2dirtydiggers



2011
 
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12/30/11 Friday – Recuperating


I'm looking forward to a new year ... a much needed new year.


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12/29/11 Thursday – Ugh


It was a long night on the ferry and a much regretted one. But. I'm home.


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12/28/11 Wednesday – Headed Home


Dear Derik, Saphy, and Harley,

I miss you already and I haven't even left.

Thank you for everything.

I love you sooooooo much!

~Mom


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12/27/11 Tuesday – Pack it Up


Tomorrow I leave so I've been nervous. When I'm nervous, upset, or blue - I clean. So I did laundry most of the day. And packed.

I will miss it here. I am happy here with Derik.

Derik and Saphy opened up their home to me. They made me feel special. They made me feel important. Their home is a happy home. Clean. Full of positive energy and laughter. Crammed full of love and all that is important in life ... Family.

I'm so proud of them.

deriks view

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12/26/11 Monday – Around and About


We enjoyed each other's company, the scenery, and took Harley on a few walks today.

beach
harley catch too
harley catch
sitka mt

Later, we made turkey and dumplings with all the extra turkey we had. Yummy!


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12/24/11 Saturday – Christmas Eve


We went to a local Mexican restaurant for lunch. The food was delicious!

Later we took pictures by the Christmas tree and celebrated by opening up gifts. JC and Hubby joined us via PS3 webcam system from home.

We cooked up the traditional Christmas Eve dinner. We got a smaller turkey then stuffed it with homemade dressing and cooked it up. I made homemade turkey-dressing gravy to go with the awesome mashed potatoes that Saphy made! Umm Umm good!

saphy harley derik christmas eve 2011

Later we played a game of monopoly and enjoyed a lot of laughs together. It was fun!

monopoly christmas eve 2011

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12/23/11 Friday – Chillin'


The view that Derik and Saphy have is absolutely breathtaking. My camera just couldn't seem to capture what the eyes can.

sitka view from Derik's house

Saphy made a killer halibut chowder for dinner!


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12/22/11 Thursday – Spout


On the way to the end of Sawmill Creek Road, Derik and I stopped at Whale Park. And to my surprise I saw a whale spouting and breach! Amazing for this time of year! I was only able to capture this moment in time with my eyes because I brought the wrong camera with me. Shucks!

Sitka Whale Park

We decided to check out a new restaurant for dinner. Derik heard that they had great food. Of course we all had a seafood meal. Derik and I chose the fish and chips and Saphy had a mixed seafood salad which ended up soggy, and the side order of scallops were a bit over-cooked, but all in all it was a great place to eat!


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12/21/11 Wednesday – Bang Bang


Derik and I went to the gun range today to get some target practice in. Derik did really well. And me? It's been many years since I've shot a gun. Bifocals! And I can still hit the target! Hotdamn!

derik target practice at gun range

As we drove the old logging road to get to the range I noticed that the swans from Swan Lake migrated out to the flats there. They were amazing!

There was also this interesting art work on the wall in the area where we were set up to shoot Derik's gun:

fish art

After we got done target practicing, Derik drove me to go see the house that I helped build with my brothers, sister, mom, and dad when we first moved to Sitka. It hasn't changed much. It is still a very nice log home.

We ended up with an extra turkey so we cooked that up then we relaxed for the evening.


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12/20/11 Tuesday – Christmas Cheer


Derik, his dog Harley, and I took a walk today. It has been pouring down rain since I got into town. Some things never change in Sitka. But the walk felt great even though I'm still fighting this cold.

Later in the evening we decorated the Christmas tree, then we went for a drive to look at Christmas lights. There were some amazing Christmas decorations! I was impressed!

christmas tree deco

Shrimp for dinner! Yum! Yum! Yummy!

swans

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12/19/11 Monday – Sitka


Derik took me for a ride around town. Not much has changed in Sitka.

church

Then we went to see the bears today at Sawmill Cove Farm. It was really cool but the bears were getting ready for hibernation so we couldn't take that many pictures. They were not to be disturbed.

bears

Later, we made king crab cakes for dinner. Yum! What a perfect day! I'm so happy!


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12/18/11 Sunday – Ship Ahoy


It has been years since I've been on the slow ferry. I will be on the ship named Taku. I think the ride to Sitka today will be delightful! I'm looking forward to it. And I hear that Derik is making us scallops and fettuccine for dinner. Yum!

ferry to Sitka Taku


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12/17/11 Saturday – Car Load


The car is plumb full. Loaded. I don't think I could even fit a Q-Tip in there!


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12/16/11 Friday – Leaving


Although I know I need this trip to Sitka to spend some quality time with Derik and Saphy before heading to Tennessee, there is a part of me that just doesn't want to leave home. I've always had a hard time with good-byes.

On top of leaving, Hubby and I have a really bad cold. I've lost my voice.


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12/15/11 Thursday – Nervous Excitement


It's been many years since I have been on the slow ferry. And it's been a while since I've been back to Sitka. I haven't been there since my brother, Jeff, died. I'm getting nervous but I'm excited at the same time.


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12/14/11 Wednesday – Another Load to Give Away


There are 20 or more boxes of Christmas stuff, Christmas lights, and the Christmas tree that I am taking to Sitka to give to Derik and Saphy. I've been busy making sure I have everything for my trip.


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12/13/11 Tuesday – Batchelors


I'm busy getting the house super clean and organized prior to my trip to Sitka. Hubby and JC will be doing the bachelor thing the whole time I am gone. So I'm cooking up some quick meals that can be reheated in a jiffy and making sure that all things are in order to help make things as easy as possible while I'm away.

I will miss them.


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12/12/11 Monday – Recoup


Snow and hot mocha. Pretty! Yummy!

mocha

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12/11/11 Sunday – We Rest


Brian left today. So we rested. It is always nice to have him for a visit. My ribs hurt from laughing so much.


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12/10/11 Saturday – Icecream Cones


Brian and I headed downtown to a specific vendor to seek out a locally crafted ice cream cone. These cones are very unique and quite interesting. We get to the store where they sell the cones and lo and behold the vendor does not take credit cards, debit cards, or one hundred dollar bills. Another vendor that doesn't want Brian's money! Crack me up!

icecream cones

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12/09/11 Friday – We Don't Want Your Money


Brian was surprised when he went to a local food wholesale store today and tried to get a membership only to be turned down because he didn't have a specific credit card or a personal check to pay for it! Wow! In times like these you would think that all vendors would make it possible to attract and keep as much business as possible. We all got a good laugh out of it anyway. More money saved.


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12/08/11 Thursday – He is Here Again


Brian arrived from Sitka for another visit. There will be many more laughs in the next couple of days!


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12/07/11 Wednesday – Get it Done


I've decided to go to Sitka to spend Christmas with my son, Derik, and his fiance Saphy. I leave soon so I must hunker down today and get my final done before I go.

Later ...

Yahoo! My final project is now done and submitted! I've had writer's block for the past month so I hope that I receive a good grade on it. We'll see.


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12/06/11 Tuesday – Final


I'm on the last stretch. I am working on my final project for class. I will be so happy when school is over.


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12/05/11 Monday – Waffles


We packed up all the makings for waffles and headed over to David and Shayla's house to make them breakfast.

Spending time with my granddaughter was such an amazing feeling. We are blessed.

katelyn

Have you ever been so happy that your heart tickled? Mine did when Katelyn cooed as I held her.


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12/04/11 Sunday – Cold Bones


Today was not a good day. Winter sometimes sinks too deep into my bones.


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12/03/11 Saturday – No wheels


I am without my car once more. David and Shayla stopped by and brought Katelyn with them. She is such an angel!


