Sunday, September 23, 2007

Collaborative cave project

My husband and I worked on a collaborative cave project for our Halloween village. We started the decorating this weekend in hopes we'll be ready for outside next weekend so by Oct 1, we'll be set for spooky good times! The idea was to build a box, cover it in spray foam insulation, sand, paint and then add to the village.

Okay, Rolland built the box out of scrap MDF and then we covered it in the foam. So far so good except the foam really expands and really doesn't spread so you have to have a lot of it. Also, it's better to do the inside first. :) We only did the top before realizing our (really my) mistake. Each foam side takes an hour to dry so we started Friday and by today, Sunday, I was able to spray paint the base coat. I then did a wash of grey and iridescent silver. Viola, we have a cave!

You'll notice the sanding didn't work out. We smoothed the rough areas out with a drywall saw. This worked like a charm and is a must have tool.

Finally, we added the rest of the houses and you have a finished village. I know it's still early but he's out of town and it's going to take me the rest of the week to get all the other decorating done! I've added before and after cave pics plus the overall village pictures. Also, Rolland gets full credit for the awesome addition to the car climbing up the cave!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lost and Found

I originally made this charm as a pin but I never really wear it and I love it so I popped the back off and converted it to a pendant. I added two smoky quartz strings - I had to do a little re-counting to make sure the beads worked out right. Turns out that even when counting, I still can't do math! And in about 45 minutes (add in the soldering time for the two jump rings) I got a new necklace that I'll add in to the regular rotation. :)

In a non-jewelry update, I had my MRI today. It went well, no results just the test. Turns out the tube was much smaller than I remembered and I was packed in there like cotton in an aspirin bottle! I did get a warm blanket though. It was not the most comfy I had ever been but definitely not the worst either. I treated myself to Mexican food and ice cream and I was all better!

Maya puppy had to also get more medicine from the puppy dermatologist for another skin outbreak. She had been doing great but this one we think is from a flea bite (by we, I mean the dermatologist). We're blaming the dog next door that we discovered sneaking into our yard since we've never had fleas in 7 years. This is the same set of neighbors who keeps getting a new dog every time they get tired of them. They're on the fourth dog and every time they make their way into our yard. We, of course, being dog lovers try to be nice about it but after this last outbreak where our dog is actually seriously allergic - patience is gone. We even volunteered to adopt the last dog. That one disappeared and we have no idea what happened to her. Everyone, please keep up with your flea/tick medicine. We had let it go since Maya was having all her issues and she got off her bath schedule and OY! Clearly, it's time to get a new fence.

Rolland is currently in the wilds of Wisconsin and has promised to bring home more cheese. Including more cheese curds. Tasty goodness. He has learned, in his many visits, that the test of true fresh curds is that they squeak. No idea what's up with that, but that's what they tell him and we can verify that it's true. If anyone's got any info on it, you know we love the foodie tips!

Monday, September 17, 2007


Okay, this is a two part blog entry. The first part is where I whine about how tired I am and my follow-up visit to the neurologist. Your reward for listening to this rant is the second part of the blog where I finally give up the goods on the visit to Jim Neely's from our Memphis trip. OR, I suppose you can just skip to that part but it's not stopping me from whining.

PART 1: So, I go to my follow-up like the good little patient where the doctor, for the second time, is convinced I have made up ever having had a previous MRI because the hospital has lost the results. Nevermind that my husband accompanied me to said MRI, he's clearly in on the scam, we spent 30 minutes on this. Again. Before he finally admitted maybe I should just go have another one. And, again, most of this visit was spent on random discussions on how it's all just guessing and how am I sure I feel the same. OF COURSE I FEEL THE SAME! HE HASN'T DONE ANYTHING BUT CALL FOR MY "IMAGINED" MRI RESULTS!!!

All of this leads me into how tired I am. Not just tired but weary, exhausted from all the doctors, and tests and medicines to tell me I need to lose weight. Done it. Now lose more weight. Ok, working on it. Now take this pill. No, wait, the blue pill. No, wait, I meant these 4 red pills, but only at night with bread. If you still get migraines, and feel dizzy then try the pink pills, two red ones and no blue ones but try this orange one instead. Seriously, I hear Jefferson Starship playing "White Rabbit" in the background but without any of the fun trippiness. Mostly, I'm cranky, snappish and more than a little moody which is asking a lot for my husband to deal with but he does. And I start to feel like maybe I am a little bit crazy, I mean maybe my head hurting and feeling terrible is all in my head somehow - you know what I mean here. You almost wish they would find something on the MRI just so you could go "Ah" see, I told you! But then, clearly there's something wrong with you and you don't want to have a horrible illness just for validation. Seriously, I'm stubborn but there are limits here people. Anyway, 9:45 tomorrow MRI. You all are my witness and if need be, I'm calling all you asses if have to, 'cause he's really pushing it with this imaginary results business. Clearly, I've reached my limit!

