Mish Mash

I hope you liked the guest post about the shed/shop the other day!

It’s the 11th Day of Christmas today. I’m sitting at my desk listening to TSO, eating Christmas candy, and mooning over properties not purchased.

Why do I do this to myself? I do not have an answer. However, when I am mooning, I am not paying attention to the abysmal information found on Daily Wire.

So mooning is not all bad.

Tomorrow I will undecorate the house. It’s a mixed emotion day for me. On the one hand I am about over cats in the tree. On the other, I will miss the lights. But once the decorations are neatly put away (or stuffed carelessly into boxes), I plan on turning my attention to something fun.

Unlike painting trim.

Which I did yesterday:

I know, it’s super anti-climactic. Sort of like trim painting. During the 2-coats, there was only one cat accident. Havoc somehow managed to get her left whiskers covered in paint. I have to say, she was not pleased with the removal of said paint. I didn’t think she had the sass in her. But who are we kidding? If you grow up in this house, you get a little “salty” as the Kraken refers to it.

Speaking of kittens, they left this for us the other day:

My kitties are artists!

I’ll bet you thought I had a litter pan pic for you, didn’t you?!

I finally finished my sugar cane scarf:

I wasn’t gonna block it because I was really not happy with the way it felt, it was a little stiff and crunchy (not squeaky, Auntie!). I was dreading making anything with the other ball I have of the same yarn. But then I did a freeform blocking on it just to see if I could get more length out of it. After soaking it, the yarn became more soft. By the time this was dry I couldn’t wait to cast on the next project! It’s so soft and lovely! Because it’s more like a cotton, I made it lacey and more of an accessory than something to keep you toasty.

If it weren’t 75, and I wasn’t in shorts, I might have worn it on my errands this morning!

Over the weekend, or maybe Monday, the Hubs made butter. He is probably going to post about it, but I’m stealing his thunder.

He used this, Auntie gave it to us back in RI (I think maybe she hates us). It resurfaced a couple weeks ago and the Hubs wanted to give it a go. I’ll let him tell you all about it. Suffice to say there was cream and butter all over the place during the process! But there is actual butter as a result.

And last, but certainly not least, I went outside between raindrops yesterday and look what is happening in my new garden:

That, my friends, is a red potato! Well, not yet. We had given up on this because of the freeze last week. I guess this little guy has got a will to live! If the weather holds, it might yet produce.

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…

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.

Good at Something

Everyone is good at something. For some people, like the Hubs, he’s good at stuff he really likes.

It’s no secret, this pisses me off while greatly benefitting me.

What can I say, I’m contrary.

For me, I’m great at stuff I really don’t like to do. Like baking cookies.

Today I am baking macaroons for the Kraken. They are meringue-type cookies, so VERY delicate. I have told her repeatedly if I send them to her, she will receive dust. But the Hubs and I worked out a plan involving a rigid container and packing peanuts.

Side bar

Last night we were at Wal-Mart and I asked this kid if he knew where the packing peanuts were. I am not even exaggerating when I say he looked at me like I asked for a lightly grilled weasel. He had NO clue what a packing peanut even was.

I used to suspect, but now I’m certain I have landed on an alien planet.

How is it that everyone under 30 is well versed in every deviant behavior known to the devil, but the most basic things in the world are a mystery to them? Back in my grandmother’s day, you left school after the 8th grade and you knew how to survive. Now, you go to school until you’re 26 and yet you have Velcro on your sneakers because no one ever showed you how to tie a shoelace. How are these people still alive?

Anyway, back to my cookies. They go in the oven like this:

And come out like this:

I have not made these in a while, but I am starting to realize this is not gonna work. I made the next batch smaller, maybe that will help.

Because I have been jangly and annoyed all week for no good reason, I am starting to get pissed off at the Kraken for not baking these things herself! It’s not like she doesn’t have the recipe and ingredients! She’s made them with me. But she says those things a mom likes to hear, “They are much better when you make them!” Which is crap, I don’t do anything special. But even at 30 she has a hold over me.

Which pisses me off


Now I have to apologize to my own mother because she sends me cookies I can make but won’t. In my defense, she sends me bulletproof cookies that could make it here with just a stamp on the cookie itself. But they are OH SO YUMMY! And even more so when Mommy makes them!

Apparently, it’s hereditary

Here is what the cookies looked like all packed up:

I am hoping to get them in the mail this afternoon, or tomorrow morning. And then we wait and see what happens when they arrive. I shook the container, and it does not move, so maybe it will be a success.

I’m also sending her some sweet and spicy pecans:

Unless I end up sampling them all before they are cool enough to pack.

The Decorations

The inside of this sad house is decorated to celebrate Christmas. The lights are all on timers, so I don’t have to remember to turn on or shut off the lights. I find if I have to do it myself I get lazy and don’t. Then I get a little sad because I have wasted the season. I love the lights the most.

Shoot. I just remembered I wanted to put some lights in my bedroom. I forgot to set them up, and I’m out of timers.

