Saturday, February 28, 2009


A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning
will be taken as a curse! - Proverbs 27:14

My mother used to vacuum the house at 7 in the morning.

SATURDAY morning.


As a teen, this was the worst form of torture she could ever inflict. At the time, I was going to cosmetology school from 7:30 am to 4 pm, would come home and change uniforms, then go to work at Arby's until 10:30 or 11:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Since I basically had my "second wind" by 10 pm and was pumped full of caffeine, I had a terrible time getting to sleep at night. 3 am, 2am, I would be reading a book or just staring at the ceiling. Blinking. When I finally did fall asleep, morning came too quickly.

I sometimes worked on the weekends, but I didn't have to go to school on Saturday! This was my morning to sleep. Glorious, wonderful, sleep!

Mom got up at the crack of dawn every weekday morning. She was awake at 5, out the door before sunrise, and came home around 4 pm. To her, 7 o'clock was sleeping in! Why, 7 am was the perfect time to vacuum the house!

Fast forward to 2009.

Ty has classes on Mondays and Wednesdays that start at 7 am. The rest of the week, he has to be at work downtown by 8 am. Saturday is the only day he has to sleep a little, since on Sundays he's at the church before 8 to practice music for the Sunday service. He likes to stay up a little later on Friday nights and watch a movie, because he knows he gets to sleep. Glorious, wonderful, sleep!

Imagine my horror when Himself gets up on the roof this morning and starts pounding and hammering and knocking off some of the rotted wood, all before 9 am.

Not only is it too early in the morning, it's too early, period! Our roof is scheduled for repair on March 11-14 according to the church calendar. Himself is two weeks early on this.

The first outraged child down the stairs was Glenna. Of course, all anger is spewed at me, the mom.

What on earth is going on?

Don't you yell at me, Miss! I'm not the one on the roof!

Tyler did have to have a haircut at 10 this morning. While Himself was still trying to defend his choice of chores and the hour, Ty stumbled down the stairs.

I get up at the crack of dawn every stinkin' day except Saturday, my only day to sleep a little, and someone's pounding outside my window . . . .

I feel for you hon. I feel for you.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Would You Say that to a Stranger?

I love to interact with strangers.

I've noticed this is a habit that completely embarrasses my son, so I try not to do it when he's around. For example:

This morning I was at the store and needed more tea. There was gruff-looking, construction-type man already in the tea aisle, trying to find something he liked. I don't care much for Bigelow tea, so I was searching for the limited ones I was allowed to drink (peppermint and Rooibus, no citrus) in the other brands.

He was at one end, I was at the other, and we were slowly walking toward the center.

At the point where we needed to go around each other, I hollered out, "SWITCH!"

Just as quickly, he hollered, "SWITCH!" and we both jumped to exchange places. I found my tea and we both parted with smiles.

I love that!

Kelly's catching on to it, but Ty would have given me a stern lecture after we left, although he's learning that this can even be appropriate.

Kelly made an observation the other day, stating, "Mom, what happened to us? We used to be so loud and fun, and now we're a very quiet family."

I encouraged her to be loud and fun! I know that for myself, I had to tone things down a bit when I noticed it embarrassed my son. Now that he's at a less-easily-embarrassed age, we can turn the volume up a notch.

'Natch. :-)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Before Himself and I were married, I went to visit him in the desert of California. He was working a job site, so I eagerly offered to help him.

He gave me a small pail of paint and a brush and invited me to brush some bi-fold doors covering an outdoor laundry closet. Great! Let's Work!

I painted one edge of a door without incident. I wasn't a complete rookie - I had painted doors at my high school as a band project after all - and I felt good about my accomplishments.

Turning to paint the second door, everything was going smoothly until I bent to get a lower part of the door edge. BUMP! I realized my rear had bumped the edge of the door I painted previously.

I immediately turned with my brush to touch up any mark I had made. BUMP! My other "cheek" hit the door I had just painted.

You read that right; both cheeks had paint on them now.

Himself came over, removed the pail and brush from my hands and requested, "Stop helping me."

We kept those shorts for a while because it was so hilarious.

After that, I was regulated to jobs that didn't involve actual painting. Few people realize how vital the "other" jobs are. Young children are especially amusing; when we hand them sandpaper, putty, or masking tape, their faces fall. "But, I want to paint." My dear, this IS painting!

Glenna is under no such illusions! You 'oughta know better, you're a the painter's kid! I had to smile when I received these photos from my friend Sharon. Glenna and Himself went to paint doors for them.

Here's Himself near the doors. Here's Glenna far from the doors.
He stands the doors up in the garage and attaches a thin piece of wood to the top of each one, forming screens out of the doors. This way they stand the entire time and he doesn't have to wait for one side to dry before he does the other. Brilliant!

