Monday, September 1, 2014

A Custom Cabinet

One of the things that drew me to my house when I first looked at it was the kitchen.  And not because it was modern with stainless appliances and granite countertops but because it was vintage!  It is a very small  orange kitchen with 1950's era cabinets.  The appliances were all from the 1960's!  I loved it.

The refrigerator was made in 1967 and was probably state of the art when it was new.  I thought it was pretty state of the art in 2004 when I bought the house.  It was a coppery brown color with a freezer on the bottom and the fridge itself had a pole in the front left side with swing out shelves!  I cried when the repair man said he couldn't (and wouldn't) fix it.  Luckily it still partially worked so we had a small amount of time to find a new fridge.  Meaning I was 7 month pregnant and I had Mercedes dreams on a VW budget.

The stove was also of a mid 60's era.  It was a pull out stove with the oven on top (like over the range microwaves) and sat on top of a cabinet.  One burner only worked on high so it was the tea kettle burner.  The oven temperatures were not consistent so I had to put a thermometer so I could maintain an semi-even baking temperature.  If I wanted to bake at 375 I had to set the oven dial to 325.  Towards the end of the oven life it would shoot up to 500.  My clue the oven was on its last legs was when it took three hours to warm up to baking temperature.  The repair man said it wasn't worth it to fix.

The problem though was it was not a standard stove/oven.  It sat on the cabinet under it.  I lost a whole cabinet!  Bryan had to remove a whole cabinet in order to put the new oven in.   He took it apart very carefully thinking we would flip it around to the other side of the kitchen and install it there.  All of my pots and pans were put in a cupboard in the basement for the time being.   They remained in the basement  (except for the three that I use most often) for six years!

Too make a long story even longer, I just got a new cabinet!  A friend of my dads just started his own cabinet making/woodworking business.  He took the pieces from what we took apart and was able to use the cabinet doors and he made me a brand new cabinet!  Plus it has a butcher block counter top.  Oh.  My.  My pots and pans are in their new home.  No more going up and down the stairs in order to cook dinner!  You know you're getting older when you get excited about what basically amounts to wood!

Isn't it gorgeous?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Random Thoughts on Thursday

*  For two weeks now, my sweet baby girl has complained that her bed is not comfortable and she would rather sleep in our bed.  She has been sleeping on a small toddler bed with a crib mattress.  Crib mattresses are super firm for babies and not at all soft.  So today, she got her very own room.  She's always had her own room, but we had stuff in there as well.  Today we moved my husbands desk to the basement and traded the guest bed to her room.

Ignore the clutter, it's a work in progress!

This was the bedroom set my parents bought me when I was five.  We'll have to get new bedding for her.  I'd like to shop around a bit.  I don't want anything to babyish, but I don't want garrish and childish either.  Something plain that she can grow with.  And pink.  I do believe my mom made the canopy when I was young so we may have to enlist her help for a new one.  In pink.  

*  We went to the beach while we were in San Francisco.  I couldn't believe how many people were playing in the water.  It was cold water and it was a cloudy day.  Not a great mix.   
We walked on the beach and collected sand dollars.  I dislike the sand immensely and don't like that it gets all over my feet.  (Hey, I'm a mountain girl!).  I must have scrubbed my feet for 10 minutes in the little shower station by the restrooms.  

Happy Thursday my friends!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Knitting this Week

First, I would like to thank everyone for their kind words about my good friend Bob.  It means a great deal to me.

Second, on to the weekly yarn along.  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone to share our yarn projects and the books we've been reading.  I have been working like a crazy woman the last couple of weeks so I don't really have a whole lot of knitting progress to share.  I have been working on my magic loop-two at a time-toe up socks.  I think I've finally got a rhythm going with them so I am starting to see some progress.  I wasn't sure I would like it at the get go because it was so hard to get going.  I don't work on them when I'm tired because I'm afraid I'll pull the wrong loop and end up pulling out my stitches.
On the book front, I just finished reading Knit One, Pearl One by Gil McNeil.  She also wrote the Beech Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club (book 1) and Needles and Pearls (book 2).  I have to say while I enjoyed the book I don't think it was the best of the three.  I did feel that she left it open for more books in the series.   The characters are lovable and the story line is just fun to read.

I'm also trying to finish Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham.  I'm reading it on my kindle app and I've renewed it twice already, hoping to avoid a third renewal (I'm so close to finishing)  This is book one with the character Fiona Griffiths.  I read book two first, Love Story with Murders.  If you're obsessive compulsive like me, you'll need to read them in order.   You don't have to, book two makes sense on it's own I just prefer to read books in order and I didn't know it was part of a series.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Goodbye My Friend

This weekend found us traveling to San Francisco, to a Buddhist Church, to say goodbye to my good friend Bob.

I met Bob in 1997 at a Giants-Rockies baseball game at Candlestick Park. My cousin lived in San Fran and  I bought tickets to the fireworks game for us.  I had torn the tendons in my right ankle and had a Rockies purple cast on my foot.  My plan had been to cover the cast with autographs from Rockies players (It's a good thing it didn't happen, that cast was disgusting!).  But instead I met Bob.  He was sitting there in a Rockies jersey and we started talking.  We talked the whole ball game.  We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses.  And we emailed just about every day since.

I graduated with my Masters degree in December of 1997 and Bob flew to Denver to help me celebrate.  I went to work at the airline in 1998 and Bob became my best travel buddy.  We did some wonderful and crazy trips, but we had fun so that was all that mattered!  One year, we went to Vermont for fall foliage.  We stayed in this wonderful little B&B and just wandered the back roads of Vermont.  This was back in the days of film cameras.  Bob took 15 rolls of film.  15!  When he had the film developed he had doubles made.  I had a stack of photos an inch thick of trees!  He told me he couldn't help it, it was his ethnic weakness!

