Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Speaking Out

In our case, it was the girlies calling each other 'Cow.' Just this week, I was informed that if I hadn't made such a fuss about it, they would have gotten bored and stopped sooner. 
     Ahem. Sure. You bet.

National Museum Day Live 9/23 -- Get Your Free Tickets!

Just go here for specifics. 

Sponsored by the Smithsonian. Ironically, there are none in my state (Colorado). But hundreds of museums are participating. Hopefully there's one in your area!

Colds...And Cold Mornings

Charley Bear has a cold.

Charley Bear...and A Bear. (As in Rug)

So do we, apparently.

Getting up in the morning, already an exercise in discipline, has just gotten worse. Why would I want to leave that warm snuggly bed, when it's chilly outside?

No matter -- you have to. There's work to be done. But I feel like this about it all:

(And btw, I'm not the first dog.)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Quilted Flowers on a Windy Day

Now this is a charmer --

From Pinterest...

What a great way to use up your scraps, while sewing this cheerful piece. I could even see making the daisies into chrysanthemums on an autumn-leafy background, with careful attention to color. Or white Christmas roses, backed by red and green!

It's called 'Blossoms' (of course), designed by Amanda Murphy.

Get the PDF pattern from PatternPile here.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Peaches, Mouseys...And Other Updates

     A cool breeze, fall colors just beginning down here. The Broncos won yesterday, and the CU Buffs and Michigan did their part over the weekend, as well. A hot cup of coffee...and a piece of peach pie close at hand. What more could you want?

Forgot to take a picture before we started eating...sorry.

     Well, some get-up-and-go, for starters.  Now we're back home, I've got reports to finish up, laundry to do -- and back to work on attacking The Piles that are currently infesting the house. I spent much of the weekend processing box after box of peaches, which were more than ripe, and starting to 'go.' The Brick helped some, too. The upshot of it: we have 20 or so quart bags of chopped peaches in the freezer, 2 batches of dried peaches, plus two peach pies (1 1/4 pies -- #2 is in the freezer) and a batch of tarts (ditto).
     They'll be delicious, but it took staying up until 1 a.m. or so every morning to get everything done. At least now we're caught up on episodes of The Last Ship and Fear the Walking Dead.

We brought back some boxes  for various friends and neighbors,  including Pastor Torrey and his wife. Sunday morning, we were peacefully listening to the sermon when he began talking about fruit. (I.e., what our actions produce in ours and other people's lives.) Suddenly, I heard my name -- he was thanking us from the pulpit for "the peaches from Palisade -- which are the best."

     That was strange enough -- but happened after the service was even weirder. We had at least three people sidle up and say, "Um, those peaches from Palisade...ya got any extra? We'd like some, too."

     Lesson learned: Never let your pastor peddle your peaches from the pulpit.

Two boxes are left -- but we bought those purposely green. Hopefully they'll last for another week or two, or I may just go peach-buggy.  You'll find recipes, by the way, over on the Holiday Goodies blog for pie and tarts. Go here for more.

Mousey Alert:  We were winning this war last month.  Sort of. But while we were gone, a new family must have moved in -- we've caught at least one, and I continue to hear suspicious rattling over by the newspaper pile. The snoozing dogs seem to notice nothing. So much for guarded vigilance.

Bathrooms:  Son #1 is finished with Bathroom #1 and almost done with Bathroom #2: marble, textured stone and (TA DA!) a toilet we can actually use. He just needs to move the vanity in and do the hookups, he says.
     That's good, because we're almost out of money in the savings account. Bathroom renovations, no matter how carefully you plan for them, are expensive.

Bigfoot:  In spite of great hopes that Son #1 would run across something (not literally!) during this year's bowhunting season... he didn't. No weird sounds, footprints, anything. I am really bummed.

General life: Charley the dog has a cold. He mopes around, even though his favorite person -- Karma, Daughter #2 and Son #1's dog -- is in residence.

Poor baby.

