Sunday, April 19, 2015

Patriot Day


Concord Hymn
Ralph Waldo Emerson 
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
   Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
   And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
   Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
   Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
   We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
   When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
   To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
   The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Dear CoWorker

If there is one--and only one--order on the buggy, and you still can't figure out which order to do without asking me, you have no business becoming a teacher. 

I fear for our children's future. 

Stick with manual labor.  It suits you better.

Thank you.

That is all.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Staycation

That's what they call it these days when you take time off of work, but don't go anywhere. So, I took a staycation today. 

When I put in for the day, I was thinking about going up to Memphis to the zoo, but I decided against it.  I ended up not doing much of anything. 

I finished this washcloth.


And I watched TV, and that's about it. 

The best part about my day off, though, was when that alarm went off at 3:30 AM, and I turned it off, rolled over, and went back to sleep.

You have no idea how good that felt. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I Have Azaleas!


This bush is probably 15 years old, or thereabouts.


It hadn't bloomed in a few years.  Not much anyway.  It had maybe one or two blooms on it. 


I'd had two, and when they were small, they were OK.  But as they grew, they kind of crowded each other too much, and neither one bloomed.  Last year, I got my pruning saw out and whacked one of them completely to the ground.  It has started putting out new growth, though.  The good news is, the other one --while not completely covered -- has quite a few blossoms this go 'round.


On the other side of the house, I've got things happening in my wildflower bed.


Little stuffs are coming up all over the bed. 


Most of what I'd started in the peat trays is still alive and thriving.  The bad news is, the bugs have already found some of them. 


Sometimes, you just can't win for losing.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Knit One


I finished the first one, and started another washcloth.


These are the smaller size I like to use for my face.  The yarn is Peaches & Creme and the color is Pink Lilacs. 

Yesterday morning, I woke up at 5:20.  You know it's sad when your first thought is, "Boy it feels so good to sleep in until 5:20!"  I got up and let the dogs out, then I laid back down.  I thought they'd want back in soon, so I'd just relax until they got me back up.

Next thing I know, it's 8:30.  I must have needed that sleep.

I have an alarm set for 6:30, and I honestly don't remember it going off.  I was just that tired.  These 3:30 mornings are starting to catch up with me.  I can't turn down the overtime, though.  You've got to get it while you can, because one day -- just like that-- we'll be back to working 4 days a week. 

Needless to say, I didn't make it to church.  I'm so glad they started putting the sermons up on the church's website.   

I spent my afternoon watching the last Hobbit movie.  I must honestly say I was disappointed in them -- all three of them.  First of all, when you stretch out a single book into a trilogy, you have to add a lot of filler.  In this last movie, the filler was so trite and so cliche, it had me rolling my eyes more than once. 

Secondly, the CG -- which had been so masterful in the LOTR trilogy -- was very fake and cartoonish.  Most of the battle scenes looked like cheaply made anime cartoons.  In one of the battle scenes, you can see several groups of characters making the exact same movements.  It looked like a bad copy and paste job.  I really expected more from Peter Jackson. 

Finally, Legolas (what was he doing there in the first place?  Oh, yeah, filler) looked completely fake.   Did they even have Orlando Bloom there, or did they just animate him? Seriously, he looked plastic.

All in all, they were entertaining movies, but I'm not going to rush out and buy them.  I'll wait until they get tossed into the $5 bin at Wal-mart. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Eye Candy Friday

I keep running out to look at them, as if it will make them grow faster. 





Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I Couldn't Wait

I was going to wait a couple more weeks before planting my flower bed, but when I got home from work, and saw all that warm, inviting dirt where I'd raked the old mulch off yesterday, I couldn't wait.

I ran inside and got my garden claw, and clawed up the entire bed -- well, the half I intended to plant anyway.  "There," I said to myself.  "It'll be all ready for when I decide to plant in a couple of weeks."

But when I saw all that fresh tilled earth, all warm and soft and inviting, I couldn't wait.



I ran and got my starter trays with my little seedlings and nestled them into the warm earth.  "There," I said.  "Hopefully, there won't be another frost, but if there is, I still have those packs of seeds.  I'll plant them in a couple of weeks."



But as I stood there admiring my tiny plants, basking in the warm sun, I couldn't wait.


I ran inside and got my packets of seeds and cast them across the soil. 


Then I got down on my hands and knees and worked them into the loose earth, and gave the whole bed a good watering. 

And now, we wait...


Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Nothing New

Well, not quite nothing.  I have a couple of Iris blooming. 


