Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bathroom Do Over

I've been intending to post these pics for awhile, but when I downloaded them from the camera to the computer every single picture had my finger stuck in the middle of them. And, believe it or not, the second photo session yielded the same results! (I'm a disaster.) So, here we have Round 3.

When I posted the kitchen pictures I mentioned the fact that there was a serious hole-poking problem by a previous resident; so Mr. B advised me to take the pictures of the wall after spackling but prior to sanding, in order to convey just how serious this issue was.

So a few before shots:

This is just one wall in the hall bath. Nearly all the walls in this bathroom looked just like this one:


This is the master bath...again same story. The wall color really wasn't this pumpkin-y:

The color here is more accurate. This is the wall beside the shower and across from the toilet in the master bath. Mr. B's theory is that either they used this wall as a bulletin board or used a push pin to hold back the shower curtain and didn't bother to try to find the same hole each time. My theory involves obsession:

Okay now the after shots. A few things to note:

1. Between the two bathrooms there was only one towel rack. That has been remedied.

2. I painted the master bath first...wasn't pleased with the color (I wanted it to have more tan in it); so for the second bathroom I chose what I thought was going to be more what I had in mind. Got it on the wall, and it's almost the same color as the master bath! Sooo, I may end up painting them over at some point in time, if I absolutely can't take it.

3. I still need to add some decor elements to both bathrooms...I'm working on it, I'm working on it!

Because both bathrooms are small, I was really excited to find a double towel cool is that?

Not terribly exciting here, but at least now the hand towels aren't hanging on the door knobs!

Not an easy picture to take! But I want you to know what a creative genius I am...these light fixtures were an antique-y bronze; they are now a very lovely satin nickel thanks to Rustoleum metallic spray paint. Love it!

So there you have more holes, no more peach!
Next project?
I'm painting paneling!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Of Mice and Men….

And by “Men” I mean teenaged girls…
More specifically…angry teenaged girls.

A few posts ago, I made this statement:

"Mice? Although I respectfully request that they stay outside, and, yeah, I will set out traps and bait to keep them out of my house, you will not find me standing on a kitchen chair screaming my head off if I encounter one. (Okay, so there was one particular incident involving my little sister…but, honestly, that little devil had it coming.)"

The back story is thus:

Many, many years ago, while I was still living in my childhood home, Grandma Ruby came to live with us. As a result, I was promptly evicted from “the pink palace” and sent to the basement to share a bedroom with my younger sister. (No, I’m not bitter…why do you ask?)

Now you should know that for much of our lives my younger sister and I were referred to as ”the girls”. For much of our lives we shared a bedroom. For much of our lives we were dressed alike. For much of our lives we received different versions of the same toys. We were raised as one; and, I’ve said this before, we are variant versions of the same person. Not such a bad thing…like twins, we are connected and share an unspoken communication with one another.

Now, on the fateful night in question, the two of us had just settled into our respective and matching twin beds when we heard it.

A mouse…
rustling around somewhere in our room.

The unspoken decision was to forget him tonight and bring in the “Assassin” tomorrow.

The Assassin was Spook, our very large Siamese cat. Spook was a master at catching a variety of prey, but specialized in mice. He didn’t just catch them and eat them…he toyed with them, he tortured them, and then he ate them.

But, and this is a very big but, the mouse made a very rash and misguided decision. (Probably because he was hopped up on the 50 chocolate candy bars he'd just eaten his way through, which my sister was supposed to be selling to benefit the high school band.)

Picture, if you will, the lights are out, and I’m just about ready to drift away when out of the darkness comes a stream of curse words the likes of which I had no idea my sister even knew, much less would scream at the top of her lungs. Apparently, Mr. Mouse decided that it would be fun to screw with her by running right over the top of her sleepy body.   

(It is interesting to note that in any normal household at least one person might have possibly thought that maybe they should check on us…I mean, seriously, we were not quiet. Perhaps this is why we are so independent…)
The unspoken decision…


Being the self-sufficient and hardy young girls we were/are we waited and we listened…
And fairly soon it became clear that our little terrorist had taken shelter in the trash can.

