Monday, March 31, 2008

In Memory of the Classiest Lady I've Ever Known...

I just wanted to post a brief tribute to my great-aunt, Helen H. Jackson. She passed away Saturday evening, in her home. I was able to see her, sit with her, and say goodbye shortly before her death. I will always treasure that.

Aunt Helen was my 'other grandma'. She was kind, dignified, spunky, hospitable, independent, and the classiest lady I've ever known. She had absolutely impeccable taste, and could turn the smallest thing into a beautiful celebration. She has made a significant impact on my life. I love her very much, and will miss her terribly.

I can only hope to be more like her.

Her funeral information is linked here

Goodbye, Aunt Helen. I love you. Rest well.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


When I woke up on Saturday, my kitchen looked like this. Unsightly, yes. Dated, absolutely. But basically functional, mostly clean, a relatively normal run-of-the-mill kitchen that lived in hopes of one day looking a bit better than it did.

Now, to be completely honest, I did know that Michael P. was coming to help Chris do a bit of demo that day. I guess my cold-afflicted head just didn't quite grasp how much that would entail. This is my own fault- I have been down this road enough times by now to know better. Somehow I thought that hanging plastic and trying to keep up with things would keep the debris limited to one room. How bad could it be, right? Just a little paneling and a few cabinets... right? Um, no.

At it's worst, I forgot to take photos. But suffice it to say that Chris had a blast tearing things down, and a shovel was very necessary. I was released, and took my stuffy/hacky self and fled to the sanctuary of the office in the front of the house. Breathing was much easier in there. Bless their hearts, the boys got rid of most of the debris before I came back. Now there is just a fine never-ending layer plaster/etc. dust covering everything on the first floor. However, on the bright side, the good news is that:
  1. We're finally making head-way in the us vs. dust/debris battle (even though there's a little more every day)
  2. Things, in a way, are much on their way toward improvement
  3. We're almost to the sheet-rock part of phase 1
  4. I am basically over my cold. (YEAH!) This is very helpful toward a sunnier outlook on life.
  5. Tomorrow is the first day of Spring. Somehow that helps too!
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Just taking out those overhead cabinets made a huge improvement on how open and bright the room feels

The wall where the refrigerator used to live:

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day to one and all! Whether Irish, or not, it's certainly a holiday that's fun to celebrate. We're not sure if we're Irish or not, but isn't everyone on March 17th?

This year we are celebrating by participating in the wearin' o' the green, listening to celtic music all day, I bought a 'shamrock' (oxalis) plant and embroidered a placemat for the table's centerpiece; and we will be eating a horrifically altered version of corned beef and cabbage. (Given our recent quest toward a healthier lifestyle, we will be substituting a reuben-panini in lieu of the traditional corned beef. Maybe we can justify the real thing next year...)

Chris didn't have a green shirt to wear under his uniform, so here was his idea of a substitute:

Yes- the main is, himself, a saint.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Thor is the latest addition to our family. He was adopted by my brother-in-law, Eric, a couple of weeks ago; and is about the sweetest thing you've ever seen.

Sometimes he comes and spends the day with us at the office, which just makes work a lot more fun. He's still working on the whole concept of when it is or is not appropriate to go potty; but I'm sure he'll get it all figured out soon.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I want to like tea- I really do. Why? There are so many reasons. The health benefits, the culture of tea (most of my family came from England for-crying-out-loud), or the idea that you sat down and had a nice cup of tea and everything seemed better.

However, I must admit that I'm just not that kind of girl. Up until Friday, just a sip of any tea made me want to throw up. Then my wonderful friends, Holly and Sarah, and I got together for "tea" (I brought coffee). I tried a couple new kinds, and there is now a ray of hope. Of course, technically neither one had any "tea" in them, but that's entirely beside the point. Isn't it...?...

I commented constantly, alright. How can something taste so differently from how it smells? The green tea with honey wasn't much better.

Finally, my surprise gift from Sarah (I actually like it!) :

But then, how could you not like something that smells like a cookie?
Maybe there's hope, yet...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy Birthday to my mother- the woman who not only gave me life, but also many of the various traits we share that make me- well, me... They include my smile, my love of almost all music, the perfectionist side of my personality, my sense of justice and fairness, how I get "punchy" when sleep-deprived, my need for honesty, and my ability to give "THE LOOK" (Famous to all who truly know her) :-). She is also behind such well-known phrases in our family as "goals, goals, goals", "that is unacceptable", "let's team-up", and "you can do anything for ..."(insert some seemingly impossible amount of time here). I smile every time I hear them- and even catch them coming out of my own mouth sometimes.

Thanks, Mom. I hope you had a good time tonight, and a really great birthday.

P.S. This is the demure look my mother has when being tolerant of her son-in-law who has just turned her birthday cake into a flaming blow-torch. Gotta love family.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Looks Like Fun...

Saw this on a post on Becky Novacek's blog and thought it looked like so much fun!

What better way to spend an afternoon with friends? Wouldn't be hard at all. You could do it with just paint, or as a collage-style piece. I even had these on hand already. Truth is, you could use just about anything you had. Could do it on a smaller scale too.

I'm thinking something like an ode to Spring...

Anybody want to?

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As a side note- no, I'm not always in work-out wear all day, but I had an appointment with a well-earned, celebratory piece of cake last night, and consequently have a few work-out appointments today.

Right now I'm working on cleaning my office- an extremely long-overdue task. Cranked up the music, drinking coffee, and dancing a bit (something NO ONE SHOULD EVER SEE!!! But hey- it's exercise, right?).