Thursday, December 26, 2013

Judging our neighborhood's Christmas lights

Judging our neighbor's holiday lights

This evening Mom and I decided to drive around our neighborhood to see if anyone else decorated.  1st Place - There were not many lights and we really thought we would end up being confirmed as the best.  However, the last possible street we could check out revealed the above as the best decorated.  They even had a Santa and some penguins on the porch.

Judging our neighbor's holiday lights

2nd Place - Our house with icicle lights, red & green lightbulbs, and my Penguin Army.

Judging our neighbor's holiday lights

3rd Place - Right next door to first place, this house placed with its reindeer and driveway lighting.

Judging our neighbor's holiday lights

Honorable Mention - This house did not have any holiday lights, but it was funny with Santa splatted on it and saying Peace on Earth.

Judging our neighbor's holiday lights

Honorable Mention - With a lighted dog in the front yard, this house gets an honorable mention since it was the only other house besides above with decorations beyond just the porch and on the house or bushes.

Christmas Eve 2013

Christmas Eve 2013
Christmas Eve 2013 started with Mom & I heading grocery shopping around 8 a.m.  We then stopped at the storage unit to load up one of the tables we wanted to take to the lake house. Back at the house we loaded up the rest of the stuff for taking to the lake house (mainly my round red).  The truck certainly has come in handy for situations like this, especially with the lift gate that actually is a powered lift.

Mom & I then headed to the lake.  We gave Mik the option to come then or when Dad came after work.  First thing he said was why do I have to go to the lake?  Apparently, he thought we did the presents on Christmas, so he did not think he had to be there until Christmas Day.  I guess we have not done actual Christmas Eve on Christmas Eve for so many years that he did not realize that our family tradition has always been opening them on Christmas Eve.  Once he knew there were presents he was good with going to the lake house, just not any earlier than necessary, so he choose to come with Dad.

Mom & I had to go up by noon, though, as we had scheduled for the internet to be installed.  The install guy was actually there at the beginning of the install window.  Unfortunately, he quickly discovered the house was too far from the relay point and they have to have a survey team and construction team come out to upgrade to the current requirements, so no internet for at least another couple weeks.

Christmas Eve 2013

We spent the early afternoon putting away the random stuff we had brought up to the lake house.  We also "wrapped" the last of the presents and filled the stockings.  We meant to bring the whole wrapping paper container, but ended up forgetting it.  We had to get creative with wrapping and used an organizer box, a drawstring bag, and a Santa hat.

Christmas Eve 2013

By 4 p.m., we expected Dad & Mik to at least be on the way to the lake house and we were totally out of things to do to get ready.  Not only did we have the cheese tray and stuffed mushrooms ready, but we even baked the pie that needed hours to cool.

Christmas Eve 2013

At 4:30 p.m. when we realized they still had not even left Huntsville, Mom & I decided to go for a drive.  We called it The Grant Expedition because Mom wanted to see the "town" of Grant.  There really is not anything there, but they do in fact have an Ace, which we love because we used to go there all the time for things in Tucson and miss not having one in Huntsville.  After also driving out towards Scottsboro, we stopped at the boat house on the way back so I could take a late sunset picture of the lake.

Christmas Eve 2013

To warm up when we got back I made some Viking Coffee.  We could not get the Bailey's open, so I ended up substituting some Peppermint Mocha coffee creamer.  We also did not have any sugar or Truvia at the lake house, but we had all the baking decoration stuff and used some green sprinkles instead.

Christmas Eve 2013

Mik & Dad were still not there, so we started playing Scrabble on the iPad.  I was watching out the window for cars coming across the bridge while Mom was taking her turns.  The last time she told me it was my turn I said wait I am going to watch this car come across the bridge first.  Halfway across the car put its turn signal on and at that point I was pretty sure it was them because there is a decent amount of traffic on the bridge, but very little coming onto our road.  It ended up being them and after unloading Billy, Mik, and the stuff they brought up to the lake house we were finally able to celebrate Christmas Eve around 7 p.m.  Of course, as usual as getting unload and putting some stuff away, it was Mom that was the most impatient to get to the present opening with Mik a close second.

