The usual: doors to bathroom, bedroom. No threshhold to get into kitchen or living room.
Door to my office. I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in here, especially given that I am retired. Email, reading blogs, creating stuff, dealing with my (many) volunteer activities. This is where it all happens.
Door to laundry/sewing/craft room. That's where my stash lives. The beverage refrigerator happens to be in there, too.
Does a virtual threshhold count? Because if it does, the threshhold to the wider world of the Internet is one I cross many times a day.
That's it. Those are the only ones I cross every day. There are many days when I do not leave the house. (Yay, retirement!) In the interests of making a reasonable list, I shall list a few others that I cross frequently.
The door into my car*, the vehicle that takes me to that other wider world, the one that some people call The Real World.
The door into the local library. There are very few times I leave home that I don't make a stop at the library, either to pick up new books or drop off other books I have finished.
The doors of the supermarket and WalMart. Sadly.
The doors to a few of the local restaurants. But not the bars. For whatever reason, I almost never go into a bar.
The door to the government center, although since losing the election I go in there far less often. Seems like I used to be in there several times a week; now, it's more like a couple times a month.
That's it. Rural world = small world.
* I need to tell you a little story about my car. On Sunday when I met up with my friend Jeff, who had volunteered to ride with me in the parade, the first thing he said after hello was Shall we run your car through the car wash?
Him: Sure. I'll pay.
Me: You don't have to do that. But srsly?
And thus my car was clean for the parade.
Although I understood his concern -- presenting a nice sparkly image for our local group -- I didn't really see any need to wash the light-colored dust off my silver car, especially since everything behind the windshield would be covered by signs. It is immaterial to me whether the outside of my car is clean or covered with dust from the gravel road I must drive on. In the winter Smokey runs my car through the carwash over my vigorous-but-futile protests (the locks always freeze!) and occasionally during the rest of the year (but why?). I dislike having any clutter in my car, but the outside? Who cares?
This was our group in the last parade. Lady in light blue shirt is Kelly Westlund, running for Congress from our district.
Gonna drive in the Lucky Days parade this afternoon. Got a big bowl of candy to throw to the kids along the route. I tell myself all through every parade, "Don't drive over a kid. Don't drive over a kid. Don't drive over a kid." It's a good rule.
* * * * *
Joke :: practical.
Away :: game.
Reaction :: time.
High :: times.
Movie :: times.
Decide :: later.
Afternoon :: delight.
Contrarian :: Smokey.
Understand :: grok.
Zone :: no parking.
* * * * *
I continue to knit on the fingerless glove project. Four pairs mostly done, and cast on for a fifth pair last night. Only one pair is completely done; the others all need thumbs, one pair needs its hems sewn down, and most need their ends woven in. I am saving all that finishing for some night when I am watching TV.
In other TV-related news, we just joined the rest of the US and* got a flat TV. I think it is 46", maybe 42", plenty big for our cozy living room. Younger Son set it up for us on Saturday morning. It took me roughly 30 seconds to get used to having a bigger screen. The viewing experience changes a little -- I find I am more aware of the rest of the picture, not just the main action/actor. Our old TV, a 32" digital CRT model, will go to live in Elder Son's house.
* I have found it a little disconcerting to see huge flat-screen TVs in the living rooms of pretty much every house that leaves its curtains open. Why does everyone else -- even people whom I know are on a severely limited income -- have a fancy-schmancy TV and we don't? Well, because we were waiting for the prices to come down to cheap. And they did.
Smokey and I visited Elder Son in Sioux Falls this weekend. Did I tell you that is where he is doing his residency? He is two weeks into it and seems to be happy (yay!)
No photos to share (boo!) because I suffered from camnesia all weekend. Let me tell you about a couple unillustrated coffee experiences, though.
After we went out for lunch on Sunday, I forced the driver at gunpoint requested that we stop at a coffee shop so I could get my daily dose of caffeine. I had noticed a small remodeled house with a large sign, Ethiopian Coffee House and Restaurant, on the way to lunch.
As I walked into the front room -- the former living room, now with a bar in one corner housing the liquor and the expresso machine -- I realized to my horror that the room was filled with men. Standing room only and not a female in sight. The men were all watching the World Cup final on the HD TV on the wall and cheering for Argentina. (Apparently the German team is not popular with the Ethiopian male contingent.) Mr. Messi! they kept shouting. In my ignorance I thought Mr. Messi was the proprietor, and they were shouting for service. Actually, Leo Messi is a star on the Argentine team.
Anyway, I felt rather out of place as I ordered my four-shot latte, which was served with four shots of espresso and zero latte. After dosing it with milk back at ES's house, I found it to be quilte palatable. And a good story.
