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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Carpenter ANTS!

As I got into the car, I noticed the ground was almost solid with ants about a half inch long. They looked like carpenter ant but not as long. I rushed to get into the car.

The next day, all those half inch ants were gone. However, there was carpenter ant about an inch long, no kidding, on the top of my car heading to the open door. He would have come in, I fear!

There is a tree nearby that I have noticed is looking rough at one place at the bottom. I fear the carpenter ants and other ants are eating up the tree. When a tree is stressed, it cannot resist insects. With the drought last year, this may have contributed to this apparent demise of the tree.

This happened to one in the back yard and I made ex spray the ants every day since it was very apparent it was being killed. The tree actually healed and covered the hollow place. I had the hickory tree taken down before it fell in a wind. The inside was hollow, about a 12" hole in the tree.

Then, ants started in on my oak in the front yard. So, I went out and sprayed several times each day. Eventually, the ants and the destruction stopped. It never got into the horrid shape the hickory in the side yard did. I did save it.

For what it's worth, if carpenter ants invade my car, I am selling the car. Or, maybe the flame-thrower idea will work. I have not seen one ant in my car or on me the last few days!

By the way, I do not poison ants until they are an invasion. My next door neighbor, a young woman of 20, told me that when summer came, she would have her bf spray the whole yard and all the trees with insect killers of all sorts because she hated ants and bugs. I WAS HORRIFIED!!! Her yard is about three inches higher than mine. Thankfully, she moved in the spring because she wanted to be in an apartment with a pool. Last time I heard of her or saw her, her mugshot was in the paper for dealing drugs. So, another good reason I am glad she left....

Your turn
Have you ever had ants started destroying a tree or other plant? I know they will eat houses, but mine was treated to prevent that. Do carpenter ants strike fear into you as they do me?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

What's in your vanilla?

"First, a bit about what's in imitation vanilla. That's made from a compound called vanillin, and chemically, it's the exact equivalent to the stuff that makes real vanilla, well, vanilla. Vanillin is a lot cheaper, though, and that's because it's a byproduct that can be extracted from things like coal and wood. Who wants that in their cookies?"

If that interests you, read on.

I never use anything but vanilla extract.  I just do! The flavor of imitation vanilla extract disappears with heat. This next month will be the month I make my own vanilla extract. It will be cheaper than the McCormick tiny, precious bottles of vanilla extract.

In the meantime, I found reasons I have been wise to use a good vanilla product. Sure, there are probably more expensive ones, but this one has worked well for me for years. I certainly won't throw out my bottle of store-bought vanilla when I have made my own!

"Vanilla might be the boring old stand-by favorite when it comes to flavors, but it's also insanely expensive. The complicated process that needs to happen to grow real vanilla beans means it's one of the most expensive per-unit foods in your grocery store, and the price-per point of vanilla beans means that extract (the real stuff, not the imitation flavor) can be mind-bogglingly expensive. Sure, it goes a long way, but there's also no reason to buy it.
First, a bit about what's in imitation vanilla. That's made from a compound called vanillin, and chemically, it's the exact equivalent to the stuff that makes real vanilla, well, vanilla. Vanillin is a lot cheaper, though, and that's because it's a byproduct that can be extracted from things like coal and wood. Who wants that in their cookies? As if that wasn't bad enough, the FDA has warned against the dangers of certain types of vanilla extract that come from Mexico. These rip-off varieties of vanilla look and smell like the real thing, but they also contain a chemical called coumarin. It's banned by the FDA, still shows up on shelves in import stores, and can act as a powerful blood-thinner. Potentially dangerous types of this vanilla extract can also have tonka beans listed as an ingredient.
If you want to be completely safe, why not just make your own? It's easy: just invest in some real vanilla pods and a bottle of your alcohol of choice. That can be rum, brandy or vodka, they'll all work. Put in the beans, let them sit, and you'll have an entire bottle of pure vanilla extract at a fraction of the price."


In the meantime I found THIS. Below is an excerpt.

"Don't buy a food product in the United States that is not labeled in English. Products may have Spanish or other non-English labeling, but they must also have complete English labeling to meet U.S. Government standards. (Products sold only in Puerto Rico are an exception—they are not required to be labeled in English.)"

Coumarin, rat poison and anti-coagulant, could be in your cheap imitation vanilla. If the price is too good to be true, beware.

I read bloggers who suggest going to an ethic market, that it does not matter if the label is not in English. Are you sure?

Your turn
Do your ever use imitation vanilla extract? Do you make your own vanilla?


Friday, May 19, 2017

Almost End of Alternator Saga and Free Lunch

Well, after a two hour nap last evening, I was too stressed to sleep last night. I slept about three hours and called at 10 am to see if alternator was at the auto shop. I rushed right down. It was installed in 1.5 hours. The owner said something about the steering wheel still vibrating. No, it does not. It is an old car and not as tight as it was. However, I am happy with it running now.

I was charged ~$76 for installation and ~$40 for second installation. I asked why..."because we did not do a diagnostic the first time." I told them when I went there that AZ tested it and said it was not working right. ???  As I paid for the second removal and installation, I was grumbling about getting back some of the money for the installation the second time. Guy told me they would probably reimburse me at AZ.

AZ employee wanted to keep the second bill and receipt from the auto shop so the manager could talk to district manager. I refused to leave the receipts, saying I would call district manager myself. Why do I do this to myself?

