Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday, already?

Where have I been?  Well, I've been working!  Busting my you know what to be exact.  Work has been grueling this week.  Not really sure why, but it is taking its toll on me.  My job can be very physical at times and this week has been one of those times!  My arms and chest have been so sore from lifting and hauling boxes!  Not to mention painting.  I have hardly had any time to think and when I get home at night I am so completely exhausted that I just drop and have been falling asleep by eight.  But my sleep is not sound.  I have been keeping Jim awake at night with my talking.  Yes, I talk in my sleep!  A lot.  Nonsensical stuff for the most part, but he thinks its funny and it keeps him laughing while he is awake listening.  This week I spoke of a little white dog that ate everything in sight, arms, legs, anything that wasn't nailed down.  I couldn't get rid of it and needed to so while we were at a wedding the bride lost her bouquet so I gave her the dog to throw!  Where does this stuff come from?  Jim told me about it in the morning and I had no memory whatsoever about the dream.  I also spoke of shark fishing.  You heard me, shark fishing.  I had to test the line to make sure it was strong enough and while testing the line caught something.  After fighting to get the thing in found out it was a catfish and it opened its mouth and I could see its stomach and it had swallowed a golf ball.  Then for whatever reason, it's a dream remember, Jim put an electric screwdriver in its mouth and we wound up with catfish slushies that were gross.  Seriously!  I said all that according to my  husband. 
My family has long spoken about my talking in my sleep.  It has been a source of great amusement for all of them for quite some time.  Once when Tim was  younger and had his friend over to spend the night, he brought his friend in my room after I had fallen asleep to hear me talk in my sleep.  Their laughter woke me up!  Needless to say, my sleep isn't always the most restfull. 
Anyway, I do hope to finish the painting this weekend.  Getting down to the wire now as the carpet is scheduled to be installed on Thursday.  Then it will just be a matter of moving furniture, toys and all of my scrapbooking/crafting stuff down and the downstairs will be finished.  (For all intents and purposes.)  I'll always have some things left to do like curtains, pictures, decorating, etc. 
Then I can concentrate on turning the mudroom back into a mudroom again.  That should be a much easier job as it will just be a matter of cleaning the room real well, painting and putting the doors back up.  It will be nice to have that space back again.  I think that my  house is going to seem suddenly much bigger to me and hopefully less messy!  I can't wait for it to be finished and to move on to other things.  I am anxious to get back to scrapbooking and cardmaking.  I'll let you know!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Real Production!

That's what my weekend was!  Saturday I was back at Home Depot picking up what I had hoped would be the last of the paint and extras that were needed for the basement remodel.  After I returned home I set right to work and was actually able to get quita a bit accomplished.  I finished off most of the trim work with the exception of the trim going up the stairwell.  I didn't do that because I thought it might be easier to do once the carpet there has been removed.  Otherwise, I am done with the trim!  Yay for me!  Then I moved on to the accent wall, which was being painted a Moss Green (that is going to be where my scrap area is located).  Although I had asked for a quart of flat paint she mixed it up in an Eggshell finish and I didn't notice it until I had gotten home and being too lazy to go back to the store to get it replaced I used it.  But because of the sheen I used a brush to apply it instead of a roller and that takes a bit longer but I like the results a little better.  Finished that up and moved on to the hallway which was to be a basketweave tan, but when I started putting it on the walls it looked more like baby poop brown.  :(  So I decided to ditch that color and make a decision on it later.  By that time it was 5:30 so I called it a night. 
Sunday I was determined to make some more headway and I skipped church and started in around 10:00 taping up the newly painted trim.   Then I set to work on painting the rest of the walls in the big room the gold color that I had chosen.  I went on yellow but dried to a pretty mustardy gold.  Yum!  I got pretty much all of it done except for where the fish tank and the terrarium are.  Last night Jim was able to move the fish tank and tonight Tim is coming home to move the terrarium, so I'll be able to finish the rest of that wall.  Then all I'll have left to do is the hallway and stairwell and the trim in the stairwell.  The only thing that worries me is the stairwell as it will be really difficult to get to the top of the walls and do it neatly because of the stairs.  I'll have to set up some kind of scaffold and try like heck not to hurt myself.  Ha!  Here's the before pictures:

This picture shows the wall that is the accent wall.  You can just see the edge of the door to the "throne room" there on the right.
Sunday Jim, Michelle and Bella went to the Way Off Broadway Theatre to see Cinderella.  It was a great break for them and got them out of my hair for a few hours.  Bella loved it!  The ugly step sisters were played by men and she thought they were quite funny.  Here is a picture of her with the cast:

So that was my weekend!  How was yours?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Little at a Time...

That is my new motto, or mantra.  I keep repeating it to myself in the hopes that I will come to really take it to heart.  Fully embrace the meaning, a little at a time.  Not all at once.  I remember my mother used to try and teach me patience, she didn't have much success with that one.  I have asked God to give me patience, and give it to me right now!  So as you may have guessed, it is something that I have to work on, but I am trying, a little at a time.  In many aspects of my life.  I am a work in progress.
So a while ago I wrote that I needed to loose some weight and get in better shape.  I'm working on it, but the going is slow.  But I'm getting there.  Little by little.  I have lost about 10 pounds in the last seven weeks.  (9 1/2 to be precise, but 10 sounds so much better!)  Each little drop the scales show is a success and I try to see it as such.  Being me, I want it all at once but I know that it doesn't happen that way.  I hang colored paperclips above my computer at work, one for each pound lost to remind me of how far I've come now how far I need to go.  A visual reminder of my little successes.  Week by week I've been plugging along and then the most amazing thing happened this week-people began to notice.  At dance class one of the mom's asked me if I'd lost weight!  I replied that yes, I'd lost a little and she said that it showed, two other moms concurred.  Then at work someone stopped me and asked if I was dieting because it looked like I was loosing weight.  I said yes and she said that it looked like I was going to have to buy some new clothes soon as mine were too big.  I'll take that!  And I'll keep plugging along too!
The weekend also brought some other small successes.  I began work in earnest in the basement.  Jim and I had a frank conversation about what we were going to use the 'little room' (Timmy's old bedroom) for and he was adamantly opposed to putting a bed in there.  Why?  It's against the law!  I can't even begin to try and figure him out any more, but I decided it wasn't worth fighting him over.  So we decided to use it as a playroom for Bella.  I painted the ceiling white and all the trim white and got 2 coats of pink paint on the walls.  There is one casement window in there and below the window we put this:
It is a decal that we picked up at Home Depot and it looks pretty cute.  She loves it!  We also put on one wall a blackboard and have yet to put up these:
We now refer to this room as "The throne room" because as Bella so aptly put is "Every princess needs a throne!"  She just can't quite figure out where her throne is!  Ha!  We may h ave created a monster. She will have to share the room with Timmy's frog and I told her that she is not allowed to kiss him under any circumstances and she just looked at me and said " Why would I kiss it?"  She must just think I'm nuts!
I then started to move into the big room and started with the trim in there.  There is a lot of trim in that room.  There are six doors and door molding, lots of baseboard molding, a very deep double windowsill, the stair railing, the step risers and various other molding.  Did I mention that there is a lot of trim in that room:?!  I got a little less than half way done with the trim before I wore myself out.  I have to finish up the trim, do the ceiling the stairwell, hallway, bathroom and of course the whole large room.  The job is beginning to seem a little daunting to me!  I guess I'll have to see how much I can get done over the weekend and then proceed from there.  Michelle is willing to help and has been helping, but Jim is no  help at all!  He is a terribly sloppy painter and I learned my lesson a long time ago and have not let him near a paint brush since.  So it is up to me for the most part.  The ceiling and the stairwell are what I worry about the most and I may in fact hire someone to do that for me if I can't get it done or if my body doesn't hold out.  Guess I'll have to wait and see.  A little at a time, that's all I can do.  We don't know yet when the carpet will be installed, but I am in a race of sorts to get all the painting done before the carpet is installed.  I'll keep you updated....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Simple Things

My son called me on Saturday.  A phone call just a simple thing really.   For nothing in particular, just to say hi and to tell me about his week.  It was nice.  I appreciated it and it got  me thinking.  I like my kids, I always have.  Which is not to say that there haven't been times when I haven't wanted to pull my hair out - or theirs, because I have.  Just that I like them and I as they have gotten older and grown into young adults I appreciate and admire the people that they are becoming or have become.  I like talking to them, hearing about their days, their relationships, their ups and downs, what they are passionate about, what makes them happy and sad.  Anything.  Everything.  Learning about them, enjoying them, living with them.  It makes me realize how lucky, no how blessed I am.  They are here and I can talk to them, I can hug them and tell them that I appreciate them, that I love them. 
It makes me think about my brother, missing his son.  Not having the opportunity to hold him one last time, not knowing that the last time that he spoke to him would be the last time.  Would it make a difference?  What would he say to Daniel?  What would he do?  What would you say to your child if you knew that when he/she walked out the door they wouldn't be coming back?  Would you do something different, say something different?  Pete told me that he was sure that Daniel knew that he was loved, what a gift to be able to give our children.  To know that they are loved, they are wanted.   He should take comfort in that. 
We can't know.  Pete didn't know that Daniel wouldn't be coming back.  But, would that have changed things?  Would the end result have been any different?  Who's to know.  Some would argue that when it is your time, it's your time.  I don't know the answer to that.  What I do know is that we can only do the best that we can do.  That's all.  We raise our children with love.  We try to teach them to love others, to live compassionately, to be kind, to be truthful, to be hopeful, to be prayerful, and thoughtful and everything that we want and hope for them to be.  And we pray, and we pray and we pray.  We pray that some of it took hold, something sunk in, somewhere along the way, our words became more than just words, they realized that love was more than just a four letter word it is a verb-an action word.  As their parents, their community, we provided the action, we showed it to them, mentored them in the ways of love so that they might mentor others.  And if they do?  Well, then maybe, we've done our part of our job right. 
Reach out today and do a simple thing to let someone know that they are loved, that they are thought of, that they are a cherished part of your life.  Call them, hug them, tell them or just listen to them as they tell you about their day or their passion or whatever it is they might want to tell you about. 
Life is fragile, tenuous at best.  Hold on to those you hold dear, cherish those ordinary moments with them, count you blessings and never stop praying.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


We are slowly making progress in the basement.  There is so much to do it can seem overwhelming but I try to take it one step at a time.  Today we are having Home Depot come to measure for carpet so that we can get an estimate.  We will be getting new carpet because Jim tore some of it out already!  I started sanding some of the spackle last night and got the one room done, just have to get a second coat of paint on that tonight and that room will be ready for carpet.  There is a lot of painting left to do though.  When we were finishing it initially the carpet was installed before I had finished painting the woodwork.  That was not my idea, but it got scheduled and we were anxious to get it done so that was that.  Anyway, I was working and the carpet was installed and by the time I got home from work Tim had started moving his stuff downstairs!  I never got to finish painting.  So now I have to finish all the woodwork and re-paint the walls.  Good thing I like to paint.  Not sure about colors yet, going to pick up some color swatches and hopefully decide soon. 
Also have to finish getting everything out of there.  Timmy's apartment cannot accomodate all of his stuff so he left quite a bit of it at home and I'd like to pack it up but  Jim would like to leave it all out for  him.  We'll have to see about that.  Either way, it will have to be moved to paint and carpet.  And after patching up all the holes in the wall from the darts going astray, I don't think the dartboard will be rehung either!  Ha!  We'd also like to put a storm door on the back door to let more light shine in and some air as well.  Saw one down at HD with a doggie door in it.  Sure that Chester and Roxie would love to come and go as they please and pretty sure that Bella might go through it a time or two as well!  Don't know if it's in the budget for this year though as we are trying to do this on a shoestring. 
In other news...not much else to report.  Haven't had time to do much crafting of any kind.  Miss it.  Did make a card for my niece's birthday yesterday.  She is 17!  Happy Birthday Allison!
More stars and Happy Birthday sentiment inside the card.  I like the pink/black combo.
Can't wait to get set up so that I can get down to business again!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pure Gold!

During the winter months Isabella's school had a program called Read for the Gold.  This program was probably not exclusive to Whittier Elementary School but I don't know.  Anyway, the kids had an opportunity to earn either a Bronze, Silver or Gold Medal by reading at home.  Totals were calculated on a minute basis and the amounts were calculated by a grade level formula.  Anyway, last night was the award ceremony for the students who earned the gold medals.  Students and their families were invited to the school for the ceremonies followed by milk and cookies, and a story time by a 'celebrity' story teller.  They brought each grade level on stage one at a time and each child was to introduce themselves to the audience by saying "My name is _______, I read for the Gold and I am in Ms/Mr._________class.", beginning with Kindergarten.  Well, the first two students they put the microphone in front of froze-totally.  The one little girl looked like she had been turned into a pillar of stone, poor thing.  So they asked for a volunteer to show how it was to be done.  Up went Isabella's hand.  Since she was next in line anyway, they gave her the mike and she introduced herself loud and clear and then received her medal.  She didn't even need the mike!  Too funny.  Here she is:
"Microphone?  Did someone say microphone?"
Receiving her medal

I failed to get one as she strutted across the stage, but here she is pleased as can be!
With Mr. Festerman, her school Principal

Monday, April 12, 2010

Can't stop it from happening,

Much as I'd like to try, Monday always rolls around.  Ha!  What I need is a stay at home vacation, but since that doesn't seem likely I'll have to settle for weekends.  Anyway mine was productive enough.  After sleeping in until 9:00 on Saturday (yes, you read that right!) I managed to clean the house, shower and dress before the girls got back from dance.  Then Michelle helped me tackle the basement.  It looked like a frat house after  five years of dirty, smelly college guys had moved out!  It didn't smell much better.  We cleared out his bedroom and I was able to get a coat of paint up on the walls.  I didn't have any spackle, so I couldn't fill in the staple holes or the actual hole in the wall from where his remote went through the wall, but I didn't want to go to the store, so I figured I'd get to that and then paint again.  Amazing what a coat of paint can do for a room!  Jim thought that once we were able to get the carpets cleaned and stretched they would look as good as new and my thoughts on were that he was the king of 'la-la land'!  Seriously?  Tim hosted many friends, strays, and our two dogs.  He was the designated driver and was often called upon in the middle of the night to go out and pick up friends who were too drunk to drive home and they would often wind up in our house.  Drunk guys passed out on the couch don't often worry about what they spill on the floor or where they might drop excess fluids that projectile from there mouths, if you get my drift.  UGH! 
Sunday I had planned on working on our patio/deck furniture.  It is wrought iron and every few years it needs to get a good scrubbing and a fresh coat of paint.  Jim had gotten the paint and I set out to work.  I had thought that he had gotten several cans, but they were all different types.  After I had finished with one chair he said that he would go to Home Depot and asked if I'd like to go with him.  Although it was not at the top of my hit parade, I had an alterior motive so I went along.  We picked up the needed paint and looked at some new patio furniture but I said that I'd rather not get anything new when we needed new carpet for the basement so badly and patio furniture could wait.  We walked around a bit more, picked up a few things and eventually made our way over to the carpet section.  Jim suggested that we take a look at carpet (great idea), so we did and priced some out (better idea), he said that he'd rather put the money into carpet now because we could get another year out of the patio furniture and it really could wait (great idea), so we will be getting new carpet for the basement when I finish painting and cleaning it up! 
When we got home I did manage to get three chairs, two small tables, one recliner and a double glider painted and back on the deck.  Though that was pretty good progress for one day.  I should be able to finish next weekend provided we have good weather.  I also picked up some spackle and got all the staple holes in the bedroom filled in and the larger remote hole patched and did a mighty fine patch job on it if I do say so myself.  I'll give it a day or so to dry completely, sand and re-spackle if necessary and then add a second coat of paint.  In the large rec room area there is a dart board and the wall that that is on is a mess with holes too.  Whoa!  I got a those holes patches too, but they will take more work than the simple staple holes.  Jim would like to keep it up but after fixing all the holes I am all about taking it down or at least mounting it on a large cork board frame first and then putting it back up to help preserve the wall a bit.  What a mess!
Guess we'll have to see how that will play out.
I'll keep you up to date on our progress and hopefully post a picture or two. 
How was your weekend? 

