Friday, April 28, 2006

One of the small pleasures of going through old boxes of pictures

I found this story that mom and I wrote when we were in Cuba, bored one day while hanging out in the hospital....I will put Mom's sections in italics and mine in plainface so you can see where we switched off....we had lots of fun doing this, and it really cracked me up reading it again!!

Once upon a time, there was a person who went to Cuba to a hospital. Her name was Bonnie. One day, she met a nurse who took her and a daughter to a disco. They had a lot of fun at the disco until a freak wave came and washed the bandstand away just when Alyca started to run off after Bonnie, who was being romanced by a gorgeous Cuban man.
The Cuban's name was Thomas, who was here on a release from a prison in Venezuela. His crime had been only shaving his armpits in a restaurant. This is forbidden in his country, because of numerous hairs having been found in soups and salads. Thomas disliked the bushy hair, so he defied the law and removed the massive tufts of black hair from under his rippling, muscled armpits.
So on the day of his realease, he found a one way ticket to Cuba. Thomas was really into that communism thing. But when the huge wave washed him and Bonnie out to sea with only a barstool to cling to, he held onto Bonnie, praying that she had her Gerber knife to tighten the screws on the barstool. Being forever industrious, Bonnie did indeed have her Gerber knife, so she removed the screws and reassembled the stool into a self inflating loungechair-complete with a can holder to hold her forever needed Dr. Pepper. Several cans of this precious liquid had washed out along with the barstool. Of course, Bonnie's addiction did not allow for her to share her Dr. Pepper, so Thomas, dehydrated after days at sea said his farewell to Bonnie and clung hopelessly to the empty cans of Dr. Pepper of which Bonnie generously offered to him. He managed to float for a few hours, but eventually sunk to the ocean floor, where he was eaten by stranded scuba divers.
Bonnie remained on her lounge chair, floating towards Alaska, of which she wanted to say hello to her friend Joyce. But when she finally arrived in Alaska, Joyce was not home. Bonnie, cold as usual, used her Gerber knife to chop up several sharks for blankets and earmuffs. She attracted the sharks by dangling little bits of Thomas over the side of the louhgechair.
As time went by, Bonnie drifted over to Hawaii to spend a few days on the sandy beaches She met up with her old friend, Irene. They decided to go out and dance up a storm at the PCC (Polynesian Cultural Center) While at the PCC, Binnie suddenly remembered her beloved daughter, Alyca, who had been with her at the disco in Cuba. She decided to put a note in a bottle and float it out to sea, to find out if Alyca had drowned or not.
Fortunately Alyca had received her bottle and was in the process of sending a message via carrier pigeon to let everyone know she was okay. She really appreciated her mothers thoughtfulness in wondering whether or not she was alive during her trip around the world in a loungechair. Alyca was floating around the Caribbean on a nest of coconuts. She was really comfortable as she was not alone. She had Thomas's mangled body parts with her. The way they moved as the coconuts bobbed up and down made the mangled parts look almost lifelike, except for the bug chunks of flesh missing.
Looking closely at a piece of driftwood she had found witht he body parts, Alyca was shocked to see that Thomas had written some words on it with a piece of a Dr. Pepper can. The words read: If Bonnie Cooper ever reads this tell her I love her anyway, even if she prefers Dr Pepper over me.
Alyca decided that this cryptic message meant that her mother had killed Thomas rather than give up her Dr Pepper obsession. She decided that she must stop her mother's addiction before it killed another innocent person. So Alyca paddled over to Hawaii, where she found Bonnie sipping a Dr. Pepper while visiting with her friend Irene. Alyca immediately contacted the local authorities, and had Bonnie committed to a detoxification institution. Alyca felt that this was the only way she could help Bonnie kick the habit.
Bonnie resisted going by using her Gerber knife to remove the screws in the ambulance on which she was to arrive there, taking the door off its hinges and leaping from the moving vehicle onto soft sand at a nearby beach. Using her Gerber knife again, she built a luxury jet out of coconut shells, using techniques she had learned from McGyver on TV. She then flew to Crane, Oregon and landed ona hastily built runway Jobie and Sabrina had made when Bonnie radioed them from her jet that she was coming. Jobie and Sabrina, of course, complained the entier time they were making the runway.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Added a couple pics this morning. I still haven't looked through all of them, but I have played with a couple. I am supposed to be finishing up the scraproom, but I can't bring myself to do it yet. Yesterday, Ethan did all the upstairs trim (we just need to do the entry door and entry trim), and I applied a clear varnish/wood protector to the scraproom wood and the two wood banister thingies that we sanded down and restained to match the trim. That stuff is awful!! Before I started, we opened EVERY window in the house and the garage door. It didn't has been almost 16 hours since I did it, and the house still smells STRONGLY of that stuff. A sickly sweet smell that is horrible and makes your eyes water. I went until the little can was empty--got both banisters and the West wall of the scraproom, and did not buy any more. I am going back to Home Depot to see if they have any versions without the cloying smell. If not, I may wait a week or two before doing it again. Seriously--it is AWFUL. I was concerned that the cats might actually be dead this morning when I opened up the bedroom door. They weren't, but they are not too happy about the smell, I am sure......
I do have to say that the areas in the scraproom that are coated do look quite nice. It really helps bring out the color and variations within the wood.

