Monday, August 30, 2010

hey, how did that happen...

Where we left off:

So, Rick came back with the tool rental yesterday only to find that he had the wrong "bits". A few expletives later he was on his way back to Home Depot to exchange them. Delays...delays...

He gets back and immediately starts removing the asbestos asphalt edging.

Looks easier than a hammer and chisel, right? :-)

Twenty minutes later...and it's ready to shovel into the bucket. By this time the sun is blasting on the driveway -- so that's all for the day.

Today...there was a cool breeze and shade. Ahhh...perfect weather to work out in the yard. I decided to do some yard work to keep him company while he prepared the pavers...

Spread out the aggregate...

and...while I was off weeding in the front yard this happened!

Now we just need to tidy up at bit and put this project to rest until next spring. You're probably scratching your head because it looks like it's finished. Nope. Not yet. We need some landscape lighting, plants, etc. You know...the fun stuff!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

driveway border paver update...

Looks like it's going to be a scorcher (again) today! The sun was way too strong yesterday afternoon to continue the paver project -- and since he has the luxury of having more than a weekend to work on this -- Rick decided to wait until this morning to continue. I think that he should have started a bit earlier though. I was watching him and noticed that...

...there is an awful lot of asbestos asphalt edging to chisel away.

I sent him back to Home Depot -- to rent the "awesome" mini - jackhammer that he used while doing the paver walkway. He just smiled happily and off he went without an argument. Sofia can't wait until he returns -- she wants to hear him make some NOISE! :-)

okay, I give in...

Yesterday afternoon we needed to make a run to our local Home Depot for some necessary paver related supplies. While we were there, I needed to pick up a can of "white" paint for this project -- you guessed's still not finished. I know that perhaps some of you don't want to bother yourself about white paint, but, I am one of those people who stresses over it just as much as any other color paint. Before purchasing just any can of white paint, I needed to take a look at the available color chips. So, now that I have gotten over being mad at MS for switching her goods to HD from the competitor, I hopped on over to her paint chip display. Do you see the size of these babies? They are each almost big enough to hang as a wall display! Then, when you flip them over the coordinating ceiling color is on the top and the coordinating woodwork color is on the bottom. There is an area to write down the "room" you painted, what area in the room you painted, and, what paint finish you used. Then, to top it off, there is a little booklet that has chips with all the currently available colors. This is so nicely organized that I am going to make it a point to mark the chips in the booklet as I collect them.

{Shakes head and flutters eyelids} Oh, yes, I'm okay -- I just lost a bit of control there for a second with all that wonderful organizing chit-chat. {Deep breath} Okay, so I bought a small paint tester in the MS "tailor's chalk" shade of white, brought it home, and, (after finishing the last slurp of my dunkin' donuts coffee coolatta) put the first coat on the small wall leading into Nicholas' bedroom. When I was finished, Nicholas commented -- "Hey, THAT color white DOES look different than the other color white".

Guess Martha is the boss of my colors...again.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

here we are...


and, here...

and, here...

and, here...

The last couple of days have just flown by... I can't believe that this is the last weekend of summer vacation for the kids. They are both waiting anxiously to see their school classmates. Guess doing "alot of nothing" for the summer was good for them! :-) I know it was good for me -- and I enjoyed having their company.

Ok, why is Rick smiling in the last picture? Because today is the first day of his "mini" vacation. He doesn't realize yet how many things there are on my "to do" list for him... :-) He's starting with finishing the paver border on the right side of the driveway. I know he does have some golf planned for Tuesday. Hmmm...maybe I should see if I can find his "to do" list -- it might need some editing. :-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

such a beautiful day...

The "beautiful" began during the wee hours of the morning when Nicholas woke me up to tell me that he thought he heard Sofia sleepwalking. He couldn't get back to sleep because he thought she might have gone downstairs and turned on the stove or something. He finally decided to go downstairs and check out the situation for himself -- everything was good.

Right before sunrise, it was Sofia's turn to wake me up. She informed me that "the sun went supernova" and we were all going to die. I told her to go back to sleep...she did.

Rick overslept and had to hurry to get ready for work.

During breakfast time, I opened my refrigerator to find the liquid from a package of chicken (purchased yesterday) had dripped all over...sigh.

I went outside to assess the garden -- since I haven't been out there during the 2 days of rainy weather. I found a small, dead, rodent looking thing that smelled awful, and, a mushy oval white thing that looked like some kind of egg.

I also found these...

They look like fingers -- I'm just happy they don't look like hands!

Now I'm off to sweep a bunch of dead ladybugs off the porch. Perhaps the rest of the day can be a bit less "beautiful". Sigh...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

morning visitor...

These past few days you have to wake up preeety early in the morning to catch the sunshine -- and the birds!

How sweet is this little one? It was making a single chirp, chirp noise and opening it's mouth. Sofia thought it might be hungry so, she offered it some Wonder Whole Grain White bread -- guess that wasn't the right brand -- it didn't eat any! Sofia was very sad when it finally got tired of posing for the camera and flew away.

Monday, August 23, 2010

morning glory...

This morning, the weather man says that it is cloudy and rainy here in the northeast. I beg to differ. We are having an absolutely gorgeous morning in the weather department. My morning glory plants agree also. I have about 7 of these pretty, viney plants scattered around the yard. They are descendants of some seeds that I planted in 2007 -- they keep coming back so I guess they like it around here!

Maybe we'll get some of that rain this afternoon -- we could use a little...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

saturday morning workout...

An early start, right after breakfast...

A little mid-morning backfill...

Now, just a few cuts with the tile saw and it will be finished before lunch!

Better get a good night's sleep -- the other side of the driveway is waiting! :-)

Friday, August 20, 2010

life... fragile.

This morning, I found this lying -- alone --- in the grass. If you happen to see the owner, please let him/her know that I have put it safely aside.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


How many projects can YOU do simultaneously? If you are Sofia, then... many... you can think of while wearing a sticker on your forehead!

Now, she's down in the basement organizing her "stuff". I'm thinking of putting that sticker on my forehead!

dog days of summer...

"old" chew toy...

"NEW" chew toy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

clean up...clean up...

We are clearing some art supplies out of the room that we are temporarily using as "the art center" -- this is the front room adjacent to the kitchen. I asked Sofia to separate which of her supplies can go into the basement (art supply) area and the supplies she would like to keep upstairs in the "art center".

These can go to the basement...


these can stay upstairs...


Monday, August 16, 2010

and, the ugly award for today...

...goes to this!

Update (info courtesy of my local environmental expert): Yes, this is a tomato (horned) worm. It is (was) about 5-6" long -- HUGE! I am not fond of these creatures to begin with -- BUT -- those white spiny things on its back make me cringe even more. I thought that they might be little tomato wormsters riding on their mommy -- but -- NO! They are wasp eggs! What? The wasp lays the eggs on the tomato worm and the eggs feed off of the worm and it eventually dies. Maybe that's why the tomato worm is so ugly -- it doesn't know how it feels to be LOVED...

So you can say, AWWWWWWWWW...


You can say it now... EEEWWWWWWWwwwww!

P.S. I sprayed the plant, cut off the branches with the tomato worms, put them in a plastic bag and threw them in the garbage can (destined for pick up today). Sorry, wormies and waspsters -- no love, no mercy for you.

off the charts...

That went fast... right?

Today I am six months + 1 week. At my last vet checkup (about a week or so ago), I weighed 60 pounds. Look at me -- I'm almost as tall as Sofia! I know some neat tricks -- but I only do them after dinner -- and only if you are waving a piece of bread in front of me. I know how to: "give paw", "give other paw", "sit"(this is an old trick but worth mentioning), "lay down", and...drumroll please..."ROLL OVER"! Hooray for me! My mom told me that she will teach me more tricks when Nicky and Sofia go back to school. I get lots of attention while they're in school. Shhhh! Don't tell them! :-)

Hey, if you want to see my other "growth chart" posts, just click on the label link beneath this post.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

summer days drifting away...

I can't believe today is almost over! I don't even know what I did today. My only comfort is that it is Sunday -- so I allow myself to not feel guilty if things don't get done. Hope you're all enjoying your day too. It is overcast here, so we are in the house keeping busy. Thought you might enjoy an easy peasy recipe card for a quick summer meal. Does this even qualify as a recipe -- maybe not -- maybe it will just inspire you to make a quick meal for your troops -- or -- yourself!

Here is the not-so-artsy recipe for you to copy:

Summer Sunday Tuna Noodle Salad

Cook 1 lb. of your favorite pasta.
Set aside to cool.
Open 1 can of your favorite tuna.
Add mayonnaise to taste.
Mix with cooled pasta.
Throw on some sliced cucumbers.
Compliment with your favorite chips.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

looks like fall is coming...

...but it's not here yet!

This past week, Sofia received her letter from school announcing the "lucky" teacher who will have the honor of her presence for 6 hours per day x 180 days. There are 3 fourth grade teachers in her school. Ms."lucky" teacher was not Sofia's first choice, or, second choice. But, according to the big smile on her face, I think she was secretly wishing for Ms."lucky" teacher. Sneaky...sneaky...Sofia!

Oh, and about the original artwork -- when it's done we will hang it in a place of honor for all to see! :-)

Friday, August 13, 2010

into the wild...

Early this morning we took at trip down the hill...

We donned our safari boots and went into the brush...

Armed with our camera, we captured a mysterious web dwelling creature.

Then we went running back to camp. What in blazes is this thing? Any ideas?

Update 8/24/10. According to our local environmental expert, these are tent worms. They are unsightly to look at, but do not do any long term damage. Also, since it is late in the season, they are really not bothering anything.

recycling tip of the day...

