Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ain't no Circus in THIS Town!

I started out my day thinking about finishing our Master Bedroom.
As the day progressed, I started thinking about how much I really hate having a cat litter box as the focal point of my bathroom.

When we rescued our kitten two summers ago, I had to put a litter box in there because I was afraid she was going to do her business in there box or no box. But as time went on, I notice that this one actually gets the least use. So it's time to take back my bathroom!

At first, I started thinking about what I would put in its place. It had to be something substantial so that the cats would walk in and say "Well I guess there's no doing my business in here any more!"

So I started thinking about what I would like in there. I started with a simple diagram:
And something like this would be quite easy to build. But then I remembered that Marty has borrowed my saw.... And I'm motivated today! SO I started surfing the net for something similar to my diagram, and of all places, Shopko had what I wanted!

I called my local store and they had one left because they were on sale. The sales lady asked if I would like her to set it aside for me and I said yes!

So now, in place of the litter box, I now have this:
Only mine is in a cedar colour. And it was half price! And yes, I did stop and buy Faux Fur to make a cushion for on top. It is so soft! I just love it!

Can't Sleep. The Clowns Will Eat Me

I woke up early this morning. I hate that! This is the weekend! A person is supposed to be able to sleep in on the weekends! But NO! I have to wake up early without the ability to just roll over and go back to sleep!

But it's not all bad. I was pondering what I want to do with our new bedroom. Thanks to the joy of internet, I have made some clearer decisions.

There are two major issues with the ceiling in that room.
#1 is that there is a big chunk of plaster missing. The advice I've received regarding this is that it would be just easier to put up drywall over the entire ceiling. EASIER? Are you joking? Sure I could get helpers to put the drywall UP, but I know that I would be left to put up 3 coats of skim-coating plaster over it all. That's a lot of effort for a gal my age. I would absolutely kill my back spending 3 weeks in an odd position whilst trying to put up even coats of plaster. Too much work for a gal like me.

Problem #2 is that the former landlord had felt that the easiest solution to the ceiling problem was to install a dropped ceiling. GROSS! I tore all that down with the help of my son Andy. Except there is a metal strip remaining all around the room on the upper walls. My fear is that removing this may cause more plaster to fall from the ceiling. So it's there to stay. And now I need to work around that.

But I've got an idea that may solve both issues.
First I need to fill the gaping area where the plaster fell. The beauty of my plan is that it doesn't need to be a pretty solution because it need only be level with the rest of the ceiling.
I am going to go to Lowes and by some paintable wallpaper and put up a Faux Tin Ceiling.
I'm thinking more along the lines of the second image here - but of course it all depends on what Lowes has for paper. And metallic paint.

The solution to the second issue - the metal strip surrounding the upper walls will be disguised.
I am going to buy some 1/2" x 6" wide lumber and attach that to the walls and ceiling all the way around the room which will actually make it look like the ceiling was raised in the center.
This 6" edge will also have the wall-covering on it.

Yes, this still sounds like a lot of work - but it is FUN work instead of tedious work. It's gonna look very cool if it turns out the way the construction crew in my head says it will.

And of course I am also changing my mind about wall colours. I've found some awesome home decor web sites lately that are just packed with ideas. And I'm thinking about going with a soft stone colour on 3 walls, and the third wall as a darker slate gray. I'll be picking up paint chips today to make a better decision on that. But I can then print and hang many of the interesting pictures that I have been collecting off of the internet for the past few years. Many of them are stone bridges, ruins, black and white and sepia pictures. I want them to pop when I hang them.

And then I will need to shop for a berry coloured comforter and sheets.

I will post pictures when this project gets under-way. It'll be a while before I dive in. My new Grandbaby is due any day now, and the benefit for hubby is just two weeks away, so it's best that I wait until all of that happens first.

Lets hope March is an awesome month!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

We totally have a theme going

The latest fad at my workplace is Friendship Bread.
That's the stuff that just keeps on growing and growing.
A friend gives you a bag of yeasty batter and you take it home and care for it for 10 days, and before you know it, it is time to bake two loaves of it - which turns out quite yummy if you have the right recipe. But you also find yourself with 3 new bags of batter to try to pass on to friends. If you have a shitload of good friends, you can keep it going forever.

