Monday, December 31, 2012

Just an update

So... a wonderful experience was had by all... got home from church with a notice on the door.  I think its finally the eviction notice.    Nope... the charming ( cough) lady ( cough, cough) who kinda illegally tried to get more out off tje house the week before Christmas has posted an vacancy post on tthedoor, which means she's declared it abandoned property.  Of course it's not.  So I spend tje day trying to get her to answer my call s.  No go.  Finally, I call the bank thats evidently the new owner.  They evidently have no record of this property or me or authorising any such action.  The title hasn't transferred yet, do they dont have the right to do this yet.  Now I cant afford a lawyer.  They bill by rhe hour for 5 minutes.  So I call 211, which in Texas is a state aid line, they connect me with a lawyer in human services and she finds all this VERY interesting.  She tells me to call info, get the # for the real estate co. Call and get a fax # & notify them tje house isn't vacant.

Get the #, call it, its disconnected.  Do internet search.  Same thing.  Charming  agent finally reforms call... and we both are excruciatingly polite in a totally fake way that southerners have patented, cause she knows she's on thin ice and Im waiting to hear more from lawyer before I commit too anything. 

Al that being said... I believe with all my heart that everything will work out for the best, and that next year will bring wondrous things.  I have every intention to have (x) amount of dollars sitting in a bank account by next December, and I can be very determined.

Wishing us all prosperity in the next year.  More virtual e- hugs Aall round...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Well... I guess I should just say it, huh?

I am now one of the many Americans who have been foreclosed on.  Oh well.  I inherited this house after my mom passed away and the whole deal, quite frankly, reaked.  I didnt really want it.  I'm three kind of guy who'd be perfectly happy in a trailer in the woods.  The whole responsibility of property ownership isn't for me.  Tried to remortgage, and they wouldn't let me.  Now the mortgage is about double whats the house is worth, and it needs close to 5 figures in repairs.  They want it?  Have at it. 
So, two weeks before Christmas, some female walks into the back yard, and announces t they'll be coming to squeeze tje property next week.  Which I was kinda expecting.  But after announcing that I es to vacate one week before Christmas, she then said "happy holidays"  which caught me off guard, and struck more as ludicrously rude.  Which is probably why I offered to perform an illegal mastectomy.  But not so politely termed.
Anyway, a. few phone calls to friends in the paralegal and real estate fields yielded this.  She didn't have a constable, she didn't have eviction papers, so I dont have to go nowhere.  Actually, I could have called a cop and filed Tresspassing charge.  She was basically trying to get me out without tje expense off filing.  Not gonna happen.
But, I know it's coming so the house is being gutted.  Furniture, antiques, appliances all at the flea market... and my sales have never been better.  Hell id pull out the air vents of i could get a buck out of them...
When it actually happens, I'll have tbree days to remove personal clothes and such to a friends where I'll be staying. Meanwhile. no Tresspassing signs are up, gays are locked, they never did come to seize anything, and I probably got a month before thw eviction papers go through... dint worry about me. Im good.

Monday, December 24, 2012

And Merry Christmas to all...

I've posted over the last few years that I truly prefer a quiet holiday... and I've even written fairly extensively about the reasons for that.  I'm not, therefore, going into it again. 

Lets face it... Yuletide Lugubriousness wears a little thin eventually. 

But I do want to take a moment to wish everyone out there the holiday they want and deserve, whatever that celebration is.

Big ole virtual e- hugs all around y'all!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Doings at the flea...

So... since everyone seems to enjoy the posts where I talk about things at the flea... here we go.

Now... I'm on my android, so arranging pics is very difficult. Theres a picture of a blue cabinet. It's actually a Lane Co. cedar linen safe, or linen hutch... basically it's a standing cedar chest witth roll out shelves for keeping folded linens, quilts and sweaters. The blue green enamel is a bit too much for me, but it's a nice piece, priced at 179.00, in truly excellent condition.

Theres also a small black table... specifically a rolling typewriter table that es layeted for the old manual typewriters. Wheels still roll, the side leaves still work properly... I priced it at 40 bucks. They're in high demands because they're funky and useful. But dont fall in love... it was on Craig's list for less than an hour before I got full price paid over the phone with a credit card.

Theres also am auto harp. This particular one has a jack for an amplifier... there are 3 of them in my booth. 100 to 150 each.

And thats what I've got to show for the moment.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Well... I guess its come to this...

Which is a rather dire sounding statement, isn't it?  But, I can explain.
While waiting for a computer to become available at the library, I ran across a book called " Put Cash in Your Pocket Now" by Loral Langemeier. 

Her basic assertion in the book is that when times get rough, our first instinct is to tighten our belts and start cutting on our budgets.  Which is true.  This puts us in a mindset of "I can't afford it, there's not enough money..." etc... etc... etc...  this leads to stress, and not buying that uber cool jacket, our the Starbucks latte, or whatever is seriously cutting into our enjoyment of life, which also creates stress.

Then she pointed out when you were a kid and you wanted something.  What did you do?  You opened a lemonade stand.  Or you mowed lawns.  Or you did extra chores, to get the money.  This is a much beter mindset.

She then points out that every person on the face off the earth has a whole est of basic skills which are marketable.  If a man has a power washer in his garage that he uses twice a year to wash off his  driveway... there are plenty of people who will gladly pay him to do there houses and driveways on the weekends.  A widow who used to help out at her husbands office occasionally can become an assistant helping small business owners who dont have the means for full time help, over the internet, 2 hours a week.  You can walk dogs.  You can sit with senior citizens while they're primary care givers take a much needed break.

The list is endless, and most can easily turn into 250 to 1000 bucks a month.  The purpose of all this is to turn your focus from "I don't have enough," to " how can I get more?"  And mindset matters.

She then begins helping you figure out what your marketable talents are.  Now, I already know them.

About 15 years ago, I was one of the highest paid tarot card readers in Dallas working the party circuit.  I gave it up for a few  reasons. My parents failing health meant that I couldn't just take off for overnight drives, and the occasional plane flight at a moment's notice.  Plus, my mother was of a generation that thought these jobs were fine,  to be independent and all... but would then point out that McDonald's was hiring.  My parents generation craved the security that a steady, albeit soul killing, job gives.  no matter how dead end it was.  So, for scheduling and peace, I started  working 'real jobs'

So, after filing out over 50 applications with no real progress, I'm going to start working gigs again.  I also know someone who throws those fake Vegas parties for companies, and needs blackjack dealers.  I'm a tarot card reader... I can deal cards in my sleep.