Oh, did I mention the whine that I recognize as an alternator failing? About 25 years ago, I kept taking a car to the shop and the whine would not happen when there or when the shop guy drove it. The failure was catastrophic when alternator seized up, breaking the serpentine belt and ruining two other components--water pump and ac, I believe. Plus, I was on an interstate under construction and there was no shoulder, only a straight drop of over one foot. I had to muscle the car off at the next exit and cruise through a stop sign and struggle while I got it into a service station.

After I left, I decided to come home and make sure I had receipt in hand instead of searching in the torrid climate of the car or having to search in the store. The ac in the house revived me and I went to the AZ.

As I passed our building for Farmer's Market, people were eating and standing in line for something being cooked. It turns out this was an appreciation day for citizens of Cullman by the Police Dept and a local dentist. I took a detour and ate free lunch--hotdogs/hamburgers with fixings, water, Pepsi products, tiny chip packages, and chocolate chip cookies in tiny bags. SCORE! Another free meal. After this was when I went to AZ.

I had to make another stop to discuss another car repair. It was hotter than Hades, sitting and talking to the guy.

When I went into Walmart, I swore I would not leave until my hair dried out. I just washed it last night, but it was soaked with sweat. You know how the hair at nape of neck and in back of head gets so wet? I was a mess. However, I was dry when I left, only to sweat all over again and arrive home with a wet head again.

Last night, I made a meatloaf for exbf out of ground beef and dry oats. So, he has four frozen meats. Instead of using catsup in the mixture, I used tomato sauce to avoid all the sugar. I did put two fast food catsups on top. Since I have jars of dehydrated onion and dehydrated bell pepper, the meat loaf was easily assembled. Of course, Dominique donated an egg.

J did not come again today. sigh  I lost gifts for grand daughters! Aaaayyyy! <<
Dominique gave me an egg today. 

Monday, I need to recover second removal and installation from AZ.

I hear there is snow in Colorado. Are you experiencing snow or humid and high temperatures? Anyone with a dry heat, congratulations!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wrong-headed thinking and reasoning

Read former post to get to here in alternator saga.

Wednesday, I decided I would just get the auto shop to order an alternator since I was afraid to make too many trips to Auto Zone with defective alternator. Then I started thinking. I could get a free alternator from Auto Zone since it has a lifetime warranty. But, I was deciding to buy one. That was not an economically sound decision. The shop allows me to use exbf's credit card numbers, no card needed, since he has gone in several times. Last time, he told them to let me use it whenever I need to have something done to the car. So, I canceled the auto shop alternator to get the free replacement.

I decided tonight, Wednesday, to see if I could use his cc numbers at Auto Zone since that was how the item was purchased--with cc. No deal. The card has to be in the store. So, at 7 pm I called him and asked if he would bring it to the store. He agreed as he sighed heavily. He just got home at 5 pm.

Thursday, I am going to call corporate and ask why I cannot trade faulty for new with same cc numbers. I know the answer will probably be that the old one must be returned before I get the new one. But, no, we have to do it the hard way.

It is still Wednesday, and he has not made the 1.5 hour drive here. I will go down there about 8 pm and wait so he does not have to wait one minute on me. He arrived at 9 pm because he bought a burger and there were two delays, one construction.

In the meantime, I made him a salad minus any meat, just spinach, tomatoes and cheese. I dished out 2 cups of shredded cheese in another container from my five pound bag of shredded cheese. Plus, I gave  him the deli chicken minus the breast. Well, there is some breast in there still. So, if he has not eaten dinner, he will have this to eat at home. I put it all in one of those freezer bags from WM.

This is a bummer in another way. Modern Family is my favorite comedies right now. My neighbor who comes to take out my garbage always comes at a time when I miss all or most of it, especially if the trash is too heavy in the house for me to take it out or we start talking. Tonight, I told neighbor to let it wait until next week. So, now exbf will be here at MF time.

He will think his gas and time and energy will be worth the cost of the alternator. He must be at work at 10 am tomorrow! I have almost enough money in the bank to pay for the alternator, just not quite enough.

He arrived home at 10:30 and must be at work at 10 am on Thursday.

Okay, this is Thursday. I could not sleep because of stress from yesterday, watching tv, staying on computer, and stress of having to be up early. Well, I did not get up as early as I wanted and got to shop at 9, I think.

The alternator was installed. I paid for installation. When I started the car there was a growling noise and extreme vibration of the steering wheel. I almost cried as I got out of the car. The mechanic was by the car before I could drag myself out. He took it back for another 1.5 hours. It was not a loose vacuum hose as he suspected, knocked loose as he worked.

NOOOOO! It was a faulty alternator. So, I called Auto Zone and recounted exbf's ordeal of bringing his cc from 60 miles away just to buy another alternator to install and bring back the old one. The manager assured me I would not need the card. He would not have an alternator until a half hour after the garage closed. So, I had to drive home with car shaking from the bent shaft of alternator.

Now, I must pay for the installation again. The auto shop owner said to get second installation cost from AZ. I am quite sure I will have to call corporate for this one. But, tomorrow, I will be up to it.

In the meantime, I have not driven the car except for AZ and auto shop. That means I have not mailed gifts to two g-daughters.

