Friday, December 19, 2008

Fa lalalala..... lala.... la..... LA!

Dave is in heaven.

It's a little known fact that my beer loving, Simpson watching, butt scratching, manly man of a husband has a sweet spot for Christmas music.

Yup. That's right.

And I'm not talking about the updated versions of the classics (Like that awesome remake of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Barenaked Ladies? LOVE it!) No, Dave likes the really classic traditional renditions sung by people who are no longer alive (AKA the really SLOW ones!) It's true. As soon as we hit the day after Thanksgiving BAM! the radio was constantly set to 96.1 - Jacksonville's official Christmas music station. (I'm not sure how one applies for this title, nevertheless.....)

So here I am at work, humming Silent Night because it's been stuck in my head for days, while co-workers nervously glance sideways at me every few minutes.

What can I say! It's that time of year!

The house is decorated with all my mom's cast-offs... items she decided she no longer needed to decorate her beautiful house with. (Thanks for the really old threadbare garland circa 1975!) And this year I decided it's time to pass on these traditions. So I gave my sister a bag full of items I no longer needed (Kara! Look! Some really awesome garland circa 1975!)

What baffles me every year is the fact that Arnold still thinks that our Christmas tree is a real tree. Poor guy. He's easily fooled.

For example.... I may have told him this was a really cool hat. Although... I think he was onto me...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Santa's always watching...

What is it about the holidays that makes people start to act... well... in a word... GRUMPY?

Is it because of the terrible traffic on the road that seems to spring out of nowhere? Or is it the shopping for presents for people who are impossible to shop for? Is it the incessant family time that your mother guilt's you into? Or maybe - my personal theory - we all just miss the hot humid weather of the summer because that's why we live in Florida, dammit, we like the heat.

Whatever it is it - everyone has got it. It's like a bad cold that seems to just keep going around. No one can shake it. Everyone I know is acting like a Scrooge.


I, for one, am going to have a great holiday season - even if it kills me.

This past weekend I made Dave drag the fake tree out of storage, put it together, and plug it in to infuse some holiday cheer into the house. Granted it's not decorated yet. (What? I'm a busy girl. Shopping for impossible people to shop for.) But still... it looks pretty when all the lights are lit. And I made D drag out the ladder and throw some lights on the outside of the house. He was profusely against this endeavor, afraid it would draw more attention to the peeling paint and overgrown shrubs in the front. My theory - It's still got peeling paint, even if we DON'T put lights on it so why the hell not? It's fun. Plus the street looks so festive when everyone has a little twinkle on their house ;)

I think tonight's agenda will be pulling out all the ornaments and stockings and hanging them by the chimney with care...

What if I don't have a chimney? Hmm...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The week in pictures.

Ever see one of those news stories where there is no voiceover, no reporter, just nat sound and images of some event going on? Sometimes they call it "The week in pictures?" Well. Here it is. Our first Thanksgiving - in pictures. I think these say it all. I'll give you dates, purely for reference points, but as far as captions or quotes - use your imagination!! :)


(for fear husband will then examine enormous credit card bill.)

I'm just glad it's over.

I'm finally coming out of my Turkey coma. Sorry to anyone who was hanging on the edge of their seat for the next post! (You know who you are.)

The big day came and went, and I have to say it was lot like my wedding. There was alot of eating, drinking, inappropriate toasts; and I can't quite remember everything but from the pictures it looks like I had fun and everyone was happy.
Dave in a food coma...

...Arnold in his. (But Arnie's food comas seem to happen every day... hmm... I wonder if turkey is an ingrediant in catfood?)
I actually didn't do as much cooking as I thought I would have to... Thank goodness my family likes to cook!! And my in-laws brought a ton of pre-made food with them so we were all set.
The two things I DID cook were the bird (obviously) and some homemade pumpkin pie FROM SCRATCH. Ambitious, yes I know. But I like to put pressure on myself.
My friend Leanne gave me a baking pumpkin. Her dad is a farmer and she had a few she needed to pawn off on friends. I took one, along with some very loose instructions, and went on home with dreams of pumpkin pie dancing in my head.
The first step was splitting this sucker open. We briefly toyed with the idea of using the chainsaw but finally D was able to wedge a knife in there far enough to get it going. It's not quite like the pumpkins you carve at Halloween... these suckers are THICK! It's not hollow on the inside, rather it's full of "meat." And what you do is split it open, roast it for about an hour or longer, and then scoop out the meat.
Ehem... the "guns" that opened the pumpkin.
MEAT.... Mmmmmm...
And the end product. Cooked meat! Better than raw meat. Clearly.
You then take that stuff and make pumpkin pies, or pumpkin bread, or pumpkin soup..... and then more pies... and more bread...
No joke. I STILL have meat leftover and I've already made (and eaten) 4 pies and 3 bread loafs, one with nuts, one with chocolate chips. Anyone hungry?

