Beach Treasures

At the beach today, there was a really cool treasure:

Anyone know how to make this into some delish sushi?

Went to the beach Thursday to see what was happening:

It was beautiful, if a little rough:

A few people were there, but no one was swimming, or even surfing, which I found odd.

Today after lunch we went:

Today was a Hubs day, all overcast and forboding:

And rough. But we put our feet in just to say we did!

Wasn’t too bad. If I wasn’t such a wimp, I would do a polar plunge tomorrow. But, well, there’s people, and it’s chilly. There were some kids in the water today, so it can’t be that cold.

I spent the morning with a kitchen “designer” to try to get my kitchen project off the ground.

My 90 minute appointment lasted 3 hours and I came away with a REALLY expensive option. And it might be worse than what I already have. See, I have all this wasted space around the dishwasher that she just had to figure out. Her solution? Jam the sink against the wall and put in 2 $1,500 cabinets that move the wasted space from the edges to right smack in the middle.


How is this an option AT ALL?

I do need to cook in there at times. And wash dishes. How do you recommend I do that?

Needless to say, the hunt continues.

I’ve decided to drop back a bit. I am having someone come in sometime in January and he is going to take this out:

The bridge to nowhere and those 2 pillars will become a memory. All the uppers on the left will be gone, and open shelving will take their place.

I’m thinking the best option will be to live with that a while and then try to figure out what is the best way to get storage on the bottom. And a counter option. And a sink.

Gah. It’s too much for a holiday!!!


I hope no one gets caught like this:

Have a safe and happy evening!

Jim’s Dangerous Retards

I probably should not post today.

I’m having an epically shit day.

That is your warning, if you are sensitive to ANYTHING, stop reading right now.

I had a coupon that expires soon. After lunch, I headed off to do errands. I wasn’t feeling it.

I’m sitting at a light that JUST turned yellow, I look, no one is moving yet, so I go right. Next thing I know there is a biker about 6″ from my window, clearly pissed off.

To defend him, I’ll say I honestly have NO CLUE where he came from. And yes, it IS baking my noodle trying to figure it out. Anyway, he’s making gestures at me, swerving toward my car, matching my speed.

WTF dude? I did not see you, I’m sorry.

I pointed at my eyes and gave him a thumbs up.

I mean really, other than pointing my gun at him, WTF is he expecting?

He would not move on. Fortunately, I was turning pretty shortly. As I moved into the turning lane, he got into my lane with me and then sped off about 6″ from my car. What would have happened if I “accidentally” swerved into him and knocked him off his bike?

Asking for a friend.

Actually, I did consider it, Terminator style, while trying to think of what I should do.

Of course I was shaken. And pissed off. I considered going home and having a good cry.

But I knew if I did, I would pretty much never go out again. So I soldiered on. Not able to put this incident out of my mind.

When I got home and told the Hubs about it, he likened it to NPC characters in a video game that Jim calls “dangerous retards” because they do stupid things and always are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Come to think of it, I don’t know if he meant the biker or me.

While I’m at it…

Cat sent me a pic of a Christmas card she got. It’s from someone we’ve known since, let’s see… the Kraken was 3 when I met her, so a good 27 years.

My response was:

“Is she Dorian Gray?”

Because DAMN.

She looks EXACLTY like she did when I met her. Her husband looks like the grandpa he is. I guess when they go out, it’s Grandpa and his 4 daughters!

In case you’re wondering, I did use my coupon and got $6 off a gallon of paint. Painting starts again next week.

I got word last night that my kitchen project is getting off the ground in mid-January. I’m excited and not. Excited because my kitchen is tragic. Not excited because after it’s all said and done, my bank account will be tragic.

So Very Over

The ridiculous cold snap we’ve been enjoying is finally over. Currently it’s 58 degrees.

Yesterday we had a lovely Christmas day. It was fricking cold, but we went to the beach anyway. It was just stunning. Not windy, thankfully, so we were able to walk a ways. The water was calm, the beach was silent.

We drew in the sand for the people to come after us:

Which He certainly has!

