Moleskine redux

I am almost to the end of the Moleskine that I’ve used for a journal. I just found out that the last signature of paper is no longer sewn in. Looks like the thread just broke and I have a loose section at the end. I ordered a Rhodia to replace it. I used a small orange Rhodia for awhile and the quality is great. The new journal is a gorgeous purple and I think I’ll be happy with it. So nice to use fountain pens in my journal again.

Work continues on the house. I am taking a week off from work to try and make some progress. Want to be able to put in an offer on the new place and be close enough to putting this on the market to do that. And, I am looking into retirement. I am ready to spend some time doing the things I want, while I still have the ability to do that.

Moleskine

I started using Moleskines back when they became cool. I still really love the Reporter style. Like many others, I’ve noticed that the quality is terrible since they moved production to China. The paper was always iffy for fountain pens. It’s become unusable. And it’s rough paper. I just can’t justify buying them any more. I have both sizes of Midori Traveler’s notebooks. I like the regular size but it seems very heavy. And it’s an awkward size. I have been using the Passport, with a monthly calendar insert and a couple of blank inserts. It’s better and lighter, but it still doesn’t suit me. I do not have a shortage of notebooks. I’ve used Field Notes in the Passport and they fit okay if a bit big. I have a Quo Vadis Habanera and that size has worked well for me in the past.

The big issue is the notebook I use for journaling. I wanted a bigger notebook than I’d been using, so decided to use a standard sized Moleskine. I have to use a ballpoint to write, but I am close to finishing it up. I needed something new, so I ordered a Rhodia today. I’ve used one of their small notebooks. I was looking at it today and the quality is very nice. I may be buying more notebooks from them.

I really don’t have a lot of things to track, like in the old days. Most of it is dealing with bills and remembering what I’ve promised to pay. I’ve set things up in Evernote for now, as it’s nice to be able to have all the contact and account info on one page. I could do that in a notebook too, but don’t have the ability to encrypt my account information. So, I don’t know. When I retire, I should be able to simplify even more. I was tracking what I was eating, but stopped doing that for awhile. I should go back to doing that. It’s helpful to see how we were eating when we did Paleo. And we do need to get back to Paleo.

Still trying to sell stuff and get some earnest money together. Still making plans for a house we don’t own and swamped with work to do on the ones we do own. I would love to have Thanksgiving and Christmas at the new place. Will see if I can make some progress for us this weekend.

And I forgot one last update: Slobberpuss died at home. We had an appointment to take him to the vets to be put down. I went to load him into the carrier and he was dead in front of the refrigerator. RIP, Slobberpuss

 

Some progress

We have been working on the house a lot. We are finally getting to the point where we paint. We are touching up the current colors. We still haven’t moved much out, but we are packing books up in bins and will be moving them out of sight. We’ve had help on the yard but still need to do more work there. And, if we can pull together the earnest money, it looks like we can make a deal on the place we want to buy. We have several things up for sale. It’s a lot of work but fortunately we have both been feeling better. I did some painting under the sink last weekend and think I am ready to tackle some walls.

Looks like we will need to have Slobberpuss put down. I thought he had a tumor. One broke open on his side and he’s lost a lot of weight. He managed to get an abscess on his face and I thought he might lose one eye. It finally started draining, but really he doesn’t have much time left. He’s one of those cats that never use a cat box, so it’s just getting worse.

We’ve really had bad weather this summer. It looks like October out there today. I know it’s going to rain a lot on the coast and I will need to deal with this. And I know it will clear up as soon as the days start to get shorter. That’s just the way it goes around here. Feels good to finally be making some changes.

 

Ch..ch..changes!

A couple of updates. The first is that I closed the Spindlitis Yahoo Group. It just wasn’t getting any posts. I’ve tried to shut it down before but folks always asked to keep it active. After a year of no posts, I decided to just close it. I’ve seen a lot of blogs and email groups die off lately. Just the way that it goes.

