Friday, June 29, 2012

This place is a ZOO!












What I've been doing:
  1. As you can see, visiting the zoo
  2. Swimming in the unbearable heat
  3. Working on albums
  4. Being a pretend paralegal and investigator (long story)
  5. Dealing with other people's drama (see #4)
  6. Preparing for a wedding tomorrow - outdoors.  Hoping I'll sweat off 47 pounds.
  7. Still losing weight (bordering on another new size.  Put on pants today I haven't worn since 2005 - but they were tight!)
  8. Livin' life LARGE.
  9. Well, formerly large.
  10. Well, still kinda large but not as large as before.
  11. Livin' the good life.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pretty people!!

Pretty people - see more of them here!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Let the games begin!


So we made it to Springfield to pick up Miss Bailey.  While we were there, we decided to do some fun stuff like antiquing (Bailey actually really liked this), visiting Fantastic Caverns, spending the night in a hotel with an indoor pool that was barely heated, and visiting Osceola Cheese (a must stop every time).





We've had a couple detours on our plans (long story), but planning a trip to the zoo this weekend - Bailey's never been to a zoo!  Trust me, there'll be more photos.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Visitors be visiting


Such a busy week, but it will pay off in the end.  Weddings, wedding editing, albums, trips to the post office, chasing chickens, building decks all topped off with driving 5 hours to pick up this little nugget named Bailey.  She's gonna be here for a few days visiting. 

Prepare for kid pics.

But first, gotta head out the door for 6th wedding of the year.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Who wants to snuggle?


Boo Kitty is indifferent of chickens.
Chickens are not indifferent of Boo Kitty.
They especially hate it when he rubs up against them and purrs.

*cluck cluck CLUCK!*

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Something that people with a uterus says that really annoys me

A little timeline of the update on the front porch addition.... with a little personal rant at the end... (of course!)


My little (boring) house "before".  Nothing exciting to write home about, but I've lived here for 5 years, and probably will live here for many more. 

It's home.

It needs "something" though doesn't it?

Here is Gene preparing to cut out that hideous bush that's been living in my front yard for years.  It's funny shaped because we got some bag worms a few years ago and it killed half of it.  This is also where all the voles in the front of the house liked to hang out.  Can't say I miss it much. (btw, I think we finally got rid of most of the voles.  yay!)

Don't you love how Boo Kitty is a good helper?


After 14 arguments (14 holes) we finally determined where all the footings for the deck would go.  This is flat out, THE most important part of the whole shebang.  We're talking concrete people. Concrete is generally more permanent than marriages.  It had to be perfect.

Unlike most marriages.

Gene did all the mixing of the concrete and filling the forms himself. :)  He's so sweet, he killed himself on Memorial Day to get it done because I was inside scrapbooking with friends.  He hand mixed over 30 bags of concrete. 

Here you can see the large 6x6 beams that will hold up the back of the porch.  We decided against using a ledger board attached to the house because of multiple reasons, but mainly because we knew we'd be adding log cabin siding to the home at some point in the future.  Attaching a ledger board would cause some issues with that later.


The first joists go up!  I'm rather excited about this as now it looks like we're actually doing something.  Sadly, that "something" looks like a hitching post for miniature ponies.


First of 4 sections go up.  Those posts in the front weigh a lot.  Glad I have a big old strong husband.  The braces across the top are just temporary.  At some point in the near future (before fall) there'll be a roof there.


All the joists are in on the first section!  Guess who did almost every single one?

Me.. heck yeah.  It was such a nice day, and I wanted to surprise Gene.  At one point he calls and asks if I want to work on the deck after work.  I told him that if things went well, I'd have it done by the time he got home.  (yes he was surprised).   

He said "are you toe nailing in the joists first like we said we were going to do?"
me: "no, because I can't hold the board up where I need to and toe nail at the same time, so I'm just hanging the joist hangers first, and then putting the joists in."
Him: "uhh... so are you just hoping they are the right height?
Me: "No, I'm actually using a scrap piece of wood to test it first.

Later: growl... who taught him how to hang a joist, what a joist hanger was and how to toe nail to start with??