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Range of emotions.

The saga with the stove is finally over. Let's all take a minute to sing the Hallelujah Chorus...

So how did we go from this?

To this?

For Part One of the story... I think I'll fill you in on the actual installation. The appliance guys called and said they'd be at my house sometime between 12 and 4pm on Thursday, November 20. They showed up at 3:30 (naturally). The first task was taking out the old double oven/range. They struggled with that thing for like 20 minutes... and then once they got it out realized why it took so long. It was literally stuck to the cabinets. 38 years of grease had glued it into it's little spot in the kitchen. YUCK.

While the guys were struggling to get it out the door I quickly grabbed a Mr. Clean eraser and scrubbed the cabinets so as not to have the same problem in 38 more years. (Oh yeah... and vacuumed up the dead roaches on the floor. Ick.) Then the guys came back in with the brand spankin new equipment and promptly told me they could not install the microwave above the oven because there was no outlet. Long story short, AHS would not pay for an outlet to be installed because it was a "modification"... nor would they pay for the cord needed to actually plug in the stove. (GGGrrrrr... more on the "fantastic customer service skills of AHS" later...)

So on the Sunday before Thanksgiving it took Dave all day but finally he got an outlet put in. There were all these weird supports and boards in the wall - I'm guessing that's because there used to be a doorway where the stove now resides. Remember this? We discovered the old doorway after we stripped the wallpaper in the dining room, which is adjacent to the kitchen.

So anyway we got it in, made an outlet, hoisted the micro up, got that in, and painted the wall (or plywood in our case) (What? Totally normal wall material, right?) and Voila! Now we're cookin!

I love the new stove - and am really enjoying that glass top. It's just sad that it took 5 months of aggravation and government intervention (The BBB rocks!) to get AHS to honor their commitment to us. We had originally called AHS on July 7 to come out and fix the broken burner on the stove. They came out, diagnosed it and said we'll be back in a week to replace it. Well here we are in November. I'd say on average I spent about 4 days per week on the phone with them - either on hold, or talking to someone who knew "nothing about my ticket. Can you hold while I pull up your information?" Totally aggravating. Yes. Was I going to let them win? Never.

A sample of "my life on hold" for the past 5 months:

What seems to be the problem?

(SIGH) I have a broken stove and am waiting on the new part. I'm just wondering what's taking so long because I'd really like to start using my stove again.

Let me pull up your file.

click click click click click. click.


click click click click click BIG CLICK. MAYBE AN ENTER KEY?

Hmm. Well. It looks like we are waiting on a part.

Right. I just told you that. How long before it comes in?

5 to 7 business days.

You told me that 5 to 7 days ago.

Actually I did not ma'am. This is the first time I've seen your file.

Well someone from your company then. Actually - someone from your company has been telling me to wait 5 to 7 days for about 2/3/4/5 months now.

Hmm... that is a unusually long time. Usually we are out there within the week. Hold on while I... click click click... Let me just pull up.... click click click click click click click. Hmm. Well it said the part was ordered and delivered.

But it obviously wasn't. Because I still have a broken stove. Can I speak to your manager?

None are available right now.
Ok I'll hold.
No I'm sorry. We don't allow our customers to hold for a manager.

Wait - You're kidding right?? I can hold for 47 minutes to get YOU on the phone, but I can't hold for a manager. Why is that? This is ridiculous. Can I leave a message at least?

No I'm sorry. You have to leave your phone number and a manager will call you back.

So phone calls like this went on for weeks. The conversations always absurd... No one ever calling me back. I always ALWAYS had to make the call first. But we finally did find out what actually happened to that mystery part. AHS did order it, it got sent to Jacksonville Appliance and Electric, but they used it in someone else's home. (Aside from the fact that they are obviously a shady company - how about the fact that someone else in Jacksonville has this relic of a stove and needs the same exact fix!!??!!) So AHS's recommended solution was to re-order the same part, using the same company and go through the whole rig-a-ma-rue again.

Well I said nuts to that and filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. FINALLY I got the customer service I'd been fighting for. But it was a long time coming.

I learned some very valuable lessons from this whole experience.

1.) The BBB is an awesome outfit and will totally fight for the little man.

2.) I have the ability to sit on hold for a very long time... and even start to enjoy the muzak.

and 3.) American Home Shield is an awful AWFUL company and if you have a friend or loved one thinking about using them as their home warranty company - send them this blog and then barricade their checkbook!! Do not let them waste one penny on this company!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

OMG It's almost Turkey Day!!!!

Looking at the last post, I almost shed a tear (sniff sniff) I was SO HOPEFUL that we could get something accomplished before the big day, but alas here we are... November 17th and I have NOTHING NEW TO REPORT.

I know.

It's quite the shock... but I think we were just worn out from the Rays almost winning the world series, the Gator games and Jags games, and don't forget about those pesky elections that kept Dave at the office until 2:36 AM. (News sucks.)

So we've done some minor - itsy bitsy teeny weeny - things around the house, but nothing really spectacular where you'd say - Wow what a difference!
Instead I am focusing my efforts on NOT FREAKING OUT over the fact that we are almost 1 week away from hosting our first Thanksgiving. (See how well I'm doing?)

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I know I know. We've been MIA for about 2 weeks. BUT it's been a helluva 2 weeks! I've been so busy - I didn't even have 5 minutes to stop and blog about it!

So needless to say work on the house has been minuscule.
Hmm... where to begin?

I think when we spoke last we were coming up on the weekend of October 18th - which was a bye week for the Gators AND the Jags. I had high hopes for that ugly wallpaper. But alas we had bee-a-U-tiful weather and I just couldn't stand being cooped up in that poorly ventilated bathroom!!
So Dave and I tackled the flower beds in the front yard. It was a full 2 days of digging up weeds, pulling vines, splitting up lilies and planting them in bare spots. We then stumbled upon some free mulch that we put to good use. That's right. FREE mulch.
It was in the parking lot of the VFW on Phillips highway. I have no idea where it actually came from or why in the world it was free... but we didn't stop to ask why. Dave loaded up the garbage cans and we shoveled as much as we could into them and used it in the newly cleaned out flower beds.
Dave actually had to go back for more several times. I think we used 9 garbage cans total. (Which just proves my point - It's TOO much "bed"... not enough lawn!! If we get a big chunk of cash in the near future I am going to pay someone to come dig everything up and just sod the whole property.)
So that was the whole weekend. We were sore, tired, and sunburned... but happy to finally not be embarrassed of the front yard!

Tuesday night I went to the Dolly Parton concert with my friend Dana. It was fabulous, of course. Dolly was a tiny sparkly ball of energy on stage. And we had fun standing up and belting out Jolene with the 65 year old ladies next to us...

Wednesday was the big golf outing at work... I was one of the captains this year and I'm proud to say my team won. (Any doubt in your mind??) We were rewarded with a week of jeans... which I am enjoying at my desk right now.

And then on Friday Dave's friend Ryan from Chicago came into town. It was pretty much beer and sports the whole weekend.

This past week we tried to get back on a normal sleep (and eating) schedule... but today all that goes out the window. Not only is it Halloween... it's Florida/ Georgia weekend. Which means.... you guessed it... beer and sports. (And candy corn. YUM.)

(See? you mock me. But I'm telling you... I am turning into a man.)

((Would that make Dave gay??))

So I have high hopes for November. We are now down to 3 weeks before Thanksgiving!!
MAYBE we can get some more projects accomplished.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The face of Fear.

Dread. Pure dread.

I reach for the scraper and the water bottle every night.... but can't quite seem to actually pick them up. Instead I just stare at it... hoping it will spontaneously start peeling off the wall by itself.

It's not really working for me.

Have I mentioned the fact that it's on the ceiling before?


Can someone please motivate me?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I am turning into a man. (Help!)

When I was growing up, my sisters and I always joked about my dad knowing waay too much about "girl stuff."

