Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dear Photograph,

You should really visit . It's very interesting to see the old pictures and the things people say about them. I looked for a couple to use and I stopped by the old house where we grew up. The first time I drove by to do this project, there were kids everywhere and I felt like I was a creeper! I kept driving and went to the store so I'd have a little time to pluck up my courage.

When I came back, the kids were all inside so I walked up to the door and knocked on it. A young lady came to the door and I thought it might be a young wife because the kids I had seen earlier were relatively young. I told her I lived there while I was growing up and I wanted to take a picture of the house but I didn't want them to be creeped out by a stranger taking pictures of their home. I told her I'd just be across the street and she was fine with that. I went and took my picture...

Dear photograph, The nice lady that owns this house now invited me in to look without even hesitating. Forever grateful, Bek
I guess you see where this is going...I walked over to the side yard to look at the old maple tree and a lady walked over to talk to me. It turns out the person I spoke to is her oldest that still lives there. She has two that have moved out already. I showed her my old pictures and we chatted a bit. She told me that the pine tree from the other side yard was moved to this yard as it got bigger. I was pleased to hear that the trees we had brought from the old cabin at Summit were still alive and growing. you can just see the top of that tree at the top of the picture I'm holding in this picture. IT'S HUGE!

She told me that one of the poles in the yard said "music club" when they moved in and the kids loved the idea that they started a music club too. Isn't that neat? I told her there were six kids in the house while we grew up and found out that she has five kids. They are the same family that moved in right after us. They have a connection to us in that as they rennovated they found bits and pieces left behind by us kids in goofy places like behind the baseboard heaters.

She invited me to come in and look around and I originally declined because I did not want to impose. We talked a little more and she said I really should see how different it is now. I think she's very proud of the work they have done on the house and she mentioned how she wishes she could see the inside of her grandmother's house that she used to visit when she was a child. How could I say no? So in Katie and I went to look at the inside of the house where I grew up.

The wall between the kitchen and the living room is gone, as we had noticed and I think it actually makes the place seem even smaller. I never thought that possible but, yeah, it really does! They knocked down the wall right by the front door and turned half of that tiny little office into a closet that is accessible through the hallway. The other half is a mudroom. It is a neat idea but I think they need to change the direction that the door opens for it to really work. There is no more carpet in the house anywhere. She said when they pulled it up there was so much dust under it that they went in another direction. I laughed because, yeah, that carpet was there for a good long time. Makes sense that there was a lot of dust there.

The other upstairs bedroom is virtually the same. The other huge change would be that they redid the upstairs bathroom so that the tub isn't under the window anymore. It occupies the space that was once a closet with sliding mirror doors. I bet this is all hard to imagine. I would have loved to take pictures but she was so kind to let me see the house, even though it was not perfectly clean that I couldn't imagine asking to take pictures. The toilet is now under the window in that bathroom and the sink is virtually in the same place.

Walking down the stairs was different! The took out the door and made the wall in the hallway between the stairs and the hall into a half wall. The rooms in the downstairs are the same size as before. The bathroom is the same size but since her husband is a plumber they managed to get the tub off that pedestal and at floor level. Remember the mirrors on the wall with the little shelf under it? gone. The change makes it feel a lot smaller to me.

The bedroom at the bottom of the stairs is the same except the floor is not carpeted. They have painted a red and white checkerboard design on the floor. It's very cute. I had no idea how small these rooms would seem as an adult. LOL you never know until you feel it. I think it is such a surprise to me because I lived there while I was fully grown so you would think that I would remember the scale of the rooms. No, I remember the times that I enjoyed so much and those happened to be times when I was a little squirt. Everything in the world was huge because I was so small.

The utility room that had the furnace in it now opens right out to the open area between the room at the bottom of the stairs and the two rooms that used to be a rec room.

