Thursday, August 26, 2010

Meal Time

Abigail became very fussy as I began to prepare our dinner, so I asked Arthur to feed her as I cooked.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Slow Down!

It seems like things just suddenly got very busy around here. Even though we are educating our children at home, the beginning of the public school year is also the beginning of other activities.

Wednesday is a homeschool meet and greet and a local park which I'll be going to with the kids. I doubt Brian will come along as he has many video projects he really needs to get going and finished.

A couple days ago I received an e-mail from the Redmond teaching director of Community Bible Study (CBS) asking if I would be a substitute core leader. The training day is on Thursday from 9-2. I'm planning on leaving Arthur with Brian, but will bring Abigail with me.

We end out August with the State Fair in Salem! That will be a fun time, I hope. And in the midst of it all we are house sitting for Brian's mom. So, busy times! Better go do some cleaning so I don't fall behind!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wrapping it up

I just love this picture!

Today was a full, busy day and I feel great about what I was able to do. Things started a little slowly as I slept in and Abigail didn't wake until 9:30. Hearing the neighbor mow the lawn inspired me to do the same. The morning was cool (70's) and the lawn was getting long. Brian tends to think that if the grass hasn't covered your shoes, it isn't considered too long. I tend to lean more toward the mow every week idea. Since it hadn't been touched in 2 weeks, it was due for a trim. I fertilized the lawn and really gave it a good soaking throughout the day. That in itself is a chore having to move sprinklers all over the lawn trying to make sure every part gets hit with water. But now the lawn looks great and should really green up.

I'm quite proud of the trim I put up in the bedroom. The new window ended up being just an inch or two smaller than the old window which created a gap between the window and wall. It's sealed from the outside so no air could come through, but it just didn't look nice. I found that a 1x3 board and shoe molding made a beautiful fit and framed out the window nicely. See how perfect it finishes off the window?

I made sure painter's tape blocked off everything around the windows in the bedroom, bathroom and my sewing and also the bathroom door. I primed the bedroom and then painted all the places I had taped off.

You can see the baseboard molding in the bathroom and the painted trim around the door. The molding has been stained and sitting in the shed for two years waiting to be used. Feels good to have that project done.

In the shower, the trim along the ceiling is painted as well as the trim and frame around the small window. My sewing room window has also been waiting to be painted for quite a while. Now all it needs is a nice window treatment. I wonder if I have any fabric on hand that will look nice?

By the time all the painting was done, it was dinner time. Arthur, Abigail and I then walked to Dairy Queen for a special dinner treat. Brian will be coming home tomorrow afternoon, so I will be spending the day cleaning up from all the work I've been doing around the house. I also need to clear off the back porch. After clearing everything out of the sewing room to lay down the carpet, I put the things I needed or wanted back in the room. That means a small pile of things that I don't really want in there but don't have another place to put them sits on the porch. Tomorrow, it will all be taken care of!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

And it continues...

Today I installed the second mini blind. It was quicker, but still a struggle. I think it's time to get a new power drill. I was able to put in screws by hand further than with the drill. All the baseboard molding is in the bathroom, even the tricky out of reach places. This molding has been stained and waiting for 2 years. It feels good to have it in. I also primed everything I could find: window sills, window trim, shower trim. I still need to prime the bathroom door trim. For a little while I thought of staining it to match the baseboard molding, but I'm thinking it will look better painted white to match the door. In the morning I will look through the cans of paint to see if I have what I need to paint everything.

My shoulders and neck need a little bit of a break, so I'm not planning on doing any work on the house until tomorrow evening. We (Arthur, Abigail and I) will be walking to the bank and store first thing in the morning to deposit a couple checks and get Arthur some toothpaste. If the weather cooperates, I'll then spread some fertilizer on the lawn when we get back. I'm hoping to also take the kids to Pappy's Pizzeria, but we shall see how the morning goes. That's a lot of walking for me and bike riding for Arthur. He has a "new" two-wheeled bike with training wheels, but he's very timid on the bike. The training wheels tend to move while he's riding and it makes him nervous.

Oh, I can hear my bed calling me. Unfortunately, I don't think Abigail's crib is calling her. Maybe she'll just kick and play on my bed while I relax with a movie.


Monday, August 16, 2010

"Put your hands out of your window where I can see them!"

This is what we suddenly heard at the end of our street around 8:00 tonight. Some trees were blocking a perfect view, but I could see three cop cars with lights flashing and a dark vehicle in front of them. One cop was yelling through the bull horn for someone to show him his hands. After a while a fourth police car showed up and I think I could see them putting someone in the back of one of the cruisers. It was all very thrilling.

It looks like a pretty basic mini blind. Not too big, not too scary. That is until I tried to install it in Brian's office. I'll get back to that in a bit.

This morning I debated on what I wanted to tackle next in the house. Two windows were ready to paint, but I wanted to finish all the caulking first. In order to finish caulking I would need to get trim for the bathroom. Since I have no car for the week, that would mean walking to Lowe's. Arthur ended up spending the night at Grandma's house last night, so I wouldn't have him with me. I love taking walks with Arthur, but it can be a struggle if I want to walk quickly. So, that made up my mind. I loaded Abigail in the stroller and off we went.

