Friday, March 28, 2008

Computer Room 95% Finished

My contractor finally found his way back to my house after his most recent hiatus from a hand injury. I'm happy to say ALL the work on his end of things is now complete. I now await the final bill. Am I freaking out a little bit? You bet I am!

The following pics are the state of my computer room as of right this very minute. My picture program, actually my entire computer is acting wonky, so I was unable to adjust the colour on the second pic. Sorry.

The only work left to do in this room is to paint the 4 doors. The door to the storage area, the entry door, garage and laundry room.

Things aren't perfect but they will do! I'm happy with how things have turned out. It would have been less stressful and more enjoyable if things had gone smoother. I was dilussional in the beginning thinking things with renovations would ever go smoothly. This being the first time I've ever paid another to fix things, and not just have my ex-husband doing things, I thought you got in, got out and were finished. Apparently not! Oh well, it's done now.

The only major remaining job is the entryway stairs coming down to the computer room. They need a few more coats of varathane and then the painting is to begin. You can see the stairs in the first picture. Cute Boy will be doing the majority of the painting and when that will happen I'm not sure since he is home sick in bed at the moment.

I will be back later with an update on our plans as to what we're doing as far as building a house. This promises to be interesting if nothing else .

Thanks for sticking with me while all this mess has unfolded.


The Freedom Writers Diary with Erin Gruwell

The Freedom Writers Diary is the amazing true story of strength, courage, and achievement in the face of adversity. In the fall of 1994, in Room 203 at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California, an idealistic twenty-four-year-old teacher named Erin Gruwell faced her first group of students, dubbed by the administration as "unteachable, at-risk" teenagers. This group was unlike any she had ever interacted with.

The kids took bets on how long their new teacher would last in their classroom. Then a pivotal event changed their lives forever: when a racial caricature of one of the African American students circulated the classroom, Erin angrily intercepted the drawing and compared it to a Nazi exaggeration of Jews during the Holocaust. To her amazement, the students responded with puzzled looks. Erin was appalled to discover that not one child in her class knew of the Holocaust and its unspeakable horrors. When asked how many had been shot at, however, all raised their hands, and a battle-scar show-and-tell began that shocked Erin even more.

Erin Gruwell had touched a nerve, and she ran with it. Knowing that her students were all too familiar with violence, she introduced them to Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo. Reluctant at first to read the strange texts, the students of Room 203 soon paralleled their lives to those of Anne and Zlata- teenagers also surrounded by violence- and could not believe their intense connections to the stories. Each student began to keep his or her own anonymous diary, recording tormenting stories of drug use, struggles with physical and mental abuse, reaction to Erin and her unconventional teaching methods. The results were the foundation of a life-changing, spiritually enriching journey that began with a symbolic "toast for change," and has not stopped since.

From the moment they named themselves the "Freedom Writers," the students of Room 203 changed from a group of apathetic delinquents to a closely knit, motivated family with Erin Gruwell as their guide. The Freedom Writers worked extremely hard to bring their first influences off the page and into their lives, with funds raised from a "Read-a-thon for Tolerance" set up by Erin, as well as endless moonlighting jobs that Erin worked, they arranged for Miep Gies, the courageous Dutch woman who sheltered the Frank family, to visit them in California. Soon after, Zlata Filipovic responded to the Freedom Writers' many letters inviting her to Long Beach, and she spent five days with them, allowing the Freedom Writers to compare notes with her. This reinforced to the Freedom Writers that voices are heard, change is possible, and a difference can be made in people through the power of words.

The Freedom Writers have since continued to spread their story and message throughout the world. In 1997 they held an "Echoes of the Soul" fund-raising concert to help pay for a trip to Washington, D.C., where they toured the Holocaust Museum and presented their diary to Secretary of Education Richard Riley. This trip also allowed them to emulate their heroes, the Freedom Riders, by holding a peace march and prayer vigil for victims of intolerance at the Washington Monument. In 1998 they won the Spirit of Anne Frank Award- the Freedom Writers traveled to New York to accept the award. Most recently, in the summer of 1999, one of their most far-reaching goals was achieved. The Freedom Writers and Erin visited Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam; the concentration camps Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Chelmno in Poland; and visited Zlata in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Most important all 150 Freedom Writers have graduated from High School and are attending college.

Book #5 - I watched this movie quite a while ago with Princess and knew I just had to read this book. I've been waiting months for it to come in at the library. Finally! What an incredibly moving piece of work. I suggest everyone get to the library and reserve your copy. You'll not regret it for a minute.

