Thursday, July 28, 2011

Staying Cool, in Spite of Yourself

Hopefully it's not as hot and sweaty and muggy in your part of the world as it is in mine...and really, we're lucky. Our part of Colorado cools down in the evenings. (yeah for breezes!)

But if you're watching moisture drizzle down your face, or down your dog's/daughter's/husband's, as well, this group of posts about dealing with the heat is for you. Take your time -- a number of valuable links here.

It has just been a zany week. The Mama and Cousin Joy have been here, which means extra driving and tourist stuff and meetings with the girlies. Tomorrow we head to Ikea, which finally opened a store in the Denver area, to look for a rug for Daughter #1, and storage units for the basement.

Life goes on...I just wish I didn't have to run so hard to grab for my place on the merry-go-round. At least the end is getting more near. (After being gone for most of next week in Nebraska, that is. Will explain more later.)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Home Again

After 19-plus hours on the road, plus an overnight stay in Evanston, WY, I'm home. Which means clean sheets on the bed, a very happy Charley, and Husband, who was happy to have his cooker/cleaner/snuggler home!

Something has been wrong all week in the Blogpost department -- I've tried several times to post, but was unable to retain anything except the post title! Aargghghghg....true to form, I mentioned this to Husband tonight, brought up the blog to show him...

And it looked totally different from the gibberish I've been enduring all week.

And the test post Worked. Just. Fine.

Husband, sitting next to me, burst into laughter. I think the computer likes him more than me.

More tomorrow, after I get my head together. I'm so happy to be back!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shower Presents

Bridal shower gifts, that is! Every year about this time, it seems like the showers proliferate. I've got one coming up fast for the fiancee of our good friends' son, Deano. What should I get?

Like Mother, Like Daughter advocate the "something old, something new" approach, suggesting that a deviled egg dish (vintage, if you can get it), an old-but-reliable cookbook and a pretty new apron fit the bill. Good ideas...and there's even a link to an apron-making tutorial.

I thought these suggestions were good ones, too, from The

The Mama is fond of making a 'shower doll,' starting with rolled dishcloths and towels to make the doll's body, then adding whatever kitchen tools she can find on sale: spatulas, peelers, scrubbers and such. It's cute and kitschy (and useful!), all at the same time.

My favorite offerings vary some from these ideas:

*Christmas bubble lights. They're hard to find (so I stock up when I do), but add a fun, old-fashioned touch to holiday trees. And they last forever -- we still have lights purchased during the first five years of marriage. (We're pushing 30 right now.)

*A collection of frugal-themed books. These can often be found at booksales or your local thrift shop for pennies on the dollar. Look for the Tightwad Gazette series, anything with 'Cheapskate' in its title, or a Suze Orman book. (I'll pick up cookbooks  too, especially when they deal with Depression Era cooking, leftovers, or cheap foods.) Snuggle them in a basket with a big bow on the handle, and you're giving good sense advice for the young couple to save money. 

*A good tray. We were given a Blue Willow patterned metal tray for a wedding present that's held like iron -- it's gracefully collected everything from flowerpots to teasets, and looked good in the process. It has a few scratches now, but I'm reluctant to let it go.
    Choose a nice wooden or resin tray, add a few napkins and/or placemats, and you've got a piece anyone can make use of. If possible, get one of those breakfast trays with collapsible legs -- they sure come in handy for breakfast in bed!

Cool Videos

Hero chihuahau chases off robbers? You bet...and the video's here to prove it.

The smallest town in America: Buford, WY - pop. 1. (We went by this place on the way to really is out in the boonies, but there's a lot of highway traffic going by. I'm guessing he does just fine for himself.)

Gray and overcast here in Portland - but the flowers and green leaves glow against it. I'm not used to seeing so much green, so effortlessly kept. Amazing.

Monday, July 18, 2011

In Portland

I'm here in Portland, OR, with the Mama and Cousin Joy in uncle has been diagnosed with advanced cancer, and just is not doing well.
     We drove all night to get here, arrived about 5:30 a.m. The Mama didn't want us to be a bother, so we slept in the car until about 6:30 a.m., when Cousin Torry woke up and found us outside. (Actually, her dog Tobey did.)
      Lots to process, though it is nice to see the family. I'll be more in touch in a bit.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

New Shipwreck Found

Another old shipwreck has been found in the Great Lakes -- this one an 1853 schooner with the masts still upright!  (See the video here.)

Lordy, it's been a strange week. Have a great weekend; more in a bit.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hot Dog!

Now's your chance to get a Really Good coupon for Oscar Mayer hot dogs. I love these guys, they've got a good taste, and the skin snaps juicily when you bite into them. They're perfect especially for Chicago hot dogs -- sauerkraut, celery salt, bright green relish, mustard...and a dill pickle. ( I haven't been paid a cent for saying this, either.)

Go here to Oscar Mayer's 'Taste-A-Monials' Facebook page, click 'Like'...fill out the form, and the coupon's yours. Yum.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bankruptcy...And More

*Does it ever make sense to file bankruptcy in retirement?
     This slide show will give you some very matter-of-fact information, if you've been mulling over the possibility.

*PRISM: An insanely cool short film, courtesy of the makers and Youtube. If you enjoy sci-fi, you're going to love this one.

*Weird (and unsettling) facts: did you know the director of the American Red Cross makes close to a million bucks in salary a year?  Gee, that gives me pause. The director of Compassion International, an adopt-a-child program we support, with a 'son' in Brazil and another that was in Africa, makes a little more than $250,000 yearly. Not great -- but bearable.

And Chocolate Cherry 'Ice Cream' Popsicles, courtesy of Cheap Healthy Good

Did a huge batch of appraisals this morning...and now it's hot hot hot. Makes you wish for a swimming pool within tippytoe reach. Ah well.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More Mystery Guitar Man

Mystery Guitar Man's got a great 'Mystery Guitar Boy' video you've got to see.

And in honor of the new Harry Potter flick hitting the screens on Thursday...
   a Harry Potter Water version, too.

I love this zany Brazilian-American's musical forays -- you will, too. (A new video comes out every Thursday.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday - Back Home

Although I had a GREAT time at the Black Canyon Quilt Show  and really enjoyed myself. These three guilds (that make up the show) have a lot of really good workmanship skills, but even better, they have heart. Even when no one knew who I was, I was consistently greeted and shown kindness.
    Thanks, Ladies. (And a few gentlemen!) Thank you for sharing your time and thoughts with me. I'm better for it.

We took a turn on the four-wheel drive roads around Yankee Boy Basin, then drove the five hours home, with storms chasing us all the way. It's been a busy week for that in Denver -- but then again, we can always use it, floods and all.

    We came home to three very happy dogs and a house that looked like a rabbit warren. (Unfortunately, some of the clutter was from us...including the dishwasher.) I've been weeding and washing and ironing, resisting the urge to settle in a corner with a cup of coffee and a good book. (Maybe later, for a bit.)

     It's nice to be home.

P.S. Basement Update: The aesbestos guys are gone, and the tests came up clean. (Thank God.) Now to have the Servpro guys finish their job, so we can move on.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Quilting on the Western Slope

After more than five hours driving, lovely mountains but some rain, we're now in Ridgway. Tomorrow morning starts the Black Canyon Quilt Show in Montrose -- and two days of heavy-duty appraising. (The show goes through Sunday, but my part will be done by Saturday night.) Stop by and say hi; you'll see some glorious quilts!

* * * * * * *

In the meantime, take a look at one of Real Simple's valuable 'new uses for old things:' this slideshow is on kitchen-related items. A ketchup bottle for squeezing out exact amounts for pancakes -- why not...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Gripe, Moan, Complain

Boy, what a downer that previous post was...but somehow I feel better.
Thanks for listening.

At least some people had a better time -- like Aunt Purl in Florida. Gives you hope, doesn't it!

Discouraged - And Dealingl With It

It's been a rough weekend. 

     Hot hot hot. Few breezes. My well-laid plans for meals and fun stuff pretty much blew out the door, or were sidetracked by disagreements and delays.
     A good share of the beans in the garden disappeared, and needed to be replanted. (I am still trying to figure this one out -- aliens? a government conspiracy??)
    Some hard issues needed to be dealt with. Husband and I did it -- on several fronts -- but came out of it thinking that maybe we helped...but on other things, maybe we didn't.
    A lot of hard work on the basement. More damaged things found and thrown away. (A bunch of stuff cleaned up too, thankfully.) Thanks to Daughter #1 and friend Shannon, the sewing room area is now accessible. But now the office looms...
    And the aesbestos guys are here. Lots of male voices and banging downstairs. Which freaks the dogs out and makes them bark suddenly at odd moments. And I jump about a foot in the air every time they do it.
    Moan, gripe, complain. 