The second is that we are selling this house and the river property. We have major bills to pay and it’s time to move on. We are in the process of trying to clean the place up and start to pack. We have a large box truck (which will need a motor before we move) and we can store things in it securely. We have been looking at places on Zillow, trying to find a good location. I won’t post anything about it yet, but we have one that we are seriously looking at. It’s been for sale for some time, so there’s a good chance we can make a deal on it. More as we make progress on this.

 

And a picture of my old cat, Jack. I don’t know how much longer I’ll have him as he is getting up in years. Best and smartest cat I’ve ever had.

Update

I have just gotten terrible about blogging. I hate to give it up though. So let’s see, we have removed the dock and are waiting for the bill from DNR. My big boat is in limbo, somewhere hidden out on the river. I have no idea what we are going to do with it. We sold the sailboat and wound up with it back again, also hidden out on the river. We still haven’t moved out, although we are certainly ready to go. I have not being doing well with my breathing. I ordered some prednisone from an online pharmacy, so I might finally be able to get something done. It is so frustrating to spend my time sitting or coughing. I need to line up a new pulmonologist. I missed the latest staff meeting due to a medical emergency. Got a bunch of pills stuck in my throat and wound up in the ER. We have been feuding with the mail carrier and have had to replace the mailbox and post. Honestly, we are so sick of dealing with bureaucrats.

But our silly springer still keeps us laughing. Folks have been understanding at work. I manage to do the job. We are getting rid of some stuff, even if we still haven’t been moving out. I think we are closer and I think things will really start to happen once we get unstuck. We’ve been looking at places to buy, which motivates us to work on this house. Just waiting for spring.

 

Hope your Thanksgiving went well

I didn’t do too badly, considering that the big oven doesn’t work on the stove. (I have a dual oven stove, but the top oven can do cookies and not a lot more.) Lon had one of those big electric roasters that I keep threatening to throw out, so I used that. We picked up an extra turkey while they were on sale. I did not make my own pies and did manage to get a decent dinner done.

Still sort of in limbo on the river place. Lon has made a lot of progress in cleaning up the house. We will start moving things down to the river soon. We have help to get the place ready to sell. Really want to get it on the market soon. The weather change has affected my breathing again and I’ve had to use prednisone a couple of times. I’m trying to keep the sessions short. I don’t seem to be triggered as much, so I think my immune system is in better shape. I just want to be able to do more.

I picked up a couple of 7″ Kindle Fires during the sales. They were $34 and I thought they would be worth trying. I like it better than the Paperwhite, which surprises me. I find it easier to read. And, I have been reading some books on sketching and watercolors from Kindle Unlimited, so having a color display is great. Will probably hang onto the Paperwhite for awhile longer. Both Lon and I tend to read things on our phones when we are in the living room. I thought they might make a good replacement for that. I use Amazon a lot, so I’m okay with making it easier to shop with them. We might use the Amazon Video feature for a change.

We don’t seem to do a lot for Christmas, although I try and bake cookies. Don’t have any real plans and will likely just get a few small things for us. The focus is on getting the house on the market and getting moved. This should be our last Christmas at the house.

 

Sorry for the long absence

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We have been busy. The dock has been mostly removed. The Aqua Home has been moved. Things did not pan out the way we thought they would. We have DNR out surveying the place this week. So just remains to be seen what happens next. We are starting to get the trailer ready to live in. We still intend to sell the house. We may be able to move quickly as we have lined up some folks to help with all of that.

I’m happy about the election. It’s going to be hard to make changes in the country, but there’s a possibility that we can still do it. I’m tired of people that piss and moan when they don’t get their way. And, having dealt with the Eco-Nazis in this state, it is about time that we put limits onto what they can do. Property owners do have rights. Allowing unelected bureaucrats power over them is a recipe for disaster.

Nothing new with the animals. Jake has discovered another hole in the fence. Lon woke me up at 3 in the morning to find him. We did and now we have him on lead when he’s in the yard. It’s not our fence and there’s only so much we can do to repair it.

