Archive | February, 2008

Stupid Quiz Friday

29 Feb


Impressions of a Quilt Show

28 Feb

I went to the Pajaro Valley Quilt Association 30th Annual Quilt Fair last weekend. It was a wonderful break from working on the house — and, well, life. This is a small show — only 7oo+ quilts rather than the thousands that I saw at the big quilt show in October. I didn’t see enough bird quilts to do an entire posting of them this time. Quilts are works of art that can keep you warm or can decorate your walls. I have dabbled in the world of quilting and will return to it someday but I love seeing the quilts at a show.

Sea Siren Sendoff
Sea Siren Sendoff, artist: Rhonda Babu

Sugar Skulls
Sugar Skulls, artist: Alexandra Burg
Close up of skulls

My Friendship Quilt
My Friendship Quilt, artist: Patsy Rice

The Colors of Acadia
The Colors of Acadia, artist: Chris Lewis

Raven's Choice
Raven’s Choice, artist: Laurel Turner
(We’ll ignore the fact that they clearly aren’t ravens! 🙂 )

Feathered Friends
Feathered Friends, artist: Anne Tokarz

Close ups of Feathered Friends:
Feathered Friends, cu2 Feathered Friends, CU

LIsa's Wedding Quilt
Lisa’s Wedding Quilt, artist: Madeline Zaun

Tranquility Bay
Tranquility Bay, artistt: Roz diNatale

My favorite part of the show is the Quilt Auction:

Auctioneers at PVQA Show

I don’t remember the auctioneer’s name but his helper is called “Sleepy.” They are livestock auctioneers and donate their services to the quild each year to do this. The quild raises money for good works through this auction. It’s so much fun. Many people have never been to an auction like this before and have to learn — sometimes the hard way — that waving at a friend in the middle of an auction is akin to bidding on a quilt! I couldn’t stay for the whole thing but I enjoyed what I did see.

A warm yellow glow

27 Feb

We are making progress which is so exciting. The warm, yellow glow of the paint on the walls is really, really nice. I’m so pleased with it. It looks great with the green cabinets. It really does glow — you can’t see it in these pictures but it’s amazingly beautiful.

Yellow paint on walls

Greg went to IKEA yesterday and sorted out the countertop deal. It was quite confusing. They didn’t have the size we needed — they carry it but don’t stock it in their stores. So we had to order it. Ordering it to be delivered to our home had a high shipping cost. Ordering it to be delivered to their store had a high shipping cost plus, evidently, it wouldn’t come to their store nearest to us (still an hour away) so we’d have to go get it at the next nearest one which is two hours away. Insane. The solution? Buy the longer piece. We were going to have to cut it anyway — now we’re just cutting more.


It’s crazy heavy — Greg and I brought it in from my car last night and put it in the staging dining room. I had to joke about it seeming a little flimsy and hoping it could stand up to our heavy use.

Wordless Wednesday — Are You Lookin’ at Me?

27 Feb

Are you looking at me?

Wordless Wednesday — Sunrise

27 Feb

Common Raven in Sunrise

Ruby Tuesday — You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

26 Feb

I remember when we first got Ruby — right around a year ago. She was very skittish and shy. She was unsure of us — particularly the kids. Every 7 year old boy noise was a source of terror for her. Every quick loving 9 year old girl movement was potential harm.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Ruby had never been mistreated in any way. It really bugs me when people who don’t know a dog’s history swear they know it’s been mistreated because it flinches away from a quick hand. Let me swing a hand quickly in your face — did you flinch? Yup, I thought so. Sure sign of abuse.

Anyway, Ruby hadn’t been abused by any stretch of the imagination. Her home was loving and nurturing and wonderful. She was a well-loved puppy but she hadn’t lived with noisy, active, quick children before and — trust me on this one — that can be unsettling!

Ruby didn’t care for strangers — be it the UPS guy wielding dog cookies or the neighbor’s son who practically lives here on the weekends. She warmed up quickly to my mother-in-law but then again, who wouldn’t. She’s a saint and loves Ruby back. But, everyone else was met with timidity.

