Friday, August 29, 2014

Monday (er, Friday) Stuff on the Way to Other Stuff: Happy Labor Day Weekend

This has been a strange week. 
I've been trudging through lots of paperwork, doing some biz work...and trying to figure out why I feel so blahhh about life right now. I wonder -- the Mama picked up some flu, heading home. Did I get my own dose of it, as well? Feel achy all over, and my head hurts. 
    Unfortunately for me, I have a commitment on Monday that needs doing. Fortunately for you, I thought I'd post the Monday listing early.
     Hopefully, things will feel better soon.

World Monuments -- wonderful places, including some that are in danger.

Take a free online course...on the work of Laura Ingalls Wilder! (Class starts in Sept.)

How to remove credit disputes from your record...and boost your credit score, in the process. (From My Money Design)

The teeny-tiny balcony makeover. Good ideas for a similar small space at your place! (From Apartment Therapy) From this:

To this.

Somebody donated a skull to Goodwill! Turns out it wasn't the first one, either...

Free Our Kids -- wherein a lady decides not to spend a cent on her kids for a full year, and blogs about it. I'm not sure what to think about this...and she's fallen off the wagon at least once. But still --

The Wal-Mart Savings Catcher -- enter your purchases (just the receipt number), Wal-Mart compares them to sales in your area -- then may refund money to you via a gift card. (From My Frugal Miser) I haven't done this myself yet, but have heard plenty of people raving about it. I need to.

Georgia cracker salad?!?  Actually, it's a kind of egg salad. Stuff it in tomatoes, if you like, or eat as a dip.  Easy and good.

Did you ever wonder what famous people are worth? Now you can find out, via Celebrity Net Worth. Actors, politicians, sports figures...they're all there. (And to make things even more interesting, 25 rich athletes who went broke.)

'Fabulous Freebies' -- to keep you from going broke too, I guess. Some are common-sense, but there are some unusual ones, too. (From Five Cent Nickel)

Goldfish 'bubble' cookies. Fast, easy...and very cool.  (From Who Needs A Cape?)

Sam's vs Costco -- who's got the best prices? This post compares a lot of products, both individually and collectively. You might be surprised at the eventual winner.

Have a good weekend. Barbecue something for me...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Big Corn Dog Sale Tomorrow!

I am a HUGE fan of corn dogs...they just bring back memories of wandering around the fairgrounds, munching as you go.

And tomorrow they're only 50 cents each at Sonic! 

Good only on Thursday, the 28th...yum.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A New Idea for A Tie Quilt!

24blocks shared this idea via Facebook, from their reader Ramona:

All it needs is good-quality fabric for a background, pins, patience and applique stitches. 

Cool, huh?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Yes, I'm...

I must be the last person in the civilized world to have watched this...but hey, I've never seen Despicable Me. And I don't have grandkids (yet). 

But I love this song -- and even better, I loved the parade of dancing people that came after Pharrell Williams' rendition of...


Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: The Rockies -- And the Mint (Nope, not the Denver version)

Warm days, cool nights...fall is definitely on its way. We went to a Rockies game yesterday, and were comfortable as all get-out. Maybe that's why they actually won! (Half the stadium practically fainted -- so unexpected.) 
     We still have a bumper crop of flies. They hang out by the deck, and make a dash for the inside whenever we open the screen door. Strangely enough, they seem to be attracted by the budding flowers on the mint plants near the deck. And since we have a mint population the size of Detroit...I think it may be conspiring with the flies for world domination.
     If only the chickens would eat more flies - but they don't like hanging out in the mint. Meanwhile:

35 FREE classes from Craftsy. All you have to do is click!

The high cost of being poor -- and how to overcome it.  (Via Len Penzo)

Don Pardo died -- you may remember his voice from Jeopardy, The Price Is Right...or Saturday Night Live, where he announced 38 of 39 sessions. Amazing.  He was 96.

Six famous people who predicted their own deaths -- and not always meaning to, either. (Five musicians did it, as well -- in song.)

Twenty dirt-cheap meals. (From The Simple Dollar)

Free stuff to do in the summertime. (From Jeff Yaeger, via AARP)

Eight little-known facts about Robin Williams. Rest his soul.

