Sunday, March 29, 2009

The joy of engineers and cats



As you know I'm married to an engineer and although he isn't quite this goofy, he is a little bit. That is why I love him so. And you know cats. We have had our share over our lifetime with many many in our home from time to time. We are down to one and she rules the roost around here. Hope you enjoy these goofy guys. I've seen this one before, but it was good to see it again. And engineers really are a "whole nother breed of cat". I learned that long ago and far away. They just see things differently for sure.

Things that make you go hmmm...

The new Pringles packages seemed to have an error in the weight of the potato crisps. The "new" improved version has a can that is much larger than the older version

side by side

Pringle caper



As you can see the weights are different and the "larger" container actually weighs less. Others have noticed the discrepancies as well. http://consumerist.com/5169138/this-pringles-super-stack-size-traps-the-math-illiterate

The math illiterate referenced would be me. My hubby, the math major, noticed the discrepancy last week sometime.

Today is our daughter's birthday, so I won't be around much.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

new fence

The mesquite trees got fooled..sort of

Well, so much for the mequite trees predicting spring and all. They got fooled in a big way this weekend. There is a blizzard in the Texas panhandle and there were flurries around here this morning, but we didn't see any snow at our house. So, maybe the mesquites in my part of town knew it wasn't going to freeze right here.

The cold front blew in yesterday afternoon about 4 in the afternoon with super strong winds and it was a sight to see of us trying to put the sheets over the peas. I wasn't too worried about lettuce and the other cold weather vegetables, but wasn't sure about the peas. It got down into the 30s last night and will get down to mid 30s tonight, but warmer tomorrow. The good thing about a cold spell in Texas is that it is gone in almost no time. It is very cold today, but tomorrow it is supposed to get up to 70F.

P.S.-Well, the 6pm news said it was going to get down to freezing tonight. Thank goodness we didn't plant any of the warmer weather plants yet. The gerber daisies came back from last year plants. I guess from seed. They are covered, and I do hope they don't get frost bitten.

Friday, March 20, 2009

How do you know it is spring in your area?

In your area of the country or your country, what criteria do you use to "guess" that spring is nigh and winter is over? In Texas some of us look to the mesquite trees. It is said they will not leaf out until all danger of frost is over. They have been fooled sometimes, but rarely. During the summer I make a mental note of where the mesquite trees are located, and forget by the next year near springtime. But I found a bonaza of them behind a shopping mall and only have to drive past to see. Mesquites are not a tree we grow as a landscape tree, even though I think they are beautiful. But most think they are a pest and a half. Some say they are always dropping something or shedding something or the 2" or 3" long thorns aren't fun when you run into them while mowing.

Anyway, they helped wild horses and cattle and native Americans' and settlers survive the harsh Texas summers with the beans they dropped that could be ground and added to flour, and the shade they provide, and shade in summertime Texas is a big plus. And then there were some of us who started looking to them to let us know when spring is around the corner.

So, let us know what you think is an indicator that spring is there in your little corner of the world and it is safe to plant the tender summer plants. I'll probably be putting in tomatoes next week and that I'm feeling pretty sure spring really is here and the mesquite trees have leafed in my secret grove. Anyway, I still have the garden sheets in case it does happen to get cold again.

Spring has really sprung everywhere!

Today is when the vernal equinox occured....meaning the center of the sun has moved over the equator. So, the equinox occured at 7:44 AM Central Time today. All you ever wanted to know about the equinoxes and solstices you can find here at the National Geographic website. Hope you guys are feeling all springy and all...even if you have snow on the ground still. Just saw on tv that it is snowing in New York again.

I'll take some pix of the fence and all the stuff we have hauled out of the yard over the past week in a few minutes. It is still sort of darkish here this morning.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Anticipation....

Oh agh...we have been working in the yard clearing out flowerbeds for the past two days. The fence guys are supposed to return this afternoon to put up the fence. We are going to stain it with redwood stain after they get it up.

Last week we put out over 15 bags of leaves and this week the same or more. I gave up counting sometime yesterday. The deal is we want to get all the junk out of the flowerbeds so we can plant them with the nice new shrubs we bought a couple of weeks ago when they had a really good deal on them at the nursery. I am getting very antsy wishing the fence guys would come on....but I'm pretty sure my hands couldn't plant anything right now. They are very stiff from raking. The flower beds are tidier than they have been in a long time. It is difficult to work and keep house and the yard, too. Now that I'm no longer tied up with the working part we can get everything back into shape again.

