Sunday, April 27, 2008

Test Patch Day!

Time to break out the paint and get those colors rollin'.

I can't quite decide which version of the trim I like better, but I'm leaning towards outer "Thyme Green", inner "Sweet Annie". If anyone else has an opinion, shout it out!

And this delightful rug was a lucky find at Target, matches every color I've picked for the outside.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


You can't tell it with all that bandage, but this hand has been honorably wounded while laying garden pavers. Yesterday I did a very *me* thing and tried to force an old paver out of the dirt(clay) it was partially buried in. Unfortunately, it pushed back and my thumb popped backwards. Lucky me I have hyperextension, I did manage to push it back into socket before I had gotten over the initial shock/pain. It's a lot harder to do once you really take in what's happened. This isn't the first time I've done something like this (you'd think I might learn not to force things, huh?), and at least it's not as painful as the dislocated shoulder of boot camp days. I am a bit put out over the loss of a good weekend's work, but I should be back at it again in a few days. In the meantime, plenty of Tylenol and one-handed typing. One a more cheerful note, the strawberries were all planted prior to my little accident, and are showing new growth. Yay!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green Rocker

As promised

I'll do the second coat tonight before sealing it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Furniture In A Box

The boys and I spent a good part of today assembling the "Adirondack Rocker" that we picked up on sale at JoAnn's. Amazingly, even though the pieces have been laying around our house for a week, we didn't lose one single sheet of directions or piece of hardware. It looks decent for mass-produced, lightweight pine. With a little paint and some sturdy pillows it should be perfect for our front porch. I had lots of help (eeek!), but we did made it through without any splinters or gouges. Ta da!

Some things I learned in the process of assemblage:

1) The hardware provided in kit furniture is usually inadequate to the task of holding things together. Case in point, the instructions recommended additional long wood screws to support the back braces, these were not included and not mentioned anywhere on the outside of the box.

2) Pre-tapped holes are less useful than they sound. A good many of ours turned out to be too shallow to allow proper tightening of the short wood screws we needed to use. Also, one of the bottom rocker pieces was drilled off-kilter, meaning the board wouldn't seat right and we had to drill entirely new holes. It is still a bit warped, and I had to saw a teensy bit off the leg to make it rock correctly.
3) The hardware you need to complete the three crucial pieces you are holding together with one hand, two feet, and your forehead, are always the farthest from you. Or, conversely, they have been sniped by your toddler who is trying to install them in your refrigerator with your power drill. Which you ALSO need to reach with your one remaining hand.

4) The power drill is mightier than the Phillips. I know this is sort of a "duh" one, but when your instructions tell you to use a Phillips to avoid stripping soft wood you take them seriously, right? Right? WRONG! Halfway through the project I flung the manual tool/torture device out the door in favor of the drill, and this is why: the extra time it took to tighten by hand was making it almost impossible to keep the kids from climbing all over the chair. This in turn was creating screw placement that looked like it had been done by Lurch. Or maybe he would've done a better job, I dunno. The point is, if I wanted any of these screws to go in straight and remain thoroughly attached, things needed to move faster. Thank God for power tools!
5) The downside of power tools is: every time you put one down, there will be a small boy waiting to pounce on it, who proceeds to attempt drilling of unnecessary holes in places that were never meant to have any. You have to be very adept at unplugging it before their itchy trigger-finger reaches the tool. Repeated shouting of the phrases "Put that down before you drill your hand" and "If you turn that on I'm gonna tell your dad" are less effective than playing keep-away with the extension cord.

I'm not foolish enough to think I can get away with painting this thing while the boys are awake. I will post a fully painted pic tomorrow, though. Right now I am content to look, and very afraid to sit on, my handiwork.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Glimpses of Spring

We ditched plans to join in the Flickr Photowalk at Thanksgiving Point yesterday, in favor of the closer and more reliable Temple Square gardens. It turned out to be a wonderful morning excursion.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Shades of Marla Singer

Wow! We've had such a lovely weekend here in Ogden. It really lifted our spirits to be able to spend so much time outside in the warm, warm sun. We took a stroll down the Ogden River Parkway for the first time this spring. The boys and I got six new roses in the ground and watched the first of our bulbs come up. Dad even came by with the kids and helped us cut down the remaining junipers. The yard looked soooo much better with them out. Spring was here, finally!
Then the wind started to pick up.

