Saturday, May 16, 2009

Books 21 & 22!

#21: A Good Yarn by Debbie MacomberThis was a great book! I was prompted to get/read this book about a week or so ago when I got an update from Debbie Macomber in the mail about the release of the 4th and latest book in the Blossom Street series. I had read the first one, but that was all. It was a great 'feel good' book and this one lived up to that reputation. Again, the characters consist of women in all stages of their life. I think this is clever because then any woman can relate to at least one of characters, if not more! I enjoyed the sporadic 'appearances' of the other characters from the first book and knowing where they are and how their situations are turning out in the long term. I think I'll definitely be getting the 3rd book in this series and then continuing on to the 4th book!

Book #22: Portrait in Death by JD Robb
I think this is one of my favorites in this series!!! So, the formula still works here, as it has for the whole series: Eve consumed by murder investigation + hunky Irish husband Roarke (grr!) and their crazy insane love = DRAMA!!! But I think this is one of my favorites because we finally see Roarke lose it in this book. He deals with some surprise personal stuff that kinda crops up out of the blue and you really see that wild side of his not just peek through, but come all the way out! Fun read!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Weekend project - Shed

Our shed entryway had these really cool pieces of slate forming a so:

While we loved the slate...we felt this curvy pathway was kinda like the road to nowhere. It so well defined but then it just stopped. There's also the messy grass growing up....which was actually covering a significant amount of some of the stones. We've wondered what to do about it.

Then this weekend while Terry was working in the yard and cutting grass, he peeked under one of the stones and discovered that underneath this beautiful slate, was one BIG MEGA ant nest. We're talking....a complex. Not just any complex, a complex complete with a roof deck (that would be the spillovers coming up between the slate pieces) and love den penthouses (that would be the rocks underneath which we found many many eggs, YUCK!).

Enter the pesticide. I'm all about being earth friendly, but I don't want to be chewed alive by ants. So after an hour reading the backs of pesticide bottles in the home improvement store, we opted for a pesticide which seems like it will work well enough to help out with the ants, but won't harm the grass or wildlife (i.e. cat that frequents our backyard). Terry also decided since we had to pull up all the slate, this was an excellent opportunity for a redesign!!!!

After my weeks of watching HGTV and DIY network, we have learned a few things. Thanks to some episodes of Yard Crashers and Desperate Landscapes, coupled with a little research, we had a strategy of resetting the stones in a way that will (hopefully) minimize grass regrowth and insect burrowing.

First we planned our new design...a little more symetrical and intentionally less defined:

Then we got to work!! Terry dug out the ground a few inches so we could lay drainage gravel, packing sand, and then mini marble chips (white top layer). This is kinda the technique you use when laying a paver walkway or driveway. Then we set the slate in the marble rock bed. After some jumping and wiggling the stones, and wetting them down a few times to help everything pack, we were done!!!
What do you think??

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To all the Mom's out there....

I will be honest, I am just really starting my day. At 11am. This is totally not normal for me, but I started taking Zyrtec last week and while it does my allergies totally wipes me out!

I'm having a fun weekend, but today I'm trying to conquer 'my room' Ugh, you should see it! This is the tiny bedroom that is acting as my closet/office/craft space. I can barely walk or find anything. If you don't hear from me again it's because I've been swallowed by the stuff!! I'm trying to clean out and I'm going to try hard to follow these rules of disengagement from orgjunkie's latest post:

1. If it-the thing, the belief or conviction, the memory, the job, even the person-weighs you down, clogs you up, or just plain makes you feel bad about yourself, throw it out, give it away, sell it, let it go, move on.

2. If it (see above!) just sits there, taking up room and contributing nothing positive to your life, throw it out, give it away, sell it, let it go, move on. If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward. Thowing out what’s negative helps you rediscover what’s positive.

3. Don’t make the decision-whether to toss it or keep it-a hard one. If you have to weigh the pros and cons for too long or agonize about the right thing to do, throw it out.

4. Don’t be afraid. This is your life we’re talking about. The only one you’ve got for sure. You don’t have the time, energy, or room for physical or psychic waste.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Book 20: Divided in Death

I got hooked on the "In Death" series several years ago and read about the first 15 books in order. After that I kinda dropped off it for a while, but reading Remember When last week reminded why I love this series. The main character is homocide cop/detective Eve Dallas. She kicks serious booty. She is married to super-hottie complete with Irish accent, Roarke. They have an interesting relationship, which often adds to the plot line. All of these books are set in the future in New York City, which is also a fun see how JD Robb (Nora Roberts) portrays the future.
Definitely a good read, and I plan to read a few more recent ones in this series!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May Goals

I'm jumping on the goal-posting wagon. I figure this will not only help me remember to blog about things...but remember to do them as well. So here are my goals for this month:

1-Finish Sonny's blanket. This is for a care-package a group of on-line knitters is putting together for blues singer Sonny Rhodes, who is having some serious health issues lately. He is most widely-known for recording the theme song to "Firefly" aka the best show on earth that Fox ruined by screwing up their airing and then cancelled due to bad polling. Said show ironically went on to win awards for its one and only season DVD set and has the hugest cult following ever (really, I'm not bitter).
Sadly, this package has been held up by the recent move. The good news is that the panels for the blanket are all made and just have to be blocked and assembled.

2-Finish my "wrapped in hugs" shawl. Made for a wonderful friend...yet another care package I'll be working on.

3-Organize home improvement receipts and documents. I really want to make some kind of binder for this. Any suggestions for a template or example?

4-Bathroom redo. I need to order a new exhaust fan, otherwise we have everything we need for this and just have to get the time. Weekend Warriors are we!

5-Make shades & tie-backs for dining room windows.

6-Finish painting touchups and trimwork in hallway. Main walls and ceiling are done, just need to do trim and touchup around the ceiling.

7-Finish painting touchups and trimwork in kitchen. More extensive here because of louvered doors in front of laundry closet that need a fresh coat.

8-Start crocheting next baby gift.

I could SO keep going here, but really, who has this much time already?? We'll see at the end of the month how much gets done.

Friday, May 1, 2009


So sorry I have been MIA! I'm not only keeping SO busy with the house, not to mention work has been CRAZY, but my Mom and Uncle drove my husband's car up to Boston from Louisiana this week! They arrived last night and I had the day off today and again on Monday to visit. They love the house and the area so far and we are having a blast! I've hardly had time to check my email lately, so blogging has been a far reach, but I promise to return soon!

In the meantime:
Book 18: Remember When by Nora Roberts/JD Robb - GREAT book! So much fun to read! The first half is a typical Nora Roberts current-day intrigue/romance and the second half is a futuristic murder mystery by her other pen name, JD Robb. The cool thing is that the second book picks up way in the future but with a story that is kind of an extension of the first book. It was super fun to see her take one great plot and play it out multiple ways.

Book 19: Just One Look - another murder/mystery novel that was also very good, especially for a beginning author.

Oh! One more thing!! I got mail from Debbie Macomber's website yesterday! Her new Blossom Street book came out this week and she sent out a coupon, bookmark, calendar stickers, and my fav....a knitting pattern! More to come soon!