Monday, October 30, 2006

Budget Revisited

I know you all don't care this much, but today I started my vacation jar. In order to pay cash for all the things we want to get this winter we are going to have so skimp in other ways. So each week I will take out cash in the areas I'm in charge of and try to save some money by the end of the week. Hopefully we will be able to do it.

This will pay for, among other things, a trip to CA to see my parents for Christmas. I am very excited about this so it should be good incentive.

Wish me discretion!

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Now that it's only 80 degrees during the day the gardening bug has hit again. My wildflower bed was run over with weeds this last time, so I'm redoing it. I went and bought 1 cubic yard of dirt. My father-in-law and I bagged it ourselves. That's 20- 40# bags. That's a lot of dirt.

We're redoing the wildflower bed and digging two new beds. We're also laying black weed barrier in the rose bed and the xeriscape bed and mulching them.

Yes, I am tired.

Today I started putting out the newspaper and putting the new dirt on top. The problem is the newspaper will fly away if I lay too much out at once, so I can only lay out 2 feet at a time and then dump dirt on it. Then there's fire ants in there and that's annoying too.

We had fall festival yesterday at church. The men in my family were sick so Emmy and I went by ourselves. I was too lazy to do any costume other than store-bought princess for her. I'm a loser.

It's hot here.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Redecorated Chair Part 1

I am so proud of the rocking chair I refinished for Denali's room. He still uses it and loves it.

Redecorated Chair Part 2

Redcorated Chair Part 3

Once you've got the first color wound around the chair, start weaving the second color through. I started at the back left and sewed the end on. Then you weave over, under, etc till you get to the other side. At this point as you start coming back, you'll be weaving on the underside of the layers the same way as the top. You see there are two layers of canvas. One on the top of the bar and one underneath. I think it will be more durable for little tushes that way. Weave back to the left on the bottom, then come and do the second row on the top.

This is the finished top.

This is the finished bottom. See how it's a little wonky? It's still woven the same way but not as pretty as the top.

Once again, anchoring the end. I hid all my end stitches under other weaving. Can you see the stitches peeking out?
The finished product. Almost makes me want to sell it or something! Took me about 4 hours including all the interruptions and waiting for the paint to dry.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I'm slowly crossing things off my procrastination list. It's amazing those little jobs that just stack up and stack up when I'm overly busy. Anything above and beyond normal daily duties just gets brushed aside.

Anyway this week I have been better at staying home. I have not stayed solely at home but it's been better. I've been trying to stay on top of the housekeeping, and any time I had an extra half hour I tried to do one of those jobs.

Tonight we have small group at our house so I'll be vacuuming and the like.

And of course spending time with my beautiful children...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Anti-Procrastination Day

As part of stay-at-home week today is designated "Anti-Procrastination Day." I have a long list of things that really only take a few minutes but pile up as things I don't want to do.

Want to join me in my quest? What are you accomplishing today?

Here's my list:

Replace 9V batteries all over the house, including smoke alarms
Finish Emlyn's jumper
garden border
Decide on new toilet
take a shower
decide on new fence
fix wall holes
clean and cover dining chairs
bleach freezer
order hot tub headrests and filter
order wildflower seeds
research corydalis and thornless blackberries
hang hooks
order new pillow
plant hostas

Monday, October 23, 2006

Long Post.

This is the new sculpture at my alma mater. It is a depiction of Jacob's Ladder, the dream Jacob had about the angels. It's gorgeous and my new favorite thing about the school.

Can you see the cross in the picture below? You have to stand at a certain place in real life for all the different stones to line up.
Denali kept playing with his blanket in the car and eventually fell asleep like this. Since then he's been putting it on his head often. I love pictures of my children sleeping.
Emmy's dad rocks. This was taken at the new sculpture as well.
In the car. Not sleeping.

Brace yourself... Are you ready for this?

Joel found a barbecue place that I actually like.

No, really!

It's out in Llano somewhere. Their sauce that they use is vinegar-based rather than tomato or whatever most BBQ sauce is. Their meat is GOOD. I never thought I'd say this, but I guess I like BBQ.

In other news, Emmy is evidently making up for lack of eating over the last few days. Usually she is extremely finicky and won't eat much of what we make available to her. But then ever week or so she eats a ton. This morning she has had three bowls of frosted miniwheats and some animal crackers.

I'm declaring this week "stay at home week." I will be driving Emmy to and from preschool, and if pressed I may make a grocery run, but other than that I am at home. I am tired and the kids are tired and we need a break. I am more than happy to accept visitors at my house, but I will not be visiting. So, come-a-callin'!

