Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Yeah, I know you've been chewing your nails and hovering near the edge of your seat for this. :)

We have almost everything done as far as the cabinets go.  The carpenter and installers came over early Monday morning and began ripping the kitchen apart.  It seemed to be fairly easy for them to do, which makes me wonder how they've stayed up all these years!  It was apparent that the people who built this house also built the cabinets, because it was the first time we'd ever seen naked sheet rock anywhere in this house.  I suppose that's also why they were never quite right, somehow.  Oh, it wasn't that they weren't useful or that they were ugly or anything, but they were just kind of weird.  Lots of space you couldn't use, doors that wouldn't quite close, and narrow shelving were the main problems.  Note to everyone out there: unless your builder is also a master cabinet maker, always find an expert to make your cabinets or you'll be very sorry later on!  Of course, most new houses aren't built like ours was, so you probably don't have to worry about it.  :)  At any rate, I thought I'd be sad to see the old cabinets go, but I wasn't! Not even a little bit.

The process took them longer than they originally thought, I think.  The massive counter tops that Steve built were a bit of a pain to remove, but they finally got it all ripped out and got down to business.  I was working in my office most of the time they were here, and every time I'd walk out for something, they'd made tons of progress.  It was a fascinating kind of thing to watch!

They ended up working until well after 5:00, and they didn't quite have everything finished, but the lion's share is done!  It looks amazing so far, and they've effectively given us twice the storage space we had before!  Yay!  I'm crossing my fingers that that means we can get rid of the mismatching shelving we had to get to store overflow food, and I also hope that means our corners won't be full of cans and boxes we couldn't fit anywhere else.  The pantry alone is enormous!  I'm not kidding, it's like Underground-Railroad-hiding-place big.  I'm just very grateful we were able to get such nice pieces of furniture for such a reasonable cost.  We were very lucky.

Of course, it isn't all perfect, but we had surprisingly few issues.  The sink hole is a bit too big, so the sink slid aside when Steve was trying to screw the clamps in and one of the screws cracked a spot of the laminate.  We are still waiting on a pair of doors that had accidentally been measured wrong and had to be redone and the handles had to be ordered and they weren't in yet.  Also, the island hasn't been set into the floor because we can't put it anywhere permanently until everything else is finished. The people will be back next week to finish up the details.  We also can't start putting things into the cabinets until after the hinges and handles have been installed and calibrated.  Related to all of this is that we are still waiting for the electrician to come back and add the plug for our stove and microwave, and Steve had to remove the sink again to redo that part, so we still have no electricity or plumbing in the kitchen, but I'm still completely tickled over everything so far.

I don't want to put pictures up until it's all done, but you'll be amazed at what a difference the new work has made!  We will still have some painting and stuff to do after that, but even with the sheet rock showing and the gouges in the walls from the other cabinets, it will still look beautiful! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Today has been a blah day.  I woke up in the wee hours of the morning feeling like death due to,  I assume at least, mild food poisoning and/or Ebola.  Yes, I either ate something slightly off, or I've contracted a rare, deathly, hemorrhagic disease.  I can only guess that it feels the same to have either.  :)

Anyways, I've been mostly dragging around the house, and in between continuing to try to clean all of the detritus out of the cabinets and sprawling listlessly across many of our household surfaces, I've been on an epic YouTube journey.  I can't even remember where it started but I've become fascinated by a few of the Japanese feeds I've discovered and I thought I'd share them with you, because...why not. You may not be as interested in these things as I am, but I'll tell you about them anyways!

I actually first came across this guy a few months ago.  The user goes by the name RRcherrypie, and his channel has become very, very popular as of late.  If you want me to be honest, I'm completely fascinated by his videos, but I have no idea why.  That's not a joke, I really don't know what it is about his videos that is so interesting to me.  He basically takes different kinds of weirdly complicated Japanese candy or craft kits and makes them for the camera. He also seems to be an enthusiast for a type of vintage Japanese toy called Konapun, which is some kind of miniature kitchen sets and fake food.  He never talks, there is no background music, and the only sounds are the ones he makes opening the packages and mixing things up.   He's also completely meticulous with whatever he's doing. Whatever he makes, it's always beautifully presented.  It's oddly soothing.  I've watched several of his videos over and over.  This video is one of the first I saw, and the stuff he's making is an actual candy kit you can make and eat.

If that sort of thing interests you, there are a couple of other people who do very similar videos: MarimoMarshmallow and Bonobos25.

This next one is kind of similar to the guy above, but instead of just doing candy and toys, this person actually makes pastries, desserts and other stylized, but otherwise regular, foods.  I think this is more interesting to me because it shows the cultural differences between the ingredients and foods we normally see.  Mosogourmet shows how to make more traditional kinds of Japanese foods, which are still much cuter than what we have!  One of the things I really enjoy is when they show the tools they use to make some of these things.  They are so specific and unusual. 

This last one is more on par with what I would consider a regular cooking show, except that it's called "Cooking With Dog" (not what you think, by the way), and it's narrated by a poodle that has a French by way of Japanese accent.  At least, I think that's what it is.  It's definitely a Japanese guy doing the voice for the dog, but I think he's trying to do a French accent.  Someone watch one of these and tell me if I'm right!  Anyway, the recipes are all very traditional Japanese things and the woman who makes them is kind of adorable.

Don't get me wrong, I do watch other things other than Japanese cooking stuff, but these have been my favorites recently!  Hopefully you'll like one of these too.  :)

Monday, June 18, 2012


Hey!  I'm back!   Oof.  I haven't written on here for a long time, but I have reasons! Maybe not great reasons, but I have them.  :)  Actually, I've been somewhere between really stinking busy, distracted, and asleep, so pick whichever one you like the best and run with it.

1) Two weeks ago I was back at Vacation Bible School running A/V for the assemblies.  I wasn't even around the kids that much and it still exhausted me.  I'm not kidding.  I was at the church between 8:30 and 12 every day. I would maybe talk to a few kids before things got started, and on one memorable occasion I stayed in a hallway with some of the smallest kids while their teacher was in another room for a minute or two, and it was all I could do to make it back to the sound booth and collapse.  I'm convinced that children suck the vitality out of anyone who happens to be in the same building with them, whether or not they actually interact with them.  Oy.  By the time I'd leave for the day, I'd have to go home and take a nap, which makes me feel so very old.

The preacher also asked me to help out a bit in the office, which I didn't mind doing, but he seems to think I know a lot more about IT stuff than I actually do.  I guess since I'm married to Steve I'm supposed to know how to fix computers, and I suppose I've picked up a few things, but I certainly don't know nearly as much as some people assume I do.  Luckily I knew enough to help him out, so it wasn't a complete bust.  He also asked me to add things to the church website, which I was completely unfamiliar with, but the program turned out to be super easy to figure out, so that was good.  All in all it was a great week, except for the chronic fatigue I suffered because of the litttle energy vampires.

2) The whole cabinet adventure has gotten underway, and the kitchen is a complete wreck. While I stayed with my brother this past weekend (Mom and Grant were on their annual pilgrimage to Atlanta) Steve and his dad spent Saturday yanking out appliances, capping off water pipes,  and generally causing necessary mayhem.  As of Saturday afternoon, I have no way to cook or wash dishes, and no counter space to prepare anything that doesn't require cooking, so trying to figure out the food situation has been grim.  We haven't even found a place to plug in the microwave yet, so mostly we've been getting take out.  Don't get me wrong, I like fast food, but I don't love how it makes me feel when I've eaten a lot of it!  I'm also certain that the dietician is going to have a stroke when I have to go back and see her this week and tell her what I've been eating!  At any rate, I'm excited that the process of getting the new cabinets has begun, but now that means I'll be packing dishes, cooking tools, and food into weird places all over the house until the cabinets are installed.

3) Oooooh, but speaking of food!  Mr. Lee's fruit has arrived early and he's given us a cubic ton of the most gorgeous blueberries, blackberries and peaches!  The blueberries are huge and sweet, and I've made muffins and pancakes with them so far.  I've also used the dehydrator I got for my birthday to dry some of the blackberries and blueberries.  The blueberries are weird when they're dry, but they're still darn tasty.  The blackberries are also good, but very fragile.  They don't taste like much and they're kind of seedy, but I like them.  They are a really good and filling snack!  The peaches, though...y'all....the peaches.  You have no idea how amazing the peaches that Mr. Lee grows are.  They smell so good!  When I got the first batch from him, I just stood there and sniffed them for two days.  I wanted to waller on them like a dog.  I guess I finally understand why they do that!  They are just some of the best fruit I've ever eaten, though.  Perfect and soft and delicious.  I wish I knew how to make them last longer though.  I know I can freeze them, but I hate to do that because I know they won't taste the same.  Honestly, since Mr. Lee has been giving us peaches, I usually only eat peaches once a year because none of the odd ones I've gotten here and there from the grocery store even come close.

