Apr 30, 2010

Customer service

DH came home last night and solved the push mower problem.  When I lowered the wheels, I tipped the mower and inadvertently released a safety latch.  You know, one of those because-some-of-you-are-stupid-enough-to-stick-your-hand-under-a-running-mower safety devices.  Anyway, I latched the latch and was able to get my mowing done after supper.  Yippee! No trip to the repair shop this time!

I use a Logitech Wave keyboard.  After I converted to Mac, I am still able to (mostly) use it well after downloading some software updates.  I have loved Logitech products since I got my first trackball thumb mouse, way back in 1995.  So, when I needed a new keyboard last year (I got my old keyboard back in 1995, too), I naturally looked at Logitech.

Last week, I dropped something on my keyboard and one of the little legs that prop the keyboard at an angle for easier typing broke.  This little leg is plastic and is about a square-inch in size.  So I e-mailed Logitech and asked how much a replacement would cost.  They e-mailed me back and said the keyboard was obviously faulty so they would replace it.  

I e-mailed them back and said the keyboard was not faulty; I had dropped something on it and that's why the leg broke.  They e-mailed me back and said it could not be replaced.  I e-mailed them back and said that was a bunch of baloney as I could take out the unbroken leg and replace it easily.  They e-mailed me back and said they had no part available but would replace the keyboard as it was still under warranty; I just needed to mail it to them and they would send me a new one and reimburse my shipping costs.  I e-mailed them back, thanked them for their generous offer, and asked what was I supposed to do for a keyboard in the meantime?!  In the end, I decided to keep my keyboard; I've got the broken side propped up on a flash drive.  Good grief.  When I get a minute, I'll wander out to DH's shop and look for an itty bitty piece of wood to glue under there.

Tomorrow I'm heading off to Austin for the I35 Stitchtogether.  It'll be nice to sit and stitch for most of the day, even if I will be stitching on the never-ending BAP border.  

I made some cookies to take with me and share.  I had a new recipe and I think there was a typo.  The recipe said to bake the cookies for 5-8 minutes and cautioned strongly about over baking them as they would burn easy.  The first batch came out raw and yucky.  On the next batch, I ended up increasing the cooking time to nearly 20 minutes!  Oh well!


Apr 29, 2010

Best laid plans...

...go to waste when dealing with lawn mowers around here.   We got the push mower back from the shop and it has worked fine the two times I've mowed the inside yard.  The grass is growing like crazy down here.  

But of course, it couldn't last.  I swear we have mower demons lurking about.  This is getting old.  I did some dreaded housework this morning and then planned to mow the inside yard this afternoon right after lunch.  I started the mower and pushed it over to the fence and did some mowing near the fence.  Then I remembered that I wanted to lower the mower wheels some more.  So I turned off the mower and did that.  Now the danged thing won't start again.  Piffle.

I have nothing to report stitching-wise as I haven't stitched for several days.  I've got to get back in my chair and get after it as the BAP ain't gonna stitch itself.  

LoneStar (who is still shaking out her bath towel before using it, and will do so forevermore!)

Apr 27, 2010


I am very nearsighted.  Very, very nearsighted.  I wear glasses - without which I could not locate my buttocks with both hands.  My glasses are the last thing I take off before going to sleep, and the first thing I reach for upon awakening.  I'm so nearsighted that I can't get my hand in focus while holding it in front of my face unless it is about four inches away from my nose.  My eye doctor calls this high index vision loss; I call it blind as a bat.

Yesterday morning after taking my shower, I grabbed my towel off the towel rack.  My fuzzy vision (no, I don't take showers with my glasses on) noticed a large brown spot on my dark green towel.  Several things instantly ran through my mind.  ITWASABUGITWASASPIDERITWASABUGITWASASPIDERAAAAUUUGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!  No, I did not hold the towel close enough to my face to see what kind of bug it was.  My mama didn't raise a fool.  I knew it wasn't lint as we don't have any brown clothing or towels or blankets or anything brown that would produce such a large clump of lint.    

I cast the towel away from me with a loud yell, which caused Emma to come investigate.  I found another towel.  I dried myself off.  I put on my glasses.  The towel with the BUG/SPIDER was in a wadded heap on the floor and I was not going to investigate it, glasses on or not.  When DH called me at lunch, I told him that the first thing he needed to do upon arriving home that evening was clear the towel of unwanted guests.  DH married me for better or for worse and for being the chief bug killer of the home.

DH reported that it was a spider.  A honking big, albeit dead, spider, but a spider nonetheless.  *full body shudder*  

If I hadn't noticed the brown spot on my towel, I'm sure you would have read about the resulting reaction in today's paper, and you would have seen it on last night's news.  I probably would have been the first woman to achieve orbit and warp speed without a space ship.  


Apr 26, 2010

A great weekend

DH and I had a great time on Saturday in Houston.  We went with friends.  Georgia and I dropped our DHs off in downtown Houston at the convention center at a gun show, and then we went to Spring (north of Houston) to shop hop.  We went to three quilt shops and one cross stitch shop.  

I didn't intend to buy much, just some GAST floss I need for my next project after I finish the BAP (in the year of our Lord 2045 at the rate I'm going!), but you know how that goes.   One of the quilt shops we stopped at was owned by an elderly lady and it had some cross stitch stuff.  A lot of it was very dated, but that worked to my advantage as I found several OOP and HTF leaflets.  While the owner continues to get new quilt fabric in, she also has a lot of older fabric; Georgia was happy to find some fabric that she bought several years ago and needed more of.  We had fun talking to her as she used to be a school teacher.

Our DHs had fun at their gun show, and my DH came home with a new pistol.  He'd been wanting one and had been researching them and was able to find one he liked for a price he liked.  Like a little kid, he had to take his new pistol to work today to show all the guys.  Silly man.

I'm about 95% converted over to Mac now.  I ended up having to buy some software (Parallels Desktop 5) to run some Microsoft software I use, mainly Excel and Word.  I looked at and researched the Mac equivalent, but I would have had to buy it.  Buying the software to run a virtual machine on my Mac for Excel and Word was cheaper than buying Excel and Word for the Mac.  I have to run down a printer driver and then I'll be humming along.  

I really like the Mac.  I got a Mac mini "tower."  Here it is in comparison to my old Dell tower.  The Mac mini is 6.5" x 6.5" x 2" in size.  My old Dell is gigantic.  The Mac mini is more powerful than my old Dell.  Dynamite comes in small packages!

And I have to figure out how to save my signature in Mac, so for now I'll just sign off "LoneStar." 

Apr 23, 2010

Yippee! I stitched!

Well, I managed to stitch a bit on Wednesday while looking after my "feeling poorly" dog who stopped feeling poorly about mid-afternoon and returned to her usual ADHD self.  Yippee skippy!  Here she is with the Purple Puppy that her "Auntie" Gloria gave her.  (Pardon the glowing demon eyes - my photo software will fix the dreaded red eye, but not glowing demon eyes.)

Unfortunately, as I ran errands most of yesterday, I only had a one-day stitching streak.  Oh well.  This afternoon looks good for a bit of stitching.
This weekend, DH and I are heading out with some friends to Houston.  The guys will be attending a gun show, and Georgia and I will be hitting a few quilt shops and 3 Stitches, a cross stitch shop.  As I've said before, I'm not a quilter and have no desire to be one, but I love looking at quilts and fabrics.  I think I'm a closet fabric junky. 
There are a lot of things I enjoy looking at and appreciating the craftsmanship and creativity that went into them, but I don't have to possess them to fully enjoy them.

For instance, I enjoy looking at jewelry, although almost all of what I look at, I'd never wear.  I enjoy looking at "cottage style" interior decorating, although I'd never in a million years decorate my own house like that.  I enjoy seeing elaborate flower gardens, but I'm not a manic gardener, so my own home will never have one.  Quilts, on the other hand, I think I could go nuts with if I had the space and bucks.  I've fantasized about having a different quilt for our bed for every day of the year.  Yeah.  Like that's going to happen. 

