Monday, March 12, 2018

Revisit Christmas

 The weather's been typical for around here...some days it's sunny, 70's, and we can get out and pick up sticks and limbs, cut up trees, burn sticks and limbs, mow the grass, clean up the truck and sell it, work on the house(s)....Other days it's rainy, or too cold/windy to get out, so we either 1) get some work done inside or 2) lay up in the recliner under a blanket.

None of it was particular noteworthy, so I didn't get any pictures of most of it.

One of the things I've been doing this week (past week? What day is it?) while the weather's been icky is I've gotten started on painting my kitchen.
Last year we put up faux shiplap/planking on the walls.

Yes, I know, the unpainted wood looks good, and at least 99.9% of my visitors would leave it like that.
I like it, too, and wouldn't paint it if I was doing "Cabin style" instead of "Farmhouse style".

This house is an old farmhouse, and - call me crazy if you want, but I'm not kidding - it got mad when I tried "updating" to a more modern style. Everything we did went badly.
Until I started going with Farmhouse style, and suddenly everything just started going well.
She liked the Farmhouse feel. 

Anyway, (my) Farmhouse style kitchen has white painted shiplap walls. Or will have, when I ever get done.
     But it wasn't something I was going to start on right at Christmas.

One day - I can't recall exactly when the idea came to me - I thought that the (brownish) walls resembled Gingerbread enough that it might be cool to decorate the kitchen like a gingerbread house for Christmas.

The kitchen tree, like the other 3 or 4 fake trees I have, was free, because someone was throwing it away.
Most of the tree decorations were free, or things I already owned, some cookie cutters and red Dollar Tree measuring cups.
I dried the apple slices, and made "gingerbread cookies" using applesauce, cinnamon, and Elmer's glue, and made the gingerbread face by drawing on a packaged oatmeal creme pie with puffy paint. 
The only thing I bought was a string of red mini lights from Walmart for about $2.87 (and that was only because I gave my Aunt the string of "cranberry" lights I had gotten for free in a bunch of give-away stuff, and thought I wouldn't ever use, lol).

The bottom ledge isn't done because the cats like to sit and look out the windows.

The "frosting" swag along the ceiling is white plastic tablecloths from Dollar Tree.
The m&m's were foam circle shapes I found for $1.00 at the grocery store, and cut sticker M's on the Cricut.
The hard candies are 2 small styrofoam plates stapled together and wrapped in cellophane...both from Dollar Tree.
The side "shutters" are scrap cardboard flaps from a box of closet doors.

The white tissue paper I had gotten for free but also available at Dollar Tree. I used red crepe paper streamer - from Dollar Tree - for the stripes.
The Lollipops are styrofoam disks from Dollar Tree, painted with craft paint from Walmart (50¢), the stick is a bamboo skewer and wrapped in clear cellophane, tied with white ribbon, all from Dollar Tree.
The candy sticks in the window are empty wrapping paper tubes that I wrapped with cheap, unwanted wrapping paper with the back (white) side facing out.
I used red crepe paper streamer to make stripes on one, and thin metallic-colored ribbon on the other.

The crossed candy canes on the windows, and the glittery red bow, all came from Dollar Tree, as well as the foam Gingerbread man shapes, and the red and white pipe cleaners that I used to make candy canes and curli-q's.

I spray painted an old cookie sheet red and made "cookies" out of applesauce, cinnamon, and Elmer's glue, decorated with puffy paint, and glued them to the cookie sheet.
The gingerbread house cookie jar I've had for it at 90% off after-Christmas sale at Rite Aid drug store one year.
The Santa and Mrs. salt & pepper shakers, and the gingerbread scented candle came from Dollar Tree.

The "roof" overhang is more of the scrap cardboard from the box the closet doors came in.
I glued some old snow blanket I had gotten free on it, and cut the hanging edges to look like dripping frosting.
More wrapped wrapping-paper tubes attached at angles hold the front edge of the overhang up.

The gumdrops are foam rectangles from Dollar Tree,  cut into gumdrop shapes. I sprayed them with spray-on adhesive and covered with clear glitter for sparkle.

The gingerbread man on the door was a foam/shape craft kit from Dollar Tree, and the inflatable nutcracker I also got free in a bunch of give away stuff.

*There's nothing on the stool because the cat likes to lay there, and also I actually use it to climb up to reach high things in the cabinets because I'm short.

*I had planned to do the whole kitchen, but the idea was easier than the execution, and I did good to get the half I did done.  Also I use the other two sides, so decorations would have gotten in the way anyhow.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Spring Has Sprung

I got outside some today. 

The redbuds are red. 

 Sort of. They were actually kind of orangey. Not sure if that's the color they are this year, or if it had to do with the color of the overcast, grey sky.
    Sometimes I see them against a beautiful blue sky, and they'll be the prettiest pink color.

This doesn't actually mean Spring is here and Winter is done. We could, and likely will, still get another frost or two before Spring sets in for real.

 I pruned back my rose bushes.
          Mostly they were a mess from last year, I didn't prune them in the Fall. 

But some were growing some new stems, and this one bush went on Spring Growth like crazy.

I cut most of them way, way back, pretty much to their root stem. Except the one that grew like crazy, I just cut it back to a smaller size.

I grew these roses from John-the-husband's Grandmother's rose bushes.
The Grandmother, who died, IIRC around 1978, was a prolific Green Thumb.

To this day, her roses, iris's, daffydils, and azaleas bloom out beautifully every Spring, just like she's there tending them herself. No one else tends or prunes or cares for them. Who ever mows the grass at the old house just mows over the roses, but you almost have to to keep them under control. These roses are runners, and grow like crazy! They will take over like Kudzu, if you're not careful.

I had some idea I wanted to grow my own "Grannie's roses", and tried a few different times to grow my own bushes from cuttings. I didn't inherit my Grannie or Mom's green thumbs, so it took me a few tries, but I finally got these 6 rose bushes to live and grow.

But, this isn't where I want them to live and grow permanently. I thought if I could just get them going, I'd dig them up and replant them where I want them.

Only problem is, I don't know where that is.
     So, for the meantime, they stay here, and I keep them cut back from growing too big. 

As things tend to go for me, I have a plan for something, and that plan gets shot to hades.
    I always have visions of turning parts of my yard into a lovely flower garden, with walking trails, trellises, wood fences, hidden nooks, vegetable patches, etc.

We ended up having to get two of our huge, old trees cut down last year.
      Don't think it was disease, the other trees are fine. Probably age, and the droughts we've had.

Not sure if you can see the log behind the spare tire of the SUV, nearly half as large as the building is high, is how large these old trees were. That was one of their tree trunks.

John-the-husband cut up and cut up and cut up logs and limbs, and we hauled what we could to the convenience center, stacked logs to give away (no one will come get them! They want us to load it and bring it to them!), and burnt piles of brush, and still hardly made a dent in it.

And then, on top of that, we got that big snow in December and now we have a half-broken tree hanging in the backyard behind the pool, two large branches of the Catawba tree next to the pool broken and hanging, and a big limb broken on a tree in the side yard, hanging above our heads.

Not to mention all the regular sticks - branches and limbs - that we're always having to clean up from the trees shedding, or after a good wind blows through.

I've been picking up sticks here and there as I walk down to the chicken coop, but that's like a drop in the bucket.

We need to be out there picking the sticks up, at least, so we'll be able to mow before long.

I also just need to be out there, and not in here on stinkin facebook.
    People on facebook....blah blah blah, yammer yammer yammer.  OMah feelz! OMah O-so important Opinions!
        They have very little idea what they're talking about, but they sure are passionate about it.

I'm just so sick of people. They're hateful, and horrible, and don't even know it.
      My Aunt says, they know it, they just don't care.
      But they don't know, and they do care. If you tell them they're being hateful or horrible, they take great offense, and verbally eviscerate you.  "I'm not the one being #*(&!^@ hateful - YOU ARE you (censored)(censored)(censored)(censored)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

And then, when something happens (which is pretty much all the time) they get sooooo emotional and draaahh-maaatic. They act like this makes them soooo much more caring than others, and that somehow equates to them being soooo much smarter than others.
It doesn't.
They're emotionally distraught, and mostly don't make sense.

I don't know why I don't just delete facebook.

(The pictures suck, I know. It was later in the day, overcast, cloudy,  and grey like my mood.)

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Snow Day(s) #2

Well we ended up getting a little more snow than predicted, about an inch, inch-and-half here. Some other places got a little more.
     It wasn't too bad, not the kind that broke trees and power lines. It was bad for idiots out trying to drive in it after they were told not to.
       But, I'm not going to judge. I know many of them were told to come to work or else, so what could they do. Most people can't afford to tell their boss to jump in a lake.

 Here's some pics of it, taken from my windows, inside the house, because while the snow wasn't that bad, the cold was brutal, and I wasn't taking my happy fanny outside in it to take pictures.
    We did have to bring the chicken waterers in to thaw/fill in the bathtub, and feed them, but we didn't spend a minute longer outside than we had to.

The sun melted a lot of it the first day, but the below 20°f temps froze it right back up, so it took a good couple/three days for it to clear out.
    Today (Saturday) the temps was up in the 60's. Felt pretty nice!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Brrrr! cot'd

So, last Monday (Jan 8th) we had an icy rain/road conditions scare. Schools closed, businesses delayed opening. I set my clock to get up early to call and change Kev's doctor's appt.

But then the radar showed it was raining, but it wasn't raining. The air was so dry, it was apparently evaporating before it reached us. Or something.
      At any rate, we got a little bit of rain, but not freezing rain, or frozen roads.

On Tuesday, the weather was very nice. Nice and warm.
     On Wednesday it was up around 60°F, and we went and worked on the other house, fixing the bathroom floor.

I don't much remember Thursday and Friday, but by Saturday it was really cold again. There was a cold wind blowing.
  Sunday and today were pretty chilly.

So, tomorrow (night) they are hyping snow showers again. Up to 1-inch.
      Technically the "up to 1-inch" is for up in the way higher elevations of north Georgia, but don't let facts get in the way of a freak out.

We'll maybe get a dusting. (Or, maybe we'll get more than expected. If you're prepared for any eventuality, no reason to freak out.)

I don't have anywhere to go after tomorrow, so let it snow....but what I'm not looking forward to is the temps Wednesday/night:  12°F with wind chills as low as -2°.
   Yeah, I'd like to take pass on that, please. 

And then there's the 2018 Flu epidemic.
    California is the worst, I think I read. Idaho is bad off, and Alabama has declared a State of Emergency due to the flu.

A few people in my family are/were sick, but none with the actual Influenza, I don't think. Or else a milder case of it.
     I'm stocked up on chicken soup, juice/gatorade, Acetaminophen & Nyquil, and kleenex, although I'm really hoping I don't have to deal with it.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Don't Know Much About History

So far, 2018 isn't going a bit better than 2017 did. As a result, I'm miserable, and depressed...furious, heartsick, bitter. Cold.

     I don't know the psychology of it, but when I get severely depressed, everything changes. I quit doing things like working in my kitchen (baking, canning), working on our home improvement projects, my de-hoarding project. I was working on some craft projects before Christmas I haven't touched in a few weeks. I haven't taken the Christmas trees or decorations down. Need to pay bills.
     I only do the very basics like fixing something to eat (usually frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, tacos, sandwiches), wash up the dishes when the sink gets full, do a load of laundry when needed, taking Kev to doctor's appts and PT, clean the litter box, feed the chickens.
     Last week, or weeks, I sat in my recliner and occupied my mind watching tv. I can't remember what all I watched except a movie called "Bright" which was alright I reckon, and three seasons of "How to Get Away With Murder", which I think would have been better titled, "Just Dumb Luck". It started out pretty good, but the Strong Leading Lady got depressed and starting failing and it was depressing. And, typical Hollywood these days, there was just too much gratuitous sex. Sex scenes unnecessary to the storyline.
    Also me and Kevin sat and watched hours and hours of Family Feud, until I realized Steve Harvey says the same line every show. "I'm your man, Steve Harvey, We got a good one for you today". Found some older Family Feud shows from the 70's on Amazon. I was telling Kev how Richard Dawson used to kiss all the ladies on the mouth.  Steve Harvey don't kiss the girls, but the questions/answers on the more modern shows are a lot more suggestive to downright skanky than they used to be.
     I miss old tv. I watched some Petticoat Junction, which was cute and funny, and some old Andy Griffith show.

I had enough of tv, and came in here to my desk..intending to work on the bills, I think.
     There were some papers on my desk I decided to sort through first, and one was a scrap piece I had jotted a note to myself to look up some family genie info in the census. So I went ahead and did that, and from there, one thing led to another.

Years ago, before internet, I used to have to visit the Library and look up information in books and from microfiche.
    One time I found some info in a book that a man with my Last Name was in Virginia a good 100 years before when the made up story of our ancestors said they arrived in America.  My notes about that are lost in one of the several boxes of thousands of notes upstairs, but now it's (2017, at the time) and so much info has reached the interwebs, I decided to search and see if I could find the info online.
    I didn't find that particular one, but I did find another man with my Last Name in Virginia Court records in the 1670's.

This guy, William, was the servant of Mary Rose.
   Generally, a servant was an indentured servant. Usually someone transported, or paid the passage for people to come to the Virginia Colony, and those people worked for (with) the person who paid their way for a certain number of years, then were free to go and get their own Claim.

William was Mary Rose's servant in March and May of 1677. In July of 1677 she was engaged to marry him, and he was apparently dead by September of the same year, leaving her custodian of his estate (which I suppose had been hers, becoming his when they married?).

Trying to find out when William was transported to America, I started researching Mary Rose (who I believe might have been a Black Widow), which led into a lot of general research, about the land/Plantations, how things worked back then (not like I thought they did), indian wars, etc.

As I was chewing on what I had learned, I figured out a couple of things:
1) I was likely taught American History in school, but hardly remember any of it, and
2) I apparently have the Sense of Time of a toddler.

If I had to write a paper on early American History, it would go something like this....

In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue...and discovered America. This one:

And then the Pilgrims (who I had thought were the first white people in the New World) came on the Mayflower, and landed at Plymouth Rock, and they nearly starved to death, and the Indians gave them food and helped them.

And then the people that had came to Jamestown/Yorktown/Williamsburg (sometimes after the Pilgrims got here) decided they wanted to be free, and not be subjects of the King of England anymore, so they declared their independence, and fought the Revolutionary War.

I have pretty much no concept of the fact that the timeline between Columbus (aka the Spanish) and the Pilgrims' arrival was over 100 years apart.
From Columbus's arrival to the Revolution was nearly 300 years.

Prior to American History? I have it condensed down to...England fought wars with France and Scotland. Before that, Englanders lived in mid-evil castles. Before that, Noah and the ark. Before that, Jesus was born, grew up and died on the cross. Before that, God lit the Earth and created Adam and Eve, and Cain killed Abel. Before that, there were Cavemen and dinosaurs. (Yes, somehow, I have it that Cavemen and dinosaurs came before God lit the earth and made Adam and Eve and the other animals.)

Persia, the Far East, Macedonia, Rome, the Vikings...I have all that filed in the same mental folder as when Englanders lived in mid-evil castles. After the Flood, before regular houses.

I would feel dumb about all this, but I know I'm far from the only one that doesn't have a good concept of History and past happenings. 
     I always did well in reading/comprehension, so it's not that I can't read History. I just can't....organize it, in my mind.  I have problems with Math, though - dyscalculia - so maybe that has something to do with it. Time is numbers, in a way.

Oh well. I'm done rambling on for tonight.

Not that I agree today (that it's a wonderful world), but here's a music video for you enjoy: