Random babblings of a fiber-obsessed nutcase

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Quickie.... Feb. 27th, 2015 @ 03:12 pm
1. Herself made it thru the surgery with flying colors. It took less time than they estimated, which is good. She's now camped out on the couch, miserable. And swollen. Too swollen to complain, thankfully. :grin:

2. Am 6 or so rows from finishing the leg patterning on Himself's kilt hose!!!! I'm aiming to get to the heel today, but might not - I have to do Herself's barn duties tonight. :fingers crossed:

Not much else to report - I'm in nurse mode. Shabbat Shalom!

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Baby, it's COLD outside! Feb. 25th, 2015 @ 07:42 am
But not AS cold - 33* and sleet/rain. Supposed to turn to snow in a bit. It's all slushy outside....and we have to haul water from the house because the main pipe to the barn burst. Fun times!

Ali, first off {{{{{{hugs}}}}}}. I am horrid about commenting - I keep meaning to email, but life gets in the way. I will TRY to do better, OK? (And.....I'm back to not commenting anymore. I don't like the PA snark when I do. :sigh: So, it'll be here or private emails.) I also need to get off my duff and get some stuff done - I have some stuff I wanna do for you, but.....I suck.)

Money: IRS STILL can't tell me why the refund is MIA; the story now is "cracking down on some to prevent ID theft". Yeah, but...you said you sent the deposit, then 5 days later said "Problem!".....I'm thinking there's more to it than just cracking down. (Honestly? I think they have a security problem, but won't admit it....we might hear about it in a few months.)

Post Office: I am disappointed in our service. Up to now, I've had great luck with the PO; in the past 2 weeks they've:

1. Lost SG's package, claimed I picked it up on the day the package was mailed (ummm...what? That's...impossible!). They "found" it; when I went in to get it I was told "Oh! We've been holding a LOT of packages for you for DAYS and DAYS". Again - What????? The "lot of packages" was 6, and there was NO slip or key in my box. :bangs head:

2. And then - and THEN! - I get a book (OOP, of course!) that is TOTALLY MANGLED. SG was on the mail run; he took it to the desk and asked "Um.....what happened?" The clerk said "WE didn't do it!"..which pissed him off...he said "OH. So, you're saying *I* did this when I pulled it from the box???" Which pissed HER off....she took it from him and stamped "Damaged on Arrival" all over it (I think they were just going to ignore the black marks, ripped package, and book pages all over the place). We've filed a claim but....I don't have much hope.

3. Lost ANOTHER book - I ordered 6 books from Half Price Online. 4 have arrived "safely" (1 had the envelope torn, but the book was fine); 1 is mangled beyond use, and 1 is MIA. The seller put a trace on it...it's been sitting in the same spot for a week, which they say means it's "lost". :bangs head: Good news - the seller has another copy! Bad news - they sent it USPS again. (All but 1 of the books is technically OOP - you CAN find copies, but not easily, and most of them are full price or more. :sigh:)

And yet...the PO wants MORE money. Wonder why people are using other carriers????

:deep breath:

God is good - I was in a panic over funds last night. The electric bill is $250 MORE than usual; add to that I had 2 quarterly bills hit AND we have $175 due to the dentist Friday. So...I was in a panic until I sat down and ran the numbers. I have enough to buy groceries (my big concern) with a little bit left over. :whew: I know I shouldn't fret...but it's hard to remember that in the moment. I need to do better.....

And I need to shower, because today is a snowy grocery day. I can't wait...we are OUT of just about everything. :sigh: Stay warm!

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:brrrrrrrrrr!: Feb. 23rd, 2015 @ 08:25 am
It's 26* and sleeting. AND raining - they're calling it "thunder sleet/snow". THIS is why I am glad we bred late again this year; had we bred in Sept/Oct the way the "experts" say to do, we'd be kidding out in this crap.....and possibly losing babies to the cold. No, thank you - I'll continue to breed in December and kid out in May. Yes, it still gets "cold"...but not THIS cold.

I had an allergic reaction this weekend - think it was the Gingerbread cookies Herself made Friday. I have itched since Saturday evening....and the only "new" thing is the cookies. :sigh: They were good, too....but I need to do a patch test on the molasses. (The cookies were a mix; the only thing different from other box mixes was the molasses. So.....I have to assume that's what caused the hives. 3 cookies Friday evening, 2 Sat. morning and 2 Sat. evening seems to have set me off. 2 more Sunday, and it was itch-city all damn day. :sigh:) Benedryl barely touched it......darn it, I LIKE Gingerbread!!!!

Am almost 1/3 done with the hose. Must keep knitting......2 weeks. I have 2 weeks.....

