Monday, October 25, 2010

Is there a Rugdoctor in the house?

This weekend we had our first thing break in the house that was unplanned.  Mostly, we've been doing the breaking ourselves, on purpose of course and in the form of demolition.  But this weekend, I got up to take a shower and found this:
The cold water handle had just mysteriously broken off and was lying in the tub.  We weren't brokenhearted.  We know that the fixtures in the bathroom are cheap and ugly, and we want to replace them eventually.  Note the word "eventually."  Jason has big plans for the bathroom, and to properly replace this handle would require some other demo that we are not prepared for at the moment.  But how exactly did it break?  I'm thinking this one did it:
Tosca loves the bathtub water from the faucet.  I mean L-O-V-E.  She drinks it like we don't give her clean, filtered water in a petmate water fountain.  So to get her fix, why not break off the handle so it can't turn off?  She is quite a diabolical kitty.  Here she is, staring at the faucet and willing it to drip, because Jason has fixed the handle.  It isn't a handle that matches, but this is a quick fix until we get something grand and beautiful in there.  In other words, we don't really care what it looks like right now as long as it works!  
 Right after I took this picture, Jason asked, "must we always have a picture?"  The answer is heck yes!  Here he is demonstrating our other weekend project:  cleaning the carpet!  When we moved in, the carpet in the basement was really stained. So stained, that we thought it was ruined and we just thought we'd live with it for now and replace it someday.  But my very smart parents suggested that we clean it.  Here is a picture I found of a before:
And here is the after!  
Okay so that doesn't really show how dirty it was, but believe me it was.  Plus, my student Patrick asked today if it was just him or was my carpet more blue?  Way to be observant, Patrick!  We also cleaned the couches upstairs.  Woohoo to a productive weekend! 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Decorating Neurosis

So this may be surprising to those of you familiar with my weekly schedule, but I think I may have too much time on my hands.  Last weekend I created these:
I must admit that I got this idea from the Hyvee Seasons catalog that I get for free in the mail, and I was so giddy with excitement when I saw them there was no stopping me!  I spray painted a bunch of funky looking gourds and probably spent an hour bedazzling them by hand with rhinestones and a glue gun. When I picked them out of the bin at the store, this socially awkward looking man came over to rifle through the bin also, but really he was just trying to talk to me.  He kept asking me dumb questions about what you do with them.  You look at them, of course!  Then I kept running into him inside the store, and he would comment on the fact that I was buying SO MANY useless pumpkins.  He was clearly not good at picking up people.  
I also made this table runner.  I know it is kind of wide for a table runner, but I didn't know what else to do with the fabric I bought.  It is a bit worrying to me how much joy I get from doing these crafty projects!  Jason does not seem worried, however, so that is a relief.  
I also purchased this wheat wreath in honor of fall.  I could go crazy buying home accents but I try to reel it in. 
I've complained about the ugliness of the wicker on the porch the entire time we've lived here, and finally while my parents were visiting, we decided to tear it off.  Here is the before picture.  
And here is the after.  No one has noticed enough to comment, but it makes me breathe a sigh of relief that it is gone.  True, you can see the peeling paint of the cement underneath now, but a wicker free porch is worth it.  Plus, it wasn't even real wicker, it was wicker like plastic, which seems even worse somehow.  Anne gave me that pumpkin for the porch and I love it, what a great gift!  Anne is probably the best gift giver ever.  You rock, Anne! 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Random Summer trip photos

I haven't posted for a while, so I thought I'd put up a few more pictures from our summer vacation.  
I adore the drive on highway 38 from Portland to Coos Bay!  It is so picturesque with river and forest views, and I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures to pass the time. 
I love the way the water was glittering that day.  
The drive to Coos Bay has a lot of neat bridges!  
Jon and Roberta took us on a road trip in their massive RV!  That is their Honda Element that is dwarfed in the background.  
I always forget how gorgeous Oregon is in between visits.  It really makes Nebraska pale in comparison!  Nebraska isn't bad, don't get me wrong, but honestly, there is no contest here.  You might think that you would get used to it living there, but both my parents and Jon and Roberta take full advantage of the beauty by taking frequent sojourns in their surroundings. 
I have forgotten the name of this lake.  We stopped here randomly on our RV trek, and we took a couple hours to walk around this lake and stretch our legs.  I love the craggy branches of this submerged tree.  
This is that same lake from a different angle.  The mountain in the background appears to be peeking sheepishly at me! 
Jason's Dad is always on the lookout for places suitable for swimming.  Here they are sharing a bonding moment.  (I used my telephoto for this one, Dad!)
Remy, Roberta and I preferred to watch from the beach.  
Something I always look forward to when visiting Jason's family in Coos Bay is barbecued oysters.  Marvel at their enormous size!  We like to dip them in garlic butter. 
This picture was taken back at my parent's beach at the end of our trip.  It is amazing how much the Oregon coast seems to change from day to day!  I just can't soak up enough of it when we visit.