Thursday, August 21, 2014

WAY COOL!!!

For some reason, this has been a rough week at work.  Add to that a rough week after work.  Today was the first day this week that I was able to come straight home.   When I got home, look what was waiting for me in my front yard.


Way cool, huh?  It had killed a squirrel and was eating in right in my front yard. 

It's a red tailed hawk -- my favorite of the hawks.  I was able to get really close to it, but the pictures still turned out a bit blurry.  I was snapping them in a hurry on my phone, and the auto focus just wasn't acting right.  By the time I got inside to get my big camera, it had flown away.

Probably because I let the dogs out. And yes, I know it's probably a she, given the size of her.  But I'm not for sure.

Look what else is cool:



One of my bluebonnets is blooming again!

Another one is budding again, but four of the six I had have died back.  I did manage to collect some seed pods from their first blooming.  I might try planting them in my wildflower beds next year.

Well, Cody is heading back to college tomorrow, for his third year.  Hardly seems possible.

Where does the time go?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Today

Today has been a much better day. I knew it would be when I made it to work with both my coffee and my glasses.  

I knew it was going to be a really good day when...well, you see, Group Leader Fernando has gotten into this thing where he gives me the Stink Eye.  He's just being silly, but it is pretty funny.  Today, he was walking down the aisle when he started giving me the Stink Eye.  He kept on walking, giving me the Stink Eye over his shoulder as he continued down the aisle.

Where he ran smack into a buggy full of sheet metal parts.

I laughed so hard I nearly choked on the Nutri-Grain apple cinnamon cereal bar I was eating.  To add insult to injury, Supervisor Calvin saw it too, and he had to come over and rub it in a little.  That'll teach him. 

The rest of the day went off without a hitch, unlike yesterday.  Oh, yesterday was exciting.  Demarius' gas miser broke and flames went shooting all the way up to the ceiling.  OK, OK, not quite up to the ceiling, but they were big enough.  Jeff hit the emergency shut off button, then hit the flames with the fire extinguisher, and that was the excitement for yesterday. 

I mean, besides me being blind and cranky all day. 

One day this week, I'm going to be able to come straight home from work and not do anything.  Today was not that day. 

You see, I have these crazy dogs, and they seem to think I am supposed to feed them every single day. After work, I had to run into town -- again -- and get some more dog food.  Them dogs better appreciate me. 

Finally, so this post isn't a total waste of space, I got a surprise Saturday when I was cleaning out Scarlett's tank.


She'd laid eggs!  Of course, they weren't fertile, since she's never been with a male.  This is the second time she's done that.  Sometimes I wish I had the setup and time and all to breed her, but I don't. 

It would be cool, though.  Baby snakes are so cute. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

One Of Those Days

It all started when I got to work and realized I'd forgotten my brazing glasses.*  I had to wear my safety glasses with the clip on flip down lenses, which I don't like because they hurt my nose.

I got out of my Jimmy, and got my tool bag out of the back seat.  That's when I realized I'd left my coffee in the cup holder in the front.  I opened the front door, reached for my coffee, and horror of horrors, the cup holder was empty.  I'd left my coffee on my kitchen cabinet.   At home.

The day had just started, and I was already ready to throw in the towel.

And what was the cause of this discombobulation?

I had a package to mail.  Not just any package.  A very special package.

My cousin Jennifer's husband is in the Army.  Ever since I bought my Shields of Strength a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't stop thinking about them.  They needed some Shields of Strength, too.  


I was so concerned about not forgetting the package -- because I have to go straight to the post office straight from work, or I won't go -- that I forgot everything else.   That package was pretty important. 

This is Billy's, 'cause he's the one in the Army.


It has part of Joshua 1:9 on the back. 


This is Jennifer's, 'cause she's the one married to the guy in the Army.


And hers has this verse on the back; appropriate for a military wife, because they have to be strong through so much. 


They didn't have an "Army Daughter" tag, so I got this one for Alexa.  It's kind of hard to read, but it says, "In honor of an American hero."  Every little girl's daddy should be her hero.  Alexa's really is.


This is her verse: 


And for the little boy, Brody, a little shield. 


His verse shows where our strength really comes from.


Yeah, they needed those. 

While I was shopping, I threw these two coins into the cart, as well. 


The Navy coin had Joshua 1:9 on the back, which is good, but I really, really wanted this verse that's on the back of the Army coin:


I know, I know.  I wasn't in the Army, but I figure enough of my family members were that I can carry this coin in honor of them.  And I did go.  Just not in the Army. 

