Wednesday, October 07, 2015

A photo feast!

I decided it is high time to have some photos in this blog. A friend inquired how the construction was going in and outside the house ... inside, we're still in a holding pattern of waiting for the drywall guys to call. Can't do much in the way of repainting and trimming and curtaining until the drywall has been put up ... except remove the blinds, a few odd nails, and perhaps unplaster a wall. I'm saving those things for when we get an actual date. Oh, and move the furniture and books out of the living room and dining room. That seems like something to save for later as well. But as far as outside? From left to right, the view from my front porch this morning was ...
Dump truck heading off after leaving its load behind

Medium-sized bulldozer spreading out a load on top of plastic sheeting

Little skid-loader doing prep work
Across the highway, there are curbs and some sidewalks.  No street yet, though, and not all the sidewalks.  The work seems to be progressing decently, and they're trying to wrap it up this month.  We shall see if the weather cooperates and if it actually happens.

One part of the work you've not seen before is the New Water Tower.  Not exactly new-new, but refurbished-new.  Right now, we're one of the few small towns in the US that has two water towers.  (Small = popl < 400).  The new one is bigger, and 10 ft taller, and has yet to be painted.  They were still welding it together when this photo was taken about 3 weeks ago. 

Life has been FULL since last week. 

Most recently, Canis visited the vet and had his canines cleaned.  At the post-cleaning visit, I learned about furcations and mobility.  Canis is now learning about life with six fewer teeth, due to those things.  Once the gums heal, I imagine his mouth will feel better than it has for some time.  They had to have been tender!  We all learned that he does not care to be in a crate at the vet's ... but is quite happy to be tied via leash TO a crate, and achieve boredom. 

The Bible Study world has been busy.  My Monday night group finished a study of Leviticus, and began a study on who Jesus is (Sweeter than Chocolate series).  It's not the 'light' study I had thought it was.  Fun!!!  My Tuesday group is continuing on in John, Part 2 (Precept upon Precept).  It's also not a light study.  And they are meshing so well that I can forget which study a particular insight came from.  Really.  Weeks 2-4 of John were studying the feasts of Leviticus -- which, in Leviticus, only got one week of study.

The knitting world has been busy as well.  I finished the prayer shawl, started a Latvian mitten less than 24 hours before my gansey yarn arrived, hibernated the Latvian mitten due to Geometrical Challenges which lasted long enough for the gansey to get started, and today found out that I neglected to put a knitting engagement on my calendar for this evening.  Whee!  Plus, I am introducing two friends into the mysteries of knitting via Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth. 

In honor of all those things, I have some actual Knitting Photos to grace the blog.

Still Life of a Gansey

Where Latvian Mittens Hibernate

In reading, I finished That Hideous Strength, and appreciated it MUCH more than I did the last time I attempted to struggle through it.  The Law book is muddling along, and I should finish it this week if I keep up with a question or two a day.  Poems is going along slowly, and I recently added Franklin Graham's The Name to my stack, courtesy of my mom.  I also want to read Herbal Antibiotics, but haven't gotten around to ILLing that yet. 

Until next week ...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


The weekly blog post has gotten skipped the past few weeks.  Who was I to know that, when I set up my reminders for blogging on Tuesday, my light day, that it would become the ONLY day I have something scheduled in the morning?  It's time to move the reminder. 

Windows 10 isn't doing a bad job behaving itself.  The only casualty of my major computer tinkering was that I lost all my bookmarks.  I remembered to export them to a file ... but didn't think to put the file on the external drive.  Ahem.  Well, I do like starting with a clean slate, and making things all tidy ... that's one way to go about doing it.  One thing I'd like to add to Windows 10 is a way to put a file in the start menu.  Otherwise, everything is moving along decently.  All the pesky glitches are GONE!  Except for the racing clock.   My clock tells me it was successfully synchronized today at 9:08AM.  It says it is 12:44PM.  I synchronize it, and poof, it's 12:30!  The lesson around here is - don't check the computer to find out what time it is.

College is going well for the Filii.  Work is going well for the Vir.  Tinkering and puttering is going well for the me.  My days do not suffer from a lack of varied, interesting activity. 

Thanks to a question from my faithful blog reader (waves towards the west), I have been a bit more diligent about reading the 40 Questions about the Law book.  I can't find the question now, alas, but here are my thoughts on the book, halfway through. 

The book is not written for the average person in the church.  It's not even written for the average person who is an active participant in Bible Studies, has dabbled with ancient languages, reads a bit of theology, and is fairly well-versed in doctrine.  The target audience seems to be seminarians, with a decent grasp of seminary-speak.  In explaining what the New Perspective on Paul is, he notes that Sanders espouses Covenantal Nomism ... without really linking up the latter with the former, or doing much more defining of either.  In answer a question about the abolishment of the law, the redemptive-historical and salvation-historical clocks are mentioned (and the web tells me there is a grammatical-historical perspective also) ... and I get rapidly lost.  Sometimes it seems like the answer isn't to the question, but rather to a sub-question which is apparently big in theological towers but is off my radar.

Having said that ... if you have an interest in the use of the word Law in the Bible, and are willing to dig deeply to figure out what the author is saying (or if you read heavy theology for fun), the book might be good reading. 

To lighten things up a bit, I am reading some C. S. Lewis on the side -- Poems, and That Hideous Strength.  I've read the rest of the Space Triology a few times, but barely made it through the third book once.  I'm hoping that 20+ years of life will help me appreciate it more. 

Knitting du jour is a prayer shawl.  Yarn is en route from Nebraska and Cornwall for a hat and gansey, respectively.  Latvian Mittens are floating around in my head.  And someone accidentally introduced me to Turkish Lace, or Knotted Mediterranean Lace, which I am thinking I will really have to learn and practice a bit.  In preparation for that, I've dusted off my tatting supplies. 

Happy almost October, all! 

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

In which exciting things should happen

With an empty nest (again, having had a child home for the long weekend), one must make one's own excitement.  And today, I am going to restore my computer to factory defaults.  Or at least start.  First, to make a nice backup of all my data.

Why, you ask?  Because it is being fractious.  In June, Firefox began crashing when my husband opened the Facebook website while he was logged in.  (Solution: use my computer account) A few days later, Firefox began crashing when I opened Facebook while I was logged in. (Solution: Use Chrome)  And a few days after that, my beloved Service Dog Project webcams at Explore crashed Firefox (Solution: Watch them via Youtube)  And a day after that, playing any Youtube video began to crash Firefox. (Solution: Use Chrome)

Things worked in Safe Mode.  But who wants to always use Safe Mode?

Then, the upgrade to Win10 would not happen.  I wasn't particularly thrilled to discover that it crashed after 3+ hours of downloading.  And that each re-try required another 3+ hours of downloading.  Seven tries later, I gave up.

Windows Explorer randomly crashes.  Windows Media Center will not open.  Windows Media Player crashes when I try to play a DVD, as does the MPC-HC program I downloaded to try and get around that.  And opening the Microsoft Support Pages crashes Firefox.  That just smacks of irony. 


A quick scan for viruses goes fine.  A full scan hangs at the 3 hour mark somewhere deep in a ~Windows folder.  Twice.

So ... I have ALL sorts of information jotted down.  I have passwords saved, product IDs located, and apart from the hassle, see no problem with giving myself a Brand New Computer that is a Blank Slate and seeing how that goes. Unless, of course, a computer guru yells TRY THIS FIRST before I get fairly started on the restoration project.  

I've decided the hassle is relative.  How much time have I spent trying to solve the above problems?  LOTS.  Lots more than if I had just done the factory default thing back in June when Filius was around to do it for me. 

In other news, we may have a new street-to-house sewer connection by the end of the day on Thursday, and I am finished with the baby layette AND the project after that.  Today, Vinterbar is on the docket.

And early next month, Bandit is having his teeth cleaned and some loose teeth dealt with.  We also found out that his rare episodes (1-2 a year) of goose-stepping and tripping over his own crossed feet are most likely atypical isolated cerebellar seizures.  

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

In which nothing much has happened

The landscape outside has been constantly changing, but the changes are all of the same sort.  The equipment moves, the dirt moves (thankfully, only with the help of the equipment.  No spontaneous sinkholes or mudslides), and the pipes move. 

It has occurred to me that if the new sidewalk doesn't get laid down by winter, I won't need to be shoveling our front walk.  The silver lining to that potential cloud has been FOUND!

Bandit is starting to have 'issues' when left home alone.  Sunday, the issues required mopping the living room.  Last night, it was a matter of cleaning the fragments of pumice stone from the bathroom floor.  But why, after 5 years of sensible, sane, sound dog-hood, is this happening?  The smoke alarm isn't going off, and there wasn't any construction work going on.  Hmmm.

Both Filius and Filia have survived a first week of college.  We see them at church on Sunday, and it's good to hear more about their weeks. 

Knitting is progressing nicely.  If all goes well today, I may finish the baby blanket I've been working on.  Next up is an intarsia cardigan to finish off the layette.  I'm delighted to have other projects lined up for after that. 

'See' you next week!  (All one of you who read my blog?)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Road

The road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began...

unless, of course, the excavator has removed the road. 

Things seem to be moving along nicely.  The house and I are still here, although I idly wondered about the likelihood of that changing when the excavator was digging a trench around the natural gas pipeline.  'Around' as in the pipeline ran crossways to the trench and was nicely exposed.  The workers were definitely careful!  The trench is now filled, and the location is marked by our new fire hydrant.  
Sunday parking ... not the usual cars from church
Morning wake up call - 7 AM
TWO fire hydrants

A picturesque corner

All this work would be perfect if Filia and Filius were back around 4 years old, and they could sit in the window all day and watch the Big Machines.  And, knowing our town, they could probably get a ride in the equipment, too.  But they have grown, and have fled departed the nest, and are coping with a modified first day of college classes.  Poor Filia ... after four years of unmodified first days, the college goes and throws a modified one at her.  Filius has only had two years in which to accustom himself to normal first days, but at least he got a mailing about what to expect as a 'new' student. 

Today is my first day 'at home'.  Ahhhh.  Yesterday ought to have been, but I heeded the cry for "My Desktop Computer, Please!?!" and ran it up to college in the morning.  Today I processed some tomatoes.  Four pints of crock pot salsa, and a yet-to-be-determined amount of spaghetti sauce.  It's cooking down on the stove now, and smells delicious. 

The apricots are DONE wreaking fermenting havoc on the yard, although I hope to sit outside and play 'pick the pit' so there are less trees to pull come spring.  The plums are also done.  I decided the hot peppers were done, and have a tray of them dehydrating in the back room.  Stuffed bell peppers are on the supper menu for tomorrow.  Any favorite recipes? 

I learned that a nervous dog will chew on a pumice stone if left alone.  Sigh.  I suppose I need to limit my bike rides to when the excavator isn't working within earshot (mine, or the dog's?) or after Vir comes home. 

And that's the news from Lake Roadbegon!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

More plums!

We have definitely shifted from Apricot Management to Plum Pickups.  It's been raining the past two days, so I NEED to get out there and tidy up once things dry off slightly.  The picture shows a day's haul of usable plums.  The unusable windfalls went into the compost bucket.  (The 30 gallon compost bucket that gets dumped at the town compost heap.  I have learned that fruits with pits make wretched compost, especially when a generous quantity of those pits sprout the following spring.  It's bad enough having to patrol the yard looking for trees that the squirrels planted without myself planting them in the garden thoughtlessly!)

I've got about 5 quarts of frozen plum halves, just waiting to be used in smoothies, 2 quarts of dried plums, a dozen plums ready to be eaten fresh ... and about as many as there are in the picture, waiting to be picked up.  If you're local and want plums, come visit!  But keep reading, too.  

 I've been lunching off the yard lately.  Two leaves of kale, a sprig of parsley or basil, several plums, ice cubes, and some miscellaneous additives like flax seed and cocoa powder, and I've a delicious lunchy smoothie.  I think it also covers my 5 fruits and veggies a day in one container.


 The tomatoes in the garden had a lovely time of it last week, what with the warm temps and lots of sunshine.  (This week, not so much.  Drizzly, temps struggling to get to 60 today.)  I picked a nice crop on Monday and turned them into tomato sauce.  Fourteen pints canned and ready to go for homemade soup in the winter!  My favorites are the Black Krim.   They make a nice meal all by themselves, too, or perhaps with an ear of corn on the cob from the stand in town. 

 Our sidewalk, Thursday
Our sidewalk, Friday
Construction work on the sewer/water main improvements is continuing, as well as the weather allows.  Last Friday we lost our street.  Happily, the driveway is on a different street, so we're not affected much.  Bandit doesn't much care for the beeps of the equipment as it back up, and some in the household care even less for the fact that the house shakes as the excavators break up the pavement and scoop nice deep holes out there ... but this too shall pass. 

Knitting is going knittily, and biking would be going much better today if it were dry outside.  Ten degrees more of warmth would be nice, too.  I got myself a bike jersey, just in time for the 80s to become 50s!  Argh.  And once it hits 60, the winds are supposed to be in the 20s.  Planning one's ride out of the wind just does NOT happen on rural roads in corn land. 

Enough computer for today ... time to head off and look to the house!