summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

oh my goody good goodness, it's been busy, new floor!!!!

That first piece goes down, and yay! It's happening! The floor looks absolutely beautiful. I can't vouch for how well it will wear, but it looks pretty nice now. Adrian, my son-in-law, installed it for us, and he said it was very good quality. It went together well, no broken pieces that couldn't be used. It's a Lowe's floor, allen+roth, Urbanite Oak, in case you're wondering. I would totally recommend it. There aren't better before and after pics because after Miss Evvy and I spent all that time in Lowe's yesterday looking for the right screws for the new bedframe, they didn't fit. I bought the frame from marketplace, it had never been used, but they had lost the hardware. How difficult can that be, silly me thought. So we slept on the mattress on the floor again. I've been up since around four. I don't want all the clutter in the "new room", so I still have things to reckon with. Today, I plan to touch up some nicks and missed places in the paint, sew a few pillow covers, sort and go through some things, refile some paperwork in the mini filebox I scored at the thrift store for $3.99 yesterday...Evelyn bought a beautiful vanity with a stool for $29.99, looks brand new. She was so thrilled with it!!! Dinner yesterday was butter chicken...I browned 5 pounds of cut up chicken breast in one and a half sticks of butter, dumped it all into the crock pot, and shh, poured in 3 jars of Aldi Butter Chicken simmer sauce. A little bit of cumin, some freshly ground pepper, and the house smelled yummers all day long. We had a loaf of Italian bread, instead of making the homemade naan bread, and a pan of rice. I made cauliflower for anyone who wanted less carbs...I microwaved it a little bit, then sauteed it in butter, and added a bit of Frank's hot sauce. mmmm. Butter chicken over it, not bad. So we ate every single bit of the chicken, not a leftover to be found. And...this morning, I decided to make it again! I pulled frozen chicken breast from the freezer, and added a few jars of the sauce, and dinner is in the crockpot, same thing as yesterday, but I didn't brown up the chicken first. So I've been wanting a new coffee table, don't like the huge black square anymore. Sometimes I see something I like on marketplace, then it's gone before I move on it. So in the midst of this bedroom re-do, and taking Evelyn to get her wisdom teeth out on Monday morning, I went and got a "new" coffee table.
(She looks so good for just having had that done the day before! Isn't Tennyson so cute with his Aunt Evelyn?) We had to take an extra trip into the small city because Walmart had a power outage, and her prescription meds were called in there after the surgery. It was still closed in the early afternoon, so the dr. had to call it into a different pharmacy. So Monday was a running-around day. And, ha, to top it all off, I messaged about this coffee table, and had to drive 40 minutes each way to get it...
It's quite shiny, and not my favorite color, but I bought it for it's structure. I am picturing it after stripping the top, and leaving it natural, with a clear matte finish, and the bottom painted a creamy white. Another project, yay! But, it's going to have to wait. I know a long winter is coming up, I need to have things lined up to do. I intend on stocking up on primer, chalk paint, ect. I'm also sort of looking for matching tables to re-do for each side of our new bed. I've had a tall dresser on my side for years, now we've put it on a different wall, and I want a table with a lamp. It's not a hurry, just an idea... All these things are so time and thought consuming, and while I think it's grand to keep busy and make things nice, there is such a greater purpose in life, and we musn't forget it in the midst of everything else. So Adrian installed the flooring, Wulf "helped", which means he scattered tools around the house and jumped on the bed. It was a rainy day, the girls were at in-person school, Evelyn had just had surgery the day before, although she was still the board cutter for Adrian, going out on the deck in the rain and using the saw. Don't worry, she hadn't taken pain meds at the time, and was fine. Margaret was here with little baby Tennyson, and guess what? I got to hold him and rock him and talk to him...when I start singing, he reacts to it, hones in on my face, and looks at me. He's a little stare-er. So sweet. This afternoon, a trip to the airport! Mr. Jonathan is coming home from Oregon! We got our stuff out of his room in the nick of time!

Monday, September 28, 2020

home from Pennsylvania!

