Friday, November 4, 2016

Estate saling

Went to a couple of estate sales today.  One ad mentioned "vintage metal horses" but no sign of the horses either at the sales or in the online pictures.  Oh well.  I did get some things I was looking for, though.

Sale #1

Three flat sheets, queen size, and two pillow cases, 100% cotton, white(ish).  Sheets were $1 each, cases 50c. 

These are going to be transformed.  The sheets are probably going to be a test for dyeing and making simple curtains, with one saved for costume or sewing yardage.  Pillowcases may be dyed or turned into napkins. 

The three wooden boxes are a set, they stack and one has wooden feet.  $1 each, so $3 for the set. I picked up the top two before I found the third one, and plan to paint or stain them and hang them on the wall as shadowbox displays for some of the Breyer Stablemates.

Second sale, I was hoping to find the metal horses.  No joy.  But I did find some goodies.  The View-Master lot has a viewer and some old discs - Niagara Falls (incomplete), the complete Carlsbad Caverns, tour 1 and 2, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, and some Disney discs.  Also a pattern for vests, a vintage crochet book, a compass, 6 white napkins with a subtle Greek key design, and 2 men's hankies.  Viewmaster was $10, cloth goods 25c each, misc stuff 50c each.  Total $13.50 at this sale, $7 at the other sale.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fall is here.

The Holiday Season is Upon Us.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Garden update

Gardening update:

Well, it's October.  Soon the houseplants will have to come in for the winter.  I kicked most of them out to the deck in the spring, and sent the rest out to join them a month or two ago.  They seem to like it outside - it rains more frequently than I remember to go to the basement and water things, apparently. 

 The shamrocks are thriving, and two need new pots.

 The snake plant still looks iffy, but the spider plant is blooming and spawning for the first time in 6 years.
 The new angel wing begonia, inherited from an aunt, is blooming.  Also very tall and gangly, and I need to take some cuttings so it can be shorter and not so top-heavy.

Last month, I finally managed to take care of the Amaryllis Situation.   I sorted through them all (about 15) and tossed all the obviously withered-beyond-hope bulbs.  Everything else got moved from coconut fiber in crappy plastic pots into nice new potting soil in clay pots.  That should make them much more stable when they bloom.  However, the fresh (real) dirt has woken them all up and they're sprouting up.  Leaves only, so far. :(  So I'm guessing no blooms this year. But much happier plants, and no corpses taking up space.

This is the back fence hosta bed, after about 5 months.  We lost a lot of plants in this one, not sure why.  Not slugs, not deer, maybe cutworms.  And some of the lost ones may re-emerge in the spring.  Out of 35 plants, there are around 22 left.

The hosta bed under the deck did much better, I think they all survived, and a few even bloomed.  The bleeding hearts, on the other hand, I'm not hopeful for.  I had two, once, that were very happy and healthy.  Then their shade tree blew down, and I had to relocate them in July, which didn't work.  I planted 4 more this year (in addition to the ones I killed last year) - they bloomed, but then died back.  Not sure if that's normal and they'll come back next spring, or if there was too much clay and they gave up.  Same goes for the ghost fern and coral bells I planted next to them. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fun with old food

So, I may have a bit of a collection going, of old small cookbooks from the 40s, 50s and 60s.  Think brochure-sized.  With a subset of Jello recipes.  Because back then, people would put anything in Jello, and I do mean anything.  Meat, shrimp, spam, canned tuna.  Mayonnaise.    Sour cream.  Canned tomatoes. 

So, a collection of favorite online links:

Save Time and Money with a Refrigerator from the Awful Library Books website

The Gallery of Regrettable Food  with pictures (From the genius behind Interior Desecrations and other fun collections.  I especially like the Vacations section.)

Retro Recipes, featuring lots of oldies

Mid Century Menu with more vintage

The MSU Library's "Feeding America" historical collection

Kitsch Bitch on Facebook always has fun pictures.

And someday I'll find a better, more readable, version of this ad from Campbell's Soup.  

Soup Shakes.  Because drinking cold Cream of Chicken soup sounds delicious.

