Thursday, July 31, 2008

Photos From Our Trip To Mexico

On Tuesday, Michael, Sam, Mr. Snowbird, Noah and I piled into the Camry and headed to the border. Getting into Mexico is a piece of cake. You don't even stop at the border. Getting out is another matter.

This is the Tijuana entry into Mexico.

Look at all the people trying to get out of Mexico. And this is at about 9:00 AM.

Since the road we were to take to Ensenada was closed and the detour signs were practically non-existent, we ended up driving through downtown Tijuana.

Some of the housing around Tijuana is so pitiful. No wonder people are trying to get out of Mexico.

Sam and Mr. Snowbird in Ensenada.

Our first stop was McDonalds. Noah had his meal and then Sam decided maybe he should eat too. Of course we all nibbled on his french fries.

This is a HUGE Mexican flag in the middle of the park down by the docks.

Down by the harbor.

Some of the booths along the harbor front.

We went down this alley leading from the harbor to the main street. Along the way were rows of little restaurants. As we were walking down the alley, each restaurant had a person in the door of the tiny kitchen yelling at us to come in. I didn't look at any menus but I'm sure each one was the same.

There were little food booths on just about every corner. This one had candy. I love candy but I'm not sure I would want to buy this candy!!

We ate real Mexican food in a real Mexican Restaurant. It was kind of neat because it was a covered, glassed in area out on the street. Several of the restaurants have these.

The road from Ensenada to just south of Tijuana is really beautiful. It overlooks the Pacific.

Here we are waiting at the border trying to get across. It took us over an hour in line to get up to the border crossing. Along the way, people are selling everything from Churros to blankets to religious items to huge ceramic turtles. It does tend to make the time go faster. We had no trouble getting through thanks to our passports and Michael's navy doctor insignia on the windshield. It was a fun day although Sam was the only one who came home with any souvenirs.

Long Awaited Photos-Balboa Park Museums

Ok, here are some of the pictures I took at the Air and Space Museum and at the Fleet Children's Science Museum in Balboa Park. This was one of the few trips where the entire family traveled together to one place. It is amazing what it takes to get us all ready to go somewhere!

Here we are in front of Apollo 9 at the Air and Space Museum. Noah wasn't into having his picture taken with the group.

Here are Karen and Noah trying out one of the planes you could get into.

Here is Noah on his own trying to fly.

Sam had to take his turn in a simulator. I think he needs a few more lessons before he goes up for real!

Karen and the little ones watching Sam crash and burn.

After all that flying, we needed to take a little snack break before moving on to the next museum.

The Fleet Children's Science Museum has a great room for the little ones to play and explore in. This is Luka exploring. Bottoms Up anyone?

Here is Ethan doing his exploring and playing.

Luka is our jumper. He jumps everywhere. Here is Sam watching him jump from block to block as Luka counts each block.

There is so much to do in the Science Museum. One of the things that Karen, Sam and Noah all enjoyed was making Shrinky Dinks. You can use #6 plastic boxes to make them--you know--the kind that sandwiches and salads come in? This way, you don't have to pay all that money to buy Shrinky Dinks at the store.

Mr. Snowbird wasn't really into making Shrinky Dinks or counting blocks, so he and I took a brief trip to the Rose Garden across the street. I love roses and yes, I do take time to stop and smell them!

Just one of the many varieties that I smelled.

Here are the kids waiting for Daddy to get the car so we didn't have to walk a long ways. Good ole Daddy!

Here is Ethan sound asleep still clutching his flower. He likes to take time to stop and smell the flowers too. It was a long but fun day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

San Diego-Day 10 & 11

On our final day in San Diego, Karen, Sam and I headed to the USS Midway while Michael and Grandpa stayed home with the kids. We spent about 4 hours on the Midway. Karen and I had been on it before but still found it interesting. Sam loved all of the airplanes and spent what seemed like hours in the gift shop deciding what he wanted to spend his remaining money on.

From there we headed to Sunset Cliffs. These are beautiful sandstone cliffs overlooking the Pacific. We even watched some guys diving off of the cliffs. Not something I want to try anytime soon!!

