Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spring, as in Where did this come from?

My Saturday cleaning yielded a surprise in the form of an unfinished (make that barely started) counted cross-stitch project. I've never been that fond of counted cross-stitch and have done very few pieces. Somewhere along the way, mid-80s from the date of the pattern book I was using, I gave myself permission to quit it.

So, there it was, at the back of the cabinet. Book, canvas, embroidery thread. LOTS of embroidery thread.

Several months ago, I'd dealt with the 100+ colors I'd found by sorting them into two small tackle boxes. As I went through this new find, I figured I'd just open the boxes and add in the new pieces.

Poor, naive me. Very few colors matched. Very few. If I was going to continue with every color/shade/slightest tint into its own section, I was going to need two new tackle boxes.

That's right: I had about 90 more colors.

(I have since made my neighbor swear to not let me buy more thread, no matter the color, nor will she buy any until she comes over and sifts through my stash.)

I go to Walmart to get two new boxes. They had clearanced that particular line before Christmas. Rather than drive all over the area looking for an exact match, I found a larger unit with 4 large divided boxes which would do.

Two hundred and nine, approx., colors sorted by family: red, pink, purple, yellow, gold, orange, brown, blue, green, blue-green, gray, ecru and its strange cousins. White and black are in the small tackle box openings.


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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spring, as in cleaning

In spring, a young man's fancy may turn to love, but this woman's has never turned to the proverbial "spring cleaning." I clean as the urge comes along--or company's coming.

However, we're having the outside of our house painted and the storm windows have had to come off. They do so from the interior and all my rooms have had storm windows, top, bottom and screen, sitting beside the real thing. I realized the value of the storm windows when the temps went into the 20s while they were removed.

Two of my rooms consist mainly of windows. One has 4 windows and two doors, one solid wall. The other has 7 windows, two doors, an interior window to the bathroom and no solid wall. Needless to say, those two rooms were virtually unusable while the furniture and detritus were pushed to the center of the room so the windows could be reached.

The storm windows went back up Friday. Guess what I did yesterday?

It took 7 1/2 hours to not only restore order but to clean out. I started in one corner and went through books, loose papers, files, memorabilia. I dusted and vacuumed where no vacuum had been in a while. I gleaned 5 large bags of trash, 4 bags for the secondhand store, 5 boxes of books to give to the library/used book store, a bag of things for the grandchildren and 4 boxes for the attic.

I slept well last night. Whew! And I'm not going to do it again for a long time.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Can spring be far behind?

Besides the fact that we've had a most reasonable January with little cold weather and February has been more than tolerable by our standards (today is 70), as a whole the populace wonders when the other weather-shoe will drop and we'll be plunged into ice and snow in March. Or April even, because we've all seen it happen.

However, yesterday morning I saw three vees of birds, whether ducks or geese I don't know, headed north. I rolled down my car window hoping to hear them and know what it was I saw, black shadows against a gray sky, but they were too far up/the road noise too loud.

I'll just have to be satisfied that the birds know what they're doing, deserting the south in time to make it to their northern homes before all the good spots are gone.

Really, with daffodils blooming and hyacinths rising, can spring be far behind?*

*Also known as famous last words.

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Monday, February 13, 2012


We had a program at our library this past Saturday morning with 9 authors of romance fiction. As one of our authors wrote back to me, "a good time was had by all." Each of our guests talked a little about her work, then we had 30 minutes before the library closed for the audience of 40 to ask questions one-to-one and buy books. After the doors locked, we had a salad luncheon. Any time women go back for seconds on salad... you know it was good!

But one of the best things to come from this was a comment by a non-romance reader. The program made her want to try a romance!

Can a convert be far away?

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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The rudest cities

Two Sundays back CBS Sunday Morning gave the list of the top ten rudest cities in America according to Travel+Leisure magazine: NYC, Miami, DC, LA, Boston, DFW, Atlanta, Phoenix, Baltimore, and Orlando.

Well, was I surprised! Dallas? Rude? I could easily believe it of all the other cities, but Dallas?

Granted, there've been a few times I've looked askance at my fellow citizens, usually on the roadway. But to place so high on the list? To place at all?

So I tried to look objectively at the list. Seven of the ten are on the east coast, one on the west. Dallas and Phoenix sort of in the middle.

I think I came up with the answer, not to Dallas' perceived rudeness but for 8 of the others: sleep deprivation. On the coasts, in the Eastern and Pacific Time Zones, you can't go to bed until after the news and it doesn't start until 11! Then if you have to get your Leno or Conan fix, it's even later! Then up early for work or school, and the population is sleep-deprived.

In the midsection of America, our news is on at 10. We get an hour's extra sleep whether we need it or not.

A girlfriend has suggested that it's the crowding in the cities (and tourism?) which causes the rudeness factor. I'll stick to sleep.

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