Work and Money, Money and Work

Nothihg like a four-day weekend, now two days at work, then gone again until the middle of next week. I need to pack tonight. Having Monday be gone is scary, Thursday morning we need to be at the train at 3 am and I am going to TRY to get some sleep, which means popping a tylenol pm early tomorrow night and trying to zonk out. So packing happens tonight.

Friday I tackled lots of errands, even if they amounted to nothing. I bought no clothes. DLJ did later, which kind of irritated me because he was supposed to use the coupon we got, but didn’t and spent a lot anyway. So that hammered a nail in me trying to do a round 2 of trying to find something nice to wear that was new to me. That made me bitter.

DLJ did complete a lot of his own tasks all weekend, which was very helpful and evened the keel a little. He’s been staining and waterproofing the dining room table, it is a glossy black now, it was aging and the old stain was drying out and cracking the wood, and it had no seal. He also started putting the toilet back in downtairs, turning out to be a small bear of a job. He reorganized the garage.

I did laundry, made meals, made him some smoothies (cantaloupe and banana today), played with a little glass on Sunday. I made another terraform beads, some creme brulee beads for a fellow beader I did a trade with, she wants a few more, and also delivered my two red pendants to CeeGee’s friend J. I’d like to make a few more terraforms before leaving for Boston, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. Better to just clean up the studio and secure it for my absence. I might string the one I just made and make it a gift for my cousin when we see her in NYC.

I haven’t been back since 9/11, by the by. Having grown up with the towers as a regular part of my skyline…it should be…strange, even these years later, when I haven’t experienced their absence first-hand yet.

Yesterday we went to Sauvie Island with GiantFightbot and his lady. We had never been there before, and it sure was neat! So close to Portland, yet full of U-Pick farms, other farms, hiking, birdwatching, beaches (nude and clothed), trails, lakes, marshes…COWS! It was warm and sunny but a lot of our hiking was on a trail that often had dappled shade. I picked up a piece of garbage and a package of salmon and steelhead hooks, there’s little in the way of garbage facilities, and signs to pack out all your trash, which, sadly, not everyone follows.

Wow, will we be busy when we return, getting things ready for our spring/summer party. Need to finish off the guest room, finally. Oh, I need to check with my catsitter/plant waterer while we are gone. It’s supposed to rain a lot this week, so I hope things will be ok while we are gone, though the veggies will need direct watering attention.

More later, off to work I go!

Hive Fleeing

FleeTheHive has picked up a few new members, which is good. I want that community to get going, and folks need to contribute to get things humming. I will probably drop it in a few more communities over the next week to try to get some more folks on board and starting to talk. I really want it to be a place people enjoy coming to learn and share things with each other.

It is supposed to get to 90 out today. Phew! Last night I watered all the plants after we walked home from dinner at a nearby pub. I probably used about 1/3 of the rainbarrel water; I will use more this weekend. It might rain again early this week, and it doesn’t take much to full those 110 gallons right back up. It was almost dark out by the time I finished, but dusk is my favorite time of day, so it was nice to be out there in it as it fell.

I have a four day weekend, and I need to make a plan of action for tomorrow. So far it looks like getting up and being at the DMV when it opens to register a vehicle, then back home to put all those materials away. Then back out to hunt down a simple shirt and pants to have for the reunion in Connecticut. Nothing fancy, just stylish. I haven’t bought myself new clothes in over a year, so I can manage one casual outfit during the Memorial Day sales. Hopefully I can score a large ceramic garden container on sale, too, and the afternoon activity will be transplanting some grasses to it to make a water container garden thingy. And finally, glass. Glass, glass, glass on my day off.

This weekend we don’t have many plans other than hiking with some friends, I hope. We should reinstall the toilet in the guest bathroom. I need to get a haircut, maybe I will do that Sunday, or next week during lunch.

Work has been good this week, I kicked ass on two projects and we made some great money in our little group. It’s good to have the events over with, since now I know they were successful and I didn’t screw anything up. I also found the causes of two bugs on other projects. No credit for it, but I don’t care, the folks who would notice things like that did, and that’s all I need.

Our couch showed up yesterday, just the chaise lounge to go. Now there is a place to actually sit in the family room, other than a tired beanbag and folding camping chairs, neither of which is very comfortable after awhile.

Oh, today is organic food box day. I need to gather smoothie recipes, as DLJ needs a little more energy in the morning and after trial running smoothies by him, he likes it so I will make him them myself instead of buying the plastic bottles of premade ones. Anyone have any favorite smoothies? With yogurt or dairy-free, both are ok.

$#%#$^ Wallpaper

The weekend passed quickly, both in fun and work. Friday afternoon I made a stupendous dinner, though I had a big card up my sleeve to achieve this. It’s Copper River salmon season, and I got almost 3/4 pound of king salmon. With a basic ingredient like that, how could I go wrong? With an avocado sauce, champagne (celebrating the fact that we finally have champagne glasses was reason enough), and yummy chocolate sour cream muffins for dessert, it was a great start to the weekend. I looked through the fridge for the small amount of leftovers today, but I couldn’t find it. Maybe DLJ already ate them.
Saturday we watched our morning show as always, and then went out to do two errands. First, we went to the First Tech Credit Union and applied to join, since we are elegible through my company. Bye, bye, Bank of America, soon you will have your stinky, unreasonable hands off my stash o’ cash, like it or not. Jerks. The initial application went through and I should have the account information today, hopefully. Then I can start transferring money and setting up the online billpay in their system, then finally move everything out and shut down the Bofa Account I have had since 1995. Bye bye, assclowns!

