Saturday, October 21, 2017

A New Book's In The Future!

Just got the news -- this winter, I'll be working on a book for Arcadia Press! 

It comes out in Fall 2018.

It's a great opportunity, full of history, with lots of good stories. And I LOVE a good story.

You will, too. 

More on the October Frugal Hits & Misses report, out next week. Whoo hoo!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Things I STILL Don't Understand

    There are plenty of weird, sometimes frightening, sometimes silly things out there in the world that I just don't understand. Here's the first batch -- but they were still clogging up the pipeline, so I added a second batch.
     Regarding Batch #2: I particularly don't understand Kathy Griffin's 'I'm taking my apology back' stance. Although I note that most people didn't give her the "attagirls" or publicity she no doubt craved, for holding up Trump's severed head. So when she retracted her groveling apology -- and pictures surfaced of 'Ol Kath happily sucking up to the President -- they just thought she was vindictive and foolish.
     Which she was.

Here are more things for you and me to puzzle about. 

I don't want to know.

Why does Charley the dog dislike doves so much? Birds in general? He will happily spend hours barking threats at them. (Chesapeake Bay retrievers are supposed to be bird dogs, by the way. Which Charley is, if you count hating them.) 

Quit talking smack about me, Mommmm!

Why will Abby the dog go retrieve the paper...but Charley, the true retriever, refuses to? (He will cheerfully steal it from her, however.) Speaking of:

Miss Abs, in motion. (She's a Golden Lab, btw. So is Charley - partly.)

Abby does this all the time. Sir Charles -- nope.

Why do dogs go and pee over spots other dogs saluted? Don't they know that yet another dog will be by soon to erase their contribution?  How come cats don't make as big a deal of this? And what's the fuss about dogs and fire hydrants? They'll pee on anything.

The sad part about this lovely film -- the dog died not long after it was made. Chaplin had gone back home; it was said she died of a broken heart after he left her. She is a darling -- reminds me of Abby. (Who is lying on my foot while I'm typing this.)

Why is it, when one of your favorite football teams loses -- the others often do, as well? This pondering comes after a week when the Broncos lost, Michigan got creamed by Penn State...and now we're watching the University of Colorado get flattened by Washington State. Sigh...

German chocolate cake doesn't require German chocolate. Why not?
     Update: A Gentle Reader informs me that it's made with German's chocolate; i.e., a brand name. I always wondered. Thanks, Judy!

You know those tasty silver balls used to decorate cakes and cookies, especially at Christmas? They're called silver dragees. What the heck are 'dragees'...and why are they usually only silver? (I know they come in other colors -- but you hardly ever see them.)

Potato chips aren't chips -- they're slices. The British version, 'crisps,' aren't chips, either. Most of the time, British 'fish and chips' is really french fries. (I have seen occasionally some we would probably call 'homefries.') Speaking of Brits:

Oxford lunch isn't -- it's really a kind of fruitcake.  Some call it Dundee cake, as well. Which makes more sense...I guess.

Having 'enjoyed' my share of screaming babies on planes, I wish someone would do this for me...

What's with the writing on this car, seen while at the library? (It wasn't election time, by the way. Andy probably wasn't running for anything. From -- that's a different story.)

Why, when you're best-dressed and trying to impress, that's when you usually trip and fall? (President Jerry Ford knew this the hard way, poor guy.).
     Or spill coffee in your lap, on the way to the meeting? Dribble something down your silk shirt? Find spinach in your teeth afterwards?  I once was interviewed for a tv documentary, only to find, when it was finished, that my shirt was unbuttoned, aptly enough, right over the bellybutton. Who knows what the camera picked up. Speaking of:


Why do I suddenly 'lose' names, places and dates during conversation...then they suddenly come back hours -- or even days -- later? (Names, especially. Arrggh.)

Must we have to continue to put up with insults and innuendo about both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?  Hasn't enough been said already? Surely I can't be the only one who's tired of this. 

I'm getting sick and tired of gratuitous headlines about Harvey Weinstein, too. The man's (allegedly) a pig. Leave it at that.

And finally...

Why do silly things like this drive me totally nuts?!?

     Who knows...

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Another New Color of the Year for 2018

Benjamin Moore's at it again -- telling us what the trendy colors are, and how we should all be using them. Big-time.

