Friday, August 29, 2008

The Week from Hell - and a Pre-cap of the weekend

This week has SUCKED. Last week pretty much sucked, too. Work is miserable right now. Stuff is hitting the fan right and left and somehow keeps landing on me. It will pass, it just goes like this every once in awhile, and right now, I'm in it up to my eyeballs. I have only left work on time once in the last 8 working days, and I have no doubt I'll be here late (probably VERY late) tonight in order to avoid coming in over the weekend.
So, I am hoping that the weekend will be refreshing. Here's what is on the agenda:
I had planned to work on my quilt, but I have yet to finish the cover for the ironing board extender, what with all the extra hours at work. I still want to work on it, but after this week, I really don't have much energy or motivation. So, I might just sit on my butt tomorrow.
Sunday we have a party at a friend's house, and hopefully a babysitter for Ty so we can relax and have a good time. There's going to be food catered by the new BBQ place in town. Looking forward to trying it - I loves me some barbecue!
Monday, as is our annual tradition (except I managed to talk the hubs out of it the last couple of years) we will be driving down to St Louis, to the Freedom Farm to take part in the annual Boilermakers Labor Day picnic and parade. Oh GOODY! I'm sure Ty will have fun, they do a really good job of setting up activities for the kids and put out a huge spread of food and beer. Hopefully Ty will be pretty into it this year and I won't spend the whole time chasing him around and not enjoying it myself. In past years it has been ungodly hot and I hope we're in for better temperatures this year or it will be a miserable sweat bath.
Beyond that, I have no plans this weekend. I have a lot of things coming up over the next few weeks, including the International Bead Show in Collinsville, Ghost Hunting locally, quilting, and staining my new log headboard that is scheduled to be delivered by FedEx on Thursday. I should be back to blogging regularly next week!
Have a relaxing and SAFE holiday weekend, everyone - see you back in the real world next week!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A big one to cross off the list!

Well, it was a fairly productive weekend, although a bit disjointed. Lets start with working late Friday night on a problem that we ended up not being able to fix. THAT should be fun in my department meeting this morning. My wonderful SIL was kind enough to pick up Little Man for me, and then we all met for supper. On the way home, I learned how observant my son is. We were nearly home when he said,
"Mommy, look at the..." WHAM!!!! "....deer."
Yep, I'm making my third payment on my new car today and a deer ran into me on Friday. Yep, ran RIGHT into me. It came out of a thick patch of brush and was on me almost before I saw him. Fortunately, we were very lucky. I caught sight of it in time to brake enough that it hit directly in the front passenger side wheel, instead of 4 feet further back, which would have been right on Ty's window. To double our good fortune, there was no damage. I might need a new hubcap, the mechanic said, and maybe a little paint buffing the next time I have the car in for service, but that's it. Dodged that bullet somehow. Oh, and yeah, the deer got away. I hope I see him again come deer season in November....
Ok, so that left a bad taste in my mouth and I decided that I was going to spend the evening getting cozy with a glass of red wine instead of working on my doors, but that didn't last long. Sitting there on my couch, talking on the phone, and looking at the door panel, laying on the carpet in front of me, I began having these thoughts: (fellow DIY-ers will be familiar with these) "But, there are three panels done and just ONE blank spot." No, just relax tonight and don't worry about it.... "But really, its just ONE just doesn't look right like that. How long could it take to do ONE panel?"
I couldn't take it, either I had to move the door out of sight or I had to do the panel. And if I was going to take the time to get up and MOVE it, I might as well just sit down and DO it. It was bad enough that I actually had to get off the phone and do something about it. So, I did the panel. And then I trimmed all four and nailed them in place. And then I did two more panels.... sick, sick, sick....
So, the next morning I awoke with the realization that my work from the night before left only TWO star panels yet to do, and the three word panels for the other cubby. I had all five knocked out, nailed in place and doors hung before 9:00am. Sick. But they look good, no?