Why is she just standing there, holding the spray line?

This, actually, is a tremendous help to any painter in a "spray zone" and doing production work.
As he moves among the doors, Glenna's role is to watch the spray line. She holds onto it to keep it from snagging or tangling on anything. She also keeps one eye on the pump and makes sure the paint doesn't get too low. Having the pump suck air will make for spurts eventually coming from the gun. A good line watcher will quickly run and dump more paint in, then run back and watch the line again.

There's nothing more frustrating for a sprayer to get in a groove, only to have his movements hindered by the spray line snagging on something. If you're not paying attention and the line gets snagged, you'll hear an angry, Line! shouted by the sprayer. Oops! I'll stop watching the butterflies, dear . . .

He also needs to time his movements and coatings with the amount of paint left in the bucket - especially if there may not be enough to cover everything. He needs to stop in a spot that wouldn't be conspicuous, like having half a door finished.

I helped Daddy paint the doors today, Momma!

Really? Did you watch the line for him?


Atta girl!

A "helper" (as in a non-sprayer) also does a lot of prep work. Sanding doors, masking floors, puttying holes - they do everything they possibly can ahead of time so the sprayer doesn't have to stop. If prepped correctly, a sprayer can blow through a room in no time and finish an entire one-story building before lunch!

The results from his and Glenna's efforts are these beautifully painted doors:

Now that's what I call painting!

Oh I wish I were a Spray Man
A spray gun in my hand man
I wouldn't have to work much
Just pull the trigger and wait for lunch . . . .

-Himself, sometime in the 80's, when his brother Dan was spraying and he was the line watcher.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Squids

As my friend BA pointed out, the kids had a great time while Himself and I were away!

First, they had to go to Dinner A'Fare and get our meals. Thankfully, Jessie and her mother were there with Jessie's camera!

They did a great job of putting our meals together for the next two weeks. It has been interesting to prepare the meals only by the directions. When I prepare them, that's the first time I'm seeing them. Still works!

Tyler was impressed with the Dinner A'Fare facilities. He found them neat, efficient, and orderly.

At some time during their travels, they met up with Jessie and her charge at a pottery place before going to Park Ave.

Then, I'm guessing they ate somewhere.
Glenna says Ty kept putting the camera in Kelly's face for "close-ups," hence the wince.

This one's a favorite!
Glenna laughed when she saw it. Jessie got to experience first-hand how difficult it can be to get a decent picture of Ty! First he protested, then he denied the need for the photo, then he somehow manipulated Glenna into knocking her water over (which had to be cleaned up), then he gave a fake smile. Finally, she got a great photo! Welcome to my world, Jess!

Lastly, after Himself and I came home, Ty headed off to a Valentine's celebration with his girl.
He made the candle holder in Jessie's hand! Out of metal at his shop! Surrounded by "dudes" who were sure to mock! Then, they attended a symphony!

See why I wasn't worried about anything?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


He actually brought them into my house.

Girl Scout Cookies.

I am ashamed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Taking Names

Glenna: Mom, why do people sit in the chairs outside the sanctuary on Sundays?

Me: What do you mean? Like whom?

Glenna: Like Mr. B or sometimes Mr. (other)B.

Me: Perhaps they're waiting for latecomers, to welcome them and help them find a seat.

Glenna: When I was little, I used to think they were writing down the names of people who walked in the halls during the sermon and would tell the pastor later.

Let that be a lesson to all of you. They're taking names!

Monday, February 16, 2009

What's This?

Can anyone tell me what this is?

Himself dug it out when he was painting The Mexican Side Dish. It obviously looks like some type of frame, but we have no idea what it would be for. It's made mostly of aluminum.

Maybe somebody who reads this blog, and also knows the former owners of this house, could give us a clue?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Weekend Plans

Friday: A visit to Disney's Animal Kingdom with Himself.
(free admission. Thanks, Greg!)

Friday Night: Staying at a Disney Resort.
(Major discount. Thanks again, Greg!)

Friday Night: Dinner out.
(We won't break the budget)

Saturday Morning: Sleeping in, relaxing by the pool.
(Included. Didn't even buy a new swimsuit.)

Sunday: 23 years of marriage to my beloved.

This anniversary weekend is brought to us by three amazing children, who are taking over Mom and Dad's chores for the weekend.
(Thanks Ty, Kelly, and Glenna!)

Friday, February 13, 2009


It breaks my hear to announce that Evangelin has officially disbanded. Zach has joined a touring band for a 6 week tour! We're so excited for him and wish him the best. (No, Zach is not solely to blame for the break-up.)

