Friday, August 31, 2012

August 31 - Hidden

Hidden in a corner of the refrigerator, a jar of peanut butter.
Placed there so my husband doesn't overdose on it.

Live blogging from the Middle of Nowhere

This is what live blogging looks like around here, courtesy of my husband. He kicked himself all day yesterday because his first assessment of the Ryan speech included the words "lying" and "liar." He tossed that one out and replaced it with something more, um, benign. When everyone from the Washington Post to called Ryan a liar, all my husband could do was say that he'd said it first.

But there was no proof. Heh.

Winnie, did you tell your husband he and I had similar true-blue temperaments? Denise, your insight is so valuable and further proof that we need to work as hard as we can to kick the Tea Party out of Congress. And Alison. You bet I'm going to preach it, sister. And you're going to help me see the good side, because you always see the good side. What a gift.

One of my character flaws is the propensity to demonize without looking deeper. Contempt prior to investigation, if you will. Not in all areas of my life, thank goodness. I dove right into AA and all it had to offer, headfirst and unquestioningly, with the attitude that millions had gone before me and turned out pretty good, so maybe I had a chance.

But I can't find the good in the GOP these days. What I hear is how much they want to help their rich friends. What they propose are policies which have already been tried, and which have failed. What they say is that their political agenda has nothing to do with helping We The People and everything to do with regaining Power.

They need some compassion, understanding, empathy. They don't need power. Last night's big wrap-up in Tampa put a patina of humanity on the major players, but when I scratch the surface I still see that they're out of touch with me and my life.

And probably with you and yours, as well.

Like I said a couple days ago: I can't wait until next week.

P.S. I LOVE that this is the 1234th post. Heh.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 30 - Card

My business card.

One-sided political junkie

As political junkies go, I'm right up there with the best of half of them, I suppose.

You see, I can't quite stomach watching the GOP convention. Alison has done a great job of detailing yesterday's events, and I'll thank her publicly for that. Oh, and my husband writes notes and leaves them on the laptop, so I don't miss anything. Last night he wrote that Ryan is pro-Romney and anti-Obama. And Ryan "also went into some detail in describing that he is pro-Ryan." Heh.

(Aside: Back in the old days, knitters got together online in a Yahoo group called the Knitlist. That's how I first "met" Alison. I quit reading the Knitlist a few years ago and lost track of quite a few members who are suddenly popping up as friends of my Democrat Facebook friends. I'm loving this small world, connected by invisible threads.)

When the Washington Post – not exactly a liberal mouthpiece – publishes a fact-checking piece on Ryan's speech, well, that says a lot. More than I can say, especially since I haven't done any research. Because Alison did it for me.

A friend stopped by yesterday who is as left of the salad fork as I am, and between the two of us we've solved all the problems of the world. What we haven't figured out is how any Republican woman can vote for the Republican ticket this year.

Republicans have been taken over by the well-financed Astro-turf Tea Party Rethuglicans. The current batch of GOP candidates are nothing like the moderate Republicans who actually worked with their colleagues to govern. We should have known things wouldn't go well when Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated after President Obama's victory that "Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term."

Here's the GOP in a four-minute nutshell, courtesy of Will McAvoy, Alan Sorkin's fictional anchor on the HBO series The Newsroom. There are longer pieces out there in which McAvoy identifies himself as a registered Republican. In this clip he's explaining how his party has changed:

I will work as hard as I know how to re-elect President Obama. I think our country is in grave danger if Republicans win. We need to re-elect President Obama and hand him a Democratic-controlled Congress, and we need to bring back some sanity to the political process.

Countries fail. The GOP seems to be hellbent on making the United States one of them. And those who will lose the most are women. I can't let that happen. My granddaughters deserve more. And so do yours.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Can't wait for next week

I'm so sick of GOPRepublicanTeaPartyBS I could SCREAM!

Instead, I'll just breathe in, breathe out and move on. Or Heh.

Hey, thanks for all the comments about being busy. The beginning of a new school year – whether you're in school or have kids in school or, like me, aren't even affected by school – appears to set off the busy season.

I was so busy this morning I couldn't even blog. Who gets their teeth cleaned at 8 a.m.? I do, apparently. My new dentist and his staff are very kind, non-judgmental, never in a hurry and do all they can to make their patients comfortable. This whole denture adventure has been an ordeal, but it hasn't been their fault at all.

Eating is still problematic, but I guess I'll get used to it, eventually. At least that's what they tell me. ("They" includes the dentist, his staff, my Amish neighbors and the internets.)

After the dentist I went to work, and after work I stopped for the mail and LOOK WHAT I GOT!

Winnie, who won yarn in the Summer of Yarn Giveaway, used a little bit of it and a whole lot of her own creativity to make me a thank-you card. This is clever in so many ways, Winnie – the argyle texture, the sweet little tag, the color – it's just lovely and so thoughtful. Thank YOU!

And now I'm waiting for a friend to drop by and I'M STAYING AWAY FROM FACEBOOK. 'Cuz it's just too crazy right now. Next week will be all-Obama-all-the-time, and I can't wait!

August 29 - Down

Yes, I know taking pictures of shoes is ubiquitous these days.
So I added some flowers. Heh. Going down?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I can't keep up …

The ticker is whizzing by on Facebook, one outrageous story after another being posted by appalled and astonished friends who are making sure all their friends know about the crazy-scary GOP platform. This article hits the highlights. I'm afraid to dig for more.

It's no secret to my friends and family that I use Facebook almost exclusively for political stuff. I write about it here when it's relevant or when it's what I'm doing (hint: More politics to come between now and Election Day), but Facebook is my main political outlet.

(I'm not sure my older granddaughter realized that when she messaged me, saying, "All right, Grandma. We get it. You're a Democrat.")

Some of the best snippets that have scrolled by today are quotes from the finale of HBO's The Newsroom. Including this comment from the Coffee Party:

"It's a sad commentary on the state of the media when some of the best journalism of 2012 consistently comes from works of fiction."

This is the clip to which they refer.

Okay, I'm done. Hoping to regain some kinda normal tomorrow.

August 28 - Clock

Does anybody know what time it is?

Next up …

I need to start making lists again. How is it that life gets so busy I can't remember everything that needs to be done in my head? Early fall always seems to be a hectic time here in the Middle of Nowhere. I'm almost grateful the deer ate all the tomatoes. I seriously don't have much time for kitchen duties these days.

I've moved my grocery list to my smartphone, which was a brilliant idea. I could never remember to grab the paper list from the front of the refrigerator, but I always have my phone with me. I use an app called Listonic, which categorizes the items for you, lets you save them, offers quick lists and favorite/recent items. It's easy-peasy and works great for grocery shopping.