   PATIENCE is the key word here. We're not sleeping well, and both Husband and I feel on the tip edge of getting the flu. Could that be affecting our outlook on things? Of course.
    Also, we've been dealing with the basement for more than a month now. If we can just hang on a little bit longer, the basement will be de-aesbestosized...then we can get the walls and floor done. 
    The people issues? They have their own reasons for the problems. We'll just have to be patient and deal with that, too. Getting angry won't change anything. (Reasoning about it did little or no good. We tried that. Sigh.) I've been doing about the only thing I can -- praying about it. 

   Life goes on. Gotta be patient. Things will get better.

As an extra bonus for dealing with this subject, I was greeted by an angry person who resented that the pennies post I'd mentioned was closed for comments...I'm not quite getting the point. Would arguing with her have made any difference? Naahhh. Was she probably angry at something else, and took it out on me? You betcha. So, Dear Reader, apologies for yanking your chain. (And P.S. I deleted your comments. No sense everyone having to wade through such nastiness. BTW, all four of your rude comments -- plus the beginning polite one -- registered. You were heard.)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pennies...and Saving Money Many Ways!

Ponder this -- what would you think if you found stacks of pennies on your front doorstep? 
   Here's what came of it for this person. Don't miss the comments, either.
(Personally, I wouldn't mind -- extra money for the jar!)

And -- 25 ways to save money, some helpful, some not. The best part of the post, though, are the many links she gives to others who are giving their 25 best ways to save money! (Thanks so much, Frugal for Life.)

Sunday Hot Day

Helped move boxes this morning for friend Constance...topping a week of moving boxes for another friend, plus boxes for the basement. Will this insanity ever end??

The dumpster is on its way to wherever the heck dumpsters go, leaving a faint trail of smelly fabric in its wake. It let off a stream of stinky water when tipped onto the truck; Libby got an allergy attack, just washing down the driveway. Good riddance.

It's been zany, heavy, get-out-the-pool-and-jump-in-it hot. The dogs make a beeline for the fan when it's turned on, and we try to get the outdoors stuff done early in the morning, when life is still cool. (I finally admitted that one big row of beans never came up -- that's on the replant docket tomorrow. The squash and other beans are up and coming, though.) 

 We went to the church picnic this afternoon -- then after errands, came home and took a nap. Sundays are made for this.

Hope your Sunday's been a relaxing one.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Fourth!

Take a day to celebrate this big, wide-open, wonderful country of ours. Happy Fourth of July!

A Dog's Life...Could Be A Very Wealthy One

Read about the world's richest pets here, including Trouble, Leona Helmsley's dog. Trouble died recently -- poor puppy, her award from Leona's will was cut to $2 million, instead of the original $12 million. ($6 million of that amount went to two Panzirer grandchildren who had been cut out of Helmsley's original will.
   Not a cent of Trouble's money will go to Helmsley's grandchildren, though -- Trouble's money will revert to a foundation.

I'd better not tell our dog Charley about these developments -- he might start demanding more than his usual kibble and snooze in the sun!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Picture Says A Thousand Words

A guy gets himself painted, so he fits into a wide variety of buildingscapes, sculptures and so on --
     The Human Chameleon.

You really need to click on this slideshow -- amazing.

Trading Places

From Business Insider,
    The best trades of all time. And...

The worst trades of all time.

Hey, you gotta have both!

Grand Central Station

...It is total chaos at my place.

Daughter #1 and her friend are schlepping boxes and trash out of the sewing room. Snatches of laughter and music float up periodically.

Libby is sewing her husband a pair of pants for their gig tomorrow at the Renaissance Festival. She enjoys passing on her latest thoughts, with the machine whirring away.

The frig opens now and then, as someone gets a cold drink. (It's REALLY hot outside, with no breeze.)

The dumpster guys will be here any minute to pick it up -- which means that Daughter #1 and Shannon have to get as much crap out of that sewing room as possible right away.

Husband is gone to work (whew for him) --
Four dogs periodically trample through the house, looking for handouts and barking at each other.

And where Adam is (Libby's huband), I don't have a clue...but in a few minutes, he'll start banging away at the portable closet he's putting together for me.
    Which will start the dogs barking again.
    And various humans yelling at the dogs to shut up.

And yours truly is sitting vewwwyy qwietly in a corner, typing away and hoping not to be noticed.

Soon it will be lunchtime, and the fun ratchets up even more. 

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Six Ways to Express Your Independence -- finally speaking, that is. The rule that really stuck with me: "Act Like A Hamster, Live Like A Hamster." In other words, believe -- and buy -- every thing that comes down the pike, and you'll not only be in debt, but a prime candidate for every future marketer to profit by.

Time to put some pizza in the oven for the crew. Maybe I'll make them all smoothies, too.