Posts Tagged ‘miscellaneous’

It’s Thursday, April 5, as I write this, over two weeks from the first official day of spring…and it’s snowing, those big, fat, whirling flakes that look so pretty…in winter…and there are snow symbols on my weather app for Saturday and Sunday, too.   I know I can’t complain when I look at what my friends in the northeast US have been facing but come on!  I love snow in winter, but I’m officially more than done with it and the cold weather.  Please, just stop!  Enough already!  If I were in New England, it would be “ENOUGH ALREADY!!!” (caps intended).


Despite the cold weather, I’ve been walking in the park some mornings.  Every time I pull into the parking lot of the building complex where I’ve been parking to go in the back way until the new bridge is finished, I think “I should have brought a garbage bag to pick up all this trash.”  So I put several large garbage bags and some latex gloves in the van, so that I could actually do something about it.  A few days ago, after my walk, I tackled the mess.

I hadn’t taken the garbage-picker-upper stick that we bought last year at Menard’s, so I put a glove over my right hand winter glove and began:  stoop, drop into the bag, move, repeat.  I was doing really well when suddenly my wool cap was almost snatched from my head.  What was going on?  I’d forgotten in my ecological frenzy to watch for the burs/burrs about head high all around me, the same ones that get stuck in the coats of the dogs when my friend and I walk them, the same ones that are the subject of endless photos highlighting the beauty of dead things.  This was their ugly side.

And a sticky ugly side at that.  Even worse, one little devil had managed to get into my hair after the others tugged my cap mostly off.  Ouch!  I spent quite a bit of time trying to free my hair after getting the big stickers off my cap.  That cap got tucked down my jacket front, as I was warming up, and after my hair was free, I went back to work.

(You know, of course, that burrs and their tenacious stick-to-it-iveness are what inspired the creation of Velcro, a wonderful use for something so irritating in the wild! I know that, too, but it didn’t make me feel any better at the time.)

I’d made a clean sweep, so to speak, of most of the area and had a full bag, when I bent over to capture an errant piece of paper and spotted…a $20 bill!!!  I kid you not!  I could hardly believe it and the rate of pay was much higher per hour than my part time job.  

 

 

To top it all off, a woman came out from the office building to thank me and offer to put my garbage bag into their dumpster.  I was happy, she was happy, the park was happy, and I was happy again this morning when I walked by the relatively pristine area.  I’ll make another foray at some point or perhaps at another spot, but I doubt that the pay will be as good.  I’ll have to settle for a sense of doing what’s right.  That works, too.

 

 

 

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Madonna might be a material girl, but what kind of material?  They’re not all the same.  Daily Writing Tips sent this interesting material to my inbox a few days ago and I thought you might appreciate it, too.  Sew, onward and don’t allow yourself to be worsted by any of these you don’t know.  Have you cottoned onto the appeal of apparel? Oddly enough, (see #22) in the mid-seventies, I was actually in Osnabrück, Germany.  I’m not making that up out of whole cloth and far as I know, none of these have been fabricated.  Okay, I’ll stop now, although I think they forgot cotton, “the fabric of our lives.”

25 Names of Fabrics, Wools, and Leathers Derived from Place Names

By Mark Nichol

This post lists and defines terms for apparel materials that have in common that the terms are derived from place names

