Tag Archives: pansy

Yay! To Noticeably Longer Days!

Random Thoughts

When forced out of bed at the obscene hour of 6 a.m. on Wednesday, I realized that ‘light’ was appearing earlier than before.  This was greeted by snarling from my son who complained that it was interfering with him sleeping on the bus on the way to school.  Poor baby.  It also hit me that at one point in my life 6 a.m. was the routine ‘up’ time for me.  Huh.  Maybe this is the year I’ll be able to get myself back on a (snort) ‘normal’ schedule (eye roll).  Any who, I looked up the daylight hours here:  http://www.almanac.com/astronomy/rise

On December 21, 2012 we had 9 hours and 18 minutes of daylight.  The sun came up at 7:41 and set at 4:59 p.m.  Today, March 1, 2013 we had 11 hours and 19 minutes of daylight.  The sun came up at 6:55 a.m. and set at 6:14 p.m.  AND I’m starting to hear birdsong in the morning.  A sure sign spring is on the way.  YAY!

Soon it will be time for these beauties!

Soon it will be time for these beauties!

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I’ve gotten behind on my Simple Abundance and am trying to catch up.  I liked this section:

“Today, if you feel frightened or unsure about the future, pick up the double-edged sword of Light and Love.  Always remember, it’s simply not an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons.  But as in the best old tales, at the end of your exploring, you will live happily ever after.”  Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance

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My March 1st quote of the day:  “Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.” — Churchill

Life At Our House

Life has been a crazy round of after school wonderfulness.  Boy Scouts, The Play (6 days a week), and now Physics club for a gravity car competition.  But first they must build the thing.  Ugh.

But the real fun started last week when our furnace began to make the house sound as if it were under attack.  The bushings?bearings? and fan were dying dramatically.  Fortunately, the repair guy said it wouldn’t kill us.  If it died the whole thing would beat itself to death in what he called “the squirrel cage” without catching fire or blowing us up.  Phew.  Then he told us the company that made the furnace was long out of business (our furnace was 29 years old) and thus no parts.  Attempting to jerry rig something would only be a band-aid as the rest of the furnace was rusting to death.  Which we knew.  We were hoping to get through just one more winter before coughing up money for a new furnace.  We still have to put in sewage and had just enough money to do that.  Well, not anymore.

The first estimate was $3000.00 for an 80% efficient furnace and $3500 for a 90%.  I about had a stroke.  Eventually, after more estimates and some dickering, we got the company we wanted to put it in and a Rheem 80% efficient furnace for $2300.  $24oo something with tax (hey, I’m still traumatized).  Fingers crossed for a hefty tax refund from Uncle Sam to help off set this.  Having a kid in college has helped with that the past couple of years.

In the meantime I had to try to sleep (not) for 5 days with the furnace alternately sounding like a jet trying to take off or someone beating it to death with a sledge-hammer.  Gah.  Wednesday saw me up at the butt crack of dawn (6:00 a.m.) so that I could get a shower before they showed up and shut off the gas to install the furnace.

Life smiled on us.  We were given an estimate of a day and a half installation with heat guaranteed by night.  Well, we had two people working and someone to pick up the dead body and we had heat by 3:00 p.m.  I was stoked.  Of course, nothing is ever totally simple around here.  The furnace started up and burned a bunch of oil off the inside which flooded the house with smoke.  It looked like a fog had rolled in.  I have respiratory issues so this was ‘BAD’ and I ran around opening windows and doors and fighting with the fire alarm that was refusing to shut the hell up.  Oh, and did I mention the window screens?  We take them off for the winter.  They are on the inside of the house (what idiot came up with this I don’t know) and we wash them and put them away.  So after I threw open windows I had to have my husband keep the cats from jumping out while I dug screens out of the ‘Junk Heap’ (garage).  AND it was 40 degrees out and I also have circulatory issues so this was ‘Not Fun’.  But everyone survived and we now have a furnace that is half the size of the old one and really blows the air around.  I slept 14 hours yesterday and 12 hours today.  Thank heavens I had nowhere to be and things could be put off till the weekend.

Crystals

I changed out the rocks in the rock tumbler after 7 days.  The grit was gone.  Three days into the medium grit cycle the medium grit was gone.  WTF?  So now we are on the fine grit cycle.  I decided to see what I could find on the net and, wow, what a difference since 2004 when I bought the cheapo tumbler.

