2 February 2012

I had a half-load of blacks in the washer before I realized that it was a good day to dry the king-size sheet outdoors. But if I cut down on the soaking times, I could get a hot white load out anyway.

So when it was time to pour the bleach in, I poured in vinegar by mistake. There was nothing to do but rinse the vinegar out and start over.

Still got the wash on the line, but it's a bit late for my nap. The half-load of light-and-white now in the washer will have *plenty* of soaking time.


3 February 2012

Which didn't do anything for the stain on the old shirt. I poured detergent on it, and let it soak all the time the whites were in the washer, too.

There's a lot more sand bar out there than there was a while ago.

There was frost on the grass when I woke up, and there's a wrinkle in the lake that suggests that the southern tip might be frozen over. (Wasn't when we took our afternoon walk, but there were skimmed-over patches and floating crystals.)

Today looks like a good day to return my book. Since we already have chips and peanuts, and I have no magazines to dispose of, I plan to ride around the south end of the lake. I haven't done that for a while.

Predicted high of 47°.


It was right nippy on the way to the library, but before I got home, I'd taken off my windbreaker and gloves and one of my scarves. Fog wasn't any problem out in the country, because road that I couldn't see was mostly around a curve anyway, but Country Club in the fog was a pain. Stopped on the bridge to look at the dam: creek running briskly, but all from the bottom of the dam


4 February 2012

There was an inch of snow on the picnic table this morning. None on the lake.


5 February 2012

Looked out when I got up and thought I wouldn't know whether there was ice on the lake because I couldn't see the lake, but the fog was thinner every time I looked out, and the houses on the other side were distinct before I finished dressing. It's still hard to tell whether that's ice or flat calm out there.

The hose is frozen, but I combed my hair outside, wearing a cotton under-dress.


The lake was frozen, but thawed during the day.

I forgot my cane, and left it hanging on a coat rack at the church.


6 February 2012

I can see houses on the other side of the lake now. (11:04) When I got up at nine, I could barely see the sandbar. There was a swan on it, with its neck stretched up so like a goose sentry that I was wondering whether a goose might have snow on its back.

Substantial parts of the lake are skimmed over with ice. Seems to be more open water than there was when I could first see it.

It's washday: half a load of lights, half a load of darks.


7 February 2012

The snow is all gone, and I doubt that the flat areas on the lake are ice. Predicted high of 37°.


8 February 2012

I'm not sure whether the white area I saw when I got up was ice or a reflection, but the whole lake is blue now.

Pity I didn't time myself when I rode around the south end of the lake — but it's nearly an hour and twenty minutes until my appointment, so I'm sure I can take the long way and still need a book when I get there.

Hope I don't forget to tell him the space between my two back teeth on the lower left gets sore. It isn't, of course sore this morning — there were no strings to wedge into it in my breakfast.


And now I have cracker crumbs on my squeaky-clean teeth.

Hollar looked over my food trap, and said I could replace the crown on the molar, have the wisdom tooth pulled, or just keep picking and flossing. I took door #3.

Another tooth needs filling, but it will hold until summer, when he can be sure of whether or not two others are defective, and get it all over with in one go.

I paraded around the office in my undershirt. Didn't realize until I got there that my wool jersey is much too warm to wear indoors. Luckily, I was wearing my new undershirt that looks like a black T-shirt.


I passed the Methodist Church on my way back, but couldn't see anything about how the community kitchen was going without getting unduly nosy.


9 February 2012

My right arm is still a little sore from grinding cabbage Tuesday afternoon. I hope the homeless people liked the cole slaw!

The lake was all blue when I got up this morning.


Lunch today turned out to be a baked-bean Reuben on dark rye. It was very, very good, too. I grilled it for a long time on low heat and the bread got crunchy.

The left-over sliced tenderloin I added to a fried swiss-cheese sandwich was in a pot of beans, so I added beans, then added a little sauerkraut. Had I been thinking "reuben", I'd have put the kraut on under the bean sauce.

Dave just turned the furnace off to install his new thermostat. Perhaps I should throw an extra blanket on the bed before I take my nap.


13 February 2012

The lake is frozen. I'm sure it won't stick.

Lovely day to hang clothes out; pity I didn't put the dishtowels in to soak last night. I've a quarter load each of black and white, and what looks like a full load of light colors — my long jersey underdress did a good bit to enlarge the pile.

[The lights were only half a load.] [And I dried everything indoors — which didn't take long; it's dry in here.]

