Monday, May 17, 2010

Miscellaneous Monday

Since it's Monday and it's cloudy here and it's cold--way too cold for this time of year--and because, well, it's Monday, I thought I'd just share some miscellaneous things that have been on my mind.

My weekend was busy with house/homemaking projects. We all know I don't have the crafty gene, but I was kind of proud of the fact that this dress (which Maggie wore to her piano recital on Sunday) used to be long (well, too long for her taste).

And now it's shorter. By about 3 inches, thanks to my iron and the handy-dandy sewing machine my mom gave us a few years back which doesn't get nearly enough use.

And looky here! I actually made a curtain! In about a half an hour.

Seriously. In the time it took to watch Giada on Friday afternoon I installed the curtain rod and hung the valence. Can you tell what I used?

And finally, look what B and I did . . . together!

Let's just say that we're not one of those married couples who can tackle house projects together. Like, ever. Without fighting. But for some reason the stars aligned this weekend and we actually went to Costco together (always an expensive proposition when B comes along, which is why he's only allowed in the store under the most dire of circumstances), bought three arbor vitae trees (bushes? what are they?), shoved them in the back of my mini-van, brought them home, and planted them.

And the best part is that we did it without a single argument. About anything. Amazing.

(Now, don't get us started about the one that seems to be leaning a bit toward the driveway. We know, we know. We may have to fix that, but knowing us it probably won't get done.)


Speaking of house projects . . . here's one I didn't do myself. At all. I left this one to the professional (our friend, Drew).

But I'm so happy with the tile work that I just had to show you.

It's only taken five years to get a backsplash. I think my kitchen is finally done.


Happy birthday to my mom today!

(Aren't they cute?!)

Now, if you don't know my mom, you have surely not met the friendliest woman on the planet. When I was growing up she would bring home people she met in the most random of places . . . like the post office or Tastee Freeze or Marshall Field's. She always had a place for everyone at our table, and she always made people feel welcome in our home.

One quick story about Karen. Once, when I was a kid, I woke up in the middle of the night to hear voices downstairs. We were having a terrible snowstorm and, since Dad was the road commissioner (which meant that he was the guy with the snow plow), I knew that he would be out plowing the roads. I couldn't imagine who my mom was talking to, so I crept downstairs to find her sitting at the table with a neighbor, an older man who liked to drink a little bit too much every now and then. He had driven his car into the ditch near our home and walked to our house to use the phone. My mom made him some coffee and sat with him until his daughter came to collect him.

So that's our Karen. Beloved by neighbors, strangers, and drunks alike.

And beloved by her family the most. Happy birthday, Mom!!



  1. I don't take my hubby to Costco either...expensive, and we argue about buying silly, useless things like a wheelbarrow. I made the papardelle pasta recipe tonight and it was delicious! I sent a pic via text to K to show you (I was proud of myself). Thanks for the inspiration. Landscaping is next on our to-do list, although I am not going to attempt doing it ourselves(even just a few bushes could be a disaster).

  2. That's a lot of accomplishments! I'm not a seamstress, so I'd be super proud of myself if I hemmed a dress and made a valance. So - good for you!!!

  3. Hey Mrs. W!! We had the same thing for dinner tonight! :)

    Mary, there was nothing, absolutely nothing, to the valence. I'll let you in on the secret if you really want to know. ;)

  4. Shelly, we may have the same mother. I'll just have to check with mine to see if her name has always been Janice. The interesting people who've showed up for Thanksgiving Dinner at our house!

  5. Good work on the projects!

    Your kitchen is lovely.

    Don't even know what they sell at a Costco. Is it home improvement?

    I would be the one saying, "so the tree leans a little, so what!" and my hubby would be digging it up. That's why we don't plant together very often.

    Your mom is great! I'm so glad I know your family.

  6. Your kitchen looks beautiful.
    I also think your Mom is wonderful!
    She is a very special lady.

  7. Love your tile, Shel! Understand fully about getting through a project without an argument w/our loves! (And we DO love them!)
    Thanks for your kind words. My birthday was great, but you, Linda, Jennifer and Lena made it even more special! Love to all of you. Come put your knees under my table some time, girls.
    See you soon!

  8. Happy Birthday, Mrs. H! Great story about your mom, Shelly.

    And congratulations on the absolutely beautiful tile work. :-)

  9. Fun post! Love the photos. Your mom is my friend I've never met and now I'll picture your kitchen every time I make your wonderful bread. I'm due... it's so yummy and makes me happy.