Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How to convert a waterbed into a memory foam bed--a summary

More thoughts about the new and old bed:

I had an urge to put "how to convert a waterbed into a platform bed" down in case there's someone else searching the web for ideas on the subject.
How it began:
After reaching my mid-40's I began waking up during the night (one too many times) with shoulder pain and wondering if it was related to our beloved waterbed.  That's what began N's and my search for what to replace it with.  There are unexpected benefits I've discovered since then  (of switching to memory foam);  no more leg pain in the AM when feet first meet the floor and not waking when bed partner tosses and turns.  We also hope to see a change in our electricity usage.  The cost of having a heater on that big bag of water has concerned me for a long time.
The Search:
Both of us began a dedicated search and shared information on mattresses.  Our focus soon narrowed to memory foam mattresses, after reading an overwhelming number of testaments from satisfied owners.  Brands were trickier.  Night after night of searching  made us believe there aren't that many manufacturers out there, but there are a ton of vendors.
We read what to look for;

  • density, 
  • how many layers of which kind of foam, 
  • how thick each layer should be and 
  • how to help the issue of sleeping too warm.  
  • Oh and to make sure your foam is made in the USA.

Prepping the bed frame: 
After measuring the existing waterbed platform, we purchased the plywood to make the surface large enough for the memory foam mattress dimensions, allowing extra for the addition of a frame around the outside edge.  (Frame was made cutting and using the wood that used to be the waterbed sides.)
We began the long process of draining the waterbed.  To speed up the process we ended up buying a water pump/siphon attachment for N's drill.
The Purchase:
Finally, we picked which mattress to purchase (ours is from an Ebay store), we began to draw up possible ideas on how to modify our existing bed.  Once we figured out it was possible, N made a plan and we decided to go ahead and buy a California King mattress to replace our queen. (More space is good when you sleep with dogs.)
The mattress arrived on our doorstep via UPS.  We opened it up and allowed it to air for 72 hours on our guest bed.
Summary of the Changes:
Once the old mattress was removed, N changed and added to the 3 equal sections of the plywood configuration that made up our platform.  Our two banks of under bed drawers were moved farther apart to shift the support of the slightly bigger bed.  Together we put our new mattress on top of the platform and began the process of designing and eventually making the new headboard.  Here's what N used for the backing of the headboard.  Instead of trying to figure out how to attach the headboard to the frame, the headboard stands independent of the rest of the bed.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Remembering the break

Maybe I'm trying to hang onto it a little longer or maybe I'm just wanting to put it in "the cloud" as a reminder. Maybe no explanation is needed.

The Friday before the official start of Spring break found Fran, N, Izzy, Hope and I, all tucked into the truck and heading south to Ashland. A work friend had asked if a brother could hitch a ride. I'm glad the timing didn't work out. Saved us having to find out we didn't have room for another body. (How did 5 of us make the trip that one time? Must have been cramped!!)
N and I spent the night and took Jonathon out to breakfast before heading north. Ah, such a nice, quiet, meditative drive ... for me as a passenger. :>)

N used the time between arriving home and leaving again to stain and put the first clear coat on our new headboard. We packed up the car and drove north to Hood Canal to spend 2 nights with sissy K and her husband K. Such beautiful weather and sweet, relaxing company! We walked, we ate, we took a ride around the area, drank cider around the fire pit, we toured the house in progress and then made our way back home before the rains came.

After several more hours of work, the bed is complete. Thanks, N!
On Monday morning, we pried our fingers off the end of the break and returned to work. {sigh}
How many days until June? :>)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Latest Netflix

Last night, N and I watched Lars and the Real Girl. Who knew a movie could be sweet, poignant and yet slightly disturbing?
The movie before that was The Ideal Husband. I'll admit, I had a tough time staying awake for that one. It wasn't the movie's fault, it was my glass of wine and the comfort of the couch. I'll probably give it another shot. It's just the kind of movie I like. :>)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hood Canal

This is my sister K's and her husband K's Viceroy kit house on the Hood Canal.  So much has been completed, but they still have a ways to go.  When we left yesterday, the sheetrock was ready to be sanded and in a day the texture will be added.  During our visit they took us for a drive and we ended up in Port Townsend.  The new Wooden Boat Museum is beautiful.  We stopped at a downtown wine shop to see if they sold any of the local ciders to try, since both cideries we visited were closed.  They did, so we bought a bottle of Ginger Apple Cider from Eaglemount and Cranberry Apple Cider from Finn River (?).  Maybe we'll get a chance to visit their tasting rooms next time.  :>)
I hope the 360 view from the house isn't too hard to watch.  Always want to try something new with the camera.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Just when I think I'm improving in having an equal and balanced discussion with my beloved, I wake up to the realization that I still have far to go.
N and I had planned on a "just the two of us" week at the beach, but I had a sudden, random thought, during our drive back from Ashland, of using that time to go up and see sissy K's homestead progress.  I thought I framed it well--in that it was just a thought and didn't have to be honored, but I forget how this man of mine will bend over backward to make me happy.  He happily agreed, but then during the wee hours the issues began to pile up between us, but it took the morning light to bring me up to speed that I had errored.  And now there's no going back.  He's made up his mind, decided what he'll do with the extra time at home.
How can I be this age and still have so much to learn?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Computer changes

Not only are we using Chrome as our browser on both of our computers, but we now have Windows 7 on the laptop.  No, we're definitely not cutting edge.  We usually wait a spell before making OS changes and other changes as well.
It's funny, even though I've been enjoying the more open, uncluttered screen that chrome provides, I'm liking the look of Windows 7--and it's bottom toolbar intrudes into that new open space.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Do over, please

Where oh where did my weekend go?  I even had an extra day. bleh
This is when I usually write it all down--every little thing I did so I can feel better about how I used my hours.  Nope, not this time.  I know I was a major sad sloth.

