Thursday, July 29, 2010

Earring update

So, how hard can it be to find a pair of earrings in an upscale shopping district?


For starters, I wanted something casual enough to wear everyday, so there went the rhinestones and "shoulder-dusters." And I didn't want to pay a lot because, you know, this is not a pair of earrings I absolutely have to have. Well, it sorta' is. Anyway, I'm frugal (cheap?) by nature, so I had my price point. It was low.

It took about a dozen stores to realize I really was in the wrong area (where's a mall when you need one?), but eventually at an Ann Taylor, I found the 50% off rack with reasonably sized earrings. And the 50% was off the sale price. I wore my less-than-$10 pair out.

Having a grand time.

Wish you were here.

Kay, earring'ed once more

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thoughts from the road

We're on the road for a few days and random thoughts appear:

Really? Talking on your phone while on the treadmill? And not being out of breath while running? That's disgusting to those of us who are walking and not able to do the same.

And why are the gym hours posted as 6 AM to 10 PM and it's 5:45 and the two of the three treadmills are already in use? Guess we just post hours because... can't think why.

We're on the fourth set of electronic keys to our room. Four. Count them. Have to have them in the elevator too. Keep getting red and yellow lights on the door, not a green one. Engineering is so not in love with us.

Trusted Google/iPad to get us somewhere and we missed the road (not its fault) but then it had us at the wrong Grand Avenue... Never trust. I know better. Got it straightened out with a phone call. Nice lady at the museum had heard it all before.

To top it off, I got distracted and forgot to pack any earrings and necklaces and have been without for three days now. Shopping. I have got to go shopping. I mean, how distracted can you get to not pack jewelry? Well, I know the answer to that now.

Having a grand time.

Wish you were here,

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Caller-Id: Doesn't everyone have it?

Uh, no.

Surely, you're not surprised we don't. With scattered kith and kin and a father in a nursing home, I figure I have to answer all phone calls, no matter the number. Consider it my little surprise each time the phone rings. Continual excitement.

So it is particularly unsettling when I receive a message I have to return, like from a doctor's office, and there's no verbal number left. I have to look it up. What a pain.

Lesson for the day: Caller-ID is not ubiquitous. Please leave your phone number. I'll return your call.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Texas State Fair hopeful

Back in the 80s, I decided that my newly acquired canning skills were sufficient to enter the Texas State Fair. I entered--and won--with hot dill pickles (first place one year!) and took a variety of 3rds and honorable mentions for my picante. Eventually, life must have interfered/I couldn't find pickling cucumbers any more and I stopped canning pickles and picante. I did continue with jelly but none of them tripped my fancy enough to enter.

Until this year. I didn't get my State Fair Creative Arts book in time to make my pickling cucumbers fit in the correct size jars, nor my picante. I wasn't even going to make pickles until offered the overabundance of a friend's garden. FYI, the pickles are good. Crispy, but maybe not hot enough. I shall have to work on that.

Instead, I've been working on my plum and cherry jelly. As mentioned before, our little sour cherry tree gave and gave and gave this year to the tune of 2 gallons of itty-bitty cherries. They juiced down nicely and the house smelled like cherry pie for a day!

I wanted to make low-sugar jelly because I prefer a "spread" rather than a hard jelly. I wasn't about to experiment with my cherry juice, but I had lots of plum juice, so it became fodder my measurements. Plus, the Ball No-Sugar Needed Pectin had instructions for sugar-experimenters.

A few batches later, I found my perfect ratio: 4 cups of juice to 2 cups of sugar. Color is good, flavor is true and bright, pectin set pleasing. I mailed in my entry yesterday.

Stay tuned.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

My friends start businesses: Shameless promo follows

Just this morning I found out about the business ventures of two of my friends and I thought what better way to congratulate them than to shamelessly promote them on my blog.

First, Patty Kreider, talented artist extraordinaire. I have two of her oil paintings and two pieces of her wonderful eclectic jewelry. Now she's opened shop at I feel a third piece of jewelry coming on. I just have to choose before someone else does.