Their choice for the Color of 2018:

Caliente, #AF 290.

(You knew that meant 'hot' or 'spicy' in Spanish, didn't you? I figured so. 'Lipstick red,' I'd call it.)

Go here for more.   Here's Architectural Digest's take on it: "stop you in your tracks." (In a good way, they're saying.) I dunno -- it seems like another Aunt Corrinn shade to me. 

If you were wondering whether we're moving away from the muted grays, mints and limes of the Fifties, past the avocado greens and harvest golds of the Sixties, and heading at lightspeed into the flashy brights of the Seventies...

Yes. Yes, we are.

Compare that with the saturated tones of last year's choice, Shadow, and you'll definitely see what I mean.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Another Take On the Subject

Shades of what I was discussing yesterday...

The Brick came home early from hunting. (Yay!) He didn't bag an elk, but I'm so glad to have him back. It was too quiet around here.

When we were talking about the Weinstein Affair, he laughed and mentioned this scene from Casablanca:

He's right!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Life As Usual... Sooner or Later

More cheering reflections from the messy world of Harvey Weinstein:

    He says he's confident the Pantheon of Stars will eventually forgive him -- and he'll be back to making movies again, sooner or later.

Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised.

He'll disappear for a while... and the accusing crowd yelling in his direction will be very pleased with themselves. The lawsuits will begin. (Actually, they already have. No doubt there are actresses kicking themselves for not having been propositioned by him -- they're losing out on publicity and easy pickins.' )
     He'll lose face -- temporarily, at least -- and a bunch of money. But then it won't be long before he reemerges, and declares he's rehabilitated. He has seen the Error of His Ways. All's well - now back to work.

But will it really change anything? 

I was pondering this while rereading Edgar Johnson's Tragedy and Triumph, a biography of my mentor, Charles Dickens.  

      (Mr. Dickens and I are old friends. My Master's paper at the University of Michigan was on his satiric Hard Times, and every book I write has a secret reference to him in its pages. Now you know who our feisty dog Charley is named for.)

When he began his career, Dickens was one of London's many journalists. A master of shorthand, he took down speeches as they were made, then transcribed them for his newspaper, writing in a notebook perched on his knee in a fast-running, jolting carriage. He was said to be the quickest and most accurate of all the Fleet Street reporters.

No wonder he looks exhausted...

    Although Dickens had not yet published Sketches by Boz, or written Pickwick Papers, this 1834 account of a special banquet to honor Earl Grey (the lord, not the tea) is pure genius:

     'The guest of honor and the principal visitors, as usual, were late, and one gentleman, the account says, overcome by the "cold fowls, roast beef, lobster, and other tempting delicacies...appeared to think that the best thing he could possibly do, would be to eat his dinner, while there was anything to eat. He accordingly laid about him with right good-will, the example was contagious, and the clatter of knives and forks became general. Hereupon, several gentlemen, who were not hungry, cried out, 'Shame!' and looked very indignant; and several gentlemen who were hungry cried 'Shame!' too, eating, nevertheless, all the while, as fast as they possibly could.
     " In this dilemma, one of the stewards mounted a bench and feelingly represented to the delinquents the enormity of their conduct, imploring them for decency's sake, to defer the process of mastication until the arrival of Earl Grey. This address was loudly cheered, but totally unheeded; and this is, perhaps, one of the few instances on record of a dinner having been virtually concluded before it began."
                                                          -- Morning Chronicle article, 9/18/34 (Johnson, pg. 96)

It happened back then; it happens today. Give it time, and we'll return to Life As Usual.

Unless some institutions are willing to acknowledge the injustices here...and make permanent changes. 

photo from Wikipedia

Monday, October 16, 2017

Open the Door to Autumn

A nice way to decorate a door for autumn...with inexpensive merchandise. All you need are sticks, two-sided tape and a package of artificial leaves.

Thanks, Dollar Store Style via Hometalk, for this simple, brilliant look. She uses this method for an interior door, but it could work for a protected exterior door, too.