Money advice -- from six guys who earned the right to speak. (From Men's Health)

A nice insider's look at Crazy quilts at a museum. Not that I'd be interested. No. Un-unh. (Grin. Thanks, Bonnie Hunter)

Have a wonderful week.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

More Stolen Quilts - Can You Help?

I really hate writing posts like this...
                  yet another batch of quilts has been stolen.

Nancy Rink, a Bakersfield, CA quilt artist, had two break-ins in July of this year. The first time, they took a quilt. The next time, they disabled the alarm system she'd installed -- and stole the rest. Only a few are shown below. (Go here for more news on Nancy, plus more photos of the purloined quilts.) Here's the news article, in case you want to learn more: "Police say each quilt is marked with hand stitching on the corner: Nancy Rink Designs, the name of the quilt and date of completion. There were between 15 and 18 quilts taken."

From Nancy's Facebook page, back in late July:

I am MAD as Hell! Thieves broke into my studio over the weekend and stole virtually every quilt (see the album What the Thieves Stole). This is an oh so wonderful follow-up to the break in a week and a half ago in which one quilt was stolen. We had beefed up security but the thieves paid no attention. They just ripped the alarm from the door and busted the security lights. Am I paranoid or am I just being targeted?! I have posted images of the main quilts stolen (there are probably more) just in case you see or hear of anything. Please call the BPD or if you see or hear anything suspicious. I have trunk shows booked at guilds and it makes it very difficult to give a trunk show without my quilts.
And if  YOU the thief is reading this, please don’t bother to break in again. There is NOTHING more for you to get. We have moved virtually everything out of the studio and are searching for a new location. Also, thanks for the pee and poop you left in the toilet!!

Let's help her get her quilts back. If you notice any of these, contact Nancy and the police pronto. I'd be happy to help, too...just e-mail me at There's a $1000 reward for the quilts' safe return, as well.

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Royal Decree

A MESSAGE FROM HER MAJESTY (Courtesy of Michael Yon):


To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)
Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except North Dakota, which she does not fancy). 
          (Editor's note here: she might change her mind, once she realizes all the oil ND is currently kicking out...)
Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.
Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour,' 'favour,' 'labour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise.' Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').
2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ''like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u'' and the elimination of '-ize.'
3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not ready to shoot grouse.
5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialect in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.
11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
13.. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.
14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!

PS: Only share this with friends who have a good sense of humour (NOT humor)! And here's hoping Her Highness is also a good sport.

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Goodbye, Mama

I got back late Saturday night from Cheyenne, WY and the Cheyenne Heritage Quilters show...just in time to celebrate The Mama's 77th birthday.

She's been visiting now for more than two weeks...and is champing at the bit to fly home. Which she does tomorrow. Fortunately, she has been getting a little stronger each day, and should be ok on her own now. A number of cousins live near Mom -- they've already been checking on her, or spending time with her. I feel certain that they'll continue to do this. (Thank you Dave and Carolyn, Joy, Joanie, and Phil and Dawn. Means a lot to me, guys.)
    This week is full of appraisals, appraisals, appraisals...and continuing to clean up Things That Were Put Off. The days stay hot, but we're definitely getting a warning in the evenings that fall is on its way. Good -- I love fall.

A new FREE cookbook for eating well within a food stamp budget. (From NPR)

50 clever new uses for old things in your kitchen. (From Apartment Therapy)

Ten ways to earn online income -- without doing anything illegal. (From Student Finance)

Making money selling bottled water? I hadn't thought of this...but it makes good sense. (From Make Money Your Way)  

Free admission to more than 1500 different museums in September? Yep, provided you print out a free ticket. You also get a digital subscription to the Smithsonian. Shoot, I'd sign up just for the subscription.  (Thanks, Donna Freedman.)

Pizza -- the perfect food. (From yours truly, via Midlife Finance.) Also:

What do you really need to live on?

I'll be checking in more often, now that I'll be staying home for a while. One thing all this traveling has done is bring the Brick and me closer together. We've realized we just like being with each other. 
     And that's a thing worth having.

Have a good week.  

