Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What Insults Produce

Sunday's paper brought a thought-provoking editorial from Marc A. Thiessen, a columnist for the Washington Post. You can read his full article here, but I wanted to share a few bits first.


When President Trump tweeted that the news media “is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” the outrage on the left was palpable. That’s how dictators speak, they cried, comparing Trump to everyone from Lenin and Stalin to Mao and Mussolini. Former Obama adviser David Axelrod declared, “No other president would have described the media as ‘the enemy of the people.’ ”

"...Axelrod seems to have forgotten that back in 2010, his former boss let slip this telling insight into how he viewed his political adversaries: “We’re gonna punish our enemies, and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.” Few on the left compared Barack Obama to Stalin or Mao when he declared his fellow Americans who disagree with him to be “enemies.” (Obama later apologized for his choice of words.)
    "There was also a notable absence of outrage when, during the first Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Clinton was asked “Which enemy are you most proud of?” and she replied, “Well, in addition to the NRA, the health insurance companies, the drug companies, the Iranians? Probably the Republicans.”
Clinton didn’t compare her Republican opponents to generic “enemies,” she compared them to an actual enemy. She compared them to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism...
 "She also compared Republicans to the Nazis, declaring that Trump and other GOP contenders wanted to “go and literally pull [illegal immigrants] out of their homes and their workplaces . . . Round them up, put them, I don’t know, in buses, boxcars, in order to take them across our border.”
"I don’t recall widespread revulsion on the left when a Democratic president and Democratic nominee made these repulsive remarks. Perhaps they didn’t care, because the remarks were not targeted at the media, just Republicans.
"To be clear, it was an outrage when Obama did it. It was an outrage when Clinton did it. And it is an outrage when Trump does it..
"Members of the news media may be biased. They may even be an adversary, in the political sense of the word — “the opposition party,” as Stephen K. Bannon calls them. But our political opponents are not our enemies. They are our fellow Americans who disagree with us. [my emphasis]
"Our politics is increasingly filled not simply with anger but also contempt for those we see as our opponents. We saw this contempt in Obama’s disdain for “bitter” Americans who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them ... as a way to explain their frustrations.” We see it in Trump’s crass comments about women and immigrants. We see it in the venom spewing from the left at anti-Trump rallies — from riots on Inauguration Day to Madonna standing up before a cheering crowd on the Mall and declaring “I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.” And we see it in some of the press coverage of Trump, which even CBS “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson has called “hysterical.” Trump is not wrong when he complains that the press is seething with “so much anger and hatred” for him.
"Trump was wrong to call reporters enemies. And yes, the demonization of those who disagree with us is a deep problem in U.S. politics. But it did not start with Trump. Perhaps it’s time for Trump’s critics — including those in the media — to take a good, hard look in the mirror and ask themselves how they are contributing to our growing culture of political contempt."

It's time to ask yourself -- are you contributing, too?

Figures...



Frugal Hits and Misses - February Report

February may be a shorter month -- but it's also been a strange one this year. Lots of work, wondering about the house sale (and getting an offer plus counteroffer, so far), trying to keep regular chores done, plus starting to plan for Daughter #2's upcoming wedding....there hasn't been much time to do anything extra. (You should see my pile of clothes-to-iron...shameful.) 
     We also got very little moisture of any kind -- a number of days in the 70s, with people out in shorts and sunbathing. Wait a minute: we are still in winter, aren't we?
     Getting the flu, plus a whopping case of food poisoning (thank YOU, Applebee's chicken tenders) didn't help any. At least it kept me from wanting to get out and wander. I had big plans to make thank-you dog biscuits for our dogsitting clients...that never happened. Maybe next month. 


*Lebkuchen for less than half price. I bought two large boxes off Amazon -- these are easily the best cookies in the world. (No chest in our order -- just delicious cookies.) We'll use them for presents and nibbling -- they last for months.

Lebkuchen Schmidt Festive Chest, 6.23-Pound Container
Yum.

*More stuff collected and donated. We really need to ramp up in this area in March.

*I'm a penny magnet these days, for some strange reason.  I've found a few in the street, one in a parking lot -- and one shiny penny in the coin slot of a parking machine. Go figure.

*Sold more books on Amazon. This is slowing down a bit. I also found a copy of Finding Franklin on Ebay for $10 and shipping, thanks to 'Make An Offer.' I've wanted this book for ages, and it goes for more than double that amount on Amazon.

*Finished the weighted blanket for our friend's son. This took WAY longer than I'd planned, but I learned a lot, and he's pleased with it.

*Flowers for Valentine's Day -- roses from the Brick were lovely, but only lasted a few days before they wilted. (I intend to mention that to the seller!)  My piano student kids also brought a beautiful bouquet of mums, only now starting to look a bit ragged.
             A lovely pot of daffodils from Trader Joe's ($3.49) has lasted even longer.




*The Brick gave himself a (short) haircut -- though I actually like it. For myself, I used a $7.99 haircut coupon at Great Clips. My cut ended up a little shaggy -- not nearly as nice as his. (Maybe I should let him cut my hair, instead.)

*A BUNCH of checks came in, including for jobs done in December and January that I hadn't been paid for yet. (This happens a lot if you own your own business.) I did some consulting work that will pay off in photos for use in articles - and a few other intangibles. I also accepted some restoration work, including rebinding some Depression Era quilts for a client.

*Did a lot of appraising this month. Not sure why...but grateful. I also had a teaching gig in Colorado Springs for the Piecing Partners guild. (Had a wonderful time, too.)

*We did some other small jobs, including a week of dogsitting. Including piano lessons, playing on worship team for another church, etc.Nothing big -- but the combined money is always welcome.

*Finished one series -- and started a few more. Foyle's War is over, sadly. It gave me a taste for British tea and toast all over again. We're working on Accused (powerful, but some weird conclusions) and Happy Valley, a Yorkshire-based series inspired by my visits to A Life By Design. (It's called 'Happy Valley,' by the way, because of all the drug traffic there. But the scenery is amazing.)

*The Brick drove schoolbus a few days a week...and added $840 to the month's income by doing it! He is such a sweetheart.





*Saved on Valentine's Day gifts -- chocolates set aside for the Brick, plus one of those discounted lebkuchen boxes. (He loved it.) Bigfoot terrariums for the girlies. (Surprisingly, they loved them! I'll show you how-tos on these shortly.)  Chocolates from the Friday/Saturday store for my piano kids.

*Found hunting gear on DEEP discount for the Brick's birthday presents. I found gear for both daughters, plus our new son, as well. It was meant for birthday presents, but we gave these to them early. (That way, I don't have to pack them.)

*DIDN'T SHOP MUCH. (And boy, was that hard.)

*Grilled steaks at home for the Brick's birthday on Feb. 20.  (I actually had some coupons to use...but he wanted to stay home. Okay with me.) Found a half-price carrot cake...and made apple dumplings, as well. He loves apple pie -- and I don't make it much.

*Sold eggs - plus a bonus dozen to neighbors. Those more than covered the extra bag of crumbles we needed to buy. (The chickens are now picking up on egglaying, thankfully.)





*Didn't go to Tucson with Daughter #2 and Son #1 -- even though we wanted to, and could have afforded it. But who would be cleaning up the house and getting work done, if we did?

*Cleared out the credit card charges for Brickworks LLC from December. Paid sales tax for 2016, (I guess that's a 'miss,' actually.)

*Saved on new windshields for both the Cherokee and the Outback. Compared prices, and got a $75 new customer discount thrown in -- on both. In the end, it was $365 for both windshields, including installation...not much more than what we've paid for one in the past.

