Friday, November 27, 2009

home sweet home

and we're back!

got in late last night, and woke up to a very grey day... snowing out now, and while dh and i were out picking up the dogs from the kennel, i told him that it was time for the daily nap on the beach. LOL wishful thinking!

i haven't downloaded any pics yet, i think between the 4 cameras we have close to 600. hopefully will get to that at some point over the weekend. the weather was amazing, the people wonderful, and brought back an extra 10 pounds on my behind. so the food wasn't as bad as people made it out to be!! LOL i'm sure most of it is water retention (i have such a hard time with that when we go away) so it won't take forever to get rid of.

now if only there was a way to keep the tan....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

so sadly neglected

wow.

i didn't think it had been 3 months since i've posted anything here. i apologize. and especially to those of you who have diligently checked in to see what's up, and there's been absolutely nothing other than some cobwebs!

ok, i'll make things quick, but hopefully update enough that i don't ramble too long.

- had an uneventful end to the summer. kids back to school, life back to normal.

- went camping the last weekend of september. met a ferocious windstorm. don't ever want to experience this in another lifetime.

- ended up purchasing a 2006 toyota 4runner limited instead of the mercedes i had put an offer in on. love it too, but drama with the MB dealership was just not fun.

- dh has his cute little lexus as prior posted.

- house is basically done. just a few things left, and all minor. a few more pieces of baseboard needed. backsplash tile and hood fan to be picked up and installed (i really need to decide on something. decision needs to be made on what kind of railing i want to put in. but the best thing is that i LOVE it. we all do. and anyone stopping over says the same thing.

- work has been busy/crazy, but christmas is now put to bed. which means HOLIDAYS!! we're off to veradaro, cuba tonight for 2 weeks. so looking forward to it!

in a nutshell, these are the things that have gone on in the last while. probably a few more things, but hey, something is better than nothing. will post when we're back!!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

amazing!

so we went for a break this past weekend to great falls, montana. it was so nice to just get away from the disasterous mess our house is in.

but its all getting better.

we left the painter to do his thing on friday. and we returned to a totally new house! what a difference!

the crappy thing is i can't even take any pictures at the moment, as the weather has been gross and cloudy since we got home on monday. (we don't have many light fixtures up, and none in the new part of the house) i'm never sure about choosing paint colors, but i am very pleased with the green and brown that i chose.

the painter we had in was just a hoot. he's probably in his early 50's, and serenaded us with christmas carols all day. the funniest part was that he really didn't know the words to any of them.

but he worked like a man on a mission, and spent most of the weekend here as well. and it was done on time, as he had promised.

our flooring guy starts tomorrow, and it will be so nice to have the 33 boxes of hardwood out of the way. they're sitting in the kitchen at the moment, and as much as they're not in the way, they take up alot of room!

so, as soon as the weather clears up (its looking like it will be the weekend before it does) i'll post some pictures!

as for our weekend away, friends of our actually were the ones to suggest going. we weren't planning on heading south until the fall for a shopping trip, but this was a great little getaway. we didn't find too many sales on, but we also didn't know that it wasn't a long weekend in the states as it was here. we did manage to find some floor tile for our entry and by the fireplace, and we are quite happy with it. brought home quite a few grocery items that we like, and that we just can't get here. and that was about it. walked alot, and had a great time just hanging out.

so i think that's it for now, have a great day!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

a bit of shopping...

so after all of the excitement has died down (although i will still admit this is just utterly surreal!!!) dh went shopping for his vehicle on friday. this is what he will be getting, hopefully with delivery this week:

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and this is what i've found...

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dh is picking up a sweet little 2009 lexus is250, and i'm upgrading a few years from a 2002 mercedes ml320 to a 2006 mercedes ml350.

sweet rides!

i did take a toyota fj cruiser out for a spin as well, but really, its just not as practical for our family. and i know i sound just that little bit snobby-ish, but i really do love the mercedes. it is a vehicle i feel so safe in, and with the leg room needed for ds1, the back seat is more than ample. they handle so well, and now after driving the other for 3 years, i just know i would have a tough time driving something else.

so it is done.

i should have my new one next week, and thanks to ds1, here's a snap of it!

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in other news, we're living in a dust bowl. i have never seen so much dust in my life. you can write your name on almost any horizontal surface of our house. the taper has been working hard this week to complete things so the painter can start tomorrow. i picked up our paint yesterday, and we're going with a green and brown color scheme, and i think it will look amazing.

that's it, that's all for today... hope you have a great sunday!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

in the closet... and other tales

you know, i really didn't think its been quite this long since i had last posted anything.

i think that because things had just come to such a snail's pace, i just plain didn't get here. but even with the snail's pace, there have been some crazy things happen in just the last couple days, that made my life into a sort of time warp.

so this is where we are now, in a rambling sort of way:

- we're about 6 steps away from completing our reno. we fired our contractor about a month ago. he just quit bothering to get much of anything done (surprise, surprise) and we just ended up with the shortest end of the stick.

- about being in the closet - i spent far too much time removing the subfloor and ripping yet more staples out of the pantry, and have only accomplished the removing of the subfloor in the coat closet. the staples still need to come out of there before the hardwood is installed. hot and stuffy little spaces do not make me happy.

- the finishing is done on the outside of the house. we have a doorbell and our house numbers are up.

- "backhoe bob" will be here tomorrow to level out the ground in front of the house and drill the holes so we can pour the concrete for our new porch.

- after a really odd experience with a guy that came to drywall and tape, ending with him just walking out of our house on monday morning with no explanation other than him having nothing less than what could be called a 2-year old's temper tantrum (after telling him the painter would be doing the texturing of the ceiling), one of my dad's co-horts is finishing the taping in the addition, and should be done by sunday.

- the painter will be here monday morning to start painting the main living areas and addition.

- the flooring installer will be putting in the hardwood on aug 4. and at that point the only thing left will be the tile backsplash in the kitchen.

so, really we're just that close. yet so far away yet.

add to all of the chaos:

- had a ridiculous summer cold for the better part of 3 weeks. when i laid down it felt like someone was sitting on my chest and i coughed and coughed and couldn't sleep. and when i talked to anyone more than a few minutes, i was again coughing. not so good when i had lots to tell my customers. talking is my job. and coughing on them or near them does not help my sales.

- time has been in short supply while we have tried to balance weekend home projects and some fun time (mainly golfing) with the kids. i always worry that they never get enough fun stuff in during the summer. i don't want them to have to be programmed to death, but they have a routine going as well. 5 days out of the week, they're at home. 2 days a week they're at my mom's. b's been having sleep overs, going to sleep overs, and generally being as much of a couch potato as possible. j has his little jobs that keep him busy, and he stays quite active, but he's starting to get tired. when we all go 7 days a week, its just not a good thing for any of us.

- we've done some entertaining, even though the house is a disaster. have had a few great evenings with friends, and now that it seems like the weather is finally co-operating now, hopefully we'll have even more.

- august long weekend we're heading to great falls for a break. the couple that we went to mazatlan with will also be joining us for some shopping, maybe a round of golf, a trip to the montana state fair, and just some plain r&r. (although this plan already sounds just that little bit busy!)

- went to a golf tourney with my boss last weekend, and i came home with a pair of oakley sunglasses and a shop vac.

-which pales in comparison to this:

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(click for bigger picture)

dh golfed at the pc children's charity tournament yesterday and got a hole in one. that in itself is a feat. but he also won this beauty of a car.

we took the cash option. an amazing $78000.00!!! i was almost hysterical when he called me. insane.

- so now there's a few more things to add to the list. we'll be paying off some house stuff with the cashola, shopping for a new vehicle for dh, and looking at upgrading my baby as well. this just made a few things possible for us that we were worried about having the funds to do it with.

i think that's about it. like i said, a bit of craziness around here, and adding to that the everyday mundaneness of it all, i really feel like i've just been in the closet for too long of a time!

have a great day - thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

scrappy bits

just cre8 had an online crop this past weekend, and i was able to get some layouts done, as well as an altered book in a short amount of time. so here they are:

the altered book instructions came from jessi lute in innisfail - we still need to catch up for a coffee one of these days when i'm in the red deer area...

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i turned this into a bit of a fantasy/future dream book for myself. love the fabric pages!

