Wednesday, November 29, 2017

plumbing team

We had to do some plumbing today after I got home from work - luckily it was my short day, and it was above 60 degrees.. so we busted tail and got it done just after sunset.  It seems to be holding up and we have all the water back on again.  This was the pipe from our well to the house, and the other day we had noticed the ground was really wet all around where the pipe passed from the well to the house, right where we had taken out an old hydrant years ago.  That joint had failed after time - probably because it was so cold when we did it - and needed to be cut out and replaced.

Between Mark and I we got the hole dug, cleared out, the pipes cut, measured, glued and checked.  We each have our strengths and weaknesses.. but we get it done (and don't complain about it for years afterwards).  That 's a good team.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Christmas Tree 2017

This is the first year of Esme's life we have had a 'standing' Christmas tree.  Mark took this out of storage and we cleaned it up and put all of the handmade ornaments on it with some new lights.

Monday, November 27, 2017

bits of a Monday

 This is the purple hair dye.. it is red in the light and purple in the shadows.. and I didn't get it all the way worked to the ends in back so it has a two-tone effect.  It's not bad.. and it looks very different up than down.. so I'll keep this for a while and see how I like it.  I was connecting my 'math phase' with purple hair so I finally went through and did it.

Mark took the pictures for me out in the sunlight.
Esme had said it looked purple out in the sun at the bus stop this morning.
He also caught one of Daphne, our white dog, outside in the leaves being very cute at us.

We have some things to do in town.. I might need to look for a different shade of lipstick.  The one I have at work is a rose which will probably be okay but the only one I have at home now has too much orange in it.  We will have to look at a few other gifts and after she gets home Esme said she would help me clean up and put away the hamster's cage (since she died last week) and get that area ready for a Christmas display and to put the gifts there.

I also have new projects to think about, besides the mural at work.  I should knit some new dishcloths and make more patchwork placemats as ours have been put to use elsewhere and I missed having them at Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

purple hair dye

I had chickened out the past few times but this time I went through with it.. although it calls itself 'chocolate cherry' with three tones of highlights... it appears all coppery and sometimes-cherry sometimes-purple and brown at the same time (its a purple shade of 'cherry')...  I'll have to see what it  really looks like in the daylight tomorrow but in the house lights tonight I like it.  It doesn't look like 'What in the world did you DO to yourself?'.. which is a good thing.

right on through to the other side

Well Black Friday came and went, and we survived.  It wasn't half as bad as some years for craziness, yet the store made the number they asked for.  So, all is good.  No Christmas bonuses, this year, though, although that was decided before Black Friday. I think I've done about half the shopping I intend to do for the year, although we still need to knock the dust off the decorations.  I have Monday and Tuesday off this week, so maybe I'll spruce it up then.

Started back on my math account on Khan... picked right up with the complicated stuff but then couldn't add three and three to save my life at the same time... so tough to remember everything when you're looking at functions.  *ha*.

I think I turn to something like that to take my mind off of the big picture things like the holidays.  I know there are lots of things adding up to it, and that I'm already too busy so I really don't need to write a novel or do algebra on top of it all, but for some reason, it helps.  I've picked up my Welsh again after about a month hiatus, and sometimes I even do a French lesson or two.  I found the Welsh extremely easy to pick up except for some of the really long words (but they grew back on me) like gerdderaieth (music) or digwyddiad (event).  The French came back with only the gender of non-personal nouns (like bear, or apple) being the sticking point.

Esme and I made another Minecraft world with a shared house and then I was terrible and spent four 'nights' in a tiny house far away to get special tree saplings.  She kept asking me (in the game) when I was 'coming home'.  It felt awful.. like I was off at 'work' and just wasn't coming home - but now our house has exotic fruit tree saplings AND there is a a safehouse from monsters (oh yes, we were playing with monsters on) for when the sun goes down and you're too far from the original house.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope Grandma had a good time here today.  We went to visit with some friends and now I have to work semi-early tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

the up to date bits

We're back from town, bought the toy for the Christmas children at Lowes, and a few other gifts.  And we picked up a dessert to bring over to our friends' house tomorrow night.  I've still got to start to bake the apple crisp for tomorrow for our lunch dessert, and find something I want to wear tomorrow.

I've also been asked to do the Christmas murals at work again this year - for the third time (in a row, I think).  They gave me the theme - Christmas cartoons from our childhood.  That feels like it could be a monumental task.  I took a lot of extra time on it last year... we'll have to see how it turns out this year.

Monday, November 20, 2017

bits before Thanksgiving

A few bits.  Esme has no school the rest of this week after tomorrow.. that will be good.  I've started some Christmas shopping, taking advantage of a few offers I saw and using gift certificates I've collected.  I got Esme's big gift today using one of those, and paid less than half the sale price doing so.. which was amazing.  I hope she takes good care of it and uses it carefully, as it is a  tool and she will need to be careful, but she can make some awesome things with it, too.

I'm making apple crisp for  Thanksgiving, and I have Wednesday off, so that works out really well.  Mark says he has the meat covered, and a few potatoes and such for sides. 

I'm sharing my not large chair with a liquid gooey cat that is draped all over and around me... she's warm but still it makes it tough to move *heh*

My big chicken Wicket was gone - I found her feathers all over the back of the garden - something crawled up into the fence and took her, and fought with her all the way through the garden and over the back fence.  That was all that was left of her for me to see -- big handfuls of broken feathers.  Sad... maybe next year we will fence a bit better and a bigger place and try fresh with some friendly type chickens.  Maybe we'll just do something else.  She was a pretty Rock hen chicken... *sigh*

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Not sure if my Wicket chicken is gone... went out there and couldn't find her.  The wild one, Gennet, was still there, and she is the one who can fly.  Not sure.. we'll see.  Was talking with Esme about what to bring to the Thanksgiving food drive at work.

Reading a new series like Outlander - Timewalkers.  I'm enjoying it.

I had a dream that our home improvement store sold drawing kits and individual pencils and papers.  That would be so nice if it did... I should sit down and make another drawing some night but I just can't find the time to focus in.  I did a handmade Christmas card to send to a boy in the news.. and that took me a few days to get myself organized enough to sit down with paper and pens and do it.

I've been closing every night for the past two weeks (or almost every night), but this is the last night of that.  It's felt like we were all just ships passing.. coming home, falling into bed, getting Esme up for school -- go to work and don't see her again until night again.  Now we'll have the stress of Black Friday coming up but I have schedules with two or three days on and a day or two off.. which will bring back more sanity (read: introvert needs to recharge)  I hope.

I need that downtime to let my brain expand and branch out into the many things I've been shoving back for 'later' - like drawing, math, science, time.....   I try to remove all that to the background but it is a type of stress to do that time and time again in favor of only what is in front of you and must be done right now.  I'd never do well at an assembly line job.  These past two weeks I've felt like I was  getting that long-yard stare of the android that hasn't been charged properly....can function on some level but not as I should be.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


Our little hamster died today - she had a good life and was already a mother to a half-grown hamster that we knew of before we had her...  Put the straw out in the chicken yard and gave some to to the goat for winter preparedness, as well.  Other than that, it was cold and we just sat at home and played games and read books.   I have another time traveller series I'm reading and the Harvestcraft mod on Minecraft has kept me occuppied.

I was thinking about some of the historical breeds I might want to plant in the garden next year.  We've talked a bit about expanding the chicken yard and changing things around as to what is garden and what is not.

I took one of those aptitude tests and it said I should be a plant or soil scientist, or a nano systems engineer, or a biologist, or a creative writer.  Another one said I should be an electrician or an electrical engineer or an oil rig operator.  Ha.  I would like to do more with horticulture - there are things I could really let my brain go wild on if there wasn't so much else to do already.  In honor of that I bought another houseplant and started looking at seed catalogs for gardening season.

We saw that one of Esme's teeth is being blocked by her baby tooth that has a filling in it, and is trying to erupt through the gum instead.  We worried about that when they insisted on those fillings.  If that baby tooth does not come out in the week we need to schedule her a dentist appointment to see if they can fix it.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Menu not on a diet

I thought I'd do one of these while I was 'off' the near-ketogenic diet.. to show what I would eat normally.  I'm really not even measuring anythi9ng lately, or tracking it... I'm eating what I feel like I need, instead of planning it all out ahead of time.

Breakfast (5:30 am to 10 am)
an oatmeal cream cookie (very bad for me)
a pot of coffee with lots of milk
a handful of crackers
a small amount of pepitas
a few nuts

This is lunch and dinner - I graze out of it during my closing shift at work.
(noon to nine pm)
1/2 cup or so sweet potato (boiled, with salt and olive oil)
about  a 1/3 cup? of canned spinach
1 chicken patty
2 tbsp of tikka masala sauce
a big pat of real butter
a good sized handful of Salsa Verde chips
a small apple
A quart of coffee and some black tea
maybe a small candy bar

When I get home after nine-thirty probably a tortilla with peanut butter or cheese and some more milk and coffee before bed.

Yesterday I had the same thing -almost- with green olives instead of sweet potato and some rice krispie bar.

I was talked into pulling a dishwasher down at work yesterday from a very high place - and when I got there the machine didn't go up as far as needed... not knowing just how heavy this thing was (I've lifted some before, and they weren't anywhere close to this weight) I ended up setting it down very hard on the machine because I couldn't hold onto it.  My lower back didn't like that at all - but it would have been worse if I'd tried harder to hold onto it.

I did some specific yoga when I got home, and this morning... it feels better than it did.
They said next time I see that call someone else... but that is a hard thing to do when you're the one that was sent back there because everyone else was too busy and needed help...  To get there all the way to the item and say .. I'm not sure - maybe I need to wind this machine all the way back to the floor and find someone else who wants to try to do this hard thing?

Hoping for less stress at work tonight.. then a turnaround shift though, where I close tonight and come back twelve hours later for another shift... it could be worse, they could want me back eight hours later for another shift.. which those they are not allowed to do to us anymore unless we specifically agree.

Then I get Sunday off.  Esme wants to go to the duck park then.. if it isn't raining.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Green room

I'm having the white room feeling again... that one where I want everything to revert to something simple, orderly and unobstructed.. to exist without chaos.. in a totally white cube of space.  But today the feeling is more 'green room'...or a room of Summer... I'd like to have a room open unto summer, green fields, warm sunlight, bubbling water...and be able to spend time there in a warm Nature environment until my stress melts away.

Inventory at work is making this chaotic feeling - everything you do is futile, but you'd better do it all and do it fast and do it well so they can destroy it again a few minutes from now, okay?  Actually they aren't destroying it half as badly as a few years ago.  But there are still changes to the rules (don't downstock, okay downstock but only where there is no product...don't touch this, okay do... oh no this is totally wrong, no you didn't tell me about that (yes, we did), fix it fix it now.. oh, okay, it's alright, don't worry about it.  //this is stress  And I'm closing every night.  And it's cold.  And I just want to sleep the mornings away because it's warm in the bed and I'm not getting anything 'done'... which passes the 'futility' feeling to my home life and makes it worse.

It makes me feel like I really could be doing something better with my time, but what?
And being stressed out I can't really think of having MORE stress in trying to find something that fits my abilities better - because they fit this pretty good in all except the schedule and stress.. which, well, that adds up in waves over time.

Maybe I can just find a nice patch of sunlight tomorrow.
And not freeze to death while trying to enjoy it.

I really liked the Japanese garden at the museum - and that was such a warm day, if only we could bottle that and open a spa here in Paris that served up that on demand... or a holodeck.

Yea.. order me a holodeck for my next birthday ;) heh.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Discovery Park trip

The other thing Esme asked for this year was to go back to Discovery Park for her birthday.  So, we made an entire day of it and the Jones family traveled along with us.  The Japanese garden was a must-do on our list as when Esme was there with Mr. Jones and his daughter before it was something they had really liked.  I wanted to see the koi, too.


Saturday, November 04, 2017

10 years old

We united Grandma down for eating cupcakes and opening presents.  She brought Esme a nice card and present, too.  Esme opened up the traditional potato gift and her face was priceless - but I didn't catch it on the camera.  She also received a sketchbook and animal drawing book from Mom, and a forest knife from Daddy (because she's finally old enough and has practiced this summer to our satisfaction).

She loved her Minecraft toys and a little Zoomer giraffe I picked up.
I bought her a  copy of 'What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night' by the Dinovember crew.

We made pepperoni pizza with chicken nuggets on top (and extra cheese), which was her request.
Tomorrow we have another big day planned!  We've also played a lot of Minecraft and watched her birthday movie 'Tad the Lost Explorer', which was recc. by a friend and very good.

I can hardly believe she is ten - the time has flown by.  And she is so tall, now!

Grandma has a permanent lap puppy :)

Lucy was very interested in the new toy - it makes noise, is it alive?  Is it going to get to eat cake?  Dogs eat cake, not giraffes!

Friday, November 03, 2017

10 bday cake

 We made the traditional cake :) and some cupcakes!
Esme picked out all the colors, strawberry frosting and blue and black gel decorations.
Tomorrow is the big day