OK, I think I have caught up with all the news. Keep reading till you see something you recognize and you'll have it all, too!
No we haven't fallen off the face of the Earth and we are not ignoring you! We are having some not so fun ISP issues. If you use a Comcast e-mail address, John and I cannot write to you. Well, we can write to you and send it...but it goes off into cyberspace to somewhere unknown. John can't send mail to me and I can't send mail to myself...very weird. We don't know for sure if it's Interbel (our ISP here in Eureka which we use to connect to the internet) or Earthlink which we use for e-mail and browsing. I have talked with Earthlink and we did discover that our Web Mail works normally, but it doesn't work when we use Outlook Express...so until we get things fixed I will try to send to Comcast people via Web Mail. We CAN get your mail! We have had some other internet issues with Interbel that they are not able to solve, so we are planning to switch to Montana Skynet when we move. We took my laptop to their office in Kalispell where they graciously let me connect and we had no problems getting to the web sites we can't get to on Interbel. So, in the meantime....know that we are trying to solve the problem, we haven't forgotten you, and you can always check here to see what's going on. Leave a comment and I will get it!
I've mentioned Blurb a couple of times. Their free software, Book Smart, allows you to write and publish your own book. And....if you're a blogger on Typepad and some of the other popular blogging sites you can "slurp" your blog into the software, do a little editing and publish it in book form. I'd decided I would do this at the end of each year. So, I finally sent in my 2006 posts in book form and received them yesterday. I am thrilled with the results. If you have anything you'd like to publish, check them out....Blurb (click here)
We decided to do a little decorating and make the back entry from the garage into our house into more of a "mudroom". We stained pine tongue-and-groove boards with the Autumn Maple stain we are using on the cabinets and the rest of the woodwork and put them up on two of the walls where we will have storage for gloves and hats, hang hooks for our coats, and put a bench for taking off boots. I put the glue on and John put the boards up. We still need to get another piece of quarter-round molding for the end corner and we'll need to decide whether to put a small molding at the top or perhaps some type of small pine shelf. They don't make these boards in 9' lengths, so we have our Ambitious Amber color above. We are very happy with the way it turned out! It's just the right touch of "Montana cabin" :)
The tile for our master bath floor arrived on Monday and I brought it back from Kalispell...yes, in the Beetle. You'd be amazed at what that thing can haul! Matt has the tile down and ready to grout. The rest of the tile and the carpeting should be in by tomorrow or early next week!
And Monday night we had snow...that's lasted! We may have some more over the next few days.
Sunday dawned bright and early (and cold) for the trip to Missoula to see Shayla and Legend off, back to Las Vegas and St. George. Things were going a little slow getting out the door, but I headed off to Whitefish in the Beetle to leave it at Budget car rental while we went to Missoula (we'd rented an SUV for the week of visiting). The rest of the gang left the house about 10 minutes behind me. We made the obligatory stop at Starbucks in Kalispell and decided to take Hwy 35 along the east side of Flathead Lake...a gorgeous drive, especially with snow on the ground. We arrived at the Missoula airport, got them checked in and found ourselves with only about 30 minutes to eat. We went over to the restaurant, John got menus, we sat down, ordered, and advised the waitress we didn't have a lot of time. No problem, she hustled and got our food out. We ate and headed over to security just as they began boarding their Allegiant flight. No line at the security gate, so no problem! We gave hugs and kisses and said our good-byes and off they headed. Brad and I hurried back to the restaurant where we knew we could watch them walk out on the tarmac to the ramp and board. We'd told them to be sure to wave. I'd gotten a photo of them coming off the plane, so now here was my chance to get one going the other way. So we waited and we waited and we waited some more. After a bit no more people were coming out....and still no Shayla and Legend. We see a cart of luggage pull up, good....we know they have a few minutes. A few more minutes go by, still no Shayla and Legend. We see the flight attendant leave the gate and walk out to the plane, the ramp people are preparing to pull the ramp away from the plane! Still, no Shayla and Legend! At this point I am picturing myself getting a rental car and driving to St. George with no luggage of my own! Still, no Shayla and Legend. All of a sudden the flight attendant turns around and runs back to the door! She opens it and all I can see is Shayla's purse flinging out the door as she tries to get herself, their luggage, and Legend out the door. The flight attendant takes Legend's bag (check out that Spiderman bag :) and they all hurry to the plane. Whew! That was close! Yes, I got my photo. With a plane full of people waiting, Shayla still remembered to give us that wave :) As we were leaving the airport I got a text message. They had been held up at security cause she had 4 small cans of tomato juice in her backpack. Doh! None of us knew she had them. I had told her you can't take water through security, but she had grabbed these for the plane as they left home without thinking about them as being forbidden liquids. When they reached the gate, the door to the tarmac was locked and everyone was gone. She stood there banging on the door and someone saw them. The flight attendant said she turned around and saw Legend standing there and couldn't leave a cute little guy like that standing there. Saved by a dimple!
