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Old 11-26-2018, 11:11 AM   #5601
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Thanks for that concern, Bill.

We didnít get that much snow here, itís the layer of ice underneath that concerns me more.

Iíve already shoveled about 5Ē from my driveway this year, just a couple of weeks ago.

This will be a piece of cake, but not today.


Maggie
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Old 11-26-2018, 12:10 PM   #5602
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Thatís the nice thing about being retired Maggie. You donít have to go anywhere. Let nature take care of the ice.

I can hear your wood stove crackling.

Dan
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Old 11-26-2018, 12:28 PM   #5603
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That is true, Dan. In my working days, I would have driven in this mess at 6 am this morning.

I have thrown down some salt.

We are otherwise hunkering down today...a new batch of firestarters made, a couple of hats finished...

Peoria, where I was to have a dental appointment early this morning, got a whole lot more snow than here, and 7,000 are still without power as of the noontime news.

We are snug and dry and have electricity...could be worse.

Maggie
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Old 11-30-2018, 07:12 AM   #5604
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Yes, it is doing just that...

I am going to be making firestarters and finishing up a batch of hats and neck warmers today.

The city plow will be thru, eventually I will shovel and salt, as temps arenít going to be above freezing for days so there will be no melting til the end of the week.

Winter in the Midwest.
Hi Maggie,

Still here and reading your wonderful musings as my time allows. I was just thinking about your firestarters yesterday when I couldnít get a pile of sticks and leaves to start. Of course I wasnít doing much to help it along either. I for one would appreciate an update on your fire starter recipe as itís evolved over time, please maíam. Iím still cleaning up yard debree from hurricane Michael so occasionally I light a pile. Itís gotten cooler here and I was actually considering using the fireplace this year and wondered if thereís a smell of wax when you use these inside. Our usual fire starter is a couple pieces of fat lighter from a downed pine tree and although it smells strong, I do like the smell of pine.

Carol
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Old 11-30-2018, 07:39 AM   #5605
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Hi Carol!

We have to purchase that fatwood up here, buying it in bags at the big box stores.

The cedar shavings firestarters are better than anything I have ever used, and ridiculously inexpensive.

1) Cedar hamster bedding from WalMart, a few dollars for a bag that will easily make a few hundred firestarters. I have barely dented the one I bought a few years ago.

2) White muffin papers

3) 1 box of Paraffin wax from the canning section at WalMart or wherever


Melt paraffin in some sort of double boiler. I use a 16 Oz, metal measuring cup in a small pan of boiling water.

Lay out 20 muffin papers on a wax paper lined cookie sheet, and fill with cedar shavings.

Use a small gravy ladle to dispense the melted wax onto each mound of cedar shavings, 2 small ladles per mound works for me. You need just enough wax to hold the shavings together, and it doesn’t take much.

Let cool, light the paper edge.

They work great, never fail to light my morning fire.

I originally used a muffin pan, but you can make more than 12 out of one box of paraffin, and also there are always drips you then have to scrape off the pan.

You can then roll the waxed paper up, and use it as it’s own firestarter.

Maggie
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Old 11-30-2018, 01:32 PM   #5606
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It never feels like I am coming home to an empty house, when greeted by the loving and exuberant Miss Lily, and the warm, welcoming glow of the woodstove.
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Old 12-01-2018, 04:16 PM   #5607
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It never feels like I am coming home to an empty house, when greeted by the loving and exuberant Miss Lily, and the warm, welcoming glow of the woodstove.


God Bless!
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Old 12-01-2018, 06:17 PM   #5608
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Thank you!

Today it was 57 degrees, with rain, and now severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are moving through the area.

No tornadoes near us, but we are watching the radar closely.


I delved into a time capsule in the tall dresser in my bedroom this afternoon...the left upper drawer, which I had emptied out for Doug when he moved in several months before we married in 1992.

He was a chronic saver of small bits of paper...ticket stubs, matchbooks, receipts of various kinds, including the $10 one from the County Clerk for our marriage license.

I had added his wallet to his kept things in there after he died, and just left the drawer alone, but I did a little ridding out today...

Maggie
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:19 PM   #5609
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Thank you!

Today it was 57 degrees, with rain, and now severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are moving through the area.

No tornadoes near us, but we are watching the radar closely.


I delved into a time capsule in the tall dresser in my bedroom this afternoon...the left upper drawer, which I had emptied out for Doug when he moved in several months before we married in 1992.

He was a chronic saver of small bits of paper...ticket stubs, matchbooks, receipts of various kinds, including the $10 one from the County Clerk for our marriage license.

I had added his wallet to his kept things in there after he died, and just left the drawer alone, but I did a little ridding out today...

