Friday, March 28, 2008

Have you heard????

Kyle has finally grown into his ears!

When he was a little boy, his ears were bigger than life. He was so cute. I even capitalized on them when he was 3 years old. I dressed him up for Halloween as the cutest little Dopey dwarf you've ever seen. (I need to find that photo and post it!) His cute little dwarfy face (I don't think that's a word???) Big blue eyes. Adorable dimples. Rosey red cheeks. AND those cute ears that stuck out!

My friend Ginger even thought he looked a bit like Alfred E. Newman from Mad Magazine, but I thought he looked more like a happy little Dopey.

NOTE: he is very smart, head-strong and independant - maybe a bit corney, but not really Dopey at all.... unless you count this afternoon when he was hopping in and out and around my office screeching & acting like a monkey - scratching his head and pretending to find and select "offerings" to give me....Corney? Yes. Dopey? Well, maybe a bit!

Now, that he is almost 18!!! yup, 18!!! his ears are pretty tiny comparatively. I actually commented on them a couple of weeks ago. We were standing in the kitchen and he had just recently gotten a haircut. His ears looked tiny!

So, yesterday, when I noticed (how could I NOT notice!) that his "ears" were huge, I had to grab the camera and snap a couple of shots. It reminded me of the Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood - "all the better to hear you with..."

The "ears" are actually the waste-piece that gets cut off a Smee foot. Yes, that is a foot that he is posing as the "Thinker" with.

Kyle, you have the best sense of humor!!! Mariska Hargitay, boy!!! I love you....and your ears!

UPDATE: Thanksgiving 2006 - After not having seen him for a few years, Ginger commented to me that Kyle no longer looked like Mr. Newman and had grown into quite a handsome young man.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

It has to get worse before it gets better.....

So, here we are. A.J. and I disassembling the leaky, front porch enclosure. We found spiders, birds nests - complete with tons of bird droppings, it's amazing how much poo there was! - mud daubers nests, lots of moldy ceiling drywall and wet insulation AND for some reason there was an onion smell????

Tons of screws. Not just the little drywall screws either, but those darn 3" screws that take a ton of time to unscrew. Lucky for us, Kyle has a very strong magnet that made picking them up a breeze. Good thing, cause our hands were about to fall off after removing thousands of screws. But, I know the aches and pains will be worth it in the end.

A.J. will have a nice, new room (the last photo is of him "test laying" on the floor of his new space) AND we will have one less front door!!!

It's an exciting time. Progress. Hopes and dreams coming true....Yay!!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rest In Peace #80.

So here is a picture of the cake and card I made for Judy's Birthday celebration - Judy is my Freeend from the Scrapbook store.

RECIPE: First, buy a piece of floral patterned paper from the scrapbook store. Then, make the carrot cake. Next, frost and decorate with cream cheese frosting. Finally, cut the flowers from the paper and make the card. Serves 1 birthday girl and 5 friends, plus leftovers for the hubby's and kids.

I used a "new" old #80 decorating tip that I've probably had since I bought my first large set of Wilton cake decorating tips in the late 80's. I've never used it, thus its new-old status. But, I have to say, I really liked the outcome of the petals. The tip was used for the base petals, then I used a tiny #1 tip for the over-piping.

There I was, happy to find something new. Pleased with its performance. Then I did it! In Tina-fashion, I took its little life away and ground it to smitherines in the garbage disposal! I always try to make sure when I'm washing them they don't fall into the deep, dark depths of the grinder, but somehow, even as careful as I am, one always loses its life!

Sorry little tip. You stood beside me all these years, moved so many times up and down the West Coast, just waiting to be discovered and have your chance. You did a great job. You worked hard....then you hardly look like a tip anymore.

Rest in Peace #80. You'll be missed......

Thursday, March 13, 2008

...and the dish ran away with the spoon.

And the plate. And the fork. And the glass....

Ever get that feeling? Yes. If you're a mom, you know that feeling I'm talking about. The one where you just want to wring their necks!!! (Not really wring them, for real, but you know what I mean!????)

Well, that's how I felt last week.

For some reason, my cupboards were pretty empty. I'm not talking about the food cupboards. I'm talking about the dish cupboards; and not just the cupboards, but the silverware drawer too!

Everytime I'd empty the dishwasher or wash the dishes by hand - yes, sometimes I do that - sometimes I find it relaxing! I found myself wondering where all the dishes had gone. I know I had at least 8 dinner plates, 8 little plates, a ton of bowls - glass and melamine - and more than 4 glasses! AND, how come my silverware drawer looks like service for two?!!!