The drive was lovely! When I got home, Paul had taken up the carpet in our room, taken apart our bed. I just had to finish the bottom trim, which I did this morning. A few coats of primer, then a nice thick coat of white semi-gloss. Then Camille helped me touch up some spots we had missed on the walls. I got up bright and early to bring Miss Evelyn Joy in to the dental surgeon to have some wisdom teeth pulled. Poor girl. We stopped at Walmart on the way home for the scripts, you know, some antibiotics, pain meds, steriods for swelling...well, Walmart parking lot looked pretty empty. The power was out! Come back later, around noon, we were told by a kid stopping traffic in the parking lot. Well, we moseyed on back in the early afternoon, after doing that painting and having Wulf over for a few hours while Marge had an appointment and Adrian had class...still closed! The power was STILL OUT. So, we called the dr. and had the meds called in to a smaller drug store, then went to the grocery store for some soft food for Evelyn. Pudding, ice cream, yogurt, ect. Home, ah home. For five minutes, then to buy a coffee table from marketplace, which will be a project for winter...maybe leave the top alone and chalk paint the base...hmmm...
The big black square is finding a new home! Home again, ahhh. I hadn't eaten yet, so I had some leftover chicken wings, some leftover sausage, and some peanuts. Now, it's time to get ready for bed, our mattress on our bare wood floor. Tomorrow is a big day: new flooring installed!!! Evelyn and I have to go into the city in the morning to take care of some things, I have to get some nuts and bolts and screws for the new bed frame. We are making butter chicken tomorrow...mmmm. Our trip was fantastic, our long ride to Pennsylvania. Karen is holding up, she remains optimistic, thankful, and happy, despite the suffering of being stuck away from home for months now. Hobie is doing better but still has a long road of recovery ahead of him. Karen is able to visit him in the hospital each day, which is really nice, but it is exhausting for her, although she doesn't complain one single peep. (he was septic and almost lost his life, and his leg, but has recovered, had many surgeries, and is able to walk short distances...) So we had a nice time visiting Karen, catching up, talking, going in the hot tub...a very simple yet special time. I got home to Emily, Abigail, Mariel, Margaret, Adrian, Wulf, Tennyson, and Evelyn visiting, just ready to eat a huge meal of taco salad with all the fixings. I hadn't eaten all day, so it was amazing...

Saturday, September 26, 2020

everyone loves a good before and after! and, road trip!

So yeah, this was in my room. I was going to send it on it's merry way to the dump, but structurally, it was fine. So....
The secret? I bought a staple gun! Oh dear, now I want to staple EVERYTHING. It was so easy! Just measure the outside width of the cube, multiply by four, add a few inches, then measure the height and add a few inches. Right sides together, one seam, I ironed the edges in top and bottom, then just slide this fabric tube right onto the stool. Then cut a top piece a few inches bigger than the top, and same thing, iron the edges, and staple it on. Some of you are probably saying DUH, but I feel like I made a new discovery. Shh, I have two more of these ugly storage stools in the living projects galore! The bench: I might put more wax on after I buff it out, it's mostly done, so here's your before and after, though it's not actually 100% finished...
I kind of liked it before, but it'll look nice in my new room like this...
And I recovered an ugly couch pillow...
(I didn't take a before pic, it was blue-ish, and frayed...) And today, am I staying home and working on projects?! No sir, not me, I am heading out the door on a mini road-trip with my friend Patty. We are going to visit our friend Karen, who is staying near Philadelphia. Karen's husband had an accident back in July, a battle with flesh eating bacteria, he almost lost his leg, and his life. He was stricken with sepsis, and it has been a rough road. We cannot go visit Hobie, restrictions are in place of course. But we can see Karen, and although the circumstances aren't ideal, my heart is happy, and I know our visit will be good and worthwhile. It's a 4 and a half hour drive, and it's a nice sunny day. We're staying the night and driving back tomorrow. I wasn't planning on going, we had the thought to do it sometime, but it hasn't been clear how long he would be at that particular hospital, then Karen messaged yesterday that today would be a good time to come. Okay, here we come! If you think I'm all packed up and ready, you don't know me very well ha.

Friday, September 25, 2020

more and more projects!

This wood storage bench has been at the foot of our bed for years and years and years, Paul got it for me when we were first married. It's not anything to write home about, but it is real wood, pine probably, not laminate. I have mixed feelings about painting it, but I decided to anyway, mostly because I love chalk painting, and have been itching for a project.
One coat of primer...and doesn't everyone stack things on Fisher-Price blocks, on top of boxes of flooring? I went out to the kitchen to get my second cup, and of course that means wiping down the counters and the vent above the stove, oops, I knew a screw was loose, but uh--0h!!! down she came.
Any bets as to how long it'll be like this? I don't know where the screw went... So I got my coffee, and decided to give the first and second coats of chalk paint...
I'll let this dry for a few hours before the final coat, and then...the wax! I was out of chalk paint wax for months, very pricey on Amazon, and out of stock on Walmart, ect., so every time I went into Walmart, I would check for it, and BINGO YAY, last week, I found it! I was tempted to buy two or three, but I just bought the one little jar. Did you know that you can chalk paint door handles? If your door handles are gold or brass, and you want to update the look, you don't have to take them off and go outside and spray paint, although they would prob look better. But if you're like me, and you're as lazy as the day is long, you can do this: paint on a bit of primer, Zinzer 1-2-3 or Kilz, or something cheap even, just a coat of primer. You could do two coats if you want. Then get your handy dandy black chalk paint, if black door handles are what you're aiming for...and carefully paint them. Give a second coat a bit later, maybe a third. If some of the brass or gold peeks out, it looks fine, kind of rustic. When they dry, add some chalk paint wax, and voila, new doorknobs!
I also paint over the door hinges with black chalk paint... So now you know all my secrets and shortcuts. And shh, I have ANOTHER PROJECT! I have a green stool in my room, it's such an ugly shade of lime green, but structurally sound. (The last time I re-did my room, like 8 years ago, I painted the walls that purplish blue, and the accents were...lime green. I know, what in the world? Well, it's because I found stuff cheap. I remember painting in the room in August, that's when the going-back-to-college stuff was clearanced. So I got a mirror with the lime green frame, a huge poster frame for a family picture, a floor lamp, and...the stool. Well, the lamp will get a coat of paint, the picture frame too, and the stool...I'm going to try to recover it. So I'm heading to Walmart for the fabric, I know just what I want, I saw it there before and loved it, but didn't know what to use it for, now I do, hope it's still there! I also need a staple gun, how have I lived without one? It'd be cheaper to just get a new stool...hmmm. But what would be the fun in that? The kids don't have in-person school today, one of the students tested positive. They have a regular class schedule though, zoom classes. They have to be present for each class. Cam had gym class, wherein the students were sharing their pets. It makes sense, right? Covid sense, like everyone going in and out the same door in Walmart, and roping off the seating areas in the mall, and limiting entry to state parks. Anyway, off to Walmart I go...all by myself...:) They all have a break right now, and are making bagels and eggs.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

making progress!

Miss Camille painting the primer onto the door frame, and the door...I told her it's okay to be messy with the primer. She, and Charlotte Claire, finished with their school for the day, so they came to help me. I told them, "If you start feeling tired, just remember that your 55 yr old mother already painted the entire ceiling all by herself." I know, I'm mean. But I am also proud of myself for painting that ceiling. Rolling paint on a ceiling is not fun, but hopping up and down on a chair every few minutes as you drag it around the perimeter doing the edging, that's worse. But oh, a freshly painted ceiling, the joy!
The first few strokes of paint are always so....scary? This looked green, and I thought, oh dear, what have I done NOW?
Then as more went on, it looked less green...I mean, when I chose this color (Silver Strand, S.W.)I thought I was getting a gray color. (now it looks a very soft gray, with blue-ish/greenish hues)
Cam doing primer, Miss Char rolling the walls. I was trimming the walls, up and down on the chair, ugh.
It's getting there! The color in the morning light is much nicer than it looked when it first went on. There are spots we need to touch up, but it's fresh and bright and clean. It's hard for me to cover up that nice wood trim with white paint, and I had mixed feelings about it. My girls were not hearing it, it has to be white, if I'm doing a project, do it all the way, they said. So I am leaving the closet doors for now, but the bathroom door and the bedroom door are painted...need another coat. To me, so much white reminds me of living in an apartment. But it does look nice. The next step is to take the bed out, then rip up the carpeting. Adrian is going to help us install the flooring, thankfully. He's super busy right now, full time engineering student, second year, with a lot of hard classes, and with Margaret just having their second baby (Wulf and Tennyson), he's a busy kid, so I hesitated to ask him. We have to have everything all ready, in place, underlayment down, and then it should only take a few hours. Then, we can put together the new bedframe, and start moving things back in. It is looking like autumn around here...
Have a good happy day!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

