Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Week -- Monday

Today, I am very, very thankful for a car that has heat.

I'm thankful for a reliable vehicle period.  Of course, I'm still getting used to it.  I drove half way to work this morning freezing my patooty off, waiting for the heater to turn on.  That's when I realized, I have to turn it on myself.  In the Jimmy, everything was automatic.  The heat came on when it got hot.  Well, when it worked, it did. 

I also keep forgetting to turn my headlights on.  I have to remind myself that they don't turn on and off automatically, like they did in the Jimmy.  Oh, and one day last week, I managed to turn on the rear window wiper and couldn't figure out how to turn it off.  I didn't know what I'd bumped to make it come on in the first place.  I finally found the button, after I'd driven about two miles down the highway, with the wipers going, on a sunny day. 

That's just part of the fun!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thanksgiving Week

Today is the official start of Thanksgiving week.  I'm going to post one thing I am thankful for each day until Thanksgiving Day.  Some people say you shouldn't observe holidays.  We should be thankful every day, and not just one day a year.  You should love people every day, not just on Valentine's Day.  Holidays are ridiculous, they say. 

I think these people are ridiculous.  There is nothing wrong with setting a day aside to celebrate something.  If you read the Old Testament, how many times does God tell the children of Israel to set this day aside, set that day aside, take this day to remember?  Celebrating holidays is Biblical.  In face, even the word Holiday comes from Holy Day. 

A while back, an atheist acquaintance of mine said that she didn't want to go to Heaven.  She wasn't going to spend eternity groveling at the feet of a vengeful and judgmental God.  I am so thankful that my God isn't like that.  My God is the one who so loved the world that he gave his only son.  That my God is the one who came that we might have life and have it more abundantly.  That my God is the one who is not willing that any should perish, but that all people should come to repentance.  That he knows my name, and no one can snatch me out of his hand.

For that, I am thankful beyond words. 

Friday morning, Beverly called me to discuss Thanksgiving dinner menu.  That is one of my absolute favorite things to do all year.  The plant gave us a turkey, so I'm going to be doing that, plus a fruit salad, a sweet potato casserole, and a sweet potato pie.  It's only going to be the 4 of us this year, so we decided to keep it kind of small. 

I wasn't going to make a pumpkin pie, because I'm the only one who eats pumpkin pie.  But then, I decided, heck, I eat pumpkin pie.  I'm going to make one anyway.  I won't take it over, but I'll eat it at home. 

I thought by going to the store Friday, I'd avoid the crowds later in the week.  I was wrong.  The store was pretty packed, but I got my stuff and made it out without incident.  The bad news is, when I got up Saturday morning and went to feed the cat, I realized I'd forgotten cat food.  She doesn't have enough to make it the whole week, so I'm going to have to go back one day after work. 

This morning was the first frost of the year.  I didn't go out and take pictures of it.  I'm sure you all know what frost looks like by now.  The cold has made for some great knitting weather.  I spent a good chunk of the last two days weaving in ends on my blanket.  Yes, I finally found a tapestry needle!

Here is a progress photo of the blanket I'm knitting for myself. 

I have a few more squares to add, then I'll set it aside and work on my sister's.  

Cody gave me this Christmas cactus when he was 7.  That makes it 15 years old. 

It didn't bloom for a long time, but it's bloomed pretty regularly these last four or five years.  

I was kind of worried that it wouldn't bloom this year, what with the move and all.  I shouldn't have.  It's doing just fine. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015


I got a pleasant surprise when I got home from work today.  My drapes are here a day early!

Pay no attention to the Tigger towel on the back of my recliner.    I'm pleading the 5th. 

Anyway, I think they'll look very nice once I get the paneling painted.  It's supposed to be cold this weekend, so I may have time to work on the house some more.  I really want to get Jimmy cleaned out and cleaned up so I can sell him.  That all depends on how cold it is. 

Thanksgiving is only a week away.  Yesterday at work, they gave us our ham or turkey, whichever one we chose.  I got a turkey.  I took a garbage bag with me because I didn't want to put it in my new car.  Turns out it wasn't necessary.  They handed our meat out in these re-usable bags.

