Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
We live in a 90 year old school house, although you'd never know it to look at it now. Such a shame. Any recognizable features were lost long before we came to own it. However, due to the nature of the building, and, I assume, the previous owners, who are responsible for most of the structural changes, there are quite a few unusual measurements and features in the house. Some of these are the sizes of the doorways and other openings.
For example, I have two storage cubbies in my bedroom, of equal size, and on the same wall. The building has a pitched roof, and therefore, the rooms on the second floor have very angular ceilings, so these cubbies are odd sizes, and still have rough openings because I refuse to put a spring rod and curtain over them. I just won't do it. I feel that is akin to putting a skirt around your sink, which I also will not do.
So, god bless my dad for putting up with my hair-brained ideas, he is making me doors for these crevices. Or, I should say, frames. I think I am going to end up regretting this before it is all said and done, but they are each going to have 8 open panels, which will hold punched tin blanks. This is the design:
SO, I know there is no way I will have them all ready when he gets here next weekend, but now I have a goal to get at least a couple of 12 inch panels ready to go so we can get an idea of how it will look when they are all done (and I am old and arthritic from punching them all).
Stay tuned for more doors! We're also doing a smaller storage cubby, my sewing room door, and, most importantly, the cobalt blue gingerbread screen door for my laundry room!
1) Last movie you saw in a theater?The Dark Knight. AMAZING film. I miss Heath Ledger. What a consummate actor.
2) What book are you reading? The Hot Mom's Handbook (again), and Eat, Pray, Love (again). I loved them both and got so much out of them, I leave them on the table next to the couch and pick either one of them up when I feel the need to read. I was skeptical about Eat, Pray, Love at first, but it really spoke to me in ways I did not expect. And as for the former, well, we all need reminders as moms that we can still be HOT.
3) Favorite board game? Please, child, like I have time for that shit. I think I BOUGHT a board game a couple of years ago...plastic wrap is still on it.
4) Favorite magazine? Anything about food...as long as it has pictures.
5) Favorite smells?My little boy's hair, washed or otherwise. Doesn't matter.
6) Favorite sounds? Rain
7) Worst feeling in the world? When my son hurts.....and I can't fix it.
8) What is the first thing you think of when you wake? "Matt, get your ASS UP and turn off the GODDAMN alarm!" Yeah, pretty much, that's usually what it is.
9) Favorite fast food place? If I HAD to eat fast food...Taco Bell. But I try not to.
10) Future child's name? Oh HELL no - the hubs asked me the other day, "why don't we have another kid?" I laughed at him. Out loud.
11) Finish this statement - "If I had a lot of money I'd...be happy. I don't necessarily know what that entails, but it has to be an improvement.
12) Do you drive fast? Apparently, because my gas mileage S.U.C.K.S.
13) Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? Unless you count the hubs and the cat. Furry little bastard, thinks just because we got a bigger bed, that means he gets to sleep up by my head now...(the cat, not the hubs)
14) Storms - I used to think they were cool, and I guess I still do, they just scare me more now that I am a mom.
15) What was your first car? Honestly? I think the Saturn Ion I just bout 2 months ago is the first car I have owned on my own, without anyone else's help or signature.
16) Favorite drink? Right now I'm feeling a bloody mary coming on....but that's today...its rainy...ask me tomorrow.
17) Finish this statement - if I had the time, I would......time? What the F is that? Please. If I had time I MIGHT have a life.
18) Do you eat the stems on broccoli? Well, yeah, its better than eating the other parts and having to floss afterward.
19) If you could dye your hair any other color, what would be your choice? What color HAVEN'T I dyed my hair would be a better question.
20) Name all of the different cities/towns you've lived. Toledo, Tarragona (SP), Iowa City, Marion, Cedar Rapids, Prairie City, Hettick
21) Favorite sports to watch. Does scrapbooking count? Maybe men's gymnastics....
22) One nice thing about the person who sent this to you? A culinary genius....or a witch who put a curse on me to make me eat tons of yummy things just by reading her blog....I'm not sure which but it all still looks good!
23) What's under your bed? Err, carpet? That, and probably some really annoying toys we're trying to hide from the boy.
24) Would you like to be born as yourself again? Hell, so I could make all the same mistakes again? I don't think so, Tim.
25) Morning person or night owl?Morning person, now, but definitely used to be a night owl. Guess I'll always be a bartender at heart.
26) Over easy or sunny side up? Over easy. I know people think its gross, but its the only way I like 'em.
27) Favorite place to relax? Recently, in a chair next to Lake Ozark
28) Favorite pie? Peanut Butter. No question. Where is it? I want some...
29) Favorite ice cream flavor?Moose Tracks. Ann! How did you know???
30) Of all the people you have tagged, who is the most likely to respond first? Yeah, I don't like making people feel forced to do these things. If you're bored, or you think it sounds fun - go for it. If not, just comment on mine. :) Loves you! Enjoy!
Monday, July 28, 2008
This is her quilt, which is reversible:
Next, I was approached by my former boss, who had recently lost her mother to PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy). She had been visiting her father and cleaning out her mother's closet, and he had a particularly hard time parting with some of her clothes. This is the quilt I made for her and her siblings to give to their father in December:
Finally, I began a quilt (yes, for myself, but not for my bed) that I had been wanting to make for years. I had so many shirts from my fraternity days in Alpha Phi Omega, and I really don't wear t-shirts, but they are so special to me. So, I made this:
And now I am officially burned out on t-shirt quilts. My next quilt will be completely different! I can't wait to finish it so I can show it to you!
"Yes!", he whispered, as he was climbing out of bed, eager to get a little further away from the thundering winds outside. As he was drifting off to sleep, curled up next to me in his bed, he put his little hand on my cheek, looked me in the eye and said, "I wuv you, Mommy".
What a beautiful way to end a weekend.
While she was there, the lumber yard arrived to deliver the rest of the baseboard and moulding for the house, and the new door for my sewing room. WOO-HOO!
I also made a lovely omelet while I was waiting for all of this to take place. Would you ever have imagined that leftover That Basil Chicken and sticky rice would make such a lovely combination with eggs and cheddar cheese?
Moving on.... Since I was so proud of us for completing the softball album, I stayed motivated and finished off the last remaining pile of pages for Little Man's baby book. I had a stack of pictures from my pregnancy and his birth that I have been stuck on for months. Its done! Now I can officially put all my supplies away and save anything new for next month's crop night.
I was excited. A DATE! and ACTUAL date.
Husband even told em a few days before, "I already know where I'm taking you to eat.", smiling.
Oh, how cool - he actually put some thought into it, for once! Even more excited, I was.
I bought a pretty new blouse.
I got dressed up.
I did my hair.
We left the house at 7:00pm. Driving through the country in the Buick (as opposed to my NEW car, which wouldn't start - a story for later), I started to lose confidence in the hubby's plan. We were headed for his friend's house....dammit. Probably having a cookout and M decided to go hang out there. I started to get a little cranky that he allowed me to get all "barbied" out just to go hang out in someones yard. And then....we drove right past it. WHEW! Another fight averted!
We ended up in Raymond, which again worried me. Mainly because there is only one restaurant in Raymond, and frankly, it isn't very good. Its one of those places that all the local people just RAVE about. And the owners clearly think they have a hot spot, you can tell by the atmosphere. But no, instead, we pulled into the parking lot of a small white building on the edge of town. What the heck? Ahhhhhh my memory is coming back....at the previously mentioned County Fair recently, there was a new food vendor. Raymond's Barbecue. It wasn't bad. I wouldn't write home about it, but hey, its barbecue. Well, they also have a restaurant, and that's where we were going! I started to smile again. The husband put forethought into our evening after all. how sweet. Except for one thing....he really should have done his homework.....because that place was locked up tighter than Fort Knox. Closed? at 8:00 on a Saturday night? Yep. Don't know why, but it was.
Husband was PISSED. So, instead of asking me what I would like to do next, he turned the car toward...you guessed it....the other restaurant in Raymond. I didn't complain, I didn't even indicate that I'd prefer to go somewhere else....ANYWHERE else. He tried, he really did, and that is worth SO much if you know my husband. I must be a saint, though. What a lousy dinner. I took a chance and ordered the Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. Dear god. The chicken was undercooked, and the sauce tasted like it came from a can. Good thing I knew I was getting popcorn later.
Yep, that's right. I was going to the movies. YAY!!! I got to see the first FIVE minutes of The Dark Knight last Tuesday, until I got a call from my sister-in-law that my son was throwing up and I had to leave. So, once again being thoughtful, the hubs took me back to town in time for the late show, and (since he is not a movie-goer) called our good friend Mike to see if he wanted to join me. Which he did. What a fantastic movie. Seriously, I am so glad I insisted on seeing it in the theatre. Peace to you, Heath Ledger.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Tomorrow, the teenage niece is coming over to work on her softball scrapbook (my gift to her for her high school graduation in three years), the rest of the baseboard and door casing plus a new door for my sewing room will be delivered sometime tomorrow morning. I'm still not sure where I'm going to put it, since the bed I've been trying to get rid of for the past month is still residing in my front room and hallway waiting for the person who is supposed to take it away, to do exactly that.
