Personally, I'd love to win this little tea set because it matches some dishes my Grandma has. Fun stuff!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Personally, I'd love to win this little tea set because it matches some dishes my Grandma has. Fun stuff!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
My desk however, is not at all what I would pick. In typical computer desk fashion it doesn't have a single drawer of any kind. I don't have a place to hide goodies or tuck my purse away. For years I have just set my purse on the floor beside my desk. Most of the time it's no big deal but when I have a light colored leather or fabric purse, bad things happen - they get dirty.
The other day I got all kinds of smart & do-it-yourself-ery. I bought one of those self-sticking but won't hurt your finish hooks & I stuck it on the side of my desk:
Pretty handy, huh? The only problem is that I stuck it high up on the desk side so that longer handled purses wouldn't drag the floor. In hanging it high I made it impossible for the hook to slide off of it's back piece so who knows if I'll ever be able to get it off. Oh well.
The other thing I did in my office recently I am not so proud of. It involves this shoe buckle:
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I loved the soft knit & easy lines of this shawl-ish lavendar sweater. I had to use one of those long-handled hooks to get it down off of the display wall & I'm glad I did!
Underneath the sweater I layered a lacy-top cami & this soft drapey gray long-sleeved T with pleats at the neck. This outfit was all about soft, let me tell you. This t-shirt feels like it's made out of silk, only better.
I will admit that I tried on skinny jeans. I took two pairs into the fitting room with me. One pair was one size larger than my normal size & the other pair was two sizes larger than my normal size. I know they are supposed to be fitted, but come ON. I just couldn't make myself like them on me, even when tucked down into my boots. So I compromised & got these Levi's. They are described as Slender Straight on the tag & surprisingly, I really like them.
And then I finished things off with these fun little ankle boots. They were kind of an accident. I didn't come home with any shoes on Friday night. Mike & I agreed that I didn't have any shoes that really worked with the outfit. So on Saturday I did a bit more shopping & found these. I *heart* them. And they are easy to walk in. Plus they make my big feet appear smaller. I have died & gone to heaven.
Here's the obligatory self portrait. Mike was taking too long & I got tired of waiting for him to take my picture. *grin*
Proof of my shoe love. I don't want to tell how many times I almost tottered over trying to take this one!
Mike was finally ready to take my pic. Am I all awkward arms & legs or what?
And here is Mike all ready for the evening. He totally would not cooperate & let me take his pic or try to take a pic together. Goofy boy.
I'm sorry to say that I don't have all of my pics organized yet, but I'm hoping to have the whole thing written & posted by this time tomorrow, expressly for your reading pleasure.
However, I make no promises. Deadlines, commitments, promises, etc. - all super scary! Especially when computers & cameras are involved. So much that can go wrong...
Anyway, to leave you with just a little piece of Christmas joy, I thought I'd post a pic of one of the ornaments Mike has made lately.
Isn't she a pretty angel? He's made an entire nativity set that goes with her. They all have magnets on the back and work well on the front of a refrigerator. That was our gift to his momma for Christmas. She's getting it early so she can enjoy it before the season is over.
See you soon - fashion tips in hand *grin*
1. The attack took place on December 7, 1941.
2. Although the aerial attack was very successful, the submarines failed to finish off any wounded ship inside the harbour.
3. The attack's success surprised the Japanese as much as the Americans.
4. The last part of the decoded Japanese message stated that U.S. relations were to be severed.
5. The Japanese force consisted of six carriers with 423 planes.
6. At 6 a.m. the first Japanese attack wave of 83 planes took off. The air raid lasted until about 9:45 a.m. The entire attack & all of its resulting devastation took less than four hours.
7. Eighteen U.S. ships were hit.
8. President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy," in reference to the attack.
9. Casualties included 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians.
10. 1178 people were wounded.
11. The day after the attack the U.S. and Britain declared war on Japan.
12. The harbour is on the southern coast of Oahu.
13. All of the planes on the Japanese ships were fully fueled and armed.
14. The attack brought the United States into World War II.
15. The Japanese were interested in the Hawaiian islands since the islands were annexed by the U.S. in 1898.
16. Japanese suffered just small losses.
17. The attack crippled the United States fleet.
18. Because of the unpreparedness of the U.S. military, Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short were relieved of duty.