Well, I've been nagging, pleading, and grouching at the boys (remember, there are only two of them in the house now!) to make sure there are NO dishes in their rooms. "Yes, mommy dearest, I've brought up all the dishes from my room." "No, mommy, sweet mommy, there are no dishes in the downstairs living room." "Yes, MOMMY! No, MOMMY!" "Whatever you want to hear MOMMY!"

MOMMY, my ass! Yes, my ass! I said it! Mine!!! Stomping downstairs with the wire basket and plastic tote to dredge the depths of their rooms and the living room. Lookey! Lookey what I found. ALL these dishes!!!! All these dishes that my dear sweet little boys (NO, not so little any more) DIDN'T have in their domain!!! Wow, I wish.....yeah, there are those words again.....Oh Well.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Why didn't I think of this before?????

I absolutely LOVE it when Phillip comes home after work and I get to have dinner waiting for him or I am able to show him some "task" I completed. Usually, I'm at work everyday (mostly) and I only dream about the things I'd like to do around the house. He never really has a chance to utter those words - "Hi Honey. What'd you do today?" because I readily give it up and drag him to my accomplishment and with full-on beamingness (maybe that's not a real word, but I'm using it anyway!!!) I proudly begin rambling about what I did and how we will benefit from it.

Today, I hunted and gathered all our household linens - towels, sheets, the one or two blankets that we own, the wash cloths, the microfiber cleaning towels, even the raggy cleaning cloths and organized them in what used to be (for the last two years!) our pantry room food closet. It was too deep for the canned goods and doesn't have nearly enough shelves to work real well for food items. Lots of wasted space!

So, yesterday, I disassembled Johnny Five into top and bottom and rolled him (using our little green dolly) down the hall, through the dining room, through the living room, out the door, down the ramp (yes, our house has a ramp at the door - don't ask - we currently have 3 "front" doors and 2 ramps!) down the gravel driveway, around the outside of the house, through the downstairs slider glass doors, through the downstairs living room and into the laundry room. (which as the crow falls, would be almost under the room where it was upstairs!) All this, because I was on a mission to get it moved (defined: stubborn and impatient!)

Yes, I probably could have waited for help from the guys to move it down the stairs, (aka: shortest route!) but I'm a bullheaded Taurus. 'Nuf said!

But now it's there. It's organized. And the towels and linens aren't stuffed in every other nook and cranny throughout the house. I'm SOOOOO happy-AND the shelves are labeled. There's even a label for the Master Bath Towels...How's that for an affirmation????? One day closer to that Master Bedroom/Bath.....

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It PAYS to clean and organize....

It really did pay off today to purge a few bags of collected junk mail, catalogs, receipts, etc...

Since we have, literally, six - YES 6!!!!, sources of mail - the personal PO Box, the business PO Box, the home mail box, and the three business location mail boxes - you can only imagine the amount of junk mail we receive. It ends up laying on any willing (and some not so willing) flat surface at home, at work, in the car(s) - which could also be more than one, depending on which one I'm driving on that particular day.

So, to try to manage it all, I've been trying to make a consorted (or sorted) effort to throw it away before it leaving the Post Office or sort out the good from the bad and throw the bad onto the floorboard to later throw away. The "good" stuff gets sorted into any open receptacle - the center console, the front seat OR most times, the latest WalMart, Fred Meyer, Safeway or Albertsons shopping bag. There it will remain until further sorting...aka more IMPORTANT mail and receipts from the next day and the next.....

To make matters worse, a ton of receipts (I shop alot for the business as well, so don't get the idea that I'm just out there always spending!) Well, maybe a few too many stops at the "treasure" shop of the day...but....well, anyways, I ultimately end up with numerous bags of stashed paper.

So, today (I stayed home from work!) I began ditching and purging the bags and totes and my purse....When I do this at work, I use my shredder to purge anything with my name/address, but at home, instead of making a pile to shred (this would only add to the chaos) I rip and tear the pieces into strips and then tear the strips into smaller squares. (Maybe this is therapy???)

As I was ripping, tearing, and shredding, I looked down into my transport bucket (this is the galvanized pail that sits between our chairs in the living room as an effort to eliminate the build up on our end tables) and noticed a piece of what looked like a dollar bill. Of course this caught my eye. Who wouldn't have dumpster-dived for a buck? Sure enough, it was a piece of a dollar bill. So in Tina fashion, I dug deeper into the bucket, through all the bits and pieces and found another piece tucked neatly into what looked to be a survey from the Nissan dealer - now mind you, the Nissan got traded in over 3 months ago. The survey looked to be from when we purchased it...oh, say 2005!!!! Oh boy!!!!

Well, I began to dig for the other pieces of the ripped up survey and sure enough, there was another (the 3rd and last) piece of the dollar bill. Whew! Lucky for that dollar, I had only ripped the survey into thirds!

