Thursday, August 30, 2012

Life by bullet points

So much has been going on around here, I've not had really a lot of time to blog like I should so I'll give you the bullet points to get us all caught up.

Pretend like you care.

  • Bought Tanner a jeep.  He sold his old Bonneville (aka Bonnie) to help pay for it.  buying a good used car is hard - cash for clunkers made decent used cars more of a commodity.  I have several car shopping stories, few of them are good.  Most of them blew up my blood pressure.  I'll share only one - we walked out on a car salesman before he ever showed us anything because he was being a typical used car douchebag salesman.  I told him that car salesman apparently weren't hungry enough.

    Which brings us to story #2.  We were looking at a used private purchase car, and on the way back, Tanner said "go to XXX car dealership and we'll talk to them."  I accidentally pulled into the wrong car lot.  The salesman did something that most don't seem to do anymore. As we were driving through, he came out the door.  I decided since he was making an effort, I would stop and talk to him.  That's when he showed us this:

(Photo by Tanner, it's the only one we've taken time to take)

3 hours later, we drove it home.

  • I have the entire month of September with no weddings, so using the month to edit all the things I have in the queue.  It feels kind of nice having some time off.  I think I'm somewhere around 12-14 weddings in this year.  I've lost count.  Next year will probably be crazier.  I already am 1/2 way to goal and 1/3 of the way to my max. 
  • The roof on the house is about 87% done.  It got rained on 1/2 done.  Gene wasn't happy, neither was I.  Neither of us really planned ahead all that well.  We r smartz.  I plan on getting decking FINISHED in September. 
  • Sometime in September we have to get prepared to pour like 4000 gallons of concrete.  (no idea if it's 4000 gallons).  The studio/garage just keeps getting bigger and bigger.  It's scary.  It's now going to be 30x40 two story barn.   Studio/Loft will have more square footage than my HOUSE.  I still feel sometimes like it's not enough.  *crazy look*  If things go as planned, I might be hiring part-time help next year. 
  • Gene and I are starting a new business.  My ultimate goal is to get him out of glass.  Basically, it's a website/blog.  I'll explain more when we get closer, but needless to say, we're excited about the prospects.
  • When we were gone to Colorado, Tanner switched the guest bed with his bed.  He has a bad back (poor kid - starting early), so we thought that'd help.  In the process he decided to paint his room because it needed freshened up.  I realized that his old bed was WAY too big for the guest room.  So, we have sold it and we'll be gutting the guest room and just adding a twin bed since we rarely have more than one person here visiting, and most of the time, that's just a little one.
  • Gene doesn't know it yet, but I've decided to build a floor to ceiling shoe rack in our closet.  He might just come home and it'll be done.  I haven't decided yet. ;)  I am tired of seeing shoes everywhere is what I know for sure.  I think I'd actually wear them more, if I could see them.  Now, if I can just keep him from hanging hats and shoving crap into it (good luck) then I'll be happy.
  • I purposely left Labor Day weekend open so we could so something if we wanted to.  I have zero plans.  I'm not exactly sure what to do with myself.
I think that sums up what's been going on in our world the past couple weeks.  I'm sure there's 732 things I forgot.

Now don't you wish you hadn't said "what have you been up to?"

Who can resist a pretty girl

She's beautiful.  See the rest of her photos here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Busy as bees

Time for another porch update already?


Let's just say a lot of things happened over the weekend.  We hired a small crew (and Tanner) to come out and help us do the hard stuff.  I can NOT go on the roof.  I'm scared of heights, and ladders, and about barf when I'm in the sun too long.

So pretty much, I'd be air lifted off my roof. 

I think that'd break into my budget a bit.

Anyway, you can see the progress below, and see that we made some good headway.  You can really get an idea of how it might look when it's done now!

Plywood makes for great shade!

Shingles heaved up there.  I didn't have to do that.  *happy face*

Doing something uninteresting in pretty sunflare.

Tanner is excited (lie) about roofing.  A skill that will put him through college!

Tired boys!

Look at that!  Porch roof is covered, has tar paper, drip rails and is almost ready for shingles.  Back side is completely shingled.  I did a lot of decking (around 25% of the length.  It's VERY LONG).

Lots left to do, but I'm already thinking about my porch swing and breakfast on the porch.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hi Ho a decking we will go


Time once again, for a deck update. 

I know you've been sitting there with baited breath wondering how it was going. 

