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No crafting going on here, I got Nora Roberts' "Year One" at the library. Ugh, not liking it but I will finish (basically an apocalypse book like Stephen King's "The Stand".) If she does a follow-on book I probably won't read it. Enjoy whatever you're doing!
 

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Winter would be a good time for staying inside and crafting...except that I work full time. So I have to commute back and forth in the cold. I have the option of using one of my vacation days to stay home. I can't do that all winter though. Today was kind of tempting, but I came in anyway. I will do it sometimes if we have a big snow or icy roads because the buses can get pretty messed up.

Personality wise, I am kind of a homebody. In practice I am not because I have to work four or five days a week. I do go to a lot of museums, but they are literally just a few blocks from where I work.
 

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CH, my friend is retired and he and his wife like to go for long weekends to different places. A lot of those places involve quilt shops for her. He likes to do Dutch oven cooking and take naps and stuff like that. It works for them. Sometimes it's just a change of scene and getting away that's the attraction, not so much going to somewhere interesting. I expect if I can figure out the best way to do it, I'll take along a sewing machine sometimes. It will not be when we're traveling very far though. Those are the trips that are all about experiecing different places. I spent a lot of time ripping wedding gowns apart on our last trip to Spearfish a couple years ago. Our goal on that trip was to act like we were already living there, in an attempt to decide if we did want to live there. Plus I had to cram some gigantic gowns into a much smaller space and it helped to be able to flatten all the poofy parts. It was actually nice to sit outside and do that job. We also know people who bring along smokers as big as a washing machine (Texas and Oklahoma friends) and people like me who have been known to drag along a couple hundred pounds of iron to do Dutch oven cooking (different Texas but same Oklahoma friends.) It's fun to do the usual in an unusual setting sometimes. :)

Yup, definitely soup weather here, too. I'm going to put something in the Crock later.

I hope you can avoid the worst of that bad storm out there, Kathy. It sounds like it could be devastating. Stay safe.

Our snow guy was just here and plowed. I love the snow guy. I'm not sure which snow guy it is or if it's a different snow guy, but I still love the snow guy. :)

Not sure of my agenda today. I might remove the front part of the shelf in the pot rack so I can move the mixer to its new spot and see if we like it there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
I need to do some kitchen cleaning but don't want to do anything today. At all. I guess I need to get over that.

The last two containers I bought were from eBay where I found a better price than Amazon. One was shown as delivered. ?? Not here. Stolen? This morning I got around to looking at the full tracking and it was sent to Oregon. I have a note out to the seller. The other one is confusing. In my purchases list it shows as "removed" and that is a total dead end. I went back to my email trash to retrieve the shipped notification. The tracking there shows it is now in Mesquite TX. ?? If so, it should be here tomorrow or Saturday. I don't often have these sorts of problems with eBay. It's weird that there two at once.

I almost finished putting the floss on bobbins last night. It won't take long to finish that up today. Then I will start arranging it in boxes. It's in two sets - the misc cotton floss and the cotton polyester blend floss. I'll arrange these by color. I don't have numbers for most of the cotton, and the Indian sourced Anchor is not always an exact match. That is fine and gives me extra subtle shades. The cotton polyester has numbers but they are irrelevant. It will be more useful in color sequence. Organizing all that will take some time and I need to do it during the day when I have the best light. I will probably do the cotton this afternoon and not finish up the winding on the other until tonight.
 

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It was sunny this morning but now it's not. Today started out more exciting than it needed to be. I set my hair on fire while brushing my teeth. We keep a candle in the bathroom for reasons, and my hair just slid over my shoulder and right into the flame. I screamed and fortunately DH is home sick and was there in 2 seconds to help put it out. A big handful came off, but I don't think it is going to look bad. There's so much of it left. My hairdresser will be amused next time I see her.

Trying to get rid of the smell....

Going to do some sewing, might have pictures later.
 
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What Kathy said. It's extra nice your hair doesn't even look bad. Wow, fire. That could have been way bad.

I've gotten absolutely nothing done today. Mostly I've been thinking about retirement. Husby would like to retire now, but I don't see how that's possible. Does anyone have advice about how to find a financial planner?
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
CH - how terrifying! I am so glad you're ok.

SD - I don't know about a financial planner. Does your bank offer the service? They would doubtless try to sell your on their products, but you are savvy enough to sift that out. Do you have a lawyer you have used? Maybe you could get a recommendation from him/her. Others may have more experience with this.

I did make myself do some in the kitchen and just now I put potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots into the oven to bake.

All the containers arrived today so I am set to finish up that last sorting. It will be good to get the last stash out of its temporary containers and be definitively finished.
 

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DC, glad to hear you are close to finishing the big sorting project.

