The 14th.

Gracious, this is a bit of a waffling on!! Bear with me, please! (Not that kind!!! laughing!)

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Photo by Marina Shatskih on Pexels.com

Normally this holiday is my absolute favorite one in the entire year. I can hand out cookies and flowers with hugs like a politician kissing babies prior to an election (do they even still do that???) with little consequences. I’m not there, this year. I don’t exactly know why. I’m going to make heart cookies for The Craftsman to take to work and have some bunny graham crackers for Little Bear (some bunny loves him very much!). Yet…It’s just another day. I also am getting the plugs put in my eyes, not an entirely romantic sort of thing! But definitely needed. I’ve got an easy dinner planned, so I don’t need to think about that much. (I plan for EVERY dinner, it is better to decide days ahead!!)

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I keep thinking about Boston Ferns. A lovely plant sitting on the shelf near sunshine and watered once a week. I didn’t want to be this plant again, but it sort of looks like it is my place. I recall Mary Poppins pulling a large potted plant from her voluminous carpet bag and stating, ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever.’ Is being a Boston Fern that horrible? I do have everything I need, even if I don’t have what I want.

In church last Sunday, the bulletin had a brochure inside. As most of us do, I read it during lulls in the sermon. You have to remember it is a church thing, but it does have good stuff in it. It also made me think about how little interest modern churches have in the Old Testament. (Where the Song of Songs is.) The focus is on the love in the New Testament, which is grand, and most forget about the fascinating stuff in the previous writings. (Song of Songs is one of the most erotic books I’ve ever read and I’ve read a great many of that genre.) Anyway, our world, in and out of church buildings, is all about love. People today spread it around like confetti (or like I usually do on Feb. 14). They are what I call ‘Love Zombies’. People attracted to love, wishing for love to be everywhere, do activities in the name of love, and condemn those who cannot love they way they believe. (Crazy!!) And yet, there is something missing. Love isn’t just a noun, it is an action verb. This is what people forget.

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When I read the snippet in the brochure, it made sense. Cherish is missing from love in all kinds of relationships. This is action. Cherishing is laughing together, playing, disagreeing with care, sharing lives, and working to make the friendship stronger. Together cherishing and loving make a place where people bond, grow, and develop. A place of being curious about each other and not being bored. Fascinated with the person they were and are becoming.

In marriage, mine in particular, I know care and love exist. I am taken care of medically (my readers know more about that than anyone in my family!), I am warm and well fed (I am becoming very fond of Mt. Olive pickles…), and I do get hugs at least once a day, often with a kiss or two. (Attempts to encourage this are inconclusive.)

I get so tired, though, of The Craftsman saying things like, ‘I’m no good at planning.’ Yes, I do think ahead, I learned to do this. Buying treats in the store, putting a note with them, and placing them strategically isn’t that difficult. (I’ve done this often since my return. Notes alone are nice, too.) I know The Craftsman has a couple of projects he’s been working on for quite a while for me. I imagine they’ll get done eventually. I know there are three movies coming out before I head north we (as a family) want to see. (I never did get to see Mary Poppins Returns, but I’ve read the books!) If I ask for something, usually I end up purchasing it or Little Bear does. I’m beginning to think Cupid has been shot….

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The 14th is a beautiful day. I hope yours is full of good things and that you cherish those around you from family and friends to stuffed animals, fuzzy pets and beautiful plants. I know I will.

Yours, Kris, the Boston Fern.

Hand drawn houseplant

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The side of the range!

Little Bear turned 25 on February 4. I wanted to do something amazing for his birthday. I’d made so many cakes over the years. The hamburger one (HUGE!), the kit kat one, I made a candy pizza, an ice cream cake, one that looked like a shark, Big Bird, Garfield (that one was actually not very easy!), and a lot of fun cupcakes.

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I had a vague idea of a cake with white frosting and a ganache sort of chocolate layer on top with snowflake cupcakes on top of that. (To be fair, the cupcake idea only happened after it started snowing on his birthday!) He wanted a poppyseed chocolate cake and I found several online recipes, but they were fiddly and time consuming. In retrospect, I took tons of time with what I did!!! The other would have been more fun. (maybe!) I found a butter cake mix in the cupboard and added a hint of chocolate powdered baking cocoa with poppy seeds and mini chocolate chips. The baked mixture was very good, but the silicone baking pan wasn’t made for add ins….

The darn things stuck, even after spraying and cooling. The three that were removed mostly intact had no real definition on the tops. I grumbled and decided I’d pipe on the white lines. (I just rolled my eyes at myself. It was not efficient!) After too much frosting of all kinds, the cake ended up with a marbled motif…and then so did the cupcakes. The main cake ended up being a basic triple chocolate mix.

