Monday, October 16, 2017

Open the Door to Autumn

A nice way to decorate a door for autumn...with inexpensive merchandise. All you need are sticks, two-sided tape and a package of artificial leaves.

Thanks, Dollar Store Style via Hometalk, for this simple, brilliant look. She uses this method for an interior door, but it could work for a protected exterior door, too.

Go here for specifics and step-by-step photos.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Weinstein and Other (Alleged) Animals

    I am amazed at the trouble Harvey Weinstein finds himself in nowadays. Not only has he been fired from his company and expelled from the National Academy of Arts & Sciences -- it looks like he'll be losing his Legion of Honor medal from France. 
    All because many women (past the dozens, headed toward the hundreds) are accusing him of sexual harassment over several decades. Big-time. 
     There's little doubt in my mind that he's probably guilty of the accusations. What bothers me most, though, is how long he's gotten away with it -- and how many entertainment icons and political figures (particularly those who have benefitted from his patronage and donations over the years) are suddenly very quiet about it all.

      *Why are the accusers (with only a few exceptions) suddenly speaking up about this? Am I supposed to commend them for their 'honesty'...when they should have said something long ago? 
      *Is it because they were scared -- of what he could do to them, or their careers? Obviously. (I have spoken up about inequities several times in my own career -- and been punished for it, too.)
      *Why are some of those same women jumping all over others, on the grounds that they should have said something, instead? 
      *Why has his wife chosen now to start divorce proceedings? (She must have guessed something long before this.) Was she enjoying the money and the status enough to put up with it?

      One of the few heroes in this sordid affair is, of all people, Brad Pitt. His girlfriend at the time, Gwyneth Paltrow, claims she was propositioned by Weinstein, and told Pitt about it. In spite of his youth -- and the fact that Weinstein could have easily destroyed him in Hollywood -- Paltrow says that Pitt had a showdown with Weinstein, threatening him with a 'Missouri whuppin' if he didn't leave her alone. ['Whuppin,' Gwyneth - not 'whooping!']
     Now that's courage.

     The clock is ticking for Mr. Weinstein. Hopefully he can unload his houses (and hide the money somewhere quick) before the lawsuits begin. The party's definitely over.

A dozen freaky dog costumes. Don't get any ideas for our granddog Karma, Daughter #2 and Son #1! (From Cracked) Not to mention:

Don't let them do it, Grandma!

Six conspiracy theorists who got nowhere.  Like David Irving, Holocaust denier, who sued in court...and lost.  (From Cracked) Also:

Six iconic costumes that made their wearers' lives a living misery. Hey, at least they became famous for it, right?

New admissions from Kobe Steel. They were falsifying tests that said the steel was okay -- it wasn't. Then selling it for use in various transportation systems, including railroads. Hopefully this doesn't have real-life implications...because it probably does.

An amazing look at dealing with defeat -- and trusting God, no matter what.  (From Short Little Rebel)

A 300-year-old math puzzle -- solved.

A 1 1/2-inch crucifix may change the 'real' date Christianity made headway into the Viking world.

Pumpkin seed brittle. Oh my!  (From A Hundred Dollars A Month)

Old-time home remedies that STILL work.  (From Reader's Digest)

Seven ways to use curtain hardware at home.  (From Apartment Therapy)

Eggroll noodle bowl -- fast, easy, low-calorie. If you enjoy Oriental foods, this is for you. (From Taste of Home)

Dolls (and dollhouse rooms) that help solve crimes, thanks to a tractor heiress.

Skillet spaghetti -- one pan, less than 30 min...supper's done!  (From Living in Rural Iowa)

"Here's what I learned from working for millionaires."  (From Making Sense of Cents)

Ten historical rarities that should have produced big bucks at auctions -- but didn't.  (From Listverse)

"I regret where I bought my house."  Location, location, location.  (From Trulia)

Holding to a $40/week food budget. With ideas for a $30 budget, as well. (From Moneysaving Mom) Also:

Transfer $25 to Amazon...and get a $5 bonus. 

Lessons learned from interviewing nineteen millionaires.  (From Budgets Are Sexy)

Have a great week.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Things to Ponder (And Purr About)

Cat stuff we may not want to know the backstories for...

Our Weimaraners used to do this. All the time.

And the winner:

One of our cats, pestered too much by her sons, moved the next block over. The girlies would go by the house on their way to and from school. She would come out to greet them, then go back inside. Maybe he fed her liver and Little Friskies, instead of the generic food?

All I can say is... cat stuff happens.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Signs of Autumn

...for Colorado, that is.

*Roasting chilis. About mid-September through the first of November, the green chili people from Hatch, NM, roll into town. They set up shop in a parking lot, and their barrels start heating up. That warm, spicy smell drifts everywhere...and they even have a special: buy a bushel, get one for free.
     That odor, and a plastic bag of warm, blackened chilis, is the first sign that fall is here.

