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Sunday, October 30, 2011

check please!!

papa smurf has been out of town for 3 weeks.  3 weeks!  there was a total dryspell in the house. 

get your mind out of the gutter. 

actually there was that dryspell too but I digress.  what i am referring to, however, is 3 solid weeks of nothing going on at home.  no hammering, drilling, sanding, screwing, painting....nothing.  the house was quiet as a church mouse.  boring too.

then papa bear returned home.  the drywall was hung!  i mean totally hung.  every last bit of it was screwed down.  we're done for now.  there is nothing more for us to do but outsource the taping at this point.  the estimates will roll in this week....ready, set, go!

a rug was bought too.  there is a new rug now adorning the living room to keep our tootsies toasty. 

then sears arrived.  they cleaned the bejeezus out of our ducts.  we were told not to waste the money having the heating ducts cleaned and that it was only a scam but one time we lost our cat in the vent.....if you could only see what we saw.  your eyes would burn.  so we wasted the $200 but now we turn the heat on.  yippee!

last but not least, we replaced our bed this weekend.  when we moved in, we were unable to fit the boxspring to our mattress upstairs.  we made a makeshift bed with two heavy duty pieces of wood on the bed frame supporting our delectable mattress.   honestly, temporary meant 3 weeks but we stretched it into 6 months.  we went to ikea and picked up a hemnes frame that will support the mattress without any bumps in the night.  i already took a nap today :)

we're on a roll right now.  obviously, my little temper tantrum incited some house work. i'll remember that for next time. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

forever after....

people keep telling me that this is not forever.  i think i am starting to lose faith.  it feels like forever.  it's only been 5 months but these 5 months feel like forever.  i am losing steam and losing faith right now.  i've never been homeless but sometimes i feel homeless....seriously.  i go to work, come home and feel like i am living in an abandoned house.  an abandominium.  i am still living out of boxes and bags.  my clothing is in 5 rooms.....5 rooms people!  i can't find my shoes or clothes half the time.  not one room is complete.  not even close to completion.  is anyone else in the throes of living like a hobo?  has lived like a hobo?  how did you cope????

Sunday, September 18, 2011

make good with wood: haan fs20

i have struggled to find a way to clean our hardwood floors since we moved.  the swiffer and it's compadres just seem like i am running a dirty diaper or maxi pad over my floors.  the traditional mop and bucket routine felt like trying to bathe in the river with soap.  sloshing dirty water around on the floor just didn't seem sanitary....ewwww. 

maybe it's just my neuroses. scratch that.  i am sure it is my neuroses but i needed to find an alternative to cleaning the floors....STAT! 

so i started looking in to steam mops and stumbled upon the haan fs20.  i looked at bissell, shark and some other contenders but ultimately it was the haan that won me over.  it received glowing reviews on the amazon, home depot and walmart websites too.  some of it's competitors were not so lucky to receive a medal in olympics of floor cleaning. 

it is not available in any stores around my way so i ordered it from walmart.  with tax and 97cent shipping, the haan cost me only $86 and arrived only 3 days after i ordered it.  it arrived yesterday and i was so excited to try it.  my haan fs20 did not disappoint!!

it was a snap to put together.  a small stick vac approximately the same size as the swiffer.  it packs a powerful punch though and steams at 200 plus degrees!  this is not for the faint of heart...ha!  it boasts the ability to clean and sanitize without the use of chemicals.  makes me love it even more.  it took about 5 minutes to assemble and about 2 or 3 minutes for the water to heat up and another maybe 10 minutes to clean the floors. 

in under 20 minutes, i had cleaned and sanitized my floors.  i would eat off my floors now because they are so clean.  my uggs actually emitted a tiny little squeak when walking on the the old school gym when i was little and the hardwoods had the crap waxed out of them.  that kind of squeak. 

the haan fs20 did not disappoint.  it was easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

hello fall

nice to meet you!  with your to cool for school blustery chilled wind.  i love you.  please come back soon.  i am feeling underwhelmed by the massive heat waves and sticky air.  you have been a very nice intermission today.  please enjoy the rest of the show!

winds are a-whipping!

Monday, September 12, 2011

dropcloth slipcovers

we are still plugging away at drywall.  just a few thousand more nails to go.  i am sure of it. 

in the meantime, i have been obsessing over slipcovering the couch.  we have a 2 piece sectional.  it's green.  it has served us well for many years.  it was one of the first purchases papa smurf and i made together when we moved in many moons ago. it's really comfortable.  i won't lie.  in fact, papa and i can each lay down on our couch while watching a movie.  it makes for a very homey couch for snuggling on rainy days or watching freshly fallen snow while sipping cocoa. 

however, it is green.  i don't really like it.  i want a new couch.  i can't justify spending the money on a new couch.  there are about 95 bajillion other things to do with our money than buy a new couch.  oh...the thought has crossed my mind though.  several times. 

instead of a new couch, i settled on some $10 dropcloths from home depot and a $2 bottle of bleach!

somehow, i though that it was entirely possible to transform my 2 piece green monster into a svelte little baby like this!!

restoration house

i will sip some tea while bleaching and trying to locate my sewing machine which has gone m.i.a.  in fact, i'm really not quite sure that i ever had a sewing machine or knew how to sew in the first place.  wish me luck.  other bloggers make sewing slipcovers look so darn easy!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

small victories

we have been moving along at a snail's pace all summer long with the drywall.  did I ever mention that all 3 bedrooms need to be to bottom?  they are swathed in broken down and beaten up plaster.  covered in wood paneling and tile.  blech. 

here's what i've learned so far about drywall: it's heavy.  really heavy even when you think it's not.  i dropped it on my toe.  i know it's heavy.  also, it breaks....easily.  don't drop it.  don't smash it into a wall.  it will crumble into a fine powder.  then you will have to save your drywall by cutting off your broken pieces.  pain in the arse.

we are currently hanging drywall on the ceilings. 

this is an upside down picture for some reason.  even though it is not saved this way in my files.  scratches head. anyhoo, we stared out with tiled ceilings. we ripped all of the tiles down when we first arrived back in the spring.  we have been living with plaster and lathe ceilings now for quite some time. 

we have drywalled 2 of the 3 bedroom ceilings so far.  we picked up ultra light 1/2 inch panels for the ceiling at home depot and lowes.  each panel runs around $7.  once the remaining ceiling and all walls are complete we will hire someone to come in and tape.  it's a job that we are not comfortable in doing lest we make it look like a 4 year old playdoh party.

we were able to get the job done on the cheap.
pliers to pull out staples.  we already owned these so they were clearly free!

$5 ladder picked up at town yardsale in may.

another already owned item....drillgun used to hang the drywall.

lucky for us, we scored a $15 bucket of drywall screws at a yardsale.  they retail for aorund $70 in the store!!

tsquare. scored for $2 at a yardsale! cuts 90 degree angles in drywall. indispensable.

we spent $22 plus the cost of drywall. not too shabby. here's to hoping that we can hang drywall tomorrow :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

rest in peace kitty

sad start to the holiday weekend.  i left work early yesterday afternoon to take my very sick cat to the vet.  i knew what was coming.  instead of the obvious, i asked dr. bell if he could save my kitty.  unfortunately he could not.  cancer came on like guns a blazin' and took my 7 year old kitty down for the count.  she was a trooper all summer long while her papa and i spoon fed her and tried a million medications on her.  it was her time to retire and go to kitty heaven.  she is sorely missed today.  rest in peace my beautiful little puffington. 

mama and papa

Thursday, September 1, 2011

turn the town teal

ovarian cancer awareness month kicks off today!!  turn your town teal in honor of all the women you love!  i celebrate this month in memory of the greatest woman i've ever had the pleasure of mama.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

post apocalyptic irene

irene arrived while I was tucked away in my bed this past Saturday night.  she was touted as as all things dangerous and life threatening.  she whipped into town on Saturday while I drywalled and left by Sunday afternoon.  i was none the wiser, honestly. 

with all of Irene's new found fanfare though I wanted to see exactly what this old gal was up to.  i took a walk down to the river to find the winds whipping like crazy and a man kayaking in the midst of post apocalyptic irene.  it was awesome.  i won't lie.
 my dog braved the wind with me.

if the boat is a rockin don't come a-knockin.

  crazy man kayaks in middle of post apocalyptic storm.

 beautiful park...still intact.

 tired and ready to roll....

 hope you stayed safe during the storm of the century.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

summertime and the living's easy....

