Saturday, June 27, 2015

Time, Chores and Perspective

Today has been a very  low key day. We have had had storms rolling through for last 4 days or so. The hubbs and I had our "date day" today at Red Robin's. We then went half price books, the Hallmark store -well I did, while he waited outside, ha- we stopped off at Lowe's and went to spend some time with the hubbs mom (who we will refer to as Mammaw H) for her 79th birthday today. 

Mammaw H has a very strong faith, so we gave her book by Billy Graham (who has always been her favorite Evangelist), a bookmark with one of her favorite Bible verses Psalms 118:24  "This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."   I found a book of 350 word searches-which she loves word searches and said it will certainly keep her busy-we gifted her a lovely fuchsia bromeliad and I tucked in a tube of Naked Bee Orange Blossom and Honey lotion. Overall she seemed quite happy with the gifts but was more pleased with our company and to spend time with us. 

During our visits we always find little chores to- do whether it is washing a few dishes, fixing something or moving something. Today the hubbs had the unpleasant task of tracking down Miss Kitty and applying her flea preventative. Haha, glad it was the hubbs on the receiving end of all that hissing and spitting! Then we moved the hummingbird feeder by the front porch railing where Mammaw H can maneuver her walker on the porch and reach the feeder. I threw away the very bad red tinted nectar (why do they still sell this stuff!) and explained why it was bad for the birds to Mammaw H. She was glad we threw it away. I made a batch of sugar/ water nectar put a little in the feeder and I put the rest in a Mason jar in her fridge. Mammaw H said she would be able to change it out every 3 days now .

Mammaw H. was so excited over the the bromeliad and bird feeder, it nearly broke my heart to realize how isolated she feels. So the hubbs and I discussed it and have decided to stop by within a week and surprise her with a railing mounted flower box. When she was more active, she loved to garden--especially flowers. It was the topic that ultimately allowed us to build an amicable relationship (long, long story). I also plan on planting some cardinal climber around the bird feeder to draw the  hummingbirds to the feeder. I think these little touches will make her happy.

Upon saying our goodbyes, the hubbs and I were feeling contemplative. We have such mixed emotions when we return to his childhood home, especially now that his Daddy has been gone since 2009. We stopped at the local Whippy Dip, took the long, scenic route home, driving through old neighborhoods and telling each other stories of our misspent youth, heh!

When we came home, we tended to our animals and I spent some time pulling weeds. I didn't  mind that it is overcast or  that it is a little drizzly. I was mindful that I actually had time to perform such a chore. I was mindful that Mammaw H has nothing but empty time stretching throughout her days and nights, most likely  wishes she could perform such chores. 

We go about lives, always in a rush. Hurying from one task to the next. Life is filled with so many obligations. Do chores, pay the bills, work, make time for family and friends. I think many of us are so focused on being busy we lose track of our most precious commodity...time. We lose track of the most important thing in our lives aren't things at all but flesh and blood connections. 

I am sorry, if the post seems morose, as that was not my intent.  Maybe it the overcast day that has sent my thought down this path. Maybe it is witnessing the emotions play across my husbands face and feeling him withdraw as we drive away from his childhood home. Maybe it seeing Mammaw H, a new spiderweb of lines and wrinkles on her face, seeing how the skin has thinned on her hands and picturing her sitting in that house alone with only the ticking of a clock for company. Maybe it is picturing her  sitting in that room  by a window, looking out at as lives go on, as time passes and she waits for ringing of the phone or sees a familiar car that bring her family home- if only for a few hours. Maybe it is knowing SOMEDAY that could be me-old, infirm and alone. Nothing like a little reality to play upon one's deepest, darkest vulnerabilities. Or is all these things... 

The truth be told Mammaw H is lucky in the sense, that she has a housekeeper that comes on a weekly basis, there is a home health nurse who visits at least monthly, 2 neighbors check on her, she has 3 sons (their wives included) and some grandkids. While there isn't someone there everyday, she does have visitors several times a week.  But given that she is housebound, it is a terribly lonely existence...