4) I sang Via Dolorosa in church yesterday morning. It was the first time several of our newer members have ever heard me sing it.  Our new youth minister came over to me and said "Wow, I didn't know you could speak Spanish!"  I hated to tell him that the one verse of that song is really the extent of the Spanish I know, and I don't even really know what I'm saying.  He said "But, you had the accent and everything..."  So, I'd like to thank Chani Sanford (wherever you are these days) for teaching me my Latina accent!  Pamplemousse Perez:  fooling people into thinking she's bilingual for 13 years!  :)  Gracias, Chani!

Friday, June 01, 2012


1)  I almost passed out at the gym today!  That would have sucked, because I was right in the middle of working out on the elliptical machine and I can't imagine what would have happened if I got tangled up in one of those!  I was actually feeling dizzy and weird all morning, mainly because of whatever sinus trouble I'm constantly plagued with, and I'd gotten light headed twice before I even left the house.  Steve said I shouldn't go, but since I'd missed two days this week, I didn't want to miss more.  I should've listened to him. 

I got off of the machine and managed to get my bearings, and decided that I'd finish my workout on one of the stationary bikes.  Once I was done with that, I felt well enough (I thought) to go back to the elliptical.  I was actually fine until the last few minutes, and then my vision started to dim.  I got off, made it to the car and figured that I could probably make it home OK since I live so close.  I got extremely light headed on the drive home and had to blast the air in my face and bite my tongue really hard to stay awake.  Once I got home, I was OK, but I had to lie down for a while.  I'm still super dizzy, but at least I'm fairly sure it isn't my heart being weird or anything - knock wood - making me feel like this.  I'm so tired of sinus problems!  I have no idea what is causing it, but it's been really bad since the beginning of March.  It's probably a dust allergy, but if that's the case, I'm going to have to move out of the house.  I never dust, you see.  :)

2) I finally applied for a passport yesterday!  I've been wanting to do it for a long time, but since I haven't had any plans of traveling out of the country, I didn't have a reason.  I still have no plans of travel (yet) but since Steve is going to have to do some international travel for work (and I can't go, I went along with him to apply for my own passport, just for funzies.  The guy in charge of passports at the post office was funny!  At first he was kind of serious and had he has this impressive fu manchu that makes him look sort of scary.  I was feeling very intimidated while he was going over my paperwork, when he looked up at me and said "Father?"  Since Papa had died, I didn't put his name on my application and left that part blank, but something had to be written there I guess, because the man handed me the papers back and told me to write "deceased" in that spot.  I started writing it, and then started to giggle because I couldn't remember how to spell it!  I'm sure it sounded weird, me giggling while writing that my father was deceased, and he gave me the strangest look.  I finally had to ask how to spell it and then he got tickled too.  He relaxed after that and everything was less intimidating.  He took my photo, actually taking it a couple of times when it didn't turn out well enough.  It's still not a great picture, but it'll do.  He also said I look like Sally Field, and then started making jokes about that. 

At any rate, the thing has been applied for and once I get it I'll be prepared to go globe trotting.  Hopefully.  Maybe one day, anyways.

3)  We went to Logan's graduation last week and I'm so proud! :)  It makes me feel really old, though.  I was forcibly reminded how uncomfortable county school graduations can be around here, because they are usually held outside on the football field.  It was really, really hot, crowded, and the lights attracted every bug in North Alabama.  Something about the size of a bi-plane landed on me and it was all I could do not to start screaming and running around in circles.  I was also reminded how boring high school graduations can be.  I'm lucky that this school didn't do things like my own graduation, where they gave out every honor and scholarship during the ceremony, making it last more than two hours.  All that had been taken care of at some kind of awards day thing, so mainly there was just a speech and the diplomas.

Bless her heart, the girl who gave the speech was just...bless her heart.  The kids who were interested in giving the speech had to apply for the job by submitting the actual things they wanted to say.   Her speech was apparently the best one.  Huh.  I know that sounds mean, and I'm sorry because I know she's just a kid, but the whole thing was like this:

Welcome! Thank you parents! Bible Verse. Cliche. Cliche. Cliche. Cliche. Bible Verse. Fortune Cookie Message. Cliche. Cliche. Cliche. Cliche. Inspirational Calender Message. Cliche. Cliche. Cliche. Cliche. Cliche. Cliche. Cliche. Cliche. Bible Verse. Thank You.


Now my oldest nephew is a high school graduate and I'm an old, old lady.  I don't even want to think about how I'll feel when Seth graduates.