Thursday, February 25, 2010

Soap Wrapping, February 24, 2010

Mom and Dad will kill me for showing these pictures, but, I thought they deserved a shout out for helping get ready for this weekend's Grant Seafood Festival. 

We did a couple boxes of soap and have about two more to do tomorrow.  It goes very quickly with my Beveling Guy (Dad) and my Wrapping Specialist (Mom).   Then tonight I gave a soapmaking class to a gal from Northern Michigan.  Kelly already does cold process soaping using her own herds' Goatsmilk in the finished she just wanted to experiment with a new process.  We had a nice time and I hope she learned something!

Rod is off the next couple of days.  We will try to get something off the list done in the morning before we start the soap wrapping.  Sometime we also need to go get some groceries. 

We made a couple new dishes for dinner the other night.  Both were yummy.  First up were the Copenhagen Cod Cakes off the frozen cod package from Walmart.  We all love Cod here, but, the last time I made the frozen cod it was I was scared to do it again.  So, this time we mae Cod Cake recipe and it was delicious.  Rod said he could eat it every week...and I could too.

The other new recipe we tried was Coconut Bread with Pineapple Butter.  This one came from one of my favorite soap lists and was highly recommended.  It was good toasted, but, kinda crumbly...which didn't matter a bit as the taste was exceptional!  I think I could eat another piece right now which means it is really time to go to bed.  So--'Night All!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Porch Lights, February 22 and 23, 2010

Mom and I stopped in to Lowe's after the new porch roof was done to check on some lighting ideas.  My electrician neighbor, Jim, had suggested we add lights along the perimeter of the frame since we couldn't add a fixture over the table. 

The employee at Lowe's and I think alike--he just kept on bouncing ideas off me until we had a couple of good options.  First was a track light and while not specifically for outdoor use, it was the right shape to fit on the 2 inch aluminum frame and the can lights could be exchanged easily if the moisture and humidity got to them.  

Then we looked at rope lights.  I wasn't sure they would throw off enough light, but, I was impressed with the ease of installation and the low cost was definitely a plus.  So I bought one of each type of light to show Rod and get his take on things. 

Rod felt like the simplicity of the rope lights would work best on our porch, so, we tacked the first string up only to find out an 18 inch section of the lights did not work--it was ok when we turned them on to soften up the plastic.  So, the next day we went back to Lowe's to exchange the bad string and get a couple more to finish the job. 

What do you think?

I love the whole party light "theme" and look forward to entertaining out there once the weather is ready to cooperate.  I hope we can get Jim over to add a switch for us and maybe add a couple of plugs out there too!

The New Porch Roof, February 17, 2010

We have had a persistent leak on the screen porch since we moved in.  Honestly it must have never bugged us enough to fix it...until we decided to sell the house.  Knowing a new buyer maybe wouldn't be as tolerant as we were, we decided to bite the bullet and get it fixed. 

Turns out the fascia board the screen roof attaches to was rotted in the corner by the chimney.   Despite our layers of roof tar, extra flashing and other water diverting attempts, nothing was going to keep some water from getting inbetween the rotted wood and the inside porch!  Luckily the damage was limited to just the fascia board and not the roof rafters!


The two guys from the screen company had it all pulled out and ready to reroof in about 3 hours, then putting the new roof panels and gutters on took another couple of hours.  We also had them rescreen one of the sections where Bonnie Dog had scratched the heck out of the screen...we must have forgotten to let her in one day!


We did have one little incident--one of the guys dropped a pry bar when he was on the ladder.  It of course found it's way into the house!  This was one of the nicer days luckily, so we just pulled the broken glass out, taped some freezer paper up and waited for Rod to bring home the glass.  Oh boy ANOTHER project!  LOL


Here's the finished project--oh, almost.  It doesn't show the new gutters and downspouts. 


The new roof from the inside is so bright and shiny, you almost have to have sunglasses on!!  We have had two good rainfalls since they put it up and all is tight and dry.   Yippee!!   Since we moved out the old refrigerator, the porch seems big and the nice table and chairs we have out there look really nice.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day 2010

So what's the best part of a Roadtrip?  Getting home, of course.  And to make it even better, it was Valentine's Day and Rod somehow, somewhere found Gator Orange roses!  (Even after getting up to go to work at 2 a.m.!!!)   We made it a night with my parents having dinner at Logan's and ice cream at the Twisty Treat! 

The Folks Roadtrip, February 11-14, 2010

Just some random pictures from the quickly pulled together gathering we had for some of the Illinois crew after I flew up to help Mom and Dad drive down to Florida.  Dad was put on a new medication that needs to be regulated for six months before he will be cleared to drive again, so, he is being chauferred around--hopefully temporarily!  He is taking it very well--he is basically bossing us around a bit more than usual!  LOL

Jeff and Matt after dinner.

Jodie (part of her anyway!) and Roger.

Ali came a bit late--she was at her cheerleading practice--thus the costume.  And she is holding baby Tai Lynn, Matt's third daughter!

Morgan and Baby Tai Lynn!

Ma and Pa Cummings.

Cousins Roger and Barb.

Garry and Travis--I don't think Garry is buying whatever Trav is trying to sell!

Anyway, the flight down was fun.  Rod drove me up to Sanford on Friday--one of his days off and we had lunch and a drink at the airport before the flight left.  We met several Rockford area people before the flight and had fun talking.  The flight itself was FAST thanks to my seat mate--Dave the Wave, a guy from Mendota.  And it was fun talking to him--we had a very interesting, wide ranging conversation ranging from buying houses, Florida real estate, amphicars, etc.  I had no idea what an amphicar was until meeting him.  Here's his website if you are curious:

I got into Rockford about 20 minutes late.  We immediately had to get home to meet up with some of the crew who were going out to dinner with us.  After dinner, we had to get home to be able to meet up with one of my friends, Robin.  She stopped over for a quick chat after she got out of class.  It is always so nice seeing Robin--she is such a positive force.  Love that gal!!!

We got to bed early.  We woke up about 7 a.m. so we could get in and out of the shower, get the car packed and get on the road.    This is what Rockford looked like from the road.  I didn't get any pics of the piles of snow...but they were there!  Oh, the greatest thing about our drive out of Rockford is that the construction is now DONE on Interstate 90--no more 45 miles an hour!

The trip itself was great.  We stopped the first night at a Drury Inn in Paducah, Kentucky.  We love Drury Inn's for a lot of reasons.  First after a long day driving, you check-in, get your bags in the room and then go down for a nice glass of wine and a snack.  And now they even have hot food from 5:30 until 7 p.m.  The website showed pics of meatballs, chicken nuggets, eggrolls, hotdogs, baked potatoes, salad...and of course the night we were there--it was hotdog and chili night!  So, while we weren't thrilled with that, I was able to scrap together a meal from the salad bar, the chili bar and a baked potato with a couple nice glasses of Merlot...and some other snacky things.  We did opt for a cheaper hotel on Saturday night as the menu was the same on Friday and Saturday nights at the Drury chain.  Darn it!

The next night we stayed at a Day's Inn in Morrow, Georgia.  All these places take pets and we have used them frequently in our travels back and forth to Illinois.  This trip we had Mom and Dad's cat, so we were lugging the carrier and kitty litter box in addition to our own luggage.  I can say traveling with a dog is easier...even having to walk Bonnie several times a night. 

We really enjoyed the Opening Ceremonies at the Vancouver Olympics on Friday night and we caught some of the speed skating and moguls events on Saturday. The Turbot/Cummings household is a proud supporter of the Winter Olympics no matter where they are held!!  LOL

So what did we learn from this trip:
1.  Jackie is a backseat driver!
2.  Mom and I really enjoyed driving only two hours at a time.
3.  It was fun having people to visit with the whole trip.
4.  We all loved the scenery--especially in Tennesee!
5.  Dad has learned to keep his backseat driving to himself.  (so there is hope for me!)

The Carport Floor and Sidewalk, February 8-10, 2010

Our next project was trying to get our carport floor painted before I had to leave to fly to Illinois.  The existing green had worn over the years to show both the paint color before (a orangey color) and bare concrete.  Actually this was a project that we had talked about doing when we moved in that just never got done.  Trouble was that the weather just wasn't cooperating!  Monday wasn't too bad.  I got up and drove up to Eve's place in Eustis to pick up the pressure washer.  Then once I was back home I got to the projects. 

