

The store had single-color and mixed six packs. I chose the latter. At home I put the flowers in the front porch planter and watered them well. I'm looking forward to enjoying the bright blooms all spring.
Small, but they'll quickly grow

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Lemongrass In And Out

This morning I was supposed to have an appointment, but I received a call telling me that because of an emergency the office was closing for the day. All of a sudden I had no commitments!

I used my bonus day productively. I planted the ginger rhizomes that will summer on the deck when the weather warms up, and potted up a spider plantlet that had broken off the mother plant. I gave the bathrooms some needed attention, including deep-cleaning the toilet bowls to remove the water rings, then I grabbed the baking soda to scour the soap scum off of the shower glass. I changed out the winter artwork. In between physical jobs I tackled accumulated paperwork and desk projects. Then when Hubby Tony got home from work we took a nice walk.

After dinner I realized that after all my work the joints in my right hand were a little creaky, so I pulled out my bottle of lemongrass essential oil and rubbed a little bit over the knuckles and down the fingers. It only took a couple of minutes before things felt less creaky.  And as an added bonus my hands smelled good.

Later in the evening I decided to have some herbal tea. Do you think it was a coincidence that I chose lemongrass?

Five years ago today: Spring Into Fashion

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Incomparable


Today would have been the hundredth birthday of Nat King Cole. (He died in 1965 at the age of 45.) In his honor, here's a version of one of my favorite songs:


Five years ago today: The Patron Saint Of Cats

Saturday, March 16, 2019

No Fish Here!

During the Lenten season Fish Fries are very popular in our area. However, there is only one Unfish Fry, a vegetarian dinner sponsored by the First Unitarian Church. Hubby Tony and I first heard about the event last year, but unfortunately the newspaper had printed the wrong date and we missed it. A couple of weeks ago  Son Donald happened to mention this year's version, and Tony and I made sure we put it on our calendar.

Last night after Tony got home from work we drove to the church, which is in the Central West End section of the city. When we saw this sign we knew we were at the right place:


Even though the doors had just opened there was a steady stream of people walking into the building. We joined them. The ordering system was quite efficient. At the payment station right inside the door we each received a paper listing all of the choices, then chose two entrees and two sides:


When we entered the cafeteria there wasn't much of a line, so after making our choices we walked right up to the serving line and handed them our papers. (We were lucky. By the time we left the line stretched halfway down the length of the room). We received our food quickly, then walked over to the condiment table and chose from the fresh-looking selection. Water, lemonade, and iced tea were included with the meal. Adult beverages and desserts were available for an extra cost.

My meal-Chili with toppings, dolmades, salad, and green beans
Tony and I both ordered chili and salad, but his meal included falafel and hummus. We shared our bounty with each other, then splurged on dessert. I chose vegan chocolate cookies and Tony grabbed an apple-cranberry crumble. Everything was freshly prepared and quite tasty.

I already can't wait for the 2020 Unfish Fry.

Five years ago today: Tag It

Friday, March 15, 2019

Shortness Of Supply

At my checkup appointment last fall the doctor recommended I get the Shingrix vaccine for shingles. The drug website says that one out of three people in the United States will get shingles, and I've known enough people that have gone through the disease to want to protect myself. However, at that time the vaccine was relatively new (approved in October 2017 and officially recommended by the CDC for adults 50 and older in January 2018) and hard to find. I used that as an excuse to put off the task, transferring the doctor's note from month to month in my tickler file.

This month I decided to get serious about the task. Starting on March 1st I carried the reminder note around with me before the task rose to the top of my list, and for the last week I've been on a mission to complete it. That's been easier said than done.

My insurance will cover the cost of immunizations at any Walgreens pharmacy, and there are a lot of them around me. However, even though the drug website had it listed as available all over the area, none of the stores I checked with actually had the vaccine in stock. Finding it turned into a game. See a Walgreens, pop in, and ask at the pharmacy window.

Most locations told me they had a first come, first served policy and I was just out of luck. After three days the best I could do was put my name on a list, which had about 200 people ahead of me. I tried calling, but the automated menu to talk to a live person is arduous to navigate, and the hold times were so long I'd give up before I got through.

Yesterday I hit the immunization jackpot! At the pharmacy window the technician told me they had one dose in stock. It took twenty minutes from the time I walked in until the time I left, but it was time well spent.

After she administered the shot, the pharmacist told me most people had a sore arm that lasted for a couple of days, and a few reported they got a headache or felt tired and achy all over. I'm left-handed, so got the injection in my right arm. Good thing. Over the course of the day my arm got very sore. Before I went to bed I took some acetaminophen, but found I couldn't sleep on my right side. Overnight I had a headache and chills. (It also didn't help that I had done some gardening and, despite wearing gloves, got a sticker in my two different fingers, and I had sore muscles from a class at the the gym.) When I woke up I felt like I'd been run over by a Mack truck.

After a hot shower things slowly got better. I moved very slowly and was able to complete all of my errands for the day. Without too many issues.

The good news is that I got my Shingrix shot. The bummer is that I need another some some time between two and six months from now. I understand that the second time will be easier. I'm now on a priority list and will just get a call from the pharmacy telling me to come in.

Five years ago today: PLEASE?!?

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Put Water In Plants

I have a collection of potted plants that summer outside and spend the winter in the house. It started  years ago with a couple of hanging baskets. Every year since then it has grown, until now there's plants everywhere in the kitchen, and a few in the master bathroom, from late October until the weather warms back up.

This year there are several pots on the counter top behind the sink, another group on the window seat across the room, and two baskets hanging above them from hooks in the ceiling. The plants the cats like to nibble on are living above one of the kitchen cabinets. (They don't receive near enough sun there, but they survive well enough.)  Upstairs, there's a large pot on a ledge next to the bathtub and a smaller one on a second ledge. Since both Hubby Tony and I take showers instead of baths I even have a pot set inside the tub.


Watering all these plants is a big deal, and it takes the better part of an hour to finish the job. I start by adding a couple of inches of water to both sides of the double-bowl kitchen sink. Then I cram in all the smaller plants, pour more water on the top of the soil to filter through, and let them soak for 20 minutes to make sure everything is saturated. While they're soaking I run upstairs and start all the bathroom plants in the tub. When the first set is done in the kitchen I take them out to drain and repeat the process with the hanging plants.

Eventually everything is well wetted and I can put all the pots back where they belong. Until the next time.  I'm already counting down the days until I can think about putting all the plants back outside!

Five years ago today: Spring Cleaning...It’s Time!

Monday, March 11, 2019

There's A Day For Everything!

According to the Dull Men’s Club, the Monday of the second full week in March (which would be today) is Fill Our Staplers Day.


Mine needed it, so I did.