Visitors to Scrapping by Design

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Hi, Gang!
   Monday was quite a productive day.  The first thing Eddie worked on was the pool in the backyard.  He had taken the cover off a few days ago to check on the state of the water.  After he spent quite a bit of time fishing leaves off the bottom, adding new chemicals and trying out a new method of keeping the cover off the surface, I helped him stretch the cover back across the pool and begin the anchoring process.  If you don't tether the cover to the ground, it'll do a Mary Poppins disappearing act when the wind blows.
   Since the weather was mild and glorious, it was a perfect day for taking the ferret cage outside for a good cleaning, too.  Here's a before picture:

Bandit and Sugar Baby in their dirty cage
   As you can plainly see, their cage was sorely in need of a good cleaning!  We had already taken out the hammock from the top section, then set the wire part of the cage off the base onto the ground so they could experience a little bit of real nature.  When we started on the serious cleaning part, we turned them loose on the inside of the house to wreak havoc. 
   After soaking and scrubbing litter boxes, shelves and the wire cage itself, we put it all back together.  The wind kindly dried it off for us.    Here are some after pictures:

   From this picture you can see about how tall it is compared to our front door.

Closeup of the bottom two sections.
   The red plastic thing on the bottom floor is an igloo.  They like to snuggle up together and sleep inside of it when it's cold.  The curved yellow and red tubes hanging down from the ceilings are their "ladders" between floors.  It's funny to see them crawling from one floor to the other with half of them hanging out the top and bottom at the same time.

The top two tiers
   You can clearly see in this photo that their shelves are nice and clean.  The litter boxes were all freshly filled after their vigorous scrubbing, and the brand new double-decker hammock is in its place.  Before putting them to bed, Eddie applied their monthly flea treatment.
    At bedtime, the ferrets were excited to explore their clean-smelling cage and clean pair of pants (they're crazy about this old pair of trousers that has a lining in it; they like to crawl inside the legs to sleep).  Sadly, the new hammock didn't work out.  It sagged too low with them in it, so they didn't use it.  Tonight we returned one of their older hammocks (freshly laundered, of course) to the cage, and they happily settled down in their comfortable digs.  Wish all the rest of the house was that clean!
   Hope your bed is nice and comfy, too.
Love'n stuff,
Sandy :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Budgies, Bunnies and Skinks, Oh, My!

Parakeets aka Budgies

Give me a break.  I'm running as fast as I can!

She said what???

Ever feel like a turquoise parakeet in a cage full of green and yellow ones?

  Hi, Everyone!
   Today we went to Pensacola to a pet store to buy ferret food.  "Why not buy some at the local Wal-Mart?" you might ask.  Good question.  Ferrets are very picky about their food.  They like the flavor of whatever they were raised on, and ours were raised by the breeders on an expensive brand from the pet store, naturally.  One of our rescue ferrets, Baby Bear, was used to eating the cheaper food, and we hoped that the others would try it and like it.  No way.  Not only did they not like his, he didn't like theirs.  So we had to continue buying both kinds of food as long as he was alive.  It isn't impossible to change what ferrets eat, but it's difficult and time consuming, according to the books we've read, so we just keep giving them what they're used to. 
   Anyway, I was hoping to bring you some nice pictures of a business of ferrets from the pet store (yes; a group or bunch of ferrets is called a "business," and if you ever saw them running and playing together, you'd know why), but they were completely out!  In the 4 years we've been going there, they've never been sold out of ferrets.  I can only conclude that the reason is because I wanted to take some pictures for you and cuddle adorable ferrets that I can't take home.
   Since there were no ferrets, I decided you might enjoy some of the other pets for sale.  I love budgies (the Australian name for parakeets), and we did have some a long time ago, but I got tired of vacuuming bird seed out of the AC vents and poop off the windowsills.  When Guinevere died, we finally gave Arthur to an unsuspecting girl, lock, stock, birdseed and cage.  Still, I enjoy looking at their brightly colored feathers and trying to get them to talk to me.  When I was growing up, I had a blue one named Pretty Boy, and he'd repeat his name for me.  By the way, if you want parakeets to talk to you, don't buy more than one.  They'll only tweet to each other and ignore you.
   The bunny was sweet, but he didn't tug at my heartstrings and make me want to take him home--today.
   This beautiful fellow below wasn't even in a cage.  His color was washed out a bit by the flash; he's a much richer green than he appears in the photo.   He's also a great deal larger than the parakeets.  My aunt used to raise birds, and she had at least one that looked like this in the house.  Most of the others were in an aviary outside.  I was warned that her large parrot would take my finger off if I gave him half a chance.  I didn't.  I didn't try to feed this one a finger, either.
   As we were paying for a new double-decker hammock, ferret food and flea treatment, I spotted some more exotic animals.  The young man waiting on us asked if I'd like a picture of me with a skink on my shoulder.  Since I'd had a picture made of me with a python around my neck while we were in Singapore, I could hardly refuse, could I?  Here it is; a lovely blue-tongued skink.  He's $129.00 if you're interested, and no.  I'm not on commission for the pet store.  Notice I didn't even give their name????

