Monday, March 31, 2008

Results of painting and room switch.

So the drawback of switching the rooms while painting is that you get to live in a messy house while the painting gets done. First, it was all of the stuff from the office living in our living room. Then, the bedroom had to be disassembled so we could move things into the new office. That meant putting everything from two rooms into the front room, which luckily for us, is quite large.
Luckily, after all that work the result in the new bedroom was fabulous. I love the blue walls with the blond wood on the molding and the dark walls make the room darker at night.
Now the office wants to be painted too. But it probably won't happen for awhile.
Nice things about the room switch:
  • The blue walls are great.
  • I love the fact we don't have to hear people arguing at the motel.

Disadvantages of the room switch.
  • The room actually gets more sun in the morning, so it is brighter.
  • When I lay in bed and look out the back door, all I can see is a fence. Before I saw the yard and the garden.
  • When I lay in bed and the light in the pantry is on it shines directly in my eyes.
  • Now we can hear things in the bathroom--shower running, towels being taken down and put up, sink running--while in the bedroom.
  • My desk doesn't work in the new office as well as it did in the old office. Before, the cutout gave me better access to my closet. Now the cutout is on the wrong side of my desk and I can't close my closet door without massive maneuvering.

So, overall I liked it better the other way, but until that motel goes away, these rooms will stay. (hee! rhymes)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

We have 100 posts!

Good job us!

Spring Break Painting

The spring break project is to switch the bedroom and the office, and paint the (new) bedroom. We are making the switch due to noise. Though it seemed prudent to have the bedroom on the south side of the house when we moved in (the south bedroom is opposite the bathroom, while the north bedroom is right next to it) it turned out that the noise from the motel was not the most pleasant sound.

Here's the view pre-project.
These are really bad pictures. They show you a lot of wall and not much room. But that's the bedroom pre-switch.
Ah, here is a better one. Why did I not make the bed before taking this picture? I must have been in a hurry.
There's our office. A place for everything and everything in it's place.
There's the hooks I put up last spring. It was one of the first things I did when we moved in. They have proved quite handy.
And here would be the office--soon to be bedroom--with all but the desks removed. Our desks came cheap, but man, are they heavy when it's time to move them.
We (I, really) chose a dark blue from Metro Paint. When we bought it last year, it was called "Dark Blue" I noticed when I was in there getting another compost bin, it is now called "Crater Lake." Blue was the color of choice because Matt likes the color blue and also because I wanted a dark room for sleeping in.
Just in the last year or so I've begun to purchase the blue painter's tape. It really makes a difference and the convenience is worth the extra cost. I still buy masking tape, but put that over the blue painters tape on wider surfaces like doorways and ceilings.
Like right here I should have put more masking tape because I got sloppy and there is now a blue paint splotch on this molding.
More painting pictures to come! See the finished product! So exciting! It's like watching paint dry!

Friday, March 28, 2008


Snow at the end of March? Wrong, that's what that is. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Finished Shelf Picture

For those of you who have been longing, nay praying, to see a picture of the finished shelf in the dining room, here it is! The top shelf is going to have the entertaining dishes on it if I ever get around to moving them. Also, the computer will eventually be hooked up, supplied with speakers, loaded with our music and serve as the music provider for the front part of the house. Just as soon as we get around to it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Usually, I don't go to church services on Easter. The Youth Group at my church has a flower sale that day and I work the flower sale and miss the service. This year, however, Easter fell on the first Sunday of Spring Break so we didn't have a flower sale. I decided to continue my streak and attend church at my Aunt's church. Especially when I learned she would be playing the bells.

Easter morning dawned gray, rainy and very cold. If I got resurrected on this day I would be mighty grumpy. I made my way to my Aunt's church via the yellow line and the #44 bus which dropped me off right out front of the Hillsdale Community Church (UCC)

Here is one end of the church. I really like the wooden sculpture. Also, my Aunt and her friend Lori made the banner on the left.
There is also lovely stained glass in the back, as well as on the sides of the church.
Here is my Aunt Pat (and the minister and another person) ringing the bells during the choral celebration. There was some intense counting going on. My aunt is the one on the right.
There were a lot of Alleluias going on during the service. The sermon, by the Reverend Jennifer Brownell, was titled "While it was still dark" and cited, among other people, a man who grew up to become the chief of police of Nampa, Idaho. It was a good sermon.

At the end of the service, the choir sang the Hallelujah chorus from the Messiah. As a bonus, anyone who wanted to could join the choir and sing along. Several people from the congregation joined the choir and a few people had their parts memorized and stayed in their seats and sang from there. It was a very moving performance and I enjoyed it much more at Easter than at Christmas.
I caught a ride to my Aunt's and got my dip ready. Then I borrowed my Aunt's car and drove to pick up Matt. He had taken the yellow line and the #12. Back at the ranch, my brother and Matt played Battlelore.
My Aunt Carol fries the shrimp and the oysters.
My roasted artichoke dip was demolished.
My mom fries some oysters and shrimp.
After this point, I forgot to take pictures, but we ate roast pork, the aforementioned shrimp and oysters, baked potatoes, Waldorf salad, and hard boiled eggs.

