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For the past week my TV remote has been giving me fits. It's a Harmony and has never worked perfectly but mostly does better than it has been. Finally last night I pulled out the battery and put it back and what do you know... fixed. I did not consider the battery earlier because always before, when the batter was a problem, the Harmony app sent me an alert. Oh well. Glad I figured it out before I punched those damn buttons through to the other side.

I swam extra today because while it was a bit crowded when I got there after an hour it was really just me and one guy and then he left. But, mainly, I wanted to hit my fitness goal for today because my steak hit day 100!!!



Also I think it's fun that I happen to hit 1,600 miles today. I started tracking on March 5, 2015 (539 days ago).

And in other number fetishes, my car is going to hit 17777 miles tomorrow on the way to the pool.

My electric bill says Please Send In The Clouds! This month it is $130. 10 months out of the year it's $40ish. Next month will also be $130 or even more. And... worth every penny. My environmental footprint looks like Big Foot for these two months. I don't even use any heat in the winter so I'm cool with taking more than my share now.

I may have to break down and watch the British Bake Off via VPN. Way too many spoilers.

I had a little breathing attack last night after cleaning out the litter box. Cough stopping pills and my rescue inhaler saved the day. Plus it was just before I went to sleep so I just cranked the bed up to give my lungs a lift and all was fine. So much dust is raised that I'm kind of surprised it hasn't happened before. I think I can prevent it all together by just wearing a dust mask when I do the cleaning. No big deal. And, the new litter box cabinet will be here this month and that will help a bunch, I think. This old box has years of dust accumulated.

Nothing big going on today. Good podcasts to catch up on and dolls to make while catching up on podcasts. My kind of day.

Here's a bear that got finished last night.

Today's sewing...

2 dolls and 24 faces. I was on a roll and then Google came out with solitaire and an hour left the building. I'm trying to keep it to an hour but I think I'm losing. I'm a sucker for solitaire.

Hell, I'm a sucker for card games and it's my father's fault. The very minute my hands got big enough to hold cards, he taught me how to play gin rummy. And then he taught me the nuances of how to play well and how to trash talk. First grade interrupted my card shark career. When I couldn't find him to play gin with or my brother or sister to play Go Fish or Old Maid with, I played solitaire.

As a family, we played Yahtzee but when we couldn't find all the dice we'd play I Doubt It or hold cribbage tournaments.

In college I played bridge for beer money. After college I played tournament bridge for many years. I was part of an online gaming beta in the late 80's early 90's (1200/2400 baud dial up modem) called Sierra Online. I played bridge there, canasta and I think some cribbage.

And then Windows included Solitaire on the computer. Holy moly. I probably tossed at least a year or two towards that effort. Today, the minute I saw what Google had done today, I was a goner. Sigh.



The ice cream crisis is over... whew!

There is a little chain of groceries (chain-ette really) near here. One of the stores is near my library branch of choice. There are bigger groceries near the pool and so easier to pop into but this little Red Apple is worth the special trip and becoming more so all the time.

I'm not a big produce fan but they do have really good produce. Their meat is really good and they do cuts that really suit me. Plus they carry some pickles I love (that no one else carries) and they carry some milk that I like in quart cartons that no one else does.

And, now, they have android pay in addition to Senior Discount Every Day. So... I like them alot.

Today they had tomatoes that I know aren't any good but they look like they might be better than horrible and I'm desperate. We don't have enough uninterrupted hot sun for long enough nor soil good enough for decent tomatoes. Our very very very best - late August tomatoes bought at a farmers market and grown with love - are the flavor and consistency of any January tomato in the South. It's a crime. People around here think of tomatos a salad filler and spaghetti base only. A tomoato sandwich is foreign animal here. But, my tongue remembers the glory of a fat juicy sweet delicious tomato from South Jersey or even my Mom's backyard in North Carolina. And I'll pretend that's what I'm eating in my tomato sandwich for lunch today.

So groceries put away. Cuke and onion sour cream salad marinating in the fridge. Dishes washed. Cat fed. I'm off to sew.

Thursday

There's a football game across the street tonight with lots of pre-game activities and concerts. Normally this would mean Do Not Leave The House By Car at all. But, I'm still out of ice cream and now it's getting critical. So I'm going to slip out after I finish this entry and my coffee and make a run to the grocery store and gas station and then hurry home and Not Leave The House By Car again until morning.

I've got nothing out of the ordinary on the agenda for today. Which is actually fine. For some reason my brain is not with it today. I normally use my swim time to solve world problems or work out small little conundrums. Today, I got in the pool and at what felt like about lap 3, I looked at the clock to see I had been swimming an hour.

These are the kind of days when it's good to have no responsibilities. Heavy equipment and I would have issues. I do think I can get to the grocery and back, though.

2 more days... I can make it

I wanted to go out and get catfish and fired okra for dinner but hot. And sunny. And hot. So no. But, I looked at my various weather apps to see what the next few days look like and discovered delight. Tomorrow and Friday suck - full sun and hot. BUT... Saturday starts days of cool, some rain maybe, more cool... This could be it. This could be the turning point. The light at the end of the heat tunnel.

Today's baseball game was a total clunker. It's over and they are gone. The Yankees went where ever, I don't care. The Mariners went to Chicago. Tomorrow is another game.

I've got Tivo cleanup to do tonight. Yesterday I watched a PBS special and the Mamas and the Papas. It was such a delight. Those were amazing years to be a kid.

I did get some dolls done. Some more cut out and some faces started. Progress.





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Wednesday

It was lovely to be back in my own pool today. Quiet and screaming child free. Even the millennials who take up way more space on the benches in the locker room with their massive amounts of stuff so that I don't have room to even put down my goggles didn't bother me this morning. I appreciated their elongated use of the hair dryers as it drowned out the media noise (for some reason about a month ago, they started turning on the TV sound AND not turning off the piped music/LA Fitness ads). Anything anything, really anything is better than screaming children.

I was planning a mid day trip to the market on the hill that has the good milk, cream and ice cream and get gas but... then I remembered the Mariners are playing a home game this afternoon. Probably a good day not to fight stadium traffic. Tomorrow will work just as well for a market trip gas.

I did get to see last night's game on ESPN and they had Ken Griffey, Jr. in the booth for the entire game. It was really interesting and fun. Even though the Mariners lost. Sigh.

This morning there will be doll making. There were zero made yesterday which is sad. But today we have new trim and new felt and even some new fabric so let the doll making commence!!

Saved by ESPN?

I ran into the guy who rents the condo next door to mine (aka Hunter, the whacko baker). Apparently his rent just got raised because of the assessment charged Noel (the guy who owns the unit). Hunter asked me if there really was an assessment or if he was being had. I assured him that he was getting the straight poop. He said that he expected a big hike when the waterfront* was finished (which was supposed to be spring of 2015 - no clue what the new date is) and sky rocket once the downtown tunnel was open and the viaduct comes down (which was supposed to be in 2016 but ain't going to happen in this decade and probably not the first half of the next one).

*They tore it up to fix the seawall and other non-glamorous maintenance which they have fucked up beyond imagination.

If/when they do get everything fixed and finished, these condos could really skyrocket in value. But, I'm not sure I know anyone young enough now to be alive when that happens.

My brother told me today that one of his techs is leaving. This time it's not for 4 or 5 months - I'm guessing next February-ish so they have tons of time to plan which is great. But I'll miss Thomas. He's a Jehovah's Witness and he really wants to go down to Panama to Witness. It's very very sweet of him to give my brother such much notice and help in planning how to replace him. My brother and Thomas and Bryant (his other tech) are looking at a bunch of different options - maybe even changing the business. It all sounds very healthy to me.

Twitter says that tonight's Mariner game will be on ESPN and may not be blacked out here which means I can watch it on TV without the asshole announcer. Nice.

The latest bear:

Home again...

Nice nice day. I left earlier than necessary this morning. The traffic I expected never turned up. So I had a very leisurely Walmart visit. This was at 8:30 so the shopping crowds were not yet at their stations and I had the store to myself which was lovely.

I tried to kill time but still wound up at my financial guy's a half hour early. He wanted to walk and it was really nice out so we walked up a really nice path into some woods about a half mile or more and then back while we chatted about this and that.

My main agenda was my mortgage and he agreed that now was the right time to pay it off. So, YEAH!!!! I am really more excited about this than is warranted. I'll be selling some investments to pay it off and those investments, could make me more money than the interest I would save but maybe not and the very idea of being totally debt free is just to tasty.

The first thing I did when I got home was get on Chat with CitiMortgage and order a payout. Sept. 30. No more mortgage. Real estate tax and home owners dues still come to about $900 a month but... no more mortgage!!

After Tyler, I went over to the fancy dandy swimming pool. It's so deep and so clear and so nice. It was a wonderful swim. The problem is after. And I'd forgotten about how bad it is. The pool is next door to a kiddy pool/slide/waterfall/walking river/massive kid play area. The pool itself is 10 lap lanes so even if there were 25 kids in it (which there aren't), it would be a quiet and peaceful swim. But the locker room??!! OHMYFUCKINGGOD. Think concrete structure so NO sound absorption and 25 screaming small children with their hassled mothers and everyone talking and screaming. It's horrible with a capital H and a capital ORRIBLE. It very nearly wipes out all of the lovely of the pool. So while I enjoy swimming there, I will be thrilled to get back to my nice, adults only pool and lockeroom tomorrow!

