Friday, December 28, 2012

Welcome to man land

I have another door post but it is really about the the hubb's man room (aka man land). He found a a free storm door and it was to wide to fit any doors on the house so it sat in a back corner of the garage collecting dust for about a year. Then he decided to clean the garage. His plan was to set the door on the street for someone to take or he was going to set it out for trash night. I took a look at it and asked him if he was sure it wouldn't fit ANY of the doors on the house. He said no and  he was quite sure of himself.  Me being the nagging supportive wife that I am asked, "Are you REALLY sure?" And as proof to shut me up, he  remeasured all 3 of the exterior house doors to be certain. Then I said the magic words. Will it fit the garage entry door?

Light bulb moment!

It did fit! SORTA...There may have been a little rigging and finagling but free is good. While not the prettiest picture  (we REALLY need to do some painting in the spring) it works to keep the draft out of his man room.

Here's a peek into the hubb's man room

Here is our garage watch cat Boy Meow-Meow sleeping on the job

All the concrete (floors and block walls) makes it mighty chilly. The hubbs has a baseboard heater-which I have forbidden him to use-since he has the wood stove. The exterior door was a poor fit with lots of gaps. He rigged it the best he could with found items. Do you like the painted vinyl cove moulding he used as a draft blocker? There was no money to fix it when there is so much to do on the house.  I have to give him credit for trying, haha

Looking out the storm door towards the house. He used my garden stakes (urgh!!) cut to size of the opening for a more snug fit. Notice the garage door and kitchen window almost align. SOMEDAY maybe we will have an addition that connects the house and garage. That would be an extra room of  15 x 15 feet. But I digress

And finally his free and fantastically rigged storm door! One everything is freshened up with a coat of paint in the Spring it will look nice. The hubbs said his room is about 15°F warmer since he added the storm door (and we insulated the the 2 dry-walled  walls facing the open part of the garage--you can see the walls HERE). The room would be a frigid 45°F before he started the wood stove, now it is around 60°F. Once he gets the stove fired up the room heats to a tropical 80°F. Must be nice!

The only money put into this room was the cost of  2 additional rolls of insulation (we used all the left over pieces from the work on the house), a few sheets of drywall and a knob and chain kit for the storm door. Everything else has been left over supplies from the house projects (some drywall and paint), cast off furniture and accessories, dumpster/ road side finds or freebies given to him. Even his wood stove was free! It was a beast to move--it took 4 men to move it!  Overall the hubbs is happy with his man room. He has heat in the winter, an old window unit AC for the summer, a toilet and he ran cable  to the TV. He can smoke his cigarettes and occasional smelly cigar without me complaining (well not too much complaining). Drink his beer, play video games or poker. Mostly it keeps him from making to many messes in the house, haha

I TRIED to decorate his room with hunting and fishing stuff but he wasn't having any part of it. He told me I had the house and the yard. The garage was his domain and not to sissy-fy it. whatever....

Monday, December 17, 2012

Now for a break

My goodness where has the time gone? We are 2 weeks away from ringing on a new year. I made it through my first semester as a full time student. I finished the semester with 4-A's and 1-B. Not to bad considering I have been out of school a VERY long time. And not to mention the last few months have been an emotional roller coaster with my Dad battling cancer in hospice and his subsequent passing.

I am on break until classes resume on January 7th and I am putting the time to good use. I have several unfinished projects and several small projects to work on. So I am planning on writing a few blog posts

1) We installed storm doors which I mentioned we were shopping for  HERE

2) I have some puppy damage projects updates
My adorable but destructive Frazzle

3) The new washer/ dryer install I had already talked about and has now spawned a room redesign plan

4) Stairwell update-I am FINALLY going to finish this dang it!

5) Maybe a craft or 2

As for now I am taking advantage of the Spring like weather to finish cleaning the garden beds, install some weather stripping and weatherize the house a little more before the big cold comes rolling in..

On my mark, get set, GO!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sew Helpful

I was repairing a seam on some dress slacks
 When I was joined by a furry helper (Tovah)
 Don't mind me
 Sewing is hard work
 Sleeping on the job

Happy Sunday y'all

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Broke Little Farmhouse

It has been the week for everything to break.

My furnace.

My Washer.

And the toilet downstairs is leaking.