The amazing thing is... I didn't think of it before.  currently drafting the Craig's list ad.  wish me luck.

a nd my favorite quote from the book... Christopher Columbus did not discover America so that we could spend 35 years doing a dead end job to put money in a 401K that might not be there when we need it.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Another week gone...

And nothing really to show for it.  Oh well...  was looking throgh my DVDs... nothing I really wanna watch... what I'm in tje moss for is classic Hitchcock.  Something like Rebecca... where Mrs Danvers set the standard for predatory lesbians in movies for years.  Oor maybe something cheesy... Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, where Bette Davis goes stridently insane.

Something creepy but not exactly Horror is what I'm thinking. I'll figure it out eventually.

They dont make movies like that anymore.  Take The Haunting of Hill House.  Cam you imagine Hollywood putting out a movie like that nowadays?  A ghost story where you never see the ghost?  Couldn't happen.  But it was one of the most successful ghost movies ever, primarily because you imagined the worst.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

And away we go.

Those of you who read yesterday's post know my big plan.  Well...Iv guess I've stated.  I did wake up on time.  I did get dressed, not for an office, more like for factory work, but one step at a time... I also mentioned that I was doing things to stave of depression.  Heres one of them.  I firmly believe in small creative projects.  So, I'm making lace.  Tatting to be precise.  It's portable, inexpensive, meditative.... and when you're done, you can whip stitch it on to pillowcase and give it to someone who likes lacy things.

People often ask me how I learned to do this.  I usually say I learned when I was confined to a bed with mononucleosis and perishing of sheer unadulterated boredom, so my grandmother sat there in her wheelchair and taught me how to crochet, knit, and tat.  This is probably true.  But I dont specifically remember learning to tat.  I just know it. 

Regardless... there we a are.

BYW... This is work in progress... it looks better after its Bern pressed and starched

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

So... heres the plan...

I have been unemployed for entirely too long.  Its annoying and, quite frankly, bloody depressing.  the worst part of it is how at odds you feel.  You dont have a reason to do anything.  I have been looking of course.

No internet at the house so I use a friends or go to the library.  But the game so far hasn't paid off

Tje prob is at the library, you can only use their computer for an hour at a time.  And sometimes when you show up they're all booked for the next 2 hours.  (I have caught up on all my reading though.) 

In the process of that reading, I've researched lots of things.

To my credit:  1)  I have a business license.  Cactus Cowboy can be used for any business I want.
2.)  I'm a creative thinker.
3)  a if I can sell used stuff in a flea market, I can probably sell about anything.

Also in my research... I've learned a few tips.  Firrst... if you don't have a job, one of the worst things you can do is sit about around whining about oht.  Give yourself a job.  Going out, researching jobs, making connections, submitting applications... all these things are work.

So, starting tomorrow, I don't roll out of bed at any old time.  I set the alarm clock.  I get dressed as if for an interview, I go to the office ( my new word for the library) and I get some work done.  When I'm not on the computer, I will research other small business plans or options for my business license.

As for the depression... I've dealt with that issue all my life on some level and I'll be pulling out the stops.  Actually, my above plan will help tremendously.  Simply having something to do and aim for helps.  Not going into all the tricks to deal with ir at the moment, mobile blogging on an android screen is to confining to explain properly, but Im confident I'm heading in some sort of direction. 
It all reminds me of something I read recently.  someone was going through a hard timbre and they were all in a tizzy. 

" How will I make it through this?" they asked in desperation.

And sometime answered, " left foot, right foot, left foot, breath..."

And there we are...

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Well Damn.

Lately... life hasn't been much fun.  I am becoming an absolute expert at being cheap... primarily because I was always a but of a miser to begin with and secondly, I now dont have the cash to be anything but.  Lately I've been wondering if I can turn surviving on pennies into a writing project.  Mostly because I've got notebooks and journals here all about it... I'm one of them people who think things through on paper.

I'm exaggerating of course.  But times are tough all over.  But... I am determined to keep my mood up.

Sorry about the little depressing post.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I know I said I'd post some stuff from the flea.  But its turned out to be one of THOSE WEEKENDS..  anyway... here we are..   a vintage 50's TV light / clock that is musty too cool to be true, ( not in my booth, but its only 30 bucks,  and some pointy toed custom boots from Mexico.  There's a whole subculture around those pointy toes.  Really. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Well... I managed to survive thanksgiving with nothing more drastic than a minor headache.  We all gathered at many friend Hecs house and chowed down then played lotteria... which is a Mexican form of bingo.

Sunday at the flea market...  I should probably post a few pics of some of the stuff up there.  Sunday's usually have their down moments so I'm sure I'll find the time...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

You know what? 

I think Thanksgiving would be much less stressful if we could convince ourselves that the pilgrims prepared Ramen noodles and the Indians brought Twinkies.  Just saying...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Turkey Day

Howdy folks.  For some reason... I thought it would be a good idea to work on the clock at rhe flea market the day before thanksgiving.  Which means I spent three day trying to console people who we re desperately trying to find roasting pans, a decent set of dishes, and a large area rug to cover that hideous carpet in their apartment.  I came out of the experience wanting to rip my hair out. 

Regardless... i survived.  Barely.  Hope y'all have a wonderful day with family and the kind of friends who wouldn't think of noticing your carpet.  Hugs.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Holiday season is coming!  here's an appetizer thats good for suit down parties or football parties. 

You'll need some fresh jalapenos.  select largish ones, with nice firm stems, and as blemish free as possible, the TAMS are pretty
commonly available and milder than most.
You'll need a package of cream cheese, and a setup of bacon for every pepper.

Blanche the peppers quickly by dropping the whole pepper in boiling salted water for 10 to 20 seconds.  immediately cool them in cold water.

Slit the softened pepper from stem to point then use a small spoon or the tip if the knife to hollow out the membranes and seeds.  this removes a lot of the heat from the pepper and makes a small boat.

Fill each hollowed pepper with cream cheese, wrap a piece of bacon around it and bake it on a rack in the oven.  About 20 minutes at 375.  Serve as is or with ranch dressing.

To sex it up... mix the cream cheese half and half with shredded cheddar.  you can also mix in cocktail shrimp if you want...  season any way you want.  Be creative.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Its just one of those days...

