August 31, 2007

Is there anything else to our lives beside home improvement?

You bet there is! RL has a coworker who wanted R to bake a birthday cake for his son's first birthday. He and his wife had seen something at a bakery and asked if she could replicate it. Of course her version isn't identical, but hopefully it was close enough to please them.

Since Elmo is Andrew's favorite Sesame St. character, they wanted a 'smash cake' for just him. I don't know if 'smash cake' is the proper term or not, but that's what I call it. Probably because that's what the baby is going to do - smash it - big time! Just like that picture I posted on L's birthday. That cake was definitely smashed!

Since there was cake left over and since there was icing left over and since it was 3 A.M. - R's most creative hour - she came up with this creation. She hated it, but I thought it was pretty clever. For some reason it reminds me of a bandanna. I, however, crashed some time after this cake was finished. Although R is creative in the wee morning hours - I AM NOT!

Some knitting has been going on too. I've been trying to dig into the cotton dishcloth yarn I've got in a huge basket in the living room. I needed some mindless knitting and dishcloths provide that. Plus, my MIL loves hand knit dishcloths and I need to build up a Christmas supply for her. I'm on my third one so far. L and I have had mini marathons of 'The Dresden Files' every night and I needed to knit - can't sit still ya know - and I wanted to watch Harry Dresden at his finest, so dishcloths answered many needs this week!

Today was our mad rush to the County Fair office. Every year R signs up to enter 40 - 50 items. Every year it is chaos. This year she has gotten it down to 20 items. I hope that goes down in the next few weeks because all items have to be turned in in less than four weeks and only one or two things have been completed. I didn't enter this year. I figured with home improvements, home schooling and breathing I had enough going on.

Have a safe Labor Day weekend!

August 29, 2007

If you give a couch a pillow....

Have you ever read the adorable book by Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond called "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie"? Such a cute book about what happens if you give a mouse a cookie, he'll want some milk, then a napkin, then to look in the mirror to make sure he got all the crumbs, etc. Well, in our house it would be called "If You Give a Couch a Pillow" or something like that. Last October we decided we had had enough of this horrible looking house. It was falling apart around us and it was embarrassing to have anyone over. Mom said we could use her furniture she had in her basement. The furniture is beautiful and has been in the family since I was little. We couldn't bring such nice furniture into our ratty looking house. I asked RL if we could paint the living room first. Sure, he was game. However, the carpet looked crappy. He asked if I wanted to rip it up. Sure, I was game. Plywood floors underneath, but at least we didn't worry about spilling while we were painting. The money ran out after the painting, so we have lived with yucky plywood floors - but fresh paint! The furniture looked so nice and was nicer than anything we had had in a long time. Then we managed to get some money together for some flooring. It was so exciting to finally be picking out the type of flooring we really wanted.

a close up of the larch

The flooring being useful until it can be put down

We found some Larch and decided that was the flooring for us. (It's a light pine.) Before we put it down, though, we realized we had a leak around the front door and some water damage had occurred in the subflooring. Well, that definitely has to be replaced before wooden floors are put down. But where did the leak come from? The front door is old and the wood has split. When it rains, it comes in the split areas. So, we needed a new front door. RL and R went to the same salvage place we got the flooring from and found a beautiful front door. They called and asked how I felt about them getting it and I was all for it. When they got home with it, we were standing around the truck looking at it and I thought something was odd about it. Instead of the door knob being on the left side, it's on the right side. No, it cannot be returned. The salvage place has signs everywhere stating NO returns. Well, this is just an obstacle. We will make this work. So, now before the floors can go down, the subflooring needs to be replaced. Before the subflooring can be replaced, the front door needs to be replaced. Before the front door can be replaced, the door knob problem needs to be rectified. Whew! Are you still with me? While all this is going on, RL suggested that we look at some new furniture. What????? Did he mention new furniture? I didn't even have to ask if that's what he said - I was so on it! I found some half price and ordered it on line. It took three weeks to get here and the whole time I was fretting over whether it would be the right color - whether it would be comfortable - whether everybody else would like it as much as I did - whether the cat would live if she scratched it. It finally came. We were so excited! R and L were ripping into it just like I was and I was ripping into it just like it was Christmas. So exciting! Could that excitement last? Oh no....why should it? Why should something turn out like it's supposed to? The couch I wasn't sure about is beautiful. It is comfortable. It fits three people at the same time and is brand new. You know the new car smell? We have the new furniture smell and I don't know the last time I've smelled that in my house!

The new couch and an unwilling model at the other end. That's why you only see this end!

Next came the love seat. I knew I would love the love seat. It was the material I would have picked if I had had a million fabrics to chose from. This was it for me! We took off the plastic, the flannel like covering, the card board - only to find a 7" slit in the back.

I was devastated! But at the same time I thought, "Why not?" With the way our luck had been lately - why not indeed. RL called right away and they promised a brand new one would be shipped as soon as possible and the old one taken away. So, the love seat is covered to keep it clean and I am mad because it turned out the way it did.

Covered love seat waiting to get carted away. Actually, it's covered much better than this, but I just took a picture of the slit in the back, remember?

I have no complaints whatsoever about the dining room set. It's beautiful and big! The only complaint is that the new front door is right behind it and we can't use all sides of the table, but it's beautiful and I love it. So, in short, the next time somebody says, "You want some furniture?" I am going to say NO!

August 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Boyby

Today is my baby boy's birthday. (Or as my sister likes to combine the two and say - boyby.) He is 17. I cannot believe that he is 17! Seems like only yesterday I was telling the doctor, "Take him out!" L was breach and would NOT come out! He was a month late because we keep waiting for him to drop into position. He was never going to cooperate, and, yes, we still have moments like that, but not too many. When the doctor came in and told me, "One more day and I would have lost both of you," I resisted the urge to strangle him for letting us go so long. Then I realized how thankful I was to have a boyby!

For a long time this was the only way we would see him....shorts, cowboy boots and on his tractor. Oh, how many pairs of cowboy boots he went through!

Here's the b'day boy as of last night. He was assuring me it was love he was giving me, but it looked more like he is mauling me! I'm not convinced he wasn't! I love you buddy! Hope you have a great birthday!

August 24, 2007

It's not my birthday, but I'll cry if I want to

Today is the day L chose for his birthday party. The party will be an all night marathon of role playing with his three bestest friends....all night....from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Please pray for us! He is upstairs catching up on the sleep he will miss. Lucky him. This morning I woke up to the sound of a steady dripping, which not only made me think it could be raining - and we desperately need that - but it also made me think I had to pee. Sorry, but water sounds do that to me. Don't even get me started on the evils of table top fountains! So, I roll over in bed and notice that RL is in the bathroom getting ready for work and the dripping is getting steadier and steadier. However, instead of rain, it's beginning to sound more and more like one drop. Then it started sounding like a more consistent drop. Then it sounded like a steady pouring. By this time I knew it was time to go to the bathroom. However, a boob-like object (no better way to describe it, believe me) was protruding from the bedroom ceiling. In the semi-darkness, I had no way of knowing what that was. So, I stumbled over to the light switch and flipped it on. Sure enough - the large boob-like object was a paint bubble - full, no make that FULL of water. It even had stretch marks where it was straining to hold that water in. Finally it let loose and we had a nice fountain in our bedroom - which was not helping my bladder at all. In the excitement I had forgotten why I was getting out of bed to begin with! The A/C unit, which is above our bedroom, decided to not function properly. Water that was supposed to be flowing out the drainage pipes and into the great outdoors, decided instead to flow onto the attic floor. The attic floor, not being as absorbant as the great outdoors, decided it needed a release - causing the big boob in our bedroom ceiling. After some quick thinking on RL's part, I would probably still be standing there in my sleepy stupor staring, ran and got a bucket to catch the water. He went to work and called the A/C guy who promptly came out and cleaned out the pipes. To say that the clog was disgusting would be a major understatement. I have been graphic enough, I will spare you the details! Now, all of this comes on top of just finding out that the front door needs to be replaced before wooden floors go down because the door is old and leaking. Why don't we check the back door while we're at it - we said. We did. Dumb, dumb, dumb! More damage there than in the front and those doors will have to be replaced as well as both the front deck, the back deck and some of the siding in the front and back. So, in the big scheme of things, an all night marathon of role playing games doesn't sound so bad after all, does it?

