Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I saw; then sawed

I was taking the dog for a walk this morning and passed by my neighbor who is a carpenter. As I continue my remodeling mania - I've been thinking about removing some spindles that are between by living and ex-dining room.

My husband swears these spindles are holding the wall up...

I'm pretty sure Paul is lying to avoid a project. So I ask Matt to stop over.

Matt says the spindles are not holding the wall up.

That's all I need. I get to work taking out the spindles. I shuffled through all of Paul's tools in the shop and find these two items. One is clearly a saw, the other has a blade that cuts through stuff... but I'm not sure what it is, or why the blade isn't a complete circle.

Whatever. I started with the hand saw. After about 10 minutes, I decided it was taking too long and my hands were hurting. I pull out the other saw/blade/thing. Evan promptly stops me and says:

Evan: Mom. I don't think that is for wood. I think it is for metal.

Me: Well, if it cuts through metal it'll cut through wood, right?

Evan: Yeah, but you'll ruin the blade.

Ruin the blade? The razor I use to shave my legs needs replacing ever few weeks - surely we can buy a new blade for this thing?

Ta DA! It worked! My GOD I love this electric thing! I've never used an electric tool besides a drill... but my new favorite electric thing is this half-circle saw!

Even better, the boards that the spindles were connected to were just nailed to the drywall. Two nails. That's it!

I just pulled them right out.

Then I vacuumed up, took the spindles to the shop, and walked away. All in all, a 1/2 hour of work to finally saw off four large thorns in my side.

Now... I'm wondering how hard it would be to smash those half-walls out of the way... Tell me what you think?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Funky rug or shiny grass?

Now that I am a stay-at-home working mom, I have been a one-woman remodel/redecorating machine. I just finished painting and tiling the mudroom...Pics to come...

One of my favorite areas of the house is our sunroom/eating area addition. It is bright and happy and the perfect place to read the paper and drink a cup of coffee or visit with friends. It's been in need of a rug. I could kick myself because I found the perfect one a couple weeks ago in Minneapolis at Home Goods --part of the TJ Maxx group. I didn't buy it. I drove out the parking lot and "forgot" to do that. Seriously. How does someone forget to buy a rug?

Today I was at Scheels Home and Hardware -  just 2 minutes from my house which I LOVE but my husband... well... it makes him nervous. Unfortunately, the Scheels website does not have any pictures of their Home and Hardware location..but let me assure you - it is fabulous! They have gorgeous furniture and decor. Even better is their customer service. Each department; paint, hardware, decor, lawn and garden, and clothing; have experts who really know their stuff.

I brought home this rug today for my sunroom. I was told if I didn't love it, I could bring it back. It was much brighter looking in the store, and has a silky sheen to it. It was super reasonable... and it feels great to the touch...

And Mollie took to it right away...

But I'm not sure I love it. And when I spend money on things, I want to love it. What do you think?


Sunday, June 26, 2011

I'm Bored Jar

Ethan and Zayd have spent the last four weeks -- 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday -- at the community theater rehearsing for their performance of "Disney's Aladdin for Kids." I have picked them up each day and listened to every song and line in this musical hundreds of times; I know the blocking; frankly I could be the alternate for any of the parts - including the street rats. And while somedays I wanted to poke my eyes out from the endless Aladdin chatter in the car, bedroom, laudary room, restuarants, and through the bathroom door -- nothing compares to what I am about to endure:

"I'm bored."

Ethan said it to me for the first time a couple of days ago and I thought to myself: Life is over as you know it. Before I could start crying, an idea popped into my head:

An "I'm bored jar."

I've been reading a lot of crafty/mom-type blogs lately and I recently came across this idea. Get a glass jar and fill it with slips of paper with ideas of what the kids do when they say they are bored. Brilliant. Let's do it. I show Ethan some of the things I had read about it on the computer.

Here are a couple I'm Bored Jars I found:

From Stephanie in her Somewhat Simple blog:

From a blog called Home Spun Threads:

First let me say that I really enjoy reading these two blogs. The things they come up with and put together are so cute!

But, guess what? I am not the bored one. And, while I enjoy feeling inferior while reading these blogs, I will not put myself through the hell of actually realizing I am inferior by attempting to make such perfect pieces of art out of pickle jars.

