Thursday, May 25, 2017

What can I say...

Blogging has sort of fallen by the wayside lately.  I've been busy painting the kitchen and other stuff that isn't exciting enough to blog about.
I have been taking pictures of the kitchen project and I will one day do a huge blog post about it.  That way I won't forget and be tempted to do this again.  Just kidding. I'm sure I'll do it again or something very similar because...I'm me.
My house is in a horrific state.  Even if I clean the kitchen in the morning, by that evening every available surface is COVERED in tools and junk and who knows what.  It's kind of exhausting.
The drawers and other kitchen stuff are in 3 different rooms so those rooms are also a mess.
But, I know this phase is temporary (please let it be temporary) and so I just try to ignore it the best that I can.

Here are some of the other things I've been doing:

I've been growing out my hair for the sole purpose of braiding it.
Yes, I love braids and my hair is never long enough to braid so I decided to just grow it out and have a dang braid!
The last day of the long(ish) hair

Alas, within the last couple of weeks my hair has been falling out by the handful.  It's quite frightening actually but I'm assuming it's the "change of life" or some such nonsense.  Being a woman is tough.

Anyway, I realized that the braid was never going to happen.
I now have all these baby hairs growing in and when I pull my hair back (say in a pony tail or *braid*) I have all of this hair sticking up like a lions mane.

So, today I chopped by hair off again.  I should probably accept that I am a bob kind of person.

As I was taking these pictures of my hair for the purpose of this blog, I was struck yet again by something that I've been dealing with for awhile: I hate my face.

Me, trying to get a picture of the new hair while not having to look at my face in the picture.

I'm not saying this to get my friends to be all like "Oh, Debbie, you're still pretty" or whatever nonsense they might say...I mean it.  I just can't seem to come to grips with the whole aging thing. I never thought it would bug me but it really does.  If I had tons of money I might end up looking like one of those hollywood people who have had too much work done.  Actually, I don't think I would because I'm too afraid of looking like that.  I'm willing to stay "natural" even if I hate it just so I won't be a laughing stock.  Also, I would hate to die on the operating table getting a face lift.

How did this chubby, wrinkly thing become my face?  I know, I know: cake, bread, sun, years.  fine.

My mom is kind of obsessed with looking younger and it's getting worse as her dementia worsens. I went over there the other day to find her putting ice on the "huge bags under her eyes".
I can only imagine that this will be me someday, considering that I already think bad thoughts about the huge bags under my eyes...I just don't put ice on my face yet or talk about it publicly (unless you count this blog, which I don't) Ha!

On to other subjects!

I removed and washed all of the cushion covers for my outdoor furniture.  It was surprisingly easy to remove and replace the covers...I thought it would be a nightmare.  And they washed up so well!  No bug guts whatsoever were left after the washing. Sweet!

I replaced them all today onto the newly power washed couches (thanks Frank!) and they look so good.

The bugs can now feel free to die on them again tonight. sigh.

The view of my lovely backyard from my lovely, temporarily clean, couches.

Frank also cleaned the table and chairs, Go him!

I will now sign off and go do something useful like dishes.
I also got new glasses and they are not bifocals yeah, still winning the aging game in that area!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Problems that aren't real problems

Here's the thing:  I am one of those people who does not like stuff all over my countertops.
In my perfect kitchen there might be one thing, perhaps a vase of flowers, on my counter.
The rest of the space would be clear of any clutter.

In reality my counter has all kinds of stuff on it.  And I don't seem to be able to change it.

These are the things that are always on the countertop:

Paper towel holder
fruit bowl/banana hook
drying mat for dishes

The paper towel holder doesn't bug me that much.  In my last house I hada rod that hooked to the underside of my cabinets which I liked but it was apparently too hard to work because no one ever changed the paper towel roll but me.  At least this one is easy enough for the guys in the house to work. *sigh*

The toaster drives me nuts.
The cord is too long and also too thick so I can't hide it away.  The crumbs! Ugh.  Today I actually took the toaster outside and shook it with all my might. Then I attacked it with the air compressor. I washed the outside thoroughly and then when I brought it back left crumbs on the counter.  Why is this?
I used to put it in the cupboard after use but my family rebelled.  They want it out and so it is out.

The blender.
What an eyesore.
But it gets used at least once a day...usually more than that.  It's really not worth moving it that many times to have it off the counter for the time that it isn't in use.  Plus I don't really have a place for it.  It still bugs me.  I know if I put in in a cupboard I would hear complaints.
You can see in the picture that the pitcher portion of the blender isn't there. That's because it is on another part of the counter...drying. ugh.

