Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Working And Whiskers And New Things

Well, I guess this means we're working Saturday.

If you can't read the poster, it says they're handing out snow cones and lemonade after work Saturday.  That's how we know we'll be there. They wouldn't hand out snow cones and lemonade to an empty plant. 

Nice gesture, huh?  Frankly, I'd feel more appreciated if they'd do something about this sink full of nasty water.  In the women's bathroom.  Under the production office.

Look, it's got a garnish!

(Dead fly, for those of you who missed it.)

For those of you who have had older cats, you know when they reach a certain age, they stop grooming themselves.  When this happens, you come to realize just how much they did to take care of their fur.  And claws. 

Squeaky is there.  I comb and comb and comb her and still the mats multiply faster than I can get them out.  She's not neglected.  Really. 

Unlike my floors.  Which are.  Don't look at them.  Just focus on the kitty. 

The soft kitty.  The warm kitty.  The little ball of fur...She has good days, and bad days.  Her bad days seem to still be related to her constipation issues. Fortunately, since I switched her to canned food, the bad days are fewer than before.  She still has them, though.  Saturday was a bad day.  She was restless and yowling, and I was wondering if it was time to let her go.  But by Sunday, she was better.  Monday she pottied a little bit and now is back to her old -- her very old -- cranky self.  I still have her...for now.

So, all that yarn Peggy sent me.  I was looking for my needles to cast on a hat or two.  I eventually found them, but suddenly decided I didn't have enough.  What with all these hours I'm working, I thought I could splurge a bit.  Off to Knit Picks I headed and bought five, yes five, pair of circular needles. 

In my defense, they're all different sizes.  Well, three different sizes in two different colors. 

I told you the other day I was getting a hankering to knit lace, so while I was at Knit Picks, I wandered over to the lace weight clearance section to see what they had on sale.  What I found was 100% silk for only $8.50 per 50 g hank.  It's some colors they're discontinuing, and they cut the price.   

I'll take two.  Of each.  And two twos of the blue. 

Now I just need to find a pattern to knit. 

Off to browse...

Monday, June 18, 2018

Hello Mojo

It would seem my knitting mojo is back, and back with a vengeance.  Maybe it just needed a purpose.  My friend's charity has provided just that purpose. 

Yesterday, I cast on this hat, using the helix technique.

I'd tried helix knitting once before, and didn't really like it.  It's going much better this time around.  But just to be on the safe side, in case I needed a break from it, I cast on just a plain old vanilla hat.

All of this yarn is out of what Peggy sent me.  It'll go to a good cause.  Like I said before, maybe I just needed a purpose to bring the mojo home.  In fact, it's back so strong, I'm getting the urge to

*looks around furtively*  *whispers*

knit lace.

Try to contain your horror.  Shock.  Whatever...

Seriously, dude.  I really want to cast on some lace.  The more complicated, the better.  Hey, it's not really lace knitting unless you've thrown the project across the room and cursed the day you were born at least once.  If it causes me to utter words that shouldn't come out of any Christian woman's mouth, then it's a really good pattern.

I'm sure you will all be pleased to know, I found a squash pie recipe that is just like the one Aunt Martha used to make.  I baked two of them, and it is so delicious.  I'm going to tinker with the recipe just a bit -- mainly replacing the scalded milk with a can of evaporated milk.  Other than that, the only thing else I'll do differently is to make sure I've squeezed the liquid out of my mashed squash.  It was kind of runny, and the pies took a lot longer to cook than the recipe says.

I'm not a beer drinker.  Being a good Southern Baptist teetotaler, the only alcohol I consume is the occasional shot of NyQuil.  That being said, whoever writes Budweiser's commercials is an absolute marketing genius.  Genius, I tell you.  This one still makes me tear up.  Just a bit.

Finally, you will all be pleased to know my brother was released from the hospital today.  He still has a long row to hoe, so we continue to covet your prayers. 

Thank you.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Back To Bricking

But first...

I got up at 3:00 AM yesterday morning, worked a full 12 hour shift, as I normally do.  After work, I loaded up both dogs and took them in for their semi-annual heartworm preventative shot.  Yeah, that was fun, but we got through it and made it back home OK.  Oh, and while I was there, I made arrangements to board them for the Fiber Fun In The Sip festival.  So, I was back at home, planning on relaxing and knitting while watching TV for the rest of the evening. 