I've downloaded Evernote, which is probably what I'll use to keep track of all the upcoming projects. I haven't started exploring it yet. One of its main features is that you can sync it across all your devices. Not sure if that's really a feature I need, since the device I use most often is the phone. But it might be easier to input things initially using the laptop keyboard.

Anyway. On to the projects.

We've set a date and secured a venue for the public screening of Iron Jawed Angels. Now I need to create a poster and get the word out to local papers and radio stations. That's today's job. (So why am I blogging? Because I signed up for NaBloPoMo! I'm so glad I moved the photo posts over here, it's the only way I can keep the daily blogging streak going sometimes. Oh, and thanks to both of you for looking at them.)

I dreamed about creating a poster. Remember when I first wrote about showing the film? I had dreams that night, as well. Last night's design dreams were very helpful, actually, all I'm going to have to do is find a high-resolution image of the film's poster (or scan the cover of the DVD), put the words I dreamed with the image and print it.

Another upcoming project involves running. We're not called Knit. Run. Reap. Eat. for nothing around here. The lovely Shauna and I were texting back and forth during the Olympics and she offered me a spot in the next 5K program of Up and Running. AWESOME! (I should have written this post yesterday, and I apologize profusely for not doing so. Shauna was giving away three more spots, but the deadline was last night. Arghhh. I feel like CARP for not being more on the ball. Another reason I need to start making that list.)

I'm excited to have the kickstart of a formal running program. When I've trained for previous races, I've printed out schedules from Runner's World or Hal Higdon, and they've worked – I've crossed the finish line each time I've started a race. But this will be different, more supportive and with no race on a future schedule. It's strictly for me-me-me, to get me back in running form so that I can maybe lose some lard and not have to buy bigger clothes for winter. (My closet is much like a department store at this point, with items available in every size. I'd like to clear it out, not add to it!)

My husband and I have an annual retreat coming up in a couple weeks, and we're trying to arrange a visit from his son and family. I want to visit my son and his family during my granddaughter's fall soccer season. I'll be going to the West Virginia Jefferson-Jackson Dinner as my county's Democrat of the Year in October, and we want to have a couple of election-season parties.

So. My plate is full. And I love it that way.

When's your busy season? What time of year do you wish you could add more hours to the day, or more days to the week?

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27 - Tap

Well, since my neither of my tap-dancing granddaughters is here … you're
stuck looking at a water tap. This was taken at the garden center where I work.

Being a Democrat in West Virginia

It's hard, people. Trying to turn this state blue again is a MAJOR effort, probably impossible this election cycle when it comes to the Presidential race. Despite a majority of voters being registered Democrats, by a two-to-one margin, there's a lot of crossover and too many of them stay at home on election day.

Well, except for those who voted for that convicted felon during the primary. I wish they would have stayed home!

The upside to being a Democrat in West Virginia, and in particular being a Democratic woman, is getting to hang out for the weekend with a couple hundred like-minded souls who just can't wear enough blue. Blue shirts, blue hats, blue scarves, blue jewelry, blue, blue, blue, everywhere you looked.

It was fitting that the convention ended on Women's Equality Day, the day the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing a woman's right to vote was ratified. Republicans seem to be hell-bent on sending women back to their kitchens, barefoot and pregnant. Soon they'll be taking our right to vote away, as they are doing with young people, old people, black people and Hispanic people – most of the people who voted for President Obama in 2008. If they can't beat him fairly, they'll pass laws to suppress and disenfranchise and make it harder.

It doesn't matter how hard it is to vote. We have to do it anyway.

In West Virginia, the most important thing to do is give President Obama a couple more Democrats in the House of Representatives. My Congressman is a Democrat, but he's the only one left here. We're so small we only get three. Our Senators are both Dems, as is our Governor (one Senator and the Guv are decidedly moderate, too much so for my taste, but hey! We'll elect them and then pound them into submission!) It would be amazing if our state could help give the President the Congress he needs to really, truly do the job we elected him to do.

Am I fired up? Why, yes, yes I am. That's what happens at Democratic conventions.

I really wish I were headed for Charlotte the first week in September. If I got any more fired up, though, I might explode!

My hand knit bag and its contents brought $65 at the auction – not as much as I'd hoped, but the auctioneer started it way too low, so it's all his fault. Several women bid on it, and there was an exciting little back-and-forth flurry at the end, so that was fun. Now, though, it's time to campaign and make calls and try to convince folks around here that voting for Republicans is voting against their own interests.

Because believe me, we who live in Appalachia need a tax break more than the 1% do.

Thanks for reading … I'll be off the (blue) cloud and back to something resembling normal tomorrow.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

August 24 - Path

Since I'm spending the day at a conference,
here's the path from my hotel room toward the elevators. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 23 - Pair (Pear)

The other "pair" option was my dirty tennis shoes. Or my broken glasses.

Comments on comments

Wow, it's early.

Coupla things and then I have to scoot. 

Jen has been eloquently writing about intuitive eating, a plan I haven't learned enough about, but which intrigues me. Taking the focus off food/dieting sounds soooo desirable. I've been dieting for 50 years and I'm pretty tired of it. <smirk>

She also left a comment here a couple days ago about how her dad felt that food didn't taste as good after he began wearing dentures. To show you how intuitive eating is not part of my psyche, my first thought upon reading that was, "Hmmm. If food doesn't taste as good (it doesn't, by the way), then maybe I won't eat as much and then I'll lose weight!"

Clearly I have a long way to go.

Winnie commented yesterday: "What I love about your blog is that you are a no nonsense kind of person, shoot from the hip and are so very real."

I said a big, "Awww" when I read that, loud enough that my husband heard and asked what I was awwwing about. So I read it to him and he agreed.

Although he knows I have a blog, he's never read it. He's afraid he'll destroy the computer if he touches it (not just my computer, any computer, how's that for a power complex?), so he's never poked around the internets to find it (or anything else – which is job security for me, I suppose. Heh.)

I said, "How do you know? I could be a completely different person on the blog." He gave me a look and said, "No. You couldn't."

And he's right. What you see (read) here is what you get face-to-face.

Finally, I got a lovely compliment in an e-mail yesterday and the warm feeling I got when I read it lingers still. I want to remember how lifted up I felt when I read it (and, honestly, still feel this morning) and I want to find ways to pass it on. The world needs to feel as good as I do.

Dentures and all.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 22 - Home

Home sweet tilt-shifted Instagram-filtered home ...

Gotta go to work

I seriously don't know what's been happening to my mornings lately. I used to get up, check my e-mail, open Blogger and write a few paragraphs. I've only missed a few days (thank you, derecho) since I started doing NaBloPoMo. Sometimes my posts are simply placeholders, to keep the streak going. Sometimes I have REAL STUFF to say.

Thanks Jen and Vickie for your supportive comments yesterday. The women at the prison meeting last night were just as nice as they could be, and I ended up talking (not about dentures!) more than I usually do, without feeling embarrassed or awkward.

Eating is another matter entirely, and I have to go to a convention tomorrow through Sunday, which will definitely be awkward. But I bet I learn, as I have from you and as I did last night, that there are more denture-wearers out there than I know about right now.

And I bet it'll all turn out just fine.

Okay, off to work and a little shopping. I don't leave tomorrow until mid-afternoon. Not sure if I'll be updating through the weekend or not. Do I really want my roommate to know about my blog?

Do those of you who blog share your URL with face-to-face friends? A few of my local friends know about my secret writing life, but they don't read blogs regularly. Most everyone who stops by here is from far, far away. How about you?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 21 - Cool

Cool shade – a welcome sight and an even more welcome spot when I
walk on my road.

Round Two

It's better to look good than to feel good.
Fernando Lamas
I was sadly mistaken in thinking that once I actually got dentures, my dental problems would be over.

Oh, no, no, NO, that is not the case at all.

Everything I've read online, everything the dentist told me and everything my Amish neighbors have shared assures me that I will get used to them. I hope they're all right.

It's been less than 24 hours so far, so I suppose I should give it a chance, right? I really don't have a choice.

I'm writing all this for me, more than for you, although I figure someone out there might appreciate an account of the personal experience. You might need to go through this someday – you could get your teeth knocked out in a softball game, for instance – and I feel like I'm doing a public service.

Also, I can't not go through something like this and not write about it. I guess after all these years I've evolved into some kind of diarist.

I feel like I'm gagging all the time. Just as I've read online, there is in increase in salivation and it's extremely uncomfortable. I will say, though, that it's easier today than it was yesterday.

I can't talk very well, and I haven't been able to eat much at all. I had really looked forward to having a salad, but raw vegetables are still too difficult to handle. I'm going to try pizza tonight, though, making sure the crust is more breadlike than crispy.

Anyway, that's the news of the day from that old lady who lives in the Middle of Nowhere. I can just hear both of you saying, "Thanks for sharing." Heh.

P.S. Round Two of the apple jelly turned out great! Probably won't be eating PB&Js for a while, though.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20 - Today

Needs no comment. =)

Jelly fail. Oh, and TWO winners!

The winners first: MemiNature (first place) and Winnie (second place), send your snail-mail addresses to me at shrinkingknitter AT gmail DOT com and you can add to your stash. I found eight more balls to add to the fun. Congratulations to you both!

So I made apple jelly yesterday, with a combination of fruit from the farmer's market and the supermarket. I didn't have any apple jelly at all last year, and my trees didn't produce enough this year for a batch. Rather than steal down the road in the dark of night to fight with the deer for the neighbor's apples, I figured I'd just, oh, you know, support the farmer's market and add to the local economy and BUY FRUIT.

I love apple jelly. It's beautiful and tasty and fairly easy to make. I've made it successfully and I've had it turn out too runny, as this batch did.

I used liquid pectin, but the recipe was supposed to make eight eight-ounce jars and I ended up with a total of 78 ounces of product. So not enough pectin to make it set up. Not a problem, though … Google to the rescue! Here's how I'll be spending my morning.

All in all, I enjoyed my weekend. Sleeping Saturday away and taking it fairly easy yesterday (laundry, a little bit of convention work, knitting, dinner, jelly-making) were just enough, not more, not less. It rained (and oh, how I wish I could share the rain with those of you who are parched), so I couldn't do anything outside. And, honestly? I was fine with that. Sometimes I'm in the mood to work on and in the gardens and, well, sometimes I'm not. Mother Nature knew yesterday was one of those not-in-the-mood days.

Well, the Summer of Yarn Giveaway has ended. School starts here this week, and the start of school truly marks the end of summer, no matter what the calendar says. There is, however, still Too. Much. Yarn. Stay tuned for another giveaway sometime in the future. I'm thinking a Dead of Winter Yarn Giveaway, maybe. Because knitting is one of my favorite things to do in the dead of winter.

And I bet it's one of yours, too.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19 - Hole

What's eating the hibiscus? At this point, garden fatigue has completely
taken over and I really don't care. So there. =)

The party's over

Five p.m. today is the deadline for comments if you'd like to win the fourth and final Summer of Yarn Giveaway. I haven't reduced the size of my stash by much, but every little bit helps, and I'm moving toward a mind-place where I don't really need a lifetime supply of yarn. Not quite there yet, but close.

I was sick yesterday, sick enough to spend the day in bed. Sick enough to sleep most of the day and all night, too. Well, most of the night. At 4 a.m. I was wide awake and hungry. As I write, I'm having a bowl of yogurt with cinnamon, a banana and a little brown sugar. And coffee. I must be feeling better because I never drink coffee when I'm sick.

Done and ready to fill with goodies.
While I don't feel ill this morning, I also don't feel terribly energetic or motivated to do any of the bazillion things that need to get done around here. I'm kind of sorry the bag-knitting is finished. I still have a sweater on the needles, but I'm not terribly motivated to finish it at the moment. Still, though, knitting is knitting and after a fairly long stretch where I didn't knit a stitch, it felt good to be working on a project again.

I might just tuck myself into the den with a movie and the sweater and hope my getting-things-done mojo returns tomorrow.

We're supposed to have a lot of rain today, so that gets me off the hook for any kind of outdoor work. The next several days look good as far as temperatures go. I always think of August as the hottest month of the year, but July definitely was this year. It's been in the 80s all month so far, and the humidity has come down considerably. That's always a good thing.

You know you're getting old when you're excited about getting your dentures tomorrow! Or maybe Tuesday. You'll be the second to know. Heh. Aren't you glad the denture adventure is almost over? (I'm probably jinxing myself by writing that … I hear it can take up to six months to get used to them.)

August 18 - Inside

My view for most of the day, as I was stuck INSIDE in bed, sick. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Yay! The bag is done, done, done!

Cast off last night while watching Guess Who's Coming To Dinner (what an amazing movie), and here's what I had:

Felted things are so messy before they're felted. This is big (more than three feet from the bottom of the bag to the top of the extended handle) and floppy, and I'm not weaving in the ends because once it's been shrunk (shrunken?) I can just snip them off.

I took the earlier, smaller version to the meeting Thursday night and it was suggested we give it to our Secretary of State's tween-aged daughter, who follows her mama (our SOS) everywhere she goes. Great idea!

I just pulled the new bag out of the washer and it's drying over a cardboard box, to help shape it. You'll see the final product tomorrow.

Now to fill it. I'm looking for locally made/produced items that will fit inside. The loot so far:
  • handmade pottery spoon rest
  • handmade goat's milk soap
  • locally produced music CD to benefit our county humane society
  • book of essays by local lawyer
  • jar of homemade squash relish (from the Amish store)
  • a set of six Obama sunrise Christmas cards

That might be enough.

I was hoping for a little more participation from the group on this project, but that didn't happen. Another little disappointment, but perhaps I need to learn that my vision doesn't necessarily have to be everyone else's.

I'm sure my husband would agree. Heh.

Don't forget about the final Summer of Yarn Giveaway – 10 skeins (maybe more!) of a kid-friendly, machine-washable cotton/acrylic blend in the sweetest lavender-and-white color way. A comment gives you a chance to win, and you have until 5 p.m. EDT tomorrow to leave one. In the meantime, have a great rest of the weekend.

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 17 - Faces

My favorite widdle face. I was standing on the outside of the front door,
she was inside, not looking at me. Then I got all artsy-fartsy with filters.

A bit discouraged

I know it's summer and people are busy. I realize re-electing President Obama isn't everyone's cuppa, and his chances of winning West Virginia are zero and none. I get that time is limited and it's important to spend it wisely.

Last night was the monthly meeting of the local Democratic women's club, of which I am the Democratic woman in charge. In June, eight members came. Last month, only five. Last night, seven.

We haven't been able to vote on anything all summer. There are items to vote on and money to disperse. The election is less than three months from now. A handful of members can't be expected to plan and [wo]man fundraisers or events or receptions.

Our next event is a public screening of the HBO film Iron Jawed Angels. I'm going to try to make arrangements for a late September showing. Voter registration ends October 23 and early voting begins October 24, so airing it in September – NEXT MONTH – makes sense.

And apparently, if it is to be, it's up to me.

I feel strongly about making this happen, and the members who showed up last night all thought it was a great idea. One had seen it, said it was very powerful and definitely something we should do. And if more people had been at the meeting, I might have gotten more constructive input. More than, "Wow, what a great idea."

In order to show it without paying royalties on the film or rent on the venue, it has to
  1. be shown for educational purposes [check]
  2. have no admission charge [check]
  3. be open to the public [check]
That leaves a lot of leeway as to what our group can do. I went to bed thinking about making post cards to put on each chair with future meeting dates printed on them. I woke up wondering if we should rent a popcorn machine. In between, I thought about publicity, inviting special guests, having a discussion period prior to or following the film, and more.

In other words, there was not much sleeping going on here at Chez Middle of Nowhere.

This election seems to be one in which women will make the difference. Fifty-one percent of voters are women, and Republicans seem to be hell-bent on selling us out. If you're a woman, or if you love a woman, how can you support a party who is against ALL abortion, even in the case of rape, incest or the life of the mother? (And if you're pro-life, doesn't the mother's life count?) Someone who voted against the Lilly Leadbetter Fair Pay Act. Someone who would, somehow, get rid of in vitro fertilization. (How is that possible?)

The film depicts what women went through – ridicule, imprisonment, torture – to secure the right to vote. I don't even have to see it to realize that my whiny little rant about lack of participation at a meeting is nothing compared to the original struggle to cast a ballot.

Thank you, Blogger, for that insight.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16 - Food

One of my very favorite subjects! Heh.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I whine about my garden fail. But look at what I've
managed to preserve. Makes me so happy to peek into the pantry.

Deterring critters

I worked at the garden center yesterday, not by myself, as is usually the case late in the season, but with the owner, moving plants and tidying up benches to get ready to display the mums.

And then it rained, so we ended up not working for very long at all.

Two gardeners can't get together in August without asking, "How's your garden doing?" so I had a chance to wail once again about the deer and the tomatoes and the sweet potatoes. (Today would be a good day to take the shovel out there, the ground is nice and soft after the rain.)

She will be going out of town the end of this month and told me to come! pick! tomatoes! Yay! I should at least be able to get a few more jars in the pantry before the season ends.

Winnie, the spray I use is called Liquid Fence, and it's very effective. I should have been using it every couple of weeks, but it's one of those chores I get lazy about once it starts raining tomatoes. And, honestly, I've never had deer bother tomatoes before. I seriously thought I'd lose all my basil, because who doesn't like basil, but according to my local expert, deer don't.

A border of jalapeños and basil is now sounding like an excellent idea.

Liquid Fence smells like urine when it's first applied. The scent fades for humans after a day or so, but remains for deer. You need to reapply it after a rain or every couple weeks, whichever comes first. I hope you get rain more than every couple of weeks, but I saw the drought map on the national news last night. Seriously bad news for farmers and gardeners almost everywhere in the United States.

(I sent up a little prayer of thanks for my full freezer of grass-fed beef, and put "stock up on chicken" on my to-do list, since food prices are expected to rise dramatically in the next six to eight weeks. And don't you just hate it when the news is so doomy and gloomy all the time? I'm much happier when I don't watch.)

Deer Away smells like rotten eggs and Deer Scram smells like a dead body, while Deer Out offers a fresh, minty scent. All of these products work, but it's worth asking at someone at a local nursery which one is most effective in your area. Believe me, I would be using Deer Out if we stocked it at Groundworks. Liquid Fence appears to be the best deterrent for this area.

Denise, you might want to pick those tomatoes before they fully ripen (and, obviously before they are nibbled on) and stick them in a brown paper bag. They'll taste just as sweet and won't serve as hors d'ouevres for whatever is checking them out. I'm guessing a raccoon, since it would have to be something that could stand up on its hind legs to reach the fruits.

Today is another work day, and I need to keep knitting, knitting, knitting. Tonight is the monthly Democratic women's club meeting and I'd hoped to have the bag we're donating for the fund-rasising auction completed to show them. Not. Happening. I'm a third of the way up the body of the bag, but there's still a long way to go. At least this one will be the right size! Knitting on a deadline starts to feel like a job, unless the deadline is the birth of a new baby. Then it's fun.

And since we're speaking of knitting – thanks for your comments and if you're one of those lurkers who only reads and never peeps, this is a good time to quit hiding. There's yarn at the end of this rainbow! (Rules are here.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 15 - Ready

Ready for work. I love wearing a tee-shirt for a uniform.