*Sold the Jeep Cherokee (at a bargain) to Daughter #1. No more insurance $$ on that, though money gained is minimal. (Once again, though, any extra money coming in is welcome.)
      I already feel better, knowing that this car is more dependable than the old Jeep she fondly calls the Turdmobile. She's driven "Goldy Dragon" through at least one storm with no problems, and it will keep her safer this spring.

*The IREA energy printout labeled us as the most efficient neighbors on the street! That means we saved on heating costs, compared to what it could have been.

*Out to lunch twice, courtesy of Daughter #2 and Son #1. (She would say that phrase applies to me, in more ways than one.) We kept restaurant visits to a bare minimum this month, except for the Brick's lunches and coffee breaks while driving. Usually we redeemed bonus cards and gift cards already purchased in December.

*A few more $1 videos, plus a $2 hardcover or two, from the library's used book room. The books are replacing ones I plan to keep; the videos were mostly presents. At least two were series videos. No overdue fines this month!

*Kept our meat costs down: the steaks for the Brick's dinner were on sale. I also found several pounds of $1.49/lb sausage. Have you noticed the jump in meat prices...particularly sausage and pork chops? Chicken prices seem to be going down a little here in the Denver, Colorado area, though.




*Just finishing off the apples in the cooler on the deck. These were picked by friends from a neighbor's tree down the street, and given to us. They're just starting to 'go' now, but have provided fruit for the chickens -- and dumplings for us -- all through the winter. (I just checked - we got them in mid-October. Four and a half months in a cooler? Pretty good.)

*Found a John Elway signed kid's Broncos jersey at Sally's (Salvation Army) in Boulder: $6.  I'll sell it on Ebay when life calms down a bit.

*The Brick got a Gold Card. Once you turn 60, this card entitles you to free admission at any number of Douglas County School District events -- something which immediately paid off in free Oliver! tickets at the high school. ($24 saved right there.) We intend to use it more, too.
         I'm not 60 yet -- but the Brick is. He doesn't act like it, though.

And the best frugal hit of February? 

*The Brick found a health insurance plan which is saving us BIG bucks. It offers much the same benefits as our previous health plan under Colorado's PERA. (Actually, it's a little better.) And the difference in price per month? About $500! 

*******

Now the frugal misses for this month. Thankfully, they were few.

*Property tax was due -- almost a thousand dollars.  (Ouch. So much for all those extra checks.)

*We lost a chicken. The flock is starting to age, so it's to be expected. But still...


I resemble that remark!

Go here for previous months' frugal hits and misses

It's wonderful to be inspired by others' efforts in this area, as well.


Now on to March -- traditionally the snowiest month of the year for Colorado. We'll see.







Sunday, February 26, 2017

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Dad

 This weekend, I've been thinking about my father. 

A big (6'3") tough Dutch farmer, he was a shrunken version of himself when he died from multiple myeloma eight years ago last Friday. I miss his distinctive smell of Old Spice, good earth and fuel oil. Dad was the manager of my uncle's Case equipment dealer; he listened to tractors' problems the way we deal with old friends. He was the only one I ever knew who could diagnose engine issues over the phone, just by listening to a tractor start up and run. 

He also loved books, quirky stories, politics (the stranger, the better - he would have reveled in this past election) and my mom's cooking. He loved my mom, his grandchildren, sons and daughters. 
     He loved me.

I love you too, Pa.  See you soon.




Oatmeal muffins, two different ways.  This recipe looks good; so does this one. (From Jennifer Murch and Thrift At Home)

'Cup of Gold' chocolate candies.  Think Mounds with marshmallow...but way healthier.  (From Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth)



The best foods on a tight budget.  (From Hundred Dollars A Month)

"The seven money mistakes that shaped my life."  (From Making Sense of Cents)

Repro of a repro of a repro...of an Indian chintz!  (From Barbara Brackman's Material Culture)

A strange light shows up in the skies over Puebla, Mexico on Jan. 24.  (Start at about 6:12 in the video to see it.)

Or skip the fuss and go here to see the video, instead.

 What do you think it is? Meterors sure don't zoom horizontally, then straight up...






