Friday, November 28, 2014

There Has Been Knitting

Last week, when I had dragged everything out of my yarn closet, I had a bag with some charity scarves in it.  I pulled them all out of the bag to take a picture.

That's when I discovered that it wasn't all scarves.  Some of the frou frou yarn hadn't been knit up. 

That was a nice surprise.  That's a lot of mindless knitting while I watch Christmas movies.

 I also found these old socks I'd knit for that Socks For Soldiers group I used to be in.  I'd never sent them this pair because the legs were so tight Cody couldn't get them on. 

He's always had such gigantic feet that I figured if socks fit him, they'd fit just about anybody.  Somehow I'd misjudged the gauge on these, and they were so tight I couldn't even wear them.  Well, I found them during the Great Clean Out.  I ended up ripping them out and am going to repurpose the yarn.  That means reuse, but it sounds more hoity toity.

One thing I was thinking of, I was determined to finish this scarf.  

I'd originally thought I could get it done this week while I was off, but it requires too much concentration.  I got a couple of repeats done, but needed something more mindless to work on while watching football.  So, I cast on another hat.

This is yarn I had leftover from the matching hat and fingerless gloves I knit for my brother in law last Christmas.

Finally, this is as far as the latest weaving has come. 

I'm really paying attention to my tension, and it seems to be going better.  We'll see when this one is done. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Finally, a little good news!  Last night, when I took the dogs out for their bedtime potty break, I heard water dripping under my house. 

"Oh, great," I thought.  "One more thing." 

I wasn't going to worry about it at 10:30 at night, so telling myself I'd deal with it in the morning,  I went on to bed, feeling just a bit discouraged.  Today, after the feast and football, I got the flashlight and went out to see if I could figure out what was leaking.  And I did figure it out. 

Last time I used my garden hose, which was several weeks ago, I'd somehow neglected to turn the water off at the spigot.  I turned it off, disconnected the hose, and the dripping stopped.  I'm not sure if the hose split because of the couple of freezing nights we had, or if the freezing/thawing cycle just loosened the connection a bit.  I didn't look that closely. But even if the hose is split, it's a whole cheaper than replacing a pipe.  Whew!

Weeks like this, it seems like it's hard to be thankful, but I am.  I really am.  Sure my truck is in the shop, but at least I have one.  I broke down in South Jackson, but people I don't even know went out of their way to take care of me.  My door knob fell apart, but I have a house.  I didn't get to go to Texas, but at least I got to spend the day with my son. 

So, you see, there's always, always, always something to be thankful for.

Squeaky says, "I'll be thankful when you stop sticking that camera in my face." 

Yeah, Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I hadn't planned on going anywhere today.  I hadn't planned on going anywhere until Sunday, really, though there was the possibility of needing milk before then.  Other than that, I would have been perfectly content to sit at home for the next three days.

But somehow, being without a vehicle, knowing that I can't go anywhere has left me feeling trapped and restless.

The bad news is, it's probably going to be next week before I get my Jimmy back.  I'm seriously considering renting a car, even though I can't really afford it.  The worse news is, I left my work ID and safety glasses in Jackson.  In the Jimmy.  I'd thought about getting them out, but in all the hoopla, it completely slipped my mind. 

Oh, I can still go to work.  I'll just have to go to HR and get a new badge, then get Supervisor Ronnie to fix my clock in time.  He'll laugh, but that's OK. If it weren't for Will saying something, I'd have left my tool bag in there, too.

I'll have to bum a ride.  To work, that is.  Since half the plant drives right by my house, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.  I just don't like feeling like I'm imposing on people. 

As if all that weren't enough, to add insult to injury, I was letting the dogs out this morning, and the door knob fell apart in my hand.  I managed to jury rig it back together so that I can get in and out that door, but I don't know how long it will hold.  And since I am vehicle-less, I can't just run to the hardware store and get a new one.   I do have another door, but I don't like using it because it sticks.  Just one more thing I need to get fixed. 

