Archive for the ‘House’ Category

I keep finding odds and end photos on my computer and I always say “I really need to get that blog post written and loaded”…..but I never get it done.  So I’ve decided to just post some pictures with some explanation.  They will be totally unrelated…but that’s OK with me!

Here goes…

Last year, during the whole cancer business, one of my 8th grade girls brought me a breast cancer awareness bracelet….

I thought it was incredibly kind.  She also bought herself one so that she could show her support.  Wow!  I have pretty amazing students!  Kylie moved to Las Vegas a few weeks after she gave me the bracelet but now every time I wear the bracelet I will think of her.  (yes, I am the pasty white arm on the left!  She was also about a foot taller than me too!)

In July, (I think), Mom, my sister and my niece got together to make jewelry.  We try to do this at least once a summer because we all love to do it!  So here’s our creations!

we always make such a mess!  LOLOL

Mr. Elroy makes me laugh….here are some of my favorite pictures of him.  Some were taken with my phone so they aren’t so good….

He often sleeps like this…and in the middle of whatever I’m working on…..and I have to check to see if he’s still breathing because he looks dead…..

2 different naps ….2 different days…..same old pose….

One night….while working at my computer desk, it got kinda hot….so I turned on the fan….and this is where he put himself….between me and the fan…and again, laid right on top of the paperwork I was working on…..crazy boy cat!

I LOVE cat paws…..these are Goldie’s….and they are HUGE!

I knitted this little sweater for Kaylore….It actually fits her perfectly and I think it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen….if I do say so myself!!!!

This summer I was invaded by tiny ants…..I planned an ant massacre…..and it worked!!!  You can find anything on the internet!!!

I helped JW with his back to school backpack by embroidering his name on it……

It came with a wallet and everything…..and I think he liked it just fine!

It’s hard to believe he’s in 1st grade already!  Wow!!!

Ok….I think I’m all caught up….Oh Wait!  I almost forgot to celebrate!

Last week I went in for my yearly mammogram (and the first one since my diagnosis and surgery) and I’m proud to announce that ALL IS GOOD!!!  No reason for extra pictures, or procedures!  I’m so very extremely thankful!

Until next time!


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This week was J.W.’s first time to spend the night with me. He has come for the day several times but never overnight. So we had about 2 days to cram a LOT of stuff into!

Day 1 – By the time he got here and we went to the grocery store and had lunch….it was just too hot to do anything outside….so…..

We built things and crashed them with cars…

we played with the rocket….inside and out…

Stirred up some chocolate chip cookies dough. JW was the official dough taste tester….(we didn’t bake them until the next day)

After Supper, we went to the park and walked/explored around the “lake”

We helped this lost baby duck find his way back to his momma and siblings…

Played on the jungle gym…

(I call this his spiderman imitation!!)

When we left the park we decided we were hot and needed a snowcone to cool us off a bit….We took it home and ate it on the front porch…

Rusty joined us…and was looking rather proper!!

and finally….at 10 p.m. this happened (although this was taken the next morning….it didn’t take long for sleep to come for this busy boy!)

Day 2….

I finally had to wake him up at 7:30….so we could do as much as possible before he had to go home!

I needed to do some yard work so he helped by playing with Rusty and “fixing” my fence…

While I finished up some work in the front garden….he enjoyed the sprinkler

After He dried off….

we watched some cartoons and I baked the cookies

Then my neighbors invited us to go swimming with their grandson…So JW made a new friend!!!

JW and Jimmy

Did some twists and cannonballs…

shared our cookies…

Then we went by the house and picked up Rusty and hit the road to Kingfisher…

And this is how you know you’ve had a great time with Aunt J!!!!

Come back again J.W.!!!!!

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I almost forgot that I started this post.  You won’t see one for July because I haven’t done NEARLY as much as I did in June…..does baking count?  LOL


Each summer, I challenge myself to do at least one project around the house per day.  It doesn’t have to be big….just has to accomplish SOMETHING.  I’m also a list person but have discovered that if I make a list of the things that NEED to be done in the summer….I find myself resisting and actually do less.  Weird, I know, but that’s me!  So I have decided to make a list of the things I’ve accomplished AFTER I do them.  It’s much  more rewarding that way!  Here’s a running tally of my lists since I was out of school, May 25 to the last day of June.

