Thursday, December 25, 2014

2014 Year in Review

In January Dad, Mik, and I went to Walt Disney World. Dad ran the WDW Marathon and we enjoyed staying on the Club Level at Animal Kingdom Villas.

February marked one year in our house in Alabama. We still weren't unpacked, but we did get snow. Never did really unpack everything in Alabama. However, another move later and we are almost all unpacked in our new places (just a few boxes left in Mik's room and Mom's organizing her stuff at her place is just a forever ongoing project).

Mom, Mik, and I visited Walt Disney World for a quick weekend trip in March to get our DVC discounted vouchers for next year's Premier Passes and go to the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.

I spent a lot of the first half of the year at the lake house we rented, especially after Charter finally decided we weren't too far from a hook up to have internet in March. Did quite a bit of fishing, but only caught one fish, which was early on Easter and ended up being our Easter dinner.

In March/April we decided that it made more sense to switch from saving for a dream house on the lake to a condo in the DC area as it actually made sense as a place for us to live long term. In April we went to check out different areas and condos. We also went to Opening Day at Nationals Park. We did end up making an offer on a place, but they refused it because they did not want to make reasonable accommodations to the entry. Loved that unit, but it turned out for the better because we ended up in a community with much better amenities and I got my patio.

As soon as the 2014 Cubs schedule came out last year we decided we would see a game at Wrigley Field during the 100th Anniversary season when the Dbacks were in town and we choose the Wednesday game because that was Dad's off day, so he wouldn't have to take as many days off to go. Ended up being the actual 100th Anniversary date!

We all ended up back in Tucson in May and visited the Titan Missile Museum, which we had never gotten around to visiting in all the years we lived in Tucson.

At the end of May we closed on Mik's and my condo in Alexandria. In June Mom got a job relocation to Virginia and her and Dad found a condo to rent in the same complex as ours. The moving process took four months, but unlike still having at least a room full of boxes a year later from the AZ to AL move we have actually pretty much entirely finished unpacking (or at least Mik and I only have a few boxes left in Mik's room).

When checking out the local used bookstore when we first got our condo in Alexandria I found a 1940s Virginia Guidebook that Mom got me as a housewarming gift. After finding 1940s book on Tidewater Virginia I decided to start a 1940s book collection by finding books printed in the 1940s at local used bookstores. I'm using a bookcase we put in our dining room for the collection, which now includes several books I already had from the books I saved from my Grandma Kjos' library, a dictionary my Dad had that was originally my Grandpa Wasiak's, and seven other books I've found at various used bookstores in my travels this year.

I enjoyed some time at the cottage in Michigan with Grandpa, Jeannie, and Kirsten in June.

Also, in June Dad and I checked out the mini golf that was set up along the sidewalks in downtown Huntsville.

For Mom's birthday in July I got us tickets to see the Blake Shelton concert at Wrigley Field. She said it was the best concert she's ever been to. Mine, too, but I still don't officially like concerts. However, it was awesome see Neal McCoy perform. He's a true entertainer.

Dad and I went to Poland in August for the 70th Anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising. I enjoyed hearing the first hand stories from my Grandpa Wasiak as we visited the Warsaw Uprising Museum and the area he grew up in Old Town.

When we lived in Arizona we traditionally went to a Nats @ Dbacks game once a season. Now that we live a metro trip away from Nats Park we went to several games this season, but most importantly we started a new tradition of going to a Dbacks @ Nats game. Also, I got Mik to agree to be a Nats fan now that we live in the area. He's still a Dbacks fan, but he roots for the Nats, too, unless they're playing the Dbacks.

For my birthday in October we went on a Disney Cruise that included Mik and I finally going to Mexico (Cozumel) and a stop in Jamaica. Mom and Dad also did the Castaway Cay 5k. I also ended up with a fleet of Dumbos from collecting the popcorn buckets for my Dumbo lamp project and also Mom getting me a stuffed Dumbo, which Mik found quite snuggy.

For years I have been wanting to take Mik back to the top of the Washington Monument, but it kept being under renovations when we visited and then repair after the earthquake. It reopened around the time we moved to the area and in November we finally got tickets and did it. Mik couldn't enjoy the view as they did not have the periscope like when we took him in 2006, so he still has no idea what I have been trying to explain to him all these years because he doesn't remember it.

