pen rainbow

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Throw-Back Thursday—Race Cars!

Indianapolis 500_Grand Prix Monaco_Le Mans


Indianapolis 500  1966-71


Pins from the races that my dad attended from 1966 through 1971

Indi pins + Aksarben pins (Nebraska spelled backwards)

My dad brought back this banner for me when
he worked as a cameraman for KETV in Omaha

Grand Prix Monaco 1994


He attended Grand Prix De Monaco when he was living in England
12 - 15 May 1994


Le Mans 1992 & 94


Tix to the 1992 race

Le Mans 18-19 June 1994


Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wednesday: Good For You, Good for The Home—My New Clothesline!

An Act of Green!  Clothes really do smell better when they're dried on the line


Brabantia Lift-O-Matic All Weather Rotary Clothesline 

$118 on AmazonSmile Prime


2 loads of laundry hung out to dry

Cool rotary spin pole

Pardon my underpants

It's been a long time since I've hung laundry.  

Boy, it felt great to do it again!  We are drastically lowering our gas bil, and more importantly, making good on an Act of Green pledge.  


What's Cool About This Clothesline?


  • It comes with a bracket that you drive into the ground, then the pole pops right in & is ready to use.  You can purchase additional brackets to place elsewhere around your property so that you can move your line as the seasons change.
  • It rotates with the wind.
  • It comes fully assembled.
  • It comes with a cover for storage.
  • It arrived in 2 days from Amazon.
  • It's made in Lithuania!


Are Line-dried Clothes Stiff?

Yes & no...but mostly yes.  Some of the towels & washcloths were pretty crunchy, but some weren't, so I guess it depends on the material.  All of my linens are 100% cotton.  The solution is to hang the towels on the line until almost dry, then run them in the dryer for 5 or 10 minutes to soften them up.
  
Steve's work shirts & pants were semi-starched.  The stiffness actually worked in their favor. 

Underpants & socks...not a noticeable difference. 


Is a Clothesline Déclassé?

Most of us grew up with a clothesline, and for some, it was a sign of the being stuck in the working class.  Well, not anymore.  For one thing, new designs have streamlined and updated the traditional look so that modern clotheslines are sleek and efficient.  

More importantly, clotheslines really do help the environment, and that is an uber-classy thing to do these days.


The Great Outdoors! 

Once our clothesline was up, a resident scrub jay decided that it was his new favorite perch.  He seemed to enjoy sitting on one of the highest brackets.  

Today, the black deer family checked it out and gave it their antlers-up.  They were very curious, staring and prancing closer and closer.  First the mom, followed by the 2-year old, then the yearling all trotted by happily toward the rose garden.   

It seemed like there were more butterflies fluttering around than usual.  And, I saw a big, fat, red ladybug resting on one of the towels.  

I loved hanging the wash yesterday morning.  Finches were tweeting, and the morning sun felt good.  It was early, and crickets hiding in the ivy along the creek were still chirping.  It reminded me of laundry in the Midwest when I was a kid.  Steve & I both remember the smell of cut grass and playing between rows of cool linens drying on the clothesline.  


  • There is something triumphant about switching to passive energy


  • And, something serene about watching laundry gently blowing in the breeze. 

i ❤︎ my clothesline  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday's Cupboard—Lemony Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Adapted from WeightWatchers.com

Makes 2 large dinner salads or 4 side salads


Lemony Sugar Snap Pea Salad


Mediterranean delight!
The Recipe


  • 2 cups uncooked sugar snap peas, about 7 oz.
  • Big bowl of Spring greens + torn watercress
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. lemon juice (or juice of 1 lemon)
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1 T. chopped garlic (jarred in H20 or fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 Japanese cucumber, peeled in stripes & chopped into 1/4" half-circles
  • 1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 T. fresh chives, chopped
  • 3 T. fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced (DON'T LEAVE OUT!)

Make It

Dressing
  1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, chopped garlic, kosher salt & pepper
  2. Whip briskly to combine; taste & adjust salt, if necessary

Salad
  1. Wash sugar snap peas & drain
  2. Add clean fresh peas to Spring greens & watercress
  3. Add chives, cucumber & mint leaves to salad bowl
  4. Toss salad & dressing
  5. Plate up individual servings; top with crumbled feta

2015 artichokes from our garden
Outdoor dining
Fresh steamed artichokes & mayo with orange-infused olive oil,
Greek olive & cracked black pepper

Enjoy Springtime dining at Home

Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday—Prom Pix 1974

41 years ago...



