Monday, December 28, 2009
New Year's Resolutions? Not this year. I've done them for nearly 60 years and rarely have any of them lasted very long. I know what needs to be done and only promise to try to work some things off that list.
One thing I intend to do is to blog more and try to keep it interesting. I'll have more RenFest pictures this week and want to do more ancestor pics and history. I've been reading the authorized biography of Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, and it's a fascinating read. My life and my ancestors don't seem to me to be nearly that interesting, but there are a few good stories there.
I'm hoping that everyone in the world has a better year - that we learn to live in peace and tolerance - that we realize that our way isn't always the best way for others - that we understand we must work together instead of blaming the other person for all the woes in the world.
Peace, my friends.
Monday, December 14, 2009
I just wanted to show off a couple of aprons I made from a pattern I got at the Quilt Festival. I use a MODA jelly roll from the "American Primer" collection. It's full of those wonderfully folksy reds, blues, golds and greens. Both aprons are lined with a fabric from the collection.
The first one features mostly reds and blues with a bit of the gold.
This is the second apron. Although it's made from the same jelly roll set, it has a bit of a different look to it. It features blue, gold and cream with a tad of red at the bottom.
I really like them both, but I'll have to make another one for me as they have both been sold. They will make great Christmas presents.
I caught this pic of Mr. G a while ago. I walked out the door into the garage and there he was lounging on the Jeep during our drippy weather. If you look close you can see the cat prints all over the hood. I guess I'll just back it out in the next shower for a good rinse.
Friday, December 4, 2009
This a view down the street taken from my driveway. You can see the snow on the grass and the SUV.
This shows the snow on the fence taken from the living room window. You can see snow on the roof in the distance.
This is another view of the backyard. You can see the flakes coming down.
Since it's going to be very cold tonight I made up a bed for Mr. G in the back of the garage. He seems pretty snuggled in without any desire to go outside. In fact, when I came in from taking pictures in the driveway he gave me a look to say, "If you open that door again, I'm going to bite you. It's cold out there, lady!!" He's very funny. I would bring him in the house, but he hates being in the house and doesn't do well inside at all. He will do fine in his little bed as it's well insulated.
Friday, November 27, 2009
So here I am in my RenFest dress and robe in the midst of the festival, probably trying to figure out where the heck Sandi got off to. And all the time she was taking my picture!
Here's the guy who does the show with all the great birds like the falcon he has on his hand. It's great exhibition with owls and hawks and other trained birds. It's definitely a must see at the festival.
This is a closer look at me in my dress and great Tudor Robe (thank you, Maryellen). I also got the bag at the festival and it was so nice not to have to carry a purse!! Everything I needed fit in the bag perfectly. In my hand is a bag of the most wonderful roasted almonds. I always stop by the nut place when I'm at RenFest. Great and healthy snacking!
This is a view of some of the participants in the parade that takes place every day at noon. All of the actors and vendors march in the parade and it's quite fun.
Monday, November 23, 2009
I have pictures, but they are not ready to post yet, so keep an eye out. I actually went in costume this year, which makes it that much more fun. I had a beautiful deep green dress I got out there a number of years ago. This year, my dear friend and seamstress, Maryellen Mcauliffe, made me a lovely Tudor Robe to wear over the dress. I got so many compliments on it!!
I would highly recommend that anyone visit a renaissance festival near you. It's a day of fun and make believe. It's a great opportunity to get away from the humdrum of everyday living. And if you like people watching, this is the best place ever! There is something about the place that lets people be themselves and have fun.
My friend, Sandi, went out with me this year and we had a blast. It's nice to go with someone who appreciates what a rare opportunity a renaissance festival presents to be someone else in another time for a few hours.
Anyway, pictures to follow. Stay tuned!!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
This is a picture taken last month of the whole family together. Kinda cute.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I asked my neighbor across the street for his advice. He told me how to look inside the wall for the leak and loaned me the little knife you use to cut sheetrock. I cut in several places, found what I assumed was the water pipe and couldn't find the leak. I thought the water may be coming from the pipe the previous owner had added to take the water to a faucet in the back yard.
On Sunday I decided to eliminate the extra pipe and, in trying to take it all apart I accidentally split a copper pipe. (Lesson learned - always use two wrenches when dealing with copper pipe, one to turn the attachment and one to hold the main pipe since copper is so soft.) My neighbor said it would take soddering to fix it so I called the plumber. He was able to fix that so I could turn the water back on. I thought the original leak was taken care of since no water had leaked in Sunday afternoon. Well, later Sunday evening, after the water had been turned back on and the plumber was long gone, the seepage was back.
I called the plumber Monday morning (I should say plumbing company) and they send out someone very promptly. One thing I found was that I had been checking the wrong pipe! Water rarely leaks from the gas pipe. lol Anyway, he came in, cut away more sheetrock and found where the water was seeping from a soddered joint at the elbow where the pipe turned down to go through the slab. It was a tight space to use a blow torch, but he got it fixed without burning down the house. He did singe a bit of the inside of the siding, but nothing major. A couple of tries with the sodder and a good whack with the wrench resulted in a fix.
Now I will be learning how to patch drywall!! Since that is one of the things my across the street neighbor does for a living, I'm sure I'll be doing it right. For the duration I have a piece of plywood covering the opening to keep the cold air and bugs out and the cats in (they can crawl inside the wall).
