Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chats On The Farmhouse Porch

It's time for our weekly chat again.  Welcome, chatters!  It's not too hot today, so let's chat on the porch, shall we?

Today's questions:

1.  Do you ever watch old TV shows or movies from your childhood or youth?

 All the time, thanks to Netflix.  Star Trek, Doctor Who (Classic), Magnum P.I., Simon & Simon, Quantum Leap, MacGuyver, Emergency, The Incredible Hulk, Planet Of The Apes (the TV series), Kolchak The Night Stalker...I could go on and on.  I'm also watching some more recent shows, like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Everybody Loves Raymond. 

2.  Have you ever adopted a rescued animal?

 Yes.  Bothy of my dogs came from the pound.  Rylea was just a puppy when I got her, but Jesse was grown and in pretty bad shape.  He was severely starved, eaten up with parasites and heartworms, and looked like he had just given up on life.  But the minute I saw him, I knew he was meant to be mine.  In just a couple of weeks, it'll be the third adoptiversary, and I can't imagine not having him in my life.  OK, so he wasn't that impressed with the Coke with his name on it....but still....

3.  Are you good at keeping track of paperwork and records? 

Eh, so so. 

4.  What would you like the Magic Wendell Fairy to poof with his wand, and turn into a treat for you? Any snack or sweet you would like. It doesn't have too do with carrots, or HE'D eat it!

 I could go for a chocolate milk shake right about now.  Since it's magic, can the Wendell Fairy make it calorie free, but still taste good?

5.  Tell me something interesting- please.

A while back, I started taking cartoons in to work from time to time.   Once I took this one in:

I figured I'd have to explain what a phobia was, but no.  It never occurred to me that someone wouldn't know what a pop up book was.  I guess not everyone spent hours in the bookstore as a child. 

Thanks for joining me for our chat.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some yarn just begging to be warped. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Slow Day

It's kind of a slow news day around here, so y'all head on over to Cody's blog and read his newest post:

In Gethsemane

Otherwise, you'll just have to look at the pasta I cooked in my new Kitchen Kettle. 

Don't envy me my exciting life. 

Yesterday, Group Leader Fernando sent me down to the end of the line to help out.  He wanted me to put some screws in the very top of some very tall units.

"Um, you do realize I'm short, don't you?" says I.

"Don't worry," he says.  "Roy will help you out."

"What's Roy going to do?" I asked.  "Pick me up?"

In the end, Roy had to put the screws in, because even after Fernando got me the step, I still couldn't reach the screw holes. 

"I'll do it," says Roy, "because you're short and I'm tall." 

Well, I guess it was one of those You-Kinda-Had-To-Be-There moments. 

But I thought it was funny.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Wal-Mart Does It

Friday, Cody went to the eye doctor to get himself some new glasses.  I'd wanted him to pay with my flexible spending account card, but he used a regular credit card instead.  Today after work, I went down there to see if I could get a refund to my credit card, then charge the FSA card.  They told me they couldn't do that.  They would have to send me a refund check instead of making a credit to my card.

Huh, I told them.  Wal-mart does it all the time.  

Nevertheless, we got it straightened out.  We've still got to go get him a spare pair, since he has a tendency to lose or break his glasses.  I've got plenty of money left on the FSA card.

Moving right along, I have been weaving.  Here is my latest finished scarf. 

I like this one.  Turns out it didn't turn into a muddy mess.  The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome Select in Winterberry.  Then I warped this one.

This yarn is Red Heart Team Spirit, in Cody's college colors.  It's going to be interesting, though it isn't turning out quite how I envisioned it.  I'll probably do something else with the rest of this.  Like, maybe I'll find a matching solid blue for the warp and use the striping for the weft.  That'll look a whole lot better, I think. 

It's been a while since I've bored you with photos of my flowers.  So, here you go.  Be bored away.

Sizzle Zinnia

French Marigold

Dwarf African Marigold


I thought I was going to lose my salvias, but they are coming back.  You can just see one of my lantanas in the foreground.

Finally, at work this morning, Group Leader Fernando and I were discussing the day's work schedule.  Former Group Leader Rod-- who just happens to be Fernando's brother-- walked by and said, "Tell him who your favorite black man is".

Without hesitation, I answered, "DeMarcus Ware."

Somehow, I don't think that's what he meant. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

My New Toy

I got me a new toy tonight.

I've been wanting one for a while.

I've had a Fry Daddy for years, but I wanted one with the little basket and an adjustable thermostat thingy.  Today, while I was in Wal-mart, I went into the small appliance section just to get an idea of how much they cost.

This one was only $25, so I took the plunge and got it. 

Tomorrow, I'm going to fry the world.  But tonight, I'm going to bed. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Jewelry

I like jewelry, but I'm very picky about what I wear.  Most of what is out there today is way too gaudy for my tastes.  Earrings that hang down past your shoulders.  Necklaces that could double as a horse collar.  Just not me.