If you know me, you know what I'm going to put into this!  If you don't, here's a hint: 


Speaking of knitting, thanks to some generous friends, I've been able to add several squares to both my sister's blanket and mine.  Soon, I'll take a picture of both to update you.

Speaking of work, I filled in for a brazer who was out today.  That means I had a whole new department of people to accost with baby pictures.  Oh, and I have Angie's permission, so I am officially (if not genetically) Wyatt's Great Aunt Becky. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Dear Supervisor-In-Training

I know you are new to this whole leadership thing -- and apparently the whole integrity thing, too-- so let me clue you in with a little piece of advice:

No matter what your motives or intentions are, it is never a good idea to lie to your production superintendent.

Don't go tell him you need a sub-brazer on your line if you don't really need a sub-brazer on your line.  Because of your blatant falsehood, someone else had to make do without a sub-brazer that he really did need, while a perfectly competent sub-brazer spent the day at the end of your line screwing on drain pans-- which anyone from the floater pool can do.

I suggest you learn integrity pretty quickly.  If you keep lying, your employees will resent you and your bosses won't trust you.

Then you won't even need to finish your training, because you'll be gone.

Thank you.

That is all.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I'm An...

Well, I'm not exactly sure what I am, but Cody is an uncle!

Cody's half sister Faith and her boyfriend Michael became proud parents to baby Wyatt.  He weighed in at a healthy 8 lbs 5 oz.

Welcome to the world, Wyatt.

By the way, Cody will never admit it, but he's very proud of his nephew.  As is Cody's mother.  Oh, to heck with technicalities.

I'm a great-aunt!!!!

 Wyatt Eugene Reed

Monday, November 16, 2015

Weekend Wrapup

I'd checked out a movie from the church library, and was thinking I needed to get around to watching it, since it was due yesterday.  Saturday morning, I put it in and sat down to watch.  I got about 10 or so minutes into the movie and realized I had no clue what was going on.  I started over, telling myself I'd pay attention this time.  I got to the same point I was before, and still had no idea what was happening.

About that time, James called me up and said, "I can't sleep.  Let's go get you a new door for your bathroom."

Off to Batesville we went.  We got there and found the doors with framing and picked one out.  Then we wandered around the store for a bit so he could pick out a space heater for their den.  They already got rid of their wood pile, and without a fire, their den gets pretty chilly.

While he was picking out a heater, I found me a log rack. 

It's got a removable canvas thing so I can go out back and carry wood inside in it.  I also bought a poker and a little ash shovel. 

The didn't have any little brooms.  They had a set -- poker, shovel, broom, and stand -- but they were so small I didn't want to get it.  I mean, the broom was about the size of a paintbrush.  Nevertheless, I have a poker now.  I no longer have to use a broken curtain rod to poke my fire.

Speaking of fire, Saturday and Sunday morning both, I got up and managed to get a fire started the first try.  Over the course of the weekend, I got about 8 more logs split.  Not at the same time, but I got them done.  Another thing I learned Sunday afternoon is why our foremothers kept their hair in a bun.  Do you have any idea how annoying it is to try to swing an ax with your hair flying in your face?  Yeah...Anyway, I split two more after work today.  I figure if I do two or three a day -- and more on the weekends, I'll get that pile burnable by next winter. 

If you've read my blog for any length of time, certainly you've seen me post Christmas photos.  If you've seen Christmas photos, you've seen pictures of Beverly and James' tree.  Like this photo here that I took last year.

They decided that they just didn't like that tree any more, and they were going to get a new one.  They offered this one to me, so I posted my old trees in a local free-bees group.  Sunday afternoon, I met the person who wanted them at Wal-mart to hand them over to her.

Since I was there, I went into the store to get a new shower curtain for my bathroom.  The old one I had was starting to tear up.  No wonder, I bought it when we first moved into the trailer house in 2006.  After picking one out -- it still has dolphins on it, though I debated for a long time whether to get dolphins or a beach scene  -- I wandered over to the curtains and drapes section to see what they had.  I still don't have anything on any of my windows except the one in my bedroom.

I found something I liked for my living room.  It'll go nicely with the colors I'm planning to paint it.

They only had one panel in stock, so I came home and ordered three more online.  They should be here by Friday. 

