Thursday, December 3, 2009
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.
OH YES THIS IS VERY ENJOYABLE. COME JOIN ME IN HAPPYTOWN WON'T YOU?
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
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
We'll start fresh tomorrow.
How have YOU been lately?
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
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
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.
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
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
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
(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?
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
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.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
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
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
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
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
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
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):
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?
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..
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?
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
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....
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.....
SMFIG: HELLO? I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE MUSIC! WHO IS IT?
Me: *glancing around my empty, hence very quiet, office* Excuse me?
SMFIG: I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!
Me, overly shouting to make sure he can hear the sarcasm: YOU CALLED ME YESTERDAY - I'M CALLING YOU BACK. I DON'T KNOW WHAT MUSIC YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT. THERE IS NO MUSIC.
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: 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
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
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.