1. angora: a type of wool from Angora rabbits, which originated near Ankara (previously Angora), Turkey
2. Bedford cord: a corduroy-like fabric, named after Bedford, England, or New Bedford, Massachusetts
3. calico: a type of cloth originally from Calicut, India
4. cambric: a type of cloth originally from Cambrai, France
5. cashmere: a type of wool and a woolen fabric from Kashmir goats, which come from the Kashmir region of India
6. chino cloth: a cloth originating in China (the name is Spanish for “Chinese”)
7. Cordovan leather: a type of shoe leather first produced in Cordoba, Spain
8. damask: a type of fabric named after Damascus, Syria
9. denim: a type of fabric originally called serge de Nîmes, or “serge of Nîmes,” after Nîmes, a town in France
10. dungaree: a type of denim cloth originating in Dongrī, India; pants or overalls made from this fabric are called dungarees
11. duffel: a cloth first made in Duffel, Belgium
12. Harris tweed: a type of handwoven tweed cloth originating on the island of Lewis and Harris and adjacent islands in Scotland (the name of the cloth type tweed is coincidental with the name of the river Tweed)
13. Holland (or Holland cloth): a type of linen originally made in various parts of Europe, including the province of Holland in the Netherlands
14. jaconet: a fabric originally from Puri, India (the word is derived from the name of the city’s Jagannath Temple)
15. jean: a type of fabric originating in Genoa, Italy
16. jersey: a type of knit fabric originating on the island of Jersey, next to France (but a dependency of the United Kingdom)
17. Mackinaw cloth: a woolen cloth used for thick, warm jackets (called Mackinaws or Macs) originally favored by lumberjacks and then hunters and fishermen in the Mackinac (or Mackinaw) region of Michigan
18. madras: a lightweight cloth originally from Madras, India (now called Chennai)
19. muslin: a lightweight fabric originally from Mosul, Iraq
20. Morocco leather: a type of leather originally from Moroccan goats
21. nankeen: a type of fabric originating in Nanjing, China (previously called Nanking or Nankin); also refers to pants made of this material, as well as the pale buff or yellow color of the fabric, a type of porcelain originating in the city, and a type of lace (often called nankins) and part of the name of numerous animals and plants featuring this color
22. osnaburg: a coarse cloth originally made in Osnabrück, Germany
23. suede: a type of leather made from the underside of animal skins, originally referenced in the French phrase gants de Suède (“gloves from Sweden”); similar-looking fabrics are referred to as “sueded silk” and so on
24. tulle: a type of fabric originating in Tulle, France
25. worsted: a type of wool whose name is derived from that of Worstead, one of the villages from which it originated; also, the name of a type of yarn and a category of yarn weight

https://www.dailywritingtips.com/25-names-of-fabrics-wools-and-leathers-derived-from-place-names/

A few days ago, the sun shone in on my Thanksgiving gourds and pumpkins as well as on the pile of shimmery Christmas garlands waiting to be used, perfectly highlighting the change from Thanksgiving to Christmas, fall to winter. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  🙂

copyright janet m. webb

Recently, I had two experiences with apologies, one bad, the other good.  The “bad” was one I wasn’t able to give.  My manager at work called to tell me another employee had complained about me.  She wouldn’t tell me who complained or what the complaint was about, which I to some extent understand.  But that robbed me of the opportunity to know how to change and also the chance to apologize to the person who complained.  I couldn’t think of any event that might have caused it and I felt bad for several days.

The second experience was something hurtful said to me, although not about me, in front of a group of friends.  Although I knew the person didn’t mean it to be hurtful, it was a remark that caused everyone else to laugh and me to retreat inside myself for the rest of the meeting and until I went to bed that night.  It’s easy to know I should just let it go, but hard to do!

The difference was that the morning after that second incident, I received an email from the person who’d made the remark, saying he shouldn’t have said what he did and asking for my forgiveness. I emailed back, saying that yes, I’d felt bad, thanking him for the apology, and accepting it.

A sincere apology, although it doesn’t take negate the initial hurt, offers the hurt person the chance to let go of the hurt and the opportunity to heal the relationship.  It may also, in the same way the healed site of a broken bone is stronger than before it broke, make the relationship stronger.  A missed chance can do the opposite.  Of course, an insincere apology adds insult to injury and even a sincere one doesn’t mean the other person will accept it, but don’t pass up the need for a heartfelt apology when you’ve wronged someone.  Even if that person doesn’t forgive you, you’ll be free to move ahead.