The rest of the day was filled with miscellaneous odds and ends like laundry and dishes, hanging the infamous mirror, and the like. Saturday night we had a date again, but we might as well have stayed home because MAN, WAS IT BORING IN TOWN! We were home by 11:00 and asleep before midnight. However, our son woke up bright and early (can I really say that when it was before dawn?) at 4:45am. Suffice it to say, I was exhausted last night. But, we did have a birthday party to go to for his cousin, and Aunt P brought along her own personal waterpark for the kids to play on one last time before summer is over. Ty refused to go down the slide, but he sure had a good time splashing around....all in all, a good weekend.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Need Help.

Dear DIY-ers Anonymous,
I need help. I am the first to admit this. I am ready to start with Step 1 and admit I have a problem.
This thing that I have, it is a sickness. I can't give it up, or even go a day without it, it seems. Last night I had planned to merely cut my tin panels to size and affix the templates. But no, I couldn't just leave it at that. Whereas I had previously stated that I could only punch one, MAYBE two panels in a sitting before losing feeling in my left hand, last night I cranked out THREE panels, in addition to trimming and adding templates to all the remaining pieces. What am I going to do? I have an addiction, and I fear it is going to consume me.
What will become of me when this project is finished, which at this rate will be tonight, rather than the end of the weekend as I had thought only yesterday. What will be my next vice? My log cabin quilt? Making a cover for my ironing board topper? Refinishing the old dresser in my garage? WHAT??? I need a sponsor, someone to moderate my activities and keep me under control...I fear for the life of my bedroom.....I'm feeling the inclination to paint again....I mean really, green walls are just not going to go with my new quilt....OH MY GOD!!!!!!
Really, I need help, please send someone to save me before my home becomes unrecognizable...

Martha Stewart

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What the???

Ok, so in pondering the Halloween costume dilemma, I am leaning toward the pirate idea! I found the cutest little costume online (I know, I said I was going to MAKE his costume, but this one is really cool!). But THEN I had the brilliant thought that I should ask someone from the events committee at work what the theme was going to be for our float in the Halloween Parade this year. Yes, the town I work in (not LIVE in, that one is even smaller) is small enough that we have a HUGE Halloween parade every year, complete with theme. Now, don't get me wrong, you don't have to costume your kid per the theme. However, if your kid wants to ride on the float (god help me, this year he probably will, which means I have to ride with him....preferably in costume) it looks better if he is dressed in the theme.
This year's theme?
Dancing in the Street
What? Huh? Seriously, what the hell kind of costume FOR A BOY can I come up with to go with that? Now, on the other hand, I could get out a good disco costume for myself to go with it, but come on. Anyone have a John Travolta outfit in a size 5 I can borrow???

Not Bad for a Weeknight

I've discovered the key to finishing my cubby hole doors. Cut all tin panels exactly to size and tape templates on each, in advance. In this manner, it is very easy to sit down and hammer them out. (literally, and figuratively) Case and point - I got THREE more panels done last night, in addition to the one from the night before. So, that means I have one complete 8-panel cubby hole door finished. One to go! Well, eight more panels, and the 3-panel door in the living room. Very good progress indeed, and I have high hopes that I will be able to finish all of them by the time the weekend is over.
Also, since the subject came up about my log cabin quilt I plan on starting soon, I took a little snap of the fabric I have carefully selected for the quilt. I really can't wait to get going on it!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

There are no words.

Building a Log Cabin

Fellow blogger, MonkeyMamma has me thinking about quilting again, and since my next quilt is going to be a Log Cabin, I thought I'd post this one that I made for the Hubby's Grandpa a couple of years ago. Granted, mine will be red, tan and indigo, and in the Barn Raising pattern instead of this one, not to mention it will be King Sized, but for those of you that aren't familiar with what a Log Cabin quilt looks like, this is it!

Almost forgot about this one that I made for my MEF's daughter, Princess, when she was just a baby.