I did enjoy N's concert this afternoon.  The music and the people watching.  There was an adorable toddler that did very well for more than half of the 2 hours.  Due to the good planning of her parents--snacks, toys, books.  A 5-6 year old boy sitting in front of me was fun to watch, too.  I'm amazed at how flexible little people are.  He was twisting all around in his seat, turning one way and then the other.  So cute when he snuggled into his grandma.

We were going to stop in for a burger at Calapooia Brewing Co., but it was packed and the band was loud.  The customers got a laugh over N's tux, before we decided to turn around and leave.  The 2 of us decided on Burgerville instead.  :>)  Cherry Chocolate milkshake, mmmm

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Seize the weekend?

After reading the morning twitter feed, I feel like I slept in for a day!  Busy people!  Or maybe it's just the number of them talking that make it seem that way.  I can hear N in the kitchen putting breakfast together.  If the blender is whirring it must be a Dutch baby.  :>)
Looks like the sun is out at the moment.  Maybe this will be a dog park weekend.  They could certainly use it after being cooped up for two days.  Oops!  Just remembered N has an Albany concert tomorrow afternoon.  Organization will be key!  (not our strong point)
Here's to a day of checking things off the to do list!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thoughts on the generation of energy

K2 and I were out for recess with the short folks.  The rain had returned and we were cooped up under one of the covered areas.  Nearly 50 small bodies running helter skelter, pell mell, non-stop.  How they keep from crashing into each other every 5 minutes is one of the great mysteries of recess.

While watching all of this action, I had a thought:  forget solar, forget wind turbines, let's find a way to harness the constant motion of these little people to heat and light our homes!  We could solve this problem and more!  Heck, we might even see the end of childhood obesity!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What was that Reader's Digest section?

Oh yeah!  Laughter is the best medicine!
One of the reasons I love working with the wee folk is enjoying how they perceive their world.  This morning I happened across some scented lotion I recently received as a gift.  I dabbed some on my forearms as a little sensory treat to myself.  After the short people had arrived and our morning had begun, I knelt down to read with our designated "observant guy".  He turned to me with a grin and exclaimed, "you smell good!  you smell like a hot dog!".
I laughed and steered him back to the page we were on before he could find anything else to comment on.

Fading into the background

Cabelas is one of the many catalogs I receive regularly. Sometimes I take a moment to flip through it before giving it a satisfying toss into "big blue". Glad I did this time. There was a chuckle tucked between those pages. I hate to miss a good laugh. :>)

If you wear camouflage pajamas, will you get lost between the sheets?

I like the idea of wearing camouflage swimwear! No worries about how you look in that suit! No one will see you . . . right?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Loving this sunshine

I really do try and keep up on those muddy please-let-me-in-NOW prints on the window ... really. These two have been wanting to spend as much time as possible in the backyard. They never seem to tire of checking out every square inch. :>)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Accidental Dinner

The girls claim it's why they're not afraid to be experimental in the kitchen, which is funny, because I've always thought it was more related to my laziness than to being creative. The "it" being my efforts at making accidental dinners. Otherwise known as using what's available and tossing things into the pot that I believe go well together.

Here's my latest effort. It wasn't too bad.

7-8 smallish chicken thighs
salt and pepper
2-3 Tbsp oil
one onion diced
2-3 cloves of garlic
3/4 -1 cup of dry white wine
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups rice
2 small handfuls of real bacon bits
sprinkle of rosemary and thyme

Season thighs with salt and pepper, place in dutch oven with oil over med hi heat. Brown on both sides for about 4 minutes on each side. Turn heat down to medium and add onion, garlic and bacon. Let cook for a minute or two. Add broth, wine, rice, rosemary and thyme. Bring to low boil. Turn to simmer and cover for 30 minutes or more. Add more broth if needed.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hunter's Wife's Chicken

Okay, sissy K, here it is!

Hunter's Wife's Chicken from Saveur

America knows this Italian favorite as chicken cacciatore (hunter's-style), but it's really alla cacciatora, named in honor of the hunter's wife—who, all over northern Italy, might traditionally cook the dish on the eve of the hunt as fuel for the chase.
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1  3-lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 cup dry white wine
1  28-oz. can peeled whole san marzano
   tomatoes, chopped, juice reserved
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup strong chicken stock

1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, continuing to stir, for about 2 minutes more. Push onions to sides of pan, then add chicken and fry, turning pieces several times to brown evenly, about 4 minutes per side.
2. Add wine and cook until it evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, with their juice, to chicken. Stir in bay leaf, rosemary, and parsley (reserving 1 tbsp. or so for garnish) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer, adding chicken stock gradually as tomato juice evaporates, for 45 minutes. Garnish with reserved parsley. Serve with steamed potatoes or white rice.
This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #26

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thankful (or trying to remember to be thankful)

So many well behaved children in our two classes!
Yet, because of a wee handful of little people with behavioral issues it's tough to touch base more than a few times a day with those who have great self control and work independently.  And this time of year my discouragement grows.  Seems like L & I should be making some gains with those behaviors, but this year we're not.  Immaturity is the main cause, but hardly the only one.
During a particularly frustrating day last week, I was struggling to find something positive to say while bringing the recess line back into the annex.  I stopped, turned and told the line, "I'm so thankful for all the children who know how to listen and follow directions." 
The short person in the front of the line smiled, looked up at me and asked, "You mean like me?" 
"Yes!  Like you!"