Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Flashback - What was he thinking?

Have you ever had the neighbor from Hell?

Did you let him get your goat?

ba-ba-bad neighbor.

In 2005 I moved from the midwest to CA after marrying my high school sweetie. Well sorta. (Another story, another day maybe.) We actually married in 2004 but I had to recondition and sell my condo and a daughter needed to graduate before moving. Very hysterically complicated, but all worked out ok, but it wasn't so fun being married and living 2500 miles apart for the first 6 mo., lol.

Anyway, back to the silly picture. When it became obvious to my neighbor that I was moving, he began to display some VERY strange behavior. I don't know if alzheimer's begins to display this way or not, but he was very odd with his actions.

His sitting room (a bedroom he used for television and reading, etc.) windows faced the parking lot, and was directly in front of where I would park. That room was along side the long wall that connected with my condo. (His 2 sitting windows on the left, my 2 kitchen windows on the right behind the tree). He had mini-blinds on those 2 windows and in the evening he would turn on a bright stand-up lamp, place it on the far side of the room, and proceed to sit on the sofa in his white cotton undershirt and boxers. Oh..did I forget to mention his outfit included the lampshade, ON HIS HEAD, the entire evening as he sat to watch TV (which was also blaring because his hearing was poor). It would be very dark outside, his miniblinds drawn at 45-degree angles (opposite of course) by pulling only one string of the system, and sit in all his glory for friends, visitors and prospective buyers to see. He left the blinds like this all day while I had it for sale. Now go back and click on that last pictures to get a load of those blinds, you can't see it if you don't click, lol.

Normally, Silly Billy, was a fastidious guy. His flowers were the talk, his unit was stunning. He'd redone the entire place, and it was gorgeous.

What could possibly have been his motivation?

1) He maybe thought the next neighbor could be worse than I was?

2) He wanted to pull his property value down? Hadn't he recently tried to sell?

3) He really didn't want me to move? Before he got goofy I had made applesauce from the apples from his tree for him...baked him cookies...shared veggies from my garden.

I had to contact the HOA who sent him a stern letter about "being a good neighbor" and most of the silliness stopped for a bit.

This picture was taken as my movers were packing the moving van, and the last day we day we saw Bill.

Poor Silly Billy, I wish him all the luck, he was so sick. You have to pity a man who tries to make the world as grumpy-at-heart, just to make himself feel better.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mentalpause & the Trainwreck of Emotions

My dh and I went to Cracker Barrel this Sunday morning when we discovered we were out of milk. (Like we need an excuse to go out?)

My "baby" used to work at Cracker Barrel and donned her cute little 3 star apron (maybe 4?) and off she'd scamper to serve the weary and hungry travellers. Don't roll your eyes, she was cute. Even if her freshly laundered shirt still smelled like the restaurant, lol. She is a workhorse, and has made everyone proud with her work ethic.

This is a picture of my youngest last fall just after completing Army Basic Training. (She posts her pic on My I shouldn't get fussed at...right?) I may have shared it before, it's one of my favorites.

Today at Cracker Barrel, a boatload of Reservists piled into a table that were in clear view. Another customer got out of his seat and patted the shoulder of one of the soldiers and said, "Good job." I had to change seats with dh, my goodness, I miss my kidlets. Something about seeing those guys in uniform just tugs at my heart. I know she's a Reservist, I know she wears the uniform proudly and is willing to serve at a moment's notice. I've yet to see her in this uniform tho, and seeing these guys just makes it so much more profound for me. I tear up every dang time I see them. Airports are bad too, lol.

So I changed seats, and wouldn't you know it, another table was seated in my view, lol. I sucked it up, our table only had so many sides!

I'll get to see 2 of my 3 girls in late July. My 2 sisters and I gather together every summer to regain our touch of family. My sister's daughter and my daughters join us whenever possible. I make a point to involve all family members for a family reunion when it's my turn to host. I get to see the extended family children so seldom this is my golden opportunity.