That's about it.  The most exciting thing that happened today was that I got out and raked all of last year's mulch out of my flower bed.  I was going to show you, but I figured you've all seen dirt before.   It's about time, too, as my little seedlings are getting bigger and bigger.  It's nearly time to get them into the ground. 


Kindly ignore those oak pollen thingies.  They just come with the territory. 

We've got another major storm system supposed to come through on Friday,  so I'm thinking maybe one day next week I can get out and claw up the garden.  I don't think I'm going to plant anything other than wildflowers this year. 

You see, James is retiring at the end of the year, and they are moving back to Texas.  Since my house sits on their land, I've got to find a new place to live.  I don't want to plant a bunch of stuff, then just go off and leave it. 

I will admit, I'm both excited and a little terrified of buying a new house.  I've never taken on a 30 year mortgage before.  Even the house I'm living in now was only a 15 year loan.  Anyway, I've found a few houses I like, and that are in my price range.  The only problem is, they are on the opposite end of town that I want to live.  There is one that I really, really like, but it's smack dab in the middle of town.  I'm not sure I want to live in town. 

It's not like I have to decide right this very second, but I don't want to put it off too long.  It'll make for exciting blog fodder, though.  I'll be sure to keep you updated. 

Monday, April 06, 2015

Yeah, OK

Remember how I posted one day last week about how the other brazer for my line was out and Former Group Leader Rod wouldn't loan us one of his brazers for an hour?  Well, you know what they say about karma. 

That's right.  Guess who had a brazer out today.  And guess who they tried to send over there.  Um hum.  I told Supervisor Ronnie, "I'm about to say something very smart alecky." 

He said, "I know what you're going to say." 

Then I asked him, "If I go over there, who is going to help [the other brazer on my line]?"    That's when he told me to run back and forth between the two lines all day.  But I spent most of the day on my line, because Karma's a...well, you fill in the blank. 

It didn't help that my stomach was giving me troubles this morning.  I think it may have been that I've eaten way too many egg products these last few days -- holiday and all, you know. 

After work, I had to run into town to pay some bills, so I ran by the store to get more milk.  You know how they say not to go grocery shopping when you are hungry?  Yeah, well, really don't go down the half price Easter candy aisle when you're hungry.  And really, really don't go down the half price Easter candy aisle when you're hungry, tired, frustrated, and sick.


I won't mention the candy I ate before taking the picture.  And the cookies. 

I'm pleading the 5th. 

And going to bed.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Easter 2015

Just a few pictures from our Easter.

Cody in his new suit:


After eating dinner, Cody and Shelbi headed out to hide eggs: 


I think they had more fun hiding them than Cory did finding them. 


Look!  I found one!!


I find eggs, too, Mama? 


We've found them all; now, let's see what's inside.


Thursday, April 02, 2015

The Last Of The Daffs

This one is called an Easter Bonnet.  It is one of the last ones to bloom.


Many years ago, before I had internet, I ordered a mixed bag of daffodil bulbs from a catalog.  These are one of the varieties that was in the bag.  I'm not sure what they are, but I like them.


Behold, here we have the very last of the yellow daffodils. 


And that's it until next year.  I'm always a bit sad when the last of the daffs dies, but I do have this to ease my heartache.  This is one of the plants from my uncle's funeral.  I think this is a begonia, but I'm not completely sure.  Whatever it is, it's got some buds on it.


Speaking of not knowing something, one of my little trays of seedlings is doing really well. 


The other one isn't. 


I don't know what the difference is.  I planted them both at the same time.  I used the same types of seeds -- mixed wildflowers.  I water them at the same time, and keep them both in the same place.  Clearly, something is up with this second tray.  I'm just not sure what.  It has never done as well as the first tray.  I even replanted some seeds, and ...nothing.  I'm bumfuzzled. 

I'm itching to get out and get my flower beds going, but it's supposed to rain all next week.  Scattered showers, so it won't be like a constant deluge.  I'm thinking maybe next weekend. 

Yeah, that sounds good.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Wednesday And Stuff

I was going to post something yesterday, but by the time I got home, I was so tired I forgot what it was.  I was at work, and the other brazer was out.  You know how every time Former Group Leader Rod needs a brazer I have to go work on his line?   Well, when little brother Fernando needs a brazer, Rod miraculously doesn't have anyone to spare.  Somehow, they couldn't find anyone anywhere in the entire plant who could help me out. 

Basically, what that means is that I did a two person job by myself all day.  Needless to say, I was plumb tuckered when I got off.  Then I had to go to the post office.  Since I was in town already, I figured I'd run by the store and get another bag of dog food.

Them crazy dogs of mine think I'm supposed to feed them every day.  What's up with that? 

