Thursday, May 29, 2008

Whatta mistaka to make!

Earlier today I was all upset because I tried to make some rice in my newish cooker and something went wrong. It bubbled and spat for a humongous time, and eventually came out looking like a cross between mashed potatoes and grits.

I started a thread about it on Etsy and got lots of tips for the future. And lots of commiseration from some really nice Etsians.

However, I don't deserve any of it. Not a single word.

Want to know why?

Okay, I'll tell you.

When I was putting the ruined mess in a bag for the garbage, I suddenly realized that I had gotten confused about the markings on the rice measure. I needed to put in 2 full measures of rice and the corresponding amount of water. Instead, I only put in enough rice to come to the second marking on the measure --- 1/2 cup (!!!!!) --- and water for 2 measures.

That's right, I had 1/2 cup of rice and about 4 cups of water. No wonder it turned into a mushy messy mass.

Next time I use that cooker, I need to turn my brain on first.

Addendum: I used the cooker again today (June 3), and this time I did it right!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Farewell and Hello

My brother is a Catholic priest, and for the last 9 years he's been pastor of a small country parish. This past Sunday he let the family know that he's being transferred to a larger parish in a nearby city. The new parish is 3 times as big, with twice as many Masses scheduled. This will mean a lot more work for Joseph. I presume that this parish has some permanent deacons, but I don't know how many.

It was a hard decision for him to make, but he said he knew he needed to do it when he heard the bishop's reasons for the request. This small town had become his home, and he'd become a part of it.

Joseph has just over a month to wind up his affairs and pack up all his belongings. I think we will be going out there to help sort out what is his and what belongs to the rectory.

We will all miss this small town and the people who took us into their hearts because we were Fr. Joseph's family.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

We're off to see the Bishop!

Tomorrow a friend of the family, Msgr. Michael Duca, will be ordained and installed as Bishop of Shreveport, Louisiana. So we're leaving this afternoon. We'll stay the night and come back tomorrow afternoon. There are so many people coming, whether by car or bus, that the ceremony had to be moved from the cathedral, which seats about 350, to the convention center, which will hold 6,000!

My parents have known Msgr. Duca since he was a child (our dads are good friends), and he's known me since I was a youngster. He graduated from elementary and high school with my eldest sister and went straight into the seminary. I might see another bishop installed, but it's very unlikely it would be someone I actually know.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Water, water everywhere . . . . . . . . but not at home

It's pouring outside as I sit here in the lobby of a LaQuinta, waiting to get in touch with a customer to arrange a delivery time. I'm sitting here because our water is off at home due to a major leak under the house.

I'd been hearing something in my bathroom for a few days, but the toilet is old and sometimes just runs a little. You get used to it. However, when I was getting ready for bed Sunday night the noise was louder --- and definitely NOT the toilet. Yesterday the plumber came out and fixed the leak under the tub area. Unfortunately, he ran into two more problems: first, when he turned the water back on there was another leak (and yes, it's under the toilet). Second, he hurt his shoulder and nearly couldn't get out from under the house! Now he has to get a shot and wait a couple days before he can work again. :o( He also suggested leaving the water off during that time since it's really wet and muddy down there. But with this rain today, I don't think it's going to dry out much.

The worst part (besides the unexpected costs) is that we're getting ready to go out of town Sunday and Mama and I have outfits we need to finish. Failing that, we have to do a lot of laundry in order to wear something else on the trip.

Going back and forth between the house and a hotel in the rain is not how I planned to spend my days off.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Gray is Creeping Up on Me

My mother was 38 when I was born and had a lot of gray hair. Her older sister was completely gray well before 30. Both of them kept it covered up for years.

I've had some gray hair for several years, mainly in my bangs. It really hasn't bothered me except for the gray being wiry and not wanting to behave itself. I was just happy I didn't turn gray in my 30s or even 20s, like my mother and aunt. I was actually more stressed before it showed up, half afraid I'd gray early and half wishing I had some so people wouldn't think I was a teenager. :o)

I decided to take some photos of my hair after a coworker commented on how much gray I had (she's several inches taller, so she could see it). Now I'm kind of depressed.

The gray is much more prevalent than I thought. Those aren't blonde highlights in these pix, that's gray. :o(

So much for youth. :o)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A part of my past is gone. . . . .

In the course of getting my degree I went to three colleges --- a small private school, a community college, and a fair-sized public university. Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio wasn't very big --- 1600 students including the grad school --- but it had a big effect on me. I'd done a lot of traveling with my family, but for the first time I was by myself, almost 300 miles away from home. The small size kept me from being too overwhelmed as I adjusted to a new life. Here's a link to a tour of the campus. Just search by name.