Friday, April 9, 2010

What time is it anyway?

I think that part of me is still on west coast time!  I am typically early to bed, but this week I find that I am  not tired at my usual bed time and I want to stay up later than normal.  I try to go to bed, but can't fall asleep.  Then when it is time to get up in the morning I'm not ready for that either.  Ugh! Hopefully I can get my body to straighten itself out this weekend. 
We have been enjoying the sunshine and warmth of the last few days here in Maryland.  It has been beautiful!  Bella and I were enjoying the afternoon in the hot tub and when Jim came home he had stopped at Lilypons for some things for our water garden.  He asked Bella for her help and she was happy to assist him. 

New snails and tadpoles!  Bella had no problem with the snails but she just wasn't sure about those tadpoles at all!
No real plans for the weekend.  Trying to get my  house put back together.  I have finished unpacking and ironing, but need to do a good cleaning and get some of Tim's things packed away.  He has conveniently left quite a lot of his things behind.  Now I have to go through and pack up, throw away and give away the rest!  Then it will be time to start making new use of that space.  My vision is a new scrap space for me and a play area for Bella.  Nothing fancy-just space! 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Back Home

It's been a very long week or so.  I flew out to California on Thursday morning to join my family as we gathered together to grieve over our loss and to celebrate Daniel's life.  It was so good to be there, to share in the loss, to try and be of some help and just to openly love one another.  Our family is very spread out, we have three siblings in California, two in Vermont, one in Ohio, me in Maryland and our parents in Florida.  More family in New Jersey and Iowa and lots of other places as well.  It makes it difficult to get together, but it doesn't mean that we are not close.  Although we are kept apart in distance, our hearts are forever joined.  That was clearly evident.  Those that couldn't be there in person were with us in spirit and we calling constantly.  It was so hard for them not to be there.  The service was a very good one, more than 300 people attended.  People of all ages and all walks of life. It was truly a testament!  Some of the family choose to speak about Daniel and then the floor was opened up to those in the congregation who wished to say a word or two, boy was that something!  So many wanted to speak and their words were generous, kind and thoughtful.  Like Daniel.  It was very healing, especially for his father and his brother.  Although his other brother could not be consoled nor could his girl friend and it just broke my heart!  He and his girl friend had been together for nearly 8 years and she is 21, Daniel was nearly 24.
Being that it was a holiday, the air fare was terribly expensive and flights were booked so I was not able to get home until Monday.  (Technically by the time I got home it was 2:00 am Tuesday morning)  So I totally missed Easter with my immediate family.  Jim and the kids understood of course, but Bella had a little bit harder time understanding.  She'd call and tell me what she was doing but the calls ended with her in tears.  It made me feel so rotten!  Talk about a few emotion packed days!  I have trained Michelle well though and she took pictures and posted them to Facebook right away so I could see them.  Here's some of what I missed: 
"We Love GaGa"

Michelle and Bella ready for church

My beautiful girl and a beautiful backdrop-everything was in bloom!

Michelle, Bella and Tim on his last day at his move out day.