Monday, April 30, 2012

What a blah day

Of course, one of the things that is making this day even more blah is the fact that for some reason, I cannot sleep at night.  If I fall asleep ok, then I wake about 3, and I am not able to go back to sleep.  Last night I wasn't able to fall asleep until after 2:30.

I resorted to sitting with the little bitty laptop that is devoted to my embroidery designs to do the mind-numbing changing of file formats on a lot of the files so that they are usable on my machine.  This usually has me fall asleep in a short time.  Not last night - I sat for hours.

The highlight was the pedicure, and then lunch at a little Italian place where we usually just order pizza to be delivered.  They had a noon buffet that looked absolutely wonderful, but with what may be some health problems, I am being very cautious about my foods these days.  Of course, it goes without saying that I have to get this weight off, but there are some other things that are coming up.  I don't know if the skew in the blood work was just transitory, or a real problem, but I am making some changes.  A long way to say that I had a spinach salad instead of pasta, pasta, pasta, and pizza!!

The Toyota had a recall on it, so G, in his infinite wisdom, decided we would take it in today.  Then he decided it was grocery store day.  Not. My. Idea. Of. A. Fun. Monday.  This is especially true since I have to go to my workroom to move almost everything because they are coming to do the Spring service on the ACs.  I don't know why I decided to make THAT room my workroom.  In our re-done attic that is now two bedrooms (workrooms now) and a bath, the one I chose had all the access doors to the units.  Bleh.

So now - we go back to get the Toyota -  and I am still not in the workroom to move "stuff."


Saturday, April 28, 2012

More about R

I guess I am too quick to judge, but I really am seldom wrong about character.  My daughter will attest to that.  Several of her "friends" turned out to  be just what I thought they would be.  She has been wounded by these "friends" several times.  I just had bad feelings about them - and this goes to this day.

So, on to R.  Apart from simply not liking people like her, I really think there is something far more sinister about her, and being pushy goes along with the sinister feeling I get about her.

One Friday evening at Community Club, in walked this couple I had never set eyes on before.  Seems like they just breezed into town --- from the upper west coast.  Now folks - I really doubt that any of you would just breeze into the Hilda Community.  It is simply a wide spot in the road.  The closest towns are Mason, Art, Loyal Valley and Doss. Now you know exactly where it is - right?  NO ONE lands here by chance.  That's why I think there is something really wrong with this picture.  They neither one had jobs.  He landed some part time work with one of the contractors there, and she handed information.  In fact, I scanned it:

I believe you can click on it to make it bigger.  It may be blurry, or that's just my  eyes!  Obviously I left off the phone and email - although I really don't know why. I guess "out of courtesy."

Anyway, she has attached herself to my neighbor on the other hill.  She is out there at least once a week (for $110).  I think my neighbor is basically buying a friend and companion since there is not one available.  One is with her husband as he fights cancer with his treatments,  the other re-married and they are always gone, and my younger SIL is an absolute hermit.  Her family is here - five hours away.  I can imagine it gets lonely.  I am only there for a week and never have the chance.  There's always too much for me to do, and I become a hermit like SIL.

I don't know - they are doing these odd jobs all around.  Everyone seems to know them, but they just seem fishy.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

What I did in Mason

Sounds like the beginning of elementary school assignment that kept us all busy, doesn't it??  Anyway - it was a busy time!

Of course on Thursday, we went to Fredericksburg for food.  We also took a chair I salvaged from the ravaged lake house before we got rid of the house to be redone.  We went to the hardware store for a socket, the grocery for the rations for the week, and then ate at a divine little Italian restaurant.  It was almost closing time for them, but they were so gracious.  The food and the prices were great, but since Fredericksburg is a tourist haven - we walked about two blocks - up hill to get there.  I thought going back would be better - hah!  Of course - I wore the wrong shoes.

On Saturday we had one of the many family reunions (and we don't make all of the different branches!).  It was nice to see folks we haven't seen for a while.  My SIL and I were going to meet a friend (and neighbor) for the Home Tour.  We set 1 pm because the reunion usually breaks up right after lunch.  Not this year!  So we were running late, which is nothing for SIL.  In fact - it's how she rolls.

