29 December, 2011

Wall of Frames

At least a year ago now, Scott found a DIY project that he really liked on a blog, so he shared it with me and we decided that at some point in the future we'd undergo the task. The idea was an entire wall of differently shaped and textured, white picture frames with various pictures and memorabilia in them. Several months ago, we stumbled across an advertisement on Gumtree (like Craig's List) of 50 odd picture frames going for £10. Then about a month ago, I picked up white paint, sandpaper, and paint brushes so we'd be ready when we actually had some down time!

With all his chemo treatments lately, Scott's immune system has been down, so he's had to stay in the house and away from crowds. He became extremely restless last week and was wishing aloud that he had something to do, so I suggested he start on the Wall of Frames project we had talked about doing. He jumped at the chance to have something to do and began the task with a vengeance!

Our kitchen was soon overrun with the project (which was not my favourite), but I had a happy, busy husband which was worth the bother of a crazy kitchen! Scott sanded and painted the majority of the frames and I helped with a bit of painting and touching up and also washed and dried the glass for the frames. One night Scott couldn't sleep due to his prescriptions, so at 4am he painted more frames! It was about a 3 day process since most of the frames had to be painted with 2-3 coats and all the frames had to be hung.

In order to organise where we thought each frame should go and minimise the number of holes in the wall (I'm sure our landlord will be grateful for this), we measured and cut out cheap wrapping paper and blue tacked it to the wall. I have to say, it is wonderful to have a husband who likes to do things well!

Once the frames were all painted, we matched their sizes to the wrapping paper cutouts and began to hang frames in place on the wall. Several frames were the same size, but had different designs which were seen through the paint, so we spent quite a lot of time organising where everything looked best!

We had decided the wall would be one of memories and places we love rather than pictures of us or of other people, so once the frames were on the wall, we were on the hunt for things to fill them with! The first several frames were easy to fill, but as we got toward the last few, it was more difficult to decide what should go in them. Some of the things included on our wall are ticket stubs and program from our first official date at the London Theatre, scenic pictures of Trillium Lake and Hume Lake, ballroom dancing, our favourite movie: August Rush, as well as a few fun random things we liked the look of!

While all the frames are up with pictures in them, the wall is still definitely a work in progress. You may have noticed one last piece of wrapping paper on the wall awaiting it's frame and picture. Scott fell in love with a black and white sketch of Glasgow University that our friend Nichol Wheatley http://www.perfectcircleart.com had done, so it will soon be living on our wall. The larger blue picture will soon be replaced as well. Other than that, all we need to do is get white picture mount for a number of the frames and we're set! We LOVE our new wall decor!

So, what would you do if you had cancer and were undergoing chemo? :)

24 December, 2011

My Long Lost Olives!

I was at Tesco yesterday (kind of like super-Walmart, but a little nicer) doing my grocery shopping when I stumbled across a tin (can) of olives that appeared to be "brine-free!" Now, if you know me, you have heard me complain a few times that too many things in Scotland are preserved in brine. This isn't such a bad thing when it's something like tinned tuna, but it is NOT nice in my opinion when black olives are soaked in brine. It changes their flavour completely!

Ever since moving here over a year ago, I have been on the hunt for olives that taste like the "normal" ones I love and eat often at home. I've searched at specialty shops and all sorts and until yesterday had not managed to find anything remotely similar! Though it cost a whopping £1.50 ($2.50) for a single tin, I decided to take the financial risk...and boy was I rewarded! They taste very similar to what I'm used to back home! Thank you Spain for your olives that taste like the ones from California!

So, if you're from a country that has tinned olives in normal salt water and you've struggled to find somethings similar in the U.K., try Fragata brand Black Olives at your local Tesco! I don't think you'll be disappointed!

19 December, 2011

Pink Wins! Oh Yeah!

After a long and arduous competition and after being behind for the last while, pink (I) snuck ahead and won the 50 Person Challenge! www.scottandmonica.com 

When we moved to Scotland our support was at a scary low of 35% of our monthly budget. In normal circumstances we would have waited longer until our support was up to about 90%, but we didn't have that luxury as Scott's Visa to remain in the States had run out. So it was either go together with very little money or have him move ahead of me for who knew how long...we believed that God was sovereign over our circumstances and we were and are certain that He called us to Scotand, so we went together trusting that He would provide for our needs.

Soon after we moved to Glasgow, Scott thought up a brilliant support raising campaign that could bring us to about 85% our monthly budget if we each came up with 50 new people to support us at $20/month. It was Scott (guys/blue) against Monica (girls/pink). God immediately began to work and though things have remained tight a lot of the time, He drew new people to be part of our support team! After tallying up some of the folks that I "recruited" over the summer, the pink girls' team pulled ahead and won 50 people to 40 people! Woohoo! Time to celebrate, especially since in this competition we really both win! :) Thank you to all who played a part in helping me or Scott recruit new supporters!