Saturday was below freezing, so we cleaned out our new freezer for the first time. The drain was draining only a trickle, but Dave remembered his shop vac and made short work of cleaning up the water. I carried most of the frost out in a dustpan.

We not only didn't find my bottle of molasses while cleaning the freezer, I discovered that the jar of sorghum that I was planning to use instead has vanished. There was nothing in the sugar bin but starlight mints — rather a lot of starlight mints; I must have forgotten they were in there and bought a second bag.

I'm not riding far enough to use them up these days. I think the mints in the pocket of my jersey have been there since early fall.

Dave is still struggling to make his new thermostat connect to his computer. He says the company has a lot of useful information on line, but all of the videos assume that when you press the "connect" button it connects. He's making some measurements requested by the folks on the help forum.

I found the timer! It was stuck to the washing machine, so I suppose it's been there ever since last washday.

I *usually* stick it to the printer stand while washing, so that I'll hear it while I'm playing with the computer.


The new evening classes at church include one called "creation science". This makes me very sad, because "creation science" is a sinful waste of time that plays into the devil's hands. The Bible plainly states "now we see as in a glass, darkly, but then we shall see clearly, face-to-face". Getting all excited when observation appears to contradict the word of God betrays a lack of faith.

When I was studying Calculus, I never did grasp how integration was the inverse of differentiation, but people smarter than I was said that it was so, and the two separate parts made sense to me, so I just took that part on faith, forged ahead, and did pretty well. Still niggles at me a little, and if I still spoke Calculus, I'd hope someday to understand the connection between Integral Calculus and Differential Calculus.

Can't people have as much faith in the word of God as I had in a Calculus book?


Now that the freezer is all neat, it's way past time for me to dump everything out of my dresser drawers.


I avoid politics as much as I can, but I've caught some of Obama vs. Catholics. I don't care WHAT the Catholics think about Obama's scheme — the folks who thought it up are moral delinquents in dire need of supervision.


Dave asked what's for supper; I said "um, er, uh"; he said "I don't think I've had ummerah before". Then we both realized he's eaten more ummerah than anything else.

I remembered seeing meatballs and spaghetti when cleaning the freezer. Only five ounces in the box; we said "diabetic spaghetti" and didn't open the other box. Ten meatballs, so there will be plenty to eat.

It's lucky that I cleaned out one of the saucepans making a zapped reuben out of the last of the beans and the last of the dark rye for my lunch. Both pans had been in the fridge for some time.

A book Dave has been reading says that both spaghetti and cous-cous are acceptable on a diabetic diet. I have my doubts about that, but if there is any couscous left when I next go to Aldi, I'll buy some to make porcupine loaf.


Whoop-whoop-whoop! That isn't four ounces per *person*, that's four ounces for the two of us!

It's been a while since I cooked spaghetti. Anyhow, there's my lunch for tomorrow taken care of.

Lovely day, and I never set foot outside except to empty the coffee grounds. Did that *barefoot* — what sort of February is this?

There was a picture of a guy fishing through the ice on Center Lake in today's paper. Front-page news!


Since I hardly ever get to a store that sells cell phones, and never find one when I get there, Dave has threatened to buy me a Jitterbug. I don't have a speck of trouble using cell phones — in fact, I used a borrowed cell phone before Dave ever heard of them (it was the size and weight of a lead brick) and found it no different from any other cordless phone.

(I wonder how the company that lent cell phones to the John Marino Open got on when cell phones became common — can't Google because I don't remember their name. Pioneers often get trampled by those who come later.)

My problem lies in trying to get a cell-phone display to disclose teensy-weensy unimportant details such as "what is this gadget?" and "how many digits are in the price?"


Dave borrowed Martha's laptop for an hour or so, and now his computer and thermostat recognize each other.

Rather Victorian, really: We can't speak because we haven't been introduced.


15 February 2012

Most of the snow that was on the ground when we woke up yesterday is still there. Still no ice on the lake.

I modified my undershirt pattern yesterday, and fetched down some waffle-knit to make it up.


16 February 2012

Whatever Dave has, the doctor at MedStat has seen about two hundred cases of it.

I sewed the shoulder seams, hemmed the neck, and pinned the sleeves of the undershirt. Also changed the sheets on the bed.

Went shopping in the afternoon, and came home with a quart of chicken liver and a quart of sliced mushrooms. Found Dave in bed (not only the infection: his nose spray is sedative) and hastily changed the menu to the stuffed portabellas I'd planned to have for lunch tomorrow. Also bought a huge pork roast. I think I'll bake it tomorrow and have the livers the next day.