Anyway we met up with J and she had R with  her.  Now R is a different bird. I don't know how to take her, but that's another story.  The homes were really something, and they ranged from those that were at least 150 years old to being completely off all utility grids. Quite a range.

My problem came with R.  And I will be honest - I don't really like her at all.  Again another story completely.  She began talking about our other friend, neighbor, and, not surprising in that country, relative.  He has been diagnosed with brain cancer - terminal but is adding some time by doing chemo and radiation.  Now in the meantime, he has suffered a ruptured colon.  What a wonderful life, right?

Anyway, R has pushed herself into knowing everything there is to know at the Methodist Church there.  She was telling us that he is so weak, he doesn't want any visitors, including his children.  She was talking about how everyone wants to help, but they don't want any.

I sat as long as I could, and finally couldn't keep my tongue  in my head.  I told her I can completely understand why some people withdraw.  To which she replied that she knew.  She did that to the detriment of her health and those around her.  She just withdrew deeper and deeper.  That was it!  I told her I completely understand this person because I TOO HAD CANCER!  She shut up - a  little.

Anyway, last night we went to the "social event."  Our community is named Hilda - otherwise known here as the Wide Spot in The Road.  We go to community club there once a month, but don't go to the church - Methodist.  We are Lutheran, so we go down the road a piece.  Anyway the social event was Hilda Happy Hour.  We have been before, but it is the last Wednesday of the month, and if we go for Community Club, that is the third Friday.

Guess who was co-host.  This man and his wife.  And you know what, although it did look like someone who has been terribly ill, which he certainly has, he was not weak.  He was outgoing.  His children have been around helping in the fields and with the cattle.  This weekend, they plan to have everyone there to celebrate birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  What a complete liar R is.  But then it goes along with what I fear of her.  I don't think down deep they are nice people - and again, I will touch on that later.

It made me feel so good to see H and his wife.  She and I went through bad times together, and she looks good too.  He certainly is not currently at death's door as R made it sound.  And she wants the four of us to get together again?  I don't think so.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

We're off again

I am off tomorrow to once again roam about the wilderness.  We were going to leave today, but there's a social event we want to attend next Thursday.  Yes - they do have social events in the wilderness.  Some of those folks actually have internet!

We also have a family reunion on Saturday, and then there is a home tour I want to attend.  I think SIL and our friend from the next mountain will go together after the reunion.

So that said - I will catch up with you next Friday!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Par for the course

Once again, I find myself sewing my little fat fingers to the bone because I am behind schedule.

I want to make labels to go in the tied fleece blankets our women's group is making for a charity that helps young women facing unplanned pregnancies.  We have made several of these blankets - they are so cute - and I don't want our efforts to go unknown.  I asked the group about having labels to go in the things we have made, and they agree fully.

I ordered some labels that would go in clothing.  They are like small clothing labels, but these blankets are much larger.  I know quilters add a larger label to their things, so I designed a heart with "Tied with love by Celebration Lutheran Women."  I think we had 9 made the day we did them, and I am making 12 more.  I don't think I will get the 12 completed before Saturday, but I really need to get the labels done - so once again behind schedule.

Then I am counting on the four weeks of Easter celebrated in our (and a lot of other) church.  My Easter Bunny is going to stay on the wreath on the front door a while longer!  Especially since we will be in the wilderness next week (Tuesday to Tuesday).

On that note - I have always felt a little more secure about not finding rattlesnakes around the house.  When they put the house in, the foundation and retaining wall used a very coarse granite gravel around the house.  The guy who put it in said there could be nothing that would grow in that gravel.  Boy was he ever wrong!! Over the years, more and more plants have sprouted in that stuff.  

These current plants are growing like, well, weeds.  They are thick.  G cut all around the house, but they were so thick it would stop up the mower!  To get to my point, one of our hunters was there last week.  I imagine he was cutting around the house (we do that - G cut around his hunter's cabin last time).  He killed a rattler by the house.  It was CLOSE to the house.  So, I no longer relish the fact we have never killed one. Where there's one - there is more. 