So... I'm working at the flea market.  Turned out that the regular guy got a case if the stomach flu thats been going around.  ( Watch out for it... everybody who gets it says out feels like food poisoning.  For three or four days.  Ugh) 

So, I agree to cover for him.  No biggie.  And three extra money is welcome right now.  Everything is cool.

So... today, Sunday, a little boring especially since football season is going Good... until its evidently my duty to confronts customer.  You see... somebody thought out would be cool to bring his pet pot belly pig shopping. 

No... I'm afraid you can not bring pets into the store.  Nor livestock.   Breathing, nonhuman entities must leave.  Yes it is cute.  But really.  No I'm afraid so.  Yes.  In serious.  Really.    GET THE DAMN SWINE OUT OF THE DAMN STORE.  DAMMIT.

See what happens when I have to skip church?  It's not pretty.

But, the pig was cute as the dickens.

Friday, November 09, 2012


Well I can publish now. Finally.  Unfortunately... while I can see that I have comments... Icant seem to publish them yet.

Still on the job hunt.  It has its moments...  today I went to a Lowe's hardware store to apply because they had a handwritten sign inn the window that said they are hiring for three positions.

So I walk in and they point me to the kiosk because they only take applications on line.  Im thinking, " dang... I could have done this at the library.  In comfortable shoes. "   But, Im game... get on their excruciatingly slow computer... press all the buttons then it tells me that there are no jobs to apply for.  Not in this store. Or in a 50 mile radius.

So I ask the person at the desk... they say they're hiring.  I ask why the machine says they're not.

I get a shrug.

I ask if there's a paper application.

Nope they only hire through the web.

But theres no jobs listed, and it won't let me fill out an application without a listing.

So, she shrugs.  Rolls her eyes and says..."I dont know what to tell you."

See, this is kind of strange, because I know exactly what to tell her... but I'm fairly certain that she realized this because she suddenly got a panicked look and bolted...  and thats kinda how my life's been going lately...   anyway.  Hope all my blogger friends out there are gearing up for a wonderful thanksgiving.  I should be in touch a big note now that the mobile blog is working...

I dont believe it...

Finally got this blared mobile blogger to work.  Sure I won't be able to do anything too fancy but it will be nice to do SOMETHING!    Really, I'm just testing...  let's see if I can post a pic...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

hello again... for some darned reason... blogger won't let me post from my phone.  I'll try to figure it out later... but untill then, I'm confined to checking in when I'm at the library.  Very annoying.  GRRRRRR.

hope everyone out there is doing well. 

Thursday, October 04, 2012

howdy howdy howdy. 

just letting everyone know I'm still alive.  I've been laid off from the job, so what time I get on the internet is usually spent filling out applications.  I've tried just hitting the streets... but if I hear the phrase "We don't take paper applications..." one more time, I may explode...

Actually, I'm doing just fine for the moment.  later folks. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

checking in...

Sunday morning.  I should be getting ready for church, but I have decided I'm not going today. 

Right now I'm down the street watering someones lawn.  They took off on vacation to South America to visit family, and left me their keys so I could water their yard and make sure the house was ok.  And use the internet. 

Global warming has not been kind to us this year.  Triple digits started in early July... usually they hold off until August.  So far the highest it's been is 108F.  That's  the official temp... but when you're on the pavement all day it's actually a few degrees hotter.  Not a lot of fun out there. 

We've been having a few days of milder heat though... yesterday it was 99.  It was a relief.  How sick is that? 

So far the plants at the flea market are selling pretty good... I'm actually having a hard time keeping things stocked.  Big pots with combinations of succulents don't sell as well as small rooted cutting though.  People want the little starts of plants rather than the big impressive ones.  Go figure. 

Really just checking in.  Hope everyone is doing well.  TA

Monday, July 23, 2012


And introducing.... The Cactus Cowboy! 

Created by my friend Hector as a logo for the new business.  Fun huh? 

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Recently my niece, who works for a catering company, texted me asking where she could get a prickly pear plant. 
This surprised me. 
Primarily because my niece, God love her, has never expressed interest in growing so much as a petunia. 
After some back and forth texting, I finally determined that it wasn't my niece who was interested in growing a prickly pear, but the chef she worked with.  Not only did that make more sense, but it also kinda narrowed down exactly what we were talking about...

You see, there are a whole bunch of plants that go by the name of prickly pear... almost all of them in the genus Opuntia.  If I know its a chef asking, I know that it's the common napales that we're talking about.   Opuntia ficus-indica.  There are several variations withing the species, and the variation most often seen in Mexican markets is known by a four digit number that escapes me at the moment.  While almost all Opuntia species can be eaten... this variety is the one you see in markets because its growth is fairly rapid and easy, it's practically spineless, and it has a pleasant flavor.

So, I knew what to answer. 

I don't know of any nurseries that will sell you that particular variety of Opuntia. 

There are a couple of reasons for this.  Primarily, it doesn't survive our winters here.  One hard frost and the thing dies.  There are certainly many many species of Opuntia that do survive our winters, but this variety of this species does not.  But secondly, I'm pretty sure that the particular variety we're talking about is patented, and is only really marketed to farmers who are growing commercially.  I don't currently know of any nursery that is producing the plants for the retail market, but I might be wrong. 

If I'm correct, a wholesale nursery would require a permit to produce the things for the retail market. 

So... while it would technically be illegal to propogate the plants to sell, there's certainly nothing stopping you from starting a few at home for your personal use, and luckily it's fairly easily done.

You start by going to the local market and getting a pound or so of Prickly Pear Pads, aka Nopales. 

Now, I live in Central Texas.  A pound of those things are not hard to find.  Fairly cheaply too.  This is the case throughout most of the Southwest, and certainly California, and I'm under the general impression that you can find ANYTHING in New York City if you look hard enough, but I must acknowledge that there are large parts of this country that finding the things will be challenging.  Might I suggest this:  Look through your address book.  You have to know somebody in the right part of the world.  Friends, relatives, the Christmas card lists... there's gotta be somebody out there who can be conjoled, persuaded, coerced, paid, threatened or blackmailed into putting some in a box and sending them to you. 

