This winter has been fab. Almost zero sun. But today, the clouds are napping and the sun is out so I hit the button on my automatic shades this morning. After lunch, when the sun had moved on, I hit the button for Shades Up. 3 out of four of the shades went up. Ooops.
They operate on batteries that I was sure needed replacing but I didn't know the details. So I called the blind company who, before anything else, required all my personal information, DNA and thoughts and dreams. And then she told me to change the batteries. Bite me, bitch.
I figured it out and replaced the batteries and still no joy. So this time I called the nice guy who sold me the shades. And he's still nice. He's sending his guy out. Probably next week-ish which is fine. At least it's stuck in the halfway position and not all the way up.
AND most of all, I'm so grateful we had a sunny day on a cool day that enabled me to discover the problem instead of a really hot day when I need the shade and the shade guy or his installer were on vacation or booked solid or some other disaster. Yeah, I'm blowing this way out of proportion.
And I need more AA batteries. Each window takes 12. Happily, they last a couple of years.
CRAP. Just got an email that they are cutting the electricity for four hours a week from Sunday - 10-2. How annoying. Do they realize that my sewing machine requires electricity to run??? Maybe I'll do brunch and a movie. Maybe I'll knit. And, at least we got two week's notice.
I love a clean calendar, a clean kitchen, a tidy house, a zero inbox. These things give me joy and calm.
And I love a Google drive that has no crap on it. (Since my big file move of last week.) I have 11 years of email in Gmail - 4GB's worth. I could offload some to local storage but I like having it all on the cloud and available. I search it successfully at least once a day to answer some question. Google had this program last year where if you clicked a link and doubled checked your security settings, they added 2GB's to your account for free. They offered it again this year. I just did it and got 2 more GB's. So now my free 15GB's of storage aren't even affected by email. Score!
It cracks me up that I get so obsessed by such silly stuff.
My breathing is spot on perfect today. No coughing, no nothing.
My brother and I share a large overlap in Books We Like To Read. At the top of my To Read Next list is Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson. He just dropped me a note about it "One of the best literary characters I've run across and a great read. I'm 2.5 chapters away from finishing it. A fun book." Now I cannot wait to get to it!
But, first there are dolls to make.
On the phone - so at restaurants, some meals and other times when I'm waiting - I'm reading The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede. It's a wonderful account of an amazingly wonderful 9/11 thing. The gist is that a biscillion people got their planes diverted to this tiny Newfounland town when they closed all the airports. The people of this tiny town rose to the occasion and so did the strandees in really miraculous ways. It's just one anecdote after another all on the same theme and I am now parsing out the rest of the book in hopes that it will last forever. It's a wonderful story.
At night, while I play computer games in bed, I'm listening to A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back by Kevin Hazzard. It's a really over written and not that well told story about the life of a paramedic 10 years ago. I'm nearly done with it and disappointed. I know nothing - absolutely squat about paramedics or EMTs and I think it's interesting. I'm going to need to find another book about them. This guy, as it turns out, went on to be a screen writer. I need a real paramedic or EMT. :)
I used to be a very strict One Book At A Time - No Cheating but now, I'm 'heck, whatever floats.' I think part of my ability to keep them all straight and interesting is that each has its own place and time for reading.
Swim then home for breakfast. I kind of feel like I should take advantage of the Super Bowl diversion to do something that can't be done as well or easily when everyone is not sucked into this football game but I will probably just stay here and make dolls and watch non-Super Bowl TV. My brother got me watching Nurse Jackie which is a lovely little binge. I watched and enjoyed the first episode when it first came out and then didn't get Showtime any more so forgot about it. Til now.
I changed my Advair a couple of weeks ago to one with the least amount of magic Advair stuff in it and I think it's adversely affecting my breathing. About half the time I'm fine and about half the time, I'm coughing. This is not good. I want to do fine on this lower dosage. So my current plan is to just power through. We'll see how that works.
Zoey's in her down cycle. Instead of eating 3 containers of wet food a day, she's eating 1/3rd of one. Ad she's only bugging me 20% of the time instead of 85% but soon - next week, probably, she'll be on the upswing and screaming for more food and more head rubs.
Now I think I'll clean up the kitchen and get to sewing.
I finally got the Google drive storage down to actually even lower than I was shooting for. I have a 17 GB of free storage. I now am using 4.7 of those. And... I still have easy access to all my stuff from everywhere. Success.
And the CPA who does my taxes called to say preliminary results show, no taxes again this year.
There are two kinds of retirement plans you can pay into. When you put money into a retirement account, you can take a tax credit or not. IF you take a tax credit, then, when you are old and draw out that money to live on, you have to pay tax on it.
I'm sure way back when, Mr. Finance asked me what kind of retirement fund I wanted and I'm pretty sure I told him whatever he thought was best. He put my money into one of those that did NOT take a tax credit at the time.
Soooo, now I get money from those investments every month and do not have to pay any tax on it at all!! Sweet. I get a little money from IBM (retirement funds) but not enough to require income tax. So, I'm pretty much a tax free chick. And will be for a long time if not forever. (Some of investments are not in retirement funds so if I ever have to withdraw that principal, Uncle Sam is going to want a cut.)
All in all, a pretty nice Saturday. I think maybe I'll go make one more doll before I settle in to watch some TV.
It was really funny. He was walking in the lane next to me and every time I'd swim by, he'd give me this big grin. He walked OK in the pool but he was not that good at it out of the pool. He was leaving just as I was finishing up so I did a few more laps to give him time to go away. I thought he had, so I stopped and took off my goggles only to find him standing right there on the edge of the pool and he said:
[FYI, he actually did say these exact words which I am not sure I've ever heard outside of mocking humor]
"Do you come here often?"
OMG. Seriously? Yep. Hilarious. I managed to get away, but not with a straight face.
I did stop at TJ's and then the dollar store and then got gas. Then home. I made a little breakfast and was finishing my coffee when there was a knock at the door. Hunter was there with this:
Fresh and delicious. He nailed Neighbor of the Year in January with the still warm chocolate chip cookies. Now I guess he's Best Neighbor Ever. I just wish he'd quit breaking condo rules, I'm afraid he's going to get kicked out. Plus, I think he's doing a little dealing out of his unit.
I was going to save one of the donuts for later but, I was two bits in before I remembered.
While I was swimming, and being oggled by creepy old guy, I figured out how to make doll shoes!! I've been working on the problem for a while and I think I have it nailed. We'll know soon enough. Off to sew!
So last night I picked out fabrics and got everything out and ready to go for today. Then I made new patterns for hair and cut them out of heavy cardboard so I could use them over and over.
This morning I'll go swim when the pool opens at 8 and then maybe a quick stop at Trader Joe's and then home to sew.
Last week I tried Trader Joe's BBQ Teriyaki Chicken and it was delicious. Last night I tried Tyson's Honey Barbecue Chicken Strips and they were gross. (I later figured out the Tyson's had been skinned before cooked. I do not approve of separating chicken and skin. It's cruel. To me.)
I have not been walking as much as I should. I need to fix this but I'm so not motivated.
I have 30 minutes before it makes sense to leave for the pool. Maybe I'll let my backgammon app beat me some more.
I finished a bear last night so the empty couch and empty chair are not quite as empty now. Whew.
I finally made good progress on my Google Drive space reduction. 371 GB to 33. I still need to get rid of more than half of that.
I took the Best Buy USB drive and hooked it into the router so that now it is a network drive and I can get to the stuff from any of my devices independent of the internet. It's also on the cloud (Dropbox) so I've got sufficient backup.
Next up is to move all the music off of Google Drive. I only use it for the swimming iPod. The rest of the time I use Pandora or Google Play. Somehow I need to tell iTunes where it went but that should be the only wrinkle and then I'll be well under my free 15 GB's on Google AND all set up to move to the new computer next week.
I am not used to my hair color at all. The last time I had it dyed which was also the first time I ever had it dyed, they really just blended the gray in with the regular and the result was so subtle even I could hardly tell. This time there is zero subtle and it's kind of freaky.
Also yesterday in the hair dying chair, I discovered that I now have an old lady chin. I used to have a fine chin. And then I had several chins. And now I have a real old lady chin. The kind with the waddle in the middle. The chin on the left is circa 1985-ish. The chin on the right is circa 2pm-ish
This morning I drove up and she was standing by this truck with two people which was great cause I didn't have to call and wait. I hopped out of the care with my 3 bags o' bears and dolls and went up to the truck. She introduced me to the woman as 'here's the bear lady!!' I handed over the bags and got in my car saying 'see you next month!'
She and the other lady started looking into the bags. They couldn't really see me and I couldn't hear them but I didn't need to. One would pull out a doll and the other would exclaim, look in the bag and pull out another one. Over and over again. It went on for a long time and it was hilarious to watch them discover and delight in each one. I just sat there and wallowed in it. Such fun to watch the two of them appreciate my dolls.
On to Walmart where I returned $18 in shirts and spent $80 for groceries and other shit. The math there isn't working really well in my favor.
