Monday, August 27, 2007

Cleaning bug

So, T got me inspired the other day to do some cleaning in my office (AKA "the red room"). She has been a cleaning machine lately. She posted some nice slick "after" pictures of her bedroom and the play room that she cleaned. Everything is all nice and tidy. You can go see them here.

Another inspiration was that I'm having my annual review at work next week and I can't find some of the papers that I need to fill out my paperwork for it. So I shuffled through piles of papers on my floor and threw a bunch of stuff away. Denis was very impressed. The sad thing is, this is my "after" picture...

Manual labor

Well, we have been doing a lot of planning, thinking about and working on the rental house that we are in the process of buying from my brother. We are to sign the final papers this week, so it's almost a done deal. This is the back of the house - the view from my mom's house. The deck needs a new coat of some sort of sealer, but that can wait until a future date for now. This walnut tree is a bit ill and we suspect that it will need to be removed at some point.

The most recent renters were a bit hard on the place and so we are in the process of making the arrangements to have some improvements and repairs done. The most important is to replace the carpet that has been soiled with cat urine. We think that these stairs are the offenders. Once this carpet is removed with padding and the floor sealed, we will be able to sniff out if there are other sections of carpet that are also bad.

We are having the whole place painted, of course. The dining room hard wood floor is badly scratched and worn, so we're having laminate put in. A few light fixture changes are already done. The major work we are having done by a contractor that our property manager recommends. But the bathrooms we are repainting ourselves. They were very dark with teal paint, so we are lightening them up with a lighter teal-ish blue color. The first coat is done now.

My mom provides free labor as well. Here she is cleaning out one of the paint rollers after our hard days' labor. Hopefully is a week or two we will be all set for new renters.

So that's what I've been up to lately. It seems like just one thing after another...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Salsa anyone?

Lessons learned from making salsa today:

  1. Italian flat leaf parsley does not make a good substitute for cilantro. Albertson's didn't have any, so what's a girl supposed to do at 7:00 PM after a day of work?
  2. Don't overload your food processor. You will wind up with mushy components instead of chopped ones.
  3. Don't skimp on the peppers. I thought that four from my garden would be enough, but it needs a bit more kick.

I'm sure I will have another opportunity to perfect the recipe since my I have only harvested less than half of the tomatoes on my plant so far.

Life is still pretty hectic around here. Our days off are filled with errands, phone calls and trying to do some of the work needed to get the house we are purchasing ready for new renters. This weekend is going to be fun though. Tomorrow night, our home group is going to a play together that one of their kids is in. It's Peter Pan and she plays Wendy. Then on Saturday, we are going to some friends' house for the afternoon.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Some More Flowers

I thought it was time to post some more pictures. All that plain typing is getting boring. These pictures are rather old. Our flowers are dying back for the fall now. Just as the veggie garden is really taking off. We now have cherry tomatoes coming out of our ears, as well as cucumbers. They are really good, but there are only so many cherry tomatoes that two people can eat. I'm now trying to think of friends who might like some. Some of the big tomatoes are ripe now, too. We already ate the first two and there are more out there ready to be picked. I'm going to make salsa as soon as I have enough of them at once. Yummy!

Anyway, here is the hydrangea we planted this year. It's a nice pretty pink. Still blooming, it is.

Here is the oleander that we also planted this year. It is pretty small, but don't worry - it won't be small for long. These guys get really big so we will have to keep it pruned. We don't want it to get out of control.

And finally, this is Penstemmon. We planted it last year not really knowing what it was at the time. It turned out to be a very pleasing pink flower and adds needed height to our planting beds.

Friday, August 17, 2007


I've discovered Facebook. Nixter had to invite me twice before I agreed to join up. I discovered that all my Aussie blogger friends are on there. It's a quick and easy way to have a little interaction with long-distance friends. I have discovered that a lot of the young people in my church are there as well as some of my friends from Portland. It's nice to reconnect. (you have to use your full name, but only people who you approve as your friends can see your full profile.)

How many hours in a day?