After you get your nopales, place them somewhere warm and dry for a week or two.  This is basically hardenning off... It's neccessary because when you plant the things in the next step, you want the cut where it was detatched from the plant to have a callous or sealed skin to prevent rot or bacterial infection from the soil.  And now I'm going to tell you its also probably not absolutely neccesary.  There's a very good chance that the nopales you got from the store was cut from the parent plant in Mexico or South Texas or wherever well over a week ago and it's already hardened off.  But if you had to threaten to call your aunt and tell her all about what her son was up to in California to get them, you've gone to a lot of trouble and lets play it safe and set them on a shelf for a week.  Of course, you could stand them up in a wicker basket and set them on a table as a centerpiece.  Whatever, just wait a week... unless they start looking like they're shrivelling.  In that case, go on to the next step. 

And the next step is... pot them up.  Pretty simple. 

Get a six inch plastic pot... recycle one that you bought something else in actually, and put a paper coffee filter in the bottom.  It will hold the dirt in and allow drainage.  Put in an inch or so of any decent potting soil.  Stand 2 or 3 pads up in the soil, then fill the rest in.  Any part of the pad that is touching moist soil will grow roots.  If it's on a warm bright windowsill... this will happen very quickly, so place your pots on a warm bright windowsill, water them, and then water them about once a week. Within 3 to 4 weeks, you should have roots and, if it's warm and bright enough, maybe even the beginning of new growth, and we're ready for the next step, which is planting them outside.   

Now, here in Central Texas, if I'm growing these for eating, I would do this towards the end of January or anytime in February, so that I could plant them outside at the end of March or in April, after all our danger of frost is past. 

When planting them outside you have some options. 

If they're going in the vegetable garden... plant in a row about 3 feet apart.  Maybe more.  You can be economical with your space by planting beds of bush beans between the plants.  By the time the green beans have stopped producing, the prickly pears will be ready to start harvesting.  This variety grows fairly rapidly, so having that extra space between them will make it easier to work around.

The second option is to plant them in a flower bed.  They are interesting and handsome plants.  One on each side of the front door surrounded with marigolds, petunias, purslane or any other colorful annual would be pretty striking.

The third option is to put them in large pots or tubs.  Again, with annuals.  I'm thinking geraniums would be nice.

Just make sure they get plenty of sunlight, and remember that this variety isn't neccesarily a desert cactus.  They can certainly survive drought situations, but watering those annuals around it will ensure it has plenty of water for quick growth.

About 6 to 8 weeks later, you can start harvesting the tender new pads for eating.  Don't take more than you need, leave some there to continue growing even more pads.  Or you could not harvest any and just have some very handsome plants until the fall when you can do a big harvest and can up some nopalitos.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, they won't survive a hard frost.  If you have them growing in large pots or tubs, hopefully you had the foresight to put them on those wheel rollers.  Rolling into a greenhouse is the best if available.  Pushing it into a garage or outbuilding that doesn't get that cold would work too.  If you wish to try it... make sure you stop watering and let it dry out.  All cactus are a little hardier in the winter if they're dry.  Or, if you have the room, you could bring them into the house as a rather huge houseplant. 

Plants in the ground, the simplest solution is to cut enough pads to grow for next year, store in a cool dry place, and start them again next spring. 

The prickly pear fruits that you see in the store, aka tuna, also come from this plant.  However, you're highly unlikely to see the blooms or resulting fruits when you're growing the plants in this manner.  The blooms tend to happen on last years growth.  A plant greenhoused over the winter is the most likely, garaged less likely, and  a new cutting almost impossible.  But the plants are quite capable of surprising you on occasion. 

Personally, I prefer the fruits of the native hardy pears anyway, finding them more flavorful and colorful. 

Two clumps of these plants should be more than enough to feed a family of four the occasional srambled eggs.  If you're feeding a larger family or hoping to rustle up something for a church social... you may have to grow more of course. 

And there we are. 

Should be back in a couple of days with the artwork that my friend drew for me . 

hope everyone out in blogland is doing wonderful

Saturday, June 16, 2012

So... here's the thing.  Many years ago, I decided I wanted to start my own business.  But it seemed every time I started to do so... something happened.  Dad got sick, and taking care of things took all my attention.  Then mother got sick, and I ended up having to take care of that... and the flea market which she owned required my attention, then she got sicker, that business closed and yada yada yada etc etc etc... The time never seemed right to take care of what I wanted and I was too busy taking care of everybody else's stuff anyway. 

Something always seemed to be far more important and immediate.

Finally, it kind of dawned on me that the time would never be right.  You can't sit around waiting for the right time... the right time will never appear and you'll be sitting there on your butt 10 years later, which is pretty much what happened to me.  But it's also never too late... and now is as good a time as any. 

So I have visited the County Tax Office to aquire my DBA (That's Doing Business As) name and ID number, and I then drug my happy posterior end over to Dallas to visit the Texas Department of Agriculture. 

The DBA not only covers the new business but will be extremely helpful at tax time for being a courier.  (I'm considered an Independant Contractor, and it just helps.)  It's basically an all-encompassing business name. 

And the name is... (drum roll please...) Cactus Cowboy Enterprises. 

It's basically a florist liscense, and I'm now allowed to buy and sell plants at the flea market.  The liscense is important, because the state went through and ticketed people last year and now the markets are insistent that you have it. 

The booth will not only have plants, but will also focus in on Texanna, Americanna, Primitives and Victorianna.  There may be some Southwest... but not too much... primarily because most of what's available to me is that icky pastel 1980's Southwestern and I didn't like it then and time hasn't tempered my attitude much. 

My Church friend Hector, who graduated from Art school and now does the most amazing murals and faux finishes, has volunteered to paint me a sign for the market and I'm waiting. 

Of course, there's still a few things I need... I mean, there's not much use calling yourself Cactus Cowboy unless you have the proper attire.  So I'm desperately looking for green cowboy boots.  If worse comes to worse I've got some ratty ole boots and a can of spray paint, but I don't much feel like resorting to that...

And, well if you're going to announce that the Cactus Cowboy rides again, and follow that with a loud "HI HO SAGUARO!" well, then, you kind of need a faithful sidekick... Hector is perfectly willing to provide free artwork, but he balks at putting on a green sombrero and calling himself 'Napales'  Actually, he got quite testy when I sugested it and he just became absolutely unreasonable. 

Seriously... eventually I will upgrade to a nursery liscense.  I'm currently on the lookout for someplace to set up with a small greenhous... or maybe even just cold-frames.

Most importantly, I'm looking to have a little bit of fun along the way... Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

wow... 2 posts in 2 days... after months and months of total silence.  Hope nobodies head explode. 

