March 3, 2012

Not the best way to start off the March Banner: as I was drifting off to sleep last night, I remembered that last Sunday I promised to help with a seriously-understaffed crochet class on Wednesday.

Must have been a pretty good gust of wind last night: the patio table is tipped over and leaning on the southern raised strawberry bed. I don't recall that table moving the night a canoe that had been down on the beach knocked at the patio door.

I saw a few flakes of snow this morning.

Thursday, Dave needed UPS batteries from a store in Fort Wayne, so I went along for the ride and we had lunch at Mad Anthony's afterward. It's a really-neat little shop, and has light bulbs too. Dave bought a pair of daylight compact fluorescents for the garage; they are enough brighter than the old bulbs that the first few times he left the lights on, I thought that he'd left the door open.


5 March 2012

Context: I use ground corncobs in the catbox, and recycle the filler as flower-bed mulch.

I thought emptying the cat box while the frost was still on was a good idea, because it would keep the ground frozen a little longer. When I went to clean the box, it turned out that the hose was frozen so solid that I couldn't even turn the handle. (When I emptied the coffee filter along about noon, I could turn the handle but still didn't get any water.)

Living in the future: it wasn't so long ago that we turned off and drained all our outside faucets in the fall.

More LitF: the stockings I wore to church yesterday went through the washer with the rest of the half-load of colored clothes. In addition, I've been wearing them for months and they didn't cost the price of a steak dinner!

Whites are soaking now. I think I'll take a nap.



8 March 2012: Thursday, soggy Thursday

The bread I baked on Tuesday is nearly down to a heel — and it didn't come out of the oven until well after supper. (Not to mention that yesterday's supper was at the Great Wall and didn't include bread.)

I had a thin slice — zapped, since it's more than a day old now — with my egg and very thin patty of left-over meatloaf mix for breakfast.

It came out so well that I should write down the recipe before I forget it:

I emptied the gluten bag into a one-cup measure — it about half filled it — then filled the cup with oat bran.

Two cups of white-wheat flour and two cups of rye flour, both from Bonneyville Mill.

One teaspoon of yeast, two spoonfuls of granulated lecithin, and two teaspoons of salt.

Half a teaspoon of caraway seed — bruised, rather than ground, because I'd put the salt in before I remembered the caraway. (Spices are much easier to grind to a powder when mixed with salt. The mint leaf in my tooth powder disappeared entirely, save for a faint green tinge to the salt powder.)

And two cups of water and a glug of blackstrap molasses.


I once posted a recipe for chicken thighs poached in gravy on Usenet. Someone stole it and used it to dress up his web site. One day I ego-scanned and discovered that a self-styled humorist had found it and waxed hysterical over "a few cranks" of pepper. I'd like to see his reaction to a "glug" of molasses.



I was poking around the PWP (Personal Web Page) section of Comcast's web site and actually found information!

I am using 4% of joybeeson's 1GB allowance of storage space.

I think I'll log in as roughsewing and see how much space my book occupies.



9 March 2012

The same as joybeeson. Didn't log in as N3F.

Dave told me yesterday that Firefox will measure pictures; that will be easier than remembering whatever program it was I'd been using.

I've got a bowl of bread mix on the counter, planning to duplicate the previous loaf. I fear that I may have put in too much caraway, since it is ground better and I think the half-teaspoon measure was a little fuller.

Seems to be some husks on caraway that just don't grind. I emptied it into a tea strainer a few times and put the coarse particles back into the mortar.

Then I ground some Organic Cajun Spice and Blackening Rub, emptied the shaker that contained Organic etc. mixed with left-over rosemary salt into the mortar, and ground some more. I sometimes like Organic etc. on my fried eggs.

I've started reading Apples of the Sun. Some stories in there I've read before. I'm not sure whether I've read "Sound of Thunder" or just heard it discussed until I know everything in it.

One really can't read much Bradbury at a sitting. It's like dark chocolate. Very dark chocolate.



10 March 2012

Oops! When getting ready to go home after helping to put five pans of lasanga into the fridge for tomorrow's luncheon, I noticed that I'd worn the shirt with a big conspicuous stain on the front.

Fawchunatly, I put on a chef's apron the instant I took off my coat, and forgot to take it off until I was putting my coat back on, so nobody saw the shirt.

Dribbled plum sauce on both my best striped shirt and my newly-mended "oakwood" linen pants last wednesday, but it rinsed out. And the water stain left from sponging the stain on the pants rinsed out with further sponging.

The church has some very nice glass 9 x 12 pans; if I were still allowed to eat the things I bake in 9 x 12 pans, I'd be shopping around to find one for me.

Might be hard to find; I've read on Usenet that Corning sold the Pyrex name to someone who puts it on common soda-ash glass. (It's supposed to be borosilicate.)



11 March 2012

Weird, man — I just realized that when I use Dave's computer, the room light must be off if I'm to read the screen comfortably, but when I use mine, the room light must be on.

The kitchen crew would miss much less of the service if the loudspeakers weren't so loud. One gets accustomed to shouting over it and shuts out the painful noise. We'd hear a lot more if we had to listen.



12 March 2012

The tom-fool tomcat can open a door when he wants to.

But I don't think he's capable of wanting to close a door.



14 March 2012

I've got to get an entry in before midnight: it's just been called to my attention that it's pi day.

Yesterday, I rode my bike to the library and back, and came back tireder than when I've gone on around the big loop.

I brought back a copy of Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs — with scholarly notes; what's the world coming to?



15 March 2012

The crocus are in bloom, the daffodils have flower buds, and the tulips are thinking about it.

If'n you want some really-tough tulips, write to me at tulip-digging time.

Though I'm not sure I can dig up the unwanted bulbs. I once dug out that flower pot to a depth of two feet — and there is a lot of dirt in a 2' x 4' x 4' block — and put it back in through a sieve, so those bulbs must be mighty deep.

I could dig out the strawberries, park them somewhere, and do it again this summer — if I get at them before they send out runners and fill in what winter-killed. Be a good time to mix in some "cow manure" — that's what Ace calls potting soil slightly contaminated with dairy-barn cleanings.

Or I could transplant the strawberries into the garlic-chive bed and put marigolds in the raised bed. The runners that escaped over the side seem to be doing better than the ones that stayed in the bed.


I just checked: I still have a kelly-green scarf. Must be a good synthetic; it feels like silk. To fingertips, anyway.



17 March 2012

I forgot to wear it when I took my evening stroll.

I went to see how the new porch on the house the tree hit is coming. It looks as though they've given up on porches — this is the third porch built since we moved in — and are going to have a deck and an upstairs deck. Double glass doors on both floors.

Then I did the point eight, but cut off at Cherry street.

I renewed my driver's license yesterday. Better service than at the old location, and worlds better than the New York DMV. I went in, took a number, and that number was called while I was reading it. After I got my picture taken, she told me to take a seat until called, then called before I'd found my place in the book I'd brought.

They've got a weird new custom: they want your picture taken without glasses. I don't think anybody will recognize the picture as me! I was trying for slight amusement when the shutter snapped, but in the photocopy, I look as though I were about to tell a corporal that he's now a buck private, and I regret that flogging is out of style. Perhaps it's the squint.

Back when the photographs were Polaroid, they laminated the license on the spot and handed it over. Now that it's all digital, they give you a photocopy-like printout and you have to wait for them to mail it.

I made the pumpernickel in Recipes from the Old Mill today. Even Dave thought it was too sweet, so I'll use another recipe if I make pumpernickel again, but I learned the secret of working with rye flour: mix everything but the wheat flour into a thick batter, then add the wheat flour in stages. That way when you are kneading in the last of the flour, it's always wheat flour on the outside and the dough doesn't stick to everything.



19 March 2012

Another sign of spring, @&%#! The cottonwood bud-covers have started to fall.

A sheet and some pillowcases are drying in the sun.

We're having corned beef and cabbage for supper tonight. This time I remembered the carrot and forgot the potato. So I zapped a low-calorie potato and threw it in about four. That's for Dave; I don't like them boiled brown. I put his cabbage in at four, and plan to put mine in at five.

I get low-calorie potatoes by going to the bin of loose potatoes and picking out those that are about the size of a walnut.



20 March 2012

Last time we went for a walk, Dave took his old GPS (which has an odometer) and determined that the point seven is, indeed, seven-tenths of a mile — provided that you start and end inside the house. We went on the point eight this evening, and it's point eight, no fiddling.

Fried chicken tonight — rather late; I should have cut the chicken breast into thinner pieces.

I wonder whether we'll be able to buy Fryin' Magic after Little Crow is gone.

I got away with bringing only one bud cover back to the house yesterday — and I peeled it off and threw it away before entering — but today is a different story.



21 March 2012

Weird, but complicated to tell.

I have a pair of oversize sandals that I wear with very thick socks all winter. Every time I take them out from under the bed to put them on, Al rushes over and loves them up. Aw, he loves my scent.

A while back I found the same sandals in my proper size on clearance and put them away until spring. This morning, while getting dressed for my appointment with Dr. Darr, I decided that spring was here and got them down. Al went absolutely ape, and I postponed putting on my shoes because he was having so much fun.

So he likes the shoes better without my scent. I think that something they are made of smells good; Dave thinks it's because they have lots of edges.


I've got to go back to Dr. Darr tomorrow — I'd eaten, so they couldn't draw blood. I did get a pneumonia shot. The information sheet says I should have gotten the shot five years ago.



24 March 2012

Stopped at Kroger on the way home from the blood draw and bought a bag of salad and a rack of ribs. Stopped again yesterday, on the way home from an eye exam (I've had my bod in the shop all week!) because we were running low on milk.

While there, I went looking for something to perk up my relish plate. Nothing but cauliflower, so I took the yellow-orange variety to be different from the white cauliflower I'd bought the previous time. And then I bought a container of bite-size yellow tomatoes — to put with carrots and an orange pepper.

But the celery is green.

A few days ago I took three sausage patties out of the freezer, then changed my mind and decided to make sausage gravy out of the left-over pork-chop gravy. I fried up all three patties anyway, then discovered that there was less gravy than I'd thought and we had creamed sausage on our english muffins.

Today I began to make sausage gravy, then reflected that Dave is diabetic, went back for two more patties, and shook up only three-fourths of a cup of milk with a tablespoon and a half of white-wheat flour. (Also some smoked salt, after tasting it.)

Then he ate it on a bagel. I had the last of the unfrozen rye bread, then got the other half of the loaf out of the freezer and put it in the fridge.

On the way to bed yesterday, I reflected that I hadn't done a thing all day, except for getting my eyes checked and baking ribs.

Really, really good ribs. I baked them plain, not even salt and pepper, and served them with zapped sweet potato and relish plate.

I had no idea how long to bake them, so I put them on way early in an oven pre-heated to 500F, then turned it down to 250. This appears to be a very good way to do it.

I also cleaned up the bread kettle that I'd forgotten and left out in the rain.



25 March 2012

I was all ready to go nearly an hour before stepping-off time. I'm sure to be late today.

Considered going early to clean the fridges, but there's a Sunday-School class in the kitchen.

Yesterday, Dave ran out of dental floss & I told him that I thought I had some in my magic bag. So I emptied everything out — why am I carrying a snack bag of rubber bands and paper clips? — and found some "glide", which while not good, was better than the Butler he had found. (He requires very thick floss; they don't make floss thin enough to fit between my teeth.)

While packing my pockets this morning, I noticed that there was a package of dental floss in the net pocket on the outside of the bag.

It's way past time to re-organize that bag!

I made hamburger soup with fresh ginger yesterday. I thought it rather subtle and couldn't taste it after the first spoonful (except when I ate one of the three slices). Dave thought it overwhelming, but the soup grew on him.

