Monday, March 31, 2014

Video Week #1: Seven Mind-Blowing Details from Great Works of Art

I've run across a big batch of quirky, funny and just plain fascinating videos lately -- so thought I'd try something. This week, I'll be sending you a video every day to puzzle over and enjoy.

First on the list: 'Cracked's' look at Great Art, and what it's really hiding.  Some of it, like Picasso's 'contribution' and the need to verify Jesus' 'humanity,' (ahem) you'll wish would go back into disguise!

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: A Very Moving Edition

It's warmer out (with a brisk, chilly wind), and the second daffodil is bravely blooming. The chickens are busy pecking at anything green that dares show itself. They don't like daffs, apparently, or the mint. (Go figure - it NEEDS some trimming back.)
     I am restless as all get-out.
     "I wish I could do something different," I said to the Brick, who is dealing with his own bout of spring fever. And we did -- a weekend of helping Daughter #1 move. Schlepping boxes, washing down baseboards and dealing with messiness in the kitchen, for days on end, gave me a true appreciation of being able to sit quietly at home...and not have to scrub marks off the wall. I still don't understand how she got all that stuff in that little studio, in the first place.
     We got home last night about 10 p.m., had some belated supper, and collapsed. Daughter just has a little more cleaning, plus the floors to do, and she gets her deposit back. Meanwhile, I look at my own grubby house -- it needs scrubbing, too. 
     Before I get started with that, on to:

An open letter to Gwyneth Paltrow.   Ms. Paltrow stated, in an interview with E! that it was sooo much easier to be a working mother in an office, than a movie star's lot. Specifically:
"It's much harder for me," she said. "I feel like I set it up in a way that makes it difficult because … for me, like if I miss a school run, they are like, 'Where were you?' I don't like to be the lead so I don't (have) to work every day, you know, I have little things that I like and obviously I want it to be good and challenging and interesting, and be with good people and that kind of thing."
     "I think it's different when you have an office job, because it's routine and, you know, you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening. When you're shooting a movie...then you work 14 hours a day and that part of it is very difficult. I think to have a regular job and be a mom is not as, of course there are challenges, but it's not like being on set."

One working mom's response is the link.
    Here's mine: Oh, Gwyneth, you poor baby.This musical interlude is just for you on the World's Tiniest Violin:

Planning for unexpected expenses. (From Moneysaving Mom) Speaking of unexpected:

A guy's thinking his girlfriend is pregnant with quintuplets. Lots of activity, fundraising, etc...but it turns out she isn't even pregnant at all!

Another guy finds bones in his backyard. Human bones.  (And they're really old.) Look in your own backyard for:

Dandelions and other spring tonic greens. From yours truly, via Penny Thots. Which brings up, of course:

 You might also enjoy my post on the pleasures of knitting and crochet, as well as the 50/30/20 dilemma.

Ten odd ways to make more money from your regular job. (From Penny Hoarder. This blog is great for unusual ways to make an extra buck or two.)

Cool colors for front doors. (Ours is currently close to the lavender shown here...but I'm bucking for the bright scarlet that we saw on so many Irish front doors.)

Bacon cheeseburger nachos? Oh my. (From Betty Crocker)

107 ways to save your family money. (From The Better Mom -- these are actually a series of helpful links, rather than just one article.)

Soft oat rolls -- good for soup, but they'd be a perfect (and easy) substitute for expensive hamburger buns.  (From Taste of Home.)

Nine things a woman can do to prepare for divorce. I've been very lucky, finding and living with the Brick for 32+ years. But there are others out there who could use this very practical advice.

A house helper to knit. Yes, I know this post is from 2006...but these are evergreen. And a pattern's included. (Wish friend Jo would knit one for me!) From Messy, Thrilling Life.

Get ready for spring...and all sorts of possible disasters. (From yours truly, via Midlife Finance.)

Did you know you get money, just for being a permanent resident of Alaska? Donna Freedman oughta know...

The value of a last-minute stretch (for food, that is), plus the merits of roasting your veggies and good cornbread. (From yours truly via Penny Thots.)

How much is enough for you to feel comfortable donating to someone else? (From I Pick Up Pennies)

Getting a promotion or wonderful opportunity...then feeling like you don't deserve it.  It's called the Imposter Syndrome by this academician. Nice to know that others struggle with this sometimes...

And that's it for this week. Have a good one.

P.S. I have stumbled onto some great videos lately, so will be posting these all week. One a day, hopefully. Come on back and check!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jack Bauer Lives Again!

We are huge fans of 24. 

Another new one is coming out soon: 24 -- Live Another Day.

 So we've been going through the series again...we're almost through Season 7.  We're resuming old friendships with Chloe O'Brien, Bill Buchanan, and Tony Almeida. And of course, there's Jack Bauer...but he's too scary to be an old friend. For one things, anyone who's buddies with -- or related to -- Jack invariably ends up severely messed up...or dead.
     Ol Jack can kick anybody's butt, according to this top list. 
    (Yep, this is rude...but funny!)

  1. Jack Bauer's favorite color is severe terror alert red. His second favorite color is violet, but just because it sounds like violent.
  2. Jack Bauer killed 93 people in just 4 days time. Wait, that is a real fact.
  3. Upon hearing that he was played by Kiefer Sutherland, Jack Bauer killed Sutherland. Jack Bauer gets played by no man.
  4. Jack Bauer was never addicted to heroin. Heroin was addicted to Jack Bauer.
  5. If Jack Bauer was in a room with Hitler, Stalin, and Nina Meyers, and he had a gun with 2 bullets, he'd shoot Nina twice.
  6. If you wake up in the morning, it's because Jack Bauer spared your life.
  7. When Russell Crowe threw a phone at that guy, Jack Bauer was on the other line.
  8. Jack Bauer once forgot where he put his keys. He then spent the next half-hour torturing himself until he gave up the location of the keys.
  9. Jack Bauer does not sleep. The only rest he needs is what he gets when he's knocked out or temporarily killed.
  10. Jack Bauer would have gotten the ring to Mordor in 24 hours.
  11. While being "put under" in the hospital, Jack Bauer can count backwards from 100 every time. This annoys the doctors.
  12. Jack Bauer can sneeze with his eyes open.
  13. Jack Bauer knows what you did last summer.
  14. Jack Bauer doesn't miss. If he didn't hit you it's because he was shooting at another terrorist twelve miles away.
  15. Season 5 of 24 was supposed to be Jack Bauer fighting Chuck Norris and Vin Diesel. This idea was abandoned when Jack defeated them and nothing else could be found to fill the other 23 hours and 59 minutes.
  16. Don't ask what Jack Bauer would do for a Klondike bar...
  17. Guns don't kill people, Jack Bauer kills people.
  18. Every-time Jack Bauer yells "NOW!" at the end of a sentence, a terrorist dies.
  19. God created the universe in 6 days. Thats 5 days 23 hours and 59 minutes longer than it took Jack Bauer to create God.
  20. Jack Bauer literally died for his country, and lived to tell about it.
  21. If Jack Bauer asks for your car, give it to him. And your wife.
  22. If you get 7 stars on your wanted level on Grand Theft Auto, Jack Bauer comes after you. You don't want to get 7 stars.
  23. Jack Bauer has no problem following orders, unless you tell him to do something he doesn't want to.
  24. 1.6 billion Chinese are angry with Jack Bauer. Sounds like a fair fight.
  25. Instead of buzzing, Jack Bauer's alarm clock screams out "THERE ISN'T ANYMORE TIME!"
  26. As a child, Jack Bauer's first words were "There's no time!"
  27. Jack Bauer doesn't have a mother. As an impatient sperm, he shot out of his father and flew around looking for an egg to fertilize. He was unable to find an egg, and ended up running into a bullet, which he fertilized instead.
  28. Jack Bauer named his cat 'Chuck Norris.' Why? Because He's a pussy.
  29. Jack Bauer does not care for names. Every entry in his address book is simply labeled "Son of a Bitch."
  30. Many people don't realize that "Bauer" is a name of Norwegian descent. It translates loosely to "WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME!!!"
  31. Jack Bauer once beat Super Mario Bros. 3 without touching the controller. He just stared at the TV until the game beat itself.
  32. When Jack Bauer was a child, he made his mother finish his vegetables.
  33. If you spell Jack Bauer in a Scrabble game, you win. Forever.
  34. Jack Bauer won the Tour de France on a unicycle to prove to Lance Armstrong it wasn't a big deal. He thinks yellow wristbands are lame.
  35. Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas.
  36. Osama Bin Laden's recent proposal for truce is a direct result of him finding out that Jack Bauer is, in fact, still alive.
  37. Jack Bauer is the leading cause of death in Middle Eastern men.
  38. When Kim Bauer lost her virginity, Jack Bauer found it and put it back.
  39. Jack Bauer played Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun and won.
  40. Jack Bauer once ate an entire case of sleeping pills. They made him blink.
  41. What color is Jack Bauer's blood? Trick question. Jack Bauer does not bleed.
  42. Jack Bauer once won a game of Connect 4 in 3 moves.
  43. Simon Says should be renamed to Jack Bauer Says because if Jack Bauer says something then you better effin' do it.
  44. When Google can't find something, it asks Jack Bauer for help.
  45. Jack Bauer can get McDonald's breakfast after 10:30.
  46. In kindergarten, Jack Bauer killed a terrorist for Show and Tell.
  47. When the boogie man goes to sleep, he checks his closet for Jack Bauer.
  48. Jesus died and rose from the dead in 3 days. It took Jack Bauer less than an hour. And he's done it twice.
  49. It would only take 1 bullet for Jack Bauer to kill 50 Cent.
  50. Jack Bauer once killed a group of Samurai Warriors with only a ball point pen. This lead to the phrase "The pen is mightier than the sword."
  51. People with amnesia still remember Jack Bauer.
  52. Jack Bauer has been to Mars. That's why there's no life on Mars.
  53. Superman's only weakness is Kryptonite. Jack Bauer laughs at Superman for having a weakness.
  54. If Jack and MacGyver were locked in a room together, Jack would make a bomb out of MacGyver and get out.
  55. Jack Bauer was conceived by torturing the other sperm until they gave up the location of the egg.
  56. Jack Bauer once killed so many terrorists that at one point, the #5 CIA Most Wanted fugitive was an 18-year-old teenager in Malaysia who downloaded the movie Dodge-ball.
  57. If Jack Bauer was gay, his name would be Chuck Norris.
  58. Jack Bauer rents videos and never rewinds them, ever.
  59. Strippers tip Jack Bauer.
  60. If Rosa Parks was in Jack Bauer's seat, she'd move to the back of the bus.
  61. Jack Bauer makes onions cry.
  62. If Jack was in a room with Stalin, Hitler and Nina and had two bullets, he would shoot Nina twice.
  63. Jack and Jill went up the hill. Only Jack came down, Jill was an effin' terrorist.
  64. Jack Bauer and Superman once had an arm wrestling match; the loser had to wear their underwear on the outside.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: March Madness

Back home from Cheyenne...and feeling exhausted. The house isn't actually that grubby -- but there are a boatload of piles, boxes and Just Plain Stuff that need to be put away.
     I don't wanna.
But no one else will be doing it, if I don't. The Brick is deep in a pile of work himself, Daughter #1 has been moving domiciles, and Daughter #2 has the flu.
     Oh, we're just a bunch of party animals around here.

Colorado seems to alternate between snow/dreary skies, and sun that warms the ground to barefoot weather. The first daffodil bloomed a little late -- just after St. Patrick's Day. No wonder -- it was probably confused. Makes you feel a little sideways about the rest of life, doesn't it?

 Ah well. On to other things in life, like:

Nineteen things your millionaire neighbor next door won't tell you. (From Len Penzo)

The Colorado woman who told her young son he had cancer, then reaped the considerable financial benefits from fundraisers, including a trip to Disneyland. (By the way...he didn't.)

What's your next step, if you can't make ends meet? Get Rich Slowly explores this in Part I and Part II. (Don't forget the reader comments -- they're even more interesting than the articles.)

What to do when space is really in Paris. (From Apartment Therapy)

Eight weird spy transmissions -- some are still going on. (Just don't look at the top and side ads on this site -- they can get even weirder than the spy transmissions.)

Hunting a stolen masterpiece. Caravaggio's Nativity has been missing since 1969 -- what happened to it?

Twelve teacher replies to -- whatever.  (Ditto.)

A new way to try pigs in the blanket - wrapped in spicy green onion pancakes! (Thanks, Betty Crocker)

One of the Titanic 'survivors' is still missing -- proven by a DNA test. (This story is fascinating.)

DNA testing also played an interesting part in determining whether Anna Anderson was the long-lost Princess Anatasia, as well. (I was really rooting for her, too.)

We haven't watched March Madness like we should...but Michigan is still hanging in there. Their next game: Friday night.  (CU, sadly, has already gone down in flames.) Yes, there is another Michigan university team...but we do not discuss the Green and White One in this house. (grin) Our friends had high hopes for Wichita State's Shockers (yes, that's the team name) -- but their first loss of the season went to Kentucky (only two points!), and they're out. Darn.

Have a great week -- and if you've got any bare, sort of warm ground,  plant something!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

What Do Dogs Do When We Leave?

"No, no, mustn't get on the bed."

But then the owner leaves. (And activates a hidden camera.) What does the faithful puppy do?

No doubt our Charley would love to do this...but he rolls in chicken poop far too often to get away with it.

Cheyenne Weekend

I'm here in Cheyenne, Wyoming, staying at a Victorian era B&B, in the old Nagle Warren Mansion:

 It really is lovely here.

Also fun: the group of ladies I'm with are sewing like crazy, using patterns inspired by the Downton Abbey PBS series. Tonight, we'll look at quilts and fabrics from the early 1900s, and talk about the differences between "upstairs" and "downstairs" textiles.
     A Wyoming filmmaker has been filming for a documentary all day, including interviews up in the "tower room," and wandering around, taking photos and filming the high tea this afternoon, fireplaces going and a barbershop quartet entertaining us. 

What wasn't so lovely: the events leading up to this.

I started to leave yesterday for the two-hour drive...but took the Jeep first to go ship some orders. While I was gone, the Brick went to gas up the Outback, and realized the back tire was almost flat.

A nail. A big one.

Turns out the tire couldn't be saved. And the other three tires were bald enough (which we knew, were trying to eke them out) that they needed to be replaced, too.


By the time the new tires were on, it was dark, and looking stormy. So I waited, and left early this morning, to more storm clouds gathering. By the time I drove north through Denver, it had started to snow.

There's not much keeping the snow and wind doing what it likes on the highway between Denver and Cheyenne. And it did -- blow, and snow, and ice -- by the time I got to the Wyoming state line, I'd seen two accidents and two more rollovers. Even the ambulance was going slow...because that was all it dared to do. (It really was slippery out there.)

The whiteouts started at the state line. Fortunately, I came up behind a snowplow, and stayed behind it until turning off to the mansion. Got here late, but intact.

Off to sew...listen to people laugh...and watch all sorts of lovely costumes and posh accents. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Another Treasure Rediscovered

A scrap metal dealer buys a "thing" solely for its value in precious metal...

flogs it repeatedly, but no one is interested...

researches it for himself. Soon realizes this is...

one of eight missing Faberge eggs, made for the Tsar and his family, which disappeared during the Russian Revolution.

Value:  millions and millions of dollars. Priceless, actually.


(Here's another version of the story, but with a wonderful attached slideshow of other ancient finds.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Somewhere Over The...

Yes, St. Patrick's Day is over...but any rainy day can be brightened by this rainbow cake-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow.

Plus seven more rainbow recipes, all courtesy of Parade Magazine. (Thanks, guys.)

Monday, March 17, 2014

I Do Not Know What to Think About This

A dad actually did this to his son...

On Facebook, this was being shared under the "Moms, don't leave your kids at home with their dad" category.

The Brick was laughing while I was sputtering. Said he, still giggling, "I never would have thought of this!"

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Five Things Noticed About the Irish

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you! 

The Brick is having a steaming helping of colcannon for supper tonight, in honor of our shared heritage. (In other words, potatoes and cabbage - - go here for recipes, including Irish stew and soda bread.) He knew he descended from three Brick brothers who left Ireland to come to the States back in the late 17th/early 18th century. What we didn't know was that "Brick" is actually Gaelic for "badger!" Since Brick is such an unusual name, David made some calls to Bricks in the phone book while we were in Ireland...and actually found some people we think we may be distantly related to. Wow.
     In fact, we found a "Brick's" pub while we were wandering about the back country. (Darn -- it was closed, but nonetheless...)

The Brick, with more Bricks...what a cutie, huh.
 I wish we'd had more time in Ireland last fall...but I did notice some things that surprised me. 

1.  There must be a LOT of Irish people in the States...because the people we saw there could have fit right in here, with few exceptions. (Except for the accent -- you could understand only by concentrating very hard, and asking to repeat things a lot. It sounds lovely, though.)

2.  Most of the women didn't wear jeans...but tights, instead. (I got the feeling this was largely because they couldn't afford them, and tights were the next-best alternative.)

3.  We didn't see many people drinking Guinness. Smithwick's was much more popular, or Bulmer's hard cider. (More on drinking Irish here.)

4.  Still a ton of hard feelings against the Brits...and a lot of surprising mentions about "The Troubles." These happened decades (the 1960s, in the case of The Troubles) or even centuries before -- but Irish have looonnng memories. 

5.  They still love potatoes - any size, shape or form, but we saw a lot of mashed, or "chips." (Yes, with fish.) The great Potato Famine, back in the 1840s, is also a painfully fresh memory. While driving around with our cousins, we kept seeing small plots on the hillsides. "The potato patches," said our cousin. "They haven't been planted for years because of the blight -- but the marks are still there." Amazing. 


Poor old Michigan (#8) lost to Michigan State (#22). Again. This makes back-to-back victories in both football and basketball. Can we "Go Blue" fans ever hold our collective heads up again...

Perfect potstickers...and other Asian quick lunch ideas.  (From

One of the scariest locations in the world for a house -- up on a tiny shelf, more than 13,000 altitude in the Alps!

The mom in Denver who told her 6-year-old that he had cancer, collected a boatload of money (and took a trip to Disneyland) -- except it was all a lie. 

"The day I wasted a ton of money at Home Depot." A good post on keeping your focus. (From Money Beagle)

An earthquake hits -- and the KTLA news anchors in Los Angeles dive for cover! (Not that you can blame them.)

What do you do if you can't make ends meet? The first of a two-parter, from Get Rich Slowly. (The story of someone who actually went through this is extremely helpful, too.)

Warren Buffett holds forth. He actually released parts of his annual letter early this year! (By yours truly via Midlife Finance.)

Hope your celebration was a fun one...have a good week.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bigfoot Explained

Quick....somebody'd better tell Rick Dyer!

(From the Bizarro blog...the stinker.)

It's Coming...

How do I know that St. Patrick's Day is on its way?

Because Chicago's once again dyed the river green. (Actually, in normal life, it's kind of a brown-y, green anyways.)

We have a 'Mystery Dinner' tonight. Three couples who attend Creekside Bible (our church here in Castle Rock) are coming for supper. We don't know who they are -- and they won't know where they're going until they open the envelope!
     Friend Constance is coming, too...her Wisconsin roots make her a big fan of corned beef and cabbage. I hope everyone likes it -- because that's what they're getting, along with a healthy dose of Celtic music. (Maybe some Smithwick's and hard cider, too.)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Car Hijacking in Denver

Boy, did we have a wild chase around here.

It all started when a lady left her car running at a gas station, keys and four-year-old inside. The kid was in his pajamas. A 28-year-old suddenly jumped in, and took off...

And grabbed car after car after car.

He was finally caught, but not until the cops racked up an incredible series of video...take a look.

You can watch the short version:

 OR the long version! (54 min.)

Full story, with another link to that long chase, is here.

He hit a policeman...who is in the hospital with serious injuries.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

First Kiss

Filmmaker Tatia Pilieva asked 20 strangers to kiss each other...then filmed them.

The results? Awkwardness, kindness, laughter...and incredible sweetness.

Take a look:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring Storm

It's snowing and blowing like crazy here. See for yourself, if you're curious...this live weather cam is just down the road from our place.
     I've had an ear infection for days -- and something about the change in weather is making my head vibrate like a drum. Hearing anything, from music to voices, produces a strange echo. Weird.