THEN....yes, there is more. I was sorting (cleaning) out the pile of paper that I took out of my purse and dumped on the kitchen table, oh say 2 weeks ago (I'm trying...I really am!!) and as I was finding movie ticket stubs, receipts and even the rogue after-dinner mint, I found a bank envelope with....drumrollllll please......a $20.00 bill and some coin. Good thing I didn't shred it!

So, today's lesson(s) learned....It REALLY does pay to clean and organize. Now if only I could stay on top of it all......cause I ALSO had to throw away a number of FREE PEPSI coupons and shred my unused/unopened Fred Meyers rewards...$$$ that expired in OCTOBER 2007!!! AND more $$$ that expired in JANUARY 2008!!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Dreaming of the "Spa-Like" room at home

.....So this is the inspiration for our "new" master suite. We are taking over the WHOLE downstairs! Yep, that's right. The living room, the little bedroom, the bathroom & the closet under the stairs. We're even talking about moving the washer and dryer upstairs into the pantry room and putting in a stackable set in the "now" laundry room aka walk-in closet.

This is the room we stayed in at the Anchor Pier in Newport, OR. It's called OCEAN'S EDGE. Phillip and I thought it was very relaxing and the colors were so soothing.

Since our NEW master bedroom will be in the daylight basement, we thought this color scheme would lighten it up a bit and be dreamy. Nothing like waking up in the morning feeling refreshed and happy.

The only thing that will be different is the furniture. Ours is "lightly" distressed white. Of course, it's not the matching bedroom set you'd buy at the local furniture store. It's an ecletic mix of collected pieces that have been mated through paint, light distressing and a good waxxing (topcoat).

All I need to find now (oh what fun that will be...hee hee!) is an awesome headboard. Funny thing is we've had several beds in our time together, but haven't had one during the last 8 or so years. Guess I wasn't looking hard enough. But, now that we have a plan, it's on baby!!!

We even bought nightstand lamps years ago with a nice, clean nautical theme. Go figure. Guess it's Karma or something. They are brushed aluminum with glass bases. I just need to find some really cool lampshades. The original ones have been long discarded (yes, believe it or not, I threw them away!). They currently sport a sand colored faux-suede shade. Not the best match, but they work.

I can't wait to re-paint the bathroom too. It currently has dark stained beadboard - that will soon become white. The tub/shower enclosure will become a much needed storage/linen closet complete with a magazine rack next to the potty. Can you imagine it? Towels stored nicely folded in one cubby and the other toiletries stored in another AND a library? NICE!!!

Next, we'll get to add a soaking tub and shower in the existing little bedroom and a 2nd sink (the original bathroom will keep it's white pedestal sink and potty). So no need for that dual sink layout I've always Jones'd for.

I can't wait, I can't wait! BUT there are some things that need to get completed first before we can take over A.J.'s little room!!! BUT the wheels are in motion and we meet with Frank the Contractor on Sunday!!!! YEAH!!!!

I love progress. AND when my daydreams are close to coming true....

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Goodbye Leap Day 2008....

Hello March 1st!!!

So this is my little tribute to Spring.

RAIN - It's raining today. Cloudy, then a little bit of sunshine. A true Spring day.
PLAY - It's Saturday!!! My very favorite day of the week! I get to play, daydream and relax - well, most Saturdays anyway. Sometimes, I'm working at the Scrapbook store, working around the house or working in the yard. But can I really call any of that work? Really???
WARM - More sunny days. More of that beautiful warm sunshine coming in the windows on the South side of the house. Especially my scrapbook room. Those four 5' x 5' windows. It's nice to be able to roll up the wooden blinds and "Oh, let the sun shine in - face it with a grin - open up your heart - and let the sun shine in"...O.k., so that was weird...just a song from long ago, I guess. One I used to sing to A.J. mostly. So much, that at one point (when he was older than when I sang it to him, but younger than he is now) he swore his nick-name was Sunshine. I'd argued that I never called him Sunshine. If anything, I'd called him Little J - as in Adrion James (son) Phillip James (dad), so he was Little J. It wasn't until I sang that song out loud a couple of years ago that it dawned on me that's what he meant! DUH!!!

So, even on this rainy day - with breaks of sunshine, the house was a little chilly. That, of course, meant starting a fire. A.J. brought in wood. Phillip started a fire. And I made Veggie Beef soup. All overcast, rainy days demand soup. Right? Potato Broccoli Cheese? Chicken Noodle? Nope, today was Veggie Beef. Yummy! Plus, we had all the ingredients in the house. Gotta love not having to go to the grocery.

Seems Wonka and Dude are enjoying the warmth of the fire as well. You guys are just too cute!

Enjoy your weekend! Stay dry, play hard and keep warm!

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