Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Links to Civilization

It turns out, at least for me, that civilization really does hinge on easy access to hot water.

As Scott pointed out, we were really without hot water for 5 days.  But it felt like an eternity.  Friends were very generous with their bathing facilities, so we weren't particularly stinky (especially for Durham), but it made things like doing dishes more difficult.  And washing my face in the morning.  Wow, that was so much more bracing that I typically enjoy.  There was just an overall grumpiness that comes with having to be that much more coordinated at a time when we were already stretched as thin as people can be.

We ended up replacing our 1985 low boy gas water heater with a shiny tankless gas water heater.  See, it turns out they stopped making the style of water heater needed to fit under our house in the crawl space YEARS ago.  Possibly decades ago.  So long ago that the first plumber we called was like "uhm, are you sure that it's gas?"

I have to give mad props to PSNC, our gas company.  While they weren't available the first day Scott called (Fri) because the person who runs the program was out, when he called on Mon, they had a guy out looking at stuff at noon and they did the installation the next day.  With 10% down and 36 month financing, it was a clear winner for us.  Plus it is one of the things that you get a 30% tax credit on, which ROCKS!  Oh, and there is a $100 rebate.  It is still more expensive than a traditional water heater, however, with our situation (crazy pipe movement), the rebate and the tax credit it's fairly close and we get to feel all efficient!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rainbow Monday!

So, this weekend SUCKED royally.  Terrible weekend, I cried myself to sleep every night, TERRIBLE.

However, the rainbow has popped out (at least some what).

Hot water heater: Died a massive death on Friday.  Turns out they haven't made the style we need for under the house in years and years.  The gas company is doing a tankless install for us tomorrow!  Tomorrow night I will have a hot shower in my own home!  I am SO pleased about this.  We get a tax credit and I get to take hot showers.  I can't even express how much better I feel knowing that C won't be flying in to a cold water only vacation.

Phone: S 'helped' me upgrade the operating system on my phone.  Bricked it.  So Sunday we had to go to the sprint store and have them reinstall the operating system.  But it works now, which is nice.

Foundation: Ok, this is still making me tense.  Massive deflection in the bricks at the back of the house.  I don't think the house is going to fall over, but it is definitely NOT GOOD. 

So now I feel like I will at least be able to celebrate my Age That Dare Not Speak It's Name birthday this weekend without being an angry wet noodle.

It's also the anniversary of the loss our little old lady pup, Canela.  I miss that cantankerous mutt.

Canela traipses through the dandelions!
Bringing Canela home from the Pound.
Rub my belly! RUB IT!
Naptime, with the doggie equivalent of the Berlin Wall.
S and Canela snuggle.
Sorry guys, I gotta go now...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Sad Day

E's Ball
I've been wavering if I should blog about this week, this day, this month.

The last few years have seem some nasty fastballs bouncing off the brain, crappily landing in my natal month, October.  I try not to string them together, but it does just kind of happen.

We took E's Ball to the zoo on her birthday!
It's been two years today since E, my mother-in-law, lost her fight with cancer.  Or with her cancer treatment.  Does that part even matter?  I remember the phone call from Scott, how initially, I didn't understand, it didn't make sense. How could this possibly have happened?  Because I didn't want it to have happened.  Sobbing into my pillow.  Falling asleep with a small bit of peace wrapped around me.  Zip forward, C (Scott's twin sis) has made (with a friend) amazing pit kiln-fired balls, with rattles and some of E's ashes.  We call them E's balls, because we're juvenile like that.  The one we have is so beautiful and I love how it honors her.

I miss her.  I miss her knowing any children we have.  I miss her calls to remind us of daylight savings time.  I'm glad that I knew her, that she gave me Scott and that we'll always remember her.


Glass Crap

Craaazy eyes!

So, when your doing fused glass (or really, any kind of glass working), you need so much more than just a kiln, some glass and crazy eyes. 

I have a wish list a mile long of stuff I want to play with.  I know I can't have it all right now, and really, I do have my whole life to play with this stuff.  I'm trying to focus down on the stuff I want to play with in the next few months while I make HOLIDAY! stuff.  I already have some requests (R's sparkly dong xmas ornaments!).
So I am thinking that for right now, so I can play without breaking the bank:
  • Mica powder:  Mica adds sparkle to any kind of glass, so I could use it with Bullseye or recycled float glass (ie beer bottles). There is a 'pixie pack' that has 24 different colors so I can sparkle in every way possible).
  • Glassline paint pens:  Another item that can be used with any COE glass.  I have some ideas that I think these would be perfect for, esp because you can use it with float glass.  I think I'll stick to just getting black and some tips for now, and seeing if I like how it works, and then investing in the crazy enormous assortment pack.
  • Some molds: To be able to recycle beer/booze/etc bottles, I'm going to have to get some molds.  Slumpy's has some inexpensive and very fun small molds that could work for the holidays and for jewelry.  They have a minimum for $100 usually though (only $50 through tomorrow), plus $10 off for new customers, which is cool.  A bunch of their holiday molds are 50% right now as well.  Delphi Glass also has what they call an 'essential casting mold' that basically has a bunch of different sizes and shapes so you can mold different shapes without having to get a bunch of different kinda prizy molds.  And if I get to the website via my local glass shop, I think they get a kickback, which is nice.
  • Drawer knob molds and hardware: Ok, still falls under molds, but there are a couple different ways to make drawer knobs.  Delphi Glass has a pretty nifty knob system that you end up with internal hardware.  You can get square, circle or rectangular knob molds from them.  There are also molds else where that you can affix hardware to the outside off.  Since we're doing 'things' to the kitchen, I'd really like to make knobs for my cabinets.
I also really want to make some of my own molds (I'll be tapping the pottery prowess of a fine dog owning lady I know for that) but that is probably going to be down the line a little bit.  Right now, I need to find my FSM-dammed running pliers that have been hiding from me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


