Monday, October 26, 2009

Connected or Not

Our modem died at home so we've had no DSL for the past week or so. It's amazing how we've become accustomed to having the 'Net available all the time, surf this, look up that. Now I've had to read my FaceBook feeds on my phone, as well as other web look-ups. Not so fun on a 3" screen.

I like that some sites/companies have streamlined sites for mobile devices, but sometimes they are too streamlined. Amazon and mobile eBay are fine if you know what you're looking. I don't always. I like to surf around.

Oh, and I can't print out quilting patterns from my phone, either.

We started having trouble with our service around the same time we turned down Verizon's generous offer of Fios service, phone and 'Net for $80/month. Currently we pay $50 for phone and DSL, and that includes taxes. Why do we need to pay more, right? Dan assures me it's purely coincidental our DSL service is going out at the same time they want us to upgrade to Fios. Really?

Anyway, after resetting the modem and router on my own, I called Verizon the other night for help. The guy stepped me through the modem reset procedure and tried to get a connection but it failed, we need a new modem. Good news is, they are going to send us one. The bad news, another weekend without the 'Net.

We've been toying with the idea of a DVD recorder for a while and Dan saw an ad for one at Kmart a couple weeks ago, but we missed the window. If we have one and get it hooked up, we can save stuff to disc from the DVR and therefore not worry about disk space.

Yesterday I was at Costco ordering new glasses for The Girl and noticed they had a Sony DVD recorder. I bought it. I didn't unload it right away, it sat in the trunk for a couple hours until the hubbub of the evening settled down. By the time I brought it in, the store was closed. I mention this because there is no manual in the box. And we have no Internet so I can't print off a new copy. Grrr.

Now I'm back to work, and Internet access, but I can't remember the model number of the DVD recorder I bought. Sheesh.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Can I add any more links to this post?

It was such a lovely evening last night, after the the frigid rainy mess we had last weekend, it was a delight to walk around Capitol Hill with my kids and drink in the balmy air.

I have a guy who cuts my hair, and has been, on and off, for nearly 25 years. I did cheat on him with Nick Arrojo a couple of times, but I'm not going to let that bother me. I love catching up with Evan, hearing about his wife and kids, wow, they are getting so old now, but I guess we all are. I've kept with him from shop to shop, wherever he worked, and now he has had his own shop, Randolph Cree, on Capitol Hill near Eastern Market for many years. I'm please for him it's going so well.

I've needed a haircut for a while and Fern's been bugging me, too, she wants her hair cut also. So I finally remembered to call and made simultaneous appointments for us. Kevin went with us and sat still with a promise of a burger from Good Stuff Eatery afterwards. He'll do pretty much anything for a burger and fries, even sit in still in a hair salon for an hour. (Kevin could have stayed home with Dan, but my ulterior motive was to keep him from crashing in my bed at 7:00. I hate that.)

Good Stuff, or "Spike's" as we call it, is several blocks away down Pennsylvania Avenue. It's run by the Mendelsohn family, but Spike is most famous because of his appearance on Top Chef a couple seasons ago. The burgers are great and the Village fries are to die for. You should stop by if you're ever by there.

But I still couldn't believe how pleasant it was out last night, folks were dining outside and I hardly needed a jacket. Except for the fact there was homework to be done and Flash Forward to watch, I really didn't feel compelled to hurry home. I'm gonna miss this when winter rolls in.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Need for Technology

Think about this for a second: Sewing a patch on a pocket.

You either have to sew the pocket closed or take the pocket off.

I've mentioned before about me sewing badges for Girl Scouts. Now the word is starting to get out to moms of Boy Scouts and I've gotten five Boys' jobs in the last couple weeks. The Boys have a lot of stuff on their sleeves, which are a pain to work with so I charge $2/patch instead of the base price I charge the girls of $1/patch.

BSA has a new uniform shirt, created for for today's guy. They've put a "technology" pocket on the sleeve, complete with an earphone cord eyelet. Well, that's real sweet, very forward thinking, really, but dumb as a box of rocks. This "technology" pocket is gusseted and is on the left sleeve, where a position patch goes, like a patrol leader patch or a scoutmaster patch.

Did I forget to mention these Boys' patches don't iron on? The Girls' patches iron on, granted, they don't stick well if you don't follow the directions, which is the reason I have created this little service in the first place, but they do iron on. I typically iron-on the girl's patch, then sew around it so it stays after washing.

I can't do that with these stupid pockets. Who thought of that, anyway! Oh, yeah, Boys.

