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...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Still working on it...

Well I opened the box to the chandelier... but that's about as far as I've gotten on that project.

We'll need some natural light when we go to install it... so trying to do this project after work is not really happening. It's starting to get a little darker, a little earlier every day now. It's so depressing. I hate that the summer is over!

But the shelves are up and they look great! 1 project down.... So many more to go....

Put that $20 back in your wallet.

I just heard a story on the news that Home Depot will be slashing prices on 50% of their merchandise.

It's in response to the economy being in the crapper, and just the general competition they are facing from other superstores like... Ehem... Lowes. Hopefully this will help them pick up sales - I'd hate to see them go away. I rather like the Depot.

But what a great time to be doing renovations!! We'll have to wait a week or two to see what prices get cut... hopefully it's some stuff we need... like wallpaper stripper....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Just a quick update as we try to make some progress before Friday hits and we turn into couch potatoes....... Ahh football season! A reason to veg!

The new shelves are looking good... we bought some nice wood and I stained and "schelacked" them, as my dad would say. Dave will screw them in tonight and we can start putting stuff on them.

I dropped off our St Thomas map at a local framery and hopefully that should be done this week. It will look AWESOME on my dark green walls in the dining room. You'll have to wait for that one...

And the "chandelier-in-a-box" arrived! I was giddy with anticipation when I saw it waiting for me on the front porch... Hopefully it looks spectacular when it's all said and done! Maybe that will be tonight's project....

Until tomorrow, my friends!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Grass is overrated.

I guess we haven't had enough pain and suffering because we are giving the real estate market another go!
Yup. We're listing with our THIRD agent. Hopefully this guy has got the mojo to get it done. We are starting off with a bang - we dropped our listing price to $149,900. (Just to put it in perspective - we started out 2 years ago at $215,000.) I know it's a dramatic drop but we just want to get someone in there and get it off our hands. Its too stressful to try and keep up two old houses while we both have full time jobs. There are only so many hours in a day and we're not having fun anymore. The days of researching a project and looking for the best supplies have gone out the window because we are now limited to what's cheapest and what can we do in a limited time frame before we have to start work on something else that's broken.
So hopefully someone will fall in love with it soon and buy it! Pray for us!!

So this all went down on Tuesday - we met with the new agent, signed with the paperwork and then immediately went "Oh crap! We've got to get this house looking nice AGAIN because people will be coming through it." So we both drove off to work and then at 5pm drove back to Belmonte to do the yard. It wasn't too bad - just needed some sprucing up. I bought some annuals for the front, Dave loaded up the mower, and we were on our way.

Well...... I was on my way. Dave was stuck in lawnmower limbo.

He's got 2 mowers - the really old one, and the old one. One is newER than the other - but by no means is it NEW. So Tuesday night he brought the newER one to Belmonte to cut the grass. Only he couldn't get it started. Which is even more frustrating because he basically rebuilt the thing 2 weeks ago.
So here is the scene set for you - I'm in the front yard, digging and planting, digging and planting. Dave is in the garage - cussing up a storm and every now and then I see a wrench or a screwdriver come flying down the driveway.
And now it's getting late... and it's getting DARK. We are running out of time....
Dave gives up and gets the old mower. It starts up fine. HALLEJULIAH! He starts cutting the grass and PPFFFTT it dies right in the middle of the lawn.

It's out of gas.

I won't repeat the string of explatives but let's just say I'm glad that no kids or nuns were around to hear.

So we left the house with half of a manicured yard. What a way to start the week!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pull up a seat.

So in preparation for Thanksgiving, I have decided to bump up the importance of finishing the dining room, since like 90% of festivities will be held sitting at the table. There's not MUCH work to be done... we just need to get the ball rolling. We've got to put a new threshold down on the wood floor, possibly look into getting a new sliding glass door to the deck, and start decorating the walls so they're not blank.

Two projects that require NO actual work... just some cash... include getting a chandelier, and some nicer dining room chairs. I've got a hot lead on an awesome chandelier - more posts on that to come.... But as far as the chairs go - you can mark that one "DONE" and off the list!!

I found these beauties at the Consignment Barn near my house.

I'm not opposed to the mixing of the floral patterns - the seat and the rug...

And the legs mimic the legs of the buffet. Perfect!

Don't you just love them?? They are Ethan Allen, nice construction, and light as a feather compared to the old red leather chairs we had. Two of the chairs have slight damage to the cane back, but really I could care less! I love them as they are - worn in and looking like they totally belong with my table. $200 for six chairs - not bad! I love the way they change the entire look of the dining room.

The OLD dining room chairs....

... and the NEW dining room chairs. It actually looks like a dining room - not a board room!!

I found out the Consignment Barn will actually sell my old round table and red chairs for me... but we've decided to hang onto them until after Thanksgiving. I think we'll need all the chairs we can get. The fact that we are hosting this year is spreading like wildfire throughout the family. Even with our influx of seating I might still have to borrow some...

Anyone have a card table or two to lend me???

Monday, September 8, 2008


The race is officially "back on" to do more projects than we can A.) stand and 2.) afford.

We've got 3 out of town friends coming in October for a football game...... and also I may have inadvertently declared "I'll host Thanksgiving this year!" in a fleeting state of euphoria at a family gathering. (Side note - that euphoria is LONG gone, now that I realize I have no idea how to cook a turkey or how to seat 57 people at my dining room table.)

So one of the projects we are tackling first is getting the guest rooms "guest ready." They were always clean and able to host people - but we still have boxes and suitcases in the corners. So one of the first things I did was unpack. Seems simple enough eh? Let me tell you - I have no idea where to put this stuff - now that we've been living without it for a year. I guess these clothes/picture frames/snow globes really aren't my favorite things? Maybe I can live without?

In the guest room that holds the office we are going to put a HUGE shelf up way high on the wall - and that will become a display case for all of Dave's NASA collectibles. He's got quite the substantial collection so I am hopeful that it all fits!!!!
This wall is just screaming for a shelf, isn't it?

FAN tastic.

I'm happy to announce that the yucky old grey fan is finally GONE and we've now got a brand spankin' new fancy looking one in it's place!! Yea!

It wasn't a hard project... but it kept us busy for a few days. If you don't remember the old fan looked like this:

UUUUGGGHHH. Hated that thing. It was dirty and rocked and creaked and made noise. I just hated staring at it from my bed every night. The ceiling medallion was at one point white in color - I am assuming - but I've only known it as this very attractive "stale yellow" color. Lovely. Our biggest fear was what lied beneath that medallion....

So one day I came home from work and found the ceiling fan box open and the contents spilled out all over the living room floor - near "someone's" favorite blue recliner.

I could barely contain my excitement! "So we've started this project?! Hooray!! Dave? Dave! Where are you? Honey.....honey.......Yoo Hoo!!...." I walked through the house looking for my favorite handy man and walked right into (or should I say under?) the reason I couldn't find him.
Two holes in the ceiling. Not one. But two.

Uh oh.

Hmmm.... THATS not good.

Dave had gone to the Depot for more supplies because we were going to have to rig this new fan to fit. We're not really sure HOW that grey fan was hanging up there because there was no wood behind either one of these holes??!! I'm no braniac but... aren't fans heavy?

Well Dave eventually figured out a way to make it work.

He's a smart guy.

And while we're at it - out went the old ceiling medallion - in came the nice clean simple WHITE one to cover that second hole. Ahhh!! Better!

The finished product looks like this:

It's quiet and fast and keep us nice and cool! Thank you Hunter Ceiling Fans!!!
I have to admit this was very much a DAVE project. Other than pictures I really did nothing to further the project. In fact I probably slowed us a down a little with all of my comments and picture taking ("Babe!! Look this way! Babe! Make a face! Good one!")
So a big MMWWUA kiss for my hubby! The electrical wizard!! :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ahh... hurricane season!

San Marco Blvd.

Whew that was a long hurricane!! Two weeks!!!! Yikes!!!

I am kidding of course.

Tropical Storm Fay did stay over us for a few days, but eventually moved on, leaving us with a mountain of clean-up to do. If for all this time you've been anxiously awaiting my next post (and who hasn't??) you're probably thinking by now, "Surely Fay destroyed the House of Wax!! I hope they are ok!! (sigh) What will I read at work now?" But in fact we skated by on the skin of our teeth! Relatively no damage to our home knock on wood.

The view of our driveway and street... not too bad... just lots of little branches.

Our Ardsley neighborhood was by no means spared... There were a total of 3 huge oak trees that toppled over, blocking roadways, and one actually fell on a power pole, crushing all the power lines causing us to be without power for THREE DAYS. It doesn't seem like much - but let me tell you, by the afternoon of the first day... it gets really really hot. By the second day... we have run out of things to talk about, my hair is frizzed out like Richard Simmons, and the doors and windows are all swelled shut. By the THIRD day... I am truly starting to panic, frantically driving around town looking for ice, and there is no denying that something has died in the fridge and we shall never be able to open that door again for fear of releasing the odor.

One of my neighbors lost a huge water oak tree.

The power did eventually come on, I started to relax, we had hot water again along with cold A/C. But having no power for 3 days...... I learned a few things about myself. Here are some nuggets I'll share with you, in case you find yourself in the same situation...

1.) As soon as the power goes out - there are a million things I am DYING to do that of course require power. (Why didn't I vacuum, blow dry my hair, watch TV and cook a lasagna while I had the chance?? Dammit!)

2.) Granola bars and cans of tuna fish are really gross. Why do the news people tell us to stock up on these items? I would never eat them WITH power, I am certainly not eating them without.

3.) I don't really know what the Bleach is for. Why do they tell us to buy this item again? It's not like I have a ton of white laundry I can do while I sit in my hot humid dark house.

4.) Do not wait until the power goes out to go shopping around for ice/coolers/water/flashlights etc. Or else you will find yourself on the floor of a Winn Dixie arm wrestling an old woman for that last bag of ice (or you will give up because she is strong and offer her $10 for it.)

5.) It is IMPERATIVE to have lots of friends (the more the merrier) so as to be able to call on them in the event that they do in fact still have power while yours is out.

6.) I have learned that I never really got over that whole "afraid of the dark" thing. It's really dark when no one on your block has power. I mean...... REALLY dark.

7.) And finally.... I can say now that if it wasn't for the invention of AIR CONDITIONING I would not be living in this beautiful state. THERE I said it. (Would you? No. I didn't think so.)