Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's Always Something

Before I launch, wanted to mention Trent's discussion about the power of long-term savings. (Thanks, Simple Dollar.) Saving a little bit for a long time really adds up. We know this from example; we saved $25 monthly for the girlies' college, ever since they were little -- and by the time they graduated from high school, we had enough to pay for their first year of college, plus some leftover.
   A few years ago, I began doing it again -- $80 monthly. It didn't seem like much to worry about -- who cares about that little amount! But that account now has about $2500 in it, and is still being added to. The power of slowly multiplying your savings. (Take heed, Daughters...this is why Mom -- and Dad -- harp on this subject! Partly also because no one urged us to do it when we were your age. Oh, if we'd only started at 18, instead of 30...)

* * * * * * * *
Now, the fun part.

I took Daughter #1 to an appointment in Boulder. Was on my way home when Husband called,"I didn't go to work -- we've got a little problem downstairs." In the basement. Where all the fabrics and my teaching quilts are. Where Brickworks' inventory is kept -- fat quarters, kits, books (at least the overflow), trims, embellishments.
    The short of it: a pipe broke inside the wall, near the garden faucet. I was watering the garden for the past few days...but not doing any work downstairs, and all the staffers had the weekend off.
     I didn't know it, but I was watering the basement at the same time as the garden. 
    The carpet was soaked, pretty much stem to stern. We had our own personal waterfall down the back wall...at least until the water was shut off. A huge patch of mold bloomed along the same wall. (The Servpro guy said he bet he was going to find plenty more mold, once they tore the wallboard off.
    Not only were any fabrics (and there were some - sigh) and cardboard boxes (ditto) sitting on the floor soaked, they were REALLY soaked. A side room closet actually had standing water in it.
    Thankfully, as far as we can tell, my teaching samples are ok. They were in plastic bins, stacked up above, or in the German schrunk (wardrobe) that lines one wall. A few boxes of antique fabrics used for restoration may have a little wetness, but I'll take care of those myself.
    The rest of the fabrics will go to a company who cleans and dries them. As an appraiser, I've seen and heard about quilts that have gone to cleaning companies like this -- I have better hopes for the fabrics, but I'd never trust them with a quilt I already know how to wash. (I've done it professionally many times for clients.)
    We are still a little in shock. This happened so quickly. (Now I know how clients feel!) There are some silver linings to this cloud, though:
    *We'd just renewed the policy. So our rates won't jump this year, at least.
    *Nothing critical was damaged. Fabrics can be replaced. So can trims and such, if need be. The office, where the nicer furniture -- and more importantly, my research library and paperwork -- is located seems to be undamaged.

    *Husband realized the problem before it REALLY got deep downstairs. One of our good friends ended up with 10" of standing water in her basement, after a careless neighbor left a running hose aimed toward her house foundation. We don't have that. In nearly all of the basement, we just have really wet, squishy carpet. And piles, here and there, of soggy fabric and/or boxes.

    I am also really grateful that both the adjuster and the Servpro guy said they were dealing with a lot of similar claims, with broken pipes in the same area. (That people were discovering only because they'd started watering gardens.) We've had a crazy spring, with lots of extra snow and temperatures shooting up and down -- perfect for busting up pipes. It's nice to know we're not alone; hopefully that means we won't have future trouble on our policy, because we were forced to file a claim.
    So far, the Safeco adjuster has been more than understanding -- and the Servpro guys were here within a few hours of when we filed the claim. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

It's a good time to remember the sacrtifices of those who gave their time, energy -- and lives -- for our country. Thank the next soldier you see -- they're still doing it!


Happy Memorial Day.

 

Goodbyes from Old Friends

Brin from Messy Thrilling Life is saying goodby. She's been blogging about her Texas home, Freeman House, for years...and I've been enjoying the ride. I'm sad to see her go.

Another veteran blogger, Like Merchant Ships, knocked off around Easter last year. I've gone back and reread her posts on thrift shopping and moneysaving decorating many times. She does post occasionally via Tumblr...good, but I still miss her comments. (She does pick up good stuff, though, like this long and helpful post on making your own concrete kitchen counters.)

