Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

I love decorating for Halloween.  I don't dress up anymore, of course, because my spouse is the official Trick or Treat person.  He dons a variety of outfits but has settled in recent years for his Yoda Hat and Googly glasses.  He is so good with the kids, and so much fun.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

New Blog Header

Time for a Refresh!   The new header is via  https://textcraft.net/ 

Lots of text and font options, very cool!   Found on my old favorite Idea Generator the Generator Blog (not updated since 2013, but many of the links are still good).

Friday, October 27, 2017

Stranger Things Season Two

I've only watched the first two episodes.   It's the same wonderful, scary show as season one.

All of the scenes with the kids are great, and just as in the first season... the teen segments and adult segments... they make me twitchy.

I like the new girl.  Ha ha, the boys are smitten because she has the top score on all their favorite games at the arcade.

I want to like Sean Astin's character, but he seems like a plant by the bad guys and I don't trust his seeming sweetness.

Edit: I stayed up till 1:00 am and watched the whole series! Nine episodes. I was wrong about Sean Astin's character, and another likely villain also acquitted himself well in the end.

11 goes on a journey that serves her character development well, but part of it was the only uninteresting sequence in the whole show.

The entire series is filled with great character moments. Justin shines.  Lucas is great, and doesn't deserve his little sister.  Powerful stuff for Will.  Mikes best moments come with Will and 11.  Hopper much more human this time around. Joyce may drive the school secretaries and sheriff's office staff nuts, but if you're a kid with monster trouble, she's the mom you want to have.

I Write Like...

You may remember this meme from Facebook a few years ago.  You put a sample from your blog or some other writing in a box, it gets "analyzed" and you find what famous writer you "write like."

I Write Like site

I ran a post from Librariandoa through and voila! One of my heroes Stephen King speaks through my fingers.

I used the recent Blade Runner post.

I ran recent posts from my gaming and book blogs through, and for both, I write like Kurt Vonnegut.  Honored, Im sure :)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Savory Sweet Life's Thanksgiving Stuffing

I'm the only one in the house that likes stuffing with their Thanksgiving meal, but I truly love it.   I usually just buy packaged breadcrumbs and use the recipe on the label.

Sometimes, a recipe comes along that looks simple but tastier.  This one looks easy to do, simple enough to halve the recipe, and I'll be all happy on T Day.


Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe
  • 4 tablespoons butter or non-dairy margarine to keep it dairy-free
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, cut crosswise in ¼" slices
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 10 cups dried unseasoned bread cubes (found in the bread section at the grocery store)
  • 1½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 egg
  • Optional garnish: ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in a large pan. Saute onions, celery, salt, sage, and thyme for 5 minutes on medium heat. Turn off heat. Add bread cubes and gently stir them into the onion mixture. Slowly pour chicken broth over the bread cubes folding everything carefully so the bread cubes do not break apart too much. In a small bowl, gently whisk the egg and add it to the stuffing mix. Continue to fold everything until the egg is incorporated. Scoop uncooked stuffing into a medium casserole dish and bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until nice and toasty on top.

Yarn Weights

I am trying to only buy yarn for particular patterns, but sometimes the Michael's ads send me drifting off to look at yarn on sale. 

They do have those nice printed patterns right in front of various yarns to give you a goal and ensure you're using the right yarn for the right project.

Some days, there I am floating down the aisles, looking at what's on sale and seeing if any colors of the sale yarns appeal to me for perhaps some unknown future project (dangerous territory!).   My strategy is now to get three skeins of any new color that hasn't a project assigned, because for many afghan projects, 3 skeins of something will be wanted, and I'm all ready.  :)

Here's a handy chart on yarn weights as a further guidance down the road.

Red Heart Holiday Table Runner

Red Heart has many free patterns on their pages.  They're starting to come out with Christmas patterns.  Some I'd never be interested in, but lacy beautiful crocheted table runners are very interesting.

This particular one is labeled for the Intermediate crocheter, which means it's one where I'd get stuck after the second row.

Isn't it so lovely?

It's called "Holiday or Any Day Table Runner".   You could make it in any color, for any season. 