Then it was home to do laundry, pack, and try to get to bed early since we had to leave for the airport at 4:45 the yesterday morning. Karen took us to the airport. Michael thought we were leaving too early but we had just enough time to check in, go through security, have breakfast and then find our gate. We only sat down for about 10 minutes before they called our flight. The first leg of our journey was long--4 hours--but uneventful. Sam was able to sleep about 2 hours which helped the trip go faster for him. We had a 2 1/2 hour layover in Atlanta before our final leg home. As we got off the plane, they were announcing, on CNN, an earthquake in LA felt in San Diego. So, of course, we called Karen. She said they didn't even feel it. She had been hoping we would have an earthquake when we were there so we could feel one. I wasn't too anxious for that and am glad we didn't have one.

I hate the Atlanta airport. It is soooo crowded. We did find a restaurant that was tucked away and not busy. We then headed to our gate where the door alarm went off. It went on and on and was terribly loud. So loud that we could hardly hear the announcements. They finally got it fixed only to go off again about 5 minutes later! Our plane out of Atlanta pulled away from the gate on time but we had to sit on the tarmac for 50 minutes because of a bad storm just to the north of us. There were three very unhappy babies on our plane which made the wait even longer. Luckily they all fell asleep once we took off. We got into Akron/Canton about 1/2 hour late. Dave and Ann picked us up and we stopped for a bite to eat on the way home to their house. We visited for awhile and Dave downloaded our pictures onto his computer so Sam would have a record of our trip and then we headed to bed--exhausted. We drove on home this morning arriving about noon.

It was a great trip. We so enjoyed spending time with all 4 of our grandsons and Sam had a ball getting re-acquainted with his cousins. Thanks Karen and Michael for all you did. And, yes, I will post some pictures--soon. OK??

PS: If you can't wait for my pictures, head to Karen's Flickr page for all of her pictures. She will tell you they haven't been photoshopped yet so aren't the greatest, but I think they are super.

Monday, July 28, 2008

San Diego-Days 8 & 9

All the days seem to be running together! It's hard to keep track of what days we did what.

On Saturday, Karen, Noah, Sam, Mr. Snowbird and I went on a 2 hour harbor cruise. No, it wasn't a 3 hour cruise and no, we didn't see Gilligan, the Professor or Mary Ann. Just a plain old 2 hour cruise. Very nice and very relaxing. After we got done with the tour, we headed to Old Towne and walked around a bit. Then we met Michael and the twins for dinner in a Mexican restaurant. Great food, great service and great ambiance. Michael and Mr. Snowbird then took all the kids home and Sam, Karen and I walked around the shops some more before heading home.

Yesterday, Karen, Noah, Sam, Mr. Snowbird and I headed to Sea World while Michael napped the twins. After their naps, he joined us. I swear, everyone within a hundred miles of Sea World was there yesterday! Can you say CROWDED. I don't like crowds a whole lot but enjoyed watching the kids have fun. We went to the Pet Show--which I loved. Dogs, cats, and a pig doing some amazing tricks. We watched the little ones play at the Sesame Street Bay of Play while Sam and Michael took off for the Atlantis ride. We then took in the Shamu show. It amazes me what they teach these animals-both in the Pet show and the Shamu show. The trainers all look like they truly love the animals and their jobs. After that, Karen, Noah, Sam, and I went for a ride in the tall observation tower and on the sky lift. Then Michael and Mr. Snowbird took the little ones home while Karen, Sam and I enjoyed the whole rest of the evening kid free. We enjoyed a very nice meal at an outdoor restaurant then K and S rode the river rapids ride--twice. Sam didn't get wet enough the first time! After that, we took in the Dolphin show, the fireworks, the freshwater aquarium, the Moray Eels, and the Manatee Rescue. Three manatees, rescued from Florida, were in a huge tank which we could observe from underground. These guys were all injured by motorboats and Orlando was filled to capacity so Sea World shipped them across the country and have them here now. They were amazing!! I've seen them (or actually their noses) in the wild but had no idea they were as huge as they were. Finally, Sam and Karen wanted to ride the Atlantis ride. So off we went. I wasn't too keen on getting wet at 10:15 at night so I sat and watched. Since it was so late, the wait was very short and they rode on it 4 times. Karen had on a rain poncho but Sam got soaked! Luckily he brought dry clothes with him and changed before we finally headed home about 11:30. We were all tired but had a great day.