My 3 girls live 2000+ miles from me. Work and money keep us apart far too long. We communicate often and share, "I love you" on the phone...but my goodness, it's been WAY long this time!

Hey girls, "COME ON DOWN".

I'm this girl's "Mamma Llama", I have no idea how I got this name, but I kinda like it! *vbg* I'll just presume it's 'cuz I'm warm and fuzzy, and leave it at that, lol.

Oh, and #2? She'll be next in the spotlight. 8^)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I survived!!!

No, it really wasn't that bad. I actually had a good day...I think, lol.

My job is in the AP Section of the Finance & Risk Department of our County. I have never worked for the government, so this is "an experience". I have "my own" cubicle and a fairly quiet office of 5 others. The end of fiscal is this month, and I was told pre-employment that if chosen, I would be working all Saturdays of July (but I do get overtime!). I bit off a big nut, huh! Might as well see how ugly it gets, then enjoy the quieter time.

I was able to "be green" and take the Express bus to town, I get a pass for the entire month for $10. It's about 15 miles one way and you do have to pay for parking, so this is a win-win situation I dare say! The bluework goes with me in the morning for sure. I missed it at lunchtime, the first day of work lunch is always terribly akward.

Thank you for all your well wishes. My mouth is healing, I stayed pretty much "on" my ibuprophen which worked like a charm. Good thing they didn't do a specimin test, I have ALOT of drugs in my system, lol. Just a little jaw pain left, that's to be expected. What a crazy few days I've had.

Have a great "rest of the week", I'll be checking in really early in the AM, and again just before bed each day to make sure y'all are behaving!

Oh, and I strongly recommend you find out what Nadine's up to, she's got something up her sleeve!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Join me on my pity pot please

Just when I get too big for my britches...
...the sinus infection that I had been treating for antibiotics...

...turned into an emergency root canal today. My dental appointment was 1:00pm, my endodontist at 3:15pm, I just got home at 6:30pm.

...I start my new job tomorrow.

Please hug chipmunk cheeks gently today.

(I did get some stitching done while waiting and another neutral log cabin done today tho, lol..ouch, t'ain't much fun to smile)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Flashback & I GOT A JOB!

WOO-HOO...Somebody WANTS me!!!

Now if I could just figure out how this interview went any different! I've been interviewing since late April and prospective employers would say, "We'll get back with you in a FEW WEEKS." Didn't they need someone NOW? I just don't get the mentality here, but that's because I cut my big girl teeth in the Silicon Valley where you seriously have to hold your own!

I went on the "winning" interview Thursday at 3:20pm, finished by 3:45pm, pulled into my driveway at 4:30 and they were on the phone with an offer. Additionally, if I could start by the 24th, I could enjoy a 4.6% increase as of July 1. Um, yeah?!

To my benefit, all I can say is this was a jury of my peers type interview. We seemed to be *ahem* all in the same station of life, and I am excited to have some prospective friends and co-workers. My last couple of jobs were in small locations with few employees.

So now that you're all hepped up, how about a flashback into "Old Jobs". OMG, mine are SO varied. And look at those notes, WHY did I put up with this??? lol

Dental Assistant - 2 yr in high school; 1 yr in college - pre-glove era; pre-AIDS

Chevrolet Assembly Line Worker - 3 mo. while in college on an assignment. What an education, and what a fun job! I kid you not!

Nutrition Aide in Senior's Home - 2 weeks - served toast

Data Entry clerk - 3 yrs - Sprinkler system design - worked in unheated warehouse in MI

Data Entry clerk - 2 yrs - office made in retired bathroom lounge

Mortgage collections servicing clerk - 3 yrs - loved working near home

Secretary to Comptroller @ another mortgage co. - 1 yr. - WAY out of my element

Clerk at same mortgage co. auditing mortgage packages - 2 yrs. - b-o-r-i-n-g

Home child care - 11 years while 3 girls were young - was like getting paid to stay home. We had a blast...all of us!
Shipping store manager - 6 years - I can still pack the snot into/out of anything or design anything out of cardboard.
Retail fish monger - 6 mo. - Kids would ask me to go to the laundry room to peel off my clothes before I socialized with the family

Shrimp Importing Secretary - 6 years - I.loved.this.job. Got to organize every bit of this company into a well-oiled machine. Every thing from choosing the software to designing the entire UPC system. Nothing better than working from which you created.