Slowly, but surely, I'm making this house mine.  

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ten Years

It was ten years ago today, I dipped a tentative toe into the blog world with this post:

I've only been drawing a short time--less than a year. In order to improve my sketching skill, I decided to try to do a quick sketch every day. This is the first of my five minute sketches. It is of my cat Squeaky, drawn as she sat staring into that place only cats can see.

I hope, as time goes by, that I can see an improvement in my sketches, but these first ones wll look pretty rough.

The title of my blog is Sketches and More--the and more refers to my other hobbies, karate and knitting. More about that later...

On the one hand, it's hard to believe it's been a decade.  On the other hand, it seems like it was just yesterday that I started this online journey.  It's been quite a ride, but I've enjoyed every minute of it.  Most of you reading today, I didn't even know back then, but I'm so glad you're here now. 

Thank you for sharing this part of my life with me. 

I hope you'll stick around for the next ten years.

Friday, November 13, 2015

I Can Haz...

Long time readers may remember me mentioning that Beverly and James are moving back to Texas at the end of the year.  Or thereabouts.  That's why I needed to buy a house.  Another thing I needed to do was to get a new car.  My old Jimmy has been a good vehicle, but he'd gotten to the point where I just didn't trust him to be reliable -- what with me not going to have family around any more.  I needed something I could depend on.

Bright and early this morning, James and I went car shopping. I'd been looking around on websites like Autotrader and Truecar, but James said, "Let me take you out to talk to the guy I usually buy from."

We drove out to the dealership and started looking around.  I'd planned on getting a used car, but while we were standing there talking, the sales man Charles said, "Let's just go look at this Focus over here." 

Now, a Focus was one of the cars I'd been looking at on those websites, so I liked it immediately.  Even though it's brand new, between the Friends and Family event and several discounts and rebates they were able to give me, it ended up not costing much more than what I would have paid for a used one. 

After signing almost as many papers as I did when I bought my house, I drove off the lot, a proud owner of a brand new 2015 Ford Focus. 

 I got home and went out to take these pictures, and wondered how I'd gotten it muddy already.  Sigh...

It's got all sorts of fancy gadgets on it.  I can sync my phone to it, too.  

And look!  Cup holders deep enough to actually hold a cup!  

The ones in my Jimmy were so shallow, the cups would fly out of them every time I went around a corner.  

Best of all, the heater works!  Which means the defroster also works!  Woo hoo!  I'll be able to see when I'm driving to work on those frosty cold mornings. 

Speaking of frosty mornings, they're predicting temps down into the upper 30s tonight.  I asked James if he still had his fancy schmancy motorized wood splitter.  He'd already taken it to Texas, but he gave me his wood splitting ax to use. 

After splitting one log, I determined that our ancestors were made of much sterner stuff than we are.  I went out and did about 4 more after running into town for a minute, and I'm telling you, I haven't worked that hard since I can remember.  If you want abs, forget the weight room.  Just go split a cord of wood. 

I kinda want to go out and split some more, but I kinda already can't move. 

I think I'd better wait until tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veteran Dreams

I had the strangest dream last night.  No, really.

I had the strangest dream that I was in Wal-mart trying to buy snickerdoodles.  Two of them, only you had to ask the person at the window for them.  I finally got some, only I couldn't check out until the lady put green paint on her face.

I finally got to check out, and left the store.  I was the only vehicle left in the parking lot, so I drove straight toward the exit until a cop frantically waved at me to get back into the driving lane.  I was still trying to drive out of the parking lot when I ran into a whole bunch of war re-enactors.  The were all in costume, but from different wars.  There were reenactors from the American Revolution, The Civil War, The Napoleonic Wars, and WWI.  I was trying my best to drive through without hitting any of them as they charged into their mock battles.  It was even worse because it was night and none of the street lights were working.

I finally made it out onto the road, and drove around the old traffic circle that used to be in my home town and made it out onto Farm Road 105 to go home.  Much to my dismay, the war reenactors were all over that road, too.  It was so dark, I could barely see beyond the hood of my car, and soldiers were suddenly appearing in front of me.  It was quite the harrowing experience.  I managed to make it until the alarm went off without squishing anyone, though it's a wonder how I did it.

