Thursday, January 31, 2008

Great Cranberry Bread

My friend Rishi asked in a comment yesterday how the bread turned out. I'll show you. Here's what's left of the loaf. It's very good.

For breakfast I had a slice. I sprinkled cinnamon sugar on it and put it under the broiler. Wish computers had smells capacity. It smelled as good as it tasted.

I took Tony to work today. The sunrise was beautiful. Granny Sue always has the best candid shots on her blog. I'm not much of a photographer, but I did pull into a parking lot and snapped this.
It would probably have been better if I had gotten out of the car, but hey, it's in the 20s here today. So excuse the steering wheel, etc. and what passes as urban sprawl in Johnson City.
Some housekeeping stuff...I changed some setting yesterday and made it where everyone who reads my blog can make a comment. I'm not even sure if there are many who do read it, so I figure I won't get much spam.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Making bread

Today seems like a good bread making day. When I first bought the bread machine in 1999 I used it a lot. Then what with work and all, it sat. I pulled it out a few weeks ago and made a great basil loaf. Then it went back in the cupboard. But today seems like a good day for a nice sweet bread. So hopefully in a few hours the house will smell great and there will be a cooling loaf of cranberry bread waiting to slice.

So now I wait.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Spring will come

I wrote on my Facebook page today that I was feeling content. Well, yeah, but I could use some Spring. It's 26 degrees outside. I'd love some singing birds, blooming flowers, warm breezes, and bright green leaves.

This will have to do for another few months. I pulled it back out this morning. It sits on a shelf behind the toilet.

There's a little waterfall that you really can't see too well.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dark Night

7:45 pm. Jeopardy was going to commercial. Next up was Double Jeopardy. The lights flickered. Then the went off for a couple of seconds and back on. Then darkness. The temperature outside was in the teens. We waited to hear the sirens. Usually when this happens someone ran into a pole. This time there was silence. The grocery store down the road was dark, so we knew we just didn't forget to pay the bill. LOL

So here we sat. The only light came from the screens of our laptop. In the dark, getting colder, no electricity and yet, we still could be on the web. It's a little of a mind boggler.

The candles and oil lamps were lit. The fragrances for 5 different candles melded into an interesting blend. It was a good smell. We called friends to see if they had power. Yep.

Time passed and still the batteries held in the laptops. Friends called to invite us to stay if the outage continues or just to come over for a drink. We were already in our pj's, so we declined the drinks, but kept the invitation to stay open.

Batteries started to die. So long outside world.

DH starts calling the power board. That is what they said to do on their website. "Call us if you are experiencing an outage." They don't say anyone will answer. The oil lamp came a little closer and the knitting was pulled out.

Here we sat listening to the power board tell us they are experiencing a high volume of calls, knitting continuing and it's getting colder.

Finally a real person answers. No, they don't know when the power will be restored. They are working very hard.

10 or 15 minutes later light flooded the room, the TV showed a commercial, and the blessed sound of the furnace blower filled the air.

All in all, it was a pretty good night. And we were in much better shape than those power board workers out in the cold. Thanks guys and gals. You did good. Now can you do something about your answering service?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Winter Weather

It's snowing here in East TN. It's also cold and the temperature is going down. Black ice was the phrase of the day on all the news stations. We have stones in our walkway. Each one is a little ice covered stone. I don't go out on days like this. I'm not afraid to drive. Having lived as long as we did in the Ohio snow belt taught me a lot about icy and snowy driving. No, I don't go out because I have no assurance that the other drivers have the same driving skills I possess. And I'd rather not find out that they don't.

So here I sit. I have homemade chicken noodle soup in the crock pot. I pulled out the bread machine so we'll have some fresh bread to go with the soup. And I'm experimenting with a puff pastry fruit thing for dinner. I'll let you know how that comes out.

I'm almost finished with a scarf to match my new hat and have started a hat for a friend who is in the local rehab hospital. He had a stroke and is having to re-learn lots of things. He's a good man. I'm hoping he'll be needing a hat when the weather gets a little warmer and he's able to go outside.

The sun is now out and it's still snowing. Got to love east TN weather.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It's a Dirty Job

I'm a fan of Dirty Jobs on Discovery Channel. I get a kick out of all the ways Mike Rowe can get dirty. But the thing I really like is the way it shows ordinary people doing their job. The magazine Fast Company has a great article about the history of the show. You can read the article at

Here's a quote from it.