It's times like this that I think maybe I need to break down and find me a man to take care of all this stuff so I could just stay home and cook.  I'd feed him good, too.  The trick would be finding one I didn't end up wanting to strangle after the first month.  So, I'll just keep taking care of things myself. 

Other than fretting over my car and rebuilding a doorknob, I spent the day getting everything ready for tomorrow.  It's just going to be me and Cody, but we are still going to have a good Thanksgiving.  I put all my casseroles together, so that all I have to do in the morning is bake them.

And I baked a pumpkin pie.

I was going to do a sweet potato pie, too, but I decided that one pie would be enough. 

Now I need to get to bed so I don't sleep through the parade tomorrow.  Yes, I still watch the parade.  I never miss it. 

Before I go, here is my new favorite Christmas song:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Well, That Was An Adventure

It was supposed to be a simple, quick trip.

Drive down, pick Cody up, and bring him home for Thanksgiving.  No problem, right?  It's only about a 2 hour drive each way, so I ought to be home in time to make a pumpkin pie, right?  Right?   I did my pre trip checks -- oil, antifreeze, etc.-- and set out for Jackson. 

I got as far as Canton (about 10 miles outside of Jackson) when I noticed my Jimmy was running very hot.  I pulled off the highway and into a gas station to let it cool off.  I checked the fluid in the radiator and it was slap empty.  At first, I thought I might not have gotten the cap securely when I checked the fluid this morning, but no...the steam was coming from the wrong place.  I had a leak somewhere.

I ran into the store and bought another bottle of antifreeze and put it into my radiator.  I also filled up two empty antifreeze bottles with water, thinking I could just stop and top it up when it started getting hot, then hit the road again.

Nope.  I only got about 15 minutes farther down the road when the Jimmy started running hot again.  I pulled off the road at the nearest exit, into the closest gas station/convenience store and checked the radiator.  Sure enough, it was empty again. 

Now, normally in this situation, I would have called James or Mike, but since today was my Uncle's funeral, everyone I knew was in Texas.  Cody had wanted to go, too, but I already didn't trust my vehicle to make that trip.  Indeed, I barely made it to Jackson.  There's no way I could have driven all the way to Texas. Be that as it may...I did text James (because I wasn't sure what time the funeral was) and asked him to call me.

I called Cody and asked him if he could get someone to bring him to meet me.  For some reason, I was thinking that if I could just get him to be there with me, everything would be all right.  I didn't even know where I was, but I knew I needed him there.  I got on Google Maps and messaged him my location-- being thankful for the capitalistic society that made it possible for me to buy a phone with GPS on it, and the capability to send him a map with a little blue dot showing my exact location.  But I digress...only slightly. 

Cody's roommate is from Jackson, so he knew where the gas station with my little blue GPS dot was located.  I told Cody to ask him if he knew a reputable mechanic.   He didn't, but he called his uncle, who did. 

So, Dejuan* brought Cody to meet me, and stayed with us the whole time.  He called his uncle, who gave him the mechanic's number.  He called the mechanic, then handed the phone to me to explain what the problem was.  Will-- the mechanic-- said he would send a tow truck to bring Jimmy to his shop so he could check it out.  About 20 minutes later, he called back and said he couldn't get ahold of either of the tow truck drivers, so he was coming himself to look at it. 

After about half an hour, he showed up and the first thing I noticed was his Pittsburgh Steelers hat.  The first thing he noticed was all the Dallas Cowboys stickers I have all over Jimmy.  We laughed about that, because there is a long time animosity between Cowboys and Steelers fans.  We talked football a bit.  He checked out Jimmy, and said that the lower intake gasket was blown.  That's where the antifreeze was leaking.  He said it would not be safe to drive it back to Grenada because I could blow the head gasket and ruin the entire motor.  He didn't even want to risk driving it to his shop.  I would need to have it towed.

About that time, James called me and asked what was going on.  I told him what had happened, and that I had started to freak out a little bit and just needed to talk to someone who would know what to do.  He asked if I had roadside assistance on my car insurance.  I wasn't sure, so I did that State Farm jingle, and poof...nobody actually showed up and I felt like a fool.  Not really.  I called my State Farm agent, and she said that I did, but it wouldn't pay to tow the Jimmy all the way back to Grenada.  They'd only pay to tow to a local mechanic. 