Christmas Eve 2013

Mik's first present was a stack of Reese's candy.  He quickly held it tight to hide it because he did not want anyone to even know to steal it from him.  He then had it hidden hopefully safely in his room, which turned into his lake house candy stash after he got his stocking on Christmas morning.

Christmas Eve 2013

He was also pretty excited about the Tom Clancy audiobooks Mom & Dad got him.  He had been hoping for some iTunes cards to get some, but this was better, although the next day he realized not quite so as some ended up being abridged versions and he sent us a group text to us saying in the future make sure you only get unabridged.

Christmas Eve 2013

We made Dad open wait until everyone opened all their presents to open his last present because it was the ultimate present, which sort of a present for all of us since we all wanted it.  Dad was just the one person that did not know about it.  For years Mik has been wanting to get all the JAG seasons and we already own some of them, but until I saw the JAG Complete Collection on Amazon as a lightning deal last week I did not realize they had a collector's set.  I quickly texted Mik and asked if we could split the cost to give it to Dad as a gift, since we had not got him anything, yet.  Mik said yes and recruited Mom to be in on it.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Billy finds the stocking stuffers

Today I left for Tucson and am coming home right before Christmas Eve, so yesterday Mom and I finished getting our stocking stuffers at Dollar Tree.  I know when I left for the airport at 4am, I closed the door between the kitchen and my room. However, someone (Mom!) opened it at some point and didn't close it when they left, so Dad came home tonight to find the bag of stuff by the dog door and wrappers in the yard.

I totally thought Billy might try to get into the stocking stuffers, but thought they would be safe in my room.  I never like to spend money on dog treats, so Dad always buys them with his money. I thought it would be funny to put a bag of dog treats in Dad's stocking because it is something he likes to try for Billy.  Now that Billy found the stocking stuffers early, I am even less inclined to ever give him a stocking stuffer.  Dad said it seems he mostly are the sweets, although Mik's beef jerky might have also attracted him.

Mom's Interpretation of Being there with Bells On

Yesterday somehow we got to talking about what either Mik or she should wear to Kirsten's wedding next weekend.  I asked if she RSVP'd as coming with bells on or not. She said she hadn't even seen the RSVP note. Dad must have just mailed it without showing her.

Mom said she is most definitely going with bells on.  How that ends up will be G rated and festive, as she also plans to have lights on.  However, she had some inappropriate ideas first.  Mainly, she said I should photoshop her wearing three very carefully placed ornaments (think bikini) and send it to Kirsten as a warning as to how my mom planned to take the attire recommendations very literally and attend the wedding with bells on.  I said I wouldn't even go that far with her crazy idea, but I'd put it on the blog in words.  I don't think anyone wants to see anymore of a visual of her idea than this.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mik's North Pole Village 2013 Version

Today I managed to put out all of Mik's North Pole Village on the counter in the dining room.  I originally thought we would have to put some on the upper cupboard or over on the piano, but I managed to get them all to barely smoosh in on the counter. Of course, that doesn't take into account that Mik hasn't picked out his building this year.

This morning he found a Coke one he wanted on Amazon with a warning it wouldn't arrive before Christmas. Now that it won't fit with this year's set up, it seems worth getting and just incorporating it next year.  We did add a little Cars accessory that Dad and I bought him when we were at Disney World earlier this year, so at least there is something new this year.

Mik has now added having an area that can be used to display his village to the requirements for our dream house on the lake that we are saving up for.  This is especially important as his village keeps growing and he also said next year he is going to save money to buy himself a building and thus get two next year with one being the one from Mom & Dad (I always get him an accessory).

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Stockings are Hung Part 2 (and Mom's Phone is Found)

This evening Mom and I went up to the lake house to take a load of stuff and hang the rest of the stockings.  As we were leaving Mom couldn't find her phone. Cell service is iffy out there and I called it several times with no luck.  We have up on searching after a little bit and got in the car to drive towards the city for a better signal because I wanted to get an Amazon lightning deal and we thought we could then use the find my iPhone app on my phone to find Mom's. I ended up being too slow on the deal and then we couldn't use the app because we had put Mom's phone on airplane mode to listen to Christmas music while decorating and avoid the static with the speaker.