I am sure it was attracted by the mice that I would imagine are trying to gain access to the house again.  So I will have to begin my battle with those things again.  I have been resting on my laurels that I have them under control, but spring has sprung, and I am sure that their "sap" is rising too.  They are feeling the demand to keep the population growing, and what better place than a nice house to raise their offspring.  Ugh!

One final thought.  All of you OLTL fans - you got some justification recently.  I saw today that "The Revolution" has been cancelled.  It wasn't too bad - but I only liked Tim Gunn really.  I'm sorry that Ty gave up his other show to be on this one.  

Anyway - they will be replacing it with Katie Courie's new talk show.  We are really slipping into the depths now.  I watched her on GMA last week while she was filling in for Robin.  If that's as good as she will be on this talk show - she won't be long for the air.  I think the reason she was on GMA was to get more coverage and interest for that show.  She better work on her interviewing skills.  They stink right now!

So I am off to medicate my sick dog, and then to sew labels!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Computer whiz!

Sure!  Not!

So to give you my tale of woe, and how I spent most of yesterday, let's just say that I become more and more sure of the fact that I should leave computers alone!

I did manage to set up the Home Group aspect of the two computers.  That's something I never quite could accomplish on the Gateway.  My disappointment however was that I was hoping I could access the internet using that set-up.  Nice try!  

That brings up another problem.  Years ago Comcast came out to fix my internet.  The tech got into the programming part of the internet on the desktop and this laptop.  When he did the desktop, I asked if I could also use the laptop connected to the modem.  He did something to both computers, and only the laptop would connect to the internet.  I didn't know this until he left.  Being the way Comcast is, I didn't call them back about the problem.  I didn't like it because that meant no modem and I was tethered with a laptop.  Not the way you want to be.

Well, now I figured out that there is something that will preclude ALL computers from accessing the internet using that modem, and I really believe that is the problem with trying to set up a modem even through this computer that works on the modem from Comcast.

To get around the password problem, while I had it opened, I set up another account.  Somehow I was able to get the same wrong password in so I could act as administrator.  That enabled the new used account.  I figured I could just put all my files there.

Well - back to my story.  I was worried about not having a CD RW on that little computer.  But I DO have a CD reader upstairs that goes with the big machine.  It works just fine with the computer up there.  If I want to write to something, I bought I huge external drive for back-ups.  So problem solved there.  The little computer has three USB ports. And I found the cable that moved the files from the old computer to the new one. Problem solved on that front.

I am able to get all my embroidery stuff on the little one either through thumb drives, the read CD, or the internet.  It has good internet capabilities.  Even though my phone will not work at the SSB, it certainly will act as a pretty good hotspot here in town.  Slow - but better than nothing.  

Also, I was able to solve the password problem.  Solving that problem caused another problem, but that was solved too.  I Googled password retrieval.   There are a lot of programs out there.  And that's where I felt "snake bit" again.

I tried to buy one of the programs.  It was touted as being $10 with an absolute guarantee that there was money back, and they would "never charge anything more" to the credit card.  

I bit.  I tried to buy their program.  It wouldn't take my credit card.  I have shopped on line for years.  I have never had a problem - at all.  Well, I tried a couple of times to get the company to take my card, but I kept getting an error message.  Then I looked further and there was a free site for these programs.  There was freeware out there!! I downloaded that baby immediately.  Put it on a thumb drive, and was ready the next time I booted.  It worked like a charm.  There is  no password on that computer now!  I was successful.

Later on Saturday afternoon, I was working on those bags when the phone rang.  To cut to the chase, unusual activity was noted on my card.  They asked if I had purchased any computer programs for $30.  I didn't own up to the fact I had tried, but I did say no.  I was scammed by that company.  Fortunately, the charge was removed and the card suspended.  Thank heavens!  Some things never end.  I hope that one has.  So much for their empty promises!

To sum it all up - I have a computer that fits better where I need it.  It has everything I need - including a 125 gig hard drive.  I know they make them even larger now, but for the money, I have a machine that will meet my needs for a long while.

Now I need to turn my attention to Comcast and this modem.  Then I don't have to take my cell upstairs to have internet access on that computer, and this laptop can once again be used away from the tethered line!


Monday, April 09, 2012

The bane of my existance last week

These are the blasted little bags for the grand kids Easter.  They measure about 5x6.  There were five original designs, so I did the mouse twice. One brown and one blue.  They were for the babies of the family even if the "baby" of one family is 5!

