Monday, November 19, 2012

Working On

Here are some things I have been working  on (besides Christmas presents!)

A lot of my stuff was left out in the weather (my husband's idea of "putting away"). All that gunk is dirt and newspapers!

So I have been trying to clean/salvage all that I can!

While working on a lap blanket for me (Bottom: the pink, black, and white item); scrubbies for mom (Right: orange and purple items); a snowflake garland am trying out (Top: pale blue item); and towel toppers for mom (Left: cherries towel and green item).

And trying to untangle all this...

I must have A.D.D. because I have other projects in the works too!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! EW

Sunday, October 28, 2012


My daughter and I wanted to get matching tattoos, but not necessarily identical tattoos. We also wanted them to be meaningful to both of us. We had talked about it for quite a while (like 2 years) and one day out of the blue my daughter calls and said we were going to get tattoos together when she came home!

One of the things my daughter and I love to do together is have tea time. Nothing spectacular just me and her (and sometimes her BFF Ms J) sitting down with the candles lit, maybe a dessert, and tea, talk and laughter... with maybe Rush, Five Finger Death Punch or Rob Zombie etc playing in the background! And one of my all time favorites is the Mad Tea Party scene in Alice In Wonderland (any era!). Well, lo and behold, my daughter suggests we go with that route (after many back and forths over tea-cups/pots sizes and shapes). WOOT! Perfect! So this is what we designed:

We figured no color, and chose what elements we definitely wanted. We brought our "design" to the tattoo artist, Andy, at Xtreme, and this is what he had to work with... as you can see I am NO artist!

He was great and gave a few hints and tips about the design (haha) as far as what would look good in ink with how big we wanted it etc. and this is what we ended up with:

Mine is more Tim Burton-ish, from the hat style to the font.

Daughter's is done in a more Disney-ish style and font.

Both are the same size, 3 1/2 inches, but mine is on my lower leg and hers on her upper thigh, so it could be easily hidden. We LOVE them. He was funny, polite, patient, and even let me sleep while he was doing my tattoo!

This was my third Tattoo, and I do have more planned (my son and I need to go in together), and my daughter has more planned also! But if your ever in San Antonio at the Rolling Oaks Mall, look Andy up. He was FANTASTIC.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Just Some Halloween Fun

I wanted to decorate for Halloween this year. Considering I have not decorated for any holiday for several years, I guess this is a good thing.  So I made me some Spider Webs and have them at every corner and peak and also in the windows and as tie backs for the curtains. I love it and will more than likely keep them up year round!

I also redid my old radio that had some seriously torn up orange fabric covering the speakers and replaced it with some pretty spider web lace fabric I had bought probably 10 years ago!

Have a GREAT weekend! EW

Friday, October 26, 2012

Just Do It...

I have not put a lot of thought into this post, and yet it seems that it is all I have thought about! So if I ramble, I apologize. As much as I have been talking to myself ("Oh, I need to put this in my blog...") and then NOT doing it, it was getting harder and harder to sit down and do it, just overwhelming with information!

There have been lots of changes in my life. I am now living here at my mothers, actually in my sister's house, my sister moved into the big house and I moved here. So have been busy trying to move her stuff out and my stuff in. Plus a few other little family surprises. My separation, my mother's separation, legal issues, etc. AND my son is going to be a father, the baby is due in April. His wife, who has children from a previous marriage, had already made me a Grandma :) (actually I am "Granny D"!) and I am tickled pink about the whole thing.

My days have been filled with Doctor appointments, insomnia, moving, and all the little things that pop up with 7 acres of land, a touchy anaerobic septic system, and two houses, 3 dogs, 4 cats, a bird, and 5 chickens. Mom takes care of 99% of things, I am just there as back up. I take care of the more physical things like mowing, trimming, blowing fuses (not fixing them - blowing them), you know, try to be as helpful as I can.

I love this house, I can get through most of the house in my wheelchair, the bathroom is HUGE (and anyone in a wheelchair or has a family member in one knows what a blessing that is!) but it needs to be re-painted. My sister has a penchant for blues and grays, whereas I lean more towards earthy browns and reds, so painting is in the plans... eventually. More structural tasks are also in the works... eventually. Everything is prioritized etc, but there are so many variables involved there was no point in me trying to make the list according to need. So when the stars align (i.e.: money, health, time) it will get done... eventually :)

Maui, a new addition to our menagerie, is somewhat responsible for filling my days:

Mom saw her at the pound when she was there to adopt a kitten in August, and told me about her. We went straight back to the pound (20 minute drive one way) and got her. It was love at first sight. The Officer? took me back to her cage and tried to get her out and he backed off real quick and said "well, her nails work!" I asked if I could pet her and he said "sure, just be careful." I went up to her; petted her, and asked her if I could pick her up. She came right up to me! I picked her up, and she started purring. That was it. She never made it back in to the cage.

Now she is sick, she stopped eating, and went from 12 lbs to 8 lbs and got to stay for 2 nights in a new cage, at the vets. I couldn't take it anymore and talked with the Doctor and asked if I could bring her home. He said I would have to feed her 4-5 times a day using a plunger and some special food, and that if that did not work he would have to put in a feeding tube.

We made it work. For the last 3 weeks I feed her every 4-5 hours, give her her meds, and as much loving as she will let me. Even though she is still not eating on her own, she is acting like a cat again! Chasing moths, birds, sleeping on whatever soft and/or warm item she can find (including the computer when I need to use it). It's great. Even Maddie (my dog that might as well be my child, another stray) doesn't mind her!

Bless you all and thank you so much for your patience and hanging in there through the silence. EW

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


What a summer. I have been at my mother's since the end of April and have only been home for one weekend (Father's Day) and most of that was to try to grab things I may need. (Hubby is a very patient man).

Have you ever had a suspicious noise in your car and you take it to the mechanic to get fixed and it purrs like a dream and he is sitting there looking at you like your nuts? Or you have the plumber come in to fix your screaming pipes, that won't scream while he is there? Well, that's what is going on with me. I have been here so I can get to the doctor right away when I have a flare up, however they have all been so minor lately that it's not worth taking the time/gas/money to go in, or is something we already have done and know whats going on (sort of). Aaarrgh!

But a lot of diseases have been ruled out. Thankfully. And I am not completely blind yet - so all good.

Just updating. Boring stuff. Take care everyone and hopefully sometime soon something that resembles normalcy will happen. Maybe.


Oh - and I should be blogging about Chickens soon....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Not Lung Cancer!

Wow. I found a new doctor last week, who seems to have some ideas on how to help me. I have had SEVERAL doctors over the years, and they all start out gung-ho, but then fizzle out of tests and treatments.  The new doc has ordered some tests that even the tech drawing my blood had never seen before. Doc is doing the most likely culprits first, and one of which is lung cancer. Somehow, if you have lung cancer it can effect your eyes and vice-versa. Considering I was smoking 2 pack of cigarettes a day for 30ish years, that was a real concern. Can you believe I haven't had chest X-rays in almost 20 years?

And no lectures, I have cut my smoking to less than 15 a day! And now I have a Nicatrol inhaler, tastes AWFUL, but I am willing to give it a shot. (and no, I wont be smoking at the same time)

No lung cancer!!! No lesions. Woot!!!

We also found out a few other things with those X-Rays that we didn't know before. The more we know, the better we can narrow things down and maybe make some progress.

And all because I splashed almost boiling water into my eye, a small flare up, and my sister saying we are going to urgent care... EVERYTHING just seemed to fall into place. All new doctors/specialists, bloodwork, X-rays, the whole she-bang in a one block area. AND TAKING NEW PATIENTS.  Really what are the odds?

Hehe, who knows, maybe there is some treatment for me where I won't go blind and be able to get rid of my wheelchair.

There is always hope... right?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Got to play with tools over the weekend. It has been MANY years since I have been able to "play" with tools. This week it is the Miter Saw and a Jig saw. FUN FUN FUN.

We started working on installing the trim for mom, but would have to spend 15 minutes just arranging things in the workshop just to measure something out, then another 15 to re-arrange so we could cut... We said ENOUGH. and decided to spend yesterday straightening things up and see what we had to build a cutting table. Which I guess turned out to be a good thing as we found out that the wood in the rafters that we thought were good 2x4's were not exactly what we had in mind - they were only about 15" long! Which would make for a SHORT table ;) We racked our brains and was in the process of planning a trip to Home Depot or Lowe's when it occurred to my son there were all the leftover posts and 2x4's still in the back from building sister's deck. Woot! SCORE!!!! There were 3 good sized 4x4 posts and several useful lengths of 2x4's. and we found an old 3/4" plywood cabinet door that we can cut in half and use as the top of the table.

So today will be cutting and assembling... along with mopping and laundry :D

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Floor Hints part 2

Now for the last hint that was invaluable to me, and of course the "ahah!" moment didn't happen until pretty much the whole house was done, but still - I WILL remember for putting in the trim! A wonderful lady over at Sew Many Ways does a write up on some nifty gadget or thingy she has found and what she uses it for - not necessarily what it was intended for! She calls it Tool Time Tuesday here is a link to one of her thingy's ;) a pull tab from a creamer carton into a pincushion ring! Way too cool - you gotta check out her blog (and her craft room!) Anyway, she reminds me all the time to think outside the box, and it must be working, cause I thought of this:

A skateboard to use as a caddy for the tools I always leave at the other end of the room!!! Now I have no problem whatsoever on getting down on the floor (I fall all the time!) getting up on the other hand is tricky business. 

So this whole time we have been working on the floor I would sit down and STAY down. Son &/or daughter would do the running for more tile or to take the tile to be cut etc. etc. And son would even pull me from one end of the room to the other - whhhheeee!!!! (just take note not to do that on the sub-floor, make sure you are on the tile! ouch!) 

Well, it never failed that I would forget half my tools, mainly pencils, all the way on the other side of the room, when I FINALLY thought of using my nephew's skateboard! I Kept all my tools on the skateboard, and when I was done with the cutting and fitting at the start of the wall I would roll it on down to the end of the row (not too hard as I didn't want to mark the wall) and it would be there where I needed it once done laying all the other tiles for the row! It worked great!!!

So that's it for the floor tiles I think. Next "big" project is the trim. 

Now if any of you are going to be doing this, really and truly the change is amazing and SOOOO worth doing it yourself. It may seem scary and overwhelming (it was to me!) but it really wasn't that bad :D I know I complained about the unsquareness and things, (yes I know that is not a word), but I did enjoy the challenge of trying to figure those angles and curves, it was by far the biggest puzzle I have ever done :)

So let me know if you try this, and I would be happy to answer any questions on it! I am by no means an expert, but I think momma's house threw up so many different scenarios that I can safely answer a lot of questions! 

And just cuz I get so few pictures of my kids together:
My sweet helpers!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Floor Hints part 1

Some hints for you if you decide to lay your own floor:

These tiles had 2 patterns on them, sometimes the glue strips would be reversed, but still only the 2 patterns. Now because I have OCD, I used a minimum of 3 boxes at a time, which had 8 strips of tiles, and stacked them to match in their own piles; I did this for several reasons.

First I will try to show you the patterns:
See the two marks?

Well this one doesn't have those marks, it has this distinguishing feature though. You will need to zoom in to see (at least I did ;) )

Here is what I mean saying the glue strips are reversed

It has the same exact markings but notice the glue strips? If I match the markings, then the glue strips didn't match.

So I made four stacks as to me it was easier to make sure first I had the right piece in the right direction THEN make sure the pattern wasn't going to be side by side :) This is only 3 stacks, because I had already gone through 3 1/2 boxes! So as you can see not all the boxes switch things up.

I would open at least 3 boxes so I could have a good selection and not repeat the patterns so obviously, also staggering or stair-stepping the joints helped to not repeat too. 

See how it is stair-stepped?

Another reason to use multiple boxes is because sometimes the dye lot is not exact. Kind of like when buying yarn, you need to get it all the same dye lot or it may not match perfectly. It’s the same for the flooring, the colors may be off by just a hair, but if you use multiple boxes and switch them out etc., you won’t have a darker or lighter patch of floor.

So if you stack your tiles according to pattern & the glue strips etc., then as you’re laying the floor it can be a no brainer and you just get one from each stack at a time. And with stair-stepping you REALLY don’t have to worry about repeating yourself.

Starting the floor.

My uncle started laying the floor at the beginning, now I am not bashing him, as he admitted he had never done this before either; however, he didn’t even try to read the directions for the floor! So our starting point was where he had left off (he had been called back to work) and we then had to work around those issues. We DID pull up the floor just laid in the dining room and kitchen as I showed in this post. And I keep kicking myself for not going ahead and pulling up the floor in the den – which was basically completed so we worked the rest of the floor off that.

The problem was he had squared up the floor using the outer walls, when we should have used the longest inner wall. Then the wonkiness of the walls would not have been so obvious. But mom is ok with it and is happy with her floor… but it’s my OCD kicking in ;) So when you start laying your own floor use the longest inner wall to lay your chalk lines to guide you (there are all kinds of tutorials on how to do that).

One of the glaringly obvious issues that happened because of it, is having to put a threshold where the hallway meets the kitchen. I can’t believe I did not get a pic of it, but den leads into the dining room which leads to the kitchen that then leads back into the den – it makes a circle… which didn’t meet well J hence a threshold.

Also another issue that popped up is the tile was laid long ways, the trailer is rectangular. This is also a double-wide, so the seams of the two halves run straight down the middle long ways. The tiles are also rectangular and they were laid to run the length of the trailer. It would have worked MUCH better to run them crosswise instead. It would have laid better over the seam of the two halves of the trailer and also would have been able to avoid using a threshold.

Enough about that, just if you should decide to do this, please really sit down and THINK about layouts and such!

On to other hints…

DO NOT throw out your “waste” until you are DONE with the floor!!!! When you “stair step” your seams sometimes you have to follow a wall and cut off portions of your tile to line things up correctly. 
Starting a row and trying to line up grout lines while trying to stagger seams
Same row, finished and in place - note seam from previous row

What you cut off of one end or side of the tile may be able to be used at the other end of the room! 
The rest of the tile from above to start a row was used to finish the row

Or you may need just a bit of the glue strip for a very small section – these tiles are expensive! You don’t want to waste a WHOLE piece just cuz you need a 1 inch strip!

For example:
This is a bit larger than one inch - but still to waste a whole piece of tile for that little bit to finish the row? Also see how there is only half the width of the tile along the wall?

Now just need to mark where to cut for the wire coming up and will fit right in place

Here are our piles of “wasted” tile, you also get an idea of why I said when you order your tiles, get about 15% more:

Mom ordered 80 boxes of the tile, kept one box along with some of the “good” “wasted” tiles and returned 4 boxes. Each box covers 24 sq. ft., which means 1800 sq. ft. was either used or trashed. Her house is 2028 sq. ft. including the deck and approximately 1750 sq.ft. of living space... So we did GREAT on keeping the waste to a minimum! At $52 a box, WOOT!!!!  She was going to be charged about $10,000 for installation because they charge for each angle and cut they have to make plus the square footage, and as you can see in the pictures, there were a LOT of angles to cut! Also when she returned those four boxes, she got $220 back, which paid for her new trim. Altogether, she is very happy :) 

Tomorrow I will show you one hint I am really proud of… besides figuring out to use the dremel for cutting, actually laying the floor, mom and sister not noticing there were only 2 different tiles, measuring without being able to see a tape measure, and not killing myself in the process!

So check in tomorrow for this new use of something TOTALLY not intended for this purpose!

Monday, April 23, 2012

New Floor updates

The new floor. I don’t know where to start with this. I love the floor, and even better, mom loves the floor! But I have to say, it was tough work, and if it hadn’t been for ALL of us working together it would not have gotten done. Son was absolutely amazing with the detail cuts and so very patient when my “measuring” didn’t work out and he would have to recut. Also, like I said before, the walls are NOT straight! Here is a perfect example:

See how this is straight on? This is a door jam:

Look what happens at the base…

How the door shuts and still not play peek-a-boo I don’t know, but this gives you an idea of some of the wacky things you will comes across should you decide to DIY your floors!

Here is a look at some of the wilder cuts we (hehe – ok, SON) had to do:

This is a closet door jam:

 We put something black under the cut so you could see what the shape is

Son figured out a technique to cut curves also with the dremel, we did not have a router attachment and all we had was the cutting wheel, which does NOT like to do curves! And mom did not want to pull the toilets (after a few other mishaps with major appliances <cough, water heater>) she was a little leery of tempting fate, so we had to cut around the toilets. Now I would LOVE to say I know how to measure out a curve and get it right etc, but I don’t. I did do some measuring, ie: curve starts here, the middle is here and ends here, otherwise I drew it freehand and tried to match as close as possible. It worked :D
Here is son’s technique for curves:

 The cutting wheel - it does not do curves well and will break off. We went through several trying to cut this curve before we thought of doing this:
 We had 2 Dremels, so changed out the sanding bit in one and changed it to a regular drill bit and drilled holes around the inside perimeter of the curve.

 Then came around with the cutting wheel and instead of cutting like a saw, he cut it more like you would with a miter saw by just cutting down INTO the tile instead of across the tile.
 Can you see how that worked? He is just going IN instead of across and with the drilled holes the width of the wheel, it helped define the curve, which was more like a LOT of straight edges gradually making the turns.

 See :D beautiful work!
All thats left (besides the rest of the tile!) is to caulk and then good to go!

Because all this is going to be very pic heavy, I will post more again tomorrow! (Really, I will, cuz I am “scheduling” it to do it! Woot!)

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I am still alive guys, the floor is DONE and it has kicked my butt! I will try to post this weekend some of the little tips and tricks I figured out. Mom said she swept and mopped yesterday and she absolutely loves her floor... I am so glad!

Next up is putting in new baseboards...

Friday, March 30, 2012

New Floor... Almost - Part 3

Hello Blogland, no excuses – just pure tired!

A little late, how to measure the “tiles” without a tape measure. But I would like to explain first the reason we are not using a tape measure… I can’t see the measurements well enough J! So I use a scrap piece of the tile for reference. I will show you below.

First we had to finish this row of “tiles” for under the stove, which of course had to go around the cabinets…

Lay the “tile” directly in line with where it will go along the edge, like so:

Mark the edge of the cabinet (we will call this Line A)

Now lay the piece you are trying to fit against the end of the row it will be fitted to, this will get you the length to the cabinet:

Mark your length:

Now get you something with a straight edge and place alongside the base of the cabinet and place to run across the “tile”, this will get you the angle you need to make it fit (remember these cabinets/walls are all cockeyed!)

Mark your line and then Connect your mark from Line A

I put an “X” on what we are cutting out, so the son will know which side of the line he should cut on – ie: the “trash side” because it is always easier to shave/sand an edge that is too long than it is to have a piece too short! Plus while he is cutting I am measuring for another tile… and well I will forget what was for what if he asks!!! So the “X” helps both of us ;)

“Tile” in place

Now we have this strip – the LAST pieces for the kitchen – WOOT! The problem is I can’t get a good measurement. Don’t know if you can tell, but it’s not exactly a straight line (and really and truly it is not the tile! We measured the cabinets… about a ½ inch difference!!!!) SO, this is my other “trick”…
Lay your piece you are trying to fit directly on top of the piece beside it:

Just make sure it is EXACTLY on top, I moved this aside so you could see what I was talking about!
Now get you a scrap piece of the tile and lay it against the cabinet and follow along the edge to mark what needs to be cut off:

Now have your son cut it J This stuff is EXTREMELY dusty when you use the dremel! Wear a face mask and safety glasses!

Doesn’t he do a great job?

The kitchen is done! (well for the floor anyway J)

Now hopefully I haven’t confused you or bored you to death! But really and truly it is not difficult to lay these “tiles” It is definitely intimidating, especially when it’s not your own floor! If it were my own, I wouldn’t be very picky, but this is momma’s floor.

We will also be laying quarter round moldings along the baseboards which will help hide any squiggly lines along the edges to the walls!