Backtracking to the lake house and a quick search led to me finding Mom's phone on the floor right up against the toilet in the downstairs bathroom.  Two things learned. One Mom relies too much on the Find my iPhone app. Two never put her phone in airplane mode unless actually on an airplane.

Losing Mom's iPhone also led to me finding her work badge in her car.  Too bad we hadn't found it earlier because then we could have picked up the legs for the dining table top we already have at the lake house.

Stockings Are Hung

This morning while Mom and I were at Target for something we decided to get a stocking and two stocking holders, since we didn't find all the stockings in the Christmas boxes and had no idea where they could be from the move.  About an hour after we got home, Mom was doing some sorting of her office and found a box conveniently labelled Christmas stockings that had the missing stockings as well as two stocking holders, which we weren't even sure we had in the first place.  She put them up with her two stockings at home, so the mantel is more festive.  Above the fireplace is also decorated for the holidays with tractors lights in our antique alcove, although now that they have been up there we are thinking they will stay year round.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013: Ice and Christmas Decorating


Dad and I stayed in Alabama for Thanksgiving while Mik and Mom enjoyed it in Chicago.  Dad and my main plan for Thanksgiving for weeks had been to go fishing, which originally meant taking the boat out.  However, last week we found out about an affordable lake house with boathouse for rent and instead all we did with the boat was move it to the garage at the house we rented through the end of 2014.  First Dad had to bail the ice and water out of it, though.


Good thing we moved it to the heated garage on Wednesday, though, as Thanksgiving morning we woke up to it being 17 (it was not even forecasted to get below 25!), which is when I found the rain gauge frozen since I had not emptied it from the rain we got earlier this week.

On Thanksgiving we did fish some for crappie from the boathouse and we had the right stuff to do it.  However, we did not last long because it was cold and we were not getting any bites.  Gave up after about an hour when I got my jig stuck on the bottom and we had to break the line.  Decided to go back up to the house and start decorating for Christmas rather than hook up another jig.

Until last week we weren't going to do a Christmas tree this year even though we always planned to do Christmas in Alabama.  We just did not have room in our house with two rooms still full of boxes and the living room crowded as is.  However, now that we rented the lake house we have plenty of room and we have decided we will do Christmas there.

On Wednesday, Dad and I went up in the attic and brought down what we thought was all the Christmas decorations.  When we got to decorating, though, we found we were missing the most important box, which was the one with the Disney decorations and that includes everything for the tree.  Thus, we had to make a trip back to town to search through storage and the attic and finally located them in the final possible box in the back of the attic.  Still have not located any of the inflatable penguins for putting out in the yard here, although they could be in one of the cardboard boxes in Dad's office.

Thanksgiving 2013PB280700

As Dad cooked up the salmon, green beans, and sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner, I decorated the Christmas tree and decorated part of the bar between living room and kitchen.  Dad also put the Southwest Nativity set on the bar and as the only one tall enough to put the topper on he got to put the topper on the tree, too.


I also put some of our stockings up, but somehow I only found three and two stocking holders.  No idea if we even have more stocking holders, but we ought to have more stockings because two of the three were mine and I also remember having two for Mom.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Penguin Army

Sunday Mom and Dad went to Lowe's to get holiday lights.  They saw a display with bricks painted as snowmen and bought a brick to bring home to show me.  Dad wanted to buy a bunch right away for me to paint for the yard, but Mom said to just get one because sometimes I shoot down her project ideas as silly.  I did not shoot it down this time, but I did immediately decide the brick should be painted as a penguin and not a snowman.

After going back to Lowe's for paint and 11 more bricks, I got home and told Mik I was making a penguin army.  I finished one that day and placed it outside by the sidewalk.

Yesterday, I painted more of the bricks and also came up with the idea of painting one of them to have his belly look like the number 1.  Then when placed next to two with their regular bellies looking like zeros we have our house number.  In putting the three for that with Dad, I dropped one and Mik was sad he did not get it on video because I "killed" a penguin.