To be fair, you can't blame him. He lived with a wife, 3 daughters, and a female cat. There was a constant stream of hair products, chick flicks, and Barbie Dolls. He probably couldn't tell you who the winner of every Superbowl was, but I'm sure he could name every cast member on Friends and tell you the best way to apply eyeliner. (Ok the make-up might be a stretch. But I do remember him having to do my hair a few times in elementary school.)

Well the tables have turned, my friend. The tables have turned.
I am now trying to survive in a sea of testosterone. True - it's only my husband and Arnold the cat. But we do A LOT of the trademark male activities. Tailgating, sports watching (in the stadium AND at home) belching, scratching, lots of meat eating and sitting around afterwards rubbing our bellys comparing who's more full.

I never noticed the subtle transition until I hung out with some single girlfriends. None of them are LIVING with an actual male, therefore not under their influence. My first clue was the ordering of the drinks. They ordered colorful things in dainty glasses. I got a draft beer.

Then I started to notice it at work. These women dress up for work. I think I even heard someone talking about their slip under their skirt. What am I wearing? Pants and sensible shoes. (AKA ugly ones.)

THAT'S IT! This has got to stop.

First step - making a girlie room in the house just for me. Dave has his NASA room... Why can't I have mine??? So I am going to make the other guest bedroom my haven. (Sorry to all future guests!!! You better like the color pink!)

And the next step is to implement some girlie activities into our lives.
Last Friday was the first attempt and I think it went quite well. We went to a charity function where we actually had to dress up and mingle with other adults. AND it was held at the Cummer Art Museum. (Art, culture, AND charity? Triple score!) Dave was very good, he humored me through the whole thing and even dressed up.... a little. I could not convince him to put on better shoes but I'll take it. It's something.

At this function they also had a silent auction where I picked up these little beauties for the new girlie guest room.

I'm on my way.
Watch out Arnold. You might be next on my list. How do you feel about a small bow tie?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Recycling isn't just for soda cans.

I think D and I do a pretty good job of being "green."

We only put on lights in the room that we happen to be in. We don't buy bottles of water, rather we (GASP!) drink water out of the tap. And I put just about everything in the recycling bin now-a-days. (And most times they take it!)

But recycling doesn't have to stop there. You can also re purpose and reuse things in your home. Sometimes just a coat of paint will change the look of things... or sometimes it's as easy as moving it to a different room. Remember this?

That was the old yucky fan that was in the master bedroom. Not really worthy of "inside the house" status. BUT it makes a great impression in it's new home in the garage!!

Dave figured out a way to hang it from the rafters. And now it's got a new life keeping the boys cool while they enjoy the Golden Tee machine or play poker.

We never would have thought to put a fan in the garage, but since it was there and it didn't cost us a thing, Dave thought what the heck! Let's hang it up and see if we like it!

And we do. :)

Speak to me.

On Saturday night, Dave and I found ourselves on the deck enjoying a glass of vino and looking at the stars.

(Well - truth be told, Dave had a bottle of vino, I had 2 vodka tonics, and we were listening to the stray cats fighting on the next street over. But it sounds so much more romantic the other way doesn't it??)

So here we are, alone with our thoughts.... nothing moving... just the calm of a nice night.
And Dave says, "You know what we need? MUSIC!"

Yup. That's right. The very next day Dave got to work hanging the outdoor speakers over the deck. It was quite the project. We had to figure out how to run the wire from the radio/CD player in the garage to the deck. This involved somehow going through a brick wall. Hmmm.

D actually ended up using an existing hole that a pipe was going through. He made it bigger and threaded the 4 wires needed through it. We realized that we actually have no idea what this pipe goes to, or what it's used for? But if I've learned anything from living in an old house it's this ---- If you don't know what it is, and it's not hurting anything, LEAVE IT ALONE. There's probably a good reason it's there, just no one is alive from the time when they installed it to tell you what that reason is.

So the speakers are up, the music comes through great, and the deck is open for tailgating! Just be careful about the actual wood on the deck... you might slip on the mold or fall through an old board. But that's another project!

A picture of where we had to go through the brick..... and Arnold, supervising.

Dave hard at work.......... and Viola! Where the speakers live today!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fun with electricity.


I was in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner... while Dave headed to the back to "use the facility" as my grandma would say.

Dave: "Dammit! The bathroom light tripped the circuit breaker again. Stupid electricity. I'll have to investigate why later."

Me, not really paying attention: "Can you take the garbage out; it's REALLY stinky."


After work I walked around the house straightening up and noticed the master bathroom was out of TP. So I walked over to the guest bathroom to get some out of the closet, flipped the light switch and what the?? the electricity's still out.

Me: "DAVE! Didn't you fix this yesterday??"

Dave: "No. I told you I would have to investigate why the light keeps tripping the breaker. And I need daylight to do that. It will have to wait until I can get home from work early enough."

Me: "I don't remember that."

Then I noticed that the little button in the middle of the socket was popped out and the little light is red. (If you've ever used a powerful hairdryer, you know what I'm talking about.)
Ah ha! I know how to fix this. You just pop it back in! Simple. Why didn't Dave try that? Men. So lazy.

So I walked over and OUCH!!!!! got a shock while trying to push that stupid little button in. Ok. Well maybe Dave is onto something. (Dammit. I hate it when he's right.)


6pm. I am elbow deep in meatloaf mixture.

Dave: "Hey. Can you help me with the circuit breaker test? Now would be a great time. It's still light outside."

Me: "Ummmmm....... yeah ok. Let's do it. This can wait."

Dave: "Alright. I am going to the garage, I'll flip every circuit breaker in the house. Tell me when the little red light goes off. Now you'll have to yell really loud - but I'll leave the side door open so that will help."

So I position myself in the hallway, where I can see the red light, yet still be somewhat close to the open door. The next 20 minutes went something like this:


















(I ran through the house to the garage.) "Hey! Didn't you hear me yelling?"

"Yeah you found it. You already flipped it."

Dave, staring at the board: "Shoot. Which one was it?"

Me: "Uhhh.... I don't remember."

Dave: "Ok let's try this again. I'll work backwards. This time really YELL when I hit it. I couldn't hear you at all last time."

I stalked off grumbling about hearing aids and someone in the relationship getting old; made it back to my post in the hallway; and we started all over again.







I then ran out to the garage at top speed to make sure he heard me. "That was it. That was the one. Did you hear me?"

Dave: "No."

(Huge dramatic sigh.) This is ridiculous, I thought. He is never going to hear me. There's got to be a better way.

And just like that! - I realized there is in fact a better way! CELL PHONES! (Duh.)

I had one, he had one; he stood outside, I stood inside; we called each other and went through this flipping process 1 more time. And when he hit the right switch I was able to say, "That's the one," using our inside voices, as my Kindergarten teacher would say.

So as the old joke goes..... How many college graduates does it take to turn on a light bulb?

Well... Apparently two. And two cell phones.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

If it's for free - It's for me.

We are t-minus 56 days until Thanksgiving. And I am trying to stay calm.

Last night I woke up in a panic at 3:40 am. I had a nightmare about not having a big enough tablecloth for the table. (Silly? yes. Does that help me today as I struggle to stay awake at work? no.)

I know there is nothing to be stressed over - but honestly I just can't help it. (Dave thinks I am genetically prone to stressing out anyway because of my Italian roots. Well well. We'll see who has the last laugh when my olive skin still looks great at age 97.) I have a list a mile long in my head of thing that need to get done - and only about $5 to do it all with.

Last night I compared our credit card balance to what we actually had available in the bank and... well.......... let's just say I cried for a good 45 minutes. After replenishing my tears with half a bottle of red, D and I decided that it's time to buckle down. We've now got a looming deadline in mind. We are committed to getting our butts in gear before both sets of in-laws get here to "see all the progress."

First things first - I will write down this list and get it out my head and onto paper. Maybe that will help with that whole "sleeping" issue.

Secondly - we decided to try and not spend any money on October as far as "stuff" goes. (No trips to the Depot, the Consignment Barn, or the most lethal of them all - Target. No matter what I go in for, toilet paper, milk, etc; I walk out with 6 bags in tow and $60 poorer. How do they do that???) Money will be used for necessities - Gas, Food, and Booze (of course).

I am hopeful this plan will work. Not only will it help make a dent in the debt - but maybe will help us tackle the numerous "half-finished" projects that have been lying around the house all summer. For example... here's a small mental list I just thought of (mental note - write this down too as soon as you're done with this blog)

Strip the wallpaper in the bathroom - Cost: FREE other than elbow grease

Cut, stain, poly the last wooden threshold - Cost: FREE since the materials are in the garage

Give away all those bags of old clothes to Goodwill - Cost: FREE

You get the idea.
Alright I feel better already! Sorry but I've got to run - I have to get going on this list I'm writing.....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Go shelf yourself.

Well the shelves are up and I loaded the "NASA archives" onto it. It looks pretty damn good, but I'm still fiddling with the display options. I might need a shadowbox frame for all the pins he's got......

I'm sorry. I'm rambling. Do you have any idea what I'm talking about?
Here, let me fill you in.

For this story we have to go WAY back.

Shortly after Dave and I started dating, he started reading books about Apollo 13. (I don't really remember how he got into it; Maybe he saw he movie and then bought the book? Did he get one as a gift?? I can't remember. Anyhoo..) He then really got interested in the space race. I only mention the fact that we were dating at the time because back then I thought it was "cute." And because I really REALLY liked him, I encouraged the collection. I'll admit it. I even bought a lot of the books/memorabilia/newspaper articles for him. (Ahh... what we do for love!)

Well here we are 7 years later and he's got a mountain of NASA stuff. Everything from books to Life Magazines to pins to drinking glasses to miniature models of the spacecrafts. Everything. We've even been to Kennedy Space center several times. Yes.

And then last year we bought Ardsley. We spent 4 months fixing it up, then eventually decided it was "livable" enough for us. So we boxed up all our crap and moved in.

I had been thinking about furniture placement and color scheme pretty much since the day we first looked at the house - so I hit the ground running with paint, curtains, bedspreads, throw pillows, rugs, etc.... But one day in the midst of my decorating frenzy I heard a teeny tiny voice in the back of the house say to me "So where does all my NASA stuff go?"

Hmm.... I decided to proceed as planned and think about it later.

A few weeks later I saw D moping around the house. When asked what's wrong he again said (only this time much louder) "There's not even a place for me in this house. Where does my NASA stuff go?"

There was no denying it. I couldn't ignore him any longer. So I decided to design a NASA room for my muffin. He's good guy after all - he does do a lot of the heavy lifting, takes out the garbage when it's really stinky, and kills any bugs in the house no matter how big or gross looking they are. And let's me decorate like 95% of the house.... so he deserves a little "space."
(Get it??) wink :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Picture this.

I BARELY made it to the framing place on time (10 minutes to spare!!) and finally got our pictures that we had professionally framed.

I'll tell you what - it is expensive! to get stuff framed... but man, is it worth it if you really like the picture. I can get any old frame from Target or wherever and stick my photo in it, but really the framing guys do such good work! I wish we had the money so that I could really get ALOT of pictures professionally framed.

Unfortunately I had to settle for these two...

I had to get this really neat old calendar framed because it's a bizarre size. After years of searching I found NOTHING even remotely close so I decided to bite the bullet and get it done. And doesn't it look great? It's an under mat - I never would have thought to do that.

I guess it was given out as a freebie from an appliance company. I'm pretty people just used to tack it up to the wall and rip off the months on the bottom as the year went on.
I just love it because the picture of the little boy wiping the dogs ears is classic!

The other thing we had framed was this fantastic map of the Caribbean that we found in St. Thomas. I think our goal should be to hit every Island on the map, don't you?

The only problem now is where to hang it!! It looks good on every wall in the house. I am not joking you. Something about the color combination - it just matches a lot of our stuff I guess.

I got both these pictures done at Mr. Frame It - I would highly recommend if you are looking for a place!!

As Tim Gunn says - MAKE IT WORK!

Well it took a minor miracle but the chandelier is finally up and working!

THANK God that's over.

We opened the box last night and took out all the parts. It didn't see too complicated so Dave decided to go ahead and start installing at least some of it. We got about half way into it and realized that there must be a little bag of screws that never made it into our shipment - along with the rest of the instructions. Oy! But by then we were at that point in the project - you know, the point where you have already decided that you are committed to this damn thing and you are going to finish one way or another even if it kills you because you are not going to admit that a product made in China is smarter than you.

(I know you've been there.)

So it's slightly rigged - but you can't really tell and it works so I'M HAPPY!
And now the ever popular before and after photos! Enjoy!

WAAY Before.... Like before we even closed on it...

After stripping the carpet, the wallpaper, and a good couple of coats of paint. The el cheap-o light bulb was a parting gift from the previous owners. They took that monstrous chandelier with them...

And finally the NEW chandelier! Ta da!! Whaddya think?

I added one of those ceiling medallions too. I am now obsessed with them. How did we ever live without them??...... Oh and yes, I realize I need a third light bulb. I only had 2 on hand. Let's focus on the positive people!! Mark this project off the list!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hold, please.

I believe everyone's hell is different.

None of that fire and brimstone stuff. I think the Devil is probably smarter than that anyway....

But my hell is probably very similar to my day today = On the phone, on hold waiting for the next available representative. (Mental note to self - go to confession on Sunday.)
I was trying to find out why that appliance repairman has not called us back. It's been two months since he came and out took one look at my broken stove and said "Yup. You got yerself a brokin stove." Thanks, Matlock. I had no idea.

He came out to allegedly "fix" the stove.... but I haven't heard one peep from him or his cronies since that initial visit... in JULY.

Well I called the home warranty company, who in turn put me on hold for about an hour, while they tried to figure out what the hold up was. When they finally came back on the line, they told me that the company had ordered the part... it came in... but they just never followed up on it. GRRRRRRR. And as an added bonus, the HW company told me that sometimes they send the part back if they never use it. Great!! So we might have to wait some more. Yippee!

This was our first experience with our home warranty - and I have to say I am not impressed. They won't replace anything unless it's truly dead. I mean DEAD dead. Evidenced by the fact that they actually found a comany, that found a part, to fix THIS stove from about a million years ago.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Too many games... so little time...

I mentioned the fact that it's Football Season in a previous blog.... But if you don't follow sports you probably thought to yourself, "Oh that's nice," and moved onto another blog in blog-o-sphere. So let me reiterate again - It's...... FOOTBALL Season.

Again, I have this vision in my head of you saying, "So? What's the big deal?"

(Side note: The vision usually takes on the face of my sister who could not even tell you how many yards are on the field.)

Well my friends, let me tell you what this means for the House of Wax. Productivity is down. WAY down. Why? Let's see...

We root for 2 teams - The Gators (college) and the Jags (NFL). So what's that? - 8 hours of TV watching on the weekend? Not bad.

"But wait! Don't forget about the Pre and Post game shows!" So that tags on hour on before and after each game. We really need to hear all that insight from the announcers who sit up their tiny booths above the field. Alright... still not bad. Only 4 more hours of TV watching, or radio listening.
"But wait! Don't forget about the games that will affect our teams next week!" For example, apparently we have to watch every SEC game that is televised because at some point this season the Gators will end up playing them and god forbid we don't know how they "looked" before coming into the swamp. Ok... well now we are heading into like 34 hours of TV watching... this is getting dangerous...

"But wait!! Don't forget Baseball is still on and they are heading into the playoffs!! We need to keep up with those teams, Can't abandon our favorite teams just because Football season started." At this point the TV is on non stop, I have no idea who is playing who, but there is crowd noise and cheering wafting through the house at all hours.

"WAIT!! What if we invited our friends over so we can root for these teams together? It makes more sense to have a small gathering of our 57 closest friends, and could you cook something? We're kind of hungry...."

So this is what Football season is. The TV is always on. I am always making a dip or spread of some kind. Our red meat consumption goes up by 90%. And the weekend blurs together into one big drunken sports watching 48 hours long day. We spend Mondays talking about how good/bad our teams looked. We then proceed to spend Tuesday through Thursday talking about the upcoming games and how good/bad the other teams look. And Friday is reserved for grocery shopping, house cleaning, and smack talking at work.

Don't get me wrong - I love going to a sports event. I love everything about it - the fresh air, the peanuts, the draft beer, the yelling and screaming like an idiot when they get a touchdown and high-fiving random people in front of you. I just hate the fact that all other things in your life are moved to the back burner until after Christmas.

Tomorrow we are heading down to Tampa to see if the Rays can make it into the playoffs. I am excited about going, and I'm sure it will be a fantastic game.... but I'm sad to see that chandelier still sitting in it's box, just waiting to shed some light on my dining room table...