Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sing-Along Car Tunes

Val must have sensed a road trip was in the making. Just a day ago, I received an envelope from her. In it contained a wonderfully mixed music cd "to enjoy on the way to Riverside."

It is absolutely wonderful! I have been listening to it non-stop since I got it. And, tomorrow afternoon, we are indeed heading to Riverside, so the rest of the crew can enjoy it also. It is chock full of great songs by The Beatles, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Roger Miller, only to name a few.

Thank you Vallen for thinking of me. I've returned the favor and hope my cds work. (I forgot to double check!) Leave it to me to send blank cds. Geesh.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Day Off

We actually have a day off from workmen trudging through the house. Hmmm, is that a good thing? It's one day more we have to live like this!

The floor guys came on Monday and finished the second coat of polyurethane on the floors and thus the varmint had to be locked away in the dungeon (or so it appears these days). These are the faces of the criminals as they beg to be released from their hell. Actually, it's my hell. I finally got started on the desk yesterday, sorting and tossing. Yes, this is the infamous desk I moved my computer from. Rather than cleaning it off, I just moved. Pitiful, I know. And there it has sat in such a state of chaos until yesterday. I'll share more pics of the aftermath once I finish today. I'm moving my art supplies here. (Well, they are all already there--the teenager and his friends just kind of chucked them here rather than where I asked them to put them. Note broken wheels--grrrrr.) And even perhaps my computer will once again rest here. We'll see. I kind of like having it in the thick of things rather than locked up there in that dungeon.

We once more have access to the back side of the house and even moved the kitchen table, sofa and plant table back in to bring back a speck of normalcy to the place. This is where I like to plop down late at night, fingering through my catalogs from the day's mail and listen to the TV. It's become a ritual, I'm afraid. Needless to say, I've been hitting the hay a tad earlier these days without it.

The floors do look nice though. It will all be well worth the "adventure" once it's all said and done. I've had to cover all the holes in the floor with whatever I could grab first, being boards or books. Little Miss You-Know-Who has found quite the adventure in going into the duct work under the floorboards. I'm afraid she may get stuck and then more demolition will entail. What a lovely thought.

But, of course, last night, I forgot to put the vent cover back on this one hole. Little brat. It's like having another child around.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Food for Thought

The hub began a home subscription to The Financial Times and we received the first copy on Sunday (or maybe it was Saturday). It was a delight to read through the weekend House & Home section which I never even knew existed in the paper. The hub tells me it's only in the weekend edition. Lovely. Thank you.

First of all, I love the color of the paper itself. It's printed on a light peach tone. Only a girl would call it that, I'm sure. This is the staple of overseas travel. It's always on every English-speaking gent's breakfast table or folded neatly under his arm strolling down the street no matter what part of the world you are in. I had never actually skimmed through it, the title throwing me off. The Financial Times, yaaawwwwwn. Who would have known there was such delightful sections on the weekends. The hub could have mentioned this years ago, ya think?

So, as we sat on the porch sipping our morning coffee, he handed me two parts of this lovely colored newspaper--House & Home and Life & Arts. I almost squealed. I read all about "What Lurks Beneath," an article on "new" housing projects popping up all over the world that are being built over toxic land that was previously used as factories or landfills, etc. They cited a huge project in Hoboken, NJ, just across the Hudson from Manhattan, that had mercury puddled underneath the floorboards. Wonderful. They had to do a major cleanup, obviously. Hoboken is close to the heart as the hub once owned a condo there, before it became such a chic place to live. (Sure wish we still had the place--we sold it when we got married, dang it.) It is also home to my favorite Italian bakery, Carlo's and right next to Jersey City which is where the hub's mother grew up, where her family owned an Italian grocery store and now where his sister and her husband now live. So, of course, it was an interesting story to read.

As I continued through this section of the paper, I came to the back-page story, "Memories of Heartfelt Mothering." This was one of those stories that makes you want to be a better person. It tells of a daughter-in-law's wishes to have been a better DIL leading up to her MIL's onset of old age. It tells of how much help her MIL was when she was so new at being a mother, all the wonderful memories of her children's milestones in the now quiet house on the Thames in London and how it had always been her refuge. Now, the tables had turned, and she was there to assist her MIL. She wished she had spent more time there, with the "friend, the ally," the nurturer. It's a lovely little article that I hope I find more of every now and again to remind me of the simple things. It reminds us how fleeting life can be and how, unfortunately, we are unable to turn back time. We only get one go at this.