Okay, so this week has been beyond all the busy-ness of any other week that I have ever complained about in the past. Ran a bunch of errands on Monday, worked an extra day Tuesday, worked my usual Wednesday and Thursday but also had evening meetings for the ADA walk planning committee that I'm on. Friday, today, I didn't have to be in to work until 10:30 BUT Denis and I went to the title company and signed all the papers for the refinance on our mortgage. I had appointments all day today with a late one scheduled for 4 PM. Then after I was done with the charting I finally did SOME of the miscellaneous things on my work to-do list.

I'm glad to be in the weekend now, but I still feel like I have so much hanging over my head. But on to good things:
things are progressing in a timely manner on the purchase of the adjacent lot.
I started my first insulin pump and it went smoothly.
My boss is still over-overwhelmingly pleased with the project that I've almost completed.
I have made progress on some of the tasks on my plate.
i don't have any commitments for the next three days.
God is so graceful to give the strength to meet all the challenges of daily life.

My kitties have been neglected this week. They have not gone for any walks and have not had the cuddle time that they are used to. I've got some making-up to do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What's in a name?

Is Flossie a serious enough name for a hurricaine? See here.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Don't you hate?

Squeeze bottles that won't dispense any product until you squeeze them so hard that you get more than you need? I have a bottle of Soft Scrub that is like that. It makes me mad because I use too much of it on the counter, it bubbles up more and it is harder to rinse. It takes much longer. I have noticed the same trend in ketchup and mustard bottles lately. I think it is a plot to get us to use more product so we have to buy it again sooner. What do you think?

Scrubba scrubba

I have been cleaning today. We have an appraiser coming tomorrow to look at the house for our new mortgage. I specifically asked if she has to see the inside of the house - yes... So I'm trying to make it more presentable. So far I have done both bathrooms, the laundry room and the kitchen floor.

Obviously, I'm taking a little break right now...

Friday, August 03, 2007

Some more pictures

Here are some random pictures from our vacation that needed a little more explanation. (Keep going for another new post.)

This fence was in Jackson, WY. Every other post is an old ski. A cool fence, but expensive...

Trust me, Dick Cheney is in there somewhere. He was in Jackson on the 4th and we were sitting across the street from him for the parade. This was the crowd gathered to try to shake his hand before the parade started. See the guys in dark glasses facing the wrong way? There is a guy clear on the left hand side of the pic in a cowboy hat and a light colored shirt. There were three guys dressed like that - just like Mr. Cheney.

Here is an out of focus fireworks shot I kept because I thought it looked cool.

Metal Moose greets us in Courdelaine, ID
We read about this place in a Montana tourist guidebook. It's located in a very small town on the Indian reservation. See below for the story behind it.

During the final song of the Fourth of July concert in the park, everyone stood up, cheered and waved flags. I looked to my left and just saw a lot of red, white and blue, so I zoomed in to fill the scene with it.

Another one of those weeks

Are you ready for another sob story about my busy week? This one actually contains an interesting piece of news. See if you can spot it...

First, as you may remember from the previous post, I went into work on Monday to finish up my work project. I spent four hours on it. I must tell you that this project is very interesting, but the chart review itself is very tedious work. Looking at box after box of numbers (blood sugars) and counting the hours of monitoring that they represent, categorizing them, adding it all up to make sure it matches. Chart after chart - 30 of them. But it is done! The results were very interesting and will make an impression. My boss was very pleased with what I had done which makes me really happy.

Counting the partial day Monday, I worked each day this week. As I have mentioned before, I have become a real wimp since I am used to working only three days a week. It wears on me more when I don't go to bed at the hour that I should - which I did not do this week. So I got about 6-7 hours sleep each night when I should have gotten 8, no one to blame there but myself.

Then, on top of all this working, Denis and I have had paperwork and phone calls each day. We are purchasing my brother's property from him. Go here to see a picture from a previous post. This is the large lot adjacent to ours with a rental house and my mom's house on it. Us buying it is a mutually beneficial arrangement. It is securing the house for my mom, gaining some real estate for us and relieving my brother from the burden of that mortgage. We are trying to complete the transaction quickly so that they won't have to make another mortgage payment. So it's been calling, picking up papers, signing them in the evening, gathering documents, dropping them off, having a sale contract made up, etc, etc.

So the end result is that I have had some really crabby moments this week. I'm tired of coming home from work and having more things that need to get done. I'm glad we are nearing the end. Next week I work Monday, Wednesday and Friday. That'll be a trip. Hopefully it won't be too weird.