Tomorrow night I actually have a date with the hubby! I don't get out much, so a night out of the house is a welcome relief, especially after my ill-fated attempt to see The Dark Knight on Tuesday ended very early with a vomiting child. As a bonus, I have not only ONE but TWO new blouses to choose from for tomorrow's date. I will save one for the ZZ Top concert next month.
Sunday I basically have to clean the house.....the yard....and who knows what else.....I need a drink just thinking about it. Maybe I'll go shopping for that new stove the hubs has been promising me.....Lowe's here I come!!!
Have a good weekend everyone!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Or something in the sky, anyway. I was picking up around the house this morning while I was waiting for Little Man to wake up, and suddenly I looked up and the strangest light was shining through my dining room curtains. It was still too early to be that bright, so I went to the front door and looked outside. Knowing that we had just had a storm last night, I wondered if there was another one on the horizon. The light doesn't really come through in the pictures, but it was still a really cool skyline and I couldn't resist snapping a few shots. Also, for those of you that have never been to my house, yes, this really is the view from my front door. The fact that you can't see any houses isn't just because its dark - its because there aren't any.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Well, it has been a long weekend. But, I can say without reservation that the bathroom remodel is done. Almost.
Saturday was a very long, but very productive day. If it hadn't been for two things, I have no doubt that I would have finished on Saturday.
1. I made a judgement call and decided to paint the bathroom door, which was not part of the original plan. It needed it, and once I got the white paint on the ceiling, it was painfully obvious that something had to be done with the door, or I'd just be back at it again next weekend. So, this involved spackling the nail holes in the frame, taking the door off the hinges, priming and painting both sides of each.
2. My son wanted to help. Naturally. He is a curious 3 year-old, and I couldn't blame him. He did fairly well during the first phase, where I was priming the ceiling, so I saw no harm in letting him join me for the attack on the walls. However, as a normal 3 year-old will tend to do, he ignored me the first 137 times I told him NOT to climb on the edge of the tub, which landed him flat on his butt on the bathroom floor....Croc-clad feet squarely in the pan of blue paint. Have you ever tried to clean a puddle of paint up off a linoleum floor, at the same time trying to keep a wanna-be-blue-man-groupie seated on a piece of newspaper (thank God I put newspaper down before I started) without getting little blue finger and footprints on what remains of a clean floor? You should try it sometime, its fun, but it may require a pitcher or two of bloody marys for you to see the humor in it. At least, that's what it took for me.
Moving on! So, after recovering from these setbacks, and explaining in great detail to my son exactly why he would not be permitted to "help" for the rest of the day. I managed to get the following items accomplished:
remove everything from room, including curtain rod, shower curtain, switch plates, mirror, and light fixture
tape everything off
prime and paint ceiling white
paint walls blue
install shower head
spackle, prime, and paint door and frame
paint walls blue...again
put new rugs down
put up new shower curtain
clean everything up
I attempted to install the blinds, but my cheap-ass drill wasn't cooperating and my brain was no longer willing to attempt to comprehend the very simple instructions included, so I called it a day.
I also made an impromptu trip to town because I decided that I needed a few more towels, and a new shower rod. After taking it down to paint, I realized that there was just too much rust on it to put it back up, and I wanted a new one. However, the locals stores only had tension rods and that isn't what I wanted, so that will have to come later.
One comment about the paint.....it sucked. I have never had so much trouble with paint in my life....and I have painted a lot. It was a good brand, I love the color. It dripped like a hound in the summer. It streaked. It bled. And, even after the second coat, you can see every stroke the roller took. I'm going to have to come up with some kind of a subtle faux finish to disguise the uneven finish. But, that is a project for another day.
Sunday morning I showed the "finished" product to M, and he was actually very complimentary, which is not his typical reaction, but I was pleased! He also voluntarily put the blinds up for me after I added a touch of stain to the cut edges, which was a shock.
So, after all is said and done, I have four things to add.
- Sew ribbon trim onto the bottom edge of the white shower curtain.
