Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More About Roy...because you HAVEN'T heard enough!

This Morning Cup is Long Overdue.

Really? October 4th was the last time I wrote to you lovely people? WOW this month flew past! Can you believe that this Halloween will mark our first year anniversary of pulling into Seattle and nearly having a heart attack from the stress of driving that truck around the narrow streets of Queen Anne? You've been getting these Cups for nearly a year now...on my blog I have 40 posts. Who'da thunk?

Pulling myself out of my reverie, this past month has been crazy busy at work for both Matt and I. The weather is significantly cooler, leaves are glorious colors and last Saturday morning when I walked outside the smell of woodsmoke from fireplaces filled the air. Loverly!

In all honesty I'm having a hard time remembering anything beyond last week! But it was a fun week--I will give you that!

Let me start off by saying that on Friday Matt took Roy on a hike with his frien John and his dog Cooper. Roy and Coop have played together a few times before and get along splendidly, but Coop's always been an off leash dog and Roy...we'll frankly he doesn't know the difference between a car speeding at 50 mph and one that's parked. When he got hit last December I'm pretty sure he got smacked so hard he has no memory of it--although I kinda wish he did. Anyways, we usually don't let him off leash unless a place is enclosed because 1) we don't know if he'll stay close by and 2) we're not sure how he'll do with meeting another dog on or off leash on the trail. Sometimes he can get a little crazy on-leash.

Which reminds me of a funny story.

Well, not funny when it happened but funny now.

A few Fridays ago it was raining hard, and not really in the mood for a jog in the rain that day I dropped him off at doggie daycare for an hour while I went to a cafe...great setup. Anyways, after picking him up and heading home, we were in the garage waiting for the elevator when it opened and off stepped the elderly couple down the hall and their Pomeranian, Coco.

Everytime we see Coco the husband says, "This is Coco. She's a senior citizen!" Coco is about 15 years old or some ridiculously old dog age like that. Anyways, as the elevator door opens and when they see us the wife, who is about 4 and a half feet tall, says, "Oh now THAT's a good dog!" (pretty much everyone who meets Roy inside and not around the prescence of other dogs says that, and I always respond "well, usually"). Then she scoops Coco up saying, "But he's too big for you to play with, Coco."

She then proceeds to walk toward me to say hi to us. I'm literally backed into a corner holding onto Roy's collar. Roy is crazy excited to see another dog and since he just got back from daycare is in a VERY playful mood. He's pulling and sniffing at Coco, tail thumping against the corner walls.

As the lady is saying something about how old Coco is, Roy hops up, GRABS COCO'S TAIL AND PULLS HER OUT OF THE LADY'S ARMS AND ONTO THE TILE!!!

I'm MORTIFIED as I watch Coco's eyes bulging and her little paws waving frantically in the air as she tries to get herself back up. Meanwhile I'm still in the corner unable to get any further away and trying to keep Roy from playfully grabbing Coco's throat! Of course, Coco's too old to get herself back up and the wife has to scoop her up again, saying in her sweet innocent voice, "What happened?"

The husband, who is tall and lean and I'm pretty sure was chuckling, said, "She got away from you, THAT's what happened." I'm not sure if that's what he thought or if he was redirecting his wife's thoughts to protect me from her wrath at possibly breaking the fragile Coco, but I was thankful. I apologized over and over and I swear the lady stood there still holding Coco listening to me...in the SAME spot that Roy had grabbed Coco in the first place! This time I began edging my way along the wall towards the elevator, saying as the door closes "Let me know if Coco's OK!"

I think she was. I hope she was. Come to think of it, I haven't seen her in a couple weeks.

Oh dear.

But that's normal, if I can remember right...anyways, its sort of funny now.

Sort of.

BACK to Matt's hike. He had Roy off leash the entire hike! Roy and Cooper romped and played and probably trekked 5 times as far as Matt and John as they ran up and down the trail. When Roy got home that night BOY was he happy! And tired. Which was good because another dog was about to come into town...

Charissa, my best friend from college who has been in Iraq with a private contractor for 6 months was on her way up from Portland with her dog/person Roxi. I haven't seen Charissa since we happened to be in Orange County on the same day last...March? Anyways, that's too long to go without seeing your best friend.

She arrived and the dogs got along famously--romped and played until Roy decided he had had enough and went to sleep. Funny thing was everytime one of them was taken outside or in the morning when they came out of the bedrooms it was like meeting all over for the first time.

Saturday Charissa and I literally sat on the couch from 9 in the morning until about 3 in the afternoon. We didn't watch a movie or play a game--we just talked. Oh, and went on our laptops and compared iTunes and editied our categories, and watched Roy and Roxi run around and around the couch and coffee table.


We left our coffee table in San Diego and for the first few months in Seattle a large moving box covered with a tablecloth was our coffee table. Roy liked it because his tail could move the entire thing aside for him to get to us on the couch. Finally i broke down and bought two cheap black side tables that we pushed together and called our "coffee table." We usually eat dinner on the couch so it was nice to have moveable tables for each of us...but they were a bit small and Roy still could move them as he wished.

Two weekends ago Matt and I went to a thrift store and I said let's look at the furniture for the heck of it. We found a black drop leaf (well, they don't drop down but the top slides open to reveal storage and a leag to make the coffee table longer) for $20! AND we're pretty sure it was from Ikea so it has the same espresso finish that our bookshelf has. SWEET! Only problem now is Roy is not used to a coffee table that stays put so he keeps raming himself into the corners. We already have a childproof handle on our bedroom door...are we going to have to get baby bumpers for the corner? Oh dear.

At about 3 in the afternoon we decided it was time to take a walk and get outside and maybe, just maybe, brush our teeth.

Lots more pictures and more story to come later tonight or tomorrow, but I don't have access to my pics and they're worth waiting for!

Love to you all

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A True Account of a Memory Board.

My mother has a tendency to think that I possess something of a Midas touch when it comes to quilts and crafts and things of that nature. Lest she--and you all--be deceived, here is a close (perhaps too close) look at my latest project.

Project Memory Board. 
(inspired by a coworker who's actually selling a form of these and I thought heck, I can do that)

1 old bulletin board from the used store Value Village: $4
A few pieces of fabric I already had: free
Ribbon: $2.50
Black spray paint I already had
Do-it yourself button thingies: $2.50

A day of pain and frustration: not so priceless. And maybe not worth $9.

Step One: I figure out how to take off one side of the bulletin board frame to remove the cork part. Not wanting to damage the wood it took me 20 minutes.

Step Two: attaching the fabric to the board. The fabric I chose may look familiar to some of you. Remember this?

I have about 5 rectangles of this and have just had it lying around. Why not use it now for a fall inspired memo board? Great idea? Sure, except it BARELY fits around the board. Hot glue gun you were my friend.

Step Three: The buttons.

These little button thingies are supposed to allow you to take a circle of fabric, hook it on the teeth in the back and pop the back part on to secure it. Sounds easy right?
Not so right.

This is what the little devils look like:

Note the sharp pointy teeth.


Well, being the crafty Midas I am I decide to use needle nose pliers to take that button loophole thing in the back off since I wanted them flat.

I grabbed them with the pliers and gently began to pull.


I pulled a little harder.


I gave it a frustrated yank and...tore a nasty gash in my thumb from the extruding wire. I stomped to the bathroom, wrapped a band aid on it and marched to the kitchen where I pulled out a carton of ice cream, grabbed a spoon and gobbled a few bites to help ward off the pain.

Try this next time you get hurt. It works.

I sat back down to try it again. Yes I'm that stupid. This time I realized Ooooh...if you pinch it together it comes out easily! Dur!

So I did that.

Then I went to work on getting the fabric into the teeth. Um owie? The instructions say to use a pencil eraser to help. Well, this isn't really regular fabric. It's some sort of polyester vinyl thing with velvet curlies on it. So it doesn't really stay that well...and the button back doesn't exactly snap into place.

So I turned to an old faithful--the hot glue gun. I have memories of my mom's big heavy duty, blue glue gun with bits of sparkles, thread, wood, whatever glued to the outside of it. I think part of it was even melted. This thing was large and in charge. Mine is not. Mine was in a sale bin for $2 and its a mini version, but it does the job.

I put a dollop inside the button and use the eraser to push the first edge in. Success! Then i do the other side...this looks like its going to work!

Then I squeeze out too big a dollop, and it gets on my left hand pointer and middle fingers. In searing pain I drop it on the table only to think "Dang it! I want to paint this table I can't burn it!" So what do I do automatically and (obviously) without thinking?

Pick it back up with my right hand...and burn my thumb and pointer and middle fingers on that hand.

Six fingers down, four to go. (and you can thank me later for not including the photo of my burned finger in macro focus).

Eventually and with a few more burns along the way, i get all the buttons covered. Aren't' they cute?

Now that I'd wasted a few hours of my life and a lot of skin cells, I headed to my parking spot to spray paint the frame.

At least there were no hiccups with that one, unless someone reported me to the HOA for spray painting in the garage. I don't know if that's allowed...I'll keep you posted.

Now I could see the finish line. just had to put the pieces all together.

I used a ruler to mark out where to put the ribbons, and began gluing them in place. Not so bad...except when I turned it around and two of the ribbons twisted in the middle.

Dang it.

So I redid those.

And glued the buttons on.

And stood back to admire my work.

(oh, not all the buttons were not on in this pic...)

Then I stood it up and tested a piece of paper in the ribbon.

Schwoop. It fell to the floor. Then I realized why memo boards have batting behind them...to create tension between the ribbons and the memos...oooh. Didn't do that part. Too late now!

Today I retrieved the frame and slid the whole thing into place, and actually managed to put it back together without a glue gun and with the original tack-things that held it together!

SO, after this long and loquacious explanation, here at last are the final pictures of the memory board in its resting place above the desk in our bedroom. Yes its a bit fall-ish and won't be a year round institute, but next year when the leaves begin to change and I unpack it I'll have the bittersweet memory of its creation, and the very long story I made it to tell you.

Oh, and note the oddly shaped red candle in the top left hand corner? That happened during our heat wave. Yes, it was so hot in our bedroom it was melting candles.

Thus endeth the creation of the memory board and I'm giving my fingers time to heal.