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I didn’t believe…

Really, I didn’t.  In fact I mocked the weather forcast.  Greg said, “look it’s says it’s going to snow.”

I said.  “Ya right.”  Whatever.

Yesterday morning, I was woken up my my dear hubby at 6:30 am.  Ya, you read that right.  I don’t get up at 6:30.  Ever.  Try between 8 and 9.  It did snow and it was sticking to the cars.  So I had to take pictures to prove to you it snowed right?  (I live in South East Louisiana.  It just doesn’t snow here, or so I thought.)

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By 7am our power was out.  Knocked out my a tree limb across the street.

By 10 am, the house and property looked like this:

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Pretty right?  ya, I thought so too.  Except I was freezing!  I spent all day wrapped up in bed under the blankets.  Having no heat sucks.  It finally came back on at 11 pm last night.  Thank fate.

So we still have snow and it looks like this today:

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That last picture is our neighbors house.  Hers is still pretty.

A Brand New Room!

This last week the guest room got a make over.  We are calling it the guest room, but really it is MY room.  I am thinking of moving in there.  Poor Greg, he’ll never see me anymore.

So here is the before picture (and let me just say, I Hated this room.  Really.  Couldn’t stand it.  Never went in it.  I think I was actually a little afraid of it.  And the indoor outdoor carpet the previous owners put in had stains and smelled Bad.  You get the picture.  I HATED this room.)

Yes, the room is a bowling alley.  It’s something like 6 feet wide and 28 feet long.  It use to be the back porch in a previous life.  I think the previous owners used it as an office, judging by the insane amount of cable and electrical outlets it had.  And the florescent six feet long shop lights.  ICK!

Okay, so this is the transformation:

Greg built the cozy nook and put in the carpet and I painted every square inch of the room.  It took me three straight days and man o man, was I tired when I was done.  I don’t mind painting one bit, but all that raw wood just sucked up the paint and it took forever.

But I am very pleased, as is my dog Disney.  She thinks it is the best room in the house.  She just likes the carpet.  The rest of the house is hardwood floors.  She’s slips around a lot on them.  She LOVES carpet.  So it’s my retreat/reading room now and clearly my favorite place in the house.  My favorite room use to be my office.  A very soothing sage green room, complete with my desk top computer.  Sorry office, you’ve been upstaged.  🙂

Going Green

In the face of $5.00 a gallon gasoline prices and ever rising energy costs the talk of going green is everywhere. I recently read that Toyota is having trouble keeping up with demand on it’s popular Hybrid the Prius. Hallelujah! Good job consumers. I’d love to have one myself, but had to face the reality, a $22,000 car just isn’t in my budget. When we were in the market for a car this last January, I did the best I could. Our car is a 2003 Nissen Altima and gets a bit over 30 mpg on the freeway. I tested it on my trip to Tennessee last month.

Other ways we are going green include:

Growing our own fruits and veggies

We planted two trees this spring

We compost

We only use those CFL light bulbs

I recycle my ink cartridges (I just mail them to HP)

Most of our electronics are on power strips to avoid vampire usage

Here is a big one. Everyday we see how long we can last until we have to turn the air conditioner on. It is so tempting to just leave the dang thing on all day and night here in Southeast Louisiana. A few days ago it got close to 100 degrees and yes it is very humid here. I am pleased to say we made it the whole day air conditioner less. The more we do with out the air, the more tolerable the heat is. (I can actually hear my friend Lisa thinking, “I am so not visiting her now.” Not to worry, when you come visit, we will turn the air on for you sissies. 🙂

There are lots more things we could do to reduce our own personal carbon footprint, unfortunately we just can’t afford to do them at this time. So while we save up to do some of those things, like more energy efficient appliances and windows, we will be purchasing carbon offsets. Click here to calculate your footprint. Basically the money spent on carbon offsets goes toward developing and maintaining renewable energy projects. Our Footprint ranks an 8, still higher than the national average, and we don’t even commute to work. We still have much work to do.

Post the ways you are going green. I am always on the look out for things we can do better.

One last thing, Greg has some ideas on what those of you with SUVs can do with them when you can no longer afford to drive them.

1) Gut them and turn them into a green house. The beauty of this is when the sun shifts, you can move them to better sun conditions.

2) Gut it and install a water holding tank. Thermal water heating. We all know how hot those things get in the summer.

3) Low cost student housing

4) Great sports bar, big cushy chairs, air conditioning, cup holders, and built in TV screens

5) Or maybe a SUV house for kids, you know, like a fort. Just keep the windows rolled down, they will be fine. Instead of a tree house, it’s a SUV house.

Cool inks:

Greg wants one of these: Aptera

A Front Porch Party!

Isn’t this fun? One of the other blogs I visit posted about a front porch party. See it HERE. The blog Rose Colored Glasses lists over 70 participants in the Front Porch Party. Click on it to visit other bloggers porches or dream porches. If you have a thing for porches like I do, it may take a while. Enjoy!.

