Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One, two, everything is new ....

For the past couple of weeks I've alluded to the fact we were working on a home improvement project. I hesitate to call it a renovation because we just don't have the resources or the know-how to do a complete overhaul of the room. Therefore I choose to call it home improvement and trust me, it's an 100% improvement over what it was before.

Without further ado, let me present my new master bathroom.

Now let's back pedal to what it was before. Our bathroom was so hideous that I actually have very few photos of how it looked. Dale asked me before we started if I was going to take pictures and I replied, "no way. I don't want people seeing just how bad it is." Of course halfway into the project I regretted that decision because I really wanted to blog about what a difference a little paint, wood, and elbow grease could make. So, I've been scrounging around trying to find any photos that might paint the picture for you.

I think this photo taken back in the summer when Dale and Andrew were replacing the stems on the handles shows you what we were working with.

I'm not going to give a blow-by-blow detail of what we did, I'll just hit the highlights. We:

  • put up beadboard on the walls and trimmed it out 
  • painted the walls a lighter blue
  • removed the shower doors and replaced with a shower curtain
  • removed the toilet paper, toothbrush, and soap holders mounted on the walls. (This is what you get when you rip take them off the wall) 
  • removed the cabinet hanging on the wall
  • removed the shelf mounted in front of the mirror
  • painted the vanity and replaced all the hardware 
  • faux painted the laminate counter top
  • hung new towel bars
  • bought new toothbrush holder, trash can, toilet paper holder, bathroom scales, towels and bath mat, shower curtain, shower caddy, 
  • new floor
Just for kicks, this is what we dealt with when we moved in back in 1991. Does this scream 1970 or what? 

So, do we have a beautiful new bathroom? NO! Beautiful would have included replacing instead of re-dressing, including new: shower insert, tile floor, vanity with a granite top, and toilet. BUT, for us, it is a major improvement and not so scary to go into anymore. Did we do a perfect job? NO! But, we're proud of the work we did and are happy with the results. (Except maybe the countertop. I think I might redo it, but I'll wait awhile and let Dale recover first). We also plan to replace the light fixture as soon as we get the money AND I think I need to add a piece or two of art on the walls. 

This is probably it for home improvements for awhile. My husband and my checking account are yelling, "Roger that!" 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Whiskers, the Boy, Not the Cat Food

Why is it when they're little they want to shave? 

But when they get older ... not so much? 


Oops! He's not that hairy

Here's my little non-shaver. 

 and here's Whiskers with his new friend Sophia Bray. I'm so glad one of Ian's friends is willing to share his dog with him. Maybe one day he can get another dog of his very own ... which is fine with me as long as he's living under his own roof.

This man-child of mine is coming home for a visit this weekend, the first since he moved back in July. Can't wait to see him and give him a great big hug. Facebook, Skype, and texting are wonderful tools for keeping in touch, but nothing can replace an in-person hug. I'm officially counting down the hours ...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Return of the Invaders

Last night, around 1:00 am, I noticed that my husband, cat, and I were not alone. We had an unwelcome visitor, one that immediately brought back memories of this terrifying night.

Once again we have been invaded.

It always happens late at night, after my husband is asleep. I am bummed, not just because a sleeping husband is unavailable to take care of business (who are we kidding anyway?) but also because I can’t make a lot of noise in my attempts to kill the dreaded bug without waking said husband whose alarm is set to go off in four and a half hours. What a dilemma, what should I do?

This thing is huge and no way can I just ignore it so I run to the kitchen in search of a weapon. I return armed with a flyswatter and the flashlight on my phone. The dreaded bug is on the wall, just above the doorway. I know I must be accurate with my aim because I will only have one chance at getting this right.  If I don’t connect with it directly it will escape death and return to taunt me.

I gather up my strength, hold my breath, and take a mighty swing. Alas, victory is not mine. While my aim was accurate I miscalculated the effectiveness of a flimsy flyswatter against the steel armor of the intruder. All it did was momentarily stun him, after which he spread his wings and flew directly towards the enemy. Me. ACK!