✓  Yellow Rose Boutineer & Corsage

✓  Greenish-Yellow Dodge Dart Swinger

✓  Dinner in Vegas at The Rathskeller

✓  1974 Halter dress




April 27, 1974

Saturday Finances—Vote for A Woman on the $20 Bill

Don't miss this opportunity to cast your vote for the first woman on a U.S. currency note


Check it out!  WomenOn20s

Click HERE to cast your vote!

Deadline:  
11:49P ET on Mother's Day (10 May)

The nominees are...

☐  Rosa Parks
☐  Wilma Mankiller
☐  Harriet Tubman
☐  Eleanor Roosevelt


I voted for Harriet Tubman

VOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTEVOTE

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday—Eagle Family Update

The chicks are getting big!  


Eaglet Toddlers



Images are property of the Pennsylvania Game Commission
Courtesy of HDOnTap and Comcast Business
Screen shot by dsmp

Eagle Facts

  • Eagles mate for life
  • Both parents tend to the nest
  • The Pennsylvania eggs were laid on 14 February & 17 February 2015
  • Eggs begin hatching after 35 days
  • Feathers develop by 3 to 4 weeks
  • Eaglets walk in the nest at 6 to 7 weeks
  • Eaglets begin to fly at around 3 months
  • Young eagles separate from the parents in the Fall
  • Adult eagles do not breed until 4 or 5 years old


Click HERE to see the live web cam



GIF by dsmp


Enjoy the week!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday Finances—Personal Budgeting Software: Mint.com

Complete budgeting software for managing your money & IT'S FREE



Take advantage of good financial management tools


Showing Your Money Who's Boss

STEP 1:  Good Tools

Click HERE to check out Mint.com

Here's what it does:

  • It gathers all of your personal information into one user-friendly, secure website 
  • You connect your bank account(s), credit cards & bills
  • It crunches your data & tells you what you have & what you owe
  • It tracks your spending patterns, savings & investments
  • It provides a realistic & easy-to-understand budget, based on your financial stats
  • It provides you with 20 kinds of reminders & alerts, from bill paying and late fees to unusual spending and running over-budget
  • It provides a weekly summary of your spending, broken out into spending categories
  • It categorizes your transactions & provides spending details, e.g. ATM withdrawl broken down into cash & transaction fee; or, buying different things all in the same place, i.e. clothing & groceries
  • You get a free credit report within Mint.com
  • You get really great blog posts on consumer IQ, financial planning, saving & everyday spending, e.g. "A Dude's Guide to Not Going Broke During Wedding Season," & "Sun, Surf and Savings: Summer Travel on the Cheap." 
  • It's FREE to set up!
  • Available as a mobile app for mobile devices

Mint.com Does Everything You 
Don't Want to Do & Don't Have Time For

This is a great place to start learning & taking control of your finances.  It's all about the numbers.  

So, go set it up...
Then, we'll talk about Step 2: Debt

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday PS Gallery—Adding Haze

 2B Lesson #11 Color Play & More_Lightroom /ACR Haze


Jasmine 2015


Lemon blossom 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Throw-Back Thursday: UC Berkeley Housing 1978-79

Pages from the housing booklet I was sent for my first year at Cal


Home Was Never Like This


UC Berkeley Housing Office Brochure 1978-'79

Welcome to Cal


"Make sure the place where you decide to live will enhance your experience."
Unfortunately, you won't find out until after you've signed a 1-year lease.

Live in a Co-op & Go Insane


I'm surprised that balcony held up

Bring Money


If you have to ask if the bathroom plumbing works, you should probably pass on it...
(cute dog...)


All good reasons to graduate!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Good For You, Good for The Planet—Happy Earth Day 2015!

A hokey, but enlightening little quiz from the Earth Day Network


April 22_Earth Day 2015



Click HERE to take the Carbon Footprint Quiz


That's my avatar

Click HERE to find ways to reduce your carbon footprint


Pledge to help protect the Earth's resources

Support The Canopy Project through Sevenly
Design your own tee & donate 7 trees...Cool!

Click HERE to order a Sevenly teeshirt & help the planet!

Click HERE just to donate $1 for every tree


 Earth Day 2015!
Commit • Pledge • Act

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday's Cupboard—Brewed Ice Tea

A perfect beverage for celebrating Earth Day 2015

A wedge of lemon & a sprig of fresh mint from the herb garden

Freshly Brewed Ice Tea

I have an older model West Bend ice tea maker, which I love.

Click HERE to go to Amazon for newer models



Peet's Holiday Breakfast Tea in the bag
A paper straw makes it even better!
Paper Straws from the Paper Source
Enjoy the outdoors & have a fantastic week!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday—15 Easy Ways to Reduce Energy Usage

Step up to the challenge of reducing energy usage in your home



Good Practice
When it's time to replace an appliance, choose an Energy Star® rated product.


