Saturday, March 30, 2013

Picture of the day and a few others.....

I took some pix today with my bigger camera- I finally feel like I have some focus and center again!  I found this first pic, and my pic of the day!- from March 5.  Which is right about the time I was beginning my whole living room reno thing.  Makes sense that I forgot about it I guess.

Today I had the misfortune of being sickish, and I am not thrilled about it.  However, life is like that and I rested a lot.  My wonderful children did things for me like make dinner and fed the horse and all, so I feel very pampered and lucky. And my lovely hubs took us all out for lunch, so I only made breakfast for myself!  Tomorrow will be another story, what with pancake day and Easter dinner and all.  But that is ok.

This morning there was a lot of rain and a bit of snow in there too, at one point it looked like snow balls falling from the sky.  Hard to see, but that is what I attempted to capture this morning.  

Later this evening, though, there was the wonderful sight of mist rising from the snow, which means melting is going on!!  YAY!  And it was lovely.

You will notice that Lola has made multiple appearances in this post, and she is quite grateful for it.  She thinks that she has been quite neglected lately.  I haven't been talking to her too much lately, I have been preoccupied.  To say the least.  So let's finish off this evening with beholding the lovely Lola again and bid her good night!  Don't worry Lola, spring is on it's way and soon you will be surrounded with color!

Be a joy giver!  No joy stealing allowed~

Road trip pictures

Wednesday found me traveling to the greater Eau Claire area, home of some fabulous shopping and also my old stomping grounds from the college years.  Ah the fond memories.....  Anyway, Eau Claire is one of my favorite shopping destinations.
Signs of spring
For those of you who don't live in a remote area, virtually all shopping trips are planned occurrences.  There is rarely a spontaneous "let's go to Target" trip, as the nearest Target is a 2 hour drive- with good weather, little traffic and a tail-wind.  And of course it depends whose driving!  ;)  No, we have to plan our shopping trips here and they are long days that are filled with an intense sense of purpose and usually some preplanning.  I mean when you need to visit a minimum of 5 stores plus get lunch in there, and get back before the deer come out at dusk, this takes some motivation and a schedule.  Not everyone does it like me; I like to get going super early (by 6am usually) and then get home by 6 pm, otherwise I just get too sleepy.

Anyway though I prefer to drive with another person along for company, this was a good trip to do alone, as I had many specific items that I was looking for.  I ended up going to Target, Starbucks, Menards, Scheels All Sport, VS, The Gap, Pier One, Best Buy, Hancock Fabric, Target again, Kohls and a Natural/Health Food store.  whew!!!  Then, unfortunately, I realized that I had missed one thing and stopped at Walmart in Ladysmith.  Which I generally avoid like the plague, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

So you are probably wondering what in the world this has to do with the scroll-down lovely that you are about to see!  On my way to Eau Claire and back I traveled on Hwy E to get to Hwy 70 and just over the county line into Sawyer county there is a beautiful little creek that crosses under the road and it was so lovely that I stopped, turned around and went back to photograph it.  It was overcast and grey in the morning, but still icy/lovely.  Then the blue skies on the way home had me  just knowing that I would be stopping again- for the contrast.  So the following pix are a representation of those 2 stops.  I have 2 pix that are virtually identical except for the time of day!  

Pine Creek, 6:30 am

Pine Creek, 5:30 pm

 It was totally worth the effort to stop!

And I found a lot of joy that day....

Friday, March 29, 2013

Tofu noodles with veggies

I am so thrilled to report that our local grocery store, with very Northwoods, pedestrian choices has TOFU NOODLES!!! Low carb. Good protein. Noodles. Holy moly. Who knew?? Actually I didn't know there was such a thing for sale or I'd have been looking for it.

I bought some fettucini style and I ran home and whipped up something quick. And then I proceeded to eat more than seems decent. For not very many calories.  Let's be honest, I demolished it!!

This is not a very "pretty" or sophisticated food post, but it is definitely one of the most delicious things I have eaten in a very long while.

FIRST of all, I used Gardein Barbecue "Wings" and sauteed a few of them for a little bit without the BBQ sauce, then cut up some asparagus and zucchini and sautéed the veggies until tender-crisp.  The noodles simply get precooked a bit in the microwave, then drained, rinsed and dried off a bit with a paper towel.  They smell kind of funny at first, but you get past that pretty quickly.  They are very noodle-like.  Not soft or weird, but a really good texture.  I adore them and will be getting even MORE!!

