November 12, 2006


I love Leavenworth, Kansas!


I think I have mentioned before that Leavenworth has a lot of parades. The biggest and best parade of all is the Veterans' Day Parade.

Yesterday, John and the Vickers were in the parade with the Rotary float. He has some great pictures that you should most definitely take a look at.

Posted by Beth at 10:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 05, 2006


Still remodeling


Okay, so the kitchen floor, walls, crown molding, baseboards and quarter round have been replaced. I bought a pot rack to hang on the wall, and John felt that the black wrought iron would be too dark, so I spray painted it navy blue, and then I stenciled some designs and dry brushed it. It looks very unique now - very folk arty, and as soon as John hangs it on the wall, I'll take a picture.

Anyway, we were both in the kitchen this morning, and John had finished painting a small curio box for me and hung it up. He suggested that perhaps we should paint more of the kitchen red (parts of the cabinets). I had to laugh, because I had been thinking that would unify everything a lot more, so I guess I'll go to Home Depot and get another gallon of Cherry Cobler Red and mask off the molding and other parts we don't want to paint, and this time I'll use a *dark* base coat in hopes that I won't have to put coats on it.

I have been really focused on work and on the house, so I have not really been blogging much at all. I have been IM'ing and emailing, but that's about it.

So, Tregonese - please send me the link to that quiz you mentioned. And yes, I'm not quite normal, but who it?!

Okay, back to work now.

Posted by Beth at 08:43 AM

May 27, 2006


More on Home Improvements


Finally. John and I have finished the Crown Moulding, the Baseboards, the 1/4 round that goes on the baseboards and I had John remove the door between the kitchen and the front hall.

It looks pretty cool.

Now . . . to clean up the mess of building stuff and to commence with decorating!!
Oh, and I decided that I'm going to redo the backsplash with Mexican Talavera tiles. Color, color color!!!

I love it!

I love John!

As soon as I get everything dusted and clean, I'll take pictures and post before and after - but don't forget that I still have to do something with the backsplash and the windows.

Posted by Beth at 05:35 PM

May 20, 2006


Home Improvements


Well, I'm home until tomorrow at noon. The prednisone has gotten rid of most of my hives and rashes, but it makes me feel icky.
Today, I am cutting and placing all the baseboards for the kitchen - John and I bought a cool little air compressor with a brad gun, so I need to figure out how to use it.

So far, I have cut all the baseboards with my compound miter saw - what a handy piece of machinery that is!

It will get a lot more difficult to figure out how to cut the crown mouldings. Then, when John gets home after doing all sorts of stuff for the Heart Walk (John is ever so much more charitable than I am!), I hope that he can deal with the brad (is that what they are called? Little nails - like finishing nails, really) gun.

Posted by Beth at 12:44 PM

May 14, 2006


On Do It Yourself Remodeling


I have learned a few things about DIY Projects after putting in my new laminate flooring in the kitchen.

1. It will take 3 times longer to finish than you plan for.

2. There is scope creep in Home Improvements - you take out a nasty floor, and realize that it is a perfect time to paint the walls. Then you prep the walls and pick a daring paint and then . . . it takes 4 coats of paint to cover!

3. Every time you think things are going well, you find something awful that has to be repaired before you go on.

4. You will discover your own way of doing things. My Dupont Real Touch laminate flooring has instructions that make it seem so easy. And really, after you have laid about 200 square feet, it does get easy, but only because I found that I can snap the boards in much easier by laying on the floor, grabbing the plank at the proper angle and doing a pull up using all your body weight on the plank - and it snaps right in. Looks pretty funny, but it works.

5. You will spend about twice what you figured on. If you are lucky, like I was, Home Depot will have your stuff on sale for 20 percent off within 30 days after you bought it - They gave me back the difference when I went there and asked.

6. Buy the expensive tools. They are so much better that they make your life much easier.

7. I'm pretty sure that only one member of a married couple can work on such a product, otherwise, disharmony in the home will reign.

8. The cats and dogs will be very distressed when you change things around.

9. By the time you finish a project, you know you are an expert - but you might not do the same type of thing for years again!

Posted by Beth at 08:36 PM

April 30, 2006


workity work work


Well, finally the painting is done. 4 fricking coats of paint!
Seems a bit much, but I guess red is one of those colors. Now, for the scary part - the floor . . .

Hosting provided by FotoTime


Destruction Construction update here.

Posted by Beth at 11:53 AM

March 11, 2006


Oh, I got a helper!


As I was taking a break from my yardly duties, the doorbell rang. A young man with Ipod asked if he could rake my yard.

I jumped at the chance. I went out and helped for as long as I could, but Andre' was way ahead of me. I'm paying him $50 bucks to rake the leaves and put them in leaf bags, and it is worth every damn penny.

I hope he shows up from time to time when I am working in the yard. It's nice to have such a polite young boy working with me. And even nicer when I'm pooped and I can leave it up to him to finish the job.

YAY!!

Posted by Beth at 04:10 PM

February 25, 2006


Oh boy


So much to do, as always. The bad thing about traveling is having to spend home time trying to get the house in order and laundry and stuff like that.

ick.

Posted by Beth at 09:49 AM

February 11, 2006


I love Saturdays like this


Today, we had a very Red-State kinda day.

First, we stopped at Horse Country, our local feedstore/tack shop to get some Purina Equine Senior Horse Chow and some nice pine bedding for the horses. Then we drove over to the Ft. Leavenworth stable to muck out our horses' stalls. It was snowing, and when I took Petey and Willie out to the paddock so we could clean up after them, they snorted and rolled in the snow and mud. Lovely - they are a mess now!

Then we decided to go to Waffle House for a very late breakfast, well, maybe more of a lunch (I made some coffee this morning, early, but didn't feel like cooking breakfast).

After that, we drove up to St. Joseph, Missouri and joined an indoor shooting range. A year long membership is all of $20 a person, plus $9 a day of shooting. And of course, we stayed to do some shooting.

I have only shot a handgun once before, and I really want to learn, so John taught me how to load and shoot an Ingles Hipower 9mm.

