Sunday, June 18, 2017

And Even More Excitement...

No, thankfully, nobody else is pregnant and no babies due are here yet. I'm not being mean - I'm just still recovering from "baby knitting!"

But I took an interesting phone call, and while I normally don't pick up calls where I don't recognize the number, I'm kind of glad I picked up THIS call.

Because Hubby's identity was stolen, and Ginormous Cell Phone Company was going to toss him into collections for a bill he owed. 

Except we've never had an account with Ginormous Cell Phone Company - ever. We have The Other Ginormous  Cell Phone Company as our carrier. 

Soooooooooo - after losing his temper (ahem!), we got hold of an actual human at GCPC and they walked him through what to do. I mean, I get it: the guy on the phone, from the collection agency, has probably heard every single excuse in the book. And he's used to people saying, "It's not me!" But he was rather obnoxious. And Hubby, being in the middle of a VERY large family? He can give as good as he gets... We got a police report, checked all of the credit bureaus, and gathered proof that we have indeed been at this particular address "for more than 10 years." 

What's even worse was that the ID theft occurred in town! Someone who lives across town managed to open an account at GCPC with Hubby's name, at a different address. 

It was a mess. But it turns out that we were able to swiftly provide what they needed, and GCPC will (a) clear Hubby's record; and (b) eat the large bill that they said he owed. Which, of course, he doesn't owe...

Message received: Check your credit reports annually! If we'd done that, we'd have noticed that GCPC had run checks on his credit and maybe we'd have questioned it earlier. 

Crock-Pot Dinner...

I woke up with a migraine. I think it's related to my shoulder issue and it finally culminated in a headache that I couldn't shake. It's Father's Day and I was planning on a lovely bike ride with Hubby. Well. Another plan shot down the crapper...

Hubby pulled chicken out of the freezer, and suggested we do something with it in the crock pot just so we can not have to worry about cooking. Right now, he's making a horrible racket fixing one of the baby (dog) gates, and Quinn's sitting here wondering what all the chaos is about...

I browned the chicken, grabbed a package of mushrooms and leeks from the freezer, pulled three large cloves of garlic out of the garlic keeper, and then found a sprig of last year's Rosemary in the freezer. All I added was pepper. And I used (yeah, don't judge - migraine, remember?) "cream of something" soup. 

We haven't used canned creamed soups in ages, but frankly? My head's pounding. I'm dizzy, and feel like crap. We're lucky I got this far. 

Why, you ask, isn't Hubby taking care of dinner? Because he cooks all week long, and I figured that if I just plowed through, ignoring the headache, it would go away. 

I'm wrong; it's not leaving. But that's beside the point. 

I just wanted to do it, and I figured this was simple enough that, even in a migraine-haze, I couldn't screw this up. He'll boil up some noodles when it's closer to dinner time, and we'll be good to go. I'll add some veggies to the crock-pot for a little color, and we'll be fine. Somehow, I missed that we had a couple of bags of leeks in the freezer downstairs... That's ok - Hubby doesn't like mushrooms, but thankfully, what I have in there - they're big enough for him to pick out. 

If I even feel like eating, it should be good. Which I probably won't. 

I bought a little 12-oz Thermos thing that I can take to work, since we don't have a kitchen or break area. I usually go to the local Starbucks, buy some iced tea, and eat there. The little Thermos holds the food hot and has a little spoon (metal, even!) in the stopper. I figure that if we shred the chicken I can take it for lunch on Monday. 

How My Garden Grows...

This is the first year we haven't planted a lot of flowers. We let our "last year" wildflowers come up and some of the perennials are doing quite nicely. We trimmed out the dill, which is next to the Prairie Blazing Star, as it was (per usual) taking over the front bed. The shade bed under the maple tree is doing well, but has minimal blossoms right now. I expect to have to thin out the Brown Eyed Susan this year. 

We cut the Prairie Blazing Star (see left) in half, sending that part to my friend up in the UP. She sent me some Milkweed seeds, which I have to wait till Fall to plant. 

Milkweed needs to winter over - which is why the seeds in the little Seedles balls didn't sprout last year. Who knew? Well, now I know... We have one Milkweed plant this year, which is fine; I'll know where to plant the seeds. I understand I can place a rubber band around the pods if I don't want them to "go dill" on me and take over the yard! 

The Gaillardia came back nicely - I love this flower. My old neighbor from VA, Mrs. Silver, had a HUGE patch of this in her back yard, along the fence. I always loved it. It's a variation, she claimed, of the Brown Eyed Susan. It was the first time I'd ever seen it, though the Brown Eyed Susan grew like crazy in IL while I was growing up. Unfortunately, the areas where it used to grow? Now they've been 'growing houses' in those fields... All look-alike, beige cookie-cutter houses. And that's supposed to be progress, they say. 