Miss Morgan Paige

Payton Jayne

Soft Payton

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sneak preview of Sabrina's pregnancy pictures...I still have not seen most of them!! Been too busy here and the computer SUCKS so I have not been able to get them uploaded. I promise I am going to get on top of these!!!

Color version

Finally, some pictures for you guys of the scraproom in progress. I am still working on it, and will finish it on Wednesday most likely.Mom making some fine cuts to the board that covers the light switch. She made it so the switches come out through this board. Very fancy.

More work on the light switch board

Sitting on the desk adding more screws to the South wall shelves

Putting more support on the legs for the desk

Adding more screws to the shelves.....we used over 250 screws!!

Mom working on the South wall shelves, standing on top of the desk

Getting close! This is the west wall with some of the trim up. I am loving the staple gun!! (the trim is stained darker, the raw wood is the lighter unfinished shelves) Look at all those cubbies! The wood on the bottom that you can see is actually the desk, and there are also some shelves below there for big things like totes full of fabric. On the left of this picture is a row of deep shelves, the bottom one will be a space for the sewing machine to slide into for easy access, but still out of my way. I will put up finished pictures when I am actually finished!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

So, the condo sold yesterday ( a big woo-hoo, please...), and today we woke up to find an extra hundred thousand dollars in our bank account (not extra, it was what we expected, but it wasn't there yesterday!), so we did a happy dance, and promptly sent 13k over to pay off the credit card, and the rest will be over paying off our loan shortly. Yippee!

I spent this week AWAY from home, both in Redmond and back here in Seattle. It really didn't feel like MY house when mom was up here doing some woodworking for me. It was a disaster area! Sawdust EVERYWHERE, cats locked up all least the weather was nice. It was really sunny on Wednesday, slightly less on Thursday, and a little rainy Friday morning, but beautiful that afternoon.

Mom made me a scrapbook room with oodles and oodles of shelves and cubbies. I still need to get out the staple gun and install the trim on the edges of the shelves, and put some clear varnish over the whole thing, and buy a sheet of plexiglass to go on the desk. I can put pictures under it for a changeable decorative desk. Very fancy. Still a disaster area at the moment, but it will look really good once I am done. Ethan started on the trim upstairs while mom finished up the scraproom, and we had sawdust EVERYWHERE. I sanded off our banister/half wall thingy behind the couch. It is about 10 inches wide and maybe 15 feet long. We are going to stain it to match the trim. The trim color is PERFECT. We will look SO snazzy once it is done. Really brings the room together. We need to get some furniture to finish it off, and be done. We need some sort of endtables, a rug and some sort of decorative something to put on our tall skinny wall (it is around 5 or 6 feet wide and up to the rafters). It looks really blank right now. Maybe one of those desk things that are shaped like a half circle, flat against the wall. The kind of thing you see in entry ways. Something. Not too big, we don't want to block the flow of traffic through that area, but it looks so sad right now.

