Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve

This morning, I attended Christmas Eve services in a church that had been ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.

They had set up a makeshift worship center in the gym, because the sanctuary was still...well, uninhabitable, so to speak.  The gym wasn't in much better shape.

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the smell.  Even after three and a half months, I could still smell the flood waters.  The siding hadn't been replaced, and the floor in the foyer was bare concrete. 

Off to the left sat rolls and rolls of carpet -- enough to recarpet the entire church.  It had all been donated.  Stacks of building supplies, and things they had salvaged from the storm's aftermath were piled in boxes around the room.  Some of the doors were missing.  Even the ceiling tiles were damaged in spots.  There were no pews, just a mix and match of whatever chairs and seats they could cobble together.  Oh, there were enough for every one, but only just.

You would think that would be enough.  Enough to cause despair.  Enough to think God has turned his back on them.  Yet, as the worship service progressed, I watched the people.  I studied their faces -- faces of people who just a few short weeks ago had had to sit helplessly by and watch nature's savage fury rip away everything they owned -- and saw none of that.  There was weariness, yes, but in those faces -- the faces of those people sitting in that damaged church, I saw something more.  I saw faith.  I saw strength.  I saw resilience.

And I saw joy.

Joy, because long ago, in a tiny little town called Bethlehem, God showed us that he will never forsake us, even in the worst of times.  Joy, because they knew no matter what we are going through, he will be there with us.

Joy, because the Lord is come.

This morning, I attended Christmas Eve services in a church, this morning I attended Christmas Eve services in a building ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.  The church is fine.  The church is strong.  The church is filled with joy.

Because the Lord is come.

Let Heaven and nature sing!

Friday, December 22, 2017

I Made It

There probably won't be much blogging until after Christmas, but I did want to let you all know I  made it safely home.

I wish I'd had someone riding with me, to post updates and take  pictures.  Like, when I made it through Jackson, I was going to post, "First hurdle cleared.  I made it through Jackson", but I couldn't because I was driving. 

And again when I made it through Baton Rouge, I wanted to post, "Second hurdle cleared.  I made it through Baton Rouge," but I couldn't because I was driving.  BTW, I hate driving in Baton Rouge.  Even worse than driving in Jackson.  And the construction!  Oh, the construction!  Almost the entire 500 miles was constant construction. 

When I crossed the Mississippi river, I wanted to take a picture and post, "The River!  The River!" but I couldn't because I was driving.  Same when I drove over that long swamp bridge...

I did stop at the Louisiana Welcome Center,

where they had the loveliest little Christmas tree

and where the attendant told me I needed to stop somewhere and try Cajun food, because I'd regret it if I didn't.  And she just wouldn't listen when I told her my blood type is gumbo.  Oh, well, she meant well. 

Between Lafayette and Lake Charles, I ran into -- not literally-- one crazy truck driver.  I was crossing the Lake Charles Bridge, and he ran right up on my bumper in the left lane, which he wasn't even supposed to be driving in, and started flashing his lights at me.  After we got off the bridge, he was driving like he was drunk.  He'd speed waaaay up, the slow waaay down, and swerve across three lanes of traffic, then swerve back into the middle lane, and he nearly ran over a pickup truck, and was honking his horn.  I was glad to get away from him.  I wonder, they say we are supposed to appreciate truck drivers because they deliver all our goods, but maybe they should take the "How To Be The Most Obnoxious Driver On The Road" section out of truck driving school. 

The only picture I risked taking while I was driving was this one.

I'd posted a similar picture on Facebook, and some of y'all thought it was a photoshop job.  Nope, I took this one with my very own phone.  It's a real sign right there in my home town. 

It's going to be a busy few days, but I'll try to update when I can. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Bricking, Baking, And A Bit Of Bad News

You reckon I could get any more alliteration in that title?

