Amateurs Need Not Apply

I survived another Home Show weekend!! This one was not as busy as the last one we did in August, but not too bad. The real test is to see how many of the people who took a flier actually call far an estimate. Time will tell.

In the meantime, I had to update their website with some photos they gave me. We'd been telling most everyone who stopped by our booth to check the website for more CAD designs and photos, so I had to get on the stick!

I certainly don't mind. I enjoy doing it and I get paid! After browsing the internet and looking at other sites that sell iron doors, gates and such, I have to say, many of those web designers get paid way too much! Some of the sites are so ugly, and do not have a good flow.

Good flow is important.

So, if any of you are interested in what I do, you can check it out here.

Today, I plan on taking it easy and painting some picture frames.

Painting is very relaxing.

It's my meditation...


You're Outfit is Inappropriate

Yesterday Sean brought S home from school about 1:00. When I asked her why she was home so early, she said she got suspended.


She was sent home for the remainder of the day and all of today.


But the suspension wasn't for anything really bad. Like fighting or drugs.

Every once in a while the school has 'Spirit Days' where they all dress in a particular theme. Yesterday was Beach Day. S wore a pair of cut-off jean shorts and a strapless top. She said she was on her way to lunch when a staff member stopped her and said the top she had on was not school code and she had to change. She was with her friend H who said she had a top S could wear. So S puts it on and goes to lunch.

But, here is where she gets into trouble, she comes back from lunch and takes it off! Thinking she was getting away with something (because she is sometimes like both her parents and is going to do whatever she wants) she strolls back to class.

Unfortunately, she got away with nothing. Another staff member saw her, pulls her aside and asks, Didn't Staff Member #1 tell you that top wasn't dress code and you need to change?

Because she did not follow the orders of Staff Member #1, it's considered insubordination and an automatic one day suspension.

So, today she is home.

All day.

Which is fine.

The living room is very dirty and needs to be swept and mopped.

The kitchen, too.

And I have some boxes full of trash that need to be tossed out.

Orange juice that needs to be made.

A dishwasher that needs to be emptied and reloaded.....


On the Way to School This Morning

S: Careful. My cup has hot tea in it. I don't want you to spill it. You're such a crazy woman. And you drive crazy.

Just because I sometimes take corners a little sharp, and maybe on occasion a bit fast, causing your cup to fall out of the cup holder, it does not make me a crazy woman.

Talking to my computer.

Now that,


makes me a crazy woman!


Mom Always Said Payback is a Bitch

Any of you who know S, know that since forever she gets whiny. Especially when she can't do something.

Like the time when she was about 3 and was learning to ride her Fisher Price 1-2-3 bike. This required her to peddle. To put her feet on the peddles and push to move the bike forward. I taught her how to do it, even going as far as putting her feet on the peddles, and with my hands, showing her how she needs to push her feet forward to turn the wheel. For some reason she could not grasp this concept.

And after living with her for 3 years, I knew if I continued to try and help her understand, it would just lead to her being more frustrated and mad at me. So I left her alone in the driveway to figure it out by herself while I went into the house and watched from the window. Less than 5 minutes later, she starts whining and yelling to me that the bike doesn't work.

Just why do you think the bike doesn't work?

It doesn't work because the batteries are dead!!

This is how her brain works.


Flash forward to this afternoon.

She was taking down the curtain rod in the dining room, working on unscrewing a bracket. She started whining about how she can't do it any longer, the screw is soooo long and it's going to take forever......

Blah, blah, blah....

Whenever she starts in with the whining I always say; You know if you whine even more it'll get done faster.

So being the smart ass punk that she is, she starts whining even more.

Suddenly the screw comes all the way out, surprising her.

You're right. Whining a lot does work!


Then she takes a break.

Because unscrewing 2 screws from the wall is very exhausting work.

She comes back to tackle the other bracket and says something about me taking them down for her.

Suddenly, R, who has been sitting quietly on the floor painting a shelf, pipes up

She probably can't reach up that far.


Punks, I tell you!





The Plight of a Kitten

As you may know we now have 2 kittens ~ Piper and the Kitten Who Has No Name.