Community Television Admin. Asst. - 1 yr - I.loved.this.job. Had to leave some very dear friends and associates behind when dh's job shifted. I was chief-cook-and-bottle washer, learned how to film television programs and do live shoots. A great creative outlet.

I start Tuesday, I'll probably not catch up with myself until next weekend, this will be an adjustment after almost 3 months of sleeping in until 5:15 (OK, so I'm an early riser!) and doing our "own thang".

Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

2-fer today, please read on!

Just because I care...

See you Tuesday 1pm PST.

Quilting Fitzy

Yummy Sunday

I l-o-v-e to cook.

DH l-o-v-e-s to cook.

So I do my best to stay out of the kitchen.

I surrender to temptation about once a week, and today was THE day.

This is my Apple Dapple Cake recipe. It makes 2 loaves, and it freezes VERY well.

No, I still haven't found the "Celery Salt" ceramic that I'm searching for. There are several on ebay, I'm still watching for the specific one to complete my silly set.
One hour of cooking and the carmel sauce on top...yields:

Yeah, I couldn't resist to dig it outta the pan before it was entirely cooled, lol. This loaf is 1/2 gone (with the addition of coffee) and hopefully I'll get the second loaf in the freezer before we eat it. Suppose you could top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some whipped cream, but we like it naked.

Apple Dapple Cake

2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1-1/2 c. oil (I use canola)
Combine above ingredients and beat well.
Add 1 t. vanilla
In separate bowl combine:
3 c. flour sifted with
1 t. soda
1 t. salt
Add dry to wet ingredients and add:
3 c. raw chopped peeled apples (I used Gala)
1 c. chopped pecans

Pour into 2 standard loaf pans, greased and floured.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Topping (make just as cakes finish baking)

Place in saucepan:
1 c. light brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/4 c. evaporated milk
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil 2-1/2 mintes.
Pour over hot cakes while topping is hot

Cool completely in pans before removing

Freezes very well.

Let me know if you try it!

Enjoy your day today~

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Bluework HELP needed!

Of course, true to form, once I uttered the words, "I don't like redwork," I was destined to fall deeply in love with the next closest thing, BLUEWORK.

I collect pre-depression cobalt glass, so my attraction to all things blue is common knowledge. You know now...right? 8^)

I purchased this kit about 7 years ago while on a mini-vacation to Reno, Nevada. I looked out my hotel window and lo-and-behold, a quilt shop right next door!

The pattern is "Cottage Cameos" by Plumples of Idaho.

This is my first stitchery project of this kind. I've done lots of pre-printed pillowcases and never had the problem I am experiencing. I completed these 3 blocks back in 2000 right after purchasing the kit. Now a few years down the road I am motivated to work on it again. The patterns were all pre-transferred, and they are disappearing!!! They are dispersing into the surrounding fabric, blurring so I can hardly figure out where to stitch. BUT....that's not all, when I gently wash the blocks (I used a couple drops of dish soap-Palmolive) the dispersed areas are not washing out! If you click on "Baking" block for example, you can see a rosey glow under the stitching.

I have not pressed these blocks because I'm afraid the ink will set and I'll never get it all out. They have never been subject to extreme heat or extra moisture or anything, just all bundled together waiting patiently for my return. (Not even in a ziploc! I swear!)

So...what to do, what to do?

I need your help. Should I try Shout spray or OxyClean? Will that adversely effect the perl cotton?