I woke up wondering if today being Veteran's Day brought on that dream. Speaking of Veteran's Day, this made me tear up.

I have the greatest respect for those who fought in WWII.  They faced near impossible odds, yet the persevered and freed the world from a mad man and a tyrant.  They truly were the greatest generation.

And then there's this: 

Oh, well.  We can't all be noble.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Hey! I Know You!

I was driving home from church yesterday.  As I pulled into my driveway and got out of my Jimmy, I heard someone call my name.  I turned around and it was Norma, a lady I used to work with out at the plant. 

"I didn't know you bought this house," she said. 

"Yeah," I replied.  "I moved in the middle of September." 

"Well, I live just right over there," she said as she pointed to the house across the street and one over from Mr. Clark.  I have another neighbor that I already know, so yay!

The rest of the weekend was much less eventful.  Since I'd made such a success cleaning up the back bedroom, I thought I'd work on the other bedroom -- which is my office/craft/snake room.  When we were bringing in my filing cabinet, it fell over and got bent out of shape.  The drawers weren't shutting correctly, so I took everything out and beat the cabinet back into place.  It's still kind of crooked, but at least the drawers shut now. 

Instead of just shoving everything back in, I took the opportunity to sort through and get rid of what I don't need any more.  Which means most of what was in there in the first place.  Seriously, most of it was owner's manuals to stuff I don't even own any more.  Cody's potty seat?  Seriously?  Why did I keep that?

It's gone now, along with a huge stack of other things, which made a nice, cheery fire in my wood burner.  Speaking of fires, my wood pile is wet.  I had the hardest time starting a fire yesterday morning, because of it.  I started moving some of my wood into the chicken coops so it can dry out.  I need to buy an ax so I can split the bigger logs down so they'll fit into my wood burner.  In the meantime, I bought some of those duraflame type logs to burn.  It's supposed to get down into the 30s this weekend, so they ought to come in handy. 

This morning, the weirdest thing happened.  I got up at my usual 3:30 AM, and went to work at 5.  I got there and there was nobody there.  I mean, nobody.  The parking lot was empty.  That was just a bit freaky to be the only person in the whole plant.  They'd cut out the early morning overtime, and my supervisor forgot to tell me.  So, yippee to no more early mornings, but boo to no more overtime. 

Finally, in my mad house cleaning binge over the weekend, I found this old photo. 

The date on the back is November 2, 1980.   That would have made me just a few days shy of turning 16.  This is my step grandma Vivian.  My grandma died in September 1979, so Grandpa and Vivian had only been married a few weeks when this was taken. 

When they first married, we kids were a bit bumfuzzled as to what we should call her.  It seemed disrespectful and rude to call her Vivian, but we couldn't call her Grandma.  Grandma was Grandma.  Finally, my sister flat out asked her, "What should we call you?" 

Vivian said, "Just call me 'Granny', like the rest of my grandchildren do." 

From then on, she was Granny to us. 

Friday, November 06, 2015

Eye Candy Friday

Literally, eye candy. 

I had to hurry up and take the picture, because I've almost eaten it all up already.  And I just bought it yesterday.  Oh, and Snickerdoodle flavored milk isn't nearly as good as it sounds.

I have a house guest for the next few days.

Yes, I am kitty sitting for a while.  I've cat sat for her before, but this time, she came to my house.  Her people have one of those fancy schmancy alarm systems-- the monitored kind with someone sitting on the other end of the computer watching the house.  They tried to leave her home once, and she kept setting the alarm off.  After the third time the cops showed up at the house, they realized they had to do something different.  They tried bringing her with them, but the trip was very difficult for her.

Thus, she came to my house.  Why is this significant?  Because this morning, you could barely walk into this room.

It didn't take long to tidy it up.  I just took my painting supplies out to the shed, put the books on the shelves, and stuffed everything else in the closet.  Voila!  Clean room.  It's all ready to move Cody's furniture into it.

I was, however, rather dismayed at how many large dead spiders I found in the room.  I mean, very large spiders.  I'm not given to arachnophobia, but I do have my limits. 

I'm just glad they were already dead when I found them. 

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

More Yarn!

What a delight to come home after a long, hard day at work to find a surprise in my mail box.