Deer, deer, deer

Here's a link to the deer repellent a friend swears by. If it works for me, I'm buying stock in the company. Heh.

I didn't even go out to the garden yesterday. It's good to know I'm not alone in being the victim of deer damage. There was a little bit last year (okra, sob!), but nothing like this. I feel like pulling up all the stakes, taking down the fence and putting the whole space to bed way early.

It's kind of sad when the bright spot of your day was getting a new satellite dish installed. I'm not even a TV-watcher, but with no garden chores and a lifetime supply of yarn I can see myself tucking in to movies and DIY programs and sports, oh my. (Live sports is my reality TV.)

Actually the bright spot came last night. Tuesdays are my volunteer-at-the-prison nights and while I rarely feel like going there – too tired, too busy, too whatever – I'm always glad I went. Last night was no exception. The discussion was all about gratitude.

always leave a gratitude meeting with a full heart.

Keep those comments coming! I might have a little bit more of the purple/white Cottrica. Would it be better to have two batches to give away, or should I make it one big pile? You make the call.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 14 - Arrow

The internet is being screwy today ... hope this photo of my computer
screen shows up instead of a link to a photo of my computer screen!

Garden fail

This has not been the best garden year here in the Middle of Nowhere. It started out great, full of promise, as most gardens do. Because I was working part-time, it was good that I left much of the space fallow this year. I haven't had time to weed what's there, let alone what could have been there if I'd planted the entire plot.

The strawberries didn't produce much at all – enough for a bowl of cereal, maybe. The birds ate the blackberries, one by one as each little shiny black berry ripened. I finally bought bird netting, but alas – it was too late.

I'm ready for next year, though!

I got a few snow peas and snap peas, enough for a stir-fry or two. And that was great. I'll probably devote more space to early-spring crops next year. (Gardeners never quit figuring out how they can do it better next time. I guess that means we're good learners.)

The big fail is the tomatoes. (If you're a Facebook friend, you already know this story. Apologies.) I noticed the Cherokee Purple looked a little lopsided a couple mornings ago, so I ventured out to find that the fruits were gone. I then looked to the left, where the Amish Pastes, Vilms Paste and yellow Oxhearts were flourishing, to find not a single damned tomato in the whole bed.

The deer had had a feast.

I knew this day would come, sometime. I've been warned and warned and warned that every year the deer get bolder and braver. They figure I'm planting all this food just for them. They'd already eaten the edamame leaves. (I managed to freeze exactly one quart-sized bag of shelled edamame.)

I was astonished at how thorough they were, though.

They also ate the leaves from the sweet potato vines, and I understand potatoes need leaves to develop. I haven't taken a shovel out there to see if any baby sweet potatoes had started to grow or not. I'm still mourning my tomatoes.

The Oxheart still has some flowers and the Cherokee Purple has two green tomatoes the deer somehow missed. One was quite large, so I brought it in to ripen indoors. And the deer haven't found the Sweet and Neat cherry tomato plant on the patio. They'd have to be pretty bold to come that close to the house.

The other garden area that remains untouched is the new herb bed. Maybe they were too full from eating tomatoes. Or perhaps their cunning little brains are letting me think the herbs are safe this year, and they'll make a meal out of it next year.

I found it very amusing that two jalapeños remained on the ground with bite marks in them. Serves them right! I'm thinking of planting a jalapeño border next year.

What worked? Onions and garlic. Success. Big success. Enough success that I'm sharing the garlic and have onions sets ready to plant for a fall crop.

And basil. I'm really, really pleased that deer don't seem to have a taste for basil. In addition to devoting a section of the herb bed to it, I also have 10 lush, gorgeous, fragrant plants right next to the Cherokee Purple. All of them intact.

Perhaps I should be a pesto farmer. 'Cause I clearly can't take care of tomatoes.

I got some great advice for a product from a Facebook friend, which I will be putting to use next year. I also will be getting new! stronger! fencing. And maybe a solar-powered motion detector deterrent. (I put it on my wish list to think about.)

Grateful for onions and garlic. Grateful for the salsa and tomatoes I've already canned. Grateful (kinda) that the food garden season for me is, essentially, over. Garden fail and garden fatigue rarely coincide.

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13 - Simple

Simple supper of rice, salsa and mixed beans (black/kidney/pinto).
Also, this is my 1200th post at Knit. Run. Reap. Eat.

This one belongs to …

the Anonymous Courtney! Courtney, please e-mail me at shrinkingknitter AT gmail DOT com with your snail-mail address and you're going to have a pile of wool, just in time for fall knitting.

Lavender and white twist cotton blend.
For the final Summer of Yarn Giveaway offering, I'm thinking about the children. This discontinued oldie-but-goodie is perfect for children's sweaters and caps. Fiber content is 61% acrylic, 30% cotton and 9% polyester, so we're not talking about a lux natural fiber here. But it washes beautifully and knits up quickly – 4 stitches to the inch on size 7 or 8 needles. And the knitted fabric is lovely.

I remember one sweater I made out of some red-and-white Cottrica. I joined the seams with a three-needle bind-off on the outside in a solid red, and applied a solid red i-cord trim at the cuffs and all around the outer edge. The buttons were solid red, as well. It was a knockout sweater for my older granddaughter when she was starting pre-school, and so easy for my daughter to care for.

I don't know the yardage, but each ball is 1.75 ounces and there are TEN OF THEM!

If you've been following along, you know the drill: Leave a comment on any post between now and next Sunday at 5 p.m. EDT. And live in the United States. That's it … I'll try to write some comment-worthy posts this week, but really? All you have to say is:

I. Want. That. Yarn.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


It's good to be grateful.

My husband and I were headed to Abingdon, VA, yesterday to meet friends and wander around the Virginia Highlands Festival. We knew heading out, of course, that the GOP vice-presidential pick was going to be announced. In fact, we already knew who was chosen. I felt very blessed that we had plans for the day, and only had to listen to a tiny bit of the Romney/Ryan Obama-bashing as we listened to NPR.

One of our friends' friends asked if we owned the white car with West Virginia plates with all the Obama bumper stickers on it. It's a blessing to share similar ideals and beliefs with strangers, and for them to know without knowing that we were like-minded souls.

We came home to a freezer full of grass-fed local beef, the bill for it placed atop the freezer. I'm so grateful for good friends with whom I can trust my keys and who return the favor, knowing I'll pay up when I see them next.