Today I finished painting the rest of the bricks and fixed the injured penguin, so we now have a dozen penguins in our yard as part of our holiday decor.  Now to get the inflatable ones out of the attic, which are involved in my scheme to earn us another warning letter from the HOA.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Time for a Modern Thermostat

Since we moved into this house, I have wanted to get a new thermostat because it is not programmable.  It is just one of the many things that make this house that is at least a decade newer seem actually older than our 1995 house we built in Tucson.  I even found the one I wanted to get a few months ago, but we just have not gotten around to buying it.  This morning waking up to my bedroom being 60 degrees and finding that the thermostat reset to a setting of 64 (yeah, my room runs 3 to 4 degrees less than the thermostat even in summer) is a real reason we need to get a new thermostat.

Perhaps, it just needs a new backup battery, as the power was only out for an hour and I know our one in Tucson did not lose its setting for power outages that fast.  However, instead of changing it, it is finally time to have one that can be programmed to different settings for time of day and is more energy efficient.  Also, the one I picked out can be controlled from our phones, so from my room I can override when Mom and Dad sets it down ridiculously low in the summer (we all seem to not need to touch it since we went to heat mode and picked the 70 setting, although yesterday we found Mik's room to be extra toasty, but he likes that).

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mik "Folds" His Laundry

This morning Dad moved a pile of Mik's laundry from the living room to Mik's bed and told me to fold it.  I in turn told Mik to fold it and if he need instruction to ask.  This evening Mik asked me to watch Bones in his room and the clothes were still on the bed. He said we could watch in the living room instead, but I don't really like the couch. I said I'd sit in his recliner chair and he said he'd lay on his bed and just move the clothes to the side.  Instead, though he proceeded to say he was folding his clothes and putting then away.  What he really meant was he was just putting then away in the drawer and skipping the folding, which is fine with me as he did at least match up the socks and I pretty much do the same thing with my tshirts.

Got Water?: First Alabama Fishing Trip

Fishing Lake Guntersville

 Got Water? Yes

Yesterday Dad and I took the boat out for the first time in Alabama.  Dad named the boat Got Water? back when we had it in Arizona.  Now that we live in Alabama we most definitely have water.  In particular, the main river around here (Tennessee) actually has water unlike the "rivers" of Tucson being dry 99% of the time.

www.ourkaoticlife .com

It took us all morning to get the boat ready to take out, as we had to install the fish finder I bought for it.  We decided to take it out on Lake Guntersville for our first outing.

Got Fishing Gear? Not so much

When Dad went to get the fishing gear from the storage unit he could not find one of his tackle boxes.  A quick look in the house and shed also did not locate it and we do not remember seeing it since the move, so it is likely still in one of the boxes that have not been unpacked.  That tackle box had his reels, so his poles were useless, but we still had my pole and one of the extras we had gotten when my pole was missing (something was actually found in the move! Mine had been lost in the garage for years until we found it preparing for the move).

Fishing Lake Guntersville

With two poles and one of Dad's tackle boxes we headed on the lake.  Once out on the lake we discovered we only had the ability to set up one of the poles (not mine, sadly) because we did not have anything to cut the line with.  If only, we had noticed that before we were out on the lake, as we could have taken the scissors from the truck.  Luckily, the one pole only had a swivel on it and Dad had one spinner.  It was not the recommended color for the lake, but at least we could attempt something.

Fishing Lake Guntersville

We did not catch anything, but we enjoyed getting the boat out and the fish finder definitely works great with the main reason we wanted it was to know depth.  Dad even let me drive the boat on and off the trailer.  I totally stunk at getting it up to the dock for Dad to get on after we launched it, but I did get it onto the trailer on the first try.

www.ourkaoticlife .com

This trip was certainly a good practice run for Thanksgiving.  Now we know we have to find that tackle box or what we need to get before we go.  Perhaps, it is also time to upgrade from my kiddie tackle box, which was in the one tackle box of Dad's we found.

Fishing Lake Guntersville

Friday, November 8, 2013

Reindeer Dilemma

The other day Mom and I went to the Disney Store in Tucson and I got the big stuffed Olaf snowman guy from the upcoming Disney Frozen movie.  I was going to use it to replace the big penguin on my bed at home, since it is old and wearing out.  I almost also got Sven the reindeer, but he wasn't as big and mixing a reindeer with the other penguins on my bed seemed almost as bad as a polar bear, which I absolutely hate when they get mixed with penguins in designs because they are from opposite parts of the globe.

