Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My Diagnosis

I have had a strange malady.
I thought I was the ONLY ONE,
and it was too embarrassing to discuss.
So I scoured the internet until one day
I found my diagnosis!

I have 

  Yes, that's right. Internet Elbow.
It starts out mysteriously, and you blame it on
everything but the actual cause.
It affects primarily office workers that are either
shorter or taller than average and who also
are using corner cubicles where their chair
is not the same height as the work surface
and there is no keyboard tray.

  When you are in this situation, you tend to 
lean into your desk, bracing yourself with one
or the other elbow, normally the non-mouse elbow.
Over the course of time you wear holes into your sleeves,
ruining your sweater, shirt or jacket!

The cure is to have proper posture and
position your chair so the padded arms are
at work surface height.  For those that are short,
as am I, you may need to prop your feet up to reach the  ground.

 Once you have your elbows off the work surface,
assuming it does not make your back or neck hurt,
your problem will be solved.

But what to do with the holes in your clothing?
 I am going to try to darn and patch.
This hole is pretty big - I stretched the sleeve over
a light bulb so you can see the hole.  It's a knit 
fabric, sort of a heavier T-shirt weight so the hole
looks larger than it is.  I may need to patch with either
  a good grade felt or suede to save the jacket. 
 I'll just tell them it's the new fashion!
I assume I can do this by fusing the material to the jacket
and providing a foundation fabric on the inside of the sleeve.

 I really thought I was the only one with this problem
but  when I mentioned it at lunch, everyone else started
telling me how they are wearing holes in their sleeves too.
        They had no idea what was causing it but now that we
know what we are dealing with, we can conquer this.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

WORD VERIFICATION? When Did This Happen?

I tried to comment on my own  blog and
it is asking me to complete the 
Prove You Are Not A Robot  box.

I DO NOT have word verification on.
Comment moderation is ON, so I approve them first.

Where did this come from?

Santa and the Harley 2014

Flash forward to 2014 and Taylor is still visiting Santa
and being all photogenic on a Harley trike.  

She did a little shopping while we were waiting.

Trying to determine which one was the perfect gift
for Santa to bring a 10 year old!

Uncle Dan and Cousin Gabe had a few things in mind too.

The orange tree is still there, standing by the 
gift table where you can find almost anything Harley
from glasses to slippers.  And the purses,
don't forget the purses!

 Metal signs from vintage to modern.

Santa gave her a green apple flavored candy cane and 
promises of gifts to arrive since she had been so good.

We  signed up for the quilt raffle that is is this weekend
after the bake sale  so  we'll see what the future brings.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Santa Rides A Harley (Again)

This is a repeat post of our December 2007 visit
to Santa during a horrible ice storm so our 
three year old granddaughter, Taylor, would
not miss telling him what she wanted for Christmas.

It was a day of discovery both for a young girl
and also for an old grandma.  

Santa Rides a Harley

Sleet and snow blanketed our area unexpectedly December 2007 on a most important day, at least for three year old Taylor, our granddaughter.  It was the day she was supposed to see Santa and tell him what a fine girl she had been all year.   We were going to the mall which was at least thirty miles from our home and twenty of those are over curvy, hilly, two lane, no shoulder roads where roll-overs are the norm.  The fortunate ones don’t land upside down in the many small creeks. 

How was I going to break the news that we just couldn’t make it?  She truly is a fine girl.  One of the most well behaved children, kind and sharing.   I don’t say this simply because she is my grandchild, it was a concentrated effort of all parties involved to set limits, examples and actually provide discipline rather than have a kiddie free-for-all that is so common these days.  Then it hit us-

Our local paper advertised Santa’s arrival at the nearby Harley dealership.  It is located at the cross section of Hwy 44 and 50 just outside of UnionMO.  It stands by itself, very rural and of course has motorcycles in the parking lot.   I have passed by it several times and there have been some pretty strange looking people there.  I was a bit nervous; I had watched movies where Hell’s Angels terrorized towns.  They rode Harleys.   There were tatted up, leather capped, long hair bearded men - also women in tall boots donned in pure black leather with more than a hint of silver studding.  We could get there, but would we get back?

It was only eight miles away, we could make it.  We all jumped into the 4WD truck and headed to the dealership.   I asked my husband to wait in the truck with Taylor while I checked out the store, just in case we had to hightail it out of there.   No, I’m not the brave one, I just can’t reach the truck pedals to make the fast getaway.  He thinks I am ridiculous, a West County princess, but gives in to my request. 

I gingerly approached the door, entered the building and what to my wandering eyes did appear . . . . . ?  Sitting atop a beautiful, shiny motorcycle was a wonderfully jolly, white haired, bearded Santa donned in Santa red and white from tip to almost toe-the required black boots as the finishing touch.  The pretty lady elves in elfin garb, their pointy caps all green and red, ushered the little children to Santa, snapping photos of each- compliments of the dealership.   Little play areas were set up among the aisles where awaiting tots could build with blocks, play with tiny cars or hug stuffed bears. 

The store had been transformed into a winter wonderland with homemade decorations of candy canes and packages high up on the walls.  Display areas were filled with stuffed animals, an unusual selection with anteaters, opossums, skunks, chipmunks and squirrels, all at very reasonable prices.  There were Christmas trees- the traditional green bushy variety. There was also a very special orange and black tree covered in Harley ornaments, all very pretty and quality made.  Across the store was the bake sale with freshly made cookies, fudge and candies which rivaled any PTO selection I have seen.  All proceeds would go to charity, just one of their many charitable events throughout the year. 

I ran back to the truck to get Taylor.  She couldn’t miss this, and I couldn’t pass up this photo op!  Now this is our annual Christmas event.   She loves that Santa and you can tell how much he loves the kids.  He takes his time with them, no rushing.  He has an actual conversation with them, and also with the parents. Then he pulls everyone in for a group photo.   I’m no longer uneasy around the long haired, bearded, leather capped and tatted up patrons, in fact, I would really love to have one of their leather tooled black purses complete with the silver studding  but they are way above my price point!    I make certain to purchase several items from their bake sale and Taylor always gets her pick of unusual stuffed animals, my favorite being the opossum.

So the magic of Christmas didn’t stop at a child’s wonder but also transformed the preconceived ideas of a grandma.  Peace on earth and goodwill to all.  Merry Christmas.   

Monday, December 1, 2014

Turkey Carcass: Stock and Pulled Turkey

 What happens when you get iced in on a ridge top?
For me, I can log into work and continue to do my job from home.  
My husband made great use of time by using the boiled down 
the turkey carcass (last night) and today pressure canned enough 
turkey stock to keep us cooking for the rest of the year.

Not only did we get 10 quarts of stock but boiled down
enough of the dark meat to make four pounds of turkey
which we vacuum sealed for the freezer.  
It will be great for pot pies, sandwiches,
stews or just about anything else you would make from turkey.

 My daughter won a 25 lb turkey at the church meat shoot
so we had it for Thanksgiving and divided up the white meat
among three households.  No one wanted the dark meat,
which is my husband's favorite.  I'm not that fond of it on the bone
but this turns out more like a pulled turkey so it's all tender.

The ice was quite a surprise.  The forecast called for it to go South
but something caused it to turn leaving a coating of ice and 
freezing rain on the area roadways.  Normally there is some
pre treatment but even the highway department was caught 
off guard.  Our subdivision was out of salt, they are not even
stocked at the farm supply stores yet  so there was no going down 
in my car.  A tractor trailer rollover shut the highway down earlier
(on my route of course) so I decided it was a work from home day !

All is melted now and we have found a salt supply for the next time.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pulled Pork and Thanksgiving Turkey

If you're going to cook, you may as well go all out!
We found the pork buts on sale and decided to smoke
and pull them while the weather was still on our side.
That meant smoking the butts while getting ready
 for Thanksgiving dinner at our house.  Fortunately,
my husband was off work and could tend to it, he
is the better cook anyway!

He smoked them for twelve hours outside, 
off the direct heat.  By bedtime he brought them
in and cooked another ten hours in the oven at
225 degrees.  I could smell them cooking all
night and even had a dream about being in
a restaurant!

By morning they were so tender that
they just fell apart.

We are going to package them in pound
portions in vacuum sealed bags so we have
plenty for the season.  It is so convenient
to be able to grab already cooked meat from
the freezer and make BBQ pork,
pork quesadillas or a pulled pork sandwich.