Part of yesterday took us down the Virginia Creeper Trail, one of the oldest rails-to-trails projects in the country. The weather was lovely – low humidity, moderate temperatures – and the trail was shaded most of the way. I loved every step of it. The company, the conversation, the slow pace, the decision to leave the phone in the car (and thus not feel I had to take pictures of everything I saw) … all of it made for a memorable walk.

While I usually don't feel very grateful for sleep interruptions, I woke up suddenly at 1:19 a.m., and caught three falling stars before 1:30. That was enough. Thank you, heavens.

What a blessing it is to have a lifetime supply of yarn at my fingertips. I just pulled the Obama-blue tote bag out of the washer and was surprised to see how very well Elann's Peruvian Wool felts. (I usually use Brown Sheep Bulky.) The bag is practically child-sized. I was able to dig up a few orphan skeins of a suitable blue, along with some navy for the base (to ensure there's enough of the lighter blue for the body and handle) and will begin another one today. The event isn't until the 23rd of this month, so – another blessing – I have plenty of time to complete Bag #2.

While I was looking for more yarn just now, I found FIVE MORE SKEINS of the Icelandic Wool I'm offering in the giveaway that ends at 5 p.m. EDT today. That's a total of 15 skeins (1305 yards)! If you're the winner, you're the one who will be blessed with even more yarn than you thought you were going to get. Thanks for all the comments/entries so far. If you're a new reader, here are the rules. Seven hours to go.

August 8 - Spoon

Beautiful handmade wooden spoon I bought at a craft fair yesterday. For $2!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Following up on yesterday's coal rant

Vickie, the health issues caused by coal, to which you alluded, anger me the most, especially when it comes to my neighbors. The wife is a two-time cancer survivor. She may still be in treatment, I'm not sure. The list of diseases and conditions affecting coal miners is long and largely preventable.

(Also, are you still blogging? I couldn't find a link to your blog, so I didn't link your name.)

West Virginia's Democratic governor and former-governor-now-Senator are BIG coal supporters, which really means they are big coal OPERATOR/OWNER supporters. The hell with the miners (although they will certainly shed a tear on camera when disaster strikes). Oh, and let's celebrate when an EPA ruling is reversed.

They've already announced they won't be attending the national Democratic convention next month in Charlotte. God forbid it should look like they're supporting their President.

West Virginia's registered Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one, but you wouldn't know it from the most recent primary election, nor from the previous three presidential contests. We are a red state, and our Democrat leaders are DINOs. I want to shake them and let them know they're in charge of our FUTURE, not our past. Our natural resources, our environment, our health and well-being – all depend on their votes and their decisions.

They are not governing for the PEOPLE. They're governing for the CORPORATION, which is what Citizens United encourages them to do.

I saw a version of an American flag on Facebook yesterday. The stripes were there. The stars had been replaced by corporate logos. That's where we're headed this election cycle. Perhaps the only way to reverse the trend is for President Obama to be re-elected. Maybe then they'll decide all that money didn't get them what they wanted, and they'll go back to their vaults.

Moving on.

Yesterday I walked FOUR MILES! It took for-freaking-ever, but hey. Four miles is four miles. And after that, since I was already hot and sweaty, I moved a couple huge hostas to make room for a tree, which I then planted. Four miles, two hostas, one tree – not a bad day, all in all.

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10 - Ring

I tried and tried to get a good photo of my wedding ring, which is gorgeous
and sparkly and beautiful. In the end, though, these Amish donuts are just as
gorgeous and sparkly and beautiful, don't you think? Heh.

What we're up against

//Political rant ahead.//

The couple who lives in this house are obviously Republicans who have drunk the "Friends of Coal" Kool-aid. The wife drives a big SUV with a sticker on the back window that says "This vehicle paid for by mountaintop removal." I cringe whenever I see it. I have the same visceral reaction to that sticker as I do toward Confederate flags.

There are a lot of Confederate flags around here, even though West Virginia went with the Union in the Civil War. As a border state, loyalties were mixed, particularly in southeastern West Virginia.

The Friends of Coal have erected billboards on our major highways delineating Obama's No Job Zone and, of course, West Virginia is right there. But you know what? West Virginia has been a no-job zone for decades. Young people grow up and leave because there's no place to work. My dad, who would have been 82 this year, left southern Ohio (similar demographics) 60 years ago to find work in Columbus, and never looked back.

Coal might be our heritage here in the Mountain State, but it's certainly not ours or anyone else's future. Except maybe China. They seem to be mining a lot of it, polluting their air and sickening their citizens. Because that's what coal does. Besides that, there is no war on coal. Coal jobs have increased under President Obama's watch. The general decline in the industry has more to do with natural gas extraction than with their perceived war on coal. They should be learning how to frack instead of moaning about mining.

Coal is a vital resource for producing electricity and steel. But it's not the only one and there are better ones and whenever I drive by that yard sign I want to spray-paint it with an Obama sunrise.

But I'd bet a hundred bucks the guy who lives there is someone I don't want to mess with. There are some small minds that can't be changed, and I'm quite sure his is one of them.

//Rant off.//

Thursday, August 9, 2012

August 9 - Messy

This is the potting bench at the garden center where I work. Sooo messy.

Don't forget about the yarn giveaway!

I know the description I wrote made it sound a little, um, less than appealing. But it's truly a beautiful neutral with a lot of depth that will go with just about anything. And 10 (TEN!) skeins! C'mon!

But maybe you're saving up all your comments for Sunday. We can talk about the final Olympic event, the men's marathon, which happens Sunday morning. My last chance to get inspired.

(My husband and I were talking with a friend last night and I mentioned the marathon might be off my bucket list and he said – and I quote – "it is if I have anything to say about it." I felt like a child! And I told him so, too. Might have been the best thing he ever could have said about marathoning. Hmmm.)

The Obama-blue bag is all knitted up, now I just have to felt it. Then comes the really fun part – filling it with locally made goodies and decorating the outside with campaign buttons. I knew all that swag from the state convention would come in handy!

The state women's convention (I'm not linking to the Federation website because it's so out of date) is in two weeks. I'm praying I'll have teeth by then. My Google research indicates it will be three or four months before I get used to them, but I could at least have my picture taken without feeling embarrassed or goofy.

Or maybe I could just embrace the backwoods West Virginia toothless old hag look.

Nah, I don't think so.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August 8 - Glasses

My broken glasses, positioned atop a looking glass, with a reflection of
Dylan in shades (a Pete the Cat print by James Dean).

Oh, the trauma

Okay, I'm awfulizing, but yesterday was horrible!

Not the part where you left comments pointing me to your favorite blogs. (And thanks, Denise, for your very kind words about mine, that was a treat to read in an otherwise helluva day.)

