Thursday, June 24, 2010

30 years in the making

I am a lucky girl.  I have amazing amazing parents, two sisters and a brother-in-law that I've very close to, a fantastic extended family, and wonderful friends.  What else could a girl ask for, aside from a loving husband?  I have that too.  I had to wait awhile to find him, but every day with him makes the wait well worth it.  Every day he makes me laugh, and never fails to tell me he loves me at least once. 

There are so many things that I love about my husband.  He's not impulsive.  He's very careful about the things he does and the decisions he makes.  I think I respect that so much because I AM impulsive.  I make a decision and I go with it.  Nick is quiet (and anyone who knows me knows I am not).  I can talk to anyone, while Nick has trouble talking to people he doesn't know.  But I love that, because at home with me, Nick is himself, and that's a person that only a handful of people get to see.  He loves his cows, and our dog.  He works hard and he's good at what he does.  He supports and encourages me in everything that I aspire to do someday.  I'm so excited to see where his next 30 years take us.

Today is my husbands 30th birthday. 

Happy Birthday my love.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

More fun with Cricut Vinyl

This was my bedroom wall.  I adore my hamper basket that Nick bought for me from an Amish man by the way.  But the wall that it sits on was very boring.  After my success with putting our last name on the living room wall, I decided this wall needed something too.  This was easier in ways because I could reach it easier.  But it was a trickier because the letters were a lot smaller and much more intricate in some cases.


After I cut out all my letters, I laid them out in order and figured out which phrase was the longest.  I started out being very mathmatical and finding the center of the wall and all but my artistic side took over and I eyeballed a lot of it.  I did make pencil lines with a ruler to keep the rows straight.  I started from the middle and worked out on each row to try to keep them centered.

This is the finished product.  I ended up moving the top row around a little to center it more after I took the picture.  It's not perfect, but I think it looks pretty good, and it's a lot cheaper then buying these type of things already done for you.  Not to mention is really kind of fun!

Tomorrow I'm planning on working on another project I'm doing, but my husband fell asleep today instead of helping me.  He won't let me play with his power tools unsupervised.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's Project Week

It's been project week at the Elgin house this week.  Tuesday was dishwasher day.  My Dad very kindly came to our house to help Nick take the old dishwasher out and install the new one.  The removal of the old dishwasher went well enough, and we found some interesting things under the dishwasher.  Keep in mind we bought the house from my brother-in-law.  We weren't too surprised to dig our a Star Wars figurine, a Hot Wheels car, a few markers and pens, and this little crab.  Unfortunately the rest of the installation didn't go as smoothly and had to be finished by Nick and his best friend on Wednesday.  But we have a functioning, fantastic dishwasher that heats up so much we have to let dishes sit a couple of hours before we can unload the thing.  Here's a picture of the final product.

While all of this was going on, I thought about starting my wedding scrapbook.  My husband bought me a Cricut machine for my birthday a year or two ago and I was playing around with my new font cartridge and got a bright idea.  Meijer is Nick and my favorite new store.  That place has everything!!  When we go, I always make a pass through the Arts and Crafts because you never know when you'll find something you don't need but can't live without.  A couple of trips ago I found vinyl for my Cricut that would allow me to cut out my own words and put them on my wall.  But what to it looked pretty complicated.  But I told a friend of mine about it and she tried it on the nursery that she's decorating for the baby she and her husband are expecting.  I couldn't stand it anymore.  My living room walls needed work and I was DYING to try this vinyl.  Not to mention that blank wall was really bothering me.

Yesterday I made a prototype out of cardstock and scotch-taped it to the wall to see if I would even like this.

As you can see, the prototype was green (which I thought about for a color) and horribly crooked but it gave me an idea.  And being the impatient person that I am, I decided I HAD to do this little project and made the 35 minute drive to the nearest Meijer.  Have I mentioned we live in the middle of nowhere? 

The vinyl is $9.00 for two sheets of 12x24.  It seemed reasonable enough.  But today when I started to cut out my letters, I realized it was a better deal than I thought.  See, my Cricut will only cut 6x12 pages, so I had to cut my vinyl into 4 sections, and it only took 2 sections to do our name, so I still have A LOT of vinyl left to use elsewhere in the house.  My friend warned me that it was a little tricky, and it was at first.  I figured out quickly that it's one of those things you remove some of the backing and stick it to the wall and then peel the backing away a little at a time while sticking the letters to the wall.  Here's the finished product...

And a close up...

The final project of the week (so far) was one that we didn't actually do ourselves.  The back edge of our property is a fence row with some trees.  The branches were hanging down and hitting the ground in our yard, which made it very difficult to mow, especially for me...I'm not very coordinated.  We hired a tree service to come in and remove 3 trees in our yard that were growing around power lines and didn't look very good, and to trim the branches that prevent mowing without getting Mulberry stains all over me and the mower.  I didn't take before shots but I did after.  You can see where I refused to mow earlier in the week to avoid the branches.  That's how bad it was.

Tomorrow...carpet shampooing!!  All these projects make for one tired little pup

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Angel Biscuits and a Puppy Pool

Since I've married into the Elgin family, there are a few family recipes that I've made it a mission to conquer.  The first was my mother-in-law's homemade gravy.  Sometimes she puts sausage in it and sometimes she just leaves it plain for things like Country Fried Steak.  For me, gravy had always came out of a packet from the store mixed with some milk.  My husband was horrified the first time we grocery shopped together and I suggested store-bought, packet gravy.  Homemade gravy was the first culinary conquest.
The second recipe I felt the need to take was Granny Elgin's Coconut Pie...except I don't like coconut so I use bananas instead.  Check.  The last recipe I'm working on (for now) is that for Angel Biscuits.  A close friend of my mother-in-law's makes them, and she's practically family so it's close enough.  This weekend was the second time I've attempted these biscuits.  The first time was rough enough I had to take a break.  The dough is STICKY! and very frustrating.  Luckily today was a little better, although my kitchen looked like a war zone when I was finished.  (Notice the red Solo cups that are present in the absence of a working dishwasher.)  The final product turned out pretty well.  I think I'll give this recipe another go.

Before I tackled biscuits today, Nick and I bought our puppy a present, and before you ask, yes she gets a lot of those.  Because she's such a princess and doesn't like sun or hot weather, we decided she might need a pool to help cool her off.  It was a hit I think.

She was all smiles, but it could be just because she realized her pool was another outlet for her to make a mess in the house....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Update on the Dishwasher Debacle

So Nick and I ventured to Sears this evening after work and found a dishwasher.  It's a lovely little stainless steel number.  I'll be going down to pick it up on Tuesday and I already have my Dad booked to help Nick install it.  Until then, we'll be drinking out of Solo cups because washing glasses is the worst.

On a somewhat unrelated note, our little beastie, Abby, stayed in the house unrestrained the entire time we were gone, just like a big girl.  There was nothing destroyed and  no messes in the house at all.  She's doing so great!!  We're very proud of her.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Leak in the Floor

Earlier this week, I noticed that the edges of my Pergo flooring was starting to curl a little.  I pointed it out to my husband who assumed me it was nothing but seasonal swelling.  I don't think Pergo is plagued by that.  This morning I started the dishwasher and went back to the kitchen about an hour later and there was water seeping up from under the flooring in the cracks.  That would explain the curling of the floor boards.  Apparently our 11-year-old dishwasher has begun to leak dump water under the flooring.  Nick decided that fixing it probably isn't the thing to do considering the door is shot and the thing hasn't worked all that great since we moved in.  BUT because my husband insists on working overtime so it will be Saturday night before we can go pick out another, and then probably Tuesday before we actually get it.

I admit I'm not looking forward to going at least a week dishwasher-less.  I've been spoiled.  I've had a dishwasher since I was old enough to do dishes.  I lived without a dishwasher in my itty-bitty apartment during my Bloomington days for 3 years, and I didn't enjoy doing dishes every night.  It's quite possible that for the next week my husband will be eating his dinner off of paper plates and using Solo cups.

And so, our leak in the floor brings about our first home improvement project...this could be interesting....

Monday, June 7, 2010

Summer Break Begins

I won't lie when I say that one of the reasons I became a teacher is summer break.  About the time Spring Break rolls around, I start dreaming of that first wonderful day that I can sleep in, run errands, and do all the little projects that I've been putting off until I have more time.  Today was that day!  Unfortunately I didn't get to sleep in as much as I'd like, since Abby had her 12-week vet appointment.  She's doing great, and weighs 26 pounds.  Dr. Karen says she's big for her age...we figured.  She discovered today that she likes being sprayed with the water hose.  Fantastic! 

Another task I've been assigned to was mowing the yard.  Since we bought our lawnmower, Nick has let me drive the mower from the trailer into the garage.  That's it.  He usually comes home from work and mows while I cook dinner.  But he decided with my abundance of spare time, I could take over mowing and he made that #2 on my To Do list for the day, second only to Abby's vet appointment.  Mowing went well, until I ran into the branches in the back yard and almost took my own arm off, and got mulberrry stains all over my clothes.  The neighbor was probably standing at the back door, phone ready to dial 9-1-1 in case I knocked myself off the mower.

As always, the landscaping is an ongoing project and was #3 on my to do list.  In a matter of about 10 minutes last night I cut the dying daffodile and hyacinth leaves in the half-circle bed and I was amazed at how much better it looked.  The leaves were really starting to irritate me, and I was thrilled that they looked so much neater.  Abby, of course, had a hay day grabbing the leaves I'd cut and dragging them into the yard.

I also got the dying plants cut out of the front bed, and the shrubs trimmed.  I might end up trimming them some more, but since I'm learning as I go, I didn't want to take off too much.  Abby was inside sleeping at this point, so it didn't take long to get things trimmed and straightened up.

And finally I made my way around to the rose bed.  The ones that were planted awhile ago are doing great, as you can see in the pictures  The new ones got planted later and with the heat and no good rains since they were planted, they're a little slower to get started.  But they're all turning our beautiful and I'm already dreading the end of summer when the roses are gone and I won't have them in vases in the house all the time. 

Hopefully I'll have lillies blooming tomorrow.  They smell delicious!!