EEEEK!  Seriously, I haven't gotten over my joy and glee over my kiln.


I feel like I should say something more, but really: Kiln, I have one!

Oh my god, I have one.  I'm going to have to be very productive with it.  *panic*

Start saving your beer, booze, wine, etc bottles for me!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh Happy Happy Day!

Those are my crazy, crazy eyes!

It's not quite my birthday yet, but Scott found a kiln that needed a new home!  EEEEK!  I am soooo happy right now.  I am going to be really really boring about glass for a long while now.

EEEEEK!!!!!!!  I really can't believe I actually have my very own kiln.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kathrine Switzer breaking through the Boston Marathon

I'm not even sure how I stumbled into this article about the first woman, Kathrine Switzer,  to run the Boston Marathon (in 1967). What an incredible story.  Just 40 years ago, people really thought that women were literally too frail to run long distances.  Of course, there are still plenty of people who still think women are frail, stupid creatures who can't possibly do heavy thinking.  I digress!

There is a great story in Runner's World about her run, in addition to her memoir, Marathon Woman.  The opening excerpt:

On a dark six-mile run in a wild snowstorm in mid-December 1966, I had a terrible argument with my otherwise kindly old coach, Arnie Briggs. It was in Syracuse, New York, where God first invented snow and never let up. I was a 19-year-old journalism student at Syracuse University, and since there was no women's running team there or anywhere else for that matter, I began training unofficially with the men's cross-country team. That's where I met 50-year-old Arnie, who had trained for years with the team. Arnie was actually the university mailman and a veteran of 15 Boston Marathons. He was excited to see a woman--the first--come out to run, and took slowpoke me under his training wing. To cajole me through tough evening sessions like this, Arnie told and retold stories of famous Bostons. I loved listening to them--until this night when I snapped and said, "Oh, let's quit talking about the Boston Marathon and run the damn thing!"

"No woman can run the Boston Marathon," Arnie fired back.

"Why not? I'm running 10 miles a night!"

Arnie insisted the distance was too long for fragile women to run and exploded when I said that Roberta Gibb had jumped into the race and finished it the previous April.

"No dame ever ran the Boston Marathon!" he shouted, as skidding motorists nearly killed us. Then he added, "If any woman could do it, you could, but you would have to prove it to me. If you ran the distance in practice, I'd be the first to take you to Boston." I grinned through the gloom and flakes. Hot damn, I thought, I have a coach, a training partner, a plan, and a goal: the biggest race in the world--Boston.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dizzy with a Side of Hurl

Last night, I fell asleep surrounded by index cards with kernels of ideas scrawled on them.  I texted Carrie that my brain was so full and I couldn't get everything out.   Hopefully when I go through the notecards later today, I'll know what the hell I was so excited about.

I woke up weird this morning.  I don't know how else to describe it, just...not right.  I felt vaguely wrapped in cotton and had the sensation of being off balance.  I wasn't truly dizzy, just my brain was clearly twisted to the left.

I've been kind of staggering through the morning, eating my breakfast bagel definitely helped my nausua.

I suspect an inner ear infection, as this strikes me as inner ear dizziness, which is not like regular dizziness.

Oh!  And Carrie has a cool project (with free art download) and a giveaway as her "Thrifty Thursday" post! Leave a comment to win Halloween figures, a scarf or a Halloween rosette.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Get your vote on

Early voting starts in NC today!  You can find out where your one-stop sites are at the NC State Board of Elections.  Remember: North Carolina allows for residents to register and vote during the One Stop Absentee Voting time period. 

If you live in North Carolina, there is NO REASON not to vote.  Participate!  It's the great thing about a democracy.

October Sorrows

We got some really crappy news yesterday.  Scott said, 'I'm glad you were born in October, or we'd just have to write this month off.'

My heart aches for M&W&d.  I know nothing except that someone else is gone, there is stillness were there was movement and his eyes arn't going to twinkle.  It reminds me that there are several more dates coming up on the calender that are going to just suck. 