Until recently. She is now being called ET by everyone.

Except Sean. He still calls her Little Brown or LB.

Having 2 kittens is like having 2 more kids. Two toddlers to be exact. And they are as different in personality as they are in looks.

Piper is a spaz.


I still have half empty boxes in the dining room and living room. She loves those boxes. She will come running from across the room and jump in/on them, attacking like there is no tomorrow. She loves to go outdoors and will whine to be let out.

And when I say whine, I mean whine. You ever have your kids repeat Mom. Mom. Mom. over and over to get your attention & if you don't acknowledge them 2 minutes after they start, that chant becomes a whine? That's what Piper sounds like at the door.

And the little bugger is smart.

Too smart.

We have a cat door out to the garage, so we put the litter box out there. It took Piper all of 3 minutes to figure it out.

Not so much to use the litter box.

But to explore undiscovered territory.

I keep telling her curiosity killed the cat, but I don't think she hears me.

ET, on the other hand is slow. In all meanings of the word. It took her 2 days to figure out the kitty door. And she still acts like she's not sure exactly how to go out it. She occasionally plays but rarely runs around.

Playtime for ET lasts 5 minutes.

Maybe this explains why

Lord have mercy! That's some caboose she has there!!

I swear she is mentally slow.

She will sit and stare at the wall or floor.

For hours.

Or stare out the arcadia door.

At night.

For hours.

Help me Rhonda, there's that big ol' caboose again!

Lord knows what she is seeing, but it keeps her in a trance.

Until someone rattles the bag of kitten treats.

Last night Sean came home and was saying something about ET being so slow. He said he was sure S dropped her on her head when she brought her home.

No, she said, she was born in the back yard and they didn't always feed her, so her brain didn't get the proper nutrition to develop properly.

She may be on to something....


Chores ~ I STILL Hate Them

As most of you may know by reading my past posts & seeing the pictures of our new house, we have either Pergo wood floors or tile through the entire house. Including the bedrooms.

I love having the wood & tile floors. With 3, no 4 kids, it makes cleaning easier. I get out the vacuum & go at it and am done in about 30 minutes.

Sean insists I should not vacuum the wood floors.

"The vacuum brushes & wheels are going to scratch up the floors. So sweep."

Bull shit! I say. They're effin' Pergo floors!! They're made to handle vacuum cleaner wheels!! I refuse to chase balls of flying cat fur around trying to wrangle them with a broom. Hell no! I attack those buggers with the vacuum hose & kill them dead!!!

He keeps claiming the living room is his room. Fine I tell him. You clean it. With the broom. While chasing flying fur balls around.

Naturally he has not cleaned it yet.

This morning, I pulled out the vacuum cleaner, attached the hoses & began cleaning the house. I was going to continue to be bull headed stubborn & not vacuum the living room, but the neat freak in me couldn't leave it dirty while the rest of the house was clean.

So I vacuumed it.

And the rebel in me was wishing Sean would walk in just so I could rub it in his face that I was cleaning his room. WITH THE VACUUM CLEANER!!!

I hate cleaning too much to bother with sweeping the whole house.

That's why the vacuum was invented.

To make my life easier.

Like running water, electricity and the flush toilet....


Betcha Didn't Know

50 Random Things About Me

1. I never liked broccoli as a kid. Now I have it at least twice a week!

2. I hate painting my fingernails. I've done it maybe a dozen times in my life. However, I will paint just my thumb or pinky nail. Black.

3. I do not like the TV on in the morning. I'd much rather listen to the radio.

4. I do not drink coffee. I love the smell; hate the taste.

5. My absolute favorite color is green. Most any shade but Kelly green.

6. I never went to college.

7. It took me 2 years to pass Algebra I in high school.

8. My brother, 3 sisters & mother all played an instrument and can read music. I can do neither.

9. I taught myself how to braid, both regular and French, by braiding the tall grass the grew next to the house.

10. When I was a kid I spent most of my time reading.

11. I hate snow and cold. Mom had to literally force me to get dressed and go out and play in the winter.

12. We had a river {creek} next to our house we swam in every summer. I was afraid to touch the bottom in the deep end.

13. I worked in a video store for about 6 months when I was 18.

14. When I was younger I painted my entire bedroom myself. I also laid the vinyl floor squares.

15. I know how to use a chainsaw.

16. I never had store bought artificial maple syrup until I was a teenager.

17. I never had a birthday party. Until I was 31.

18. I got my first puppy when I was 21. I had no clue what to do with her!

19. I never cut my own hair when I was a toddler.

20. I did cut my own hair when I was a teen. With a razor blade.

21. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 17 ½.

