Wednesday, September 28, 2011

365 Photos Day 271


This is probably one of the best things the Kid has ever found in the Target Dollar Spot aisle thing. This is not her...this is a family friend who found it as amusing as Amanda did.
I was looking at Halloween stuff when Amanda put this on her head in the store. It gave me a much needed laugh, and for $2.50, well, it just needed to come home with us. She was pretty sure she should wear it for her senior pictures. Or something.

The cats aren't sure what to think about it, especially since Amanda makes the turkey bob and peck them.

Amanda refuses to have me take a picture of it because she says I'll put it on the Internet. Well, YEAH. Duuu-uuuh. Julie, on the other hand, put it on and said, "You're going to upload these to Facebook, right?"

365 Photos Day 270


It's kind of odd to see the fields like this already...even though I know it's almost October, it's like September went zooming by, and I missed it.

Maybe the farmers don't want to get caught with a bunch of crops still in the ground like they did last year when the weather went from OK to What the heck happened here in the span of a week.

Either way, this is the tangible sign that yet another summer is done, and I don't feel like I got to have enough warm weather to hold me over during the upcoming winter.

365 Photos Day 269


Whilst working in the laundry room this past weekend, I remembered I had this yellow flower pot thing. I wouldn't normally have thought to put this with the aqua, but on the poster Steve printed for me, it worked.

And amazingly, I like that pop of color as I'm looking down the hallway toward it. It makes me happy.

Now to get the REST of the room done.

365 Photos Day 268


Along with the painting of the closet fiasco project, I wanted to finish up the laundry room re-do this past weekend.

Part of that plan was to move this cabinet from the basement to the laundry room.

By myself.

At 3 in the morning.

This did not go well.

This is one of those cabinets that has a sort-of cardboard-y paper back. I didn't think it was going to make it up the stairs very well, so I cut out a plywood backer for it and screwed it onto the cabinet. I didn't really go for level or square, just for stability.

I managed to get it up the first set of stairs OK, but could NOT get it up the second set of stairs to save my life. I ended up taking the doors off on the landing (where they still are), and a chunk out of the top of the cabinet to boot.

But I FINALLY got it upstairs and into the laundry room to make sure it fit OK where I wanted it (it does).

Now I just have to take it back out and straighten out the back & then re-install the doors. Then I'll almost be completely done with the laundry room.

365 Photos Day 267


This was my Saturday project. I figured this would be a super-great!!!! weekend to finish up a couple of projects which have been dragging on and on and on and on and...well, you get the point.

Steve & Amanda were in Iowa for a softball tournament, so I didn't need to be done by a certain time, which was good, because this took me 3 hours.

See, this color is one of those colors that I can't always distinguish between the shades of when I'm comparing them. This was SUPPOSED to be the same color that was in the closet already and thus would have taken me 5 minutes to touch up the paint, and ta-da! On to the next project.

Yeah, if by "5 minutes" I meant "3 hours". Which, apparently I did.

I didn't bring up the roller or pan with me. Oh, no. Just a 1.5" brush. When I started to touch up the paint, I was not-so-pleasantly surprised to see that no, this was not the correct color. In fact, this was actually the color of the closet in the hallway where we have the laundry hampers.

Since I no longer had the correct paint for THIS closet because it'd gotten too goopy and unusable and had already been recycled, I ended up repainting the closet this color. With a brush. A 1.5" brush. (I was too mad to go downstairs and get the roller/pan at that point)

I did use the roller & pan for the second coat, which miraculously went much quicker. Gee. Who would've known?

365 Photos Day 266


The Kid and I went to go see this Friday night. We'd listened to the book this past summer, and wanted to kind of see where the movie took it.

I'll give it a solid "eh". It seemed as if the book almost needed to be read before the movie was watched because there were sure lots of parts that were glossed over fairly quickly, but would make sense if a person really had read the book.

Sometimes a book < the movie, but not for me, not this one.

Maybe it's because the readers on the audio were so good. Or maybe I was already in a semi-cranky mood.

365 Photos Day 265


The pictures I'd taken for today didn't turn out. I'm sure I messed up the settings or something.

But this is a good representation of how the day/evening/night went anyhow.

I traveled to the library system headquarters in Willmar for a meeting with the Executive Finance committee during which I would learn the fate of the appeal to keep our own head librarian.

We lost.

I don't think the interim director had any intention of letting it happen, and thus made a "recommendation" that we be combined with another library.

He was spewing lots of words I haven't heard (thank the good Lord) since my management class torture time. Words like "outcomes" and "blah blah blah" (which is pretty much what I got out of Management too.

It was hard to hear, and make me seriously question why I even bothered to go chase (and get) my Master's degree. But what I do know for sure is that even if they won't let us keep our own head librarian, they can't take away my knowledge and love for the job. At least I don't think they can...

Anyway, he "can't wait!!!" to "come to the table with all of us and help us devise a plan to meet these outcomes!!!!"

Yeah, me either.

That's because I know our city council and library board will eat him for lunch.

As for me, well, I'll bring popcorn as I watch the show.

365 Photos Day 264


This is my Storytime preparation support crew. Obviously they are very diligent in their duty.

The theme for Fall Storytime is Numbers. I'm not sure why, but it seems the kids are having more problems really understanding numbers versus letters. At least they're enthusiastic. Mostly.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

365 Photos Day 263


Today's lesson was that no matter HOW delicious Punch Pizza is, and trust me, it so's not really a eat-while-driving kind of food.

Luckily it's just as good when re-heated. Or eaten cold (which is what I did this time).

365 Photos Day 262






It's not even Halloween yet, but there's Christmas stuff out already.

I'm going to go find a rock to live under.

365 Photos Day 261


This is what I built today (it's a coat rack for the back entryway). Unfortunately, I had to jimmy-rig it as I seem to have been incapable of following the basic instructions on what materials I needed to get to make this.

Apparently a 1"x10" board is NOT the same as a 2"x10" board. So I took the scrap end, cut it in half, and made a faux 2"x10". As pretty as this looks, it's probably too heavy to actually hang on a wall without some serious wall anchoring going on.

But at least it looks pretty.

[I now have a 2"x10", so I'll do it right this time. Maybe.]

365 Photos Day 260


Some people circle the parking lots for awhile trying to get good parking spots (like Steve & Amanda).

Some people park in the same lot, same row, and don't care where the parking spot is, just so long as the car can be found again (that'd be me).

Sometimes the Parking Gods smile on everyone and combine the two, as they did here.

This is the FIRST parking spot in the row I usually park in when we go to this mall. It's by Barnes & Noble, so I can remember what store I was by, and approximately where I might have left the vehicle.

And yes, I do this because on one fateful afternoon, I parked in a random row and when we came out, neither the Kid nor I could remember where we'd left the car. In her defense, she was about 8. But it was RAINING, and as we were looking for the car, we got wet. And she hadn't grabbed her jacket from the car before we went in, so she got REALLY wet. Someday she'll get over it. Maybe.

365 Photos Day 259


It was rather chilly this week, so it was nice of Steve to remember to turn on our bathroom floor. It's heated. No, I don't know how. Magic, I think.

This was one of his "must-haves" on the new house wish list (Kind of like mine was crown molding downstairs). At the time I thought it was one of those weird things he'd seen on some home fix-it TV show, but it's really nice to have, especially since the shower wall is on the north side of the house (in the winter, north=rather cold).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

365 Photos Day 258


Speaking of Iz and her tree climbing skills, this is what happened today.

She went higher than she has before, and was contemplating how best to go higher before she freaked out. And then she freaked out some more when she couldn't figure out how to get down.

We finally convinced her to come down backwards and Amanda got her as soon as Iz was in reaching distance.

Later on I saw her eyeing the tree, as if she was trying to figure out how to get higher the next time she went up it.

365 Photos Day 257


I came home from work today and was going to make a sandwich for dinner before Survivor started.

And then I saw this.

One of our cats had chewed through the bag and eaten part of the loaf of bread. It could've been either Dart or Iz, but who knows? It could have been the Bread Goblin or something too.

When we got Dart, the people told us that he really liked bread, and had been known to do just this--so they took to keeping their bread in a drawer so that he couldn't get to it. There's only been one time that he's done that here, which is good. Iz has also been trying to figure out how to get to the bread lately, so it could've been her.

Either way, I went to the store and got another loaf of bread. Then I made my PB & J and turned on Survivor. And on the next commercial break, I put the new loaf in the cupboard.

365 Photos Day 256


When I was outside with the cats today, I noticed this branch hanging down from a tree that Iz likes to climb.

I'm so not ready for cold weather. Or snow. Or anything resembling winter.
Last winter was sooooooo long, and it seems like summer has been soooooo short this year.

I guess I'll just have to enjoy all the warm(ish) weather for as long as it lasts.

365 Photos Day 255


I finally got around to hanging up the clock that I got a few months ago when I was figuring out the launch pad thing (which I'm not done with yet, but will be...soon).

I can't remember where I first saw this clock, but I knew I would have one for my very own. I liked the Roman numerals, but I LOVED the fact that they weren't upside down (like most are) on the bottom.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

365 Photos Day 254


Ten years ago today our nation was reeling from the shock of a terrorist attack on United States soil.

Ten years ago today many brave men and women lost their lives trying to save others.

Ten years ago today many flags were flying at half-mast because of it all.

But not this one.

This is a flag that is flown at a company here in town. It's 30'x50', and is HUGE. This picture makes it look like an average sized flag, but it can be seen for miles.

Ten years ago today when everyone was still trying to process what had happened, this flag flew proudly and reassured many that we would be OK, even if it took awhile.

I'm not sure if we're all OK yet, but we're getting there.

365 Photos Day 253


I love this place. There is only one Pasta Zola, and it's where the Kid and I like to eat when we're at the Eden Prairie Mall. Apparently we go there enough that one of the guys there knows us by sight and greets us like old friends.

But that's OK, because this is dang good food.

365 Photos Day 252


This is part of my laundry room subway art that I need to actually put in the frame that I have for it and hang up.

I found it at Simple Crafter, and immediately knew this was perfect for the laundry room.

I'd painted the walls a lighter aqua color this spring, and hadn't really decided on the accent colors. I'd thought about red because I like the combination, but then when I came across this subway art, it's like the Universe said, "And here you go. Here's how it all works together."

Steve printed it out for me in a larger size, and I got a poster frame for it. Now all I have to do is put it all together.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

365 Photos Day 251


Sometimes there isn't enough spackle in the world to help when I've inadvertently drilled yet ANOTHER hole in the drywall without hitting a stud.

Sometimes I just cut my losses and use one of these.

It's a wall anchor.

It's also a pain, especially if the hole wasn't quite wide enough, or the screw goes in wonky, or it's a day ending in "y" and I really just want to move onto the next project but can't because Steve would then get all cranky that there are lots of holes in the wall and the sweet refrain of "************************[beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepppppppppppppp]***********" sounding through the house.

They work, but I still like a stud finder that does what it's supposed to know, tell me where one might be located in the wall.

365 Photos Day 250


Speaking of spackle and the use of, here's the kind I like to use. It's kind of like the ceiling paint that I like in that it goes on purplish-pink and dries to a white so I know when I can keep going with the project.

Unfortunately because of the stupid stud sensor, the closet I've been working on looks rather like it came down with a bad case of chickenpox and has lots of Calamine lotion on it.

365 Photos Day 249


This piece of home improvement equipment has the potential to be really handy.

This piece of home improvement equipment is a waste of my time.

I don't know if it's just me, or it, or a combination thereof, but when I use this stud sensor, I end up drilling LOTS of holes in the wall where the little lights said there should be a stud, but alas, there's only sheetrock.

Yes, I know how to use one. Yes, I've successfully used other stud finders and gotten very good results.

This one? Not so much.

Good thing I have a tub of spackle handy. And that I know lots of bad words. Both of those are essential after drilling the umpteenth hole after double and triple checking with this thing.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

365 Photos Day 248


Tomorrow (later today, I guess) is the "official" start date of the Kid's senior year of high school--it's the day that the rest of her classmates start back, anyway.

She's already been back to school for 2 weeks now, and has had to do homework even as they've all been whooping it up for the last couple weeks of summer. And her courseload is definitely more engaging than her schedule would have been at the high school.

She's happier at the college than she was at the high school, and we're happy too, considering that her first 2 years of college have been free. Free is always a good thing, I think.

So this is it. Her last first day of a high schooler.

365 Photos Day 247


I've had about as much math as I can take lately. And about enough of this small side closet in the master bedroom closet too. It's the closet that wasn't supposed to actually BE a closet, but ended up a closet anyway because I didn't get it changed in time.

Between making sure the shelves are actually, you know, LEVEL, and trying to locate the studs (our studfinder and I don't seem to play well together) in which to affix the brackets, I'm starting to reconsider my decision to put this on the "easy" project list.

I'm sure it will look lovely when it's done.

I'm also sure I need to go find the spackle to fix a couple of holes in the wall where I thought the studfinder had found a stud, but was actualy just LYING through it's little beeps.

Monday, September 5, 2011

365 Photos Day 246


This was taken on Saturday, 3 September in honor of the first Gopher football game of the season.

It's also the university that the Kid is seriously looking at for their Mechanical Engineering program. They have a solar car program which fascinates her to no end, and have "really cool stuff" too.

She's kind of wanted to go here since she was little, because one of her aunts always took her to basketball games. I asked her once why she wanted to go to the U of M, and she told me so that she could get her aunt basketball and football tickets. She didn't seem to get it when I told her that it was possible to not go there and still get the tickets anyway.

I have to admit, I'd love to have her stay that close to home when she goes off to college, but at the same time, I want her to experience what else is out there. It's kind of odd knowing that this is her senior year of high school, and even though she'll be at the community college all day, she's still JUST in high school.


365 Photos Day 245


Apparently when one's camera battery dies, it is customary to recharge it.

Apparently when one's charger is not with the camera box, it creates a conumdrum.

Apparently one's charger does not look like the other camera's battery charger, and in fact, does not require the removal of the camera battery at all at any time during the battery charging process.

Who knew?

Anyway, it's charged up and ready to go. Which also means I can get the pictures for the last week off of it.

365 Photos Day 244


This hammer and I have spent LOTS of quality time together over the past week.

We hung my diplomas. We did a little bit of "attitude adjustment" on some shims in the laundry room (they weren't going along with my master plan. After the "adjustment", all was well.) We did a bit of swearing (seriously, how many wall anchors can I go through in one day? Answer: Enough to make me wonder if it'd be OK to just pump the hole full of Gorilla glue before screwing the bracket in.)

It's not my favorite tool, but it sure is effective. And, my project list is getting shorter every day, which is also a Good Thing™.

365 Photos Day 243


Today was a tough day. Not in a really awful way, but just sad.

My boss, Sharon, retired from the library after 36 years of service. She said it was time, and that she wanted to enjoy the September sunshine because she hadn't been able to for years.

I have been so very lucky to have her for not only my boss, but a mentor, a second mom, and a friend. I know that there's no way that I would've been able to get through 7 years of school without her support and encouragement...and always working around my school schedule without complaining. She was the one who said (one fateful autumn day), "You seem to know your way around libraries pretty well. Do you want to come work here?" This simple question turned my life (and my family's life) upside down and inside out. And I'm so very grateful.