Body found in woods near hospital

May be that of missing Macoupin County man
August 19, 2008 - 1:23PM
The Telegraph
ALTON - Police believe a body that surveyors found shortly after noon Tuesday in a wooded area of Saint Anthony's Health Center's property is that of a missing Macoupin County man.Sources also said later Tuesday that the man, Kelly Wade Greeley, 34, of Chesterfield, apparently hanged himself. "We are not going to comment on if it was a suicide; we want to wait until an autopsy is conducted (today)," said Lt. David Hayes, chief of detectives for the Alton Police Department. He said the condition of the body leads police to believe that the man had been dead for about two weeks.He said authorities believe the body is that of Greeley, based on a clothing description and "a specific physical description of him, and that he had a very prominent digit, one finger that was partially severed."Greeley had lost the tip of the ring finger on his right hand in a farming accident, family members said earlier. Greeley last was seen wearing a white T-shirt, blue jean shorts and white tennis shoes.The spot where the body was found is north of the Saint Anthony's parking garage, down a hill and about 150 feet east of Martin Luther King Boulevard (U.S. Route 67). The area is just west of the new realigned leg of Central Avenue that opened last year north of Statehouse Circle.Diane Schuette, community relations manager at the hospital, confirmed that the area is on Saint Anthony's property.Family members said they last saw Greeley on Aug. 3 in Chesterfield. He failed to contact his girlfriend and relatives later that night, which he usually did, and failed to show up for work Aug. 4 at Olin Corp. in East Alton.At 4 a.m. on Aug. 4, Alton police discovered a car - which later turned out to be Greeley's - abandoned in the street on Putnam Street by Gold Street in the Mexico neighborhood. Because the 1994 Chrysler Concorde was blocking traffic, police had Fred's Towing remove it immediately, Hayes said.After Greeley's family filed a missing person report with the Macoupin County Sheriff's Department on Aug. 7, Hayes said deputies discovered during a computer search that Greeley's car was impounded in Alton.Police do not know whether Greeley had been in the Putnam-Gold streets area, but Hayes said if he had been there, he may have walked to Saint Anthony's. "He had history in this area," Hayes said about the inner-city Mexico neighborhood.An Alton police detective and a Macoupin County Sheriff's Department deputy had canvassed the neighborhood later that week, seeking information about Greeley. Hayes said a couple of people told police that they subsequently had seen Greeley at Putnam, walking or riding a bicycle, but now police think that information was inaccurate."We think that information is bad and that he has been deceased since on or about the 5th of August," he said.Greeley's sister, Tracy Vaughn of Chesterfield, said previously that she doubted the information about the purported sightings of her brother because she said he would have called her, their mother or his girlfriend sometime during those days.On Tuesday, Vaughn said she was awaiting official word from the Madison County Coroner's Office as to whether the body is that of her brother, and she was cautious to say much until then. Still, she did say the past two weeks have been stressful for the family, not knowing her brother's whereabouts or whether he was alive or dead."We are hanging by a thread," she said. "Every day, we call the police department."While Alton had been assisting Macoupin County, because the body turned up in Alton, city police now are the lead investigators, Hayes said."We continue to work with the Macoupin County Sheriff's Department as we try to retrace his steps," Hayes said.Authorities said a survey crew with engineers Sheppard, Morgan and Schwaab Inc., which is working in the area, discovered the body and called 911 at 12:04 p.m. Hayes said the engineers did not disturb the body or its surroundings. They also assisted police by using their global positioning system, which gave investigators a precise location of the body.The ongoing, nearby excavation work at Saint Anthony's is part of the hospital's expansion project, slated for completion in 2010."The area is about to be opened up with a bulldozer," Hayes said about the woods. Detectives from the Alton Police Department began arriving at the scene just after noon, joined later by a Madison County deputy coroner and an Illinois State Police crime scene technician. Police strung yellow crime scene tape at the edge of the woods, extending it back into the trees to keep media and hospital personnel at a distance. From what could be seen, detectives appeared to be taking photos of a man's billfold, which reportedly belonged to Greeley, lying in the grass outside of the wooded area. Hayes said deputies from the Macoupin County Sheriff's Department also came to Alton after learning about the discovery of the body.

A Quickie

Its going to be a busy day today, so I'm just going to post a quick note for now.