Go here for specifics and step-by-step photos.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Weinstein and Other (Alleged) Animals

    I am amazed at the trouble Harvey Weinstein finds himself in nowadays. Not only has he been fired from his company and expelled from the National Academy of Arts & Sciences -- it looks like he'll be losing his Legion of Honor medal from France. 
    All because many women (past the dozens, headed toward the hundreds) are accusing him of sexual harassment over several decades. Big-time. 
     There's little doubt in my mind that he's probably guilty of the accusations. What bothers me most, though, is how long he's gotten away with it -- and how many entertainment icons and political figures (particularly those who have benefitted from his patronage and donations over the years) are suddenly very quiet about it all.

      *Why are the accusers (with only a few exceptions) suddenly speaking up about this? Am I supposed to commend them for their 'honesty'...when they should have said something long ago? 
      *Is it because they were scared -- of what he could do to them, or their careers? Obviously. (I have spoken up about inequities several times in my own career -- and been punished for it, too.)
      *Why are some of those same women jumping all over others, on the grounds that they should have said something, instead? 
      *Why has his wife chosen now to start divorce proceedings? (She must have guessed something long before this.) Was she enjoying the money and the status enough to put up with it?

      One of the few heroes in this sordid affair is, of all people, Brad Pitt. His girlfriend at the time, Gwyneth Paltrow, claims she was propositioned by Weinstein, and told Pitt about it. In spite of his youth -- and the fact that Weinstein could have easily destroyed him in Hollywood -- Paltrow says that Pitt had a showdown with Weinstein, threatening him with a 'Missouri whuppin' if he didn't leave her alone. ['Whuppin,' Gwyneth - not 'whooping!']
     Now that's courage.

     The clock is ticking for Mr. Weinstein. Hopefully he can unload his houses (and hide the money somewhere quick) before the lawsuits begin. The party's definitely over.

A dozen freaky dog costumes. Don't get any ideas for our granddog Karma, Daughter #2 and Son #1! (From Cracked) Not to mention:

Don't let them do it, Grandma!

Six conspiracy theorists who got nowhere.  Like David Irving, Holocaust denier, who sued in court...and lost.  (From Cracked) Also:

Six iconic costumes that made their wearers' lives a living misery. Hey, at least they became famous for it, right?

New admissions from Kobe Steel. They were falsifying tests that said the steel was okay -- it wasn't. Then selling it for use in various transportation systems, including railroads. Hopefully this doesn't have real-life implications...because it probably does.

An amazing look at dealing with defeat -- and trusting God, no matter what.  (From Short Little Rebel)

A 300-year-old math puzzle -- solved.

A 1 1/2-inch crucifix may change the 'real' date Christianity made headway into the Viking world.

Pumpkin seed brittle. Oh my!  (From A Hundred Dollars A Month)

Old-time home remedies that STILL work.  (From Reader's Digest)

Seven ways to use curtain hardware at home.  (From Apartment Therapy)

Eggroll noodle bowl -- fast, easy, low-calorie. If you enjoy Oriental foods, this is for you. (From Taste of Home)

Dolls (and dollhouse rooms) that help solve crimes, thanks to a tractor heiress.

Skillet spaghetti -- one pan, less than 30 min...supper's done!  (From Living in Rural Iowa)

"Here's what I learned from working for millionaires."  (From Making Sense of Cents)

Ten historical rarities that should have produced big bucks at auctions -- but didn't.  (From Listverse)

"I regret where I bought my house."  Location, location, location.  (From Trulia)

Holding to a $40/week food budget. With ideas for a $30 budget, as well. (From Moneysaving Mom) Also:

Transfer $25 to Amazon...and get a $5 bonus. 

Lessons learned from interviewing nineteen millionaires.  (From Budgets Are Sexy)

Have a great week.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Things to Ponder (And Purr About)

Cat stuff we may not want to know the backstories for...

Our Weimaraners used to do this. All the time.

And the winner:

One of our cats, pestered too much by her sons, moved the next block over. The girlies would go by the house on their way to and from school. She would come out to greet them, then go back inside. Maybe he fed her liver and Little Friskies, instead of the generic food?

All I can say is... cat stuff happens.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Signs of Autumn

...for Colorado, that is.

*Roasting chilis. About mid-September through the first of November, the green chili people from Hatch, NM, roll into town. They set up shop in a parking lot, and their barrels start heating up. That warm, spicy smell drifts everywhere...and they even have a special: buy a bushel, get one for free.
     That odor, and a plastic bag of warm, blackened chilis, is the first sign that fall is here.

*Our first snow. Which usually comes in tandem with the first freeze. It can range from Labor Day to Halloween. One year, it was August 1st; this year, it was last week.
     The mountains start to frost up regularly. Combined with aspen golds and the white, billowing clouds (Moisture! Oh boy!), it's a lovely sight.

*The Brick leaves for hunting. This year, it's with friend Tommy -- Daughter #2 and Son #1 may stop by over the weekend.
     This is an annual tradition for us...I grew up in a hunting family. In Michigan, hunting camp went up in November, not long before Thanksgiving. The women hunted along with the men -- but knocked off early to feed the kids and get supper ready. (Why didn't I go this year? Because the Brick usually goes with his daughters -- and they enjoy spoiling him. Besides, I had to work.)

Bring a (hairy) friend home for dinner, Honey...

*The race begins -- how long can we go without turning the heat on? We went quite a while this year, thanks to the woodstove, but the snowstorm was the kicker. The thermostat's off again now, and I figure I'm winning another way -- I'm still going barefoot. No heavy socks...yet!
     It not only saves on the utility bills, but makes me feel very pioneer-y. We're not the only ones who do this, by the way.

*Pumpkin stuff is EVERYWHERE. Gag a maggot. Am I the only one in the universe who likes her coffee to taste like actual coffee?!?

*Hot soup sounds good. Beef stew, too. But the Brick's real favorite is a slice of pie. (I'll have some good apple recipes coming up shortly, as well.)

peach pie...yumm

*The mice are back -- in droves.
I keep hearing rustling sounds late at night, which the dogs are conveniently ignoring. (Maybe they're snoring too loud to hear.) We have six traps out, all baited with peanut butter. Maybe they want pumpkin, instead...

*A little bit of red. Most of our fall colors are gold. If we're lucky, some orange, too.
Our single burst of color -- a burning bush (The sumac and strawberries may turn red, may not)

*You start thinking about Halloween costumes. These autumn fairies showed up last week at one of the intersections -- don't ask me why they were dressed like that so early. 

Even the baby was coated in fall leaves

* start thinking about Christmas. Why in the world, when the Halloween decorations go down -- Christmas ones go up? Even worse, they're sometimes in tandem...ewwww.

*Ideas for Halloween are everywhere... including frugal ones. (Thanks, Frugalwoods and readers, for sharing.) Strange costumes, like these freaky dog costumes. Or carved pumpkin ideas.

Roadrunner must have carved this one

Welcome, Fall.
You are very welcome.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Dozen Things I Learned About Bigfoot (And Other Unusual Matters)

    I spent the weekend at a most intriguing conference.

I went because of my interest in our buddy, Mr. Bigfoot. But there were plenty of others there who were more curious about UFOs, missing people...and whether those incidents connected with BF or not. (Some said it did...but I'm not so sure.) At any rate, here were ten things that surprised me:

*Most Bigfoot researchers -- at least, those represented at these meetings -- believe Bigfoot is a hominid, rather than a bipedal ape. In other words, according to the dictionary:

any member of the group consisting of all modern and extinct humans and great apes (including gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans) and all their immediate ancestors.

    So he/she/it could be a human mix, a hybrid of some kind. (The word is based on the Latin 'homin,' the root meaning 'human' is based on.)

*Nearly all the speakers emphasized that BF was clever and intelligent...but they did NOT refer to it as a specific 'whatever.' Usually, the speakers would say 'thing,' 'phenomenon' or 'creature.' Even the words 'he' and 'she' were scarce, although they had no trouble using the words adult, juvenile or baby.

*They also believed that BF can mess with your mind -- literally. Telepathy? You bet. Wordless communication? No problem. Psychic warnings to go home, even if you were still miles away? You bet. (This one, I had trouble with. Listening to our instincts in these situations, our inner conscience or warning system...this could explain the warnings and odd thoughts to me.)

