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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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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

So…this…

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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It seems forever since I’ve been on this blog.  I’m hoping since summer has arrived I’ll be more diligent and creative…..I’m ready!

Years ago I began an investment in a cancer insurance policy……and it ended up paying BIG….so….after I got myself out of some debt, put some in an investment acct and combined it with my national board money and my tax refund….I’m treating myself!

My first ‘treat’?!?!?  A new sewer line in the back yard…What ?!?!?!  you don’t think a sewer line is a treat?  Well…..NOW I won’t have to worry about having the line cleaned out…on a weekend….when the washing machine is full of wet laundry,…..believe me….it’s a treat!

 

Next, I decided the cheap rug in the living room HAD TO GO!!!!!  It was a cheap one from Walmart and it was gross, the wrong color, wouldn’t lay flat and was just down right UGLY!  But not anymore!  I had a piece of carpeting bound and put carpet pad underneath it and WOW!!!!  It’s like walking on a cloud!

I took this picture with my phone….it’s not really purple….it’s a lovely beige….

My friend Susan and I Hauled it home in my car….and there was even room for her to ride inside the car too!  LOLOL

 

There are more treats to come….I’ll keep you posted!  🙂

 

Harvest has begun in earnest in Kingfisher.  I took this pic with my phone from my car….It’s not my family but it sure was pretty as I was driving by….

Dad is really missing being in the middle of harvest this year.  He had a stroke in March that affected his vision….by brother took away his combine license.  I’m just glad he’s OK with it.

J.W. is growing like a weed…..here’s what it looks like to be 7 years old….

He has his summer haircut….the whole baseball team has the same cut….boys….LOLOL

I have started knitting again….and I’m in love with these mittens…

I see many variations of these on my needles this summer!

Goldie kept me company while I was knitting…

And Elroy tried to help….until he fell asleep while trying to play with the yarn…..such a man! LOLOL

Rusty was not thrilled with his last bath….can you tell?!?!?

 

I am finally beginning to feel better.  It’s one of those things where you don’t know how bad you feel until you feel better!?!?!?  It has taken MUCH longer than I expected to get my energy back.  I’m actually beginning to feel like my OLD self again!  It’s a good feeling!  Each year I write a handwritten note to each of my 8th grade students….tell them how much I appreciate them and love them…..When I handed them out….I cried….because I feel like I cheated them by being gone so much and feeling like crap the days I was there most of the time.  They were SO sweet…and I got LOTS of hugs that day.  Sometimes middle school kids are awesome!  I’m ready for the summer to have the time to continue getting stronger.  But I’m also ready to begin a new school year…without the weight of cancer on my heart and mind.

Happy Summer!!!

 

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Mr. Elroy

I’m so very thankful to have my furry children to keep me company.  But I have to say that Mr. Elroy is the most entertaining of the three. (I apologize in advance for the bad picture quality….these are all from my phone)

I think he has ESP with bed sheets.  He seems to know the moment they go on the bed….and he always ends up here….every time! I have no idea how long he would stay under the sheets…I’m afraid he’ll pass out from lack of oxygen so I always drag him out….

 

He also has a thing for laundry baskets…..doesn’t matter if it’s full or empty….he LOVES them…

 

and of course, he’s always ready to lend a paw when I’m working or playing on the computer….

 

 

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My poor garden…..

I haven’t posted any pictures because…well….there isn’t much to show.  We’ve had a record number of days above 100 degrees and very little rain.  We wake up to 80+ degrees and go to bed with degrees still in the 90s…

Last weekend we had a little reprieve and got some really good rain (at least at my house!)  So I took some pictures of my happy plants…

The  rose moss seems to be the happiest.  It looks better than it has in years!

 

 

 

The lantana seems to be fareing well also…

 

 

 

The Basil plants are doing ok.  I’m trying to let them get bigger before I harvest too much.

 

My patio tomato plant seems to be doing well.

 

I harvested my first tomato yesterday….but it needs a day or two to ripen.  I had to beat the birds to it so I harvested it a day or so early.

Beautiful isn’t it?

 

Mr. Elroy agrees!

 

Stay cool!

 

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The cats plus me makes three….and then there was…..Maverick….

 

Here’s the story…..

My niece, Donna, wanted a dog after she was married and got herself a brown and white spotted, full blood, registered, Cocker Spaniel….and named him Maverick.  Life was good for Maverick…he was an only child.  Then came along baby, Kaylore…..16 months ago.  Maverick, being himself, was too rowdy and rambunctious so he was banished to the backyard…except for sleeping then he got to come inside to the laundry room.

Fast forward 16 months…..Baby Karver joins the family and poor Maverick….

When I lost my last dog, July, Donna asked me if I wanted to adopt Maverick, knowing how little attention he was getting at home.  My initial response was No…er…maybe BUT not until school is out IF i say yes.  Well…..I felt badly for Donna AND Maverick so about 2 weeks before Karver was born, I agreed to take in the dog.

Well……the first week was …um…..stressful for both of us.  I got him on a Monday night, then Tuesday morning, he had surgery (um…you know…) then on Friday he went to the vet for a really BAD ear infection in both ears. That’s a lot happening when you’ve been thrown into a foreign land.  The CATS….OMG….the cats were in SHOCK!  The first night they sat poised at the foot of  my bed listening to the dog making noise in the bathroom.  I honestly don’t think they slept a wink all night! (I didn’t sleep much either.)

I put out a plea for help on FaceBook and my friend Cindi gave me a set of dog training lessons she had purchased at a charity auction!  What a GREAT friend!  So far we have had 3 lessons and life is MUCH better.  He’s learning doggie manners and I even like him sometimes!  He’s still on probation….he has snapped at me and the trainer in the class so time will tell.  Can’t have a dog who bites.  I was told to never trust him around young kids….

The cats have accepted him…mostly.  At first chasing the cats was a fun game.  Now, he would LOVE it if they would play with him.  He tries to engage them in a game of chase…OFTEN….but the cats just don’t see the need.  They get along….don’t  hiss at the dog and are pretty much themselves again.

Here are some pictures.  I have TRIED to get pictures of him several times but they all turn out like this….

 

 

 

His favorite toy…

 

His goofy grin….

 

Elroy wasn’t interested in Maverick’s photo shoot….

 

My favorite out of focus shot….Not sure how it happened…but it’s cool!

and then there were 4….

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And all I did was strip wall paper and paint!  But it felt like I created something as big as ….hmmmm….at LEAST a country! : )

So here’s the scoop….

The wallpaper I added in the 1990s was totally out of date…It looked like this….

Here’s the wallpaper in the hallway….striped paisley stuff that I never really liked……VERY glad it’s gone.

Here are the two layers from the living room…

I particularly like the bottom layer of an Italian villa…..complete with fountain….

These 3 layers came off rather easily in the living room….

Because of a lovely coat of paint on the old wallboard…..ahh…I got LUCKY!

But….the luck ended in the hallway and entryway….ugh!

Underneath the ugly striped wallpaper I put up was…..

more stripes…..and this lovely…umm….stuff…

WHAT were they thinking?????? (BTW – my garage is painted the same pink as that little flower!)

Goodbye wallpaper of eras gone by…..

and then finally….c1958 wallboard……with the finest taping job I’ve seen in a while!  nice smooth walls!

The lady at the paint store where I bought my supplies told me I would have to texture the walls after stripping the wallpaper….because I would gouge the wallboard so badly.  I told her I didn’t want texture because there wasn’t any in my house…she smirked and walked off and thought to herself…that lady (me) is CRAZY!  Little did she know that her comment was all the challenge I needed to be sure I didn’t scar the wallboard.  And I DID prove her wrong!  (I feel so superior…is that wrong!?!?!?)

I found a few surprises along the way….

The outlet where the ONE phone line was brought into the house….

A fist sized hole in the entryway…

And a sorry looking patch job (which I assume was from a demolished piece of wall board)  They attached the spackle to the old wallpaper so when the wallpaper went…so did the spackle.  Had to start over…and I gained a WHOLE new appreciation for those guys who cover the seams on wallboard…geez…they should probably be paid more!

Pete came over and helped me patch the holes and switch out some light switches….

The cats seemed unfazed by the whole business and took advantage of the buffet’s temporary home in the kitchen…next to the windows….

(sorry for the blurry pictures….must have been the wrong setting on my camera!)

Then came the primer coat…

And then the paint….Ahhhhhh….SO much better!  The paint is an interesting color.  Not what I had first invisioned but I have come to LOVE it!

In some light, it looks green, in others it looks gray and sometimes it has a hint of brown…..but it fits into my home nicely!

I began on a Monday and ended on the following Monday….I consider that pretty good progress for an old lady!

They I started re-decorating things….

Packed away the Nutcrackers for awhile….and moved the buttons off the buffet..

and cleared away some clutter off the piano…

It feels really good to get this huge project finished!

Next on the list (and beginning this weekend) is getting the trim painted….wish me luck!

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……..died of heat stroke?……..been blown away by a tornado?………..packed in one of the many boxes of my belongings?…..asphyxiated on wool fumes?……kidnapped by Gypsy midgets and forced to perform trapeze acts in a circus?…..keeled over into a bush during boot camp?…….

Nah……just been super busy.  The end of school was more stressful than usual.  Along with end of year performances, grades, saying goodbye to the students….I had to pack my room…..that I’ve been in for over 15 years.  Well….I packed and packed and packed some more and little by little the custodians moved all my boxes of books, shelves, piano, desk and assorted cabinets…to the auditorium stage.  Yes, I’ll be having class on the stage but all in all it should turn out to be a good thing!  Check with me again in October and see if I’m still smiling.

With all the goings on at the end of the year, I just didn’t have the energy to get into the garden like I normally would so I’m sorta behind.  I need about one more morning and the front garden will be finished and mulched for the summer…..here’s a sneak peak from about a week ago….(yes, I’ve done more work since then…)

 

 

 

 

I’ve also been snapping a few pictures of the cats.  I cleared off the coffee table a couple of weeks ago to do something and the cats immediately considered it their “stage”….here are a few actions shots…

Fast asleep…

 

Elroy’s favorite sleeping position….

 

 

Fighting over who gets to sleep on the biggest piece of the paper bag they smushed earlier…..

 

 

Elroy has one rogue whisker….see it on his right side?……it’s as quirky as he is!  And yes, they look like this everyday!

 

 

Hopefully I will be updating more often with more pictures…..Happy Summer!

 

 

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