The hair that caught fire was behind my ear on the side. I had a bunch of it pulled up into a clip in back. Once that is let down, you won't be able to see where it is shorter. DH says it looks a little thin but not bad. I am so glad my clothing did not catch fire.

I sewed a block today, to see how it would go together. My friend and I got talking and no more work got done. I let her play with my machine and she enjoyed it.



This is the orange and pink fabric I'm using. I think it is horrible, but it's trendy so I'm sure someone will think it wonderful.



Hope those of you on the east coast are ok. The pictures look pretty bad from here.
 
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CH - shaking head. You need a hurricane glass or something. Fortunately the snow was east of me, we got maybe 1" and the schools closed and government said 2 hr delay so traffic was very light. It is back to cold & windy though. My car looks dreadful from the salt all over. Hoping I can finish Nora's Apocalypse nightmare tonight and move onto a nicer book for the weekend.
 

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No crafting going on here, I got Nora Roberts' "Year One" at the library. Ugh, not liking it but I will finish (basically an apocalypse book like Stephen King's "The Stand".) If she does a follow-on book I probably won't read it. Enjoy whatever you're doing!
I was looking at that the other day and put it down. I didn't buy it then because it was hard cover and I tend not to buy fiction in hard cover. I might take another look at it but I'm actually surprised it was in the regular fiction section and not the science fiction/fantasy section, given what I remember seeing when I glanced through it.

Anyway, I spent most of yesterday (Thursday) working on my friend's afgan. It's coming along and almost covers my lap. Work was closed due to the snow. We got probably around 4-5 inches but the main thing was the wind. That caused some really limited visibility so I'm glad I didn't have to go in. Even if/when they plowed, the wind ended up blowing the snow back over the road so there are some really nasty sections that you have to keep an eye out for. The really cold snap coming in today isn't going to help matters.

Found my down comforter. I shoved that away since I tend not to use that much. I used it a few times when I first got it (I think it was a present) but ended up getting too hot. I like using the afgans I make (and the occasional lightweight fleece blanket) since I can control how warm it is by pulling on or off how many I have. That and I got used to the weight of them. The down comforter is really light. But, given how cold it's supposed to get, I'll probably end up using it the next couple of days. So now I'm glad I didn't get rid of it.
 

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CH - shaking head. You need a hurricane glass or something. Fortunately the snow was east of me, we got maybe 1" and the schools closed and government said 2 hr delay so traffic was very light. It is back to cold & windy though. My car looks dreadful from the salt all over. Hoping I can finish Nora's Apocalypse nightmare tonight and move onto a nicer book for the weekend.
I am in the same general area, but on the Maryland side of DC. So it was about the same for us. I would not have thought of us as being lucky with regard to this frigid weather...but compared to the snow storms both north and south of us, I guess we got pretty lucky.
 

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D, we wouldn't trust either of our banks. We're counting the minutes till we can get rid of both of them. We've asked around at other banks we like better, but no luck. We should call our lawyer. We know they don't do financial planning but maybe she knows someone.

CH, I'm so glad your FACE didn't catch fire! Beautiful work on the quilting as always. Those pink and orange colors and prints remind me of the late 1960s styles, especially the top two. Everything old is new again.

Ren, good progress on the afghan! Now's the time you need a good project like that to stay warm while you work, especially if you're lacking a cat, AKA vibrating heat generator. I'm with you about down comforters. I love them in theory but they're just too hot for me. I do the same as you, use several lighter blankets so I can adjust heat as needed.

DLR, cars here are salt-gray all winter. We avoid washing them because then the doors and windows and latches freeze up. We couldn't get the tailgate on the truck to thaw out one year using lock de-icer and had to bring the dang thing in the house to let it defrost. The tailgate, not the truck. :D It's been so cold here lately the salt they use to de-ice the roads isn't working. We have to laugh at the national weather people who ooohhh and aaahhhh about the wind chill of minus 30 to minus 45 at International Falls, which isn't far from here. They call that extraordinary. We call it Thursday. It's all in your perspective. Not to say it's pleasant weather, but we're ready for it because it's not that unusual. Glad to hear you didn't get the worst of it out there. The footage from the northeast and even places in the south looked horrible, and it's ten times worse in places where people aren't ready for it.

I hated The Stand. It was so ridiculous if it's the one I'm thinking of. IIRC, the female character was worried about how she would be able to wash 'skid marks' out of her boyfriend's underwear (like that's even her responsibility) in a world gone crazy where they're supposedly worrying about how to survive, and they also kept finding all these abandoned grocery stores that somehow magically had things like fresh lettuce in them two weeks after a massive power failure. Forgive me if I'm wrong, I read the book years and years ago and I might have it confused with a different book. But I do recall I didn't like that book. I'm good at suspending belief in the interest of entertainment, but there's a limit.

