Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Few Random Things.

While cleaning out some plant pots Mac found some small eggs and decided to collect them to see what exactly they were.  He figured they were lizard eggs and he was right, the first one hatched and tried to make a run for it.  Mac took its picture and let it go.  There are 2 more eggs left to hatch.  The lizard is just a simple Anole.  He needs to get into the garden and eat insects.  Lizards are always welcome here.  Though Miss Kitty, licking her thin grey lips, might put a different interpretation on that.
I've been working diligently at my German and making pretty good progress, except I'm having a time of it with "Der", "Die", Das", the 3 forms of the word for "the".  I don't mind that things are feminine, masculine or neuter, I'm use to that from Spanish.  But give me a clue, Spanish does:  if it ends in "a" it's feminine, if it ends in "o" it's masculine.  There are exceptions, but not many.
German doesn't work that way and I've had to resort to making flash cards and memorizing the word with its "the".  For example: das Essen, the food, note that food is neuter.  die Biene, the bee, a bee is feminine, der Stuhl, the chair, a chair is masculine.
Favorite German word right now, bezahle, which means to pay.  I just like the sound of it
Lots of rain last night, over an inch with lots of thunder and lightning.  We needed the rain, but not the other.  And of course it made a mess of the pool so I'll need to clean it up.

Isn't he a cutey?



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Technologically Challenged

I have an MP3 player that I love, I use it every day when I exercise.  I have about 250 songs on it, but recently I decided that it was time to add some new ones.  So I went to Amazon, bought some new ones and pulled some out of my music library there, attached my MP3 player to my computer and tried to download the music.  I tried for 2 days, I went to Amazon forums for advice, I went to Google.  I wasted all of yesterday and a good portion of this morning.  I couldn't figure it out.  I mean, obviously I'd done it before, even helped Mac load stuff on his MP3.  But nothing worked.  I gave up and tried to get some housework done.
Then Mac caught me and asked if I'd turned the songs into MP3 format.  Uh, no, and how do you do that.  Well all I had to do was go to i-tunes, check preferences, select MP3 and then drag the songs into my MP3 that was on the desktop.
I felt so silly. The music was loaded in no time and I checked to make sure they were there.
 I'm going to write this down so I'll know what to do next time, because if there is one thing you can be sure of, if I don't, the next time I want to add music I will have forgotten how to do it.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Saturday in the Swamp

Up before 8am this morning and it was already 80º, so off to walk.  I was so hot by the time we got back I pulled off my shorts and top, grabbed my swimming suit top and jumped in the pool.  It felt so good.  When I got out I just kept my wet undies on and put back on my shorts and top.  It's going to be miserable today, we had to put the air condoning on by 11:30.  I manage a little vacuuming, a bit of ironing, and my aerobics, I'm through.
The other day Cynthia at I'm Retired -Adventure of a Simpler Life wrote about the local fresh fish store in her town and I told her we had one too and that Mac had made a painting of it.  Stopped by there the other day and he took a photo of the painting (from about 10 feet away so it may be a little out of focus) and a photo of the store.  Ken, who owns the place, says he gets a lot of compliments on the painting.
A very cool lunch today, ham sandwiches and deviled eggs plus a green bean salad.  Too hot to eat much. I have some sewing I need to do and then it's back in the pool for me.


Friday, June 24, 2016

Five on Friday

I feel like it should be FRYDAY, today and tomorrow are going to be 98-99º.  To me that's frying weather.  I convinced Mac to stay out of the yard except to water the garden, it's dangerous out there.
But it's time to join in with Amy at Love Made My Home for this week's edition of Five on Friday, so do go and check out some of the other blogs who are joining in.


My first is from last Friday (if you go from Friday to Friday it's part of this week), we made it to the Marina for lunch and they were open!!!  Mac had mussels cooked in a wine sauce, I don't eat shell fish, but he said they was delicious.  Then we shared an order of Calamari and a load of steamed Shrimp.  Both were fantastic and way too much, so we brought some of them home.







