Tuesday, September 14, 2021



Was actually a bit of a fizzle.

All day Sunday and Monday we were getting warnings of major rain – 3-6 inches and wind – upwards of 50 mph.  Yesterday we had light rain with one or two heavy rain bands blow through.  Then we had some wind.  Not sure just how much but it didn’t do more than blow over all the plumerias and whip my baby trees back and forth.

TS Nicholas blowing in Monday morning

Monday evening the outside turned orange with the tiny glimpse of a rainbow

No complaints.  I’ve seen tropical storms come ashore and just sit and rain – for days. 

And, YAY!!, I finished my upcoming presentation on herbs.  Just have to clean up my speaking notes and decide about a handout. 

Slides will look like this and I’ll then talk specifically about planting, growth, how/when to use, and so forth.  I’ve chosen some plants people will recognize, some they may not realize have herb properties, and some they may have never heard of – we’ll see what happens.

Actually, I’m just a bit concerned that attendance will be very low since it supposed to start raining on Friday and continue for the next dozen days. 

I mentioned another new crochet project I plan to start – making a sweater. 

I went off to Hobby Lobby (closest place to buy yarn) and DAMN! they now only carry two brands, neither of which was what I wanted.  So, I decided on the Yarn Bee brand.  Found a color they had enough skeins of and bought them.  Then, coming home, my mind says – Hmmmmm, you didn’t check the number of yards in the pattern skein vs what you bought hmmmm.  Of course, didn’t buy nearly enough as the YB skeins are half the size of the Heartland.  Argh!  And, no they didn’t have any more in that color.  And yes I could order more but it would cost almost half again as much.  Argh!  If I have to order it, might as well get what I wanted so I placed an order with Lion Brand.  And two days later got an email from them saying – “Golly gee whiz we are so busy it will be unknown time before we can send out your yarn, we’ve already charged you for oopsie”. 

Our weather cooled down for a few days.  By that I mean it was 70° at 6am and only a high of 93° for the day.  Since I’m a morning person, I put on walking togs and did a two mile walk last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. 

Annnnnd by Friday night, my shins hurt! 


I’m pretty sure shins are not supposed to hurt!  I was hobbling around my house like a little old lady.  Okay – all got better by Sunday and when I can get out and walk again, I may try building up to 2 miles.  I did see some interesting things while walking though.  Like


Green Milkweed

an Emu

You never know what you’ll see around here!


 14 Sep 2021


Thursday, September 2, 2021

Greetings - start thinking "Cool Weather"


Well, in the ongoing

 Laptop Saga

 (remember, I had to remove the puffed-up battery, thus turning my laptop into a table top computer).  (And, by the way, the puffed-up battery is still all wrapped up, in a plastic box, in a plastic bucket, sitting in the back yard as so far, I can’t find anyplace that will take it as is – ugh). 

A few days after the whole battery thing, the keyboard started going wonky.  First the ‘shift’ key stopped working.  No caps, no symbols above numbers.  Grrrrr.  Then the letter ‘c’ stopped working.  You’d be surprised at how many words have a ‘c’ in them.  Then the ‘space’ bar stopped working.  Heavy sigh.

Once again, a call to my son-in-law thinking I’d need to get the new computer sooner rather than later.  Instead his suggestion was to get a cheap keyboard that would plug into the laptop and use that because  the new laptops he’s looked at so far –


And, my new large screen, printer, and wireless mouse all plug into a port. 

So, I did get a new keyboard and am back in business!  As for the new laptop – I am leaving that frustrating issue to someone better qualified to deal with the problem and stress.

Last year I agreed to do a program for our outreach program – Hesed House.  This is a wonderful organization run by a smart, lovely, patient woman.  Then, of course, the plague arrived.  Everything was canceled for a time.  Now, I’m scheduled again to give the program titled

And, it’s about - - - Herbs.  A bit about herbs you know and love, a bit about herbs you may not be familiar with, and a bit about things that are herbs that may surprise you.  For instance, 

Did You Know?

There are over 100 different kinds of basil?


Basil is known as the money plant so, keep a leaf or two in your wallet to attract money to you.  It could happen!


Did You know?

Cattails are considered a cornucopia herb.  It can provide food, medicine, and clothing.  Shoots, roots, and seeds are edible.  In past times it’s been used for nose bleeds, toothaches, help with digestion, as a poultice used for wounds, boils, burns, insect bites and stings.  The roots help to clean polluted water.  And, the seed heads can be used as stuffing for pillows or inside clothes for warmth.  Leaves can be woven into any sort of useable object. 


Grown close to your home, they promote peace and prosperity.

Anyway, the program will be full of that type of stuff along with some “how to plant and take care of” information.  I’ve been working on the presentation and am about ½ way finished (which includes the slide show, talking notes, and hand-outs).

I’m still trying to get bids on some work that needs to be done here.  Honest to god, it’s like pulling teeth to get contractors to respond AND give me a detailed bid (rather than just a “oh, about $$$$ text”). 

I found a sweater pattern I want to try, so I went to the yarn store today. 


Yes – still working on the embroidery project.  And the herb presentation.  And finishing up several ghosts.  And, and, and.  Guess I’d better get on with something!

Well, have a good day.


2 Sep 2021


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

short stories

 number 1

For the past several weeks I’ve been having problems with my personal ecosystem.  Ugh.  I just hate that.  I’ve been good though.  Exercising regularly.  Not getting too hot.  And, watching what I eat and drink.  One of the things that sends said ecosystem into a tizzy is coffee.  That’s fine, I just changed over to tea.  I like tea thought I will say, I’m a bit of a tea snob.  I like black tea and please give me leaves not the powder you find in tea bags.  I don’t like green tea and white tea is pretty much tasteless.  Oolong is okay but I’d rather have black.

All tea comes from the same plant - Camellia sinensis.  The different types – black, oolong, green, white – has to do with the type and time of processing.  Ok, probably more than you wanted to know.

Anyway – lately the ecosystem has been getting back to normal so I thought I’d try coffee this morning.  Now, I have a Keurig.  It’s perfect for me as I seldom have more than one cup.  Lately, the Keurig has been living on the top shelf in my pantry.  So, this morning I got it down; stretched up on tiptoes, wiggled it a bit until I could get a grip on it. 

Yes, I know – would have been much easier if I’d had gotten the stepstool but – nope.

So, I got it down, set it up, and all of a sudden, my tubby little body said a great big

Fine.  I picked up the machine and proceeded to put it back.  Now the Keurig is heavy.  Wiggling it down was one thing but lifting it over my head to a high shelf was a sincere challenge.  Again, on tiptoes, lifting the heavy Keurig over my head, trying to get it in a small space . . . . annnnnnd I lost my grip.  It crashed down on me, the heaviest part hitting me in the face. 

Yep, shoulda gotten the stepstool. 

number 2

Jean Sot Guards the Door

A Louisiana Tall Tale

One day, Jean Sot’s mother wanted to go to town.  "Now Jean," she said, "I want you to guard the door.  "Yes, Mama," Jean Sot agreed.  Jean’s mother left for town. Jean waited and waited for her to get back. But she was gone a very long time. Jean got worried, and decided to look for her. But he remembered he had promised to guard the door. 

So Jean took the door off of its hinges and carried it on his back when he went to look for his mother.

Along the way, Jean Sot saw some robbers coming along the path, carrying a heavy sack of money.

Jean Sot was frightened. He adjusted the door on his back as best as he could and climbed up a nearby tree to wait for the robbers to go by. But the robbers stopped underneath the tree! They sat down and began to count their money. The chief robber counted out the money for each man, saying: "This is for you, and this is for you, and this is for you."  "And that one’s for me," Jean Sot cried. The robbers were startled. They looked around, but couldn’t see anyone. The chief robber began counting again: "This is for you, and this is for you, and this is for you."  Again, Jean Sot said: "That one’s for me!"  "Who is that?" called the chief robber. "I will wring his fool neck!"

Jean Sot was so scared he began to shake, and the door fell off his back and down onto the robbers.

"The Devil is throwing doors at us!" shouted one of the robbers. They were so frightened that all the robbers ran away without their money. So Jean Sot climbed down the tree, picked up the money and the door and took them home to his mother.

number 3

My sister and I do occasionally attend estate sales.  For the most part – they are glorified garage sales held inside a home though sometimes they are really amazing.  This one pretty much fit into the glorified garage sale.  There were

some unique items –

and someone in that house baked –

fancy cakes,

plus they were prepared for the invasion of the The Golden Horde  the group of Mongols who ruled over Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and the Caucasus from the 1240s until 1502.

and loved to decorate.

Guess they didn’t believe in the Easter bunny.

well, I’m going to quit now – my cheek is really hurting and I have a terrible headache.


24 Aug 2021

Monday, August 16, 2021

On Being a Tech


It has been very quiet here in big W lately.  It’s much too hot to do anything outside.  So, my days have been full of needlework (not very interesting).  That said, I’m going to share a story.  One containing all the things that make a story good – concern, excitement, fear, horror, work, happy ending.

Once upon a time . . . .

Here a while back, my laptop developed a small problem.  The fingertip mouse pad sort of popped up at one corner.

I couldn’t “snap” it back in place so, I called my son-in-law (my go-to-guy about all things computer).  It didn’t seem to be a big deal, the pad still worked (though I have a wireless mouse I use), and without being able to see the problem, he suggested I tape the area to keep out dust and dirt.  Okay, that worked for me.

Then, months later, the problem escalated to the point that the deck was pushing up and the computer wouldn’t close.

My first thought was – Obviously, the computer gods have determined I need a new laptop.  In a letter to my brother, I mentioned, in passing, the computer problem, ending with a new computer is in my future.  My brother responded with – back up your hard drive now, sounds like your battery is bad.  Oh that can’t be good.

I got right up and backed up the computer. 

Next, I sent a detailed email to my son-in-law telling him what was going on.  I did this in a calm mostly straight-forward manner having no real worries – the thought being that I’d be needing a new laptop and this would give him a heads-up so he could start looking at computers for me.  I’ll be going to NM for xmas so I figured I could get a new one then.

Dealing with computers – what type of processor, RAM, screen resolution, HDD, storage gig – is totally outside my comfort level.  I’m fine using one and am moderately program savvy but the rest of that stuff??  no.

He called me right back.  Go unplug your computer.  It looks like the battery is not only bad but it could catch on fire.

Okay – that would be really bad.

And, so I unplugged not only the power but everything else attached to the laptop, all the while maintaining a bit of a distance.

What next?

Well, he said, if I were there, I’d remove the battery.  Hmmm – how hard can that be? 

Actually, not too hard.  The most difficult part – removing a bunch of little tiny screws and not losing any of them.

Then I opened the back, unscrewed the battery, and removed it.

Yep, all puffed up.

What next?

Son-in-law – take it outside and put it in a bucket.  Leave it there just in case it catches fire.  And so, I did. 

What next?

Put the back on and plug it in, he said.  Should work like a table top computer. 

TaDaaa!  All is better!

Now, I had to figure out what to do with the bad battery.  I did what all people do – I went to the internet. 

Cover any terminals with tape.  check
Place the battery in a plastic bag.  check
Put the battery in a cool dry place – yeah, right, no cool dry places here other inside the house and it’s NOT going inside the house!
Find someplace that will take it.  working on that

This has been a good/bad thing.  Bad – now I have a damaged battery that might catch fire and so far no luck finding anyone that will dispose of it.  Good – I discovered that I can remove the battery from a laptop and still have a working computer and I'm going to get a new laptop!

The End

 Okay, may not have been a highly entertaining story but it did meet all the story criteria from above  (you may not have been horrified but I assure the idea my computer could burst into flames horrified me!)

 Hmmm – I wonder if this would work on battery disposal??

16 Aug 2021


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

August, Queens, and other Stuff


August . . .  August is here.  Ugh.  That means it is very, very, very, very, hot.  And humid.  

I spoke with a woman today who said she could hardly wait until September for things to cool off.     hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Yeah – no – maybe by October – maybe.

So much for the weather.

What else?

Well, I was told today (by my dentists office) I am Queen for a Day!  And doesn’t that sound cool? 

Unfortunately the new crown I got, didn’t come with gold and jewels.

Though for the cost, it should have!

Still, it got done with no discomfort and I don’t have to worry about breaking that particular tooth.

What else again?

It’s been very quiet around big W lately.  So, I got online to see What Else – and this week is:

Weird Contest Week
(I had way too much fun with this)

North American Wife Carrying Championship

Wife-carrying contests can be found all over the world, from Kazakhstan to Finland. Stateside contests largely follow Finland’s official rules for the competition, from the length of the track (278 yards) to the number of obstacles (two dry obstacles, one wet).


The premier Nailympia competition was derived from the Nail Olympics, a contest started in 2001 in Las Vegas. The event is famous for being 100% non-product-run. Judges—all industry experts from around the world—don’t know anything about the nails they’re looking at.  (I couldn’t tell what I was looking at either – that person is standing with hands at waist height, splayed open fingers, palm down.)

Great Knaresborough Bed Race

If you’ve ever dreamt of running through a 2.4-mile course with 629 other people broken into teams pushing intricately decorated beds toward a finish line, England’s Great Knaresborough Bed Race is for you. The contest sees 90 teams of six runners (and one passenger, naturally) pushing homemade beds of their own creation through an obstacle course flanked by fellow paraders, marching bands, and cheering squads.

Jalapeño Eating Contest

Some like it hot. The 4th of July celebrations in Round Rock, Texas allow you to take part in a jalapeño eating contest. The current record for jalapeno eating is 247 peppers in 8 minutes set in 2006.  (And, that has to be just bad for you!)

World Cow Chip Throwing Contest

The small town of Beaver in Oklahoma is often called The Cow Chip Tossing Capital of the world. The residents are so proud of their agricultural heritage that every spring, they indulge in this unusual sport of throwing a dried cow turd as far as an eye can see. (Well, ooookay)

World Championship Rotary Tiller Race

In Emerson, Arkansas, contestants run behind their tiller (they don’t ride it) to see who can till 200 feet of plowed ground the fastest. The tiller must have tines or blades, and an engine no bigger than 100 hp. Contestants must wear shoes, yes, that really is a rule. 

Finally, today is


Paul Bunyan Day

Paul Bunyan is a mythological lumberjack who, according to legends, created the lakes and rivers, the Grand Canyon, and even the Back Hills. The United States, according to the tales about Paul, looks the way it does, with mountains, craters, and winding rivers, because of Paul’s adventures.  There has been speculation that Paul Bunyan’s stories come from the antics of Fabian Fournier, also known as Saginaw Joe, a French-Canadian lumberjack.  Saginaw Joe’s life was sensationalized, even without the guise of Paul Bunyan. Stories say that he was taller than the average man at the time and that he had two complete sets of teeth, which allowed him to bite through wooden rails.

So, here’s a story for you -

Paul Bunyan’s Kitchen

One winter, Paul Bunyan came to log along the Little Gimlet in Oregon. Ask any old timer who was logging that winter, and they’ll tell you I ain’t lying when I say his kitchen covered about ten miles of territory.

That stove, now, she were a grand one. An acre long, taller than a scrub pine, and when she was warm, she melted the snow for about twenty miles around. The men logging in the vicinity never had to put on their jackets ’til about noon on a day when Paul Bunyan wanted flapjacks.

It was quite a site to see, that cook of Paul Bunyan’s making flapjacks. Cookie would send four of the boys up with a side of hog tied to each of their snowshoes, and they’d skate around up there keeping the griddle greased while Cookie and seven other men flipped flapjacks for Paul Bunyan. Took them about an hour to make enough flapjacks to fill him up. The rest of us had to wait our turn.

The table we had set up for the camp was about ten miles long. We rigged elevators to the table to bring the vittles to each end, and some of the younger lads in the camp rode bicycles down the path at the center, carrying cakes and such wherever they were called for.

We had one mishap that winter. Babe the Blue Ox accidentally knocked a bag of dried peas off the countertop when he swished his tail. Well, them peas flew so far and so fast out of the kitchen that they knocked over a dozen loggers coming home for lunch, clipped the tops off of several pine trees, and landed in the hot spring. We had pea soup to eat for the rest of the season, which was okay by me, but them boys whose Mama’s insisted they bath more than once a year were pretty sore at losing their swimming hole.

 10 Aug 2021