Monday, May 28, 2012

I'm done!!!I finished my first quilt!  (Notice there are no close-ups of the quilt, though)  I am proud of it, but I know I can do better, and have done better on the quilt top I'm working one now.  It is actually square - this one was not!

Koori wanted in the picture too!

They also came yesterday an measured for our new flooring.  All total, it is going to go over my original budget by about $800.  But, that will do the living room, dining room, hallway, and Allison's room - the worst of it.  The other rooms are just cosmetic, since they aren't used as much.  I just cleaned up where one of the cats had thrown up in the hallway.  Yes, I think I will like the carpets gone!!

I didn't get a lot more done yesterday.  Cindy and I chatted most of the morning away, and while she was gone to the party, I finished the quilt.  Then, it was time to fix dinner.  Cindy and Rachelle asked if I knew the words and tune for "Eye of the Tiger", so I spent most of the afternoon listening to songs from the 70's-80's on Pandora until it came on.  Talk about bring back a few memories!  I told Cindy it was probably a good thing I was the only one in the kitchen cooking - I was rocking out all by myself.  The days just fly when you're having fun, don't they?

I asked Alli if she wanted to go swimming yesterday, and she ran off to the bathroom to change.  I changed her into her suit, brushed her hair and braided it, and off we went.  She danced her way into the pool area, stepped down in to the water, splashed a bit, and stepped right back out.  It took me longer to get her ready to go swimming than she went swimming!  Her suit only got wet where she splashed it.  Rachelle wanted to go swimming after dinner, so she put her suit on and went in.  She didn't stay in too long, either.  She did get wet all the way, but she was blue and shivering when she got out.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Noooooo!!!! Alli was up at 5:00 a.m.!  Silly girl - doesn't she know I wanted to sleep in?  (Probably, which is why she got up so early!)  Oh well - gives me time to do stuff around the house before everyone else gets up.

Here is the laminate that we are putting down - it almost matches the color of my tables, as a reference for those that have seen my house.  Ralph put the down payment on it yesterday, and they are coming out today at 9:00 a.m. to take the measurements.  I know it is going to go way over my budget I set for it, needs to happen, and soon.  My budget already got blown out of the water by a couple of other items that unexpectedly came up - like new tires for Ralph's truck.

Here is the project the boys got started for me.  Ralph picked up the railroad ties and weed cloth on Friday,  Yesterday, AJ and I cleaned it up a bit - flattened the area where the ties will go, cut the edges in straight, etc.  Not only was I expecting Cindy to come at any time, but it started to rain, so we quit. It is ready for the next step - putting the cloth and ties down.  Then for the hard part - putting the rock in.

These rhododendrons are hiding on the back side of the guest house (at the end of the new rock area).  I never see them blooming, but they are so pretty!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I made it to the weekend!!!  What a fun filled week, literally!  I had something going every night last week but Friday.

Monday - book club.  Probably the best book club meeting yet.  We read The Hunger Games trilogy - great books.  Lots of animated discussion of the books, not as much about work this time.  Great food, a little bit of wine, and lot of good fun!  The only problem was that it was on Monday night.  That meant I stayed up too late!  It was also Ralph's first meeting with his personal trainer.  AJ had to babysit Alli since we were both gone at the same time.  His training went well - he seems pretty jazzed about it.

Tuesday - Scouts.  Tuesday was the free sports physicals for the boys (one of the parents' brother is a doctor and he donates the time to do the physicals - wonderful for the kids!!)  We have it at a home of a scout that happens to have a pool, and the boys get to swim after their physical.  AJ came along to lifeguard the boys for us.  The scouts are BBQ'ing for the Whiskeytown Regatta this weekend, so there was a bit of prep work going on by the parents during the meeting too.  It is usually a good fundraiser for us.  We'll see how it goes this year, since it decided to  cool down a bit (44 degrees outside right now!)

Wednesday - haircut.  My appointment was at 5:15, so I figured I'd have an early evening - not so much.  my hairdresser was running behind by about an hour.  I didn't get home until almost 7:00, and neither did Ralph, so dinner was at 8:00.  That means that I don't get out of the kitchen until close to 9:00 - another long day!  Ralph had his second day with the trainer, and was beat!

Thursday - Therapy appointment for Alli at 4:00 and then a nail appointment for me at 5:00.  Ralph came to Alli's therapy appointment with me, so he could take Alli home.  The therapy is to see what we can do with Allison's choking.  It is our first step, and we spent over an hour with the therapist just reviewing her history and then she gave her snacks to see how she eats now.  I left at 5:00, and she was still working with her.  We have no results yet from the appointment - hurry up and wait!!  Since I had the nail appointment, I got in late from that, and.....Friday was a birthday at work, so I baked a cake after I got in.  A yummy chocolate cake with chocolate fudgy stuff in the middle, topped with chocolate frosting.

Friday - pot luck lunch for the birthday girl.  I got assigned to bring a salad, so I was cooking taco meat at 5:00 a.m. (mostly because I forgot to get it cooked the night before!) and chopping up the stuff for the salad.  It turned out pretty tasty!

Add to all of this, work was jammin'!  We are short one person (vacation) and then we were bombarded with loans!  There is a big push on the loan officers to bring in new loans/new customers.  I asked my boss if he could politely ask them to stop for just a bit, so we could catch up???  He said 'no' very politely.  Bummer!  We did manage to catch up a bit by Friday, but I know all those loan docs we prepared this week will come up to be boarded next week.  I'll need my running shoes for sure!  I've been going in at 7:00 a.m. all of last week.  I'll probably have to continue to do that next week too.

Ralph spent yesterday running around - he was a busy boy!  We've been talking about putting in new flooring, and yesterday, he did the leg work, and found just what we were looking for at a price we can almost afford!  We are putting laminate in the living room, dining room, hallway and Alli's room.  I want to put new carpeting every where else, budget won't cover that.  I'll just do it in parts and pieces.  He also picked up railroad ties and weed cloth for the backyard project, and....found a new pet (maybe).  The paper had a grey cockatoo at Haven Humane.  He's going to call today - he may have a new friend!  Talk about a busy boy!!!

The weekend if full of plans too - fun ones!  Cindy is coming in today to spend the weekend (note to self - get your butt moving and get the house cleaned!)  She is off to a retirement party tomorrow afternoon.  We also want to get the backyard ready for adding the rock.  For that, we need the cooperation of a couple of boys.  We'll see how far we get on that project.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Talk about a busy week! Alli and I went to Susanville over the weekend for an Eastern Star meetin (and Alli was a perfect angel for her babysitters). The local Job's Daughters group babysit her while I am in the meeting. It works out well. I am just upstairs if they need me. It was a good visit, but quick. I left Sunday morning to go home and do all my normal weekend chores in one afternoon. AJ is still working out with me. I don't get to the gym as often as I should, but I am still going. Ralph is doing his second session with the trainer today. I need to post some back yard photos. The boys are putting in more rock for me around the pool. Unfortunately, they broke a waterpipe Sunday afternoon. Poor Ralph had his first training session and he was all sore from digging out the broken pipe!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Special Olympics were held in Red Bluff on Tuesday.  I don't know if Alli had fun or not, but she did participate.  According to her Personal Best card, she threw a tennis ball 10 feet, a softball 10+ feet, and the shot put 14 inches.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

For Mother's Day, "the kids" got me pink tourmaline earrings.  They are beautiful!  (I don't know that either of them saw what they got me until it was a done deal, but....they could have gone shopping with Dad.)

I got the binding attached to my quilt yesterday, after a long talk with Mom and a few you-tube videos.  Now to hand stitch it down!  My plan is to give it to Allison after it is finished.  I wondered if she would even like it or use it, but...I think I was worried about nothing.  She stole it last night while she was on the couch.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Alex is pretty serious about getting me into shape!  He met up with me on Friday and worked out, and then yesterday, he talked me into going for a bike ride with him.  I tried to get out of it by saying it was too hot, was a nice ride!  My bike had issues the last time I road it, and I had forgotten about them.  Until I tried to get started this time.  Bummer.  I ended up on AJ's bike, and he took his Dad's recumbent.  It was a beautiful ride - and it wasn't even that hot. One of the things I would like to do this summer is ride the Biz Johnson Trail from Westwood to Susanville.  It is about 25 miles, and going from Westwood to Susanville, it is mainly downhill!  I need to get the shifters on my bike replaced before then.  AJ's bike was okay to ride, but mine has a nice cushy seat that I really missed!