19. The attack severely crippled the U.S. naval and air strength in the Pacific.
20. Of the eight battleships, all but the Arizona and Oklahoma were eventually repaired and returned to service.
21. Once the fleet was out of action, Japan would be able to conquest a great area.
22. A U.S. Army private who noticed the large flight of planes on his radar screen was told to ignore them because a flight of B-17s from the continental U.S. was expected at the time.
23. More than 180 U.S. aircraft were destroyed.
24. During the attack the USS Arizona sank with a loss of more than 1,100 men.
25. A white concrete and steel structure now spans the hull of the sunken ship as a memorial.
26. The memorial was dedicated on May 30, 1962.
27. U.S. officials had been aware that an attack by Japan was probable, but did not know the time or place it would occur.
28. Pearl Harbor was not in the state of high alert when the attack started, Anti-Aircraft guns were left unmanned.
29. The main targets for the first wave was the airfield and battleships.
30. The second wave targets were other ships and shipyard facilities.
Events in history like the Attack on Pearl Harbor remind me of how grateful I should be that I know the Lord is in control & that all of the political maneuverings of man cannot thwart His purpose for this world.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I was doing some reflecting this week about blogging. I love to blog. I have fun thinking through ideas for posts. I love taking pics for posts. I enjoy writing posts. I even determine to like dealing with computer stuff I don't understand.
Through all of this mental sifting I did however, come to one stark conclusion:
I am a better blog reader than I am blog writer.
This conclusion is largely supported by the fact that very nearly every day I can find the time to check my google reader & read every post that I have subscribed to.
I don't know what motivates me. Mike would say that it's because I'm nosey. Blogs are a polite electronic way of peeping in someone else's window. He's probably right. I am very interested in people - people I know, people I don't know, people who know people that I know...you get the idea.
When I lived in an apartment house I would quite literally watch through my windows when the other tenants would come & go. I wondered who they really were & what they were doing & then I would make up little stories for their lives.
I obviously had too much free time.
Back to my main point - better blog reader than writer...
This was a bit hard for me to acknowledge. You see, in my dreams I could become another Pioneer Woman. Her website is so FUN! I enjoy just about every aspect of it - even the homeschooling stuff which, quite frankly, is completely outside the realm of my current reality.
So as I was digesting the notion that I am not at all like the Pioneer Woman I realized that several things in my life would have to change if I were going to be like her.
#1: I'd have to find a new husband. Mike is not at all like Marlboro Man. Not to say that he wouldn't look great in chaps & that he doesn't have killer forearms (because he would & he does). Mike just doesn't want to be discussed here except for in the vaguest of ways. He doesn't want me to write a best seller out of our love story (& believe me, it would be a best seller!). He doesn't even really want his pic on here which has made for some interesting incognito photo attempts.
#2: I'd have to get a new camera. And learn how to use it.
#3: I'd need to get a new computer. And learn how to use it. You know, links, tabs, better blog design, photo editing. I don't really do any of that. I think I'd need to take a class? Or several?!
#4: I'd need to have a bunch of kids. They just make everything more colorful. I'd have more stories to tell, more pics to post, just more everything!
#5: I'd need to get good at something like Pioneer Woman is good at cooking. I have no naturally obvious gift to develop & no inspiration.
#6: I need to come up with some cool catch phrases like, "whatever makes your skirt fly up" & a cool nickname like "PW, P-Dub", etc.
#7: We would need to get a dog or some other pet. Just like the aforementioned kids, the pet would just be another great source of content. Mike & I don't exactly see eye to eye on dogs at this point in time, so I don't see this one happening any time soon.
#8: I'd need a cool sign-off. Usually my posts kind of end awkwardly. I feel funny saying good-bye because that seems weird & totally unlike saying good-bye at the end of a letter or email. Sometimes I pose a question to help prompt comments & some interaction, but if I was going to be a super successful blogger I think I would need a sign-off.
So much to think about! And so much to do if I am going to reverse the trend & become a better blog writer than blog reader!