Image won't load.  Will try again.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Stargate - Poor Daniel

Re-watching Stargate, season 1.  Daniel Jackson had the worst luck sometimes.  Two episodes in a row - first, Thor's Hammer, which could save Sha're and Ska'ara, gets blasted to save Teal'c.  Then, in "Torment of Tantalus" he finds the gizmo with All the Knowledge in it, and almost has to yank its parts to get home, after which that planet's stargate sinks and they can't go back. Too bad he didn't think to just grab the whole gizmo, or as much as he could carry, and take it home. At least he's got Ernest's notes.

Poor guy can't catch a break.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

For Posterity - The Seeker

For the sake of posterity, I'm saving this here.  Just found it again, and I'm tired of looking for it.

It's an interview about The Seeker, the movie adaptation of The Dark is Rising that sucked unbelievably.

(Found the link from

Note the following bits:

Ian McShane as Merriman Lyon

Thank you for talking with us.

Ian McShane: Okay.

For people not familiar with the book, can you talk a little bit about your character? He plays a pretty pivotal role. Can you explain that role?

Ian McShane: I don't think they've been very faithful to the book. I don't know how many of you've read the book. I know they sold a few copies, but I couldn't read it very well. It's really dense. It's from the 70s, you know? This guy is a shooter. He's the mentor to the boy, Will Stanton.

How did you make him different from Dumbledore? Is he less like a wizard?

Ian McShane: Hodge has made him a butler. He's sort of this strange, old guy that lives in the house on the hill. I have never done a science fiction movie, or anything of this ilk before. I've never worked with kids. Or special effects. The whole process is incredibly laborious. It's like doing a musical on the stage. There's less concentration on the acting, and more on the special effects. There's more emphasis on the "in and out." It's a little distracting, but that's how it goes. The kid is great. Alex (Ludwig) has really worked his ass off. It's very rare that you get the kids in nearly every shot of the movie. It really is. In real life and in acting, we're backing it up. He's the one that's got the message, he just doesn't know it. We have to guide him through the various processes. He's the last of the Old Ones to be born. There's me, and there's Frances Conroy, and there's James Cosmo, and Jim Piddock. And they survive through the ages. And the kid comes in, and he is the last one to be born. He doesn't even know it. Of course he's got the twin who has been imprisoned by the Dark for all these years. 

Where you familiar with the books before signing on to this?

Ian McShane: No, I never heard of them. I did try to read the book, but they were a little...I think...I don't know how...There's four of them apparently. Or five. Oh, god. That means I might have to do a sequel. 

When you found out about this project, what was it about the character that made you want to do it?

Ian McShane: Well, in the book he's about seven foot three, if I remember correctly. I just decided to play it. Alex and I have a great relationship. I told him, when we go on the set, whatever is happening we'll get on with it. It's true. You just have to get on with it. You play it where you don't talk down to him, and he doesn't talk up to me. We play it like two people who just met, and that's really what we do in the movie.

What was it about this project that specifically interested you, though?

Ian McShane: The check. As it always is. Basically. It certainly wasn't Romania. No, it's been an interesting experience. Maybe a little too long. Twelve weeks is a little long to shoot. But you need all that time.

What is your personal opinion about fantasy? Is it something you don't like to watch?

Ian McShane: No. It's not that I don't want to watch it. I'm just more of a detective guy. I like the thriller. You know, reality. But I understand science fiction. I want to do this because it's about time I did something my kids, or rather my grandkids, could watch. You know? They can't watch Deadwood, or something like that. This will be good.

What are you trying to bring to this role?

Ian McShane: You bring reality to it, I suppose. The special effects take care of themselves. You do it and play it for real, then you let the other stuff take care of itself. I think the sets are enough. The sets are great.

Can you tell us about the scene you shot with the snakes?

Ian McShane: Oh, yeah, there were about twelve hundred of them.

How did they prepare you for that?

Ian McShane: They didn't. I told them, "Put three thousand of them on me and get me out of here a week early." So I was happy when they said they would. But they lied to me. I grew fond of the snakes. I've never worked with them before. They were nice, you know?

Were they crawling all over you?

Ian McShane: Yeah. Yeah. I was especially fond of this big python. He was this thirty footer, you know? But they are very heavy. I had these two that just kept looking at me...But he's very good, the snake handler. You just have to sit and relax. As it were, you know?

Was it difficult working with snakes all over you?

Ian McShane: No, I was supposed to be tied down anyway. It was very easy. None of them were poisonous. They only bite if they get in a highly nervous situation. They didn't bite. We were okay.

