Thursday, December 3, 2009

A quarter past a freckle.

So in keeping with with ENJOY LIFE theme of 2010... I decided to send my watch on a vacation.

I wear a watch that Dave gave me before we were married. Its a Fossil, silver, square face, mother of pearl looking background, non digital watch. The year he gave it to me I had actually asked for a totally different watch - a round faced thing that had red and yellow stripes in the background. I even put it on hold at the store. But when he showed up, he immediately said No that thing is hideous and proceeded to buy me a better one that matches everything I wear. And he was right. I love (read = hate) the fact that sometimes he knows me better than I do.

So I've worn this on my right wrist for over 6 years. And I'm right handed. And before you get all bijiggity up in my face YES I know that's totally weird and "wrong" and I should be wearing it on my left wrist but I started wearing watches on my right hand before anyone told me there was this sort of unwritten rule so its too late and I'm too old now to change and I guess all my watches are just doomed to a life of scrapes and scratches.

ANYWAY... My watch is in pretty bad shape. So rather than get a new one, I called Fossil and they told me I could send it back and they would replace the crystal, band, etc., essentially rebuilding my watch for a mere 27 BUCKS, which includes shipping and handling. Seriously? SOLD! So I sent it back on Dec 1. The only catch is...... I will be without a watch....... for 4 to 6 weeks.


You can guess how many times I've looked at my naked wrist in the past 3 days and then said "Oh yeah...." aloud.

In keeping with the resolution - I am trying to enjoy NOT having a watch to look at, not being on a schedule, not having to know how late I am for that morning meeting. Just trying to go with the flow.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Old Year Resolutions

If you know me at all, then you know every year I make the same lame resolutions on New Years Day and then make no attempt at keeping them throughout the year, culminating on Christmas Eve where I sit around bummed that I never A.) did enough sit ups to get Britney Spears like six pack abs or B.) refinished the wood floors by myself. (OR some times there's a C - finding a company that will pay me to wear my pajamas and taste test chocolate truffles and bottles of wine.)

You might say I have no willpower, or maybe these goals are completely irrational and unattainable. I'm going with the theory that no one can make a rational decision about the year ahead when they are nursing a hangover. That's why I am making my New Years Resolutions today, December 2nd, a regular old Wednesday. I figure maybe if I put these out there BEFORE the massive chaos of the holidays is upon us, then maybe I'll have the off chance of completing some of them.

A girl can dream, can't she?

So this year I am just making one resolution:


I know. Sounds cheesy. (Ooo - even THAT apology sounds cheesy.) But really Dave and I feel..... in a rut. In all aspects of life. The years are flying by and it seems like the same old thing over and over and over and over and over and over... We need a change. PLUS, I maybe, have a habit, of, liking a routine to the point where it can kill someone of boredom. I think the nice way to put it is "she's a homebody." But Dave probably explains it as, "If she doesn't get to put her shoes away in the exact same location at the exact same time of night her head will explode."

So for 2010 things are changing. I am going to try and take time to do the things that I want to do, not what I have to do. I am going to make time for me. I am going to tell everyone important to me that I love them. And I am going to try to appreciate the things in life that we have - and not worry about what we don't have.

Here's to 2010!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oh my god its almost November.

Yes. That was the title of this post. When I wrote it. IN OCTOBER. Then I saved the draft with every intention of going back to proof it the next day. But apparently it took me oh, say, another 6 weeks to even log back onto blogger. So I just deleted the entire thing.

We'll start fresh tomorrow.


How have YOU been lately?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Such a SOD story...

So after the tilling, raking and ..uhh... one water line repair job later... it was finally time for the sod. YAY SOD! I don't know if we were completely ready. Seems like there was always more stuff to rake up. But we felt like we got the bulk of it done and bagged, and quite literally our arms were about to give out after 2 weeks of this, so we broke down and called out yard guy Sam to come bring us some nice new grass.
This is what it looked like when I left in the morning...

And this is what it looked like when I came home from work!
I heart yard maintenance people.
That last day of raking was COMPLETE TORTURE.
Of course by now you guys are probably well aware that Dave and I base our relationship on a mutual love of procrastination (among other things; like chicken cutlets, Seinfeld re-runs, and booze. You know, the important things in life.) It's not like we did NO raking for 2 weeks. We actually raked every night after working 9-10 hours in an office building. But it was more like: rake rake rake, I'm tired, let's stop and go watch TV!!
But that last day we were left with much more than we thought we had to do and it went something like this:
Rake rake rake gee it's getting dark out here, rake rake rake these bugs are eating my face, rake rake rake I can't see anything oh there's the street light coming on that's helpful!
We were literally those crazy neighbors out in the yard until 10 PM. I am not joking. BUT it's all in the past and it looks like a million bucks!