Anyway, I wandered back into the electronics department and they actually had some iPhone 5 cases, so I got one for Fred.  It's just a plain camouflage color, but I feel a lot better now that he has some protection on.

Today was a much easier day at work.  They announced that we would be working both Friday and Saturday.  My co-workers are clamoring for cookies, so I came home and mixed up the dough and put it into the refrigerator.  Not sure when I'm going to make them, but I will.

This afternoon, I saw a video on Facebook about coloring eggs.  This guy puts a little bit of rice in a cup, and adds food coloring.  Then he puts an egg into it and shakes it up.  The effect was really cool, so I had to try it with my remaining fake eggs.  This is the result:


The top three are pure yellow, pure green, and pure blue.  The bottom two are a mixture of blue and green.  To my dismay, I didn't have any red left, so this is all you get.  I think it turned out well, and the colors are certainly brighter than using the Paas tablets.   I'm thinking when I get some more red, I'll overdye the one on the bottom right and see how that works out. 


Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter Eggs

I tried to dye my fake eggs yesterday, and was a bit disappointed.  They did not take dye well at all.


They are even paler in person, now that they are fully dry.  I'm thinking they might work out better if I use some craft paint.  I think I still have some around here somewhere.  I may get one of those spongy things and do that thing where you speckle paint with the sponge.

I call it spongeling.  I don't know what the real term is. 

I was going to make the cookies, but I decided against it.  Rumor has it that we are going to work not only Friday, but Saturday also.  I won't know for sure until probably Wednesday. 

Whatever happens, I'll let you know. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekending

The phone and I are slowly getting used to each other.  For some reason, this phone has decided that he wants a name.  I've never had a phone with a name before, but this one wants to be called Fred.  Since I have been known to lose arguments with inanimate objects before, I decided to just go with the flow.

The phone is now named Fred. 

I went to Wal-mart after work yesterday to see if I could find a case and a car charger for Fred.  They were all out of cases, so that was a bust.  I looked on Amazon, but there were so many choices that I started to get overwhelmed.  I didn't order one yet.  I can't decide whether I want a Doctor Who, or Sherlock, or Walking Dead, or Dallas Cowboys....

They did have some car chargers, but I didn't want to spend $30 on a new one.  They had an adapter that I could have used with my iPhone 4s charger, but it cost just as much as a whole charger.  I ended up getting this:


It cost 1/3 as much as the charger, and I can use the cord that came with the phone.  I can also use it to charge my Kindle, if I take a road trip or something. 

A couple of weeks ago, a coworker asked when I was going to bring some more cookies to work.  The ones I brought in for Valentine's Day went over really well, so I figured I could make some more around Easter.  I had some Easter cookie cutters around here somewhere, or so I thought. 

I searched high and low, but couldn't find them.  Eh, I thought, I'll just buy some new ones.  They're cheap.  I started searching the stores for Easter type cookie cutters -- not just eggs, but anything Easter related.  I couldn't find anything.  I found butterflies and flowers, but nothing specifically Easterish.

Next step, check online.  I checked Amazon, Ebay, and Etsy.  They had some cutters, but not the ones I remembered.  Not the ones I wanted.  I was about to give up, when I wandered into one last vintage bakeware shop on Etsy.  Lo and behold, there they were!


Naturally, I ordered them straight away -- fearing all the while that someone else would type faster than I, and would beat me to them.  But no...I got them, and they arrived today.  Yippee!

While I was waiting for them to get here, I bought some colored sprinkles to decorate the cookies I plan on making. 


I also dug out my Easter cookie stamps. 


Now, I just have to wait and find out if they give us Good Friday off.  Some years they do; some years they don't. 

Either way, we're going to have cookies.  It's only a question of when.

One last thing:  it snowed today.  In Mississippi.  So, how's that global warming working out for ya?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yesterday's Post

This was supposed to be yesterday's post, but I was waiting for the FedEx guy.  I was expecting a package, so I was waiting on the FedEx guy. 

While I was waiting, I checked my mailbox.  There was a package in my mailbox.  It was the last Christmas present.

Beverly and James collect bird ornaments for their Christmas tree.  Back in November, I was looking in the Avon book, and saw this one.


 "What a great gift!"  I thought.  When I went to buy it, though, it was unavailable.  I clicked the link to have them notify me when it became available again.   Christmas came and went, and I never received the notification.  I bought them something else, and didn't think about it any more. 

About 10 days ago, I got the e-mail.  The ornament was back in stock.  Fat lot of good that did me, but then I thought, "what the heck, I'll buy it anyway.  At least they'll be able to add it to their collection."  And that is what I did. 

I was still waiting for the FedEx guy when the UPS guy arrived, bringing me my new movie.


I haven't watched it yet.  I'll probably wait until the weekend, so I can relax and really enjoy it.

I was still waiting for the FedEx guy, and getting a little aggravated.  I wanted to go take a shower to wash the day's sweat and grime from my body.  I figured it'd be just my luck that as soon as I got in the shower, he'd show up.  So, I waited.  Waited for the FedEx guy...

Finally, at 7:00 PM, the FedEx guy showed up.

"Had you given up on me?" he asked.

"Just about," I said. 

He explained that they had gotten so far behind because of all the ice and snow, and the airports being closed and the roads closed...they were just now starting to get caught up.  It's been rough, he said.

And just what had the long awaited FedEx guy brought me?  A new phone!


Yep, I was due for an upgrade.  I debated on skipping straight to the iPhone 6, but when I realized I could get a 5 for less than $100, my Luddite ways won out.    Besides, I figured, what do I use a phone for, but to check Facebook and play Hay Day?  Yeah, my issues run deep. 

I'll wait a few weeks before I give my opinion on it.  I'm still in the I don't like it!  It's new and I don't like new!  stage.  I'm sure I'll like it fine once I get used to it. 

Or as well as I can like any phone.  Like I said, my phone issues run deep. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

I'm Back!

Sort of.

I'm tired.  Incredibly, mind-numbingly tired.  So tired, I slept through my alarm yesterday morning.  I must have turned it off, but I honestly don't even remember doing so.  I'm just glad my church puts the sermons on their website.

Yes, I'm still going in to work at 5 AM, despite being so tired.  I have to get the overtime while I can.  You never know when they are going to say no more

Not much has happened since last I wrote.  I finished the hat I started last week when we took Cody back to school.


I planted a few of my wildflower seeds:


It's been so long since I blogged that they've actually started growing.



Since it has finally stopped raining -- for a few days at least-- I put them outside to get some sun.   I know some of my seeds haven't sprouted, but I'm hoping they will in a few more days.  Even if they don't, I have plenty of seeds left, and I'll plant some more in the empty peat.  I want to get out and start getting my beds ready, but it's still way too muddy.

Two things I've always carried with me since I was...well, since I was old enough that my mother couldn't forbid me to, are a pocket knife, and a cigarette lighter.  People often ask me why I carry a lighter when I don't smoke.  It's an old habit from the days when I spent my time roaming the woods.  If something happened, if I got lost, or hurt and couldn't make it back home, at least I could start a fire.

Back when I was in the Navy, I had a really nice Zippo.  I'm not sure what happened to it.  I think the ex stole it from me.  Since then, I've carried a disposable, but a while back, I saw some Zippos in the check out line at Wal-mart.  On impulse, I bought one.

Only, I couldn't find any lighter fluid.  I looked all over that store, every time I went in, and no lighter fluid.  Friday, I was wandering through the store, and lo and behold, there it was.  Lighter fluid. 


I grabbed it up, bought it, and brought it home, aaaaand,

I can't find the lighter. 

Sigh. 

Welcome to my world. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Feeling Almost Normal


I think I'm starting to adjust to this new work/sleep schedule.  I feel almost normal today -- normal enough to write a brief, yet meaningful, post.  Of course, the meaningfulness of what I say is always debatable.  But here you go.

The conundrum is that in order to get even a halfway decent night's sleep, I have to go to bed at a ridiculously early hour -- like 7:30 -- which leaves little time for, well for anything.  But you have to get the overtime while it's there.  All too soon, we will be back on four day work weeks.

I had to run to the store this afternoon, and found a few fascinating finds.  One of which was these fake Easter eggs.


I know some of you will think these are a waste.  Why not dye real eggs?  But for those of us who are allergic, these are a Godsend.  I can dye eggs again!  Well, I can dye them without having to waste a whole bunch of real eggs.  I don't know what they're made of, but they feel pretty sturdy.  I tried smashing one by squeezing it, and it wouldn't break.

Look!  Whole bean coffee!  Finally. 


I'd seen this brand in there before, but was cautioned that the Colombian Peaks variety would knock me upside the head.  It took forever for them to get some regular back in stock.  I was thinking that I was going to have to order some from Amazon.  I may yet, just to try different brands and such.  Looks like I can finally break out my bean grinder.  I haven't even taken it out of the box yet.   Beverly recommended this breakfast blend, so I picked up some of it, too. 


