Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Where the Hell Have I Been?

No where really.  I had a nice two week visit from my son, he left, furlough started, and I am getting the rest of the children ready to go back to school.  The powers that be are alluding that the furlough will last longer than 11 weeks.  We have income and that is a bonus, compared to an article I read here:   Signs of Declining Economic Security.
Sheila Jackson Lee (D) Texas wants to limit federal funding to states with stand your ground laws and have neighborhood watches register with the police department.  So you would have to run and hide and not have the right to look out for your neighbor unless you are registered.  The Congressional Black Caucus is recommending Sheila Jackson Lee for Homeland Security Secretary. 
Is everyone tired of hearing about Anthony Weiner or is it just me?  I don't think his biggest fear should be his ever shrinking campaign, I think that since his wife is a top aide to Clinton, his fear should be taking a dirt nap.  If the Clinton campaign is going to try to minimize Benghazi, they certainly do not want to be done in by Weinergate.
Lawmakers in the South and on the East Coast have blocked further rate hikes of the 2012 reform of the Nation Flood Insurance.  It had unintended consequences......yes it did, people, like my neighbor, have lost their homes.  I was disgusted by a Mississippi representative who said that people will walk into banks and hand over their keys, when it has already happened.  While too late for some, maybe it will help others. 

I have been baking, crocheting and playing around with the dehydrator.
Small bag of carrots:

This is in a sandwich bag.

Ten pounds of potatoes in a gallon freezer bag:

Hash browns!  I will be doing more but I was mainly concentrating on things that I use a little bit of and will go bad by the time I use it up.  Carrots and large bags of potatoes fit into this category.  I am trying to eliminate food waste as much as I can.

I have been crocheting quite a bit, another coping mechanism.  Having a lot of yarn that doesn't add up for a big project, such as blankets, has been put to use in making hats, mittens, etc., for the homeless. Soon everything in the house will be covered in crochet.  The loop on the lock remote for my van broke so it could not hang on the key chain, I was not about to order another so here was my fix:

As you can see not even the van is immune to the crochet hook!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I have been reading some of the correspondence of Ben Franklin.  Here he writes while before the revolution the Americans looked to England as patterns of perfections in all things.  He did observe one custom peculiar to Americans called Whitewashing.  I would imagine this is where our Spring Cleaning comes from.

When a young couple are about to enter into matrimonial state, a never-failing article in the marriage treaty is, that the lady shall have and enjoy the free and unmolested exercise of the rights of whitewashing, with all its ceremonials, privileges, and appurtenances.  A young woman would forgo the most advantageous connexion, and even disappoint the warmest wish of her heart rather than resign the invaluable right.  You would wonder what this privilege of whitewashing is:  I will endeavor to give you some idea of the ceremony, as I have seen it performed.

There is no season of the year in which the lady may not claim her privilege, if she pleases;  but the latter end of May is most generally fixed upon the purpose.  The attentive husband may judge certain prognostics when the storm is nigh at hand.  When the lady is unusually fretful, finds fault with the servants, is discontented with the children, and complains about the filthiness of everything about her, these are the signs which ought not to be neglected; yet they are not decisive as they sometimes come on and go off again without producing any farther effect. 

- He goes on to explain a little more about the plight of the poor husband and when whitewashing commences the husband runs "from the evil which he can neither prevent nor mollify".

The husband gone, the ceremony begins.  The walls are in a few minutes stripped of their furniture:  paintings, prints, and looking-glasses lie in a huddled heap about the floors; the curtains are torn from the testers, the beds crammed into the windows; chairs and tables, bedsteads and cradles, crowd the yard; and the garden fence bends beneath the weight of carpets, blankets, cloth cloaks, old coats, and ragged breeches.  Here may be seen the lumber of the kitchen, forming a dark and confused mass:  for the foreground of the picture, grid irons and frying-pans, rusty shovels and broken tongs, spits and posts, joint-stools, and the fractured remains of rush-bottomed chairs.  There a closet has disgorged its bowels, cracked tumblers, broken wineglasses, vials of forgotten physic, papers of unknown powders, seeds, and dried herbs, handfuls of old corks, tops of teapots and stoppers of departed decanters;  from the rag hole in the garret to the rat hole in the cellar, no place escapes the unrummaged.  It would seem as the day of general doom was come, and the utensils of the house were dragged forth to judgment. 

This ceremony completed and the house thoroughly evacuated, the next operation is to smear the walls and ceilings of every room and closet with brushes dipped in a solution of lime, called white wash; to pour buckets of water over every floor, and scratch all partitions and wainscots with rough brushes with soapsuds and dipped in stone cutter's sand.  The windows by no means escape the general deluge.  A servant scrambles out upon the penthouse, at the risk of her neck, and with a mug in her hand and a bucket within reach, she dashes away innumerable gallons of water against the glass panes, to the great annoyance of the passengers in the street.

-Pretty descriptive!  He does describe the caustic effects on whitewashing on the family and how the husband has to lock up his papers lest they become victim.   Also, some poor fellow got a bucket dumped on his suit and brought a case to court and he was out of luck, he got in the way of whitewashing.

I missed spring so why am I posting this now?  Like Ben said, it doesn't matter what time of year.  Maybe it's because I have looking at blogs showing Fourth of July decor, or maybe it's because I just informed my husband I am going to repaint the living room, dining room, kitchen and hall.

Monday, July 1, 2013

News Fast

Yes, I've taken a little bit of a news fast this week.  I turned it on this morning to hear yet another rant about Snowden.  Yeah, we spy on them they spy on us.  I turned it off.  Right now Obamacare is what is bothering me the most, that and the big F (furlough) that starts in a week.  It seems that my insurance company and it's underwriters or whatever, are in renegotiation with a lot of it's doctors, I am only assuming it for the upcoming changes in January.  So, my dermatologist, is one of those doctors, and I am due for my cancer screening.  She is a great doctor (remember when Obama said you can keep your doctor?), well either I go as out of provider and try to recoup some of the cost or I wait six months to see if maybe they worked it all out.  Why don't I try another doctor?  Most of the ones in my area are in renegotiation, I have already had skin cancer, and did I mention previously my doctor is great?   As long as the children's doctor is o.k. that is all that matters right now. 

I have been busy crocheting, my youngest likes bears:

I made the one on the right first and so much fun with it I made the one on the left.  Now they hang out together.  The pattern is from http://www.lalylala.com/.  I bought it a while ago and finally sat down to make them.  Small hooks are starting to get to my hands and I might have to buy the ergonomic hooks.   

Previously I did a rant on writing more letters.   I read an article not too long ago about a 22 year old man having to have his grandmother's diaries translated.  Not because they were in a foreign language, but because they were written in cursive.  Did I not hear a blurb about a witness in the Treyvon Martin case signing a statement and couldn't read it because it was in cursive?   I have a pen pal in Australia, a lovely woman in her 70's that I write to.  She sent me this chalk picture that I have to have framed:

I love it.  It is winter there so I am working on a shawl for her:

This pattern if from Ravelry and it's called Anna's Shawl.  It is a free pattern and easy to do.  I am 95% finished with it but unfortunately I did not pick up enough yarn, it takes 4 skeins and I had to go up two hook sizes because I crochet too tight, I am hoping the dye lot won't be too far off when I pick up another skein.  I hope she likes it, you can't see it too clearly in my picture but if you click on the link you will see how nice it really is.  I also plan on doing more crochet for charity, which I will share in a future post.

Also, my pen pal is looking for other pen pals in their 60's and 70's to write to.  She asks that they are born again.  Now her handwriting is a little rough but she really is a lovely woman.  If interested let me know. 

On to food,  I am mixed up mutt of nationalities which makes me an American, that means if I wanted to experiment with foods from all of those nationalities, I would never run out of new things to try.  Italian food makes my heart sing.  My husband jokes that if I don't have sauce (and it is sauce not gravy), I go through withdrawal.  Growing up on Italian food and cooking it, I rarely look at Italian recipes.  One morning I saw this young Italian guy cooking on T.V. and thought I'm buying that book.  So here he is:

I have tried a couple of recipes and I like them and hope to make more.  Fabio Viviani is proof that the American Dream is still alive.  He is young, cocky and works hard.

My oldest is here from New York, we actually got him here without having to drive to another state to pick him up unlike last year.  That is the main reason why I haven't been posting lately.  Week one of his visit is over and we are starting on week two.  So far so good, he hasn't been bored enough to run screaming.  

Hope all is well with everyone, try to stay cool!