Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Gateway

With "March Madness" going on there hasn't been a lot of new television for me to watch while knitting.  So I've been reading a little bit more.  And I got to thinking:  I love it when books lead to more books.

For example, I read a book two years ago called "The House at the End of Hope Street," by Menna Van Praag. It was a total random find at the library, and I loved it so very much that I recommended it to all of my friends. Now I'm about halfway through her newest "The Dress Shop of Dreams" and I'm finding her sophomore effort spellbinding as well.  Books don't often suck me in and make me late to work anymore.  That was the case today, though and I totally didn't mind.

Another recent random library find:  "My Year with Eleanor" by Noelle Hancock.  Not the best book on the planet, but I did like it.  And without it I never would've picked up Eleanor Roosevelt's autobiography.  What a fascinating woman!

Friday, March 20, 2015

"Pioneer Girl"

I got an email from Amazon the other day and literally squealed with copy of "Pioneer Girl:  The Annotated Biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder" is on its way!!!!

This book was published just last year and the first printing went like hotcakes. I'll bet the second printing goes quickly, too.

I've been a fan of Little House on the Prairie (the books, not the TV show) for as long as I can remember.  I've read and re-read them so many times in childhood and adulthood that I know a lot of the material by heart.  I have all of my books and the only time I'm "sad" that I have two boys is when I'm reminded that they have no interest in reading them with me.  (That's what grand-daughters will be for someday, I hope!)  I've read many an article about the "story behind the story," whether Laura and Almanzo's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, "ghost-wrote" the books, etc.  I've even checked out the cookbook from the library to see if I was interested in making the "vanity cakes" from Little House on Plum Creek or the apples n onions from Farmer Boy.  Probably the only thing I haven't done is someday plan a vacation around the U.S., seeing the "Laura Sites" in Mansfield, Missouri, De Smet North Dakota and Lake Pepin, Minnesota.  (there are others but the names are escaping me.)  But for now, I'm going to bask in my "All Things Laura" fandom geekiness and stalk my mailbox.  Woohoo!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Fun Stuff!

Big things this week.

First--this guy went to kindergarten screening.  In his own words when I picked him up from preschool, "Mom, I'm half excited and half terrified."  Poor kid was worried they were going to ask him things that he didn't know.  It went well, and it still amazes me how two kids with the same parents can be so completely different.  No anxiety, just "OK, let's go!" when the teacher came to take him to the classroom.  This is really bittersweet, sending the "baby" to kindergarten.  Which is surprising as well, considering I dreaded sending the big kid.  This just feels natural.

And then last night was "date night with this handsome fella.  The school puts on a "Boys night" every year, this year was a dance and a comedy show.  We grabbed a quick dinner at the Golden Arches and headed over.  The dance was what one would expect with a bunch of boys ranging in age from kindergarten to fifth grade:  little kids dancing with their moms, middle kids hanging around with their friends, and the bigger kids causing a ruckus.  Still, we had a good night and I love this time with Will.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Bathroom Reno Chronicles

This weekend was like starring in our own episode of "Renovation Realities" on the DIY network!  Brian and I enjoy watching this show and laughing over some of the unfortunate (and often self-created) incidents while people renovate their kitchens.  (Usually a kitchen, sometimes a bathroom but not really much else)  We however, do NOT like being that couple.

Scene:  a master bathroom.

Budget:  A little, not a lot.  Luckily there's no big plans, just ripping out white beadboard that clashes with the rest of the woodwork, painting, etc.  Oh, and changing out a light over the sink AND getting rid of the godawful vanity top.  I've hated it since we bought the house, it's a light tan (fake) marble and just....ugly.  Previous work:  Brian replaced the exhaust fan to a quieter model so I wouldn't wake up at the crack of dawn with him when he went to shower.

Time Frame:  unlike the crazy couples on the show, we don't have a deadline.  The bathroom is going to be workable the entire time (minus a shower or two on the weekends.)  Neither of us is using vacation time to make this happen.

First weekend:  trim comes down like a dream.  Only to discover that there's no WALL behind the toilet.  So the rest of the weekend is gobbled up in un-installing the toilet, and then drywalling, patching, mudding and sanding the wall.

The following weekend is all about the light that needs to be replaced.  We chose a pretty brushed nickel model, which Brian quickly gets hooked up.  And then takes down....because the medicine cabinet doors are brushing against the fixture.  Another trip to Home Depot, re-wiring, more patching.  The end result is great, ta-daa!

This past weekend is vanity replacement time!  Fun times were not had.  Thankful again there's no TV camera footage of the issues and foul language.  The kids are tired, cranky and craving attention.  Hubby's tired, grouchy and made three trips to Home Depot.  Thanks to daylight savings time and HD closing at 7pm on Sundays, we had no sink overnight.  Better than no toilet, right?  So we're looking to unwind over a hot meal and Sunday night TV.  Only no one's defrosted the chicken, and we're making do with sausage.  Finally I just fed the tired kids some leftovers and we settle in for the evening with Rizzoli and Isles.  Only to get woken up at 5:30 from our poor old pup, and it's off again to the races.

Next up is painting, and then I THINK we'll be ready for curtains, framed art and rugs.  I'm looking forward to posting a photo of the finished bathroom in all its glory!  And finding this post later on and laughing at it with Brian.  We'll get there.