*Our first snow. Which usually comes in tandem with the first freeze. It can range from Labor Day to Halloween. One year, it was August 1st; this year, it was last week.
     The mountains start to frost up regularly. Combined with aspen golds and the white, billowing clouds (Moisture! Oh boy!), it's a lovely sight.

*The Brick leaves for hunting. This year, it's with friend Tommy -- Daughter #2 and Son #1 may stop by over the weekend.
     This is an annual tradition for us...I grew up in a hunting family. In Michigan, hunting camp went up in November, not long before Thanksgiving. The women hunted along with the men -- but knocked off early to feed the kids and get supper ready. (Why didn't I go this year? Because the Brick usually goes with his daughters -- and they enjoy spoiling him. Besides, I had to work.)

Bring a (hairy) friend home for dinner, Honey...

*The race begins -- how long can we go without turning the heat on? We went quite a while this year, thanks to the woodstove, but the snowstorm was the kicker. The thermostat's off again now, and I figure I'm winning another way -- I'm still going barefoot. No heavy socks...yet!
     It not only saves on the utility bills, but makes me feel very pioneer-y. We're not the only ones who do this, by the way.

*Pumpkin stuff is EVERYWHERE. Gag a maggot. Am I the only one in the universe who likes her coffee to taste like actual coffee?!?

*Hot soup sounds good. Beef stew, too. But the Brick's real favorite is a slice of pie. (I'll have some good apple recipes coming up shortly, as well.)

peach pie...yumm

*The mice are back -- in droves.
I keep hearing rustling sounds late at night, which the dogs are conveniently ignoring. (Maybe they're snoring too loud to hear.) We have six traps out, all baited with peanut butter. Maybe they want pumpkin, instead...

*A little bit of red. Most of our fall colors are gold. If we're lucky, some orange, too.
Our single burst of color -- a burning bush (The sumac and strawberries may turn red, may not)

*You start thinking about Halloween costumes. These autumn fairies showed up last week at one of the intersections -- don't ask me why they were dressed like that so early. 

Even the baby was coated in fall leaves

* start thinking about Christmas. Why in the world, when the Halloween decorations go down -- Christmas ones go up? Even worse, they're sometimes in tandem...ewwww.

*Ideas for Halloween are everywhere... including frugal ones. (Thanks, Frugalwoods and readers, for sharing.) Strange costumes, like these freaky dog costumes. Or carved pumpkin ideas.

Roadrunner must have carved this one

Welcome, Fall.
You are very welcome.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Dozen Things I Learned About Bigfoot (And Other Unusual Matters)

    I spent the weekend at a most intriguing conference.

I went because of my interest in our buddy, Mr. Bigfoot. But there were plenty of others there who were more curious about UFOs, missing people...and whether those incidents connected with BF or not. (Some said it did...but I'm not so sure.) At any rate, here were ten things that surprised me:

*Most Bigfoot researchers -- at least, those represented at these meetings -- believe Bigfoot is a hominid, rather than a bipedal ape. In other words, according to the dictionary:

any member of the group consisting of all modern and extinct humans and great apes (including gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans) and all their immediate ancestors.

    So he/she/it could be a human mix, a hybrid of some kind. (The word is based on the Latin 'homin,' the root meaning 'human' is based on.)

*Nearly all the speakers emphasized that BF was clever and intelligent...but they did NOT refer to it as a specific 'whatever.' Usually, the speakers would say 'thing,' 'phenomenon' or 'creature.' Even the words 'he' and 'she' were scarce, although they had no trouble using the words adult, juvenile or baby.

*They also believed that BF can mess with your mind -- literally. Telepathy? You bet. Wordless communication? No problem. Psychic warnings to go home, even if you were still miles away? You bet. (This one, I had trouble with. Listening to our instincts in these situations, our inner conscience or warning system...this could explain the warnings and odd thoughts to me.)

*Why are photos often blurry? Because Bigfoot can do that sort of thing.  According to some, Mr. BF not only knows when cameras are around -- he/she/it can make them stop operating properly. Ditto for video cameras (although I saw some astonishingly clear video at one point), and definitely for game cams. The fact that, like other creatures out in the wild, they often move at dusk, dawn and nighttime, doesn't help matters any.
     If you're thinking, 'Gee, aren't UFOS supposed to make electronics go awry, or stop altogether?' Yes, you're right. Leading to this supposition:

*Bigfoot and UFOS are linked together. Do the aliens drop Mr. BF off, to run amuck? Did they give him a permanent cloaking device, so he/she/it can disappear more easily? Or do they hang around, just for backup?
     Sasquatch are known to move extremely quietly...and run like the wind. I've actually seen elk moving on the valley floor just below the ridge I was standing on, not 40 yards or so away...and I couldn't hear a thing. My guess is that Our Hairy Buddies don't need any help at this -- they're very good at being silent on their own.

*Bigfoot and orbs are linked together. More than one speaker thought this was some kind of religious connection...and when orbs (often connected with angels, ghosts, hauntings, that sort of thing) show up -- so does Sasquatch.
      This was another statement high on the Weird-O-Meter for me. Do I believe orbs could exist? Of course. (The Brick, North Carolina-raised, had some contact with the Brown Mountain Lights.) But do the reports list on websites like BFRO (Bigfoot Researchers Organization) usually mention orbs, as well?

*You can't MAKE Bigfoot show up. In fact, as one speaker pointed out, 'They're bigger than us. They're intelligent and careful. We may think we're 'habituating' this creature, but the truth is -- they're the ones in charge.'
      I thought he had a point.

*Don't expect a lot of pictures -- you aren't going to get them. Unless it's of footprints, handprints (nearly all on car windows), stick structures or 'gifting' spots, that is. (More on these in a minute.) What made things worse: when actual sightings were described, the speaker often forgot to tell us what the creatures looked like!

*Do expect to see a lot of anomolous 'things'...but they won't be a certainty. At least they weren't, to me. Large trees, stuck up in other trees. Rocks and goodies moved around on a site that researchers put little 'gifts' down, hopefully so BF will move them around and make little, subtly-changed displays. (The speakers actually acted surprised when they came back, and gifts of food and snacks were gone. Go figure.)  'Nests' of piled branches and brush, or brush shelters of angled branches braced against a tree.
     Well...maybe. But I'm not convinced there couldn't be other explanations for a lot of these 'proofs.' Now, footprints, handprints and large coarse tufts of hair -- those aren't so easily explained away.

*The results of a current DNA study makes things extra confusing. The Ketcham DNA Project tested literally hundreds of hair samples. The vast majority of these were categorized as raccoons, deer, dogs, cows, bears and so on, leading some sources to 'hoo hoo' and 'ha ha' the whole thing.  Bigfoot must be fake...right?
     But there's a problem with that. 
     At least three of the samples tested showed a female human (mitochondrial) DNA spliced with a male...unknown. A human/primate hybrid? Possibly.
     Which has led, in turn, to suggestions that Bigfoot is actually a lab experiment who escaped. With sightings from hundreds of years ago, however, that would have had to be one heck of an advanced laboratory. Or... (drum roll please)... from aliens!

*The Bigfoot research communities -- and for that matter, the UFO and missing persons arenas, as well -- are dominated by guys. One female speaker, Sybilla Irwin, gave a brilliant talk on doing portraits based on witness reports. (Go here for her drawings. Harvey Pratt, a retired policeman, had some great ones, too. His creatures, however, often looked more 'human.' Go here for his.)
     The audience had a high percentage of women represented. I know that women attend the expeditions -- in fact, Sybilla said that she had led some.
     So where were the speakers?

*Are Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Skunk Apes, Yeti and 'Wild Men' out to get us? Over and over again, stories told emphasized that the creature standing there could have easily pounded his awestruck human observer...but chose not to. In fact, they went out of their way to avoid it. (Except for, presumably, the mind control business.)
     Some recountings include chasings, fake charges, snarling and screams...but those seem to be intimidation tactics, to get the human to leave. (In other words, as one person pointed out, 'This is MY territory -- GO AWAY.') Or they had family members nearby, and were more concerned with protecting them. This makes perfect sense, wild-animal-wise, to me.

I was very intrigued by videos and still photos from The Erickson Project...the efforts over five years by a group of researchers  following a lady in Kentucky who'd been feeding scraps to a family of Bigfoot for decades -- the same group that her mother had also fed. Unfortunately, the videos I could find on Youtube were much less clear than the ones I saw during the conference, like this one of a sleeping 'Matilda:'

The video shown at the conference was much more clear.The BF looked male -- and surprisingly like Chewbacca. Interestingly, it resembled very few of Harvey Pratt's and Sybilla Irwin's witness drawings. This video is a blurry version of the one I saw -- decide for yourself:

I also found a linguistics professor, Scott Nelson's idea intriguing that Bigfoot's vocalizations were actually communicating, using the same repeating tones and 'phrases.' Like here:

According to him, Bigfoot were brilliant mimics, able to copy not only animal and bird sounds, but human speech. Like names! (He heard his name repeated from a woods -- after his friend had been thrown by a horse, and was calling 'Scott' over and over.)
     He also spent more than 40 hours transcribing the 60-min. (approx.) 'Sierra Sounds' tape...and got 75 pages out of it.

Now, that seems possible! I'm looking forward to learning more about this intriguing theory in the future. 
     Many thanks to Jim Myers at the Sasquatch Outpost in Bailey, along with others, who sponsored the Mile High Mystery Conference. It was well worth attending -- and they're already planning the next one. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Welcome to Colorado!

Yep, it snowed. Boy, did it. 

About 6 inches, not counting all the white stuff that melted when it hit the warm concrete. (We had temps in the 70s the day before.)

Melting quick now... but more cold is expected.

Open the Door to Autumn

A nice way to decorate a door for autumn...with inexpensive merchandise. All you need are sticks, two-sided tape and a package of artificial...