Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kazoos and the three P's

Hang on for the synopsis of a week...another crazy one of course, that is all that we have around here these days. Last Wednesday was spent preparing to leave on the mission trip to Appalachia.  As with all trip preparations in my life, everything seems to go wrong the day before I leave causing me to make such rash statements as "This is it, I am not going on another mission trip, there is too much to do around here, this time I really mean it and yes, I know I say this every time but I mean it THIS IS IT!!!"  And then I go again.  Back to last Wednesday, somewhere along the line I took a post it note and jotted down everything that happened so that I would not forget.  It is in my purse, my purse is in my car, I was too tired to carry it in the house last night.  I think that might be where my blood pressure medicine is also, I just realized this morning that I have not found that since I arrived home.  Add that to the list for today, I think I might need it.   But again, back to last Wednesday.  It was crazy, the phone was ringing, the boys were running around, losing golf balls, being boys but not bad, they are used to being at work and behave MOST of the time, things were going wrong though, orders were wrong on our end and on the end of companies that just don't seem to care, frustrations, one of those days and then my mother-in-law arrived and you might say, "Oh my gosh, your mother-in-law came to where you work in all the craziness?"  She comes to the shop regularly, that works, what did not work on this particular day was...wait for it...believe it...
SHE BROUGHT KAZOOS!

Ever experienced a three year old and a five year old in the workplace, hours before you leave for a trip with their first kazoos? 
I hope that you never have to, it was a true test of sanity.
At 4:00 I asked John to take me to the church.  We weren't leaving until 5:00.  I needed that hour to calm down and collect my thoughts.

This was the view from the place that we stayed.   It was a 4-H camp and as you can see it was pretty calm and peaceful there, not a Kazoo to be heard.
We were able to take part in many projects.  This was a mission outreach that one of the local churches was having in the community.  Dress Barn donates tons of clothing to World Vision to distribute and this day a church was giving away the clothing as well as Shop and Save gift certificates and had a free lunch.  We helped sort clothing and helped people find clothing that fit them.  It was interesting talking to people and hearing their stories.  One young woman walked up and I showed her this pink coat that I had just unpacked that looked as though it would fit her.  She shared that she had just got a job and had never had anything but blue jeans and she had to have dress clothes for her job.  It was fun to outfit her for her new job.

We did a lot of this.  Drywall.   They match the project to the skills of the group and we had a drywall finisher with us so drywall it was.   This was in a bathroom for a handicapped man.  The other project was in a home where the grandparents were caring for their grandchildren.  I learned a lot about drywalling!  I think I could add that to my resume now!   I did not take pics of the families or the kids.  I really felt that might be an invasion of privacy.  Of all the trips that I have been on though, this was by far my favorite.  Getting to talk to people and hear their stories is a whole lot easier when you speak the language.  The availability of tools and supplies to do the job really helped also.  I felt that we were a more productive team because of the organization that went on before we arrived.  Everything that we needed was at the job site when we got there.  


After work on Saturday we went to a local state park for a hike.  Not that any of us needed the exercise after three days of working that hard, but it was nice to see the scenery and get some fresh air.

This is a picture of the team.  It was the only one I got.  We had two other members, but they arrived later and left earlier than the rest of us.   It was a great group, small, no personality issues.  There might have been a little too much talk about roadkill among the guys, but that is another story.

This was one of the walkways at the park. 

And another view looking down into the valley.


Do you see a lion in this rock?