My Second is an incident from earlier this week.  We had headed out for our morning walk when we were dive bombed by a large blue heron who was quite intent on poohing on us.  He came so low and close I could feel the air from his wings.  Mac says it's the one he's always chasing off so he won't eat our fish.  All I know is that he just missed up by inches.





On the left you can see that he covered the street from side to side.  The X in the right picture is where we were.  How he missed us I do not know.


My Third is that we finally got around to watching the third Hobbit movie: The Battle of the Five Armies.  We quite enjoyed it which was a surprise because we hadn't liked the 2nd one in the series and hadn't really planned on watching the 3rd.  But we did and we're glad we did.  



My fourth is that I finished the book The Spy Who Came In From the Cold by John LeCarre and loved it.  I read it many years ago, probably when it first came out, but I'd forgotten most of it.  I remember seeing the movie too, so as I read the book I kept picturing Richard Burton as Alec Leamas the "hero" of the story.  Over at Goodreads I give very few 5 star ratings, but this book easily got one.  If you like spy stories this one is the best.


And my Fifth is what I saw when I went out to swim the other day.  Some of my critters had grabbed some beers and were having a pool party.






That's my Five, hope you have a beautiful weekend.









Thursday, June 23, 2016

Hitching Up the Horses

We'd put it off as long as we could and it was time to hitch up the horses and head into town.  Did as much of our morning walk as we  could stand to do, cleaned up and headed in, we live about 8 miles from town and try to combine as many errands as we can when we finally break down and go in.  Had to drop some of Mac's pants at the cleaners to have them altered.  I can sew, but for the life of me I can't hem a pair a pants and take them in without making one leg shorter than the other.
Coming out of the cleaners Mac pointed out that I'd had my senior moment for the day.  I had new pants on and they still had the sticky tag running down one leg, didn't I look great!
Then it was off to the bank to order foreign currency, have a trip coming up and we like to have some local currency.  Then to Great Clips to get Mac a hair cut.  I can't stand having my hair cut in a shop and will occasionally grab up the scissors and cut an inch or two off mine, and that's probably going to happen fairly soon.  His cut looks great.
Then we stopped by the local fresh seafood shop where Mac has some of his paintings hanging.  Nothing has sold so he changed the paintings.
Then off to the post office to mail a package, someone in California bought a painting of his and it had to be mailed.  He sold another one to Michigan and it will get mailed tomorrow.  It always seems to go in streaks like that.  None sell for a while and then several at once.
After that it was finally time to go and have some breakfast.  I almost never cook breakfast at home and when I do it's usually for lunch of dinner, so it's a treat to go out and actually have breakfast.
Our last stop was at the grocery store to stock up on veggies, we eat a lot of them.
Finally, home again, home again, jiggity jig.
Now all I have to do it exercise, I'm waiting for my food to settle,  and get in the pool.  Hot day, but worse is to come, 99º on Friday and Saturday.  Summer is well and truly here.  Mac keeps checking the stats to see if days are actually getting shorter and worries when they don't.  Fall can't come too soon.
This is my painting, but he sold an identical one without the frame.  The other painting was of a red-headed woodpecker on a birch tree, but I can't find a picture of it.  After writing that Mac found the picture so here it is.




Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Why is One of Our Dinner Plates Laying in the Driveway?