1. I got ONE more tin panel punched last night, and templates affixed to 4 more.
2. I also painted the new frame for a mirror to go over my dresser, which I then put together and propped on said dresser this morning - still needs to be hung.
3. Last night was the hubby's night with his dogs, so T and I had the place to ourselves to veg and relax after running around picking up Freecycle finds and attending his cousin's football practice, so we didn't do much.
4. Fell asleep with my Little Man, as is our tradition on such nights.
5. Apparently gave away every stitch of clothing suitable for a funeral, because I couldn't find much to wear this morning when I was getting dressed.
6. This morning is the funeral for Lydia. For those who have been asking, yes, they have drawn a conclusion about her cause of death, but out of respect for her and her family, I will leave that one alone for now.

Wish me well, folks, its going to be one of those days....

P.S. A friend just walked into my office to let me know that another lost person was just found. A man from my husband's high school class went missing a couple of weeks ago, and the worst was feared. I don't know the details yet, but I do know that he is not alive. More on that to come as well, I'm sure. They say bad things come in threes.....let's all hope they are wrong.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Look at me go!

4panels 005
Originally uploaded by bethanne_leach
Ok, I was trying to be conservative with my plans for last night, so my only real goal was to get the nail gun out and nail the one panel I had finished into place. However, I liked it so well that I decided to do another panel. Unfortunately, I wasn't paying attention and forgot to change the direction of the template, so the star wasn't going the same direction as the first one....but it still looked good. Then I remembered the "trial run" panel I made the other day. It is pointing the same direction as this new panel I made. So, I trimmed them both down and decided I would alternate directions of the stars between one panel and the next. Well, that only filled 3 of the 4 openings on the first door frame, which looked so terribly incomplete that I simply HAD to do another panel. So, FOUR, count 'em FOUR panels done, and one entire door frame. This morning I cut four more blanks to size so that I can (hopefully) get them punched tonight. Wish me luck!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Calling all creative minds!

Ok, I know its only August, but Halloween is just around the corner! Since I prefer to make costumes, rather than buy the cheap-ass ones that are available in the stores and online, I need to get a jump on it!

My son is 3 this year, and to date he has been:
2005: Nothing (I didn't want to do that to a little baby, so I put him in a onesie that said "Little Devil")
2006: A Deer Hunter, in full camo, with toy shotgun, just like Daddy
2007: Chef Linguine (From the movie Ratatouille - I confess to purchasing this one)

I am a simple girl, I don't like characters (cartoons, etc) or huge, stuffed, furry outfits. My husband is a manly man who would never stand for me putting Ty in something less than macho. I need ideas!!! What should Little Man be for Halloween this year? A train conductor is the best I have come up with so far.... Oh, and just for kicks, here are his other Halloween pics. Enjoy!

Lydia E Schlamer

From the Alton Telegraph
Officials: No foul play suspected in woman's death

CARLINVILLE - An autopsy was held Saturday of a missing woman whose body was found Friday afternoon.
Lydia E. Schlamer, 50, was found Friday afternoon behind her home in Timbered Estates Lane east of Carlinville. The Macoupin County Sheriff's Department, Macoupin County Emergency Services Agency and volunteers searched for her before she was discovered.
Authorities said Saturday no information will be released because the case is under investigation. Authorities said no foul play is believed to be involved.

Coming right along

One more quick post. I managed to get ONE panel punched for my cubby hole doors this weekend, with everything else that was going on. I need to run to the store and pick up some brads for my nail gun so I can nail it in place, but I took a picture this morning anyway, just so you can get an idea of what its going to look like. I have a long way to go, but seeing this one in place is making me a bit more motivated.

ZZ Top

Everyone has those bands that they would love to have a chance to see in concert before they die (the bands, I mean). For my husband, ZZ Top is that band. For years he had wanted to see them, but they were never touring in our area. Finally, last summer, they came to St Louis on the "High School Reunion" tour, with the Stray Cats, The Pretenders, and the Gin Blossoms. I got tickets for M for Father's Day and we went. We had terrific tickets, and the show was amazing. Almost unreal seeing a legend like that live, on stage.