I have to stay conscious until J comes at 1:30 pm. She left my rake, 40-year-old expensive garden rake, in the rain, did not get two rocks up, put lawnmower under clothesline, and did not cover the lawnmower. And, it rained on the rake and maybe on lawnmower if the tarp came off. Well, she did not anchor the tarp on lawnmower. She has never held a job, so she says, "I forgot." as though that makes it okay. I made a list today.

My children said, "I forgot." However, they learned that if they said that, they should be moving to fix whatever they forgot. They knew it was not a good reason. They also said it in apologetic way, not the breezy way she says, "I forgot."

They learned to follow directions. When, J, the oldest was less than two-years-old, I told him to do four things all at one time. He went and did all four in the order I told him, forgetting nothing. I did it on purpose, wondering if he could remember. I would not have complained or fussed if he forgot something. Now, that is too young to be capable of doing something that involved. Check your Early Child Development books.

I don't want that rake to rust or rot, metal head and hickory handle. People say about my things, "Well, it's so old." or "Why get upset about a whatever that's so old?" or, "You said you got it at a yard sale." Well, that rake should last me as long as I need a rake and beyond. That's why! I don't live a disposable and replaceable life! Even yard sale items are valued here.

Okay, all my rants are done! But, you know I will have more! Do you still love me even when I am grumpy?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Not much resolution

Last night, I lay down with clothes on to rest and awoke this morning at 4:30, still in clothes I wore yesterday. I decided to rest another minute before I changed to nightgown. Well, that never happened.

One wash got onto the clothesline somehow. Dominique loved the rest of the dinner from yesterday. I had gathered enough from our table for two days of abundance for her.

I went on an ant hunt in the floor of the passenger side of the car. NOT ONE ANT! Still, I don't trust they are gone. The floor has been very wet, and I could not figure out why. Today, I found the culprit. It was not a coke can, not a glass or bottle of water spilled. It seems to be the contents of a spray bottle of Armor All. I suppose a passenger stomped it open. That irks me.

Do ants like Armor ALL? I will test out this theory/question.

I was just going to get the shop to order an alternator instead of having to deal with Auto Zone and hoping the car would go there, to the shop, and not stop along a highway. So, I told the shop to order an alternator. Then, it came to me after a nap. That is stupid since the Auto Zone alternator has a lifetime warranty. It will save me $180 to manage to get one from Auto Zone and get it to the shop. I am going to have a friend follow me to AZ and then to shop to assure I am not stranded along the road.

Dominique gave me an egg today. One day this week when I did not report an egg, I put the egg in my pocket as usual and lay down. Unlike other days I have an egg in my pocket and lie down, I lay on my left side where the egg was. Unbelievably, it did not break. So, for those who say one must give oyster shells to hens to get hard eggs, I am hear to say once again, "No, you don't."

So, there!

No car and not happy!

Accidentally posted. But, I was not finished.

Janet suggested ants could have ruined the alternator. I will ask tomorrow. tana50 suggested opening all the doors and using a flame thrower--best idea yet. Thanks to both of you. Tana you have same fantasies I

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Good; The Bad; The Ugly and you know there is free stuff

Today was another free lunch at a church. We had fried chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, hot, buttered slice of French bread. Cookies were dessert. We both had unsweetened tea. Froemds O ,et amptjer cjircj ca,e tjos to,e/  <<<<<
We both got a to go box. Of course, I carried out a plate of food for Dominique. She dug right in.

Since I had taken back too many things to WM without a receipt, exbf returned two things for me. That $25 will buy gas for the rest of the month....well, maybe.

We went to Harbor Freight and got two free reachers. I was driving and getting in and out after we went to WM.. When I was ready to go in HF, I showed him the three choices of free items on the ad I had, and asked him if a reacher would help him. He gasped and spoke louder, agreeing he would like one and needed one desperately. He said he was looking at that coupon when I was inside somewhere. So, I got two reachers, one from each of our phone numbers. The manager lets me get them because exbf walks slowly and painfully, using two crutches. Since I had to purchase something, I bought two utility knives, one for each of our free items.

I had to pay for and pick up two coupons I won. I got a $10 coupon for KFC for $6, and a $20 fabric store coupon for $7. "Won" means I was one of the first callers to ask for the coupon. It's how fast you are. A $10 coupon will buy two $5 dinners on Tuesday. I thought about using it today. But, that was not to be.

Went to fabric store and shopped with my $20 coupon. I got three buttons for the front of exbf's 3 pants for a dime each, pretty metal. For a dime each I purchased 10 heart-shaped metal buttons just because. I found red chevron and green chevron print fabric and got 1.5 yards of each, plus a weird shaped floral scrap for $1. Oh, and a rubbery thimble since I cannot find my leather thimble. Metal thimbles hurt me.

We rested a bit and I offered him a salad with chicken, tomatoes and other vegetables orKFC. He said the go box dinner was fine. Heating that up was a real back saver since I was hobbling around. That's free lunch, dinner, and second dinner which will be scrambled eggs and some greens. Since I had no breakfast, I am taking the liberty to have two dinners. Maybe some fruit.

I also received free fruit today! The bananas sorely need freezing.

The day was sailing along fine, hot and pretty. Everything happened as it should.

