174 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. Jan August 27, 2016 / 10:07 am

    Good morning all! After a trip to the vet and a shot of antibiotics, Lily’s nose is slowly getting better! I think it was an infected flea or spider bite, although it was the weirdest looking infection I’ve ever seen. The vet is still trying to culture little bits of it to try and figure out what it was.

    • Jan August 27, 2016 / 10:11 am

      It certainly didn’t slow her down any, here’s her playing with her new cat tree before I even finished putting it together! (I’ll swear the old one had a hand in the nose infection, it was so filthy and disgusting at the top.)

      • Faye August 27, 2016 / 10:19 am


      • AJ August 27, 2016 / 10:32 am

        Love that little girl, she’s sooo pretty. Hope her nose heals soon.

      • Gigi the cat lady August 27, 2016 / 10:33 am

        I miss having a kitten in the house, my cats are now all between 10 and 11 years old.

      • debg August 27, 2016 / 10:42 am

        What a darling! So glad she’s healing. Jan, can you get anything at all done while you’re home, or do you just sit and watch her enjoy life?

        • Jan August 27, 2016 / 2:58 pm

          Sit and watch? Surely you jest! She wants me up and playing with her at all times! Unless she wants a nap, then I must be seated some way so she can get comfy on my lap/chest/shoulders etc. So no, I get nothing much done anymore. 🙂

          • Laura August 27, 2016 / 3:28 pm

            Sounds like you’re doing a good job of being her human slave! 😀

            • Jan August 27, 2016 / 6:23 pm

              Oh absolutely. She knows how to sit in front of the couch and look at me expectantly to get me to retrieve her toys from underneath too. I’m very well trained! 😺

      • Mich Patt August 27, 2016 / 11:15 am

        Aw, what a little sweetheart! So cute. 🙂

      • Tara August 27, 2016 / 12:37 pm

        Oh she is so cute! And the little black dots on her back heels! Adorable!
        Good healing little one!

        • Jan August 27, 2016 / 3:02 pm

          Did someone mention spotted kitty feet???

          • Tara August 27, 2016 / 3:41 pm

            Gah! me me me!! oh my goodness! That’s one of the cutest markings I’ve every seen. Thanks for the close up. 🙂

            • Tara August 27, 2016 / 3:55 pm

              “Every seen?” Typed too fast.
              I just watched the video again to see those little black dots in motion. They are kind of mesmerizing… good camouflage markings!

      • Not That Mike The Other Mike August 27, 2016 / 1:28 pm

        I’m impressed that she’s focusing on the cat tree and not the box it came in. 🙂 It’s great to see she’s in such good spirits.

        • allein 🐾 August 27, 2016 / 1:40 pm

          Once it’s all put together she’ll want the box.. 😉

          • Jan August 27, 2016 / 3:05 pm

            She was playing in the box even before I got all of the pieces out lol! But the mousie on a string distracted her for a good while. 🙂

    • Patty August 27, 2016 / 11:24 am

      Aww, poor Lily’s nose! Glad it’s getting better.

    • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 12:14 pm

      Precious little girl – and you’re a good Mom, Jan.

      • Phred's Mom August 27, 2016 / 12:48 pm

        Murray, have you painted your wheelie bin yet?
        I saw the article about Haverford in Philly.com
        and thought of your talent immediately.

        • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 1:54 pm

          I saw that this morning and it was the first I knew of it. We don’t have that kind of a trash bin so I doubt I’ll be painting one any time soon, tho’ the premise is good. I was astonished to learn of someone in our area suffering that indignity. I sincerely hope it’s bratty kids who just don’t think very deeply – at least there’s some chance of bringing them around. Strangely enough, I have a lovely old bow-front oaken dresser that was my brother’s when he was growing up. It’s been through the mill and on the top drawer you can see, in very particular light, a swastika scratched into the wood. My brother claims not to have done it, so it might have been my cousin’s doing since it was his chest of drawers first. That would have been during the war and he would’ve been a kid with no real knowledge of what it could have meant. I MUST refinish this thing someday!!!

          • Phred's Mom August 27, 2016 / 3:18 pm

            Interesting about the mark in the dresser.
            It’s tempting to eradicate such a thoughtless
            scratching. But I find myself thinking that
            it serves to remind us of those other
            dimensions of the human mind that we
            must not ever forget. If it’s only visible
            at certain angles, my inclination would
            be to leave it, But that’s just me. Sorry
            to pontificate.

            • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 4:57 pm

              Doesn’t feel like pontificating to me – it’s a good point, and thoughtful. Maybe I’ll just try to get the glue off the top which I feel pretty sure my brother DID do.😉

    • Birdcage August 27, 2016 / 1:35 pm

      I adore your kitten so much!!!!

      • Jan August 27, 2016 / 3:09 pm

        And she knows exactly how adorable she is too… and exploits it to get away with murder!

        • allein 🐾 August 27, 2016 / 3:22 pm

          • Jan August 27, 2016 / 4:59 pm

            EXACTLY!!! My last cat was an adult when I adopted her, and was so sweet and well behaved that I’d forgotten that!

            (Just realized that it’s been 25 years since I’ve had a kitten – where the heck does the time go???)

    • Jan August 28, 2016 / 12:02 pm

      Good morning Cutopians! For your Sunday morning enjoyment, fresh Lily video playing on her now completed kitty tree!