1st of all... some of you may remember my post re: Callisia fragrans  if not... click that... anyway... I thought I'd give you a little update.  It's doing well.  Extremely well.  It has grown to proportions that made it's little 4 inch pot look ludicrous.  It has produced a total of 10 "babies" many of which have found homes of their own now.  It was placed... packed tight ball of wet spagnum moss and all, into an 8 inch pot, the pot was filled with regualar ole potting soil... and the thing didn't even pause.  It's going haywire. 

Just a quick posts... will definitely be a few days before I stop back by...

Saturday, June 02, 2012


howdy.  It's been a while.  Everything is doing ok for now... actually, it's doing darned good.  I've got 300+ pages of fiction written... a really really really crappy first draft actually, but I have no idea where this blasted story line is going. 

I've also, for about as long as I can remember had a bit of a dream of a job in the back of my head.  something I always wanted to try... but everytime I thought it might happen... well... something else happened.  First, dad got sick and I had to take care of things... then mom got sick and I had to take care of things, and I always seemed to be taking care of everybody elses things and not doing a blasted thing for me... well, I'm at an age where it's now or never. 

I'll make a formal announcement later... after the DBA and all that is filed...

No other real news. 

I was driving home on memorial day, when some woman was driving down the wrong side of the street and banged into me.  no one hurt, but inconvienent as all hell... and trying to get that straightened out would be greatly expedited by said woman calling her insurance company.  I filed the claim, but not one word from her yet...

Anyway... I'm still around.  Kinda.  Hope all my blog friends are doing well...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Howdy folks... haven't forgot about y'all or anything, but I'm writing away on a new project, and that seems to be sucking up all my time at the moment.  And I still haven't got my phone or internet straightened out, and I'll probably be changing providers before any of that works out. 

As is, I'm checking in on a friends computer.  I hate to admit it... but not having a phone is kind of a relief.  Remember the days when you could go to the grocery store without chatting with all your friends?  Or drive to the gas station without checking in with your family?  I'm back in them.  It's nice. 

Trucks back up and running, but I'm not driving today.  There's a limit to my nerves these days... the last time we had one of these biblical level deluges, they loaded the back of my pick-up with boxes of toilet paper.  REALLY.  No more of this silliness.  I'm over it. 

Last week... dispatch called and asked if I wanted to drive out to Wilmer.  Now see... this is kind of a trick question.  You see... I'm sure, that somewhere, sometime, someone has woken up in the morning, looked around the room and responding to some compulsive desire from deep inside announced, "I WANT TO GO TO WILMER TEXAS."

It's well within the realm of possibilities.  I however am not one of those people.  Actually I'm pretty sure that its just as likely that sometime, someone sat up in bed, looked around the room and announced... "I'm in Wilmer Texas.  DAMN!"

Don't get me wrong.  I have nothing against Wilmer TX.  It's a pleasant enough place I suppose.  I'm positive that's it's a lovely place to live, love, laugh and play.  Here's the real issue... when I went to high school, one of my best friends considered himself a class clown.  He was the only person that considered himself so... but there we are.  Anyway... somehow the subject of Wilmer TX came up, and my friend, doing his very best Mr. Ed the Talking Horse impersonation proceeded to pronounce "Wil-meeeeeeeeeeeeeeer" and now I can't here that towns name without that damned voice in my head. 

So, when dispatch calls and asks if I'd like to go to Wilmer... the only real answer is "Oh HELL no..."  but I went anyway... and there we are...

Hope everyone is having a great day.  TAH

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

just a quick hello...

just a quick howdy... I'm still kicking out here... This time I had to choose between paying for a truck repair and paying the dang phone/ISP provider.  I'm doing fine... working a few extra hours so that I can get everything paid for now.  Luckily I had a friend who let me borrow a PC and I can try to catch up with ya'll,

Here's something interesting though... the other day as sat down and started typing on word... and the next thing I know, I have 78 pages of fiction written.  I've been looking it over, and of course it's what I as an editor used to call a "Really Shitty First Draft..." ( yes, I'm pretty sure that IS the technical term) but I looked it over and I think I actually have something that could be turned into something.

Anyway... hope all my friends in blogland are doing wonderfully.  TA

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Next Blog

So... there's one thing I've always wanted to know about blogger... that Next Blog link up there...   how do they figure out which blog is the next blog?  Because there really doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. 

I always push it.  I have, in my blog existence found maybe a dozen or so blogs of interest that way... but I keep pushing that button hoping that I'll stumble upon something interesting. 

Doesn't happen much. 

I have been subjected to more strangers baby pictures than I care to admit.  Another big subject is Scrapbooking.  Which is a craft I don't really understand the point of... They keep saying they want to create keepsakes for their kids, but I'm pretty sure that by the time the kid is 14 the last thing they're gonna wanna see is that damned scrapbook, but what do I know?  There's also lots of wedding pictures. 

Occasionally I'll run across a blog on gardening... but the last post was 2 years ago. 

On one occassion I was subjected to a woman in thigh high leather boots, wielding a whip.  Not the most attractive creature, the only reason it was notable being the utterly dissinterested and bored expression on her face.  Really, she looked like she was mentally composing her grocery list... maybe wondering if she'd have time to stop by the store on the way home after this idiot schmuck took his blasted pic. 

So, my point is... you'd think they'd at least be able to do some sort of  subject matching on the "next blog" button.  Maybe they're trying.  Don't know. 

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

strange ideas from my brain...

So... when I'm driving I have time to think.  Some would argue TOO MUCH time to think, but there we are.  Now, you can fill your time up with the radio and blast your brains with music and other such nonsense, but I don't.  I like to think. 

Well over a year ago, I used to listen to a lot of NPR.  And it was a couple of their news stories which inspired a little tumble in my head... and there's something that's been festering in there for quite a while, and I'm getting a little tired of mulling on it, so I'm going to throw it out there and see if A) I'm a little insane or B) if anybody else out there thinks anything about this is workable. 

It starts with ethanol. 

One or Two years ago, when gas prices started to go through the roof, there was a lot of talk everywhere about alcohol being used as fuel.  NPR had a few stories about it.  The one that stuck in my head was how Egypt has been using the straw left over from their rice crops to make ethanol for well over 20 years now.  Very practical of those Egyptians I thought... and went on about my merry way. 

