Friday, October 31, 2008

October Garden Hoe Project at MY HOUSE!

First of all, a HUGE thanks to Naomi for her generosity in taking pix of the project for me since our camera was on the fritz.

Despite being in the middle of the kitchen remodel, I had the Garden Hoes over the first Saturday in October for a huge project! We cleaned up and mulched the pond garden and we built a beautiful herb and iris bed in front of my garden. It didn't "sound" like a big project in my imagination but, like the kitchen remodel, it got bigger and bigger as we went along. Probably the most time consuming part of the project was removing a miniscule amount of the fill rock that made up the majority of the ground. After removing 5 wheelbarrows full of rocks from the tilled ground, we called it quits, added compost and finished the project.

We forgot to take a "before" photo but remembered pretty early in the day. Here is Naomi tilling up my rock ground in preparation of the bed.

It is beautiful and I can't wait until next year when all the iris come up and, hopefully, bloom amidst all my herbs.

Many thanks to all the Garden Hoes for the awesome job!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Wait Is Over!

FINALLY! We have some pix of the kitchen remodel to share with you! Now, we are NOT completely done yet. We still have all the quarter-round to put up and all the trim to do, but since the majority of the work is done (and we had access to a camera), we wanted to share with you a peak of the new kitchen.

There are several groups of before and after photos for you to view (smaller pix are the before, larger are the after). You'll have NO trouble figuring out which is which. LOL. Sorry for the non-perfect quality of some of these photos. The "before" pix were taken with our mobile phone camera and there was apparently some spots on the camera lens for the "after" photos. To see any photo better, you can just click on the small photo to see it full-size.

It is like watching a remodeling show on HGTV. You see it before and then *poof* you see the after. Since I've got a ton of pix in this post already, I've not included any of the "in process" pix we were fortunate enough to get of me scraping up the old linoleum, or Ray ghostly white from sanding and spraying paint or, as mentioned in a previous post, Ryan getting stuck in some of the cabinetry. Ya know... all that stuff that makes a remodel so much FUN and memorable.

Well, without further adieu...

We are SOO happy to be on the home stretch of this remodel. And we couldn't have done it without the help of our friends and especially my parents who spent 10 days slaving away to help us get this remodel done before the James' Family Reunion. Thank you Mom and Dad!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Nephew is 7 Months Old Already!

Holy cow! Where does the time go? I can't wait to see this little guy again. He's growing up too fast!

Look At the Pretty Flowers Mommy!

So before I could track down a camera to take pix of the new blooms I finally got on my Esperanza, or Yellow Bells, plant that I got from Naomi and my white Plumbago (that was supposed to be blue), my DS decided to pick them!

"Look at the flowers, Mommy...they are SO pretty" he said. It was all I could do to agree with him rather than comment how pretty they would have looked had he left them on the plant for us to enjoy longer than a few minutes before they wilted/got squished...

Oh well, pretty they were and I was so thrilled they bloomed. Also in bloom right now are my indigo spires sage, red hibiscus, blue plumbago, coconut lime coneflower, jewel of opar, confetti lantana, purple lantana, Mexican Heather, pink skullcap, Bat-Faced Cuphea, Cigar Plant, marigolds, and several of my salvias.

This beautiful fall weather we've been having has had me wanting, so badly, to go and plant seeds but I'll have to wait until next spring for all that. I did, however, do an inventory on all my seeds and have been doing some seed/plant trading with other gardeners around the country. I'm going to have to figure out where I'm going to plant everything. That should keep me busy enough over the winter months.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

James' Family Reunion

What fun! The entire James' clan got together this past weekend for a family reunion...all 24 of us from all over the country. It was so wonderful having the entire clan together. And, as it has been four years since we were last together, there were three new additions to the family, my DD and DS and Ginger (DH's sister) & Jamie's baby DD.

Festivities began Friday night with a spaghetti dinner at Rob, I mean "Carl" (haha), & Celeste's (DH's sister). Afterward's DH's sister, Vicky, came to stay the night with us and we all got the bright idea that we could be "young" again and stayed up visiting until 5:30 in the morning. URG... THAT hurt the next day. Young we are least not in the sense that we can attempt all-nighters.

Saturday late morning, due to our having stayed up WAY too late the night before, we made it over to Mom & Dad's for breakfast and then headed back home to get ready for Saturday afternoon/evening's festivities. My DH smoked brisket, ribs, chicken, sausage and mushrooms. We had tater salad and coleslaw for the sides. All was totally yummy! My hubby can cook up a mean BBQ. But there was more! We celebrated Dad's birthday as well! All the family got together and got him a Wii for his birthday! How fun!!

To top off the excitement of the night we all sat around the television and watched the Longhorns victory over Missouri. GO HORNS!

Sunday found my DH taking Vicky and Laura (our niece) to the airport and then he visited over at Mom & Dad's with some of the other still-in-town siblings before coming home where we spent the rest of the day comatose on the couch.

It was so wonderful to see everyone and we are thrilled that the entire family was able to make it for this get-together. Additionally, we are SO thankful to our friends and family who helped us SO SO much in the preparation of this event. Naomi, who not only spent a day working in my yard with me (see Garden Hoes project), but loaned us a trailer for all the remodeling trash and some lawn chairs so people would have a place to sit. Mike for coming over and slaving away with my Dad and DH in laying the floor in the kitchen and helping with putting in some of the cabinets and the microwave. And most importantly, my folks who busted their behinds to help us have a finished kitchen (see remodel post) and a clean, beautiful home for the reunion. We can't thank you enough!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Über Busy

Just because I've not posted for a couple of weeks doesn't mean nothing has been going on. Ah contraire! The James' household has been a hotbed of activity. Unfortunately, since our camera bit the dirt we went from having hundreds of pix a month to zip and are unable to share pix of what we've been up to. Good news is that thanks to some friends and family, we should have some pix coming along soon to share with you. Of course, they are all pix taken once the demo was completely done and all the walls were rebuilt, but you'll get to see the kitchen remodel soon... I hope.

As if remodeling the kitchen weren't enough, we've been very busy with yard work as well. A new flower bed and much yard clean-up have the outside of the house looking better each day.

Keep your britches on... Hopefully, we'll have some sneak peek photos coming soon! Keep the prayers going. This "lipstick on a pig" remodel blew into a complete overhaul and has, in true remodel fashion, been hogging up way more of our funds than allotted and WAY more time than I thought. We were supposed to be DONE by today at the latest... now, with the way things are going, we'll be still working during the reunion.

Yup, that is right... the James' family reunion is this weekend and Saturday will find us with a full house. Thankfully, my parents love me SO much that they came down last Wednesday afternoon and have been busting there tails helping us to get this kitchen done and done beautifully!

Gotta run for now.. grout is going down.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Houdini He is NOT

Don’t worry, Houdini. You’re job is safe. This was one of those moments where I REALLY missed having a camera, although my DH told me there was no time to take a photo. My response was that we’d HAD to have made time for a pix if we had a camera that worked. What am I talking about having wanted a picture of and what’s this about Houdini’s career being safe?

We’d removed the cabinets that were along the wall where the stove is so I could sand them outside. They were lying on the backside so the door openings were facing up. Well, I’d gone and laid a tall pantry on top of them so I could sand it as well. This pantry covered the entire cabinets. Now, on the top and bottom of the small two door cabinets that were above the oven vent there was a hole (for the vent itself). The hole closed to the vent was a little larger than the hole in the top of the cabinet that was connected to the vent tube in the ceiling. These two holes were the ONLY open areas of the cabinets (seeing how I’d put the pantry over the side where the doors went).

SO… my little Houdini wanna-be apparently crawled into the tiny cabinet space through the hole on the bottom of the short cabinets and once completely inside that little coffin area tried to climb out through the hole on top of the cabinet. Remember where I mentioned that the hole on top was smaller? Apparently, he only got his head and one arm through the top hole before becoming complete STUCK. He’s screaming and hollering and scared to death and our DD comes inside to tell her daddy that her brother is stuck. HOWEVER, she is taking her sweet time in relaying this information. When she finally tells my DH that our son is stuck, my DH runs to the rescue. He had to move the pantry off the cabinets so he could extract our little man from the cabinet door opening as he was, in fact, stuck good in that little hole. So much for being Houdini and escaping the kitchen cabinet.

We have told the kids not to play on the cabinets. Guess we should have also told them not to play IN them either.