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Yard, Part 2

So after all the tilling came all the raking.

And then the raking.

And of course, don't forget about... the... raking.

That's because we had SO MANY weeds that you had to get them out of that dirt otherwise we'd be back to square one and we don't want that do we? (Noooooooo!) I researched extensively about the best way to prep the yard for the sod and I am aware that some people actually leave all those dead roots and weeds in there and plop the sod down on top because of the theory that the sod "chokes out" the weeds. To these people who are writing these articles online, may I ask you, have you EVER been to FLORIDA??? There is no WAY this theory holds any merit down here. We have killer amazon type weeds that will eat your house alive if you let them.

So we had to rake *every *single* piece of crap out of the yard. Yes it it just as tedious as it sounds.

When we were in that fantastic planning phase, where you talk about what you're about to tackle and nothing has actually gone wrong yet, we told a few neighbors of this ambitious plan to till and rake and sod the yard ourselves. I swear I saw them flinch as we told them this plan. Maybe they knew of the misery that lied ahead for us? but we seemed to determined to try and stop? I'm just guessing here. Either way, just had already jumped in the pool, now we were left to swim in it.

So here's the progress we made in two weeks:


Can't you tell the difference? Oh yeah. It was a fun 2 weeks.

And side note - only 12 extra strength Aleve's and a glass of whiskey will help the soreness that settles into your back after 2 weeks of raking.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Yard, Part 1

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but Dave and I were GUNG HO on getting the yard into better shape this year. If you've talked to me in the past 6 months, I KNOW I've made this claim to you; to which you probably rolled your eyes mentally and thought yeah right!!! Who are those two kidding??
Well we finally tilled, raked, and successfully put sod down in the front.

We got the urge to till on the hottest day on record for Jacksonville (of course). I think it felt like 115 in the sun. I'm not even kidding. We found this great store down San Jose called "Do It Yourself" and they have every tool you could possibly want and or need for rent. We rented the most powerful tiller they had. As Tim the Tool Man Taylor would say, RAR RAR RAR RRAR RAARRR!!!

It was going pretty smooth until CRUNCH what the heck? UH OH we hit the main water line to the house. Luckily we live in a real neighborhood with actual neighbors who know a thing or two about lawn maintenance. (Who knew these places existed?) You've never seen a quicker bunch of men come to Dave's rescue. Our neighbor Richard kicked off his shoes and jumped into the mud to try and turn off the water at the street and neighbor Alan ran over with a new PVC pipe he had just laying around in his garage.

It doesn't look like much of a fiasco - but it was - trust me. There I was in the house, I look out the window and one minute, Dave is tilling away, and the next it's like Old Faithful in my front yard. Dave was digging frantically at the base of the spout, looking for the pipe. I stuck my head outside and no sooner could I say "Do you want me to call..." before Dave belted out "YES!!!" I didn't even know who I was supposed to call? Anyhoo the JEA truck pulled up just as said neighbor Richard found the off switch. Of course.

So after a LOOOOOOOONG day of tilling in the record setting heat, the yard finally went from looking like this....

To looking like this!

It doesn't look like much, but at least the weeds were turned over. Not bad for a $40 tool rental, a few gallons of water lost and an impromptu man party in the front yard. AND we can say we've got another skill under our belts.

Uhh... the dog ate my homework?

Ok so it's been awhile. What can I say? Sometimes when you're knee deep in a project you need BOTH hands to get it done. (Leaving no hands available to shoot pictures and type up an article. IF ONLY my parents had lived on a nuclear waste dump! Maybe I'd have that third arm! Damn them!)

BUT! We 've got lots of typical Wax shenanigans to share with you so fret not, my pretty. Stay tuned for lots of upcoming informational blogs which may or may not be about any or all of the following...

How NOT to Till up a Yard.
(and it's follow up article; How to Fix your Main Water Line After You've Run Over it.)

What your arms will feel like after 12 straight days of raking and what combination of pills will ease the pain.

Where Black Flies live in June and how you can book a Vacation there!

and of course....

Gardening while Drunk - Pros and Cons

I know. You're anxious to get started reading. BUT I've got a LOT of editing to do. (And just maybe I've got fireworks on the brain?)

(Hmm..... Or Margaritas... )

I'll be posting again starting Monday.
Have a great holiday everyone! We've missed you!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Rain Dance

It's been very VERY dry here. So the yard is almost completely dead. And actually that's a good thing! We need the old spotty grass to die so we can till and re-sod. The bushes, on the other hand, are doing amazingly well for having no water.... Isn't it amazing how one plant can die and the other can thrive under the same stressful conditions?