I know I'm completely ahead of myself, but I truly hope to remember this story as my sons marry and begin families. I hope I can be there for them, their spouses and their children as more than just a mother, a mother-in-law or a grandmother. I hope I earn the respect and love that seems so rare these days in those relationships.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Glorious Rain

Rain in the Gutters (and more shingles of the other variety)

It's a glorious morning here (except that neighbor mowing his lawn). Quiet it down out there mista!

I'm about to head out to sit on the porch and enjoy what we have left of the morning and sip my coffee.

We had a wonderful thunder storm again last night. You can feel the difference in the temperature today. Even the sun seems happier not having to work so hard.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Well, not actually this kind of shingle.

This afternoon, I went down to get mom for lunch. I told her she had to take that turtleneck off, it was driving me crazy. So I picked out a pretty little polo number (short sleeves) as she pulled the turtleneck off. When I turned around, I noticed some redness on her chest. Then as I got closer, it was a major rash, like in blisters. Ew. (I could never be a nurse, mind you.) Of course, it freaked me out and I called her doctor right away and left word with his nurse about the blisters. I went ahead and made an appointment with him on Monday and then took her right over to the walk-in clinic (wic) around the corner. Shingles. Yep. That kind of shingles. (I will spare you pictures of this type. You can thank me later.)

Has she been in pain? Nope, not that she has told us. The wic doctor (not witch) said shingles usually has pain associated with it. Well, mom has never been a complainer. It's not in her DNA. She says she's been sleeping fine, no problems. So, I'll take it at that.

{WARNING: Rant ON--as Mr. English would say} The wic doctor called in a prescription for her. When I went to pick it up, the lady said "two fifty eight, please." Wha? As in TWO dollars and fifty eight cents? Good deal. Nope, this prescription cost $258. Oh, and that is with Medicare taking care of over $50 of it (thank you US government). Uh, I don't think so, chica. I put that on hold, let me tell you. I called the wic doctor and told them what had just transpired. They had never heard of such high prescriptions (yea right). They then called in a generic. Guess how much that one was? Thirty two. Uh huh, as in $32. Now, what is up with that? Have these pharmaceutical companies lost their cotton-pickin' minds? How are folks (especially the elderly who are the ones who get shingles in the first place!) supposed to be able to afford this?? I think it's a sin, a downright sin. Now, I don't always trust generic meds. I am on synthroid for one and have been told by my physician to only get synthroid, no generic for that prescription. But, when there is a $300 difference between the two, uh, well, you do the math. {Rant OFF}

Ok, deep breath. Poor thing. She has to take this stuff five times a day! Lord, I'll be running up and down those stairs all day long, hehe. The fun part is, I don't know if I ever had chicken pox before. I know I had mumps, but mom never could remember chicken pox. Which means, I could get them from her shingles and I could be carrying around the virus now that I have touched (ew) the blisters. Loverly. Just smack me now.

In other news, the floors have all been sanded, stained and have the first coat of polyurethane on them. They look gorgeous (peeking from behind the plastic barrier). But with that beauty comes the wonderful smell. I have a headache that could stop a truck. I think I may even have a buzz going. Who knows at this point. I think I may just go upstairs and pass out. I think that may be a good idea. Yep. Buzz buzzz buzzzzzzzzz.

PS Still hot here. The kid and I noted 130º on my car thermometer. That was while we were waiting for mom's prescription at the drive through. Now, that may take into effect some engine heat; but still, it's pretty darn hot!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hotter Than All Get Out

Lord have mercy. It is sooooo hot--everywhere!! We're making another record high here in Nashville of 104ºƒ. It's absolutely crazy! We are fortunate though to have no humidity whatsoever. I'm used to the suppressive heat with high humidity coming from the swamps of DC. So, when it's hot and dry, it doesn't bother me as much. I did decide, however, to keep mom inside today and bring lunch in. I swear, she wears turtle necks, I kid-you-not, all year round. I just look at her and melt. Now, when fall comes around, she'll be running around in a tank top! ha.

