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devon_bouncy
Hi all.  This is just a quick note on Mini Roses.

I don't know if any of you have tried growing any, but they're adorable, and a bit tricky to keep going.  We've had the best luck growing ours in a pot on the porch.  But guess what?  We now have two.  By accident.

Jatina was pruning off the bloomed roses, and gave me a few for a tiny vase.  And for whatever reason, I stuck one into the dirt of a another flower pot on the table.  When it didn't seem to die, I thought it was just an illusion.  You know how some plants can be stone dead, and still look green?  Well ... the rose finally fell off.  And today, Jatina noticed new growth on the stem.  It has baby leaves now!!!  The dang thing rooted!  It was JUST a Cut Rose!!!  Good golly!

Here's the picture:
parade rose new growth

What a kick in the head!  I was pondering buying a second one this year ... and now I'm thinking, I can make all the Mini Parade Bushes I wanna!

Cheers!
Teresa

QUESTION ABOUT ART COMPUTERS

devon_bouncy
I was told once, by a fellow who builds and sells computers, that the hardware you need to run art programs like Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia flash, is different than what you need to run high graphic games.  He stressed this with the very first computer I bought from him.  He hadn't built it for games, but for using programs like Photoshop.   And it ran all of my art programs beautifully.  Until it died last year, and now I have this one.

This one runs games beautifully.  I can play Skyrim with no problems.  But I can't seem to do much else.  The art programs that worked on my last computer with only 1.5 gig ram, do not work well on the new computer with it's 12 gigs of ram and bigger hard drive.  They slow to a crawl, freeze, figgit, and often just crash.   It won't even open Illustrator CS2.  And my Manga Studio Pro 4 struggles.

So, my friends -- any ideas?

My Devices, in case it matters --imageCollapse )
devices

The Anytime Library just isn't so ...

devon_bouncy
I should state for the record, that I love our library.  It's small, and cozy, and has links to bigger libraries, so pretty much any book you'd want is available.  But lately, more and more books in the system are going digital.  They even have a special section for these digital versions called "Washington Anytime Library".  Books, Anytime.  What avid book reader isn't on board with that?

The problem comes when you actually try to get a book.  It is NOT easy to do.  In fact, it feels kinda like you're playing a game of "Keep Away" with the library.  If you don't stay on the ball, you don't get your book.  Me?  I've been trying to get "The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt" for weeks now -- starting on my third try today.

It looks easy enough.  You see the listing, and there's a link to "Access File".  Only you can't.  You can only place a Hold on it.  And then wait for an email, which does not come right away.  In fact you have no idea when it'll come.  If their "1 copy" is currently rented, you have to wait until the unspecified "return time" comes due.  If it's not rented ... well, I have no idea.  We'll see.

To make things even more interesting, you have only 72 hours, from the time they send out the email, to rent the book, or you lose the option to do so.  This is the main reason I keep missing out.  I don't check my email daily.  I just don't.  And with a wait time anywhere from a day to two weeks ... I always seem to find the email an hour or two too late.  And it's really starting to bug me.

I mean, DIGITAL COPY.  Why do I have to jump through hoops for a Digital Copy?!  It's been a couple of hours now.  And no email.

I'll let you know when that email appears ...  and if I get the book this time.

Edited to Add:
It's 11am, 6-16, and no email yet.  Checked Spam Folder too, just to be sure.

Edited to Add, 6-18, nope.

Edited 6-23 ... nope, still nada

6-24 -- came today.  But I can only read it from my browzer or with a ACSM File I can't open.  So,
Downloading Adobe Digital Editions ...  we'll see how that works

All is Not Right in the World.

devon_bouncy
Remember those lovely dog beds we bought from the Foam Factory for our puppies?  Those gigantic, fluffy pillows with the unfortunately light covers that stain too well?

