Friday, November 30, 2007

Good news/Bad news

I was working on cleaning my bathroom today, which is the job I most absolutely detest. The bus was coming to drop off McKenzie, so I hurriedly put the hand-held sprayer back into the slot by the bathtub, threw on my coat, shut the water off and ran outside. The bus dropped her off about 5-10 minutes later and we walked back into the house.

The bad news: I heard water running. It was coming from the kitchen; from a speaker in the ceiling. Not a place where water normally comes from.

The good news: We're planning on going to Seattle tomorrow for the weekend; a broken pipe and running water all weekend wouldn't be good.

I called my husband and he said to turn the breaker to the pump off and he'd be home soon. So I turned the breaker off, and got out a garbage can to collect the running water, and some towels to mop up the floor, countertop and cabinets that were soaked with water.

The bad news: We live in a two-story house, the kitchen is on the first floor.

The good news: The water flow seemed to subside after I turned the pump off.

My hubby came home from work, along with his brother, our all-around handy man, and pulled the speaker down from the ceiling, along with a bunch of soaking wet insulation. They got a lantern and a flashlight and peered into the kitchen ceiling/upstairs floor to see what they could see.

The good news: it wasn't a broken pipe, probably a broken drain pipe from my bathtub.

The bad news: They needed to cut a hole in the ceiling.

I protested...take the wood surround down from around the tub...please don't cut a hole in the sheetrock! Make sure that's what the problem is first! Oh, we have to, my hubby said. It's the ONLY way to dry out the sheetrock. I can repair it, his brother big deal. Grrr...I've heard that one before.

The good news: it wasn't a broken was the water running out of the hand-held sprayer, which has a broken fitting, down under the tub. All they need to do to fix it is buy and install a new washer.

The bad news: I now have a hole in my kitchen ceiling.

The good news: It matches my messed up, wallpaper-free, need-texturing, need-painting walls, my water-damaged wood floors, and trashed-carpeted family room.

Christmas is how far away and how many people do I have coming over here?

Oh, and apparently, somehow I am to blame for this. After all, wasn't I the one using the sprayer to clean my bathtub? Remind me of that next time I decide to clean.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Project Runway

Does anyone else like to watch the show Project Runway? Now that we have cable again (that's another whole post) I sat and watched it for two hours last night...every show since the season started. Am I the only one that thinks some of those people are brilliant and some are just plain crazy? Some of the clothes they design and construct, in only a day or two, are stunningly beautiful to me, but some of them....oh my goodness! Still, I love the creativity of the designers. It's amazing and inspiring to me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Several days ago an acquaintance of ours called to check on my husband after his knee surgery. She's not a close friend, just someone we know; a lady that my husband watches out for because she's had a rough go of it the last few years and is in really poor health. She lives in a travel trailer on the back of a piece of property that has a house in the front that another family, consisting of a mom, dad and four little girls, rents. I told her I hoped she'd had a good Thanksgiving. She said she had. She said that she had been hoping she would have enough money to buy a turkey, but she just hadn't been able to afford it, but it didn't matter. She said the parents of the girls both had to work, so the four little girls had come back to her trailer and stayed with her for the day and that she was just so happy not to be alone on Thanksgiving.

I was humbled. I had so many leftovers from Thanksgiving that my refrigerator was overflowing and here this woman, who I know, didn't have enough money to even buy a turkey. I wish I had known. There are people like her, each with their own story, all over my community. Each story is different, each unique; this woman had had a good job working for the Wash. State Dept. of Ecology, identifying and cleaning up hazardous chemical spills. Because of her constant exposure to toxic chemicals, she now has permanent lung damage. She also was involved in a horrific car accident, caused by the other driver, leaving her with permanent brain damage. In her late 40s, she is unable to work and survives on social security disability payments. She had a home she sold a few years ago because she couldn't afford to keep it, but the money she made from it was all spent by her ex-boyfriend, who took advantage of her mental confusion and eventually became physically abusive to her. She was given three months to live about seven years ago and told me that she's really not sure why she's still alive, but that God must have some reason.

In my lifetime, I've never know what it was to go hungry. I've never had to worry about having a roof over my head. And I've certainly never gone without a special dinner on the holidays. I feel a tugging at my heart to do something to help those in our community less fortunate than myself, but I struggle to know what form that help should take. I know I can't save the world, I just hope that I can make a difference in one person's life.

