Standing Out In A Crowd

I have to make yet another trip to the store today. This time, it wasn’t my fault.

I was putting together my table saw stand yesterday, managing to do a whole lot of guessing because the instructions were absolute crap and would have about the same understanding even if I were reading it in the other languages, getting my first project wound because I didn’t have the right tool to hold a nearly microscopic lock nut in place while tightening and having the pliers slip and pinch the hell out of my finger (said wound is now an ugly blood blister in the most inconvenient place on my finger of my dominant hand and felt like a cross between a bad cut and a burn it was so sensitive), only to find out when it was all done that the bolts provided to actually attach a saw to the stand were too big.

This is for a stand that is the same brand as the saw and every comment I found said that it works with my saw. Well, it does. Technically. Because it fits the stand and is within the weight tolerance. I just need different bolts. FUN!

This means that I might, just might, be able to actually do something building like later today. Maybe. And very, very carefully. With fingers and toes crossed that the project wound I got yesterday is the worst I’ll see for this entire project. Because… power tools and saws.

While I sit over here and whine about stupid instructions, wrong bolts, and manufacturers not providing the tools for weird specialty parts, please enjoy some of the last snowy pictures I have. I doubt I’ll have many more past the ones I’ve already taken. I’m so ready to be done being cold.

Beautiful Broken Imperfection

This one really stuck out to me. The fact that it was this lone snowflake caught in that space. That it was either broken or partly melted or some combination. That it was determinedly hanging on. That even imperfect, it was still amazingly beautiful. To me, it is one of those images that can hold so much meaning beyond just being a pretty picture.

Oh So Flaky!

I wasn’t going to go out. It was still stupidly cold. But… it was flurrying a bit and those flakes were the perfect kind to try and get actual snowflakes and the sun was out a bit and… of course I went out.

It really was kind of perfect conditions to get snowflake shots. The snow was so light and fluffy, I could scoop some of it up and still maintain the flake shapes. That kind of snow isn’t all that common here as our tends to be more wet and sticky.

I froze my butt and my fingers off, but dammit! I got snowflake pictures!

 

Feathered Ice

Of all the photos I got the other day, this is probably one of the best at the almost fully frozen stage. Almost all of the ones I took started to get too blurry by that point because of the transparency of the bubbles and the angle I was at.

I don’t think I will ever get tired of seeing all the different types of patterning that these display.

Frozen Soap Bubble

Yesterday’s attempt at getting some frozen bubble shots was pretty successful and I learned a few new things.

One of the bigger things is that I really need to be wearing my reading glasses when I’m taking photos anymore. I struggle more and more often to see if I’m actually in focus or I have to rely on the autofocus, which doesn’t always give me what I want. This is especially true if I’m using my viewing screen to frame my shot. Wearing glasses is still a long way from perfect or even from where I used to be, but it gets me a whole lot closer than I’ve been getting lately.

When it comes to doing the bubble photos, I’ve also learned that the angle you take these from is critically important and I don’t always get that right. One is the fact that you have to have the light hit it in a way to bring contrast to those crystal structures or you just don’t see them well.

The other issue on angle is the fact that these are transparent and as they freeze, you will get the crystal structures on the back overlapping with the ones on the front, which can make the whole thing look blurry. Many of the ones I tried to take yesterday didn’t look that great once they were fully frozen, but the partially frozen ones looked great. So you have to be at an angle to get the crystal structures to pop, but mainly the ones only on the front side of the bubble, which can be really tricky.

I also learned that I pulled off some of my best images from the videos I tried, but those files aren’t nearly as good a quality as a normal photo, so that is a good and a bad thing.

There are several really good ones I want to share over the next couple of days, but this one is probably one of my favorites (though I do have a few that come close for different reasons). This one is up there because it is one of the best at really showcasing those crystal patterns as they begin to form.

In some ways, I wish we had more days where I could practice, but… nope! It has to be way too cold to play, so I think I’ll be good with the once or twice a year opportunities.

Snow Coated

I really should be getting outside to try for more frozen bubble shots, but I’m not sure that is going to happen today.

As is typical for me, cake mode is followed by crash mode and my energy and motivation levels are near zero today. The one thing I’d like to try and get done is to get the table base screwed together. My bits showed up the other day and I’ve been wanting to get to this, but cake got in the way.

After that, I have no clue if I’ll have the motivation to do much else, let alone bundle up to go out in the cold. That and it is looking a bit too breezy for bubbles today so I don’t know that it would even be worth the effort.

Maybe I’ll get lucky and get a burst of energy this afternoon and get out anyway. We are still going to be seeing single digit temps for a few more days, so I have time to get back to the bubbles even if I don’t get to it today.

Frosted World

I had to brave the bitterly cold temps yesterday to get a couple of much needed things to work on BG’s cake. I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to get some photos of the amazing effect the snow was having on the trees, so I drug my camera along with me.