All these things TWO weeks before Christmas.

So here's the update...
The hubbs is HVAC certified but didn't have the parts needed for repair. He doesn't work HVAC as his job, he is certified because he works as a residential and commercial maintenance technician. He could have ordered the parts but it would have been 2-3 days. Um no! My house was 62°F and getting colder. I ended going up to Walmart at 1:30am to buy more space heaters because I was so cold. BBBRRRR So we broke down and made a service call. Fortunately the repairs were reasonable and I had a coupon, haha The bad news is our furnace is 16 years old. So we need to start saving for a replacement/ upgrade. The heating technician told us for Ohio 80% efficiency furnaces will no longer be permitted for installation after February 2013. Oh joy. So when we upgrade we will look at 90% efficiency 2 stage with a variable blower motor. What does that mean in English? Cost efficiency but it comes with an upfront cost. He also told us furnace manufacturers offer their best rebates beginning in March.  Oh yeah, the cost of the upgrade...$4000-$5000

The washer is KAPUT! It stopped in the middle of a load of white towels. I am thankful it wasn't the hubbs work clothes...again. Or jeans. Or comforters. I had to pull everything and wring by hand. From cold water in an already cold house. Turns out  the transmission is locked up. We have had the washer quite a while (8 yrs)and it was used when we got it. I talked about a previous mishap HERE. Wally's redneck rig lasted about 4 months. So guess who is shopping for a new washer and dryer tomorrow?

The toilet repair was easy--new bolts! Although the floor is feeling a little spongy--yikes! The hubbs said we may need to pull the toilet and cap it off until we can afford to redo the bathroom. We have a full bathroom  upstairs which has been completely remodeled.

Things could be much worse. So hopefully everything will be a little more smooth sailing because my bank account can't handle anymore emergencies.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

"I DO" silk flower bouquets and you can too

My crafting hobby used to be making floral swags, wreaths and bouquets. Life became busy and there was no time for my hobby. And to be honest, there wasn't much money either. I never gave it much thought for a very, very long time.

This is a pretty easy hobby--All you need are a good pair of wire cutters, a pair of needle nose pliers, a hot glue gun, silk flowers, ribbon, floral wire picks, floral tape and some imagination.

Then in 2009 my daughter became engaged. And she wanted me to do her flowers for her 2010 wedding. We were planing a wedding on a budget after all. So I enlisted the help of one of my sisters. The  flowers turned out AMAZING!

Obviously the flowers don't show as real but they compliment her dress nicely.

 Close up of the bouquet

We bought bouquet clips and used all of the bouquets to decorate the bridal table.
Toss bouquet

So what does this have to do with the here and now?

Well my daughter's friend is getting married 12/12/12 and I am making her flowers.

Here's the dress
Lilac Satin dress

She went to Joann's and Michael's-bought, flowers, ribbon and some decorative accents. It has been a while (about 2 years) since I have made any floral arrangements.

We made the bouquet

The groom's boutonniere

And a hair clip for my daughter since she is her bridesmaid.

What do you think of our craftiness?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Color and Pattern Trends

The Pantone Color Trends 

I have to say I am a little disappointed. The 2012-2014 color trends have a  few hue/ shade variations but nothing new or exciting. I guess this okay since our accessories, fashion and home decor will be safe for a few more seasons.

Here was the color trend for 2012

Here is the color trend for 2013

Here is the expected forecast for 2014

2012 was a crazy year of big bold graphics (color blocking), florals and sprinkle in a little tribal print for added kick. I have to say there wasn't very much that I was in love with in either pattern or color.  But then again I am not exactly on the cutting edge of fashion nor am I particularly stylish. I am lucky most days to have matching barrettes, pants that aren't wrinkled and shoes not chewed by one  (or all three) of my dogs. And most days in my house there is dog fur (aka tumble furs), nose prints and a dog (or three) lounging on my furniture (or tables).

Color Blocking

Spring 2012 Trend: Cheerful Color-Blocking




2013 is going to be an eclectic year of  stylized florals,  variations of abstract camouflage  deconstructed patterns, mixed prints and optical geometric's. Hmmm, that should make for interesting home decor...

2014 is futuristic. Great for modern and contemporary design/ decor
Trend Prediction   Spring/Summer 2014   Futuristic Nature trend forecasts

You can read more HERE about the upcoming trends.