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12/02/11 Friday – Zilch


I cleaned house and did some homework but that was about it.


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12/01/11 Thursday – Calm


The calm before the storm.


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11/30/11 Wednesday – My Cup Runneth Over


Katelyn Mae. She was born at 6:36 a.m.

katelyn

My son is a father. And I am a grandma!


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11/29/11 Tuesday – Tick Tock


Sweet Pea is taking her time. But Shayla's water broke.


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11/28/11 Monday – IV


David and Shayla are at the hospital. Sweet Pea is on the way!


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11/27/11 Sunday – One Step Closer


Another day of homework.

We managed to make it to the Public Market again today. There were some things that caught my interest when we went to the market on Friday, but I decided not to purchase them. Since the Public Market is an annual event and most of the vendors sell homemade items, I knew I had to go back for the few things that I really wanted to get. I'm glad I did!

cranberry orange sauce

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11/26/11 Saturday – An Ole Friend


An ole friend of Hubby's stopped by for a nice long visit today. It is always nice to visit with John K. He is such a hoot!


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11/25/11 Friday – Alaska Public Market


Today Hubby and I went to the Public Market at Centennial Hall Convention Center. It was full of everything homemade! I purchased some things to give as gifts to the kids for Christmas.


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11/24/11 Thursday – Turkey


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Today we went to Shayla's parents house for Thanksgiving dinner. It was so nice of them to invite us. Food was great and so was the company! Thank you Deanna and Chris!


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11/23/11 Wednesday – Coat of paint


Today I put a coat of paint on all but two of the walls of the master bedroom.

We have a snow storm today.


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11/22/11 Tuesday – Countdown


Today I did homework. School is almost over. Thank goodness! I need a break.

David and Shayla borrowed my car since their car is not running very good.


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11/21/11 Monday – Back at it


Today I put a coat of Kilz on the walls of the master bedroom. I have two walls that I cannot get to because of the huge oak headboard that must be moved first.


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11/20/11 Sunday – Rest


Today Brian left so we are taking the day to rest.


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11/19/11 Saturday – Hooters


Today Hubby, Brian, and I went to the Arts and Crafts Show at the mall. I did Christmas shopping while Hubby and Brian hooter hunted.


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11/18/11 Friday – Company


A very dear friend from Sitka arrived yesterday so today we are spending some quality time with him. The house is filled with laughter!

I got my hair cut today. It is no longer down to my butt. A much needed change.


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11/17/11 Thursday – Relocate


I've decided to start a new page for listing some of the wonderful things that I find on the Internet.

More company has arrived. Brian is here!


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11/16/11 Wednesday – Due Date


Dear Sweet Pea,

Today is the day that your Mommy and Daddy are expecting you to come into this world. They are so excited to meet you!

I want you to know that you really do have the greatest Mommy and Daddy ever. Your Mommy is strong and sweet, with a spirit that can lift almost anyone. Oh, and your Daddy, he has a heart that is so tender and so caring, and his love grows deep. I'm so proud of them both. I know you will be too.

I'm so excited for you to be with them!

david sampson shayla

See you soon!

Love,

Grandma


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11/15/11 Tuesday – No Drive


Homework has been dragging.

Motivation on home improvements is at a low.

The winter storm has passed.

And Sweet Pea is still not here yet.


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11/14/11 Monday – Begonia


As Certified Master Gardeners, Hubby and I sure do enjoy growing our flowers from seed.

flower

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11/11/11 Friday – Orange


Whenever winter finally settles into my bones I find myself looking over all the pretty pictures I've taken of my flowers.

flower

Orange is Shayla's favorite color.


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11/10/11 Thursday – Full Moon


I'm on the edge of a hoot and a holler. I haven't heard boo from David or Shayla yet, so I'm assuming they are not in labor.

Tick-tock ... tick-tock ... tick-tock ...


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11/09/11 Wednesday – Alaska


It is absolutely gorgeous outside today! Alaska is so beautiful when the sun is out.

sweet tooth sweetie on etsy

I shredded more paperwork and prepared the guest bedroom so I could paint the door to the pantry. I hauled out the last of the stuff that was in that room, put all the electrical coverings back on, and staged a painting area. Hubby beat me to it and painted the pantry door. I did lots of Web Development research and took breaks to do the typical chores like dishes and laundry.

Hubby put two more coats of paint on the door casing of the pantry door and painted a couple of spots on the kitchen cupboards. He also finished laying the linoleum in the downstairs hallway by the sauna room and shower stall. It looks really nice!

David and Shayla stopped by to drop off the car. They stayed for a while to visit which was nice - as always. We had some good laughs. "Sweet numbers" - I can't stop giggling about the story behind these words. Remind me to tell you someday.

Tomorrow is a full moon. Maybe Sweet Pea will arrive early! She is not due until the 16th. But I am hoping she will pop her head out tomorrow. I'm getting anxious!


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11/08/11 Tuesday – Housework And Homework


Hubby took down the new pantry door, stripped the hardware from it, and put a coat of paint on the door casing. Next he put our desk in the main office back together. Then he headed off to the area in front of the sauna room and I haven't seen him since.

I had planned to paint the pantry door and purge paperwork but the drive to get things done quickly got squashed. So I did Web research instead.

I checked on "group" homework and so far I'm still a one-man band. I'm still drumming my fingertips on my desk. Impatiently.


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11/07/11 Monday – Group Grope


Because we seem to be sinking into our winter-mode, I thought it would be best to try to find some sort of motivation. So. I packed. Until I ran out of packing paper. Then. I moved onto homework.

For the next 3 weeks I have “group” homework. And. The grades that will be given will be earned by the group as a whole. Personally, I have always insisted on earning nothing less than an “A” for a grade. I hope my fellow students are up to par. I already took the lead on the first of the group assignments; a week ahead of schedule. I keep drumming my fingertips on my desk while waiting for someone on my team to step up to the plate. Anyone.

Hubby did the errands and I’m cooking up a big batch of spaghetti sauce.

Note to self: Get on the treadmill.

Dessert is an apple and berry smoothie.

david shayla and sweetpea

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11/06/11 Sunday – Vroom Vroom


Ho hum.

Hubby finished his snowblower project while I worked all day on homework assignments and tons of required reading for class.

David and Shayla stopped by to visit for a while. They loved the gifts that both of the Grandmas and Grandpas mailed to Sweet Pea recently. And they both seemed to love the gifts that I made for Sweet Pea too.

David, Hubby, and Derik played PS3 for a while; that is always way too cool! We just need to get JC in the game and we’ll be set!

Shayla is 10 days from her expected day of delivery. Sweet Pea will be born soon. I took pictures of both David and Shayla as they posed in front of the fire place in our living room. I took some good pregnancy pictures. Sweet Pea will enjoy them some day.

david shayla and sweetpea

David and Shayla’s car has been giving them troubles lately, so they are using my car until their car is fixed. This is not a good time for them to be without a vehicle. If Sweet Pea decided to come into this world tonight she would not wait for the automobile mechanic to fix mom and dad’s car.

After a nice evening visiting with the kids, I packed David’s arms full with more stuff to take home, Hubby gave Shayla a quick how-to lesson on the basic controls in my car, and the kids headed back to their cozy home.

It was a good day.


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11/05/11 Saturday – Snowflakes


It snowed all day long. And the cold weather has settled into our bones already. Every winter Hubby and I seem to go into hibernation, just like the bears that live around us. It may be another long winter ahead of us.

Hubby rigged up something to replace a broken part on the snowblower. He’s my Jack-of-all-trades.

I did a lot of required reading for class and packed a couple boxes but that’s about it.

Exciting, huh?


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11/04/11 Friday – Sleigh bells Ring


Are ya listening...