 The Brick doesn't feel that great, either. It may be a cold -- it may be just readjusting to the altitude. (We had a lot of trouble sleeping at 10,500 ft when we were camping last week...just couldn't seem to draw an easy breath.) Or it may be thinking about finances: we had to cough up more than $500 last week at the Grand Junction dealer, when the truck kept overheating. We made three separate trips to the dealer -- at a time when we should have just been luxuriating by the campsite. (On the other hand, we had several interesting conversations with people who were doing the same thing, including a guy who drove for Uber and a young couple from Quebec. (And had been sleeping in their minivan for days, while the dealer dithered on what to do.)
     'Picking up strange men and women,' we called it. A new hobby.

Second lesson learned:  Do not spend a day of your vacation hanging out in the RAM truck dealer's parking lot. It is not exciting, in spite of the (nice) people you may meet.

I am not that concerned. The bathrooms are paid for, and so are our bills. We still have cash in a few other accounts, and I have a few gigs coming up. If we need to pull money from retirement accounts, so be it. We'll be okay.
     He still worries, though.

At least Karma can hold Charley's paw now and then.


Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Peaches, Peaches, Peaches

      Our recent trip to Palisade left us with a pleasure and a burden: 15 boxes of peaches that, due to their ripeness, had to be eaten up, canned or put in the freezer -- stat. 
     We filled neighbors' orders, gave away some. Five boxes remained, all in increasing states of ripeness -- except now we were getting a lot of fuzz patches, too. 
      Guess what I've been doing all weekend? 

A location scout for the Netflix tv series Narcos is found murdered:  riddled with bullets, in his car in Hidalgo...just as the drugrunners series plans to focus on the Mexican drug cartels. How much do you wanna bet the two events are related?

A trip down memory car lane...what vehicles have you owned? Which ones do you wish you still had?  (From Kevin and Ruth)

A coyote gets a ride in a car grill...for twenty miles on the highway!   Surprisingly, the little guy was released unharmed.
    Another entry from the Department of 'Ewww:'

A monster 'fatberg' is found, clogging up one of London's Victorian-era sewers.  It's estimated to weigh as much as 10 double-decker busses. (Yes, it took a while to remove.)

An English custodian finds a medieval treasure trove...buried on his school's playground.

"Ten easy things I do to save money."  (From Money Beagle)

What to do with that big windfall... inheritance, home sale, whatever.  How do you invest it wisely? (From Financial Samurai)

Dozens of birthday freebies.  (From The Frugal Girls)

Decor decisions that made them proud.  Including this colorwashed cutlery. (From Domino) 

Seventeen holiday souvenirs that don't require a lot of $$.  (From The Simple Dollar)

Slow cooker beef & broccoli. Sounds delicious.  (From Hundred Dollars A Month)

Also, don't miss her latest installment of random goodness around the Web, including a mattress store owner who gave 1,000 people a place to sleep (good for him!), a suitcase cover of your head (I am not making this up)...and Handerpants.

From 9/11's anniversary:

*Ten raw videos from the day.
*Ten famous people who avoided death that day.  (Both from Listverse)

*Watermelon molasses:  what it is, and why you should try it!  (I'd never heard of this, either.)

One-pot taco casserole.  I'm all for easy AND good, nowadays. (From Crazy for Crust)

Have a good week -- go eat some peaches!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

I Love This Time of Year!

It's definitely fall here.

We've got a few bushels of peaches to process...back to you soon.

Have a good weekend.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Dealing with Bad News

It's been a rough couple of weeks here at the Bricks. August, except for The Mama's birthday celebration, wasn't that terrific, either. 

So it seemed particularly appropriate to hear what "Chuck," aka Charles Spurgeon, had to say in his 'Morning and Evening' devotional this morning.  How a 19th-century preacher can come up with topics that apply perfectly to modern life is just amazing -- until you remember that an Amazing God is out there, who cares for us. 

          This message is for you, too.