What happened next was a symphony of teamwork…

A paper bag was somehow procured and slipped over the top of the trash can.
The trash can was then inverted.
The mouse slipped between the outside of the trash can and the inside of the paper bag.
A pair of scissors miraculously appeared.
The mouse was stabbed through the paper bag.
He was then held aloft, carried upstairs (I think there was chanting), and…
just to be sure…
ceremoniously drowned in the bathroom sink.

From that point forward….
no one messed with…
 “The Girls”.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

For baby Olivia...

Those who know me well, know that my “go to” baby/wedding shower gift is what the rubber stamping community has not-so-creatively dubbed the “name frame”. In fact, on occasion my mother has more or less told me that this was the gift I would be giving.

Sooo, when my husband’s assistant recently adopted a baby, and the inevitable office shower was announced, the creative juices began to flow.

Ordinarily, I like to go all matchy-matchy with these things…requesting nursery bedding patterns and color schemes…which I did. Unfortunately, getting specific information just didn't happen, and, as is usual in the décor realm, there are many, many different styles of jungle and farm animals available. Out of desperation I decided to go with color scheme and the crib sheet pattern; which is the only thing I could find based on the baby registry.
So here it is:

I stamped and heat embossed the white polka dots on the green background to match the crib sheet. The rest is based on the pink-green-brown color scheme indicated by the information provided by the new mother.

I used an EK Success punch to, well, punch out the flowers and petals from two different polka dot patterned designer papers. The flowers were then assembled and put together with enameled brads. (All of which I forced my poor mother-in-law along with me to find.) Finally, they were sprayed with a high gloss sealant to provide a little substance and shine. The letters are pre-fabbed chipboard by K & Co. As a side note...the ribbons on the letters are actually a very thin satin ribbon, which look better in real life than they do in the picture. (Obviously, I need help in the photography department.)

The whole she-bang is glued within an inch of its life with the strongest adhesives known to man to ensure that it doesn’t just arbitrarily end up in the bottom of the frame someday. It is also behind glass, but in order to get a decent picture, I waited to put that in place until after the picture was taken. (The very reason you haven’t seen other pictures of these things is because I get so wrapped up in putting the whole production together, I usually get the glass in place before I even think about taking a picture, then there is absolutely no way I’m taking it apart just to get a picture.)

I hope it matches…
I hope she likes it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fear and Loathing in the Chicken Coop

The thing you need to understand about me is that I am not a screaming, shrieking mess of a girl whenever I encounter creepy crawly things.

Snakes? No problem…as long as they do their job.  In fact, I find them rather beautiful.  When Kevin (yes, I name my “regular” critters) turned up in my kitchen early last spring with a slightly injured tail after a bout of warm weather was spoiled by a layer of slush (I suspect the kitties had something to do with the tail), I actually felt bad about tossing him out in the cold. Kevin is a garter snake who had a bad habit of sneaking up on me anytime I was putzing around in our Central-Missouri yard. Changing the bait in the mouse houses…there was Kevin (and if you think about it, it’s really kind of brilliant on his part…shelter and food all in one place); filling the bird feeders…Kevin sunning himself underneath; mowing the lawn...again, Kevin, racing around to avoid being sliced and diced (unlike someone I know, I will not chase down a snake with the lawn mower).

Spiders? They’re safe as long as they stay out of my house. They can be very fascinating…really! (Okay, so I have a problem with black widows, but we do have a history...)

Mice? Although I respectfully request that they stay outside, and, yeah, I will set out traps and bait to keep them out of my house, you will not find me standing on a kitchen chair screaming my head off if I encounter one. (Okay, so there was one particular incident involving my little sister…but, honestly, that little devil had it coming.)

BUT, there is one creature in this world that I will absolutely, positively not tolerate. The one animal on this planet that sends shivers down my spine. The one thing about which I’ve had recurring nightmares. And, this is crazy, but it’s also the one critter I have never seen in the wild.

Do not even think about telling me about what wonderful pets they make. Do not even try to play the Templeton card with me. Do not even attempt to get me to watch the movie, “Ben”. My response will always and forever be, “Oh, hell no!”

This whole issue can probably be traced back to a single statement made by my brother well over 40 years ago... (Yes, Wic, I blame you.)

