Sunday, January 31, 2010

Roof II

The new roof went on pretty fast. Here you see the jacks on the garage roof all ready for the solar panel rails. They painted all the sheet metal brown to match the roof.
Here is a view from the back patio. Gutters all on and things all neat and tidy. By January 11 everything looked hunky-dory.
Now after a couple more storms it is the last week of January and time for the solar panels to go up.
Here are the 30 on the garage roof.
And the 12 more on the other side of the house above the master bathroom.

The converters for the new solar to electricity.

The meters from the old electricity.
This is the house from the front. The panels are on the sides of the view, and they are definitely in plain view as you enter the driveway, but from the actual front of the house they don't show much. 
Not too bad for a 3 month long job. The garage is looking nearly back to normal with cars parked inside and everything.

Winter Project

If you read back in October, we had the first heavy rain of the season and we had it raining in our formerly cozy, dry house.
We had protected the roof for the previous 3 or 4 years with sealer, cleaning up debris, etc. But the 48 year old shake roof was just getting to the point of replacement that we couldn't avoid any longer.
We embarked on a search for a good looking, yet easily maintained topper for our home, and ultimately settled on a composition shingle. I wouldn't have ever imagined me being excited about composition, but the other options were not feasible. Tile roofs are heavy and we would have to actually reinforce the foundation to the home, making it too cost prohibitive. They look nice, but we decided they are more fitting for new construction and a steeper pitch than we have. The shingles that were originally there looked real nice, but the ones they use now aren't from old growth wood any more, so they last about half as long as the old ones. Well I don't want to replace this roof when I'm 70 and spend the money again, so we opted not to do that.
The Hubby has wanted to get solar power installed for the past few years, and so we decided the composition would allow for repair and replacement of the panels as well, being that it is sturdy to walk on and doesn't have any problems with wear and tear.
So here we go.
Ordered it in November so we'd have the new roof by December.
First order of business was to take down the existing solar water panels. We heat our pool with these babies and it helps cut the costs of heating the pool by about 2/3. We are going to put these back up on the new roof, but in a different location. Hopefully they will still be somewhat efficient.
You can see where the pool solar was taken down from the lines on the old roof.
You can also see 2 of the 3 Honda Accord's that were in our driveway throughout this entire process.

Okay so now we are ready, but the weather ..... it ..... is ..... not.  It rained at least every third day from November 15 through December 28th.  Finally when we had a clear 5 day forecast, there was a New Years Holiday staring straight into our beady little eyes. So it was on January 4 that we finally got started.
I could go into the fact that my garage was in SHAMBLES this entire time. We had to clean out the attic completely so that the roof parts wouldn't fall down onto any of the boxes of Christmas, Easter, Halloween, childhood memories, old toy's, and old stereo equipment that we had stashed up above the garage in the attic. We placed these boxes right into one bay of the garage and then when we needed to decorate for Christmas or use anything from these boxes, we had to go into the second bay of the garage.  The cars that normally occupy these spaces had to be moved into the driveway.
We also had 2 EXTRA cars in the driveway during 3 weeks of the Christmas holiday season, because daughter Katz and her Hubby left their cars at our house while they travelled. Yes, we had 6 cars in the driveway and one in the garage almost this entire time. Kinda nuts.
Time to FINALLY get started. On the first day there were about 10 guys running around on the roof and on the ground. They were taking off the shingles and putting on plywood boards, throwing the old wood/debris into a big heavy dump truck that was precariously going on and off pre-placed boards on the driveway, and climbing on ladders and inspecting rotted wood (in 2 spots). They worked so fast, and quite loudly I might add, that they had the roof all ready to reroof in 2 days.
Plywood and rolls of tar paper. Messy garage on bottom of this shot so you know I'm not lying about the clutter in my life.
We had 2 sun tunnels put into our long narrow hallway while we were at it. The mirrored material in the center reflects all the sun and it really makes our hallway much lighter even on a cloudy day. Actually, even on a moonlit night too.
This truck was my big worry. That it would crack my relatively new driveway and stone, so they protected it well with double plywood.
Here is the gutter making truck pooping out yards and yards of gutter for my house. Have you ever seen these things work?  All in one piece it comes out in the right color and with no seams to mend together. Very cool.
The finished roof coming up. Now it's time for "Brothers and Sisters."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

No Need to Rush?