While the veggies were finishing I sprinkled some flavored feta cheese on the "wings" that were in the bowl and covered it with the noodles.  Dumped on the veggies and stir!  I used Spike! seasoning, which works so well in so many applications, as the only flavoring beyond some nice Himalayan Pink seasalt.  I hope this is enough of a recipe for you!

Simple ingredients


The angel hair style of tofu noodles- I used fettucini - **btw, the whole package is only 40 calories!!!

Soooo good!  This is an excellent brand- and non soy

I think the whole thing was about 450 calories, which INCLUDES the tablespoon of Spanish olive oil that I used to saute the wings and the veggies.  THAT was alot of food for 450 calories, I wasn't very hungry for the rest of the day!!  Of course I managed to have a little chocolate later.  :)

Sometimes simple is the bestest!  And very very joyful.

Final Official update- sort of

So here is my last official update, but I still want to do one more thing yet.  This one was hardish to photograph, as my living room only has furniture in it. And not my final furniture!  I have virtually no decorations in it and it seems very empty.  But that is ok, I will be putting things back slowly and I am going to use this opportunity to clean a lot of things out.

I am catching some flack from certain Mad-Children for not wanting to rehang a certain old, weird clock that is apparently "an old Oswald heirloom" - so we shall see where that thing ends up.  Threats have been made to put it somewhere upstairs.

So, I am putting these pix up, without a window angle, as my kitchen is such a disaster that I just couldn't take the pic.  I mean, seriously a disaster area.  I hope I have a huge store of energy today, as I have a lot to do before my kiddos come home for the weekend.  Not of course the expectant kiddos, as Sarah Grace is too close to delivery to travel that far.  And I believe Jon needs to paint his basement!!  Ambitious boy - he's an awful lot like his father.  Project driven!
Front room angle
Ok, I do need a flat screen TV now.  But I have patience- that will come sometime soon.
Hallway angle

Kitchen angle

So bare yet!
Anyway, here is the "finished" room, but is not finished!  This was really a fast renovation, but in some ways seemed like forever!  But that happens in life a lot, doesn't it?

I have to THANK THANK THANK my elusive Mike.  He helped me move the furniture back in (the MA is in the throes of personal tax returns and doesn't return home until the late evening) and then put together the TV stand and reconnected my SATELLITE!!!!  He's such a good boy.  The Easter bunny will be stopping by for him definitely!

I have so much cleaning to do,  (and I have some pix I want to edit!!) but, I don't feel like I can rest and enjoy this for a while.  Probably when the kids get here- way later tonight!!  And be here tomorrow and Sunday- which will give me a lot of joy!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Quick Daffodil Watch update, 2013

I love how obnoxious this is.  It pleases me to no end!  Heh, heh, heh


there was significant melting yesterday- can you tell??

No?  Aw, shoot, me either, but I am pretty sure there is snow compaction and melting.....  so stay tuned!

Oh btw, there is another daffodil watch going on too-

Another inside daff is about to pop out - YAY!!!!  SO SO much JOY!!

Final empty room update! WOO HOO!!!

I am thrilled to report my room is as done as Joe is going to be contributing.  I need to finish my arch- a little more fill, sanding and then painting.  I need to do that today, as I want SOMETHING totally done!!  And the elusive Mike is coming later to help me move furniture in!! (Mad-Art teacher jumps up and down with glee!!)  I have, for your information, partaken of my morning coffee in the livingroom, parked on the floor on my new area rug!  I am absolutely like that!!  

This is what I came home to from my shopping trip yesterday:

Lovely glow
 I totally realize this picture is darkish and crooked, but I don't care.  I walked through the kitchen to get a first look at this!!  I practically purred.

Front room angle

Kitchen angle, right

Kitchen angle, left

Hallway angle, crooked

window angle

Window angle, right

Window angle, left

If I would have been able to get a slightly darker poly/stain combo, I would have

Later today or tomorrow I will be posting a synopsis, time line kind of thing, using one of my angles.  Looking forward to that, I think that is going to take some time, though!!  :)  All my posts do, but this one might take some extra.

