Saturday, April 22, 2017

Not Yet

Well, I thought I was going to be able to share the "new" powder room. This was the very first thing I wanted to do at the beginning of the project so we would have some instant gratification. It was started first---on December 26th. But here we are, 17 weeks later and it's still not finished. This was supposed to be the week. I was excited.

Tuesday, the men came to install the sink. It's hand-made, mother of pearl inlay. When it finally arrived a month ago, it was decided that it was too heavy to "glue" to the underside of the marble top. I didn't know that all under-mounted sinks are actually glued. The plan was made to build a wooden frame for extra support---cha ching! It took 3 weeks for that. When they went to install it, the technician said that the frame was slightly too big and that there wasn't enough frame to hold the sink to his satisfaction. What? He didn't feel comfortable installing it. Now, if it were too small, they could have just shaved it down. But too big of an opening---you cannot try to add wood.

Plan B---technician calls his company and voila! What took 3 weeks to make they managed to make in one hour! Now I was excited that it was really going to happen.

The next day, Steve (our main man) came to install the plumbing. Would you believe it if I told you the drain was too large? Yep. Steve said there was no way he would risk grinding out the sink and damaging it. That meant a re-order. It's supposed to arrive sometime this week---week 18! I'll believe it when I see it.

All we have left for the master are the shower door and mirrors. The shower door has been another fiasco. I don't know if I've already mentioned it, but it's worth mentioning again. Clear glass is all the rage now. But, you have to clean them after every shower. We're not doing that. You can pay extra to have this super industrial coating put on, but it only lasts 5 years and is not guaranteed.

I just wanted plain, old regular shower glass. What I had and still have in the pool bath is nearly 35 years old and still looks brand new. The "guy" told me that it was going to cost 3 times more! What? The unpopular stuff is actually more expensive? That doesn't make sense to me. Still, I want what I want and not what everyone else wants. He brought us two boxes of samples to choose from. We were excited at the choices. We agreed on our favorite---translucent enough that you could still see our decorative tile, while requiring no extra maintenance. About a week goes by after we've made our selection. The "guy" gets back to us to say that the one we picked out has been discontinued! Really? In fact, ALL of those samples have been discontinued! That particular company was doing nothing but clear glass. He said that he found a company in California that would do what we want, but its was going to cost $4000! He said "no"---and he was right. No way are we paying that. I said to the guy, "So, you are telling me that we have no choice but the clear, high maintenance glass?" He replied, "Well, no, you could always get the "sand blast." After he explained that to us, we decided on that with the heavy duty coating to prevent water spots. He was so unhappy that he couldn't give us what we really wanted that he's doing the sand blast and coating at his cost. At least that's a little savings.

Then there's this. It will take another 3 weeks! Well, it's been a week, so only 2 more to go. This is the same company that is making our mirrors. I have a feeling the mirrors are done, but they only want to make one trip for installation. I've requested that the mirrors be brought this week. We'll see if that happens.

In the meantime, we are just about finished at Stephanie's house. All we have left is to do the decorating---hanging pictures and making it pretty! Boxes unpacked and everything placed in about a day and a half! The garage is still full of boxes---the un-fun stuff---and there are about 15 boxes marked decorations. We're doing that this weekend.
 The house is about the same size as her old one, but is 3 stories tall.
There are 3 outside spaces---this back deck, the front porch and a deck/balcony off the master bedroom on the second level.
 This is the front porch.
It's a nice size with plenty of room for the couch on one side and the chairs on the other. We'll be having happy hour here once in awhile.

This house has a lot of extras. I'll share some of those details when we finish decorating the inside.
Rio is enjoying her "kitty" door. This is the media room on the 3rd floor. She has complete privacy for taking care of business---if you know what I mean!
Unfortunately, she's enjoying the new furniture a little too much! I "unhooked" her claws from the upholstery and she hissed at me! They say she is a demon cat. She rules the house.