cleaning, organizing, and reminiscing...

Once upon a time, ten months after we got married, we had a baby...this is baby Emily Anne, 7 months old. She was the best baby in the world.
18 months old..I made her the little jumper. Back in the eighties, hearts were all the rage.
When we had five kids, we thought we were busy, ha, and we were. Emily, Abigail, Benjamin, Mariel, and baby Joseph. This was when were building a house, still living in our mobile home.
New house, new baby, now Aaron Royce joined the festivities.
Then there were ten. Okay, there were pic taken in between, these are just some I found while sorting and organizing the room, okay? :). This was the day that Benjamin told the photographer that his name was George. Everytime she said something like, "Move a little to this side, George!", the kids would roar, but no one told her that his name wasn't George. The kids were Emily 14, Abigail 12, Benjamin 10, Mariel 8, Joseph 7, Aaron 6, Molly Rose 4, Samuel 3, Margaret 2, and Kathryn 5 months...something like that. The first three kids were "spaced" a bit, but not really. We lost a baby between Abigail and Benjamin :(.
And...14! Jonathan was the baby in this pic...our joy and treasure after losing baby Robert, another baby boy after those five girls in a row. Emily was holding Suzanne and Sonja, with Kathryn to the side of her. Benjamin in the back next to me, with Sam in front of me and Mariel and Molly Rose in front of Ben. Joseph next to Paul, with Aaron in front of Joe, and Margaret next to Sam, with Evelyn in front of her, next to Abigail, who is holding baby Jonathan Robert. I have to seriously get moving. I am actually sore from all the work I did yesterday. Our room contains only the bed, one big dresser, and the fan. There are things in the closet still, not sure if we are going to take everything out and properly put new flooring in there, or be lazy, leave the carpet in there...we probably shouldn't, Paul has such bad allergies, the carpet is killing him, so dusty.
The walls were painted around 6 years ago, but this is the original carpeting. Yes, back when we built our house, when I was 27, I thought this was a good idea. The walls were lavender. mmm hmmm. See what I'm doing here? I'm sitting here typing, when I should be gathering the painting supplies. I'm starting with the ceiling, then doing the walls, then the trim...I think. The trim has to be painted with primer first, even that is a long tiring job. Ceiling paining is the worst. My helpers have this annoying little thing called SCHOOL. Sonja has college classes, harrumph. Jonathan is still in Oregon, which is a good thing, because his bedroom, shh, has been filled with a boatload of crapola, everything from our room, ha. If we don't get done before he gets home, oh boy. Yesterday, I organized, sorted, and cleaned. I get so easily sidetracked, every penny I find, I check the date to see if it's really old and worth something. A barette, oh I remember Molly wearing that! Old store receipts, 2012, oh, what did I buy?! Old letters, don't mind if I do! So I spend all the live-long day, and beleive me, it's hard to get rid of things. I am not a hoarder, I actually really like minimalism, the empty look, but I like stuff, too. But then again, I hate stuff, and like getting rid of it. And shh, yes, I am procrastinating like crazy. Hopefully we get some good progress pics today. Wish me luck! So now I have to gather the supplies, and shh, I'm secretly hoping we need some really important things, and I have to go to Walmart, because PROCRASTINATION is my middle name!