I drove through Burger King and got a cheeseburger and fries and a drink. It was nearly $10!! I rarely drive through fast food places for lunch and was amazed that it was so expensive. I totally get that the food is not good for you but everybody does it anyway. Now I'm curious about how people afford it! And those kids out there smoking cigarettes after their fast food meal? Those kids must be millionaires!!
I went ahead to the pool too early and so came on home for some coffee before I head out on my rounds.
OUCH! But then blood - lots of it. And I didn't get to it in time. Puddles on the sheet that went through to the very thick mattress pad. Fortunately, I was able to get both off before it got to the mattress but it was quite the scene with me trying to keep the rest of the blood in my leg while I stripped the bed and got both the sheet and the mattress pad under running cold water.
Few of those sleep hygiene articles would recommend this as a way to prepare for bed!
I got all the blood out of the sheet and tossed it into the tub and then got the mattress pad mostly clean and tossed it into the washing machine and turned that on. And then put a clean sheet on the bed. This morning reveals that my actions paid off and all bedding is saved.
I'm kind of killing time now before going to the pool. I'm working backwards. I can't get to the bear delivery until 10. It takes about 20 minutes to get there from the pool. I'll still have too much time but not enough, really, to come home. Plus I'm going to make a run to Walmart after the delivery. I ordered some shirts online that were not at all what I wanted so I'm going to take them back. And the car need gas.
Google just sent me an alert that it's supposed to rain today. ???? This is Seattle, Google. Not sure rain calls for an alert.
Today, the hair training salon place was about 3 blocks from that intersection and in an area with precious little parking if any. BUT there is a brand spanking new street car stop located perfectly. Even better than a bus for me because it is 1. free and 2. stops closer to my house!
I got to the hair cutting place with no sweat and time to spare. Two students worked on my hair. Last time they blended the gray in and barely touched my own color. Once again, I told them I didn't care one bit what they did. This time they colored it all over - pretty dramatic difference. The only problem is that I am probably going to get whiplash when I pass a mirror.
They did manage to wet down my shirt pretty significantly and then they put a bunch of styling stuff in my hair so I smell like salon my shirt is nearly dry and the pool will knock the shit out of the smell tomorrow morning.
The whole thing was painless and didn't even take that long. And cost me nothing. I read my book most of the time. Then I walked over to the grocery store and picked up a couple of things and then got onto the streetcar and came home. Quite a satisfying adventure.
Meanwhile in Texas, my brother found the perfect computer solution for me. Refurbed laptop with a fancy dancy docking station. Fabulous specs on both of them and Windows 7. Whew. I don't object to Windows 10 but I have more faith in Windows 7 right now. $359 total. And it's on its way to me now! Whew.
Now I'm home and it's 3:30. I think I probably won't be doing any sewing until tomorrow. I'm going to let the machine cool down.
Also today, I need to get group photographs of the bears and of the dolls and get them packed up for delivery tomorrow. There are precious few bears because I made a late delivery last month and didn't get much done the week my brother was here. But there is a couch full of dolls.
Next month I may need a bigger couch for dolls!
Zoey is not at all interested in my finishing this entry. I may just cut it short and take the photographs before I head out.
A laptop is going to be more practical anyway. He has a great guy that he's worked with for years who refurbishes the laptops he sells in the shop. My brother says his guy can put together a nice laptop and any need accessories just for me. And it will be warrantied and since it's a laptop it would be easy to send off for service if need be. It doesn't need a great battery and it does not need to be particularly light weight. But it does need to be able to drive 3 monitors. He thinks they can find something good and not too pricey so cool. And yeah for have a solution in the future.
The external hard drive I ordered with my Best Buy gift card arrived. And wow. It's a USB 3.0 for starters and also built in this century. I have a house full of really old, slow, futzy drives. Even my whiny machine loved this one from the first plug in and it copied 200 GB in a flash. Sweet.
I just focused on the fact that Friday is Doll/Bear delivery day. I need to get the group shots done tomorrow which is also hair color day. Busy Busy!
But, I thought it was funny. They also seem amazed that I do the same swim stroke the whole time. I've always thought this was not the best plan but the one I like. I don't have to count or think of what stroke to do next or any of that. I just get in and kick off and keep going until my Shine gets to 3 dots and then I do another couple of laps and quit. "I could never just do the same thing over and over again." I didn't ask why and should have.
I do get tickled at being the center of admiration in a gym locker room. Me, the nearly 70 year old pre-title 9, ladies don't sweat, slug. Yup, it will never get old.
What does get old is this damn desktop computer. It's working my last nerve. I'm ready to toss it out. It's now freezing up 3 times a day. I don't even use it for much but when I need it, I don't want to have to sit there and reboot the damn thing every single time. GRRRRRRRR
I sent a note to my brother strongly indicating that I want to replace it with a laptop that works. I'll probably follow whatever advice he imparts.
The housecleaner is coming today but she just sent an email that she'll be late. I so appreciate her letting me know. She is rarely late these days but in the past she did have some reliability issues so I really appreciate the extra effort.
Oh, I just got an email from my dentist asking me to be sure and book my 2016 appointments now. They are so cute how they think I'd make a non-emergency appointment. For the dentist. So cute.
Yesterday I got massive laundry done including my really thick mattress cover which took 2.5 drying cycles to get dry but survived perfectly and smells so nice! So today, I'm pretty sans chores. Except, apparently, Zoey thinks she needs another breakfast.
So I think I'll feed her and then go make a doll.
Then I got an email from the waterproof earbuds people. They don't have a replacement yet (I'm cool with waiting) but they wanted the broken ones back so I packaged them up and walked them and the taxes up to the post office and then stopped and got a sandwich. I spent a long time trying to decide what kind of sandwich. Turns out I picked totally wrong. Oh well.
I stripped the bed all the way down to the mattress. Then I washed the mattress cover which took forfeakin'ever to dry. Finally I got the bed back together. One load of laundry is still drying and two loads need to be folded and put away.
I have about 8 pairs of knit pants that I wear every day and they are getting sad. Plus they are getting stretched. It's becoming hard to keep them up. If I put the phone in my pocket, I risk total reveal.
So, I'm replacing them all. I placed the order today. The new pants should be here Friday. The old ones will be gone. The Goodwill will be happy.
- Mon, 20:28: Photo https://t.co/kt4hAQMd7z
- Mon, 20:28: Dolls of days to come... https://t.co/Cw0WgoQLLW
- Mon, 20:38: Today's project is to move Google Photos into Google pictures to reduce the amount of… https://t.co/q5ywakxIlN
- Tue, 00:12: Photo https://t.co/dWlAEBlF2l
- Tue, 00:12: Photo https://t.co/viIkovihJv
- Tue, 17:03: RT @davezatz: What the hell? And - guessing they don’t have a swim team. https://t.co/Sl1tgQ7iCK
- Tue, 17:37: Photo https://t.co/XgvhgpVT3l
In other words, it's a run of the mill day here at SDHQ.
There was a guy swimming at the pool this morning with a big, full beard. You don't see that often... or ever. Males at the pool tend to be pretty hairless. I wonder what that feels like, swimming with a beard?
My desktop computer is having some mental health issues. It froze completely yesterday. Twice. It usually only does that once every 2 or 3 days. Today I have some plans for testing out different scenarios. It's not fatal. It comes back up every time and is available for the few times I need it but it's annoying. As much as I use it and as good as the hardware is, it should run constantly and flawlessly.
I spent a fair amount of time yesterday organizing my doll making fabric. I love sorting it and planning for it and enjoying it and then turning it into stuff - mainly dolls. Only I am going to need a new bag eventually. The one I'm using now was a prototype. I did not intend to use it for long and now I've used it for way long. It won't last forever.
Maybe I'll get that tax software started today and then change the sheets and do a laundry load or two.
Some computer work interfered today with the sewing. I'm consolidating and moving stuff from one storage area to another. But, I think I have it all handled now. Google takes a while to sync up its nums so I have to wait to see if I've created enough room. I have until mid May to get this all done so I'm not really stressing over it, I just want to get it done.
A lot of good TV got recorded last night so I plan to avoid Iowa and just watch the good stuff.
My real estate alerts tell me that an offer was made on the condo downstairs that went on sale at the end of last week. I don't know what the offer price was but I'm guessing that it must be something close to the half a mil they were asking. Wow. And one of the alerts had a realtor note that the place had a distinct unpleasant odor.
I have no intention of moving or selling this place but it is sure nice to think that it's worth something and I could sell easily if I wanted to.
Sometime this weekend, I twisted around to get something while I was seated and strained something at the bottom of my right rib cage. I've done that before but usually it goes away quickly. This is getting better but not quickly. I think one of the cans in my six pack is dented.
I have one tax document that won't be coming in for a couple of weeks yet so I'm holding off on doing any tax stuff. My taxes are very simple so it's not a big deal. I doubt that I will have to pay much and/or get much of a refund. I would like to get them out of the way, though.
I have nothing on for today so I can sew or knit or both to my heart's content. And I love it.
(I'm tempted to redo her mouth cause I think her expression is kind of sour but maybe she's just smug cause of her rockin' bag.)
My morning has been busy also because of my brother... When he was here we talked about the book I had just read - Being Mortal. He finished it this morning and sent me a note. His note said that he had every intention of stepping in as soon as I needed him and he considered it a privilege. He said it way more eloquently but that was the gist. And he asked me to fill out the Five Wishes document at agingwithdignity.org so I did.
If I am struck by something from which I cannot recover completely and quickly within a month, I'll be ready for a fast and painless end. Seriously. I don't care who's there to hold my hand, what music is played or who prays or what is said then or after. Just open the door and let me out, pronto.
So, the 5 wishes document needs some further tweaking and I need to find 2 witnesses. I think I might just take it to the gym and get the two women at the front desk to witness!
He set up a Dropbox for the document and any other info he might need so I put in the stuff I had as well as the not yet tweaked 5 wishes doc.
I'm so very grateful to him for doing this and making it so easy and comfortable for me. He gets it and he gets me. I'm quite lucky.
Meanwhile, my brand new waytooexpensive waterproof headphones died. Well, one ear did. Crap. They are under warranty but still. Crap.
I got an email from my hair cutter place asking if I'd volunteer for a gray coverage test. They have a teaching lab and the students need volunteers. I was asked to come in for a cut last week but couldn't because I was in Mill Creek but today's request was for color work next Thursday. Cool. The only problem is that their location has no handy parking - even paid parking is hard to find. And crappy bus service.
BUT THEN I remembered the new street car!!! It goes from just a block from here to a block and a half from there!! Kewel. Oh and it's still free. Now I'm quite jazzed about the adventure.
Now I think I'll clean up the breakfast dishes and go sew.
- Sun, 00:24: Photo https://t.co/HyTlGabgzb
- Sun, 00:24: #caterday brunch https://t.co/STYfOZbAlx
- Sun, 00:24: Photo https://t.co/uuYkCpbRww
- Sun, 00:24: Photo https://t.co/mrGzwAZ4Zj
- Sun, 01:28: As bad as local TV news is, there's nothing like the weekend staff to give you a better appreciation of what we get M-F. UGH.
But, she leaves tiny bits of food about so I started putting her dish under a dish towel. This morning I realized that that dish towel was 1. ugly and 2. totally replaceable. So I made her a place mat.
Works very well and brightens up my counter, too!!
Then I made dolls.
The last sewing machine sewing on every doll is the bottom. The arms are made and stuffed. The legs are made and stuffed. The face gets hair and is attached to the dress. The back hair gets attached to the back of the dress. Then the arms get attached to the front and the legs to the back and then I sew from one bottom side all around to the other. I turn her inside out and that's when I get to this part:
The two clamps keep the fluff out of the way so I can get it into the machine. Once I get that final seam done, I undo the clamps and BINGO! There's a new doll. It tickles me every time.
I think my cold was not a cold at all and is now gone. My throat is no longer sore and my ears don't hurt any more. This happened a couple of years ago. I got the beginnings of a cold and before it could really take hold (or go to my lungs) it all got better. I'm greatly relieved and grateful!
Time to watch some TV and knit some bear.
I had zero trouble returning the fitness band to Best Buy yesterday. I got my money back and the $20 gift card. I wandered around the store looking for something to spend my $20 on and decided to replace the USB hard drive that died last month. They did not have a 1 TB, 3.0 in the store at a price I wanted to pay, so I came home and ordered it off their website. $40 after taxes with gift card. Not too bad. In May my 2 free TB of Google storage will expire so I need to clean off that drive onto something else. Not that much of it deserves preserving.
The condo that is for sale downstairs is having an open house today. It does not start until 11. It is now 10:55 and there is a line outside waiting to get in. (Front Door TV Network) I'm guessing at least one real estate agent will go home tonight with at least an offer.
The football stadium exhibition hall across the street has the big boat show this weekend and the baseball stadium has two days of pre season activities. There is a lot going on in the 'hood' this weekend.
But, not in here. In here we will be sewing and then maybe watching some TV and knitting or just more sewing. Oh, but first I need to go get my iPod off my swim suit and charge it up before I forget.
I have never loved quilting. I love quilts just not the making of them. But I've always loved the beautiful quilt fabrics. Whether online or in a store on in my own stash, I love the different patterns and colors and mixing and mashing of them. And finding the little finishings that I've been squirreling away for no good reason forever.
Now that I have figured out how to do these dolls so that they look nice and don't have bits that fall off, I'm really enjoying playing with the fabrics and the felts and the bits and the bobs. And the resulting dolls. I'm so lucky to have stumbled over this joy.
I would like it better if I quit stabbing myself but, hey, rose/thorns/resulting aphorisms....