Wednesday, February 27, 2013

By the numbers - Pinterest Challenge

It's Pinterest Challenge Time!!

Here is my front door. (Please ignore all the bikes, umbrellas, rakes, bike ramps, clutter.) I love my front door. I hate my house numbers. They are ugly, old-fashioned, diagonal, and very hard to see from the street, especially at night.

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I've been thinking about house numbers since we moved into this house six years ago. In my mind, I've pinned house numbers out the wazoo. Tonight I only found one pin

My dream house number/mailbox combo (since I hate my mailbox too) is from an Etsy company, Steel House mfg.

I pinned some their house numbers now too.

So nice, but not affordable for me right now.

Months ago I decided something had to be done about the ugly numbers. It was after S#5's birthday party when half the guests went to the neighbor's house on accident. I started searching for options that were in my price range. I found something I liked at Home Depot. I had to wait because they didn't have all the numbers I needed. A month or two later, I bought my last number. I was ready. Except I let it sit there until tonight.

Nothing like a Pinterest Challenge to get me moving on a project. Tonight was the night.

First up, lining up the templates.

I'm anal about precision. This took a long time with rulers, tape, level and lots of re-doing and re-taping until I was satisfied.

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Second, marking the template holes.

I was suppose to have a special tool to mark the holes to drill. I didn't have one, so I used a screw I found on the garage floor.

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Third, drilling holes.

This part was difficult. I tried to use painter's tape to hang the board in place. It didn't work. I sweetly asked DH to help me out. He held while I drilled. I must have been too slow because he took over.

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The fourth step, putting the numbers together.

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Looking great so far

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Now to hang it up.

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So very nice!!!

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They are modern. They are bigger. They are lit by the front porch light. They look fresh and new, I really love my new house numbers.

Now it is imperative that I get rid of that old mailbox and hang a new one on the other side. I might have to go shopping today.

Don't forget to check out the projects by the Pinterest Challenge hosts, Young House Love, Bower Power, The Remodeled Life, and Decor and the Dog.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy Frankie Day 2013!

Can you believe it has been three years since we got a dog? I can't believe it either. Frankie is still a great dog for our family.  I can't remember what it was like before he came.

I didn't plan any celebration and the kids were disappointed. B made some cards. They wrapped up a toy we had stashed after Christmas. I offered to give him a slice of meatloaf from dinner but decided against it because of the possible "after effects".

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Frankie didn't care much for the reading of the cards, but he really enjoyed getting a new football. He destroyed the one he got for Christmas within a week. I wonder how long this one will last.

Monday, February 18, 2013


I was very excited last July to start a KAL (knit-along) by westknits . I had never done one before and I was going to use up some yarn that had been sitting in my drawer forever. In fact it was one of the first few skeins of yarn I bought when I started knitting back in 2007. We were leaving to go on the cruise in the middle of the KAL but I figured I could catch up later.

It ended up that I didn't knit at all on the cruise. I finished the first clue the first week and then put it away. I picked up and started the second clue maybe in September. I got to the third clue in October. I finished the first wing in December. I started the second wing in January. It only took me 6 weeks to finish it.

My sporadic knitting habits do not make me a very productive knitter, but at least I finished it!

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Thanks to A for modeling for me. Ravelry link here.


A and her cousin E participated in the St. Pat's Academic Fair on Friday. A did onsite drawing and E did prose reading.

It was a long day. E's competition ended at 11, A's ended at 12. They waited until 1:30 to see the results from the drawing and until 1:45 to see the results from prose.

Luckily the waiting was worth it, both girls got ribbons.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ice Cream Truck War

My kids are walkers. That means after school they walk across the street to the park where I pick them up. It is a nice arrangement. I visit with other parents. The kids run off some pent up energy. I avoid sitting in the carpool line.

The only bad thing is the Ice Cream Truck Man. He started showing up a few years ago. I was not happy, because I was always the "bad mom" who said no to ice cream after school. I'm not completely anti-ice cream truck. I think it is a nice treat every now and then, but every day after school, no, not at all.

After the first time, I went straight home to the computer and researched city code. I was happy to find that it is against city code for an ice cream truck to be parked within 100 yards of a school during school zone time.

The first year or two, I tried calling 3-1-1 whenever he showed up. I would tell him that I was calling 3-1-1 and sometimes he would leave, but not always. I discovered that 3-1-1 is not effective. They have to file a report, get the report to the right person, send that person out. They invariably show up at the wrong time days later and close the report without doing anything. I called anyway.

My kids hate me for this. They give me a hard time about it. They think I'm mean because I won't buy them ice cream and because I won't let other kids get ice cream. I'm still against it.