I added the candle letters the guys got for a cookie cake they bought for ‘me’ last year while I was in AK. Even with the few undesired pink candles in the cupboard, I still didn’t have enough for 25, so I stayed with the letters. It was festive, none the less! The cupcakes I took to the warehouse where Little Bear works were also cheerful with a lot of sprinkles. (I love sprinkles! They are joyful little shots of sugar.)

All in all, it was definitely not one of my best birthday cakes, but it did taste good. Which really should be the entire point of cake!

Warming Cat Nips

Summer is the time for squabbles. In winter, we must protect one another, keep each other warm, share our strengths.” George R.R. Martin

Maxwell is often cold. His fur is growing back, but his preferred spot is anyplace it is warm. I had on a long skirt one day while sitting near the heat vent. When it came on, there was a spot of Marilyn Monroe happening. Maxwell, discovered this ‘tent’ and moved in. Awkward, but not too bad. Most of him was under the bench I was sitting on.

When I am in the house, I often wear a ‘house jacket’ made of polar fleece. Since I was cooking, I removed it and dropped it on the bench. Maxwell found it and I conveniently draped the coat for his comfort. (I’m really a good cat mom!) Moses found the fabric on the floor and parked himself on the warm cloth. As you can see, Maxwell was not impressed!!! Silly cats!!!

Catching Up

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As many of you liked the post last Friday, you know I had a birthday. I made a roast in the crock pot and I frequently put it on high for an hour and turn it to low..this time, I forgot to turn it back to low. It was on high for several hours. (I‘m lucky it wasn’t more dry!) The gravy I made to go with it sputtered and I burned my finger (It wasn’t bad, I sat with it on ice through dinner and by the next day it was back to normal.). The bread I made was almost a disaster. About one hour left to go and Little Bear and I smelled smoke. I quickly removed the barely done loaf and found it must have been flour in the bottom of the contraption. I put the loaf back, but the damage was done. The darn thing fell a bit flat. (I just rolled my eyes at myself!) We ended the evening watching ‘The Greatest Showman‘. I’ve always wanted to see this and finally got the chance. Barnum had an amazing life and it astounds me what he is most remembered for didn’t even happen til he was in his 60’s!!!! (I also had purchased popcorn and somehow bought individual bags. Which wasn’t all bad. We each got our own!)

Saturday night we went out for dinner. Little Bear wanted to go to a certain Chinese Buffet that I can’t stand, but it was what he wanted. (Buffets often seem so dirty) We got home and watched ‘Groundhog’s Day‘. (I absolutely LOVE that movie.) Sunday, was church and football. I stayed in the kitchen during the afternoon and read and cooked. (My oven element could not be replaced quickly, so we had to order one to pick up on Tuesday! I was nervous, but soldiered on with the cooking. I did note the top element works better..) We had all sorts of finger foods for dinner.

Monday was Little Bear’s 25th birthday. It snowed (I always want snow for my birthday!!), I made a mess (that will be a forthcoming post), discovered a carrot Groot, and we had a bit of a party including the jukebox.

I’ve wanted to go outside, but Tuesday morning I was a bit worn out and no one really wanted to take me driving that evening.  I’m finally getting better, yet there are days when I feel every second of my 54 years. (I need to follow the advice of the above quote!) I love this month of February. It is full of amazing wonderful things, especially those of us who happen to rejoice in being an Aquarius!

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Frantic Friday!

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What a Friday, but it really started on Thursday. Thursday I’d been invited out to lunch, but the eye dr office called and said there was a cancellation on Thursday morning and I grabbed it. Thus, cancelling the lunch plans! (the above picture was an early ‘gift’ from TnT!)

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you can’t see the blacks of my eyes, but they are HUGE! 

The eye doctor was a good/not too bad appointment. The good part was the ‘pallor’ she found in the nerves of one eye was not as pronounced after she dilated it (I’ll be jiggered, that is NOT how people pronounce that word. Or how I do-I thought it was dialation. There isn’t an ‘a’!) . Anyway, the pallor is most likely caused by an MS flareup. She’s going to check it again when I return on Feb 14. That day she’s going to put ‘plugs’ in my tear ducts. (How romantic!!!) However, I’m betting the pallor will be even more diminished. Today I’m walking better than I have in WEEKS!

I got home tired (I’m still pretty tired) and opted to wait a bit before putting the frozen lasagna in the oven. (I’m glaring at the screen in remembrance!) I didn’t realise how long the darn thing took to cook. During dinner, I was going to tell my family about my appointment, but Strider called. So, I decided to wait til later. The conversation ranged from books and vocabulary to aging and movies and more. (I laughed when he said some of his friends are annoyed cuz he texts entire words and full sentences.) By the time The Craftsman had time to talk to me, he was in his hat and coat and ready to go to his mom’s. My glucose was pretty low, but I rambled on quickly and hoped I made a smidge of sense!