When I got my everyday summer sandals down, I noticed a box marked "sunday sandals" and thought that I'd wear the brown pair from now until Labor day — I'm wearing them, but plan to change before stepping off. Aside from it being rather cool out there, while bending over to comb my hair into a topknot, I noticed that I've been intending to replace all my stockings for some time.

Step-off time. The saga of the socks must wait.



26 March 2012

Weird day. Began with the inadequately-clothed dream, but instead of vanishing, my pants kept morphing into Not My Pants while things got more and more complicated while I tried to locate my own pants and put them on. I was also trying, vainly, to get all my stuff back into my suitcase because I was somewhere I didn't belong.

Just before waking up, I noticed that my beige cords were on inside out, went hunting for a ladies' room, found a bathtub room, discovered that on the inside (which was now also the wrong side) they had been painted up like 50's Senior Cords, but the painter had never seen any, so did 21st Century graffiti instead. And now the paint showed on the outside too.

Now for the truly weird (and completely unrelated) — along about noon, I was hanging up Dave's newly-washed shorts: oh noes! I missed something when I patted his pockets down! How could I miss such a big lump? What is it, and has it been expensively ruined?

Somehow, one of my sweat rags had wadded itself up into his pocket — into the outside of an inside-out pocket that had most definitely been right-side out when I patted them down, so we can rule out the remote possibility that Dave had found one lying around and stuffed it into his pocket.

I wonder what I meant to say about socks?

For a long time, I hunted and hunted for opaque stockings; it seemed as though the more I paid, the flimsier "opaque" stockings were. Finally the dime fell, and I went to Payless and bought the cheapest "sheer" stockings they had.

Still need to wear two pairs sometimes.

Last shopping trip, I remembered that I wanted to put all my current hose into the "in case I want to stuff a toy" bag, but Payless was out of hosiery-colored hose.

I'll definitely trash the pair that's now in the washing machine.

The chain between the trees has seen its first use of the year: I reflected that the shorts wouldn't dry very fast indoors, and took them out still on the hanger. (Otherwise, I didn't hang out anything but the white stuff, since it was right cold while I was hanging those out. Warmer now, and I went out barefoot to bring it in.)

We have, I believe, one cotton sheet left. I should keep my eye out for sheeting, because cottonized-linen sheets aren't going to last anywhere near as long as the scenery-muslin sheets did. (The muslin sheets were old when we moved here in 2001, and there's one left.)



27 March 2012

The good news: my new pills cost two dollars for a thirty-day supply.

The bad news: Levothyrixine has to be taken on an empty stomach, it needs half an hour to soak in before you eat anything, and it needs four hours before I take calcium. That messes up my schedule of taking all my pills just before breakfast.

I dealt with it today by waking up at five, taking the pill, and going back to bed.

The daffodils are fading; the violets and redbuds are in full flower.

Yesterday I took an extra walk so I could go through the redbud-lined dirt road that leads to Dane Miller's field (Not to be confused with Miller Field over at the college.) I took the point nine, but came back by Union instead of Boy's city, which probably added a tenth of a mile.


I've got the disappearing emphasis figured out. I've used the ASCII code of _ for italics and * for emphasis while typing this, and intend to search-and-replace to HTML codes after mailing the ASCII version.

Which may be confusing to folks who take the sneak preview at


Don't you hate seeing a typo just after clicking "send"?

On Usenet I'd send a follow-up; in e-mail it's better to just hope nobody notices.

Which leads to the question of what to do when replying to a message that was later corrected. Which happened yesterday or the day before; since the substitution of "d" for "r" made a vast difference in the meaning, I corrected the quote.

Ordinarily, I regard changing a quote and leaving the attribution on as a worse crime than murder, but when you have a written and signed statement that the change makes the quote what the writer meant to say . . .



29 March 2012

After ten years of "Oh, chuck it into the parlor; we never use that room", we are getting a new carpet for the parlor.

Which led me to peek behind the opaque doors of the bottom compartment of the corner cupboard, and find the little brass trowel Grandpa Bailey made. Anybody want it?