When we first got there, it was really cold, so I kept my coat on until the room warmed up.
SWWBO Loading the Inglis Hi-Power

At first I was pretty nervous, I have some problems with getting used to the recoil, and my aim can definitely use improvement. It's so much easier to aim with a rifle!

SWWBO shooting the Inglis Hi-Power - note the ejecting casing.


But in the end, I did manage to hit the target every time, just not in the center :)

But I think that I'd still damage an intruder pretty seriously!

SWWBO makes her day!

Update - Mr. Completely linked to me here.

I have turned off trackbacks, but if anyone links to me, let me know, and I'll put the link in the post!

You can read John's side of the story here.

Posted by Beth at 06:22 PM

November 12, 2005


Leafy leafy leafy


Well, Fall has fallen here in Leavenworth - and all within about 5 days. We have leaves in our front yard that are already about 15 inches deep. We love our trees, indeed we do. But ... this time of year, they make quite the mess. And what is even worse is that all the trees in the entire neighborhood are apparently aiming at my front yard.

I started to rake, but it is so windy today that I was getting nowhere. Besides, I fly to D.C. tomorrow and won't be back until next Friday - maybe by then the Leaf Fairy will come and clean up the yard.

I have not been a total slug, though. I filled my 5 birdfeeders and I've put away clothes. But, I should be doing a bit more. So I'll go now, and attempt to assuage my very Catholic guilt for having a messy house!


Posted by Beth at 02:22 PM

November 06, 2005


Crafty suggestions needed


Okay, my crafty friends - what do I do with these Holy Cards that belonged to my Grandmother? They are all over 100 years old, and they are in great condition, even after being stuffed in a cardboard box for years.

I scanned them and you can see them in the extended entry.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Posted by Beth at 08:45 AM

July 15, 2005


I have to blog about this before John does!


I went to the eviiiillllll Wal Mart this morning. I needed to pick up some storage boxes and a couple of new pillows and a cordless drill.

So, I found a Black and Decker 12 Volt Cordless Drill for about $39.00 and I bought it.

It had a really tough thing keeping the handles shut that I had to cut open - the only thing I had handy was a nail clipper. But it worked. I opened the case that the drill came in and put the nail clipper down (in the case, I was not paying attention).

I picked up the charger and the nail clipper had somehow managed to get itself around the cord to the charger of the 'cordless' drill.

I picked it up and for some unknown reason, I clamped down on the handles.

Of course, now the cordless drill now has a cordless battery charger.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

I figure the best I can do is go and buy a different black and decker 12 volt cordless tool and let John open it - then we will have one charger that will work for both.

Damn. damn. damn.

Posted by Beth at 03:13 PM


House work


John and I have been sleeping on a waterbed since we met. I have been thinking it's high time we got rid of it and got a nice, real bed. It takes me years to make a decision like that, but I finally decided a few weeks ago that I want a new bed. The waterbed's heater broke some months ago, and as a result, I have been sleeping on top of a pile of blankets to keep from freezing, while John, of course, loved the cold and slept under the blankets.

Not conducive to snuggling and stuff, if you get my drift.

Last weekend, I decided that this weekend we would get a new bed. But then yesterday, I thought I'd check out our local furniture store to see what they had.

The nice thing about a local store is that they will deliver the same day.

Anyway, I drained the waterbed. The mattress, box springs and frame were delivered. After going out to dinner and visiting Bed Bath and Beyond for proper sheets and bedding, and much fussing about taking the old waterbed apart, we have a new bed.

When did they make beds so high? When I sit on the side, my feet don't even touch the ground!

Posted by Beth at 09:35 AM

June 12, 2005


It's tons of laundry day!


I really hate doing laundry. As a result, both John and I have more sets of underwear and socks and outer clothing than some small countries.

That allows me to avoid laundry for sometimes several weeks at a time. Eventually, though, it's time to pay the piper, and about 10 baskets of laundry need to be washed. Now.

So, I'll be stumbling up and down the stairs with overloaded laundry baskets for several hours. Then I have to pack of said laundry and get in a plane to fly to Philadelphia (yes, I'm going to make it there this week, I'm not sick and I have knocked on wood a zillion times.) Won't get in until nearly midnight, but I will be contacting ALa to see if I can meet her and Tesco some evening this week.

Posted by Beth at 11:08 AM

December 19, 2004


This weekend is so flying by!


We attended a Christmas Party (yeah, yeah, they called it a fricking 'holiday party') on Friday night and another one last night. The first was at the Marriott - very nice - open bar, wonderful food and a live band. John and I slept until nearly 11:00 am yesterday morning, and didn't do much until we had to go to an earlier party last night . It was casual and more fun, I think, then the fancy schmancy party on Friday.

Neither of us are moving too quickly this morning. I have managed to send out emails to the people asking if they would like to host the Carnival of the Recipes in the next few months, and I've been busy filling in all those dates for them.

While I think about that, I do want to thank everyone who sends in recipes to recipe.carnival (at) gmail.com and those wonderful people who have hosted the carnival - it's worked out way better then I ever expected it to! I hope it continues to be so popular.

It's very cold today - it was 9 degrees at 9:00 am. The birds are really eating up the sunflower seeds I have out in the feeders, and this morning, I've had more different types of birds than every before. House finches, cardinals, sparrows, woodpeckers, chickadees, blue jays and even a couple of ugly grackles, but hey, they have to eat too! I'll have to get dressed sooner or later and refill the biggest feeder, it looks pretty empty from the window.

The cats love the bird feeders. They can sit by the window for hours on end watching the birds on the feeders. They get especially excited when a squirrel manages to hang from his hind legs and reach down to a small feeder that is very close to the window. I don't think they like squirrels.

We are going to try to catch a movie today, if we ever get off our buttocks! We have decided on A Series of Unfortunate Events. It sure looks good, so here's hoping!

I suppose I should move my sluggish body around and bathe and dress and all that stuff. See y'all later.


Posted by Beth at 10:43 AM

November 25, 2004


Happy Thanksgiving


John said it all for both of us.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Posted by Beth at 12:57 PM

November 20, 2004


More stories


When I was in high school, our next door neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Steele.
Mr. Steele was actually a tugboat captain on the Mississippi. They had a son, David, who was in college, and something of a long haired hippy freak back in the late 60's, early 70's. David had a waterbed. The first waterbed in our neighborhood. All of us kids went over to see it. David didn't have a frame for his waterbed - or a heater. I'm not sure they even made those back then - and it was a big rubber thing full of water that apparently seeked the lowest part of the house, for it was in the Steele's basement.