And now on to the three P's.  Monday was the catch-up day and John wanted to leave on Tuesday and go to the Bloomsburg Fair.  I was a little hesitant about leaving again so soon after just being gone but he needs a break and we had a free night coming at a Marriott.  Up at 5, I noticed a wet ring around the commode in our bathroom.  My first thought, "He is really not going to like this"  Second thought was to run downstairs and see if it is leaking through.  Not really run, more of a hobble because of something that is wrong with my heel, but we will leave that complaint for another post.  It was not.  John was up at 6 and noticed it also.  I tell him that the wax seal has to be broke and a lot of words from him later about how it can't be, what do I know about plumbing, am I now a plumbing expert? how dumb it is not a wax seal..blah, blah, blah, he lifts the commode and guess what?  Don't you love it when you are right?  That was the first two P's  Poop and Pee.  Commode on it's back in the shower stall, wet rugs, wet towels and dear hubby scraping the wax seal off the bottom of the commode with my Pampered Chef scraper and suddenly I realize, "I have to go get Kendall!"  I pick her up at a meeting place about 10 miles away and Shelby says that she spit up a little and I might want to change her.   Coming up the road I can smell something and I glance back and poor little Kendall is sitting there perfectly still and wide-eyed and covered with, you guessed it, the third P...PUKE!  Everywhere.
I mean EVERYWHERE! 
I had to tear the car seat apart and clean it, change and wash her and still I smelled it all day.  Needless to say, we cancelled our room and stayed home.  When you have experienced the three P's BEFORE 7:30 in the morning, the day has no where to go but up!
Now where are those blood pressure pills?

If you would like to read more about World Vision's work in Appalachia here is the link.





Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What a mess we are making!

I did not want to put the mess at the top of this post because I didn't want to scare anyone away with that little thumbnail coming up on other blogs, so I am starting with these little ornaments that were finished during last night's insomnia.  Insomnia brought on by too much to do before I leave on a short trip this week AND a cup of coffee that smelled so good at 9:00 on a nice, cool deck.  Why didn't I just sniff it?  I really didn't need to drink it also.




And this little mouse was a prototype for more.  I have them all cut-out, one more cup of coffee this evening and I would have them all done tomorrow...NOT!


And then this.  Wasn't this place supposed to start improving once we got it?   The demolition is creating more of an eyesore than I would have ever anticipated.  But good news!  The siding is in and as soon as this porch is rebuilt and a couple of windows replaced, we are ready to go!

I am leaving tomorrow for a mission trip to the Appalachia area.  We will be remodeling a bedroom and a bathroom, two different projects for two different families.  When I signed on for this trip, who would have ever thought that there would be this project right next door?  It is with a LOT of mixed feelings that I will be leaving.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Gracelyn's Tutorial


Disclaimer:  If you notice, we are doing this is Mamaw's really messy basement because it does make a mess, not that Mamaw didn't already have quite the mess before I started.
Today, I will be showing you how to make these lovely pictures, my Mommy and Daddy are going to be so excited when I bring them home.

Supplies needed:
Paper
Acrylic paints
A Mamaw that is not afraid of a little mess (or a big mess, obviously)

First, you gather your supplies and one of Mamaw's old shirts and find Mamaw's messy basecoating/varnishing table in the basement.
Then you start to place puddles of paint all over your paper.  It helps if Mamaw is close by, some of those lids can be a real bugger to get off.
Keep putting paint on, even after Mamaw says that is enough for this one, because the real fun starts when it squeezes out and goes everywhere.  Just beg a little in a cute little voice and Mamaw's usually cave.
Sometimes you have to shake the paint really hard to get a nice big puddle of paint.

Then, when you think you have enough, fold over the paper and press it together.

Open it up and if it is not colorful enough...

Fold it back up and squish really good until the paint squirts out the edges. 
See Mamaw's table?  She doesn't mind a little more mess. 

And voila!  You have a work of art.

Repeat until bedtime!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Baby Wyatt's room...in progress.

This is the start of the border in Baby Wyatt's nursery.  Trying to figure out a way to incorporate some wildlife in has been rolling around in my mind for quite some time.  This is the first coat of the silhouettes that I am going to place around room.    There is a lot more work to be done on this. 


But we have a good start anyway.

The caption on picture #1 of Mom-to-be Dianna is, "Dad, don't take my picture with this shirt on, I look like a tank!"  With only two months left to go, she is scrounging for oversized t-shirts.
And just to justify all those family members, myself included, that have harassed poor Dianna about the Pictionary games and her lack of artistic skills, she did not just pose for these pics, she actually worked a lot of the evening painting...yes PAINTING! 

Dianna held a paintbrush and I think she actually liked it!!








And of course, me painting away.

And Aunt Jenn, who did work, but at this point looks as though she was supervising Dianna's artistic endeavors.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

And all of you are witnesses.

