Wednesday, November 20, 2019

What I Buy Wednesday

All my buying has been focused on Christmas right now. I have gotten a few new things for the house which I'll share once I get everything back in order. The only thing left in to be done in the entry is the wallpaper, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen before Thanksgiving. I'm pretty disappointed---mostly because I never dreamed a project this small would take 6 weeks and still not  be completed. What I hate the most is having to put everything back for our family Thanksgiving and Christmas decorating only to have to move it all out again when the wallpaper is ready to be installed! I was so hoping that Christy (my designer) could pull it off for me. But not this time.

Oh well, back to my purchases. I can't really go in to details about my "buys" since they are gifts, but...
...it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!! Love online shopping. No wasting gas, trying to find a place to park and lugging countless bags around the mall.

Even though I can't share much about my purchases, here's a bit of an interesting story: 

We got one of those notices that our mailman tried to deliver something that needed to be signed for. We weren't home, so Butch went to the post office the next day. They didn't have the package as they said it was going to be delivered that day. It wasn't. He went back the next day, only to be told that they had sent the package to the wrong post office. Soooo, I went today.

I HATE the post office!! The line was out the door. They never have enough people working. There were three. Plus, they move very slowly. One of the guys even sauntered to the back where I could hear him cavorting with his fellow employees. He never did come back out.

After you have finished your business, they have this little kiosk thing with buttons starting with smiley faces to frown faces for you to press to register your experience. I couldn't wait to press that frown face to show my dissatisfaction with our post office. 

When it was finally my turn, I approached the counter---surely with a scowl on my face---only to have the female (thank God) postal clerk, lean forward in a conspirational manner. She whispered, "Ma'am, your blouse is unbuttoned!" OMGosh! That took the wind right out of my sails! I quickly buttoned up and said, "well, I'm so happy this is my first stop!" I would have been mortified to know I   had been walking around like that for too long! Luckily, I did have my coat on. I'm sure that what happened was that when I was dressing, I got side-tracking and forgot to finish buttoning. After that, I  didn't press the frown button---after all, the clerk did save me from further embarrassment! I just didn't have the heart to press that button.

Okay, I'll admit, this sort of thing worries me. The next thing will be forgetting to take off my pajamas and putting my clothes over them. Truly scary. I really am hoping this was just a fluke. I'm just always so busy and in a hurry. Still, I'm going to write down any instances like this to see if there's a pattern emerging---or if I really need to be concerned. I think I'm still okay so far. 

Oh well, at least I can laugh at myself!! 

Travel Tuesday

Well, I'm a little late getting this posted.

On Saturday, Connie, Amanda, Analise and I met Sandy and Elizabeth in Chattanooga for lunch and a little shopping. We thought it might be a fun, new tradition to start so that the girls can get together.

We met at Polly Claire's Tea Room.
 The tea room was in an old, historic house.
Amanda, Connie, Analise, me, Elizabeth and Sandy.

After lunch, we went to the Hamilton Place Mall for a few hours. Elizabeth and Analise went off on their own. They bought Christmas gifts for their boyfriends and some make up.

We all had a good time. I love seeing the girls (including Amanda and Sandy) having a good time together. Now that Sandy is so much closer, we can do things like this a little easier.


Monday, November 18, 2019

Monday Mystery

First off, I have to start with a retraction. After posting this installment of "Mitchell on Monday," he was quick to text me to say that he had no idea what that was either! Now I was really puzzled. Turns out, Butch picked it up as a "Friday freebie" at Kroger. Mystery solved. But the mystery remains---what am I going to do with it?

Yesterday, we were putting some things back in the hall closet since the flooring is finished. While cleaning off the shelves, Butch discovered something stuck to one. He got the step stool and pulled this down.
I guess Mindy really wanted to keep this report from the 5th grade! She hid it so well, that it's 25 years later and we're just finding it. She's been wondering where it was!! I'm going to surprise her and give it to her for Christmas! She was actually pretty clever. She used a spring from a ball point pen (do they even make those any more?) for the spinal cord. The column was clay--a bit dried out and crumbly. She's going to be so happy to have this back!!