And more beauty:

Last night the Kraken called and opened her stocking with me. It’s not quite the same, but it’s what we have. I am thankful for that. The Hubs joined us for the regular gift exchange. She seemed happy with her haul, that is one of my favorite things about her: She is very gracious.

It’s also my least favorite, because if I’m not looking at her, I cannot tell if she is “gracing” me!

I have tried to teach her grace with caveats so people don’t just assume she loves what she hates. But she resists. Which makes her a good dinner guest who has to sometimes eat liver.

Anyway, it was a quiet, reflective Christmas for us.

Today it’s a glorious day! As I said, it’s 58 degrees outside. So I took the opportunity to survey and mitigate the damage wrought by 3 days of freezing temps.

I do wonder if I had covered this if it would have fared better.

Hostas do NOT Like to be chilly!

I guess the name “Mexican Petunia” should have clued me in it would not like to be left in the cold! I do know it self-sows, so I cut it down and am ever hopeful it will shake this off and come back in the spring.

I uncovered the fig and mint and found this:

The mint seems OK, the garlic looks happy, and the fig will probably be OK. So the trash can cover worked out pretty well for these three. I lost the potted peppermint, but the spearmint did fine. I cut them down to give them a rest in hopes they will come back in a few months. The plan is to put them in the ground, so it will be helpful to know how they might fare going forward.

Here is the cleaned up hibiscus and azalea:

Other than dead flowers, the azalea looks no worse for the wear.

I took out all the damaged plants, raked up the debris and filled a trash can with pine needles, sticks, and leavings.

Overall I think my gardens did well in spite of the lack of prep on my part!

I got word from Auntie, she loves her shawl! I have asked her to send a pic of it, so maybe that will come soon and you can see my masterpiece! Because for some stupid reason, I didn’t take a pic of it while it was blocking so I could share the whole thing. This is all I have:

Anyway, she says it’s long enough and she likes the fabric. I really hope she is not just being graceful!

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to take a moment to wish all three of you a very Merry Christmas!

I hope this Santa visits you:

And not the one that’s gonna visit us:


Merry Christmas everyone!

Twenty Degrees

It’s happening. Tomorrow when I wake up it’ll be like 30 degrees, and then it will fall throughout the day. That’s weird, right? Doesn’t it usually get colder while you sleep? I guess that is par for the course in Upside Down World where we all now live.

Of course my azalea is in full bloom. Mother Nature will take care of that, won’t she?!

I gathered my small mints and huddled them, the garlic, and the fig tree in a vain attempt to keep them all a little warm over the next few days:

It’s supposed to be sunny tomorrow, so maybe that will warm up the bin and in turn heat up the tenants inside and save them from freezing.

Or it will kill them all.

I got some joy in the mail this afternoon:

I saw this in a picture Auntie sent me, then she alerted me last week to a half price sale and that was all I needed! I’m totally copying her, but since no one will come from her house to mine this year I think it’s fine.

While I was out, I picked up Deadpool 2 from the library. The librarian quipped, “Nothing says Christmas!”

I kinda wish people were this funny all year round!

I went to the beach to get my fix, because I don’t think we’ll be going for Christmas this year. I’m a little sad about that, but not sad enough to walk the beach in 20-some degree weather! But who knows, we’ve done sillier things.

The first thing that struck me was the tide line:

Those marks are really high. Even during storms I have not seen it quite so far up the beach.

There was hardly anyone there, just 2 people picking up shells. There wasn’t really even very many shells to be seen.

The sky looks pretty angry:

It looks like rain at the horizon. You can’t see them, but there was a couple pelicans diving for the their lunch out there. I saw only one plover today, I guess he drew the short straw to bring lunch back to the flock!

The Gulf is a very pretty color right now:

I didn’t think I’d ever love the color of this water like I love the color of the Atlantic in November, but I have to say, this is certainly growing on me!

I came across this the other day:

Years ago my mom sent this to me.

Yep, it’s hereditary.

Baking Noodles

I went out this morning to finish my grocery shopping. And buy booze – it’s Boozeday afterall.

I started at the liquor store and picked up 4 bottles. The cashier put 2 in each plastic bag and then said, “Hold them by the bottom, I don’t trust these bags anymore.”