      • Faye August 28, 2016 / 1:33 pm

        Adorable. Perfect activity area for Lily right near the window. I can just picture lily growing up and napping on her cat tree and looking at birds from the window ledge. Someone has a really good cat mom.

        • Jan August 28, 2016 / 1:52 pm

          She loves watching the birds and squirrels; I may have to put another feeder out that’s easier to see from this window. I’ve had cats for long enough that I know what they like!

      • 6rabbits August 28, 2016 / 5:02 pm

        So glad Lily’s nose is better! She really does love that hanging thing! I love how you’re not spoiling her!😂

  2. AJ August 27, 2016 / 10:35 am

    Nothing much going on this weekend. Took Dobby for a long walk and now trying to get motivated to find something for breakfast. Then need to go get blood work done, thank goodness my health insurance has me go to the hospital lab so I can do it on a weekend. After that Trader Joe’s run and get some treats for puppy dog. When I get home, time to start scarf project, it looks relatively easy but we’ll see!!! Have a good weekend everyone.

    • Mich Patt August 27, 2016 / 11:16 am

      Good luck with the weaving! Would love to see the scarf when you’re done. (or part-way through!)

  3. Puddleglum August 27, 2016 / 10:40 am

    Unfortunately I have to start the day off with an early morning dentist appointment (ugh). But after that I get to look forward to a hair appointment, working on a 4’x4′ square painting, prepping for my Tolkien group meeting tomorrow, and finishing a fabulous biography of Sam Wagstaff by Philip Gefter. Also it’s gorgeous out today, nice and warm, so hopefully I’ll get to spend lots of time outside. Hope everybody has a great Saturday!

  4. debg August 27, 2016 / 10:45 am

    Grouting! And floating shelves, magnetic knife rack, and other assorted decorative items for the long blank wall in my kitchen! Plus I have to figure out where to put the cat butt magnets.

    In other words, if y’all thought my kitchen was done, you were optimistic. But it’s just little stuff now. I can’t tell you how much I love cooking again, in this lovely space with big-girl appliances and organized cabinets/drawers.

    • Phred's Mom August 27, 2016 / 11:14 am

      Nest-building is one of my huge pleasures.
      I totally understand your joy, yes, joy, that’s
      what it is. Nothing matches that feeling of
      accomplishment when you can stand there,
      stirring that sauce, flipping that pancake,
      whatever, IN THE KITCHEN YOU MADE!!
      Grout on, Debg.

    • Mich Patt August 27, 2016 / 11:18 am

      These little items are the most fun types of projects. All the organizing and deciding. Have fun!

  5. Elaine C Williamson August 27, 2016 / 11:05 am

    That cat does look as if he has been dropping acid. ( and the fact that I used that phrase dates me)

    • Phred's Mom August 27, 2016 / 3:22 pm

      And the fact that we got the reference?
      Peace, man!

  6. Duckie 🐥 August 27, 2016 / 11:23 am

    At this point in the space/time continuum, I am happy. Hubby’s swelling has just about gone, and we can see his wrinkles again. The heat has gone, and it looks like gorgeous fall weather is on the way. I found a HUGE roll of fabric in my horde, for which I have interesting plans. My university funding arrives next week.
    I’m happy.

    • Puddleglum August 27, 2016 / 12:43 pm

      So glad to hear your hubby’s feeling better! And isn’t fall weather just the best?? It’s my favorite time of year.

      • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 2:01 pm

        Same here – tragedy averted! YAAA_A_A_AY!

        On a different note, I have a lot of fabric and I doubt I’ll be using it much anymore, especially if we move into much smaller digs. I used to make dolls – clothespin dolls are great for using small bits of fabric! I mean, REALLY small pieces of fabric. I wish I could pass it on to some of you! I’ll ask around my Guild if anyone can use some of it.

        [Edit: Here are pictures of those dolls — Mike]

        • Saffron August 27, 2016 / 2:20 pm

          Hi Murray…4-H will sometimes take fabric.

          • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 10:30 pm

            Thanks for that idea, Saffron – if not them, I’m sure there are other similar groups. Also, we have something called the Resource Exchange (there are versions in many other cities) which is a sort of thrift shop for artists. I don’t want to take everything there because they don’t do consignment and while I don’t need recompense for everything I have, some of it has some value and I’d like to get something for some of it if I can.

        • Duckie 🐥 August 27, 2016 / 4:11 pm

          Murray, where do you live?!!?

          • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 4:59 pm

            In Havertown, PA

            • Duckie 🐥 August 27, 2016 / 5:03 pm

              Darn! That won’t work! Never mind. I was going to offer to relieve you of your excess fabric burden, but you’re a little farther from Abbotsford, BC than I realized.

              • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 5:27 pm

                What I also have is tons of vintage lace, antique and vintage fabrics. I may end up going the Etsy route if I can get it organized. I used to be an organized person but not anymore.😔

                • Duckie 🐥 August 27, 2016 / 6:08 pm

                  Duckie drools covetously, and cries over distance.

                • Duckie 🐥 August 27, 2016 / 6:14 pm

                  Duckie wonders how much it would cost to have fabric bussed out here…

                  • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 9:27 pm


                    • Duckie 🐥 August 27, 2016 / 9:42 pm


        • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 10:27 pm

          Thanks, Mike. Hope you had a nice time at dinner?

          • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 10:33 pm

            Hey, Duckie, there was no reply to click on after your “seriously” comment. If you tell me what you’re looking for perhaps we could work something out. Or if I get my ETsy store up and running! I have a name for it – it’ll be called “Pleasant Judy’s”. Pleasant Judy was my invisible pal when I was 4 or 5.

            • Duckie 🐥 August 27, 2016 / 11:20 pm

              The vintage lace caught my attention.

            • Phred's Mom August 28, 2016 / 11:21 am

              I love Etsy. This would be an excellent thing
              for you, not just the notions and fabrics, but
              the clothespin dolls, etc. You should seriously
              consider this. I’ll watch for Pleasant Judy’s.

        • Phred's Mom August 28, 2016 / 8:25 am

          Love these, Murray.

        • Faye August 28, 2016 / 1:35 pm

          These dolls are beautiful.

          • Murray C. August 28, 2016 / 4:28 pm

            Thank you both, Phred’s Mom and Faye! They’re fun to make but rather fussy!

      • Phred's Mom August 27, 2016 / 3:24 pm

        So glad he’s out of danger and getting back to
        his normal wrinkly self, God bless him.
        Very scary for you both.

        • Duckie 🐥 August 27, 2016 / 6:14 pm

          Thank you.

    • fkaWaldenPond August 27, 2016 / 6:28 pm

      Hey Duckie, I am glad your husband is almost back to normal? What are you taking at university? Also, re fall weather, as much as I love, love fall I am holding on, fully appreciating these dog days of the hot summer. Also field tomatoes, corn, basil, peaches don’t go, don’t go!

      • allein 🐾 August 27, 2016 / 7:55 pm

        I bought two ears of corn at Wegmans yesterday. Going to eat them shortly. 🌽🌽

  7. Mich Patt August 27, 2016 / 11:29 am

    Finished with my sewing projects last week and am now Googling “craft ideas for fabric pieces smaller than 0.5 meter/yard”. Hopefully I’ll come up with a great way(s) to use up my scraps because we don’t have textile recycling here. Most disconcerting the scraps could end up in a landfill!

    Anybody have ideas for what I can do with small-ish cotton scraps? Smaller than a fat quarter for sure. So far I’ve done baby bibs, burp cloths, suitcase tags (y’know, to make your black suitcase look unique in the crowd) and now I’m thinking about making headphone cord wraps that look like little tacos with a snap at the top.

    Paradoxically, the fabric store had a “buy one, get three free” sale so I went yesterday and got what I needed to make some clothes for the upcoming fall and winter: three tops, some pajama/lounge t-shirts and pants, and two jersey sweaters. I spent $145 but I got FIFTEEN meters of fabric for free. Huzzah!

    Otherwise, lazy day today after a push to do chores last night and then off to the Pacific National Exhibition tomorrow (hopefully in the rain so there are fewer people there!) so we can eat our equivalent body weight in mini-donuts and watch the Superdogs show!

    • debg August 27, 2016 / 11:42 am

      Mich, if you like the patchwork look, you could sew scraps together for things like bags, organizey baskets, etc. I’ve found great free patterns for basket organizers for my sewing desk and used leftover flannel scraps from jammy pants, which are odd shapes. The scraps, not the pants.

      • Mich Patt August 27, 2016 / 6:03 pm

        @DebG: What a great idea! I was *just* looking up online how to make one scraps into yardage for bigger projects. Needless to say, my hands are a little sore now from wielding the pinking shears all morning. Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂

    • Duckie 🐥 August 27, 2016 / 11:59 am

      Mich, I tend to save my fabric scraps and then use them to make crazy quilts, which I donate to a local charity that helps teen age moms and their babies. I hope the bright colours help to cheer them in dark times.

      • AB August 27, 2016 / 5:49 pm

        That’s awesome! Shelter animals need soft things to lay on, so that’s another charity for crazy quilts (although I am sure the young mothers appreciate the hand made aspect more).

        • Mich Patt August 27, 2016 / 6:05 pm

          @AB: Animals are my favourite charity recipient group. I love the idea of making “mini” crazy quilts that are cat and doggie-sized. Thanks for suggestion!

      • Mich Patt August 27, 2016 / 6:04 pm

        @Duckie: what a great idea! I love the idea of donating what I’ve made after I’m done. I’ve got all I need, you know? But someone could use one for sure. Which local charity are you donating to?

        • Duckie 🐥 August 27, 2016 / 6:15 pm

          Community services based.

    • Tara August 27, 2016 / 12:49 pm

      I have an idea for you Mich Patt! I’ve been making bento bags. EVERYBODY is getting one of these for Christmas! It’s a two-fer gift. I use these for everything – lunch, groceries, re-usable fruits and vegetable bags… and I’ve made them in all sizes. They are especially good for potlucks because you can fit any size dish in there and it will stay flat with a handle on top. I found this video most helpful.
      The video is in Japanese – but you get they idea. There are a lot of different instructions out there, but this is the one that makes the most sense to me. The bags are a ratio of 1:3 so any size you have would work. And here’s my idea for you – you could sew three different square pieces together to make the 3 length! How cute would that be? I’ll also admit that I went a little overboard and hemmed all of my bags. Wish my surger and I got along better, I would have done that to the edges instead.
      Happy crafting!