This weekend it's back to work on the yard. For the past two weekends we've been out of town. First for the Godson's 1st birthday party in Tampa, then to Mississippi for a memorial service for Dave's aunt. And then of course in between flying, driving, or sitting in an airport waiting, we've been working our tails off at work due to the infamous Players Championship here in town. (What?? You didn't follow Sergio's quest to contend? FOR SHAME...)

We've decided to hold off on painting the house until we can get the yard under control. I think this will help with the stress level around the house (and the cash level.) It's really REEEEEALLLY hard not to get into 10 thousand projects at once. We are the king (and queen, I'll admit it.) of unfinished projects.

But I am determined to have a nice yard this year. I want to enjoy driving up to house after work. I want to pull in the driveway and feast my eyes on green green grass (with no dollar weed) blooming flowers and think "I live here - It's so pretty!" instead of "Hmmmm... I guess that plant died. Well, that's a new type of weed I've never - wait who threw a candy bar wrapper on my doorstep? What the-?"

Yup. It's a pipe dream. I know.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

So we meet again, eh?

Of course, RIGHT after I blogged about not getting an estimate from the Referral guy............ HE CALLED! And of course his bid was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay high. Double the highest bid I've gotten so far. (That's $6,000 if you're keeping score.)

Ahh... I love a story filled with irony.

So I told him he was double my other bids, and even if I could afford him, I wouldn't use him just for the sole fact that it took him a month to even call me back; why would I ever fork over thousands of dollars to him?

(What? And you thought I was going to politely say "No thanks" and hang up?)

(Uhh Hello, have we met?)

He may or may not have uttered some expletives at me... and then may or may not have hung up on me.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Your guess is as good as mine.

Besides the yard, another humongous project we're trying to tackle is getting the house painted this summer. I know some of you are screaming at your computer screen, "WHAT?!? You mean you don't love this pinky brownish skin color??? It's so lovely!!"

Uh, NO.

(Wait, you really like it?... oh wow....umm... This is awkward. Soooo... How about that local team/the weather?)

Actually the paint is in REALLY bad shape. It's flaking off in numerous spots (read = 95% of the house) and is revealing an even pinkier pink underneath! It's like the alien trying to break through that guys stomach in that movie...

So it needs to be repainted in a bad way. And while we're breaking out the brushes, I figured it was time for a new color. You know, put our stamp on it - make it more modern like we're been trying to do inside the house. I got three bids from local painters...

#1 The Referral guy.
This guy is a contractor by trade, but a neighbor 1 street over gave me his name. He painted their house, and it's similar in size, shape, and texture (stucco/brick) so I felt pretty confident that the bid might be the same price. But I have yet to receive it. Yeah, I know. Strange since I keep hearing all these stories about how people who do house construction are dying for work. I guess not so with this dude. He came out, spent about an hour taking measurements, writing stuff down asking my house what it's symptoms are (joking! I think?) and walked around it like 4 times. He then told me he'd have to go calculate the paint and labor and he'd get back to me in a week. That was 2 months ago.

#2 The Open the Phonebook and Point guy.
Just like it sounds, I picked a name out of the phone book at random. I had the Painting Pros come out for an estimate. They are pretty generic franchise that I think is in every city in America. Just like a Firehouse Subs or a Mr. Sandless, you can buy into the franchise and they will help start it up in your city. They looked pretty reputable online too. And I liked the fact they were nice on the phone, right on time for the appointment, and the guy smiled and said thanks when he left. (Courtesy goes a LONG way with me.) He was only here 15 minutes, plugged all the numbers into his computer, spit out an estimate on his portable printer and viola! $3,000 and they could start next week.

(Points awarded for attitude, but YOWZA! Three grand? I'll have to raise some more funds.)

(BTW still no estimate from #1. Called his cell about 502 times.)

#3 The Historic House Painter who Loves his Job guy.
Last estimate came as a referral from another friend. This guy paints all the historic houses in Springfield - a section of downtown Jacksonville. He mainly works on these old two-story houses from the 1800's that are being renovated and updated. Springfield used to be a pretty sketchy part of town but several blocks have been renovated by young couples since they can afford the cheap mortgages and don't mind living in drywall dust.
This painter was very nice, and I liked him alot but I am a little skeptical. For one thing, he took a look at the front, scratched his beard and said "Mmmm, $2,500?" Just like that. Like it was a question. I was tempted to say. "Nope. Try again." The other thing that kind of worries me is the fact that he doesn't work on stucco houses. The houses he paints are all restored wood shingles. I'm sure it's not that different... but what if there's something really wrong with the stucco and he doesn't know how to spot it? I'm probably being paranoid.
Bottom line he was a NICE guy - price is certainly better - and he LOVES painting houses. Can't beat a person who loves their job. You know you are going to get 110% of effort.