I guess he didn’t get the memo that one is supposed to flee from the enemy, not go into attack mode.  Geeze, what is this, deja vu all over again? It's obvious I've forgotten my previous run-in I had with this guy’s kin.

I held my screams to a small yelp and retreated to the bed. For now the critter was no where to be seen. Maybe I had actually done more than stun him and he’d crawled off to die. Yay! I settle back onto the pillows and prepare to wrap up my nightly bedtime reading. Ahhhhh, if only life were that simple. You know what's coming, right? Moments later I glance up and my stomach does a flip-flop. The dreaded enemy is once again climbing the wall.

I glance over at my sleeping, slightly snoring husband, and sigh. Are we really going through this again? I climb out of bed, grab the swatter, and swiftly run to the wall and deliver a harder, more deliberate blow. Sadly, the results are identical to my first attempt.

Bug -2  Sherri - 0. Husband –still soundly sleeping.  I put away the fly swatter, turn off the phone, climb into bed, and pull the covers up to my chin. I close my eyes tightly and will myself to fall asleep. After a few minutes, as my heart rate decreases, I find myself thinking about sleep.

And then … I hear it. It’s like a scratching sound. Like tiny claws scraping along. That infallible bug is still there and is attempting to climb back up the wall. That’s it! I’m over it. And, I’m out of here!

I know there is no way I’m going to be able to get any sleep as long as I am in the same room as this creature. So, I do the practical thing – I gather up my pillow and high-tail it out of the room. After all there are two other bedrooms in this house, right? Besides, who doesn’t deserve a good night’s sleep after all this?

As I dash out of the room I briefly think of my beloved spouse who conveniently always sleeps through these nightly home invasions. You know what? Who am I to wake a sleeping baby? (Actually when my children were young infants I was known to occasionally rouse them in my attempts to assure myself they were still breathing. Silly, paranoid mom). Anyway, he looks so peaceful, so there he shall stay.

As I drift off to sleep I briefly consider leaving him a note to check his shoes before heading out to work. But, I’m too tired and besides – no way am I going back in that room before daylight!

As I type this I can’t help but wonder if I am destined to repeat this scenario over and over? And also, where is that darn cat in all this and why isn’t she taking care of business for me?
If she would just use her laser eyes this would've been settled right away! 

My plan was to post this blog early today. Unfortunately my stupid internet provider had other plans. No connection until about an hour ago. Meanwhile you'll be glad to know the dastardly roach reappeared right in the middle of Scandal. This time no one was sleeping and I was able to attack with a shoe and a yell of "ay ya!" Stunned he fell to the ground, and I followed up with a severe beating with the broom. Flattened like a pancake, I scooped him up and tossed him in the toilet. It took two flushes to get him out of my house, but he is gone and tonight I can once again sleep peacefully in my own bed. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Smoking Toddlers?

In December 1995 Dale's nephew James graduated from Kennesaw State University. Dale and the boys were able to attend the graduation,  something we thought might inspire them later on when they started thinking about their futures.

Here's the graduate with Ian. 

Here's a group shot

Doesn't Andrew look angelic? I'm pretty sure there's motive in that look.
More than likely he's pleading for a piece of gum or candy. 

If you give me gum I'm smile really big! 

Like this.

That face deserves a close up don't you think? 

I'm pretty sure Aunt Pat couldn't resist, but she countered back with, "first, give me a pose."

Nephew number one, readily complied   Such a sweet expression. Don't you just love the "bowl" haircut? He used to refer to it as a"bold-cut." Now that I think about it, it was a pretty "bold" (not necessarily in a good way) look!

Time for nephew  #2  Always a bundle of energy, ever the clown.

After that performance I'm pretty sure Weird Aunt Pat came through with the gum.


Should of seen that one coming. Never fear, though, Aunt Pat is always prepared. I'm pretty sure there's more where that came from. So NO, you don't need to pick it up and put it back in your mouth!

Which reminds me of the time we were eating Sunday lunch out with a bunch from church. We were at Denny's and because there were so many of us we had to wait for a table. As is par for the course, the w-a-i-t-i-n-g seemed like an eternity. You can imagine how quiet and well behaved the boys were ...