- Get new shower rod next time I am at a home improvement store
- Faux finish on walls
- Remove extra length from wood blinds so they fit in the window better
All in all, not a bad project, and I am pleased with the results. What do you think?
For example, when Mom comes to relieve Dad, she should make sure she asks, "So, how many times has he ridden the swings since I've been gone?"
Why? Well, because a corndog and three consecutive rides on the swings equals one sick boy.....
This is a look I will have to be watchful for NEXT year at the fair. Maybe then my son won't be the kid puking up a corndog on the carny running the ride.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
1. I removed everything from the bathroom that wasn't nailed down
2. Brought all the supplies in from their hiding spot in the trunk of my car, laid down newspaper and organized them in the kitchen.
3. Took down the curtain rod.
4. Upon closer inspection of the shower curtain rod, I decided that good ol' WD40 wasn't going to do the trick and it was going to have to be replaced. So, add one extra item to the list and I'll pick that up when I go to town later today. Also on the list, a few more towels so they all match.
5. Removed existing shower curtain and rod.
6. Currently I am reading the instructions for the new showerhead. I am trying to accomplish anything I can that doesn't make noise early on, as Little Man is still asleep just down the hall. More updates to come!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Best of luck to everyone on their weekend projects - hope we all have some good "after" pictures of our weekend accomplishments to post Monday! NV - try not to hurt yourself with that sledgehammer this weekend!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Then I had the brilliant idea that I needed to take him up the giant inflatable slide. I thought he would really enjoy that, I mean, he LOVES slides.
Dear god, what a stupid idea that was.
The steps going up the slide are also inflatable, which meant that T couldn't climb them on his own. I could have, but I wouldn't have been able to climb them and carry him up at the same time. So, picture me, still in my clothes from work, in the 100 degree heat, climbing barefoot up an inflatable slide, clutching the hand strap with one hand, holding T alternately under one armpit or under his butt with the other hand, and trying to get to the top while a little kid in a hurry behind me bumps his head into my rear with every step. So, we get to the top, and T has had enough. He throws himself down on the landing right next to the carnie who is about 15 and half drunk, and proceeds to scream at me. "I NOT! Don't LIKE it! NO NO NO NO!!!" And flailing his little fists in my general direction while the carnie looks on in shock and amusement. So, patient mother that I am (not), I unceremoniously scoop up the little demon spawn, fling myself down at the top of the slide, toss him on my lap, and bouncing down the slide we go! We get off at the bottom where Aunt Missy is happily waiting for us with the camera, having witnessed the entire blessed event, and he dashes directly back to the steps again. I was right....he loved it.....and we went up again....god help me.
Thank God for Aunt MIssy, who took pitty on this poor, sweaty, worn out mommy, and sent me off to the beer tent for refreshment while she took him for a couple of spins on the motorcycle ride. We are NOT going back. Ok, yes, we probably will, but we are most definitely not doing the slide again until next year when he can climb it himself. But, its the end result that matters, right? How's this for a happy boy?
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Anyway, we go every year, and since he was a baby, T has always been enthralled by the truck and tractor pulls, which is tonight. So, since there is painfully little to do around here on an average day, pretty much everyone goes to the fair, almost every night of the week. Including us. Last night was our night to ride the rides. Last year T was able to ride a couple of the smaller rides, with me holding him. This year its a whole new ball game. I wasn't sure how it was going to go, what with him being the tentative little boy that he is, but I think its true what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words....
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Yep, that's right! The chairs are finished!!!! I had to take T home at 10:30 yesterday because he was throwing up at the sitter's house. Apparently it was just a little bug, something he needed to get out, because he felt much better by the time we got home. (typical, right?) Which meant, of course, that I had time to work on stuff! Yay! So, after a couple of blisters, and a whole lot of wood screws (not to mention some help from my very tool-savvy toddler) we have two pretty new chairs to sit in on our ugly old deck. Hmmm.....guess that's a project for my "someday" list.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
On the agenda:
This weekend I hope to stain the slats for my adirondack chairs. (In between thunderstorms.) I had the stain already, but I picked up some new brushes. Also, a jaunt down to Joesphine's for lunch and a stop at the bead store. I've been having so much fun with the new necklaces I made last weekend, I need more supplies!
I had hoped to remodel my bathroom this weekend, but I haven't been able to get the blinds locally. Rather than order them, I hope to hit Lowe's on Sunday when I am in Alton. So, the bathroom will wait until.....
