Friday, November 29, 2019

cold turkey

Happy day after Thanksgiving to all my American blogger friends who partake!

It was nice to take a little break from the relocating activities with some food and family time.  As I mentioned, Magnum's sister and her husband hosted Thanksgiving for the third year in a row.  They are both very good cooks and have a newly remodeled kitchen, so everything was plentiful and yummo.  Chaco, Wolfgang, and Meego all made the trip, too.

Roads are still a mess since our snowstorm earlier this week.  It hasn't warmed up enough to melt the snow and ice, so getting around is an adventure.  With that in mind, the annual Turkey Trot 5K must go on!

I always sign up, because it's a charity run. They were very good about updating us on the course conditions leading up to the race.
In a word, conditions were crappy, but 2400 of my closest friends and I decided, "eh, what the hell"

It was a chilly mid-20 degrees at the start and foggy.  The course was messy/ icy/ slushy, and I don't think anyone was out there to break any records.  Participation is usually around 5,000, but I wasn't surprised at the relatively low turnout.

It was actually quite fun.  It usually is anyway, but with the sloppy conditions, the "lust for winning" was greatly diminished, and we all just slogged through thinking of how silly it seemed.  I  noticed this girl's hoodie message while perusing race photos.  Where does one get such a hoodie?

I ended up 2nd place for the old ladies.  Nancy beats me every year.  She's 59 years old!  But Nancy and I both beat some young whippersnappers, and all things considered - "Ack! Slush! It's in my mouth!" - I'm happy with my stats:

So here we are, black Friday.  No shopping for us as the packing and cleaning continues, but yesterday was fun, plus MY oven is clean 😌

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

what's cookin'?

We've got snow, yes we do!  We've got snow, how 'bout you?  *points*

Okay, it's Colorado. It snowed.  Not really news, but sheesh, there's so much of it.  I think we got about 10 inches at our house.  It felt like more when I shoveled it, but I did have "help" from these two.

Poor Penny, she's so short, when she first went out to the ladies room, all I could see was her head and shoulders.  Didn't seem to phase her, though.

Chaco, who lives a little north and west of Denver, sent this pic from his place, saying, "and it's still snowing!"

Then I got this pic from Meego in Fort Collins:

It's actually rather pretty for those who don't need to go anywhere.  And... I might be a little annoyed that these college boys have better patio furniture than we do.

In a way, it's good to be shut in because it's been good help in getting our house ready to vacate.  Magnum's sis is hosting Thanksgiving again this year, and I'm thankful that I don't have to cook anything.  We're responsible for booze.

With that in mind, my task for today is to clean the oven.  It's a self-cleaning oven, but to be honest, I plan to just scrub it with some Dawn dish soap.  Self-cleaning ovens freak me out a bit.  Ours is the type that uses high heat - like 1000 degrees F - to burn everything up.

I had a self-cleaning oven in one of my college apartments.  I recall coming home one night from my retail job to find firetrucks leaving the parking lot and our oven sitting outside on the grass.  What the...? 

My roommate had tried the self-cleaning mode. 

As I recall, I don't think there was any actual fire.  Just lots and lots of smoke and fumes.  The firefighters were nice enough to loan us a fan. 

As I was pondering a good cleaning for our oven, I paused at the various precautionary notes in the owner's manual and my online research - research that didn't make me want to use self-cleaning mode.  One note stated that the fumes can be specifically harmful to birds, so remove pet birds before cleaning.  I don't have any pet birds but, yeah,  no.

Anyone reading ever used the oven self-cleaning feature?  Any stories to tell?

Monday, November 25, 2019

gun running

So that gun?  That competition air rifle we rediscovered collecting dust in our crawl space for the past 2 and a half years?  It's back home!

As I mentioned, for lack of any other ideas, I sent an email to into what I thought might be a big old void.  But lo and behold, I got a response!  "Shooting Girl" called me, quite interested in following up, understandable because it is a rather expensive piece of gear.  Pretty, no?

We were able to track down the gun's origin, and sho'nuff, it had been checked out by "AirRifle Guy" in April of 2017 and never signed back in.  I texted Wolfgang: 

"The name "AirRifle Guy" sound familiar?"

He texted back:  "Yeah, that's Air Rifle Guy" (maybe I need less confusing code names?)