*Why are photos often blurry? Because Bigfoot can do that sort of thing.  According to some, Mr. BF not only knows when cameras are around -- he/she/it can make them stop operating properly. Ditto for video cameras (although I saw some astonishingly clear video at one point), and definitely for game cams. The fact that, like other creatures out in the wild, they often move at dusk, dawn and nighttime, doesn't help matters any.
     If you're thinking, 'Gee, aren't UFOS supposed to make electronics go awry, or stop altogether?' Yes, you're right. Leading to this supposition:

*Bigfoot and UFOS are linked together. Do the aliens drop Mr. BF off, to run amuck? Did they give him a permanent cloaking device, so he/she/it can disappear more easily? Or do they hang around, just for backup?
     Sasquatch are known to move extremely quietly...and run like the wind. I've actually seen elk moving on the valley floor just below the ridge I was standing on, not 40 yards or so away...and I couldn't hear a thing. My guess is that Our Hairy Buddies don't need any help at this -- they're very good at being silent on their own.

*Bigfoot and orbs are linked together. More than one speaker thought this was some kind of religious connection...and when orbs (often connected with angels, ghosts, hauntings, that sort of thing) show up -- so does Sasquatch.
      This was another statement high on the Weird-O-Meter for me. Do I believe orbs could exist? Of course. (The Brick, North Carolina-raised, had some contact with the Brown Mountain Lights.) But do the reports list on websites like BFRO (Bigfoot Researchers Organization) usually mention orbs, as well?

*You can't MAKE Bigfoot show up. In fact, as one speaker pointed out, 'They're bigger than us. They're intelligent and careful. We may think we're 'habituating' this creature, but the truth is -- they're the ones in charge.'
      I thought he had a point.

*Don't expect a lot of pictures -- you aren't going to get them. Unless it's of footprints, handprints (nearly all on car windows), stick structures or 'gifting' spots, that is. (More on these in a minute.) What made things worse: when actual sightings were described, the speaker often forgot to tell us what the creatures looked like!

*Do expect to see a lot of anomolous 'things'...but they won't be a certainty. At least they weren't, to me. Large trees, stuck up in other trees. Rocks and goodies moved around on a site that researchers put little 'gifts' down, hopefully so BF will move them around and make little, subtly-changed displays. (The speakers actually acted surprised when they came back, and gifts of food and snacks were gone. Go figure.)  'Nests' of piled branches and brush, or brush shelters of angled branches braced against a tree.
     Well...maybe. But I'm not convinced there couldn't be other explanations for a lot of these 'proofs.' Now, footprints, handprints and large coarse tufts of hair -- those aren't so easily explained away.

*The results of a current DNA study makes things extra confusing. The Ketcham DNA Project tested literally hundreds of hair samples. The vast majority of these were categorized as raccoons, deer, dogs, cows, bears and so on, leading some sources to 'hoo hoo' and 'ha ha' the whole thing.  Bigfoot must be fake...right?
     But there's a problem with that. 
     At least three of the samples tested showed a female human (mitochondrial) DNA spliced with a male...unknown. A human/primate hybrid? Possibly.
     Which has led, in turn, to suggestions that Bigfoot is actually a lab experiment who escaped. With sightings from hundreds of years ago, however, that would have had to be one heck of an advanced laboratory. Or... (drum roll please)... from aliens!

*The Bigfoot research communities -- and for that matter, the UFO and missing persons arenas, as well -- are dominated by guys. One female speaker, Sybilla Irwin, gave a brilliant talk on doing portraits based on witness reports. (Go here for her drawings. Harvey Pratt, a retired policeman, had some great ones, too. His creatures, however, often looked more 'human.' Go here for his.)
     The audience had a high percentage of women represented. I know that women attend the expeditions -- in fact, Sybilla said that she had led some.
     So where were the speakers?

*Are Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Skunk Apes, Yeti and 'Wild Men' out to get us? Over and over again, stories told emphasized that the creature standing there could have easily pounded his awestruck human observer...but chose not to. In fact, they went out of their way to avoid it. (Except for, presumably, the mind control business.)
     Some recountings include chasings, fake charges, snarling and screams...but those seem to be intimidation tactics, to get the human to leave. (In other words, as one person pointed out, 'This is MY territory -- GO AWAY.') Or they had family members nearby, and were more concerned with protecting them. This makes perfect sense, wild-animal-wise, to me.