School: We are doing Shakespeare in place of Latin. We're starting with "Midsummer's Night Dream" - CurrClick has a unit from Home Base English on the Bard, and I'm loosely using that. We'll spend about 3 weeks on each play; PBS has a "Discovering Shakespeare" series that looks at each play, and we'll be doing those as well. I'm lucky - both kids were exposed to the Bard at a young age, and actually LIKE him. So, the announcement of this unit was met with anticipation, not groans. :lol:

I need to do a little bit of googling for school - stay warm, y'all!

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:blah: Feb. 19th, 2015 @ 08:49 am
Weather's been typical Texas - go from 80s on the weekend to 30s during the week. No wonder we're all sniffling - the trees don't know if it's Spring or Winter! And they're tentatively predicting "snow" next week - whatever *that* is. :lol:

Herself is set up for oral surgery next Friday. Fun times - the dentist was very nice; he explained everything to her so she's prepared. Nervous, but OK. *I* need to stock up on ice cream.....

Called the IRS; seems that they are "double checking a lot of returns due to identity theft". Um...OK, but WHY did you tell me you deposited my money, then changed it to "Your refund has been delayed"...because, IF you deposited it, like you said ON THE WEBSITE on Thursday, WHY, then, on Monday did you change it to "delayed"? It...doesn't make sense. The agent was nice, but even he hemmed and hawed when I asked that....:sigh: 60 days. We have to wait 60 days now - of course, it MIGHT get sent out sooner, but I am not holding my breath.

Kilt hose: Got to round 8 on the leg, but ripped it all out this AM. I had somehow buggered up the pattern rows and was off on 2 of the motifs; decided I couldn't live with the fudge, so RIP. I'm now up to round 2.....with markers EVERYWHERE. We'll see.....I seem to remember ripping a LOT on the first one, so this is par for the course.

School: We finished Latin 101. We're taking a break from Latin for the moment; we'll start up again in a week or 2. I need "light" for a bit.....so we're focusing just on the basics. :sigh:

Not much else.....guess I should get books together so we can start our day. Laters!

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I need a nap.... Feb. 15th, 2015 @ 03:45 pm
because we have been on the GO all weekend.

Got up early and left after morning stables. Had to go to Ft. Worth; SG had found 2 RC controllers (normally $65 each) on CraigsList for $60. I asked if we could go to a Ceramics store in FW while out; he said yes, IF we had time. (American Ceramics closes at 12 on Saturdays).

Well. Got to the CL listing at 10....American Ceramics is less than 10 miles from there. :whee!: Herself got 6 new glazes - these are a 1-step thing. Glaze and Overglaze in 1; you can paint the dry clay with it, then fire it 1x and you're done. The stuff she had is a 2 step process; paint the dry clay, fire, then paint with overglaze and re-fire. She's going to be playing with it sometime this week.

We then hit Harbor Freight to price air brushes. Then Hobby Lobby to compare...we'll be going back to Harbor Freight. THEN we hit Entertainmart for Himself; he was looking for a popular GameCube Game (Star Fox Assault). They had it - and it works! - so he's happy.

THEN, off to Half-Price Books for me. And lunch....at a Japanese Hibachi Restaurant. Good food, fun chef.

Then we headed home. Until this morning.....

Hit a Hobby shop for SG to get a plane to play with. And a couple of hobby stores to get stuff to *build* a plane....and another Half-Price to see what they had on RC stuff (scored 2 books - good stop!) We're finally home.....and I do need a nap.

Fun times - hope y'all's weekend was as fun!

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Other entries
» Shabbat Shalom!
Let's see:

1. Made soap Wednesday, and cut it today. My Studio now smells like a....um....upscale Gentlemen's Club visited a Laundromat en masse. :lol: I made 5 batches of soap: 3 Neroli-Shea Blossom (soft, non-gender specific floral-ish sort of scent) and 2 Snow Queen (which reads to *my* nose as fresh laundry.......I am the only one here that gets that from it, but.....and yes, I went More Purple this time! :wink:) We'll see how the scents settle; the Neroli batch is a new technique for me, and 2 logs turned out almost perfect. The 3rd....well, that's the tester log. :lol:

2. The IRS/my bank has lost Herself's refund. :sigh: Our Joint hit, and Himself's hit, both on the days the IRS said they would. Herself's was due to hit Wednesday; I called yesterday and was told (by my bank) that maybe they just hadn't "gotten it from the Internet yet - check back at 2 PM. We do another check then." Um.....that's NOT how this works, but whatever. Called back today, and it never HIT the bank. There's no record of the name/amount/account number, not even on the error report......and the IRS won't talk to me before Monday....which is a Holiday, so it'll be Tuesday at the earliest. :bangs head: and :sighs: This is my washer and new mixer money, so at least it's not *Needed* right now, but....it would be nice. :big sigh: (The kids get SSI from their dad's estate, and I have them withhold 10%, even though SSI is non-taxable. This way, we get a chunk of $$$ back to do household stuff with - and I give the kids a good chunk of it as well, to do with as they please. It's win/win, because they feel like they are contributing to the household, but still get some spending $$$. Herself didn't even have hers 10 minutes - it all went to Fire Mountain. She'll be making LOTS of sparklies soon - and claims she'll even try to SELL some. :blink:)