I've been snitching chicken gizzards. These seem more tender than the previous batch; perhaps I brought the heat up more slowly. I've got a really nice batch of chicken broth after poaching two sets of gizzards in it. I suppose using used broth also improved the gizzards.

Dave won't even fish out the hearts.

I suspect that I've got a mild case of there's a lot of that going around.


18 February 2012

Dave is feeling much better — perhaps because he's started a course of antibiotic.

I've learned that if you are going to get furiously angry, don't do it when you are barefoot in the kitchen. Vinyl does nothing at all to soften concrete.

I was thinking about an opinion piece written by a drug warrior, and all the years when I spent one day a month in bed because Gary Gerard and his like think that any amount of suffering is worth it if it allows you to torture addicts.

[Insert standard rant about staking a drug warrior out on an anthill with a bottle of ant-repellent juuuuust out of reach.]


19 February 2012

Woke up early — so I'll probably be late for church.

It's too cold to go outside barefoot this morning. The hose is frozen, the lake isn't.

Went to Aldi yesterday; finished my new undershirt the day before. Dave loaded Notepad++ on my new computer, but the new monitor is so hard to read that I haven't played with it any. ("Black" is pale blue. I suppose I could poke around and see whether there's a white-on-black option in Notepad++.)

The power glitched this morning. Somebody on the scanner said that it messed up the stop lights.


20 February 2012

Got to the church on time, but zoned out in the library and was late to the service. Next time that happens, I *won't* sit in the back row; whoever balanced the loudspeaker over my head had lost his upper registers of hearing, so the PA system was doing its best to wreck mine.

According to my preee-cise calculations, the fourth of July will be on the thirtieth of June this year.

Haven't been able to verify this on any of the official event calendars.

Frost on the ground, and that might be a film of ice on the lake — I went out barefoot to dump the coffee filter, but didn't even try the hose. And I did put on my fuzzy slippers when I hung out the sheet and pillowcase!

Perhaps I'll hang out the printed pillowcases too.

Finally remembered that my white hat is filthy — when I went to put it on to hang out whites. I'm putting it in with the printed pillowcases. Also forgot that there was dirt on the celery that I put on top of my pile of canvas bags when I went to Aldi Saturday, but I want to wash them in hot water and bleach anyway. And with the king-size sheet, there wouldn't have been room for them with the warm whites.

I should have scheduled a bike ride for a day like this, but I have nowhere to go.

I distinctly remember composing this entry before, but can't find it anywhere:

Last summer, I wrote that I'd flunked out of EmCom because I couldn't do the homework. Last Wednesday, I got an e-mail congratulating me on my graduation, suggesting that I contact my Section Manager or Section Emergency Co-ordinator, and saying that I'd get a certificate four-to-eight weeks after course completion. It's been a lot more than four-to-eight weeks; perhaps I should try going to the ARRL site to see whether I can print out a copy.


Found a calendar entry: fireworks at 10:00 pm on July 7. It's always been the Saturday before, but I suppose that someone thought that celebrating in June went too far. Rather a long Masterworks festival — I thought that Masterworks had been sacrificed to a budget cut.


21 February 2012

Snow on the ground this morning, none on the lake. All gone by nap time. Hose worked fine when I rinsed out the cat box.

Fiddled around with the computer and spent five minutes mending a split seam in an old silk shirt this morning.

I printed out my graduation certificate yesterday.

I soaked the sweatband with detergent and let it set all the while the dark clothes were washing, and my white hat came out of the washer white.

Had a liver-salad sandwich for lunch. I must write up the recipe for chicken liver with mushrooms and onions, because it's too rich a dish to have again before I've forgotten how to do it.


23 February 2012

No snow on the ground this morning, and I can't see the lake. The frost that was on the ground when I woke up is gone — I shouldn't have decided not to ride my bike this morning when I saw the prediction of snow last night. NWS is still predicting snow through Saturday night. Hmm . . . I think it was through Friday night when I checked yesterday. The system must have been a little slow in getting here.

I split "Winona Lake" and "Warsaw" out of my "Local" bookmark folder, and now I have to hit "w" four times instead of twice when I want to read weblogs. ("Blogs" to you young whippersnappers.) This is taking some time to get used to, particularly since I didn't bother to change the copy of Firefox on Joy98, because I use that one only for clicking links that come in through Usenet or e-mail.

