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As promised, here's the little hummingbird nest:

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Isn't that amazing? It's made from twigs from the thorny mesquite tree where they live which would take some careful engineering to avoid sitting on a thorn. If you look carefully you can see that it's more of a hammock built in the fork of a branch to make it structurally strong so that it can withstand heavy winds without coming apart. It's also an open "weave" so the wee birdies can catch the breeze and stay cool. I didn't have anything to hold up for size comparison but the whole nest is about 4 inches across so it's tiny enough to be almost invisible. I never would have noticed it if I hadn't been climbing around in the tree hanging Christmas ornaments.

Cool huh!

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I bought a RGT Classic Bungalow from forJen, Jennifer Ashley, and found she's a published author. Romance is not one of my fondest genere, but mystery is. Jen is combining two of the top favorite genere, and I like to think I'm open minded, so I'm giving her books a go and have ordered the first two in the Captain Lacey mystery series. A double joy is they're history based taking place in Regency England.

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I am still tearing the house apart - although I am putting it back together as I go. Right now I have no stair railings. The stairway looks so odd but at the same time looks very big and open! I hope to have it back together next week. It just never ends.

I built a little house because I desperately want to put up one of those little free libraries out in front, but the house came out a bit larger than planned, so it will go in the backyard and I will try my hand at something smaller and simpler.

This is the house so far. I need to add a chimney and windows and doors yet. The windows will have screens to keep bugs out and the house will hold my air pump for the pond. It's perfect size for it.

I know the chimney will be stone (pea gravel and liquid nails) but I am not sure about the rest yet. I may just paint it and do pebble quoins.

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Deb I started playing piano when I was 4. I have been playing ever since including teaching for 35 years :)

Love Hummers! They have all left of course but I can't wait for them to return in the spring! I am amazed everyday at the amount of wildlife living in the desert. I don't know where the little birds and bunnies live in the winter the nights are frigid!

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Hugs for you Debra :hug:

Had planned to get started on my cookie baking today, but I got sidetracked helping my mother move furniture. There is a large den/dining room that used to be the garage and den in our house. That's where my parents have their TV and Mom has her needlework set up plus their computer. It's a big room but kind of skinny so furniture placement is tricky. Mom tried to move some stuff herself, but I stopped her and did it instead. Designed as new bookcase for her out of the deal, so now my dad has another project to build out in the shop.

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Sending hugs your way, Deb.

Our car has been in the shop for a week now. The Kia mechanics have been unable to fix our car. It doesn't look good for a car manufacturer when their product is so overly complicated, their own mechanics can't figure out the problem. It seems like the onboard internal diagnostics is just making it more confusing, in contradiction to the purpose of such technology. They eventually sent a tech support request to their headquarters in Korea, but it still doesn't run properly. According to what the "check engine" codes are telling them, our timing is off, but it isn't due to a mechanical breakdown. It's due to an electrical relay. For the past week they have been ruling out sensors, fuses and computers, and have reached the point that the signals are being interrupted inside the valve covers. So we probably won't get the car back until the end of the week.

Renting a car at over $200 a week isn't helping our finances, either.

We did get a little bit of good news. Our mortgage company has been harassing us about an alleged missed payment from two months ago. Faxing a copy of my bank statements and the cashed check that bares their deposit stamp on the back didn't convince them otherwise. One of the problems is that every time they called us or vice-versa, we ended up talking to somebody in India, Philippines, South Africa, etc. How do they expect to keep track of mortgage contracts when they're being handled by dozens of people across several continents? Today, in the most polite way I could muster, I requested to speak with someone state side who would understand the seriousness of a business defrauding a customer. It worked! I was transferred to their legal department in NJ, and they confirmed that the "missing" payment had been inadvertently deposited towards someone else's mortgage!

I also finished the model plane and posted a couple of photos in my gallery. Not my best work, but most of my co-workers couldn't tell it was painted, let alone free hand.

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With any company that uses overseas 'customer service' you can request an american person. I have done that when I get a person who's accent is too thick for me to understand.

There was a big thing about it about 5 years ago that if everyone requested state side assistance it would bring more jobs back here.

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Debra, I'm so, so sorry to hear about your MIL. I hope that her passing is an easy one for her sake and for all of your family. It's extra tough around the holidays too. My heart goes out to several of our forum members who have lost loved ones this year and are facing the holidays without them for the first time, in some cases it's the kind of grief one only thinks about in nightmares and my thoughts and prayers are with you all. The holidays are all about family and to face them for the first time with an empty place where a loved one used to be has to be almost insurmountable. If we can help, just say the word. We're a different kind of family but we can still surround a broken heart with peace and love.

Jeremy, you've been having some seriously bad Car-karma lately! But I'm glad to hear about your job. I'm a little late to offer my congrats but here they are along with a little happy dance for you. And that's a sweet paint job too!

FYI about call center agents: During the first week of training in any call center, they're taught red flag words like "lawyer", "legal action", and "state attorney general". Saying any of those words in a sentence beginning with "I will be contacting/pursuing...." means that the agent MUST stop talking to you and transfer you to their legal department. If they don't, demand that they do and remind them that now you've brought up legal action, it means that they can be personally held responsible for anything they say or do from that point on. Sometimes they'll try to bluff and say they don't have one or don't have the contact information but keep pushing til you get it even if you have to call back to talk to someone else. Of course the downside of that is that once you do it you won't be able to talk to anyone BUT the legal department about that particular issue but sometimes it's the only way to get things resolved.

