Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I've moved!

I've moved!  I tried my darnedest to figure out how to combine my two blogs, but just could not.  So please follow this link to my new blog,  The Weathered Pane!  It's still about me and my life, with a little garden thrown in, some food, lots of grandkids, an occasional funny and all that.  See you!  Nancy

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

projects waiting

Do you have problem getting your husband to do projects around the house?  Like painting?  I do.  Some times.  I can bring it up in a conversation many times over and still nothing.  I know plenty of women who would just take the bull by the horn and head to the paint store and get the paint and stirring stick and trays and anything else they need and do the job themselves.  My husband won't let me paint.  He knows how I would do it....  and he's right....  I'm a sloppy painter.  I wouldn't tape baseboards or trim or light fixtures.  I would paint right around it all.... 

Confession:  When I get to that point that I'm ready to paint myself.... all I have to say is:  "I think I'm going to paint the bathroom" and my husband will be on it it just like THAT!  Do I actually intend to paint myself?  No!  I just know my husband will realize at this point that I am dead serious about getting the job done and he will, at that point, get on board with me.  He's a good man. 

With that said, I am "allowed" to paint outside!  Where the spray paint can dissipate throughout the neighborhood and the paint on the blades of grass will get mowed.  Yes, here I am master!  Well, kinda sorta.  He still directs me, which is fine, because what do I know about the proper way of using a can of spray paint.... 

I have a couple projects this week.  Lawn chairs.  Those ugly, white, plastic lawn chairs that over time get stained and you dread having company sit in them.  So I decided to paint them.  A lime green.  Or the closest color I could find. 

I have to say that even spray painting is hard for me.  I end up with drips, and runs, and dark blotches.  So I sigh a heavy sigh of frustration, and my sweet man will take over and fix it all for me.  Does he know I plan it that way?  We do make a good team. 

Another project is this old chandelier I found at a garage sale for $5.00.  I painted one a few years ago, but it turned out so well, that I thought I'd do another one.  I bought white paint.... but am tempted to paint it a color much brighter! Say lime or light blue....?  

What do you think? 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tracy Arm Fjiord

For those of you who don't know..... Juneau is land locked.  We're part of the mainland, but there are no roads in or out of Juneau.  The only way you can leave is by plane or boat.  This makes it not only expensive, but also difficult, to get away for the weekend.  For those of us without a boat, a day trip is usually a drive "out the road."  From one end to the other of our road system is about 60 miles. 

Another option for a day trip is to take a cruise to Tracy Arm.  This is a full day of pure enjoyment as you join Adventure Bound Alaska for some of the most beautiful scenery in the world! 

That's what we did on Monday.  My sister is visiting Juneau and it was a challenge to come up with some kind of activity that would keep her mind occupied for the day.  This was important because it was the one-year anniversary of her husband's passing....  We knew it would be a difficult day for her.  That there could be a lot of deep sadness. 
So we packed some survival food.... and headed to the Captain Cook, a 65' sightseeing boat.  Along the journey we saw so many whales....
And icebergs....  Deep deep blue in color.  They say 80 percent of the berg is under water so just imagine the damage this berg could do to our little boat! 

I love finding shapes in objects--like this mushroom. 

We saw some of the most incredible scenery, with sheer cliffs etched out from glaciers long ago.  There were deep deep cracks in walls of rock that look like it would break away at any minute.  Dainty yellow, orange, blue and red wild flowers creeping along any inch of surface they could find. 
This is a trip everyone should take.  At least once in their life time.  I know Steve (my sister's husband) would have enjoyed this trip immensely as he was a mountain climber in his younger days.  I bet he would have imagined himself climbing these very sheer cliffs. 

But Steve is in another place now.  Or so we thought....  Imagine my surprise when I learned that the Captain's name on the boat was Captain Steve!  Coincidence?  I think not.  I hope my sister found peace on this day. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Father's Day

Well, a little late posting pictures of Father's Day, but things have been busy here!  It doesn't get much better than my son fixing us dinner.  He's some kind of master chef, and everything he makes is a 5 star meal.  I could certainly make the same meal, but it would never taste the same. 

Like vegies roasted on the grill.  They would be over cooked, or the onions would be under cooked.  I'd have too much olive oil on it or not the right spices...  It would be edible but wouldn't have that "just right" taste. 

Our menu meat consisted of slow cooked country ribs.  And by "slow cooked," I mean slooooooowwwww cooked.  Four hours of cooking on a briquette bbque.  They were the best ribs I've ever had. 

Hunter learning to be a camera man: 

Ellis and Grandpa Soapy.

