Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Year In Pictures













Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It Pours

Sometime after lunch, I trudged out to the honey house and got my car battery off of the charger, and lugged it back up to the house.  Let me tell you, those things are heavier than they look.  Nevertheless, I soldiered on and got it back into my Jimmy.  It was then that I discovered that I don't have a wrench the right size to fit the battery cables, so I couldn't hook them back up.

When James got home from work, he came over and hooked up my battery cables, and....Jimmy still wouldn't start.   James, Cody, and I got out and loaded it up onto his trailer and hauled it to the mechanic -- who won't be back until Monday. Well, Cody held the flashlight.  But we won't go into that.  I apologized for being such a bother all the time.  But we won't go into that, either. 

So, once again, I am vehicle-less.  At least this time, I had sense enough to get my work ID and safety glasses out.

I'm hoping and praying that it will be something relatively simple.  Even so, I've had that Jimmy for 12 years, and I've been thinking for a few months now that it's time to start looking for a new car.  I'm not quite sure how I'm going to pay for it, but I need something more dependable.

Not that Jimmy wasn't dependable in his day, but as with all things, nothing lasts forever.

Speaking of nothing lasting forever, it is with great sadness I have to report that I had to say goodbye to one of my favorite pair of flannel lounge pants. It has developed a somewhat sizable hole in a very -- shall we say -- inconvenient location. 

Let's all take a moment of silence in their memory.

All done?  OK, onward...

I finally finished the last Christmas present.  Truth is, I didn't start it until after Christmas.  We were over at Beverly's house and Cody mentioned still needing to get something for his girlfriend.  I said he could come pick out a scarf for her, but he said, "I was thinking about some fingerless gloves, because she has circulations problems."  That's right up my alley. 

I came right home and whipped out a pair of Fetching.  

I had quite a bit of yarn left so I said to myself, "Self, I wonder if I could make a matching hat."  After a bit of tinkering, I think I came up with a passable Fetching hat. 

I showed them to Cody, and he said "They'll do." 

Or something to that effect. 

Now that the frantic preparation for Christmas is over, I can get back to my previously started projects. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

When It Rains

It should have been a simple trip into town to buy dog food.

They were almost out, so I needed to go get them some before they decided to eat me.  No problem, right?  But when I went out to leave, Jimmy wouldn't start.  Sigh...

I called James and he said it sounded like the battery.  When he got home from work, he checked it, and sure enough, it was run down.  I can't think of what would run it down, though, since all my lights and things are automatic and shut off when I turn the ignition off.   Still, I should have had a clue when I opened the door and the dome light didn't come on. 

Anyway, we put it on the charger and will check it tomorrow.  (The charger has an automatic shut off, so there's no worries about overcharging.) I'm just hoping it was the battery, and not the alternator failing to keep it charged.  Even if it is, an alternator is a pretty easy fix.  And what do you know, I've already got an extra one.  Mike brought it to me a few years ago, and it's been sitting in Cody's old room ever since.  I do know how to replace an alternator.  I've done it before.  I used to do all my own vehicle maintenance, but I've gotten to the point now that I'd rather just pay someone to do it for me.

Back to my shopping -- all was not lost, as I was able to once again borrow Beverly's car and run get some dog food.  The dogs have been safely fed, and are no longer eying me as if I were a t-bone steak.

While I was in the store, I picked up a new pie pan.

 I'd bought some at the dollar store several years ago when I started making my own crusts.  They were some kind of metal -- I'm guessing aluminum or tin.  I've notice the last couple of years, they've been making my crusts taste kind of funny.   I'm not sure why.  I'm guessing that the non stick coating has worn off, and the dough is absorbing traces of the metal.  Maybe.  What I am sure of is, I am sure I don't like it.  I figure a glass pan will solve that problem.  Wonder of wonders, I have enough left over mashed sweet potatoes to make a pie.  I know what I'm going to do tomorrow.

A few weeks ago, a friend clued me in to Tealated.  It's a website that sells loose tea blends.  I requested a couple of samples, and ended up buying some for my sister for Christmas.  She has all kinds of flavors.  I've tried Peachy White and Cream of Earl Gray.

I'm going to try to drink more tea and less coke.  So...I thought I had a tea strainer around here somewhere, but I couldn't find it, so I picked up a new one.

I am now enjoying a delicious mug of Cream of Earl Gray, thanks to my new tea strainer.

When I got home, I checked the mail, and my new Kindle Fire case was here!

 I was a bit disappointed, because it seems so flimsy.  For what I paid for it, I was expecting something more like my old Kindle cover, which is very sturdy.  Hardback book type of sturdy.  This one just seems like very thin plastic. But it will provide a measure of protection for my new Fire, along with the vinyl screen protectors I got.

Hey, anyone remember shrinky dinks?  Another one of my friends was talking about them, and I just couldn't resist ordering me some with my Christmas money. 

I got a cheap set, since I'm just doing it for whimsy.

Oh, and FYI, do not call the shrink wrap you use at work "shrinky dink".  You will get a very strange look from your Group Leader Fernando.

Trust me on this. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

A Few More Christmas Photos

We had to do Christmas a little different this year, because of work schedules and all.  Normally, we would get together on Christmas Eve to open gifts from extended family.  Then we'd have family time on Christmas morning, and go to Beverly's house for Christmas dinner. 

But this year, we just did it all on Christmas morning, after James woke up from his nap. 

Cody got just what every college student needs:  a microwave ramen cooker. 

Josh admiring Shelbi's bracelet.

Cody asked for a lot of movies. This is only two of the several that he received.