So, when I heard that they were going to be performing at the Illinois State Fair this year, I was on my cell phone at 8am the day tickets went on sale to get spots for us on the track. This year, they are touring with Brooks & Dunn. Yep, that's right, B&D. Odd combination, right? Apparently, they recorded together. Very interesting, and actually, the musicians complemented each other well. Unfortunately, this show also made me realize how incredibly OLD both the acts are getting. This is something that you would expect from ZZ Top, but B&D? Not as much. Until you see Ronnie Dunn on the big screen, with his shirt unbuttoned, one button too many, not quite concealing the liver spots on his chest....ew. Overall, it was a great show, just a little reality check. The beer helped....a little.

Please hold, caller....

Ok, its Monday, and I know I usually have a slew of things to blog about on Mondays, but this has been a particularly rough weekend. So, you're all gonna have to wait a bit! Here's a quick recap, on which I will expand as the day progresses:

Friday: As those of you on Twitter know, a woman I have worked with went missing from her home and was later found dead by one of our coworkers who joined the search party.
Friday night: Somehow managed to get through Date Night at the State Fair/ZZ Top concert with only one tearful disaster of a meltdown that brought 2 concerned security guards to my aid.
Saturday: A little quick shopping before leaving Springfield to pick up my Angel Boy who was wonderful for his Auntie M overnight.
Completed one panel for the tin punched doors, however, camera died at the concert...still charging now, so pictures will come later.
Sunday morning: 60th birthday breakfast for Grandma La-La
Sunday afternoon: 60th birthday LUNCH for Grandma La-La.
Sunday late afternoon, Taco Soup for today's food table, a bottle of wine, and a long talk between the Hubs and his father (who is in poor health). Its shaping up to be a rough few months on that side of the family.

Back to work this morning, and glad to be here except that everyone here is in mourning and still waiting to here what we all want to know....what happened to Lydia?

Friday, August 15, 2008

At the end of the week...

Ok, technically the week isn't over yet, but I am off on DATE NIGHT tonight and won't be able to post later. SO, Little Man has successfully been at preschool all week. And he LOVES it.
*sigh of relief*
He is excited to go see Miss Lori every morning and talks about the other kids all the time. Here's a funny. One of the other kids his age has been with him at two different daycares before starting preschool. At the last one they were at together, the day care provider regularly told me that they fought like cats and dogs. He pushed her, she bit him....blah blah blah. I should have known better than to take that evil woman seriously. I was told this morning that my son was seen this week, "rubbing noses like eskimoses" with the little vixen. Cats and dogs, my ass....I am in so much trouble when he discovers how cute he is.
Anyway! Week 1 has been a success, Mommy is relieved, T is happy, and all is well in the world once more.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My First Attempt

I had some quiet time last night ( a rare thing in my house) and decided to make a first run at the tin punch panels for my doors. What do you think?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Doors - update!

Ok, I took a new shot of the laundry room door last night. I still need to find a handle/latch set that I like, and some nice vintage hinges, but here it is! Don't you just love it?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

And, finally, a recap of things unmentioned

Among other things, Ty had a fabulous visit with his Grandma and Grandpa. We did have a lot of projects this time around, but Ty just loved being Grandpa's shadow and helping him "fix" the house. Other projects not mentioned, two new light fixtures in the cubby holes in my room, a new light in the laundry room (YAY!!!), a new ironing board extendeder Dad made for my sewing room, they brought their carpet cleaner, so now my carpets don't suck as bad as they used to, and all the baseboard in the house is now finished, with the exception of the sewing room (which no one cares about but me, and thanks to the new door, no one can see anyway) which will get done on the next trip. Also, many, many other little tidbits that came up as the weekend progressed. My Dad is a trooper, and we sure love him for it.
Here is a nice pic I took this morning of Ty and Grandpa watching the sunrise through our living room window. What a nice way to finish out a great visit. Thanks for everything, Grandma and Grandpa! Can't wait to see you again.

Doors, doors, doors!