Today is going to be an easy day around here. My only goal is to make homemade bbq sauce and finish my Yule shopping online. I was going to wrap gifts today but the body says I've done too much lately and it's time to rest a bit. The BBQ sauce is easy enough and already in the crockpot to simmer. <chuckling> Bruce's office is having an employee appreciation BBQ on Friday but that's his day off. That led to his coworkers saying, "But your wife will still make homemade sauce for us, right?" LOL! Well, if you put it that way, sure why not. It's easier than making sugar cookies!

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Jeremy I know what you mean about the overseas CS. I struggled for a second year trying to get my health insurance done and all I got was people in places that can't speak intelligible English. I got so mad I demanded to speak to a supervisor IN the US!!!! I finally got one!

Sheesh!!!! The plane looks great! :)

I have a request. Two of our members Kat and Stacey are in need of our prayers and support. If you could just post a few words of encouragement for both of these sweet friends it would be appreciated. Thanks

Hugs

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Kay, Stacy, I don't know either one of you but I am truly sorry for what you both are currently going through. I am glad you both have the support and care from the likes of Roxy and others here. Friendship is a wonderful love. I hope it helps you through this painful time. You both are in my thoughtrs.

mk

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Besides ordering two new books by a new author yesterday, I went and got tabs for my plates. I thought it behooved me considering the day before I'd gotten a ticket for the current ones on my car being expired. (sigh) Staying home and not going out can have its downside...

Since I was out I made a run to the grocery store. I make sure the kids (two Pugs and three mutt kitties) always have plenty to eat as I can order it via the 'Net, but I tend to not worry about myself so much and wait until there is NOTHING here before I go to the store. For dinner I had cupcakes and Dr. Pepper! Don'tcha LOVE living alone and doing what you want?!!!

My newest copy of Archaeology arrived so I spent some time reading a little bit of that. Like to just read a bit at a time sos I can make it last 2 months. If I win the lottery I'm gonna go on one of the digs they advertise in the magazine. Until then I'll just keep skulking around here or where ever I find myself.

Today I'm making nummy-num tacos (drool) and looking in my Cook's Country and America's Test Kitchen cookbooks for a good chilli recipe. Could look in the four book series of Pine to Praire, from the Telephone Pioneers of America; C.P. Wainman Chapter #18, They're 'church' cookbooks but the mother of all church cooks weighing in at about 2.5" per EACH book. Moster church bookbooks, uh-huh. I collect cookbooks. Don't even care if I never make anything out of them, I enjoy reading them.

Cruisin' the 'Net for info on miniatures and bashing and stuff like that. Looking up anything and everything Craftsman. Will read some more of my Archaeology. And pretty much have a usual lazy day.

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I'm archaeology, history, miniatures. Or is it history, archaeology, miniatures? I WISH I'd known back in the day about going to school to be an archaeologist. Back then I really didn't know they existed. I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up until I was in my late 40s. By then, no moola. Oh, well. I'm not dead yet.

We've an archaeology club around here. I'd join but I can't drive at night though I hope to remedy that in the not too distant future. I used to volunteer at one of MN's state parks and found a hole in the ground with a berm that even the State Archaeologist hadn't found when he/they were plotting the park. :trumpet: They photoed it, plotted it with the GPSer, named it, put it on the list of historical locations for MN, yada, yada, yada. I was REALLY stoked! My 15 minutes of fame. Anyway, come to find out it had been a potatoe storage shed. Goes to show you never ever know what you'll find when out skulking. (In Yellowstone I found a couple of dumps from the beginning of the park [America's First Ntl Park]. Oooo-la-la! Suffice it to say I was a happy camper! :D)

With the archaeology comes the history. With history you find the archaeology The two or are so connected. Makes for like a complete contextual good time.

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We attended our last Christmas party last night and stopped at Rouse's Market on the way home to see if they ever got in the large cans of Steen's cane syrup, which thy did. On the way through the store DH grabbed a box of okra gumbo mix that was on sale,, and after we read the fat and salt content (negligible) we went looking for things to put with it. I couldn't find just shrimp or crab so I have chicken and sausage happily swimming in the okra, roux and file broth in the slow cooker, and all I have to add for supper is a pot of steamed rice to pour it over.

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We attended our last Christmas party last night and stopped at Rouse's Market on the way home to see if they ever got in the large cans of Steen's cane syrup, which thy did. On the way through the store DH grabbed a box of okra gumbo mix that was on sale,, and after we read the fat and salt content (negligible) we went looking for things to put with it. I couldn't find just shrimp or crab so I have chicken and sausage happily swimming in the okra, roux and file broth in the slow cooker, and all I have to add for supper is a pot of steamed rice to pour it over.

Ooooooooooooooh, Holly that sounds so good! I love dishes that can be tossed into one pot and poured over rice. Are you making white or brown rice?

My bbq sauce is smelling so good that the neighbors are sniffing the air to see where it's coming from. LOL! I'm defrosting some chicken breasts to douse in sauce and toss in the oven later on for dinner tonight. My Yule shopping is finished and now I'm working on my list of baking for next week. It's minimal but I'm still quite content with doing even a little bit and everyone loves pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. Why is it so hard to resist the urge to make fudge at Christmas?

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