More yarn for the blanket!  This time, it was from my friend Ann.  Thanks, Ann!

OK, technically, it wasn't a surprise, because I knew it was coming, but it's still fun to get packages.  Even when you know they are coming. 

I tried to take some artsy-fartsy photos of the blanket, but you'll just have to settle for these. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch NCIS and go to bed.  These 3:30 mornings are getting rough.  But, I need the money.  Cody needs nearly $800 more to pay his tuition before he can register for next semester. 

The good news is, he's finally looking for a job!  I hope he gets one.  I'll likely be minimum wage, but it's more income than he has now.

Monday, November 02, 2015

This Is Your Fight Song

When I woke up this morning after some very strange dreams involving a certain former group leader, a baseball bat, and having to repair a machine at work with cake icing, this is the song that was running through my head.

Love The Piano Guys, and this just might be their best song yet.  It's a mash up of This Is My Fight Song, Scotland The Brave, and Amazing Grace.  You might not think Fight Song and Amazing Grace would go together, but when you think about it, they really do.  Amazing Grace IS my fight song.  It articulates what keeps me going.  Amazing Grace. 

One of my Facebook friends posted a Thanksgiving 30 Day Scripture Writing Plan.  (That links to a PDF file.)  Since writing is my thing, I quickly jumped on this.  I knew exactly which journal I wanted to use, too. 

The one with the Compass Rose on it.  It just seemed right.

Anyway, I reposted the link and several of my friends have decided that they want to do it with me, so we can encourage each other.  See, I knew all those journals would come in handy some day.

I'm getting close to finishing my bathroom.  I'd probably be closer if I didn't keep piddling around in front of the computer so much, but no matter.  I'll get done eventually.  I bought this mirrored cabinet to hang over my sink, but I'm debating on whether to leave it like it is, or paint it my accent color. 

I'm thinking I may leave it like it is.  After all, every beach needs some driftwood, doesn't it?  And yes, those switch plates are crooked.    I've still got to find some decorative things for the walls, but I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.  Then I'll get to start on the next room. 

My big accomplishment over the weekend was to get three more boxes emptied out.  Not everything is put away, but I did get two big boxes out of my dining room area.  All my glasses and mugs are put on my shelves, and the kitchen is starting to feel like my kitchen.

It's strange, not seeing that big box in the corner under my bar.  It's the first thing I brought to this house, and now it's not there any more.  I still have a long way to go, but I'm making progress.

I really need to find the rest of my yarn, though.   

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Scary Things

Yesterday was our annual inventory day at work. Long time readers may remember back in the day, inventory was pretty rough. We'd go in at 5:30 (yes, that is ante meridian), and sometimes not get off until 9:00 or 10:00 at night. Over the last few years, they'd made changes and streamlined the process, so that it only took 4 or 5 hours to do inventory. I was usually home by noon.

I am convinced that my place of employment sits around and figures out what makes the most sense so that they can do just the opposite.

I've been inventorying the tubing department ever since I started. I've been doing it longer than I have been writing this blog. I can inventory tubing in my sleep. This year, they decided I needed to inventory the stock room.

What the heck? I don't know anything about the stockroom. What's worse, this year they decided that each card writer (that's the person who fills out the inventory slips that the office puts into the computer) needs to have what they call a chieftain following him around all day.

First off, I do not like people hovering over me while I'm trying to work. Drives me up the wall. Secondly, I have been doing inventory for a long, long time. I know what to do. I don't need someone pestering me while I'm doing it. Finally, my chieftain had never done inventory before. He had no idea what he was doing. I was having to correct him.

For example, he came to me and said, “I found some more of such and such part, just add them to that other ticket.” I had to tell him that you can't do that. “I'd have to void the entire card and rewrite it, so I'll just write another card for these parts.”

I managed to get my job done, even though I could have done it in half the time had I not had a chieftain worrying me to death all day, and getting in the way.  I swear, I couldn't move without tripping over him.  We finished our area around 9:30, but my chieftain decided we (my counter and I) needed to go help Other Chieftain with his area.

“I can't just go help Other Chieftain. Only those people assigned to Other Chieftain's area can write cards for that area. I'll have to go get cards assigned to Other Chieftain's area.”