I've always felt that simple was much more elegant.

When I found these simple, yet elegant, designs from Shields Of Strength, I knew I had to have them. 

I got two tags.  One just a general Navy tag,

and one veteran tag. 

On the back of each tag, is a paraphrase of one of my favorite verses: 

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9. 

This is a very good quality product.  They are well made, of good, sturdy metal.  They're much stronger than other types of dog tag jewelry I've seen.  Heck, they're even sturdier than my real dog tags.

Then, of course, what Navy theme would be complete without an anchor?

The verse on the anchor says:  We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  Hebrews 6: 19. 

Very appropriate, I say.

In the meantime, I started on the new scarf.  I'm very pleased to announce that using variegated for both the warp and the weft does not in fact make a muddy mess. 

It makes a very pleasing combination of colors.  I think this one is going to turn out nicely. 

You know the psychedelic scarf I finished the other day?  Someone has already laid claim to it.  Well, when I was in Cody's room looking for tissue paper to wrap it in before mailing it, I found a whole other box of yarn that I forgot I had put in there.  In the box was all my Knit Picks Aloft. 

Aloft will make a great weft yarn.  I just have to find something in my abundant stash to use as a warp.  After I finish the scarf already on the loom. 

And finally, yet another Coke I won't drink. 


But it had my name on it!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chats On The Farmhouse Porch

 Since it's a bit stormy outside this evening, let's have our chat around the kitchen table, instead of on the porch.

1.  Other than those who live in your home, who's the last person who came to your front door? 

The UPS man.   I always like to see the UPS man.  He brings me stuff. 

2.  Do you have many photos around your home? 

 Not hanging on the walls, if that's what you mean.  I do have several albums, but these days, like everyone else, most of my photos are digital. 

 3.  Do you like mint? Is there a favorite type of mint for you? How do you enjoy it? 

 Yes, I do.  My favorite is peppermint, and I enjoy it in tea, candy, ice cream, hot chocolate, pretty much anything.  I don't like spearmint, though. 

4.  Do you enjoy your own parties and other times with guests, or are you so busy working...? 

No, and yes.  I don't like people in my house, noise, or crowds, so I'm not a party person.   I am very busy working this time of year, but even if I weren't, I still wouldn't like people in my house. 

5.  What do you want to be when you grow up more? Job, hobby, self improvement, etc. 

Independently wealthy.  Yeah, that would be nice, but a more realistic short term goal is to get my debt paid off.  I've mentioned it before, because it's the most important thing in my life right now.  

I know chat was short today, but I want to finish warping my loom before going to bed, so I need to get busy.  See you all next week. 

Same bat time, same bat channel.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Funky psychedelic scarf is off the loom.  I like it. Now to warp something else.

My apologies to the two of you who still actually read my blog.  It's been kind of slow lately, I know.  I stand there at work mentally composing long, meaningful posts, but by the time I get home, I just don't feel like doing much of anything. 

I think it's the heat.  It's been in the mid 90s inside the plant, and that kind of heat all day long just drains you.  Today I was trying to eat a chocolate bar, only it was melting faster than I could eat it.  Folks, that's not a hot flash.  That's just hot

After 8 hours of that, I just want to come home and sit. 

Add to that the sad reality that nothing interesting is happening right now, well, there's not much to blog about.  Maybe things will pick up soon, and you won't be bored senseless by my nonsense.

I know you'll appreciate that. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

No Net

It's become a Sunday morning tradition around here.

I didn't plan for it to, but it sort of has.  Since Sunday is the only day I don't have to get up and rush off somewhere -- not having to be at church until 10:30 in stead of at work at 7:00-- I've taken to putting on a t-shirt and some shorts, fixing myself a cup of coffee, and spending a few early morning moments alone in my flower garden.

It's kind of nice having those few quiet moments with the flowers before I begin to get ready for church.

This afternoon, when I got home from church, the internet was down.  I had to stick one of those weird plastic round things into that slot on the player thing.  Heh, remember when that was cutting edge technology?  

While I was watching a movie on one of those weird plastic round things, I finished up my Rose Marl scarf.

I really like the way it turned out.  I like the colors and the resulting fabric.  I used Patons Kroy for this, but I've got some more sock yarn around here.  Lots more.

I also finished this hat.  The yarn is some Red Heart Blacklight that Beverly gave me.

I'm not sure what I was thinking when I cast on 96 stitches.  It's definitely teenager/adult sized.  I had just enough yarn left over to warp the loom. 

I'm using solid black Red Heart for the weft.  It's turning out kinda cool, doncha think?

