May 2012 Banner


3 May 2012

In last month's issue, I carried on about the extreme difficulty of getting into the boxes piled five high on the top shelf. When I cleared the board to iron two shirts this morning, I noticed a large stack of "too small to bother dropping boxes on my head"s, and held a major box-moving, pausing halfway through to rustle through Dave's bolt collection and repair my grocer's tongs.

In the process, I emptied one box, nested two other empty boxes, sorted a considerable amount of pants-weight linen out of the general-linen box (which made room for all the bra-weight scraps on the ironing board), and noticed that I have grandmother's collection of handkerchiefs -- some of them with hand-made lace -- in a corrugated cardboard box, which is a *terrible* way to store them.

If you're cringing at that last clause, e-mail me and I'll arrange to transfer custody.

And as I was glancing around to take satisfaction in the decrease in entropy, I noticed another deposit of stuff that belongs in boxes on the top shelf.

Which reminds me that some of the order is fake. For example, a few days ago I found a box that perfectly fits legal paper folded in half, and stacked everything in that format in it without regard for date or topic.

I'm going to have to find someone to take my collection of pinfeed paper off my hands. Perhaps I'll Freecycle it.

I think I have more boxes than I had kinds of paper; I'd better dig out those that I can't get at and peek inside. The one under the UPS is plainly marked "Envelopes", probably 9 x 12. I can't even see the box under the 9 x 6 envelopes, but *something* is holding it up.



4 May 2012

I bought some "Hereford" corned beef just to see what sort of beef came in a Spam-shaped can. Today I opened it for lunch, and it's Speef -- Spam made outa beef. And quite good, actually.

I'm planning another asparagus casserole for supper tonight.

I just planted the marigolds I bought at Owen's yesterday. Earlier in the day, I found some parsley seeds in the freezer and planted them in the Joe Rickets bed -- thanks to our deer, there is plenty of room. Also found some globe basil seeds, but have no idea where to plant them -- they are wee fine and vulnerable when they first come up.

In other garden news, the two plants I thought were potatoes developed into fake oregano and I pulled them up, but an unquestioned potato sprout is near the site. Today I found two more volunteer potatoes near the multipliers -- but not *too* close; they won't interfere. I got pruning shears and made stakes out of some of the firewood to put a hedge around them. (And later made more stakes for the parsely.)

The planted potatoes still show no inclination to grow, but some of the sprouts they had when I bought them are a bit greenish. Intervals of sun and rain are predicted.

Yesterday or the day before, Dave found another fern by the fence and we dug it up and moved it to the fern bed. I cut off some roots getting it out, so I expect another fern to appear after a while. The fern doesn't appear to know it's been moved; today I hauled it another bucket of water and shared it around among all the ferns, including the volunteer that we aren't quite sure is a fern. Yesterday I found a new leaf on it that was a little bit curled like a new frond, so just now I ran out to check again: It has a teeny-tiny fiddlehead hidden among the frond bases. The fronds on the volunteer fern seem to do most of their growing after fully unrolling. It has smaller fronds that are less upright than the planted ferns. Shorter fronds, but about the same width.


Some duds are nicer than other duds.

Yesterday Michelle called to report that my sonogram showed nothing, but I should be careful not to stress my kidneys on account of they are seventy years old. I inquired about the call saying the sonogram showed early kidney disease & that was some sort of misunderstanding. Perhaps it was a repeat of the blood report that used the word "sonogram" somewhere; pity I don't record my phone calls. So the report that I've got early kidney disease is null and void.

On the other hand, I worked myself up to go to a ham-club meeting yesterday evening; I even found my Extra-class license and my diploma from the safety course and put them into my bag. Then I drove to the library, parked, and walked to the jail. Went in through the main jail entrance, found a small lobby with a lot of unmarked doors that I presumed to be locked -- I wasn't just about to go rattle the knobs! -- and a window for somebody to speak to visitors, but apparently he'd gone home at five. I think I could have gotten some attention if I'd yelled and carried on, but this isn't the sort of place where one wants that sort of attention.

So I circumnavigated the Justice building. There were a lot of unmarked doors and doors with signs that said "don't rattle knob" to me, such as "employees only" and "emergency exit only". The doors on the court side were locked, and what I could see through such glass doors as I passed suggested that everybody but inmates and their minders had gone home for the day. The intake doors weren't far past the loading dock. (Now there's a knob I'm *really* not going to rattle!) One was an ordinary door that I didn't see until after noticing the other: a ramp leading to a garage door, suggesting that they sometimes want the squad car inside when they unload it.

It's been over a year since the Hoosier Hams web site was updated -- it still has a link to the description of the course I took the winter before last, but the link text claims that it's a link to a picture of the new radio room. I conclude that they no longer meet on Thursday or no longer meet at the Justice Building. Or, perhaps, they no longer need any new members.

I did try some doors on the church building where they used to meet.



6 May 2012

Whoosh, I just dreamed a whole novel in which discrepancies in my kidney reports uncovered a worldwide conspiracy, with the help of talking cats. I think it came of reading Schlock Mercenary at bedtime.

I woke up just as we rescued the critical witness, so I didn't find out what was going on. (I guess that makes it not a *whole* novel.)

There was also some stuff about running and a car on a deserted freshly-black Interstate-type road that disturbed me, but not near as much as it should have. I did notice that something wasn't kosher about one of the scene shifts, but didn't recognize dream logic.

       scene shift: reality

I got home from the cleaning party before the Farmer's Market ended, but didn't go. I didn't know one could get out of breath cleaning a kitchen.

I said, "You'll want this old label off before you stick on that new one you're making," and the label left stickum, so I fetched a wet rag -- the stickum wiped right off, uncharacteristically -- and I ended up washing the face of every cabinet in the kitchen. It's a small room -- the kitchens in old farmhouses are bigger -- but it has no windows, and it has cabinets nearly to the ceiling on every otherwise-unoccupied wall. When I got to the last two, I wiped only what I could reach from the floor and didn't climb up on my chair.

So there's a pitch-in dinner today to get the kitchen messed up again.


I got up in the night and wrote Banner for a while, but woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed a little after eight, and had plenty of time to get dressed for church. Lost the race to the powder, though, and had to wash the shaking jar. Put on my make-up before I thought about medicine.

On the other hand, I remembered "shave first, then suncreen" -- I usually remember to shave when I put sunscreen on my chin, and have to waste some of the expensive "Age Shield". On Sundays, "make up" does include foundation and powder -- I put Cover Girl on the big age spot under my left eye. But it's mainly sunscreen that keeps it inconspicuous.


I used to carry my dancing slippers in a shoulder bag when I had to wear clod-hoppers for the long walk, then I found folding slippers that I could carry in my pocket, then I discovered that I could wear my winter sandals over the folding slippers -- and now, more often than not, I forget to take the sandals off when I get there. Even when, as this morning, I look into the full-length mirror and reflect that huge shoes really bring out the Olive Oyl aspects of my outfit.



7 May 2012

We threw away one of my printers when we moved, and the other one wore out a while back, so I really ought to post the double printer stand on Freecycle. But after we take it out, where do I stick my magnetic timer when I'm doing wash?

At least I no longer need to lean on it when bending over to fiddle with the cables -- we put the tower on the monitor stand when I switched to flatscreen, and when my second computer was slotted into the space the first computer had vacated, we put it in with the back in front.

I was wondering how to make JOY98's monitor usable, and said that I should go to O's and buy a monitor with the proportions that were popular when 98 was, and Dave remembered that the monitor on Living Room used to be on JOY98 -- so we swapped them, and now all is well. He had a lot of adjusting to do, some of it undoing adjustment to my eyes (which *hate* staring into a light bulb), and some of it attempts to make it sorta work, but about all I had to do was to turn the glare down abd move the vertical postition up a few pixels so the "y"s in the last line don't look like "u"s. I wonder whether Living Room positions differently, or just didn't do anything that made anybody notice that a few pixels were running off the bottom -- I didn't notice until typing this entry in the Banner.