      • Mich Patt August 27, 2016 / 6:14 pm

        @Tara: You’re a genius! Of all of my “fabric scrap project” searching this morning, this never came up. So (sew?) easy! Thanks for the idea. I’ve got a ton of teeny tiny scraps that I’m going to fuse to interfacing to make yardage. A Bento bag from all of the little crazy-quilt-style scraps would be super cute. 🙂

        • Tara August 27, 2016 / 9:01 pm

          Aw gorsh, thanks Mich Patt! I’ve been thinking of this all day – but had too many other pressing – (ha – get it? Pressing?) things to do to try one myself! Love your idea of putting many pieces together. Maybe I can find a few moments to make one myself….

          • Mich Patt August 28, 2016 / 11:11 am

            Lol! I love the iron-y of a good pun! 😉

    • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 2:10 pm

      https://www.etsy.com/handmade?q=Hmong+textiles&page=4 this is the work of the Hmong and they use very small pieces of fabric. Worth having a go. I saw something else which I didn’t manage to attach to this so I’ll post a different response in a minute! Here we go, this looked so cute – great little ornament and pretty easy. So many things you can do with these little folded triangles. http://auntreensplace.blogspot.com/2013/11/pinecone-ornament-pattern.html

      • Tara August 27, 2016 / 3:48 pm

        Oh I love the pine cone ornament. Very clever! It reminds me of something my mother made me do in kindergarten as gifts for my grandparents. We used Styrofoam balls and cut different small shapes of fabric and then we took something – like a dull kitchen knife? butter knife? and pushed the edges into the styrofoam. Then the next piece would go into that first pushed in area and then on around it. So it looked like a crazy patchwork ball. Hmmm, maybe something to revive there…

      • Mich Patt August 27, 2016 / 6:17 pm

        @Murray: What great ideas! Thank you so much. The pine cone ornament would be quite suitable for the wee little scraps I’ve got. My list of ideas is growing and overflowing! 🙂

      • 6rabbits August 27, 2016 / 11:39 pm

        Love the pinecone ornament!

    • Duckie 🐥 August 27, 2016 / 5:05 pm

      Mich, where do YOU live?

      • Mich Patt August 27, 2016 / 6:01 pm

        @Duckie I’m in Vancouver, at Granville and 70th Ave. I didn’t realize you’re in Abby! Amazing. 🙂 My sis lives in Hatzic.

        • Duckie 🐥 August 27, 2016 / 6:11 pm

          I would so love to take all that extra fabric off your hands, simply because I’m a hoarder. Sigh. And Murray has me drooling.

          • Mich Patt August 27, 2016 / 6:23 pm

            After a “scrap fabric project” search this morning, I’ve decided the super little pieces are all getting trimmed with pinking shears and will be fused to interfacing to make yardage. Then I can make projects with them like tote bags, fabric buckets, coffee cup cozies, eye pillows, or keyboard wrist rests. I found some amazing ideas online this morning.

            The pieces I’d really like to get rid of, though, are the ones that are about 0.5m or bigger. They’re too large for small projects but too small for clothing. Short of making reversible tote bags, I’m out of ideas. Let me work my way through my scrap pile and then maybe we can meet up. Would love to hand over my scraps to you if you can use them for something. I don’t support hoarding, though… 😉

            • Duckie 🐥 August 27, 2016 / 8:35 pm

              All my fabric eventually gets used. It’s only temporary hoarding.

              • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 9:29 pm

                All this talk about sewing projects makes me want to get back to it! I love making my little dolls. I’ll try to post a couple – Mike, if I may send them to you?

                • Mich Patt August 28, 2016 / 11:13 am

                  Oh, your little dolls are so adorable! Love your creativity. 🙂

                  • Murray C. August 28, 2016 / 4:26 pm

                    Thank you!😚

              • Mich Patt August 28, 2016 / 11:15 am

                @Duckie: Temporary hoarding is perfectly acceptable, I think. 🙂 It seems I may end up using the pieces of cotton I’ve got but I still need to think of something to do with the extra jersey knit. One thing at a time, right? Once I get done with one set of crafts, I’ll do another Google search and get on with the other. I can see now that I’ll have A LOT to keep me busy in coming months. Stay tuned!

    • 6rabbits August 27, 2016 / 11:57 pm

      I saved small pieces of fabric to make doll clothes. Have you thought about braided rag rugs? You can sew strips of different colors end-to-end to make strips long enough.

      • Murray C. August 28, 2016 / 9:56 am

        I have a friend who makes strips of fabric, crochets with them, folding them in on themsemselves as she works. She makes placemats, chair tops, all sorts of smaller things.

  8. allein 🌼 August 27, 2016 / 11:42 am

    I’m reading a book that is due back to the library today, and is not renewable because someone else put it on hold. So, um, they’re just gonna have to wait until Monday and I’ll pay the fine. I also might try a new configuration of my kitchen which I have been contemplating for the past week or two.

    • fkaWaldenPond August 27, 2016 / 2:10 pm

      What book is it? I am reading Plague by CC.Humphrey’s– crime thriller set in England 1643; it is gross and a page turner. Then starting Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk; I am really, really wanting to see Ang Lee’s interpretation.

        • Phred's Mom August 27, 2016 / 3:39 pm

          The husband of a friend in Orvieto, Italy, is a food chemist.
          He insists that one should never buy ANY olive oil that is
          a blend of oils from various countries. They are blended
          using chemicals that, as he put it, have no place in anything
          edible, and in fact, those same chemicals caused an explosion
          at a bottling plant that killed one of their friends. She buys only
          “100% Italian oil. One can get it here. Read those labels. I also
          use 100% Tunisian olive oil which is quite nice. Wegmans should
          have the good stuff.