Christians are still dying, thanks to ISIS.
 Don't ever think that because we have religious freedom here in the United States, it's also prevalent elsewhere. It isn't.

Personal items of the ancients. Including a 50,000-year-old sewing needle!  (From Listverse)

Why people who cut expenses still can't balance their budget. Sometimes, that is.  (From Len Penzo)

A stepladder side table -- cool.  This would fit nicely in the trailer bedroom. (From Funky Junk Interiors)



Red and white quilts to make your heart glad -- an online quilt show. (This one's from Fisher Quilts.)

Ocean Waves


15 fun things to do with friends...that don't cost much.  (From The Simple Dollar) Including stuff like watching:

The newest Oscar winners.    (No doubt Steve Harvey feels much better, after the Warren Beatty/Faye Dunaway slipup on Best Picture.)

And to help push any lingering Monday blues away:
     A funky walk flashmob. In Barcelona.  ("Barthelona," if I'm saying it right.)
See if you can watch it without a grin appearing.





Have a great week.




Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hair-Raising (and Cutting) Savings

I had my hair cut last month.

I know -- big deal. But this time around, I thought to ask my hairdresser, Maggie at Cost Cutters, for suggestions on taking care of your hair -- and making that new (and often expensive) haircut last.

Here's what she said. 


*Use heat protectorant.   (she likes the Matrix brand)

*The more you color, the more you damage -- let your hair "rest" from it now and then.

*Anything that introduces heat, also damages over the long run -- blow dryers, straighteners, etc.
      Give your hair a rest from them now and then, too.

*Think twice about highlighting and touching up. She doesn't mind root touchups, but isn't that enthused about them, either. Highlights, especially those that use bleach, do more damage than hair coloring, according to Maggie. (Ouch. Didn't think about that.)

*Undercutting does not always grow out evenly.

*Bangs need regular trims -- side bangs are better, and you can let them grow out more easily

*Use good quality hair products - buy in as large a size as possible to save more money per ounce.

*If your hair is thin -- have layers cut near the crown.  Rub a little mousse in at the top (not all over) to push your hair up and give it volume. Look for a mousse that's light, not sticky. (Maggie likes Matrix for this, too)

Wet Brush. (This is the brand name.) This brush helps comb wet hair with minimal damage, and is a great detangler for kids' hair.


Thanks so much, Maggie. By the way, ya got any openings for next Tuesday?


Daughter #1, pondering her next trim.






Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thinking About Wedding Cakes

Daughter #2 is getting married!




I've been having fun watching her plan for her upcoming wedding. She and our new son were over for supper. After debating trivial items like month, day and place, we got to the good stuff:
      wedding cakes.

She wants chocolate.

I've never done a chocolate wedding cake...but I make a mean Sachertorte. 

    (Yes, I've made a wedding cake before. In another life, I was a caterer...grew up doing it. The Mama was a caterer. Daughter #1 has done her share of catering...I must have passed it on to her!)

Turns out there are a bunch of chocolate wedding cakes out there. Here are some worth considering, thanks to Pinterest:

















German chocolate and ganache...here we come.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Mornings

Ooh, it's been nasty around here. 

The Brick and I both had a recurrence of flu over the weekend, which wasn't fun. But my very favorite time has been this week. I've spent so much time crouched over or beside various bathroom appliances, I've lost count. If you really want to plumb the depths of your soul, try doing it at 4 a.m. over the porcelain bowl.

Fortunately, I was able to sleep some this afternoon, and think I may be on the mend.

Thought I'd re-mention one of the best morning videos ever. You might need it, too.



Back to bed.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Clean Out Your Scraps...

...and hopefully feel a little tidier, in the process.

(I know whereof I speak right now, with piles EVERYWHERE.)

I first saw these blocks on Pinterest. Amber Johnson, of Gigi's Thimble in Alpine, Utah, has combined a Sixteen Patch with a Variable Star to make a scrappy block that uses up a LOT of fabric. Plus a generous hunk of background muslin or solid. (I'd use a monoprint or tiny dot, to add even more texture.)
     These are so simple that they're brilliant.



