Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fish: Missing Otocinclus

This is a terrible tablet camera pic of my first Otocinclus right there in the center. When I turned on the tank's heater for the so called winter the algae turned my entire tank green. I initially went for a snail but feared reproduction so I went with another Otocinclus. It has been a week or so and I just noticed that I haven't seen the new kid. Gone.
Last night I searched the tank (while totally scaring the other fish) and I assumed I must have accidentally removed home it when cleaning the plants or that Mario ate it during the blackout (tank light burned out). This morning I googled and found that these fish just up and disappear! They die and decompose within four hours. Apparently they are fussy. $3 gone too.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sew: Rice Bag

I needed a hand made gift for an exchange at a my quarterly stamp meeting so after much thought I decided to make a rice bag. My first attempt was quite a success. I just wish I could have kept it for myself.

I used some fabric from my "Get rid of it" stash; a soft woven fabric with what I call girly camouflage. It is 27" by about 5" sewn every 3 inches and filled with 1/2 Cup brown rice (had it on hand). As you can see by my only picture of it that I procrastinated and gave it away before taking any other photos. Kathy was excited she got it and knew exactly what to do with it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Motorcycle: Gus goes to the doctor

Gus (my motorcycle) has been in storage for way too long. Every year I go out and make sure everything is all right and get him ready for the long winter. This year I found a gas leak so I sent him to the doctor immediately. This of course lead many other unexpected repairs. $$$. He had his carbs rebuilt and they supposedly fixed him up and sent him back.

A few days later he leaked again so again I sent him right back in. More $$$ and a few days later I got him back again. Unfortunately he is not completely fixed but I do plan to get him ready for riding this year. Just a few minor yet expensive things to go.

Lesson learned.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Knit: Leg Warmers

Leg Warmers (Knit)
by Julie Wadlinger

Finished Measurements

1+ Skeins (1.5) Caron R Simply Soft Party TM
Shown in: 0016 Violet Sparkle
One pair size 8 US double pointed needles
Yarn needle

18 sts and 24 rows = 4 ins

Directions (Make 2)
Using long tail CO 48 stitches. [K2, P2] when casting on.
Rnd 1: [K2, P2] to end of rnd.
Repeat Rnd 1 until you reach the desired length.

For this pair I did 100 rounds/rows and they will fit an adult with thin legs. These were for a skinny/tall 15 yr old dancer. I finally got the picture and now she's 16 going on 17. I also made a smaller pair for a skinny/tall 11 yr (at the time) old dancer in Royal Sparkle.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Done: Bowling

One of my many talents is bowling. I don't bowl fancy. I am what you call a pin shooter meaning that I do not use the arrows on the floor, I simply stare at the pins and throw the ball. With this technique I am also good at horseshoes, darts, archery and any other similar sports.

It had been a while since I bowled and I did well anyway. Pretty darn good I might add. Joanne did quite well too. I swear it helps when you play with someone better than you until you get your groove. She has since been keeping up her average from what I hear.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fun: Geocaching

One of the hobbies I enjoy is Geocaching. It has been a while since I've done it and so I shared it with a friend while she was here visiting. We loaded a few to my GPS and went out to find them. I love to show others how to do it and it amazes me when they find one that I had searched for several times with no luck. It just shows you how others see things from a different perspective and opens your eyes to do the same.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fish: Welcome Marco!

Here he is! My third time back to Petsmart and this time they had several Dwarf Gourami's and even better that they were 1/2 price! He was definitely living up to his name at first but now he's starting to get comfortable. I also got some more plants prior to his arrival and added a few more stones. The large rock and probably the smaller rock are older than me.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

House: Laundry Cabinet

Since I renovated the laundry area I thought I should get a cabinet to hide the detergent and stuff. I found this gem on KSL for $10, gave it a light sanding and painted it white. This all happened before the recent rain storms and so it wasn't until yesterday that we put it up. I am going to have to transfer some of the detergent items to smaller containers but that's okay. You might also notice that I added a curtain. Done!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dog: Mending the Toys

After a somewhat recent post about Lamby and his leg I decided to finally tackle the toy hospital. Here's the before picture of all of the dirty injured toys. I toss them in the cabinet above the fridge until I feel like mending them. It has been years. My boys are very good at not tearing up their toys so these ended up here unintentionally. I make sure that none of their toys have hard pieces (usually eyes and noses).

It doesn't appear so in the previous picture but there were quite a few toys up there so I borrowed the recycle bin for a bit. Clearly something interesting was going on here.

Here's Mick waiting patiently and inspecting the toys. These are all new to him. It was Max that put them in the hospital due to poor construction or hearty play.