So I explained the overall premise of the I'm Bored Jar to Ethan and sent him on his way to make it on his own. He showed up every couple of minutes with questions like "Where are the scissors? Where can I find a jar? How can I color the jar? I'm hungry because I am working so hard. Can I have a sandwich?

With the exception of the sandwich - I made him hunt for stuff and figure the rest out. It took him the entire morning to create his I'm Bored Jar.

Ethan, 7, concentrating on not being bored.

Then it was time to fill it with ideas.

Ethan: I'm going to put, "Play a board game with Mom."

Me: Oh noooo. These things have to be things that don't need me or money involved.

Ethan: Go to the pool?

Me: That involves me. I would have to keep an eye on you.

Ethan: Play in the sandbox?

Me: There you go!

A few hours later Zach announced that he too did not want to be involved in the "I'm Bored Jar."
Apparently Ethan had put in a slip that said, "Follow Zach" - or something to that effect.

Zach: Okay - he put in there, "Play with Zach" and he's been following me around. I refuse to be part of the Jar.

Me: Then help him come up with some ideas.

That suggestion was a mistake.

Zach: Write down... Bet on horse racing.

Ethan: Okay!

I hear Ethan slowly repeating the phrase: Bet on horse racing.

Zach: And... how about... go clubbing.

Me: Zach! Don't do that to him!

Ethan: Gooooooooooo cllubbbbbbbbinnnnnng. What else?

Zach: Organize a 5k fun run/walk for rabies.


Ethan: I don't know how to spell that.

Zach obligingly helps him spell it out.

At no point does Ethan ask what any of these mean, which I find troubling.

Zach: Organize a gang.

Me: Okay - this is not funny. Don't tell him to do that.

Ethan: Orgaaaaaannnnizzzzze a gggaannnnnng.

Me: Come on Zach! Help him come up with good ideas.

Zach: I think these are all very good.


Zach: Make a documentary of mom's day.

Ethan: How do I do that?

Zach: You just follow her around with the camera all day and video tape everything she does.

Ethan: Oh! Okay!

He writes that down too.

Zach: My work here is done.

He goes to the basement to play video games.

A few minutes later I hear Ethan.

Ethan: I'm bored. Oh! I'll pick out something from the I'm bored jar!


Ethan: Bet on horse racing!


Ethan: Mmmmoooooooommmmmmm! How do I bet on horse racing?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Circle of life

Zayd and Ethan are watching me sort laundry in my bedroom.

Me: These are yours Zayd, right? (holding up a pair of tighty whiteys)

Zayd: Oh my God no!

Me: Oh. I thought you wore these.

Zayd: No mom. I wear boxers now.

Me: Now?

Zayd: Yes. I graduated to boxers.

Me: Ooh-kaay...

Zayd: First you wear briefs... then you wear boxer briefs, then you wear boxers...

Me: I didn't know that.

Zayd: Yeah.


Zayd: And then when you think about it it really goes like this... first you wear diapers, then briefs, then boxer briefs, then boxers then boxer briefs, briefs and finally diapers again.


Zayd: It's the life cycle of underwear.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A quarter of appreciation

Yesterday our cleaning lady was here, tackling the Amundson abode. I always feel better knowing I've got someone who comes to bleach the place down once every two weeks.

Sharon is around 65 years old. A sweet midwestern lady who swims in her pool everyday in the summer, and knows how to bake some amazing Christmas goodies. She also loves to chat.

Ethan also loves to chat.

He was chattin' it up with her about the storm that passed through the day before, the damage it caused around town, the four quarters he had in his pocket, the tooth he pulled out and the one that he can't get out, the garage sale we plan on having, and the play he is in...

And one more...

Ethan: Sharon. Do you want one of my quarters?

Sharon: Well thank you! But I don't need a quarter.

Ethan: But do you want it?

Sharon: No. I don't want it. You keep it. You never know when you might need a quarter.

Ethan: Well... I want you to have it.

Sharon: You are so nice to offer it Ethan. But I think your mom gave you the quarter.

Ethan: I know. But I want to give it to you.


Ethan: I have three other quarters.

Sharon: Honey, that is really nice. But I don't want to take your quarter. Someday you might want to buy something and you'll think, 'Darn it. I wish I had one more quarter."

Ethan: But Sharon... you are working so hard cleaning our house.


Ethan: It's a tip.