Here's the tutorial, from start to finish. The method produces a 12" finished block (12 1/2", including extra for seams), which should be incredibly useful. As few as 56 blocks (a 7 x 8 set -- 7 rows across and 8 down, with no sashing) could produce an 84" x 96" large queen top.


Or add 2" finished sashing in between -- which is what she shows in her four-block example. Then you can get by with a 6 x 7 set: 42 blocks total. The 2" sashing adds 12" on the horizontal rows, and 14" on the vertical ones.
                            In other words:
     6 x 12" blocks = 72", plus 12" sashing = 84".
     7 x 12" blocks = 84", plus 14" sashing = 98."

A good size for a large queen top. Add borders, and you've got a king-sized top, instead.

(E-mail me at cindy@ cindybrick.com, if you're not following this. I can explain it more thoroughly.)


The same design -- but in red & blue, with blocks separated by 2" sashing and intersection squares

   Amber has you cutting out squares for those Sixteen Patch center blocks -- but frankly, I'd just strip piece them from 2 1/2" strips cut from scraps, adding a strip cut from background fabric. Cut a 2 1/2" wedge from those two-fabric strips, randomly sew them together in groups of two, and you'll get the same four-square effect, with a lot less work.
     (4 squares = one row; 4 rows = one center block. You'll need four more 2-fabric wedges for the outer corners.)





I know where all my scrappy bits and pieces are going, thanks to Amber!

She's got more free patterns available through her blog, A Little Bit Biased.
Her current patterns often feature fat quarters -- those pesky guys we quilters love to collect.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Monday Stuff On the Way To Other Stuff: Where Did February Go?

It seems like the month just started -- how can I get everything done on time?
       Making apple dumplings and cleaning up the house 
                                            (Happy Birthday, David! Love you, Davey bo) 
      Finishing up my workload -- and another appraisal appointment on Friday
      Including cleaning out the house. 
      Packing up inventory for storage
      Donating a bunch of stuff...especially quilts and fabric to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.
              And more. 

Back to work.

Hopefully a lot...


   

Video from exploring the wreck of the H.M.S. Erebus -- one of the two ships from Franklin's Expedition to find the Northwest Passage. More about this in an upcoming post.

Be careful who you're rude to... Better yet, don't do it in the first place.

Lake Berryessa's Glory Hole has just started spilling over. Blame all that rain the Californians have been having. (Wish they'd send some our way, instead -- it's been really dry here.)



A Swiffer Wetjet hack you'll use a lot -- plus the power of vinegar.  (From Surviving and Thriving)

Blessing a friend -- without breaking the bank.  (From Moneysaving Mom)

Found Money in the Street:  a blog that counts up the change and bills this person finds all year. Weird, but interesting. And the $$ totals are higher than you'd think. But I'll bet she hasn't found this much:

More than 22 million in cash found in an attic -- and grabbed by the Feds! Speaking of that:

Ten people who found a LOT of money -- and returned it because 'it wasn't theirs.' Wow.  (From Listverse)

El Castillo, one of the primary pyramids at Chichen Itza, not only is one pyramid -- it's three. Built one inside each other...on top of a cenote.
     I'm pretty sure this is the "bird" pyramid that we visited once. If you clap your hands at the base of the pyramid, what sounds very much like a bird chirp comes out at the top!

Top examples of 'extreme presence of mind.'  (From Quora)

Ten things seen by humans only ONCE. Really.  (From Listverse)

Eleven signs your kids are becoming Austrian.  I spent a summer there back in college days, and have fond memories...

Underwater Photographer of the Year winners are out for 2017.  Insanely cool photos.

Movie and tv quotes so weird they were almost brilliant.  (From Cracked)

Life...and tomato jam.  (From Diary of A Stay At Home Mom)

Scientists are working to reverse death. Well, good luck with that.  (From Newser)

And my very favorite dog commercial ever -- Charley would love to do this. If we'd let him.