The flower beds had gotten so overgrown with the shrubs we found all sorts of plants we had forgotten about. I need to draw up a plan to decide where everything should go. I'd forgotten about some daylillies out there. Expanding that bed would be really nice.

There is a cool front coming in tonight, but it is still very warm out. Probably why the fence guys haven't shown up. Installing fences is is a very hard way to make a living. Maybe the cool front will come in before they get here. That would make it nicer for them.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ruby Tuesday and Happy St. Patrick's Day





Spring has sprung in the greenhouse.







Ruby Tuesday is hosted by Mary the Teach over at Work of the Poet. Stop by and sign up on Mr. Linky to play. Also, today green photos are allowed in honor of St. Patrick's Day.
The shamrocks are growing in a pot on our patio.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Prayer Shawl


I've been working on this prayer shawl recently. It will be nice when it is finished. I'm not working it in the trinity stitch so it won't have the pretty edging, but my knitting buddies told me Homespun is very difficult to read the stitches and it wouldn't really make that much difference in the long run. Sure wish it would make me look that young and pretty when I'm finished with it.

I'm about a little more than 1/3 done.

The knitting instructions are at this link. It is a free pattern from Lion Brand yarn


A little west side story

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

The Jets and the Sharks got ready to rumble, but that dang thumb thing messes with the switchblade holding part, too. Oh well...life goes on and they look really cool anyways.

Meanwhile, Gil Grissom after leaving CSI has found another gig and a new assistant

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pics to ponder

And the Surgeon General says...


Best refrigerator magnet



Best T-shirt design



Fortune to remember...

Words of Wisdom

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

Photobucket





Nellie R. Stevens holly along our back fence. It can be seen better now that we have taken down the old worn out wooden fence that was very pitiful.

Photobucket

My server went down before I could finish this morning.

You can see red geraniums through the greenhouse walls. There is much much more in the greenhouse now. We have planted many seeds into little grow pots. It is so exciting to watch the seedlings grow. The tomatoes have put on their secondary leaves and are starting to really look like tomato plants. Planted some coleus, chives, cilantro, and many others I just can't think of right now. We saved some coffee containers to use for mixing the Miracle Grow in. It is reaching the point where we need to move some plants out, but after being in the upper 80s for the past two weeks, it is going to get cold again tomorrow.

I did bring in some of the red geraniums for Valentine's Day, but didn't get the picture posted. Having the greenhouse has been a real blast. We bought ours for $350 at Harbor Freight, but I've seen practically the exact same thing for $850 recently...not at Harbor Freight.

I don't have a picture yet, but we bought a Meyer lemon tree Sunday to keep in a large pot on the patio. My daughter lives in Galveston and has the trees growing in her yard. On Thanksgiving she just went into the yard and picked some for our dinner. Maybe we will have some this year. There are many small ones on the tree, but it will have to live in the greenhouse during the winter up here in North Central Texas.






Ruby Tuesday is hosted by Mary the Teach over at Work of the Poet. Stop by and sign up on Mr. Linky to play.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Maybe the 25 Deep Questions were deeper than I thought. There were many ways to answer and since I was in a light hearted mood, that is how I answered. Apparently some took them much more seriously than I. If feelings were hurt, I apologize.

25 or 22 Deep Questions

25 or 22 DEEP Questions... After I started this I saw that Melli had left out 3 questions.


I picked up this me me at Melli's. I'm not tagging - but if you do it let me know!

1. What is more difficult for you, looking into someones eyes when you are telling them how you feel, or looking into someone’s eyes when they are telling you how they feel?

I'm an eye contact person, so it would be very easy to tell someone I loved them while gazing into their eyes. It is also very easy for me to tell someone off while boring into their eyesockets with my laser gaze.

2. Think of the last time you were REALLY angry. WHY were you angry? Do you still feel the same way?:

I was really angry last week. I had been to the doctor and he had told me he would call in three prescriptions. I assumed...you know about that assume thing...anyway, that he or someone would call them in after I left the office. I checked at the pharmacy and no prescription...ah well, I called the office and was told his nurse would call it in after office hours. Still ok with me. I understand time issues in an office. Called the pharmacy later that evening about 8 PM and still no rx. I was sort of ticked, but thought the pharmacy was jerking me around. The next day after talking with his nurse twice I finally got the prescriptions over 18 hours later. I was furious with his nurse because she had told me she had called them in. I rarely get angry, but that just put me over the edge and she got an earful, too. And yes, I am still pissed off about it.

