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February 2008
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April 2008

New Toys

Last month it became apparent that my printer was near death - it would start printing something, then stop suddenly and all the lights would flicker on and off rapidly, and it refused to turn off unless unplugged, and basically I think it just had a nervous breakdown (It happened soon after mom and I did our taxes. Coincidence? I don't think so!) - so I decided to buy myself a new one. And, while I'm at it, I thought, why not buy a new scanner as well? The one I had was so old it didn't have a USB connection, so I could only use it with my old computer, and well, while it wasn't impossible to scan something, it was really inconvenient, so, yup, a new scanner went on the "Things to Buy Today" list. I picked up both of them (both HPs, just like my computer and moniter) at Staples which very nicely took the old printer and scanner away to be recycled. Sweet!

So now I have an awesome new HP Photosmart D7460 printer:

Newprinter1

Which prints gorgeous pictures like this:

Newartwall

AND, even prints 4X6 prints like these:

Pretty

Which, I suppose, means I can get rid of my old small HP photo printer that I bought specifically to print this smaller size. I wonder if Staples would recycle that?? Actually it works perfectly (just not with my new computer, strangely enough), so maybe I'll just sell it on eBay or something.

Anyway, here is a picture of my lovely new scanner, an HP Scanjet G4050:

Newtechnology2

To test it, I scanned an old black and white infrared print I took in 1986 (then printed it out on my new printer):

Stairway

The clarity is amazing! I can't wait to scan more of my old photographs!


Weekend Warriors: New Kitchen Floor

So, over this 3-day weekend, my mom and I decided to cover up our ugly, stained, gouged and cut kitchen floor with some lovely peel-n-stick tiles. Sorry I didn't take step-by-step photos, just the before and afters.

Floorbefore1

Floorbefore2

My God I cannot believe how hideous the floor was before! I mean, I knew it was bad, but I guess I didn't notice exactly how badly stained it was. I have no idea how it got all yellow like that, but it's disgusting and it had to go!

The hardest part of prepping was removing the quarter round from around the base of the cabinets. I thought it would be easy to just pull them off, but it was hard to get even the small pry tool we bought between the moulding and the cabinets because the cabinets stuck out so far. Gah. Then instead of the nails coming out with the moulding, some of them stuck in the wood, and then broke off when I tried to pull them out with pliers, which meant that I would have to drill new holes in the quarter round to put it back up. Double gah.

Laying the ties was pretty easy until we got to the part where we had to cut around the edge of the wall (behind the fridge) and the base of the cabinets. Considering our kitchen looks square, you'd think it would be a cinch, but you'd be wrong. Nothing in this house is square - not the cabinets, the walls, the carpeting - nothing. Each and every piece had to be individually measured to include its particular quirky measurement. By the time I was finished, I became quite good at wielding a straight edge and utility knife!!

One aspect of laying the tiles that I hadn't anticipated was the pain! I purchased knee pads because I knew I would be on my knees for a long time, but even that didn't help keep my poor knees from getting horribly bruised and sore. My arms are a bit achy, too, especially the shoulders. It's probably from using the marble rolling pin to flatten the tiles after laying them down, which, by the way, is a great ab workout, too! Basically my entire body aches today. I think I might take tomorrow off from the gym!

After laying all the tiles, we sprayed some protective coating on the quarter round and proceeded to reinstall it. A couple pieces came off with the nails intact, and were easy to pound back in, but as I mentioned before, most of them lost their nails, and new holes had to be drilled in the quarter round. That wasn't so hard, but pounding the nails in turned out to be a horror. I should've taken a picture, but it would have been way too embarassing to show the nearly 20 nails I bent trying to pound them in. Even when I tapped gently, I bent the damn, wimpy, useless things! Grr!

Still, through all the difficulties and headache and bodyaches, it was all worth it because here is our new kitchen floor:

Floorafter2

Beautiful, isn't it? It's Armstrong Flooring Granite Mills A4185, in case you're wondering (or interested). It's got some white, grey, and golden brown, and goes really well with out white appliances, grey countertops and golden brown cabinets (whiche need to be refinished, but that's a project for another weekend), as well as our brownish/greyish carpet:

Floorafter3

I even included my own special signature - one tile installed in the opposite direction as the others. Can you find it??

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It's glaringly obvious to me. It bugged me at first, but now I think it's kinda cool, and makes the whole floor more personal and unique.

Floorafter4

Mom and I love it, and are so happy with the results!


Another List of Updates

1.       So, I decided it was time to get a new handbag. I love my Isabella Fiore purse and wallet very, very much, but I’m getting a little bored with them, and also I want something a little lighter colour-wise and more spring-like. So, during my lunch break on Friday I wandered down to a funky little boutique called French Quarter, and looked at their handbags. They had several different bags to choose from, and I found two I was instantly attracted to. One was a shiny patent lime green with large pink and white and orange flowers. Very pretty and fun and spring-like. And shiny. The other one wasn’t shiny, but had muted stripes of white, denim blue, red, mustard, lime green and silver. They were both the “hobo” style, both had a large interior to fit notepads, books, a wallet, etc., and pockets for a camera and cell phone and keys and stuff. In the end, I chose the one with the muted colours mostly because I thought I would tire of the shiny lime green quickly and also because the zipper didn’t go all the way across on the green one, leaving two large openings on either side where stuff could fall out, or someone could reach in a steal something. To be honest, the zipper doesn’t go all the way across on the striped one, either, but the openings are smaller, and I am less concerned about losing stuff. Once I decided on the purse, I went a picked out a lime green (that really closely matches the green stripe on the purse) reptile patterned wallet. It’s shiny! I am so very happy now!

2.       Friday night after work I went for a pedicure. It’s been about three weeks since my last one, and I was just starting to feel the achy little twinge I get along the bottom of my feet, so I knew it was time to get a good foot massage and some reflexology before the plantar fasciitis kicked in. I haven’t taken a picture yet, but I used Revlon’s Pink Petal if you’re interested. It’s a pretty light pink colour that’s perfect for springtime!!

3.       I haven’t had anything for sale on eBay for a couple of weeks. The rubber stamps and the carousel horses were being watched, but not bid on, so I just didn’t relist them. Friday night I got a wild hair up my butt and decided to relist everything. Please don’t ask me why; must’ve been some sort of premonition …

4.       Saturday morning I was checking through my emails, and saw one about having received an instant payment for my box of rubber stamps. WTF?! I pop over to eBay and sure enough, someone bought my box of 100+ rubber stamps!!  Finally, after being on there for weeks and getting no attention (except for one woman who was just way too demanding – wanting close-up pictures and detailed descriptions of the ink stains on the rubber and wood (Gah!) - and another who offered to buy the box for fifty bucks (Half price?! Forget that!).), in a matter of a few hours, they sold! Yay!

5.       Saturday afternoon I shipped off my box of rubber stamps at the post office inside Long’s Drugs, then stopped into Fantastic Sam’s for a haircut. I have been in need of a trim for weeks, but the salon has started closing at 6 p.m., so getting a quick haircut after work is no longer an option.  I hate wasting my weekends sitting in a boring damn hair salon, but I was desperate, so in I went. And my good luck continued because even though there were several people on the list ahead of me, none of them were present, so I got in right away. I had been contemplating doing something different with my hair – cutting it shorter or something – but I chickened out and just got an inch chopped off and kept the layers, and blah, blah, blah. At least I don’t have two inches of bangs hanging in my eyes! I hate that!

6.       Sunday was Easter, and we spent part of the day up at my grandparents’ house eating ham and green beans and scalloped potatoes and asparagus, a Jell-o mold, and an angel food cake with Cool Whip and sliced strawberries, and visiting with them and my aunt and uncle.  It was, for the most part, a pleasant day, but mom and I left after just a couple hours. Neither of us was feeling terribly well, so we just wanted to go home, put on comfy clothes and relax the rest of the day. Which we did.

7.    Sunday night I coloured my hair, and now it’s soft, shiny and auburn (Feria by L’Oreal in Cardinal, in case you’re interested), just the way I like it.


Wouldn't It Be Nice?

This morning as the bus pulled up to the Courthouse and I fumbled to put my book away (the book I was so engrossed with I hadn't noticed we were nearly at the stop to begin with!), a thought occurred to me: wouldn't it be nice to just ride the bus all day long and read a book or take photos or just take in the scenery?

Yes, I think it would. I even have it all planned out (though I have no idea if the bus schedule would even accommodate it, but I'm just dreaming here, right?):

Morning: Ride the bus into SLO, have coffee at favourite coffee/tea shop. Sit and read, or go window shopping, or take interesting and lovely pictures.

Early afternoon: Ride to Morro Bay for a nice lunch overlooking the bay. Sit in the park watching the people play giant chess, read, take pictures.

Mid- to Late-Afternoon: Ride to Paso Robles, sit in wine bar sipping vino and reading, then take a walk through the park. Maybe sit on a bench and read some more.

Early evening: Ride home. Hopefully the book will be finished by then, and I can just pick up something light for dinner and head home.

It sounds so relaxing and wonderful and adventurous and fun! I might just have to do that some time.


2008 Easter Card

Completedcard

A simple but cool design for this year's Easter Card. I used the empty egg stamp by Stampa Barbara, stamping it randomly on striped paper, then cut them out and pasted them on a tan panel pasted to a white card. I used a Susan Branch Letter and Numbers set to stamp out "Happy Easter" across the top of the card in Sky Mist ink by Fabrico.

Eastercard2008

Enjoy!


It Was Supposed to Rain Today

A big storm was expected to come through this area this weekend. Yesterday we got a little rain (there was hail on the Cuesta Grade, so I suppose that counts as "stormy"), and it was cold and cloudy, but today is sunny and bright. It's still very windy and quite cold, but I still went out to fill up my bird feeder and check out things in the back yard.

Blossoms

Our little tree is still blooming and starting to get it's summer leaves.

Comeback

Mom cut this plant down really low; we thought it might've died, which would mean we would have to dig it up and plant a lovely yellow rose bush there, but, alas! It appears to be making a comeback.

Sunstake

My friend DeeDee bought this pretty sun plant stake for my mom when she was down visiting. We finally found a perfect place for it.

Lastyearsflowers

We planted these flowers last summer, and it looks like we might have them again this year.

Backyard31608

The view from the den is still lovely. I would like to add some glossy blue ceramic planters and maybe some garden art, but there's no hurry.


Choosing a New Kitchen Floor

This morning mom and I stopped by Home Depot to look at some peel-n-stick tiles for the kitchen floor. We found three designs we liked, purchased them and brought them home. We set them down on the floor to see which one we liked best. One was immediatly eliminated, leaving us with two tiles we're having trouble deciding between.

They both go well with our living room carpet.

Floor2

The both look good next to our cabinets.

Floor3

And our white appliances.

Floor4

I'm kinda leaning towards the one that's mostly browns and tans rather than the mostly grey one, but I don't know. They're both nice. They both work. It's a tough decision!

Floor1


An Evening at Farmer's Market

So, Farmer’s Market last night was so much fun! Miss S. and Miss K. and I headed to Barnes & Nobel after work and had coffee drinks and a light supper in the Starbucks Café upstairs. Well, not really light: I shared an herbed chicken sandwich with cheese with Miss K. (which was good), then got a bowl of the cheese and broccoli soup (which was bad). I was just bad yesterday, that’s all there is to it. I believe I made up for it, however, by walking lots and lots later on.

After eating, we wandered around B&N, and I couldn’t resist buying some pretty spring-like stationery and a cool journal. I had two books in my hand (Inkspell by Cordilia Funke and Terrier by Tamora Pierce), but put them back in favour of the other items. Miss S. insisted I must read Inkspell, and purchased it for me, as well as purchasing a book for Miss K. We took revenge on her by buying her a couple fun items, too. So there!

Once we finished shopping we headed to the already-bustling Farmer’s Market and met up with our current Student Worker (whom we dubbed The Boy) and his younger brother (whom we dubbed “The Child”). It has been a long time since I was at the market and I forgot how crazy it can be! There were tons of people – families, high school and college students, Goths and emos, a couple guys who looked like they were from The Ramones, and a couple girls dressed up like Vikings for some unknown reason. It was awesome! Unfortunately, it was too dark to take any decent pictures of the beautiful produce and flowers and such – that will have to wait till summer – but I did score some delicious veggies: a kolerabi (which is relatively unknown and I would link to some information about them, but I couldn’t find anything, so I’ll just say it’s kinda like a turnip), a head of cauliflower, some celery and some beets. I would’ve purchased more (the sample orange slices were delicious, and I totally would’ve picked up some organic apples, asparagus, artichokes, almonds and even some locally made olive oil and hummus), but I had taken one of my paralegal conference bags to carry everything in and it wasn’t big enough. If we end up making this a monthly or bi-monthly event, I might have to invest in a fold-down cart on wheels to carry all my stuff around in. As it was we had The Boy and The Child lug the stuff for us until we parted ways, then we had to lug our own!

It was a lovely, lovely evening and a great deal of fun! I cannot wait till next time!