And for a nice selection of dog commercials worldwide:





Have a great week.





Saturday, February 18, 2017

Firefall in Yosemite

Every year about this time, the setting sun hits Horsetail Fall in Yosemite National Park...

and turns it into something wonderful.

Here's the latest version.



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Christians Aren't Being Persecuted That Badly in Muslim-Dominated Countries...Right?


Read this post, and see if this fits your scenario of being able to practice your faith freely:

A pastor and eight other members of his congregation are missing --

A Muslim mob charged into a church prayer meeting in eastern Uganda, locked the doors, then beat several members and raped 15 women.

"The approximately 90 Muslims broke into the evening prayer meeting of Katira church of Uganda, in Katira village, Budaka District at about 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 15 and beat them with clubs and sticks...Previously Muslims had only thrown stones at the roof of the church building to disrupt church services of the 500 member congregation..."

"...among those who escaped before the doors were locked was a Christian who heard one of the assailants shout, 'Away with the pastor who is converting our Muslims to Christianity,' a church leader said."

The whereabouts of the pastor, Moses Mutasa, and his parishioners, are still unknown, more than two weeks after the attack. It's thought they are either being held hostage...or dead.


I wish I could say this incident is atypical, that it hardly ever happens, especially in Muslim-dominated countries...
    but it's not.

No wonder these Christians are desperate to immigrate. I would feel the same way, if only for my children.

They've Got A Point


\

The sad part: I've enjoyed every single one of these!
     (The Brick thinks they're nutty.)




Whew...

...recovering from a day of Golden West and Hanky Panky at the Piecing Partners Quilt Guild meeting in Colorado Springs.

I had a lot of fun, but boy -- you quilters are energetic!

I'll be back tomorrow, after I ship orders, do some ironing and finish off a bunch of projects. 
          Hang in there yourself.






Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Heading for the Springs...

...and a little Hanky Panky. Come join me today (Wednesday the 15th).



...not to mention a whole bunch of other quilts!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love from all of us here at Brickworks...me included. 

Red roses = LOVE!
An extra bunny always comes in handy, too.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Want to Try A Little Hanky Panky?

    You have your chance on Wednesday, when I'm teaching for the Piecing Partners Quilt Guild in Colorado Springs!




Here's the basic info, including the address of the Elks Lodge, where I'll be giving a talk on Quilts of the Golden West in the morning.

         (Yes, it's based on my book...and lots of stuff about pioneers. And money. Mining and pioneers always have money involved.)





Then in the afternoon, I'll be teaching a class on my popular "Hanky Panky" handkerchief quilt method, at High Country Quilts on Academy Boulevard. I hardly ever teach this class in recent years -- and I've had people asking for it. Now's your chance.
    (Don't worry if you don't have enough handkerchiefs. One of Brickworks' staffers just made up an armload of beautiful kits.)



Lots of history during class, too...


Click on the link above, or e-mail me at cindy@cindybrick.com, if you have questions.

The Hanky Panky class is pretty full, but I'll bet we could squeeze you in there...

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Foyled Again

It's been a quiet catch-up week, with lots of appraisal work. While the rest of the country's had snow, our part of Colorado has been warm and dry as a bone. In fact, Denver and Colorado Springs had recordbreaking high temps -- enough for people to think about gardens and sunbathing again. 
     The cold came back yesterday with a vengeance, and a scraping of snow. We need more snow!

This flu still is not completely gone. We go for 3 or 4 days feeling fine...then the tiredness and sore throat reappears, along with nausea and wobblyness. A few days later, it's gone again, and the process repeats. We're still down to one vehicle, so when the Brick is driving bus down south, I stay home. 
      That's not so bad, if you're not feeling that great.

We've really been enjoying catching up with another series:  Foyle's War. This WWII British detective comedy/drama is very subtle...but grows on you. It's good to work by, as well.
     Here's the first episode, if you're curious.




