Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Brrrrr . . .

It's FREEZING.  I need to laugh today.  Maybe you do, too.


That is all. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Sunday Wrap-Up . . .

A potpourri of stuff as I wrap up the week  . . .  :-)

I forgot to title my post yesterday  :-D  And I'm sure you've noticed that I'm not posting quite so often.  Now that NaBloPoMo is over, I'm kicking back a bit  :-)

Here's what's going on here today:

Yes, it's the first snow of the season.  It's slightly above freezing, and the ground is not cold yet.  But it's absolutely coming down  :-)  This is what it looked like about 30 minutes later:

Whether it sticks or not is anyone's guess.  I kind of doubt it, because it's going to be back up near 40 on Monday and Tuesday - but it looks like I'm going to have to break out a hat and gloves by Thursday . . .  Winter might finally be here.

Here is something I have learned:  If you use a water bottle - like a SIGG or Klean Kanteen, you should invest in the bottle brush.  This is the SIGG bottle that I keep at work.  It's liter size. I rinse it out with soapy water from time to time there, but God only knows what's been growing in there over time . . .  I figured it was time to bring it home on Friday, and I put it in the dishwasher yesterday.  It didn't get it clean.  So, I broke out the brush, and that made all the difference.

Here's a little semi-mini that I have been trying to grow for forever.  It's not that it's hard to grow, but this plant,  Sassy Sister -

is a sport of a plant called Irish Flirt, which is basically this plant with a white/green blossom.  I have grown both in my time as a grower, but Irish Flirt is probably one of my least favorite violets.  In fact, when I was a brand new student judge - I think I was taking my second or third exam (back in the day in SoCal, judging school was offered every year and once I started, I took every school I could).  The teacher was the wonderful Barbara Elkin. 

In the final part of the test, you had to actually judge two plants, and this was one of the two.  I learned a very important lesson that day - just because you don't particularly care for a plant personally, you cannot judge it more harshly than you would a plant you do "like." In fact, as judges we are taught to remove "like" from our vocabulary when we are judging.

Anyway - I judged it and turned in my test to Barbara.  I was sitting quietly, feeling pretty proud of myself, when all of a sudden I heard, "Annie!"  I looked up and Barbara beckoned me forward, handed me my test back, and said, "I think you'd better take another look at that plant." 

Because of my own bias, I had judged it as a red-ribbon plant when it was a blue.  Good lesson taught by a master.  :-)

When I say I've tried to grow this plant forever, it's only because I would get a leaf and would put it down, nurture it, and wait for it to bloom.  And every time, it would bloom white/green and I would have Irish Flirt on my hands.  :-D   If I'm not mistaken, I actually bought a plantlet of Sassy Sister back in April when I drove down to judge in St. Louis.  I brought it home and took some leaves from it and crossed my fingers. 


I've managed to read a few books and watch some Netflix in the past few weeks.  Yay Me!  I've also realized that I don't think I kept up very well with this particular chronicle.

I just finished The Fiery Cross, which is the fifth book in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.  I listened to it on Audible.  This week I started listening to the next book - which is finally now one I didn't read initially, A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

In November I read The Fifth Rule of Ten.  This series is written by Gay Hendricks and Tinker LindsayIt's about a private investigator who used to be a Buddhist monk!  It's really good!

In November I also finished a book called Black Rain.  This was one of my Amazon Prime Kindle First books (you get one free one every month).  It took me awhile to get into the story, but I eventually found myself completely sucked in.  It's set in a dystopian near future.  A very interesting story.

I've started a book, While You Were Mine.  It's set in the 1940's, one of my favorite time periods.  So far the story seems a little formulaic - I guess we'll see how it goes  :-)  Another Kindle First book.

The book links are to my Goodreads pages - I don't know if they will work, so if they don't, please feel free to let me know and I'll go back to linking in Amazon.

From Netflix - I'm currently watching a Canadian series called Murdoch Mysteries.  I wanted to watch because the star, Canadian actor Yannick Bisson,  was in Joan Anderson's film, Year by the Sea and I liked him very much.  The show is a police procedural - set in 1895 (when the series begins)

I watched both Olympus Has Fallen and London Has Fallen - thrillers with Gerard Butler.  The latter was very much a shoot-em-up - well, they both are, but the second seemed like that's about all it was, but the premises of both films were interesting, and I liked them both.

Central Intelligence - with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Kevin Hart.  Not my normal film choice, but it was funny and I really liked it.  Just the visual of the two of them is pretty hilarious.

Eddie the Eagle - great story of a young man who became the British Olympic ski jumping champion in the 1988 Winter Olympics!

I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal - a documentary.  Very powerful and very important.

Miracles from Heaven - with Jennifer Garner.  It's the story of a young girl who is cured after a bad accident.  It was uplifting.

It's still snowing . . .  Have a little 70's flashback . . .

Saturday, December 3, 2016

I can't believe it's already 1:15.  I chose to not go with my cousins to the Garfield Park Conservatory today, and I'm actually still in my jams . . .  but the kitchen is starting to look a little more normal.  I had stuff sitting in the sink since Thanksgiving - stuff that couldn't go in the dishwasher.  That's embarrassing to admit, but I was so happy to have my stay-cation, that I took a vacation from EVERYTHING.

So, this morning, I finished loading the dishwasher and ran it.  And then I unloaded it and put everything away (Yes!!).  While it was running, I washed, dried, and put away the stuff that had been lingering in the sink.  I also mixed up four gallons of plant water.  I do that in two's  :-)  I used up two gallons filling all the reservoirs.  I really waited too long this time and a number of the plants were very unhappy.  But everything is watered, and groomed, including the two streps that really needed to have some leaves removed and spent blossom stalks cut, and I have two gallons of plant water in reserve so that I can hopefully keep up with things a little better.

Next I'm tackling the sunroom, which isn't too bad, but I've been a little lax in the "put stuff away" category.  Same in the dining room - I was wrapping presents in there and I need to get stuff back into the wrapping box and put it down in the basement.  It used to live under my bed until I got the new bed, which has a support in the middle now.

Does anyone know a great tutorial for duplicate stitch?  I'm really having a tough time with it on a project I'm doing. 

I FINALLY got rid of my StupidPhone!!  I was never happy with the android phone I got as my first SmartPhone.  I am now in possession of an iPhone, and I couldn't be happier!!  Yay!!

That's about all the news from here  :-)

I don't know if I've shared this before.  It was the best cut on the album, and the only one I ripped and put into my iTunes.  It's not Christmas, but I like it :-)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

If My Sister's Broken . . .

Super Tai Chi class last night.  I'm so grateful for it, and I'm getting close to knowing nearly the whole form.  Yay!!

I head back to work today after a lovely break.  It was exactly what I needed. 

Oh - been meaning to tell you that that nasty mildew smell coming from my dryer was gone pretty much immediately after Mike the Appliance Guy cleaned out the vent earlier this month.  And everything gets dry a LOT faster, too.

This has been a difficult month in many ways, and I'm glad that December starts tomorrow.  NaBloPoMo 2016 ends today, and although I didn't post every single day, I did what I could  :-)

This is a shorter post today.  In closing, I want to share this video with you.  The song is called If My Sister's Broken.  It was written by my friend, Kristin Cotts.  She was just with the water protectors at Standing Rock.  This is important . . .

Monday, November 28, 2016

Staycation . . .

I'm having one.

It rocks.


I'm finally getting rid of my StupidPhone!!  Yay!!  I ordered a new iPhone 7 Plus today.  It will be here in a week or so.  The one I wanted wasn't available at any of the stores.  No real Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, but I've had enough of dealing with the Android phone I have.  It's been a PITA from the very beginning and I think I will be glad to see the last of it.

So, new phone ordered, and new case for it ordered on Amazon.  I think I'll be good to go when it arrives  :-)

I've enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday - and I took both today and tomorrow off, which gives me a great break as we head full tilt into Christmas.

Spent a good morning with one of my cousins, helping him in his job search, and then we went and had lunch.  It was great!  And now I have to decide if I'm going to go out in the awful weather - rainy/blustery later tonight for the last of my aqua de-stress classes.  I'm thinking I might not . . .

Friday, November 25, 2016

Christmastime is Here . . .

I missed posting yesterday.  I was busy  :-D 

On Tuesday night, I made this Jello mold:

and this banana bread:

Both were really good!  Yay!

I also roasted some Brussels Sprouts, but they, unfortunately did not travel as well and were a little soggy by the time dinner was served, even though I took them in a Pyrex heat-keeping thingy.  Lesson learned.

And now we are on the road to Christmas.  I checked out some Black Friday deals online this morning - I really do want to get an iPhone - but there wasn't anything that really called to me and the phones are not really on sale . . .  So it goes.  I'll figure it out sooner or later  :-)

I am thankful for a wonderful evening yesterday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Come On . . .

Another shorty today, folks!

Been awhile since I shared this, but it feels like we should all get up and dance today  :-)

I am thankful for my job.