THEN, I tried to open my driver's door after putting something in the passenger side. The automatic lock did not work. So, with my heart beating fast and the sweat pouring even more than the 90 degree heat warranted, I opened the driver's door with a key and got in. The dome light was off. The key did not make one sound happen in the guts of the car...AAACK!

Exbf is not physically capable anymore of doing anything to the car. So, I called J's boyfriend. They are broke so he did not want to use his gas for anything. He did not say so, but I knew. He came down and took me six blocks to Auto Zone, telling me they would not lend me jumper cables. They did. I frequent the place and they took my driver's license for collateral.

The car started immediately. When I took the cables back and collected my license, I asked them to check my battery. She said the battery was fine and now to turn on the car so she could check the alternator. The alternator is bad. Soooo, now I have to get a new alternator. Even though this one has a life-time warranty, it is such a hassle. I will have to pay to have the old removed and new installed. I seriously need a guy around to handle this stuff. Well, that is not all that needs handling.

I managed to get the car to WM and J got a gallon of  gas in their gas can and put gas in my car, too, using the money on the card from WM. We came home and I gave her ground chuck, bread, and a few more items.

Ugly--ants are swarming in my car. I have no idea why they left and returned. Maybe they never left, just hid! ???

It seems as I get older problems and heat exhaust me more and it's harder to bounce back! Okay, I am gooey from melted Peppermint Patty.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Yard Mowed; Ants Gone

Yep, that's it for today, and I did not even do that. I had to drive 7 miles to get 100% gas, no ethanol stuff at $2.75/gal. Then, I forgot to get money to pay J. Ugh, two unnecessary trips! Then, I went back out and got milk and a little tub of cut watermelon. Dinner was a banana. Then, I decided to put chocolate chips into an empty peanut butter jar and ate that.

I think I am taking one of those medications that makes you feel awful.  I am breathing so much better. One side of my nose hurts, so I am not sure what that is about. This is not illness I feel. This malaise is not from the heat.

For some reason, the ants seem to be gone. Now, I don't know which works--Terro or the ant baits. The spray can shoots a stream that just drips and dribbles all over me and everything. Maybe it is supposed to be a single shot. Maybe it is supposed to have a bit of spray. This does a bit of everything. So, I only sprayed one place--the door seal on the passenger side. Then, I watched it dribble down the door and window. That disgusted me, so I shut the door. Now, I have one more chore--clean the poison from door and window and below the window. There were no ants in sight when I sprayed.

Today, for the first time in weeks, no ants crawled on me when I was in the car or when I got out. I did see one of the tiny ants as I got out of the car today. I brushed him away. The others were larger, like fire ants. (However, fire ants vary in size.)

I had J take the garden rake and pull out some field stones that prevented her from mowing all the way to line where neighbor mows. They were so large, she struggled. Then, she could still not make it neat because there are some horrid roots that she was afraid would ruin the lawnmower blades. At least she thinks.

Washing my hair and filling/running the dishwasher will be done tonight. And, it is almost 9 pm.

Dominique gave me an egg.

Your turn
Have you ever taken meds that made you very tired? Do you use no ethanol/100% gas for your car or small engines? Whose spring grass/weeds are growing like mad? This summer it may take 3 weeks before the yard needs to be mowed.

Sunday, May 14, 2017


I answered the knock at the door and was surprised. A friend handed me a huge bouquet of roses and said, "Happy Mother's Day!" They are shades of light pink, pale yellow, and white. Now, they are in water and in sight so I can enjoy them..

Going out to eat on a crowded day seemed like a bad idea, so that is deferred. "Like a raisin in the Sun?" Noooo!

Today, is the first day I have felt absolutely back to normal. However, I do tire a bit more easily.

Happy Mother's Day! How was yours?

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Ants all over me! & Locksmith Call

The Terro did not work, a first for me. The Commercial ant baits did not work. They are ignored. Now, for the peanut butter and boric acid--Twenty-mule Borax and peanut butter. I don't know how much longer I can stand it before I break down and spray down the car with ant spray!

Because of the fact I have seen an occasional ant here and there, I am quite sure they have built a home in the car.

They are NOT looking for water. Even though we are in a drought, it has rained every few days.

Wednesday, I parked in a business area for a few seconds to walk ten feet, no more than two minutes out of the car at 7 pm. When I returned to the car, my door was locked. I did not lock the car AND the keys were in the ignition. Okay, maybe I hit the inconvenient little tab for the lock. But, there was no warning signal the keys were in the ignition. Plus, the door will not usually lock with the keys in the ignition.

Since it was getting dark, I immediately called my locksmith. Yes, I have a locksmith. It was going to take him about 30 minutes to get to me.  And, I have no place to sit. I had to cross the rather broad street and step up two steps to get to the sidewalk, walk about two stores down to sit outside closed businesses.

When the guy unlocked the door, we both heard the gratifying "click" as the door lock opened. He pulled out the things holding the door apart at the top. He made a gasp and noise and said something. He had to put the things back in the door. Three more times he unlocked the door. He said he had never had this happen before.

Lucky me! I have a unique experience.

When I called exbf as I sat on the bench, he had one word--DAMN! He rarely says anything so strong or so strongly. When the locksmith finished and I was finally sitting in the car, he said he would take exbf's credit card info on the phone. Whew. And, exbf agreed to it. Whew! So, I now owe exbf $60.

The locksmith said there was something wrong since the car actually locked with the keys in the ignition.