The skink is not the one in the pink striped shirt!  He's on the pink striped shirt.

Do our stripes clash?

   I'm sure you noticed my beloved standing solicitously by.  I thought he was there to protect me, but I discovered later that he was, in fact, making sure that the lovely, blue-tongued skink didn't fall and hurt himself.  He said that anyone who had posed with a python around her neck could certainly take care of herself!
    Hope you had a glorious spring-like day, too!
Love'n stuff,
Sandy :)
P.S.  I keep telling you we live in the Ark, but you still don't believe me, do you?  We have all the people loaded up; now we're working on the animals.  LOL

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mouse in the House Update

Hi, Everyone!
   Remember this from a couple of weeks ago?
   This is a different shot my granddaughter took with her phone.  Remember that mouse I told you about?  If you don't, and you'd like to catch up, here's a link to the other post:
   Anyway, I thought you'd be glad to know that the mouse finally showed up dead on the kitchen floor yesterday morning--death by d-Con, I presume.  Just thought I'd clear that up for you.  I didn't want that mouse running wantonly through your mind in case you came to visit me.
   Incidentally, I didn't tell you that the night the mouse got loose, one of our ferrets escaped from her cage during the night as well.  I was vaguely aware of something walking over me as I was sleeping.  My subconscious remembered the mouse, and I came very close to slinging my sweet baby ferret across the room.  Fortunately, I opened my eyes and realized that it was Sugar Baby, and not Mickey or Minnie Mouse, and I collected her and put her back in her bed.  I told you we lived in the Ark. 
   FYI, ferrets are not rodents.  They are in the same family as weasels and skunks, as I've mentioned before, but I don't guess that endears them to you any more than rodents, if you're not inclined toward small, furry animals.  We think our white ferrets resemble miniature baby polar bears.  One of  our gray ones, Baby Bear, looked somewhat like a raccoon.  You can see him below with the black "mask" on his face.  In any case, we're making sure the 2 we have left stay very far away from the d-Con!
Baby Bear, Bandit, Sugar Bear, and Smokey

   Just in case you don't want to be left with the image of a room open to the dirt below, I'll repost this picture of the finished floor: 


   May all your "afters" have happy endings.
Love'n  furry stuff,
Sandy :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day