(BTW Still no estimate from #1. I called him 4 more times - got the secretary once, she claimed he would call back. He did - only it was the house phone while I was at work. Oldest trick in the book dude, do you think I was born yesterday?)

So there you have it. We have yet to get started... One of the things you must MUST do before you paint is cut all the shrubbery back so the people can get in there and paint. Plus I have to decide on a color... Any suggestions?

Make like a tree and get outta here.

So one of the perks of having a dead tree on a city street is the fact that the city will come and cut it down and haul it away for FREE. This fact can be evidenced by our neighbors who had a huge (HUGE) water oak tree taken down a few months ago. Too bad our dead water oak was in the back of the house... making it impossible to convince the city to pay for it. Damn.
Here's what our view of the street from our driveway looked like with that dead oak... (I have to say, even though it was dead, it sure was purdy.)

And here's what it looks like now. TOTALLY changes the street, no?

We're still getting used to all the sun we now get. It's almost too hot to stand out in the street and gossip. Hmmm....

Anyhoodle. We had tree issues of our own this past month. A huge windstorm blew through town and the gusts actually ended up damaging a tree in our backyard. Our weird looking tree in the right corner had a branch that split in half. Not just a piddly little small branch... Oh no. That would have been too easy. One of the main branches that all the piddly little branches grow out of. Yeah that one. THAT one split in half.

It must have happened when we were at work because I came home one day and thought, "Huh. That looks funny... What's different about that---NOOOO!"

See what I mean? Kinda looks normal at first, but then you notice the left side seems to be growing down towards the grass. Yeah. ALL those little branches - GONE! because that one split was at the base of them all. Sucks. And of course we have no chainsaw (it's like the one tool we've yet to buy) so Dave got up in that tree with a hand saw and got rid of it all.

Crazy? Yes quite possibly. BUT at least he was wearing sneakers and not flip flops - or worse, barefoot. If you know Dave - you know that's a big improvement. The man is determined to lose an appendage. I'm pretty sure OSHA has his picture up on the "WHAT NOT TO DO" side of the poster that they hang in construction sites.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mary, Mary, quite contrary...

While the yard in the back of the house is slightly neglected... (slightly? Hmm... maybe more than slightly....) There is one section that's growing nicely. Our vegetable garden! We transplanted the pots into the ground a few weeks ago and we're finally seeing some results. The herbs are doing well, with the exception of the cilantro. I let it grow waaaaay too big apparently. But I cut it down to the roots and we'll see if it does any better. I had no idea you were supposed to cut cilantro back weekly. Did you?
Oh and uh... the garden sort of looks like a shallow grave... whatever..

Anyhoo! We actually have a teeny tiny tomato, and two very VERY small blackberries.
Grow baby GROW!

Git R done...

The yard demo is WELL underway. Dave is a ripping-up-digging-out-cut-it-back fiend!!
(Insert deep man cackle here.)

We took out the box hedges in the front, and all the dead or dying plans that were in those flower beds. We only left one lily plant - make that one HUGE lily plant - in the front right corner. I think it anchors the yard nicely.... and it was the only one left that blooms beautiful flowers. So we thought, leave well enough alone! It can greet our guests that pull in the driveway. I think losing those hedges really opens up the yard, where as before they sort of cut off the yard from the rest of the house.
Here is a shot of what it looked like when we moved in. LOTS of small bushes. I'm getting the arm shakes just thinking about all that hedge trimming...

Here's a shot mid-rip. But you can see what we attempted in trying to maintain the garden. It still wasn't really working...

So out it goes!!! Post destruction photo below. The plan now is to till and sod the yard so we can get some green grass that's nice and easy to mow.

Of course this process took Dave about 2 weeks, on and off. Most of the plants he was able to dig out with a shovel, but 4 of them required some horsepower in addition to Dave power. That's right. He drove his truck up onto the yard and hooked a chain to the bush, the other end to his bumper and then gunned it.
(I assure you, we are the reddest people on our block.)
Too bad I didn't get a picture, but you can imagine, I'm sure. It wasn't pretty, and lots of people came out of their houses to stare, but the gardens are now gone!
We put the debris on the curb and it was gone before the sun even set. So I guess maybe some of those people staring were actually window shopping?? I have a feeling my box hedges will be migrating down the street this spring.