The locksmiths have had a little wedge they force into the door so as not to damage the door seal. This guy had two flat plastic things that were bladders. He just pumped them up to force the door open enough for him to put his tool into the car.

Before the last few times, locksmiths used a flat tool to get into the body of the door to unlock the mechanism inside the door. No more.

I keep asking this locksmith company to give me a discount since I am a frequent-flyer, so to speak. Maybe I have them convinced. I am hopeful as it sounds as though something like that is in the works.

Your turn
If the peanut butter and borax mixture does not work, does anyone have another solution other than setting the car on fire or drowning the ants in a lake?  Does anyone have a clue as to why the door kept locking itself after the locksmith unlocked it? Why would my car suddenly lock with the keys in the ignition? Got any locksmith relatives?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Fray Check, Man in a Mood

Tuesday, I looked in the car as I went to exbf's car. Not one of the ant bait positions had an ant. Usually, ants are lined up at the edges of the blob of Terro. It appears that today, Wednesday, , these ants are not interested. I'm puzzled. Maybe these ants don't eat sweets. Maybe I need a protein-based poison. If I remember correctly, ants are sweet or protein eaters. Maybe some eat both.
This week, I felt so horrible that I bought nothing at the grocery store except milk and bananas. I had meat in the freezer, greens and tomatoes, eggs, apples, and a cucumber. Exbf got the cucumber that I cannot stand.

He drove me around because of the ants in my car, I did buy Fray Check. I use this on tiny picks that leave tiny holes, especially in knits. I either mend first and add a drop of FC or use the FC first if I am going to wear it right now or am going to wash the garment before mending. My favorite sweatshirt, one I made 30 years ago, has a tiny hole in the chest area, so I can mend it without the mend showing and use FC to assure it holds and does not make a run. FC makes any mend stronger in my opinion.

If the tips of a man's dress shirt ever start to fray, use FC on the very tip. Let it dry. Use a pair of scissors to carefully cut off the tiny threads. Use FC on the tip again. If it is a dark shirt and the stiff piece of plastic is showing, use an indelible marker on the light tip, use FC and clip the fuzzy threads. I have salvaged many a shirt this way. I buy it in the WM fabric section. Test it in an inconspicuous place first!

I used it on exbf's khakis and it shows. Aack. It shows! I won't tell him until he eats dinner here next week! This is the first fabric that ever showed the FC. At least these are not important clothes and it was only on the frayed bottom edge of the pants. Now, I need to hem one pocket, the right one where he pulls his keys out and shoves them in.

Always give a man bad news or ask for anything after he eats dinner. Lunch will do, I suppose. At any rate make it a scrumptious meal, one that is apt to be sleep-inducing or his absolute favorite. Okay, any dinner will do! My mother would always say when we wanted something, a favor from Daddy he might refuse, "Wait until he eats dinner."  I suppose her point was to let him settle down and not hit him with requests as he entered the house.

Sometimes it was bad news, like the time we tied a rope to the hood ornament to his car and tied the other end of the rope to a tree. He left the hood ornament behind as he zoomed backyards as he left the yard. Later, after dinner He just chuckled instead of yelling. We were all very little children and the car was our horse.

My friend's mother ripped the door off their car as he opened the door and she backed up simultaneously. He was about six. They dragged the car into the house and hid it behind the sofa. After he ate dinner, they confessed. He was not happy at all, but did not hit the ceiling. John and his mother did not think he would be as okay with it as he was, If I had managed to rip the door off my car, I don't think hiding it behind the sofa would have been my first thought.

Now, I need to go water my tomato plants and the flower I received. Well, now it is afternoon, not evening.

Your turn
Have you ever used Fray Check? Do you ever wait until after dinner to hit a guy with something so he will take it better?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

ANTS Again!

Tuesday, I looked in the car as I went to exbf's car. Not one of the ant bait positions I placed in the car on Monday had an ant. Usually, ants are lined up at the edges of the blob of Terro. It appears that Tuesday, these ants are not interested. I'm puzzled. Maybe these ants don't eat sweets. Maybe I need a protein-based poison. If I remember correctly, ants are sweet or protein eaters. Maybe some eat both.

As I came to the house on Monday after putting out the Terro, one finger was sticky. I licked it. It was sweet. Then, two fingers were sticky. I licked them. As I got into the house, it became clearly evident that I had sticky sweet something on my whole palm and all but two of my fingers and I could not figure out the flavor! No, I did not lick all the sticky fingers.  I washed my hands and all was well.

The next morning, Tuesday, I remembered I took off my pants and did not take out the keys. So, I went to the laundry and put my hands in the pocket and came out with a key ring with sticky keys, every one of them. Plus, the whole inside of the pocket was sticky! A few hours later, it struck me, I was licking Terro! Well, at least it is not toxic. Don't try this at home. The sticky keys were rinsed. They needed to be immersed in a wash of Dawn! They were.

Wednesday, today, I checked the baits and got a few things out of the car and came back in. RATS!!! The second set of keys and my fingers are sticky. Yesterday, it was the whole left hand. Wednesday, it was my right hand. ???? I put those keys into the bowl of Dawn and water. Washed my hands in Dawn. Thankfully, the inside of the pocket of clean pants are not sticky.

