Saturday, April 28, 2007

Kitchen update

Just sharing a few photos of the kitchen-- After a long bumpy ride I think we came out with a mighty fine finished product. Mike had great vision to pick out the darker granite it really finishes off the kitchen nicely, and the oak cabinets turned out to be just fine with the floor. I finally found a new carpet and will be ordering that shortly from Sears. Totally loving the new sink... not only is it deep but its Wide as well... Can fit full size pans in there with no problem. And the smaller side works great for drying-- The sinks came with some cool wire racks which I wasn't really sure what to do with-- but they do work great as drying racks and also work great to rinse fruit and veggies!
We had started hanging our pots on the wall shortly before the fire, and we had talked about getting a real pot rack-- Mike picked this one out-- and although its probably too big for the size kitchen we have its grown on me. Certainly frees up alot of much needed cabinet space and is so handy to have all the pots and your fingertips.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Week done-

Another very long week....
Mike must have done alittle much last weekend as he ended up at the doctors by Tuesday-- After heating pads, hot tubs and a load of medication he is up and kicking again....
Christopher it seems got himself a nice promotion-- Congratulations to him!
Its A nascar weekend for Mike-- he and Mike C flew off to Talladega this morning-- hopefully they both come back in one peice
Amanda went to her first Toga party--- she's not sure how shes been in college 3 years and been Greek and has never been before???? For those who need to know she sewed herself into her costume-- see those sewing skills have paid off!
And me--- work and work and did I mention I went to work??? Looking forward to a weekend of peace and quiet-- lots of messy art and sleep---

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Just call me Fred

Just call me Fred... Fred Flintstone that is... I moved all the rocks back onto the waterfall this weekend.. and boy can I feel it in every muscle in my body! But it was worth it! We spent this weekend working hard in the yard. The weather took a turn for the better and we took full advantage-- Plants got moved (some of them for the third time) back into the newly enlarged garden in front of the pond-- hostas got divided to fill in spots that seemed bare and bushes got moved to hopefully improve their growth.

And if that wasn't enough-- I couldn't be prouder of Mike--he's been working hard to remove all the Junk that he has collected behind the pond and next to the carport. The Sanford and Son look is gone. A couple of trips to the dump and alittle help from David and he's made real progress. I guess our next project will have to be the attic.

The boys also got all the cars washed-- something the cold weather has prevented us all from doing. And hey the horseshoe pit is back in business with new sand and cleaned up shoes--
I spoke to Amanda a few times this weekend. Corey drove down to keep her company-- The media has been asked to leave campus and she's glad they'll be gone when classes start Monday. The media has played such a big part in this whole tragedy-- Next week the students all have alot deal with and having the added pressure of outsiders just wouldn't be a good thing. Its now time for all of us to move on...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hokie Message

As found on my daughters away message-- I think this says it all--

"we are strong and brave and innocent and unafraid, we are better than we think we are and not quite what we want to be... We are Virginia Tech"

If you did not get a chance to watch the convocation yesterday it is worth taking a some time to watch it. The spirit of community helps one to understand why my daughter is at home there.

Click here to watch and listen

I cried as I listened to Nikki Giovanni's address and felt proud that this is the type of educator that VA TECH beleives in. And when the hokie cheer erupted-- I know some would think it was out of place at such a somber event but I knew that this was a community that would rebuild and survive the tragedy. Pulling together--ever forward defines the Hokies.

They filled not only the auditorium but the football field as well. Amanda told me that the cheer started outside and worked its way in.. These students are strong-- they are our future and they certainly didn't deserve this.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Say a prayer for a hokie....

In a time where astronauts can run Marathons on the moon, a time that we can drive hybrid electric cars and we can get our mail delivered to our cell phone But we can't stop senseless killing? I just don't understand

First off- thank you to everyone who called, emailed and prayed today-- Amanda is safe-- She actually had come home yesterday to pick up Madison and was headed back to school during the tragedy this morning.

That horrible feeling in my stomach came early this morning as the news reported the first student death-- and the day got worse each time I hit the refresh button the death toll rose. Something is so wrong when lives are lost for no reason-- when attending class, or sitting in your dorm room brings you terror. I keep thinking my child is safe -- and I feel horrible... what about those parents who don't know or worse yet-- do know... what about the shooters parent? surely they didn't raise their son to reign terror on fellow human beings.
And how do we address the concerns of 26000 students-- how do they find a safe haven when they are so far from home? Who can protect them from each other?