Fruit bowl/banana hook:  It is currently empty but it usually has apples and bananas (I just got home from being in Alaska so we need groceries).  I don't mind how it looks when full of fruit but during garden season it doesn't hold enough so I end up with the bowl plus a big stack of tomatoes all over. Dislike.
I'm thinking of getting  banana hook that attaches to the cupboard and can be folded away when I don't actually have any bananas.  I would still have the fruit bowl but maybe I can put it on the table and force myself to keep the table cleaned off!  It's important to have dreams.

Drying mat: Well, this one is tough.  I almost always have something drying on it.  Maybe because I'm too lazy to dry the items and put them away immediately.  Today I had it all cleaned off (as you can see in the picture...ignore the towel there. ha!) and within 30 minutes I had refilled it with pans and knives that can't be put in the dishwasher.  Plus the blender is almost always there drying between uses.  I keep thinking I'll make a different mat that matches the kitchen better and fits the whole space since what I usually do when drying dishes is place a towel along side the mat since the mat is too small.

In addition to these items I can often find other things on my counters: dirty dishes, mail, other various papers that need to go elsewhere but haven't yet, medications and items that need to go out to the recycle bin but no one wants to do it so they sit on the counter.

You would never know by looking at my kitchen that I hate clutter and want to have clear counter tops.


That's today's installment of problems that aren't really problems.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Location, location, location

I am the kind of person who usually folds and puts away the laundry right out of the dryer.  I don't like to have baskets or piles of laundry around.
However, with all the painting I'm doing and with how torn up the house is, I ended up letting a basket of laundry sit in front of the dryer for several days.
I finally decided to put it away one night.
I was putting Frank's stuff in his drawers straight out of the basket and then anything that I found of mine, I would put in a little pile on the corner of the bed.
After all of his stuff was sorted out, I grabbed the pile of my stuff to take to to my closet.
When I lifted up the pile of clean clothes I looked down and there on my bed was a big caterpillar.
He looked all squishy and was moving his freakish worm-like body around ON MY BED.

I freaked out and started yelling for Frank to come.
He was like "it's a what"

But here's the thing.

Caterpillar in the garden=kind of cute bug that has the potential to be a moth or lovely butterfly
Caterpillar on my bed (and also apparently roaming around in my clean laundry)=gross, disgusting bug that is totally freak out worthy

He got rid of the bug for me and I pondered whether or not to strip my sheets and rewash all of the laundry I had just put away.

Lesson learned.
Stop painting long enough to put the laundry away immediately!

I am willing to  happily coexist with bugs if they will just stay outside where they belong.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Something to be Thankful for: April 2017

April 1- Conference in the morning at Candice's house.  Then off to visit Jennifer Frank (we've been friends since High School!) for the afternoon.  Sitting by a gorgeous pool and chatting was the perfect end to this day!
April 2- Just more relaxing for me!  We went on a little nature hike which was beautiful.  We sat by the pool and talked.  It's my last day in Arizona and I have loved every minute.
April 3-I drove home to Utah today.  I made it safely despite getting to drive through a blizzard (in April).  I enjoyed the drive and everything went smoothly so I'm thankful for that!
April 4- My tulips are blooming!  It's Frank's 5 year anniversary: he is cancer free 5 years today!  SO thankful for that.
April 5-Today I am thankful for my sweet granddaughter Isabelle.  It's her 4th birthday today and I miss her so much.  I get to go visit in May and I cannot wait!

April 6-Today is the start of a 3 day vacation with some neighbors.  We saw some beautiful areas and did some little hikes.  I'm thankful for a beautiful world that I get to enjoy!
April 7-Beautiful scenery and hikes in southern Utah.  Fun day!
April 8- Today we went to Bryce canyon for the first time. Wow, it was so gorgeous and unusual. I love seeing new beautiful places.

April 9-We had Rachel, Claudia and Charles over for dinner.  I love seeing these great kids and the good things they are doing with their lives.  All three of them will go on missions soon. I just love these kids!
April 10-Today I spent the whole day cleaning house.  I cleaned the bathrooms, the kitchen, vacuumed everything and did laundry.  I love a clean house and I am so grateful that I am able to spend time at home just doing these domestic things. I know I've been blessed to be a stay-at-home mom when many others can't do it.
April 11- Today I got 4 new windows! Yay!  I love that my bathrooms are now private (privacy glass woo hoo!) and that the window over the kitchen sink is functional and pretty.  I often wished I could open that window but it was broken.  Now I can get the wonderful spring air while in the kitchen.
April 12-I worked today and I just have to say that I really like the people I work with.  It makes work so much more fun!
April 13-Today is Kaylee's birthday!  I'm thankful for Kaylee in my life!

April 14-I bought a hide-a-bed couch a few months ago so that I can put it in my office/guest room.  I'm excited to finish up that room and also be able to have a place for guests (poor Hannah has gotten used to sleeping in the front room on the couch).  Today it was delivered!  And the exciting part? It's green!