Tonight, I will take a wrung out washcloth full of Dawn and warm water to the car and go to Walmart to get ant poison baits. Since I don't know where the sticky is located, I will wash down the steering wheel and console before I start. I held onto the steering wheel to lean into the passenger floor and opened the center console yesterday and today.

Today, my lighter charger for phone and camera was outside the console. I never leave it out, so I put it back in the console. I suppose I need to see if I made the charger sticky, too.

I'm stumped. It will probably be easier to get rid of the ants than find the sticky. Somewhere in the car is a quarter of a paper plate with Terro and I cannot find it. I feel stupid right now.

Your turn
Any other solutions for ants? Have you ever licked poison off your fingers or something else icky?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Free Lunch Tuesday and Other Free Things

Today, I went with exbf to the free lunch where they have a program. Exbf got out of his vehicle at the front door, and I parked the car. I still beat him to the door since he has such trouble walking with two canes.

There is a sign-in table where I signed both our names. On the way to our seat was a six foot table with tomato plants in three-packs. They completely covered the table. We were directed to take a pack. A guy specifically told exbf to get him a pack, too, so I did.  Now, I have six of the leggiest plants I could find. I like to plant them deep in a five-gallon bucket.

First, there was a Mothers Day devotional. Then, the oldest mother (85) was given a plant. The mother with the most children (7) got another plant. Finally, the mother whose children were farthest away received the third plant. That would be me with children in Mission, TX and NYC.

The horticultural expert from the County Extension office was present for questions from the audience about any plants or flowers.  He suggested poison for the wisteria that is trying to kill me.

My six tomato plants are Marglobe. Although I have never heard of this variety, I may have eaten them or bought the tomatoes from the farmer's market. The plant I won in the Mother's Day game is Aloha Kona Calibrachoa. It has pretty pink and yellow flowers. Tomorrow, I will pot these.

For lunch we had a salad--lots of greens, mostly spinach; four pieces of chicken breast on top, mushrooms; tomatoes; broccoli; and a homemade yeast roll. Add-ons were on a table outside the serving area--shredded cheese, packages of dressing; expensive crackers in packages. Dessert was a fruit bowl: red grapes, honey dew melon, cantaloupe, strawberries, fresh pineapple. It was delicious. The only problem was half my bowl seemed to be the melons, both of which I do not like. I was sort of hoping I was allergic to them. Well, I just cannot stand them. Exbf had mostly strawberries, so he gave me his strawberries and I gave him red grapes and the two melons. We both ate down to what we were trading and switched bowls.

When we go in, there is an ice machine, glasses or Styrofoam for the drinks. The commercial tea machine has sweetened and unsweetened. Of course, we both like unsweetened. There is water and a commercial coffee pot and whatever people use for coffee. People can get this to drink during the program instead of waiting until lunch is served. All this is on a permanent bar/counter.

I asked if there was a wheel chair and someone to push it. Consequently, exbf had an easy ride to the car. I was grateful as was he.

Next month, there will be a one-day VBS for adults, just a few extra hours Even crafts!  He said he would go to that one, too, that it sounded like fun.  I wonder if we will sing "This Little Light of Mine."

Of course, I could not sleep last night and got two hours of sleep. I immediately went to sleep when we got home while he sat and watched Jeopardy. I mended a few of his pants and lay down again and went back to sleep. I packed up his frozen soup from last week and frozen taco casserole, plus his casserole for dinner tonight. He thought he was waiting for me to bring him his dinner, and I thought he wanted to just take it home. Aack! I did not volunteer to heat up his bowl of dinner, so he went on his way.

Someone gave me a cucumber, so he got it. Plus, I bought a $1 quart box of grape tomatoes that he took home. We were going to have a salad with the taco casserole I made, but with all the salad for lunch, I just sent tomatoes home with him.

I started writing this post and intend to get another nap as soon as he calls and says he got home safely. Today was another successful and enjoyable day. I could have gone to a meeting tonight where food is served for eating during the meeting, but I stayed home.

Another nap is in order, right now!

Your turn
Have you ever eaten Globe tomatoes? Or, can you tell me anything about them? Do you grow or know anything about the Aloha plant?

Monday, May 8, 2017

Ants in the Car

For the last two months I would be in a store or in the house and find a red ant on my left arm, always on the left arm. I mused to exbf that I thought I had ants in my car. Well, today my fears were confirmed. As I was picking up trash on the floor of the car, I found dozens. Then, I looked at my new waste basket and ants were all over it.

Parking a car in the same place will lead to ants coming in. Having stuff for them to eat helps. However, sometimes ants just need a home and, food or not, they will live in a car.

I once bought a station wagon that had been parked in a field and never detailed or washed. The vehicle was mechanically perfect just cosmetically a disaster! The first time I drove it to a craft show, loaded with my wares, I was surprised on the drive home. When I stopped for gas on the drive home, I discovered I was covered with ants. So, was the interior of the car.

When I jumped out squealing and flopping about my long, full skirt and dusting them off my blouse, and turning my head over and fluffing and hitting my hair, the guys from the gas station and from other cars came running to see what was wrong. This was not a place that sold insect repellent, but they all searched and finally found a can of some sort of insect spray. In the meantime, men tried to knock ants out of the car and smashed ones they found in the car. It was a terrifying drive home since I could feel ants crawling all over me. There may or may not have been ants crawling on me.