 

Progress

Thought I should post some pictures of the dock that the State finds so terribly objectionable. It is in disrepair right now, as they keep telling us they want to rip it out.
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Anyway, we have someone helping us out in exchange for the Aqua Home, which is the big boat in the picture above. We are having to kick out the latest group caretaking the place. It has been an ongoing struggle to get them to understand that they have to keep the place picked up. Everytime we haul off a bunch of junk, there’s more to take its place. We can’t leave the place vacant, as the thieves move in. We dodged a bullet as someone set fire to the back of the place this week. We think it’s the guy we had the restraining order out on. That expired last month. Fortunately, it was put out before the garage caught fire. And so, we have installed real gates on the driveway. Will be adding fencing and security cameras in the future. I’ve had a nice security cam for a year but Lon has been afraid it would be stolen if we install it.! If we Ā can get internet put in, we’ll be able to keep an eye on the place a little bit better.

Lots of work to be done on the house too. Lon is clearing out the garage. I can’t work on it Ā because I can’t be anywhere near the birds. I went to a memorial service for my friend’s husband on Saturday and was just wiped out. It’s been in the high 90s the last few days, and I just can’t deal with the humidity and heat any more. But we both keep at it a little bit every day.And we are still having problems with the truck. I have never had a vehicle as hard to start as this one. We’ve replaced all the sensors and the fuel pump. This time, we replaced the catalytic converters and it seems to run even worse. I guess the injectors are next. We still have to use starting fluid to get it to go. And so, we haven’t made any long trips this summer. And with the people still at the river, it’s not even a nice place for a staycation.

Doing battle with bureaucrats

Well, we’ve fought the good fight and it looks like the bureaucrats will win. They are going to remove our dock. It’s been there since at least the 70s. We’ve removed every single thing they wanted and are down to two boats in the river. But it’s not enough. They want to “restore” it, which is funny because they are responsible for the fill. And they will be responsible for the erosion which will take out another part of the road. They are evicting the leaseholder next to us. I fully expect them to refuse to renew the lease for the marina at the end of the slough. There is a chance that the Republican could win the Commissioner of Public Lands position and rein them in a bit. But it will be too late for us. That’s what we are involved with right now. It will be such a blessing when we finally have these people out of our lives.

Ginger’s husband Ed died last week. He was in declining health but still was a shock. It’s a hard thing to deal with and there are so many things you have to do. I am trying to help with a memorial service for her family and friends to attend.

And…I bought my first brand new pressure canner! I’ve always bought old ones. Lon has an unreasonable fear of pressure cookers and canners. I really want to be able to can meat. He’d like some soup stock. I have dehydrated veggies on hand, so I can put together a quick meal if I have the stock. I find lots of deals on marked down meat but we have such a tiny freezer. This should help. It’s a 22 qt Mirro, using weights rather than a gauge. I would have liked the All American, but I really don’t need heirloom quality right now.

I have been going to the Naturopath for awhile now. I’ve managed to get back off prednisone and am feeling better. O2 levels have been good and I’ve found something that clears up the congestion better than the nasal spray I’ve been using (Lugol’s Iodine, in case you were wondering). The real test will be this winter.

I am moving the cats to a raw meat diet. I’ve been buying pre-made frozen meat. Fanny seemed to have colitis and she’s always had a sensitive stomach. Jack is prone to urinary tract blockage. They eat the raw stuff better if I mix it with canned. If this works out, I might look into getting a good meat grinder. I’ve been giving the dogs a good dry food with raw meat in place of their Alpo. Jake still misses the Alpo. We really can’t afford the expense, but I think that feeding them better quality food keeps them out of the vets. Jake was microchipped last visit and got a rabies shot. Loretta also got a new rabies shot.

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Another issue with digital

I bought a Kindle Paperwhite at Christmas. I’ve looked at Kindles over the years and have considered getting one. I have some cookbooks in Kindle format that I’ve used my phone to view. And Amazon offered the Kindle on payments. So despite some doubts, I picked one up. It’s a decent device for the price. It’s lightweight and you can adjust the font. It works out pretty well for using a recipe while cooking.