I've been able to pull out winter clothing this week. Well by "winter" I mean long sleeves and sweaters. That's about all we'll need. There will be a couple days where our winter coats will come in handy, and we may use mittens and hats on those two days as well, but at least we get to wear long sleeves! Denali has some really cute hand-me-down stuff, including the cutest raincoat ever. Emmy still fits her purple coat and is in some cute long dresses.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Today I finally put in all the rest of the test cores I am using for a border for my garden. I need about 10 more to finish that bed and hopefully Joel's dad can get them for me. I didn't think about the project ending; if I had I would have asked him sooner for the last 10. I am such a procrastinator sometimes.

We were able to leave the windows open today and actually be outside in the nature and stuff. Of course we all have allergies too, esp. Denali and Joel.

I'm thinking about starting "God's diet" or whatever it's called where you eat only organics and natural foods. Anyone done that, or know how much of a difference in cost it is? I guess I could Google it.

Friday morning we are going to the Dino Park, Zilker Park Train, and the playground with our playgroup. Hope it's fun even though I am not sleeping right now (4 am).

Well I guess I need to try to sleep...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Earthquake vs Tornado

How can someone who has been through the Loma Prieta earthquake and tons of smaller ones be scared of tornados?

Well, Oct 17 is the anniversary of the Loma Prieta. It was a 7.1 on the Richter scale and we were at home. I was reading to my little brother on the couch and heard what I thought was a semi coming down our street or maybe someone with a loud radio. The windows were shaking and things were wobbling. I realized suddenly that it was an earthquake! So I grabbed Daniel and went to stand in the hall doorway and my mom came to the hall with my little sister Ruth.

The earthquake seemed to go on a long time, and even after the main part stopped it still felt as if the whole world was swaying.

Grace was at a neighbor's house so we were somewhat worried about her, but it turned out she was fine. At our house the only damage was a a couple pictures falling over and the like.

Channel 7 was the first one back on the air (of course we had to turn on the TV) and we later found out that some freeways and bridges collapsed and all those people at the World Series (Giants vs A's) were quite surprised. It was supposed to start at 5 but that's when the earthquake hit.

Our cousins were living in Hollister at the time which was much closer to the epicenter of the quake. My aunt's new china cabinet along with all the china all fell over and broke. My cousin thought her papa was shaking the bed to be silly.

No one close to me was hurt, and the Hollister damage was the worst that I knew of personally.

I wasn't as scared also because I was at home. At school it might have been a different matter.

We continued to live almost directly on the Hayward Fault until I went to college when my parents moved to a different town.

Because of that quake many bridges were retrofitted and in fact the Hayward City Hall (less than 200 feet from the Hayward Fault) is not actually connected to the ground. It floats on hydraulics or something. I'm not really sure of the details on that but it sounds pretty cool! It has "53 friction pendulum seismic isolation bearings and fifteen 12-foot long hydraulic viscous dampers." Fancy!

And yet why am I afraid of tornados?

I think it's because they are somewhat predictable. If you have a storm cellar you're supposed to go there. If there is a tornado warning, go in the closet or whatever. It sounds like [insert description here]. etc. etc. Whereas an earthquake is not predictable. "The Big One" is going to happen sometime but who knows when? Just do your earthquake drills and anchor your bookcases to the wall and hope for the best. I prefer that to the uncertainty of a tornado.

Thankfully we don't live in Oklahoma or Kansas or Arkansas. I would need a storm cellar to live there and would have a weather radio definitely. Of course up there are sirens. No sirens here where I am. Yet there is a chance every spring and fall that we will have a tornado here. We have had two or three times I have taken everyone into the hall closet.

Anyway yesterday and today I have been thinking about that day 17 years ago. I will probably never forget it.

In memory of the 63 people killed by the Loma Prieta.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Credit Card

I figured out what happened with the $$. The charge was a legitimate one for something else, but I got confused with the description. So no one is overcharging me.

Did some shopping and gardening after the kids went to bed. Who says night is for sleeping?


We are back from our Homecoming. It was fun and busy and tiring. I'll post pictures someday.

Today Emlyn and I sorted her art papers. She loves to make art and this time we decided to give away a lot of it because that's nicer than throwing it away. There was enough to send to all grandparents and aunts and uncles. Hopefully some of it will get displayed, but I also hope they won't feel obligated to keep it. I would have just tossed it if we didn't give it away.

She wanted to give some art to Jesus. I couldn't decide if it would be better to keep it as something to remember, or mail it, or put it outside and let it blow away. That's what she wanted to do with it.