Monday evening was spent painting with some friends.  What a nice evening and what a relaxing break for me.  I made chili (important evidence in the story).  Dear hubby didn't realize that I still knew that the kitchen was for anything more than making coffee and washing out paintbrushes.  Those were some of his first comments.  They were fun, they were harmless.  After we went to bed, that is where the threat came in.  I settled in.  That is what we will call it.  After the threat, I realized that we rarely go to bed at the same time.  Our internal clocks are a bit different.  For instance, it is 4:42 right now and he is sleeping away and will  be for another two hours...I go to bed at 10:00 or so.  Anyway, back to the threat.  I "settle" in, turn out the light and "settle" some more, when dear hubby gets up WITH his pillow and walks around to my side of the bed and looks at me, with a meanie face and says...and I quote, "You have played with that alarm clock, you have sneezed, you have coughed, and you have had gas, if you make one more noise I am going to hold this pillow over your head until you quit twitching!"

Really, can I help it that I had to pick up Kendall early the next morning, that I have ANOTHER stupid cold, or that I had chili for supper? 

And now on to the craft/yard sale section of this post.

I found this cute little fold up rocker at a sale this weekend.  It needs a little TLC, but will make a perfect bedroom rocker. 
And these are some of the items that I finished up on Monday night.

And some close-ups of them.
Wonder where I put the lid to that canister?
And lastly, if anyone can think of a really creative use for all these jar lids, I would be so grateful.  They really just looked like a great buy! 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Another poop post!

A friend of mine told me that I have a lot of poop posts and I guess that she is right.  If I had used the word poop as a tag word in my posts, I wonder how many would come up.  Last Thursday was ANOTHER poop issue in our life.  The commode which had been running somewhat slow at the shop, stopped up altogether.  Mind you, the only good part of this timing is that it was not 100 degrees or 0 degrees.  It was a nice sunny, breezy day and if you had to look at the bright side, the weather was perfect for this activity! "


That, my friends was the only up side to this fiasco.  Well, the weather and the fact that dear hubby took responsibility for this big "oops" and remained somewhat good humored throughout what could have been quite the marriage testing event. 

You see that stack of stones there?  Well those and the little boys that put them there were the culprit.  We have clean-out pipes on the sewer lines and the cap had come off on one years ago.  The yard at the shop never seems to be a priority, there is always so much work to do there and when I get to go home, I do and don't want to go back to fix up the yard.  Apparently neither does John...he mows and trims and not much more than that. The cap has been missing for quite awhile.  Anyway, apparently the boys must have thought it was a great place to drop stones. 
Actually, we were surprised that we didn't find any golf balls in there.  The boys spend a lot of time golfing in that yard and there seem to be a lot of golf balls that come missing.

So this was the position dear hubby was in for much of the afternoon.  I didn't get pics as the hole got bigger and he got deeper, let's just say that he was in pretty deep until he was done and when the clog was finally broke and "everything" behind it bubbled out...well that was not the prettiest moment of the day.  At 4:30, everything fixed and working again, he left to go home and shower.  When I ran home on supper break (you see last week involved a lot of 12+ hour days at work for me) he was still filthy.  There are also poop problems at the new house and the man with the excavator was there waiting for him to start digging on that poop problem.  No sense wasting a good shower, right.  At 9 or so, we both dropped into recliners, clean and exhausted.  Shouldn't life slow down a little at this age?

And Bob...if you happen to read this, maybe you would like to come here and work one day a week on maintenance.  We could sure use you!  Really, we wouldn't make you put your hands in sewage!

My blog posts are becoming a bit monotonous...a crisis and some crafts! 
And now the craft portion. 
I made these last year to put in my church Christmas cards.  Thought I would make a few more for sale at the open house.  Fun and easy to do.


And yesterday morning, I made a few tissue purse holder.  These are really quick to make.  I have an idea to make them a little fancier though. 

I have some friends coming to paint with me later today.  How fun!  Off to put some chili in the crock pot, wouldn't want to stop and have to cook!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I'll admit it.