Then, one or two weeks later, there was another story.  This time they were talking to somebody about getting grain, specifically corn (if you're in the US it's called corn, the rest of the world calls it maize) turned into alcohol here in the US.  He kept talking about how the technology didn't exist, and how it was going to take several million bucks of government money to do the research.  It was also mentioned that straw or corn silage can be turned into alcohol, but that wasn't practical, because it had to be chopped up fairly small so that it would ferment, and they would again have to spend several million dollars to create the right choppers and such... and for several reasons, this entire interview thoroughly pissed me off. 

One, I distinctly remember thinking, "Hillbillies have been turning corn into alcohol for well over 300 years but this bunch of MIT graduates can't figure it out?" 

Then I remember thinking something along the lines of "Egypt has been turning straw into alcohol for years.  Are you telling me that Egypt has technology we don't?"  Don't get me wrong, Egypt is not exactly 3rd world.  They are a civilized and technological country, but I was always under the impression that the US was a bit more advanced. 

Now, here's the thing.  I've mentioned before that I'm a depressive.  This has many disadvantages.  But it has advantages too, most people don't see that, but it does.  Here's one of them.  Depressive minds tend to dwell on things.  What most people do is they get upset with something and they move on.  What we do is get upset with something and hold on to it.  And we don't get distracted from it.  It kind of sits there like a big lump while we walk around it, stare at it, occasionally poke it with a sharp stick.  If we were easily distracted by the next thing... we wouldn't be depressed... we'd be following every new thing that came along. 

So here's what's happened... this idea has been growing in my mind for a while now.  I'll come up with what may or may not be a decent solution, only to hit a roadblock or other problem, and now I'm going to spell out some of my conclusions.  They may be stupid, they may be interesting, they may be totally unworkable... but here they are. 

First... about that straw, silage, whatever being ground up to a small enough size to ferment... I also know from recent events that they have grinders that can turn an entire automobile into little pieces of one inch metal.  Seriously, that's what happened to all those cars that were traded in with that government program a while ago.  I'm 99% sure that the technology to grind up corn silage into small chunks already exists.  If I'm not mistaken... I think it's called a wood chipper.  Now, above mentioned MIT grad was displaying a typical tendency of engineers.   Namely... why on earth would you adapt technology that already exists when you can get the government to write you a check so you can re-invent the wheel?  Seriously, folks... go to Home Depot and buy a few wood chippers.  After you go into production you can build a new machine to refine the process, hopefully using your profits instead of my tax dollars.

And as for corn... well, that bothered me.  I'm related to corn and soy bean farmers.  I know a bit about it, but not overly much.  I can tell you this... most of the corn(maize) grown in the US is not used for direct human consumption.  Most of it is used for animal feed, and then there's the other by-products, corn oil, corn syrup, etc...  and here's another thing that some research has told me.  We are entirely too dependent on that one crop.  They keep stretching the crops as far as they can go... but one good drought (remember the dust bowl?) or one good fungal disease (remember the Irish potato famine?) and we're in deep shit.  (Sorry about the language, but since I'm just clearing my mind, and not writing any sort of actual presentation or anything, I think it's allowable...) 

What I'm saying is that it might be advisable to steer clear of a crop that's been stretched as far as this one has been. 

Now, also through some research I've learned a few other things.  Alcohol can be distilled from about any plant material. 

The problem with farming corn, and expanding the crops and such is that there is a huge amount of land that has been pretty much farmed out.  Large tracts here in Texas are used as pasture for cattle and used to be actual grain acrage, but are now lying pretty much fallow.  (I have some other thoughts on this, but one brain maggot at a time.)  The problem is that the land was weakened by too many crops of grains and/or cotton to the point that now it pretty much is used as rather week pasture because most crops won't grow there anymore, and if it was used for other crops, there's little organic matter in the ground to hold water and would require irrigation.  Add to that... the rich topsoil has either mostly washed away or blew away in the aforementioned dustbowl.  That's a major problem with plowing a field every year.  It keeps the soil all loose and it doesn't always stick around after that.

So... lets think about other crops.  After much mulling and stewing and such, (sugar beets looked promising for a moment) I finally stumbled upon an option that you would have thought would have been fairly obvious to me.  Cactus.

Specifically, Prickly Pear cactus.

Here's my thoughts...

1)  They already commercially grow prickly pears (Nopales) for the food industry.  They were quite trendy a few years ago, although their cachet, and their price, is dropping.

2)  The sugar content in the leaves should be high enough to produce a decent alcohol.  (I can't find anything to support this.  Not to mention, I have absolutely no idea who to ask.  Any of you research addicts got any ideas?)   And we don't have to confine ourselves to the one or two varieties that are used as a food item... there are others that grow quickly and on a massive scale that would be good for this purpose. 

3)  They are a perrenial crop and they don't require the field to be plowed every year.  You would go through the field and either place a fresh pad directly in the ground every 3 feet, or you would plant pads that had been rooted over the winter months in greenhouse conditions for a head start.  You might get a crop the first fall, but you'd be better off letting them wait till next spring.  I'm even pretty sure that with the faster growing varieties you could even get several crops during the second season, and bigger crops during the following ones as the plants produce more coming off the established root systems.  This is in opposition to most perrenial crops which only produce one crop a year.

4)  They do not require super rich soils, massive amounts of fertilizer or insecticides. 

5)  Irrigation would be minimal to none.

6)  You could grow it on land that is in many ways not suitable for any other crop. 

7)  I'm pretty sure that you could even double purpose the land... I have a strange vision in my head of fields with long lines of prickly pears,  separated by 20 foot rows of grass that have cattle or sheep grazing in them.  Sounds strange, doesn't it?  However... Cattle or any livestock animal are kept out of corn fields because they eat the corn.  I don't think that's a problem with the cactus, especially the thorned varieties.  Plus... livestock does what it does, primarilly, eat grass and produce manure that would provide all the fertilizer the cactus needs...

So... there's that brain maggot out of my way.  for the moment.  I have a strange feeling that there's another few ideas gonna spring out of this. 

Now... all I need is someone with 5 acres, a few cactus cuttings, a few cows, a wood chipper, and a distillery in the back barn to test it out... LOL

Monday, February 06, 2012


So... here's the story on this plant...

About 5 weeks ago... this plant appeared at the flea market.  It was a cutting that was sitting on the shelf behind the register one Saturday when I showed up for work.  It wasn't anything that I worried too much about,  such things happen... people share little plant cuttings.  It looks a bit like one of the Moses-in-a-cradle things.  It was still there, sitting on the shelf, wrapped in a dry paper towel when I left.

It was still there the next week, and the next... finally, on the third week I finally yelled out, "DOES THIS BELONG SOMEWHERE?"