The weekend before Christmas Mom and I went to Nashville as she got us tickets to see the Opry at the Ryman as my Christmas present. When I heard about the Kelly Clarkson's Miracle on Broadway concert I got the tickets for that as her Christmas present (I told her not to get used to concert tickets as presents!). We also toured the Ryman, visited The Hermitage, got boots, and enjoyed music at a honky tonk.

Since moving to Alexandria Mik and I have enjoyed visiting the various museums, especially the temporary exhibits, in D.C. In December I took him to a variety of the holiday things including the Holidays at Union Station, Capitol Christmas Tree, National Christmas Tree, and our favorite Season's Greetings at the U.S. Botanic Garden. In December we also visited Walt Disney World mainly to pick up next year's annual passes, but also to enjoy the holidays at the parks.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Mik's North Pole Village 2014 Version

Mik was concerned his whole village wouldn't fit on the dining room table. He was already starting to think about no longer expanding it except for really really cool new ones and/or perhaps having to do a rotation in and out of some buildings each year.

No worries, though, as I got them all to fit and there is clearly still room for some expansion. However, he still is going to stick with only getting a new one if one pops out to him as cool instead of going searching for an interesting retired one like we've done the years nothing new comes out that really clicks for him.

Stockings Are Hung 2014

Stockings are hung by the "chimney" with care

In hopes that Santa will Please Stop Here

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Pierogi Day (a.k.a. Mik's Thanksgiving)

Yesterday Mik asked how many pierogis I had made and instead of counting them I just said more than enough for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Thus, that's what he decided we're having for Thanksgiving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dumbo Lamp in Kitchen

Mom emailed me this morning and said I had to do an update on my Dumbo lamp. So here it is. Not only has Mik not vetoed the one Dumbo on the lamp in the kitchen; but the lamp has turned into a miniature version of the Dumbo attraction. Mik doesn't mind it; but it does drive Dad nuts as he's always banging into it when throwing stuff in the trash or recycling cans.

On our Disney Cruise for my birthday last month they had the Dumbo popcorn buckets at the theater concession stand. The first night we bought one; because I had been talking about it being cool to turn the light into a miniature version of the attraction with three more Dumbos. We were going to get more each night until I had three; but the next night they were then out. However, the next night Dad and I noticed they had them again; so we just bought two to ensure we ended up with three. Then Mom met up with us in theater and had bought one, too. Thus, I ended up with too many Dumbos; but I guess can you really have too many?

Bonus collage that I've been meaning to put together of riding Dumbo over the years (and one of the Dino ride at Animal Kingdom; because it is now the only flying ride Mik does as it doesn't require a transfer).

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Inflatable Penguins Finally Found

Of course, I find the only things I couldn't find after we moved to Alabama after I no longer have a place to use them. The same box also had some more insulators, which I never would've noticed were missing, but I do now have an idea for displaying them all.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Mom tries to explain why her electric bill is higher

This morning I told Mom their one bedroom electric bill was twice as much as the one for Mik and I's two bedroom.  She immediately came backs with, there's two of us living here. Um, yeah, there's two of us living in our place, too, and we're actually both home way more. The real difference is they keep the thermostat at 73 and we haven't even turned ours on since she moved to their place beginning of August.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dumbo flying in the kitchen

Today I was putting away and organizing some of the stuff that had been piled in the dining room as part of the move and I came across my Dumbo popcorn bucket. I am currently pretty much out of space to display stuff in our Disney themed kitchen, so I decided to hang it on the light. I had used that as a hat rack when we first moved in and Mik did not like that. Now to see how long until he actually comes to the kitchen long enough to notice Dumbo and uses his veto power again.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Redoing Corona Cooler

For years we have been meaning to repaint the Corona cooler, since after years of being outside in Arizona it looked pretty worn. Before we moved it from Alabama to our condo in Virginia, we decided now was the time to finally repaint it while we still had outdoor space for such projects. Dad did a great job of sanding it and spray painting it red.