Tomorrow I will give you the tale of the "new"
computer.  It is working, but you know there had to have been drama.  And there was!!!


Saturday, April 07, 2012


After taking the Gateway on the trip to Alpine, I realized that in my fervor to  make room on the 60 g hard drive that was almost full, I had deleted the internet abilities.   Plus I had bought this laptop several years ago because that one crashed.

I managed to get the Gateway back up, and it was functioning upstairs as a place to put my embroidery   designs, but I was getting really nervous about it.  The internet wasn't a bit deal, because when Comcast came out many years ago not (time absolutely flies these days! It seems like last week), the tech somehow changed something in the internet protocol and the desktop won't recognize the internet.  That means we have no router.  No router - no  internet upstairs!

So, in my infinite wisdom, I began my search for a reconditioned laptop for upstairs.  I looked, Googled, and was directed to the Toshiba site on Ebay.  There I found a really cute little computer for $215.  I looked at the hard drive and it was really big. The computer is SMALL - a 10 inch screen, but it seemed like things were good with it.  So, naturally I ordered it.

It came yesterday.  Cute as a button!  It has one problem.  It has no CD drive.  Did I pay attention when I found it?? Of course not.  I made the rash assumption (you know what they say about assumptions don't you) that ALL computers had CD drives.  Guess what.  It is not true.

Not only that, but the keyboard is tiny.  I like small keyboards - that's why I really prefer laptops to desktops.  But this one is tiny.  So it demanded I put in a password.  I used one I like.  I put it in twice, and it took it twice.  I gave it  my name for it.  No problem.  I won't forget it.  And if I did the prompt would remind me.

Problem - but you expected that didn't you.  Somehow, I was able to put the password in the same WRONG way twice in a row.  When I tried to go back in, I couldn't.  I kept at it, and somehow managed to hit the wrong keys - again - and got back in.  When I tried to change the password, I couldn't.  I could not hit the wrong combination of keys again.

At least I was able to open another account - that is not password protected.  I should be able to use the machine for the designation purpose anyway.  But I can't really make changes without that password.  I have tried and tried, but to no avail to hit those wrong keys again.

The issue of no CD drive - really not a problem.  It does have two USB ports.  I have an external read CD - just can't write to it, I have another external drive for back-ups, and I have a plethora of thumb drives.  And I can get more of those.

 I am just such a dweeb.  I was completely price driven, and too excited about a new toy.  I really was careless on both accounts.  I think I can work around the mistakes, and I really think if I take it to a repair place, I can get that password removed.  But ...  

Have a great Easter or Passover - whatever you do or believe.


Thursday, April 05, 2012

This is the way the bunny from yesterday was supposed to look.  Brown, pink, black white, and red

THIS is what went to the machine, but still gaudier than this one.  It was bright, psychedelic.  It had aqua, yellow, and more bizarre colors.  Now I now why some people are VERY particular about their digitizers!  I had to have the program that changes the format of the design to print the copy, then scan it (several times) before I could get it on here!  But, now you understand more of what I said yesterday!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Off to sew

This is the dog bone pillow I made G for the train trip.  Each of the other family members got one also.  Most were monogrammed

I was distracted from working on them yesterday.  I thought I had some women's shirts around here, and I wanted to make one for Lady Bug.  I had found a design that I thought was so cute - just the features of a bunny.  I couldn't remember where I put the women's shirts when I "cleaned" my space.  That means they simply got stashed some place other than where they were that seemed to make sense at the time!  I couldn't find them, so I started on the bags.

Well yesterday I had a light bulb moment!  I remembered.  So I got one for her; then started looking for the design I had downloaded recently.  I couldn't find it!  In fact, there were several that I couldn't find.  I decided to go back to the site where I had downloaded the design - they are free (and now I know why).  I found it, downloaded it, and re-formatted it.  It was supposed to have 5 colors - brown, pink, black, white, and red.  When I loaded the design into the machine - it had 14 colors!!  It was a psychedelic rabbit!