Secondly, Jan Allen has started her own salsa business, Bug Tussle Burn. The article on the North Texas e-News this morning has a great history of Bug Tussle (yes, it really exists) and where to find her salsa. Have a look!

Best wishes to both these talented and determined women!

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Tomato'd out

Update on our three plants:

The Topsy-Turvy is yellowing and some leaves are dying. I trimmed it up this morning because there's still a green branch or two. It has a few little tomatoes, but I think I'll get rid of them and let the plant rest. I don't think they'll develop into tasty fruit. Without having to develop fruit, perhaps the plant can last until fall.

The Big/Better Boys in the tomato bags are still going strong--or at least they're still growing. I keep pinching the suckers off. There are blooms and some small tomatoes. I'll leave them and see what the plants do. Again, we hope to keep them alive until fall.

I make a great (to me) green tomato mincemeat. If all else fails, I'll hope for a few of those come October.

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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Dogs go on the bills

Last time I bought postage stamps, I purchased two sheets of the Adopt a Shelter Pet. On it, photos of adopted cats and dogs alternate. What particularly caught my eye was a dog which looked like a friend of mine's and a cat who favored my Pyewacket.

But I didn't want to send "Pye" on a bill, so I decided that bill payments would get a dog stamp and personal items a cat. In fact, on those that Pye graced, I even write "Pye says hi" beneath his face. Now, as to whether or not the recipient sees that is another matter.

But I find I'm running out of dog stamps. I must pay too many bills or not write enough letters.

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Saturday, July 03, 2010

A free carwash

We have a fire hydrant in our corner yard and periodically the City comes by and opens it up. Usually it gushes straight down into the street. Yesterday, however, they attached a bit of a nozzle to it and let it spew straight out.

I was passing through the den, and wondering about the water pressure, when I noticed a minivan stopped in front of the house. Were they crazy? I asked myself. They were sitting in the water! Then I noticed the windshield wipers going back and front. They were getting a quick rinse!

Wonderful! Why didn't I think of this? I grabbed my car keys and treated my car to a quickie wash, too, then watched several other citizens doing the same over the four hours it ran.

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Thursday, July 01, 2010

A June retrospective

Well, what to write about. That the year is half over and I've no idea where it went? That once the first day of summer passed, the sun sets earlier and earlier and it's all downhill from there? That everyone who tells me they read the article about my dad in the North Texas eNews, tells me they cried? That the tomatoes have about given out but we're going to try and save the plants until the fall? That Bed Bath and Beyond had the Topsy-Turvy on sale for $5 and I bought two for next year? That I absolutely love my iPad? That my thyroid and I parted company two weeks ago and I'm just now writing about it?

So, a vote was taken and three doctors overruled asymptomatic me, and I had a thyroidectomy on the 18th. I haven't seriously done hospitals in over 30 years when I last gave birth! I'm healthy! Whatever was my thyroid doing being nodular and secretive upon biopsy about whether or not it was cancerous? How dare it!

As it turned out, it was benign. Thank you, Lord. Thank you. Thank you. My parathyroids and my laryngeal nerve were saved so I don't have a lifetime of massive calcium intake and I can still sing. All in all, despite a change in morning routine with the advent of a synthroid pill per day, an excellent outcome.

And then there's the bruising. Do I bruise? each physician asked. Oh, yes. And I proved it to them by turning purple above the incision (still purple) and green/chartreuse below. Most of the lower is gone. It stretched well below my modest tank top line. I had staples in my throat for 4 days and here's where it's so interesting.

No one would ask. I could see everyone's eyes drift down to my throat. Back up. Down. Up. Only a nurse at the nursing home asked and then, let's face it, she knew. As I got out more and was minus the staples, I've watched the same up and down with my lovely purple incision. Friends of course have commented and for medical personnel, I'm a smorgasbord of inquiry. Only one stranger has asked, a clerk at a Starbuck's two days ago. I can't even remember how she phrased it, but I do know it was such that I couldn't use my prepared line: "Me? Ah, heck, you should see the other guy. Not a scratch on him!"

Thank you, Lord, that I'm fine.

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