First, the bad news.  My Canon EOS DSLR has kicked the proverbial bucket.  When I try to take a picture, it goes through all the motions, but instead of actually taking the picture, it just says ERR 99.  I've googled and tried everything they've suggested to reset it, except changing the lens.  That's because I only have one.  I'd wanted to get a macro lens in addition to the one that came with the camera, but those things are seriously expensive.  I don't know if it's the lens that is bad, or the camera itself.  Whatever the problem is, I'm not going to worry about it until after Christmas.  I'll figure something out then. 

The good news is, I found my little Kodak point & shoot that I've had for years.  It still works, wonder of wonders.  I got online to try to download a driver on my laptop -- that's how long it's been since I've used it -- and they don't even make them any more.  All is not lost, however, as it has a memory card.  I can put it into my universal card reader and still transfer pictures to my computer. 

And there is always the camera in my phone, so yes, I will always find a way to take pictures.  . 

I've spent the rest of the last two days baking cookies and making candy to take to Texas Christmas.  Doing so involves a lot of hand washing.  So much so, I split a couple of my fingertips open again.  About that time, a thought occurred to me -- I have a whole box of gloves Cyndye had sent me last time I'd split a fingertip open.

I put some on, then just washed the gloves.  It really saved my hands.  I'd take a break from baking, and said to myself, "Self, since you have the gloves on already, you might as well scrub some of this paint off."  So, I did a little bit of bricking, too.

At this rate, I might have this thing stripped by next Christmas.  Oh, and there's nothing quite like discovering that your beloved cat, despite having three litter boxes placed in strategic locations around the house, has decided she'd rather use your drop cloth as a toilet.

Repeat after me:  I love my cat, I love my cat, I love my cat...

OK, back to my baking...don't worry, I put clean gloves on before I started fooling with food again. 

Last year, I gave Cody one of my cookie sheets when he got his own apartment.  A couple of weeks ago, I got a new set.  I didn't really need them, but that's beside the point. 

So, there I was just a baking away, using one of my new cookie sheets, when I noticed it.  The cookies weren't spreading.  I thought they weren't cooking at all, because they were still in a lumpy ball.   I kept looking through the window, and looking through the window, and looking through the window, but the cookies weren't spreading out.  I finally pulled them out to check, and they were just shy of being burned.   

 The ones on the top were baked on the new sheet.  You can see how much smaller and darker they are.  I guess I'll use the old sheets for spready cookies, and the new ones for those that don't spread as much.   

I hadn't planned on making any bread this year, but when I was washing and putting away my mixing bowls, I found these little loaf pans. 

I don't know where they came from.  I don't remember buying them.  That doesn't mean I didn't,  I just don't remember it.  However they got into my cabinet, it seemed to be a sign.  I might make some pumpkin bread.  It's pretty easy, and I think I still have some canned pumpkin. 

I'll just have to see how things are going tomorrow. 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas Baking

The plan was to get up this morning and get started with my Christmas baking.  I want to have it all done before I leave for Texas.

Oh, yeah, I didn't tell you.  I'm going home for Christmas!  I haven't been there in ages and ages.  I know you're probably all tired of hearing about my trip to Missouri, but that trip had a big part in my decision to go home.  Once I'd crossed into Arkansas, I was driving along, and I'm telling you, it just felt sooo good to be West of The Mississippi again.  When Beverly texted me and suggested I come visit...well, I thought about it.  And decided no, I couldn't afford to board the dogs, and what was I going to do with the cat?

But it felt soo good to be West of The Mississippi again.

And I thought about all the work I could get done on the house while I was off, so no, I needed to stay home.  I have so much that needs to be done around here, I don't have the time to make a trip to Texas. 

But it felt soo good to be West of The Mississippi again. 

And I thought about how much I love being in my own house for Christmas, and my traditional Christmas breakfast, and my Christmas Eve snacks that I make year after year after year, and how I always watch The Nativity Story...

But it felt soo good to be West of The Mississippi again...