....but this is a little ridiculous.
Last year my friend asked me to do a little sewing project for her and at that time I just set the sack of fabric to be edged in my sewing room. I looked at it every now and then, thinking "When I'm done with this and that, I'll get to it."

Well a couple weeks ago, I had some house guests that needed to use the murphy bed in the sewing/guest room and so I moved everything off the floor of the sewing room and into my bathroom. (I have a rather large bathroom). I moved the 2 sewing cabinets that house my regular sewing machine and my serger, I also moved all the projects and boxes of materials for completing those projects into my bathroom. There were a lot of piles of miscellaneous stuff in my formerly pristine sanctuary.

I vowed that I would not just move them willy nilly back into the sewing room, but rather I would finish up all the little projects that I had placed on the back-burner until I had time. I thought that this would force me to get it all cleaned up.

My goal was to complete all these projects in a couple of weeks. So... in the past couple of weeks I have finished all the baby blankets that I had the materials for, all the ironing, all the mending, updating of an old "Quiet Book" for children at church, and finally I finished my friends serged table covers.
This was the last project left in my bathroom, and now I have restored it, to the relief of The Hubby, back to its former glory.

My sewing room is far more orderly now, and all the to do's semi-neatly tucked behind the doors of the closet, or in cupboards within the room.

My friend had completely forgotten about the sack of table runners she had placed in my care, but I think she can actually use them again in a couple of months for her son's wedding. Who knew?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Baby News

The new little guy is coming along well. He is breathing on room air, antibiotics are all done, and they took out his feeding tube because he is downing it on his own just fine now.
Sounds like good progress. The little family is more than ready for him to be HOME.

This a.m. I went for a short babysitting stint between daddy David's return from work, and mommy Kara's going to the hospital for a feeding and visit.  As I opened the front door around 7:30, cute little nearly 2 year old Lena looked up and saw me. Instead of the usual smile as a greeting, she flopped to the floor and cried, "Nnoooo, Daddy," in a very pathetic loud voice. Her world has been turned on its ear and she is ready for a new episode. Poor little thing. Her 4 year old sister wasn't too excited to have me there either, 'cause she knew Mom was about to leave. I won't take it too personally girls.
We did have fun getting ready for the day, playing school, and hide and seek, and watching Cinderella.

I gave Luke a new little blanket to match his room. It is similar to the one Great-grandma Joyce used to make for the greats.
Lexy helped me pick out the fabrics, or at least she came with me to the store and was bored for a half hour.
Ellery likes it.
Here is a cute little kimono sweater I made that looks like a baby boy. Kinda fun variegation of brown with specks of blue. Makes a cute tweed. I made a head band with the remaining yarn, 'cause I didn't have enough for a hat.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Grandbaby. (a BOY this time)

I have been helping take care of our two oldest granddaughters this week as their new little brother was born.
He is a bit early, but a good size, and is having problems with his lungs. Check his cute little self out here.
GPa and Dad gave him a blessing in the NICU the day after he was born and he is getting 1 on 1 care from the awesome nurses. He's going to be just fine.
Mom got to come home yesterday, and they don't need me today, so I'm back at my own house catching up a little. I'm missing spending time with them, going on walks, watching the storms, grocery shopping, cooking, and especially pretending.
Congrats to the new little family and their sweet addition. We are praying that his mighty little spirit will push through quickly and he will be able to go home within the next week. I'm sure to have some pictures then. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One Year Old

Just got home from the birthday party of our youngest (for another couple weeks) grandchild. Such a cute little unassuming little girlie. We were treated to a fun and tasty dinner with the whole California Hodgman contingency. The birthday girls' mother also made a beautiful cake with brightly multi-colored dots and stripes made of fondant and two types of cake with filling. Here's a link to her post about it, so you can see a picture of the dandy looking cake.
I made her a couple of knitted garments.

This is the little magenta tunic dress that I just finished. I think it will look cute with a long sleeved onesie and leggings.

Pretty little lacy bodice as well as the bottom detail. It was a little tricky, because I had to pay attention that the stitches were correct especially until I understood how the pattern was coming together.

Sometimes laces are not as logical as the pattern is being started, but after several rows you figure out that you need to do a y/o (yarn over) for a hole in the design before or after the one on the previous row. For instance, on this pattern, you were to make a wedge in the lace every 20 stitches, so the next row you move it in on both sides to 18 stitches and the middle area between gets 3 stitches instead of 1. Then the next row is 16 and 5, the next is 14 and 7, etc. on down so there are always 21 stitches in the sequence.
Get it??? Sometimes I don't, but most of the time you can see it after a few rows.

I also gave her a funky little sweater and hat that I made a few years ago (probably four) They are odd sized, but I think she can wear them for a while on an irregular basis.

 I love the design and originality of this wide, frilly, yet geometrically argyle cardigan.

....and I designed a hat to match. Check out the curly cue's on the hats top. Too cute. Sometime I'll post a picture of the recipient wearing the articles of clothing.
She will make them cute even if they don't fit quite right.
Happy birthday Ells Bells, and have a wonderful 2nd year.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

"He Shoots, He Makes It, The Cats Win in Overtime!!!!"

Wow, I still can't believe the game we watched last night.
The boys must've been fueled pretty well the night before, (see previous post) because they never ran out of gas.

They came out all fired up and then let 5 point get scored on them in the first 30 seconds. This opponent has 3 starters and 1 other player who were on Michael and his teammate Jeff's AAU team last summer. They traveled with these guys, ate, slept and played at various tournaments with them, and got to know and appreciate their games and personalities. They are pretty good friends. So both sides really want to win.  We have had a hard time beating Palo Alto in basketball for some reason over the years, so there's that incentive as well. It also was our first league game of the year.

As they settled down, we could see that Michael was not going to have a stellar night in the point department.
The leading scorer on the team, he averages 22 points per game, but at half time he had 2. Yes, two points at the half for the top point maker. The rest of his game was looking good. He was making a few steals, having some beautiful assists, and stopping Paly's smooth scorer for the most part.

Where he usually shoots a lot of free throws, (a couple weeks ago he made 16 of 17 tries from the free throw stripe), last night he got to that same line a total of 0 times for free attempts. ZERO!

(Non of these pix, taken by The Hubby, are from last night but 
they do add some spice to the story. Right?)
He did make a nice little jumper and a layup.

My Michael was a bit frustrated and I was calmly screaming for him a little louder in my head and heart with each minute gone by.
Nick L on our team scored a 2 pointer after rebounding a missed 15 foot jumpshot by Michael with 5 seconds left in the game. Paly tried for 3 at the buzzer but missed.
The forth quarter ended in a 54-54 tie, forcing an overtime matchup.

The true test came when M's buddy Nick missed a 3 point attempt with about 6 seconds left. N had made 3 gorgeous three pointers throughout the second half and this one looked good from the start, but it bounced off the rim and straight to Jeffery for an offensive rebound. Michael, who was back at the far side three point line, hollered at J and got the ball with maybe 3.5 seconds left. M pump faked it to throw off the Paly defender and put up a nice smooth shot for the 3 points and a win.

Final score 62-61. Los Gatos wins.
Good game boys.

For all you cousins out there that want to keep up with his games online. Go to the stats pages on    Here is a more direct link.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Candid Pictures of the Team?

I don't understand food bloggers. I'm always in too much of a hurry to stop and take pictures.

Yesterday was no different, as I hurriedly fixed Michael's basketball team a large dish or two of pasta.
As they left the house 2 hours after I had started preparing, I said to The Hubby, "Hubby, I didn't even take one picture of those cute boys scarfing down the dinner in the 30 minutes they were here."

This looks about right.
The worst part is that I really didn't capture the team all participating together in dinner and jibing one another as they fueled up for their first league game which is today.
What a great group of young men. I will miss them next year.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's Out-A-Here

As much as I love decorating the house for Christmas. I also LOVE getting it all taken down, and the fresh feeling it brings into the house.

Here is the kitchen island all filled with things for boxing up.

Once it is out of here, I hesitate to put anything on bookcases, table tops, etc., just because it feels so clean with it all gone.
But if you look real close, you can spot a lot of dirt filtering down from the ceiling in the family room. As we speak the roof is loudly and methodically being nailed down. There is no insulation or anything above 1/2 of the ceiling in the family room so it has been a mess the past 3 days. This should be the end of it today as they move on to different places on the roof.
Then to tackle the garage/attic when they - the roofers- are all done. If you think I insinuated that Christmas is all put away and done, you are wrong because you should see my garage.
That is for another time and place.