Wednesday, June 30, 2010

cable or netflix

We've been kinda down on our cable lately. Some channels don't have good reception, even though we have a box, and they all come from the same cable feed... I called their service, and the advice I got was to trade the box in for a different one. I think I'm going to trade the extended service for the basic while I'm at it.

Now that we can get shows streaming in from hulu, and other sources, and pay a much lower monthly fee to netflix and get unlimited downloads of many movies and programs to watch when it is convenient, the cable is much less attractive. The day of programmable television isn't that far in the future. Then I can really watch what I want, when I want to, and not have to worry about whether its Tuesday or Friday or whatever. No commercials, either, if you please. I've enjoyed some vintage Dr. Who, and some other British television, along with some anime and stand up comedians. There is plenty on netflix that I'll enjoy watching.

So the box goes back soon... Friday probably, so that Ron has a chance to sort the mess out. He has the wire knowledge. So, why don't we get rid of the cable all together? Well, that is how we get our internet service at the moment. It is still basically the fastest and most reliable where we live, so we'll keep it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

enjoy summer

The monsoon season started this week. At least that is MY "official" pronouncement. After Thursday's rain out at White Sands, I kind of had an inkling. That and the clouds moving in every afternoon. This evening, though, this evening we have had rain at my house. It has been lovely, too, I must say. Oh sure, there was thunder and lightening. The power went off for a little while, but that just sent us out into the evening to enjoy the wet. Raine and Shelbi went and played in the gutters in the water, and rode up and down on their scooters. They even went around the block a time or two. I pulled a few weeds, and just enjoyed the rain. Eventually - of course - the power came back on and we all made our way inside for baths and desert. Still, hours later, the pit pat of the rain on the sky light made me smile as I headed for my own shower.

And, oh yes, I went and got Shelbi so she could stay with us for a while. Even got to go sew with Roxanne, too. It has definitely been a good day. I am definitely enjoying my summer, and I'm sure going to hate to see it end, as all good things eventually must.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

summer sewing

Roxanne is having visitors, and classes, and things keeping her busy. I finally got some sewing done, though, and wanted to share. I know I shared the top I made, but I've gotten a couple of other things put together as well.

I got a couple of pairs of shorts done for Raine, who liked them well enough to wear them right away. Dinosaur shorts and skull shorts. She wore the dinosaur pair when she added dino decorations to her new room.

I also finished a pair of shirts for small boys, these in a spider fabric that I never got around to using for Raine. Can you spot the mistake I made? I just decided to deal with it by making believe I meant to do it that way all along. Fortunately, I was able to (meaning I didn't sew a piece on upside down or something).

Today, I'm headed to Alamogordo to a quilt festival they are having there. Yeah, I know, it DOES sound like fun!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

best laid plans

Some plans just don't go... as planned, do they? One of Raine's favorite things is playing games on the computer. Not hard to figure out why or how, since the rest of us enjoy it too. In her case, we try to help her balance her time, interest and activities, since we - as adults - are responsible for that sort of thing, and she - as a youngster - isn't really able to do it on her own yet.

She likes to play World of Warcraft when she can, but we only have 3 accounts (only? Well, one for each adult) which means if she is playing, someone else isn't. Which means it needs to be planned, right? So this weekend I planned with Raine what chore we would work do on Monday so we could earn some WoW time later that day. Then Sunday evening her daddy told her no computer tomorrow. Monday's plan dashed. Well, always flexible, I told her, OK, do what you need to on Monday so that we can play on Tuesday.

This morning we got up, and went out back and raked and shoveled and she was a pretty good trooper about the work we did. Then, coming in, Carl reminded me that Tuesday is patch day on Wow, usually until about noon. Well, it wasn't too far from that already, so we cleaned up, and had lunch. Still the patching wasn't done... postponed until 2. At 2? Postponed until 6. At 6? up but really really crowded with all the OTHER people who had been anxiously awaiting it to come back up. Her daddy got home about 6:30, which we knew he would, and then he gets to use his computer... She did get a consolation activity of playing another game on her computer, but it wasn't WoW.