          • fkaWaldenPond August 27, 2016 / 6:10 pm

            I have heard about the Parmasean and I like you Smartypants buy a wedge of it and grate as I go. So much food these days is apparently not what we are told it is– sushi fish, wasabi, canned San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil etc. Serial numbers on cans and bottles I hope are ‘real’ when I purchase them. Mmmmm Phreds Mom, genoa and salami…mmmm. Allien, I will put the book on hold at the library. A few years back one of my important reads was Adam Gopnik’s The Table Comes First. Give it a look– if I am going to be classified as a type re food consumption I would be a locavore but having said that, Parma cheese, real proscuitto, real San Marzano tomotoes, olive oil really, really makes a difference in taste– it is not trend for me but taste. Plus, I ask for extra gluten on everything. 😉

            • allein 🐾 August 27, 2016 / 7:53 pm

              Okay, I may have dozed off while reading about olive oil (not the fault of the book). He has a shopping guide at the end of the chapter but I haven’t gotten there yet. I should probably eat something first. I bought two ears of corn yesterday so ‘ears hoping they’re good. 😉

              In the fish chapter he talks about how often people order fish in a restaurant and get something different…and I think at least twice uses the phrase “especially sushi restaurants.” And if you ever ordered Red Snapper you almost certainly have not actually received it. One issue is that sometimes the substitute is high in mercury, which can be especially bad for pregnant women and children, or subbing farmed fish for wild, since there are a lot of environmental issues surrounding fish farming.

        • allein 🐾 August 27, 2016 / 3:59 pm

          I saw a reply in my email and now it’s not here; that’s the second time today..?

          I knew there were issues with olive oil; read about it a couple years ago, and the article included a list of reliable brands, one of which is California Olive Ranch, which is what is in my kitchen right now.

        • Smartypants August 27, 2016 / 5:17 pm

          Re Parmesan, the easiest tip I’ve heard is to buy it by the block, not pre-grated, then grate it at home – that way, no cellulose added. And a chunk of parm keeps forever (well wrapped) in the freezer (I’m a household of one – I freeze everything!).

          • allein 🐾 August 27, 2016 / 5:27 pm

            I do have shredded parm in my fridge (the little tub from Wegmans’ cheese shop) but I have no idea how old it is. Last time I bought it it ended up growing mold and I had to throw it out. Next time I think I will get a small chunk instead. I’ll have to see if I can tell if it’s the real thing.

            This is why I need to get my kitchen sorted out; so I can cook real food for myself and stop eating so much junk, and throwing out stuff that I don’t get around to eating.

          • Phred's Mom August 27, 2016 / 8:09 pm

            Here again, one must read labels. Packaged grated cheese is iffy.
            Buy the block, yes, and grate it as needed. Tastes better, too.

      • allein 🐾 August 27, 2016 / 3:09 pm

        BTW, the book opens with an interesting look at the cheese industry in Parma.

        And now I want pasta.

        • Phred's Mom August 27, 2016 / 3:43 pm

          You made me run to the fridge for a little provolone
          and Genoa salami, dang it. I’m so suggestible.

          • allein 🐾 August 27, 2016 / 5:41 pm

            Well, he also mentions Prosciutto di Parma, which comes from pigs that are partially fed with the leftover whey from the cheese (which comes from cows that only eat fresh grass most of the year and local hay in the winter. They milk the cows in the morning, and bring it directly to the cheese makers, who mix it with the skimmed milk from the evening milking they got the night before, and start that day’s batch – 1100 liters of milk to make two wheels of cheese. There are whole warehouses in the area where the cheese gets aged). There’s also a bit about aged balsamic vinegar that can cost 100 bucks for a small bottle and is applied to things like vanilla ice cream (or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese) with an eye dropper.

            At the end of the chapter there’s a recipe for Mama Rosa’s Rosa di Parma, which is beef tenderloin stuffed with Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, made by a woman in the area.

            • Phred's Mom August 27, 2016 / 8:06 pm

              Stop, you’re tormenting me with this!
              *scuttles back to fridge for more salami*

              • Faye August 27, 2016 / 8:43 pm

                I have high blood pressure. No salami, bacon, etc.

                You two are killing me!

                • Phred's Mom August 28, 2016 / 11:26 am

                  My blood pressure tends to be pretty low,
                  so I’ve got, as it were, carte blanche on
                  the ol’ salt intake. Yay, I prefer salty/savory
                  over sweet anyway.

                  • Murray C. August 28, 2016 / 4:36 pm

                    Me, too – tho’ I’m not a huge fan of salamis and that sort of fatty meat. Once in a while, yes -but I don’t keep it in the house.

                    • Phred's Mom August 28, 2016 / 11:44 pm

                      Nor do I usually, but, as you say, now and then,
                      it’s good.

  9. allein 🌼 August 27, 2016 / 11:50 am

    Also need to pay bills, three of which I did through my bank’s bill pay the other night and which seem to have not worked. I checked last night and the payments are nowhere to be seen. So I’m assuming they just weren’t submitted; maybe the page timed out or something and I didn’t realize it. But I’m slightly afraid I’ll end up paying them twice if I do it again. Sent an inquiry but I don’t know if I’ll get a response on the weekend. While it won’t overdraw my checking account if I do a double payment, it’s still a little over $1000 total and that’s a lot. So a little aggravated, here.