Speaking of, I'd bought a whole bunch of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn on clearance a few years ago.  That was before I discovered that it isn't good for socks at all.  The sock gets very thin and wears out very quickly.  So I stopped using it for socks.  I've knit scarves from some, and a couple of hats as well.  I think it'll be good for scarves, since they don't get washed very often, the way socks need to be.

I went in and dug out all I had left.  That I could find, at least.  I thought I'd had more than this. 

The one on the far right is Supersocke, and the other four are Sockittome Select. I want to weave scarves with them, but the thing is, I'm not sure how variegated yarns will work if I use them for both warp and weft. Will it pool, plaid, or just turn into a muddy mess?  I guess we'll find out.  I think I'll start with this one, since the color changes a bit more subtle than the other ones. 

It's called Winterberry.  If it turns out to be a mess, well, then we'll just have to knit scarves with the others. 

I just roll with the flow.  Or something.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mythbusting: The Ice Cream That Won't Melt

This morning, a friend posted a link on Facebook regarding a woman who claimed her son left a Great Value Ice Cream Sandwich out in the hot sun for 12 hours without it melting.  She thought that was odd, so she got another one and left it out overnight and it still didn't melt.   Even the so-called reporter claims that he verified this by setting out an ice cream sandwich in the "hot sun" and it failed to melt. 

Being by nature a bit skeptical, I decided to try to replicate this experience myself.  After work, I went to the store and got a box of the same ice cream sandwiches.

For those of you interested, here is the ingredients label. 

When I got home from the store, I put the box of sandwiches in the freezer for approximately an hour, to refreeze them from my trip home.  Once they had hardened back up, I took one sandwich and set it outside.  Notice that the thermometer is showing mid 70s.

Also note that the sky was very overcast.  Yes, the reporter had a sunny day, but this is not a factor I could control.

After 5 minutes, you can clearly see the ice cream is starting to soften and melt around the corners.

And the temperature is still showing mid 70s. 

After 10 minutes, melting is clearly occurring.

After 15 minutes, even more melting has occurred.

And the temperature is holding in the low to mid 70s.  I suspect the slight drop is due to the proximity of the frozen treat.

After 20 minutes, there isn't much left.

By 25 minutes, the ice cream has almost completely melted.

And after 30 minutes, it's gone. 

Notice that the temperature has remained stable in the low 70s. 

In addition to wasting a perfectly good ice cream sandwich, I think I can conclusively say that this myth has been busted.  If my sandwich has completely melted in less than half an hour, on an overcast 70 degree day, I don't find it plausible at all that one can remain solid after 12 hours on an 80 degree day, and much less so overnight. 

My guess is it's just somebody looking for their 15 minutes of fame. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Short Post

They can't  seem to make up their minds whether they want us to come in at 6:00 or at 7:00. This morning, it was 7:00.  Tomorrow, it is 6:00. 

I'm getting tired of re-setting my alarm every day. 

Needless to say, this post will be brief.  

In the meantime, my sock yarn scarf is coming along nicely. 

I like the patterns the yarn is making. 

I think I've finally figured out what I can do with all that Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn that I bought on clearance. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Chats On The Farmhouse Porch

1.  D3 is facing wisdom teeth removal. Have you had your wisdom teeth removed? 

 I've had two of mine removed.  I highly recommend getting the IV sedation, if you are able to.  I remember the oral surgeon injecting something into the IV port.  About 10 seconds later, I was feeling a bit floaty, and the next thing I knew I was home, and James was helping me up my front steps.  The next time I got one removed, they asked if I wanted the IV, and I said, "Yes, please!"  That one was less complicated, so my recovery time was faster.  I was able to become fully alert before leaving the surgeon's office and walked myself up my front steps.  Either way, I can't recommend it enough.

2.  Today Wendell is serving iced tea, iced coffee, and carrot juice. He wants me to ask you which you'd prefer. 

Of the three, I'd prefer iced tea-- but unsweetened.  I know I'm not a good Southerner if I don't like sweet tea, and with my sweet tooth, it does seem a bit odd.  I just don't like it sweetened.  It tastes too much like syrup.  

3.  If you use a crock pot, do you have a favorite recipe? If not, what is your favorite, easy "go to" recipe? 

I have a crock pot, but seldom use it.  My favorite go to recipe would be chicken and dumplings.  I'd post the recipe, but I don't really use one.  I just throw some flour, shortening, and salt into a bowl, cut it with a pastry cutter, then add milk until it looks right.  Roll it out, cut it into strips and drop into boiling broth.  Once the dumplings are done, add the cut up chicken meat-- which you will have gotten from the chicken you boiled to get the broth, and serve.   Oh, and add salt and pepper to taste. 

4.   Do you prefer to wash dishes by hand or dishwasher? Yes, I know some of us probably don't like dish washing. Wendell flat out refuses! 

Dishwasher, even though mine is noisy as heck. 

