Jan 25, 2017

checking in (edited)

Not sure exactly how to start this post as things tend to blur together after awhile.  When I left off last time, Charles and I were going to watch the 4 youngest grandkids so their mom could take their cousin shopping for school clothes.  She will be staying with them this semester and the clothes she brought with her were not meeting the local school dress codes.  Fortunately we had good weather and did take the kids into our town's park to play on the cool slides and stuff there.  Then we scored point by taking them off to Mickey D's for ice cream cones.  Well, there was some grumbling about wanting sundaes but Gramps and I said they all got the same thing this trip.

This past weekend, the "twin-cesses" came for an overnight stay.  I had some helpers for "dough smashing"  (Pride of Iowa cookies call for the dough to be flattened with a glass dipped in granulated sugar).  I sent most of the output home with the kids though.

Emma and I---Araya said to pose this way as the last batch was in the oven

Araya looks like she is doing the pageant wave, LOL

Plans are to have their older brother Zeke come this weekend.  We thought the youngest Abby was going to come Monday evening but at the last minute she decided she would stay with Mama and play outside some more, LOL.   Instant grandmom, that's me!

Charles and I had decided to table several of our household projects until after the wedding.  Mostly those plans consist of painting the master bedroom and putting up some shelving on the wall above the desk.  He hung a blind I had gotten for the bedroom that had been waiting while the bathroom work was completed.  However, Charles had gone out to help his son with a plumbing issue and came home with a closet rod and brackets.    Way back in July 2014 I had posted about the jerry rigged closet rod in the master bedroom and wondered how it had managed to not snap like a twig.  It is fixed now, thanks to Charles.  We could address this before it got too loaded up with stuff now that those 81 quilts were delivered.

We do have plans to paint, re-tile my bathroom with the same tile as the master bath we just did, re-size the mirror, replace the light fixture and toilet to a low flow chair height one.  Just generally update the room a bit.  Again, that needs to wait till after the wedding.  Mom and Dad will be staying here when they come down and people will be in and out.  Better not to have the house all torn up!  I have paint color cards stuck up in both rooms---looking at pretty blue for the bedroom and at first a green for the bathroom.  Now I am leaning towards a butterscotch yellow.  Jury is still out, LOL but I have time to think about this!  I see more trips to Lowe's in our future.  If anyone were to ask what we might need as a wedding gift, the answer would be Lowe's gift cards.

We have not been idle though. He hung a blind I had gotten for the bedroom that had been waiting while the bathroom work was completed.  He turned his attention to the utility shed and I went out there to help decide some of the "stay or go" items.  In this picture from the bush cutting down days, you can see some of that giant mess behind him!  We filled up the trash can rather quickly and had to ask a couple of the the neighbors if they had room in theirs for a couple of things.  I resisted going through the subdivision near us at the dead of night to sneak a bag in some stranger's though, LOL.  As soon as the can was emptied last Friday morning, I had it almost 3/4's full again with the bags we had waiting.

At some point he will run electricity out there but a lot of clearing out needed to be done to gain some floor space.  Using the scrap lumber bits out there, he put up some shelving to get the Christmas decoration boxes up off the floor.  He also re-purposed that old wooden closet rod he just took down in the bedroom and got some chain to hang the ladders from the rafters.  The old door that DJ and I had taken down between the kitchen and laundry room is now a work table hinged to a side wall.  He put some vinyl tile on the top of it yesterday and added some trim and it looks pretty cool!  He moved and re-organized the shelving units and put up a wire shelf unit that DJ had never mounted.  It now holds a couple cord reels and a few more items.  All the weed eaters are mounted on the other side wall too.   There is still some tossing to be done and a surplus of nails found a new home at a friend's house who has a building project coming up but it is looking up!  The cat carrier you see below is only in a temporary home at this point.  We replaced the rickety sawhorses this past weekend when Harbor Freight had them about 40 bucks cheaper than we had priced at Lowe's.  You would not believe how much cleaner and open this space looks like already!

Oh, that yellow roll of batting is out of there now too as I've got it in my car to run down to the church next week.  