I didn't want to go help Other Chieftain, because I knew what would happen, and it happened exactly that way. As soon as we got over there, Other Chieftain's people stopped and stood there for the rest of the day watching us do their work. Not only that, Other Chieftain told them they could go on home, while he made us stay to finish his area. I was one of the last of the floor people to get to leave. Made me so mad. Not that I mind helping, but I shouldn't have to do their work FOR them.

Anyway, back in my Navy days, we had a term for what went on the the plant yesterday.  I sure hope they go back to the old way next year.

When I got home, I called the guy who bought my trailer. I had some more papers to bring to him. He said he'd call me this morning and we'd meet somewhere in town and make that exchange. Good, I'd just wait until today to go do my shopping. Only he never called. I went into town anyway around 9:00 AM, hoping to beat the rain.

I didn't make it.

It started sprinkling on me about halfway into town and hasn't stopped yet. It's supposed to rain all weekend, up until Monday morning. Could be worse. It's 10' in Fairbanks right now, where my sister lives.

So, the plan for today was to polish my hinges up 

and get my doors back onto my bathroom cabinets. The doors need a few touch ups, but for the most part, they are done. 

However, when I got home from the store, there was a package in my mailbox. What was in said package?

Yarn! My friend Abby sent me some yarn for the blanket. I should be able to add several squares to my sister's blanket with all this yarn. There is even some that I can add to my blanket.

Since knitters are the most generous people on the planet, she also sent me two hand knit dishcloths as a housewarming gift.

Just the thing to brighten up this chilly, rainy day.

Thank you, Abby! You're the best!

The good news is, some of the Halloween candy managed to survive until tonight.  What with the weather being bad and all, most parents are looking to go to the indoor activities at local churches, so I might not need it after all. But it's there, just in case. 

No matter what, we do need this: 

From Ghoulies and Ghosties 
And long legged beasties
And things that go bump in the night
May the Good Lord deliver us.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

What Was I Thinking?

As my alarm went off at 3:30 this morning, I awoke with my first thought of the day being, "Why on Earth did I ever tell [my supervisor] I'd start coming in at 5 every day?"

Tomorrow is our annual inventory, so I don't have to go in until 7.  I get to sleep in until 5:30!

Number 396576 on the list of things I never thought I'd say:  "I get to sleep in until 5:30".  But there it is. 

Since I'm barely coherent, I thought I'd share this for ThrowBack Thursday.  

Anyone else remember this?  She is Derry Daring, the female counterpart to the Evil Knievel toy that was wildly popular in the 1970s.  My brother and I got them for Christmas one year.  He got the Evil Knievel, and I got Derry Daring.

In my childish exuberance, I called her Deary Darring until just a few weeks ago.  I'd mentioned her on Facebook and wanted to find a picture to post.  After doing some research, I found I'd been saying it wrong for 40 something years. 


Wednesday, October 28, 2015


They say your sense of smell has the strongest memory of all of your senses.  It's true, too. 

I bought some of this to polish my hinges.

As soon as I opened the can, I was right back in Navy boot camp, polishing the garbage can with a recruit named Frechette. 

I was there, in the compartment, with the sounds and the smells, and hearing her telling me to hand her the Nevr-Dull.

It was uncanny how completely it all came back to me.  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Not It

I got home from my weekly resupply run Friday only to discover that I had forgotten to buy dog food.  I thought there would be enough to last the week, but this morning I realized it wouldn't make it.  After work, I ran in to the store to get some.

Since Halloween is just a few days away, I thought to myself that I needed to get some candy -- candy that would survive being eaten until Saturday.  This is not it. 

Back on my old road, we hardly ever got Trick Or Treaters.  I think I had 3 in the 20 years I lived there.  I'm not sure if they get a lot on this road, but I thought it would be best to be prepared.  I think I'll need to hide it from myself. 

I was walking towards the checkouts and passed a table of clearance items.  I just happened to spot these plates.

They weren't but $2 each, and since I got the OK to start going in to work at 5:00 (yes, that is ante meridian),  I splurged and got two.  I thought they'd look nice with a fake pumpkin, or a pile of squash and some autumn garland.  I didn't get any today, because I was tired and didn't want to go back to the decorations section.  Maybe Friday I'll look and see what they have left. 