I'm going to miss these friends, and will probably go back to visit now and then.
(No worries...I'm not going anywhere!)

Friday, May 27, 2011

More of Same

The Mama is making a giant batch of spaghetti sauce while she does some wash, and packs to leave tonight. I'm having trouble concentrating, what with the wafting fragrances of garlic (lots of it) and tomatoes!

   Wouldn't you know it -- in keeping with this zany week, the Mama missed a pretreated shirt I'd tossed in the laundry room sink. The washer drains into -- you guessed it -- the laundry room sink. By the time Husband noticed it, the cycle was complete, the sink had overflowed -- and we had standing water throughout the laundry room, which was gleefully dripping through the ceiling plaster downstairs.
    Of course, Husband was on his way out the door when he discovered the mess. I had an appraisal client arriving any minute. And the Mama was up to her hips in sauce.
    Aarghh. 

Now it's some time later -- client's gone, floor mopped up. (It needed it, anyways.) I'll have to wash some fabrics that got dripped on; there are a few goners (mostly the "fancies"), but that's life. We had to repair and re-plaster the ceiling downstairs, anyways.

If you're teaching or speaking, you never know what emergency will happen. I thought this speaker's take on 'making do' especially good -- as he points out, the final rule is: whatever works. 
   An apt response for this  Friday -- and all week.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

And Now for Something Completely Different

...I finished at 3:30 a.m. On to the next hill to climb.

I used to listen to this song, as done by my cousins in a barbershop quartet. (We used to make fake sobbing noises while they were doing it.) But Skeeter Davis, who made this a top hit, does it even better. Husband's 'bus driver' band's lead singer used to tour with Skeeter - he played bass.

Check out her version of "The End of the World" -- fitting for all the fuss about May 21, don't you think?!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Exhaustion

I have rarely gone on so little sleep. Thanks to Daughter #2's graduation, the Mama's current visit, extra band practices (I've been recruited to sing on Husband's 'bus driver' band for an upcoming gig in June), and trying to keep business and personal life together, well, there's rarely time for rest.
    I feel late on everything. (And I am, on some deadlines.) But to see the joy in Daughter's face as she opened her presents, and saw us today after we brought her big present (a plastic-topped greenhouse) up to her cabin in the mountains....well, it felt priceless.

    I just have to stay up until 1 a.m or so. this morning to make up for it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pyramids Galore!

At least 17 new pyramids have been discovered in Egypt, thanks to infrared photo technology, taken from space via satellite.
   That's in addition to more than 1,000 tombs and 3,000 ancient communities.

One of the researchers, Dr. Sarah Parcak, says,
"We were very intensely doing this research for over a year. I could see the data as it was emerging, but for me the "A-Ha" moment was when I could step back and look at everything that we'd found and I couldn't believe we could locate so many sites all over Egypt."

She believes they'll find more, too.

Read all about it here.

Cool.



The End of the World Is Still Coming!

Well, now you know --
   Harold Camping, the engineer-turned-broadcaster of the Family Radio International, has amended his earlier announcement that the world was going to end on May 21: he was wrong. Sort of. Not that the world is going to end -- he's says he's still right on that -- but it's not going to happen slowly, over coming months, until Oct. 21, when the whole world bursts into a fireball.
   It's all going to happen -- and fast -- on October 21!
   There you go.

Camping's explanation is here.(Here, too, just from a different angle.) In short:
   "We have to be looking at all of this a little bit more spiritual, but it won't be spiritual on Oct. 21," he said. "Because the Bible clearly teaches that then the world is going to be destroyed altogether." When asked if his group would return donations slated for publicizing the end of the world, he said, "We're not at the end. Why return it?"

So see? He wasn't wrong. It just happened spiritually, instead of physically. (Responses to Camping's lack-of-Rapture are here. More here, as well.)
     I'm just waiting for his explanation on Oct. 22.

Old Friends Are Back

A gray gloomy day. (No matter - we always need the rain.) I was staring out the window, when zooom...

They're back!

Last year, the hummingbirds were here early, around May 4th. We normally look for them around Memorial Day, so they're right on time.

