Friday, June 26, 2009

busy day

I got up this morning when my alarm went off, shut it off, and jumped back into bed! I didn't get up until 9:30 am. Wow, did that feel good. Especially when I didn't get to bed until almost 2:00 am. I stayed up watching Michael Jackson videos on youTube.

But I spent the better part of today messing around with the IKEA room planner software figuring out what I'm going to need in my kitchen. I know, I know...that doesn't get any walls ready to paint. It's like whistling Dixie. It passes the time.

But it's so cool, because you can rearrange the room however you like, and then look at a 3-D view of the room the way you put it. You measure your room, add in the windows and doors, and then pick out your furniture.

And then I "checked out" to see what I would need to buy to put the kitchen together: $4,235.92. That's with almost the most expensive cabinet fronts. Is that an average price for kitchen cabinets, I wonder?

But if you want to work with what you already have, you can use the Better Homes & Gardens Arrange-A-Room site. You can customize the room and then save your room so you can go back to it later. Fun toys!

But my honey did make some good progress on the wall. He is a bit of a perfectionist, and the walls are going to be beautiful! I can see them done in my mind! In color!

There are a lot of virtual sites online where you can try out paint colors to see what a whole room would look like painted in your colors. I like the Pittsburgh Paints Voice of Color page, where they ask you a bunch of questions...almost like a personality test or something. Then they come up with a top choice and a second choice of color families for you.

It was pretty close! My top choice was al fresco, and the second one was almonds & honey.

I started putting pages in my dream book. It seems like so much busy work and I feel as if I'm not getting any real work done. But I have to visualize it before I can do it, and this helps me put my thoughts in order, and nail down what I want to do.

Once I figure it out, I can put it all in one place so I can review it and learn it, so I can plan the project. Otherwise it all stays in my mind in the realm of possibilities like a constantly shifting landscape, and it never becomes a concrete entity.

What's that one quote? If you can perceive it, and then believe it, you can achieve it. In other words, dream on!

michael, michael, michael...



So, so many favorites from this man. Here is just one of mine:

Dangerous: Love the choreography in this one.



Michael, you will be missed.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

a busy summer ahead

We are continuing to work on the house, slowly, but surely.

The living floor is done...ready for pad and carpet, and ceramic tile by the front door. Yay!

First, though, we have to prepare, prime and paint the walls. That is going to be so fun to get done! I have about forty books on decorating and remodeling ideas out from the library. I always say that you can tell what's going on in my life by the books I have out from the library. The sad thing is that I NEVER get them all read. But I skim through and pick ideas.

The dining room floor is mostly ready. There is one spot by the wall that we had to cut out and reinforce because of water damage from many years ago.

The kitchen and back hall are waiting for us. Here's how I see them...huge ghostly shadows rearing up overhead, with claw-like hands reaching for our money! "Come fiiiixxxx us," they whisper. "Don't worry. It'll be fiiiiinnne." I'm very afraid!

My honey agrees that it's time for some serious clutter pitching. Yes!! Someone to prod me when I want to procrastinate. Seize the day!

I'm starting a dream book, an idea binder where I can save pictures of what I think I want my house to look like when we are done, storage ideas, decorating ideas, paint color swatches, etc. I think it will help make it more real.

We've put so many years into raising the kids, and when something broke in the house, if we didn't have the money, we just made do without it if we could. But there comes a time when you have to pay the piper. I think this is it. :)

I know next to nothing about construction and painting and flooring and such. But I can learn!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

x-man makes me laugh!

Xavier is such a card. He thinks you can smell his stinky feet through the phone! LOL. It's so funny to hear the next thing he comes up with...almost on a daily basis.

Here is his latest "cheesie" for my picture gallery:


The boots keep his feet from getting wet while he's sleeping, I guess. :-)

Monday, June 22, 2009

noise, noise, noise

Yesterday for Father's Day, my honey wanted to grill ribs in his handy-dandy grill. Frosty, Cindy, Pearl and John came over with their families/others, and all the kids came along. Wowza!

I think the top of the house was probably bulging, ready to explode from all the energy building up inside. Those kids were playing like they had been cooped up in school all day...running and jumping, screaming and wrestling...oh, my!

