Friday, August 31, 2007

And the winner is...

A few days ago I posted a photo and a memory game-type challenge. Props to Mark for coming closest by identifying the two thermometers which didn't belong in the kitchen, a lab thermometer —useful for various science fair projects— and an aquarium thermometer, I was wondering where that went....

I'm still putting stuff back in the new kitchen, this evening it was a bin of food from the dry-goods cabinet. I have a whole row of boxes of stuff to get rid of because the average "best by" date is January 2006. Tomorrow: the spice cabinet.

I'd like to have a kitchen warming party when it's done but that might be a while because my painter is booked until November unless it rains when he has outside jobs scheduled, then he can fit us in. At least it's a functional kitchen without paint, I just don't have a functional livingroom, it still looks like a yard sale in there.


Compilation of Failures

Yesterday is over. Thank goodness.

I volunteered to coordinate my office picnic, sorry, summer off-site staff development meeting. Two years ago I planned it, it went well, but decided to hand over the reins to someone else. It never got off the ground.

My boss asked me to coordinate the outing again this year and I agreed. One reason for me to do it is because I am a member of a pool club which has a nice place for a group gathering.

In the beginning I polled office mates as to whether they'd like a planned menu or potluck. The results were split. I took the diplomatic approach, those who wanted to bring potluck could and the rest could just give me $5 each and I'd purchase extra food for the group. Good plan, yes?

The pool club opens at 11:00 am in the summer and noon when school is in session, so the plan was to have everyone start arriving around noon and we'll start the grills at 12:30. Instead of going into the office, I stayed home bought and prepared the food from the monetary contributions. I bought brownie mix, chicken to grill, chicken to make my curried chicken salad, cucumbers, and a gallon of milk to make another batch of mozzarella to go with the tomatoes someone else was bringing.

The batch of cheese completely failed, didn't come together at all, the curds never formed solidly enough to create the cheese. I think it was too hot when I put the rennet in.

I ran out of my favorite curry powder for the chicken salad. My neighbor was visiting and ran to the store to get some for me, thank you.

Do you need anything else while I'm there? "No, thanks, I think I have everything." Out the door and down the driveway and I remember I need tablecloths for the picnic tables. Darn, now I have to make another stop on the way to the pool.

I arrive at the pool at 5 till 12:00 and the gates are still closed so I run over to the grocery first. I'm back at 10 after 12:00 and the parking lot is still empty, whew, nobody is there yet. and the gates are still locked. Uh oh. The club opens at 1:00 pm when school is in session, not noon. D'oh!

On the bright side, no one showed up until about 25 minutes till 1 and I remembered the printout of the guest list to give the gate guard and remembered to bring the grill tools.

Forgot to have someone bring napkins with other paper goods, and forgot to write down the person bringing hamburgers so I forgot burgers would be on the menu.

Then there's the whole part when I left the picnic —and Kevin—to pick up Daughter so she can attend, but her bus was late, thus I abandoned my guests for much longer than intended. And most were gone when I got back. Argh.

I hope everyone had a good time despite my oversights and failures.

Can't wait till next year!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Right now I'm on the brink of a full blown headache, it's waxing and waning at the moment. I might have to search out a coke for relief. I hate having a headache.


Ever since I bought the yarn in Minneapolis a couple weeks ago, I've been on the fence as to where my creativity is taking me. I hadn't planned on going back to knitting, and I have plenty of quilting projects that need my attention. Daughter still wants her quilt finished, all I have to do is quilt the border and bind it off, and I have a John Flynn laser cut Storm At Sea kit I've been working on since March. The blocks are in a sewing-order stack ready to go. Sheesh. Then there's the next bee meeting. It'll be at my house, we're dyeing fabrics. I love that, it's so much fun to play with color. And I really like sharing fabric dyeing with others.

But the knitting. I've made at least 4 attempts at starting a sock, different pattern, different needles, with the new yarn. It's be knitted, ripped and rewound so many times, it's splitting very easily when I work with it. And I want to keep going on this project, I'm not to the exasperation point yet.

So on one side of the fence, I have a cool new quilting bee with cool new bee friends and on the other side I have cool new yarn and a cool new sock pattern book and I just ordered two new sets of birch double point sock needles because I can't find my others.

Maybe I just need to get off the fence and mow the grass.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thanks to me all the local fire trucks and some from the next town over were parked in front of the grocery store last night.

You're thinking, I know she's klutzy, but the fire department?

Daughter and I rounded the corner down the milk aisle and we saw a blue-white light flickering on the lighting power cord for one of the shelves. So I went down to check-out and told them they had a fire back there. A friend from church was also shopping so we chatted about our respective kitchen renovations, picked our selections, speculated whether the boys would walk over from the fire station which is across the street from the grocery, or arrive with lights and sirens.

By the time we were finished shopping and all paid up there were at least 4 trucks outside, lights flashing. But nobody inside was really in a panic, the calm in the store didn't balance out with glaring scene outside. It was kind of aerie.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Measuring Spoons, Thermometers and Paintbrushes

I've been slowly getting the yardsale in my living room (contents of the old kitchen) back into the new cabinets. This morning I started on the utility drawer next to the stove. I haven't dug back in the depths of that pit since Clinton was in office. Beyond the spatulas and basters and the ice cream scoops I collected all the measuring spoons, thermometers and paintbrushes (what?) for a picture.