August 21, 2007

No matter how you spell it, stress is a four letter word!

Stress. We have had plenty of that around here lately. What a time of year to do a remodeling job! The wooden floors are waiting to be put down. The front door is going to be looked at by a friend on Thursday to see if it can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced. Do we want tile or linoleum in the kitchen? What about bookshelves? We need at least a whole wall of bookshelves in the living room. The furniture I ordered online for the living room is on its way, but the dining room furniture is on back order. Wait, no it's not. It will be here when it's here and not a minute before. I can track it on line, but every time I try that, it just says it's on it's way. I have to be here for delivery, but they won't tell me when delivery is! Ain't that grand? L's 17th birthday is Monday and he wants to have a role playing marathon with his buddies on Friday night until Saturday morning. Birthday gifts have been ordered and are finally trickling in. Don't even get me started on homeschooling! That starts after Labor Day and all the lesson plans need to be planned and even some curriculum needs to be purchased. Other than that, life is good. What? Me worry? You who know me, know stress and worry are not a part of my life. Oh wait - I must have been talking about somebody else!
Let's move on to happier things. Like Josh's birthday. The picture below was taken at least seven years ago. He had just shown us how to 'butt boogie.' Don't ask. Needless to say, it was also about the time we realized Josh wasn't as shy as we thought he was! He is now attending Law school in Oklahoma and will be a wonderful lawyer one day. Happy birthday Josh! We hope you have a terrific day!

The littlest princess in the picture below is Macie. She is our niece and I neglected to wish her a happy birthday at the end of July. This picture was taken in '93 and she just turned 16 so I guess she was almost two. I'm sure she truly appreciates this picture of her splashed on the Internet. I'm sorry it's topless, but it's all I have of her. R is in the background - she was only six in that picture. Man, time flies! They were trying to find all the Easter eggs we had hidden at RL's Mom and Dad's house before the boys did. At this time they were the only girls and they had to stick together. Hope your birthday was great Macie and that you are driving carefully!

August 19, 2007

If I see one more home improvement store......

We have been in every home improvement store in town for the past two weekends. Although I like the improvements we are doing to our home, I do not like spending all my time cruising the aisles of these stores. We did finally decide on the wooden floors we want. They are sitting in Mom and Daddy's basement waiting for us to get the plywood floors ready to put them down. Nothing is easy. I told RL it's kind of like buying a new dress. Next you need new shoes, a purse, some jewelry, maybe a new haircut....there is NO end! We've been kind of snapping at each other and then retreating to our individual corners trying to figure out why we are mad at each other only to find out that we really aren't mad, just tired and wanting it all finished. Ah, the joys of home improvement.

R finally got the opportunity to felt her purse. I have no idea what she is going to felt on it, but I'm sure she's got something brewing in that brain of hers! Kelly, you can tell that the bag just isn't 'as earth friendly' after it's been felted. I'm so sorry.

This is a picture that I've probably already used. However, I just finished knitting this hat again - same color and I'm too tired to mess with the camera tonight and take another picture. How's that for lazy! Anyway, it's a Christmas present and a very easy knit. You can find the pattern on I Live On a Farm. (By the way, her blog is great and she is an extremely talented person. Go take a look.)

August 15, 2007

More late nights and still no meteors

I am so tired! We stayed up late the first night to see meteors. RL and I saw one. The second night RL decided one was enough for him and he was off to bed early. L and I went out and saw one while we waited for R to come out. She never did see one. The third night, after much persuasion on R's part, L and I joined her outside to wait and wait and wait. We finally saw something and couldn't determine if it was an acrobatic firefly or a meteor. We decided on the latter and called it a night. I'm still trying to catch up on sleep. Maybe tonight!
Meanwhile, knitting has been taking place. R made this bag following a Fiber Trends pattern. It looks huge in this picture. It only took her three days from start to finish! When she is motivated, that girl can knit! She has felted it, but she wanted to wait to get more pictures taken at the same place these were taken. So, tomorrow we should have those to show.

My lemonade kool-aid monkeys are finished. Here they are after they've been blocked. I haven't tried them on yet because I just can't bear to even try them on in this weather we've been having! This afternoon in town it was 103! Too warm for wool socks!

Here's Ginger getting some love from R - whether she wants it or not - more often it's 'not'! R is very determined and forces it on her. You can tell that the claws are not out, so it must not have been too traumatic for either of the girls. Tomorrow Mom and I go for mammograms and I think it's safe to assume that we will feel like Ginger does!

August 12, 2007

In the still of the night......

Late, late, late last night, or should I say, early, early, early this morning, we wandered out to the front deck and put a sheet down. We sat on it with our necks craned way up to see any signs of a meteor shower. First RL and I went out because R was still in the shower and L was on the computer. It was quiet and so peaceful. All the neighbors had long ago gone to bed - which is the way it goes around here anyway since we are night owls. Unfortunately the clouds were rolling in and we knew we weren't going to see much. Then off in the distance, right between a couple of trees, zoom - there went a meteor! Luckily we both saw it. We finally convinced R that she needed to get out there before her dad passed out on the deck and the mosquitoes carried him away. The kids came out and we walked around to the backyard. L and I saw one back there, but I don't think R ever did see one. Poor thing! She's the one who eats all this up and was disappointed. I told her we would attempt to go out again tonight. Let's hope it's a clear night with some sort of activity up there!

I must apologize to you all for a faux pas I recently committed, which was graciously pointed out in the comments by my dear, dear sister. I used poor judgement in using the above model to showcase R's scarf. In this day and age of young girls having low self esteem and poor body image, I have helped contribute to that and I feel a sincere apology is in order. I used a 'twiggy' model who has 'stick thin' limbs and I have unintentionally fed into that way of thinking. Believe me, I am by no means a 'twiggy' girl and I promise to you that from this day forward I will use only realistic models - like an oak or maple - in the future. Thank you, Kelly, for pointing this out.

This is a picture of my nosey 'little sister', Scout. Mom and I had just returned from her colonoscopy - which went very well and we are truly thankful for that! My knitting is in that bag and Scout, being the little wool hound that she is, had spotted it. First she started planning her attack.

This is the beginning of the attack which is just too graphic to recount for you, dear reader. Let's just say the knitting was saved and Scout is still alive, so all is well.

August 9, 2007

This post was brought to you by...

In all the excitement of receiving my Sockapalooza socks, I completely forgot to post pictures of the scarf R finished for Knit Picky as a store sample.

The scarf is made out of Dawn from Hand Knit Yarns by Naturally, which can be purchased at Knit Picky. The Yarn is 50% wool and 50% silk. It felt more like linen to us - it softened up the more it was knit and handled.

Our lovely model gladly posed for this picture. Kind of thin looking model, hu?

Here's a close up of the stitches. In case you happen to drop by Knit Picky, purchase the yarn and the pattern pamphlet, it's the #1 pattern in the pamphlet.

End of public service announcement.

August 8, 2007


My Sockapalooza socks are here! I heard the mailman this morning and just knew today was the day! It's been a real scorcher and I dreaded the trek down to the mailbox, but it was worth every hot step down there and back. Beth M. has really outdone herself. They are such a pretty color - which she dyed herself. Way cool! She sent me some goodies too - a little photo album to use as a brag book for my knitting, a 'K' shaped post-it pad - and I used post-its to mark everything, and some beautiful stitch markers which she made herself. I am very impressed! I wasn't sure I wanted to try on 100% wool socks this morning, but L talked me into it and I'm glad he did. "Mom, you have to try them out!" Does the boy get me or what?!?!?!
Beth and I have been e-mailing back and forth since the beginning of the swap, but today was the big name unveiling. I've been looking over her blog and we have soooo much in common. It's kind of creepy! I have thoroughly enjoyed this whole experience and Beth made it the best.