Hi, Everyone,
   Valentine's Day is over as I'm writing this, and I hope yours was a good one.  My special Valentine surprised me with a trip out to dinner tonight, and he didn't let me know our destination until we arrived.  Of course I figured out pretty quickly that we weren't eating in town when we passed the city limits.  It was a delight to be surprised, and I especially enjoyed our time together.
   As we turned into the driveway of the Olive Garden in Pensacola, we both knew we'd have a long wait, but we were prepared to enjoy being "alone" together.  What we didn't expect was to play musical chairs during the nearly 1 1/2 hours.
   When we approached the front of the restaurant to sign in, the overflow crowd outside exceeded our expectations.  I'm sure there must have been at least 50 people outside, and inside was only slightly better.  After receiving our signaling device from the hostess, we took up our positions standing beside a potted plant.
Signaling Device
  I was reminded of an old episode of Star Trek in which Kirk was invited to an overcrowded planet to introduce disease to the inhabitants so they could die.  Do you remember that one?  When the door opened to Kirk's room, people were standing shoulder-to-shoulder like sardines in a tin.  We weren't quite that cozy, but you get the picture--it was packed.
   Settling in for the wait, I told Eddie to help me keep an eye out for someone being called to their table, thus leaving an empty seat.  Our first break came after about 15 minutes.  As luck would have it, one chair was vacated below the menu board advertising the night's specials.  I hastened to the chair, and Eddie leaned on the wall next to me. 

   As we people-watched and tried to scrunch ourselves against the wall, I told him that this reminded me of musical chairs for restaurants.  "Watch for the next seat," I chuckled, getting into game mode.  The next move didn't gain us an additional chair, but the next one vacant was at least in a corner out of the direct flow of traffic to the restrooms and dining area.  I offered Eddie a turn in the chair, but being the gentleman that his is, he told me he'd been sitting all day, and for me to remain seated. 

   As luck would have it, our next big break came when a party of 10 was called.  Suddenly all manner of chairs opened up around us, and we quickly snagged a bench for 2 right beside us.  I must say it's been years since I played musical chairs, and this electronic buzzer version was almost as much fun, but not nearly as violent.  Nobody tried to knock people out of the way and pull chairs out from under each other.  We got the young couple across from us to take our picture for posterity.

   When we finally did get to our table, the service was remarkably quick, the food was delicious, and we left full, contented, and renewed.  Getting into our car was another matter.  Those of you who have been to the Olive Garden in Pensacola know that it's built on a steep hill.  Our parking place was on a sideways incline, and if it had rained, it would probably have been washed downhill into the next county.  As it was, it was a struggle to get the doors opened and closed, what with gravity and gravy and such.
    Happy belated Valentine's Day!
Love'n stuff,
Sandy :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Heart to Heart

 Hi, Gang,
   Yesterday I went for an appointment to have a carotid artery ultrasound and a heart echo performed.  It has been many years since I had these tests done.  When I was in my 30s, an eminent endocrinologist told me I'd had a heart attack at some time, and he had me undergo almost every heart test known to man (or woman).  It turned out that I hadn't; I just have a weird EKG, and it reads like I've had a heart attack sometimes; I told you things were crazy in my world.   So in case you haven't had an ultrasound yet, let me prepare you.  Here's what the machine looks like that you're hooked up to:

Ultra Sound Machine
     First, the technician tells you to "assume the position," and so you do.  This really means to lie on your left side while he attaches electrodes, which resemble the snaps on your baby's rompers, to various places on your chest; yes you do have to unbutton your shirt.  At least this man was sporting gray hair and was not one of my former seventh or eighth grade students.  And yes.  I've been there and done that, too.  It can be rather embarrassing, but somehow you both get through it.
   Next, he hooks leads up to the electrodes which are attached to the computer.  By the way, this is the same machine that is used to do an ultrasound on the uterus of a pregnant woman to observe the progress of her unborn baby.  And no!  I'm not pregnant!!!!  Do not start rumors about that!    
   To conduct the test, the tool he uses to move around to the various areas he's checking is a hand-held probe called a transducer, and he anoints it with a liberal amount of gel before applying it to my chest.  It doesn't hurt at all (just in case you were wondering).  With a few keystrokes, the monitor springs to life, and I am being entertained with a live, real-time image of my heart beating.  It's an interesting sight.  I ask him which valve I'm watching doing a nice double-time rhythm.  He informs me it's the mitral valve, and I'm happy to say that it seems to be closing nicely and not letting any backwash through (I think that would be mitral valve prolapse, but don't quote me on that). 
   At various points, he outlines an area of the heart on the computer screen using dotted lines, much like you would play a computer game.  The areas then get filled in with a pattern, and I see flashes of red, yellow and maybe orange streaks in the midst of the gray image.  I assume these are electrical currents, but I since I didn't ask that, I'm not sure.  It's also interesting to hear the sound when it's turned on.  It reminds me at one point of an old-fashioned sound effect from the radio days when an assistant would shake a thin piece of tin to make it sound like thunder.  If you're a cardiologist, don't call and tell me I'm in trouble, please. 
   After a time, he has me lie on my back and moves the transducer to a different part of the heart.  I'm amused to see what looks somewhat like the image of the man in the moon blowing bubbles.  Of course I always did enjoy trying to see shapes in clouds, so yours might not look like mine.  Or vice versa.  The bubble-blowing apparition keeps steady rhythm with the two-step beat of the mitral valve, and all seems right in my world.  Not that I was worried.  Ahem.  No really.  I wasn't. 