I picked up some new adolescent paperback novels at Sam's the other day to read - the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson.  I'd classify them as modern-times science fiction.  They were a fun read - a little heavy on the global warming agenda, but in a palatable way.  The author definitely has a handle on the fourteen-year-old mindset of the main character.  I'm glad I'm not fourteen anymore!

And I'm nearly done with my PC to Mac conversion; I had to order some additional software.  I'll regale y'all with the entire tale at a later date.

Apr 21, 2010

Way down south

This past weekend found us in Rockport visiting DH's parents.  DH and his dad went out fishing on Saturday and didn't bring home a thing.  But we did have a nice fish fry for dinner as there was plenty of fresh fish in the freezer from previous fishing trips.  And as oysters are still in season, we had a bunch of those, too, fresh off the boat from Alby's fish market.  (We eat them fried.)

I haven't stitched a lick in days.  I'm not having a stitching slump, I just haven't found time to plant my butt in my stitching chair to stitch.

Poor Emma.  She was finally feeling like her usual ADHD self when I had to take her in to the vet yesterday for her yearly shots.  We also decided to start her on snake venom shots.  She got one shot yesterday and will get the second one in three weeks.  Thereafter, she gets a yearly booster in February right before the snakes become active.  The snake venom shots will lessen her reaction to snake bites should she decide to tangle with a snake yet again.

Unfortunately, all these shots made her feel poorly.  She is sitting on the back of the couch today giving me "I feel rotten" looks.  But the vet said she should feel better by tomorrow.  In the meantime, I'll be petting on her a lot and spoiling her a bit. 

Apr 16, 2010

One of those weeks

I'm still here.  We've had one of those weeks.  Nothing bad, just busy with the occasional bump. 

We've been hosting my oldest nephew's Flat Stanley and I went hither and yon taking photos of Flat Stanley and local attractions.  I tried to pick things a seven year-old boy would be interested in, so there are pictures of tools, tractors, and the like.  We went to the George Bush Library and I took a picture of Flat Stanley with a nearby sculpture.  The horses are by a local artist (IIRC), and the stones with the grafitti were once part of the Berlin Wall, which I think is pretty cool.  (You can see part of my hand holding on to ol' Flat Stanley because it was windier than all get out that day.)

After taking all the pictures, I put them in a scrapbook album with a written narrative.  Doing this caused me to remember just how much I hate and loathe scrapbooking.  Luckily I'll have five years to get over it until our younger nephew gets to the first grade. ☺

Emma is coming along.  The dried-up black patch on her chest, which was tissue that was necrotic or dead from the snake venom, finally came off.  Luckily, the bite is where she can't lick it a lot or scratch at it.  Now there is a pink patch of nicely healing skin.  She'll have another scar, I'm sure. 

Several weeks ago, DH and I got new cell phones as our old ones were nearly five years old and one had died.  As we have about a year left on our cell phone contract and didn't want to spring for newer high-tech phones, we found our old phones new-in-the-box on eBay for a very nominal price.  We like these old phones (Motorola V330); they're tough and have good clarity - important for me due to my hearing loss.  Well, they're tough unless you run over one with the tractor...

DH was moving something heavy with the bucket on the tractor and thinks his cell phone fell out of his pocket.  Yep, he ran over it and killed the screen on it.  You can still make calls, but can't see anything on the screen.  Oh well.

I haven't stitched in nearly two weeks and this weekend is not looking good.  Maybe next week...

Apr 11, 2010

Hooking up

As we hoped, DH has been able to hook up the water supply to the new bathroom.  He was very pleased with how easily it went, even if he did have to dig more holes and make two trips in to Lowe's.  (DH's least favorite thing to do is dig holes or use any kind of shovel.)

Emma is slowly getting back to her old self.  Here she is sitting on the porch - you can see the dark area where the snake bit her on her chest (and her shaved fore legs).

And here she is supervising DH during his hole digging.

