Interstellar Adventures

April 3, 2008

Yowzers!

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Interstellar Casa — by InterstellarLass @ 10:48 pm

Nick came home from his writing meeting tonight and said ‘Honey, you need to come see this.’ Not knowing what it could be (what with the jr. high possible gang assault two doors down yesterday) I went to the front door and looked out. HOLY SHIT! ‘Where’s my camera?!?!’ I yelled. (Because I’m a sucky-ass slacker and never post or take photos anymore.)

Big Moth

And then Nick was too chicken to hold the ruler out to measure, so I held the ruler AND took the picture (my excuse for the wonky angle).

5 inches

Also, today marks exactly two months until Zed turns 13. OMG! I’m about to have a teenager. Check out those beautifully thick, curly locks!

Zed T-minus Two Months

March 13, 2008

Progress

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Family & Friends,Interstellar Casa,Mom Life,Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 2:10 am

There’s all kinds of progress going on around here.

Pop is making good progress with his therapy. He has a couple of ladies come a couple of times a week. One works his arms, the other works his legs. He’s more steady on his feet now, and can walk a little further than he could before.

Elle is making progress at school – with her new testing accommodations. A test that was administered in January was readministered in a more isolated setting just a few weeks later, and she increased her score by 20 points. TAKS scores come back week after next. Hopefully there was progress there too.

Elle is also making progress in soccer. She’s playing goalie fairly consistently, and improving her skills there. According to her team manager, she made many tough saves in last weekend’s indoor championship game, helping her team win. Friday night she and I are going to a district match between two of the area’s top high school girl’s teams.

Zed is making progress – growing up. Every day he looks more like a teenager. His grades remain great, he’s doing well in band, and he’s even making progress in athletics. He’s increasing his weight-lifting poundage capacity.

Zed is also making progress in the fantastic kid category. Of course, I’ve always thought he was fantastic. Most of the time. But he’s becoming more responsible and more helpful. And his dad finally noticed. For which I am glad, but I also throw huge kudos to Nick. He’s an amazing step-dad to my kids.

Nick is making progress on de-cluttering the house. The man is truly great at laundry, and when he sets his mind to it, he can clear a room in a matter of minutes.

Nick and I are both making progress on the house. After this weekend, we hope to have the house listed and a sign in the yard by Monday or Tuesday. Nope, I can’t belive we finally made it either. In the triangle of project management there are three keys – scope, cost, and time. They all impact each other in some way when one or another becomes a constraint. Don’t have the time? Better have lots of money and a little scope. Our constraint was cost. Therefore timeline extended. Ah well. Can’t change physics or the space-time continuum. It is what it is.

I’m making progress at work – when I’m not being pulled in four different directions. I’m finally loving my  job again. It’s keeping me busy, and even when I get a breath, new network configurations keep me from visting anyone that doesn’t have their own domain. Sigh.

And, despite my lack of updates, I’m making progress in the workout arena. Last week I was down 4 lbs. A drop in the bucket, but progress where I was seeing none, despite my effort.

Hopefully after we list I’ll have time to make progress and come around and visit a few people soon.

February 29, 2008

Photo Crazy

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Family & Friends,Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 12:12 am

Breaking through the cobwebs here with a post of photos I’ve taken here and there lately. Or not so lately (is Christmas still ‘lately’?). I’ve been super busy with work. I’m not sure where the last two months have gone. This is the best job, best project team, best position, and best professional growth opportunity I’ve had in the last 3.5 years. We also have two weeks to get our house listed. We’re t.h.i.s. close to being done. The outside is being painted this week. Then it’s all onesy-twosy little things that irritate.

So here are some photos to entertain in lieu of interesting content.

My mom and her sister. They look nothing alike, right?

One night, Zed started a puzzle, out of boredom. He asked for my help. And we had so much fun doing the puzzle together, we decided to get another one. So a couple of nights a week, we spend a few hours talking, puzzling, laughing, and just spending good quality time together. The Garfield was our first. The pastoral scene is still in progress. It’s much harder.

 

When Nick and I took the cabinet from our bathroom, we found more velvet wall paper. This time it was green roses. I managed to tear it off the wall and keep it all in one piece. Pop thought it was ‘nice’, so I think I’m going to try to frame it for him. I can’t imagine an entire bathroom in green velvel wallpaper. There was very similar yellow velvet wallpaper in the guest bath. This house must have been the ultimate in 70’s hotness at one time.

 

And, finally, Zed at his Winter Concert last month. He was First Chair, and he had a solo in one of the three pieces they played. YAY! I was super proud of him. Sniff, he’s growing up so fast!

January 9, 2008

Ambigous Title Here

Filed under: Adventures,Elle & Zed,Family & Friends,Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 3:01 pm

I get so tired of trying to come up with a catchy title, and more often than not, they suck. Like when I used to have to do last minute copy-writing for these travel emails I used to send for an old employer. No more than 25 characters, but I had to promote at least 2 travel packages and be cute and snappy. Cute and snappy are not two adjectives I choose to describe me.

Zed got braces last week. It was bad enough that he was starting to get that ‘hey you’ve got something on your upper lip oops not really it’s just darkening peach fuzz’ thing going on, and that he has been coughing, clearing his throat, squeaking, sounding hoarse and all that stuff that happens when boys’ voices change. But now. With the braces, he looks like a Genuine Teenager. And he is only a mere 5 months away from turning 13. Where’s my rewind button? He can’t possibly have just suddenly grown up. I must have missed something in between when he started kindergarden and last week. I’ve actually started having those anxiety pangs of ‘omigosh he’s actually going to be leaving me in just a few short years’. I’m hugging him too much, telling him I love him constantly, and looking at him and getting stupid grins on my face that embarass him.*sigh* My baby. I think it must only hurt worse from here on out rather than get better with time.

My other baby is getting a palate expander tomorrow. Whereas Zed has plenty of space between his teeth, Elle has a small, crowded mouth. Funny, she talks so much! So for the next ten months I get to use this little tool to turn her expander to give her a bigger mouth. Our orthodontist is making out like a bandit on us right now! Thank goodness for Health Flex Plans.

Also, I’m giving this whole running thing another go. In my right sidebar I’ve got a little RSS feed setup for easy access. Because I know you want to spend your whole day with me.

Pop’s arm is doing better. He’s got a brace on his arm and a new hospital bed so he can get in and out by himself and doesn’t have to sleep in his chair anymore, and no less than 3 nurses that come visit him once or twice a week each. And they all have to check his bloodpressure and take his temperature every time they come see him. Why for a broken arm, I don’t know. He’s slightly resistant just because he’s so old and stubborn, but we have seen a dramatic improvement in his walking strength and balance, so it seems to be working.

Nick is having fun being Pop’s nurse and the Housekeeper. Hey! I just realized, I’m having an affair with my Housekeeper. How thrilling! I just hope he’s not getting addicted to soaps! And that he doesn’t look in my bottom drawer. 😉

December 7, 2007

Friday, With Feeling

Filed under: Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 1:25 pm

Phew. I was in training for two days this week. That was fun. Sort of. The hotel was in a rather skanky part of town, which made me a little suspect about the training itself, but I was pleasantly surprised and it wasn’t that bad. Plus I got a free book and a professional membership. Well, it was included with the class I should say. Which my company paid for.

Christmas is just a little more than three weeks away. And it’s 78F outside right now. There is something wrong with this picture. I also have no tree up, no lights up, and no shopping done. Again, I slack until the last possible Christmas minute. So this weekend will be a tree-trimming, house-lighting weekend. I don’t know when I’m going to go shopping. Budget is an issue this year, and fortunately we ‘drew names’ for the adults in the family. So that will make it a bit easier, but will slightly diminish the holiday feeling for me.

I’ll probably end up hosting Christmas again this year. Which Nick doesn’t like. I host everything. It’s just logistically easier for me to do. Last year we compromised, and we had the morning to ourselves and did a Christmas dinner with the family. Hopefully that will suffice again this year. Poor Nick. He puts up with so much. I love him to pieces.

November 29, 2007

Lame, But With House Photos

Filed under: Family & Friends,Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 1:38 am

That’s me. Eleven days since I updated this thing that used to be a blog.

When I last left you, I was painting and staining my little heart out. I didn’t finish everything, but I did have the cabinet doors, door hardware, and lighting panels installed before Thanksgiving day. I went to bed at 2 am Thursday and was back up at 6 am to cook the stuffing and stuff the bird, which I feared was still slightly frozen in the middle. This was confirmed when I had to cold-rinse and pry the neck out of the turkey.

The fortunate thing was I had assigned out a lot of the side dishes. I had turkey, stuffing (or dressing, whichever), cranberry sauce, appetizers and rolls. I actually got to sit, briefly, before everyone arrived. All 17 of ’em. Thankfully Nick & Zed to Pop to see brother-in-law Bubba for the day. That was 3 less mouths to feed.

Happily, the bird turned out perfect, juicy and brown. The gravy was delicious, and I managed to have seating for everyone thanks to the miraculous appearance of additional folding chairs.

I didn’t go to bed until after 11 pm that night. And then on Friday, I slept. A lot. I didn’t pry my ass out of bed until 2:30 pm. Over 14 hours of sleep, after about 14 hours total Sunday – Wednesday. I think I’m still at a deficit though.

It was back to work this week though. This phase of my project is closing out this week, and we’re gearing up for the next phase. I’ve been in a windowless meeting room all this week and the week before Thanksgiving. It’s been ‘casual week’ all week, which has made it easier to quickly get ready for work. And I’m taking off Friday. Something to do with candles, cake, cards, and getting another year older or some such nonsense.

I leave you with long-promised photos. Before and after pictures of my poor kitchen. Which is now my almost-happy kitchen. Finishing touches include baseboards and completing the grouting of tile backsplash. I’m pretty happy with how it’s all turned out. The photos have lots of notes. Check out the befores and afters!

Before:  

After:

November 18, 2007

Paint & Stain

Filed under: Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 7:03 pm

Arrrgh. I spent from 10 am to 6:30 pm staining and painting trim today. And I’m not done. Today’s 80-degree weather and humidity kept the stain tacky. I haven’t put any on since about 3, and as of 7 pm, I still can see the sheen of tacky. More happily though, I’m painting over the ugly brown trim, and my hall looks much brighter, and wider, making me quite pleased. And that’s something these days.

**********

Pop is coming home tonight after three weeks away. Somehow Nick & I managed to get two semi-quiet weekends in, which again, amazes me. I don’t think we’re ready for the chaos to kick back in, but we seem to be tumbling headlong toward it. Fasten seat belts.

**********

Three days until turkey day. And I only have seating for 6. I need 10 more chairs. Anyone have any that fold up and fit in the mail?

November 13, 2007

I want to be done

Filed under: Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 4:33 pm

I want to be done painting.

I want to be done with staining.

I want to be done with baseboards.

I want to be done with tile.

I want to be done with cleaning.

I want to be done with spackling.

I want to be done with lighting.

I want to be done with worrying.

I just want to be done…

August 27, 2007

Painters Crack

Filed under: Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 3:32 pm

Since I do not plumb, that’s what I’ll call it. Last night, while bending over to re-soak my 3/4″ nap roller brush with masonry/stucco paint, Elle informed me that I needed to ‘pull my pants up’. Thanks baby. Mommy loves it when you make her aware of just how un-hot she is.

Saturday’s total paint purchase was 7 gallons of paint: 1 gallon masonry paint in Belgian Sweet, 4 gallons Toasted Wheat, and 2 gallons Creamy White. Plus 2 gallons of celing paint, and 5 gallons of primer. This all for a living room, kitchen, hallway and to cover the Mermaid Song green in Elle’s room. If you bought stock in Kilz last week, their profits just went up.

Attired in my painting gear – hole-y, grey Old Navy lounge pants, paint-smeared red Old Navy tank top, hair pulled into pony tail, bangs held back with mini-claw clip, old tennis shoes with no socks – I painted my fireplace last night. After I had painted my ceiling. I spent most of yesterday with snow-white freckles on my face and arms. Then discovered a new use for my fireplace ledge – stairstepper! All this time and I had a great piece of gym equipment occupying my living room.

I also removed the ugly wood wall paneling from the TV wall. It felt good to tear that stuff down. We’ll prime and paint that wall, and then apply white beadboard. The room already looks twice as big!

It’s nice to finally see some progress. Painting in the fireplace was a good decision. Nick had intially been against it, but then when he commented on how he liked a fireplace in a house on which we were doing recon, I noted it was painted. Last night, I was very pleased with the outcome, even though we still have to paint some of the grout lines. Painting concrete is a bitch! And tough on the brush. The one I’m using will have to be retired after this job.

With the long Labor Day holiday coming up, I plan to be done by next Monday. But here’s what the Behr web site says my living room will look like when I get it painted. Sadly, the lighting in my house isn’t this good, and my furniture isn’t nearly as cool. Just imagine a 12-year old couch and two recliners in place.

livingroom.jpg

August 23, 2007

Home is Where the Contractor Is

Filed under: Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 2:23 pm

I think I’m grinding my teeth more. Might explain the headaches I’ve been having. We’re so close to finishing a few projects. It’s making me itch thinking about how close we are. And I’m just wanting to throw my hands up, hoping they’ll finish themselves.

The guy who did the texturing around our new french doors is supposed to come back and fix a corner. Only he won’t call us back. I’m going to have to call our realtor and have her get on him, since she recommended him and all. And since we paid him a shitload of money.

The bathroom floors are done and they look great. I promise I’ll post pictures. One day. For real. Now we just need baseboards installed. You think it’s easy, but it’s totally not.

I took a shower in MY.OWN.SHOWER. this week for the first time since November. I.Loved.It. Heaven. Shame we’re trying to leave it now.

Kitchen countertops are ordered. And why do they have to template after they’ve already measured? And why does it take two weeks for them to come out and cut some cardboard? Especially after I have to prepay for it. Home improvement is a total racket.

We’ve figured out who the assholes at Home Depot and Lowes are. And we’ve figured out who will actually help us. Their motto should be “You Can Do It. We Can Sit Back and Laugh Our Asses Off At You and Not Give A Straight Answer to Your Questions.”

Pop’s house is supposed to close tomorrow. Nick and Pop are at the title company right now. Cross fingers, that’s done. Once our counters are installed, I’m listing our house, despite the fact that the cabinet doors won’t be changed out. I’m going to just paint them and put on some new hardware. If I can get away without changing them that’s what I’m going to do.

Now that the majority of the heavy stuff is done, it’s me and my roller brush. A six-pack of beer to anyone that comes and helps me paint a room! And I mean good beer. Not LoneStar Light.

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