3. You are on a flight from Honolulu to Chicago nonstop. There is a fire in the back of the plane. You have enough time to make ONE phone call. Who do you call? What do you tell them?:

I'd call my husband, but he would probably be with me. If so, I'd call my youngest daughter to let her know we loved her and her siblings and if she didn't tell them, I'd haunt her. Actually I'd call the stewardess to offer some help putting out the fire and not worry with the phone about it.

4. You are at the doctor’s office and he has just informed you that you have approximately one month to live. Do you tell anyone/everyone you are going to die? What do you do with your remaining days? Would you be afraid?:

I'm such a weenie, I'd probably tell everyone and anyone who would listen, but I'd want to spend the time with my family. I doubt I'd spend much time on the computer at all. So, if it happens you guys will get one last post and that will be it.


5. You can have one of the following two things. Which do you choose? Why? Love and Trust:

If I could only have one thing it would be Trust. Physical love lasts for a long time, but there comes a time when companionable love is ok. Also, it is my feeling that if you have trust you already have love.

6. You are walking down the street on your way to work. There is a dog drowning in the canal on the side of the street. Your boss has told you if you are late even once more, you are fired. Do you take the time to save the dog’s life?

If it was me and the dog and I could save it, I'd take the chance on my job, but if it was a question of losing my job and being able to take care of my children ..well, the children will have an employed mother to buy food for them.

7. You are unfaithful to your spouse/significant other. Do you tell him/her? Why or Why not?:

It wouldn't happen, but if it did...I wouldn't tell. There is no reason to inflict pain on someone I love for no good reason...or for a bad reason for that matter. I don't think everything must be shared in a relationship to the detriment of the other person. It would NEVER be an ongoing thing if it did ever happened. Yuck

8. Your friend confesses that he/she has feelings for you more then just friendship. He/she is falling in love with you. What do you do/say?:

Whether man or woman, I would be all weirded out, but tell them we just can't feel that way and stay friends. And then we would both fall over laughing our heads off.

I don't know what Melli did with number 9, but it wasn't there. So, I'm leaving it blank, because I'm just not feeling very psychic tonight.

10. Are you the kind of friend that you would want to have as a friend?

Mostly I think I would like me as a friend. I like to do what I like to do and that works in the getting along part. I'm pretty thoughtful of myself, too. Yeah...I like me pretty well.

11. Does love = sex?

Uh..NO...who would think that if they are over 16 years old.

13. When was the last time you told someone HONESTLY how you felt regardless of how difficult it was for you to say? Who was it? What did you have to tell the person.

That would be this past Thursday after not getting my prescriptions for over 18 hours. I honestly told her she lied to me and that I didn't appreciate it at all. It was the nephrologist's nurse. I felt angry when I told her that. Actually I was mad as hell, because he had prescribed prednisolone for the gout flare I was having and it meant a great deal of difference in the pain level I knew would decrease radically within 24 hours after starting it. I didn't feel bad about telling her off at all.

14. What would be (or what was) harder for you to tell a friend, you love them or that you do not love them back?

You know..I don't think I'd have the courage to tell someone I didn't love them back. That would be one I'd avoid and eventually drift away from. If it was "that kind of love".

15. What do you think would be the hardest thing for you to give up? Why would it be hard to lose?

It has been very hard to realize I can't do as much as I used to be able to do physically. Losing independence is hard as hell. The other day when we were trimming shrubs a limb whipped back and hit my eye. It hurt some, but I started crying because what really bothered me was that I couldn't do all the yard work by myself like I used to be able to do. That bothered me a lot.

16. Excluding romantic love, when was the last time you told someone you loved them?

My sweet grandson was the last one I told I loved him. How could I not love the daylights out of him. He is perfect...you know.

Again...I don't know what Melli did with number 17...so still not feeling psychic. Long day and just got home from an opera.

18. Imagine: it is a dark night, you are alone, it is raining outside, you hear someone walking around outside your window. WHO do you wish was there with you?

I would like to have a policeman over visiting at a time like that. Oh..just read that again. I'd call 911 and get a bunch of policemen over to check it out. They are very good about checking out weird creepy things. My daughter used to date a policeman and he was very good to help me change the light bulb on the front porch and thank goodness he got there before I totally took the entire light fixture apart.

