Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cats, cats and more cats!

What a day we had today at the Humane Society!  We did our second cat spay/neuter day for low income folks and had 89 cats come through!  Yeah!  That's 89 that will not be over populating the area with unwanted kittens, some left to fend for themselves and not having a happy safe life with a loving family.  With vet care getting more expensive all of the time like everything else, we are going to try to do this several times a year.  Cheers the four vets that gave of their time and abilities to make this all happen, also to the many volunteers that came in to help us out!!

I had the best job.  I was the post op person that the cats were handed to after they had their procedure done.  I wrapped them in a soft towel, checked their number and crate, then gave them to one of our many cat cuddlers that held them until they came out from the anesthesia.  This has proven to be beneficial to them and allows us to keep a close eye on each one.  The tenderness that was shown to each one overwhelmed me, these are true animal lovers.

It was a busy place with three of the vets working in one room. (One of the vets, Dr. Benson did his share a couple days ago.)  We all learned a lot as they were more then happy to explain things to us sharing some of their knowledge.

            Thank you Dr. Volk, Dr. Hanks and Dr. Cloutier!!!!!

I had another lovely time this week when not one, but two packages arrived in the mail for me from Alice Grace at Thoughts Of Home containing my PIF surprises!!  Thank you so much Alice,  I just love everything that you sent.  You put so much thought into everything and even thought of my granddaughter which pleased me to no end.  You are a very generous person!!!

Beautiful floral fat quarters.  Already know that I am going to make a table topper out of these.

A quilting themed note pad.

Adorable shoulder bag for Miss T. complete with horse fabric.  She loves it!  It looks like leather but is actually fabric and can be washed.

This is going to make a perfect wall hanging for Miss T's room!

I love this reversible apron!  Both sides are beautiful!

126 squares of Moda fabric!! I think I am going to make something special for my lake house with these!

Thank you Alice!

Congratulations to Canada for their nail biting win in hockey at the Olympics!  What a game!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dogs, boys, mold and skeletons...

What do you think, do they look alike?  D has on my computer glasses so things must be a bit blurry!  We went to his basketball game which looked about like how it would be trying to herd cats!  They all were so cute and trying so hard whether it was shooting into their own basket or the other teams basket!  Don't ask me why he has his hat on.......?  Most of the pictures were blurry as they were moving around.

Cute how they put their picture on the fake magazine cover.  He loves playing and it's so good for him to be in sports.  At this level they don't even keep score, it's instructional.

I think I missed my calling.  I know I watch too many of the remodeling shows but I just love to see something ugly turn into something really nice.  And then there is the demo.  As in demolition.  Even on Extreme Home Make Over I get a lttle wound up when they go in and just knock the place over like it was a toothpick.

I had probably my one and only chance of doing demolition today at the lake house when DIL and I went down to do some planning on the rebuilding of the inside once all the mold and water has been taken care of.  The crew was there and the dumpster was full of my belongings and they were waiting for another one to arrive as this one was ready to go to the landfill.   Now that is one big dumpster!!!

The kitchen was almost all gone but there were a few cupboards and sideboards left so I asked them if I could so some demo.  They looked at me like I was a crazy woman but my DIL assured them that I was harmless.......

I took two cupboard doors off and that was enough of that.  I only had a hammer to work with, they wouldn't trust me with a sledge hammer! 

The downstairs is all cleaned out except what's left of the ceiling that's on the floor.  It's a rather sad looking place and the smell of mold almost did me in.  I won't be going down again until they have done the mold removal.  Pretty sad state of affairs isn't it?  BUT we came up with some good ideas and it will be better then before so that is something to look forward to.  :o)

We got some plans made of the changes we want to do and headed for home.  I think it's going to be really cute and a bit roomier when we get done as we are going to make better use of the space, take out some walls and move some things around. The walls have to come out anyway so now is the time to make changes.  I will be sure to post some before and after pictures!