I may be stuck with two computers forever, since I've gotten used to the better performance of the Web on the faster computer, but I can't run my text editor on the new one — Dave got me DOSbox, but it's for games, and assumes that it's no trouble to put all your DOS programs into one directory. I have only one DOS program, but it works on files in every directory on the disk.

Perhaps I could create a separate instance of DOSbox for every directory, and copy PC-Write into every one? It's not all that big a program.

And yes, I've got a copy of C++. It's a very nice text editor — but it's not *my* text editor.

Which reminds me of helping to prepare a dinner for the homeless in the church kitchen: everybody on vegetable-chopping duty said "I wish I'd thought to bring my own knife."


Weird, man. I couldn't find my little red lambswool scarf a few days ago. I just left the room to stir the poached chicken — and when I came back, the scarf was lying on the ironing board. I don't even remember rustling around in any place where I might have found it.


I shopped at Martin's for the first time yesterday evening. I've been there to look at it at least twice, but hadn't gone there to buy groceries. Like to never found my way out of the parking lot afterward; in the dark, all the alleys looked like exits.

The layout was confusing on my first pass, but quite simple once one understands that it is a circle: One comes in through the produce, and goes out through the check-out lanes. Didn't look like very many check-out lanes, but I've never seen lines and I've never seen all of them open. Perhaps that is because the check-out takes the stuff out of your cart. The bed of the cart is unusually high, so she didn't have to bend over to do it — the big carts at Owen's require you to stand on your head, which is one reason I always take the little ones unless I mean to stock up on soda.

I never did find the molasses, and I forgot the graham crackers I'd come for. They were on the list, but somehow I didn't notice. Which is why I had considered riding to Owen's this morning.

I had a clerk show me where the wraps were, but I declined to buy parchment paper because they only had Reynolds, and I once made a promise to an aluminum-siding salesman.

I never looked at the meats and other stuff along the wall. Only a glance into the frozen goods, but I found snap peas and bought a bag. I wish I could remember what Martin calls its three-pepper & onion blend, because it was so weird that I read the list of ingredients to be sure of what I was looking at. Didn't buy any because I'd recently stocked up at Owen's.


24 February 2012

Hey, I think that the drizzling rain just changed to snow! About time we got some February; it's almost March.

The weather service says I'm going for a bike ride on Monday.

Spent the whole morning fiddling with the computer. Did look at the old jacket-style jersey I'm resurrecting.


25 February 2012

There was snow on the ground when I went to bed, none when I got up. (Well, if you knew it was there you could see snow.)

When I went to Martins, a display of ramen-noodle looked almost authentic, and it was five packages for a dollar, so I bought one. Served it seasoned with left-over pork roast not long after, and we both said "Hey, this isn't bad!"

I went to Aldi this afternoon and noticed that their twelve for two dollars ramen-noodle was the same brand.

Sigh. I miss being able to indulge in cheap starch any old time. And I really loved being on a weight-gain diet.

Quoth the raven.

What a low-grade winter! I grumbled at remembering that I'd left my coat in the car after taking my shoes off, forgot that I have fuzzy slippers for just such an occasion, went out barefoot to fetch the coat — and didn't mind a bit! The ground wasn't as cold as the garage floor.

I was on my way back from Aunt Millie when I stopped at Aldi. At lunch I got caught by surprise that two fried-cheese sandwiches left us with only three slices and two heels of bread. The bread bin of the freezer was still a quarter full, but all of it was cake!

Fortunately, I woke up from my nap so early that I got back from the stores with an hour to spare before supper.

Which was Tilipia in Frying Magic with Griff's tartar sauce.


26 February 2012

The clock just struck time to get up, and I'm already ready to go, except for shirt, skirt, and shoes. I've even taken my pills and eaten a muffin.

Bright & sunny, no snow, not much wind. I fear this may be the weather we were promised for Monday.

I got an e-mail suggesting that if Monday is a good riding day, the library should be my destination — Man Plus is due. (Besides, we are almost out of tortilla chips.)

I was allowed back onto Facebook last night. They have a new thing whereby you may designate some of your "friends" as mere acquaintances, to be kept at arm's length. I don't have a use for that, but I do wish I'd thought to create a separate account for Neffers, who never say anything that would interest the rest of my connections. Too complicated to do that now.

Supper tonight is Tai Sesame Noodles with left-over pork roast. While shopping, I had an idea for tomorrow, but can't remember what it was.


27 February 2012

Not only was there no ice in the hose when I rinsed the coffee filter this morning, the water got colder after it had been running a while.