Fall's coming...just not yet

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Robin Williams...and Hanging in There

I'm in Cheyenne, Wyoming for the rest of the week. Not because I'm working...because I'm not.
    Not always, that is.

The guild needed judging done yesterday.

I needed to be here Thurs - Sat to do appraisals.

I tried hard to do the judging today (Wed)...but the judge last year was so slow that they literally had to wait, quilt by quilt, while she made up her mind.

The upshot of that: I needed to judge yesterday.

Which meant an afternoon (Tues) and a day (Wed) I had nothing to do but wander.

Actually, it was kind of nice. I spent much of yesterday being sick, for some odd reason, but still had time to visit the Cheyenne museum (which is quite interesting - and FREE), and gaze up in a haze at the shining capital building. It looks a lot like the Denver version.
    Today, I lazed about, read a couple of books (yes, I read fast), visited a few thrift shops and a flea market, then finally settled down at the library to get some work done.

It's been very peaceful.

Oh, that Robin Williams could have hung in there a little longer. I have to believe that he would eventually have come out of the bleakness that made him take his own life.
    What a huge waste of a talented, funny person.

Like this bit, from the Denver Bronco cheerleaders:

I didn't always agree with the decisions he made in his personal life -- but he made me laugh. And good belly laughter is rather rare in this crazy world.

We will miss you, Robin.

Now What?!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Got A Caption for This?

What think?

I'm too cowed to think of one!

From Sue Fitzmaurice's Facebook (with Nelda Brock).

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Cheyenne, Here I Come

Tomorrow morning, it's back to work, judging at the Cheyenne Heritage Quilters' annual show. I have a few days of appraising afterward, as well. 
     I've been doing this gig for years -- at least 7 or 8, and maybe a decade. The show is wonderful. This guild has a real knack especially for scrap quilts, as well as mixing applique with other quilt styles. I always learn something new from them. 
     The Mama will stay home this time, and cook for the Brick. He needs someone to baby him, after my being gone most of the summer. 

The "hidden city" trick to saving on airfare. (From Tight Fisted Miser)

Four ways to get the item you want, at the price you want. (From Penny Hoarder)

Interesting ways to hustle up (and save money on) lunch box prep. This focuses on kids, but I know plenty of adults who would enjoy it, too. (From She 

Easy refreshments for a baby shower (or any other social event) -- including some wonderful Rice Krispie Pops. (From Pretty/Hungry)

Two ingredients - one yummy cake. (And it's been around for more than 84 years now!) Don't miss out on Food52's five-step process for making any kind of flavor of 'icebox cake,' either. (Here's the link.)

The only fried chicken recipe you'll ever need. (From Epicurious)

The best teacher gifts...written by a teacher. Good for starting to plan.

A duck tape belt pouch to make yourself. (I thought it was "duct tape," but what do I know...) Camo-style tape gives this customized pouch visual flair. (From Frugal Upstate)

Ten celebrities who may have been (or were diagnosed as) autistic.

An AMAZING pallet wood deckYow, this is nice! (But then, you knew I'm a little pallet-crazy already.) From She's got an interesting shed made out of pallets, too...

Have a great week -- and stop by the show, if you can! Here's the link.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

What Could You Do with a Pallet?

It's difficult for me to drive by a dumpster, see a wooden pallet leaning up against it...and not stop to grab one. (Or more, if I'm lucky.) Maybe they originally held products, like electronics, appliances, even motorcycles. But now I'm nutso for these wooden foundations. Why? Because they're the start to so many interesting projects.

At first, I was just interested because  pallets are generally free. And we were looking for firewood. Then I used a few to make a compost bin. Hmmm...

Funky Junk Interiors got me started down the primrose path, by showing her amazing farm table desk. All made from pallets.

(She also has a weekly 'upcycling' DIY ideas party that often includes pallet projects.)

One of my other inspirations is Road Kill Rescue. Their posts feature all sorts of reworked projects, but the pages and pages of pallet-related items are fascinating. Like this wonderful antique-looking clock, courtesy of Designed Decor.

 Or a reclaimed wood fireplace surround from I Think We Could Be Friends. Wow.