In the end, I left Olaf in Tucson to have when I am staying at the studio and I bought another one online for at home in Alabama.  I also got a Sven then, too. (Replaced Mik's Grumpy pants the carpet ruined last month, too)

When Sven arrived yesterday, Mik told me I couldn't put it with the penguins or he'll come throw away the penguins.  Mom said they could be mixed because the reindeer is Norwegian like our heritage, so an exception should be made.  I will probably just move the penguins to my office, though, as that's where the rest of my penguin collection is anyways and Sven and Olaf go better with my bed since my Disney stuff is displayed on the walls by my bed. How the giant pumpkin pillow I keep on my bed all year round fits in to the theme I don't know.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Killer Carpet

Friday Mik texted me this photo of his knee sticking out of his favorite pajamas pants.  His only comment was that next time we are at Disney he needs to looking for new pants.  Ever since we moved into the house the transition areas of the carpets have been annoying, as the carpet they were putting in the day we put an offer on the house is crap.  Mik has ended up with several cuts from crawling over the area between his bathroom and room and now he got a big hole in his Grumpy pajama pants.

Dad Watching Baseball on TV

The other day Dad texted me and said it was cool to be watching the World Series in a ballpark we have been to.  He says that kind of thing all the time as if only certain MLB games he watches on television are being played in a ballpark he has been to.  My response is always, you've been to every MLB ballpark, so no matter who is playing you've been to the ballpark.

Is it downsizing or upsizing our fleet?

Ever since we moved to Alabama the driveway has been overcrowded with the four vehicles (5 if you count my scooter).  They all fit at first, but then the Homeowner's Association said I couldn't park my scooter on the porch and we actually began to keep the wheelchair rack on the van, so they all didn't fit.  Since we were looking at houses here, I also have wanted a boat and then we would need a truck to be able to tow a boat.

Last month Dad took me to the dealership on one of his off Sundays because I was asking him something about trucks (probably what colors Chevy makes).  At first we looked at and test drove an Avalanche, but in the end we (i.e. I) decided on the Silverado because they still make them and thus there were more to choose from so we could get the options I liked the most (mainly the bench front seat, which had a better console and storage for road tripping).

Mom was hesitant at first because she did not want to give up her Smart car, but it had not even been registered in Alabama, yet, and thus she had not driven it in at least six months anyways.  Thus, by trading in both the Smart cars and the Dodge Grand Caravan for one vehicle we downsized our fleet to one vehicle per driver.  It also meant now all the vehicles fit in the driveway.

However, Mom calls it the big ass truck.  It is big and the driveway does end up seeming kind of more crowded, but it is much more suited to our needs. For one, it can pull grandma's boat, which we are keeping in Alabama for the winter instead of storing it like is usually done when the cottage is closed up for the winter.  Secondly, the mini van was not exactly suited for Mik's heavy powerchair and this will work out much better for family road trips, especially once the seat lift is installed for transferring Mik into the Silverado. Thus, it is somewhat upsizing our fleet.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Captain Morgan in the front yard

While not as strange as the onions in the backyard I posted about earlier, the Captain Morgan in the front yard was another new experience.  Growing up in this university neighborhood and living at different places in it over the years, finding empty beer bottles or cans when cleaning the yard is pretty much a given.  So, when I was cleaning up some of the trash in the yard of the rental property I was not surprised to find two cans of Coors in the bushes.  What I was surprised to find, though, was a bottle of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum.

It would be one thing for there to be an empty bottle, but it was almost full.  It was not even hidden deep down under live bushes like the cans, but rather was right up near the sidewalk by the dead bushes.  Someone trying to stash it to come back for it later?  Well, too bad for them it is now poured down the drain and the bottle recycled.

How you don't want onions in your backyard

This month I am staying at my grandma's property that we rent in Tucson, as it is transitioning between renter's and we are keeping the studio for using when in town.  One morning last week when I went outside to walk across the backyard to the front house where I have been using the fridge and thought it smelled funny.  Not necessarily a bad smell, but odd. Then I noticed there was oddly some things on the ground on the dirt part of the yard I had just cleaned up the day before when I was rediscovering the brick path (another post on that later!).  Since, I had just been working in that part of the yard I knew it had to be something newly there.

