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no baker

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day to all.

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday.

It's official: I'm no baker. I attempted a cake this morning, and it's a total disaster all around. The cake should be moist, but I don't think it was supposed to be gooey. I make the icing from scratch and it's running. The icing I put on the side of the cake is slowly puddling at the bottom. We're off to the movies and we'll need to pick up desert on the way back.

I will attempt beer can chicken when we come back. Hopefully it won't be a disaster. But we have a back up: hot dogs.

kids in church

Friday, May 23, 2008

received in an e-mail...

3-year-old Reese :
'Our Father, Who does art in heaven, Harold is His name. Amen.'
A little boy was overheard praying:
'Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am.'
After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong.
Finally, the boy replied, 'That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I wanted to stay with you guys...'
One particular four-year-old prayed, 'And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.'
A Sunday school teacher asked her children as they were on the way to church service, 'And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?' One bright little girl replied, 'Because people are sleeping.'
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.
Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson.
'If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, 'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'
Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, 'Ryan , you be Jesus !'
A father was at the beach with his children when the four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore where a seagull lay dead in the sand. 'Daddy, what happened to him?' the son asked.
'He died and went to Heaven,' the Dad replied.
The boy thought a moment and then said, 'Did God throw him back down?'
A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, 'Would you like to say the blessing?'
'I wouldn't know what to say,' the girl replied.
'Just say what you hear Mommy say,' the wife answered.
The daughter bowed her head and said, 'Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?'

best for burns

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Last week's exterior house repairs earned me sunburns on the back of my legs. Which reminds me that I should do a product endorsement. Folks, I don't think there is anything better on the market than Campho-Phenique for healing burns. I burnt my finger once on a hot pan, and this medicine cleared it up in no time flat (less than week, pain gone in one day). That was the incident that by which I discovered this remarkable product.

It does say not to put it on large areas of your body. I slathered it on my calves and thighs anyways. The sunburns healed right away.

I don't think it's much good for anything else. Just burns.
For healing skin (such as cuts), Neosporin is the best.

From now on, I am not working outdoors in shorts. Pants it will be. Until my memory fails me again.

just running errands

So what do you do while waiting to enter the convent? Live. It's not like there is a choice to do anything else.

Yesterday my car got new shocks and struts. It deserves it. The car odometer rolled over 100,000 miles recently though I can't remember whether it was this week or last week. This would be the first time ever that the shocks and struts were replaced. Today I took it to get its new tires installed. I had purchase those tires back in October last year, receiving them in November. That took at least two hours at the tire shop. My car is all nice and stiff now. It's not a cushy ride; it never was--it wasn't ever designed for that. But it's wonderful peace of mind knowing that my tires and shocks/struts are in decent condition.

After taking the car, it was time to take the dog to the vet. He has a hot spot, ear infection, bacteria in his stool, and the doc wants me to up his food quantity. So now I have to give him Benadryl, antibiotic, and ear ointment. Upping his food is easy. The pills are easy. His bath would be inconvenient; actually getting to scrub his hot spot (on his tail) would be difficult. Putting ointment in his ear is TOUGH.

After those two errands, I decided not to work on the house. I'm just so tired. I played on the computer a bit then I washed the dishes; it's approximately a week's worth of dishes.

love tools?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Do you love tools like I do? Check out the Toolmonger blog.

The only reason I don't have more tools is because I don't have that kind of moolah. Since I have to work on the house I've had to get some more tools. I now have two different kinds of pry bars and have added a hand saw to my collection. I do not own any power tools except a drill.

Here's a list of basic tools that everyone should probably have (aside from the office scissors, flashlight, and pencil). Even if you don't know how to use it, it'd make the job easier for someone to come help you.

hammer (c'mon, tell me you have one) - one for small jobs and one for big jobs
tape measure
set of screw drivers (flat and phillips)
set of tiny screw drivers
set of pliers (plain, needlenose, and channel)
hack saw + blade
hand saw
box wrenches
ratchet wrench and socket set, metric and english
power drill and basic bits (buy specialty bits as you need them)

tool-grade extension cord (14 or 12 gauge cord)
a variety-pack of sand paper
some sort of block (such as scrap wood) you can use as a sanding block
electrical tape

variety-pack of electrical connecting nuts
small nails for hanging small things on the wall
medium nails for quick fixes
variety of plastic wall anchors and associated screws

circular saw and general purpose blade
locking pliers
wood glue
hand-file (wood file)
hex wrenches
pry bar
stud finder
luxury item: torque wrench

if you're going to be painting:
paint roller (choose right nap for your wall) and roller frame
trim roller and frame
paint roller pan
HIGH QUALITY sash brush
paint can opener
caulk gun
sanding sponge
wood filler
fiberglass wall repair tape
putty knife - 4"

someone else has a list here

I might update this list from time to time

OLLU fire

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I was very sad to see on the news last night the image of huge flames bursting from a building at Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) in San Antonio, Texas.

See their website if you wish to make a donation towards rebuilding.
The main building is what burnt.

I thought for sure all was lost of the old buildings there. Minutes later when I learned that the fire was prevented from spreading to the convent side, I was soooo relieved. I am glad the Sisters of Divine Providence (and everyone) are ok, and glad indeed that their Sacred Heart Conventual Chapel is not affected. It is the most beautiful chapel ever. If you come to San Antonio, this chapel is a must-see.

Still, it is sad. Though the Sisters don't own the University anymore, OLLU is their heritage, they still freely access OLLU and several of the Sisters teach and work at the university. There is so much history in the building that burned. It was such a tribute to the goodness and providence of God working through the Sisters through the ages.

Yes, I would agree that it needs to be rebuilt. But not a replica. Those who knew what it was would tire of telling people that it's not the original. Those who didn't know the original would feel cheated -- it looks like the original but isn't the real thing. Aside from the architecture and workmanship, what made that building spectacular was that it was the original and that it had stood since 1895.

So to rebuild is not to replicate the building, but to re-born the same spirit that produced that building: to build the best that architecture, engineering, and materials could offer at the time and make a building that would be a marvel to behold and which would last for ages. The facade of the original building is still standing. I would preserve that facade and incorporate it into the new building. I would need a great architect to elegantly meld the past (the facade) to the best of modern architecture. In that way, a great piece of the past could be preserved. And of course, the new building would need to be energy-efficient and eco-friendly.

That's my two cents.

too busy

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Sorry. This has been a no blogging blog.

house = repairs = less time, less money

The contractors who screwed up the fence also screwed up somewhat on the house fascia, specifically the caulking. So I'm alternating between trying to work on the fence and trying to work on the fascia. The caulking they put up is already cracking and leaving gaps. Removing the caulk is taking me a very long time. After removing the caulk would be applying primer paint. Then new caulk. Painting eaves is no fun at all. Caulking will be a challenge since I cannot do a continuous strip, having to stop, get down, move the ladder, and restart. I haven't attempted the caulking yet (I have one section where it's ready for new caulk). After the caulk dries, I can then apply the paint.

Work is still as stressful as ever. Just deadlines. And lots of work. And truthfully, I'm only doing it for the money. As seen on a bumper sticker: I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.