Today is our last day and Sam, Karen and I are headed for the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier. More about that next post. We fly out tomorrow morning at 7:00 AM. It has been an exhausting 10 days but we have had a fantastic time. Thanks Karen and Michael for putting up with us and for taking us everywhere. Weee Loooovvvveee Yoouuuuu!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

San Diego-Days 6 & 7

On Thursday AM, Michael and Karen took Noah in for his doctor's checkup while Sam, Grandpa and I stayed with the twins. When they got home, we loaded up the kids and the car and headed for Pacific Beach to walk along the pier and the boardwalk trying to stay out of the way of joggers, bikers, roller bladers etc. Lots and lots of surfers out in the surf also. After letting Noah wade a bit, we all headed to a restaurant for dinner. Then back to the grassy area near the bluffs to let the kids have some playtime before heading home.

Yesterday, Friday, Michael had to go to work so the rest of us headed to the San Diego Zoo. This is a great zoo. We became members last year when we were here. Even though the zoo was mobbed, we saw a lot of it. The highlight for the kids was the Skyfari--The sky ride across the park. Grandpa stayed with the strollers while the rest of us went. Sam, Ethan and I went in one bucket while Karen, Noah and Luka went in the next one. We finally left the zoo about 6:00 with sore feet and tired legs. Well, at least those of us who didn't get to ride in strollers had sore feet and tired legs. The others were just plain tired.

Today, Mr. Snowbird, Karen, Sam, Noah and I are heading for a cruise around the harbor while Daddy stays home with the twins. Good ole daddy!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

San Diego-Day 5

Yesterday, Wednesday, was a rather lazy day. Michael had to work so the rest of us bundled up the kids and walked to the park and the swimming pool. When you have a 5 year old and two 2 year olds, it takes lots of supervision--even in the kiddie pool. The kids all seemed to enjoy splashing, pouring water on each other and on us, and just having fun in the sun.

The rest of the day was spent napping, reading, eating and all that good stuff you do on vacation. About 7:00, Mr. Snowbird, Sam, Karen, and I all jumped in the car and headed to a coffee house called Lestat's. What you do is go into the coffee house, get your coffee, then sit around or stand in line to go into the tiny little theatre next door. At 9:00 the doors to the theatre open and you go in, pay your cover charge, get your hand stamped, then find a table or a seat. We found a good table with a good view of the stage. If you want to go to the bathroom or get another drink, then you have to go back outside and go to the coffee house next door.

The first entertainer was a guy by the name of Matt the Electrician. He sounded a lot like Paul Simon. He has a very dry sense of humor but was very entertaining. Next up was Keaton Simons. He, too, was a singer/songwriter, but played amazing guitar. The last entertainer was Ernie Halter. Like the others, he was also a singer/songwriter. He played piano as well as guitar. I liked him better when he was on the piano. He and Keaton sang a couple of songs together during both of their sets and were very good together.

It was an enjoyable evening but a lot later than we have been used to. I think we are still on Ohio time. Sam got a tad tired and took a brief snooze, but still seemed to have fun. He especially liked the humor of the last guy and would much rather have gone the night before when it was comedy night. Oh well, next time we will know better.

So, since I am writing this on Thursday, I will tell you that we are now off for Pacific Beach. More about that in my next post. So--stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

San Diego-Day 4-South of the Border

We were out the door by 8:00 AM and headed to the border. Karen stayed home with the twins while the rest of us did the touristy thing. Going into Mexico is a piece of cake. No lines, no stopping, no waiting--just "Come on in and spend your money!" Once we crossed the border, we found that the exit we usually take to Ensenada was closed for construction and the detour signs were less than helpful. So, Michael, drove us through the streets of Tijuana looking for our route. After a brief tour of Tijuana, we finally found our road and were on our way south. Parts of Tijuana are gorgeous and modern but the part we traveled through going to Ensenada is poor, dirty, and so sad. The road to Ensenada hugs the coast and is beautiful. There are many, new, modern hotels and resorts being built. And yes, even The Donald, is building one.

We arrived in Ensenada and found a parking space practically in the same place we did when we went down in January. Of course, the first thing we had to do was go to McDonald's so Noah could have breakfast. Mr. Snowbird, Sam and I walked around the block while he ate. When we got back, Sam decided he was hungry too, so then he ate. About 45 minute later, we finally got out of McDonalds. We wandered the shops and went down to the waterfront. We saw the boats, shops, and other sights. Then back up on the main street for more shops and shopping. Sam wanted to pick up some souvenirs for his family. (Shhhh, don't tell them!) By this time, the adults were getting hungry so we found a "real" Mexican restaurant and had real Mexican food. Even after some advice from our son in law, Dr. Mike, about not drinking the water, Mr. Snowbird had to try the margaritas. I, on the other hand, stuck with my usual red adult beverage. But, the food and service were great. More shopping and finally we headed back north.

Remember I said that you have no problem getting into Mexico. It is a bit different getting out. Well, actually a bit different getting into the US. It seems like everyone is trying to get out of Mexico or get in to the US at the same time. There are about 6-8 lanes and all are mobbed. It took us an hour to get up to the border crossing. Of course, there is lots of entertainment along the way with people selling their wares. The popular thing seemed to be giant ceramic turtles. We didn't think it would be to easy getting those home on the plane but we did, however, opt to buy some Churros. Sam had never had one. Oh yum!!

We finally hit the border crossing. We were ready with our passports. The guy saw Michael's Navy insignia (he's not in the Navy but works as a doctor for the Navy), took a brief look at our passports, and we were on our way. We were back home in about 20 minutes. We got home about 6:30. In the past, we have gotten home later. I guess it's because it was mostly girls shopping. When it's boys shopping, it's mostly walking past stores rather than through them. LOL.

Anyway, we had a fun day and Sam is now a "world traveler".

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

San Diego-Day 3

Today was kind of a lazy day. It was Noah's last day of school so Karen and Sam went to school with him to see him "graduate". The kindergarten kids sang songs, showed a video of their year etc. Mr. Snowbird and I stayed home with the twins--who weren't a whole lot of trouble since they watched Dora The Explorer most of the time. Karen, Sam and Noah were home by 10:00 so we decided to go to the mall. Sam wanted to buy a San Diego Chargers or Padres cap. He didn't get one since they all cost $25-$30!! We told him we would hit Walmart later in the week. Surely they would have something cheaper.

We did the California thing and stopped at In n Out Burgers for lunch. I love these burgers! Then it was home for naps etc. Karen's friend, Karin, stopped by for a visit. I hadn't seen her since Karen and Michael's wedding in 2000 so it was nice to see her again.

Chinese for dinner and plans for tomorrow for Mexico. Karen has also posted about our trip on her blog with a link to her Flickr account where she has posted pictures of our trip so far. So, people, if you want pictures, go there.

So, we have to get up early tomorrow so we can get out of here early. Passports are ready, cameras are ready, and we are ready to cross the border.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

San Diego-Days 1 and 2

We were up and out of my son's house by 3:30 AM (geez that is an ungodly hour) and headed to the Akron/Canton airport. We got through security with no problems, stopped and got some coffee and danish for breakfast, then headed to our gate. We started loading about 5:20 and took off before the appointed time of 5:50. We had an uneventful trip to Atlanta landing early. Of course this made our 3 hour layover even longer! I strongly dislike Atlanta's airport! It is the hub for Delta and Air Tran and it was CROWDED. Just trying to get a cup of Starbucks took 1/2 hour! We finally got on our second leg of the journey at 10:30 and were on our way to San Diego arriving at 11:30 their time (2:30 Ohio time). Since we were early there wasn't a gate for us so we had to sit and wait--and wait. Finally we got a gate, got off the plane, found our luggage carousel and proceeded to wait for 1/2 hour before our luggage started coming in! I called Karen who was in the cell phone lot and we finally got to her house about 1:00 SD time. The afternoon was pretty laid back. Since we all were exhausted Mr. Snowbird and I napped. Karen, Sam and Noah went to the park to play for a bit. Pizza for supper, kids to bed, then planning out our next 9 days. It was an early bed time for all of us.

We were up and at 'em early this AM. We decided to go to Balboa Park and hit a couple of museums. So we all piled into the Odessey. We went to the Air and Space Museum first. Very interesting with lots of airplanes and space capsules to look at. Karen, Sam and I went in the "mild" simulator, then Sam went in the "wild" one on his own. After this museum, we headed to the Fleet Science Center where we had lunch then went inside. This is a kid's hands on museum. The twins spent their entire time in the 5 and under area accompanied by an adult or two while Noah and Sam along with an adult or two toured the rest of the museum trying out all of the fun stuff. Mr. Snowbird was smart. He took a book and spent the entire time outside reading and enjoying the fountain, the entertainers and the ambience. He and I did slip across the street for a little while to wander through the rose garden.

We finally left about 3:30. Luka was asleep before we left the parking lot. Ethan wasn't too far behind. When we got home all three kids went to their rooms for a nap. Ethan, however, decided his 10 minutes in the car was enough. It is now almost dinner time. We probably will all fall into bed exhausted again tonight. But it was a fun day.

Tomorrow is Noah's last day of school. They have year round school out here. Karen and Sam will go to school with him for last day activities. We may return to Balboa Park to go to the Sports Museum in the afternoon. On Tuesday, Michael, Sam, Noah, Mr. Snowbird and I will all head to Ensenada, Mexico while Karen stays home with the little ones.

Sorry, no pictures. You will have to wait for those.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Remodeling-Day 4 and We Are Out of Here!

Well, it is lunch time and Brandon has painted the ceiling. He is at lunch now. When he comes back, he has to repaint the walls near the ceiling where he got white ceiling paint on it. I suppose then he will have to repaint the ceiling where he got green paint--and on and on and on. LOL.

Mr. Snowbird has decided that he wants them to finish the bedroom while we are gone. Granted, there is no furniture or carpeting in there that they can ruin but the ceiling guys haven't finished the ceiling yet so that has to be done first.

Anyway, we fly to San Diego from Akron/Canton airport tomorrow morning at 5:50 AM. We fly to Atlanta where we have a 3 hour lay over. Ugh. We are taking our oldest grandson with us so he can get reacquaintedwith his cousins. It's been almost two years since they've seen each other. I know Noah remembers Sam but I also know that Ethan and Luka have no idea who he is. I just hope they remember me. It's been 6 months since we've seen each other. I hope to be blogging while we are there but I probably won't have any pictures. We'll see. Anyway, that is it from here.

Update at 2:45. The laundry room is done--finally. And I have to give the kid props. Even with all the problems, it turned out pretty darn good. So, one room down and 3 to go! Well, four if you count the trim in the upstairs bathroom.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Remodeling-Day 3

The plasterboard guys showed up at 8:00 and spent about 10 or 15 minutes doing something. Don't know what because it doesn't look any different. Then left announcing that they would be back tomorrow.

Brandon showed up at 9:00 and said his dad wouldn't be there today or tomorrow. Still meeting with insurance adjustors on some major jobs he has. I have to assume that these are homes that were damaged in last August's flood. Many homes have either been torn down or need major renovation. Anyway, back to our major renovation! Mr. Snowbird talked to Brandon about his less than stellar job yesterday and he agreed. So, he spent the ENTIRE day painting the room and the tiny connecting 1/2 bath again. He came to me at one point and asked if we really needed the shutters on the window because it was very hard to paint. I told him that yes, I needed them and to do the best he could! He left about 3:30 saying he would be back tomorrow to do the ceiling. Mr. Snowbird and I agreed that we probably would have done the ceiling first so that it doesn't drip all over the new paint job but hey--he's the professional! I have to admit, though, the paint job looks much better today than it did yesterday. I was able to get things back in the cupboard but still have to wait to put other stuff back until the ceiling is done.

It is very difficult to tell what color this actually is. It is a yellowish green I guess. Not a whole lot different but not nearly as bright!

These are the shutters that Brandon wanted me to get rid of.

We did talk them into delaying any further indoor work until we get back from San Diego. Yay!! They will, however, put the new door and windows in the barn, install the new wrought iron railings on the porch and fix the eaves trough which is leaking like a sieve.

So, there will be work done tomorrow but I don't know how much. But at least I can go on vacation and not have to worry about what is going on in my house. Now the worry will be--when will they be able to get back to work after our vacation!

Remodeling-Day 2-Part 2

I swore last spring I would never go through this again--and here we are are once more! Remember Bob the Blind Guy last spring? Well, this time we have Bob the Absent Guy. He showed up for all of about 10 minutes today I think. Since they had to patch a crack in the living room ceiling and the ceiling has a swirl pattern on it, he tried to duplicate the pattern. He did a great job of duplicating it. I just wish he had used a ground cloth when he did it! He took a wet sponge and wet the plaster patch, then swirled it. Yeah, it worked great--but--it also dripped all over the floor, all over the walls and all over my gold chair. And, either he didn't notice, or didn't want to, but he didn't clean it up! After he left, I noticed it and quickly got a Mr. Clean sponge and cleaned it as best I could. Grrrr. And he has to do the same thing in the computer room tomorrow. Believe me, we will suggest that he use a ground cloth!