I was foolish enough to actually keep one bag and pass on two during the first round.
For the second round, I thought I'd be smart and just bake a ton of the stuff and only keep one bag of new batter going.

Well, it turned out that I am the only one in the house who is eating the stuff! So barely a quarter of it was consumed, and the rest ended up in the trash.

Yesterday, I baked my third and final round of Friendship Bread. No more! There's a quarter on the dresser, I'm through wit ya! Elvis has left the Friendship Bread building.

Last evening, I baked 2 loaves of the stuff, and for some reason, (probably because I was cooking dinner AND baking bread instead of just sending good Friendly Vives to the oven), the loaves decided to collapse in the center, resembling a butt crack! So, I brought one loaf to work and said "Hey! It's Friendship Bread. If you can't share your Butt Crack with Friends, who CAN you share it with?"

Thankfully, everyone enjoyed that loaf and it is gone!

Now, I know that all of my coworkers have lost interest in the Batter portion of Friendship Bread. It takes a lot to remember to mush the batter in the bag daily. And if you don't do that, the yeast dies and the batter just ferments and doesn't bake well.

Whilst baking, I called and left a voice mail message on one sister's phone, hoping I would find a taker. I then called my other sis and asked her if she would be interested in a bag of Friendship Batter. Hey! They escaped the last two rounds!

"No way!" was Big Sister's response.
"How about if I just bake another loaf? Would you like a baked loaf of Friendship Bread?"
"Isn't that something like the story about the Chicken and the grain of wheat?" was her response.
"I just want to get rid of the stuff!" I laughed, "But I guess you're right about that."
So, no, she wasn't going to adopt any Friendship Bread, baked or unbaked.

But luckily, my other sis called back and said "Yes! I'll take a bag! My daughter will take a bag. And my son's Girlfriend will take a bag."

I was so happy I did a little dance in my kitchen! No more Friendship Bread Batter to tend to!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Husband the Innovator

It just cracks me up. As always, I am combing home improvement and home decor blogs looking for inspiring ideas.

It seems the hottest thing in home decor right now is a Mini Bar.
They're fucking EVERYWHERE! We've run out of places to store our booze, so I just leave it all sitting on a cabinet in the kitchen. Out in the open. So that people can think we're booze hounds.

I remember just 6 months ago Hubby said "You should take that Video cabinet in the living room and turn it into a Mini Bar. It would be a great place to hide all the booze and glasses and would be handy for guests when we have parties."

My response (I am SUCH a dinosaur!) : "Then what would we do with all the DVDs inside of it?"

He never answered that question, so my cabinet never became a mini bar.... yet.

It's finally hip to lush it up at home! Yippee!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines Day 2010

It's Lunch Time.
Me: "On Friday before lunch, I was looking at the menu at work and I said there was nothing Valentiney or romantic about this menu."
Coworker: "You're absolutely right about that."
Me: "Well... unless you count the Chicago Style Hot Dogs...."
I am SO grounded!

Today -
Hubby: "What should we have for lunch?"
I tell him about my Friday conversation.
Hubby: "Well then let's have Tacos!"
What a guy!

Later -
Hubby: "What are you eating?"
Me: "The last can of Hash. What would you like for dinner? And don't say the last can of hash or I'll have to punch you."
Hubby: "The last can of hash."

He settled for Grilled Cheese and Tomato soup. I burned the sandwich. Where is the love?

Friday, February 12, 2010


I love to visit Apartment Therapy's site for ideas and Home Decor inspiration. I'm always looking for new ideas to keep our home interesting (also having an inspiring space makes me feel like cleaning it more often!), and what better place to find such inspiring ideas than touring other people's homes!

Some days there is nothing that screams "Groovy" to me on that web site. But today, I found oodles of ideas!

For example, I have one last table in our garage that is waiting to be stripped and refinished. I scored two of these tables at The Restore in Appleton (That is the place that gives me Store-gasms!)