19. Would you give a homeless person CPR if they were dying? Why or Why not?:

Dude...No, sorry if you are a bum on the streets with God knows what diseases, from AIDS to all those dreadful liver diseases, I won't be giving you CPR. On the other hand if I was dying and needed CPR and the bum on the street was the only one around....well, I'd rather die.


Melli took out #20 too..what's a girl to do?

21. You are holding onto your grandmother’s hand and the hand of a newborn that you do not know as they hang over the edge of a cliff. You have to let one go to save the other. Who do you let fall to their death? What was your reason for making the decision?:

Farewell Granny....a newborn has life before them and sometimes that is just how it goes. It would have to be the older person, because the child is helpless and hasn't had a chance to live. I would understand and want the person who would be holding my hand and my grandson's hand. Let me go and save him without a second thought.


22. Are you old fashioned?

I'm not sure what old fashioned is anymore. Tonight I was listening to some older ladies talking about how excited they were that the movie "Pillow Talk" was going to be on next week's movie night. I'm not that old fashioned. I do like the old movies, but the Rock Hudson/Doris Day thing is beyond me. I think people should get married when they have children and I actually think it would be even better if they got married before they had children. If that makes me old fashioned, well...yes..I am. I also get teary when I sing the National Anthem and say the pledge of allegiance.

23. When was the last time you were nice to someone and did NOT expect anything in return for it?

All the time. I'm surprised when someone appreciates what I do for them.

24. Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a broken heart, or never loved at all? Why?

I'm with Melli on this: TRUE LOVE is the ONLY way to go! Not every having loved would be so sad. I would relish a broken heart to have been able to love and be loved.

25. If you could do anything or wish anything, what would it be?

Banish Daylight Savings Time

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Staying connected

This is the week I spend in the company of women a couple of times, and enjoy it very much. I will go when I don't feel all that well or have something that is only marginally less fun to do. I pick my women's groups over most everything.

The knitting group meets once a week and they have been together for about seven years. It is not the easiest thing to get to know them, but in some ways it is. The ones I'm with are genuinely nice and not only talk about their interests but ask me about mine. Once we get started knitting we chatter like magpies.

They are quick to help with needlework problems and accept my help on such things as how to make black bean soup the really easy way. My knitting group meets on Monday night at a cafe bakery called Panera's. We either have a light supper or coffee and a pastry to "pay" for using their big table with the great lights, if we can get it. We eat and then sit and knit for about an hour and a half. Women and girls stop by the table to see what we are doing and chat for a few minutes. We have encouraged them to bring their yarn and join us, but so far nobody has. One girl is a TCU student and said she would love to join us when her classes are over for the semester. She is just too overwhelmed with studies right now. I hope she does come join us.

Our knitting group talks about whatever comes into our heads and then the chatter is on. There is usually a lot of laughter as we share our lives. One woman has a son who was born profoundly deaf. He is grown with children of his own now and his children are not deaf. From what his mother tells he is getting pay back for some of the things he put her through while he was growing up. She told me it is rare that deaf parents have deaf children, something I didn't know. I have taken sign language classes in the past, but since I don't have anyone with whom to sign, the classes were not particularly helpful, except I gained a lot of knowledge of the deaf community. I thought I might want to be an interpreter and wanted to see if it was something I could learn easily. I didn't have trouble learning the signs that much, but to be a certified interpreter the classes were very intense and time consuming. That was during the time my father was in a nursing home after his stroke left him paralyzed completely on one side. He needed a lot of my time and our two youngest children were still living at home. So, I didn't pursue a career in sign interpreting for the deaf. It still bothers me that the tv subtitles are so poor for the deaf, but the typists are typing in real time if it is the news. It is difficult to type that quickly, but dang! So much is garble it is a wonder deaf folks have any idea whatever is going on in the world. I'm amazed about what is going on most of the time and I can hear.

The other group of women I meet with once a month is a group that belong to a woman's club and they have known each other for decades...they started in their club while I was figuring out what I wanted to do when I "grew up". One of my friends wanted to join that club when she "grew up" and she is working on me to join, but for now the lunch dates are enough for me. Our lunch get togethers are much like the knitting group, but not as open. I think knitters are just more down to earth women. The lunch group shares knowledge of where is the best place to find certain foods and the best places to eat and the best places to buy clothes. At least one other lady shares an interest in gardening and was very interested in my little greenhouse. She was wishing she had planted some Lady Banksia roses to grow over an arbor when she moved in to her home six years ago, because now they would be full and lush. I urged her to plant them this year. I think they grow fairly quickly and the sooner started the sooner she will have her dream of them fulfilled. We talked today of going over to the Chandor gardens in Weatherford in the next month or so. After that it will be way too hot to do much outside. It is a very beautiful garden designed by a gentleman from England and is one of the finer gardens laid out in English style with Chinese elements. I'm looking forward to going over there one afternoon or morning if not with them then with my husband.