The cheapo rock tumbling kits give you 1 bag of each size grit.  It will get you so/so polished rocks, mostly of the cheap brown variety.  I had purchased on an order form the rocks that are in now so I got a somewhat better selection, but still only one bag per size grit.  What you’re supposed to do is ‘recharge’ each stage of grit with more grit till the rocks are ground down properly.  Smooth, no edges, no pits, etc.  Then you move to the next finer grit.  Repeat.  Apparently wearing the grit down in 3 days is not unusual.  But since I don’t have extra grit, I have to live with what comes out in each stage.  *sigh*

I find this whole process fascinating so I went looking around at ‘proper’ equipment and found that for one good 3 lb. tumbler and tubs, not envelopes, of grit I would have to come up with about $200.  *sigh*  So this won’t be happening anytime in my immediate future!  The following pics are 1) the original rough stones. 2) The stones after the rough grit. and 3) The stones after the medium grit.  You have to look carefully between the last 2 pictures to see the differences between the 2 steps.

Note the two green chrysoprase, one on top and one on the bottom.

Note the two green chrysoprase, one on top and one on the bottom.

It isn't an exact copy of the original photo, but close enough.

It isn’t an exact copy of the original photo, but close enough.

Note how the red striped rock in the roughly 10:30 position went from a slipper shape to oval in just 3 days.

Note how the red striped rock in the roughly 10:30 position went from a slipper shape to oval in just 3 days.

I wish I knew how to put these pictures side by side.  Next up will be a picture of them after the fine grit and then to the polish stage!

Mugs

After all the fun we’ve been having I grabbed a gift bottle of bubbly that we had been ‘saving’.  And I dug out my favorite hand painted wineglasses.  Well, only one.  And there are only three, not four, which is why I got them super cheap at a Christmas craft fair whose parade the Band always marches in.  I love these glasses.

Sooo pretty.

Sooo pretty.

Painted all the way down.

Painted all the way down.

Night all!

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And The New Year Begins

Random Thoughts

So the New Year has begun and here I am again looking back at the old one shaking my head at the lack of progress.  Granted, there was a lot of ‘not fun’, especially financially, but still.  Damn.  Um, darn.  I said, “Darn”.

One of the things I know and has come up before is if I don’t take time for my outer self and my inner self, I’ll stall out and get buried under all the crap.  So some me time is in order.  I know, I know.  I keep coming back to this.  I need to find some way or some thing to jump-start me in the morning through the fog before half the day is gone so I remember to take care of myself.  Me first!

***On my list is becoming a runner again.  I totally dropped the ball on that one this summer.  No time, no time, no time.  Excuses, excuses, excuses.   I’m going to start penciling this in first.

***My animals.  I have not been caring for them with my ‘A’ game and very little interaction.  My hermit crabs are all skittish again.  My fish tanks are plant choked.  No calm swimmy viewing for me, limited swimming room for them.  Etc., etc.  So Guilt, Guilt, Guilt.

***Plants.  My outside gardens are a joke.  I have no inside gardens going.  And a vegetable garden?  Not unless -I- make it so.

These all keep me happy and sane.  So I have to get them back in my life and put out all the fires after.  Including the never-ending mess that is my house.

While I was writing this Saver of Bugs was sitting down the couch from me on her computer and posted a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the comments to yesterday’s post.  It so fits what I need to do, mentally.  So I’m stealing it for today as well.  And I think this is going to wind up on some pretty paper for me to hang somewhere obvious.  Saver rocks.

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.

 

A volunteer that sprouted from seed that survived last year's winter.

A volunteer pansy that sprouted from seed that survived last year’s winter.

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There is a bug living in this house that we need to look up.  He is very noisy and as I was typing this he landed on my crystals.  I decided to take a picture to have when I looked him up and ‘Surprise!’ I discovered my end table is a really good place to take pictures of my crystals!  Bonus!  So say, “Hi!”

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 So now I’m off to end my day writing in my Gratitude Journal.   Onward Ho!

 

The Gift of Grace (I Need It)

Random Thoughts

I’ve ranted my way through several versions of this post and then walked away to try to get perspective.  This weekend was frustrating and aggravating along several different lines, but this is a blog – not a book.  So I’m just going to hit the personal headlines.

I am sick to death of sleep being such a damn battle.  My mother only slept 4-5 hrs. a night and having children who needed 8-9 hrs. annoyed her to no end.  She also drops right off when she lies down and would constantly come to the door or stand over me in bed to demand why I wasn’t asleep yet.  So I grew up always afraid of not getting to sleep.  Knowing why I have trouble getting to sleep has not helped much.  I am also a light sleeper and if I wake up I have trouble getting back to sleep.  Because I am a light sleeper I have a very low threshold for sleep deprivation (didn’t find this out till I was in my 30’s).  I have a funky metabolic rate which might get me up in the a.m. to eat.  Now add a brain that just will not shut up and I’m screwed.  Routines help to a certain degree,  exhaustion sometimes helps, exercise helps to a certain degree, I’ve taken meds (but because of my metabolism they only last half the time listed so I may just pop awake in the middle of the night).  I can’t just set a schedule and keep it hell or high water because lack of sleep shoots my immune system down and I get sick.  So I have to make time to sleep even if it means sleeping into the afternoon.  Which, of course, just screws with my whole day.  I would love to find just one thing that would shut my brain down and always put me to sleep.  (Aside from a 2 x 4 upside the head.)