I was very intrigued by videos and still photos from The Erickson Project...the efforts over five years by a group of researchers  following a lady in Kentucky who'd been feeding scraps to a family of Bigfoot for decades -- the same group that her mother had also fed. Unfortunately, the videos I could find on Youtube were much less clear than the ones I saw during the conference, like this one of a sleeping 'Matilda:'

The video shown at the conference was much more clear.The BF looked male -- and surprisingly like Chewbacca. Interestingly, it resembled very few of Harvey Pratt's and Sybilla Irwin's witness drawings. This video is a blurry version of the one I saw -- decide for yourself:

I also found a linguistics professor, Scott Nelson's idea intriguing that Bigfoot's vocalizations were actually communicating, using the same repeating tones and 'phrases.' Like here:

According to him, Bigfoot were brilliant mimics, able to copy not only animal and bird sounds, but human speech. Like names! (He heard his name repeated from a woods -- after his friend had been thrown by a horse, and was calling 'Scott' over and over.)
     He also spent more than 40 hours transcribing the 60-min. (approx.) 'Sierra Sounds' tape...and got 75 pages out of it.

Now, that seems possible! I'm looking forward to learning more about this intriguing theory in the future. 
     Many thanks to Jim Myers at the Sasquatch Outpost in Bailey, along with others, who sponsored the Mile High Mystery Conference. It was well worth attending -- and they're already planning the next one. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Welcome to Colorado!

Yep, it snowed. Boy, did it. 

About 6 inches, not counting all the white stuff that melted when it hit the warm concrete. (We had temps in the 70s the day before.)

Melting quick now... but more cold is expected.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Snow!

    It's raining now, late Sunday night...but by morning, we're supposed to be hip-deep in white stuff. It's okay...after a weekend at the Mile-High Mystery Conference, I don't have to go anywhere for a day. 
    I'll be doing appraisal days at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, CO on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Curious about your quilt or other textile? Bring it by...I'd be glad to help.

The peaches are a treasured memory -- the Brick had his second peach pie, and we're finishing off the last wizened samples in the crisper. They'll be replaced by apples in a bit -- what apples don't fit in the cooler on the back deck. 
     The Brick heads out hunting this week with Daughter #2 and our friend Tommy. I'll stay home to hold the fort, and get caught up on work. Meanwhile:

Use what you've got to decorate for Autumn.  (From The Nester)

Some very yummy cheese-on-toast variations.  (From Sudden Lunch)

A 107-square foot home, that's stylish and livable? Yes, if it's this one.  (From Domino)

Tom Petty's life, in photos. We lost this iconic rocker to a heart attack last week.

13 ways you're getting less for your money, product-wise. Thicker beer glasses?!?  (From Cracked)

Turkey rice krispie treats. Ya gotta start thinking about this holiday...I could see a stary-eyed ghost version of this, as well.  (From Shugary Sweets)

"Frugal Kitchen Things I've been doing."  (From Penniless Parenting)

Black belt tightwad ideas. They range all over, but are worth reading. (From Stretcher)

An interview with Mr. Money Mustache. If you don't read this guy's blog, you're missing something.

Twenty life hacks that are weird -- but usually work.   (From Cracked)

Seventeen pilots -- who are also celebrities.  (From The Balance) Also: Fred "Mister" Rogers, Chuck Norris and Jimmy Stewart.

"My secret way to get things done."  (From Vickie's Kitchen and Garden) I'm enjoying this Michigan blogger's take on things.

Does butter have to stay in the fridge? Not necessarily. (I keep saying this to the Brick -- maybe he'll agree now...)

The time I intentionally overdrew our checking accountI'm not recommending this, but considering the alternatives... (From Go Curry Cracker)

Twenty-five healthy, versatile foods to buy all the time.  But especially on sale!  (From The Simple Dollar)

Have a great week. Stop by and say hi while I'm in Golden!

Learning Stuff...

I'm at the Mile-High Mystery Conference all weekend...
    tell you all about it shortly.

Bigfoot hasn't turned up...yet.

(P.S. Snow is predicted for tonight. We live at 6250 ft altitude -- it's actually a little overdue.)

Friday, October 6, 2017

New Color of the Year

And it is, according to Sherwin-Williams... (drumroll please)...


They're calling it "boldly beautiful."

I'll go for the 'bold' part, at least. My Aunt Corrinn, who loved the in-your-face shades of the Seventies, would be thrilled about this color.

