Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bathroom remodel - Day 12...

You can actually see the progress today.  The tile is down and we have a whole box we can return even after we save a few in case I drop an anvil and break a tile.  Tomorrow is grout and they're done until Monday when they will either install the bull nose around the edges or start on the tile around the tub.  That will also be a two day job - tile and then grout the next day.  They should be finished by next Friday at the latest.  The door still needs to be sanded and painted, the hole drilled for the door knob and the hinge placement chiseled out.  Then the fun stuff starts - vanity, shower and tub hardware (all Kohler and all gorgeous), my vanity light and chandelier, the two small cabinets, one on either side of the vanity, the towel racks, and mirror.  Some minor work on the cabinets, there are two and the doors both open from the left.  Since they will be bookends on either side of the vanity, I would like the doors to open in opposite directions so both knobs are next to the vanity.  Mike doesn't seem to think it will be a problem to move the hinges on one cabinet so I'm excited about that.

My vinyl is in for the Cameo and I have some great embellishments for the bathroom after the paint cures.

These pictures don't show the true colors - the walls are a grey/beige and the floor is just a touch peachier than the walls.  This picture makes it look like they are very different in color, but actually, they aren't.

The following pictures are of my living room.  I believe every tool Mike owns is down there right now.  Since we have two bathrooms to go, we'll have to live with this for at least another month.

Thursday, February 28, Day 10

I haven't been posting because there hasn't been much action.  We called the vet on February 7th to order another prescription of the Prozac.  By the 15th when it hadn't arrived, I called again.  Apparently it wasn't mailed on the 7th, but was mailed on the 15th.  On the 20th it still wasn't here and it's only 20 miles.  Luckily it had been sent Priority Mail so they had a tracking number.  When I looked it up, sure enough, it had been mailed on the 15th, then it was 'misdirected' (whatever that means!) and finally arrived at our house the 25th.  But by then, she had been out of the Prozac for three days.  Since her last pill had been so hard to get down her and I'm not even sure I did, we decided to give her a break.  She had been taking them for over a month and seemed lethargic, wasn't eating well and cried every time we picked her up.

What a difference eight days make.  Her eyes are bright, she's racing through the house, making friends with the men who are remodeling our bathrooms, watching the squirrels and birds outside the sliding glass window and venturing up to my craft room and her perch by the window.

We haven't had any accidents since the 18th and she's getting more regular every day - both stools and pee.  I'm still covering up my chair, though.  She has taken to sleeping in the pink cozy we purchased for her that she's never used except on the trip to Wisconsin in September.  I've moved it to every room in the house and it ended up kicked into the spare bedroom where she now uses it for her afternoon nap.  Her morning nap is spent on Carl's chair.

We may be using our cat sitter for the March trip instead of boarding her since she's no longer on the Prozac.  And the guys will be here working on Carl's bathroom so she won't be alone; we're still thinking about it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bathroom remodel - Day 11...

Again, lots got done today that you can't see.  The drain in the tub has been installed and tested.  The tub actually had water in it and the jets and drain work.  Fixtures won't be installed until the tile work is finished.  A skim coat of mud has been placed where the cement board around the tub meet the newly painted walls.  The ceramic switch plates have been installed and look great except for one that was damaged in shipping and will be replaced by the company I bought them from.  The wallboard around the floor electric plug was cut too big to be covered by its plate so some taping and muding will have to go there; the knob for the dimmer switch doesn't fit just right but Pat thinks he can fix that.  The door from Ambiance arrived and is in the basement awaiting paint.  It's gorgeous.  The cement board is down on the floor and a tile pattern selected.  The ceiling has been painted one last time.

The spare bedroom is almost back to normal.  Everything had been covered and moved so a hole in the ceiling right under the tub drain could be cut.  That access hole has a panel over it now so if something happens and we need to get to the drain again, it will be easy to get to.

The floor should be finished tomorrow and then the tile around the tub starts.  While they're waiting to grout, the vanity and cabinets can go in and the lights and towel racks can go up.  It won't be long now and ask me if I'm getting excited.

Card for Montana

 I used a GinaK stamp set for this card along with Spellbinder Postage Dies and the DCWV Cotton Bloom Stack.  This card is on its way to Montana to wish a happy birthday to one of my best friends.  I hope he enjoys it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bathroom remodel, Day 10...