You want to know how crazy things have been lately?  I'll tell you.  Cody's birthday was almost two weeks ago, and I just now realized I haven't bought him a present. 

Yeah, OK, I'm going to bed. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015


I think I finally have the drip from my toilet stopped.  I ended up having to use the pliers on it anyway, even though they say not to.  I just tightened it about 1/4 turn at a time until it stopped dripping.  The little bowl I put under it to catch the drips has been dry for several hours, so I think it might be right this time.

Feeling a sense of accomplishment having done that, I decided to go ahead and start painting my cabinet.

Yes, it has doors.  I took them off to paint them separately, and to try to clean up the hinges really well.   They were gunky and tarnished.  I sprayed them with WD-40, but I might have to invest in some NevrDull

Now, there's a blast from my Navy days.  If you've ever had to polish a garbage can until it shone, you might be a Navy Veteran.

Anyway, I think it's going to look good when I'm done.  I'm going to let it dry overnight and see how it looks after church tomorrow.  Then I'll decide if it needs another coat of paint or not.  Just looking at it, I think it will, but we'll see after it's dried a bit more. I still need to get the door frame replaced.  James said he was going to come help me with it, but he hasn't had time.  He's busy trying to get his own house sold. 

I finally got my yarn out of that box and put into my yarn closet.

I have more yarn than this.  I'm just not sure where it is.  

Thanks to Hurricane Patricia, we are finally going to be getting some rain over the next several days.  That is good, because the entire state is under a burn ban since it's been so dry.  

Honestly, I can't even remember the last good rain we had.  Oh, we've had showers, but barely enough to settle the dust. 

Mercy drops round us are falling
But for the showers we plead.

Friday, October 23, 2015

I've Got Fire!

It's here!  My fire stick is here! 

I've got it hooked up to my TV, so I may never get out of my recliner again.  I'm wondering why I waited so long to get one.  I haven't even scratched the surface of all it can do.  The best thing is, it isn't always crashing like my old streaming device did.   The remote is also better, since it controls the stick without me having to hold my tongue just right.

I think I'm going to move my old streaming device/DVD player into the bedroom.  I've got a spare DVD player around here somewhere that I can hook up to the TV in the living room.  I just have to find it.

I got some more good news.  You see, I don't like change at all.  A couple of weeks ago, Beverly and James went to Texas.  I picked up their mail while they were gone.  When I took it over there to them, Bev and I were visiting for a bit.  She got to talking about how glad she is to be moving home, and next door to her sister, but is still going to miss the good friends she made here.  She started tearing up, and I was kind of choking up myself.  I was trying to hold it together, because it just wouldn't do for both of us to be crying.

However, as I was pulling out of her driveway heading home, the UPS man was passing by.  He saw me, and started waving.  That's when I lost it.  I bawled all the way home.  I really like my UPS man.  He always stops to chat for a moment when he delivers my packages, and he is so sweet.  Losing him was just one more change I had to deal with.

Today, when the UPS truck pulled up to deliver my Fire Stick, I waited anxiously to see who my new delivery guy would be.   When he stepped out of the truck, I was so happy to see it was my same old familiar UPS man.  I am still on his route!  I could have hugged his neck.

I probably would have if I didn't abhor human contact.  INTJ things, you know.

Speaking of the new house, this was my project for today.

It was actually just the flapper I needed to replace, but I went ahead and replaced the whole inner workings.  The bad news is, I've got a slow drip where the water line hooks into the tank.  They say not to use a wrench, but I can't get it tight enough just hand tightening it.  Probably in the morning, I'm going to unhook it and wrap the threads with some teflon tape.  Yes, I do have some teflon tape around here somewhere.  If that doesn't work, I'm going to have to use my wrench on it.   I had to use the wrench to loosen the nut, so I'm thinking whoever replaced it last used a wrench on it.

But I'm rambling now...

 Next project in the works: 

I'm going to start filling all the nail and screw holes in my paneling.  Believe me, there are a lot of them.

You know, when I bought the house, I was under the impression that an old lady lived here by herself.  My next door neighbor told me that wasn't the case at all.  Her daughter and a whole passel of kids lived here with her.  I knew she had grandkids, because I saw the toys.  I just didn't know that they all lived here.