More paint trends for fall here. 

Plus the paints 'they' say we'll be craving for 2018.

    Notice how they're much more muted than this one? Makes you wonder if Sherwin-Williams had a lot of inventory in this particular color that they needed to move...

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Doggie Delight

I don't know whether to laugh or scream, myself...guess I'll cry instead, because:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Rockies, boo hoo:  In spite of a valiant late effort, the Rocks lost tonight to the Diamondbacks: 11-7. That effectively pulls them out of the race for the pennant. 
     Ah well. Can't win every year. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Christmas...How Are Your Plans Coming?

    I have been meaning to talk about this.

Often we've gone  elsewhere for the holiday. At least the first part of December. This year, though, because of still continuing to clean up the house, we'll stay put. No lazing around on warm sandy beaches, or sandy hotel rooms, for that matter. But we'll love watching holiday movies, and puttering around.
     There still are things to be planned for, like the Seven Fish Dishes.  We'll have them for Christmas dinner this year, instead of going nuts on Christmas Eve. Which probably means that we won't see our kids until Christmas Day, either. In past years, they may have (or not) slept over. I feel a little sad about this...but am looking forward to the glorious double possibility of going to bed on Christmas Eve at a reasonable hour, AND sleeping in on Christmas Day.

     A lot of money has gone for bathroom renovation this year, so presents won't be lavish. But I continue to do what I always do:

     *Look for discounts and closeouts - like this outhouse Christmas stocking, from Leanin' Tree.

oh my.

     *Check for new and barely-used items at the thrift shop. I've found everything there, from a blender still in the box to a cashmere sweater, with the tags still on.

     *Follow sites (like Moneysaving Mom) that regularly advertise Amazon and other website specials.

     *Request free samples, and look for freebies for Christmas stockings. King Soopers/Kroger's free Friday product downloads are perfect for this. (Last week's was a package of Trident gum.)

     *Stockpile foods I'll need -- like pecans (for Thanksgiving pie) and oysters (for the Fish Dishes). If they're on sale, and there's space in the freezer, they go into the cart.

     *Start thinking and planning for presents to make, particularly food gifts.
            Handmade presents may take time, but they're worth it, even if you can only get one completed this season. (Don't beat yourself up about it, either. One is good!)

We've also started a new tradition: if we come across a screaming bargain, we may well give it now, and do it in multiples, if it's something a lot of people would like.
     Case in point: Amazon recently had a heck of a deal on nut/dried fruit trays. Both girlies and Son #1, plus The Mama, got that present now, so they can enjoy it. I figure that fewer presents at Christmas will make less impact than a nice one now.

     You can certainly help yourself with planning sheets and deadlines. I've done this long enough, though, that I know what my family likes. Besides, winging it gives you freedom to change -- like switching to smoked salmon, when you find it at 75% off. Things like that.

     I'm considering some British customs this year.  Christmas cake, iced with marzipan, and mince pies sound wonderful, and I haven't made a Christmas pudding for ages.
     Aged eggnog sounds interesting, too. Did you know you can make it now, keep it mellowing until New Year's...and it's thicker and richer that way? If you're worried about bacteria, there's a second way that minimizes that danger, as well.
     We've got lots of eggs, thanks to a great sale. (No thanks to our chickies, who are only laying an egg every other day -- if they feel like it.) Maybe aged eggnog is in our future... and refrigerator.

     Start something now, and your Christmas celebrations will be that much more relaxed.

Another great idea -- a minimalist Christmas village -- from The Nester

Monday, October 2, 2017

Tom Petty, We'll Miss You

Tom Petty died today, Oct. 2nd. 

One of the best, most thoughtful rockers on the modern scene, not that many years ago, he finished what he said would be his last big tour. It was.
                 He was 66. Less than a month from his 67th birthday.

His music contained many things to ponder, including references to difficult times in his own life.

I love his music for its ties to jazz and the blues, for its rich chordings and silky cadences.

And its honesty, like this song:

Read more about him here.

Rock -- and the world -- is better for his living in it. I only wish he could have hung around a little longer.

A New Book's In The Future!

Just got the news -- this winter, I'll be working on a book for Arcadia Press!  It comes out in Fall 2018. It's a great opportun...