Originally, Dad wanted to make it Coca Cola themed with stickers, but I told him we are no longer doing that since Mik and I have our porch Disney themed. (There are penguins in Mary Poppins, so having my penguin army out there fits the theme, right? At least that's my argument should Mik ever notice I put them all out there instead of storage like we had originally discussed.)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Listening to Alabama, Driving through Tennessee

About time Dad finally gets why I wait until we get to Tennessee to play my Old Alabama playlist. I started the playlist with "Old Alabama" and it took him until the fifth song Tennessee River for him to think we were listening to Alabama because we were driving along the Tennessee River.  Start playlist over and he gets it is actually inspired by a line in a Brad Paisley song ("listenin' to old Alabama, driving through Tennessee").

Friday, July 18, 2014

Mom showing off her new Metro knowledge

After telling Mom how the CTA continues to thwart me and that partly had to do with having issues with the app I tried to get to help, Mom decided to show me how she discovered how to use an app (Google Maps?) to plan a Metro trip and more specifically know when the next train was coming to the station. Really like that is something new?

For one, I used to do that all the time when I was at American University and then later when I lived in Virginia as well as the multiple times we have visited over the years. I even have an app for the DC Metro, but I rarely use it because I have that Metro mostly memorized and when I do find the need to plan a trip to be somewhere by a specific time I tend to use the website.

Secondly, Mom thought the feature of knowing when the next train was most helpful when she was leaving the condo. My first comment was why not just look at the TV in the lobby when you get off the elevators on your way out? She agreed that was actually most convenient, but she only discovered that the TV had that info a few days ago.

Oh, and my CTA misadventure no longer seems that bad when it took Mom twice as long to get to the Condo and she got off at the right stop and knew where she didn't take the scenic route. Well, actually along the river was more scenic, so...

CTA continues to thwart me

I can't decide whether I dislike Chicago because I always get lost using the public transit or I am unable to learn the efficient way to get to the condo because I dislike Chicago.  Probably the later as it took only one day trying to get to Versailles to learn the Paris Metro at 13 when I knew little French or experience using public transit, so after 7 years and lots of experience one would think I could at least get from the airport to the condo.  Well, I can, but it takes almost as long as the flight.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Dad's attempt to get a label for packing

Dad decided to "help" with my packing system by adding his name in pen to my labeling key. He then told me if I found any of his stuff put it in a box and label it DAD in pen.

Just because I unpacked the boxes in his office finally, doesn't mean I'm packing his stuff, especially since he is definitely going to be the last one to move.  Don't get any ideas Mom!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Final box from move to Alabama unpacked...or so I thought

This past week I was going to begin packing for our move to Virginia in a few weeks, but first I decided I should actually unpack everything from when we moved to Alabama a year and a half ago.  The only boxes left unopened were the ones in Dad's office, which I finally noticed was actually mostly stuff from where Mik and I were living and not our parent's house, so I it was actually very little Dad's.  It was a lot of Mom's and junk that went straight to the trash or recycling, but I also finally found my postage scales.  There were also four or five boxes actually Dad's, which I did not unpacked, but they have at least been opened and confirmed to be mostly his to deal with.

Last night I told Dad there was only one box left for me to go through and it was too heavy for me to move to my room.  He asked if I had found the 1999 photos I have been trying to locate and I said no and they were not likely in that last box.  That was when he reminded me we have an attic.  That would be exactly where they would have ended up, too.  For now, though, that is mostly storage or get rid of (decorations mainly), so not going to deal with that until after we move the useful things to Virginia (and get Mom clear a path in her "office" to allow the attic stairs to come down).

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Switch and Outlet Plates for Our Condo

Back in 2012 I painted the outlet and switch plates for Mik and my rooms in our house in Arizona.  I meant to eventually do the whole house, but then we moved to Alabama.  Again, I planned to do them in that whole house, but that got forgotten and the only special ones there are the farm brand and heart shaped ones I had before the move.

When I mentioned to Mik that I was going to paint mine blue and that we should paint/decorate all the ones throughout our new condo, he at first did not know what I was talking about.  As soon as I reminded him about how I had painted them in his room back in Tucson, he got very excited about the idea.  I even suggested I try to get fancy and do sports themed ones for our living room, which is going to be sports themed with mostly the All the Ballparks souvenirs and other baseball stuff.  We agreed that my efforts at the fancier ones may stink, but we could just buy new plates or get some on Etsy or something if they ended up looking bad.  However, I think they turned out pretty awesome, although there's a chance he will veto keeping one of them.