I jumped out of bed today all revved up to start playing around with the two base cabinets I'm repurposing for my new craft table. I think I have it figured out. It's currently 2x4, and I'll make it bigger, to something like about 3x6.5. That should be a nice size that doesn't take up the whole room. To support the extra foot of tabletop, I'll build shelving under that part. We need that to store canned goods for dog food. The former sink base still needs a backer, but I checked on that and the frame is already dadoed so I can just cut a piece of luan and tack it in place. Easy! I'm planning to use the sink base for kitchen things like the big roaster I use once a month, spare 12 packs of pop, the jerky cannon, maybe some home-canned foods, etc. I'm going to try to avoid putting sewing stuff in it, although I might use one or two of the seven drawers in the two cabinets just for spare stuff, so I don't have to run to the sewing room for every little thing. This table will be standard counter height, so perfect for cutting and won't kill my back. :partyhat4: I've missed that since I had to give up my cutting table when we moved out of the house in town. The top will be a stacked construction with a piece of luan topped by a piece of vinyl flooring with a piece of masonite underneath. I used to cut canvas using a utility knife and just slice through the fabric down to the masonite. Of course that ruins the masonite over time, but it's cheap and easily replaced. The two tops will be loose in a frame so they don't shift around, but can be swapped with each other as needed. I've REALLY missed being able to cut canvas with a knife. It's too time consuming and painful to use a scissor. Costs should be minimal for this project. I'll need to buy a comfortable bar stool that swivels, so I'm on the hunt for that. I'm hoping I either have the lumber for the new shelving or will be able to salvage it in the spring. I know I have a piece of OSB for the top. That will be attached and made like a giant shallow tray, framed all around so when the luan and masonite are dropped in, they won't slide around. I think I have the luan and might even have the masonite. I have some really ugly sheet vinyl, but will probably buy something nicer since this will be in the house and it'll matter more what it looks like. I might have to buy something to frame the tabletop 'tray', too. All in all, it should be a pretty cheap project, since I'm good at scrounging up stuff. I'm sure glad now I didn't haul out those base cabinets. That was close, because we didn't have any good use for them at the time I was considering it.

I was disappointed when I had to give up my work table for the treadmill, and I was also disappointed that we missed out on a perfect kitchen table to replace the one we've used for thirty years, which I had moved into the FR for a craft table. But when we got the treadmill we put the kitchen table back into the kitchen turned a different way than we had it, and we like it much better now. And now that I'm going to get back a great craft table, I'm happy we don't have an extra kitchen table. Everything has worked out for the best, as far as the furniture goes. We're also getting those base cabinets out of the back porch where they weren't doing anything for us. We need storage back there badly, but the fact they've been in the porch for a couple of years and had nothing in them tells me they were not the right kind of storage. But they should work out great as a craft table, once I get the work done.

C'mon, spring!
 

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SD, I couldn't get through The Stand, either - book or mini-series. I don't think I would've had as much a problem dealing with magically non-wilting lettuce in the name of entertainment years ago. Now though, I'd probably throw the book across the room just for that. I don't mind thick books but thick books with glacial pacing is another puntable offense. Of course, I've realized that I tend not to read fiction any more and I've been meaning to get back into that. And most of what I watch these days tends to be history and/or some kind of documentary. Then again, I enjoy history so that's not a problem either.

I do miss having a cat but I don't think it's fair to keep one where I live. Not only are there the regular expenses to take care of a pet but my apartment complex requires a pretty hefty down payment as well as an extra $50 (it might be more now) a month. I understand the reasoning, though. They would have to make sure all the pet fur/dander is removed, in case the following tenants have allergies. I know they had an issue when one of my neighbors moved out. She was a smoker, though, not a pet owner. Besides, I probably wouldn't have the time to give it the attention it would need.

Depending on when I finish my friend's afgan, I may go onto the wool afgan I started. I don't have anyone 'earmarked' for it, although I'm sure I could ask around to see if any of my friends would want it or know a re-enactor/rennie who would. Wool's a little more high maintenance for most people but it's definitely warmer. I've got a decent start on it but it's not long enough to cover my lap yet. Of course, if winter keeps going the way it has been, doing a wool blanket will be nice once it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
I have a friend in Boyds MD and I heard the same weather report from her this morning- just in the edge of the storm with only an inch or two or snow and no power outage. That was all good news. I feel for the people on the coast though and those getting all the heavy lake effect snow. Last night was our last dip into the 20s. It's hitting mid 50s for a short while this afternoon and forecast is for right at freezing tonight. Then it's back to our more normal winter weather. I subscribe to the Washington Post and read an essay this morning pointing out that in a lot of places where there is severe cold, people drive everywhere, but in the city people are walking, biking, or standing around outside waiting for a bus, something I know of course, but hadn't thought about for a long time. It reminded me of the years I lived in Toronto when I would sometimes take the subway three or four blocks just to get out of the brutal wind. Where you live really does change how the weather affects you.

