Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Catch Up

It's been a little while since I've posted. A nasty cold, food poisoning and Christmas, all in quick succession, can really put you behind. So, now that that's all over, it's time to catch up a little.

So, what have we been up to?

Yard work. Two large Mulberry trees plus a significant winter storm left our front yard looking like this:

One of the culprits, looking innocently empty after dropping all its leaves:

The clean up has been somewhat complicated because we fill up the yard waste bin without making a dent in the carpet of leaves covering our front lawn. We bought two extra garbage cans and filled those up with leaves and still it looked like we hadn't done anything. We ended up just leaving the yard like that until the next garbage day when they emptied our bins and we refilled them. By then, the leaves had dried out quite a bit and were much more compactable. We now have just a small pile of leaves waiting for the next garbage day.

Getting our new bed. In my last post, I talked about our awesome new mattress. Well, we finally got an awesome new bed to put it on:

This isn't actually a picture of our bed. I'm too lazy right now to go take a picture of our bed. But, this is the picture of it in the Crate & Barrel catalog. So, imagine that bed in our room with our bed linens. Lovely, isn't it? Someday I'll take a picture of it and post it. This bed I've had my eye on for awhile. When I saw it, I fell in love with it and I wanted it. So, I started requesting Crate & Barrel gift cards as gifts to put towards the bed. We were fortunate to be gifted a little early this year for Christmas from my mom and my sister, so we got the bed and got it set up and were able to wake up in it on Christmas morning. And when I woke up and looked at it, I said "Merry Christmas to me!" Needless to say, I love it.


I was pretty fortunate this year. I was on top of my Christmas preparations and had most everything done before I got all sick and gross. However, after I came out of my head cold haze and then my food poisoning grossness episode, there were a few last minute things to be done. It kept me busy enough that no baking happened this year. I feel a little like I should be disappointed by this, but in actuality, I couldn't care less. I finished my last minute things and then enjoyed the holiday spirit.

Christmas was lovely this year. I had family in town, so that was fun. We woke up and opened our own presents at our house and then headed up to my parents' for the Christmas festivities. Here's our Christmas tree on Christmas morning:

Scout quickly found her stocking because there were treats and a squirrel coming out the top:

We opened presents at my parents' and my sisters and I compared our matching cupcake potholders that my mom had made for us:

Then we sat down to our Christmas breakfast. It was a combination of traditions. We had our normal Christmas sausage bread (think garlic, sausage, and cheese stuffed into bread. Mmmmmm!) and we also had Strawberry Crepes which is my visiting sister's family's Christmas breakfast tradition. It was divine:

The rest of Christmas was fabulous, but we, apparently, took no more pictures of it. We had more rounds of present-opening as more family arrived and then we enjoyed a yummy Christmas dinner.

And, that's what we've been up to. We've also been having fun since Christmas, but that is for another post.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

To The Cloud

Nope. Not talking about this cloud:

Please. As I type this on my beautiful MacBook otherwise known as Bonecrusher. Windows. Pshsh.

I'm talking about THIS cloud:

Two nights on this bad boy and I'm already in love. Some time ago, I posted about my love and need for a pillow-top mattress here. Since then, I have eagerly awaited the day when I would be back on a pillow-top. That day came on Tuesday. We went to Sleep Train on Monday because we wanted our ticket to a better night's sleep. We tried out the various Tempur-Pedic mattresses (having already decided we wanted a Tempur-Pedic based on recommendations from others and also trying them out at a home show) and settled on the TEMPUR-Cloud. I don't know if it's truly a pillow-top, but it's Tempur-Pedic material with a soft, luxurious top layer. To me, that says pillow-top. So, we gave them our money and this bad boy was delivered on Tuesday:

I was pretty much giddy with excitement. I don't know if I've ever enjoyed making a bed so much. And laying down on this thing of beauty has been heavenly. Now we just need a new bed to put it on. That is on its way, though, and when it comes, I will post about that, too.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ceiling Project #3

On Saturday, we finished ceiling project #3. I didn't take pictures of the process because it was the same process as that we used for ceiling project #1. This ceiling project entailed putting up tongue and groove wood planking on the master bedroom ceiling. The only difference between that and the wood planking in the living room is that we painted the wood white. Actually, I did one coat of primer and one coat of paint, so it's thin enough that you can see some of the knots in the wood. Basically, a heavy whitewash. And I'm pleased as punch at how it turned out.

