Even though I prefer Blogger, since Blogger and Wordpress don't work well together, the content of this blog is also at Wordpress at Marti's DIY.

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Last Post of January. Yay!

Except for two days when I didn't have internet, I fulfilled my New Year's Resolution to post every day for a month. And I am so glad it's over. So, so, so very glad. There were days when I couldn't think of anything worth saying and thought about posting a one liner "See you tomorrow" type post. But that would have defeated the purpose of trying to get back in the blogging groove. I don't know that posting every day inspired me, in fact, I think it had the opposite effect there, but it did get me back in the routine. And that was half the battle. Posting every day meant the posts were generally shorter and less thought went into them. And if you are a regular reader, you saw that there were more quilting posts than anything else, mainly because that is what I've been doing lately.

Other than the regular stash busting and design wall linky posts, I am going to go back to my goal of posting three times a week. I plan on posting about my sewing table, and with spring planting not far off, I'll be planning my garden and cleaning out the pond (ugh). So there will finally be some variety on the blog again.

Hubby is off mending the fence of an elderly friend, but when he returns, he promised to help me as I start building my sewing table. Sometimes an extra hand in the shop is much appreciated. He often has better ideas how to put things together too, although I've got a pretty good idea how I want to do these.

Until next time,
MartiDIY

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I Know You've Heard That Happiness is a State of Mind

There are self-help books, website articles, and Bible studies that delve into why people are unhappy and how to change the way you think.  There are songs and witty little posters telling us to just be happy.  It's never been quite that easy for me.  If you have ever thought "I will be happy if _____ happens," then you know what I mean.  It used to be "I will be happy when we have money for retirement," or "I will be happy when the house is finished," or "I will be happy when I have a job," or.... the list was endless.

But this morning when I was cleaning the bathroom (yeah, plenty of time to think then), I realized that while I am not deliriously happy, I am content.  And I have been content for quite awhile and never really noticed it.  We don't have enough retirement savings, the house isn't finished, and I have no job opportunities on the horizon.  I still think about all that but somewhere along the line, I quit obsessively worrying about it.  Worrying didn't solve any problems, and in fact caused more problems.

And there is a poster for that too.



Used with permission from livelifehappy.com

I'm not sure what I did to end the worry.  I prayed, certainly.  I also kept busy, connected with friends, and tried to help others.  One or all made the difference for me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wordpress vs. Blogspot Part 1 - the Comment Solution

Right after I started this blog, a couple of people asked me how it compared to Blogspot, aka Blogger.  It's actual name is Blogger, but because it is confusing to sort the Blogger service from the blogger people, I'm going to refer to it as Blogspot throughout this post.

I'm still learning about Wordpress, but there are some differences I've encountered. Whether one is better than the other is still hard to say. They both have their merits. Of all the blogs I visit, Blogspot is far more common, and I agree that it is easier to use, especially for someone new to blogging, and has more features. However, the features that wordpress does have are impressive.

Blogspot started in 1999, and was bought by Google in 2003, so it has a lot of might behind it.  Wordpress started in 2003 and is reported to be the most popular blogging system on the web.  That may be so in some genres, but as I said before, I don't see that in the type blogs I like to visit.

I switched to Wordpress for a couple of reasons, the main one being the email copy of comments.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Diet Struggle

The other day I juiced an English cucumber, lettuce, cilantro, and ginger. It was really a mess without a juicer; I used the blender and then strained it.

Afterward, I swear it smelled just like a smashed green stink bug. It was hard to drink with that image in mind. Well, it was hard to drink anyway because it didn't taste very good. Hubby agreed. He said the look on my face was just like this:



Friday, January 16, 2015

I Love Long Weekends

Not only a long weekend ahead, but our weekend is going to be warm and sunny.  I plan on getting all the Christmas stuff off the garage floor and into the attic, do a little woodworking, and then a little quilting.  I started a new quilt yesterday - I know, I know, what was I thinking, that I thought would be a good leaders and enders, but looks like I'm going to do it with English paper piecing.  So it will be another quilt that will be in the works for years.

What are your weekend plans?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

What Internet Router Do You Use?

Internet is back but I need to buy a new router. When the technician comes out Tuesday, I want him to redo our whole set up as I can only get online when I am connected by a cable. Hubby can get on wirelessly in the office but nowhere else. ALL of our neighbors who use the same provider have a different dish and it's pointed a different direction. I think all of that is why we have been having problems over the last year.

If I don't have a router when he comes Tuesday, a neighbor told me that he will bring out a router that we will "rent" for $7 a month. That's $84 plus tax for a year, $168 for two, etc. I have no idea how much longer we will live here, but it's likely to be longer than a year and I'd rather not pay any more than I have to.

Also, the neighbor said when they put up her new dish, they bumped up her plan from 10 mbps to 15 mbps, which bumped her bill from $52 to $63. Worth it or not?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

My Internet Is Down

Posting from my phone so I apologize if it looks odd. Technician will be out here Tuesday so I hope to see you then, sooner if I can change providers before then.

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Free or Frugal, Warm and Covered, Cat Bed Tutorial

We have had several days of really cold weather, at least for us.  Yes, Canadians, we are wimps; if it goes below freezing, we are cold.  And our pets aren't any more stoic than we.  Even though our cat is usually pretty cozy in the garage, it also has been into the mid thirties at night lately.  I used to have a pillow inside a Rubbermaid tub turned on its side, but I had to use it for something this summer.  I thought I could do better this winter.

At the store, I saw a dome tent bed that had thick foam all around it.  It would have been great, except for three things, it was expensive, it was too small for my twenty pound boy, and it wasn't cleanable.  At home I had a plastic tub, an extra pillow, and tools, so I made my own covered cat bed.





What is needed:
Plastic storage tub with snap on lid (mine is 18 gallon) Similar tubs sold at Home Depot for $9
Drill and 1/2 inch bit (or any size bit that will go through plastic and make a hole big enough for the jig saw blade)
Jig saw
Rasp or heavy sand paper
Pillow (Mine came from Walmart for $2 not long ago)
Blanket (optional)

Step One: Find a plastic tub that is big enough for your cat, allows room to stretch and move around, and allows the pillow to lay flat on the lid, but is not so small that your sleeping cat touches the sides of the cold tub. He needs an air pocket around him. Luckily, I had reorganized my Christmas ornaments and had just the right size tub.





Step Two: Measure your cat across the shoulders and mark an opening. I wanted the opening above the pillow to keep the pillow in and keep that area warmer. You can make a circle but a square is easier. Drill the four corners of the square, or just one in the line of your circle.





Step Three: Cut out the opening with the jig saw. The drilled holes in the corners make it easier for the jigsaw. I thought it might be hard to jig saw on plastic (I thought the saw might make the box move around too much), but it was really easy. Then sand the edges with the rasp or sandpaper, especially around the drilled holes.





Step Four: With the pillow on the lid, snap the tub on top of it.



My cat recognized his pillow and went right for it on the lid, but he wouldn't go all the way into the box while I was there even though I put a few treats in there. He still has a fear of being trapped from his feral days. But I hope he will go in tonight when it gets cold, especially since he knows his pillow is in there.

This will be warm enough for my cat, at least for now. I put the tub next to the office wall with the heater, and faced the opening to the wall and away from the garage doors. If we go below freezing for days or lost power, I would put a blanket or two across the top of the tub and that would keep it toasty.

And there you thought I already broke my resolution to post every day.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Turkey Blockade

Just before Thanksgiving in our neighborhood, we started seeing a tom turkey and two hens.  They mainly hang out where the road goes through a wooded area, and it's also right there that someone just bought about twenty acres and has been clearing trees for his house and driveway.  That probably drove them from that wooded area to the road.  We see them in the distance walking up and down the road and into yards with trees, and I guess they go back to the trees by the creek in the evening.

Hubby sees them in the neighbor's yard and wants them to visit our yard.  He has put out corn, bought a turkey hen decoy, and calls them with a turkey call.  But they just won't cross the clearing into our yard.  We never have seen them up close but it looks like the tom is white and the hens are black.

One of my Christmas presents was a dash cam which is my new toy.  After seeing some of the neat things captured on video by other people, I said I wanted one, but I didn't think I would get one any time soon.  Friday, I took it out for the first time by myself and happened to see the turkeys on the side of the road in a fairly open area.  I wanted a good video of them (and there were no other cars on the road) so I pointed the car right at them as they were walking my way.  They seemed to be hurrying toward me, but then they slowed down so I began to drive off.  That's when the tom turned and walked in front of my car, and then he started circling the car.  He was so close to the car that I couldn't see him, so I rolled down the window to see where he was and he gobbled right under my window.  I took the camera off the windshield so I could hold it out the window but all I managed to video was my side mirror and then steering wheel.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.