No more. I doubt she’ll ever act like a Labrador (and thank heavens for it as we didn’t want another Labrador). She greets people with more manners than enthusiasm. But, she greets people now and if they want to pet her, she’ll let them. She met Robbie this weekend and she took to him right away. Sure, you can pet me, Robbie. No problem!

Ruby meet Robbie

There’s my brave girl!  Now, she’s hardly thrown by anything.  She runs and jumps and plays with the kids.  She comes right out to greet the pizza guy.  She happily takes a dog treat from the UPS guy.

I wasn’t kidding last week though about how she feels about home improvement.  Greg was doing some cabinetry and using his nail gun which is powered by an air compressor (everyone do the Tool Time grunt now).  Ruby was hiding under my chair.  I’m working on the computer with a soft quilt on my lap and she’s hiding under my chair.  Mama will keep you safe from the bad noise, Ruby.  Never worry about that!

A busy weekend

23 Feb

without many opportunities to stop and look at the birds!

American Crow in fog

Last weekend, I saw this American Crow playing in the fog outside the hardware store.  The hardware store is the location of all my big outings lately — remodeling is all consuming.  (Check on our progress {click})

I am also going to a quilt show tomorrow — despite my husband’s deep irritation at my playing hookey from the home improvement efforts.  That will be wonderful.  Off by myself with a bunch of quilts to look at and feel inspired by.  Hurrah!

So, that’s the news here.  Nothing earth shattering.  And that’s not a bad thing.  I can’t wait to see how much we get done today but I’m not looking forward to all the work that will undoubtedly be involved!  🙂

Solving problems by waiting for inspiration

23 Feb

Greg and I have an ugly problem in our kitchen. Well, let’s face it, we’ve had loads of ugly problems and we are solving them one by one. The one that’s been bugging me lately was the hole in the front of our cabinet under the range. The problem was caused by the original (and horrible) electric range that lasted about a year before we ripped it out and put in my gas range.

The trouble was that the controls were push button controls on the front of the cabinet. An absolutely idiotic design in so-so-so many ways — particularly when we moved in to this house with an 18 month old boy who loved to push buttons. Thankfully, no fires resulted from those buttons. Still, we were glad to see them go.

But the hole remained. It got to where we didn’t see it anymore and that, my friends, is a dangerous thing.


And, here we are painting the cabinets and we still haven’t filled in the hole. We didn’t know what to do. Just covering it with a piece of wood would look like we’d covered up a hole. Filling it and patching it would never really hide it. What to do? What to do?

Inspiration struck me tonight, however. I got the idea of looking for a carved wooden panel that would look like we put it there on purpose. I couldn’t find anything good, however, but did find some neat wood onlays that I thought we could put on top of a plain old piece of wood and it would look like we’d done it one purpose.

At this point, I brought in my architect. Genius that he is, he immediately thought that my idea could be improved — perhaps by using decorative clay tiles. I didn’t like the idea but he persisted and found a great site with amazing tiles. He is using them for another job that he’s doing and so they came to mind. We looked at almost all the stuff before I saw something I liked.

And, when I liked it, I loved it. It’s beyond perfect. I didn’t need to look any further. It is the perfect tile to cover the hole in my cabinet. It will look not only like we put it there on purpose but like we flew to Italy to find the perfect tile to accent in our kitchen. It is beyond lovely. It suits us to a tee. It will be a gorgeous accent without competing with the gorgeous glass tile we are using as our backsplash. It is utterly perfect!


And that is why I married my architect. He is so damn handy to have around.

Oh Home Depot how you disappoint . . .

22 Feb

I know that I normally rave about IKEA and never mention any other vendors but the fact is that we are using several vendors for this project. Unfortunately, not all the experiences have been good ones.

We ordered our countertops from Home Depot several weeks ago. We went in, picked out what we wanted {click}, and placed our order. Greg is an architect and deals with this sort of thing all the time. We were prepared. We had drawings with accurate measurements. We were specific about what we needed. We liked the woman who took our order. All was good.

And, they called and said it would be a week longer than expected. No worries, we thought, that’s fine.

And, it was.

And, then they called and said our countertops were in. So, we drove to get them. We walked in and saw them at the customer service desk and Greg said, “Oh no. That can’t be our countertops.” But it was and they were totally wrong.

We ordered them without the integrated backsplash. The reasons why we did not want a backsplash are legion and, really, unimportant to this story. It took a lot of doing to get someone to come down from Kitchens to talk to Greg about the countertop problem. He seemed knowledgeable. He knew right away what was wrong and assured us it would get fixed.

And, several days later, someone called us to say could we come in and pick up our countertops. We were suspicious at that point. Greg called and sure enough . . . it was still the same old wrong countertops still sitting at Customer Service. He talked to someone who assured us that it would be taken care of. This time.

But we heard nothing.

Greg called them Monday and asked what was up. It took awhile but he finally spoke to someone who knew what was up. He’d take care of it and call us back. But, nothing. So, Tuesday night, we went down there again. Greg spoke with someone at Customer Service who gave him the name he needed to ask for — someone who would be at the store first thing in the morning.

Greg called him first thing and got bad news. They can’t get the countertops we want for 6 – 8 weeks. The company used the last piece screwing up our order. Wilsonart has told them they can’t get more for 6 weeks. And, so we are screwed. We had to drive down to Home Depot again to pick out new laminate for the countertops.

Let me just say that we live in the coastal mountains. Every trip to Home Depot involves getting the kids loaded up in the car with all their DSes and other essential goodies, driving 40 minutes each way, getting dinner out because we have to go in the evening. It’s a major deal to “pop in to the store to pick another laminate choice.”

I worked all day, then went to a late afternoon seminar, and then, finally, met my family at Home Depot where we picked out some options, and then had to wait and wait and wait to talk to someone for a few minutes before he had to have us wait again because he had an appointment. Greg finally took the kids back to the car and made a business call he’d had scheduled and I spoke to the Kitchen guy. Oh, did I mention the migraine I woke up with that morning. Sigh.

I as really nice to the Kitchen Guy. He was not the one that Greg had spoken to but we both had to be there to pick out the colors so it was the only option for us time-wise. We were supposed to leave a set of samples with our choices for the other Kitchen Guy so that he could follow up with the laminate makers and hopefully get us our counters in a timely manner. The new Kitchen Guy keeps trying to re-write the order. I finally used my “reasonable” teacher voice and said that we just wanted to leave the samples. He was okay with that.

Greg called this morning and we are getting our first choice in the laminate. Here’s the thing . . . they are saying it will take 3 weeks. All this waiting, all this screw up on their end and they can’t even rush the order.

And, then the capper, the thing that ticks me off royally is this. We ordered Terra Roca (4837-38). When I was waiting for Greg and the kids and picking out samples, I noticed that there were two Terra Rocas on the display (4837-38 and 4837-52). So, I grabbed both and showed them to Greg. We couldn’t remember which one we’d ordered — the difference in those last numbers indicates the finish used on the countertop. But, we figured if they could do the other finish that would work for us.

And, guess what? They could do that. When Greg called this morning, the guy told him it was no problem using the same color with the different finish. So, here’s what makes me so incredibly angry with Home Depot and the crew at the Santa Cruz store: why was I the one who noticed that option? Why didn’t the Kitchen Guy (either one of them) know enough about their product line to see that option and offer it to us?

I am so frustrated with Home Depot at this point. We have used them for YEARS. Our last home remodel couldn’t have been done without Home Depot. We are truly devoted customers and this just stinks. They keep telling us that they are sorry. Well, sorry doesn’t give me countertops, dudes. It just doesn’t. Sigh.

So, how surprised will I be when the countertops are not in in 3 weeks and when they come in 4 weeks, will they be right or wrong? We’ll be more than a month without a functional kitchen at that point. ARGH!

Stupid Quiz Friday

22 Feb

Your Mind is Purple

Of all the mind types, yours is the most idealistic.
You tend to think wild, amazing thoughts. Your dreams and fantasies are intense.

Your thoughts are creative, inventive, and without boundaries.You tend to spend a lot of time thinking of fictional people and places – or a very different life for yourself.