After that we went down into Tigard to visit a friend who is running a furniture store. He got laid off when DLJ did last Fall, but it’s not going so well so he’s going to shut down and go into something that I think is SO freaking cool…he’s going to go to train school and learn to be an engineer! Driving trains! I just think that is fabulous and I hope he tells me all about it as he learns.

Since I have had to pick DLJ up off the floor twice from throwing his back out trying to be comfortable on just pillows and an old beanbag, furniture for downstairs is necessary, moreso than replacing the cat-destroyed couch in the living room. I felt bad that our friend had to close his store, but was happy we could help him out by removing some inventory for him and giving him some business, even on the way out. We saved a whallop and got over $1,000 worth of furniture for around $650 since he was trying to offload inventory. Plus, he said he’d just deliver it on the next sunny day so we don’t have to worry about delivery charges or renting a truck for the day or something.

The living room will be next, someday, with the harvested wood-sustainable chairs I would like to have in there. It’s still just a room with a coffeetable and a bookcase right now. Well, actually, the bathroom is next, we need to get a new sink to replace the torn-out formica pit of doom that is now gone. One step at a time, slowly. We should go visit the salvage store in the next few weekends to look for a good sink.

I also finished dewallpapering the library. FINALLY. Yes, it has been months, almost a year. I swore I wouldn’t finish it, I had done all of it myself and taking wallpaper directly off sheetrock that has been there thirty years is not fun. But nothing was happening and my parents are coming soon and to have them stay in the room that STILL wasn’t finished just was crappy, so I buckled down and did it. But this does mean I never have to remove wallpaper again. DLJ can do it, should it ever come to pass again. All that is left now is to sand down that small section to get the last bits off, paint, and we’re done. HATED that wallpaper. Cursed the previous owners. But now it’s gone.

Off to work with me!

the little things

My attempts at ducking out of consumerism are doing pretty well, except for glass. Need tools to make more glassy things and practice, but I’m trying to keep it to a minmum, the most important tool is practice, practice practice.

But I still splurge a little on the little luxuries.

We have had only two champagne glasses since we got married, the two Waterford ones. Nice for us, not for anyone else. At our housewarming we had champagne and kirs to drink, but champagne had to be plastic cups. Classy. Last Friday was an awesome deal at Amazon for 12 5% lead crystal flutes for over $100 off, all 12 for $25. Plunk. They showed up yesterday. Six went immediately to storage. They will be nice to have as we break one or two over time, I’m sure, or have over eight people around for dinner, or a party. Which might be in June, actually. I need to create the evite for that. Spring/summer fling, I wanted it one week but DLJ has a work function that weekend, so it’s one week earlier. Must make the evite this week, then.

So yes, $25 for 12 champage glasses that make the nice “ting” sound when clinked. Waiting patiently worked.

I want to get one outfit to take to the college reunion. I have not bought myself new clothes in over a year, so buy hitting sale racks I think I can manage to find something stylin’ without blowing a wad. We are doing well, but things do add up on that house. It’s ok, but it sure makes it harder to feel like you arent’ spending like mad. But it’s been on things that are needed for the longevity of the home, trimming the trees, property taxes and, next up, gutter repair. We will try to do the lower half ourselves, in the front of the house, but hire out for the stuff on the back on the second floor.

Next weekend I have a four-day vacation, due to the company I work at taking Friday and Monday off. Then one day at work, then off to New England. I hadn’t realized I had those extra days off. I should be nice and refreshed by the time I get back!

downpour

Oregon gave us some of that notoriously ADD weather yesterday. I still had some piles of grass clippings to pick up from mowing on Friday, so I went and did that in the early afternoon, knowing that rain was coming. I went out shortly after six to get our Papa Murphy’s Pizza, which I did, getting back in the car underneath grey clouds. The Papa Murphy’s is less than a mile from our house. By the time I returned, everything was wet, the lawn glossy with rain, and it pounded down on the windshield as hard as it could without it being a sheet of solid water.
I pulled into the dry garage and put the pizza down in the kitchen. The gutters were overflowing already, not just in the corners, but along the front of the house. Gutters that had been recently cleaned. Water had already saturated the ground, starting small puddles. All within minutes. It sounded wonderful through the windows, and must have almost instantly refilled the rain barrels.
Within ten minutes it had subsided. Two of the cats huddled outside under the overhang, too scared to even move towards the door until they felt sure the sky wasn’t going to unload on them again. Ankimo had opted to stay inside, where she had watched the rain from snug, warm comfort of a beanbag chair.
The sun came out again, warming the wood of the back fence as the gutters still trickled like fountains.
Oregon, she so crazy. I love her.
We went for an enjoyable bike ride on Saturday, as well as an evening walk. It is supposed to rain most of this week, so we were squeezing in as much outdoor time as we could before the steady patter of rain returned to our days. Soon enough we will be dreaming of a cooling rainshower, but for now, the dry days are still the minority class.
Glass went ok this weekend, not great. I had issues with beads sticking to mandrels. On the flip side, I made my first “mostly” successful hollow bead, as well as several pressed lentil shapes. I got my first press two weeks ago and finally had time to sit down and try to make some. There are many presses out there…I have a round tab press, which makes squat cylinders, the lentil, and a round dome, which kind of looks like a tootsie pop laying on its side. They are all small presses. My next one, should this go well, might be one large one so I can experiment with focal beads.