That's about all the house news for now. It's a rainy, stormy kind of weekend here. Perfect to do a little scrapbooking. Yeah, that's what I'm doing today. Steph's house tomorrow!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter

Wow, it's been a crazy week. Stephanie and Nicky moved on Friday. Despite some last minute nerve wracking situations, it all panned out by Friday night. We spent Saturday and part of Sunday helping them unpack. Actually, we got just about ALL of it done. There are probably 15 boxes of decorations and then all the garage stuff to do, but the house was looking pretty good---until the AV guys have torn it apart this week. 

We had a break from all the work with our Easter brunch. 
This was my great-grandmother's punch bowl. I don't use it very often, but it does come in handy when I have a crowd. Although, I have to admit---less of a crowd than I expected.
 Sandy saw this idea in Pinterest.
I made a new recipe called Blushing Mimosas. They were so good. If you are looking for something different, give them a try. 5 of us went through 2 batches!

Blushing Mimosas
  • 2 cups orange juice (not from concentrate)
  • 1 cup pineapple juice, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons grenadine
  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled.
One of the girls---who shall remain nameless, brought me a bouquet of spring flowers. We used it as the centerpiece on the table.
And then, there's this. Stephanie asked Butch to put this cat door in. Nicky had bought it. Butch complained, but did it anyway. He continually amazes us with what he can do---pretty much anything when he puts his mind to it! He unveiled it on Easter. Later in the day, he installed it. I'm pretty sure he actually had fun using his old power tools that have been gathering dust! 

The yard was looking pretty good in time for Easter too:



The azaleas are gorgeous this year. 

We're in week 17 of the renovation now. Just as I thought we were nearing the end, we hit a snag. Actually two snags. The frame that had to be built to support the weight of the sink was too large. It's amazing to me that this has taken weeks to build. Then all of a sudden, when it was "wrong"---they were able to whip out another in an hour! Problem one solved. 

Today, the plumbing was to be hooked up, only to find that the fancy drain is too large for the hole in the hand made sink. A new one has to be ordered. No telling how long that's going to take. 

As for our heated floors, I told Butch he has it all wrong. They are on a thermostat. He has them set to be lower at night. Well, I get up at least 3 times at night. Then, we use the bathroom first thing in the morning while getting ready for the day. So, the floors should be warm all night and early morning, then turned down during the day when no one is in there. He set them like you would for heating when you have it lower while you are sleeping. The floors need to be just the opposite. He's going to re-set them. I know, I know---first world problems!

Everything is looking good. I'll share pictures when it is all complete. We have just about completely finished moving everything back in to the closets and getting the sunroom back to normal. The house is finally organized again. It has been utter chaos for much too long. 

Soon this will all be over. We're ready!



Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday Memos, Mail and Me

I must say, I am really enjoying this meme. Thanks to Sian for making me pay attention to the fun stuff---and sometimes---not so fun stuff that comes in the mail each week!

Well, we're finally nearing the end of our renovation. There is going to be a couple installations this week. Still, it's going to be another 2-3 weeks before the mirrors and shower doors are made and installed.

The first thing I received this week was the replacement for the broken crystal in the ceiling fixture. The customer service person was so nice to deal with. I always believe that honesty is the best policy. So, I was honest and told the girl that we dropped and broke it upon installation. I was surprised that she said they'd send a replacement at no charge.


We also got this sweet note from Sandy:

A nice thank you for our New York trip last week.

Stephanie and Nicky moved on Friday. It was stressful all the way around. Buying and selling houses is so nerve-wracking! Anyway, we worked all day on Saturday---unpacking. Butch and I got home around 4:30. I had prepared a few Easter dishes that morning and had another few things to do that night. We decided to just order pizza for dinner. We NEVER order pizza unless the whole gang is here. Anyway, I ordered online. I got the message that it was going to take about an hour and five minutes. No problem, I would just continue my cooking chores. About 20 minutes later, the pizza arrived.

On Sunday, I got the following email---just because my order was earlier than they predicted? Okay, that's fine by me!
Yesterday, you trusted us with your order and we let you down. We messed up and we owe you an apology.