As I mentioned in a recent post, this was a weekend of doors. I'm not going to blog them all, but here goes a short list. My sewing room got a new, 6-panel interior door (which also had to be painted, along with the casing, and the room on Ty's bedroom next to it that I had yet to paint). My laundry room got its blue door. And finally, 3 storage cubbies in my bedroom and living room got doors. These doors are yet to be finished, as I am going to be making tin punched panels to put in the frames my dad made for them, but here are some shots, before, during and after, so you can see how they look so far!

Attic Fan

I hate attic fans. I'm just not a "fan" person. But, the hubs is. He does love him a good breeze. Our attic fan, however, is ugly. It came with the house, was very yellowed, had a bent louver, and was dirty. Being located at the top of the staircase also made it almost impossible to clean, aside from the fact that the dirt was stuck on from years of neglect. This has been #1 on our list of projects for a very long time, but due to the seasons, weather, and other obstacles, never got done. This weekend, Dad and the Hubs removed it from its perch for me, and I scrubbed the bad boy clean, and gave it several coats of white satin spray paint. Check out my "new" addition, before, during, and after! Dad and I are very happy to finally cross that one off the list!

Another kind of "Blue"

Moving on to the home improvement topics! When my parents come to visit, god bless 'em, we always work on projects for my house. Its been 3 years since we started, but we're finally dwindling down to the last few items on the list. This weekend was a BIG one. When I count them down, it won't seem like we accomplished very many things, but if you consider all the details involved, it was a ton of work. Just as an example, we put up the rest of the baseboard and door casing in the house. But that involved drywalling around my bedroom door because the people who did it originally left too big of a gap for the trim to cover, which also involved priming and painting. And while that was going on, Dad also drywalled the rough opening on the closet door in my room, which meant more priming and painting for me, but will make it ready for his NEXT visit, when we will put louvered doors on it.
Far from the biggest or most crucial project this weekend, but the one I was most looking forward to, was my laundry room door. My laundry room is the armpit of the house. And I don't just mean because of what it represents. It is the only room in the house that remains undrywalled, without decent flooring, and very, very dirty from the critters and other invaders you find in the countryside. Aside from all that, you can clearly see the room, and its contents, from my kitchen. Yuck. However, its not a room we can put a regular door on, because it also houses our furnace and water heater. Dilemma. A while back, I saw a cute idea in a crafty magazine, where they had put an old, gingerbread trimmed screen door, painted a brick red, over a built-in pantry space. Very cute. So, I had Dad pick up a screen door at Lowe's, and, being the fabulously talented (thank you, thank you, Dad!) talented person that he is, he also crafted the little frets for it and brought them out so I could paint everything cobalt blue (the accent color in my yellow kitchen). Here are some shots of the chain of events. I forgot to take a shot of the finished door after it was cleaned up and mounted, but I will amend this post tomorrow, to that effect.

Black and blue

You might think that this is self descriptive after the weekend of home improvement mania I have just subjected myself to, but actually, it is tastier than that. Located directly between Deliverance (also commonly referred to as my home) and town, is a lovely little farm where they sell their own home-grown goodies. As I was headed back from town with the parents Friday, the sign read "Blackberries". That's new! I love, love, love fresh picked blackberries. And, wonder of wonders, I actually saw someone there, working the stand! So, we stopped, and sure enough, they had literally just come in from picking and the berries weren't even in containers yet. I bought a quart and took them home. Later on, Mom and I turned them into this:

As you might imagine, it was quite tasty with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream. This was a very simple filling of fresh berries, sugar, almond extract, and crush Amaretti cookies. I brushed the pastry with heavy cream, sprinkled it with cinnamon sugar, and more cookie crumbs before baking. Very, very tasty way to use summer produce.

Memories made....

Just warning you all, we have had a VERY eventful, long weekend, and this is the first of what I expect to be MANY blog posts coming to cover all the events. But, after all, I do have to work, so its going to come one at a time.
My son is growing up. *sob* Yesterday, I took my Little Man to his first day of preschool. Yep, that's right, he's in school now. It makes me both deliriously happy, and terribly sad at the same time. I've lost my baby. But my little boy is becoming the Little Man we've always wanted him to be. (Not to mention the fact that if he adjusts well, we'll officially be done with daycare hell, which is a boon, to be sure.
SO, here he is, my little preschooler, having breakfast with grandma and Grandpa, trying out his new Diego backpack, running up the walk to school, and posing for silly, camera-wielding Mommy.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mother Nature is a tyrant.

