Renovations can be Fun!

…or so I was told. I haven’t updated this in a long time because Janet has kept me so busy. Over a month ago I started the project by stripping the ceiling of popcorn in the Living Room, Dining Room, entry, hall, Master Bedroom and second bedroom. I came off rather easily, but boy was it a mess. In addition, I had to move all of the furniture, disassemble the built-ins for the closets, take down light fixtures, etc. A texture guy came by and put on new orange peel texture and then we painted. We had a professional do the main rooms and I did the rest. When we were finished painting, we removed the carpet and had new installed. After that, it was reassembling the closets, moving furniture back and trying to get life back to pre mission. I even installed a new toilet.

Okay, give me two days rest and I started phase II. The popcorn in the Upper Family Room (UFR) came down one day. Two days later the wood stove and the brick surround had to go. Boy was that fun. It was approximately a ton of brick and mortar. The chimney had to go and the sheet rock where the surround was, had to go. Then I started the rebuilding. I added two new electrical plugs, installed pipes for natural gas and wire for the thermostat for the gas stove we will buy. I had to repair the roof where the chimney went and the cover everything with sheet rock. The texture dude comes back soon, then paint, remove carpet and install laminate. At that point, phase II will come to an end. Phase III – give me a few days off. We do need to buy new furniture, light fixtures, etc. Glad Social Security has kicked in.

Family room with Popcorn
Family room with Popcorn

Removing Popcorn
Removing Popcorn

Fun with Bricks
Fun with Bricks

Brick fun continues
Brick fun continues
Sharing the fun with a friend.
Sharing the fun with a friend.
Restoration begins
Restoration begins

Party! Pizza party!

Some weeks ago, my roommate Christian decided to do something awesome:  He would build a wood-fired brick oven at his parents’ house in Kenmore, so that we could use it to make pizza, and other delicious things.  After about a month of toiling away, his project was complete.  All that remained was to bring delicious ingredients and turn them into pizza, and bring a sufficient number of friends to eat them all.

Last week, we did just that.

The pizza was delicious.  I was appointed toppings manager, and fulfilled my duty with aplomb.  I think we ended up making over thirty pizzas, and there was no trace of leftovers.  Afterward, we decided to use the oven’s residual heat to make s’mores (you’re killing me, Smalls!), and they were the best s’mores we ever had.  Theresa also decided to make a loaf of rosemary bread, and it came out perfectly.

We also gathered around the television to watch the Argentina vs. Brazil world cup qualifying match.  It was a good match, but unfortunately, Argentina lost.

The party was a huge success.  I want one of these ovens for myself someday!

Welcoming Home the Sounders

Last week, the Sounders won their first ever trophy, the U.S. Open Cup. The Open Cup is a tournament that has been around since the early 20th century, and is one of the oldest running sports competitions in the country. I was pretty thrilled that the Sounders won a trophy in their very first season, and since I wasn’t working the next day, decided to go to the airport to welcome the Sounders back.

At 2:30 in the morning.

I wasn’t the only Sounder fan there, about 150 other people gathered to welcome the team home. In spite of how late (or early) it was, everybody was excited, and we stood around chatting and singing victory songs while we waited for the plane to arrive. They didn’t get there until about 3:45, but walked right to us, let us touch the trophy, and gave us high fives. Kasey Keller gave a short speech to thank us for welcoming them home. At that point, I really wanted to get to bed, so I left.

Here are the pictures from the evening. While they may appear to be blurry, let me assure you that that’s how the world looked to me at that hour.

Wash day at grandma’s house.

Children love to play in the water.  Since we have had some warmish days lately I decided that the next time a grandchild was over to visit we were going to play in the water. 

I have all these square wash tubs left over from when my children had to have their own “cubbie” at school.  I found two in good shape and filled one up with water and added a squirt of mild dish soap.  The other was filled with plain water.  Lacey was with me for a few hours one day this week.  While she was there I had her wash the “dirty” doll clothes and play dishes.  At first she thought it was fun and then it became a chore.  Perhaps because it was just the two of us.  Anyway, she finally finished and dumped the water on the grass. 

I don’t know if it was a good thing, she now knows that some housework is not too much fun, but we have to finish what we’ve started.  She also knows that grandma insists that we clean up after we play.  I am such an ogre. 

This should be fun!
This should be fun!
It actually isn't that much fun!  More like work
It actually isn't that much fun! More like work
Results of the Labor!
Results of the Labor!

Green Smoothie Craze

Everyone who knows me knows that I love my vegetables.  In fact, if I could have a dinner consisting of fresh green beans, corn on the cob, cooked carrots and broccoli I would be satisfied.  I love most vegetables, and the ones I don’t love I at least like them well enough to eat them.  Most vegetables I enjoy cooked or raw, except lettuce.  I was wanting to eat more vegetables every day without doing in my dear husband, who likes vegetables but not as passionately as I love them.  Hence the green smoothie. 

Each day for breakfast I have been blending romaine, celery, and other greens with bananas, peaches and blueberries.  I really do like the breakfast of greens.  You can hardly tell that you are drinking your greens.  I don’t add any yoghurt, sugar or honey.  the fruits of the season are really sweet enough for me. 

Kurt and Leslie have also been making green smoothies and Kurt tells me that he has more energy and has stopped drinking energy drinks.  Hope it isn’t just a short infatuation, but a long and strong bond with the world of greens.