Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter Eggs

I tried to dye my fake eggs yesterday, and was a bit disappointed.  They did not take dye well at all.

They are even paler in person, now that they are fully dry.  I'm thinking they might work out better if I use some craft paint.  I think I still have some around here somewhere.  I may get one of those spongy things and do that thing where you speckle paint with the sponge.

I call it spongeling.  I don't know what the real term is. 

I was going to make the cookies, but I decided against it.  Rumor has it that we are going to work not only Friday, but Saturday also.  I won't know for sure until probably Wednesday. 

Whatever happens, I'll let you know. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015


The phone and I are slowly getting used to each other.  For some reason, this phone has decided that he wants a name.  I've never had a phone with a name before, but this one wants to be called Fred.  Since I have been known to lose arguments with inanimate objects before, I decided to just go with the flow.

The phone is now named Fred. 

I went to Wal-mart after work yesterday to see if I could find a case and a car charger for Fred.  They were all out of cases, so that was a bust.  I looked on Amazon, but there were so many choices that I started to get overwhelmed.  I didn't order one yet.  I can't decide whether I want a Doctor Who, or Sherlock, or Walking Dead, or Dallas Cowboys....

They did have some car chargers, but I didn't want to spend $30 on a new one.  They had an adapter that I could have used with my iPhone 4s charger, but it cost just as much as a whole charger.  I ended up getting this:

It cost 1/3 as much as the charger, and I can use the cord that came with the phone.  I can also use it to charge my Kindle, if I take a road trip or something. 

A couple of weeks ago, a coworker asked when I was going to bring some more cookies to work.  The ones I brought in for Valentine's Day went over really well, so I figured I could make some more around Easter.  I had some Easter cookie cutters around here somewhere, or so I thought. 

I searched high and low, but couldn't find them.  Eh, I thought, I'll just buy some new ones.  They're cheap.  I started searching the stores for Easter type cookie cutters -- not just eggs, but anything Easter related.  I couldn't find anything.  I found butterflies and flowers, but nothing specifically Easterish.

Next step, check online.  I checked Amazon, Ebay, and Etsy.  They had some cutters, but not the ones I remembered.  Not the ones I wanted.  I was about to give up, when I wandered into one last vintage bakeware shop on Etsy.  Lo and behold, there they were!

Naturally, I ordered them straight away -- fearing all the while that someone else would type faster than I, and would beat me to them.  But no...I got them, and they arrived today.  Yippee!

While I was waiting for them to get here, I bought some colored sprinkles to decorate the cookies I plan on making. 

I also dug out my Easter cookie stamps. 

Now, I just have to wait and find out if they give us Good Friday off.  Some years they do; some years they don't. 

Either way, we're going to have cookies.  It's only a question of when.

One last thing:  it snowed today.  In Mississippi.  So, how's that global warming working out for ya?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yesterday's Post

This was supposed to be yesterday's post, but I was waiting for the FedEx guy.  I was expecting a package, so I was waiting on the FedEx guy. 

While I was waiting, I checked my mailbox.  There was a package in my mailbox.  It was the last Christmas present.

Beverly and James collect bird ornaments for their Christmas tree.  Back in November, I was looking in the Avon book, and saw this one.

 "What a great gift!"  I thought.  When I went to buy it, though, it was unavailable.  I clicked the link to have them notify me when it became available again.   Christmas came and went, and I never received the notification.  I bought them something else, and didn't think about it any more. 

About 10 days ago, I got the e-mail.  The ornament was back in stock.  Fat lot of good that did me, but then I thought, "what the heck, I'll buy it anyway.  At least they'll be able to add it to their collection."  And that is what I did. 

I was still waiting for the FedEx guy when the UPS guy arrived, bringing me my new movie.

I haven't watched it yet.  I'll probably wait until the weekend, so I can relax and really enjoy it.

I was still waiting for the FedEx guy, and getting a little aggravated.  I wanted to go take a shower to wash the day's sweat and grime from my body.  I figured it'd be just my luck that as soon as I got in the shower, he'd show up.  So, I waited.  Waited for the FedEx guy...

Finally, at 7:00 PM, the FedEx guy showed up.

"Had you given up on me?" he asked.

"Just about," I said. 

He explained that they had gotten so far behind because of all the ice and snow, and the airports being closed and the roads closed...they were just now starting to get caught up.  It's been rough, he said.

And just what had the long awaited FedEx guy brought me?  A new phone!

