Monday, April 21, 2008

One Project Nearly Completed

We have lived in our house for 7 years and in those 7 years, well, I have done lots of home improvements myself. It is the little things that get to me. Or maybe it is the little things that I just don't get to.

But this time I was serious about getting this done. PJ has the smallest room in the house. He has 2 80" windows in his room. So that does help some in the size of his room. But still, I needed to do something in that room. To make it more like him.

When I first started thinking about curtains for his room, he was very young. He moved in that room in a crib and is now in bunk beds. And making curtains is not such a chore, it is finding the material and paying for it. And, personally, I really didn't want to have to make something like Nemo, then move to Cars and then move to something more mature. So, I really held off on making anything.

PJ loves the beach and I decided that would be the area that I would hit for him. Now to find the right material that would be perfect for him. And some of that stuff is so expensive that I was being very picky about what I would show to him. Granted it is his room, but it is my money. And considering that Eric's curtains cost me about $35 for his material, for just 1 window, I was very afraid of what PJ would have picked out and how much more it would have costed me. To be honest, I can make the curtains just fine, but if I were to pay $80 in materials for his windows, I would be better off buying something from WalMart. And for that $80 I would get both set of curtains, a comfortor, sham and sheet for his bed. But he decided that he would wait for curtains.

Several weeks ago, someone had told me about a place not far from here that was having a fabric sale. They had a truckload of stuff for $3 and $5 a yard. Perfect! That is what I needed to hear. So, we took off to hopefully find something that would be appropriate for his room. And with a truckload of fabrics, I wasn't leaving there until I found what I was looking for.

With all that fabric, you would think something would pop out for him. He looked and looked. They had so much material for girls, for adults, for teens. But nothing too much for little boys. And this is nothing uncommon for boys. It is quite different shopping for them than it is for girls. So, we looked and looked. I was about to give up. The truck was hot and very full of all different kinds of materials. Loved somethings for me, but I wasn't there for me. Eric gave up and decided he was going to sit in the car and listen to the radio. Here we are looking at everything, touching everything and deciding on what to do in his room. Now, his patience was running very, very low. As was mine. But I was bound and deteremined on not leaving without something.

PJ found something! Oh thank you, he found something. Something really neat too. It was red with boat, palmetto trees, and sea shells on it. Hey, this is perfect. The beach theme priced at $3 a yard. Oh yippee! Now to figure out how much I need and talk to him on exactly what he wanted to have done. So he tells me, "Mommy, I like my morning sun. So, I don't want curtains like Eric's but I don't want them just across the top either." Very good, I know what to do. Shouldn't cost all that much, considering the material was 57" wide. That helps a lot too.

Well, I figured what I would need and started to head to go and pay for it. Then I spotted the same pattern, but in green. PJ's room is green with tan carpeting. This should work. "Oh PJ, do you like the green?" He did, he commented on how it matched his room perfectly. Great! It was $1 a yard and I got the entire roll for $12. It is only costing me $12 to make curtains, pillows and a spread or even a quilt for his room.

Well, now I needed to find the time to measure, cut, iron and pin the curtains. I measured everthing, cut once and then figured out what needed to be done as for across the top and a hem.

My dad took the boys fishing, so I had the entire day to do whatever I wanted to do. And that was to make the curtains for PJ's room. And I did just that. I figured out that an 1" on top and 3" on the bottom would be perfect. And I did all three this way. Got them on the rod, they were tight and I wasn't happy with the valance. So, down they come, after adjusting the rod and getting a support all set up. I wasn't happy about my mistake at all. So, I refigured what the measurements were to be and started all over.

This time I ended up with this:

Much better! Much better! I am so happy with these! Perfect! And now I needed to see if it would be perfect for PJ. Yes, it passed his approval too.

Now, I needed to take out the stitching out of the other set and redo them. I got the stitches out, but I don't have them done yet. Chuck has been home for 7 days and I am ready for him to go back to work, because I need to get stuff done around the inside of the house.

I will have the others done this week, and then I will be painting the rest of his room. I have a lovely sand color for the trim around the doors and the flooring. But I do believe that I will be getting that color red to do around the windows.
PJ is quite tickled with the curtains. I think when I get the room done in the next week or so he will really be happy in his space.

The Joys of Gardening

You may ask, "Patti, why does your garden look like that?" Well, let me tell you why..... We expected a frost one night and another one the following night and to be fully and completely honest with you, I put too much time and too much money in this garden for it to be nipped by the frost.

I knew it was coming. I had been watching the weather intently over the last 2 weeks. Watching and hoping that I wouldn't have to get out there and cover it all up. A sheet wouldn't have worked well enough, so out I go with the mason jars, Easter buckets and whatever else I could find to protect my precious little plants.

It was April 15th and we had lows of 36 and 38. Unreal! I knew it was coming, it is called Dogwood Winter. Once the dogwoods bloom we learn to expect another dip in the temps. There is one more to follow, Blackberry Winter. And I have seen it very, very, very cold during Blackberry Winter. Miserably cold.

So, I planted my tomato plants a little early. The weather was perfect for me to plant all that I wanted to plant. I really got excited when I noticed the beautiful weather. So, I jumped on it and started planting. I then realized that I need to protect what I have out there.