The roads were absolute crap and the drive was very slow, but it was absolutely beautiful. I’m so glad I got out and got the few shots I did as the trees are no longer coated today. The temps are staying at what feels like vaccine storage levels (yes, I know it isn’t REALLY that cold) for several more days and we have a chance of snow every day. It feels like mother nature decided to give us all the winter we hadn’t really gotten so far all at once now.

I’m in full on cake mode today because I have to have this done by tomorrow afternoon. The cake is already baked and the icing is ready to go. I have to make up the fondant and start assembling today. Since I’m down to only being allowed to make this one cake every year, I’m going to have as much fun as possible working on it.

Frozen Bubble In The Snow

This one was the only decent one I managed to grab yesterday. I think the fact that it was snowing is why I struggled to get a decent shot. The snowflakes kept popping the bubbles before they could really start to freeze. That and I wasn’t positioned well to get a good, clear line to see the crystallization on the bubbles. This is one of the few that you could actually see that, but it isn’t as clear as I’ve gotten in the past.

I’m going to try again over the next few days when I have a couple of extra minutes, which may be hard to find. I’ve got a cake to make this week, so my time is going to be packed. My goal is to get the table base at least painted and ready to assemble today, because starting tomorrow, I have to be in cake mode.

The forecast for the next several days is looking like we will have perfect conditions so it’s possible even with my incredibly busy week ahead that I’ll have a several chances to get out and try again.

Snowy Nest

I’m trying really hard not to feel too satisfied that I was right and the contractor guy was WAY wrong, but… I am totally satisfied by that fact.

The electrical box that they installed for my main light was NOT in fact a standard box no matter how much the guy swore it was, but one designed specifically for a ceiling fan. Even then, it is a funky design that requires you to mount your fixture not to the box itself, which IS standard on pretty much every single box out there, but through the box and into the beam in the ceiling. I haven’t ever heard of a fixture mount like this before and they don’t look all that popular because you can’t just go grab one off the shelf.

The only reason we figured that out was because both Hubby and I had to do some deep digging in researching what we had. Hubby won the search race and found the actual installation instructions for our box that explained what you are supposed to do. It also said it came with the mounting screws, something we did not get.

I now know why the existing hardware for my fixture didn’t work. I also know exactly what I need now, but I don’t have it, so it is yet another trip to get screws so I can get this light installed. The one bright side to this is that I can avoid having to get the electrician back out because I can still install this myself now that I know what kind of a mess they put up.

I do have to put the temporary back up so I can actually get some work done today, though.

In looking for the positive side of things, I’m so exceptionally grateful that my husband is infinitely patient and willing to make a hundred trips to the store for me. He can’t always take care of it all and I do sometimes have to go out, but he makes sure it is the absolute minimum.

Today’s to do list is to start painting the trim and doors and putting up the new trim on the old door.

Broken Snowflake

Any bets on whether or not my craft room actually gets finished today like it is supposed to? Yeah, I probably wouldn’t take that bet either, but I sure do have my fingers crossed.

Supposedly, the doors are getting installed today. One of which I had to change because, shocker! They didn’t get what I asked for ordered in time. I could either wait another week or just change what they installed. I opted to change it. I don’t love it, but I really want to be done. It might end up being a blessing in disguise, so I’m not overly upset, though I’m irritated as all hell that they waited so long to order when they knew this was coming up.

They are also supposed to finish up any other details like outlet covers and, I’m really hoping this is on them, installing the can lights. They also have an electrical issue they need to fix.

When they were getting all that in place before the drywall got put up, the outlet that our sump pump plugs into quit working because of something they did. They fixed it and it wasn’t a huge deal. Until we realized that another part of the electrical that runs through the basement also wasn’t working, but it isn’t something we use often so we didn’t catch it. I can only hope the issue is at the main breaker box and not some funky thing they did that is now hiding behind drywall.

Overall, it doesn’t make me feel too confident that I’m not going to have issues later after they are long gone.

I’m just hoping that today goes smoothly and I can get these people the hell out of my house once and for all.

Gift From Mother Nature

As much as I’ve complained this winter about not getting much snow, I’m going to take the timing of this as a gift. We aren’t supposed to get much and we are hovering on the edge of blizzard conditions with the wind, but it is snow, so I’m happy.

Though I will say that it is not at all uncommon to see snow on this day. I can remember numerous birthdays where there was so much snow on the ground, plans had to be canceled. I used to hate having a birthday this time of year, but this year, I’m gladly sitting here where it is warm and watching the snow blow around.

It may be the only peace I get for much of the day, so I’m taking it.

The drywall guys are supposed to be back today to do some more sanding and cleanup of what they did yesterday, so I’m not actually going to get my day free from people tromping in and out of the house. While they did fix and clean up most of the areas I pointed out, the existing area they were supposed to fix is still a long way from where I think it should be, but I’m done with them. Once everything is done and it is back on me, I’ll clean it up myself before I paint.

But that isn’t today. Today, I’m going to watch the snow and, later, indulge in some amazing creme brulee.