Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Beg Your Pardon

I only promised you a rose garden.
We took the kids (kicking a screaming) up to the International Rose Test Garden this afternoon.  The rest of Portland had the same idea as the park was jammed and we had to hike up a hill after parking by the reservoir.

The roses were mostly in full bloom but there were a few beds that look like my roses - leaves but little or no buds yet.  That made me feel a little better.
Nutmeg had fun posing with the flowers
and enjoyed herself more than the boys did.

I always enjoy looking at the roses in the Gold Medal portion of the garden and this year the
Julia Child (2008) was my favorite.
1941's Neville Chamberlain made me snicker,  

I felt it appropriate that none of the blossoms were very lovely
This one had me choked up and then I read the history of the rose and I did cry.

Then we stumbled upon the Holocaust Memorial.  In all of our visits to the Rose Garden we had never known of the existence of this monument.  It was built in 2004 which was after we did our initial and most thorough explorations of Washington Park so I will let the oversight pass.

As you enter the memorial there are bronze sculptures scattered on the pavement, a suitcase, teddy bear, pair of glasses, a book, a baby shoe, a broken violin, and a doll.
When you reach the wall there is some history of the holocaust, memories of a child, and the names of loved ones who perished in the "Shoah."
We were able to explain some to the children what happened and how evil it was and that we have places like these to remember never to let something like that happen again.
It was a special place and I hope to be able to visit again.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Unwind Week

We have been taking it very easy this week in an attempt to relax after the weekend's busy pace.
In the sewing room I am working on a shirtwaist dress made from a lovely taupe and coral vintage sheet.

Tuesday was a hot day, Nutmeg and I played in the hammock because she wanted to "do summery things" with me.

Then we turned on the sprinkler.

Wednesday while we were having our Relief Society History Study Group I looked out the window and saw a ladder and this:

I bought a new shirt, I had it on for less than 15 minutes this morning when I got bleach on it and ruined it.  UGH!

The ranunculus are in full bloom and I am so pleased.  I had planted ranunculus before with NO success. 
 They really came through this year and everyone comments on them.
 That is my blue minivan in the background.  Speaking of my blue minivan, last night I was at Fred Meyer, I parked RIGHT in front of the store at the curb.  When I came out I was opening my Zours and looking at the Cami Secrets I had just purchased,  I saw my van out in the lot and walked over, pushed the button and got in.
As I sat down I noticed something hanging from the rear view mirror which was odd because I never hang things from the rear view mirror, and there was a faint cigarette smoke smell and that was strange because I don't smoke, and then I saw a McDonald's wrapper on the floor and that NEVER happens in my car. Suddenly, I knew. This. Was. Not. My. Van.

I popped out lickety split and looked about frantically for my van - it wasn't in the lot.  Then I remembered, I got the best parking spot at the store, right on the curb.

Why was that Dodge Caravan unlocked?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Where is the "I Know You Well Enough to Hug You" Line?

I hugged an acquaintance today upon hearing some really joyful news. But then as I left the dry cleaner's I realized that I don't know her well enough to be dispensing hugs.  Now its awkward (with me anyway.).  Good thing I don't see her much, hence the possible inappropriateness.  I am just hoping she doesn't think it was weird and just genuine.

In other news the wedding extravaganza went well-ish.  By well-ish I mean most people had a lovely time and things went very smoothly with the exception of my Mother in Law breaking her pelvis.  It happened here at Starlings and while it wasn't my fault at all I still  feel responsible.
 Nutmeg was a darling and dutiful flower girl

 She ran out of petals by the time she got to the tent so she self regulated to one petal at a time.
She was freezing but did her best to keep warm.

And then at the reception she wiped her chocolaty and bacon wrapped scallop hands all over her dress.  I think I handled it very well, which is why I was at the dry cleaner's in the first place.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rest in Peace Sashimi

2 years 3 months
Tears have been shed
You will be missed by all.

I think this time it was my fault.  I cleaned her bowl just hours ago. After 2 years I thought I had the hang of it.

Boys and the Women Who Put Up With Them

We are finishing up the final details before the Wedding of Moose's nephew.  We are hosting the groom's dinner/family reunion on Friday and Nutmeg is the flower girl on Saturday.  The maids arrive in one hour.  The maids!  I wish I had more time to enjoy this moment.

Yesterday, I had all 3 kids with me while running errands (a rare occurrence)  and we stopped at Khol's to get a HAWT skinny tie for Moose. (Dressing him up is SO fun.) The kids were running all over the place, as they are not used to department stores, as I was paying this is what occurred:
I shall used Commander C's words so you can imagine a 11 year old saying this and blushing.
"Boba Fett said to me "Look at this" and ran up to a mannequin and pulled out the shirt and looked down her breast! *BLUSH*"
He still sill can't talk about it without squirming, blushing and giggling.