But there has been something that I didn’t like about it and it finally dawned on me what that is. Books on the Kindle never age. You never find pictures or other items tucked in one. There’s no character to a book you read on the Kindle. I am someone that started reading at an early age and I have read a lot of books in my life. It’s just not as satisfying as a physical book. Plus you have to charge it and you have to rely on Amazon continuing to make the book accessible.

I don’t think I’ll get rid of it. I can always use it for cookbooks! I have started to shift focus towards buying hard bound copies of books I really love and getting rid of some of the old paperbacks that I haven’t read in years. I do not read as much now as I did when I was younger. I can buy for quality versus quantity. And who knows what I’ll find in that used book!

We just might….

finally move to the river. I am reluctant to put a lot of energy in this, but it does look like some things are starting to come together. If we could get this house sold, it would be a huge blessing. It’s a comfortable house and it has a lot of memories for Lon. But we just can’t afford two places. And we need to put some money into the place at the river, should we decide to sell it. So, we will see how this goes.

Have been doing a lot of knitting.Have been busy at work. We lost the prodigal cat, Oblio, this year. At least he died at home and not out on the streets. Not a lot of changes otherwise.
Fanny

Jake

Hmmmm

Really had no idea I’d gone so long without a post. I did buy the full size Midori. I like them both but can see the larger size is more useful. I have had some fun pasting some neat paper scraps on the inserts. Ah, inserts, I’ve already bought too many of them. And I’m onto my second Pilot Metropolitan pen. These are really great inexpensive fountain pens. I like the fine nib and they write first time every time.

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Midori inset

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Pretty much the same thing around here. I am going to a naturopath. I have been feeling better in some ways, but had had to use the predisone for too long. I just haven’t been able to get off it. If the weather would warm up for awhile, so we can open up the house, I might manage to taper off. I came down with a bit of the flu and missed a couple of days work. Have been coughing since then.

The neighbors did some work on their fence and didn’t tell us that they’d taken down the mesh that was on their side. The fence is in sad shape, old cedar and there was a hole which Jake promptly found. It was dark and a bit scary but we did find him. He hopped right in the truck. We got some material to fix the fence and he managed to get out during the daylight. Lon was able to find him but has not been happy about it. I think we have the hole patched and will try to do some more work this weekend. Doesn’t he look innocent?

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And finally a picture of Loretta! It’s so hard to get a good picture of a black dog.
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In non-dog related stuff, I have been helping out at the Decision Desk. It’s at decisiondeskhq.com. It’s a fun project. Folks volunteer to help get election results and we try to scoop the AP. It’s been entertaining and I enjoy it. For the record, I am a Trump supporter so go ahead and hate šŸ™‚ I somehow have been working elections where he has lost, so was nice to do one last night that he won. Should have a couple of weeks to work on some of the other bits of this. We pull historical data into spreadsheets that is used to analyze the elections. That’s fun too. I won’t give away any trade secrets here, but it is an interesting group to work with.

Still trying to get moved but not much on that front. Finally have the truck running like it should. Ah, I wish the rain would stop and we could have some more sun.

Midori Passport

  
I’ve run across talk about the Midori Travelers’ notebooks lately. It’s probably because I’ve been reading some analog sites that I haven’t visited for awhile. I seem to have missed this fad. I think I have my Moleskine reporter sorted out. I am using a 1920s mechanical pencil, so the paper is okay. And I like having a notebook I can archive. Still, I like nice letter and there were so many rave reviews, I gave in and ordered the Passport size. Spent the time waiting for it, wondering if I should have gotten the full sized one or maybe just order it and have two. 