I have to return it, but as soon as I do, I'm going to reserve it again for Princess. I think she'll be as moved as well, once she gets a chance to read the stories found within.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March Distance Challenge

26 - 4.2 KM

Distance to go: 485.2

I made it to the gym today for the first time in what seems like forever. I ran/walked, but mostly ran on the treadmill. I did a mini circuit of weights.

I mostly wanted to test my ailing shoulder with the mini circuit. It killed before, during and still now. I'm clueless as to what could be the problem. I know about 4 years ago, in another lifetime I hurt while working out, but wasn't able to get the rest needed to heal it. I'm not sure if it's a lingering injury from then or something else. I was pulling carpet nails about 2 weeks ago, that may have stirred up some trouble. I would think if that were the case the pain would be long gone by now. I have a very poorly designed work station and poor posture when working on account of the poor design and I wonder if that might be the issue. Popping Advil and a heating pad does little to relieve the pain. Oh well! It's a long way from my heart. I know there are some of you that will tell me to see my doctor, but since my last visit and his lackadaisical approach to my concerns I've lost faith in him. I'll live with this, whatever it may be and just deal with the pain when it gets me!

I have to tell you I do a lot of internalizing. No seriously, I do. I'm probably the most anal person I've ever encountered. I push myself to the highest strictest limits. I set the bar so high for myself it's a wonder I'm not certifiable. Maybe I am and no one has the heart to tell me. I want to be this, I want to be that. I'm happy with who I am as a person, but I want my body to look a certain way and when it doesn't I get so frustrated with my lack of commitment to the gym. There was a time when I worked and I worked out. That was pretty much the extent of my days. They were good days and they were hell days. I want the body I had at that time, but I'm loathe to commit to that mentality. Am I able to find one without the other? I'm sure of the answer, but somewhere someday I'm going to find the answer to that. I think when I do, I will find a sense of peace and contentment I've been seeking.

Most of these thoughts come from one simple run on the treadmill this morning. I was running and feeling incredible while doing so. Don't get me wrong my head was still racing with things that I felt I should be doing at home, but I pushed those thoughts away and focused on my breathing and the sweat I could feel on the back of my neck. I love sweating when I'm at the gym (only at the gym). For the briefest of moments I felt like I could do this, I could find the drive and desire. Scratch that I have the desire, I don't have the drive right now. I'm working on it though.

I walked away from the gym today feeling incredible! What a gift I just gave to myself. No one but me could have done that! I have to remember that as I struggle and strive to achieve this goal. I think I just changed some of my perspective from fitting in to those jeans to wanting to be healthier and toned again!

Thanks for hanging in here with me!

You Make My Day

You just never know when you'll make a difference in the life of another. I guess that is the wonder of this award. I don't usually do these things that float around the web, but this would be my second mention and I figure it is time to do what I should have done in the beginning; acknowledge it!

Jen - I thank you, hon. I don't know that I really do look for the silver lining in things. I find in my own personal head space I have many worrisome stressful thoughts! I don't at all feel positive or silver lining seeking. Now that you've brought this quality you see in me to light, I will work towards living up to the honour.

Chiloe - I received my first 'You Make My Day Award' from Chiloe. I was remiss in following the rules. Sorry, my dear.

This is one blog I love to see with updates. 'Chiloe's' stitching is amazing and her commitment to daily contributions to her pieces is second to none! I love communicating with (you)! I tip my hat to you in the way you strive to do the best for your children day in and day out.


There is no particular order in how I'll list those I've chosen. I don't do these normally because of that school yard feeling as a child, when being picked for a sports team. What if I'm not chosen first? What if I'm chosen and another team member makes a mean face when my name is called? What if I'm chosen last? I hate that feeling of exclusion. The preamble is over, so without further adieu, the following are those that I've chosen to honour with a 'Make My Day Award'.

Dani - I don't recall how I stumbled upon your blog, probably link to link and so on. I just know I'm glad I did. Your blog is one of the first I click to read. I don't always comment, but I'm always reading. There is something about the way you lay it out there that I love. Your passion for fitness is inspiring, although you're going through your own trials with that, I try and keep you in mind when I'm being complacent with my health and fitness. Thank you!

Pumpkin - You are one of the most amazing women I've never met! I know to some that might sound like the most awkward statement, but really it is true. We've never met, but in all definitions of the word, I consider you my friend. Not just a friend, but MY friend. There is something about you and just gives off this feeling of 'I care about you' in each and every comment you leave. Challenges you've faced and shared, you shown class, grace, strength and determination. There is fear mixed in there at times, but you don't let it over run your life! You rock! It is an honour to know you, if even only through the words on a computer screen!

Sara - I love reading this blog! Sara, you are the kind of mother I wanted to be. I'm not hear to flog myself and make this a downer comment, but I'm no where near the kind of parent I could have, should have been. You rock! Your blog is full of fun, filled with life and the wonders of your day to day. You keep it light and entertaining. Thanks for making my day when you're able to find the time to post!

Bliss - I love reading your blog! You have the most positive outlook on life. I love reading about your pieces and the glimpses you give of your everyday. Your stitching quality is stunning and your completions are inspiring! Keep up the wonder blog you share with us!

Velda - There is nothing I could say that would ever do the justice that my friendship with you deserves. I love you like no other and the way you know me is almost scary. I can sometimes not get the words out and you know already the thought path and know what I'm struggling with. I've come to find you are my safe place with my thoughts and there is never a moment of judgement. You face me with a hug, smile, coke or chocolate. Individually all of those things are great, but put together with you, they are the making of an awesome day! We both questions friendships and the challenge of making friends as we age, but you and I can see that it doesn't matter age - a friend is a friend. I will say it again, I am blessed to have you in my life! Love you, sweetie.

Now, I know this award has been going around for some time and I will change things up a bit and say I don't expect to have it carried on in the manner the rules state. It really was my way to say thanks to those that acknowledged me.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

7th Heaven - James Patterson

Two cases have pushed San Francisco detective Lindsay Boxer beyond her limits. In the first, a terrible fire in a wealthy home left a married couple dead and Lindsay and her partner Rich Conklin searching for clues. At the same time, Michael Campion, the son of California's ex-governor, with a reputation for partying, has been missing for a month. When there finally seems to be a lead in his case, it is a devastating one. And the combined pressure from the press and the brass is overwhelming.

Assistant District attorney Yuki Castellano plunges into the biggest case of her life to get to the bottom of Michael Campion's disappearance. As fire after fire consumes couples in expensive neighborhoods, Lindsay and her friends in the Women's Murder Club race to find the arsonists responsible. But suddenly the fires are raging too close to home. Frightened for her life and torn between two men, Lindsay confronts the most daunting dilemmas she's ever faced---in a thriller with unexpected twists and emotional extremes of the kind only James Patterson---"the man who can't miss" (Time) can deliver.

Book #4 - WOW! This was just the escape I needed right now! When is the next one coming out?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Last Family - John Ramsey Miller

The best thing about John Ramsey Miller's compulsively readable debut thriller is his villain, a former Drug Enforcement Agency hotshot named Martin Fletcher. Thinking he was betrayed by his colleagues in a raid that went disastrously wrong, the brilliant Fletcher takes his revenge against them by attacking their families. Now it's the turn of Paul Masterson, half-blinded in the same ambush, hiding out in Montana until Fletcher's mad rage forces him to gather up his old skills and go on the attack.
Book #3 This is a great book. It was suspenseful that kept me reading long past my bed time. Great finish and not what I would have deemed as predictable.

I Miss Me

I've been doing a bit of thinking that last day or so and I write this with a bit of heavy heart.

I had an e-mail from Krista yesterday and it was good to just chatter about things and then.... there is a question and a statement. The statement - I miss you! It was a simple statement but something that really hit home for me. I miss her too and I told her so. As my fingers flew over the keys in response to her e-mail, I found I was telling her I miss me too!

I miss the me that use to laugh more than not. I miss being able to sit in front of the television with my stitching or curling up on the couch with my book and a tea. I miss hanging out with my friends and the ability to just let go. I miss the free flow to my days, that are now consumed with renovations and thoughts of what must be done, how to do it and how to pay for it. I know this is a temporary thing, but it seems to be never ending. Princess is house exhausted and sick of listening to the non-stop chatter about what needs to be done and how. Poor kid. That is not the fun of a 14 y.o. princess life. She is a princess and would like to be treated as such.

I miss the gym. Okay, maybe I only miss the thought of the gym, not so much the work that I have to put forth. I am going to make an effort to get there 3x in the coming week. I really want to be healthier, leaner and I want to get back in to those smaller jeans! I want to run and feel the burn of muscles working and pulsing. I will do this! I want it, but do I want it enough?

All this being said, I think my housing jobs are starting to come together and I might be getting closer to discovering me again. I hope, anyways. I'm down to 12 jobs that need to be completed and then I will be listing the house. As soon as the house is clean and listed I'm taking myself to the spa for a much needed massage. I have a gift card given to me by Cute Boy for Christmas. It is worth $150.00 and I'm thinking I might plan a day for both Princess and I to unwind after the turmoil of our turned upside down house.

I'm taking a little 'me' time today too, visiting Velda. I should be there in about an hour and I'm really looking forward to just hanging out and catching up!