I also needed just a few things at the grocery store (peanut butter, tuna, lunch meat), so I stopped there and then bought some trim at Lowe's. I was home by 12:30 and set to work measuring, cutting and nailing trim around the shower. When my brother-in-law installed the tile around the tub, there was a 1/4" - 1/2" gap around the top of the tile. I now have the trim up and caulked and ready to paint!

I also found the trim designated for the baseboard in the bathroom. I cut a piece that was to go under the heater and it was too tall. I ended up unscrewing the heater from the wall, placing the trim in the right spot and screwing the heater back in place. There are some tricky spots to deal with around the vanity, so I'll wait until I'm more alert tomorrow to tackle that.

Okay, now the blinds. It should be simple, really. On either end of the window where you're hanging the blinds, screw up a bracket to hold the blinds. Well, that's where I had problems. I think my drill is giving up the ghost. I had charged it all day yesterday and the drill started wimping out on me after the first screw. I struggled with each screw. It was like there was a sheet of metal 1/4" in the window frame that would not let the screws go through. I fought to get the screws in, holding a heavy power drill over my head and pushing with all my might. I finally had all four screws in an hour later. Upon snapping (or trying to) the blinds into the brackets I just put up, I found that one bracket was positioned right over the wand and gave no room for the bracket. The other side was already snapped into place and I could not free it. So, holding the blinds over my head, I tried to unscrew the bracket, move it over 1/2" and screw it back in place all with one hand. My arms felt like lead when I finally finished. It took me almost 3 hours to get those blinds put up. Tomorrow, I get to put blinds in Arthur and Abigail's room. Oh, joy!


Sunday, August 15, 2010


I should have posted this several months ago, but never got around to it.

In April, the first car I ever bought died. We knew it was going to go soon. Our prayer was that it wouldn't cause any injuries when it went. Brian drove to a meeting on a Thursday evening in the beginning of April. When he came out the car wouldn't start. Someone was able to give him a ride home. The next day he wanted to try it once more before getting it towed to the mechanic. Upon arriving at the car, he knew there was no way he was going to start it. A huge black, green puddle spread out from under the car. The car was pronounced dead the next day. It needed a new engine. A used one would cost $2,500 and a new $3,000 and the car would still have all the other problems our 210,000 mile car had.

We began to pray, again. Brian's specific request was that we could follow through with our promise of not incurring any new debt in obtaining a car. We began praying privately on Monday, Wednesday we shared our specific request with friends and on Friday a free car was sitting in our driveway. God is good!

I don't have a picture of the new car, yet, but it is a 1993 Chevy Cavalier with 130,000 miles. It has it's quirks, the main one being a very loud squealing belt, but it runs well and transports us to where we need to go. I miss my green, Ford Escort wagon, but it served us well lasting for 10 years and 216,111 miles. Goodbye, my friend!

This Old House

We have a nice little house that we rent. The landlord called Monday and told us that it was time
to replace windows and that would be happening on Tuesday. From Tuesday through Thursday windows in three rooms (the bedrooms and Brian's office) were torn out and replaced, new siding put up and new trim around the windows and edge of the house. I'll have pictures of the windows and talk about it more later in the week.

Because of the new windows going in, I needed to do some caulking around the interior windows and sills. I decided to also go around to the trim that's been needing some for a while. Once I add a little bit of trim in our bedroom window, I'll be able to paint it all.

I walked through the house yesterday and made a list of everything that needs to be done. All those little, finishing jobs that pile up but seem to be really hard to get motivated to do. Well, I'm motivated! Brian left today for a week of summer camp, so I can work away in the house without bothering him.

My mother-in-law tore up some carpet in her house and had a large roll of decent blue carpet. My sewing room is in a converted garage with concrete floors. I had small squares of carpet here and there, but they kept shifting and didn't cover everything. I emptied the sewing room, rolled out the carpet and moved everything back in on Friday. I love what the carpet does to the room.
It actually feels like a real room instead of just a section of the garage. Since the washer and dryer are in the room, I didn't have the carpet go all the way to the wall. It stops about 5 inches in front of the machines. Perfect if there happens to be an over-flow.

Tonight, I learned a very important lesson about wallpaper: this is not a one-man job.

I bought 2 rolls of border wallpaper from the thrift store last year. I loved it and thought it would be perfect for the room. I matched the paint to the colors in the wallpaper and painted the room. After trying to cut and install trim for the first time around the ceiling, I lost steam and never put the paper up. Tonight I decided that enough was enough. Time to put up the border. The directions seemed simple enough and I didn't need any other tools other than water and a sponge. Well, it was not so simple and I'm glad I had two rolls. The first roll didn't get completely wet when it was submerged in water the first time and just wouldn't stick. I tried to get it wet again, but that just made it worse. That roll is now lying face down in my kitchen for the back to dry while I try figure out what to do with it. The second roll also gave me difficulties, but I did finally get it up. I just hope it is still up in the morning.

The border had stylized lined drawings of cats with a saying in script below them: Once, cats were all wild, but afterward they returned to houses.

I just love this border! I would put it all around the room, but the other 3 walls are very textured and the paper won't stick. I wonder what I could do with that first border? I'm sure the paste mostly came off, but who knows?

I think tomorrow I'll work on cutting trim for the bathroom or paint the window sills in the kids' room and Brian's office. It will depend on what I already have or need to buy.