Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Helix Knitting

A couple of days ago, someone posted this video on Facebook.

It's a technique that is new to me, so I wanted to try it out.  This is my first attempt. 

The first color change:

And the second:

I'm going to have to work out some tension issues at the color changes, but I think it'll be a good thing in the end.  I can use up all those half skeins of hat yarn making stripey hats. 

And yes, I'm still working on the neverending shawl. 

Monday, March 02, 2015

Here We Go Again...

Winter storm Thor is expected to hit Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, with sleet and freezing rain.  Sigh...Once upon a time, I loved winter.  Now that I'm a bit older, it's just wearisome.

Speaking of winter storms...

Last Thursday when we had all that snow, lots of people missed work.  My guess is that the final tally of who showed up was between 50 and 75 employees. 

Friday, management made the announcement that those who did not show up due to the weather would not receive an absence in their attendance records.  Naturally, this did not set well with those of us who did show up.

I came home that evening and wrote a scathing e-mail to our Director of Operations.  It went something like this:

Dear Mr. T----,

It is with some consternation and distress that I have read your recent decision not to assess points for those who missed work due to the weather conditions on February 25 and February 26. Perhaps you are unaware that many of your employees did report to work on those days. The roads we drove were no less icy, nor were the driving conditions any less hazardous for us than they were for those who chose not to report to work. Yet we came anyway.

In declining to assess points against those who did not report to work, you are in effect saying that the extra effort we made to get here, and our dedication to the company mean nothing to you, or to ADP

No, I did not send it, but just writing it out eased my ire somewhat.

I got to work Saturday morning, and apparently enough people were upset about management's decision, that they decided to reward those who came to work that day.  We are going to get 1000 "cool points" that can be redeemed in the company's "cool stuff" store. 

Funny thing is, some of the ones who didn't come are squawking that this isn't fair to them.  Why should we get a reward for just doing our job?  Hey, they had the choice to show up, and they chose to stay home.  If you ask me, what they should have done is closed the plant for that day.  If they aren't going to do that, then keep the attendance policy in place--or announce ahead of time that it will be suspended for inclement weather.  

Now, we are supposed to have more ice this Thursday.  I wonder if they are going to give those who stay home a free pass again.  They haven't said anything about it yet.  Well, I won't have to worry about it.  I took a vacation day for that day as soon as I saw the forecast. 

Just call it a pre-emptive strike. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Mr. Spock

Geekdom has lost a true icon today. 

And yet, if he were to leave us one last message, it would be:

Live Long, and Prosper.

Rest in Peace

Leonard Nimoy

March 26-1931 -- February 27, 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Day

Despite a final tally of 5 1/2 inches of snow,

we didn't get one.   Schools were closed.  The doctor's office was closed.  Everywhere was closed.  Even the highway department was closed. 

But ADP was open, so out into the cold I went.

As I predicted, half the plant didn't show up.  Even my supervisor wasn't there.  Group Leader Fernando wasn't there, either.  Former Group Leader Rod said he wasn't there.

"You don't think he's coming?" I asked.

"I know he's not coming," Rod replied.  "He rides with me, and I called him this morning and told him I wasn't coming down there to get him."

"Some brother you are!"  I said.

On the way out the door, I took one last photo of the snow before it all melted.

This is the part of snow that I don't like.  When it starts melting and turns into a muddy, shushy mess.  I think snow should just suddenly vanish. 

All day long, I was thinking, "At least I have The Big Bang Theory and Vikings to look forward to", but when I got home, the cable was out.  I was a bit bummed, but at least I never lost my electricity.  So many people in the area have been without power since yesterday.  (That may be why the cable is out, too.)

I still have internet, so tonight is a Netflix night.  Currently viewing season 5 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. 

And knitting.  Always with the knitting...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Let It Snow!

I was at work, just a working away, when along about 1:00, somebody hollered, "It's snowing!" 

You know when you're driving down the highway and someone passes you going really fast, and it makes that "whoomp" sound?  That was the sound created by everyone rushing to the window to look out at the snow. 

OK, so maybe I exaggerate...just a bit.

Sure enough, it was snowing, and it still hasn't stopped.  It has slowed down quite a bit, but as I type this, it's still snowing.  I know some of you are wondering why this is such a big deal, but it's not often we get a good snow like this.

Be that as it may, they didn't let us leave work early.  I said, "How do you expect me to get anything done when it is snowing?"  Nothing brings out the kid in me like a good snow.  But they were not swayed.  About half the plant left early anyway, but I wasn't willing to give my monthly perfect attendance bonus over a little snow.  We're supposed to call in the morning to see if we are working or not. 