The Steeles had a dog named Falstaff - a beautiful dog - must have been a good part border collie. They named their dog Falstaff in honor of my dad, who was a VP at Falstaff.

Blitzen loved the Steeles, as did our entire family. We all spent a lot time at their house or ours. Those were happy times. If Blitzen was not at home, he was over at the Steeles, watching TV with Falstaff and Mr. Steele (he worked something like 30 days on, 30 days off).

Every Saturday night, Daddy cooked steaks out on the grill - t-bone steaks. Blitzen and Falstaff conspired together to steal one of those steaks every Saturday. Falstaff, being the larger dog, could jump up, and while still in midair, snitch a steak. He would then share it with Blitzen.

Boy, did my dad get mad at those two dogs. My mom, Mrs. Steele, Mr. Steele, my sister and I would laugh and laugh and laugh because Daddy would chase those two dogs around our yard with the barbecue tongs in his hands. He never caught them. Eventually, he just cooked the two dogs their own steak - but *not* a t-bone!

Posted by Beth at 06:40 PM

November 19, 2004


Crazy day already


I woke up at 3:00 am because Houdini's bladder was causing him to jump up and down like a cartoon dog. When I returned to bed after letting the little bugger and Shadow out to pee, I had a hard time falling back to sleep.

Eventually, I did sleep - only with weird scary dreams of ghosts looking at me in the mirror instead of myself. I had dreams of water pipes shooting water into the bedroom and not being able to stop the water, even after turning off the water main. I had dreams of a little girl being kind of mean to our 'special' (somewhat retarded) cat, Orphan Annie - I had to rescue Annie from a tree this little girl was trying to drop her from.

Finally, I woke up enough to snuggle next to John. That always makes me feel better!

Needless to say, we got out of bed late. Between us, we had about 150 comment spams that I had to despam. I'm still in my robe, and I should be walking out the door to work about now.

Oh well. I'll get there. Thank goodness I don't have a time card to punch!

Posted by Beth at 07:48 AM

November 14, 2004


I love weekends!


Yesterday, John and I went horseback riding together. I was a whiney scaredy cat because I rode Petey, the sometimes bucking bronco, but John put up with my nervousness quite well.
Petey was really well-behaved. I used his Bitless Bridle on a trail ride for the first time, and he was much more comfortable and happy with that than any bridle with a bit that I have ever tried on him (there have been many). I highly recommend this bridle for anyone with a horse that tosses his head or prances or just doesn't feel comfortable. I bought the leather bridle - it's pretty pricey, but it is a beautiful bridle. I'll take a picture of it on Petey this afternoon, if I get a chance.

Anyway, I'm busy, I have work to do, I'm going to ride again this afternoon, and I have to go grocery shopping.

Oh, and the Incredibles is very much worth seeing.

Posted by Beth at 10:03 AM

November 01, 2004


Another Monday


The day started rather inauspiciously when I was awakened by Houdini playing with his squeaky toy. The little shit managed to squirm his way through the cat door to the kitchen and dump the trash (I forgot to put the wastebasket on the kitchen counter where he can't reach).

There was 1/2 a pound of raw bacon in that trash - now it is in Houdini's tummy - yet he still wanted to be fed with the big dogs!

You know all that bacon has to go somewhere soon, so Houdini is going to be stuck out in the rain all day while I am at work. It's not as bad as it sounds - he has shelter. Boy, that little dog knows he is in big doo doo! Actually, I suppose he is going to have some big doo doo.

The cat door has an actual door to it that is magnetized, only we have not put that part up because we didn't think we needed it since it is an indoor cat door. But I guess I'm going to have to fit all seven cats with little magnet collars so that they are the only ones who can use the door.

Of course, if Houdini eats much more bacon, he will be too fat to fit through the door.

I'm off to fix some coffee. Hope everyone has a good day, and if you have not yet decided who to vote for by now, perhaps you should sit this election out!

Posted by Beth at 06:06 AM

October 29, 2004


I emailed in sick today


I woke up at 2:00 am looking around, thinking, what is wrong? Why am I awake? About 3 minutes later, my tummy let me know what was wrong. Ugh.
Anyway, I stayed home today and did a little work - mostly just replying to emails from clients who wanted to know how to do this or that - and then just laying about, tired and achey.

I did have to go to the barn and feed my lovely horses - they were a little grumpy with me because I was late. There is a horsey halloween party tonight and many of the children of families with horses were dressing up their horses in great costumes.

One of my stable friends has 4 horse type critters - her littlest is a half Shetland Pony, half Miniature Horse named Buddy. Buddy is very cute, and tonight he has fairy dust and a heart painted on his rump and wings. A little like a My Little Pony on steroids. I have been promised that pictures will be taken and I will be in receipt of some, I hope! If so, you can see Buddy the Fairy Pony!

Anyway, came back home and I decided that I need some medicine! Strong medicine! So I fixed up a couple of Mexican Martinis and will hopefully medicate my achey self into oblivion and then feel great tomorrow.

Posted by Beth at 06:37 PM

October 16, 2004


Saturday


I love Saturdays. There are so many possibilities on a Saturday morning. I can plan out all the things I'm going to get done and then not feel guilty about them when I don't do them.

We will see Team America today. Can't wait. Anything that pisses Sean Penn off must be good.

I will do laundry and vaccuum and boring stuff like that, and I think I'll take the camera for a walk into the woods and see if I can get some pretty foliage pics.

I have to decide on a wall color for the living room and dining room, so I took pictures of them and there is a very nice, cheap program at Lowes that lets you import your room picture and then try out different colors - thought I'd try that.

Mostly, though, I want to absolutely forget about work.

Posted by Beth at 08:51 AM

September 24, 2004


It's Friday!


Technology is a wonderful thing. This morning, I'll be training a guy in Massachusetts while I am here at home. I will be able to take control of his server and show him what to do without leaving the comfort of our 'computer room' here at home.