I woke up to a Winter Wonderland. It snowed! It is absolutely beautiful! White wintry snow has freshly covered every inch of the rainforest that surrounds me. The bright white snowflakes on all of the trees beckoned me outside like a child tugging at my snow pants begging me to pull him on his sled.

But instead of pulling a sled, Hubby and I jumped in the truck and headed out to restock on groceries and some much needed packing supplies.

I’m in the mood to paint.


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11/03/11 Thursday – Snap in Time


We woke up to our first frost.

Hubby got a new handle for the kitchen stove and installed that. After that he nursed a pulled muscle in his neck.

I spent the day looking through pictures of my brother. The entire day. Jeff passed away in 2008 and it took me 2 years to find a quiet peace inside of me; a peace that gave me the strength to enjoy the memories that I have of Jeff without falling apart emotionally. But it wasn’t until this day that I found the strength to go through all of his pictures. Each and every one of them. Jeff’s smiling face - captured in a moment of time in hundreds of pictures. Priceless.

I cried. I laughed. And I thank God for giving me the time that I had with Jeff when he was alive.

I thought it would be nice to share some memories of Jeff with family and friends so I uploaded pictures to social media on the Internet.

I’m glad I did.

jeff



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11/02/11 Wednesday – Oz


Instead of rolling out of bed and slipping my feet into two fuzzy pink slipper-socks, I heard a thunk thunk as I put my feet on the floor. Somehow, sometime during the night my feet were encased in mud and two concrete masonry blocks formed around them as the mud dried.

I dragged my feet all morning.

Annnnnd…we were off. Off to see the Wizard; our financial adviser that is. I made a point to let the WayCoolStockMarketPro aware that I was not interested in a two hour session. He got the point. Smart man. Personable too. We spent a good part of the hour-long visit talking about our mutual interests in eating healthy food; sharing recipes with organic ingredients; and swapping documentaries like Forks over Knives. When we were done, I craved an organic spinach and chicken salad.

…I left the pie chart on Wizard's desk to chew on.

Since Hubby and I were in the downtown area, we stopped at the Salvation Army and unloaded my car which was stuffed full of items to donate. And I mean stuffed! With the holiday season knocking on our door it felt good to give to those that are less fortunate. Hopefully something – anything – that we donated will put a smile on at least one person's face; even if it is just a gently used winter coat or a secondhand baseball glove.

A few errands later we were back at home and the day was done. I threw the jackhammer in the garage, put on my fuzzy pink slipper-socks, then cuddled with Hubby on the couch to watch a good ole fashion movie together.


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11/01/11 Tuesday – Tucked Inside


I consolidated pictures and picture frames, found more stuff to donate, and packed boxes most of the day. I have successfully packed the bulk of the house up in just 45 boxes. What remains unpacked must wait to be packed until the house is sold.

Hubby trimmed out the last window in the house. Now we can get our energy audit done and get some of our money back for investing in expensive energy efficient windows. They really are nice windows, the house is quieter, and it is definitely warmer inside our home. Heating bill is much less now too. It was worth it.

Hubby has the three garages to sort through yet and I have the greenhouse to tend to. But not today. Today we have a wind storm and the power has almost gone out several times here in the valley.

It’s a good day to stay inside.


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10/31/11 Monday – Goblins


Happy Halloween!

I did homework most of the day and then I made Sweet Pea a baby blanket.

blanket

And, some rose buds...

sweetpeas roses

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10/30/11 Sunday – Biscuits and Gravy


My mother-in-law said that there were five deer in the field this morning…and one coyote. Once we move down to Tennessee that is one site that I don’t care to ever see. The deer, yes. The coyote hunting the deer, no.

I'll be packing the shotgun.

Hubby and I plan on living off of our land. We’ll tend to a big garden and we’ll have some farm animals. A rooster, chickens, and a pig named bacon.

chickens

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10/29/11 Saturday – Time


Homework got posted so I’ve been busy with that.

I recently joined Facebook. I posted some family pictures, chatted with old friends, and surfed around in there a bit. I’m not too sure about Facebook. It’s a nice tool to reconnect with lost friends, find family connections, and just catch up with an ole buddy – but I think it can be time consuming. I plan on limiting my visits.

JC, David, and Derik played PS3. I was filled with inner peace knowing that all of my boys were spending time together – even if they all live far away from each other. I love hearing their voices in the background, hearing them laugh, and knowing that they are happy. Nothing makes me happier.


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10/28/11 Friday – Breathe


With home improvements, Hubby has always said that it has to get worse before it can get better. True. He must have sensed my feelings of being overwhelmed by the mess in the recreation room. He kicked in and got busy moving the heavier stuff out of my way. We both reorganized the remaining stuff that is left in there and I filled my car up with more stuff that will go to the Salvation Army.

We continued to organize and clean up the entire house.

Much better.


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10/27/11 Thursday – Stack ‘em


The staging area is almost full. I’ve packed so many boxes. I ran out of packing paper so I went to the moving company to get more. I told the guy there that I was looking for the cheapest (even used) packing paper that they had. I scored! He gave me a bunch of it for free! Way way cool!

Restocked with packing paper, I packed for the rest of the day. Does it ever end?


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10/26/11 Wednesday – Ping


Folks, now I have crystal coming out of my backside! I’m not much of a crystal-chick either.


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10/25/11 Tuesday – Tea for Two


I did not make progress on the master bedroom yesterday, so I woke up this morning with the drive to organize and pack. We were up bright and early and I hit the ground running. First I had to unpack some boxes that have remained packed since we moved into this house 12 years ago. I needed an idea of what we had in them and how much of it was going to Tennessee with us. I emptied out a half dozen boxes. People, I have china coming out of my backside! Come to find out, Hubby has a thing for china. There’s tons of it! I’m not much of a china-chick, but the patterns on these dishes are lovely.

I hauled so many boxes out of storage and into the recreation room where I did all the packing. Then I hauled the boxes upstairs to the staging room once they were packed. I must have gone up and down the stairs a zillion times. I felt like a packed mule.

I ended up packing eleven boxes and hauled them to the staging area. Then I hauled the last of Derik’s stuff to his little staging area. Next, I thinned out some miscellaneous odds and ends. I filled one trash can and I loaded up my car with the stuff that I wanted to donate.

Hubby got all the windows in the recreation room trimmed out and hung new curtains in there. It looks so much nicer!

After we worked a 12-hour shift today, we settled in for the evening. I did Web development research then Hubby set up the PS3 video camera and sound - so we got to visit with Derik, Saphy, and Harley! And we talked together live! Technology is amazing! I love Hubby’s new PS3 now!


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10/24/11 Monday – White Butterflies


Yesterday rolled into today because Hubby and I stayed up all night. I can’t seem to get my internal clock adjusted to Hubby’s “retirement” clock.

Today Hubby put the mirrored closet doors up in the guest bedroom, installed door stoppers, and worked on the windows in the recreation room to prepare them for new trim.

My next plan of attack is painting the master bedroom but that room must be thinned out even more before I can even start in there. This means moving more stuff, donating more stuff, and packing up more boxes. I packed three boxes today and left them right where I packed them.

I was thinking about my brother Jeff more than usual today. Memories of him kept popping in and out of my head all day. When Jeff died some of his ashes went to family and friends in Oregon and in Sitka. His ashes were tossed across hunting grounds, in a river, in the ocean, and on the beach in Sitka. I too helped spread his ashes in both Oregon and in Sitka but my grieving heart could not part with a small amount of Jeff’s ashes. Prior to his death, he told me that if he ever died he wanted his ashes to be thrown at the top of Harbor Mt. in Sitka. I haven't been able to make it back to Sitka, so I kept him close to me in spirit and in my little plastic container knowing that one day I had to make sure to honor his wish. Three years have passed and since Jeff died there hasn’t been a day that I don’t think of him - that I don’t miss him terribly. But I've known that his ashes needed a resting place. And recently, it was my time to let go.

So, when Derik was here in Juneau visiting I asked him if he would help me fulfill Jeff’s wish. Derik was humbled and took Jeff’s ashes back to Sitka. Derik called me today on his way back down from Harbor Mt. and he said that he and Harley (his dog) just got done spreading Jeff’s ashes at the top of the mountain by the cabin. And. Derik said he kept a little bit of Jeff’s ashes to hold on to. Bless his heart.

It’s amazing how each of us deal with the death of a loved one in our own unique way.

I’m still not convinced that time heals all wounds. Or that it should. Nor am I convinced that what a person does with the time is what heals all wounds. But I do know that my wounded heart often reminds me that life is short, family is precious, and priceless memories should be made to hold on to.

I still smile when I think of Jeff.


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10/23/11 Sunday – Hot Potato


I started out the day as a couch potato but I quickly got busy painting the baseboard trim in the guest bedroom. Done. New carpet next.

Hubby helped David put new brake pads on his car. It was nice to see those two spending some time together – even if it was work.

david

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10/22/11 Saturday – Belgian Battle


Hubby bought himself a new PlayStation 3 and then he bought me a new Belgian waffle maker. I’ve been through three so far. This is my fourth one. I struggle with them. Belgian Waffle makers have proven to be a challenge for me to use. This morning, Hubby’s stomach groaned for waffles so I set out to tackle the title of Belgian Waffle Queen. Or so I thought. The timer on the new waffle maker did not synchronize, I made a mess, and I ended up throwing my chef coat off to the wayward winds because I got so frustrated. Chef Hubby stepped up to the plate and finished cooking the waffles. The end result…yummy!

waffles

After our bellies were full, Hubby set up his new PS3. I’m glad Hubby got it because when he is playing the PS3 on-line games with the kids, I get to enjoy hearing their voices – as if they were here at home. It’s really nice.


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10/21/11 Friday – The Missing Door


Unbelievable. Hubby ordered a custom sized door for the pantry over three months ago. The vendor couldn't find it, lost it, didn't know a thing about it, and all the other excuses numbnuts use when they screw up. But guess what! The door has finally arrived! Hubby picked it up yesterday and he put the door up today. It looks lovely!

pantry door

I put a third coat of paint on the walls of the closet in the guest bedroom. I thought I was done in there, but the closet really needed one more coat of paint.

Note to self: Save paint. Kilz first.

I heard from Derik a lot today. I called him this morning and he called me a couple of times after noon. He makes me smile. He touches my heart. He made my day.

Thank you, Derik. I love you so much.


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10/19/11 Wednesday – Happy Hands


It was a good day to get busy.

I painted all day long; just me, my paint, and my radio. The guest bedroom is now done.

guestbedroom painting

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10/18/11 Tuesday – Pin Drops


It was a quiet day; too quiet.

I’m always a bit in the dumps the day after I have to say goodbye to one of my children. So to keep my mind busy I did Web development research and started to build a Website for David’s roofing business.

Derik called me later in the evening to tell me that he was emailing me some pictures of his and Saphy’s new place. That really cheered me up! Their place looks so nice; it looks happy. I’m so proud of them! And I miss them so much.

You know what I miss the most when my children go back to their busy lives after visiting Hubby and me? I miss their voices and the laughter. I miss the way they can be goofy, just having fun. I miss seeing their happiness. I miss their loving hugs and hearing them say, “I love you, Mom.” I miss their smiles and all of the ways that they touch the tender side of my heart.

I’ve got such great kids. I’m so proud of them.


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10/17/11 Monday – Another Load


We didn’t do much at all today but simply enjoy each other’s company while we gathered up household things for Derik and Saphy to take home to their new place. Another truck load of stuff is gone. They could have taken more but the heavy rain put a damper on things.

After we loaded the stuff in Derik’s truck we played some games and enjoyed some quality time together before Derik and Saphy headed back to Sitka on the ferry. It always pains me to see my children go.

…But they will be back.


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10/16/11 Sunday – Almost Eight


Derik and Saphy went to carve pumpkins and make another tattoo. JC, Monty, and I spent most of the day just lounging about at home.

David and Shayla (and Sweet Pea) came over later in the evening to eat dinner and they spent a good long visit with all of us. It was nice, as always, to have my whole family together. We laughed, we played, and we hugged.

family

Sweet Pea is getting so big! We got to enjoy some new ultra sound pictures and videos of her. Wow! It was so cool to finally be able to feel her move! Derik wanted to feel Sweet Pea move too so Shayla let Derik put his hand on her belly. Sweet Pea kicked and when she did it caught Derik off guard causing him to jump and quickly jerk his hand away. The look on Derik’s face was priceless. Yup, Derik, there is a tiny little human being inside of there. Crack me up!

david and shayla

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10/15/11 Saturday – The Wounded


I’m standing in the kitchen making breakfast and I hear a voice behind me…

“Looks good.”

“Huh?”

“Your tattoo.”

“Oh. Thanks.”


I’m sitting at my desk doing homework and I hear a voice behind me…

“Looks great.”

“What does?”

“Your tattoo.”

“Oh!”


I’m at the kitchen sink rinsing dishes and I hear a voice behind me…

“Lookin’ good!”

“What looks good?”

“Your tattoo.”

“Ah.”


Although I’m oddly dressed because nothing can be touching my new tattoo during the healing process, I tend to forget that I actually have a tattoo because I can’t see it unless I look into a mirror. But my family is keeping an eye on my new wound, making sure that it is healing well and not getting infected. Cute. I on the other hand just continue to look into the mirror to make sure that the indelible inked butterfly on my back hasn’t parted from the dermis layer of my skin and flown away.

Saphy is now in the torture chamber getting three new tattoos - all butterflies. One of them is just like mine. I am SO glad it’s not me in there! Ouch!


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10/14/11 Friday – Not G-Rated


Everyone else got an early start to the day. I, on the other hand, unintentionally slept in. Derik and Saphy had already left the house to go watch an adorable children’s play at the community theater and Hubby had already put together his own list of things to do. But before Hubby headed out the door to do some of his errands he rotated the heavier items out of two different rooms to better accommodate the kids. And I relocated the smaller items. This is my life; moving stuff from one room to another, to another room again, and then again to another room… and again and again and again.

I prepped the guest bedroom and spent a good part of the day getting most of the walls covered with one fresh coat of paint.

Later on in the evening…

Have you ever been hit by a lightning rod and then it comes shootin’ outta your head? Me either, until I decided to get a tattoo tonight. People, if anyone tells you that getting a tattoo doesn’t hurt – they’re bluffin'! It hurts like a *$#!@% ^#*@!#! I kid you not! I had more lightning rods shooting out of the top of my head than a year’s worth of lightning storms shooting out of a Tennessee sky. I know one thing. I won't be getting a second tattoo!

I pert near blacked out, almost puked, and broke out in a sweat so bad that I could have filled a small swimming pool. Needless to say, I did not fare well during the tattooing process. Man oh man! Thank goodness Dr. Tattoo only took 15 minutes to get my tattoo done.

Prior to getting the actual permanent tattoo, Saphy custom designed a tattoo for me, prepared a template, and we tested it out to see if the design of the tattoo, and the placement of it, was what I really wanted. Perfect! Then off to the torture chamber I went. Derik actually did an awesome job! I love my new tattoo! …And I love the fact that it’s all over with.

Whew.

tennessee sky

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10/13/11 Thursday – Taku


What’s that sound?

