Thursday, January 30, 2014


Today has been a day of frustration.
Total frustration.

It started out when I woke up and my heater wasn't working
I texted my husband who is, of course, at the airport about to go on a business trip.
He misses out on all the fun.

I knew what to do but I was annoyed to be doing it, especially at 5:30 AM
I got it going pretty quickly
so I shouldn't whine about it but...too late.

Then I spent nearly an hour
trying to open a jar of Ponds Cold Cream.
Yes, an hour.
Now, I'm not the strongest gal on the planet but I'm not a weakling either.
I could not get this jar open.
I tried everything.
Everything you would normally do to try to open a stubborn jar was done.
I finally gave it to my son thinking that somehow it must be something I'm doing wrong.
I have never experienced a jar this unwilling to be opened.
He couldn't open it either.

Now Ponds Cold Cream is, in my mind, the stuff old ladies use.
I'm having some skin issues and I figure I'll try something tried and true.
But how the heck any old lady opens this jar is beyond me!

So I started using tools.
I tried to pry the lid off rather than twisting
I tried scissors on the edge of the cap
I banged it on the counter
I finally threw it angrily on the floor hoping it would simply burst open
No dice.
After all of this, Austin gave it another try
and this time it opened.

I put some on my face.
And my face started to burn.

Austin recently got a new job that requires him to get a drug test.
So next on the agenda was running him to the lab for that.
I figured while we were out I'd get a couple of errands done before I had to get Carter from school.

Austin forgot the paper that told hime exactly where the lab was.
But he knew approximately where it was.
So going off of the name on the lab slip we googled and drove to the address we found.
It was not a lab.
So after a fair amount of talking and surfing on phones, I convinced him to call his place of employment and ask them the address.
He was given an address in a totally different town!
20 minutes away!
So we drove there.
I'm annoyed and we are leaving the area where my errands are but
I'm such a nice mom
I do it anyway.
*pat pat pat* myself on the back
We arrive at the lab and they are closed for lunch.
We got to get some pizza while we wait
It was not delicious.

We come back to the lab and he is told that his lab slip is not for this lab at all.
He has to go somewhere else.
By this time, its time to get Carter from school
So we swing by the house and get the bleepity-bleep paper that he forgot this morning.
We get Carter
He's coming with us darn it all and I don't care that he's tired from school and wants a snack!
We drive all the way back up to the town we originally drove to 
(30 minutes)
and we find the lab and they do his test.

And if he fails it, he is a dead man.

In a couple of hours I get to take Carter to play in the band at a Hockey game.
he swears he has the correct address...

I have a headache.
And, no, I'm not making dinner.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Upholstery Class Week 3

I ordered my fabric this week so I'll have it soon.
So excited!
I hope I like it long term.
That is the hardest part for me...I'm very fickle and I want to pick something I'll like for awhile.
But I don't want to be boring either.

Here it is:
The bottom fabric is a velvet and will go on the front part of the chair 
(seat, arms and back where you sit)
The top fabric will go on the back outside of the chair.

Ok, now for my progress.

I started by undoing all of the muslin that I put on (and hand sewed) last time.
It was bugging me.
The sewing was just kind of a mess and I want to learn and do it right.

So I removed all of that and put better padding down on the seat while I was at it.
I didn't remember to take any pictures.
But I got it all sewed down
and then tacked around the edges (jus to hold it in place)
and then stapled all around nice and tight.

You have to cut the fabric to fit around the arms and such.
I pulled the piece through to the bottom and attached that as well.

Then cut off the excess material

See that big pile of junk under my chair?
fabric, tools, webbing, burlap, batting
Yeah, I'm THE ONLY ONE with that big pile of junk.
I can't figure out how all the other students are so neat and tidy!
If something is in my way, I chuck it underneath until I need it later or have a chance to put it away.
I guess they are cleaning "as they go".

Ok, back to the upholstering...

That nice crease near the arm is where I hand sewed it down to the burlap below.

The corners by the legs are a little tricky and not quite as tight as they probably should be.
But luckily this all gets covered up with the fabric so hopefully it'll be fine.

Next is the webbing of the arms and wings.
I've only just begun that part.

It is now sitting in the back of my car because I'm going to paint the visible wood pieces
during the next 2 weeks before class again.

I have to miss next week because Carter is having surgery.
My only problem is getting it out of the car!
Not that it's difficult necessarily
(I got it in there after all)
But its just so darn cold outside and I never want to go out and haul it in.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Let me tell you about the perfect winter day.
It is crisp and cold
but also bright and sunny with a gorgeous blue sky.
Snow has fallen and lies on each individual branch like fluffy cotton.

Today I enjoyed one of these days.

I waited a bit too long to go out and take pictures
and some of the snow had begun to soften and fall from the branches.
Too bad.
It was a winter wonderland straight out of a movie as we drove to church this morning.
Absolutely stunning.

I find it hard to capture in photos.
Landscape photography is not my forte.
Plus I'm such a fan of the close-up, that I tend to take a bunch of close-ups 
and discover later (like when I go to blog about it) that I missed the big picture.

But here are a few I took as I went out walking this afternoon.

Then the wind blows and the air is filled with snow...

cold pinpricks on my face.
It is magical and somehow sad at the same time.

I love how the combination of branches and snow and wind
make everything look like some sort of modern art installation.

As it falls from the trees, it lands in little puffs
and leaves the landscape all pockmarked.

I find myself tromping into the woods without thinking much about the depth of the snow
and I always come home wet and cold.

It is worth it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Upholstery Class has begun!

I went to my upholstery class today!

I left over two hours early since I haven't driven there during the morning traffic before.
It was surprisingly smooth
(although I doubt it will always be so wonderful)
and I arrived nice and early.
Good thing I had some reading material!
The view from my window before I left the house.
I love a good sunrise!

I got a sweet parking spot!

I'm excited to do my chair
but I will admit that I had chair envy today
Everyone had such. cool. chairs.

And I'm also wishing I'd brought my chair back home with me to paint it since we have a week off
(Martin Luther King Jr. class)
What was I thinking?
such a waste.

I missed the first week of class last Monday
 so I made sure to get my chair all stripped down so I wouldn't be behind.

Everyone else still had a bit of stripping to do
so the instructor was able to spend a little extra time with me today 
since no one really needed much help
(except me, of course)

I got the seat of my chair almost completely done


I'm seriously considering going back a step or two when we return to class.
The covering of my seat has some issues that are bugging me.

Here are my pictures from today:

Placed burlap over springs.
Made and attached edge roll.
Fill gap with cotton batting.

Another view of the edge roll and batting

Placed foam on back 2/3 of seat (approx)
Batting on front 1/3
Getting ready to sew on the muslin cover

Hand sew muslin cover into the gap between the cotton batting on the front of chair and foam on the back
This is the part that didn't work out that well.
Might redo

I can't believe I didn't take a final picture with the muslin on.

That'll be my first picture next time...
right before I rip it off and start over

Friday, January 10, 2014

Forty Seven

I really liked that I was able to look back to last year and see exactly what I did on my birthday.
Because if I try to just remember, I don't have a clue.
So, even though it wasn't a particularly exciting day, here is what I did today:

Woke up at 7:30 to get ready for Church
Carter and I head out to church at 8:30 while Frank stays in bed with a bad cold.
That man is germy!
Fast and Testimony meeting today.
I told Carter that he could go up and bear his testimony for my gift.
he said he'd rather make me another cherry pie.
So, we'll see if I get one or not.
Sunday school was a great lesson on Moses Chapter 1 by Bill Greenhouse.
In YW I got a small bag of candy and the girls all sang to me.
Another good lesson by Lori Forsyth.
Came home and Frank had cleaned a bit and was working in the kitchen to make my birthday lunch.
We had fried chicken, homemade macaroni and cheese and biscuits.
We had planned roasted broccoli but that was just too many things to get it all done.
So not a veggie to be found!
Bro. Danjou came over and brought me a huge dark chocolate sucker.
We had a minor snafu when Frank accidentally dropped a chicken leg from about 4" above the pan into the oil and it went everywhere!
We were afraid it would run over to the next burner and catch fire so we did some frantic moving of things and cleaning up but all was well.
(except I still have a lot of mess to clean up later...grease all over)
Frank went to sit down after a bit since he really doesn't feel well.
I finished cooking.
The lunch was yummy but I ate too much and every single item was full of gluten so I'll be regretting it all later.
Opened presents: hard drive (yay!) and grapefruit knife from Frank.  
Chicken breast cookbook from Janice and Frank.  
(awesome gift for me but after having just eaten too much fried chicken
it made me sick to look at it. haha)
Nice Card from Austin.
We played 5 Crowns with Bro. Danjou 
I won!
And, no, they didn't let me because of the birthday...fair and square.
Frank left for a Stake Meeting.
The boys and I watched the first episode of Sherlock.
Got a call from my old High School friend Jennifer Miesem Sheffield and had a nice chat with her.
And now I am trying to move all of my pictures to my new hard drive.
I got lots of facebook messages today and texts from friends and family. 
Thanks to all!

I can't believe I'm 47.

Edited January 10--And then I got the flu the next day and didn't get up until now to go to the computer and hit "publish". Not my most fabulous start to a year but still better than 2012.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Upholstery madness

My upholstery class starts on Monday
In two days
So today, I finally began to tear down the chair that I got.

Quite a few hours,
a big mess

3 blisters later...

I think it might be too broken to be of use.
Here is what I found underneath the fabric:

And the other side looks the same.

I'm pretty sad about it.
I'm still going to ask my expert friend Bro Danjou if there is hope
But I know one thing for sure.

It won't be ready by Monday!

At the ripe old age of 46 
(yes, I'm still 46 until tomorrow)
I am AGAIN learning the lesson that procrastination is a bad idea.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Let's talk about Christmas

For Christmas 2013 we made the big trip to Oregon
to see Frank's family
The secondary reason for going was that it was Frank's 50th birthday
and I wanted to be able to have a party where his family could attend.
Each milestone and holiday feels like a little gift now
and I was hoping it would be special for Frank.
(more on the birthday later)

Frank's sister, Diana, had the great idea to rent a house at the beach so that we could all be together in one house.
It was so great!
The kids all got along
and the weather was amazing!
I was expecting freezing cold, rain and wind
and we got mild temperatures, no wind and a lot of sunshine!

The only thing that didn't quite work out was that Branden wasn't able to get time off of work to come.
So sad.
Of course, we understood.  You have to put your livelihood and family first.
But it was a bummer none-the-less.
Amber came with baby Isabelle though.

I was trying to imagine how I would have felt if, after two years of marriage and very little interaction with the in-laws, my husband told me I had to go spend 10 days without him visiting said in-laws.
I wouldn't have been happy about it.

Luckily, Amber is a good sport and she came anyway.
We sure enjoyed it and I think she did too.
And we all got to know each other a little better too.


We loved spending time with Isabelle!!
It took her quite a few days to warm up to us.
She would be laughing or talking with her mom and if she saw us she would clam up and get a serious look on her face.
Finally, finally she decided we were ok!
Frank danced and sang and worked hard to get that little girl to smile for him.

All of the other boys were there too and it was great to see them and to see them all together.

Christmas was mayhem.
The sheer number of gifts was overwhelming!
We had 3 families there
and a small tree that we put up on an end table.
It was a good thing we put it up like that because the pile of presents would have been taller than the tree if we hadn't!

We opened our traditional pajamas on Christmas Eve.
You might recall that I screwed that up last year.
I learned my lesson!
Diana had decided not to do pajamas
so, for her two youngest kids, she wrapped up their current pajamas for them to open!
It was so funny.  They were confused to say the least.
But its the opening that's fun, right?

Everything was different with all the extra people and being in a different place.
I totally spaced my usual picture in front of the tree.

Christmas Morning:

Nice photo bomb, Hannah!