* * * * *
We left around noon on Monday. Once again, after eating lunch I forced asked Smokey to stop so I could get coffee, this time at a kiosk in the lot where we had parked. The sign said Open but there was no one visible inside.
...until the window flew open and a 30-ish man exploded into the opening.
Hello! he shouted. How are you today?What can I get you?
We decided he had been injesting his wares since 6am. The day before. I really don't know how one person can contain that much energy inside a 6'x6' space. He must be absolutely cray-cray by the end of his shift.
Jerk :: chicken. I seem to have food on the mind this morning.
Closed :: mind.
Texture :: -d stitches.
* * * * *
Younger Son sent me a photo that a friend had taken of Ser Percival The Energetic.
Look at the size of that mouth. Now imagine your leg in there. Beware the pit bull.
* * * * *
Smokey figured out that it was the 20+ year-old sunscreen I used on Saturday that had caused the allergic reaction and made my eyes swell to monster size. So much for trying to use up old stuff -- that sunscreen is going in the trash. I don't look quite as bad as I did on Sunday, but I would still scare small children. Sheesh.
* * * * *
Earlier this week I had to drive through Lindstöm. Remember Lindström? Anyway, I got myself a small Blizzard at the DQ (mint chocolate chip, thanks for asking) and looked for a shady place to park while I ate it. (I hate having to get out of the car. Drive-through, every time.) A block or so later I found a cemetary, lots of shade. Perfect.
As I drove around looking for my ideal spot -- level, shady, not too obvious -- I came across this tombstone.
Have I been knitting? Yes. Have I been taking pictures of my knitting? No.
I have been busily making fingerless gloves to sell at the farmer's market later this summer and fall in support of the new library. The library building committee is sponsoring the market and gets the booth fees. They also have a table to sell dog blankets and other crafts, all proceeds going to the building fund.
I finished my third pair yesterday, then discovered that Ser Percy had snatched a glove from the second pair -- 100% alpaca*, no less -- and had mangled it a bit. I grumbled and fumed as I wove in the ends on pair #3, then inspected the pair #2 damage more closely. Glove turned out not to be salvageable, but the yarn was. Frogged and 1" reknit so far. Will finish this weekend.
Damned alpaca-chewing dogs...
* Apparently dogs prefer alpaca to wool. Go figger.
Today Carole has us listing what we served with our Fourth of July barbecue. Since I was responsible only for the meat course, I was not concerned with side dishes. But that doesn't mean I don't have favorites.
Ten Favorite Summer Side Dishes.
Kale salad. Mine is kale, raisins or craisins, thing-sliced onion, and pecans, with sweetened balsamic vinaigrette. The one served at the Fourth of July pot luck picnic was kale, slivered almonds, and Parmesan; some kind of vinaigrette dressing -- it was a hit with everyone.
Greek village salad. Chunked tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, kalamata olives, onion, with an oregano/lemon vinaigrette.
Tossed green salad. My year-round standard is Romaine lettuce, some paper-thin sliced onion, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced fresh mushrooms, diced feta cheese, and pitted kalamata olives. Dressing may be balsamic vinaigrette or creamy Caesar.
Spinach salad. My year-round standard is spinach, sliced hard-cooked egg, paper-thin sliced onion, pecan halves, and maybe some halved cherry tomatoes. Dressing is Cardini's Asian Sesame.
Quinoa salad. Quinoa tossed with raw or semi-cooked vegies and dosed with vinaigrette. I prefer this to pasta salad because it is gluten-free.
Potato salad. Not the traditional one with mayo; one with an oil-sabed dressing and seasoned with rosemary. And maybe garlic. I need to create a recipe.
Sliced watermelon,cantaloupe, and/or honeydew.
Fruit compote -- melon balls (water-, cantaloupe, and honeydew), sliced strawberries, blueberries, and sliced kiwi, all tossed with a sprinkling of sugar and a couple tablespoons of Triple Sec.
Some folks went all out for the festive decorations.
Others took a more minimalist approach.
I forgot to take photos of the picnic food until people had started to leave. I provided the meat course (brats, Italian sausage, and appropriate condiments), eating paraphernalia, and beverages. Tables and canopy (and venue) were provided by another neighbor. The rest was pot luck. Many brownies were consumed with enthusiasm.
Remember the boat decorations? Some of us -- that's me on the left -- carried that spirit into our attire.
Meanwhile, Wife of Flag Shorts Guy puts an ice cube down the neck of a retired umpire.
Saturday: selling raffle tickets at craft fair.
All prizes were donated, so all proceeds will support the shelter.
My set-up. I sold over $500 worth of raffle tickets. Although Packer-Viking tickets have been an attractive draw in past raffles, the quilt got at least as much attention as the tickets this year. Success!
There was a fabulous face painter. This guy was happy to pose for me. Fond Mom, too. They were so cute.
