Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wow....

So you know that thing that happens when your life gets busy and completely starts overwhelming all your waking hours? Yeah, that happened to me.  I've basically been living my life and forgetting to sit down and write about it. That and I don't write when the words won't come. I write for a living...and I generally think that since I have to force myself to write for work, that I shouldn't have to force myself to write for entertainment. So I don't.

What I've been up to:
I've been working on the house. Finally planted a garden again. Which due to some bad placement on my part has not been hugely productive...Minus the basil which has gone nuts. I really got brave and painted my entire kitchen maroon. With white cabinets. I hate white cabinets, but I love the look against the maroon. So I'm dealing. Especially since I was the one who painted them. So the upshot is...shame on me, but I'm back to posting again.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Anthony's Room Transformation


Anthony's room in the house suffered from the same problems that everything in the house, minus the kitchen/dining room and the bathrooms. White walls, white carpet. Boring, boring, boring for an active little boy. Luckily, his room didn't need a lot of renvation work before it could be painted. The house had settled a little, so the old tape on several joints needed to be replaced and refloated, but that was a relatively easy job. If everyone has a hidden talent, mine is taping and floating wall joints....don't ask how I came by that...

Cleared for painting.

Anthony's bedset is full of life and color, so I wanted that to be carried out through his wall color. I chose a sky blue that I matched to his bedset. 

Loving his new bed with his comforter.

He was absolutely bowled over by the blue. He loved it.


But Mommy wasn't done yet. Storage space for toys is a major problem in any child's room. In particular, we needed a space to store his growing book collection and other odds and ends. Off to the Home Despot for more supplies... 

I found a great shelving system from Rubbermaid that didn't involve paint and time. They were all ready to go. With the help of a stud finder, I hung the shelves in about an hour. 

 Post-installation, pre-moving books in.

The shelves were empty for a whole five minutes before he wanted to put his books on them. Then I tackled the closet organizer. True to form, the previous owner had cobbled it together from scrap wood and then when something broke, only fixed it halfway. A project that should have taken an hour took three while I dealt with trying to prep the surface so it would take the paint well. However, alls well that ends well and I got the shelves painted.

Much better!
During the painting of the closet shelving unit, I discovered that the tape in the corner needed replacing, so I felt free to make a mess on the walls since it would be repainted to match the rest of the room.

Finally, I hung the curtians that matched his bedding and found some great wall stickers that matched his sheet set from Wallies. The walls in his room are pretty heavily textured, but I found that by using a stapler, I could give the stickers some extra staying power. A new energy efficient and much more modern fan with better light was hung through some trial and error.

Bed and Window Decorated

Window, Shelves and Chest of Drawers

He was shocked when he saw his room complete for the first time and now spends so much more time playing in there. It finally does look like a little boy's room!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The New Door

While I was in Alaska, my parents were taking care of my farm and my kiddo. I had been having problems getting the front door shut on the house, but the problem would come and go. While I was gone though, the problem progressed to the point that my dad couldn't even shut my front door. I knew that it would have to be replaced when we bought the house. I just wasn't planning on it needing to be replaced the weekend after I arrived home from a long trip.

The old door-Warped frame, warped doorstep, warped door

So off we went to the Home Despot to buy a new door. My dad was all in favor of a plain white door. He is a guy after all....I wanted something a little nicer...Especially since I was going to be the one looking at it everyday...Hopefully for the next 10-15 years. 

Pretty Door!

The first order of business was pulling the old door out of the house and removing the frame. Cats and kids were locked up during the demolition process. 

No more ugly door!

The new door fit right into the frame after a little trimming and was shimmed in place. After some cussing, growling, and snarling, we got the frame screwed in and the door hung in the frame.

New Door Fitted

The next day, we fitted the outside of the door with Hardi-Plank board and placed the trim strips in. As soon as they were secure, the framing was painted with outdoor latex paint and the door was finished.

Outside...

And Inside!

Love the look of the new door and it made the house look so much more attractive and inviting. Not to mention the bonus of extra light in the living room and pretty patterns when the sun shines through the glass.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

The last Alaska post!

Apparently in 10 days of being in Alaska, I took nearly 300 personal pictures. The number of pictures that I took for work was nearly three times that amount. I was a picture taking fool. Mostly because I knew that the odds of being back any time soon were slim to none, so I tried to capture everything that I could. I took pictures with my cell phone, personal camera, and my "work" camera. If I wasn't taking pictures...I was sleeping or eating...and even eating didn't truly stop that. My partner and I managed to eke out a day off during the mad rush that was our trip to Alaska and drove down to Seward, AK to go check out one of the more accessible glaciers from the Harding Ice Field.



The drive down to Seward was gorgeous and we stopped everywhere to take pictures. We probably took twice as long to get down there as necessary because everything was so breathtaking in the morning light.


Me with Gorgeous Glacial Lake

Aforementioned Glacial Lake

Kenai River-The water really is blue colored

Snow Capped Peaks in morning light


Since I'm a geologist, I was more than a little excited to see a glacier up close. Since I'm a geologist who grew up and trained in Texas, I haven't ever seen a glacier up close. Nor seen the landscaping effects that I had only read about. Needless to say, I was a little geeky about the whole thing and insisted that we hike the 1.5 miles up to the glacier itself. My only disappointment was that because it was the end of summer, the glacier had retreated pretty far back and was therefore, not touchable. We did get to hear the glacier cracking, groaning, and calving, which was pretty awesome.


Exit Glacier

Hiking to the glacier in the outwash plain.

Glacial Pool filled with melt water.

Striated Rock from the glacier dragging across it.

Really awesome blue glow from the supercompacted ice.

I feel like I'm with a celebrity! (Note extreme geekiness!)


After we hiked back from visiting the glacier, we went down into Seward, had lunch, shopped, and then checked out the Kenai Fjords State Park. It was gorgeous, but I was still on a glacier high, so I admired it a bit and we started back to Kenai.

Kenai Fjords State Park

Marker commemorating the start of the Alaskan Railroad at the park.

Mile 0 of the Iditarod Trail.


We spent one more day working in Alaska and it was time to go home. It was an amazing journey and I am thrilled to my toes that I was fortunate enough to get to take it.

But I was sure glad to step onto the plane for home...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Alaska Part 3-The Southern Part

Our work took us further down south on the Kenai Peninsula. Near a small town named Ninilchik. We had decided to knock out a couple of sites that day and worked pretty hard to get to them and keep on schedule. One of the sites was directly on the coast...so before we got to work, I snapped a few pictures. Mornings in Alaska are not to be missed. The washes of pink and blue knocked my socks off every morning.

 
Morning at the Ninilchik Field

Looking down the coast

After we finished the field, we left out and headed further south to access a different and much more remote site. However, enroute, we realized that our cameras had chewed through all of the batteries we had on-had. So we stopped in the actual villiage of Ninilchik to get more.

Ninilchik Creek-Simply Gorgeous!

Another portion of the creek.

After finding batteries, we headed out to the site. Where we spotted the first photographable moose of our official moose count. 

 This was the field...I love my job some days

Moose Tracks...no, not the ice cream!

The first photographed moose! Eat your heart out National Geographic!

We finished up pretty early in the day, so we decided to drive down to Homer, Alaska for dinner. It is the most southern point that you can go on the Kenai Peninsula.


Homer, Alaska-what can I say? I was a little cold!


The view across the bay from Homer.

St. Augustine Volcano

View from the Homer Spit to the Harding Ice Field

A seal!


The Salty Dog Saloon on the Homer Spit.

We ate dinner at a fantastic little restaurant which was open for the last night of the season and then headed back to Kenai for a well deserved rest.  


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Alaska-Part 2

Sorry for the lag! I know that all you readers out there are just dying for the next installment of my Alaska trip. ;) I was having trouble with my computer and Blogger playing nicely...but that seems to have resolved itself and here we are.

After landing on the Kenai Peninsula, we took the opportunity to do some sightseeing and familiarizing ourselves with our new home for the next 9 days. So we drove down the Kenai Peninsula coast.
Mount Redoubt from the Kenai Peninsula

Mt. Redoubt again

Beautiful Trees


An Alaskan Double Rainbow

Beach on the Cook Inlet-Kenai Peninsula

Soldatna Creek

Soldatna Creek with swans
We thought this was the Swanson River and my field partner and I decided that the river must be named so because there were Swans-on- the river. We were clearly exhausted!

One of the things that I most wanted to see in Alaska was the wildlife that I had read so much about. Moose, bears, eagles, magpies, orcas, etc. My field partner had been to Alaska before and had hit a moose during the trip, so he wanted to be especially watchful for them. So I was. And we started a "moose count" to keep track of how many we saw. We also started a bear count....although that was more tongue-in-cheek!

Moose Count: 21 Moose Imposters: 6
Cow

Juvenile Cow

Bull

Bear Count: 0 Stuffed Bear Count: 5
This one kinda looks like a friend of mine!

Up next-the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula-Stay Tuned!