Friday, January 28, 2022

Sink Repair is Backed Up But Swimming On Tuesdays and Thursdays is a Dream

Yesterday I phoned my plumber, Jack, to request him to come out and deal with my kitchen sinks. He and I finally linked up shortly after noon, and he told me he was in Covid quarantine until Tuesday. He was feeling fine, a little restless because of the isolation, and was tired a bit more than usual, but he seemed fine. Although he recommended another plumber to me, I like Jack. I've used his services for years and he's always been very good to us. So, I scheduled him to come out on Thursday, the 3rd and take care of the sinks then. It will be inconvenient, not having a kitchen sink until Thursday, but I dearly want to get it done right, and I know Jack will be reasonable on the charges and responsible as a workman of integrity. I'll manage a week of inconvenience. 

Inconvenience is temporary, not permanent. It's a minor 
obstacle, but not a regular detour. To get upset at an 
inconvenience is a waste of effort. I'm not thrilled 
to be without a kitchen sink for a week, but I know 
Jack will do a good job and I trust him and his work 

DH is stressed out, so of course he's internalizing his stress and self-focusing 100% instead of paying any attention to anyone else. It'll do him good to be at the shop cleaning today. At least he can get some physical exercise while rummaging through paperwork and old software. I actually wanted to run a couple of things by him last night regarding the Etsy website, but talking to him would have been a waste of time and effort, so I'll go ahead with things as I see fit. I'm going to grab a personal portal as well. When I'm finally able to start making things once again, I want to be able to list them on Etsy and offer them for sale. 

DH is supposed to be handling Ebay while I handle 
Etsy. I'm almost ready to go live with my first items 
on Etsy, but suddenly he needs me to figure something 
out for him on Ebay, and he's not super clear about 
what he needs. I'm not doing it today, that's for sure. 
Today, if I have time, I'm working on Etsy. 

I'm a bit over-stressed right now, though. Between the store, Etsy, the various photographs that still need to be worked on, and of course, the kitchen sink (isn't that the saying? ... Everything and the kitchen sink?), my life is in somewhat organized chaos and I don't do extremely well with chaos. I'm going to try to find a spare 1/2 hour today to sit and meditate. I really need that extra calm, if I have any time to grab it. 

This looks like an adorable book to read. It does appear 
that the young child indeed has everything but 
the kitchen sink. 

Today I have to make my alkagizers for the next four days. Although most of the prep work is general washing of vegetables and cutting them up, there is the blender that will have to be dealt with. My general process for dirty dishes right now is to wipe them down extremely well, toss the toweling into the trash and then wash the almost clean container in the bathroom sink. I'll be able to do that with the blender too, but it's not going to be quite as convenient. But as the saying goes ... "I Will Persevere". 

I normally make four days of Alkagizers at a time, keeping 
them refrigerated in containers or my carry-all glasses 
until needed. It's a lot of work to be doing every day, so 
I've got the recipe nailed for a full 72 ounce batch at a 
time. I've got to do that today, so I'll have to clean the 
blender thoroughly in the bathroom sink. Quite a bit 
harder to do, but not impossible. 

I really enjoyed swimming Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. The Tuesday and Thursday sessions were empty enough that I actually got a lane to myself for the entire hour. I think I'm going to stick to that schedule for now, so I warned Rosemary that if I'm not at the gym doors on Monday, I'm shifting to the T, W, Th schedule instead. Although alternating exercises is good for the body, I get a better workout when I don't have to fight through as many waves created by the other swimmers in the pool. 

I adore my swimming days, but think I do better for my 
body when I have three days in the water and three days 
on the treadmill each week. I probably get a bit more 
exercise in my one-mile in the water, but my body isn't 
fond of the chlorine, so I can't go too overboard. 

Oh that note, it's time to start my day. I hope you have a great one. It's cold today - below zero - but not as bad as Wednesday was, and I only have a single grocery store on my shopping list today. All in all, I should be able to spend some quality time with Photoshop and also watch my stream of Project Runway. I do love my fashion - LOL. Have an excellent day and I'll be back tomorrow. Peace! 

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Holocaust Remembrance Day - Everything BUT the Kitchen Sink - Another Thing for Jack

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, so I'm remembering my Aunt, who survived Terezin, and my grandparents who did not survive Auschwitz. "nuff said. 