Legend was Spiderman for Halloween this year. I don't have any official treat-or-treat photos, but he brought his costume with him and loves to wear it (just like last year with the Superman costume, he's finally outgrown that one). He is lucky that Nana (his other Grandma) is such a creative seamstress. She really outdid herself on the Spiderman get-up! Shayla had painted his face for trick-or-treating...
Watch it, he'll get you with his web! And here's an extra little Spiderman treat :)
Well....I have a lot of catching up to do! One thing at a time starting with last Saturday while Legend, Shayla, and Brad were still here. We went to the Kalispell Mall to see Santa! Legend has always been happy and excited to visit with the jolly, old man and this time was no exception. We won't get the official photos for 2-3 weeks, but the photographer gave me permission to take a few of my own. And what did Legend tell Santa he wants for Christmas???....a robot as big as himself!
Shayla had asked me to take some photos that she could use on her Christmas cards, so while we were at the mall we used the decorated Christmas trees in the stores as a background and snapped some more shots. I really like this one!
Later that evening Legend asked Papa if he could fly the airplane on the computer. He is pretty fascinated by flying and that pleases John no end :) You can tell by the smiles that they are both having a good time. Legend did a passable job flying with the joystick.
After dinner we saw the "Bee Movie" at the Majestic Theatre in downtown Eureka. The movie doesn't start till 8:00 PM, so Legend wore his new Spiderman pajamas and wrapped up in a blanket. It's what kids do in a small town!
We have been "birthdaying" all day long. He wanted to open one present as soon as everyone was up, so he did and played with his new Hot Wheels set from Daddy until it was time to help Grandma put the birthday cake together. He'd requested a pirate ship cake "like the one Trevor had" (Thanks to Trevor and Wendy for loaning us the pirate pieces for the cake!). We had fun getting it put together and getting his name on it...also a specific request.
We ate lunch at Cafe Jax and Mom added her name to the wall at the cafe. After lunch we came home for presents and cake. I'd gotten him a pirate hat to wear and he looked so cute! One of his favorite things was the card I'd gotten him :) He is a huge Superman fan. The card plays the Theme from Superman which Legend is always humming and the inside couldn't have been more perfect...check it out! Shayla had gotten him the same card, but forgot to bring it....so there's at least one to go in his scrapbook :)
Before we had cake, it was time for the treasure hunt. Papa hid a treasure chest, drew a treasure map, and wrote out clues for each one of us to read for him. Legend had a blast figuring out the map and the clues and loved finding the "X" marking the treasure :) When he found out he was going on a treasure hunt, he decided he'd be needing an eye patch...Grandma's craft supplies to the rescue!
And last but not least.....we had cake!
Happy Birthday, Sweetie! We love you so much :)
After our tour of the new house and the trip up Grave Creek (see previous post), we had a traditional turkey dinner. Shayla added to it with a cranberry/orange salad and a chocolate pie. Yum-O! As soon as dinner was over, Legend helped me bake his birthday cake(s) which tomorrow will become a pirate ship. Of course, licking the beaters is a part of any baking.
Here's a few more shots from our day...
We put on our usual painting clothes and went out to the house late this morning. The painting is done except for one more coat in the storage room (the Smiley face John painted on the wall shows through :) and the touch-up around the ceilings in the living room, hallway, laundry room, powder room and pantry. I used painter's tape there....that was a mistake. When I began taking the tape off I found lots of seepage under it. So I quit using it and I got a much better line doing it by hand. When we got to the house we found that Matt and his wife were sanding the wood floors in preparation for putting a first coat of finish on it tomorrow. My ladder and I would just be in the way, not to mention the dust that was flying all over. Day off! We were hoping to finish that touch-up and put up the bead board wall in the mudroom to be done with it before Thanksgiving, but no problem...we'll get to it after our company leaves. We'll have to wait till Thursday when the floors are dry to give a house tour to Shayla, Legend, and Brad.