I guess I didn't think I'd done enough, because I went back outside, dragged out the lawnmower, and mowed the entire yard, including the part behind the fence.  That was definitely one of those What Was I Thinking moments.   It was dark before I was done, but I persevered and finished the job.  when I woke up bright and early this morning, the first thing I thought was, "HA!  I don't have to mow!"  So that was a good thing.

Since I didn't have to mow, I got dressed and when into town to the Farmer's Market.  They had some tomatoes this week, so I got some, and have already eaten a tomato sandwich. 

I also bought a jar of peach jam.  I'd thought I'd send these as Christmas gifts, but they're kind of heavy.  I'll probably end up just eating it all myself.

I was headed back to my car after making my purchases, walking past the big vegetable cart, when I looked down and saw some of this:

White squash!  My Aunt Martha used to make a squash pie that called for white squash, but it's so hard to find around here.  I got four of them, but I should have gotten more.  I can cook them down and freeze them for later.  If I go back next week, provided they give us another Saturday off, I'm going to. 

Since I was already in town, and since I didn't get to do my shopping yesterday -- that whole taking the dogs to the vet thing and all -- I went on to Wal-Mart and got that over with.  The southern summer head has killed my Viola, so I wandered through the garden center, looking for somethign ro put in that hanging basket.  I happened upon this Lysimachia. 

I'm not sure what the common name is for it.  Somebody out there will chime in and tell us.  Now, before we go back inside, here's a quick shot of my moss roses.

Well, since I found my Easy Off, I'm back to stripping the paint off my bricks -- or as Edna says, I'm back to bricking. 

It seems to be going faster this time around.  I don't know if it's because that side is smaller, or because I can get a better angle on it, and can use my right hand to scrub the paint off.  The hardest part is going to be getting back into this corner.  I don't know how I'll reach it, but I'll figure it out somehow.

BTW, ignore the mess on the floor.  I'll get it cleaned up eventually. 

The last thing I got done today, before settling in in front of the TV was to finally get my map hung in the bedroom.

I want to find a couple of lighthouses or compass roses to hang in that corner between the clock and the map.  I don't know.  I'll find something.  I still need to get my sister's lighthouse posters framed or mounted somehow, and hang them up.  Then the bedroom will pretty much be done.

In the midst of doing all that other stuff, I managed to finish the bumblebee hat.

Yay! Now I can cast on something with the new yarn Peggy sent me! 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Surprises In The Mail

I was on my way home from work, thinking how I wanted to order something online so I could get a package in the mail.  I like getting things in the mail. 

When I pulled into my drive way, there was a ginormous box waiting for me in my car port.  As soon as I saw the return address, I knew what it was.  My friend Peggy was de-stashing, and had offered up some yarn for the taking.  I told her I wanted all her Red Heart for hats for my Knitting it Forward group.  I figured it'd be 7-8 skeins.

Turns out, I greatly underestimated how much yarn she was going to send. 

Once I'd changed clothes and fed the dogs, I started digging into all those bags.  There was yarn.

And there was more yarn.

And more yarn.

And still more yarn.

And even more yarn...

I ought to be able to make a buttload of hats with all this yarn. 

Thanks, Peggy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Some people just don't get it.  Irony, that is...

"I'm not going to come down here and bug you," says a co-worker as she is down here bugging me.

Well, I thought it was funny. 

Russell is still doing well.  Up and walking and all...

My friend who works right beside me went through the same thing with her mother a while back, so she's been kind of filling me in on what is going on.  Today she told me a funny story.  Her mother had her aortic valve replaced with an artificial one, which made a ticking noise every time her heart beat.  One day, my friend's daughter came home and said, "I've got to tell you something emergency about Grandma."  She said emergency instead of important.  She was very young at the time. 

Anyway, she said, "I've got to tell you something emergency about Grandma.  She's got a bomb in her chest.  I heard it.  We need to take her to the doctor!"

I found the rest of my Easy Off.  I knew I hadn't used it all up.  Now I can start bricking again.  So, yay!  I really need to get that done, but what with these long hours -- and I know it's by choice, but I can't turn down the opportunity for overtime -- it's slow going.  One day, I'll get it done.  One day...

Finally, a big of good news.  My neighbor stopped by to tell me they'd gotten the glass for my door in, and the guy is going to put it back up tomorrow.  So, yay-er. 