My garden is needing attention at the moment. There is great excitement about the seeds I planted at the first of February coming up. The peas have finally started growing enough I've put the stakes in for them to climb on....again. We had to take them out last weekend when it was very cold here so we could cover the new plants with sheets to keep them from getting bitten by the frost. Tomatoes have germinated in the greenhouse and I'm pretty sure we are going to have enough dill for the city. Lettuce is coming up....and it will get bitter when it starts getting hot. I may not have planted it soon enough, but heck the seeds were only 19 cents.

All in all the two groups of women I meet with are great fun and my husband and I went to an AARP meeting *gasp* the other day and knew people there, too. We are going to the TCU opera series with them this weekend. They provide a little bus and it costs $5 each, so I didn't figure we could lose on that deal. My husband's high school bunch meets once a month and they are quickly becoming part of our lives again, too. Life is pretty good, you know. It takes little to keep us happy and entertained.

My lunch bunch was talking about a website a young man made of videos of his grandmother making foods she cooked in the depression and telling what it was like then. I thought what a great idea to preserve the recipes and how to make the dishes, and also to be able to share her knowledge with so many others. I found it just now!! http://www.youtube.com/user/DepressionCooking

I didn't grow up in the depression, but was a child of children of the depression I learned a lot about saving money. During the next few months I think maybe posts about how to make food stretch and a dollar, as well, might be interesting to some people. With three children we made do with a lot less and we were happy. If you have any good stories to share send them to me.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Happy Wednesday

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Hope all of you with snow are coping well and having hot chocolate with marshmallows and maybe a dash of cinnamon. You must read Judy's post over at Living on The Other Side of the Hill's, about the health benefits of spices. You might want to dedicate a small part of your yard to a little herb garden after reading it. It is really easy to grow herbs. They like the worst part of the garden and will reward you with good stuff. Plant what you like and will use...that is a big plus. I'm getting the gardening bug bad and can hardly restrain myself from clearing out all the beds and planting warm weather crops, but it isn't time yet. However, I noticed the oregano, sage, and the especially wonderful pineapple sage is coming out. I picked some oregano to go into a dish for our dinner the other night. It was good to go out there again to gather some herbs.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy Square Root Day

Today is square root day, a day that only occurs 9 times in a century. The last one was February 2, 2004. CNet reports the day will be celebrated by revelers who will cut root vegetables into squares and cubes and other things into the square root symbol....possibly something made of jello. Today is a math geek holiday of the kind possibly celebrated by the characters on "The Big Bang Theory", one of my favorite tv shows. However, Penny, the guys' adorable neighbor across the hall is like the rest of us, and Square Root Day wouldn't be high on her holiday calendar.

There is also another math holiday that is Pi Day observed on March 14th. (3.14) Revelers on that day walk in circles. (See CNet for more information on this holiday.)

The math world does have their fun days. That is why I am married to a math major. He rocks! And he understands all this math stuff. Maybe I'll make potatoes tonight...those cut into cubes nicely. He actually has a device to cut vegetables into cubes! Oh yay more time to make the jello and cut it into the square root symbol.

Happy Square Root day!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Christian Panties

I got this from a friend and laughed so much. We live in the Bible Belt, so it is familiar territory.

Coming round again

Sorry I've been away for so long. This past week we have been clearing brush in the backyard in preparation of having a new fence installed. Apparently the fence people don't have anyone, so I relented and helped my dear husband get a lot out and bundled for the trash collectors. We finally found someone to clear one of the beds of shrubs I wanted to replace with evergreens for privacy. The new neighbors on the west side of us are out in their garden much more than the neighbors before them. It is wonderful they are out, but we have become used to our privacy.



After being out so much with the pollen issues that caused some problems and last night I must have had something odd. My fever was up and I was sure it was they other strain of flu going around, but the fever broke last night and I felt better today. I slept most of the day, but felt so much better. There is a reason they call illness a disease. It is dis ease and not ease.



I'll try to make it around to all your blogs tomorrow, but I'm headed for some more sleep right now.