Did I mention that I rotated the monitor we moved from JOY98 to JOYXP ninety degrees? (Minus ninety, according to convention.) I simply adore the longer format for reading text and it's still plenty wide for Web sites. I'd have to twist it back to use DosBox, but twisting it isn't that big a deal -- once you learn that you have to tilt it first so that the corners don't hit the base. And I don't think I can make DosBox work anyway. I would have to wrestle it into submission if JOY98 died, but that doesn't seem imminent.



8 May 2012

When I came by the third porch last Sunday, they appeared to have floors on both levels, and the railing around the balcony looked complete -- I can see why they'd do that one first! There are unfinished steps to the porch level, and parts of a railing around it -- looks as though you could actually go into the house from the front now.

In less than ten years, they tore down a house on Park Avenue and built a new one, then added a porch to the new house, then ripped off the porch and put in a different one, then a storm took down a tree big enough to smash the porch, dent the roof, and do minor damage to the house next door.

Took a long time to repair the damaged front, and they have been taking their time replacing the porch. Which hasn't got a roof this time, but does have a balcony. Glass doors instead of a window upstairs was part of the front repair. I don't know whether the place is occupied; the news story about the treefall said that it was a summer home. (This side is just for show; you get into the house from Grace Lane, which I seldom walk down, so I wouldn't see any signs of occupancy.)

Drat! I forgot to pick fresh herbs for my baconbit-and-cheese pancakes this morning; I thought they tasted a little flat. I did put in onion and a jalapen~o-shaped sweet pepper I bought at Aldi yesterday.

Bought three hand towels on the way to Aldi, and in the process of shopping for them checked Carson's, Penny's, and one of the shoe stores for opaque hose. Found a shorter version of the rayon hose that I saw at Penny's last time, at the shoe store that's nearer Penny's. Didn't see any display remotely resembling the one I'd shopped at Penny's on my previous trip; was I somewhere else, or have they re-arranged?

Even sheer hose are getting somewhat scarce.

Saw a Grace College student at church, wearing what appeared to be old shabby jeans torn to short-short length. After a double take, I saw that she *was* wearing her Sunday best.

So I'm wearing old shabby jeans and a pretty shirt to the polling place today. Faded indigo echos the aqua in the print.


Pointless votes cast.

This morning I thought I'd haul all those boxes of paper out of here, forgetting that I'm using three of them for a monitor stand. When I put them back, I replaced the three tall boxes with two tall boxes and a flat one, and I think I like the height better.

One of the flat boxes is plain yellow paper and the other is white 3-hole paper. There's as much plain white paper as would fit into a flat box -- perhaps one that already has notebook paper in it. I have an untouched box of four-part paper -- with a shipping tag saying that I spent $89 for it -- and an almost-empty box of four-part paper.

And I'm shifting a bundle of ledger-size paper around that has never been unwrapped from our move eleven years ago. I guess I don't do printed newsletters much any more!


After attempted nap -- two spam calls guaranteed no sleep -- I made a batch of muffin bars. Took a recipe for a dozen apple muffins, substituted half a bag of blueberries and a cup of walnuts for the apple, baked it in my 9 x 12 pan -- I like it better than muffins. And I don't have to grease all those cups!

Once I sort the papers into boxes -- the printer stand can hold quite a lot of boxes. Perhaps I don't want to get rid of it just yet.



9 May 2012

The deal of the day had the bad luck to be downloaded while I was in the midst of finding lengths of cloth I can get rid of, so it was deleted unread. I'm bagging up all the seersucker I can find; I don't think I'll ever again make anything out of seersucker. Two of the three I've found so far are coarse puckers in garish colors, but one is a very nice piece of unbleached cotton seersucker. I may chicken out and keep that one.

Found my canton flannel. It was on the top shelf between the blue seersucker and a rather large piece of red-checked tablecloth fabric. Also a seed-corn sack in the pile.

I wonder why I bought so much of the red check? There are two red-check tablecloths hanging in the closet, and the piece looks big enough to make at least two more. And I gave up putting cloths on the table when Dave refinished it.