Lots o construction in the casa de Amerson. I planted my hydrangea buddy, Heidy, in a huge decorative pot kindly left by the previous residents. She lives out on the big slab of rock that is just below one corner of our huge deck. My little Patty the periwinkle now lives in the 18 inch wide planting area that runs right between the house and the deck, all along the length of the deck. I also planted some calla lilies (bluish purple color), and some begonias (I don't remember which color). They don't have names yet, since they are just bulbs and I am not quite convinced that they will actually grow, but they will be probably Betty the begonia and Carol the cala lilly.....but I am open to suggestions. I planted another cala lily (same color), in a square wooden planting box next to the steps from the deck down to the lawn. There are also some plants left by the previous owner in a rock garden area. They are Herbert, one of my Hosta twins (his twin Harry lives under the front steps), and two different varieties of ferns that I didn't bother identifying, and therefore did not name.
In addition to Harry, I also have a big pot by the front steps that I put a bulb in, but I don't remember if it was a cala lily bulb or a begonia.....and I threw some impatiens seeds on the top (I had extra), but they will most likely not grow, since they need more tender care when they are little. I am growing a whole flock of beautiful blue-purple-silverish impatiens, and some random color ones too. I am not sure where they will live, but they are currently in my bathroom in a cool seed tray. They are all growing! They were just teeny seeds, now the biggest ones are these frail little stalks about an inch or so tall with two teeny leaves. In a couple more weeks, I will take them outside for some visits there to get accustomed to the weather out there.
The previous owners left us lots of stuff. There are some green onions growing in the square planting box with my cala lily (un-named), and TONS of gardening stuff. I have a weed killer (looks like a long screwdriver with a forked end, PERFECT for stabbing weeds and killing them), a couple of those three tong ground scraping things, several bags of potting soil, lots of different fertilizers, variety of pots for flowers and plants, lawn fixer (need to use spread it on bare areas and it fixes it...we have a couple of not so good areas out front), and other stuff, too. These are all locked in a chain-link fence area under the small deck.
Out front, we have 5 rose bushes, and two more that are in big pots and need a home somewhere, I am not sure what I will do with them. There is nowhere else left!! There is a tree of unknown descent, and a bush also, with tiny purple flowers. In the back, there is also a rosemary bush (fresh herbs!), and an extremely ugly bush with yellow flowers that have huge black centers. REALLY ugly. REALLY. Terrible. Then there is a sort of sagebrushy thing, but it is small and not yet irritating me.

So. Those are the things growing around my home (at the moment--they may all just die and leave me with nothing). I also have some coleus that I am growing in my bathrom, they will live in this huge round glass pot that we will stick on our potshelves away from the cats. I need to find some more cat-friendly (ie: won't kill them when they eat it, which they WILL) to put inside. I already put some slug/snail killer around my hostas (slugs LOVE hostas) and shaded plants, and ant killer all around the house. I saw a small army of teeny tiny ants over by the roses, and I don't want them getting any ideas about coming into the house.

Okay. That is it for today. I need to head home. Hopefully Ethan got all the trim done and we will be all done with that. Doubtful. He will probably be fuming and surrounded with a bunch of messes up boards. Actually, he does a great job, just gets a bit frustrated when he makes a bad cut. But the end results look AWESOME....

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Today I mowed my lawn for the very first time

And it was long overdue. I went to Home Depot and bought an electric mower (less polluting, no gas needed, and really--our yard is TEENY), and an extension cord and mowed the front (Ethan can figure out how to get this thing down all the rocks into the even teenier back yard to do that one), and that was tons of fun. Smells nice! I also bought a bunch of seeds and some bulbs and a seedling grower and plant food. Did I mention that I have rosebushes?? There are some that are labelled. THese are the flowers I will have!!