ANYhoo, I made arrangements to trek it down to the Olympic Training Center here in Colorado Springs.  Shooting Girl instructed me to enter through the "Athlete and Employee" entrance, thus making the trip the closest I will ever be to being an Olympic athlete.

I pulled up in my Toyota Echo and was stopped by a guard:

Him:  Can I help you?

Me:  I'm here to see Shooting Girl.  (I figured that'd be better than saying, "I've got a gun")

Him:  What about? (Oh, sheesh)

Me:  I'm returning an air rifle (still better than saying, "I've got a gun")

Him:  Whatsurname?

Me:  AbbyNormal

Him:  Oh yeah, I remember the memo...

So, after giving the guard something to do for a minute, I was directed to a parking lot.  I've never been the Olympic Training Center, even as a visitor.  Naturally, it is open to visitors and tours are provided, but I just never went.  I think each of our kids has been there for school field trips, and I recall a former tutee, who was a competitive swimmer, telling me about going there and seeing his idol, Michael Phelps.

There wasn't a whole lot of activity while I waited outside for Shooting Girl, so I snapped a couple of non-exciting shots of buildings.  *YAWN*

We exchanged some pleasantries as well as the gun.  She asked a little bit about Wolfgang's project, and I explained very little - the extent of my knowledge. 

I'm glad the gun's back home.  Maybe it will podium.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

well, shoot

We were piling yet more stuff onto our porch last night for a donation pickup scheduled for today.  I think Magnum's finally getting it.

"It does feel pretty cleansing to unload this stuff", he said at one point.

"I don't feel cleansed until the truck drives away", was my reply.  But yeah, I highly recommend it.

I have shed plenty of things in the last year or so, but held onto a few things because I was lazy thinking the kids might want to keep them.  Well, those guys have had plenty of opportunities, and that stuff was still here, so it's for the truck now.

One thing, though, we're not sure what to do with.

When Wolfgang was a senior in college, he and his team completed a final mechanical engineering project.  It was primarily a device to aid in training for competitive shooting.  We live in Colorado Springs which is home to the Olympic Training Center, so that's how it all came about.

It was a good project, they got an A and graduated

So yeah, the team members got their degrees.  We ended up with the gun.  And it's STILL HERE.

It's a nice air rifle in a nice carrying case.  I remember Wolfgang trying to get it back to "the guy" that summer after graduation, and "the guy" not really being too concerned.  Well that was over two years ago.  Who even knows where "the guy" is??

What to do with it?  It's not really ours, I can't sell it, although it's rather pricey.  We don't want it, although it's rather pretty.

In a lame effort last  night, I sent an email to saying something to the effect of,

"Uhm... so we have this competitive air rifle?  Want it?"

I'm not expecting much of a response.

Other than that, things are going well with the unloading and organizing.  It IS a cleansing activity I highly recommend for not just springtime!

I was pondering High School yearbooks as I packed them up.  I have four of mine, Magnum has his, there were a few here for each of our kids.  I honestly can't remember the last time I cracked open any of mine, and don't necessarily feel I will need/want to in the future.

Keep 'em?

Shoot 'em?

Do you still have yearbooks from High School?  Last time you opened one?

Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
1. Share an Autumn inspired recipe, craft or activity

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Abby's fish delivery

I mentioned a while back about re-homing Meego's fire-bellied toads.  That was actually a pretty easy task.  I was a bit surprised at the number of legit people clamoring to take in those little cuties.  But... what about my fish?

I got a bargain deal on an aquarium and all the fixings on last year's Black Friday.  Remember?

Here we are, nearly a year later, and we're moving.  What to do with my fish?  I only had three from the original 5 or so I stocked.  One Guppy, one Platy, and one little Plecostomus.  The Guppy and Platy aren't much to write home about.  Inexpensive, easy to care for, yeah.  They were just to have something moving around in the aquarium.  The little Clown Plecostomus was the most valuable of the three, but not a big deal.

Still, I didn't like the idea of just smothering them.  I was hoping they would peacefully and conveniently "go to the light" any day, but they didn't seem to heeding my subliminal prompting.  So I put the word out online that they were looking for a home - someone with an established freshwater tank.  They even posed for pics

I got one interested email.  He asked me about them, I answered.  Two days later, he asked something else, I answered.  Two days after that, he asked if I could bring them to him.

