Monday, May 30, 2011

Why am I surprised???

Seriously... this happens every year.... why am I surprised??

The good news is Saturday was pretty nice.  I got rid of a bit of grass (so much left to go) and we patched some of the rail fence and put in a new post (ahem.... unfortunate snowplow accident).  I went to the Farmer's Market with my mother-in-law and my daughters but it was cold so we went to the Bagel Co for coffee and snacks.  Then got some paint (not for me) and hit Valley Farms.  I love Valley Farms.  Hot changed out the tractor seat (he looked funny riding around on a milk crate) and mowed.  We had a little picnic and spent a bit of time cleaning in the garage (the never-ending project).

Sunday was cold and rainy.  Hot cleaned carpets (!) and I cleaned the kids' room.  We got our house almost completely kicked into order.  What an accomplishment.  Then we went to a bbq at friends. 

This morning was snow.  We did some cleaning and I made cinnamon bubble buns.  Say that three times quickly.  Then I went to town for gifts for Sweet and stain for the deck and odds and ends.  I got propane and new ceramic bricks and we grilled steaks and had my mil down for dinner (my fil was out of town).  We did steaks.... delicious and tender..... I think Hot marinated them in balsamic vinegar and beer.  I made a Caesar salad.  Mil brought her famous potato salad and homemade biscotti.  I made chocolate chip cookies and red beers.  We had tea and biscotti.  It was delightful.

Now I'm just assessing the level of cleanliness in the house and making sure things are still up to par.  The house smells so good.  Every once in a while Hot looks around with a satisfied grin and sighs. 

Life is good.

Because we KNOW how to have fun......

We got crazy a few weeks ago..... I came down the stairs and Hot was sitting in the recliner.... one hand on the carpet cleaner and the other holding a sheetrock knife.  He was staring at this corner.  You can see which plan won out......

First came the emptying of the armoire.  Then the moving of the furniture.  Then tearing the carpet.   THE SMELL.  I love my dog but the senile old shithead has been pissing in the corner.  Ew. 

I cleaned it up but there were a lot of things going on..... strange floral stuff..... what is that?  It is wood.  And the little bits and pieces..... explains why the floor rolls....

Here's a shot the captures it all.... grey, red, dull red, floral, unpainted.  And the chocolate brown stuff that I painted last summer.

You can see that project here, herehere, herehere and here.

At this point we had two options..... we could paint the floor a lovely chocolate brown.  We have the paint.  We have the primer.  It takes WEEKS to dry and smells like hell.  Or we can do some sort of manufactured flooring.... Due to the uneven floors we are afraid to do true laminate but there are some vinyl options.... so off to Lowe's we go.....

 And home we come with 4 boxes of 6x36 vinyl planks.  We start install.  We've done this before.  We put laminate flooring in our house in town.  We are a team.  This stuff is crazy.... it isn't anchored AT ALL to the floor.  The planks just stick to each other.  There should be a 1/8" space all the way around to allow for expansion and contraction.  We couldn't do that because there is no trim on the walls with the paneling.  So we shoved it in hard and played with it..... sounds familiar, doesn't it??  Hot put down the lines and I opened boxes, laid out the rows, took off protective paper and picked up the tape papers he was tossing.  We should have put down a chalk line and we should have used carpet tape to hold things firm but we used the lines of the existing floor as a guide and since it was shoved in solid we didn't use tape. 

It went in super-fast.  Our space is 5'x13+' so it wasn't big.  This stuff is easy to cut.... you use a straight edge and score it with a sheetrock knife and then snap it.  Easy.

And here it is all in and the furniture back in place.  The transitions took some time.... specifically getting up the guts to make the angled cuts.  We used two big pieces of transition and one small. 

Now for the juicy budget breakdown....  We spent about, eh, $50 or so on transition.... two 6' and one 3' pieces... we had two doorways and the angle seen above.  We returned the carpet tape (but it would have cost us $10) and we used 3 boxes of planks (about $37 each).  We would have spent that much in carpet cleaner in short order so I think it was worth it.  It has been several weeks and it still looks good.  The material is Surface Source Classic Chestnut and can be found at Lowe's.

