Friday, March 28, 2014

Duane has a trick to solve the problem of my gas cooktop cooking too hot!

You may remember, couple of months ago we replaced our old, trusty, worn-out gas cooktop. While I like the neatness of the new one with sealed burners, the lowest setting is still much too hot to "simmer" anything. My old, 17 yr old cooktop let me adjust the burner down to just a tiny, tiny flame. But now, no matter how careful I am, rice and pasta over-boil.

I've read about this problem online - apparently several years ago, manufacturers decided that it is a safety feature to NOT ALLOW tiny flames - because a breeze might blow out the tiny flame and leave you with gas flowing in your kitchen. While that's all well and good, I can manage my own appliances, thank you! Here is a burner on the lowest setting...

The trick is simple - if you don't have a gas cooktop, this might not make too much sense:

Turn the knob to the light position and light the burner.

Now turn the knob "back towards you - towards the OFF position" very, very slowly.  The igniter will eventually stop sparking and the flame will be very small!  Viola!  Perfect for simmering!  (I guess Duane understands how the thing works because he immediately knew what to do....smartypants).

Friday, March 21, 2014

Happy 98th Birthday Grandma!

March 21st is a fabulous day!  Happy Birthday to Helen Thomas Hall, my 98 year old (previously red-headed) grandma!!!

We had a very sweet little gathering to celebrate.  Only took two big blows to extinguish the candles!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Computer at the airport

Since Microsoft is going to quit supporting WindowsXP soon, I thought I'd better get a more secure computer to replace my old clunker at the airport. It's ancient, but still does the job for the most part. So, just to be safe, I got a new one. They're pretty reasonably priced these days!

But before I can use it, it had to download lots of Windows updates. I made the mistake of pushing the button - "Install Now" on the Windows pop-up message. Wow, really? A new computer needs a 137 updates? I'm still waiting an hour later!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wild Turkey!

No, not the booze!   I was getting ready to leave the house this morning and spied these tom turkeys in the yard.    They are very skittish, so I had to take the photo thru the glass door.....

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Winter just won't go away!

I can't believe how chilly and wet the winter has been. 

I really want some warm air! 

This morning woke to a thin coat of ice.....

The poor daffies are all weighted down...

But, luckily, the power stayed on and no limbs came down..... I'm ready for summer, let's just skip spring!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Unsolicited praise for "imustgarden" Deer Repellent

My iris's are sprouting! This is exciting because for the past few years, I have not been able to keep the deer away from them. The deer must love the tender sprouts, because they had been nibbling the iris's down to nubs in the spring.

My buddy, Lonnie - who runs a "mulch, stone, etc. business", turned me on to this stuff - imustgarden brand deer repellent.   No chemicals - mostly egg yolks, garlic and clove oils.   You mix with water and spray on the plants that the deer love.  The oils keep in on the leaves for several rainstorms.  I'm a believer!  I bet this year, I'm going to even have a few azalea blooms!

I've included the back panel so you can read the ingredients yourself if you're interested!  Oh - it's a local product too - made in Chapel Hill!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring is nearly here

Crazy weather lately!! Forgot to post this on Friday....freezing rain and a high of 36 degrees.

Then Saturday was 70 degrees and sunny! Robert spent most of the weekend with us doing a bunch of maintenance on his car - but I completely forgot to snap a photo. I'm slipping in my old age!!

Monday, March 03, 2014

New TV

You may know that we're not big TV buffs....the only real TV we have is in the livings room.  None in the bedroom or kitchen.  We have one downstairs that was set up mainly for use when we use the treadmill (which is dusty right now....sigh). 

Our "game night" buddies wanted to watch the Duke/Carolina game the other night.  So, we set up our antiquated huge 100 pound non-digital TV.  It worked, but certainly was not ideal.

So, on this Thursday night, they surprised us with a nice, new flat screen.  A little self-serving on their part - haha - since it will only be used on game nights.....but a very nice gift!

We spent most of the day Saturday installing the hidden electrical and cables -I had to take down the top half of Grandma's hutch.....might have to get a different cabinet.  But, I think it turned out very nice!