So, at long last, the work day ended.  I went to the post office, where I was pleasantly surprised at how cheap it was to send a package to Hawaii, and finally made it home. Where my coffee was waiting for me. 

Right on the counter where I'd left it.


*The back story:  I'm telling it down here because it interrupted the flow of the narrative.  I work as a brazer.  That means I use a propylene torch and silver alloy brazing rod to join copper components together.  The flame is very bright, and you can't look at it with your naked eye.  Therefore, we have to wear glasses with very dark flip down lenses on them.  Back in the day, the plant would buy us brazing glasses with our prescription lenses in them, but they don't do that any more.  I have to wear the larger size, very boxy brazing glasses over my regular prescription glasses.  The new glasses I got a few weeks ago are larger than my old glasses, and the brazing glasses don't fit over them very well.  I wear them at home, and take the old ones to work.  This morning, after I'd gotten to work, I realized I had the wrong sized glasses on. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Blah Day

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know you come here looking for a long and interesting post.  It ain't happening today.  Today was a very blah day.  So, here are some pictures:

'Merica sock progress:


I'm past the heel turn and working on the gusset decreases. 

Scarf Progress:



The yarn is some Plymouth Encore that I bought on clearance from the now closed Hank Of Yarn.  I was a bit worried how it would work if I used it for both the warp and the weft, but I think it's turning out pretty funky. 

I've never been a fan of tattoos.  It's not the idea of body art that puts me off.  It's the idea of a lifetime commitment.  The same reason I've chosen not to marry.  I don't do lifetime commitments.  Anyway, I found this henna kit at Wal-mart and decided to give it a whirl. 


Henna is a dye that will wear off in a week or two.  I haven't done it yet, though.  I have to be in the henna mood.  I've seen some indigo on Amazon.  I'd like to get some of that and do some Celtic designs.  Getting in touch with the other side of my heritage.  The non-Viking side. 

And finally, the third in my series of snake protraits.  This is Scarlett, a bloodred corn snake. 

 
She was very difficult to get a picture of.  She wouldn't be still. 

And don't even think about asking her to smile. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Happy Birthday, Aunt Martha

Today is my Aunt Martha's birthday.


It's the first one since we lost her in January, and that makes it just a bit difficult.   I've been somewhat nostalgic all week, thinking of how special she was.  She was my Dad's oldest sister, and when we were growing up, they lived on the street behind us. Between our street and theirs was some woods. My dad and my uncle had cut a trail through the woods so we kids could run back and forth without having to get out on the highway. 

Which wasn't really a highway, but for some reason people called it that. 

One of my favorite things to do with Aunt Martha was to help her with ceramics.  She never got mad at me, even when I messed things up.  "It's OK," she would say.  "We'll just put it back into the pot to melt it down and pour it again." 

Then there was the summer we were working on Nativity sets.  "Working on these makes me feel like I need to be listening to Christmas music,"  I said to her." 

"Well, then, let's just put some on!"  My Auntie said, and she did, even though it was August.  So, all of you who get on me about listening to Christmas music in summer time, it's her fault. 

My first really clear memory of Aunt Martha was when I was the flower girl in my cousin Kathy's wedding.  Kathy is my other aunt, Aunt Bonnie's, oldest daughter.  I was the flower girl and my brother was the ring bearer.  I was 4, and Russell was 6.   We'd had the rehearsal and everything went well.

I do remember someone telling me that in the real wedding, I'd have rose petals in my little basket to spread down the aisle, but for today we'd just pretend.  So, I walked down the aisle pretending to drop the rose petals.  I mean literally.  I was reaching into the basket just as if the petals were really there. 

The next day, during the real wedding, I was walking down the aisle dropping my little rose petals.  As I neared the front of the church, I saw Aunt Martha wildly gesturing and pointing.  I thought -- as young as I was-- I thought, "She must think I don't know where to go."  But I did. 

Many, many years later, as I was preparing for my own wedding, I recalled that memory for Aunt Martha and Aunt Bonnie.  We all had a good laugh about it. 

There is so much more I could tell you about her.  She was such a sweet lady. 

I miss her terribly. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Chats On The Farmhouse Porch



Today's chat:

1.  Are you still enjoying (or not) summer, or are you geared for fall? 

 No, I am not enjoying summer!  I am so ready for fall, I did the dance of joy when I saw they were putting out fall decorations in Wal-Mart. 