Yep, I was due for an upgrade.  I debated on skipping straight to the iPhone 6, but when I realized I could get a 5 for less than $100, my Luddite ways won out.    Besides, I figured, what do I use a phone for, but to check Facebook and play Hay Day?  Yeah, my issues run deep. 

I'll wait a few weeks before I give my opinion on it.  I'm still in the I don't like it!  It's new and I don't like new!  stage.  I'm sure I'll like it fine once I get used to it. 

Or as well as I can like any phone.  Like I said, my phone issues run deep. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

I'm Back!

Sort of.

I'm tired.  Incredibly, mind-numbingly tired.  So tired, I slept through my alarm yesterday morning.  I must have turned it off, but I honestly don't even remember doing so.  I'm just glad my church puts the sermons on their website.

Yes, I'm still going in to work at 5 AM, despite being so tired.  I have to get the overtime while I can.  You never know when they are going to say no more

Not much has happened since last I wrote.  I finished the hat I started last week when we took Cody back to school.

I planted a few of my wildflower seeds:

It's been so long since I blogged that they've actually started growing.

Since it has finally stopped raining -- for a few days at least-- I put them outside to get some sun.   I know some of my seeds haven't sprouted, but I'm hoping they will in a few more days.  Even if they don't, I have plenty of seeds left, and I'll plant some more in the empty peat.  I want to get out and start getting my beds ready, but it's still way too muddy.

Two things I've always carried with me since I was...well, since I was old enough that my mother couldn't forbid me to, are a pocket knife, and a cigarette lighter.  People often ask me why I carry a lighter when I don't smoke.  It's an old habit from the days when I spent my time roaming the woods.  If something happened, if I got lost, or hurt and couldn't make it back home, at least I could start a fire.

Back when I was in the Navy, I had a really nice Zippo.  I'm not sure what happened to it.  I think the ex stole it from me.  Since then, I've carried a disposable, but a while back, I saw some Zippos in the check out line at Wal-mart.  On impulse, I bought one.

Only, I couldn't find any lighter fluid.  I looked all over that store, every time I went in, and no lighter fluid.  Friday, I was wandering through the store, and lo and behold, there it was.  Lighter fluid. 

I grabbed it up, bought it, and brought it home, aaaaand,

I can't find the lighter. 


Welcome to my world. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Feeling Almost Normal

I think I'm starting to adjust to this new work/sleep schedule.  I feel almost normal today -- normal enough to write a brief, yet meaningful, post.  Of course, the meaningfulness of what I say is always debatable.  But here you go.

The conundrum is that in order to get even a halfway decent night's sleep, I have to go to bed at a ridiculously early hour -- like 7:30 -- which leaves little time for, well for anything.  But you have to get the overtime while it's there.  All too soon, we will be back on four day work weeks.

I had to run to the store this afternoon, and found a few fascinating finds.  One of which was these fake Easter eggs.

I know some of you will think these are a waste.  Why not dye real eggs?  But for those of us who are allergic, these are a Godsend.  I can dye eggs again!  Well, I can dye them without having to waste a whole bunch of real eggs.  I don't know what they're made of, but they feel pretty sturdy.  I tried smashing one by squeezing it, and it wouldn't break.

Look!  Whole bean coffee!  Finally. 

I'd seen this brand in there before, but was cautioned that the Colombian Peaks variety would knock me upside the head.  It took forever for them to get some regular back in stock.  I was thinking that I was going to have to order some from Amazon.  I may yet, just to try different brands and such.  Looks like I can finally break out my bean grinder.  I haven't even taken it out of the box yet.   Beverly recommended this breakfast blend, so I picked up some of it, too. 

It's taken three years, but I think I finally consider myself a coffee drinker.  I even drink it on my days off, now.  I never used to do that.

 You know, earworms are a strange and wondrous thing.  I always have one or two rolling around in my head.  Today's earworms started off with Rocky Top, moved along to the theme from Vikings, and finally settled on this one:

There I was, lost in my own little world, singing Larry Boy and doing the asparagus' dance. Suddenly, it occurred to me that I was not alone.   I turned around, and there he was.  Group Leader Fernando.  Giving me the strangest look. 

"Are you all right?" he asked. 

I just laughed, and undaunted, danced on. 

Sometimes, you just have the music in you. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Safe And Sound

Cody has been delivered back to Mississippi College safe and sound.

Beverly and I took him down there this afternoon.  Since she drove the whole way (I did offer to spell her if she needed me to), I had plenty of knitting time.  Complicated lace doesn't make a very good traveling project, so I found a half ball of Cascade 220 Superwash and cast on another hat.