Oh well

I’m gonna share my decorations. But be warned, they are not at all cohesive. I pretty much just emptied my bins and stuck things where they seemed to fit. I have always wanted to have a really beautiful well planned house for the holidays. I never do. It’s always haphazard and disjointed. But it’s cheery to us. So I guess it doesn’t matter if I’ll never make it into a magazine!

In my head, this is what my house looks like:

Classy, festive, cohesive, inviting, and beautiful.

Just like me

Ok, I did say, “in my head.” Honestly, I’m all about 10 miles of rough road. It’s who I am.

First there was unpacking:

This is what happens to Christmas in a Florida attic!

I edited the mantle, but it still needs some greens:

Which I found at the very bottom of a box:

Better, but still not great.

The tree:

And yes, I have been picking up ornaments all weekend. They still have not broken any, but it’s only a matter of time.

If you don’t have cats, this is the look of a VERY excited cat. He has been up in the tree, tangled in the lights, opening presents. This cat is enjoying the heck out of Christmas.

I sent this to Auntie last night and she said, “He’s high as a freaking kite.”

I keep expecting to hear the tree fall over.

We decided to decorate the bridge to nowhere since it’s still here:

I’ll probably throw some more decorations on top of it. And someday I’ll remember fondly how I decorated it while it was here.

Yeah, no I won’t.

I did the front door:

This is my standard since I really never met a wreath I liked enough to own. It’s kinda lame, but I don’t have much of an overhang, so I am not sure what to do out here. I was thinking a huge stack of wrapped boxes, but I’d need to find plastic wrapping paper. I think this year it will just remain lame. I’ll work at it for next year.

I have a lot of outdoor lights, but I have not strung the gutters with them. Maybe tomorrow while the Hubs is at work. When I asked if he wanted to do it, he said, “I’ll get you the ladder.” Which is not-so-code for “I don’t want to but you can.”

I’ll be working on that, too.

I put the smaller tree in the dining room, since those windows face front:

When the lights came on, we noticed the top was not lit. We spent a considerable amount of time trying to diagnose the problem, but in the end I just strung an extra set of lights.

Takeaway: Pre-lit trees are great. Until they are not. I think this is this tree’s last year of service. This house is just way too small for 2 trees anyway.

So there you have my decorating for this year. I have a box that will be donated this week. I figure if I can’t use it, maybe someone else can.

It’s December

Welcome to December! Last month of the year, we celebrate the birth of our King, and people are generally in a good mood. What is not to love?

To kick off the season, I made fudge today:

I’m gonna send some to Cat and hope she likes the kind with nuts!

I brought in some Christmas boxes:

I told myself I was going to bring it all in and use what I can in this house and donate the rest. When we were in the attic, I found myself on the steps saying, “No not that one…” a bunch of times! It wasn’t even December and I had already backed away from my plan.

In my defense, I was thinking I would not put ornaments on my tree because – kittens.

But yesterday I remembered it’s been about 3 Christmases since we left Richmond and for one reason or another, I have only put up a lighted tree and not much else.

And it’s been a little sad.

I’ve had about all the sad I can endure this year, so when the car leaves the garage, all the rest of the boxes are coming down. I’m doing both trees, ornaments, swag, the works.

Then this happened:

In Richmond I had a deep mantle, and I collected all these trees to fill it. It looked pretty good, too, But this here, it kinda looks like a perp walk at a local tree jail.

I’ll edit, futz with it, and see what I come up with.

I still am undecided on where to put the actual tree. The Hubs says in front of the fireplace, and with the tree line up happening, I’m inclined to agree! But I think I can find a better spot.

I’m listening to a randomized playlist of every piece of Christmas music I own. I have Pentatonix mixed in with TSO, the Nutcracker, Harry Connick, Jr, big band music, classical, pop, rock, and country. I wonder if I’ll get through the entire playlist this year.


I was outside yesterday doing yard stuff and I saw this:

I could not imagine what this was. It was too localized to be an accident, and when I went closer:

They seem to be dried peas. Seeds? But how did they get there? Did some enterprising squirrels make a pea dump? Will they be back later for them? Should I pick them up? Will that cause the perpetrator to starve over the long days of winter ahead? Did someone pour them over the fence? Why?

They are still there today, so I guess it wasn’t a squirrel. But why would someone do this? Every so often we find bottles or some piece of trash someone has thrown over the fence. But seeds? If I leave them will I have snap peas in the spring?

And finally, I have window news.

Tuesday the inspector came. And failed us pretty much immediately. After being assured it would not matter if the kitchen window weights weren’t here, that is what he failed us on!

I’m not gonna lie, I was kind of giddy about it.

On the other hand, if we never pass inspection, we can’t sell the house.

I waited til this morning to call the company.

My favorite person, Anisha, answered.

You know how there are really unpleasant people in the world? They can say “good morning” and it just sounds bitchy? Yeah, well, Anisha is one of those people. I put on my nice-as-pie voice and asked her if the weight was on order. She said “Of course it is.” And were the screens? Of course. And they’ll be out long before the 160 days til the permit runs out, and after they fix it all, they’ll schedule the inspection.

I thanked her and told her to have a wonderful afternoon.

What can I say, I’m a giver.

Of course I do not believe a word she said.