© janet m. webb

Yesterday was our 33rd anniversary, which is why I was absent from the online world.  .  As my husband’s favorite food in the world might be watermelon, I thought I’d honor him by sharing a few things I’ve learned about watermelon since indulging him in this low-calorie, good-for-you treat as often as possible.  🙂

  1. Seedless watermelon aren’t, so don’t be taken aback or angry when you cut open that seedless melon, only to find little translucent “seeds”, really the coatings of seeds that haven’t matured.  They can’t mature and they can’t reproduce, so don’t plan on planting any to get your next year’s melons. *
  2. In China, watermelon consumers like to either eat the seeds from regular watermelon or toast them, while Americans tend to spit them out…or avoid them by buying “seedless” melons.
  3. No matter what you read about how to pick the right watermelon (tap them, look for a yellow patch, etc.), there’s no guarantee!  Just take your chances and enjoy.
  4. The best time to cut a watermelon is the day you’re going to put your garbage out for pick-up, unless you mulch, in which case you may feel free to cut one whenever you darn well please!  All those rinds are heavy, too!
  5. Watermelon rinds are great for putting on top of your shredded, private information.  Our recycling requires shredded material to be bagged which, to me, defeats the purpose, even though no one is likely to be able to reassemble our shreddings.  But put watermelon rinds or other wet food garbage on top and if anyone wants to try to steal information from that bag, have at it and good luck.
  6. I can see why someone invented watermelon rind pickles.  She probably got tired of throwing out all those rinds.
  7. The water part of watermelon isn’t just there for fun.  Once cut, the melon will lose, well, red water.  To keep the pieces lasting longer, drain that off every day…if the melon lasts that long.
  8. Watermelon, although about 92% water, is distressingly good for you.  (Don’t stop eating it, though!!)  It has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids, and a bit of potassium. It’s also is fat-free, and low in sodium and calories (40 calories per cup.)
  9. If turned into a math formula: my husband’s ability to eat watermelon >>>>>the space in the fridge for the cut melon.  (That’s a greater-than sign to the 5th power, BTW.)
  10. Egyptians placed watermelons in the burial tombs of kings to nourish them in the afterlife.  For more fun facts about watermelon, head over to this LiveScience page.
  11. There’s lively debate about whether a watermelon is a fruit or a vegetable.  According to Natural Health ezine:  Most of us automatically assume that a watermelon is a fruit, but technically it is counted as a vegetable (The Oklahoma State Senate passed a bill on 17 April 2007 declaring watermelon as the official state vegetable, with some controversy surrounding whether a watermelon is a fruit.). It is related to the cucumber, squash and pumpkin plants. The watermelon is classified as Citrullus Lanatu. Regardless of whether the watermelon is a fruit or vegetable, it is known to be very healthy.
  12. The heaviest watermelon weighed 268.8 lbs./121.93 kg (I wouldn’t want to pay by the pound for that one).  My watermelon-loving spouse says that would be big enough to make a casket and that’s how he’d like to be buried.  He adds that would be a green burial in both senses of the word.  I’m not sure what I can add after that, so I guess that makes this the end of my post!  🙂

*But wait, there’s just a bit more.  For anyone interested in how you can grow seedless watermelon if the seeds really aren’t seeds, here’s an explanation from a horticultural newsletter.

The obvious question asked about growing seedless watermelons is: “How does one obtain seed of a seedless watermelon?” Obviously, you cannot save seed from a seedless watermelon. So, where do the seeds come from? Simply stated, the number of chromosomes (the threadlike bodies within cells that contain the inheritance units called genes) in a normal watermelon plant is doubled by the use of the chemical colchicine. Doubling a normal (diploid) watermelon results in a tetraploid plant (one having four sets of chromosomes). When the tetraploid plant is bred back, or pollinated, by a diploid or normal plant, the resulting seed produces a triploid plant that is basically a “mule” of the plant kingdom, and it produces seedless watermelons. Seed of seedless varieties are available from most major seed companies.

After our visit it Tony Packo’s in Toledo, Ohio, I took a quick shot of this bit of street art from the car while we were stopped at a light.  (I was the passenger.)  And yes, I like Abba.

© janet m. webb