I'm on a new journey to pay-it-forward & with the support of my Groupies/friends...

I'm writing a LAP BAND BOOK!!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

1/29/11 Stylish? Me?

My darling Libby at This One Time, At Band Camp... nominated me for the Stylish Blogger Award. Thanks Libby! I love these awards mainly to read things I don't know about my blogger friends as it always surprises me, and Libby's one exceptional gal...supporting herself since age 16 and putting herself through college! I could barely handle getting my driver's license at age 16!

7 (obscure) Things About ME!
I share everything, so I can never remember what I've already told you (so chalk it up to my 'oldtimers' if this is old news), but here goes...hmmm....maybe more negative things or things you'd hate about me....

  1. Here's one that Libby and I have in common...I'm not afraid of tools, I love learning new things, and I love home improvement projects. I've tiled floors and backsplashes, mudded and painted walls, designed and help build decks and was architect for our current home...I even built our pond/waterfall out back...but I don't think I've shared that I can't hammer a nail in straight to save my life (I have a black nail right now from trying to nail one of DD's room projects recently) . We have a and my 'almost OCD' precisely measure and mark where the nails need to go and DH does the rest.

  2. I need to be nominated for that show "Worst Cooks in America" (yes, I've shared with you my 'creative' cooking endeavours)...I thought it was a new show as I just saw a commercial for it, so it shocked me to find out that it's not new and no one in my family has turned me in...yet. My confession is that I've never once watched the Food Network...maybe that explains my lack of skills.

  3. Yes, you know I'm afraid of the dark...and I lock the bedroom doors when DH isn't home (the kids are on their own when the Boogie Man comes to get us all)...but did I share that I can't get to sleep when he's away?...I'm usually up until midnight...I'm not sure if it's because I'm such a chicken liver or because I miss his snoring LOL.

  4. I generally don't like reality shows unless it's showing a talent (like 'Idol'), but my guilty pleasure is the 'Real Housewives' shows...always makes me feel better about myself (sad, I know) and reinforces that money, and I'm sorry to let you getting-skinny gals down, but even thinness, doesn't buy happiness (chocolate is the answer).

  5. I suck at's like learning a foreign language for me. I was the one who had to memorize every Algebra formula and never knew which one to use when...never got it. My kids are math whizzes...DS2 just announced yesterday that he got the highest grade on the math midterm out of the whole 9th grade. They don't get it from me...they never even bothered asking me to check their math homework (but I'm a whiz at'd never know that from my '' sentence structure, would you)? I aced Geometry though...makes total sense for an artistic person.

  6. I can still do a headstand...well, now against a wall or with someone spotting me, but even at my heaviest I pulled this out about once every year or so for the kiddos...and my frog stand is legendary...generally because I looked so much like a upside down, red faced, fat toad that the kids would be howling with laughter.

  7. DH and I figured out early in our marriage three things; 1. that you just need to give up trying to understand what other people spend their money on (I'm know others think we're completely nuts too with all the things we like to collect), and 2. be careful who you go on vacation with and make sure they have the same vacation plans that you do (or they don't mind if you do your own thing from time to one sis and I work this out well, as my kids love museums and hers don't...others we've been on vacation with have to do everything together and only if we agree on each thing.). I would drive most of you nuts on vacation as most of our vacations are go, go, go and we like to see local things...I don't get traveling a far distance and paying a bunch of money to sit by a hotel pool ALL day on vacation...I can do that near home (or maybe it's because I just burn LOL). Now, I can relax if it's just a beach vacation (love the ocean), but even then I can't spend more than 1/2 a day on the beach...and I'm multitasking (listening to a book on tape while doing needlework, or building a sand monster...or if you're there with me...drinking and chatting!). And 3. that as long as DH and I agree on these previous two that's all that matters.

15 bloggers I love or have recently discovered:
I'm breaking the rules...I've been a terrible blogger lately and I haven't updated my 'following' list in awhile. So I'll use this opportunity to ask you to let me know if you're following me and I'm not following you...just leave me a link to your blog here in comments and I'll remedy that...and you've just earned yourself the award...grab it and post! Thanks!

Friday, January 28, 2011

1/28/11 Simple Addition


(Snowblower Virgin)

Can someone please tell me if it's even possible to use one of these without it all blowing back into your face?

(Teething Kitten...I thought only puppies chewed shoes)

(Asparagus Fern)
(What greets me every morning)
My plants will all be bald soon.


'The Fill that Wasn't' (or 'Goal Limbo Revisited'):

Apparently the doc's my hospital were getting to take over the practice have been changed before they arrived. They called to cancel my long awaited fill appointment and promised they would call me with new availability very soon (they mentioned a few days)...

...that was three weeks ago...

...still holding onto (by my fingernails...make that my LB) 160-165...


Have I mentioned lately how important the Sweet Spot is?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1/18/11 Three New Bedrooms

As expected DH and I spent a few hours Saturday morning and then 5 hours on Sunday finishing up the installs down at DD's new apartment. She's got a few boxes left to unpack, but we're finally done. I forgot to take pictures of the living area downstairs, but here's her new attic bedroom.

The stairs up are on the other side of this half wall (we put a sound reducing curtain at the bottom for a 'door'). Lots of low 'knee wall' ceiling space in her room and not a lot of it where you can stand up, so figuring out furniture wasn't easy (and I can't tell you how many times my 6'4" DH hit his head). Here's the newly repainted and recovered chair, dresser (you can only stand by the dresser before the slope begins) and bookcase (and we added a board between for a computer desk).

The rest of the tour continues counter-clockwise. Here's the top of the stairs on the far right (crap to go home at the top of it), bins and cupboards and closet door. This is her old desk and she bought a mirror that fit perfectly, so we painted it all plus a chair and now it's her vanity (full bath door to left of it and here's one of the newly beaded lampshades).

Here's the tall dresser (she can just stand in front of it) and a peek at the metal and ceramic new white knobs we bought for all the old furniture. We forgot the curtain rod that will cover this furnace closet I guess we're not quite done LOL.

Continuing counter-clockwise is the bed in the main sloped area, with the new bedding and tufted headboard...

...and here's the bench we recovered with the baskets underneath.
Here's one of the two old couches we gave her...with a slipcover and the new pillows. The ceiling gets so low we had to pull the couch out about 10" or you couldn't sit on it...leaving a weird gap behind the I put a long shelf on the wall (extra storage under the shelf and a pic gallery on top).
And here's the last look of the dormer window.
And back at home DS2 was off school yesterday so we spent the afternoon figuring out and making covers for the kitten beds we bought (he picked 'Beatles' fabric, and I picked 'PSU' for DS1's cat).
What's that sticking out you ask? Why these aren't just kitten beds anymore...
We made them with a pocket so they're a whole kitten bedroom!
So there are my THREE redecorated new bedrooms...DONE!

Friday, January 14, 2011

1/14/11 Two Men and a Truck (well, more like a minivan...and a car...and one woman)

Sorry I've been MIA...I feel like I've been spinning around since before Thanksgiving! Forgive me, but I seriously haven't even been on email for weeks now...just too busy trying to get things done.

It was the move(s) that never ended...and the 'punch list' still isn't done.

DS1's move (went back to school last Friday).

  • Moved the former occupant, who wasn't there, out (well, not him, his things).
  • Moved DS1's things from upstairs down.<>
  • Found bedbugs in the new room (only dead ones, but bombed the room anyway...yes, I've been boiling everything in his room at home, I'm so creeped out thinking we'll get these here!).

DD's move

Well perhaps I should explain first that this became much more than just a move.

She decided that she wanted to redo her bedroom at the same time. After looking at some furniture, she decided to wait to buy new things until she's a little older, knows what she really wants, and is in a bigger place (a wise decision I thought). Her bedroom in the apartment is attic space, so it's got lots of knee walls and you can only stand up in less then half the floor space, so it took some thought to lay it all out. She took us up on the offer of taking her old bedroom furniture (just painted white plain stuff she's had since she was little) as well as two old couches and some other pieces...and you know what that means?!!...redecorating and refurbishing work for me! It was fun to get to teach her to do a few of these things...she helped me with some of the painting and recovering the furniture, and I know she appreciates it all the more now that she's worked on it. She hadn't had new bedding in 10 years and she decided she needed something more she picked a pale blue and dark brown theme (with a splash of lime green for the 'pop'). We also bought her a bunch of new stuff she needed for the place.

  • First, I can't even tell you how many hours we've spent shopping lately for things she needed...let's just take one item...the brown paint for her furniture. Now I'm VERY picky when it comes to paint colors. Yes, I've been known to repaint my Dining room three times in three days...finally mixing my own paint (it's the curse of a former art teacher that we're picky about paint), but my DD takes the cake (sorry Dear, love you, but you do...and that 'momism' I coined...'Life is about Choices and results or consequences' should have included something more about making the actual choice...quickly). I would have taken in the brown fabric from her bed and had them just match it...but she didn't want 'matchy-matchy', but more of a wood tone. Over an hour at the hardware store...we looked at every color of brown...then we took sample cards to the blind section to compare them to the wooden blinds to compare tones...then to the kitchen section to compare them to the wood cabinet colors...then next to the entrance doors, where a nice sales lady wanted to know if we needed to get out (I seriously had to bite my tongue from screaming 'YES!!! Let me outta here!')...nope, 'Thanks, we're just looking at paint cards in natural light.'...but we walked out with a gallon of brown, which is more than I can say for the fabric store where we spent over an hour and walked out DH was along for the fabric store trip, which made it extra fun as he was about to lose it looking at fabric swatches and kept saying 'Why am I here?'). All is good though as we found some shower curtains and curtain panels she liked that we used to make everything.

  • Primed and painted (most items got 4 coats, so it was many days of painting): 2 dressers, bedside table, desk, desk legs, vanity, 2 side chairs, 2 dining chairs, bookcase, and a vanity mirror. I replaced all the old wooden knobs on her bedroom furniture with new silver and wt. knobs I found.

  • After DS1 & DH took the biggest furniture down, then we spent last Saturday taking two more trips down (van and car both) with her things and all day Sunday shopping and starting the headboard and bench projects. We went back down on Monday afternoon with another van load and spent the evening installing things like curtain rods, couch slipcovers, shelves in her closet, etc.

This weeks jobs are done:

  • Recovered: 2 chair Seats, Bench (she bought an ugly bench at TJMaxx and I recovered it and added tufted buttons)

  • Made from scratch: Tufted Headboard (very comfy with 2" of foam and batting; the fabric for this and the bench were two fabric shower curtains)

  • Sewed: Bolster for bed (it was just a DKNY regular pillow sham we found and I converted), 4 couch pillows (from the leftover fabric), and 2 curtains

  • Added: Beaded trim to two lampshades and (get your mind out of the gutter) made two switch tassels with the leftovers...and scotchguarded them and everything else.

  • Found her some baskets for under the bench and covered the bottoms so they'll slide on the carpet.

Yesterday and today I finished my sewing and recovering projects for her, in between clearing the 6" of more snow we just got...I wish I'd had DS2 (school closed) take a pic of me when I came in from using the snowblower (first time I've cleared the driveway on my own). I looked like the abominable snowman...white head to toe and I couldn't take my own gloves off they were so frozen. Will someone please tell me how to use a snowblower in the wind without it all blowing back in your face?!

DH and I are going out shopping for a few more things we need at the hardware store tonight. We've got to deliver all the finished goods to her tomorrow along with some things she still has here and we still have a huge list of things we need to install with her, so I'm predicting another weekend of 'moving'. I'm just hoping we'll be done after that!

Here's what makes it all worth it...I received this email from her today:

Thank you so much for all the help last week!! I appreciate it!! I know my little room renovations cost more than expected, please take the Jo Ann's receipt from my account.

I love you!!! :)

Dear Daughter

No, we're not going to charge her, but I'm glad that she appreciates how much we've done and how much it costs even to do-it-yourself (she was shocked that just the foam for the headboard was over $80). We're so proud of her and are happy to help her get a start in her first 'official' new place.

Now...I've got her old bedroom and a study that are about empty of furniture here at home...time for some more decorating...but I'm way too exhausted to even think about it right now!

Oh, and the kittens have been to the vet every week now...they both got sicker with a respiratory infection (lots of sneezing), and then in addition to all the worms, they found they had an intestinal parasite as lots more meds they hated (I swear the one pill was a horse-sized pill and we were all about crying trying to get pieces down their tiny throats). All is well though...had their second shot yesterday and the respiratory infection is gone, as are the worms, the ear mites, and the intestinal parasites!!! The staff was laughing as I did a happy dance on the spot (we've all got chapped and bleeding hands from washing them so much).

I'll try to remember to take some pics of her room tomorrow....hopefully things will finally slow down again next week so I can dig out the mess my house is in LOL (yikes, my youngest sister's family arrives next weekend!)!

Be back soon...lots to discuss on my 'fill that wasn't' and some of my maintenance moments...hope you're all doing well!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

1/3/11 Happy 2011!

I'm taking a breather here...things have been crazier than normal...or is there a 'normal' here anymore LOL?
  • DH took the whole week off last week and it was a busy one. We spent time with the kids after my new Wii 'Pictionary' game Santa brought me...drawing on a smart board levels the playing field for DH who can't draw a straight line to save himself, as I can't draw looking at the TV screen (and of course the kids are using 'colors', 'fill' and all kinds of techie things they're used to).
  • As I told you, some of my extended family decided to surprise us with a post-Christmas visit for a few days (not a complete surprise as they told us on Christmas). My parents, middle sis and her youngest son came and we had a wonderful was great to have family here and to celebrate the holidays!
  • After they left, we started getting Christmas (decorations) down and it's almost all packed away, except for one small pile that I need to finish this morning (it's always so depressing to take it down, isn't it?). We had to get things down quickly as the kittens were given the 'all clear' (from the fleas) by the Vet (doing much better, gaining weight and got their first shots) and the boys are anxious to let them roam out of their quarantine area in the kitchen/laundry. We found that they love to snuggle in the laps of the boys while they're playing video games (very handy)...they also love eggnog (no, not the spiked kind).
  • We spent a fun New Year's Eve at a neighbor's party...this year went so fast!
  • DS1 decided to go back to school this Friday instead of Sunday so he can beat the crowd coming back to the Frat house and get his room moved first (they switch rooms every semester). Apparently the first ones back get to start the chain and move out the former resident's stuff (aka; dump their stuff in a pile somewhere near their new room) and he didn't want his stuff to get moved by someone else. He's in a single this semester and he's really looking forward to getting out the 'party room' so he can actually get some sleep and some quiet as he was practically living at the library last semester. I'm working this week on getting his stuff ready to go back and new food/toiletries re-bought...Oh, and he just announced that his new room is about the size of a closet, has a loft bed, and has no heat in it (remind me, what are we paying for?)...he now needs a space heater (not sure if that will work out with a kitten in the room)...needless to say, I'm loving this Frat house more each day.
  • DS1 had my extended family in stitches recounting the Frat house the day two of his (drunken) 'brothers' decided to place a 'time capsule' under the floor in his 'party room' and he walked in unaware and fell through the still gaping hole in the floor and ended up with one leg through the ceiling of the room below...and I also found out that the room below had an infestation of bed bugs that the 'brothers' took care of themselves with some plastic tenting and some bed bug bombs they set off (I'm thinking this would have been good information to get BEFORE we brought his stuff home for the break...yes, I'm totally creeped out and I'll be checking his bedroom, and all of ours, thoroughly when he goes back)...or the tale of the 'squirrel' they call Chippy (they've never seen it...and I'm not convinced it's not a rat or a bat) that lives in the ceiling above the room he's moving to...and the story of the bat that they chased around with a broom in his current room. I'm going to have to delouse him, his stuff, and the poor kitten whenever he comes home (and I was worried about the kitten giving him fleas!)...I'll need to buy my own plastic tenting and maybe some nuclear bug bombs to scrub them down.
  • Since DS1 isn't going to be here next weekend and we needed his muscles to help, we spent this weekend tearing down DD's room and moving her big items to the new apartment downtown (she's so excited about getting a place). They have the 2nd (bedroom, bath, kitchen, living) and 3rd (attic bedroom and full bathroom) floor apartment of an old townhouse. She pulled straws with her roommate for bedrooms and of course she got the attic one (yay, more stairs for us to climb with her stuff). I did her apartment/furniture layout on my architect software one night to figure out where things fit...her room is big, but lots of knee walls and unusable sloped ceiling space. We took two trips down yesterday with the van and her car and got most of the big stuff moved (including a sleeper sofa, reg. sofa, full bed, lots of tables, etc.)...thank goodness she had a guy friend downtown that helped our DS's, so DH didn't have to kill his back getting those sofa's up all those stairs. I spent a lot of time with her at the stores this week looking for things she needs and we have been sanding/painting her old bedroom two dressers and a bookcase dark brown (was white)...second coat goes on today (picking out a paint color was a whole story, and over an hour at the hardware store, in girl can't make a quick decision).

So I hope you all had a more restful week and don't worry if you don't hear from me...I'm looking at another whirlwind week; DS2 is back at HS today, Christmas to finish putting away, furniture to paint, DD's stuff to pack (OMG there's so much left to move), DS1's stuff to pack- taking DS1 back to college Friday, and we move the rest of DD's stuff to her apartment next weekend and get her unpacked and settled in all weekend. Oh, and my brother finally found another car to replace DH's, so we've got to get that picked up in Cols. some where in there.

No worries...We'll be down to one kid at home next week and I'll be crying about how quiet things are and how much I miss them and all the activity! Happy New Year all!

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