A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Friday, April 11, 2008


Life is pretty chaotic right now. I used to be able to keep track of seven things at a time with no problem. A few years ago I started to realize that my mind had become less like the carousel, though, and more like the queue. In fact, my memory was like a printer queue. I could manage five things in the list. As one was completed and dropped off the top, another could pop in from the bottom. Now, just a glimpse at what's lurking down there throws me for a loop. I have to focus on just one thing at a time and forget all the rest, then, when I'm ready, move to the next compartment and deal with what's there for a while, then move...

In the health department, I have an appointment with the cardiologist this week to get the results of the 24-hour monitoring. I'm also experiencing some joint and leg pain from the Lipitor. Since the whole point of all this was to get the all-clear to start exercising some of this fat off me, and since my cholesterol wasn't THAT high and he was only concerned enough for the Lipitor because I also have high blood pressure (controlled) and he was thinking I might have heart disease which the other tests ruled out, I'm going to tell him I'm stopping the Lipitor and going to exercise instead. This should help bring the cholesterol down. Doesn't make sense to not be able to exercise because my joints ache when exercise was the reason for all this in the first place and will help the problem anyway.

In the work compartment, it was a pretty easy week. Grades were finished and turned in as of Tuesday, and I started the kids on a book assignment using the Joy Hakim History of US series. I have a class set of these books for two segments of American history and I wish I had them for the entire year! They are engaging and great fun to read. It's the only time of the year that I have absolute quiet in the classroom. Even the bottom dwellers get into them. While they worked I should have been clearing my desk or filing or doing something else useful. But I'm just too burned out and mostly just sat and stared into space (which, it turns out, made the kids feel like I was mad at them which also helped with the quiet working.) I did get some work done on a new assignment I'm thinking about but otherwise the desk is still a mess, the cupboards are still stacked high and nobody can use my sink because of the boxes on the floor in front of it.

In the union compartment, things are getting nasty. Our new superintendent - whose name is Luiz but whom we have named King Luiz (pronounced loo-ee) has turned out to be a slimey dictator. His way or watch out. Our attempts to get COLA this year are going nowhere and I have people on my committee who are angry because we aren't doing enough, and people who are angry because we are doing too much. Go figure. I don't want to talk about that any more.

In the condo department (remember the flood the day after Christmas?), the condo we've owned for the last five years in Moose Hollow (part of Wolf Creek Resort in the Ogden Valley) is FINALLY back together as of yesterday. (I added the links if you'd like to go watch the videos and see why we're so crazy about this area. And no, we don't wave board, ski, mountain bike, snowboard...) I've scheduled a vacation for DH and me in June and another in August. DH can't come with me in August so am looking forward to several lovely hours at my favorite needlework shop of all time. Envy me, stitchers! Every year I get to spend my vacations fifteen minutes up canyon from Shepherd's Bush!

This will be the view from my balcony my last weekend in August. It's the Ogden Valley Balloon Festival. Not a very big festival as these things are rumored to go, but I can't imagine much prettier than these jewels against a Rocky Mountain sky! Even prettier over the lake!

In the Attic project department, DH and DS2 decided to help out and brought down a load last week. We had a couple of years where we heard critters in the attic. Rodents for sure, a racoon for sure (I watched one leave the attic once so that's the only specie I can personally attest was up there) and something big and clumsy (either a cat or a possum). When I started the attic project I dreaded the damage I was sure I would find and have been happily surprised. It's been a dirty job. Yes, there were definitely rats up there at one time (and we also had our roof replaced -from shake to asphalt shingles- and that really made a mess). But until this load I really hadn't found much damage. Silverfish had chewed up some book bindings and pages here and there and the heat hadn't been too kind to some things. But other than just dirt that could be cleaned away with good old Clorox Clean-Up I really didn't find anything to make my heart sad.

Until this load.

Lemme hear ya say, "eeeeeuuuuuuuuwwwww!"

Sigh. These are blankets my mother made for my babies. The yellow and white one is crocheted and the white one is an Aran pattern knit. Not only were they, apparently, the litter box for the beasties, but they ripped a big hole in it helping themselves to nesting material.