That's about all I have for you tonight. 

Until next time. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Quick Update

Just a quick update on my brother.  They were able to take him off the vent late last night, and today they got him up and walking.  He is also eating some, so things are looking good for him. 

My sister in law messaged me and said the surgeon stopped by to check on Russell.  He told them that Rus had a birth defect on his aortic valve.  It's kind of good in a way that he had this little heart attack.  If they hadn't caught the defect and replaced the valve, he could have dropped dead at any time. 

My friend's husband also had heart surgery.  His LAD -- also known as the widowmaker artery -- was 80% blocked, and he had another that was 90% blocked.  They put stents in, and he's doing well.  His doctor said he's lucky to be alive. 

My friend Sue is...well, we still don't know.  Just keep her in your prayers, please.

I know this is short, but I've had a rough couple of days.  I think I'm just going to go to bed early. 

Good night.

Monday, June 11, 2018

A Whelming Flood Day

It all started a couple of months ago, when my sister in law had to rush my older brother Russell to the emergency room.  He was having trouble breathing and couldn't stop coughing.  They thought he had pneumonia.  A myriad of tests and scans later, they determined that he did not have pneumonia, but had had a heart attack.  He had two blocked arteries, and his aortic valve wasn't working properly.

The only problem was his heart was so weak it was only working at about 25%.  If they tried to operate right then, he probably wouldn't have survived it.  They sent him home with an external defibrillator thing that he had to wear 24 hours a day, except for when he took a shower.  They called it a life vest.  He also had to go to a rehab place to try to get his heart strong enough for surgery.  So, I knew he was going to have to have heart surgery.  I just didn't know when it would be.  I found out late last night that today was going to be the day.

Before I go any further, I would like to sincerely thank all of you who took time to pray for him and his family.  And also me.  I'm not handling this nearly as well as I thought I would.  Part of it is the not knowing.  The not being there.  Not being able to help...the other part is, he's my big brother.  We go way back, me and him.

All through the work day, I kept sneaking off to the front bathroom to check on him and his progress.  It was during one such trip that I found out one of my good friends had to put her husband in the hospital for heart issues.  I won't go into her private business here, but I'll just say it's pretty serious.

Finally, shortly after 1:00 PM, I got the word.  Russell was out of surgery.  Everything went smoothly, and the surgeon was pleased with the operation.  He is still in ICU, and probably will be for a few days, but things are looking good.

My day was looking up, until I got home and got a message from my dear friend Sue.  She'd had a seizure while at dialysis, and was back in the hospital.

It was at this point the flood became whelming, so I'm going to go stand on The Solid Rock for a while.

His oath, his covenant, his blood
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.



Sunday, June 10, 2018

What A Way To Wake Up

There I was in my kitchen, having a bit of an existential crisis.

I struggle with this every Sunday.  See, Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but there is always so much work that needs to be done.  Mowing, cleaning the house, laundry, etc, etc.

I try to rest, but there is always that nagging voice in the back of my mind.  "You need to finish the mowing.  You need to clean the bathroom.  You still haven't even hung your map in the bedroom.  And what about all those pictures you were going to hang in the hall?  Are you ever going to get that done?  You know, Sue's picture is still on top of the bookshelf, and all those things Cyndye sent you still aren't hung..."  And on and on it goes.

Which brings us to my existential crisis.  In my kitchen.  I was trying to dig all the hair out of my Swiffer Sweeper so I could start using it again, telling myself I need to sit down and relax, but I've got so much to do, listening to my neighbor mowing his yard.  The sound of his mower seemed to mock me, reminding me I still need to mow behind the fence.

Suddenly, I heard a sharp crack.  I turned around, thinking my blinds had somehow fallen off the door.  It wasn't my blinds.

Did you know that shattered glass sounds an awful lot like running water?

Seems the neighbor's lawn mower had kicked up -- guess what? -- a rock and hit my storm door.  He came over and cleaned all the broken glass up, and said he'd replace it.  I didn't ask him to, but he said he would anyway.  I thanked him for wanting to make things right.  We were both just glad it didn't hit my car -- although he said he could fix that, since he is an auto mechanic.

While we were out there cleaning up the glass, he turned to me and said, "What a way to wake up."

Later, the neighbor's wife came by and said the guy would come in the morning to fix the glass.  I thanked her again, and remarked that I couldn't believe the rock flew that far.  He was in his own yard, after all!