I can't tell you how much I miss hearing them in my living room and writing on my dry-erase board. This was their last set of notes; a set list.

This definitely doesn't mean the end of music for these boys. Ty's now concentrating on school and work. He still practices whenever he can.

So, this just leaves the mom to get over it!

I believe their myspace page is still up. You can still click on the banner at the bottom of my site and hear their music.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Glenna's Story

*I've decided to start having some fun with the pictures Glenna leaves on my camera.

Howdy, Ma'am. I don't mean to alarm you, but I'm on the trail of an outlaw.

There's no need to worry your pretty little head. Just wanted you to be aware and encourage you to lock the barn door tonight.

Just as soon as I saddle my horse, I'll mosey right along. Did you happen to see a horse run past here nigh on to an hour ago?

He went that-a-way.

I mean, he went that-a-way! Don't mind the DNA strand behind me. It means nothing.

He'll never catch me. I'll go out in a blaze of gunfire and glory!

The End.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Trek Games

Last weekend was the first Trek Games where Glenna was a participant. It was Superbowl Weekend in Tampa, but we didn't hit much traffic. The Lord gave us a beautiful day in Clearwater!

We arrived early enough to picnic on the grounds at Clearwater Christian College.

We found out later that students are not encouraged to walk on the grass there. Oops.

Unfortunately, the attendance to this was the smallest I have seen in all my years of JV. Fortunately, that didn't keep Glenna and her friends from enjoying themselves!

We fought hard. There was a one point difference between us an the blue team for most of the day. In the end, they pulled off a five point win and we came in second.

It was a blast!

(I wish the color was better on this one. Glenna's hair is pulled over her face.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ode du Car

Little purple car,
Your name was Nerple.

You never looked purple from the inside.

It took great courage for a teen boy to drive you around. You built a lot of character. You taught appreciation for life's simple pleasures.

Now you're gone.

The end.

Monday, February 09, 2009


Pavlov, Ivan Petrovich (1849–1936) Russian physiologist; discovered conditioned reflexes, e.g. dogs salivating in anticipation of food; Nobel Prize 1904 for his work on the physiology of digestion.

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov would ring a bell and then feed the dog. Eventually, he only needed to ring the bell to trigger salivation in the dog, since it was anticipating food.

Here, we have our own little Pavlovian experiment.

It all started with my friend, CP, and her dog, Abby. We watched Abby for 10 weeks while their house was being renovated. They had taught Abby to like ice cubes! Whenever someone was getting ice from the door dispenser, she would run in and they would give her one.

Abby taught our two dogs, Jack and Blaze, to like ice cubes, too!

Blaze died in '06. Jack carried on the ice cube tradition and taught it to someone else.

We don't have a door dispenser, but we do have a freezer drawer. All we need to do is pull open the freezer door, and Missy will come running.



Jack will come only if he wants an ice cube. Missy will come back, even if she's just finished one.

Need to know where the puppy is? Open the freezer drawer.

The clever girl has figured out that sometimes ice cubes drop behind the drawer onto the floor of the freezer. When we pull the drawer out all the way, she can stick her little head in and grab an ice cube!

The freezer drawer - who knew it would become our Pavlov's Bell?

Sunday, February 08, 2009


This is as winter as it gets in Florida.

Glenna braved the cold on my behalf in order to get these shots:

When we go to marine science, Mrs. R is ready with hot chocolate and all sorts of goodies (including the best hummus ever according to both Glenna and Kelly).
Kelly has been dying to wear this jacket. She bought it at PacSun and fell in love with it. It will last her forever, too, since jackets don't get worn out in Florida!

The Kate! I love the Kate. I. Just. Do.

While Kelly is studying marine science, Glenna does a sewing class with Mrs. G. (I usually put my nose in a book or work on my AWANA lesson). Here, the sewing class had escaped to the outdoors:
If we can't see her, then she can't see us! She'll never know we're here. Note: Bekah R. is the one without shoes in the cold. She's usually the one without shoes, anyway!

It's so unusual to see them so bundled up!

Here's my solidly frozen bird bath:

God knew what He was doing when He sent us to Florida. I sure don't like to be cold.

The one bonus to colder weather is that it encourages the azaleas to bloom! Mine bloom later than most because they're in the shade.

It's beautiful and in the 70's today! Thank You, Lord!

(An aside: This weekend when I tackled Mt. Neverrest, our laundry, I accidentally singed a pair of Himself's pants. I took them out to show him as he was touching up the paint on The Mexican Side Dish. I helpfully pointed out the fact that he had a run on the side of the window. He just as helpfully pointed out that I had singed his pants. 'Nuff said.)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Devolution of a Floor

1545, from de- + (e)volution. Used in various legal and fig. senses; in biology, as the opposite of evolution, it is attested from 1882.