Guess I'd better get out the feeder.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Graduation Supper

It's time to celebrate Daughter #2's success!
    I am so proud of her. This course has taken some years to do, and it's all been online. (In other words, self-propelling. Almost all of the appraisal courses are, nowadays, yours truly's work included.) Somehow she has worked two jobs, kept herself going as far as meals, laundry, etc., and kept plugging away at this coursework.
    Her LOWEST grade throughout has been 88%. The diamond exam and grading exercises, which she just finished, came in at 95%, with lots of compliments on the "professional work" being done. Yay, Angel!

* * * * * * *

On the menus for tonight's supper party:

Assorted appetizers 
     (phyllo-wrapped spinach-cheese turnovers, pigs in blankets, deviled eggs, pizza rolls, more)
Clam chowder

Jumbo shrimp and veggies in green curry sauce
Wild rice blend

Chocolate torte
Colorado Rocky Road ice cream

and much love...


Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's A Beautiful Sunday in the Neighborhood

People at church today had fun ribbing each other: "What? You're still here??")

   Now that Harold Camping has officially messed up on his second prediction that the world will end, I sincerely hope he will quietly fade back into the sunset.
   Maybe take some time to read his Bible more closely, as well.

We celebrated by going to the park and eating KFC fried chicken in the warm sun, watching teenagers chase each other, squirtguns in hand. More kids were mining in the sandbox, or wandering through, stopping to pet Charley. ("More! More! Preferably with snacks!")
    It was a good day.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wake Me Up if the World Ends

It's going to happen today -- well, the start of it, anyways, according to Harold Camping, a broadcaster located in, appropriately enough, Boulder, Colorado. (I have a lot of affection for this wacky college town -- we lived there for a few years -- but it's not for nothing known locally as the 'land of fruits and nuts.') At 6 p.m., according to Camping (Mountain Standard Time?), it will begin with a huge earthquake:

   In other words, when we get to May 21 on the calendar in any city or country in the world, and the clock says about — this is based on other verses in the Bible — when the clock says about 6 p.m., there’s going to be this tremendous earthquake that’s going to make the last earthquake in Japan seem like nothing in comparison. And the whole world will be alerted that Judgment Day has begun. And then it will follow the sun around for 24 hours. As each area of the world gets to that point of 6 p.m. on May 21, then it will happen there, and until it happens, the rest of the world will be standing far off and witnessing the horrible thing that is happening.
   The Christians won't have to worry about this, though -- we'll be headed up to Heaven via the Rapture.

I'm not the only believing Christian that is struggling with this man's predictions. First, because Jesus himself said, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Look it up for yourself: Mark 13:32.) Apparently the Lord ACTUALLY meant to add, "oh...and Harold Camping."
    Secondly, he may mean this seriously -- but his group's actions have brought on a lot of ridicule for a cause I and others strongly believe in -- a faith we've staked our lives on. How does this honor Christianity and its tenets, and dignify the King? I can't figure it out...

Do I believe that Jesus will return? Yes. Will it be via a Rapture (which you'd have a tough time absolutely proving, other than hints or assumptions) or the real End of the World? Beats me. I welcome His coming back -- it just won't be on Harold Camping's terms.

Gotta go set up Ana's chocolate fountain. See you tomorrow.
* * * * * * * * * * * *

   Another columnist's take on the subject: "I better say Happy Birthday to my daughter early this year because that’s her birthday. Look what I brought you for your birthday this year, honey, it’s the end of the world! It was too big to gift-wrap, sorry."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Think. I'm. Going. Crazy.

How about you?

   We've traded our normally Colorado-blue skies for something that looks like a marshmallow -- one you dug out from under the refrigerator, that is. Everything is gray and puffy-looking. Hopefully we'll get lots of rain from it...though I hear tell it will be snow, come tomorrow. Just in time for The Mama's arrival at DIA. (Last week, she said jokingly, "Now don't let it snow while I'm there -- I'm not bringing my winter coat!" Ha.)

  So until she gets here, I've been running around picking up piles, Putting Away Stuff and trying to do the minimum so we don't look like slobs...while still finishing up a large batch of appraisals, checking on orders, and such. (Both staffers are off this week and next, thanks to graduation and other priorities.)
    Charley and Jack do their part by occasionally tripping me ("Hi, Mom!") and re-digging the multiple holes I've been trying to fill up. It looks like we have giant gophers out there in the backyard.


Stuff to Think About While I Put Stuff Away:

*What's your take on the new show Extreme Couponers? It's prompted a lot of discussion. (One example: check out Crazy Aunt Purl's May 5 post.)  I've probably watched half the shows...but get restless. How DO they get some of those incredible coupons?? I think of myself as reasonably good in this department, but I only see $1 coupons for things like detergent. (And around here, products like that are rarely, if ever, marked down to clearance. Makeup, lotion, ditto.) Doubling coupons is possible at both Safeway and King Soopers -- but they'll only go to $1 total, including the doubling. Last night's 'Treasure' was getting way more than that in last night's episode, including a fistful of $2 off store coupons ("catalinas") that I've only seen once or twice here. (And you're lucky if you get one.)
    The other issue is stockpiles. Why crow about three years worth of toothpaste, when it's pretty clear you won't be letting anyone (your family included) get their hands on it? How can it help to stockpile dozens of packages of rice cakes, chips, etc. (using the same "hands off" approach) when I know very well that these items will be stale in six months. (Don't ask how I know. I just know. :)
    Not to mention that all those items cut down on your storage area. Right now, any storage in our house is golden.
    So -- I'm sort of impressed. At the same time, though, I wonder if some of these people wouldn't be better candidates for Hoarders, instead.

And if you're not impressed with that, try
*Dr. Phil's latest whack at moochers, featuring 20-something twins who refuse to help out, or move out. Shoot, why watch Jerry Springer when you've got good stuff like this!

Oh, and the Rockies are losing big time. Wait -- I don't want to think about that...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Graduation...Where's Your College Money Coming From?

One good place to start on the college scholarship search is, ironically, the entrepreneurial site, I Will Teach You to be Rich. A number of excellent posts, including this one, this one and this one.

This has been a busy month for graduations: our nephew Adam just walked the aisle for a B.S. in Engineering (attaboy!), and our friend Ana got her high school diploma today. (You go, girl!) I'll be manning the Hawaiian buffet (and chocolate fountain) for her open house Saturday afternoon.
    Right on their heels is Daughter #2, who's finishing up her final exams from the International School of Gemology. She's been plugging away at this for some years, while continuing to work at two jewelry boutiques. Angel, we are so proud of you!!

 Angel, pondering the merits (and stones) of her friend's necklace, no doubt.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Breakfasts Galore

Many bloggers have been on a breakfast kick lately. Maybe it's the success of the Breakfast Burrito... or people are finally trying to eat in healthy ways. All I know -- I get lots of great ideas from their ideas. Now, so can you:

*Donna Freedman's post at Get Rich Slowly got me started...she's got good ideas, but so do her many reader comments. (Although I'm not as big on the joys of oatmeal as she -- and many others -- are. So spank me.)

*Then there's what The Kitchn's whipped up in this department, including fast prep time, plus that lovely word "cheap."

*Notes from the Frugal Trenches weighs in from England on her breakfast choices.

*A nice eggless pancake recipe here from Grocery Cart Challenge.(Good for allergies and last-minute pantry emergencies; you'll find some excellent Super Bowl-style entrees and snacks via this link, too.)

*Zen Habits seems to focus on fruit a lot...but hey, add nuts to it, and, as Bill Cosby says, "That's Nutrition!" (Cosby was talking about serving his kids grapefruit juice and chocolate cake for breakfast -- because it has eggs, wheat and milk!)

*Brin over at Messy Thrilling Life is a terrific baker, and I stop by regularly to see what she's got in the oven. Her cheese scones may well make an appearance at tonight's supper, but they'd be good made up the night before for breakfast. Not to mention her blueberry breakfast bars and southern-style pecan banana muffins. My stomach is growling already!

*And finally, ideas for students heading out the door, from Cheap Healthy Good (who has good recipes anyways, especially if you're vegetarian).

I like the burritos, but also find myself cooking a variation on our family's Cheese Guys:

BREAKFAST GUYS
 (doable in 15 min. -- or less)

Turn oven on to 450 degrees. Layer corn tortillas (3 for each eater) on a cookie sheet, and slide it in.

Now grease your frying pan with a few squirts of olive oil. (Or leave this step out if cooking with meat.) Add a handful of chopped or sliced bacon, ham, or sausage -- any kind -- plus a handful of chopped or sliced vegetables: onions, broccoli, mushrooms, whatever. (I will often use leftovers from the night before.) Cook until sizzling, then pour in beaten eggs -- 2 per person. Turn the heat off. Stir the eggs gently until they scramble. Sprinkle on a handful of cheese.

By this point, the oven should have reached maximum temp. Check the tortillas; they should be soft and slightly puffed. Pull them out; place on a plate, then layer the egg mixture on top. Serve with a spoonful of salsa or guacamole. While everything is still hot, fold up the shells and eat taco-style. Served with juice, fruit and hot Panamanian coffee, this will keep you going.
    If none of these ideas sound good, there's always leftover pizza -- the breakfast of champions.









Monday, May 16, 2011

Go A Little Crazy Today!

Julie Silber's got an amazing cotton Crazy quilt for sale, full of circus-themed images. Take a look at the Quilt Complex's "Circus Quilt" for some of the most graphic 19th century chintzes around. An overall look at the quilt is below, (thanks for sharing, guys) -- but it's the detail photos at the Quilt Complex posting that are so darn wonderful.
    The best part -- not only can you study it, you can own it. Wow.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Life Goes On, Doesn't It...

Hooray, it does!

We've had a lot of rain (and some more snow), which is like liquid gold around here -- we get so little. All the same, it's strange to wake up to grey skies. Coffee and warm slippers are a daily gift; wish I could say the same about the dogs, who enjoy rolling in the mud and digging huge holes in the backyard. We were planning to keep the grass; they beg to differ.

The Prescott, AZ gig was a fun one, thanks to the dears at the Thumb Butte Quilters Guild. They were enthusiastic, and absorbed in what they were sewing during the Crazy classes. Even better though, I got to see their involvement in the community -- they definitely believe in helping, but educating as they go. Refreshing.
    And I got to see a whole series of quilts in response to a challenge -- good, strong, elegantly-designed pieces that were strikingly different from each other. Attagirls!

We got an additional surprise while in Prescott. One morning at the Marriott's breakfast, Husband said, "Doesn't that guy remind you of someone?" He was staring (or trying not to) at a person who looked like Ian, the first-season winner of one of our favorite cable shows, Top Shot. (A group of shooters compete in a series of complicated challenges to see who is the best -- i.e., the Top Shot. Lots of unusual weapons and weird situations -- like shooting while strapped upside-down on a revolving wheel, or zipping by the target standing in the back of a truck. The contestants really got into that one...)
    I would have snorted at this -- after all, how often do you see a celebrity? -- but Husband noticed the other guys at 'Ian's' table had gun-related motifs. That, and while slicing his English muffin, he'd quickly whipped out a very big knife to do it. ("Only a Special Forces guy would have a knife like that," Husband said.) 
    Next morning, we were at breakfast again, debating whether we really had seen Ian. A girl nearby spoke up -- turns out she was the assistant of Caleb Giddings, another shooter on Top Shot's first season! (Caleb was an insurance agent; now he shoots and does gun-related journalism.) The upshot of it: Caleb stopped to talk with us for a while,  pulled off his cap and autographed it for Husband. What a thoughtful, kind gesture from a very busy guy --
    The cream on the coffee was a stroll-by of Ian Harrison (yes, it was Ian), who stopped to chat with Husband for a minute. Turns out that the people there were participating in a shooting 'media event,' and Caleb's assistant, Shelley Rae, was applying for the fourth season of Top Shot. (Read one of her articles here. A kind and personable shooter -- I hope she makes it!)
    Husband wore his cap for the rest of the trip, and stopped by a gun shop, to boot. What a great finish to a long-hours-on-the-road-but-rewarding trip.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Back on the Air

Yes, I'm here!