Will was still there, because he wasn't going to just go off and leave me stranded, so I said I'd have them tow it to his shop, and just rent a car to drive back to Grenada. 

"You won't have to do that," he said.  "I'll drive you back." 

"Seriously?  You'll drive me all the way back to Grenada?"
"I sure will," he said.  "I'll even come get you when your truck is ready." 

 May I remind you, Gentle Reader, that it was over 100 miles from wherever I was to Grenada.  Then he'd have to drive that same 100 + miles to get back home.  Then do it again when Jimmy was fixed.  (Except that he may not have to.  I have a local friend who would probably drive me down there to pick it up.  And Cody has already found a ride back to school, so that's good.) 

Wow, I thought.  This guy is really going out of his way for me.  So, I called the roadside assistance number on the back of my insurance card, and they sent a tow truck.  Will called his wife, and she came and picked us up, then they both drove us back to Grenada.  It was about halfway during the trip back that we found out that Will is a huge, huge LSU fan also. 

Now if that's not a sign I have someone looking out for me, I don't know what is.  

Needless to say, we didn't make it home in time to make pies, but because of the kindness of some wonderful people, we did make it home. 

 And that is something to be very thankful for. 

*It's pronounced like DiJohn.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Vacation, Sort Of

Today begins my Thanksgiving break from work.  I won't have to go back until December 1st. 

Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the vacation days I have left, I'm only going to be working 10 more days this year.  One of those days off, I hope to make it up to Southaven and get together with Amy.  It's been too long since we've seen each other.  I thought briefly about going up there today, but decided I just didn't feel like it.  It's been a rough week, and I just needed a day to do nothing.

But I ended up doing stuff anyway.   

I went to the store and got everything I need for Thanksgiving.  Even though it's just going to be Cody and me, we're still going to have a good dinner.  I'll have to go down Tuesday and pick him up, then take him back Sunday afternoon.  Knowing him, he'll probably spend most of the time hanging out with his friends, but that's OK.  I'll commandeer him for dinner and an hour or two to help me put up the Christmas tree.

Aside from going to the store, I spent a good deal of the day organizing and putting away some of the yarn that has been piled on my couch. 

I know the pile is still pretty big, but I have put quite a bit of yarn back into the closet. The next thing is to find bags into which I can put all the half finished projects and their associated yarn.  I don't want all that just floating randomly around the closet. 

It would probably help if I actually finished some of the aforementioned half finished projects, but why get crazy? 

I'm also working on this hat, but it's going slowly.  Red Heart is hard for me to knit hats with anyway, and I'm using two strands with this one.  I can only do a few rounds at a time before my hands get tired.  I think this will be the last one of these I make for a while. 

The good news is, the yellow is the same color I'm using for Kyle's blanket, so as soon as I finish, it will go into that project.  Which I need to get back to work on. 

At this rate, it'll be done in time for him to give it to his first great-grandchild. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Cowboy Rides Away

The last goodbye is the hardest one to say.
 This is where the cowboy rides away. 

Curtis Lavergne Armstrong
November 19, 2104

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

In Spite Of Everything

In spite of everything else that is going on, I had a rather productive weekend.  Besides the usual laundry and vacuuming, I actually mopped my kitchen and bathroom floors.  Yay me!

Before Mike's little incident, the original plan was for James and me to spend Sunday afternoon grinding up deer meat.  So, I needed to make some room in my freezer.  I dug way down to the bottom and found four bags of tomatoes. Fresh garden tomatoes.  Well, they were fresh when I swiped them from James' garden and put them into my freezer a couple of years ago...

But enough about that...

I cooked them down, and will eventually make soup out of them.  Which will have to somehow go back into the freezer.  Imagine my horror when I got home from work today and discovered I'd forgotten to put an entire box of Jenny O's Turkey Burgers back into the freezer.  Even as cool as it has been, after sitting out for 4 days, I felt that discretion was the better part of valor and tossed them.  I guess that's where I'll get my room in the freezer for the soup.   Whenever I get around to making it. 

