Friday, July 25, 2008

I've Been Punk'd

Every morning the dogs and I go out and check for ripe tomatoes. It's the highlight of their day. Hey, they are dogs. What else do they have to do but sleep, eat, poop, and fetch the paper.

I think they can either see the ripe tomatoes or smell them because they always sniff them right out.

This morning we did our little morning routine and there are a few tomatoes that are at that "not quite ripe enough" stage.

A few hours later I looked out my kitchen window, and I see this.

(Try to imagine it a little bit further away and through a dirty screen and window!)

How did I miss two great big ripe tomatoes? And on my cherry tomato plant no less!

When I actually got outside and looked a little closer, I see this:

I've been punk'd. By a dog.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Very Weird Shopping Trip to the Knitting Store

Did I walk away with fantastic sock yarn? No.

Did I walk away with the latest and greatest pattern book? No again.

I walked away with the following:

1) One skein of Eros Drifters yarn.

I hate this yarn with the passion of a thousand fires. However, I'm not about to give up on this project. About two months ago, I bought 2 skeins to make a scarf. Didn't like the scarf. I must have tried 10 different scarf patterns with this horrid yarn. I finally settled on making a very loose and airy shawl. Of course, you know what is next. That's right, not enough yarn. So back to the store I go to get more. Of a yarn I despise. All because I vowed to finish projects this month.

2) A package of Yarn Bras.

Vern picked them out. I think he saw the word "bra" and just figured that it was as close to porn as he was going to get today. I didn't even know my yarn needed a bra.

3) Pattern Tamers.

What, you ask, are Pattern Tamers? They are magnets with ribbon on them that cost $15. Yes, really. Ribbon glued onto magnets. $15.

It was my consolation prize for taking my husband into the yarn store with me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How About a Midnight Moon Over My Hammy?

There better be a fat tip in this for me.

If you know what I mean.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

You're Not Getting Older

You're getting better.

Vern's 18th birthday with a cake that my mom made for him (1980)

Believe it or not, he still has the little snowmobiles from this cake!

Me, my mom, and the cake.

(Happy Birthday sweetheart - I cut your ex-wife out of the picture*)

*Note to Vern's family - it could be worse.

He could still be married to HER.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

B.L.T. Y.U.M.

My first BLT of the year.

Toasted honey wheat bread
Hellmann's mayonnaise (of course)
Crispy bacon
and best of all . . .
The first tomatoes from my upside down garden.

I hope it is the first of many this summer.

Friday, July 18, 2008


You've already met JoAnn.

And Sally and Crystal have made appearances even if they haven't been formally introduced.

But you haven't met Graduation Girl. Graduation Girl was a gift to Ashley for her college graduation. We're not sure if she was a serious gift or a joke. But either way, she has become our family white elephant. You don't want to end up with Graduation Girl at your house.

Sometimes when Ashley visits, she hides Graduation Girl for us to find. Sometimes we find her before Ashley leaves and hide her back in Ashley's luggage or car. Usually we are stuck with her for what seems like eternity.

A couple of weeks ago Ashley came for a visit. A few days after she left, we found Graduation Girl, neatly hidden away in my laundry room.

This week Ashley is on vacation and renting a hidden little cabin in Wisconsin.

Graduation Girl will be waiting for her in the cabin to greet her when she gets there!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Run OJ Run

Guess who ended up on a jury this week?

No chance of getting out of it now!

Let's just hope he behaves.

Organize University

Today I went to an organizing seminar by Deniece Schofield, author of Confessions of an Organized Homemaker, Confessions of a Happily Organized Family and several other organizing books.

I went to one of her seminars about 20 years ago, and while a lot of the information today was not new to me, it was a good motivator to get things moving in the right direction again.

Now I'm ready to tackle that desk.


Friday, July 11, 2008

The Devil is in the Detail

What does that mean anyway?

According to the Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings this phrase is a variation of "God is in the details - Whatever one does should be done thoroughly; details are important."

No one takes that phrase more literally than Vern. It's all about the detail work. Of course, details are important - it's what makes something special. It's what makes it stand out. It's also what makes it take forever.

Installing the appliance garage and corner glass door (you did notice the level in the picture, right?)

Installing the cabinet and crown molding over the sink

and then the cabinet doors and stained glass valance

We're not sure about this - just testing out some beadboard between the cabinets and the crown molding (we have beadboard in a couple of other areas too)

I really don't have an explanation for this

The devil is in the details. I just wish the devil would work a little faster.

