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.....