I love the staff at the doctor's office that I go to.  They are so nice and have such a good sense of humor.  Each time I go in I always look at the skeleton that is in one of the rooms as they dress it up according to the season.  Usually I don't have my camera but this time I did and got a picture of him.  Isn't that a hoot?!

I enjoyed all of your comments on the bowls that I have and what they all remind me of growing up.  It seems like there are a lot of you out there that have the same ones.  It must have been a popular wedding gift 'back in the day'.  Some of you asked about getting them or replacing some that you have broken over the years.  We have found them many places but it's usually second hand shops, antique shops or flea markets.  Occasionally I see the whole set and they are going now for about $40.00 or we pick up one size at a time as we find them.  It's fun to have something to be looking for and we have really enjoyed the chase over the years.   :o)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mom's Bowls

Growing up in the 50's and 60's there was always one thing in my mother's kitchen that we loved and it was her set of Pyrex bowls.  It wasn't so much the colors, although we liked that, it was the things that she used each bowl for.

The smallest blue one was always used for fresh whipped cream whipped with one of those rotary beaters.  It went on warm ginger bread right out of the oven and nothing has ever tasted so good since.  Part of it I'm sure is that the heavy cream came right from my grandparents farm which was just down the road.  Couldn't get any fresher then that!  I still can see Grampy Hatch sitting there on the milking stool milking the cows and squirting milk at us kids if we walked by! He would ask us if we wanted to try milking which we did but just couldn't make it stream out into the pail the way he did.

The red bowl was used for different things but what I remember most was Mom's potato salad with the sliced eggs on the top sprinkled with paprika.  Yum!  Also if we had a big crowd, which was quite often the case, she would use this size bowl to whip the cream as we needed more.  With five children it was a crowd before anyone else was added to the mix but we very often entertained any visiting missionaries that were speaking at our church plus their children.  We loved chocolate mayo cake and Mom would make the butter cream frosting in the red bowl.

Ahhhhhhh...the green bowl.  I think this one was used the most.  Scrumptious molasses cookies came out of this bowl and tall fluffy cream of tartar bisquits slathered with homemade butter, again from my grandparents farm.  My hips are expanding just typing about this stuff!  To this day I have never been able to make biscuits as fluffy and soft as my mother, maybe I am using the wrong bowl!

The yellow bowl......just think of homemade bread rising in this bowl as it was used for that.  Also popcorn balls with their buttery molasses coating.  Oh my,  I am really drooling now.  I like popcorn balls the best when they are still warm and gooey, oh just to die for!!!!  We usually make some each fall but for some reason we missed this past fall but you can bet your boots we WILL be making some this coming fall if not sooner! Also this bowl was used to hold beautiful pond lilies from the lake with their pink and yellow centers.  Dad would go out in the little boat and pick some for her, they smelled sooooooo good!

What got me thinking about the bowls is that I have a set at the lake house.  When disaster struck there the first thing I checked on was my bowls which I brought home and put through the dishwasher, which BTW is  sacrilegious according to some of my sisters, you ALWAYS wash them by hand......ahem............

I have another set of the bowls here in my kitchen as all of my sisters do.  We have found them over the years at antique shops, flea markets and thrift stores.  I think one of my sisters had three sets which is a little OCD but that's the way we are.  Now we are passing the torch to my nieces who have their own homes or apartments and the tradition continues.  And oh, my Mom still has a set here in her kitchen in Maine and has her original set in her Florida kitchen.

So as my lake set of bowls sets on my kitchen counter it brings back such warm memories of my childhood and the special things that we used to eat from them.  Thanks for going down memory lane with me,  I'm sure you have things from your childhood that bring back fond memories as well!

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend, it's snowing here but is supposed to turn to rain any time now.  Waaaaaaaa!  We want some snow!!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's Thursday and the sun is shining!