Time now to unpack my Walmart treasures - lots of doll hair (felt) and pipe cleaners and other accoutrements. I'll be tracking tonight's baseball game on my phone or laptop as the asshole announcer who destroys the broadcast will be back. I have a Vera episode to watch instead.

Day trip

This morning I'm off on a little day trip. I'm off to visit with my financial adviser. His office is about 30 minutes (except I'll likely hit morning rush hour traffic) north of here. I'll get there way ahead of my 10am appointment so I'll stop at Walmart. I have a list. I need felt squares and pipecleaners.

After my meeting with Tyler, then it's another 30 minutes to The Very Cool Pool. A small town past Tyler's office has a 10 lane indoor salt water pool that open all day. It's beautiful and a great place to swim and, contrary to my gym pool, it's way deeper than 4 feet 6".

It would be wise to get back on the road to home before 1:30 as they flip the lanes to reverse the commute at 2 pm and the traffic into Seattle starts backing up pretty severely. BUT, I have my book to listen to and I have decided to spend as much time as I want in that wonderful pool, fuck the traffic.

So I'll be home when I get home.

And so... I'm off!

More Monday

Two dolls, load of laundry, edited my brother's newsletter, piddled around. Oh and cleaned out the car. I'm cool with that list.

Yankees in town tonight. They have completely changed the lineup since we last saw them. Should be interesting.



Ham and apple

I just made a ham sandwich and added thin slices of apple to it. This is now officially my Favorite Lunch Ever. I was raised on sandwiches for lunch and I cannot break out of the mold. I've tried. I go on a salad jag for a while or cheese, crackers and pickles but pretty much my goto, my default, my standard is sandwich.

I used to have a work husband named Kenny. He was the best. Young and hilarious. We ate lunch together nearly every day. He was raised in Hong Kong and could not, for the life of him, wrap his brain around the value of a sandwich. He tried. But no go. So once in a while when I try to break the sandwich habit, I shoot for What Would Kenny Have. Honestly, I don't have enough leftover rice to make that a going concern. So sandwich - and, at least for a while, it's going to be a thick slab of ham, thin slices of apple, mayo and rye bread.

Someone on my friendslist today had an entry about Live Journal as a social media. I've always been aware that people wrote posts 'to' other people and often or always explicitly asked for feedback. Heck I've even done that myself but I've never thought of the medium as social media. I think of Live Journal is the electronic equivalent of a diary that I don't care if people read. I love comments and value feedback but that's not what I'm here for. Interesting to think about.

My first journal entry was in March of 2002. Since then I have made 19,157 journal entries.

I kept paper journals on and off until I was about 30. I had a boyfriend who, behind my back, read most or a lot of them, didn't like what he read and so confessed that he'd read them so he could argue with me about the content. That relationship came to an abrupt end and I quit writing journals.

But, I missed it. When I found Live Journal, I decided to start again but this time no one would be able to read my journal behind my back because - ha! - I'd make it so the world could see it. And so here we are 19,157 entries later.

My brother has the password so when I drop dead, he can get in here and finish this out.

Random Monday-ness

I am a good sleeper. It's one of my skills. My fitness tracker says I have slept an average of 7 hours and 59 minutes over the last 3 years. As I get older, I hit some challenges. My nose gets clogged and then my mouth gets so dry it wakes me up. (I probably snore like a buzz saw, too.) I often wake up and adjust the adjustable bed - I did a couple of times last night but then went right back to sleep. And, my fat or old age or something prevents me from sleeping in the same position for very long so there's a lot of waking and moving around but I can generally go back to sleep easily.

I don't like to sleep in. Any sleep about about 6:30 makes me feel groggy and late, like I've already missed some of the day. But, I'm perfectly fine missing it at the other end - going to bed early. After I listen to my audio book while playing games on my tablet for a bit, I turn out the light, crank up the bed and tell Echo to shuffle the Sleep Songs playlist. This is a play list of from Amazon Music's Healing Sleep Songs. They actually have a bunch of different sleeping sounds/music - waves and rain and yoga/massage/chime things - but these are some actual lullabies and some lovely piano pieces and just a really random selection. I rarely hear the second piece.

I totally get that being able to sleep comfortable, successfully, peacefully night after night is something to be very grateful for and I really am.

Tomorrow I will be out most of the day but today is just a regular day of sewing and piddling and baseball and stuff. I do need to go down to the garage and clear out the car. I have a tendency to use it for storage. I now there are some Diet Dr. Peppers in there and some boxes of Kleenex that I didn't bring up after a grocery trip.

It's another cloudy and beautifully cooler morning again. I saw a report yesterday about temperature predictions for areas of the United Sates in the next 20-25 years. 1. I have no intention of being alive anyway BUT 2. Seattle was one of the few places in the country that isn't expected to fry. Nice.

Ok, time for me to get started doing nothing. hahahahahah

I hope better for the Sounders

The Mariners played great until the last half of the game and then they played like it was the first time they had ever seen a fucking baseball field. GRRRRRR

The Sounders are gearing up. I'm not a soccer fan. I am a fan of the Sounders fans though. The band was not part of the parade today and they didn't do their regular chant. They sang to me! (I hate it when idiots shoot video vertically. I have no clue how/why I did.)

Note the little gray/black Smart Car at the beginning. That's one of my neighbors trying to get into the garage. This is what happens when you don't plan your life around that of the the two stadiums!



Amazon screwed up an order that I really didn't care about. But I was annoyed that they 1. screwed it up and 2. blamed me for not being home. I was home and so I wrote them a little Here's How You Sinned. Your penance is one free month of Prime. That's my latest Amazon game. When they screw up something, I write them a little note and ask for a month of Prime to assuage my annoyance at their error.

Last year my renewal date was October. As of today's little fuck up, I'm now paid through February! That's $8.25 per fuck up or $33 in my pocket so far.

More Sunday

I got some quality organization done in the sewing room. It seems like as soon as I get one drawer purged of crap, a cupboard shelf needs work so I do that one and then another shelf becomes impossible to find anything on. It's a constant job - keeping it all straight.

I did manage a doll.



The soccer team just tweeted out this photo of what it looks like here before a game. I put a red arrow on my terrace so you can see how it looks from here. It's pretty cool. You can't see it but the 'march' to the game is led by the team band. I love a good marching band. This is what my view will look like at 5:30 today. (bigger version behind the click)

sounders_rally

But, first a baseball game. (The baseball stadium is on down the street - if the march would continue the way they are heading down a long block (past the football stadium) they would march right into home plate of the baseball stadium.)

It's heating up a little so the a/c is going back on while I watch the game and knit a new bear.

Here's last night's bear.

heaven

Yesterday was Africa hot with glaring sun. Today, as I look outside (because I can - the sun is hiding so the shades are up) - most of the people walking around outside have on long sleeves!!

I turned the a/c off (it was so grateful for the rest, I think I saw it wink at me). And now I'm sitting here, in the living room, with the door open. It won't be long before it bursts to live since there is a soccer game here late afternoon and a baseball game here at 1. But, for now, it's really quiet and still and cool. I like the action but I also love the mornings like this.

I had a great swim. I think the pool population is going to be sparse until after Labor Day. Now it's like the weeks around Christmas/New Year. My own private pool.

I have some non-doll sewing to do today and the baseball game (best watched in the living room) so there may not be any dolls made today.

OMG I just thought I heard the fucking kitchen sink dripping again! But, turns out, it's only Zoey smacking her breakfast down. That young lady needs to learn some table manners. Clearly it's maybe too quiet in here!

A nice Saturday

My a/c is hanging in and doing the best it can and while you wouldn't want to store meat in here, it's not too bad. I got a little sewing done. I made two dolls and tested out some twin sewing needles in hopes of getting an easy, nice looking hem on some shirts I'm planning. I learned a lot about my machine and also think I learned that twin needle sewing isn't worth the hassle. I have one more thing to try but it was getting too hot back there. Tomorrow will be fine.

Plus it's baseball time.




Same wavelength? I don't think so...

This is part of a conversation I had in the locker room this morning:

30-35 year old woman: Where would someone buy one of those?
Me: Oh Amazon has a bunch of different kinds.
Her: Wow. That is the second time today someone has recommended Amazon. My earbuds died and I was going to pay another $200 to replace them but my girlfriend told me Amazon had them for $150. I need to go to that Amazon.

In Seattle! This conversation happened in Seattle. I totally get that not everyone shops on Amazon as much as I do but... I was shocked

1. that anyone her age had so little acquaintance with it

and

2. anyone in their right fucking mind would pay $200 for freakin' earbuds!!!!

Clearly my world isn't as expansive as I thought it was.

Great swim. Once again, someone neglected to lock the door last night I about 10 minutes before the mean girl who won't let us in early even got there, I was in the pool swimming. Thanks, person who can't get all the doors locked at night. You rock.

I stopped at the grocery after and got stuff for Waldorf salad and some nice, thick ham slices. Cold ham and apple salad. That will be my dinner until the temperature resets.

I'm going to chop and mix the salad and then go back and see if the sewing room is cool enough to work in. This may have to be a living room/bear knitting day.

I'm alive and fine... interesting...

Last night I was pretty sure I was having a heart attack. It felt like I should tell Elizabeth I was coming. I figured that by morning, I'd be dead or fine. Turns out it's door #2. I'm not unhappy with the choice.

And it was hot. My air conditioner was working as hard as it could and not keeping up. I tried sleeping in the living room but gave up and came to bed with a spray bottle to mist myself down in hopes the ceiling fan will cool me off long enough to get to sleep. Worked fine.

Depending on which 10 day forecast I look at, after today, things get better. Today will be 90's, tomorrow will be mid 70's.

This morning I'm off to the pool but it does not open until 8 and I have about an hour before it makes sense to leave here.

floors

I am not a hardwood floors person. I don't like the noise. I like my dust hidden in the carpet. I like soft on my feets and warm.  There was wall to wall high pile taupe carpet installed by the builder when I moved in here as the first occupant. It took 12 years to get disgusting. But it was a battle to make it last that long.

So when I went shopping for new, I looked for longevity. I bought a mottled colored, short pile darkish colored carpet that was half water resisting chemicals and half fiber. I mean when it was new, you could spill anything on this puppy and it would bounce right off. That was 11 years ago. Today I spilled a thermos full of ice water on it - admittedly on a low traffic section - but that water just beaded up like your favorite science project and waited patiently for me to get a towel.  Godblessyou, carpet, you are the best even still today.

Good day in the sewing room:







Baseball tonight.
bitterlawngnome wrote a beautiful entry today about a special flower, about caring and about a time that was so painful for so many, including the wonderful caregivers.

The AIDS crisis was (and while I'm talking about what happened in the United States in the beginning and for 20 years after, I still feel bad using the past tense - AIDS will be a crisis until there is a cure)... horrible for those who's lives where cut short and who's families suffered their loss.

BUT, those who cared for the sick and dying deserve their own pedestal. They suffered a backlash that could not have been more cruel. And this while they were doing the best, most important work of the time.

I cherish those, like Bill, who are kind enough to share their memories so that we all may learn from them. Please go read it.


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Tired arms

I woke up early this morning and so got to the pool early and just decided to swim until I couldn't swim any more. Turns out that comes to an hour and 30 minutes of swimming. I could have done more but I hit the fun wall. Any more would have been work and not fun. According to Misfit, I only did 1.6 miles. I'm a tortoise swimmer. I think, however, it is better for me to swim longer than faster. And I have no plans for competitive swimming. So all's cool. I also blasted the fuck out of my fitness goal for today. And it's not yet 9 am!

It's Africa hot - at least Seattle-wise-speaking. And I just made the mistake of looking at the 10 day forecast. Monday and Tuesday look like they could be tolerable and the rest is stay-inside-with-the-shades-drawn-and-the-a/c-cranked. It is summer. And, hopefully, it is in its last throws. And at least it is now at all, not even in the least, humid. thankyoujesus.

Nothing outstanding on the docket. My everything seems to be on a fairly even keel right now which actually suits me quite nicely. I'm a very lucky girl.

Thanks but no thanks

I've got time. I've got opinions. People will pay for those opinions so why not? Except I think I said yes 1 too many times. I did this really dumb survey thing for a week for Microsoft but it was only two 5 minute email surveys a day for a week and they paid me a $100 gift card from Amazon. Nice. That's the way it should go.

The TiVo NBC thing has been the opposite. They had me install a very invasive (they warned me) app on my phone, tablets and desktop. And then two Olympic apps both of which were really crappy. Then answer a survey only they didn't always tell me when and where the surveys were. It was killing the wifi speed on all the stuff that had that invasive app and it was annoying the shit out of me.

Tonight I got a weird voicemail - no phone call, just voicemail that I hadn't completed the requirements correctly so they were booting me out of the program. FABULOUS! Now I can get all this crap off my hardware and go back to my much better life. I should have smelled a rat. TiVo survey's are always stupid. And that app was a big flag.

Then I got another survey in the mail for a survey group I signed up for and the damn thing wouldn't work. I suspect it wanted a Windows or a Mac or a different browser. But by now I'm done. I just said fuck it, don't send me any more anything.

Put a fork in me, I'm done. The next one who wants to pay for my opinion will pay in money BUT ALSO in good sense, decent software and on a timeline that suits me. (That damn software is taking 4.6 days to uninstall off my PC. Holy crap.)

Lesson Learned!

Oh, here's a bear that I just finished. New one starts right now!

More of Thursday

I think Donald Trump is an idiot. I think all of his facial expressions are hilarious and not in a kind way. And, of course, his fake skin color and exaggerated hair add to his ridiculousness. And while I understands how he thinks - I've done business with many who are on that same train of thought - I don't admire it and I sure as hell don't want it running our country. But, I think setting up sculptures of him naked with no balls in cities around the country is just not humorous in any way. It's down on his level and as disrespectful as he is. I just honestly don't think fighting stupidity with stupidity is the way to go.

Zoey just let me clip all her nails - front and back - and she was very nice about it. The first thing I do, when I get a new cat, it take that cat to the vet for a check up and a nail clip. And then, every week, whether it needs it or not, we have kitty nail clipping time - until the cat is ok with it and no longer battles. Zoey gave in more quickly than most. She lets me clip her front paws almost any time i want to. The back ones, I have to pick my times, but if I pick carefully, she's chill and she was today. Thanks, kitty.

I haven't looked outside to see how the pre-football frenzy is building. The shades are down to keep the cool in and heat out and the a/c is on loudly, so I'm guessing that if I keep everything like this, they can have their game and I'll never even know it.

The sewing room got hot after two dolls so I'm now thinking of maybe watching one of my precious (because there are so few) episodes of the British Bake Off.



Thursday

I didn't do my long swim today because I got in late and wanted to go to the grocery store and get home before traffic and hot. So instead of doing an hour and 15 or 20 minutes, I only did an hour. Still enough to make my tracker goal later on today.

Did the grocery and the drug store. There is a Seahawks game tonight and as it is the first one of the year, there is more of everything - traffic - vendors - police (they moved in a watch tower over the parking lot - kinda creepy actually). By the time I rolled back home a little after 9, stuff was already being assembled for the 7 pm game. They are going to have a LOOOOOOONG HOOOOOOOOOT day. But, not me. I may well make a trip to the dumpsters in the garage but that is the very outer limits of my range today.

The whole gum chewing thing has turned into a real thing because it is working! I chew one piece about an hour before bedtime and one piece just after I get out of the pool and my mouth feels more normal than it has in a couple of years. I'd chew more but I forget to. I've now but sticks of gum all around - purse, car, chair, sewing machine. Hopefully that will help me remember.

My financial ducks are all ready for my meeting next week - Tuesday - with my financial adviser. I haven't done this kind of study/research in a long time. Interesting. I'm so glad I have a good place to take all my questions and make all my decisions.

Now it's time to make dolls.

Cloudy

In the beginning, I think I used Quicken to track all my finances. Then I used Microsoft Money until they killed it. And then I used Mint.com. I have consolidated a lot of my financial institutions but I still have accounts at BECU, Capital One, Ameriprise, CitiMortgage and Discover. I need them to all funnel into one place automagically and live there forever.

Tonight I wanted to look up the date of the last time I got my car serviced. I know it wasn't this year or last year so whatever credit card I used at the time was not going to go back far enough. But, I could easily find it and the other car maintenance payments in Mint - one simple search. And I can export all my transactions going back years if I want to.

But, Mint and BECU are having a fight. BECU has instituted a new 'feechur' that prevents Mint from getting the info. BECU has a similar kind of 'let us track your accounts from everywhere' deal but it only goes back 90 days and does not allow exporting.

It would probably be a little wiser to keep a local copy of everything (besides the CSV export) but that would mean installing software that will need to be kept updated and then making sure everything was backed up regularly. I do not even know if anyone has such a piece of software any more. And I don't want to bother.

Mint works great. From anywhere. Like my Chromebooks. I really only have one recurring automatic transaction left in that account anyway. The electric bill. I'll just move it to Capital One and use BECU as a piggy bank. The Mint community forum says that BECU is going to go back to it's old ways at the end of September but I'm tired of their shinanigins.

I do wish Mint wasn't free. I'd feel a little more comfortable if they were a service I was paying for but, hey, whaddya goin' to do?

I am going to make exporting transactions a weekly thing. I can keep spreadsheets backed up really easily.

Day rescued

For a variety of reasons, it's sometimes better not to run the sewing machine while the house cleaner is here working. Today her daughter did not come with so she took longer. So I didn't get to sewing until after lunch. But, I did get a whole bunch of doll bits cut out. And I got my fabric organized. And I got the sheet on the bed changed. And I got the dirty sheet and the rest of the laundry washed and dried and folded and put away. Oh and I made a very kick ass chicken and apple salad.

Then I made two dolls and ran out of premade faces so I made a bunch of faces. (Faces are fiddly and take a bunch of steps and so way better to make ahead and stockpile.)

So really, all in all, I got a lot done today and it's still only 3 pm. I have tonight for bear knitting while baseball watching. Quite satisfactory all the way around.



Comments

Several months ago, ljtourist made a comment about the politics of a blog I read regularly. At the time I didn't ask but thought about it a lot and read the blog way more closely to see if I could ascertain a bent. I couldn't so the next time I saw him I asked and he said he was referring to the comments. I rarely read the comments.

I see/follow all blogs and many Reddit topics via an RSS feed. So I see only the headlines and the stories and never even see that there are comments. If I click through for some reason, I will see them but that just doesn't happen that often.

This morning, however, I clicked through the /r/sewing Reddit topic because the entry was about a website I have ordered from a bunch. I found out that 1. Amazon bought them several years ago which I did not know and 2. A lot of people think Amazon is the devil's workshop 3. About as many people think this website (and Amazon) is great (you can put me solidly at the top of this list, btw) and 4. There are a whole lot of people who leave the most amazingly stupid comments. I kind of wonder why/how they think anyone in the world gives a shit about their thoughtless (as in 'contains no thought') remarks.

Oh well, moving on with my life... My swim was good. I got there early and only swam an hour because I wanted plenty of time to get home, have breakfast, piddle around and still have time to get ready for the house cleaner. Success.

The gum chewing (and dry mouth toothpaste) have done wonders for the inside of my mouth. It feels way better than it has in ages - almost near normal. Amazing. And I don't feel like the gum is pulling at my teeth.

This morning driving home from the pool, I popped a little rectangle of Dentine in my mouth and immediately realized I had neglected to remove the paper!

It reminded me of my Mom. In the olden days, when banks first put in drive through windows, they were trying to get people to use them (without crashing into the bank). They gave lollipops to the kids in the car so, of course, we were always 'let's drive through!!!!'. Before we got wise to her tricks, Mom used to let us have the lollipops and suck them as much as we wanted until we worked the cellophane off and then she would take them away from us.

Ok, now I think I'll go put away the dishes in the dishrack and change the sheets on the bed and then do some sewing.

All I have to do is pay the bill...

My Home Owners Association is getting ready to take on three major projects - fixing the 100+ year old brick on the front, redoing the roof and fixing the 100+ year old brick on the back. All three items are desperately needed and enormously expensive and a royal PIA to coordinate, manager and get done efficiently and correctly. This is an historic building and the outside is subject to city design review so this adds a layer of politics, too. All I have to do is pay and I am very grateful.

In the next couple of days everyone who owns a unit will be getting a letter telling them that they will need to pony up $6-$8K this year. (The units are various sizes and the bigger ones own more of the association and so pay more.) This will come as a giant surprise to most of these people as they pay zero attention to what goes on around here. Honestly I'd be in mostly dark if I didn't attend the board meetings and generally they draw an audience of about 1% of the population.

We have no good way to easily communicate - no forum, wiki, or mailer. The management company has a VERY crappy website and posts the minutes of board meetings about 6 months after the meeting. So really attending the meetings is the only way to find out stuff. I've made suggestions, past board members have made suggestions, common sense says communications is really good. The board does not disagree, they just don't do anything about it. So while they are all good people and smart and run a tight, efficient ship, doing it in the dark is not going to end well, I don't think.

When 108 unit owners get letters saying they need to pay $6,000+ now with no warning, the board is going to get the shit kicked out of them. Maybe it will help them understand that surprising the populace isn't a good thing.

I knew this info was coming out soon but I wanted to know my exact number so I sent an email to the treasurer and he was kind enough to tell me. I have a meeting with Tyler, my financial adviser next week and I wanted to have all my $$ ducks in a row. I'm going to see if now is a good time to pay off my mortgage. I have only 10 years left on it and a not terribly high interest rate (3.8%). I'd love to be out from under. Thankfully, I have someone who understands what makes the most fiscal sense in my case so all I have to do is ask.

More dolls from today.



More

I got one doll done and then worked on and finished my restaurant map. I can now use it - instead of notes all over the house, the computers, the cloud - to keep track of restaurants I want to try, or try again. I'm very delighted with it.

Screenshot 2016-08-16 at 12.54.19 PM




It's getting warm in the sewing room but I can move a fan in there and maybe squeak out one more doll before it's just not fun any more for today.

Tuesday

My bear quota is not working out. I thought by setting a pace, I could get more bears done more easily. What I got was no more bears and a fair amount of stress. While I was swimming I was thinking 'I really need to cut this short so I will have more bear knitting time.'

Really? NO! Swimming is fun and good for me. Fewer bears and dolls will still be more bears and dolls than is expected of me. This is not a sales job for which I will be punished for not making quota or rewarded for overachieving.

So I am going back to spending my time the way I want to. I will continue to make dolls and knit bears but if something else comes along that I want to do I will do it, instead.

Weeks ago, I picked up this cat scratch thing from the free shelf in the garage. It turned out to be pretty tacky looking but Zoey fell in love with it. She loses interest in things quickly so I figured she'd star ignoring it pretty soon and I could take it back to the free shelf. I'm still waiting. This is her right now:



I watched some of the synchronized swimming last night and holy crap. I cannot believe what those women can do. Without even wearing goggles. It's exhausting to watch. I think I'm going to refer to my lap swimming as solo synchronized swimming practice. Only with goggles and without nose plugs. Or heavy sparkle makeup or spackled hair.

I'm making great progress on my restaurant mega map. I'm going through each selection and categorising with notes as well as mapping. I have now transferred all the info from my various lists in Keep and Evernote. It's going to be magnificent when I finish it which will be soon.

On with my day which will be whatever it turns out to be.

Here's the bear I finished last night:

Just not enough time

How in the world can I have whole days - heck, whole weeks - with zero responsibilities and no commitments and with only me to please and not have enough time to do stuff??!! Somewhere there's a hink in the plan.

But, I did get a little pack o' dolls made and a bunch more cut out and ready to sew. I have a bear that needs 1.5 more arms, 2 ears and a face and I need to get a good start on his baby brother.

There's a baseball game tonight so that will help entertain me while I do stuff. And dinner is easy (pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw). So Now it's time to quit futzing on LJ and get back to work!





Drip be gone!!

Thom the plumber came,fixed, taught and split. He wouldn't even take $. "My wife does the billing and she's out of town. So maybe 3 weeks-ish? She'll send you an invoice, OK? It will be around $95. Is that ok?" Sure is.

He said my Pfister faucet is a Chevrolet. A Grohe is the Mercedes BUT costs twice as much and is worth it. He said mine is fine that there are Fords and Yugos and mine was better than those. Very good info to have.

He looked at my garbage disposal and showed me how it was only half working and how to free up the other tooth and how to check it.

He's just the nicest guy. I am so glad to get that fixed. Very satisfying.

Last week Fedex fucked up an order that my brother made with Amazon for a customer. He was spitting mad. And so frustrated and felt helpless to do anything about it. I walked him through how best to get Amazon's attention, get his message across and get some satisfaction. Today Amazon sent him a $25 gift certificate to give his customer.

Also very satisfying.

I realized this morning that my back problems that I had blamed on the stool at my sewing machine had pretty much disappeared. I have a new habit of getting up after every doll. I not only get up, I come into the living room and check the computer or into the kitchen for a bite or somewhere. And, it's working!

And I have a new project. Some dude made this great restaurant map in Google. It's such a fabulous idea. I'm copying the shit out of it.

I already have a list in Evernote and Keep of places I want to try and/or favorites. So I copied it and am now fixing it for me. Dinner only places, Lunch only places, Places I really need to try, Places I do NOT want to forget, etc. And am removing the places he has that I don't care about and adding my own that aren't on his list. I love this!!

But, first, back to sewing. I have a doll to finish before lunch.

Spit out that gum right now!

I stopped at the drug store after my swim and spent $8 on toothpaste and $8 on a mouth rinse especially for dry mouth and $1.30 on gum. Honestly, I think the gum alone is going to fix the problem.

When you haven't chewed gum in more than a quarter century, all aspects of doing so are just weirder than weird. Opening up the package and freeing the stick from the paper and wadding the stick into your mouth and chewing without swallowing... All very very strange sensations that are also like a zip line right back to 10 year old me.

"A lady NEVER chews gum in public and, truth be told, a true lady never chews gum." Those were the rules we learned at my ohsosnotty private girls school. It was one of 487 bagillion such rules. Our pretty little heads were stretched to the max remembering them all.

I chewed that gum all the way home from the pool and it's amazing how much saliva that stuff produces! The kind of dry mouth I have makes the inside of my mouth feel kind of like chapped lips. And, like chapped lips, when you find the right fix, the results are pretty swift. Nice.

The building manger just called to say that our favorite plumber is in the building plumbing today and did I want him to stop by when he gets a chance. Yes, sir, please. I have started, several times, to fix the kitchen sink drip myself and probably can but Thom the plumber can absolutely do it and he's very nice so as long as he's here...

Lately I've been pretty religious about making sure all of the dishes are washed and stuff in the kitchen is put away before I got to bed each night. Today I am uber grateful for that new habit. I'm plumber ready without having to lift a finger.

Nothing going on this week except the house cleaner on Wednesday. The forecast is sunny and warm until mid week when it's supposed to change to sunny and Africa Hot. My plans are to swim early and then come home and spend quality, intimate time with my air conditioner. The big struggle will be to keep the sewing room cool enough to work in. Otherwise, there will be a no issue making my bear quota. (Bears get made in the living room that has the a/c.)

My tweets

  • Sun, 14:52: I'm glad that Brad Adams can see and make some $$ with his lazix ad but I am REALLY tired of seeing it 14 times with every #Mariner game.

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