This is a lazy day for me. Actually I expect I'm settling into a couple of lazy weeks after all the work. It's one of the days when I remind myself I'm retired and don't really have to do anything if I don't want to.

Everyone continue to stay warm.

CH - I really like the new quilt you're starting. The blue and gray is a nice effect.
 

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What I thought was striking about the weather were the high tides and storm surge in Massachusetts. Some of those huge ocean waves were just pounding on people's house roofs. I'd be afraid to stay there if it was my house. Those were some powerful waves.

I made up all the old tortilla mix so I can give that to the deer. I hit a bunch of good sales for tortillas so I still have quite a few in the freezer. Once they're gone, I'll start making them from scratch again. The funny part is these, which I just haphazardly cooked up, are some of the best tortillas I've made. They're nice and soft and not that thick. I didn't let them rest at all before smashing them and cooking them, since the results won't matter to the deer. They did shrink a little bit but no worse than normal. It's weird. I made them an hour or so ago and they're still warm in their cozy little quilted tortilla warmer, so I'm wondering if they'll be so soft when they're completely cool. They have sort of an off taste so I think the shortening in them is probably spoiled, but the texture is nice. When the current batch of store tortillas is gone, I'm going to start trying different HM versions made with cooking oil instead of shortening. I won't keep a mix then since there aren't many ingredients in tortillas anyway so it won't be any work to throw them together each time we need them. I do wish I could make bigger ones though. Then again, smaller ones work better for portion control.

Just for giggles, I tried making the tortillas with the pasta machine. I know, it doesn't make any sense since I have a tortilla press, but what the heck, I'm on a quest for food knowledge lately. That was a no-go because the dough was too soft. Now I know.

Getting rid of the tortilla mix empties the last of my nice Fido half-gallon jars, so I can try using those for five pounds of flour. From now on I think all my baking mixes will be put into quart jars or similar sizes. Most of them I don't use all that much, so that should work. I was looking at my stash of food and mixes in jars a while ago and realized a lot of them don't get used much, but are taking up prime real estate in the kitchen. I have to change that. I need to go through the pantry and all the open shelves and see how I can organize better. I have a small shallow cabinet I made years okay that holds jars of stuff, and I need to rebuild that. It works great and holds a lot in a very small foot print, but it's not quite wide enough and doesn't match the new cabinets. I can do better, and I need to figure it out before we have a new floor put in.

I took some measurements and did some math about the pot rack I have and the one I want, and I'm going to have to make some compromises because if I did it using the measurements I want between shelves, it will be too high. I'm going to have to figure out how to do more with less space. I have some ideas so I hope I can make it work.

And the summer project list just gets longer. I wonder how much of this stuff will actually get done. Lots, I hope.
 

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Darn, this top popped up in an ad and now I want to make one. Long sleeve T shirt, add extra length to bottom and sleeves w/ flannel, add a cowl neckline. Cute. Done with Nora's book. I need to focus on work for a while.
Outerwear Smile Photograph Tartan White
 

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Dlrcpa, that is a cute top. I would love one for winter, too.

Friends in Maine and Mass. have shared photos. Nobody I know is particularly freaked out by the snow. Friend in ME went out this morning in hip deep snow to collect chicken eggs. I don't know anyone who can afford to live on the coast, and my recollection is those are mostly summer homes.

Slow day here, too.
 

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The waves I was referring to were on the news. I don't know anyone on the coast either, but my diet buddy is farther west in MA. I haven't heard from her about the storm yet.

I was thinking about going out of town tomorrow because it's supposed to warm up a little, but then I heard how bad the flu is. I think we'll stay home and avoid an excess of germs. Maybe we'll take our lives in our hands and go into town here. Just in case GW has the exact bar stool I'm going to need for my new craft table. Doubtful, but you never know. I haven't been away from home for a couple weeks or so.

The local weather guys are positively giddy because we're supposed to get up to twenty degrees sometime next week. I-Falls is supposed to get to minus 36 tonight, so we'll be about the same I'm sure. We're also under a wind chill warning again. That's been almost continuous since before Christmas.
 

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I like that shirt and flannel combination. Maybe I will make something like that. I do not think I would need a pattern to make it.

I am one of those bus and subway people. I have been lucky with the bus most of this week, but today I had to wait 20 minutes for one of the buses. That was pretty bad.

I do not plan on going out Saturday or Sunday. And Monday looks like normalish temperatures.

I have been fortunate that my condo and my work place have been a decent temperature.
 
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