That was when the guys explained how ants will just bring the whole colony into a dry place and make it home. GAH! Other people have confirmed this. True? Plus, fire ants will come inside houses to make nests. So, they will live in cars. I am getting the heebie jeebies. I can feel ants on me right now, maybe in my hair.

My car is parked on gravel and hard dirt with bits of weeds that survive until I kill them. It is parked in the same spot in the driveway for an inordinate amount of time since I don't move it often. When I worked, ants and wasps did not use my car as home. Wasps make nests behind the side mirrors!

Now, I must take some Terro out and apply it to my car. Actually, I will put a bit in a white paper bowl, several bowls, and attract ants. I dread this. Remember, I was stung by fire ants when I was ten-years-old. They were at the top of one leg and above the knee on the other leg. These look like fire ants. Whether they are or not, they scare me. ALL ants terrify me. I've mentioned this before.

I understand they will be in the bits of trim that run along the door, so enticing them is the plan. I will move my car to a new spot! Tomorrow, thank goodness, exbf is coming and I will have him drive me around after he drives me to free lunch.

I have tried the boric acid, sugar and water homemade solutions. Obviously, I have never used the right recipe since I never attract ants! Never mind suggesting

Here I go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your turn
Have you ever heard of or gotten an ant invasion in your car? Any suggestions? Cleaning food bits out at this point is pointless except for having a clean car! Anyone as terrified of ants as I am? What terrifies you?

Sunday, May 7, 2017


Did you see this viral video? There is an obligatory 10 second commercial to watch. The report says it happened in a parking lot outside Birmingham, AL. Okay, Cullman, where it happened, is about 50 miles from Birmingham! It happened in the Badcock Furniture Store parking lot. I think I was in Lowe's (in background) about the same time that day.

Why on earth would the report not have the actual name of our town? Oh, yes, she was arrested.

Crazy? Overboard?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Ball Lids and Bands Cruising Deal

I always cruise by the sale aisles each time I go to Walmart. Nine times out of ten, I find nothing I really need or even want. However,Thursday I hit the Mother Lode of canning when I went to the new WM that has been here for about two years, maybe less. This is only the third time I have entered the store.

There is a line of Ball colored lids and bands that are very expensive. I never buy those. The decorator line is called Collection Elite Color Series. They come in green, red and blue. Only blue was left when I got there. I wish I could have gotten red bands and lids.  I bought one box for regular jars and two for wide-mouth jars.

The wide mouth bands in Collection Elite Color Series are regularly $5.34 for a box of 6. Twelve would be $10.68.
Ball wide mouth bands that are just the regular metal color are a box of 12 for $4.74.
I bought the Collection Elite Color Series box of 6 for $1.50, making 12 for $3.00. !!!!

The regular mouth bands and lids in the Collection are regularly 6 for $3.97.  Twelve would be $7.94.
Regular bands in regular metal color are a box of 12 for $3.74.
I bought the Collection Elite bands and lids box of 6 for $1. That would be 12 for $2. !!!

Bottom line--I bought 18 bands and lids for $4.

Not only did I get a good deal on the fancy schmancy bands and lids, I got them even cheaper than the regular metal ones we all use for canning.

I am all for cruising sale shelves or aisles. Sometimes, I put things in my cart, give them a little ride around the store, think, and most of the time take them right back to the sale shelf where I found them. Often, I get to the checkout and turn in the miscreants hiding in my cart. Today, there was no doubt that the bands and lids would make it all the way home.

In the fall people write how on their blogs how they got marked down Ball jars, bands, and lids on clearance. Around here there are never any clearances of canning supplies! Do you find clearance on canning supplies, ever?

Do you check the mark-down shelves in WM and grocery and drugstores? 

Friday, May 5, 2017

CA, NV, OK, and TX--Get Free Paint

Sorry about the rest of us. Go HERE to get free paint. If it is like the paint I got a few years ago, they will mail you  a pint of paint. Let me know how it goes.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Rushing For Nought

I awoke just an hour and a half before I had an appointment for a MRI. Thankfully, they called me the day before, telling me the doctor had scheduled it. I was there about two minutes before my appointment. However, they were puzzled as they said I had no appointment. They checked my name and asked who was the doctor.

Supposing this was my mistake, I sat down and found the number I thought had called me yesterday. Yes, I was right about my being wrong. I had to tell the woman 40 miles from here at the other MRI that I was at the wrong MRI facility. Rats!

Since I was up, dressed, and out of the house, I decided to do things I needed to do: bought blouse, went to Harbor Freight for my free item and one for exbf, went to WM, bought a kitchen waste basket from Dollar General.

There was a list I left at home for things to price-match at WM. So, it seems I just wandered around and came home with just a pack of seeds. I could not remember one item on my list.

It was pouring rain all day! Finally, when I came home, the rain stopped. Despite my best efforts with my umbrella, the wind and rain kept my hair damp and flat.

The new blouse seems a bit too tight. The size larger swallowed me.  It seems there should be two sizes in between. Seriously, there is such a difference.

Now, it is time for a salad.

Your turn
Have you ever rushed and showed up at the wrong doctor's office at the right time?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

No Breakfast and About Blackberries

While I was initially hopeful, I finally decided there was no way I was getting up at 5:30 am or 6am, depending on how I wanted to look at the free breakfast. Actually, I needed information and wanted that more than a free meal or socializing. I have a telephone!