Yesterday ran quite smoothly - swimming, the dental visit, shopping at all three of the stores I needed to visit, even getting gas ( a totally miserable and COLD experience). Of course there were stumbling blocks - mainly consisting of the outside temperature. I was in the outdoors a minimal amount of time, but at -13 F (-25 C) with a wind chill actually bringing temps even colder, it wasn't a lovely walk around the block. It was a hurry up and get into the next store ASAP day. 

I had never gotten a dental impression before, but my breath 
work from my daily meditations certainly helped me here. I 
had to breathe through my nose, and to stay as immobile 
as possible. It only needed one try to get a good mold. 
Leonard will work on it and with luck, I may be able 
to pick up my new retainer on Monday. 

I started out with my dental assistant, Leonard, at 7:30 am to get an impression of my upper teeth for a retainer that I will wear each night as I go to sleep. I'm hoping this will help my teeth keep their alignment without having to go for more intensive procedures like braces. Right now my left front upper tooth is constantly hitting my left front bottom tooth, and I doubt that can be good for either tooth over the long run. I'll get a call-back, probably for a Monday fitting. 

I live up here in the Frozen Northlands and I know how to 
deal with our cold temperatures. I had my hat, my scarf, the 
hood of my parka and my gloves, but my nose still 
was plenty red by the time I got to my third grocery store, 
and the air was so cold it took my breath away. Today will 
be a bit warmer, and then we'll dive down into the cold 
once more. 

Since it was too early for Whole Foods, I headed over to the first of my three grocery stops - my co-op. I hadn't really intended to get a lot there, but found several things I needed, and got the first of the four "Damn! That's an amazing tattoo, Did it hurt?" comments I got yesterday morning. It's always nice to have my winged scarab seen and acknowledged. It was pure happenstance, my hat kept falling over my eyes as I was looking through the shelving, so I pulled it off and had it in my basket along with my gloves. I got three more positive comments when I was at my second stop at Whole Foods, and then had a nice conversation with my favorite produce guy at my local grocer (he headed to Florida last night to spend several days with his extended family in a warm climate. I'm envious of the warm temperatures, but I'm not really that fond of Florida in general). 

My kitchen sink as I went to bed last night. Maybe 1/4 to 
1/2 inch of water had drained in the previous hour. 
DH couldn't sleep last night - stress - but the water finally 
did drain and he wiped the sinks out and got them nicely 
clean for Jack. I only hope Jack can get out sometime 
soon. It's a pain to not have a sink to work with in the 

Finally I got home, and got everything put away. The sink had been acting up, draining slowly, so I was very careful, but I did have to use it a little bit, and yeah - it was a problem. By the end of the day, it had turned into a BIG problem, it really drained slowly. DH said he couldn't be bothered with fixing it until next week, and I wasn't very happy about that. I made it his responsibility to handle the dishes after dinner, and that's when he realized things had gotten so bad that it really didn't drain at all. After a lot of cursing and more than an hour trying to snake out the pipes, he gave up. I'm calling Jack this morning to try and get him out today, if possible, tomorrow, if not today. Maybe I'll get a new faucet out of the whole thing. That would be lovely. 

I've started a new Masterclass with MindValley called the 
"Art of Astral Projection". I remember wanting to do 
astral projection a lot when I was much younger, but never 
had any luck with it. Maybe I'll have better luck this 
time around. I'm trying to blend this into my morning 
meditation. I may have to do my actual meditation at 
work, and my astral projection practice in the early 
mornings when I'm generally uninterrupted (except 
for today since DH couldn't sleep). My early morning 
time is limited because of my exercise schedule. 

So, there's a lot going on this morning. When I awakened at 3:00 am and started my morning meditation (actually my second class in the Astral Projection masterclass), I heard DH come down and check the sinks. They hadn't drained at all last night, but they were clean and dry now. He said he couldn't sleep and had cleaned them out, so I guess the water eventually went down, but VERY slowly. I'm going to hope that Jack can get over today, but of course there are no guarantees. I'll be using the bathroom and laundry room sinks until the kitchen is back in operation. Sucks to be me sometimes! Have a totally excellent day and I hope temperatures and plumbing issues are not a problem in your life. *Hugs* to all and I'll be back tomorrow for the next stage of my life's never-ending soap opera. LOL

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

It's Wednesday - It's COLD - And I Have a Million Errands *Sigh*

Another delightful night with "The Curse of Oak Island" and DH complaining about how they will bring in the 10 foot caissons next week, and then leave the season right there, on the brink again. He's right - there are only 13 episodes in this season, and last night was episode 12. So, they'll bring in the caissons, set us up for next season, and drop us. ARGH! 

