The Problem with Positive Energy and other stories

The phrase "it never rains but it pours" is not exactly true of Washington State, in which a misty drizzle is part of two-thirds of the days in the year, but it does seem to be true of life. This was apparently the week for my friends to get hit with sorrows.

In one case, perhaps some of us can help: fellow blogger and NaNoWriMo friend Shallee McArthur's sister's house and garage burned down the other night, and the family—which got out safely, thank God—lost most of their belongings. Shallee has a site up with a list of clothing and household items they need, along with the option to donate financially. If you have the will and the means, I'm sure Kylee and her husband and baby would be grateful.

* * *

I washed a horse blanket with a laundry load this week, and Maia claimed it almost the moment I had it out of the dryer. Which actually made doing the rest of the laundry easier, as she spent most of the rest of the day in it:

She did, of course, swipe me with those claws at one point.

* * *

More garden color! I love this hanging basket.

Also: I happened across these minuscule poppies while I was weeding (the poppy is at my palm; of course, the little blue-flowering weed is cute, too... too cute to pull, so I left it there...)

I can't wait to see that blossom open.
Here's the big one I actually planted, for scale—and also because it's gorgeous:

* * *

I spent most of this week in productivity mode, and felt very thrifty and efficient as I made my currant jelly. All that positive energy may have backfired, however, as in my enthusiasm I boiled that jelly till I was quite convinced it had reached the ever-elusive jelly stage. Then, once I'd gotten it in the jars and through the canner, I used an old grandma-trick to guarantee a seal: flipping the jars upside down as soon as they come out of the water bath, and leaving them there till they cool.

Thanks to my aforementioned enthusiasm, this proved to be a mistake.

Nailed it. Haha.
Boil past the jelly stage, and you get what amounts to fruit roll-ups in a jar. :)

Not all my productivity suffered the effects of too much happy-go-lucky zeal. Beth and I made these maxi skirts on Monday. There's just one cut (two if you need to cut for length) and one seam, and the result is fantastic:

Girls, you want to make one of these! They're so comfortable.

It's also lovely to have an alternative to jeans, which are next to impossible to find long enough for me. This skirt laughs at length challenges. Next time, however, I will allow for my apparently having a longer stride than the girl who designed the pattern and add seven or eight inches to the lower measurement instead of five. I can't keep up with Lou when I wear it unless I pick up the hem. :)

* * *

Music of the week: Carrie-Ann linked me a couple of songs in the combox a few weeks back, and they were both so splendid that they'll probably both wind up on here eventually. Here's one: the Tallis Scholars singing Allegri's "Miserere". It moved me to tears.

* * *

Mermaid school!!! For that, I might try and get over my irrational horror of swimming pools. Thanks for the link, Arabella.

This post is late for many reasons, one of which is that Christie and Masha are getting me hooked on Firefly. I started the hour-and-a-half-long pilot last night, watched more of it while putting on makeup this morning*, and just had to finish it in my brief window of afternoon free time, when I should've been prepping this post. A sci-fi Western... I'm reveling in this. Now, here's hoping that Joss Whedon isn't a sadist about killing off characters like the writers for Downton Abbey are.**

Happy weekend, everyone!

* Why, yes, it is hard to put on eyeliner while watching television. And yes, propping my Kindle Fire up on the edge of a  high towel shelf so I could stream the show by the bathroom mirror was a little risky. But it all worked out in the end.
** Lou and I are working through season three of Downton Abbey, and after I complained about one shocking character killing to Beth, she told me who they kill at the end of the season. HORRORS. What, are they trying to be George R.R. Martin? I'm furious.


  1. Ah, the jelly making quandary--do I follow exact directions or go by my gut instinct (which could be totally wrong!), as precious seconds add up. It looks like overboiling reduced the moisture; you left too much space in the jars, too. I guess you could insert a Popsicle stick, remove and lick.

    I have a terrible time getting pants long enough and it doesn't improve as your body changes in middle age. I'm short bodied and all leg--as my spine compresses over the years, I'm afraid I'll resemble a killdeer.

    Now I'm really interested in Firefly. I haven't seen it because it had no end and I dislike having open-ended things (so thankful LOST was allowed a full story arc!). I might rent this.


    1. Haha, I love the popsicle stick idea! And I DID leave waaayyy too much head space in the jars. It never looks like that much when they're upside-up.

      I totally know what you mean about the killdeer thing. ;P

  2. HAHAHAHA! I have so done that with jelly. The 'jelly' stage is an elusive and whimsical stage that resembles twilight in its transience.

    Also, Firefly is one of Todd's absolute favorite shows of all times. You will be saddened by one loss, but you will LOVE Jayne. Todd and I quote him all the time. He is one of those characters that you cannot help but adore. He's simple but necessary. Todd also loves Red Dwarf and Dr. Who... both of which have life-size humanesque cats. What is with the British and their cats?

    The skirts turned out awesome. I love them.


    1. Oooh, good to know! I need to ask Lou whether he wants to watch this with me, or whether I'm on my own with it. I DO like Doctor Who, or at least I liked the one episode I've seen, so maybe that'll be another thing for us to try.

      I'm so glad you like the skirts!!

  3. YAY FIREFLY!!! :) The Pilot is so good on so many levels. While I agree with Arabella that it can be frustrating when a story isn't given the chance to have a full arc, once you see all that there is to see in the Firefly 'verse, it becomes one of those things where the storytelling is just *so* good you're just so grateful the story ever even existed in an actualized (read: produced) manner. It's like a family you know is always there, waiting to welcome you back in, whenever you decide to pop Disc 1 back in. Definitely worth an initial viewing, and so glad Jenna is giving it a go!

    1. The pilot is SO good. I can't believe this show got canceled... it really is great storytelling. Can't wait to see the rest of it. Thanks for the further recommendation!! :)

  4. Late, but I wanted to say the pictures of Maia are precious. :)


All comments are currently moderated. Friendly comments are welcomed with fairy music, magic wishes, and possible unicorn sightings. Troll comments will be Transfigured into decent-looking rocks or Vanished. Spam comments will be shot down with blasters.