This is a sample of one of my quick fixes. I used a curved needle and some heavy nylon thread. Don't worry, I check the toys regularly so the thread won't be a problem any more than the original thread used on the toys and I can't have a defluffing or the toy ends up in the trash. Notice Mick watching me. This was what it was like the whole time.

Here's Mick again. He can't believe how many toys there are now. They have all been through the wash and put back into circulation. This is a pic of all of the toys. The boys regularly play with most of them. I put the toys back in the bin every day and I end up with a variety of toys each day though there are some favorites that I just leave out. Max taught Mick well. 

I'll call this the deer in the headlights look. He was so excited the entire time I was mending the toys. Decisions, decisions. Guess what, he fell in love with the hedgehog. He likes the squeaky ones the best.

PS. Lamby didn't end up in the repair bucket and is still without a leg. Both are played with regularly.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fish: Neon Tetras

A long long time ago I had a fish tank and it has been boxed up real nice in my shed since Fish (that was his name) died. He was a semi-aggressive fish but nobody told him that and he chose to live alone for 6 years. Recently I decided it was time to try again. Why not right? I've got everything I need but the fish.

After finally getting everything all set up I ran the tank for about a week without any fish. It's a good thing to do and besides that I wasn't going anywhere near Petsmart until yesterday when the boys had their teeth cleaned. My intent was to get Marco but he was gone so I guess that wasn't him. Until then these guys are fun and they have the tank all to themselves.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Rabbit: Simba

This is Simba. I'm not a big fan of his name but then again, he's not my rabbit. He lives two doors down and the girl that owns him just lets him out every morning. She said that he escapes but I find that hard to believe. Either way he hangs out within 3 or four houses on the same side of the street and then he goes home each night.

He's quite a silly rabbit. One day he got in my back yard and it took me way too long to get him out. He would just lay down like this or with his legs kicked out straight back. It's like he was laughing at me. He also does a lot of kicks and flips and stuff.

On the night I took this picture I had decided to sit out on my lawn with him. He circled me several times before hopping across my lap several times. I am also able to pet him sometimes. I'm pretty sure he likes me and knows the sound of my voice.

The dogs are also getting used to him. I really hope they don't play too rough if they happen to meet face to face. So far it's just through the fence and Max is calming down.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dog: Becky

Meet Becky. My mom called earlier this week and asked me to look up what dogs were available at the local shelters. She said she woke up ready for another dog. I immediately found two. One was in SLC and the other was at South County so my mom went right over and found this. She said she fell in love at first sight.

We gave her a serious hair cut and a bath. She looks much better as you can see. The vet said she is under weight so my mom has since helped her to gain at least a pound. This is her tucked next to my dad on the big chair. She is very very small.  If you make a fist, that is how big her head is. She is full grown. I'll try to get a better pic next time I see her but for now, I wanted to make the announcement before too much time has passed.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dog: Lamby's foot

A little while back Lamby's foot fell off. Mick would like me to sew it back on. He plays with the foot just as much as Lamby. He'll even whine if it gets stuck under the couch. I guess I could sew it back on.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Yard: Metal Detecting by Howie

Back when I started my excavation for the patio I found a few items in the dirt. Not long after that I happened to find an old friend on facebook and it turns out that one of his many hobbies is Metal Detecting. I contemplated getting the equipment and doing it myself but then decided that I'd be better off just having him come over. The photo above is what he found which is mostly junk. Prior to and after his search I have found even more junk as I sift through the dirt that I am moving back to the patio area because I dug down too far. I have found another key, the end of a bungee cord, more foil, twist ties and a variety of nails. 

Here are the good things I found prior to the official search. A Silver Winged Head Dime, a Utah Tax Relief Token and a Hello Kitty pencil topper. I think I win.

Now that we have all of the junk out of the way I may have him come back. If you live in Utah on an older property and would like to see what Howie can find in your yard just give me a call.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Read: Millie's Fling

Millie's Fling by Jill Mansell

When Millie Brady saves Orla Hart's life she doesn't realise how drastically it will change her own – not least because the boyfriend who was asking her to move in with him at the time stormed off in a huff. Actually, Millie's relieved. She's happy to enjoy a man-free summer in Cornwall. But Orla has other ideas. She's determined that Millie should meet the man of her dreams. Trouble is, Millie's taste in men doesn't tally with Orla's. The one who really interests her is Hugh Emerson, and he's the man with whom Orla's adamant she mustn't get involved...