Like many of you, I'm an "acorn" and totally addicted 
to the TV show. The producers certainly know how to 
drag things out, and it's to their benefit to do so. The 
audience, however, is getting restless and won't be happy 
when next week's episode leaves us hanging one more 
time. Still, we're closer to a resolution than we've 
ever been, and I do think things will wrap up this 
coming season. 

I spent a while taking detail photographs of the trade beads I'll be putting up on Etsy. It was slow at the shop (it was VERY cold), so I had plenty of time to take the photos. Today I'll download them and organize them. I'll need to take a careful look at the parameters for putting items up on-line once again. The goal is to have things up by the end of the month. I think I can manage that. 

These Yellow Cross beads are more rare than 
I had thought. I'm putting a single strand up 
for sale, and I have one more strand in 
reserve, as well as several in the white color. 
People are asking 3X the price I had intended 
to put on them, so I'd better research these a 
bit more before posting them for sale. 

But prices for similar items are all over the board. A strand of what I'm planning to sell in the mid-thirties, might range from $20 to more than $60. There's one strand I'm planning to put up that's very rarely found on-line, and when it is, it's usually close to $100. I think I usually have had them priced at $35. I think I'll have to increase that price - LOL. So ... more research ahead, to be sure. 

K-Tape is a lifesaver. I don't need it often, but 
when I do, I need it right then - not taking time 
to go to the pharmacy and buy another roll. 
I need one more roll, I'm getting down to the 
bottom of my current one. 

I'm covering my deep cut once more time with K-Tape, and then I think I'll be fine. I might put band-aids on it again when I return home from the swimming pool, but not necessarily. It seems to be healing well, and I would rather leave it uncovered to heal faster. I'll take a critical look when I can, closer to noon today, probably. 

My dentist is suggesting a custom upper teeth retainer 
that I would wear overnight. It's certainly worth a try. 
Teeth that can move (even slightly) indicates a problem 
with the jaw bone, and we'd like to keep that as 
minimal as possible to head off future problems that 
won't be as easy to handle. 

So, the usual errands, grocery shopping, and computer work are on my agenda for today. It's currently -14 F (-25.5 C), so I'm not really going to want to be outside for any great length of time. I need groceries, though. So Whole Foods and my local grocer are on my agenda today. I'll be happy to return home, though. I have an appointment with my dentist for a retainer fitting - I've been wanting to get a handle on the very slight (but annoying) movement of my upper front teeth, and she suggested this as an alternative to more invasive braces or something similar. I'm in favor of less invasive, so I'll be at the dental office around 7:15 am or so. So it's a busy day. Have an excellent Wednesday and I'll return tomorrow. Peace to all. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

I overslept, So Today's Blog is a Bit Rushed

Well, I overslept, so today's blog is short and a bit rushed. I have to get to the pool on time. I decided to put KT-tape over my wound and the band-aids. The KT-tape will handle the water without a problem, and will give one more layer of protection to the wound. I put new band-aids on it last night, after leaving it untouched for 24 hours. It looks a lot better, but it's definitely something that requires a serious deep heal. That's OK though. As long as it's healing, I can deal. 

KT Tape is not really made for the use I'm 
doing today, but it will work to keep my cut 
protected and relatively dry since I don't 
have a long-sleeved swim suit. I probably 
should get one though, I'll need it for the 
outdoor pool this summer. 

I'll be swimming on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week - a different schedule, but at least the three times a week I prefer. I'm listening to the next-to-last Amelia Peabody book right now. It's not as engrossing as the previous 18 because this one takes place in Palestine, not Egypt. It's the same cast of beloved characters, but without the magic of Egypt. Still, it's fun and I'm enjoying the listen. I'll be sorry to reach the end of this series, but then I think I'll dive back into the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I already have at least the first third of these, and can buy the rest as needed. 

There are more books than this in the 
Stephanie Plum series. I don't like them 
quite as much as Amelia Peabody, but I 
already own quite a lot of them and they're 
entertaining enough to keep me laughing 
while I'm in the swimming pool or on the 

DH wants to get our leather kits up on Ebay and ready to go by Monday. He's supposed to be dealing with Ebay, but all of a sudden I'm supposed to make this happen. That doesn't make me extremely happy, because I'm busy working on getting our Etsy account established and uploaded. I'll have to do some research at the shop today and see what is required for both of them. I'm not ready to upload my trade beads quite yet - I want some detail shots of each strand before I put them up, but apparently he is ready with the leather kits. So, we'll give on-line sales a whirl and see how it works for us. 

Etsy v Ebay? We're going to put things up on both 
websites, but different things. The leather kits that 
DH has been working on for photographs will be placed 
on Ebay. The trade beads that I've been working on
will go onto Etsy. They each have a different 
audience. We'll see how they do. He wants his 
stuff active no later than January 31st. 

On that note, I'm out of here. Have an excellent (and less rushed) day. I'm going to plug in my photos and I'll meditate while I'm in the car, freezing until the doors are ready to be unlocked at the gym. Today's temperature is deadly - -10 F (-23.3 C) right now. Fortunately not a lot of wind, so minimal additional wind chill, but still - damned cold. I'll be back tomorrow, hopefully a bit less rushed. 

Monday, January 24, 2022

Rolling With the Punches - Or Life Is Unexpected

Yesterday was actually a really excellent day, except for the end which was a bit traumatic. DH was in a good mood, and as he had promised, he went outside between football games and shoveled away the latest snowfall. We got another inch or two overnight, so I'll be shoveling my side of the driveway today before I leave for work. We'll need to get everything cleared up before tonight - we're dropping down into dangerous temperatures tonight through tomorrow with extreme wind chills. 

Starting tonight we'll be back in dangerous wind 
chills. I know DH will want to get the snow off the 
roof. He knows how to dress, but he's really bad 
about coming indoors after 10 minutes. The wind 
chills we will have tomorrow will require that, so I'll 
have to be firm with him. 

Last night, as the Kansas City game was reaching the end of regulation play, I felt a sudden pain just above my elbow. I was wearing my pajamas and a sweatshirt, so didn't think too much of it, but decided to pull off the sweatshirt and see what might have scratched me (although the arm had been against my pillow, so nothing sharp was in the area at all). My sleeve was dripping blood - never a good sign. I pulled my arm from my sleeve and after cleaning things up and applying serious pressure to stop the bleeding, I was finally able to put several compression band-aids and a waterproof compress on top of it. 

The cut or tear is approximately where the skin lotion 
is on the above photo. It's a jagged cut, but I really 
couldn't get a great look since it was bleeding too 
heavily. I'm unwilling to put new bandages on it 
until tonight, and it only hurts if I put it into direct 
pressure or contact, so it's not infected. I'll keep it 
wrapped up for the day and deal with a new bandage 

The only thing I can figure out is a tear. I had been working on my computer most of the day, trying to resize and organize more photos of antique trade beads for my upcoming Etsy website. Sitting at the chair this morning, yes - when I move in a particular way, it's putting pressure right where the wound is. Then, last night, I had my elbow against the pillow in a similar position. I think I literally pulled my skin apart - bizarre, but something that can happen with the "elderly" (age, maybe ... attitude, certainly not). Older skin gets thinner and can pull apart for no reason at all. This is a bit distressing though, to be sure. 

I have a couple of boxes of these 
from a few years ago, and I have one 
of them on now. They may work 
fine, after it's had 24 hours to 
start healing. I'll be able to tell 
much better tonight. Then again, 
I've never yet met any bandage that 
could hold on through swimming. 
I could put K-tape on over the 
bandage to keep it in place ... 
hmmm, something to think 

Being fond of caution, I decided that swimming and chlorinated water would probably be a poor idea today, so I grabbed a Tuesday swimming appointment and cancelled my Monday. So this week, if all goes well, I'll be swimming Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I probably should drop by Walgreens and see it they have an elbow bandage cover for the water. I have one for feet and ankles, but nothing for arms and elbows. I'll leave the wound bound until tonight when I'll pull the bandages and re-apply new ones. I'm sure it will heal quickly, but caution is common sense. 

KC won the game in OT, but only because the OT rules 
are horrid. The NFL OT rules MUST be changed. 
Buffalo never even got a chance to hold the ball in OT 
because of the current rules which are unfair to whichever 
team loses the coin toss. 

The football games yesterday were both really good ones, so all in all, except for the blood sacrifice, it was a fun Sunday. Today, of course, it's back to the grind. Have an excellent Monday and I'll be back tomorrow before I head out to the pool in our next round of extreme sub-zero temperatures and wind chills. Ugh! April can't come soon enough. Stay safe, stay warm and be kind to others today. 

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Cooking and Photographs Kept Me Warm on Friday - Lots of Experiments

Yesterday worked out smoothly. Maybe I'll stick with M, W and Th swim days, it does clear some serious time out of my always-packed Fridays. After a quick run to the store for some mustard I had run out of, and a lettuce for DH, I returned home and settled in front of my computer for my live cooking class. It was a lot of fun, Chef Giles was very confident in the kitchen and the entire dish was actually quite easy to make, Of course, if the ingredients had actually specified "ground" lamb, I would have looked for ground pork. Instead, I had a pork tenderloin. 

I would have looked for ground pork if I had known 
Chef was using ground lamb, but since I had a pork 
tenderloin, I cut it into small chunks instead, and 
after coating them in the spices, put them into the 
oven on parchment paper to cook. It turned out quite 
tasty, although I'll increase the harissa spice 
next time. 

Most of us were not cooking along, rather watching and taking notes. It only took about 45 minutes total time, and that was without pre-cutting any of the vegetables. It was quite lovely to watch his knife skills. I think if there was ever a cooking class I would like to take, it would be the use of knives. I'm nowhere near as comfortable with a blade as he was, and he was most certainly much faster at food prep than I am. 

I almost forgot to add the two zucchini to my ratatouille,  but 
fortunately remembered in time to add them to the pan. Chef 
actually cut out the seeds portion before adding them to the 
pot. He said it kept the mixture from becoming too wet. I 
didn't bother, and yes, it was a bit wet, but I didn't mind. 
I might cut out the seeds the next time I make the recipe. 

We had all gathered a variety of meats for our meal, I had pork, one woman who was actually cooking along with the chef had chicken, and of course, Chef Giles had lamb. I doubt any of us actually had ground meat except Chef Giles. But after the live stream was completed and I read over my page of notes, I realized I could put this together successfully, and determined to do that for my lunch. In the early afternoon I cubed the pork and coated it with the spiced before putting it into the oven to roast. I cut up and stir-fried my ratatouille, then pulled out my pork and added it to the veggies, and it was a lovely lunch. I have enough left over for a couple of nice meals. 

This is Strand A on a white sweep with my portable 
light box. Mali Wedding Beads are antique, quite lovely, 
and still used today in Mali for weddings and other 
ceremonial occasions. 

I started taking photos of some antique trade beads that I'm probably putting up on Etsy. I have a portable light box that I love, it's lighting is LED powered from my laptop or any convenient computer, and it has sweeps of both black and white. I'm investigating Etsy to see if it will be a good place to sell some of the items that I have large stock in, and I determined to put 10 strands of our trade beads and probably some of our Swarovski crystals on the site to give it a try. So, it was time to take some photos. 

Here is the same strand on a black sweep. These 
aren't high-end photos, just taken with my phone, 
but even in full size pixels, they came through 
pretty nicely. I'll need to count the beads on 
each of the three strands and set up a database 
for them before I continue on and add more 
beads to the file. I'd like to get something up on 
Etsy before the end of the month, if possible. 

I had brought three strands of "Mali Wedding Beads" home from the shop to photograph. I took four different photos of each strand - two against the white sweep, two against the black. After sizing them and working a little bit in Photoshop, they looked quite nice. Usually there are 5-8 photos of items on Ebay, so I'll need to think of what else I want to photograph on these. I also need to start a master list of which strand is what, what my computer number is and the price. I'll take a few more photos today, and possibly start pulling and working on some photos of the crystals if I have the time. 

I want to make a montage similar to this for my 
crystals, but with the name of each color below. I've 
seen something similar on Etsy, so I know it 
can be done, but I've never made a montage like 
this using Photoshop before. It'll be a learning 
curve. Time to search the internet for assistance, 
and if any of my readers have done something 
similar, please give me some hints on how best 
to accomplish it. 

Well, I should probably wrap this up. I hope all of you have a wonderful and relaxing weekend. I'll be checking out how to make a montage in Adobe Photoshop, and whether or not I can get good photos of my sparkle queens - the larger Swarovski crystal cubes. Enjoy your weekend and I'll be back on Monday. Peace & love to all. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Cooking, Project Runway and A One-Year Anniversary - Life Is Good

Yes, it's cold, -12 F (-24.4 C) as I type this, but that doesn't matter at all. I've already set up my laptop for today's cooking class - no forgetting or missing the time today. The class starts at 10:00 am and I think it's scheduled for an hour. I'm just going to watch and take copious notes, and I hope there will be a full recipe to print out afterward. My pork tenderloin is in the refrigerator defrosting. I'd like to make the dish later today, but I don't want to try to cook at the same time as watching. I know I'm slow in the kitchen, and I want to make sure I have the recipe correct before trying it. 

Today's cooking class is Harissa Lamb Kebob with Ratatouille, 
something totally new for me. I'm looking forward to it. I adore 
cooking shows in general, but they usually aren't detailed 
enough to actually take notes. I'm hoping there will be an 
actual recipe to download, and that if I take good notes, I 
can make this (although I'm using pork instead of lamb). 
At any rate, it looks tasty.  

It's also Friday, so I'll be watching the replay of last night's "Project Runway". It's down to five designers now, and they're all quite talented, and very different in vision and technique. It's been a wonderful season thus far, and I'm very grateful for Peacock because watching it on Fridays on Peacock has been an excellent option. 

I've been a Project Runway addict for many years now, and 
this season is no exception. No doubt that Christian Siriano 
is the most successful of the winners, but several other winners 
and some competitors, are actually doing fairly well in the 
fashion industry. I love the challenge of the whole thing. I 
admire the skills that each of the competitors have. There's 
no way I could put something beautiful together and have it 
fit wonderfully in the time frame they have for each challenge. 

It occurred to me last night, that I've had VooDoo for almost a year now. It might be a few more days before the actual anniversary, but it's pretty darned close. I can't imagine being without it now. I have no camera on my desktop computer, and the thought of having to have done WildFit or other Zoom calls with only my phone available is horrific. I like the larger screen and the built-in camera on VooDoo. I could improve things by having an external camera, but really - I don't think it's necessary at all. Perhaps I should buy it a cupcake with a candle and sing "Happy Birthday"? LOL

Last year, and continuing on into this year, has been a 
year of self-improvement and exploration. MindValley has 
been instrumental in this quest, and I'm happy to have 
found them. I'm in my second year of membership 
now, and there are more classes I want to take. I'm behind 
on almost every class, but the most important one - 
WildFit - has changed my life forever, so it's a total win 
for me. 

What an eventful year it has been! I started by getting VooDoo, then I joined MindValley. Through MindValley I found WildFit, and then, at the end of the year, the swimming pool finally reopened and I got back into the pool. I was able to go to the State Fair once again, and see my dear high school friend and sister Sharon back in her room down my hallway. I attended the Renaissance Festival's belated 50th Anniversary and finally got a new corset - something that's been on my list for more than three years. I got my tattoo - my Winged Scarab and Solar Disc featuring the Eye of Horus. I also made broad steps into closing the store later this year (at least, I'm leaving the store at the end of August, if all things work out). DH might stay another few months to get more things cleared out before locking the doors for good. 

It looks as if I got VooDoo right around 
the 25th of January last year. So yes, 
it's almost a year. I can't imagine being 
without it now. It's been a wonderful 
laptop to have and has fulfilled my 

I'm going to try my best to enjoy today despite the cold. I have a lot of things on my agenda besides the two computer sessions, so I won't be bored at all. Have a truly excellent Friday and I'll be back tomorrow. Try to be kind, think before you speak, and spread love. We all need more love in our lives.