22. I sucked my thumb until I was 15. But only while watching TV or sleeping.

23. I broke my right wrist when I was a teen, trying to jump a bike over a home made ramp. It's the only bone I've ever broken.

24.I've eaten grass, horse grain & licked a salt lick .

25. I have a very low pain tolerance. I faint.

26. Mom made me take computer programming in high school because "computers are going to be the next big thing." I hated it.

27. I've cut my left hand 3 times in 3 different places, but only fainted once.

28. I use Blistex every day & always have it in my purse, on my desk and on my bedside table.

29. From kindergarten through 2nd grade I pretended I couldn't do things, like tie my shoes, because others would do it for me.

30. Growing up we heated our house with 3 wood stoves. I used to be afraid the house would burn down while we slept.

31. I used to sleep walk.

32. I wanted a younger brother so much, I called my younger sister Mitchel James for several months after she was born.

33. I know how to ride a horse. Western, English & bareback.

34. I spent my entire summer after graduation sleeping all day in the sun. I never again have had such a nice tan.

35. I met Sean through my Mom. She actually wanted to set me up with another guy.

36. I've always wanted to be a famous singer. Except I'm tone deaf & can't carry a tune.

37. I can't stand it when the cabinet doors are left open.

38. Although my desk may look messy, everything is in a specific place. And I do not like them moved.

39. In my shower caddy, my shampoo must always be on the left, conditioner on the right. And labels facing forward.

40. When I told a friend the last 3 things, he said I had OCD.

41. I love, love using power tools.

42. I love the smell of paint, Sharpies, white board markers, new plastic and new books.

43. I have a big birthmark on my right foot. It's a mole.

44. I once stole from the Hallmark store I worked at when I was 18.

45. I once got so mad at Sean I threw an iron at him. I don't remember, he reminded me about it about a year ago.

46. Another time I got mad at Sean, I threw the portable phone. It hit the front window & broke it. I blamed the dog & he believed me.

47. I tattled on my 2 older sisters for smoking and laughed at them while they were punished. Thing was, I took a drag off a cigarette, too, but they never ratted me out.

48. I used to sit in my room writing the alphabet so I could improve my handwriting. I would get very upset when it didn't look perfect, so I practiced for hours on end.

49. By the time I was in the 9th grade I had perfected my mom's signature. It got me out of PE for a couple of days every month!

50. I ab-so-lute-ly hate lamb, liver & lima beans and refuse to cook them for my family.

Show Me the Money!

I think she was in 2nd or 3rd grade when she wrote this. I showed it to her yesterday.

Her comment:

Damn straight. I wanted that money Tooth Fairy!!


Progress? You Call This Progress?!?!?

I'm trying.

Really I am.

Okay. Not right this minute. Because I'm Blogging. But otherwise....

It seems like every time I think I've made a dent in the mess I call my new home, I've actually made a bigger one.

Ya know. That whole 2 steps forward, 1 step back thing.

As I unpack boxes that have been in storage for 3 years....

Wait! Have I told you I had a bunch of boxes in storage for 3 years? I haven't? I've said it enough times, but in case you missed it; I have a bunch of boxes that have been in storage for 3 years.

Anyway, most of the boxes have things the girls have outgrown. Like stuffed animals. And games. Or they're full of kitschy little things I used to have all over the house. Like a ton of bottles I dug up in my back yard when I was a kid.

My problem now is that I don't really want to clutter everything up. When you're a family of 5 and have lived the past 3 years in a 2 bedroom 1000 SF apartment, you tend to want to spread your arms.