I mean really.  There comes a point.

Finally, it became established that someone had brought up a cutting for another dealer who didn't want it, and kept 'accidentally' forgetting to take it home.  Finally, I took the thing home and stuck it in a jar of water.  Poor thing. 

But, I can't say I particularly wanted it either. 

But even after setting in the flea market for 3 weeks... it looked only slightly wilted, so I stuck it in an old jelly jar I had sitting around with some water.  It perked up after a couple of days.  Then it grew roots. 

Then, I had a little bag of decorative spagnum moss.  One of the bargain stores locally had these little bags of the stuff they were selling for halloween decor, and after the holiday they put them on 80% clearance... I got about a dozen of the small bags for 20 cents each.  I soaked it in rain water, wrapped it around the roots and jammed the whole mess in this vintage McCoy violet pot that was sitting here.  It's doing just fine. 

Now, here's the rub.  Anybody out there know the species?  I mean, I know what it is... it's one of the plants that I saw on front porches all over when I was growing up.  It's kinda attractive... but not pretty.  I guess you'd call it semi-stoloniferous.  It makes clumps of leaves, and occasionally sends out long stalks from 6 to 8 inches long with a rosette of leaves at the end, which may or may not send out stalks of their own.  In extremely stong light, it will develop little half moons of reddish purple towards the base of the leaves. 

Leaves are thick... shorter than most of the plants called Moses-in-the-cradle and more succulent... and they don't develop red undersides like those other Moses plants either.  And from all reports, the blasted thing is near impossible to kill. 

I'm not really THAT worried about it... I just like to know what I'm growing for some reason. 

Now, before you start... yeah... it would probably do better with real dirt.  Most of them I remember growing up were in an old coffee can filled with dirt from the yard and they just kept plugging along, although I know of a couple which grew in old vases filled with water and nothing else.

anyway... any ideas are appreciated.

UPDATE:  Thanks to Mr. S at Plants are the Strangest People... this plant has been accurately ID'd as Callisia fragrans... not only is it a classic Pass-a-long plant, native to Mexico, it's also a very powerful medicinal that's been studied and used in Russia for years.  Common names vary, but the most popular seems to be Basket Plant. 

Monday, January 30, 2012


Have you ever had one of those experiences that made you wanna just throw up your hands and say "Screw it!"

Of course you have.  Unless you've lived a Utopian life... that's the way life is. 

What's prompted this in me is...  I had a 'date.'

This particular "date" is going down on my list of TOP TEN SOCIAL DISASTERS. 

I'm not gonna bore you with the details.  1)  Retelling it would involve reliving it in my mind and... no, just no... and 2)  I usually write my disasters in a way that gets my point across while providing some sort of amusement for the readers and I just can't think of any way to do that with this. 

Still, I was aware that I haven't posted in a bit so I had to do something...

Hope everyone out there is having a better day than me.  And that shouldn't be too difficult...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It would appear that yesterday I had 160 pageviews on Blogger. 

Interesting.  Don't know what the hell they found so fascinating, but there they are.  If they come back... howdy.  Nice to see you.  Whoever you are...

Anyway... coming out of over a week of electricity was interesting.  I habitually, and automatically, wake up at about 5 AM local time.  After merely a week of no electricity, I find myself stumbling around the house NOT turning on a light.  Finally, it occurs to me that I do have electricity, and I flip the switch... but damn, it's strange how quickly that happened. 

Of course, there was some stuff in the fridge that has to go... but I don't really keep that much in the house.  I'm a single guy, who works 8 to 12 hours a day.  Not much of what I actually would call 'cooking' goes on here.  I try to eat as healthy as possible... but after 12 hours on a road I'm hard pressed to find the energy to open a can. 

What's in the house is salad fixins, milk, half & half for my coffee and any piece of meat I can slap in a pan and fry.  The meat I usually get on the way home... I don't keep a lot here unless there is a big sale and some of it can go in the freezer.  The problem with that is that I have to remember to defrost it. 

I don't keep bread around because I don't eat it.  Seriously, a loaf of bread will go green before I've eaten 1/4 of it.  Plus... I've delivered to the big bakeries in the area.  And I know people who worked for them.  All that hype about buying day old bread?  Nonsense.  Your average loaf of white bread is a few days old before it ever hit the store to begin with.  Stuff is so full of preservatives it's actually kinda surprising that it CAN grow mold.  I'm afraid any carbs I eat are confined to the vegetable ones rather than the grain ones.  Potatoes cooked in the microwave are about it.  Although, I will confess to occasional strange cravings for Fritos corn chips.  Love the things... but I think it's the salt as much as anything else. 

Of course... now we're hearing all the hype about Gluten free foods.  I don't worry about it too much... like I said... I don't eat much grain anyway.  I always gravatated to real veggies and meat.  Guess it was from growing up around my Grandmother and her half acre vegetable garden.  She fed nine kids from that garden, and there were always quite a few hungry grandkids around when I was growing up...

Don't eat much in the egg department either.  If I buy them, I tend to buy a half dozen, and they last a couple of weeks.  This I attribute to growing up with my Grandmother again... an egg fresh from the hen house is much, much better than an egg from a grocery store.  The color is better, and it acts different when you put it in the pan. 

And one of these days... I'm actually going to talk about plants.  You'll die of surprise. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm back... you lucky dogs you...

so... I guess I should explain about that last post... especially coming so soon after one of my "depression" posts.  No... the big D hasn't raised it's ugly head again, this was the blasted truck... I had a break down, and I had to buy a mondo expensive part for it. 

Unfortunately, it came down to this... I could buy the part for the truck to keep working and make more money... or I could pay the overdue electric bill.  I figured the part was more expensive and far more important.  The Electric Company had other ideas entirely.  I was cut off...

So, I know that sounds hideous... but I have that sort of background... out came the old kerosine lamps.  Actually, they were already out, but they were filled and actually used for a change, and out of the cedar chest came the old wool quilts. 

All I really had to go out of my way for was cooking food... Sterno is actually pretty affordable. 

Speaking of affordable... If you go to the hobby stores in the area to find lamp oil... a half gallon costs about 15 bucks.  If you go to the Wal-mart neighborhood market... it costs 7.95... or the Wal-mart superstore sells it for 5.95.  I figured up how long that would last me, and it comes down to this... those lamps are cheaper to run than a light bulb. 