I knew it really wasn't a problem - all I had to do was substitute colors as I went.  So I did.  Things went along well until I had to change bobbins.  These are pre-wound bobbins, and they are way too full.  Anyway, it created a little problem, but it turned out ok.

I went back to check on the downloaded design.  I thought perhaps it was that change that screwed with the colors.  Nope - others did the same thing.  Now I know why the designs are free.  They may or may not stitch out correctly.  Anyway - I loaded a picture for you to see.  As you probably know, if you click on the picture, it will enlarge it.  I forget that I am probably the only one who doesn't know things like that!

There is no outline to the face.  It is just the cheeks, eyes, and ears.  I thought it was really cute!

So - now off to continue on the bags.  They get easier as I go.  I had major problems with the first one, and the problems were my fault!  So, I am learning.


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Why, why, why

Why is it that when I have the most energy and least pain, I have fifty million things to do.  I am referring to having the energy to clean house.  Every time I feel like this we are either leaving town or I am so far behind on projects that have a definite deadline.

So what am I doing right now - I am on the computer, of course.  Makes so much sense.

Last night was another insomnia nights.  My back was hurting.  You see - Simone tripped me in the bedroom.  My side of the bed is rather narrow, and G has put my "library" beside the chest there.  These are the books he reads when he spends the entire afternoon reading.  That's the time I am doing other things.  He has no hobby.  Anyway, Simone likes to be on that side of the bed for a while before going to her crate.  I tripped on her, landed on my knee and elbow.  I thought that was the only problem - uh, no.  The back is back to pre-injection days.

Well, that's just another thing around here.  I will wear my brace and wonderful TENS unit a lot - with hopes.  I really don't want another steroid injection right now - my glucose us really under control!

And Simone - all her lab work came back just great.  I guess it was worth the money.  Perhaps we can keep her going for a while longer.  I just don't want to be like my MIL and FIL who kept their little poodle going way too long.  In fact, I think the dog really was replaced by a robot at the end until the robot's batteries failed.

Off to lunch, and then tie myself to the sewing machine.  Those bags are hard!!!  Picts to follow.


Monday, April 02, 2012

Quick hello

Just wanted to drop by to say "hi".  Since I stupidly left the Easter baskets for three of the grandkidlets at the SSB, I decided I was going to make Easter bags for all six. Am I behind, yeah, you might say so since I haven't even loaded the design on the USB stick to load into the sewing machine.

We had family dinner here last night.  At 12:30 while G and I were at our neighborhood Mexican restaurant still eating lunch post church, Daughter calls.  She asked if we could go to the airport to pick up Chef Andy - who wasn't supposed to be in until 7.

Being the Queen of Procrastination (yep - still not downloading or sewing), my house needed to be picked up (actually, burned to the ground to start over would be more like it) and vacuumed.  Even though 5/6th of the grandkiddlets are walkers, they still play on the floor.  So...

Anyway - so we went to pick up Chef Andy.  He is really a chef!  He and SIL were scheduled to go to A&M today to check out problems they are having with one of the ovens that their company sold A&M.  As usual - even though the plane wasn't late, they weren't in any hurry with the luggage.  Since Andy was coming here from his Utah ski trip - he had his ski bag.  Surely glad we have that Highlander now.

Of course, since I was having Sunday dinner - that meant Chef was coming to dinner.  I had already planned the menu with one exception.  I was fixing Mexican Shepard's Pie.  Good enough.  So I threw a salad together, then got the hair-brained idea to make corn bread.

I use a mix.  It was old.  I also may have mixed it too early.  Anyway, the two batches were more like flat bread.  It was terrible. Not a good showing for the chef.

But the evening was successful.  We got the house "clean" - at least part of it.  I vacuumed, cooked, and burned the wowie out of my thumb on the handle of the 475 degree cast iron skillet with the doomed corn bread in it.  All was right with the world.

So now I HAVE to get up to sewing.  I only have about four projects to sew to go into those bags that haven't been uploaded yet.  Neither have the projects.  Ah, well!!

Oh - and I got a quick trip in to the vet.  Simone isn't acting normal.  Or perhaps she is acting normally for a 8+ year old Boxer.  I just wanted to be proactive.  We get the lab results back tomorrow, but everything from the visit in normal.  Just $250.  What's money, right??