We had our first coat of paint on Friday.  Unfortunately, the satin paint showed up some imperfections in the ceiling (I knew that was going to be a problem) which led to a skim coat being placed on the ceiling.  The first coat went on yesterday, a rather thick coat.  Today, they're sanding and making sure that skim coat is even.  Pat mixed some sand mixture into a primer and they're painting a coat of that on the ceiling, then the paint color goes on.  We've been bickering about the color - I think it's grey, Mike thinks it's beige.  Either way, I love the color.  The ceiling set us back two days and the drain isn't here yet but the circuit breaker did come on Friday and has been installed for the motor in the tub.

I did, in fact, order the door from Ambiance.  This door comes unpainted and with that lovely frosted glass.  Before I ordered, I asked how opaque it was.
I received a reply about five minutes later (was that great service or what?).
I was told this picture was taken with a person standing about 2 feet from the door under a fluorescent light.  So, I ordered it.  They said it would take 10 working days (I ordered it Thursday).  I received a phone call that it would be here tomorrow, five days after ordering.  And their selection of doors is primo.  Pat can start painting it tomorrow; it will be the same color as the trim in the bathroom.  I haven't seen the door yet, but based on their customer service, I think all our decorative doors will come from them.

Work on the tile around the tub can't start until the drain shows up so we're still waiting for that but the cement board for the floor has been cut and is ready to install.  I suppose the floor tile, toilet, vanity and cabinets can be installed when the painting is finished.

In the meantime, we've decided to freshen up the laundry room bath.  We've purchased a new vanity, medicine cabinet, light, door hardware and we're going to paint; the flooring, shower and toilet are fine.  For the master bath, Carl has picked out his floor and wall tile, his vanity, sink, faucets, shower fixtures, shower door and still has the paint to get.  Between all three baths, Mike and Pat should be able to work right through our trip to Memphis.

On another note we have a beautiful snow here today.  It looks like five or six inches so far and doesn't look like it's stopping any time soon.

But we are warm and snug, I made a huge pot of Jambalaya and have a loaf of bread for the oven, chocolate cupcakes and all the Crystal Light I can drink - life is good.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bathroom remodel, Day 8...

A little drama due to my husband.  I distinctly heard him say on Wednesday that nothing had gone wrong so far.  You shouldn't tease the devil like that.  First of all a plastic piece from the faucet assembly on the tub has a broken prong.  That had to be ordered from Koehler and I got an e-mail yesterday it had been mailed and was on the way.  Then the drain assembly was too short, Home Depot says that will be here next week.  Finally, the area in the ceiling where the wall was removed is not matching up with the rest of the ceiling, it's very noticeable so I don't know how that will be repaired.  On a high note, all the mudding is done (if you don't count that small area of the ceiling), the priming is finished, both walls and woodwork.  Priming the woodwork made a huge difference in the brightness of the room.  One dilemma I'm having is the door.  All the woodwork and doors in the upstairs hallway are this walnutty color - definitely dark.  It's visible from the living room.  The inside woodwork and door in my bathroom will be painted light dove grey.  But if the door is open, it will be that dark walnutty color (yuch, pugh!)  If we paint the outside of the bathroom door, it will look strange from the living room but if we don't paint it, it will look strange when the door is open in the bathroom.  I wanted to replace the door with a french door and frosted glass.  And maybe I still will.  In the meantime, we should have color on the walls today if they can fix the ceiling.  I'm sure walls won't start until the ceiling looks good.  We're also waiting on the new circuit breaker for the tub to show up; Mike ordered it a week ago and it's coming in the mail. 

Mike wants to finish the painting before the tile work starts so my guess would be we're a far cry from being done on Tuesday (there are only two work days before then).  This bottom picture clearly shows the soffit that I am putting words on.  And the wall to the left of the tub will have the black dandelions on it about 24" tall.  We purchased a gorgeous print of a cheetah cub at Fossil Rim in Texas that I want to frame and put on the top part of the left wall.  I can also use the sliding doors for vinyl - maybe extend the dandelions, what do you think?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday, February 21, Day 3

I had such a hard time getting her pill down her this morning - the worst time ever.  Like yesterday, I'm not really sure how much she got and it was so disintegrated by the time I finished, I'm sure she hated the rotten taste in her mouth.  Time for plan B.  First, I've ordered some small gel caps to put her pill in.  She won't be able to smell or taste those so that might help and they are relatively inexpensive if they don't work.  I'm also going to call a local compounding pharmacy to see if they can turn her pills into liquid and add a fish taste to it.  She's such a picky eater, rarely eating all of her breakfast, that might not work so we'll try the gel caps first.

