Monday, August 18, 2008


FYI: Fellow Hot Mama, MB. Still in the hosptial and now 31 weeks along!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Aj went flying

A friend told me about his great program Kids Take Flight-see it at
I signed up Aj and Ki and I got to go along on the flight in the 4 seater plane. We flew out of a small airport in San Jose.
I gave Alex the camera to take pics. We got one or two of the view. But mostly we got...AJ's self portraits.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"Kitchen" Remodel

We have lived in this house for eleven years. Pops and I have been saying for a number of years -"We'll fix that when we remodel the kitchen." Our kitchen is outdated, the sinking of the tiled counter was an impetuous to seriously consider a remodel. That and the oven. The oven brand is "Roper". Oh you haven't heard of that brand? It's because it was made before you were born. It's functional and all, it heats to all the desired temperatures. Unfortunately, the variety of temperatures often occur at the same, creating a series of with-in oven micro climates and unprecedented baking results.

Pops had a patient who is a contractor. He came out and we talked about updating the kitchen and adding a space appox 6 X 10 to the kitchen area. This would be accomplished by building into a space between the kitchen and garage that is now an outdoor space.

Next Mr Contractor invited his colleague the Mr. Architect over to draw up some plans. He pointed out the numerous flow issues Pops and I have. Yep, lots of flow issues here. One can't flow in the front door and into the dining room area because the open front door occludes the space between living room and dining room. Can't flow from dining room to family room b/c it is a narrow passage. And no continuous flow in and out of the kitchen, as the refridge door opens and smacks into the counter. This precludes anyone from entering/exiting the kitchen if someone is in the fridge. And you can hardly get the drawers/shelves out of fridge to clean them.
So I am now obsessively annoyed by my flow issues. They are exacerbated by Granny who is stunned motionless when confronted by another mid-passage.

So I looked forward to the ideas Mr. Architect had about how to remodel the kitchen. Now I knew this would also involve the connected family room and possibly the adjacent dinning room. Last week I received an email and draft plans from him. Much of the email from him is below:

"I am attaching the first pass at designing your new kitchen. After great deliberation, I laid out a plan that addresses the wish list you gave me and also addresses circulation and livability issues that we discussed. First, you probably notice that the existing fireplace is gone. By moving the fireplace to the wall between the living room and bedroom 1, I was able to achieve several things. The depth of the new fireplace at that wall provides the same depth as the new closet in bedroom 1. The fireplace could be flanked by built in bookshelves. A new fireplace will be more energy efficient and could actually act as the heating unit for that part of the house. By reducing the depth of the existing closet at bedroom 1, it creates more space in the living room. I have also removed the boxed corner on the other side of the door in the living room. This will create a bigger living space in the living room and allow for circulation options depending on your furniture lay out. I think the ceiling in the living room should be left the way it is as a semi-vaulted space. Removing the existing fireplace also allowed for a central circulation space that helps to define one end of the new kitchen and creates a visual connection between the family room and the living room. Visually, this will create an axis the entire length of the house and out through two new French doors to the courtyard.

The new kitchen has been moved to the center of the house back to part of the original house where I suspect the original kitchen was located. The island between the kitchen and dining room is almost 10 feet long and will provide for ample seating on the dining room side. I envision the island to be two levels with the dining room side being higher to achieve a bit of a visual separation between the family room/dining room and the work side of the island. The kitchen layout is straight forward but should provide ample storage and work surfaces. Please note that a full height pantry is located between the built-in desk and the dining room.

By orienting the kitchen in this way, the addition to the house made more sense as utility space. In this case, the powder room and the laundry room are moved to an area that don't detract from active living spaces. I also like the proximity of the laundry room to the master bedroom and garage. Please note that by placing the powder room and laundry room in the breezeway area eliminated the need to raise the floor to match the floor height at the new dining room."

Okay WOW! This is not your average kitchen remodel. Pretty much the majority of the existing walls, floor, and rooms have been sucked up by a creative tornado and spit back down in the same footprint (plus the 6 X 10 ft space). All rooms in that half of the house are modified in some way. EXCEPT ONE. The one room that would remain untouched is the bathroom between the 2 bedrooms. If you haven't been to my house you have to appreciate the irony here. This bathroom still has the wooden toilet seat placed there by the previous owners. It has tile on the floor, around the tub and on every wall from floor to ceiling. You could pretty much put a drain in the center of the room and shower there. But the piece de resistance (sp?) is the lovely brown and orange star burst tiles randomly included for that nice artistic touch.

So the plans LOOK great. More later on whether we feel prepared to take that on financially. I have no idea what the cost could possibly be. This is our first question. Guesses? Advice?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The one day she really looked like a little girl

Picture day at preschool. Ki was 3. I bought and dressed her in a cute dress and white sandals. I washed and carefully brushed and blow dried her long hair. That was the last time for that. And that is okay. She is going to be one hell of a woman. Thought you might enjoyt the trip back in time.

My Girl and why there is no more long hair

Ki was born with an astounding amount of very dark hair, especially when considering that Pops and I are fair haired. It never fell out it just kept growing and the dark hair grew out and was replaced by blond hair. Making her look like a bad, upside down dye job.
By the age of 3 she had very long hair. The problem was she didn't want it brushed and would not tolerate any clip, barrette, pony tail etc. So it was impossible to keep tidy. She usually looked like white-trash girl.
So at 3 1/2 I had her hair wacked off in a bob, and it has been shorter ever since.

"Is that your son by the fountain?"

I heard a man say behind me.
"Yes, it is." I responded and then tensely waited for one of a variety of anticipated responses:
"he's drinking the fountain water", "he's throwing trash in the fountain", or perhaps, "he just spit into the fountain."
But it wasn't that, instead it was.
"I have the greatest picture of him from the Pet Parade Day. He was standing in the middle of the green doing the macarana. Can I email it to you?"

How heart warming it was to have a stranger recognize and capture his joyful, innocent dance. Aj dances for the joy it brings him, not for an audience. I am sorry I didn't see him myself. I hope I get the picture.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


That's my new log. Or I think it is. It was time to change it as the other one didn't quite fit. It was an ancient symbol of wisdom. But only I knew that and jennyalice thought it looked like I'd be burning incense and talking about how your kids chakras were causing their communication deficits.
In the new logo I see 3 people in a circle of communication. In Pops mind he sees a Big Breasted Betty. Thoughts?