Until I decide to enact some major change, I guess I'll just remain -
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
This Saturday Mike & I have plans to go to the Big City to meet his brother & a friend for dinner. This should really be no big deal. However, my brother-in-law (a.k.a. 'Stew') is a professional man & he has some distinct ideas of how to do things. First of all, we will not be going to Olive Garden, P.F. Chang's, or even The Cheesecake Factory. I actually don't know the name of the restaurant but it requires reservations & he said it would probably be around $100 for our dinner (OH.MY.WORD.) He lives downtown, the restaurant is downtown, & we will be walking about 11 blocks in the crisp winter air to get there.
Enter my dilemma. Stew has massive fashion sense for a man. He actually has massive city fashion sense for a man. I have no fashion sense, let alone city fashion sense. Mike is easy to dress. Cool jeans, nice shoes, & a freshly ironed button down. He's done. Ready to go. Just doesn't seem fair, does it?
I know that I should probably paint my nails. I've already got them filed down nicely. My regular salon appointment is today so my hair will be freshly trimmed & there will be no grays peeking through.
The real problem (& you have already guessed it, haven't you?), is clothing. I am fairly certain that my normal outfit of layered t's & hoodies will not be acceptable. I know that I should be planning on some black (preferably high heeled) boots, dark rinse skinny jeans, & a tunic sweater of some sort, probably topped off with a scarf. This would look fabulous on a tall, willowy girl.
There are several issues with that imaginary outfit.
First, I am tall. I am not willowy. Amen.
Second, the high heeled boots. Walking 11 blocks? No to the way. And I mean NO.TO.THE.WAY. Plus, I'm 5'10". I don't need any help in the height department.
Third, nobody & I mean NO BODY wants to see me in skinny jeans. Amen.
Fourth, I don't own a tunic sweater. See #2. I'm tall. Tunic sweaters on me just mean that when I bend down I don't have to worry about anything showing.
Fifth, there is no fifth. I have some scarves (or is it scarfs?) & I love to wear them. So I just might end up rocking a scarf.
Help me out here. What should I do? I have a Old Navy gift card & a Fashion Bug gift card.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I still need to decide about matting & framing. This is actually going to be a gift for my dad. I know that sounds a little weird - cross stitch for a man?! - but "Silent Night" is his all time favorite Christmas carol so I'm hoping he will really like this. At least I'm hoping he will pretend that he really likes it!
First of all, any trip outside of our little hometown region over to the Big City must include a stop a Chick Fil-A. If I had the dough, I'd open a Chick Fil-A of my own. I love it that much.
I also love Chick Fil-A enough to make sure that everyone got their picture taken with the cow.
As you can tell by our mile-wide grins, Jess & I love Chick Fil-a & we love the cow. There's no explaining love.
As you can tell from their merely happy smiles, Autumn & Cody are not as enamored as Jess & I. Maybe they just hadn't dug into their waffle fries yet. Those fabulously good waffle fries should bring out a mile-wide grin on anybody!
Jess rummaged around in her trunk & found me a trash bag to sit on since the seat was SOAKED. I was in a bit of a tizzy trying to figure out what I was going to do about my jeans. Someone miraculously remembered that we were close to an Old Navy - thank the good Lord! We had just enough time to run over & get a new pair of jeans. Autumn coached me on the way to the store...
After the concert we hung out in front of the theatre for like FOR.EVER waiting for the musicians to come out & board their bus. This was not my idea. However, it was hilarious. I admit that I screamed like a middle school girl a time or two. Said screaming was in jest; I was not giddy with any kind of crush on the handsome musicians. I didn't even get my picture taken with any of them. But I did take Autumn's pic with one of the guys. Funny how she didn't include that one in the pics she sent me for this post...hmmm...maybe she had it blown up poster size & it's hanging on her closet door!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
It's just who I am.
I should be on that show, "What Not To Wear."
Sad but true.
In an effort to overcome my early morning mental handicaps (not to mention my lack of time due to hitting the snooze button approximately 63 times), I will generally pick out five outfits on the weekend. Then I iron them all & hang them in a special slot in my closet. Ahh...the joy of planning ahead!