Are you a trend setter, fashionista or design maven? Do you update your home and wardrobe with the latest must have items?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

O Christmas Tree--where art thou?

It seems the hubbs has a case of  forgetting stuff!

As in he has "misplaced" my Christmas topiary trees (One which is shown in the picture below). The ones I bought last year. The ones I carefully boxed and wrapped in plastic to protect from vermin. The ones I said please put this away for me.

Well he did and now he doesn't know where. It isn't like I have a big house or infinite storage How can he not find it? I am beginning to wonder if he accidentally threw them away.

Ok, deep breath. No problem, I have several trees I will find one that works. How hard can it be?
The 3 foot tree is missing the stand, this was put back in the tote until I can find a replacement stand or make one.
My 6 foot tree fell apart when I pulled it out if the storage tote.We had it about 14 years and it survived 4 dogs, 4 cats and 3 moves. In the trash bin it went.
The 7 foot tree had a family of mice--so it was also tossed in the trash.

3 trees and I don't have a single usable one!?

Off to Home Depot I went for a cheap-o tree.

5 ft. pre-lit and for $36 (on sale!). Good enough. I have to tell you at this point I was no longer in a festive mood. I was in a mood that involved words with the letter F....

Then I took a moment to center myself and realized it isn't about the stuff. It isn't the lights, decorations or even brightly wrapped presents that make Christmas. It is the feeling of joy and enjoying a few blissful moments with those you love. Christmas is in your heart.

I soon found myself smiling despite my crankiness. And I must admit this is the easiest tree I have ever assembled. Slide the little feet onto the stand, fold down  the lower branches, add the top piece, and fluff all the branches. No more guessing if the missing color coded tips are in the right section and no fighting with the lights.
So I won't have a tree in every room this year. It is ok!
Sometimes the simple things are the best!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Countin' down to Christmas

That's right...

 You only have this many days until Christmas!

What is your plan for Christmas? Do you make gifts? Or are you buying gifts?

Speaking of buying stuff...make a point to buy American made items!

This video is from last year but is wise advice for our current economic situation.

1 US made product=200,000 American jobs!

Christmas Made in America

So ask yourself...


Make a point to buy American and support your local businesses.

Here's is a list of good resources

. Click the master list tab to see categories of items Made in America
2012 Made in the USA Challenge

Americans Working

Made in USA products store

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Freakiness

Those two words scare me. I used to work in retail, the last time being ten years ago when I was in between jobs. 

What is is about Black Friday that turns otherwise mostly sane people into blood thirsty, stark raving mad lunatic shoppers?

How many of you braved the mass chaos?

Two of my sisters were shopping by 5pm yesterday and finished up at 6am this morning. Their excursion involved the mall, Home Depot and not one but two Walmarts. I think they  now have street cred. Especially since one of them slapped a dude for pushing. I.AM.NOT.JOKING!

I did venture the 3 miles to Home Depot at 5am for a couple of things for the hubbs and stopped by Kohls around 6am. By then the crowds were mostly gone. Those poor clerks look like they had  survived a blitzkrieg. 

I can see the next trend will be therapy groups for Black Friday survivors. I can just envision the groups huddled together, speaking in hushed tones.
A little red head with freckles says"Yeah I survived Kohls 2012." Then a burly dude with a grizzly beard who has been quietly stirring his coffee finally speaks up and says, " I was at Walmart 2012--wave 1. They came at me from every direction.  I was so overwhelmed. The pushing, shoving and screaming. I looked around panicking and realized I may not make it out of this. I hit my radio and told them to tell my wife and kids  love them. I am not ashamed to say I cried. I still can hear the shouting and smell the intermingled odors of sweat and desperation.  I just can't go back there man..." Now he has his head in hands and his body is wracked with sobs...The group sits in stunned  silence because they have met a true warrior...."
Ok, so I may have taken a little creative license there but from the overheard  snippets of conversation, the truth is not that far off. The point I am trying to make I hope if you were or are still out there, have some compassion for those retail workers. They have a tough job, little pay, reduced if any benefits and constantly dealing with the public. So you know it ain't pretty!