So we're only about 2 feet away from being able to use the front door again.  Seriously I've not been able to go in and out my front door in like THREE YEARS.  I'm not kidding you.  It's just locked and stuff sitting in front of it.  God forbid there's a fire (I'd just fling myself out the window with no window screen anyway.)

We'll be starting section #2 tonight (if Gene gets home early enough) and then the joists again.  Once the joists are in, I'll throw down a couple pieces of plywood (yeehaw!) and we can walk in and out our front door.  yay! 

Now where am I going to put my chair that has been sitting in front of it for a while now?

Something I noticed yesterday as I was working outside was how many people really crank their neck to see what's going on.  In fact, while I was out there working myself it was way worse than when Gene is out there.  You'd think I was sitting out in my front yard curing cancer.

"omg.. is that... a..... a...... WOMAN??"

This happened so many times that I started to get kind of annoyed.  It reminded me of a "past life" where I wasn't *allowed* to touch a hammer without commentary.  "Who do you think you are?  Joanne Liebler?"

Gene, on the other hand, doesn't have an issue with me swinging a hammer. In fact, he kind of likes that he gets out of some of the heavy work. hah.  Gift horse's mouths and such.

Then this woman drives by very slowly in a PT cruiser.  I've seen her before.  She waves her fool head off at me, which is nice, but I'm very much "ummm.. hi?"   She is all "GIRL POWER!!" This gets me to thinking about something that women say to me that really gripes me to no end.

I mention building something.
Their response.  "Oh gosh, be CAREFUL with those tools."  {insert teeth sucking noise}

Do you say that to your husband as you send him off to the construction site or the coal mine? Just because I have a uterus I am probably too stoopid to run a friggin' hand drill?  (which takes about as much effort as a hair dryer).

I get really annoyed when watching home decor/home improvement shows where they give the house wife a miter saw for the very first time.  She has on an over sized t-shirt, big goggles and gloves.  Like the thing is going to jump up and chop her face off or something.  Then she says "omg, that was so easy!"


If you've made it to 45 years old and can run a hand mixer, you have pretty much all the skills you need to run about 75% of all power tools.  Oh, and you'll need a good tape measure. 

So ladies, the next time one of your friends talks about roofing her house with her husband on the weekend (my little sister, Amber), building a shed in the back yard for her lawnmower (my grandma - RIP), or that she's building a deck (me).  Please don't say "oh gosh, be careful" because quite frankly, it's kind of offensive.  We are quite capable, thanks.

Unless of course you're saying that to your 6'2", 240 pound brother who is also a plumber, then I might let you off the hook.

Friday, June 8, 2012

One of these things is not like the others!

So, Try to guess which hamburger is mine, and which ones are Gene's.  Come on, it's not as hard as it looks.

So I thought I'd give you a little update on the weight loss adventure since I first let you know that I was going to give this stuff a try.  I decided to try nutrisystem for a few months because I felt like I needed a jump start.

This is an example of one of the dinner meals.  It's a "hamburger".  I have to put it in quotes because I'm not sure exactly how much is beef and how much is beef flavoring.


Most of the food is pretty ok.  It's not incredible cuisine such as Tavern on the Green, or say... Waffle House, but it doesn't make me want to vomit (well most of it anyway).  The hamburgers kind of amaze me.  They come shelf stable. 

Yes, you heard me.  shelf. stable.

Sounds kind of scary really but it's really not.   You get this little tray and you add boiling water to it.  In a couple minutes you have a hamburger.  I know a lot of people will wrinkle their noses at that, but I'm figuring there's a lot of guys (and gals) out there with an M16 strapped to their back right now that would seriously kick my ass for a "just add water" hamburger.  So I just tell myself to STFU and eat it.

Besides, I add ketchup and mustard and it's fairly ok.

Oh, and sometimes I throw it in the skillet with the real hamburgers for a couple seconds.  Helps a LOT.  Although it's not part of the plan.  Getting me to eat it and stay on it is a great plan so I do it.

Speaking of flexibility, I decided that I would take most weekends off.  That means that I'm not going hog wild or anything.  But if we go out for dinner I might have my salad with regular dressing instead of light.  I might partake of 2 slices of pizza (and a couple cookies like I did on Memorial day. Mmm).

I've found that if I just do the same thing day in/day out, my body eventually stops losing weight.  If I shake it up a bit, It keeps going down.  One of the plus sides to this is that a 4 week program will last me 5 weeks - so I save some dough.

So the grand total is....
I've lost 22 pounds!! eee!  About half of that was before I started NS a month ago, so don't get too excited. 

Having said that, I'm very happy with that number.  I have a long way to go yet, but the scale is finally moving (it really hadn't moved anywhere but UP for the past 8 years).

Gene has taken me clothes shopping not once, but twice (he's a keeper).  The pants I bought 3 weeks ago are almost too big for me now, and my "beginning" snug pants are unwearable.  My "skinny" capris that I bought last weekend - they're now just comfortable.

I'm kind of hoping at some point someone will actually notice.  I wanna say "come on DAMMIT, I see you every week, don't I look DIFFERENT?" 

So, nearly half way to my first goal of 50#.... where, Gene and I will be buying kayaks.

This should be entertaining.

Thursday, June 7, 2012



Operation "Don't poop where I stand" is in full effect.

Conclusion:  Great success.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

yeehaw. Gunna gets me one of them thar barns

I'm excited to show you the progress of the barn/studio!!!

Are you ready for it??!?


A patch of grass.

Absolutely nothing has happened yet.  Gene and I have been working on the new front porch addition to the house.  (I have to stop calling it a deck, because it's really a porch).  About 3 weeks ago, we were trying to work on it, cussing.... sweating.... growling at each other.

It was then that this sudden realization struck me like a ton of barn boards.  We couldn't even make tiny progress on this porch, there was NO WAY we were getting this barn done.


I stopped talking about it.  Stopped telling customers that the studio was "on the way" and "this summer".  I was frustrated.  The required budget tripled to make it happen and I just had this dead sinking feeling that I didn't have enough.
Not enough strength.
Not enough money.
Not strong enough marriage.
(that's sarcasm for those impaired).

Finally about a week ago I said to Gene.  "Yeah, that studio isn't happening".

{insert look of shock and horror on his face}
Ok, I really wasn't expecting THAT.

I relayed my concerns and I think somehow that lit some kind of fire under him.

After much discussion, we realized that this was a project that we couldn't take on ourselves.  If we did, it would involve someone quitting their job and that's not happening. 

It also might involve a whole bunch of marriage counselling.

So Gene made some phone calls, we talked to a guy that frames up buildings all the time.  We MIGHT be back on track to make something happen. 
Or that's the plan anyway.

We're hoping for a building that will be framed up and wrapped by winter.  Probably no inside finish work done.  For sure, probably no plumbing done. 

So in the meantime, it's still a little "pie in the sky" but to placate myself, I decided to create an illustration of what it migh look like.

{I'm standing in my driveway.  Chicken coop on the right, road on the left}

I think th is is a fairly accurate representation.  Well, less the doors and windows that look like they were manufactured by MS Paint.

I are a fotoshop mastur.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Jingles' happy place


Warm winter, wet spring has left me with some buggy problems around here.  blech.  I decided to fight back with a natural approach and bough a big box of DE.  DE stands for Diatomaceous Earth.  It's the fossilized remains of microscopic shells created by one celled plants called DIATOMS. Diatomaceous Earth kills by physical action, not chemical, by puncturing the insects' exoskeleton and absorbing its body fluids, thus posing no harm to warm-blooded life.

Essentially, death by a thousand cuts - for bugs.

Plus you can eat it if you wanted to.  No really, some people do.  Just get food grade ONLY.  Not pool grade.

Anway, so this big box comes in the mail.  Gene sits it by my desk and it's been Jingle's happy place ever since.  It's not only the solution to bugs and critters in my house, but it's also the solution to that annoying critter that won't stay off my desk.

The box hasn't been opened yet. :/  I'm thinking I'll open it, take out the DE and stuff it full of magazines and put it back for the cat.

When you look at that theory on paper, it's kind of crazy cat lady type stuff.

Don't worry Jingles, a pile of amazon boxes is my "happy place" too.
Guess I AM the crazy cat lady after all.

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