It arrived today, so I did a little customization. I used a brass bead on the bookmark and a mother of pearl button on the band. I don’t have any additional inserts yet. I ordered the Tomoe River paper insert from Etsy and an additional blank insert. And I got the vinyl pouch and the bands to add notebooks. I’m resisting the rest for now. I have a Pilot Metropolitian and ink samples that should be here in the next day or so. 

I don’t have a purpose for this. I have a journal that I write in at night. I decided to use an old, partially filled Moleskine for morning pages. It’s nice to be doing those again. I also have a small Evernotes Moleskine that I’ve been using for planning. And I have lots of Field Notes. This may not see a lot of action this year, but I’ll carry it anyway. 

And I have been baking bread today, from The Homemade Kitchen book. I did the Honey Oatmeal bread yesterday. It rose well, but we went to Winco while it was rising. I had to do an extra rise, so it wasn’t as tall as I’d like. 

This morning, I did the Cinnamon Swirl bread, which looked like this:

  
I have the rye bread on the last rise now. I ran out of bread flour, so may not be as light as it should be. And I have turkey soup started. I think I need a break!

How’s your January?

This has not been a fun month but we will live through it. Still fighting problems with the truck. It goes to the shop tomorrow. The grocery bill was outrageous as I couldn’t get in to do a proper shop. We finally have a bed to use at the river place. The plan is to camp out a bit, and start to move a few things in. I hold that we will be resistant until we make some cozy places. Right now, it’s just an empty rundown shell. I would love to have the wood burner part of the stove going. 

Jake managed to hit me under the chin, while I was leaning over combing Loretta. Fortunately, he did not put my teeth completely through my lip, but it was bruised. It’s finally healing up. 

I have a goal this next month to cut the food budget in half. “The Homemade Kitchen” is a great resource. I have cranberry orange bread in the oven. I have a turkey carcass boiling for stock. And I am trying Mystie Winckler’s bread recipe. I need a reliable sandwich bread. We eat better when we eat at home. I still have some potato leek soup leftover from this week. 

Let’s celebrate every small success we have this year!

Rough Start to a new year

We drove the truck to the river right Ā before Christmas. The starter died. We thought it was the battery, but no. Finally got it running well enough to get it home. Found someone willing to put in a starter for us. We used it a few times and it’s down again. This time, it’s either a fuel relay or fuel pump. We are having problems finding someone that will work on it. Taking it to a shop is more than we can afford right now.

Lon used a cab to go to the parts store. I’ve used Uber for a trip to the grocery store and back. Uber worked out well and is definitely cheaper than the cab. I also used Safeway delivery. I’d prefer to go in and shop, but it’s better than being out of food. (And I don’t mean we were completely out of food. When I am out of honey and cream for my tea, we are out of food. And we truly were out of dog and cat food.) At the rate we are going, I may have to do another shop next week.

We bought a Christmas tree but never got it up and decorated. We got each other a few things we really needed, like warm robes. It was nice. I would have liked to drive around and look at the Christmas lights but it didn’t happen. Oh well. And we got a bit of snow the other day, so that was nice. And I bought myself a Kindle Paperwhite. I’m happy with it and it was nice to have a new gadget for the books that I don’t want to own. It’s hard to read books on the phone. And I totally forgot…we replaced both computers. Lon’s old one finally died. My old Mac started having problems too. Got two from Free Geek, a desktop for him and a Thinkpad for me. Both running Linux Mint. I had to use the KDE desktop for him, as there seems to be a driver issue with Cinnamon. Mine works fine and it even has a webcam!

I hope we can finally get moved out this year. This house is very comfortable and lovely in its own way. But we truly need to have more income coming in and we can’t do that the way things are.

 

 

All Right, all ready!

Okay, so I have been terrible at updating my blog. Hey, I still haven’t sent sent stuff off to my aunt yet and that’s been ready for a couple of months! Just the usual busyness. I took a week off in October with many plans and did nothing. Had a nice Thanksgiving, just for the two of us. Still need to get moved and have not made much progress there. Jake is still a crazy dog and we are trying to get him to settle down. Love him to pieces, but he just doesn’t listen.