Currently, I have finished all the ones in the bedrooms and the bathrooms and about half of the ones in the living room/entry.  The other ones in the living room may just end up being concealed by furniture, but I only did not do anything because I ran out of ideas for now.  The kitchen and dining room also need to be done.  No ideas for them at the moment other than leaning towards more creative like the living room ones and they will be Disney themed as that's the theme we have chosen for that part of the condo.

I've had a penguin bathroom theme in most places since my first house after college including the bathroom I shared with Mom and Dad in Huntsville having my penguin shower curtain.  I painted the light switch plate to be like an iceberg and the outlet cover to be a penguin.

Mik's bathroom already had a purple wall and we decided to keep it because in Alabama he has a painting with purples that he currently has in his bathroom because it does not go with the colors of his art collection in his room.  Also, purple is one of the Lakers colors.  He did not actually decide on what to do for the bathroom, but I think he'll like what I chose.  If not, I'll change them.

Mik did choose his colors for his room. He has one red wall and he choose a turquoise for the covers on that wall.  I think this combination turned out very awesome.  Might even have to rethink putting his entertainment center on that wall because that would cover up the outlets and they just look so good.

The rest of the covers in his room are red like the red wall.  This one, though, is in the hallway entry to his room and I added a coat of glow-in-the-dark paint.  It does not really glow because I only put one coat on and I wasn't sure he would like how it changed the color. Might end up adding more coats so it really glows or just make it red like the rest depending on what Mik wants.

I bought a pack of MLB collector's stickers that are random ones like trading card packs to see what I would get that I could maybe use to make some fun switchplates for the living room.  I ended up with a Nolan Ryan, which fits the theme with him being one of Mik's favorite pitchers of all time and the Nolan Ryan Exhibit Center being one of the places we went on the Ballpark Trip.  I also ended up with an Angels sticker as well as a Mets player and a Rangers player that I cut the team logos from.  If only, I had gotten an Astros player, then I could have had logos for all the teams he played for.  I painted it over it all with Glow-in-the-Dark paint. This one has enough coats that it can glow, but it is in a spot that doesn't have a nearby light, so it doesn't really get charged up.

Since Mik is big into basketball, I painted one outlet cover like a basketball and the light switch plate on that wall is supposed to resemble a backboard.  The basketball came out good, but I don't know if the backboard will make sense without explaining.

I made a Washington Nationals light switch plate using some nail art stickers Mom found when we were out buying paint.  This one is also painted with glow paint and it is in the entryway with a light above it, so it does end up glowing.  This is the one Mik might end up not agreeing to keeping, but I am hoping it won't be hard to sway him to allowing it to stay because I did make him a Nolan Ryan one and a basketball one.  Plus, there are still covers to do in the entryway and if I can just find something that works I will make one Dbacks themed.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Our Disney Yard Decor and Penguin Army Patio Style

We did not want to move any furniture on our initial trip to our condo to allow for easy painting and installing new flooring in the bedrooms.  Since we did not have to do anything to the patio, I did bring most of our collection of Disney Yard decorations.  Only things I did not bring were the grumpy plant (not going to be here to water the dill in it, so left in Alabama for now) and the lighthouse (I thought it might be too big, but it will go great in the corner I took the above panorama from).

I also brought some of the penguin army, which Mik says I cannot have on the patio except as a seasonal decoration, but for now he is not here and I have six on the patio (Christmas in July is coming up, right?). The ones I took were the extra sitting on the porch since we took them out of the yard after Christmas and the rest Dad would not let me take because they look good in front of the fake garage door in Huntsville.  Eventually I will move them all here and I will probably have to keep them in the storage unit except for December.  Maybe, Mik will let me have one out all year round, though.

A light? No, a Hat Rack!

The past few days I kept trying to find a place to hang my hat.  I am used to having knobs to put them when I am at home.  I have three racks, but I did not think of bringing one of them as one of the few things we brought for our initial trip to our condo.  I have been mainly leaving a cap on the kitchen counter by one of the doors to the patio, but I was getting tired of it taking up counter space.