Huh?

I hear something.

What?

That sound.

What sound?

I felt the rustle of the bed sheets as Hubby started to get out of bed to go investigate the sound that he heard.

After being chewed up and spit out more than once yesterday, I woke up in the mood to kill – even if I was half asleep and almost butt naked. So I jumped out of bed in a rush to beat Hubby to the punch.

I raced down the hall. And... Errch! I stopped dead in my tracks at the top of the stairs after I caught a glimpse of the occupied couch.

I shouted to Hubby, “Don’t come out here naked!” And I was back in the bedroom in less than a nanosecond.

Derik and Saphy are here! They got into town early! I’m tickled pink! And dressed.

saphy and derik

The clouds parted and the skies were blue for a while so Derik acid-washed the driveway then he got new tires put on his truck. We went shopping together, cooked Chicken and Dumplings for dinner, and played Monopoly. I even got a coat of Kilz on the walls of the guest bedroom!

It was a great day!


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10/12/11 Wednesday – Bronze Balls


Up. Down. Buy. Sell. Dow Jones. NASDAQ. Securities. Risks.

Hubby and I sat in our financial adviser’s office surrounded by exquisite décor while Mr. WayCoolStockMarketPro was graciously translating technical stock market jargon about the current events, world-wide economy, and money investments into layman’s terms for me. I understood all of it albeit my brain hurt from working in overdrive. Our current investments seemed to be merely an illusion on paper as I tried to decipher the pie chart in front of me while Hubby and Mr. WayCoolStockMarketPro chatted back and forth in a language that was far too foreign for me to understand. Two hours later, I felt like I just got done running the Boston Marathon – twice! I know one thing; I’d rather stand in Bowling Green Park and tickle the balls off of the Charging Bull than be on the Wall Street trading floor making a living as a stock market guru.

new york bronze bull

(Permission to use image above given by Eugene. Thank you.)

That pretty much wrapped up my day. Hubby on the other hand had scheduled a couple of people that he knows to come over to the house and get some things that he was willing to let go of. There are now two small but noticeable cubbyholes in the third garage. Progress…in baby steps.


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10/11/11 Tuesday – O for Ouch


Hubby went to the dentist. He came home with half of his face numb from the multiple injections of local anesthesia. I thought he looked like he had gone and had himself a stroke. When he smiled the whole left side of his face did nothing. His upper lip almost sagged down to his chin. I sent a picture of him to my mother-in-law and she said, “It looks like you socked the fool outta him.” Too funny! Those southern colloquialisms are a hoot and a half. Crack me up!

On to other things...

This morning I had planned on putting the first coat of Kilz on the walls of the guest bedroom. But I didn’t. Instead, I shredded more paperwork and then I found even more paper and I shredded some more.

We still have boxes that remain unpacked from when Hubby packed up his old house to move into the house that we are in now. That was 12 years ago, folks. I unpacked one box full of paperwork and shredded all of it. Afterwards, I worked around the house and moved stuff from point A to D to C and then to point B. I organized all four staging areas, packed two boxes, and tidied things up before company arrived.

Amy and “Big” came over to pick up some more furniture. They were so kind to take a dresser, lunch boxes, our five-piece antique brass fireplace tool set, and a wood bankers chair that Hubby made by hand years ago.

I also had a car load of cold weather wear: snow pants, winter coats, etc. that I had planned on taking to the Salvation Army. I told Amy that if she wanted any of the winter gear that she was more than welcome to take it. She said that she had plenty of “bodies” that could fit into each piece of clothing that I had to offer. I can imagine! What wouldn’t fit someone in a family of 10 who are of the ages two and up?

Giving. It makes me happy when Hubby and I can put a warm smile on someone’s face.

I wanted to relax a bit before making dinner so I decided to surf Etsy’s Website. I can’t wait to decorate my new home in Tennessee with some items from my wish list (a.k.a. Favorites). I just love this stuff!


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10/10/11 Monday - Plumb Done


Hubby has been to the plumbing store five thousand, nine hundred, and twenty-two times today. Well, o.k. Maybe not. But it seems like it. We might as well have put a revolving door in the entryway because Hubby came and went so many times today. This is one of the last of the new sinks he has to install and it has given him the most trouble. If it were me trying to fix it, I would have taken a sludge hammer to it by now. Hubby on the other hand has not made one fuss about it at all. He just keeps plugging right along, fills me in with the details of each problem, goes to the store to fetch what he needs, comes home, tackles the plumbing again, runs into another problem, fills me in with the details…

It’s currently 8:30 p.m. and Hubby just now got done. Bless his heart.

Proof...

plumbing

Retirement; it gave Hubby a passive, relaxed demeanor...which makes me smile.

I did not partake in any home improvements today. I did taxes and got my next assignment done early for class.


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10/09/11 Sunday - Mrs. Butterworth


The Black and Decker Sweet Hearts Waffle maker. If you don’t have one, I encourage you to invest in one. I’ve had mine for almost 25 years. It has been a trouble free, dependable, and easy-to-use waffle maker. It makes great waffles and kids just love them! It has made some sweet memories for the kids too.

Derik and Saphy called me and we were chatting over the phone as I was waiting on the waffle maker alarm. Chirp. Chirp. Chirp. It scares the shit out of me every single time. I jumped out of my skin and Derik instantly recognized that chirp sound - the sound that the waffle maker makes when it’s done cooking. It’s this high pitched bird-chirping like squeal. I’m almost certain that my neighbors can hear it every time it goes off. Yeah. It’s loud. At least I know that when I am in my elderly years cooking heart shaped waffles for my grandchildren, I will still be able to hear the waffle maker alarm even though I’ll be pert nearly deaf.

Derik asked me to FedEx him some waffles. Umm.......

Here's the recipe (I typically double it):

2 eggs
¾ Cup milk
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ Teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ Teaspoons sugar
½ Teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon real vanilla extract

waffles

Yum!

Side note: Hubby finished the trim around the window in the guest bedroom.


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10/08/11 Saturday - Purged


I could never be a hoarder. I get immense pleasure from getting rid of stuff. Whether I am donating an assortment of miscellaneous items that are no longer being used or throwing garbage away – I love to do it! I actually get a rush out of it. In an odd way, it makes me feel cleansed and less trapped in a visual sea of clutter. Trash day is my favorite day of the week.

I spent most of the day purging four years of paperwork. Shredded. Gone. Kicked to the curb. And it felt great! Although, the shredder did poop out on me a couple of times. The blades on it were so hot I thought they might ignite those tiny bits of shredded paper at any given moment. Thankfully, it has an automatic shut-off mechanism built into it just for us shredder addicts.

I also packed up three hundred and fifty eight VHS movies. Yup, that's what I said, "358." They are looking for a new home and not one that is located in Tennessee.

Hubby put in the new sink to the downstairs bathroom but, as with almost all of the recent upgrades to our home, hubby ran into a bit of a problem:

plumbing

At the day’s end I had three full garbage cans, no fires, and a new sink. Not bad. Not bad at all.


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10/07/11 Friday - Motivation


I wanted to get two stacks of paperwork filed today but I got sidetracked by all the stuff that I had to maneuver myself around to even get to it. So instead of filing, I ended up organizing and cleaning staging area #1. I’m glad I did. It looks a lot nicer in that bedroom!

Almost all the rooms in the house have been in disarray lately. It looks like we have a damn obstacle course set up throughout the house! The obsessive organizer in me can only handle disarray for so long.

I was on a roll!

After I cleaned staging area #1, I organized a bit of stuff in the laundry room – mainly to get it out of the way because Hubby was determined to get the new sink installed in there today. Then I moved on to the other rooms throughout the house and tidied them all up.

I even disassembled the wooden chairs that were left behind after Derik and Saphy took the dining room table. We were going to donate the chairs to the Salvation Army but I’ve decided that they have too many years on them.

Even though I didn’t pack one single moving box today, it looks like I emptied the house even more.

Organized.

Ah. Much better.


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10/06/11 Thursday - My Name is Mud


Today I put mud on the two walls in the guest bedroom.

guest bedroom mud walls

Hubby did the shopping and cooked dinner!


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10/04/11 Tuesday - Midterm


Midterm.

Hubby fixed the entry way to the garage! Way, way, way, way cool!


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10/03/11 Monday - Midterm


I studied for my Midterm.

I put a coat of Kilz on the two walls in the guest bedroom.

Hubby hung up more new curtains! They look nice!


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10/02/11 Sunday - Limbo


I did absolutely nothing today.

Zip.


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10/01/11 Saturday - My First Born Son


Today is my son's birthday.

I'm so proud of him in so many ways.

david dive

Happy Birthday David.

I love you!

Mom


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09/30/11 Friday - The Wall


Today I woke up with a mission. Yes, Mission Control – Houston had a mission. A mission to get the guest bedroom done.

Mission failed.

I got the walls washed down and that is it. Hubby put a fan in the room to get the moisture out of it, but the better part of me wanted to wait until the walls were completely dry before I put a coat of Kilz on them.

So. I wait.

The rest of the day I coded and did Web development research.

Hubby trimmed out the leftover wallpaper that was still stuck near the trim around the floor and around the baseboard heater. Then he wiped down everything to make my work a lot easier.

He always does a lot of little things that mean so much to me. They add up.

Throughout the years that we’ve lived in this house, I’ve looked around at all the things that needed to get done and I sometimes got overwhelmed. But I’ve also learned throughout the years that Hubby has his own unique pace and I realize now that we will get things done in due time.

Even now, as we work endlessly to prepare the house for the market, Hubby doesn’t get all wrapped up in all the details and the long list of things that need to get done in order to get from point A to point T. He just has this one amazing constant pace; a pace that gets things done regardless of the seemingly mile long to-do list in front of us.

He did the shopping. Check.

He cleaned up the guest bedroom so that I can paint. Check.

He hung new curtains in the dining room. Check.

He installed new lighting in the living room and at my desk. Check.

He got new headphones for me to use in school. Check.

Thank you Hubby, I love you.

I wish I had a pace.


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09/29/11 Thursday - Gazookus


Today we had a Realtor come to the house. He took pictures of every room inside, outside, and of everything inside out. Well. No. But it felt like it. He documented everything that we have done to improve the house and everything we have yet to do. He complimented us and said we are doing everything right to prepare a house for the market. We are on track. Next? A market analysis. We should hear from the Realtor in a couple of days.

I spent the rest of the day peeling adhesive off of ONE wall. I must have pumped that spray bottle five trillion times. My brachioradiales felt as if they were going to pop right out of my arms! Determined to get done removing the adhesive from the wall, I kept right on working despite my burning, aching muscles. And. I got it done!

guest bedroom wallpaper remove

Hubby finished framing the window in the guest bedroom. It looks really nice!

We ended our day with a delicious spinach salad drizzled with a rosemary olive oil dressing.

On the way to bed, I had visions of waking up with arms like Popeye.


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09/28/11 Wednesday - Out From Under The Rock


Today I avoided all types of adhesive, even a roll of Scotch™ transparent adhesive tape. Instead, I concentrated on... on... pert near nothing. I guess I needed a break.

Hubby finished up the baseboard covers for the heaters in JC’s bedroom and he did a bunch of Mr. Fix-it things around the house.

I had a deadline that was coming up quick. A deadline that required me to leave the house to get some paperwork submitted on time. So I begrudgingly got ready to go. After handing in my paperwork at the university and visiting with my daughter-in-law, Shayla, who works there - I headed to several different stores to do some unplanned shopping. I don't know why I did. But I’m glad I did. Surprisingly, it actually felt good to get out of the house. It felt like I emerged from three months of hibernation.

Maybe I was just killing time to avoid the chore of removing more adhesive from the wall. Hum.

Note to self: Get out more.


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09/27/11 Tuesday - Adhesive


Voices called my name from the guest bedroom today. Voices that said, "Get 'er done!" and "You can do it!" My thoughts replied, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll get right on that.” More wallpaper to remove. Fun.

Question. Why would someone put wallpaper on only two walls in a room? Why? I don’t get it. Oh well. That left less wallpaper to peel off the walls. With this in mind, I gathered up the gear I needed to help me tackle the daunting task of removing wallpaper from TWO walls.

guest bedroom wallpaper on two walls

Wallpaper remover goop. Check.
Trowel-like gizmo. Check.
Ladder for short people. Check. Check.

"Go forth, and conquer! I said to myself.

Not! After spending hours scoring wallpaper, then spraying wallpaper remover goop on the wallpaper – only the wallpaper came off. Not the adhesive!

Err.

I spent another hour scoring the adhesive that remained on the wall, re-spraying wallpaper remover goop, and peeling the adhesive – off of one wall.

Wall number two can wait until tomorrow.


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09/26/11 Monday - Cock-a-Doodle-Doo


We got up early enough. The skies were blue. Sun was warm. Birds were chirping and the next-door neighbor's chickens were clucking up an egg storm. Sweet sounds. After I finished my cup of coffee, I cleaned out the guest bedroom to prepare it for a laundry list of improvements. Strip the wallpaper, mud, Kilz, paint, new carpet, and new closet doors. Oh yeah, and Hubby needs to finish the new trim for the new window in there. Preparing the guest room for this laundry list of things to do involved ... you guessed it ... moving tons of %!$* back out of the room into another room ...again.

Got that done.

Then I proceeded to make ***FOR SALE*** and ***FREE*** signs for the stuff that I need to get out of my way - once and for all!

Hubby got home from shopping for the wallpaper remover goop and then this lil' fellow showed up...

This porcupine came from the back side of the house. I grabbed my camera and headed out to cautiously take some pictures. He did not once raise his quills but he did raise my heart rate at the thought of his potential tail-raising needle defense system. The distance between us was only a couple of feet and the distance between us kept getting shorter and shorter. He was so curious with me! He backed me up off the lawn, up the steps of the back porch, and into the house through the sliding glass door. As you can see in the pictures, he just played around at the top of the porch for a while. After he fulfilled his curiosities, he wandered off back down the steps, grazed on the weeds in the lawn for awhile, and then headed back into the woods. Way too cute!

porcupine

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09/25/11 Sunday - Own little World


It was a much needed day of relaxing. All three of us hung out together at home in our separate little worlds doing our own things. Sometimes you just have to kick back and relax. This is something that I have to remind myself to do once in a while. My idea of kick-back was doing Web development research and homework. Hubby surfed the Internet and played around with Skype. JC played computer games.

We didn't do any home improvements. No house cleaning. No cooking.

Tomorrow, We Work!


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09/24/11 Saturday - Winter


Today Hubby did computer maintenance while JC and I worked on homework.

Winter has arrived. Right now the sky is clear and it is absolutely beautiful outside, and ... cold ... very very cold.

I have the itch to paint again. And dance.

Love to all.


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09/23/11 Friday - Rotation


I like getting up early. Sleeping in seems like a waste of a day. So when I get up early, which is most of the time, I look forward to a full day of accomplishments. Today I woke up knowing that JC would be coming over for the weekend. So I planned on putting his room all back together. A cup of coffee later and boom! I was on it! JC's dresser will be given away tomorrow so I moved it out of his bedroom and I dug up a couple of oak T.V. tables from storage. I put a pretty lace cloth over each of them and I used one table for a night stand and the other table to put JC's T.V. and DVD player on it. Believe it or not, it really does look nice. Hubby helped by painting the trim around the window in JC's room and reassembled the parts for the baseboard heater.