My friend died this morning, about 9 a.m. I'd planned to stop and see her this afternoon. Instead, the Brick and I will be singing at her funeral service next week.

Maybe her death is why my head is echoing, as well...

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Plugging Away

We had a big snowstorm on Friday...but in just a few days, the snow is nearly gone, and we're back to mud. I went out to collect eggs yesterday and - bam - fell flat on my face. After scraping myself off, a shower was in order...then it was time to scrub out the tub. But I didn't break the eggs!
     More cold temps this week. More work to be done. The only green: daffodil leaves, forlornly sticking up out of the flowerbed. The chickens have nipped off the rest. (They apparently don't like daffs.) We need to get that fence in the chickenyard finished before they decimate everything permanently.
     And why doesn't spring GET HERE?

Why we're not as doomed as the naysayers suggest. (From Mr. Money Moustache)

10 financial/market predictions for 2014. We'll see if they're right!

How to retire early -- by J.D. Roth, one of the guys who actually did it. (He founded Get Rich Slowly.) 

Chicken tortilla soup - yum.  (From Who Needs A Cape)

Signs that make you stop and laugh! A slideshow from Reader's Digest.

Athletes who are great at cheating. An illuminating slideshow, from Barry Bonds to (you guessed it) Lance Armstrong.

A painted couch before-and-after makeover. No, they didn't necessarily replace the fabric -- they painted it!

Eight facts that make TOO much sense.  Case in point: Disneyland has a mouse infestation...go figure!

Advantages and disadvantages of sole proprietership. This should especially be of help if you're thinking about starting a new business.

What to make when there's 'nothing to eat' in the house. (From Big Girls, Small Kitchen.)

What 9/11 looked like from outer space.

Posts from yours truly, including raising chickens in winter  (Penny Thots) and 25 (more) ways to save a buck or two. (Midlife Finance)

A really nice (small) bathroom redo, from Funky Junk Interiors.  (Take a closer look at that mirror -- it's framed in yardsticks!)

Have a good week. Like you, I'm hanging in there, waiting for spring.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Frozen Dead Guy Days This Weekend!

Yep, it's time once again for that amazing event:

Frozen Dead Guy Days, in case you haven't read about it before (including on this blog), celebrates "Grandpa in the Tuff Shed." In short, a man kept his grandpa's body in dry ice in a shed on his property in Nederland. (His version of cheap crygenics.) When Our Hero was deported to his native country, people continued to keep dry ice on Grandpa. Now the old guy is the central focus of a whole weekend's worth of events!

Read more about it here.

What Happens at Frozen Dead Guy Days?
  • Amazing FREE Live Music all Weekend  (two tents)
  • Coffin Racing   (like the videos below)

  • Costume Polar Plunging
  • Frozen T-shirt Contests
  • Ice Turkey Bowling
  • The Blue Ball (live band)
  • Brain Freeze Contests
  • Parade of Hearses 
  • Frozen Salmon Toss     (Daughter's boyfriend Keith is a master at this)
  • Snowy Beach Volleyball 
  • Frozen Remote Control Monster Truck demo
Nederland is a short drive up the canyon from Boulder. If you're in Colorado this weekend, take a look -- it won't happen anywhere else in the world!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A REALLY Old Medallion Quilt

Family history says that Belle Abram made this quilt in England; she started about 1797, and finished in 1808. (Notice the "BA" and "1808" notations on the piece?) The medallion style (building, border by border, around a central medallion area) was very popular with British quiltmakers.
     Eventually the quilt came with its family to America, and was passed down from generation to generation. It lives at the International Quilt Study Center now -- a wonderful place whose collection ranges not only for hundreds of years...but all over the world. Robert and Ardis James' funds and donations were instrumental in helping the museum. But it's also been the donations of money, time and energy of people like us that have helped IQSC continue to grow.

This quilt was featured on the "Quilt-of-the-Month" for March. You can learn more about this piece, and sign up for a "quilt of the month" to be delivered to your e-mail inbox by going here.

Notice the square size? Very typical for pre-1850s quilts...although this one is on the small size. Often these are much larger.