While making dinner, I realised the element in the oven was starting to look like it might need replacing. I must have my oven (Little Bear is 25 on Monday and I am going to take cupcakes to where he works..so glad he doesn’t read this!) because without it…YIKES! I was thinking about making more cheese straws for my own birthday, but I decided to use the bread machine for cheesy bread instead. I’m also going to use the crock pot and slow cook a roast, too. Easy birthday dinner for me!

Now, today! I have been very busy this Friday birthday. I have so darn much to do and I’m running out of time! (I’m also a bit concerned about the bread machine. I use it for dough all the time, but I’ve had the ingredients in the thing for almost 20 min and there hasn’t been any mixing going on. I checked and the mixer thing works, I just hope I didn’t just waste 4 cups of flour and a cup of cheese! –Huzzah! It is now mixing! However, it won’t be done by dinner, I started it a bit too late. Rolling eyes at self.) My aunt and Strider called and that threw me off a bit. So did a visitor I have been trying to avoid. I myself need to call some people, I’m not going to get to the fun email KK sent me, and I probably won’t get the email to my financial person sent off.  (I also had to call The Craftsman after I got done grocery shopping. The place he was hoping to get the element didn’t  have that one, so he wanted me to google a different place and call him with the number…) I did meet someone from Alaska in the parking lot of the grocery store, we chatted for a bit. Then, I got a very late lunch from Dairy Queen before I drove back to the house.  That was funny. It held a ‘Becky’ moment. I wanted a mini salted caramel truffle blizzard. They are made with vanilla ice cream, a bit of chocolate sauce, and candies. I asked for a vanilla salted caramel truffle blizzard and when it arrived, it was chocolate. I realised I should have asked for a salted caramel truffle blizzard with no chocolate sauce. Thankfully, no cups were thrown and no eyebrows twitched! The nicest part was I ordered a chicken strip meal with 4 strips. They put in two extra~I decided it was a birthday present!

I bought an apron for myself on Thursday (Bed, Bath, and Beyond) and I don’t know if my book is in yet. I also decided to wear clothes for ME this Friday. I have on the French lingerie I bought last summer and leggings with a long sleeved top and an oversized sweater.  (In the photo, I’m wearing the bra part of my lingerie..I did put on the rest of the clothing to leave the house!) The Craftsman gave me my favorite flowers and a 50$ Amazon gift card (now I can get him something and he won’t see it come thru the emails!) and a super cute singing birthday card..no signatures, so maybe I can regift it?  (Just kidding…probably!)

In closing, may you all have a splendid weekend from the old lady. (NOTE: I am positive most men age better than most of us of the female gender.)

Last week in January

white teddy bear with opened book photo

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Not a lot has been happening lately. I did have a post for Monday and one for Wednesday, but I needed to go upstairs to type them on my laptop. And it was painful. I’ve been decidedly crippled in the right leg. Today is Wednesday night and I’m actually feeling fairly chipper getting caught up with life. I’ve been up and down the stair, I wrote up and mailed winter letters (not Christmas ones), made dinner, returned a library book, and found a light switch I’d forgotten. (It was rather silly. I literally forgot where the switch was for the basement light. When I “found” it again, I seriously rolled my eyes at myself.)

I did have another crazy dream. This one I awoke with a WTF?  There were the stairs again, but this took place in what may have been a department store. All around people were being infected and emitting an orange goo. The people were not zombies, not like the ones we know. The goo was the infectious substance and all it had to do was touch another person. Some gangs would throw it at people to infect them. One gang flipped the goo at people on plastic forks. They wore bright pink shirts reading Kate’s Cake Flippers and marched in sync. They also did handstands and cartwheels and then ended up back in line. The absolute oddest thing was a giant tv room playing a brand new episode of Star Trek the Next Generation. Both healthy and sick people carefully crowded the area and took sides on which captain was better. Picard or Kirk. My part of the dream was watching the activities like from above, avoiding goo, and climbing stairs hoping I’d not miss any of the episode! I didn’t choose a captain, but it would have been Picard.

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I’m going to post this before I get distracted. There’s over 18 inches of snow that fell on my Alaskan house, my heating bill was over 650$, and I’m not going to get my passport. However, the Tustamena 200 happened (sled dog race) and the book I ordered for my birthday has been sent by the seller!

Favorite Morning Song

I was blessed to see a “Silver white winter melting into spring” this morning, I went outside, dancing dodging drips from the icy branches, and grinned! A million songs popped into my head to celebrate the morning. Church ones, pop and rock tunes, and of course, my all time favorite whistle. “Sunny day, keeping the clouds away…” Yes, the Sesame Street theme song. (Or it was a million years back, it’s probably changed..) No matter, when you see a beautiful morning or day in front of you, do you have a song that jumps into your mind?

(I’d highlight and italics words, but I forgot til now and trying to go back and select a section is proving ridiculous. My last post on costumes, the WordPress site tweaked it horribly. I didn’t notice til I read it much later.) 

 

Sew, Sew-

I used to sew. When the boys were little, I’d make their Halloween costumes. Mum sewed EVERYTHING. Quilts, blankets, clothes, and more. I wasn’t going to compete or even try to do what she did, so I didn’t. She’d send patterns for costumes and sometimes fabric and I’d make them. The pumpkin one Little Bear has on (he’s 4, maybe) was supposed to have stuffing, but he objected. Strider got so mad when people asked him if he was Batman. He was a BAT! (then there was the year he was about 12. He wore a black cloak and carried a staff. Few people realised he was Allanon from Terry Brooks’s stories.)

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As Strider grew up, he was in theatre. From the age of 13 to 18 he was in 13 different productions. Many were plays needing costumes not found in closets or thrift stores. So, I sewed and created.

I didn’t know when he was in ‘HONK!‘ that I’d learn to love making hats.

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Music Man was a great deal of fun! We adapted modern dresses to fit the period and sewed a few and I made some amazing Titanic hats. The blue one at the bottom and the pink one are the only two I have left. The flamboyant blue feathered one was for Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn (the Mayor’s wife). It was given to the girl who played that wonderful character after the play was over. (she said it fell apart..my two are still in VERY good shape!) I wear mine every now and again. Getting into a modern car with one  is not very easy. And if you happen to have one of those automatic seat belts you can almost decapitate yourself quite easily!

I made tails for a comic murder mystery.  Little Bear later wore it to recite The Gettysburg Address. (I also made the vest for this one…that was more work than I thought!)

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Then, Strider was in a number of plays that really needed something outside the norm.

He was younger in the first photo, but I enjoyed that one! His cape is attached at the shoulders and he wore underarmor-like tights and shoes from a Shakespearean play. The other photo shows Strider as a Sultan. His headdress has a mirror in the center. When kids in the audience were not paying attention, Strider would bend his head so the mirror flashed on them. He also had a GIANT wooden sword in this play. (The Craftsman created all the weaponry for the High School plays. Swords, daggers, tommy guns, and a rather clever blunderbuss, using a funnel) The Sultan’s cloak was used in a couple plays. So flamboyant and grand. Except for the glitter. It was a huge piece of black fabric reaching the floor, with gold swirls all over it. Strider could make it flow when he walked or pull it close, it was as magnificent a prop as his beard for this play (frisked up, it was an angry beard. Smooth, it was a calmer Sultan). 

Then, he was in two classics. First is a very low budget version of Lumiere and a super fun version of the Lion from Oz. (The Craftsman did arrange it so the hat’s candle would light up. There was a battery switch in Strider’s vest pocket) The gold leggings Strider has on were a huge hit. The gold sequin tails were a pain in the butt to sew, but I also made him a nicer silver version for his Senior prom because he asked(See below). I was pleased when the director wanted the Lion’s outfit to be more like something from CATS!. Strider was worried til I made the pajama pants similar to the Sultan ones. Being a bean pole, he didn’t want to prance around in skin tight stuff..although, he did when he was in ‘The Clumsy Custard‘ (the turquoise outfit with the cape).

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this was VERY bright and shiny!

One of the things I have learned is that I can sew simple costumes. Real things are much harder. Costumes don’t need more than dark sturdy threaded seams and small discrepancies can be overlooked. I have made quite a few pillow cases for graduations and weddings, a couple of skirts for myself, but for the most part, my machine sits idle now. I don’t mind. Maybe I can get the glitter out of it!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bullying Cat Nips

You know Yellowfang, don’t you? she was cranky, stubborn, impatient-and the most loyal cat you will ever meet.” Erin Hunter

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photo from a couple of summers back.

I was going to call this post Bully Cat Nips, but I didn’t want anyone to think it was a good thing! It is annoying and frustrating.

To look at this picture of our yellow/orange/white kitty, one might think he’s as sweet as the violets he’s sleeping on. And you’d be correct, part of the time. He really is a character, friendly to humans, and is almost like a dog in many respects. But, to another feline, this adorable 24 toed meowser is on the other side of nice. He’s a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde sort of creature.

Moses met with one of the neighbor cats the other night. It was short, loud, and completely random for us two leggers. When Moses sauntered in finally, he had spots of fur not smoothed against his coat. After a short while, we could tell he was hurting. He didn’t want touched, he wasn’t interested in his wet food snack, and he curled up on a soft shawl I placed on the floor.

Thankfully, he was back to normal in less than 8 hours. And unfortunately, he quickly lost my sympathy when he got into a vocal discussion with Mittens as she walked past. Our Moses is a brat and a bully. He needs to remember he’s almost 17 and settle down!!!

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photo from 2016