Make sure to say please, thank you, excuse me and mostly have nice day. Those poor people could use some kind words.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

A little thanksgiving humor to lighten the mood

Today was a somber occasion since my dad lost his fight against cancer yesterday. We took the day to reflect. Not just for my dad. But all those who are now gone from our lives. To be thankful for all the memories. To be thankful for the experience of  life--even of it doesn't turn out just so.
 To be thankful we have a a cozy little home to shelter us. To be  thankful for reliable transportation to take the hubbs to his job everyday. To be thankful we can afford food and don't know hunger. To be thankful for the love and companionship of family, friends, and our  beloved pets. 
To be thankful every single day because every day is a gift. To be thankful for love, to live, to learn and to do good.

No fancy meal needed for that!

We didn't have a traditional dinner today as the hubbs and I stayed home. 
We had Thanksgiving chili, haha 
We are going to have a holiday ham dinner tomorrow with our daughter and son-in-law. Sunday we will have traditional turkey (well deep fried) with the hubb's family.

So I hope y'all had a wonderful day! Even if it wasn't perfect, enjoy all the moments, make some memories, be joyous and be thankful!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

One more star in the sky

Today my Dad earned his wings. He left this realm at 1:45 pm.

The night sky burns a little brighter with the addition of new star.

My dad fought a valiant fight against Stage 4 lung cancer. Although it was really his entire body was riddled with cancer. He had an incredible will and strength. He did everything on his terms.

The irony is not lost on me as November is National Lung Cancer Awareness. Be thankful for your family this holiday season and hold them close.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Welcome to the Canine Prison

Remember when I told y'all about two of my dogs getting in a particularly bad (AND EXPENSIVE) scuffle?
 You know-- the nearly $1000 dollar vet bill after assessment, surgery and meds?  The bill that is going to take me months to pay off. 

So I have been working really hard to re-integrate the dogs because it exhausting and sometimes confusing to maintain the series of muzzles, gates and barriers. While this is not exactly the most attractive decor element, it is all about the safety of the dogs since I don't have very many visitors.

I thought things were going well. I had been able to remove the muzzles, had them in the same room with me using the gates as a temporary barrier and they were calm (not trying to kill each other).

We worked our way up to them being in the same room as me and no barriers. We kept them separate for feeding and for potty breaks. They were separated and secured when we left the house--just to be on the safe side!
Chubbs (left) and Tovah (right)
I thought they were friends again. We worked our way up to being in the yard together at the same time, no muzzles.
as of 11/09/12

They were even playing again, then on Sunday night, Tovah attacked Chubbs. She is the aggressor and we have no ideal why. Fortunately we had them pulled apart in under 30 seconds but she slipped her collar and attacked a second time and my hand and arm were bit (by Tovah) in the process. So now I am sporting some pretty nasty contusions and bruises. However during that 30 second scuffle Tovah ended with several lacerations including a chunk out of her paw pad. Nothing severe enough to require stitches. It was a bloody mess though. I have  been cleaning her wounds every day, have her on pain meds and antibiotics once again. 

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. 

So I am back to gates, new muzzles and harnesses for both. She has an appointment for a full blood panel. I can only hope this is a chemical imbalance as opposed to a behavioral issue. She has been increasing in her aggression for nearly six months. Aggression with food, toys, towards the cat, the guinea pigs, the neighbors dogs, anyone or anything outside the house, some aggression towards Frazzle (the puppy) and now Chubbs. Obviously he is bigger and can protect himself but she has been injured twice now. I can not allow a third time. Re-homing is not an option. My animals are a lifetime commitment.

Chubbs is supposedly my "aggressive" dog but I trust him with the puppy more than I do Tovah. Just look how ferocious he is...haha
awww sharing the the comfy bed
 We joke and say he is the babysitter. He has exhibited no signs of aggression--other than the occasional back off  puppy your getting on my nerves growl. When that happens, he is tired and we kennel Frazzle or put him in the puppy playpen. If anything, Chubbs has shown considerable protectiveness over Frazzle.

Playing tug of war with the cat toy. Oops sorry Sam-Sam!

So for now it is separate rooms, feedings and potty breaks for Tovah. She is miserable being penned in another room, but until I can figure out what is wrong, this is what we are going to do. If it turns out Tovah has a behavioral issue then I will find a way to to correct it with training and maybe a few sessions with a canine behaviorist. 

Sad puppy, sad me