Let us make it up to you. As a token of our commitment to earn back your trust, please enjoy a free Large Pizza. Click below to redeem your free item by 05/15/2017.

If you decide to add this item to a delivery, make sure that your order meets the minimum purchase requirement.

We look forward to serving you again soon.



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Just in Time for Easter

I thought I'd share a recipe for Easter. This is that recipe that you've probably had in many different ways. This is the original one that came from my grandma Zimmermann in the early 1970's. 


Lemon Torte (from my Grandma Zimmermann)
Step 1:
1 cup four
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Pat in to 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. Cool.

Step 2:
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
Blend then fold in 1 cup of Cool Whip. Spread on cooled crust.

Step 3:
2 small lemon instant pudding
3 cups milk
Mix and let stand until thickened. Spread over cream cheese layer.

Step 4:
Refrigerate. Before serving, top with Cool Whip and chopped pecans.

My grandma noted that she would make the crust days ahead and do the rest before company came.

I cherish the fact that I have it written in her beautiful handwriting. It's important y'all---that in this day of computers, you leave samples of your handwriting behind for your grandchildren.

You probably have different versions of this recipe. There's one called Peanut Pudding Dessert, Better than Robert Redford (contains pistachio pudding) and Better than Sex Cake (with chocolate). 

"A dessert by any other name is still as sweet" (and delicious)! Sorry Shakespeare!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

NYC Continued

Friday continued.
After Macy's, we went to the Lower East Side to the tenement museum. Since we didn't have much for breakfast, we decided to go early and have lunch before the tour.
 We went to a bar called Grey Lady. We were the only ones there.
 Stephanie and Mindy. We had to keep our coats on because the door stayed open and it was really chilly. Maybe it was a heat wave for New York!
Sandy and I. There was only one guy working. We shared a couple dishes. He offered us shots on the house. He said that he likes to drink with the first customers of the day! He told us that they had the best happy hour. I asked what time it started. He said 4 p.m. I told him we'd be back at 2:30 after our tour---could he start it early for us. He did! And even gave us another round of shots!
The street where the tenement museum was located was really interesting. All of the buildings were very old---19th century old. I really enjoyed the tour. The girls---not so much. They thought it was just okay. I love ancestry and seeing how people lived.
We saw Hamilton in the evening. We really enjoyed it, but the biggest excitement was that Marcia Cross (from Desperate Housewives) sat right in front of us with her little girls. These seats were exceptional---thanks to Paige, the daughter of my friend, Nancy. As for the play itself, we thought it was slightly overrated. We think that advertising makes all the difference. We all thought that "On Your Feet" was way better, but we hadn't heard anything about it. I just picked it because I knew we'd all enjoy Gloria Estefan's story.

When we got back to the hotel, we ordered pizza from John's of Times Square. It's supposed to be the best pizza in Manhatten. It was really good and hit the spot.

Saturday we had brunch at Sarabeths on the Upper East Side. The food was delicious. Paige joined us. When she found out we were staying at the Knickerbocker Hotel, she said it was just a few blocks from her apartment. She invited us to come for Happy Hour. We asked if her boyfriend would be on board with it. She assured us that he would be fine with it!
After brunch, we had just enough time to get to the matinee of "School of Rock." This was Mindy's favorite of the four we saw. It was number 2 for Sandy, Stephanie and I---with "On Your Feet" being number 1. 

After the play, I headed back to the hotel while the girls went to check out the premier of the latest Fast and Furious movie. Turns out they couldn't see much. Due to the hundreds---maybe thousands of   people in Times Square, I barely got back before they did. That gave us about 45 minutes before it was time to head over to Paige's. 
Her view is absolutely incredible. The area of town that she lives in is the edge of Hell's Kitchen. From her and Ed's 41st floor apartment, they can see New Jersey, Staten Island, Coney Island, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, the Verrazzano Bridge, 1 World Trade Center and memorial and the Empire State Building.