I'm just so pleased that this was finally fixed. It was a tiny leak - it didn't even move the water meter - but it could have caused lots of damage. In fact, I was so energized that I sorted out and bagged up some shoes to go to the charity shop and then vacuumed and mopped the bedroom floor, wiped down the walls, windowsills, and furniture. All I need to do to finish is move the bed and clean behind and under it. Wow!!
Anyway, this has been a learning experience and now I know how to tell the difference between water and gas pipes! (Water is smaller copper, gas is bigger black pipe)
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I just wanted to take a minute to share a picture I took this morning of this beautiful hibiscus out on the deck. As much as I lament the lack of seasons here in southeast Texas, there are advantages to having mild weather so late in the year. The trees are still green and the flowers are still blooming. There's still plenty of time for those sudden cold fronts that shock everyone into their coats, but right now it's pretty darn nice. For those folks where it's already snowed or just cold, I'm sorry, but I have to say it -
NEENER, NEENER, NEENER!!!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Isn't there someone you know who would love getting a present as beautiful as this quilt?
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Yesterday I took Cody to the vet to get checked out and be sure he didn't have any communicable diseases. Even tho she doesn't usually do surgeries on Mondays, the vet offered to neuter him so I left him there and ran some errands. (I guess it was a slow day.) I picked him up yesterday afternoon all groggy from the anesthesia, but still purring. All his tests came back negative except he has ear mites and hook worms. A dose or two of Revolution should take care of that. He slept most all of the afternoon and evening. And he's about 7 - 8 months old and weighs 7 lbs, which is just about perfect for his age.
This morning he was back to his cuddly, purry self. I've been racking my brain to try to come up with an appropriate name for him and Cody seems to be the top pick. He's residing in the back bedroom with some of the older guys who are a bit hissy, but will accept him when he stops smelling like the vet. Here are a couple of pictures of Cody and one of Ben and Jerry, his new big brothers. Isn't there quite the family resemblance?
Ben (l) and Jerry (r)
Sunday, October 4, 2009
She was cute and petite and a bit camera shy. But she was a great cat.
I'm not sure how old she was, but I have rescued a number of her kittens and the oldest was born in 2000. So she was probably at least 10. It took me three years to trap and spay Miss Betty. She was a smart and sly woman cat. Miss Betty was a small, brown tabby and part of a larger group that has dwindled over the years. She leaves her companion Mr. Guy as the last of the group. She was a great mom to her kittens and knew when she brought them here that they would be brought inside and found good homes.
She will be greatly missed as she was a wonderful cat. She's now at the Rainbow Bridge.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
In the small amount of time that it took to actually jack up the foundation, the vast marjority of those problems either disappeared or diminished. You have to see it so I'm posting some before and after pics. I hope that helps you to see what a difference this dusty, dirty, noisy process made.
There are still a lot of cracks to patch, but they are closed cracks. I've been told to wait about 60 days to do any patching which is fine with me. It will be cool weather and much better for patching and painting.
I hope everyone has learned something about foundation problems in Houston and the great work that can be done to fix them.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Finally, the work is done!
Tomorrow I'll post the "after" pics. Really amazing stuff!!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The first thing they have to do to dig the holes is to jackhammer away the concrete. That was the most fun (not) of the whole deal. Luckily the workers knew what they were doing and got the job done pretty quickly. And there wasn't nearly as much dust generated as I had expected. I had put a new filter in the A/C and had to change it again the next day when they were finished. Wow!
After opening up the concrete, they have to dig the holes by hand. Yes, by hand!!! And once they got past the top layer, the soil was very hard and it took them a long, long time to get it all dug out. Of course on a couple of the holes they had to go in two directions for the two piers. They did get a couple of other crews out there late in the day, but it was too crowded for them to help out much.
So the day ended with deep holes in the kitchen, bedroom and hall that they covered with big pieces of plywood so I wouldn't fall into one and break my leg as I was told another customer had done.
This is in the kitchen where they are breaking up the concrete.
This is in the bedroom showing one of the plywood sheets they use to cover the holes.
You can see in the pictures that they covered the walls and cabinets with brown paper to protect them. It seemed to work as the only mishap was a bit of mud on the dryer where they were coming in and out of the door from the kitchen to the garage. No holes in the wall, no dings on the doors. And it was tight with those wheelbarrows!! And they covered the kitchen floor with heavy plastic sheets and only cut out where they needed to dig.
Tomorrow - the real work. I'll post pictures of the workers down in those holes driving the piers. Really cool!
Monday, September 7, 2009
First I have to explain that the soil in the Houston area moves around a lot. If we were on rock, we would have earthquakes. We also have soil that swells when it gets wet and shrinks when it's hot and dry. The last is what happened to my house. Oh, and almost everyone here has a slab foundation. A few years ago, piers were placed around the front 3/4 of my house as the foundation was beginning to tilt forward. Because of the extreme dry and hot weather we've had this summer, the soil under the middle of the house began to shrink and the middle of my house began to sink. There was as much as a 4" difference in elevation between the highest and lowest part of my house. Yeah! The caused cracks in the sheetrock. doors that wouldn't close all the way or wouldn't stay closed. The worst part was the gap between the bottom of the wall and the floor in some places and the same gap between the top of the wall and the ceiling in others.
Today I'm posting some pictures of some of the problem areas.
Bedroom closet door - you could see the light from the closet through the crack which was on both sides of the wall! And that was as closed as the door would get.
Door from dining room into kitchen - on the other side there was a gap between the top of the wall and the ceiling.
Wall between kitchen and garage - notice gap at top of wall and cracks around door.
Tomorrow I'll post pictures of the beginning of the process. Please let me know if you have any questions.