Thursday, December 30, 2010

Laundry Area Remodel

I've started my first remodel project at the house-finally! I was so tired of listening to that stupid dryer squealing and moaning every time I turned it on! As you know (via the post below), I bought a new washer and dryer set. That was the easy part. I then had to get the laundry area ready to receive the new appliance and promptly got on the phone with a contractor. After a brief ten minute discussion, we'd made a Date for Demo!
Here's what it looked like before:
Note the beautiful faux tile linoleum glued to the wall and trimmed with metal flashing. Also, admire the gargantuan particle board cabinet screwed into the drywall...

Ahahahahah!!!!! Destruction!!! Tear, tear! Rip....It...Off!!!!

Now, fast forward to yesterday. Here's the new drywall, all clean and nice. New plumbing also was completed yesterday.

Ta Da! The new water heater, now located in the hall closet. Neatly tucked away where no one needs to look at it...

Ah, isn't it beautiful...

Today is hopefully the last day for construction. They still have to finish puttying and texture the walls. They have to re-attach the electrical outlets to the wall (unfortunately. There was no easy way to move them) and patch a few holes. With any luck, I'll have this area primed and painted this weekend.

Pray for me.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Holiday Weekend

A quick recap of my Christmas Weekend:

It seemed like I was on the go the whole four days. And, looking back, I was. There was so much fun to be had!
First, Friday night dinner with Matt at my house. I got a killer deal on live Dungeoness crab since it's in season. So, I drove home with a wriggling paper bag full of dinner gleefully anticipating the carnage!
Here we are, just sitting down to eat. ALWAYS put plastic under the newspaper (just a little tip from me to you), as crab can make for a messy dinner...

Before Matt would let me tear into mine, he set them up for a little duel: Food Fight!!!

The next morning we got to take it easy and leisurely pack for our overnight stay at the Oregon Garden Resort. It was fantastic! It really did feel like we had gone away on vacation, but it was only two miles from my house. All the pleasure of vacation with the convenience of being in your hometown. We went out to dinner and Skyped family and just had a great time.
Christmas morning dawned early, as we had to be at Matt's mother's house by nine in Salem. We had a lovely time opening gifts and cooking breakfast (which included my first introduction to grits. I was pleasantly surprised). Here's Matt and Strauss (his little brother) putting together a train set after the present-opening frenzy:

Then, I was speeding off to Jan's house in Beavercreek as I said I'd be there by noon to help set up dinner. We talked and played with lambs and watched the ewes like hawks as they ponderously went about their business. I volunteered for the 3am lamb check Sunday morning so Jan could get a much-needed full nights rest. I found a set of twins only a half hour old when I went into the barn and got them settled in a pen, then fell back into bed about 3:30am. Here are some of the baby shots I took while I was there:

Jan's decided to name these triplets Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato...BLT for short (Matt's idea).

Later Sunday morning, I awoke and we were off again to look for a new washer and dryer for me. I just can't take the dryer squeals anymore! After two years of having a dryer that complains loudly every time it's turned on, I need some peace! Combined with the fact that my washer trips the safety on the electrical outlet when I turn it on, it was time for a new set. While I was at it, I decided that a new water heater would be a great idea too, as the one I have now is 15 years old and not installed up to code. So, after a trip to the Sears Outlet, behold:
My new Washer and Dryer Laundry Center!!!!! YAY!!!

More to follow soon, as I've already contacted a contractor and we've been scheming...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hawaii- Part Une

After our Alaska cruise and now our Hawaii vacation, I've decided I cannot let Mother out of the hotel room alone, no matter how much I want to sleep in. The first morning in Hawaii dawned bright and warm and I spent the morning of my birthday swimming in the Maui ocean and sunbathing in my new bathing suit. It.Was.Heaven. Mom had disappeared early in the morning and finally showed up after breakfast with an envelope full of purchased tickets- no expense spared! I supposed plying my fingers to the bone IS worth it :-)
Anyway, here's Mom on the beach our first night in Maui. After the five hour flight, sitting on a beach in Hawaii was very surreal...

Here's me in my super hot bathing suit!!

After sunbathing and swimming in the ocean, for my birthday dinner, Mom and I went to one of the best Luaus on the island- Old Lahaina Luau! We were greeted with leis and Mai Tais while waiting for the pig to cook.

Here's a view of all the tables and people...

A view of the stage...

Here's the pig pit!

They're digging around the pit...

Lifting the lid off the pig; they use banana leaves and river rock...

Ta da!! Slow cooked pork! The food and entertainment was fantastic- one of the best birthdays EVER!

The next day, we stopped at the fruit stand and picked up some goodies. Here's some dragon fruit...

and Maui gold pineapples!

Scuba diving and the Road to Hana below!

Hawaii- Part Deux

Our first excursion: the road to Hana in a luxury van!

the Black Sand Beach on the way...

We then took a helicopter from Hana, back down to the airport. Here's Mom in the air:

Some views while in flight...

The day after the Hana and helicopter trip, we went snorkeling at Turtle Town and Molokini. Mom will probably kill me for posting this picture, but she just looked so proud! Here's Mom in her bathing suit and a scuba top!

To be fair, here's me in a scuba top. We saw sea turtles, spinner dolphins, eels, and lots of tropical fish. It was an absolute blast and Mom was the last one back onto the boat!

The next two days, we went to a Lavender farm (Mom's pick, of course) and a goat dairy, both wonderful experiences.

We had a great time and Mom cried alligator tears as we loaded the plane to come home.

Glass Blowing Class 2

After my success in the first class, I decided to sign up for level two. Here I am shaping a vase with some wet newspaper...

Swinging hot molten glass at the end of a long metal pole- very exciting!

Shaping a bowl with the jacks...

More shaping...

Me blowing into the pipe...

Me at the glory hole getting my glass hot!

All in all, it was a very educational experience and I'm very pleased I got to cross something off my bucket list. Not sure if I have what it takes to be a glass blower, but I have a couple of glass flowers and lopsided bowls that I'm very happy with!