Friday, March 26, 2010


Guess who I was on the phone with at 6:30 a.m?  AT&T -- AGAIN. This time I skipped right over Lynn, who wanted to help me. I said, "no, I will not tell you anything because the problem is not new, please put me through to the person you would send me to next anyway." So she does and Felisha tells me there's a problem in the line outside. Again? please...they'll be coming tomorrow morning... I'm seriously calling them and asking for this month's money back.

On another more exciting note -- if you love vintage and estate sales -- you must go to RetroRenovation and play the video and check out the one happening this weekend in Tonawanda, NY. I am so glad I do not live there because my heart would be pounding so hard I'd think I was having a heart attack! LOL

Thursday, March 25, 2010


...I sit here typing on MY computer. Holy Crap! that was fast. I got an email yesterday saying that they received my computer...I got a phone message this morning saying that FedEx would ba at my door by 10:30am and I would need to sign for the package. I couldn't be the computer...but, I haven't ordered anything either. YUP! 10:15 and FedEx hands me the box that I sent the computer out in. Disbelieving that it's actually been fixed, I tried out a CD and by golly it sounds know, like it's supposed to.

Something I learned about my addiction while the computer wasn't here...I really need to limit my time on this thing...I got a lot done yesterday and this, morning...and I didn't beat myself up all day that I wasted time, should have been more productive, etc. Now THAT felt good.

(of course, I just found out one reason why I'm on here longer than necessary -- the internet system does not like to be on my side...I was just having trouble with this post as it covered what's supposed to be the end of a normal post's info. So now I am retyping to see if it makes a difference. Fun is.)

So, In keeping with my new change...I must continue wielding the vacuum and washing the floor. Then it's working on a client's project, going shopping for fixtures with the electrician and making dinner.

At 8pm on CPTV there's going to be what looks to be a good show on the state of Connecticut and some people and places throughout.

Last Fall the 'Food Channel' had a show on where the spikey blond haired chef went around to different little restaurants all over the U.S. A Venezuelen restaurant featured in CT, so on Columbus Day we made our way down there. Very small place, long line, beautiful sunshiny windy day, GREAT food. It was fun to explore something new. We talked a little bit to the chef who is also the owner, he made us specialty fruit drinks with fresh tropical fruits (non-alcohol) and the food was delicious and 'clean' tasting...yum.

Now I will send this posting to the Blogger posting Gods and see what happens....


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cutting off my left arm

Well, today's the day...I can't put it off any longer...the computer has to be sent out. Not a good time for me to be without one, got lots going on. Oh, well, such is life I suppose. Yes, I will go through withdrawals, but hey, I might get more done around here, too! LOL  I'll be getting my fix at the library or at the desk of one of my best friend's.

Freddy update:

Cute Brown Boy went to his new home on Sunday. We spent 2.5 hours here talking about his needs, playing with him, etc. Very very nice family from Framingham, MA now calls him their own. He needs reprogramming and they are looking forward to retraining him. There's a 12 year old girl involved, a petite cutey little thing, very excited about finally getting a dog and so interested in learning how to train him. I love that.

With him gone, peace has been restored around here....good for my dogs and good for me. I really liked the boy but he had whirling energy that is a little too much for this laid back quiet household. Hanz was turning into a whiney, needy, misbehaving little creature because of it. That's what happens sometimes when a new personality is brought in.

Once Freddy knows that he will be staying forever where he is now, some of his anxiety will dissipate and he will be able to learn faster (although, he was pretty quick) and just be more comfortable in his own skin. Plus, being the only dog now, he's not vying for attention -- he's getting alllllll the attention...and Hanz is happy that it's all about him, again, too.

Remember Gonzo?

His new owner was very quick in tending to his needs...teeth cleaned, well, not really cleaned, cleaned out would be more like it -- he had about 7 teeth left and they were extracted -- apparently they were really bad and causing him some pain. At 9 years old, he also lost his 'boys.' The new owner says he's doing well and feeling much better now that his mouth has been taken care of. They also got him groomed. He was a Schnauzer mix, remember, with lots of Yorkie and probably some Chihuahua in him, therefore, his coat was different textures and colors...well, they gave him a Schnauzer cut....poor are the results...

The owner is happy...I wonder how Gonzo feels...

"It's raining, it's pouring, the Old Man is snoring...."

Friday, March 19, 2010

On the verge of snapping ---- someone's head off

It is days like today that my blog name makes so much sense...