Here's what's on my mind right now: a narrow grow-box that will span the edge of our concrete deck. Georgia Pellagrini did a similar project with purchased lumber.

I feel quite certain I can get this look with pallet lumber. We'd have to make more than one box, anyways,  to span the length of the deck.

This might well be my fall project...that is, after I get back from Cheyenne. I'm headed there Tuesday to judge the Cheyenne Heritage Quilters' annual show, then appraise for a few days. I've been going there for years -- and have never failed to be amazed at what these spirited Western quilters come up with. If you're in the area, stop by. You'll be pleased!

Work first...then play.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dogs on Hogs

   The Huffington Post did a video mix of something that Charley would love --
                   Dogs riding on motorcycles! 

Click on the link above if you want a grin...or check out these videos below, gleaned from Youtube.

Yes, we have a bike. (A Yamaha Virago)

No, I am not getting Abby and Charley their own helmets and goggles.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Piles, Piles, Piles, I am not talking about health issues.

Coming back, after 2 1/2 months away, means you're not only going to bring a bunch of stuff back...that stuff, after it comes out of the car, is going to accumulate in big messy glops of stuff.

And your partner, however well-meaning, has been contributing to his own piles ever since you left.

Right now the Brick house has STUFF. Some are my piles, some are the Brick's...and some are contributions from friend Constance, who moved shortly before I left. (And brought over her leftover cleaning products, unused spices, as well as things like ironing boards and storage crates.)

Guess where these piles are?

Basically everywhere you look.

I've been trying to tackle at least one pile a day, by:

*pouring cleaning products together
*throwing out stained or damaged clothing (we've got enough, based on the piles, to merit this)
*taking items out of their packaging
*using boxes and other storage (hello, crates!) to consolidate things like fabric, leftover kits and embellishments

Oh, and ironing and Putting Away. The Brick kept his clothes washed, but let the ironing accumulate big-time. I spent a few hours last night ironing, and more's on the docket today.

Sooner or later, I should start seeing results. Meanwhile, there's another pile that needs organizing...wish me luck.

(Here's a slideshow on how organizing a house can only make it look more messy!)

Oh my goodness, it's a.... floor!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Back in the Harness Again

A beautiful day, laundry on the line...and suddenly I am feeling a strong urge to be out on the road again...but with the Brick in tow this time. He said that it was probably a response to going back to the 'responsible' parts of life: the business, taking care of the Mama, doing dishes, cleaning up, etc. 
    I think he's right. Meanwhile:

How to sell things online fast -- through Facebook! (From My Money Design)

A day at the dog park. 

A particularly good Readers Mailbag at The Simple Dollar. I try to read this regular feature (Mondays and Thursdays) should, too. This version offers a free way to earn some extra income, free music and other stuff.

'Sharknado's' touched off its own feeding frenzy. I got to watch Sharknado 2 this past week...maybe sillier than the first one (can you really swing a chainsaw around like a toothpick?!), but had its funny moments. And who can argue with watching a whole bunch of New Yawkers fight back? If you can handle the occasional gore with more than a little willing suspension of disbelief, you'll enjoy it.

Eleven celebrities who aren't leaving much to their kids. For good reason, too. Sting's take on this subject (and his growing-up days) is particularly interesting.

James Brady just died. Remember him? He was Reagan's Press Secretary...and took a bullet for his president. Click on the link for an interview just a few years ago. 

Strawberry ice cream without the ice cream freezer. Yum. (From Soupbelly)

Ten ways to save on back to school costs. From yours truly, via Midlife Finance.

Thanks for stopping by. It's great to see you.

There's No Place Like Home


The Mama and I drove into Colorado late on Thursday evening. After driving for three out of the four previous days, I was ready for it to be DONE.

A few days sleeping in, putzing around the house (and trying hard to ignore The Mama, who has her own agenda of What I Should Be Doing, whether or not I agree), playing with the dogs and snuggling up to the Brick have worked wonders. I feel much better. I've been slowly putting away things, catching up on paperwork, and starting to go back into normal life. It feels strange, like speaking a language I'm fluent in, but haven't used for months. 2 1/2 months, to be exact.

But it's lovely to be here. In other words: