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February 26, 2009

My Beautiful Table

I had an email from Jerry yesterday that my table was done. He sent pictures which I will post here. I love it! It is so beautiful. He will deliver it on Saturday after two more protective coats get dry. I also paid a visit to the cushion lady and talked to her about a concern. Since the breakfast nook is in my 98 year old porch that was shored up and remodeled, it is definitely not square. In fact, if you look closely, you will see that the ceiling is higher on one side. That means that the benches for the cushions are not an exact rectangle. I wasn't worried because I thought that any tiny gaps in the cushions would appear under the windows and under the pillows along the back. But, I woke up one night and my brain must have been busy while my body was asleep because I suddenly realized that the cushion across the back would wedge the others enough that the gap would appear at the front and be noticeable. I ran down to talk to Rachel about it. We talked it over and decided that we could wedge a bit of foam in the back to handle the problem. It is really only a fraction of an inch on each side cushion. I can 't believe how these little things worry me.

Until the cushions are in and the table is in, I will continue to worry about the gaps and the table heighth. I measured everything several times. I had Dani sit with me and measure. We called Charles in to measure. I ike it much better when the business comes in to measure. Then, if there is a problem, I can blame them and insist on them fixing it. This way, the onus is on me -- and I freak out because I'm not sure that I've taken everything I need under consideration. I'll know soon because my room should be finished by next week.

We have snow in Bellingham once again. It was astounding! Yesterday Dani left my house after Nico's nap to go volunteer at James' school. She and the boys usually stay all night on Wednesday when Charles is in California because James has jazz band practice in town and she has to pick him up while Nico is asleep. I was at my computer working on school and church stuff. Even though I have a window right next to my computer, I never once glanced outside. Two hours later, my friend Judy knocked at the front door. I opened the door to at least two inches of snow. I was astonished! Snow is so silent it can creep up on you. And, it did. It must have dumped heavily in just under two hours. Needless to say, jazz practice was canceled, James school was canceled today and they didn't spend the night. Hopefully, our temperatures will go back to the 50s and this will be short lived.

Here are the pictures of my table:

It has a maple top and cherry base

This picture shows a truer color

You can see Jerry's signature under the table top

Jerry turning the base of the table which was octagonal until smoothed

Posted by Marilyn at 11:28 AM | Comments (1)

February 16, 2009

The Wait Will Be Hard

I went out to Jerry's to visit my table-in-making. It is going to be great! I had found a picture of a table on a boat that I really liked. It had a center post sitting on an oval base. Jerry thought it was really interesting and so he is making my table to match. I think it will be really unique. I also ordered the cushions out of the Sunbrella fabric that will resist fading and (hopefully) resist stains since I'm sure I won't be able to keep Nico away from the area. I think that my breakfast room will be finished in about three weeks. I can hardly wait.

Nico has a cold and Dani and he were here this morning. He was exhausted but would not go down for a nap. I had made dinner for my friend, Judy, and we took him in the car to deliver it thinking he would fall asleep if we drove somewhere. He did! But, unfortunately, when we put him into bed his coughing awakened him and he was ready to play again. Dani packed him up to take him home. He wore out his grandma, he wore out his mother, so she went to find his father so he could wear him out also. Fortunately, he is a cheerful little guy even when he is cranky. He just has never ending energy and needs to be continually monitored so he doesn't harm either himself or everything in your house.

Judy and I share meals. I cook on Monday and she cooks on Wednesday. She has been going through some serious diagnostic testing, but we continue to cook for each other when she is in town. If she begins going to Seattle for treatment, we may just do it when we can. But, for now, we are enjoying it again since we started up after my remodel.

Not much else on this lazy day!

Posted by Marilyn at 5:16 PM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2009

This Amazing Life

I just can't wrap my mind around how life works. I have been struggling, struggling, struggling with decisions for both my breakfast room and my kitchen and yesterday, after pondering a very short time, I made both (well, almost!). I know that the insight comes out of the struggle, but it seems weird that something can just fall into place after it has been so elusive.

Jerry and I have made all the pertinent decisions about the table he is making for me so I absolutely had to figure out the cushions and measure for the height of the table for him. After months of indecision, I went back to the little business by the Saturday market. Rachel greeted me like a long lost friend. The last time I was in, I took lots of samples home and none of them really worked. This time, we stuck to fabrics that would withstand the glorious light in the room without fading. Then, I narrowed those fabrics down to the floral ones. And, that left two in the colors I wanted. Voila! Instant decision. Today I took them back and asked her to work up a bid. I was agonizing over paying for something I could do myself (sewing), but frankly she is set up for the task and does a lovely job. And, she has access to the best foam in town (I know, I have looked everywhere). And, more than any room in the house, I really, really want my little breakfast room finished so I can enjoy it every single morning.

Next, I chose some ideas for the kitchen tile -- and asked Erickson's to order some samples. The tile I'm using is a simple yellow to match the floor -- what I'm deciding now is the accent (which explains the almost in the first paragraph). It is nice to have those items coming together. That leaves only one major loose end and that is the built in cabinets down in the pool room. How nice to move forward again.

On a completely different note, I must brag about my oldest grandson, James. His entire class fasted yesterday in order to raise money for the Heifer project. They began at 6:00 on Tuesday evening (he ate dinner early that day) and ended at 6:00 on Wednesday evening with a big class potluck and celebration. They students were really elated that they were all so successful. They came together and sang a song in three parts and then dug in! They even made some salsa yesterday while they were fasting for a Mexican lunch they are having today for their Spanish class. He said that they didn't even lick their hands! They were supposed to drink water every half hour and could also drink tea. Pretty impressive for an entire class of seventh graders to take on. A project they will never forget.

Posted by Marilyn at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

February 7, 2009

Floor Cleaning

In my family of origin my father scrubbed floors. My sisters and I had chores that got the small house in shape on Saturday mornings. My father organized that also. My mother cooked and picked up during the week and my father cooked on the weekends. He was a sales manager for a glass company and traveled quite a bit throughout the western states. However, he took on these house chores even though my mother did not work. I think it may have started when my mother almost died when my younger sister was born because they didn't have the RH negative things figured out yet. My mother's forte was washing and ironing. And, she kept our clothes clean and neatly stacked at all times.

I was thinking about all of this when I was cleaning house yesterday. When I married Don, we figured we had our first round of dissonance over floor cleaning. My father scrubbed the kitchen floor. His mother scrubbed the kitchen floor. We had different expectations! When we moved to our second house, the kitchen floor was part of a large family room. We hired our first house cleaner -- a floor man who came once a month to put it back in shape. When the guy heard we were moving to Bellingham, Washington, he informed me that it was the stinkiest place on earth because of the paper mill.

Pam has shingles and I have been sorely missing her. Not that I don't sometimes have to clean here and there between her visits, but she wields a mighty vacuum and is an expert in getting anything clean. Whatever I clean, Pam cleans three times better. And, she has opinions on my kitchen floor which I think is really easy to clean and she thinks is too light and too hard to keep clean. I disagree. But, I do miss her. So, after putting it off for a week, I finally got it done. I feel so virtuous today.

Posted by Marilyn at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)

February 4, 2009

A Little Chaotic

This household is absolutely topsy turvey. Poor Dani and Charles are still sick. Charles had to go to emergency in California and found he has pneumonia. After teaching one class, he cancelled the next and I think he is in bed all day today. I hope he can make it home tomorrow night, but I hope he doesn't try if he is so sick. Dani went to the doctor and found she does not have the flu, but is loaded up with antibiotics and strong cough meds. The rest of us seem to be fine. Dani & the boys stayed last night and will stay again tonight. She just feels so lousy that it helps having another adult around and someone to make food.

My house is very messy and Pam has been sick with shingles. Because of other sickness around the church, I've had double duty with some program planning and advertising for some coming up programs. I also have two new counseling students for City University and so my own life beyond family is over busy. So much for making the final decisions on my kitchen tile or the material for my breakfast room seating. The world will just have to wait for me to catch up.

However, Jerry and I have decided upon a breakfast room table. I found a table in Coastal Living that was in a boat -- it has a center pedastol. Jerry is going to make the table top out of maple so it will be light like the ceiling and the rest out of a darker wood to match the window sills (I forget which one right at the moment). He is a retired airline pilot and does fabulous work. I'm excited to get that underway. However, I have to make a final decision on the heighth of the cushions so we can narrow down the heighth of the table.

I'm an organized person who can handle lots of balls in the air, but I'm willing to put some things aside when necessary. I'm sure some of my friends and neighbors cannot believe that I have that breakfast room sitting there unfinished when it is my pride and joy. But, I just have to set it aside because of other commitments and lack of funds. I will get to it when I can get to it. Period! I can live with that -- I do it by putting it out of my mind until I can afford the time and energy to put it back again. On the back burner, I would say.

Then, I make lists for myself -- 1) help Dani out until they are on their feet, 2) Finish off this advertisement for the upcoming programs at the church -- writing articles, making posters, etc. 3) clean my filthy house this weekend since Pam cannot 4) read some literature about counseling for my interns 5) pay bills 6) finally, get back to thinking about those darn cushions and try to make a final decision!!! 7) Go away for a vacation asap!

This is how I handle life when it comes at me too fast!

Posted by Marilyn at 9:59 AM | Comments (0)

February 1, 2009


My friend Barb caught me! I mistakenly used the wrong last name for her brother who is going to build my breakfast room table. I was very embarrassed. We have a Robey Troutman at church and Jerry's last name is Couchman. My brain just reversed the two although I did know better. I should be a better editor. Anyway, I found this out at church this morning.

Yesterday Dani and Charles stopped by to deposit Nico at my neighbors while they went to get a UHaul truck to empty out their storage unit before they got charged another month. Nico's babysitter was sitting across the street and said she would take him too. I took one look at Dani and suggested she go to bed instead. She was definitely sick. Charles wasn't too far behind, but still on two feet. I took Charles over to get the truck and then went and got James to help his father. After one load, Charles bit the dust also. Since they were here, since there were beds available, and since they had Nico across the street they stayed at my house. They were still here this morning when Dani was well enough to let me drive her over to take back the UHaul. Forget the storage unit -- I guess they have it for another month since they were both too sick to even care.

Dani returned the truck and I took her to their house to feed the chickens and get some stuff. Then, I brought her back to my house and took off for church. Got there in time to have communion and hear the sermon. After church, I went with a friend to the Theatre Guild. When I came back home all the sick people were gone back to their own house. I guess Dani perked up enough to tend to the rest of the family. We are hoping the James, Nico and I escape the bug. Poor things! It has not been a pleasant weekend. And, Charles was supposed to be liturgist at church. I didn't arrive early enough to see who took his place.

Now I have to go search my frig for something to eat for dinner. It's awful quiet around here.

Posted by Marilyn at 6:29 PM | Comments (0)