My Commonplace Blog

Bits of info in bytes


March 2016

The Longest Week

Drink more coffee

Daylight Savings Time makes no sense to me and, if I’m reading my self-selected media stream correctly, it’s potentially harmful to one’s health.

It’s the ultimate someone-took-this-joke-seriously?! head scratcher. Ben Franklin certainly wouldn’t understand the peculiar logic behind embracing this.

DD coffee

So for a week every year, I rant and drink more coffee. . . not that those two things could ever be construed as linked. . .

When I’m finally ready to let it go, I embrace my niece’s humor and raise a fist in the air and say “I shake my fist at you!” Makes me laugh every time. And I move on.

Thank you for your indulgence.

Now that I’m ready to redirect that frustrative energy, perhaps I’ll make a banner like the one above from Three Potato Four.

The Nail File – Entry II

Please meet Liza.
Liza full figure small
She’s a sweet, well-mannered, almost blind, now 9-1/2 year-old Shiloh Shepard we adopted two years ago.

At the time we didn’t know two things: She’s going blind and she has, in our veterinarian’s direct turn of phrase, s****y nails.

We’ve all adapted to the blindness for the most part.

But the nails. She’s at the animal hospital right now having yet another cauterization on a badly broken nail. At least I hope that’s where it stops. One bad infection last summer required surgery and a couple of weeks in a bandage.

Our ongoing quest is to find a way to make her nails strong enough to withstand a daily walk as part of a good dog life.

As I noted earlier, we’re trying soy milk. Coincidentally, today I read an article on a hand model’s regimen in the New York Times.

Imagine the veterinarian’s face when I ask about adding a sulfur supplement. Liza won’t mind another pill; her vitamins are first swiped in butter then wrapped in bread. And hopefully neither her nails or the budget will break for a bit longer.


To Make Daylight Savings Monday Better — Scones!



Apologies for the blurry ‘after’ pic. In a rush to get to the eating part.

My dough slicing left something to be desired. So smaller bits were smoodged together to make right-size pieces. That’s where I go freestyle.

Found this on the Interwebs earlier this week — and now I’m hooked:

My Week Has Gone to Pot – But At Least There’s Cake


We’ve all endured them: The weeks that start with so much promise and fall apart. Nothing horrific, just the water torture of small events insistently eroding time and energy.

Then Thursday rolls around and I’m scratching my head, wondering what I can get done.

At least I made a cake, but even that started with little promise. It’s King Arthur Flour’s Golden Vanilla Cake. The recipe begins with mixing the butter and dry ingredients. Initially the consistency didn’t look right so I upped the mixer speed – not thinking that there’s no liquid yet.

After cleaning up the cloud of flour that precipitated on the counter, then baking the cake, I  wasn’t satisfied. Again, the consistency: edges drier than I thought they should be, center on the brink of too moist.

The frosting was fine, but by now I was obsessed with consistency and didn’t like the way it spread.

Even the first piece of cake elicited a ‘whatever’ response. Too soon after baking, I think. At this point, I was pretty much Lucy in Peanuts.

For some reason, the hubs was mad for it. Had a second piece late in the day.

By the next day, I was pleased with the outcome. And as the week goes on, the cake tastes better. Could even make it again.

There might be just enough cake to get me through the week. Thank goodness.

Kludge Fail

cushion 1

The zipper on one of the sofa cushion’s slipcovers finally, really gave out this time. After each of the last few washings the zipper has failed but reversibly so. To eek out one last use, I decided to stitch the cover closed. Inelegant but effective.

A miserable task at best, it was made worse by the shrunken slipcover. Trying to hold it closed and stitch was almost impossible.

cushion 2

The fabric is a thick, tightly woven twill, so pushing the needle through was an effort for every stitch. Unsurprisingly, this drew blood. The two splotches in the center of this image are from the third bloodletting.

Then, when I walked away for a moment, one of the cats chewed through the dangling thread.

I bow to the will of the universe.

Everything’s Better With Coffee


Well, not so sure about coffee sugar. But as with almost all things Fishs Eddy, this made me smile. And that is a good way to start a Monday.

How about making this baking week? Baked good go well with coffee and I’ve just found two new recipes to try.

Nothing like focus to invigorate the creative mind.

Before & After: The Spring Chicken Edition

Chicken before

The truth of it: Buying roasted chicken has spoiled me. Reasonably priced and ready to go. But the hubs loves to roast chicken on the grill. Variety of flavors, he says.

So I shrugged at the Whole Foods Market sale, whereas he stepped right up. The first chicken was quite tasty. Why not get two (or three) more? And so he did.

Chicken after

That’s Italian-seasoned on the left, mesquite on the right. And a third smoking on the grill. All the bones, etc., will end up in the same pot for stock. That ought to create an interesting taste sensation.

Doing the Continental

alpaca yarn

After much consternation, dismay, and angst, I have learned Continental knitting. Previously I was a thrower. Clearly, this has not been an easy learning curve. Only regularly reminding myself to breathe allows my shoulders to lower from next to my ears to their normal level, and the needles to drop from straight in front of my face to a reasonable working height.

A recent post by KnittyNuhn over at Nuhn Handmade inspired me to get off the duff and make something other than a medium-long, kind-of narrow piece of practice fabric. You know, an item a person might wear.

Keeping it simple. And stylish. The Color Affection shawl has been sitting in my Ravelry library; time to give it a go. The yarn is a lovely Alpaca from C&M Acres. Not quite the right amount-per-color or, frankly, the right weight for the pattern. So I’ll be winging it – something I am comfortable doing. Wish me luck!


Blog at

Up ↑


Old buildings, New tricks

Proof Perfectly

Editing - Copywriting - Advice

Mittened Hands


cate st hill

london-based design and interiors blogger

3 fashionistas sharing our inspiration on style and beauty

Saint Joan (Creative Studio)

An archive for my stuff

rachel eats

stories, pictures and cooking tales from an english woman living in rome.

bread and the machine

wonders of bread machine: baking bread and beyond

Ancient Arts Yarn

Nature | Inspiration | Glorious Colours!

It's a wild and wonderful universe.


We'll keep you warm at night

Bits of info in bytes

%d bloggers like this: