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Friday, May 28, 2010

I Am So Smart

Yesterday I went to lunch at our favorite Fake Chinese place with Blondie, Carina, and her kiddos. After lunch, Blondie and I walked down to the shoe store to find some sandals to replace the ones that Blondie has worn out. When we got back to the car, I hit the unlock button on my flicker (keyless entry) and tried to open my door. It didn't work, so I hit the button again. It still didn't work. At that point, I realized I was trying to unlock the wrong car. Oops!

There were two identical Jeeps parked side by side, only mine was much dirtier and doesn't have flair hanging from the rearview mirror. I just laughed at myself.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Birthday to Blondie!

Yesterday was Blondie's birthday. It was also his last day of school for the year. He said that he successfully avoided being wished a happy birthday until almost the very end of the day, when another teacher realized it was his birthday and announced it to everyone.

We had a nice dinner last night at my house with his family. Blondie grilled steaks on his new GrillMaster 9000 (his pet name for the grill) and we had angel food cake, strawberries, and vanilla ice cream for dessert. I failed to take any pictures until the meal was over, everyone was gone, and the kitchen was cleaned. The only photo I have to commemorate Blondie's birthday dinner is this lame picture of what's left of the cake. My apologies.


Blondie refuses to tell anyone what type of cake is his favorite. He told me once that his grandma's angel food cake with strawberries and ice cream is one of his favorite desserts, so I have decided that is his favorite cake. Until he tells me otherwise, that's what I'm going to make for all special occasions. And ordinary occasions. So, if angel food cake is, in fact, his favorite, it won't be for long. He'll get tired of it and tell me he likes chocolate.

This next photo is completely unrelated to the rest of this post. I ate some leftovers from lunch for an afternoon snack yesterday and shared what I didn't eat with my pets. I know my mom would adamantly disapprove of me allowing my pets to eat from my real dishes, so don't tell her about this! I always run my dishwasher on the sanitize cycle, so you don' t have to worry about dog slobber if you're ever invited to dinner at my house.


Aren't Roscoe and Maynard adorable sharing the scraps?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kitty Babies!


I still have the cutest kitty-babies. They haven't disappeared! They are adorable and cuddly. They still haven't emerged from their pile, so I'm not exactly sure how many we have. I cropped some fluffiness out of this photo, so this isn't the whole pile. It is just the cutest section. I still can't reach them; and they still don't care to come to me. They also don't especially love it when I take their picture. I'm guessing the flash is rather unpleasant. Their pile readjusts so I just have a photo of fluffy, kitty rear ends. I really want them to come out and play.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mirror

Do you remember the mirror I bought back in April? I finally did something with it last weekend. It has been waiting patiently in one of my spare rooms for me to put it to work.

My bedroom doesn't have room for much more than my queen size bed and dresser. I thought a mirror hanging over the dresser might make the room feel larger, so I had been keeping an eye out for the perfect mirror. I had a few requirements: it needed to be about the same length as my dresser, it needed to have a black or bronze frame, and it needed to be cheap!

This mirror met those requirements. It is roughly the same length as the dresser and the frame is really more gold than bronze, but it was, most importantly, cheap! For $40, I'm willing to overlook a slight color discrepancy.

My room looks pretty plain. I have light colored pine furniture and not much on the walls. I keep a tray of trinket boxes on my dresser for different types of jewelry and the lamp is purely functional. The plant was formerly in the living room, but didn't really complement the color scheme anymore when I used fabric with an orange stripe for my curtains. Here is a before picture of my dresser wall.



Before we hung the mirror, we covered the dresser with a blanket so we wouldn't scratch it with our tools or the mirror when we set it down. Blondie helped me with this project and we didn't have a stud finder, but Blondie is pretty clever. He used magnets to locate the metal nails in the studs so we would know where they were. They might be difficult to see here, but they're the four silver dots on the wall.



The mirror had loops on the back and we used picture hanging hooks to hang the mirror. Since the loops were already attached to the mirror frame, there was no flexibility regarding hook placement. My hooks had to be 54" apart. We weren't able to hang the mirror on two studs, but we figured it would be ok if we used an anchor on one side and nailed the hooks to a stud on the other side.

We determined how far from the ceiling we wanted to hang it, marked on the wall where we wanted to place the hooks, then used Blondie's handy-dandy laser level to make sure the marks were level. They were. Blondie did the drilling, I did the nailing, and voila! My mirror is hung! Doesn't it look much nicer this way?


We did have to move the dresser a few inches so that it would be centered under the mirror. I was willing to move the dresser a bit so that at least one end of the mirror could be securely fastened to a stud. I kept picturing one end of my mirror crashing onto my dresser and shattering while I slept. Fortunately, it did not. The first 24 hours are critical, right? Surely if it didn't fall the first night, it won't fall at all.

Check out more Metamorphosis Monday projects here:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Zero

Julie was very helpful last weekend. My house has been missing the 0 from the house number from several months. During our cold winter, the epoxy holding the number to the brick finally gave out (after approximately 30 years) and the 0 fell off.


I retrieved the number, but have not gotten around to gluing it back on.

Julie got fed up with the lack of a 0, so she helped me out:


She cut a 0 out of white paper and used Scotch tape to attach it to my house. It's still there. If it lasts through the winter I will know how to permanently affix the legitimate 0 to the house!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cooking With Gas

Summer is quickly approaching, and that means it is grilling season! Blondie loves cooking outside and I had planned a family get-together at my house for Friday evening, but didn't have a grill. Blondie's birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to surprise him with a shiny new grill. Except the grill really wasn't for his birthday. It was a not-birthday-present. He will get his birthday present on his birthday.

At Christmas, Blondie wasn't quite sure what he should get me. He knew that I needed, and wanted, a new toaster oven. However, he was well aware that a toaster oven is not the right thing to give your girlfriend for Christmas. (He gave me cacti instead...which is also questionable, but at least it is not a kitchen appliance.) He did get me a toaster oven, but he called it a not-Christmas-present. Sneaky.

Well, since it was not Blondie's birthday, this grill is definitely a not-birthday-present. I purchased the grill on Wednesday and Blondie came over on Thursday. He was expecting to eat dinner and watch some Star Trek, but I had other plans.

Before Blondie assembled the grill, he thoroughly read all of the instructions. I have never seen a man do that.


It took a while. We had to borrow some tools. We only had a minor little argument.


But when the grill was assembled, it was beautiful.



Blondie is all about features. Well, let me tell you, this grill has features. Not the least of which include LED lights on the "control panel." Now, these lights serve absolutely no function besides looking cool, but Blondie was impressed.


After the grill was assembled and we verified its functionality, Blondie informed me that we were never cooking burgers inside again.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Kitty-Babies

I love it when I go to the kitty pen and find surprises! Last time it was a calf.

Last year, on C. and my anniversary we kept it pretty simple and went to W'Ville (I'm stealing that from Carina) to have supper and get our anniversary gift. Our gift was adorable kittens from one of the families at our church. That was October 20 of last year.

Well, my adorable kittens became teen moms. They aren't even a year old, not even close, and they already have babies. But I love my kitty-babies. They are adorable. About a week ago Gray Stripey Kitty (yes, that's her name) had a pile of five. Then Black Kitty had five more on Saturday evening. So far I think we still have all ten, which is an impressive feat for first time teen mom cats.

I say "I think we still have all ten," because it's kind of hard to tell how many kitty-babies are in the pile. And they are pretty much always in a pile. You can see that everyone in the pile is basically the same color, and they pretty much blend into a pile of grayish-blackish fluff.

Don't you want a kitty-baby of your very own? I will gladly share.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spring Garden Photos

My gardening photos are appropriately lame for this forum. I must say I think my yard looks pretty nice right now, but you can't tell from the pictures. Recent rains have kept everything green and it hasn't gotten hot enough yet to scorch the leaves of my plants.


It is hard to grow anything on the shady north side of my house, but there is a skinny flower bed along the house on that side. There was a large snowball bush in that flower bed when I moved into the house, but it was disrupting the sidewalk, so I removed it. Since then, that flower bed has been bare. Last year, though, my friend Patti gave me some hostas from her garden and they have thrived there. I planted them on a wet, muddy day last year and I was afriad they wouldn't make it. But they did! They came back this year and look even better.


The south side of my house is not much more hospitable to plant life, but I try. The previous owner of my home planted some hearty bushes that I still have, and I try to accent them with other plants. On the southwest corner of the flower bed, I planted two rose bushes a few years ago. So far this year, they have not done very well, though. Hopefully they will perk up as the summer heats up. I have started some Hyacinth Beans, which I will put on the trellis. Please ignore the ugly t-post. It's so windy here, the trellis has to be attached to something sturdy to keep it from blowing away.

I have planted some Marigolds and Lobelia in front of these evergreen bushes. The summer I moved here, I was surprised to see purple creeping phlox show up. I was not a fan of the creepers and I spend many hours eradicating that stuff. The sun beats down on this area, so I will have to keep these guys watered pretty well. I hope the mulch will help keep them moist.

This is my best area for growing plants. Unfortunately there is no dirt here! This is the southeast corner of my house. It gets nice morning sun and it is shielded from the wind and sun during the hottest part of the day. I start my seedlings in pots here and then move them to their permanent homes once they are established.

On the far left, near the wall I have a pot of herbs I started in my kitchen. I planted basil, parsley, and chives in tiny little pots and set them on my windowsill. Once the were three inches tall, I planted them in this pot and have been tending to them carefully. I hope they will actually produce some decent herbs!

Next are my hyacinth beans. My grandma gave me my first hyacinth bean seeds several years ago and I harvest seeds each year and save them for the next. They always remind me of her. Eventually I will plant these in a larger pot by that trellis and they will completely cover it up (you won't even notice the t-post!). The purple flowers are actually edible, but I have never tried them.

In the little purple pots, I have planted chamomile seeds. They have sprouted, but they aren't big enough to transplant yet.

The two green pots contain sunflowers. I also planted those in tiny pots and placed them in the windowsill for a few weeks and moved them to these pots at the same time as the herbs.

In the front, I have a terra cotta bowl and a gray pot of English Ivy. Those should really be in the shade, but I'm nursing them back to health after being nearly destroyed last year. I'll probably plant them in the back yard later this summer. On the far right, I have a Hen-&-Chicks that has been incredibly hearty. That pot has been there for two years, through all seasons, and the little guy has been just fine. That's my kind of plant!

Blondie is a big fan of tomatoes, so we have planted two tomato plants in pots. I don't really like this lava rock. I don't know of any volcanoes in Oklahoma, so I just think it looks out of place. I would rather have river rock (it would look more appropriate and better complement the color and style of my house), but it would be expensive to replace so I'm living with the lava rock for now.

I also have some other bushes on the east side of my house and on my front porch, but I think this is enough plants for now. I'll post an update later in the summer to show you my progress (or failure)!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Nature

The weather in my neck of the woods has been beautiful this week. It is notoriously windy in western Oklahoma (when the wind comes sweeping down the plains), but when the wind is not blowing 30 miles per hour, it can be really pretty. This week I have planted some lovely flowers and a couple of tomatoes.


I bought some cute little seed starter kits that I used to start some herbs, and surprisingly, my seeds grew successfully! They reached 3" tall and I transplanted them in a larger pot outside. So far the wind has not destroyed them.


I also received some cuttings of purple Ajuga and yellow Ranunculus from a co-worker. She gave them to me in little plastic pots and I put them out on my porch overnight. I didn't get around to planting them the next day, and that night they got hailed on! I was out of town that evening and by the time I returned, I just knew they would be dead. I planted them anyway. They still look sickly, but so far they seem to be doing ok. We'll see if they make it through the summer.


Sometimes I like to plant some colorful flowers in front of the bushes in my south flower bed. This year I planted yellow Marigolds and purple Lobelia. The soil in that flower bed is just awful. It's dense, hard clay that tends to suffocate anything planted in it. I hope my tender little flowers survive!


I hope I will be able to take some pictures this weekend and post them here for you to see!