How long did that take?

Ian McShane: I laid down for about twenty minutes. It's a long time, twenty minutes, if you think about it. But, no, they were cool. My handlers were great. Then James did it, then Frances did it...Jim Piddock was a little more nervous than anybody. But again, he was fine.

When you look at a script like this, do you sit down with the director and say, "There are a few things I would like to bring to this myself"?

Ian McShane: No, I think the one thing I wanted to bring to this was reality. It was written in Old English. I wanted to make it as natural as we could, without altering it. They weren't characters out of some restoration comic book. They weren't shouting Shakespearean dialogue. I just wanted to make it a little more real. They sound more natural, even though they look wacko. People in England do tend to look a little like this. 

How much action is involved with your character?

Ian McShane: Well, in the script you have the sequences...We're helping the kid. That's the main thing. The battle between light and dark, which they've been fighting for years before this kid showed up. I just like that with the kid, they get a little exasperated with him. I have to say to him, "Deal with it. This is what you are." So, it's kind of playing around with the kid thing. I really tried to inject a little humor into it. That wasn't always there in the script. The humor thing always helps. I think the family, which they shot first, was very good. With John (Hickey) and Wendy (Crewson). They were great. I must say; this has been a great cast of people. That's what's been really nice. 

Have you really been out here for twelve weeks?

Ian McShane: No, I've gone back every weekend. And if I want two days off, I can get it. 

Where do they put you up?

Ian McShane: While I'm here? Here in Romania? Well, they got me in the Hilton. But its like being in a Hilton anywhere in the world. The sad thing is, its not the most inspiring place to walk around. The people are very nice here, and you can walk around, but its not exactly got...You know, whatever...

There are a lot of feral dogs.

Ian McShane: Actually, they're not feral. They're very sweet. They turned a lot of the property into apartment houses, and you can't keep a dog in an apartment, so people just left them on the street. Frances will tell you about that, because I think she is taking most of them home with her. She never stops feeding them.

In the scene we saw being shot, you were wielding a mace?

Ian McShane: That's my weapon. That's Merriman's special weapon.

Did you do any training with it?

Ian McShane: No, that just comes naturally. Absolutely. There have been no accidents with it so far. But there are still a couple of days to go. 

The writer says that your character is the exposition machine.

Ian McShane: Oh, God, yeah...Thank God he's done that very well. It's not every time. A little bit, he does have to give the information away. Doing the film, you find a lot of ways to explore that. With a subtle line, or whatever. 

You're not doing any of those big, cumbersome dialogue scenes where you tell everything that is going on in the movie?

Ian McShane: No, no, no...I think he catches the audience up with where the story is going next, but there hasn't been any long dialogue passages. No, there hasn't been any of that. 

Did you ever get to be social with the rest of the cast on your off time, or did you just go about doing your own thing?

Ian McShane: No, I go to my room and cry. Or I go on the Internet a lot. (Looks directly at me) Why are you giving me such a heavy look? You look bored with me and the conversation. 

I'm just sitting here. This is just my face.

Ian McShane: I thought maybe you were mad at me and I didn't know. 

Did they come to you for this part? Ian McShane isn't something we thing of in terms of a kid's film.

Ian McShane: Why not?

Because of Deadwood, mostly.

Ian McShane: I don't know. Maybe they wanted something different. I've just done a big movie with Andy Samberg. A crazy comedy that will be out in the summer. This is just something different to do again. You should ask the director why he wanted me. He probably hates me now. I haven't stopped moaning about being in Romania. As long as you go on the set and do your thing. Thank God I was professional on the set. 

It seems like you could bring the edge that is sorely missing from this type of genre.

Ian McShane: I think it is a bit of that, yeah. As I said, the reaction with the kid...He's a good kid, but its tough. He's in nearly every scene. He has an allergy today. Thank God he's all right. His eyes are a little blurry. But we just get in there and have a good time.

Can you describe what kind of director David Cunningham is?

Ian McShane: You know, I think he has the toughest job. On this, he's always thinking about something else. So he tends to gloss over the acting. He has to trust the acting. To do what they do with that dialogue stuff? He's constantly walking around with, at the very least, three cameras at all times. Which can get very annoying. It sometimes gets in the way, I think. These are very big sets. It's very rare that we are in an intimate situation. It's hard when you find yourself in a one-on-one, and you don't know where he has the camera. I think he knew that the more natural it was, the better it was. Easier. More fluid.