I've been decluttering and cleaning. Trying to stay organized even though it's tough.

Got a charge on my debit card for $64. I knew I purchased items there but could only recall about $20 worth. And of course, it's almost the only receipt I've lost in 7 years. I need to decide if I'm going to complain to the organization or just chalk it up to life lessons.

My massage went really well- the lady really worked hard on my neck and shoulders. I have lots of problems with them. Of course now I'm sore but I'm hoping it's a good sore.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


This weekend I'll be going to my 5 year college reunion. I know, I'm old. Anyway I wanted to go to the Homecoming Musical, which this year is "Singin' in the Rain". So I was a little sad because I remembered how prohibitively expensive the musical was when I was in school. I could only afford the cheapest, $5 seats. I looked down in awe at all the people who had more money than I did and could afford even the most expensive seats! "Those have all got to be old, rich alumni," I thought to myself. "Maybe someday I will be able to afford some good seats!"

Well I guess I'm old and rich. I bought the most expensive tickets for my sister and I to attend. Guess how much they were? $17 a piece.

I suppose it all depends on your perspective.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I went outside to fix the rain barrels so they would actually catch the rain instead of dumping it on the ground.

Thank you God for the rain!

I came back inside, sat down at the computer.

Five minutes later Emlyn asked for some water. I got up and went to the sink. As I was rinsing the cup, I saw...

A GECKO! On my arm! I screamed a little scream and then took it outside to be happy.

It was a cute gecko, but I wasn't expecting one to be on me!


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Killer Toes

I have killer big toes. No, really.

You see my big toenails stand up at 45 degree angles. They aren't like regular toes, which point forward with your toe. They point kinda up. And they jab people, and cut holes in the tops of my shoes. I try to keep them trimmed but if I trim them too much I get ingrown toenails.

So last night Joel was commenting on how he always wakes up expecting to have blood on the backs of his legs from my killer toes. I guess it can be frustrating to sleep with someone with killer appendages.

Therefore I am now wearing bandaids over my toenails at night to prevent hurting Joel. It turns out to be a good use for those itty-bitty bandaids that come in a box of assorted bandaids. You know the ones that could go around a baby's finger and the ones that would cover about 1 zit? Those ones are the ones I'm using.

I'll let you know how much Joel appreciates my kindness towards him. Maybe I should shave my legs too...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Trip Update #2

I just realized I never finished talking about my trip... So I will finish it out and post a couple pictures.

Tuesday morning we drove to Searcy in Arkansas, where lots of my cousins and a couple of very good friends live. We stayed with my friend S, who has a new baby. They very kindly put us up for 3 or 4 days. Some of the highlights:
S made us a birthday cake and special dinner (Joel, and his mom, and my sister Grace, and I all have the same birthday). We got to play Settlers of Catan (which I won). We got to go to the grocery store and the bookstore without any kids (thanks to Joel). We went to a pick-your-own-fruit farm with the kids. We played and read books and napped. We cleaned and talked. We went to the university that S's husband works at. And the highlight of my visit with S was going to a coffeeshop in the evening without the bigger kids.

I also got to go to dinner with my cousins. We talked about lots of silly things and missed their older sister (out of 4 siblings, 3 of them attend the same university). We got to see some dorm rooms and just visit. They are cool cousins.

I got to see one of my other cousins too. She and I talked while my kids ran all around the student center. It was nice to catch up with everyone.

The trip was so much fun, and the Searcy part went especially well. S and I got to spend lots of good time together.

On Saturday we packed up and drove all the way back to Austin. It was a good trip but so nice to get back to our house and to be back with our own stuff.

21 mos old

Denali is now 21 months old. That's old. That's no-longer-a-baby old. Wow.

I wrote a bunch of other stuff and then deleted it because it was so depressing.

To combat the mosquitos breeding in our rain barrels, I am emptying the barrels to water our baby trees in the backyard. Although I guess they are toddlers now.

Today I am going to the gym. Then playgroup.

Father, guide me.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Finally Done

Well after months of thinking about it I finally painted my car up a little bit tonight. Joel thought I was bonkers for doing it at 11 pm but I just had to do some art. Ever feel that way? Like if you don't do something creative you're just gonna burst?

We both like it. Joel's not too fond of the wavy line but I'll find a way to fix that later.

Monday, October 02, 2006


I'm back, and I had a great weekend of renewal. We learned about worship and how to worship God. We spent lots of time worshiping. We also got to talk and visit with women without a million kids around. It was wonderful. And I got to drive the Miata...

Now I'm home and the house is a wreck and Denali is sick. I hope the fever goes away soon!