She let me test drive numerous projects and programs I worked on throughout my time in graduate school (chasing that MLIS degree), and would give me her honest opinion about what worked and what didn't, which generally helped me turn in better assignments.

It hasn't sunk in that she's not coming back to work at the library yet. Her last day was Wednesday afternoon (31 August), and she would've had the rest of the week off regardless. And everything is in flux right now regarding the "are we/aren't we combining libraries" that nothing seems normal anyway.

So, tomorrow morning (Tuesday, 6 September), it will be me who goes in to work instead of her. And I just don't know what I think about that yet.

365 Photos Day 242


I (finally) framed all of my various collegiate diplomas and hung them on my home office wall. It was time to get them off one of my bookcases and do something nifty with them. Besides, I needed the room for more books.

I used cardstock in the various school colors as the background, and then taped the diploma over it. Sounds easy enough, right?

But then there's that small problem of mine called PERFECTIONISM.

I finally figured out how to get all the diplomas to be the same distance from the top and sides, and then how much reveal of the second color of cardstock. This sounds way easier than it was.

There's far too much math involved on something like this. Especially with 3 differently sized diplomas (they got bigger the higher of a degree they were, which is kind of poetic).

And then there was the hanging up of them. Me, my trusty level, and a hammer took care of that.

It's all done, and I think I don't want to frame anything else for a bit.

Friday, September 2, 2011

101 in 1001 August Thank Goodness for Air Conditioning Edition

As much as I love love love Summer, sometimes I like air conditioning too. It was a busy month, and although I only finished 1 thing, there was forward progress made, especially on the quarter 3 projects (home improvement and painting). August was quite a month, and although it seemed like it would last much longer, it's on to September.

Finished: 33
In Process: 17
Percent finished: 32.68%
Left to go: 67.32%

Finances/Giving (2/12) [in Process: 2]
1. Get Emergency Fund up to $1000 [Done 15 March 2011]
2. Pay off and close Chase Visa
3. Pay off and close Target Visa
4. Get Emergency Fund up to 3 months (~12,000)
5. Get a used truck
6. Put a $50 bill in the second collection basket
7. Put a $100 bill in the second collection basket
8. Donate to the Food Shelf 10 times ($25 or equivalent) (8/10)
9. Leave a 100% tip 5 times (3/5)
10. Choose 2 kids from the Jesse Tree during Christmas & get them presents
11. Give to a family in need during the holidays
12. Buy a scratch-off lottery ticket & donate 25% of the winnings to charity [Done 18 September 2010]

House Inside (6/12) [In Process: 3]
13. Hang up 5 pictures (5/5) [Done 17 November 2010]
14. Frame Tree picture [Done 9 September 2010]
15. Paint back room and closet [Done 13 October 2010]
16. Paint hall storage closet & set up shelves [Done 17 August 2010]
17. Spruce up front door area (outside: welcome mat, flower pots/ inside: bench, mirror, lamp)
18. Finish basement
19. Back door/entryway re-do
20. Repaint & redo my office
21. Hang curtains or blinds in master bedroom & the Kid’s room [Done 18 October 2010]
22. Get dining room chairs
23. Repaint Laundry Room
24. Repaint/redo master bathroom/closet [Done 5 October 2010]

House Outside (2/12) [In Process: 1]
25. Plant 5 trees in yard (4/5) [4 Blue Spruce planted 7 August 2010]
26. Put in back flower bed
27. Paint Storage Shed same color as house
28. Back entryway outside re-do (transition between steps and red rock)
29. Build garage
30. Put in front flower bed
31. Put in front tower flower bed
32. Put in side flower bed
33. Level out north side of house & put down the decorative rock
34. Get covers for grill & fireplace
35. Get rid of stumps in back yard [Done 28 August 2010]
36. Get a flag for front porch (and install said flag) [Done 3 July 2011]

To Do/Watch/Read (2/12)
[In Process: 7]
37. Watch 101 movies (33/101)
August 2011
• Little Miss Sunshine

38. Read 101 books (134/101) [ The 101 was done 2 May 2011]
August 2011 (10)
• Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
• A Dark and Stormy Night by Jeanne M Dams
• The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
• Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
• Luck Be a Lady by Cathie Linz
• Four Bodies and a Funeral by Stephanie Bond
• Threats at Three by Ann Purser
• Non-fiction: The Heart and the Fist by Eric Greitens
• Non-fiction: Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia by Janet Wallach
• Audio/Book: On the Wrong Track by Steve Hockensmith

39. Go to a Cowboys-Vikings game
40. See 5 Minnesota Tourist Attractions (0/5)
41. Visit 5 art galleries in Minnesota (1/5)
42. Watch all seasons of “24” (0/8)
43. Watch all seasons of “MI-5” (4/9)
44. Complete a crossword puzzle book
45. Watch 5 documentaries (5/5) [done 10 February 2011]
46. Read 5 Non-fiction books (3/5)
47. Donate 100, 000 grains of rice on (50,000/100,000)
48. Do 5 things from the “365 Things to do in the Twin Cities” (4/5)

Health (2/12) [In Process: 0]
49. Walk to work 30 times (30/30) [Done 14 March 2011]
50. Bike around the lake
51. 175
52. 165
53. 155
54. 145
55. 135
56. Get eyes checked
57. Get new glasses or contacts
58. Get annual physical [Done 16 September 2010]
59. Do the 200 sit-ups challenge
60. Track my progress with Wii Fit for 28 consecutive days.

Grown-up/Family stuff (3/12) [In Process: 1]
61. Change life insurance beneficiaries
62. Write wills
63. Write living wills
64. Get family picture taken
65. Send out Christmas cards with aforementioned family picture on it
66. Host Brother/Sister Christmas party [Done 18 December 2010]
67. Have a family board/card game night 5 times (2/5)
68. Buy a new “grown-up” outfit (shirt/pants) [Done 23 July 2011]
69. Take a family vacation
70. Make a picture family tree
71. Get first aid certified
72. Get the Kid a car safety kit for her car [Done 28 December 2010]

Spiritual/Church (4/12) [In Process: 2]
73. Learn the Rosary Prayers
74. Go to a Latin Mass
75. Go to daily Mass for a week
76. Donate time, talent, or treasure for the CCW Bazaar [Done 1 October 2010]
77. Read the Tao te Ching [Done 18 September 2010]
78. Get a new St Christopher Medal
79. Do the Advent readings and wreath one year [Done 7 January 2011]
80. Do the Lenten readings one year
81. Do the Rice Bowl project one year [Done 17 April 2011]
82. Light an intention candle 10 times (5/10)
83. Attend Mass in the Basilica
84. Attend 2 Lenten dinners

Food (10/11) [In Process: 0]
85. Make a cake & icing (or cupcakes) from scratch [Done 24 July 2010]
86. Try 3 new restaurants (3/3) [Done 17 June 2011]
87. Do one week of meal planning [Done 31 December 2010]
88. Do one month of meal planning [Done 3 July 2011]
89. Eat 1 serving of fruit a day for a week (7/7) [Done 12 July 2010]
90. Try a new recipe [Done 1 October 2010]
91. Make cookies from scratch [Done 23 September 2010]
92. Try a different flavor ice cream (no vanilla/chocolate) [Done 12 August 2010]
93. Limit Diet Coke to 2 servings per day for 1 consecutive week (0/7 days)
94. No fast food for a month [Done 9 April 2011]
95. Try 5 different kinds of apples (5/5) [Done July 2010]

Just Because (2/6) [In Process: 1]
96. Donate hair to Locks of Love one more time
97. Take part in a pub quiz [Done 16 January 2011]
98. Complete a 500+ piece puzzle
99. Fly first class
100. Start a Tumblr [Done 8 July 2010]:
101. Do a 365 day photo challenge