Monday, January 25, 2010

My pink birthday card and some feng shui help . . .

I usually prefer an uncluttered refrigerator door, but I couldn't resist putting up the card that my boys got me for my birthday.
And then, my son John said I needed a feng shui cure in the "Fame" section of my cubicle at work. Apparently, I needed to introduce more red into the area. Now, I have a bling-y red sign that proclaims how fabulous I am, just in case anyone had any doubt . . .

It's so nice to have a feng shui expert in the family . . .

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bathroom Remodeling Update: A bit more progress . . .

After months of agonizing deliberation, I finally picked out the tile for our 2nd Floor hallway bathroom.

Remodeling and decorating decisions do not come easily to me. I feel compelled to weigh every decision from every conceivable angle, over and over again, until vendors begin to avoid me, and my family is ready to have me committed. I worry about making a costly mistake with which I'll have to live for a long, long time.

Once the decisions are made, however, I feel like I've been through a self-discovery journey, and I'm so happy! Here's a close-up of the new travertine tile that will grace the floor once it's installed.

And here's one showing the pre-fabricated niches that are now available to re-modelers. The niches are screwed to the studs, encased with cement board, and then tiled. They will eventually hold shampoo, soap and other bath necessities.

Even the placement of the niches was researched for several months. The wall that we ultimately chose, is an exterior wall, and we had to figure out the proper way to insulate behind the niches. We also decided that, although it would lend an asymmetrical look to the wall, it was better to place them as far away from the shower spray as possible.
My husband, Lee, always opts for cement board as a backing for tile, as opposed to some of the other materials that are "supposedly" waterproof. It's heavy and slightly more cumbersome to install, but, with the number of leaks that the poor man has had to fix over the years, I can't say I blame him. Besides, the cement board adds a really solid feel to the wall that's not often found in modern construction.

Lee goes back to work next week, so he'll continue working on this now and then, as time permits. That's O.K. by me - I'll need at least a 2-month break before the next barrage of decisions, like the vanity, toilet, mirrow, lighting, towel rods, wall color . . .

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Boy, it's been a busy week at work with very little time left over to indulge in picture taking or blogging. I'm feeling a bit deprived.

But, at least, to stay on theme with the POTD challenge, here's a photo of my boys taken in 1999 at the Mexican Pavillion in Epcot, during our trip to Disney World.

No doubt about it - those are some hats . . .

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Soup weather . . . Family weather

Here's one way to ward off the chilly weather: Family game night and a pot of soup! My sister-in-law, Mary Ann, and her family came over for a post-holiday get-together.

In this first shot are Joy, my niece, Lee, my husband (who is not mad at anybody despite the body language), Andy, my nephew and Bill, my brother-in-law.

They don't live very far from us, but with our busy schedules, months go by without our seeing them. Here's a close-up of cutie-pie Andy.

We played a game called "Apples to Apples" and had a blast watching those kids come up with the funniest answers. And, of course, this troupe loves electronics, and whenever they come over, they bring some of the latest gadgets that have entered their lives. In this next shot: My son, John, my niece, Joy, and a profile photo of Mary Ann.

The mop that shows up next to my son, John, was unfortunately needed to dry the floor because of the leak coming from the ceiling. We think ice plugged one of our gutters and water re-routed into the house. My poor husband already has his first spring job lined up.

Joy has gotten so tall! We stood barefoot, back-to-back, and she's only a smidgen shorter than me. In the next photo are Joy, Mary Ann, my son, David and moi.

Mary Ann has the most infectious laugh, and I think Joy's laugh is beginning to sound just like her mom's. I was smiling simply from the sheer enjoyment of listening to the two of them.

A nice way to start the new year . . .

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

John and David . . . Joseph and Gabriel

Happy Three Kings Day! My boys grew up knowing the names of the Three Wise Men - Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar - before they knew the names of Santa's reindeer, in part because of their catholic school education and the annual Christmas pageant.

Here's my son, John, in 1994, when he got to play "Joseph" in the pageant. I remember being frantic because of the need to come up with a costume on such short notice. But my neighbor's mother came to the rescue by sewing this costume in one day!

The sandals were a lucky find in December, unearthed at the local shoe store where we bought the kids' shoes. Whew! Disaster averted!

The shepherd's crook was actually a walking cane that once belonged to my mother. My husband and I remember vividly that cane waving wildly on stage, since this kindergartner couldn't sit still. We kept waiting for "the accident." Thankfully, it never came, but we all breathed a sigh of relief when it was all over.

I lovingly saved the costume thinking that my younger son, David, would be able to use it, as either a Joseph costume, or a shepherd, when his turn came. But in the perverse way of hand-me-downs, David was selected to play the Angel Gabriel in 1996, the pivotal role that required him to stand still above Mary for the entire length of the pageant.

Again, my neighbor rescued me with her own son's angel smock. This angel now only needed wings and a halo.
David didn't like the halo, and we experimented with different ways of wearing it, even buying a glow-in-the-dark circle. That did the trick. Although we can't see it here, it was a smash during the pageant when the lights were off and David's head was glowing in the dark.

Now the boys are men, but we usually still get them a little present on Three Kings Day - except for this year, when both, my husband and I totally forgot! Instead, this morning, they found taped to their bedroom doors the following letters:
On David's door:
I.O.U. Melchior was here. Sorry, David, but the camel ate your gift. I will backtrack on our way home.
P.S. I borrowed your GPS. It works better than the star.
On John's door:
Hi, John:
Balthazar was here! Loved your beard, dude, looks better than mine.
Melchior's camel ate the gifts, so I'm making Melchior buy you a present, but he needs to go to the bank and trade in some myrrh for American money. Raincheck, buddy.
Today, on the way home from work, Melchior stopped at the local grocery store and bought them a treat. They both told us that, although the handwriting on the letters looked suspiciously like Dad's, the words sounded like they came out of Mom's blog. Go figure.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas . . . Completed!

So, here it is - the collection that my true love has been giving me for the past eleven Christmases and one birthday. He even built the étagère to display the boxes. I've always been fond of this carol, and I love my little snuff boxes . . . even if I don't take snuff!

Now my true love is dreading the thought of having to come up with new gift ideas . . . Poor fellow! I guess I'll just have to help him . . .

I hope that the twelve days of Christmas brought you peace . . . and joy!

Monday, January 4, 2010

First day back at work . . . very busy!

On the twelfth day of Christmas (finally, yes!) my true love gave to me twelve drummers drumming . . .

And this is what was waiting for me upon my return from Christmas vacation . . .

. . . at least they stacked it neatly . . .
And, interestingly, I had my camera out of my purse before my coat was off!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back to work tomorrow . . . but it's still Christmas!

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . . eleven pipers piping!

Going back to work tomorrow after a two-week hiatus, but I'm bringing Christmas goodies for my co-workers because . . . just because!

A little chocolate . . . a few cookies . . . One down and . . . a few more to go . . .

Saturday, January 2, 2010

First dancing . . . then leaping . . .

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . .

Ten lords a-leaping . . .

Friday, January 1, 2010