So, I called the vet and made arrangements for the dogs, and came up with a plan for the cat and texted Beverly back and said, "I'm coming!" 

And I can't wait to be West of The Mississippi again!

Which brings us to today.  The plan was to get up and get my Christmas baking started, so I can have it done before I leave for Texas.  You know what they say about the best laid plans. 

I was tossing some laundry into the dryer, when I noticed Squeaky in the litter pan.  She was straining and straining, but nothing was coming out.  Over the next couple of hours, she'd stop and squat, but wouldn't be able to pass anything.  Yep, she's constipated.  I'm pretty sure it's age related, even though it's more common in older male cats.

Off to PetMD I went for advice.  The first thing they said was to switch the cat to wet food.  Oh, great.  I just bought a 13 lb bag of dry food.  Not to be outdone, I made my own wet food by soaking her dry food in chicken broth until it turned to mush.  The website also said to add canned pumpkin to the food to increase her fiber intake and help soften her stools.  I opened a can I had in the pantry and stirred it into the soft food I'd made.  She now has a large butter tub full of wet food in the fridge all ready for her.  She's already eaten some of it.

I also noticed she was in the back yard trying to eat grass.  Unfortunately, since it's winter, all the grass is dead.  After checking the local Wal-mart to see if they had any, I went onto Amazon and ordered that cat grass you can buy

It's supposed to arrive on Monday.  Maybe it'll start growing before I leave so she can nibble on it and get her bowels moving again. 

After all that, and worrying about my cat, I just didn't feel like baking anything.  However, now that I hopefully have her on the right track, I can do some baking tomorrow. 

I'll let you know how that goes.

Friday, December 15, 2017


There I was at work, just a working away on my very last working day of the year, when Supervisor called a meeting.  Seems the new Boss Hoss of the plant had gotten enough negative feedback about the new alternate schedule that they've decided not to implement it at this time! 

The mood of the entire plant instantly lifted.  Everyone was cheering.  And dancing.  And singing.  And we were all just so happy.  Someone I don't even know was dancing across the parking lot singing, "Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!"  over and over again.  Another coworker told me, "I don't even have small kids, but I hated this new schedule."   Even before Supervisor made the announcement, there was talk.  "They had a letter..."  "For real???"  "Yes!" 

They say they're going to wait a few weeks and re-evaluate the employees' needs, but hopefully, they'll scrap the whole plan. 

The other good news is, we got our incentive bonus today, so I was able to order Cody's main Christmas present.  It's supposed to get here before I leave for Texas, so here's hoping they don't delay it.  I want to pick him up a few more things, but it's like pulling teeth to get him to tell me what he wants.  I had him make out an Amazon wish list, and it's all guitar stuff.  I have no idea what any of it is, so I closed my eyes and picked something. 

Speaking of gifts, do not ever ever ever buy from a website called TeeChip.  It's one of those places where you can design and sell t-shirts, mugs, and the like.  After Harvey hit, they had some stuff on there -- all proceeds donated to Harvey relief -- so naturally I ordered a few things.  I'd thought I'd give them as Christmas gifts. 

One of the things I'd ordered was a mug.  The image on it was supposed to look something like this:

However, when the mug arrived, the blue field and the entirety of West Texas was missing. 

I contacted customer service, explained the problem, and included a photo of the defective mug.  "Great news," they said.  "We've authorized a reprint."  When the replacement mug arrived, it looked just like the first one.

I contacted customer service again, and guess what!  They authorized another reprint!  They sent me another mug! 

Yes, another defective mug.  Sigh...

I contacted customer service again, and told them at this point, I just wanted my money back.  They soon responded again, and told me they aren't set up to give refunds, but they could give me another reprint.  Oh boy!  I can get another defective mug!  No, thanks. 

I'm wondering why they couldn't give refunds.  They can take my money, why can't they give it back?  Anyway, don't ever shop from that site.  You will get ripped off.