Next weekend, hopefully. I now have in my possession, Paint (color: "Starry Night"), brushes, roller pads, blue tape, new rugs, new showerhead (which will wait for Dad's next visit since I don't do plumbing), new shower curtain.
Also picked up two new light fixtures for the storage cubbies in my bedroom. Dad's making a visit soon and has new doors to install there, so I thought we might as well kill two birds with one stone.
Also on Dad's agenda:
(yes, the man loves projects, if you wonder where I get it from, and I am not begrudging the help)
- door frames for 3 storage cubbies, for which I need to make a LOT of tin punched panels
- door (which I need to paint still) for the laundry room, also known as "the Black Hole of Calcutta"
- door on my sewing room (which I need to order from the lumber yard tomorrow) are we seeing a "door" theme here?
- Fix light in previously mentioned "Black Hole"
- new light fixtures in 2 storage cubbies
- finish remaining baseboard and trim in house (which I also need to order from the lumber yard tomorrow) I hope to get my hands dirty on this one this time!
- HEADBOARD! I just got a new King size bed and no headboard. Can't have a footboard because Matt is so honkin' tall, and since our house is very "woodsy" in theme anyway, Dad and I will be forming one from fenceposts. :) Keep an eye out for THOSE pictures!
And if that's not ambitious enough, we're STILL potty training. Ty is doing pretty well. my niece was watching him earlier today and was very excited to report that he went pee for her. Good job, bubbie!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I found this recipe many moons ago in a random book I purchased at a kitchen outlet store in Iowa. This one, along with the recipe it holds for blackberry brandy, are irreplaceable in my culinary repertoir. And, just because I'm the kind of enabler that I am, I'm going to share it with you.....it just makes the yummiest White Russians in the world. Now remember, "garbage in, garbage out". I use nice, high quality espresso powder, top shelf vodka, and my best vanilla for this recipe - it makes all the difference.
makes about 5 cups
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar (I prefer dark brown)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups water
1/2 cup instant coffee powder (my preference - Medaglia d'Oro espresso powder)
3 cups vodka
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
10 whole coffee beans
In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugars with the water and bring to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat and simmer until the mixture forms a light syrup, about 5 minutes.
Stir the coffee powder into the syrup with a whisk until they dissolve and the mixture is free of lumps. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool completely.
Stir in the remaining ingredients until smooth. Funnel the mixture into a half-gallon glass bottle (or several smaller bottles, if you plan to gift these, which I often do; drop in the whole coffee beans. Cover tightly. Let mature at least 2 weeks. Strain out coffee beans, if desired.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
So, currently the bathroom walls are a dark, mossy green. All the fixtures are white, with a white vanity and over-toilet cabinet. neutral colored linoleum floor, sage green rugs, sage green and dusty purple towels, nickel hardware, tan curtain, and tan shower curtain. Like I said, Blah.
The NEW plan. Walls will be "Starry Night" blue, which is just a darker, greyer version of sky blue. new rugs (hopefully with both the blue and green in them), keep the green towels, new white fabric shower curtain, take down the curtain rod over the window and replace curtain with wood blinds (the rod was just too close to the shower curtain), and get a new, better showerhead.
So, now I just need to find all of these items and stockpile them until I have everything I need to finish it, then I will whip it all up one Saturday while Matt is at work so he can't protest.
Now, if I can just find the rugs.....
June 10, 2008 1:23pm UPDATE!
I have the rugs! And I have a lead on the blinds. Once I get those I am ready to paint! Might have a new, improved bathroom this weekend after all!
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Let's start with a list:
- Finish Ty's scrapbook
- Stain 2 adirondack chairs and assemble
- Strip and refinish dresser I've had in garage for 8 years (color: pea pod green)
- Install gingerbread door in laundry room doorway and paint cobalt blue
- Make 19 tin punched panels for door frames dad is making to cover cubby holes
- Re-paint downstairs bathroom a nicer color
- Plant asparagus
- Plant iris bulbs this fall
- Find new window covering and rugs for downsairs bathroom
- Frame antique picture of our schoolhouse to hang
- Mad Bluebird cross stitch for mom's birthday (9 years ago)
- Make new christmas stockings
- Log Cabin Quilt for our bed
- Paint Interior doors
- Finish trim and baseboard in house
- New siding
- Get a swingset for Ty
- Matt - build Ty a sandbox
- Paint ugly stained attic fan cover
How is that for a start? Let's see how much I can get done!