It's taken three years, but I think I finally consider myself a coffee drinker.  I even drink it on my days off, now.  I never used to do that.

 You know, earworms are a strange and wondrous thing.  I always have one or two rolling around in my head.  Today's earworms started off with Rocky Top, moved along to the theme from Vikings, and finally settled on this one:



There I was, lost in my own little world, singing Larry Boy and doing the asparagus' dance. Suddenly, it occurred to me that I was not alone.   I turned around, and there he was.  Group Leader Fernando.  Giving me the strangest look. 

"Are you all right?" he asked. 

I just laughed, and undaunted, danced on. 

Sometimes, you just have the music in you. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Safe And Sound

Cody has been delivered back to Mississippi College safe and sound.

Beverly and I took him down there this afternoon.  Since she drove the whole way (I did offer to spell her if she needed me to), I had plenty of knitting time.  Complicated lace doesn't make a very good traveling project, so I found a half ball of Cascade 220 Superwash and cast on another hat.


I got that much done by the time we got home.  It's almost to the point where I start the decreases. 

She asked me what I do with all those hats.  I told her I stick them in a drawer and sooner or later, a need comes up.  Like, a couple of years ago, I sent a bunch to New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy.  This time around, I want to help my own community out.  I'm hoping by fall I will have enough to take to our church's food pantry to give to local folks. 

It's a wonderful thing to be able to use your passion to help others.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

As If That Weren't Enough

As if coming in at 5 AM every day weren't enough...

Seems we have some big inspection coming up next month, so from now until then, Group Leader Fernando wants the place cleaned.  He spent too much time in the Army.  It's a process audit.  They won't be white gloving the pipes and stuff.  But he still wants them white glove clean.  Does he know we work in a factory? 

Nevertheless, he wants the place cleaned up, and said I can stay until 4 every day.  That'll make for long days, short nights, and very good paychecks. 

Speaking of paychecks, this afternoon, I helped Cody fill out his very first tax return.  Boy, the 1040EZ isn't nearly as EZ as I remembered.  Taxes have gotten so complicated it's not even funny.

Speaking of Cody, he's been home on spring break, but because I've been working such long hours, I've barely seen him.  Beverly and I are taking him back to school after church tomorrow.

Speaking of church, if I don't hurry and get to bed, I won't make it.

Speaking of making it, I had a really cool blog post about Pi day all mentally composed, but it's not going to make it.

Sorry about that.  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

It's Official

I got the word today.  Group Leader Fernando told me, "Keep coming in at 5 AM until I tell you to stop." 

Good for the paycheck, but boy will I miss sleeping!  Blogging will likely be sparse, too, at least until I get used to these hours.  I'll check in from time to time, just to let you know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.

Or washed away, which is more likely what with all the rain we've been getting. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must research the price of gopher wood before heading to bed. 


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Wiped Out

I know it's not in the Bible, but it is my firm belief that God never intended for us to get up in an hour that begins with the numeral 3. 

And yet, that's what I've been doing.  I can't turn down the overtime, even though it's leaving me feeling totally wiped out.  Add that to Daylight Savings Time, and I'm all out of sorts.  Thus, this post will be short, and I cannot vouch for its coherency.

Spring is just around the corner, and it's time to start my seeds.  I bought a new seed tray, since the one I've been using the last several years was just about worn out.


And since I couldn't find the packs of seeds I'd bought a couple of weeks ago, I bought two more.  Naturally, as soon as I got home, I found the other seeds.  I'll probably start them Saturday after work, since we're supposed to be completely deluged this week.  I find that my seeds to better if I set them outside during the day, and only bring them in if it's supposed to be cold.  Like in the 40s or so. 

OK, I'm beginning to ramble now.  Let's move on to the knitting front.   I know you remember the shawl with the hole in it.  I'm thinking I figured out how that hole got there.


 That cat, that cat....In the meantime, I've picked this one back up. 


It is the Anniversary Mystery Shawl from 2012, which I believe is the last one I participated in.  I just had too much going on to keep up with any more of these.

I've also made some hat progress.  


I have to confess, I'm having a bit of trouble warming up to this technique.  I don't like the ridge created at the color changes.  Perhaps with practice, I can minimize that.  I've got plenty of partial balls of hat yarn to work on it.  I'm still going to finish this hat, and see if the ridges soften up any when I wash it. 

I'm not sure how I did it, but if you look closely, you can see that some of the stripes don't match. But, like I said, I'm going to finish it anyway, and it will end up in the charity basket.  It's still wool, and it'll still be warm.  I'm sure whoever ends up with it will appreciate that, and won't look too closely at how well the stripes match.

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