We had a nice dry spell and now are catching up on the rain. Picture of it at the river. I’m told it’s much higher today.

 

2015-12-07 13.11.24We both have new computers from Free Geek. Lon has a Dell Desktop and I have an older Thinkpad. Running Linux Mint on both. The Mac has some power issues. And, to be honest, I’m tired of old Macs. Have used them for a long time, but I’m just done. I can run most of the Windows programs I need in Crossover. And it’s nice to have a modern browser again. Lon’s computer was just junk. I’d replaced the motherboard, but it was problematic. I have to run KDE desktop on it, but it’s definitely better than what he had. Some days, I just get tired of messing around with this stuff. I want a garden this year.

Will try and update before the holidays hit and that’s not far off!

New stove

Lon found this on Craigslist several weeks ago. I just wasn’t sure about it, because I have bad memories of moving a heavy propane/trash burner stove into the school bus many years ago. I reconsidered and we bought it today. It’s a Monarch dual wood/coal and electric. The folks we got it from had gotten it when their neighbor died. She’d raised five kids there but the stove had been in the garage a long time. 

The firebox is heavy and in good shape. It needs to be cleaned and the electric part may need work. Quinn came down today and helped us unload it. And it wasn’t bad at all. It was loaded on piano dollies using a tractor to lift it into the truck. We backed up to the porch at the river and put a piece of plywood on the tailgate as a ramp. I pushed from the back and Quinn pulled from the front. 
   
   

New treadle!

This is a Wheeler and Wilson, Number 9. Got it from a lady that picked it up when her neighbor moved. It’s in nice shape and will sew. The coffin top needs a little work. She thought this is from 1888 or 1889. It’s hard to date these models. The decals are there but faint. I’ll have to shuffle the machines and move it inside today. 
   
    
    
    
 

MoleskineĀ 

  
I have been messing around with Field Notes. I like the product. The quality is good and I am a fan of vintage style notebooks. I especially like the Ambition series and picked up several. 

But I am returning to my Moleskines. Yes the quality has gone down (although the new ones seem to be made in Vietnam). Yes, they are probably overpriced. I just haven’t found anything that works as well for me. They hold up better. I have been using an old Reporter. I used it for a year but still had a lot of unused pages. And I have a small Evernote Moleskine that was barely used. I’m using those to finish out this year. I have a new Reporter for next year and a larger Classic style that I want to use as a knitting journal. I get tired of digital stuff. 

I don’t have a terribly interesting life but I do want to leave a record. I’ll have to see how this goes. I always love my new system when I start. 

New doggie!

Lon has talked a lot about getting a second dog. He really likes Loretta, but thinks she would like to have another dog to play with. I’ve been hearing this on a regular basis and have my doubts about it. But he came up with an ad for a free Springer Spaniel and asked me if I wanted him. Without thinking about it too much, I said yes. I’ve had two Springers. They have great personalities, but tend to be hard headed. I like the Springer/Golden cross better, since they tend to mind better. (And that’s what Loretta is.)

Anyway, Jake’s owner got in a bad motorcycle wreck that morning and the doctors thought it might be a year before he’d recover. His family put the dog up for adoption. It’s not as heartless as it sounds. He is a high energy dog and loves to bark. When you spend a lot of time in the ICU, you just don’t have time left for an animal like that. So we wound up with Jake. He’s 9 months old, handsome and goofy. He’s extremely people oriented and does not like to be left alone. For the first three weeks, Lon slept in the recliner so that Jake wouldn’t bark all night. (The cats have retreated to the bedroom). We are finally past that stage. We have a large wire crate which has helped with all of this and I am now trying to get him to settle down around the cats. He just gets so worked up! And Loretta hates him. And I’m not talked about irritated–she turns into an ugly snarling dog when he’s around her in the house. She’s better with him outside. So the house is still in an uproar. But we truly like him. He’s a sweet dog and has real potential. He is a much better watch dog than Loretta.

And we discovered that he loves water: