Sunday, July 31, 2011

i just had this awful thought

What if the reason Gus is frantically sniffing and pacing is mouse-related?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

sow, grow, show

My gardens are fabulous this year. (See masthead photo.) Lots of rain = lots of lush growth = :)

And speaking of rain. Check this out--bathroom:


and in case you don't recognize this view:

Other bedroom. Take that rain who floods the basement apartment no more:

As long as I'm boasting about today's accomplishments at the rental, check out the basement kitchen:

It may not look like much, but the cabinets are in, the plumbing is in the cabinet, and the templates for the countertops are cut out and ready to be transferred to the wood/laminate

And back to the lush gardens. This is from last weekend.

She is such a poser.


Quite suddenly she needed to play with her ball in the water trough--

Then there's Gus, who looked like this last weekend but has since started running to and fro across a ten-foot square of grass, sniffing the ground, back and forth, back and forth--not sure what is going on in his little brain...(time to google neurotic dog)

And in case you wondered, these kids are all fine.

And obviously, these two princesses are adorable.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

let's focus here

Seriously. Pay attention to the weather and forget that debt crisis business. Because it's been raining again. A lot. Enough to flood our basement. Again.

And oh yeah, the Provo house too. Because we had to go and agree to the tenant's request that we remodel the basement kitchen instead of doing the sensible thing we had thought needed to be the next project--you know, either new window wells that would keep the soil line below the bottom of the windows in the bedroom, or cutting through the concrete at the base of the outdoor stairs and installing a drain so the deluge of rain wouldn't run under the door into the living room.

Yes, that's three floods in two houses. Enough already with the rain. We live in a desert remember? It's July. Arid time. Please.

I must admit though, the new cabinets and patched/painted walls look much better than the old ratty cabinets and sink...but still.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

per your request

That piece of paper hanging from the light in the stairwell is now in the trash, thank you to Jr. Somehow, the painter forgot to remove it when he was cleaning up. And while removing it, Jr sensed that the house still has its sense of humor. He kept poking at the tape and paper with a broom handle until he finally got the tape to let go and then it floated to high up on the wall where it promptly re-stuck itself. Good thing he's tall. And determined.

And that electrical outlet and switch on the kitchen wall? Now covered.

Friday, July 22, 2011

on a more upbeat note

Yes, I've been a bit cranky of late. Maybe downright crabby. But I'm working on it. Cheering up and stopping the whining about the arm.

So. How about an update on the Provo rental?

It is nearly complete and we have tenants ready to move in. Photos to prove it, which will likely mean nothing to anyone but Jessie, who will recognize the progress.

So, does this look familiar, Jess? Top of the stairwell, notice the tile job, baseboard, freshly textured and painted walls, and rewired outlet. It has a cover now. Shoulda waited to take the photo until that got done, right? But see, the old dryer plug is gone and that's the new half wall and if I had shot from a different angle, you could have seen the new doorknob that locks and the new light and the walls that are clear of wires, plumbing, etc., and the new access doors for the upstairs plumbing that are far less noticeable than the previous covers.

This next one is part of today's projects. Jr and I tore out the kitchen cabinets in the basement earlier in the week and I textured the walls, so today we yanked down the sink and cut the drain line. Seriously gross. But, in this shot you can see the newly rewired switch and outlet (thank you, Jack and Jr). After taking this photo, I added more mud to fix the wall, and then Jr and I hauled the sink and other debris to the trash. We filled both cans again, and perhaps next week will be the last time we fill the cans with remodeling debris. Tonight we're headed back with keys for the renters, who can hardly wait to move in, which delights me to have people living there again who love the place. While there tonight, Jr and I intend to move the plumbing for the kitchen sink into the new cabinets (or at least the future location of the cabinets) so I can finish texturing and then painting the walls. The new cabinets and dishwasher should arrive by Tuesday. By then we hope to have made the new countertops (gluing laminate to wood and then cutting it all to fit perfectly!). Then we can drop in the sink, hook up the faucet and drain, and turn the place over to the cleaners. Okay, so we still need to reconnect the swamp cooler, make a shelf to go over the new sink downstairs, and slightly modify the closet doors upstairs so they close more easily and don't drag on the carpet and tile. But still. So close.

Finally, and this is a shot that only Jessie will appreciate, I present the storage room. Seriously, can you believe the difference? Not sure this photo really does it justice.

Not sure how we'd get these projects done without this kid. Notice the early morning sunshine?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

the next post--lortab induced writing

You may chose to disregard the drug-induced rant that is the post from earlier today. Not that it was fabricated. It was a real conversation--in fact, it's two real conversations. The one with mom and the one in my head.


Consider for a moment that I wrote it just before laying down because I was nauseated from the drugs I'd taken for my shoulder/arm pain and promptly fell asleep and dreamed that I was writing an accounting-based marketing plan that was legally insufficient based on real estate law.

Yeh, I've got homework to do.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

so maybe i was feeling a bit crabby

Like tired, and yes irritated, but did I mention my arm's been troubling me for a couple of months?

No? Well, that could be because I was convinced that the shooting pains that occurred whenever I moved my right upper arm in certain positions was either a) caused by my age, or b) yet another example of how emotional pain can cause physical pain.

But see, I'm not feeling particularly emotionally wounded right now. And the age thing is starting to get old.

Whoa. I'm so funny.


Finally mentioned it to the nurse, who passed it on to the doctor, who ordered an MRI, which showed bursitis--a treatable pain--

Dragged my painful arm to the doctor this afternoon for an injection--yes, me, the girl who is a baby about pain went to the doctor asking for pain. Because everyone who heard about my injection appointment kindly told me that those steroid shots hurt like hell.

Except Jack. He said he didn't think they were too bad.

So. Got my shot. Did not cry. Felt nearly immediate relief (after the wee bit of pressure that I was able to keep talking right through because I had to tell the doc the story about me being a baby about pain, right?)

Doc says the immediate relief is likely from the novocaine-ish drug they mix with the cortisone and probably is not just the placebo effect that I suggested, but the steroid should kick in within seven or eight hours and then I'll be good as new.

Or something like that.

And maybe I'll quit with the rants for a while.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

because it's my blog, i'm saying this

I do not like group projects in college.

I know, they're supposed to be like real life and when I'm a grown up and working in a real job, there will be slackers and I'll have to deal with them and blahblahblah. BLAH.

I don't care. I don't like group projects in college. There are too many kids in college who do not know how to write a paper or do research and I'm not talking about kids who are trying to research and write in a language other than their native tongue.

I'm talking about the other kids who put in ten minutes and fire off an email claiming they are done. And dammit! I don't want them bringing down my grade so here I go again, doing their work for them because I refuse to submit work with my name on it that contains bad grammar, incomplete sentences, incoherent thoughts. And worse. So it's like I'm their teacher except it's worse--it's like I'm their mom correcting their work so they never learn how to do it themselves so how does that help them?

I am so done with kids emailing partially completed work with the excuse that they're in Arizona and their computer isn't working right so could I just do the rest of their part of the assignment--when they haven't included enough information to even begin their part of the assignment, let alone finish it.

How do teachers stand it? What to do with this mishmash of nonsense? Why do I do this, this spending three hours fixing the pfft they've emailed when it only takes me an hour or a bit more to do my own part?

There. I said it. And I think I'll say it on every teacher evaluation for every class until I graduate next May because I know of no other option to help the people in charge of making assignment requirements understand my displeasure with this part of the deal.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ramblin' part 2

First. Let me tell you that you should never balance your computer on a stack of papers and other debris while cleaning up your office if there is any possibility that your compy might fall to the floor and strike that thingie that makes your mouse work that sticks out of the side of your compy--because your mouse just might stop working and it's no good trying to get used to that mouse pad thingie...

Two. If your kid coaxes and pleads with you for years to plant lilies in your gardens, don't make him wait. He is right. They will be a bright spot

wherever they bloom.

Three. Installing a water fountain in your gardens will always be a huge success with the grandkids and will provide countless opportunities
for photos of those adorable kids.

Monday, July 11, 2011

ooh i've got a ramblin in me

Do you know what sucks about getting older? (Note I did not say old, but older.)

I heard on the radio a while back that older people can't hear mosquitoes. Apparently the frequency of their buzz is too high for aging ears, and I must have aging ears because I can no longer hear them pestering me and that explains the three mosquito bites I got last weekend.

While googling around to try to confirm that I'd really heard about the inability of older people to hear mosquitoes (or if I'd simply dreamed it), I learned that some guy in Wales invented a device that plays the frequency of mosquitoes through speakers as a way to get teenagers to quit loitering around public places. He thought it a great idea to keep the kids away without bothering adults and has apparently sold a number of the devices. There seems to be a bit of an uproar though because he didn't think about the babies and young kids who would be impacted by his mosquito sound producers.

And then there's the mosquito ringtones you can get for your cell phone. You know, the ones that only teenagers can hear so if their phones go off in class, their teachers can't hear them.

Where does this stuff come from? And am I the last one to hear about it since I am apparently older?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011

doin' my homework

I'm sitting at my desk--thinking about doing homework, but really reading a few blogs, facebook, visiting with Weezer...

Then the doorbell rang...she isn't a fan of getting her picture taken or of welcoming visitors...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

conversations with mom

A few weeks ago, before Jessie and the girls visited for ten days of bliss, my mom dropped by.

I don't recall the purpose of her visit, but as usual, we sat down in the front room to chat and Jack joined us. At some point, she looked at Jack and said that she thought I loved my granddaughters more than anyone else.

I said that wasn't true, that while I definitely love my granddaughters a lot, that I love others as well, and while I was looking forward to seeing Jessie's girls, I could hardly wait to see Jessie because I have deeply missed her since they moved to California.


The next day, mom called and said she had been thinking about my comments from the previous day. She said she wanted us to have the same kind of relationship I have with Jessie, that she wanted us to be closer and she wanted me to come visit every week.

Yet another conversation she'd been having in her head for 24 hours, but one that I'd just been included in. I paused, thinking about what she'd just requested, and said that I'd like a closer relationship with her too, which seemed to satisfy her, because she quickly said okay and goodbye.


In the past few weeks, I've thought often about those two conversations and I've wondered why is it so easy to love grandchildren so deeply? And what kind of relationship do I have with my daughter and can I have that with my own mom?

I think the reason why grandkids are so easy to love is because they come into your life at a time when you realize that most things don't really matter, or at least, the things you're responsible for are not critical--at least when it comes to grandkids. My job as a gramma, as I see it, is to love them. Unconditionally. I'm not the mom, the parent, the disciplinarian--I'm the gramma. My own gramma was my biggest cheerleader and becoming a gramma has made it even more clear in my mind just how she felt about me.

I've also thought about how to have the relationship my mom wants to have with me. I think, in a way, she and I have the same relationship--that is, I want to see Jessie every week too.

But that might be where the similarities end or perhaps taper off. I thought my job as a mom was to raise responsible emotionally healthy adults and then let them live their lives as they choose. I suspect my kids get more input from me than they might want at times, but my deepest feeling about them is that they are each adults and they get to live their lives and be in control of themselves. I'm just glad I get to be around to watch and cheer them on.