Ed made us cosmopolitans. Ed and Paige were so much fun. After exactly one hour, I told the girls it was time to get going. Ed said, "If you can wait 15 minutes, you can see the sunset." We said, "Why not!" He made us another round of cosmos and we ended up staying another hour. Their place is very nice. They have done a great job making every bit of the space count. We enjoyed ourselves so much that it turned out to be one of our favorite things we did. You can see that beautiful sunset in the picture above.

We had dinner reservations at an Italian place around the corner from our Hotel. I can't remember the name---something of Napoli. We were a half hour early, but they were able to take us anyway! Yay! The food was delicious. We'll definitely be going back. They serve family style. We got a Caesar salad, pasta and a chicken dish. We were too full for dessert.
When we got back to the hotel, the girls opened the surprise "goodie" bags that Paige gave us upon departing. The girls made a game out of who would get what. This family turns everything in to a game!! They were laughing so hard. It makes me happy to see them having so much fun together!

We ended our trip with breakfast at the hotel on Sunday morning. It was a fun trip, but we didn't get to everything on our list. We did not get to do the Highline walk and Chelsea tour, BB King's Blues Club, Madame Tussauds or have a meal at Ellen's Stardust Diner. Next time for sure!

Separating is always sad for us. We miss Sandy so much!! Still, it was a great trip. Another Eads girls spring break in the books!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Eads Girls Spring Break 2017 in New York

The last time we were in New York, was 2014.

We had a great time in NYC. Here's a quick run-down.

Wednesday we went to Alice's Teacup for high tea. The food was really good. Then we went to the first of the 4 plays we were seeing.
It was incredible! Our seats were on the second row. Maybe a little too close, but the girls said better closer than too far back!

Thursday was an early day. We had tickets for Live with Kelly. It was cold and rainy. We stood outside for about an hour. They gave us a hot drink and breakfast pastry. They finally let us in, only to wait another 45 minutes. We only had about 10 people in front of us, so we thought we'd get really great seats. When we went in, there were already a bunch of people there. We think they were family and friends of the crew. Anyway, the studio is really small so we had good seats anyway.

Just my luck--this was my view:
I got to see Kelly's arm!!! On commercials, she stepped away from the desk so I got a good view. She is so sweet and funny!
Mindy took these pictures. I didn't know the co-host---Scott Wolf. Piers Brosnan and Mandy Patikin were the guests.
We were right in front of the lady that won the trivia contest. Here's the sad part:
I was 18, Steph was 19. Then, the girl handed #20 to the person behind us, then handed Sandy #21. Wouldn't you know---#20 was the winner! We were all bummed!
 You can barely see me here---behind the guy on the left with the blue shirt.

After the show, we "Lyfted" to Washington Heights to the Rue La Rue Cafe. It was very small, but filled with "Golden Girl" memorabilia. They had episodes of the show playing in the background. A local recommended the tomato soup and grilled cheese in a bread bowl. OMGosh! It was so delicious. They took the top of the bread bowl and made the grilled cheese sandwich with it. We all enjoyed it and shared a piece of coconut cake for dessert.

The girls decided to do a little shopping. They wound up at Macy's. Butch and I had surprised them with a little spending money.
 They bought these fun bags--pizza with a statue of liberty attached. The inside are the Macy's stars. Sandy sent this picture to Victoria. She noticed that the girls have identical FitBits!
 They also got these little Macy's bag ornaments. The bought one for me too.
They surprised me with this Starbucks mug for my collection.

That evening, we went to:
This was another great show. The costumes were fabulous. It was so colorful. You can't go wrong with Disney!

Friday started with Mindy and Stephanie going to Barry's Boot Camp:
 UES stands for the Upper East Side.

The plan was to go to Ellen's Stardust Diner for breakfast. They have singing waiters and waitresses. The line was around the block. We didn't want to waste an hour standing in line. Instead, we headed to Macy's (the girls said I needed to go since they were having their annual flower show. We ended up having Starbucks and sharing some breakfast sandwiches.







 I have no idea what this flower is, but I loved it---bright red stems with the purple flowers.




I'll continue this post tomorrow. It's already too long!