Little Miss Avery.  She's all tom boy!  Look at  how dirty she is!

The finished meal:  slow cooked ribs, marinated flank steak, grilled vegies, and a salad.  A meal certainly fit for any king!

Thank you, kids, for the best day ever! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

what my birds do....

I love my Blue Jays, don't get me wrong...  But my beautiful flower boxes go from this:

To this:

The Blue Jays scatter my soil all over the place, and new seedings get tossed to the ground....

They pick the lettuce and the green onions.  They peck off the flowers from my plants as if they're saying, "he loves he he loves me not, he loves me he loves me not...."  This is (WAS) a beautiful rose....
I don't know what to do about these birds of mine.  I suspect they're planting the peanuts I give them, so I have no one to blame but myself!  But some times I think they do it just out of spite, because I didn't feed them when they thought they should be fed.  I guess I'll never know.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Today  is my birthday.... 
I am a "young" 59...
Well, my mind feels like a young 45, but my body...
yea... 59... maybe 60....
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Today my sister also comes to town....!
We'll celebrate my birthday, then tomorrow go on a day cruise to Tracy Arm Fjiord.
Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the death of her husband,
and I'm hoping a day trip will help ease the pain of the day.  

We'll put in a full day of babysitting.  I suspect the grandkids will be on their best behavior with someone new in the house....
Then the birthday celebration.... 
I've never cared for birthdays and probably need to do some deep reflecting on why....
Maybe I don't want to be forgotten.
Or maybe I WAS forgotten once....
I know I'm not keen on a lot of personal attention.
Or picture taking (I take HORRIBLE pictures!), of which there will be some taken.
Maybe I secretly DO want all the attention....
But don't want to be disappointed when people don't show the love....
so I pretend like it doesn't matter to me....
(course, you'd have to LET them know it's your birthday
if you want the attention)
Maybe I've been disappointed in gifts before....
Like the jump rope I got many many years ago from my husband... because he thought I could lose some weight....  (yea.... he's no longer my husband!)

I'm certainly not one of those people who celebrate all week long. 
I dread this day and only wait for it to be over....
But then there's all the love from family and friends,
and it makes it a good day
and I wonder.... why do I hate birthdays so much?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

another year

Gee, can you believe another year come and gone.  It seemed like just yesterday that we were fretting over the end of the world in 2000.  I'm not a big fan of New Year's Eve for a couple reasons, one of them I've just come to realize recently.

Where turning a year older on my birthday doesn't bother me, New Years does for that very reason.  I feel another year has passed me by.  Another year of possibly missed opportunities, un-wise spending, and unrealized dreams.  Another year closer to the unknown.  And this worries me.  Just for the day.  I'll spend the day reflecting on this past year, what went wrong, what I could have done differently or not at all, and how I can make improvements.  I'll set priorities and goals, write them down in my notebook, and work throughout the year to continue achieving them.  And every year I get better at it. 

You see, I'm a list-oriented person.  I make lists.  Long lists.  Short lists.  Lists categorized.  And lists of silliness.  I write it all down in my annual notebook, where I keep all my most important papers, ideas, and plans.  When I travel, I take this notebook with me.  Why?  I have no idea....  Other than it's important to me.  It has my life in it.  Or how I see my life.  Or how I wish my life was. 

So, today, I'll reflect.  Not a lot, but enough to put the past year in perspective and determine whether or not I'm heading in the right direction.  To set new goals, if need be.  In doing so, I'm realistic.  You won't find "lose 50 pounds" because I know, in reality, that for me to lose any weight, I need to work on five pounds at a time.  But I will include "eat healthier" or "cut down on portions" or "cut back on sweets."  Lifestyle changes.

This year I'm including a couple new goals:
  1. Be more frugal.  Really consider whether I need the item I'm about to purchase.
  2. Use cash for weekly grocery shopping.  I've heard this cuts back on your spree spending.
  3. Look at the ingredients list of all things.  If I can't pronounce the ingredients, or know what they are, continue shopping.  We've noticed we shop more in the Organics section now.
  4. To use, reuse, or refuse.  We already recycle as much as our city allows, but there's still so much waste.  I'm going to try to get away from buying products that have so much packaging, or packaging that can't be recycled.  And even if it can be recycled.... maybe I can find another use for it and extend the life a little longer before sending to the dump.  Like mail.  I keep all envelopes that come in the mail now and use them for notes or grocery lists before recycling. 
  5. Pay myself first.  This simple thing.... yet so hard to do....  This year, "pay myself first" is on the top of my list.
So there you have it.  Some of my new goals for 2011.