Tuesday, May 31, 2011

365 Photos Day 151


Today I attempted to match paint colors. I wish I could say it went brilliantly, but, yeah. No. It didn't.

The color on the paint can says it's Olive Branch from Hirshfield's. So that's the color chip I brought home...which is not the color that's actually on the wall I need to re-touch. Not even close.

When at the store, without the label or can or stir stick, I thought about trying to get other greens just in case the Olive Branch wasn't the right one. But I can't really tell the difference between some shades of green (like what I'm trying to match), browns, and greys. It makes it interesting sometimes.

I didn't know I had a problem seeing some colors until I was in the 9th grade and we were doing a color blindness test in Health class. Even when the teacher brought the card right up to me, I couldn't see the number I knew had to be there, at which point he said something along the lines of "Females aren't color blind." Ooooh-kay.

I do remember when I was 4 or 5, I asked my parents about our green cat. They of course looked at me like I'd lost my ever-loving mind and told me we didn't have a green cat. But I knew that cat was green. I would've sworn it on a stack of Bibles that cat was green (stripey with white and black). It wasn't until that day in Health that we put it all together.

Apparently it's not color blindness as such. It's a color vision deficiency. And yes, females can have it (obviously). Trying to sort these hues into order gives me a headache, but entertains my other family members greatly (because of course they can do it just fine).

It's not a big deal, just frustrating sometimes, especially when I'm standing in a paint store looking at the wall with the color swatches trying to find a particular shade that we need. Mostly I have Steve or Amanda help me, which works out, except when they're not there. Like today. I'm just going to have to either take the can or the stir stick in and see what color we need. Otherwise that wall will have to remain primer white.

And that green cat? According to my parents, he was actually grey. Go figure.

Monday, May 30, 2011

365 Photos Day 150


Main Street in Winsted at 8(ish)p.m. on a Monday masquerading as a Sunday night.

Most of these buildings are empty, which is kind of sad, really.

It reminds me of the town I grew up in (minus the empty buildings). The streets were mostly empty on Sunday afternoons, and after 7ish at night.

Yep. That full circle thing seems to be quite the story of my life.

365 Photos Day 149


We were invited to some friends' house for a fish fry, and I was told I had to make Revel Bars for dessert. I don't make these very often (according to the Kid, anyhow), but they're pretty good.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

365 Photos Day 148


These are a couple of the neighborhood bunnies that come hang out in our yard sometimes. These two were playing leapfrog right before I could get out there with the camera...no, seriously. They were leaping over each other down the length of the yard.

I'm thinking they were just coming over to see if Steve had (so thoughtfully) put in his garden yet (no, it's been too wet). They're really big on eating almost everything he grows, which is fine, considering we can't eat it all.

Besides, they are kind of cute. And definitely entertaining.

365 Photos Day 147


This is the end result of 2 evenings worth of sorting, assembling and moving storage shelves, and putting like things with like. It all started when I wanted to take a cabinet that was there & clean it up to use in the laundry room.

In retrospect, it might've been easier to just leave everything where it was and use something else. But that wouldn't have been nearly as fun.

I found things I didn't even know we had, like a nail gun that goes with the air compressor (the location of which is currently unknown). I also found enough crescent wrenches and drill bits to start our own home improvement store. I found all sorts and sizes of clamps, putty knives, and socket sets. Lots of this was my Dad's, so I remember seeing it while growing up when he & I would work on projects. Unfortunately, I still don't know what some of the things are actually called, as he would often refer to things as "that doo-hickey" or the "thing-a-ma-jig" while pointing in the general direction of whatever it was he needed.

In any case, I have all my painting stuff in ONE place now, which makes it easier to access. Always a good thing, I think.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

365 Photos Day 146


Someday this pile of metal will become the framework for our new storage shelving unit in the basement.

Today is not that day.

I haven't been so frustrated with a project since...um...probably last year during Home Improvement 2010 Season.

I followed the instructions. Exactly. I even got one of Steve's big hammers out to help tap down the braces/brackets/stupid metal thingys.

After about 45 minutes of not even being able to get the bottom part of the frame to hold in place, I decided that it was better to give it up for tonight rather than to give into my temper and throw those pieces all over the basement.

On the plus side, I did get most all the priming done for the spots where I have to re-touch paint from when the drywall guys came and fixed some holes. So at least I have that going for me today.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

365 Photos Day 145


This is a 24" x 24" board. It's also the project I'm currently working on for the laundry room while waiting to get the beadboard wainscoting for the laundry room. Which will then need installed. And painted.

This board will magically turn into a BINGO board kind of art thing...if it works. I've figured out the measurements (using my oh-so-not-awesome math skills), and have all the paint needed.

So, we'll see. If nothing else, I'll flip it over and do something with the other side, also known as "Plan B".

365 Photos Day 144


After driving past so many lilac bushes in bloom today, I thought I should check on mine. Yay! I'm going to be able to cut some and bring them in the house. Then it'll really feel like Spring to me.

Next door to the house I spent the greater part of my young childhood in, there was a lady who had a FABULOUS garden. And I mean FABULOUS. Along the entire side of her garden, the one that was by my window, she had a solid wall of lilacs. Every spring they'd bloom and fill the air with their lovely scent. After long, hard winters, it was just perfect.

I have 3 lilac bushes in our yard--2 white, and 1 that I think is purple (can't remember, and it's not blooming yet). Steve got the white ones for me a couple of years ago at a tree auction, and some friends gave us the other one off a cutting from their own lilacs.

Eventually they'll get big enough to make a solid wall o'lilacs, but for now, I'm happy with the fact that they're blooming.

Monday, May 23, 2011

365 Photos Day 143


Taking all 4 cats out at the same time is an exercise in patience and a good test of reflexes.

However, when they're all eating grass in the same place, it makes it (somewhat) easier. Until 1 decides to sprint off toward the back lawn because there's a bird she wants to see eat, and 1 takes off toward the road because who knows why, and 1 decides to explore the basement window well (which is rather deep), and the other goes toward the front yard.

Then it's not so much fun.

But this was taken before all the running commenced.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

365 Photos Day 142


It was a rather stormy day today. Rain, tornados, rain, sunshine, rainbows, more rain...

Guess it's summer now.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

365 Photos Day 141


Today was this young man's graduation party. My family & his family have been friends ever since the kids were young, so it was only fitting that we helped his parents with the graduation party. Besides, they'll help with Amanda's next year, so it's a fair trade.

Dominic has always been a good kid, but it's been amazing to watch him become a really awesome man. I'm just as proud of this kid as if he were my own--we all kind of joke that all our kids get lumped together, so we yell at them/give them hugs/whatever all equally (although when I'm yelling at Dominic now, I have to drag him over to a staircase or grab a chair so I can look him in the eyes).

I'm glad I got to watch him grow up, and I can't wait to see what his future brings him.

Friday, May 20, 2011

365 Photos Day 140


Book sale time! This was taken after we'd closed for the day. I'm not sure how many books were sold today, but I do know that I had to do some condensing on the various tables before I left.

Most of these were donated. It's amazing how generous our community can be sometimes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

365 Photos Day 139


This is what we (sort of) affectionately call our "Back Room of DOOOOOOOM" (say it in an announcer's voice...it works better).

I spent the vast majority of the afternoon at the library getting ready for the booksale that'll be happening this upcoming weekend. I brought all the books that I'd stored in the back room out, plus weeded 544 (all but 75 today, yes. It was fun. In an odd sort of way.) more.

All winter long, when we get donated books, I sort through them, keep the ones out I want to add to the collection and then box up the ones that'll be booksale fodder. I stack as many boxes as I can under that countertop, as well as against the wall that is just behind the door that would be at the far left of the picture if I'dve left the picture uncropped. Suffice it to say, the boxes this year were over my head, and it's a good thing they didn't fall on anyone going through here to get to the restroom.

The boxes that are currently under there are empty. I don't think we've had quite this many books on the booksale in a few years, but that's OK. Book sale proceeds go toward funding the Summer Reading program and to other projects the Library Board is working on (which is nothing right now, but that's OK too).

My boss walked back there and said, and I quote, "HOLY SHIT THIS IS CLEANED OUT BACK HERE I CAN'T REMEMBER THE LAST TIME IT WAS LIKE THIS!!!!! YOU SHOULD TAKE A PICTURE!!!!" If I'dve been thinking, I'dve asked for a raise. But alas, I was probably toting yet another load of boxes out to the tables.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

365 Photos Day 138


Seen whilst out and about this evening.

It's probably a message from the Universe for me to take heed of what I've been doing lately.

Or just a damn awesome license plate.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

365 Photos Day 137


What did I do today? Painted/retouched the laundry room. It's getting there.

I also made 3 dozen sugar cookies for the Kid's softball Fan Appreciation day. I'm a little confused how it is that I, a fan (sort of), am having to make my own cookies.

But then again, maybe I just inhaled too many paint fumes today and killed off the brain cells that would help make it all make sense.

At least it was sunny.

Monday, May 16, 2011

365 Photos Day 136


Just another day watching the Kid play softball. This is my normal view...down the 1st or 3rd baseline.

This was her only at bat today, where she was called out on a 2-1 count after she fouled a ball straight back over the backstop because she "was out of the batter's box". I have that in quotations because that's not what REALLY happened.

What really happened is that in the previous inning, her coach was arguing with the home plate umpire. There was no clearly marked batter's box, but the Kid is very good about knowing where the lines should be (she should be, considering she's a catcher), and knows enough to stay within the box.

So, the coach had ticked off the ump (never a good idea), who then took it out on the next few batters.

There's 2 more regular season games tomorrow, and then a playoff game on Friday. I don't know how far they'll get, but I'd like it to be time for Summer softball. Now would be good.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

365 Photos Day 135


I taped the laundry room today in preparation for painting (cue angels singing here). This is the ONLY painter's tape I will use anymore. I used to use the blue stuff, but after a few, um, unfortunate incidences last painting season, and the level of frustration I had with it, I have banned it from the house.

I can't say enough good things about this tape...and I'm not even paid to endorse it. If I wanted to, I could walk away for a couple of days without painting, come back, paint, and then take off the frog tape and have it look just like I'd done it all the same day. I love the crisp edges I get, and hey, the fact that it's a green color is just that much niftier.

That said, I'm going to go start painting. I want to see the color up on the walls before I'm 90. And with the way the weather's been thus far this spring, I might BE 90 before I'm all done.

365 Photos Day 134


Well, the Kid got confirmed tonight. I think that means that unless she screws stuff up really badly, she now has a one-way ticket to Heaven.

But I'm a little vague on Roman Catholic doctrine and beliefs, so I might be wrong.

All I know is that it was a loooooong day, and I'm glad it's done.

And yes, I did drive to watch her play ball this morning...and sat in the freezing cold rain...and by the time I'd warmed up again, the rest of the tournament was cancelled due to the weather. Sigh.

Friday, May 13, 2011

365 Photos Day 133


Yesterday I drove 2.5 hours north to watch the Kid play softball. Tomorrow I'm driving 2.5 hours south to watch her play in a tournament.

I love softball season. I go through lots and lots of audiobooks. And gas.

But that's OK. Here in a couple of years I won't get to do it anymore and I'm pretty sure I'll miss it.

In the meantime...I need to go finish laying things out for tomorrow morning, because I have to leave bright and early (about 7 am. Which is so not a valid time. Except in the softball world.)

365 Photos Day 132

Since Blogger was down yesterday, I couldn't post this here. But it's back, and so now I can. *throws confetti*


I drove almost 2 hours 1 way to sit in the cold rain to watch the Kid play softball. Since it was so far away, it was a double-header.

She sat the first game.

I got rained on the first game.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate getting rained on? No? Suffice it to say, it is nowhere near my top ten list of things I love.

So, I’d been thinking about watching the second game from the warmth of the car, when one of the people I’d been sitting next to came and told me that if they were suffering the rain and cold, so could I. So I did.

And was surprised as heck to see the Kid catching. I mean, it’s one of the positions she plays, but her coach (in his infinite wisdom) hasn’t had her catch a game thus far this season.

If I’dve known she was going to be catching, I’dve moved my chair so I wasn’t sitting behind home plate.

See, during the last dome ball game of the 2009-2010 season, in the second to last inning, while she was catching, she took a foul ball off her helmet. It hit her hard enough that it left a dent. IN HER HELMET. I still remember the feeling of, “Oh crap, that’s going to hit her” and watching her finish the game still dazed.

Turns out she got a concussion. A fairly bad one at that. Her second in less than a year (the previous June she’d been knocked out during a play at home plate…when she was catching). It was kind of alarming.

So I stopped sitting behind home plate. I just couldn’t anymore. I did once this past winter, and she got drilled in the head while batting and went down like she’d been shot. I was told that I can’t come watch her play dome ball anymore, or if I did, I can’t sit behind home plate.

Today she didn’t get hit, run over, or otherwise maimed, which is good.

But next game…I’m moving my chair anyway.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

365 Photos Day 131


I love this ceiling paint. Seriously love it. It's a nice bright white when it dries, but the best part is while I'm painting, it's a pink color. It makes it very easy to see where I've missed, without me having to guess.

Of course, I'm just happy that I got to paint, so there's that, too. I have one corner to touch up, then I can start painting the top half of the room. I even have the paint ready to go for that (it's called 'Sea Turtle' & is a Walmart paint).

Yay for painting!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

365 Photos Day 130


It's Steve's birthday today, so we got him a cake. The cats got him 2 steaks (1 for him, 1 for them), and we also got him a book he wanted.

And the weather gods gave him a day which strangely resembled a hot summer day, complete with humidity and thunderstorms. This, a week after it freaking SNOWED.

I'm just hoping that they don't give me snow on my birthday (in July), because I'm pretty sure that'd be one of the worst gifts EVER.

Monday, May 9, 2011

365 Photos Day 129


One of the best things about not being in school anymore (aside from the decreased stress levels, no more homework, and no more long commutes) is the opportunity to be able to watch TV at night (instead of studying).

This was one of my favorite series to watch...when I could. I can't remember all that happened, though, so I'm re-watching it from the beginning. I watched 3 episodes yesterday.

I know...I'm accomplishing soooo much. But I'm OK with that.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

365 Photos Day 128


The Kid is making me some popcorn because it's Mother's Day. Well, that and I think she wanted some.

I'm pretty lucky to be her mom. There are days that I just look at her in amazement because she's such a good kid--I seriously don't know what I did right to deserve her, but I'm not going to argue at all.

I wasn't the easiest kid to raise, I know. My Mom used to tell me (in exasperation), "I HOPE YOU HAVE A KID JUST LIKE YOU", and I'd be all, "ME TOO BECAUSE I'LL KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH HER".

However, the Mother's Curse backfired. I got one like my Mom, not like me.

Eh, you win some, you lose some.

And I think in this one, I won.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there...those who are Mothers, and those who are like Mothers.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

365 Photos Day 127


We forgot to get the sump pump hose we'd come for, but I did get a piece of lattice board to see if it'd work in the laundry room re-do (and it does!!! happy happy happy). I also got 2 books at Barnes & Noble, and a blizzard at DQ.

I'd say that was a fairly successful shopping trip.

Friday, May 6, 2011

365 Photos Day 126


Just another afternoon watching the Kid play softball.

Yes, the fields are right behind a farm. That's because the high school is located inbetween 2 towns, on some farmland that was donated (or purchased, whichever) for the cause.

Small town rural Minnesota. Yup.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

365 Photos Day 125


What? Doesn't everybody order pizza for dinner on Cinco de Mayo?

Maybe we're just cool like that.

Actually it was because the Kid had a double-header softball game tonight & we didn't know what time we'd get home.

Either way, it was good.

And yes, this is a fairly accurate picture of the 2 of them...lucky me.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

365 Photos Day 124


In the Catholic Church, the months of May & October are devoted to the veneration of Mary. Before Mass, the Rosary prayers are said, usually led by an upstanding member of the community.

I have yet to learn all these prayers. The only one I can remember on a regular basis is the "Hail, Mary", and that might be because I tend to say it under my breath as any airplane I'm on is in the process of either taking off or landing.


This is my Mom's Rosary. It wasn't her first one, but it is her last one. When I look at it, I remember the conversation she and I had about the significance of Easter and the crucifixtion (which I just inadvertently spelled 'cruxifiction').

She always maintained that the Church was focusing on and celebrating the wrong aspect. Me, not knowing any better at the time would counter with, "Yes, but Jesus died for our sins, and isn't that the better part?" And Mom would just laugh. And then dismantle my reasoning.

Now, mind you, this was the same person who would invite rookie Mormon/Jehovah's Witnesses/any traveling missionaries into the house and proceed to "discuss" theology with them (at least she'd offer them some lemonade first).

This was the same person who helped me single-handedly shut down an entire half of the room's argument in my freshman Ethics class.

This was the person who made sure I attended every single freaking church in the (predominately Roman Catholic) town I grew up in; from the Baptist to the Methodist to the Church of the Latter Day Saints to the Assembly of God to the Episcopal to the Presbyterian ones...which continued until I was old enough to tell her I didn't get what the big deal was, because although it seemed like all of them had different ways of getting there, all of them were convinced they were going to Heaven--this was what she'd wanted me to get out of the whole thing, I think.

This was also the same person who, God love her, freaked out big time when I told her I was officially converting to Roman Catholicism (for reasons I shall not go into here and now...but rest assured, my role model in this decision was King Henri IV of France).

Back to the whole Easter thing...

Her point was that it wasn't just that Jesus was sacrificed for all sin. "I mean, that's nice and all, but it's not very helpful, now is it?"

No, it was that HE CAME BACK. He came back to inspire his Apostles to go out and spread the word about His teachings (which isn't always the same as what some Christians actually DO, but that's a whole other matter).

So she said that instead of celebrating His death and wearing crosses or crucifixes, Christians would be better off wearing a necklace with a picture of a tomb on it, because it was His LIFE that should be celebrated, not His death.

And if you look closely at this rosary, there is no image of Christ on the cross. No crucifix, no sign of death. Instead, there's an Ankh, which is the ancient Egyptian symbol for life, or more properly, eternal life, or life after death.

The lesson I took away from all of this was to never be afraid to look at things through a different lens, because sometimes what's presented isn't always the really important thing. Sometimes it involves thinking for myself, instead of blindly following the party line. More often than not, it will not be the popular view, nor will it be the easy path. So, this is why I do what I do, even if it's not going to be easy or fun.

And so I use this rosary, not just because it's handy (I don't have another one), not because it was my Mom's, but because it reminds me to be me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

365 Photos Day 123


Man, I remember the days when I'd buy some of these and some Dr Pepper with my allowance and then eat it all before dinner.

My present self feels a little nauseous thinking about that.

But I'm loving the retro packaging anyway.

Monday, May 2, 2011

365 Photos Day 122


Remember when watching softball games in May meant the weather was nice and warm?

Yeah, those were good times.

Today, however, it was COLD. Cold enough to snow this morning. Cold enough that even with a turtleneck, a huge sweatshirt, a coat, & gloves, I was contemplating the feasibility of watching the game from the warmth of the car.

One of my friends on Twitter asked me if it was perpetually winter here. I think it might just be.

And then I read this in the book I'm currently reading:

"Rebus had been taught in school that there were four distinct seasons, had painted pictures of them in bright and somber colours, but his native country seemed not to know this. Winters were long, outstaying their welcome. The warm weather came suddenly, people stripping to t-shirts as the first buds appeared, so that spring and summer seemed entwined into a single season. And no sooner had the leaves started turning brown than the first frost came again."

-from The Hanging Garden, by Ian Rankin

Dang if he didn't get it in one.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

365 Photos Day 121



(Personally, I find it interesting that it was trending on Twitter long before President Obama made his official statement.)