Still no idea for tonight. Perhaps I can pick up something when I stop at Owen's for vinegar on my way back from the library.

Or we've still got that tartar sauce — one has to make a lot when measuring the ingredients — I could bake tilapia filets.

Now it's time to suit up and I'm feeling groggy. The tone for Dave's alarm clock was very ill-chosen: I couldn't locate it (my ears don't match at high pitch) and Dave couldn't hear it.

Well, he set it so that he couldn't hear it on purpose, intending only to check whether it would turn his monitor on, but one of my ears heard it just fine, and it sounded like the noise a gadget makes when it's in dire need of attention — he has a *lot* of gadgets on his desk. I spent quite a while trying, in dim light with no glasses, to find the button to make his scanner resume scanning. Eventually I remembered that that button is on the microphone. It wasn't until after finally locating the source of the noise that I remembered that to resume scanning, you hold the button down; merely pushing makes it stop. Eventually I discovered that turning the volume knob on his speaker changed the sound, and thought of turning his monitor on. A large button marked "snooze" clued me in.


28 February 2012

A load of pillowcases and dishtowels soaking in bleach — looks like a good day to hang them out.

Late start for yesterday's ride, late getting back, almost no nap — I went to bed early. And slept pretty well. I did hear the alarm, a split second before the other clock chimed eight bells. This time it was set for Westminster, just one bing bing bing bong. Dave heard it too, despite setting it so quiet that he couldn't hear it.

Speaking of mysterious noises: we heard a chk chnk rumble as we were drifting off. Sounded like the front and back trucks of a train car hitting a joint, but there was no engine noise and no whistle. For a while I thought it might be my own heart — groggy enough to forget that Dave heard it first — then it got louder owing, I presume, to a change in the wind.

We figured they must be doing something over at the foundry.

My body parts got confused yesterday. When I was in Sherman & Lin's, my *good* leg got to hurting so bad that I had to get back on the bike. My bad leg was as happy as a clam. It's true that I bashed my right knee attempting to mount the bike — I emitted some very undignified yelps — but it was the *hip* that hurt.

When the knee calmed down a bit, I thought "tonight I'll be wondering where that blue mark came from", but there is no bruise. Knee was a bit sore in the night, however.

The tiny white dog at the gun shop remembered me — after she sniffed my knuckles and all over my helmet (which I'd set on the floor when I squatted to speak to her) she put her front paws on my chest, which I took as a request to scratch her neck, but *that* was getting entirely too fresh and she teleported back about four feet and resumed barking. About that time I remembered that neck scratches are for cats.

The plan was to drop off one pitiful magazine at the emergency room, return Man Plus to the library (I checked out a Bradley and a Bradbury — the Bradbury primarily because it's in a binding that the library loves to throw away), Avila's, Penguin Point (chili cheese fries again, but next time I want a chicken barbecue sandwich), the gun shop and dollar store, then on around the big loop. But as I was cranking toward the Penguin Point, says I to me: "When you use the small ring going downhill, it's time to turn around and ride *with* the wind!"

So I rode east through the roundabout for the first time. In this direction it isn't there at all for straight-through vehicles, because no road leaves to the right. I saw a new borrow pit I hadn't noticed when going the other way — considering how near the water in the pit was to the top, I could see why they needed fill for the roundabout.

It was warmer with the wind at my back, and eventually I took my windbreaker off.

When I stopped at Owen's West for yogurt and molasses, I checked the vinegar: ten cents a gallon cheaper than what I'd bought at Dollar General. And the jug of Dawn I bought at Dollar General was not the jug I was looking for. The big jugs aren't at any of the places I've ever been; perhaps it was a special purchase.


29 February 2012

Three laundry disappointments, and if you squint you can say that all three were related to running out of baking powder.

While dressing to go to the store, I noticed that while getting ready for bed the day before, I'd drooled tooth cleaner on the shirt I meant to wear. Ah, well, there's no such thing as an empty laundry hamper.

While getting into the car, I realized that I'd failed to get the grocery bags out of it when I put the hot whites into the washer. (And it will take weeks to accumulate another load.)

Then this morning I looked out and saw that the bath mat that hadn't been quite dry when I hastily brought the whites in before shopping was still on the line.

I heard thunder in the night. This morning is foggy with a light breeze.

Oops! According to the calendar I record the cat's dry-food consumption on, this is March the first. I printed a new one.

I brought the bath mat in, spun it out in the washer, and hung it back out. The sun has cleared most of the fog.