A Typical Morning

I'm in the kitchen.  Slugging coffee and yelling for Sweet to hussle.  We've got a tight schedule.  What is going ON in there???  I'm all for good oral hygiene but WHY is it taking so long to brush???

May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dreaming the Dream

A little kitchen inspiration.  Lovely floors.  Great windows.  Nice classic subway tile.  Sorry.... failure to site source...

There's something I like about this vestibule.  We are considering a 24'x24' addition (towards the creek, where the door is now, out the dining room).  It would include a possible new dining room, master bedroom, mud room, bathroom.  Or, possibly, turning the existing living room into the dining room and adding a living room....  so I need a nice way to, basically, have a bedroom off the living room.  With privacy.  And a front door.  So this is a start.

View one of a possible island for the kitchen.

View two of the island.

Think of this.... with the kitchen where it is now..... can it fit in a 24x24 space?  Feeling inspired.

I have no idea why I clipped this one.... anybody?
 This is, essentially, my kitchen layout plan for the remodel.....  The fridge is on the wall a base cabinet away fromt the stove but for the rest this is roughly what I am thinking.... for the stove, sink, dish washer..... then with an island instead of a peninsula.  Wish I had a good shot of it now.  The biggest problem to me right now is I have a bar like this but longer but it has cabinets over the top AND super-low ceilings... claustrophobic.  If we could find space to store the stuff in the cabinets I would nuke the cupboards in a heart beat.

Some standards.....

the state of the world tonight

I got nothing.

I'm tired.  It's 9:00.  There is nothing on tv.  I had a lovely dinner of veggie sandwich on flat bread and pasta salad.  (Leftover perk of someone else's conference today.)  I'm waiting for Hot to get done teaching a Standards class and come home.  I saved him half the salad and a steak sandwich flat bread.  I'm excited for Hot to get home and it pleases me that I want to see him.  The kids are tucked in bed and I only hear minimal whomping and bumping.  Sweet is doing well at school and we are planning his next fantastic birthday.  Tuff is preparing for school next year.... I'm still not sure she's ready but she's registered just in case.  Bugsy has more words every day and has all the creativity and tantrum potential of an almost-two-year-old. 

I'm recovering from a scratched cornea.  (Courtesy of a wild fingernail from Bugsy in the middle of the night.)  I opted not to have hardware installed at my last gyno appointment.  I'm pleased with myself for getting a missing birth certificate signature for the SECOND time.... (seriously, who makes it out of the hospital missing signatures on two of three birth certificates??).  I'm working my way through my  unending to-do list.  One item at a time.  I'm still casually planning a kitchen remodel.  I really want to add on but it just doesn't seem to be in our future.  I'm thinking of calculating the actual square footage of our house but I'm afraid that would be depressing.  I'm trying to practice mindful eating.  Hell.... I'm trying to practice mindful living. 

I like looking at pinterest.  I'm slowly pulling the grass from my flowerbeds.  I'm suffering with not knowing what is happening with my trip planned for June.  I'm reading a great gardening book and seeking inspiration.  I'm finally figuring out how I want to file and store things and now I have a huge stack of stuff to scan.  I'm preparing for a big meeting at work and significant work changes in the next year.... but most all good things.  I can physically hear the creek flowing from my front porch... the water is high.  I love the rain even when it makes my joints ache.  I feel like the house is organized and as good as it can get but the garage and shed need work.  I'm dwelling on new projects like a garden plot (a deer-proof space).  I worry about my old dog. 

I feel so oddly balanced right now.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hair Routine

This morning as I was attempting to do battle with my humidity-curly hair I thought, "Why does my hair look so bad?  My sister got me a fabulous cut with her fabulous stylist....."  IN DECEMBER.

Yes, people, time does fly.  And my great cut was months ago. 

And I've decided part of the problem is my sunglasses might be breaking my hair at the temples.  Yes, I wear my sunglasses on my head all the time.

So let's talk haircare.....  what's your current routine?

Here is my confession:

I wash my hair almost daily.  I'd like to go to every-other-day as is recommended for longer hair but I'm a greaseball. 

I'm using up some general and generic shampoo and conditioner now.  I'm planning to go to the Kirkland brand (Costco) for everyday.  My secret love is that wonderful and expensive stuff.... Fuckyou?  Fuckme?  Fekki?  Someone help.  What's it called?  Fekkai. 