When we got back, AJ was a bit warmish, so we decided to try out the pool.  (Okay, he decided to try out the pool - I dabbled my feet in it - I'm not much of a cold water swimmer any more!)   I walked in the house and asked Alli if she wanted to go swimming, and she didn't need to be asked twice!  Don't tell me she has slow verbal processing skills - I only asked her once, and she was on her way to the bathroom to get changed.  She plunged right into the water, and AJ spent some time playing with her. It is so nice to see her interact with him.  She loves it when he pulls her through the water.

He was playing a modified patty cakes with her in the water.

Last night, AJ had me come see his 'cute kitten'.  He is awfully cute all curled up on the chair, and then I looked at the rest of the room.  You would never know that the table had been cleared off not that long ago, would you?  Boys!  At least the floor is still clean.

I only need to make the parts for one more bookmark, and then put together 8 of them.  I put one together yesterday morning for Meredith, and it went together pretty nicely!  The books we are reading for the book club this time are the Hunger Games trilogy, and this is the Mockingjay pin from the cover of the first book.  The mockingjay becomes a symbol of the revolution in the books, and I was very happy to find a pattern already created on Ravelry.  It is easy to make, and....I hope to get them all finished today.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

AJ and I met up after work yesterday at Sun Oaks, and he worked out with me a bit.  The nice things about weights is that the novice can work along side a more experienced person, it is just a matter of changing the amount of weight and the number of repeats.  If AJ and I try to do other exercise together, he leaves me in the dust, since I am old and decrepit.  With weights, he just has to remember to shift the weights to 'very small' for me - we can do the same things!  It was fun to spend a few minutes with him at the club, and I even got some exercise in for the day!  Ralph signed up with a personal trainer, but doesn't start for another week.  He is out of town next week for work, and will start after that.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

One more thing to cross off of my to-do list, really!  Tuesday, Ralph and I met with a personal trainer at Sun Oaks.  This has been on my to-do list for a long time.  I know I 'should' work out, every one does, but....where do you start?  We've been members at Sun Oaks for over a year, and we don't use it.  I was going to classes every once in a while, but stopped doing that last year.  I hope that meeting with a trainer, I can get an idea of what to do and how to do it.

We have a meeting again today for him to show me some exercises and machines.  I had a bit of a problem when we met defining goals for myself.  Personal training works best if you have measurable goals - I have none.  I don't need to loose weight, and I'm not inspired to train for a marathon or anything, I just want to feel healthier and stronger.  I want to be able to take care of Allison as long as I can.  Those goals are hard to measure.  My most quantitative goals would be to 'work out' 3 times a week.  Even that is pretty flimsy - what counts as a work out?  The trainer is just going to spend some time with me today, and then turn me loose.  Ralph is going to be signing up for continuing personal training.  I am hoping we both start the new habit of working out!!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Another minor miracle!  I finished the quilt center for the next quilt.  I got the material before I left for Baltimore, and I got the pieces cut out, but that was all I'd done.  The next meeting is this Saturday, and I hadn't even started!!!  I sewed most of Sunday (in between laundry, cooking breakfast - in three shifts because that's how everyone got up - cooking lunch, and cleaning, etc.) and got it done.  I did a much better job this time - it even measures what it is supposed to measure!  I still need to trim the edges off the triangles, but I was worried I would cut them too short and ruin the whole thing, so I waited until I get the next set of material to work with.  (I know, I'm a chicken!)

Two of my points even match up!  (I know, I could say that two don't match up but, I'm an optimist!!)

Sunday, May 06, 2012

What a nice day yesterday!  I had my normal running around in the morning, and then in the afternoon, I finished the afghan!  Ralph got a new BBQ this last week, so he and Larry put it together on Friday, and Larry and Pat came over for dinner last night.  We initiated the new BBQ with salmon - the first time Ralph has grilled it.  He also had the old BBQ set up, and grilled asparagus on it - another first.  It was all sooooo good!  The fish was cooked just right, the asparagus was tender, yum!