So tomorrow, fates and destiny willing, we will go pull our 100 weeds, and then try logging on for a little bit of WoW. At least, that's the current plan.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

raine's home

We picked her up from the airport yesterday afternoon. She had a great time with her grandparents. Her favorite things that they did together were the trip to Dollywood, especially the rides in the amusement park, and the Tweetsie train, which stages a train robbery during the ride and cowboys come and rescue the passengers. She liked that a lot. She was also thrilled because her grandparents built a fire pit in their yard so they could roast weenies and marshmallows for dinner (supplemented by mac & cheese, of course). Hmmmm think she was happy? Her grandmother even mentioned that they were looking at picnic tables so that they would be "ready for next time" and the tribal picnics that were bound to be involved. Yeah, it made me smile, too. What are grandparents for, after all?

While she was gone, we switched her room, and the computer room, so that she got the bigger of the two. She's pretty happy about that, and has been enjoying the space in her new room, as well. No problems sleeping last night. Well, she has her same bed, but you know, sometimes rearranging even familiar furniture can throw you off a bit. She wore the new shorts I made her while she was gone, they have dinosaurs on them, so they were well received. Today she also got to "decorate" her walls with some wall stickers of dinosaurs. She had them in the old room, but we had another set. These things are pretty cool, designed to stick on and stay, and then peel off easily (which they did). I would recommend them for putting some flair in a kids room.

Friday, June 18, 2010

getting carried away

I'm going to post pictures of the top I finished today. It has taken me a while to finish the thing. Not because it was difficult to sew, quite the opposite, this is a pattern I have used many times, and it is an easy one. See I had this idea in my head for embellishing it. Trims and different stitches, and the yoke would be rather crazy quilt-y when I was done.

So I made my sample stitches and threads, and (because I know sometimes what I envision just doesn't translate the way I want it to) asked opinions. Carl first, Ron, the sewing guild. Between them all, I evolved what I was going to do. Thinking about the possibilities and deciding on the decorations definitely took longer than garment construction did. In the end, I decided simple is better, more or less. Oh, yes, and I got so involved in sewing that I lost track of time, and almost missed lunch with Dev...

I modified the top a little, as well. I made it longer, and I added the band to the ends of the sleeves. I loved the fabric, which is a batik, and one of those that will, after a few wearings and washings, soften up and be one of my favorites, I'm sure.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

new dip

Its me. yeah. Well, not really, nothing new about my dippiness. And really I'm not sure there's anything new about this dip, except to me.

Here's what I did... I got some blue cheese dressing, a good, thick kind, and put some salsa in it. A nice spicy one from Carrillo's. yum. Yum when I put celery in it, and yum when I put pork rinds in it. YUM. Creamy but with the blue cheese bite, and then spicy, too. Does it sound like why they give you the blue cheese or ranch dressing with the hot wings? Yeah, well, there ya go.

I can avoid a lot of REALLY BAD foods, when I can enjoy some only sorta bad dip with something crispy. I'm getting used to the pork rinds. They definitely aren't Ruffles with ridges, but they hold dip, and they have a crunch. AND no carbs.

Really yummy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

dealing with the stuff

I went through a couple of boxes today. Good for me. It wasn't as difficult as it might have been, they were boxes of my folk's stuff. There was junk, thank goodness, easy to get rid of. There was some useful stuff as well, and also not hard to deal with. Then there were odds and ends of things. My mom was a list maker, an organizer. Mostly her lists were trash. Lists of things no longer had, in places that no longer are ours. There was a rough draft of a short autobiographical piece that she wrote. It wasn't intended for me, but I enjoyed reading through it. That could have been a hard thing, but it wasn't.