There's an insecure dog with separation anxiety that barks CONSTANTLY if I am outside the house and he can't see me and that also has "I want to eat you Mr. Electrician because I've not ever been socialized" syndrome, therefore, making it nearly impossible to have a conversation unless Mr. Electrician sits down and pets said BROWN CUTE OTHERWISE BEHAVED dog.

THEN there's the constant internet trouble I've been having for the past 3 weeks. This would not be a big deal if they had not supposedly fixed it 6 months ago....and I wasn't on the phone with them about 10 times about this issue in the past 4 years. Why haven't I switched to cable you ask?


which is silly because being sporadically without service and being on the phone for hours is a hassle. Cost...I don't have cable TV and cable internet service is more, add the phone line to it, add more....add cable because they give you a break with bundling makes it a bit more.

Loyalty ...and apparently patience. That's what customer service tells me.

I don't know why. I was just on the phone with AT&T because I couldn't get the system back up after 20 minutes. So, I spend 20 minutes waiting for a customer rep. to pick up my line, only to have her ask me the same questions I'm always asked (it dawned on me too late that I should have asked for someone higher) so I spent 30 minutes talking to her and she keeps telling me that she can't get a service person out here because currently my service is working. BUT, she can get me a line specialist....OH, an automated phone messenger will call me with an 800 number for me to call so that I can talk to a line specialist. This is because they are testing my line as I type and that may take up to 45 minutes. I mistakenly recently threw out the local BIG BOSS's number because I was essentially trouble free. Stupid. I've had a service person out here, they've checked the lines inside and outside the house. They checked the system at Command Central, they changed my modem ...and no, I don't have any electronics near the modem and yes, my computer is only 2 feet away and yes, it's wireless. And yes, I will be calling the cable guy.

I just spoke with Chris the Line Specialist...nice guy that speaks clear American English. Oh, and he works in the United States. Minnesota to be exact. The first service rep that couldn't help me was not in the U.S. Before you get on my back, I'm not bashing any ethnic group, I have a hard time with broken English. My brain just doesn't translate it well. I do have an issue with American companies not staying in the USA providing jobs for Americans, no matter their ethnic background.

A technician will be out on Sunday. At least they offered his services for tomorrow but I declined, I will be taking advantage of this beautiful weather and be freed by the wind (as it whips past my helmet and leathers) of this stress. Yes, the motorcycle was washed and is on it's trickle charge, getting ready for it's first ride of 2010. THAT is much more important than getting my line fixed a day earlier.

Apparently, although they changed wires the last time they were here and checked all other lines, no one made any changes to my 30 to 50 year old phone jack. Chris had me plug the modem directly into it and he saw TROUBLE, hence, the technician on Sunday.

Add to all this...I'll be without a computer for about 2 weeks. I've put off sending it out but the box is here, waiting for it's silver technology to be gently placed into it's foam cushion and be sent off to Apple Land. See, when I brought my computer into the store 3 months after owning it because the CD acceptor made an awful lot of noise, they said it was normal. And the guy that I talked to on Monday said that my troubles of slow loading and a color wheel spinning while I patiently waited for my page to load, wasn't my computer. Three days later I call Apple again, this time I got cerebral Justin. He walks me through a reinstall, a utility disc thing and NO he doesn't think my CD acceptor sounds normal at all and YES the CD should come out of it's slot when you ask it to -- without any fancy tricks.

Back to: Cute brown dog  -- he may be going to his new home on Sunday....but they'll have to want to work with him. I think I'll let them fall in love with him first before hitting them with his social misbehaviors and yapping. Only kidding. I told the mom last night that he barks and that he has some separation anxiety and that he likes to ride in cars and that he likes food a lot and that, yes, he is very cute and a overall a very good boy....and he waits for his food nicely when I ask him to. The 12 year old daughter has been asking for a dog and I don't think she's going to let them leave without him. LOL.

OK, I'm done. A bit calmer. Now, I'll go work some of this negativity off by carting wood from the front of the house (R. is working hard splitting it while I deal with this issue.) to the back of the house and stack it. The fresh air will do me good.

I hope you are all having a beautiful day and are experiencing this warm sunshine!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Great Video

Dogs in slow motion... I found this on a blog I follow, The BLAH, BLAH, BLAHG ... very cool video on youtube. wish I knew how to get the video onto the's the link for now... "Dogs in Slow Mo."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Another Foster Dog

This was a very busy work week for me and I wasn't home a lot, of course, it's when I get a new foster in that is having gastrointestinal/constipation/stomach issues... Freddy...