1.  Painted Bedroom walls, ceiling and trim (still need to paint doors)

2.  Purchased new bedroom furniture, including mattress (this took a LOT of shopping)

3.  Purchased new linens for new bed

4.  cleaned, painted and purged bedroom closet

5.  cleaned and purged the dresser and chest in the guest room and moved into my new furniture.

6.  cleaned and purged bathroom cabinet in preparation for new counter top

7.  purged tv cabinet, music case and book case in the living room

8.  assembled new tv cabinet

9.  installed new area rug in living room

10.  Helped disassemble the old Mr. Elm and cleaned up the mess after he was carted away.

11.  Balanced check book (had not been done since December…..used cancer as excuse…)

12.  knitted 1 scarf, 3 hats and finished a pair of mittens

13.  started cleaning garage

14.  walked/rode stationary bike 423.5 miles

15.  took a road trip to Iowa

16.  Took Parents to Dr. Appt.

17.  4 dr. appts of my own

18.  laid sod on new sewer line in the back yard.

19.  Did a bit of gardening

20.  Blogged

21.  washed all the winter scarves and hats

22.  Attempted to de-flea the animals (many baths, treatments and brushing….sigh…)

23.  Kept up the Etsy store.

24.  took lots of naps…

25.  Read a book

26.  Helped interview one of my new bosses.

27.  Watched and cheered for Thunder Basketball

28.  played with Kaylore and Karver and J. W.

29.  Ironed a basket of shirts (at least a dozen)

30.  Hemmed a dozen fabric napkins

31.  Stupidly agreed to serve on another choral directors board….sigh…when will I ever learn?!?!?!?!

32.  Spent a little time in the garden.

33. carted many bags of crap to the thrift store (and didn’t even go in to shop!)

34.  made breakfast for the nephews

35.  cleaned and purged linen closet

36.  Shredded 10 years of tax records.

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Remember this…..



Well…..It now looks like this….

Here’s all the things that happened in this room….

1.  Refinished 1958 wood floor (done by professionals)

2.  Painted walls, trim and ceiling (by me)

3.  New Furniture (Purchased after looking at every bedroom set in the city about 3 times)

4.  New Mattress, bedding and quilt (all purchased)

5.  New closet doors with mirrors (also installed by a professional)

6.  New Curtains and curtain rods (again…purchased)

7.  Purged LOTS of clothes and clutter (and it felt GREAT)

8.  Shoe Shelf (temporary fix….will be getting a bench that holds shoes to replace the shelf and chair)

9.  Created a new playground for the furry residents


Here are some things I need to finish….

1.  Paint doors….They are primed but the weather just go too hot to paint in the garage so when it finally cools down then I’ll finish that little job…

2.  Replace the shelf with the bench to hold shoes

3.  Replace the ceiling fan….It’s old and noisy….so I’ll be looking for a new one.

4.  Replace the door handles.  Some are original with the house some have been replaced but none match…It’s time for an update.


One day I needed some help so my friend Dawn came to help me position my furniture….That’s what BFFs do, right?



I LOVE my new cave!!  It’s more than just an updated room.  I think it represents the renewal and moving forward I needed after all the cancer crap.  The bulk of the work was done in 2 weeks (including the bathroom and couple of other minor projects).  I think I needed something new to prove to myself that everything was going to be alright again.  I am truly happy with my room and my life.  Thank you God!!!


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I have a love/hate relationship with goals.  Most often I fail miserably and am then discouraged, but I keep setting them, hoping for a better outcome each time.

One goal I set each summer is that each day I have to complete a “project”.  I get to choose the project and it can be anything from cleaning the kitchen, purging clothes, assembling furniture, baking, or sometimes its just getting out of bed.  I’m happy to report that I have lived up to my goal of daily project competition!!

Back in January, in the midst of the cancer treatment, I was inspired by a blog I follow.  in 2011 she made the goal to walk 1000 miles in 1 year.  Now, she was a full time writer and had the luxury of spending 2-3 hours a day walking.  I however did not have that kind of time or energy so I cut it in half.  I talked to my trainer and told him I wanted to walk 500 miles in 2012 (this was already at the end of January) but also wanted to know how to convert stationary bike miles in to walking miles.  His response?….why convert them, just count them!!  I said OK!!!!  AT that time I was struggling to walk much more than a mile after my treatments everyday and I was riding my bike about 3-4 miles at a time.  I have NOT exercised everyday.  There are some weeks that I only get one workout done….I do have a life!!

I am SO happy to announce that at the end of June (halfway mark) I have completed 423.5 miles!!!!!  I am now working up to 3 miles of walking at a time and today I rode 11 miles on my bike (only stopping to take a drink of water).  Right now I’m nursing a bad blister on my heel so I’m having to ride my bike instead of walking.  So I’m thinking I might reach my 500 mile goal by the end of July!!!!  Not bad for an old, fat woman, recovering from breast cancer!  I wonder what my final mileage will be for the year?!?!?!

My trainer has been a wonderful encourager and helping me push a little harder and go a little further each time.  Thanks Steve!!!

I’m still working on my other goal of losing 10 lbs before school starts.  I think I need to stop snacking! 🙂  And we’re not going to talk about my goal of cleaning the garage…..

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A Final Farewell to Mr. Elm

After Mr. Elm’s untimely demise….and his dismemberment….he spent several days next to the curb awaiting big trash pick-up day….which, sadly, I did not photograph…

But pickup day came and he was loaded and carted away….


The big claws….scooped up the logs, and limbs….(and a few parts of my old bathroom counter top, a junk dresser from the garage and my dead television….I love big trash pickup day!)

Scoop by scoop Mr. Elm began to disappear…




And my yard began to reappear…



They left a few scars in the grass but they are healing nicely!

Here’s what my house looks like now…


A little barren….but all is well!


Now I have to see how I can get rid of the stump….suggestions requested!!!


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Whew!  Just writing these blogs is making me tired all over again!!!  But I think this was my favorite project because all I had to do was go shopping!!!  I had to choose the new countertop and faucet…..not a bad deal!

My bathroom was great….except for the countertop….


It is the original 1958 counter top and sink….and it’s been functional but far from appealing.

The formica used to have sparkly flecks….but all that plus more has been worn and scrubbed off through the years…

The sink was rusting and pieces were falling off…weekly….

Sooo….I jumped off the cliff and decided to do a new countertop in some sort of stone…

On the day of installation my go-to-guy came to do the demolition….

WHERE DID THAT WALLPAPER COME FROM?????  Ive never seen it and was glad I didn’t have to strip it off!!

But it was worth all the mess and waiting….


It’s Beautiful and I LOVE it!  It’s a man-made quartz that is almost indestructible.  It requires NO maintenance and is cleaned with something like 409.  We had a bit of drama with the faucet and I ended up with my 2nd choice…but it looks GREAT!!! and it will last much longer than my lifetime!


I’m a happy girl and my bathroom is complete!


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Just as I was beginning to get the bedroom underway, my Sony 27″, top-of-the-line-in-it’s-day TV finally gave up the ghost.  The picture had turned hour glass shaped and it was difficult to read the score of the Thunder games!  And it finally quit responding to my pounding on it to get the picture back to normal.  So….I upgraded….to current technology.



Once again, my fabulous nephew, Bryan, came and installed it for me!!!

I put the cabinet together….With a little help from Mr. Elroy….

I really LOVE it!  It has built-in Wifi so that when my Cox Cable contract expires in December, I can downgrade my service and subscribe to Netflix and maybe Hulu and save myself a ‘bundle’  LOLOL

Thanks Bryan and Mr. Elroy for helping me!!

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Each summer, I try to do something constructive/destructive to my house that will improve the living conditions or contribute to the ongoing purging project.  This year, it’s BIG!

This is my bedroom….

I LOVE my bedroom…it’s cozy, warm, cave-like and my escape to slumber land each night.  I’ve had the antique furniture, which is quite nice, for  25+ years and it has served me well.  It added to the coziness to the room.

But….about a month ago…..the light above my head turned on and said “IT’S TIME FOR AN UPDATE”…..and I had to agree.  The piece of carpeting I was using was old, stained and gross.  The wood floor, which is the original wood floor from when the house was built in 1958, still had the same 1958 finish and it too was stained and gross.  I checked the budget and decided to dive in head first.

I called my go-to-guy and we got started.

But during this process….I’ve been living like a hoarder.

Sleeping on the twin sized guest bed with only a small, narrow path to the bed. I’m limited on clothing because there are 2 sets of mattresses sharing the room and blocking the way to the dressers where my everyday clothes are stored.  Needless to say…I’ve done laundry often!  The antique furniture is in the garage, and my stuff is anywhere I can find a place for it to land.

My office has an even smaller trail….

And the Kitchen is packed as well….(sorry….some of these pics were taken hurriedly with my phone)

I’m looking forward to putting everything back in it’s place…and PURGING a LOT of the ‘stuff’.