Then, Brandon, sweet boy that he is, painted the laundry room today. Well, lets say he tried to. When he left he said he had to get another quart of paint to finish up but the inside of the cupboards, the shelves, and the louvered doors were done and I could put stuff back in them. So about an hour later, I went to put stuff in and noticed the lousy paint job!! The ends of the shelves were painted, the louvers look horrible and even the walls where he used a roller weren't totally covered. It will take more than a quart to fix it, believe me.

So, Mr. Snowbird is planning on having a talk with them tomorrow. I am so afraid to leave on vacation and let them finish up on their own. If this is the kind of work they do when we are here, can you imagine what will go on when we aren't here??

Anyway, more of my woes tomorrow, I'm sure.

Oh, and Tink, thanks for the suggestion of having an adult beverage. Even though I've been on a diet and avoiding that type of beverage, believe me, today I had one!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Remodeling-Day 2

Well, actually this is Day 3 but since Brandon was only here for about an hour yesterday applying another coat of plaster to the cracks, I won't count that.

The day started with Mr. Snowbird bouncing me out of bed at 7:45. The guys were here already!! What happened to 9:00?? Anyway, when I opened my door there were three guys moving furniture out of the other bedroom. As I was walking out of my room, they practically ran me over hauling stuff into it.

Sitting on our front porch were four 6x12 slabs of plasterboard. They looked at the board and then looked at the stairway and decided there was noooo way that those boards were going to go up that stairway. So, they had to cut them in half and it was still a chore.

Downstairs, Brandon was sanding all of the plaster patches. There is now an inch of plaster dust all over the house, I swear. He asked if we had picked out our colors--to which I replied "yup". So we went over what we needed in what room. We added the 1/2 bath and hall closet onto the list of things to be painted. The ceiling in the closet is cracked but we opted not to fix it as that would take another 2 days! Anyway, Brandon says, "Gee, I'm not very good at this. How much paint do you think I will need???" Ok, I'll give the kid some slack here. He is only 21 and I'm sure Dad has done most of the paint buying. So, we figured out together what it might take.

As Brandon was heading out the door, he said they we needed to get all of my collectables out of the living room since they would start painting in there. So all the stuff that had been moved from one end of the living room to the other now had to go to the family room. Plus, my antique cabinet (which belonged to my g.g.grandfather who died in 1854) had to be emptied of its contents as well as the other cabinet containing the rest of my Hummel collection. So, even before my first cup of coffee, I was hauling stuff from one room to another. (Geez, why do I have so much stuff??) And of course since we decided at the last minute to paint the closet, all of that stuff had to come out too. So, now there is barely room to sit, much less walk, in the family room.

Just some of my Hummels.

My great great grandfather's cabinet. I LOVE this thing!

This is all the stuff hauled from the living room and closet into the family room.

Upstairs, the guys have run out of plaster board and need to go get more. Once they get back and have that installed, then comes the job of plastering or filling the cracks between the plasterboard or whatever they need to do on the ceiling.

The bedroom before major reconstruction begins.

Bob, our contractor, who was at a funeral yesterday showed up at 10:00. He had been waiting for his insurance adjuster to come to his house for something. They were late so he came over here but got a call from them and had to leave again. Argggg! All this and it is only 10:30.

So, Brandon gets back with the paint. I forgot that since they were painting the laundry room and bathroom, EVERYTHING had to be moved out of the cupboards and cabinets in there! Wanna see what my family room looks like now?? Well here it is!


So, everyone is busy now working in the bedroom and in the laundry room. Brandon is painting the laundry room and it does look nice. I sure hope the people who buy this place eventually like it too!!!

Anyway, more later as the day progresses. It looks like they might even get to the living room today. How about that?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-Colors of Yellowstone

We have been to Yellowstone a couple of times and I am always awed by the colors. Here are some of those colors.

I know you are all busy checking out everyone's Wordless Wednesday but take the time to bookmark me and drop back to check out my blog. I am a retired Special Ed teacher who now spends most of her time on Sanibel Island, Florida volunteering for a Wildlife hospital rescuing and rehabbing wildlife. I even dumpster dive for injured Raccoons!! I am also the proud grandma of 5 wonderful grandkids and brag about them often!! I also have a blog called Branches and Roots where I talk about genealogy and my ancestors. OK, enough about me. Back to Wordless Wednesday.