Here it is Thursday already!  What a busy week it has been.  We have been doing inventory at the lake house and what a job that is!!  Every single item has to be written down along with when it was bought and how much it cost.  We are doing the best we can but some things we've just had forever and wouldn't have a clue what it cost or is worth.  It was rather disappointing to learn that more things have to be put in the dumpster then what we first thought.  I figured some things I could clean and they would be fine but anything porous has to go.  Evidently mold is very insideous and isn't evident right now but is working it's way into things even some kinds of wood.  I have collected lots of campy type decorations over the years and lots of them are made out of soft wood so in the dumpster they go.  Oh well, they are only 'things' and now I can be on a quest to find new ones.

We got the kitchen done which was the worst as there are so many small things plus the bedrooms, half bath and living room.  The most damage is in the basement and we have to tackle that on Saturday.  We will be wearing masks and we can get the windows open now so that will help.  There is a family room, full bath, laundry room and a little storage space where the furnace is that we have left to do.  Of course everything is covered with wet sheet rock as you could see in the pictures I posted and is a nasty mess.   Mold grows very quickly so each day that goes by things are getting worse.

Now the good part.  Everything will be torn out back to the studs and we are going to make a few little changes while things are torn up anyway.  I will have lots of shopping to do for flooring, cupboards, sofas, bedroom sets, tables, chairs, curtains, decorations, etc.....  Everything electronic is gone which includes the televisons, dvd player, crock pot, iron, griddle, toaster, radio and any other electronic gadgets we might have around.  So more shopping.  The refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, stove, washer and dryer will be taken to a facility to be checked out to make sure everything is in working order and safe. 

My Son, DIL and grands are still in Vermont having a great time.  They sounded very tired last night from all of the skiing and being outside in the fresh air and sunshine.  T an D are doing well in their lessons and really are enjoying it.  They send me pictures from my son's Blackberry.  They entered a sled contest and had to make the sled out of just duct tape and cardboard!  They didn't win but had a blast making it and going down the hill on it.  D said they ran into someone but no one was hurt!

I'm so glad they took this time to go away together as a family and just enjoy each other.  It's so important and time goes by so fast before you know it T and D will be grown up and rather be with their friends then good ole' Mom and Dad. 

The sun is shining and it is so nice out.  I wore a lighter coat when I went out this morning to go to a meeting.  We didn't get any of the snow that was predicted, I guess it went out to sea.  So I guess I will work on my inventory sheets for a while and then have two meetings later in the day plus one in the morning. Whew!  I'm tired just thinking of it all!

Hope you all have a good weekend!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Is this Monday?

Due to the lake house debacle (see previous post) I have been spending much of my time on the phone the last couple of days.  There is always so much to attend to when something like this happens.  I have talked with my insurance people, my insurance company people, the restoration people, air quality people and numerous others.  Thank goodness for insurance or we would be up the creek without a paddle!

The air quality people were there today so I am interested as to what the readings were.  I know it was hard to breathe in there for very long when we were there yesterday.  My neice who wears contacts got home from being there and she had to wear her glasses as it bothered her eyes so much. I just wonder how much longer that old pump would've kept pumping the water.  It is an old pump that was there when we bought the place over 20 years ago.

Mr. D decided to spend the weekend with us.   Sometimes he doesn't make it all night but last night he slept like a log and didn't wake up until after seven this morning.  We were going to go to Toys R Us to buy some replacement games for the lake so he was all excited about that.  I told him he had to have his bath first so he jumped into our big old jacuzzi tub and went swimming.  Notice the one big tooth that has come in and the space where another one is just peeking through!

This is an old picture that I have had for a long time.  I just love the little gals in the pictures especially the one holding the kitten and puppy.  This hangs over the bathtub.

Next was breakfast and when you are at Grammie's house you can sit on the counter.........

All spiffed up!

We picked T up and Son and DIL met us at Toys R Us.  We were about 7 minutes early and that sure seemed like a long time to two little ones!  Look at what's left of the snow, all dirty and yucky!  While waiting some people came in with the cutest little English Jack Russell.  The kiddos sure enjoyed him!