Later in the parking lot Commander C kept giggling and saying "I can't believe you did that." And Boba Fett was giggling with pride.
 Then I realized that I saw him do it.  I was standing there and watching him.

There isn't any delicate way to put this so here it is.  I spend at LEAST a total of an hour everyday of slapping Moose's hands and trying to get him to STOP doing the same thing.  So much so that when I stood there and watched my 7 year old peek at a mannequin's assets it didn't even register.  Boys looking down girl's shirts in my mind, completely normal.
Until they were talking about it in the parking lot it didn't even register.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Refrigerator Saga: Pt. 2

On Wednesday, My "new" refrigerator arrived. I say "new" because we purchased it at the Sears Outlet.   The tags on the fridge said "New with Cosmetic Damage"  but as I was preparing to put MY food in the fridge  I found food smears, crumbs and hairs inside.
Maybe "new" means something different to Sears?

I called Sears and I was hoppin' mad, mad because we had noticed a little "something" on the inside of the freezer at the store and the salesman assured us that is was probably just dirt from the "testing facility."  He lied to us.  The labels lied to us.  I do NOT tolerate lying. The manager was very understanding and apologetic.  He offered to refund us some money.  I was mollified.
Then I turned to the missing parts.  In the store we noticed 2 rubber gaskets missing from the drawer shelves.  The salesman assured us that these parts could easily be obtained at the Sears Parts store which was just down the road, BUT, this store was closed at 6 pm on a Saturday and just down the road was the complete other side of town for me.  So I planned to make a trip to the store later in the week.  After the refrigerator was filled I called the Sears Parts Store to make sure they had my parts in stock.  Not only did they not have the parts in stock they couldn't even find the parts list for the fridge that I bought.  Not only that but the lady on the phone Did. Not. Care.  She was having a conversation on with someone else while we were on the phone and she made ME get online and start looking for parts.  After about 30 minutes of this I just hung up on her as she was continuing her other conversation.
Then I called Sears.  The central location Sears not the local outlet store or the parts store and the girl was VERY polite but ultimately unhelpful because, as before, she could not  find the parts list for my fridge.  She will get back to me in about 5 business days.
 I spent all of my Wednesday dealing with a fridge that I already spent a week or two buying.
When the Fridge was delivered the delivery man was unable to connect the water to the fridge because "the customer has a leak in the water pipe."  I agreed to let him off the hook because he claimed he could not remedy this situation even though I was led to believe that no matter the condition of our water pipe the delivery man could (pardon the pun) hook us up.
 He left and I called a plumber.  (I love our plumbers, they are top notch.  The dissatisfaction in this post should in no way be attached to the awesomeness of Pro Drain. Oh, did you know I was in a commercial for them?  Check it out and then call them for all your plumbing needs.)  The plumber came on Friday and he just screwed on the valve.  There wasn't a leak, it was just loose.  YUP.  Thanks Sears!  So the PLUMBER hooked me up and then I eagerly attempted to get water from the dispenser.  Nothing.  I looked up the owner's manual online (yeah, the outlet store didn't have a manual either) and did all the trouble shooting and learned that the fridge is indeed getting the water.  The icemaker is even making ice but the dispenser is not dispensing.  When the lever is pressed there isn't even a sound.
So, I called Sears again!  The friendly gentleman at Sears duly read the owner's manual and ran me through all the steps again and made an appointment for the repair man.  He will be here on Tuesday.
What do you want to be that the owner of the hair and food crumbs I found in the fridge had this same problem?

I am so beyond annoyed at this situation.  I have 50+ guests coming THIS FRIDAY!  I should be living my life, cleaning my house, preparing fro guests, serving my neighbors and family not calling Sears all day every day.
At this point I am thinking I would have been better off finding a fridge on Craigslist.  I thought that buying a fridge from Sears would have provided a little less stress but it turns out to be the opposite. We chose this one at Sears because of it's size but reluctantly  as we gave up the color we wanted and the layout we wanted for the correct size and a water dispenser, the water dispenser that does not work.  So, really, we like nothing about this fridge other than the fact that it fits in the kitchen.
I thought that the HARD part was finding a refrigerator that would fit in our little kitchen but still have enough space.  Turns out, that was just the beginning.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Wherein I Nearly Lose My Sight and Preform Electrical Acts of Derring-do

La Keira and I painted the kitchen a lovely shade of grey yesterday.  Things went well and then I spent 5 hours painting the trim "Snowy Pine.'  I finished the last touch ups just as Moose walked in the door.  

Now we are just 2 small armchairs, a rug, a clever side table and a Dala horse away from realizing my decorating vision!

Moose began helping me move the fridge back to it's proper location when SPARK, FLASH, CLICK, Squeal, jump away.

Apparently, when we moved the fridge in the morning we had the power cord was beneath the fridge and we scraped off all of the insulation on the cord so that the copper wire was exposed.  As we were moving it back the exposed, live wire connected with the copper water pipe and Blamo!

We have a "new" refrigerator coming on Wednesday but this old fridge was meant to be my food storage/garage fridge.  I have been waiting a LONG time to have my refrigeration needs met and I was NOT going to let the dream die.

I spent the night worrying over the food in the fridge, whisking my meat supply over the Keira's Garage freezer and waiting for the appliance parts store to open in the morning.

In the morning I learned that the appliance parts store couldn't help me but Home Depot could.  That's correct, I could have solved this problem last night and slept soundly knowing that I wasn't going to lose this month's budgeted food supply.

Moose was still in bed when I left and I said to him "Don't go to work until I get back I will need your help with the fridge."

 I went to Home Depot and got supplies and detailed instructions and came home to find Moose had GONE TO WORK.

"Okay, I can do this myself, This will be a great blog post.  I will even take a before picture."  And I did.
"This is going to be a great post. Look, I even have wire strippers!"

I lined up the tools and supplies
Wire strippers, wire cutters, new cord, wire nuts, electrical tape
See how this is going to be great?
The gross wires coming from the fridge.  There was loads of lint and cat food back there.  I don't have a cat. EEEW!
I sat down, clipped of the cord and began stripping.  This is where it is all Moose's fault because if a strong man had been doing this the tragic event that followed would not have occurred. And then the wire cutters slipped off with all the force I had been applying to the cord and went INTO MY EYEBALL!

This is also where I am glad that I homeschool and that My 11 year old was home to assist me.
I screamed for Commander C while lying on the floor holding my eye and crying because I was A) in PAIN, B) So really mad at Moose and C) utterly defeated.  I just wanted to save the fridge and the food and now I was BLINDED!  He called Moose to let him know that I was dying on the floor and it was all HIS FAULT.  I managed to look out of my one good eye to see blood on my hands, "GREAT, I AM blind!"  Eventually I realized that I was crying and the tears didn't hurt so it might not be SO bad.  Commander C said that it wasn't so I mustered up the guts to look in the mirror.
After a few minutes of crying and a liberal dose of Arnica
It was all purple and bruised but I took some Arnica and in just a few minutes the bruising was all but gone.  My actual eye seems to be un-injured but the eye hurt for a few hours and now if I close my eyelid and touch my eye it still hurts.  I would like to thank my cheek for taking the brunt of the blow in order to save my eye.

I dispatched Commander C to the garage for some SAFETY GOGGLES and went back to work.  That food wasn't keeping itself cold (well actually it was but it can't keep that up forever.)

 Wires were stripped but there was a problem even though Home Depot Electrical Department Man said that they would the wires from the fridge cord did not match the green, white and black wires of the replacement cord.  There was a green cord but the other two wires were no color, just brown like the whole cord.  I called my Brother in law but while I waited for an answer I just guessed and did it.

If I did this wrong and Starlings is in danger, please, let me know.
I plugged it in and the power was on! But the compressor wasn't running and I was a bit worried and just when I was about to despair it kicked on.

I fixed my refrigerator.

Friday, June 03, 2011

June 3, 2011: The Day the Sun Shone

There is sun today.  No clouds, no rain.  The weather men told us this wouldn't happen to until tomorrow!
 Since the sun was out I thought I would take a look at my garden bed in the light to see what had happened in the week of darkness and rain. Sadly all of my very, very tiny (think 1/4") lettuce sprouts have disappeared.  I have. No. Idea. What. Happened.  So, I will have to plant lettuce for the 6th time this spring.

Boba Fett was pretty disappointed this morning when what he thought was a leaf turned out to be a frog and the frog escaped before he could catch it.  He is in the market for a frog so if you manage to catch one you know where to send it.
Pretty Purple Chives
And finally, after 2 years of waiting and searching for lovely mums, today, I am going to Kings Mum's in Oregon City to pick up my beautiful Chrysanthemums!!!

Oh, and I had 4 inches of my hair cut off this morning.  Thanks Melissa! Grace Kelly Hair, here I come!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

hors d'oevres

This is a delicious spread inspired by a tea sandwich I had in Seattle on Bettysday. I call it Bettysday Spread.

I have a recipe for you, but you know how I am, I don't measure when I cook I just cook by feel.  I don't have a photo because I ate all the spread BEFORE I thought to post the recipe.

When I make this I just  carve out a hunk of cream cheese add the ingredients and call it good.  I will attempt to give you some actual measurements.

Bettysday Spread
1 package of Cream Cheese
4 oz crumbled Blue Cheese
1/4 cup Pecans chopped very fine (this might be too much put in as much as you like)
Several dashes of Nutmeg
Sea Salt to taste

Mix together and spread on bread or crackers top with thin slices of apples or use as a dip for fruit.  This goes well with pears and apples and probably would be nice with grapes.

My friend Kristin does not like blue cheese but she loves this.