Additionally, he prepped many of the side
dishes for Thanksgiving:  Paula Seen sweet potato
recipe cooked in bourbon, heavily saged dressing, 
plus cream sauce for spinach.  I made
the green bean casserole and rolls before dinner.
We had pies for dessert and Volpi 
Sopressa salami with a cheese ball to snack
on while dinner was being prepared.
We have our meal in the evening but folks arrive 
around 2 PM or so leaving a lot of time
to visit around the breakfast bar while we
are putting things in the oven.

I used our own sage and rosemary
on the turkey which was about
25 pounds!  My daughter won it
from the church meat shoot!  We will
divide it up so everyone has some to take home.

My husband chose the wine, both reds,
which is not typically my choice but I 
loved the Fantini.  It may have been why
I neglected to open the jellied cranberry!!

Yes, the kind in the can.
The kind that has rings from the can molded into it,
which is what you used to use to measure slices.
It's our favorite!

I hope your holiday was wonderful.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

My Husband's New Addiction

My husband has developed a new addiction
but this one is pretty cool. He has 
been turning wood on his lathe and using his various
saws to create trinket boxes and now pens!

He has three pens with various shapes and using different woods.
 For more elaborate looking woods or acrylics, 
blanks can be ordered through Woodcraft.

This is his trinket box using various scraps of wood we had
around the house plus the bottom was created
with wood from our own cedar trees.

He is introducing our granddaughter to the band saw
so she can make some Christmas ornaments 
and going forward, painted wooden decorations. 
In the past I used fabric transfer sheets for the basic shape, 
cut them out and then paint the image using the colors you prefer.

We will be experimenting with other wooden items,
he's found some interesting and more unusual things on line.

 I'll might find I am quilting more as he spends time in the 
garage.  I am pretty far behind plan right now,
still working on my Halloween banner!  LOL.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rusted Old Bones

Rusted Old Bones
As we passed by I felt drawn to this shop
where rusted old bones wait throughout time
for the body man who never appeared.
  You can still make out the words of the 
weathered awning: 


In my mind I drift through a rift in time
when this little town at the Missouri/Arkansas border
was bustling with industry.  The men would gather
at the diner, drinking coffee and reviewing football scores while 
the women tended to the home and kids danced at the soda shop.

We made this trip over Hwy 67, through Corning, Arkansas,
several times over the last three months and each time I
felt as if I needed to stop and capture these photos of what 
most would view as an eyesore.

Crazy though it is, I love them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I'm Home

I left Hot Springs, Arkansas on Saturday where it was Fall

and returned home where it was suddenly Winter.

Surprise, Surprise!
Our farm supply stores don't even have their salt out yet
as we normally do not receive snow until December or January.

I've been taking care of Mom who is recovering from a 
serious illness, spending three months in the hospital.
She is progressing well and is expected to make a full recovery
but needs live in help for a bit.  The Doctors say 
that it takes 2 days to recover 
for every one day you spend in the hospital.

She is making plans for dinner parties and Thanksgiving celebrations
so I think she is well on her way!

Me- I will be working my way through the (gulp) countless
e-mails at work that I have been receiving since Nov 6 when I left.

Coming up- Scenes of Corning, AR 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Fall in Hot Springs

The hydrangeas are beginning to fade leaving papery blooms ranging from bluish grey to purple here in Hot Springs where I am visiting my mother, who has just been released from the hospital after a three month stay ranging from intensive care to physical therapy rehab.    

Her holly bushes are thick with berries and squirrels are jumping from tree to tree collecting their winter stash.  The winds yesterday resulted in a firestorm of acorns falling like tiny rockets which have blanketed the drive and walks.

A pretty red leaf floats in the lake which has been lowered for winter.  You can see all the shells that have washed up to the sea wall and if you were in the mood to collect them, you could jump down and stroll along the wall.  This year they opened the dam and took the level down three feet which is not a problem; however some years it is lowered more than that and docks have to be moved, in areas where the water is not deep enough the boats have to come out or end up on dry land.

If you look closely you will see how many acorns fell into the water.  I like being able to see what lies beneath, unless I am swimming and there is a big fish!!

While the crepe myrtles have lost their blooms the bark is so pretty that you still have something to look at.

I will be visiting until I return home Saturday morning. My husband has been taking care of the house, cats and chicks plus keeping me up to date on what is happening at home.  I just love my Nexus7 tablet for this.  We use Google hangouts to talk to each other with video!!  Plus I kept up with email and all my Facebook buddies.