I wish I could do that with all our customers. This afternoon, I have to drive up to St. Joe to train some operations guys at the place with the shedding man.

But, the cool thing is, I am able to work from home more and more as the technology to meet and collaborate improves almost daily.

But it is really only good for shorter sessions - maybe 3 hours tops - anything more than that, and it's better to be face-to-face.

And even better, it is Friday!

Posted by Beth at 06:25 AM

August 19, 2004


More on Recipe Carnival


A few of my friends are worried about what kind of recipe they should submit to the Carnival of the Recipes.
Anything goes, as long as it does not include household pets, humans or horses.
(That should keep the French away).
Pork Fat Rules, as Emeril says.
Drink recipes would be good too!

Posted by Beth at 06:07 AM

July 24, 2004


Rainy Day in Leavenworth


It has rained all day long today. Everyone has been staying inside, except for those absolutely necessary visits that the dogs have to take outside. John has mostly flown planes attacking bad guys with his flight simulators. He also vacuumed the kitchen floor for me (yes, we have horrible carpeting in the kitchen, but the vinyl underneath is worse, and replacing the flooring is not yet on the top of our very long list of things to do to this house).

Andy has played with his Play Station 2, watched TV movies and helped me with hauling the never-ending pile of laundry that we have accumulated up and down the stairs.

There are only three humans in this family, and we have way too many clothes, towels, sheets and other washable items. Of course, the main reason that our sheets, pillowcases and bedspreads have to be washed so often is that we have 7 cats and 3 dogs, many of whom want to sleep with us (under the covers if possible) at night.

Wish dogs and cats had opposable thumbs. Maybe they could hang up the laundry for me!

Andy, our college aged son, home for the summer, is bored to death. The rain just finally let up, and he is taking Shadow, our biggest and oldest dog, out for a walk. He doesn't yet know that when he returns, he needs to take Whiskey, our middle-sized and middle-aged dog out for a walk. Houdini (the youngest canine) is acting like a cat and is wrapped around John's shoulders as he flies his WWII plane over an unidentified river. The graphics on these flight Sims are really unbelievable.

I am saving 213 pictures from the past couple of weeks to my hard drive. I'm only up to picture #67. I will be sharing more of these pictures with you than you ever wanted to see, but it will make me feel like my life is worth living (kidding, really, kidding!).

I do not have much in the way of photographic talent, but I truly love playing with the camera and using different settings - what are they - f-stops, aperture settings, etc. When I was in Pennsylvania last week, I took about 20 pictures of the same thing - I just changed the settings for each one, so I could see what happens.

Once upon a time, I fancied myself a photographer - back before Andy was born, and I had a lovely Minolta 35mm SLR camera. Seemed like I had more time back then, and I did take some nice pictures - but I can do so much more with a digital SLR camera using software.

Oh, golly, I'm rambling, aren't I? I'll download more pictures, then I'll upload them with stories.

I saw a pretty reddish colored thing in the pond, and I just walked out there and I'm pleased to report that one of the 1/2 price water lilies I bought at Lowes last month has bloomed, I'll take a picture and post it shortly. Well, at least once all those pictures have downloaded.

In case I have never said anything to you all, it is really quite a thrill that anyone would want to read what I have to say, and I truly appreciate you all. Thanks!

Posted by Beth at 04:08 PM

July 17, 2004


Yardwork today


Arggghhh. I just wrote the most lovely story about how hard WonderHusband and WonderSon worked to create a flagstone path from the sidewalk to the pond.

I hit some kind of evil key combination and it all went away.

So here it is, without the nice embellishments, etc.

Last week, John and Andy worked hard to make the area under the Oak Tree (capitalized because it is a BIG oak tree) look nice by mulching the area (a really large area - probably 30 feet in diameter) under the tree, where nothing dared to grow.

The front yard, as a result, is taking on a more and more park-like look.

There is a path of no grass between the front porch and the pond, so John thought we might go to Home Depot and buy some pavers and make a path.

So there we went. But the concrete pavers left me cold - they had no soul!

I managed to convince the good man to take me Mt. Olivet Stone, a lovely stone yard outside of town where we have puchased some tons of Colorado river rock, etc, to build our pond and waterfall.

They are nice stone people. If you live in the Kansas City area, I highly recommend them. Their prices are fair, and they are friendly.

Anyway, we bought about 400 pounds worth of flagstone - enough for a decent size split path - we may buy some more, to extend the path around the spruce tree to the beginning of the train tunne.

The flagstones cost less than the nice pavers at Home Depot - 16 cents a pound - we spent $64. The fake flagstones at Home Depot would have cost us about $90 for the same amount of coverage.

And then, SuperSon, Andy, unloaded the Aztec and built the path himself - making it nicer than anything I imagined (thanks, Andy!).

I spent the rest of the day planting plants to grow around and between the flagstones.

I planted 16 plants (all perennials of sorts), but I am going to have to buy at least 3 times as many to continue to naturalize the area.

I planted coreopsis, mazus, Irish Moss, and a couple of other low, spreading perennials whose names I've forgotten.

I am tired now. I forced John to go out in search of food for us.

Posted by Beth at 05:26 PM

July 12, 2004


Items of Dubious Worth found in Computer room


1. Mustek Scanner - huge - old - drivers not available for years.
2. Empty large kitty litter bucket - we buy in large amounts. Not sure why I was saving this!
3. Cell phone that I thought was lost and replaced about a year ago.
5. One 486 pc.
6. One Pentium III PC.
7. Lots of wires and plugs that don't appear to go with anythingl
8. Grooming supplies for dogs and cats.
9. Grooming supplies for humans. (sometimes my son thinks they are one and the same)
10. Some beautiful fabric, yards and yards of it, and I have no recollection what I bought it for!
11. My sewing machine.
12. My Mother's-in-law sewing machine (comments on usage here welcome)
13. Lots of change.

It took all weekend. I decided to pull up the carpeting and that slowed me down considerably. The wood floor under it is mostly in pretty good shape, but there are some big stains that I'll have to buy a rug to cover until I can get around to having it refinished.

Posted by Beth at 08:41 AM

July 10, 2004


Today is the Day I clean out the computer room.