We went out through the garage to do our morning walk today.  I opened the garage door and started out when I saw one of our porcelain dinner plates laying in the middle of the driveway.  "What in the world is that doing there?"  I asked Mac.  He said that he'd put it there to help him remember to turn off the water that he had running in the pool.  "Well, I asked, did you remember?'  "Yes, he said, I just didn't remember to get the plate out of the driveway."
Somehow I think he needs to find a better memory aid than using one of the dinner plates, even if it was outside because he was throwing watermelon rinds away.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

With Apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein

The grass was as high as an elephant's eye, so allergies be d*****d  it was time to mow the lawn again.  Some of our neighbors have the gas or electric push/self-propelleded ones, but we're on nearly and acre and we tried that for awhile and finally broke down and bought a riding lawn mower.  Mac picks up the pine cones with an ugly getter and I drive the mower.  This time I remembered to not smile.
Hot today, but not miserable after another cool night.
I did laundry, made bread and tried to play a piece of music that's driving me crazy, it has 5 flats, 5, even C Flat and occasionally he throws a 6th one in,  F Flat.  Come on, if you want a B, just tell me to play a B, not a C Flat or if you want E ask for E, not F Flat.
And may I also point out, my small hand can span an octave and slightly more, but if you want more than that it ain't going to happen, I'll have to make it into a broken chord.
Still, it's a beautiful piece, even if I have to play it very slowly.  It's Intermezzo by Edward Mac Dowell.  I wish I sounded like this when I play it.




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Monday, June 20, 2016

It's Monday

Just wondering what's going on, on a Monday at your place.  For me vacuuming seemed to be the theme of the day.  I vacuumed the family room where we spend most of our time, I vacuum it nearly every day.  Then I vacuumed the living room where nobody lives,  except a lonely spider or 2 who hang out there.  Next up was the entry way where no one ever enters, we always come up through the garage.  After that I vacuumed the dining room where no one dines, unless Miss Kitty finds a bug to nibble on.  I didn't do the stairs, but their day is coming.  Instead I went outside and vacuumed the pool.  I don't do that very often, generally I just get in with a net and get things out, but it needed a good vacuuming.  The last couple of nights have been cool for this time of year, in the high 60's, so the pool has cooled done.  A bit of a shock when you first get in, but then it feels good.
Poor Parsnip at Two Little Square Black  Dogs, her heat has gone beyond where you could even fry an egg, much worse than here, though we're due to be back up to 98º by the end of the week.
So what did you do today?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to the best husband and father that I know.  He's good, always bringing me flowers and gifts, kind, never gets angry when I do something stupid, patient, he taught me to drive a stick shift car and never screamed at me, loving, always.  And he was and is such a good father.  He taught our left-handed daughter to tie her shoes, I would never have figured out how to do that, he taught her to fish, he read to her every night, brushed her teeth for her when she was too small to do it herself, helped her with science projects through the years, spent months filling out papers to get her scholarships and grants when she went to college. Now that she's grown he brags about her to everyone and tells her how proud he is of her.
For Father's Day she sent him all kinds of goodies from Japan, think tongue jerky, shrimp crackers, really strange noodles, candied beans, lightning bug squid and lotus root crisps.    If ever I wonder where she gets her taste for exotic food I need look no further than her Father.
I got him a vintage German porcelain pipe and an antique German Beer Stein.
For lunch he's getting his favorite, leg of lamb.
Hope he knows how much we love him.


This is the jerky

These are the shrimp crackers.

These are the lotus root crisps




Saturday, June 18, 2016

Saturday in the Swamp

The storms came, as predicted, giving us more than an inch of rain again.  That's more than 2 inches this week. The tomatoes have fainted, they say they just can't deal with it.  The temperature is lower, but the humidity is 95%, so it doesn't matter how hot it is, it's pretty miserable.  I worked in the garden because it's overcast and I wouldn't burn to a crisp and managed to weed about 1/2 of one bed, very satisfying pulling those suckers out by their roots.  No weed killer for me, I'm the executioner.

On another topic, I have some chicken thighs defrosting in the refrigerator and they're huge.  They claim the chicken is all natural, I took a picture of the label.  But if they're not feeding those chickens
 steroids or growth hormones then by golly someone is raising mutant chickens.  These thighs are bigger than mine.


Time to go tackle some piano music that's actually been giving me nightmares.  So pretty and so hard.
Have a good weekend.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Five on Friday

I was reading blogs this morning trying to think what I should write for my Five on Friday when I read Mama's Mercantile blog on Bobbins (wonderful post, do go look at it) and knew immediately that I should write about some of my vintage sewing pieces. So I'll be joining Amy at Love Made My Home and all the other Friday bloggers who post on Five on Friday.



My first is a Bobbin too, I bought it in England a few years ago at an Antique Center in Chipping Norton called The Quiet Woman---wonderful place that has gotten more than a few £s from me through the years.










My next is a vintage tape measure, bought it in England, but can't remember where.



My third is a vintage fold-up yardstick.  Again, bought in England, but I don't remember where.






Fourth is a jar of vintage buttons that my sister gave me for Christmas one year.






And Fifth is a sterling silver thimble hallmarked for Birmingham, England 1901.




I'll leave you with this picture of the thermometer in our family room, I took the photo around 10:30 this morning.  The temperature on the left is the outside temperature and the one on the right is the indoor temperature.
It's going to be around 99º today.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

After the Rains

Yes we did get some rains, over an inch from thunderstorms on Tuesday afternoon and a bit of a splash yesterday.  It was briefly nice.  But the trouble with rain in the summer is that it quickly steams back up into the air and the humidity increases even if the temperature has gone done.
On my last post Heron  at  A Heron's View wondered if I had insulation and  double glazing because they should help our house stay cool.  We  have plenty of insulation and all windows are double glazed.  The real problem,  as  Angry Parsnip at Two Square Dogs pointed out,
is that in order to keep your home cool you have to run the air conditioning night and day.  $$$$  This is an all electric house and it's about 3,000 sq.ft., to run the air conditioning night and day would cost a fortune.  We do have a window air conditioner in our bedroom and we cool that room at night.
We try to balance between being frugal and being miserable.
Angry Parsnip also asked if we'd considered solar.  The answer to that is no.  We won't stay in this house forever, eventually we're going to need a single story house.  As it is we almost never use the upstairs in the summer time. I would love to have 2 things in a new home, water heaters that heat on demand, right now we have 2 big regular ones that keep the water heated all the time.  And I'd like to have individual room air conditioning, not window units but the ones they build into the walls so that we only need to cool the room we're in.
Today it will be around 94º and tomorrow 99º, but after that we're in for a break and it will be in the lower 80's for several days.  I'm planning on dashing out and doing some weeding, the weeds have taken to laughing at me as I walk by, so they're going to get theirs.
I try to get everything I need to do done, done in the morning.  We still walk before breakfast, I pick some cleaning task to do every day, I exercise and practice the piano.  After that it's batten down the hatches and turn on the air conditioner.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful

No it's not snowing, it's frying, frying anything silly enough to be outside.  Please excuse me if I'm a little grumpy today I couldn't get to sleep last night, so I sat on the couch reading till O'3 something in the morning.  Great book, Early Warning, by Jane Smiley---if you like family sagas this is a great one, she's covering 100 years of family history in a trio of books, this being the second.
But back to my grumpiness, because of getting to bed so late and still taking awhile to get to sleep, we slept in this morning.  Miss Kitty came in and yelled at us to no avail, so she laid down on the end of the bed and joined us.
It was well past 8:30 by the time we got up and near 85º outside and around 82º in the house.  So the walk was short and not particularly sweet.
We had to make a veggie run today, I was out of most stuff.  We always eat salads, but come this time of year we eat main course salads with chicken, beef or shrimp in them  Also have shish kebabs of meat and fresh veggies, particularly mushrooms and Videlia Onions.
Yesterday was the chicken salad, today leftover chicken, rice and a kidney bean salad, tomorrow steak sandwiches, Thursday hot dogs and Friday we're trying to get to the Marina for shrimp, I may even shave my legs again.  This time of year I try to use the stove as little as possible.
Today is hotter than yesterday and it was 95º then, but it looks like thundershowers are on the way so maybe a little relief.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Notes From the Swamp