Model of a human heart

   After I wipe the cold, gooey gel off my chest, we proceed to the neck for the carotid scan.  Lying on my left side, I can clearly see the river of blue running along its channel in the right side of my neck.  It looks like it has plenty of room, so that's nice to see.  For the other side, I'm turned away from the screen, so I can't see if it looks any different from the right side.  This is the side my doctor said he heard something with the stethoscope that he wanted checked out.  Since I have diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, which both can contribute to heart disease, my doctor is careful to keep these things checked for me.
   When the ultrasound is finished, the technician prints copies of the report onto what looks like specialized paper and tells me it will be next week before the heart specialist will read them.  I assume that since he didn't call a code, send for a gurney and whisk me off to a cath lab, I must not be in imminent danger.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!
   Since it's almost Valentine's Day, be good to your heart, and mind your doctor.  Not that I do.  But then, my sweetheart always tells me that advice is meant to be given, not taken.  (Insert chuckle here.)
   Have a wonderful heart-shaped weekend!  Early in the morning, I'm off to a *crop in Morris, Alabama, a small town above Birmingham.  I know I'll have fun.  Hope you do, too.
Love'n stuff,
Sandy :)
*Crop:  Traditionally a scrapbook retreat where scrappers work on various projects for a specified amount of time.  The word is derived from cropping photos to go into albums.  Our crop is for any kind of crafter, and it's just for the day.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hearts & Flowers, Anyone?

Hi, Everyone!
   Evidence of Valentine's Day is everywhere:  candy hearts, flowers, doilies, napkins, teddy bears, cards and so on.  So how are you preparing for the big day?  Did you select your sweetheart's special gift yet?  Do you like plain or fancy?  Milk chocolate or dark?  How does one decide with so many fabulous choices?

   As I was shopping at the Dollar Store the other day, I passed by a young gentleman who was browsing the Valentine gift section.  We murmured our "Excuse me's" and such as we sidestepped each other.  I was looking for chocolates to take to our weekly Mexican Train Domino game.  He, apparently, was looking for just the right gift for that someone "special"  in his life, as evidenced by his careful scrutiny of the artificial roses and heart-shaped candy boxes.
   Quickly, I found some assorted miniature Hershey bars and was making my way past him to the checkout counter when he said, "This is about as cheap as I can get, don't you think?"  He indicated a single rose wrapped in cellophane and a generic, plain, red candy box.
  After glancing at his selections, I looked pointedly at them and responded with amusement, "If that's what you're going for!" 
   He grinned unashamedly and defended his choices with, "Well, something's better than nothing."
   Smiling, I raised my eyebrows and nodded.  "It is the thought that counts.  I hope that works for you!"
By this time we were both walking up to the checkout counter, and I was shaking my head chuckling. He grinned, and got ready to pay for his gifts.
   I just want to say that if you're his girlfriend, you have my sincere sympathy, and just know that I tried to embarrass him into something better.
   So, what have you planned for the most special person in your life?
Love'n stuff,
Sandy :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Scrapbook Borders & Pet Boarders