I know. Mine don't need much room to spread. But we have to think of the children. R needs as much room as we can give her for her arms!!

This time around, I want to keep the decorating simple. Simple & uncluttered. Which is not always easy when you have a lot of stuff you really do like. I've gone through each box with 2 things in mind; does it mean something to me or a member of my family? Can I live with out it? {Chances are if I lived without it for the past 3 years, I could live without it for the rest of my life.} And if it's something sentimental, what do I do with it or where do I put it?

This thought, however, does not cover things like the 49 lizards Mom gave me & all their friends who made the move with us or are now hopping out of boxes. Many have no particular sentimental value, except they were a gift from a family member. And I could probably live without them all! But I don't want to. They've become a part of who I am. I think everyone who knows me associates me with lizards. {Which, now that I've typed that, sounds weird.} So now the conundrum is, where do I put 49 lizards and all their lizard friends?

I'm still working on that one.

In the mean time, I'll show you how far I've gotten on making our house a home...

I started organizing the bookshelf in the corner of the living room, had it all looking good, then along came a box full of outgrown stuffed animals. And the other 4 boxes? BOOKS!! We do not lack of books in this house.

The other corner. Not too shabby....

Almost barren.

Next project; take the 4 CPUs, 7 hard drives and various other computer parts & build the girls a faster computer.

Yes, I can build a computer, but I am NOT a computer geek!!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program for a very important public service announcement

We now will resume our programing, already in progress....

No. A tornado did not hit our dining room. It just looks that way. But, hey! We have a table & chairs now. Too bad they're covered with junk and we haven't used them yet in the 4 days they've been there.

There is a silver lining in all this chaos ~ the cats, especially Piper, are loving all the boxes and paper!!

Shannon came to visit recently & didn't realize we have a fireplace.

Yes. We have one hidden. On the left, behind more stuff that need homes, is the fireplace.

It will probably never get used. We had one in a house we lived in when the girls were toddlers & we used it like twice. To roast marshmallows!

We did get my desk in. {And this time when I say "we", I mean Sean & I} It was easier than we thought. Sean remeasured, and the door was wide enough, so we didn't have to take anything off!

So this is my "office". I have plans for the walls. They will not remain blank. When I get it done, I'll have to post some pics.

But first I have some more boxes to empty....


I Lied

Okay. I said I'd be back the next day to post pics of the girls bedrooms. It has now been 4 days!!

Sometimes life hits you hard & the days pass without you realizing that it is now 4 days later than it feels like.

I had to finish up the moc-up of Allied Gates' web site. So far Levi {who is GM & if you remember my former co-worker at Distinctive Iron} has seen it & is blown away. Makes me feel good that the "professional" they hired couldn't do what I managed to accomplished. And I don't have a fancy college degree in web design or marketing either!! So now I'm just waiting for input from Lupe, the Head Honcho before I complete the site to go 'live'.

Then Levi had a client who needed some grand entry designs, so I had those to work on. That didn't take too long, about an hour, but in between I was also trying to get some more boxes unpacked.

Unfortunately the house now looks like I never got those boxes taken care of.

Saturday Jan was kind enough to come over and help me get our stuff out of storage. After 3 years, you tend to forget everything you used to have, and man do we have a lot of stuff!!

Also, after 3 years, some of the stuff the girls boxed up they've out grown. Opening each box is like Christmas.

Or walking down Memory Lane.

Especially the boxes with things I saved from when the girls were babies & toddlers. I have 2 boxes of books I saved that were favorites I used to read all the time to them. That was fun to open. We had to read a bunch of them again. And remember what we did while reading them. Like how I used to read Good Night Moon and as we got closer to the end of the book I'd read in a very, very quiet voice. Or how when I read Sandra Boyton's Birthday Monsters, the sentences in all caps, I'd say in a loud excited voice.

I won't get into the boxes of 'dust collectors' and material I have. The material; useful. The 'dust collectors'; not so much.

But those are for another day. For now I will show you what the girls' rooms looked like 4 days ago. {They're pretty much the same, except for S's. She changed hers up a bit. Pics later on that.}

R's bed. Doesn't look much different than when all 3 girls were in the same room!! She claims she can't do much more because she needs me to hang shelves. Likely excuse!!!

