Wednesday, March 31, 2010

stitchin' update

Thought I'd update you on my "Reading dragon" project... All the cross stitching is finished. Right now, I'm working on Mr. Dragon's hair. Since I don't have a punch needle, and am not sure what to even buy to do it, I decided to do it using the Turkey stitch. Which works, but this was my first attempt at this stitch and it takes a lot of time.
The dark spots in his wing are metallic floss. The teddy bear is stitched with wisper floss--which is fuzzy. I'm really rather disappointed in the wisper floss, because once stitched, it's not as fuzzy as the "bare" floss is. I've back stitched the bear, but the rest of the picture still needs back stitched and beads and charms added.
Just a closeup of Mr. Dragon's hair. It's variegated floss. I could cut the loops, or leave them looped. I think I'll wait to see if I can fluff some before deciding if I want to cut his hair or not.

I took this side view so you could see the variation in height of the loops in the Turkey stitch.
I hope I can finish this soon. My goal is to have it finished over the weekend...stay tuned!

My new Old Crap

Guess what! Miss Kat found my camera. she whined about having to find "my" camera, but in the end...she's the last one to use it, and it was right where she left it. But, I have it now, and took a couple of shot of some of my "new" old crap... The dishpan. Note that it' missing one of it' handles...but no one knows the story anymore. It sure shows its age and wear and tear. No matter. I'll either use it as a decoration--you know, something to gather dust--or, I'll plant flowers in it.
This is the dish cabinet. It's pretty dirty right now. I think one of my uncles started stripping it--or maybe that bare spot on the doors is from years of people opening and closing the glass doors. The back is bead board backed by solid oak boards. Three shelves in the top section. One shelf in the bottom section. We can only get one drawer open right now, so we'll have to work on that. But, a good wash, a good sanding and a little TLC, and she'll clean right up.
I can remember this cabinet sitting in the kitchen at Grandma's--before the tornado. It's been in retirement since 1973. It's time for this beauty to join the world.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Family treasures

Yesterday, Kev and I took Mom her table. It was the table that Grandma had out in the Trailer house for ceramics. Grandpa had made it many many years ago, when he was in High School. So, it was made before 1941. It's one of the things he specifically asked Mom and Sandy to find a home for. Mom decided she could use it as their kitchen/dining table, but it needed to be refinished. 20+ years of ceramics had left stain, and paint, and glaze and what all all over the table. I volunteered to take it to my house to strip and refinish it.

Two years returned to Mom. (I'll post pictures later, promise!)

I started out sanding it, but the ceramic paint tended to eat up my sandpaper, so I got some stripper and stripped it, then sanded it. The table is made of black walnut. It's very pretty; now that you can see the grain of the wood again! Grandpa made it so you could add a leaf and make it bigger, but we couldn't find the leaf, so Kev said he'd make one--probably not out of walnut, because that is hard to find, but Mom said she didn't care because she'd probably cover it with a tablecloth anyway.

Anyway...after I got it all stripped and sanded, we decided to just finish it with Tung oil. Tung oil is a natural finish, and it gives wood a nice glow and brings out the natural grain. It also seals the wood--but not as much as poly does. With the age of the table, I really didn't want to use polyurethane. Tung oil is also food safe, which was another factor that made me choose to use it.

Kev and I took it down yesterday. And, once we got it out in the sun...I decided it probably needed another coat of oil. We took the oil with us, and applied it at Mom's. While it's not factory perfect, it is a pretty table.

Sine Mom now had her "new" table, we took the old one out to the farm. We figured that Andy, or another of the grand kids might need it in the future. It was a nice day for a trip to the farm. While Dad and Kev were messing with the table, I examined the stuff (really old crap) that's still out there. I looked at the kerosene cook stove and at the really old electric stove. (I kinda am thinking about maybe fixing it up to put in my kitchen...once we remodel...but don't tell Kev...yet). I also found an old washer that my 2 off-grid SIL's might be able to use.

I found Grandma's old dishpan--enameled dishpan--the same one that Daddy swears he used to wash dishes in. I carted it upstairs to take home--along with two washboards one of which is glass. I looked at the old canning jars and almost grabbed a couple more half gallon jars, but refrained. I did find a square milk bottle, and grabbed it. I then looked at some orange crates and some wooden cheese boxes, but decided to leave them there for now. Then I picked up this thing and asked Mom what it was. It was sitting by the old enameled bedpan, so I thought that it might be a urinal, but Daddy said it was the enema thing that held the water/liquid and then the hose was attached to it and to the unfortunate person on the receiving end. I decided that I really don't have a place for it...

Then, I informed Kev and Daddy that they needed to carry Grandma W's dish cabinet up.

I have been begging (and nagging) Kev to get it for several years now, and decided that yesterday was as good of a day as any to get them to carry it out. The menfolk didn't whine too badly, and carried it out. It's had a little termite damage, but it's minor. Kev and I will have to sand it down and he'll have to reglue some of the doors, and we'll have to replace some glass, and maybe some hardware, but I'm excited to finally have it where I can fix it up. I'll post photos of that project too. (But, you all know me right? Cause once again, I can't find the camera...)

I know just where this will go--and I plan on putting my scrapbooking and other craft "stuff" in it. I can't wait to show you how pretty it is!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Alabaster Caverns

Last weekend, we went to Alabaster Caverns in Freedom, Oklahoma. It's only a drive of 1.5 hours from home, so it was a fun, quick trip. The only drawback was the snowstorm that blew in that morning...well, that and the wind, but it is March! The Herrons came down and went with us. We all had a great time. When we got to the Caverns, we missed the most recent tour of the cave, so we wandered over to the hiking trails, and the scenic overlook. Miss Kat took this shot while we were hiking.
The caves are a part of a huge canyon and cave system. There are 6 caves in the State Park and 3 hiking trails. And, by canyon....I mean Canyon. Rough terrain. We read about Cowboys roping bears and about wolves that roamed the area through the early years of the 20th century.
Think about that...Bears and Northwest Oklahoma, on the Great Plains in the 20th Century...

The kids found one cave that they ventured into. Well, Kim, Bob, and the kids ventured into it. Kev had to stay a ways back down the trail (because cowboy boots weren't working too well on the wet, slick, rough trail) and I stayed outside the cave (because I'm not completely crazy!) You are allowed to go into all the caves, but I thought that someone should stay outside...just in case.

After playing around in the cave and on the trails, we finally got to tour the main cave. Alabaster Caverns is a gypsum cave. There are several types of Alabaster in the cave. In this shot, you can see the white gypsum sparkling in the roof.

Also a part of the cave is the Bat population. There are 8000-10,000 bats who live in the cave. This was a group of 50 or so bats. Thankfully, they stayed up on the ceiling where they belonged.
We had a great time, and all decided that we want to go back--maybe not for the big cave tour, but we definitely want to hike the entire trail system through the canyon. It was a great ending to our Spring Break...even if the weather was crappy!

A lovely story about ME...

One day, long, long ago, there lived a woman who did not whine, nag or bitch.

(That would be me....)

But that was a long time ago and it was just that one day..


(I got this in an email and it just makes me laugh, so thought I'd share it with you all! Hope it made you laugh too.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mom or Dad...which will it be???

Poor Kev...

This morning, he told me something, which I couldn't hear. So I said, "What's that?"

He looked at me, laughed and said..."OK, Eugene, let me repeat myself."

Eugene is my Dad, and he's hard of hearing. And, if he doesn't hear you, he says "what's that?" Not as in "What IS that," but as in "What was it you said?"

And, there have been just a few times when I've said something and Kev will once again, laugh, except he will say "OK, Carol". Who is my Mom. Or...he'll say, "That sounded JUST like your MOTHER."

I did ask him which of my parents he'd like to spend the rest of his life with.

He refrained from answering...wonder what that means!

(sorry Mom!)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Life with a teenage girl

If I survive these next 4 or 5 years of living with a teenage girl, it will be a miracle. I honestly do not think I was as dramatic or as emotional or as flighty as Miss Kat is. Lord love a duck, that child is something else. In the past week, I've seen her
  • madder than a wet hen
  • sobbing as if the world had just ended, and
  • bouncing off the walls with happiness.

And a couple of those emotions were within 10 minutes!

Kev and I ran to Wichita last Saturday to attend the Garden Show. We got home around 5 and found Miss Kat sobbing uncontrollably. So, I sat down with her in her room to discover what was wrong. I knew that she had been invited to a friends house that evening for a Movie Night. She was excited to get to go. And,, she was crying.

We didn't know where the girls house was exactly, so Miss Kat had texted the hostess and several other girls who were going to get directions. But, no one had texted her back. Miss Kat, being the logical and level headed person she is, immediately jumped to the conclusion that she was no longer invited and that everyone was laughing at her for thinking she was invited. She also decided that everyone must be mad at her.

All because no one texted her back.

So, I tried to be reasonable and tell her that maybe the girls didn't have their phones, or thought that Kat was kidding about not knowing where the party was, and I assured her that no one was mad and that they'd call and give us directions. And, right after I said that, and right after she'd slowed down on the sobbing and crying; her phone rang.

It was the hostess wondering just why Miss Kat wasn't there yet! She gave Kat directions, and I ran her to town. (After we made sure her eyes weren't puffy from the crying.) The kids had a great time, and Miss Kat wound up spending the night.

Tuesday night, she asked Kev and I if she could host a Movie night this Saturday. While we weren't against it, we decided that we wanted to think about it a couple of days. After all, something might come up unexpectedly... On Wednesday evening, I got a text from her telling me that the party would need to be on Friday because some of the kids were going out of town on Saturday and she proceeded to list the names of the kids she invited...

Wait a minute...did Kev and I say "Yes", and forget? Are we that senile? I thought we said "Maybe" and now the party is planned! What???? And, on the list of names were 3 boys' names... Are we ready for a co-ed party? Do we want teenage girls and teenage boys in our house? At the same time?

Miss Kat reassured me, and made me feel so much more comfortable when she said, "Don't worry, we won't do anything. "

To which I thought, "Damn straight! You won't do anything!" and now, I was feeling so much more comfortable with the thought of teenagers of both sexes in my house... whoo boy...

After much lengthy conversation, we decided to allow the party...

Today, I brought to work with me a shopping list. On that list are highly nutritional snacks like Doritos, M&M's and lots of pop. Miss Kat has promised to clean the house tonight. Kev and I have said the kids can be upstairs--with the big screen TV and with us near by. Kat's so stinkin' excited that she makes me want to drug her up, just to bring her back down to earth.

Man...Not only do I have to survive this party, but I also have 4 more years of living with a teenager. Prayers welcome; I need all the help I can get!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

"This marriage on hold for Kansas Basketball..."

The Kansas, K-State Basketball game just finished. It was an experience...

Andy is a K-State fan. Kev is a die-hard fanatic KU fan. Both were watching the game...but on different TVs. Andy, downstairs, Kev across the room. Neither are quiet fans.

Andy would yell for his team, and we'd hear it echo upstairs. Kev would yell for his team, and it would echo downstairs. Kat would occasionally join in with the KU cheerleaders with chants. I'll tell ya, between the three of them, my life is..interesting...

I have to say, watching Kev watch a KU game is entertaining...more entertaining than the game. He's on his knees, he' yelling at the TV, he's hugging pillows, he's almost as bad as a kid hyped up on sugar.

He's a Jayhawk, and right now, he's really happy. Andy...poor Andy hasn't said a word since the last two minutes of the game. Wonder if he'd appreciate condolences from his dad?

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

the red oil lamp

I'm sure you are wondering why on earth I posted a picture of an oil lamp with a broken chimney.'s another of my "old crap" items. This lamp, on this stand, hung in Grandma and Grandpa's bedroom--the "North" bedroom-- forever.
When I brought home the lamp, the chimney was intact. And then, I hung it on the wall, and somehow managed to break the chimney. I've looked online for a new chimney like this, and haven't found one yet. But, I'm still looking. Until then, I'm going to keep the broken chimney, because while it might look stupid, it looks even more stupid without the chimney.
The bracket is a light weight tin, but I know it's old, because the screws in it were "flat head" screws and Kev refused to use them when he hung it up for me. I've always liked the bracket and would really like to hang this out in the living room, or maybe even in the kitchen. I can see this attached to one of my cabinets right above the sink. But, before I move it, I've got to find a new chimney, and then I'll have to convince Kev to hang it up again in the kitchen.
Somehow, I don't see either being accomplished any time in the near future.

Sewin' cards

When I was a little girl, one of my "toys" was a set of Sewing cards, or Lace-up Cards. I remember taking a plastic needle and yarn, and "sewing" my cards. After they were sewed, then I'd "rip" out my "stitches" and do it again. I don't know what happened to my cards, they probably got tore up and destroyed by that my little brother, who often destroyed my girly stuff.

He did! Once, I got perfume as a gift and he thought it stunk, so he poured it down the toilet. So, I know he destroyed my Lace-up cards too. Little brothers are nothing but a big pain...

Anyway, I found these in one of my Cross Stitch Catalogs--Keepsake Needlearts--

I knew immediately that I had to have these. Miss Kat saw them, and sewed up one...all by herself...after I showed her how to thread the needle and how to sew. (Sigh...this poor girl has a rotten mother...imagine, being 14 and not knowing how to sew...)

She did a nice job on her elephant. Mommy is soooooo proud of her baby girl.

Here's a few of the other cards.
I ordered 3 for me, and the little girls (the 3 year old girls) in the family will get a set for Christmas. We certainly don't want them to grow up and not know how to sew when they're 14!