It turned out that it was onions in the yard.  Now suddenly finding onions in your backyard may not be a bad thing.  However, mushy cooked whole onions that must have been thrown over the wall or fence from a neighbor's yard is not the kind of way you want to find onions in your backyard.  Of all the strange things that end up in our yards living in the university neighborhood, this certainly ranks as the most incomprehensible strangeness.

What is Mik planning wtih survival books?

Today Mik texted me several links of books to order for him on Amazon.  They all ended up being outdoor survival and edible plant books.  No idea what he is preparing for, but I guess he will soon be ready to survive in the outdoors.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Neighborhood citation of the month: Boat on driveway

Okay, so maybe we don't get one every month and they are not really citations, but we sure have collected quite a few warning notices for breaking rules since living in our house in Alabama.  Some have made sense like the one about our lawn needing a mowing, which it really did and I was just waiting for someone to be home for us to go buy one.  Then there was the one about the scooter on the front porch, which I kind of get, but still think it looked better than the broken wicker chair Mom now has there (fixing it is on the list of projects somewhere between finding the guest bed under mom's stuff in her office/the guest bedroom and finding the desks and file cabinets under the boxes still not unpacked and stuffed in Dad's office).

When I left for Tucson at the beginning of the month, I totally predicted we were going to get a citation this month.  I thought it was going to be for the leaves in the yard which were just starting to fall and with me being gone for a month I figured no one would get around to taking care of them in a manner that pleases the reporter.  However, instead it was for having the boat parked in the driveway.

Now we never planned for the boat to be permanently parked in the driveway, but when Mom and Dad brought it from the cottage to keep (and use!) in Alabama for the winter they just put it in the driveway.  Apparently, that is not an okay thing to do.  I don't remember anything against it in the bylaws I read, which may or may not have been the real ones as we were confused on whether we ever got the right paperwork when we asked for them before officially purchasing the house (we were worried about the fact we had 4 cars to park on the driveway, which reminds me that I should do a post on how we now don't). I think I would have remembered, too, because I was dreaming about a truck and a boat since we were looking at houses last December.

Anyways, Dad told me today that he got a notice saying that we cannot have a boat on our driveway.  Of all the notices we have gotten, this one really bugs me as it makes absolutely no sense.  It is not like we have a garage to put it in.  Yeah, we were all along planning of getting a spot at the storage place, but sometimes we may want to have it on the driveway, such as the day before and/or after taking it out in order to load/unload and clean it up.  I feel like we should decide to just leave it in our driveway now until they show us the actual specific bylaw that we cannot.

Because it's been forever

Today Mom said Our Kaotic life hasn't been updated in forever (July to be exact).  It has been almost exactly a year since we made the decision to all move to Alabama and I am spending this month back in Tucson. I gave Dad a hard time about spending so much time back here when he came back in March to just work on making our house ready to rent for a few weeks and that turned into him being gone for two months.  Now I tried to make my one month into two months and stay until Thanksgiving, but Mik said I had to come home as planned.

He had several reasons why I could not stay gone longer.  His first was that the DirecTV genie box is getting full of shows. WTF, I have to come home so I can watch TV? I informed him I have been watching the shows on Hulu, so he went and deleted them and that problem was solved.

I forget what the other reasons he mentioned were, but somehow the conversation got around to how it is weird we did not go to D.C. this year and how we almost did go last month in a last minute road trip with Mom as part of her having to be there for work.  He said I should have gone, but he had forgotten that I was the one that was ready to do it and he was the one that didn't want to go.  I ended up not going because he wanted a mom weekend and if I went then mom and I would have been in D.C. for the weekend.  As much as he ruins all the fun yet again, I gave in and am not extending my stay in Tucson because at least in the end he admitted the real reason he wanted me home was he missed me.

Several random posts coming up in the next few days including the onion experience that I told Mom I would post to put something fresh on the blog.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

So much for it being the spare microwave

Today Dad finally drilled a hole in the countertop and my cabinet area of my room is finally functional as my soap studio.  I had brought 2 microwaves with in the move to potentially use.  Dad hooked up the bigger seemingly nicer one and we were going to put the other in storage as a spare in case I ever needed it.  Well, it never got to storage because a little while later I went to use the microwave and found that it turns on and appeared to be cooking, but it didn't create any heat after the two minutes I set it for.  At least I already had a spare and I didn't have to mess up the kitchen, which finally has clean counter space after Dad and I coming home from the cottage to find the kitchen stuff, as we we call it, exploded.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Keep This Kitchen Clean Eat Out!