Well, they're fine.  Aside from the stains, and they're holding up great.  Only ... the dogs have been cat-blocked.

not right in the world

The cat will not lay anywhere else.  Lookit that smug face.  Maggie says "Unfair!!"  And Druscilla just gave up and went to the five year old, Costco bed.  It's a sad day in Doggie Town.

Oh, and?  Ignore the floor.  It's painted subfloor.  One day, it'll grow up to be a real floor ...

Hope you're all having a great day!

Bean Bag for Kitty

devon_bouncy
What do you do when you're a tiny cat in a house full of Rottweilers?   You try not to get stepped on ... a lot.

Don't get me wrong.  Ms. Kitty is Queen and Mistress of the house.  The dogs love her, but if she lays on one of the dog beds ... they lay on the floor rather than contest with her about it.

But she still does get stepped on, by very well-meaning pups as they  run by.  It ticks her off, understandably.  And she often will just lay under things to prevent big, clumsy foots from tromping on her unexpectedly.  And we thought, what this cat needs is a Taller Bed.

So we pulled out an old child bean bag we had in storage, and set it up on the porch. Then plopped her in it.

Me thinks it was a hit.

Pictures under the CutRead more...Collapse )

happy_kitty_bag

Ms Kitty Approves.

happy_kitty_bag2

Tis very snoozeable.

kitty_defends_bag

Defending bag from friendly puppy.

And the world is good again for pups and kitties.
devon_bouncy
This is for me -- so I don't forget what I did.

1/2 Batch, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, Master Bread Dough
3 cups unbleached flour
2/3rds Tablespoon salt and yeast
1 1/2 cup only slightly warm water.
Mix and let sit for an hour and a half.

This is for dumplings.  It made FANTASTIC DUMPLINGS.  And the rest will go into a big loaf I want to make grilled cheese sandwhiches with, the next time I make Garden Fresh Tomato Soup.

Chicken & Dumplings

I cut up a fryer.  Cut out the back and de-boned the breast section.  Neck, back, breast bones, and giblets went into the pressure cooker.  I put water in to mostly cover.  I wanted enough for two hardy bowls of soup later.  Then I shut it, and set it for 30 minutes.

While that cooked, I diced up about a half cup each of carrot, celery, potato and onions.  I set the onions aside, and added to my bowl of mixed veggies a teaspoon of rubbed sage, a sprinkling of granulated garlic, a good amount of pepper (hm, 1/4 teas approx) and a half teaspoon of salt.

Then I diced up one breast meat piece from the de-boned chicken breast section.

Then I put a tbs of olive oil into a frying pan, and sauted the onion with a bit of sugar for a couple of minutes, til it was just beginning to go transulcent.  Then I added the diced chicken meat, and sauteed both til the meat was mostly white on the outside.  Then I shut off the burner and added the bowl of diced veggies and tossed and fried til the burner cooled.

When the pressure cooker was done, I quick released the steam, then used a fine slotted spoon to remove all the meat and bones in the pot.  Later the meat will go into some home-made pet food.  Into the broth I put the chicken and veggie mix.  Then shut/locked the lid, and set it for 7 minutes.

While that cooked, I cut off a lemon sized hunk of the bread dough, and put it on a flour dusted bread board, and cut into dime sized pieces.  Dusted that with flour to keep them separated.

When  the pressure cooker was done, quick release -- open, set to 1 minute with lid open to keep it boiling -- and drop the dough into the boiling liquid.  Cook about 8 minutes, then add about a 1/2 cup or more cream or half&half.  Stir.  Reheat.  And serve.

Oven-Baked, Woodworking Projects

devon_bouncy
Yes.  I did.  I put my latest woodworking project in the oven.Read more...Collapse )

Because, you see, my bathroom counter looked like this:

bathroom_nocabinet

So I decided to make a small, counter-top, bathroom cabinet to hide all that clutter.  I started working on it a week ago, and have been ready to varnish it for days ... but this is Forks, Washington, and after several lovely, sunny days, it's raining again.  A lot.  With no sunshine in the next week's forecast. And if any of you have varnished a project before, you'll know that humidity is no friend to drying varnish.  It can make it permanently tacky.

And then I remembered I use the oven often to rise bread.  I learned the trick ages ago from a library book.  Basically, you set the oven to it's lowest temperature -- mine is 170F -- and when it hits temp, you shut it off, pop in the bread, and use a spoon stuck in the oven door to keep it opened a crack, and let it sit in the warmed oven for an hour.  So I tried the trick on my small cabinet, and presto, it worked like a charm.  Took about an hour and a half to do both pieces (cabinet and door).

So now my bathroom counter looks like this:

bathroom_cabinet

And all that clutter is accessible, but contained.

bathroom_cab_open

Me so happy.

Best wishes!

Hoping for a Better, Fluffier, Dog Bed

devon_bouncy
A while ago -- 2011 -- I bought a foam mattress bed from The Foam Factory. And it has been the best bed that I've ever had for the money.  It's held up great, no sink holes, no rips, and sleeping on it feels "Like The First Time", even with a larger lady, and one or two, 100lb rottweilers sleeping on it every night.  I've had other beds, but this one is my favorite.  Very comfy on my back. And I'd suggest it to anyone displeased with traditional beds, or just looking for something a little cheaper.

So -- DOG BEDS.

It's been about six years since we bought our last dog bed.  None of them have lasted well, and they lose their fluff pretty quickly.  And as they wear out (usually in about 6 months), we add them to a giant, dog bed pile that tries to approach the fluffiness the originals had for so short a time.

Over the last two years, I've checked the reviews for "fluffy dog beds" on all the sites, to great disappointment.  Pretty much as a rule, they stop being fluffy pretty quickly.  The big square foam block beds seem to last the best.  But we have puppies that love fluffy, so we really wanted something ... fluffier.

Then we remembered our Foam Factory beds, and how well they've lasted.  They're also "AMERICAN MADE" if that means something to you.  Quality-wize, we've been extremely pleased.  So we wondered if they made dog beds, and they do.Read more...Collapse )

They, however, do not update their website very often, so each time we checked over the last few months, the beds were always listed as "Out Of Stock".

I finally wrote them an email, and asked.  And a nice lady named Brittany wrote me back, saying "tell me what you want, and I'll give you a quote."  So I did.

I asked for a "Shredded Foam Pet Bed - Gray and White Cover, 30 x 45 rectangle, with additional zippered cover." She came back with a quote of $44.99 with $12.99 shipping.  She also pointed out that if we bought something else, any order over $75 gets free shipping.  So we saved up, and bought two.

We got them today.  They come ULTRA PACKAGED.  The same as our "human" beds.  Which, if you're not prepared for, is a shock -- though they do warn you on the website.  Foam compresses, so you'll be surprised how small the package will be.  OPEN CAREFULLY -- you don't want to cut the beds -- then fluff them up to decompress the shredded foam.  It will grow ...

FoamFactoryDogBed_empty

They look really nice. Both the inner pillow, and the outter zippered cover, are made of the same, sturdy, heavy material.  I suspect they're going to last well, even if we wash the outter cover a few times a year.  But the material is not soft -- we knew that when we bought them.  It's the same material we have on our beds.  Our plan is to put old, blanket-throws on them.  But honestly, the dogs don't seem to care.  All they seem interested in is how FLUFFY they are.

FoamFactoryDogBed_full

One small note -- buy a bit bigger, rather than a bit smaller.  The fluff pulls in the overall size.  We did, and I'm glad we did.  They're a perfect size for the rotties.

Now we live in a rainforest, so I'm waiting to see how well the fluff lasts.  Even with our bed pillows, we have to toss them in the dryer occassionally to de-humidify them.  But I'm hoping the dog beds hold up well.  They're kinda too big for the dryer.  But I'll make sure to tell you.  I plan to update this entry in six months to let you know how well they lasted.