In looking for where I could instead hang it, I noticed that in the corner where it's designed for a table to go the light fixture was a perfect location for a hat.  It is a little low, but we plan to fix that eventually anyways because we are not going to put a table there.  It is actually a perfect hat rack at least for now because it has room for 4 hats and that is how many I brought with.

Since the kitchen is going to be Disney, I think I will continue to use it as a hat rack and only have Disney caps on it.  For now, though, it's got two Nats caps and two Disney caps.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Why we should start writing postcards again

Just a few discoveries and thoughts I had this weekend as I started to go through storage boxes in preparation of our next move.  By the end of number 5, the title of this post should make sense.
  1. First off, how the hell do we still have so much stuff?  Seriously, we got rid of a two car garage and motorhome garage full of stuff and I have not only gotten rid of stuff since we got to Alabama, but also we have not accumulated very many things since the move.  Well, Mom has, but even she has also gotten rid of a lot since the move. 
  2. As a kindergartner, Mik wanted to be a farmer when he grew up. No longer a something he wants to be (or at least not that I know of), but he did go on to be very involved in gardening at his grade school and he continues to be part of making the decisions on what we plant at home. 
  3. Apparently, taking on the lawn mowing last year was not the first time I had lawn chores.  Going away and leaving them undone like I have been doing this spring and will be doing this summer also not new.  A 1992 postcard my Mom sent me while I was in Illinois for the summer says that the weeds have started to grow in my playground and she guesses we will have to pull them again.
  4. In September 1999, Mom sent postcards from London saying she hopes to bring Mik someday (postcard to Mik) and that we should all come (postcard to me).  Interestingly, only months before (April 1999) Dad, her, and I did spend a long layover taking in some of the sites on our way to Poland.  Still have not gone as a whole family, but she did take Dad and Mik with when she went for work when I was in college and I got to go with when she went in 2008.
  5.  My god-mother sent me a postcard from the Town Square in Praque saying that some day I am sure you will visit Prague and sit in the Town Square as I do today (2001).  I certainly did not remember this postcard at the time, but I did in fact sit in the town square almost every day the week I spent in Prague in 2008.  It is even very likely the Prague postcard I mailed myself for my postmarked postcard collection was written while sitting in the Town Square. 
  6. Lastly, a significant portion of the storage boxes is the glass insulator collection. On one hand I think I really will one day do something with them while on the other hand I do not care if they are always stored like the pictures and family history boxes.  After all this is a collection that has been sitting in garages and storage areas for longer than I have been alive.  In fact, it was probably stored in my great-grandma’s garage in North Dakota longer than I’ve been alive.  Now I’ve had it almost seven years and it’s gone from North Dakota to a house in Arizona to a storage unit in Arizona to a garage in Arizona to a house in Alabama to a storage unit in Alabama to a garage in Alabama.  Basically, it has become one of those things I would want to pass down with the family photos and history stuff even though I don’t plan on having anyone to pass stuff down to.  At least if I did, I hope they will be more appreciated as heirlooms than the vacuum my dad called an heirloom that I should keep.  And, yeah, that vacuum is in fact stored in the garage and I will keep it as long as it works, but seriously it’s not an heirloom!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunrise Fishing

This morning I had Mom take me down to the boathouse to fish around 5:45 a.m. so I could try to catch a fish during the last hour of one of the excellent activity windows today.  I started with a black spinner and just fishing with the sunrise view listening to a rooster was good enough for me.

Around 6:30 a.m. I decided to switch to my last non-black spinner.  The second or third cast with it I ended up catching a bass.  I had not brought the basket down since I didn't really expect to catch anything as I have tried during the peak times five times over the past week.  Thus, I called Mom who initially thought I was just asking for her to come get me earlier than the 6:45 we had agreed on, but instead I needed her to bring the basket.

The bass is just barely the minimum 15 inches to keep, but we now have Easter dinner.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mom says I should move out when I sort of already did

This morning I was giving Mom a hard time about leaving things open in the fridge at the lake house.  It drives me nuts because she often never gets back to them and that has lead to our fridge at home often smelling bad, which I have so far avoided happening at the lake house.  Earlier I had also given her a hard time for using so more dishes in the less than a day she had been here than I had the whole week I have been here.  Since she seems to drive me nuts, she said I should move out.