So my advice to all my bloggies, is hug your pets, your kids, and your partner. Pick up the phone and CALL someone, not text, not IM, not Facebook. A good old fashioned voice to voice communication. Better yet, make the extra effort and go visit someone. You never know how much that visit could mean to someone--even yourself.  Because time is fleeting...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Making my list and checkng it twice

Downstairs Bathroom and Laundry Project ideas

Well, I must admit I am just itching to demolish this room. Waiting while we finish other things and manage the budget is truly an exercise is self control for me. Huh, I must growing as a person or something...HA!

What is even more amazing to me is I posted these  floor plans for this remodel in 2013!!

Current layout

Original proposed layout

In living color
Pocket door instead of swing in door

No door for laundry room, open to the kitchen
So I have been going over my list and we have quite a few of the materials needed for the renovation which is ALWAYS good news!

Materials on hand for the bathroom portion of the remodel..
  1. The toilet is only a few years old and works just fine, so that will be reused.
  2. light fixture, towel bar, tp holder
  3. a vanity cabinet
  4. sink
  5. I have a countertop we can cut down if needed but would prefer not to do so
  6. floor tile but I would like to install linoleum that matches the laundry room portion 
  7. backsplash tile
  8. I have lots of paint and accessories to decorate

To do list, materials and services needed for the bathroom/ laundry room remodel/ gut job
  1. 2x4's
  2. plywood
  3. pocket door, pocket door framing kit and pocket door hardware for bathroom
  4. New window?
  5. New wiring, outlets and switches (including moving them to the correct locations)
  6. Services of the electrician we used from our kitchen remodel--expand the panel and dedicated breaker for laundry room
  7. insulation...Considering some sound/ thermal rated insulation--still researching options
  8. drywall, drywall mud , drywall screws and seam tape
  9. Molding, trim and baseboards
  10. Build a wall recessed  cubby (between the studs) storage for the plunger, etc...
  11. Build a wall recessed cubby (between the studs) for broom, mop, swiffer, etc
  12. Build/ install a wall recessed cubby  (between the studs) ironing board storage
  13. new plumbing pipes and connections to move the sink and toilet
  14. services of a certified plumber to move waste line and tap into the stack, the hubbs can do the rest
  15. new plumbing to move the washer connection
  16. new dryer vent
  17. new wall mounted dryer plug
  18. utility sink--maybe...the smallest I could find is 18 inch width. I hope to fit it in the plan. Possible DIY instead of the plastic utility tub??
  19. Cabinet and countertop for the "laundry  folding" area...Maybe a DIY pallet project?  I have a super cool idea for the countertop!
  20. I have a DIY project for a folding, wall mounted drying rack
  21. Install repurposed or upcycled chandelier--'cause if I am going to do laundry I am going to do it in style!
  22. DIY some funky laundry art
My Inspiration Gallery
Recessed built-ins
fold out laundry rack
Utility sinks
Laundry room decor

I don't know about y'all, but I find this pretty exciting! I love having future projects to work towards. Now, if only all those unfinished projects would be finished AND crossed off the list.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Projects Galore

Y'all, I have come to a realization... I am a  habitual unfinished project addict (HUPA).  I really think there needs to be a support group for this. Now just so y'all know-- I am not making light of anyone that suffers from any kind of addictions. This is me making fun of me.

It always begins innocently enough. You struggle through whatever project you are working on and in my case they tend to be in years. You finally get the burst of energy or money needed to infuse life back into the project that was dying a slow pitiful death, and take it "this close" to being completed and stop. Why is that?  Does anyone else do this?

I was taking stock of the house and the DOZENS of unfinished projects (and I am excluding all the craft/ DIY and garage type projects) no particular order

1. Kitchen- Still needs paint touched up around the ceiling, baseboards installed, doorway trim work (multiple), and new door installed.

2. Living room- Baseboards installed, trim work painted, and  3 outlets updated.

3. Upstairs bathroom- Paint touch up, install the exhaust fan, finish painting the door and trim, install the last piece of window trim and paint.

