The most requested thing for dinner around here? Noodles. With butter.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tis the season!

To do some math!  Here's a nice video of a college professor explaining some math to his students:

I hope the math didn't scare you too much!
Have a nice day!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Baseball should not be played in October

My morning wake-up radio station people keep talking about the World Series.  What?  Is baseball still being played?  Now?  It's football season.  It's cold out.  Baseball players don't move around enough to stay warm.  They have to wear so many layers of shirts that they can't pitch well.  It's raining.  Baseball players are delicate.  They don't play when it rains- they have "rain delays".  They're probably afraid they're going to melt. They're so dainty.

Whose idea was it to have such a long season?  Who can keep track of their team from April to now?  They should be done in September.  And the World Series (which really doesn't involve the whole world) should be 5 games in September.  Done.

I've decided I have too short of an attention span to be a real baseball fan.

Thought you should know.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A little home improvement.

Our laundry room was begging for help.  When I bought the house 11 years ago, I was thrilled to have an inside laundry room instead of one in the garage.  I put in a set of shelves I had, put the vacuum attachments on the wall, hung a broom organizer, and then started using the back wall to mark kiddo's growth chart.

Through the years, the room has become a collection hall of stuff- kitchen stuff, linen closet stuff, garage stuff, outside stuff, cleaning stuff, dog stuff... you get the idea.

Then there was a leak.  I think it was something to do with the washer connection to the water.  It was awful.  I was dropping towels all over and bemoaning my new laminate floor and muttering about mold and mildew, mold and mildew!

My neighbor came over and helped me move the washer and dry out the floor.  A few years later, the washer overflowed.  Most likely it was not quite balanced and I put too much in it.  Water nightmares all over again.  I mopped up and moved the washer away from the back wall where I pulled out the soggy baseboards and placed a space heater and dehumidifier for awhile.  We kept using the washer in that position which was really hard to work around, but I was scared to push it back to the wall in case of more leaks that I couldn't reach.  I also removed the door because it was taking up space in the room. 

After making do for about a year, I used this summer at home to finally fix the problem.  I called my insurance company and they sent ProServ out to diagnose and/or fix the dampness.  They detected a tiny bit of mold that they cleaned out for free (YAY!), so I didn't file a claim.

Then I moved everything out of the room and started from scratch.  That's what you are supposed to do when you re-do a room.  (Everything landed in the dining room or living room and some of it is still there- yikes!)

I started with new paint.  Almost Heavenly Blue from WalMart.  Love it.  Then my neighbor installed new baseboards and I put up another wire shelf.  I know, some people hate the wire shelves but they were the cheapest quickest thing and I think they work well for what I want.  They are visually light and airy which is important for a small room.  I also decided that the room would only be about laundry and a few kitchen supplies- not random stuff.  I labeled all my white baskets with the planned contents, and corralled the cleaning supplies.  Before I painted over kiddo's growth chart, I made a giant "ruler" out of a 6 foot 1 x 4 and then copied all the data onto it.  Lastly, I re-hung the door and put the brooms on the back of it with a simple over-the-door clothes hook.

Now it is a bright, welcoming, efficient place to deal with our laundry.  I can hang clothes out of the way, the hamper rolls nicely, and I know exactly where everything is.  I had no idea that labels would make such a difference!  I might still put some decor on the walls, but for now it is exactly what we need.

Total cost?  About $20 for paint and $40 for shelves.  I used baskets I already had and made labels with my scrapbooking supplies.  Oh, I bought a metal pail from Goodwill for $.99.  It's my new lint bucket.

Here's a look at the befores:

The washer is pulled out from the wall- about 15 inches.

ServPro cleaned it up and I was able to replace the original laminate floor with my neighbor's help.

And here are the afters:

The growth chart just leans against the wall.  I can easily move it if we ever get a different house.
Back against the wall where it belongs!
Those baskets are labeled towels and candles.
The towels are old towels used for cleaning and for drying off the dog when he gets wet outside.
The gray dishtub is used to corral Windex, Spray 'n Wash, etc.