You'll get the paring knife he made for Grandma after she got arthritis over my dead body. But be sure somebody gets it. It's on the magnet with the other knives, and you'll recognize the style.

I wonder who has the other one?

I hope my copy of The Sewing Book by Anne L. Jessup — 1913 turns up as we shuffle the books around. There was an HTML copy at the Vintage Lending Library, but the organization running the web site ran out of funds. Wish I'd sent them some money when they were still around, but shoving a ten-dollar bill into the monitor doesn't get you anywhere.

I did find Salenda Bailey's scrapbook, but haven't found the transcription I made of some of the quilt patterns.

So I went into the parlor and said "if you find The Sewing Book" and Dave said "You mean this one?"

It's now on the sewing-book shelf in the sewing room.



29 March 2012

The lights flickered about two O'clock this morning. That is, I presume they would have flickered if they had been on — the carbon monoxide detector yelped, the air filter switched off, and the power supplies chirped. In the morning, I found the welcome mat in the garlic-chive bed and the old lawn chair I use for a laundry-basket stand was folded; no other signs of a storm.

Call me callous — I'm just now getting around to reading yesterday's paper. When I saw the photograph of a man being loaded into an ambulance after walking into a train, I said, "Well, that's a change of pace — usually they drive into the trains."

He's certainly lucky that he did it where the train crew could see him. When found, he was "disoriented and bleeding from the head". It was hinted that the disorientation might have been the cause, rather than the result, of the injury: "Alcohol may have been a factor in this incident."

The fellow from the carpet place just measured the parlor. Probably have the work done next Tuesday. We figure about two hours to move out the remaining furniture. Some of the moved furniture is blocking access to the treadle sewing machine. Perhaps that will make me energetic enough to get on with my sewing. (But most of the work on my current project needs to be done by hand.)

I solved a problem today: I've been mulling over what bread to take to the Easter breakfast; everybody brings cake and calls it breakfast bread, so I wanted something that wasn't sweet. Most non-sweet quick breads aren't good cold, and bringing hot bread to a pitch-in is fraught with peril; I even thought of bringing my crock pot and corn-bread ingredients to the church the night before — I have baked a crock pot of bread overnight, and it does work, after a fashion.

Then I realized that my rye bread is still good on the following day, and I've practiced that enough to be sure it will come out. But I'd better make a pre-mix, as I did the last time I made it — I'll probably not be too bright when I come home from the set-up party on Saturday.



30 March 2012

Putting the scanner on my typing chair was a mistake. That makes it hard to type while waiting for the scans.

So after typing that, I moved the scanner to the mouse stand — and discovered that I was at the end of the book.

Having found The Sewing Book, I decided to scan some black-and-white GIFs to replace the fuzzy brown camera-taken j-pegs in Rough Sewing. Of course, while the scanner was set up, why not scan some other illustrations that might come in handy?

I may resume work scanning How to be Pretty though Plain. That's a really-neat little book, and scanning is easy except for finding something to do in thirty-second increments. And now I know how to do it with my back-up computer, so I don't have to wait until Dave isn't using his.



31 March 2012

We cleaned out the corner cupboard this morning, which reminded me that I have Evelyn's china teacups and Grandmother Bailey's china teacups. These ought to be gotten into the hands of someone who will serve tea in them.

Evelyn also had a set of six chocolate mugs with birds painted on them. No chocolate pot to go with them, but one could use a teapot. I think I have a plain white coffee-serving pot somewhere that could be passed off as a chocolate pot.

We keep finding golden anniversary stuff. There's no use trying to get rid of that — it would come right back in a couple of years.

The carpet installers are coming next Tuesday. Since only the love seat, the coffee table, and the corner cupboard remain, we are sure to be ready for them. The piano is also still there, but we're giving them twenty dollars extra to shove the piano into the hallway. That's cheap at twice the price!

When I went into Dave's room to verify the price of the piano moving, I saw that he'd already moved the coffee table.

We're going to take this opportunity to wash the walls and touch up the paint, so all the pictures have to come out too.