    • Gigi the cat lady August 27, 2016 / 12:12 pm

      You don’t get a confirmation of paiement? I get one when I pay through my bank’s web site and keep all of them so even when there is a delay in the payment appearing on the site like on weekends or if there’s ever a problem I have proof that I made the payment.

      • allein 🐾 August 27, 2016 / 12:59 pm

        I didn’t get anything. I did a couple payments for other things a last week and I don’t remember if I got a confirmation for them; I can’t find anything (and I would have kept them). The only confirmations I can find are the ones confirming I added the accounts to the bill pay page.

    • Not That Mike The Other Mike August 27, 2016 / 1:42 pm

      Your bank’s customer service department should be able to confirm your recent activity. See if your bank’s website has a “support” section.

      • allein 🐾 August 27, 2016 / 1:49 pm

        I sent an inquiry but I don’t know if they’ll respond on the weekend.

  10. allein 🌼 August 27, 2016 / 12:08 pm

    Not even a pending payment? It shows no activity for those accounts. And I did them on Thursday night.

    I can wait until monday, though. The car is due on the 31st and the other two are due on the 1st. One of those will be sent a check, but they don’t count it as late until the 15th. I also have a credit card to pay but that’s not due until the 2nd. I can do them through their respective websites like I usually do if I have to. I’m just trying to set it up so I only have to go to one place, and then I want to remove my checking account info from all these various company sites once I know they work.

    • allein 🌼 August 27, 2016 / 12:11 pm

      What happened to the comment I replied to?

      • Laura August 27, 2016 / 3:49 pm

        Our bank suddenly decided that my username for online access is wrong. I’ve been using the same username for several years, have never changed it, don’t WANT to change it, but they won’t let me online suddenly! It’s really aggravating me. At least my hubs can get on so he can pay the bills. Online bill pay is lovely but can be frustrating when it doesn’t work right, isn’t it?

        • Smartypants August 27, 2016 / 5:20 pm

          I gave online bill payments a good try for eighteen months and really hated it (not faster, not easier, didn’t save paper) – I’ve switched back all my utilities to old-fashioned paper checks and stamps. Ahhh!

  11. Faye August 27, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    Very lazy day. Did not sleep well. Reading. Artwork. Up and at em tomorrow. Reset required.

    • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 2:17 pm

      Lazy days are good from time to time – sit back and enjoy.

      • Faye August 27, 2016 / 3:51 pm

        Did dishes and the bathroom floor. Some filing. Now nap time. Then possibly artwork or computer updates and installing.

  12. Duckie 🐥 August 27, 2016 / 1:03 pm

    I dub this cat Skittles, because he is obviously tasting a rainbow.

  13. allein 🐾 August 27, 2016 / 1:22 pm

    Little morbid, maybe…

      • allein 🐾 August 27, 2016 / 1:51 pm

        I like that Human Death wears pink fuzzy slippers.

    • Faye August 27, 2016 / 1:57 pm


    • fkaWaldenPond August 27, 2016 / 6:23 pm


  14. Birdcage August 27, 2016 / 1:44 pm

    I have a major landscaping project ongoing in my back yard (for which a landscaper has been hired because the work was beyond me). I’m finding it stressful. I will be happy when it’s done. There’s been lots of decisions to make, plants to chose and then to substitute when the original choices were out of stock. Change is hard for me, I guess. Ripping out old plants that I didn’t like, that were old and overgrown, was difficult to authorize because it feels like giving a kill order for a living thing. I know I will be pleased with the results but also glad when it’s over. Today I’m hiding inside with Merlin Bird because my ripped-up yard is giving me shortness-of-breath.

    • Faye August 27, 2016 / 1:58 pm

      Awww Birdcage. Don’t look until it’s over.

      • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 2:16 pm

        Oooh, how I wish I could get some professional help in our garden. I’ve spent 20 years digging and planting and now things are out of control. I always say our garden is like Topsy – it just ” growed up”. I’m not a planner and I love effulgence. Well, effulgence has got out of hand mainly because things I planted have been having babies by the score – crape myrtle, quercifolia, caryopteris. I need to dig the stuff out and give it away but that ain’t gonna happen for a WHILE! And I’m not as young as I used to be. Sigh.

    • Phred's Mom August 27, 2016 / 3:49 pm

      Even pulling out weeds sparks a small guilt pang.
      It’s a living thing, just in the wrong place.

      • Murray C. August 28, 2016 / 9:57 am

        No qualms for me – I know those pesky little seeds are hiding in there somewhere and I’ll see these devils again!👹

        • Phred's Mom August 28, 2016 / 11:28 am

          Yep, I’ve got past the guilt pretty easily,
          except for the violets and spiderwort.

          • Murray C. August 28, 2016 / 4:34 pm

            Oh, yes, – I’ve gotten pretty harsh with the violets, tho’ I leave them in some places. I forget which butterfly needs them, but I leave some for them. Spiderwort I weed out where I don’t want it but I have some very nice civilized varieties with pretty colors that I love. I love the seed tassels – very Victorian.

  15. murkle46 August 27, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    I need this.

    • Phred's Mom August 27, 2016 / 3:47 pm

      Where can I get this?
      Too funny.

  16. allein 🐾 August 27, 2016 / 2:29 pm


    • debg August 27, 2016 / 2:48 pm

      OMG I thought it kitty pajamas at first. Somebody will pay for shaving the cat like this.