The door is back and helping hold the Swiffer,  floor squeegee, and window washing stuff.
I love Tide Pods.  They help kiddo do the laundry without having to measure or spill liquid.  
The powder is Oxy.  Can't live without Oxy...
No doubt as to what is in there.
I have four baskets labeled with the seasons.  These hold- are you ready for this?-  dishtowels for each season.  Yeah.  I found out I have about 4 dozen dishtowels.  That's 48, people.  48 dishtowels for a person who doesn't even like being in the kitchen that much.  48.  (About half of those are Christmasy.  You can't use up 24 Christmas towels in one month... hello?)  Apparently, that's pretty much how I decorate my kitchen- seasonal dishtowels that rotate with the calendar.  It's inexpensive, but I had no idea how many I had or how they pile up!
I have to start re-gifting these babies...
Our triple hamper helps kiddo sort the clothes.  I used paint chips to label the sections- lights, darks, and reds.  
It's a pleasure to do laundry now.  We can even shut the door now and block out the noise from the machines.  Next project?  Probably the garage...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Field trips, part 2

In July, we took my folks down the gorge to the Interpretive Center Museum.  These are the scrapbook layouts I made of our great day in the gorge.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

And now for something completely different...

Kiddo and I have some weird inside jokes.  I'm not going to share them all with you, because then they wouldn't be inside jokes anymore, but I thought you might enjoy this.  Or, you might find it kinda disturbing.  Your choice.

Anyway, a few years ago, she noticed that there was a Barbie doll on the roof of a house that we pass a few times a week.  The house is two stories, so it would be almost impossible for a kid that lives there to throw the doll onto the roof, except that the house is located in a bit of a valley and a road and sidewalk are directly behind it.  We figured that someone who was walking along the sidewalk just tossed that Barbie over there and the homeowners have no idea it is there.

Summer 2010.    It looks like she is in a rather precarious position.
We started checking the roof every time we went past the house, and sure enough, it just stayed right there.  Somehow, we decided we would yell out "Nekkid Barbie" every time we went by.  (And yes, "nekkid" is a word.  In Texan it means "naked".  Our pastor in Texas used to use it from the pulpit, "The man and his wife were both nekkid and knew no shame."  It's in Genesis.  Look it up.)

After a few weeks of noticing, we started predicting.  We thought that maybe a good fall rain storm or wind storm might just whisk that baby right off that roof.  Nope, she was still there the next summer- although she had slid considerably lower and closer to the gutters.

Summer 2011.   Still precarious but about two feet lower than the year before.
Well, now this was getting interesting!  We thought maybe we should make some bets regarding the date of the ultimate demise of dear Barbie, but neither of us are good gamblers so we just make half-hearted suggestions without committing any money to the deal.  We also discussed driving down the road to the house and knocking on the door to inform the homeowners that there was a nekkid Barbie on their roof.  Still haven't done that.  I'm waiting till she hits the gutter because until then she is doing no harm and she is providing entertainment.

This summer, we rarely drove by the nekkid Barbie site, and when we did I was sans camera, so it was fall when we finally caught another picture of her.  She's turning gray and brown now, and has slid about a foot lower than last summer.  She's closer to the edge of the roof, so after a good rain storm, or a bit of wind, she might end up in the rain gutter.  Homeowners hate things clogging up their rain gutters, so I will keep an eye on it and go tell the owners pretty soon.

Fall 2012.   It's amazing what little it takes to entertain us.
I predict she might be sliding even more during this recent hit of rain.
Poor Barbie.  What a way to go.
I'll update with new pictures as soon as there is something to show.  For now, you can go about your lives as before.

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's raining, it's pouring!

It's AWESOME.  I was smiling this little smile all day- like I had a secret and no one else knew it... it was so wonderful to see the water streaming down my classroom window.  Ahhhhhh...

By 5 pm we had gotten as much rain as in the past 3 months.  It feels so good and fresh and clean.  

I know it will seem dreary in March, but for now it was sorely needed and very much welcomed.

Falling asleep to the sound of rain is always wonderful.  It's doubly good on a Friday night because I turn off the alarm clock and let morning come when it will.  It's delicious.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's almost here...

The rain is almost here!  I just checked and it says we have a 40% chance of rain on Friday, 60% chance of rain on Saturday, 50% on Sunday, and 70% on Monday!!!!
I'm so excited I could just burst!!! (They better not be teasing me.)

Oh.  You aren't from around here?  You don't get the whole rain thing?  Well, let me attempt an explanation...

This year, our July through September rainfall was about one-tenth of normal.  One-tenth.  As in, it's been dry, dry DRY.  It was so dry and windy last weekend that when I attempted to clean and sweep out the garage, it all blew back in!  Because of the east wind, the humidity level here dropped to 10%.  That is so weird.

Nothing in town is clean or green- cars, streets, buildings, trees- they're all dusty and dry.  I had a cold last week and I tried to use the humidifier but the air was so dry in our house that it made no difference to my breathing at all.  I'm using up hand lotion like there's no tomorrow.  I kept thinking it might rain, so I forgot to water the pumpkins I planted last spring.  Dead.  The moss, mold, and mildew that live on the north side of everyone's houses are desperate for wetness- if you are quiet, you can hear the tiny screams of dying mildew as you settle into bed for the night.

Everything is thirsty.  This is very unusual.  We're setting records.  There have been 2 or 3 wildfires that are uncomfortably close to town, and more house fires in town in the last month than I can remember in a long time.

Not only have we had very little measurable rainfall, it has also been warm.  Since fall started, every day has been in the 70s.  Nights are in the 50s, sometimes 40s.  Yawn.   Welcome to the Stepford weather.

Some people like this kind of weather.  They live in California.  I live here because I like the clean green that our usual rainfall brings.

I've been checking every day since school started.  Sometimes two, ten times a day.  School is much easier when it is raining outside.


C'mon, rain!  I'm rooting for ya!  Even if it means the weeds will start to grow in my lawn, at least they are green!!  C'mon, rain!

Maybe I'll go wash my car.  You know, just to be sure...

Monday, October 8, 2012


You see all those wonderful generic versions of Ny-Quil and Day-Quil?  Gorgeous, aren't they?  All snuggled up in their blister packs, just waiting for someone to come along and pop them out and get relief from the dang cold that has taken up residence in their nose.

Yup.  Beautiful.  Beautiful but lacking.  You see, there are 5 pairs of capsules in each card.  That is how they are sold.  BUT- there is a space for a sixth pair of capsules.  So, WHY isn't there a sixth pair?

It only makes sense.  I get a cold once a year.  I need about 6 days/nights of medicinal intervention each time I get a cold.  Theoretically, I use up one card of each color per cold, so a box of 2 cards per color SHOULD last me two years.  It doesn't.  The second year I always end up short on drugs and debating whether I can somehow stretch the effects of each pill so I don't have to go to the store and get a whole 'nother box of 4 cards of green and orange salvation.  I don't want to go to the store, I want to go back to bed.

It's really quite irksome.  It's not like there isn't room for a 6th pair- you can clearly see that the cards have room and there is plenty of room in the box.  It's basically a conspiracy.  I am being forced by the manufacturer to go out and buy a new box way too early in the sickness/medicine continuum.  It's a waste of gasoline.

My math brain really can't handle this lack of completeness- especially with no explanation.  I don't care if they charge more for the cards with 6 pairs instead of the cards with 5 pairs.  They should charge more.  They shouldn't leave me high and dry and coughing through the night.  

I just want to know... WHY???????

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Field Trips, part 1

In June, Ab's school let out about 10 days before mine.  My folks jumped in with activities and field trips in order to save me some day care $$$$.  Three cheers for grandparents!!!

Field trip #1 was to Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in central Oregon.  The ranch was founded by Troy and Kim Meeder to rescue neglected and abused horses and provide a place for disabled kids to learn to ride.  They give tours and have a weekly dinner and worship time.  Read more about the ranch at their website or through one of Kim's books.

Here are the scrapbook pages I made to document their wonderful time together:

As you can see, Ab really likes animals of all kinds.  I can see her working somewhere like this when she is old enough.