Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer

I really thought I would like this one.  It's about a woman who suffers from depression after some major losses in her life.  The prescribed treatment is electroconvulsive therapy, after which she wakes up in a different time period.  

I'm only about a quarter of the way through, and I'm not sure I will persevere.  I'm actually quite bored by it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Card catch up...

 I haven't posted any Saturday snail mail in awhile, and I found myself with a lot of card photos on my phone.  These were all made while I was in Kentucky.

The first few are woven using strips cut from magazine pages.

The next one is a hand-doodled flower embellished with button and word bead attached with embroidery floss. 

I put a little more work in on the next was for my mother-in-law's birthday.

 The next three were sent to kidlets.  (The other kidlets got cards too, I just don't seem to have photos of them.)

I think (fingers crossed) that I may have all of next week off.  I could use some time for a little crafting...oh and cleaning, of course (cough, cough).

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth

This one has been on my Kindle for awhile.  I read and enjoyed the first two books in the series, and I like the way each chapter is sort of a stand-alone short story, so I waited awhile to read this one until I needed something to read in stops and starts.

I haven't been reading much since I've been home.  Family, work, commute, and vegging in front of the TV have made a dent in my progress.  My next one needs to be another book from my 2014 goals list.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

In the land of chalk drawings...again...

Kasey's chalkboard that I love to play on is no longer in her dining room, but she hasn't had time to update it from a dining room motif.  (You can see its new home--in their new house--in the first photo.)

One of her best friends had a birthday today (a big one), so while Kasey was away from home at the party, I thought I'd surprise her by sneaking over and putting up some new chalk art for the new house.  I was inspired by the work of dirtsastudio in her Etsy shop...I first saw it on Pinterest.

This was definitely the most challenging chalk art I have attempted as I was doing it freehand while looking at the inspiration piece...and the audience (Beau) kept adding their two cents.

I like it with just the white chalk, but since I had ordered fancy colored chalk from Amazon, I added a little just for interest...the choice of states colored in has absolutely no significance other than I was totally copying the inspiration piece.

I added the heart in our part of Texas, and the 'Home is where the heart is' caption at the bottom.  I think I may go back and add a simple border around the edges.

I added a message in the corner at the last for Beau and anyone else who may think it's funny to point out its imperfection.  :)

Kasey called me after she got home to say that she really liked her surprise.  

I can mark another Pinterest project done on my 2014 goals list.  Now I need to put some chalk art on that section of wall I painted with chalkboard paint in my own house.

Thanks, AAA...

I signed up with AAA roadside assistance as I left home heading to Kentucky (literally, Carey handed me the info as I walked out the door, and I pulled over at the gas station on the corner to make the call).  I was very happy not to need it while I was away.

Today, however, Kasey and I made a 2-hour trek over to Ikea.  We loaded up the back of her SUV with shelving for the kids' rooms and office in their new house.  Ten minutes before we got home, and just as it was getting dark, we had a blowout.  

Since the service covers any vehicle you are driving or are a passenger in, I called the number I had programmed into my phone, and after a little bit of confusion pinpointing our location, they sent out a very nice guy who promptly changed the tire and got us back underway.  

Whew!  I've had the service for a little over three months, and it's already paid for itself.  Love it, and hope I never have to be without it.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Paying bills...

I just finished paying bills.  I hate paying bills.  Does anyone like to?

The photo above is of a checklist I created a few years ago.  I tweak it at the beginning of every year.  (This is a blank version.  My actual one is filled in up to April, but I felt weird about showing the actual payments.)  I used to actually print out a hard copy and fill it in by hand.  This year I just save it on my desktop and fill it out on the computer.  It's not perfect, but it keeps things from falling through the cracks.

Since I left full-time employment at the beginning of the year, I've had cash flow on my mind.  I was kind of worried about it.  But I've been home one week, and I've already been booked to work seven days (basically as a temp in different branches with my same company I've been with for 12 plus years).  I've accepted each assignment, because I never know when the next request will come along.  But I am needing to get some big tasks done around the house, so if the requests slow down for awhile, it would not upset me at this point.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Working on scratching another one off my 2014 reading list and am about half way through A Tale of Two Cities.  I've always liked Dickens.  Not sure why I've never read this one.  As with Frankenstein, it was a little difficult getting into the language of the era in which it was written, but now I'm chugging right along.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Seven random thoughts on the 7th...err 8th...

photo credit: Guerilla Knitting in Germany Colorful Tree © dpa / picture alliance

1.  I came across this photo in a file while I was looking for one to include in this post.  Not sure when I found and saved it, but I love it.  And it perfectly represents the gorgeous cool temperatures, budding trees, and blue skies we are enjoying.

2.  I have been home all of four days, and find myself scheduled to work for the next five work days in my new on-call two different locations.  Oof.  I haven't even finished unpacking the car!

3.  I'm enjoying being back in my own kitchen.  Yesterday I threw together a quiche with ingredients on hand.  Last night I made a menu plan, and today I went to the grocery.  Tonight's dinner has been cooked and cleaned up, and tomorrow's dinner is ready to take out of the fridge and pop into the crock pot in the morning before leaving for work.

4. Short workout on the Pilates machine this morning.  It's a start.  Yea, me!

5. Happily I have made it through the past few weeks without getting a ticket for having only one working headlight.  Also happily my handy hubby has already fixed it since I've been home.  (I tried to get it repaired before starting home, but they told me at the shop they couldn't get to it because it would require removing the front grille.)  (Carey did not have to remove the grille.)

6. Now that I am back home with satellite TV service (after three months without TV), I am discovering that I didn't miss a thing.

7. Back to work in the morning, means back to an early bedtime tonight.  G'night!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Home again, home again...

Oh so happy to be home!  I've toured Kasey and Beau's newly finished house...gorgeous!  I've stocked up on hugs and kisses and cuddles from the kidlets.  And Jared must have missed me, because it took almost no effort to get him to play Scrabble with me...two win each.

The trip was very smooth sailing.  Rain was forecast for the first leg, with possible dangerous thunderstorms, large hail, and tornadoes.  We saw barely a sprinkle.  Made it to our destination, and then were in for a special treat.  A few days before heading home, when I knew we would be spending the night in Little Rock, I emailed a couple of my favorite bloggers from the area and was able to meet them for dinner. 

left to right:  the other Kathleen, V & C (The Stick Horse Cowgirls!), and me

After reading their blog for years, I just knew we would enjoy being with them in real life, and we did.  It was like having dinner with old friends.  Thanks for coming out to see us, V and C!  Hope we can do it again sometime.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Diary of Mattie Spenser by Sandra Dallas

I finished this one a couple of days ago, and I rate it 9 out of 10.  I saw this recommended on Pinterest.  Looked at it on Amazon...full price, but synopsis and reviews looked promising.  Looked on library ebook website...didn't have it.  Looked on library physical book website...they have it, but I'm still away from home and didn't want to wait.  Back to Amazon.  Paid full price.  Read non-stop and loved it.  Worth the full price.  Will definitely look at other titles by this author at library when I get home.  (Guess I should add that it is about newlywed homesteaders in Colorado Territory shortly after Civil War.)  Oh, and it turned out I had a credit due on Amazon, so it was like I got a special deal on it after all!  :)

The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

I bought this one several months ago as a Kindle Daily Deal.  Lately I have been seeing it seemingly everywhere, so I was glad it was in my Kindle...quite handy, that.  Teen in the foster-care system does community service hours by helping a ninety-year old sort through her attic and memories.

Goodbye Kentucky...

Goodbye new friends.  In the spirit of going out with a bang, our final gathering featured a flaming sushi roll.  It is a good thing I did not discover this delicacy at the beginning of my stay, because it was seriously the most delicious sushi I have ever had, and it would have been an irresistible temptation to indulge...frequently.

Today I completed packing the car...except for a couple of last items that will go in in the morning.  I took the photo in case of a flat, thinking it would all have to come out to get to the spare, and then be fit back in like a puzzle.  But I just remembered that the spare is affixed under the car, accessible from exterior.  The tools are under all the packing, but I think in case of emergency, I would call for assistance.  The weather is supposed to be atrocious tomorrow, and I do NOT want to haul all that stuff out in the rain on a muddy roadside!

And here's my last Kentucky sunset for awhile, going down behind a bank of clouds.  See that forsythia in the foreground?  It is blooming all over the last week or so.  Spring has sprung finally.  (I didn't know what forsythia was until a few days ago.)
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