Thursday, July 30, 2009


Cleaned up, vacuumed, dusted, and 2 pieces of furniture gone.  Angelee says I am not to line every wall with furniture.  Witch!
Jo says, " I didn't know that room could look good."  High praise from Jo
New paint, new baseboards...
New floor
Old oak furniture on new cherry floors.

Are those lovely flowers real or fake?  And how many remotes does one old television need?
Sam is the miracle worker.  I was in Lake Tahoe visiting Kate when this serious miracle happened.  What a surprise!!  I can't wait for Ben to come and see everything that has happened to my mom's house and yard.  I have the best family in the world.  Sam was the project manager but everyone else has a hand (and an arm and a leg and another hand) in this transformation.  Nick, Sam, Angelee and Jo painted, D and Sam put down the floor and Darryl has done more stuff to this house than I have time to mention but includes the kitchen and deck.  
Mike and Shannon are the yard miracle workers.

Thank you, my family!!

Friday, July 24, 2009


OF course this is backwards... this is supposed to be the last picture.  Oh well... the almost finished patio of Jo and Darryl.  This is the third patio this summer.  And all of them are different.  We will be having a patio showing  of all three patios at a future date.  Check this blog for further info on this oh so interesting feature.

The almost finished patio.  What is that pattern? I can hear you asking.  Oh, that would be "planned random".
So nice...   

Darryl had the easy part and the fun part... ok...not really easy but sorta fun.
The grunt labor... D on the rototillar...not much fun! 
More grunt labor...Sam replaces a sprinkler...

I have learned a lot this summer about patios.  The most important part is that the prep work is the hardest and takes the longest time.  It is not fun but it is so important to the finished product.  Shortcuts are not tolerated.  But nobody appreciates the work or the worker of this under appreciated slave labor.  There are many unsung heros out there who have sweat gallons of liquid and have drank, drunk gallons of liquid so they could then sweat more gallons... you get the point...   So a high five to all you slave laborists out there.  Just so you know... there is one person in this world who appreciates you. That would be me.  You're welcome.

Kate in the buff...

Kate is not picking her nose... she is cute in her nightie nights.
We can almost see her 7 teeth... and look at those flowing blonde locks.
Oh my!  Is that a bug?
I am so cute... and I love my daddy!
Is that another bug?  My mom does not like them but I do...
Playboy called and I only pose for "tasteful" nude shots...
Who is that baby in the mirror?  I would like to meet her...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Patio... done!

I think this is the most beautiful patio ever (sorry Angelee,  yours is nice, but...) If any of you were watching news yesterday about Elizabeth Edwards you could have seen her entrance to her house and it was almost as beautiful as my patio... but I digress.

Anyway... how lovely is this.  And to think that Sam was foreman, supervisor, laborer, chief of the union and designer. 

Derek was the right hand man... #2 in command... necessary for all projects... and quality control

JG was laborer
Each stone was selected individually, placed lovingly, carefully leveled, and named (just kidding)
My favorite stone is in the middle... named tiger stripe.  Okay, we named some of them.
The walk way to the NEW GATE.
Do you see "California"?  
Another important job... "the sweeper of sand ".
The first stone.  (You know what they say about 'he who casts the first stone'.  It wasn't me, this time)

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Smile

Eat your collective hearts out... it takes years to get this smile and to think it is the subject of serious ridicule among my supposed loved ones.  Yes, they make fun of it to the point that at Cyndi's b'day lunch at Cheesecake Factory they ALL DID THEIR BEST IMITATION.   Yes, this is what we do when we get together in public.  I used to be embarrassed by them but I have developed unconditional love for them.  
So... here they all are doing their best rendition of  "The Smile".  Actually they are all jealous and I consider it my best feature... in addition to my lovely hair. :)

Charlee gives it a good try...

Shannon does good when the camera is not on her... but is camera shy.  I always tell her, "Be one with the camera".

Jo definately has the most fun.  I actually think it was Jo who started all this commotion.

And as you will see, they all need some practice.


Ben... not his best effort.  He too, does not love the camera.
Angelee... giving it her best try.  You have a long way to go, girl!!

Cyndi... the winner (and I am trying not to be offended.  It occurs to me that my daughter-in-laws are actually making fun of their MOTHER-IN-LAW.  That takes guts.)

And... ta dah... the one and only!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rock Day

They certainly don't make rakes like they used to.  In case you can't see this, the rake is in two pieces.
And the rock base.  
There is not much to say... it is just a lot of work but not as hard as digging dirt... so they say.  They were dirty and sweaty so it still looked like work.
Friday will be the fun day.  We will be placing the stones.  I have already been uninvited to the event. 
 There is controversy about the big air conditioning unit right smack in the middle of this project.  Angelee (of course) wants to move it.  And to think I could have had it on the side of the house when they first put it in but I didn't care where they put it back then.  And I still don't really care where it is.  After all, this is just my backyard.  Better Homes and Gardens will pass me by for sure with this big eyesore right THERE.  Oh well, I don't need the pressure...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cute boys available for the picking...

Every man needs a good woman to help him stay on the track, stay focused on what is important and to help him spend his money.  If it was left up to men they would spend all their money on toys or the like... not on what is seriously important.  Every woman knows how to best help their man.  The following is a partial list of some available men... for the field is white and ready to harvest...

This is a seriously cute young man.  He spent the day at my house, working on my new patio with D and Sam.  I don't know a lot about him except that he wants to get into the fire academy at Butte... so that means that he has good potential.  He worked hard all day long and he loves 
peanut butter cookies.  He is quite young and so needs some more time to ripen.

"D"...more commonly known as Derek.  This boy would make some girl a good husband as he has many skills in the home building and repairing category.  He is a "handy man" to have around.   Besides being cute and cuddly, he is a hard worker and has the capability to make some serious money.  What he needs is the motivation... and this is another example of why every man needs a good woman at his side.

Now this boy comes with a word of warning.  Be careful... unless you are up for a walk on the wild side.  He is as dangerous as he is cute.   YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! 
Don't let the fact that he is a nursing student deceive you.  Oh yes, he is smart and career minded... sensitive and extremely loyal.  But he is more... as many broken hearted women can attest.

The New Project

By the time "we" are done my backyard will be a showplace.  Oh, not nearly as beautiful as the Robertsons or the Harris' (remember them?)  And not nearly as beautiful as my front yard and not nearly so fun as Walt's backyard.  But, still, a yard that will not be embarrassing.  And it will be suitable and fun for the preschool set.  And oh yes, once again, way too expensive.

The sand and rock for the base... of a new patio right outside my picture window.
I guess everyone knows that a patio of any worth has to have a base of rock and then sand.
This is not the expensive part... this is cheap.  And Jordon Garrett was a really good rock and sand man.
Do you see all this dirt?  It used to be lawn.  But the workers spent the whole day prepping the ground for the expensive part.  A lot of sweat went into this part... the hard part.
The extremely hard workers... "D", JG, and Sam.
Workers working...

Monday, July 6, 2009

The fence is done...

Sam and "D" spent the morning working on the gate.  And it is beautiful!!
The beautiful new gate..  finished!!
A view from the gate.
The new play area... still in the thinking and planning stages.  We put the old chain link on Craig's list and it was gone in 15 minutes flat.  
I have gained 10 feet to my yard with my new wooden fence... not to mention new found privacy and a move from "chainlink trash" to "wooden loveliness".  "D" reminded me that I can now get a full body tan if I should so desire.

Camping before the 4th

Those of you who camp over the fourth (or any other holiday) are aware of what I am saying.  Our family has had its last "Dodge City" experience where the natives, locals and newcomers are having the time of their respective lives at the expense of all of us plain ol' campers who go to bed at 10:30 expecting to sleep.  No more "MY NAME IS STANLEY" shouted thru the trees at 2 AM.  No more port-a-potties drug thru the campground.  No more rifle shots (fire crackers are for kids) at assundry times thru the night.  No more cops driving thru the camp with sirens blaring.  No more... we say!  So we went home on Friday... the 3rd and slept well on the 4th.
Lake Almanor
Darryl, Jo, Angelee and Charlee on the rented pontoon... eating Hot Tamales and having a great time. 
Sam with his new camera.
My baby boy is so cute, don't you think?  The water at Lake Almanor was kinda cold... so I was told.  I wouldn't actually know.  We all had to wear life jackets so Joshie would wear his.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Before and after

Only because Sam is here that I am finally able to get my 'before" and "after" pictures of my house.  So... here they are.  It takes a village (Angelee, Sam, Jo) to help me to do the most simple computer maneuverings.  And I would like to thank the village for their patience with me...  And I love this Mac... not much different from the big babooshka in the other room.  A big thank you to Sam for his help with this laptop and another big kiss to Angelee for her help and pushy encouragement to me for my newfound blogster abilities.
Did you notice the lovely little wall... that was all Sam.  Who knew?
The design plan was all Shannon.
The planting and the following of the plan?  All Mike and Sam.
I am still mad that the city had the gall to "cite" me for my yard at this point.  Can they not see that we were in the middle of a "redo"?  And it is hard to believe that there is $800 worth of dirt in this little project.  I won't even mention further cost... but it is moooooorrrrrrre... lots more.  But it is way worth it.  
A big thank you to Shannon, Mike and Sam.  Sam was the actual force that started the whole darn thing.
(The back yard has begun with the construction of "the fence".