Blurry iPhone closeup.
I asked her if it was okay to take a picture of her ring while she was putting her name and address on her raffle tickets. As I prepared to take the photo she leaned down so that she would be in the photo, too. Not camera shy, that one. (But she bought a book of five tickets, so I love her.)
The woman on the right looked familiar. It took me a minute to place her.
She was the living, breathing incarnation of Maxine. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Sunday: another parade.
My car: a rolling billboard for progressive values.
Something in the air on Saturday disagreed with me, or at least with my eyes. By the time I went to bed that night they were horribly swollen. I spent Sunday hiding behind sunglasses to cover them -- didn't want to scare the dogs and children. Cold compresses, eye drops, and Benedryl for me again tonight.
This week Carole has us thinking ahead to next weekend. I'll give you what I plan to do.
Ten Ideas For The Fourth Of July.
Watch the annual boat parade on the Fourth. I love this, and so does everyone else on our small lake. People decorate their boats and/or wear appropriate costumes. One couple who bought their cabin after the parade had become a tradition was told by the sellers that part of the purchase deal was that they had to continue that cabin's tradition of 1, female partner dressing as the Statue of Liberty, and b, the male partner dressing as Uncle Sam. The sellers provided the costumes. (You can see them in costume in the linked post.)
Host the annual pot luck picnic after the parade. This involves moving our grill across the lake to my friends' vacant land that is the venue; also a cooler full of ice and a variety of sodas, paper plates/napkins/flatware, celebratory flags, condiments and buns for the brats and Italian sausages I will cook on that grill, said brats and sausages, garbage bags, recycle bin for cans, bug spray, and anything else I think we need. This picnic became a tradition back in the 1990s, and I have never hosted it because our house was still unfinished. Now that there is a venue elsewhere, I knew it was my turn (actually, w-a-y past my turn). I coerced Younger Son into coming up for the day to help me because this will be Smokey's weekend to work.
Sell raffle tickets at a nearby village's Freedom Fest craft fair on Saturday. This raffle is the humane society's biggest fundraiser of the year.
The quilt was not quite done when the maker took photos. The cats on the finished quilt will have eyes.
I can knit while I sit at the raffle ticket table. Yay!
Drive in that festival's parade on Sunday.
I have driven in two parades so far. Rain threatened during the first one, so I had only a couple magnetic signs on my car. The second fell on a beautiful day, so my car was hung with these signs.
This is my [former] iPad. Those three playing-card-sized flat black thingies are the batteries. The one on the right? Toast.
Smokey, my I-can-do-anything guy and a former naval electronics technician, ordered a kit online to replace my iPad battery. Battery life had been degrading noticeably in the past couple months, and we thought it worthwhile to try a new battery before springing for a new iPad. He was prying the battery out of the shell -- they are glued in -- when it suddenly there were flying sparks, and the battery burst into flames.
Apparently, lithium-ion batteries are as much fuel as electricity.
Happily, he was not burned, nor did the house catch on fire. When I arrived home from running errands he had several windows open, a fan exhausting the smoke, and the batteries removed from all the smokey detectors.
Now to decide: buy a new iPad just like the old one, except the current model has the retina display? or wait until September when the new iPad Air is released, with a faster processor, iOS 8, and a $100 higher price tag? Younger Son's advice is to go to a store and handle both an iPad and the current iPad Air; then decide if the feel of the lighter one is worth the wait and the $100.
Any advice from the peanut gallery out there? All comments welcome.
Carole must be psychic. Today is Smokey's birthday. I shall start with the things he would want to happen on his natal anniversary.
Ten Ways To Wish Someone A Happy Birthday.
Bake a blueberry pie. Not from scratch; one of these. I have blogged about them before.
Steak and salad for dinner.
Or a homemade pizza from scratch.
That's pretty much it for Smokey. He likes to have his birthday recognized but hates a lot of fuss. Let's move on to the ways others might prefer.
A surprise party. This is on my bucket list, but it is difficult to throw a surprise party for myself (hint, hint).
A shout-out on Facebook. Frankly, I use the Facebook birthday prompts to remind me to do #6, below.
An e-card. I tend to do this for nearly everyone whose birthday and email addy I know. The internet is a wonderful thing.
A real card in the mail. As lovely as it is to get such a card these days, I seldom think of it soon enough. Smokey's Aunt Ruth was the champion of birthday cards; I got one from her every single birthday since SB and I got married back in 1974.
A skywriter. This is a bit out of my budget, but wouldn't it be fun?
Back when the boys were growing up, I would hang the HAPPY BIRTHDAY banner in the dining room and bake or buy a special cake. My best was the cake that that looked like four square Lego blocks. And there was also the year I had Younger Son's photo spray-painted on the cake (the bakery at Target had this as a special).