Monday, November 26, 2007

It works!

I bought oil for my sewing machine today. My hubby took the machine all apart and oiled it, put it back together and voila'!! it works great! That man is my hero!

Who would have guessed that you have to oil your sewing machine more than once every 23 years?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bella Boo

Bella came to hang out with Grandpa and Grandma tonight while her Mama, Papi, five sisters and brother, and three cousins went to the movies. My daughter and son-in-law are a glutton for punishment...or just love, love, love kids! I cherish the fact that I live so close to my children and grandchildren and can do these spur-of-the-moment fun times with them! Bella is a clown. She is such a fun baby to spend time with. She is the only baby I've ever seen that can actually make a walker go forward, not just backward! She loves any toy that lights up or makes noise and put some music on the stereo or computer and she dances away! She's chubby and happy and loved so much by all her siblings...she's just a joy to have around and I'm glad she came to see Nana and Grandpa tonight! :)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Day After

Friday. What is it some people call it..Black Friday? The day after Thanksgiving when the stores open at 4:00 a.m. or some other unGodly hour and people actually get up and go shopping? Are you kidding me?

My son's girlfriend went with her aunt and cousin this year, for the first time ever, and she said it was insane. They stood out in the cold and dark waiting for Circuit City to open so that her cousin could get a nano pod, and her aunt could get a fax machine. People were stealing stuff out of other people's carts and her aunt actually got hit in the face when someone got mad about something and threw, literally threw, an item.

Me, oh I figured I could go to the fabric store and all would be calm. I mean, really, it's JoAnn's right? Who could possibly want to go to JoAnn's when there's all that other Christmas shopping to do? Well, evidently, every person in a three county area that's ever even considered sewing. The "big" sale ended at noon and I got there at 11:30. All I wanted was some flannel, marked down from $5.99 to $.99 a yard, AND with the use of my 20% off coupon, leaving the final price at $.80 a yard, plus a few other odds and ends; possibly some more polar fleece. It was crazy. When I went in the door, I went immediately to the cutting counter and took my number...I09...the number they were on? G50 something...with 100 numbers in each letter category and the rest of the G's and all of the H's left to go, before we even reached the I's, that's over 150 people ahead of me! (Was that confusing?) Then, after your fabric is cut, you get into the line to pay, which wrapped 3/4 of the way around the store. There had to be at least 80-100 people or more in line, just to pay.

I almost left. I went back to my car, keys in hand, ready to leave...then thought about the $10 in gas I'd spent to get there and back, and decided I might as well stay and at least get my gas money back in savings. I was there for 2 1/2 hours and spent $60. I probably saved at least that much, so it was worth it. And, once I adjusted my attitude, it was actually really fun. I got a lot of fabric that I needed, and some craft items, too, most of which were 50% off. I came home and started to work on a sewing project I'm working on for a Christmas gift, at which time my sewing machine promptly died.


**EDITED TO ADD: I forgot to mention, after I paid for my purchases, I realized they had neglected to give me the marked down price on the flannel and I then had to go stand in another line to get my refund!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My Day

Today has been a busy and decidedly "different" kind of day for me. So far I:

1. Went to Evergreen Elementary School and watched my grandson, Josiah, run his first ever race...and WIN! Yes, he is the first grade Turkey Trot champion! Oh, such memories it brought back of watching his Uncle D, our son, run in XC and track races, year after year! He was grinning from ear to ear after he finished. (He did tell his mom yesterday not to buy a turkey, because he was going to win her one today!)

2. Took my husband to Olympia to have knee surgery. He went into pre-op at 11:15, surgery at 12:15, back out at 1:15 and on the road home by 2:00. Amazing efficiency!

3. Have two pies in the oven for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, and a list of things to do to get ready for our feast. Although it will be a pretty low-key event, given that I have to take care of the hubby for the next 2-3 days. I think this surgery thing is going to be harder for me, than for him...all he has to do is lay in his recliner and watch TV!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

All together at last!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gluten-free living

Some things I've noticed about eating gluten-free:
1. My hip no longer hurts, at all.
2. I have more energy.
3. I've lost two more pounds, for a grand total of 8, so far.
6. I am more conscious about what I eat.
7. I feel a mental and emotional "fog" beginning to lift.