Nothing in the litter box this morning and she spent the day yesterday hiding in the spare bedroom, she didn't even come out when we settled down to watch TV last night.  She almost always joins us even if she's not a lap cat.  We're hoping her new prescription of Prozac shows up today or we will have to drive out and pick it up.

I smoothed out her dry food yesterday morning to tell if she's eating and she hasn't made a dent in it.  She only ate half of her treats this morning and she loves them.  She didn't touch supper last night or breakfast this morning.  I'm going to give it to the end of day today to see if she eats and then I'll call the vet in the morning.  She's picky but she does attempt wet food twice a day and eats her dry food well so I'm a touch worried.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, Day 2

Sassy had a bit of a loose stool yesterday and this morning but both were in the litter box.  We had tickets to see Jersey Boys last night so she was on her own for the first time in weeks.  This morning she peed in the box which is always good although we've not had any liquid accidents since August.  She wasn't hungry this morning and I had a terrible time getting her pill down her, I'm still not sure she actually got it.  That's the trouble with a white bib on a cat, and white pills.  I've actually found it on the floor and have no idea which day it was from.  We only have three more days of the Prozac, we seem to be having a communication problem with the vet.  I called on the 7th to renew her prescription and when we didn't get it in the mail by the 15th, I called them back.  They assured me today that it was mailed on the 15th but it's only about 20 miles to the vet's office so we may have to go pick it up if it doesn't show.  We're expecting a snow storm here tomorrow afternoon through evening and if it's anything like what's been going on up north, we may be in trouble and have a kitty suffering withdrawal.

Bathroom remodel - Day 6a...

I miscounted.  Work started on February 11th, but that was just a materials list day.  Mike measured and created his shopping list, double checked our requirements and didn't actually start work until the 12th.  So, Tuesday, the 19th, was really day 6 since they don't work Saturday and Sunday.

So, having said that - true day 6 showed lots of results.  It was the second day of mud on the wallboard, the installation of cement board around the tub and all the plumbing for the tub with the exception of the drain is finished.  One more coat of mud and then a good sanding and they will be finished with that.  When Mike went to install the drain in the tub so they could run water to check the electric motor, he found we had purchased the wrong size.  I have a deep tub - there are three heights of drain and the one we purchased is too short.  So, he's on a hunt this morning to try to replace it without the two week wait the original drain took.  If we do have to order another one, they can work around that, there's still painting and tiling to do, but we won't be done on schedule.  Carl is purchasing the paint today, they think they will get to that tomorrow.

Yesterday I spent some time working with Make the Cut and my Cameo and designed a phrase to go on the soffit over the tub.  I also did some dandelions for the wall opposite the toilet.  I've ordered some black matte vinyl, I already have white and may have to try them both or mix and match over the lovely dove gray paint.

On a unrelated note, we saw Jersey Boys last night at the Peoria Civic Center.  I have to admit the theater in Chicago had better acoustics and seating.  My daughter sat behind some woman with a huge beehive hairdo and spent the whole evening trying to see around her.  Her husband was really tall so exchanging seats with my SIL would not have helped.  We sat far enough away that we weren't aware of her problem, we would have told her to move to empty seats after the show starts or during intermission - no one cares if you do that unless someone shows up late.  There was a whole box empty they could have moved to.  Well, work is starting late today due to the great Kohler drain hunt.  Stay tuned...and stay warm....

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bathroom remodel - Day 6...

Even though it doesn't look like it, lots has happened since my last post.  All the electrical work is done and most of the plumbing.  The tub faucet and shower head hardware has been measured and is ready to install.  All the wallboard has been installed and the first coat of mud has been put on.  My dimmer switch for the chandelier works the ceiling light perfectly.  The shower locker is going to be my pride and joy.  It has so many shelves I can't even reach the top one and I don't even care.  Mike has promised me water in the tub tomorrow so they can make sure the electrics work before they enclose the tub.  I received the switchplates today, white ceramic, very plain but I like them.  Mike said the bathroom should be either done or nearly done by next Tuesday and I've told Ruthann we're eating lunch in there.  I get the tub.

Monday, February 18, Day 32

Our first set-back.  I wasn't up early enough to see this as I'm fighting a HUGE headcold and slept in, but Carl found a small amount of poop on the floor, a good amount on my chair and some in the litter box.  We can't explain the chain of events that led to it.  Could she just not make it?  Since she's been going intermittently we have been worried that she was just storing it up for an explosion.  I noticed a small piece attached to her behind yesterday and made a note that we need to trim the hair on her butt soon but I doubt that caused this mess.  Carl thinks the small amount on the floor could have been drop off - and perhaps she's been constipated and wasn't expecting to go?  She hasn't been sleeping on my chair so we don't know if she jumped up there to go or was already there and went.  We're back to covering my chair with a waterproof pad and a piled afghan on top of that, using it as a litter box would be awkward.  We've decided not to go back to locking her up unless she repeats.  Then, we'll just start all over again.  I'm encouraged that we made it to 32 days but very disappointed that we may have to start over.  Carl replaced the Feliway containers that were low or empty.  We have no idea if that's working or not but as long as we have it, we'll use it.

I've just made an appointment with the Big Hollow Animal Hospital in Peoria, IL to board her while we're in Memphis.  Between pill giving and bathroom habits, our cat sitter isn't going to be able to handle her for this small vacation.  Our next one in June might be a different story.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday, February 27, Day 31

Sassy came into the bedroom this morning at 4:15 a.m. to announce she had left several deposits in the litter box.  We are tickled she's excited about it, but wish she could tell time.  She spent several hours in my craft room on her perch yesterday afternoon.  It's been a long time since she's done that.  We've ordered more Prozac and have decided to continue with it for another prescription before we have a discussion with the vet about weaning her off of it - or not....

Bathroom remodel - Day 3...

Day three consisted of removing drywall, one stud, and shaving some studs in order to get the tub in.  Measurements showed there was a little less than one inch of clearance to maneuver with.  We also measured for the grab bars and the removed stud was replaced.  On the left side of the red bucket is the wall that separates the guest bathroom from the master bathroom.  When the wall board was removed, several pipes were revealed in the master bathroom that made a redesign in the master bath necessary.  Pat and Mike will start there as soon as this bathroom is finished. 

This is what the bathroom looks like now.  A hole in our spare bedroom under the tub was cut where the drain is in the tub (on the right hand side) to allow access to the drain area in the future.  The hole was covered with a slide in panel and actually doesn't look too bad.  Monday they will fill the tub and test the electronics before they begin to enclose it.  Fixtures for the tub will be on the wall on the right.  We decided last minute to place the floor tile on the diagonal so we'll need to purchase more tile soon.  Since we paid for the tile by the piece, we can always get a refund on what we don't use.  As Pat said, the fun part is the building up and that's coming next.

For those of you that follow the nature around our home, the birds have begun to sing in the last week.  The cardinals are very vocal as are the song sparrows.  Birds only sing to attract a mate or protect a territory (except chickadees who seem to sing for the love of it) so even though it's still winter here, birds are expecting spring soon.

Designing cards in Make the Cut

This is another card created on my Cameo and using Amy Chomas' pen holder and my Uni-ball Signo Broad white pen.  Now that my computer is home with a whole mind, I will begin playing with my new pens, the Staedtler triplus fineliners which are 0.3 mm and come in 20 colors.  Go me....

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday, February 16, Day 30

All is well with Sassy.  She's still intermittent about her bathroom habits but always goes in the litter box.  The vet didn't seem to be too excited about her going every other day since she's active, eating well and not showing any distress.  She's investigating more of the house; she's not staying so close to the family room.  In fact, since work started on the guest bathroom, she's been in it several times and it's on the top floor.  We've had to close it off so she doesn't get inside the studs.

This morning she actually came to the bedroom when I got up and last night when I woke up to blow my nose, she was laying on the floor next to my side of the bed.  That's a first since confinement.  We are still giving her the Prozac and she still hates it.  While I was sick, my husband gave it to her twice and you would have thought he was killing her; she was screeching and he was cursing.  She doesn't like it when I do it, but I don't usually have a big problem getting her to take it; she's used to me, I imagine.

Since we are taking a short vacation in the middle of March, we will have to see if we can board her so she gets her medicine on time.  Luckily we have a few more weeks before we have to worry about that.

Bathroom remodel - Day 2...

So.....another renovation, another twenty pounds of dust, another month of having the house torn apart, and, hopefully, another gorgeous room.

The current guest bathroom consists of two rooms.  The vanity and linen closet are in the front half, the toilet and tub are in the back half.  The first thing we're going to do is remove this wall and the door to open it up to one room.
This large vanity will be replaced with one half its size, the medicine cabinet will be replaced with one flat beveled mirror.  We will also add two more electric plugs in this wall (one just doesn't cut it with my mp3 player, electric toothbrush and blow dryer).
This room is only about five foot by four foot walking area.  The only heater in the bathroom is behind the door opposite the toilet.  Since this door is always open, the heat is trapped behind the door and doesn't do much to heat the bathroom.  The linoleum will be replaced by a pretty sand colored 12x12 ceramic floor tile.  
This tub surround with its small shallow tub will be replaced by a whirlpool tub and ceramic tile surrounding it.  The shower will  have a ten inch rain head and gorgeous brushed nickel fixtures.
The smaller vanity will be flanked on either side by a cabinet that is the same height as the vanity to increase my surface area.  The vanity has several drawers in it and the cabinets will hold what the vanity can't.
We have ordered what Kohler calls a shower locker for the wall behind the new tub.  It has five shelves on it and will run from the ceiling to the tub.  Each shelf is big enough to hold both my shampoo and body wash so lots of storage room.  You see how much I have now.  The tub itself also has a nice apron around it so I can place a wine glass full of Wild Vines Blackberry Merlot on it along with a candle or two.
This is the linen closet, it's two doors wide.  All the woodwork will be painted a very pale gray, the walls will be a slightly darker gray.
The light over the new mirror will be brushed nickel and the lights will hang down.  The lights also have pretty covers over them, a more feminine look than these which remind me of make-up lights.
This light next to the tub will be replaced with a chandelier with a dimmer switch.  So, I can dim the lights while I soak in the tub and drink that Blackberry Merlot.  Stay tuned.....

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bathroom remodel - Day 1...

Well, today is the first construction day of my new bathroom.  Parts are piled all over the house, my bookshelves from the hallway are in our bedroom making walking hazardous.  The living room is filled with faucets, shower heads, lights, tile, tile, and more tile, grab bars, towel racks and a shower curtain.  Yesterday Mike was here taking a final check of our renovation list so he knew what supplies he needed.  Except for an extra electrical plug, I hadn't changed my mind on anything.  Still to purchase is the mirror.  I've seen the bathroom in my mind, but I can't see the mirror and I haven't decided if I want a medicine cabinet or just a flat mirror.  I want to wait until I see the vanity in place (before they hook up the sink) before I make the mirror decision.  We will also need paint and I'm not sure where in the process they will use it.  We like to know that so we make sure that all the materials are available for that particular job.  Job one is tearing the bathroom apart.  Tomorrow I will share the 'right now' pictures.  Unfortunately, the right now pictures I took last week are in the computer that's at Dell having its mind replaced.  So, I took new ones but the bathroom is stripped clean and ready for all the ripping and snorting today.  The bathroom should be down to studs in places and tomorrow I imagine they will be putting up cement board for the tub area and adding a new floor for the tile.

I already have a plan for the first night the bathroom is finished.  Mike is putting a dimmer switch on the chandelier next to the tub so I will dim the lights, grab a bottle of wine, turn on the jets in a hot bath, bring my computer in so I can watch Lincoln Lawyer (A hot bath with Matthew McConaughey - does it get any better than that?).

Fall down, go boom...

I made this card yesterday for the son of a dear friend in Montana.  He had an paragliding accident in Mexico and broke some things that are painful for him now.  We hope he has a fast recovery.

I adore this new release from Peachy Keen stamps.  I've been buying their faces since the Cricut first came out and I bought Animal Kingdom.  I've added faces to everything, their stamps are so versatile I eagerly await each new collection.  They have faces for everything - animals, monsters, aliens, you name it, they have a face for it.    The background here is also from their new release and I've stamped it with Memento London Fog, stamped the little robot with the same ink, stamped the face again, fussy cut it, and layered it with an Action Wobble.  Framed in red, I think it stands out very well.  The sentiment comes with another of the Peachy Keen releases, Spring Gear Flowers.  I cut the 'Hope You're' apart and made two stamps out of it, stamped the gear (or bottlecap, I can't tell which it is) and popped it up with foam tape.  The inside greeting was arced on my acrylic block (don't you love you can do that to clear stamps?) and stamped in black ink. As my grandma would say "is that a face or what?"; um, yes, Grandma, that's a face.  Best faces in the business by far, check 'em out.

Wherever you are, I hope your day is filled with fun, friends and delicious fat-free snacks.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday, February 8, Day 22

8:51 a.m. - Sassy ran into my craft room and meowed very loudly twice.  We know from experience that when she cries like that we might have bathroom issues.  By the time I went to look for her, she was back in the family room on the hearth.  I called her into the laundry room where she promptly laid down in front of the dryer in her usual place.  I picked her up and gently placed her in the litter box; she hopped right out and laid back down.  I gave it a couple of minutes and gently set her back in the litter box and rubbed her ears keeping her there.  After a minute she started sniffing the litter and eventually scratched out a place (after turning around and around and around), squatted and pooped.  After I cleaned the litter box, I went out and loved on her for a bit and fed her some treats.  I'm still waiting for the vet to call back.

7:19 a.m. - Sassy hasn't had a bowel movement since Wednesday morning around 8:00 a.m.  She finally peed last night about 8:15 p.m. after I actually picked her up and placed her in the litter box.  I was worried enough to call the vet yesterday and am still waiting for a call back.  If I don't hear something before noon today I will call back.  Although she doesn't show distress in the litter box, she will turn and turn and turn before finding the perfect place to squat.  It doesn't look like distress, just indecision.  Here - no, there - no, here.  She was very active this morning playing with the ping pong ball and the red string.  She was even running from room to room.  I understand from reading that exercise can move the bowels so I chased her a bit.  She likes to play that game but when she plops down on the hearth she's finished.  I did take her into the laundry room and placed her in the litter box but she wasn't interested.  She ate a healthy breakfast consisting of Gravy Lover's Fancy Feast and she snacks on her dry food all day - I can tell because she pulls each piece out of her bowl, drops it on the ceramic floor, eats it and goes to get another one.  She leaves crumbs on the floor and that's how we know she's eating.  Something has to give soon or she'll explode.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, Day 20

Sassy finally let go last night and left a large deposit in the litter box.  She had been acting flaky, her usual song and dance when she has to go to the bathroom but I couldn't get her to do it when I coaxed her into the bathroom.  She was laying on the hearth when she suddenly she got up and ran into the bathroom - Eureka.  But this morning - nothing.  I gave her the Prozac and fed her.  A few minutes ago Carl came up and asked me if I cleaned her litter box?  Ummm, I've been cleaning it for six months - I didn't understand the question.  It turns out she had left two deposits in the litter box this morning.  It's the very first time she's pooped two days in a row.  She's been going every two to three days, which isn't normal for her pre-meds.  And both bowel movements have been solid and normal looking.  So, I loved her up really good, fed her some treats and Carl removed the barrier to the living room while he's on his computer.  He said she spent some time in the bay window which was one of her favorite places before her retraining.  This is the most hopeful I've been since August.  Fingers crossed.....

My computer is hosed.....

My computer started acting weirdly on Friday.  For two days I played with it, ran diagnostics and virus software and couldn't figure out what was wrong.  Monday we took it to RNS computers at Northpoint (testimonial: if you live in the Peoria area and need an awesome computer repairman, take it to Ron).  On Tuesday one of the technicians called to say the hard drive was hosed.  I just purchased this new Dell so I was pretty upset.  Jeff said since it was under warranty, they could ship it back to Dell for a replacement hard drive.  All my software is on this computer - Studio, CorelDraw, Elements, Microsoft Office, MTC, Design Studio, Outlook, iSkySoft.  Luckily, I learned from the last disaster and I keep all of my files on an external drive.  I just keep my software on my laptop. 

It could be several weeks before my computer comes home and Mike starts work on the bathroom on Monday so I might take a break from actual card making and just catalog.

My computer is hosed.....