After I put JC's room all back together, I proceeded to rotate the stuff that was stacked in the guest bedroom back into the art room again. Almost done. Now I'm closer to painting the guest bedroom. That is next on my list of things to get done. Next, I proceeded to clean house; the regular chores. I wanted to be free of home improvements and house cleaning chores while JC was here for the weekend.

While I cleaned house, Hubby did the shopping. Then he cooked dinner: BBQ pork ribs, mashed potatoes, peas, and fresh bread. Yum!

I ended my evening with some homework and now I am headed off to spend some quality time with family. Family...my Heaven.

I hope you have a Heavenly evening too.


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09/22/11 Thursday - Look Up


It was another day of painting for me. I put the last coat of fresh paint on JC's bedroom walls and painted the ceiling. I am thrilled that I got that bedroom done as quickly as I did!

Hubby spent the better part of the day helping his mom and dad with their new phone. Helping his parents who live approximately 3,700 miles away is not unusual for him. Uh huh. Yup. This is partly why we are moving to Tennessee. They need us.

My handyman hubby is also my computer network guru. Networking drives me batty! I can blissfully spend sleepless hours on end looking for that missing ">" or missing "." in computer code, but ask me to deal with the headache of networking makes me cringe with dread. Can I do it? Yes. Do I like it? No. Thank you Hubby! I love you.

I got my painting done early so Hubby and I walked to the Mendenhall Glacier. We walked out to an area that I've never been to before. I took some absolutely beautiful pictures of the icebergs, Nugget Falls, and of the glacier. I don't think I could ever get tired of the spectacular blue wavelengths and all the grandeur of the glacier. I plan on coming back to visit this place often.

iceberg
nugget falls
mendenhall glacier juneau alaska
mendenhall glacier

After I ate dinner, I dozed off while I napped Hubby touched up some spots in JC's bedroom for me. I think if I had to tackle that room one more time today my head would pop off. I spent most of the day looking up at that ceiling. It puts a kink in your neck.

Note to self: Dance more when painting.


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09/21/11 Wednesday - Paint Therapy


I woke up with one goal in mind. Painting. I painted non-stop for ten hours. Just me, my radio, and my paint brush. I danced. I sang. And I got two fresh coats of paint on JC's bedroom walls. It felt great! While I painted, Hubby installed more of the new thermostats and he did the shopping. Then I made a killer goulash with fresh bread for dinner. Yum! But before dinner, Hubby insisted on checking the roof...after climbing a 24 foot ladder. I'm not fond of ladders, and I'm particularly not fond of them on a day like today. The weather was terrible. While Hubby was on the ladder checking the roof, the winds were blowing 60 miles per hour with rain blowing sideways. Dangerous!

He survived.


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09/20/11 Tuesday - Not Everything is Digital


It’s a miracle. I spent a good part of the day packing. The house is beginning to look empty.

Hubby got another window trimmed out today and he programmed new thermostats for the house.

I’m ending my day by organizing and formatting digital photographs.

What did you do today? I hope you had a great day too!


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09/19/11 Monday - Here, There, and Everywhere


Today I decided it was time to drop off a variety of items to the different vendors located throughout town; items that we don’t need to be hauling to Tennessee. My car was full of the stuff. I found more books that I donated to the used book store. We had some sport equipment that hadn’t been used in years so I took those to a vendor that offers cash for used sport gear. Next we headed downtown to the charitable thrift store where I donated an electronic piano and a bunch of my brother's hunting clothes. He would have liked that. After unloading the car of stuff that we no longer needed we headed to a number of grocery stores and hardware stores. While Hubby shopped I took pictures of the mountainous scenery.

It took nearly the whole day to get all of the running around done. We returned home and I packed. One box. It just baffles me how overwhelming the packing chores have been for me. It’s not rocket science, right? But the perfectionist in me wants to unpack all the boxes that I have packed up so far and re-pack them again. And again. And. Again. Gee whiz, Wendy, enough already.

On a more positive note, Hubby put the hardware on the doors for the vanity base in the master bathroom. The vanity looks much nicer now that it is painted. Next? New vanity top and sink, linoleum flooring, and toilet. Speaking of toilets, the new toilet in the bedroom bathroom is something else! Hubby chose to buy and install the “tall” ADA compliant toilet. It looks nice. Yeah. It does. But I kid you not, when I’m on that turd grinding monster eater, my feet do not touch the ground! Really! I feel like the little short kid sitting on the portable potty seat - feet suspended swinging back and forth, back and forth. This is not a toilet for people with short legs, folks.

Um’kay.

Phillip, his wife Amy, and their oldest son “Big” stopped by later in the evening to pick up the desk that we gave to them. It is nice to get another big item out of the house and out of the way.

I dedicated the rest of my evening to homework.


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09/18/11 Sunday - Images


I got up and headed straight to my computer to do some more coding. I wanted to finish my gallery. And I did. You can see it here: Gallery.

I don't know what took longer, coding CSS or formatting the images for the gallery. Both take a lot of time. I still need to spiff up the gallery somewhat, but homework needs my attention.

While I coded, Hubby went around the house cleaning this and fixing that.

My youngest son, JC, did homework.


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09/17/11 Saturday - Head Up


I woke up knowing I needed a new attitude. So I crawled out of bed, stood up straight, shoulders back, and held my head up high.

Conquer!

I did Web Development research. Nothing else.

Hubby painted window trim.

I ended the day by making a lasagna dinner, fresh bread, and salad.

I am exhausted.


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09/16/11 Friday - Bubble Wrap


I packed boxes.

I am overwhelmed. Packing up the home today has been an emotional rollercoaster.

I'm not the "material" type of person. My home is not filled with the latest and greatest in home decor. I have filled my home with nothing but memories of family. Pictures. Handmade gifts from the kids. Simple joys. Gifts from my family that could never have a price tag slapped onto them - price tags that wouldn't even come close to the value of the memories my home holds and what these memories bring to me emotionally. So when it came to packing these memories into boxes today, I felt deeply saddened - in a lot of ways. As I was packing, I felt as if these memories were being tucked away for a while. A long while. Memories that have been near and dear to me, readily there - in my home - at any given glance. My mind raced as I gathered items to be packed away. Thoughts of, "When will I get to enjoy these priceless memories again?" "Will they get lost in the move?" "If they make it all the way from Alaska to Tennessee, will they be broken?" "Will they be o.k?"

Knowing that I will be leaving all my kids behind is hard enough.

Without a spoken word from me, Hubby realized my emotional struggle with the chore of packing up the home and he ever so lovingly comforted me while we discussed my dilemma. Afterwards, we headed out to get what was needed to help me with my anxiety. Bubble wrap! First, we went to a local moving company and picked up some used moving boxes and used packing paper. We also got the details on moving costs. Ugh! Moving is expensive! After spending some time with the moving company gathering detailed information on moving costs, we headed to another store to get the bubble wrap. I felt better. Sort of. Once we got home, I spent the rest of the day packing. On top of packing for the big move, and to cut down on the cost of moving, I decided that I needed to get rid of more things that I could live without.

The Subaru has got to go.

Our happy home is looking bare. Most of the precious memories are packed. But, as I rode in my emotional rollercoaster cart it brought us closer to preparing our home for more fresh paint.


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09/15/11 Thursday - Don’t Leave Home Without It


Today we accomplished a lot. Again. Hubby worked on the trim for the living room windows. He got that all done and it looks great! He also fixed the couch which has needed a handy-man’s attention for some time now.