What do you do with the lint that collects in your dryer screen? I clean my wood steps with it -- it picks up everything. Afterwards, I just toss it in the trash.

If you have another good use for it, leave me a comment and share your idea.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

baby it's...

cold? outside...

Sofia has been busy practicing her crocheting. Yesterday, she made this cute little scarf and wristband for herself. The scarf is so cute, so I asked her if she could make one for me too -- whenever she felt like it -- and hoping she did it before the temps drop below 40 degrees...

...guess I'll be all ready for that cold weather. Thank you Sofia! :-)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

those elves are busy...

here... :-)


here... :-)

... :-)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

rocks in my head...

This is what I worked on yesterday -- in the August humidity. I ended up with sweat pouring from my forehead and stinging my eyes -- dirt under my fingernails that won't come out -- and sunbaked skin.

I feel great! :-)

Oh, for the folks that put up with my rock requests this weekend -- nope, we didn't find any big rocks up on the hill you told us about.

And so, the search for the big rock continues...

Monday, August 9, 2010

stating the "not so" obvious...

Yesterday, we found a letter on our mailbox from landscape contractors hired by Mr. T, and his brother, Mr. T. These contractors will be correcting the cracks in sidewalks, etc. within our development. As per the letter, I sent an email to the contractor to let them know we have a huge crack (herein referred to as "the crack") in the sidewalk in front our house. Mr. T., and his brother, Mr. T. have been notified by us about this crack quite a few times within the almost 4 years that we have been here.

Early this morning, Rick was outside doing his usual early morning yard things and he noticed a man walking around with "the list" in one hand and a can of red spray paint in the other. He mentioned "the crack" to him. The man walked over to it, and, agreed that it was a crack, but, he had no indication of "the crack" on his list. What??? Argghhh!!! He agreed to put a small red dot on it (not a confirming "red x" marks this spot for repair) and come back with the inspector. Sigh...

While he was gone, we noticed a similar crack in front of the driveway pavement. Rick got in his car and rode around the development looking for the man so he could let him know that this crack should also be on "the list". The man informed Rick that the inspector was the only person that can officially put a repair site on "the list". Sigh (again)...

I put a paver and a note out for "the man" to show him the location of the 2nd crack, played with my rocks in the garden a bit, and then went in the house to get my camera. When I came back outside, this is what I found:

(Next paragraph should be read with a tinge of sarcasm.)Guess that man can't read. He was supposed to make a red "x", not a red dot. I'm leaving the note out there for when the inspector comes by. Maybe he knows how to read better.


happy crafting...

The fun part about creating with Sofia -- she knows exactly what she wants to do.

The not so fun part about creating with Sofia -- understanding what's in her head and making it possible.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I'm so excited...

It's my first trip to Grandma and Grandpa's house. Can't wait to get there. Wish we didn't have to travel by car. It's not my favorite thing to do.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

happy music...

It's back! :-) Thank you for letting me know you enjoy listening to background music. I enjoy it too and kind of missed it. I didn't have any issues today at the music website -- so hopefully they are all resolved.

Now...onto another issue...I'm off to kill some bugs on the porch...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

happy countdown...

Are you prepared for the "happy"? :-)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

do you list?

I do!

My favorite place to list is on recycled envelopes. Where do you list? :-)

Monday, August 2, 2010

no fuss barbeque ribs...

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a nice relaxing weekend. I can't believe it is August...already! July was packed with so many summer things for us -- it just flew by. This weekend we travelled along the slow path -- just hanging back and taking in the sights. No, we did not go anywhere -- we are saving our real travelling shoes for next weekend. As I sat on the front porch, the scent of grilled barbeque ribs wafted by -- but I felt too lazy to stand out back and grill some myself. So, instead I made them in the oven. You can tweak this recipe if you would rather be outside and cook them on the barbeque.

Here is my not so artsy recipe for you to copy:
*Remember to use caution when handling raw and partially cooked meat. I use 2 separate basting brushes -- one for when the meat is raw, and, the second for when the meat is partially cooked.

No Fuss Pork Babyback Ribs

1 rack of pork babyback ribs (I used Smithfield brand)
Barbeque sauce (use your favorite flavor)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
Fill bottom of broiler pan with water.

Using a very sharp knife, divide ribs.
Place ribs in a shallow dish and baste with barbeque sauce.
Place basted ribs on vented broiler pan top.
Lay a piece of aluminum foil over ribs.
Place entire broiler pan in oven.
Cook ribs for 25 minutes.
Remove ribs from oven.
Turn ribs over.
If necessary, baste ribs with additional barbeque sauce.
Replace foil on top of ribs.
Return ribs to oven and cook an additional 25 minutes.
Remove ribs from oven.
Check temperature of ribs with meat thermometer.
Temperature should be at least 190 degrees.

Place ribs on table and watch them disappear!