I had to go hide out in the other room for a break. :) I've come to the conclusion that I am just not a crowd person, no matter who it is. I'd rather be someplace quiet, reading a good book. It makes it hard to be social for long periods at a time. It's the introvert in me.

But it was still a fun day, even though I was so tired at the end of the day that I just fell into bed and crashed.

Monday, June 15, 2009

a good cause!

Maggie Doyne is one of my heroes. My friend Karen has been sending us all off to vote for Maggie in the contest sponsored by DoSomething.Org.

Maggie is the awesome 22-year-old woman who started the Kopila Valley Children's Home in Nepal because she couldn't bear to NOT do something for these children. Here she tells about her journey.



I am still so amazed by her. At 22, I was a mess. I was a young mom who didn't know beans. Maggie? Amazing.

She has a heart for these kids...they live with her in this home in Nepal. She has volunteers from the community who come in and help her with the children, and you can read about them on her blog.

She started a foundation to help support them. She has had an ambitious dream of creating a free open primary school and community center. And now, thanks to everyone who showed up and voted for her, she can! She was the winner of the "Do Something" contest, and now she has $100,000 to put towards the projects of her heart.

Take a little time to go and read about her on her blog and the BlinkNow Foundation website. I think you'll fall in love with all of them just as I did.

And now, Karen is giving away beautiful necklaces to everyone who voted and came back to comment on her blog. Thanks, Karen, for sharing them with us, and thank you so much for your generous gift to your bloggy visitors. This is one of the reasons I love being a part of the blogoverse! How else could this all happen??

Sunday, June 14, 2009

feels like summer today

Today it finally feels like summer. It's about 82°, sunny, and the house is still. It reminds me of summer when I was a kid. I was the youngest, and my summer days were spent doing pretty much anything I wanted to, within reason. Well, anything I wanted to do that I could get to on my own. If I could walk or ride my bike there, I could generally just go.

We lived in Boulder, CO, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, so I could take a twenty-minute hike and be up in the mountains. It was awesome. I still miss the mountains.

This has been a fairly mild spring and summer so far in MN. It's the first day I've really wished the air conditioners were in. It still gets cool at night, though, so the house cools down. On the flip side, it is saving a ton of money in electric bills. The last few years by this time, the heat was unbearable. Of course, hot flashes don't help, either! They can make it feel like it's 90° when it's ten below outside. LOL.

Let's see...what else is happening? Erica just turned 17!! Unbelievable. I think she's way smarter than I was at 17. I was a little naive.

The kids are growing up and moving out at a record pace.

I've been thinking about weddings lately--we have three weddings within the next year and a half. I don't think I have this nest-emptying-out thing down very well yet.

When I was in the stage of having babies, I knew what to expect each time we were having another one. I knew the drill, and had it fairly down pat.

Now as they're going the other direction, there's less to do and more time to think about it. And I'm discovering that much of the meaning in my life is wrapped up in my children. That has been my life for the last thirty years.

I know it can't stay the same, and I don't think I'd want it to because I am too stinkin' tired to keep up that pace! But I don't know so much anymore what to expect as far as how I feel about it. It changes from day to day.

But I know there's going to be a balance. The ebb and the flow--they complement each other, balance each other out. When you empty things out of one part of your life, it leaves room for other things. I'm looking forward to what those things might be.

But right now, I just want to enjoy the day--what's left of it. A little cleaning, a little sorting, a little cooking on the grill--some burgers and hotdogs, and maybe updating the music on my iPod for next week at work. A lovely not-much-going-on Minnesota summer day.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

wish i were there...

I'd love to be out somewhere and see it when something like this happens.



The part I love is when the surprise breaks through the cynicism, and the smiles appear!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

out of all the things I've lost...

...the thing I miss most is my mind!

The mystery flower from my last post is:



Sweet woodruff!! How could I not remember that one?

Ah, well. On to the next misadventure. I have been wanting a nice ceramic utensil holder for my kitchen counter. I only have a few drawers in my tiny kitchen, so the utensils usually end up in a Tupperware container or something on the counter. I wash them and put them in there to dry, and they sit there until I need them again. But the container is always tipping over, and the utensils go everywhere. So I needed something to hold them.

Also, a while back I bought those little plastic buckets with holes in them for the spoons, forks, and knives. You know the ones that the school cafeterias use to send the silverware through the dishwasher. Yeah, the ugly ones. Well, they work great to hold them on the dish draining counter, but they tip over, too. I wanted a holder for them of some kind.

I'm too cheap to buy this stuff new, and I can never find exactly what I want anyway. I was cleaning and doing a bit of rearranging in the kitchen yesterday and decided I absolutely had to have something to put those utensils in. So I went on a hunt to the Salvation Army store and the Goodwill store in town. I spent a few hours searching, but I found what I wanted and then some. I haven't done that for so long I can't even remember! It was so relaxing. So much fun.

Here is the silverware cup holder I found. It's perfect--like it was made for them. $2.



Here are the crocks that I found to hold utensils. All three together? $1.25.



And then I found a few other goodies. I have this Presto salad shooter that I've used forever. I love the thing for shredded cheese, slicing potatoes, shredding carrots, and slicing onions. I've had it for fifteen years, I swear. But now some of the pieces are cracking. I've hated to see it fall apart. Yesterday, I found one for $4 that hardly looks used. Yippee!! (Ah...can you tell how cheap I am if I tell you I only spent a few bucks at a garage sale on the first one?)



Also, I've wanted one of those fancy cheese shredders for the longest time. One of the ones that they use at the Italian restaurants when you want cheese grated onto your salad? I love that little touch, but I just never wanted to spend the money on it to buy one of them new. Yeah. I found one for $3.



And finally, I found a Tupperware Jel-Ring mold. I lost mine somewhere. You know the one they've sold forever...you pour your jello into it, seal it up, and it forms into a ring. Then you can flip it out onto a serving plate all fancy-like. Or you can make an ice ring for a punch bowl with it. Or you could press your chicken ring noodle pasta salad into it and let it chill. Very fancy schmancy. I got it for $2.

All the pleasure I had hunting them down? Priceless. (You knew that line was coming somewhere, huh. LOL)

Anyway, the last time I made the Pretzel Jello recipe that Diane always asks for, I wanted to use my Jel-Ring container and make it in there. You make the jello and pour it in. Then you top it with a Cool Whip/cream cheese mixture. Then you add crushed pretzels that have been baked with butter and sugar. It's so pretty! Yumm-o.

But anyway, I couldn't find my jello mold anywhere. I was having a fit, an absolute foot-stomping fit! It didn't help, *duh*, cuz it never showed up.

Well, I found one of those at the Goodwill store! I was pretty tickled about that. And I got it home, and I started thinking. The color was kind of a unique color. It's white with dark blue speckles on it. Tupperware only sold it for a limited time. And it is the same color as the one I used to have...hmmmm. Are you following my drift?

I think, in fact, I'm positively certain, that I donated my old one to the Goodwill when I was on a massive clean-the-kitchen rampage. And I'm also pretty darn sure that I bought my own Jel-Ring mold back from the Goodwill yesterday!!! I think I'm going to throw a welcome home party for it 'cause that's how tickled I am to have it back!



Roll your eyes, kids. This is what you have to look forward to when you get old like me!

Go ahead. Have a good laugh! I already did!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

plant gurus: i need help!

I love spring and early summer. All of our lovely flowers spring up and grace us with their presence for a few short months again. It's like a plant family reunion. But sometimes, I forget their names. I know, I know. What kind of a family is that that forgets your name?!

Well, there's just so many things that can fit into my overcrowded brain, and this one must have gotten pushed out the back door.

So we planted this in the north garden a few years back. It's so pretty. Each set of leaves sprouts out from one place--there are about seven in each group. The tiny white flowers are only there in the early summer.

It's not life-or-death...it's just crazy-making. I want to know what it is! Help! (You can click on the picture for a little closer shot of it.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

wacky web wednesday 6-3-09

I thought about writing something profound and philosophical on this, the anniversary of my first wedding, but it seemed more appropriate to post something for wacky web Wednesday. Being as I don't celebrate this day any more, and all. :)



How sweet...