Saturday, November 21, 2015

End of the Season

My kitchen sink sprouted.

Before I left on vacation, I thought I should bring in my geraniums. But, as vacation grew closer and closer,  I was so busy and they were easily forgotten. Plus, the weather was downright balmy for Chicago in late October and early November. I left Chicago on a day when it was to be 74 degrees with the night cooling off to the upper 50s. That's hardly weather to bring in your geraniums. The Friday I was in Anaheim, California, the temperatures in Chicagoland dropped. It was in the upper 50's with lows in the low 40s and dipping down to the upper 30s. Too much of that and I don't have geraniums anymore.

I was, however, exhausted from traveling and the geraniums stayed outside, even when I wound up scraping frost off the Jeep window. I knew I was tempting fate, but was too tired to make an effort to resist it. Finally, last week, I brought them all in. Some were pretty straggly from a summer of benign neglect. Some were in desperate need of more potting soil. Thank you squirrels. I took off all the dead foliage, trimmed back a couple which were in danger of tipping over the pot. That thing called "gravity" is not kind to an unbalanced plant. I watered; really soaked them; and added plant food. Everyone looks okay.

The white blooming geranium is, I think, destined for my new office. I'll need to get a nicer pot than the green nursery pot it spent the summer in. I have to figure out where to put the big pink geranium, not shown in the photo. I'm thinking it would do fine in the back room. I just need to find a sturdy chair or something on which to put it.

And so we have lasted through another growing season. Now to remember to water these more than once every 3-4 weeks.

Beverage:  Water


They Have Feet

While searching for the photo I just know I took, I stumbled upon a series from a couple years ago now that I intended to blog about and never got around to doing. I don't remember how I stumbled onto this indiegogo project, but it was an intriguing idea. This was early in my exploration of crowd funded items. It feels good to me to help artists or people in need, or projects of narrow interest get funded. Some things don't. There was a Shakespeare card game that looked hilarious, but it never got the required funding so it was pulled and my money refunded.

I got a couple things this person did. The items looked cute and they came in a variety of sizes. I got a large and a medium cat bowl.

Now, I'm not one of those people who will scream, "Take my money! Here! All of it!" if you happen to show me something with a cat theme to it. I'm trying to divest myself of stuff, not add to it. But things which help me; things which are useful; and things that are, well, just plain cool I'll contribute toward. These items fall into all three categories. (Hmmmm..."Cat"egories.)

Will you look at this.

"Footed" bowls made from very dense china.

I bought them; helping the artist in the process; because this design concept is hilarious. What I have discovered in the two years since they arrived and were put into service, is when I put food in the small bowl, that's the bowl which is usually eaten from first. (I rotate my food bowls, which every owner should.) The big one is rotated with another large one and used for water. Neither of these can be knocked over very easily, a big plus if someone gets startled while eating. They wash up nicely and just look cool. also has dog bowls in this design.

I have been extremely happy with my bowls. I meant to blog about them when they came, to rave about the design and urge you all to get one. Why get them for your pets? Put candy in them for the corner of your desk at the office. Or, for your next party, get a set and put the crudities in them. These are cat approved so you know they are good quality.

Now to find the photo I originally was looking for.

Beverage:  Huckleberry Tea


P.S. Still haven't found the photo I was originally looking for but I did find one of the small bowl in use.

It is the perfect (or is the "purrfect"?) size for cat food.

Fall Foliage

Here are more fall foliage photos taken in mid-October.

It's one of the perks of the job to be out and about on gloriously sunny October days.

And then, you have, right in your backyard, the trees which explode in color. Add the sunlight behind them and it's magical.

But then, fall has always been my favorite season.

Beverage:  Huckleberry tea


Fall Corn

I found these in the stash of photos I have to blog about.

I had been on an inspection job in northern Wisconsin. The road I was on was lined with corn.

It was a beautiful October day with a high temperature in the low 70's.

I stopped. There is a unique smell to autumn corn waiting to be harvested. There are no words which can adequately describe it. It's earthy. It's somewhat "burned". It smells of corn. Seriously. You can smell the corn.

I remember, as a child, wandering through corn fields. In August, with the corn towering over you head, it would be a good 10 degrees cooler near the ground. The air in the rows smelled sweet. I remember the harvest. Inevitably, some ears would not be removed from the stalks. Dad would pay us a nickel per ear for every ear we'd find. We would pull a wagon, fill it, and empty it over by the pig pens. I remember making a good $2.00 one Saturday. To a 7 year-old, that was a huge amount of money.

On this day, I stood next to the field with memories washing over me. Part of me wishes I lived in a small town where the corn fields were adjacent to my yard. But I'm happy where I am and happy to have the chance to drive into the farmland.

Beverage:  Huckleberry tea


Here We Go

It's two weeks until the office starts its move north. Part of the move is to pack unessential items. On October 24, three of us went to the office and began that process. We got pizza and pop and spent 6 hours stuffing things in boxes.

But we also pitched. According to our legal department, we are to save things for 14 years. So, with that in mind, we looked at all the things we have saved. My former boss would keep all sorts of things. Mike is much more ruthless. "We'll never use this." "There isn't any reason to save this." "We'll never look at this stuff again." We filled 10 garbage bags of junk.

One of the things we have is a steel filing cabinet with shallow drawers. We put roll tapes from on-site monitoring jobs in the cabinet. Also, you'll find micro cassettes of inspections. And you'll find drawers of 3.5 inch diskettes.

You have to buy special machines to read these diskettes. In fact, new computers don't have CD slots. Everything is downloaded. But, we have to keep some of these because they fall within the 14 year time frame, even though we'd have to send these to some place to have the data on them extracted.

We found these.

This is Windows 5. I think I remember when this was sent from corporate. Remember having to change discs in order to install programs? We had 2 sets of these.

Perhaps there is a place which could recycle discs but we couldn't find them. We had a stack of electronic equipment. I dumped my old printer into the mix. We found a place to take electronics for recycling. Bundles and bundles of packing peanuts went to UPS. It was pretty funny. Mike had the back of his SUV full of bags of peanuts. He also stuffed his car with cardboard. We get a lot of that due to shipping equipment. We also sent 5 boxes of miscellaneous parts and excess packing materials to our shop. The office seemed sort of empty after getting rid of all that material.

Yet, we've filled the space with packed boxes. We had a storage unit and that's been closed with all those boxes coming to the office. December 5th is the date for the moving company to come. We'll be in this space for December 7th, but the next day, all the computers move north.

Back when we were planning this, December 5th seemed so far away. Our offices at the new place have drywall and electrical. We all picked colors. Of course, I'm the weird one in that I want 3 colors in my office. Everyone else picked one. How dull. As they say in the musical business, "It's show time."

Beverage:  Huckleberry tea