Archive for March, 2008

Memories and Carrying On

March 13, 2008

I was checking my brother’s blog this morning and he posted a link to a new album he put on his site which has pictures of my dad. The week between his death and funeral I spent probably 12 hours scanning each and every one of these photos into the computer. When we hastily evacuated last October it was a big comfort to know that these were stored electronically offsite because I’d have been devastated to have lost them forever if there were any I’d missed in our hasty exit.

The link to the new album is http://photo.michaelmallon.net/v/dad/ I looked back through these photos this morning and it was really hard. It still makes me so angry and upset to think that he will never attend another one of Luke’s sport events, or go camping with us again. When I signed Luke up for basketball, little league, and Cub Scouts this year I was reminded of how much my dad loved baseball, basketball, and scouting. When I was in Girl Scouts he was actively involved; I have lost track of how many outdoor cooking classes he taught but there were a whole lot.

As a parent now it’s definitely a challenge to balance working full time, involvement in church (every time I sing in the choir it makes me think of how he sang in the choir when I was a little girl) and all of Luke’s activities. I know that it would have been important to my dad to have Luke carry on the tradition of scouting, though, and he had so much fun watching Luke’s soccer games.

I am glad, though, that he got to experience taking Luke to his first Dodger game. He got to go camping with Luke a couple times and camping was always a big thing in my family. He also got to experience Legoland, soccer, and birthday parties at “Pump It Up” (though he probably wouldn’t have minded missing the Pump It Up experience, based on what he said the last year!). It’s really hard to not have him here anymore, but I know that every time I take Luke to a game, or go camping, or take him to a Cub Scout activity, that there’s a little part of my dad that’s right there with me.

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Education

March 12, 2008

A couple weeks ago at choir practice the subject of budget cuts and schools came up. For those who don’t know, the governor of California is proposing a ginormous budget cut to all of the schools. To the school district we’re in, with 34 schools total, the cut means $15.5 million. The latest information I’ve seen means approximately 185 teachers/administrators cut, most extra programs cut (including the last remaining ROTC program in the district and most of the ag programs), and kindergarten classes will go from 20 to 30 students per class.

This came up at choir practice because the choir director is a German teacher at a local high school and there are at least 3-5 other teachers in the choir. I’m very involved at Luke’s school and I’m just sick over this. We have some really fabulous new teachers at his school and I’m so worried about what will happen. I am so disgusted by the priorities here. I don’t know what I can do about it, but it makes me really angry and I needed to vent.

On a positive note, Tom put in the last tile last night while I was taking Luke to get his tux rental for my brother’s wedding later this month (he’ll be the ringbearer). This means we can finish the grouting, install baseboard, order carpet, and get moved. There are still plenty of little things that need to be done: install door knobs, caulk the new shower door, install the second toilet, wire the under cabinet lights, get trim for the can lights, finish vent system for the stove, paint stair banister, refinish fireplace, etc. But the list is definitely getting shorter each day…I can’t wait to have it be all done!

Getting Luke measured for the rental tux was hilarious. Paying for it ($101, after the $20 discount for the “rewards” club we joined) was not. He’s not especially thrilled that I said he needs a haircut before the wedding but oh well. I can’t believe their wedding is just a couple weeks away!

Time and Tile…

March 11, 2008

Have I ever mentioned that I cannot stand daylight savings time? Well, I can’t. I mean sure, it’s nice to be able to sit through a little league game and not freeze or have it get dark, but I have SUCH a hard time getting up when it’s dark out. It won’t be so bad in a few weeks as the days get longer, but with the time being so much earlier this year it is really tough. Luke is hating it too; he’s been SO hard to get up these past two days!

Despite still being sick (I think I might finally be on the mend…but I probably shouldn’t say so too loudly or I’ll end it with something else) I spent the better part of Sunday afternoon laying tile. Tom spent all day Saturday (12 hours) laying tile. Luke got invited to a friend’s house Sunday afternoon so I got a solid four hours in, during which time we got 87 tiles down. It’s miserable, grueling work. My legs hurt SO bad; I guess it’s essentially like doing four hours of lunges. My hands are still dry and stiff, two days later. But all we have left are 12 tiles in the dining room and the spot where the stove will go in the kitchen. We ran out of mortar and didn’t want to mix more for the 12 tiles since we’d have to do the stove section another day anyway, as it was unreachable by that time. Here are some pictures.

The kitchen:
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the dining room:

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and the entry way, grouted:

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I will go on record as saying those giant mirrors in the entry way are the one thing I wish we’d done that didn’t get done. By the time we realized we’d have to replace the drywall completely, we’d already had the rest of the drywall repair done. I still hope they’ll be removed at some point but we’re stuck with them for now…ugh.

I also took some pictures of the master bathroom; we ripped out the counter and cabinet and put in a new one with two sinks. We still have to pick out mirrors but we’ll get to that eventually:

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The master bath has a separate, tiny room for the toilet and shower. The tiny room used to be carpeted (gross!) but then so was the dining room and the other bathroom. It will be so much better with tile in there. We replaced the shower door as well; the old one was pretty gross.

I know I’m a little photo intensive today but I’d like to include one more…for Holly, in response to the comment about the stuffed animals near the counter:

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It was pajama party day at ESS (before/after school program; the school was closed that week for President’s days and in-service) so naturally Luke brought two of his favorite stuffed animals with him. I loved the way the other picture turned out with just their heads in the corner!

Well that’s it for today. The house should be done soon; thank goodness!

A Small Easter Finish

March 4, 2008

Even though I’m feeling better after getting some decent sleep, I’m *still* sick. After three weeks it’s really getting old. I had just gotten back into a good exercise routine, and was losing weight and feeling good, and now I’ve been out of it for three weeks. With no end in sight! I really need a break.

I did manage to do some stitching last night…I finished up “Easter Parade” by Pine Mountain. I don’t often stitch on aida so it’s taken me forever to finish it because I just never wanted to work on it. I pulled it back out after having Lasik though and got most of it done. So without further ado…

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I actually managed to finish it before Easter, which is shocking. never mind the fact that I started it last year with the intention of finishing it before last Easter. Details, details.

Home Sweet Home

March 3, 2008

My weekend was a whirlwind of little league and Cub Scouts, with a trip up to Santa Barbara to host a bachelorette party inbetween. I am exhausted, although it’s better than yesterday at least. I’ve decided that, for me, hell must be a nightclub…loud, crowded, full of drunk people late at night while I’d much rather be home! I like my future sister-in-law, however, so I went and did the best I could. She seemed to have a good time so I deem it a successful weekend. I’m glad it’s over though!!

Saturday morning was little league opening day. Luke had is first game (which they lost, 17-1, but doesn’t count in the official standings…also he got someone out at second base in a great play so yay). Here’s a picture to mark the occasion:

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Since I don’t plan to post any pictures from the weekend, and I haven’t been stitching much between reading and preparing for the weekend, I’ll throw in some remodel pictures. I don’t think I’ve posted many (or any?) pictures of the remodel. Things are starting to come together though…here are a couple of recent pictures of the kitchen, including the tile backsplash that Tom installed himself (and the design that I chose). It looks so good!!!

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So it’s the start of another week; I hate to start a week being so tired already, but I was able to go to sleep last night at 7:30pm so that helped immensely. I was up until 2:45am on Saturday night and woke up Sunday at 6:45, unable to fall back asleep. I am definitely to old for that going out stuff!!