I know, I know, almost a year ago I promised the same thing. It did not happen then, but it will now.

I have decided to reclaim this room, make it habitable for humans.

I don't know if you have ever seen the TLC show, Clean Sweep or not. If you have, imagine our 3rd bedroom as the worst most awful bunch of clutter in the history of the show.

That is going to change. Today.

No. Lie.

Posted by Beth at 09:46 AM

June 26, 2004


Yardwork Saturday


I really love working in the yard. This may be a surprise to John, because I don't often do so, with my crazy-assed schedule at work, but I really do love puttering around with dirt and plants and stuff.

It's been such a joy being home for a week, and to know that I don't have to take off on a plane to somewhere next week, or even the week after!

I went to 3 garden centers today, and bought more perennials for the front yard (I hope that someday we will have no 'lawn" in the front yard to mow - only plants that are groundcovers, or interesting flowering or bushy things).

I bought a lot of Irish Moss to cover my mountain that we created with a tunnel for our future Garden Railway. I bought some coriopsis to plant in places where nothing but mud grows now, and I bought several other groundcovers and a few herbs.

This year, my herb and vegetable garden is all in containers on our deck. John devised a wonderful irrigation system so that he doesn't have to worry about watering my plants when I'm traveling.

I am amazed at how vigorous and healthy my container garden is - no bunnies are snitching my peppers, and no bugs are going for my tomatoes. My herbs are growing like crazy (I'll have to start harvesting and drying some for later, they are growing so fast), and my Kentucky Colonel Mint is overflowing its very large pot. (It makes the bestest Mint Juleps of any of the mints!)
I also have strawberries and peppermint, spearmint and chocolate mint, rosemary, thyme and oregano, basil, chamomile and cilantro. And it is all in pots.

Today, I went to Home Depot and bought a fake clay pot - a pretty one, it's big - with no hole in the bottom. I also bought a fountain kit for it, and we made a nice container fountain out of it.

I have some water hyacinths in my garden pond in the front yard, so I'll put some in my container fountain on the deck, and we will have a nice little garden to enjoy in the evenings after work, with the fountain and all.

I also have quite a few citronella candles to keep the mosquitoes away.

My plants are so big now that our deck is now very private. (we have a very large yard and privacy fence, besides).

I plan to get John out there this evening for a romantic outdoor rendezvous. Lots of candles, a fountain, lots of pretty herbal aromas and also lots of flowering plants.

Maybe I'll get lucky!

Posted by Beth at 08:20 PM

May 28, 2004


This may come as a surprise to you


Sometimes I can be pretty outspoken. Especially when I'm traveling home after a week of work, even more so when I feel ill most of that week.

Last night, as I waited forever in line at the Frontier Airline counter to check my luggage, two guys walked up to a friend who was behind me, and butt into line.

There were at least 75 people behind them.

I could see the anger on all those faces as these jerks just added a few more minutes of waiting to everyone behind them. But not one person said a word.

Except for me.

I turned around and said, "Excuse me, perhaps you did not realize that the end of the line is back there?" (Pointing off into the distance)

One of the jerks said - "We are traveling together".

Me: "So what?"

The second jerk points to the first jerk and says, "He bought our tickets, we have to go together".

Me: "Just how stupid do you think I am? Go to the back of the line"

The third jerk says, "Why do you care, you are in front of us?"

Me: "Someone should care, and you need to learn to be more considerate, and you are being jerks - look at all those families with little kids behind you who now have to wait longer because you think you are so special!"

By now, people standing close to me are backing away.

But one mom, traveling with two kids, standing behind the 3 jerks, said, "She's right, so I'll get in front of you" And she moved her two children and her suitcases in front of them.

Another woman and her husband moved in front of them.

Everyone else in line said ' baaaaaa, we are sheep, we will let anyone take advantage of us" Or at least their faces said that!

The first jerk was not happy, he said, but we are traveling together, like family -

Me: "You three don't look married to me".

So, as a warning, if you ever travel with me, chances are I will embarrass you.

Damn jerks never did go to the back of the line.

Posted by Beth at 07:26 AM

May 23, 2004


Speaking of furry critters


Andy, son and heir to the Donovan fortune (ha ha), is back home from his first year at college.

Now, Andy started shaving when he was 12 - he actually needed to. He had pretty hairy legs by age 14, and Hobbit Feet soon after.

Yesterday morning, he was walking around without his shirt, and he now has hair on his upper chest.

Poor Andy, wouldn't you know that he would come of age in an era where hairless men seem to be 'in'. Andy, thank God, would never have his body waxed or shaved, but the smooth skin thing on guys (there is something not right with that to my mind) has caused him to refuse to wear shorts.

It can be 105 degrees, and Andy won't wear shorts because of his hairy legs.

Sigh.

Posted by Beth at 08:10 AM

May 20, 2004


New Donovan Vehicle


John and I are very cheap when it comes to our cars. We would rather spend money anywhere else. But today, as I drove out to Manhattan, Kansas - to pick up 1/2 of Andy's stuff from the dorm, I realized that Spot had no power anymore.

After 286,652 miles, I could not go uphill and keep the speed even - even if I floored the accelerator.

I called John on my cell phone and told him that we need a new car. Now.

When I got back from Manhattan, we went to a pretty darn good sale that a local Leavenworth dealership was having and we bought a brand new vehicle.

They had $5,000 in rebates - which was damn good - made the new car the same price as a used one.

So, we got an Aztek - I know, lots of people think it's the ugliest thing on the face of the earth. The rest of us think it's so ugly that it's cute.

This is the first new car we have purchased as a couple - I'm so excited!

We have been spending at least the car payment every month on car repairs - it was time!!!

Posted by Beth at 09:38 PM

May 19, 2004


Backyard stuff


I planted 4 roses in our back yard this past weekend. Not Tea Roses, as they are picky and hard to please, but hedge roses and bush roses, guaranteed to be easy keepers.

When I was a little girl, my mom would give me the special tool for cutting roses properly and have me go outside and collect some pretty flowers for dinner (to look at and smell, not to eat!). After I brought the flowers in, Mom woud break off one of the biggest thorns, lick the flat side and stick it on the tip of my nose.

She then called me Bee.

