Need a closer look?
These past few days have been rough. I know I've been testy because of the weather and you've kept me grounded. You've been there for me when I needed you most. It's hard when I'm not with you during the day, because you can't be with me at all times -- even though my heart longs for you. But then, when I'm ready to unwind -- alas! There you are. What a haven. What a love.
I didn't even know how much I needed you, but God blessed me with you. An amazing gift that I never expected to have in my life. You have brought me so much joy and I needed to make sure I told you that today. Today, of all days, I knew you needed to hear it and I needed to share it.
I cannot wait until I see you again tonight.
Seriously? Did you actually think this was about Chuck? Have we met?
To: Sunpentown One Room Air Conditioner
(a gift from my grandfather this past Spring, currently living in our bedroom)
Eternally Yours: Susie
Look closely. You see it now, don't you. They all have Ship's Wheel or nautical themes and I DIDN'T take them. They've all shown up in my facebook account, tagged by friends of mine who I'm now considering un-friending.
Seriously people, I get the hint. You like the ship's wheel more than you like me.
Caryn, Amy. You're dead to me.
(But Chuck has written you into his will -- he's a thousand-aire.)
This past weekend was step one: Pressure Washing.
Remember how Chuck has that little problem with overkill? How he always takes it to the next level or just goes a little too far? Remember how I have an 8 foot scratching post and a ship's wheel? OK, we're on the same page.
First, I found what we will refer to as The Drawing. A simple map. Of our house. And the sun. And the sun's path. That way he knows which side of the house to start on and which side comes next, working always in the shade. Those are the numbers. The numbers in parenthesises is the alternate path of working we could take, depending on how quickly he's working. Glad we have that settled.
Who thinks to do this??? I prefer the stand outside, head scratch, "oh, there's the shade" approach.
I was speechless when I found it. "That's who you're dealing with BABY!"
Oh, that is who I'm dealing with. We all know that.
We can all appreciate that going up the 28 foot extension ladder is rough. Go Chuck for tackling this part of the "adventure". And Go Chuck for being the only person who would think of this:
In case of the feet kicking out, Chuck hammered a metal stake into the ground to hold the ladder. On top of that, he fashioned himself a little cushion so that if he forgot about his stake, he wouldn't hurt himself stepping down on it. Who thinks to do this??? He had alternative set ups, similar to this, for grass and dirt. Who does this??? Who?
Then there were the track spikes for going up onto the roof. Not too far on the overkill scale. PK was a fan of golf cleats on the roof so I can't be too critical with this one.
The creme de la creme.
The fall protection kit. In a bucket, no less. Everything's better in a bucket. KFC comes in a bucket. Buckets are the mother of all receptacles. It's the truf.
Um. Here is Chuck in his Fall Protection outfit. (God, please forgive him for the socks and sandles. He wasn't thinking. He was in flip-flop to cleats transition. Amen).
This is the harness. He loves the harness. He broke into that bucket o' love the moment it arrived and fiddled with the harness for hours. HOURS. The harness hooks to a rope, the rope to a series of anchors that are now pounded into our roof. While I support his Mr. Safety attempt, who actually thinks to buy this???
How do you get a pressure washer on a roof? You carry it up the ladder, right? Wrong. Chuck-made pulley system for lifting. WHO DOES THIS?
Chuck is fantastic. A gem. An absolute national treasure.
So this was step one. Next is priming, then painting. He's already bought a paint sprayer and rented a genie man lift. Apparently, it's on.
It's Shelley's favorite cake, too, so Lu and I made it for her as a present. Because we love. And we're the dream team of Aunts and Nieces.
But this was no ordinary Confetti Cake (or Funfetti, whatevs. Again tomato, tamato. This cake mix is actually what Shakespeare was referring to with the whole "a rose by any other name" speech-thing). See, my friend Amy turned my attention to a recipe for white cake, dyed with gel colors.
Ok. Rainbow cake made from white cake. Mmmm, sounds fun, but if a cake is rainbow, it really should be Rainbow Chip. It's like Rainbow square-d cake. Allow me to take you through the intense making of this cake (I hope you picked up the sarcasm).
The line up.