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Gift for Pumpkin - Easter Candy Bites

Hehehehe Please forgive me. I really might give these little gems a try.

I found this recipe on a blog I subscribe Beantown Baker

Easter Candy Bites I can feel the egg arse growing already!

If anyone ventures forth and makes them, let me know how they turn out.

All You Need Is Love

Here is a piece I completed last night. It is a piece that will be added to numerous others as a gift presentation to a friend.

The pattern is All You Need Is Love, a freebie from The Drawn Thread. It has many specialty stitches, which are not my thing. I made some adjustments to the piece and left out some hearts and used specialty stitches in place of those I wasn't fond of or for those of the pattern I couldn't decipher.

My first finish of 2008 and it's almost April. I'm ashamed!

Thanks for looking and happy stitching days to you!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Life is Good!

I'm posting on the fly. I just got home from hanging out with Krista and it's been far too long since we've just went for coffee and a good old fashion girl's night. We didn't do anything special, which is the reason that I feel it was a special night.

I have this sense of 'life is good'. I, as always, have things that are causing me tremendous amounts of concern, but all in all, I think things are going well. I love my life and right now, with the aforementioned stresses, that is really saying something!

Thanks KP, for the part you play in the making of my life what it is! You rock! Hahaha that is funny, you're from The Rock and you rock. OMG how funny am I?

The Basement Has a Floor

There are no words necessary for this one! YUCKY!!

You can obviously see the colour marks on the floor. The flooring we bought, there was faulty flooring planks, so Cute Boy just coloured them in. I've heard of colour filler stuff, but never used it before. It is really cool. It will have to dry for a few days then we can wash it off. It would normally be something that would drive me nuts, but the match is really very close, as much as it may not appear so from this vantage point.

As soon as Cute Boy installed the last piece of flooring plank, I called the contractor. Insert scream right here!!!!!!! He informs me that he fell last week and sprained his hand. He will do his best to get here today (not seen him yet), but soonest he will be there if not by today.

I was talking to a girl at work about this situation, actually she is aware of the entire saga. She had a phrase for this type of behaviour, but I can't remember it. It is when a contractor over extends himself/herself he will make stories such as this to the lower paying less profitable customer. I know Scott told me I don't have to pay until the house is finalized, his idea not mine, but I hate the thoughts that this might very well be the case. Who's to know really.

I'm trying not to keep a hardline date in my head for listing since I'm almost a full month past my original hopeful list date. Now that being said, I'm now hoping for the Tuesday after the Easter weekend. We'll see that happens!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Stitching Stories

I've been stitching some the last couple days, 3 hours in the last two days to be exact. There are days that I don't necessarily want to go to work, but when I get to stitch, I love my job. If it wasn't for the stitching I'm able to do at work, I'd find no time at all for this crafting outlet of mine.

I know a while ago I mentioned that I was going to work 1 hour each Sunday on a UFO piece. I have been negligent in doing so with my push to finish Love. That changed today. I worked for an hour on Halloween Fairy. The girl now has a neck and chin. I ran out of time and the anal tendencies that dictate my world forced me to put her down without finishing her face. Next week for sure the girl should have herself a blindfold. How exciting and just a tad bit naughty!

I've been wanting to finish Love for the last little bit, but it has been shelved for the time being so I can work on another piece. Rather fitting, the new piece I'm working on is also something I fondly refer to as 'Love'. I'm stitching it in hopes that it can help heal a broken heart. More on that once the piece has been assembled and received. I will show a pic when finished though. It is riddled with specialty stitches and as specialty stitches are not my forte, I'm a bit slow. All in the name of the game though, so I'll continue to plug along.

This piece is little but means a lot to me. I'm honoured to be a part of the overall plan for this piece, but it is with a wee broken heart of my own that I stitch it. There are moments when I will be staring off in to space thinking of the reason behind my contributions and it just tears me up. I'm trying to keep a positive outlook on the reason and what this truly represents. A love of depth and strength between two people. To find that in this lifetime; what greater gift than the opportunity to love another and have the very person love you the same in return.

Just thought I'd share that little bit of stitching news from my corner of the world.

Happy stitching days to you!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Still Consumed With House

I can't even tell you how tired I am of all this house stuff. I'm hoping once this place is finally listed and sold I'll be able to see that it was all worth it. I know it is, but right now all I can think about is the desire to be finished and do something other than be obsessed with the condition and progress point of renovations.