Remember the name.   And avoid them like the plague. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Lot Like Star Wars

Once a year, OSHA -- that's the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, just in case you didn't know -- mandates we go through several hours of safety training.  These training films are a lot like Star Wars movies -- the original three.  Not that they are cutting edge and exciting.  Rather, I've seen them so many times I could quote the dialogue for you.   I used to do that to my brother, Scott.  I'd say each character's line half a second before the character said it.  Star Wars, not the training films.  It would make him so mad.  Again, Star Wars.  I doubt he'd care if I quoted heat stroke and blood borne pathogens information to him. 

The good news is, it's another whole year before I have to sit through them again.

I'm not sure what's wrong with my mind lately, but it's been rebelling against blogging.  I'm not sure if it's because I just don't have anything to blog about, or maybe it's the stress of all the upcoming changes at work, but I'm just have a hard time with it lately.

I told you how they were going to switch us to a 10 hour days 4 days a week.  Well, last week, they put out a survey to see what people thought about it.  Based on employee responses, they decided instead of having us work 5:00 - 3:00, we'd work 6:00 - 4:00.  That will be better for those with small children.  I'm cool with that.  The problem I'm having is they switched the weekend shift from being an overnight shift to a day shift.  They'll now work 5:00 AM - 5:00 PM  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  All those opportunities for overtime that I was assured we'd be getting, suddenly I'm not so sure about.  Prod Sup had said, "Oh, yes, you'll be working Fridays.  A lot of Fridays."  But with a day shift on Fridays now, where will that leave us?  It seems like they're trying to take all our overtime away.

Funny, the new plant manager was talking about what we need to do to both attract quality employees and prevent veteran workers from quitting.  Here's a hint:  STOP TAKING OUR PAY AWAY!!!!!

Some of us need that overtime.  It's hard to make ends meet on a 40 hour check with what they pay us.  I mean, you can, but you'd have to give up nearly every single little luxury that makes life worth living.  You're not going to hire quality workers if the best they can look forward to is a beans and rice existence.  I know several people have already said they'd have to quit and look for a different job if they take our overtime.  I just might be one of them.  I don't want to have to work two or three jobs just to get my bills paid, and you know, I might want to retire sometime before I'm 90.  At this rate, I won't be able to retire at all.  I'll have to keep working until I drop dead at my brazing stand.

After all that stuff at work, I came home and, in honor of my bosses, watched one of my Scrooge movies.  Today it was the musical version with Albert Finney.  Then I watched The Grinch.  I was sitting there looking at poor little Max, when it suddenly occurred to me, I have my own Max.

I always felt sorry for Max.  He was such a sweet, good natured dog, and to have The Grinch as his person.  Even after The Grinch's heart grows three sizes, he still doesn't take that huge antler off of Max's head.  And yet, Max is still loyal to The Grinch.  Good dog, Max. 

I finally got my drapes pulled back so you can see my tree out my front window.  Fat lot of good it did, because I close my blinds as soon as it gets dark.  But there you go. 

I tried to take a picture with the lights and all.  This is what I got with my phone.

This is what I got when I tried with my DSLR.

Kind of artsy-fartsy, don'cha think? 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Done For This Year

My dad always said I was the contraptingest one of the bunch.   Not sure if this counts as a contraption, but here it is.

Saturday morning, once the temps had gotten up above freezing, I went out and put up the rest of my Christmas lights.  I dragged up one of those old skids the previous owner left behind, and set the ladder on top of it.  It added just enough height that I could reach the eaves, even though I had to stretch a bit.

The good news is, the hard part is done.  The hooks are in, and next year all I'll have to do is run the strings of lights.   I still feel like I need to do something with this front window, but it's probably not going to happen this year. 

The plan is to pull my drapes back so you can see my tree through the window, I just haven't done it yet.  That, too, will necessitate some sort of step ladder.  Ah, the joys of being short. 

I was out in my back yard filling up my bird feeder, when I noticed this log.  It's one of the larger ones, having roughly an 18" diameter.  What caught my eye was it was starting to crack on the ends.  I said to myself, "Self, I wonder if I can split that there log." 

I ran inside --  not literally, I don't run if I can help it -- and got Mjolnir and Fang.  A few well placed blows, OK a lot of well placed blows and that log was split right down the middle.

I split one of the halves into quarters. 

I was going to split the other half, too, but swinging a sledge hammer is quite the work out.  By this time, my arms were so tired I could barely drag Mjolnir back to the house.  It'll have to wait until another day, when I've recovered.  But now I know I can do it, and those pieces are small enough I can use the chainsaw to cut them into fireplace lengths. 

More importantly, I'm one step closer to getting my back yard back.  Between the giant pile of concrete and the giant pile of wood, I haven't had a yard since I moved in. 

Finally, there is a surprise in this picture.

Can you spot it? 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Hymn

I'm a little late today, because honestly, my mind has been rebelling against blogging these last few days.  But you know what they say, better late than never.  Here you go.

This was my Mammaw's favorite Christmas Carol.

Silent Night.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Dear Coworker

I'm not quite sure why you're pitching such a fit over that fan being turned on. It's not like you actually stay in your work area long enough for it to make you cold as it is.

On the other hand, I'd you would stay in your work area and do some, you know, actual work, you might work up enough sweat that you'd want that fan on you. Kind of like the rest of us do.

So give it a rest, mmmmkay?

Thank you.

That is all.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Short And Sweet

I had a rough day at work.  It would seen Woden has become jealous of Thor and is wreaking his own brand of havoc on his day.  I just hope Thor doesn't try to reciprocate on Thor's Day.  The point of all that is, I'm tired.

Since yesterday's post was pretty long, and apparently a bit boring because Edna fell asleep halfway through, today's will be short, sweet, and to the point. 

Here is my tree with presents under it and icicles on it.

Over the next few days, those presents will be packed up and shipped to their intended recipients. 

Right now, my desire to go spend Christmas in Texas with my family is at war with my desire to not leave my house. 

I'll let you know which one wins. 

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

A Lot Like Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas all around the house!

After much hemming and hawing and I don't wannas, I got out Sunday afternoon and put the hooks into my eaves and got my outside lights up. It wasn't really that hard, and once I got going, I finished fairly quickly.

I was only able to get half the house done, though. You see, the roof over my porch and carport extends out further, so the eave is lower.  This other half of the house, well, I couldn't reach it.  I thought I'd either have to get a taller ladder or grow about 6 more inches.

Yesterday at work, I was just a working away, when I had an idea. See, the previous owner left several skids out behind the back fence. They aren't the wooden kind, but seem to be made of a heavy duty PVC or something similar. I thought maybe I could put my ladder on top of one of those, and it would boost me just enough to be able to get those last few hooks in the eaves.

I'd already gotten two of the skids and put them into my shop, so I could get my stuff up off the floor until I can find and fix wherever the water is getting inside when it rains. There were still three more behind the fence. As soon as I got home, I ran out there and pried them up. It wasn't easy, as they'd gotten all clogged with dirt and were half buried. By the time I got them out of the ground, the clouds were dark and the wind had picked up. Storms were moving in.

I thought maybe if the rain had moved off, I could get the rest of my lights up this afternoon, but it was still chilly and damp. Maybe tomorrow.

But look, I was excited about this. I thought I would have to run an extension cord from this outlet under my window across my porch and up the side of my house to plug my lights in.

I'd gone and bought a 20 foot extension chord just for that purpose. For some unknown reason, I just happened to look and discovered this.

There is an outlet in my porch light fixture!  I wouldn't have to run that cord across my porch!  And I could use my shorter extension cord.  I've got a 10 foot up there now, but could probably make do with a 6 foot.  That's where my luck ran out.  All the 6 foot extension cords I have, and none of them are rated for outdoor use.  Oh well, can't win them all.  But the good news is, I can turn my Christmas lights on and off from the switch inside my house!  There is a manual switch on the porch light, so I can turn the bulb off. 