Here is my front porch in the making. We have lots of plans for it, but so far haven’t gotten to any of them:

The potted plant closest to the house on the left is my herb pot. The other four are our pepper plants. We have a cowbell and red, yellow, and purple bell peppers. The bouganvillas hanging off to the right, usually hang in the front of the house, but they were not getting enough sun right now do to the sun being so high in the sky, so they were moved, for now.

We plan to build a wood porch and bring it up to the actual front door. Those brick steps are really high, which isn’t a problem for us, being tall people, but anyone with aches or pains might have difficulty with them. Anyway the porch was on the schedule for this spring but didn’t make it. Maybe in the fall. It’s way too hot now. Also there are hooks for a porch swing. I can’t wait for that. 🙂

And just for fun: My sunflower patch.

Cleaning up the yard

So this week we planted a summer garden. Problem is the area doesn’t get a ton of sun. So we planted herbs and a few small tomato plants and summer squash, as I read those might do okay is partial sun.  What do I know?  I have never had a garden before.  We have a ton of trees in the back yard and our property line is full and I mean FULL of them.  So now I am worried about my tomato plants.  What else was there to do, other than get out there with my pruning sheers and start cutting back limbs?  Nothing.  So I spent the whole afternoon doing that, in 94 degree weather no less.  I did what I could with my clippers, it was quite a bit let me tell you.  I am thinking the hubby is wondering who I am?  Usually I hint and nudge until he does these things.  I admit it.  I do that.  It isn’t a secret and we both know what I am up too.  However, as Greg said, all it took was actually planting the tomato plants to get me out there and just get it done.  It’s true, I felt sorry for the poor things.

Now I am thinking I need a chain saw to get those bigger limbs.  I wonder if the hubby will actually let me use such a devise?  I am kinda known to be sorta clumsy.  Okay a bit more than sorta.  You get the picture.  On the other hand if I actually bought a chain saw and threatened to use it, I bet those limbs would get cut down pretty dang fast, and not by me.  🙂

Ditched for Potato Salad

I admit it. I LOVE potato salad. It’s my favorite item at the BBQ and often something I can’t eat. You see, I cannot eat refined sugar. Gives me migraines. So I usually stand staring at the potato salad, full of store bought mayo (which always has sugar in it) and think, if only I’d made some myself. Only I couldn’t or wouldn’t use that light no sugar added mayo. No I have to make my own. Which turns out is really no big deal and when chives are added. YUM!

So today is our day off, sorta. Saturdays are usually our day off, but we ended up a little off schedule this week and decided Sunday would be the day off. Which is great except it’s Mother’s day and our moms are over 2000 miles away and local events are a bit limited this weekend. Which means we had no plans. This morning Greg asks me what do I want to do? I have no idea, so I ignore him and kept watching the Sunday morning politico programs, which have nothing new at all to say. Boring. So the topic of conversation runs to the weather. How exciting are we?

The weather is hot here. It’s 80 degrees and humid. We, like so many others, are trying not only to conserve energy, but to save some money and are resiting turning the air conditioner on. All four of the ceiling fans are on, the back door is open and the box fan off the kitchen is going, and the kitchen window is open. This leaves the only cool place in the house in the kitchen, as the two front doors do not have screens and most of the windows in this old house are painted shut. Stifeling! Our indoor, people loving dog, has decided the only sane place to be is outside in the shade. She’s the smart one. There is a breeze going and it is quite nice out there.

So Greg says, maybe we need a screen door for the office? Which is where I spend most of my time during the day and has a door leading out to the front porch. Immediately I say, “Yes, lets do that today.” Off to Lowes we go at 9am. Yep 9am. I never get out the door before 10am, ever. It’s hot, alright. So we get the screen door, come home and Greg proceeds to put it in. I, of course am suppose to be on stand by to help.

I, however, get a huge craving for potato salad. It’s just that kind of day. Hot weather, bright sunny day. It’s Sunday. What else do you do? You make potato salad of course. I haven’t actually made any since I was like 13, with my mother. I don’t remember the recipe, only that we used miracle whip. I can’t even call her, as she is in Yosemite for vacation. Besides, she used miracle whip and I know I can’t have that. Thank goodness for the internet. Four or Five clicks later I have a recipe I can use, or at least modify with most of the things in my cupboard. Only things missing, are potatoes and sour cream.

So I ditch Greg, no longer putting up the pretense I will actually help with the screen door and run to the Pig (Piggly Wiggly), which is two blocks from the house. Five minutes later I am back and merrily making my first potato salad in over 15 years. It took two tries to get my mayo made. I missed a step and had to start over. No big deal, I had plenty of eggs and oil. But after that is was all smooth sailing. My perfect potato salad is so yummy, that when Greg came in to tell me the door was up, I announced I was leaving him for my potato salad. This after he put in a screen door. I am now happily at my desk, with a cool breeze running through my office due to his hard work.