I'm pretty sure Dad was on child-watch duty because as usual Mom was flapping her gums talking with her friends. Regardless, neither of us were doing a great job of paying attention because we look up and there sits our youngest (maybe around two years old?) with a cigarette butt sticking out of his mouth! He'd picked it up and decided he'd mimic dear Uncle Corky. 

Yep, here's the little buggar with his role model. He loved hanging out with Uncle Corky, and didn't seem to mind the smoke at all! 

Smoking around kids. Little one's running around in nothing but a diaper. Toddlers smoking used cigarettes. Yee ha, Honey BooBoo's family ain't got nuthin' on us!

Seriously though ...we did draw the line at sharing cigarette butts and chewing gum that fell on the pavement at  very public places ... unless of course, the five second rule has been applied. Then all bets are off!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A short trip down memory lane

With all the stuff I have going on - remodeling a bathroom, genealogy research and writing the family history blog, reading up on diabetes and attempting to figure out what to feed my husband, trying to keep up with normal household chores, and of course, the new season of TV shows - maintaining this blog has dropped on the list of priorities. There just aren't enough hours in a day. I feel bad about it, but it is what it is.

I think I may have found a remedy for the dilemma .....

While cleaning out my desk recently I stumbled across a stack of photos. I know I pulled them for a reason, I just can't for the life of me remember why. Not one to let an opportunity slip away, I decided that maybe I could use the photos for blog material. A win-win situation. Short and sweet. I get back to posting more regularly and I get to share a bit of the past.

So, without further ado, I present today's photo.

This was taken in the spring of 1996. Ian was six, Andrew four.

The boys are definitely making a fashion statement with their shorts (Ian is going for the short-short look) and sweatshirt/sweaters. Ian is also sporting water shoes. I guess he's wishing for a trip to the beach?

Their facial expressions crack me up. Andrew is cheesing it up and Ian looks like he's not so sure he wants his photo taken. Could it be because of that awful uneven haircut?

The house is green, an atrocious shade of green. It was obviously before Dale painted it blue and neighbors driving down the road would stop and thank us for the change.

The background shot of the garage shows it's in the beginning stages of becoming our dumping ground, though it pales in comparison to today. I spy the Cozy Coupe, and can't remember if this was before or after the broken arm. There's a bumper sticker on it which is hard to decipher "??? over" maybe it's forecasting - if you ride standing up on the back you might fall over and break your arm?"

You can also see our beloved automobiles - Dale's blue truck and my red station wagon. This family sure loves our Toyotas. There are days when we miss having a pickup truck, and occasionally I miss driving a car instead of a van. But most definitely I miss the days of having these two little boys at home.

They grew up way too fast!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Divine Intervention?

Several years ago I decided it was time to give up BIG purses. I know some of you are aghast at the thought but that's ok. You go ahead and shorten your lifespan toting a bag big enough to carry a small child in. Kill your shoulder and strain your neck muscles. But not me baby, I'm going SMALL!

First step, I came up with a list of pros and cons for condensing. For the most part my cons became my pros:

#1 Con - smaller purse means less space which means carrying fewer items
Pro - Fewer items means a more simplified life, I will know exactly what is in my purse

#2 Con - smaller purse means there's only room for MY stuff
Pro - only room for my stuff means I don't have to carry around everyone else's crap ... freedom!

#3 Con - every other woman uses suitcase style bags, I might stick out like a sore thumb
Pro - my little purse will be unique, just like me.

In the end, I decided it was definitely the right thing to do and off I went to search for the perfect little purse. I came up with this cute little baby.
  I actually just took this photo today, the color is pretty faded from it's original hue. (yes, I kept the old purses, more on that later) It's "peachy" and small. Maybe you can tell the size from the comparison to the chapstick and the computer mouse. The little pockets in the front are big enough for a chapstick and lipstick on one side, coins on the other. Inside  it has a built in wallet with places for cards, license, etc. and room in the middle for my cell phone and not much more. It has a handy little strap that I slipped my hand through and wrapped around my wrist. I named the purse Just Peachy and she became my constant companion. For the record, yes I name my purses. I figure if a guy can name his car, a girl can name her purse.