April 15- Frank replaced the drywall in the kitchen and made it look pretty easy too.
April 16-Easter! I'm so thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ!
April 17-I'm thankful for beautiful weather outside today.
April 18- As we drove home from work, Lori pointed out the beautiful Lilac bushes.  When I got home I realized that I have two of them in my backyard!  I cut a few branches to put in a vase and they are beautiful and fragrant!
April 19-Today Frank and I worked on installing the new beadboard backsplash.  I think it's going to look great.
April 20-I'm grateful to work with fun neighborhood friends.  It makes the work day so much more pleasant!
April 21-I got to have lunch with a gal here in the neighborhood that I have a lot in common with and it was a nice little break. (Thanks Shari for always fitting me in!)
April 22-This morning I got a massage which was painful but also awesome.  My headaches have been so much better lately and I'm really grateful for that!
April 23-Carter got called to be a primary teacher and he seems fairly excited about it.  I'm grateful for his willingness to serve.
April 24-We got out of work early today (YAY!) and then I got to go to lunch with Beverly (a different friend in the neighborhood) which was really nice.
April 25-Frank helped me by painting the corner of the backsplash where the counter is so deep that I could only do it by actually climbing on the counter.  I was in pain from a long day and from hours of painting and when he chipped in, I wanted to cry it made me so happy.
April 26-Our power bill came was 13.00!  Loving our solar. :-)
April 27-Work with Laurel and Lori.  I really like those two gals!
April 28-Went to Doneen's to celebrate Daryl's graduation from BYU.  I had a hard day so I wasn't that excited to go, but I went anyway and ended up having a great time with my family. Yay!
April 29-Got to attend the adult session of Stake Conference with Dallin H Oaks presiding.  It was a great meeting and I felt the Holy Ghost testify to me that I am loved by my Heavenly Father.  I don't know why I always need reminding, but it always helps me when it happens.
April 30- Stake conference followed by the afternoon at Doneen's house to celebrate Mark's farewell before he goes on a mission soon.  I love my family.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Well, that escalated quickly

Last night I decided to start seriously trying to remove the tile from my kitchen backsplash.
It wasn't long before I realized that I was causing serious damage to the drywall behind the tiles.
It didn't matter what method I used for removing the tile, it was making a mess.
I started to feel like maybe I had made a bad decision.
I took a picture and was about to post it onto Facebook with a caption about how I was starting to regret my decision.
My irreversible decision.

Frank came in from outside and I told him about my reservations and concerns.
Of course, it really is too late for reservations or concerns...
I had already gone past the point of no return.
The tile would have to come down.

And so at this point, Frank got involved.
He started out trying to be gentle (like I had done as well)
and ended up using a pry bar and sledge hammer.

He has always said that his specialty is demolition!

The tile is out.
Aaaaand so is the drywall.

By the time we were done this was what we had:

We also found some sketchy wiring,
so that's fun.

I went to bed last night full of regret.

My plan was to "remodel" this kitchen using a couple hundred dollars worth of paint.
It was just a temporary fix until I can save up to really remodel.
I think I just went over budget.

why am I like this?
why do I always have to change everything??

I can go into the nicest house you would ever see and I will find things that I want to change.

I hated the kitchen in my last house and we lived there for 10 years!
I survived.
I never remodeled.
It was ok.
I could still cook food and feed the family in that kitchen.
But, yes, I hated it and complained.

And there are, no doubt, people who would look at this kitchen and think that it is so nice.
They would love it.

It's funny because I consider myself a generally content person...
I don't need fancy vacations or expensive gifts.
But when it comes to my house I am not content.
I alway have a project in my head.
Even when working on one thing I am thinking of the next thing I want to do.

Frank has even said to me that maybe we should just build a house so I can have it the way I like it.
I usually respond with something like "I love this house! I just want to change everything about how it looks"
and that is the truth.

I love the layout
I love the front porch
I love the yard
I love the covered back porch
I love the red brick
So many things to love...
I just want to change everything else for some reason.

So anyway, it's too late to go back and just learn to like the tile.
It's gone now and so we will figure out how to re-drywall and make it look ok again.

and I'm sure I will still paint the cabinets
even though it's kind of scary and they might look worse when I'm done
I mean, they aren't hideous now...just too house is too dark
which is partially caused by the covered porch that I love

This is how I think.
It"s a trial for us all...but mostly for Frank.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

New Windows!

Woo Hoo! 
Today I got four new windows and I'm super excited about it.

Here's what I got:

New window over the kitchen sink.

The previous window was a garden window and it was broken in numerous ways.
It wouldn't open and the glass was cracked.

