Saturday, November 30, 2013

Post Thanksgiving stuff

Thanksgiving is a tricky one if you are single and your family is not close by, in my opinion. I've made arrangements to go visit my brother after Christmas, so didn't really think about traveling for Thanksgiving. 

Growing up, we had a very traditional gathering and meal. The responsibility for hosting would rotate among 3 or 4 households of local family, and we'd have a big meal, and a kids' table, watch football, all that. When I was married, we'd do a mix of having small gatherings at home and traveling. 

Now that I've been single for a while, I am fortunate to get picked up as a holiday orphan. I have to say I'm really thankful for that. This year, we were invited to the parents of friends and I had a really nice day. 

These folks live out of town, and have bought into an arrangement where they have a couple of acres, upon which they've built a totally awesome passive solar off-the-grid house and are part owners/users then of a much larger conservation area that functions as a gated community.  The picture above is what we saw on one of our two walks that day. There's a pine tree growing out of the boulder, but it's a little hard to see in that light.

Mr W came with me. He'll do another Thanksgiving tomorrow, and we talked about the pros and cons of living out there. The preparation, yet the independence. 

A's parents are retired academics who worked in science - biology, I think, and it was really refreshing to hear the awful (in a good way) sciencey puns and to get into a discussions about hot button topics in a friendly environment with like-minded people. 

I even got leftovers. It was a fine day.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A few more new pieces

Chug, chug, chug. I've been trying to make new things so I have enough for the craft show that is in two weeks. I'm doing pretty well, although the low sun angle makes it a little challenging to get the lighting right for the pictures. Sometimes they need a little tweaking before they look like the object. 

I'm hosting the weekly board game group today. Nothing motivates me like having people over - and that's just fine. My porch/breezeway area hasn't looked this good in months. 

Here's the new pieces. 

Hope you have a good Sunday!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Some new items

I've been making key fobs aplenty lately. Here's three new ones.

Teal and olive neutrals: 

 Shades of green: 

I received three orders over the last couple of days. Looks like Christmas shopping has begun!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


A week or so ago, I heard Sally walking around in the living room (where she sleeps) before I got up. When I came out, she was staring at a spot on the wall behind the phone table, and it was then I figured I had a mouse. It's that time of year. 

I didn't have any mice last year, but the year before that I had several. A pregnant one might have moved in, it seemed. I had always been an advocate of snap traps as humane and effective, but that was when someone suggested the grey plastic ones pictured above. Truly a better mouse trap. 

Fast forward to Sunday night, where I went to play board games, and got home around 6:30. I fed and walked the dog, and was done with that around 7:30. I had had the traps set for a couple of days, and didn't think about those much.

Around 3:30, Sally starts pacing outside my door. Back and forth. I assume she has seen the mouse, and since I can't do anything about it, I mostly ignore her, and then holler to go lay down now. When I finally get up at 5:30 she is frantic because she has to pee so bad, because I forgot to take her out one last time because it was dark when we got back from our walk at 7:30. Geez. 

I find the mouse in this trap. Guess it wasn't the mouse after all.

We proceed through the usual morning routine, and I let her outside to the yard while I get my breakfast. Just after that, Mr W's dad stops by to drop off the kid's stuff for the week, and the dog barks and seems to want to come inside. I let the dog in and leave for work.

Mr W and I come home to find that Sal has pooped and peed on the rug, and apparently did neither of these things when she had the chance in the morning. Totally off schedule.

But all seems to be well now, and we're back on it. I'm glad I caught the mouse early in the process. They do make a mess. I've gotten better about storing food, too, so it must have been moving around a lot to try to find something to eat. No more zipping around behind the cabinets - ha! 

Hopefully today will be less eventful.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bad coffee creamer, and a kitchen picture

Here's a finished kitchen picture. I still have to paint the window, but will do that this weekend (I swear). Details include knobs and pulls, which I mentioned the other day, and also to get a smaller microwave. This one is vintage 1990's, if I recall correctly, and was given to us by my former in-laws, with the express purpose of being able to fit big things in it. Microwaves were the up and coming thing at the time. It's a monster, though, and getting a smaller one will free up space on that counter. 

I love the wall color. I hemmed and hawed over this one and several shades lighter, and it was Mr W who said, "I like the darker color". I had considered blues as well, and just couldn't make up my mind. Once this got on the walls, it was clearly a good choice. There is a lot going on between the floor and the tile, and the bold color kind of melts into the background. It's weird, you don't notice it much, which to my mind means it's holding its own. 

Oh, by the way, it was bad coffee creamer. Yuck. And shame on the store for having spoiled stuff that was two weeks before its sell by date. 

In other news, I've been having trouble sleeping. Again. I usually fall asleep OK, and then am up for an hour or so, then am solidly asleep when the alarm goes off. I've been reading about sleep, and I do a lot of it right. Dark room, cool temperature, quiet or white noise, consistent times, and few if any disturbances.

Sally, who has always slept in the living room, has recently been granted access to Mr W's room (at his request) and will fall asleep there when he's at my house. When he's not, she still goes in there but is a little restless, and I can hear her walking by my door sometimes once or twice a night. So that's one thing that wakes me up, but it's not a big deal. 

I did go to the doctor and she said that because of my age, I should get hormone levels tested, which I did and they are normal, so it's all in my head, so to speak. What I mean is that the worry about stupid things that have no real bearing, and also about things that are totally out of my control are the things I need to usher out the door when I lay down to sleep. So I'm going to try to do some meditation work before bed to clear the table, and will see how that goes. 

I do occasionally get a really good night's sleep and the difference I feel is really noticeable. It's the difference between getting all the stuff done that I need to get done and not much more, and feeling like I'm actually living my life as I should. 

In other other news, here's some more new stuff in the Etsy shop:

Happy Thursday! I'm attending a lecture tonight on campus. It's one of the benefits of living in a college town that I don't take advantage of enough.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Kitchen pictures soon

I realized (here in the dark Tuesday morning) that I don't have a picture of the kitchen since the walls have been painted. I'll snap some photos when I come home from work and there's some light.

This sounds really trivial, but I can't get my coffee to taste right the last couple of days. I don't drink much coffee, but do like my cup in the morning while I surf the web and wake up. Maybe the cream is going bad. Must start to investigate this.

Anyway, what else has been going on. Mr W and I are going to travel to SC after Christmas to visit with my brother and his family, and my brother and SIL in MN will be coming in too. Back in September when we started talking about this, we had hoped that we could convene down in Florida, where my dad recently moved.

Traveling over Christmas can be a real pain, but it helps a bit to buy tickets in early-mid September, when flights are more available. I also had the choice of several cities to change planes in. There's never ever a direct flight to SC from Denver. Hmm, let's see, do I want to go through Chicago, or Atlanta? That's a no-brainer, and we'll go through Atlanta. I also wanted to have a couple of hours between flights, in case things got delayed. There were flights offered with 30 minute connection times, which I had trouble fathoming. You'd almost be guaranteed to miss your connection.

But we wanted to go meet up in Florida, but my dad said he needed more time to see what he wanted to do. I asked again three weeks later, and he said the same thing. They don't have a house yet, and have been living in an apartment, so I totally understand that things feel up in the air for them. So I talked to my brothers, and bought tickets to SC. I felt bad about gambling on the idea that Dad wouldn't decide before it was time to buy tickets, but it ended up being the right thing to do because the finally found a house in the meantime, but won't move in until after the new year.

There was some talk of getting down there in March, and I'll help plan that trip.

Meanwhile, I'm going to throw in a jewelry photo. I've been happy with how this last round has turned out.

Blue, purple, gold button bracelet.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

November post-shutdown stuff

I see I haven't posted since the middle of September. The kitchen is pretty much done. There's a few odds and ends I still need to attend to, like painting the trim around the new window, redoing the caulk where the tile meets the counter, and picking knobs. I have the aspiration (we'll see how it goes) to make fused glass or polymer clay knobs, but haven't done anything about it. These bases to hold the glass or clay are really inexpensive ($.59 each) and the plan is to buy those, install them, and get to the glass stuff when I get to it. 

I love how everything turned out. Really do. It's great to have the additional counter space there to the right of the (new) stove. I love my ice maker!!!

Mr W is well. He's doing a project for school where he has to make/produce something with the help of a mentor. I play board games with a couple and the husband has a vintage printing press. He's agree to mentor the kid and we'll go over to their place tonight to see the thing. I think it's really cool, his teacher gushed about how cool of a thing that was, and he's little hesitant I think because he doesn't know really what a printing press DOES. So it will become clearer tonight, and even though I pushed this on him a little, I think he'll like it.

I've also been making a lot of new stuff. I decided to post pictures here more regularly, so here are a couple of new bracelets. I love love love so many of the pallets from Design Seeds, and pilfer them regularly for my stuff. 

Blue bracelet in my Etsy shop here.

I'm doing one craft show next month, and have been making things with an eye on that show. It's the same one I did last year, and I'm looking forward to it. 

Work is good, too. I was off for the shutdown, and as a contractor did not get paid for my time like regular feds did. Boo-hoo - I did feel really sorry for myself for a few days, and was angry about it. The rep from the contracting company took me out for coffee and was really nice - she said one of the ways the government shows that contractors are not like feds is that they don't get paid when they can't work. So be it. I find I am much happier if I leave it in the past and move on. 

Button key ring in my Etsy shop here.

I've been working on three different projects at work, and getting DNA sequences for three genes in different populations of mosquitoes, so it feels like I'm turning my wheels, but I am getting my data slowly but surely. I could us a minion... My boss went to the island of Yap for a virus outbreak investigation. It is almost literally in the middle of nowhere - go look it up. I think I'd go if they asked, but they didn't need me for this one. There seems to be occasional/frequent talk of money being tight, but I'm going to keep plugging away and trying to learn new stuff. I ran into a coworker who is doing a project with tick DNA that is similar to something I want to try. He was really generous in that he said, "If you need help getting started, I'm happy to share all the stuff I did. I'm still learning, too." Yea! I love that spirit of cooperation.

Such a long post. I hope to show up a few times a week, even if just to post some pictures. Thanks for reading this far, I sincerely appreciate it.