Speaking of the hall closet...
It's a mystery to me as to why Butch needs/wants to keep this gigantic sombrero he's only worn once at Mindy's high school graduation party---17 years ago. It's even too big for the shelf. Maybe has a plan for it! (Also, now you know why I have a hard time cleaning out---he likes to keep a lot of useless stuff).

This is not a mystery at all.
My favorite thing about my induction stove is how nothing sticks to it. Even spilled milk won't burn or stick. Clean up is a breeze!! Wipes right up.

On Friday, while Butch and I were out running errands, we stopped by Nashville Needleworks. I needed a particular silk to finish my Halloween project. The place was hopping. I was told a class was going on. The teacher invited me to come in and see what they were working on. It was this:
"The Old South"---Belle Meade Mansion is in the middle, Graceland on the upper right, Churchill Downs on the left, Georgia peach trees, magnolia trees and camellias. In the lower right corner you can see the Peabody ducks on the red carpet. This is so darn cute!! But it's what they were doing that was the mystery to me. These gals from all over the country were on a stitching bus trip that started in Atlanta. They'd already been to Montgomery and Birmingham, AL. Then, Memphis, Nashville and will end in Louisville. I had no idea that these trips existed!

It's a mystery to me that I've never heard about this before. I've been stitching for 48 years! I told that teacher that I would love to do something like this. She added me to her mailing list. Next spring they are going to London and Paris! OMGosh! I really want to go. Of course there is plenty of sightseeing involved. There's another trip through Sanoma. I have a couple of friends and a daughter (or three) who might want to go. It will all depend on what the project is.

Now that we're talking needlepoint, I was distressed to learn that someone stole this pillow I made for Jordan in 2013.
On her Christmas list, she put that she wanted me to make her another needlepoint Christmas pillow since this one was stolen during her recent move. That's how I found out. It's a mystery to me as to why some big, burly movers would want it. But on the other hand, there was a boyfriend in the family who scored a needlepoint pillow in one of our family "rob your neighbor" games. When he and a granddaughter broke up, he kept it!! He did win it fair and square. He always complimented my work and seemed interested, but I thought he was just sucking up!! I guess he was sincere. Now that I think about it, I really liked that boy after all!

That's about it for today's mysteries! What's got you scratching your head?

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Remodeling

I don't know what it is about remodeling, but it's never simple. It seems like it should be, but it's not.

This time we are finishing the last two things on my list for our house. That's it. The end. Finished. Well, except for the garage and some outside stuff. But the inside will be complete.

Those two things are the pool bath and the entry to our house. Innocently, I thought it would take two weeks MAX! OMGosh! It's been 6 weeks and we're still not done!! Of course, it never goes smoothly. There's always a hitch. One thing leads to another. And it's one hold up after another. 

Hold ups like:
1. When gutting the bathroom, Steve (our amazing go to guy---he's done all of our remodeling for the last 20 years) discovered we had a leak. So, he had to track that down. He checked the roof and gutters. He went under the house. Finally, he decided that it was from the old toilet and probably had been leaking for a long time. We don't use that bathroom much--mostly in the summer--so we never noticed

2. The leak lead to replacing the base flooring.

3. Part of the wall had to be replaced where the water leached upwards into the drywall.

4. According to the girls, the shower also leaked. That, too, took a while to track down. Turns out it wasn't anything a LOT of caulk and sealer couldn't solve. The girls wanted the shower replaced. Not happening. It's just not used enough to warrant that expense. Plus, I like the shower doors which are irreplaceable. And I mean irreplaceable because they are so out of style that you can't even buy them anymore. Believe me, we found that out when we remodeled our bathroom about 4 years ago. About all you can find now is the clear glass that you are supposed to squeegee after every shower. No way.

5. The toilet was delivered, but the water tank was the wrong one. A week later, the new one arrived which was exactly like the first one. It didn't fit either. Finally, the right one arrived earlier this week. Turns out, they did not include the bolts to attach it. That took another 3 days. 

6. The new mirror I ordered arrived broken. Luckily all I had to do was send a picture to have it replaced. Still, that took a week.

7. The vanity, once installed had a strip of wood at the bottom which I didn't like. The picture didn't show that. Plus, I didn't remember that in the store. I knew it would be a hassle to unhook all the plumbing and take it apart, but I asked Steve anyway. I want what I want! Could that strip of wood be removed? He said,"no." I especially didn't like that it left about an inch gap between the bottom and the floor. I knew it would be nearly impossible to clean under there and not cleaning under there would bug the hell out of me!! I can be a little fanatical. Luckily, my "miracle man" came up with a solution for me. He added a strip of quarter round to make it meet the floor and then painted it.

As of yesterday, it's finally finished! Not the entry, but we're close on that too. Another couple days. But in the meantime, here's the pool bath results!

Before:
 We gutted everything but the shower. The vanity was so outdated and really seemed to crowd the room---it's not that big to begin with. I wanted to open it up and make is seem a little airier.
You can see the old tile floor and vanity with hinges. We also removed the large mirror. And, I hate towel racks on the wall. I was happy to see this go.
The only thing I was keeping besides the shower was the window treatment. I've always loved it---a colorful flip flop print. Christy, my friend/designer used a striped tablecloth to make the awning with ball fringe added.

After:
It definitely seems more open to me. Wall mirror gone---replaced by a round beveled mirror. Tile floor gone---replaced by an arabesque ceramic tile. New, larger lamp to replace the little one I had before. The vanity is updated. The paint color is the same as I have on my ceilings in the sunroom and kitchen. In fact, there was enough of this paint left that we didn't even have to buy more. It's funny how different it looks on the wall than the ceiling.
I decided to change out the turquoise rug with a coral one after 25 years. I kept the vintage sandpail as a decoration, but got rid of a lot of things I had before.
 I had this colorful painting reframed and got rid of the dated, gold frame.
This frame had a shell-like, mother of pearl look to it which I liked.
Here are the shower doors that I still like. Slightly frosty and don't need any special cleaning. I swapped out towel bars for hooks.
 Same window treatment---still love that even after 20+ years. It still seems so playful.
 I kept the white wicker basket to hold the colorful beach towels. There isn't enough room under the vanity for them all. I've always joked that the reason we have pool parties is to replenish out beach towel supply because invariably, some are left behind!

In the details. I was happy with the new faucet with white ceramic handles--pretty inexpensive. 

I don't know yet what the final cost of this bathroom will be with the labor. But we did get most things (vanity, faucet, hooks) from Lowes. I got the lamp from Wayfair. The rug is from Target. All the towels are what we already had. The toilet came from Ferguson. We spent more on that because I wanted it to match the others in the house. Now, all 6 toilets have been replaced! Arabesque tile---not quite sure. When I told Christy I wanted something like this, she came back to me with this one. That could be a surprise! 

We're happy with the results. It's exactly what I was looking for--something new, updated and fresh!!

Next up will be the entry. Hopefully it will be finished by the end of this week. 

If you need any help updating, I have lots of ideas!!! 




Wednesday, November 13, 2019

What I Buy Wednesday

I've been buying Christmas gifts and a few new things for the house. Hoping the renovation work will be finished this week. Once I get everything back to normal, I'll take some pictures.

Soooo, I'm going to share a few things I learned on our river cruise.

1. I always thought porridge was oatmeal. But when I encountered both on the menu, I asked about the difference. Oatmeal is made with hot milk and porridge is made with water. So, all my life when I thought I was eating oatmeal, I was actually eating porridge. I tried the oatmeal. Of course it was better---made with milk---definitely richer! I was better off not knowing.