Most of our tile should arrive this week. We are having an issue with the heating mat that goes under the tile in the master bath. That needs to be resolved before the tile goes down. We bought a special tester in Kalispell last Friday, but it doesn't appear to be working so we'll try to get it exchanged when we come back through there tomorrow.
We have a tentative move-in time of the week before Christmas, but Paul is "not making any promises". It mostly depends on the Poes....Bill, the woodworker (cabinets, baseboards, doors, window trim) and Matt, the all-around handyman (tile, wood floors, finish carpentry). We'll be giving our landlord notice for the end of December and keep our fingers crossed!
I read her blog post most every day. She discusses everything from her view of politics (almost all of which I can agree with) to the antics of her pre-schoolers. Jody lives in Iowa and is a member of the same Yahoo Wishblade group that I am on. That's how I found her blog and became a faithful reader. So why am I telling you about Jody? Well, take a look at her blog Iowa Geek (click the link). You may enjoy her antics, too. And why am I telling you about her now? Each month she has a giveaway of some kind, usually scrapbook related, but not always. This month she is giving away 2 subscriptions to "Our Iowa" magazine. If you go take a look, please leave a comment and let her know I sent you. We'll both get an entry into her contest. OK, maybe you're not particularly interested in Iowa, but my grandma was born there and her parents, too. They left Iowa for Idaho after being wiped out by a tornado....twice! I was there once when I was about 12, but Iowa is on my list of places to go for work on my family history....couldn't hurt to be reading that magazine!
We started the day with some snow flurries! (see previous post) When I arrived at Mountain Dreams Oreo was on the front porch. He always gets up and comes to greet me, but not today...he knew where the warmest spot was and he was staying there! It was very cold in the bedroom where I was working and upstairs where John was, so he made a trip home and got 2 portable heaters. Those helped a lot and were a welcome addition to the portable furnace that Paul has in our hallway. Bill and Willy finished putting in the kitchen base cabinet frames last night, but oops!...the island is 2 inches too close to the stove which means it is not lined up with the opposite bank of cabinets and the middle pendant light will not be lined up over the sink. Paul put in a call to Bill to have it moved. We are so happy with the cabinets themselves. The cherry wood with the Autumn Maple stain looks just gorgeous with our amber walls :) (It'll be even better when we get all the dust off the walls!!!)
Ed came from Masterpiece One in Kalispell and measured for our carpet. Somehow I forgot to get a photo of him doing his thing and no picture of the carpet, either! But, its a green Berber, "Boston Fern" with just a hint of cream that will pick up the color upstairs.
And then we had Justin from Distinctive Countertops measuring for our quartz. It was interesting watching him work. He set up little target points on all the corners and started aiming a laser around the kitchen. He said it has to get the same measurement 47 out of 50 times before it will lock in. All the measurements are recorded and will be plugged into a CAD program at the shop to cut our countertops. He also took our 2 kitchen sinks as they are both undermounts and they will do that at the shop. Should be about 2 weeks and they'll be ready!
John finished painting the second coat on the bonus/office space, that was a huge job! I put another coat in the master bedroom closet and hall while playing hostess to Ed and Justin. When I ran out of paint, I stained some of the boards that are going on the wall in the mudroom area. Tomorrow we are going to pick up some trouble lights to use in the garage. The big lights aren't installed out there yet and it's getting too dark by about 4:00 to work out there! And Paul??? He was in Kalispell today getting a new truck!
Tomorrow we are taking the day off from the house and going to the Flathead again...more paint, need to order door hardware, pick up the backordered trim kits for our sloped recessed lights...and, of course, groceries and Costco! I also need to pick up some 9x9 baking pans so Shayla and I can make Legend's pirate ship birthday cake. He is so excited for his birthday he can hardly stand it! They'll all be here in just 5 days!
Things are moving along. Today the first of our cabinets were delivered. The base cabinets were being installed in the kitchen when we left late this afternoon. Good thing...cause tomorrow Woody from Distinctive Countertops in Kalispell will be coming to make the templates for our quartz countertops (which will take about 2 weeks to be delivered!) Also tomorrow we'll have Ed from Masterpiece One Carpet and Tile in Kalispell coming to measure for the carpeting upstairs and in the master bedroom. Paul made a visit to Ed today and placed the order for the tile for the master bath and my studio (see selections below!) We took our Viking stove out of our basement storage and it is now sitting in place in the kitchen. It needed to be there for the templating tomorrow. All the Wonderboard is in place in the master bath and John and Matt put down the heating mat for the floor tile. Those of you not married to me may not know that I have the world's coldest feet. I am so looking forward to heated tile floors. Those heating mats are the only reason I agreed to tile. Matt put Wonderboard on the floor of my studio today and the heating mat will probably go in there tomorrow. And me? Good Heavens....I am still painting. (You know the movie "Groundhog Day"??? That is my life these last 6 weeks :) John wired most of the outlets over the last couple of days, so today he did a lot of painting of the 2nd coat in the upstairs bonus space, just the ceiling left to do. I finished up in the theatre and then got a start in the master bedroom. I'll need to go around to all the rooms with a bucket of the Eggwhite paint and do little touch-ups. You probably know that it is a painting rule that you cannot paint a room without at least one goof-up where the wall paint touches the ceiling. At least we don't have that problem in the bonus space as it is all one color. We are close to being done and then will tackle the staining and installing of the wood walls we are putting in our "mudroom". Our goal is to be done with all of that by Monday as Brad, Shayla, and Legend arrive on Tuesday!
PS: I have no idea why the above is underlined. It happens sometimes when I use spellcheck and then it won't let me take it off. Sometimes Typepad just has a mind of it's own.
We spent all day yesterday in Kalispell. We got more paint to finish up the interior painting. As I told the employees at Sherwin-Williams, I really like them but I hope not to see them again until spring :) We also have chosen our tile and carpet. We brought several sample boards home after working with Ed at Masterpiece One. He was very knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful in finding what we were looking for. Tomorrow we'll talk with Matt who is going to set the tile in the master bath and go over what goes where, so the tile order can be placed for there, my studio floor, and a kitchen back splash (probably just a 6"). If we can get the order in by Tuesday afternoon, it'll be on a truck out of Dallas and up here by the end of the week. Ed will be coming out, hopefully sometime this week, to measure for carpet upstairs and in the master bedroom. We stopped by Adoornment to order door hardware, but Annie was not there (We found out they are open on Saturday by appointment only.) We also accomplished a front-end alignment on the Beetle at Les Schwab, grocery shopping at Rosauer's, a look at peel-and-stick-tiles at Home Depot for the storage room (we've decided against those, we'll use the leftover wood from the floors downstairs), birthday gift shopping for a special little guy at Target, and a stop at Costco. The last stop was at the new wood-fired pizza restaurant, Bullman's, at Hutton Ranch. It was very good pizza, service could use a little polish, and they don't get their beer and wine license for another 2 weeks...but I'd go back.
Our cabinets are promised for Tuesday or Wednesday and we've rescheduled Woody from Distinctive Countertops in Kalispell to do the templates on Thursday. (Which reminds me we need to take our stove out there on Wednesday!) Once the templates are done, the counter tops should only take about 2 weeks!
And me...I've got one (hopefully, not two!) more coat of paint in the stairwell, John's office, and the bonus space...two coats on the theatre walls (ceiling and slopes are done)...two coats in the master bedroom (vaulted ceiling is done), one coat in the master closet and one coat in the powder room.
We need to install the electric heating mats in the master bedroom and studio to keep that tile warm! Install the tile studio floor. The furnace needs to be hooked up. The 2 water heaters need to be installed. Interbel has put the connection on the outside of the house for phone, they need to come back and do the inside work. As soon as the phone lines are working we are going to call Montanasky and change our ISP. (Having some complicated issues with DSL Interbel service.) We'll need to get the satellite people out to install a dish (yuck, I am really gonna hate having that thing hanging on my house).Matt will install all the window and door trim and the baseboards and, I guess, the doors. John and I are installing a wood paneled wall along 2 sides of the mud room area. I need to get those stained! I'm sure there's a million other things to do, too.
It was about 7 months ago that Paul asked if I would be interested in doing the painting at the Ferderer's house next door. At that time I didn't have any "paint clothes" so I needed to figure out what I was going to wear to paint in. I found an old pair of jeans, an old shirt, a sweatshirt, bought a couple more shirts at the thrift store...but what to do about shoes! I didn't want to use my good walking tennis shoes or my boots, but I had my pink tennis shoes I bought in Australia to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I hadn't worn them too much since, so decided to use those. Well, here they are today. I think paint is all that is holding them together. It's a testimonial to the quality of the Sherwin-Williams paint we are using. That stuff dries and actually forms sheets of paint. There are several holes in the mesh part on the top of my shoes and, of course, that's where the paint always drop on my foot so it gets on my socks, too. When the paint gives out, I'm going to duct tape :)
John got the sealer on the back deck and painted the metal support brackets on the front porch (the ones that hold up the second floor :) He also finished priming the last of those pesky shingles!
Hank, the gutter guy and his helper put up gutters and downspouts all around, except for the corner of the front porch. We are hoping to avoid having a downspout cutting across the porch, so we are going to order a rain chain and give it a try. Hank set us up for that. I couldn't believe how well the gutters match the trim! I thought we might have a problem matching Red Barn, but Colonial Red did the trick. Hank said that was the best match he'd ever seen! This continuous gutter machine they use now is quite amazing. It's pretty cool to see this big roll of metal turn into a gutter and they can make it as long as they want, cut it off, and put it up.
Matt got a great start on the shower pan and bench in the master bath. And me? I was painting, what else???? But no photos to show for that. I am usually working by myself and anyone else there is off doing something else. Guess I'll have to take a tripod and prove I actually did some work :)
Latest news on the cabinets....Bill's wife usually does the sanding and she has been sick. Newest estimate on delivery is Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. We have rescheduled the countertop template people for Thursday...keeping my fingers crossed!
This is what I've been seeing when I go out to my car in the morning. I am learning to love the spray deicer can :) Friday when I left for Kalispell at 9 AM it was 15 degrees. It has been warming into the 40s and low 50s in the afternoon. John just checked the forecast for the rest of the week here in Eureka. We are wanting to seal the deck or at least the decking on the porch. We need 40 degrees for 24 hours. Well, that's not going to happen, but we figured we could tent the front porch and put a couple of heaters out there to get that part done. Well, there it is in the forecast....the first snow of the year predicted for Saturday. It doesn't say "chance of snow" or "snow showers", it says "SNOW"! Gotta go find my hat and gloves!
John and I started taking art lessons in September. I think I made mention of it in a previous post, but we've finally gotten to a point where there is actually something to see :) Our teacher is Wanda Mumm and she is not only a wonderful artist and painter, but a terrific teacher. She is patient (a fortunate thing for us) and explains things well. She started with the very basics of shadow and composition and she is wonderful at explaining color and how it changes with atmosphere. Our first assignments were to paint our own gray scale (11 shades of gray from white to black), a color wheel, and an atmospheric color chart which taught us how colors change from foreground to background and how to mix colors to get what we need. Wanda moved to Eureka a year ago from Minnesota. I am excited about starting her watercolor class sometime in the next few weeks, as I think that is really the medium I'll most enjoy. We each chose a photo to work from for our first oil painting. I used one from Paradise at Mt. Rainier when we were there with Char, Max, and Nick. John is using one of the old Grave Creek schoolhouse that I took here last fall. We were meeting at Wanda's house, but have now moved downtown to what is soon to be a new coffee and entertainment house! You can see an example of Wanda's painting in the background as she is doing the mural of Thierrault Pass on the wall of our meeting room. We are having a fun time with this!
Each evening for the last week or so when we come home (to the rental house) here is what we see grazing in the back of the house. The first night I think I scared the bejeezers out of them when I came quickly up the driveway and I saw 5 of them run up the hill. Since then I've been pulling in slowly and they are getting use to me. Now they just perk up and look at me as I get out of the car, gather my things, and go in the house. We think maybe they are also bedding down in the tall grass at night as we've seen them there when we come home later in the dark.
We were told there was a large bull elk standing in the driveway right outside our new house a couple of weeks ago. We know there are a couple of large herds that come down from Canada in the winter. We saw them near the airport several times last fall. There is a spring just down the hill from our house on the forest service land, so apparently they head there and hang out.