We had a break in there because of the Colorado trip, but we're making some good headway now. Especially since the weather has decided to cut us a little slack.

Above, Gene is putting in the ceiling joists.  It's not very exciting work, but it really makes it start feel like a porch.  Sadly it feels a little like a pergola still, but we're getting there.

A lot of things happened in here that look like exactly nothing (some joist supports that took FOREVER (lucky me cut every single one.  At least 15% of them twice!  sigh).  No point in taking photos of that, because it looked kind of the same.

However, once we started cutting the decking and laying it down, thinks started to change rapidly!

We decided to go with cedar decking.  Let me tell you, it smells great every time I open my windows!  We're also running it diagonally.  Running it parallel to the house meant there'd be seams, and running it perpendicular would have made a huge commitment of the joists in the opposite direction. 

I, being difficult, decided that diagonal would be the best route to go.

BTW, did I mention that means more money? Yeah.

Here you can see how nice it looks all laid out.  Cutting around those posts are a real bugger.  It's not as easy as it looks.

This is boo's new happy place.  He lays out there about every day begging to come in at some point.  I open my front door and he just sits and stares in the storm door.


And here's me, doing something I've not been able to do in 3 years.  Going through my front door!  However, this is also Boo, trying to do something he's wanted to do for 3 months. 

Also go through the front door.

I'm slowly working on Gene though.  Someday, Boo Kitty, you'll be curled up on the glass man's side of the bed.
He might be dead when it happens, but it WILL HAPPEN.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cool treats - happy memories


I have a lot of happy memories at this little ice cream shop from my childhood.  I can remember making special trips there with my grandma in the summer.  An occasional special treat, sometimes going with friends after school and a few times our bus driver even let us stop on the last day of school (free small cones).

Every special little person in my life gets to make a trip here with me at least once, because I want them to see how awesome it is too.

So when we took Bailey for ice cream a couple weekends ago, I decided that it would be a fun place to paint!  I snapped a few reference photos and set out to create a painting to be proud of....
and I am!

This is the modern day version of the ice cream shop with a 1954 Chevy truck in front.  I picked this because it was first opened in 1954.  Even the license plate is appropriate for the county in that year!

I'm really happy with how it turned out, and this is something I'm going to keep for myself.

Not that I have a singular wall available to hang it on.

Friday, August 10, 2012

There are no bigger fish left to fry

This is my oldest son, Seth.
He likes to fish.  Can you tell? :)

37.8 pound catfish caught in the 102 river!

Catfish fry at Seth's house Saturday night!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Colorado, in a nutshell

Decided it would be easiest just to give you the readers digest version of the trip to CO.

  1. We drove.  It seemed like a longer drive than ever.  Contiental drift? 
  2. Lots of failed attempts at antique shopping.  Took us into parts we were scared we wouldn't come out of.
  3. I had a really bad day one day.  I kind of was a PITA.  I was hell bent on staying in Estes Park at least one day.  When I booked the hotel, I didn't see "Loveland" as the address.  We didn't even have a view of the mountains.  *insert unhappy face*.  Add that to rain every farking day and it was a recipe for disaster.
  4. This is the same day that we decided to walk across town to ride the tram (fun but kinda of cheesy).  It was only "a couple blocks". 
  5. It was not.
  6. I was wearing flip flops.
  7. Gene left me at a tackle store... in the rain... to go get the car because my flip flop was rubbing my foot badly.  Really stupid move.  I had no money, no purse, my cell phone was dead, holding a really expensive camera and I was in a town by myself I didn't know anyone.  I r smartz.
  8. When he got back about 1/2 hour later I went to get in the car, the seat would work.  Yep, passenger seat broke and would only stay in the laying back position.
  9. I was unhappy. *dark picture*
  10. Arguement
  11. Make up.
  12. Spent the next morning in the parking lot of an upholstry repair place (they were great!) as they tried to fix it.  Come to find out, it was a part that we didn't even need, that broke loose and was jamming up the seat.  $65 later, and all it was was a piece of garbage stuck up in there.
  13. Jeeps are sometimes a PITA too.
  14. We fed the chipmunks.  It's my happy place - but we did it in the rain.
  15. Followed around a female elk.  Bogged up traffic and Gene got mad when someone honked at him.
  16. Stayed in the coolest hotel with huge photographic murals everywhere. 
  17. I now want a huge photo mural in my bedroom.  So gonna do that.
  18. Ate the most expensive meal of my entire life at this hotel (dang I need to remember the name of it!)
  19. Gene and I stopped at the house he used to live at in Aurora.  His son Michael was born shortly after they moved from there.
  20. The windmill fields are another of my happy places.
  21. I don't know why.