When I looked up, I noticed that our jacking up the roof to replace the columns had left several tiny cracks in the ceiling. So, the first project was to get those patched and then repaint.  I was done with that by the time Rod got home.  So, I was relaxing on the sofa while he was on the computer when he made a comment about the upcoming weather.  That got my attention. 

He said that by Wednesday it would be getting cold again--which ruled out painting.  When I asked him about rain, he said they didn't forecast any.  So, I changed the plan from pressure washing on Tuesday, to doing it after dinner on Monday.  Then I could paint on Tuesday and have Wednesday to clean the house.  Great plan! 


Except the weather had it's own plans.  When I got up on Tuesday, the weather gal was saying that rain was coming to town around 3 p.m.  So a quick read of the paint can showed a two hour dry time.  Which seemed like plenty of time to get the carport and the walkway painted. 

So, I grabbed the paint, the anti-slip additive and rollers and brushes and got busy.  At noon, the first doubt creeped into my mind as a few tiny little drops fell...and luckily stopped.  But, by 12:30 we were up to a steady drizzle...and moments later as I was cleaning up the brushes, a steady rain was falling.  By the time Rod got home the first few inches of painted concrete was wet.  By dinnertime, the first 12 inches was already a patchwork of two colors of previous paint, bare concrete and washed away new paint.  CRAP!

By, Wednesday morning I was over it.  The whole project was a crap shoot--I rolled and lost.  The good news is that I have enough paint to redo the edge and I will probably do that after the folks leave to go to the condo.  That of course will restart the drying/curing time clock again.  It takes one week for full cure...and after 72 hours you can drive on it with cardboard down on the tire places.  But I am OVER it...mostly!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rod's 30th Anniversary at Disney

Rod was surprised at work today with a celebration of his 30 years working at Disney World.  Officially that was February 7th.   In addition to the large Jimminy Cricket statue, he got a big cake to share with his coworkers...some of which he brought home to share with me.  Yummy--real buttercream frosting!

He also had the Disney Ambassador present him with several certificates and a new 30 year pin for his nametag.  And the best thing of all, he can look back and say that his time at Disney has mostly been good.  I think that says a lot for Rod and Disney! 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lake Placid Country Fair, February 6 & 7, 2010

A very quiet weekend at the little town of Lake Placid this weekend.  Since our column project ran long on Friday, I missed the rain setting up Friday afternoon!  That was good...getting up at 4 a.m. on Saturday was not.  But the drive down is less than two hours, so, not bad all in all.

I was set up next to Dave and Cheryly the farmers from Illinois who sell garden art.  They are the nicest couple--Cheryl even gave my Dad a haircut at a show down in Fort Myers a couple years ago--that's how we got to know them.  They travel by RV down to Florida in the wintertime to make some money and have a bit of a break from the weather.  This year, unfortunately, we weren't having the usual warm weather they were hoping for.

Saturday was cloudy the whole day and very windy.  A couple artists lost their tents but I was pretty protected where I was at.  Luckily!  Despite the weather, the crowds were good on Saturday morning, but, they cleared out quick and we all were wondering where all our customers went.  It ended at 4 p.m., so, I went to find some dinner before cocooning in the back of the van with a couple magazines.  I fell asleep very early...which was expected.  The weather got down into the forties overnight, but, I just cranked the van up in the morning to get my "bath" in before getting the tent opened up for the day.

Sunday started out cloudy and cold--I had to go back to the van to add a layer on the top and bottom.  But, with hat and gloves and four layers, we made it.  The sun eventually came out and the day was bright but still cold.  It probably made it just into the all in all a nice day.  The crowds were expected to be light in the afternoon thanks to the Superbowl--and they were.  So, the show ended up as quietly as it started...with my cash box pretty low.  While I hate when that happens, this show is so affordable, I don't sweat it too much.

When I got home after unloading at the warehouse, the half time show was on and Rod had our grilled dinner all ready.  Yummy!  We watched the rest of the game--Rod stayed up until almost 10 p.m.!  I don't know how he does that and then still gets up at 2:30 a.m. for work. 