I know there are gluten-free recipes out there for bread and cookies, etc., but I have yet to find the time to explore that area. My doctor says that I should eat whole, unprocessed foods...pretty much meaning meat, eggs, fruit, veggies and nuts.

This is hard, very hard. But, judging from the way I'm starting to feel, worth every bit of it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's that time of year again!

Yesterday I went for my annual checkup. Fun? Not so much. Informative? Very!

I've had pain in my joints, particularly my right hip for years. My family doctor diagnosed it as tendinitis, same thing I've had in my elbow and my shoulder. For the last four weeks I've been going to physical therapy for it, and although it feels a little better, it's certainly not "cured". When I went in for my checkup yesterday, I mentioned my hip problem to the doctor's assistant, who was doing my pre-exam history, etc. It just so happened that she is a dietitian. After explaining all my symptoms to her, she told me I'm probably gluten intolerant and that I should be eating gluten-free. This is something my doctor recommended, also.

She also recommended a book to me, UltraMetabolism, by Dr. Mark Hyman, which I stopped and purchased at Barnes and Noble on my way home. After reading the first couple of chapters in the book last night and doing some research of my own on the internet, I've decided it's something I need to try. So, today is my first day of the introductory phase outlined in the book. This phase lasts one week, then I go on to Phase 1 and then Phase 2, which actually is supposed to last the rest of your life.

I have no idea how this is going to fit in with Weight Watchers, but I have a feeling I may need to drop that whole program; it remains to be seen. I know this is going to be very, very challenging for me. I have so much to learn and so many changes to make in my diet and eating habits, but my hope is that it will make me feel better and my joint pain and general achiness will go away. If it does, then it'll all be worth it!
I'm just wondering, though, are french fries gluten free?

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Last night I went to the library. Have I mentioned how much I love the library? I remember when I was a kid riding my bike to the library, which was really just one small, dark room with no windows and shelves along the walls up as high as I could reach. There was a desk that the librarian sat at and I loved the little stamps she used, especially the date stamp that you had to change every day to show the date the books were due back. I wished many a time that I could work at that library. To be able to spend my time sitting and reading books and helping other people find books to read, too...ah, what a great job!

At times I would forget to return my library books, and there were always fines to be paid. After a couple of times of paying late fines, I realized that if I just kept the books long enough; say, several months, the librarian would feel sorry for me and not charge me a fine at all! The only problem with this plan, was that I couldn't return to the library to check out any other books, until I returned the ones that were already overdue!

So, last night a book that I had ordered a couple months ago came in, and I went and picked it up. On my way out the door, I browsed through the "free magazine" box and (jackpot!) found several Country Living magazines, just waiting for me to pick them up and take them home! Thank you whoever left them there!

Have I said how much I love the library? If they only had chairs as comfortable as Barnes and Noble!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

But still...

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

It's hard not to be afraid sometimes. I'm nervous today. I have no control over events transpiring in my life. I know that God is in control. I've felt a peace the last couple of weeks that I have never known before.
But still...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I decided to take a day off from Weight Watchers today. No counting points, no logging what I've eaten; just a day to eat whatever I want, whenever I want it. I've begun to feel very oppressed by this whole thing, like I'm being punished or something, rather than learning to eat better. There is no meeting tonight because the facility we use is being used by another civic organization in town all week long. So, I weighed myself this morning, unofficially, and my weight is exactly the same as it was last week. So far today I've eaten a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit at McDonalds, a bagel with cream cheese, some chips and salsa, and a couple pieces of candy. Nothing was just so nice not to have to count out 12 chips and measure out a tablespoon of cream cheese. Ironically, I'm still on track to stay under the amount of points I'm allowed per day. Go figure.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I haven't had much to write about lately, but I saw this and just had to post it:

Friday, November 9, 2007

Who'da thunk?

Saw this quiz thingy on A Place of Quiet Rest...who'da thunk I was this smart?

cash advance

oh, and I'm also rated "G"...saw that quiz on another blog, can't remember where though...
maybe I'm not so smart after all!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Don't count your chickens before they're hatched...