To be honest with you, it wasn't the money aspect of the garden that bothered me. Four plants is only .99 so I can replace that easily. It is the fact that I have worked so hard in the garden since I have gotten them both, that if I lost a plant or 2 that is not a big deal. But considering I planted all of those plants, losing all of them would just be a pain to get back out there and do again. So walking up and down the stairs, getting bricks, finding stuff around the house that would protect the yard, MAY have been worth it, I wasn't so sure about all of that after I got done with it.

So, hopefully that will be the last night that we, wait, I have to do this. Because if I have to go through all of this again, I may let it all go to pot. Ah, I know better, I will go out there, trudge through the grass with my bowls, jars, pots and bricks to protect my veggies.

Oh yeah, PJ pulled a piece of spinach,washed it and then ate it. Loved it too. Nothing like fresh vegatables out of your own garden.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

First time Fishing

One day a few weeks ago my dad had mentioned that he was gonna start fishing. Ok, that is fine with me. Just don’t get me involved in any of it. I don’t care to clean those things. Really I don’t. But then he mentioned that he wanted to take the boys fishing too. Great, you know what that means, I will be cleaning fish. ICK!

He told me that he wanted to go one Friday that I was home with the boys, no can do, we had plans already. Then he mentioned Saturday. That would be fine, I didn’t have much planned for that day. But he changed his mind. Since I was off Monday after Easter he wanted to take them Monday and then again on Thursday.

He came over Thursday afternoon with some things for the boys. A rod and reel for each of them. An early Christmas gift for them. That was fine, I didn’t care. As long as they use them. Because I know Eric, he will start something will a vengeance and then drop it like a hot potato. So, I don’t spend anything up front until I see that he has taken a full interest in it. Then, I will start dropping money in it for him. He has already spotted some rods that he would like to have. BUT, I have to see a full interest in it first, and then I will get what he wants.

On Saturday I called my dad and told him that I wanted to go with them on Monday. A chance to take pictures of the boys first time fishing. Things like that only come once in a lifetime. And I didn’t want to miss out on it.

After shopping for material on Saturday, making the keylime pie and Easter dinner on Sunday, I was zonked. I was so tired that I was falling asleep at 3 Sunday afternoon. I told the boys that I think I will be staying home on Monday. Cut some curtains, clean up the clutter, do some odds and ends and try to relax some too. They weren’t too happy to hear that, but Chuck was gonna be at work early, so this was gonna give me a time to get things done around the house.

Chuck had to be at work at 5 on Monday morning, I rolled over and reset the alarm. I knew my dad was going to be at the house at 8. So, I reset the clock and got up around 7. Got up, got the boys up, made breakfast, and attempted to get the rod and reel set up. Now mind you, I haven’t gone fishing in years. And when I did go, my grandfather had everything set up for me. So, I didn’t know what I was doing. Chuck was too tired to deal with the boys so I ended up setting up the rod and reels wrong.

My dad came over and started to help the boys with the knots and setting up the rods. Well, I mentioned to him that I wasn’t going to go and this is what I get "Ah come on! I have bagels and coffee in the car. We all want you to go." Ok, I went along with them. We drove to where he thought was right, and unpacked the car and started to get everything ready to go. It was snowing! I am fishing in the freaking SNOW! It was cold and I was not very pleased with the way this was going.

PJ’s reel was threaded wrong. So wrong that when I casted, the thing would come undone. And I had to roll it up by hand. Not only that, but there were dead Christmas trees and rocks all around the pier area. And everytime that I would cast out and roll the reel up by hand, I would either get stuck in the trees or the rocks. I had no luck. None at all. I finally had enough and I handed it to PJ. Let him do something. And he did, he got stuck in the rocks.

My dad was having problems casting, Eric was having all kinds of issues too. So we decided it was too cold and it was time to go home. THANK GOD! I couldn’t have been happier, really.

We get home and my dad wanted a piece of pie and some coffee. So, I had to make another pot while he tried to figure out what he was doing wrong. He couldn’t figure it out and I was just too tired to deal with it. He told Eric to go out back and practice casting the line. Now, I can cast on and off with knitting, but I didn’t want to go out there, in the snow, and show them how to do this. My dad took off and went to go see his friend at Bi-Lo. I got there and here are 2 69 year old men in the parking lot of the grocery store discussing how to cast a line. I parked the car and was told how to get the reel off without having to undo everything and how to cast the line. And I got home and figured it all out.

Yippee for me, I guess this is something else that you can add to the list of things that I have learned or learning over the years.

So, smary me, figures all of this out. I head outside and started to cast the line. I did real good until it got stuck in the tree. I had to break the line. Lost the floater and my double barrel holder in the tree. Great! Since I lost the stuff in the tree, I had to go out to the fishing store and buy more. Unreal! Only me.

I got home and Eric showed me how to me how to make the knots and how to put everything on the line. I haven’t been back outside to show PJ what to do. It has been too cold and I am really trying to recover from the 5 days that I was supposed to have off.

They will be going again on Thursday. I am hoping this is something that the boys will enjoy. And if they catch something, then we can freeze what they catch, if it is any good.