After that, I pretty much took it as a sign that I was not supposed to mow today.  So, I came inside, cleaned up the kitchen and binge watched ER.  I'm up to season 8.  BTW, I found Kung Fu on Prime.  That'll be my next series to binge.

So, yesterday, my friend Cyndye commented that I'm on a moss rose kick lately.

 She's right.  I'd had some last year, but they kind of got overwhelmed by the larger flowers in my main bed.  They are doing so much better in a bed by themselves.  I feel like I'm finally getting to really appreciate them for the gorgeous flowers that they are.  I mean,





Saturday, June 09, 2018


It almost seems surreal.

Having a Saturday off, I mean.  We've been working so much lately, it seems odd to have a day off. 

There were rumors going around the plant, but then, there's always rumors going around the plant.  Along about 2:45, they posted the work schedule.  Almost everyone was off.  Edna who used to read my blog, but isn't on Facebook any more had to work.  I leaned casually against her stand and asked, "You mad?"

This being a family blog and all, I can't repeat here what she told me.

Once she'd stopped cursing, she asked me what I was going to do with my weekend.  I said I'd probably sit in front of the TV, but if I could get myself up and moving, I might go to the Farmer's Market on the square.  Then again, I've been saying that for three years.  Not sure what would make today any different.

I work up bright and early, and got dressed.  I have some wasps up in my eaves.  I think I've pretty much gotten rid of the hornets and red wasps, but I have dirt dobbers everywhere.  I've tried wasp spray and wasp traps, but they don't work very well.  I found a tube of silicone sealant, so I thought I'd try to seal up where they are getting in.  I got up and did that, then thought, "Well, I'm already dressed.  Might as well drive up to that there Farmer's Market."

I was hoping to find some figs and tomatoes, but I guess it's still a bit early in the season for those.  There was one table selling vegetables, but I didn't buy any -- though that squash and zucchini was very tempting.

This lady was selling garden plants, tomatoes and peppers and the like.  I didn't buy any of those, either.

These two tables were selling jams, jellies, and relishes.  The one under the canopy also had home made cookies and fresh eggs.

There was another lady selling plants.  She had lots of lantanas, ferns, and potted plants.  I bought this one.

It's another variety of moss rose.  I'd wanted one of these kind, but hadn't gotten one.  I took another picture of it a few hours later after all its buds opened up.  It sure is pretty.

The only other things I bought this time were some cookies and this jar of muscadine jelly.

Maybe if we get another Saturday off later on in the year, they'll have more stuff out.  After my little trip downtown, I came home and spent the rest of the day in front of the TV. 

Well, except for mowing, that is.  But look, my little moss rose that I thought was going to die made a full recovery -- so much so, it's got blooms!

I was looking at my fire place the other day, and thinking I really need to get back to work stripping all that gunky paint off.  I went into my snake/craft/computer room looking for some more Easy Off, and I couldn't find any.  Had I really used up the whole case?  I didn't think I had, but I guess I did. 

I really need to get that room cleaned up.  Don't know when I'm going to do it, I just know I need to.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

A Few More Weeks

Every morning at 2:55 AM when my alarm goes off, I think to myself, "Self, I'm getting mighty tired of getting up this early.  I think I'm going to stop going in so early."  Then I think about those nice paychecks, and say to myself, "Maybe just a few more weeks..."

This morning, I was so discombobulated, I got halfway to work and realized I'd forgotten to brush my teeth and put on lipstick.  I seriously -- briefly -- considered just throwing in the towel and going back home, but no, that didn't happen.  I didn't want to lose a day's pay, plus an attendance bonus just over some missing lipstick and bad breath.  Besides, once I'd eaten my breakfast, it wouldn't matter much anyway.

The reason I was especially tired today is because I didn't sleep much last night.  The reason I didn't sleep much is because I was too excited.  Why am I excited?  I'm going to a fiber festival!  Not just the the little Fiber to Fabric thing they used to have in Hernando, but a real, honest to goodness fiber festival with classes and vendors and knitters from all over! It's called Fiber Fun In The 'Sip, and I'm going!!  It's not until Fall, but I signed up for my classes yesterday.  I'm taking a Continental Knitting class and an Inkle Weaving class.  The inkle class is kind of expensive, but you get your own loom to keep.  I know already one of my friends is going, and we were up half the night messaging about classes and hotels and stuff.  As a result, I'm a bit tuckered.  But in a good way. 