I got that much done by the time we got home.  It's almost to the point where I start the decreases. 

She asked me what I do with all those hats.  I told her I stick them in a drawer and sooner or later, a need comes up.  Like, a couple of years ago, I sent a bunch to New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy.  This time around, I want to help my own community out.  I'm hoping by fall I will have enough to take to our church's food pantry to give to local folks. 

It's a wonderful thing to be able to use your passion to help others.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

As If That Weren't Enough

As if coming in at 5 AM every day weren't enough...

Seems we have some big inspection coming up next month, so from now until then, Group Leader Fernando wants the place cleaned.  He spent too much time in the Army.  It's a process audit.  They won't be white gloving the pipes and stuff.  But he still wants them white glove clean.  Does he know we work in a factory? 

Nevertheless, he wants the place cleaned up, and said I can stay until 4 every day.  That'll make for long days, short nights, and very good paychecks. 

Speaking of paychecks, this afternoon, I helped Cody fill out his very first tax return.  Boy, the 1040EZ isn't nearly as EZ as I remembered.  Taxes have gotten so complicated it's not even funny.

Speaking of Cody, he's been home on spring break, but because I've been working such long hours, I've barely seen him.  Beverly and I are taking him back to school after church tomorrow.

Speaking of church, if I don't hurry and get to bed, I won't make it.

Speaking of making it, I had a really cool blog post about Pi day all mentally composed, but it's not going to make it.

Sorry about that.  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

It's Official

I got the word today.  Group Leader Fernando told me, "Keep coming in at 5 AM until I tell you to stop." 

Good for the paycheck, but boy will I miss sleeping!  Blogging will likely be sparse, too, at least until I get used to these hours.  I'll check in from time to time, just to let you know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.

Or washed away, which is more likely what with all the rain we've been getting. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must research the price of gopher wood before heading to bed. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Wiped Out

I know it's not in the Bible, but it is my firm belief that God never intended for us to get up in an hour that begins with the numeral 3. 

And yet, that's what I've been doing.  I can't turn down the overtime, even though it's leaving me feeling totally wiped out.  Add that to Daylight Savings Time, and I'm all out of sorts.  Thus, this post will be short, and I cannot vouch for its coherency.

Spring is just around the corner, and it's time to start my seeds.  I bought a new seed tray, since the one I've been using the last several years was just about worn out.

And since I couldn't find the packs of seeds I'd bought a couple of weeks ago, I bought two more.  Naturally, as soon as I got home, I found the other seeds.  I'll probably start them Saturday after work, since we're supposed to be completely deluged this week.  I find that my seeds to better if I set them outside during the day, and only bring them in if it's supposed to be cold.  Like in the 40s or so. 

OK, I'm beginning to ramble now.  Let's move on to the knitting front.   I know you remember the shawl with the hole in it.  I'm thinking I figured out how that hole got there.

 That cat, that cat....In the meantime, I've picked this one back up. 

It is the Anniversary Mystery Shawl from 2012, which I believe is the last one I participated in.  I just had too much going on to keep up with any more of these.

I've also made some hat progress.  

I have to confess, I'm having a bit of trouble warming up to this technique.  I don't like the ridge created at the color changes.  Perhaps with practice, I can minimize that.  I've got plenty of partial balls of hat yarn to work on it.  I'm still going to finish this hat, and see if the ridges soften up any when I wash it. 

I'm not sure how I did it, but if you look closely, you can see that some of the stripes don't match. But, like I said, I'm going to finish it anyway, and it will end up in the charity basket.  It's still wool, and it'll still be warm.  I'm sure whoever ends up with it will appreciate that, and won't look too closely at how well the stripes match.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Winter In The South

The dichotomy of winter in the South.  I have flowers in the sun

and ice in the shadows.

Both of these photos were taken yesterday.  Sunday, March 8, 2015

Friday, March 06, 2015

I Could Cry

You know that  horrible, awful, God-forsaken, straight-from-the-fires-of-Hell itself shawl I've been working on for five long, interminable years?  I was working on it yesterday, when I found this.

I could just cry.  And I'm not ashamed to admit that I did.  A bit. 

I don't know how it got there.  My guess is cat claw.  But as you can see, it's several inches back and below the lowest lifeline.

At this point, I can't even deal.  I stuffed the shawl on the back of the shelf and will decide what to do with it later.  Be warned, though, at this point, I have developed a deep and burning, loathing hatred for this shawl.  More than likely, the entire thing will be ripped out and the yarn re-purposed. 