My computer started acting weirdly on Friday.  For two days I played with it, ran diagnostics and virus software and couldn't figure out what was wrong.  Monday we took it to RNS computers at Northpoint (testimonial: if you live in the Peoria area and need an awesome computer repairman, take it to Ron).  On Tuesday one of the technicians called to say the hard drive was hosed.  I just purchased this new Dell so I was pretty upset.  Jeff said since it was under warranty, they could ship it back to Dell for a replacement hard drive.  All my software is on this computer - Studio, CorelDraw, Elements, Microsoft Office, MTC, Design Studio, Outlook, iSkySoft.  Luckily, I learned from the last disaster and I keep all of my files on an external drive.  I just keep my software on my laptop.  And yesterday I received my new set of Staedtler .3mm pens which I was anxious to load into my Cameo and play.  So, since I'm sort of out of commission right now, I'm going to catalog my stamps into a book.  Most of my stamps are in photo boxes in categories.  Right now I am looking at "Sweet Pea / People" which contains all of my Sweet Pea stamps and an accumulation of stamps of people from different sources.  I am stamping each image on 8 1/2 x 11 paper to insert into a notebook.  This will give me an opportunity to sort the stamps.  I have a lovely set of clear fairy stamps.  This set contains one lovely butterfly and several star flourishes.  When I grab my 'insect' box containing butterflies, this little one would not be there.  I can stamp this butterfly on a sheet labeled butterflies and the next time I want a butterfly, I can check the sheet which will contain every butterfly I own, even those that are on sets that aren't in the butterfly box.  I hope that makes sense.  I have so many sentiment stamps included in sets that are stored in places other than the sentiment boxes.  I've already cleared three boxes of birds which contained floral elements, sentiments, and scenery.  I've discovered some stamps I could have used if I had known they existed.

It could be several weeks before my computer comes home and Mike starts work on the bathroom on Monday so I might take a break from actual card making and just catalog.

This card was created using my Cameo.  I created the overlay in MTC and cut it out.  I used Flourishes Hello Baby, Classic Tags, Tiny Flowers and Tags, Recollections Pearls, and DCWV Nana's Nursery.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, Day 19

Sassy had a good breakfast this morning, took her pill with fairly good grace and actually paid me a visit in my craft room - the first time in weeks (of course, she was locked up for a good part of it but even before we locked her up, she hadn't come to visit me).  She jumped up on her platform and eventually went to sleep.  It's nice to have her back up here, I often show her stuff I'm making and ask her opinion.  Don't laugh, she's a kind critic.

Her last visit to the litter box was last night.  Again, we had agitation.  I was upstairs and Carl came to tell me she was crying and running around so I told him to go sit in the laundry room and see if she would go to the bathroom.  When I went downstairs a bit later he said she just laid down while he was in there so I called her back into the laundry room, sat down and it only took her a second to climb into the litter box and pee.  Nothing in the litter box this morning, though.

Today is movie day and I'm showing Sir David Attenborough's Trials of Life.  This DVD set was never released in the United States and is a Region 2 set.  Many years ago I purchased a DVD player that had been hacked to play Region 2 DVDs specifically to play this series.  Unfortunately, we discovered that the DVD player doesn't work well with our big screen so I ran the DVDs through my iSkySoft DVD Ripper which, much to my surprise, reads Region 2 DVDs, copied the DVDs and re-recorded them which made them playable on my BlueRay player.  It was worth ruining a DVD if it didn't work and even though we've lost some of the fabulous clarity of the originals, the resulting DVDs are pretty good.  This series is available on Amazon on VHS which is too bad, I think everyone should have the opportunity to watch this amazing documentary.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday, February 4 - Day 18

Carl got home last night and Sassy has been a little skittish; she's spending more time in the dining room watching her friend the squirrel on the deck.  Her look reminds me of the old cartoon, "I'm going to hold him and squeeze him and love him and call him George."  If Sassy could catch him I'm sure that's what she would do.  No messes last night but we had both poop and pee yesterday evening which pleased us both.  Before both eliminations she did a little song and dance.  The first time I actually went into the laundry room with her and after a minute or two she climbed into the litter box and peed.  Ten minutes later she went back into the little song and dance but went into the laundry room on her own and pooped.  She raced out of the laundry room like her tail was on fire.

While Carl was checking his e-mail in the living room this morning he let her in while he watched her.  She went straight to the area she used to use as a toilet and started to sniff.  We kept a close eye on her while she checked out the living room and eventually returned to the family room one level down.  The sniffing tells me we didn't succeed in removing all the odor so we will attempt to do that before we let her back in again.  Only one week before work on the bathroom starts and we may need the living room while we move the tubs so perhaps we'll wait until that's done. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday, February 3, - Day 17

Second day out of lock-up and we've survived another night with no mess - knock wood.  I've cleaned the laundry room, scrubbed the floor, moved her water fountain and her dry food dish back to their original positions in the dining room.  I've placed her wet food back in the kitchen in its normal location.  Sassy is now in the dining room under the dining room table watching the birds on the deck.  She 'helped' me clean the laundry room and shake the litter rug back into the litter box.  She's still easily startled, sneaking up on her isn't a good idea.  And she continues to be very vocal when I pick her up anywhere but the laundry room, she doesn't do it when I pick her up for her medication in the morning.  Strange.

