Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Frustrations, Annoyances and Irritations

Hello Friends and Curious Anonymous Readers

And now for the occasional rant (or four):

So here I was all ready to start off my seeds (see previous post) and prepare for spring/summer.  I always put the seedlings and plants under small grow lights (60w) since it can be several days before the sun shines around here during this very stormy season.  I already have one clip on lamp that I use for flowering plants on a small table in a corner in the living room that I have brought for the winter along with some bulbs that I force to bring some colour to this place and brighten it up.  I think the bulbs have the same spectrum as those very expensive SAD lights.  The OH and I have noticed that we feel more cheerful when the light is on.  But on Wednesday night I noticed that the (plastic) lamp shade had a crack in it.  ( I used to have a metal one like the on in the photo, too but can't find it.)  I took it down to inspect further and the whole shade just crumbled making a mess on the floor. frown  If the whole shade had come apart in situ it would have broken the fairly costly bulb (€ 9 each) which are also becoming hard to find due to the push towards more energy efficient bulbs or perhaps worse, a fire. ( It seems that CFL will be the bulb of choice for plant lights in the future but I don't they will work as well.  No proof of that though, just my natural scepticism and ïf it ain't broke don't fix it mentality. )  Anyway, no more grow lamp for the living room. grumpy  I had another lamp in the "small room with no name" that I use for the seedlings.  I have a small metal roll cart that serves the purpose of a plant stand very well and can move it around if I have to.  Since I haven't actually planted the seeds yet I thought I'd move that lamp into the living room.  I've had a look in a couple of lighting shops around here (they're aren't that many) and couldn't find anything that suited my purpose. This is what I wanted:

 Looking on-line is difficult because I still have trouble with the Dutch language if I want to get anything from here with a nice trim Euro plug rather than the large, fused ones that the UK has. (And then having to use an adapter plug with it which adds more bulk and takes up more room on the power strips.   I checked out Amazon.co.uk and Ebay.co.uk but no dice.  A couple of the ones I thought would suit from the UK weren't delivering outside of the UK.  It's been a bit dreary in here the past few days without the light even with other lamps turned on there's still a darkness in one corner, which surprisingly is next to the windows.   I've spent more time than I dare to admit to to track down the lamps I need.  I finally remembered something from my move to Ireland.  I brought all my lamps with me so those lamps probably came from the US and had a UK plug fitted somewhere along the way.  You can use lamps made for 110-120v if you use a 240v bulb, no rewiring required.  How could I have forgotten that?   (Well, it was 24 years ago and I've moved to another country since then in my defence.)  So yesterday I checked out Amazon.com and found several people selling just the lamp I need and willing to ship to The Netherlands. I ordered 2 of them for the great sum of $25 including postage and also some US to EU adapter plugs. Problem somewhat sorted but now I have the anxiety of waiting to see if it'll do and also the fact that my growing plans have to be put back a couple of weeks. For the moment I have a spare clip on reading lamp with a spotlight bulb in it.  It doesn't have the daylight spectrum but does give some light and warmth to the plants.


Speaking of ordering online I have another annoyance to mention.  Why don't more sites have the facility to save the cart?  I'm a slow shopper.  I like to take my time with an order over a period of a couple of days.  It takes me almost a week to complete my AH on-line grocery shopping but thank goodness I can save my cart there.  I was trying to place an order with Lakeland.co.uk which has some great things for the kitchen and home.  I had my order almost ready and thought I'd sleep on it before placing it.  When I went back to it the next day (I kept the tab open in my browser and just hibernated the laptop) my cart was empty. grumpy  I have in the past taken a screen capture of a shopping cart just in case but this time I forgot.  This also happened with a site that I buy my other craft supplies from last week. Luckily I did take a screen capture so I was able to re-do my cart from there.

And this leads me to another annoyance or is it a frustration:  one of my favourite online yarn shops seems to have stopped trading.  The now defunct site sold all of the brands that I use so I could do a one stop order with them.  I've found another site and have placed an order and have promptly received it but they don't have one brand that I use so I'll have to find a site that does. Cue more time spent on online shopping.......

And on to my next complaint and irritation.  I have an allergy to wool so can't use that for crochet. I can't wear it either.  I can't even stay in a yarn store for more than a few minutes before I start itching, quickly followed by runny eyes, a hot feeling all over and sweating in extreme cases.  Hence my fondness for ordering yarn online.  I like cottons but they can be quite expensive and some lines have very limited colour ranges.  I've tried acrylic but the stuff I've tried so far is very scratchy and splits and is rough on the hands and it leaves loads of lint all over the place.  It takes all the joy out of crocheting.  I've got a whole bag of the stuff.

 I used some to make these pillow covers a couple of years ago


 I tried  making an afghan with it but ending up throwing it out halfway through because I just didn't like the look and feel of it.  I'm willing to give acrylic one more go because I did use some years ago that was just fine but that was a long time ago and in the US and I can't remember what the brand was (if they still exist) although the blanket I made from it is around here somewhere, probably in the storage room (box) downstairs.  Does anyone know of a soft, non splitting acrylic yarn that they can recommend that ships to The Netherlands?

And last but not least my final frustration/ annoyance/ irritation is that I still can't get the comments box on here to work. grumpy

As you can see dear readers, I've had a few grumps and bumps to deal with this week and it's trying my usual "try to  look on the bright-side" attitude.  It's nothing life-threatening or life-changing but annoying and time consuming all the same. I've spent way too much time on-line this past week that I would rather have spent on the couple of projects I'm working on. I'm having trouble getting around at the moment (and the weather's not helping) so the scope of my world is a bit narrower at the moment so I guess this all gets exaggerated in my mind. The birds haven't been around much these past few days to distract me either since it's been so windy and stormy.  (Where do they hang out?)

I hope that you've all had a less frustrating, annoying and irritating week than I have.



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