Florida Builder, 1962 - Let's put in that new flooring called terrazzo. Supposed to be able to withstand heavy traffic and last forever!

Homeowner, 1972 - Let's cover up this boring terrazzo. Linoleum is cheap and easy!

Homeowner, 2002 - We've got to try to sell this house. We can't possibly sell it with Mom's old linoleum! Let's cover it with linoleum tiles and carpet.

Homeowner, 2009 - This carpet is too nasty, and the cheaper linoleum tiles have lost their surface. Let's take the floors back to the beautiful terrazzo! We can polish it up and make it shine again!

Thus begins the renovation. Already, without the carpet and "tile" determining the shrunken size of our dining room, we have so much more room and the house looks more open!

All of these pictures are blurry. No one knows why.

Himself, lifting off the linoleum tiles in the dining area. The carpet was cut up and removed. I could not believe the amount of dirt under that carpet. I must have swept up five pounds of silt. It felt so good to know we weren't living with that dirt anymore.

Lifting up the "tiles" in the kitchen reveals the ancient sheet linoleum. The funny thing is, the woman who originally owned this house still goes to my church! She had sold it to her daughter and son-in-law, and they put the "tiles" over the linoleum. Pat (original owner) swears the linoleum wasn't yellow when she picked it out. It may have not been yellow, but it was definitely 70's!

These two are of me, chipping off the tiles with a 5-in-1 and a hammer. Worked for me! Again, there was so much dirt and filth trapped under these tiles. I bleached and bleached it after I got the tiles off.
My family fondly refers to this as "squatting like an Aborigine." I've noticed each of my children do it, too.

Our schnauzer reacts to all the hub-bub and his changing world:
Jack would bring me toys, balls, anything he could find, and throw it into the middle of whatever I was doing. Are you sure you wouldn't rather play? Want to stop that right now? Please?

Once the terrazzo is polish and restored, it will look more like this and not yellow. We can't wait. I will then put an area rug in the living room.
I'm so glad terrazzo is back in style. I'm especially glad I didn't have to pay for mine!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Home Improvement?

I adore a freshly painted wall.

Married to a painter, I am fortunate enough to have a husband who adores a freshly painted wall even more than I do. I've also had more opportunities than most brides to actually receive freshly painted walls.

I was thrilled when Himself announced he was preparing to paint our garage/school room exterior. The mishmash of current colors wasn't repulsive, but it was also, well, mishmash-y. He told me there were certain colors he needed to use and test for his business.

Evidently, some painters have complained about the paint not working the way it should.

He quickly masked off the doors and windows and started applying the primer.

Already, the primer gives it a freshness! Before, we had primer around the red doors, beige walls, tan trim. Mishmash.

This side of the school room is already primed.

Curious about the colors, I walked over to the two, five-gallon buckets.
What is that under the lid? Which colors, exactly, were giving the painters trouble?

I spied some on the grass (looked like someone had sneezed it there) and tried not to gasp. Or gag. One of the two.
I know my camera and the lighting is not doing this justice. It looked suspiciously like peach yogurt.

I'm not a fan of peach-colored paint, but peach yogurt isn't so bad. That's the color he was going to put on the trim.

Ok . . . . what about the walls?
It's CALLED Copper Penny. it LOOKS like something else, altogether.

Here's the peach yogurt trim.

Here's the body color on the side.
I had no words. I had no words, because I'm sticking to the 'If you can't say something nice' mantra. It's just so, so . . . brown.

Regardless of the color, he really is an excellent painter. I couldn't be more thrilled with the care and skill he takes, even when testing out some hideous paint.

I was honestly trying to get him in the "upward" position, but he paints too quickly for my little camera. We'll have to put this one in the awkward pose file.

Ah! Now he's standing up.

Here, he's using a handy little gadget to test the mil thickness. One of the complaints was that they couldn't put it on a certain mil thickness without it sagging or running.

Hmmm. . . . a mil thickness of 11 and it's performing just as it's supposed to. Painters of the world, you can thank Himself and my school room for finding that out on your behalf!

As the colors began to dry, I was relieved that the yellow began to look less like peach yogurt. It kind of faded into a lemon yogurt, but it didn't stop there.

It should have stopped there. Again, this lighting isn't doing it justice. I should have waited until it was in full sun.

Friends, I give you Nacho Cheese and Beans.
Glenna has dubbed it The Mexican Side Dish. (Please note: the overspray will be corrected, of course.)

I have begged Himself for a large yard sign that reads, "I did not pick these colors! My husband did!"

So far, he has not complied.


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