Now it's Monday morning and Bonnie Dog and I were up and out early.  But not for our usual walk around the neighborhood.  We had to drive up to Deland to pick up the pressure washer Eve is loaning us to get the carport painting done.  We made it there and back by about 10:15--even had time to chat with her neighbor Joe who helped me load up.  Nice guy...and he has a head of hair that would make most girls jealous.  LOL!

So today I am gonna get the ceiling out there painted and then hopefully get the pressure washing started.  I just wish it would warm up.   It would be so nice to be able to do it in shorts.  But alas, that's probably not gonna happen today.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Outside Project for this Week, February 4 & 5, 2010

So yesterday, Rod was off and we decided to start working on the outside of the house.  First up is the front walkway columns...well, they are painted 4 x 4's with a decorative edge.  We decided to replace them with plain 4 x 4's which they apparently don't make anymore.  LOL  Well, isn't that the case if Home Depot and Lowes don't have plain, straight edge 4 x 4's?  First, the quality of the lumber left a lot to be desired.  It was full of cracks, knots and chips.  And they were "radial edge" rather than the pointy edges in regular lumber.  Hm, not sure if we liked that. 

By late afternoon on Thursday, we had all the brackets and fasterners we needed, and we headed home to get started.   Our process was to first, chip away the rusted bracket that was holding the post to the concrete floor.  This often left the two fasteners sticking out of the floor which we cut off with our recip saw.  Then we had to pull the old piece of wood out and clean up the old, dried caulk at the top. Then we drilled for the new fasterner, put some epoxy in the hole, seated the bracket and drove it in.  Once the new 4 x 4 was cut to size, it was a matter of attaching it at the top and bottom and voila...a new column ready to be painted. 

By Friday at dinnertime, we were done with all but one bracket to replace.  A rain storm with a few tornados blew in, so that slowed us down some.  The wood on the one remaining column is still in good shape, so, we just want to change the bottom bracket out. up is repainting the carport celing--I scraped it while Rod was working with the recip saw.  And then we are going to pressure wash the carport and the front walk before painting it.  Eve is loaning me a pressure washer which I am gonna pick up on Monday.  I hope to be able to do before I leave for Illinois on Thursday.  Cross fingers...or bring a paint roller and come join me!!  :)

We are having a screen company come out on Monday to look at the leak on the back porch.  Hopefully they will be able to find a fix for us! 

Deerfield Beach Art Show, January 30 & 31, 2010

We were at the beach again last weekend down in South Florida.   The weather was forecast to have some rain, but, we pretty much avoided it until real late on Sunday.  And then it was only a few sprinkles.   It was SpiceLady Lynn, Wine Charm gal Cookie, Jenny the Leaf Fountain gal and a great new potter next to me.  It was a nice show but I am still not making the money I did when it was over at Pioneer Park.  I miss the old location.

BUT, if you have to be somewhere for the weekend, being ON THE BEACH, ain't bad.  LOL  I sat for the whole weekend staring off into the surf!  I got to meet some of my longtime, best customers--Carol and Alisa.  

We were camping out this weekend as the ProBowl and the Superbowl meant most the rooms in the area were already booked...unless you wanted to spend really big bucks for a room.  Since the weather was gonna be in the 60's overnight, Lynn and Paul and Cookie all slept in our vans at the vendor parking area.  We were not alone as most of the small "campers" were staying at the beach.  The big RVers were all back at Pioneer Park--which was great not having the noise and the smell from their generators.

Cookie and I were stood up for dinner--I guess Lynn and Paul wanted some alone time, but, we found Bru's Grill which had very good food...and it didn't start getting too loud until we were just ready to leave.  Good food, good prices.  AND a Kilwan's Chocolate shop on the way back to the vans.  Hm, I would like to tell you I didn't eat the chocolate, carmel and pecan covered rice crispy, but, I would be lying.  :)

When we got back to the vans, the moon was rising over the water and so we sat and talked on the boardwalk for a while.  Then it was back to the van for some light reading.  I am about the fourth book into the Sookie Stackhouse vampire series.  That's the one they show on HBO, "True Blood".  It's great reading for a weekend craft show. 

Now if I can figure out how to get my pictures from my phone to here, I will be a happy, happy girl!  Stand by...


And, so, when I figure it out I will send a picture of the moonrise.