The Great Denture Adventure continues. Yesterday I actually got to try the fit of the new appliance. Five minutes later I was in tears. And I was still in tears half an hour later when I got home. And … well, you get the idea.

If your genetics have already predisposed you to eventually needing dentures, do everything you can right now to overcome it. I'm sure I could have done more, but seriously, I've known this day was coming for a long time. Probably since my first visit to a periodontist more than 25 years ago.

Suffice it to say the fit was so not right that the dentist had to take another bite impression and we're tacking an extra week onto the whole process. I get another "try-in" next week and then they'll make the permanent plate.

That is, if it fits right.

According to Dr. Google, DDS, it can take months to get used to having a football in your mouth. I realize millions of denture wearers have become accustomed to them, and I'll give it the old college try, I really will.

But I was ready yesterday to decimate my retirement account in order to pay for waaaaaay more expensive implants. Even knowing that because of the severe bone loss I've suffered I'm not a good candidate for those, either.

I wish I could be just like Scarlett and "think about it tomorrow." But seriously? All I can think about is what a pain in the ass roof of the mouth this has been, is and will continue to be.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

July 7 - 8:00

I don't especially care for "time" prompts. And I usually don't shoot a clock
to fulfill the assignment. But I was in a hurry and out of ideas this morning.

These are a few of my favorite blogs

In no particular order, and for lots of different reasons:

Reticulated Writer
Better After
Woulda Coulda Shoulda
Walden Effect
Eat, Live, Run
Perfect in our Imperfections

As I scroll through my Google Reader feed, these are the blogs I click on right away. I'm so greedy, I can't wait to read what these folks have written first. Don't get me wrong: All the blogs in my feed are worthy, or they wouldn't be there. But there's something about these – history, inspiration, good writing, wonderful examples, useful information – that makes me can't wait to read them.

How about you? Who can you not wait to read? Tell me in a comment (and if you're not interested in winning 10 skeins of Icelandic wool, mention that so I don't throw your name in the hat).

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6 - Writing

This is how I write these days. I've even converted my grocery list to an app on my phone.

Up for grabs this week

Who's in the mood for some wool? Yes, I realize it's August and in the United States (which is where this giveaway is limited to) it's freaking HOT right now, so who in their right mind could possibly be in the mood for wool?

Well, knitters generally are hungry for wool, no matter what time of year it is. If it's cold outside you can cuddle up under your in-progress sweater or afghan. And if it's hot? You can make mittens, caps, bags, tea cozies – any number of smaller items and accessories are perfect wool-in-summer knitting.

(Notice how I left out scarves? If you love knitting scarves, you go for it. I, for one, find them incredibly boring to make.)

Anyhoo ... this week you have the opportunity to win TEN labeled skeins of Icelandic wool, made by Alafoss Ltd. of Reykjavik, Iceland (THE Icelandic authority). This is vintage stuff, but it's been stored in my cedar-lined, pet-free yarn closet ever since I bought it.

The color is nothing like the photo, and I apologize for that. It is a tweedy heathery blend of purplish-grey and rust, which probably sounds awful but really is quite lovely in person. Each 50-gram ball contains 85 yards of pure wool, and it will felt like a dream. (Felted clogs, felted bags, felted potholders, felted hats … I'm starting to remind myself of Bubba rattling off shrimp dishes in Forrest Gump.)

The rules remain the same: Live in the United States, leave a comment before Sunday, August 12 at 5 p.m. EDT, winner will drawn using the random number generator at Only one comment per reader will be considered for purposes of winning, but all comments are appreciated.

Treasured, even.

This week's winner is …


(And if you click through to her blog, be sure to scroll down and read her take on the chicken wars. If I'd weighed in on that subject – and I wanted to, but thought better of it – she says what I wanted to say, only with much less emotion. Suffice it to say I have gay family members and family members who supported CFA Appreciation Day. Blech.)

Anyway, congratulations to Karen! If you will e-mail me at shrinking knitter AT gmail DOT com with your snail-mail address, I'll pop your yarn in the mail.

If you didn't win and you really wanted to, stay tuned for more goodies coming up later today. I kind of dropped the ball on searching the stash yesterday to come up with this week's offer, but will get it together before the end of the day.

Now to answer a couple questions:
  1. I missed watching President Obama's address to BlogHer'12. I'm not much for watching videos online, I'm not sure why. I am going to go back and watch Usain Bolt's gold-medal winning run in the 100m dash. And I'll try to watch my President talking to the BlogHer crowd.

  2. I don't run at all any more. I used to. A lot. I've finished three half-marathons and the Army Ten-Miler. My mind loves to run, but my body, at my current weight, doesn't. I would be more comfortable if I were at least 30 pounds lighter and every additional pound lost would add to the comfort level. It's also easier to get hurt when you're an obese runner, so I've been taking the slow road. And, finally, my husband was with me at the Army Ten-Miler in 2008, where a young fit man collapsed and died near the finish line. He is not a fan of my taking up running again. So there's that.

  3. Cilantro is not a cut-and-come-again plant, like basil or lettuce or spinach. It's best started from seed, and all of the gorgeous, lush cilantro I was enjoying in June is now brittle and dry and gone to seed. Which isn't a bad thing, except I should have staggered my initial plantings a little more frequently. If yours has also gone to seed, those seeds will drop and replant themselves (I'm going to throw a layer of compost over mine to help it out). If you're going through a dry spell, water it regularly. A friend of mine was harvesting fresh cilantro last December!
Thank you all for your lovely anniversary wishes. We talked together yesterday morning, the first time I've walked in a long, long time. Since before the storm hit (June 29), actually. He does his four daily miles faithfully, and I, um, don't. I'm paying for the walk this morning. One probably shouldn't restart a walking program with a three-miler in a pair of Vibram Five Fingers. I have blisters on both feet and some soreness. But it's a good soreness, one that tells me I did something positive for my body and my mind.

Now to keep it up.

Back later ...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Total wife fail

My husband just came in to wish me a happy anniversary. I completely forgot! Six years today. Yay us! Yay him! A total wife fail means a total husband WIN! =)

Sliding back to normal

The house is quiet and Hershey is missing her little buddy. Me, too! They all arrived safely back home yesterday afternoon, and I will have to admit I was pretty tired last night.

So what's going on already this morning? The women's marathon at the London Olympics! As I type, they have about an hour to go. I can't imagine running 26.2 miles in two-plus hours. Actually I can't imagine running 26.2 miles at all. I've all but crossed it off my bucket list, not because it's completed, but because it's something I'm never going to accomplish.