This was my purse for about a year, year and a half, until finally I conceded that it was just a little too small. Fortunately it was around Christmas time and I received a gift card from Eddie. Off I trotted to Kohls to find a new little purse.

This is what I came home with , about twice as big as my other one and RED, my favorite color! 
Lot's of pockets. Cell phone and lip gear (four lipsticks plus a chapstick!) in the front.  Built in wallet section, room for lots of cards, money, and coupons. A middle space where I can conveniently stow away a hairbrush, pocket-size kleenex, a tin of Ice Breakers, eye-glass cleaner bottle and cloth, a small bottle of Tylenol, and a mini tube of hand lotion. Yep, all that and not an ounce of space to spare. This purse was called Betty. Short for Apple Betty. 'cause she's red ... like an apple .... Gosh, do I have to explain everything?

For two years, I carried my cherished Betty and only decided to retire her when one of the inside pockets started to rip and the outside began to show wear. In January, on a lark, I returned to Kohls to see if they still carried this little gem and much to my delight they did! In addition to red there were other colors too ... lime green, black, and bronze. This time around I chose the bronze purse. At least that's what the tag said. To me it's more of a champagne color - thus she ended up with the name Spumate. Do I have class or what?
 Everything about Spumate was the same  as Betty except the color. All the same items were stashed away inside and I was content once again. This is important seeing as how I don't usually adjust well to change. And, the older I get, the hard it is to accept change.

Speaking of getting older ... One thing that happens to many of us as we age is that our eyesight begins to play tricks on us. For some reason the books and papers that we are used to reading suddenly become a blur. We find ourselves holding things further and further away from us, trying to find the right spot where suddenly everything comes back into focus. It happens to the best of us. It happens to our husbands too.

I've worn glasses since I was in the third grade, having been cursed with bad eyesight from both parents.  I have a more than healthy dose of nearsightedness with a dash of astigmatism on the side. If you've ever seen one of those commercials where they blur the screen and then state, "if your vision looks like this you are probably legally blind," then you know what life looks to me. My husband on the other hand has been blessed with perfect vision, both near and far .... that is up until a couple of years ago.

He works a lot with blueprints and tiny print. He first started complaining of eye strain and finally conceded that his arm just wasn't long enough to create the distance needed to see what needed to be seen. He trotted off to the nearest drugstore and purchased a pair of "reading" glasses. Yay! Everything is clear again. For awhile anyway. As time marches on he's finding it necessary to up the magnification of his glasses. It's ok for now because the cheap drugstore reading glasses are readily available and affordable enough to be able to have more than one pair. He currently has a pair at work, a pair at home and a pair in his car. (We won't mention the half dozen pair that are MIA. I guess they've ended up with unmatched socks in Never-Never-Land).

Where we run into trouble though is when we find ourselves in a restaurant and he's trying to read a menu, something extremely hard to do when you don't have a pair of reading glasses with you! It happens all the time and drives me nuts as I see him squinting and pushing the menu across the table into my face as he's trying to get it into focus. I actually succeeded in getting him to wear a pair on an eyeglass-chain but it didn't last long. When he would actually remember to bring it with him he kept getting it all tangled up in the seat belt, and if the truth be told, I think it made him feel a little less manly. I've also tried to convince him he should carry a man purse which would solve the eyeglass problem AND give him a way to carry his wallet other than in his back pocket ... something the chiropractor says is a major no-no for people with back problems. All to no avail though. That would be even less manlier than the eyeglass-chain!

He suggested I carry a pair of reading glassed for him in my purse. Well fine and dandy honey. Only problem is there is NO ROOM in my purse for your glasses. Remember, I have this tiny little purse packed for ME ... go back and read CON #3. And so, we continue to find ourselves out and about and his arm getting longer and longer as he stretches to read.