D's bed. Hers will most likely always look like this. That is until R gets sick of it & helps her straighten things up! She's like someone else I know {we won't mention any names. Jan.} and is just sloppy.

Their closet. It's a work in progress...

S's bed. She has straightened it up since this pic. She made it look like a day bed.

She took this CAUTION tape from the construction site next to the apartment. She was very proud of her unusual decorating idea!! I'm proud of her too!! The picture doesn't do it justice, but it looks pretty cool.

I had a bunch of multi-colored painted items, such as shelves, that she wanted. So I gave them all to her. This was a spice rack I never really used. Can you tell what she's using it for? Very clever!! I've always loved the idea of using an item for something other than what it was intended for & she did exactly that! Kudos to her!!!

This lamp used to be in my bedroom. I had decoupaged the shade with vintage newsprint. That didn't go with the theme of her room, so she ripped colorful pages from magazines & glued them to it. Eventually she wants to spray paint the gold on the stand black.

I must say, that girl has some talent.

Here are some pics of their bathroom which has been remodeled in the past few years. It's much nicer than my bathroom!!

Please excuse the huge box of Tampax!! LOL

They have this nice long counter & huge mirror. They also have fluorescent lights, which are not good. They make everything look either yellow or green! Oh well.

I nice shower with a rain shower head.

More of the counter, mirror & plenty of cabinet space underneath. And the medicine cabinet is kiddie corner {or is it caddie corner?? I never know!} There are 4 switches on the wall!! One for the lights over the sink, one for the fan, one for a heat lamp over the shower & a mystery switch. I haven't taken the time to figure out exactly what it's for.

Many of these old houses have a lot of mystery switches. Some are for ceiling lights or fans, some for wall outlets, and then there is always the 'mystery' switches that I usually figure out what they go to by accident. After living in the house for 3 months!!

And before I go {to have another BBQ at Mom's for Labor Day!! YUM!!!!} here are pics of our pool. It was starting to look good. Then a part for the pump broke. So now it's getting greener. Going back to what it looked like when we moved in  :(

It's a work in progress.

The deep end {which is prolly about 10'} was still very green from Sean pushing the algae towards the filter/suction whatever thingy.

But the shallow end was starting to look pretty good.

So much for Sean's progress.....


Some Unpacking

It is sloooooooow going with unpacking and setting up the house. But it's slowly coming together. I took a bunch of pictures, so here is were we're at up to this point ~

We have the couch in the living room and the TV on the floor

I put in a bookshelf with a few books. The games need a home....

The kids desk will go here once we get it from storage, and the boxes will be emptied once we get that & the entertainment center....

The dining room and my desk area are pretty much a dumping ground right now. Again, it's in limbo until the dining room table is out of storage & my desk fits through the door!

Sean & I {and by Sean & I, I mean Sean} did get the china cabinet where I want it, but it's still pretty empty. The pile next to it are dirty rags & sheets that need to be washed. But the dryer is gas & that's not getting hooked up until next Tuesday.

The kitchen counters are finally cleaned off! Now I have to crack the whip to keep it that way!!! In front of the bar counter, however, is still a pile of 'homeless' items....

More of the kitchen. The 3 drawers on the left are still empty! I'm sure I must have something to fill them up, but I haven't found it yet!!

Of course having all this cabinetry allows for tons of storage and may leave some drawers empty for awhile....
Notice Piper contemplating jumping up on the fridge. She's psycho...

The master bedroom. Very spartan, and I'm rather enjoying it. We actually have space under the bed! {Where the kittens like to sleep.} No having to store & stash stuff under it!!!

My dresser, now fixed....

The master shower. Much like what we had on E Erie, but cleaner and in much better condition. The hand-held shower head is nice, but there is no place to keep our shampoo & conditioner bottles other than the floor....

An out dated vanity, but the sink drains & the faucets don't leak, so I can't complain too much....

Now I have to get some work done, so tomorrow will be the girls' bedrooms & bathroom.

I know, you just can't wait!!