Not Getting Away With It

The lack of Christmas decorations that is. I announced my plans to the folks and my father said that he at least wanted me to get out the “Christmas critters”. (I’ll expound more on what those are in the course of the month).

Either way, if I’m going to get the critters out of the basement, I might as well haul up the rest.

But not before it’s officially December.

The Perks, yes the Perks

I stumbled upon this in my 2003 archives and have decided to post it again, mainly because 13 years later, it rings even truer.

The Perks of Being Over 40 50

– Kidnappers are not very interested in you.

– In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.

– No one expects you to run into a burning building.

– People call at 9PM and ask, “Did I wake you?”.

– People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

– There is nothing left to learn the hard way.

– Things you buy now won’t wear out.

– You can eat dinner at 4PM.

– You can live without sex but not without glasses.

– You enjoy hearing about other peoples’ operations.

– You get into heated arguments about pension plans.

– You have a party and the neighbors don’t even realize it.

– You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

– You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into the room.

– You sing along with elevator music.

– Your eyes won’t get much worse.

– Your health plan is beginning to pay off.

– Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national weather service.

– Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either.

– Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.

Contributed at the time by Jen.

Bah, Humbug

Christmas is just around the corner. I know this because every imaginable shopping source is trying to sell me something and various charities, some obscure, are breaking down my door via my mailbox.

I’ve decided not to participate in the Christmas lunacy this year. There will be no tree, no decorations, no advent wreath, no christmas cookies. It has been a terrible year in many ways, and I refuse to take part in the collective mass pretention of everyone pretending to be loving each other and all of the other “peace on earth and good will to men” b.s.

Instead, I’ve decided that instead of buying twinkling things, sparkly things, pine things, candles, trinkets, etc., I’m going to donate 100 € and split it into donations to UNHCR, Amnesty International, and Wikipedia.

I’m also seriously considering a subscription to Mother Jones, the digital version only costs $ 12 a year. This reader-supported, non-profit news source is worth supporting.

*gets off of the soap box*


Ooops, I did it again

I swear at the end of the year I’m going to stack up everything I’ve knitted this year and it will say something about the therapeutic value of knitting and the (improved) state of my mind.

That blue alpaca sweater I had such a hard time with has turned into my favorite, and so I ordered the yarn in green and in dark blue to make a few more. I finished the green one yesterday:

Drops “Juliana”

The original pattern can be found here. Amazingly, the second time around it was very easy and went very quickly.

My next project is for someone else. We had a person here to cut the huge hedge around our property, and he found what used to be my father’s most favorite blue cotton cardigan – ravaged by a year’s worth of weather, full of algae and generally ruined. Apparently, last year while cutting the hedge, my father took it off and placed it upon said hedge, where it stayed, forgotten and out of sight.

So, a new cotton cardigan is in order – hopefully I’ll get the yarn for it tomorrow or the next day. For now, I’m doing another scarf from all my leftover alpaca.

The cardigan pattern is quite ambitious – go have a look here. I’m looking forward to it.

It’s the Little Things

….in life that I am concentrating on at the moment, whilst hoping that the big things going on in the world won’t turn out as disastrous as one might fear.

From a good cup of chai tea to the third batch of oatmeal cookies which are turning out to be the comfort food of the season,  I am thankful for the small things that enrich my life and having basics such as firewood to keep me warm.


In the course of the summer, I purchased two more gerbera plants and they have long since been brought indoors for the winter. Our spring and summer have been so damp and wet followed by disastrously dry at the tail end of summer, that every petunia, geranium and other flowers were INFESTED with whiteflys as of course were the gerbera, and I am continuing the fight against them, now in the comfort of my living room. I use the shower spigot to rinse the underside of the gerbera leaves daily and have placed yellow stickies all around the pots. I think I’m winning the fight.

Like I said, it’s the little things at the moment.

Positive Things

When I took down all of our tomato plants some weeks ago, they were full of small green tomatoes. I carefully cut these from the plants and stored them in a large stainless steel bowl, darkened with newspaper, and placed into a cool, unheated room.

On three separate occasions since, I’ve removed a batch of red tomatoes that had ripened and cooked them, reducing their liquid, freezing them as a base for pasta sauce or similar.

Today, I’ll be cooking down the last of them. I’m feeling good that they all ripened, none of them fouled in the process, and I’ve used ALL of them up.


The few that are still green will be added to the mix. It’ll give the sauce a tangy touch.