Even better, I came home to some good news.  Before I can tell you the good news, I have to tell you the not so good news.  Yesterday, I noticed a gopher run right up into my moss rose bed.   One of my roses had been practically uprooted from beneath, and was looking pretty dead-ish.

I tamped the soil back down and watered them well, then watered them again this morning.  By this afternoon, they had perked up considerably.

Hopefully, they'll survive, and the dang gopher will leave them alone.

While I was out there, I took the promised photograph of my Bacopa. 

And proof that I actually did finish mulching the flower bed.

I did that early Sunday morning, then spent the afternoon knitting these two hats. The brown one is for my friend Kristine's blessing bag project. 

This one is for the Little Hats, Big Hearts program.

On the way home from work, I stopped and voted.  One of the election volunteers greeted me.  I thought she was just being friendly, but then she asked me, "Y'all still working hard out there?" 

"Oh, yeah, it never slows down,"  I replied without missing a beat. 

Sounds like a perfectly normal conversation, doesn't it?  The only problem is, I have no idea who that woman was.  Funny thing is, I never considered myself a memorable person, so it always takes me by surprise when people do remember me. 

I only wish I could remember them. 

Saturday, June 02, 2018


I woke up bright and early yesterday morning, and on a whim, decided to check my bank account, it being pay day and all.  I opened my app on my phone and navigated to my checking account.

What?  What are all these pay pal charges?  Somebody hacked my pay pal account!!

And somebody hacked my Amazon, too!!!  I know I didn't make all these charges!!

Quickly, I went to the Paypal site and ... oh, yeah.  That was for my new work jeans.  And that was for the Cup Of Joes I bought.  And that one was for my upgrade.  I remember now.  Then I went to Amazon, and same thing.

This charge was for my map, that charge was for something else, and two of those charges were for these two trips down memory lane. 

Robert The Rose Horse,

and Little Black, A Pony.

Little Black was one of my favorite books as a child.  I still have my original copy somewhere.  When I was about 7 or 8,  I decided to play teacher and imagine I was correcting the grammar.  It's got circles, underlines, and check marks all through it.  If I ever find it again, I'll show you. 

One last thing, you will all be happy to know, I finally made it to the store and got my mulch.  I didn't want to go, but I figured I'd better.  They don't usually order more this late in the year, so once it's gone, it's gone. 

Maybe in the morning, I can get it put into the beds. 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Is It Really Necessary?

Every day at work, I tell myself, "When I got off work, I'm going to go to the store and get some more mulch and finish mulching my flower beds."  All day I tell myself that.  All day, I plan on going to the store when I get off.  Once I get off work, sitting in my car waiting for traffic to clear, I tell myself, "Eh, that mulch can wait until tomorrow."  Every day. 

Here lately, I've gone so low as to begin asking myself, "Is mulch really necessary?"   After all, the flower bed seems to be doing fine without least until the weeds take over.

Speaking of weeds, it seems they have taken over my wildflower bed.

There are a few things growing in there, but most of it just looks like grass.  I'm going to just let that side go, and if something ends up blooming, good.  If not, no big loss.  I'll just claw it all up and get it ready for next year.  I think this is the last time I'm going to try to plant seeds.  They just don't work for me, and I could put so much more in that bed. 

On a more pleasant note, my moss roses are doing really well, despite the grass constantly trying to creep into bed with them.

So is my chupacabra. 

My brachiosaur has good days and bad days.  One one of its good days, I'll try to get a new picture for you. 

In other news, there has been actual knitting happening.  One of my friends has decided she wants to put together blessing bags for the homeless.  She wants to put a hat or scarf or mittens in each bag, and has asked for volunteers to help knit them.  You know I'm all over the hat knitting.  This is one I whipped out Sunday and Monday while watching my Memorial Day movies.

I got all the way to the crown decreases, then had to put this hat on hold.  Why?  My DPNs were still in this hat that I started for the Little Hats, Big Hearts program.  I guess I'd better stay off Facebook and spend more time knitting, huh?

Finally, if I had a hypothetical boyfriend and someone asked my hypothetical boyfriend, "Why Becky?" and my hypothetical boyfriend shrugged and said, "Why not Becky?", I wouldn't have a hypothetical boyfriend any more. 

Just sayin'...


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