Freddy came a few days ago and has made himself right at home. He was surrendered by his elderly owners because they could no longer handle him...Freddy was very possessive of his owners and apparently, the owners were never taught how to turn this they gave him to us. He is 4 years old and a very good boy.

He was getting tired of the whole camera thing and went to hide in his crate.

Notice his different Schnauzer color? It's called Liver. There are some breeders that breed for this color. He also has natural ears which is becoming more popular if the dog is born with a good ear set.

Freddy will be needing parents that are more alpha in nature, so that he isn't led to believe that he rules the roost. He actually will be more comfortable knowing that he doesn't have to take care of the family as he is very relaxed around here enjoying play, being outside and getting some good rubs. When people come into the house he is protective and barks and is very cautious, which is the cause for the barking, he's unsure of the "INTRUDERS!" until he calms down and gets some pets then things are pretty good in his head. People aren't out to get him after all. LOL

He's a bright boy and knows sit, paw and down. Typical of his breed, he loves to eat. I have also found out that he can be left with his crate open while I am away and he is very well behaved. I actually found this out by default, as I always crate, just in case.

Due to his bodily function issues, He's had to go out a lot with not always good results, but when he really has to go, he reallllllly has to go....and the first day he Houdini'd himself out of his crate. I got a nice present in the living room. On the second day, I secured his crate better, he pooped in it, ugh! On the third day I had an AHA! moment and I put him in the bathtub with some bedding but figured he'd have an area to go, too, and I wouldn't be cleaning it up off my floor. I closed the glass doors and left. Well, when I came home, guess who greeted me at the door (and left me another present)? Yup, Mr. Houdini. He wasn't having any of that bathtub stuff where it's lonely and cold. So, I've left him out knowing I'd come home to some squishy mess to clean up. Yesterday I left for 5 hours and no messes...the oatmeal must be working. I had started to give him oatmeal for bland stomach settling and soluable fiber...and I made a vet appointment, they will have the unpleasant task of expressing his glands as I could not they are so compacted and hard, and he would only tolerate so much. So tomorrow morning will be spent driving an hour to and an hour from Monson, MA, and waiting in the middle, at the vet. Well, we will see how well socialized he his outside of his home, the vet's office is always a good test.

The good thing about this travel? My  route takes me by this tiny thrift store where you fill a bag for $4 and I always find some good clothes to use as fabric, some good fabric and some good needlework things. Maybe I will score tomorrow. I only get there when I have to bring the dogs to Massachusetts. One time when I went I found some vintage clothes and the woman running it that day asked me if I'd like to go into the storage area because there were some more vintage clothes there. VERY NICE...I love it when they do that for me! I have another store that allows me in the back room where I can find lots of good vintage clothes to buy, or just oggle.

Well, getting a late start today. I slept in until 10, (I'm usually up around 5:30) I really needed the rest but now I've got lots to do...I think it will be bread making and chili making time....OH!! if you don't follow the Smitten Kitchen should, there's some really good stuff there and she linked to this very good looking chocolate bundt cake the other day...definitely on the list for this week. I'd be making it now except 1.) I don't have all the ingredients...and 2.) I don't have a bundt cake pan. hmph.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A New Use for Binder Clips

I'm sewing away and in a little bit will be piecing my tote bag together. Well, the material I am using is slippery, not fabric, a piece of what would normally be considered trash. Plus, I've added layers, so two 'wrong' sides together is making a thick sandwich and slippage. Straight pins are what I normally use, but they can distort the sandwich and get I'm waiting for my toast (told ya I'd be having a piece) it came to me...BINDER CLIPS! It will hold the fabric together nice and firm for me.

I realize it may be a little awkward unclipping it, but if I don't get too close to it with the needle it should be fine. I'm going to try because I think it will work beautifully and when it does, I will consider myself pretty clever! LOL

You will, too, won'tcha, won'tcha, won'tcha?

...oh I can be such a child...

Baking an Easy Bread

Before I was flutting (yes, flutting, not fluttering) around cleaning, I did a little blog perusal, I like to check out blogs that other bloggers I watch have on their lists. Well, somehow I got to this one: Past Life -- vintage living in a modern world. On it, she had a bread recipe found from an old recipe book.

It looked pretty easy, pretty healthy (well, except for the shortening, but it was only 2 Tbls., I suppose I could have changed it to Olive Oil like I usually do) so I made it. I forgot to include the nuts in the mix, so I threw them on top.

Now, I'm eating it. You didn't really think I was going to wait until it cooled all the way before I dove into it! I could eat bread as it is, or toasted, all day long. I slapped some butter on the chunk, it looked dense and moist. It is dense, but it is a little drier in the mouth. I only had 2/3 the amount of whole wheat flour it called for so I imagine maybe it would be a little drier if I had the whole bit. What's a girl to do with slightly dry feeling bread? Add some homemade (not by me) jam.

Better, but a sip of tea would help. I bet it will be good toasted. I'll try that next, which will probably be in about an hour!

When taking the picture I realized how old this jam is. I know it's not been opened since 2006, was just made then, goes to show how long it can keep. It's very good.

Try it yourself, maybe it will come out differently.

I Need To Tell You About Something..

WARNING: this post is long and without pictures but if you like to clean faster and easier....I'll tell you my story.

Recently I was helping a friend clean some clutter out of her house...she was going through a pile and throws at me this very slim ziplock bag with a piece of paper in it and a piece of material. I read the paper..."The Ultimate Cloth, streak free PLUS so much more!" she says to me, "try this and tell me if you like it." She knows I'm miss "green-as-much-as-possible" and I tend to like to clean, and she wasn't really interested in trying it out herself.

I took it home and after a few days decided to test it out to see what this magic cloth could do. OMG! I was hooked. I cleaned some oil grime from the dogs off the doorway trim (you know, the dark grey crap that sticks to the trim from your dog or cat rubbing it) Poof! gone. No sprays, no soaps, and very little elbow grease. AHA! let's try this...and this...and this...I was addicted and cleaned a lot of surfaces. Then I looked at the windows. Windows I usually clean with soap, water and a squeegee. Well, my windows are looking a little 'fogged' due to the wood stove dust attaching itself to it so I went at it. HOLY CANNOLI! It took all the black residue right off the first swipe around. I went back with a second swipe to see if it was really gone and yes, the first swipe did it. I was shocked and amazed. You know how hard it is to get crap off your windows without having to do it a couple times and it streaks anyway. (unless you use a squeegee.) I thought for sure it would not only be streak free but also water dot free. It did leave water dots behind after it dried but I just buffed the windows with a cloth and they were gone.

OK, they got me, AND the cloths are made without chemicals. It's a microfiber type of fabric but not typical microfiber. I can't stand microfiber cloths, I don't think they clean well and I mostly hate the way they feel on my fingers when dry. These cloths are smoooooooth feeling. One thing though, I think they falsely advertise using them instead of paper towels. They aren't really absorbent in the 'pick up a spill' kind of way. I still will use my dishcloth, towel or rag for that.

So yesterday I decided it was time to clean. I mean really clean, pick up the many piles of dropped thrifty goods, paints, etc. from the kitchen and living room. The clutter was starting to drive me crazy -- as well as the floor. I'm normally a regular vacuum-aholic but I've let it go longer than usual. The dust bunnies, dirt and wood chips started to get the better of me. I don't even remember the last time I washed the floor except for the spot cleaning up of pee or spills. (yes, pee, if you ever think about being a foster mom or dad, know that you will clean up pee and poop until the little rascals either stop needing to mark their territory or they understand where the door is to go outside and how to tell you that's where they've got to go.) I don't usually go this long without cleaning my floors but I just gave up with the dogs, the snow tracked in, the mud tracked in....until yesterday.

Normally my routine is a bucket of water, some earth friendly spray and me on my hands and knees washing the floor. Yes, hands and knees, I've found it's the only way to get them clean and then, it takes more than 2 scrubs but I limit myself to two. (one reason why I've been looking into buying a steamer to see if that would take care of it right off) and when using a mop or even my hands and knees wet cloth technique -- water always stays behind on the floor. No matter how little, there's always water that needs to dry and dogs feel the need to walk through to inspect what you are doing.

YESTERDAY....I tried "The Ultimate Cloth." Yup, hands and knees style....Oh me oh my! Heaven. Amazing. Addictive. It cleaned everything! and although I did do a second swipe, the first swipe got 90% of the dirt. The floors were left immediately dry and they looked like the day I came home to them freshly varnished -- the nice satin sheen I paid the floor guys for. With a little rubbing, it even got up stuff that was (I'm embarassed to say) dried on. Little spots that you don't realize are there until your face is 10" from the floor, that needed to be cleaned up but you ended up just walking over it all the time.

Today, I'm hittin' the bathroom. This will be hard for me, I like how if I spray Simple Green (which I really wonder about it's 'greenness') eats at the soap scum and you can just do a little scrub and it wipes it away. The test is on, can this little cloth make me happy in the soap scum department? We shall see.

I suggest, if you want easier cleaning, being uplifted and amazed by the results, get one of these for yourself and be amazed.

And, no, I am not being paid for this review, although I think I should because I might just get them a bit of business! ;-)

Happy Sunday!!

PS: if you are having difficulty finding a number on the link for this product, on my card that I have there is a customer care number 800-714-2770. Apparently these are not found in stores and have independent distributors. The one on my card is Joyce Nelson at 239-560-0859. I have no idea the area code. I suppose I could look it up. OK, I will....I did here....She's in Florida. I wonder if this is the woman that is a friend of my friend's mom? anyway, talking to myself now.

Soap scum update: with some muscle, it did take the soap residue off the shower doors. Think 1950's, textured. It didn't take off the watered down paint spots I apparently splattered when cleaning out brushes, needed a scrubby for that. Also tried it on the tile, worked, but a little more muscle and it doesn't clean the grout, of course, I haven't found a perfect cleaner for that anyway without scrubbing with a hard little brush or scrubby. The tub -- it worked on lighter areas of residue so if I had stayed with my regular tub cleaning schedule it would probably have worked fine. But, since I didn't it took more muscle than I really wanted to use, nor did I feel like dedicating that much time to tub scrubbing just to prove to myself that I could. I'm looking for quicker, easier. I got my spray bottle of 'Parsley Plus' by Earth Friendly Products out and's doing it's magic as I type. All I will have to do is go quickly with a scrubby and then rinse it all away. Next? Laundry.

Happy Sunday!....again...

Friday, March 5, 2010

You have to see this!

I was visiting Lara's blog, Thornberry, and in a past post she wrote about a weekend trip into Melbourne with her daughter and they went to see an exhibit by the sculptor Ron Mueck. I had to do further research because I just HAD to see more. I googled the artist and found this blogger wrote about him and had lots of awesome pictures...

Here are just two of many....

What's amazing is the difference in size to actual human beings, depending on the sculpture. You must go to the links and check these out...THEY ARE INCREDIBLE...So intuitive, innate...time consuming. I'm in awe.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


...this iron, that is.

I picked this up at the local Goodwill for $1. I usually use a 1940's iron that I love, but this little travel iron....holy crap it gets HOT! The cord is in great shape, the plate is clean and it folds for storage. I definitely have to get a cast iron trivet for it because it's a little precarious when stood up to balance on it's back "legs."

How silly to get excited over an iron, huh? I don't use one except for pressing fabric for sewing, OK, and the OCCASIONAL article of clothing if I'm going out. I'm making a bag right now for a client and got to try this out as soon as I brought it home. Very happy. Very happy indeed.

This is the machine I am sewing said bag on.

I've had it for a couple years and just took it out. I got it from the dump, with the cover on it, with the instruction manual, with the 8 discs for decorative stitches, with a container of new needles and 3 attachments. 

I worked on a Brother portable for about 20 years. It was given to me that long ago. I learned to sew when I was very young by my dad on a very old Singer that used to have me swearing at it. Oh, how I would get frustrated with it. It was probably lack of experience rather than a bad machine, the tension always got me. My dad didn't seem to have any problems with it. 

Well, I've been carrying that Brother around with me, making quilts and this and that....I  just recently gave it away to a fellow Freecycler that was looking to sew some things for Christmas. I knew I had this one (didn't know if it worked) and I have I think 7 others of various age that I could dig up out of storage. Well, I haven't sewn since giving the Brother away and although I knew I was done with it (it had a little broken piece in the swing out base that annoyed me) I was missing it, the comfort of knowing how it operated, the break away platform so that I could sew a cuff....I was also fearing the unknown. It's a sewing machine, it's simple, if it doesn't work get it fixed or go on to the next one. So funny how something so simple can you keep you procrastinating. I do very well with that on my own....I don't need a machine to add to it. Well, I finally sat down with it, threaded it, turned it on and away I went. I tested out the thickness of material that it would let me do because this bag has a few layers. Four layers of jean material and it wasn't saying BOO. Oh, happy day. I was almost giddy because it is much smoother than the Brother, probably because it's heavier...and it's faster! I didn't realize how that mattered!

I probably should get it tuned up -- it would be the responsible thing to do -- but I have a tendency to wing some things, and this will probably be one of them. 

Well, off to list things on ebay. It feels so good, shipped out some boxes today! Yeyyyy.