There was more stuff from my dad. The stuff that my step-mother kept when he passed away, and that we got after she passed last fall. Dad's jewelry, at least most of it. His harmonicas, stacks of dues cards for Eastern Star, Mason, Scottish Rite. Some jewelry that he'd made, some that was bits and pieces. His coin collection. Some are things that we will keep in remembrance, and others are not. Some of those that are not, still have value, but we don't know what that is, at the moment. So, now research, and finding out the value. Trying to find someone who wants it for a fair price. Absorbing the finding, and the losing, and the assimilation, and the various ends of the various items.

It is such a good thing to get through, but it is definitely not something I would want to do every day.

Monday, June 14, 2010

birthday sewing

Roxanne's birthday is coming up soon, and so we did some birthday sewing for her. When I called her this morning, and said I was ready to pack up the car, I mentioned that I had gotten a pattern I thought she would like to use to make some shells. We have been talking about making some for her off and on, and we she has some fabric that would be perfect. Mind you, we have a serious stack of things ready to sew up, without the cutting, etc, but, none of the shell tops.

When I got there, she got out the shell fabric (flowers, flowers, flowers) and I showed her the pattern. Well, what a success! She liked one of the other patterns I had gotten as well, and waved some fabric at me for that one as well. All in all, I cut out 3 tops. Roxanne sewed one up completely (OK, I did a little stitch work, but not much, and the handwork) another one is almost completed, and then the third will be in the queue.

Back to the boys, next week, I guess...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

grappler goodness

Tomorrow is get the trash out day. The garbage men come on Tuesday morning. Early. So that means you get it ready and out on Monday. Twice a month, the grappler comes around and picks up the big stuff that people leave out by the curb. Old sofa? Old fridge? Bags full of yard debris? Put it by the curb on grappler day, and the big grappler grabber picks it up and it gets taken away.

This week, the grappler comes, and I've got stuff to kick to the curb, yes I do. Yard waste, some of which I will rake up tomorrow, comes to mind, for sure. Big card board boxes, too. We have piles of rotten boards from changing part of the fence, and I think I will see about getting some of that out there too, this week.

It's kind of liberating, really. Here I am in a purging frame of mind, with the knowledge that I don't have to haul the broken, really no good to anyone stuff to the dump. I can set it at the curb, and it will get gone.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

what a nice day

I got to sleep in. OK, I know I'm on summer vacation, and I'm not setting my alarm clock or anything, but I have that other kind of alarm clock that goes off every morning anyway. Yeah, gotta go pee. And then, once I'm up, usually I'm up... but then I'm a morning person mostly, so its OK. The day was calm and relaxing, not full of worry, strife or conflict. I got to play computer games with my sweetie, even. The worst thing that happened was that we had to buy a new vacuum cleaner. The old one bit the dust the other day. No, wait, when a vacuum dies, that means it can't bite the dust any more, doesn't it...

Last night we went gaming, and played a board game called Cuba, which - if it means anything to you - is kind of like the big brother of the game Puerto Rico. First time I'd played it, and we didn't get all the way through, but when we ended, guess what? I was in the lead. Who knew? We have a friend, who plays boardgames with us, who is really, really good at that kind of thing. He is an excellent strategist, and is usually the person to beat on the games, so I feel pretty lucky. Yeah luck. If we'd played even one more round, he'd have been ahead and stayed there.

Today we pretty much finished putting Raine's room together, and I'm happy with it. I really think she will be too. She has her ton of books, a wall of movies, now with a TV in her room, places to put away her stuff, and room to play.

Friday, June 11, 2010

easy friday, but those cd's

I took it kinda easy today. Of course that doesn't mean I did nothing all day, but not the heavy lifting of most of this week. Raine's room is almost put together. Ron assembled the other shelves and put them where we wanted them. Tomorrow I'll fill them up. Then, clear off the bed and other surfaces so she can come home to a clean, new room.

