Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An Orange Tree

A friend of ours, who spends a lot of time on cruises, gave us her orange tree. It blooms and really smells very nice. We get some small oranges too. Today when I was doing my spring cleaning in the dining room I had to move the tree. I discovered it had bugs on it and was leaking sap all over the floor. Fortunately it is a hard wood floor and easy to clean, but I was surprised at the size of the sticky mess. I put the whole pot in the kitchen sink and washed the plant with a warm spray then I sprayed the tree with an insecticidal soap. Does anyone know if this is the right thing to do?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Tipsy Video Project.

Mary was here this weekend and asked Hubby to help her with a homework project. She needed to make a video to be used to teach a certain concept. Mary decided to use the concept that slices taken from a cone vary from a circle, to an ellipse, to a parabola depending on where the slice is made. We started out with a package of sugar free jello but then decided we needed more jello and made a big box of raspberry jello. Martha made a cone out of a file folder lined with wax paper. When the Jello started to get thick we poured it into the cone. Later in the afternoon Hubby made Margaritas for Mary and me. Then we had a spaghetti dinner with a bottle of Cabernet. After the dishes we started on the movie. We practiced slicing the sugar free Jello then Mary and I ate all the sugar free Jello. The Jello cone turned out spectacular and we sliced it with a cheese slicer and put the slice on a piece of glass to video it's shape. Earlier in the day Hubby became worried that the Jello wouldn't work so he filled a cone with wax. So we cut that into slices as well. There was an awful lot of giggling going on while we were filming and afterwards Mary and I ate all the rest of the Jello. I hope Mary will put her video on her blog.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Lion Sponsor

I have talked before of how much I love being a member of the Lions Club. Well, tonight I sponsored a new member of the club. Sandi lives next door and joined the Lions tonight. I encourage anyone who likes being of service to the community to consider Lionism. Basically we have fund raisers for camps and organizations for the blind. We also do a lot of fun social activities. I think the most starling characteristic of Lions is that they are high energy optimistic people.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I remember telling my mother how surprised I was to find out, I was such a fierce mother. I could not claim to be a pacifist because to protect a child I would kill without blinking an eye. My mom understood and said wait until you have grandchildren and you are so proud of them. Well, yesterday, my grandson, Austin,who is eleven, came for a visit. Now Austin is the sweetest, most well behaved child you could ever want to meet. I knew he went to a middle school for gifted children. When he walked in our house, he sat down at my grand piano, and played the theme from the entertainer, and the nutcracker waltz and several other pieces. I asked if he had a piano. He said "No" but he had a keyboard and taught himself the tunes from the internet. I gave him a ten minute lesson on how to read notes and promised him some beginning piano books the next time he came over.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Quilting Club

A lovely lady I met at the Lions Charter Night invited me to go with her to a quilting club meeting. I went on Thursday night and met so many friendly people. There are 70 members in the club. They have retreats and workshops, they make quilts for foster children, and layettes for the poor. They have raffles, I even one a door prize. Best of all they have show and tell where the women line up to show there latest projects. I saw the most beautiful quilt I have ever seen there. I think I will join but I am a little nervous because they are so much better at quilting than I am. But then again they were so friendly and inviting I am sure I will be alright.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Cleaning Continued

I am still on my Spring Cleaning schedule. I remember when I was in my thirties and I did both spring and fall cleaning. (I also ironed my sheets, they were not permanent press.) Then I washed all my walls and windows twice a year. (We did live downriver near the steel mills). Now I "dust" my walls instead of washing them. I don't have 6 kids and a dog to dirty them but it is not that as much as I don't have the energy to wash walls. I wash my windows once a year but this year I was telling Hubby we need to take the triple glazing off of the upstairs windows. I could still go out on the front roof to do it but I don't think I would be safe lifting the windows. He says he will do it for me. The back windows have only a very small roof which wouldn't be enough for him either, although I used to do it years ago. My friend Margie always used to tease me that I was a "Type A person" because I got a lot done, and I did. Back then I not only did the cooking but I also canned and did freezing of fruits and vegetables. I hate getting old!!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

Today is St. Patrick's Day. My grandfather was Irish, in fact his parent's came from Northern Ireland back in the 1840's. Since then my relatives all married Deutchman, so I am only 1/4 Irish and my grandchildren are only 1/32 Irish. But I always send them a St. Patrick's Day card. Even though my Mom was 100% German she always dressed us in green for the holiday but wouldn't be caught dead wearing it herself.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Walking On

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to walk 5 miles a week. For the last 4 weeks I have kept that goal. In fact last week I walked 9 miles because Mary and I did a 4 mile walk in Flushing Michigan. Mary came in 3rd in her age group. I came in 4th in mine. As we were walking and about 20 feet from the finish, a 90 year old man came up behind us. Mary said she wasn't going to be passed by anyone 90 so she poured on a final burst of steam. I decided to let him feel good and pass me( I didn't have any steam left).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Different Strokes

Lat night Hubby and I went to a Charter Night Dinner for the new Troy Community Lions Club. At the dinner we met several lovely people. All were stunned when I mentioned that Hubby does all the cooking and grocery shopping. I don't even make coffee. Hubby doesn't like it when I say I am spoiled because he doesn't like the negative connotation. I do all the laundry and cleaning. He does all the bookwork and cooking. That doesn't mean we don't concur on our separate choices. He asks me for menu ideas and expenditure priorities. I am, on the whole, more social than Hubby. He does usually have a good time at a party and he has a very funny dry sense of humor. It is nice when you are old enough to know what you like and don't like and be able to follow your inclinations.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Beautiful Baby Blankets

My sister-in-law came over for coffee today. She has been laid off from her job and has been waiting on a decision process for another. She says she walks on the treadmill an hour a day and knits. She looks great and her knitting is spectacular. She showed my three baby blankets and a baby outfit complete with hat and booties. I need to practice a lot more at my knitting. Sometimes it is good to see what a finished project should look like, not just that it keeps you humble but it gives you something to strive for. I am sorry that she lost her job but I am delighted that she has time to come over for coffee. I even baked a coffee cake, by myself (with the help of Betty Crocker).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An Outdoor Journal

I just finished reading Jimmy Carter's book, "An Outdoor Journal." I can't believe I read a book about fishing and bird hunting and enjoyed it! It makes me want to read his novel as he is such an easy to read author. Hubby went back out maple syruping yesterday and took some pictures of the trees being tapped, some are connected to tubing so that the workers don't have to carry so many buckets. The sugar shack is going full steam as you can see. A group of preschoolers came out to see a tree tapped and taste the sap.The Sugar shack. Sap is pumped from the lower tank to the upper tank and fed by gravity into the evaporator in the sugar shack.The evaporator is wood fired.Alittle help with the drill.
The sap is just barely sweet.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bacon and Eggs

Hubby does all of the cooking. Lately he has even expanded into desserts. He tried oatmeal cookies and bread pudding with a brandy sauce.(Then I wonder why I can't lose weight) Every morning he makes my coffee for me and the only time I cook is on Sunday morning when I make eggs for breakfast. That might have come to an end because Hubby bought two new gadgets, egg rings and a bacon press. We don't eat that much bacon but it did make the pieces nice and flat. The eggs were perfect but part of that might have been because he cooked them on the Teflon covered grill.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Downstairs Fair

Mom lives in an Erickson Home. They have them all over the country. Today they had a "Downstairs Fair", which meant the men's wood workshop was open as well as the room where people displayed their whittling, the art room and the room that had furniture and housewares donated to be sold by residents. There was a man who had whittled a branch of maple leaves on a plaque that was spectacular. He said he only sold one of his pieces and he regretted that, but he had given many of them away. Mom suggested that I make friends with him. In another room, a man, who had worked for Ford Motor Company as an illustrator, had paintings of "old" Detroit that were not for sale but I am sure would have brought a steep price. We also went to the model train room. I love model trains. One year Hubby bought me one and I would love to have a set up with buildings and all. I think I will have to wait for Martha to get her stuff out of the basement. At the fair I bought 3 little cordial glasses for a quarter a piece and a set of candlesticks for Thanksgiving that are a pilgrim couple.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Shillelagh Four Mile Run and Walk

Mary and I signed up for a 4 mile walk up in Flushing, Michigan next Saturday. Up to this point the longest walk we have done has together been 3 miles (Mary has done triathlons). I have been walking on the treadmill a mile a day during the week. This week twice I have been able to do my walking outside which I greatly prefer. On those days I do a mile and a half. In spite of my walking, three weeks now, I am not losing much weight. My tummy sticks out so much I am considering buying maternity clothes!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Love Mexican Food

Tonight we went to El Nibble Nook, a local Mexican restaurant. Not only do I love avocados, I love those crispy shells they use. I also like Margarita's. This one was quite potent, an Amy Margarita. My excuse for going there tonight was that I had left a scarf there the last time I was there. They had it in their lost and found.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sneaky Cats

The lady who does our hair has a Golden Retriever named Blazer but she says she doesn't like cats because they are sneaky. We have a cat, Arnold who is anything but sneaky. Every time he walks into a room, he howls to announce his presence. No sneaking here. If you look at him he mouths a silent "meow". If he wants to be petted he puts his paws, claws extended on your thigh. Not exactly subtle. If he is not sleeping he has to be right where I am. If I am in my craft room working on my table. He jumps from the chair to a low table, to the top of the dresser, to my table and lies down on whatever directions I am using. I must immediately move embroidery floss and I have learned to close the craft room door if I am cutting out a pattern. He also likes to shred paper, which is hard on directions or sewing patterns. But he is not sneaky, he does it right in front of you. At night he lies up close to me and if I wake up for an instant, he walks across my chest to look me straight in the eye as if to ask "Are we getting up now?" Now a Golden Retriever sheds a lot of hair but nothing like a cat. Cat's have an infinite supply of hair in spite of the fact that they leave it everywhere.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Too Little Time

I remember hearing an interview with Jimmy Carter where he was telling about how he loved to hunt and fish, build fine furniture, and he has also written several books. I am amazed that he can get so much done. I find myself buried in projects and it is not because my social calendar is as busy as Jimmy Carter's. Hubby has been busy in his spare time editing some videos. He finished the one of Cleo, Arnold and the mouse. It is on his blog Frenetic Felines, don't miss it. He has also been working on the video from our Panama Cruise which we took in 2007. Maybe if we got up a little earlier in the morning....

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Baby Blanket

I bought baby yarn and a pattern for a baby blanket from Michael's last week. The pattern was called Diamond Lace in a booklet called "So Sweet Baby Afghans." I always have trouble casting on and of course this calls for 175 stitches. A lot of the pattern included "P1 tbl" or "K2 tog tbl" which I find awkward. I did about 20 rows and my stitch count was wrong and I couldn't see the pattern, so I ripped it out. Last night I started over again. I was trying to complete 20 rows even though my arthritis in my wrist was saying "stop!" In the 20th row I dropped some stitches, still couldn't see the pattern and ripped the whole thing out again. I found another pattern on line for a baby blanket and I will try it today(after I take some Aleve). This pattern looks easier. When I was pregnant with my first child, some 42 years ago, I made a large blanket on No 3 needles with a complicated pattern( I don't remember those "tbl's in it though). Unfortunately I no longer have the blanket and can't remember what happened to it.