Saturday, March 28, 2015

And Beloved Hubby's almost as bad.

Slept like a rock last night after a terrible visit to Golden Corral last night. Ugh. I don’t think we’ll be going back there again. Sure, I ate my fill of pot roast, but it was not only more expensive than ever, but a bigger mess. The staff was too busy embarrassing birthday guests to attend to the massive press of sheer humanity (not their fault, but still…) and various items were emptied before we arrived and weren’t refilled by the time we left. At the carving station, the carver watched me saw off a chunk of meat after waiting a minute or two – the knife was on his side, but I got tired of trying to get his attention from whatever he was staring so intently at. It’s not like he was busily carving anything for anybody else. The nibble of steak was pretty good, but I’ve gulped ocean water that was less salty than the bacon it was wrapped with. 

Oh, and the heavily promoted ‘Vegas’ thing was just plain stupid. We got one ticket to spin the wheel – as you exit, please ! – and one glace at the thing told me what I needed to know. The big prize was nearly impossible to obtain, due to opportune peg placement over a tiny sliver of opportunity to begin with, and it was for one free meal. Most of the other ‘prizes’ were one free drink or free dessert… um, don’t you already get sweets with your meal ? Breads are now down to just yeast rolls and cornbread, and the cotton candy machine is gone. I actually got elbowed out of the chocolate fountain line (I just wanted a couple strawberries, those gimmick things always utilize cheap crap chocolate, and despite ample use of sticks, people still get their fingers in there, watching folks around those things is fascinating) by some kid… and I’m still wearing the sling ! Clearly the place is attracting more jerks than anything else, an opinion I solidified after hearing Beloved Hubby’s report of the state of the men’s restroom. I’ve had better dining ambiance at 7-11 than I got from our $60. meal last night. We were one of the few tables that tipped, too. If we go again, it’ll be by Dearest Son’s birthday request, nothing else. Ugh. 

But, as mentioned, with all those fatty meats in my belly, topped off by a very good salad and a thin chocolate pie slice, along with having the end-of-month bills paid, I slept very well. By the time everyone was up and moving around today, it was much closer to lunch, so we went out for a bit. Ended up at Hastings, where Beloved saw me eyeing the miniature Elsa, and I told him it was a tossup between her and one of the blind-box Frozen series, but at least this one was a dollar cheaper and I knew what I’d get. Of course, it was the only Elsa left in a bin of Olafs with two Annas. Tiny as she is, she still shows a thin sliver of leg through her gown, just like her bigger sister. Beloved snagged her and said I’d get her once I helped with taxes, and he kept his word. Taxes were much easier this year ! We were done in less than two hours. 

And I found some new embroidery designs to want, darn it. Expensive ones. The only sales I can find are from designers that don’t have anything I want. Anymore. Downloaded a free set of doll-sized Valentine’s Day cookies, but if I skip the ‘Be Mine’ cursive, they’d be fine for any time my larger dolls want a snack. Since I got both the beige and dark brown felt on my last Hancock’s run, they can have milk and dark chocolate versions !

That reminded me that I’d bought some uber-cheep glass seed beads to use as ‘snow’ in the snowglobe designs I already had… and  had no idea how to use those beads. I poured some glitter in the Elsa one I did, and it was too dangerous to repeat. If the needle drove the sandlike stuff down into the works…yikes. So when I saw some other designs using beads, I figured that had to be much safer to poor Brody’s innards. Then, I realized I had no idea how to keep the beads from getting under the rapidly plunging needle, any more than I knew how to keep the glitter away. I could either buy a design that offered to tell me how in the directions, or I could do a little Google-fu. Fu is free. It didn’t take long ‘til I had the answer. You kind of baste-sew a couple strings of beads into the design just before the vinyl for the dome is stitched in, and when the design’s done, pull the threads and loose the beads. I was thinking I’d have to pop and re-sew a few stitches, but the thread sounds much easier. 

Now, when’s our tax refund due in…?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Dollar Tree, you are NOT helping me get over my Frozen fetish !

Didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, and ended up sleeping in a bit this morning. My VA Health Check monitor – not the pacemaker monitor, that’s not arrived yet – mucked up yesterday, and it was still dicey today. I’d called my rep to let her know yesterday, and she’d instructed me to unplug it, wait a half hour, and plug it back in, it’d reset itself and find whatever tower it needed to transmit. I did that last night, and it still acted strange. Then I realized, I’d unplugged it from the back of the device. The part that plugged into the wall had some sort of green LED light transformer on it – maybe that made a difference ? It did. Works fine now, and somehow during yesterday’s potato chip sorrow suffocation, I lost two pounds. (sigh)

Dearest Son’s job is to tidy up the living room on Fridays, mostly because he does most of the living in it. I promised we’d go to Dollar Tree once that’s done. Amazing how little time that can take ! I got my first full shower since the surgery – heaven ! A one-handed shampoo in the shower is a million times better than a birdbath in the kitchen sink, even with both hands and the sprayer nozzle. Two weeks down, two to go before I don’t have to focus on keeping my left arm down anymore.

He made his two selections, I got him a pack of three blank CDs to burn for his stereo and a knockoff Nerf football to toss with Beloved Hubby in the backyard, plus a box of pizza rolls for lunch. 

You can see what I got. Last time we were there, I saw these novelty huge Frozen pencils in a single cylinder at the register, too late. No biggie. I figured they’d be long gone by our next visit, but as you can see, I got one ! There’s at least three different designs, and they have different labels on them – some say ‘Star Student’, others read ‘Diva’. Mine identifies me as a ‘Drama Queen’ and after March, I don’t think many would disagree. I got the last plastic ‘sisters’ cup – the four others were all Olaf – and the last little tote bag. I couldn’t resist the bag. It reads ‘Strong Bond / Strong Heart’… well, that’s the hope ! Perhaps I should name my ICD Anna ? Maybe she’ll keep me cool and strong. J They still had plenty of plastic kiddie plates, straws, snap-lid snack bowls, and cereal bowls, but oddly, those all featured Olaf, too. I'm sure that's just a coincidence and everyone's favorite Discount Sid snowman remains as popular as ever !

I got two of the ‘Caution !’ signs – Beloved’s says ‘Genius at Work’, mine of course, mentions stars. They also came in blue, red, and green, but all the green ones were ‘Genius’ and I really wanted ‘Superstar’. They’ll look great with nearly any size doll, I think. Charmingly oversized for Barbie and the MH classmates, adorable with Timey, Dottie, and the DP&M girls. They fold flat, too. Score ! 

The black paint set may seem odd, especially considering I don’t have any use for the cheap foam roller, plastic gloves, or paintbrush inside. But there is method to my madness. The tray is about perfectly sized to hold my sewing machine pedal in one place under the Arena, and with some of the nonslip shelf foam left over from the sewing machine pocket pad project adhered inside and out, it should stay in one place. 

I know I don’t need to explain the popcorn. It’s delicious !

Thursday, March 26, 2015

And they look about the same today, surprisingly.

Backyard before the storm.

Heckuva day. AT&T is blaming the storms, but it seems odd that we had internet all night and this morning at 8am, but lost it somewhere between 8 and 9:30am. Guess it’s like a car, any part can go belly-up at any time. I’d been up at 5am with Beloved Hubby, he’s working long hours to make up for the missed work from the snow. Just got to lie back down at 7am, when Beloved and I texted ‘til I crashed, then Junior-kitty wanted attention, then he wanted out. Fell asleep again, woke to Dearest’s stomping around, thinking his modem was mucking up. I think I’d reached the ‘too tired to even wanna sleep’ point. 

Sneaky AT&T got our service restored about 12:30pm or so, I was too busy reorganizing the DVD shelves, so I could find something to watch, to notice exactly when. By the time I’d selected something mindless (Super Troopers, a go-to favorite), there it was. BTW, if you’re a STrooper fan, too, they’re doing a gofundme to make ST2, and both their YouTube videos are hilarious. Moustaches abound ! 

Then, right after lunch, the mail came. My dear Mother struck again. I was scared to open it at first – she addressed it to my hated birth name, so I knew there was something sharp and painful inside – but I refused to give her the power. Funeral service for my father, with a note inside. Said she was redoing her will, anything I wanted ? (scoff) I told her what I wanted in 2002, a decent relationship with them and my husband and son, she laughed in my face, issued her ultimatum. Some bridges can’t be rebuilt – the path is just too hard to maintain, and it’ll get burnt up again before it’s even finished. Again, leave it all to Conway Twitty roadies and Dale Earnhart pit crew members, at least they gave you some pleasure, more than I ever did. 

(sigh) Or maybe I'm just so used to her slaps, I can't tell when it's a caress instead. She may have meant it as a kindness, I just can't tell. Either way, I hope the best for her in all her life. I just don't want to keep being confused and hurt by the slightest little actions, it's exhausting and taking time from people who mean the best for me. I just can't think she's one of them anymore.

Shortly after that, Beloved was home, with a bag of my favorite potato chips and dip, and we watched a movie to a leftover smorgasbord supper. Then he and Dearest played Driver: San Francisco together on the PS3, so I could have some quiet time to myself. I stretched out on the sleeping bag on the living room floor and petted Junior-kitty, watching them play and adding my commentary. A quick check of Facebook showed that dear friend S. had instant-messaged me and we chatted a bit. 

So, while today was a bit of a challenge, and I really didn’t get anything done, I feel warm and content and loved. A pretty good day, I think !

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It's too big to be a tiara, so here's Elsa's new crown !

First of the month’s gonna be busy. I’ll get to order my MLP Build-A-Bear Luna and a pretty, non-molded-blouse Anna, thanks to my Pinecone survey funds. I’ll be broke all month (if it’s all still available in a week), but it’ll be worth it ! 

While the Frozen Fever Anna also doesn’t have molded clothes – I really hate that, even paint-only swimsuits ! – I confess, I don’t really like her smile. It’s almost as goofy as Mattel’s first Elsa’s grin. The Disney Store FF is nice, but she’s only in a two-pack with Elsa, and I love the Elsa I already have. So I picked out the Anna I like most, ‘wish listed’ it on our Amazon account, and the wait begins. It’s so nice to have what you want all picked out and decided. 

Wasn’t feeling too good last night, just a general bleah, nothing specific. We all went to bed early. So I finished up Elsa’s crown (it’s too big, in my opinion, to be a tiara anymore) this afternoon. Looks pretty good, if a bit too big for her. Instead of sewing the elastic to the tiara, I folded and ironed the ‘spare’ felt down, cut it to fit, and sewed a casing, so the elastic can move and stretch freely. I may go for a smaller size in this soon. And I’ll either snip the elastic and add longer elastic for me to wear Elsa’s crown – or make one for me ! 

We’re expecting a big storm tonight, and it’s already starting. Lightning and dimming lights. I went out to the backyard to get a photo of the blossoming trees before the storm reduced them to bare twigs again, and the wind blew so hard, I was caught in a literal snowflurry of petals. So pretty…

Update : Looks like as-yet-unofficial F2 tornado touched down in OldTown ! Followed almost the same path as the last two, just not as severe. Zero warning this time. There’s damage, but no serious injuries have been reported yet. Already texted M&FIL, they’re fine. What a night !

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I Made A Feltie !

Today started off briskly with an e-mail from Mattel – the new ‘Haunted’ line of characters was on sale at Target, online only. Ten bucks for the new guy, I’m there ! Too bad it was one day only, and all four dolls were out of stock by 9am. And the mail didn’t even arrive ‘til after 7. Oh, well.

Found m’self kvetching and delaying and online shopping to avoid Brody and embroidering like I said I’d do this afternoon – it’s been a long time, and I still worry about the suture – so I took a breath and made it happen. It was a small ‘feltie’ design, only two colors, and surely something I wanted to make, a tiara for my Elsa doll ! The official DP&M  dress I bought off eBay didn't come with either shoes or crown. ‘Felties’ are new to me, perhaps they became popular during my two year hiatus. Depending on the designer, they stitch out in felt (no hems !) and are cut out to either glue to a hair clip or slide over a headband. Most are small and make perfect designs for sixth-scale clothes, or are big enough to put on a person shirt. Just because it’s designed for felt, doesn’t mean they have to be stitched on it ! I like felties, they tend to be stitched instead of appliqued, and they’re usually inexpensive, as they’re small and cute. However, I tend to draw the line at grinning peanut butter sandwiches, but it’s not like they’re all made just for me personally to buy.  And there’s lots out there I do like !

Decided to repeat the second thread color, so I could attach a back that hid most of the ‘gemstone’ stitches. That was new to me, too, ‘floating’ a back piece. The design didn’t stand out quite as much with just the one thread, it tends to sink into the felt, so I’m glad it worked out so well. I’ll probably sew it to an elastic band later tonight, so you may see it finished on Elsa tomorrow. Next time I go out, I hope to find some plastic combs, see if I can hand-sew the next one to one of them. You know I’m going to do one with ‘emeralds’ !