Saturday, December 12, 2009


Just got my laptop online.  The PC is at the doctor for the next THREE WEEKS!!!  They must have to plant and grow a new one or something. 

Just got back from Boise on Tuesday.  Took Andris to the airport yesterday.  He'll be in San Antonio until next week. 

Here's the new place.  Whatever those marks are on the front lawn have since greened up. 

This place is a blank slate, empty canvas, bare bones, other things that metaphorically mean "NAKED." 

I am trying to bring some charm to the place.  That's a process...a slow one at that, mostly because I don't feel at home here. 

Here is the dining room with the ugly white hutch. 

Here is a picture of the candles that lit themselves while I ran upstairs.

And here is the area after paint. 

All pictures taken with my BlackBerry as I still have NOT found my photography equipment since the move. 

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I don't see the option to upload pics to a new blog entry from my BlackBerry. Anyone know how I can do it?

The night after...

I was able to talk my dear friend of 22 years (that makes me feel old) into coming over and keeping me company and helping me paint. She loves to paint, and I knew if I had some wine to give her, we would have some fun conversation.

Well, we were discussing how those candles might have lit themselves (they are flameless tealights that are inside votive holders that I put inside the teacups.) there was a quiet moment, then we hear a "thud" upstairs. We look at each other, look at the darkness upstairs, then back at each other. We said a prayer and asked that the Lord bless this house, and told whatever *might* be hanging around here that this is God's house and evil is not welcome.

So we turn on the light to the stairway and walk room to room. Nothing...until we get to Aya Rose's room. One of the signs came down again. This time I put some sticky tape on the back of it and propped it behind two rather large screws on the uninstalled (leaning up against the wall) bed railings for her bunk bed. It had to unstick and come up over the screws to fall on the floor. Again, no windows were open, but it was quite cold upstairs. I put the sign on the floor. I figured it might be difficult for it to fall from there.

I talked Celexsy into staying. I went upstairs and preheated both sides of the heated mattress pad. I only ever have two things on my nightstand. A glass of water and my mattress pad control. About half an hour later, I took Everett up to nurse him to sleep. Not only was my bed not warm, but the control was on the floor, practically under my bed. No one went up there (esp. Not Everett as it was dark and we were painting the wall on the first landing of the stairs.)

So I put him to sleep. A couple hours later we go up to go to bed and the ceiling fan is on in my bedroom. I only use ceiling fans when it is hot.

I couldn't sleep. She has to have complete darkness and quiet to sleep. I was watching TV hoping Law and Order SVU could lull me to sleep. She tossed and turned a little. I told her she could go n any of the other four bedrooms or go downstairs. "No, this is okay. Actually, I am too scared to go somewhere else."

Settling in in Cookie Cutter Kingdom

My computer won't boot so I am making a blogging "go" via my BlackBerry. This ought to be good and frustrating.

Andris and the girls left for Idaho on Wednesday evening. They will be heading home tomorrow morning. In the meantime, adjusting to this house has been quite the adventure. It still doesn't feel like home. Not sure if it ever will. But I will be doing my best.

We went from 1100 square feet 3 bedroom 2 bath home built in 1964. That house was an atrocity when we bought it. Calico carpet. "Charming" avacado bath tub complete with the way groovy non-skid Brady Bunch flowers. We ripped out that carpet and uncovered a gold nine in original oak hardwood 2" slat flooring. It was the first place I ever lived where I had creative freedom. I painted for the first time.

This house is only a couple years old. We are a five-minute walk from the river in a cul-de-sac. Walking in, this house is so sterile and uninviting. White walls. White carpet. White linoleum. White tile countertops. I half expected to be wiped with an alcohol pad and stuck in the arm.

My first night alone with Everett in 2400 square feet, I had such an uneasy feeling. Even Memphis, our beautiful pooch, was acting strange. When Everett and I shared a sushi dinner together at the table, Memphis sat next to my chair whining and putting her paw on me. She is NOT allowed near the supper table. It was odd.

At around 10:30-11:00 p.m., Everett was in the couch watching Shrek and he was practically asleep. I finished cleaning the kitchen and too a couple dish towels upstairs real quick and threw them in the hamper. When I got at the bottom of the stairs, I noticed a glow coming from the "ugly white hutch." (That is what Andris calls it.)

I put some dishes in there. Teacup on saucer on plate. I thought it might be kind of pretty to put tealights in the teacups and have them on once in awhile.

I was upstairs for less than a minute -- more like 20 seconds. The ugly white hutch is painted -- and old -- so of course, the doors stick. In fact, I get nervous opening them because of the glass. Three tealights we're lit on the left side. Everett was still on the couch in the other room. He is not allowed to touch the hutch. Besides, he wouldn't have had time to do that AND I would have heard the door open AND heard the dishes clinking. There was no such sound.

I freaked out. Someone had to have gotten in the house and was doing this as a measure of psychological terror. I checked all the doors and windows downstairs. All was secure. I got Everett off the couch and too him to the hutch and asked him if he turned those canes on. "No. I watching Shrek." I knew he was telling the truth. Oh, I was scared.

I went upstairs and made Memphis get on our bed. After about a minute, I heard the sound of two aluminum signs I hung in Aya Rose's room fall. I wasn't about to get up and check it out. It was too dark. I hung one sign over her window and the other on her door. No windows were open.

M'kay. Before I write more I want to see if this actually works from my phone. I also have pics to share.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oh, full days

Are so much better in so many ways than empty days, right?  Then why am I so goshdurn tahhhhrd?  Started out with sanding Eden's trunk.  Young Girls + Power Tools = Recipe for Disaster, and that's what we got.  Aya Rose went Speed Racer with the belt sander on a routered corner.  Basically took care of that.  While Andris and the girls were doing that, Everett and I were potting plants.  Still trying to figure out a way to fix that boo-boo, it was time to meet with the girls' ed advisor and turn in work samples and dig a heel into the homeschooling grind amidst all this moving tomfoolery. 

That was an adventure.  Not much with our family isn't an adventure, and we were informed that our adventure has been missed greatly.  (And will continue to be missed until after Christmas break because we're going on the road again for a couple weeks.) 

We went and looked for a new couch for the family room.  I want something very big and very cozy that we can all plop onto and bounce into.  That didn't work out.  So we went to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant for pho.  Scrumdiddilyumptios.  Got a call from a couch seller.  Will be meeting with her tomorrow.  It's red.  I hope it's everything it appears to be. 

After dinner, I dragged my girls into one of my favorite thrift stores trying to find some old trunks/suitcases to stack as a side table by the big cozy couch that I don't have.  Well, fine, 'cause I didn't find anything that'd work.  But I *did* find a goody for a fellow blogger, Jen, lead dreamer at Eden's Bouquet.  I look forward to sending it along.  It's just a little something that made me think of her.

Other than that, I will be hunting down the things that will be mine...oh yes, they will be mine...or I'll make it myself!  HA!

Almost forgot!

My wonderful husband offered to drive almost an hour to pick up this CL steal I found for Eden.

It also has pieces that connect the top to make it a canopy.

This is the bedding she chose.  We ordered for her yesterday.  Should be ready in about a week.  "A WEEK?"  "Yes, a week."  Not really my style, but not my room, either.  It's my favorite of all the others she chose and I think once we paint her desk and hope chest it's going to look fantastic.

Pretties: Check!

The pot rack went to the welder yesterday, and when he was finished, my husband took it to be powder coated.  It will be ready tomorrow.  I can't wait!!!  I got the girls' bedding (had to order Eden's.)  Barstools:  Check.  Beautiful wrought iron quilt rack:  Check.  Paint (for desk, hutch, group of vintage picture frames), hope chest.  Accordian mirror:  Check.  Plants:  Check. 

Still have plenty to do.  First on the list is to prepare for the girls' educational advisory meeting this afternoon.  We haven't been in touch since late September/October.  Still have packing to do.  And I still have to find a rug, a bigger couch, and I want to go to the thrift store and buy a bunch of old suitcases to use as endtables.  Two more days until we move!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Matt and Jess' 10th Anniversary "do-over"

Matt used to live next door to me when I was a child.  He and his bride renewed their vows at my father's house.  What a beautiful occasion.

That's my man!

Miracle baby, Payton.  Everyone who held her couldn't help but smile.

Payton with her daddy and her grandmother.

There were so many beautiful children in attendance.

Rubbing noses with Auntie Jess.

My sister feeding Everett some chocolate cake.  Good thing it matched his shirt.

This is a special filter I like to call "champaigne."  Haha

Boys, tools, and a project.

If there's one thing that my husband likes, is to have the things he often uses readily accessible, cookware being second to top on that list ;-D.  He has a massive set of top-of-the-line stainless steel waterless cookware (Kitchen Craft by Americraft) and he wants them all OUT.  I don't live in a factory, so having an assembly line and conveyor belt readily available is just not practical. 

Right now, we have a small galley kitchen.  I'd say it's only about 12'x4.5' and that includes sink, fridge, dishwasher, pantry and stove.  Not much cabinetry, much less counter space.  It's pushing it for me to leave the VitaMix out because every square inch of counter space is precious. 

So where do you think we keep our 29 pieces of cookware and their accompanying lids (That doesn't count the giant turkey pan with dome cover!)  In the cabinet, you ask?  Why, that's a good guess.  :::tosses out a Ginsu knife to the first who guessed:::  In fact, I went away for the day and came back to three wooden dowels with hooks hanging on the ceiling of my kitchen.  Those who aren't vertically challenged could easily get a concussion if they're not careful.  I'll admit, it's definitely practical to be able to see the tool I need and be able to simply reach up, grab it, and use it.  It's far better than digging in cabinets banging things around.

I do NOT want to bring that thing into the new house.  The words "sore thumb" come to mind.  He said he is more than willing to meet me in the middle so long as he is able to hang up ALL his cookware.  :::gulp:::  I Googled "DIY pot rack" and saw some really neat ideas, my favorite of which was hanging an old paneled door (preferably gridded with glass to let in recessed light) from the ceiling and installing hooks on that, but he didn't think it would go with the house.  I explained to him that that is exactly my point.  I don't want to live in a contemporary house. 

I'm raging against the cookie cutter.

I looked on Craigslist for all things wrought iron.  I even went out and bought this beautiful tri-fold wrought iron decorative fireplace barrier.  I loved it.  It was all scrolly and ornate, but not too much.  I thought we could twist the scrolls downward and use them as hooks.  He, it wasn't big enough.  I then went on to tell him that there's really no need to put up EVERY piece of cookware (stuff that's actually out of their boxes, believe it or not, he still has stuff he hasn't opened), we need only put up the items we use on a regular basis.  He looked at me like I'd blasphemed the Lord or worse, Elvis Presley.  (Okay.  It's Elvis THEN the Lord, it just seemed more dramatic the other way.) 

I found this antique wrought iron security window grate.  It's all chippy and beautiful with "stabbers" on either side.  I was quite surprised that he liked it.  He went and picked it up yesterday.  He'd like to get it sandblasted and powdercoated so it looks new and glorious.  I think it looks great the way it is.  It has character, darn it! 

But he could only find stainless steel hooks.  It doesn't look as cute as it would if we could've found some cool wrought iron hooks to melt in.  But I think he actually kinda likes it the way it is (wishing, of course, the hooks were a color other than steel.) 

Later in the afternoon, we all went for a bike ride and played at the park. 

Today I took the trifold fireplace thing back and looked for linens and came home empty handed.  Win some; lose some.  I was, however, this close  to getting the Moonlight Silhouette bedding collection at Macy's.  Oh, it's so soft.  Oh, it's so pretty.  But oh, I wouldn't be able to put the shade of blue on my wall that I've been dreaming about.  Maybe I can wait until spring to do that and go a festive red?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I heart Craigslist

Oh, how I love Craigslist.  I am a Craigslist junkie.  We are moving into a new place on Thursday, and the house is so different from my dream home because it is newer, in a master-planned community, and likely doesn't creek, have chipped paint, and definitely doesn't have big trees or stories to tell. 

I'm the kind of girl that finds charm and affinity for all things old.  I will see a house and imagine the lives of the families who lived there, the games kids would play, the meals Mom would cook, the holidays, the rough times, and instantly I want to be a part of it, and something about being at the beginning of a story doesn't seem cool.  I don't know.  Maybe I'm strange that way.

So, we are basically doubling our living space.  But going from a 1964 house with original hardwood floors, cast iron tub and sink, (okay, acoustic ceilings) and the feeling of being a part of a time when things mattered to people, and people cared about each other, and men built amazing things with their strong hands, and women carefully cut and sewed together the fabric of their families. 

I got on Craigslist looking for pieces that will bring old into the new and boy, did I ever score. 

This beatiful built-in china cabinet is from the 1920s from a Victorian in Downtown Sacramento.  The former owners of the home took it with them to El Dorado Hills.  It was listed at $150.  I couldn't get there fast enough.  (Those knobs are crystal.)  When I first saw it in person, I could have just dry humped it.  I like it just the way it is.  My husband took one look at it, looked at me, raised his eyebrows, looked back at it, made a sound like snoring, only exhaling, looked back at me, "Really?"  I almost punched his lights out.  "Yes, REALLY!  What do you know?"  He'd much prefer something contemporary, sleek, something that needs to be dusted five times a day.  (He'd never dust.)  He was clear that the reason he doesn't like it is that someone took a paint brush to it.  Heck, that's one of the reasons I like it.  I can imagine some of my blue and white dishes in there.  But I also see the potential for sanding it down and refinishing it and staining it dark and putting my American Sweetheart Monax Depression Glass in there.  Oh, yeah.  Giddity.

While loading the hutch into my truck, I see this little desk and chair in his garage.  "Uh, are you trying to get rid of that desk, too?"  "As a matter of fact, I am."  "Sold." 

Aya Rose didn't like this "avanity" because it doesn't have enough storage for her "girly" things.  And by girly things, maybe she means tampons and Midol because this thing is beautiful!!!  Eden didn't waste a second, "I want it!  I want it!"  She wants it painted black.  Mkay.

Then there was another piece in his garage.  A hope chest painted white.  "And how about that chest," I asked him.  (Now that I think about it, not the best choice of words, but I was on a roll!)  "Yes, I have that listed on CL, too.  Do you want it?"  "Uh, yeah."  "Wow!  You're making this easy on me." 

All told, I got all four pieces for $200.  What a rush!!!

And today, while packing and organizing stuff from the patio and the shop, I hear this incessant meowing.  I think to myself, "I miss Isabella-bee," our kitty who went missing while we were on our summer road trip.  She hadn't been seen since September.  I felt so guilty, like she felt we abandoned her and she went and found another family, even though we left all our things behind.  Well, just then, Eden shouts, "Oh, my gosh!  It's Isabella!"  I look up thinking, "No way, man!"  Sure enough, there she was, running down our neighbor's roof onto our fence and into my arms.  She is so skinny.  I got her some food and she went to town on it.  Sweet Aya Rose starts to cry, she is so happy.  Bella ate so much food, she vomited, poor thing.  I worry that, when we move, she will leave the new house and come back here.  I hope not, but I know it's a possibility. 

Well, Andris just left to pick up an antique iron window grate.  It's the only thing we could compromise on as a decorative pot rack over the kitchen island.  Right now he has a plain wooden dowel with hooks he installed.  I hate it.  It's so...just not okay, but I must say, it's practical.  So I am very happy with the way the pieces are falling into place in the new chapter of our lives.  Now...back to packin'.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Home again home again

...jiggity jig.

Just got home from another week in Boise.  It was just the boys and I.  My mom came down and stayed at home with the girls.  I was both loathe to pay for two extra plane tickets, and to pack all the kids and the dog into the truck for another road trip, especially after the drama the other one yielded. 

Would you believe I was able to pack the three of us into a single carry-on suitcase?  That means I didn't bring my camera equipment.  I did go through a few withdrawls, and I don't plan on leaving home anytime soon without  my goods handy. 

Now onto our latest adventure:  Finding a different house!

I think I am finally ready to leave our time in this house behind.  It has been nothing but a struggle since before the get-go, and we are ready for a new beginning...and that means decorating.  Oh, I am giddy with it!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Harry and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Boys will be boys...who jump off the top of swing sets.