On my way back from town, I saw them again, still out in the open.  This time I slowed down to see what they would do, and once again the tom came to the front of my car.  I put it in reverse so I could go around them, and he chased me!  When I could see him off to the side, I drove on, and he not only chased me, but got ahead and in front of the car again!  Then he circled back and forth, finally puffed out all his feathers and strutted across the front of the car and over to his girls.

I don't know if he thought I was a threat to his girls, or if he wanted to add me to his flock.  But at least I got a good picture of him.  He's light gray, not white.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Beware the Millies

Originally posted on Wordpress.

(This was in my draft folder on blogger. I don't know why I never published it; maybe subconsciously I knew I would need blog material in January.)

Millie is my mother's ninety-six year old neighbor. Yesterday afternoon, Millie came over to show Mom a letter she got in the mail. Even with the lights on, she was using a flashlight to read the letter and insisted that it was dark outside and she needed the flashlight to find her way home. After they got the letter sorted out (it was junk mail), Millie told Mom about the poor, confused, old man she met at the grocery store.

Millie was walking up and down one aisle and an older man (in the opinion of a ninety-six year old woman) asked her what she was looking for.

"Toilet tissue," said Millie.

"What brand is it?" asked the older man.

"It's a French name, Crepe something, I think," said Millie. (She was looking for Charmin.)

"I've never seen a Grape toilet paper," he said. Then he walked around to the next aisle.

Millie didn't try to correct him since he obviously couldn't hear and she continued looking for a few more minutes before giving up and going to the next aisle.

There, she saw the older man again and when they met he said "I don't see a purple toilet paper anywhere."

****

At the time I wrote this in June 2014, Millie was still driving, thus the title.  She drove very, very slowly because her vision was so bad, but she somehow managed to avoid being in an accident.  She may have caused some accidents, but she was never in one.  Her driver's license had been taken away years ago but that didn't stop her.  But a couple of months ago, she told mom that she really couldn't see well enough to drive and now she walks to the grocery store which is only a block away.  When I visited Mom in August, Millie brought food over (that's another story), and mentioned that she was 96 but she didn't know how much longer she had.  I hope she makes it to 100.  She'd like to have Willard Scott wish her a happy birthday - if he is still around.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Today Starts The New Diet

I don't know about you, but I tend to pig out before starting a diet.  Like a last fling but with food, mainly desserts.  Before Thanksgiving, I had lost a respectable amount of weight and I'm pretty sure it's all back.

The last time I posted about this, I had just had a colonoscopy but I wasn't due to talk to the doctor until a couple of days before Christmas.  I figured he was going to lower the boom then and give me some literature about celiac disease, diverticulosis, and a diet to follow.  But when I got there, all he wanted to know is if I was taking the medication he prescribed before my colonoscopy for bile acid malabsorption and then he headed for the door.  "Wait," I said, "aren't we going to talk about the results of the colonoscopy and how to treat it?"  He looked surprised and said his nurse had already sent everything I needed to know to Patient Portal.  But he wanted to see me again in two months.  Fat chance.

So I came home and signed up for Patient Portal and finally got the scoop on my new diet.  Since I have inflammation of the large intestine, the first six weeks will be restricted to foods that heal the gut.  Lots of  fermented stuff like kim chi which I've heard of but never tasted.  I think I need to make a trip to Whole Foods.  I don't think our local grocery store is going to have a lot of this healthy food.

After six weeks, I hope I can continue with a normal paleo diet.  For now, there are a lot more things on the AVOID side of the list than on the CAN HAVE side.  On the plus side, it doesn't look like I'll be doing a lot of cooking inn the next few weeks, so more time to work on my new goals.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year My Friends!!!

I'm beginning 2015 with a few changes. As you can see, the biggest change for 2015 is blogging at wordpress. I also have a new blog name that I think relates better to my posts. I am still learning how it works, but wordpress seems to be a lot more user friendly than the last time I checked it out.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and Hanukkah. I was so happy to have all my family together, even though our time together was much too short. I hate to admit it, but after working non-stop in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and then the work of having company for a week, I'm kind of glad it's over. But I started missing them the minute they pulled out of the driveway on their way home.

December was a busy month for us. We began the month trying to finish a couple of kitchen projects which stretched into the week before Christmas. Then it was a rush trying to get all the construction clutter out of the house, bedrooms cleaned for Christmas guests, and putting up decorations. Both daughters, son-in-law, their little dog, and my mother stayed with us. The tree was finally decorated the day before they arrived. Talk about just making it under the wire.

I wasn't going to make any resolutions this year, but I have found it so difficult to make a blog post lately that I have decided to make just a few blog resolutions. I'm going to call them goals. The word goals sound more determined than resolutions, don't you think?

1. I am going to make a blog post every day for the month of January, even if it's just one sentence. Hopefully, that will get me back in the habit of posting and inspiration will follow.

2. I am going to list my unfinished projects on the sidebar with deadlines for finishing. Of course I have to find them first in whatever closet corner I hid them in the process of "decluttering" for Christmas. It's still clutter, just hidden clutter now.

3. I am going to start a new project every month and not leave it unfinished.

4. I am going to keep track of my projects so I can see what is worthwhile and what is a waste of time and money.

5. I am going to host a home improvement blog party for a month this spring and see what happens.

6. I am going to clear the clutter and finally hang pictures on my walls, and maybe even find those long lost gift cards.


Today Starts the New Diet

I don't know about you, but I tend to pig out before starting a diet. Like a last fling but with food, mainly desserts. Before Thanksgiving, I had lost a respectable amount of weight and I'm pretty sure it's all back.

The last time I posted about this, I had just had a colonoscopy but I wasn't due to talk to the doctor until a couple of days before Christmas.  I figured he was going to lower the boom then and give me some literature about celiac disease, diverticulosis, and a diet to follow.  But when I got there, all he wanted to know is if I was taking the medication he prescribed before my colonoscopy for bile acid malabsorption and then he headed for the door.  "Wait," I said, "aren't we going to talk about the results of the colonoscopy and how to treat it?"  He looked surprised and said his nurse had already sent everything I needed to know to Patient Portal.  But he wanted to see me again in two months.  Fat chance.

So I came home and signed up for Patient Portal and finally got the scoop on my new diet.  Since I have inflammation of the large intestine, the first six weeks will be restricted to foods that heal the gut.  Lots of  fermented stuff like kim chi which I've heard of but never tasted.  I think I need to make a trip to Whole Foods.  I don't think our local grocery store is going to have a lot of this healthy food.

After six weeks, I hope I can continue with a normal paleo diet.  For now, there are a lot more things on the AVOID side of the list than on the CAN HAVE side.  On the plus side, it doesn't look like I'll be doing a lot of cooking inn the next few weeks, so more time to work on my new goals.

Big Changes for 2015

Happy New Year! Well, I did it. I am moving to wordpress.

The new blog is called (click the name) Marti's DIY.

Since this blog has changed so much since I first began, I wanted a name that fit me and what I post about a little better.

I know a lot of you said not to do it, and I'll admit, for awhile I was willing to put up with the blogger problems rather than learn a new format. But that was eventually what convinced me to do it. I refuse to be that doddering old senior citizen who waits for someone else to program the tv or set the clock because I don't want to learn to do it. If I don't keep learning things now, I won't be able to do it in ten years.

That was only one reason though. Another motivation came today when I signed up for the Grow Your Blog Party . One of Vicki's suggestions is that bloggers to change from a "no reply blogger" status to one that sends an email to the blogger when you post a comment. And that wasn't possible for me with this blog. Oh I have it set right, but the email still bounces back to me.  I googled every way I could think of and I can't find a solution to the "bounce back email comment" here. I think that has also adversely affected the comments I do get. I'm sure those bloggers have wondered why there is a comment from me and no accompanying email. There are also times that I have gotten a question from someone and no way to reply because their email bounced also.

Something I discovered today after signing up with wordpress is that blogger makes it difficult for bloggers from other formats to post comments.  I wanted to test the bouncing email problem by posting a comment here while signed in with wordpress.  Even though I have my settings for anyone to comment with no word verification, it wouldn't let me post without first putting in my name, blog ID, and then filling in the Captcha blank, something I thought I had expressly permitted.

Don't get me wrong; blogger has a lot of good features and is extremely easy to use.  I know a lot of people who don't have problems with the comment emails, so it's something that has only changed for some people, me being one.  Hopefully, I will leave the problems behind now. I am going to leave up this blog, and I won't migrate the posts over to the new blog since I changed the blog name there. Since most of my photos here are marked with my blog name, it will be easier for searchers to find this blog by googling that name, and hopefully then seeing the link to the new blog. If that proves to be a problem, I'll deal with it later.

See you there!