Hello! I am, indeed, still in existence on the planet! You wouldn't know that from my complete disregard for anything blog related for the past 73 years but I'm back! The kitchen project is on hold. As soon as I can find a contractor who ACTUALLY DOES what they say they'll do....I'll have a ceiling. That's right folks, no ceiling yet. In fact I think I might start my own contracting business. Would you hire me? My motto will be "I'll do what I say I'll do".....the clients will flock to me. ;-)
Anyhoo....enough of my crazy lady kitchen rant. We've had lots of downtime over the holidays...and the kiddos are still downtiming it at Mema and Papa's....so......it's back to work for the hubster and I. Work on what you might ask since the kitchen is in a perpetual state of limbo? THE BASEMENT. It.is.a.disaster. Or maybe I should say......WAS a disaster. Okay, honestly it's still disaster-esque...but that's just because the dumpster hasn't shown up yet to take away the mountain of trash we have collected.
Today a sneaky peak at my favorite transformation so far.......for years I have wanted a shelf to put ALL my paint on. Since my sign biz has taken a sharp upturn in the last year I NEED all this paint (did you hear that dear? i NEED it.) he he he. Anyway, this is where I wanted it....doesn't it look spiffy? I painted the wall behind and swept...my dear husband did the assembly.
(ignore the total mess in the back and foregrounds....we're workin' on it.)
MORE BASEMENT LATER!!!! My husband would like the world to see his new "pain cave"....don't ask...he's a weirdo triathlete...they enjoy pain in the form of endless treadmill running and indoor bicycle training. Weird.
The words may dwindle as this post goes on. I am REALLY tired now. Do you notice my theme lately? I think I've mentioned in...oh....the last twenty seven posts how tired I am. ;-) This is where the week began. I got the beadboard finished on the west half of the countertop backsplash. Wood filler filled all the little nail holes....same on the existing window trim.
It took a lot of wood filler. Previous owners were unkind to the window trim.
You might remember from the other day....the new stainless beauty? Well forget about that for a minute and look at the east half of the backsplash. Tonight I finally couldn't take it any longer. I had to finish.
So of course rather than just finish that I started two other projects at the same time. ;-) This was one....the little corner on the west half where the chimney goes up was in rough shape. Due to logistics I couldn't wrap this in beadboard like I had wanted....just wouldn't work out with the cupboard door needing to open...I mean, I guess that's what cupboards are for, right? ANYWAY, I patched it all with spackling compound, attempted to wait patiently for it to dry and sand.
Primed and painted. Done and done.
Then I moved on to the beadboard/top trim....and promptly smashed my finger with the hammer. Yes, that is a screw in the picture, I wasn't hitting the screw with the hammer...I promise. It's late...but not that late.
Starting to look like a real kitchen, huh?
Primer and paint tomorrow. The end is nearing....praise goodness....then I'm going to take an entire month to lay in bed and watch movies and be waited on like the home improvement goddess I am. That's a heads up for you honey. ;-) he he he....just kidding....about the goddess part anyway. ;-)
Who would have ever thought anyone besides me would enjoy my signs? My dear sweet friend has ordered her fourth sign of the year....to be finished by the end of the week. These were number two and three (graduation presents). Congratulations on your graduation from ISU Devin!! He's a smart kid...I mean, he's a Cyclone, nuff said.
Today we bid a farewell to this old clunker. The kitchen remodel that has lasted into infinity is crawling toward the finish line....and this was one of the last pieces. The dishwasher conked out quite a while ago....but I told myself I could do without one until the kitchen was done. Welllllll....it was close anyway.
Last Saturday we spun on over to Olsen's in Lowden....where you get super duper service. Seriously. I have a story....
last year we were hosting Thanksgiving and my oven decided it no longer wished to heat. I called Sears, where we had purchased the stove, to get service. To which I was told the soonest they could be out to ASSESS THE SITUATION (not fix the situation) was two and a half weeks from that day. I explained this wasn't my vegetable steamer, or my waffle maker, or something i could do without for two and a half weeks.....THIS WAS MY STOVE!!!!
To heck with you Sears and your sucky service. I called Olsen's.
