Archive for July, 2009

Of house painting and bees.

Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  I have been feeling uninspired, apparently. 

But I have some good news.  The exterior paint job is finally finished!  I started working on the painting with Pattycakes over the July 4th weekend. Unfortunately, when Matt got home from Oregon he was really busy with school work and what-not. So, the painting job fell entirely to me.

So, it only took me 3 weekends to finish.

And believe me, it was not easy.

First of all, apparently wasps or hornets or bees or whatever species they are like to live behind shutters.

Exhibit A.


Sick, right? Our house has 12 shutters. This is a picture of the first shutter. And a wasp actually did fly out of there and subsequently haunt me that entire weekend. Literally. I was convinced he was purposely following me around because I destroyed his home. I may or may not have had several “scream and jump off the ladder because ohmygod there’s a wasp” moments.

As you can imagine, after the disastrous first shutter removal experience, Pattycakes and I were slightly nervous about the remaining shutters. Okay, actually, Pattycakes was fine. She just has nerves of steel.
The procedure for me was generally as follows: unscrew screws, hold shutter between tips of two fingers, jump off ladder, toss shutter, run like hell.
I may look focused in this picture, but it’s actually fear. I hide my emotions well.


Side-note: Kenner informed me that the ladder I’m standing on is approximately 182 years old. No joke.

Anyway, after we hosed those suckers down, we spray painted all that nasty hunter green right out of ’em. And damn if 5 bottles of black spray paint don’t produce miracles.


Side-note #2: Seriously, legs? Can you get any more pale?

I will post the big reveal pictures after I get some finishing touches done this weekend. It is kind of awesome, I will not lie.


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Etsy Find of the Day

I was browsing Etsy the other day and came across some pretty sweet vintage wares from seller High Street Market.  I stumbled across this vintage WWI poster, and you know I’ve been kind of a freak about American history lately. 

 liberty bond

I was curious about these liberty bonds so I did a little googling. During WWI, Americans were encouraged buy liberty bonds to finance the war. People often put fliers in their home and shop windows to show they had purchased the bonds.

Google also provided a link to lots more vintage posters.



According to Wikipedia, because I’m too lazy to do any actual research, the majority of sales were not to individuals but to banks that ignored the patriotic appeal and bought the bonds as an investment opportunity. The bond campaign is ultimately remembered more for its bullying than its patriotic nature.


I haven’t read too much about whether this campaign actually worked, but I can’t imagine many Americans had that much to give. The government sure knows how to pull on your patriotic heartstrings, doesn’t it?

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Matt and I took on this renovation project last summer, and it was surprisingly easy. As you can see from the “before” picture below, this used to be a half-wall island separating the kitchen and living room. The kitchen side of the island houses the sink and dishwasher. The living room side was just a strange wall that was not doing our house any favors.

When we got our new countertops installed (goodbye, hunter green laminate!), we decided to chop off part of the wall and make it into a breakfast bar.

Step one was just removing the drywall. Step one presented a snag when we realized all the pipes and electrical work from the sink and dishwasher would have to be shortened before we could chop the top off.

Sorry, this appears to be the only picture I have that shows the island in progress. Just ignore that cute dog face and look to your left.

We hemmed and hawed about it for a while. Kenner is not a plummer and did not feel comfortable messing around with sink pipes. So I checked out the local paper and called up a handyman. Bob the Handyman, to be exact.

I explained our predicament to good old Bob. Bob was at least 80 years old. After my lengthy description of the pipes and the plan for the new island bar, Bob said this – and I quote: “Oh honey, you don’t need me. You just ask your hubby to do that.”
Honey: “Um, okay Bob.”
Bob: “You just send that hubby of yours over to Ace hardware and have him talk to John. And you tell Johnny that Bob sent you.”
Honey: “Okay, thanks Bob.”

I mean, seriously? I guess that’s what happens when you live in a small town. If a handyman doesn’t think you need his help, he won’t waste your time or charge you five hundred dollars for something you can just do yourself!

I don’t think Matt ever went to Ace to talk to John. He figured out what he needed, cut down those pipes, and sawed off the top of that wall. I probably don’t need to tell you how I felt during that moment. He just took a saw, and sawed it off. No measuring, no planning, no line drawing. Just sawing. I also may or may not have had a small panic attack the first time we turned on the new sink faucet.

Anyway, we hired professionals to install our countertops, and they took care of the bar top. We also hired Kenner to replace the drywall. And by “hired”, I mean he volunteered because he loves me.


We think it really opens up the space, even though we only cut off about 6 inches. And you really can’t beat eating your cocoa puffs at a breakfast bar instead of a boring old table.

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We adopted Indy one year ago today.  Since we technically don’t know his birthdate (or even how old he is – we guess 3), we are going to celebrate his Adoption Day instead.


He’s celebrating with some bling. And some treats.
We even caught Alfie snuggling up to Indy yesterday.


Sometimes they fight. Sometimes they cuddle.

It’s just like a family should be.


Adopting Indy has been a great adventure. People say it’s a different kind of love that an adopted dog has for its owner, and vice versa, and I think that’s true. We are so grateful to have these wonderful animals as part of our little family. And even though they can’t understand our words, I think they understand the meaning behind them.


When I think about all the dogs and cats out there just wanting someone to love them, I wish I could scoop them all up. So in honor of Indy’s Adoption Day today, I will be trying to encourage others to adopt and provide a home for an animal in need (like that’s something new, right?).

In the meantime, give your pets a big hug for me everyone!

I also want to give a shout out to my mother-in-law, who is celebrating a birthday today. I’ll drink to that!

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Squeeeee!  Harry Potter!


Have you seen it yet?  Don’t spoil it for me!

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Summer TV Loves

It’s difficult to find TV shows to love in the summer. This summer, my staples are:
Burn Notice on USA
Royal Pains on USA
10 Things I Hate About You – new show on ABC Family that is quite clever

Anyone else have any shows to recommend? Matt and I finally watched the pilot episode for Glee on Fox which aired in the spring. The actual season starts in the fall. It was awesome! We both highly recommend that everyone watches the pilot on Hulu immediately.

In other news, we painted outside again this weekend. And we’re still not done. It will be a glorious day when I can finally post the “after” pictures.

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Blog updates

For those of you who are interested…

1. I am still shredding.  I don’t do it every day, but I have definitely made it to the 30-day mark.  I just haven’t made it to level 3 yet, hehe. 

2. Remember how I was going to sew my own skirt? Well, the blogger I was supposed to be following got a new job and hasn’t really had time to update her sewing lessons. We made it to lesson 3, but we haven’t even started sewing anything yet. At this point I’m not even sure she’s going to continue. Once I find some extra time I will just ask Pattycakes to show me how to finish it.

3. The ants are gone.

4. Planting FAIL numero dos is illustrated below. Remember what I told you about me and plants? Yeah, we are not friends.


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