Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Earth is Still Here...and So Am I !

Whether you've been wondering where I've been or not, I truly haven't been far.  I just haven't been focused on trying to get anything together for the blog, except for the funny kitty post yesterday.  It's going to be that way through the end of June. 

School is nearly out.  Nick has had one more final tomorrow today.  ONE.  For ONE final, I had to drive 11 miles one way across town.  Because it's only ONE, and lasted less than one and a half hours, there was no point in my driving all the way back home just to turn around and go back to pick him up.  So I stayed.  On Tuesday he had TWO finals, so I ran some errands that I could do on that side of town, then parked myself at the school to wait....but no, my cell phone rang and the contractor had LOST our house key, so I had to drive home and let him in and then return to the school.  Today yesterday was ONE class also and I parked myself and worked on crossword puzzles for the time, which thankfully was cool enough to leave the car windows down.  Afterward, we stopped by the bowling alley where Nick began the summer league, to pre-bowl four weeks of games as we'll be heading off on our annual trek north next Tuesday a.m..  We headed to Costco after that ONE final...perfect timing though as Costco doesn't open until 10:00 and it's on that side of town.  I haven't been to Costco since probably early February.  I won't say how much I spent, but it was a lot...for one visit, but had it been broken out into two or three visits, it wasn't bad.  Since Nick & I aren't going to be home most of June, I didn't buy any fresh produce, nor any fresh meat as Marty usually finds 'quick' things to eat while we're gone.  I picked up a few things he could nuke in the microwave.

Nick was sick all last week though he went to school that Wednesday.  Sinus infection = 10 days of antibiotics! Thankfully he was well enough to get back in time for his finals.

The bathrooms are 'officially' done! I just haven't gotten those darn towel rods & toilet paper holders = procrastination!   All else is done and the city inspector has signed off : ) .  I am well-pleased with the results.  Now I need to clean the windows, wash the tile dust from the freshly painted walls (painted before the tile went in), mirrors & doors, 'wax' the shower doors to help repel/prevent the hard-water spots, buy the new linens and I'll be feeling like I'm at a luxury spa every time I step into one of these bathrooms.  And all we wanted was to fix a leak we couldn't find and buy new linoleum...who knew, huh?

Both bath cabinets have the same knobs, glass with brushed nickel bases.  Raven was checking them out too.  Actually, she was just hoping I'd turn the water on so she could play with it in the sink.
....and a close-up of the handles on the cabinet doors.  The off-white cabinets (Swiss Coffee by Behr Paints) and the glass hardware help 'tone down' what I think is an otherwise very contemporary look.  I'm still a country girl at heart.
I have a LOT of cleaning to do with all the dust and such that's accumulated throughout the remodel process throughout the house.  When I return from vacation, I'll be packing up as many non-essentials as possible from every room downstairs in anticipation of the kitchen remodel we're planning to begin in early 2013.  I'll be in my planning phase as soon as I get back.  There are a lot of things to consider, almost more than I want to think about. 

 I'm not sure why I titled this post with "The Earth is Still Here..." ...probably had something in mind to say yesterday when I intended to post this, but here it is today, and yep, the earth is still here and so am I and I'd be really pleased if my lower back would stop being a pain...literally!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cat Brats

"MOMMMM!! Raven stole my seat."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Little Tuesday This & That

I haven't had a lot to blog about the last few days, or maybe it's just haven't wanted to think about what I might blog about, so today is a mish-mash of things.

This is one of the two little guys or gals that are growing so fast they'll be out of the nest in a day or two or three it seems.  Sorry my point-&-shoot doesn't do sharper images on zoom.  It's a hummingbird.

This is the light reflection being made during the eclipse on Sunday evening.  It was only partial here as we weren't in the path for getting the full thing.  Marty called these by a name, but I don't remember what that name is.  They look like little images of the sun with the eclipse shadow crossing it.

This little squirrel was enjoying a cool spot on the lawn next to the ash tree on a near-100 degree day.  I measured the girth of the ash: over 95" around. 

Ok, well, this is the back side of a baby robin...I missed the perfect photo op because I didn't have my camera outside.  From inside the house in the early morning, I heard a lot of bird chatter going on out back, so went to investigate.  There was a baby robin on a branch - a very good view and close - suddenly, up flies mama with some big dark bugs in her mouth and she fed baby right in front of me.  I so missed a great photo!  And this was the best I could get of baby as it started taking off up through the branches of the tree after I went in and got my camera.  Some mornings have been a loud cacophony of sound with the birds - I'm sure it's because so many babies are fledging right now and mamas are teaching them to 'hunt' for themselves.  I put a waterer out in the backyard but haven't seen a single bird anywhere near it.  I even scattered seed on the ground.