He needs to see if the two compressors we have in this heap still work and the old kitchen chair back needs dismantled for parts.

Charles at work organizing the shelves but you can see the ladder things he rigged up in this shot.

Turns out that ours was not the only shed we had to worry about.  This Sunday his son or daughter-in-law called and the hot water heater had been tripping off repeatedly for a 24 hr period.  Also it had been raining quite heavily (windy too) and a roof leak problem had returned.  Charles went out to see if he could fix the problem.  I know he cleaned out the gutters a bit and checked into the breaker situation while he was there.  Being an intermittent problem, they would have to continue to monitor it.

While he was there, a pine tree uprooted and sheared the wiring from Jeff's mechanic shed but hit the other one that he and Charles shared.  I was just grateful that he was not out in it at the time as he was headed that way for some of his electrical supplies.  The one that got hit sort of sits at right angles to other one and the tree went through the left hand third of the building, raising the roof.  It missed his big riding mower and all of his electronic equipment and "toys" but bent the tar out of his shelving.  There is a motorcycle and tiller under all this mess among other things.
 I went out to help clear things out and see what we could selvage.  The insurance adjuster is due out tomorrow morning but he and Jeff were allowed to remove what was not damaged with orders to keep away from the damaged areas.  Charles was able to store several wagon loads of stuff in his old apartment downstairs in the house.  Some stuff got tossed as it was wet or no longer needed.  Some stuff came back here with us as he sets up some shop area here.  That wire shelving unit you see against the wall in one of the pictures of our shed above got mounted and nicely holds his electronic course books.  It is shaping up!

 In between, Wendell dropped off a length of leather for the treadle machine so that is now fixed though I have not had a chance to sit down and try it.  He also started drilling out the bush stumps so they can be treated with Stump-Rid product.  The battery packs both died or he might have gotten a bit further this afternoon, LOL.  

We had the pleasure of meeting his cousin Jim and his wife Rosemary a week ago Wednesday.  They were up from Ocala, FL and doing some geneology work near here but on the Georgia side of the state line.   Jim suggested meeting up in Oxford for lunch near the exchange.  Then we all went out through Cleburne County and a church cemetery where their mutual great-grandfather (or was it their grandfather?)  is buried along with some other relatives.  I believe they plan to come up for the wedding.

We were finally able to meet with the pastor a week ago Sunday and tour the fellowship hall we will be using for the reception, discuss what we wanted to do for vows, etc.  There are several options for the bride dressing rooms and other logistical things explained that will help us get the supplies and such we need.   Charles is afraid to use the linen table cloths so I think we will be making a trip out to Sam's for disposable table cover once we get a linear measurement of the tables after church next Sunday, LOL.

I went shopping yesterday after the Belles meeting for some of the things we will be needing but still need to go for some of the punch ingredients.  Charles' oldest son and daughter-in-law will be helping with the reception and providing the bride and groom's cakes as our wedding gift.  I am thankful for their help!  Melissa and I recently discussed what we wanted to serve with cake and punch and they will prepare/purchase those items or that is the current plan!  I also have a lead on a florist so that is what I need to address next along with some rehearsal dinner details.  At this writing if you don't count today, 30 days to go!

All this excitement is sort of tempered for me this week as I am mindful that Thursday the 26th would have been DJ's and my 18th anniversary.  February 1st marks the 3rd anniversary of his passing. If I don't mark these dates, then I don't know who will and he deserves to be remembered.   He was a good man and loved me as I loved him.  I am deliriously happy with Charles and am looking forward to being his wife but I do honor DJ and our life together for 36 years.  This made me who I am today, taught me what it was to be a wife and in a long term relationship.  I think Charles would thank him for that if they had met.  Charles knows what loss is as well.  We know just how blessed we are to have this 2nd chance at love and marriage and will treasure every day that God grants us.  That we are ready to try again is a testament to our loved ones, don't you think?