On a scale of 1-10, I'd give the trip a solid 4.  Sorry Colorado.  I've had better times there, but we did see some pretty things.

Next trip will be much better planned and for happier reasons.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Why the long face there cowboy?


On our way to Colorado Springs we tried to hit a couple antique stores, which seems to be a difficult thing to do in Colorado apparently.  Most of them were duds or the town you drove through looked like a scene out of Mad Max and the Thunderdome.

Welcome to Arriba, Colorado.
(Or was this Genoa?)

Sorry guys, amiright?

So on the way out, I checked that I still had all my appendages (check!), and snapped a few shots of some cool rustic (that's a nice term for "crapped out") old buildings that would be fun to paint.

That's when I saw it.

*insert heavenly music*

An old Chevy truck full of tires... next to a worn out shed.
like, Senior photography gold.

MINI SHOOT!  We tresspassed for 5 minutes to get a few shots of Gene.  This is what you do to photos when your husband is wearing a turquoise blue polo that doesn't really go with the theme we're doing here.  Photoshop actions at 100%... YES!

Man, if I had this back home I could make a fortune off of this get up.  Or maybe I could shoot senior pics in Arriba.  Not sure who my client base would be though.  Maybe the children of the corn.  Oh wait, they kill them all before they turn 18.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Kind of like the Stay Puft Marshmellow man!



Something that I realized I said a LOT while in Colorado was "look at that cloud!"

I know, how sad is that?  Yeah.

It seems that clouds in CO are much different than clouds in MO.  I was amazed how beautiful they were. 

Maybe it's because it rained like, every day in CO.
Or maybe it's because I forgot what a rain cloud in Missouri looks like.

I am SO OVER brown grass.

Welcome home!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

One of the saddest days in recent memory


Have you ever fought for something you loved with all your heart?

Well, that kind of explains why I've been quiet lately.  You see, this past week, my husband and I went to Colorado to fight for something really important.  Like, fight as in, court battle.

We've been planning this for about 6 months now.  Working on it a lot, probably equivalent to a part time job for me.  I learned a lot about myself in that time.  Like, I can find out all kind of information when I just put my mind to it and hype myself up at 2 a.m. on honey bunches of oats.

A lot of people came together to make it happen, and we found out who are our true friends and family in the process.  My in-laws really mean the world to me, and have now proven it to us - not that they needed to really.  My sisters were there for me just because I asked them to.  No other reason.  Old friends, employers, my step son, even my husband's ex wife (we've not really been the best of friends) was extremely helpful and held herself in nothing but the highest grace and dignity.

But you know what?
We knew we had a battle going in, and our odds were very slim at best.  We hoped that a judge would listen to reason and let us explain.  Our #1 goal was to be able to say that we'd done everything we could to maintain this relationship.  We always had some hope it would happen.

Being prepared doesn't stop you from being crushed when it actually fails.  Kind of like when someone dies after a long term illness.  You know it'll happen eventually, but it doesn't mean you don't grieve when it does happen.

On one hand, the judge was apologetic in his ruling.  Said we were obviously good people, but his hands were tied.  On the other hand, he really didn't let us state our whole case, he rushed us and shushed most of the proceedings.

So that's that.  Because of a technicality in Colorado law, and the spinelessness of one person, my husband will most likely, never again see 3 young girls that he loves deeply.  I had to see my husband break down multiple times in just a few hours.  I've only seen him cry about 6 times in our entire relationship, funny, about 5 of those times was over the SAME PERSON.

I could give you details.  I could literally write a really thick book about it all.  Your jaw would drop every other page. (Some people are really not good people.)  But instead, we've decided that we've lived in a lot of negativity the past year of our lives because of one person.

You see, when we do better for ourselves and try to live a positive life, good things happen to us.  This person, has proven that when they live a negative life, nothing but negative things happen to them.

So we're just letting it go.
Think positive things.
Live positive ways.
Partition off that part of your mind and just.... let it heal.

Because someday, kids grow up into adults and they start to put 2 and 2 together on their own and they will seek out answers.... and we will be here.

It's just a matter of time.

(note: I've turned off comments on this post, because, how can I say this politely?.... I don't care to hear anyone's opinions on the matter.  No offense.  This post is here for some bloodletting only.)
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