Saturday, February 17, 2018

Good Thing This Isn't Smell-O-Vision

The Man has been on a quest for some cologne the past few months. He's been after me to pick something out that I like since he thinks I'll be doing most of the smelling.


I think he'll be doing most of the smelling so he should find something he likes. We're not seeing eye to eye on this matter. I've put it off several times but he finally got to me and I agreed to go out and see what I could find.

I started in Macy's, land of a million billion-dollar scents. I literally smelled every scent they had on the shelves. I went through them one at a time, top to bottom, right to left. I think I burned all the little hairs in my nostrils. One of the sales clerks took pity on me and brought over a jar filled with coffee beans. She said it works to clear the scent from my nose.


I took a sniff and went back into the fray. After a while they all blended together and smelled the same. I couldn't pick one. I was starting to get a headache. And a little cranky. I refused to spend a billion dollars for a small bottle of scent that I wasn't even sure the Man would like.

I walked out of there very discouraged. And a little perturbed that I couldn't find one. I decided to stop at Hollister, remembering they used to have a scent I liked when J was in college. I tried a few scents, squirting little bits on tags of paper and wafting them past my nose. I picked up the next bottle and squirted the paper.

Or at least that's what I thought I was doing. 

In reality the nozzle was pointed in a totally different direction than it looked and my hand took the full brunt of the squirt. So much cologne came out that my hand was DRIPPING with scent. I watched tiny drops fall off my hand.

Oh dear. 

I stunk.

I walked quickly out of store wiping scent off on anything and everything I went by. I couldn't stand my own self. I got to a bathroom and washed my hands several times trying to get rid of the smell.

That's it. I give up.

I went home and told the Man he was on his own when it came to picking out a cologne. So he called K and roped her into his crazy quest.

That's a story for another day.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Slow Steps

Mom is slowing down. At 92, she's entitled. 

I had to take her to see the doc yesterday. Her shoulder has been bothering her terribly when the forecast is for rain/snow. Mom is the least complaining person I know. She would hate to think she's putting anyone out by asking for anything. So when she starts yelping because she's raised her shoulder the wrong way, we pay attention. 

But even with all the pain she was in she didn't want to bother the doc. I had to insist that we tell the doc about the pain in her shoulder. She finally relented and agreed we could report the pain. When I went into her room to let her know it was time to leave for her appointment, she winced. I think she was afraid to move which only made me more determined to talk to the doc.

It was slow going getting her to the car. Mom uses a walker because she's not too steady on her feet. She walks very slowly and surely with the walker though. She was able to get out onto the back porch but I had to help her down the few stairs we have leading down to the driveway. There was a little snow on the ground so I decided to step down each step with her, keeping my arm around her back and waist in case she slipped. When I put my arm around her, she put her arm around me and leaned her head onto my shoulder.

"I love you," she said softly. 

And we walked slowly to the car. One of those moments I don't want to forget.

On the way home, we stopped to pick up a few prescriptions. It was near lunch so I suggested McDs. She loves, loves, loves chicken nuggets and french fries. As soon as I mentioned it, she perked up and gave me a big smile.

"Don't forget the barbecue sauce!" she said.

I think she was starting to feel better already.

A little bitty snowstorm a few weeks had me running inside for my striped scarf. I love all that color against the snowy woods.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Snow Frosting

The side of the barn taken after the last snow storm.

The wind blew the snow everywhere. It piled up in the center of the wreath and looked like big mounds of vanilla frosting.

The clean lines and simple subject made me want to play with the photo a little bit. I used an app called "Glaze" to alter it.

I like it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tiny Trees

I've had fun the past few weeks making these sweet little things. So simple and easy to make.

I found the tiny jars at Michael's and the small trees came from Oriental Trading Company. A little bit of Gorilla glue on the bottom of the tree to adhere it to the jar. A little bit of salt for the snow.


Tiny tree in a jar.

I've been busy working on more mittens. 



Staying snuggled up in my cozy sweater dear J gave me.

We've been getting together with friends, going out to dinner, seeing movies. It's nice to have time to spend doing all these things. Life slows down a bit in the winter. 

I like it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Sittin' and Knittin' Mittens

One of the mittens I've been knitting this past week. It looks gigantic.

But when you throw it in the washing machine? It felts to just the right size. Not too big, not too small. Just right, Goldilocks.

 Felting is magical.
These are super thick and warm mittens.  They are going to keep my hands very toasty during the cold winter.

I'm really enjoying knitting these - they are portable and quick to knit.

K and I traveled hither and yon to a knitting shop to get some more wool.  Now I have lots of lovely colors and lots of pretty combinations to make.

If you'd like the pattern, click here.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Think, Think, Think

A vignette from the front porch.