I also started working on our cd collection. Back in the days before I was married, I had a wall of cd's in a series of those small crate thingies... they were in their plastic cases and I could see them all and get the one out I wanted and play it and put it back easily. Ron, on the other hand, was in the army, and had to pack up is stuff and move it periodically, so his were in those black notebook kind of cases. Well, to integrate them, when we got married, I put mine in those books too. There were a few months where I didn't work, so I had time to get all anal and organizational about it. Now we have about 8 or 9 of those notebooks, and a stack of loose cd's, and another stack of newer cd's that haven't ever gotten in the books yet. Sigh. OK, I appreciate the space saving of those books, but other than that, they are a PIA. I have a hard time finding the music I want to listen to, even though I've labeled the books by genre. I have to page through every time. Then, there is that stack of loose cd's, which somehow magically appear, and you have to go through that stack (or those stacks) as well. What a pain!. AND you have to thumb through each book a bunch of times to put the stack away... and by golly some of the discs don't have the artist's name on them! Argh! There is one disk that I think I finally connected to an artist at one point - after pondering it for several months - and now it has escaped again, and I don't remember who it was. So, good luck to me, in the off hours of the summer, to complete the not weighty, but definitely anal task of reconnecting disk to artist so that they can be found once again, and not sit on a shelf collecting dust.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

sigh, more boxes?

So, I took the books to school today. Yay! They are out of my house for good! (trip to the bookstore anyone?) I also checked out my classroom, mighty afraid that the custodians wouldn't touch it the way I left it. It was all done. They cleaned and waxed and stuffed stuff in boxes and dealt with it. Yay, them! I stayed for a bit and started putting things the way I want them for next year. I'll need to go back a few times to complete the job, but I feel so much better about it, now.

So, I got rid of all those boxes of books, and my friend Cindy brought me boxes of magazines. Sigh. They are sewing related magazines, and I would like to look through some of them. The rest will go out to school to be donated to the sewing teacher. They aren't here permanently, or even very long, but...

I still have things to put away in Raine's room, although I got a bit of a start on it today and put a lot of her books on the shelves. I'll do more with it tomorrow. It just takes puttering around and that is my specialty. I decided, though, that my to-do list for tomorrow needs one more entry. I need to keep in touch with friends, and - what with car issues and all - I haven't been very good about it this summer. Dev... are you there? What are you doing for lunch tomorrow?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

moving about

So, we have been moving things about, and the computer room is pretty well set up. We went through all of our books, including those that were still in boxes, and we took a bunch to Coas, I have almost as many to donate at school, and what remains will actually fit on our available shelves. Yahoo! 8 boxes of books, no longer being stored in a closet. Ron's gotten through most of his stuff, but I still have stuff to go through and organize. Its coming along though.

Raine's room is almost set up. The next step for her room is to start putting her things away. I think I will try to get her books on her shelves tomorrow. I really think she will like having more space, and we're putting more storage in there as well.

Boxes boxes boxes... I have so many more to go through, or at least that is how it feels right now. I'm kind of resenting that I haven't gotten to do as much sewing as I would like, but what HAS been accomplished has been so good. I just have to keep telling myself how much more usable and comfortable the whole house will be in the long run, if I can make myself deal with the boxes now.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

spring cleaning

Well, we got Raine to the airport to catch her plane, and her grandparents picked her up and the fun started. Tomorrow, they head for Dollywood.

Ron and I started the moving of the rooms. Um, what is the next step up from dust bunnies? That was what we had. Yikes. I think they must be dust sheep. I'm sure I know people who would try to make thread out of these things. Anyway, there is still more moving of stuff, and sorting and setting up to be done, and we will do more of it. Tomorrow.

Also on the agenda tomorrow... sewing with Roxanne! Roxanne's grandmother is in town for a visit and will hopefully come visit us, too. She was quite the seamstress in her day, and I hope she will enjoying being around people who love sewing for an afternoon. Maybe, we'll even learn a thing or two, who knows?