It snuck up on me.  Oh, I knew that he was on his way, the evidence was there! But I am ashamed to say that there has been so much going on around here that the time just crept up on me. 
Baby Wyatt John should be making his arrival in less than two months!  TWO MONTHS!!! 
Where did that time go?  I guess it probably seems like a lot longer to Dianna than it does to the rest of us.


So, I have to get busy!  There are things to paint, things to knit, things to sew.  So much to do yet for the next little blessed addition to our family.


This week I will paint the room, well the decorative end of it anyway.  Travis has all the paint on the walls.  These are the colors of the room, these are the fabrics we are using.

I need to get busy! 

Hopefully Baby Wyatt does not take after his cousin Kendall and arrive a month early!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Ever-Evolving Fireplace

Or otherwise known as
Why I Don't Have New Carpet.

This is our fireplace.

Nice rug in front of the fireplace?
This is what it is covering.

And this.
Oh, and this....
You see, these are what happens when my husband builds his fires. Not nice little Indian Fires, but great big crackling, spitting, sparking White Man Fires. 
The first Thanksgiving that we were married was the worst.  House all clean, it was to be the first blending of the families.  Just as I finished cleaning, (no small task in a house this size) I smelled smoke and ran downstairs to find at least 15 smoking places in the carpet.  Not a happy, fuzzy Thanksgiving memory, only to be topped the next year when I burnt the gravy, my mother put it down the garbage disposal and it came back up in the bathroom shower, but we'll leave that story for another time.  The only reason that I mention it is because every time I tell the fire story, dear hubby says, "Well how about the year the gravy came up in the shower stall?" 
Several years later, dear hubby decides that he needs gas logs for the fireplace.  Several hundred $$$ later and several tense moments when all the pieces were not in the box and I had to make a trip back to get them because they needed installed BEFORE he left for Florida on the bike for two weeks....the NIGHT before he left for Florida...well I think you get the picture. 
That winter started the $$$$$ big, $$$huge, $$$$$terrible, $$$$$gas bills.  Get the picture? 
When I sat in the recliner looking at those lovely gas flames going up the chimney, I did not see relaxation in front of the fire, I saw $$$$ going up the chimney.  Now I should have been able to replace the carpet, but with all the $$$ going up the chimney, I settled for this rug to cover all most of the burnt spots.
Two years of gas bills, Saturday at lunchtime, I walk downstairs to see dear hubby standing in front of the fireplace staring.  Mind you, we have a wedding to be at by 3:00. 
He announces, "Today I reclaim the fireplace" 
You would have thought he just stepped foot in the New World. 
I cringed, did an about face, headed to my sewing room, turned up the TV loud and buried my face in the sewing machine. 
About an hour later, I smelled it, wood smoke!  I waited for the normal next smell....burning carpet...

For the past 2 - 3 years I have been hearing the murmurs...fireplace insert,  wood burning, heat efficient.  I see the searches on the computer.
Monday finds us at the Canfield Fair.  Instead of taking my gas efficient vehicle, or the motorcycles as we had talked, we load into the truck.  Why?  "You never know what we might want to haul home" he says.
One hundred yards into the fairgrounds, he finds them...fireplace inserts.  He talks to the guy, they "happen" to have the one that he likes, it is the last day of the fair, they will make us a deal on Cash and Carry, they are close to the gate, and we have a truck.  I say we will think about it, I go to give blood, I come out and say "what are we going to do about the fireplace insert?"  He looks a trifle guilty and explains that while I was giving blood, he went and paid for it and they are taking it apart right now and  looking for a dolly and it will be ready when we leave."  Does this all sound like fate? or a set up?  I am starting to wonder.  He did seem a little more excited to go the fair than ever....hmmm.

Anyway, this is what it looks like now.
This is what it "hopefully" will look like soon.

And because the door HAS to stay closed and we should not be burning the carpet, and because we will be saving so much on our gas bill, and just maybe we can sell the gas logs, maybe, just maybe there will be some new carpet in my future!

And just a little craft item to end with.  I have been working a lot of hours at the shop this week, so this is all that I have.
Sweater balls.  Saw these in a magazine, I think that a few of them would look nice in a bowl with pine cones.  They are ready for sale at the Open House.