I've been holding off on working on this table because I want to try something different with each one (also, I can really only do this through spring and summer when it is warm in the garage and I have the option of working in the driveway in the sunshine!). Well, today I have found my inspiration!
What a great idea for a table top! And I just happen to have some left over poly from when we refinished our living room floor that I can use to seal in the pennies once they are adhered to the surface! That will deter patina from setting in.

Now to decide if I will do them all face up or all face down, or mix it up to annoy some of my OCD friends. It's a good thing I have to wait for spring, because I need to start saving more pennies!

Our new bedroom needs a great deal of attention as well. I know I need to finish fixing the ceiling and putting up moulding, but I also want to do something cool with it to make it more inviting. This room has great space constraints, so I need to choose wisely what I will do with it.

I have been collecting vintage votive cups for years, and have ended up putting most of them in storage because I just don't have the room to display them all. But if I made a bunch of little display boxes as pictured below, I could have a lot of fun displaying my votives on them.

The awesome part about this idea is that I don't need to use solid wood to make the boxes. They won't be holding a great deal of weight. I could make them out of squares of Balsa Wood and glue them together, attaching sturdy fasteners to the back so they hang proper. And because they would be made of balsa, I can also make little edges on the tops of each one with left over balsa so that the candles never slide off and fall. It will be an inexpensive and simple project. I like that!

I would hang them lower on the wall though and hang an interesting picture above them. Half the fun of decorating is borrowing ideas and making them your own.

Another groovy idea that I spotted on Apartment Therapy is this spice rack!

What a great idea! Labeling the cork stopper with the name of each spice makes them easy to spot. And I love the idea of having them all in a small enough space that they could actually live beside our stove! This would be fun for anyone with space constraints. It might even make me enjoy cooking more! Well, okay, I already do enjoy cooking. It's the dirty dishes that I actually hate. Maybe some day Apartment Therapy will come up with a fun idea for those as well!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Standing My Ground

It's getting to be another crazy week around here.

My workplace had a flood on Sunday due to defective pipes connecting a sprinkler system.
It has been quite interesting watching every one deal with clean-up and relocation of the affected departments. It made Monday feel even more like a Monday.

But Tuesday was my favourite holiday.
What's not to love about Groundhog Day?
Nothing to cook for, nothing to shop for, no one you have to visit.
The only one it really inconveniences is Ppunxsutawney Phil, and he's lucky enough to go back to sleep after all the hoopla is over.

Yesterday, I got to play a part in a very fun prank.
One of the Doctors that I work with loves a good prank.
He is having his car repaired, and the Auto Dealership that is fixing his car dropped off a loaner
for him. They always drop off the keys at our desk for him.
Robin took the keys and said "So what kind of prank can we do to him? Should I tell him they lost the keys?"
I said "Nah, that's too lame. We need to leave something silly INSIDE the car."
That was all the direction Robin needed. A light bulb went on in her head, and she headed off to the nearest vending machine.

We started with what I refer to as a "Party Hat". It is one of those trays that a patient sets beneath the toilet seat so as to catch a urine sample. Robin poured in some apple juice.
I just happened to have some over-sized malted milkballs.
Candy happened to have some chocolate covered raisins.
One Malted Milk ball and 3 raisins later, Robin was leaving this appealing little surprise in the driver seat of Doc's loaner car!

As the day went on, everyone grew too anxious to see his reaction, so they told him that the dealership had called and said they may have accidentally dropped the keys to a different car in his loaner. Could he go check?

He said when he first got out there, he wasn't sure if it was us pranking him or the dealership! (Apparently they have pranked him a few times as well!). After seeing this, he felt he'd best look over the whole car and make sure there weren't any more surprises! And as he searched, he realized that the dealership didn't have access to such supplies as a Party Hat.

He took it very well. I know we're in for an even better prank pulled upon us some day soon, but for now, it was so worth it.

Today, curiosity got the best of me. With all og the flooding on Monday, I knew it would affect Hubby's upcoming appointments next week. So I called the radiation department and asked how his appointments would be affected. We'll need to go through a few more steps to achieve results, but at least we don't have to go to Green Bay like many of their other patients....yet.

We'll get through this. But it really makes me wonder why God is making each step of this journey such a challenge. But I will take a natural disaster over Hubby ending up in the hospital any day!