Tonight, though? Tonight, sleep is on the agenda. I don't do it often - thank goodness - but last night was one of my just-can't-get-to-sleep nights, and climbing in bed at 3AM to get up at 4AM makes for a long day...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

all her bags are packed

She's ready to go...

We get up at 0 god o'clock tomorrow morning to get her to the airport and on her way to NC. Her grandparents get to get started about the same time to meet her plane. She's got clothes and toys and her cowboy boots. What more does a girl need? Well, Jody her favorite stuffed dog will go in the back pack tomorrow morning.

Then, when we get home.... the room moving begins, and it begins with the computers. Don't know if I'll be online for a couple of days while the moving is going on, just so you know, I'm not ignoring you out of any kind of mean-ness. In fact, I'll be itching to get hooked up again. Still, it may be a couple of days...

Friday, June 4, 2010


That's how I feel at the moment. Having a little stomach (intestinal) bug hasn't helped that. I have done a lot of reading, though, the past couple of days. I'm working my way through Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series, and I started the 4th (last?) one today. I've enjoyed them, even though the print is a little small for me to be focusing on with my glasses. Than means I hold the book closer and read without my glasses most of the time. Not so much that its time for new glasses, although it is the season for getting the ole eyes checked, but the limitations of the multi-prescription lenses that I have.

We are also counting down to Raine's trip to North Carolina to visit her grandparents. She'll take a plane on Sunday, and be gone for two weeks. It will probably be more difficult for me than it is for her, even though I know she really needs the bonding time with and spoiling by her grandparents. They have all kinds of plans already, and it sounds like Raine will have a great time. She will have to come home just so she can rest. Boy is she going to be bored here by comparison! Still, the packing - or at least the pre-packing laundry - will be done tomorrow.

Feeling better now, and hoping Raine has managed to skip the bug all together. Hope that means I can actually accomplish something the next few days...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

the week, and progress

Some things that have been accomplished this week include some yardwork, and I really have to commend Raine on being a good helper. One of her chores this summer is to pull 100 weeds. Now, that may sound like a lot, but it isn't, and they don't have to be huge or anything. She practices her counting while she's at it. OK, I do have to urge her out there, but not tooooo outrageously, and it helps her earn computer time, so she gets paid. Once she's out there, she gets to work, and we've really made progress with the yard. It has been a good opportunity to talk about how some jobs help you feel better about doing them, when things look better when you've done them. Maybe some intrinsic reward building in a way. It sure helps me when I have that realization... and I sure didn't understand it (nor did anyone put it into words for me) when I was 7.

Raine and I both got our summer haircuts. hers more styled than mine, but for both of us it is a lot about the bangs. We both hate it when ours grow to be in our eyes, and they were there, or man. She got a wedge cut in back, which is short and cool and easy to take care of for her, and yet is a girl cut. She'll be leaving for North Caroline this weekend, and I like it when she looks nice for Nana & Poppop. For me, I trimmed the ends, evened it up. They weren't as bad as sometimes they get, but they still took of 3-4 inches. It grows back, faster than I think it will. One of the reasons I go for the long hair is that I never did get the habit of the salon. If I do some kind of style, it will need more maintainence than I'm willing to commit to. My hair grows pretty fast, and I'm don't really consider the salon a "treat" like some women do. So, long works for me, and I pull it back, and there you go.

I got my car back this week, and so far so good, although I don't want to jinx it by talking too good about it. I'm still kind of in the tentative stage with it... are you going to work when I step on the gas this time, too?

Some things still on the list include going out to GHS and working in my classroom. I really am unsatisfied with how I left it, but without a car to get there, wasn't able to make it last week. This week I have the car, but my brain starts in whining and making excuses every time I think about driving down there. I think I will get an early start and do it tomorrow, and then be able to be done with it.

I still haven't started with the box moving yet. I guess I should go work on the classroom, and count that as productive craft room procrastination. Must go through boxes. Must empty storage room and get shelving in there, and then refill storage room... sigh. work work work work work....