Mar 12, 2018

Mammock Monday

mammock ~ scrap or shred; a broken piece

First of all, I want to state for the record that I HATE the time change. The purpose it was intended to serve no longer applies, and in the next election I will only vote for the party that promises to get rid of it.


Somewhat quiet week last week, and the same could be said for the weekend, other than a trip to one of the nearby malls. The mall in our town is kind of sad and pathetic, so if you want to do any real shopping it’s an hour drive in any direction but south - we’re right on the lake so if you go south you’ll end up in Lake Ontario. ;-)

Sunday I worked away in my office, going through files and moving folders around. This part of the Great Office Shuffle is turning out to be more complicated than I expected. While I have storage space in the closet, the big question is what should go in there and what needs to be closer at hand. This is made even more complicated by the fact that I’m technically organizing two offices - my new one and my old one.

Files, folders and supplies I need close at hand will go in the filing space of my new office. Supplies and important stuff that I do not need close at hand will go in the old office. Supplies I won’t need very often and files/folders that I want to keep but don’t need close at hand can go in the storage closet.

There is a lot of stuff to go through and shuffle around. Not just blank paper (in various weights and colours) but notebooks (various shapes and sizes), binders, folders, document covers, printable labels, and photo paper. And let’s not forget the files full of....stuff - stories and pictures and information.

In my younger days I used to enjoy cutting up magazines -saving stories, recipes, articles, pictures - even National Geographics weren’t safe from my scissors. This has led to a great number of folders of clippings. Once box I found was all recipes. It looked like at one time I tried to organize them by gluing them to three-ring paper and put them in binders, but it’s got to be at least ten years since I even saw that box.

It kind of put me in the mind of the show on the Arts & Entertainment network called Hoarders. Have you ever seen it? Look it up if you haven’t. I can only watch it for short periods of time, I find it too disturbing. Maybe because I’m such a pack rat and I can relate a little too well to these people. I can live with being a pack rat, but I can’t imagine being a hoarder. Hence the purging of the boxes of files in the offices. And my ongoing efforts to de-junk the rest of the house.

And after all, it’s not like we can take it with us.

Mar 5, 2018

Musomania Monday

musomania ~ obsession with music

Considering it was still February last week, the weather was putting thoughts of spring in the air. We got a bit more sun than we’d been having, and the temperature was downright pleasant.

March first I looked out the back when I was having my breakfast and saw one of these:

The first robin of spring! I took it as a good omen. Until the following day when I woke up to six inches of snow over everything. *sigh* Now it melted rather quickly, as did the snow we got during that night, but still....

Spring doesn’t officially start for another three weeks, and a lot of people believe we’re not safe from the white stuff until after Easter, which is only a week later. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I am so done with winter!

I’m counting on the robins to be harbingers of spring, it’s tradition after all. Another tradition is the changing of the purse. I had an Aunt who had a different purse for every season (as well as a few extra - must be where I got my love of purses from) and the first sign of spring with her was the changing over of the purse.

Though I like purses I tend to stick to one no matter the season. I have a tiny one for when I’m going out somewhere fancy, a big cloth one as an option for summer, and both a medium size and a large red one just because they’re pretty.

My most recent purse was a weird shade of green that almost, but not quite, matched my leather jacket and was big enough to hold my Alphasmart Neo (one of the selling features), should the need arise. I had another one at one time that was an even weirder colour of green and I used it for a long time. I paid a stupid amount for it because it was supposed to be genuine leather. I’m pretty sure the outer layer isn’t supposed to flake off with genuine leather.

If you’re curious as to how you can tell the difference, check out this helpful article from One Leaf

The next purse was definitely genuine leather, the large red one I got from a friend. The problem with it was that there was no shoulder strap and I like a shoulder bag. Then I got the medium sized red purse, thinking I needed a smaller purse. No I didn’t. I like big purses and I cannot lie.

There were several purses I tried in between, some bought at full price and some bought at thrift stores but none that were quite right. I just got rid of a huge purple purse that while it looks nice and I like the size, I’ve never used because the shape is a little unwieldy.

The green purse I was forced to retire was suffering from the same illness that the first green purse had - flaking skin. It lasted really well considering it was a thrift store find, but as much as I loved that purse it was getting really ratty looking. Time to let it go.

So on the weekend I went purse shopping and after much debate and many (many!) rejections, I found a replacement. It’s basic black leather, a little smaller than my old one which means there’s not enough room for my Neo, but plenty for notebooks and my Kindle. Now all that's left is the adjustment period.

I’ve got my new purse, can spring be far behind? What are your favorite signs of spring?