Needless to say, I'm stitching like mad before I can't see the design any longer, but geez, I'd like to get it out once I'm finished, what a pickle!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Pool Horror Story & Log Lost Love

When we fell in love with this house in December, we were wearing our rose colored glasses. We didn't see a few things that we should have, I suppose we are not alone. In reality, ALL of our oversights would not have made dollar-one difference but it would have been "nice to know upfront", right? (Please ignore the fact that I didn't skim before I took the picture!)

We have really hard water. No, our's is worse, OH YEAH, IT IS! The prior owner did not put an effort into keeping the lime at bay and boy, are we paying his dues. We found a gentleman to use Magnesium Sulfate (epsom salt) to blast away the lime. We were ecstatic, we felt very "green" and epsom would not scratch our tiles. He quoted a logical price and began the morning we were returning from our camping trip. As we pulled up at noontime he was putting his gear away and said laughingly that, "He quit!". Hmmm, ok, we'll see you tomorrow? No, I quit. No amount of money could encourage his completion so we said, "OK, BYE..." and he left agreeing to accept no money for the 1/3 of our pool he had completed. He said the lime was too thick and he would take too long, and use too much product. Geez Louise, he did the initial quote in person. We did save $525 tho, lol...well, sorta.

We refilled the pool and went on to try to find someone who could complete our job. You can't leave a pool unfilled in our climate. Oh crap, 1/3 of the pool looks STUNNING, the other 2/3 looks like above. And further, there is some type of sealant on the tiles (see the blackish stain), it's not mold, it does come off!

We were left to our own devices. We found a synthetic pumice stone (you can't use real pumice stones either, they scratch!) on my sister's recommendation and ordered 2 cases of them. You can see the blue remnants poolside. You have to scrub...and...scrub...and scrub. But goodness, they look better than the epsom salt application!!! One block cleans about 4-5 tiles and sands your hands while you're at it. Now if I could just scrub with my feet, hahaha.ew. And yes, we are gluttons for punishment. And OH, those bicepts!

OK, so I am now in the middle of yet another project. I tried (and previously posted) a paperpieced log in neutrals, and after 4 blocks, I think it IS A GO! If I had my druthers, the logs would have been smaller, but this is for a California King and the view from the great room is at least 20 feet away. This will be a s-l-o-w project since I'm nursing a bad rotator cuff, and begin PT on Thursday. Rian, your strips are beginning to creep in, the lower right has some! Thanks da-link!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday Flashback - The Haunted Castle

The city where I raised my three girls is a sleepy little bedroom community in Ohio. Smack dab in middle America. A dozen traffic lights, many churches, lovely park facilities, soccer fields, softball fields and one CASTLE.

This castle was built by hand, one “brick” at a time, beginning as Castle LaRoche in 1929 by Harry Andrews, a Knight of the Golden Trail. Harry died in 1981 but his legacy still lives on. One of Knight’s of the Golden Trail organization fundraisers used to be “The Haunted Castle” during the period around Halloween.

Halloween in Ohio is usually damp and drippy, on the verge of being downright cold. I do recollect one Halloween with a 7” snowfall and having to have soccer matches that morning. The refs had to slog their feet along the field markings to be able to make their calls.

Anyway, I digress. Lost in the abyss of my memories *sigh*

You would park at a nearby park and take a shuttle bus (aka commissioned school bus) down the very steep hillside to the castle which is nestled along the riverbank. This all contributed to the ferver of the hauntiness. They would let you into the castle just a few at a time and you would wind your way along the cold dank recesses being “boo’d” and “screamed” along the way…cold fingers raking your hair, chains clanking, scarey noises, the whole nine yards.

The girls became old pro’s after a few repeat seasons, it all became too familiar I guess. It was a “family event”, and we all would come away breathless and giggly. The girls still search out Haunted Houses tho, Cincinnati has their share of some “good” ones, yet I don’t think this certain fundraiser remains active. You can however, still arrange to be married there, schedule scouting overnights, etc., or just tour the castle.

Those were the days.