Oh -- I almost forgot!  They are really comfy!  Jatina suspects they'd make a decent camp bed for a small child, or a great floor pillow for a teenager.  Just a note for anyone who wants a floor pillow to sit on.

Additional note -- I sat on it, and it is really comfy.  Soft, but firm enough that it held me up.  So I checked, and The Foam Factory does have a 60 x 72 "dog bed" for $49.00 ... You know, I'm thinking this might be a great camping bed for the back of my suburban.  I'll have to see how the dog beds last, and maybe next year ...

5-26-2014 New Additional Note
Buy one with a darker, zippered cover.  The gray and white striped does not work well here in the rainforest.  Yikes, it's already a mess!  Jatina plans to sew a giant, pillow cover for it in something very dark, so that the dirty footy prints don't show ...  (You could probably just buy the bed, make your own "pillow cover", and skip the zippered additional cover)
devon_bouncy
One of the fun things about having more than one web address connected to my resafantasyarts.com page is that I can often detect fake emails by the name they are directed to.

As a lot of you know, I changed my name several years ago.  My original website was teriwood.com, and to avoid confusion, and not lose ties with anyone who remembers my work solely by my birth name, I pay a little extra every year to keep the main domain name active.  And because teriwood is still the main name my account is under ... Phishing Expeditions almost always come via emails directed to "teriwood".

Now being a very Unsavy Tech Girl, I wanted to pass on a small tip to my fellow Tech-Unsavy friends online. Read more...Collapse )When in doubt, hover your mouse over the "From" section in your email account.  The email address will pop up in a box.  Fake emails/Phishing attempts seem to always have Unusual Emails.  In the image below, which is a screen-save from my own computer, you can't see my mouse icon hovering over the name, but you can see the email address, which is CLEARLY not from Facebook.

fake_facebook

Hovering over the another, I get this email:

fake_facebook2

Irksome as they are, the emails are occasional so wacky in their composition as to be almost entertaining.

And though you may be tempted to write the author back and tell them what a loathsome bit of dung they are ... don't bother.  The "from" addresses are completely phoney too.  They're only created to get the email to you, so you'll click the links inside.

NEVER EVER CLICK EMAIL LINKS.  They are bad, worse than Godzilla, and will lead your email account to The Dark Side.  Yup.  Trust me.   When you find emails like this from Facebook, Google, Paypal, Livejournal, etc. -- just delete them.

For more info on Phishing, Microsoft says this -- http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/phishing-symptoms.aspx

Hoping you're all having a wonderful day.

May. 17th, 2014

devon_bouncy
Hi all --

I hope you're all having a nice Spring, thus far.  We're having a good one, though I wish we'd have just a few more sunny days.  But this is Forks, and it isn't like it's that unexpected.

Oh, and our hummingbirds have betrayed us.

We had such a good relationship.  If a feeder went empty, they'd flit irritatedly around it, around our heads, and then back again -- and we'd jump up and mix sugar and water, like proper, well-trained, pet-humans.  But what did it get us?  Pfft.  The feathered fiends dropped us like hot potatoes at the first sign of the scotch broom going into flower.

The fields by our house are aflame with their yellow flowers.  It's pretty much all the eye can see in the pasture land there.  That, and our hummingbirds. We only see them at night, when they come in for a nightcap, before winging it away into the gathering dark.

I feel so used.

In other news, I adore my new, electric, Pressure Cooker.  If any of you make home-made broth, and don't have one, you NEED one.  We have always slow-cooked our bone broths for 8+ hours, so that the bones soften, and you get at the gelatin.  But 45 minutes in the pressure cooker, and the bones were as soft as if they'd cooked all night.  And the broth was fantastic -- and I didn't have to worry about evaporation/adding liquid/over-cooking (cough, cough -- burning) the broth.  I'm never making broth any other way.

It made a lovely batch of chicken and dumplings last night.  In 20 mins -- 10 pressure/10 dumpling simmering in the pot.  Yum!

Wishing you all, safe and sound.

-- Resa

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