Feb 26, 2018

Meristic Monday

meristic ~ divided into parts or segments

I had all kinds of wonderful things to my head. But now that I’m sitting here at the keyboard they’ve pretty much vanished without a trace. Ain’t that always the way?

It was a pretty up and down week last week. Most of our lovely snow has gone, except for where it was piled up on either side of driveways and mounds left by the snow plows along the roads. What’s left is not pretty snow either, it’s that dirty, crystallized stuff that hurts when you kick it.

As a result of all that rain and melting snow we got, there was a lot of flooding, including our basement. We’ve always had a bit of a water problem in our basement, but over the years the hubby has worked both indoors and out to alleviate it. Now it only gets bad in cases of extreme water, which we had last week.

You’d think with the unseasonal warm we’d get more sun, but alas that is not the case. So instead of being cold and miserable, we were warm (and wet!) and miserable. The forecast is for the warmer temperatures to continue for the next couple of weeks but to be prepared for a winter storm.

Now that I believe, coming from the weather network. The general rule of thumb for my neck of the woods is to expect snow through the middle of March. The March Break is usually good for skiing. And even Easter has been known to produce a flake or two. I can remember some truly magnificent storms when I was a kid, one in particular in April.

People complain about the cold snow now, but this is nothing compared to what it was 30 or more years ago (thank you global warming!). There was more snow and cold, the kind of cold that froze your nose hairs when you breathed in, and the moisture from breathing out froze on the scarf covering your mouth....and less complaining about it. We just took it in stride - it’s winter, you gotta expect cold and snow.

But there also was no internet back then. No obsessively checking a weather app to see what the temperature is, no logging into Facebook to whine about it. I wonder if we’d feel as cold if we didn’t know what the temperature was?

It’s kind of like getting into the pool in the summer. We have an above ground pool. The hubby uses it a lot in the summer; me, not so much (okay, rarely). But sometimes on a warm day I’ll stick my hand in the water and it feels nice...until the hubby checks the temperature and tells me it’s only 74F.

Nope, changed my mind. Not going in. But I might have, had I not known the water was colder than I like (I prefer 78 to 80 - doesn’t seem like a big difference, but it sure feels like it). Maybe not knowing the temperature would be better for us all.

Next time you want to check on the weather, try looking out the window instead of at your weather ap. You might enjoy the day more.

Wherever you are, stay warm and dry.

Feb 20, 2018

Macrobiote Monday

macrobiote ~ long-lived organism

The problem with a long weekend is that I tend to lose track of my days. Yesterday was a holiday for most people (Family Day for a lot of Canadians, President’s Day for you Yankees) and it really felt like Sunday to me. Which means I’m still late with this post, but at least you’re getting it. :-D

The good news is that the Super Mega Death Cold From Hell has been reduced to a sinus cold (which may or may not be an infection, I’m giving it a couple of days to decide), and my back is pretty much okay again.

The bad news is, my energy resources are depleted. We’ve had a couple of weeks of mostly grey weather, and the temperature has been rising. Yesterday and today are rainy, and the forecast is for more of the same for the coming week.


Two weekends ago it looked like this outside:

Then we had a week of on-again/off-again snow and last weekend it looked like this outside:

And no, I did not take that picture at night. That’s how dark it was, but there was lots of snow to compensate. However, this weekend it got mild and rainy, and now the deck looks like this:

Sad, isn’t it? They say winter’s not done with us yet, but I checked out the long range forecast and over the next two weeks the temperature isn’t even going to go down to the freezing mark, so I have my doubts.

In the meantime, I think the grandbaby sums up my opinion of the weather nicely:

Feb 12, 2018

Miserable Monday

miserable ~ manifesting misery; worthy of pity

Today’s post called on account of Super Mega Death Cold From Hell.

Normally when I have a cold it’s a sinus cold - runny nose, maybe an ear ache, that’s it. Not so with the Death Cold. This time I have head & sinus congestion, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, fever, chills, aches, loss of energy, loss of appetite. . . . I’m now entering week three of the Death Cold, hopefully the final week (everyone else in my neck of the woods who’ve had it says it only lasts for 2 or 3 weeks).

I did improve somewhat over the weekend - it helped being able to stay in and just relax - but late Saturday I got to add a sore back to the mix. It woke me up early on Sunday morning and I had to break out my trusty heating pad.

Today the back is still a concern (probably from the coughing), the cough has gone from a dry, nagging cough to a deep chested seal bark, and I still have a sinus thing going on. But at least I no longer have to stuff tissue up my nose to keep it from dripping all over.

So knock wood, hopefully I’m on the mend.

Feb 5, 2018

Moilsome Monday

moilsome ~ laborious

Do you craft?