Click to enlarge and study this picture for 30 seconds then go to the comments and play along.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Meet My Brother

My little brother, sorry, younger brother is the taller of the two, about 6' 7" and today is his birthday. Unfortunately, I didn't get any good pictures of him when we got together earlier this month to show him off properly. He is heavily involved in a church-based youth soccer league and loves it, he really likes working with the kids and seeing their skills improve.

Many years ago he married a woman who shares my first name so her married name is the same as my maiden name. I like my sister-in-law so it's OK, but you can imagine the confusion it causes. Like the time my dad never called me to tell me my Grandma was ill. Mom: Did you call Anne? Dad: Yes. Actually she had gotten sick in October and at Thanksgiving I was told "...we won't be going to the beach at Christmas if Grandmother doesn't get better..." Huh? What are you talking about? Boy, was I mad.

Anyway, this is not supposed to be about my parents, it's to wish Happy Birthday, Little Brother! I love you, have a good day.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm mourning the loss of Target for a source of clothing for my 14 year old son. He keeps growing and is now about 5'8" (taller'n me!) so he'd wear a size 18 or 30" inseam pants. Except he's the approximate diameter Nicole Richie, so his waist would be about a double slim or 26 inches. The boys' section in Target goes to size 16 and the men's department starts at 28x30.

JC Penny's has sizes 18 and 20 in boys with slim and adjustable waists so I just have to adjust my thinking and put Penny's on my radar. But they are not convenient to get to. Argh. What do you do when a source for something dries up?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Kitchen Renovation Week 5

It's getting there. The painters will come in next week. You can see the seams on the back splash tile and they are wider than I'd like in places. And I selected off-white grout, so, of course, the mismatched seams stand out. Argh. I'm going to try to live with it for a while and go with my back-up plan if I can't stand it. That would be to grout over the existing "Silk" with "Cinnamon," a color that is closer to the tile color. Then the seams should nearly vanish. Why I didn't think of that after I saw the seams is killing me.

For the most part my husband has left all the decisions to me, which is usually fine. The other day Husband and I were at Target and I picked out and bought two stools for the counter while he was off window shopping with the kids. The stools match pretty well with the cabinets. Modest, nothing crazy (lower right in photo). Yesterday, he and I were in the Target close to the office at lunch to buy pants for our ever-growing son—another story entirely. He sees these (in a dark red): and wonders why we couldn't have had these instead. Sheesh. I say the ones I bought still have the tags on them, we can exchange them. No, that's alright. Criminey, I like these, but didn't pick them because I thought the others went better and were less expensive, but if you like them, then why not? You just can't win.

Monday, August 20, 2007

First Day of School

I'm back to an almost normal schedule now. I can leave for work as soon as my son is on the bus. He's been sleeping later and later all summer, and sometimes staying up until 4:45. Yes, in the morning.

This morning he came down at about 10 till 8 and made himself chocolate milk while I scrambled up one and a half eggs. (I take one of the yolks out.) Yesterday I bought two new bar stools for the new kitchen counter, at which he sat and ate his breakfast. Then he went out and set up the folding chair and waited for the bus, scheduled to come at 8:15, but came at 8:25. Not bad for the first day.

Daughter got picked up at 7:45 for school. She's carpooling with two neighborhood boys for an early class before school officially starts at 9:30. There was a change in scheduling this year, which necessitated the odd time for her and the rest of the kids taking band or chorus and Spanish I. If you're confused, just think about how us moms are, only some of us got called by guidance, others of us called them ourselves. Oh, didn't I call you with the start time information?

I fell asleep last night stressing about how much homework the girl will be getting. Last year there were two sections of honors kids. One got a lot of homework, the other got off easy. Fern's class was on the easy side. Her gaggle of friends got split up into the two classes this year, so I'm hoping she'll win the homework lottery again and get off easy. I hate homework, it stresses our family out too much when there's a lot to be done. And there's not that much time in the evenings since she doesn't get home until close to 5:00 and I'd love for her to have time for fun things and get to bed at a reasonable hour.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Another shot from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden; it reminded me of my husband's blog photo.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm back from my business trip to Minneapolis. I'd never been there, except for going through to other destinations. The bridge disaster is still very much on the minds there, every time I heard the news, it was mentioned. We stayed at the Holiday Inn which overlooks the void of the 35W bridge. This is the view to the north from the pool deck on 14th floor.

Monday after our meetings my collegue and I checked out the Lake area west of town and walked around Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles.

Tuesday, we had time between meetings to walk around the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

Metrodome at sunset.

I was looking for 15th. Oops, maybe I went a little too far.

