Sunday, February 17, 2019

Week in Review - February 10 - 16





Yes, this is the kind of faces you make when Grandma sits you in the corner with her phone at Victoria Secrets while she checks out (10 for $35 panties for Texter mainly). But it's been that kind of week actually.

Last night did involve a bit of 'moon-watching' as the almost-full-moon was playing with the cloudy skies.


But it's been that kind of week. Feeling restless and unsettled. 

Even this morning I have to deal with cranky cats!

For one thing, Creme is normally my 'lap-cat'.

 

Or my chair-cat, perching on the back of the chair. Cookie is normally somewhere else and doesn't really want to cuddle. 

However, this morning, I was surprised to find my 'chair-cat' was Cookie.


Doing errands this past week (feeling really restless), I stopped for a bit of 'plant-therapy' at Oakdale Greenhouses. I didn't want anything in particular, although I had searched on eBay for a Vanilla Orchid earlier in the day.

They did have a few phalaenopsis orchids, but nothing exciting. Until...


There in the far back corner were 6 pots of vanilla orchid cuttings!

Five cuttings in the pot and they are all healthy and looking like they are 'taking'. Of course, they like warm temperatures - warmer than I keep my house. But I have them upstairs (warmest part of the house) and in front of the south-west window. Fingers crossed!

I grabbed a couple of LED gooseneck lamps at Dollar Tree this past week, not really knowing what I was going to do with them. Now I need a couple more. I am using them on my plant shelves. Because...


It's that time of the year and I have started my seedlings. Probably still a bit early for most of them, but I needed 'plant therapy'!

But before I could do this, I had to do this...


Rearranging the shelf and, in general, cleaning up the mess in the bonus room. A longer plant update is forthcoming.

I did have a strange shopping experience earlier in the week.

I went into FoodLion to pick up some items and in going to check out, there was only the self-check open and a manager and another employee standing there talking. I was bitching about having to do self-check very vocally (see, I have been in a 'mood'). The guy in front of me leaves and I go up, punch in my phone number and start checking out.

I pull out my debit card to pay and the machine spits out my receipt, tells me thank you and it's all done. Never inserted my card or anything. Odd. Go out to the card and put bags in the back and pull out the receipt.

There, at the top, is a charge for cigarettes. I don't smoke. Then the debit card number at the bottom? Well, it's not my last 4 digits! Not my card.

My feet start doing this little happy dance - $40 in free groceries! But my head and heart stop the feet and I grab my purse and head back inside to customer service.

I showed the receipt to the lady there. She said she had seen my face when I was checking out and I had gotten a 'weird look' and she had wondered about it. I told her I couldn't let someone unknowingly pay for my groceries. Even the manager, when he came up, said he had never seen anything like it before in his 5 years with Food Lion.

The only thing I can figure out is in the process of my bitching about self-check, I scared the poor guy in front of me so much he didn't finish up his transaction, so it added mine to the bottom of his.

I paid for my groceries and they kept the receipt, figuring the person whose card it was on would be stopping back or calling in to get if fixed.

Otherwise this week...

  • A couple of shifts at GameStop (good things happening there!)
  • Two posts were written
  • Finished 3 books
  • Helped Lady K with Valentines for school and a Black History Month project
  • Ordered a 'few' seeds!
  • Batch of cold brew coffee made for midday pick-me-up

This coming week...
  • Alpaca Festival with Lady K 
  • Texter to doctor to see about her migraines and heart palpitations
  • More rain and hopefully some emerging seedlings
  • More writing
  • 'Settling' down and getting more work-from-home hours in
  • Dutch Baby for breakfast with strawberries
  • More video game 'testing' to check out different new-to-me games (for work you know!)

But in the meantime, more coffee!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Week in Review - February 3 - 9

The shortest month of the year is my least favorite one of the year.

Traditionally, for me, February has been a 'bad' month. It's the month where my mood is worse. I feel down. When I was working and taking classes, it was the month I had issues with staying on track. And this year isn't any different.

Then I received a tarot card from a giveaway from the artist last week.


By Canadian artist, Christoph James, this is the back of the card. 

However, it was the front of the card which thrills me.


Strength!

I so needed a reminder I do have the ability and 'strength' to make it. And the symbolism on the card has a lot of meaning to me. It is beside me on the desk right now to remind me, while life may seem hard at the present time, I do have the strength to make it through the storm into summer.

And speaking of making it through the 'storm', while I miss Montana, I don't miss it when temperatures have that nasty '-' symbol in front of the number. So hoping my friends are staying warm and toasty.

I'm not the only one 'suffering' right now. Texter has been to the ER a couple of times over the past few days with a racing heartbeat and massive migraine headaches. Luckily, Mr. RaceCar has been by her side, which takes a huge load off my shoulders. Hopefully, they can figure out what is wrong soon.

So enough whining!

On the other hand, I did talk to the Census Bureau people this past week and they are still working on finalizing my temp work. Just wish they would hurry up! Originally they said it would be February/March for the 8 weeks of work. So fingers crossed, I'll get a notification and can get to work for them.

And...

Things are looking up with GameStop. I'm getting a few more hours and they know I want to 'move up' and have more responsibility. Hopefully, I will see a few more hours from them. I have been scheduled for 4.5 hours a week, but this past week was called in for another 12 hours. Fingers crossed that trend continues.

On another front, I refilled my daily vitamins and have been doing well taking them this past week. In addition, I did something which wasn't the smartest thing - I walked to work last week - all 4.1 miles of it. The weather was beautiful and I decided since Mr. RaceCar had borrowed my car, to load up my backpack and do it. And I did. But probably never again!

I also had the urge, with the weather in the 70s, to get my fingers in soil. I took most of the old potting soil in one large planter and dumped it into the other large planter. I then made sure there was about a 3-4 inch layer of soil in one large planter and 2 five gallon buckets and popped in some russet potatoes.

Right now, I have some Kennebec potatoes 'chitting' in a bag with an apple. I have never started potatoes like this before, but it is supposed to get them off to a good start. I will have to see. At least this week I will be able to harvest potatoes a few at a time.

I also repotted some house plants and got them settled into better pots. I can't wait to see how they do. I need to get 3 large pots for the 2 Fiddle Leaf Figs and the lemon tree. They all 3 need repotting. But I will hold off until it warms up a bit more. 

Otherwise this week...

  • Finished 6 books
  • Wrote 6 posts
  • Mailed out Valentine's Day cards to a few friends

This coming week...

  • A few hours at GameStop
  • Maxing out hours on my work from home
  • Getting Lady K's school Valentine treats to school

But more now....much, much more coffee!

Friday, February 08, 2019

Fiber and Fabric Friday - I'm Trying!

I have actually gotten a few more stitches into my cross stitch this past week. Mainly because I am sitting with Lady K while she plays Kingdom Hearts III. I stitch when my ability to fight the bad guys is not needed.

Yesterday however was warm, but overcast and grey. And I was in a bit of a funk. 

So I pulled out a large stack of 'orphans' from my scrap pile and decided to at least lay some of them out on my blank design 'sheet'. 


These three piles are from starting on Farmer's Wife and 100 Tula Pink blocks. I started and abandoned. The back piles are odds and ends left over from other blocks and quilts.


I have a 'bright' side and a 'tree' side on the wall. The bright side is scapes I sewed together. The tree side is blocks I was going to turn into a bag ages ago. And a couple of blocks from a class I took which featured 'Y' seams. (UGH!) But the greens would blend with the tree blocks.

I know there are more orphan blocks in "THE" closet. "The" closet I need to get into to check out some cross stitch patterns to sort through. 

So maybe, if nothing else, I'll go through and figure out something with these blocks, give them a press and make some quilt tops. There are a couple of quilters out there I follow who have taken odd blocks and 'created' a quilt top with them. 

Maybe...





NOTE: Ms. QuiltScience, back in Helena, is slamming through quilt tops at a fantastic rate. I'm jealous!

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Postitive Focus Thursday - Renewal and Rebirth

A lot has been in the news over the past couple of weeks with the polar vortex taking over a good portion of the nation. Unfortunately, it did leave more than snow in its wake as several people lost their lives.

And looking at 2018 in my Hobonichi 5-Year Diary, this time last year dumped snow on Helena. Funny, but it is doing the same thing at the same time this year. Well, funny for me as I am sitting here in 60-degree weather and heading toward the 70's for a few days. 

This is also the time of new I get the 'itch' to get my hands in soil. So much so I stopped by Lowe's yesterday and picked up some potting soil and seed potatoes.


I'm a bit late in doing this, but I am doing it a bit differently this year. I am 'chitting' my potatoes this year. In other words, I am getting my potatoes to sprout before I actually plant them. By putting them in with apples, the gases will spur them to sprout sooner. Then I will plant them in large tubs since I don't have an inground garden. 

My attention then turned to the four houseplants which needed repotting. 


My avocado, which is now about 2 years old, is about 12-14 inches tall and has three trunks. 'Avi' has been in a large yogurt container forever. I did pick up a ceramic pot on the clearance rack at Lowes about a month ago and finally moved her into a new home. I think she will be happier here.


My African Violet from Herb and Garden in Helena needed repotting. 'Cindy', the tiny variegated violet, is the only surviving leaf from a friend in Montana. And my peperomia, 'Ikea', from guess where.