Frank's new remote car starter!
(Yes, we got each other the same thing. haa)

What? No pictures of Carter on Christmas Morning??
That kid avoids the camera like the plague.
Hopefully someone else will have a picture that they can send me.

And the grand finale:
Isabelle in her Christmas dress!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Blog copycat--Year in Review

Here is a Blog idea I stole from my funny cousin Emily
    What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before? I became a Grandma! 
    (I know, I know! Technically I didn't "do" anything)

    What countries did you visit?  Mexico, U.S.(yes, it counts since I traveled to another state!) and Turks and Caicos (British Territory)
    Turks and Caicos

    What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? Less worrying

    What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 
    • April 5 - My granddaughter was born!
    What was your biggest achievement of the year? moving out of our house and into a rental condo. Such a load off my mind to not own a big house!

    What was your biggest failure? No idea.  I'll probably find out later that I failed when my kids tell me.

    Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing new really, but kept with the ongoing problems of migraines and stomach distress.

    What was the best thing you bought? New Car!

    Where did most of your money go? Healthcare expenses, vacations

    What did you get really, really, really excited about? Trip to Utah to meet Isabelle (granddaughter) and Oregon for Christmas (got to see my kids, my granddaughter and lots of Frank's family!)

    What song will always remind you of 2013? Home by Phillip Phillips

    Compared to this time last year, are you:

    a) happier or sadder? happier and sadder
    b) thinner or fatter? the same or maybe slightly fatter

    What do you wish you'd done more of?  Exercise and scripture study

    What do you wish you'd done less of?  Eating bread items

    What was your favorite TV program?  Just one??, maybe Nashville

    What was the best book you read? Tough one...I read a lot!

    What did you want and get? A new car that was not a minivan

    What did you want and not get? A trip to Arizona

    What was your favorite film of the year? Hmm.  There are a lot of movies that came out in 2013 that I still haven't seen that might make it higher on my list but I guess I'd have to say either The Hobbit or Hunger Games movies were my top choices.

    What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 46 in January of last year, so it was a long time ago!  According to my blog this is what I did:

    got up and did not shower since I knew we'd be working all day
    (moving into Condo)
    went and loaded up the trailer and van with all kinds of crap from the old house
    (I don't know why I would want to keep any of it, but we keep schlepping it over here)
    came back and unloaded
    went and loaded up the trailer and van with even more crap
    came back and unloaded
    Ate lunch at Five Guys (my choice)
    I like that place way too much.
    went back and forth on whether or not to see a movie and ended up going home
    Opened presents
    A new novel from my in-laws!
    Jewelry from my parents!
    The suitcase I already knew I was getting!
    Frank worked on making me a cherry pie while I sat on the couch and read my new book.
    Did some vacuuming and put down the throw rug in the sun room.  
    Tons of dead bugs in there.
    complained about having a broken vacuum.
    Ate cherry pie
    Decided we should probably eat dinner
    Frank and Carter went out and got lettuce wraps, my fave!
    Ordered a new vacuum online!
    another present I guess :-)
    Watched "An Affair to Remember" on tv...missed the first half or so.
    Frank and Carter barely survived the movie and mocked it a few times until I gave them dirty looks and reminded them it was my birthday.
    Ate more cherry pie.
    Went to sleep.

    What one thing would have made your year immeasureably more satisfying? Seeing my kids and granddaughter more than I did.

    How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013? oversized and comfortable

    What kept you sane? reading

    Which celebrity did you fancy the most? Jennifer Lawrence

    What political issue stirred you the most? probably none. I have become more and more concerned about the GMO issue and treatment of animals in our food supply though.  It has changed how I shop and eat.

    Who did you miss? friends and family

    Who was the best new person you met? Isabelle Grace

    Tell us a valuable lesson you learned in 2013.  Once your kids grow up, you do not stop worrying about them. You just have less influence.

    What were your favorite photos from 2013?

    Ok, Ok...all of the pictures of Isabelle are my favorite!!

    How was your 2013?