I scooped them up and headed to the address provided, hoping the likelihood was slim that "Ed" was really a twisted murderer that would add my name to some future True Crime story. 

Thankfully, that turned out to be true.  Ed was a nice humble guy with a B-E-A-Utiful fish tank.  It had to be at least a pristine 100 gallons. 

I'd planned to just hand the fish over to Ed from his porch, but his house was rather smallish, and the fish tank was right in the front room, so yeah, I took a couple steps inside.  In fact, I would've liked to gawk at his tank a little longer, but I had a tutee appointment approaching.

Ed took my small relish jar/ fish transport and said,

"They're kinda little!"

and added,

"They might get eaten!"

I looked again at Ed's beautiful tank and noticed the great size of the beautiful fish meandering about, and I said,


Now, I did include the size of the fish in my re-homing ad, but maybe Ed hadn't paid attention.  Or maybe he had and he was really looking for fish food.

I think the little Pleco will be fine as they like to find little caves to spend most of their time in, and Ed's aquascape provided ample hiding places.  The Guppy and Platy however...

If they did, in fact, become fish lunch at Ed's, I'm okay with that.  Circle of life and all.  They didn't go to waste, and I think they were nearing the end of their lives anyway.  

And I'm still thinking about how lovely Ed's tank was.  I'm inspired for when I'm able to set up another aquarium.  It was truly stunning for those who are into such things.  I might even say it's...

to die for.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

getting trashy

The moving activities continue.  On the bright side, I've managed to sell more items to nice people.  Honestly, I'm not making a boat load of money off any of these clearance deals.  Everything is priced to sell quickly, and it's working.  It's just enough to hopefully keep the weirdos from showing up... knock on wood.

In addition to Marie Kondo-ing our possessions, I've been packing up those things we don't currently need use of.  This has forced me to go through stuff the kids left behind when they each flew the coop.  OMG!

See, the bulk of my tidying up to this point has involved my and Magnum's stuff.  I figured there were "a few things" the kids left behind, but I hadn't really done a deep dive until now.  JEEZ-us, I'm finding things from elementary school, etc.  In some ways, it's been a nice little walk down memory lane, but then I catch myself - "Why am I reading a 4th grade book report!?"

I called our trash service and asked for an extra bin for this month, but they said they only rent bins by the quarter.  They can charge me a dollar a bag over our weekly limit, which seems reasonable.  Seems to me, though, that having an extra bin to put the bags in would be easier for them, but rules is rules.

I did actually begin this process a couple of years ago when I painted the kids' bedroom. Yes, there was a time when all three of them shared a large room, under the guise of, "Let's play barracks!"  I took a bunch of stuff off the shelves and stashed them in a large box.  The large box remains.

At this point, I'm kind of afraid to open it.

Got any packing/ moving tips?  Anyone?

Friday, November 8, 2019

missing the toads that are really frogs

Happy Friday, friends.  I try not to be one of those people who lives for the weekend or dreads Mondays.  If I'm dreading Mondays or any other day, it's time to fix something!  But this has been a pretty busy week, and I'm glad for some downtime. 

First, though, I'm missing these guys:

Anybody remember back in 2013, Meego got some fire-bellied toads?  He set up a nice little ecosystem for them in a 20-gallon tank, and they've just continued being their happy fire-bellied selves.  

We never expected them to live this long, and now, we're moving and can't take them with us.  I advertised for a good home for them, not knowing what to expect. But several people contacted me with resume' - like details of their knowledge of fire-bellied toad care.  Yesterday, a nice family picked them up, tank and all the fixings.  The toads will be moving into a freshly created 75-gal vivarium if I'm to believe this family's "application".  

So I'm happy for them, but I strangely miss those little buggers.

Also this week, I had my 4-week check with the oral surgeon.  Remember when I said I had a big hole in my sinus so I couldn't blow my nose for 2 weeks?  Well, at the 2-week check, he told me 2 more weeks of no-blo.  Darn, I was so looking forward to blowing my nose.

This week, he said I'm 95% healed, so blow gently as needed.  Woohoo, party time.

I haven't drawn a darn thing since the end of Inktober.  Haven't even popped the top off of any pens.

But here's a shout out to these creative teachers... 