And that was our last question.

Ian thanked us for coming. He got back up and ran for the giant, sliding stage door. A few minutes later, we could again see him on the monitor. They were continuing with the battle sequence.

That's when someone wheeled a rack of clothing up next to us. They then set down two fully dressed costumed mannequin stands. One piece belonged to the character of The Rider. The other belonged to Miss Greythorne. We were told that Vin Burnham would soon be greeting us, and explaining the work she had done on the film as its Costume Designer. Stay tuned for a detailed report on that, as well as interviews with writer John Hodge and director David L. Cunningham when I return in a little while with part two of my The Dark is Rising set visit in Romania. 

The Dark is Rising opens October 5th, 2007.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Reading fun

Brought home a pile of books from the library today.  It should be most of the rest of the Phryne Fisher mystery series.  I just finished Death Before Wicket today (although I still know absolutely nothing about cricket, and I put the rest of the series on hold at the library a few days ago.  These books are fun, but a fairly fast read (about 2 days per book).

Next, I need to read the Tesla biography, and then re-check the Gertrude Bell book and see if I can finish it this time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Crochet - Name Doily number 5 or 6 or something

Finished this one last week, just got the ends tucked in and blocked it this weekend.  Had to try three times to block it, couldn't get things to line up correctly. 

I really like the Crochet Dude blocking squares, but they might be handier if they were printed in half-inch grid instead of one-inch.  But overall, love them.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

More decluttering


- 5 boxes to the rummage sale yesterday
- 2 tubs and a box to the thrift store today
- 1.5 tubs of kid clothes to a friend for her grandkid

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Decluttering progress

So, a group at the Kid's school is having a fundraiser rummage sale next weekend, and we took the chance to get rid of some stuff.

So far the totals are:

  • 3 boxes to rummage sale
  • 3 boxes and two dresses to upscale thrift store
  • 5 (i think) tubs to the childrens resale store, who keeps about 40% of what I take. The rest is in the 3 boxes that went to rummage
Last night we went through 5 more mega tubs of clothes.  About 80% is going away, the rest is staying.  DH found clothes he can fit into again, so he's almost got a whole new wardrobe.

Two tubs of kiddie cclothes are going to a friend of mine, whose grandson just moved to town.  What he doesn't need goes to the resale store, and what they don't buy is going to Rummage.

We need to hit the "guest" room (aka storage) and the basement, but I don't think we'll get that done before the sale.  I should ask if the Kid's old preschool is doing a rummage sale this summer.  I wish we could do one here, but with the hill our driveway is on, and only having one folding table, it's not really feasible.  My in-laws have a family sale every summer, but I haven't been invited to participate for a few years now (ever since it moved from Sister-in-law A's house to Sister-in-law B's house.  B doesn't like me for some reason.  She feels free to discuss the sale while I'm in the room, but ignores me while doing so.  Bitch.)

Updates - wow

I just took a few minutes to check out the links in my blogroll on the sidebar.  90% of them are defunct, if not totally wiped from existence.  Has everyone moved to Facebook, or have most of my net-friends just gotten too busy to blog? 