 The upper now has slider doors...still need that faucet, cabinet hardware, mirrors & towel/toilet tissue bars
The lower now also has a door and glass wall.  It also needs the same as above as well as the toilet...
Both will also need that final inspection by the city dude - oh joy!

And that's it for photos for today.

Here's my funny for the week:  Awhile back I complained about soap residue that didn't wash out of my dark clothes and left permanent stains because of these new-fangled water-conservative washers.  Well, I figured a way around that.  I place the soap powder in first, close the lid and let the water run until it begins to agitate.  I then open the lid and close it again.  It resets to add more water.  I then open it again and place my clothes in then shut the lid which causes it to add even more water - no more soap deposit problems.  That first round only adds about 5" of water in the bottom of the is that supposed to clean your clothes?  OK, so for the funny part.  Because doing it this way takes time by my having to stand there and wait for it to add water each time...not a problem for when I'm adding regular clothes because I use that time to lay each item out and pretreat as needed, but...I walked away to do a couple quick things in the kitchen (I was washing the kitchen towels, cloths & potholders in that load).  I then sat at the table, heard the washing action while I perused a couple magazines, and the dryer was running from the previous load.  Dryer buzzer goes off and I remove the items, went back to put the next load in the dryer because the washer had now stopped...NOTHING IN THE WASHER!  That's right, I got SO side-tracked, I forgot to go back and put the load of  towels in the machine!  I just had to laugh at my forgetfulness.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Some Remodel

It's a 'not-much-of-anything' kind of day.

The contractor was here this morning and was able to install one we now have two working toilets more emergency reliance on the porta-potty because someone's taking an all-too-long- shower or has the toilet otherwise engaged ;)  We're waiting on the shower doors for both rooms.  I had hoped for this week, but it looks like the earliest would be Monday.  That will be the beginning of week 9....was only supposed to take 5 weeks, hah!
The model is a Toto Drake.  The tank is much smaller than our old one and sits farther from the wall - will have to get used to that.  It's also an elongated bowl whereas our old toilets were rounded front, another adjustment.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Remodel Update - Getting Closer :)

It's been a little while since I've shown pics of the remodel.  Both baths have now been completely tiled and grouted.  The sinks, lighting and switches are all in.  Just waiting for shower doors, toilets, mirrors and towel rods/toilet tissue holders, knobs & handles for the cabinets.  The latter few things I still need to purchase.  Following are some photos, the lower bathroom first, then the upper:

Floor is the same tile as the bathroom floor but cut to 4" and also placed 'on point', granite, glass & stone border tiles, ceramic wall tile.

I need to get light bulbs...the one shown is the contractor's work bulb.  The package was missing one of the decorative nuts that holds the base plate to the wall so I had to call the company and they're sending me one :)

The light through the window affected the flash and this is from the doorway, so looks dark, but is really very bright, especially with lights on.

I love how the tiles reflect light.  Each tile is approx. 10" x 22".  The original design was to place them horizontally in a staggered brick pattern, but they're slightly bowed in the center and that would have left awkward ridges where the centers met the abutting rows' seams so decided to place them end-to-end, side-to-side abutted tightly - maybe 1/8th of an inch, and wow, it almost looks like a solid sheet of ceramic tile.  I think I like this better than the original plan.

These shelves look cockeyed but aren't, it's just the camera angle.


 The lighting base coordinates with the shape of the sink. 

A little more work needs to be done on the handle, because the walls were so out-of-plumb, the tiler had to float the walls pretty thickly which affected the depth available to attach the handle to the pipe/valve already in place.

Ssshhhhh, you don't see that washcloth and the toothpaste ;)
Field tile flooring set 'on point'.

Regulations here require an occupy sensor comes preset from the factory for 30 minutes before it goes off.  Note to government:  Stop trying to control every aspect of my life...I know how to turn off a light! And I don't wait 30 minutes! And I still turn it off.  Rant over.

Friday, May 11, 2012


I went down to retrieve my measuring tape from where I'd been sewing, stubbed my little toe on the table leg just enough to reach out and brace myself by putting my hand on whatever was closest and this is the result:

My hand and weight landed right onto my quilting extension attachment....and it BROKE!!! you know expensive those are?  I won't say if a curse word went forth from my lips, but I was not happy...still am not, but if superglue will work on this the way it did on my acrylic ruler that I once dropped on the tiled floors and chipped a big chunk out of, then I will be happy enough as it will be usable, just not as pretty.  I should have taken it off and set it aside weeks ago; it hasn't been comfortable for just piecing.  Lesson learned...follow my gut!  And I could add that if I had less weight, it might not have broken, or if I'd had shoes on, I wouldn't have stubbed my toe...some lessons we have to learn over, and over, and over...

Well, happy Friday everyone and have a Blessed weekend :)

Fina-Lee Friday

OK, it seems every time I open Blogger and want to type a new post I see this new and different (to me at least) format. So...I guess I should get used to it... but I really don't like change, especially with technical type things.

  • Bathroom remodel is really getting close. The last of the tiling was done on Tuesday and the last of the grouting was done yesterday. The biggest thing remaining is the shower doors: upper will be the sliding type and lower is a swing in for entry because it's just a shower without tub. Next are the toilets. After that, it's just a few little odds and ends and purchasing all new toweling. We got all of our current bath towels and stuff when we got married almost 16 yrs ago and they're pretty frayed and thin in spots. Oh, I almost forgot, I'm still trying to decide on where to get the drawer knobs and door handles for the cabinets. I want clear glass. Locally, they're around $10 and $14 apiece (8 knobs, 4 handles respectively). Online, the knobs are about 1/2 that and handles are around $10, better, but shipping & handling might bring the cost up to the local costs.
  • Nick and I may be heading to the NW next month. Need to review the dates and determine how long. Activities are already being planned. By going earlier though I'll be missing a maternal family picnic in August and a paternal family reunion the end of July. The latter is held every third year and always changes places. On the upside, when we return I can then focus on getting ready for the kitchen remodel....yayyyyy!
  • There was one day this week that I was really beginning to think I was due for an accident, but God kept his protective hand around me and kept me from plowing into a minimum of three separate, less than brilliant individuals who all pulled out in front of me to where I had to apply strong pressure to my brakes.
  • And then I wonder about those that insist on close-up reads of my license plate. My thought: "I'm not the leader, please pass" might make for a good bumper sticker if someone makes a mint on that, you'll have to pay me at least half of any profits ;) Occasionally a good window washing causes a little more space between my bumper and their front end ;).
  • Nick missed school on Monday and I took him to the doctor. It was viral but not the flu and not strep. He still has a cough and phlegm and is getting annoyed with it but it will pass.
  • The one rose blossom I posted about didn't last long. Temps here have been above 90 and close to triple digits for several days. All my other pretty bloomies I've posted about have pretty much said hasta la vista baby too.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Just One, Look

This is my only rose bush. It's called "Gypsy Moth". I love it's pretty pink with just a hint of orange in the center. And it has a nice pretty fragrance too. I've had this bush for probably 20 or more years. This poor rose bush survives in spite of me (or is that despite my feeble efforts?). It likely needs water. It surely needs food. It definitely needs de-aphidizing (and I'm sure that's NOT a word, but it sounds good). The above photo is this year's first, and so far only blossom, but I think there's another sad looking bud.

This pic was from 2010...3 big beautiful blooms on the same stem.

It is in a pot, I've never put it in the ground because I don't know where to put it and roses need sun and our back yard, at least the part not covered by ugly broken up concrete, is grass barely covering massive amounts of tree roots and the tree that is growing said roots is a very good shading Ash tree, and one rose bush at the edge of the front lawn - regardless of which of the 4 sides or even in the middle, just would look, well, kinda puny. Hey, we haven't even planted anything in the front planter under the bay window because it doesn't get a whole lot of sunlight either - it's on the north side.

I use to have another rose bush in a pot, but managed to kill it off a few years ago. It's name was "Garden Party". It was whitish with any where from just hints of pink to a little more pink. Maybe I'll get another one someday.

My friend Ruth has lots of roses: bush type, tree and climbing. The climbing is a Cecil Brunner, I'd like that one, it's really pretty too. Well, most all roses are pretty, and fragrant. I love flowers with fragrance. Her late Daddy planted them; he was a very good Daddy and she lives in the house her parents had.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Design Wall Monday – May 7, 2012

I've made progress this past week and here's what's done so far. I'm displaying this sideways only because it's easier to pin vertically rather than horizontally to the upper half of my design wall.

Make note that the lower half of the design wall is missing. That's because there's this little, well, not really so little anymore, cat that seems to think the design wall is something to jump up against and get her claws hung in the styrofoam and dangle there like a pendant. It's shredding the design wall so I removed the lower half and tucked it behind the headboard of the bed and draped a heavy blanket over it. She's a stinker! Maybe she thought that since we named her Raven, she could try to 'fly' high.

--- (See, she's not so little anymore nor is she often curled up sleeping! )

The sashing strips are pinned right sides together to the block rows; this is only half of the rows but the others are pinned as well. Maybe I'll get them sewn yet today.