This week I had my outfits all planned & this morning I selected an outfit that seemed fairly well put together, a nice sleek black sweater layered over a cream colored tissue T with crisp dark wash jeans & black shoes. Simple. Solid colors. That's how I roll.
I was even enough ahead of the clock that I could put on some jewelry. I worked in a jewelry store for over five years so I really like the stuff. And I used to really wear it. Not so much anymore, but when I have time I put on a ring (other than my wedding rings which I always wear), a necklace, & some earrings.
So I put on the jewelry, snag my coat & head out the door. All the while thinking I looked just fine.
after I had been at work for a while went to wash my hands. While looking in the mirror I discovered this:
In my right ear I am sporting a beautiful opal stud.
Friday, November 19, 2010
You girls were right, the glasses were the difference in the last picture I posted. I had been living with these little honeys for two years. I was so ready for a change!
Out with the old (and seriously funky looking peeling transition lens glasses)...
So far, I'm loving these! I'm actually wearing them again today. It's nice to give my eyes a rest from the contacts every once in a while. I'm so grateful I was able to get a good deal (with my vision insurance) for these hopefully a bit more stylish frames :-)
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
What's different about me in this picture?
There are no prizes to be awarded *boo!*
But you will feel very smart if you answer correctly. As least it would if it were me...
Friday, October 29, 2010
2. I have been plugging "Fernando Ortega" into Pandora every morning while I get ready for work. This week I've only had about 25-30 minutes to get ready because I have been getting every possible moment of sleep. It makes for some interesting hair, folks. Anyway, I like Fernando. I like the music that they link to his. It's soothing. And in my mind's eye, Fernando looks like Yanni. Here is Yanni's pic, probably from the late 80's or early 90's & just how I remember him:
And here is Fernando Ortega. My imagination has been just a little bit off!
3. I made a power move at work today. I turned the heat on. When I arrived this morning it was only 55 degrees in the lab. I decided that was my breaking point. Boy, did it smell bad when it first kicked on! None of the guys commented much except to say that it was stinky. However, I just got back from a total of two trips to get my supervisor his lunch (a long, stupid story) & it's feeling a little chilly in here again. Methinks someone has undone my power move. Grrr. A pox on him. Not really but it does kind of provoke me. *ahem*
4. I need a pumpkin pie blizzard from DQ stat. I know that doesn't make sense with my cold-natured-ness but don't question a girl's need for seasonal ice cream treats.
5. Did I mention that this head cold is still kicking my hiney? The overall worst problem is the sinus pressure. Behind my right eye, in my ears, making my teeth hurt...it's intense, people. And it's making me more irrational than usual.
6. Mike has tomorrow off - praise be to God above! He has worked the last three Saturdays & that is a drag like no other. So we have decided that tomorrow we are going to do the mature thing & COMPLETELY IGNORE all of the things that need to be done around the house. We are going to escape town for the day & do completely worthless fun things.
7. I haven't washed dishes since Tuesday. Our kitchen is kinda grody. Just keepin' it real.
8. I think I'm going to bake a pumpkin this evening. That is, if I can find my kitchen under the aforementioned dirty dishes. And if I can make myself create more dirty dishes by baking.
Actually, this whole kitchen cleaning, baking, & then cleaning up again business is looking really iffy...
9. I'm sending a package to Missy in Vienna today. I love sending international mail. It makes me feel kind of cool or urban or international or something.
By the way, I'm totally dorky, hickified, & not at all international. I'm just a regular Josephine.
10. My supervisor is watching tv on his iphone in the other office. I have no idea what he may be watching but it involves a screaming crowd & a warbling Adam Sandler (I think). Weird.
Happy weekend to you one & all!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Forgive me, I just couldn't resist getting a little dramatic *grin*
Two years ago Mike asked me to be his wife. You can read about his proposal here. I was only just beginning to realize how much I loved that man.
Mike has to work late tonight & I am on Day 7 of the worst cold of my adult life. We will be celebrating quietly - a very nice dinner of BBQ Pork Loin, Mushroom & Cheddar Potatoes, & Green Beans. Mike doesn't know it yet but I'm going to rush home from work & put together a batch of his favorite cookies as a surprise. It helps that his favorite cookies are peanut butter & they only require three ingredients. That man is too easy on me!