Here's where you can find the pattern:      http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/holiday-or-any-day-table-runner

Songs Of My Callow Youth

I suppose today you need to be officially in Choir at school in order to get the chance to sing in your wondrous croaky voice with your fellow students.  We actually had time carved out in the day for music and singing throughout elementary school.

I, of course, thought my voice was beautiful as a child, and I sang songs I learned in school all the time, mercilessly pelting my family with the tunes. 

 I joined high school choir for a heady year till they started using recording equipment, and every once in awhile you'd hear some off key high note trailing behind the rest, and you could see the choir director was horrified and determined to figure out who it was. I knew of course.  It was me.  Oops.

 Despite My Failure at the Choir Cave, I was able to remember and sing some of these tunes to my tiny newborn son at 3 am when he was all new hoping to lull him to sleep.  It didn't work, but holding a baby and singing them songs is one of the best things in life, truly.

Songs and snippets just stick in your head, particularly if you heard them in your earlier years, before your head becomes crammed with too much stuff, and all you recall are commercial jingles.  I'll be minding my own business, and some days, out of the blue, I'm singing these tunes:

The Erie Canal (Somewhere on my blog is a video clip of me singing this, two beers to the wind)

I've got a mule,
Her name is Sal,
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal.
She's a good old worker
And a good old pal,
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal.
We've hauled some barges in our day
Filled with lumber, coal and hay
And ev'ry inch of the way I know
From Albany to Buffalo.

Low Bridge, ev'rybody down,
For it's Low Bridge,
We're coming to a town!
You can always tell your neighbor,
You can always tell your pal,
If you've ever navigated
On the Erie Canal.
Low Bridge, ev'rybody down,
For it's Low Bridge,
We're coming to a town!
You can always tell your neighbor,
You can always tell your pal,
If you've ever navigated
On the Erie Canal.

Sweet Betsy From Pike  (While looking this one up, I was annoyed to find most referred to "her lover Ike" instead of "her husband Ike" as I knew it should be.  These also all had the chorus "wrong".  It should be toorali oorali oorali ay.  And it should start "Oh say have you heard of Sweet Betsy From Pike", in my memory.

Oh, Did you ever hear of
Sweet Betsy from Pike,
Who crossed the wide prairies
With her husband, Ike,
With two yoke of cattle
And one spotted hog
A tall Shanghai rooster
And an old yeller dog?

Singing toorali, oorali, oorali ay
Singing toorali, oorali, oorali ay

The alkali desert
Was burning and bare
And Ike cried in fear,
"We are lost, I declare!
My dear old Pike County,
I'll go back to you."
Said Betsy, "You'll go by yourself,
If you do."

Singing toorali, oorali, oorali ay
Singing toorali, oorali, oorali ay

They swam the wide rivers
And crossed the tall peaks
They camped on the prairie
For weeks upon weeks
They fought off the Indians
With musket and ball
And reached California
In spite of it all

Singing toorali, oorali, oorali ay
Singing toorali, oorali, oorali ay

There Stands A Little Man In the Deep Dark Wood  (Of all the songs I sang to my son as a baby, this one stands out in his memory)

There stands a little man in the deep dark wood
he wears a purple cloak
and a small black hood
can you see him standing there
without a care
can you see him standing
in the deep
dark woods.

Sleep My Little One

Sleep my little one,
sleep my pretty one,
float on a starry stream,
worlds of all loveliness,
wonderful worlds.,
Filling your magical dreams.
White Sheep

White sheep, white sheep,
On a blue hill,
When the wind stops,
You all stand still.
When the wind blows,
You walk away slow.
White sheep, white sheep,
Where do you go?

Drill Ye Tarriers Drill

Every morning at seven o'clock
There's twenty tarriers a drillin' at the rock
The boss comes along and he says: "Keep still
And come down heavy on the cast-iron-drill!"
And drill, ye tarriers, drill!
Drill, ye tarriers, drill!
Oh, it's work all day
For the sugar in your tay
Down behind the railway!
Then drill ye tarriers, drill!
And blast
And fire!

My Home's In Montana (I recall this as "I come from Montana, I wear a bandana...and something about roaming wide prairies, but my memory could be wrong, or some variation was in our little school songbook)

My home's in Montana
I wear a bandana
My spurs are of silver
My pony is gray
While riding the ranges
My luck never changes
With foot in the stirrup I'll gallop away

When valleys are dusty
My pony is trusty
He lopes through the blizzards
The snow in his ears.
The cattle may scatter
But what does it matter
My rope is a halter for pig-headed steers

When far from the ranches
I chop the pine branches
To heap on the campfire
As daylight grows pale
When I have partaken
Of beans and of bacon
I'll whistle a merry old song of the trail

My home's in Montana
I wear a bandana
My spurs are of silver
My pony is gray
While riding the ranges
My luck never changes
With foot in the stirrup I'll gallop away
Halloween (Actually all I ever remember of this one are the first two lines, but I'm glad to have found the rest)

Blue Bonnets   (Such a pretty one, and the class sang it in harmony with altos, sopranos and whatever the other one is :)

Blue, blue, bonnets oh so blue.
Your bright eyes are shining, through the silvery dew.

I know you’re a dolly, offered for the rain.
I know you’ll return again, to Texas in the spring.

Halloween, The Witch Is Riding High

"Hallowee-ee-een, the witch is riding high.
Have you see-ee-een her shadow in the sky?
So beware don't you dare to even boast or a ghost
To your dismay will hear you say
That you don't care, say a prayer
Or it may come and pull your hair

There's a big, black cat a crossing in our way.
Now you've heard of that, bad luck they always say.
Weren't you scared when it stared with eyes aglow
Hear that crow?
There's a thump near the pump
Let's hurry home or a gnome
Will thump a lump upon your dome."

Cookies & Cups Blog Bake Along

The Cookies & Cups blog is hosting a Bake Along.

She'll post a recipe, then she encourages you to join and post your picture of the recipe on her baking Facebook Group.   I'm not sure how often the recipes will be offered, and I'm hoping she notes the new ones on her blog as well as on Facebook, so I can try some then post my results here.

The first recipe is for her Perfect Cheesecake

Cooking and Baking Blogs

I've updated the Cooking and Baking blog section of my sidebar with new blogs!  Just as we all snuggle inside for the winter, the desire to cook and bake becomes overpowering!  The warmth from the oven, the smells, the lovely new flavors.   These are some favorites of mine which I never got onto my blogroll, but here they are. I've moved the Cooking and baking category to the top so you can start cooking.

Cookies and Cups


Oh, Sweet Basil

Brown Eyed Baker

12 Tomatoes

Slow Roasted Italian

Mid Century Menu

Taste of Home

Life in the Lofthouse

I am Baker

Love and Olive Oil

My Baking Addiction

The Kitchn

Bon Appetit

Vintage Recipes

I Wash...You Dry

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Crafting Season

I've decided it's crafting season, officially. I work on my craft projects much more in fall and winter, once gardening season is over and it becomes less beautiful outside.  I made a To Do List for my crafting this morning.  Here it is.

A Decade In The Making Afghan Notes (Cue Zarathustra Music)

I'm on the second row of the edging on my decade long afghan effort.  It really is pretty.  I'm pleased that the edging turned out to be simple.  I'm doing the edging while I watch tv in the evening.  There are eleven rows of edge in the pattern!  We'll see how long my balls of black yarn hold out, it could be fewer rows if I run out as we go.

It's really nice and warm on my lap as I work, so I know it will be a nice light snuggly afghan as winter closes in.

Crafting Goals

Here's the sort of thing that is in my ever present notebook, that I'm going to mercilessly copy here to get to that goal of 100 posts.

Reorganize yarn and inventory it. 

The old inventory list I used is on a site which seems to be gone, so make a list like this for yourself, and away you go.

Hmm, maybe I should add Source.  You get the idea.

Do the Clothespin Thing

Sounds wierd, I know, but if you read the Attic 24 craft blog (on my sidebar) she wraps a little yarn around a clothespin then writes the type and color.  These she cleverly uses to decide color designs for her afghans.

Dept of Yarn Lust Is Real

My latest yarn desires are Red Heart Dreamy

And Red Heart Collage

As with Caron Cakes Yarns, they're hard to find, (and are often Sold Out on the Red Heart site, with no restock date ever offered) and they're expensive, for me.  Still, I can go to the site and click through the color variations if I'm stressed, and I think sooooo pretty...