Bless their hearts....they came out the same day. So anyway, long story longer, we've never called anyone else since....and now we are buying our appliances there too.
Josh stopped by today and took out the old clunker.
And brought in the stainless beauty.
And promptly installed it. Yay!
We are really happy about it. Although this little funny guy was his usual clever self today. I told him that Josh was coming over to put in a new dishwasher, to which he replied "But you just got a new dishwasher". I said, no honey, that's an old dishwasher. He then replied, adamantly, NO, you just got a new dishwasher....IT'S RIGHT THERE. (pointing to the sink) I nearly fell on the floor. Touche.
Bring on the holidays! We're ready...well sorta. The family tree is decorated...by little hands...it's a little bottom heavy ;-)....so sweet. I've only gotten out a couple of my decoration boxes...after the relief of not hosting a home tour this year the wind just went right out of my sails.....in a good way. I just feel like enjoying the holidays without stressing about my house looking perfect. I'll save that for next year! And I'm just plain tired.
We're counting down the days to Christmas on our paper chain advent calendar. To think, since July I obsessed over which advent calendar to make...there are so many cute ideas out there. This is my favorite...by far. Made by 1st grade hands.
When I was young (I feel kinda old these days) I always thought it was weird that my mom insisted on putting all the little paper ornaments we'd made over the years on the tree. They didn't seem very pretty to me...just random little projects we'd done. Now I understand. No matter how many fancy decorations I put up these are my favorite...because my little guys won't be little forever. sniffle.
Clancey and I outfitted the foyer tree this morning.....again it's a little bottom heavy on the ornaments, but that's okay...I like it that way. ;-)
He was particularly impressed with this ornament...it's one of my favorites too. He asked me to put it on the tree because he was afraid it would break. Sometimes he's the bull in the china store....sometimes he's not.
We decorated outside....a while ago. ;-) While it was warm. But we didn't finish.
We finished in the cold. Brr. Again, it's simple, natural, free. Everything is from our yard or something I already had stashed away. Scroll back up to the garland pic....can you guess what that vine is? Fifty bonus points.
More stuff from the yard....pine clippings, bittersweet, dried out hollyhock stalks...I know, I'm a big spender.
Oh, and Bob made a reappearance....he found the perfect home on top of Euphona.
Check out all the amazing holiday decorations at Kim's DIY party!!
I did it!! I finally chose the Christmas card design for this year. Thanks to Shutterfly 50 of these little beauties will be arriving at my doorstep quite directly....for FREE! I love free...and now I love Shutterfly too. There were dozens and dozens of designs that I pined over.....it was not an easy decision.
We're feeling the Christmas cheer around here. So much so that we are tending to avoid anything that resembles ACTUAL work...and favoring fun trips, yummy treats and snowball fights.
Today that fun trip led us here....for yummy treats. Miss Effie's Flower Farm. Okay, so not so much for the flowers at the moment....but guess what else is on Miss Effie's Flower Farm? The Summer Kitchen.
Filled with all this goodness.
And more goodness.
And even more goodness.
Half of which came home with us. (Okay not half....but we made a dent.) Turtle cocoa mix, grape jam, apple pie jam, red wine strawberry jam, 3 dozen eggs that are so pretty it pains me to break each one open, and......Christmas gifts....can't tell you what those are!
After visiting with one of the most delightful women I know (Cathy, aka Miss Effie) we made our way home. To which, I may or may not have opened every single jar to taste. ;-) The cocoa had my kids rolling on the floor moaning in delight. Yep, it's that good. And the jam had nearly the same effect on my husband...he just didn't feel like laying on the floor. he he he.
By the time we got home the flakes were beginning to fall. Snowball fight....game on! First a little brotherly love.
Then Mommy asked to take a "nice photo". My model citizen on the left posed sweetly. My rabble rouser on the right decided to be a funny guy.
And a little more funny guy.
Isn't digital the best? I just kept shooting...I knew I'd catch that little devil with a normal grin. ;-)
About this time we got cold, went inside and drank more cocoa.
PS. Cathy was kind enough to spark my memory......PLEASE DON'T COME TO MY HOUSE TOMORROW. YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED.