As soon as I got home --oh, I did slide on a bit of ice while crossing a bridge, but didn't panic and quickly regained control of my Jimmy-- I grabbed my camera and set out to take some pictures.

Jesse seemed to get a kick out of the snow.  I don't know if he's ever seen any.  It hasn't snowed like this since I've had him.

Then I came inside and made some snow ice cream.  Can you believe, I'm 50 years old and have never made snow ice cream?  A significant lack of snow in my life is my only excuse for that.  But I've made it now, and even put some away in the freezer.

Now, for some reason, I want to listen to Christmas music. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bracing For Round Two

We made it through yesterday's ice storm just fine.  Now they are predicting up to 6" of snow for tomorrow.  If I'd wanted this kind of weather, I'd have moved to Alaska.

Anyway, I took advantage of the relative warmth of the day to run to the store after work.  I was out of dog food, and those crazy dogs of mine seem to think I need to feed them every day.

They're so demanding.

While I was there, I picked up another gallon of milk from the half empty dairy case, and a pack of toilet paper.  I've got plenty of soup in the freezer and lots and lots of hot tea.

Bring on fimbulwinter!  I'm ready!

I'm hoping the power doesn't go out, but if it does, I'll just go next door.  They have a fireplace and a generator.

Squeaky says, "I've got my bwankie.  I'm ready too."

Monday, February 23, 2015


That's what we are.  Frozen. 

Just out of curiosity, I checked the temperature in Fairbanks, Alaska, where my sister lives.  It's warmer there than it is here in Mississippi. 

I guess that's where all of Al Gore's global warming went.

Friday, February 20, 2015

New Stuffs

I've got some wonderful friends on Facebook.

Or, should I say, I've got some wonderful enabling friends on Facebook?

Yes, I do.

One of those friends recently suggested a movie on Netflix.  Being bored one Sunday afternoon, I watched it.  That movie was so good, I immediately went to Amazon.com and added it to my shopping cart.  

If you are any sort of a Civil War aficionado, I definitely recommend this one.  I don't want to give too much away... just watch it. 

I have this other friend, Sue, who is like, the absolute queen of enablers.  She's the reason I have a fish.  

A while back, she got into doing this stuff called Zentangle.  Basically, it's fancy doodling.

And BOOM goes the head of every Zentangle purist! 

Anyway, she recently recommended this book.

One friend mentioned that she ordered it.  Then another...and...yep, I jumped on that bandwagon, too.  I've glanced through it, but haven't really started doing anything. 

Just what I need, another hobby. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Slow Blogging

Yeah, this has been a slow week for blogging.  Not much has been happening, so you get photos of the weather forecast.

Yes, it is supposed to be 15' in the AM.  FIFTEEN degrees.  We aren't even getting any snow to make the cold worth it.  I thought this was the South. 

Drat that global warming!  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Your EEK Moment For Today

I was knitting on the shawl.  That same shawl that I've been knitting on for five long, interminable years.

I was knitting away, determined to finally get the stupid thing finished when I dropped a stitch.  Now, normal stockinette stitching I can fix something like that pretty easily, but this is lace.  Not easy lace, either.  This is the kind of lace that will make you curse it's existence and all who sail in her.

I tried to fix it.  I really did.  But I ended up doing more harm than good.  I thought the better part of valor would be to just rip back to the lifeline and start from there.  To my horror, in so ripping, I discovered that my lifeline had come untied and had pulled out of half of the round.

Noooooooo!!!  I thought briefly about ripping the entire shawl out and being done with it, but quickly decided against that.  I'd put too much time, effort, tears, and curse words into this bit of lacy torment to give up now.  

Fortunately, somewhere in the midst of this self inflicted torture I call lace knitting, I'd developed the habit of leaving two lifelines in place.  So, I had to rip back a bit further than I'd intended, but at least I didn't have to start over from the beginning.  I've finally got my stitches all picked back up and am soldiering on

more determined than ever to get this blinking thing finished.   And when I do, I'm going to declare it a national holiday. 

Then, I'll pick up the next half finished lace shawl, and we'll start the whole process all over again. 

You can fill out the commitment papers now. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Oh, The Weather

Outside is frightful.  If I had a fire, it'd be delightful.

It rained pretty much all day, and by the time we got off of work, the temp had dropped, and ice was starting to build up.  Around 5-ish, the rain stopped, so I bundled up and went outside to refill the bird feeder.  While I was out there, I decided to go ahead and scrape the ice off my truck, so I wouldn't have to do it in the morning.  I got my windows cleared and my doors opened -- I had to pour water over them to melt enough ice to get them open-- and wouldn't you know it... it started raining again. 