Of course, as leaves came off, I stuck them in dirt.


Don't they look so happy in the window, basking in the morning sun?


So the window in the kitchen. It's such a lovely sight and makes me smile when I look at it. 


The amaryllis are finishing their second blooming. When they finish, I plan on putting them in pots to hopefully have them grow outside. I want to put herbs in the jars once they are finished.



So despite the fact it's February, the hope of summer is there.


Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Writing Wednesday - A Clean 'Slate'


A clean slate or rather a clean desk. 

It's amazing how easy it is for me to become a disorganized mess (or nest) with which I find myself sitting in.

Of course, my desk is also the 'dumping' ground for everyone to lay 'stuff' which doesn't really pertain to me and my work or writing.

Anyway, it's cleaned off (and we won't mention the sewing table on the other side of my computer). I feel like I can actually be productive and get some writing done.

But...

It's my double stars day at Starbucks so I might be heading out the door!

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Tuesday Sundries - Japanese "Invasion"

Have you noticed recently how every time you turn around, there is mention of the Netflix show, 'Tidying Up' and the Spark Joy book by Marie Kondo?



Well, as it happens I have been a 'fan' of all things Japanese for years now, long before this 'invasion'. 

With two daughters who were into anime and manga, I couldn't help it. Also, over the years, my tastes have changed from a cluttered English Cottage/shabby chic look to a cleaner 'zen' look. Ok, don't look at my house, but mentally that's where I'm heading.

And while I love the idea of an English Cottage garden, I love the feel and calmness of a Japanese garden. 

I started looking at the books on my bedside table and realized I have also brought the Japanese theme into my reading also. 

  and 

I have also been reading Japanese or Asian cooking books too, both nonfiction and fiction.

I am in love with the manga series, What Did You Eat Yesterday?




I love this transition from a 'Western' view of the world to incorporating a more Asian aesthetic to my life, both mentally and physically. 

But...

Don't let me go to a store which carries Japanese stationery products. I don't have enough money!







  

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Week in Review - January 27 - February 2

This weekend I am 'porking' out on BBQ.

During my grocery shopping on Friday, I bought an eleven pound Boston Butt for $6.41. So about 58 cents a pound. And it is mostly meat, the bone isn't that big. Unfortunately, the grocery store no longer cuts up pork. Therefore, at 6:30 yesterday morning, I had the cutting board out and a huge butchers knife cutting it in half. Since I am the only one who eats it, I didn't need 11 pounds of BBQ.

Well, I was wrong about being the only one eating the BBQ. Lady K had a friend over to play and they wandered through the kitchen as I was pulling it apart. They both had a sandwich. You have no idea what a huge thing it is for her to eat that sandwich. But still, there is only so much BBQ I can eat at one time.

On the plant front...

The lemon tree is starting to fill out with blooms.


Hopefully, some leaves will start emerging soon, as right now, it is covered in tiny bloom buds.

And my Christmas amaryllis is going to be Valentine's Day amaryllis.


It is open now, 4 flowers per stalk (3 stalks). I have never had amaryllis come back with a second set of blooms. Amazing.

I have also cooked some this week.  

I tried out a new cookie recipe, Double Chocolate Cookies


What interested me about these cookies were they are made with 'biscuit mix', which makes it super simple if you have some Bisquick on hand. And Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk. They make up to be a really fudgy cookie. And easy too!

Besides the pork BBQ on Saturday, I made a batch of coleslaw for my sandwiches, some BBQ sauce, some Ghiradelli Shortbread Chocolate Drop cookies and Chocolate Bread. The bread turned out too, but I had issues removing it from the pan. I think I tried to dump it out too soon. But I can eat 'hunks'.

Also, this week was the Kingdom Hearts III release. For fans of Kingdom Hearts, this was a long-awaited release. The release was Monday evening and I picked up my copy on Friday morning along with a mini-controller for Lady K. She is turning into a bit of a gamer.

We are loving the game, especially since there are a ton of Disney characters central to the story of the game. And the graphics are brilliant. I need a bigger TV!

Otherwise this past week...
  • Was feeling a bit 'in the dumps' and was a bit of a slug all week. I'm blaming the weather which has been up and down for days now.
  • Finished off 9 books. There was one cookbook and two quilting books, so not much reading there.
  • Wrote 6 posts
  • Meal planned and grocery shopped 
  • Filed my taxes

This coming week...
  • Savvy coming over to play Resident Evil 2 with me while Lady K is at school and to eat some chicken pastry
  • Listing items for ebay
  • Maxing hours for work-from-home
  • One shift at GameStop
  • Writing, writing, writing
  • My next shipment of Death Wish Coffee arriving on Monday

But for now, more coffee!