I was pretty excited last week because I knew that my husband's payday was Monday AND my payday for babysitting for last month was this week. That meant EXTRA money to go Christmas shopping with! Then Thursday night rolled around, and as always, the unexpected. My son threw his back out, AND came down with a horrible toothache. He had gone to the dentist several weeks ago and had been told he had to have his wisdom teeth taken out. He chose to forgo that advice "until they bothered him". Well, it only took a few weeks and one of them started bothering him. This tooth was partially through the gums, and coming in straight. Evidently, though, it was horribly abscessed. By Friday morning, he couldn't even open his mouth, he was in so much pain. Combine that with his back and the poor guy could hardly see straight, much less stand up straight! I called one of the referrals he had been given and they informed me they were an orthodontist and didn't pull wisdom teeth. Before I could call the other one, my daughter reminded me of the dentist she had gone to in town, who had pulled two of her wisdom teeth. I called them and they happened to have a no-show and said to bring him straight in to their office. An hour and a half and $575 later and the wisdom tooth was no more! Emergency visit...extraction...stitches...I guess it all adds up. What can I say? Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

WW Update

I weighed in last night at Weight Watchers at the end of Week 2. The result? I lost 1.6 lbs. this week for a grand total so far of 5.2 lbs. Even better news is that I had to toss an article of clothing because it was too big, AND, I was able to pull a really nice black polar fleece 3/4 zip pullover out of my "too small" side of the closet and wear it! It's now residing in the "fits me now!" side. It still seems much harder to stay on program this time than it did the first time I went to Weight Watchers, but I'm using the fact that a dozen different people from my church read my blog and know what I'm doing as an accountability tool!

Some of my new healthy eating habits are rubbing off on my son, too. He's been watching me and trying to eat more moderate portions and better foods, and that's an awesome thing! I still have a long ways to go to get to my goal, but I'm a pound closer now!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Thanksgiving plans

So my hubby found out today that he has a torn meniscus and has to have knee surgery. He had his choice of two different days to schedule surgery, November 21st, OR next February. Because his $1000 deductible for the year is met on his insurance and because he's not interested in hobbling around on a bad knee for four more months, he's opted to have the surgery on the 21st. So, it looks like we'll have a quiet Thanksgiving at home this year, as the 21st is the day before Thanksgiving! Guess that answers the question of what we'll be doing this year. Hopefully I'll be able to cook a turkey and all the trimmings and take care of him, too!

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Anyone else starting to freak out about the fact that Christmas is less than two months away?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Things on my mind tonight...

1. I'm tired of worrying. I want a normal life, not one filled with court dates and drama and stress to the point where that's become normal, because it isn't.

2. I sometimes think that people work too hard at Christianity. I keep hearing and reading about how the church is doing this wrong or that wrong, and this philosophy or that theology or whatever. Isn't it just about believing? I'm a sinner. God loves me so much he died for me. I believe it and accept it. What's so hard about that?

3. I want to live in the country. On lots of acres. With a garden. And maybe even a horse. With a house in the middle where I can't hear traffic, especially police sirens, cause they freak me out.

4. I want to live where more often than not it's sunny and I can plan an outdoor activity and the majority of the time be able to do it.

5. I've come to realize just how extremely important my family is to me. Nothing makes me happier than having my kids and grandkids all here, even if it's just to carve pumpkins.

6. I'm very tired and need to go to bed early.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I did it. I finally finished scraping the wallpaper off my kitchen walls. It may seem that this shouldn't have been such a big job, but it was. I decided to wallpaper the kitchen when we had our house built some fifteen years ago. The man we hired to hang the paper used a bit of overkill in the job. Although the paper was pre-pasted and only should have needed water to hang it with, he decided to go ahead and paste it again, just to make sure it didn't come down. I watched as he applied gallon after gallon of paste to the back of strip after strip of wallpaper, thinking all the while to myself, "Wow, that's going to be hard to take down some day!"

I was right. It was glued onto the kitchen walls like concrete. Typically, you can pull the top layer of wallpaper off strip by strip. Not so much in my kitchen. The biggest strip I ever pulled off in one piece was about 6" x 8"; most pieces were about 1" x 2". I tried just about everything anyone recommended and nothing helped. The easiest thing I found was to just drench the paper in hot water, let it soak for a good 5 minutes and start scraping. It's taken me about 3 months of working at a slow and steady pace to get the entire kitchen and breakfast nook done. Now I begin the task of repairing the sheetrock that was underneath the paper, but I must say, it feels really good to finally have accomplished a task I've been laboring at for so long!