Phase #1 –  paint the walls.

I settled on a nice “morrell” color. It’s actually a dark caramel or coffee with LOTS of creamer….and I love it!  (the big white stripe?  Well, when I painted the room green I stupidly hung an embossed/paintable wallpaper border….it was a really stupid idea) I hurriedly got it painted before they came to redo the floors.  During the floor process (do a step, wait a day, storm comes through, wait a day, do 8 steps, wait several days for drying) I….

finished the walls – 2 coats – same day….thought I was gonna die!!!!

painted the trim….(and yes, this is just the primer coat…..but the trim is almost white….

and the ceiling…(why I waited to do this last is beyond me!) no pics…but now it’s nice a clean and matches the trim.

Now the painting is done until the crown molding is installed and the quarter round is put down.  Then it’s just filling in nail holes and touching up the paint.  I still need to paint the doors but will do that after I get all the stuff out of the garage that belongs in my room.

Phase 2 – the floors – (mixed in with the painting….)

Before – (see what I  mean????  old and ratty looking!)

After the first initial sanding…These guys were GOOD!!!

Mr. Elroy doing his inspection….

final product is beautiful!!! (I think it’s still wet from the polyurethane but it shows the grain well!)

I’m SOOO excited and love the floors!!!

I’ll keep you updated as the room is put back together!

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In Oklahoma, from about the middle of April until About September, we are in “Storm Season”.  Meaning, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.  (I don’t mind the thunderstorms but really hate the tornadoes!)  Included in the thunderstorms are HIGH damaging winds (60 mph+), HAIL, and, again, tornadoes.  These weather phenomenons also coincide with the summer wheat harvest which brings much stress to the wheat farmers in our state.!

This last storm, almost a week ago, was a doozie!  There was a trail of (3) HUGE storms coming from the NW towards my house and then another one coming from the SW.  As I was watching the radar on the tv and listening to the minute-by-minute reports by our dramatic meteorologists, I became a little concerned.  But there was nothing I could do about the 2 biggest storms, coming from 2 different directions, colliding (at what seemed like to me anyway) RIGHT ABOVE MY HOUSE!  The storms had caused the TV signal to die so I had no real way of knowing what was going on….with our my favorite weather man telling me and showing me when to get out of my house!  The minute the storm got too bad to go outside, the darned tornado sirens when off….sheesh….I was really scared!  The wind was blowing the rain horizontally and I was fearful that the wind was going to rip my roof right off my house with me in it!  I shoved me and the dog in the bathroom and watched out the window…..Here’s what we saw…(this is out the back door before it got REALLY bad! You can hear the weather guys in the background) Please, also, notice the golf ball sized hail….fortunately it didn’t last long and my roof is okay.

2012 summer storm  (you’ll have to follow the link for the video….can’t figure out how to get it imbedded into my post….arrrrg!!)

Rusty doesn’t like storms….and until the next morning with the storms finally subsided, I often found him here…. (there have been so many storms lately that he has started refusing to sleep in his kennel and stuffs himself under my bed!)

Fortunately, for me, the only damage caused by the storm was my elm tree.

Although the trees looks rather dramatic, the reality is that it was old, had been struck by lightning, and was diseased and rotting….It was just a matter of time that it fell.  The great thing was that it fell perfectly in my yard without blocking my driveway or falling on any of my neighbor’s vehicles (of which there are MANY)

I thought that the tree looked a lot like a dragon….about to shoot flames from his mouth…

with it’s jagged teeth…

But this shows how truly weakened the tree had become….(this is looking straight down into where the trunk should have been)

I had MANY tree “companies” stop by my house asking to be hired to take the tree down.  It was AMAZING how fast they showed up!

The morning after the storm was VERY cool and damp.  But as the sun came out and began warm everything, we had the coolest steam…

Here it is on my neighbor’s roof…

and here it is on my fence…

A few days later, my Nephews heroes….came with chainsaws and dismantled the beast…

Boys and their toys!  LOLOLOL


slowly (well, in about 45 minutes)



turned into this….

and this…

All that’s left is the huge hole where the trunk SHOULD have been…

I’m thankful the tree is safely down, and that I have have 3 strapping young nephews who were willing to give up a Saturday morning to play ax-men and cut it into pieces that the city will haul off in a few days.  Even though the storm was REALLY bad and that it affected MANY farmer’s wheat crop,  I feel very fortunate and thankful!



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