In the kitchen department, Jack, my floor man came in, and replaced flooring where it was needed (got rid of the mold!) and they have already begun to sand. (I even had them cut out the dry wall that had some mold on it too!! Can't be too safe!!) The sander (the guy, not the machine) went home early, not feeling well (here we go); so the staining will have to be done tomorrow. I just want it done and over with. I am just so glad to have found and destroyed that yucky old mold. How dangerous is that??? Just the thought of it made my skin crawl.

As you can see, my "nook" keeps getting tighter and tighter. Gee, the hub may come home and have to pry me out of here if anything else gets put in the study! Every room in the front of the house is just chock full of stuff from the back of the house. The animals are finding it harder to maneuver in here with me while I'm typing; but they just squeeze in together where there's a spot. Where there's a will, there's a way. We've had to keep all the vents in the floors closed off due to you-know-who. She kept going into the holes, little Miss Trouble. That would have been something to lose her in the duct work. Don't even want to think about it, thank you very much.

As I mentioned yesterday, I had to speed clean all the closets on the main floor. Of course, they were the three worst in the entire house. (Well, actually, I take that back--the kid's and the teenager's are the worst in the world, I think.) Anyway, after being totally disgusted with myself for putting it off so long, I just started pulling it all out. All of this junk came out of this tiny little closet! I tell you, it was stuffed all the way up to the bottom of the coats. What a disgrace! hehe. I was going to just throw it all into a box (as seen in the top photo), but I got the better half of me to organize it. I ran to the store and found some baskets that were half off and organized the hats, the gloves and the scarves in three smaller baskets (now stacked in the guest bathroom) and three wicker boxes for shoes--sandals, boots and shoes. Now, how's that for good? I even pulled the coats that the kid has outgrown and will be sending them North to his cousin soon.

This closet will show you another reason why I needed to redo the kitchen. Yep, I am a china junkie. I am drawn to it like moths to light. I don't know why it touches me so; perhaps because we never had china growing up. But, I do enjoy using it now. And we do. I feel so sentimental with my china. I have only a hand full of my grandmother's Limoges tea cups. I inherited them from my Aunt Ollie (well, I helped my uncle clean out her attic where I found them and he gave them to me). He also gave me a small Haviland luncheon set that was hers. Recently, I started collecting the hub's parents' wedding china after his mom told me she was leaving me her set. The hub bought me a Villeroy & Boch tea set years ago just because. Then I had to have some of Raphael's grandfather's pieces from France that were being auctioned off after his passing. I have a rather large set of Noritake ("Cardinal"--loved that being a Virginian) that I picked up at a yard sale for under $30. I had it in my hope chest before I ever got married. So you see, each set has a wonderful story behind it. Here, you will see miscellaneous pieces from some of my sets thrown into yet another little linen closet. (That's where that Easter basket went with all my eggs!) I would use them and this is where they ended up --easier than putting them away in the armoir and buffet which are absolutely bursting with more. Here you will see it beautifully displayed on my washer and dryer. Lovely.

I almost forgot to show you the "art" closet. It has all been moved upstairs (thanks to the teenager and his friends who just happen to be in the right place at the wrong time!) where I hope to get it set up in the "pit." We'll see how long that will take me to get started on. I also spied some of the kid's artwork that I need to put in some frames and hang. Always something to do. Thank goodness.

Well that's today's update with a little nostalgia thrown in. Guess I better get mom's pots and pans clanking with some supper!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A New Mag

Just what I need. Another magazine to read. Don't think I've read the last ones I bought yet. But this one . . . well, it's different.

I was looking for something I needed from one of my old trusty webpage bookmarks. For some reason, this one bookmark was in the wrong file. It wasn't under Blogs at all. I must have filed it very early in my blogging "career" as I probably didn't even have a blog file at that time. At any rate, this blog was one of my first favorites that I would visit over and over. It was such a lovely blog and inspired me in so many ways. And, for one reason or another, I lost touch.