2.  What's the one room in your home that you'd like to make a big change to?

 I'd have to say Cody's bedroom.  I really, really need to get it cleaned out. 

3.  Do you ever send "snail mail"? 

 Only if I'm sending packages.  Otherwise, it's e-mail or texts. 

4.  Do you dream? Often? Do you have nightmares? 

 Yes, I pretty much dream every night, even though I don't always remember my dreams.  I used to have nightmares all the time.  They were a pretty popular blog topic at one time.  Since Jesse has started sleeping in the bedroom with me, I don't have them as much.  It's been a long time since I've had a truly frightening dream. 

5.  Tell me something that makes you happy. Please. 

Peak season being over and having Saturdays off once again makes me happy.  I was just thinking this morning how nice it was to be able to get the laundry done before 10:00 PM.  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Upheaval

I'm telling you, I did not want to go back to work today.  That's why I don't really like to take days off.  I never want to go back.  The longer I'm off, the less I want to go back.  But I've got to use my vacation days up before I lose them, so expect a few more days off.  

This time of year is what I like to refer to as Upheaval Time at work.  That's when they lay off the temps, shut down the temp line, and move people around and all. 

I do not like upheavals.  I don't like change at all. 

Well, we had a pretty good upheaval this year.  Our production superintendent Jonathan resigned.  He said he had to leave for family reasons.  He didn't go into detail, so I don't really know what is going on with his family. 

Needless to say, there is always a bit of trepidation when we are facing a new production superintendent.  You never know what you're going to end up with.  Is he going to be a good boss or a bad boss?  Will he be a good leader or a screaming maniac? 

We've had both kinds out there. 

Scuttlebutt has it that the job is going to be given to someone who already works there.  That's just water cooler talk, though.  We'll have to just wait and see.

Scuttlebutt:  that's water cooler talk for you non Navy folks. 

Short post today, but I hope to get caught up this weekend.  I actually have mentally composed posts, but it just seems too tedious to sit down and type them all out.  Maybe I need to go back to writing them out in longhand first.

That seemed to work well.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Three Years Ago Today

Three years ago today, I went down to the local pet store adoption drive, just to see what they had. I came home with this sad looking little feller.


Today, he is happy, healthy, and the delight of my life. 


"I'm so glad you found me, Mom." 


I took him in to the vet for his annual checkup and shots.  When we were leaving, this couple pulled into the parking spot next to us.  The man motioned for me to roll down my window, and when I did, he asked me, "What kind of dog is that?"

I said, "I have no idea.  He came from the pound." 

By that time, his wife had come around the car, and she said, "He could be an exact clone of my daughter's dog.  She is half chow, half lab."  Then she began describing Jesse exactly.  Then she asked, "Does one ear stay up and one ear go down?" 

Yep, that's my Jesse.  I think we may have found his sister.

I spent the rest of the day puttering around the house.  Surprisingly, the dogs let me sleep until 7:30.  I didn't get half of the things on my incredibly long list of things to do done, but I did get the dreaded carpet shampooed.  So, that's taken care of, until the next time someone urfs.

I got the Christmas tree almost finished. 



I still have to backstitch three big snowflakes, and about a hundred French knots. French Knots are the bane of my existence. 

And I got a few more rounds of my 'Merica socks done.


It's a very patriotic yarn, don't you think?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Day Off

A few days ago, I realized that here it was August already, and I had only taken two days off of work all year.   I have 18 vacation days left, and we can't carry them over.  I'd hesitated to take them, just in case they cut us back to 4 day weeks again this year. 

But then, I realized I needed to take a day. I was tired.  Things weren't going well at work.  I was stressed.  I just needed a break.  So, I scheduled a day for tomorrow. 

Tonight, I'm sitting here thinking of a long list of things I need to get done, but what I'll actually end up doing is sitting in front of the TV all day thinking about the long list of things I need to be doing instead of sitting in front of the TV all day. 

Yeah.

Moving right along...

I haven't warped the loom since I finished the pink and white scarf Saturday night.  Interesting thing about that scarf.  We had a little birthday dinner for Dennise Sunday, and as soon as I walked in, Mike was asking me to make something for a cancer charity auction.  I said, "I have just the thing."  It didn't have the pink ribbon he wanted, but it was the right colors. 

Almost.  That's where the pink scarf went. 

Since then, I decided I need to finish up some other projects that have been languishing.  I finished this hat.