Hubby put up the hummingbird feeders, and we did see one. He just bought a pair of big hanging baskets; it's hard to find them with hummer-friendly flowers. I have to tell you: petunias don't do it! He found a pair with Lobelia in there, so we know that'll be ok. The birds (songbirds, I mean) have been visiting the birdfeeders, and we have to get ourselves straight on the birdbaths. One of the glass ones from last year cracked, so we're down to one in front and one in back. 

We finally saw a Blue Jay - they were decimated a while back with West Nile Virus, as were the crows. We'd been hearing him, but he didn't decide to show himself till recently. It was nice to see him back. 

The Bee Balm (pink) came back in great form! It's doing its thing, and we're happy to see that it seems to like being next to the lilac. The bees are enjoying it, and again - once the hummingbirds come around more regularly? Maybe they'll enjoy it, too. I found a second variety that I was going to plant at the studio, but I decided to plant it at home. It's a purple variety - and Bee Balm is also supposed to attract butterflies. So the purple one is next to the dill, which is a favorite of Swallowtails. We'll see how this works out. 

All of our solar lights have simultaneously died - and to replace the batteries would cost more than what I spent on the lights! We will work on some of the lo-voltage lights, but may not get to them this year. We also really haven't done anything with the concept of the flower beds next to the new deck. 

It seems like we're just letting summer unfold this year. And maybe we just need to do that. The garden is mostly where I wanted it anyway: lots more native plants rather than what I call 'garden center' stuff. There's nothing wrong with that. I like a nice petunia, a nice geranium, etc. Just that I wanted more "prairie" than "big box" look to the garden and I wanted it to be unique. 

I mean, don't get me wrong. I've got lilacs in the front yard, and day lilies. And Icelandic Poppy - not exactly a native plant! And our foxgloves aren't the native ones (which are pretty - I'll have to go looking for those!). But I wanted to make sure that we had a garden that attracted the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds so that we had our chance to contribute to keeping them on track. Yeah, it's little -- not like we have an "estate." But every little bit helps. At least I think so. 


Continuing to forge ahead on the yoke of the February Lady Sweater. I will try it on in a few rows (and also, as soon as the Deep Relief roll-on that I put on my neck dries!). Then, I should be able to get back to the lace pattern and feel like I'm making progress. 

Not that I'm getting ahead of myself, but I'm wondering what to make with the remaining yarn. There's quite a bit of it. And I don't know if I want to perhaps seek out some ivory or a darker shade of lilac and do a sweater with contrasting yoke? Or maybe a shawlette? I mean, mitts aren't out of the question, though I'm starting to think that perhaps silk + merino isn't the greatest combo for something like a mitt that may take a bit of punishment. As I look at where my hands rest on the laptop, I see the potential for wear and tear that would likely bug the snot out of me at some point. And who needs that?

My vision is to finish this sweater, finish TWO "second socks" (mainly the Bowties are Cool and the other Sole to Sole (blue/yellow stripe), then the Shape-It scarf, then dive into stash to get the next project rolling. Oh and sometime before I hit my next birthday: finish the Dreaded Teal Sock. 

Yeah - longtime readers will remember that poor pathetic thing... One day, I'll finish it. And I want to get to a point where I have a dozen pair of hand-knit socks. That means at least 3 more pair to finish. 

I'd like to whip out another sweater, too. I have a couple of patterns plus yarn, and I think I could at least start one. 

It's fun planning - almost as much fun as the knitting!

Random Picture...

One of my favorites. And I will post this as many times as I can. This young lady is one of Tippi's biggest fans. She's going to be a doctor. She's studying hard, and is an outstanding student -- and human being!

We have so much fear of "the other." This country is being torn apart by people who can barely have a conversation about what day of the week it is... We need to recognize our own fundamental humanity. 

We want to compartmentalize people. We need them to fit into little check-boxes or our own little - tiny, sometimes irrational - preconceived notions of what "that kind" of person is. 

They're human. We're all human. And if we, as specks on the backside of the Universe, are going to come out of this in one piece -- and IN peace -- we need to recognize that we have to start looking at each other "with a child's eyes." With the notion, especially if you're going to claim that you're a Christian, that each of us is a child of God. Doesn't matter WHICH God. Because you know what? In each of the major religions, the Golden Rule is the same: treat your fellow being as you wish to be treated. 

Look at how you treat people. Then look at yourself - take a good long look. Are you following the Golden Rule? The only way to peace among us is to do that. You don't have to be a doormat. 

You have to be a human. 

By the way, this is my 500th blog post!! Yayyyy!! Comments welcome, of course!

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