Replace old household appliances with Energy Star® qualified new ones




Mostly FREE Ways to Reduce Energy Use


1.  Reduce the temp on your water heater (free).  Down one notch or down to 120°F.


2.  Unplug vampire chargers (free).

Anything that displays an LED is constantly drawing electricity.  Unplug vampires when gadgets are fully charged.


3.  Raise the a/c temp on the thermostat a couple of degrees (free).

PGE recommends keeping your a/c thermostat on 78°F during the summer time. 

Open up the house when it cools off outside & let room fans circulate the cooler air.  Fans use less energy.

If 78°F is too uncomfortable, raise the a/c by just a degree or two.


4.  Eat dinner before it gets dark (free).


5.  Run the dishwasher before 10 a.m. 
or after 8 p.m. during non-peak hours (free).


6.  Set the refrigerator temp to 38°F (free).


7.  Clean the refrigerator coils (free).

Dust & lint on the coils in back of your fridge cause the refrigerator to work harder & use more electricity.  Use a dust buster or vac attachment to suck up the lint.  

Repeat every 6 months.


8.  Rinse off the dryer vent once a month to keep dryer sheet residue from building up (free).


9.  Monitor your daily energy consumption using the power company's website (free).

In California, go to PGE My Energy & set up an account.  

In Nevada, go to Nevada Energy Smart Tools.


10.  Hang laundry out to dry (under $10).

Dryer usage accounts for 6% of your total household electricity use.

Use indoor racks for individual items.  Hang a clothesline for larger loads.

If you don't like the stiffness of hang drying, start drying on the line & finish off in the dryer.

In Denmark, my daughter uses the dryer only for comforters and pillows.


11.  Watch less TV (free).  Schedule your TV watching time.


12.  Put your devices to sleep at night & when not in use (free).


13.  Use daylight for office lighting.  Open the shades & use daylight in your office (free).


14.  Turn off outdoor porch lights (free).  Use outdoor lighting only when needed.


 15.  Shave a minute off of shower time!  (Free & fun!)


Most of these tips are free, and we are doing all of them.  We reduced our electric bill by 56% last month.  This month, we are running in the lowest tier of usage every day.  

Even if you choose to do only 1 of these things, you will notice a difference in your power bill.  

Wednesday is Earth Day 2015!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday—A Week of Earth-Friendly New Habits

Earth Day 2015 is on...

Click HERE to find out what's going on around the world



Wednesday, April 22


Be Kind to the Planet


Do laundry before 10 a.m.


Set your dishwasher on wash only.  Let dishes dry in the dish drainer.

Stay tuned for more easy changes!
(We are doing all of them.)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday Finances—4 Practical Financial Tips for Women

From Fidelity Viewpoints_6 May 2015_"Four Financial Tips for Moms"


Take Charge of Your Money

Smart Money

Practical Tips for Moms & Everyone Else

90 percent of all women will have to manage their money on their own at some point in their lives.  That is good news!  And, what it means is that we women (and men, too) need to incorporate solid financial hands-on management into our skill set and not just turn it over to someone else.  

Women set aside careers to raise families; we ratchet back to care for elderly or sick family members; women get divorced; and, many become widowed.  It makes sense that we take responsibility for our financial health, along with taking care of all of the other important aspects of our lives.

I like the 4 common sense tips from Fidelity Viewpoints, and I would add one more:  Start young.


Here we go...