Part 2: Jim Neely's is just as tasty as I hyped it up to be. It deserves all the Food Network attention and then some. Now, in the order of full disclosure I have to admit that we had less than desirable service and some of my crankiness begin to show through when I was not kept to my regular scheduled lunch timing - we went in around 1:15 and got food about 3 and thought ourselves lucky to see it. Bo mentioned his last visit it was prompt service so it could've been a holiday weekend thing.

Here's the thing. There were plenty of people who appeared to be working there but only one woman who was truly running the show and she was busy. Also, the quality of your service was clearly equal to the quality of your attitude. Bo and Rolland being nice southern boys, and me keeping my mouth shut, got us our food and drinks eventually. They got the Sampler Platters with pork and beef served in a variety of styles - ALL GOOD. I got a BBQ beef sandwich and sides. Also, tasty! Most important take away is that even with the wait, I would still go back and wait for it again, it was that good. And, that entertaining. Several people put on a show in terms of their styles. One table, not going to wait and made their feelings known. Our waitress responded in kind. The table behind us gracious and loved the place. Our waitress also responded in kind. Jim Neely's Interstate BBQ in Memphis is worth the visit for wonderful BBQ and truly wonderful people watching.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I can't sleep earrings

Other people drink warm milk. I solder. I couldn't sleep so I went ahead and finished up my soldering tonight. The husband thought these would make especially cute earrings and he was right. Little mini-dominoes with soldered edges and a jump ring make great earrings! I have one piece that needs new glass, the previous glass got cracked somehow so it has to be unfoiled, re-glassed, re-foiled. You get the picture.

Anyway, here's a fairly late night post and if you need a new trick for not being able to sleep. I highly recommend these. Also, if you need some fun light reading I just finished Victoria Laurie's new mystery today. She's a terrific author who also happens be a professional psychic living in Austin.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Busy, busy day!

I put in my Eureka DVDs and got a head start on Halloween. Tomorrow is solder day and then a few will get made into larger pieces with beaded necklaces, others will be stand alone charms. I'm also making a piece where the central charm is Rolland's pic from when he was a little boy. I ordered some great red beads for this one. Once I'm finished, I'm finally going to post back to my ETSY store. I need to get back up and going on a schedule again.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Taking Care of Business ... Memphis Style

We had a great weekend in Memphis in our extremely mini-version of Feasting on Asphalt that morphed into an homage to Elvis, although I'm not sure those two things aren't related. Our friend Bo came along as another fan of both Alton Brown and Elvis - he was also a terrific road trip guide, and came prepared with all things electronic so Rolland didn't have to worry about anything he may have left at home. We were clearly covered in the way of things that plugged in. In fact, the quote on the road was that it was like riding in the "firefly" - again, you guys have to watch it. I'm not going to keep babying you with the link, well, just this once. Go here.

Saturday we got into Graceland bright and early. The pic is of Bo and Rolland (he's in purple in case you wondered), in the hallway heading for the jungle room after having left my favorite room and the other pic, the TV room. The TV room could hold up today with a few tiny changes (and I covet that monkey!). The jungle room, however, was more than a little disappointing. It had very little in the way of a jungle and didn't live up to all they hype I had built up in my mind. After much more touring and shopping at Graceland we headed for lunch at Jim Neely's Interstate BBQ. More to come on that on tomorrow's blog - yes, it requires it's own entry.

After lunch, we hit the road heading for Sun Studio as a nice compliment to the earlier Graceland visit. Let me just say, if you ever get a chance to visit, you should. I thought the tour and the studio were awesome and really give you a sense of the history of the town as the birthplace of some of the most amazing music in the world. It really was wonderful.

A quick stop at the hotel and then we headed to Beale Street, apparently, the area has undergone some major revitalization and it showed. The neon signs on the restaurants, bars and clubs were whimsical and lovely. One of my favorites, of course included the crown. There were tons of places to satisfy the craving for "big ass beer" - what's up with that by the way? And there was some terrific music. We had an amazing dinner at a fantastic restaurant where we were drawn in by a lovely man in a truly one of a kind blue suit, alas, no blue suede shoes, but it did seem to fit the theme pretty closely anyway. You can see the waffle I still envy that Bo ordered, along with his chicken. I stuck with the chicken fried chicken while Rolland had the fried chicken and greens. All of it, was very tasty! We were not led astray by the blue suit. This was a fitting end to our feasting tour of Memphis.

I encourage everyone to take to the road and their own adventure - ours paid of in spades. I have some great memories, and ate some terrific food, plus I got to see Graceland before the monstrosity of a visitor center goes up! So hit the road people - there's tasty goodness out there.