Last night the heart of the campus burned.

The Old Main building was built in 1895. It had wide halls with high ceilings --- about 12" even with a dropped ceiling for AC. It held the cafeteria, the computer labs, and lots more. These days, part of the building had been turned into dorms (I think for the international students).

I remember taking computer classes (back when that meant programming, not using a mouse). The BASIC and SPSS (used by the social work students) databases were on the same computer system, but SPSS really slowed the system down. We joked that if 3 SPSS users were on at the same time, anyone who needed a printout had time to go down to the cafeteria, get a drink, return, and finish it before the printout was done --- IF the fates were with him.

Now a lot of that beautiful piece of history is gone, along with a lot of historical papers and photos. Here's a link to a video of the aftermath.

A lot of the building is still there, but it will never be the same.

And neither will I.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Run for your lives, the scissors are taking over the house!!

In my last post about the Great Scissor Hunt I mentioned the drawer full of scissors. Just thought I'd list the contents:

1 pair Gingher shears
1 pair Fiskars spring shears
1 pair Fiskars spring pinkers
2 pairs Gingher lightweight shears
1 pair pink-handled Tonic shears
1 pair Gingher buttonhole scissors
1 pair gold stork scissors
1 pair Gingher applique scissors
1 pair Gingher tailor's points
1 pair double-curved embroidery scissors, maker unknown
1 Fiskars 45mm rotary cutter and blades
1 Gingher sharpening stone, never used

All of these live in a shoebox in the top drawer of the chest by the Singer 401-A. And I have a pair of curved embroidery scissors in with my embroidery notions.

Then, of course, there's the 4 pairs of embroidery scissors mentioned in my last post. We also have 2 pairs of the old orange-handled Fiskars, one of which lives with the Wiss embroidery scissors in the utility room. And there's an old coffee can in there with 2 pairs of Wiss pinkers (7.5" and 9"), 2 pairs of Wiss shears, 2 pairs of long barber scissors (one pair rusty and wallered out, but why toss them? Someday we'll find a use for them.), and a pair of thinning scissors.

Wait, that's not all!! We have 3 pairs of household scissors in the desk drawer, including one pair with Teflon blades. On my dresser is another pair of basic scissors, and finally, there's another pair in the office desk drawer.

Whew!! That's a lot of scissors!

Oh no, I just found some more . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Great Scissor Hunt

Over the years my mother and I have gotten tired of saying "Have you got the little scissors?", so we've gradually worked our way up to 4 pairs. The old Wiss pair are in the utility room to snip threads when we're ironing, and we have 3 pairs of Gingher embroidery scissors --- one at her machine (one splotch of nail polish), one at mine (no polish), and one for the sewing pouch for travel (two splotches).

Three weeks ago (more or less) I used the spare pair for a project and left them on the little table between the recliners. Two weeks ago I went to use them and couldn't find them anywhere. I checked at my computer (where I'd been pulling threads) --- not there. Checked the drawer full of scissors --- not there either. I moved the recliner and looked on the floor --- not there. I even ran my hands down the sides of the cushions --- no dice. I couldn't find the frigging scissors anywhere!!!!

This week at work we got a double discount coupon, so I decided to just buy a new pair of scissors. I figured that as soon as I put on nail polish to mark them I'd find the other pair, but since they were on sale and I got 30% off, it was worth it. I brought them home and left them in the bag for the time being.

Fast forward to 12 midnight last night. I heard some furniture-moving noises so I came to see what was up. Mama had misplaced her pair of little scissors, so Dad was moving her recliner and anything else he could look under. That made us two pairs down. They were about to give up for the night when I got the flashlight and got down on the floor (I don't concentrate too well standing on my head) to look under the chair at the machinery. There was a glint of metal --- success! I used the telescoping magnet to pull them out. They hit the floor, but hey, they were found! Then Dad saw something else in there --- turns out the first missing pair were in the same darn place! Guess Mama will have to stop putting the scissors on her lap. LOL

Now I just have to decide whether to keep the new pair or not! :o)

Dang! Am I good or what?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Another Day, Another Dollar

This week Dad and I once again got our local KC newsletter written, edited, and printed in the usual frenzy. Last night I labeled 240 in a little over an hour by myself, and when the parents got home we managed to have nearly 500 newsletters labeled, sealed, and stamped by 11:30. Dad had a meeting this morning, so Mama and I finished the rest together. By 1:00 p.m. all of them --- nearly 1100 --- were in the tender loving hands of the USPS, and we went to CiCi's Pizza for lunch.

And for all this mental and physical labor, I get the truly munificent sum of $30 a month.