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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winter Snow, Rain and All that Jazz

I've been walking the dog in this blasted white stuff for a month now. She LOVES it. I... well, less than love it. Unfortunately I don't have a pair of winter boots anymore. Mine wore out a few years ago, and the winters have been so mild I've just pushed the need for new boots aside. Paying for that procrastination now. However, we are getting a bit of a break in the weather today, and its so warm snow is melting fast. Maybe instead of snow boots I should get a pair of kamik rain boots, and be prepared for the floods all this snow is going to create. I feel sorry for the town we live near. Every time something like this happens they flood badly. Our home is high enough and out in the country that we don't have those types of problems, but the ground gets soggy enough. Hopefully all that water won't freeze up again--we'll have a skating rink outside if it does.

Landlocked Blues

I miss my boat. It's sitting out in the driveway covered in snow, and looks so out of place. Last winter when we first brought it home, it looked great sitting in the driveway, but now, after having had it in the water all summer, and getting used to playing on it, seeing it landlocked is sort of sad. I'm feeling a little guilty too, and hope I don't end up paying for it in the long run. We did everything right as far as winterizing, so that's not a problem, but I haven't had a chance to get in it since we got it here just before the really bad weather hit, so all the canvas and plastic is still inside. It's protected inside the cabin, the the cold is bad for it. If I have to replace all new canvas for the new season it will end up being a very costly mistake.

New Baby Danger

A friend of mine recently had a baby, and I got the sweetest baby thank you cards in the mail for the gifts I sent for her. She is the cutest little thing, and each card came with a photo of her in her hospital 'garb'. I can't wait to watch her grow up. My friend doesn't live closeby, so although I have to miss on the wonderful feeling of holding a little newborn, and playing with a baby, at least I won't be tempted, and get the baby-blues from that "new baby smell." There's something contagious about newborns, and at this stage of my life, that could be dangerous.

How Clean is Your Soil?

One doesn't often think about "washing" or treating soil unless disaster strikes. There are many reasons to need the services of a soil treatment facility, and they are usually quite serious: contamination of the soil occurs after oil spills, hazardous chemical spills, waste water that leeches into the surrounding soil. Bad soil is more than just unproductive, it is dangerous to wildlife and people alike. A soil treatment facility gets rid of the harmful elements and restores the soil.

Arsenic Removal Plant

The US Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) operated a treatment facility in Vineland, NJ from 2004 until 2007. The plant was erected to clean the soil surrounding a former herbicide plant that contaminated local soil around the facility and neighboring communities with arsenic. The soil was conveyed on belts through a complex washing system that first screens all debris and particles out of the soil, then filtered and leeched through sand to get rid of all traces of the poison and distributed onto clean pads. The arsenic was collected and sealed in drums. In total, the plant that was constructed by ART Engineering, LLC, cleaned 410,000 tons of earth that allowed it to be returned in its natural, healthy state. ART Engineering, LLC specializes in creating treatment plants where large areas of earth must be cleaned of various harmful chemicals or waste. Other projects include a facility to treat crude oil contamination at Rocky Mountain House oil pits in Alberta, Canada, Uranium extraction in Ashtabula, Ohio for the U.S. Department of Energy, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon cleanup on the Monsanto site in Massachusetts and radium eradication in New Jersey.

Waste Material Removal

KleenSoil is a plant designed to remove waste material from the soil in the Palmetto, Florida area. The factory can has 127,000 square feet of processing and storage space in an enclosed facility. It uses a fire kiln oven process to heat soil up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit in order to destroy contaminants. One of the biggest issues that KleenSoil combats is oil contamination, and it has processed over a million tons of petroleum contaminated soil since 1992 that have been brought to them from thousands of sites in the Florida area.

Canadian Contaminated Soil Treatment

Biogenie operates several treatment plants in Canada. With locations in Montreal, Paris and Manchester it is set up to handle workloads from all areas where contamination exists, and allows communities to recover contaminated soil and recycle it instead of clogging landfills, or risking dangerous exposure.

Singing along with Karaoke

I've had my grandkids home for the holidays now for a week. They'll be leaving sometime today, and the house sure will be quiet. Maybe I should get a karaoke machine and learn to sing. If I'd had one this past week, it would have really been interesting. The kids love to sing. Just like they're mother and I, however, they don't sing particularly well. With a Karaoke machine, at least we could all sing badly to music. It would have been a lot of fun. The good thing is, they're moving, this week was sort of a transition period as much as a holiday. They came in for the Christmas and New Year's break, but they are also moving up from southern Illinois in the process. It's great! They'll be close to home again. Maybe now really is the time to think about that machine.

Friday, December 24, 2010


It doesn't matter how often I see it, "It's a Wonderful Life" makes me cry every time. I have it on DVD but I can't help but watch it whenever it comes on TV.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Wedding Rings wiht all the Bells and Whistles

After almost 28 years of marriage I'm looking around to replace my engagement and wedding rings. The original set got lost a while back. Doing farm work wasn't very conducive to keeping jewelry in good condition. Since I am not doing that type of work now, I'd like to have a nice wedding set to wear. My taste is a bit more elaborate than my pocketbook, however. My hubby suggested buying a new set for Christmas, and that would be wonderful. I've been looking at cubic zirconia rings because I can get what I like without going broke in the process. Cubic zirconia has come a long way in the past few decades, and rings and other jewelry look beautiful. They're hard to tell apart from diamonds unless you're a professional jeweler, and even then, only if you are specifically looking with the right equipment. I'm looking at a lovely 2.0 carat solitaire with white gold band. Then a simple thick white gold band for the wedding ring will round it off perfectly.

Mind Archives

Don't you wish your brain was like a computer? A lot of young people won't remember a time when they didn't have computers, online journals, Google to look up past events, but those of us born before 1980 remember well a time before the Internet, personal computers and search engines. Those of us born before 1980 also know what it is to try and remember people, events, or likes and dislikes from the past and draw a blank... it can be very difficult to dig up information from the past if you can't remember it. That's most true for personal information such as who you went to school with, who you liked, didn't like, etc... It would be nice to be able to "view archives" in the mind.

Starting Over

I don't understand my body anymore. That's a kind of a sad comment that someone can make after almost 50 years living with a body. You'd think that by this time I'd have a pretty good handle on how it works. I did too, up until about two years ago. Suddenly things started working different, or not working, or being obstinate. The most notable of these problems was in the weight loss category. I had a real good handle on what worked, and what didn't up until about the age of 47. I'd heard it said that once you get over 30 it is hard to lose weight, but I didn't find that to be true. In fact, I had no problems at all... until 47. After that I found myself looking for whatever alternative I could find. Fat burners, calorie cutting tricks, weight loss products like Lipofuze, and others. All attempts to get back on track and find out how to control my obstinate body again. With the help of products like Lipofuze I have a better grasp on my metabolism again. It took a little time to find out how it worked best for me, but I don't feel so alien in my own body anymore... which is a big relief. I'm too old to start all over again.

Burning Up Again

For several seasons "Burn Notice" has been a favorite of mine, but the last season started to feel really old, boring, and I watched sort of with one eye while doing other things. Finally, this new season that just started a few weeks ago is burning again. It's hot. I thoroughly enjoyed last night's episode "Brotherly Love" even though at first I didn't understand Maddy's anger and attack on Michael. It got clearer at the end of the episode, but still was a little out of character for her. The rest of the gang is back on track again, though, and I hope that Nate, the brother, keeps making appearances, although it seems like he was a one-spot appearance here.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Modern Metal

Moving out to the country sixteen years ago brought a whole new insight into modern barns, sheds, and out buildings. In the suburbs, buildings that were in addition to houses on a property were usually constructed of the same wood frame construction as the actual house. Of course, the most common type structure was a garage. Out here, there are so many types of additional buildings, we ourselves have three: a second two-car garage, an eight stall barn, and a full-sided car port "boat shed". The garage is about the same age as the house, and back in the 1960/1970s out buildings, including barns and garages were still built in the common wood frame structure rather than the more modern metal building style seen now. The barn and car port are both metal sided buildings. The barn has a wood frame with metal covering, commonly used in heavy-duty, full structure buildings. The car port has a metal frame with metal siding attached. It is strong, but not as sturdy as the barn. Another very common metal siding use in homes out here, is metal roofing. It sounds like it would be inefficient, like a mobile home, but modern technology, proper insulation, and the fact that home wood structures are still in place, just covered with the metal sheeting instead of less sturdy shingles makes it very durable and effective. In the next year we are going to be replacing the roof on the house here, and I am hoping to use metal roofing in place of the shingle system currently in place.

Boat's Home

The boat is home!

We brought the boat home last weekend. It finally feels normal. When the boat was at the marina, even though the boat shed we put up to house the boat was empty, it felt okay because the boat was in 'its home' for the summer and we had a 'home away from home'. But when we took the boat out of the water for the winter, suddenly the boat house seemed empty, and the boat was somewhere in limbo (the service shop to get winterized and checked out).

Maybe it was because we weren't sure how the bottom would inspect out. We'd found that to be a big problem last spring when we took it to be inspected and 'summerized', and had to spend a lot of money to get it 'fixed' and the shop guys weren't able to promise it wouldn't get just as bad once it was in the water again. Because we had just bought the boat, we, nor they, knew what exactly had caused the damage in the first place. It could have been innocently caused by sitting in water without bottom paint and sealer. Or, it could have been a more sinister 'bad foundation' that would continue to reoccur no matter what we did.

Hallelujah, the bottom looked 'better than I expected' the shop guy said. Woohoo! It did look good when we pulled it out, but I hadn't dared to hope that I was seeing it right.

Whatever the reason, the boat came home, and is all snuggled in for a winter nap. The only downside is that it took awhile for them to finish up and for us to get it home, so I didn't get a chance to wash and wax it before the cold weather. So it will have to wait until spring and it's really dirty. It's going to be a real arm killer in the spring.