Changing course here and looking to the future---------

Of course, it probably goes without saying that I am not sewing.  Who has time??  I barely know my own name, LOL, and after all, it is changing soon!  I do plan on doing the Fat Quarter Shop 2017 Make a Wish quilt.  I purchased the kits and fat quarter stack of Bonnie and Camille Basics with Christmas monies from Charles and my dear Belles.  I want it bigger---I think, LOL.  The first block was just released mid-month.  I will get to it---actually tempted to make the blocks larger than 5 inches and re-size them either 7.5 or 10 inch finished.  Will re-visit that when I can fiddle in EQ a bit----in my free time, HA!

I would love to have the long planned Disappearing 4 patch in blues and white done for the master bedroom and maybe that is where my focus needs to be.  Once the room is painted it would look great in there!  That and on the queen sized headboard/bed frame that we will be hunting for at some point.  Just gathering style ideas at this point.  

And there you have it for this check-in post.  I need to get Oscar into his bed, hit the shower and wind down for the night.  Not sure where this day went but it is about over.   THX for stopping by to see what's up.

Jan 13, 2017

home happenings

In my post in late December, I mentioned that Charles was working on a forced bathroom repair situation complete with leaky and leaning toilet and disintegrating particle board in the master bathroom.  The project was finally completed on Friday January 6th--woohoo!  I've got some before and after type pictures to share.

You can see Charles down on his back in the crawl space with the flooring cut away that was under the ruined flooring.  He got it all filled in and then discovered that particle board was just flaking away when the two courses of vinyl flooring were removed.  (DJ had just put one layer down over the existing flooring while my bathroom went down to the bare flooring).  He had to cut out about a 24 x 30 some section total.  Thankfully we had the two varying thicknesses of plywood on hand for the initial placement and no more lumber was required.  Just lots of that mud stuff and sanding.

In order to remove the leaky toilet, the curved counter top over the stool had to be removed.  Here you see the sink's residence while the work was ongoing.

In this picture Charles was getting ready to cut down the existing counter top over the vanity from the top side.  You may be able to see how it narrows where he has his left hand placed.  We were able to salvage the trim for the cutaway and re-use it.  I am not fond of this counter (UGH it is in the kitchen and my bathroom too) but it did save money to NOT replace it.

How it looks now.  New bathroom accessories and door pulls.  The wall paper border we applied to covers the tears to the paper when the counter came out.  Charles idea there so we would not have to strip off the rest of the wall paper or paint. It brightens the room up and matches the existing drape in there.  The vanity also got a new coat of stain to freshen it up.

He also tried to cut down the full size mirror that had been in place.  That didn't work out so well.  A friend saw a comment I had made of facebook and suggested a place near here that can cut hers down and then she used molding and rosettes on the corners to give it new life.  Too late for mine but we are talking about updating mine next.  THX Brenda for the suggestion!  We picked out this mirror from Lowe's---our home away from home lately!!--when the plan did not work out.

Charles is a retired master electrician so it was a piece of cake for him to move the electrical box over a bit to center the new light fixture over the sink.  The problem was that it did make a larger hole.  I thought we would have to get a different fixture with a bar like base but he suggested using a ceiling medallion, painting it and using it behind the round light base.  I didn't get what he wanted me to do with two different colors of spray paint as it was not working to try to spray on the darker color on lightly.   It was either one color or the other.  He finally told me to spray some of the darker paint on paper plate and then daub it on the high spots.  LOL, I finally "got" that he wanted me to use like a stenciling, pouncing technique to sort of antique it.  In person it looks good with the light globes we picked out.  The lighting is much brighter in there now especially with one bulb not hiding behind the medicine cabinet.

Finally the new toilet made it into the house on Friday morning, once the flooring was completed.

And here it is in place along with all new quarter round and the shelving above the stool for a bit more storage space.  We got a chair height one so it is easier on the knees as several of my friend's were suggesting.  One of them asked me the other day what I thought of it and I haven't used it yet!!  I have always thought that one secret to a good relationship is never having to share a bathroom with your spouse or significant other if you can help it!  I bought a baker's dozen more of the tile so we can use what remains in my bathroom down the line.

