Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandmother!

For as long as I can remember, my Grandmother has been one of my favorite people. She's not just the mother of my mother, but she has been my friend too. I loved staying at her house when I was little. Even trips to the grocery store were fun with her. I thought she must live the most glamorous life. The car I remember best had velvety red upholstery, which must be the absolute lap of luxury. She dressed up and wore heels for her job at a bank. I had great plans to work at a bank when I grew up so that I too could dress up every day. :)

Remember how I almost failed 7th grade home ec? My Grandmother was the one to bail me out. I spent the weekend at her house making a pair of shorts to save my grade. I didn't inherit her sewing abilities, that's for sure!

As I got older, staying at Grandmother's meant that she and I would go rent a movie - sometimes it might be something that my mom wouldn't have let me watch (shhh!). It also meant getting to take a bath in Grandmother's bathtub. The jet attachment made great mounds of bubbles and she never complained that I turned the water back on several times to heat it up and revive the bubbles.

In high school, my parents put my Grandmother and I on a plane bound for northern California to see my aunt. I'm not sure who was supposed to look after who, but we had a great time. And...we both made it back!
I am lucky to have known all of my grandparents, but I feel especially lucky to have such a good friend as my Grandmother has been.
Happy birthday Grandmother! See you for lunch!

Red Meat and Clean Dishes

On Thursday, David put himself in charge of dinner. I happily relented. Soon after I got home, this beautiful meal arrived at the table. Ribeyes, baked potatoes (yes, it's there - under the cheese and butter), and green beans (you know, for color). Yum!!! It was so delicious. Just focus on that juicy steak and pay no attention to the fact that we use paper towels for napkins. Also please overlook the plastic Jimmy John's cup. :)
Also on Thursday, our new dishwasher was installed. WAHOO!!! The bottom of the new one sits further back, which left a bare bit of unfinished floor. It didn't look very good. It also seemed to be just hair narrower than the old which left small gaps on the sides. The unfinished look made me not quite as excited as I might otherwise have been. David didn't say much, but by the next day he'd stained some pieces of trim to match our cabinets. Saturday, he cut them to fit and installed a piece under the dishwasher and narrow pieces on the sides to hide the gaps. It matches amazingly well and now looks great! I sure married well, didn't I? :) Thank you David!

For the LOST Fans...

Somebody moved the island!!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Remember Madge?

Picture is from here.
No more dishpan hands! Our new dishwasher arrives tomorrow!


If this is the cheap beer, how much is the good stuff?!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wicker is the New White

I don't care much for white paint. David does, and if he had his way, our whole house would be the same color of white or off-white. That's why his office was the first thing I painted. It started as a garrish shade of red - even by my standards. It took two coats of Kilz to cover it before I painted it off-white. Despite my love of colorful walls, I realize that a neutral color in some parts of the house is probably the way to go. Eddie Bauer Wicker is my white. It's a nice warm tan version of neutral. I like it. I can work with that. I painted the wall in the picture below in Wicker several years ago to cover the most awful shade of terra cotta. I've wanted to paint the upstairs hallway that same color for a long time, but there is this wall that stops me. See, it's above that board at the top of the picture. Over the stairs. I haven't been able to figure out how to get there. I've practiced levitation, but that hasn't really panned out. So, I decided that one wall should not stop me from painting the rest of the hallway. Someone who lived here before us was quite the fan of textured walls. Very few walls escaped their plaster and trowel. Some are worse than others, but the hallways took the brunt of the abuse. Some pieces of plaster have jumped to their deaths in an attempt to escape the ugliness. I had grand visions of sanding all of that texture down when we moved in. I came to my senses. Sanding is work. And it is horribly messy. I've adjusted. Textured walls are okay, if they are painted a color I like. I can live with them.
Since you can't really tell that I did anything in the final picture, I'm throwing this one in. See how much different? It dried a little lighter, but it still isn't white.

**Aside** Love this paint brush. It has every color I've painted since we've lived here.

Wa-la. Here is part of the finished product. In the picture, it pretty much looks white. It's not - it's Wicker. I have calouses to prove it. And there used to be a chunk of plaster missing under that window. Fixed that. I've always hated that light fixture, and there's another one as well. Somehow though, it looks better on the new walls than it did the last. Maybe we'll change it someday, but for now it's okay. Me and the changing of the light fixtures is a story for another day. By we, I mean that I will pick one out. David actually does all the work. He's quite good at it and has gotten lots of practice both here and in my old house. Bet he wishes he'd never let me know that he could do that. ;)
Before you invite me to come and paint at your house, I should tell you this one thing. I am not especially good at it. At least 1/4 of the paint gets on me and surroundings instead of on the walls. Never look too closely where the ceiling meets the wall. Or at the trim around the bottom. Didn't want you to get the wrong idea! :)

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Today is my Grandma's birthday. She turns 92 today.