3. Went to the International Exhibit of Sherlock Holmes yesterday - Oh. My. Gosh!!!!! It's.....well, incredible doesn't cover it. It'll be in Santa Ana, CA in June - GO. Just.....make it a mini-vacation and GO. They have movie props and costumes from the 2 RDJ movies (Blackwood's casket! The "original" taser!!!) and stuff from "Elementary" (eh. Watson is NOT female...sorry. Can't watch it because I can't get over the gender-swapping. :sigh:) It's interactive - YOU "help" Sherlock solve a mystery. There are stations where you do hands-on experiments to see if London's finest are correct or not - it was totally cool. You get a notebook to record your findings - you do rubbings and stamps and stuff like that - no pens necessary!) and...well, it was cool. And fun. And worth the exhibit fee. The vignettes are full of actual antiques - FROM Conan-Doyle's era! - and...well, it's cool. Especially if you're a Sherlock fan.

4. Am almost done with the knot work cuff on the hose. :sigh: I HATE knitting flat....I can't wait until I join it in the round so I can start banging it out. The clock is ticking...and I wanna knit something mindless!

Gotta skitter - got Shabbat cleaning to do, then it's on to the knitting!

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» :bouncing: We got a Kiln!!! (working!!!)
A DIGITAL kiln - for $300. With extras! Let me back up....

2 days ago, I couldn't sleep, so I got up and hit CraigsList (as one does.) On a lark, I went to a neighboring CL (instead of the Dallas one), and there was a new listing for a Paragon TnF kiln...in Grand Prairie. About 1 hour from us. :hmmmmmmm: No photos, so I sent off an email and asked.

Yesterday, I got the photos. I'll include 2 here, so you can see why I got excited:

Paragon kiln inside


Paragon kiln front

I asked her about it; she bought it new in 1997-ish (according to the controller - that's the first year that this model was made. She thinks she bought it in 1994...but the number doesn't match that.), made 12 dolls with it, then packed it up in her garage and started playing with her grandkids. :lol: She needs to clean out the garage, so...it needed to go.

This thing is PRISTINE. It honestly looks new - there's 1 ding in the brick in the lid, and 1 ding on the outside casing, but other than that it's new. She plugged it in for us and the electronics work; the elements look..well, new, so we said "Here, take my money please!" and loaded it up.

She included 2 full shelves, 1 1/2 shelf, all the posts, a bunch of cones, and a set of modeling tools. And a rolling stand for it, to make it easier for us to move it around. It's not even half the size of the Skutt, but you know what? It's actually the *perfect* size for what Herself wants to do with it. (Jewelry components. I did a quick estimate - she should be able to get components for 70 pairs of earrings in this thing each firing. Maybe more - I was conservative!)

It's large enough to do mugs and bowls, too - and plates or tiles. She's not into that - yet - but she might be later. It's set up for porcelain (with 3" bricks instead of 2.5"), so she can fire anything she wants - including glass and PMC!. OH, and did I mention it has digital controls? No more babysitting the entire firing!! (Just the end, to make sure it does shut off like it's supposed to.)

So. Herself's birthday is now sorted (for real!), as is Himself's. :whew: Now I can look at getting *me* something with what's left of the refund (besides my washer and mixer, I mean - both of those are "household", not personal.)

In other news: yesterday I made soap! I wanted to test the shaped ice cube trays I bought from Think Geek, and I wanted to test a new scent (Neroli and Shea Blossom. :mmmmmm:) I didn't have any small containers of milk, so I thawed a pint of cream....I forgot that cream = soap on a stick. :lol: I was able to beat it into shape and glop it into the molds; the soap looks good, but I won't un-mold it until tomorrow (because of the details. I want it firm.) I'm thawing a gallon of milk right now - I have an AWESOME idea for the Neroli-Shea Blossom....a 3 color soap. Not a swirl...we'll see if I can *do* it. If so, I'll have an awesome soap. If not...I'll have some 3 color laundry soap. :snicker: At least it'll smell nice!

Laters!

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» Wow! I am impressed....
with Skutt's Customer Service. Daniel *called* me (he had to look up my number, because I sure didn't send it to him!) to talk about the kiln. Unfortunately, it's going to take more $$$$ than it's worth to get it to a point of *test* firing it. :Sigh: Lesson learned.

He went out of his way to give me advice on what to look for. He also very carefully did NOT push for me to buy a Skutt kiln - which is IMPRESSIVE. I have found a few kilns on CraigsList that I am thinking about - I sent links to my potter friend to see what she says.

