Sunday, September 28, 2014


Our new constant companion is this lovely dehumidifier.
We have been moving her around from room to room to get the nasty damp smell (it smells like FEET!) out of the house from the roof leaks.

Allistair is on guard against her.

"Mommy, WHY is that machine so noisy?"

Everyone has gotten used to the dehumidifier and the fan running all the time, but they don't love it.

I would like the white noise if the dehumidifier didn't blow out hot air.
And only when I'm not working on editing a video.

We had a roofer come to inspect, and he discovered that our roof doesn't actually follow roofing protocols.  In Arizona, there's a special water-resistant felt over the roof boards, and there are tiles on top of that.  The job of the tiles is to protect the felt from the intense heat from the sun (second job - direct the water where it should go: down the spouts).  Well, the felt is supposed to overlap by about 3" and ours only overlaps 1".  So it's sort of a shock that we were okay until now, considering that we've lived here 18 years!

From now on, keeping things dry inside would be a problem because the felt is curling up underneath the tiles and it's impossible to tell where the next place will be that has a major issue.
So it's time to replace the roof.  He's working on an estimate for us.  

We really liked the company - before the appointment, they sent us lots of helpful documents about roofs, roofing, and questions we should always ask before getting any roof work done.  Our guy was actually a few minutes early for the appointment, and he was thorough and thoughtful.  He explained everything well and we feel better educated and as if he really knew his stuff.

So I'll keep you informed on what happens . . . we want to get the roof taken care of before we do any interior fixes/updates because . . . 

YES!  We got another HUGE storm last night!

I have never seen a rainstorm like this one since I lived in Arizona.
I now have a 1:1 (special needs) classroom on Saturdays, so I had to drive in it, and it was pretty scary - if I hadn't been so intent and focused on driving carefully, I would have probably turned around and gone right back home.  It was almost like a blizzard (but with huge scary puddles to throw around the cars instead of black ice).  I snapped a quick picture of the road when it was safe.  The visibility was probably about 1/4 mile.  And it lasted for the entire 30 minutes of my drive plus almost the whole time I was at church (2 hours), though it was intermittent.

And there was a lot of lightning!

 Don't worry; Juvy was safe inside with her Daddy.

Happy, dry, and cozy.

I'm VERY thankful I ended up getting there Saturday afternoon because it was one of the most amazing class times I can remember.  One of our students really connected with the story for the first time and was asking wonderful questions related to it about Jesus and Heaven (the story was "Jesus Was Punished For My Sins").  He's got enough cognitive and language ability that I could answer his questions, but I'm GLAD that I wrote this curriculum because I already had the words in my head at the right level for him language-wise.  Children with special needs can't grasp abstract ideas very easily, so each lesson is broken down into easier bite-sized morsels, and I'm thankful that I know all those morsels because I used a lot of them when talking with him.  Anyway, it was amazing and such a blessing to be part of God working in this little guy's life and heart!

Also, I got to see this fantastic and adorable little man, hard at work!

He had a mop as well as a towel under each shoe, and he was using them all to sop up water!

And I got home safely, too - and at home, Allistair slept on the clean towels.

And made a little fort for himself behind the pillows in a chair.

yes, he left some fur on the chair!

And while Greg was changing a light bulb, both kittens got up on the ladder! 

"Yes, I am the king of the ladder!"

Today is bright and sunny and only 87!
Here's hoping that most of the heat is gone for this year!!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Welcome, Esme!

My brand new little teeny weeny itsy bisty baby niece has arrived!  

Her name is Esme, and we're all very happy.

Even her big sister, Cora, is happy.

Grandpa is happy.

Grandma is happy.

And Stephen caught a "mouse" - ha!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Oh dear!

Tropical Storm Norbert hit us!

wall of dust (driving home Saturday evening)

the sun was obscured by the dust and clouds;
it seemed like an eclipse!

It rained 5.6" in Chandler, where we live.
We haven't had that much rain since 1933 (and I wasn't living here then - ha!)

There was a LOT of standing water everywhere -
but because our soil is porous and dry, it soaked in quickly.
standing water in the backyard (it came half-way up the patio - eek!)

There was a LOT of lightning very close-by.

Before and after the storm, it was HUMID . . . urgh
73 degrees with 94% humidity

And boo!  Our house got damaged!

Latex paint prevents stains, but holds water behind the paint . . .
Greg is poking a teensy hole in the paint to let the water drain out

damage where the wall meets the ceiling

It's hard to tell from the photo, but the floor boards are warped now

 more lovely little blisters near the ceiling

The after-party was beautiful, though!

We also have a couple places like this in the master bedroom.

We've been having all sorts of fans running and we just ordered a dehumidifier (it's muggy in the house in spite of us having the air conditioner set to chillier than usual so it's running more).

I talked with our insurance agent, and the adjuster came out yesterday afternoon and cut us a check to get these things repaired.  It's not a terrible thing because some upgrades will necessarily take place (example - because the dining room wall is a continuous wall throughout the entire great room, that whole huge room will be repainted after the wall and flooring are replaced - same thing in the master bedroom.)  It will be a bit of a hassle, but the house will be fine!  We also will be getting our roof looked at - there wasn't any storm damage, so insurance won't cover that, but it's getting close to the end of its life and it's probably time to get it replaced (we have lived here almost 18 years, and a roof in Arizona doesn't usually last more than 20).

So that's the latest info about the Priem family!

On to the adorables . . . 

Claude likes to watch the world pass by.

She was prowling around Greg while he was working at the hall desk the other day, and when I put an extra chair there, she decided she wanted to be by him.  So cute!

And she likes hair . . . 

Guess whose hair that was?  Yep, mine!

 I found a neat carpet-covered arch at Target, and the cats like it.
Juvy decided to take a nap underneath it.

Allistair likes the stack of books - sometimes it's just really difficult for a kitten to hold his head up!

This is slightly blurry, but the disturbed look on his face is funny to me - 
"Mommy, why aren't you doing more yoga RIGHT NOW?"

I hope you made it through Tropical Storm Norbert with minimal damage!

You'll be hearing about our adventures in construction soon!

Friday, September 5, 2014


Today I have some very cute and funny videos to share!

First, Allistair suckling on the blankie next to his Daddy . . . 

And I put on this fishies DVD today - Allistair was fascinated!

More fishies - Stephen was scared of them!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Kitten Needs His Mommy

Clouds lead to the most beautiful sunsets here . . . 

I'm happy to say that we are expecting more monsoon storms tomorrow and this weeekend!
Clouds are rolling in right now . . . :) 

You can tell if I've been feeling energetic and healthy because when I am, I post.
Obviously, since I haven't posted anything for a while, I haven't been feeling at the top of my game.  

I don't know what is causing this, but I am exhausted and weepy.  I can tell that I'm getting depleted because I get extra super irritated at stupid drivers on the road and because when I think of doing sort of active things I normally enjoy, like going to wonderful Target, I feel like crying!)

So today, the cats and I are resting and watching many "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episodes.
I don't want to have a horrible grumpy evening like I did after too much work yesterday.
Poor Greg - sorry, honey!

Allistair is always happy when I have a rest day. 

Yesterday afternoon the cats were all naughty (fighting, making lots of noise, scratching on stuff they shouldn't scratch on) because they hadn't been getting enough love because I had been too busy.  They like it when I'm home and when I can drop everything and snuggle them when they require snuggles.

Allistiar also loves yoga.

This is usually how my corpse pose (savasana) looks:

Sometimes Stephen is also rubbing on my head or bringing me his hair bandie to play fetch.
Any time Mommy is on the floor is FUN TIME!  Or Snuggle Time!

Our tallest cactus (I don't know which kind it is) has bloomed over the last few days, and today when I went outside, this fruit had dropped off!  I didn't see the fruit while it was connected, so it was quite a surprise!  It looked juicy and was the texture of a mango, so I sniffed it so see if it smelled good.  I'm tempted to plant it and see what happens.

This is the cactus and some of the blooms. 
I haven't seen them open - I wonder if they do it at night like a lot of other cacti.

And if you are near a Target, GO RIGHT NOW and get some of these wonderful t-shirts.
I love things with stripes (or dots), and I got one forest green crew-neck t-shirt with navy stripes and one black & white striped v-neck t-shirt, as well as one solid french blue v-neck.  They are currently 3/$24.  Good deal!  I'm sure I will eventually pick up more colors (I don't really like short sleeves, so it's nice to have these 100% cotton shirts during warmer weather - I can just roll up the sleeves).  And of course I love the striped ones!  

One negative is that I am wearing a large.  I am only 5'5" and not very large-framed, so there really is no reason I should be wearing a large . . . they seem to only go up to extra-large; what are taller/wider women supposed to do?  I will be commenting on Target's website to similar effect.  

Since I'm having a rest day, I am wearing all comfy cotton, and the stripes are making me happy.

Here's my outfit today. Cute, and feels like jammies!!!

Close-up of the stripes.
also, look! that loooong scar on my hand is faded almost completely away!
I used this cream and it made a big difference.

At Ross yesterday, I found this cutesy little bag:

It's from Betsey Johnson, and it has dots AND stripes!

Also, it's tiny, and can be used as a handbag OR a crossbody.
Clever, and good - since it's so small, I won't be able to pack it full of stuff and cause myself a sore shoulder when I shop!

I hope YOU are feeling full of vim and vinegar 
(but that you also have plenty of rest days and plenty of snuggles)!