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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Shiny Glass Treasure!

The DH's latest hobby is scoping out antique stores. No, he hasn't been buying up "another man's treasure" to bring home...mostly he just looks.
I accompanied him on one sojourn the other week and I found treasure!

Glass Buttons.
I actually did not realize there was such a thing.
It made perfect sense when I thought about what would have pre-dated plastic, been used as an option for bone, and possibly outlasted wood or leather...well, if handled in a respectable manner (Washboard, Washing Machine, oops/fumble).
(3/16/2011 - edited to add...I experienced the oops/fumble test of these buttons (along with a mild heart attack) when I dropped the bag o'glass buttons yesterday. It made a solid glassy thunk on the tile floor {gasp} but they are all still intact. Lord knows why, but blessings be. {whew}.)

But I found several glass buttons and a grouping of metal buttons (plus a pewter clasp) that entranced me and they were gleefully purchased to come home with me. (Oddly enough, most of them seem to be  priced on par with "modern" buttons.)
I'm not yet sure as to what knitting project (hmmm, jewelry?) they'll adorn, but I will ponder that carefully.
They are glass after all. The largest is 1 1/4". Most are 1 1/8" (2.8576 cm)
They are heavier and cool to the touch and they are...
* "Shiny" - please have a look!
These two match and are actually not opaque!
Every time I look at this one, it seems to come from a different era/part of the world. 
I marvel at the detail & how it would have been created. (FYI - Metal shank on the back)
This one is easily my favorite and has a glass shank.
I love the detail on these smaller (1/2"?) buttons. 
Based on what I'm seeing on the Internet, pewter clasps from Norway appear to be a somewhat common thing, even now.
But I did like the style of this, whether it be an antique or no.
"Norway" is imprinted on the back of this pewter clasp. 
Having excitedly shown my new treasures to the DH, he gifted me with these; found on his visit to another Antique Mall a week later.
They're quite small (ranging 3/8"- 1/2" (1.27 cm?)) and all different, but basically similar.
The label on the card says "Victorian Black Glass". They have brass shanks.
(My favorite is probably the crescent moon with the sprig of leaves.)
(Same Card, just flipped for another view.)
Now...what to knit??
If I found a couple more of the larger ones, they could enhance the Einstein Coat. Hmmmm....

* "Shiny" references are further explained in this blog

Monday, February 21, 2011

I am easily entertained

~I am entertained by Teabag Wisdom:
Good Earth Green Tea (yum!) Teabag fob quote:
"Anything too stupid to be said is sung." Voltaire

~You know I'm entertained by kitties:
Slo-mo Kitty - I watched this a couple o'three times - laughing all the while.

~And this was a bit wicked on my part to find this so entertaining - considering these gents are just trying to make a living...
The DH and I went to meet a friend for breakfast and a walk last Saturday. She was having her car maintenanced at a dealership on our side of town and we went to pick her up there. 

I couldn't help but find humor in the reactions we witnessed at the dealership. Several small groupings of Car Salesmen in front of the dealership office focused on our car and followed our progress across the lot with barely contained, commision-inspired attention. (And we were only driving a Buick!)
I called my friend in the Service Waiting Room to hurry out to meet us to alleviate the strain on the sales-gents. 
I kept thinking of "Dug" from Disney's movie "UP" when he came to attention saying "Squirrel!"

Saturday, February 19, 2011

No, you're in the right place...

The Blog looks different, huh?  What do you think?
I was cleaning up some odd font colorings and adding some charity links and I had a bit of a, well a redecorating fit.

I seriously delved into Blogger's new design options...fell in love with the blue fibre-felted background picture you now see on the blog...and then rebuilt the blog around it.
Blogger's design functionality helped a lot. (Although it didn't have a "apply default" button on some of the  gadgets. Too bad - I had to shift the colors manually - and it's not the same color palate, durn it!)

So - can you guess what my favorite colour is?
I love the sparkly-lights picture I originally found for my Ravatar and I picked the original blog design to compliment those colors.

But they're not the colors that give me a happy-feet thrill. Blues and teal and purples - {happy sigh}. Then forest greens and reds and browns...well, I like most all colors. (Save for baby pink and sickly greens/yellows. {shudder}).

As you can see, I'm keeping the sparkly-lights picture for my Avatars.
But I'm pretty tickled with my new blog format and shading.

So...please bear with me as I tweak the blog in it's new format and my apologies for any older blog-posts that wigged out during the transition to my "blue phase".

This week's adventure - A Tire in Pieces

Technically - this is Last Week's Adventure...I got distracted with this week's adventures and didn't finish the blog...

This week's repair adventure pertains to my well-loved and long-driven little 1990 pickup truck.
About a week ago, the DH suggested that we should look into replacing the 8-year old tires on my little truck.
I agreed wholeheartedly.

Yep, you can see what's coming.
On the way to work on Friday, as I moved into the left turn lane of a major intersection, the truck started shimmying significantly. I was able to carefully finish the left turn and pull into a parking lot.
The rear driver's-side tire was nigh unto shredded. {sigh}

I have to take responsibility for this. I'm an adult and capable of instigating maintenance on my own truck...but I had been lazy and had left all car-related efforts to the DH. 
And he'd put a lot more thought into the tires than I certainly had. 
This serves me right and I am pointedly glad no one was hurt.

I called the DH about his including a trip to the tire store in his errands for the day and I started pulling out the stuff to change the tire.

Yes, I know how to change a tire.
Before my Dad taught me how to drive, he taught me how to change a tire. It's not hard to do (providing the lug nuts can be loosened and the tire doesn't weigh half my body-weight). And it's definitely handy info to have.

So - I did the deed. It took me a couple of tries to find the only place the jack could be positioned so the truck was lifted high enough to remove the dead tire was - behind the tire on the axel casing.
(This information is also handily documented in the owner's manual {sigh/duh}.)

My hands, pants, and shoes were filthy from kneeling in parking lot dirt and handling tires. {sigh}
I looked like I'd already worked a full day's worth...at a garage.   ;-)

A passing gentlemen (wearing nice western duds and spiffy red & black cowboy boots) had saved me from greasing-up my favorite hand-dyed turtleneck by crawling under the truck to get the winch for the spare inserted properly. His timing was excellent and greatly appreciated.

The DH turned up just in time to inflate the (of course) flat spare tire and put it on the truck.
He then followed me to work and then drove the little truck away on 3 old tires and an even older "donut" spare in search of replacement tires.

We did find that my little truck's age was a minor hinderance in obtaining tires...one place said they'd have to order tires that small. {hrrumph}
The DH joked that they only kept tires in stock for cars from this millienium.
However, he did get new tires for my truck and he changed the oil (only slightly overdue) over the weekend.

The recent streak of "adventures" does have me wondering what will happen next week. We're on kind of a roll.  I'm praying for nothing eventful.
(Which would probably mean a back-to-knitting blog for you-all....)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The, uh, "Blessings" of Homeownership

Woo-hoo, it's 2011!!
So far, we've had two major systems in our house go on the fritz.
And it's only the 3rd of February.
Looks like it's gonna be an interesting year.

Last week, the heater went out on us. I got up Wednesday morning and thought it was a bit brisk in the house. (55 degrees). I played with the thermostat and reassured by the "firing-up" sound, figured it was a fluke. About 10 minutes later, I woke up enough to realize the heater was not actually blowing anything warm into the house and the thermostat should Never let it get to 55 degrees .
The DH stayed home to meet and greet the Heater-repair-heroes. They reviewed our trying-to-come-on heating unit that would abort actually blowing out any heat after roaring to life over and over again. They had to get parts and came back the next day (again hosted by the DH) to repair the closet dragon and gift us with the balmy 64 to 68 degrees we normally range within.
Yep, we aren't into the indoor Greenhouse effect.
As Brenda Dane says in her "Cast On" Podcast: "If you're cold, put on a sweater. That's what they're for."

Living in Arizona, I can be subject to getting a leetle smug about our usually tame "Winter" weather. I really try not to, but it just comes out every now and again. I'm human. 

Karmically...Mother Nature has a sense of humor.
A week after the heater adventure, we're experiencing record low temperatures in Arizona.
Yes, we did cover the plants and the exposed pipes....but Not enough. Not nearly enough.

It was still below freezing at 11 AM this morning. 
We'll see what survives from my patio-garden. (Usually the "foreign" plants from back east come right back but the local stuff keels over big time after a freeze.) Most every plant back there looks pretty unhappy.

When I couldn't get water out of the pipes this AM, I checked the news and online and heard our local water company was having issues with the electronics freezing at the water pump stations.
I checked outside and didn't see any obvious issues so I figured the Water Company was the culprit.
Until I called the neighbors across the way. They had frozen pipes and their next-door neighbors had running water from functioning plumbing.
I took another look outside and noted a split in a bulbous trap-thingy at the bottom of the bizarre maze of pipes that stick into and out of our house on the North West corner.
(The previous owner of the house was a do-it-yer-self-er. The kind that makes professional electricians and plumbers blanch when they view his handiwork.)

I realized the day was going to be a lot more interesting than I had originally thought.

I called into work to report that I'd be staying home to monitor pipes and wait for the repair gent.
We consulted with the Plumbers that had visited us in November for a blocked drain. They said they couldn't do anything until the pipes thawed. I noted that I'd like to get on the visit-list since it was obvious we'd need assistance with the geyser when the pipes thawed.
Our lovely neighbors across the way gifted us with experienced opinions and jugs of water.
We put a heater out to blow on the pipes and hustled the thawing process with a blow dryer. Three big 'ol cracks made themselves known and I checked back with the Plumbing company to get on the active visit list since things were thawed and leaking (yes, leaking around the closed-as-we-could-get-it water main valve).

The plumber-hero turned up less than a couple of hours later and cut and capped off three sections of the pipe-maze:
(Arrows show where Ice was found creeping out of the seams.)
He advised me how to insulate the pipes some more and we plotted for him to return in a couple of weeks to finish putting the pipe-maze to rights.
I made a trip to the plumbing supply store where the haggard clerk was having a gonga sales day (A LOT of people had busted pipes) but he was still in good spirits and very kind.

Well, we'll see what happens next. The blessings of homeownership abound.
I still feel blessed to have a roof over my head....ooohh - that's one of the big things we haven't replaced in this house yet.
And there's a lot more of 2011 to come...
(Yes, that realization really did hit me as I was gonna reference back to a positive blessing of homeownership...{sigh})