I have since lined up a few more free meals!

A vendor gave me a tomato that had been punctured and was on its way to the trash. I cut off the part around the puncture and gave it to Dominique. A large portion of a head of lettuce that cost me $0.69 for the head and some Miracle Whip was a refreshing taste from my youth. A reduced ham steak added made my dinner last night cost less than $1.

Since on Saturday I bought three pints of grape tomatoes for $1/pint, another really nutritious meal is planned tonight with more of the ham. If I can find cheese in the refrigerator, I will add that and eat an apple after the meal.

The only deals I have found in today's paper with ads are Kraft Cheese products and blueberries at Sprouts. I will stock up on the blueberries and buy a bit of cheese, not as much as usual.

My plan was to buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts this week, but there is no good sale. I think I will use ground pork to make this dish that is called taco casserole. Since I make it in the crock pot, I suppose it will be more like taco soup. Since it will barely be in the 50s here on Friday, the taco soup will be welcome!

About blackberries~~I have eaten blackberries all my life, but not like the ones I bought. These blackberries had a center that was just too tough/hard. Usually, blackberries are not tough in the center.

Your turn
Do vendors at markets ever give you produce that is fresh and had an accident? What is it with these blackberries? I did buy them at the store, so shipped in. So, what is going on with blackberries that cannot be mashed or chewed?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"What's a dust mop?

I laughed until I hurt J's feelings. She said she had to go home and sweep the floor and clean out the refrigerator. After she had commented on what she had to do three or four times and since there are five cats in the house, I asked, "Why don't you dust mop the house?"

She was truly puzzled, "What's a dust mop?" I could barely drive for laughing, and laughing! Every time she asked, "What's a dust mop?" I started again, incontrollable laughter.

Finally, she was hurt. "Why don't you just tell me instead of laughing at me?" "Do you mean like a Swiffer?" Sorry, but that made me laugh again.

Am I so old I am using out-of-date technology, so old a grown woman has never even heard of it? Should I trade in my horse and buggy for something more modern?

When I finally told her in a moment I could manage not to laugh, she said, "Oh, one of those?" No, she had never seen one, never, ever! I think she is still hurt and mad at me. Part of my laughter was a sort of "OH, no, I am old, what a faux pas that discloses my age."

Your turn
Has anyone ever NOT known what something was that you thought was common knowledge, not old-fashioned, not esoteric knowledge? AND, did it make you feel sooo old?

Long Day--Monday and Boring Report

Last night, for various reasons I did not sleep well. First, I stayed up too long looking at the weather stations and reading on internet. Plus, I finally got all the carrots and potatoes cooked. Then, I put a soup mix, put togrther by some kids, in the crockpot with the little bag of seasoning they provided.

I turned off the ac because it was sort of chilly. Then, I became too hot. So, I turned on the ac. Then, my feet were cold. Plus, the whole time it felt like something was crawling in my ear. Earwax? It was so distracting it kept me awake.

When I have something to do early in the morning, the stress also keeps me from sleeping. Exbf was coming and picking me up at 9:30. I finally got to sleep at about 7:30 after turning off the alarm. He woke me by calling so I could come out to the car. I told him to come inside, sit in the chair and read a book until I awoke. Poor guy. I awoke at 12:30 and rushed to wash hair.

When I awoke, he was asleep in the chair with a fuzzy pale pink blanket covering his whole body, even feet. One of small girly print throws was on his head and wrapped around his face. He looked so funny. He was so good to let me sleep. It made a difference in my day. Oh, I had moved the blanket, throw, and book next to his chair so he would be all set. I am so Really, he gets cold much more easily than I do, plus he could not have moved about to get things.

This hair washing was an exception--I started blow drying as soon as I squeezed my hair out. I bathed and stumbled into clothing. J wanted me to take her to get cigarettes. I had plans today and did practically nothing. I had J pump his gas when we stopped for her cigarettes. I owed her money for mowing the yard, so she could afford cigs.

Plan--exbf and I were going to eat at KFC, using my 1/2 Birthday Card.  Buy one two-piece meal and get the other free. So, for $6.75 we had lunch and I did not have to do anything. We took J back home first.

When I went to Publix to get my a2milk, they were out of the whole milk. I just got the 2%. They have little cups for samples of soup. I spilled mine all over the cart and floor. A guy had gotten me a free water, I spilled it all over the cart and floor. One guy had to clean up after me embarrassing.

When we pulled up to house, it was 3 pm. I suggested he sit in car while I brought him a pint of soup to take home for dinner, along with 3 lbs. of cooked carrots and the one lone potato. He waited while I brought all to him and was out of here by 4 pm. Yay for both of us. Neither of us was hungry. I will freeze the rest of the soup for three more meals, at least.

As I pulled out the 3 lbs of carrots in the gallon bag to show him, he said wistfully, " I really like these fresh carrots so much better than canned carrots." Poor guy! Since it was sort of cool today, I thought bean soup would be appropriate. He also took home 8 cooked chicken legs. He is set.

Dominique had KFC chicken and a whole small container of slaw. And, she gave me one egg. Despite everything not going as planned, it was a wonderful Monday.

Your turn
Do you ever have trouble sleeping when you know you have something the next morning? I was not this way when I went to school and/or worked.