Thursday, December 27, 2007

A day with special friends

These are some of our dear friends...

Ron, Bill, John, Terry, Rema
Me, Ginger, Dick, Kyle

Rema and I had decided to have Christmas dinner together quite a few weeks ago. Neither one of us have any extended family living here and neither one of us had any coming for the holidays. Rema, Dick, and John are part of our family... not our family by birth, but by...well, by life's circumstances. I first got to know them through John when he was a runt - well, actually he was in 4th grade... We became family through Camilla. We love them dearly!

Through them, we met and got to know Bill... I've known Terry for 7 years. I had her oldest son, Joe, when he was in 4th grade. He and John are the same age. Kyle, well, he just happened to show up when the camera came out. I've also known Kyle 7 years when I had him for 4th grade!
Here is a small portion of the feast... notice there are three pies for 7 people? Um? Ok, now I understand where these 3 pounds came from.
Rema was trying a new recipe for gravy. I actually took another picture before this one but she told me she 'best not see that on that dang blog!' I do my best to please.
Bill was feeling a bit domestic. He was helping out by peeling the potatoes. He's from the midwest so he felt right at home.
Ron did his part by pouring a glass of wine.
Rema was checking this turkey to see if he was ready for us to consume him. He wasn't. Darn!"Dick, stand there next to Terry so I can take a picture." He did, after he took off his glasses. Why do we take off our glasses for pictures? Rema does it... I do it. Um? Need to think about that one. Terry doesn't wear glasses.Oh, well, never mind. Looks like we forgot the habit of taking off the glasses. Actually, what was happening here is I was trying to do what I see high school students do all the time. I took this picture. Yep, I've got one arm around Dick and the other one is STRETCHED out in front of me as far as my arm can reach and I'm holding the camera. I guess I needed my glasses to make sure I was pointing the camera in the right direction. Probably not the best photograph of either of us, but I had to put it here to showcase my talent of multi-tasking.Ok, let's check this turkey again. Well, we figured he was ready... we certainly were.
Here's my guy with his job. Ron is THE CARVER, doesn't make any difference where he is, he carves.After we had eaten...and eaten...and then eaten...and visited...and tried to watch some show of John's...and eaten a little more, Terry decided to head home. Ron took a photo.... notice Rema and I don't have on our glasses?

It was definitely a wonderful time spent with dear friends.
Notice who is taller?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

This will be a different Christmas...

This will be a different Christmas...and that's OK.

There are no lights up at our house.

There is no Christmas tree.

There are no out-of-town visitors, no family, no festivities planned. Instead we have a family room packed with extra furniture and 2 empty rooms - because of the construction.

And that's Ok - this year!

When Gabrial and Emily got married, I asked Gabe to please coordinate with Lindsey and Donnie so I had both of them the same 'every other Christmas.' They did...and I am grateful. When Joshua and Erica got married, I asked Joshua to coordinate with his brother and sister so I would have all of them the same 'every other Christmas.' They did...and I am grateful.

This is their 'inlaw Christmas' and that makes me happy. Not because I won't be spending Christmas with them, but because they are all doing what Ron and I raised them to be doing.

Ron and I have been blessed with loving each others' families...and our families enjoying being with each other. When our kids got married, it dawned on me that they might think it was natural that both sides of families would get along so well. I remember talking to Lindsey - since she got married first - talking to her about loving Donnie's family, about loving the differences, appreciating them.

We have always gone to Texas for most of our Christmas vacations. On the years of the kids' 'inlaw Christmas,' Ron and I have still gone. But not this year. We were there for Thanksgiving for 9 days...and with the house construction too... and not enough time off from work for Ron... well, we're staying here.

It's harder because of our parents - it's hard not to be spending the holidays with them. My mom nailed it about 2 weeks ago. She called and asked me what I wanted for Christmas. It kind of surprised me and I said I really didn't know, hadn't even thought about it. She said she hadn't really thought about it either since 'our Christmas was when we were all together over Thanksgiving...for Addison and Kasi's wedding.'

I try to never forget the reason we have this Christmas season...celebrating the birth of Christ. This was the ultimate gift...

I think about this...about family...about giving-not just gifts but giving of ourselves.

So this Christmas, Ron and I will reflect on how thankful we are for the gifts we have received. There are so many, and we are so blessed.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The trusses are up...

This is what it looks like now...

Yesterday the trusses were adjusted so the piping for the wood stove would fit.
You can see how these trusses are open in the middle. Well, we were thinking about making an opening through Lindsey's closet (Lindsey's OLD closet, actually, seeing as she hasn't lived here in about 8 years!)...then my friend Laner (Dorian's YaYa ... aka grandma) suggested opening up the wall of Lindsey's room to make the area above the addition an extension of Lindsey's room. Um? I like that idea.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007 precious little guy!

Looking at Dorian...watching his new mama and papa hold him,
look at him, kiss on him, love him...
Their world has now been forever changed...
just as the world of my friends, Dorian's grandparents, have also been
forever changed.
A new son, a new grandson -
So Amazing!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Hello there, sweet Dorian...
You may remember a little while back, I blogged about my friend, Laner's daughter's baby shower.

Well, today, December 16th, Dorian came to join his parents...

He just loves his mama...wasn't sure he was really ready to make an appearance. He fought it for 27 hours, just couldn't make up his mind to come on out. But he did and look at this sweet, new family!His grandma is delighted...she's ecstatic...just as I would be too.
Here Dorian is with his mama...

and his papa...and one of his grandma's friends, Terri...and his other grandma...with his papa looking on.

What a precious new little guy! but now Dorian, this blogging friend of your grandma's needs a lot more photos than this.

You are already a loved little boy...

Friday, December 14, 2007

The trusses are here

This is what was happening around here this morning.

The trusses and this HUGE beam came. The beam will support the second floor since the new room will extend out. Does that make sense?

There was a whole team of guys out there guiding and directing each other. It was pretty amazing for me to watch. I don't know why I didn't watch all this when Harry built the house. That would have truly been amazing to see all this on a grander scale.
BubbleShare: Share photos - Cheap Hotels Vegas

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind, right?

First of all, I had to look up the word 'prerogative'. I thought I knew how to spell it, but then it wasn't in the dictionary. Then with the help of the internet dictionary, they showed me the error of my ways. I was spelling it PERogative. I could have sworn...good thing I didn't.

That paragraph has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

As you can see, the second wall went up today.

You may also notice the third wall is ready, but not up. THANK GOODNESS!

See the window that's framed in on the wall laying down? Well, that window and the window you can see on the newest standing wall are on either side of where the hearth will be for the wood stove. No problem.

Back to the piece laying down.

What you can't see is the opening for the french doors. Now, had I been more 'on top of things' and done some calculating and measuring, I would have figured out that the space between the window and the french doors wasn't as large as I would want. It's about 50". Well, that's the wall where our TV will go - which at this point would be just fine. We aren't really TV watchers, at least not now.

So...after I saw this wall laying down today I started a mild flashes...a lot of activity in my brain about what I thought would be best.

Poor Ron. He walks in and I immediately let him in on my 'discovery.'

We go measure.

I sweet talk Ron into going over to Pete's and telling him the framing needs to be ... well, changed a little.

So we're (not sure why I say "we" here) going to still frame it for the french doors, but also frame it in smaller for a larger single door - Now the wall between the door and the window will be about 7' or so... much better.

Ah...maybe I can sleep now.

Actually, since it's winter, I should blog something beside remodeling

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

One wall up...and a bit of demolition

So I was up here blogging away this morning on the previous post. I couldn't figure out WHAT IN THE WORLD Kyle and Al were doing outside. Sounded like the dentist's drill.

You'll see on the second picture the demolition that happened to the house. Well, now it makes sense. My computer is against the wall that Al was sawing/drilling/whatever he was doing to that outside wall.

The first wall is up. Pete said the other two would be up tomorrow.

The foundation is poured

This is what went on yesterday.

This is Pete. The cement truck came, poured cement into a pump, which then pumped the cement through this hose. It saved our demolished side yard from further being demolished.

I was a bit fascinated by the whole process.

Cheap thrills...especially when you've been holed up in the house away from my 27 students and my girlfriends and my co-workers...and, and....

This is the cement being poured into the pump.
This is Kyle, in the orange, working the cement while the guy from the cement company guides the cement.
Here Pete is 'working the cement'. I asked him what that was for. He said that's just what you do...that it makes the surface harder...I think that's what he said. Unfortunately, this cement is going to take longer to harden and dry cause it's SO COLD outside.
Here comes Kyle, the young guy with the back-breaking work of hauling in a bale of hay. Why hay? You'll see....
Um? Plastic? Yep, that's Al starting to cover the foundation. Pete said we were going to 'put the foundation to bed.'
Ah, here comes the hay. Pete said it's to keep the cement warm.
That looks like it will keep it warm. (It'd make me sneeze, but cement - hopefully - can't sneeze. Actually, Pete said the danger with pouring cement in cold weather, is IF it froze during the night, it could EXPLODE...up to even a year later. I was happy to see all the hay keeping that cement nice and cozy warm.

Right in the middle of the cement truck pouring the cement into the pump, and the roofing company pulling it's truck over at Marvin's to check out his roof leak, the building supply people came with some lumber. Pete had called and reminded them NOT to come until the afternoon. Um? Someone either wasn't listening, or ... well, they came. I was afraid the boards were going to break! Ron told me wood is pliable, has to be, you know, like for earthquakes. Thanks, Ron.

It was a busy day around the neighborhood!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Looking for silver linings...

The"silver lining" is what I've always referred to when you're looking for what's good in a not-so-good situation. The not-so-good situation is that I have the shingles...and that makes me contagious for chicken pox. Because of that, my school district waved me good-bye, adios, and a nice 'get out of here'. Seriously, I would just die if I gave chicken pox to a mom in an early pregnancy...that could be devastating. I was heartbroken - at first - thinking of not being at school during this holiday time. So, I told myself to look for the silver lining.

It didn't take long.

First, I have a great student teacher, Mary. Plus, I have a great sub, Mr. C, who retired a little over a year ago after a 30+ year teaching career. Ok, so I figured I didn't have to worry about my class, they are in great hands.

Second, I feel just fine. Oh, the shingles are VERY painful...but I could still function.

Third, that means I have time at read, to cook, to paint, to blog....

Fourth, and yesterday, my dear friend, Rema, called and asked if I wanted to go for a walk. A walk? In the middle of the day, a weekday? Um?
This is NOT Rema, this is her dog, Ginger. Ginger was excited to go on a walk!
Ginger wanted us to walk a little faster. Ginger, who loves the ocean more than walking down a trail, found a creek. She responded well when I called her name so I could take a picture.
Oooh, look at this! This is probably the most beautiful toadstool I've ever seen. Almost looks fake - but it's not.

So, there have been quite a lot of 'silver linings' since I've had the shingles. They're still contagious, but the pain is MUCH better! Gotta love that Tylenol PM!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ready for the inspector

This is what the crew did yesterday. More rebar was put it's ready for the foundation. Pete said it'll be ... I think he said, Monday, before the foundation is put in because it's suppose to rain....

Oh boy!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

How sweet is this?

Erica sent me these pictures this morning. She said Thalia had come in at 5 a.m....then Erica got up at 7. When she walked back in the room, this is what she saw.

They make me smile.

Thank you, Erica!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Look what's going on here!

This is the east side of the house BEFORE the work began....
This is what it looks like now....
They're ready to pour the foundation...when the rain stops. It's storming today so no work is being done. I've been taking photos along the goes:
Pete brought the Bobcat over and took out the fence and the bushes...oh, the beautiful bushes!
I think they were leveling here. That's a pile of gravel in the front.
They dug the footings for the foundation....
They put the frame up for the foundation and drilled holes in the existing foundation so the new foundation could be attached... here's a close up of the rebar:
Now my guy is a gardener...I think it's in his blood with the farm and all. Anyway, he about got tears in his eye over the blueberries (2 of the best bushes) and a beautiful rhody being dug up. He decided to just plant them somewhere...for now.
See that tall Heavenly Bamboo? Well, it had to come out before the rhody could go in.
He sized it up, figuring just how to do the job. I need to take a picture of it in the ground... you'll have to wait until it stops raining for this.
Now here in the backyard you can see a couple of things - beside all the needles from the redwood trees that blew in the yard from the storm. See that tall no-leaf plant in front of the windows? That's one of our blueberry plants. It definitely won't stay there, otherwise the windows would be blocked!

Back in the far corner, you can see the parts of the woodshed. Parallel to the back of the house in the far back corner, that's where Pete is rebuilding the woodshed. He told Ron that HE WOULD BUILD IT SQUARE! I think he was insinuating that the previous woodshed was NOT SQUARE. Um?
Ok, here's the posts in the ground for the new SQUARED woodshed. I was trying to explain to Joshua where it was going to be.

Remember the storm I've referred to? Well, well, well, look what blew down in our backyard?
Yep, the top of a redwood. Thankfully, it didn't hurt anything.
And since one picture is never enough, here's a second picture of the redwood top.

So that's where we are with the remodeling.