The only contribution I had was attacking the mammoth azaleas that sit in front of the windows. They are WAY too big and were starting to get very leggy (is that the right word?) at the bottom. So I started to whack them way back, but I ran out of arm muscle after only a few minutes. So the front of the house now looks like a "before and after" picture. Great for the blog! Bad in real life... :( Ehh. I'll get to it eventually.

BEFORE (waaay before, but a before nonetheless. Note the Christmas wreath on the door)
and AFTER.
And the half finished bushes. I'll get to it, I'll get to it! Geez!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Everything I own is broken.

When it rains it pours.

This weekend started off great... and got increasingly worse. First - the good news. We got a TON of things accomplished that we needed to. I dropped off the 4 bags of clothing that have been taking up my guest room at the church for their Thrift Store, Eve's closet. Then I went shopping and got massive amounts of things that have been on my misc to-buy list for oh... about a year! Things like curtains for the kitchen, shams for our bed, CFL light bulbs, new tablecloth, etc. And then I did a massive cleaning of the house. While I was doing all that, Dave went to softball and they actually won their first game of the season! (GO FCN!) When he came home, he ripped up the entire front flower bed and part of the side bed. (GO DAVE!!) We've been talking about that for oh.... about a year, and I can not even begin to tell you how much better it's looking. (Pictures and a separate blog to follow!)

BUT that's when things started to go downhill.

Dave injured both feet while digging up the bushes (of course) thus making him a cripple and *almost* completely useless on Sunday. And then the cat got sick Sunday night and we ended up spending hours in the emergency animal clinic. To make a long story short, he has a bladder infection, which they gave us antibiotics for, and in the process found out he is diabetic. We been back to the vet every day so they can check his sugar level and we will have to learn how to give him insulin shots.

Finally last night we were all home, all 3 of us... two of us laid up on the couch, 1 of us still functioning and picking up after the other 2 (I'll let you guess who that was) But about 4 am Dave and I woke up to what sounded like a very large animal trying to dig it's way through the wall or ceiling or floor - I couldn't tell due to the lack of sleep and abrupt awakening.


So to sum up.... the husband is broken, the cat is broken, and some *thing* is trying to break the house. Just about everything I own is broken.

Well.... the car got me to work just fine so I guess that's not broken.

(Unless I just jinxed myself)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Getting there...

Slow but steady, right? That's what my momma always..... Ehh. Who am I kidding? I'm lazy as the day is long. I still have the bathroom half finished.

In other news - the potted vegetable garden has been moved to the ground and is growing like crazy! (pictures to come) We just got back from a lovely trip to Mississippi to see the relatives, so we are still getting caught up on household chores too.

I think our next huge project will be the yard. I can not even FATHOM another summer of weeding and spraying and cutting and trimming. ACK. So Dave and I decided to rip up all the flower beds and small bushes, till the ground, and either lay seed or sod. The goal is to be able to mow 95% of the yard. Most of these flower beds have not produced any actual flowers in about 2 years (since we moved in) that is, if you don't count the dandelions and flowering weeds. So hopefully we can get that project going this weekend. Dave will need to rip the box hedges out with his truck... stay tuned for those pictures!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Friday!!! :)


It's been one of those weeks at work... Hell, it's been one of those MONTHS... and a day off could not come at a better time. I feel like I've been running around like a crazy person for the past month, trying to make progress on the house, trying to make progress at work, running back and forth to my parents house to see my 89 year old grandma who was visiting for a few weeks, and of course the constant (constant!) cleaning up after the husband and cat. I am DEAD I tell ya. I know this because I had a complete meltdown last night and then woke up this morning thinking "Why in god's name did I pick a fight with Dave over BLANK?" (It doesn't even matter what the heck it was. It's usually something totally ridiculous like the dishwasher or leaving the shoes all over the house, etc.) Poor Dave. I really put him through the ringer.

BUT! Today is a new day... It's Friday... I'm on my 3rd cup of joe... I feel great... I am staying positive... and I am *penciling in some me time* this weekend. I've got 3 new decorating/design magazines and a new bottle of melon/mint/sugar scrub for the shower (smell so good!) and a pedicure gift certificate I have yet to cash in. I am taking a break this weekend!

Now Dave on the other hand... I have a honey-do list a mile long... seeing as how I added all of mine onto his ;)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

3 Down... 827 Other things to go...

Three more things checked off the list this week.

1.) Painting....... DONE. I chose "Dolphin Fin" by Behr. It's dark enough that you know there's a color on the wall, but light enough to be considered a neutral. And it blends with that "marble" top on the counter. It is SUCH a dramatically different feeling than that old wallpaper had. (Clearly!) I should also note that I decided to paint the ceiling the same color. I am so glad we did. It saved us oodles of time because we used the same roller and paint brush for everything. Just kept rolling up the wall and right over our heads!

2.) Vanity cabinet...... DONE (for now.) As previously mentioned we flipped it (so it was easier to open) chopped off the scroll top, and painted it. I also decided to spray paint the inside a nice clean white and Presto change-o! Much cleaner looking!! Sorry I do not have a before picture of the inside, I just got so excited about spray painting. (I have a problem. Maybe I was a graffiti artist in a past life??) But trust me, it was a gross old dated beige color that just looked dirty even though it wasn't. Eventually I'd like to get a new one all together (or maybe some open shelving??) but for now this will do.

3.) New light....... CHECK. It's actually a Delta bathroom light we found at Lowes. I love love love it. It reminds me of the ones in the Pottery Barn catalogue. Dave was a little worried about it being only 3 light bulbs... but really, I look better in mood lighting.

Now... onto the cabinet, the new pulls, and a new shower curtain. And maybe a big piece of abstract artwork for the wall... hmm.... Oh and I apologize that the pictures are so dark looking. I (of course) didn't actually have any extra light bulbs to put into the new light. It's on the shopping list for this weekend!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pump it up.

So our dude did in fact show up at 8 AM yesterday, and took a look at our heater.

Side note... Dave said he actually liked the guy when he met him. So maybe he was having a bad day and just forgot he had an appointment with us on Friday...... and then tried to lie his way out of it...... and sometimes hears music when there is none playing...... ANYHOO who am I to judge?

So there is nothing wrong with our heater (of course) But we found out we actually have a heat pump, which is different than a furnace. It sort of works like a backwards air conditioner, making the air from the outside hot, unlike a furnace that uses electric or gas powered heat. "The dude," as I'm now referring to him, told us it works really well in mild temperatures, but when it gets too cold, like below 50, it works overtime trying to get any heat out of that really cold air, and thus blowing cold air into the house like crazy trying to get the temperature up. It can be very energy efficient - in MILD climates.

Too bad we live in North Florida, where it gets down into the 30's in the winter... and roughly 110 degrees every day in the summer.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Eat your veggies!!!

We've got another fun little side project going... but it's not going on inside the house - rather the outside... err... on the deck to be exact! We started a small vegetable and herb garden. It's only been about a week, but it's doing quite nicely!

It started with a few potted herbs that my Aunt Marie gave me for Christmas. They were doing very well and we were reaping the benefits on a weekly basis (AKA cooking with them) Then my dad gave us a few small vegetable seedlings from his garden and it sort of snowballed from there. All we had to buy was 2 bags of organic soil for vegetables; we used these flower pots I've had laying around the yard for a year; and VOILA! Instant garden!

Here's what we've got cookin (pun intended):
Bell Peppers
And a Blackberry plant! (ok, we did buy this one but we couldn't resist! we eat them by the bushel.)

YUM! When's dinner?

The hits just keep on coming...

AHS never ceases to disappoint.

True to their history, they have picked a STELLAR repair man to come fix our heater. As you may remember we had an appointment for 8:00 this morning. (If you don't, that's ok. Just scroll down and take a look at the post and try to contain your laughter.) I went off to work, Dave was going to wait for the guy and go in late to work. About 9:30 I get a call from Dave. The repairman called at 8:15 and said we were "next on the list." (Hmmm... Didn't this guy say we were going to be the first appt of the day? And he might even be earlier than 8am???)

Dave told him to not bother, we'd reschedule. He then of course promptly called the Queen of Sarcasm so I could deal with this genius.
For your pleasure.... Phone conversation #2 with this guy:

Shady Repairman Guy: Hello?

Me: Hi. It's Kristen Wax. I guess I have to reschedule because you missed my appointment this morning.

SRG: Hold on, hold on. *Sounds of him walking somewhere -like down a tunnel. What the ??*

SRG: Ok. What's your name again?

Mind you it's only 9:30, and our appointment was for 8:00. How many appointments could he have missed THIS MORNING that he can't remember my name?? But I digress..

Me: Wax.

SRG: Oh yeah. I remember. Strange name. Ok. (Shuffle) Oh. (Shuffle shuffle) OH! I don't have your paperwork! OH! I guess I forgot it! Geez! Oh man!

Me: Ok, well, do you want me to call you when you're at the office, with the paperwork?

SRG: Oh I KNOW what happened! Your appointment was for NEXT Friday. That's why I don't have your paperwork. YOU got your dates mixed up.

Me: Uhh... No I didn't.

SRG: Yeah. I was talking about NEXT Friday.

Me: Then why did you call my husband at 8:15 today to say you were running late?


Me: (Very sarcastically) You were scheduled for today at 8am. Remember I called you on Tuesday of this week and I said either THIS Thursday or Friday? And YOU picked this Friday? And YOU told me I would be the FIRST appointment of the day. So how come you called my husband and told him we were NEXT on the list? Then that means I'm NOT first on your list. You lied to me.

SRG: I can be there in 10 minutes.

Me: It's too late. We're at work. Our appointment was at 8 AM.

SRG: Look I'm sorry! OK, so when do you want me out there?

Me: (in the most sarcastic tone ever) As SOON as possible, FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. I don't care if it's 5 am. I want to be first on your list. I live in Jacksonville and work in St. Augustine. I can't come home in the middle of the day.

SRG: How about Monday at 8 AM?

Me: Fine.

SRG: Ok. Goodbye -

Me: WAIT! Don't you even want to know what's wrong with it???

SRG: I know what's wrong. It's not working.

So, I guess I am going shopping for an electric blanket this weekend because my heater is obviously never going to get fixed.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My mind is in the crapper.

I can't stop thinking about bathroom colors!

Today I am daydreaming at work about shower curtains. Does this mean I have officially lost it? (On a random side note - How do you know when you've "officially" lost it? Do they send you a certificate with your name on it? But I digress...)

We finally finished priming the walls this past weekend. We opted for the oil based Killz, and while it killed a few brain cells the walls look ten thousand times better. We've still got to caulk some corners that... how you say... don't touch? Yes there are actual gaps in the corners of the room where the walls don't meet. We could have ripped them down and just started over from scratch BUT let's remember, we are trying to same money and keep this to a Trading Spaces-esque make-over. Stay the course STAY THE COURSE! I think we've come along way so far...

What a good coat of white paint will do for the senses! Ahh! So much easier on the eyes than that crazy Garden of Eden wallpaper. So I am still in my paint color hell, but I've also expanded the search to shower curtain hell. I've decided I hate that pink shower curtain. Bummer because I really did LOVE it almost 2 years ago when we moved in. Oh well! At least it was only $11 on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond. I'm thinking the new shower curtain should be something very grown up - maybe like a luxury hotel? Hmm....

Hot under the collar.

So by now you're well versed in my epic battle with the home warranty company American Home Shield. Well I am clearly glutton for punishment because I called them to come fix our heater.

I know what you're thinking. Why WHY! would you do that after it took you 4 months to get them to fix the stove??? Yup. I know. I know. But an epic battle takes time, people! With lots of shocking plot twists no less! (Plus we still have 6 months left on this baby and I am all about getting my money's worth.)

The heater says it's on - but I'm not so sure since every fiber of my being is frozen to the core. Oh yeah, and because the vents are blowing cold air. That too.

So. I called Saturday went through the ridiculous automated questionnaire and logged my problem in the system. Then a *qualified* technician (read=cheapest they can find) is supposed to call you back and make an appointment. So of course, this guy called the house phone twice yesterday - even though I gave them my work phone number. AND might I add, this guy left the wrong call back number on my machine. I had to look him up in the phonebook to realize that he mixed up his own phone number. (Oh yeah. This guy is a pro.)

So today I called him at 9 AM. The conversation was too bizarre not to share:

Strange Mr. Fix It Guy: Hello?

Me: Hi, my name is Kristen Wax, I'm calling you back, you left a message on my machine yesterday, something is wrong with my heater....


Me: Uhh Yeah, Hi. I'm calling you back, you left me a message yesterday.....


Me: *glancing around my empty, hence very quiet, office* Excuse me?



SMFIG: Oh ok now I can hear you. Oh yeah. What's your name again?

Me: Kristen Wax.

SMFIG: Ok well I can't come today, I'm already out for the day.

(**NOTE - it's 9:03 am - does he mean he's gone for the day? or he's full for the day? I decide I don't care and push onward.)

Me: No that's fine - I'm actually at work and I'll be here all day so I'll need to make an appointment with you.

SMFIG: Ok, I'll be there tomorrow.

Me: Ok, what time?

SMFIG: I'll call you.

Me: No no no. I work - ALL DAY - I'll need a time when you are coming out so I make sure to be there.

SMFIG: Can't you just leave work?

Me: Uh NO I can't just leave at a moment's notice. I work 45 minutes from home. I need an appointment. Do you have something first thing in the morning? That's best for me.

SMFIG: How about Friday morning? First thing.

Me: Ok.




Me: Hello?

SMFIG: Yeah.


Me: Well? What time is "first thing?"

SMFIG: I'll be there at 8:00. Maybe earlier. I'll call you.

I thanked him (why, I don't know) hung up, and then realized he didn't ask for directions, what was wrong with the heater, or even get a cell phone number for me.

Oh yeah. This should be good.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Painter's block.

Much like the writer's block that an author (or blogger?) can suffer from... I am now suffering from painter's block. I of course have no idea if this is a real affliction, but I am claiming it anyway. Not only am I still trying to come up with something to paint on a canvas for the dining room... I can not settle on just one color for the bathroom walls. I am having a hard time committing to a gray. Maybe it's because it so dreary looking on that little chip. I've looked at about a million and one "inspiration rooms" and I can see that spa-like bathrooms do have usually light colors - grays, cream, sage - but I just look at all these "muted" paint chips and they just seem so BORING to me. Maybe it's all that white tile staring me in the face too?

Anyway that's where I'm at. Block-ville. I'm hoping to catch the bus to Inspiration-ville soon.

In the meantime I cleaned out my closet and made a huge bag for Goodwill. Amazing I have so many clothes - and STILL choose to wear a t shirt and jeans whenever possible. I would have worn it to my wedding if they let me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A little Vanity never hurt anybody...

In the midst of the stripping nightmare that would not end, I had Dave take down two things that have been driving me cray since day one.
The first was the vanity light.

Now some people have argued with me over this thing. I've heard it's cute, fun, shabby chic, antique-ie, and lovely. But this thing.... this thing... was SO GROSS in person. Not only was it a dust collector, it was so freakin bright in the morning - I cringed every time we had to throw the switch. So I would agree, yes, it was shabby - but NO where near chic. Thankfully, it's now gone. And I get to shop for a new light. (yea!)

The other thing that drove me bonkers was the vanity cabinet. Not only was it very "country" looking, what with it's scrolly piece up top - it also opened the wrong way. That's right. It opened towards the mirror. So every morning you have to be careful not to smack yourself in the face when you are half asleep and trying to open it.

So that is gone too. I might shop for a new one eventually, but in the meantime Dave sawed off the scroll and will flip it when he installs it after we paint, so it will open the right way. It will at least buy us some time (and save us some money) in case I don't find anything I like. One thing we were curious about when we took out that vanity was the possibility of finding razor blades.

If you live in an old house you know what I am talking about!! If you don't, and you live in an old house - check this out and let me know what you find. **If you look in your bathroom vanity cabinet, there should be a little slit in the back. This is where they encouraged men to "dispose" of their razor blades after they went dull. Of course they don't actually go anywhere - they usually just pile up on a beam inside the wall. I know one of our neighbors found literally hundreds in their wall when they renovated their bathroom. Dave and I were really excited to find the same thing in ours... but alas... we had 1 lonely blade. Not too crusty either. Which makes me think that either the previous homeowner was smart enough to realize the ridiculous marketing schemes of the 40's... or maybe he just wore a really big beard.

Blank canvas.

So here are some before and after pics of the bathroom (as promised!) after all the stripping, spackeling, and sanding. When I was taking these I realized - we pretty much have a blank canvas to work with, especially considering all the white tile too. It got me thinking... maybe I should rethink the gray color scheme? Maybe we should do a really crazy color on the walls??? Or a wild patterned shower curtain and towels??? Any suggestions? This could be fun...
Here it is de-country-fied. There's a yellow hue over everything because we took that hideous make-up light fixture out and now have to use the heat lamp bulbs as a light! (Not that I am complaining... it's been pretty chilly here lately!)
I'd forgotten about those shower doors... and those matching cutains!!! I can't even imagine where you'd find curtains that were the same pattern as the wallpaper.

Monday, January 26, 2009

So sue me.

Well I forgot to bring in the camera to work so you'll just have to wait a little longer for the before and after pics.
But Dave spackled his little heart out this weekend so the walls are ready for a nice thick coat of primer. We are getting soooo close to picking a color!! (My favorite part!)

Even though I forgot the camera... I can show you the inspiration for the bathroom. Here's a picture from the Pottery Barn website...

Ok so right now my bathroom vanity looks NOTHING like this. But! Hear me out... The top of our vanity is a fake marble looking plastic (comparable to the real marble pictured here) and all of our tile is white - like the grogeous looking tile in this picture. Soooo.... I was thinking that if I paint the bottom of the vanity brown, and paint the walls a gray similar to this... I can achieve the same sort of spa-like effect. What do you think?