Saturday, January 31, 2015

Beauty before the Beast

It's just gorgeous outside today:  The sun is dancing off our 3" snowfall of yesterday.





And lying through it's icy teeth.  

There's a huge storm rolling down upon us.  A big wet southern storm is making its way north.  A big dip in the polar jet stream is bearing down to the south.  And when they meet up - it's gonna be nothing but trouble.   8-10" of trouble. 

Can't do anything but wait for it.  I'm sure the grocery stores are mobbed today between the coming storm and tomorrow's superbowl sunday parties.  Mom and I are set: food in the 'fridges, furnaces working (check out the current Household Adventures post on the sidebar blog today), books for Mom to read, computers for me to use.

I've also got 2 pots of beans soaking so I can simmer them up tomorrow during the storm.  Nothing is cozier than either a fire or something on the stove during bad weather.  

How about you?  Making any consideration for the storm?  (I mean, have ya checked the radar lately?) Or is just another day for you?

P.S. One nice note - literally.  The past couple weeks I've noticed the start, and increase of birdsong!  Not just the usual winter *chitter cheap* of birds feeding, but real song in the mix too.  Ah, hope Springs eternal.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Game Plan

Maybe it's the snow, the cold, the ice, the crappy TV programming ... I dunno.  But in a moment of cabin fever, I went around the house with a camera and documented the down side of always playing outside and neglecting the inside.

I think a good goal for 2015 is CLEAN OUT THIS PLACE!  There is furniture I don't use (or want), Christmas stuff out the whazoo, books in boxes from when I moved here in 2002!

Use something?  Yep.  Put it away?  Hardly.

It's not that I'm lazy.  Anyone who reads this blog knows that.  It's just that -- things pile up when you get busy.

Looks at this stuff.  Closets need organized.  Years of paperwork needs sorted through.  Old electronics?  Oh, c'mon!  I did leave a lot of stuff go while I was so ill in 2012-2013.  And I'm the first to admit that housecleaning is not my jam.

But for the sake of sanity - and a sense of aesthetics - SOMEthing must be done.

I mean, look.  WHY am I saving all the old windows when I replaced them over the years.  SOMEwhere in my mind was the fantasy of cold frames, a greenhouse, whatever.  Reality check - that's just not going to happen, people.  (Well, maybe the cold frame against the new fence extension, that's still up in the air.)  

That's my problem.  I don't see stuff as 'junk'.  It's all got potential. Trouble is, in my advancing years, aching bod and structural impairments, my imagination is writing checks my body can't cash!  *fume*

And this pic only shows the inside of the house.  Not the breezeway.  Not the garage. And most certainly not inside the shed!

I realize that a lot of this downsize/organize effort is daunting, especially since there will be a lot of heavy lifting, which means I'll have to find someone to do the lifting for me.  I've overextending parts of me and even now, I've got to see an ortho this Friday as my right arm/shoulder is getting so weak, so painful that spreading peanut butter makes it ache.

Anyway -- maybe this is just a brainstorm.   Maybe it will go away and the status quo will return.  But, truthfully, wouldn't it be nice to have it done?  Yep.  DOing it?  Ick.

How about you?  How long before you draw the line on stuff like this?  Any stories?  Advice?  Heavy lifters?  LOL

P.S.  My house does not look like this.  All this stuff is in uncharted territories like the basement, attic, unused bedroom, etc.  The main rooms are spare and uncluttered.  I just want to have the same thing behind the closed doors and drawers.  *heh*

Too bad I live on a private road.  Garage sales are frowned upon as it brings non-resident traffic down a fragile and eroding lane.  There is no parking except in private driveways and on someone's lawn.  And the thought of hauling this stuff to someone else's house for sale (like Mom's), just gives me shudders.  Actually, this is why stuff accumulates.  No annual yard sale purges. I'm of a mind to donate everything to someplace as long as they come and get it.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Clipper & Tech flashback

Yesterday it sleeted, then rained, then froze, then sleeted, then it started to snow as the temps dropped.  I retreated into the kitchen and made soup. (Check sidebar blog)

It snowed for over 12 hours.  Snow isn't too deep - maybe 5" in the flat spots, but almost 10" half way out from the drifted garage door..  Totally treacherous to walk on though because of all the ice underneath.  The deck is deep - didn't get cleaned off from the last blast.  Hmmm.  It's snowing now as I type.  Joy.... 

According to radar this was supposed to be gone this morning.  But now the build-up along the east coast (Juno will be horrible for them), has stalled the snow over this part of Ohio and, at the same time, the snow from the west is barreling into Wisconsin & Illinois with us in it's path.

Again, joy.... *sigh*
Still, we have been lucky this winter.  December was more rain than snow.  And several large storms have stayed south of us (sometimes only by a few miles).  

As for me, I've been entertaining myself.  For some odd reason I fired up one of my old ThinkPad laptops (circa 1998 "Y2K safe"), then dug out an even older artifact, a DOS game "Nova 9" (circa 1991).  I have a huge Mac, super software, retina display -- yet here I was, messing around with this stuff. 

The FLOPPY DISKs wouldn't install, I had to search my brain on how to access the DOS OS under the Windows XP.  In the end I manually copied all the game info to the C: drive and fired 'er up.

Yay.  I used to play this a lot.  I've since misplaced the instructions, so poking around for a couple hours with just the keyboard was interesting.

One thing that really frustrated me was - oh, not the game - they made great games back in the 90s, but it was just waiting for the PC laptop to boot up.  And then to shut down when I was done.

If nothing else the MACs have totally spoiled me for near-instant ON/OFF processing.  

Anyway, I realized that I have more great 80s, 90s games in the closet.  I want to play them.  I do NOT want to play them on the PC laptop.  Bottom line, this gal is going to look for a good emulator so I can play those babies on the Mac!

Gotta love technology in winter - helps keep away the crazies.  *Yeah, riiiiight*

Went out with the snowblower and driveway was okay - only 5-6" deep, but the back was too deep for the blower.  *whine*  Fortunately, the boy across the road was out pushing snow off his driveway (snow day, no school).  He asked if I needed help.  Seems a simple question, no?  But lots of times pride and fierce self-dependence mostly has me saying no.  But I've learned from my Mom.  She never accepts help, and it doesn't work out for her a lot.  So after a pause, I said 'yes' and he came over and easily (so easily) pushed the deep stuff out of my way so I could finish blowing, and then he dug out the deck.  He didn't want anything, but I insisted on spotting him a tenner - for gas or pizza.  Y'know.  What a blessing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Snow snow snow

Winter is in no hurry to move on, that's for sure.

I've cleared the deck once already, but it was snowed over within 15 minutes.  I'll have to dig out again and then do the driveway once the snow quits.  *sigh*

Pretty, though.

Think maybe the blog header isn't quite up to date.... LOL 
Later:  There, better?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Easing into the new year....

After a week of bitter cold, we're getting a break in the weather.  Meanwhile I've just been hanging around the house, grocery shopping, the occasional foray out for coffee or lunch with Mom.

I'm caught up with the laundry and my TV programs.  I do seem to be hanging out a lot in the kitchen lately (posts on the Chef's page) trying out new gluten-free recipes.

Had to have a tire replaced.  I found a nail through the sidewall on Christmas Day.  The placement of the puncture made it unsafe to patch/plug so I had to buy a new tire.  (Thankfully I'd bought hazard insurance with the tire so replacement cost was only $35/mount/recycle/balance, etc.) But they had to order it so they wanted to send me home on my spare tire.  I had to laugh and told them that the spare tire in the car originally came with the car (2000) and has been in there for 15 YEARS! We both agreed it was safer to drive home and come back the next day on the re-inflated punctured tire (it still could hold air).

To replace the 15 year old spare, the tire place wanted $75 for a tire to fit my car, mount it, recycle the old tire, etc. etc.  Sheesh.  So I went to my auto shop where they found a used tire (only 2 years old - tons of tread) that fit my car. They swapped it out, mounted, etc all for $30.  You gotta shop around.
I did get that 'care package' from HamBeens to replace the bad bag of beans I had to throw away. I don't usually buy HamBeens brand because I never use the flavor packets they provide and I'm sure that addition is what makes them more expensive than other brands.  But it's hard to find the 15-bean mix they have.    Still, they were extremely polite, concerned and quick to send me replacements.

While catching up with the laundry, I thought I heard some odd noises, so had a repair man come in and check out the situation.  He opened the 20-year-old Tappan, got it running, looked under the tub and .... "uh oh".  Damn I hate that phrase!  Turns out the transmission is failing.  He said it could go any time or last another 10  years, and he showed me the loose movement on the shaft.  $345 + labor for a new transmission.  He didn't recommend it because then I might have motor trouble, timer trouble, etc.  So we put it back together and I'll deal with it when it dies.  Que sera sera. How can I complain?  This set has never given me any grief for 20 years!!  The least I can do is let it do what it does best until the bitter end.

Otherwise, it's been a relatively uneventful slide into the new year and I'm truly happy about that!  Days drift by and I was surprised to see how long since my last post, so this one is to let you know I'm still here, if relatively inert at the moment. LOL  Hope all is well at your end.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Snow day

Schools are out 2nd day in a row: wind chills in -20s, 6 inches of snow from a clipper this morning, winds gusting to 35.

I had to round up the usual suspects and hit the driveway and deck - again.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Freezing - outside AND in!

The weather is brutal right now: sub-zero nights, days in the single digits, wind chills in the -20s.  Cripes!

I do stuff around the house (very little actually), watch some TV, movies, keep a pot of something savory on the stove, and, evenutually, gravitate to the iMac. 

Back in 2008/9 when I started this blog, there were so many other blogs starting up then too.  I could lose a couple hours just cruising around to my faves.  It was great winter reading.

But the past couple of years many of those blogs have stalled out - no updates for months at a time, if ever.  I have all these blog bookmarks on my browser and still click on a lot of them hoping for new entries.

Alas, I guess blogging has dropped out of favor.  Oh, some bloggers, unfortunatley, have died and the blogosphere is less for it.  Others have found other ways to (maybe Facebook, etc.?) to express themselves.  Bottom line, there are fewer blogs to visit and interact with.  (Actually at least 50-60% of the blogs I visit don't actually interact.  There are few, if any, responses to reader comments and that is sad.)

So here I am, typing away to pass some time while the wind howls and I watch the white whirlwinds outside.  Darn, it's cold!  (Not only that - SOMEone had set the humidistat on the furnace too high and there was so much moisture on the windows and the front door threshhold that they were all iced up this morning. *sigh*) 

With a dearth of chatty blog blab at hand, I'm about ready peruse the Apple Store for some diversionary games since there is no break in the weather in the near future.  AND - *shame shame* - I'm out of chocolate....

How about you?  Cabin fever gettin' ya down yet, bunky?