I forgot to share with all my bloggy friends.....the Holiday Home Tour has been postponed until December 2011.....and IT.WILL.BE.AWESOME. I won't get into the details...but I promise you won't be disappointed next year. I'll keep you all aprised of the dates/details/another year of insane projects to get ready!!
Oh goodness.....look at this little bug. She's coming to see us December 23! Oh, and her folks too. ;-) Just kidding Laura and Chad. We are so excited to see these dear friends...it's been years...hmm...maybe since the Austin Wedding?? They're visiting ALL THE WAY from California....and we couldn't be more excited. The holidays are certainly for spending with the sweetest people you care for the most.....the Austins are at the top of our list.
Now....to get the kitchen finished before their arrival!!
Guess what time it is! Time for another installment of the Dare to DIY party over at the NewlyWoodwards! I hang my head in shame....I missed last week's party. My table was covered in everything EXCEPT beautiful place settings....so I just couldn't be there....but there were SO many wonderful ideas.
This week's dare is......DARE TO EAT COOKIES. Frankly I don't need anything remotely resembling a dare to eat a cookie....but after this Thanksgiving's feasting I really should. Phew.
For my cookie I decided on the "Fudge Filled Sandies". YUMMO. New recipe, super simple, looks fancy. Love that.
Just a few ingredients, but very cute for the holidays.
You have now experienced the ONLY holiday decorations in my entire house. ACK!
Personal assistant to completely neurotic
woman with far too many irons
in far too many fires.
This is the wonderful cookie book I got my recipe from. It's a must-buy for anyone on your list who likes to bake. Every page is filled with AWESOME looking recipes.
(It just so happens that the Clarence Friends of the Library are selling these right now! $9.99 each, $5 of which goes directly to upgrades for the library!!)
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans
additional confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 T. light corn syrup
1 T. water
1 T. shortening
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and pecans; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Roll into 1" balls. Place 1" apart on ungreased baking sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, made an indentation in the center of each. Bake at 325 for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Roll warm cookies in confectioners' sugar. Cool on wire racks. In a microwave or double boiler melt chips, stir in remaining filling ingredients until smooth. Spoon into cooled cookies. Yield: 4 dozen.
First, on Saturday I was blessed with a countertop. THEN, on Sunday I was quadruple blessed with a sink....and running water....and a garbage disposer....and a spigot dedicated solely to FILTERED water. I've gone to plumbing heaven. My dad put in....oh....roughly 24 straight hours of toiling, backbreaking, icky, dirty, headache-inducing work to make that blessing happen however. I am forever indebted. (for many more reasons than just plumbing)
First of all, that pretty gleaming white piece of cast iron up there weighed more than I do.
I'm pretty sure...okay, well I did eat some Halloween candy today....maybe we'll say it weighed a vaguely similar amount to me. ;-)
Did you know this goes on the sink first? It's called plumber's putty. I had no idea. You learn somethin' new everyday, huh?
Then it got squished down by Dad.
Once the faucet was in place we lifted that behemoth into the hole in the countertop. Not an easy task while trying to avoid the caulk around the ring of the sink....and not scratch the countertop....and not just drop the whole show because it's like lifting a car up by one of it's hubcaps.
Dad fixed the weirdo plumbing in the basement. Originally the kitchen sink drained into a pipe that ran straight across the top there, then fell straight down. In fact it ACTUALLY ran UPHILL for a ways. UP.HILL. Add one wimpy Badger 1 and an uphill battle in the plumbing...well you get the picture. Dad fixed it all...now it goes slaloming down into the sewer. Praise be.
The finished product. Wow. Wowwy. WOWZER.
This pretty girl sat in a box, in my basement, for six years. Uh-huh. SIX.YEARS. She deserved better for all her chromey beautifulness.....
SO, in conclusion......MY DAD ROCKS. Thanks Dad.....now go take a nap.
Hi! My name is Jen, mom of two boys... yin and yang. Wife of super triathlete. Signpainter, who still uses a paintbrush. DIY'er, whose house is the victim in a constant quest to define "my style". Gardener, who plants too much and "puts up" till the cows come home. On a mission to find a little peaceful serenity in 2014.