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i'm not finished with it yet, but because i love it so much, i'm sure it won't take me too long to do... i also forgot that 8 pages, folded in half, double sided makes 32, not 16 like i first had in my head... oops!

next up, a "recipe" to make 4 layouts, consisting of 4 patterned papers, 4 - 6 sheets of cardstock, and a few embellishments and letters. super easy, and all done in about a hour and a half. still need to add some journalling, but these layouts are all for our last trip to mazatlan and coordinate with what i've already done.

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then another layout, the challenge was to do it in 30 minutes or less, the only time not counted was choosing the picture. i had the papers on my desk already from my book project, so was able to put this together in about 15-ish minutes.

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and this super cute little sign for my scrapbook room!

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and the last challenge i was able to finish, was to use chipboard as is, no paint, ink, paper, nothing. just plain.

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i love the photo in this one of ds and my niece, walking across the world's shortest river in great falls at easter.

thanks for looking!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

voted as the best mom ever...

by my 13 yo son.

why? because said "cool mom" is taking him to see dave matthews at the gorge in george, washington on september long weekend.

we've been talking about it for a few weeks now, and yesterday i bit the bullet, ordered the tickets, and booked our room for the weekend.

it will be one of those "priceless" trips, just the two of us. something we're both just a *little* bit pumped about. just a little bit crazy, we'll be in the car for 20-ish hours, leaving saturday morning, and returning home monday later in the day.

and i'm cool. oh yeah.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

slide show day!

well, we've made some progress. we're sitting in what we can officially call a construction zone. the last two weekends have been spent inside, working at getting the kitchen ready for the new cabinetry. there has been some destruction. there is lots of dust. there has been some blood shed. but its all been worth it - we're getting there, and we can say we've done it ourselves.

what we had before:



working away:



on the shot that shows a portion of the floor, you'll notice there are bumps all over it. that would be where the linoleum/subfloor was. each of those bumps contains a staple. there were THOUSANDS of staples to pull out of the floor to prep for the cabinets. we're putting in hardwood, and they need to all be out. the boys and i have worked diligently, almost every night for the last 2 weeks to pull out the staples. as of right now, there are only a couple small areas left that need to be done before tuesday.

and this is where we are today:



and we're off to the races! the new cabinets will be partially installed on tuesday, with the cabinet fronts installed on thursday. the wait-it-out part will be hard for the granite countertops which will be templated probably on wednesday, with installation a week to two weeks later. its rather interesting to try to make some semblance of a meal with no sink. even more interesting is trying to wash the odd dishes in the bathroom sink. we're trying to use paper plates as much as we can, even though not eco-friendly at all for the time being.

it will all be worth it though! so looking forward to this part getting done. we will be putting in the hardwood at some point in the next month, the dust is making me crazy!

and if you've gotten this far, check out my new slideshow to the right - the cards i made for the canadian troops overseas are all there, 51 to date, and were delivered to corinne today when she stopped by on her way home to saskatoon. enjoy!

thanks for taking a peek, wish me luck!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

really? today?

that's what i said to dh when he reminded me of our tee time yesterday. it was cold. and windy. and still snow on the course.

we made it 5 holes before we called it quits.

at least it was free - there was no one else on the course, and the manager said if we were avid enough golfers to be out in the cold, what we played was on the house.

and 5 holes was enough. video

more pics and videos will follow later - gotta get out the door...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

kapusta calling...

so i have this very cute little grandma, and she has always made wonderful "peasant" food - lots of cabbage, potatoes, and sausage. and when we were hit over night with a lovely spring storm, the snow and chilly weather made me feel a longing for some kapusta. (spoken as ka - poo - sta) i remember sitting in my grandma's kitchen when i was little, and eating lots of kapusta with fresh brown bread and butter with my grandpa. its good with lots of things, like smoked pork hocks and mustard, perogies, sausage, mashed potatoes, ham. (note all the porky things! LOL)

what is kapusta? well, its basically saurkraut, but with the addition of fresh cabbage, bacon, and onion.

so i called my grandma after picking up the requisite cabbage and onions (the rest was in the fridge and freezer) and asked her for some directions. which were somewhat fuzzy in description.

(you must also imagine a fairly heavy eastern european accent here)

"first you slice up the cabbage. put it in the water. but don't cook it too long. you don't want mushy saurkraut."

ok. done.



"and then you cook the onion and the bacon. make sure there is lots of bacon. cut it up in dices. don't cook it too long, you don't want the bacon too done."

ok. done.



"drain the cabbage in that thing. you know the one. the thing with the holes."

- a colander, grandma?

"yes, that's the thing. drain it. then add the saurkraut from the jar. then cook it a bit more. but not too long, you don't want it mushy." (mushy = moooshie *giggle*)



"cook it some more. i put in a bay leaf. or maybe more. and some pepper. maybe some salt. add some shookar if you think you need it if its too sour" (shookar = sugar)

got it.



yum.

its what's for dinner. with some farmer's sausage and perogies.

recipe:

1 small green cabbage - sliced fine (like a really small cabbage - mine was the size of an oversized softball, the smallest i could find)

1 jar more or less of saurkraut

3/4 lb bacon, diced

1 large onion, diced

pepper & salt to taste

2 bay leaves

a spoonful or 2 of brown sugar

slice up the cabbage (i used the food processor - goes lickety-split) and put it in a large pot. cover with water and bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes. drain. put it back in the same pot, add the jarred saurkraut. bring to a simmer, cook another 10 minutes or so. meanwhile, start the onion and bacon in another fry pan, saute until the onion is translucent and the bacon is just starting to turn crisp. add to pot with the cabbage mixture. (don't drain the bacon/onion - you need it for the flavor) add a generous amount of pepper, a some salt, and some brown sugar to cut the vinegar as you like. add a couple of whole bay leaves and let simmer for another 1/2 hour or so.

this keeps well, and will fill your home with lovely stinky cabbage-y goodness.

enjoy!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

easter away

long weekend... gotta love it!

we headed down to great falls, montana, for this easter weekend with the boys in tow! we had a great time away, some much needed r&r, and best of all, some shopping and hanging out with my sister, brother in law, and their 2 older ones (the little one stayed behind at nana's).

not too many pics, but we did take some time out from the shopping spree to go to an easter egg hunt (apparently over in less than 5 minutes) for the little ones, and then off to the fish hatchery and park.

great photo ops here, and the weather was nothing short of spectacular.

the four of us...




the "men" hanging out...


the kids, up the hill...


doesn't this just melt your heart??




another photo that just makes me go "awwwwwwwwww" - they were walking over the concrete bridge that divides the "world's shortest river" from the missouri river.



feeding the fish - there were some HUGE ones here!



smile for the camera - no! the other camera! LOL


waiting for dh to come out of the washroom...


and the grand finale - easter chocolate in bed on easter morning!


so that's it in a nutshell... did i ever tell anyone that i *heart* ROSS? that is the best store for deals on clothes. picked up a bunch of new spring stuff for myself, and some new golf clothing (since what i have is just too darn big now!). some great work clothes, even though i'm in dire need of t-shirts to just hang around in. the boys (all 3 of them) found some good stuff there too. jeans, shorts, t-shirts.

target would have to be my second best choice for some fun, cheap clothes. there were a few things i found there that made me happy, and it actually fit me now.

it was for sure my weekend to score on some good buys!

there's far too much good shopping down there that can easily drain my bank account! it was a great weekend though, and we're looking forward to our next trip down that way.

oh, and as for house stuff, when we arrived home this afternoon, our sheathing is all up on the roof, the framing has been started for the fire place and we're quite happy with how things are coming along. will take some pics tomorrow to show the progress!

Friday, April 03, 2009

progress comes in baby steps

sometimes you wonder why things can take so long to actually come about. this is how things looked after tuesday....



and this is how things look after today.



and really, that's all the "time" it took.

two not-even-full days. that's because our contractor only showed up those two days this week. well... at least its something, i suppose.

hopefully by the end of next week the sheathing will be on the remaining bit on the walls, and the roof. looking at the very top picture, that is the west wall of the house, and we'll be putting in a fireplace (middle of the bottom of the wall) and 2 smaller windows up high. our current front window will be moving up to the very front, as well as the front door we have now. there will be one more window adjacent to the front door that is new. i'm just happy its finally starting to look like something other than a mess!! (well, excusing the mud, the giant construction bin and the ever present recycling bin)

cross your fingers for me - its not as much of a ghetto around here now!! LOL