I’ve often said I’ve never met a craft I didn’t like, or at least give a try, hence the big storage closet that’s over-flowing with craft stuff even after cleaning it out a couple of times. And there’s nothing like a snowy day to fill you with the urge to pick up a crochet hook or a pair of knitting needles.

My latest endeavor is a vest I’m knitting while watching TV at night. I don’t remember learning to crochet, but I remember teaching myself to knit from a book. I learned to sew from my mother on an old Singer sewing machine that went forwards and backwards and that was it - but it opened up a whole new world of fashion for my Barbies. And I remember her teaching me to embroider long before that so I could achieve my sewing badge in the church group I belonged to.

I had an uncle who did needlepoint - I have a footstool covered with his work, and the daughter has one of the chairs he did. My sisters like to do counted cross stitch, but I find it hard on the eyes. I do like to embroider though, and I have a couple of unfinished quilts made up of embroidered squares. And I’ve had to stop myself from crocheting afghans - I’ve run out of people to give them to and I have more than I can possibly use. :-D

One of my favorite places to visit when I was a kid was Owen Sound. Not because it’s a beautiful city, which it is, but because that’s where Aunt Florence lived. And Aunt Florence was the Craft Queen. She took craft classes and clipped craft sections from magazines and never failed to have a new craft to share.

Oh, the memories...

We made flowers out of crepe paper - big red poppies with black centers, and yellow daisies, and white tulips. Using fabric and starch we made fabric flowers using the same patterns, and she made the Three Wise Men that sat on her mantle-piece every Christmas after that. Then there were the St. Patrick’s Day pigs, made out of styrofoam egg cartons. Easter egg shaped bird’s nests made out of balloons wrapped in string.

I think of Aunt Florence every time I’m in the craft aisle of a dollar store, as I was on the weekend. And despite having a closet full of craft supplies I couldn’t resist picking up a few more. The granddaughter (hitherto to be known as GD) is at just the right age for crafts.

She already loves painting, and likes putting things together. So I’ve laid in a supply of pom poms and pipe cleaners and googly eyes. I even found a couple of craft kits from Christmas stockings past, which we tried out last week but while the school glue I had on hand is good enough for paper, I needed a proper craft glue to deal with pipe cleaners and pom poms.

Naturally, I subscribe to the belief that the best gifts are the handmade ones. So I was thrilled to receive a dragon GD (with a little help from her dad) made me out of an egg carton. Of course hubby immediately started whining that he wanted a penguin made out of an egg carton for his birthday. Well, they didn’t use an egg carton, but they did make a pretty impressive penguin.

Aunt Florence would be proud!

Jan 29, 2018

Milquetoast Monday

milquetoast ~ very timid; unassertive person

As per usual this time of year, we’ve been having some seriously grey weather that’s put me in a serious case of the doldrums. There have been a couple of attempts by the sun to make an appearance, but for the most part it’s been grey and above zero, grey and below zero, grey and windy, or grey and wet. Sometimes we get a combination, but you can always count on the grey.

The temperature has been like a rollercoaster, all up and down and you never know what's around the corner. Buses were cancelled last week on the assumption we were going to be hit with a major ice storm, only it never got quite cold enough for it. And it's been warm and wet enough that our snow is pretty much all gone.

Not only does this weather make me tired and head-achey, it also makes me snack more. And none of that low-fat, no-calorie crap either, for food to be real comfort food it has to be loaded with fat and carbs and maybe even salt and sugar. And warm - it’s even better if it’s cold out and the snack is fresh out of the oven. Like banana/nut bread, or the chocolate chip cookies I made for the hubby last week.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of comfort food is cinnamon buns. Not those biscuits that you can get in the grocery store, but real cinnamon buns made with the raised dough, the ooey, gooey kind my mother would on rare occasion make. The only store bought ones that were as good came from a long gone bakery called The Cake Box. Cinnabon does a fair imitation, but theirs are way too sweet.

Soup is a good comfort food, but again, keep your low fat/no salt crap to yourself. My current favorite is Campbell’s Chunky Loaded Potato With Bacon soup - mmm mmm good! My freezer is full of soup, but it’s just not the same. Campbell's knows their stuff when it comes to comfort.

Chili is another good comfort food, as well as cheese melted on bread. The cheese should be a sharp cheddar and the bread should be French bread, or even a baguette. Now there's a great comfort food - bread, fresh from the oven and slathered with butter. Excuse me while I drool just thinking about it.

You know who really has it good this time of year? Bears.

Think about it. They get to stuff themselves silly over the summer and fall, then they sleep all winter. Not only do they NOT have to deal with the holiday madness and the weather related chaos, they sleep away the extra pounds over the winter and wake up in the spring nice and refreshed and slimmed down again.

In my next life, I wanna be a bear!