It seems the rain is done for now, so I guess I'll go back out and see what the damage is.  I'm tellin' ya, it's cold out there.  I had a towel that I was drying my windows with, and I dropped it into a puddle.  I set it on the hood of my car, and within 5 minutes, it had started to freeze to the metal. 

The bad part is, all my Facebook friends are posting lovely photos of snowscapes, and all I get is ice.  And cold.  Bone chilling cold and dampness.

But in the midst of all this, my crazy Whatever Cactus has started to bloom again.

I finally got the plants from my uncle's funeral repotted.  

That's about all I have for you today. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

A Nice Surprise

There was a box waiting for me when I got home from work.  I large box.  I was a bit confused, as I hadn't ordered anything -- especially not something that big.   Curiously, I looked at the label, trying to figure out from where this large box had come.  Then I saw it:  Lennox, Intl. 

It was my coffee maker! 

This was a nice surprise, because the confirmation e-mail I had gotten said it wouldn't even be shipped until Feb 20.    Wrestling the large box inside my house, I eagerly cut open the tape, and yes, there it was!  My coffeemaker!!

I set the mill aside for now, because I've still got plenty of already ground coffee to use up first.   I'll get back to it later.

I got a bit of a chuckle at these:  

Nevertheless, I wanted to savor the experience, so I followed them exactly.  After getting the coffeemaker out of the box and all unpacked, I followed the manufacturer's recommendation and ran a carafe of plain water through it to clean out any dust that may have settled during shipping and such.

Even though I know I'm going to regret it later, as I'll be up half the night from the caffeine, I couldn't wait until morning to enjoy my first cup of coffee.  

On the bright side, I'll get plenty of knitting done!!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

An Unexpected Day Off

I was there at work, just a working away, when Group Leader Fernando called everyone to the end of the line.

Long story short, seems the plant had run out of some vitally important oil, without which they could not run some vitally important machines, and they were sending everyone home.  They are calling around to some of the other local plants to see if they have some of this vitally important oil they could lend us.  If no one has any, we'll be off tomorrow, too.  They want us to call in the morning to see if we're working or not.  

I know you're on the edge of your seat wondering what I did with my unexpected day off, so I'll tell you.  Since I was up and dressed, I decided to go into town and run some vitally important errands I'd been putting off all week.  I paid my dentist bill, ran to the post office, went to the hardware store (and finally bought a replacement doorknob), then to Wal-Mart for my shopping.

Look, I found some whole bean coffee! 

This is the only brand I saw there.  I've never tried it, so I don't know if it's any good or not.  I didn't buy it, because it'll be a bit before my coffee mill gets here anyway.  At least I know that they have some when the time comes.  I haven't checked any of the other local stores to see what they have.

As I was wandering through the store -- discovering that Thursday morning is a very good time to shop-- I happened upon one, lonely copy of this:

I'd had it in VHS, but since my VCR crapped out a couple of years ago, I hadn't been able to watch it.  Sometimes I manage to catch it when it comes on TV, but other years, I miss it completely.  Now, I don't have to miss it at all! 

I was not pleased to see this mug.

America's war on boys continues.  Just imagine the outcry if it had said girls are dumb, yet this is supposed to be OK?  Needless to say, I did not buy it.

Once I'd gotten my business in town taken care of, I came back home and settled in for an afternoon of knitting and Netflix.  I was getting to the end of my yarn, so I started to wind another hank.  I got so aggravated.   The yarn was all kinds of tangled up, and in pieces! 

I thought maybe moths had gotten to it, but I saw no evidence of them.  Moths wouldn't have caused the tangles anyway.  It's like they took all their ends and scraps and wound them together.  Since it's been five years since I bought the yarn, I imagine it's too late to return it.  Good thing I know how to spit splice. 

I started to splice all the bits of yarn together, but then I just said forget it.  I got another hank out and it was fine.  

And thus, the knitting continues.  Thirty six more rounds and I will move to the fifth and final section -- which if I remember right, is the border.  After five long years, this beautiful, awful, wonderful shawl will be done! 

It's about time. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Lesson For The Day

No matter how mad your jackwagon co-worker makes you, do not, I repeat do not punch a hole through the dashboard of your car. 

You will regret it, in more ways than one. 

That is a lesson I apparently have not learned.

On the other hand, telling said jackwagon that you broke your car with your bare hands and asking him does he really want to push you that far can be a pretty good deterrent to future jackwaggonery. 

The bright side is, it doesn't really hurt, and I can still knit. 

On the not so bright side, I broke my car.  My poor wittle car. 

But no worries.  I've got plenty of duct tape.  I'll have him good as new tomorrow. 