And he's turned into quite the coffee connoisseur.  This is called St. Nickerdoodle.  I think it was from my sister.  I'm not really sure. 

Josh and Shelbi were both quite taken with the hat I knit him. 

"Finally, a hat that will fit his big head," Shelbi said.

Speaking of Josh, he loves peanut butter, so Beverly got him two huge jars of it for his Christmas gift.

Dennise got a coffee maker.

She was thrilled with it.   It will come in quite handy in their house full of coffee drinkers. 

The flannel pants I give every couple of years are always popular.

Mike didn't get Christmas lights for a gift.  It was a couple of my uncle's pocket knives in the box. 

 And what would Christmas be without children? 

Cody and all his loot:

Here is my loot:

I got quite a bit of money this year, so I pooled it and bought myself a Kindle Fire.

But, like a knucklehead, I thought the cover I'd bought for my old Kindle would fit, so I didn't order one.

After I opened it, I discovered that said cover would not fit said new Kindle Fire.  I had some money left over, so I ordered a new one. 

In the meantime, I've been having fun figuring out all that I can do with it.  So far, I've mostly played games.  Oh, and read Shakespeare. 

Henry V to be exact. 

And that was Christmas 2014.  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Our Christmas

A few photos from our Christmas.

Our Tree:

Beverly and James' tree:

And the ubiquitous family photos:

Beverly and James:


Cody and Me:

Mike and Dennise:

Josh, Shelbi, Dennise, Mike, and Cory:

Josh, Shelbi, and Cory:

We were missing Brittani and Cameron, but we had a good Christmas.  More photos later.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sad News

Remember the little carrot I was growing in the saucer? 

This one:

I'm afraid I got some bad news for ya. 

Friday it was fairly warm, so it put it outside to get some sunlight.  I put it on top of my garbage can, thinking it would be safe there.  It wasn't. 

Something ate it.  Some little wild critter ate my carrot. 

Let's all take a moment of silence to remember this brave little vegetable. 

Fair carrot, we hardly knew ye. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Meeting Friends

It all started a couple of days ago, when one of my Facebook friends posted that she was at LAX headed to Memphis.

"Memphis?"  I immediately perked up.  "You're coming to Memphis?  You know I live just South of Memphis, right?"

"I'm closer," Amy chimed in, as soon as she saw the conversation that was taking place.

It didn't take long before we all put our heads together, and decided we ought to get together.  "Hey, we need to invite Christi, too!"  And boom, just like that, we had a meet up planned.

Christi was going to swing by and pick me up, then we'd drive on up to Memphis together, only she got so excited, she left the house two hours early.  She messaged me and said, "Guess where I am."

"Are you in Grenada already?"  Yep, she was here already.  She told me to take my time, and she would just hang out at McDonald's or somewhere until I was ready.  But I was already ready, sitting there watching the clock and twiddling my thumbs.  I jumped into Jimmy and headed out to meet Christi, then off to Memphis we went.

We were going to meet everyone at Otherlands Coffee Bar.  Neither of us had ever been there before, and Christi had gotten driving directions from Google Maps.  Let me tell you, that Google has some strange sense of direction.  She was telling us to turn right when we should have turned left, then getting off at Senatobia, when we should have just gone straight.  Basically, we ignored her and made our own way.

It was a beautiful day for a trip, sunny and not too warm.  Since we left early, we got to Memphis early, too.  We were both a bit peckish by then, and drove around until we found a McDonald's, and stopped to get something to eat. 

Here we have Christi, enjoying her lunch.

I have no idea why I'm making this goofy face, but there it is. 

After we ate, we sat there in McDonald's for a while and said, "What now?"  Christi said, "Let's just go on to Otherlands and wait for them there."  And that's what we did.

We found the coffee bar, and found a place to sit.  Christi pulled out her drop spindle, and I pulled out my knitting. 

We attracted the attention of a lovely young man named Ben, who showed us the necklace he was crocheting. 

Pretty cool, huh?

Soon, Leann and her husband Adam arrived. 

She showed us the Clapotis she is knitting for her mother in law for Christmas. 

Then Amy arrived (with her Doctor Who socks she is knitting for her husband), and the party was on. 

We all knit, and Christi spun, 

and Adam thought he was going to be bored (he thought we would be talking about nothing but knitting), but I think he had just as good a time as the rest of us.  We talked about knitting, sure, but we also talked about football, and comic books, and guns, and nuclear waste, and discovered that Amy and Adam had lived in the same place but not at the same time, and we talked about kids and grandkids, and sheep, and Amy's cows...and Adam taught us how to commit the perfect murder, until Leann pointed out that Bones would figure it out anyway...and we talked about Harry Potter, and the restaurant Leann and Adam had eaten lunch in (it wasn't very good), and people with unusually large heads.  Don't even ask.   

And Adam disappeared under the table.  "Is he down there fixing the table?" I asked Leann.

"Well, somebody needs to," was Adam's reply. "They ought to give you a free cappuccino for doing it," Leann said.  But they didn't. 

All too soon, it was time to leave.  We stood up for the mandatory group photos.

Leann, Amy, Christi, and me

Adam and Leann

Amy and Christi

And we hugged, and we clung to each other, and we stood out in the parking lot another 30 minutes talking, we promised to get together again, and many bitter tears were shed at our parting. 

Then off home we all headed.  Christi and I drove randomly around Memphis for a while until we found the highway, and made it home safely without incident. 

My dogs were very glad to see me, as they were outside and it was dark by then.  Jessie is afraid of the dark, you know.

He's the most neurotic dog I've ever known.

But I luvs him anyway.   


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