Wednesday, October 26, 2011

fang you

Someone somewhere pointed me to this: Martha Stewart's pumpkins.  Well, they are just so darned cute that we had to make our own! OK, I bought the pumpkins, Ron carved and placed the teeth, and Raine drew the eyes.

I mean, how cute are these guys?!?!

Be careful, though, they may bite...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

shower seat

walk in shower
A few years ago, we did a major renovation/remodel on our house. Among other things, we added a second bathroom to the house (angelic music swells in the background at the mention of this addition... at least in my mind). This new bathroom has a walk in shower that is fabulous (more singing angels... yeah, that good). There is also a seat built into the corner. Ron tiled the shower (and the rest of the house, too), and did a really good job.

Unfortunately, the seat on that bench has enough give to it that the grout eventually began to crack. The tiles loosened, and finally, over the past few months, began to fall out. Not good. So. Not. Good. Carl called around, looking for an alternative to the tile. During this same renovation, we found a similar-to-corian solid counter top material, and we picked it up at a bargain because it was ends. We love it, by the way, and Carl thought he might be able to find something similar. No luck on line. Finally, he called a local stone cutter place that does counter tops. He gave the guy the measurements and said we weren't picky about color. He ended up with a deal. A cut to size deal, in fact.

New stone seat for the bench
The stone sat in the back of my car until Ron had time to work on the tiling, but last weekend, he went to it. He had a great idea of edging it, and creating a transition between the stone and the tile on the wall with a little coppery colored rounded edge piece. Here is the transformation. Thanks to both of them!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


So Dev had a good idea about sharing my holiday crafting without giving away what it is and for whom. Today I even have something to share, so I hope it works...
The color palette

It's Project Runway night tonight, so I got a lot of knitting done while I watched. I'm on the second skein of this project, and I was careful to check dye lots and everything, so I was rather surprised when - about halfway through the second skein - there was a little knot (as sometimes happens, no big deal) and soon there was this deep, deep purple, and then kind of a grey purple and then...

This one dark stripe
Well, it seems to back to the regularly scheduled program, now. I'm not taking it out. I'm not even mad it was there, because I think it adds to the overall item. I just was confused (I mean I checked the dye lot!) and surprised by the unexpected strip. (stripe?)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

crafty for christmas

I've been working on my Christmas list. Not the gifts that I want to get (well, OK, that one too, my computer chair is getting rather wobbly), but the gifts I want to give this year. I'm planning on making many of the gifts I'll be giving this year. I worked on one while I watched Ghost Hunters a little while ago. (It was a pretty good episode, they caught a lot on tape).

Here's the conflict, though. As much as I want to post progress pictures of what I'm making, I don't want to spoil anyone's surprises. I can't even really talk about what I'm making, specifically. Sigh. Busy fingers are happy fingers, though, and mine are pretty happy, so far.

Monday, October 17, 2011

my fork has a crooked tine

I have a friend named Lou. She passed away several years ago, but there are times when things make me remember her. Times when it feels like she's visiting. Nothing flies across the room on it's own and there are no strange shadows moving around the room. She's WAYyy to subtle for that.

There is the music, for instance. Lou sang. Well. Like crazy. She loved music, and it was part of who she was. I'm sure that all of her friends have some kind of musical memory of her. One of mine is being at Estrella War (an SCA event in Arizona) and the two of us discovering that we both enjoyed Joan Armatrading. Pretty soon we were walking across the event site, belting out "I Love it When You Call Me Names." It was a bonding moment.

Well, I have a little MP3 player, and it has a pretty good variety of music on it. This past week, I cam across my little speakers that I use with it, and then I found the player, and I set it up in my bedroom, and I can listen to it while I work. The player is set up on shuffle, which should randomize the playlist, but the second song, every time I turn the thing on, is... Yeah, you guessed it, "I Love it When You Call Me Names." Now, this is a song that you don't hear every day (well, unless you listen to my music player every day...)so you notice it when it comes on. Yeah. Second song every time. I don't know why, and it doesn't ALWAYS make me think Lou is hanging around, but this past weekend, it did. Yeah, definitely. I remembered Estrella, and belting it out, and knowing all the words, and what a moment it was.

In fact, pretty much every time I feel that Lou is hanging around, there is music involved. Indigo Girls while I was driving the moving truck down from Denver. I just knew she was keeping me company, bare feet on the dashboard, toe rings, nail polish and all.