I'm speaking of non-other than Posy, of course. I'm sure most of you know this gorgeous blog. I couldn't wait to go and see what was happening in Posy's world once I ran across it again. Well, not to my surprise, she had a post about being written up in this new magazine "Artful Blogging." Now, I had not even heard of it. Mwaw, Queen of Mags, not a peep. So today, as I was shopping for some baskets (will tell you that story tomorrow), there it was at the checkout counter, calling out to me "Buy me, buy me!" And I did.

Another mention at the very beginning is our lovely and talented Pam Garrison. I have been lucky enough to have purchased a pacakge of her vintage wallpaper (which I have used in all types of collages) through her Etsy shop. All I have to say is that the label she addressed to me was a piece of art in itself. (And, yes, I saved it.) I have barely even skimmed through this new magazine, but I know there are several more blogs that I love also chosen to be in the premier issue. At least I think it's a premiere issue. Or else, I would have already heard about it, right?

I am totally exhausted, floor man coming tomorrow to begin sanding!! AS if. One day's notice to clean out all my downstairs closets. Yes, I said, ALL MY CLOSETS!! Of course, I have pics to share; but that will have to be another day. I am jumping in the shower and rinsing off today's sweat (and tears--for being such a slob) and crawling under the kivers with my new mag.

I can't wait to see who's in it and look forward to finding some new places to visit. Will tell you more tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Day Two

I had purchased this bumper sticker a while back and never put it on my car. Now I know why. It had a more suited place in our house to keep reminding me that it is all ok!

More of the same today. One of the guys came and he tore out the pantry walls. It was a surprise to find the waterlines going to the boys' bath upstairs right there in the middle of the floor. Fun. They're going to have to re-route them to the wall. Guess that's why I'm paying the big bucks, right? This is where the new pull-out pantries and refrigerator are going--replacing the old walk-in.

They tell me I will have much more room for my canned goods and such with these pull-out pantries. I guess more room was wasted on the walk-in part of the walk in than I thought. I think I will kind of miss it. Maybe. Well, maybe not. It sure was a pain trying to get to all the old junk that was stuck way back on the shelves. That was the junk I threw away. Older than the hills. So, I suppose, they are right. It will be nice to be able to pull it out and see both sides of my junk. (This was the only pic I could find on the web that kind of shows how they will look.)

Ew. Another surprise was the mold under the sink. I knew I had smelled it since we moved in but I could never locate it. Lordy. Now I know why. My wood floor guy is coming in the morning and he is going to see if it needs to be replaced or not. Perhaps if the builder had finished it properly with polyurethane before he put the cabinets in, it may not have molded. These builders. Don't even get me started.

With everything moving so darn quickly (grin), I'm already preparing for the floors to be refinished. My guy comes in the morning to see what's on the plate for him. I moved a lot of the stuff into the study today. (You can barely see my computer there at the end now.)

The big pieces will have to wait for the hub and teenager to move. (That cd holder is heavier than all get out!) It looks kinda nice and open in the family room now. Hehe.

Oh how I look forward to the refinishing . Talk about dust city. I think I may have to move out!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Day One

The guys showed up this morning. Ready to conquer. If they hadn't, I would have.

I was actually pleasantly surprised at the quietness of the whole ordeal. They started with all the appliances getting moved out. The stove went to one part of the garage for our friend, the dishwasher down to my mom's kitchen and the microwave/oven to another part of the garage for Habitat to pick up.

Then they began tearing down the cabinets. The kid and I ran to do some errands and they were done by the time we got back. Wow. I am impressed.

You can see where I sponged some of the ugly brown tile one day I couldn't take it any longer. Hurts my eyes to look at it now.

Now, the teenager has been locked out of the garage. Pretty soon, guess I will too. NOT! Actually, Habitat will be picking everything up on Wednesday. I hope someone gets a nice kitchen with all these goodies. I would love to see where it goes.

Let's hope the rest of the job goes this smoothly.

More Movement

Whaaaaaa. My next-door neighbors are moving. Yes, the one with the little movie star and the sweetest family on earth. Whaaaaaaaa.

The kid is distraught. This was his only friend in the neighborhood and being right next door makes it even tougher. He's not the type to make new friends easily--kind of a chip off the ol' block. Too shy for his own good. It all just breaks my heart.

I truthfully don't want to think about it. The For Sale sign out front keeps reminding me. I'm just not going to think about it. That's all. My blinders are on. Shields' up Captain!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Whaugh? Do You Hear That?