Grandma's one of the most resourceful people I know. I remember her saving rubber bands, twist ties, and bread bags when I was a kid. Anything that could be reused was - over and over. There was always a colorful bar of soap in the bathroom - made of bits and pieces of soaps that were too small to use by themselves.
Staying at Grandma and Grandad's house was always fun. Usually it was with my cousin Sarah and we could always find something to do. Grandma and Grandad had an RV, which was lots of fun to "live in" for the day. We were always intrigued by the upstairs of the old house, with it's big pink bathroom. There was room divider screen upstairs with drawings done by our dads and uncles and aunt many years earlier. The bedroom upstairs was one big room, but it had lots of mysterious nooks and crannies. Getting upstairs involved a flight of very shiny, polished hardwood stairs. You weren't supposed to run and you had to wear shoes or go barefoot. No socks on the stairs. I'm sure by the time my cousin and I were around, Grandma'd seen lots of bumps and bruises from kids falling on the stairs. When you stayed at Grandma and Grandad's house, you always had a bedtime snack. Sometimes we had cereal for our snack, but sometimes Grandad popped popcorn over the stove. Yes stove - not microwave.
Grandma and Grandad always set a good example for all of us. You never heard a cross word between them and we often saw them work together - in the garden, making the bed, doing the dishes. They were a team, and even though my Grandad passed away when I was 19, they still are.
Happy Birthday Grandma!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Presidents' Day

Tomorrow is Presidents' Day and I have the day off. What should I do? :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Piece of History

I love old quilts. Even if they are worn and faded. Christina and I found this red and white quilt yesterday. This color combination seems to be pretty popular and hard to come by. This particular quilt didn't have a price tag on it, so Nan at Spring Creek Antiques called the dealer and left me a message. For $11, it could be mine. The dealer had told Nan that it wasn't in very good shape. She's right I guess. It has a few holes and tears, but I still liked it. When I buy old quilts, I always wonder about the woman or women who made it. Since I can barely sew a button, I am am especially amazed by the tiny perfect stitches.

This is a quilt made by my Grandma and her mother. As you can see, it is in pretty rough shape. It wasn't just for decoration - it was really used. When my Grandma pulled it out of the closet, it had another cover sewn on. After the original quilt wore out, a cover was made so that it could still be used. Nothing goes to waste with my Grandma.

This was the first old quilt that I bought. It is also the cheapest, at $1. I bought it at an estate sale that I was at with my Dad. It didn't have a marked price, so I asked one of the ladies having the sale. She wrinkled her nose a little as if to say "who would want that old thing?" and said "A dollar." Sold! It is pretty fragile, but it's still one of my favorites.

I would love to learn how to quilt. The odds seem to be against me though. I nearly failed Home Ec in 7th grade. My teacher was mean, but I was also quite incompetent behind the sewing machine. I wouldn't have made it without my Grandmother who bailed me out by helping me sew a pair of shorts - that I never wore. Ever the glutton for punishment, I took Home Ec again in high school. Much better teacher, but by the time I finished sewing my skort, I had outgrown it. Sewing machines and I do not get along. I will just have to continue appreciating the handiwork of others.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Going Where the Weather Suits His Clothes

Since David started his job, he's been heading northeast almost every week. Every other week, he goes to Canada - Montreal and Toronto. Here's the weather for this week in Montreal.

This week, he is heading southeast. He will be in Orlando tomorrow and Miami on Tuesday. The weather that direction is looking better!

I'm glad not to worry this week about icy roads! :) See you soon David!


Poor Henny. I had noticed some black flecks where she would sit, but I didn't really associate it with anything. Then, I was petting her and noticed a live bug. Uck! We bought a flea comb and found that she was covered in those black flecks. And there were a couple more bugs. Flea combing Gracie turned up nothing. I wasn't sure that the bugs were fleas, so I trapped one under tape and stuck it to a white paper. An appointment was made for Henny. First, the crazy cat lady - that would be me - showed the vet tech the bug taped to paper. Yep. Flea. I wonder how many people can't identify a flea? She weighed Henny then left us alone in the room to wait for the vet. I started to take Henny's picture for the blog when the vet tech returned to ask a question. Sitting with my camera in hand, I tried to stutter an explanation for why I was taking pictures of my cat at the vet. She smiled and pretended to understand. I'm sure I have solidified my standing as the crazy cat lady.

Oh, and a bit of Frontline has started to clear up the buggy problem.

One Man's Trash...

is one of my favorite pastimes. One of the best ways to while away an afternoon is wandering through flea markets. It's even better with a friend to go with, so today Christina and I headed to Ozark for an afternoon of junking. I found a couple of treasures, and one that I'll run back for tomorrow.David gave me the Clabber Girl baking powder sign for Christmas several years ago. We saw it together in an antique store. He's always been really good at remember good gift ideas, but by Christmas I'd forgotten all about it. I was so surprised and I love that sign. I always think of that gift when I see other Clabber Girl stuff.

So, I was pleasantly surprised to find this little Clabber Girl booklet today. It says that it is for a "want list." Someone's name is written in pencil on the front, but the wish pages are blank. According to the advertisements in the little book, baking powder retailed for 10 cents a can. Wonder how long that has been!

I also found this cute red lamp for $5. I'm not sure it really counts as a bargain after throwing away the ugly dirty lampshade that was on it and buying a new one for $12. But, it's just the lamp I'd been looking for for the table in my office.

Thank you Christina for driving us around!

Monday, February 2, 2009

168,000 Drink Combinations

It was a Monday, through and through. On my way home, I rewarded myself with a soda. They were pretty busy, so I pushed the little red button and got involved in a story on NPR. When the speaker crackled to life, I couldn't tear myself away from the story. I stuttered and sputtered my order out and then went back to the radio. When my order arrived, it was a Diet Cherry Limeade with...VANILLA. Did I really say Limeade instead of Dr. Pepper? Apparently so! I was so surprised that I didn't send it back - especially since I think I may have ordered that! It's not awful, but it's not a combination that I'll try again anytime soon.

A Rare Moment

Henrietta's life changed forever when I brought Gracie home. For four years, she was a happy and content only cat. For two days after Gracie arrived on the scene, Henny hissed if I so much as looked at her. Since, she's forgiven me, but not Gracie. They've never exactly bonded and Henny still hisses with great regularity. So this was a Kodak moment! Touching kitty behinds!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


This was David's fortune at dinner last week. Patience is the gravel pathway behind one's house? What? Oh! Maybe they meant "ally" instead. You think?