I painted all the trim work in the recently completed bedroom. It sure does look nice now that that room is all done. It is now ready to be stocked with all of the boxes that I will be packing. Speaking of which, I scored today! I found used boxes for a buck a piece – any size. Cool.

After our work was done, we decided to walk on out to the Mendenhall Glacier. Before heading out the door, I hesitated on taking my camera, which was out of character for me. I’m the type of person who never leaves home without it. I thought to myself, “If I don’t take my camera, it is likely that I will run into a bear.” So. I took my camera. And. I ran into a bear! Hubby and I were just about to the glacier when a bear pops out of the woods and waddles right across the highway between two oncoming cars. Everyone, including the tourists, seemed to have frozen in their footsteps. I on the other hand pointed my camera lens toward that bear and took me a bunch of pictures. I took pictures of the bear’s poop too. It was quite colorful. Really, it was - full of whole berries fresh from the forest. See?!

bear poop

It was a good walk. I felt the chill in the air and as I exhaled white clouds of vapor it reminded me that winter was near. Too near.


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09/14/11 Wednesday - Good Karma


Today was Give-it-Away day. I called up a couple of former co-workers, Bee and Cee. I asked them if they wanted some stuff for free. Good stuff. They said yes. Knowing that company wouldn't arrive until sometime after they got off of work, I got busy painting. I finished applying the last coat of paint on the vanity top in the master bathroom. Hubby worked on the trim for the dining room windows and finished putting that up. It looks really nice!

We ordered a custom door for the pantry so we headed to the store we ordered it from to see if they found it yet. Nope! Hubby then spent a good part of our outing waiting on the store manager to figure out where our door was. Neanderthals get on my nerves. But I despise having to shop even more. In fact, whenever Hubby shops I find a place in the store and park my butt until Hubby is done. It works. So, while Hubby dealt with the neanderthal and finished up his shopping, I sat in the lighting isle texting to my mother-in-law with my cell phone. Ah. My mother-in-law. She's the sweetest thing this side of the corn field. Really. She is!

After we got home I cooked up a big batch of spaghetti sauce for dinner, dusted the house, and relocated the boxes that I do have packed from the dining room area into the bedroom that recently got painted.

Cee arrived and we measured the desk that she might want to take and we caught up on the latest at work. I've only been gone from work for nine days and it feels like I've been on vacation for two months! It sounds like my former co-workers don't like the changes that my replacement has been introducing. Change. It is sometimes hard. But sometimes it is good.

Bee arrived shortly after Cee. And boy did I score! She brought over a ton of yarn to give to me. Sweet! After a good visit, Bee loaded up her car with the clothes that I wanted to part with and off she went.

Hubby and I ended our day with a nice dinner and some much needed rest.

yarn

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09/13/11 Tuesday - Day Go By


Hubby got up early and let me sleep in. While I slept, Hubby got busy. He painted the last of the baseboards and the parts for the heaters then he put those all back together. It looks really nice! He met his goals for the day by the time I got up.

I finally rolled out of bed at 10:30 a.m. The day was half over by the time I got up! Disappointed that the day was almost gone, I decided that it would be a good day to do housework and Web work. Nothing else. I cooked up lunch after my chores, we ate, and then I coded and did some Web development research while Hubby took an afternoon nap.

We ended our evening by taking a walk and then we went to the store and picked up a few groceries that we needed. Home now, dinner done, and I'm off to do more coding. I've been formatting pictures so that I can get those posted soon and I've also been scripting a photo gallery. Coding takes time - a lot of it.

twinlakesjnu

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09/12/11 Monday - Scripting Code


Although it was another nice day today, I found myself inside of the house, away from the last of our summer sun, dedicated to my Web Development studies. In fact, the last couple of days I've been cramming in homework studies as if I were at the end of my vacation, returning to my job in the real world. But, I'm only self disciplined. I do love school but I love sun more.

Hubby spent most of the day outside painting odds and ends and preparing trim for the dinning room windows. He also painted the last of the baseboard parts for the heaters in one of the bedrooms. And during all of his hard work he kept an eye on his grill that had pork steaks on it for dinner.

railpaint

Closer to the day's end, Phillip, Amy, and three of their eight children stopped by to pick up the big-screen television that we gave to them to enjoy. I've heard so much about them throughout the recent years during the time when Hubby and Phillip worked together. What a pleasure it was to finally meet Phillip and his family! I thought it was cute when Phillip called their oldest son "Big" and one of the twin girls "Twin" while he ever so kindly directed them around the television to help haul it out the door. Good people, they are.

With the television out of the way, I now have yet another staging area in one of the bedrooms. I have a room full of stuff that remains to be packed, donated, or given to the kids to keep. I've been rotating this stuff from one room to the next. It will be nice to have the one, now empty, room dedicated to stuff that is packed and ready to be shipped to Tennessee.

We ended our day with a nice dinner: Grilled pork steak, salad, fresh bread, and homemade fruit smoothies.


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09/11/11 Sunday - Sun and Studies


Today we got a late start. It was another sunny day; a noble event in my minds eye only because a sunny day here is a rare thing. I spent a brief part of the morning straightening up the house. Sunbathing was my objective.

Homework is due soon so after I enjoyed some sun while reading my school book, I headed inside to do some coding homework.

Hubby stayed busy today as well. He stained trim for the dining room windows and painted the covers of the baseboard heaters. See here? Proof. And look, he's still in his Sunday best. Yep, he went to church just like that. Heh.

windowtrim

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09/10/11 Saturday - It's the little Things


It was a beautiful day today! Hubby actually managed to get me out of the house. We loaded the rocking chair and matching foot stool into the back of the truck then we headed over to David and Shayla's house to drop those off. David was working as usual. I always miss seeing him. But. It was nice to see Shayla (Sweet Pea is getting big!). And their new wood flooring in their living room is beautiful! Good job, David!

After our short visit with Shayla, we headed to Twin Lakes and walked just a little over two miles. It was beautiful and so relaxing! And of course I took tons of pictures. Afterwards, we went to Pilot's Landing to have fish (halibut) and chips. The food was so good! If you haven't tried eating at this restaurant, I highly recommend that you try it out. They have very good food.

With our tummies full, we returned to the valley to run a couple of errands and then we took a nice long drive out to the end of the road. Yes, the road ends here where we live. The only way in or out of our town is by boat or by airplane. Anyway, back on point, we watched the sun go down at Eagle Beach and as always our view was breathtaking!

Thank you, Hubby, for the perfect day!

eagle beach

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09/09/11 Friday - Paint, Paint, and More Trim


We got an early start on home improvements today. Hubby worked on window trim and I painted one of the bedrooms and the vanity base in the master bathroom. We did a non-stop eight hour shift and it felt great! Next, that vanity top needs to go.

masterbathvanitybefore
masterbathvanityafter

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09/08/11 Thursday - Moving


Where do I start? Well, if you haven't heard yet, we will be moving from Alaska to Tennessee. Yup, T-E-N-N-E-S-S-E-E. I thought it'd be nice to keep a log of what we will be doing to prepare for the move and what better way to do that than here. A website where friends and family can easily go to to see what we've been up to. I've been taking before-and-after pictures of our home improvements and other things that we have to get done before selling the house.

For starters, Hubby did trim work while I prepared one of the bedrooms for painting. Then Hubby mowed the lawn for the last time this year while I prepared the flower beds for winter and I picked my last batch of strawberry-rhubarb. I gave the rhubarb to the neighbors; my good deed for the day.

For those of you that don't know me personally but somehow found my website, welcome. You can learn a little background about me on the About and FAQ pages.

lastrhubarb

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