      • Faye August 27, 2016 / 3:53 pm

        I’m speechless but intrigued and delighted. Clicked to save this. Well I never. And I actually inhaled at first sighting.

    • Laura August 27, 2016 / 4:07 pm

      Who would DO this to a decent, self-respecting cat? Even more, how could they get the cat to hold still for it unless they anesthetized it???

      • Phred's Mom August 28, 2016 / 11:29 am

        Indeed. It’s even worse than some of the
        costumes people put on their critters.

  17. debg August 27, 2016 / 2:47 pm

    Have I mentioned lately how much I love our weekend open threads? I love hearing about what everybody is doing/reading/making, or that they’re having a lazy day, or that family members have recovered from horrible situations.

    • allein 🐾 August 27, 2016 / 2:51 pm

      Me too. 🙂

      I’ve taken to saving links of funny/cute pictures and gifs that I come across for Saturday (like the kitty dinosaur I posted above). Except I had just opened Notepad and pasted them in there, but hadn’t saved it, and my computer apparently decided to restart itself last night, so it closed everything and they’re gone. Except I remembered the kitty dinosaur. 😛

      • Faye August 27, 2016 / 3:54 pm

        I agree. We are a fine bunch. 😍

        • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 5:31 pm

          I only hope those who just read and don’t post feel similarly!!!😜 C’mon, everybody, don’t
          just stand there, TALK to us. The best thing about it all is how a single comment takes one along a surprising journey to Who Knows Where.

  18. Laura August 27, 2016 / 4:19 pm

    I’m having a quiet day. Did a bit of work when I first got up (a last-minute speech came in), but other than that have been surfing the internet and just relaxing.

    Hubs and Melody are officially approved to start visiting the Florida Veterans Home every week, starting Thursday. He really likes visiting vets, being one himself, and she just likes *everyone.* At the orientation the other day, another lady was there with her dog who’s an actual certified search & rescue dog; since the demand for search & rescue dogs is so intermittent and he was getting a bit bored with just training, she started doing therapy work with him as well. He loves everybody as much as Melody does, so it sounds like a perfect match of dog to job! And interestingly, search & rescue are encouraged to be friendly and, unlike guide dogs or other service dogs, are able to have people pet them while they’re working. For them, it’s part of their job, I guess. I know I’ve always been allowed to pet bomb dogs at airports and such, although of course I always ask. And who doesn’t love a happy working dog?

    In fact, I’ve only ever been told no when I asked to pet a working dog once, but it was a guide dog, so I certainly wasn’t offended when his human said no. Then she realized she’d kind of snapped at me after I’d been polite enough to ask rather than just pet, so she thanked me for asking. I had blind friends with guide dogs some years ago, so I learned the etiquette thoroughly! One friend was very strong-minded and didn’t deal lightly with idiots, and once when a man actually picked up her dog’s handle to try to hand it to her, she just about blew his head off. You do NOT touch a guide dog’s handle when he/she’s in harness!

    What used to really offend *me,* too, though, was when we’d go to a restaurant and the server would ask ME, “Does she read Braille?” Like she was deaf, not blind! Seriously, the stupidity of people cannot be underestimated.

    • Duckie 🐥 August 28, 2016 / 11:36 pm

      Laura, your comment reminded me of an idiot I encountered one day.
      I use an aluminum walking stick for support, as it is easier on my wrist. One bright sunny day, I was in a bookstore. I hadn’t bothered to take off my sunglasses. As I was leaving the store, a man stopped me and asked what a blind person would do in a bookstore. I looked at him, took off my sunglasses, and asked what a brainless person would do in a bookstore.

      • Murray C. August 28, 2016 / 11:43 pm

        Fabulous, Duckie – that’s thinking on your feet.

      • Phred's Mom August 28, 2016 / 11:47 pm

        Perfect response. The sort of response I’d think of later, when
        opportunity to blast had passed. Good for you.

  19. Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 5:14 pm

    I had a strang thing happen this past week. It started out with a phone call from a dear friend in Canada asking me if I’d heard that another dear friend had died, someone who was a well known folk performer years back. I went on Facebook and there were all these pictures posted and people making comments, which I did as well. I knew neither he nor his wife were on FB – I called and the line was disconnected which I attributed to his wife having to field a ton of phone calls. I sent an email to her through his email address, hoping she would be monitoring them. Then I got to thinking that no one from his family who IS on FB had been involved in this thread of mournful posts and I went back on, thinking to reach out to one of them. There was an email from someone in his extended family – who had been concerned as well- saying it was another person of the same name who had died, that my friend was fine. My thought was – besides the inevitable one imagining him saying “reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”, was what an amazing feeling it had been to run through this gamut of emotion, to have made a fervent wish “don’t let it be true, DON’T let it be true…” And the wish came true. ( well, more precisely, what we thought had happened didn’t but you know what I mean.)

    • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 5:50 pm

      To SmartyPants: But let it get to room temp before grating. I make a nice easy snack with Parm – coarse grate a good sized wedge, cover a cookie sheet with parchment, oven at – 375, 400? – make little piles of the cheese, like you’re making cookies, bake ’em 10, 12 minutes or until they’re golden, let ’em cool. Yum. I put a little twist of freshly ground black pepper on each one before baking – lots of possible variations. Great to take to a party, pot luck, etc.

      • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 5:52 pm

        Not sure what’s happening – this was supposed to be a reply to SmartyPants but it stayed in this position. Hmmmmm…..

        • Phred's Mom August 27, 2016 / 8:13 pm

          Sounds yummy. Toasted cheese in any form is manna.

        • Smartypants August 28, 2016 / 7:51 am

          That sounds fabulous! Thanks for suggesting. I have a recipe for cheese twists that I’ve only made once – need to get it out again. Puff pastry, grated parm, lemon pepper. Puff pastry isn’t nearly as intimidating as its reputation.

      • Duckie 🐥 August 27, 2016 / 6:23 pm

        Replying to comment…
        Bake red potatoes. Slice. Put on cookie sheet on top of foil bbq veggie grilling rack (to keep spuds out of the grease). Mix shredded Parmesan with enough mayo to made it spreadable. Spread over potato slices. Top with sprinkling of bread crumbs with your favourite seasonings. Bake at 375 until cheese is browned to your satisfaction. Consume. Wish you had made more.

        • Faye August 27, 2016 / 8:45 pm

          Oh god.

          • Murray C. August 27, 2016 / 10:37 pm

            I picture you passed out, flat on your back, toes pointing to the heavens, Faye! Swooning over the glories of baked potatoes and cheese! Little x’s where your eyes should be, like in cartoons!😜

            • Faye August 27, 2016 / 11:46 pm

              Exactly! How DID you know? I’m a steak and potatoes person. Anything with potatoes is heaven. I love to eat a baked potato as breakfast. Roasted red potato wedges with herbs. Leek and potato soup. Venison stew with fingerling potatoes. Yukon Golds smashed and then pan toasted. Any type of potato salad I don’t have to make myself. Etc.

              Waiting for cooler weather before I start with potatoes!

              • allein 🐾 August 28, 2016 / 12:15 am

                After just reading the chapter about Kobe beef (spoiler alert, if you see it on a menu in the US, it is almost certainly a lie), I could go for steak and potatoes right now!

                Alas, am settling for a bowl of Kashi Dark Cocoa Karma cereal and chocolate milk.

              • Murray C. August 28, 2016 / 10:02 am

                Sometimes I make potato salad for 2 – served warm – very little work involved. And I never peel the potatoes, which for me is the most off-putting part of potato salad.

                • Phred's Mom August 28, 2016 / 11:34 am

                  I do a mean German potato salad, which should
                  be served very warm. Got the recipe years ago
                  out in Lancaster County, where else? Vinegar,
                  bacon, dry mustard, pinch sugar, pepper, etc.
                  NO mayo.

                  • Faye August 28, 2016 / 1:39 pm

                    That is tempting to make.

            • allein 🐾 August 28, 2016 / 12:13 am

              • Murray C. August 28, 2016 / 9:58 am


        • Phred's Mom August 28, 2016 / 8:33 am

          I’ve done this with Italian flavored crumbs.
          On boneless chicken breasts. Decadent.

  20. allein 🐾 August 28, 2016 / 12:21 am

    ‘K, I follow the facebook page for employees of my company (a closed group started by some employees, not an official company page), and someone posted a little while ago about a bat they found on the busy sidewalk outside the emergency exit door in their cafe. So they called animal control but to keep it safe, they put it into a plastic to-go container! (I hope he’s okay.)

    Someone commented, “I am the night!” so of course I posted this obligatory response:

    • Smartypants August 28, 2016 / 7:59 am

      Aww…so cute! Using the takeout container is genius – protects the bat and also the human (I’m always prepared for the animal to NOT understand that you’re there to help them – they’ll bite you, pee on you, whatever…).

  21. murkle46 August 28, 2016 / 4:44 am

    • Murray C. August 28, 2016 / 10:00 am

      Yep, that should weed out the wannabes.

      • Faye August 28, 2016 / 12:54 pm

        I find these oddly attractive. That I fit my stereotype is sort of comforting… 😋

  22. Patty August 28, 2016 / 11:52 am

    I went to my corner convenience store and bought $20 worth of baked goods at a bake sale. There are 3 Casey’s stores in town, and they compete to see which one can raise the most money for MDA. I will wind up giving most of the baked goods to grandkids, because my husband is diabetic, and he doesn’t eat sweets. There were firemen at major intersections in town with boots to fill with donations, but I am a sucker for baked goods, and the good employees at the corner store.
    This morning I woke up to my husband thrashing around in bed, his blood sugar was low. I love having to force feed him some glucose in a tube, he is like an obnoxious drunk when his blood sugar gets low. I have to talk mean and give him orders. He said “What time did I wake you up? I don’t remember anything.” I said, “good, then you won’t remember me being mean to you” So, he got breakfast in bed, because he was too foggy to put his prosthetic leg on and get downstairs. He is fine now. Blood sugar is a little high, but we’ll watch it and make sure we keep it at the right level.

    • Murray C. August 28, 2016 / 4:30 pm

      Oh, my, – how often does that happen!!!? Good thing you let yourself be Nurse Ratchett – sounds like you need to be from time to time! Bless both your hearts!

  23. allein 🐾 August 28, 2016 / 1:44 pm

    I fear I may not finish my book today. They might have to wait until Tuesday…or Wednesday. I only work two days this week so I’ll have all morning and afternoon on Wednesday.

    (Still about 110 pages left, and I have to do some other stuff this afternoon. We shall see.)

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