After dinner we had an Easter egg hunt in the basement because the weather was so not fun. Then the MAunts and I played a game of Skipbo while Chris and Matt finished Battlelore. After that, we combined forces and played Shadows over Camelot. It was the first time Chris had played and he enjoyed it so much that Chris, Matt and I played another game afterward while the MAunts chatted in the living room.

A great time was had by all.

The next day, the weather was much better.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


The moon was setting just as I got up and was shining brightly through our front window.
I find it interesting how big it looks in person and how small it looks in photos. I think it might have something to do with my wide-angle lens.

Grow Light Bummer

You may recall someone feeling very smart about her eye hook, anchor, s-hook way to hang the grow light. Well, that feeling vanished one day when I went to lower the light and the eye hook disengaged from the anchor and fell onto the cactus pot, breaking causing it to smash and poor cacti to slump forlornly toward the ground. How annoying. I made this s-hook-through-chain-fix-it-right-now-solution and cleaned up the cacti, but then had to move onto other projects like laundry and dinner. Any bets how long this setup will last before I get around to fixing it?

Kitchen curtains. Getting there.

You may recall that in November I attempted to use dish towels as curtains. They turned out, as one loyal reader commented, "Darth Vader-like" although said reader did like how utilitarian the curtains were. I got some nice yellow striped dish towels for Christmas from my mother and I thought they might do the trick. So down came the black towels, which have now reverted to dish towel status, and up went the yellow striped dish towels.
Eh, getting there. An improvement for sure, but the yellow stripes of the curtains blend too much with the yellow of the wall. I'm not so into the blending. If they were orange striped dish towels we would have a winner. But these will do for now. And when I do find the proper towels, these can come down and join the black towels in the drawer too.
One thing is for sure, they are much more spring-y. That is nice.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Matt dodges a bullet.

Matt got this letter in the mail the other day:


To: Matt Johnston

Re: Certification Eligibility Matter/Ethics Disclosure Requirement/Notice of Review/ Johnston, Matthew

Dear Mr. Johnston,

Please accept this correspondence as notice of my review of your ethics disclosure related to your NCC credentialing application. I have considered your written statement in which you disclosed that you were convicted of jaywalking in 1996. With respect to this conviction, you stated that certain sanctions and conditions were issued by the Court, and that you satisfied the related sentences and requirements.

Based on my review, I have determined that there is no cause to conduct an additional formal ethics investigation in light of the length of time that has passed since this conviction, the nature of the offense, and your compliance with Court-ordered requirements. This determination is based solely on the information you have provided. NBCC is assuming that your disclosure is accurate and complete in all respects.

Your certification application will be returned to the Credentialing Department for further processing and future inquiries regarding the status of your application should be directed to that office.

Thank you for your honesty and professionalism in reporting this information

Sincerely yours,

Holly J. Hartwig Moorhead Ph.D., NCC, LPC(NC), PCCs(OH)
NBCC Ethics Officer.

My favorite part? The string of letters after her name.
My second favorite part? "no cause to conduct an additional formal ethics investigation"
hee hee

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Upgrading Square Feet.

Last year, before we moved to this house, my brother and I built raised beds for the backyard. Upon moving here, I decided to install them on the side of the house. This proved to be a bad idea and last August Matt and I moved them to the back yard. I made them into "square feet gardens" a la the Square Foot Gardening book. As you can see, I ran out of energy for this project after creating four square feet, and the garden sat all winter thusly. It was time to finish this project and make it a bit better while I was at it.

Lacking the proper materials for the installation--Mel recommends wood lathe, but I could never find that--I used string and nails. Over the winter the nails rusted leaving a potential tetanus minefield to the uninitiated. This time, I still used string, I really have no idea where to get wood lathe, but used eye hook screws to minimize tetanus risk.
I pulled out the nails, screwed in the eye screws, took a picture, installed the twine and forgot to take another picture. So you can't see the final product, but it looks much better.
Those lone plants are beets, for those who are interested.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

33 1/3 Party

My 33 1/3 birthday was February 26, and I couldn't let the milestone go un-celebrated. So I had a 33 1/3 birthday party. Bring your albums! (For those of you who don't remember the "big, black, CDs" we knew as "records" an album played at 33 1/3 RPM. That would be revolutions per minute. Albums were sometimes known as "33's" while the smaller, 7-inch records with one song on each side were played at 45 RPM, and sometimes called "45's")

The menu:
Here we see grape tomatoes, triscuts, feta walnut dip, rosemary toasted almonds, dark chocolate and wine.

Clockwise from left: hummus, sliced baguette for the roasted artichoke dip (which I never took a picture of, but was fabulous,) pita chips, carrots, celery and mixed black and green olives, sicilian eggplant relish, carmalized onion bacon dip.
A close up of crispy garlic and rosemay polenta triangles with herbed goat cheese.
Not pictured: Roasted tomato and goat cheese tart. It was very good too.

Matt took some pictures of entries in our album contest. We had 8 categories in which to enter.

After that initial bout of picture taking, we forgot to take pictures of our contest winners, or any people who came to the party. But you can tell that people were there because the next morning most of the food was gone, I had four bouquets of flowers and....
the kitchen was a mess.