It's pretty cool to have a friend who - even though they are no longer corporeal - can manage to lift your spirits.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

fashion forward moment

I've talked about enjoying watching Project Runway despite the fact that I am not, personally, fashion forward by any stretch of the imagination. It is about creativity for me, although I have learned more than I thought I ever might about style and fashion... you know, in that esoteric way that will never change how I dress.

Still, the other day, walking through the hall, I totally did a fashion judgement (in my head) of some shoes another teacher was wearing. A cute and much more fashionable teacher, even. Her dress was cute, and so were the booties, but they just didn't - for me - go together. Heidi probably teared up a little for me, just for a moment, without knowing why.

I had to laugh at myself, though. I really did. Me? Making fashion judgements? Did you see what I was wearing? I know!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


We watched (again), the movie Ghostbusters this evening. You know, it holds up pretty well, actually, and was very entertaining.

As soon as  any of the supernatural stuff started happening, though, we all kind of looked at each other with the idea of updating the movie, only with the Ghost Hunters. All those drawers in the card catalogue sliding open and the cards flying out, and someone asks, "Is that you? Could you do that again so we know that's you?" ( I always wonder who is you? Do we have a name to call this entity? ) Then, the ghost librarian flies at them, and the yell comes up, "Dude! Run!"

You can tell we got amused. 


But, you know what? I hope they don't remake it, even though they could do the special effects so much better now. It holds up, people, it holds up. Who knew?

I ain't afraid of no ghosts.

Monday, October 10, 2011

i say tomatoes

So, earlier this year, Carl and I decided we wanted to grown some tomatoes, and have some lovely home-grown tomatoes. Carl ordered some seeds, and little peat pots to plant them in and get them started indoors. The seedlings came up very nicely, then all laid over and died. Sigh.

The second verse was when we went to a local greenhouse and picked up a couple of variety six-packs, got terrible service and overcharged on every item we bought that day. Still we planted the tomato plants on the table planter that Ron put together for us, we watered the tomato plants, and we waited for our tomatoes.

And waited. And watered.

And waited.

Sometime in September, we got a few on the vines. They never got very big, and the never got very red, but they cracked and cracked. Then the ones that we did finally decide were "ripe" were still pretty green inside... if you would want to eat the cracky bits to get to the green, kind of tough insides.  Oh, and the leaves started to turn brown.

Now, the plants have all these brown leaves, even though I don't see what is making them do that, although by now fall will start making them do that. We have a few tomatoes on a couple of the other plants - a different variety - that I'm hoping will actually ripen and be good. I'm not sure how high my hopes are.

Brown thumb? Possible. (Have you seen my other plants?... exactly) Less than prime tomato plants paid for at a prime (+) price? yeah. Won't be buying from there again. I'm not sure that is or is not the problem. We had a long, hot, dry summer, and any of those factors could have played into our lack of tomato production.

Will we try again next year. I'm thinking we will.

Friday, October 7, 2011


What? It's Friday already? Where did the week go? Well? Where?

It has been a good week, despite having to get up at my usual time so I could get Raine off to school at her usual time. Didn't get as much cleaning done as I needed to (although there's always tomorrow) but I did get some done. So, not a complete waste.

On one of Ron's days off, we took a little road trip to City of Rocks, and had a really nice time. The wind was blowing, so it was cooler there than it was last spring break. Evidently they'd had significant rain as well, there were a few puddles here and there, and the road had been significantly rutted by run off. Once we got walking around, the wind wasn't bad and we warmed up a bit. Ron and Raine had a great time climbing on every formation they could, while I wandered around and took pictures and successfully didn't fall down and hurt myself. We all had a good time. Evidently it was pose like a superhero day... at least for Raine. Not only that, but Ron and Raine had a close call, almost being eaten by a huge rock fish. Whew.

We also went to a garb workshop for SCA at Dev's house. I almost got a tunic made for Raine. I pulled out fabric for a couple more. We are trying to be ready for the Ren Fair, which will be the first weekend of November. I think I'll be putting in some time there that weekend in garb (which is what SCA people call their period clothing). Hopefully getting to know some of the current SCA people here and in El Paso as well. Missing those who can no longer play.

Monday, October 3, 2011

monday cleaning - check

Today I started of with the living room window. That means taking the curtains down, the sheers and the opaques, and putting each set through the washer and dryer. Oh the cat hair. I think it has been more than a year. yikes. I moved all the knick knacks that usually sit in the window and washed them off, and wiped down the window sills and vacuumed.

