Friday, March 31, 2006
Happy birthday to my baby sister.
She came along when I had been running the roost for about 6 years, and boy did she change things up....haha. We had an awesome childhood together even if we did fight once in a while, and those junior high and high school years really tested us. After I left for college, I think we both grew to appreciate each other even more and we have been best friends ever since. She is someone that I can count on no matter what. She has a beautiful heart and an open mind and I enjoy every second I get to spend with her.
I wish I could be there to help you celebrate today, I hope you do something fun. I'll see you in May and we'll have a blast.
I love you.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
After college, I played around with some washout colors for fun, but not for grays, they just weren't an issue yet. I could still pluck the few that were there. We moved a few thousand times and I got a bit older. I started to feel like I was plucking an awful lot of hair and wondered if I wasn't going to end up with a spot that was thin if I kept it up. I decided to start coloring with the intent to cover grays. I stepped it up to the 12-25 shampoo version (or Level 2 to those in the know).
That was nice, I got the coverage I wanted, I could still play with the colors and I didn't have much of a root factor (although there was some due to the washout factor). That would have been my only complaint...the color seemed to fade and so each time that I would color again, I would get the dreaded "did you just color your hair?" question from people that saw me infrequently. I hate that question, but had to admit that being asked it meant that I was using a color that just didn't look real or looked different enough from the washed out version to be noticeable. Over time, I also started to realize that the "rinse" version of hair color was just not covering the grays as well...they kind of looked like highlights.
So while we lived in Japan, I was reduced to moving up to permanent hair color (Level III). I had to get over my fear of roots to obtain color that looked more real, didn't fade and covered up those pesky grays completely. Thing with living on an island, was that I was in the sun and water an awful lot, but it seemed that the color held up pretty well. I was pleased as much as can be with the results (obviously better results would be some kind of permanent color infusion so the grays would never come back). I stopped getting the dreaded question because the color wasn't fading between and I was careful to color again before roots could get too visible.
Fast forward to the present. My timer has 8 more minutes on it before I have to put color in the rest of my hair. I sit here at the computer with my hair parted in quadrants that are pinned up on four sides of my head. The roots and edge of my hairline are carefully covered in brown muck, and it just starting to get to that drippy itchy part that always happens. I want to scratch but I don't have the gloves on and no towel in sight. I went as long as I could this time before coloring. I am always surprised when I see my roots start to grow and realize just how much gray is up there now. The commercials that go on and on about how great their hair color is because it doesn't fade between colorings really get on my nerves because fading is not my problem. Having hair that grows so fast is...wish I could slow that down some. Fortunately for me, even with a 1/2 inch of roots in 4 weeks, I can still get by with pulling my hair back to hide them. I don't have any grays in the front of my hairline (yet) and when they do start there, I am not sure what I will do.
Well, timer is going off, need to get this done so I can check one more block off on my To Do list and feel a bit better for a few more weeks. Then it will be time to fight off the process of growing older and live in my little fantasy land once again. Until then, I will be young tonight and I guess that makes it worth it.
A man at the store gave a California one to me after he helped me to reach something on a higher shelf a couple of days ago. I was suprised by it, but thought it was kind of cool. Thought since I am far from my home state, that having some to pass around or put in caches would be interesting to people that are from the East Coast...
Anyhow, they also have all kinds of other novelty things...I hope I don't end up on some mailing list from hell (I sent a note with my order to avoid that, but who knows if they will listen or not). I thought the baby announcement ones were kind of interesting as well (not that I have a baby to announce or anything). I even considered getting some birthday ones for my grandmother's birthday this year (she will be 80) but I didn't think she would have 100 people to give them too and that seems to be the lowest quantity you can get them in.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
So after one evening of having that feeder out there, it is half empty and most of it is on the ground underneath. I brought the feeder inside and the birds seem to be content to eat the seed on the ground (which is what I hoped they would do). Once it is all cleaned up, I will figure something else out. I think I will get a regular feeder that doesn't have a tray and see if that works better. If it doesn't, then this will be the last bag of safflower seed I buy, and they will be stuck eating thistle and suet.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
I have a photo project I have been working on since after Christmas. I took home from the west coast a bunch of my grandmother's pictures so I could scan them in for everyone and fix up two of her albums for her. I was deligently scanning for a while but lately, with everything else that has been on my plate, it has been pushed off to the side.