The room that is under the kitchen is now painted....ready for it? BLACK. LOL it belongs to a nine year old boy. He has stars and planets painted in glow in the dark paint on the walls and he strung white Christmas lights back and forth across the entire ceiling which has no more acoustic tile. it's bare 2x4s. Somehow, this totally works and I liked it a lot. The door to the utility room is gone and there is a little closet now. The other room is basically just the same.

The area between the two rooms and the room at the bottom of the stairs was a room for 3 kids at one point she said. They were all very young so she put them all together in that room. I can tell because the walls are painted all kinds of bright colors.

The deck has seen a lot of wear. some of the boards are starting to wear through and it needs a paint. I can tell it's well loved. There is a hot tub on it and she's got a firepit on there. I didn't think of it at the time but that might not be terribly wise. She has chickens in the back yard. It's a hoot! She seems to have 3 of them and they have a little coop and everything. There's a mass of flowers in all kinds of pots. I feel like if we lived next door to them, I'd like them very much. She knows all the neighbors. She loves her house and plans to stay there even after the kids leave.

I'm happy to see that another family has grown and loved that house as much as I loved growing up there. I'm sure having a couple of wonderful and loving parents had a lot to do with it. There are so many happy memories there but taking a walk though the old place was a crazy thing. I walked through and felt happiness that Mom and Dad got to move on. I'm sure that it would have been a place they wouldn't have wanted to stay once the kids were gone. Another proof that things happen because they are supposed to.

As I prepared to leave, I think she would have let me sit there and talk to her all evening. She was so very nice. I walked down the stairs of the deck and into the side yard, which has no fence to separate it from the backyard any longer. I pulled out the second picture I brought and snapped my last picture and felt the nice grass that I turned cartwheels on as a kid. Then I left that house feeling like I was a very lucky lady who got to remember the best of my childhood in the home where it happened.

Dear Photograph, This will always be the prettiest tree in the world. Thanks for the memory, Bek

How does your garden grow?

The other African Violets are losing their blooms, but this one decided to make some flowers for me.

I fell behind on my duties and forgot to water this one for a while. Poor baby! I watered it today.

If only you could see in this picture how many roses this bush has given us!

lady bugs are good luck, right?

There are so many fuzzy bumble bees on this bush that I was stunned. They just love it!

We have some lilies trying to bloom...

There are a bunch of orange ones in this side of the house. I can't wait to see them!

panorama of the garden

Another bumble bee enjoys the garden. He's hard to see because his yellow is the exact color of the flowers. Look in the middle of the top portion of flowers he's hiding under a petal or two.

I love how there are bits of pollen all over the petals of this flower.

Such a pretty little bush...

That's the garden as of TODAY~! OMG, I took pictures and posted them the same day. It's a miracle! It's especially amazing because I did the grocery shopping and usually that leaves me almost too lazy to breathe.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

This is what I've been up to for the last month!

I've been very worn out ever since that blizzard of activity around my birthday and I guess this blog has paid the price. I haven't been able to face the editing of all the pictures. Maybe it's time to go "raw" and not edit. I'll just post the pics as is and the ones that are edited, well they are the lucky ones LOL. Some of them are out of order too and since I can't quite work out how to fix it, that is how they shall stay.

First, we made s'mores... 

Warren eats his s'more fancily :)

Pinky UP! Now THAT's fancy.

Our S'more-making captain. He's fancy too, see? Pinky up

Aww, s'more time is over.

Taking pics of the ultimate s'more

Everyone wanted a picture of that beauty (made by Warren)

See? I had to have a pic too

Then I made a faux chenille blanket with the fabric that Mom and Dad bought as a gift for my birthday. I'm glad they did because I wouldn't have bought the fabric otherwise!

Faux Chenille blanket...all done! It will only get softer over the years

a close up of the washed blanket

Add caption

pre-wash blanket. My thumb is still a little numb from cutting all the rows for this blanket

this close-up will demonstrate how imperfect my blanket is. Yet, it still turned out really nicely.

one last pic then off to the washer!

