Sunday, April 26, 2015


Allistair, feeling groovy

Juvy, tongue out

Stephen, wet food dried on his little nosey!

Even though the cats may have been relaxed over the weekend, we weren't!

The first surprise is that I made spaghetti with sauce from a jar!
I usually make the sauce myself, but I was in a rush because I wanted to get my latest video (it's really good - go check it out!) posted before the end of the work week, so I used this sauce from Target.  It's quite good and I will use it again.  Recommended!

I don't do noodles, so I decided to try veggies as a base for the sauce.

Broccoli and a teeny bit of cauliflower.

I'm not sure how broccoli and cauliflower do with my digestive system, but this was their second try.
Usually I give something at least three tries because I don't want to cut out more foods unless they truly bother my system.  

Looks yummy, huh?

On Saturday, Greg and I went to Lowe's to look at more bathroom light fixtures
(ours are getting replaced as part of our renovation!)
The choices at Lowe's didn't impress us, but after some more internet searching,
we found some lights we like better than the ones we found last weekend, 
AND they were on sale, so we ordered these!

We'll see what we think when they arrive (they're not available in stores).

I love how they look.
They're really neat because they have up lights AND down lights.
We are planning to install dimmers so that we don't always have ALL 
the light from these bad boys, because there's a lot available!

Then we came home and on the way saw a garage sale with an Ikea Billy Bookcase!
I had two already in my office for storing curriculum binders and other important work things, and I had been considering getting another one because I had the room and the need . . . 
and we only paid $30!

So I spent a lot of time on Saturday reorganizing and getting rid of stuff. 
This will be helpful when we need to move all my stuff out of my office when the flooring is redone.
Lots of the stuff in this photo is still part of the "before" . . . 
some will be taken to Goodwill, and some will be thrown away.
But, mine is a "stuff-heavy" field, so I expect to need lots of storage in my office forever.
At least the shelves are tidy!

Look at all the binders, lined up and pristine!

I tidied up the shelves in the desk nook, too.

 Our contractor dropped off tile for us to peruse . . . 
I laid it all out on our kitchen floor.

Allistair investigated first.
Eventually all the cats sniffed it and walked on it a little bit.
They decided it was fine.

Allistair picked the right one!

Here's a close-up, so you can see the pretty "grain"
and the beautiful rich color.


Quick health info moment:

One of the weird things that has come with this autoimmune disease is Raynaud's Syndrome.

It's a condition where the tips of some of my fingers turn almost completely white
due to lack of blood flow.  It started happening to me a few years ago when I would get really cold - usually after eating.

I've been trying to capture it in progress, and it partially happened at church this morning,
so I snapped a photo.  This is a mild episode; I've had it much worse,
but you can see the normal color of my fingers on the right-most finger.  
My middle finger and ring finger have lost a good amount of color.
At this point, they were numb and starting to hurt, too, as if they were asleep.

Keep in mind that this is in Arizona and it was in the high 60s outside at the time, 
though it was chilly inside the church.

(It's difficult for them to anticipate the weather and adjust the thermostats for it this time of year in a huge warehouse-style building because we pack a lot of people in, which raises the temperature, which necessitates a lower-set thermostat, but on rainy days we often don't have as many people there, which means it wouldn't need to be as cool . . . you can see why it would be tough to manage!)

It's very strange.  The rules are that I'm supposed to get them warmed up as soon as possible by sitting on them or running them under warm water.
There can be damage after a while if the blood flow doesn't return to normal.
When it started, I had some blood tests done because my doctor wanted to rule out Lupus and things like that, which can be a primary cause of this phenomenon.  Nothing showed up until Crohn's 
(which has only anecdotal links to Raynaud's so far).

End of health info moment!


We've had RAIN!

I'm all cuddled up on the couch right now (Juvy on lap)
because it's cloudy and breezy and chilly, and I feel very content!

Happy Sunday!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Happy Birthday, Stephen & Allistair!

Allistair and Stephen are THREE YEARS OLD today!

I know this because three years ago tomorrow, I came home one afternoon,
parked my Cube in the driveway, and heard multiple tiny little "mew" sounds coming 
from the rosemary bush planted next to our driveway.

I looked inside and saw lots of fluffy little bodies, one of them pure white.
I have always wanted a white kitten (what little girl doesn't?!)
The next morning they were gone.

BUT . . . as I was taking Juvy to the vet (she got mastitis after giving birth to her set of kittens a few weeks earlier), I saw a tiny little white kitten wandering around our front yard HOWLING and saw his siblings huddled in a little corner by our front silver cassia bush.
I grabbed him and took him to the vet with us.

That little kitten was Allistair!

But here are some photos that will warm your heart
even if it's two sizes too small, like the heart of the Grinch.

Stephen, all clean and flea-free!
Eye-infection-free, too!

Lil' Allistair, all clean and healthy:

Huge bat ears!

Wrapped up like a burrito!

Siblings from the litter (all different!)
Judith, Allistair, Stephen, Lionel

Allistair - I thought he was dirty all the time, but
some of it was his coloring starting to develop.

Some of it was probably oil, though!

Stephen was extremely nervous and shy.
When we first captured them and started their eye medication
and anti-flea drops, Stephen would hiss and spit and claw and try to get away.

I decided that I didn't want him to ever have to be afraid again
(even though he frequently IS afraid, he's not really in danger!)

He's still on the anxious side, but these diffusers make an amazing 
difference in his personality.
Comfort Zone Feliway Diffuser

When they are filled up and working right, he is really loving and sweet and calm.

Awww - little kitten loving on his Daddy!

 Teeny tiny Stephen nosey!

Allistair always used to eat with his front feet in the bowl!

And then they started growing and getting funnier and 
sweeter and more comfortable.


Even Stephen!
But for a looong time (sometimes still!),
he couldn't eat wet food without getting it all over his face and nose!

They liked to chew on things.

And sleep!

And snuggle.

They were very curious!

And absolutely the cutest little things.

They liked to keep me company.

And they liked to sleep (did I mention that?!)

They started to get along a little better with our more mature cats.
Stephen and Bjarne got along best.
Allistair and Baltazar liked each other.

Watching birdies started quite young!

And playing in bags was always a favorite activity!

And Stephen liked drooping over the edge of things from a very early age!

Hope you enjoyed this trip back through time
and all the pictures of some of the cutest (and okay, I admit it, silly-looking!)
kittens in the history of kittendom!!!

Flowered Bag & Tile

The weather has been beautiful, but today it got a little too warm (93).
Later in the week, we're expecting things to cool off again, 
which is a lovely blessing.

I couldn't resist taking more photos of this delicious bag with more outfits because
it's my favorite bag I've ever had in the whole of my life.
It's by Betsey Johnson.

Here it is with my Calvin Klein snakeskin print wrap dress.
Looks great!


And here it is with a blue fan-print dress (also by Calvin Klein).
Once again, looks great!

The side gores are striped - I love those little details. 

It looks good with everything I've tried so far!

We are moving along on getting our home improvements underway.

We shipped off some questions to the contractor last night, and hope to be able to schedule work to start within the next couple of weeks. Woo-hoo!

We saw some tile at Home Depot that looks sort of like the tile we'd like to use
(the darkest one on the far right).
I think it will be nice to have cool tile on our feet during the hot summers.

We found the lights we think we'd like to have installed in the master bedroom bathroom
(two of these, one over each sink):

and the guest bathroom
(one of these over the sink).

We investigated a lighting and fan store where there was lots of cool
James Bond-style lighting, but everything was expensive. 
Can you spot Greg & me in the mirror?

The next post on this topic will have pictures of our storm damage.
I can share that now because I know it'll only be with us a short time more - yay!

Bonus fun:
Here are two of my inspirations for our home overhaul.
Okay, not exactly "overhaul"; more like "tune-up"!
Only thing that will be noticeably different is the floor.
Most of the walls will be freshly painted and won't have drywall damage anymore,
but they will be painted the same color 
(I picked it out a few years back and I still really like it and the texture of it).

I love this room because of the dark floor + white walls, 
the modern casual furniture,
and the many layered textures.
That formula is my jam.

And so guess what?!
Another room with dark floors, light walls, and lots of layered textures!
This room even has some blue (my favorite color!)

Allistair and Stephen have been playing in the boxes we're saving up 
(thanks, Amazon!) to pack stuff away in while everything's getting moved around
thanks to construction.

I'll be back soon with many more hi-jinks - enjoy your day!