But that will give me a lot of joy!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Daffodil watch 2013- HECK NO-  I should be doing a BABY WATCH!!!

But Sarah Grace might find that creepy if I took random pictures of her and posted them......  Like I could take random pictures of her..........

The mind works in odd ways sometimes, I know.  Time for shopping!  :)

My living room will be done when I get back!  WOO HOO!!

Oh and Daffodil watch will go on, but know that Baby watch will always be in the background, waiting to make its announcement!!!!

You knew all this stuff would filter down, once my brain was cleared of unnecessary clutter like remodeling and grades and the Wizard of Oz.  And I will be doing a bit of a post on the Wizard soon.  I really want to see that Wizard of Oz movie, too......

I wonder what Adam is doing????  hmmmmm

Until later, find your joy!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I'm totally in love........

With this floor!!  I actually teared up a little when I saw it. The color and the character is just fantastic!!

Joe did SUCH a great job finishing it off.  He sanded it quite a bit apparently- lots of places where there was paint splotches along the edges, and a few marks where someone dragged something very heavy- we think probably the wood stove at one point.  And we all know there was a wood stove, as  A. a little old lady who used to live here stopped by a few years ago and she told me so!  And 2. there are cool spark/burn marks that just add to the history of the place.  So these pix were taken between the second and third coat of poly, which btw, does not really smell at all!  Pleasant surprise!!!
Front room view

Kitchen angle and a peek of the Builder!

window angle

Hallway angle

Hallway angle, left

Hallway angle, right

Footsie angle- there are the burn marks, too.
Tomorrow it will actually be finished- the trim boards go up!  I will be shopping for a few things I need in Eau Claire.  I of COURSE know I could probably find these things closer than that, but hey, I'm on spring break.  It is the closest thing to a vaca as I am going to get! :) 

Now the question is, what sort of shape is the kitchen floor going to be in?? We won't investigate that for a few weeks yet, but I have been wavering between the wood and tile.  It seems a shame to cover the the gorgeous wood that has been waiting to make it's appearance.  I do like it so very much.....  And with the new sealing materials, apparently the wood is quite safe from water damage.....  so I guess we will see what lurks below!  I am again leaning towards the wood.  It would be a nice warm color and it is such a legitimate material- local tongue and groove maple!!  

Such a joy!!

Living room- BIG ole update and a "brief" story of color gone wrong

So when we last had a livingroom update, the Mad-Art Teacher was rethinking her whole "I can do it all, AND go ahead and conquer the world" attitude.  Of course I still think I can conquer the world, but I just need to not try to do it all in one week.

Last Thursday I was laid low, REALLY low, by a nasty virus- which showed me that first of all, I am dispensable, as the children got along just fine without me for that big practice/performance for the play.  gulp.  Crow eaten, message understood.  AND I need to make sure I am much more diligent about how I conduct myself when there is said nasty viruses spotted at the elementary school.  As in, less touchy the children art teacher and more douse myself in hand sanitizer and good old soapandwater art teacher!!  Anyway, when we last saw the livingroom, it was about to be mudded, taped, and primed, which you will find below here!  It was an amazing thing to come home and see this, it really made things look great!  Since then, the primer applied and then the weekend marathon of painting began!

I literally was either at the play or buying/prepping/painting/repainting the living room (or sleeping/eating) from Friday night until Monday morning.  You think I jest????  Friday during the day I ordered the paint from Park Falls Builders (I will get to that story in a moment), then the play on Friday night.  Saturday found me retrieving the paint, grocery shopping, spraying the furnace dealie right before having lunch, then rollering on the paint until I had to LEAVE for the play.  At the play until 10:30.  Get up Sunday morning, detest with my soul the darker of the colors (explanation to follow!), prep area for painting, paint light color, run to town for more makeup, prep area for painting, paint, eat quickly and go to play from noon until 6:30, come home and paint last of wall.  The Mad-Accountant managed to be home for the last bit of rollering, which was nice, as I was able to do a little cleanup- very little, but still.  Monday morning I got up to begin staining the wood trim at 7 to get done by 8, which is when the Builder came and I rushed off to a dental appointment and then to school to finish my grades!  WHEW!!!