The Garden continues to progress and get prettier and prettier and I try to remember to take pics every week or so.

one of the bushes by the fence has started to bloom

Bill's container garden is starting to give us flowers

this bush has some very mean thorns and very delicate flowers

yay! Irises! I have really missed these flowers

looking at the length of the garden

the rose bushes are starting to bloom in mid-June

this is a couple of days before the lilac bush opened and smelled so fabulous

a pretty little bloom

okay can start blooming now!

the fabric boxes are progressing too

crabapple blooms in mid June

panorama of the view from the window of the apartment

looking at the house now.

flamingo love birds. So sweet!

wild forget-me-nots that decided to grace us with their welcome presence

giving the marigolds a shower

Puppet time! We made these for a video we are working on getting together before I leave and have no more partners in crime LOL Denali and Katie love playing puppets together and decided that the yellow one is Pizza Man. He eats too much pizza and gets ill. Of course, we thought that was a very funny background and latched right on to it for a little puppet picture story.

Weeeeee! Puppets are fun!

Pizza Man puppet has had one slice to many

Poor Pizza Man. he needs to learn restraint.

No Pizza Man! Not more pizza!

Will he never learn?

I can hear him laughing "Ahhh hha haa haa" right before he goes and sleeps it off...

Back to the garden for some more pics!

The rose bush in mid June

more flower pics!

the lilac bush gave us some lovely blooms last week and it smelled wonderful! I wish it could have lasted longer, but they went brown a few days later.

Loved this flower. It was a beautiful color

As the petals fell from the crabapple tree, it looked like a mini snowstorm LOL looks like I forgot to rotate this picture...

clover! I love clover, too.

We decided to stop by a car show that our friends were a part of and I promised to get pictures. This I did but as I know almost nothing about cars I really can't add too much to the pics LOL

My friend TeeCea's and Sheb's racecar

car show at East High to raise money for the football team. Shame the weather was so bum.

happy girl.

the yellow mustang had a sweet 8 track in it!

We had a little lunch after the car show and she insisted I take her pic

my silly faux hawk. I just needed to motivate so I decided to mess with my hair. :)

I just like this pic of Katie

She insisted I take a pic like here it is.

Rainbow Dash "softie" that I threw together for Katie's birthday. It took about 4 days to finish and she was watching me the whole time, circling like a shark. I told her it was for a needy child and she started crying! It was two days before her birthday and it really was for her so I told her that she is, indeed, the needy child that is far from home and needs a friend, then I let her take it and sleep with it every night with the agreement that on her birthday, I'm wrapping it up because it was meant to be her present. She was really happy with that arrangement.

I'm going to make another and see if it sells on Etsy

For Katie's birthday she decided to do crafts to "save money" in reality, I think it would have been cheaper to do a party at Chuck E Cheese, but this was still good fun and she liked it.

the birthday set up

We had to make sure the carpet was unsullied so we put down a big tarp before the painting started at Katie's birthday

Ready to go!

Warren smiles especially for Grandma and Grandpa. What a great kid he is.

Here we are painting our boxes.

Denali gets help from Mommy.

The birthday girl works on a star box

Denali is done. no really...she's DONE.

Katie and Kenzy pose for the camera

Aspyn works on her box

someone has a gold foot! (it's Denali!)

We did cake pops instead of cake so she's getting ready to blow out the cake pop


These are really tight! They will loosen and we will certainly use them!

making the cat puppet MEOW!

Turns out dipping the chalk in sugar water before drawing does make them last longer! This was there even after it rained.

The spoon lilac bloomed! So pretty!

Chasing a butterfly. She's waiting for it to fly again.

Aspyn is good with puppets and Denali loved her

Denali is giving the puppet a balloon to eat

After the other guests left Uncle Mark set up a sprinkler for the girls to enjoy

Denali says you should wear a swimsuit to run through the sprinkler

Katie has her own ideas about that!

Warren gives great piggy back rides. Denali had so much fun with him.

trying to eek out one more ride...

And that's what I've been up to, more or less! It's been a good month. I love being in Alaska again.