I think I'll open out said table and try to remember what I was doing with my linen salwarish kameesish tunic and slacks. And I'd better get a disposable credit-card number and buy some Super Crisp interfacing for the pocket slits.

It's bright and sunny out there, but the National Weather Bureau still insists that we are going to have showers and gusts of wind, so I'm postponing the whites until tomorrow even though we are completely out of pillow cases.



10 May 2012

Whites soaking -- mostly pillowcases; I hadn't realized we have so many. But they will make a smaller pile when neatly folded.

Snivel. I just checked my e-mail before toddling off to bed -- and "Water Stop" had come to the top of Ellery Queen's slush pile.

It's really not an Alfred Hitchcock sort of story, so I don't have an elsewhere to send it.

I did open the table and unfold my salwarish kameezish, and drafted a new watch-pocket pattern. But mostly I blinked at it in confusion. Can't remember where I put the pattern for the waistband. Doesn't seem to be on any of the nails. Time I drafted a new one to allow for my expanded middle anyway.

I've discovered that I don't need to turn on a light when typing at night. Just turn the monitor of JOYXP toward JOY98's keyboard and touch XP's mouse. It also lights up the room across the hall well enough to walk around.


Oh, snort and snicker. While dealing with the messages I downloaded at bedtime, I noticed that today's Deal of the Day is seersucker!

I deleted the notice unread.

The pillowcases have been soaked in bleach and are now soaking in hot water and vinegar. (Hot because there are some dish towels in the load.)



11 May 2012

We have nine white pillowcases. On the one hand, I noticed that some of them are well worn and one may not make it to washday, on the other hand, we now have only one pillow that takes a white case, on the first hand again, I really ought to change that pillowcase every day and sometimes I do remember to do it. The worn-out cotton sheet may not make it into the rag bag. (I prefer used fabric for pillowcases because it's softer.)

Which reminded me that this is going to be a good drying day, so I popped the sheet and two pillowcases and a few rags into the washer and set it for "hot". Should be a better day than yesterday -- the trees are moving, but not whipping.

Um . . . make that ten pillowcases; when I got up to change the pillow I was talking about, I found that a another pillow was wearing a white case because we'd run out of floral. I had washed a floral yesterday, but absent-mindedly used a white one when I changed it. Dave can tell them apart by feel anyway. Both the cases I took off are in the washer with the cotton sheet.

This is another morning when I not only remembered to put on sunscreen, I remembered to shave first. Now that it's spring, I'm putting #15 on my arms and chest in addition to the high-octane stuff on my face. Still wearing long pants, so I don't screen my legs.

I adore the new dispenser the #70 comes in. The old tube had a complicated cap that had to be cleaned out with an orange-wood stick at intervals. This one doesn't leave a trace of sunscreen outside the tube.

I bought Dave white handtowels because his face is bleeding. Now he doesn't want to get blood on his nice new towels.

So I'm hanging old dish towels in the bathroom. I've got the one he bloodied this morning in the washer with the sheet. Soaked in bleach and hot water for half an hour, and now it's spinning out. (Took the blood out with cold water first, of course.)

He called the doctor this morning, who said he can take two days off and then apply the hamburger cream less often.


Went to Owen's for milk and salad after supper, and also got some "ribs" -- strips of haunch meat -- for supper tomorrow. Meant to buy fizzwater, since I have a coupon and I was in the car, but they were all out of plain.

I must remember not to buy any more Tyson chicken gizzards. I've more-or-less gotten used to "fresh" meat being half frozen -- when I buy frozen meat, I prefer to thaw it myself, but that appears to no longer be an option. But Tyson not only didn't remove the bitter linings from some of the gizzards, one of the gizzards hadn't even been cut open! It will be a nasty surprise for the first dog to dig up my compost pile.



13 May 2012

I thought my finger might not like hitting keys, but the real problem is that with a band-aid on the finger that's supposed to feel for the little dot, it's difficult to get my fingers on the correct keys.

And now that I've done it, I find that the finger hurts a tad too. I expect that will wear off overnight, and I'm too sleepy to write now.