In other news...

I've been wanting to clean out my computer/craft room for some time now.  It was starting to look like something that belonged in an episode of Hoarders.  During the non-stop rain Sunday, and other plans being put on hold, I finally got to it. 

The first thing I did was drag all the yarn that was sitting around in boxes and bags on the floor out and put them on the couch.  

That's a lot of yarn.  That's not even counting the what is still on shelves in the closet, or the yarn I had already dragged out to weave with. 

Can you believe I haven't bought yarn in a year????  And I still have that much left. 

After getting all of that up off of the floor, most of what was left was old receipts and junk mail waiting to be shredded or burned.  Today being a relatively calm day, and with the ground still being saturated from nearly 24 hours of non stop rain, as soon as I got home from work, I bagged it all up and headed out to the burning barrels.

You know that old saying that smoke follows beauty?  Well, that smoke must have thought I was the most beautiful thing that ever existed. South side of the barrels, here comes the smoke.  Move around to the North side, yep, the wind switches and suddenly the smoke is blowing that direction... No matter where I went, it followed me.  Whatever, I finally got all my junk burned, reflecting as I did so on the sad state of our society.  A society in which healthy, able bodied people would rather dig through someone else's garbage than be independent and self sufficient. 

There is still a lot of stuff in my computer/craft room floor, but it's a lot better than it was. In the midst of all that junk and clutter, I found an entire bag full of completed scarves. 

You get a picture of the bag and not the scarves because I'm so together like that.  I used to knit scarves for a charity called Scarves From The Heart, which donated them to a couple of cancer centers in their area.  The last time I went to the website to look up the address to send them some more, I found that the site had been taken down and the charity disbanded.  Or disassociated.  Or whatever charities do when they stop being charities. 

So now I've got a bag full of frou frou scarves and no place to send them.  They are more decorative than warm, and hand wash only, so not suitable for homeless shelters and such. Oh, well, I'll find somewhere for them eventually. 

Speaking of scarves, I found this lovely bit of Cherry Tree Hill stuck in the back of the closet and promptly warped the loom with it. 

The color is Spring Frost.  I haven't started weaving yet, though.  I'm still having some slight tension issues, and the accompanying frustration has kind of put me off for a while. 

Now, the moment I'm sure you've all been waiting least those of you who read my earlier Facebook status. 

Today at work, we had our annual Thanksgiving dinner.  On the menu this year was ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, and cranberry sauce.  Oh, and cake. 

It was all very delicious, except the green beans and cranberry sauce, which I didn't get because I don't like them.  As I was enjoying my potatoes and gravy, I came upon a brown, globby mass in the gravy.  I pushed it around with my fork a minute, then said, "I don't know what that is, but I'm fixing to eat it." 

If that isn't proof that the people who invented haggis are somewhere in my ancestry, I don't know what is. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

It's Been Rough

It's been a rough weekend. 

Beverly called me as soon as I'd gotten home from work Friday.  My uncle doesn't have much time left, so she was going to go back to Texas and stay with him until....

Sunday afternoon, James called me and said that they'd had to rush Mike to the hospital because they thought he was having a heart attack.  It wasn't, but he does have some pretty serious issues.  I won't go into detail because it's not my place to put his business all over the internet.  They sent him home with about 5 prescriptions,  along with orders to change his diet and lose some weight.   

Today, James called me at work and told me he was headed to Texas.  Beverly had called him and said that if he wanted to see "Pop" one last time, he'd better come now. 

So they're in Texas, and I'm just sitting here feeling so far away...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Telephones...and Stuff

I've always had telephone issues.  I've known this for a long time.  For almost as long, I've thought there was just something wrong with me. 

Lately, as I've become more familiar with the characteristics of introverts, I've discovered that telephone issues are pretty common amongst us.  Us introverts, that is.  Still...

I was about 16, at home alone one evening when the phone rang.   Being as I was home alone, it was up to me to walk into the kitchen where our rotary dial phone hung and pick up the handset.