The day was so nice after the rain last night that we opened the front door to let the cool, hint of fall air in. It is the door that we don't often use, but it has a screen door so the cat doesn't get out. We opened some windows and let the lovely breeze waft through the house. But then there was the space between the solid door and the screen door. Yeah, the one that doesn't get used much... like since last Halloween, probably.

There were a lot of spider webs there. And a dead spider near the top. Isn't that a black widow? Probably. And those would be egg sacs? ummm 3, no, 4 of them? Oh, that's not good. So not good. My usual way to deal with insects - yes I'm squeemish - is to spray them with bug spray and then vacuum them up. Out came the bug spray, and I pretty much spray the whole doorway. The threshold, the web (you know, 'cause it MIGHT come alive or something), the dead spider, everything. Then, I go put the spray away, but when I walk back towards the door, the spider is moving! Yeah, not as dead as I thought. ack! The door gets closed, post haste. Carl laughs and observes that the door might not be as much of a barrier to the spider as say, it would be for a dog or a person. I know he's right, but _I_ feel better with it closed.

I'm hoping that the poison took effect. I've arranged for a clean-up crew (Ron) for the doorway. I try not to say "ick" too many times in a row. Ick Ick Ick.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

write more often

If I can't be right more often, I should at least write more often. Ha. I made myself laugh. Wait. Should I admit that? Is it pretentious? Is it crazy? Oh well. Really? I don't care. I will find amusement where I can.

My thoughts are going to be a little scattered, but here I am, writing anyway. We just had a little rain move through. Not much, but it was appreciated. Rain in New Mexico generally is. Even those little random showers that happen just like that one did. It is probably raining across the street now that it is done here.

We got a good bit of sewing done today, Roxanne and I did. We are sewing some shirts for my brother, Carl. Three of them in fact. That will make five for the year so far, which is not bad, since my goal was one every other month for him. We are doing one in a soft gabardine. It is white, since he will be wearing it for a wedding, and that is what color shirt everyone will be wearing in the wedding, and he'll be a groomsman. I'll be a bride's maid and we've already made my black skirt and when Carl's shirts are finished, we'll start on the women's tops. The gabardine is a little stretchy, and not as easy to sew as I would have thought it would be, but it is coming out OK. There was enough to make Roxanne a white skirt from it too. Added bonus. She can wear white better than I can. OH, I can WEAR it, it just doesn't stay completely white. Very long. So, usually I just don't waste the effort of it. One of the other shirts is a combination of stripes, one narrower than the other. Sometimes something like that just doesn't turn out right, even though the picture in your head says it ought to. This time, its looking GOOD! I'm really happy with it. The final shirt is a very soft and drapey fabric, mostly black with some white and black almost tribal geometrics in it. It looks nice. It will be such a soft and comfy shirt, but I worry about it holding together since the fabric is pretty thin. We're going to put some interfacing in the yoke as well as the collar and facings. Maybe that will help a little.

Tomorrow is Ron's birthday, so we will be going out for a little dinner and have a present or two. I'll be happy if I can get some curtain and window cleaning done before that. Maybe even a little bit of sewing. That or knit a bit.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

fall break 2011 - the plan

This week is fall break. We are officially one quarter of the way through our school year, now. It went so fast.

Raine has school this week, so we won't be taking of for parts unknown... or even known. Oh, well. I still have plans. First of all, I'm still working on my cleaning up my life - or at least my home - project. The living room is going to get some serious attention this week. I think it will survive, but things will be moved (and then cleaned under and all around). The bedroom isn't quite finished, but nearly, so I'll continue in there as well. Then the computer room, which I hope will be an easier job. At least to an extent.

The Christmas season will soon be upon us, so I've going to start on some present projects. I think some knitted and/or crocheted scarves will be on a couple of people's lists. If I get through with them quickly enough, I may even be able to work on a hat or something. I doubt if I'll get anything finished this week, but started? I hope so. Patterns picked and supplies supplied. Yeah.

Then, sewing. Roxanne and I will take our usual time tomorrow, and we'll work on a shirt or two for Carl. Ron and I have been working on a shirt for him this past week, and at this point it only lacks the sleeves being put in and the hem sewn in. OK, then it's Ron's job to put the snaps on where he wants. them. I think it is going to be a very good looking shirt. I'm very pleased with it at this point.

Ron and I have planned a couple of day trips this week, too. I'm looking forward to some family time and spending a couple of days together.

All in all, I'm really looking forward to this week, and I'm only sad that it just won't last long enough.