Apr 8, 2010

An Emma update

Well, Emma ended up staying overnight at the animal hospital because the vet insisted that she stay.  I picked her up yesterday afternoon and she is a sad little dog; this snakebite was much more serious than the last one.  She has a lot of swelling on her right side from the snake venom.  The vet shaved a patch of hair off on both her front legs to run IV lines, so she looks a bit funny.  She will get over it, but it will take a few days. 

The swelling has gone down a bit this morning, but she is still lethargic and wants to be where I am.  I was going to go to town today to run errands, but I think I'll stay home and keep an eye on her (and hopefully stitch some).  Here she is with her shaved legs and looking sad.

And no, I haven't stitched much this week.  The confetti stitches are driving me nuts, so I think I'll move over to a page with large blocks of color and stitch there for awhile.

This weekend, if all goes well, DH should be able to get the water supply run to the bathroom from the main, and we will hopefully be closer to getting the bathroom done!

And if it gets here as promised, I will be switching over to a Mac computer this weekend.  I have had nothing but problems with my less-than-a-year-old Dell.  I researched Dell quite a lot before I "splurged" on a Dell computer and I know a lot of people swear by them.  I have not had a good experience with them and have decided to go with a Mac.  It seems with PCs, it's always something.

Apr 6, 2010

What a week and it's only Tuesday

We seem to have mower demons in the yard.  DH got out the riding lawn mower to mow the inside yard while we await the return of the push mower from the shop.  DH just used the riding lawn mower last Wednesday with no problem.  Unfortunately, it now appears that the clutch is out in the riding lawn mower and now it will have to go to the shop.  GAH!

Yesterday was just an all-around gloomy, glummy, mopey day for me.  DH felt it was best to take me out last night after work to Shakes for a Monday Sundae, and that helped. ☺ 

Today started off just peachy.  Emma decided to tangle with a snake again.  Apparently, she did not learn her lesson from the last time.  This time, she got bit on the shoulder.  She came limping up to us whining and trembling.  DH picked her up and she went still as a mouse.  So we jumped in the car and drove to the vet's office.  The vet is keeping her today to give her IV medications for pain and swelling, along with antibiotics.  She is doing much better as of 11:00 a.m. and will be okay.  Silly dog. 

Here she is last week coming out of her dog door and inspecting the trench for the sewer pipe.

Apr 4, 2010

Hoe down

I Corinthians 15:3-4 "...Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."

Boy! what a week!  DH took a few days off this week and we worked hard to get three tasks done.  We got the sewer pipe for the new bathroom laid and connected to the septic tank.  We got pipe run from the propane tank to under the house (connecting it to the stove will happen soon!).  We ran pipe to run electricity to DH's shop from the house.  We are tired.

DH rented a trencher and one of those gadgets you use to survey rise and fall of geography.  You know, you see a guy standing by the side of the road in a construction zone squinting through a device on a tripod.  Farther down the road is a guy standing with a really long ruler who looks very bored.  DH used the gadget and I stood around with the ruler.  There's a reason those roadside guys holding the ruler look bored.  Ruler holding is boring.  We had to make sure the sewer pipes tilted down properly to the septic tank.

When DH got the gadget home he used it and had a problem with his original pipe layout, so he had to change it.  Wednesday morning, bright and early, DH used the trencher to cut trenches for all the piping.  Our yard looked like some demented gopher had gotten loose.

We had a trench for the sewer pipe.

We had a trench for the propane pipe.

And we had a trench for the electrical piping.

DH got all those pipes laid, and then we had to put all that dirt back in all the trenches by using our own backs and shovels and a hoe.  That was a pain and a lot of work.  But it's done now.  Whee-e-o!! 
Yesterday, I went to Austin for the I35 Stitchtogether.  I stitched on the never-ending border on my BAP.  We had a lot of fun, although we were missing some folks. 
This afternoon I plan to stitch some more and plan where to take and photograph my oldest nephew's Flat Stanley, who arrived yesterday in the mail.  Flat Stanley will definitely get to learn about the tractor and visit DH's tree stand, and I think a visit to Texas A&M is in order, too.  And of course, Flat Stanley will play with Emma.  It will have to be heavily supervised play; upon being introduced to Flat Stanley, Emma attempted to eat him.