I really wanted to start and finish Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach this year.  It has helped in the past and the past couple of years have had a whole lot of not fun in them.  I’m now about 5 weeks behind (tomorrow, tomorrow) and am also not writing in my Gratitude Journal.  I need to do this.

I haven’t been getting out in the yard and into the dirt on a regular basis.  Which I know helps tremendously with my mental health.  I need to do this, too.

I got behind on the mail and bills.  Again.  I have got to stop doing this.

I’m fairly new to Tarot, but I have found it helpful and centering.  Now I’m not even doing a card a day draw.  Need to get back to this.

And somewhere in here I need to start exercising (walking) – again.  (Is there an award for # of starts?)

That’s enough whining for today.  I’m going to reach for a favorite little prayer of mine.  I need to get my calligraphy marker out and put this on one of my flowered papers and keep it visible.  For those of you who wish to, substitute your belief system where you will.

Just for Today – Marjorie Holmes

Oh, God, give me grace for this day.  Not for a lifetime, nor for next week, nor for tomorrow, just for this day.  Direct my thoughts and bless them.  Direct my work and bless it.  Direct the things I say and give them blessing too.  Direct and bless everything that I think and speak and do.  So that for this one day, just this one day, I have the gift of grace that comes from your presence.

Life at Our House

So here is that bread I made the other day:

Spider Bait had the Blue and Gold Banquet for Boy Scouts this Saturday and work at the greenhouse on Sunday.  I got gas that would scare elephants away and kept me up half the night from something I ate at the Banquet (getting ‘older’ sucks).

Fur Babies and Other Friends

The weather here was miserable this weekend.  But I did catch this guy down back:

The Blue Jays are coming back out, so the babies must be hatched (they are very secretive during nesting):

BAD KITTY!  (snort, giggle)

What’s this?

Tastes okay.

Mine!

Isn’t this face adorable?

Out in the Yard

Our header today is just a plain old pansy.

Crystals 

A lot of times if I’m upset and feel the need to hold a crystal, I reach for Rose Quartz.  But today I needed something more ‘substantial’, and reached for my Tiger Iron.  After the weekend I had mentally, I was not surprised when I read about its attributes.

Tiger Iron is a form of Jasper.  Jasper is common and found worldwide in a variety of colors.  Tiger Iron is found quite often in Australia.  Its astrological association is Leo and is identified with the Base Chakra.  I’m going give you the definition of Tiger Iron strictly from The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall.

“Tiger Iron is a combination of Jasper, Hematite, and Tiger’s Eye.  It promotes vitality and helps in passing through change, pointing to a place of refuge when danger threatens.  It is extremely helpful for people who are deeply exhausted at any level, especially those suffering from emotional or mental burn-out or family stress.  It promotes change by opening a space to contemplate what is needed and then supplying the energy necessary for action.  Tiger Iron’s solutions are usually pragmatic and simple.  Tiger Iron is a creative and artistic stone that brings out inherent talents.”

“Keep Tiger Iron in contact with the skin.”

The stone below is a massage stone.  It looks even better in the sun.

Mug of the Day

Onward Ho!

A Quiet Day

Random Thoughts

 I was sitting at the table this morning eating strawberries and reading blogs when I happened to look into the bowl.  Small white lumps were floating in my strawberries.  Huh?  They can’t be getting moldy already!  I just thawed them out yesterday!  A closer inspection revealed a lump with black dots.  Eeeeeew.  Another lump appeared with orange on it.  Wait.  Orange?  WTF?  I turned my light box back on, shoved my glasses up where they belonged, and stuck the bowl in the light.  Oh-for-pete’s-sake.  ***head to table***  I had eaten eggs for breakfast and was using the same spoon.  Egg bits had soaked off the spoon while it sat in the juice.  Mornings are not my best time.

This appealed to me today.  An attitude reminder from Robert Louis Stevenson:

“There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.  By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.”

Life At Our House

The ‘big event’ here today was my baking bread (sourdough).  Unless of course you want to count my succumbing to a chocolate craving and going out to buy a stash of Sixlets.  Here’s the bread:

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Sourdough

It’s been out about 30 minutes now so when my tea is ready I’m going to lop off a chunk and slather it in butter.  Can’t wait.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

Hey!  Saver of Bugs!  About those peacock feathers…

Annie

Annie

 While eye shine normally annoys me, I think this is very accurate showing of our ‘witch’ cat.

Is it dinner?  Is it? Is it?

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Out in the Yard

You’ll notice I changed my header.  I’ve decided to try to put some small picture from in the yard as my header every time I post.

Today’s pic is a very small pansy that I found in a planter in my yard.

A tiny determined seed survived the winter.   And despite a less than ideal beginning to life, has produced a beautiful flower for all to enjoy.