Got home early Wednesday morning, after driving all night from Prescott -- we hit rain a few hours from home, and it turned into snow an hour away. We got home, staggered into the house, scooped up Charley and Jack from the snow, and went to bed.
    It kept snowing until mid-morning yesterday.

By the time I'd gotten my feet underneath me again, Blogger was having problems. Thankfully, they're back on the air...and so am I!

More in a bit, including my adventures with the Thumb Butte Quilting Guild -- and our run-in with guys from Top Shot. It's good to be home.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thumb Butte...and Prescott, AZ...Here I Come!

How to fake a clean house, courtesy of Real Simple magazine. Boy, do I need this right now -- stuff is everywhere. Finished up the quilt restoration, and made a Hanky Panky quilt for a client...but have gotten very little sleep the past few days. Tomorrow, I speak on "Quilts with Secrets" for a mother/daughter tea at Glennon Heights Mennonite Church in Lakewood.

    Then it's on to New Mexico...and the Thumb Butte Quilters' Guild. That's a Crazy time -- both a lecture and two classes on Monday and Tuesday. Interested? Wanna come to Prescott, Arizona? Click on the link. I'd love to see you!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Burritos... and Cars

What...you don't think of these both in the same breath?!?

Actually, they're both on my mind, nowadays. Our church served them in the park (burritos, not cars!) on Easter Sunday. You should have seen the assembly line the day before, busily cranking out 595 burritos. (Yours truly boiled, peeled and chunked 30 pounds of potatoes as her contribution. My hands ached for days.)
     Trent of the Simple Dollar advocated making these, and stashing them away for future meals. And I kept thinking of how many protein bars Husband could put away in an average week (generally at a cost of $1 each.) The church burritos tasted absolutely wonderful. And many of the ingredients were on sale. Why couldn't I...
     Here's how they ended up:


BREAKFAST BURRITOS FOR THE FREEZER
2 1/2 dozen eggs               ($1.19 ea - so $2.98)
3 tablespoons butter, or a few shots of olive oil   (50 cents?)
1 chopped onion    (50 cents)
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms    ($1-on sale)
2 pounds sliced beer bratwurst (regular sausage would do)  ($3.50 - also on sale)
1 jar salsa (the last of our wonderful avocado stuff went into this, but any other type would do - about $4)
1 pound shredded taco-style cheese   ($2.50 - sale)
3 pkg. burrito-style flour tortillas      (99 cents ea - 2.98 on sale)
plastic zip-lock quart bags

Start the mushrooms and onion sizzling in a frypan. (Throw in the brats too, or get them baking in the oven at 425 degrees for 15 min.) Lay everything else out -- clear a space for at least four tortillas, laid flat. (Stop for a minute to boot the dogs out from underfoot, attracted by the wonderful smells.) 
    Scramble the eggs with the mushroom and onion (and/or brats). Put the frypan within reaching distance. Now here we go:
    Two big serving spoonfuls of the egg mixture on the tortilla. Top with brats. Two tablespoons of salsa, then sprinkle with cheese.
    Fold the sides together, then top and bottom, to form a burrito package.
    Stuff into a plastic bag. (You should be able to get two in each bag.)
    Repeat -- over and over. Watch something good while you're doing it, like North by Northwest.

I got 30 burritos out of this batch -- 28 went in the freezer, and 2 hung around for breakfast next morning. (Nuke the frozen burritos 2 min. in the microwave, and or bake for 20 min. at 425 degrees.) The price: 60 cents each.
    Yum.

Now...on to the other important point: a second vehicle. Our main one is a workhouse: a '90 Jeep Cherokee that handles anything with aplomb. It also has terrible mileage: about 15 mpg.
    Daughter #1's Toyota has been parked in our driveway for a few years now, while its owner was at school and elsewhere. We made a deal with her for occasional driving privileges, as long as we covered insurance, gas and repairs. (Plus, her father loves driving a little sportscar!)
    This arrangement has worked out extremely well. My staffers generally take care of orders when they're around -- or I make trips late at night to the post office, when things are quiet. (The machine in the lobby will spit out postage to ship about anything.) Once or twice a week, I'll need the Jeep for errands, an appraising gig, or meetings. It also comes in handy for the occasional road trip...like the one we'll make this weekend, when I go teach for the Thumb Butte Quilters' Guild in Prescott, AZ. (Hi guys!) Husband takes the Toyota then.
    But things are soon to change. Daughter's car is going back with her to Denver. That leaves us with just the Jeep. Should we get a second car?