Anyway, I thought maybe our little 'anniversary' was worth noting. How do you remember your life story events? The first date? The proposal? The first/fifth/tenth anniversary? Please share all your girly, giggly stories - it will be like a bloggie slumber party!
Monday, October 25, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
I handed Mike his lunch box, kissed his handsome face, promised him I would pray for him, & watched him get into his car. It's my morning ritual.
Anyway, ritual completed, time to think about the pizzeria perfume hanging around our little abode. I thought back to last night's dinner preparation. My meal planning was just a little sketchy this week. I haven't been home to cook a lot & last night I was really tired. I've got a cold coming on & I was just dragging. So I opted for a somewhat simple chicken & broccoli & rice dish for Mike (it's one of his favorites but I can take it or leave it). For myself, I was going to take some of the chicken & make up a quick couscous & balsamic vinegar & feta cheese creation. It's a fabulous dish but Mike isn't a fan so I figured the perfect compromise was taking place - his easy favorite for him, my easy favorite for me.
Everything was going very well; I was multi-tasking like a professional! For my dinner I needed to crush two cloves of garlic, add some olive oil & chicken broth then put in the microwave to heat to a nice simmer. I pulled the aromatic mixture out of the microwave & promptly dumped a box of couscous in. And then I recoiled in horror, mouth agape. There were some dead bug looking like things in my couscous! Ack! Serious yuckiness!
So the contents of the bowl went in the trash. So sad. I ended up with a smorgasbord kind of dinner, eating two bites of this & two bites of that to finish up some leftovers.
After dinner I looked at the half empty trash can & knew that it would have to be emptied because of the garlic in the couscous mixture as well as some chicken garbage. Both of those items are notoriously stinky if left around any time at all. The trash was disposed of promptly & the kitchen was wiped down & closed for the night.
We went to bed & all was well.
So why does the house smell like a pizzeria today? I just can't figure it out.
Oh well...at least the house doesn't smell like this guy's arm pit! This picture cracked me up. I hope it brings a giggle to your Friday!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I heap the punishment upon myself by doing our grocery shopping on Mondays. If I want to take part in the good deals at CVS & Walgreens I have to shop on Monday. And if I am going to make two stops, I might as well make them all!
This week I had my list all planned & my coupons all organized before the end of my workday. I was able to leave work & head right out to shop. That always makes me happy. Get it out of the way & have the evening to relax & just be at home...ahhh!
The shopping went well. I even feel like I got it done quickly! Mike checked in with me when he got off work & I told him I was 'only' going to go to Walmart, Kroger, & Walgreens. Usually I hit Aldi & CVS, too. He thinks I'm nuts for making all of those stops. He would just go to Kroger & be done with it. I just can't take the easy road. I must use coupons! I must take advantage of the deals! I think I adopt a warrior shopper mindset. I must crush & destroy the enemy!
Anyway, it was a good, profitable, money saving shopping trip.
Then I got home. We lugged in the haul. I unpacked the bags. And I found this:
My Greek yogurt cup lid had a big puncture in it! *sigh* I had bought it on sale with a double coupon. It was one of my shopping victories (not to mention one of my favorite snacks!). Oh well. No use crying over stabbed yogurt, right?
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Shannalee gives restaurant reviews & she does a lot of cooking that is organic, natural, has weird ingredients, is frequently gluten free, & always interesting.
Am I starting to sound like a commercial or a cheerleader?
Anyway, I like to read her stuff & I like to fantasize about making some of her recipes. This past weekend I knocked out two of them!
First of all, let me mention that October 11th was my dad's 60th birthday. We had a backyard hot dog roast to celebrate on Saturday night. I was kind of in a bit of a hurry to get my kitchen experimenting done before the party. Note To Self: NEVER cook in a hurry. Bad things happen. Interesting things happen. I am simply not very good at multitasking in a hurry. Thankfully I did not destroy anything I was making but I did make us way late to the party when I put the macaroni in the oven to bake & then turned the oven off. I know, I'm brilliant.