1.  Get involved in finances.

  • Accounts—Know what accounts you & your spouse each have.  Keep an up-to-date file with current hard copy statements for each account.  Make sure that you know the account numbers.  They'll be right there on the statements.
Your accounts include...
  • Life insurance—Know if you or your spouse has life insurance & with whom.  Is it job-related or independent?  Keep a current file.  How much coverage is there and what type of coverage is it?  If you haven't named your spouse or someone else as a beneficiary, do it, NOW.  It'll make it so much easier on the surviving family members.
  • Homeowner's Insurance—Know who the homeowner's insurance group is & when your annual or semi-annual payments are due.  Know how much the payments are & know if you are up-to-date on the payments. 
  • Auto Insurance—Know who your car insurance carrier is.  When are the payments due & how much? What type of coverage do you have?  Auto-pay or pay by mail?  
  • Medical Insurance—Know what kind of coverage you have.  Know what your deductibles are for office visits, emergency room visits, catastrophic coverage, dental, eyes, etc.  Keep a current file with hard copies of any claims & payments.
  • Mortgage—Know what your monthly payments are & how much is left to pay off the loan.  Know what your interest rate is.  Look at both the escrow and the principal amounts.  These figures are listed on your statements.  Know how the payments are made, electronically (auto-pay) or by mail, and when they are due.    
  • Keep current hard copies of mortgage statements on file.  This is especially important if you receive e-statements.  
  • Know where the deed to your house is kept.  Any other deeds, make sure you know where those are, too.
  • Loans—Keep current hard copy files for each loan.  Know what the details are:  interest rate; how much is due each month & when; how is it paid (electronically or by mail); what are the late fees; when will it be paid off?
  • Cars & Vehicles—Know where the titles are.  You need copies of current registration & vehicle insurance.  This includes motorcycles, non street-legal dirt bikes, boats & RVs. 
  • Investments—Are there any stocks, 401(k)'s, IRAs, coin collections, or other investments?  Where are these accounts located (e.g. shareholder's group, investment brokerage institution, credit union, safe deposit box, etc.)?  Make sure that workplace retirement account information is accessible (online username & password) & keep hard copies of all statements.  Make sure that you or your spouse are listed as beneficiary.  Familiarize yourself with all of your combined investments & keep updated files for each.  Stay on top of the statements, read them, and understand what you are reading.
  • Income Taxes—Get in on paying your taxes, especially if you don't prepare your own & have an accountant do it for you.  Study your tax return & know where it is filed.  
  • PASSWORDS—Keep a hard copy of all of the passwords in a locked safe box.  Store the passwords in a secure file on your computer or in a password book.
  • Get online & check every account to make sure that your have current passwords and access to all of the account information.
   
Filing does wonders and is a great way to educate yourself through organization.  If you do nothing else, set up files for all of your accounts.  


2.  Save for retirement.  

Set up a traditional &/or Roth IRA now.  

If you don't work, but your spouse does, you can set up a spousal IRA.  This type of IRA allows non wage-earning spouses to contribute up to $5,500 (for 2015) to their own Roth or traditional IRA, provided that the spouse is working and you file a joint federal income tax return.  Working moms can build a substantial retirement portfolio by contributing to their own workplace 401(k) or other type of workplace retirement plan.  


3.  Look for growth potential from your investments.  

Invest in the stock market.

Do your homework and invest a little in the stock market.  Be prepared to follow your investment over time & know what the market is doing.

Fidelity has a lot of good information on this:  3 Reasons to Invest in Stocks 


4.  Protect your legacy.  

Name your beneficiaries.

Make sure that the beneficiaries are named on all of your life insurance & investment accounts.  This is very important because if you don't, there is no guarantee that the intended survivor will inherit the assets.  Primary, secondary, and tertiary beneficiaries can be named. 

Shore it up with a trust.  Use a trust attorney to set up a legal trust so that your estate can be directed per your final wishes.


Be Smart & Take Charge of Your Future

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Photoshop Gallery—Waikiki 2013

Pix from Steve's trip to Honolulu post-processed in PSCC & Lightroom_2B Day 14_Curves Play & Color Range Selection



ALOHA!

Waikiki Beach 2013
PSCC + LR + RadLab

PS_Select_Color Range + LR coldtone + noise texture by Kim Klassen


a • l • o • h • a

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thursday Mini-Post: Cheryl's Birthday

This logic problem was originally posted by Kenneth Kong, a television host from Singpore.  It originated from a high school math olympiad.  

I solved it in 5 minutes by writing down the possibilities, then using a process of elimination to knock out the non-possibilities.  Pay attention to Albert's statement, "I don't know when your birthday is, but I know that Bernard does not know it either."  That tells you a lot.


Deductive Reasoning


Cheryl's Birthday

Albert and Bernard just met Cheryl.  

"When is your birthday?" Albert asked Cheryl.

Cheryl thought for a second and said, 

"I'm not going to tell you, but I'll give you some clues."  

She wrote down a list of ten dates:


  • May 15, May 16, May 19
  • June 17, June 18
  • July 14, July 16
  • August 14, August 15, August 17

"My birthday is one of these," she said.

Then, Cheryl whispered in Albert's ear the month—and only the month—of her birthday.  

To Bernard, she whispered the day, and only the day.

"Can you figure it out now?" she asked Albert.

Albert pondered, "I don't know when your birthday is, but I know that Bernard does not know it, either.

Bernard answered, "I did not know originally, but now I do."

Albert exclaimed, "Well, now I know, too!"


When is Cheryl's birthday?

Click HERE for the answer.