Oh! I forgot - and how could I do that????? She made me a cool post card. I wish I had thought to do that for my pal.
The stitch markers are made out of sodalite, citrine, and abalone. Aren't they pretty? I can always use stitch markers!

Here's a close up of the postcard and markers.

Here's some of my own knitting. R has informed me that we need to plant some grass so my pictures will turn out better...not because we need to plant grass, but so my pictures will turn out better! I am almost finished with the second sock and I am ready! I'm looking for another project for Friday. Mom, poor Mom, has to go for a colonoscopy (sorry Mom - no secrets here!) on Friday and I'm taking her. I figure I need to decide what I should be knitting now so I'll have everything I need while I'm at the office with her.


Today is my father-in-law's birthday. Well, maybe...we're not really sure. It could have been yesterday. See, the doctor was drunk when he delivered Popo. He wrote the wrong date and even wrote his name wrong on his birth certificate - middle name first, first name middle. So, no telling who he is or when he was born, but we'll just say Happy Birthday today and leave it at that!

August 6, 2007

One Monkey Down

One of my kool-aid dyed monkeys is completed. I'm almost finished with the cuff of the 2nd and ready to be finished with the pair. I have too many other things I want to knit! R designed a small, interesting, to say the least, coin purse and asked me to test knit it. I have to get the yarn for that. She also designed a hat some time back and I've been promising to try that pattern for months. I've got the yarn, I've just got to take the time. I guess I need to try to get those two things finished before it's time to crack open ye olde homeschooling books. We normally start school after Labor Day, so I have a little bit of time yet - but you know that will fly by in no time at all. I want to post pictures of all the creativity flowing from R lately, but she wants to wait to see if she can sell her patterns before she shows them off. She did manage to block the scarf she knit for the store sample for Knit Picky. I might post some pictures of that, but I have to wait and check with Knit Picky first.
Oh! I got an e-mail from my Sockapalooza 4 buddy and my socks are on the way! I am SOOOO excited! She said they should be here by Thursday at the latest. Do you think it would be okay if I just sat on the front steps until then? Probably not. We are supposed to be up to 99 on Wednesday and Thursday. L spilled some wax from a citronella candle on the porch and it's melted! It is HOT!

I'm not so sure if you can see it or not, but in the above picture is a baby cardinal - look about an inch above the deck. I like to think it's one of the little cardinals that lived in the bird nest I showed you some time back. I'm glad they are coming back to the feeder. His little beak is still dark and he's somewhere between red and brown, so I don't know if I should call him a she or a he!

R has been wanting to hit one of our local yarn stores today. They are having a 30% sale on all yarn in stock. That can only spell disaster for R. She and her money are soon parted when it comes to fiber - of any kind! Corduroy Sunday afternoon and wool today. Maybe I can knit an addition to our house! L wants to hit a used book store. Unfortunately the Marx Brothers are on television - all day! Tearing them from the television when the Marx Brothers are on is next to impossible. Does it matter that we have seen all of their movies a gazillion times? NO! Does it matter that they can quote them all? NO! Does it matter that they have taped half of them? NO! L heard a quote the other day while watching the British version of The Office...'You're only as old as the woman you feel.' L thought that was hilarious - he would - he's soon to be 17. R walks in and says, "That's a Marx Brothers quote." Now who else her age would know that? They are junkies, I tell you! To make matters worse - a Peter Sellers tribute is on this evening. Peter Sellers is only second to the Marx Brothers as far as they are concerned. Yes, they've seen all his Pink Panther movies. Does it matter? NO! Oh well, while everybody is occupied, maybe I can finished those monkey socks!

