Monday, June 22, 2009

Backyard Camping

Well by Thursday Paul had a bad cold, I couldn't stand the smell of the polycoating and it was too hot and germy to sleep in one closed off bedroom even with the windows open, so we improvised. I went to the grocery store to pick up some NyQuil and food we could BBQ since we still had no access to the kitchen. For dishes stashed in the laundry room I had two bowls and spoons for cereal- no forks and knives. So I bought some bamboo "sporks", a few bamboo plates, and skewers for shish kebabs. The butcher was kind enough to cut up some steaks into shish kebab size since I didn't have my meat knives handy, and also offered to cut my veggies too! He asked that I keep him anonymous as he isn't allowed to cut veggies.
The potato salad and green beans with garlic and sesame sauce were from the deli and were fabulous
We had a delish dinner and decided to enjoy the whole night out by bringing out our Mosquitogazebo, air mattress and floor fan. Although it took us an hour or so for us two to figure out how to assemble the Mosquitogazebo with all the poles and pipes (we nearly gave up), it was perfect with the breeze of the fan, the sounds of the frogs and crickets and to watch the millions of fireflies blinking as we dozed off to sleep. The only foil to the plan was that in addition to the regular humidity, a fog bank floated in in the middle of the night, moistening the sheets and bedding. Paul woke up towards the tail end of the fog to say, "Oh look at the mist everywhere." We had to turn off the fan because we were suddenly cold and had to bring out a few more blankets.

After Thursday we stayed at Tracy's house while they coated the last coat over the entire downstairs floor. We couldn't go in the house at all until last night. The floors look great! Other than one small area that looked like a towel got dragged through the coating. Hopefully they don't have to sand it all down and start over with the last coat! Yikes.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Floors, Signs and Birds

Being that I have had much nervousness and I might go so far as to say anxiety over the past year or so, I came to the hopeful idea that my problem might stem from lack of organization. Life is chaotic for me with the constant change in my work schedule and travel time, so I never feel I have a grasp on what time I really have available. The lack of fun time that's left after accomplishing the necessaries feels insufficient to do what I want to do, and I constantly feel frusterated and unsatisfied with my progress on to-dos and fun-having. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Of coarse! Probably everyone!
To combat my mind doing circles constantly trying to sort out how to fit everything in to the day or week, and wondering if I've forgotten something, I have talked to the most organized person I work with and the least organized person I work with. The most organized person suggested I organize my work and home life into whatever mode works best for me. Since I'm not organized at all, I don't know what works best! The least organized person I work with says she's being going through the same thing and now carries around a small notebook in her purse and she writes everything in it from meeting times, notes from meeting, hours worked on what projects and to-dos for at home.

I thought I could maybe make this work. An organizer is very categorized and doesn't leave enough room for creative note taking, plus it's bulky and I have to carry around a super-sized purse or backpack. My new little notebook is where I write my days out on a sheet or two and as things come up starting adding to-dos to different days such as buy birthday present, stop by the post-office, as well as fun things such as spin some yarn, work on painting Darla's sign... which is finished by the way!
It has worked very well because I will write things down as I think of them at work, the drive home or when I have lots of time to think: when I'm cooking. Now, I have my day planned out on paper (not in my head- this is key so I don't have to be thinking it all the time) before it gets there and if I start to feel nervous and wonder where my time is allocated, I just reassure myself by looking at my list. I feel very satisfied at the end of the day to see things crossed out, and anything left over, I just erase and add to the next available time.

Another thing that I'm hoping will help anxiety levels is I have found a home for Fairy. Her constant need for attention and screaming has made being home unpleasant so that I was not looking forward to weekends. Darla has two kids and a few dogs and a husband that loves birds. Fairy has gone to Darla's as a trial run to see how everyone adapts, including Paul. She gravitated towards her new home from day one and has been riding around on everyone's shoulders. If she calls out for attention, she's got 4 people there with someone being home almost all the time. She is quite catered to and Darla says she seems very content. Paul has had a hard time with parting with her, but he knows that this is probably best for her and best for me.

We shipped Fairy off to Darla's last week prior to the warranty folks coming in to repair our floors. Clementine went to her babysitters yesterday and Paul and I are living in the sewing room and laundry room until tomorrow night when we head to Tracy's for the weekend while the polycoat dries.

We have no access to upstairs because the floors are stained by the stairs, so we are sleeping downstairs in the office/sewing room.

The laundry room is by the office and we can get to both through the garage. So we have our clothes and a temporary kitchen set up for breakfast in the laundry closet.

And the laundry sink to do the dishes in..
I finished the sign for Darla last weekend in anticipation of the floor upheaval. I wanted to get it done beforehand so I could hand the sign off with Fairy. Darla got a two-for-one deal! The sign I painted for Darla's husband's landscaping business might open up some additional painting work I'm hoping. I have my contact details painted on the upper left hand corner of the sign that will be attached to the landscaping trailer cruising around town. I have my business license and am continuing with my embroidery work but look to bring in some painting work as well.

I hope you all are enjoying the summer! Congrats to my cousins Heidi and Tory for graduating and going on the the next stage in life!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Memorial Weekend

The grand hoorah before my parents left to go back to California was to go to the mountains for the weekend. We stayed in Black Mountain, NC and then spent time between Black Mountain, Asheville and Hendersonville. Hendersonville was having a garden festival for the whole weekend and we had a blast walking around downtown checking out all the vendor boothes displaying garden goodies like birdhouses, chainsaw-carved bears (see below) and unusual carnivorous plants (see below).

Paul couldn't resist coming home with a bear carved by Mountain Dan

And, I myself, was drawn into the mysterious trumpet plants that lure insects in to trap and devour. Thanks to Mum for my beautiful birthday presents!

I don't know if everyone thought they were so beautiful by the end of the day, what with them having to sit on our table for lunch....and on Paul's lap for the ride to our B&B. The car ride was quite crowded with the bear, the plants, Dad's pruning shears and other trinkets.
Plus, we were sitting here in the car for awhile because I didn't print out directions to get to our B&B. And what's worse? I forgot the name of the place! Luckily I had my computer and we found a wireless zone in downtown Hendersonville, so we sat in the parking stall surfing my email for the confirmation email to then get an address to then search google maps.... Mom meanwhile checked out her map and dad has his GPS unit on his phone ready for action.
We finally found the place, Black Mountain Inn, and first order of business was to get the Triffids, as Paul dubbed them, comfy in the wash basin in our room. They need to be in water at all times because they are bog plants.
The next day we visited an abandoned junk yard and had fun searching around at the discarded antiques.

I found some lovely future planters...

...and mom and dad checked out the dishes and golf clubs, respectively.

We hit the shops of Black Mountain pretty hard.

Dad had found a fly shop in this small town, hard to believe, but sadly it was closed for the whole weekend! He came by to double check each time we walked by just in case they decided to open.

After a hard days work shopping around Black Mountain, we headed back to our frequented coffee shop, The Dripolator in downtown Black Mountain.

On monday we went to Asheville and had some fun looking in shops there, and then came home Monday night.
Triffids in place on the deck.