This year I decided on a different approach. Instead of calling 3-1-1, I called Code Enforcement directly. After a couple of phone calls to them, they directed me to the Code Compliance, Restaurant and Bar Division. Finally I was getting some where. I spoke to the woman there. I gave her the truck's license plate, truck number, company, phone number. She started randomly patrolling at the times I said he was there. Finally it worked.

He took a couple of months off, but after Christmas, he started showing up again.

Yesterday, he pulled in, went up the curb, onto the sidewalk and almost hit another mom's car as he tried to park. I had enough. I went into action.

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All the photographs of the pertinent information ready to mail to my friend, the code compliance lady.

This time the ice cream man got mad. He started asking me questions.

"Why do you hate on me so much?"

I told him that he was violating city code, he knew it was doing and he kept coming back.

Again he asked,

"Why do you keep doing this to me? Why do you hate so much?"

I told him again that he was violating city code, he was not suppose to park this close to a school during school zone hours.

Then he got mad.

"You are just jealous, you are just jealous. I hope that you get cancer and lose two limbs and then see what it is like."

I told him I was sorry but he was violating city code.

He then stuck fingers up his nose, pulled back to make it like a pig snout and shot his middle finger at me.  He said,

"Take a picture of that!"

I told him to do it again so I could get my camera ready.

He drove off.

I do feel bad for the man. He is an old gentleman. I don't know if he had cancer and lost two limbs. He has both his arms, but I've never seen his legs. It must be a hard way to make a living.

I suppose I should just deal with my children begging and hating me for saying no to ice cream every day. I should give up on fighting the enforcement of the city code. The other part of me wants him to follow the law. Make your living while following the law.  There are plenty of parks and practices and baseball and other places to sell ice cream. I'm conflicted, but I think I'm going to keep chasing him away.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Night at the (Perot) Museum

They opened a new Science and Nature Museum in downtown Dallas in December. It looks really cool, but we haven't been yet. We've thought about it but it has been so popular, it is hard to get tickets on weekend afternoons. Thanks to Y Guides, DH & B spent the night last Friday night.

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Racing a cheetah
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Dinosaur bones
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Sleeping spot between the mastodon and some other long necked dinosaur
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They kept the kids & dads busy doing activities until midnight. That was late for the little guy (and the big guy too) especially since he had soccer playoffs starting at 10am in the next morning. B had fun, stayed up late, pulled through and played well in the morning. He's young and only 7, they can still pull that off at seven. DH, on the other hand, was exhausted.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Go Ravens 2013!

A long time ago for Christmas of '07, S#2 got B a Christmas present. At the time he was obsessed with football. He would walk around the house yelling "Football, Touchdown!" She wanted to buy him a Cowboys outfit, but it was too expensive, instead she found a Ravens outfit on eBay for $.99.

Wasn't he cute? The whole thing barely fit him. He still ran through the house yelling "Football, Touchdown!" with the helmet wobbling on his head.

He's worn that outfit a lot. He squeezed into it as long as he could. Here he is almost 4 years later.

A year or so later, he could no longer squeeze into the costume. We recently donated the shirt and pants. He insisted on keeping his Ravens helmet. It's a good thing because he was ready for the Super Bowl on Sunday night.

My little Baltimore Ravens fan was excited for his team to win.

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BIL#2 organized a squares pool for the big game. A & B were lucky and won the first and second quarters.

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J was robbed twice. At the end of the 3rd quarter, SF missed a field goal. J was going to win the quarter, but there was a penalty. SF kicked again, it was good and J didn't win. At the end of the 4th quarter, Baltimore had the ball and was just running out the clock. I left the room because the game was over. Next thing I know, DH is yelling that J was robbed again. (Really aside from B, we were all watching the game to see who would win the squares pool, not to see who would win the football game.) He came in to tell me that Baltimore was running around wasting time and ran out the endzone, taking a safety. J who was assured his $20 for the last quarter, lost it to S#5. Poor J. Maybe next year!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Purse mystery solved

Over Christmas break, I stopped by my LYS to get some needles. There was a woman at the cash register returning and purchasing some items. I had a little bit to wait while she finished her transaction. Enough time for me to notice her purse. I really liked it but because of the way she was holding it on her shoulder, I couldn't figure out who made it. I wandered the shop, walking back to the cash register at different angles, hoping I could find more clues. I pretended to drop something so I could bend over and get a better look. I told you I liked the bag. I was able to make out the word ROOTS on the brass grommet. Finally, I turned my phone to silent and took a picture and left the poor woman, who must have thought I was very strange, alone.

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I went home and spent some time on google. It wasn't long before to solve the mystery and I ordered this:

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I had a visa gift card from work for Christmas and SAK ROOTS had a sale. Serendipity! It isn't the same bag the lady had, that style wasn't available anymore. I liked the pattern enough and decided to go with the larger tote bag. Can't wait to use it!