I really enjoyed this book. It was quite the large paperback (5-1/2 x 8-1/2 and 500 pages) but the other book I had originally chosen was even larger and it was a hardback. I at least needed something a little bendable for my travels. I spend a while at the library the week before my cruise searching the stacks with my lists. I read it every day on the cruise and after with some afternoons in the yard with the dogs during this recent and most perfect weather. I finished it in under 3 weeks which is pretty good for me. No renewal. There was only one "F" bomb that I recall. It was a charming story and it was clean.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Dog: Goodbye Mollie

Mollie has been laid to rest due to some unexpected complications and internal bleeding from what they assume was cancer related. She got to eat bananas and peanut butter crackers that day and was happy and appeared to be pain free until the very end. She was 12. This picture was of her sleeping on my floor one day when I was watching her. She was a sweetheart.

This was Mollie and her pal Dusty. It doesn't look like I posted but Dusty passed away early last year from old age.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Yard: In Progress

I have a vision of what I want my back yard to be and it all starts here. From the outer edge of the garden fence to the front of this picture I have dug out all of the grass and moved most of the dirt to the other side of the yard. The plants against the house have been temporarily transplanted to pots and will go outside the fence later. This area will be where I will have 12x12 pavers lined up to create a patio. I even have plans to hang up some patio lights and get a nice umbrella.  I have the stones hand have put about 7 down so far but hope to make much more progress this week and next during the beautiful weather.

Once the patio is in I will put up the rest of the posts (see this one in the corner?) to create a fenced in area for the dogs. Yes, the entire yard is fenced in but this will create a confined space just for them. It will go from the house there on the left to this corner post and over to the fence of grapes on the right. Outside of the fenced in patio and yard (currently on a treatment plan from Lawn Dr.) there will be about 6ft of space between that and the pavement where I can put in some landscaping and maybe some fruit trees. I already have a cherry tree thanks to the birds that I can move since they put it in a terrible place.

This is truly a DIY job and is taking forever. Some days I'm motivated, some days I'm not.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Vacation: Cruise 2014

Carnival Breeze: June 1-7, 2014 with long time friend Rebecca. We took advantage of the single booking rate and we each got our own rooms. They were connected.

Here it is. My awesome room with a balcony that I had all to myself. I loved it! I really enjoyed sitting out there with a book. Especially on the night that it was storming out at see. There was a mild breeze and thunder in the distance. The only problem with the balcony is that it is hard to take pictures in the Caribbean because your camera fogs up when you go from the A/C to the 78% humidity outside.

Selfie from the balcony. I took a few and this one turned out so good that it is now my profile pic all over the web.

In Key West we did a Hop On Hop Off a Trolley excursion. We liked the tour guide so much that we didn't ever hop off because then you would have ended up with a different guide. I wish I had gotten off and waited for him to circle back around because I missed many photo ops. The beach was beautiful and you could climb the lighthouse. I'll just have to go back.

In Grand Cayman we walked to the 7 mile beach (mistake) then we swam a little and walked part of the way back before we grabbed a cab for only $5 for both of us. Oops! No pictures either. Rebecca probably has some on her phone.

Here's Rebecca pointing at our ship. She did a little shopping in Cozumel. We were originally going to go snorkeling but I had some allergy/head cold issues so we didn't.

Here I am on the ropes course. It was our second time since we didn't have our camera's the first. That's another ship next to us. We did this while in port. I can't remember which one but I assume it was Cozumel since we didn't visit for long.

This was Cozumel. My least favorite port but it made for a pretty picture. I didn't take as many photos this time and I regret it. For some reason I didn't feel like hauling the camera around and when I did the photo ops were missed. 

Some fun towel animals as usual left on my bed. A dog and an elephant. There were more but I only took pics of these two.

And last, the view from the top of the atrium. Do you see the four glass elevators? This was taken from the 11th floor. The Carnival Breeze was a nice ship.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Read: Lakeshore Chronicles #9

Return to Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs

(Lakeshore Chronicles #9)

Return to Willow Lake

When Sonnet finds out her mother is unexpectedly expecting, and that the pregnancy is high risk, she puts everything on hold-the job, the fellowship, the boyfriend-and heads home to Avalon. Once her mom is out of danger, Sonnet intends to pick up her life where she left off. 

But when her mother receives a devastating diagnosis, Sonnet must decide what really matters in life, even if that means staying in Avalon and taking a job that forces her to work alongside her biggest, and maybe her sweetest mistake-award-winning filmmaker Zach Alger.