I've also succumb to my mother's advice.  She swears my daughter should comb her hair with conditioner in it in the tub.  I think it makes the hair break off.  But I got a really nice comb at Sally Beauty and it seems to be working well for both of us.  Listen to your mother.

For clarifying I add a few drops of tea tree oil to my regular shampoo every once in a while.  Works pretty well.  My sister taught me that.

I try not to put my hair up in a heavy towel turban... I've heard that makes it break.  I do use one of those dorky hair towel things from Bed, Bath & Beyond.  And I braid my hair for bed so it doesn't get shredded.  I wear baseball caps a lot and that is hard on my hair. 

Then comes styling.  I love biosilk and aveda straightening stuff.  I won't lie... I have some other stuff I'm using up.  But these are my favorites right now.  Biosilk is fantastic on Tuff's hair.  I've only used the leave-in stuff but I see there is a whole line of products.  Pricey, yes, but we've been working on the same bottle for years now.  Worth it.  Also the Aveda stuff.... worth it.

I'm not a hair dryer user... for the most part.  And I have a great curling iron and a nice enough staightener but I rarely make the effort.  Mostly I'm a smooth it down and put in a pony tail girl.  I LOVE the pony tail holders from Sephora.  LOVE.  LOVE.  LOVE.

Ok... so what about you????

day 29. a photo of someone you find attractive

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

day 27. a photo of last summer

day 26. a photo of your favorite weekend

My favorite weekend?  Really?  Any weekend.

Although this weekend we cooked up something particularly exciting.

Photos later.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

day 25. a photo of a night you loved

June 1, 2004
 July 14, 2006
 June 27, 2009

Monday, May 09, 2011

Shoes, shoes, f-ing shoes.

So I took my stupid pill and threw out the "lets clean the coat closet" challenge to Elle.

What was I thinking???

This is JUST the shoe part......

But wait... there are MORE shoes......

The whole thing..... still in the closet......

Yes, the jackets and detritus are out of the closet... but the stuff the kids wore today hangs on the hooks.....  IT NEVER FREAKIN' ENDS......

And then there is the door insanity......

But, of course, it being Mother's Day Weekend.... I couldn't just clean the damn closet.  No.  I had to be SUPER MOM and PAINT first. 
I gathered my tools.....  standard issue valspar semi-gloss, fantastic short handled brush (I had two... in case someone came over to help or something), stubby foam roller, can opener, stir stick, and coffee.  I also had a rubber mallet...... we will get to that part later.

Wait.  Look at the photo above again... do you see the SIZE of the screw in that hook?  Shit.  Apparently I got tired of it coming out of the wall and went for the 2.5" screw.  Welcome to the 'stead.  We do things a little differently around here.  What would a contractor say?  He'd say, "Nice drill."  That's what he would say. 
Upon emptying the closet I remembered the scary trap door into the crawl space.  The beauty of living in a house built in 1897.  You can crawl under the dining room and kitchen.  You can't get under the living room or laundry room or bathroom.... that's where the bodies are stashed. 

I stuck the camera down the hole.  It was scary.  I didn't look.

Why yes, our house is logs on granite pile footings.  Does that worry you?

Slapping on paint.  Goodby yellowish smoker's hack closets... hello glowing white.

Fast-forward throught the boring bits.... and ta-da.  Gorgeous.

Now lets talk about that stupid black shelf.  It should fit.  I've made it fit in the past.  I had to use my rubber hammer.  I love that thing.  There isn't a lot you can't accomplish with a good rubber mallet.  Stupid fraggin' crooked walls.

I also smashed my thumb in the metal part.  Happy dance.  I had to curl up on the floor and whisper swear words.  I didn't want the kids to come and try to help me.


How to organize this?  The closet is, basically, 4 feet long and 23 inches deep.  How to maximize storage?  Suggestions??

Small person.  Post brownie eating.  Wearing her (sister's) favorite jammies and her brother's shoes.

Do you see the giant shoe pile behind her??

There is this, smaller, giant pile.....

And this..... oh my.

It all came OUT of the closet... but will it all go back IN?????

Stay tuned.