4. Spare bedroom- update the outlets, touch up  wall paint, and finish painting the trim work.

5. Dressing room- finish framing the entry, paint the the trim, touch up wall paint, finish painting the interior of both cubbies and replace/ move the light fixture.

Now those are the unfinished projects for inside the house. On to the exterior unfinished projects.

1. Kitchen window siding patch--I am really tired of looking out my new window only to see plastic sheeting.

2. Living Room- 2 window screens replaced, convert unused door to a window (frame, install new window, insulate) and patch siding.

3. Upstairs Bath- Replace the screen

4. Spare bedroom- replace 1 window and replace 2 screens.

Then of course I have a litany list of NEW projects

1. Downstairs bathroom and laundry room--total gut to the studs. Separate into 2 separate and functional rooms. 

From this...

To these...

This would be the view looking in from the kitchen. The door at the end the room would be a pocket door for the half bath
Which now becomes this!

Just gotta love the visualization software!

2. Dining room-floor repair-level or platform? Finish flooring,  install trim work,  install molding, install new window, exterior door, update the outlets, move the thermostat, replace thermostat with programmable thermostat, install new light fixture, build/ install closet doors  (Don't forget--clean, organize and reconfigure the storage closet) and paint EVERYTHING. 

3. Master bedroom- where to begin.  This will be a gut job to the studs. We need to address insulation, ceiling height and ventilation issues.

4. Upstairs flooring-  hallway and dressing room. Patch/ repair sub-floor, install new floor, update several outlets, install baseboards, and paint everything!

5. Stairwell- Seal off the door at bottom of stairs (frame, insulate drywall and patch exterior siding), repair plaster walls, paint, install hand and rail, and  refinish stairs.
Sadly not much has changed since this was taken in 2009
I have this as an inspiration. The textured wallpaper would cover a multitude of  flaws. Paint it in a nice cheery color?

6. Update furnace and install return vent upstairs cha-ching! ($$$)

7. New Roof-House and Garage

8. Siding
I really like the color combination
9. Fence
My dream!
So...what are my priorities?

Finish all the unfinished projects. I hate being the adult sometimes, making all these adult decisions!  Items affecting the performance of the house (windows) will come in next, then siding repairs. I really believe the fence needs to move up the list of priorities. "Fences make good neighbors"--or at least makes the neighborhood more tolerable!  After that it is a matter of deciding on small manageable projects (which would be interior) or bite the proverbial bullet, go big and hit the most expensive projects.  Obviously, some of these projects will overlap-such as dining room/ bathroom/ laundry room due to flooring install. Master bedroom, stairwell and furnace duct work will overlap.  

I feel very overwhelmed trying to manage all this but it has helped to write everything down. This is just a brief summary, I have a notebook with very detailed notes concerning each project. So, um, maybe we might just finish all these stuff before we pay the house off?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pinspirations--Oven Fried Apple Pie

Soooo...I was bored and on Pinterest--which can only mean trouble for someone. Usually the hubbs, haha  Except in this instance, I was hungry and he was safe from any Lucy-esque ideas because I don't joke around when it comes to food!

I suppose it could be telling that out of the 67 boards and 2000 plus pins, the board with the most pins  is all about desserts. So nonetheless I was drooling scrolling through the pins when I came across an oven fried apple pie using canned biscuits.

My Pinspiration...
Oven Fried Apple Pie by Pillsbury

 This recipe ACTUALLY belongs to Pillsbury and NOT the blog I was reading,  which was passing it off as their own. Tsk, tsk--shady practices people! 

Now y'all, I wouldn't say I am necessarily a food snob. Canned biscuits is one of those things on the very bottom of my food list of things that I will buy on occasion, but am not a fan of eating on a regular basis. I had a can that was gonna expire in about a week, which goes to show I really don't use them, if it was so close to the expiration.

The Ingredients
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 can Pillsbury™ Grands!™  refrigerated biscuits
1 can  apple pie filling
4 teaspoons butter, melted

Out came the rolling  pin and baking sheet.

The pie on the left had sprinkled cinnamon sugar whereas the one on the right was "dipped"

I baked mine at 300°F because I was using a dark coated baking sheet (15 minutes).