Another one that took me a while to get going on but as always once I do it's hard to put down. There's only one more book from the Lakeshore Chronicles and it's a Christmas one so it is going to have to wait until I get back from my trip. Meanwhile, I picked up another very large hardback book. I hope to find the paperback version at the DI before I go.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

House: Laundry Closet

This before and after makes me laugh. What a transformation! My dryer wasn't working right. I believe that the motor was going because it was having trouble tumbling anything more than socks and undies. I decided it was time to get a new set because the washer although working fine was leaking oil. After looking on KSL here and there I was lucky enough to find this immaculate set for only $250. I swear we weren't even sure they had been used.

Since the machines are so pretty they needed an updated space. I moved the dryer to the back lot and then the washer to the back step where it sat for a few days because there was no chance I was getting it down the stairs on my own. I smashed my pinkie on the doorknob just getting it out the door but it wasn't so bad. Then I tore up the newer old linoleum and flooring to make it even with the older old linoleum (another future project), pulled off the baseboards and painted them white, took down and tossed the blinds, took down the shelves I can't stand, painted So Saffron to match the kitchen and put the machines in place. My dad helped with the painting because he likes to and my brother installed the machines. The dryer required the installation of a new plug. I didn't even realize the possibility that it would be different than my outlet. He also fixed the scary outlet.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cook: Chicken Noodle Soup

My sister gave me some soup one day and kept telling me how she boils the carcass of a rotisserie chicken to make the stock. I finally got around to doing it and now it's a regular thing. If I get a rotisserie chicken the carcass must be boiled. You simply bring the carcass to a boil and then simmer it for about 8 hours. I fill a few containers for the freezer and they're ready for whenever. It is so nice. My recipe is very simple.

For the first batch I usually end up using the leftover chicken from the original carcass.

Julie's Chicken Noodle Soup
2 Quarts Chicken Stock
1 C Onion Diced (frozen or fresh)
1-1/2 Stalks Celery Diced (I'm looking into freezing this)
1 C Carrots (frozen or fresh)
1 Tbsp Parsley
1/4 lb. Kluski Amish Egg Noodles (it makes a difference)
Sea Salt to taste (seems like you're adding a lot)

Boil Chicken in Broth, remove chicken and boil broth and veggies. Add noodles and herbs. Simmer.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Read: Lakeshore Chronicles #8

Marrying Daisy Bellamy by Susan Wiggs

(Lakeshore Chronicles #8)

Marrying Daisy Bellamy
Daisy Bellamy has spent much of her young life juggling two men-Logan O'Donnell, the responsible father of their son, and wild military man Julian Gastineaux. She's been in love with Julian for years, but he's so mercurial that they've never been able to give their relationship a real chance. Daisy and Julian finally decide to take the plunge, but their happiness is cut short when Daisy receives word that Julian has been killed in the line of duty in Colombia.

I just finished this one last night. If you choose to read these, be sure to start from the beginning! All of the books take place in Avalon and she makes little references the other stories so it's nice to recognize the other characters.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Birds: Male California Quail

Recently I got a new lens for my camera. I found a 70-300mm on KSL and got it for a great price since it had been dropped. The seller had sent it in to Canon for a check up and had proof of that so I was fine with that. The lens was chosen for Dancesport and Nature. I have been using the lens primarily for Dancesport competitions up until now. 

This is a Male California Quail from my backyard in Provo, UT taken just yesterday. He was hanging with a few friends that were deeper in the brush. It was nice to be able to take this photo without disturbing him.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Getting Fit: My Fitness Pal

Earlier this week I joined I had heard of it before but wasn't inclined to join. Two weeks ago I joined a Dietbet. I follow Chris Powell on facebook and he and his wife posted that they were about to start one. For some reason it caught my eye and so after a day of contemplating I decided to go for it. 

Basically you submit a bet (in this case $30) and then you attempt to lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks. When it's all over everyone that has participated and won splits the pot (less fees to pay the judges and such). The pot is currently over $119K. Sure there are also 3900+ players but from checking out past Dietbets it looks like the average number if winners is about half or less.  My goal beyond weight loss of course is to get my money back and I plan to join another one for sure. 

I took my before/weigh in photo standing on a scale in what they call airport attire (gym shorts and a T-shirt) and included a picture of my weight on the scale (required). Once you get verified you begin. 

My first week was pretty much a failure. I spent the majority of the week at the BYU National Dancesport competition and munched on trail mix. I guess it was a bad idea. I gained and so it was time to get serious. I started Carb Cycling (not super strict) and counting my calories and tracking my food and exercise on MyFitnessPal. It also helps that I have a good friend doing it with me. As of this post I am down 2.2lbs. If you see this a few days later I hope that the number on the ticker has increased. I am doing very well and going strong and I couldn't be happier right now with my success.