My response was I tried, but she followed me.  That totally confused her and she asked where? I had to explain that I was the one that moved out to the lake house and she is the one that came up here on Thursday for a night that has now turned into being here the whole weekend.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

When is it worth it to fight for accessibility?

Over the years Mik has had to deal with a variety of issues being able to get access to things.  For the most part we have worked to get him access to things such as having the city put in a cut out at the end of our block in Tucson so he could go to high school by himself.  However, there also have come times when it just was not worth it such as eventually giving up on getting reasonable accommodations at school and him finishing his last year of high school through the district's home bound program.

This past weekend I think we came across one of the toughest decisions on whether it is worth fighting for accessibility or not.  For one, it is probably one of the most reasonable requests we have ever wanted.  Not to mention I am pretty sure the law is extremely clear on it being on our side for something to be down about it.  However, the fact we even have to fight for it from the very beginning made me make the tough decision that it was not worth it.

So what did we ask for? A push button be installed on the common access door to a condo building in Alexandria, Virginia.

This past weekend we went to D.C. on our first condo hunting trip.  Sure, I never expected it to be our only one.  However, after going through about a dozen units in 6 buildings we not only found the neighborhood we wanted to live in, but a unit that really felt right.  It was particularly surprising because one of my big non-negotiables was a balcony and it didn't have one, but it had a very open living room and plenty of windows for sun so gardening was still something we could work out.  It was also the best for Mik to maneuver around throughout and it had was a two bedroom plus a den.

The only thing that concerned us was it was also the only building we looked at that didn't have a manned desk and/or doorman and it also lacked an automatic door, so Mik would not be able to independently get in and out of the building.  Thus, we made an offer on the unit with it being contingent on the condo building addressing the access issue by installing a push button.  In less than 24 hours we got a response that the condo was unwilling to install one.

Perhaps we could have worded it better in that there are other options like a remote or fob activated thing, but mainly Mik requires an automated door for long term independence, which is the whole point of moving to the D.C. area.  Putting up a fight is something I am quite sure we would win as it is clearly discrimination that is not allowed under the Fair Housing Act.  However, after our experience with the HOA here in Huntsville, I do not want to start messing with the association before even living there when they clearly did not even care to research the possibility of making a reasonable accommodation before saying they cannot do it (there is slight financial hardship reasoning to get out of such things, but even then I am pretty sure it is actually something that can require a special assessment that they could have at least taken some time to consider ).

Apparently, that was not the right condo for us.  There was another building we had been considering between when deciding to make an offer, but none of the current units totally felt right (we wanted like parts of each being one).  However, it is part of a complex with automated doors for entry to the building and one part also has a manned desk, so maybe a unit we really like will come up there.  By the way, I think only one other building we looked at did not have an automated door and we asked the front desk about it. They said they always have someone at the desk that could help and they even have an actual doorman in the evenings.  We did like that building, but the location just was not really right.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mom's Reliance on GPS

Nothing wrong with using GPS in general, but I have found it increasingly frustrating to be in the car with Mom and here telling me to look something up on GPS.  Sure we still use the car navigation to not miss the turn when going to the lake house, but when it is something we in general know where it is it drives me nuts to spend time looking it up on my phone than at least giving us a chance to find it. I guess I kind of get in Huntsville, but it isn't hard with almost everything on two roads.

This past week I especially got annoyed at her because we were back in Tucson and we (or at least I) know the area and seriously if you can't find El Charro downtown without GPS can you say you ever really lived in Tucson!

I guess I'm sort of nostalgic in finding our way as I remember learning my way around Tucson when I was seven and not only was Tucson new to us, but also our nanny.  We got lost a lot, but I guess I loved adventures (i.e. misadventures) back then, too.

Part of why Mom's GPS reliance drives me nuts is also that it's like she doesn't trust we will get there without it.  Sure it doesn't always work without GPS, but trust me sometimes we will get there without it even if we have to go in a circle (look up Explorer Blvd., Huntsville and you'll see how a wrong turn actually was just the very slight long way and not worth Mom's GPS freak out).

