Monday, February 8, 2016

Is it Winter or Summer?

Yesterday it began warming up out here.  We reached a high of 81 on our outdoor thermometer.  It's supposed to be in the low to mid-80s for the next eight days.  This is February, the middle of winter, and I want winter back, thank you very much.
I have one in bloom in each of two separate pots.
 The bulbs came from my mom's in the year or two prior to her death, but I haven't paid much attention to them so I'm only getting a few.  I'm surprised there are still any left that the squirrels haven't devoured.
Fruitless pear blossom
 With the neighbor's ivy, which I detest, as a backdrop, the blossoms on the fruitless pear are emerging.  I mentioned in last Sunday's post that they'd be along shortly.
Fruitless pear leaves.
 The leaves are getting larger, and display nicely against the deep blue sky. 
weeds
Weeds are beginning to proliferate.  Not much else will grow well in this sandy soil.  It needs a lot of amendments, but there's no room to add good soil without removing a lot of the old soil. 

I see tomorrow is Tuesday - I don't have any "back-up" items to use for the toaster oven post, so may have to make something and post late in the day...or next week.  

Nick came home at noon on Thursday complaining of feeling ill.  He had a fever, and over the next couple days it stayed below 102.  He didn't want to be disruptive to his classes as he was still coughing and sneezing today so stayed home again, but will be going back to school tomorrow.   

Marty has also been sick.  I didn't realize he'd recently had a mild cold, which always goes into his chest and for the last several days he's been feeling pretty crummy and coughing a lot, and is tired still today.  He starts his new job tomorrow, so I hope he can pull it off.  

I've hibernated in my Creation Station this week, emerging only to fix meals, and meet with friends a couple times.  Today I went downstairs and spent the better part of the day doing chores.

I managed three loads of laundry, and half of one that had been sitting in the dryer for a week.  Everything is now either hanging on the racks in the garage (laundry area) or folded and sitting on the table waiting to be put away.  I paid some bills, cleaned the cat box, finished loading the dishwasher and ran it, tried to take a late nap but was interrupted by a call from my sister and then it was time to fix dinner (shell pasta, shrimp, Alfredo sauce and spinach - yum, I mixed mine altogether in a bowl). 

Yesterday and some today, I've worked on identifying photos that I brought back from Oregon.  One brother wants to know: "Where are the old black and whites that were in the shoe box sorted per sibling?"  I'd have to share too much drama for you to understand why that irks me.  I'm so tempted to ignore his post, and probably will for a few days.  My plan with these photos (I'm the one who sorted them) was/is to scan them - some were scanned at my dad's in Oregon when I was there - and put them on disk(s) to send to all the siblings along with "their" respective originals.   I just hadn't bothered with it to this point.  

I have too many of those things I just haven't bothered with.  Maybe I'll start getting to some of them this week.  Maybe not.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Toaster Oven Tuesday

Did you think I'd given up on Toaster Oven Tuesday?  I've thought about it.  After all, it seems I can pretty much bake in my toaster oven anything one would bake in their regular oven; except a full-sized, stuffed turkey that is.

We had an overnight guest this week and I made my meat loaf in the toaster oven. We had rough mashed red potatoes - peeled because they had been here for a few weeks and I didn't want any nasty surprises! I rounded the meal out with whole green beans, and then added this for dessert, and it needed to be baked.  So into the oven it went.
I'd never tried Claim Jumper's Dutch Apple Pie.  I was originally shopping for a peach pie because that has been the only flavor Nick likes, but the store had none, and this just looked good.  I think I've been craving something sweet with that crumbly type of topping.
This is how it looked going into the oven...frozen, of course.  After the first 35 minutes or so, I did have to put foil around the edges of the crust so that it didn't get too dark.
After 50-55 minutes, the crumble topping was added while leaving the foil in place, then baked for an additional 10 minutes.
This was the end result.  Oh how scrumptious looking.  You know, we ate it with Tillamook Vanilla Bean ice cream and didn't get a single picture of that!  Not even of the leftovers over the next few days.  This was a delicious pie.  I will buy it again, but I sure wish pie didn't have calories!

Oh, and Nick, he liked it too.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Almost Spring, Creation Station, Flame, Rain & Other Updates

Well sometimes life just keeps marching on and before you know it a new month is at hand and tomorrow is February, can you believe it?

While I've been puttering around here in my craft room, my mind rambles hither and yon, and a good name finally hit me for my room.  It's the area where I create and is really my 'hub' where I do my thinking, I pray & study, and where I just do most things aside from cooking and housework.  This room is now going to be known as my Creation Station. 

Marty starts a new job on the 8th. I'm praying it goes well.  His unemployment of one month, is far better than the nine months we faced in 2013/14.  The CT scan he needed after a suspicious xray came back fine with nothing showing.  We praise God for that.

Another friend lost his sister to cancer this week.  She was the sister-in-law of the young lady I taught to quilt a couple years ago.  She had gone to Thailand and became too ill to return to the states, so he traveled there for a final visit just a few weeks ago.  I pray the Lord comforts their family.
Ornamental Pear
This week with its 80+ temperatures, revealed spring is on its way.  The neighbor has an ornamental pear that hangs over our fence and I noticed the leaves are beginning to show.
Ornamental pear and a house across the 'valley'.
It'll be blossoming before we know it.  The blossoms don't last long, and then they blow off and look a bit like fluffy snowflakes falling.  These two pictures were just taken yesterday.
Open it Flame.
This young lady was hanging out with me here in my Creation Station.  I had the door mostly closed so that the heat would stay in.  She decided it was time to leave but I didn't open the door for her.  It had just the tiniest of gaps - less than shown in the photo - so she worked on opening it.
I think I did it.
She finally pushed it open with her paw and her nose...

...and said good-bye.

Rain on my window.
A storm began blowing in last night, and this is how it was looking this morning.  Rivulets of water streaming down the Creation Station window.  Notice that same pear tree there on the left?
Bright sun, blowing wind, pelting rain.
Awhile later the sun was attempting to peak through a thin section of the clouds.  It was, at the same time still blowing very strongly and the rain was pelting the window.  That gap hung around for about 20 minutes and I had to close the blinds as it was just too bright in the room.  As I look out now, the sky is blue, fading as the sun is setting with a bank of clouds off over the hills that have a crown of pretty pink-orange on them.  Too low, and not enough for a good picture...and already gone.

Tomorrow, I'll be headed off to Costco for a few things and then meeting up for lunch with my friend Panda, hopefully also finding out when she and her other friend want to get together so that we can start on Allietare. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Slow-Mo Saturday

In reality, I think just about every day is 'Slow-Mo"  for me.  

I haven't written up any Toaster Oven Tuesday posts for this year yet.  I intended to do one on Mac & Cheese this week, but didn't take a single picture so didn't bother.  Notice I wasn't really very intent!

A friend was going to come on Tuesday and have dinner and spend the night, but her plans changed and she arrived a few hours earlier and only stayed for a couple hours.  We rarely have guests, so I had to make the house look at least a little presentable.  That kept me busy all morning, and I had to do some shopping, which I tend to put off all the more with Marty's unemployment.  It's not like we can't afford to still eat, but I go into survival mode, I was very poor for more years than I care to remember.  This friend and I have been friends-of-various-degree since 1974.  She's had her own difficulties in finding good employment in recent years, and barely scrapes by. 

We had a good visit even though shorter than planned, and after she left, I went ahead and prepared the dinner I'd planned and Nick, Marty & I enjoyed it and the leftovers all through yesterday.

Marty's been busy with telephone and in-person interviews.  In between, he needed to have an out-patient procedure done to remove a bladder stone.  He's so much more 'relieved' now.  We voiced thoughts about what would have happened if we were living 100 or more years ago...I think, as minor a problem as we see this today, it might have become a slow, agonizing death for him back then.  Dreadful thought.  He had to go through a pre-op visit for this procedure, and a chest x-ray caused some concern so he has to go in this next week for a CT scan.  Please pray this is nothing more than a faulty x-ray.  Marty's quite concerned (i.e. worried) and I'm trying not to be until we have all the facts.

Yesterday, he received the call from one of the interviewing companies, to offer him a position.  They just have to work out his salary, hopefully acceptable to them to keep us on or above, the same plane we've been on.   He'd taken cuts with the last two positions after his August 2013 lay off, so it would be nice to come back up a little.  It took nine months for him to regain employment last time, so if this position holds, it's a big improvement being only three weeks since he was let go.

Two friends this past week or so have respectively lost a parent.  One's dad was in his 90s, the others mom was 86.  One in CA but taking the remains to TX, the other in MN with final resting place in TN.  The one for TN is tomorrow so I pray that with the horrible weather conditions back there, that all goes as planned.  There seems to be so much loss at this age.  I don't suppose that'll change. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Rain...It DOES Exist

Over the past few days, we have finally received more than just a spritz of rain.  Tuesday morning I woke up to that glorious sound of rain and wind, and could look out the window from my bed and watch the trees blowing along with the sheets of rain.  The water on the streets was flowing well.  Our house is in a gently sloped area, so the water runs off well from the street as long as the drains aren't clogged and there was no problem with that. Our back yard is a different story.
This picture was from several years ago, but is similar to how it was looking on Tuesday.  I refer to it as our own private "lake".  The majority of the back yard is concrete that is badly cracked and lifting from the root structure of the 50+ year old Modesto Ash that takes up the only non-concrete area.  In some places, the cracked concrete is lifted over an inch higher than the other piece it's cracked from.  Because of this, the concrete also slopes downward slightly towards the house from the big crack, and some of that water pooled up to over an inch deep.  I was worried it would get so high we'd be getting some into the house, but it didn't, so all is well.  
Marty had made it up onto the roof on Monday to make sure the past known entry points for leaks were tended to with the Henry's goop stuff, so thankfully, I didn't have any leaks in the ceiling of my craft room.  There was water that got into the window track though, so I had to use towels to sop it up.  I think that has been a problem since those windows were installed 10-12 years or more ago.  

Over the two main days of rain, I think we received just under 2" of that glorious, and much needed, wet stuff.  Mountain areas got a lot of snow, and that's even better because it will help fill lakes and reservoirs as it melts.  Heavy rains create too much run-off and end up in channels that run to the ocean more than they fill underground natural aquifers I think.  Slow, persistent rains might be better, but I'll be happy with whatever we get, it is so badly needed here, and in the mountains in this state.  We will get more, but not to this level at least for a week or so.  It sprinkled just a little when I went out early today for my "girls" annual appointment. 

The kitties were intrigued with the rain too.  Not so much with the rain maybe, but with the little birds that were trying to seek shelter under the entry area at our front door where the cats could hear them, and then outside our bedroom windows are flower pot ledges where the birds were also seeking a respite from the downpour.  The kitties were just itching to get through that glass to grab them.  I stood at the window myself watching for awhile and some of those little birds' heads were totally soaked. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Round Two

OK, I'm ready for 2016 to start all over with different results.  

I was quite happily and intent-edly getting my address books updated and my Christmas card list in order (to be ready for 2016's Christmas) when I decided to check my Facebook page.  

Unfortunately, there was a message there from Marty saying today was lay off day at the company he just started working for this past July, and he was among those who had to pack up and leave.   He is now home, and seems more hopeful than I expected, and certainly more hopeful than when he was laid off back in August 2013.  I don't know that I'll fair well going through how he was then....I have enough of my own "issues" that I've been struggling with.

The Lord will see us through this; I believe that; I just don't relish the process...and the hit to the bank account during the time it takes for him to find employment again, which hopefully will happen.  At 61, finding employment is harder (veiled age discrimination is a reality) and he's still too young to retire.   My selfish self isn't ready for him to be home 24/7 yet either.

My efforts on the address book and card list were completed.  I then spent 20 minutes on hold to the pharmacy to get a prescription filled before giving up and then just driving there.  I think I was home with refill in hand in less time than I'd spent on hold! 

In trying to prepare a post on Webs of Thread, Blogger/Firefox freezes as soon as I try to add my photos, so I'm giving up for now.  It past time to get dinner started.

I pray tomorrow is better.


Friday, January 1, 2016

Into 2016

I did it.  I stayed up until the new year arrived in my time zone.  Staying up specifically for that was not my intent, but I decided to watch a Lord of the Rings movie that came on and it went until midnight.  My bed received me shortly after.

This morning I woke up to find that the vertigo was back again.  It had just gone away two days ago after having been around for two-plus weeks.  I'd have no objection if it went away and stayed away.

My husband was already up, so I went downstairs, grabbed a cup of coffee and plopped myself down on the sofa to watch the Rose Parade over the next two hours.  Then I went back upstairs, checked Facebook and read a very crushing post.  Over the last couple of years, when I'm up north, some of my lady classmates and I would get together for lunch.  It's so nice to see my classmates and realize we can all be friends and actually feel close to each other, though that may not have been the case in school.  Funny how maturity does that to us.  

The husband of one classmate had sent me a friend request within this past year and he seemed to be just a wonderful dear of a man, and they were so much in love and just the cutest couple based on their respective posts, I never met him in person though.  He ran an antique store in McMinnville where my dad used to live.  In the early hours of this morning, I don't know all the details, he had a massive heart attack and did not survive.  I am heart-broken for his wife and family.  He was only 63, far too young in my thinking, but I know God's timing is perfect, and this man had an on-fire love for the Lord.  Still, for my classmate to lose her husband with so much future left to enjoy, seems so heart-breaking.  

I'm hoping this isn't a sign of what the rest of 2016 brings; I'd like it to be more positive than 2015.

We're planning to go see Star Wars today...I'd better get my head into the game!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...