So the tale of the color- briefly- is this: The MA and I were perusing paint chips and I was definitely leaning towards a honey goldish color.  I wanted two tones and we decided to make the ceiling the light color and I decided that one wall should accompany it.  Then that of course leaves the other 3 with the darker color.  I, of course, understand the uneven nature of composition, and my dear, symmetrical, analytical hubs does not.  He kept wanting the walls to be divided into 2 dark and 2 light........ oh honey, no.  Just no.  So he asked me about 85 times where the 2 light wall were going to be- jeez.  Now go make some poor tax payer cry, will you?? Anyway, we decided to go really dark and we chose the lightest and the darkest of the grouped paint chips.  Now sometimes, I admittedly am dense.  The name of the darkest color was "Golden Image".  Had I not the ability to totally block out my home life during school and my school life whilst at home, I would have realized that "Golden Image" is YELLOW BRICK ROAD YELLOW- THE DARKER ONE!!! Good GRIEF!!!  Which in and of itself is  not bad, BUT I KNEW that Golden Image is a nasty ass color to work with.  Transparent and streaky and obnoxious.  And godknows how dark it is. Anyway, I painted the lighter color on, and didn't really like it too much, but that is typical of me.  I always tell the kids at school- Don't make judgements about value until you get all the white of the canvas or paper covered and then adjust your tones.  And this is what I had in mind!!  So I start painting this Golden Image stuff and it SOON becomes apparent that I have worked with this beast before. It looks like hell when it goes on.  But I kept saying to myself, get rid of the white, get rid of the white....... don't make judgements!!!  Oy.  I finished it and may I just say it was JARRING.  It made me groan with displeasure.
But NEVER FEAR!  Armed with my art teacher knowledge and having my friend Cat as my muse, I went ahead the next day (when I still detested the color, even more so in the morning light) and mixed my own damn color!  I softened the color down to what I now call (I mean just this second named) Sunshine Honey and proceeded to erase most signs of the errant Golden Image.  whew.  I LOVE it.  It is now so warm and lovely and I can't wait to see the floor all finished later today!!  Ok, so maybe that was not a brief story, but you should know I underestimate my stories!

Anyway, when I got home from my day at the dentist, school, lunch (the electrician was at our house doing his electrical magic) and llllaaaaaa (that would be angels singing)- the GYM -  I arrived home to beauty!!!  Ceiling fan up, golden toned paint glowing, and a light in the middle of my livingroom.  I walked in and the words- it's so pretty- fell from my mouth and I promptly sent pictures to many many MANY of my friends and relatives!!

I'm in love!  And I have to shop!!  For a few things, most notably a floor lamp.  That would be tomorrow's adventure!

Pictures please!

Tape and Mud:
Tape and mud- frontroom angle
Kitchen angle

hallway angle

window angle


front room angle

kitchen angle

Hallway angle

Hallway angle

window angle

preparing to paint furnace thingies

cutting in corners, etc.

the beginning


This is a group of pix that probably should never be seen, and yet here they are!  I am sure my hotness factor has quadrupled in everyone's eyes after seeing the fashion forward painting ensemble I have donned- but that can't be helped.  Everyone try not to drive here all at once to behold it in person, I think I am going to throw it away. And then there is that unfortunate color thing going on there...... 

Yellow brick road yellow- ugh

Tell me you don't see the similarity!!

The look of "this color will be gone by the time the play comes if it kills me" desperation

Before tape is removed- front room

kitchen angle

Note who is not listening to instructions and removing tape before photo journaling is complete!
Morning pic of paint job!  Staining about to commence

Staining action to begin

This is where  you should insert angels singing and so MUCH joy~

Ceiling fan and electricity!! Front room angle

Kitchen angle

Kitchen right
Kitchen left

Hallway right

Hallway left

Window view of arch 

Today is the day the floors get sanded and refinished and I am going to make myself scarce!  I have a date with the gym and then a nice pedi planned and then a run up to Glidden to visit my dear friend and muse, Cat.  I am so anxious to see what it looks like when the floor is finished!!!  I am so excited!  Then the trim will be done and I want to touch up my arch plaster, and Thursday is move back in day!!!!  And I get to collapse on my couch finally and do a little relaxing and find more than a little joy!!