She may as well have said, “JINX!”

Like in the Matrix:

Will the bag break because she said that? Or will I break the bag because she said that?

I really don’t like it when people issue warnings like that. Not that I hate when people try to be nice, or share the benefit of their experience, it’s just that when someone says something like that, it almost guarantees shit is going down.

And today it happened. As I am leaving the store juggling 4 bottles, one POPS out of the bag, I’m trying to catch it, or at least break its fall. It’s actually airborne, and I’m trying not to drop the other 3 while I attempt to catch the 4th. It all happened in slo-mo, and of course no one was looking. While this bottle spun away from me I somehow managed to channel my inner Tom Cruise (we are about the same height):

It was a Christmas miracle! I actually caught the bottle! Without dropping the others!

Consider my noodle baked.

In the grocery store I was pretty much singing my way through my list. People around here think I’m a crazy person. It’s fine, at least they are kind to me. I was able to find 92% of the items on my list, and score a big 2-meal pork butt for under $10. I love it when that happens!

Side note… if you have never made a pork butt, you are missing out on one of the most yummy hunks of meat ever. Ask me for the recipe I use, it’s spectacular!

In case you’re wondering, the Hubs’ cookies came out well:

They are a little big, but he said they taste yummy. I’m sure next time he makes them, they will be perfect.

Big Sister alerted me to the deep freeze coming my way. Something like, you know when they open warming centers it’s gonna be in the 40s, better protect your plants! I know, it’s not funny, but something about a warming center just cracks me up. I did check the weather, and tomorrow night it’s going down into the 20s. Which makes me have all kinds of feelings, like, “That’s a mild day in January in New England.” and, “My rain barrel is 3/4 empty, do I need to take action?”

Usually, I defer to the Hubs on these matters, he is not given to panicky feelings. He did suggest emptying the rain barrel, but the minute we got home, it started to rain. So that’s on my schedule for tomorrow. I’m wondering if I should cover my fig tree with a bucket or not. I guess I’ll decide when I am outside tomorrow. It is a 2-night event, so it might be worth it.

Our next-door’s have listed their house. I don’t really know them, but I wanna ask, “Is it the shed?”

Which has me thinking, I really need to do some funky artwork on that eyesore…

I know I swore of projects for the holidays, but it’s kinda killing me. I’ve been shopping for lighting. And a kitchen sink. And a faucet. And researching open shelving. And trying to figure out the best way to handle all the wasted space under my counters.

I wonder if there is a group I should join…

Gardening in December

How weird is that? But, I think we have found the sweet spot for enjoyable yard work. Yesterday while the Hubs mowed…

Yes, mowed.

I finished up what I started Friday. I went out in the morning and weeded both front gardens thoroughly. I got a fairly respectable pile of weeds. I guess I haven’t been keeping up with it too well! I cut back the plants that needed to go to bed for the winter and trimmed up the rest.

Saturday I hauled bricks into the front and then set to work.

We started like this:

And finished like this:

And then I ran around the yard and took some rough measurements to get a handle on how much mulch I need to order. My notes looked like this:

In a perfect world, the Hubs will be able to look this over and say, “Yes, a ton of mulch is what you’ll need.” In my world, he’ll say, “Enjoy moving it.”

And that’ll be fun, too

My mommy sent me cookies, and they arrived yesterday:

A huge unexpected pack of all my favorites! The Hubs was sad because she did not send Russian tea cakes. My feeling is if they don’t have chocolate or coconut in them, they are not Christmas cookies. But he likes them. Of course he also likes thumbprint cookies (which he’ll be making this afternoon), so there is no accounting for taste.

As I write this, he is installing a new fan in the living room. Let me know if you don’t think it’s an improvement.

Here is the old one:

And part of the new one:

I’m already seeing a vast improvement!

Definitely better! It’s nearly impossible to find a fan with a light kit that isn’t super ugly, this one is not perfect, but at least better than a boob light. Since I hardly ever turn it on, it doesn’t really matter much. It’s quiet and not wobbling, so that’s a point in the win column!