I spent some more time over the weekend bricking.  I think I've about got the method down.  Spray the bricks with Easy Off.  Let it set an hour or two.  Use a wire brush to loosen the paint, then rinse it with water.  Tedious, time consuming, and a bit messy, but it is working.

Sunday evening, I decided to go ahead and pry the bit of molding off the side so I could thoroughly clean the edges of the bricks.  If I'd had sense, I'd have cut the paint with a utility knife right there where the molding met the wall, but I didn't.  Have sense, that is.  Or cut the paint.  When the molding came loose, it pulled great sheets of thick, rubbery paint with it.

But look what I found underneath.

Isn't that pretty?  Why on earth would you want to cover that up with that hideous yellow?  I'm not a big fan of yellow, in case you haven't figured that out.  I thought if I were really careful, I could peel the paint off and leave that wallpaper, but some bits of it tore.  I'll just have to paint over it with my choice of colors.  That'll be the next project, after I get the bricks repainted, the mantle put back up, and the living room painted.

Every once in a while, I buy these little icicles.

We always had them on our tree when I was a kid, and I get them from time to time, even though they're a pain in the patooty.  They add a nice little shimmer, and a bit of nostalgia, to my tree.

Finally, I was at work today, thinking about how I was going to cook my pork chop on my George Foreman knockoff grill when I said, "By golly, I'm not going to let a kitchen appliance beat me! I'm smarter than a glorified crock pot!"  I was determined to cook that pork chop in the Instant Pot come hell or high water. 

 Since I still hadn't found an actual recipe, I decided to just wing it. I knew you had to have liquid in there to make the steam, so I adapted my favorite marinade recipe --which is basically soy sauce, brown sugar, vegetable oil, and some spices -- and added just a bit more water to make sure it would steam enough.  I tossed the chop in there and set it for 8 minutes.

Now, in a lot of those videos I watched, the person would say, "I set it for [however many] minutes, but I think I'll use less time because it came out falling off the bone tender."  Um, is it just me, or isn't that how you want your meat to be?

Mine came out pretty good, but next time, I think I'll use the quick release depressurize thing instead of letting it depressurize naturally.  Either that, or cut the cooking time back, because it was just a little overcooked.  It was still tender, though, and tasted good.

Tomorrow, I'm going to try cooking rice, which I've never managed to get quite right.  If it does a good job on the rice, the Instant Pot can stay.

Monday, December 04, 2017


They didn't tell me I didn't have to be at work at 5:00 this morning.  Group Leader said, "I thought you knew."  Um, why would you think I knew if you didn't tell me?  But you would have been proud of me.  I kept my mouth shut.  All I said was, "I was wondering, but nobody told me to stop, so I came on in at 5:00."

Saturday evening, I got into a funk.  I don't know if maybe I was just really tired, but I decided I didn't want my Instant Pot.  I boxed it all up, and got ready to send it back.  Somebody asked me why I was sending it back.  Did I think it was too hard?

Ummm, no.  You've no doubt heard of the Island Of Misfit Toys.  Let me introduce you to the Shelf Of Neglected Appliances.

Let's start with this one.

It isn't an appliance.  It's a very large stock pot.  I bought it back when the plant was giving us 20 lb turkeydactyls every Thanksgiving.  I needed something large enough to boil down the carcass to make broth for soup.  Since the HR guy who felt we needed to feed an army retired, they've gone back to giving us 12 lb birds.  I haven't used this pot since.

Next up, this crock pot that I received as a wedding gift back in 1993.  It comes complete with dust bunny and wee little spider living underneath it.

I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've used it.

Here we have my coffee grinder.

It was included with the coffee pot I got from work for my 20th anniversary gift.  I bought and ground one bag of whole bean coffee.  One.  I haven't used it since.