5.  What are you looking forward to? 

The cooler temperatures that are supposed to get here in a couple of days.  Really, I don't like being hot.  I'm ready for fall already!!  

And going to bed tonight.  Yeah, I'm pretty easy to please. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Glasses!

I gots my new glasses today.  Hallelujah!  I can see! 

When I first put them on, my vision was a little loopy, but it's almost amazing how quickly I adjusted to them.  I got him to give me a stronger bifocal spot, so maybe I can knit and watch TV at the same time. Right now, I'm watching a documentary on Petra, but I'm not knitting. 

I've started scarf #4.  This one is with sock yarn.  Patons Kroy brown rose marle, for both the warp and the weft.

It took an entire ball for the warp, and now I'm kind of nervous that I won't have enough left to finish. We shall see. 

I've only got a few inches done, but I'm really liking the resulting fabric so far. 

Well, that's about all I've got for today.  I'm really enjoying the slightly cooler weather.  It's supposed to be really cool Friday.  Right now, they're predicting mid-70s.  In July.  So much for global warming. 

Funny how quiet Al Gore has been here lately. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

My Father

Walter Lee Gunstream, Jr

October 23, 1926 - July 14, 1995

He taught me how to throw a harpoon.

And he called me Hawkeye.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Before we begin, Scarf #3 is off the loom.  I just have to trim the fringe and weave the ends in and it'll be done. 

I'm still trying to decide what to warp next.  I've still got plenty of yarn to choose from.  Now, on to the topic of the day...


I know the in thing these days is for women to wear as little as possible.  Even in church, I see women coming in wearing spaghetti straps, no bra, dresses that look more like slips, and no slips at all.  Someone came in this morning in a dress so shear you could clearly see her legs and underwear.  That is the "might as well be naked" look of which I speak. 

I know it's the style and all, but I've always felt called to be more modest than that.  Our Christian brothers struggle enough in our sex saturated society, and I believe that it's my duty as a Christian woman to help them out as much as I can. 

I know, I know.  There are some women out there who will get all bowed up and say, "I can dress however I want.  It's up to them not to look." 

The only problem with that attitude is that they're men.  They can't help but to look.  It's hard wired into them to look. So, if you walk into church with half your chest hanging out, or a skirt so short your cheeks are showing, they're going to look. Personally, I don't feel as if that attitude --the "I can dress like a slut but you'd better treat me like a princess" attitude-- honors God or my Christian brothers. 

A couple of years ago, I made myself a sundress, but I never really felt comfortable wearing it to church.  I had a shawlette that I wore over it, but I didn't like the look.  I'd looked all over for a knitted bolero pattern, but in the end, I broke down and bought one at Wal-Mart Thursday when I was in town. 

It's just what I was looking for.  I wore it to church this morning, over my sundress, and now that I have it, I can actually shop for a new dress.   I found a few dresses online that I like, but didn't buy them because they were sundresses.   

And because even a middle aged tomboy needs to feel sexy now and again...

No, it's not hypocritical.  Not a bit, because no one will ever see me in them except my imaginary husband.  They'll be quite well covered up.

My final purchase of the day:

Jesse wasn't impressed.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Frantic Friday

Have you ever been so tired you just wanted to sit down and cry?

I don't get that way very often, but I was today.  And yes, I did cry.  Just a little bit.  Then I felt better.

I came home, and I was really, really glad I went ahead and did my shopping yesterday.  I hadn't planned to.  I was jut going to get milk, but then decided that since I was already there, I might as well do it all.

Only I forgot dog food, so I have to go back tomorrow and get some dog food.  I'm sure the dogs will appreciate that.

And what was causing me to be so tired?  Well, I'll tell you.  Sort of.

It was just a really, really hectic day at work.  We got there and all the stuff second shift had left for us was wrong.  (It was tubing's fault, not the brazers, though we did get hollered at for "not catching it".)  Then we were down because tubing didn't have any work ready for us.  When they finally got us some parts, the line was rushing us to get them done because they were down...

Then we ran out of parts from tubing again, and the whole cycle started all over again.

And I was walking around singing...

Finally, the seemingly endless day was over. I came home and worked on scarf #3, which looks a lot like scarf #2, only a bit shorter and a bit wider.

Wait, what?  What is that beached whale looking thing?  Oh, that's jut my thigh.  Never mind. 

Where was I?  Oh, yes...the scarf.  It should be finished tomorrow.  

I've got some blue and some white yarn that was my grandmother's.  I want to try to make a plaid scarf from those, but I'm not sure I'm ready for that.  I may do another scarf or two before I jump into that.  One thing for sure, I want to try to find a better way to tie the fringe.  That, I've already decided, is my least favorite part of weaving.  I like it even less than warping, which isn't really that bad.  Just time consuming.

Well, we'll see how it goes after a good night's sleep.  If I can get one, that is.


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