Monday, February 09, 2015

Twenty Years

It's kind of hard for me to believe, but Saturday marked my 20 year anniversary working at the plant.  Supervisor Ronnie and I were talking about it-- about how long I'd been there and how long it had been since I came to day shift.  I told him that I came to days the May before my son started kindergarten, and he's a junior in college now.  He said I made him feel old.

Today he brought me my anniversary package.  It contains a really nice framed certificate signed by the CEO of the company, Todd Bluedorn.

It also has a catalog from which we can select an anniversary gift.  

There are some really nice things to choose from.  Of course, the longer you are there, the nicer the gifts become.

For my five year,  I chose a clock radio.  It met a sad fate one day.  Cody was using it in his bathroom, to listen to the radio while he got ready for school, and the cat knocked it off into the toilet.  Now, if Cody had known to unplug it and remove it right away, we might have saved it.  But he didn't, and I had already left for work that day, so he thought it best to just leave it alone.  I told him that was a smart move, because he could have electrocuted himself if he had reached in and tried to get it out of the water.  Alas, after sitting in toilet water all day long, the faithful clock was no more. 

You know how I've been talking about getting a new coffee maker?  Well, I was looking through my gift catalog and lo and behold, they had a coffee maker!  A cuisinart 12 cup programmable coffee maker with a water filter and a bean grinder!  Woo hoo!!  See, sometimes procrastination does pay off.    I looked up the coffee maker on Amazon, and it got pretty good reviews, so I think I'm going to get my money's worth out of it.  Or, the company's money, since they're the ones paying for it.

I also looked up the grinder, and it got mixed reviews, but for a freebie, I can't complain. I've never really had any experience with coffee grinders, so we'll see how it goes. 

Supervisor Ronnie also brought me a huge Hershey bar.  I said, "After 20 years in this place, I need all that chocolate."

The Other Rod -- not to be confused with Former Group Leader Rod-- said, "You know what's going to happen if you eat all that chocolate?  I used to be white, until I ate that chocolate bar."

Needless to say, there goes my diet for today. 

Friday, February 06, 2015


Beverly and James have been in Texas this week, seeing to some legal stuff in regards to my uncle's estate.  They got back home today, and brought me some treasures.  These two Christmas vests were my auntie's.  I remember this first one very well.  Somewhere I have a picture of her wearing it. 

I  don't really remember this vest, but I like it.  I only hate that I have to wait nearly a year before I can wear them.

 This is a crocheted tree skirt that my Mammaw made years and years ago. 

I was glad to get this one, because I have so little that was hers.

While they were gone, I've had a little adventure.  Sort of.  See, Beverly has taken in my uncle's cat after he passed away.  While they were in Texas, they'd asked me to go over and feed her.  There was just one little problem.

They've got one of those fancy alarm systems on their house -- the kind that is monitored by the company.  It's got motion sensors inside and all that.  I asked them if the cat would set off the motion sensor.  They didn't think she would be big enough.  She was.

If the alarm goes off, they call James' cell phone.  But they were having problems in Texas with their signals dropping out.  I'd tried to call both of them from time to time during the week, and got a message saying they were not available.  Those times when the company couldn't get through to him, they called me.

Well, the kitty had set the alarm off several times, and we'd dealt with it.  Then, Tuesday, she set it off while I was in the shower, so I didn't hear the phone ring.  By the time I got out of the shower, the alarm company had already sent the police out to the house.  I had to go out there and explain to them that it was the cat, and apologize.  I felt bad that they had come out for nothing.

Later that night -- around 4 AM, in fact -- the alarm company called.  She'd set it off again.  That was when I decided that I'd just go get her when I got home from work and bring her home with me.  That was another adventure.

My dogs are used to cats, but that cat isn't used to dogs.  She was very frightened by them, even though they were only being friendly.  She actually attacked Jesse a couple of times.  Scared him half to death.  He's neurotic anyway.  By the time it was all over, he was more afraid of her than she was of him.  To keep them both feeling relatively safe, I ended up shutting the cat in my bedroom, which didn't set well with Jesse.  That's where he likes to hang out.  Since he sleeps in there with me, at night, I would shut the cat in my bathroom.

She did not like that at all.

And she let me know she did not like being shut in the bathroom.  Loudly and persistently.

All.  Night.  Long. 

But I couldn't be mad at her.  She's such a sweet little kitty, and she's been through a lot here the last few months, what with losing my aunt first, and my uncle and then having to move and get used to a new home and family, and now this...

Let's just say, she was very glad to get back into her own home, with her own family.   

Next time, they said they'd just take her with them. 


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