Poor Alli - something happened for her at dinner, and I have no idea what it was.  I was feeding her first, and she devoured her salmon - licking her fingers good salmon.  So, I got her another piece.  She refused it.  Not only did she refuse the salmon, she refused to eat anything on her plate.  Not the rice pilaf, which she usually  loves, and not her green beans.  Okay, I can understand her not wanting them, but everything else?  She almost pushed the plate onto the floor to tell me she didn't want it.  I have no idea what happened between the first piece of salmon and the second, but she didn't get much dinner last night.  Not for lack of trying on my part - she just did not want to eat, period.

She made up for it at dessert though.  She had ice cream cake, and she was a happy girl!  I also made strawberries and angel food cake, just in case someone didn't want the high calorie/sugar ice cream.  I even whipped cream and added Equal to it.  Alli got very excited when I brought out the mixer.  She got to lick the bowl a little bit - her favorite!  I didn't need to bother with making the berries and cake - no one ate them.  We did have whipped cream, berries  and chocolate sauce on the ice cream, but no one wanted the angel food cake.  I'll save it for today.  We still have strawberries left.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

I did it!  It is finished - and it turned out pretty well for an experiment.  Putting the appliques on the fleece saved me time, since making the afghan takes me 3-4 weeks, but it wasn't as fast as I thought it would be.  I thought I could just whip this out in a week or so - Not!  The top has blue fringe on it, I just couldn't get a good picture of it (and Jasper wanted to be in the picture too).

Happy birthday Allison!  My baby is 15 today!  What a thought!  Though there are some days I feel my age (this week was one of them) I can't believe how fast the time has gone by.  Maybe if Alli was 'normal' I would have an easier time believing she was 15....I don't know.  She was having an off day this week, and yelled at me on the bus and stamped her foot, so....she must be 15 - the teenage hormones are running rampant!  She was so funny - I think she stamped her foot at me because I laughed when she yelled at me - she actually growled rather than yelled, but she was just so cute when she was mad!!! And that made her madder!  Yep, definitely teenage angst going on here.

Once again, the week flew by.  I had a medical procedure (that darn colonoscopy - I told you that I felt my age this week.  At my last doctor's appointment, Dr. S told me I needed one, now that I was 50!)  Dr. D told me after the procedure that everything looked good and he would see me in 10 years, so....I'm done with that.  Since I had that on Friday, I missed Thursday afternoon and Friday at work, so I was going in early and staying late to get caught up (and maybe ahead??) before I left.  That pretty much killed the week for me.  

In my spare time, I was trying to get that darn afghan finished.  It still isn't done!  If I could have stayed awake a few more minutes last night, I could have had it almost finished, but I ran out of yarn (of course) for the green side of the fringe.  I could have finished the blue side, but....I gave up and went to bed.  If everything had gone smoothly yesterday, I could have gotten it done (except for the missing yarn).  I spent quite a bit of time yesterday saying "well, that didn't work the way I wanted it to."  This is the first time I have used fleece as the backing.  I thought it would be faster, and it may have been, but the mechanics of it threw me.  Of course, part of that was my stupidity, not mechanics, but whatever!  

I decided to put the backing on in a way to leave the edgings out, not turning inside of the blanket.  That way, I could use my brand new "skip" rotary cutter and make holes along the edge and put in fringe.  That is all well and good - until I used my brand new skip rotary cutter, and for some unknown reason, didn't take the old blade out.  What?  I needed to take the old one out?  I had done several test strips to make sure it was going to work, really!  I have no idea why, when I went to work on the afghan, I put the rotary cutter together like that!!!  OMG!  I spent the next hour or so ripping out the seam I had put in so I could re-cut, re-seam and then try the skip cutter again, solo.  It worked just like my practice strips then, imagine!  It really did work out well, I think.  Final pircutres when I get it completely finished.

Last weekend, I managed to get some flowers planted:

Impatients in the front flower bed.

Petunias and Flocks (I think that is what they were - now I forget!) in the front flower bed.

My Columbine is blooming!

My Sterling roses

I planted Impatients around the pool the weekend before

My Scentamental roses

My Lincoln roses

My petunias that wintered over by the guest house.