"He shall not be afraid of evil tidings."
Psalm 112:7
Christian, you ought not to dread the arrival of evil tidings; because if you are distressed by them, what do you more than other men? Other men have not your God to fly to; they have never proved his faithfulness as you have done, and it is no wonder if they are bowed down with alarm and cowed with fear: but you profess to be of another spirit; you have been begotten again unto a lively hope, and your heart lives in heaven and not on earthly things; now, if you are seen to be distracted as other men, what is the value of that grace which you profess to have received? Where is the dignity of that new nature which you claim to possess?
Again, if you should be filled with alarm, as others are, you would, doubtless, be led into the sins so common to others under trying circumstances. The ungodly, when they are overtaken by evil tidings, rebel against God; they murmur, and think that God deals hardly with them. Will you fall into that same sin? Will you provoke the Lord as they do?
Moreover, unconverted men often run to wrong means in order to escape from difficulties, and you will be sure to do the same if your mind yields to the present pressure. Trust in the Lord, and wait patiently for him. Your wisest course is to do as Moses did at the Red Sea, "Stand still and see the salvation of God." For if you give way to fear when you hear of evil tidings, you will be unable to meet the trouble with that calm composure which nerves for duty, and sustains under adversity. How can you glorify God if you play the coward? Saints have often sung God's high praises in the fires, but will your doubting and desponding, as if you had none to help you, magnify the Most High? Then take courage, and relying in sure confidence upon the faithfulness of your covenant God, "let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Read more of Psalm 112 to reinforce this. It helps.
     Hang in there.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

This Just Seemed Appropriate --

After all, a Brick should mention other bricks...right?

Home in Colorado

     We got back late this evening, toting 17 boxes of fruit (15 of peaches, 2 of apples), a trailer and truck that proved their worth over some very steep mountain passes...and tired minds. 

I'll tell you more about it soon, along with a few recipes to use all that fruit. 

It's nice to be back, with hot showers, DVDs and familiar surroundings. 

     But it was also nice to test out our future home. 

Our home all this week...and sometime in the future

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fall Colors Are Here!

...for Colorado, that is, if you're up around 10,000 ft altitude or so.

It really does look like this.

We finally had a chance to do some (brief) camping, and were astonished to see the blaze of yellow-orange along the road. Even for us, it's about two weeks early. But then, the peaches were also early. We were lucky to get what we needed in Palisade; many of the stands were out of peaches, and talking about apples, instead. (This area is famous for its wonderful fruit.)

      We found a stand selling peaches for $15 a box...which is an insanely good price this year. But by agreeing to take all 13 boxes, the Brick talked them down to $10! What a Hollander...

I love Colorado's fall. It may not have the heartstopping oranges and reds the rest of you get -- but those flickering golden aspen leaves, contrasting with aspen's white trunks, and the evergreens around them, are truly lovely.

I can feel myself calming down, already.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound

I am a huge fan of J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound.

Maybe it's because they're from Chicago, a town only a few hours from where I grew up. (It's pronounced 'Chi-ka-goh,' by the way.)

Maybe because they're smooth...and rowdy...and sometimes both.

I started with 'I Am Trying To Break Your Heart...'

Moved on to 'Sister Ray Charles...'

Then, after a difficult week, this 2015 hit was just perfect:

Try not to boogie.

(For some reason, I cannot seem to load the official videos for these -- but you should try, via Youtube. They're great.)

Monday (Sunday) Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Getting Things Done

I guess I have to say this, huh...

What a strange, weird week. We were supposed to go camping, to take our trailer for its first test drive -- and every day, we would say to each other, "Okay, we'll leave this afternoon." Then something would come up. Maybe a deadline didn't get done in time, or something broke down on the trailer. This job needed tweaking, or that client needed their appraisal Right Away. 
     So instead of wandering  -- we stayed home and worked. (And slept like hibernating bears every night.) The Brick just stopped and said, "Doesn't it seem like everything takes longer to accomplish these days?" 
     He's right. Being a responsible adult, as our daughters would say, just sucks. But at least we got a fair amount accomplished. Maybe we can get the heck out of Dodge sometime soon. Who knows. Meanwhile:

A Viking warrior's grave excavated back in the 1800s, complete with full kit (and two horses), turns out to be...a woman!    DNA results confirmed her sex. Another DNA test showed:

A psychic who claimed to be Salvador Dali's secret daughter... isn't. Too bad for her -- she'll miss out on a share of an estate still worth millions of dollars. She'll be happy to know, though, that his exhumed body's mustache is still intact. (Hey, the things you learn here, Gentle Readers!)

A new version of Pride and Prejudice coming to tv screens?

When the river runs dry.  (But you shouldn't. From Funky Junk Interiors.)

Five 'prep' things to do now to prepare yourself for an emergency.  (From Living Life in Rural Iowa)

$36 million...for a chicken cup?  Yup...and that record may be broken soon, with another Chinese porcelain piece said to be just as rare...a celadon green 'brush washer' raised edge saucer. (From Artnet)

Fifty things you can do right now, instead of spending money.  (From Making Sense of Cents)

A theatregoer gets thrown out for singing along (loudly and badly) to The Bodyguard musical. Gee, I know I've at least hummed along with songs...and sung some words, too. I was on tune and did it quietly, though -- am I a Bad Girl?

Truly weird bets made by famous people.  (From Cracked)

Wanna buy Johnny Depp's Kentucky farm? It's coming up for auction.

Christmas stocking ideas. Yes, that time's coming!  (From My Abundant Life)

Ten items frugal people reuse.  (From My Abundant Life)

Monet's glasses are up for sale.  You interested?

43 best stock tank ideas for kids swimming pools. Shades of pools and ponds... (from Freshoom)

Tax implications from loaning money to family members.  (From Taxact)

The last reigning king of Ireland...and he lives just off Donegal.  (From Irish Central) Speaking of that:

Life in the U.S. has been so wacky lately that maybe we should run back to England, and let THEM deal with it.  Like this story:

Hillary Clinton's pastor writes a book, collecting devotions he sent to her during the presidential campaign. It's on bookshelves now, from Abingdon Press.
      Only he didn't write one devotional -- he cribbed it from another pastor's blog.
      The publisher did a search -- and found a whole lot more that was plagiarized from others.   Oops. (And yes, I'd still mention this if it was President Trump's pastor. Plagiarism's a huge issue for this writer.)

On the other hand, the Brits may not want us! 

Have a great week. Get stuff done!

Friday, September 8, 2017


Fall -- I love this time of year!

It's cooler, but still comfortable.

Fires in the woodstove sound like a cozy idea. (So does soup!)

A change in schedule.

Football starts.  (Go, Blue!)

Buffs, too...

(Both teams won this weekend -- which was great. What isn't so wonderful -- when they play each other. We're torn between rooting for one, then the other...arghghggh.)

Christmas is coming...but not yet.

And those incredible leaf colors can rip your heart out.


Locker Hooking: A New/Old Way to Make A Rug from Ami Simms

My friend Ami Simms is always coming up with clever things.

Like locker hooking, a rug-hooking (really a strip-covering) variation which lets you make beautiful rugs from recycled clothes. (She prefers shirts, but you could use about anything, provided it wasn't too heavy or stretchy.) That's how she made this rug:

Here's her blogpost on the subject. Complete with materials and tools needed. Several video tutorials, from start to finish.

She's got a channel on Youtube of her own, including this quick (and fascinating) take on 'crumb' quilts:

I always seem to learn something new from her.

You go, girl!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Weekend's Coming --

--and the frugal person's dilemma:


The biggest existing gold nugget in the Western Hemisphere...

The 'Boot of Cortez' nugget, found in 1989 in Senora, Mexico, by a local prospector with a cheap metal detector he bought from Radio Shack.

It sold at auction recently for:


The nugget weighed 389.4 troy ounces -- more than 100 ounces more than the next-biggest existing nugget, found in Alaska. (More stories about other big nuggets here.) At today's gold price per ounce ($1351.30), that works out to a little more than $526,000.

Pocket change, really.

Learn more here, via Heritage Auctions.  They're having a big Ancient Coins auction today, Sept. 7.

This made me curious about the largest nugget ever found in Colorado: Tom's Baby, discovered in 1887. It originally weighed about 13 1/2 pounds -- a mere 216 ounces! You can still see the original, minus about three pounds, at Denver's Museum of Nature and Science today . 

No one knows for certain where the missing gold went, in case you're wondering. (Maybe Bigfoot took it.)

Sasquatch in the Funny Papers

Since I just put up a new post about The Big Guy, I might as well add the cartoons that have been accumulating all year in my Bigfoot folder.

Fall cleaning, you might say.  Enjoy.