How about some vanilla ice cream? Yum!!

And because I was lazy really wanted to eat this before my ice cream melted, I took the remaining 4 biscuits brushed with butter, dipped in the cinnamon sugar and rolled them 2 combined to make a top and bottom crust. Place the sugar coated crust down in the pan, dump on the rest of the pie filling,  top with the sugar coated crust facing up, pull the edges and crimp. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture. Bake at 300°F, 25-30 minutes for a VERY rustic tart.

Ummm...nailed it?! haha

Sunday, June 7, 2015

When good neighbors...aren't

WARNING!! Rant follows--includes obscenities. If you are easily offended, do not read! Close this post or click this link to look at cute baby animals!

You were warned!

Hey  y'all...there was a wee-bit-o-drama around the old homestead tonight. Apparently one of my neighbors got wind of a rant on my personal FB page about her horse-puppy running amok. Here is a copy of my rant...

Well... late tonight the neighbor came over pounding on my door, telling me if I had something to say I should have said it to their face and not put it on FB, because the "whole damn town" was talking about it. Which is HILARIOUS because I know exactly 6 people in this town, and when I say know, it is enough to know their name and wave hi--maybe

Oh, the whole encounter was ugly--lots of obscenities from both of us (my favorite is the f-bomb), there were quite bit of bitches brandied about and the all time worst--the C word. The ABSOLUTE best part, is when I was told I was an angry old bitch and I should move! HAHAHAHA  This cracked me up. I have been in my house 15 years---and I SHOULD just move?!  wow.


Now granted, should I have gone on a rant? No, probably not. Or at least filtered who could read it!  Notice, however, I didn't mention names. I could have...but didn't. Admittedly, I was super, duper angry. I told the hubbs when he got home  Friday night, we needed to talk to them but I wanted to calm down first. That didn't exactly work out. The truth is I didn't post anything that  I would not have addressed. 

I was also informed "They" have put up with my shitty ass dogs more times than they can count. The few times my dogs were out of control, we corrected it--AND apologized. See--there is that whole courtesy thing. I think the reason I was so mad, is both the hubbs and I have taken a fall because of giant horse puppy. If their dog gets hurt I will feel bad, but it is in my yard while my one dog is tethered. If my dogs get hurt I am gonna be pissed. If me or the hubbs get hurt because of it--I am gonna go nuclear!

I have made quite a few posts lately about being desperate for a fence. And from this encounter tonight, I learned a couple of things--I apparently, have people on my personal FB page trolling me and I have a bitchy reputation.

To which I respond
..and it it is better than the "flipping the bird image" I had originally chosen!

Needless to say 1) I am cleaning up my FB friends list because some people  don't have a life and blabbed 2) I WILL find a way to have a fence installed and 3) I think more than just the town will know about this issue. SO...should I go bang on their door and tell them I blogged about this? Bwahahahaha!

Yes, yes-- I realize I am being an immature asshole. Refer back to the video!

Thanks y'all for letting me rant!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Giving the gift of garden

May 30th was my daughter's birthday. I did give her the usual food gift certificate but I wanted to give her something else. She has talked about having a garden but the truth is, she and her husband work so much, that a garden would not be such a good idea.

Then I bumped into this while shopping at Lowes.

It is a raised bed, self watering container for your deck or patio. It was very easy to put together. In under 15 minutes it was assembled and planted with a few of my daughter's favorite plants.

Perforated grid and water tube
It is on wheels for easy movement, nice!

Pack the dirt very tight in the corners for proper wicking
2 Flat leaf italian parsley, 2 edamame, 1 yellow squash, 2 red peppers and I tucked marigolds into 3 corners to work as natural insect repellents.

I soaked the soil and sprayed water into the water tube until water came out of the weep holes, which allows for about an inch or so of water.

A Patio beefsteak complete with it's own cage.Not on wheels.

There are already tomatoes on the the vine!
I had to toss in some Zinnia's because they are happy!

I hope this gives her the gardening bug, helps her relax after a stressful day and she enjoys the vegetables of her minimal labor, haha.