Enjoy more Wordless Wednesdays at Wordless Wednesday and 5 Minutes for Mom

Ruby Tuesday--More Elmo

Continuing the theme started last week with Elmo. This is our oldest grandson, Sam, when he was just tiny. We lovingly called this Elmo, Big A## Elmo.

I know you are all busy checking out everyone's Ruby Tuesday but take the time to bookmark me and drop back to check out my blog. I am a retired Special Ed teacher who now spends most of her time on Sanibel Island, Florida volunteering for a Wildlife hospital rescuing and rehabbing wildlife. I even dumpster dive for injured Raccoons!! I am also the proud grandma of 5 wonderful grandkids and brag about them often!! I also have a blog called Branches and Roots where I talk about genealogy and my ancestors. OK, enough about me. So if you really want to see red go to Work of the Poet.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Remodeling-Day 1

At 9:00 on the dot, Bob and his son, Brandon, pulled up in front with a trailer. After some discussion, and moving our car, they moved the trailer to the back yard where it will stay until the end. Ron showed Brandon through the house and told him what needed to be done. They were going to put the windows in the barn today but apparently Ron's significant other had a death in the family so he had to spend time with her. Brandon stayed and patched the cracks in the living room, laundry room, and computer room ceiling. This, of course, entailed moving furniture in the living room so I had to empty my cabinets of my Hummel collection so they could be moved away from the walls. Right now, everything is in the other half of the living room stuffed in corners, under a cabinet etc. Of course all that will have to be moved when they start painting. Arrrggg!

This is the wall behind the entertaiment center. These weren't wide cracks but did stretch across the whole wall.

This is the fireplace crack. Brandon found that the whole wall behind the plaster was made of brick. Apparently those bricks are settling a bit and that is what is probably causing the cracks. I just hope that this patch job will work!

This is some of the stuff we hauled from one side of the room to the other.

This is the rest of the stuff. Behind the speakers and under the cabinet are about half of my Hummels. As I said, when they begin painting, those will all have to be moved again.

While Brandon was patching, Mr. Snowbird and I went out to Lowes to pick up some paint samples. I had no idea how hard this was going to be!! I know what I would like but it seems ridiculous to have to pick out paint for someone who may or may not like it 3 or 4 years from now!! So, we came home with what seemed like hundreds of paint chips. My two favorite names were "Sand Between Your Toes" and "Sanibel Grey". Can you believe it?? And guess what, Mr. Snowbird chose Sand Between Your Toes for his bedroom. It is a beige but a tad darker. Next I had to pick something for the living room walls and trim and for the laundry room. I love the yellow in the laundry room but it is a bit bright. So, after looking and looking and looking, I chose "Homestead Resort Parlor Sage", a big name for a greenish color. It is light, airy and I think will go good in there. Then on the the living room. Ugh!. I finally decided on Coastal Dune Grass. It is kind of a greenish, greyish, beige. I think what won us over what that this chip had a couple of accent colors on it and one was the same red that is in the wallpaper. I think it will look ok. I hope!!

Sand Between Your Toes and Sanibel Grey. Would I like about a thing like that??

We will leave the carpet in for now and will decide later what to do. More carpet or hardwood floors. We also have to deal with the kitchen but will wait until we get back from San Diego. Bob said they hoped to be done by Friday but I don't see how. So we gave them a key to the house and they can work while we are gone. Meaning it may be a big surprise when we get back.

Somewhere in this pile of colors are the three we picked.

Brandon said he would come back tomorrow and put another coat of patch on the cracks. Wednesday, a crew is coming in to put plaster board on the bedroom ceiling. Where we go from there, I don't know. All I know is that there is NO WAY they will be done before we head to San Diego. But--at least they have started. More tomorrow.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

And So It Begins

We had thought that the contractor was busy until August--which was fine since we are leaving for San Diego on the 19th and won't be back home until the 30th. Then we are taking off a couple of days later for the weekend. (Highland Games in Detroit). But, he called yesterday and said he was starting tomorrow!!! He promised he would be done by Friday. I hope he has a BIG crew! So, I guess I will be trying to get ready to go on vacation with madness going on around me.