I started feeling guilty. Maybe I'm being a little selfish and should come up with a way to carry a pair of reading glasses in my purse. Sigh, guess it's time to buck up, be the bigger person, and move on to a larger purse. So, off I trot to Kohls again in search of a new one.

Wouldn't you know they still carry my cute little purse and in lot's of new colors?! Sadly I passed them by and kept searching. I must have walked around the purse section half a dozen times seeking out a replacement for I was really excited when I found one that seemed perfect for me. Another red purse! Bigger than what I have but not huge. And, it's on sale. Sounds like a deal to me.

But wait. There's something I hadn't considered. Giving up my little purse meant no more built in wallet. If I buy the new purse, I'm also going to have to buy a wallet too. Bummer. I trudge over to that rack and see  a sale sign there too. Cool, maybe I can catch two bargains today. But wait a minute. What kind of sale is this? "Buy one, Get one 1/2 off." That might be a good deal when you're buying jeans or towels or books but for wallets? Really? Who buys more than one wallet at a time? I quickly scan it to see if it's like Kroger where they still give you the sale price for one. Nope. Not at Kohls. Well phooey. This puts quite a crimp in my plan.

I'd like to say that I am prudently cautious when spending money. What that translates into is ... I am a cheapskate. First off, I'm not going to pay full price for it and second, no way am I going to buy a wallet and pay more for it than the purse! That's just W.R.O.N.G. ...So, I place the lovely red purse back on the display and run sobbing from the store. Ok, not really. No sobbing. More like resigned disappointment. Part of me wanted a salesperson to stop me and ask me if I was finding everything ok because you better believe I would have told them exactly what I thought of their silly sales gimmick. But alas, no one stopped me. I returned home to tell my dear hubby, "sorry bud, you're own your own with the reading glasses."

Life goes on. I feel bad for the Mr. but oh well, in the grand scheme of things, this isn't exactly a life altering event. He we will survive. Meanwhile we can hope for a new solution. You know that saying, "be careful what you hope for," well, someone knew what they saying, too bad it wasn't me.

Yesterday I had an unexpected day off. Eddie was going on a field trip and his dad took the day off to accompany him. With a free day ahead of me I decided to strike out in search of a cookbook that caters to diabetics. What's that for you ask? I guess maybe I forgot to send out the memo. Unfortunately my darling husband has been recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes ... all those brownies and bowls of ice cream finally paid off. Wait. That doesn't sound right. It's not like it was something we were anxiously anticipating. Nope. it's just one of those dastardly curve balls life like to throw at you. Anywho. We're early in the process of figuring out what to do here. The medication is helping tremendously but we he is also being forced to make changes in diet and life style. Thus, the need for a new cookbook.

Now. where was I? Oh yeah. Getting ready to go out the door.


Wouldn't you know it?

I grab my purse and the strap snaps right off!

Welllllllll, I guess there's a new purse in my future after all. While
I could probably take it somewhere and get it repaired, but it would probably cost as much as the new purse. Besides, I think it might be divine intervention rearing it's head. Maybe I am supposed to really be carrying those eyeglasses around, along with a new wallet, in a shiny red purse.

Before making the big purchase I decide to swing by Walmart and see if they have more reasonably priced wallets. Who am I kidding? It's Walmart! Of course they have cheaper wallets. For all you folks out there thumbing your nose at my retail option ... if you want to buy me something nicer, feel free. Meanwhile I came away with a cute wallet for nine, yes, NINE dollars. And, bonus ... guess what color it is????

of course

 She's red! I think I'll call her Rose.

From there I trucked on over to Kohls and picked up the purse I'd found earlier. Isn't she cute?

I think I'll call her Ruby. She comes with lot's of room inside  I've filled her up with everything from my old little purse  and there's plenty of room for the Mr's glasses.

So, I'm happy. Dale's happy. And Ruby and Rose are especially happy they're now part of a loving family. Win-win for everyone. The only thing that would make it better? That would be a squishy, furry kitten to carry around in my brand new purse. Again, a girl can hope, right?

Meanwhile, Spumate has joined Just Peachy and Betty in the Purse Hall of Fame. You never know when one of them might be called up out of retirement.