Oh, plus you will need an amazing helper who may or may not have put her baby hands into the bowl of ingredients, bulls eye into an egg yolk when I wasn't looking. Awesome. I'm really good with her. And at watching her at all times.
Make the cake. Again, you will probably need help with this. I had a 6 months old assistant who was mesmerized by the mixer. After I unplugged it, I wasn't looking (again!) and she shoved the metal plug prongs into her mouth. Anybody doubting my reasoning behind an Allison baby in 2053?
Separate the cake mix into bowls -- as many colors as you want. I went for Rainbow, but if you were listening then you knew that already. Add the gel food coloring.
Poor into pans. I made this once with Laura and Catlyn (shout out -- TRL style (add screaming here) in a 9x13 and it was great. I decided to do a layered cake for Shelley because A) she's that special B) we're classy like that.
Bake and present in a grand fashion, as Confetti Cake deserves.
Here's the web site where I stole this from because my inner journalism major is screaming that this wasn't my idea, I'm not that cool, but I did need to show that it can be done (because Amy really needs to make this cake).
I know that I will immediately regret this decision.
Two new blanket friends.
Oh, there's that smile. Worth it.
Every wedding should be this fun. Every bride should walk down the aisle to hooting and hollaring.
This is awesome.
Because I love a man with fashion sense.
Because blue eyes are my favorite kind of eyes.
Because he hasn't figured out that arms are as big a part of crawling as legs are.
Because they don't need to do a DNA test. He loves electronics as much as his Daddy.
Because he was "that guy" at the party last night.
Because he loves his Mama and so do I!
I can't believe this little guy is packing up shop with Mom and Dad and heading to Idaho.
We're going to miss you so much, Dan and Kelly -- and especially Jacob, who we like most. Thanks for letting me blind your child last night with camera flashes. He'll grow out of it -- I think.
Missing you already!
That's Fluff. In the food bowl.
That's when you know it's been a good day.
Fluff is Jack's BFF. They have break apart heart necklaces from Claire's and are thinking about getting an apartment together. We see streaks of green and black bolting across our living room at night. On occasion, potted plants have been broken and Fluff left in the center. How a cat can know to stage a crime scene in his favor is beyond me. "What Mom? No. It wasn't me. I didn't kill Planty La Plant. Fluff did."
(Yes, Planty La Plant was the name of our first house plant which lasted one year with us and three weeks with Jack.)
When Fluff and Jack have had a particularly good day together, we find Fluff in the food bowl. It's Jack's way of putting him in a safe place. "You stay there, I'm going to sniff the window."
Once, the in-the-food-bowl game changed. I found Chuck's expired driver's license in the bowl and Jack staring at it longingly. This was back when Chuck was an airline pilot and I like to think this was the ultimate "cry for help" by the left behind child. Next step would have been a butterfly tattoo on his lower back. Good thing Chuck left flying. Prison-tats aren't a good look on feline.
So, it was a good day here. Fluff in the food bowl kind of day. I can only imagine what went on here while I was out. Scratch that. I don't want to know. I choose not to know.
Paul and I take "the action pictures". You know, 1-2-3 Jump -- we can time it perfect. We only do one take. We hold ourselves to a pretty high standard. One shot. Here's a quick walk down our action photography memory lane (can you tell we are a lil'bit too proud of ourselves -- remember, very little to live for):
The last picture is the one that started it all. That's Paul, Halloween 2006. There was no wind. He threw his scarf and posed; I snapped with precision. Glorious. And you can thank me for only posting a fraction of the pictures that Paul and I have insisted on taking the last 3 years. You are welcome.
We decided we could do this action jump in a group shot. On a timer. By the time we left our chosen spot, we had six packs from laughing. We were crying, and we were all wondering how Chuck ended up mastering the self timer.
Rather than post the best one, we decided to post them all. We look pretty awesome, not gonna lie. But the decision to post them all is Chuck. He wins. Go to the bathroom first, then follow his body through the pictures. You may ask, "Susie, did you Photoshop Chuck to be in the same spot mid-air?". No, heck, no. He just is this awesome.
I'd apologize for the overkill of pictures, but you read this blog. You knew what you were getting into.
This is the last post from California.
See ya back in Sea-town!