Hold close your loved ones on this thundery rain day.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


It has taken me SO LONG to get this post pulled together.  I'd say I suck, but frankly, it's tax week and it takes a lot of energy for me to worry as much as I do.

Blue is ready for adventure!
The first weekend in October, to celebrate B's birthday, we headed west to the mountains of Asheville for a spot of Glamping!  What is Glamping?  It's Glamour Camping!  We weren't up for dealing with tents and flashlights, but we wanted to snuggle into nature.  We stayed at the KOA in Black Mountain, right on a little lake, in the cutest little 'kabin'.  Electricity, beds, heaters, a sweet porch with swing, a lovely firepit, it was AWESOME!  There was quite the hike to the potty, but it wasn't so bad, except first thing in the morning.

You didn't think I wasn't going to post a million pictures, did you?  HAH!  We arrived late Friday night, with B&M already set up and prepping dinner!  The dogs had a good sniffle around, we got our bed set up, burned some things, eat a yummy dinner M grilled and just felt the stress of the week flow right out of us.

After a surprisingly good night sleep, despite the air mattress deflating a hair, we stepped out of the cabin to watch the morning hit the lake.

The morning view from the porch
A wild Scottie
Alicia starts a fire
Blue explores the semiwilderness with style.
Morgan shoots the teen ducks
duck, duck, goose, EGRET?
Perhaps a Blue Heron.  Stately as all getout.
After a relaxing morning, including realizing we had no pots and no coffee grinder, we packed up the pooches and headed to Asheville!

Tasty beers at Jack of the Wood
Despite other dogs sucking (yeah, I'm talking to you weird lungey, barky black lab.  Asshole.) Blue was totally awesome and retreated beneath the bench.
Blue and Emma, settled and safe.
Gus was totally ready to protect us from all invaders.
Blue did awesome, once she was taken away from her insane owners.
We wandered Asheville for a bit, then headed back to camp for a yummy Thai birthday dinner!
A campsite visitor
The dogs were so utterly exhausted from the Asheville adventure, I don't think they moved for the rest of the night.
More things were burnt, for s'more time was upon us!
Lights and love on the porch.
Sleepy, sleepy Blue.
The ceremonial Sunday morning burning of the Chick tract.
All packed up and ready that a travel monkey?
Gus and Emma do not wanna go!
Our little family
The group survived Glamping!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Possible Colony Collapse Disorder Cause!

Ok, I'm kind of dorky, I know this.  I've been following the whole CCD problem that's been plaguing bees, with my worry ranging from mild to 'oh my god we're all going to STARVE'.  So that they think they've found at least one of the reasons why bee colony's would suddenly just disappear.  A study linked a fungus and a virus to CCD.  It's not like there is a cure or they even know why bees are more susceptible to them, but it's a start!

Rally to Restore Sanity

It's my birthday and I'll rally if I want to, rally if I want.  You would rally too if it happened to you!

Ok, technically Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity is the day before my birthday, but it's close enough.  We're gonna day trip to DC and have a damn good time.  I think I might have to have Korean BBQ on the way home, but I'm flexible.

Wanna come with us? Drop me a line!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Carrie's Crazy Sale

My evil pal Carrie just launched 'Thrifty Thursday' over at her blog.  It's a project and some killer savings at (her store).  She's launched Halloween, and it's 38% off.

She also launched some ebay sales, at the bottom of her blog post!

Blood and Platelets!

I am superfucking annoyed that I still can't donate blood/blood products.  I was checking eligibility again, and on first glance, was pretty excited that I might be able to donate!  But it's confusing as fuck, cause they say:

You spent (visited or lived) a cumulative time of 5 years or more from January 1, 1980, to present, in any combination of country(ies) in Europe, including: (many countries, including Germany).

So I got excited, b/c I only lived in Europe for 3 years (and we rarely ate meat, as keeping kosher is expensive).  But then I saw this:

You were a member of the of the U.S. military, a civilian military employee, or a dependent of a member of the U.S. military who spent a total time of 6 months on or associated with a military base in any of the following areas during the specified time frames (which is 1980-1990 for Germany)  If I was just a regular joe I could donate, but because I was a dependent I'm extra priony? I mean, I don't think I'm in any particular risk for vCJD, esp vs someone who lived there for 5 fucking years eating meat.  However, I'm also not particularly inclined to lie and potentially risk the blood supply.  But it's annoying, because prior to all this, I donated blood as often as I was able.  It's a really simple thing you can do that really helps a lot of people.  Not to mention, you never know when you're going to need a little yourself.

Visit the Red Cross to find more info on donating.  Do it and get a cookie!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Congrats to Cathi!

Cathi Milligan, who makes amazing glass beads, opened a store in Highland Park, CA!

If your in SoCal, go visit her at The Glass Studio.  She's got lots of amazing stuff to pursue and tons of classes if you want to learn about lampwork, kiln forming or macrame.
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