Our best trips were our sports related trips.  We most often went on baseball trips.  We would try to find a place where we could watch a major league game and minor league game in close by cities.  We also went to several Women's NCAA Final Four basketball games around the US.  Bob always picked up "loot" at our games.  He would buy something for himself, but he was a very generous soul and bought stuff for his friends.  His suitcase would be bursting at the seams.  That same suitcase would be bursting when he would come to Denver to visit.  I would pick him up at the airport and he looked as if he was invading a small country!

Bob was Japanese.  His parents were interred during the war and lost everything.  Bob was a very humble man.  He almost never talked about his accomplishments.  He had been a Captain in the army.  He was a highly respected Bio-Safety officer who worked at Stanford and Berkeley.  And when he wasn't working at major universities, he was consulting with them, often not charging the full amount for his services.  Why, because he said he didn't really need the money.

Bob was born and raised in San Francisco.   He was very proud of his city and loved to show it off.  Whenever I had a layover, he would pick me up at my hotel and we would go into the city for dinner and a mini drive around town.  I saw him in May.  I had a layover on a Thursday.  He had mentioned he wasn't feeling well and had a doctor appointment that afternoon, but he would be by to pick me up after.  I was waiting for him when he pulled into the parking lot.  I was shocked and a little scared by his appearance.  His doctor had made him a cardiology appointment for the following Monday and Bob was feeling hope.  We had dinner and talked about his recent visit to Chicago with his girlfriend Patty.  Bob dropped me back at the hotel and I told him to take care of him self and if he needed anything to call me and I would hop back on the plane.  I got a message from Patty on Sunday to call her.  I knew.  She had talked to Bob Friday night, but he never returned her messages on Saturday.  After a worried phone call to his niece, she and her mom found Bob.  He went to bed on Friday and never woke up.

On Friday after we arrived in San Fran, we did our own version of the "Bob Tour" around the city.  And in a tribute to our friend we wore our baseball jerseys to his memorial service.  Bob would have been tickled pink.

Bob was a kind, generous, funny, warm & caring man.  Bob had a connection with every person he encountered.  I am a better person for having this man in my life.  I will treasure the memories of the crazy fun trips we had.   I will miss him every day.
Bob at the Final Four in Denver- 2012


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Random Thoughts on Thursday

Sunset bike ride
*  It seems as though I've taken a bit of a hiatus in my space here.  Work.  I blame it all on work.  It's a necessary evil, but one that sure gets in the way.

*  Last week I had recurrent training.  Basically recurrent is a "test"  It is all stuff that we need to know to do our jobs, but we are tested on it yearly.  It's stressful for me, because I don't want to lose my job.  I'd really have to screw it up to lose my job, but the stress is still there!

*  The garden is coming on.  S L O W L Y!  We have a ton of cucumbers (t's a good thing we like them!), but while there are a lot of tomatoes, they are all green.  It just hasn't been all that warm here. And we've had a lot of rain.   I"m NOT complaining, mind you, just making an observation.  But everything will probably be ready at the same time.  Isn't it always?  It's a good thing I"m home for a while!

Happy Thursday my friends!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Coupon Challenge

In keeping with our "budget" (and I use that term loosely because we have yet to sit down to do a family budget.  Rather, I do my own individual budget) according to Dave Ramsey I use cash at the grocery store.  By using cash I am not tempted to make impulse purchases.  

I'm sure everyone has heard of "extreme couponing."  I watching an extreme couponing marathon on TV one night in a random hotel room.  It was like a train wreck that I couldn't avert my eyes from.  I don't really get that behavior.  To me it borders on an obsessive compulsive disorder.  I mean, really, how many tubes of toothpaste does one person need?  The best episode I watched that night was of a pastor buying item for his churches food bank.  He bought some ridiculous amount of stuff to the tune of about $2000 and paid basically nothing for it- I don't remember the actual amounts.  It was amazing, but he donated all of it and didn't stock it in his garage.

Anyhoo, I like to use coupons but I find that most coupons are for food that I would never in a gazillion years buy let alone consume.  I've started using the Kroger app on my phone.  I can download digital coupons right to the loyalty card on my phone so there is no forgetting the paper versions on the kitchen counter...yep did that last week.

My budget for food last week was $65.00, it doesn't seem like a lot, but it's summer and we've got a garden full of goodness.  Armed with my shopping list (including a printed coupon list) and my calculator I set off to the market by myself (that is huge because when I shop with a certain little person it takes twice as long and I spend twice as much).  I ended up spending $115.00 but with my loyalty card and the few coupons I did manage to bring, I only spent $64.64.  That is my new personal best when it comes to grocery shopping.

I'm always looking for ideas too, when it comes to shopping, so if you have any let me know!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Yarn Along

It's time once again to share yarn and book.  This week was fairly productive...I finished the Aviatrix. Twice.  Well, actually I was almost finished with the hat part when I decided it was too big and ripped it out.  It was looking a tad large, so I put it on C's head, where it fit making it much to big for a newborn.  I started over going down one size and I think it will be perfect for this fall.

I bought this yarn at a crafting thrift store in Portland, OR.  My plan is to make a sweater for C since it's got pink in the yarn.
The three skeins of yarn equal to 6oz.  Using the conversion I found on google, I figure I have approximately 300 yards of yarn.  I'm thinking it might have to be a vest or I'll have to find some yarn that will kind of highlight or go with this yarn.  I'm not sure what brand it is as it had no wrapper.  I'm open to all suggestions on how to proceed.

On the book front, I finished The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.  I highly recommend the book.  Fabulous.  Read it.