We traveled Route 66 in September, and not only have I not posted on it, all my nice paper memorabilia has not been put in the lovely scrapbook I bought before we left.

Christmas Granny

Oops, what happened there? on like row 17 of 32 then la la la.

On the list.

Complete Willow Square

Remain frozen contemplating Row 4!  Weenie!

Make And Send A Few Halloween Cards

I only do the Christmas, and since I never got any feedback, I thought people didn't appreciate my childish efforts.  It turns out, they LIKE them.  So, I've got the materials up the yahoolie, and I'll make them for more occasions.

Padding the Post Count 101

I was thinking I should try to write a post a day in November in honor of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) that used to be.  Somehow, it disappeared completely in 2015?  Maybe even 2010. Still, it's fun to give it a try annually.

I wrote out post ideas. 

Googled my previous efforts.  Last November's was actually a nice mix of things.

Looked at the last day of December 2016's post, which was really good, if I do say so myself.  I said I would be writing about a fun list of things in 2017 (nicely illustrated). 

I said I'd have a goal of 100 posts for 2017!  Oops!  Looking today I have:


Here's what we call a WTF Moment. 

If I get a post a day in November that gives me thirty more.  Gotta kick it in somehow and make that goal.  Expect fascinating, yet idiotic stuff, because that's who I am.  Close your eyes if you need to.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 is a fitting sequel to the original Blade Runner film.  The world feels much the same, the stakes are similar when it comes to the lives of the Replicants.  The way they're hunted down and "retired" is familiar.  The guilt of the detective hunting them is much the same, though since he is a Replicant himself, you'd think it shouldn't be.

I haven't seen anything else with Ryan Gosling that I recall (though La La Land is in my To-Be-Watched Pile), and there is something of a teddy bear in his looks, particularly his eyes.  As his story unfolds, he maintains a childlike aspect that makes him relatable and you have to root for him.

In another era, you would be certain he would make it out of the film alive, but you never feel that way here.  At a certain point, he feels disposable.

Harrison Ford needed far more screen time.  He stepped comfortably back into the role of Deckard, and from previews, I hoped he and Gosling's character would spend some time as a kick ass team.  I liked his dog, and vote for him being a real dog.

Robin Wright's character was a surprise, and great to watch.  I haven't seen House of Cards because---politics---so I kept thinking, Oh, Buttercup.

Luv, the super efficient Replicant Secretary/Researcher Slayer seemed ripe for a redemption arc, you just know deep inside she would have liked things to be different.

Jared Leto, in the first thing I've seen him in, was creepy.  He seems invariably creepy in interviews.  I saw a quote from him that he isn't the villain of the piece.  Hmmpf.

Gosling's live in Electronic Girlfriend was quite charming and layer upon layer, who is real, who gets to live, she definitely deserved a chance.

Several storylines and plots are set up for sequels, I hope the stories get told.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


I forgot about the new season of Survivor!  I don't watch any season with "returning players", but it's all new folks this time around.  No one is living up to their Healers vs Heroes vs Hustlers tribes in my book, maybe they'll emerge.

I love the fact that despite the fact that players are all now "super fans" and know the game inside and out, they can't resist being who they are under the hood for even the first three days of the show.  It's almost as though people are a little cocky and see themselves as far more than they are.  A few see themselves as less, but they're almost always wrong too.  The show remains a great revealer of human nature.

That said, the first person out was an Olympic swimmer!  How useful would she be in all of the swimming challenges, and couldn't she have coached others who weren't as confident.  What an asset to toss out the door because she was older than the average, and relegated to the "mommy squad" right off.

The truly foolish thing is that the other "mommy" Chrissy Hofbeck could have saved Katrina with a Secret Advantage, and gotten her own self off the bottom of the pack.  Now she has no advantage and is still the first easy picking choice for the younger crowd to vote out.  Brilliant!

There are quite a few interesting players this time around, my favorite being 98 lb weakling Ryan Ulrich, a Bellhop!   Loads of personality, so far all good personality.  Hang in there Ryan and stay cool.