So, when my husband reported to me that he rousted out one when he was cleaning the chicken coop…my exact words were, “IT MUST GO.” My husband, my hero, promptly drove to the feed store and picked up a trap.

Ironically, the trap caught nothing, but two of these little demons managed to ensnare themselves in a very large barrel, where they eventually died…stinking to high heaven.

Hah! Suffer you little bastards!

From this point forward, if I must, absolutely MUST, go to the chicken coop, I will be armed with one very gorgeous, but protective, dog, and one very sharp pitchfork.

I wonder if that rat snake we evicted from the bird house could be convinced to go mercenary?

My next purchase may very well be an automatic weapon.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Douche Bags and the Power of Facebook

I’m sorry…I hate to be so harsh, but I guarantee you will use the same language, or worse, which is what I’m really inclined to do, once you hear the story.

A few weeks ago, I was putting laundry away in our bedroom when I heard a car drive up. Looking at the clock and noticing that it was only 3 pm, I thought that it was awfully early for Mr. B…but then again, he had mentioned an afternoon meeting and maybe he’d had more than enough for this particular Thursday and decided to skip the rest of the day.

I heard footsteps on the porch, but after a few minutes those footsteps headed back toward me. Peering out the window I saw a young man standing just outside that window, looking back to the driveway and appeared to be giving some kind of hand signals to someone else. Me, being me, I stuck my face in the window and asked, “Can I help you?”

Somewhat surprised, he gave me that spiel we’ve all heard before…”We’ve been out delivering to your neighbors and have a lot of leftover meat that we’re giving away….”.  I’m thinking, “Great, I get to deal with this nonsense”, but saying, very firmly, “No…no, thank you.” And as he promptly vacated my porch I thought…”Well that was easier than usual.”

A few minutes later I walked into the kitchen and noticed that Sassy was outside having a conniption. The thing is that Miss Sass doesn’t just bark at any and everything…we’ve come to the conclusion that when she does get worked up there’s probably something we need to investigate. So investigate I did. Keep in mind here that the back forty is enclosed with a 6-foot privacy fence, so I was viewing the activity in the driveway through a quarter inch gap in the gate. What I saw is somewhat puzzling, although not alarming, considering what we have going on in our driveway. (One corner contains a very large pile of very large rocks and in the curve of the driveway there is a very large section of a very large tree that Mr. B decided to take down while I was out of town; which got him the lecture about not doing dangerous stuff while there is no one there to call an ambulance.) Anyway, my quarter inch view revealed another young man standing outside the meat truck directing "porch boy" in backing up his truck. I was thinking, “Okay, there’s plenty of room here, and your truck is not that big, but, whatever…go the hell away before my dog has a stroke.” They left...finally.

A few hours later Mr. B arrived at his usual time and immediately asked, “Why is there a dish of water out front?” Somewhat exasperated and not bothering to hide that exasperation, I sighed, “Remember, I told you I put a dish of water on the front porch for Dolly because she can’t get into the backyard?” (Dolly, like me, prefers the front porch.) He, very patiently, explained, “No, there’s a container of water in the driveway.” I went out to investigate yet again, and, sure enough, there was a water-filled small plastic container in the driveway. And even though I was thinking “WTH?”, I just picked it up, dumped it out, and threw it in the trash.

Another few hours later, I went outside to check on the pup and enjoy the cool evening when I heard a strange mewling coming from somewhere in the direction of the driveway. Thinking it was a strange night bird, I hollered at Mr. B, who was completely oblivious to my call. Hearing it again, it occurred to me exactly what I was hearing…a cat…a kitten to be specific. And then, it all came together…those douche bags had been dumping a kitten in our driveway, and for some stoopid reason their leaving a dish of water made them feel better about themselves. (Guess what, guys? You are still pond scum!)

I grabbed a flashlight and discovered this little muss-muss!

(Please excuse the blurriness of these pictures; kitty boy wouldn't stand still for his portrait session)

As scared as he appeared to be, it didn’t take much coaxing to get him to come to me, and by the time I had him in my hands, he was purring his thanks as only a grateful kitty could. He scored himself a warm bed, some half and half, and some kibble. He also clung to me as if I were his last hope for salvation. 

(For the sake of perspective, you need to know that this tiny little wonder is eating from a salad plate.)