In between tasks and waiting for glue to dry for the umpteenth time, he put a small ceiling fan up in the laundry room.  I tried to do what I could to help mostly being the ground guy and holding the flashlight, LOL,  That and pick up the stuff that got dropped.

Earlier THIS week he corrected an long time electrical situation in my living room.  For almost 20 years there have been light switches that turned on nothing. From the hallway and the kitchen I had to cross the living room to turn on any light source.  Well, that was like waving a red flag in front of a bull or at least throwing down a challenge to the electrician to solve this mystery.  We picked up some of his electrical tracing equipment from his home shop and he was off and running.  The problem was in the wiring to the ceiling fan and he took the thing down to wire it correctly.  I can turn on the living room ceiling light in three places---hallway, living room and kitchen.  I can turn on the fan on its own switch--not the speed, I still have to reach up on my tiptoes for that part--but off and on works great.  There is one remaining mystery switch in the kitchen and that's challenge for another day, he said.   I have been happily flipping switches since he fixed it.  Woohoo!  Doesn't take much to make ME happy, LOL.

We had some raining and cold weather recently along with some ice and freezing rain/sleet stuff a week ago Friday.  Enough that they preemptively cancelled school on Thursday.  In light of the cold weather he couldn't work out in the shed or set up on the sawhorses on the patio.   I told him he could work on our chain saw here in the house if he protected the table. Here he is working on the primer pump and tubing which had disintegrated out in the shed. ( He took a small engine repair class after he retired.)  It is still not completely fixed but it did take off some limbs on the large crepe myrtle tree yesterday!  He borrowed his son's temperamental chain saw to get the last of the holly bush limbs down.  I helped haul off the sections to the burn pile and did some of the go-fer stuff.

Wedding plans are still in a stall pattern.  That recent ice deal cancelled church on Sunday but mostly it is because of the pastor's wife's continued health concerns (recent transplant).  We went at the appointed time but found a note on the door.  He had lost Charles' phone number and we didn't have his cell number so we were not making connections.  I think that is resolved thanks to one of church members/usher/deacon that was at the church today helping the missus set-up for a baby shower. We'll try again this Sunday.  I should be writing down some of my questions and get my nose back in my Weddings for Dummies book.  At this writing we are 43 days away for the big day---yep, the calendar is marked and we're counting!

I haven't mentioned the critters.  Oscar is back to wearing his belly band as he has been peeing on everything lately but especially since we were gone on that 2nd trip to Gulf Shores.  Charles is always asking him "where is your diaper?" as Oscar shimmies out of it when he crawls under the bed.  Skyler just gets more clingy but especially at night when Oscar has gone to bed.

Guess that is it for now---he is asking me if I am writing a book, LOL.  Maybe but that is what I get for not blogging for over 10 days.  Lots going on but I CAN take a hint.  Tomorrow the grandkids are coming for a bit so Mama can go shopping.  Decent weather means they are all going to the park and burn off some of that energy!  Till next time---------

Quilt Delivery

Bama Belles met earlier in the week and Lois' had recently asked me how many quilts I wanted.   She had 19 that she had been holding that I did not room for at home.  I knew that I needed to get the master bedroom closet emptied out to make room for Charles' things.  There were a bunch in there, some dating back to 2014!  I took my notebook to the meeting along with my camera to work on the numbering and documentation that will be needed for Wrap Them In Love headquarters.

 I kept 4 out for any immediate need and still had 81 quilts, if I counted correctly and then made a call to the Talladega Presbyterian Home for Children to arrange a delivery time.  Charles and I loaded up the van and went down late Wednesday morning to facility's administration office.  LOL, they were watching for us to pull up and three of the women came out to haul these into the conference room.

Here are some of the more recent additions to the 81---I'll add as many as I can but Lois had made 4 Pineapple Blossom quilts and they do look a good bit similar unless you look at the borders and/or binding.

I somehow missed getting two pictures taken and had to have Charles hold two of them up in the hallway.  So this one is wearing tennis shoes and if you look closely a nosy kitty's backside and tail, LOL.