Can you stand one more gross-out that's actually pretty funny (in a funny-peculiar, funny-ironic kind of way)? One of the things I had braced myself for in all this was the possibility of finding nests in boxes as I emptied them (you should see me up there, this fat woman with a dust mask and gloves armed with shop-vac and disinfectant, gingerly picking her way through boxes of ephemera.) This is the first nest I've found.

Both of my children were born at home, and part of the preparation for having an informed, safe home birth is reading reading reading about the process. This is (was) my box of books and articles about birthing. Seems kind of appropriate in a yech kind of way that the only nest I've found in a box would be the box of birthing books. Apparently, though, I kept the best books somewhere else and so can dump these. The picture is from a calendar that has a lovely poem about big brother little brother. It's still intact and so I'm going to copy the poem into DS2's scrapbook.

In the Room Renovation compartment I'm moving right along on my part. Here is the palette I've decided to work with

Sorry for the lousy picture. Anyway, since we're HOPING to sell this house within the next few years we're going cheap. I think it's a nice, neutral palette that still goes with the quasi-ranch, 1970s "style" (the '70s didn't have much style, guys) of the house. So far we've just about cleared the wallpaper and are ready for the guy to come give us an estimate on the shower tile work and the ceiling refurbishing in the bedroom. DH just didn't manage to make the call this week. Sometimes...

Have you seen the commercial where the little girl and her daddy are getting a snack and the little girl throws off a comment about the shabby kitchen cabinets? Then dad looks up and the camera leaves the kitchen as dad is getting his "aha" moment about the cabinets. Then we move into the living room where mom is sitting on the couch reading and as the little girl walks behind the couch with her snack, mom holds up money (never a word exchanged) and the little girl grabs it as she walks past. Have you seen that one? Cracks me up every time. I told DS2 that if he really wanted this room done, he should be the one pushing his dad. He's not a cute little ten-year-old girl, but even as a 6'5" 27-year-old, he has more of a chance of getting his dad to make this call than I do.

In fairness, he did call and meet with the electrician who is coming tomorrow to replace the bathroom fans and fix the outlets. I said inspect, repair or replace as necessary, but DH is having him replace them all so they will look new. As we continue to get the house ready to sell we'll do this in each room so that when it goes on the market all the outlets will be updated.

In the garden compartment I did manage to keep the sweet pea seedlings watered but that's about it. After years of neglecting his part of the garden, DH got out there this week and pulled "weeds" including my healthiest seedlings. Sometimes...

Last but not least (well, maybe least this week) in the stitching department, I really haven't had time to do much stitching. I did do a little embroidery on my quilt last night, though, and don't think I've posted progress on that border lately so here's where I am now.

And now I'm off for a crop day with Mom and Sis. I haven't decided what to take, yet. Probably DS2's life story, although I also may take a binder organizing project I've been working on so that I can get that finished and put away. If it works out I'll post it here.


Chiloe said...

Can you save the blankets? After doing all this attic work: what do you think could I have avoided this? Plastic container? (throw everything without storing it ? lol) I'm sure you have some good advices ;)

Is your son living with you or not yet?

Maybe you can organized stitching retreats in your condo ;) Hiking in the morning, stitching in the afternoon, lot of chats: even Oprah will want to join us ;-) lol

Kathryn said...

Several years ago we went to the big balloon festival in Albuquerque. Although we had to get up at o'dark o'clock, my favorite part was watching the balloons getting unrolled and inflated. I like seeing them up close and personal. By the time they are in the sky, they seem so small.

We also had to deal with animal nests in some of our stuff stored in a garage in California. It's depressing to see the things that they have destroyed, but as you did, most of the important stuff was saved. Once the area was cleaned up, I felt better about the things I did have.

debijeanm said...

Chiloe, if I could have gone back in time to repack the attic I would have packed everything in plastic, flip-top containers. (Of course, some of the stuff up there pre-dates flip-top containers.) Nothing that was in those containers was touched at all, even when the lids were filthy. They really do a good job.

I was also surprised at how LITTLE I had saved and, when it came to it, I threw out very little (unless it was ruined by the heat or the animals). For the most part, even the stuff that the animals ruined doesn't really bother me. At the time that I packed it all up it was very important but 20 years later, not so much.