Hi, Everyone!
   I thought I'd share some crafting things today.  I did start this as a crafter's blog, although things have gone far afield of that goal!  Anyway, maybe those of you who aren't crafters will still enjoy looking at some things that are--and aren't.
Pet Borders

Dear Friend Border

College Student Border

"Princess" Border

Boy Border

Smokey asleep in my caftan; ferret boarder

    Oops!  No, this isn't a border; he was our first ferret, Smokey, who is living in ferret heaven now.  I'd love to have him as a boarder again!  We had him for almost 4 years, and like most of our pets, he started out as the pet of one of our grandchildren.  Children always want pets, but most of them lose interest fast when there is food and water to change and litter boxes to swamp out!  We fell in love with Smokey and acquired several more ferrets as time went by through purchase and rescue.  We're down to 2 now, and we love the little dickenses dearly.  We did find them asleep tonight in the underlining of our new couch, so we'll have to add some thin wood underneath to keep them out.  They think of it as a hammock, like the one hanging in their cage.  Our skunk used to like to sleep in furniture linings, too, but then skunks and ferrets are both in the weasel family.  Ah, well.  I told you this was the Ark!
Love'n stuff,
Sandy :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Off the Beaten Path

Hi, Everyone,
   As we've worked our way through some major repair projects in the last week, it's made me think about the way life seems to ebb and flow.  It seems there's always something that needs to be done on the upkeep of a house.   Broken windows need replacing; dirty windows need washing; exterior doors need waxing; bedroom walls need repainting (for the third time because you still don't like the color) and so on.  I'm not complaining, mind you.  I'm counting my blessings that I have these "burdens."  I've been reading The Shack by Wm. Paul Young, and excerpts from another book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp.  The woman who wrote the book finds out she is dying, and only then does she contemplate how she is living.  Don't we all find ourselves guilty of "living for the weekend," or "surviving the day?"  It also reminds me of myself as a little girl spending so much time getting ready to play, that I never actually got around to playing. 
  When I hear the cold wind howling outside my windows, and a myriad list of chores rises up to annoy me when I just want to relax, I am reminded today to count my blessings.  We've all heard the idea of "everyday" miracles before, but trying to internalize the concept is another story.  I hope that we all focus more on the joy of the journey instead of just trying to reach a destination.  So today I will savor the blessings of cleaning and cooking, doing laundry and keeping my household running.  All the little things that can add up to suck the joy right out of us if we let them.  The aggravations of flat tires (a nail left over from last week's flooring job), to a missed appointment can leave us feeling ill-used and angry.
   My prayer is that you find joy in the little things in life, and you don't wait to be happy for only the big things.  I pray for people  in your life to love you and things for you to do to feel fulfilled.  May you be blessed, and may you be a blessing in return.
With love,
Sandy :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Adventures in Shopping

Hi, Gang,
   It's been a few days since I last posted; no news is good news, hm?  I mentioned the Black Bean Salsa I was making in the last post, which brings me to the reason I stopped by the grocery store last Friday.  I was in desperate need of Tostitos Scoops.  Since I just needed a bag of chips, Eddie stayed in the car while I dashed in to make a quick purchase.

   I grabbed my selection and looked for the shortest line.  Even when I find the shortest line, it usually turns out to take the longest amount of time.  You know.  Someone ahead of me has a cigar box full of pennies, or the item doesn't have a bar code and won't scan, and they have to send to the back forty for a price check.  Or the register runs out of tape, or they have six different orders that are all paid in coupons.  That sort of thing.  This time, it looked like I was in luck.  I glanced at the register, and a woman with a long, curly, black pony tail and earrings was nearly through checking out.  As a man in a work uniform approached me from behind, it seemed to me that I had noticed him leaving from the register to grab one more item and then returning to the line.  I assumed he might have been with the woman ahead of me, so I politely asked, "Are you with that woman?"  I try to be a good Samaritan; I didn't want to keep the two from being able to finish their shopping together.
   "What?"  he asked.
   I repeated, "Are you with that woman?" and I inclined my head toward the lady ahead of me.
   He said something unintelligible, so I asked him what he said.  He leaned closer to me and whispered, "That's a man."  I jerked my head around, and sure enough.  The "lady" ahead of me had a nice growth of beard and the distinct features from the front view of the face of a rugged cowboy.  The cashier tried to stifle her reaction, my eyes got wide, and the man behind me tried to not to choke to death with suppressed laughter.  When the pony-tailed customer finally left the store, we all dissolved into relieved laughter, and I elbowed the man behind me and told him I needed to put my glasses on! 
   So how was your weekend?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hey, Baby It's Cold Outside!

Hi, Everyone!
   I guess most of us are freezing tonight--from up North to way down South here by the Florida border.  Everyone, that is, but my cousin Randy in Maui, Hawaii.  My guess is it's nice and warm as usual at his house.  As for the rest of the country, most of us feel like we're in the deep freeze.  So much for that pesky global warming.
   We were down to a mere 7 for supper tonight, so it only looked like Ma and Pa Kettle's on the farm around the table.  I baked pork chops in cream sauce (that New Year's diet is already yesterday's news), rice, Italian green beans and Crescent rolls.  We have plenty of leftovers, so come on over if you're hungry.  I also made Black Bean Salsa after supper, and I'm eagerly looking forward to it's magic transformation overnight as it sits in its spices and the flavors meld.  I embarrassed myself eating it at a friend's house last week.  I hope she took that as a compliment! 
   As for tomorrow, I'm hoping we have time to quickly check for counter top material after Eddie's eye checkup.  Hopefully his eye pressures will be just fine, and we can zip through a home improvement store for a few minutes.  The bare counter top is looking pretty sad upstairs.   We're trying to decide between tile and laminate (not the same kind we used on the floor, of course).  Granite would be overkill, I think, and I had marble once, and it stained easily.  My biggest concern with tile is the grout.  It would definitely have to be dirt-colored.  That's my color palette--dirt, mud, sawdust--nice earthy colors.  I'll be sure and let you know what we choose.
   Here's a nice spring picture to keep you warm during this freezing weather.  Only a month or so and the Japanese magnolia in our backyard will look like this again (I hope).  Stay warm!

Love'n stuff,
Sandy :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Day Later, and a Dollar Shorter

   It's Wednesday, and I've been blogging for a whole week now!  Isn't it amazing what can happen in such a short space of time?
   Our excellent work crew got back at it bright and early this morning, and I'm happy to say that there is a functional sink in the upstairs bathroom.  No more rain downstairs!  So far the counter is just a piece of exterior plywood, but there's always tomorrow.  As Eddie tells his loan customers at the bank when they're trying to figure out how much money to borrow for some kind of building project, "Figure high and double it."  His advice has certainly held true for us, too.  We had planned to just buy laminate flooring and underlay, and if you've been reading about our adventures for the past few days, you know it ended up being much more extensive than that. 
   Still, God provides and is so good.  A few months ago our son Michael called and asked Eddie if he'd like seven sheets of exterior plywood that he had left over from a project.  Eddie said yes, and Michael brought them to us on his trailer and stacked them neatly against the inside wall of the carport.  They were still there Monday when Marcus needed them for the sub floor.  Guess how many sheets it took for the first layer?  Yup.  Seven.  To quote another cliche, "Ain't God good?"  And though it was raining Monday and Tuesday, it was warm enough in the house, even with the door wide open, while they went in and out working on the floor.
   Today, it was freezing, and fortunately the door didn't have to stand open too long while they put the new weather-tight threshold down.  It would have been terrible if they had begun the work after this cold snap blew in! 
   As for the ferrets, they're snug as a bug in a rug in their favorite drawer of my craft cabinet.  I gave up trying to keep craft supplies in there and just gave them an old hoodie to snuggle in.  They also like the drawer closed while they're napping.  Privacy, don't you know?
Sugar Baby (aka "The Princess") in her favorite napping drawer.
   Nighty night, and don't let the bedbugs bite!  Stay warm, too!  It may sleet and ice tonight.
Love'n stuff,
Sandy :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Rug

Hi, Everyone!
   It's about 9:00 p.m., and I'm really tired.  I'll bet Marcus, Chris and Tyler could tell you a thing or two about being tired, though!  The floor turned out just beautifully, and they didn't stop until they got the carpet down, too.  I'm very happy with how it looks.  Ready to see it?  Ok.

   As you can see, the TV is finally out of the kitchen.  Just don't look too carefully in the background to the kitchen, either.  I've spent all my energy on the den, so the kitchen went lacking!  We only had 9 for supper tonight, and I made the 3 girls "pay" for theirs by having them carry all the books back into the den from the floor of my craft room so I could put them back in alphabetical order by authors and subjects.  Did I just hear you ask if I was OCD?  The ferrets were having a great time playing King of the Mountain on all the things piled up in there, and I even had to get Sugar Baby off the shelf of ribbons one time.
   Those of you who know us know that our lives are a comedy of errors.  Maybe yours is, too, but you just have more sense than to let everyone in on it.  I personally believe that laughter saves your sanity, so I tell you all about our insanity. 
   Tyler and I had been vacuuming and dusting and returning (read lugging) the furniture to its proper places while we waited for the guys to get back from returning some equipment they borrowed and picking up the girls from school.  They had one more cut to make in the laminate flooring for the last vent, so we knew we had to leave the vacuum out to clean up the sawdust after that. 
   Now, if you've never used a Rainbow vacuum cleaner, you probably don't know that the dirt collects in a water container that must be emptied after each use, or when it turns to mud, as the case may be.  If you're going to let it sit for more than 10 minutes, you're supposed to remove the motor housing from above the water container so no condensation gets into the motor (or something like that).  I disassembled the vacuum while we waited, and when it was time to finish the cleanup, Tyler asked me to put it back together so he could vacuum for me.  I reattached the motor housing, made sure it was plugged in, and told him it was ready.  I forgot to reattach the hose to the unit, and he accidentally plugged it into the blower port instead of the suction port.  That really gives new meaning to the term "dusting" your house.  
  Anyway...most of the things are put back in the den, although I'll be continuing to undust (or is it dedust?) for some time to come.  The Christmas gifts that still haven't been delivered are about 1/4" deep.  It tastes pretty good in meatloaf, too, by the way.  At least nobody complained about the sawdust flavor at supper.  They were probably used to it after the spaghetti last night.  It might make a pretty good meat extender, kind of like bread crumbs, you know.  Hm....
Love'n stuff,
Sandy :)

New Floor; Day Two

Don't you just love cliches?  They just seem to fit so often, so I guess that's why they've become cliches.  Anyway, here goes:  What a difference a day makes!  From yesterday's mayhem:
To today's amazing results:
The floor has been completed, and now they're working on baseboards and trim.  Unfortunately, the weather is not cooperating, so it may take a while for all the stain and varnish to dry.  Anyway, you can see how much better this looks!
Here's another treat.  Tyler, our grandson, is holding Tyson, our great-grandson.  They are cousins.  Isn't that sweet?  Now Tyson has a nice, new floor to learn to crawl on.  Tyler learned to crawl right here on one several remodels ago!  More pictures and updates later today.
Love'n stuff,
Sandy :)

P.S.  See those green shutters in the background?  They were country blue before the last remodel.  Some things change while others stay the same.  Tyler is 19, and we put them in before he was born!
Tyson is in my lap, and he says to tell you that the TV is still in the kitchen.