I think I just need to focus on doing 10 pics each day until I get them done. That way I won't feel overwhelmed by the quantity of pics I have to do completely, and I will pick away at the project a bit at a time rather than letting it sit gathering dust in my office.
I have found that whenever I have big projects like this, it is better for me (knowing my personality) to just set smaller goals because sometimes I get it in my head that if I don't have time to do the whole thing, then I just shouldn't start...well reality is that some projects take time.
So after the running around I have to do today, I think I will get my ten pics in so I can call it good.
Monday, March 27, 2006
A few weeks ago, our nephew's classroom sent out a request to participate in learning. They had just read a book called Flat Stanley and decided to create flat versions of themselves to mail out with blank journals included. The idea was that we would take Flat B around with us and help him to learn about our area. We took him to J's work, golfing, geocaching, and I even included a few postcards with information about the state and area. This morning, I put all the pictures and journal entries in, added some maps and brochures along with a small state flag and mailed it back to meet the April 1st deadline. We had a lot of fun with Flat B, it was kind of cool to think of things to do with him that would be interesting for 3rd graders. I don't know if anyone will be able to read my writing in the journal but I think our nephew will have one of the best envelopes coming.
Three of the plants were very large ball and burlap orders that I put in a few weeks ago. Two were wax myrtles and one was a silverberry. All three are evergreen and we wanted them to be taller to start so we would have immediate screening from the neighbor yards. I was so pleased when we got them in the ground (they were the first ones that we planted), because as soon as we released the branches, we had instant coverage.
We are not completely done with the bed but we did get a lot done this weekend. I'll post the final pics when we get done but I thought a before and after of our screening would be cool to see. We did get the bird feeder back up and I filled it so hopefully the birds won't think we completely abandoned them...
The yellow house in the background is the new house that was built and has perfect sight of our backyard. The white one next door has a lower yard than ours so it has never been much of an issue. Both of these pictures were taken from the same general area, one before we did anything to the yard and the second from when we had most of the bed done. I took some more shots from other angles that are more flattering of the "almost finished" product but I wanted to show off the immediate screening we achieved as that was the my favorite part of getting those three plants in.
We currently have, the above listed plants, along with some azaleas, nandinas, gardinias, lorepetulums, and abelias. I have a few more gardenias to buy and then some annuals to finish up. It is really coming together and once things start to grow and bloom this year, I think it will fill in nicely without being too crowded. Spring is definitely starting to hit here and I hope to get some new photos of all the flowers that will be out soon.
Friday, March 24, 2006
I am excited to get started getting what I have already in the ground but I don't know if the weather is going to cooperate tomorrow or if I will have to wait until Sunday to really get started...nice thing about being a full time student, I can always work on this on Monday too (of course, only the digging as I will need J here to help me move stuff...).
We are looking at low 30s at night until Sunday so we'll see. Maybe I will get them in the ground and just cover the bloomers Sunday night.
On the other front, school work is coming along. Got a lot posted to our classroom today so I am not feeling nor looking like such the slacker as before. Now I just have to get some exercise in before my butt starts to resemble the office chair I have been planted in the last couple of days. I will get some arm and back workouts in with the plants so I just need to get some cardio in, maybe a quick walk right now before I start dinner....see you.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
You are Robin
|Young and acrobatic. You don't mind stepping aside to give someone else glory.|
So, back to the shrubs. Since J and I are trying to build this bed to help with a screening issue for our patio, we wanted plants that were a bit more mature so that we would have instant effect when they were planted. We order 3 largish shrubs that came in this week. The ball and burlaps on them are huge so we have to have them delivered but that is okay, at least we won't be breaking our backs trying to move them around...