I don't have a little girl, and my little boy is pretty much grown up now, but I do have someone who appears to be interested in being a Bee:

Annie stops to smell the roses - then she eats them.


Posted by Beth at 04:58 PM

May 16, 2004


I think the US should Extradite all criminals of this sort from Great Britain!


Read this article:The forces of lawn and order

police were hunting two men who had broken into 25 garden sheds in the Chesterfield area and had tidied them up, stacking empty plant pots and organising seed trays.

Heck, I don't care if they didn't commit those crimes here in the U.S. I want to let these evil criminals loose in my yard!

I won't even call the coppers!

Posted by Beth at 03:50 PM

May 08, 2004


Yardwork and dogs.


We had a lot of mowing to do, so I armed myself with some benadryl and started up the lawn tractor for the first time this season. It started right up - which really impressed me, as it stays outside under the deck all winter.

I realized as I was mowing that a lot of pruning was needed - lots of trees and bushes have sprouted low hanging branches that I could not mow under. So I got out my handy dandy lopper and lopped away.

There is a corner in our yard that is kind of wild - ancient redbud trees, honeysuckle, climbing roses and lots of vinca on the ground. I cleared out all the dead wood, and cut back the honeysuckle and found a huge hole under the fence.

I had missed that one on my earlier check of the perimeter before I let Houdini outside. By the time I found his escape hatch, Animal Control had already called to let John know that Houdini was in jail until Monday.

This is his third strike in a month. The little shit.

What really makes me crazy is that we had a 6 foot high privacy fence built around our backyard at a very high cost to keep Shadow from walking over the old chainlink fence. Now, we have added a rodent dog to our family, and like a rodent, he burrows under it to escape. I don't want to put him on a chain inside a perfectly good fence, but unless we build a cement trench all around the perimeter, I don't know how we are going to keep him home.

Posted by Beth at 02:55 PM

April 22, 2004


Strawberry Pot


Aren't they cute little berries?

I'm so proud!


strawberrypot.jpg

Posted by Beth at 05:25 AM

April 20, 2004


Gardening


About 3 weeks ago, I bought a strawberry pot and planted little strawberry plants in all the openings. I had my doubts about anything growing in it.

This morning, I went outside to check on my herbs and tomatoes and happened to notice a whole bunch of baby strawberries growing!

When I get home from work tonight, I'll take a picture of my strawberry pot and post it.

Posted by Beth at 06:35 AM

April 02, 2004


Friday


This will be a busy weekend. I still need to set up my irrigation system so I can leave town and not worry about the plants getting water.

Just went out to check my plants, and my tomatoes are frosted. But all my herbs and strawberries and peppers are happy - it got a little cold the other night. So, I'll have to go buy a couple more tomato plants this weekend.

We have a horseshow tomorrow at Ft. Leavenworth, and since I wrote the program that keeps track of horses, riders, fees and all the other stuff, I'll be there from 6:00 am until 8:00 pm. We have two horseshows a year to support the stable activity.

I have laundry - lots of it - and housecleaning to do. I want to find some time to spend with my horses and to work on a stained glass project.

I think I'll take half the day off today so I can get started on laundry and housework early.

John made dinner last night!!!!!! It was really good! I have the most wonderful husband on earth!

Posted by Beth at 06:46 AM

March 30, 2004


On a lighter note


Sunday, I forced John to roam all around town going from one garden center to another.

I decided that this year, I would plant my herbs and peppers and tomatoes in pots on my deck. I was inspired to this by Laurence at Amish Tech Support, who has an absolutely beautiful patio garden with herbs, peppers, and flowers.

So I bought a bunch of pots, potting soil and herbs and a couple of tomatoes.

I also bought a drip irrigation system to prevent me from neglecting my plants when I am traveling.

As soon as it is a bit warmer, I'll buy some flowering plants to distribute around the deck.

In fact, I think I'll build a small fountain there and put some bird feeders up. It will entertain our kitties (who are all indoor cats) and will make our unused deck a nice place to relax in.

Posted by Beth at 09:00 PM

March 24, 2004


Dreams of Spring


I had the most pleasant dreams last night. I dreamed about planting herbs and flowers and buying jiffy pots and starting seeds. Oddly, I also dreamed that I planted a bunch of cabbage!

I have always loved plants. With all our kitties in the house, no house plant has a chance in hell of surviving, so I plant things outside. Unfortunately, I kill many of those plants because I forget to water them or I'm out of town and I can't water them, but someday, I will have pretty growing things on the front porch and around our garden pond.

When I got up this morning, I surfed the web a bit, and found that Laurence at Amish Tech Support, has a lot of nice herbs and peppers growing on his patio. Obviously, he lives in a much warmer clime than John and I do - his plants grow! And I suspect that he remembers to take care of his plants!

Posted by Beth at 05:40 AM

March 21, 2004


Ahhh, Spring .... Cleaning


When I got off the plane from Springfield, MA Friday night, I realized that it is Spring here at home. It was snowing in Massachussets when I left.
It's in the 60's - oh heaven! And yet, I can't go out and play. Why? It is most definitely Spring Cleaning time.

Between my seemingly never-ending travel and the fact that I'm pretty damn lazy when it comes to doing things I hate (like housecleaning), the Donovan Castle is looking pretty shabby.

I spent yesterday and today cleaning the kitchen and bar area of the house. I have moved every spice jar, saute pan and knick knack and cleaned and re-aranged and generally spiffed up what was a total mess. ( I accept all blame for this, the kitchen is my kingdom, after all!)

I'm pretty pleased with my progress. I found quite a few things in drawers and cabinets that I had completely forgotten we had. I found gadgets and appliances that should be given away because they were only used once or twice, and they were stowed away, never to be used again. They have been purged from the Donovan domain and will be given to a charity that can give them away to whomever may want them.

I still have much work in the bar area. I also have to get my clothes washed and dryed and packed for next week's trip.

I found out the other day that I am traveling significantly more than any one else in the entire group - not just my team - but a humongous group of about 200 people.

I am more billable that anyone else. I am going to do my best to make sure that I make more as a result - maybe enough that I can afford to have Merry Maids or something come and clean the house for me.

It would be really cool to come home and only have to worry about what fun things I can do - play with the horses, do stained glass stuff, pottery, etc.

I'm not holding my breath, though!

Posted by Beth at 02:29 PM

January 09, 2004


If cleanliness is next to Godliness, then I'm the debil!


I need a combination maid, laundress, and window cleaner.

When I was little a very sweet lady named Ervina Spencer came to our house 3 days a week to help mom with housework. My mom had polio as a child. As a result of that, her back hurt her a lot, and she just could not do things like laundry, ironing, vacuuming, dusting. Ervina did all those things, though Mom would try to help out some by dusting things at levels where it was not necessary to bend over.

My mother's house was always spotless. No dust bunnies to be found, no dirt tracked in from the backyard. It was clean, clean, clean. Except for my bedroom.

My poor anal-retentive mother could not open the door to my bedroom without getting tachycardia. It upset her to no end that she had raised a slob.

And it wasn't just my bedroom. I always looked unkempt. No matter how many times I brushed my hair, it did what it wanted. Barrettes and hair ribbons would not stay in place. My school uniform always looked untidy, despite the fact that Ervina had ironed it with starch the day before. My blouse would untuck itself, and my shoes would be scuffed before I got out the door.

The only really bad grades I got in grade school (besides gym, I am a klutz), were in penmanship. My handwriting is illegible even to me.

I always had skinned knees and elbows, and I tore many a party dress before I got to the birthday party.

Well, I'm 50 years old now, and nothing at all has changed.

I try to be neat, but there must be some dusty, untidy demon that follows me through life. My cubicle at work is the messiest cubicle in the company - way back when I was at Sprint, one of my old bosses would make me move cubicles every 6 months or so because that way, I would have to clean up the old one.

Business clothes look odd on me - I am much happier wearing more Bohemian or ethnic clothing - they fit my image as something of an oddball.

Thank God I met John and married him. We are kindred souls when it comes to neatness. We can both try like hell, but things just won't stay put. John doesn't mind that I am a cluttered person, because he is probably even worse than I am.

But maybe a combination maid, laundress and window cleaner would help a little.

Posted by Beth at 03:46 PM

December 28, 2003


Redecorating ....


John and I spent most of today working on getting the front hall and the hallway prepared for painting. We had some serious foundation work done (the house, not me!) last summer, and we were told to wait 6 months before repairing cracks in the walls and ceilings. Well, it is now time to start fixing things up.
Yesterday, we took all the pictures and other things off the walls and John started repairing all the cracks and holes and stuff. He continued with that today. I have visited the Sherwin Williams Paint Store so often that they gave me a discount card today, thankfully!

We finally decided to paint the old woodwork in our house - which has turned a kind of yellowish color because it is so old. Anyway, after looking at a ton of paint chips, going online to see what our colors look like together and one mistaken purchase (I did that - got wrong color), we ended up with the paint and the base coat thing for the wood and all the other stuff we need.

Tomorrow, after work, we will mask off all the woodwork, and start painting.

Mind you, this is only the front entry and the hallway - we still have dining room, living room, kitchen, and at least 2 bedrooms to go. Oh, and 2 bathrooms, too.

This is gonna take a long time. Neither of us love doing this. But I do know we will be really happy to have it all look nice in the end. At least I am pretty sure we will be happy!

Posted by Beth at 06:50 PM

December 27, 2003


Some of us just don't have any taste...


I admit it. I need help. I need help in the worst way.

Last summer, we had the long put-off foundation work done to our house. When they finished jacking up the house and filling in the holes, they told us to wait 6 months before repairing all the cracks in the walls, ceilings and basement floor.

John and I agree that it is now time to start the interior repairs.

This house was built in 1960 or '61. It is a ranch style house with a walk-out basement. We have 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, living room, dining room and kitchen on the street level floor. We have 1 very large bedroom, 1 bath, a den w/wet bar (now better known as John's collection of guns), and a large unfinished area in the basement.

This house is due for some serious redecorating. I have been browsing different sites, such as Martha Stewart Color Palette from Sherwin-Williams - even though I'm sure that Martha is the debil,
Choosing the Right Paint Color, Tips for home decorating, design, ideas, House & Home, and Behr.com Explore Color.

I actually took a pillow from my sofa to Sherwin Williams and tried to pick a few colors that 'pop' with the colors in the pillow. I'm not really sure what the hell 'Pop" means, but I ended up with about 5 different color palattes.

I brought them home to show John.

And John, of course, said - pick whatever you like, I have no idea how to do this. I have no preference at all.

So I picked a palette.

A bit later in the day, we needed to go to Home Depot to get a few things for the weather station that I gave John for Christmas. I stopped by their paint display. They had a nice pamphlet with examples in them. I showed John an example of colors close to the palette I had selected. He liked them, but he really really really liked a different picture, and started discussing how we could make the dining room work with that green and put in a pilaster between it and the living room so my original green would work there.

The problem being, the green that John loves so much is not in my palette. So, now I have to start all over.

Arghhh!!! I need help. I may very well send Joanie a roundtrip ticket to come here and help me!!!

Posted by Beth at 05:21 PM

December 23, 2003


10 Things I hate about Christmas


10. Other people send us Christmas cards - therefore making me feel guilty because I had not the foresight or time to send Christmas cards to anyone.

9. Somebody will give me an unexpected Christmas present - therefore making me feel guilty because I had not the foresight to buy that person a present.

8. Someone at work or in the Blogosphere will brag about finishing all their Christmas shopping, wrapping all their gifts and getting those gifts mailed out on time to arrive for Christmas - therefore making me feel guilty because I have yet to even wrap a gift, much less get it in the mail in time for Christmas.

7. Other people manage to find and fit into Christmas sweaters - therefore making me feel guilty that I have no idea what happened to the several I think I had at one time and making me doubly guilty because I'm pretty sure they would be too small for me anyway!

6. We will be invited to a lovely Christmas party in a home that is beautifully decorated and uncluttered - therefore making me feel guilty because my home is neither beautifully decorated or uncluttered and all the walls need painting.

5. Because it is the last quarter of the fiscal year for my company, I had to travel 7 weeks out of the last 9 weeks so we could make our numbers - therefore making me feel guilty because I'm not spending enough time at home.

