Thursday, March 30, 2017

Really bugs me

We got the exterminator to come and "bomb" our attic for the miserable stink bugs which have taken over our house.  It is too soon to tell how much effect it will have.  If necessary we will shut the outdoor cats in the garage and get the outside of the house sprayed.  I think it takes 2 hours to dry, I will have to check on that.

The next job will be to get the gutters replaced.  We had a bad winter two years ago that bent and tore down part of the gutters.  N fastened them back in place, but we are getting leakage in a hard rain, the water comes between the eves and the gutters and spills water next to the house.

It is always something.  I think we are OK on major appliances, but with all of them it is only a matter of time.  The days of keeping a washer, etc., for decades is long over, and few people believe that appliances could last that long.  Now we are grateful if they last 10 years without a repair call.  Planned obsolescence I am certain, keeping all those workers in China busy.  Not that I have anything to say about the Asian workers, but that the quality for even simple things is lacking.  Update:  The furnace/AC has been diagnosed as terminal, it is 19 years old, but the new one, for the entire setup, is costing $9,000.  What next?

I finally got reimbursed for the winter coat I sent back to China when it didn't fit.  Both the seller reimbursed me, including shipping charges, even though the package never made it past Bejing, and the P.O. reimbursed me for the insurance that I got when I shipped it out.  It only took 3 months.  I will never buy clothing, or return anything to China.  Such a hassle.  I got a coat from Land's End instead of the imported one, and by cracky it fit.  We didn't get any cold weather for the entire winter, but I was prepared if we did. update:  Can you believe it?  The coat was delivered back to me yesterday (May 12th), covered in customs tape and looking like it served as a football for the entire 6 months👌.  I will donate it to Christian Help in the fall, for their coat drive.  It says it is a 5X but I guess it is more like a 12. 

Time to do more laundry, here is today's humor:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The top of old Smoky

I bought some cross stitch fabric from etsy and it came yesterday.  The first package I opened had a musty smell.  I laid it all out on the bed, spritzed it with a little Febreze, put a fan on it and left it overnight.  This morning it smells fine.  The second package smelled like stale cigarette smoke.  After I folded the first lot up and put it away, I spread this one over the bed and gave it a shot of Febreze, and I will let it steep over night.  It is funny, how people who smoke don't think there is much odor left after they stub out the cigarette and go indoors, when in fact it lingers a long time.  Phew!  I should be glad they aren't cigar smokers, I guess.

I am going to try my hand at dyeing some  of my cross stitch fabric, once I get all the bits assembled.  I am going to do tea and coffee as the dyes, and vinegar as the "fixer" .  With these ingredients I won't have to worry about disposing of a toxic solution, it can be poured down the sink.   I need to get a couple of disposable aluminum roasting pans to put in the kitchen sink, this crappy Corian sink will stain badly and I don't like doing the scrub and bleach to fix it.  I'd like it if I can get a crumpled tan/brown finish to look like old parchment for a pattern I have in mind.  I have lots of Aida fabric to experiment with.

For a wonder, the therapist I had given up on, the one who never returned my calls, called to apologize and to set up a meet and greet for next week.  She will call me when she can give me a solid time.  I was so amazed I nearly hung up on her, we get so many spam calls (I have answered two just this morning)  and she talks really fast, just like the spam callers who try to get you to listen past the first 15 seconds.  Now if she just calls me this time...  If she doesn't call this time I will give up.Update:  despite requesting that she call me the next day, when she had her appt. lists, she returned my call 3 weeks later.  I politely said I had moved on in finding a therapist, and she said she understood.  Geesh, three weeks to return a call, no one is that busy that they can't make a 3 minute phone call!

One of the spam callers yesterday was one who called on behalf of policemen and firefighters who are injured in the line of duty.  I told them to send me information, and I would check them out online to see if they are a valid group.  The caller told me they are a tax deductible group, and when I could get a word in edgewise, I said, yes, but that they are tax deductible does not mean they are a charity.  He hung up on me!  That is a first.  My usual ploy is when they ask, How are you this morning?  I proceed to tell them all my aches and pains, doctor advice, medications (all fictional), they usually hang up first, just to shut me up.

Our neighbor brought us a vegetable pizza, I had never tried one before.  It was delicious!  She is going to spoil us.  Originally I tried to keep up, sending brownies, bread, etc. back, but I have lost the match, and given up.  I wish she would send her apple cobbler again.

Kitchen duty is calling, so here is today's humor:

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Too much stuff

Waaay too much.  My son took a pickup load of trash to the dump yesterday, old bed, recliner with all the springs broken, ratty old rugs I didn't know they were in the attic, tons of junk.  The total cost was $12.50  I am determined to clear the attic of everything but the luggage, and maybe not even that.  We have a storage unit for keepers, but there isn't much - Christmas tree, one section of the leather couch, golf clubs (which I need to advertise), etc.  It is worth every penny. 

The worst thing about it is how many stink bugs there are in the attic.  When my son opened the overhead ladder to go up, stink bugs literally cascaded down.  And most of them were dead, but some were still wiggling.  How they do that??  Survive freezing, parboiling, no food and still be kicking?  I have a horror of them, I can't stay in the room if they are flying around, ish.  Time for an exterminator for the attic.  I can't have treatment outside where the cats are, or inside, since they mostly come from the attic. I'm thinking about getting a crew to clear, while we sort in the garage.  So much to do now that the weather has turned nice.  It has, don't you think ?  We're all finished with winter, aren't we?  Please?

My trip to the eye doctor for a checkup, yielded a new script for glasses.  I'm hoping they will eliminate that annoying tip-your-head-up-and down searching for the sharp orientation.  I even found a nice frame on line (Amazon of course) which I am sure won't be available at the optician store.  At least I have insurance which will cover a lot of the expense.  My current glasses are the same for the last 3 years, after the cataract removal. 

This is the dullest post here, maybe because it is 5 am.  I think it is time for a little humor -

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Is It really Spring?

The snow on Friday disappeared with the rain on Saturday.  I sure hope that is the last.  The daffodils are already up, if the cold didn't spoil them, and the forsythia is blooming too.

I have been on ebay, for some retail therapy, and won/bought a bunch of DMC embroidery floss, which I really don't need.  I have 200+ skeins already, and recently got a small plastic box with bobbin-wrapped floss, 69 skeins.  My original flosses (also from ebay 6 months or so ago) are sorted into floss-away bags, which is OK if you don't mind dragging the whole thing out every time you need a little, say, #310 (black).  Whereas with the bobbin system, you just open the box and voila! there it is.  But really, it is just for the fun of bidding, or jumping into "Buy it Now" before it is seen by someone else.  This recent haul is the second type, it was up for only a few hours from when it was listed, and I grabbed it.  Now comes the hard part which is waiting for it to come.  Hopefully in a few days.  Gotta love it.

I am self-debating whether to get a copy of "The Last Dance", starring Patrick Swayze.  All the reviews say that while the movie, plot and script, is a real stinker, every one says the dancing scenes are breathtaking.  This was the last movie made by Patrick before he died of cancer.  His mother had a dance studio when he was little, so he danced from the time when he was a youngster.  A few years ago, he and his wife did a performance for the Academy awards (I think) but I have not found anything on Youtube.  He was my favorite actor, although most of his movies were ho-hummers, except for Dirty Dancing which has become a cult classic of sorts.  I used to joke that I would watch film of him brushing his teeth, just for fun.  I guess I could watch Last Dance with the remote to fast forward through the story.

I finally decided to see a therapist for "grief counseling"  because I am having a tough time now.  It is nearly a year since N died, and I have been having horrible dreams where I am partly awake and in my room, and partly asleep with a nightmare.  It may be because of a change in meds, too, I see the Dr. in a few weeks.  Locally all the medical practices have had a tremendous turnover in staffing, and although my latest doctor said she won't be leaving, I take that with a grain of salt.  She is the 6th doctor I have had in the last few years, some for only 3 or 4 visits.  It is hard to maintain a coherent history when I can't remember who said what, or why they prescribed one drug or the other.  Anyway, I got a few therapist's names from my last therapist (moved away) and have whittled it down one after the other.  Either they don't accept Medicare, or are not accepting new clients, or aren't local, or have given up counseling all together.  The last one, whom I thought would be a good match, won't return my calls, after the encouraging first time.  Maybe she fell down the stairs, I don't know.

I finally got a new mouse for this computer.  The old one had taken up the disorienting  habit of moving when I wasn't holding it.  If I want that kind of motion I'll use a Ouija board!  So for a few bucks, I got a Microsoft one.  It is made in China just like the other, cheaper, ones, but at least there is a USA source for this one, if I need help.  Although what kind of help I would need for a mouse, I don't know.  The new one is very peppy, but can be adjusted if it is too peppy.  I'm still test-driving it.

Well, back to the trenches (cleaning). Today's cartoon:


Monday, March 13, 2017

Bored / boring

I am getting a small amount of followers for this blog, and I hope they aren't too disappointed in the frequency of my posts.  I try to have something reasonably interesting and not post without a subject.  Unfortunately this is one of the posts when I just meander from topic to topic.  Sorry!

The forecast for the eastern part of USA is grim.  The forecasting is usually correct in predicting if it will snow; not very good when it involves the amount of snow.  Still, the local Walmart was packed yesterday, and from the number of cars in their parking lot packed again today.  The two big items are Roll paper and milk.  Milk I can understand, you can't stockpile milk because it will spoil; but T paper?  I wanted to go and get new filters for the furnace, and a plastic storage box for my cross-stitch stash, it won't be a very large box, but I was deterred by the crowds.  As for the cross stitch patterns and such, I decided to have more than a single work in progress, for times like yesterday when I had to rip out everything I had just stitched.  Right now my stuff is overflowing a medium sized box, too shallow and the kits are slippery.  I did get to the pharmacy today, bad time to run out of necessary refills.  I take dozens of meds (slightly overestimated) and I am always out or nearly out of something.  The pharmacy staff know me on sight, sigh.

My son and I were discussing what we will do if we go out to the barn and our old old Newfoundland dog is dead.  She doesn't seem to be in any pain, just moving slowly and having trouble getting up.  Appetite is still good, and her tail wags just as hard as ever.  This is the same dog that had two ACL surgeries, and she has gotten several years since then without pain.  I know she misses her buddy who had cancer and a systemic infection, but there isn't much we can do in that area.  So the question of how to handle a dead dog weighing 120 pounds is a tough one.  Guess we will see when the time comes.  I will miss her.  We seem to be slowly reducing our critter population.  It will be strange when they are all gone.  The horses made it well into their 20s and the cats into their late teens.  I vow, no more horses, dogs, or cats.  I am too old and what would be done should they outlive me?   Anyway, I guess we will take her to the vet, they have done this before.  Unfortunately they charged $400 for the other Newfy, my jaw dropped when I got the bill.  We can't dig a hole for a dog that big, we would need a backhoe, and that isn't possible.  It isn't like we could borrow one from a neighbor.  Guess we will see for that part too.

I need to get a new mouse for this computer.  It is doing strange things, like when I am not touching it and the desk is not shaking or anything, it will scroll up or down, it is a drag when I am trying to read text.  The PC downstairs uses a trackball, which I prefer, but the mouse is cheaper by a factor of 2.  This one is so old, and was my husband's before me, it has potholes where my fingers rest on the surface. 

That is all my sleepy head can manage for today, if you are in the storm's way, stay home if at all possible.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

A Taxing Job

I am doing income taxes; I have it done for son and daughter, they were a snap.  Then I waded into my taxes and got completely bogged down with all the assorted forms to consider.  I am going to have to call one company tomorrow and see if I can figure out where they fit in, in the greater scheme of things.  Bah humbug.

We had a narrow escape with our 2015 taxes.  When I went to do this year's, I looked everywhere for last year's forms.  When we had the Flood several months ago, the boxes with all the taxes 2000 - 2015 were soaked.  Still, each year was in a plastic envelope and none of them were too wet.  What happened, tho, is that they got stuck wherever there was space and carried upstairs.  When we put things back downstairs, the boxes that held the taxes originally were a soggy mess, and so the envelopes went into another box.  Unlabeled.  When i found the box, all of them were there, EXCEPT the 2015 ones.  To make a long story short, we found them at R's office, along with a lot of office-y supplies that we gave to a third grade teacher for her classes.  No one wanted the three ring binders, and R was moving them out when she rooted around to the bottom, and there was a big plastic envelope with "Taxes 2015" written on it.  Also was a folder with credit card information, including one form that had our credit card account no., credit limit, my SSN, and the PIN on it.  Geez, talk about lucky.  Everything was untouched because the water stains on the papers had stuck them together, a little, and they were still stuck, no one had found them.  Thank my lucky stars.  I need a bigger safe deposit box, I think.  Or a bookkeeper on retainer.

The farrier came today to trim the horse's hooves, an every-8-week job.  I pay whatever he wants, because most farriers would rather do a whole stable full of horses, one after the other, than just come out for a single horse.  We did a swap, tho, he wanted our gas powered auger, and in exchange he would do the next two trims for free.  The post hole digger was just sitting in the shed gathering dust, and there is no way I will ever put another fence up.  The last time it was used was to set the mailbox out.  We put up two fences, first with locust tree posts (they rotted off in a few years) and then with pressure treated 4 x 4's set in concrete.  Those are still going strong, except for one the idiot horse has gnawed through.  Anybody want her?  She is 24 years old, stubborn as a mule, with the temperament of a Tasmanian devil, and has not been ridden in years.  I'm way too fond of my bones just the way they are, thanks.  She lives a life of leisure, fed hay year round, hay and grain twice a day, hooves done, stall cleaned, turned out in nice weather, blanketed in cold weather, wormed, vaccinated, vet to look at every little boo-boo, fans in the stall for hot weather, heated water bucket for winter time, automatic fly sprayer etc. etc.  The lady who does my nails says she wants to come to my barn to live. I had a therapist who would chide me (gently) for not riding more (when we had 3 beasts) until I pointed out the care they get for doing absolutely nothing.  Do you think she misses being ridden?