Or so I've been told.  From the time I can remember, Memorial Day marked the beginning of the season of tiny clothing, fresh fruit, hot sun, cool water, sand, chlorine, concerts, cold beer (not when I was a baby!!), grilling, chilling and chillaxing.  Did I really just use the word chillaxing?

Yes, this fit the bill of most summers.  All but this summer.  This summer has met me at the door with non-stop heat waves.  A bajillion percent humidity matched by the overwhelming burn your skull rays of the sun on a daily basis.  So freaking hot you can't leave the house for fear of dehydrating immediately and turning into a little raisin. 

For several weeks I was sick and misinterpreted my symptoms as mere heat exhaustion.  Finally after being sick for days on end and not being able to stay awake or keep food down I met with my friendly doctor.  He ordered labs and thus the story began.  He tested my iron, thyroid, glucose, red and white cell count and hepatic function as well as epstein barr and Lyme.  Can you believe I tested positive for mono, lyme, low iron and low glucose????  Fo shizzle!  No wonder I thought I might die.

I am on my way to recovery with a few more tests to check of my to do list.  All matter of work in the house has ceased until I fully recover.  I am itching to get back to work though!!

Have you ever had mono or lyme?  Do the symptoms resurface?  How have you handled it? 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

independence celebration!!!

Is it wrong that I am still recovering from my fourth of July celebration??

I am truly wiped out from all the fun we had over the weekend.  Our little old town goes bananas on the we quickly realized.   The hubs and I were busy over the weekend framing out doorways and slapping up some paint in the dining room.  We also managed to move some respective pieces of furniture around, order some paint, order some samples of wood blinds and take down all the window treatments.  Oooops.  Yep.  It's hot as blazes out and the first floor is naked.  Let's hope that we can come to a definitive conclusion on wood blinds tonight. 

After all the mayhem and destructing of stuff, we got ready to celebrate independence day.  We thought maybe a parade, a cookout....keep it simple.  Holy guacamole.  We woke up 6 am to clean!!  6am!!!  Folks started arriving by 9am and we were off to the parade at 10am. 


A little grilling and chilling in between the parade and our next stop:  the soap box derby!  Kids build their own soapbox derby cars and race down the hill on Elm Street.  The street is set up for spectators and the cars are clocked with a digital speed counter at the bottom of the hill.  Seriously. Awesome.

One more stop home to get a cocktail and then down to the river we headed for the river raft race.  River rafts are once again a home made cocktail of bits and pieces from your yard and basement.  Sometimes they float.  Sometimes they don't.  Sometimes (true story) they put the river raft in the river and don't paddle but instead set up a WWE wrestling ring and calll their raft "let's get ready to rumble" and entertain folks with wrestling.  Again.  Seriously.  Awesome. 

Next year, we are planning ahead and having a party to commemorate this crazy ridiculous town goes bananas event.  You should stop by!!  Just look for the house on the corner with the liberty bell!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

craigslist obsessed

To say I am obsessed with craigslist is almost an understatement.  Rarely am I ever really on the interwebs anymore unless it is to scour craigslist.  Occassionally I pore over the ads looking for a specific item such as the vintage turned leg kitchen table I found for $30! 
I am enamored with old wood furniture, specifically anything with turned legs or pedestal bases....sometimes anything that is just real wood.   There is so much particle board furniture that it is refreshing to find an old, heavy piece of wood furniture that has probably been around longer than I have. 

Sometimes I have a flash in the pan thought about something.  Lo and behold I see that "something" on craigslist. 

Just last weekend, I was at my in-laws and was admiring the wood corner hutch in their dining room.  Our dining space has a somewhat awkward layout that makes fitting a dining table as well as a server somewhat cramped.  Corner are a dream.  Now whether you can actually fit serving plates in the corner hutch space is something else. 

I was once again browsing on craigslist for nothing in particular when I stumbled upon a spitting image of my in-laws' corner cabinet!  $60 and a truck is all I need to haul this 7 foot monstrosity home with me.  I now wait patiently for the boy to return from his business trip to show him my new treat!!

I have visions for my craigslist scores.  I'll share those shortly.  In the meantime, I am going to go scour the interwebs for a free boat or hot tub.  Those are always listed too!  I have yet to convince the mister that we need either of those right now.  Do you obsess over second hand scores too?  What have you brought home lately?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

deceptive paint and a lowes fail

I broke out the plastic drop cloths, rollers, brushes and ladder this weekend.  I got down and dirty with my 2 gallon no name ceiling paint and the 5 gallons of SW accessible beige that I have stored in the basement.  Have I ever mentioned that this house was bathed in a high gloss white? 

I moved the furniture, unscrewed the 1970's curtain hardware, spackled, sanded and got busy.

I went from high gloss white to a somewhat deceptive greige.  What was supposed to be a warm beige tends to look slightly greige instead.  I had to double check my paint can to make sure I actually mixed up the right paint.

Well, I clearly had the right paint.  So maybe it is just the fugly green couch I have that is throwing off the room?  The couch has me dreaming and salivating over slip covers.  That is another issue all together though for a different time.

Once the hardware had come down from the windows,  the mister and I headed to lowes to pick up some wood blinds.  Being totally naive, I just assumed that you pick out your blinds and someone in a blue smock with the word Lowes written on it would then trim them right up.  I was right.  That's pretty much how it all went down. Well, except when we actually got home and hung the blinds.  That was a different story.  What I did not account for was the additional 3 feet in length that my blinds now have.  In fact, they are so heavy from the additional length that they cannot be raised.

please take note of the additional blinds resting on the sill. 
I also failed to consider that we were purchasing white wood blinds that were trimmed and would expose the raw wood.  I guess it wouldn't be terrible if that raw exposed wood was not scorched.

I could do without the scorching, the extra 3 feet of length and the almost $200 price tag for my blinds. 

It took some arm twisting and convincing my husband to take the blinds down and return them to Lowes but I managed.  Those scorched suckers will be making their way back to Lowes this weekend.  I will continue to consider my window treatment options since I am not sure that I love the wood blinds so much.  Does anyone have suggestions?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

progress not perfection

It's official.  I have moved.  The move was torture. 

We decided to move ourselves which ended up taking a total of 6 days and was done during the course of a heatwave.  Did I mention that our new dwelling does not boast central air?  Did I mention that my husband did not install window units during the 6 day move?  I know, right?  I said it was torture and that was no exxageration!

The house looked like this when we moved in......we are talking piles and piles of crapola!  I mean I am not even sure what we packed and brought with us. 

Since the house did not come equipped with a dishwasher we ordered one before the move.  It arrived during the 6 day fiasco.  Naturally we had to take a hiatus from the cleaning up the mess we just created because we could not stand to have one more box in our way.  Tears of joy were shed at the arrival!  I scored a stainless steel Kenmore washer for $284 from Sears online.  We purchased a garbage disposal for another $109 when we picked this badboy up in the store.  Our appliance package came to under $400!! 
Once the dishwasher came home we got busy ripping out the corner cabinets.  My husband ran the electric and plumbing lines for the appliances.  We spent about another $100-125 on the electric and plumbing materials.  Still keeping our total under $550!!  

 Two days of sweat equity and a few hundred dollars left me with this:

We have since replaced the trim work in the kitchen in case you are wondering.  We have left no gaping holes.  After our dishwashing hiatus we intended to start getting busy unpacking the house BUT my husband's truck got stolen!!!  Right from his parking lot at work! He works in a corporate office with security that patrols the lot!  What the what????  Needless to say, this was an unfortunate event that caused a small setback in our plans.  We could no longer haul drywall and lumber freewheeling through town.  We also had to start to re-think the house budget if we had to include the purchase of a new car into our expenses.  Gah!

I am pleased as punch to report that his car was recovered already.  The tires and wheels were removed and placed in the back of the truck.  Why?  I have no idea.  They also stole one, not two, but one concert ticket,  a frisbee and some trash.  I am just happy that our large and in charge truck will be coming home eventually and that we can resume the remodel. 

As for now we have made some small progress. We are getting ready to paint downstairs and are unloading some furniture that tagged along for the move that we don't need.  Rooms are clearing out and we are actually able to walk through them.  By the way, did you see the amazing job my husband did re-storing the floors????