This is the food processor that I just had to have.  I haven't used it in so long that I completely forgot it has a lid.

I had to go find said lid and take another picture.

My Kitchen Kettle that I was so excited to get I even wrote a post about it.  In the three years I've had it, I've used it exactly twice.

I used to use this breadmaker a lot, but now, it sits so far back in the corner that I didn't even try to dig it out to take a picture.

Same with the ice cream freezer.

I hadn't used it in so long, I gave it to Beverly and James.  They gave it back.  Now it sits behind an unused power strip and a spare piece of drywall.

I think this slow cooker was also a wedding gift, but I don't rightly remember.  I use it maybe once every 2-3 years, but haven't since everyone moved away.

Same with this little crock pot.  I use it maybe once every two or three years -- but haven't since everyone moved away. 

Now, lest you think I just collect appliances to collect dust, there are a few I actually do use.  On the left we have my Fry Daddy.  I use it quite a bit.  On the right is my vacuum sealer.  I probably use it the most of all my appliances.

And finally, my George Foreman knock off grill.   

Out of all those appliances, there are three that I use regularly. 

It took me four days just to take the Instant Pot out of the box.  I got it all put together and set up, and spent a few minutes looking around at some YouTube videos -- recipes and such.  It all just seemed so complicated and time consuming.  I mean, why should I spend 30 minutes Instant Potting oatmeal when I can zap it in the microwave for one?  There's nothing instant about that. 

It seemed the Instant Pot would soon find its place upon the Shelf Of Neglected Appliances. 

Once I'd gotten a good night's sleep, I relented and took the pot back out of the box.  I did the water test, then when I got home from work, I started searching for a quick and easy pork chop recipe.  Just a simple pork chop with a little bit of seasoning.  No vegetables, no sauces, no gravy, no rice.  Just a pork chop.

OK, forget the recipe.  Just tell me how long to cook the stupid thing!  

After fruitlessly searching for an hour, I shoved the Instant Pot back into the corner and ate microwaved pasta. 

I'll cook the pork chop tomorrow -- on the George Foreman knock off grill. 

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Sunday Hymn

This was my father's favorite Christmas song. I only wish he'd lived long enough to hear this version of it.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Saturday Stuff

I volunteered to go into work this morning at 4:00 to clean up.  Because I'm broke.  And I want to retire sometime before I'm 90. 

So, I got up at 2:45 AM, got dressed, and headed to the plant to start cleaning.  I swept.  I dusted.  I scrubbed and scraped greasy dirt off machines.  I cleaned until I thought my arms were going to fall off.   "Whew!" I said.  "That's a good morning's work.  It ought to be getting close to lunch time by now."  I walked over and looked at the clock. 


I laid down in the floor and died right then.

I'm telling you, people who clean for a living definitely earn their money.  That was the hardest work I've done in a long time.  Some of those machines hadn't been cleaned in years.  We scraped the oily dirt off, and one of my coworkers said, "I didn't know this machine was that color!"  It was that dirty.  It's a lot cleaner now.  I just hope I can move my arms tomorrow. 

We got off at noon, and I thought that would be early enough for me to get my outside lights put up.  When I got home, I said, "Nope.  Ain't happening."  The only thing I did was to finish putting out the rest of my inside stuff. 

I made these little stockings when I was about 12-ish.  Or 13-ish.  Somewhere in there.  They were some of those pre-printed fabric things that all you had to do was sew them together. 

I saw them in the store and simply had to have them.  I sewed them up, then gave them to my Mammaw for her Christmas present that year.  I got them back when she passed away, and have hung them up every year since I got my own house. 

I got rid of the huge wreath I used to hang there.  It was just too big for that spot.  The one I put up this year is a pre-lit, but the lights no longer work.  That's why it has a cord hanging.  I'm going to cut it off.  I just haven't done it yet.

I hung up Santa and the Elves, 

and Cody and my stockings, and that's all I'm doing for this year.