 Be that as it may, the kids seemed to be quite destructive.   There are holes all in the paneling, and one spot that looks like it had been repeatedly struck with a hammer-like object.  Now that I'm almost finished with the bathroom, except for replacing the door frame, I'm starting to think about painting the living room.  I've chosen an off white color for the walls, and a light gray for the trim.

Farmer's Almanac is predicting a long, cold winter, and this will make a good project for these dreary winter days.  It'll also enable me to put off dealing with that horrid small bathroom for a while.  I really should get that one taken care of, though.  I just don't want to scrape all that sand off the walls. 

I also heard that there will be a shortage of pumpkins this year.  You can't tell it from our Wal-Mart.  They've got plenty of whole pumpkins.  Nevertheless, I'm stocking up on canned pumpkin, just in case. 

If it turns out we really do run out of pumpkin, I can get rich selling it on the black market.

Finally, today is my dad's 89th birthday.  I think this is one of my absolute favorite pictures of him.

It was taken in 1992 by my Aunt Martha.  That's my sister.  She'd gotten underwear for Christmas.  The expression on my daddy's face sums up his entire personality in one look.

Happy Birthday in heaven.  I still miss you. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Almost Done

We are almost done getting all this paperwork from my trailer house in order.  The buyer's bank called me yesterday and said that the mortgage company had sent them the release of lien.  I called Steve -- the buyer-- and today right after work, we went to the court house and applied for the title.  Since my name was on the lien, I'll have to get the title in my name, then transfer it to Steve.  They'll send the title to me in about 10 days, then all I'll have to do is sign the back and take it to his bank.  I hope that will be the last thing I need to do in that regard.

While I was in town, I went next door to the county clerk's office and updated the address on my voter registration.  She printed me out a new card, and I'm all set to vote next month.

One more stop before I came home.  I went by Wal-Mart and bought Jurassic World.  Since I don't go to the theater, I hadn't seen it yet.  I watched it as soon as I got home.  It was a bit hokey, but pretty good.  It lacked the elegance and grace of the original, if you can describe a dinosaur movie as being elegant and graceful, but still worth the watch.  At the end of the movie, I found myself rooting for the....but wait, I don't want to spoil it for anyone who may not have seen it, so I'll just stop there.

A few weeks ago, I got an e-mail from Amazon, informing me that my streaming device would no longer work with Amazon Prime.  I've been thinking about getting a Fire Stick.  My friends who have one say they love it.  I think I'll go ahead and order one.  

I haven't made any more progress on my bathroom, but I have made progress in unpacking my yarn.  And by progress, I mean I picked the box up off the floor and took the lid off.

Hey, it's a start. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Over My Head

I think I might be in over my head with this bathroom door frame.

Or I might be just getting overwhelmed.  I knew there was some damage to the frame itself.  You can see here that there is quite a lot of damage at the bottom.

Then there is this.  

The more I get into fixing up this house, the more I'm realizing that the previous owners weren't quite the handyman type that they imagined themselves to be.  That looks less like actual damage and more like a half hearted, lick-at-a-snake type of repair.  It's like they just slapped an extra strip of wood in the gap created when they added the tile.

The original plan was to take all that framing off and replace it.  However, after spending so much on getting my plumbing repaired, I thought I'd just strip the old paint off and repaint it for now, the replace it all later.  I could see that the previous paint job was not very well done, so I wanted to take it all off, down to the bare wood.

Do you want to know how thick and gloppy the previous paint application was?  Do you see this nail? 

  Here is a side on view of it.

The paint was built up so much on the door frame that this nail was barely visible.  What's even worse, there was no reason for that nail to be sticking out that far.  I found my hammer, and pounded it flush with the surface of the wood. 

As the paint came off, I discovered even more shoddy workmanship. 

The little wood strip that runs down the center of the door frame -- well, there was a significant gap between that strip and the actual frame itself.  

A lot of the gap has paint stuffed into it, but it's still there.  So, now I'm back to wanting to pull it all off and replace the whole mess.  Since I want it done right, I think I'm going to have to ask for help with this. 


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