August 3, 2007

Ironing Sucks!

Now I know I am going to catch grief for that statement from my sister. She thinks ironing is the best thing in the world. When Harry Potter 7 came out, she would iron a shirt and then go read a chapter, iron a shirt, read a chapter. She said it gave her time to let it all soak in. I, on the other hand, read for about ten hours and then slept, read for ten hours and then slept. I let it all soak in at once. Today was an ironing day. I don't have a huge ironing pile, but enough to fill a laundry basket and I needed that basket empty. Hey, we all iron for our own reasons. I watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire while I ironed. I don't know why my sister irons so much. She says it's relaxing. Must be a flaw in her DNA somewhere, that, thank goodness, I don't share!

Here's the latest cake creation by R. A coworker of Randy's ordered it for his daughter's birthday with chocolate and Sponge Bob being the only requests. I think it turned out great. R wasn't sure of the sprinkles, but I think they really add to it. Plus, don't all little girls like sprinkles?!?!?

The knitting continues on my 'lemonade monkey' sock. I had to iron, remember, so I didn't get much knitting finished today. I guess I have about one repeat left and then I can start on the toe. Then on to the other sock. R has been editing some of her own patterns lately, so as soon as the sock is finished, I'll act as her test knitter for a project or two. She's been busy knitting a store sample for Knit Picky. I think she's almost finished. It's taken a little longer than she thought it would, but I think the knitting camp wore her out and she missed valuable knitting time then.

I finally mailed out my Sockapalooza 4 package! YIPPEE! I'm so glad they are in the hands of the postal system and away from this house. I was beginning to think I'd never reach that point. I hope my pal likes them and that they fit. I guess we'll find out in a few days. She lives on the west coast, so it will take a while for them to get there. My pal said she'd be sending mine out to me on Monday. I'm so anxious to see them! I'll post lots of pictures as soon as they get here.

August 1, 2007

25 years????

Holy Moly! It's been 25 years since I graduated? I cannot believe that. I got my e-mail letting me know about the reunion the other day. Twenty-five years? There's no way it can be that long ago. I sat there and tried to figure out how that happen. Yep, I graduated in '82. Yep, it's '07. Darn! That is 25 years, isn't it? I got a little depressed. I know I've been married for almost 23 years. I have a daughter soon to be 20 and a son soon to be 17. I've accepted all that. Turned 43 - yep, accepted that too. But 25th reunion? Now how did that happen?
Then something happened that changed that way of thinking. RL and I got an e-mail with an obituary attached. RLs cousin just lost her 25 year old son. He had one child and another due in March. Kind of put things in perspective - quickly. I changed my mind about being 'old' and decided I was 'lucky' that I even had the option of attending the reunion. So, if you remember, say a quick prayer for Korry's family. I know it would be appreciated.

Yesterday's garden stroll revealed a bean that decided to cling to the nearest thing it could find. Hope the wind doesn't pick up anytime soon. R took this picture this afternoon. I was shocked to see that it had grown at least four inches since yesterday. With all the rain we had and the sunshine we are currently having, I guess the growing conditions are perfect.

The kids and I ventured into Old Salem yesterday. It's always a fun day strolling the old streets and ducking into the shops for some shopping and cool a/c. We found some goodies to send to Sockapalooza pals and some goodies for ourselves, of course. About ten years ago my sister and her boys came for a visit. Her boys were 15, 13 and 11 at the time. Yep, full of attitude. Sam got in trouble at the mall for running up the down escalator. Since the mall guard is called Hanes Security, the boys felt it was their obligation to call them 'the panty police.' Yeah, cute kids. When we found ourselves cruising the streets of Old Salem, they cut loose with the sarcasm. Although the buildings there are old, they have been updated. I heard comments about '200 year old a/c systems', '200 year old cars', '200 year old fire hydrants'...I think you get the picture. Well, R walked through a spider web yesterday and decided it was a 200 year old spider web. Brought back all those memories of the nephews. Ahhh, good times!