She came up to visit me in my craft room late yesterday - first time she's ventured up here on her own but she didn't come up when I went to bed.  And she seems to have lost that adorable habit of jumping in my tub when I'm in my bathroom.  Perhaps that's just as well - work starts on that bathroom in eight days and she won't want to be in there with all the banging that's going to go on.  I'm not sure I'll want to be in my craft room which is right next door.  We'll have to start moving furniture soon so they can get the old tub and surround out and the new tub in.  I hope that the noise and change in routine doesn't set her back. 

A new hint for you....

I often have a problem with layers.  I can rarely add a layer to a card base and center it horizontally and vertically at the same time.  I've watched GinaK eyeball it on her videos but I've never been good at it.  So, I've developed two different ways of making my layers perfect.  My first tool is an "L" shaped clear quilting ruler.

As you can see, I lay the ruler down on my bottom layer and line up the markings on the ruler with the edge of my base according to how big a frame I want.  I then add adhesive to my top layer and lay it in the angle - a pefect frame.  Easy Peasy.

This is how I add a layer that covers an entire area.  I placed the kraft cardstock in the corner of my Scor Buddy, added adhesive to my top layer and placed it in the left corner covering the entire base layer.  Another Easy Peasy.  If you have any of the scoreboards on the market, you could do this.  The ruler is easily purchased at any store that sells quilting supplies and is relatively inexpensive.  My ruler is rather thin but thicker ones are available which would make layering even easier.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Saturday, February 2 - Day 16

This morning we had both poop and pee in the cat box and no messes anywhere.  Hallelujah!  At 7:30 a.m. I took all the boxes we used to block off her access to the dining room and moved them to block access to the living room (the last place she pooped on the floor).  Then I removed the plywood and went back to my craft room.  I checked on her about every fifteen minutes.  At first she didn't even want to come up the stairs.  And the first time she did, she just sniffed around a bit and went back into the family room.  Perhaps she feels more secure there.  The last time I checked she was laying under the dining room table watching the birds on the deck.  I sprinkled some seed out there for her amusement.  I plan to leave her out tonight since it's a real pain moving all the boxes back and forth.  We have to try this sometime.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday, February 1 - Day 15

Whoo Hoo!  Last night we didn't lock  Sassy up in the laundry room.  I already have my footstool covered with a waterproof pad and and old blanket.  I placed a waterproof pad on my chair and piled an old afgan on top of it.  And then we went to bed.  Of course, I woke up at 4:15 a.m. with a sick feeling in my stomach.  Avoiding the family room, I made coffee and ventured out for the paper (did I tell you it's -20 wind chill here?) and I was just wearing my robe and nightgown.  I wouldn't want to be outside for more than a minute.

I fixed her breakfast and turned on the family room light.  No smell, no mess I could see.  And we have poop in the litter box.  We also had a big pee yesterday afternoon.  Still not ideal, we want to see more regularity, but I was jumping up and down inside.  Of course, one night doesn't prove much but I think it's her last night locked up unless she does something to spoil it.  After another week we will let her upstairs with supervision, so....another week of moving the plywood to get into the family room.  I think I strained a muscle yesterday moving it.  We will continue to keep her in the family room at night for a while.  We opened the door to the basement for her this morning.  The basement has two rooms, one the hubs uses for a photography studio.  It's loaded with backdrops and barn siding so it's easy for her to hide in there.  We've closed that room off and left the door to his work room open for the heat.  There's no place for her to hide in there and she doesn't much like going into the basement unless someone is with her - afraid of the dark perhaps?

Sassy are I are on our own for a few days.  Hubs is going to a photography seminar and doing some antiquing on the way to Davenport and on the way back.  I have a lunch date today with someone I used to work with - he would pick the coldest day so far this winter.  And I'll head to the grocery store to stock up on Honey Nut Cheerios and Dinty Moore Beef Stew.  I won't have to cook for three whole days....