I appreciated everyone's comments on the post before this one offering up advice about what we should do. I didn't mention our family room which is also wallpapered. The paper is starting to come off so I think we need to address that too. Right now, we are going to do what I had mentioned before--living room, laundry room, bedrooms, trim etc. But, we are hoping we can get this guy back in August and attack the kitchen, family room and possibly get rid of the red carpet. Mariby had suggested that we re-finished our hardwood floors. Mr. Snowbird was very receptive to that idea. It would mean getting some rugs though. I go barefoot all the time and I'm not sure my tootsies will welcome a hard floor instead of fluffy carpeting.

I've also been on the computer practically 24 hours a day for the last 3 days. I have been putting my family trees on I have done my dad's line--which goes back forever, Mr. Snowbirds natural father's line, and his natural mother's line. Next I have to do his adoptive line as well as my mother's line. The last one will take forever as I swear I have practically gotten a couple of her lines back to Adam and Eve!!! It has taken a lot of time but I'm really enjoying doing it. You can post pictures and everything.

Anyway, hopefully I can post some pictures of our re-modeling and hopefully it won't be nearly as traumatic as the Florida Room remodel was. Wish us luck.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Here We Go Again!!!

Many of you will remember my posts from last winter when we were going through remodeling woes at our place on Sanibel. Well, for a litany of reasons, we are going through it again--in our Findlay home. HELP!!!

And what might those reasons be you ask--you did ask didn't you? Well, here you go:
#1. Although we have no plans to sell our home anytime soon, there will come a day.
#2. We live in a lovely old 100+ home which has decided to start "settling" again. And so, we have developed cracks--big cracks in some places. We used to have a quarry nearby and they would often blast. If that were the case I could understand the cracks but why does a home this old start to shift?
#3. We haven't remodeled since 1978 and even though we like it, I'm afraid that anyone looking to buy is going to run screaming for the hills--although Mr. Snowbird would argue with me about people not liking it.

So, we contacted a contractor--or contracted a contactor--whichever. He has given us a quote and may be able to begin work on Monday. Of course, we are leaving for San Diego on Saturday so this could present problems! But, we'll face that hurdle when we get there. We are having the laundry room cracks fixed and the room painted--a neutral color. He doesn't like our yellow. We are having the cracks fixed on the living room walls and ceiling and the room painted. We are having the woodwork painted in my bedroom and the ceiling cracks fixed and painted in the computer room. And, the big job will be the master bedroom which has been "nude" since Mr. Snowbird took the wallpaper off years ago and never got around to painting it. We also have to have a new ceiling in there. And of course carpet. As I said, HELP!!
Oh, and did I mention new windows and door in the barn and new cement steps and partial sidewalk out the back door? And the contractor suggested new counter tops, stove and dishwasher in the kitchen. We're still mulling that one over.

This is a crack that has formed above our fireplace. There is another wicked one below the mantle. I just hope the whole chimney doesn't come tumbling down.

This is what happens when you remove a stick down cat bed from a window sill. Of course paint is chipping in practically every other room too!

This is the color of one end of the living room now. That same color is on the woodwork in the other half of the room and extends all the way up the stairway and onto the woodwork in the upstairs hallway. So, the contractor is suggesting we repaint the living room--well, we have to after the massive fireplace crack is fixed. And in painting, then it has to go all the way up the stairs to the hallway, right?

Ok, I told you we hadn't remodeled since 1978! And it's no secret that I love red! But--I just don't think others feel the same way--but can you believe it--the contractor thinks the wallpaper and carpet are ok. So, that is one less thing, at least for now, that we have to deal with.

I love my cheery, yellow laundry room. If you have to spend time in a laundry room, it should be cheery, right? But, the contractor doesn't think it will sell. Sooo, bye bye cheery yellow, hello dull beige.

And here is our outdated kitchen. I happen to like it and thought it would be ok. Sure, we need a new stove and dishwasher to go with the new black disposal and fridge but hey. But, the contractor cringed when he saw the orange. I guess it does look a bit like halloween now that I look at it.

So, that is that. I'm sure you will hear a lot more moaning and groaning from me over the next few weeks as we live with contractors. Poor Bill, who lives with us, works nights and sleeps days. We have decided that the best thing for him to do is move a mattress to the basement where he can get some semblance of rest. Anyway, stay tuned for the latest in Remodeling Madness.