Lentils and Hollow

Not the best photo. I need to make a light tent one of these days. You can see the lentil shapes, like the lentils you eat in stew, and the hollow is the large bead in the center…you can see how clear the cord is in the middle, no distortion or glass tube to travel through. There’s not enough glass between it and the eye to distort it, because it’s hollow. I need more work on those, most definitely.
The impending NJ trip has me thinking a lot, but that’s the subject for a future entry.

wheels

Since the rest of the weekend and most of next week looks to be rain, rain, rain, I raked up the long glass clippings off the lawn and we went for a bike ride. There’s a series of trails that run through our town and south, so we explored those. On the way back, we stopped by the Oregon rock company to see what we liked in terms of flagstone type stuff, once the ivy is gone (getting close!)

I’d take a shower but I need to make the shopping trip. I’m eyeing the Jamba coupon we have, but there’s not really a grocery store near there that would have what I need…I don’t want to make an out of the way trip just for that. Shopping, then shower.

Invention

A few weeks ago I screwed up a bead. Usually, I just plunk it in water to cool it off and call it done. But I had forgotten to refill my dunk bucket, so I had no choice but to stash it in the kiln and let it anneal.

Thank God.

When I opened things up later that evening, I found something amazing. The error had been small, so the result was small, but I had unknowingly made something I thought was pretty darn cool.

I’ve been futzing since then and I have managed to recreate my error. I still need to do lots of color testing, experimentation, but I can repeat my process. I call them Terraform beads, and my Mom loves them. Well, she’s my Mom, but I think she loves them ANYWAY. They are subtle, reminding folks of desert stone. They POP in certain light and against certain fabrics, while remain subdued in other situations. Very organic. And so far, no one has said “Oh yeah! I did that too, look!”

So maybe I’ve got something new. New to this recent bead world, anyway. Through the spans of centuries, I’m sure it’s all been done before.

Anyway. I’m thrilled to have something I can call my own creation. I didn’t expect that for years, if ever.


Terraform Beads

Whohooo! Now it’s out of my system and I can make some bright things again, while still working on this particular type of bead, of course. Mom wants a necklace. ;)

Green simple

I just cleaned the bathroom. I don’t like that job. I think if I could give up one task, that would be it.

But the bathroom is nice, now, Simple Greened. I dusted in the bedroom, pulled more ivy, pulled some weeds, made some beads for a trade, read up on some safety information for glassoworkers…and received an amazing suprise. Somone in the glass community I hang out on is sending me a glass grinder…FREE. I have been saving up for one (I am halfway there.) This will let me put that money towards some safety equipment (I’m safe already, this is more “keep my self from prematurely aging” stuff), and some bails to hang fused pendants on. I am astounded at the generosity, and delighted to reuse an older grinder rather than buy a new one (reduce, reuse, recycle).

Yesterday we hung out at Dragavonne’s after seeing Hitchiker. SO GOOD. I really enjoyed it, and the company. Also, brunch with friends in Portland and visiting the farmer’s market near PSU. The one in my town had opening day yesterday, very excited to have it back and running for the summer months. It is one hell of a farmer’s market.

I have a commission for a red pendant, I will probably work on that next weekend.

Also need to get some materials to make a shawl closure for someone, looks like a very fun project as well!

Time to pay the property taxes this week. Whooahaaaaah. It’s been a good weekend.

Grocery roamin’

Last night DLJ and I went to the new Haggen store near home. It’s about the same walk as it is to the Safeway, just the other direction, and it’s a much nicer store. Many more natural products, organic foods, better deli and fish counter, better bread, and my personal “is it a good store” meter item, braided string cheese. In three varieties. Oh yeah.
My complaint was that their bulk bin of grains, flour, salts, etc, was less than 1/5 the size of the candy bulk bins, which wrapped in a giant u shape like a movie theatre monstrosity. I already left feedback on their website about that. But overall, much better store, I will do some comparison price shopping, but that’s probably where I will go for my fish from now on, and meat, the rare times I get it. Hooray for a fabulous store moving in near my home, and within walking/biking distance!

Must get to work, it’s a busy day today.

neato beado

This bead is not a well-made bead. It’s not quite balanced. It is pretty standard design. But it is WAY cool….

It’s 100% recycled from a fine bottle of cabernet we drank last week.

WOOT.