I’m lucky, he is a good sport. He left to get another screen door for the front door and some boiled crawfish to go with the salad…that is if there is any left when he gets back. 🙂

Spring has arrived!

Spring is here and I couldn’t be happier about it. It is 70 degrees out today, warm and beautiful, low humidity. It is definitely a beach day. Too bad we won’t make it out there today. It’s all okay though. Our yard is coming to life. The blueberry bushes, the pear tree, the azalea bush, the Japanese magnolia, and my camillia tree are all blooming. We just realized our mystery tree is a magnolia and it should be blooming any day now. I am pretty excited about that. It looks like it will be beautiful. My bouganvilla plants look like they survived. yay! I didn’t kill them. Though we are still unsure about the hibiscus and the basil plant ( I might have succeeded in killing those). Although to be truthful, I don’t care about the basil plant. It had taken over my herb pot. The chives survived and thats what matters to me. I will be upset if the hibiscus don’t make it. Those are my favorites, but it looks like one might survive at least. Dang, just call me plant killer. To keep my spirits up, I took pictures of the azalea and the camilla.

The little things is why I love my job

The topic on Flaming Hot this week is “it’s the little things.” The little things are why I love my job so much. I try not to take it for granted that I can just wake up on a Tuesday and decide to just take off and go into New Orleans, or the gulf beaches, or just out to lunch and never think twice about it.

Prior to settling here in Louisiana, we sent 4 1/2 years traveling around in the RV, working various jobs and lampworking. I will never forget the one day about six months into our adventure, standing on the beach in Pensacola, FL on a Tuesday, with our toes in the surf. It is one of the most rememberable days ever. Greg and I were standing there enjoying a glorious November day, when he says to me, “What would we be doing right now if we hadn’t quit our jobs and hit the road?” Easy answer. Working a very long day. They were decent jobs, but not anything I would be excited about going back to. I will never forget that feeling of freedom I felt right them. Almost a guilty pleasure really. I knew how lucky we were right them and I still do.

I am all but certain that if we had not made the decision to travel the country, we would not have made the decision for both of us to be full time glass workers. It changed us and our outlook. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love getting up at whatever time I wake up in the morning. I love doing all my work from my home computer, not having to get dressed before I start my day. If I am sick, I don’t have to call in to someone who may or may not be understanding. I love how my life is all on my time, not someone elses. I can hop a plane and go see anyone without worrying about how to get time off. Even though we have settled and now have a house payment to make, I feel just as free as I did that day on the beach in Pensacola.

All of those perks aside, I do love my job. I love the way the glass melts in the flame. Even if I am just pulling stringer to start a project. Melting glass is a world in itself, where everything else is blocked out. It is mentally consuming, in a way that blocks out the rest of the world and all the issues in it. It takes concentration even when I am doing something so familiar, I think I could do it in my sleep. The nature of this, is that it is a great place to be when there is something on my mind. Whether I just need to let something go, or mull it over, or come to terms with it, torching during those times is a great gift.

As I write this, I realize this got a little deeper than I planned. Are these really little things? Maybe, or they may be great giant gifts. Either way I am grateful. I do love my job, even the computer work. Shhh, don’t tell Greg I said that, even though I bet he already knows it.

The gift that keeps on giving!

So last week was my birthday. Happy Birthday to me! The morning of my birthday, I woke up to this running toward me:

My pooch was my birthday gift from my hubby ten years ago. We always joke that every year she is my birthday gift, because she is the gift that keeps on giving. This is the first year she actually got a big red bow. She was pretty pleased with herself it seemed also. Of course anytime I am smiling at her and telling her how cute she is, she is pleased.

So even though the car broke down on our way to my birthday lunch, and then I got a migraine the next day when Greg tried to make it up for me, all in all it was good birthday. How could it not be, with such a sweet present? Here are some more of my favorite pics of my big red bow dog.

A Ghost Dog?

About once every month, our Golden Retriever has a night where she just can’t sleep and appears to be stressed out.  Usually what happens is we go to bed, then a few hours later, she is scratching at our door urgently. We take her out, tell her to go to sleep and see what happens.  Usually she wonders around the house making a bunch of noise on the hardwood floors, wondering from each door to our bedroom.  We have two, so she paces back and forth.  Then she urgently scratches on our door again.

Usually by now we are both awake, and I take her out and walk her for what seems like an hour, but is probably more like 10 minutes.   Then she seems to be calmer, but it never fails, 5 or 10 minutes go by, then another urgent scratch scratch.  By now we have no choice but to bring her into the room with us.  She is loud sleeper, so this is our last resort.

This whole pattern happened again last night.  We don’t know what it is that freaks her out, but apparently she just needed to be near us.  We are left wondering if there is a ghost dog terrorizing her in the middle of the night.   She is a 10 year old dog, who has never slept in our room, so it’s not like we are breaking a habit.