True... they're not as bright, but they are brighter than a candle, and as long as your not reading, you're fine.  And the light is warmer... nice and golden toned... really if you're looking into saving a few bucks... look into them.  Provided, of course, you can find the oil at a reasonable price... and you don't have rambunctious children and animals that are prone to ramming into furniture and tipping them over.

Regardless, the electricity is back on... and I've learned a few new non-electric tricks to take forward into the future. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ugh... life has been challenging lately.   I won't bore you with the details... but I'm posting from a friends house and I may be on or off line for the next few days. 

Just once, I really really wish for a drama free week... LOL

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

This blogger thing is starting to hack me off. 

First... thank you all for your lovely comments on my last post... unfortunately... Blogger isn't allowing me to comment on my own posts. 


Just some thoughts...

Pardon me as I go on a stream of consciousness ramble here...

It would appear that overnight, I lost one of my followers.  Don't know why... I can only assume that the rainbow colored scarf was just too much for them... oh well... If they're that touchy they don't need to be hanging around me anyway... I have strange fits of obnoxiousness and the thin skinned don't bear up well.

I've also been thinking about my depression fits.  I've mentioned before that I grew up in a house with an unmedicated bi-polar sibling.  I am probably a little more aware of moods and such than most... a few years ago I had it checked out, and, fortunately, I had a Dr. that didn't immediately start prescribing drugs.  She ran the tests and came back with the conclusion that yes, I was probably a little depressive, but it didn't seem serious enough to resort to pharmacueticals.  This is a good thing, as I've had experience with some of them and I don't always react well to them.  She recommended a healthy diet, and learning what would trigger the depressions and avoiding that if possible or learning to deal with it in a different way.  She even recommended a few books that might help.  And they did. 

That's why I avoid holiday parties.  Not neccesarily all of them, in particular  family centered ones where there's likely to be self-centered teenagers with a high sense of the dramatic.  Which, let's face it, is most teenagers.  And no, they probably won't throw a full bipolar fit... but things are likely to happen that will trigger a bad chain reaction in my head. 

But, I've done a lot of reading and research on Depression.  And I'm probably a bit of a sucker for any book that claims it will help me deal with it.  Some are excellent.  Some are pure tripe.  I've found the ones that don't neccesarily talk about depression are often much more helpful.  There was a book called "Embracing the Shadow" written by a Jungian psychologist (can't think of the author name at the moment)  that was amazingly helpful. 

I think I've also mentioned on the blog that I go to a Non-Denominational Church.  Our members have had backgrounds in about every belief system out there.  And that's good.  We are not a 'blind faith' group.  We don't neccesarily believe everything that a pastor says to us, nor do we follow like sheep off the cliff.  We are expected to think and to discuss.  The only requirement is that we treat each others attitudes with respect. 

I am lucky that I have the kind of mind that doesn't dismiss things out of hand.  When given a new idea, I tend to pick it up, turn it over, look at it from all sides... eventually I'll probably put it down and either abandon it or come back when it's needed.  I have consequently learned things that I never would have learned before.  What I've always found interesting though is how different sources, different backgrounds and different beliefs often have so much in common.  It's that universal stuff that I find so fascinating. 

For instance... I was given a copy of 'Eat Pray Love' recently.  I had seen the movie, and it was ok... but the book is much better.  It's a deeply spiritual book, in a down to earth and often humorous way... heavy on Buddism. 

I was also given a copy of "The Secret."  The best way to describe it is all of those Power of Positive Thinking type books smashed together, mixed up and condensed. 

Another member of the church sent me a link to a website about creativity in general.  The web site had a story in it... about a CIA study.  It would appear that the CIA put a bunch of people in chairs and made them watch cartoons and comedians and such while they monitored their physical reactions.  Anyone who has ever been amused knows that it affects you physically... it releases endorphins and all sorts of brain chemicals... nothing too surprising there.  Next, the researchers took a group, and made them hold an ink pen between their teeth.  This forces your cheeks up into an unnatural smile or grin... and according to the monitors... the physiological changes from sitting there with their faces forced into a smile were exactly the same as the people who were highly amused.  (I should note that the site didn't give me any reference to the actual CIA study, so I can't confirm the source.  I hate that about the web.) 

Then I remembered in 'Eat Pray Love' that one of her gurus had recommended that she sit and meditate while smiling for about 15 minutes a day, to ensure happiness and health. 

And in 'The Secret' they recommended watching comedies and listening to music that made you happy, because happiness attracts more happiness. 

I find these areas of common ground in these vastly different contexts fascinating. 

I have come to a certain understanding about some things. 

People always see what they want to see.  A devoutly religious person will see evidence of the divine in everything.  A committed  athiest will see the lack of the divine in everything.   Most of the population are somewhere  in the middle. 

That sort of thing. 

I think I'm about done for the day.  I should get on with what needs to be done.  Sorry about the rambling nature of the post... I'm afraid I didn't write in my journal this morning and you got one of my journal entries here... LOL

Monday, January 09, 2012

Well, I haven't been here in a while, have I?  

Here's the thing... I got through the holiday season just fine.  However, for the first time in my life, I had Post-Holiday depression.  Ugh... just can't seem to get away from that big old D-thing, can I...

fine now. 

Here's my latest project... I think I mentioned before how I was making scarves for all the church guys.  Did that... they liked them, everything is cool... but they were all plain ole 1 color scarves.  Then I got a bug up my nose and I wanted to make something colorful... and with the big D looming, I crawled out of the house and bought some yarn. 

I made a big ole rainbow scarf. 

Pardon the bad cell phone  pics...

now... when you buy six skeins of yarn to make one scarf.. you end up having enough yarn to make six scarves.  So I made them and I put them in the vehicle to drop off at the flea market next time I was in... and in the meantime, I wore one out.  And promptly sold half of them out of the truck when I walked into the bar wearing it. 
The thing is... they're really nice scarves.  A full six foot long, because a short scarf is completely and totally useless as far as I'm concerned, and nice and fluffy.  And evidently worth about 20 bucks each... provided the customer base has had a couple of 'refreshing beverages'

So, I've been crocheting away, and I've given myself a wee case of carpel tunnel in the process, but that'll pass, and now somebody who works at the Dallas Apparel Mart, who represents 5 fashion designers, wants to sell them at his market store and if I actually go into production I have a strange feeling I'm going to be haunting nursing homes trying to get little old ladies to supplement their income with crochet projects... Lord have mercy on us all...