The yarn is King Cole Splash.  I'd cast on 120 stitches with size 7 needles.  I don't know what I was thinking.  It made a rather large hat.  Well, it'll be good for someone who doesn't want to squash her hair.  Or someone with a gigantic head.  People do come in all shapes and sizes. 

I worked a bit more on this sock.  I'd cast it on early in July, but it had been languishing since I got the loom.


I have no idea what the yarn is, because I lost the ball band years ago.  It is a cotton blend, and the pattern is just a plain vanilla sock. 

Well, I'd better get to bed.  I don't know why I always think I can stay up late before a day off.  I end up waking up at the same time anyway. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Oh Captain, My Captain

I must confess, I wasn't one of his biggest fans, but I have a lot of respect for the way he always supported our troops.  This video does have some language in it, but it was one of his finest moments.

*Edited:  found a video with the language bleeped out.  



Robin Williams

1951-2014


Saturday, August 09, 2014

Another One

I was digging through my stash last night, trying to decide which yarn to use to warp my loom, when I found this. 


I started that sweater at least 10 years ago.  I got that far, and decided I really didn't like that pattern all that much, so I set it aside.  I'd intended to frog it and reuse the yarn, but I just never got around to it.  I had plenty of yarn left over, since I'd bought a sweater's worth.  That's what I decided to warp the loom with.

I had a little bit of white yarn left over from who knows what, so I decided to get adventurous. 


I'd never tried anything like this, having had my loom only a month, but I wanted to give it a go.  It was kind of a pain having to change colors every few rows, but I think it turned out very nice.


Here is the second in my series of snake portraits. 


This is Monty, Cody's ball python.  He is 9 years old, and no he was not named after Monty Python.  Cody named him after Monty Montgomery, from the A Series Of Unfortunate Events books. 

That's two down, five to go.  And now I have to figure out what to warp the loom with.  Again. 

It's a never ending struggle, I tell ya.

Never ending.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Dear CoWorker

This is my brother in his Army uniform.


This is my daddy in his Army uniform.


This is my Pappaw in his Army uniform.



And even though I don't have a picture of him, I have it on good authority that my great grandfather is buried in his army uniform. 

Therefore, I suggest that if you have a problem with our group leader, you say something negative about the Army.  I'm not going to do it.

Thank you.

That is all.

Sincerely,

A proud veteran of the United States Navy.


Thursday, August 07, 2014

Almost There

The latest scarf is off the loom.


This is the yarn that had such an identity crisis, but I think it has finally found its heart.    It is Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome Select, and I think the colorway is Birch.  Or Birches, or something like that.  I don't remember, because I lost the ball band.  I tried to look it up, but apparently, this color has been discontinued.  Oh, well.  It makes a lovely scarf.  I think the yarn is finally happy.

It had better be.  It's too late now to change its mind again. 

Instead of warping the loom again, I decided I needed to take some time to work on the long neglected Christmas tree ornament. 


I was trying to get it finished, but it isn't going to happen tonight.  Soon, though.  Soon.

Well, for those of you who have been keeping up with my little personal problem, I think I finally have some good news. 

For those of you who haven't, let me briefly recap.  Four or five years ago, I noticed that I had started going through The Change.  I'm not ashamed to talk about it.  It's a natural thing that all women go through. 

I'm not embarrassed to tell you my age either.  Growing old is a privilege denied to many.  I'll be 50 in November, and there's a lot of people who don't make it that far. 

Anyway, I noticed I was going through The Change.  Shortly thereafter, I began taking an over the counter supplement called Estroven.  It really helped me out with the mood swings, hot flashes, and night sweats.

Yes, I still believe in the Oxford Comma.  But I digress...

Lately, though, I noticed that the caplets looked different and that the supplement no longer delivered the same benefits as it did previously.  I contacted the company and was informed that they had changed the formula.  I don't know why.  Seems like a good way to kill your business.  But they had.  They'd changed the formula, and it no longer worked on me.  Mood swings -- mostly weepiness-- and hot flashes returned with a vengeance.  I began searching for something to replace the now ineffective Estroven. 

After several months of trying different things, I think I've about got it lined out.  I'm able to control my moods with a combination of 5-HTP, SAM-e, and St. John's Wort.  It leaves me a little flat, but that's better than crying all the time.  I tried several things to help with the hot flashes and night sweats, and finally hit on something I think will work. It's called i-Cool.  You can find it at Wal-mart.