However. My motto has always been "never say never," so I'm not calling it a total fail. Yet.

Two of the three American women are still in the lead pack; the injured Davila started but had to drop out. It's raining, raining, raining in London, but I bet the runners are only dimly aware of the weather. The streets are lined with cheering crowds and yes, it definitely is inspiring!

There's been a local commercial running throughout the Olympics for the GOP gubernatorial candidate. I have to mute it whenever it comes on (which is far too frequently) because the gist of the ad is an Obama slam. This guy (his name is baloney Maloney) appears to be running against President Obama instead of West Virginia's current Governor Tomblin. (Earl Ray, how's that for a West Virginia name?)

The reason, in my Democratic opinion, is because Tomblin and Maloney believe in pretty much the same thing. How can Maloney slam the current governor when the current governor stands for the same things the Republicans do? Here in West Virginia, coal is king and most of the candidates (Senator Jay Rockefeller is the lone exception) blame President Obama and the EPA for a loss of coal jobs.

It's not true, but try telling that to a Faux News viewer.

At any rate, when I start writing about politics again you can bet life here in the Middle of Nowhere is back to a little more normal.

August 5 - Logo

Love my Mac. And what an enduring logo ...

August 4 - Somewhere you sat

Spent a lot of time over the weekend checking out this view from the front porch.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Yesterday's news

(When I started typing a title for today's post, I was reminded of a song I included on a mix CD for my journalist son. There wasn't really any "news" yesterday.)

But I guess I should explain yesterday's title, eh? The weird combination of letters and symbols apparently represents a question mark when I blog from my phone. I had very little time to myself yesterday, but wanted to keep the NaBloPoMo streak for August going.

I'm very proud of myself for not quitting NaBloPoMo after I broke the starting-in-November streak in July during the electrical outage, by the way. I think picking it up again in August proves I don't have an OCD bone in my body.

Have been thoroughly enjoying hanging out with family. Everyone's sleeping except me and the dog.

Our littlest guest has been enjoying as much outdoor time as she can get, and especially enjoys using the garden clippers to harvest basil and flowers. I had her cut a bloom for last night's dinner centerpiece, but didn't tell her what I was going to do with it.

When she sat down for dinner and saw it on the table, she squealed, "Oooooooohhhhh, Grandma, that's gorgeous!"

Unforgettable memories.

August 3 - Coin

The change jar, from the top. I love how this turned out!

August 2 - One

One tiny lime on the lime tree. I'll probably have to sacrifice it when I repot it.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Loving the feeling ...

A couple of semi-related things have occurred to me lately, and I'd love it if I could remember them a little more often.

I love it when my house is clean and tidy and neat and every thing that has a place is in it. I've had a box of old books sitting in a corner of my bedroom for, literally, months. It's gone now, and it makes me happy to look at that empty corner every time I go in that room.

On a similar note, because I'm not able to eat as well as I did before my summer trauma, I love it when, at the end of the day, I've eaten lightly and only at mealtimes.

It's still a major hassle to eat just about anything, although I'm getting better. (I've had a donut, something I rarely eat, ever, but it was a personal challenge. Heh.) But I've managed to continue the pattern from the first week, when I was still in major pain, of eating at mealtimes only and then eating only a little bit. It doesn't take as long as it first did to finish a meal, but I certainly learned from that initial week that I'm not going to DIE if I don't eat like a lumberjack.

Not that I ever did, but you know what I mean. I'm satisfied with much less food than I was before.

Two other things not at all related:
  1. I'll definitely find something for next week's giveaway that's a little more appealing. From the number of comments for this one, I'd say I didn't choose very well. But thanks to those of you who have said something. We bloggers love our commenters (and readers, whether you say anything or not).

  2. Olympic track and field events begin tomorrow! I love track and field, and can't wait to watch. My husband is less enthusiastic, but when I suggested to him that watching would inspire me to move my ass, he thought maybe that would be a good idea. Not that he's judging me or anything. (It does tend to drive him crazy when I stop working out for any length of time. The constant headache I've had since I broke my glasses and had my dental surgery have kept me from doing anything I don't absolutely have to do.) 
Okay. Gotta go to work, then to Tiny Kroger for some last-minute things (I hope they have cilantro, mine is in the reseeding stage and there's very little in the herb garden that's ready to use), then back home to wait for our guests.

(I rarely talk about my family here on the blog, but I will give you a hint about who's coming. One of them is quite young, has red hair, just lost a tooth and is related to me through one of my children. =) I've put in a supply of sidewalk chalk and bubbles, and there are peach-yogurt popsicles in the freezer.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 1 - Outside

Ohhhhhh, how I love Instagram. I didn't plan the bokeh effect, but when I
added a filter, there it was! This was at work, looking up, obviously. There
was a helicopter spraying for black flies along the river today. Too many
trees in the way to get a good shot of it, though.

About that floor

When I said yesterday I had an acre of floor to clean, I hope you know I was kidding. It's really only about two hundredths of an acre. And I let the Roomba do two of the carpeted rooms. That left two hallways, two baths, a bedroom and the main kitchen/living/dining area for me to do.

I'm not done yet.

All of it has been vacuumed, but none of it has been mopped. I also bought a product that brings your laminate floors back to life! and I think that's what's so discouraging. I have to mop, and then I have to move all the furniture and apply this product and I. Don't. Wanna.

So I'm not gonna. Apply the finishing product, that is, I'll definitely mop.

In case you haven't figured it out by now, we're having guests. It's the only time my home is spic-and-span clean, in tip-top shape, everything dusted and polished and decluttered all at the same time. (Please tell me I'm not the only one. Do you sort-of clean regularly, but wait until company comes to really clean?) I'd love to be one of those home keepers whose house is always company-ready, but it hasn't happened yet, so I'm not holding my breath. Also, I don't have a staff. A staff would really help.

On today's agenda is the mopping, the dusting, the sweeping of the porch. First impressions, heh. I have to work at the garden center for a couple hours, too. Oh, and I promised my granddaughter (one of our guests) a tiered, ruffled skirt, which might be an all-day job for tomorrow.

Thanks for your insights about Safari. I'm getting used to it. I think I really, really, really need to cull the photos/music. I'm not sure I need iMovie on the laptop – I probably don't have enough RAM at this point to create anything with it, and I have it on the desktop computer. But I'll keep it just in case. I've already trashed Garageband. A music-maker I'm not.

But a housecleaner and garden waterer and cook I am. Best get to it.

Hershey's job is to scare the deer away. Apparently she needs more training.