And I don't much like her right now. My plans for last night were blown out the window with the storm Bad Ol' Mama threw at us. We didn't actually get much rain, but the wind and the lightning were fierce. I took this picture on my way home from work as I was rushing to beat the downpour to my front door. The hubs barely made it in the house with his life, I'd say, rushing in from the car just as the eye of the storm was above us and I was holding the door open for him, yelling "Run, Forest, RUUUUNN!!!!!"
And, of course the power flickered multiple times, but fortunately for us, I was prepared with candles lit, and it never stayed out. However, for the second time now, my Little Man has developed a fear of storms, apparently, and wanted to be held all the while, which made it impossible to paint. Once the storm subsided and the threat had passed, and his nervous-nelly stomach settled, it also turned loose of his supper. Yay.
In the daylight, it is trash pickup day. My lucky day, the kitchen trash decided to pee something pungent and horribly nasty all over me and the kitchen floor as I was taking it out. I spent a good while cleaning up THAT mess. Then, upon delivering that to the trash barrel and turning back toward the house, I saw the true damage of the storm. It took out my best tomato plant. The really, really big one with all the beautiful little yellow teardrop tomatoes that is just starting to really put on ripe fruit, just in time for the parents' visit. I rushed to it to discover that it wasn't completely uprooted, thanks to the sturdy tomato cage I bought at the greenhouse, but the cage itself was bent! I spent another good chunk of time trying to round up something to stake it out with and straighten it back up. I have a feeling it will be bent over again when I get home.
After all that, I finished getting ready for work and rushed out the door, only to look down and see green tomato-leaf stain all over the front of my white shirt. CRAP!!!!!
So, after all of that, suffice it to say I was a little late to work today, where I arrived to find that my office had lost power last night and the generator failed to fire, so our IT guys are running around trying to get all of our servers back up and running. Its going to be a fun day.
Silver lining? Before T got up this morning and all of the proverbial poop started to hit the fan, I did manage to get MOST of my painting done - some last night and some this morning. I do still have some to finish tonight, and I am definitely behind schedule, but it could have been worse. Wish me luck tonight!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Yep, that's right, we're on official "Mom and Dad" countdown. The folks will be arriving Thursday night, and I am NOWHERE near ready for them. So, since this is the husband's night out of the house, I am taking full advantage. This morning I took the two upstairs interior doors off their hinges, removed all hardware, and washed them. I have the primer and paint at the ready, and tonight the doors and door jambs will be getting fresh coats of Kilz and white paint. That is a necessity before Dad comes in and puts up moulding, not to mention fixes the drywall around my bedroom door.

Also on the agenda (probably after T is asleep. I have 2 more pages to do in his scrapbook, pictures from the County Fair and our recent trip to Iowa, which was before I started this blog. That will get me current and I can put away all the supplies that have been plaguing my living room for months, urging me to finish.

Also, just for kicks, I took a couple of picks of my new dress this morning. Not so gorgeous on the hanger, but you get the idea....and I am so not modeling it for anyone right now! You can see that I have the doors off the hinges in the pics.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I changed my mind....but that's no surprise.

I found a tin punch design I like better for my cubby doors. I'm a simple, clean-lines kind of girl, and the other was a little too "country" for me. How's this?

Something smells fishy here....

Once your child passes his first year, the "firsts" begin to come fewer and further between. Yesterday we had another "first". Daddy took Little Man fishing for the first time. I know, most people wouldn't consider that a milestone, but around here, its a pretty big deal. At least, Daddy and Uncle Jake sure were proud. At first, I wasn't too sure how he'd do. After I put him in the boat, he balked and wanted me to take him back out, but after a few minutes, he settled in and we pushed off. I'd have gotten better pictures if I had stayed on shore, but I'm glad I didn't, because he was so precious. He is most definitely his father's son and I have no doubt that he'll spend most of next summer on the boat (that Daddy will undoubtedly buy now) fishing with Daddy.
He watched very carefully each time the line was cast, and reveled in helping to reel it in. They hooked a nice bass while T was holding the rod, but unfortunately it got away before he could reel it in. Maybe next time.