Check Patchwork Times for more design wall updates.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Stash Report Week 19, 2012

edit: Well, I typed and posted this yesterday (Sunday), but forgot to link it at Judy's so that's what I'm doing now, and ...

I'm guessing that since you found your way here, it was through Judy Laquidara's blog so you already know about what other bloggers have posted, but I'll still link back to her Sunday Stash Report anyway ;)

Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 0 yards
Added this Week: 33.3 yards
Added Year to Date: 35.3 yards
Net Used for 2012: -35.3 yards

Earlier in the week I had received an email from our Guild president letting us know that the guild had been contacted by a lady whose elderly aunt, a quilter, had suffered a stroke and the family was selling off all of her sewing room supplies and fabric at a yard sale on Saturday. So I got myself up early for a Saturday...the yard sale was to start at 7:00 a.m. and was all the way on the other side of town. And of course, I got lost because I'd only quickly made notes of where to go from Mapquest, and wouldn't you know, the one street that I thought I was supposed to make a left on, also continued straight from the one street I was on.

It's like Main street goes so far and becomes Back street, but at the point it becomes Back street there's also a left turn and that is also Back street. We have one area where two roads intersect: up to the intersection, one street is North street, the street opposite is South street, the street to the right is East street and the street to the left is West street, but after a few blocks, West street is Further West street - all names are fictitious, and you can supply your own names if you want, but the point is that the street names are not continuous in too many places. I think it's because way back when in history, this large valley had several small communities and as suburbs grew and united becoming one large sprawling city, they've kept the original street names before roads actually connected. When Marty & I were first married and I moved out here, it took me several years to figure out the streets...some of them even have the same name but in one area they run North-South and then turn and run East-West and practically cross over themselves - very confusing. During those first couple years, I was still working and that was 20+ miles away so most things I did were still in that area and I had no reason to go anywhere out here.

Anyway, I digress...after I finally found the yard sale..and a place to park, I browsed the many tables of fabric. There were also boxes of scraps, books and other odds and ends. So, I loaded my arms with 2 books, and a healthy stack of fabrics and was poking through one of the scrap boxes and was chatting with the seller and she decided I could have the whole box of scraps for $3 !!! My total purchases came to $13.00 . I sorted through the fabrics at home, pulled out any non-cottons, fire-tested every piece and roughly tallied each piece's measurements. Of actual yardage (full-width) I had 13.5 yards.. Of smaller pieces and anything not full-width was...are you ready?... an equivalent to 19.8 yards for a combined total of 33.3 yards...all for $11 (the books were $1 each)! At today's fabric prices, that's like getting 32 yards for free. I realize not all are quilt-shop priced fabrics and I have no problem with that; when you make those scrappy quilts, and give them to someone that knows nothing about a quilt "it's just another machine-washable blanket" it doesn't really matter if it was from a high-priced place or a purported 'lesser quality' place. I'd rather my quilts be loved, used and worn out than stored forever in a chest for generations never seeing the light of day because "Lee" made it.

I have it all out on my freezer and a laundry bin as it all needs to laundered and pressed. I don't always press the larger pieces, but the small ones I will because I'll be cutting them up for scraps ala Bonnie Hunter.

Have a blessed Sunday, and happy quilting :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Roadrunner...The Coyote's After You

Or as in our case, the coyotes were heard at 6:10 this morning...very close, and the roadrunner was seen in the middle of the street at 12:30 p.m. I've never seen a roadrunner before so was stunned to see one in the middle of the street just a house away from ours, and it had something in its mouth....maybe a lizard? maybe nest-building materials. Nick tried to get a pic on his itouch but it disappeared before he could and I didn't have my camera with me. Oh yeah, Nick appears to have the flu, that's why I was driving up the street at that time of day.

Beep - Beep :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Remodel Update

Upstairs before border tiles added. Love how the tile reflects the light and makes it look spacious.

With the border tile, and quarter round tiles added, and the floor tile has been positioned on the floor. It all needs to be grouted. It's getting so close to being a functioning bathroom room again. I am so excited, so thrilled with how it's turning, and feeling so unbelievably blessed.

This is the downstairs with how we used the 'extra' granite from the slab we got for the countertops. It measures to a 24" height...reminds me of an Oreo Cookies and Cream Blizzard from Dairy Queen :) No tile has been put in yet, but it will be the same as the upstairs for the walls and floor. The same floor tile will be used for the shower floor but has been cut to 4"x4" to accommodate the drainage slope and I'm think it too will look better set "on point" - like how I slipped in that quilting term?

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