Monday, February 8, 2016

2016 Reading List

Here we go for another year

What I've read, 2016.  I'm shooting for a book a week
  1. Faith Ed (1-11-16)  Good and timely, about the issues with teaching religions in school without promoting one over another.
  3. The Descendants, by Kaui Hart Hemmings (1-20-16)
  4. Al Capone Does My Homework (1-23-16) Third in a series, one of the Mark Twain Award nominees for 2015, which my son is reading.
  5. Yes, that is My Real Accent, by Kunal Nayar (2-1-16)
  6. Sue Hubbell book (2-4-16)
  7. Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain (2/17/16)
  10. The Secret Lives of Hoarders (2/18/16)
  11. Travels with Zenobia (3/8/16)  Pretty good.  I like vintage travel, and I just realized from a footnote that Troub is the author of the Sue Barton books.
  12. All Joy and No Fun - interesting research into parenting
  13. 45 Pounds (More or Less)  - (3/10/16)  Not bad; a YA novel, intersting parts.
  14. All Four Stars (3/11/16)  Juvie novel, bought for my son.  Good story about a girl who loves food, and there's going to be a sequel.
  15. Cocaine Blues, by Kerry Greenwood
  16. Flying Too High (Phryne Fisher #2) (3/15/16)
  17. Wild Magic, by Tamora Pierce (#1 in a quartet)
  18. Murder on the Ballarat Train, by Kerry Greenwood (Phryne Fisher #3)
  19. Death at Victoria Dock, by Kerry Greenwood (Phryne Fisher #4) (3/20/16)
  20. The Green Mill Murder, by Kerry Greenwood
  21. Blood and Circuses, by Kerry Greenwood
  22. Wild Magic, by Tamora Pierce
  23. Ruddy Gore, by Kerry Greenwood
  24. Urn Burial, by Kerry Greenwood
  25. Raisins and Almonds, by Kerry Greenwood (3/28/16)
  26. Death Before Wicket, by Kerry Greenwood (3/31/16)
  27. Away with the Fairies, by Kerry Greenwood
  28. Murder in Montparnasse, by Kerry Greenwood
  29. The Castlemaine Murders, by Kerry Greenwood
  30. Queen of the Flowers, by Kerry Greenwood
  31.  Death by Water, by Kerry Greenwood (4/12/16)
  32. Murder in the Dark, by Kerry Greenwood
  33. Murder on a Midsummer Night, by Kerry Greenwood

  34. Smashed
  35. some other YA novel
  36.  Alaska - Not for a Woman, by Mary Carey (4/19/16)
  37.  Dead Man's Chest, by Kerry Greenwood (4/23/16)
  38. Unnatural Habits, by Kerry Greenwood (5/1/16)  
  39. The Martian
  40. Fear Babe
  42. Church of Lies, by Flora Jessop (5/x/16)
  43. The Road to Little Dribbling, by Bill Bryson (5/10/16)
  44. The Real Lucinda (5/10/16)
  45. The Three Investigators and the Blazing Cliff (5/11/16)
  46.  The Three Investigators and the Talking Skull
  47. Not My Father's Son, by Alan Cumming (5/20/16)
  48. Maisie Dobbs
  49. Murder and Mendellsohn, by Kerry Greenwood
  50. A Wilder Rose, by SUsan Wittig Albert (6/3/16)
  51. Maisie Dobbs: Birds of a Feather (6/5/16) 
  52. The Selection, by Kiera Cass.  YA, not bad.  Dystopian but not fatally depressing. *8/16)
  53. The Heir
  54. The One
  55. Happily Ever AFter 
  56. The Prince and The Guard (8/16)
  57. Decision at Doona, by Anne McCaffrey
  58. Just One Day
  59. Just One Year (9/13/16)
  60. Messenger of Truth
  61. An Incomplete Revenge (Maisie Dobbs)
  63. Shopping, Seduction, and Mr. Selfridge, by LIndy Woodhead.  Interesting biography. Would have been nice to have  achapter about the store and family after Selfridge's death.   (9/27/16)
  64.  Hidden Figures (10/27/`6)  Very good story, can't wait for the movie.  But why no pictures?  
  65. Out of Control, by Norma Fox Mazer
  66. Full Ride, Margaret Peterson Haddix (10/30/16)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

An Experiment in Progress

The Amaryllis Experiment

Or, can you successfully salvage post-holiday clearance box-kit bulbs that may have tried to bloom in the box. 

I got one amaryllis before Christmas, never made it back to get more at the hardware store ($5 bulbs).  So, after Christmas, I ended up with 8 more, most of which tried to sprout or bloom in the box.  I'm testing to see if they're salvageable in spite of the problems, and if maybe I can get these to re-bloom.

So, for the record:

1 - Westlakes, either Susan or Minerva I think - red/white streaked
2 - Hyvee, supposedly white, based on the box picture
2 - Target, Red Lion
1 - from Mom, no clue where it was bought, Susan
3 - Walmart - I think 2 Red Lion and a Minerva

The Westlakes bulb bloomed before Christmas, but I don't think I got a picture.  It had one stalk, 2 blooms.  Not the best I ever had, but then the bar is set high by the Westlakes bulb that had one stalk with either 5 or 6 blooms on it, and I think that one had a second stalk.

Pictures to come.