Remember my young friend, Tiffany, who died suddenly and unexpectedly.  She was a teacher at a local high school.  She studied engineering in college and became a teacher through Teach for America.  So she was passionate about STEM education, and within that, she was passionate about space exploration, winning numerous teaching awards, etc.  

Her team decided to have a Tiffany-themed Halloween at school.  Aren't they cute?


What's your favorite day of the week?  Why?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

kicking the bucket(s) for chickens

We've ramped up our minimalist efforts as we've gotten more serious on the "we're moving" plan.  I thought I'd done a pretty good job of Marie Kondo-ing our place, but it was just the tip of the iceberg.  Sh*t's gotten real, and I see we have more to do.

I may have mentioned that when the kids were little, we were sort of preppers.  True preppers keep enough provisions on hand for a year, but we were never true preppers - mainly out of laziness.  But we still had quite a stash of food and water and such.  We've pared that down greatly over the last several months - ate or donated everything, and then I sold all our storage shelves.

I had thrown myself into denial forgotten about the buckets o' prepper food in our crawl space along with about 120 gallons of water stash.  But I went into the crawl space last week and found they hadn't gone away on their own.

First on my list was to use up all that water.  I'll just say that even just two people can go through about 120 gallons of water pretty quickly if they use it to flush their toilets.  Done!

We'll keep two 7-gal jugs, and I sold all the rest.

But the food.  Who would possibly want several buckets of unground wheat and corn?  Furthermore, why did Magnum buy all this unground wheat and corn??  Honestly, when it would appear on our doorstep, the kids and I just said, "welp, that's his thing", we had bigger fish to fry.  But I had no intention of grinding wheat berries into flour to bake bread or anything else.

We also have a good stash of rice and beans, but that I can actually use.  Not in the abundance we have, but the Rescue Mission will happily take the extra.

So I put the wheat berries buckets on facebook marketplace, not expecting much.  Then I met Chicken Lady.

Naturally, that's not her real name, but I will always think of her in that sense.  She was so happy to haul our buckets of wheat away for her chickens at my clearance sale price.  We mentioned the corn to her, but she sadly didn't have a way to mill the corn.

Duh, I actually had a grain mill for sale too (purchased by Magnum for the wheat I wasn't going to grind), but forgot.  Chicken lady saw the grain mill the next day and texted that she wanted it, adding "still got that corn?!"

So I'm happy, Chicken Lady's happy, and I'm thinking the chickens are happy too.

Friday, November 1, 2019

there's room for maybe just one more

Why doesn't Dracula have any children?
Because he has a hollow weenie.


My high school science teacher told us that joke and thought it was just the funniest thing, while we all just looked blankly at him.  But damn if I don't think of it every Halloween. 

I filled up a bowl with the candy I'd bought and thought it didn't seem like enough, so I picked up some more candy.  I should've stuck with the original.  It was a very low traffic Halloween night as was expected because of all the snow and cold.  We were generous with the handouts, but still...

At around 8-ish, I declared, "next bunch gets the whole bowl!". 

There was no next bunch, so Magnum's office gets the leftovers. 

I've mentioned here that we have one of those Ring®️ Doorbells.  I learned that there's a snooze feature that allows stopping notifications for when there's a lot of expected activity.  The goblins were so few and far between, I didn't see the need to snooze. 

The groups who visited were mostly two or three older kids trick-or-treating together, or very little kids with parents waiting in the shadows.  I did rather enjoy this group that accompanied a young boy of about 8 years.  They were all dressed up and even brought the dog 🐶
The adults in the group spotted the doorbell cam, hence the wave.

In other news, while on my candy run, I decided to get that flu shot yesterday.  The pharmacist upsold me a tetanus shot too.  She also sold me on a shingles vaccine, but I said I'd do that next week because I didn't feel like a 3-for.

I'm wanting to get this stuff done before the end of the year since our health insurance provider is changing, and we don't know the details yet.  I scheduled a tooth filling for later this month as I wanted to get that other bum tooth all taken care of before returning to regular programming. 

The tooth hole seems to be healing, but it's a weird feeling.  For so long I had a dull ache from that tooth, now it's gone.  When I'd get my heart rate up slightly, I could feel my pulse in that tooth, and that's gone too.  I could gauge my heart rate from my tooth, it was like a built-in monitor. 

What am I supposed to do now?!  Nevermind, I can get used to this.