And I never actually put plants on it.
Because I kill plants.  It's what I do.

I had to remove the tile in the window sill before they could put in the new window, so I have started a whole big mess in the kitchen.

Here is the new window which actually OPENS.
Yep, that's right.

I still have a lot of work to do though: repair the walls, fix the sill, tear out the rest of the backsplash and put something else there...ok I don't want to think about all that right now.

I also got new windows in both bathrooms.
The old windows didn't open well and were made of regular glass so I always felt like I had to keep the shutters closed.
And keeping the shutters closed meant that the bathroom was always dark.

Now we have privacy glass.
I might just remove the shutters altogether and just let the light pour in.

The last window is in the family room area right at the top of the stairs to the basement.
This window wouldn't open and stay open without falling inward.
Then if you did open it somehow, it wouldn't shut.
Would. Not. Shut.
Took all your strength to push that puppy down.
Anyway, we looked into just getting that fixed but it was such an old window that the only real option was replacement.

It's now so light and bright that Frank doesn't want to put the blinds back, so I have to think about that one.
Looks like I might be making more curtains.
You can see that I have partially painted that wall and then stopped.
Must get back to painting!

Ok, this happy post about my new windows has reminded me of all the work I still need to do!
But, that's the life of a homeowner I suppose.
Or at least the life of a homeowner like me.

Vacation post: Arizona

A week or so ago I went to Arizona and visited my friends there.
I have been having a bit of stress and also lots and lots of headaches and I just felt like I had to get I told Frank that I was going to Arizona.
Luckily, he was understanding about me wanting to take off and leave him and Carter behind for a week.

I rented a car so that Carter would be able to get to work while I was gone.

I spent approximately 2 days at each of my friends houses plus one afternoon with a friend from Massachusetts.
There are actually other friends in Arizona that I didn't get to see so obviously I'll have to make another trip sometime.

Annette-We have been friends since Pennsylvania so...that's nearly 20 years. She's been a true friend to me through the years and I can always count on her to be there for me.
She lived in Utah when I first moved here and I was so happy to be close to her. When I found out she was moving away, I cried.  But luckily, she has kids up here in Utah so she visits fairly often and so we've seen each other a fair amount.  She always makes time for me when she visits.
We ate wonderful barbecue, we talked and talked, we went to a movie, we commiserated over our daily problems and over her wallpaper problems.
It was great.

Candice-Candice and I met through scrapbooking and have been good friends ever since.
She's one of those people who you can see after being away for months and months and it feels like no time has passed.  Her kids and husband are also great and so much fun to be around.
Her family is so close and loving.
We ate a lot, spent one whole day doing nothing but watching chick flicks (it was fabulous and exactly what I needed), we got pedicures, we went to another movie, we laughed and talked.  Annette joined us there since they live close to one another.  We watched conference together on Saturday morning.
It was a relaxing and fun time.
How is this the only picture I have of Candice?
Oh wait, there's this one:

Ok I slacked on pictures...but I was busy relaxing.

Jennifer-The next stop was Jennifer's house.  Jennifer and I have been friends since 1984 maybe? (correct me if I'm wrong Jennifer)  but anyway, friends since highschool!  Marriages, babies, infertility, trials, fun...we've seen it all together!  We know that we can talk about anything together and that we will stick by each other.
We sat by the pool and talked, we went on a lovely hike, we watched her son play and splash in the pool (and it made me glad I don't have a 6 year old at my age! haha).  We ate takeout while watching trash tv.  It couldn't have been better.  We probably did more than that but now I can't remember.  I had a lot of just relaxation time on this trip and it was exactly what I needed.

I  really appreciated being able to just relax and have no responsibilities or worries.

Merissa-I got to go visit Merissa Doubleday for an afternoon as well.  I've been friends with Merissa and her husband since Massachusetts.  Merissa and I spent many years at girls camp together! Good times.  She now lives in Arizona with her cute boys and hubby.
Derek showed up at lunch time unexpectedly and I got to see and visit with him for a short time as well.  Among other things, we talked about things that annoy us about the West. ha!
I'm so glad it worked out for us to visit!

I should have taken a picture with her cute kiddos!

The drive there was uneventful, if long.
The drive home...well, I got to drive in hot weather and in a snowstorm so I got it all I guess! Despite the snow and slick roads, I made it home safely.

Here are some gorgeous views I saw while driving:
(I pulled over for some of them but just held up the phone and hoped for the best for others.)
Sorry for the bug splattered windshield pics. ha!

As I drove, I was struck multiple times at the beauty of our world.  I often feel the love of God as I look around at the world.  It feels like a beautiful gift.

I loved my little vacation SO MUCH.  Thanks to my friends for being willing to put me up and entertain me so I could have a get-away!