It Has An Added Feature

Now that my kitchen back up and running (somewhat), I've decided that one of my favorite features of the new range top is that I have a cutting board that covers the griddle. I'm finding it so handy to have a cutting surface right on my cooking area so that I can just chop and toss ingredients right into the pan.

However, I discovered an added feature that I didn't see mentioned anywhere in the user's manual.

Yes, that is Vern. And he is cooking.

I'm not even going to tell him that he's on the wrong side of the range.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

That Wascally Wabbit

Some of my upside down tomatoes are getting ripe.

I had more but some stupid rabbit ate them.

So we moved the plants to the upper part of the deck so at least he has to work a little harder to get them.

Did I mention I love a man that knows how to use a level?

Look! He Glows in the Dark!

Vern had what we hope is the last treatment related to his kidney issues today.

They injected him with radioactive isotopes and then filled him up with water to see how his kidneys function and to assess the damage.

We hope this is the end of the road for all of this.

Except for the part where our bathroom is now a radioactive waste dump for the next few days.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It's a Thorny Situation

Wanted: Tree Hugger who is up for a challenge. This might be this stickiest situation you have encountered. It could get prickly at times. If you like to get right to the point, this is the job for you. Multiple piercings okay.

We have these trees in our yard. They are honey locust trees, but Vern calls them the thorny bastards.

They need to be removed.

Vern has the thorn in his head to prove that.

Monday, July 7, 2008

We Have a New State Bird

Ever wondered what goes into building an airplane from beginning to end?

Southwest Airlines recently debuted "Illinois One."


Pass The Pepper

My first green peppers from my upside down, topsy turvy plants.
Fresh, organic, and I didn't even have to get my hands dirty.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Share and Share Alike

Share (shâr)

To participate in, use, enjoy, or experience jointly or in turns.

Sorry I Haven't Posted. I Went on a Trip.

Over a dog.

Into the front door.

And through the wall.

I went head first into the door and I'm lucky the glass didn't break. I ended up with a concussion, a serious headache, and very limited neck movement.

Tomorrow I'm taking another trip.

To the chiropractor.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

He Gives Me Gas

Natural gas, that is.

(I love a man who knows how to use a level)

Vern worked long and hard installing new gas lines for the gas rangetop. It took a couple of days to get it just the way he wanted it, but I'm happy to report that we now have gas!

And I'm now completely out of the kitchen in the garage.

I might even cook tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dirty Little Secret #2

Just in case one secret wasn't enough, I'll share another, although it may not be as big of a secret as I think.

I'm a starter. I love to dream about a project, plan a project, shop for a project, and start a project. I do not, however, like to finish projects.

So, without further ado, I am adding "finish a few projects" to my July Project of the Month. I'm not saying which ones . . . just that some of the projects I've already started will be finished this month. I'll set a fairly flexible goal of one outstanding project per week just because we have so many other things going on this month.

It might be finishing that sweater where I have to go back and find my mistake, finishing the second sock so that I have a complete pair, finishing one of a multitude of sewing projects, weaving in the ends of a project that I just couldn't stand to look at any more, or even finishing some scrapbook pages that have been abandoned.

So now you have it. All of my secrets.

Well, not all of my secrets. I have to preserve at least some of my dignity.

My Dirty Little Secret

If you ask my friends to use one word to describe me, the word that most often would come up would probably be "organized." It's true. I'm an organizer. However, as my daughter figured out and has so eloquently stated - I like to organize so much that I'm in a constant state of RE-organization. And that basically just leads to a pile of disorganization.

Yes, it's a dirty little secret that I like to keep to myself and almost all of my friends would probably be shocked.

Oh, for sure there are areas that are perfectly organized in my home - at least until I decide to reorganize them. However, one of those areas is NOT my desk.

I was the model of organization when I worked outside of the home. I once even had the president of the company stop by my desk and thank me for having such a neat desk. If only he could see me now. If he's not already dead, he probably would fall over and die right on the spot.

Since I left those days behind, it has been a constant struggle to find the motivation to maintain a neat desk at home. I worked from home for a few years and I do handle all of the "business" of our life, but I've done neither in the same orderly fashion that I brought to my working life and that I strive for in the rest of my home.

Long story short - my desk is a pit where things fall into and never come out. Hard to believe, I know, but I do have photo proof.

Right now, I'm working on a temporary desk in a temporary situation in the temporary space that will eventually be our home office. Therefore, some of my options are limited, but if I'm going to make the most of this small space and make sure that it is designed in a way that best meets our needs, I really need to know what those needs are.

So there you have it - my project of the month for July. File the filing, purge the junk, clean off the surface, and bring a sense of organization to our personal business.

If I were Vern, I would have fired me a long time ago.