It's hot!!!  And muggy!!!  We usually hold out till noon or so before turning on the air conditioning, but it was well above 80º in the house by 10:30 and it had to come on.  I did a load of laundry this morning and by the time I hung it out I was dripping in sweat, so before I started making bread (in a breadmaker, not the oven) I had to have air.
I had several jobs planned for today, but I'm not sure anything will get done except for trying to stay cool.  I know there are places hotter than here, I'm thinking of all of you in Arizona, but the humidity here is a killer.
Mac is working on a couple of paintings and I think I'll crochet.
Well pooh.  My nose and my conscience got the better of  me.  My closet has been smelling musty  lately and even though I hang things in there to collect the moisture I knew it was time to give it a good cleaning.
So I emptied some shelves, filled bags for Goodwill with jeans and shorts I can no longer fit my expansive rear into any more,  and  then wiped the shelves down.  If they were nice wooden  shelves this would have gone quickly, but they're wire and it took forever.  But it's done, I swept the floor out, made another bag for Goodwill of books and put everything else back.  It smells so much better.
We run a dehumidifier in our bedroom nearly every day, taking gallons of moisture out of the room, but bottom line is that we live in a swamp and it's a battle.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Fünf am Freitag

It's time for Five on Friday again with Amy at Love Made My Home and all the other great bloggers.
Quick week, 1/3 of the way through June, swear the days are on wheels.  Lovely Tropical Storm Colin visited on Monday and the rest of the days are just a blur.  But I have been practicing my German everyday, if only I could remember my Die, Der, Das I'd be fine.


My first is my new rug.  Because, and yes I know we shouldn't, but we do, we eat on the couch in the family room, even with daily vacuuming and spot cleaning, we've made the rug there pretty unsavory.  So I've gotten a new one.  The old one is out on the deck, it has been thoroughly soaked, loads of soap and scrubbing has taken place.  Whether it can ever be resurrected is another story.  We could solve our problem by eating at the table, but we don't.  It's not even that we're sitting on the couch to watch tv, we're usually reading.  So an investment in cheap rugs seems like a reasonable idea.




My second is the new header for my blog, one of Mac's paintings and it looks right for June.




My third is the Hibiscus that sits on the front porch and is blooming right now.  We have to put it in the greenhouse in winter, but that's alright, we've kept it going for several years now.  Except for being sensitive to cold weather they're actually a pretty hardy plant and require little care.






My fourth is a little fairy house that our daughter gave me a few years ago and the yard pretty much destroyed.  But Mac managed to resurrect it and even lay a path out for it.  He moved it into the garden where it's a bit less wild than the rest of the yard.





And my fifth is a bit of a sad tale.  Yesterday we were going to run errands and then go out for shrimp and beer at the Marina near us.  So I washed my hair, I shaved my legs, put on my new Gloria Vanderbilt black capris, new zebra top and my new blue sandals.  We went to the post office to mail a package internationally, which took forever even before the postage machine jammed.  They don't have customs slips laying about any more.  You have to stand in line, and everybody and  God was there to mail packages, get the slip, fill it out, go to the head of the line, have them type in everything you've printed out, then print your postage.  Which as I said is when the machine jammed.  The postman had to jimmy the paper out and put it through again.  Mac had gone to the hardware store and bought a bunch of stuff and was back LONG before I was through.  But eventually it was done, we won't even talk about what it cost.  Then off to pick up water and a few other items.  Home then to drop stuff off and down to the Marina for our reward, except there was to be no reward, they didn't open till 4:00 and it was on 2:20.  Sigh.  So home we went, changed into around the house clothes, cooked some shrimp and had a couple of beers.  It wasn't bad, it just wasn't what I had envisioned, I mean, I shaved my legs.


Photos borrowed from Amazon and Macy's where I bought these, definitely not me in the photos.





Well that's my Five, hope everyone has a good weekend.









Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Day After

The sun is shining, clothes were hung out to dry, the pool was  cleaned, Colin is gone.  Lots of tree branches down in the neighborhood including one real biggie, but  none of ours. We got nearly 3 1/2  inches of rain when all was said and done, but no damage, no flooding.   Everything in the garden looks ok,  except for the beans, not quite sure what their problem is.
I'm feeling better, decided to split my dosage into 2 parts. I  take part in the morning and part in the evening,   we'll see how that goes.  It's either that or back to the old dosage. Haven't told my Doctor, but he's usually pretty understanding.
We just got the last film in the Hobbit series, don't know when we'll see it, I think it's  probably about 3 hours long and the cat hates war movies, so we'll wait till she's asleep sometime---lol, like she isn't asleep most of the time.
Spent the morning wrapping things for our daughter's birthday, need to get it in the mail this week so she'll have it in time. Hate making out custom slips.   The box feels pretty heavy, so I'm guessing it's going to cost a bit to mail.  I promised Mac I wouldn't tell him how much it costs.
Tomorrow I have to wrap a painting for him, one of his paintings sold and is going to a new home in North Carolina.
That's about it for Tuesday in the swamp





Monday, June 6, 2016

Another One

Tropical Storm Bonnie barely brushed us, leaving only a quarter of an inch of rain.  Tropical Storm Colin seems to be a bit more persistent.  Landfall isn't expected for hours and we've already gotten more than a 1/2 inch of rain.

It's now about 12:30 and we've had more than an inch of rain, it just keeps coming.  Mac moved some plants into the garage or under a tree to keep the rain from beating them up too badly.

I've been a little under the weather today, I suspect an increase dosage of one of my medications may be the culprit (last week I went in for blood tests and the doctor decided I needed more of something).  So having rainy weather is ok with me.  So far I had a really good piano practice (lots of Baroque sonatas) more done on my afghan, and I broke my new puzzle out, sorted the colors and started the edge.  Miss Kitty stuck her paw in from time to time, but I blocked her path and  brought her down with me, under protest, when I left.





This is what it looks like in the garden, with no let up in sight.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Five on Friday

It's June, half-way to Christmas, oh dear!!   But as always it's time to join with Amy at Love Made My Home for Five on Friday.

First:  It's officially summer here, days in the low 90's and nights in the low 70's with thunderstorms each afternoon.  Last night the storms passed through, the temperatures dropped outside, though it was still around 80 inside when what should happen but the electricity went out.  No lights, no fans, no tv, no air conditioning.   Hunt down candles, find the DVD player that operates on a battery and pray the electricity comes back on soon.  It didn't.  It went off just before 9PM and didn't come back on till nearly midnight.  Had to wash-up in the dark and go to bed.  Didn't really get to sleep until a while after the electricity came  on, made for a short night.

Second:  Being a glutton for punishment I ordered a new puzzle and it came in yesterday.  Will get started on it this weekend.


Third:  The garden is doing so well this year thanks to all of Mac's hard work.  I've not been out there much this year, first allergies and now the heat, but he just keeps working.



Mac planted green beans last week and they're already up


The Gladiolas are glorious

The Confederate Rose, a type of Hibiscus developed for the south



Fourth:  The local turtles stopped by to see what was for lunch and if you look very carefully you can see the fish, Blue Gill I think, who have also lined up for a helping.






Fifth:  We started watching Quentin Tarantino's latest movie Hateful Eight and though the characters were great and the dialogue pure Tarantino we stopped about half-way through because it had reached the point where they started killing each other and we all know how that works out in a Tarantino film.

That's my five, do visit all the other bloggers who are participating this week and have a great weekend.








Tuesday in the Swamp

The house is once again filled with the smell of Gingerbread, I baked a load of little men, even wore my Gingerbread Apron, but I'm too ...