Made by Belle Abram
Probably made in England, 1799-1808
87 x 87 inches/218 x 221 centimeters
IQSCM 2007.028.0001
Gift of Nancy Harris

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Love Is Like A Red, Red (Napkin) Rose

The prettiest napkin-folded rose...

Want to know how to make it? Rosemary's Sampler does it surprisingly easy, with step-by-step directions to guide you. Go here -- have fun. 

Take a minute to wander around the blog, as well -- you'll find tea room recipes and other goodies.

Ups, Downs... And Trust

My friend is dying. 

I have known her and her husband since our girlies were little. The past few years, I often played piano with her, visiting her little condo. Now she lies curled up on a nursing home bed, her eyes flickering and hands moving now and then. Unresponsive.

Another friend survived a major seizure (which she 'coded' during, while we were fooling around in Tucson), then less than a week later, a stroke. She's recovering well, with no physical or mental damage...amazing in itself. But still.

Maybe it's because these are both coming so close to the 5th anniversary of Pa's death. Death seems to be breathing down the necks of those I love. (Or at least hovering nearby.)

At the same time, I've gotten several business-related opportunities...invitations I'm thrilled to get, appraisals I've enjoyed doing. Daughter Angel's biz is fact, she just broke 150 sales from the inventory we bought in Tucson. (What a girl!)

How can so many good things happen, and so many bad things happen at the same time?

It is hard to trust God -- that He knows exactly what's happening, and cares deeply about His children. And that all these work together in His grand plan, even when I don't have a clue how.

But you know something? I believe He's worth trusting on this. I'd stake my life on it. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: The Celebrity Edition

Maybe it's inspiration from the Oscars...but I seem to have collected a bunch of celebrity references this week. We didn't watch the show. (No cable, and we're working through 24 episodes right now, getting ready for the upcoming show. Just finished Season 3.)
     The sun is shining, snow's nearly gone...and it's time to plant spinach. Meanwhile:

Harold Ramis died. I've admired this brilliant, geeky guy for decades, ever since Ghostbusters.

Bess Flowers also died recently. Don't recognize the name? She appeared in more than 350 films -- as an extra or bit player. She apparently was admired by many celebrities.

Oscar gowns.  The show seems silly (although ordering pizza is an interesting bit!) -- but I do enjoy seeing what people choose to wear to this shindig. 

Frugal celebrities - a slideshow. Nice to hear  Here are more. (Okay, some repeats.) More here, too.

Dogs with sad, sad faces. (A photo gallery) Charley and Abby could teach these guilt trippers a thing or two. 

Slow-cooker breakfasts? Yup, seven easy crockpot items, thanks to Betty Crocker.

Something mysterious found under Fort Alcatraz -- a fortress thought to be long-destroyed. While you're at it:

The latest 67 archeological discoveries around the world...including the oldest footprints found outside Africa, and some artifacts connected with King David!

The prettiest little cabin.  And movable! (Well, maybe after that flat tire is fixed.)

Donna Freedman's stocking up -- and for good reason. (It saves money, too, when you get the stuff on sale.)

The complete guide to Hacking IKEA -- how-tos and easy methods for painting, staining, stitching and decoupaging those inexpensive furniture pieces from IKEA. (Courtesy of Apartment Therapy.)

The sun's shining, again -- maybe it really is spring.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Gray Saturday

We woke up this morning to dreary skies and tiny snowflakes. A thin, crisp curtain of snow veiled the sky and made the air glitter.

Our poor daffodils. They're just starting to push up through the cold ground. (One of the few items the chickens are uninterested in. Thankfully.)

It was (is) spring, isn't it?? 

I had big plans for cleaning out the chicken coop, scrubbing out the water trough, and planting spinch underneath my new cold frame - a hooped tunnel from Gardener's Supply. Hopefully it will keep the chickens out, and the warmth in.

We have lots of reasonably-warm days now, unlike our Eastern neighbors, who are still in snow up to their armpits. Our fellow Coloradoans on the Western Slope are having the same problems. But us, in the Denver area? Except for the occasional quickly-melting storm, we've been dry as a bone for ages.

Like so many of you...I just wish it was spring.