My friend told me the Boys do have stuff called 'Badge Magic' for placing patches on pockets. I told a mom I could have her son's shirt ready by Thursday. I wonder if I can find this stuff by then? Where do I even look?

In the mean time, I have a pocket full of checks from moms who pay me to do this service for them, it's a nice way to get a little play money, so I can't complain too much. But still, patches on pockets? Really?


Post script: Badge Magic is a mail-order thing and not very cheap. I'll stop at the craft store on the way home and get some washable permanent fabric glue for less than ½ the price.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mid-week Rambling

I'm so behind in blogging. I'm still doing the single mom thing, Dan doesn't come home until tomorrow night late. I'm kinda caught up on laundry, maybe just one regular load and one utility load to do and the hampers will be empty. I can't get too excited about that though, Dan'll be bringing home a suitcase full of more laundry.

The local power company has been doing work in our town to improve the reliability of the power supply. That means they are ripping down the trees within twenty feet of the lines.

Here's our backyard before:

Here's our backyard after:

Entrance to the neighborhood before:


Depressing, isn't it?

We're getting $100 per tree they took out. They call them vouchers, but really we have to pay for any new trees out-of-pocket and they will pay us back up to the limit with proof we've installed trees from the approved list. Nobody bothered to mention to us the value of ten full-grown trees is about $10,000 and $1000 in vouchers won't even come close to providing shade and a privacy barrier like we had before. Furthermore, the price of the tree does not include installation. I went to one nursery to check out what they had in stock and their labor charges. I calculated each tree installed will be about 175% of the original price.

I've envisioned filling that space with a row of pink crape myrtles. They grow pretty fast and are so pretty in the summer. Two problems: the smallest size starts at $150 ($262 installed) and I'd need/want seven for a total of about $1840 which is way over our allowance, and they are out of pink ones and I don't like the white or purple crape myrtles.

I started considering other options, different varieties of trees and large shrubs. I started poking around on the 'Net and one click lead to another and I found a coupon offered by the state of Maryland for $25 if you plant a tree on their list. Many of trees on the state's list match the trees on the power company's approved list.

There is a nursery, one with a more expensive reputation, that takes the state coupons. I poke around on their site. Well, they have plenty of the pink crape myrtles in stock, which start at $130, are on sale and can be installed for about 128% of the original price. It looks like I can go back to my original plan, or at least start planning based on my original idea.

Maybe I should look into fruit trees while I'm at it....

Saturday, October 10, 2009


The house is quiet, I haven't even turned the radio yet. The refrigerator kicks on, it seems so loud when there's nothing else. I hear the mailman's truck stopping and going outside. I've just dropped the kids off at their Saturday morning activities, Fern to skating and Kevin to Swim-n-Gym, so I'm "free" until I have to retrieve them. Dan left this morning for a conference in San Francisco for the week. I'm torn between taking it easy this morning with some quilting and trying to get some stuff done while no one is in my way.

Maybe I'll do both.


Monday, October 05, 2009

Attitude Change

I played a lot of golf this weekend, 18 holes with Dan at Bowie CC and 18 with Mark and AM at Glen Dale. I normally don't to play so much in a month, much less a weekend. Both times I was lousy on the front nine and much better on the back: 64/51 & 63/50. or something like that.

When I started playing golf I got the pretty colored balls specifically marketed to women. They had a clear cover over a pastel color which made them "sparkle." I loved playing with them, and for some reason I found them easier to find than the white balls. Maybe it was the "sparkle." I never hit the ball so far I couldn't find it, but occasionally I did. I hated losing these balls, it broke my heart, it felt like a piece of my soul was forever drowned in a water hazard or lost in the woods never to be found again. OK, OK, I'm being overly dramatic, but still, you get the idea, I hate losing golf balls.

(When AM and I were in Florida I lost my last two yellow balls, both to ball-eating trees, large palm trees with enough nooks and crannies to swallow more than just a few balls. Didn't matter how long I begged, the tree wasn't giving up it's new possession.)

On the other hand, or maybe I should say in the other hand, I often find other people's balls (OPBs) when I'm looking for my own. They were easy to identify, they were white, often with initials, dots, lines and other scribbles. This weekend I played predominately with OPBs. I didn't stress when then one got lost in the lake on No.4 at Glen Dale on Sunday. And it felt good not to stress over them. I almost don't want to put the last box of pink balls in the garage into my bag so I won't start stressing again. Who needs more stress?

I'm still doing the 'happy dance' over that 50 yesterday on the back nine. hee-haw!