The old one is going out to the shed to hopefully provide some air movement.

We finished up the connection yesterday and now there is power in the shed. The Hubs has some more he wants to finish, but then he will regale all my dear readers with his exploits. I will issue a spoiler alert: We managed to avoid this:

Two Whole Days

That is how long I was alone this week. The Hubs had meetings he had to appear in person to attend.

Weird, right? Does anyone go anywhere in person anymore?

So I had 2 days in the house alone. I was thinking I would dig deep into some project or other.

But it rained both days. And it was hot.


I did manage to pack up the Kraken’s stocking. There was a lot more than I expected! I was able to stuff the whole box and not use filler. Today I took it to the UPS store where the clerk recognized me and asked how the cookies traveled.

I think I’ve been mailing too much lately!

During a lull in the rain, I went out to look stuff over.

I noticed this hole:

It doesn’t look like something dug it. But it does look like my gutter basin has failed here and will need some adjusting.


I’m starting to think I need some sort of water runoff expertise to get these stupid gutters to stop digging random holes in my yard. I might cheat and buy a couple plastic splash basins and then cover them up. At least it would get the holes a little farther from the walls.

One of my new azaleas is blooming:

I find this odd, but it must think it’s fall. And damn, I really need to weed this garden!

This hibiscus is going crazy:

I’m thrilled by its progress, I have had such poor showings by most of the products I ordered. I didn’t really want this here, so I may dig it up and relocate it at some point. I do need to finish edging this part of the garden and get mulch for it. I am planning rubber mulch for the whole yard, but in order to be cost effective, I have to order 75 cubic feet. I am not sure that will be an exorbitant amount or not enough. I do know it weighs a ton, literally. I guess I have to do some measuring and see what I actually need. I am hopeful it will be effective at weed control.

Here is what the dining room garden looks like so far:

It and the front lawn really need some work!

It was beautiful and 60 degrees out today. Was I out there working on it?


In other news…

Auntie sent me my favorite kind of package:

I get to pick patterns and then knit up something great!

I’m working on these right now:

The pink one requires little attention, so it’s great for mindless progress, but it’s so boring! The teal one is a 12-row repeat and requires me to sometimes actually pay attention. I might send it to Big Sister because she likes the color. But I’ll wait for her to weigh in on whether she wants it or not. The yarn is cotton and silk so it’s not great for a snowy winter walk to the library, but it’s perfect for looking fabulous while out running errands on a cold day!

When they are not tearing up Christmas, this is how the Wild Ones spend their afternoons:

Looks like Mayhem won the bed this afternoon! I can finally sometimes tell them apart. Havoc is fluffy and more round faced. Mayhem has sleeker fur and a more sculpted face.

They are just about 7 months old now and are no longer on the same schedule. Havoc sleeps way more than Mayhem. He still sleeps on the bed at night, but she does not always. They are both getting really good at the pop out game. Sometimes I’ll walk through the kitchen and one of them will jump up and grab onto my leg. It’s not really popping out, but it’s still funny. They try to pop out on each other and give each other fat tail. Well, she gets fat tail, he gets medium tail.

We’re coming up to the last weekend before Christmas. Are you ready?

Cookies vs Dust

As you recall, I sent the Kraken cookies. They were slated to arrive on the 14th. If I wanted them to be delivered in 2-3 days, it was gonna cost $54! Uh, yeah, love the kid, but that’s just plain highway robbery. Not doing that.

I chose the $13/Wed delivery option.

Let’s just call it what it is. I’m cheap. Hold that for a moment.

Yesterday the Kraken texted me that she got the package! Score! I saved $41 and got what I wanted. You gotta love it when that happens!

This was one of her texts:

“I’m surprised you gave up so many bags.”

The “Herr Juden” was implied. And it cracked me up. Almost enough to temper my disappointment that she didn’t squeal with delight when she opened the package.

A little background, she used to squeal with delight over all kinds of things when she was a pup. It was somewhat like nails on a chalkboard, but God help me, I miss it because she once knew unadulterated joy. I supposed we all did at one time. Before life kicked the crap out of us. I think with Christmas on the horizon, not being able to spend time with her is making me wish life didn’t kick her so hard. I wanted to hear her squeal with delight.

