June 22, 2012

Yes, Ice Cream Is A Staple

A very Happy Birthday to my wonderful dad - the man who taught me to always put ice cream in the #1 spot on every grocery list!

I wish I could be there to take you for some birthday ice cream, but since I can't, I'm taking ice cream bars to work with me today to treat everybody in your honor (and because it's going to hit 102 outside.) 

I love you very much!!!

May 22, 2012

Repurposing Furniture, Cat Style

"Battle Stations!  Robins at 2 o'clock!"
Funny, I thought this was going to be a nice new (old) cabinet for me to house my Pfaff 130.  Silly me, I obviously didn't consider what its fully-open configuration was going to mean for the lords and masters of the house.  There will be no more sharing that one, puny kitty shelf for them, thankyouverymuchindeed.

Le Sigh.

You'll notice that Little Grey Kitty and Big Yellow Hallway Monster are together in this photo, taken mere minutes ago.  They have been re-introduced and are getting along just swimmingly.  So far their playdates are all upstairs, since LGK and Electric Mayhem still hate each other.  We may try reintroducing them later this year, after my busy season at work is over with and one of the humans is home with them more.  Or, we may not.  EM is getting older and less tolerant of such nonsense as other kitties in her territory.

In other news, unrelated to cats or sewing - Happy Anniversary to My Amazing Husbandini!!!  You have always been and will always remain my little booboocitos!

April 28, 2012

Ready for Canning Season

I recently came into possession of 22  boxes - yes, twenty-two boxes - of old canning jars. They've been hanging out in the garage for a while, but due to our ridiculous spring weather, the weeds have gotten to the point where I have to be able to get out the garage door and into the backyard in order to do proper battle.  So, last night while the Rockies were whumping up on the Mets, The Amazing Husbandini and I hauled the boxes into the kitchen and started sorting.

The jars are split roughly in half between wide mouth and regular mouth.  Wide mouth is what I prefer, but I've decided to keep one box of regular mouth and give away or sell the rest of them.  Most of the lids are shot, but a few of the rings are worth keeping.  The jars are pretty equally divided between Ball and Kerr, with a bunch of no-name (possibly old mayo or pickle) jars thrown in.  The quart no-names are going away, but the pint no-names I will probably keep.  I keep finding little hand-written labels reading, "Beans - 1971" or "Hot Chili - '74".  There are lots of peach labels, some from as far back as the early 1960s.  And spiders.  Lots and lots of long-dead spiders.

There were a few gems among this bounty.  The photo above is a small sample of the older, rarer jars that we pulled out.  There's a green Ball quart jar and a couple of smoke-colored Drey brand jars, as well as some Presto and Atlas jars and one that just says "Mason Jar" with a star in between the words.  (The cobalt vase in the back was just to give the photo a little interest.  Empty mason jars are a little difficult to photograph well, especially with a cell phone camera.)

The Amazing Husbandini checked out eBay in between innings and reported that "our" jars were selling for between $5 and $15 each online, but I think we'll just wash them up and keep them for decoration and kitchen storage.  You can always use an empty glass jar for something, and I like the idea of putting the oldies up on a shelf where they can catch the light.

Now - about all those old mayo jars and the boxes and boxes (and boxes) of regular-mouth mason jars that are living on my dining room table.  Anybody in the Denver area need some jars?  I'll make you a great deal!

April 20, 2012

Let's Raise Some Money!

Pardon the cutting and pasting and linking, but I thought that the e-mail I recently got from Rocky Mountain Alley Cat Alliance spelled it out quite well.  (But to sum up, they're looking to raise $3400 over the next 10 days for an EXCELLENT cause.  We donated, so how's about you do the same?)


Every week we receive phone calls from kind people who are caring for feral cats and want to do the right thing and have these cats spayed or neutered, but just can't afford it. Even with our normal low fee to fix feral cats, they just don't have the funds to cover the costs. Many of these people are disabled or elderly and living on fixed incomes. They often spend what little extra money they have on food for the cats. During the month of April, we are holding a special campaign to raise money to help pay for these surgeries.
Global Giving is a website that enables nonprofit organizations to raise money for special projects. It provides a way for people from all over the world to donate to important causes. If we can raise $4,000 from 50 donors by April 30th, we will not only be able to pay for 100 feral cats to be spayed and neutered, but we will earn a permanent spot on the Global Giving website for future fund raising opportunities.
Please consider helping us with this important project.
Thank you!
Me again:  Donating to this sort of thing helps you get into heaven.  It also builds good karma.  And clears up acne while lowering cholesterol. 

March 7, 2012

For My Fellow Tree Nerds

As a horticulturist, I've become almost used to TV and movies completely screwing up plant id. (I'm looking at you, CSI:NY!) So I found this very interesting when I came across it today:

TV shows and community: is it wise to insult us?

Also, "The role of the tree branch was played by a Siberian Elm." Chortle!

February 20, 2012

Is 160 years old still considered Retro?

Has anyone else seen this? Am I the last to the party?

This is the Singer 160th Anniversary Limited Edition sewing machine. On the one hand I think, "why?" There are plenty of vintage ones still around that you can pick up on the cheap and - if tended - will probably still be sewing along in fine shape years from now. This plastic and electronic version? Maybe not so much.

On the other hand, the old Singers are all straight-stitch only, which can be very limiting. And this one does have all the bells and whistles. And, at least it's not yet another hunk of white plastic.

So - $499.99 puts it out of my price range, so I won't be getting one in any case. I give it a plus for not being generic, but I'd rather spend 5% or 10% of what this one costs and get myself a "real" one off of Craigslist or at a garage sale.

More sewing machine posts to come soon - I found my camera, now I just need it to disgorge the photos!