A few months ago when unpacking boxes from the move that ended up in my room, I found this cross stitch that had been stored in the garage probably since we moved to Arizona from California in 1994. It was made by my grandma for my parents' first anniversary.

Right away I thought it should not go in the kitchen.  It is not because I do not like it, but I know Mom and she does not need any more encouragement to eat out (i.e. spend money).  Of course, once Mom saw it, though, she insisted we hang it in the kitchen.

The pinkish frame color did not really go with our Coca Cola theme, so today I repainted it the Coca Cola red from the leftover paint we had from painting the big wall in the kitchen/breakfast room.  Now it not only goes with the kitchen theme/color, but the whole thing looks better since it brings out the red in the cross stich.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Trains really do use the tracks

Living near the train tracks in Tucson we got used to have trains regularly go through and hearing them.  Here in Huntsville, though, until the night we left for the cruise we wondered how much/if ever trains used the track with the rough crossing signs that Dad learned to really slow down and heed after making the Smart car literally leave the ground going over it.  Not only did we discover the trains use it, but they also go really slow over it, although it turned out to be slow because it was actually stopping without clearing the crossing we were at.

I guess it is good we decided to leave the night before to drive down to Birmingham for our flight.  However, leaving at 11:30 p.m. and then ending up with a half hour train stop/detour made it seem kind of crazy to go up early to only save an hour of driving in the morning.  At least the hotel had free breakfast and we just used Hyatt points rather than paying.  Of course, it meant way less sleep overall and mom doing her final packing at hotel (we firmly had to tell her no packing in car in drive, as that sure leads to chaos!).

Where’s the Disney Magic?

On the first at sea day of our cruise we went to the DVC members welcome meeting in the morning.  Mom walked in to rejoin Dad and I while they were showing a preview of the Disney Magic’s dry dock.  First, she asked me what they were showing.  I told her what they are going to do to the Magic during dry dock in September and her next question was where is the Magic?  The answer….WE ARE ON IT!!!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Family Project Day

This weekend Mom asked us to pick one day for projects and one for fun as well as what we would do.  Before the weekend we decided on Saturday as the project day and the project being unpacking and finishing setting up Mik's room.  We also planned Mik getting a haircut and Mom going into work in the morning.  We had not (and still have) made fun day plans.

Here is how the project day went, though:
  • ~7:15 a.m. I discover there are open houses in one of the developments we may be interested in several years when we save up for our dream house on the lake/river.  Dad and I decide to go to them and we piss Mik off who now says no haircut and no working on his room this afternoon, so the new family project becomes switching the bookcase from living room with the piano in Dad's office.
  • 7:45 a.m. Mom, Dad, and I go to Farmer's Market as planned
  • 9 a.m. Dad and I leave to go to open houses and Mom goes to work
  • 10 a.m. We discover no signs and no cars for there to actually even be open houses at any of the four houses advertised, although one not advertised was oddly open unmanned and unfurnished, but it was not on the water.
  • ~1 p.m. Dad and Mik are trying to decided what to make for lunch and decide to go to Panera Bread and use up a gift card we had.  I go with since it is also a good time to go by Target and pick up the rest of the Disney gift cards for our cruise next week.  As we leave Target Mik suddenly decides that while we are out he might as well get a haircut.
  • ~3:30 p.m. We get home and instead of starting a family project Dad and I decide to figure out where our lawn mower basket is we ordered from Lowe's online and had not heard about it being in like it was expected.  We find it is at the store and leave to go get it.  On the way we end up finally stopping at Mad County Winery and tasting their fruit wines.  Mom and Mik were napping when we left and when we got home.
  • 6:30 p.m. Dad, Mom, and I decide to play Rock Band

I guess we did get some to dos done, but it sure ended up seeming like more of a Fun Day than a Project Day and we certainly never did anything towards accomplishing any of the proposed projects for the day.  Maybe, tomorrow or our next weekend we are all home (i.e. a month or two!).  One thing is for sure I am determined this week's project of installing my cabinets will happen!!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Choosing only 5 hats to display

For over a week I have had a hat rack mounted over the door in my office just waiting for me to hang hats on.  Initially I had to find my ball cap collection.  I found that box on Friday, but couldn't at all decide what hats to put up there as pairing down my collection to fit in that box last summer seemed hard enough.  After three days of thinking about it, I finally decided what hats to hang up there and two of the hats came out of other random boxes I unpacked this weekend.