And the haze began to creep in.

By Monday morning our sky had a visible dusty tinged ring up to the mountains.

The winds got colder, and rain, then snow descended upon us once more.

Now the boys and I are cooped up inside, after hurriedly covering our bareroot plants with burlap again.

Inversion allergies are wreaking havoc, encouraged by the 25 degree temperature swing.

So now, of course, I've got the death hairball.
(Cough, Hack, Wheeze.)

Actual progress reports & new pics WILL be forthcoming, just as soon as I can talk/eat/laugh/drive/walk/stretch/___(insert routine activity) without alarming bronchial spasms and dry-heaving. Honest injun.

A New Method of Torture?

This was the title for a nasty-gram that I sent off to my husband's credit union today, which I've posted below. I wish I could forward it to our mortgage holder, Wells Fargo, as well. It seems that these financial institutions have decided to start sending late & overdue payment notices out a month before the payment is actually due. WTF?????? I can only speculate that they are becoming desperate in light of our country's crumbling economy. And I will do my utmost to ignore their craven attempts to add unnecessary stress and confusion to our already complicated lives. But first I'm gonna call them on their playground bully behavior.

Dear Navy Federal,
Yesterday I received what looked like an automated letter from your offices concerning my car payments which are attached to my joint account. This letter was apparently to inform me that I was overdue for not only April but also, pay attention, May's payments. That's right, you sent me a "pay us now" letter for NEXT MONTH. As in the month that comes after this one. I would appreciate it if in the future you could keep your missives of subtle threat confined to real-time. Please know that as a Navy wife, SAHM to two young children, and someone who is already having to cope with an away spouse during the economic upheaval our country is going through, I do NOT appreciate financial intimidation. I am making the payments for April today from your website, so you may rest easy on that account. Be assured that I will do my best to make timely payments as much as it is in my power to do so, and to inform you promptly in the event that I cannot. I do apologize if this letter seems overly irate, but you have strained the limits of my courtesy. Hopefully any further correspondence between our parties will be more harmonious. Respectfully,
Sarah E. Keitz

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Summary of Our Week

1. Stray marmalade kitten takes up residence in our garage

2. Amended soil for kitchen garden

3. Bought numerous discounted plants from Lowe's (75% off! Hells, yeah!!!)

4. As an alternative to buying overpriced SQUARE pavers for sideyard and kitchen garden, came to the decision that it is much cheaper to stain free RECTANGULAR pavers that came with the house. Bought stain in "Oak Cask"(colormatch to Olympic) from HD.

5. Multiple hailstorms threaten newly planted fruit trees, stray kitty in residence, and all the unplanted loot from Lowe's, which is hauled back into the washroom to wait it out.

6. Mail order fruit trees from Stark Bros. arrive, are soaked, and planted in the front yard.

7. The boys and I visit an IFA country store near us out of sheer boredom with the weather, and come dangerously close to falling in love with baby bunnies, bantam chicks on premises. Bad Sarah, Bad!

8. Weather clears up beautifully, we resume frantic garden preparation, all but last of 8 fruit trees are in the ground and the lilacs are next.

9. Stray kitten and 6 year old plot to significantly increase my gray hairs by means of constant badgering, annoying cuteness, and a one-track mind. I retaliate by calling the nearest no-kill agency and agreeing to bring said kitten to the next Petco Adoption Day.

10. Ogden City Graffiti Task Force show up promptly the day after my request and perform a speedy removal of all but the piece at the back of the house. Apparently, that one bit is not gonna budge so I may have to paint it (yuck!).

11. Kitten is dropped off at the Harrisville Petco, I spend several hours biting my nails off and wondering if I'm going to have to pick it back up. As luck would have it, a very nice foster family offers to take care of the kitty until another lady can adopt it, thus saving my day.

12. Tomorrow, we do snack hour for the early service at St. Paul's (we being myself and two small, hyper boys). Pray for the poor souls that show up!