Dolly had an epic hissy fit.

Mr. B was not pleased, but when I outlined my suspicions he added his own theory to the mix. Apparently, a few curvy roads away, there was a sign advertising free kittens. Soooo, we figure the wayward “meat boys” took one of the kittens for whatever reason, had second thoughts a few miles down the road, and decided to leave him at our house, since the driveway is not visible from the front door. JERKS!

Fearing that Dolly would probably kill this little baby, I convinced Mr. B to do the following: 1) Stop at the “free kitten” house to check out the situation, and 2) Check with his co-workers to see if anyone wanted a terribly sweet, fat, adorable, lovable, tiny little kitty boy with the biggest, most soulful blue eyes in the entire world.

One of his co-workers put out a Facebook plea, and within a few hours our little friend had a new home about 40 miles from here. Mr. B delivered the kitty to his co-worker, who, in turn, drove him to his new home.

Have a good life my little fuzzy friend.

You have no idea how lucky you were to be abandoned at our house rather than that Chihuahua invested house across the street. Those dogs are pure evil (and if they ever chase me up my driveway again, I WILL busta cap in their snarly little asses.)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Attention Lurkers...

I know you're out there, because, well...Google plus a few other regular readers tell me you are.

And to you I say, "Howdy do and welcome!" (Gettin' my Georgia-thang goin' on...)

Anyway, I'm glad you're here, but I want to ask you a favor...

Could you, pretty please, post a comment every once in awhile?

No, it's not an ego's more of a connection thing. See, I used to be a lurker on several of the blogs I read, but when I took the plunge and commented I managed to make many interesting/talented/funny/inspiring friends, most of whom I wouldn't recognize even if they crawled into bed with me. (Not that I allow strangers in my bed...)

You can comment anonymously or through a variety of on-line venues. You can make up whacky names for yourself, you can relate your own experiences, you can reveal as much or as little about yourself as you feel comfortable.

I promise I won't stalk you, try to sell you something, or forward email to you.

Regardless, though, of whether you do or do not comment, stay tuned, because I have 3 or 4 more posts rattling around in my head!

(Oh, and those ads hanging out on the sidebar? They're there on a trial if you really hate them, let me know and I'll see what I can do).

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Radar Love

Recently I’ve heard and read a variety of mothers of young children lamenting the fact that they are never alone in the bathroom. I don’t think there is a mother alive that cannot relate to having the pleasure of a tiny human keep them company while they do their business. Upon reflection, I’m fairly certain it was at least 10 years before my own mother, with four children and one bathroom, got to enjoy a bath without, at some point, a pair of big brown eyes staring at her from the seat of the toilet.

This morning, after reading one such blog post, I headed to the bathroom for a shower and realized that although my own child no longer follows me to the bathroom, I almost always have company. My potty stalker is a blue-eyed, long-tailed, pointy-eared kitty boy named Sam.

Several years ago my husband, daughter and I were enjoying a cool evening on the patio with a fire in the chiminea. Out of nowhere my husband declared to our daughter, “You know, Anna, if your mother were invisible we’d still be able to find her.” We followed his gaze to the patio door where three furry soldiers were standing at attention.

While all our cats have exhibited some sort of pussycat sonar, Sam takes it to a whole new level.

He follows me to the bathroom EVERY time I go in there, regardless of my trip’s purpose. He comes in under the guise of needing a drink of water from his glass on the vanity. Sometimes he drinks…sometimes he doesn’t, but Sammy always sticks around for the duration…usually standing very still and staring at the mirror. 

And it’s not just the bathroom.

Fur Face has some kind of freaky feline GPS going on.

I could go for hours having not seen kitty boy, but he suddenly and silently materializes whenever, and everytime, I do the following:

Get out of bed. (Bam! Sammy at the bedroom door.)
Sit down. (Poof! Sammy in my lap.)
Walk into the Kitchen. (Voilà! Sammy at my feet.)
Enter the backyard while he’s in the front yard. (Presto! Sammy at the back gate.)

It would not surprise me to discover some sort of clandestine Kitty Intelligence Agency feeding info into Sam’s ear via a well disguised ear piece as to my exact location anywhere on the planet.

Either that, or I’ve been chipped.