{Linda understands my best Cockney accent.} Why, is it the sound of thunder? And rain drops? Whaughht? We are actually getting a little thunder storm. I don't think we've had one all summer! I am loving it! Knew there was a reason I stayed up. Why, I have a mind to go sit out on the porch in my jammies and smell the great wet earth. It's been a long time!

You know how I love the rain! I am OUT THERE!!


Demo hasn't even started and it's already crazy here! Well, in my head, anyway. (What else is new??) Yesterday was just surreal. In my old(er) age, I am just discombobulated when things are completely in disarray. I used to be able to live like this; but now it makes me nutters. I can't seem to focus, I don't want to do anything and everything I touch just seems to blow up. Blog, case and point. I was just trying to fiddle with it yesterday, and I suppose I fiddled a little too much. Thankfully, I was able to pull it back up, eventually--as in this morning. Now it looks HUGE. Does it look huge folks? Dunno. Even as I type here, the typeface is HUGE. Maybe my eyesight has become a little better so I can see all the messes I have made! Ya think??

There are papers and pieces of kitchen on every surface of my house at this time. OH, except the kitchen, of course. If these people don't start tomorrow, I think I will take it upon myself to begin demo. Now there's an idea. Truthfully, the only thing left for us to do is remove the cornice/valance from the kitchen window. It's going to be a pain. I have to take the valance off the cornices first. Do you think I will ever get it back the way it is now? I doubt it. Oh, and did I ever mention the amount of heat that radiates from these windows? And thus the BLINDS?? Yep, the blinds have to be removed too. It's going to be hotter than a pepper sprout in here while the guys are working. We get full afternoon sun here. Oh, and did I mention we hit 106˚ƒ last week? Yup. Whaaaa. Can I complain any more? Oh, I'm sure I can. Just hang on.

As you can see way above, Bella has discovered the fish here in the {NOT-so} feng shui study. She now drinks water out of the bowls. She had noticed the fish at one point, but I think she prefers the water over anything. I have to be careful and shut the doors when I leave here (this is where the computer is now) so she doesn't eat them. Oh, and yes, of course, I have locked her in here in my quest to keep her out. All fish are accounted for though. Thank goodness, I think she slept the entire time. Since this room is normally off limits to all animules, they are quite enjoying it as the latest hangout--all of them sprawled out at various times I am in here. Or, all at once. Bella doesn't let a whole lot of relaxation take place though. She really digs into the other two cats and doesn't even leave Roo dog alone too much. She likes to spit at her and Roo, in return, hisses back. The dog thinks she's a cat and Bella thinks she's, well, Lord knows what.

We have the first week of school behind us. The kid has been moved to an easier algebra class--math being his weakest subject. I was happy they were on it so quickly. Guess the low score on his first quiz was a red flag, ya think? And then, in science, he red-flags his first quiz there. Poor guy, he had this new orthodontic appliance put in on Thursday that is a real piece of work. Poor thing. He was pretty much a mess afterwards. We (or at least I) forgot all about the quiz on Friday and therefore didn't even study. What a way to start the new year off, eh? Thankfully, he seems to like his classes and teachers this year. That's always a good thing. The teenager loves his teachers and classes--always really good in your senior year! Phew. I'm thankful. He's been working longer shifts at the grocers'; and we had a little chat over that the other night. I've told him that school comes first and if the job ever gets in the way, it's time to pull back. Gonna have to watch him like a hawk--but what else is new, right?

Yesterday, I worked all day on several digital ATCs for a group I'm in only to find out digitals aren't allowed. Just the way the day went. Oh well, I understand. But, to tell you the truth, I spend just about as much time on a digital as I do a 3-d one. I didn't do all that work for nuthin' so I'll share them with you. Think perhaps, I'll just send them to the birthday gals by email. Now there's the best idea I've had in over a week! Yea yea, that's the ticket. Then, whenever I get my life (house) in order, I can make the real McCoy to send out. Now I feel better.

The hub and I are going out for a Sunday drive today. We've been apart for so long, between his travelling and my spending time at Riverside, thought it was time for a little tootle around. And so, we're off!



©Living as Rosa Designed by Rosa