While we were waiting for them, I picked up a couple of gardenias, a couple pieris', and today a couple of nandinas that will all go in as well. These are waiting in our garage for a planting day (which I am hoping will be this weekend sometime). It has been too cold to put the flowering ones out, and the nandinas I just got today. So our garage looks like a little jungle and I have been watering them in there, letting the overflow run out the door. I keep thinking spring is peeking its head out but it keeps eluding us. This is supposed to be the last week of freezing temps and then I can put the plants out without having to worry about the blooms getting lost to frost. Whooooeeeee!!!Once I get all the big stuff in, I can do the smaller stuff and call it good.
My birds think I have abandoned them since the feeders have not be out for weeks. The bluebirds are unsure whether to settle in or not, and I don't know if I will have time to even attract any of the hummingbirds this year. Anyhow, along with that, dealing with the furniture people, the stereo in the hottub people, and possibly some visitors, I have not had time to do the stuff I am supposed to be doing. Tomorrow, I plan to get some exercise in first off, then all schoolwork and no play until the plants come in the afternoon....we'll see how long I stick to it...haha.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Seems that my $1000 13 month old couch has a broken frame...I know what you are thinking but really we are not hard on our furniture (we had our last couch for 12 years with no problems). It also seems that the frame has a lifetime warranty. Seems that the warranty is only for the parts and the store that sold us the couch refuses to do anything to help us out.
Now, please someone tell me, what good does it do me to have a lifetime warranty on wood parts but not on labor? How do I know that the fault is not in the original labor and not the part? I would rather pay for the wood part and have someone come and fix my couch....how hard is that to understand?
So, I have a voicemail into the manufacturer's claim department and I have had irrate phone calls with both the store manager and the customer service people at the furniture store.
I am again reporting them to the BBB because this is just ridiculous. You don't sell someone something you know has an extended warranty on it without backing up that warranty for a reasonable amount of time. We are currently only one month over my 1 year warranty. I'll keep you updated.
Update: I spoke with the manufacturer's claim department and she said that the customer service at the furniture store would be calling me...they have to take care of it because of the lifetime warranty. Customer service called me right after I got off the phone with them, and will be sending out a technician to look at the couch and file a claim. Once the claim is filed, someone will be coming to get the couch and repair it, and we don't have to pay for it.
So I guess I don't have to show my @ss on the BBB quite yet...we'll see how it goes.
Update 2: The technician came out and could see exactly where the frame was broken in two places. Just two joints that weren't put together that well. He could have fixed it right there and we would have been done with it but he couldn't because they just want the estimate for now. Dumb because it was 52 bucks for them to send him out and then it would have been another 25 to fix it but now it will be another 52 bucks to have him come again (I am assuming after his email that there will not be a reason to have it sent out for repair, he can do it here), plus the 25. So for 150 bucks, the furniture store could have had a happy customer but no....they had to be jack@sses about it so even though it is not costing me anything, the furniture store themselves are still on my list. Thank goodness the manufacturer is willing to back their product.
I guess we'll see where it goes from here, but it might be a couple of weeks before we get it fixed since that guy only comes up this way a few times a month.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Sunday, March 19, 2006
I have never plucked my eyebrows. I have relatively light (in color and hair quantity) brows, and a pretty natural shape to them so I have never seen the need. I usually just brush them to make them look neater and leave the rest to nature. Thing is, I have always been a bit afraid to do them myself because, knowing the perfectionist in me, I figured by the time I was done evening them out over and over again, I would be left with nothing...haha. Everyone, including my sister, has recommended going to have them waxed because then I would see the correct shape and could just do maintenance from there. This is probably good advice, but as much as I am not a makeup person, I am also not much of a salon person either, so I have never gotten around to it.
So last night after I got home from the party, I decided to pluck my eyebrows. I promised myself I would only do strays and just tidy them up a bit. It hurt some and I was red and a bit puffy afterwards, but they do look better and perhaps I can keep them looking like this for a while (therefore putting off the waxing some more...haha).
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Now I need gas again (I have about a 1/4 tank left) and in 3 days the price has gone up 20 cents. This is ridiculous, for some reason the gas taxes here are causing our gas to be much higher than other locations in the US and I am sick of it. I am hoping to make a trip to the grocery store this week and I am sure some gas will be purchased as well, hope I can get a better deal there.
Ugh!!! I need to just start riding my bike to the close stuff and boycott the driving for a bit. I am not sure what we will do on our driving vacation this summer...push our car???
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
|You Are Grass Green|
Down to earth and a bit of a hippie, you are very into nature and the outdoors.
You accept the world and people as they are. You don't try to change things.
You are also very comfortable with yourself, flaws and all.
Optimistic about the future, you feel like life is always getting better.
Pretty accurate, except...I don't like changes much when they are forced upon me but it seems like I am always trying to change things for the better, and I don't know that I would say I am comfortable with myself...I don't hate myself or anything, but there are definitely areas that I could improve upon (fitness, and self esteem being two of them). Ha!!
Monday, March 13, 2006
I hate that. I don't know any of them, and even if I did, I wouldn't call. The point is to find it yourself or to use the hint on the cache page...not to have someone tell you exactly where it is.
There is a micro (I hate them but can't keep myself from hunting them) in a great little park near my house. The GPS won't lock on because of tree cover but I have a basic idea of where it is. I have looked for this thing dozens of times with no luck....someone found it yesterday because they looked for a bit and then called the owner for help so they could log it...it's all about the smiley's these days and I think that just sucks.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Hopefully we will get enough rain this year that it won't be completely out of control, but it means keeping the windows closed for about 3 weeks (the best weather of the spring too....). Oh well, I guess I would rather have the windows closed than spend the next few weeks dusting several times a day to keep the yellowish green fallout off of everything.
(I'll take pics of some stuff after we get an accumulation so you can see how much it covers everything)
Friday, March 10, 2006
A few months ago, during the Katrina crisis, I sent a donation to the HSUS which I consider to be one of those rational animal groups. I wanted them to be able to help the animals that had been left behind when the cities evacuated during and after Katrina. I wanted to see those dollars at work helping animals.
What I didn't want was constant mail harrassment from them. What I didn't want was cards, T-shirts so cutesy even a grandma wouldn't wear them, and now umbrellas. I can buy an umbrella if I want one.
I want you to spend the money I send you on the animals, you idiots. Leave me alone, because now, I will never send you another dime. It is obvious to me that you do not know how to spend money correctly, at least not in this donor's eyes.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
This second picture is what it looked like after we started moving dirt and pine needles around. It is not exactly the same angle as the before picture but that is because we had two huge pallets of rocks sitting where I took the before picture from. We had ordered the flat grey stones from a local guy on Thursday and they were delivered on Friday. In the picture, you can see that we had started to lay them out so we could get an outline of how we wanted the beds to be shaped.
After the stones came on Friday morning, we went to find out about getting some fill dirt because the area near the birdfeeder was a low spot and we wanted the beds to eventually be level with the rock wall we were building. We ended up renting a trailer from a friend and getting 4 tons of fill dirt on Saturday morning. J and I spent the morning shoveling dirt from the trailer into a wheelbarrow to deposit where we needed it in the beds. After we finished with the dirt movement, we got rid of the trailer and started building the two walls. We didn't flatten the dirt out because we want to backfill the wall with some small pepplestone for drainage.
This picture shows what the two walls looked like basically when we were done building them but had done nothing else. This pic was taken from almost the opposite direction of the last one. You can see the birdfeeder leaning up against a tree in the background because it was easier to take it out then to work around it. In the foreground you can see the little dogwood we replanted a few months ago.
That was it for Saturday. On Sunday morning, we went to Lowe's to get the pea gravel to backfill the rock walls, and then started flattening out the dirt, gathering up the left over rock (we haven't figured out what we are doing with it yet), and replacing pinestraw in the working areas. Now we have the wall how we want it and all the dirt flattened out. We are now just waiting to get some plants (I am supposed to work on that today) to finish it up.
These last two pictures show what it looks like currently from both angles. We still have to put the birdfeeder back in, but we want to wait to see where it will fit best. We have 4 very big flat rocks that we plan to put around the base of it, so they can be stood on when filling the feeders. The dense bushes in the back ground near the leaning birdfeeder marked the back edge of our yard and the blue bird nest box in the other shot mark the left border of our yard. The white house next door doesn't have a very big backyard and it is much lower than ours so we don't have many privacy issues from it.
I think that once we are done, we will have something that does we need it to do (provide privacy) while still looking natural. We had a lot of options of what we could do to screen ourselves off from the new construction but we wanted something that fit in with the wooded landscape we already had. When we are finished, we will have that, I am sure.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
I was very disappointed at Dick Button's commentary during the figure skating competitions this Olympics. He was very critical and hardly ever said a positive thing. I don't know what the deal was with him, but he was putting people down outside of their performance and if I were him, I would be embarrassed at my behavior.
We finally finished watching all the Olympic tapes I made while J was away. It wasn't a complete set by any means but at least he got to see some of the Olympics. By the way, you can see quite a bit of the specific videos of competitions on NBC's Olympic website, if you missed anything. I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a fast connection though...
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
I have some progress pics coming on the "new project"...we got a ton done, I just need to get the plants now. I actually can't believe how far along we got. As soon as I get the main evergreen plants in, we will actually have the desired privacy...then everything else I can do at a slower pace, to make it look nice.
We have had a few visitors and more are on the way. I have some major website deliverables due for class in the next few weeks and I have not been doing much there at all. Needless to say, there is a lot on my plate and not enough time in the day.
I will get some blogging in...just don't know when.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
We started working on a landscaping project in our backyard this weekend. We ordered and had delivered 2 pallets of stone so we can build up to bed areas, and the fill dirt came this morning.
Since we have moved in, a new house has been built that will have direct site into our backyard on a side of the yard that has no vegetation so we are fixing it. We want to be able to use the hot tub year around without having the patio of the new house in complete view.
I imported the picture on the left into my landscaping program so we could start figuring out what we wanted to plant that would give us a natural look while still providing us the privacy we want. The yellow house in the background is the new one and there will be a screened in porch and a deck on the back, so we need to cover this area in our yard to help screen our patio.
The area gets a lot of sun so finding evergreens for the back drop of this area has been interesting. We want things that live here naturally. We also didn't want to just put up a bank of hedge-like plants because it would look out of place. Trick is, finding the plants that you want at a height that you want. We would like to get the back drop evergreens in this week and they all need to be at least 5 feet tall already. Costs more to do it this way but it will provide the immediate privacy that we want.
So I better get going, I have a bunch of fill dirt to move with J's help so we can get the beds and stone set. Then we'll start to worry about the plants...
Thursday, March 02, 2006
As you know from this post, last year's last clutch of eggs didn't fare well....
I was kind of worried that they might not come back, especially with the new box not smelling like their old home, but I saw both the male and the female in the box this week. I don't think they are nest building yet but at least they were checking out the new digs and hopefully that means they are here for the season. I don't think they will have to fend off other occupants since this new box has a hole that is precisely the right size for bluebirds alone.
I need to get the bird feeders filled up, and get some hummingbird feeders out so we can attract some new visitors this year. Thing is, we plan to do some landscaping in the area soon, so I hope it is not too distracting for our feathered friends.
We did have a couple of small issues. The line needed to go very close to a large pine tree that grows right next to the front of the house, and we didn't want to destabilize it by cutting though a major root artery. When we finally did see the root, it was so huge that the ditch digger machine probably wouldn't have cut it anyhow. It was also fortunate that we had made that decision because right below that large root was our sewer line...and we definitely would have cut that if we had decided to go ahead.
So we ended up going under the big root and a large holly bush which required some digging on our own but it wasn't too bad, and we were able to thread the new hose underneath.
Hooking up the system at the end proved more difficult because in the hardware replacement phase, we had lost a vital washer. No one seemed to carry it but we were able to find a similar one and modify it a bit to meet our needs. Overall, we got a good workout, the leaky pipe is replaced and we were outdoors enjoying some awesome weather all day. We also saved about 800 bucks doing it ourselves over having someone else come in and do it.