If she reads this, she will say, “There, there little Mommy. I’m still excited to get cookies.”

That will have to be enough.

Anyway. Enough about my sad little feelings.

This is how they left:

This is how they arrived:

Overall, it was a lot more successful than I had anticipated. But I don’t think I’ll be doing that again! Would not want her to be able to predict me.

I started a new scarf yesterday:

I wanted something simple and airy. This yarn is made from sugarcane. I love finding unusual yarns to knit!

It has come to my attention that there is a group that makes a calendar of projects they want to do over the course of the year. This totally fascinates me. People plan projects! I rummage around in my yarn drawer til I find something I want to use. Then I spend hours pouring through patterns before I finally find something interesting. I really thought everyone did that! I was looking at one lady’s schedule and I nearly got hives because it reminded me of a work project schedule, complete with requirements and impossible deadlines. Gah, how I hated that life.

Her version was a thing of beauty, however, so organized and focused. I thought I might try one. But in the rainy light of the morning, I have changed my mind.

It seems like a lot of work.

I’ll stew on it and see.

One thing that impressed me is the level of difficulty. She’s been knitting only a few years and she makes all sorts of things I’ve never even tried. I mean, I knit the Hubs a sweater once, but it’s still in pieces because I can’t bring myself to try and stitch it together. I really should stop at my local yarn shop and see if they will help me along.

But it’s social, sitting and knitting with a group. That’s just a lot of stress for me.

On the other hand, I’ve been looking into joining a newcomers group. They go places to introduce you to the town and restaurants and festivals and whatnot. I’m such a social retard I can see myself standing off to the side and sitting by myself. In reality I know I will choose someone and glom onto them, but what if I choose poorly and then get stuck with someone I don’t like?


I should just make a project schedule.

Not Thirty

You know what really sucks? When you come face to face with the fact you are not what you once were.

Yesterday I dug a trench so the hubs can bury a cable to get power to the shed.

Today I hurt in places I forgot I even had.

It really sucks getting old. It sucks a LOT.

On the upside, the trench got dug:

It’s about 30′ long and a foot deep. Some of it was sand, which was its own kind of pain, the sides kept caving in. But some of it was some kind of petrified rock. Not sticky like clay, just a booger to dig out. I also found one of the lines for the sprinklers. Fortunately, I was on my hands and knees so there was no way to break the line. Small blessings!

Today we buried the cable. The Hubs is gonna do a guest post to share all the joy this little project entailed. Suffice to say, it’s not yet over. When we were ready to hook into the house power, it started to rain.

In other news, I finished the Neighbor Blanket. I got the new yarn on Tuesday and finished it up Thursday.

It came out pretty nice:

The color looks really weird in the Christmas lights!

But here is a better representation:

The yarn is a cotton/acrylic blend, which is never my first choice, but it makes it a bulletproof choice for a baby. This pattern is one I make often, it’s easy and it looks really nice in a variety of yarns.

I started this last night:

Actually, I started it Thursday, but decided it was too wide and ripped it out to re-jig it. This yarn is cotton/silk which is much nicer to work with.

We planted a couple of potatoes yesterday, It’s an experiment, but we are hopeful they will be happy and grow. We have enjoyed pretty good luck with potatoes in the past, but here everything we already know is getting relearned. Will be nice if we can get some favorites to grow reliably. I’m gonna try some herbs, I saw thyme at the Home Depot yesterday and it looked really full and healthy. Yes, I should have bought a few, but I’m a little short on space now that potatoes are here. I’ll have to dig another plot, and quite honestly since I just realized I’m no longer 30, I don’t want to do it.

But I will because I want fresh herbs more than I care about being old.

It’s supposed to rain for the foreseeable future. But it’s better than ice the Kraken will get later this week. The Hubs is in meetings at work all week, plus rain equals a potentially crap week for me.

I’ll be blasting Angry Christmas Music (better known as TSO) to help stave off any sadness that threatens to creep in. I might do a little insulating if I get particularly bored. I might bake. I might just binge-watch Castle and knit.