Son and DIL arrived and were all packed for their trip to Vermont skiing.  T and D have never been skiing before so it should be interesting.  I asked Son to bring me some pictures for the ole' blawg!

Before they left we went to lunch at Long Horn and then said goodbye in the parking lot.  I miss them all already but they will have a wonderful time in Vermont.  They plan to ski, go on a dog sled ride, ride in a sleigh, swim, shop, and have fun in the indoor playground.  More pictures please!

How nice it was to read all the nice comments and encouragement from all of you concerning our lake house!!!!!!!  I know that so many of you would jump right in with both feet to help us if you were here.  What a lovely blogging community I belong to, people with big hearts and kind words.  Again thank you so much!!!   xoxoxox

Saturday, February 13, 2010

You never know what the next phone call will be.........

Happy Valentines Day everyone!  Well actually it is the day before but I'd rather be early then late.  The Hubs sent me a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses, my all time favorite!  Aren't they just delicious looking?!

It's been a rather eventful few days.  We got a call from my brother and SIL who were going to spend the weekend at our lake house that the furnace had gone off at some point, the pipes had frozen and as the pump was on water has been gushing into the house for weeks and weeks.  As he was telling me about it I could feel my legs getting rather rubbery feeling so I plunked down in the nearest chair.

After calling my insurance company I spent the afternoon answering calls and questions as to what had happened.  Today we went down and it is just unbelievable.  The upstairs doesn't look as bad as the basement, which used to be a playroom, bathroom and laundry room before the whole ceiling caved in on it.

As you can see the ceiling fell down onto everything and it was soaking wet.

This is my dresser and it is totally covered with mold.  The wooden basket is one that my grandfather made for me many years ago.  I don't know if it can be saved or not.  I tried opening the drawers and the mirror fell off the wall onto my head as the sheetrock was all wet and couldn't support it.

This is a basket that is hanging in the pantry covered with mold.

These are the steps going down into the basement totally covered with slippery mold.

This is the back door going into the basement covered with ice.

This ice is under the deck, the water came out around where the fireplace goes.

So you can see we have quite a mess on our hands.  The upstairs doesn't look as bad but it has mold, water, the cupboards, counters, floors, rugs, furniture, everything is ruined.  The only reason it doesn't look as bad is because it doesn't have a sheet rock ceiling it's a cathedral ceiling so nothing fell down.  The windows won't open, the sliding glass doors out onto the deck are warped, the screens have all popped out of the windows and are on the ground, the new kitchen floor is ruined, the rug in the living room and bedroom is so saturated with water you had to wear rubber boots or you got your feet wet.

We took what things we could salvage like some of my quilts and wall hangings and they are now in the washer.  Also took some pictures hoping they will dry out and some things that were handmade that mean a lot to us.  Most pictures are all warped and ruined but the stove and refrigerator look like they are okay.  The biggest problem is going to be the mold.  The M word.  The water went into the walls so the insulation must be saturated and will have to come out.

Anyhow, that's the way that is.  It's like a tidal wave came through the basement leaving all manner of debris in its wake.  The beds upstairs are all wet, mattresses etc..  We'll have to have a dumpster the size of New Jersey to haul everything off.  But you know, after getting over the initial shock of it I couldn't help but be thankful that the phone call hadn't been something much worse.  A cottage can be replaced.  Things in it can be replaced.  I'm just thankful that it wasn't a call about one of my family members being hurt or sick or whatever!

So onto better things.  Last night was the Father/Daughter Valentines dance.  Son and Miss T always attend and have a great time going out to dinner and then on to the dance with all the other Dads and their kiddos in town.  I only got a couple of pictures so I hope Son got some at the actual event.

Guess I'd better go pick through some more stuff and see what I can salvage.  The quilts came out fine.  They had not molded yet, were just wet.  It's going to be a big job but there will be lots of help and I will get to be bossy.  :o)