As with the living room ceiling, we owe big thank yous to everyone who helped out. The help was huge because we were able to finish it all in one day - moulding and everything. That was partly because we knew what we were doing this time around and partly because our materials were far superior to the first time around. The wood we got was better quality and, therefore, far more cooperative when it came to going into place. Lesson learned: materials make a difference. Anyway, we're very excited because now all of our major projects are totally done. Now it's just little things like putting up a shelf here and reattaching a smoke detector there. Of course, that's only temporary because I have visions of a master bedroom with a beautiful whitewashed wood ceiling, very dark wood floors, a new wall color - perhaps a blue-grey - and maybe even some wainscoting. And with the ceiling done, we're on our way!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Annual Trek

On Friday morning after Thanksgiving, we headed up to the Santa Cruz mountains to cut down our Christmas Tree. We've been going to the same tree farm every year since I can remember and it's a great tradition for us. My sister insisted we go first thing on Friday so the good trees wouldn't be gone. We all met up at the tree farm and began the process of getting the perfect tree. It's a simple process really:

First, find groundhog holes and dig for the little beasts (okay, this was really only a step for Scout).

Scout was in absolute heaven and beyond excited to be going after small, furry, live animals. I don't think she could've had a better day and she would probably say it was worth it in spite of me having to pick burrs out of her fur the whole way home.

Next, find the perfect tree. This is probably the most important step. We Jespersens always go for the White Fir.

I know that we're blocking the view of the tree in this picture, but it's perfect, don't worry. Sometimes this step in the process is very quick. Other times it's a painful and arduous task. This year, it was kind of in between. It took a little searching, but none of this hiking all over the mountainside business that has happened in years past.

Third, cut down said perfect tree.

My nephews, George and Max, helped Mr. Frisby cut down the tree. Cutting down a Christmas tree was a new experience for them. Their family goes for the artificial variety each year.

Then, carry the perfect Christmas tree to the car.

Max "helped" Mr. Frisby with this task.

And, finally, load up your perfect Christmas tree to take it home.

This step is what has caused my dad for the last several years to try to persuade my mom to go artificial.

Some may think it's more practical, convenient, and a lot less work to have an artificial tree. But, this is one of my most beloved Christmas traditions and I wouldn't do it any other way.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


It seems everyone else has already blogged about Thanksgiving and moved on to Christmas preparations. I guess I'm a little behind. I blame it on spending all of my spare time painting wood in preparation for ceiling project #3. But, right now the furnace man is here to fix our Furnace/AC problem, so I figure what better way to bide the time until he leaves.

We had a busy Thanksgiving week. Mr. Frisby had quite a bit of homework to catch up on and my sister came into town with her family, so there was always something going on. On Monday, we decided to leave the kids at home and head to Napa Valley for the day. With six kids, my sister is fortunate to have two kids of babysitting age, so it's easy for her to leave the kids and take off for a day. So, away we went. It was very pretty and we had a good time checking out wine country. We also had some very good eats. Being in wine country, I naturally wanted to sample the local product. However, since I don't drink alcohol, I opted for a very expensive glass of grape juice. And it was probably the best and most expensive grape juice I've ever had. We didn't take a lot of pics of the day, but here are a few:

The next couple of days were spent doing various activities with the fam. Wednesday included a mini trip to the outlets in Gilroy where I found some screamin' good deals and didn't have to deal with crazy shoppers. Why wake up at 3am on Black Friday to deal with pushy shoppers for good deals when I can go to the stores at my leisure on Wednesday and deal with almost no shoppers and still get good deals? On Wednesday night, I got started on the Turkey.

With family in town, we had a big group for Thanksgiving dinner. I believe the number was over 20. We decided to do dinner at my sister's house and she figured one turkey wouldn't be enough. Since we live pretty close to her, she asked me to make the second turkey. I have never done a turkey before, but I told her that if she told me how to do it, I would be fine with it. She has a recipe for a brine for the turkey, so that's what we did. We would put it in the brine the night before and then pull it out and put it in the oven on Thanksgiving morning. I didn't think much of it until I actually had to pull out the turkey and start working on it. I think the most disturbing part for me was reaching into the turkey to pull out the neck. Still makes me shudder. Then, I got a little grossed out when I had to reach in and stuff it with oranges (part of the recipe) and subsequently reach in and pull them out before putting it in the oven. I survived, though, and the turkey was fabulous. I was really quite proud. Pics of the process:

Thanksgiving morning was pretty leisurely. We watched the parade and then when I got started on the Turkey, the dog show came on. Scout relaxed on the couch to watch. She was rooting for all of the Schnauzers and was a little disappointed when they didn't win.

When the turkey was done, we headed to my sister's for the Thanksgiving festivities. We had a great time.

Unfortunately, not everyone got to eat Thanksgiving dinner, though Scout placed herself in the right location for falling scraps.

After my hard work making the turkey and then eating it, I needed a little nap.

And that was our Thanksgiving. The furnace man is gone now and I have a busy day, so the conclusion of our Thanksgiving week will have to wait.