Wednesday, August 26, 2009
It's amazing the feelings of peace and serenity and bubbles of joy that a new door and a new window provide. It's hard to wrap my mind around just how distressing those things were to me on a subconscious level. Next up is replacing the broken sliding patio door. It sounds a bit like we've been living in a broken down shack, eh?
Today the plumbers came and repaired the leak, tomorrow they come back and repair the ruined wall. Today also featured me chopping down a tree and cutting it into small enough pieces to fit into our trash bin, all by myself, while Ben practiced riding his bike up and down the sidewalk for two hours, non-stop. My hands are raw, my back is sore, but I did manage to squeeze in a nap in a patch of warm Southern California sunlight streaming through our bedroom window- one of life's greatest pleasures as far as I'm concerned. Life is good, and only getting better!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Today I had my very own Handy Manny in Michael, who ripped out the door on our service porch and replaced it with a pre-hung fiberglass door all by himself. Is there nothing my man cannot do? Now instead of a door that was literally falling apart and provided no security, I have a beautiful door to lock out the bad guys and still give me a view of the lemon tree while I do laundry! Very nice!
We left a long list of things on our house that need to be repaired and/or replaced immediately for our landlady and didn't hear from her for days. We called and stopped by, but nada! It turns out she went on a trip to Sweden, got sick, had surgery, and is still there in the hospital. At over eighty years old, my guess is that she's not coming home any time soon. So we finally got in touch with her daughter who said we could go ahead and do the repairs ourselves and get reimbursed, and that she'd hire a plumber for the one repair beyond our skill set. Yes, I know we're giving her free labor, but if I have to wait for months on end for a broken window, a burst pipe, and a busted door to get fixed, I will not be a happy Mama. And you know what they say about what happens when Mama ain't happy! So between Mike and our friend Ron (check out his new blog about home repair!) we are making it happen ourselves. And tonight, with my beautiful safe new door installed, this Mama is happy!
Michael ripped out the old door and the frame, and installed a brand new pre-hung fiberglass door.
The new door in place! All it needs is some molding around the door frame and we've got ourselves the nicest door on the block! And that guy there in the tool belt is pretty cute, too.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I've been making all those birthday tees for the kids I know and one of my grown-up friends begged me to make one for her upcoming birthday. Unlike the ones I've made for kids, she didn't want her age on it! I thought a little bit about her... she loves to make these giant cupcakes for people's birthdays and she runs a kid's cooking party company where one of her themes is a cupcake bar (she has photos of my boys on her website from Nathan's 6th birthday). So a big appliqued cupcake tee it was! Ben, my color consultant, chose the color of the tee and the fanciful fabric, and I created the art. I was going to do a birthday candle, but decided a cherry would be more wearable year round. Of course, now my friend wants me to make some aprons with the same design for her and her employees to wear to the parties... So maybe my long neglected sewing machine will be getting some love and affection on a more regular basis! If I can keep the Lego's and art supplies off all the horizontal surfaces around here, that is!
Friday, August 21, 2009
As I'm going through tossing stuff out, I found some washable paints and paintbrushes and handed them to Ben. The first day he made giant flowers. Today he's working on a smaller painting of a teddy bear. He's so deliberate with painstaking attention to detail. I love his descriptive words for colors ("that is purple Mom, I was hoping for more of a silvery-violet shade...") and his ideas of what an artist should be like. Please note he's not wearing a shirt in the photo above... he said it stifled his creativity! This totally baffles me... we are a creative family and talk about creativity all the time, but we do it with our shirts on! Oh well. It's fun to see him develop his own unique ideas! He said I can't post a photo of the painting in progress, only when it's complete. With Ben, that could be a day or two...
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Nathan loves sushi and sashimi like some kids love candy. It's not something we normally have around here, but his classmates bring it in their lunches and they're happy to trade for his PB&J's. Once he actually got to make some when a parent brought in the ingredients for the kids to make crab rolls. Due to the high number of Asians in our hometown, we've got some of the best Asian markets in the U.S. Even our national chain grocery stores sell fresh sushi, and one of them employs a lady who makes it fresh as you order it. Every time we go in, Nathan sighs longingly in the direction of the refrigerated sushi case. This week Ben was at my parents and we had only Nathan to lavish our time and attention on. So when we went to the market and he asked, I said okay, and we came home with some crab rolls. Which he consumed at an astonishing rate.
His favorite thing is what he calls the "Spicy Guacamole" (wasabi). He eats it alone, dipping a finger into it and licking it off. I'm not surprised he can tolerate the spiciest of spicy foods... as a ten month old baby he ate salsa with a spoon, lapping it up like other babies ate their bland applesauce. I don't even want to think about what his spicy diet may bring in the future. All I know is that Nathan is hands-down the healthiest member of the Chase family, only going to the doctor for his annual check up, and has perfect attendance at school. His diet reflects his personality as well... we always say that Nathan is the spice of life, keeping things from getting bland!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
We bundled up heavily - it may be August, but it's chilly here in the morning and evening!
What could possibly be weighing us down, you ask? Well, nothing after a walk along the shore at dusk!
But in all seriousness we are facing the issue of living in a rented house that has a few major things wrong with it at the moment. We sent a list with photos of the things that need to be fixed to our ninety year old landlady along with the rent check, and then we waited. And we called and left messages, and then we waited. And we waited. Finally we called her maintenance man direct, and we found out she's out of the country in Sweden, the land of her birth. And then we got a call from her son, saying not only is she in Sweden, she's in hospital in Sweden. So the problems of our house are the furthest thing from her mind, even though they are the first thing in ours. We're faced with a few options and they are all difficult, not an obviously easy one in the bunch. It seems like every time I say something along the lines of "Wow, this was a really difficult year," it simply gets even more complicated with all new challenges to be tackled.
So a little Pacific Ocean therapy was in order. When you stand on the edge of our state, our country, our continent... all those giant challenges just seem to shrink. For a little bit anyway!
Monday, August 10, 2009
And had a blast! Thanks Kelly! You're the best!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
***I will mention that in our house. all our cleaning products are kept in their original packaging - we don't put them in other spray bottles. So if you try this at home and do use this type of bottle to store chemicals or cleaning products, please save yourself lots of heartache and label the bottles and keep the chemicals locked up.***
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
At some point they've both experienced a sugary concoction called Go-Gurt, which bears little resemblance to the stuff I normally let them consume. It comes in a tube a lot like a very long ketchup packet. You rip off the top and suck it out. And every time I take the kids shopping with me, they beg me for it. With much whining and crying and pleading. I always say NO. I know, I'm mean that way.
Yesterday Michael took Nathan to see a movie and I took Ben with me to the market. As we passed the yogurt, Ben paused. He then quietly got my attention and without the slightest hint of a whine said to me, "Mom, whenever we ask if we can have Go-Gurt, you always say no. I would really like it if you said yes this time."
I must admit, I gave in, and now we have a case of Go-Gurt in our fridge for the very first time. I explained that this was a one time deal, not a regular thing. It's more like candy than yogurt, with all the sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and major food coloring. But that's okay, this one time. And I hope that Ben learned that speaking calmly and being reasonable bears more fruit than the whining and crying. Well, maybe not fruit so much as fructose, but you get my drift.
And now back to our regularly scheduled Summer Vacation, of which there are only five weeks remaining...