The first recipe I tried was actually another one of my brilliant moments. I read Shannalee's post about Coconut Flour Cookies & while I was skimming over the post I kept thinking, I want to make these for Dad! My dad loves coconut. He especially loves coconut baked goods. In fact, my mom was going to make him a coconut cake for his party. I personally think that coconut feels like sawdust in your mouth & tastes like suntan lotion, but my opinion is unimportant. I decided to make these cookies for Dad.
Until I started combining the ingredients I was completely unaware that while these cookies have coconut flour & coconut oil in them, they do not in fact have coconut in them. Oops. The bag of coconut that I bought went to live in my parent's pantry.
Here is the finished product. They look burnt to a crisp but they are really just coated in cinnamon & sugar. They were a little different in texture but had a mild kind of nutty flavor. I liked them; they weren't super sweet. They were especially good with coffee.
My second culinary endeavor was to make some homemade Chunky Applesauce. I've wanted to try making applesauce for quite a while but I have hesitated because I didn't want to make a huge batch. All the recipes I had seen required a lot of apples & a canning process. I just felt like that was a little too much for me to attempt. So Shannalee's recipe for applesauce that only required 5 apples was just what I was looking for!
It took a little longer than I thought it would to cook them down. I had to resist my usual impatience that causes me to cook things on heat that is too high which usually results in things burning or boiling over or even melting random things onto my stove top. Impatience is BAD!
First I chunked the cooked apples up with a potato masher. I couldn't get the consistency quite smooth enough so I got out the blender. I was a little worried because I didn't want to liquefy the stuff. Looking at the buttons on my blender do you think that maybe sometimes we just have too many options?? It's just confusing...
The end result was one super yummy bowl of apple saucy goodness. I've been nibbling on it all week. I get a little dish full & then stick it in the microwave until it is all warm. Then I pretend it's apple pie. Without the crust. Which is sometimes just as amazing as the apple filling. But you know, you can't have it all, all of the time. Unless it's Christmas...or your birthday...or Friday because Friday is the beginning of the weekend & therefore very special...
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Can I just state for the record that I never, ever, ever want to embark on such a project ever again?
Now that we have that out of the way, here's the whole saga. You might just want to look at the pics & say, "Good enough!" but in case you are interested in details, here goes!
I bought our house 2 1/2 years ago. Since the purchase of our home I have had to have the plumbers come & rout out our sewer line six or seven times because of two large maple trees in front of our house. Their roots are unbelievable. Since we were spending $100 on the plumber each time along with the inconvenience of not being able to use our plumbing, we knew we were going to have to take some major action. Another difficulty we faced is that all of the plumbing outlets of our home (bathroom, kitchen, & laundry) each come out of a different side of the house. In order to access the sewer line to replace it we were going to have to do some major digging. Or we could replumb everything inside the house which would require relocating our basement stairs & cutting a hole in a supporting wall. Oy.
We decided to dig. We figured we could find some cheap labor (ourselves!) & then just pay the plumbers to lay the new pipe.
We had no idea how hard digging would be.
We haven't had a seriously good soaking rain for well over a month. Part of the ground that we needed to dig up was right alongside the alley & had been driven over & packed down for years. So we decided to rent this big guy:
Thank God we did because he was worth every little penny! And no, I didn't drive him or do any of the digging with him. I'm much more of a shovel girl. Give me a shovel & a pick axe & I can make some progress!
We had to dig up all along this side of the house. The pipe was about 3 1/2 feet down.
This was when Mike first used the excavator. His Uncle Steve was helping us (he was a Godsend!). Steve had used an excavator before & he was quickly bored with Mike's slow, careful movements so he hopped up there & took over. Mike was super glad because several times he had almost knocked off the back door overhang. While the guys were working back here I walked over to my parent's house (about two blocks) to borrow my dad's wheel barrow. I felt super cool pushing that thing back home. I probably looked like I was ripping it off out of someone's yard!
This is the spot where most of the problem lies. It's closest to the front of the house & those massive trees. I promise you, if they didn't turn the most beautiful shade of red in the autumn I would go out there & cut them down myself.
Mike is crouched down in this pic so the ditch isn't as deep as he is tall. In this corner where the pipe goes around the house there were three big chunks of concrete covering the pipe. Perhaps it had needed repairs before?
Ahhh! Beautiful! This pic shows the new pipe & where the kitchen joins in & where the new clean out is. See that old terra cotta pipe? Yeah, it cannot withstand tree roots, that is for sure!
Saturday morning we got up & got to work trying to fill in the hole. We had been shoveling for about 45 minutes when it started to rain. I was sad. Very sad. Dirt is heavy to shovel but mud is MUCH HEAVIER. We heaved & hoed for about another hour and a half. Mike's cousin Von came over & helped for a little while & he was such a blessing. We all had so much mud on the bottom of our shoes that we were about three inches taller than normal! We still have some dirt to move. We might work on it tonight. I'm excited. Yeehaw.
These three chunks of concrete were the ones I mentioned above. As we were digging we had to put most of the dirt on our neighbor's property because the sewer line practically runs on the property line. Mike was concerned about leaving it in the neighbor's yard for too long so we went out there Tuesday afternoon to move it. I am no wimpy girl but I just couldn't get it up off the ground. We were struggling with it when a blue truck pulled onto our street & slowed way down. The truck stopped & I got all embarrassed because I thought the person was just watching us for a laugh. Well, the guy got out of his truck hollering, "Miss, put that down! You're going to hurt yourself! Let me help him!" This kind stranger helped Mike move all of the concrete pieces. We were so grateful that the Lord provided help just when we needed it!
Here you can see some of the tree roots that we have been contending with. They are so huge & widespread that it seems like they just want to take over. My mother in law has said that for all of the branches a tree has above ground there are just as many roots below ground. I think she's right.
This is the one place that remains to be dealt with. Unfortunately this is also where we have had the most problems. The bathroom plumbing exits the house here & then turns & runs parallel to this sidewalk. The problem is, the pipe goes under the sidewalk & the sidewalk is about 8 inches thick. Mike was very reluctant to break up the concrete & he ran out of time to try to do it anyway. We didn't fill the hole back in because Mike & Uncle Steve have brainstormed a way to repair it. They just have to have the time to do it. Until then, we are leaving it dug up. In order to keep drivers out of our little ditch we put our trash can in the hole. Pretty funny, huh?
All told, we were without plumbing for about three days. I had scheduled for the plumbers to arrive on Thursday morning & my understanding was that they would be on the job Thursday until they got it done. I went to work that morning very confident that the whole situation would be taken care of that day. Mike stayed home & met the plumbers & talked with them, etc. Based on the text messages that Mike sent throughout the workday, I began to realize that it was going to be no simple fix. The plumbers arrived & discussed the job with Mike. They didn't seem too happy with our digging & that they were going to have to get in the hole & break up the old pipe. They didn't seem to happy about having the job at all. They left within an hour saying they needed to get supplies, go on a couple of service calls & get more help. That was about 11 a.m. When I got home from work at 3 p.m. they still hadn't come back. Here comes the anxiety & frustration! They finally arrived at about 3:45 & they stayed at it until about 5 o'clock. My mom dropped by on her way home from work & while I was talking to her they just left. No goodbye we'll be back at such-n-such time or anything. I was so upset because we still had no plumbing. I'm grateful my parents live close but it's no fun leaving home to take a shower. And since we didn't know for sure when they would be back I got really wound up.
Well, they came back the next day but it was in the late afternoon. Mike & I had a whole house full of company coming for dinner to help us celebrate the completion of the project & to thank them for their help. We had invited his Uncle Steve & his wife Debbie & their two sons, Mike's mom & dad, his cousin Von & Aunt Becky. How was I going to fix dinner with no water? How do you celebrate a project that isn't completed? Some things that we maybe should have thought about before handing out the invites...
Anyway, disaster was averted when they wrapped the job up at about 4:30. I wrote them a check (not the amount we were praying for, but one the Lord knew we could handle - just barely!) & then ran inside to get cooking.
We had a fabulous good dinner & a lot of fun together. Growing up I thought I had the loudest, funnest, craziest family; now that I am married & part of another family, I have realized that my family is pretty normal. When you get a big group of people who love each other around a table full of good food wonderful things happen. We had a blast!
And then I washed dishes in warm sudsy water that exited my sink in a lovely new turquoise sewer pipe; that is my current definition of happiness!