Right now, I don't care if I never see the blasted thing ever again. 

Thursday, March 05, 2015

A Different Kind Of Mayhem

Thor's Day mayhem took on a different flavor this week, what with winter storm Thor arriving during the night.

Am I the only one who takes great delight in the coincidence that winter storm Thor arrived on Thor's Day?

Of course, for some of you, Thor didn't arrive on Thor's day, so...well, never mind.

Folks, that ain't snow.  It's sleet.  And ice.  But the expected 1/4 - 1/2 inch of ice accumulation didn't happen, and thankfully, the power never went out.  Once the sleeting stopped and the sun came out, the roads cleared up as well.  I shouldn't have any problem getting to work in the morning.

When I got up this morning, the back door was frozen shut.  The doorknob was so coated with ice that I couldn't turn it and open the door.  No problem, I'd just let the dogs out the front door.  Problem, Jesse doesn't like the front door.  He's a strange, neurotic dog, that one.

It took some doing, but I eventually got him outside.

After they'd attended their morning business, they were scratching at the door to come back inside.  Only, they were scratching at the back door.  You know, the one that was frozen shut.  I went to the front door and called them.  Rylea came right around and inside, but Jesse stayed on the back steps looking expectantly at the door.  No matter how many times I called him, he didn't budge.

Sigh, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.  I bundled up and went out to get him.  I led him around to the front door, only he ran completely around the house and right back to the back door.  That dog!  Back around the house I went.  This time, I took him by the collar and led him to the front door.

It took some doing, but I eventually got him inside.

Anyway, Rylea did not like this kind of stuff on the ground.  Here we have her growling at the sleet.  If you look closely, you can see her hackles are raised. 

While I was laughing at Rylea, I noticed that the bird feeder had iced over.  The poor little birds were trying to find seeds on the ground, to no avail.

I quickly rectified that by scattering a bunch of bird seed around so that they could get to it.

The cat and I enjoyed watching all the little birds, through the window, of course.

Final tally, this is how much sleet was piled up on my back step this morning, before the sun came out and started melting it all away. 

And the sun did come out eventually, and it warmed up enough that much of the sleet melted away.  At least the roads seem to be clear now, and I should have no problem getting to work in the morning. 

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

New And Old

It was so hot in the plant this morning, it was kind of hard to believe we are under a winter storm warning, but we are. 

How hot was it?

It was so hot and clammy that the overhead water pipes were sweating.  And where did that condensation drip all day?  That's right, on my head.  Not having a hat, or an umbrella, I had to make do with what was handy.  Yep, I spent the day with a cardboard box on my head.  I got some strange looks, but after I'd been nailed right in the eye a couple of times, I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. 

One of the supervisors said I should post a selfie and maybe start a new fashion trend.  Yeah, that's not going to happen.

Speaking of winter storms, before we left, the plant passed around a notice.  The plant will be open as usual tomorrow, despite us being in the red area of this map. 

I'm guessing about half the plant won't show up again.  You'd think they'd figure out to just shut the place down for one day, but nooooo...I'm really glad I had the foresight to put in a vacation day.  Now, I don't have to get up and try to decide if the roads will be safe enough to drive on.  I can just stay in my nice, warm house and watch TV all day.  Unless the power goes out.  Which I hope it doesn't.

I'm prepared anyway.  I have plenty of knitting, a fully charged Kindle, and a cousin with a fireplace and a generator. 

You know, I used to love winter.  That was before I had to get out and try to drive in it.   Now, that I'm getting older, this ice is just getting old.  At least snow is pretty to look at.  Ice is just ice. 

One bright spot to the day...I've been looking around on sites like Etsy and Amazon for some Viking or Celtic themed jewelry.  While perusing Etsy, I found this Celtic knot necklace.  Following financial advice I received years ago, I waited 30 days. 

Yep, I still wanted it as badly as I did on day 1.  Guess what I found in my mailbox when I got home from work.

I was really impressed at how quickly it arrived.  I ordered it February 28, and it got here today.  I would definitely recommend that seller.  In fact, he's got some other stuff I've been looking at.  It's not all Celtic, either.  He's got steampunk, pirate, and athletic themed stuff, too. 

Anyway, this appears to be a variation of his own design, as I have never seen it before in any of the Celtic history sites or anything. 

I wish you could see it in person.  It's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.  Light, and delicate, yet strong and endless. 

And absolutely perfect. 

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. 


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