Back to this past week and Mom asking me to pull up GPS to get somewhere for the second time that day.  First off, I'll admit we kind of needed GPS in the first instance, but I still say we would have found the place without it because I already had said there's just one shopping center on the corner left to look and she just had to first stop and pull up GPS rather than investigate firsthand.  When she tried to do that again later to find El Charro I told her it's like the song Automatic sung by Miranda Lambert, which she wasn't familiar with, so I successfully distracted her by working on downloading it while also successfully directing her to El Charro.  We didn't even have a misadventure unless you count going almost all the way around the block to find the entrance to the parking lot.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Motorcycle Mickey and Our Disney Front Porch

About a week ago I found out that Kmart had an exclusive line of Disney outdoor products.  The motorcycle Mickey really caught my eye because of the HOA warning I got last year for having my scooter on the front porch.  They said it was because motorcycles are not allowed to be parked there, so I figured I might as well put an actual motorcycle on the front porch this year even though it is a miniature.

I also could not pass up on the solar powered Mickey lighthouse.  I was able to resist the Mickey and Minnie fountain, though I would not mind getting that eventually when we do get a condo if we do not already have too many things for our porch, which we might because we already had two Grumpy statues, a Mickey statue (I'm not attached to this, though), and the Grumpy planter that Mik choose online and also arrived today.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Turning a broken bowl into a work of art

Months ago Dad dropped one of the small plastic bowls and it broke exactly in half.  He brought it to show to me and I immediately decided to hold on to it to make something with it.  Around the same time we put in extra cabinets in the kitchen and I saved the leftover scrap from the counter top for the project.

Yesterday I finally got around to doing something with the bowl and counter top pieces.  I painted the edges of the counter scrap so it was all black using leftover paint from the penguin army project.  I then used a hot glue gun to attach the bowl pieces to the counter top scrap.

When Dad got home I asked him if he thought it would stay attached because when looking at some edges were clearly not touching the counter top.  He proceeded to grab one of the pieces and pull it off.  That clearly illustrated that it would not hold up to anything in the bowl, but that was already quite obvious and I merely was wondering if it was attached enough for its own weight, which they seem to be as long as someone doesn't pull on it!

After reattaching the piece Dad pulled off, I remembered I had some colored stones from an abandoned stepping stone project.  I glued those on to make it look like a flower is growing out of the bottom bowl.  At that point I was kind of wishing I had only put one half of the bowl on because the top bowl did not have enough counter top area above it to do a flower with the stones.

In searching around for other things to use to make something coming out of the top bowl, I found some wine corks and a bottle cap with an apple that got me thinking I could make an apple tree coming out of that bowl.  At first I was going to attach the bottle cap directly to one of the wine corks, but then I found the stash of used up tape rolls that I keep saving thinking I will make fun napkin rings some day.  I painted four of them green and glued them together to be the tree top and then glued the bottle cap in the middle.

The final decision came down to which of the two wine corks to use for the trunk.  One was a Kendall Jackson one, so it says KJ on one side.  The one I decided on, though, was the Black Opal one glued on with the Opal words facing out.  I mainly choose it because it was more porous and thus easier to stick on.  Also, the KJ would have been side ways whereas the Opal lettering is upright when the tree trunk.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Round Bed

I was looking something up on Facebook this morning and found this photo of when we first bought my round bed at IKEA back in 2007.  It was pretty much the only piece of furniture I had when I lived in DC.  Over the years we have moved it several times including around Tucson, which usually meant taking two trips.  Last month we moved it from our main house to the lake house we rented for this year and it was much easier to move in the truck.  Thought it was interesting to compare the first move with the latest move picture.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mickey Gnome Rain Gauge Collage

Tonight we have more snow.  Yesterday's melted by evening, but now we already have the same if not more.  I decided to take some more photos. I took one of the Mickey rain gauge yesterday morning and when taking another tonight I was reminded of the frozen one I took of it back on Thanksgiving.  I thought it made an interesting collage combining those with one of just rain I took of it the first week we had it last March.  Kind of a look back at how precipitation has gone from something we didn't see much when we lived in AZ just over a year ago and the abundance of it we get now in AL to the point I have been totally over it (the rain, the snow is still a novelty!).