Before the days of Caller ID, I had no idea who was on the other end of the line.  Whoever it was asked for my mother.

"She's not available right now.  May I take a message?"

"No, that's OK," the lady said.  She explained that her son was about to leave for college, and was just wondering what kinds of things she would need for his dorm room.  She knew that my brother had started college the year before, and was going to ask my mother for some tips.

"Hmmm, I don't really know, but if you'll leave me your name and number, I'll have my mom call you when she gets home."

"No, that's OK," she said again.

She thanked me for my trouble, and we hung up.  Sometime later, my parents came home and I mentioned the call to my mother.  Big mistake.  I got chewed up one side and down the other.

"You should have taken a message!!!" my mother screamed at me.

I'd asked twice, and the lady had declined.  What was I supposed to do?  Crawl through the phone line and forcibly extract a message from her?  My mother and I got into such an argument that my daddy actually yelled at me.  It's the only time in my life I can remember him yelling at me like that.

My mother eventually figured out who had called, and returned her call.  Then I had to listen to her apologize for "her stupid daughter who didn't know how to take a message." 

Sigh, is it any wonder I have phone issues.

In other news, it's cold outside.  It's so cold, that my knitting mojo seems to have headed South for the winter.

Souther than Mississippi, at least.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday Randomness

I was laying in bed last night, reading my birthday present (thanks, Lisa!).  I'd gotten to a part in which Cary Elwes was telling the story of how they were trying to film a particular scene, and just as Cary was to deliver his line, Andre' the Giant (Fezzig) let out a tremendous, earth rattling fart.  After a moment of shocked silence, the entire cast and crew dissolved into laughter, and it took them several more attempts to finally get the shot. Which, obviously they did.  Because they finished the movie.  But anyway...

As I was reading this very paragraph, Jesse let out a tremendous, earth rattling fart.  My first thought was, "Cool!  This book has sound effects!" 

Then the stench reached my nose, and....well, you don't want to know what my second thought was.

In better news, it's finally cold enough to break out my favorite White & Nerdy hoodie.

Which means it's also cold enough for some gumbo, which I will make this weekend.  I've had the ingredients for several weeks now.  I was just waiting for when the time was right.  I think now the time is right. 

It's also time to pull the ol' coat out of the closet and throw an extra blanket on the bed. 

And finally, life is now complete. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dear Keira Knightly

Gain some weight.

Not a lot.  Just enough so that you are no longer considered medically anorexic. 

Then you can lecture us about body image.


 Normal women everywhere

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day

When I was a little girl, my dad would take me to our town's Veteran's Day parade.

He never called it Veteran's Day.  He insisted on calling it Armistice Day.  I couldn't pronounce it.  I called it Armisticeticetice Day.  I was in high school before I'd ever heard anyone call it Veteran's Day.  I was even more shocked to find out that they'd changed the name in the 1950s. 

Be that as it may, he would take me to our town's Veteran's Day parade and say they were having a parade for my birthday. 

Which just happens to be on Veteran's Day.

Happy birthday to me!

I woke up this morning after some very strange dreams, including one shocking dream in which a very good friend of mine suddenly died.  I was very relieved to find her still alive and well today.  Whew!   After startling awake and falling back to sleep, I dreamed that Penny from The Big Bang Theory and I were signing up for an adult basketball league.  Then she tried to push me into the pool.  Chair and all. 

Don't ask.  Even I don't know.

I got to work and Supervisor Ronnie wished me a happy birthday, and told Group Leader Fernando to go easy on my today because it was my birthday.   Group Leader Fernando thought he said to take it easy on me because I just started.

He said he did pass his hearing test.  I asked him if he was sure about that...

Whether it was because of my birthday, or because I just started, whatever-- he didn't.  Go easy on me, that is.  It wasn't all his fault, though.  The previous shift had left us such a mess that it was rough all around. 

Then Vanessa bought me a Sprite Zero for my birthday, and my day got better. 

She was going to buy me a Dr Pepper, because she knows that's what I drink, but was busy talking and pushed the wrong button. That's OK.  I like Sprite, too. 

So, after a second very difficult day at work, I'm plumb tuckered.  So I'll just leave you with this little bit of humor.

I know who bonkyhort Cutiebrunch is. 

Do you?

Monday, November 10, 2014


I finished a hat.

I bought some nuts.

I started a sock.

Happy Birthday, Marines. 

I'm afraid that's all I've got for you today. 

Friday, November 07, 2014

Dear CoWorker

You will not break me.  The more you try, the stronger I will become.  Therefore, I strongly suggest you just give up, before you end up being the one who is broken.

Oh, and just one more thing, 

Thank you.  Thank you very, very much. 

That is all.

 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17 NIV

Thursday, November 06, 2014

It's Here!

It's here! It's here! It's here!!! My boat head thing is here!

I'm all set for the Army/Navy game!  Woo hoo!!!!

A while back, I used to have an NFL Extra Points credit card.  I stopped using it a couple of years ago and have since paid the balance off.  Trying to get out of debt, you know.  A few days ago, I got an email from them informing me that I still had some 12,000 rewards points. 

Off to the redemption center I went to cash them in!  This is what I got:

A new Christmas tree ornament.

A new t-shirt.  And yes, that is an autographed photo of Lt. Col Allen West in the background. 

And these gloves that form the star when you hold your hands just right. 

The best part is, it didn't cost me anything!  Not even shipping. 

I had planned on going up to hang out with Amy tomorrow, but wouldn't you know it.  The one Friday I actually have something planned, they decide we need to work.  I'm not complaining, though.  I'm just glad I have a job. 

There are still way too many people out there who can't say that. 

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Christmas Already?

It started raining right about the time I left for work this morning, and it hasn't stopped yet.  With the rain will come cooler temperatures.  It put me in the mood for the new disc that was waiting for me when I got home.

The DVD has two Little House episodes on it-- Christmas at Plum Creek, and The Christmas They Never Forgot.  I'd had an old DVD with these same episodes on it, but the picture and sound quality was so bad that I could hardly stand to watch them.  I mean, I did, because I loved the shows, but well, it was pretty bad.

As soon as I heard they were being remastered and re-released, I preordered it right away.  It was only $5.79, so I didn't mind spending that.  And yes, I did watch it already.  And yes, the picture and sound was much, much better.

So, I'm already for Christmas!  Well, except for buying presents, and all.

I guess I'd better get started.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Election Day 2014

On this election day, November 4, 2014, I was faced with a moral dilemma rather different from anything I've ever dealt with.

I mean, elections haven't really been pleasant for a long while.  It's pretty much been a case of voting for the least offensive candidate.  But this was especially difficult.

As a professing Christian, I cannot, cannot vote for any candidate from the party that loudly and emphatically booed God at their national convention.

And yet, how can I in good conscience vote for a candidate who willfully and knowingly violated several counts of state law to secure his party's nomination?  

It was a truly agonizing decision.  But one day last week, I was reminded that the lesser of two evils is still the lesser of two evils. 

And so, I hitch up my britches and head to the polls, where I will hold my nose and vote for the one I consider to be

the lesser of two evils. 

Monday, November 03, 2014

First Frost

Over the weekend, we had our first frost of the fall. 

It did a number on my flower bed.

I actually took a couple of pictures, then decided that you really didn't want to see a bed full of dead flowers.

You can thank me now.

While it was all cold and frosty, I sat inside and knit.  I was working on this hat, when I decided I had an awful lot of yarn left. 

I was almost to the crown decreases, and yet I ripped it all out and started over with an 80 stitch cast on.  I'm almost back to where I was before I frogged it. 

It will make a child/youth sized hat, or an adult sized beanie. 

Speaking of hats, I got two new ones today.  I caught these on sale, marked down to $2.50 each. 

I couldn't pass that up, even though the shipping was more than the hats were.  The one on the left says veteran on the brim. 

And on the other side, it has an embossed Navy seal. 

Not to be confused with a Navy SEAL, which is a horse of a completely different color. 


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