Thanks to all those nutty cartoonists out there, including Gary Larson (The Far Side) and Mr. Bizarro.
     Yes, I still believe.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Yoo-Hoo, Bigfoot... You Still Around?

I haven't talked much about Our Buddy in the past few months...but that doesn't mean I'm not paying attention to him. (After all, we'd hate for him to feel neglected.)

One of you Gentle Readers gave me a big kick by writing:
     "I wanted to tell you that here in Texas, Mr. S is known as the Boggy Creek Monster. We just got back from vacation and drove through Boggy State Park and over Boggy Creek! I looked for him for you and yelled, 'Cindy Brick says Hi!' But no sighting or answer. LOL."

Well, I'm laughing!

Here are a few updates for your delectation about Mr./Ms. S...
                   otherwise known as Sasquatch.

*A Youtube video said to be the first clear thermal image of Bigfoot. Start about .45, if you're in a hurry...the real kicker is about 1:40, though. For some odd reason (shyness?), I cannot get this video to load.  You'll have to go here to see it.

*A new Colorado report on BFRO, from a 2015 incident in Estes Park. Near Rocky Mountain National Park, that is.  A bit tame, though.

*Did Rob Lowe see Bigfoot?  He says he did, while camping with his sons: "I'm fully aware that I sound crazy." He also says he worried about Mr. S killing him.

Well, call me skeptical.

For one thing, this wasn't an innocent camping trip. Lowe and his sons were deliberately out there, looking for signs of Mr. S. For another, they were filming an episode for a TV series. And finally, Lowe's account sounds wayyyy too dramatic. Is he recounting... or promoting? And where's the hard evidence?

Shades of the movie Trading Places, and the snooty socialite... "I would have groveled on the ground and begged for mercy!"

                                                                   Yep, that one.

*Kidnapped by Bigfoot. Maybe, maybe not. Creepy, nonetheless. (From Sword and Scale)

*Some DNA Yeti hair testing. The results, according to the cable series Destination Truth: 'an unknown primate high on the human scale.'  Hmmm...

*Another BFRO report: was a Bigfoot hit by a car, and his body confiscated by the authorities? This one's based on a 1986 incident in Georgia.

*One of the more compelling videos...of Ms. S carrying her baby out of danger. Could it be authentic?

I have a fun conference to look forward to: Denver's Mile High Mystery Conference, commencing Oct. 6-8, near DIA. Although some UFO stuff is mixed in, much of the focus is on Our Buddy. Many of the speakers are serious cryptozoologists, who see Mr. S. as a rare animal species that hasn't been fully documented. (I think so, too.) They're going to talk about sightings, physical evidence, whether BF has a specialized vocabulary of sounds...there's even an artist whose Sasquatch drawings are based on eyewitness accounts.


     I have had problems mentioning the conference to my family. One dear friend, who thinks I'm a little quirky, anyways, made the most valiant effort not to laugh that I have ever seen. (Hopefully she didn't rip anything in the effort.) Otherwise, the gamut of response has ranged from lifted eyebrows to outright sniggering. No matter -- I figure I'll learn some things, and get some articles out of it, as well.

Son #1, whose experiences on 'Sasquatch Mountain' were fascinating a few hunting seasons ago, is bowhunting there again this week. I made him promise to have his cellphone fully charged, in case he got the chance to take photos or record yelling by You Know Who.
     He looked at me quizzically, and said that his friends were talking about three bears hanging out up there -- and one of the ursines was especially big. I said, "Could one be...?" He laughed, and said he'd gotten a bear tag, just in case.

I'll keep you posted -- on everything.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Monday (ok, Sunday) Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Fall?

     Is autumn coming earlier than usual this year? 

    It's cooled down...well, at least at night. (It can still blaze during the day.)
     The dogs are going into a new round of shedding, for their winter coats. (Based on all the hair lost lately, I may be, too.)
     I haven't heard a hummingbird in at least a week - maybe two. Normally, they stay around until Labor Day. 
     The Rockies are beginning to win again. (They do this, just before the season ends, to bring our hopes up.)
     The Broncos are winning - period. At the beginning of their season. (See earlier statement. They like to tease us into hopefulness, too.)
     It just 'feels' unsettled around here -- as if the weather's changing. 
     On the other hand, our flowers and herbs are still blooming away. The tomatoes I planted a few months ago are finally filled with blossoms -- just in time for the first frost, no doubt. I should be more optimistic, but have seen this happen over and over. After all, we live at 6250 feet altitude. What else should I expect? 