On the negative side:
    *I can do the critical stuff just by walking. A grocery store is 15 min. away, just down the hill on foot. So is Michael's, a dollar store, and that bastion of do-it-yourselfliness, Home Depot.
    *We could get a scooter, for use around town. Or a mountain bike.
    *I could just drop Husband off at work, and pick him up, if I needed to borrow the Jeep. It's only a few miles away.
    *Most orders can be taken care of at night.
    *We get most of our product now via UPS, Fed Ex or mail. They all deliver.
    *I could rent a car...or borrow one from friends. We've done this at least twice before, during hunting season, when Husband needed the Jeep. It worked out very well.

On the positive side:

   *Two vehicles means freedom for both of us to go whenever we want.
   *What happens when the Jeep is in the shop? It's also getting old, and eventually should be replaced.
   *The second car could be more fuel-efficient. (I've heard good things about the Prius, which gets 40 and above in mileage.  One of our friends swears by a Honda Accord, which has consistently done in the 30-range.)
   *Insurance wouldn't cost that much, provided we do it liability-only. Gas ditto...as long as we don't use the second car that much.

Do we have the money? Well, sort of, if we buy it used, and take the cash out of a meant-for-retirement money fund. (Daughter's car needs some repairs before she takes it back: about $300 worth.)

    It seems that the 'Nos' are based on practicality...and the 'Yesses' argue for convenience. That makes me think that we shouldn't get a second car right now. But I'm torn -- what do you think?



  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cartwheeling Clergyman

Oops...if you're attending the Royal Wedding, better make sure the cameras are OFF before you try this!

Cool (And Quirky) Centennial Sampler Top!

Ooh, I am so happy -- just got a wonderful quilt top with Centennial fabrics that will be perfect for showing during lectures. The price wasn't bad, either...

   I tried to load photos onto this post, but was unsuccessful. There's a bunch at the Ebay listing, however.

It's not snowing...yet.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hats to Smirk At

Remember the goofy hats I fixated on at Their Majesties' wedding last week?

   If you're in the mood for more, take a gander at this slide show. I swear, it looks like the designer went out back to the dumpster and rummaged around in there for whatever they could staple together at the last minute. (I'm assuming there's a designer -- maybe the hat-wearers are frustrated crafters!)

Monday, Monday

Gee, how many times do you start a week with the announcement that Osama bin Laden has finally been deleted? (More on the skinny here.) Not that I don't believe someone else will rise to take his place. That's something that the Israelis quickly discovered when they set out to assassinate the men responsible for the Munich massacre of Jewish Olympic team members. No one would argue that Carlos the Jackal's predecessor was a worse choice...and that's indeed how Carlos got his 'promotion.' (See Steven Spielberg's film Munich, or even better, George Jonas' fine book, Vengeance. It will really make you wonder what happens next.)

* * * * * * * *
I'm wandering in several different directions -- shipping off Mother's Day packages and cards for The Mama and Marie, my North Carolina 'mom' (some good flower and other ideas here from Donna Freedman); a graduation present to nephew Adam (congratulations on nearly being done with college, big guy!); an apppraisal; another package to a cousin who's in the Seabees, and stationed in Egypt. (I hope his friends don't make too much fun of the marshmallow chicks.) In between, a quilt restoration must be finished today, so it can soak all night in a cleaning solution. Dishes are stacked up, clothes need washing. And I must get some paperwork sent off today.
    Whine, whine, whine. Mustn't grumble, as the English say. Going to see The King's Speech again tonight with friends -- I am amazed at that remarkable movie, and a little amused to realize that my beloved Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice actually had his Elizabeth Bennett with him in the cast. Only this time, she's his therapist's wife!
   Post-movie Note: whoa, noticed another Pride and Prejudice connection: the play director Lionel Logue tries out for is actually David Bamber: Mr. Collins!

Getting Through Life (And This Week)

In a few days, it will be better. Really.