BLACKSBURG, Va. - A gunman killed 30 people in two shooting incidents Monday at a college in Virginia in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The gunman also was killed, and at least 22 other people were injured.
“Today the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions,” said Charles Steger, president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, in southwest Virginia. “The university is shocked and indeed horrified.”
President Bush said in a brief televised statement: “Schools should be places of sanctuary and safety and learning. ... Today, our nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones at Virginia Tech.”
The shootings spread panic and confusion at the college. Witnesses reporting students jumping out the windows of a classroom building to escape the gunfire, which rang out just four days before the eighth anniversary of the Columbine High School bloodbath near Littleton, Colo., when two teenagers killed 12 fellow students and a teacher before taking their own lives.
Federal law enforcement officials told NBC News that the gunman was dead after he shot more than 50 people at two locations on campus. Thirty-one, including the gunman, were confirmed dead.
At least 22 others were being treated at Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg and Lewis-Gale Medical Center in Salem, the hospitals said. Six of the victims were in surgery, and five were reported in stable condition. The conditions of the 17 others were not immediately reported.
The name of the gunman was not released. Witnesses described him as a man in his 20s, wearing a maroon cap and a black leather jacket. A spokesman for the FBI in Washington said there was no immediate evidence to suggest it was a terrorist attack, “but all avenues will be explored.”
Silent gunman ‘just started shooting’The man did not appear to be shooting at random, NBC News’ Pete Williams reported, quoting federal law enforcement officials. He seemed to have specifically targeted the two locations, a coeducational dormitory and an engineering classroom across campus.
Law enforcement officials said the gunman carried two weapons, a 9-mm pistol and a 22-caliber handgun, Williams reported. They said gunman chained the doors of the classroom building so his potential victims could not escape and police could not enter.
A student in the engineering class describe an “unreal” scene with “blood pretty much everywhere.”
“None of us thought it could have been gunshots,” the student, who identified himself as Trey Perkins, told MSNBC’s Chris Jansing in a telephone interview. “... I’m not sure how long it lasted. It seemed like a really long time.”Perkins said the gunman never said a word. “He didn’t say, ‘Get down.’ He didn’t say anything.” He just started shooting.”
The gunman left the classroom and then tried to return, but students kept him out by bracing the door closed with their feet. “He started to try to come in again and started shooting through the door,” Perkins said, but hit no one.
“I got on the ground and I was just thinking, like, there’s no way I’m going to survive this,” Perkins said. “All I could keep thinking of was my mom.”

I am sure over the next few days there will be alot of information put out about this hokie tragedy-- I know I have so many unanswered questions... how do you wake up angry enough to do this? What type of person thinks a gun resolves anything? Why do we need the right to bear arms if this is what comes of having this right? how do you move forward from this?

Say alittle hokie prayer-- I have a feeling they are gonna need it.

**** updated at 5:15pm
At least 33 dead in rampage at Virginia college
15 others wounded in one of worst mass shootings in U.S. history

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Here fishy fishy

After a week in the water garden the fish are finally back in their pond. At this time neither has clear water but we are hoping for the best. Mike spent most of the day putting the slate back around the pond and onto the waterfall. Not my kind of day for outdoor activities--it rained on and off and its just plain cold out there. He even got his new biological filter installed. We are hoping the addition of another filter will cut down on the work involved with keeping the fish happy. I keep thinking that one of these days I can get out in the garden and plant some new plants around the pond to replace the ones that mysteriously disappeared during his little project... but the weather outlook doesn't look too promising.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th??

My luck must be changing because I got up early today to go to traffic court and made it there on time! amazing for me to be anywhere on time... but the good news is all is well.... I got pulled over about a month ago for having dead tags... How does this happen? Well the vette was wintering in the garage and I guess when the registration came I filed it away to be dealt with on another day-- unfortunately that day didn't come. I wouldn't have driven the car that day-- but Corey was moving and needed the Jimmy-- And so I hopped in the car not knowing---
The poor Police officer-- I told him there was no way I didn't get the new stickers... they HAD to be on my desk at home--very indignant I was!-- I just hadn't driven the car in months.... IMAGINE my surprise when I got home to find I had just filed it away!!
Fast forward to today-- I filed my way into the Warrenton court house-- OMG a place of beauty-- ofcourse the scrapbooker in me MADE me pull out my camera--Yup I took a picture of the court room... its old and majestic and full of history.
Then the prosocuter meandered down the list of names.. called me up asked for the registration and said-- ok charges dropped...I smile-- ok it was a GRIN-- and ask don't you wanna hear my story?-- he laughs and says not today and I say but its a good one...he tells me to take this little peice of notebook paper that he has torn from a notebook downstairs so they can notate the dismal.
GoodNews?? I saw the police officer who pulled me over... he recognized me-- asked if I got my vette fixed-- I apoligized-- told HIM my whole story-- apoligized for lying to him even though I didn't think I was at the time... he laughed and told me everyone lies to him! Not bad for a Friday the 13th huh?

Moral of the story: Don't listen to everyone who says its not worth your time to go to court just pay it and get it over... It cost me an hour of my day-- I got to apologize to a nice officer-- and I didn't have to pay a dime!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter came and went

Sadly I have no pictures of children scampering around to find easter eggs, nor do I have pictures of the easter bunny... Easter kinda of came and went without alot a lot of fanfair. The kids came home for the weekend, they did alittle pre easter celebrating with their friends, we all went to Jackies for dinner and then it was back to work and school yesterday.