I started taking it Saturday, and by the third day, I had already noticed an improvement.  Instead of hot flashes, I was having what might be called very warm flashes.  I'd still get flushed and warm, but I wasn't drenched in sweat any more.  By Wednesday -- day 5-- I slept through the night for the first time in a long, long time.  I've also noticed that my very warm flashes have been reduced to just warm flashes, and they don't seem to be happening as frequently. 

I know that not every product works the same for everyone, but if you are dealing with menopausal symptoms, I'd recommend giving this a try. 

At least I know that any sweating I'll do is because it's August.  And it's Mississippi. 

If you look up "sweat" in the dictionary, it'll say:  Mississippi in August. 

Honest and for true. 

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Chats On The Farmhouse Porch


 1.  What's the earliest time in your life you can remember? Can you remember being 2 years old, 5 years old, etc?

I have one very clear memory that took place when I was 2 years old.  We'd gone to my aunt and uncle's house in Mobile, AL, to visit my newest baby cousin.   We were all in their back yard playing in a blow up wading pool.  My two older cousins and my brother wanted my uncle to drag the swing set over so they could slide down the slide into the swimming pool. 

I also remember my grandma and grandpa taking me fishing when I was three.  We were all camping at Sam Rayburn, and they took my brother and me out on the boat.  My grandpa put a minnow on my hook and told me to leave it in the water until it grew up.  That was the first fish I ever caught.

2.  What's do you like to put on pasta? (Your favorite topping.) 

 Butter, and that's it.  I don't like spaghetti sauce at all.  I can take Alfredo sauce, but mostly just butter.  Unless it's mac and cheese.  Then it needs cheese.

3.  Is there something that takes time away from more important things in your life? (TV, internet, talking on the telephone, etc.)

Internet, although now that Cody's grown and gone, and I'm alone in the house, there isn't much important things that it's taken me away from.

4.  Do you buy many clothes that are "high maintenance"? (Clothes that need to be ironed, dry cleaned, or hand washed) 

Nope.  If it can't be tossed into the washer, I won't buy it.  I do have a few line dry only clothes, but they are for Sunday only.

5. Please finish this sentence. "I'd like to visit the beach today and-------------------------." 

Never come back.   Ever. 

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

A Butterfly

In my garden!  I managed to snap these with my phone. 






The sun was so bright, I couldn't see my screen, so I was snapping blind-- hoping at least one of them turned out well. 

I think I did OK. 

Monday, August 04, 2014

I'm Back

Yeah, it's been a few days.  Truth is, there just wasn't that much to blog about, so instead of boring you with a bunch of nonsensical filler, I just took a short break.

While I was taking said break, I finished another scarf.


For this one, I used Red Heart Team Spirit in blue and gold for both the warp and the weft.  It turned out pretty interesting, though not what I had thought it would look like.  I still have an entire skein of this left.  If I make another one, though, I think I'm going to use a solid blue for the warp, and the self striping for the weft.

A couple of years ago, I'd bought a whole bunch of Cherry Tree Hill yarn on clearance.  One of the yarns I bought was this:  


I think the colorway was called Birch, but I don't remember.  I lost the ball band quite a while back.

Well, this yarn, once I decided that Cherry Tree Hill was no good for socks, went through a bit of an identity crisis.  

The first thing it thought it wanted to be was a Clapotis.   I'd gotten this far, when the yarn decided it didn't want to be a Clapotis after all.


Then the yarn decided it wanted to be a ribbed scarf.  Not very far into that scarf, the yarn had a change of heart.  It didn't want to be a ribbed scarf, either.


Next, the yarn declared that it wanted to be a linen stitch scarf.  Only a couple of rows in, the yarn said no.  No, it didn't want to be a linen stitch scarf. 

Dutifully, I frogged the linen stitch scarf.  But what to do with the yarn? 


Yep, I warped the loom with it.  I'm using it for the weft, too. 

And the yarn is happy now. 

I've begun the task of cleaning the snake tanks.  I spot clean every time I feed them, but every few months I do a complete clean out -- change the substrate, wash the water bowls, etc.  I thought it'd be a good time to take some new portraits.  Here is the first one: 


This is Slider, a 10 year old ball python. I've got a guy at work who wants him.  I asked him if his wife would be OK with a snake in the house, and he just said, "SHHHHH!!!  We'll talk about that later." 

Finally, I had some potatoes that were about to go bad, so I cut them up and made potato soup in my new Kitchen Kettle.  I'm tellin' ya, it was so nice to set the temperature and not have to worry about it boiling over or the bottom scorching or anything like that. 

I'm thinking that there kitchen kettle was a wise investment. 

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