So, in a day or 2 I'll be listing the project kiln back on CL to try and get my $25 back. At least it wasn't an expensive lesson, y'know? (I wish I could just drop the funds to buy her a new kiln, but....it's just not possible. The kiln Daniel recommended has a retail price of $1700 - yes, it's all digital, and it's NEW, but....I just can't do that. Right now my budget is $300, *maybe* $350, so it's gonna have to be used. I am anticipating having to replace elements, even at that price - but if the kiln WORKS without a whole lot of other repairs, it'll be worth it.

Kilt hose: On the *TOE*. :happy dance: I'll be ready to start #2 this evening......finally!!!! :grin:

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» Weekend Recap.....
because it was fun!

1. Yesterday was Comic Con! I have quite a few photos - I need to see if I feel comfortable posting them, as Herself is plainly ID'able (she's OK with it, but.....I am not. Not really, anyway.) Suffice to say that there were Daleks aplenty, and she got her photo taken with all of them. :lol: We "met" Dalek Tim, who said "Hello" to me (THAT photo is hysterical, because I didn't expect it to turn the eyestalk to me and say "Hello". It was a hoot! We talked to a group that is producing a fan-based Dr. Who series (Soldier Stories) online - sounds fantastic.

SG got autographs from Nichelle Nichols (the original Uhura) and the actor who played Ti'ilk (Stargate). $80.....:wince:...but he wanted them.

It was fun - even though we stood in line outside for 1.5 hours (AND we had purchased our tickets online!!!!). I overheard Security say that 11K people were there - not sure if they meant AT that moment, or Saturday total - it was PACKED. To the point that *I* started freaking out a little. Still, it was fun - both kids enjoyed it.

2. Heard from Skutt! It IS a Skutt kiln; built sometime between 1960 and 1980. It needs a Lot of Work, according to the tech....I am waiting to see what the estimate is before moving forward. I also asked my potter friend to give me her opinion. We'll have to pay for the repairs piecemeal no matter what; I just don't want to pay MORE than the kiln is actually worth, y'know? And I don't want to pay for something it doesn't really *need*. So....we're in a holding pattern there.

3. Bought more yarn for Himself's kilt hose from a Ravelry member. I gotta say, the Lord is good!! And I apparently *did* rate a miracle, because - Miracle of Miracles!!! - the dye lot MATCHED mine!!!! (You have NO idea about how big a deal this is! See....yarn is dyed in batches - might be large ones, but still, finite batches. Each batch has it's own dye lot number; it means that all the yarn with *that* number was dyed at the same time, in the same pool of dye. I bought my yarn last March from a store in WA state. The destash came from a lady in Indiana.....and all of the "new" yarn is the exact same dye lot as my original set!!!!! What are the odds???? I'm telling you, God is GOOD!!)

3a. Speaking of Kilt Hose, I am 3" away from starting the toe on #1. :Sigh: Kid's got big feet! Still, I can see the end of this one....one more to go.

4. Not much knitting will be done Thursday. The Perot has a new exhibit opening this weekend - The International Exhibit of Sherlock Holmes. Members-only days are Thursday and Friday, and we are going! Yes, I'll be in my Sherlocked shirt.....I don't have the socks done yet, but that's OK. I'll probably do them in March. Maybe April....so many socks, so little time. :lol: The kids are kinda excited - this is a forensics "lab" type exhibit. Should be fun!

Our IRS refund is due to hit Tuesday. Gotta pay the taxes, then I get to go buy a new washer and *hopefully* my replacement KitchenAid stand mixer. Won't have much "fun" money this year, but hey - at least the taxes are paid, right?

Gotta skitter - got knitting to do!

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» Shabbat Shalom!
Let's see....

1. Contacted Skutt (misspelled the name yesterday, I think) about the kiln. Sent pictures this AM; waiting to hear back. My potter friend says it looks good, so we should be OK.

2. Bought Himself's Birthday present today - a Ninetendo 3DSXL. He's thrilled - but won't get it until his birthday. Such is life. :lol: (Why yes, I got paid yesterday. Why do you ask?)

3. Comic Con tomorrow! Rose won't be there, but River will. I am still not getting autographs, but it'll be fun. Both kids are excited.

4. Am halfway thru the foot of the kilt hose. :huzzah!: The extra yarn shipped yesterday, so..I need to slow it down a bit. The 2nd sock will be out of the new batch of yarn, to hopefully spare me dye lot problems.

5. Found a small table on CraigsList this AM for my ball winder. It's.....OK. Not fancy, but cheap and will work. Needs a good cleaning, but that's minor.

Not sure what else - I'm spinning my wheels here, waiting on Skutt so I know what we need to do about the kiln. Hope you all have a nice Shabbat - laters!

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