I do have water again in the kitchen which in itself is enough for me to do the happy dance-- The countertop guy came and did a partial install just so I could have a sink again. Mike did the plumbing himself-- a task he lothes-- after alot of huffing and puffing, a few obsenities and alot of whining he realized that while we had water the whole drain thing was wrong.... the sink and garbage disposal are too low for the water to properly drain... so next weekend he will tear out the wall and do something to make the water flow down hill vs being pushed up and over. Me? I know I have something important to do so that I won't be there to witness him fighting with the plumbing..

Last night I realized I needed to get back to working on the Alaska trip... only 57 days and I still have a hotel reservation to make and 2 tours to firm up.... Time flies when your having fun????

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Nothing says spring like alittle snow

Nothing like waking up to snow, as if my plants haven't experienced enough trauma this week. Since the kitchen wasn't quite a full time job, we decided it was time to remove the pond liner, make the pond another two feet deeper on the far side and add a skimmer. Someone needs to send us on a vacation or commit us to the funny farm. So all that pond work meant that my poor plants all had to be temporarily moved to safer ground. Did they all get saved? no of course not... I tried but no matter where Mike says he'll be tromping it seems to can't help himself to sit on, lay equipment on or dig in other areas that my plants are laying dormant waiting for spring to come...

Right now I am waiting patiently for the countertop guy... we could actually end up with water in the kitchen today. Now as much as I have enjoyed brushing my teeth and washing pots and pans at the same time I think I can safely say I am ready to embrace dishwasher usage again. Maybe with water in the kitchen the animals won't have to resort to eating snow!!

Monday, April 02, 2007

creative life

K. Smith

So I spent alittle to much time surfing the web today while I should have been doing some productive work... and yes I already know I will pay for getting sucked in when the deadlines hit and I am behind....

But seriously this was a good find today-- Keri Smith is coming out with a new book.. Wreck this journal The creative side does need time to come out and play... and messy play is always good play right?
I've tried my had at creative journals before, Stacy Jullians class at Big Picture Scrapbooking was an instant failure for me. But somehow I like the idea.. just can't seem to commit to the process. Could be that there are too few minutes in the day to lead both a creative and a productive life???

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Another amazing but true story

One would think that if you were in the business of selling and installing kitchen cabinets you could actually complete the job. Especially in a kitchen that is my size. Amazing but true story:

The cabinet guy measured our wall and somehow measured wrong. Therefore the three inches that he measured wrong translated into him ordering a 2 12 inch cabinets instead of 2 15 inch cabinets... Three inches may not seem like much but again in a kitchen my size that is alot.... And to top it off the bottom cabinet he ordered is a bank of drawers.. drawers like the ones in Amandas kitchen... Worthless so small that putting two spatulas in them fills them up. Never did I ask for a bank of drawers.

Then if that is not enough... The sink wall cabinets are 8 1/2 inches short... even though he did measure correctly and on the plans it reads correctly... The last cabinet should be 39 inches.. somehow I go a 33 inch base.

I know you are thinking oh they made a mistake they are sorry and they will quickly remedy this... HA!
1) Cabinet guy: Alot of people like that bank of drawers
2) Cabinet guy: They don't make a larger base cabinet (liar)
3) Cabinet guy: It would be hard to reach into that base cabinet if it were bigger
4) Cabinet guy: Well we could customize it... it would only cost YOU $200.

5) Me: If you don't resolve this by Tuesday you can remove all the cabinets.

Did I mention that we have no water in the kitchen... and I totally have fallen in love with:
1) eating off of paper plates
2) Washing dishes by hand
3) Washing dishes in the BATHROOM

On other fronts:
The countertop guy arrived as scheduled to measure for the countertop that we can't put in now because the cabinet guy is an idot. Oh... and the countertop guy could have had my counters in on WEDNESDAY... which means I could have had water on Wednesday... and even though his english is well... nonexistant he assures me that he will be in and out of my kitchen in one hour. Yes folks ONE HOUR!

And amazingly I lost the bet with Mike on who would arrive first the painter or the countertop guy... seeing as our painters seem to be on the sleep in til you have bed sores time schedule... Yea Vern arrived at 9am... although his first words to us were "I gotta be in my driveway no later than 2pm today"... so much for finishing...
Guess we get to see him again... Funny when he left he mentioned he would be back today... but I am not holding my breath.

Being alittle angry does have its perks... I raked and raked and raked the back gardens... Mike and I moved a crape myrtle tree from by the garage to by the deck and I moved about a dozen tall phlox plants... then we moved landscaping bricks to enlarge the garden by the pond because we can't seem to cut the grass on the hill....

I leave you with a picture of what could be.... Loving the cabinets I did get!