Monkeys and dogs show a preference for people, based on how they (the humans) treat others.  The animals prefer those with "cooperative tendencies," as the article puts it.  Hmmm...  (From New Scientist)

Found money... from an expert at doing just that.  (Thanks, Surviving and Thriving)

Chocolate almond cheesecake bites.  Perfect for Valentine's Day!  (From Betty Crocker)



Shop the 'wrong' department to get a better price! A cousin taught me to do this for polo shirts and t-shirts. She always went to the men's department first. Works for sweaters, too.  (From Pretend to Be Poor)

Looking for money in all the right places.  A classic from yours-truly.

Is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in trouble?   Thomas Hoving would be shocked. Or maybe not.

Weird things famous people said before dying.

"Rain, rain, go away."  ("Just prior to writing this, it rained nearly two straight weeks.") From Inside the Box, the guy who lives secretly in a semi-truck.

Flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  (From Hundred Dollars A Month)





"Help me decide how to pay off $185,000 in student loans."  A reader case study from The Frugalwoods.

Cleaning secondhand shoes. Good basic tips here. (From Look What I Found!)

Double chocolate rebel cookies. Oh my. These can be made gluten-free, if you want to -- or not.
             (From Living Well Spending Less)



Seven lessons learned from a short sale.  (Thanks for sharing an uncomfortable truth, Making Sense of Cents)

When your mate is unemployed - or underemployed.  (From Harvest Lane Cottage)

Twenty-one photographs that really make you wonder... what's up with that?

A 'teeny tiny' Greenwich Village studio -- 200 feet.  (From Apartment Therapy)

Ten biggest mistakes in history...from the viewpoint of commenters on the Internet. (Trump's election is not one of them, by the way. Just thought I'd mention that.)

Secrets of a (tv) home dec stylist.  Although I still think that wallpaper is kind of weird... (From Oh Joy!)


Ten funny dog-and-car commercials:  Hey, why not. Life's short.




Have a great week.


Castle Rock, Colorado...by sunset

Charley and Abby Would Agree

We hear/see this nine hundred times a day...



our poor neglected little dawwwwwwgs.


That's right, Mom!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Take A Picture -- Literally!

Or, as the Mama is fond of saying, if you stare too much:  "Take a picture - it lasts longer."

Guess what New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art just announced?

375,000 images from their collection are now FREE for public use.

Print 'em, use them on your website or blog...put them on a phototransfer, or copy them for your favorite project --

Doesn't matter what you do:  they're free. And in high resolution, no less.

Wow.

For access, go to the Creative Commons site.  To learn more, go here. 

(A 'Quilts' section is here, for my dedicated readers -- including the amazing Phebe Warner coverlet.)

And just for fun, Because I Can Now:

A portrait of Emma Homan by John Bradley, an early 19th century artist.
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
                      (Thank you so much, Met. I really appreciate it.)

Enjoy.



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Happy Birthday, Charley!

Charles Dickens was 205...yesterday, Feb. 7.




(Shame on me -- I posted this one day too late.)


He'd love it if you hauled out a copy of Oliver Twist or Great Expectations, and read a few chapters in his honor. Or at least check out some of his best quotes.

Read some of his letters. (Actually, he would have hated that -- he burned everything he could get his hands on.) Even better: check out the New York Public Library's digital overview of CD's letters, promptbooks and illustrations from his novels. (Thanks to the Berg Collection for this.)

Visit his home.


Or, more amazing:  his personal bound collection of All the Year Round volumes, one of the periodicals edited by The Inimitable, including handwritten notes in the margins. These were discovered in 2015 completely by accident.


Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens.   Glad you were on this earth for a time. These should be red geraniums...but roses will have to do.






Grandma, I'm Thinking Of You...

Shades of  my tiny five-foot grandma. I saw her, standing at the back door, take on her grown sons -- my uncles -- and yell, "W...