They call me "Super-Shopper"

I don't know what it is about me, but I have a special gift when it comes to shopping. Some days are better than others, but occasionally, I have an amazing shopping day. Saturday was one of those days. I picked up the niece at 8:30 and we headed out. The mission? 2 pairs of shoes and 2 pairs of jeans for Little Man to start school with next Monday. Here is how the day progressed:
  1. For starters, I got ROCK STAR parking at every stop I made.
  2. Driving into Chatham, I remembered someone telling me they thought there was a bead store there. Sure enough, there was. AND they were open already. I picked up a nice little selection of pretties, and found the very specific beads a co-worker wanted for her mothers' bracelet, so I got them as well.
  3. The store is in the same building as a bridal shop. And when I say the same building, I really mean different corners of the same room. So, to leave the store, I had to walk by a rack of dresses marked "70% off". Well, if you know me, you know I couldn't possibly walk by without browsing THAT. Sure enough, I put my hands on a gorgeous little black and silver taffeta number and drooled a bit. Wouldn't it be nice if it was my size? We do have a gala event coming up later this year that I'll need a gown for. Would you believe the tag had my size on it? Yep, I tried it on...and... BAM! Did I look like a rock star. It fit like a glove. I'll take a picture when I get a chance. Under $40 for a ball gown that looks neither like a prom dress or an old lady dress, and fits? Priceless.
  4. Off to Kohl's! I'm not normally a fan of Kohl's but for today's purposes, it will do. No shoes for T there, but got his 2 requisite pairs of jeans ($19, and $14, respectively). The teenager had fun shopping for school clothes while I wandered to the 80 -90% off clearance rack. I left that store with the 2 pairs of jeans, 2 layering camisoles, and 10, count 'em TEN sweaters for my winter wardrobe (which I desperately needed), and how much do you think I spent? $106. Yes, that's right. I dropped a Texas ten, and got my entire winter wardrobe, and the toddler's jeans (which were almost half the bill) and a new pair of sunglasses. It was a spiritual experience.
  5. TRIED to go to Chipotle, but couldn't even park. :(
  6. Ended up at TJ Maxx. I looooooove TJ Maxx. I rarely shop the store, I generally just head straight for the kitchen area. This day, I found olive wood utensils. Beautifully mottled olive wood spoon ($4.99), spatula ($3.99), and salad set ($7.99). Then, I discovered the holy olive wood rolling pin. Gorgeous.... NO price tag. Only one of its kind. SO, I took it with me and asked at the register how much it would be. She said she'd have to go back and look, but looking at the lines, I said it was ok, I wasn't going to make her leave the register to do that (especially since I knew there wasn't another one). She looked at the other utensils, checked their price tags and sold it to me for $4.99. I paid my bill, and ran from the store before she could realize her mistake. Also found a lime green Kuhn Rikon mandoline for a friend who has been looking for one for ages, for $9.99.

All in all, a VERY productive day. I'm thrilled with my purchases. God only knows when I'll have that kind of a shopping day again.

Friday, August 1, 2008

When Inspiration Strikes

You really must take advantage of it. I'm sure I had a million other things to do last night that were more important, but I just couldn't resist. The lady I am teaching the jewelry class with brought in some of her creations yesterday and one of the sets really struck me. And then I had a stroke of inspiration and started grabbing beads from my bag. I've had a string of cathedral beads for years that I love but didn't know what to do with them. Then, Monday when the bead order I placed came in, I had a new strand of iridescent blue potato pearls to use. Again, I had no idea what to do with them, but I had to have them.... Well, combine that with some seed beads and some golden swarovski bicone crystals, and they make a beautiful necklace. Check out my creation from last night!