It has been a wee bit busy around here and I have not had time to get the camera out. It's too dark by the time I get home and honestly, it has been too cold. 

I worked extra hours last week. A team of four of us went to a three day training seminar on a new way of thinking.

Whatever that means.

I hope it works. Sometimes my thinking needs a boost.

I was very tired after working all those hours and doing all that new thinking. It was all I could do to come home, collapse into a chair, and knit a little while to relax. I finished a pair of mittens and I love, love, love them. They are felted mittens and are super thick and oh-so-warm. I'll show you pics next time.

I think you'll love them too.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Crazy Cold

Can you see the temperature on that thermometer? It is crazy cold. I was shooting through two panes of glass with a zoom lens. That explains the muddled photo.

I was NOT opening the door to get the shot. That would be crazy.

Seems to be the theme for the day. Crazy.
I had to run a few errands yesterday. It was crazy out there. I made a stop at a local building store and ran into several strange situations. The first was I was backing out of a parking spot. I was about a third of the way out of the spot when a mother and small child literally stepped right in back of my vehicle. I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting them. I don't think the mom saw me moving at all.  She certainly didn't seem like she was paying attention to her surroundings. I know they weren't there when I started moving because I looked both directions a couple times. I'm super paranoid about backing up so I look multiple times each time I have to do it.

After they went past me, I successfully got out of the spot and headed for the exit from the parking lot. Four people, two men and two women, were walking in the middle of the road. Looking up at the sky, at the big sign, at anything other than the road. The middle of the road. Where they were walking. They looked like zombies, wandering around, unaware of their surroundings.

It made me think of flies in the fall. When colder weather starts to set in, flies get very slow and sluggish. They get stupefied. You can catch them with your hands they are so slow. And they walk around, not even bothering to fly.

That's what these people reminded me of and I had an epiphany. They were stupefied by the cold. Just like the flies.
Once I got past those four, I decided to go to the car wash and clean the car. It was filthy from all the road grime from the past few storms. When I got to car wash, I was the fourth car in line. There was a car in the wash bay, the four of us waiting, and people coming in behind me. 

We waited and waited and waited. And waited some more. It took forever for the wash cycle to end and the car to drive out. The next car went in. It was a large SUV. It pulled in and I could see the green "pull forward" arrow blinking so I knew the SUV wasn't properly situated on the tire track.

I don't think the SUV knew it. It just sat there for a while. Eventually the driver realized they were going to have to move the vehicle.

Back up. Move forward, turning the wheel a little bit. Back up. Move forward, turning the wheel a little bit more. This happened about a dozen times. And the little green arrow just kept blinking.

It took about ten minutes before the SUV was properly situated on the track and the door to the wash bay closed. The wash took a very long time. A very long time. So long that I started wondering exactly what was going on in that wash bay.

The door started shaking. I've been through this car wash before and the door doesn't shake. Something was definitely going on in there. The fellow in front of me got out of his truck and took a look at the wash bay door. He stood there for a little while and then got back in his vehicle. The woman who was next in line for a wash got out of her car and went back to talk to the fellow in front of me. They spoke for a few minutes and then looked in my direction. He nodded at something she said and then she came to talk to me.

"The SUV is stuck in there," she said. "They're crashing into things trying to get loose. I want to back up and leave," she added. 

"Okay, I'll back up as soon as the car behind me backs up," I told her. She took off to talk to the woman behind me. She had to make this speech several times because we had a line of seven cars waiting for this wash bay. It took a little maneuvering but I finally got myself out of line and drove off. No car wash for me.

Side note - When I went by the car wash today the bay door was still closed. Yikes. I wonder if they're still in there?

I was very happy to get home and away from all the cold craziness.
I've been making homemade hot cocoa the past few weekends. We had some New Year's Eve because it was crazy cold that night and my father and uncle wanted hot cocoa when we got back from dinner. I'm not a big fan of the packaged cocoa so I thought I'd try my hand at making my own.

I started out with milk and hot fudge sauce. That was okay, but as my niece said, "It tastes like chocolate milk."

Can't have that, can we?

So she looked at a few recipes and we tried one. It was pretty tasty. Everyone seemed to like it.

We had some friends over last night and I tried it again. But I couldn't find the recipe. I found one similar and modified it a bit.

Homemade Hot Cocoa

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
Dash salt
1/3 cup boiling water
4 cups of milk
1 cup of half and half
Miniature marshmallows or whipped cream for topping

In a saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, and salt. Add boiling water and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in milk and half and half and bring to serving temperature. Do not boil. Remove from heat and enjoy!

*I find this to be a pretty sweet cocoa mix. I think I'm going to try cutting the sugar next time. Or I may add more milk/half and half.

Stay warm and stay safe. It's crazy out there.