Here is my most recent list of things still needing to be done:

Lily's Room
Repaint red above closet - done
Stain the transition -done

Spare Room
Paint all the trim

My Room
Fix spaces in the laminate flooring where the cuts didn't match up properly at the wall area. Hard to explain, but it will need wood coloured putty
Touch up the trim near the door


Paint the ceiling - done

Rec Room
Paint window frames and door trim -done
Fix the drywall tape near the television

Paint trim
Paint ceiling

Prime garage door - done
Paint the new door
Figure out how to fix the back of the door where ex-husband punched it.

Paint kick plates -done
Stain both sets of stairs - done
Sand edging to the downstairs -done
Caulk the holes/spaces on the lower stairs -done
Sand around the door
Pull the nails from the old carpet - done
Paint crown molding

Total Jobs: 12

That is all I can think of right now. Being the perfectionist that I am, I'm sure this list will grow as I see different things that I think could be improved.

I still have many jobs that need to be done outside the house, particularly with the hot tub but I will deal with that once the weather warms up some.

I have to tell you, I've been working on this damn house now for 2 months non stop. I'm exhausted, overwhelmed and so many other emotions I don't even know how to name. I'm at the point most every minute of everyday that I want to cry. I have nothing more to give and I'm stressed to the point, that I look like a bag of shit. My skin is blah, my hands look like I've never washed or lotioned them ever. I just want to go to bed for ever and a day and forget all about this nightmare of my house. It looks beautiful at points, but I'm done! Now, one more thing for me to do, I'm off to go be a taxi cab, but yet again!

Sorry for being such a whiner. I really didn't know I felt this way until the fingers started flying over the keys.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Love 190 hours

Finally! I have something to share that is stitching related. Now, isn't that something!? This is how my piece looked mid-way through my morning stitching. I'm so anal retentive I took my camera to work with me so I could snap a shot at the precise 190 hour mark. I'm cute though, right?

I've since finished the 'E', as well as, 'Never F' I'm really so excited about this piece again. I'm not going to jinx myself, but I feel good things. Really good things.

As with everything else in my world as of right now, thanks for hanging in there with me. Ya'll rock!

Happy stitching days to you!

February - March Goals

February has come to a close. It is a small miracle I survived the month. Okay, a flare for the dramatic, but I'm really happy it's over. I'm hoping March is a better month for me. Nothing major happened in February, just me being me. Stress out extraordinaire is what I am!

I didn't stitch as much as I had hoped, nor did I see the finish of Love With A Capital L. It wasn't in the cards for me to have it finished by the end of last month. That was my major goal for February. So much for setting goals. Ya, me without a goal to reach. I'm not kidding anyone am I? The frog paid more visits than I cared to host. I don't know what it is about him that makes him want to hang out with me lately. I'm not that nice a person!

February Totals
Love With A Capital L - 23 hours 30 minutes
Halloween Fairy - 1 hour

March Goals
Love With A Capital L - finish it!
Special Square - find one the right size, start and finish it!

I can't look much beyond those 2 goals right now. I've so much going on that my ability to stitch at home will be a challenge to say the least. I'm hoping to have things at a point in my home that I can enjoy it in a couple weeks. We'll see if I can't find some time at home to sit relax and just lose myself in my favorite hobby.

I'm off to stitch and read while it's quiet here at work.

Happy stitching to you!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Pictures People!

From this and this to now......

The corner shown here is where the hole in the wall shown in the 2nd link used to be. Major improvement, eh?

I'm finally able to load pics of my bathroom renovations. I'm glad to say the bathroom is complete except for the painting of the ceiling. I'm waiting on 'cute boy' to do that! LOL

I couldn't be happier with how things turned out. There are a couple things I'm not 100% pleased with, but for the short amount of time I'm going to be living here I'll deal. I think the towel bar is hung too high, although with the decorative towels hanging on it it's not as bad as when there is nothing. The robe hook on the back of the door is too low. I don't know what Scott was thinking, but again, not really my house after a short period of time. I know I'm a perfectionist! This is something, if I were staying would have to be changed!

The grapevine wreaths shown in my bathroom are courtesy of Velda. Thank you sweetie. You're awesome. I've been hanging these things everywhere in my house to get the best effect and I think the perfect spot is in the bathroom. My bathroom isn't exactly how I'd envisioned it, but it works. I wanted a country cottage look, but instead ended up with a bit of a clean country look if that makes sense.

Things are starting to come together. As usual, I think there is still much that needs to be done, but if I plug away at a little something each day it will be on the market sooner rather than later. Hopefully in the next couple weeks anyway. Of course, I'll keep you updated. Maybe you'd rather I didn't, but without this outlet as of late I think I'd be 100% certifiable!

I'm off to bed since 5:30a comes early for this chick.

Happy stitching to those fortunate enough to be stitching tonight!