Friday, December 31, 2010

The miracle of the Christmas season

was made more wonderful in our lives by my father being welcomed into the arms of our Lord and Savior two days before the celebration of anniversary of his birth.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

For the record,

I haven't forgotten about this thing. I just don't think my life is really all that interesting right now. Of course, I suppose it could be a lot more interesting to someone who has no idea what is going on (perhaps interesting being closely related to curious). Anyway, my time most of the summer/fall has included (not any any particular or proper order) several surgeries for my dad, on-going care of surgery sites between a couple of them, various doctor/surgeon/follow-up/etc appointments for/with my dad, a whirlwind trip to empty his house and finish getting it in proper selling condition, signing my name to all sorts of stuff that isn't my stuff, in general hanging out with him and taking him fun places as well, lots of back and forth stuff to sell his house (thank goodness!), spending three plus days watching my dad hang out in a hospital bed with pneumonia (and signing more stuff), and who remembers what all else at this point. Well, watching him decline into the abyss of Alzheimer's, part of the time slowly and part of the time more quickly would be one of the what-elses, but that seemed kind obvious. Right now he is not recovering very well from the pneumonia, which isn't too surprising, considering what how long it took both (healthy and much younger) Hubband and DTY to recover when they each had it. Dad is neither terribly young, and has other complicating issues in addition to not really being able to tell us if he is in pain, hungry, tired, etc.
Of course, that is just one part of my life. There is still the rest of it, which some days might be more interesting than other day, but somehow the days just seem to run short a lot of the time. Well, except for the time that I take to knit or read to keep myself sane. I have gotten a fair amount of knitting done this year. Is anyone interested in hearing about/seeing knitting stuff? Well, this time of year there might be stuff about snow too, I suppose.
I can say that I will try to get here more often to let you know what is happening her at Casa Coffee Yarn, but I will also say I am not going to make any promises. I never know what each day is going to bring in terms of what dad is up for/to or not, though lately it really isn't very much at all, I can tell you that I/we will be pretty busy in the next couple of weeks, with several snow storms coming our direction, DTY arriving at her big sister's today (no clue yet when we get her, but I think it will be Friday at the latest), and one of my brothers coming next Sunday for a few days to see dad. Of course there is some other stuff smushed into the next week as well.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Last night


I opened the preheating oven the oven to put the first part of dinner in, and saw something I have seen in an oven once before, about twenty years ago. Guess what? This is not really something you want to see happening to your oven element. I decided to go ahead and chance cooking dinner in there and see what happened.

Dinner cooked, and apparently the problem moved along too, which I have to admit to not really expecting. The last time I had an oven element look like that, it flamed up and made a puddle of melted metal in the bottom of the oven. This time it kept sparking its way along the element, around the curves and turns. Yes, I know I should have turned it off and I probably spiked our electrical usage for the month (or more), but I really wanted to eat dinner. I did check on it a couple of times to make sure it wasn't doing anything drastic (and Chan, I promise the fire extinguisher was right there).
Sometimes when I checked it, the element just had a red hot spot, and sometimes it was white hot and sparking like a sparkler.

Which is pretty much what it looks like all cooled off and ready to have a new element installed. We are hoping that Home Depot sells them so that life can be back to baking as normal around here before Tuesday.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

On Monday,

I was talking to DTE on the phone while sitting on the deck dead-heading geraniums. Suddenly there was a little mouse headed my direction and as soon as it saw me, it turned and ran a different way. For some reason it seemed to decide that was the way it should go so it came back toward me, freaked out and dashed off again in a different direction. That direction was going to lead to the open screen door and I didn't want to have to live with the results of it getting inside.
I quickly took the opportunity to grab my camera while getting the door shut. Of course my moving around just upset the mouse even further, so it ran over to the edge of the deck and took advantage of the lattice work down the side. About that time Sadie discovered the fresh mouse trail, so she and her nose went into high gear snuffling out its path. She did an excellent job of tracking where it had been and taking the newer scent path whenever an old and new one crossed.
It didn't take her too long to figure out just where the mouse had gone; I think she would have really liked to figure out a way to get off the deck and join it on side of the deck.
Around that time, Someone wandered by, or out from under the deck, I didn't really catch which.
It didn't take her very long to do her best to get up close and personal with the mouse. Suddenly hanging out eight feet up in the air on some lattice work wasn't so appealing and it got out of there. I think it went back up onto the deck and scurried off the other edge, but I don't know for certain. I do know that it was no longer anywhere around by the time Oribel climbed down and dashed around to a spot where she could jump up to the deck to see where it had gone after it ran away from her.
(Do you know how tricky it is to lean over a deck railing eleven feet up from the ground while kneeling on a bench, talking on the phone, and taking pictures?)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Yesterday afternoon

I made sure this was empty when I was sweeping off the deck, not that one would know that from this picture. Right after I got soggy, I emptied it again, for science and all (or something).
 

Of course, one wouldn't know this was clean too.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I can't believe

the Brooklyn City Council actually thought this was a good idea, or that it was an effective strategy. (Transcript version of the news brief heard on NPR's Morning Edition yesterday.)

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Forget bedbugs. Brooklyn has a larger pest: opossums. The New York Post reports that three years ago, the city tried to curb its rat problem by setting opossums free in local parks. The idea: opossums would eat rats, and when that food supply was gone, die off. Today, the nocturnal critters with twitchy pink noses are still around. They rejected rats. They eat garbage and climb fruit trees. And the rats are OK, too.


(FYI: It is very rare for opossums to carry rabies due to a low body temperature.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ping!

Some days that is a most wonderful sound.

14 pints of Peach Jam
9 pints of Lots 'O Pepper Jam
9 half pints of Lots 'O Pepper Jam

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Some people are really lucky.

DTY got to meet the author of one of our favorite geek comics over the Fourth of July Weekend. Well, actually, not just meet him, but have dinner with him and take care of his pet snake for a day or two. (She is spending her summer doing a math research REU out East.)
In other Fourth of July news, Hubband and DTE went fishing/camping, and I stayed home and bought a dishwasher.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Well now,

that was interesting. Not as nice as it used to be, or as cool as it could be, but better than it was.

We have a shed in our yard.

A nice, basic shed for stuff. You know, stuff like lawnmowers, lawn and garden tools, pots and potting soil, stuff like that. Well, after a couple years of "First shed opening in the spring," we decided we needed to do something about the fact that we were not the only ones using it for storage purposes. Of course we don't get into it much during the winter, mostly due to the door getting frozen shut and snow to tromp through, but the other users seem to pretty much concentrate on winter storage/use. There is just something about the knee-deep pine cones that we were cleaning out every spring that made us decide to cut off the external squirrel access. So, DTY attached a good covering of chicken wire to the underside of all the eves (it seemed like the most likely spot of entry, considering the amount of visible space between the walls and roof), and that seemed to solve the problem for several years. We have found a few small piles of pine cones the last year or two, but we think there is an access point from the second story, but haven't pursued it very closely. (Something about a small pile that is only ankle-deep vs the knee-deep, three foot wide, all around the edges tends to put perspective on the situation.)
Now (as you can see above) we also happen to own a cat (as much as a cat, especially this one, can be "owned"); this cat happens to really like the out-of-doors, be very curious, and think that climbing is one of her very best skills/life goals (I think it has something to do with being able to see more stuff the higher up one is).
Well, while Hubband and I were away on our trip (yes, I know I am very behind on trip reports, but having fun vacating was a higher priority for me than reports on the vacation; I will get back to the reports) and the D's were taking care of the home/animal front, we received an email from home with a link to this picture. (Sorry it is so big, but that is how I can get it). It came with the message of "We don't know how she got there so don't ask."
 


 

Well, Hubband and I have figured out how she got there since we got home; of course the fact that she has gotten there again helps a lot. She hides out in the shed when you have the door open so of course you don't realize she is in there when it comes time to close up for the day. Apparently once the door is closed and she is done investigating/hiding/napping she climbs up the shed wall to the roof line and out into the chicken wire designed to keep squirrels from getting into the shed; apparently it keeps cats from getting all the way out as well.
 



 
It also turns out, being the weird creature she is, she likes being in the chicken wire hammock and is rather content to stay there.

video video
 


 

We finally had to just pull her out, which couldn't have been all bad, since she was purring the whole time, just like she had been during the videos of her trying to pet me (or maybe get me to join her?)
Obviously we will need to reattach the chicken wire before winter-storage season starts.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Conversation at

Alice's Shop today, between the proprietor and an Italian customer, "Well, at one time the shop was run by a sheep, but now it is an old goat."
 

It was a fun spot to pop in for a bit and look around. Well, and maybe find a thing or two to take home with me.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

So far, in the last forty-five minutes to an hour,

Sadie has had her bone in some sewing stuff, in Hubband's closet, in a knitting bag, between her bed and the wall, some different sewing stuff, and now she has carried it off upstairs again. Those are just the places that I know of for certain. Seriously, no one here wants her bone! (Not that Simon ever did either, for that matter.) I am sure it will be in the couch and/or big green chair before the evening is over.

She is so weird.

It is a well established fact that everything belongs to Oribel, even stuff that she has clearly shown she doesn't want anymore. Suddenly its Oribel's again, and no one else can have it, just because they showed some interest in it.
Last night I was just about to pick up a large fluff of cat hair that she had pulled out and left on the floor (she tends to shed mostly in fluff blobs and pulls them out when they are loose) at least a good hour before I went to pick it up. (This timing part is pretty accurate as it hadn't been on the floor when I started watching the DVD of Castle from Netflix but it was after two episodes, and I had seen her pull it out and toss it on the floor.) So just as I am about to pick it up, she dashes over, grabs it with her teeth and starts to eat it. I try to get it from her, but she backs up out of my reach, still looking at me, and manages to get more of it into her mouth. I try again, she backs up again, and the last bit of fluff disappears. Somehow, I have a feeling she'll give it back to me at some point in the future. For the record, she has been known to do the exact same thing with tufts of Sadie's hair.
See, told ya she is weird.
(No, I did not get a picture of her eating fluffy bits of fur, I was busy trying to get it away from her, but I did get a picture of her a few weeks back, kicking the dishtowels out of her cabinet to make room to watch stuff happening in the kitchen. She doesn't need opposable thumbs to open the cabinet door by herself.)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I know it has been rather quite around here.

Last week (the last week of April) I was away on a trip, which turned out to be much, much harder than I had ever imagined. (Well, not the trip itself I suppose, but stuff I had to deal with there.) Fortunately the trip was to a place where I have a dear friend who held my hand and let me vent, rant and rage, and cry. Mind you, ranting and raging isn't really something I do often, but i certainly did a lot of it last week. Unfortunately I now foresee that there might be more in the future at some point; at least this time I guess it won't come up on me as such a surprise. (Funny thing is that it didn't surprise Hubband so much, or a few other people.) As it happened I also had some, but very limited access to the Internets while on my trip, mostly just email and all of it was on a computer that didn't belong to me, thus making it very difficult, if not impossible, to do any posting here while I was away.
Any hows, now I have a very busy rest of the month ahead of me/us, between getting ready for a very important college graduation (well, important to DTE and the rest of our family at least), having both D's home (one for a bit over a week before she goes to her summer internship and the other for the summer before she starts her "year-long, post-graduate thing while I decide on graduate school/what do I do next"), getting ready for a real-live vacation with Hubband at the end of the month, and of course, all the regular stuff that I do. Oh, and due to some fall-out from my trip last week I have extra stuff I need to make arrangements for. Le sigh. Never fear, I/we will manage to get through; all in all we have made it through much worse in life.
In other exciting news around the Coffee Yarn Household, we have an other new appliance. Sunday afternoon I went to the basement to get something from the freezer and noticed a medium sized puddle under and around the water heater, so by 2 PM Monday afternoon we had a new one installed and heating water for me. (Me, since by 2:15 PM I was delivering Hubband to the airport.)
I have finished knitting from April to report (well, that is if you all aren't horrible bored with knitting content) and of course there are lots of green things growing about here as well as some bulbs have bloomed and a few other flowers are all decked out in their spring finery. Sadie had her annual spring "find something really, really gross/wonderful and disgustingly smelly/lovely to roll in" last week while I was gone (hopefully that means she has gotten it out of her system for the year) so that was a plus for me, and Oribel is doing her "I really, really need to go outside into the sun! Wait! What is this wind crap? I need in! Oh look! It is sunny I need out! Wind? I need in!" thing that results in her having to stay inside after about two or three in and outs. Of course that results in the "I am not happy in so I shall try to dig through every door in the house to find a way outside."
OK, so for right now I need to go do "stuff" but I will do my best to get back to you soon with some pictures of the yard, flowers, animals, and knitting if you all want to see it. I might even mention my vacation again.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Last weekend


I was able to stand on the deck and get some pictures of Oribel surveying her domain to the west.
 


 

I was even able to get her to look at me by calling her name,
 

but that didn't last long as soon as she realized I didn't have anything interesting for her.