Maggie


I feel for you. My pop died about the same time Doug did, my mom has had a tough time with that to this day.

Stay with it Maggie, live life and be satisfied with your memories while making even more memories.
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:47 PM   #5610
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Thank you, we are doing pretty well at this point, really, tho I think it will always be a work in progress.

I come across things, still, and say “oh, honey”...remnants of moments and times past, my world is still full of them.

But, ya get up and keep going, because life will go on, whether you want it to or not.

I miss him, but am very grateful for what I still have, the ability to continue to travel, and for what is good in my life.

Maggie
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:45 AM   #5611
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There was a coating of ice on everything when I got up this morning, and light snow coming down...this after the 28 reported tornadoes and 18 confirmed across Illinois on Saturday, with 7 touchdowns.

It’s one of those winters, I just hope for a break after Christmas so the kids and I can enjoy playing a bit and I can then safely get out of here.


I haven’t put up many decorations nor a Christmas tree the last few years, not doing the dinners here any more and the grands having outgrown in size a few winter days over the holidays inside Grandma’s little house.

Once I started to get past the everything-must-stay-the-same, automatic pilot, first few years of widowhood, I started changing a lot of things up, just to better suit solo me, and what I put up for the holidays was one of those things.

I guess it’s what one does in the after, when living in the shadow of the before.

The big thing being that the tree, et al, has to be taken down and put away before I head south...just a heck of a lot of work, with mostly just me to look at it and deal with it, so I don’t.

Back when the grands were little, they were here a lot, we baked and decorated cookies, they had favorite ornaments on the tree, all those things were very important.

Things change, kids grow up, people die...the cycle of life.


I still love my fresh wreath for the front door, however, and this year my kids gave me a beautiful floral holiday arrangement as an early gift...something Doug got for me very year, and which we sent to his Mom in her later years, but which I haven’t indulged in since he died.

The floral arrangement is perfect for me, as how many more things does a near-70 year old need, really? Tho they gifted me of late a Smart TV and a garage door opener, which I wouldn’t have bought for myself and which are greatly appreciated.

I would have bought the door opener, eventually, as I could barely manage that door and the time would certainly come when I could not at all.

Better to anticipate those needs than deal with them on a crisis basis, that’s what they thought, and I agreed.

So, I’ve got my wreath and beautiful floral arrangement to enjoy, and gifts for the grands are taken care of, so I’m basically ready.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:36 AM   #5612
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When I am not immersed in orphan trains, stealing and selling children adoption scandals, the Holocaust, French Resistance, etc., I usually am most often reading a fictional crime mystery. One has to have a break from recreationally reading of the real life horrors of humanity...but for the news, which I maybe should avoid, but cannot.

This is my current read, and it is excellent. I love a book like this, that I donít want to put down, which keeps me up past my usual bedtime and calls to me to sit and read during the day

https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Monday-F.../dp/014312272X

I donít think I have read this author before, but I will watch for her again.


Two sacks of hats, scarves and neck warmers distributed, and I will have one more filled and dropped off before Christmas.

The neckwarmers were very well received, and have been a great way to use up partial skeins not big enough to complete a hat or full sized scarf.

I donít know how I didnít come across these earlier, just a variation on a cowl, and so much easier to manage than a scarf that has tails and flaps about in the wind.

I have used a simple woven stitch for men, and prettier ones for women, and between these, hats and scarves, my yarn stash is significantly reduced as I get closer to traveling for a few months...a good thing.

Michaels has the beautiful Lion Brand yarn @ buy one, get one half off this week, though, so I have indulged in some new colors and am going to make neckwarmers for my grands, to go with their new down coats, before our trip to the Windy City the end of this month.

Now, if they will wear them.


We had some brief respite from bitter cold, but it is back at it again, with light snow and freezing temps, and lows predicted in the single digits the next few days.

Nice to be on the inside, looking out...winter in the Midwest.
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:00 AM   #5613
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Would you share general pattern for neck warmers. I have a ton of yarn and would love to donate to people in need. Thanks
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:49 AM   #5614
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Good morning!

I am doing men’s generally like this picture, tho not as deep...I do about 30” long and 7” wide, then seam the end. You can vary some, as people are different sizes.

This is one of my favorite stitches, and I use a size 8 to 10 crochet hook, depending on the yarn. I want the stitch loose enough to be a soft finished product, rather than stiff, but tight enough to be warm.

For women, I have used a variety of pretty stitches out of my pattern books, but this stitch will work for men or women.

I am keeping to 30”-36” long, before seaming into a circle, as the idea is for warmth rather than decoration...wanting them to be fairly close to the neck, but not tight.

We have a shelter here, men’s shelter, and a soup kitchen...all grateful recipients of warm things.

I’m sure your community will appreciate your efforts.
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