4. I really hate driving to see relatives on Christmas, I want to be at my house with my family - and just thinking that way makes me feel guilty.

3. One of the guys at work objected to my saying, Merry Christmas - he said I should say Happy Holidays, in case he was Jewish or Muslim - I told him that I know he is Christian, and to just live with it - I tell my Jewish co-worker Happy Hanukkah and even the Hindus I work with told me Merry Christmas - arggghhhh!!!! He wants me to feel guilty.

2. I have to go into work on Friday - therefore making me guilty because we have to leave my inlaw's house early Friday morning..

1. Because liberals are trying to secularize Christmas, and take all meaning away from it. Therefore trying to make me feel guilty because I believe in God and His Son.

Posted by Beth at 05:25 PM

December 21, 2003


Christmas Cookies.


Mom could not cook, but boy, could she bake Christmas Cookies! Every year, a few days before Christmas, we would have an all day bake-a-thon. We made Spritz cookies, Bourbon Balls, Pecan Puffs, Almond cookie cutter cookies, gingerbread, and my Grandmother's famous Rock cookies. If anyone wants the recipes for any of the above, let me know. I will warn you, though, the Rock Cookie recipe calls for a box of this, and a box of that - and the recipe makes at least 12 dozen cookies.

The last few years, I have been working a lot, and traveling. It's harder and harder to keep up the Christmas traditions. I'm pretty much down to doing Pecan Puffs and Bourbon Balls. Just finished the Bourbon Balls - yes, Eric and Pam, you will get some!
I am waiting for the butter to get soft so I can make my Pecan Puffs (Balls) - they are yummy, yummy, yummy. Melt in your mouth yummy.

The Spritz cookies, though I love them, are pretty time consuming because I have always felt the need to decorate them with great precision - using tweezers to place the silver sugar balls, nonpareils and colored sugars.

My son, Andy, has no interest at all in baking cookies - he just wants to eat them, so I guess the now pared-down tradition will disappear after me.

Posted by Beth at 07:52 PM


Cooking


My mom was a terrible cook. The first Thanksgiving that my mom and dad were married, they had the family over for dinner. Their apartment was so small that they had to put a cardtable in the hallway to seat everyone.
My mom had never roasted a turkey before. She followed all the directions, but the darn thing never browned. Mom went to the pantry, and saw Kitchen Bouquet. Well, it is advertised as a browning sauce, so Mom brushed it all over the turkey. The bird was beautiful, according to Dad. The only problem was that there was no white meat. The Kitchen Bouquet had turned the white meat dark.

Mom never lived that down. She finally learned to cook 6 different meals for dinner - so every Sunday we had roast beef. Mondays were pork chops, Tuesdays meat loaf, Wednesday baked chicken, Thursday was lamb chops with mint jelly. Friday night was always a problem, because my dad really hated fish, and this was prior to Vatican II - so mom and the kids would have tuna salad, and Dad would have grilled cheese.

Saturday nights, Dad took over the cooking and grilled steaks.

Sometimes, Mom would try something different, usually to really bad reveiws.

When Mom and Dad entertained (fairly often, really) she hired a cook. Her name was Frances, and she taught me to bake the best cinnamon pecan rolls on earth. She also taught me about cooking meat and vegetables and making fancy radishes for salads.

So I ended up being a good cook, despite Mom. Thanks, Mom (up in heaven) for hiring Frances!

Posted by Beth at 07:45 PM

December 13, 2003


Home


I'm back home, actually got home very late on Thursday night. My luggage didn't make it back the same day I did this time. I'm just glad it was on my way home that happened. Last winter, my luggage went to Orlando, Florida for 3 days. Hope it enjoyed the sun! I was in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In a blizzard.

I have a lot to do this weekend.

I need to do two weeks worth of travel laundry, for I head out again to North Carolina on Monday morning.

I will bake pecan balls and bourbon balls for Eric. These are his reward for designing the Congress of Nekkid Bloggers logo.

I need to do housework.

I need to spend quality time with John!

and I need to buy a lottery ticket.

Sorry I have not been here to blog much. I can do it a bit from the road, but when I'm at a client site, I often put in 12 hours of work, and by the time I eat something and get back to the hotel, I'm too darn pooped to do anything else.

I wish I had the energy you young bloggers have!

Posted by Beth at 09:25 AM

November 18, 2003


kitchen confessions


I, like Rush Limbaugh, have an addiction. I have had this overwhelming need for many years, and no matter how much I get, it's never enough.

What, pray tell, is this addiction for? Kitchen appliances, gadgets and cookbooks. I have more gadgets then Emeril. More appliances than I can ever use. And, I have cookbooks - many, many cookbooks. When I travel, I try to find at least one local cookbook - you know, the kind that a restaurant might sell, with local recipes featured.

I see some idiot Rotisserie on TV, I buy it.
Everytime I walk into Bed Bath and Beyond, I walk out with at least 3 new gadgets, and quite often a new kitchen appliance.

Some of them are wonderful, and well worth the money - my bread machine is fantastic. The Smoothie maker is great. My Jennair electric stove top is as good an electric stove top as you can get - gas would be nice, but the kitchen ain't plumbed for it, so I got electric.

But I have been bitten by George Foreman appliances twice, and I will never buy one again. Damned rotisserie - great chicken, but it take a week to clean all the parts. Heck, I can stop at the grocery store on my way home from work and buy a chicken that they have rotisserized all day for under $5 and they have to clean the mess up! Then I bought the George Foreman Five Star Grill, and it truly sucks - the angles are so weird on it that there is not enough space to grill a burger on it without it breaking in half. So, if I grill indoors, I use my old trusty Hamilton Beach Grill that I have had for at least 8 years - they don't even make it anymore, but it's big enough to put 4 hamburgers on it without making them the size of White Castle Burgers.

I also own just about all the cool gadgets you are likely to see on just about any show on the Food Network. In fact, while other people watch sports and whatever reality show is popular, my eyes are glued to the Food Network. I love watching them cook, and I try the recipes and they are great.

I think that a good meal is sexy, and likely to make for a lovely bedtime, and that's my story, and I'm sticking with it.

Posted by Beth at 09:27 PM