There are a couple more bushes that arent labelled, but these will be a nice start! They are called America, Folklore and Tropicana. I also have some Hosta plants growing, one under the front steps and one under the deck out back. They are really pretty with huge wide green leaves, and will have a tall stalk of purple flowers later this year. I bought bulbs for lavender calla lilies and dark pink begonias.
It is so nice living somewhere where things grow! My black thumb is irrelevant here! These plants actually have a chance to make it!!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

In all likelihood, my husband is going to divorce me. Well, only if he reads this blog. Or checks the credit card bill online. Which he does (check the credit card, I mean). I went a little cookoo at JoAnns the other day. I got some black fleece fabric to use for photo backdrops (it was 50% off), then got some storage things for my tiny scrapbook stuff ($2 each). Those are actually really cool. There are 17 compartments in each, each one is maybe 1 1/2 inches by 1 1/2 inches by 1 1/2 inches tall, with one bigger double size compartment. Perfect for brads and beads and photo turns and metal things, and my eyelet setter fits PERFECT in the bigger compartment on one of them--so one is all eyelets, divided by color, with the eyelet setter, one is all brads and some random other things like clothespins and little hangers and fabric flowers, one is a variety of metal embellishments--plaques, photo turns, photo corners, etc, and a 4th one is all page pebbles, divided by shape and size. I have a 5th one that is currently empty and waiting for me to put things into it. So, those are cool.
THEN...I bought things to put IN these containers--eyelets, etc. All were 40% off. Damn JoAnns for having a sale!! I got one of those big stacks of 12x12 paper, they are usually I think $25, but were on sale for 9 bucks each, tons of different patterns and prints. I got lots of stuff that was on sale. I got caught up in the Spring/Easter section after that, where everything was 50% or more off. Not good. At the cash register I learned that even if everything is on sale and a good price, you can still spend a lot of money. Not so much that I put everything back, but enough that I paused before sliding my card, and wondered if they were over charging me (they weren't).

After this escapade, I went to Target and got some storage containers. I had one already, and needed a couple more. These are maybe 10 inches by 6 inches around, and each section is about 2 or 3 inches tall, and the two sections snap together on top of one another, with a nice green lid on top. I now have 3 total, for 6 sections. The inside of 3 of these sections have removable divider cups, 6 total sections in groups of three, with a removable lid. I removed the small cups and placed my paper punches in them, one punch per cup, then labeled the front of each with the shape of the punch. These all stack on top of one another, and will look very spiffy on my desk, once I HAVE a desk...The bigger containers, that I have six sections of (remember??), I put my foam stamp alphabets into, one alpha per container, and snapped them all together into one big stack. I labelled the front of each section with the name of the alphabet stored inside. I only have 3 stamp alphas right now, but I have room to grow now. See how organized I am?!?
I also bought some small glass jars, styled after those old ones that have a rubber seal at the top with an attached glass lid that seals on with this sort of funky metal attaching clippy thing. Like the ones Mom had for spaghetti or sugar or something. Very nice. I need to get more, though...they were $1 each at Michaels (did I mention that I went there too??). I am separating out my fibers/ribbons that are loose by color, all reds in one, all blues in another, etc. I will line these up on the back of my lovely desk in a lovely rainbow, where I can see them and remember what I have, so I will be more likely to actually USE them. All the storage things I bought are see-through so I can actually see what I have, and I won't forget that I have things and not use them, or buy doubles of them. Davinie gave me some storage things for 12x12 paper that are cool and very useful. I separated out my solid colored cardstock by color into some of these, and my patterned cardstock by type of pattern (stripes, flowers, swirls, etc), although now I am thinking that maybe I should separate those by color too......but a lot of them are lots of colors and I have to figure out exactly which color it belongs too and that sounds like an ordeal, so maybe I will just leave it.
I am so excited about getting my scrapbook room! I need to get going on finishing my quilt, too, and the sewing machine lives in there. AND I am going to make a couch cover with the Seahawks logo somehow, and need to do that....lots o' crafting coming my way!!

(just don't tell Ethan, because if he divorces me he gets the house and I lose my scraproom, it is all in his name.....)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Come see all the other pictures I took on my digital scrapping site!! (pics Alyca took, not Davinie....)