2. I learned the difference between a "burg" and a "berg." When a city ends in either of these spellings, it means that it's based on what's there. For example, "burg" like Hamburg or Salzburg---were based near a defensive castle which was a fortification. Other cities like Nuremberg and Heidelberg were built at the base of mountains. Both provided some defense in medieval times. Interesting.

3. I learned that "Shit" is a readily accepted and used word in Germany. The first time I heard a tour guide use it, I was surprised. Then I realized that it wasn't shocking after all---just common usage. Apparently, my German family (Zimmermann) has been using in properly all along!

4. Speaking of Zimmermann---I saw a couple buses with our name on the side. I wasn't quick enough in traffic to get a picture. I'll bet if I'd found a phone book (if such a thing even exists anymore in Germany), Zimmermanns would have been like Smith or Jones here. One of these days, I'd like to track down some distant relatives. Heck, who am I kidding. I have plenty of relatives right here who are distant!

5. Another thing I learned. These cruises have a lot of OLD people. I thought it might bother Stephanie and Nicky since they were the youngest by about 25 years!! What bothered me the most was most people's lack of technological skills. We downloaded an app to our phone that we used for all the tours. Every time, the first 15 minutes were spent trying to get people up and running! I learned that we're not that old after all!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Travel Tuesday

So, last weekend, Pam, Nancy and I met Janet at the Memory Make Inn for a weekend of scrapbooking. We were disappointed that Jeanne wasn't with us, but she had to be out of the country for work.

OMGosh! We had the BEST time!!
The Memory Make Inn is located in historic, Lebanon, Illinois. It's on St. Louis Ave. in the heart of the little town---cobblestone streets and cute shops.

We met at the Cobblestone Eatery for lunch before unloading. We had the house to ourselves on Thursday. We decided that since we had a late lunch, we would not go out for dinner. Instead, we had appetizers at happy hour. We went out to lunch at an old fashioned soda fountain down the street on Friday. The meals don't start until Friday night.

The set-up was great. We had our own room. We each had a table, light with a usb built in for charging phones and Gypsies. There was also another outlet tower that we didn't even need.
 The menu greeted us. The food was delicious. Chris was happy to share the recipes.
They had so many tools---you didn't need to bring a thing. There were 3 Circuits with dozens of cartridges---plus they worked with our Gypsies. There were stamps and punches galore. There was a sewing machine too, but we didn't use that. No way is this inexperienced gal going to risk messing up someone's machine!
 I did use this punch several times---and now I want one! It's Michael's brand, but I think it's really old because I couldn't find it on their website. Another reason to go back!
 The attention to detail was unbelievable. There was a drink holder on your table with a fabric coaster inside to absorb condensation. This also held a trash bag that was magically emptied throughout the weekend.
 Pam is the queen of the Circut. I used to know it inside and out, but not anymore. I just don't use it enough. Still, there are some glitches now and then---by the user, not the machine. Pam cut out "Magical" for the Disney album she was working on. Instead of making it 2" tall, she made it 2" wide. We were actually impressed that it could cut this small!

 The trees were beautiful around town.
 We had visions of sitting on the front porch for happy hour, but it was a little too chilly for that.
Look at that old car in the background. This town really does take you back!
 Across the street from the inn, someone carved this stack of books from a tree trunk.
The beverage center was stocked with everything you could imagine. The water machine on the left had hot or ice water. I want one of these for home!
 The place was spotless! That's my main requirement!
 This was the coffee/tea/hot chocolate cart.
 There is a paper rack should you need some cardstock throughout the weekend.
This was the Cricut station. There were TV trays to expand your space (I didn't need it). There were also some lap trays you could use on your table to take advantage of some vertical space. I did use that. It's nice to have a place to keep your paper trimmer handy.

There were 3 bedrooms upstairs and one down. Janet and I shared the one downstairs. The beds were so comfortable. Again, the details---we each had a nightstand with a light, extension cord for plugging in phones, a bottle of water, a box of Kleenex and a little dish to put your jewelry in. 

We had such a good time that we've already signed up to go back in February If you'd like to join us, just click on the Memory Make Inn link above! You won't regret it!