Finally, the Instant Pot is out of the box!  I still haven't used it for anything, but hey, it's progress. 

Baby steps, you know...

Friday, December 01, 2017


I am sleepy as all get out. 

That's just another way to say, "Man, I need a nap." 

I didn't sleep well at all last night.  I went to bed at a reasonable hour, and fell asleep almost right away.  Then I dreamed about Matt Lauer.  No, not that kind of a dream.  I dreamed he was in the back of a police car that was hauling him away to prison, which -- if the allegations against him are true -- is exactly where he needs to be. 

My earliest memory of Matt Lauer is from a Rockefeller Center tree lighting show.  He got up and shook his oh so self righteous finger at people who put up real Christmas trees.  They're deforesting the planet, you know.  I got so aggravated, I even wrote a rebuttal on the blog that night.  You can read said rebuttal here:  Hey!  You Got Your Politics In My Holiday!  I didn't even know who he was at the time.  I just called him Talking Head in my post. 

You know they say the first impression is the strongest one, and ever since then, I've not had much use for him. 

But I digress...

After that dream, it took me until after midnight to fall back to sleep.  When you get up at 3:30, that's saying a lot.  I was already sleepy from that, then work was soooo slow.  The line was hardly moving, and it made the entire day seem to go by in slow motion.  It was one of those Will-This-Day-Never-End? days.  The everlasting day finally did come to an end, and I came home, only to do absolutely nothing that I had planned on doing once I got home. 

The only thing that did get done was to put my tree skirt down. 

It isn't even a real tree skirt.  See, my cat thinks any type of cloth on the floor is just another litterbox.  I've been using an acrylic tree skirt that my mother crocheted for Cody years ago, but having to constantly wash it is kind of a pain.  This year, I got the idea to try using a round plastic tablecloth as a skirt.  OK, in the interest of full disclosure, I've had the idea before, but this is the first year I had it early enough to get a tablecloth before they were all sold out.  I figure if she pees on this, a wipe with a paper towel and a spritz of Lysol and we're done.  We'll see how it works out.

I had a brief moment of panic when I thought, "Oh no!  I need to take a bath and go to bed!  It must be way past my bedtime!"  I turned around and looked at the clock.  It was 5:17.  Sigh...

Somewhere in the midst of all this, I asked myself, "Why in the world did I agree to go in to work tomorrow????" 

Then, I remembered, "Oh, yeah.  I'm broke." 

I guess I'd better head for bed, then.  Man, I need a nap. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Getting Up Early

Man, I need a nap.

This getting up at 3:30 after leisurely sleeping in until 5:30 is taking a bit of adjusting.  Yesterday when the alarm went off, I briefly wondered how badly they really needed me on this clean up crew.  Then I thought, "In a few weeks, this will be your life from here on out, you might as well get used to it."  Reluctantly, I dragged my weary body out of bed and went on to work.

Man, I need a nap.

Did I already say that?  Yeah, I need a nap.  Or something.

Thank you to all my readers who offered suggestions to relieve my chapped, cracked skin.  I went on into town and bought some of the O'Keefe's. 

I got the skoal can to keep at home, and the tube to put into my tool bag.  It really does work.  I've only put it on once, and can already tell a difference.  I might even be able to knit again by the weekend.  I haven't, because my fingers were so rough they'd snag my yarn. 

The bad news is, my three day weekends are over.  You have to work a certain amount of hours in a month to get your attendance bonus, and what with the Christmas break and all, if I take these Fridays off, I won't have enough hours.  So, I'm going in to work tomorrow.  If that wasn't bad enough, I volunteered to work Saturday, too.  Cleaning. 

I asked, "What are we going to be cleaning for eight hours?"  I have a feeling it's going to be pretty nasty work, so I bought a bandana to cover my hair.  It has instructions on how to tie it.

Seriously.  Have we become so dumbed down that we need instructions to tie bandanas around our heads?

I fear for our future. 


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