Makes you wonder.

Leaves are starting to turn...but just a touch.
Since you're probably off for the weekend, Gentle Readers, I thought I'd post this a day early, so you have time to enjoy it. Lots of links this time around -- plenty is happening!

Don't forget: other places are dealing with heavy flooding,. It's not just Texas. Please consider ways you can help...Salvation Army is a good place to start. Meanwhile:

The nurse who did her job (correctly, it turns out) -- and got arrested for it.

Redoing your backyard just a day. (From No Pressure Life)  She's got some interesting organizing ideas, too. A little cutesy at times, but interesting.

Labor day musings....including the value of work well done, even if it's not 'fabulous.'  (From Surviving and Thriving)

15 backsplash ideas that are easy and decorative. Maybe even for a bathroom... (From Hometalk)

Six celebrities that were (and still are) terrible neighbors.  Well, maybe not George Clooney... (From Cracked)

How did museums in the Houston area prepare for the storm? Very, very carefully. (Too bad others were not quite so detailed.)

Something really rare: a golden lobster!

A U.S. Postal worker from Aurora, CO fakes cancer for two years, takes a boatload of sick leave...and almost makes it to her retirement before she's busted. (She misspelled the doctor's name on a note -- oops.) One of her punishments? Community service of 625 hours -- as much as the hours of sick leave she fraudulently took. Good for the judge. In keeping with that:

21 famous fakes and hoaxes, courtesy of MSN. Oh yes, and...

OJ Simpson just got his parole granted last month.

"I own Jack Ryan now!" Tom Clancy's widow goes to court.  And who's she fighting for this issue? Clancy's ex-wife. What a mess. (This one should interest any writers among you, Gentle Readers -- do you own your own characters, or not? Dickens said that his books' characters often refused to do what he wanted them to...)

The sign language interpreter on stage at Nelson Mandela's memorial service a few years ago was...a fake!  Yes, Mandela died back in 2013, but I just discovered this, and thought you might have missed it, too.
    (The 'interpreter' acknowledged that he was signing nonsense, by the way. He said he had a schizophrenic episode, due to stress, and was trying to play the sympathy card.)

Five important skills that are close to being lost forever.  Including the ability to weave "sea silk," a golden fabric woven from... clam spit!  (From Cracked)

Your opinion: it's not just what you think, it's how you say it. Another foray into the world of Disagreeing With Respect.  (From Money Beagle)

President Reagan's favorite White House ghost story. 

President Grant's banner quilt.  (From Civil War Quilts)

Torn jeans, rationing milk and growing sprouts -- getting by when you need to. (From One Hundred Dollars A Month)

Ten criminals who sued their victims. Sadly, a few of them won. (From Listverse)

Build a wardrobe around six scarves? Well, maybe if they're Hermes.  (From The Vivienne Files)

An incredible (and rare) interview with both Steve Martin and Robin Williams:

Celtic symbols and their meanings.  (From Irish Central)

Have a fun holiday week. Enjoy it now --colder weather is not that far away.

Pools and Ponds

Happy Labor Day Weekend...

It's still hot enough in the mornings and early afternoons that I enjoy imagining splashing into nice cool water...
     Okay, that's not going to happen right now. How about a little pond nearby, with fish flitting among the waterlilies?

Lucky for me, Hometalk's got the same cravings. From their 'ponds' page comes a whole boatload (ahem) of ideas, including how-tos for these:

A canoe pond!

It's easier than you might think. Position the canoe, line with watertight plastic...and fill.

Even this deck pond is pretty, using a resin barrel planter.  She brings it inside for the winter. Would the Brick be amenable to that? (Naaaahhhh....)

You can even build a pond or pool from bales of hay. 

    or a stock tank.

Ah well, it's fun to dream.

Speaking Out

In our case, it was the girlies calling each other 'Cow.' Just this week, I was informed that if I hadn't made such a fuss...