I found a cool yarn shop a few blocks from the hotel called Depth of Field. I bought two balls of yarn made of corn fiber! It's called 'Maizy' and is very soft and cotton-y. I haven't knitted in a while, but I bought them anyway. I also found a quilt shop and had to get some fabric. On the flight back I got my checkbook caught up, verifying statements from back to January. I just need to get all the recent items since the last statement accounted for. I'm so bad at balancing my checkbook. I mean, I can do the math, it's just that I'll go through spurts of keeping it ultra balanced and then periods of six to eight months of not. It's the check card purchases that do me in, I never remember to log them.

I came back home to progress in the kitchen. We now have a working dishwasher, sink and faucet (Yay!), and the backsplash tile has been put up. for the most part it looks OK, but some of the seams between sheets are too wide and it looks like an amateur put it up. It's going to bug me, but I don't know what to do about it. Oh, and the dishwasher won't open fully, or if it does, the drawer beside it doesn't. Sheesh.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


I mistyped in my previous post, I didn't get granite counter tops, I got quartz. Grantite is so easy to say, and it's so popular now.

Quartz, not so easy to say or type. Drives me nuts to hear people leave out the 'u' in quartz and quarts, and quarters, as in "This week korts of Valvoline are on sale for $1.29," or "in the forth korter the Redskins failed to score." I'm not a football fan so the last one doesn't bother me that much. We don't live in Qatar, folks, it's not that hard.

I never got the extension piece for the hot water dispenser, drat, and I'm on an early flight in the morning for Minneapolis. I'm not taking my lap top so this will be my last post until I get back.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I've just spent the afternoon inhaling epoxy fumes while my countertops were installed. It's starting to look a lot like a kitchen!

My instant hot water dispenser needs an extension piece, drat, it wasn't built for a thick slab of granite. I mounted the faucet and soap dispenser this afternoon, just need to get the plumbing attached.

Hopefully, Monday I'll have the dishwasher installed and we'll be good to go. After that it's just the backsplash and finishing work. I think.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Breaking Point

I reached the breaking point.
It's all got to end.
I can't take it anymore.
I can't do anything with it.
I can't stand the way it looks.
It's all got to go.
I was going along just fine, no problems, everything is under control, then, BAM! Outta control, like it happened over night. And it happened at a most inconvenient time. I've been tolerating it as it is but I am going on a business trip next week to Minneapolis for a couple days. (It's the first trip I've been on in, oh jeez, has it been two years now?) So I'll just have to live with this mess until I get back. Then I'll have to make some calls and work out a schedule, obtain the necessary funds to correct the situation. But still I fear this won't get it resolved until, oh maybe October. However will I live with this current state until then? It's time I got a hair cut.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

This is my 204th post. I went and missed my 200th. I posted it all right, I just didn't know it at the time. Oh well.

I updated my sidebar today. I had bookmarked a lot of blogs as I found them and today just decided to list them all on my page instead or continuing to bookmark them, and sort them into groups while I was at it.

As some of the categories fell into place, I realized I need to do more of my interests, not just read about them. I have several quilting projects hanging around and while I love to go to my bee meetings, it's not inspiration enough to get anything done or worked on.

Well, there is the kitchen thing. It's hard to feel motivated to get anything done when the heart of the household is on hold. The counter top is due for installation on Friday, but I'm not sure I'll have a working sink and dishwasher by the weekend. Living in limbo zaps all enthusiasm right out of me. I hope I'll be rejuvenated creatively when I have my kitchen back. Besides, of course, getting everything back in there. I plan to purge extraneous cookware, but I may be so tired of all this when the time comes, who knows what'll happen.

And now I leave you with the picture of the day: A kid in CuraƧao

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Family Time

My husband comes from a large family, he has five brothers and two sisters. This weekend all eight siblings got together in Richmond for a reunion. I like his family, they are so different from mine. They are loud and because there are so many of them, there are lots opinions about lots of different subjects, mostly education and sports: baseball, hockey, and playing golf (where I join in).

I have two brothers with whom I hardly ever speak, not because we're not on speaking terms, but because we forget. Well, that's my excuse, I don't know about them. I really ought to try harder to talk to them more often. We do our communicating through Mom and Dad. Yesterday was Dad's birthday so I called to wish him a happy one. Oh and please tell the short brother (6'5") the tee time next weekend is 1:32, no, better make that 1:00. He's invariably late. We're playing golf next weekend at my family's get-together. I hope my tall brother (6'7") can play, his back's been bothering him. (Dad's 6'7" too, if you were wondering, and I'm only 5'7".)

I haven't pulled out my camera at all (yet) so I have no record of this reunion, maybe later today I'll get a chance before everyone goes separate ways.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Today I took off work and played golf with my husband at a course that's new to us. I didn't do too well over all but did have some good shots. I just need to string together some of those good shot into a full good-shot game. I have completely lost the ability of using a driver, or any wood for that matter, so most of my tee shots were with a 3-iron.

The thermometer in the car showed 101° when we finished playing. Whew. toasty!

Today is day twelve with no sink or dishwasher. I got a call from the Counter top contractor, they received our slab of (forest green Caesarstone) quartz and are starting to cut it now. Installation will be on Friday, next week. So, another full week of no sink or dishwasher.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

My eyelashes are sticky with dried tears.

I've finished Harry Potter.