The finalists are a Stanley Equipment Stanley, N.D. hat; a Turkish Naval hat given to me on my first trip to Turkey; a USS Crommelin FFG-37 (ship Daf served on) hat; a well worn Nats Park Opening Day hat; and my Students on Ice hat.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Computers have almost outgrown my desk

Since even before we moved to our new house, we had no idea where we would put the desktop computer.  While Mom and Dad were gone for most of April, I ended up putting it on a desk Mom had "temporarily" put in the living room.  I kind of liked it there to play on and watch television, but no one else did.  For awhile I had thought of putting it on my roll top desk because that's what it was designed for.  Today with my laptop going in for repair I was finally motivated to move the desktop to the roll top desk only to find it just barely fits in the opening for computer screens.  I kept thinking computers were getting to be too big screen size wise when I got my last laptop and if it was just a half an inch wider or taller the desktop wouldn't fit on my desk.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I Need a Magic Clock like the Weasleys

In the Harry Potter books/movies the Weasleys have special clocks that show roughly were each member is at.  Such as home, work, school, etc.  I so need one that says things like out walking/running, out of town, at work, etc. because it seems like just when I expect someone to be at home (Dad!) I cannot find them.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Who knew making frozen pizza was so hard?

Mik asked Mom to make him some food for dinner tonight and she decided to make a garlic cheese bread sort of pizza thing we had in the freezer.  To make it, though, she first asked me how to do it as if I knew off the top of my head and I only have made one once.  I told her to read the box and she still needed pretty much word by word help, as in she didn't know how (or at least pretended not to) to set the oven and then the timer.  In setting the timer she ended up setting it for 90 hours and then it got stuck at 10 hours and I just set the microwave one, which I like better anyways.  The craziest question, though, was when she took it out of the oven and asked if it was precut or if she has to cut it.  For one, I don't know of any precut frozen pizza, but even if it was you would think it would have been noticeable that it was when she put it in or took it out of the oven.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Repainting Childhood Nic Nac Shelves

The box I have had opened to unpack next has not been touched in weeks mainly because it has the items that belong on two pink shelves I originally came from my room when we lived in California.  I have long not liked them being pinked (yes, I know I originally must have picked the color for the shelves), but it did not really bother me with them being in the upstairs hallway.  Now, though, it did not make sense to put them back up with the things on them before repainting them a color I actually liked.  For once, the forecast looked clear, so I yesterday I set up one of my craft tables on the back porch and painted the shelves and the matching hat rack the Sorcerer Blue to match the one color wall of my room.


Childhood Nic Nacs Shelves


Childhood Nic Nacs Shelves

Another couple weeks and maybe I will even get around to having them on the wall and unpacking a box.  Really, though, once I am done with my Masters by next Monday evening I do plan to pick up the pace on unpacking and ready to move my storage stuff to the storage unit, so the cabinets can be moved from storage to my room when Dad gets home, which is hopefully in the next couple weeks.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Finally Discovered an Easy Spot for Farm Brand Switchplate

While I haven't gotten around to painting my switch plates blue in my new room, one of the first things I tried to do when we moved in was put up my farm brand plate we used to have in the great room on a light switch near photos of my great grandparents farms in North Dakota. However, the plate was designed for rectangle switches and none of the lights have that in our new house. Eventually Dad may have gotten around to making one work for it, but tonight I realized the speaker control knob's plate was a rectangle.

Now if only the bookcase wasn't taking up that wall, as that would be the logical place to put the farm photos. I guess maybe, I will let Dad try his idea of switching the bookcase with the piano in his den, as then there would be wall space for the farm photos, but it will also make the furniture more crowded as it sticks out more than the bookcase and that feels almost too close to the couch as is.