In his surprising second act, Rowe finds himself unexpectedly embracing a value
system built around work, a kind of morality of labor. "This show is really
about balance," he declares. People who do dirty jobs tend to "work hard and
be pillars of the community. They're happy outside of work." So taking on
subjects that don't reflect those themes doesn't sit well with him. "The
celebration of work, and the mixing of pain and fun--that's what it's all
about," he says. "It's the Puritan work ethic repackaged as a deliberate way
of living."

I like that.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'm the Queen

No, not the writer of this blog. Heavens, I haven't been the queen for years. No, here's the queen.

Her name is SissyAnn. We have belonged to her for 3.5 years. She allows us to sleep in her bed (see above). She allows us to feed her and take care of her daily needs. Fortunately she is easily entertained. Unfortunately we didn't find that out until we had brought many store bought toys to her. She turned up her nose at most of them. A plain white piece of crumpled paper though will send her into a state of frenzied happiness.

She will be featured more in blog postings, if only her pictures.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I'm shrinking. No, I'm not losing weight. I wish that were so. My story on that subject is it's the meds. Everything I'm on has a side effect of gaining weight. Heck, I didn't even lose weight on chemo. So I'm blaming the meds and I'm sticking with that.

No, I seem to be shrinking other things. The shower curtain was the second thing in a month that I shrunk.

I bought some yarn in Little Rock when we were there for Christmas 2005. My sister has asked me several times if I ever made the hat from that yarn. It was the perfect match for my winter njacket. This past Nov. I pulled it out and knitted my hat.
I took a picture for posterity. That's my first bear, Teddy modeling it. I wasn't very original with names at 3 or 4 years of age.

It hasn't been very cold here yet, so I only wore it a few times. (I can tell, you already know what's coming.) I wore it to our At Home With Santa day. Our Kiwanis booth was on the porch of the Visitor's Center. We made cotton candy for the kids. I was practically covered in the pink sticky stuff. When I finished my shift, my jacket, gloves and hat went into the washing machine.

Oops, that hat was made of wool yarn. Oh my, what a cute little thing it became. Even Teddy can't wear it now. But Kent (i.e. Kent State) now has warm ears.

I've since knitted myself new hat and this time it's made out of washable yarn. Sigh! They say things come in threes. Maybe my butt will be next to shrink.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Shower Curtain

When we moved our bedroom from upstairs to down, I bought a new shower curtain for the bathroom. I went to a big box home improvement store and found a white waffle designed cotton curtain. The lighting isn't that great in there so I wanted plain white.

This past Monday I decided it was CLEAN the bathroom day. That means scrubbing, polishing and lots of laundry. I washed all the mats, rugs and curtains. Now I have to ask a question. Have you ever read the label on your fabric shower curtain? I haven't. I should have.

When I put it back up it had become a table cloth for a small table. I read the label...Dry clean only. DRY CLEAN ONLY?? Who dry cleans a shower curtain. Who would make a curtain that needs it. Gee.

So since Monday, the bathroom looks like this.

Now the liner serves it's purpose, But I'm not crazy over a per chance glimpse in the mirror. I might just quit taking showers. And I don't want to go searching for another curtain.

Here's my thought and I need some advice...

I ended up with a quilt top that my mother made.

I don't have a clue how old it is. I don't recognize any of the fabrics. It's at least 54 years old. (Am I giving anything away?) The original plan for it was to of course make it into a quilt. But I'm not a quilter. So I'm thinking about putting some backing on it, running a piece along the back to hang on a tension rod, finish off the sides and make it into a shower curtain. If I do, you can be sure that next time I WILL dry clean this one.

So do you think it's a good idea? I need help!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The meaning of the name

I've joined the 21st century and become a blogger. Actually I was already a blogger, but it was for a group I belong to and we were trying to keep a sweet cat boy alive.

Now, it's for me (and hopefully you).

So about the favorite saying is, "Don't sweat the small stuff." and the axiom of that is "Everything is small stuff." That my words to live by. Now I know that "everything" (war, death, disease, violence, meanness, etc.) is not "small stuff." It's big stuff. And when a big stuff comes into my life I treat it as just that. However, I try to let the annoyances, the bad things that can become OK things, and similar life occurrences stay "small stuff."

One of my most loved wall hangings is a picture given to us by Christ Presbyterian Church when we left for SC. I had been the Clerk of Session for many years as well as the Director of Christian Education. Charlie, who was the CE committee chair asked me one day before I left what my favorite saying was. I think he expected me to give a Bible reference. I said "Don't sweat the small stuff...and everything is small stuff." On the Sunday they gave us a goodbye reception, we were given this

How cool is that. Come to find out, it was Charlie's wife who did the painting. It has hung in every workplace since then and now in our home office. I love it.

So you know how the name came about. What is next? I guess we will both find out.