Thursday, December 19, 2013

october, november and half of december...

Our annual party does many good things.  One thing would be that we get to see and catch up (slightly, since we're so busy chatting with everyone) with friends that we haven't seen for most of the year.  Another thing that we've found is that right after the party, we tend to be invited to spend some quality time with said friends.

We were invited out to Ann Arbor within the week or so after our party so that we could spend the afternoon with some friends that have been out of the country for a couple of years.  We ate at Zingerman's Roadhouse and then hung out at the local park with their families and a few other friends.

While on that side of town, we made a quick visit to our niece and nephew-in-law at their home in Pinckney.

A week later, another friend invited me over to her place, also in Ann Arbor.  By the way, Ann Arbor is FAR.Far.far from our house!  She lives in a "commune" and it was her day to do the cooking.  Interesting people and not what I had thought it would be like.  I'm sure that back in the 60's, these people might have been into the hippy movement, but the people I met are just wanting to share in the feeling of community and shared responsibilities of every day living.  If I liked people, I might even enjoy being in one of these modern day communes.

We were asked out to dinner one night that week from a friend that is from our MINI Cooper club.  He wanted to thank us for planting the seed into another club-member's head (a girl) that he might be a good guy to date...and they are still seeing each other to this day :)


We were impromptu Best Man and Matron of Honor at my old friend's wedding in Las Vegas.  This is her third marriage and his second and she wanted it to be very low key...the lowest key.  They got married at Little White Chapel in downtown Las Vegas.  I was very excited to go and experience what getting a drive-thru wedding would be like.  Also, it had been several years since we'd been on the west side of the country and I was looking forward to the nicer weather.  We are not big gamblers and so we went on a little hiking trip at Red Rock Canyon.
As with every vacation that Jerome and I take, we just can't sit still and so we added a side trip to our vacation; we went to Los Angeles California for a couple of days.  We saw the Hollywood sign and went to the Griffith Observatory to view Los Angeles from above.
We were a part of a live studio audience of a sitcom called "Mom" at the Warner Bros. Studios.  We walked on Hollywood Blvd.  We took a sightseeing tour of the stars homes.  We stayed in a house in the Hollywood Hills that we set up through Airbnb.  Really fun trip.

We were home for a week and then headed to Florida for Thanksgiving.  We visited our friends and the previous owners of our house who now live in Delray Beach.  They had found out he had cancer earlier this year and for most of the year he has been in very aggressive treatment.  Seems to have come out the other end very well.  He still has some weight to gain, but he is still in good spirits and still has his old spunk.

We only stayed a couple of days and then headed to Ormond Beach, where we met up with our other friends who own a timeshare.  They were able to get a second suite for us to use and we spent Thanksgiving with them.  Unfortunately, Florida had a "Winter Blast" come through and the temps were not at all Florida-like.  But we still were able to have some nice meals and visit St. Augustine, which we found out is the oldest city in our nation.  I would have thought the oldest was somewhere in New England, but I would be wrong.  Very beautiful city and while we were there, they were having their festival of lights for the holidays.

On our way home we stopped to see my Aunt Nan in Tennessee and also saw my cousin and her hubby.  It was a VERY short visit and I am planning to take my mom down there this spring, if she is willing.

When we returned home to Michigan we had a few days before the Annual Romeo Christmas Home Tour.  We were tour guides for the third year in a row.  Perhaps next year we'll volunteer our house again.  We'll see.

Sad times too ~ found out that two friends from our MINI Cooper club had passed away...on the same day!  Both had a form of cancer.  One had been in treatment for a few months and the other had just been diagnosed the week before.  Very sad.

Also my "uncle" Mike passed within a day or two of our friends.  Really, he was my dad's cousin, through marriage.  Mike was a character.  For the ladies, you either liked him or were repelled by him.  I leaned toward liking him.  I don't know, I tend to like grumpy-ish men.  He was also a very touchy-feely guy, all of my life.  Didn't matter who you were; young, old, ugly, pretty, fat, skinny - he was going to grab you.  That is where the "repel" that others felt came from.  I guess I didn't mind all that much.  I found it entertaining.  And his voice...I'll never forget his voice.  He always sounded like he was three sheets to the wind, but I don't think he really was...I think it was just the way his voice was.  LOL!  He will be missed.  He left behind his wife, who is such a nice lady and could handle his "ways", and four sons - the youngest being about 2 years younger than me.  His grandkids were so sad, it was hard at the funeral because they were getting so emotional.  

His wife (and my dad's cousin) Barb paid me the greatest compliment when I was at the viewing.  We were sitting on the main couch and joking around a little.  She told me that I have my father's sense of humor.  Still brings a tear to my eye.  She will never know how much that endeared her to me.  Really, the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a very long time.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

anything new and exciting (a.n.a.e.)? ~ first week of october

DETROIT!

We've been to downtown Detroit three times this week!

Friday night

I heard about a local photographer that was having a "gallery opening" and I thought that would be something "classy" to attend.  Asked a friend if she'd like to join us, which she did.  It was not exactly what any of us had thought and so our stay was short and we headed to a restaurant that I heard about on the internet and wanted to try out; Green Dot Stables.  Totally cool restaurant that cooks up sliders as the main offering.

gettin' slizzard
An interesting thing that happened during this outing was that as we were walking to the opening (Boll YMCA), we heard glass breaking and a lot of yelling.  One, obviously mentally challenged black woman threw a bottle at an unsuspecting white woman, right at the entrance of the building.  The white woman was visibly shaken up and was calling the police.  An Asian woman started screaming at the black woman who threw the bottle.  The scene was strange.  I saw the back of a man holding a baby standing right by the Asian woman.  I was unsure if he was with the Asian woman or just trying to cool down a hostile situation.  I saw others on their cell phones calling the police.  I hesitated walking into the area where this was happening, but since my friend was still walking, I followed.  My friend said somewhat sarcastically "she's obviously mentally challenged", referring to the white woman on the phone with 911.

Saturday night

The Ren Cen, all pink for Breast Cancer Awareness
I had purchased these Groupon's for a moonlight cruise on the Detroit Princess a few months back and still hadn't used them.  The cruising season is just about to be over so I thought it was about time we used them.  We were going to be out on Saturday night anyway at a double 50th birthday party (HBD Debbie & Curt!), so why not just end the night with a nice cruise down the Detroit river?  
 
It was a chilly-ish night with a hint of fog or mist.  I don't think either of us realized that this was a "party boat" for the real Detroiter's.  On the 2nd level there is a DJ and dance music.  All the ladies there were dressed to the nines - a lot of spandex and even more flesh.  We were more interested in enjoying the night air and views of both Detroit and Windsor, so we headed to the top of the ship.  It was beautiful and quiet.  Heading back down once docked, the smell of cannabis was in the air.


Tuesday night

I blame the iPod...not a great camera
Radio Lab Live - Apocalyptical at the Music Hall.  I love the radio show and thought this live show would be kinda neat.  They basically did their show on stage.  This one was about "The End" and covered the extinction of the dinosaurs, the periodical chart and a Parkinson's "victim" who made his life better by acting in a play called "The End Game".  It was good, especially the dinosaur segment but by the end it had run a little long, you could see people were shifting in their seats (including us).


Now, THAT's a bolt!
On our way out of the parking lot, Jerome noticed a noise coming from the back tire.  We pulled over in front of the Ren Cen and a bolt in the back tire was discovered!  Happy to say we made it home with no issues and I took the car into Belle Tire to get it removed and patched ~ for FREE!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

anything new and exciting ~ september

Some things have already been covered by way of photos or postings, such as my granddaughter's 3rd birthday party and our airbnb guests.

I had wanted to mention that we were asked to pick up Peyton's cake on our way to the party.  Turns out that Peyton's name was misspelled on the cake (Peypon)...didn't notice til the drive home. 

Happy Birthday Peypon!

Bummer, but not a huge deal for a 3 year old, right?  The cake was otherwise very beautiful and you could tell that there was a lot of work that went into it.


Next day, returned to Fraser in the morning to pick up Peyton so we could bring her back to Romeo for the Labor Day Children's Parade in Romeo.  We had her dress-up in her princess dress that we bought her for her birthday.  She seemed to enjoy the parade but mostly the candy that was being flung at her.  She was horrified by a man dressed in a Buffalo Wild Wings costume and she met Miss Michigan Teen who tried to coax Peyton into walking in the parade with her, but Peyton was a little unsure. 
Miss Michigan Teen 2013 & Miss Peypon!

Really wanted her to see the Peach Festival Parade that was later in the day, but mom said she needed a nap.  When do kids stop taking naps?  I certainly can't remember.

~ ~ ~

We had two more guests stay with us since my last post about Airbnb.  A nice young couple from Buffalo NY that stayed over for the weekend.  They were attending the St. Jerome's Laneway Festival that had its only US destination here at the Meadowbrook Music Festival.
And then an older guy that stayed during the week.  He is a traveling Physical Therapist coming from the west side of Michigan.  He has told us that he will reserve with us again.

~ ~ ~

We wrote up and had the condo tenants sign a new contract that starts in October.  I'm very happy they are staying.  First because then we don't have to do a bunch of work to the place and find a new renter, but also because we're used to them and they are used to us and I think it works pretty well.

~ ~ ~

The new Fall Line-up has started and we're watching a ton of things, but the show that Jerome is most excited about is Amazing Race!!!  He loves, Loves, LOVES it.  Wants to be on it.  I think if we were, my back would go out during the race and he would be eternally resentful of me.

~ ~ ~

My mom brought her neighbor Donna over to the house to check out the kitchen.  Donna is from Poland and has lived in the US for many years.  The kitchen was so close to being finished by then but still needed the molding and sills put back around the windows.  Donna seemed impressed, although she noticed that it wasn't finished.  As we had a little something to drink and sat in the living room to talk, she expressed her surprise at Jerome and I (mostly me) for having set up this Bed & Breakfast thing as she feels I have a friendly, welcoming smile but to her, I don't seem like I am much of a people person.

As they were getting ready to leave, I went out to my garden to dig up a small plant that Donna had said she would like.  I placed it in a plastic bag with extra dirt and some water, then placed that into a small box and handed it to Donna.  She nodded and accepted the box, remarked at the fact that it had some buds on it and told me in her thick Polish accent that she will not thank me for this plant, that is not what they do in Poland.  "We wait until the next year and if the plant grows the next year, then we will thank the giver".
~ ~ ~

*Friends* ~ We've done a few things with friends this month

We went to dinner and show (Spam-a-lot) with our friends Dee & Lou one weekend and then the next weekend they invited us out to The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham for dinner and to spend a night.  Quite swanky! especially in the pocketbook.

Left: Saint James, Paris  Right: The Townsend Hotel, Birmingham
I met up with some old Chrysler friends for lunch; Ann & Mike.  Always nice to see them.  Mike wants to meet monthly now.  I'm thinking that's a bit too much.  Quarterly would work for me.

Had lunch with our friends Deepa & Pratap at their house which is always a nice time with never a dull moment in the conversation.  We see that our other friends, Irina and Brett have a brand new puppy, Lily that is so adorable!  It's a Sheltie.

We went to a party that my old friend Debbie's daughter was throwing at her new place she's renting in Detroit; The Research Lofts on Trumbull.  What a cool place with exposed brick, concrete floors, high ceilings and Alicia's room has the original boiler room door as her bedroom door, which she never closes because she's afraid that it will lock her inside the room.  This building used to be an old nail factory and was recently made in to unique residential lofts.

Jerome set up an evening Whirlyball game with his colleagues.  He thought it would be a cool team-building exercise while some of the people from the office in Germany and Japan were in town.  The whole time you play, you've got a stupid grin on your face and are laughing hysterically.  You may never score a point, but you have plenty of fun trying.  We did dinner afterward at Art & Jake's across the street from the Whirlyball place.

We went to a retirement party in Livonia for an old colleague of Jerome's.  She was one of the secretaries at TNO; the company that brought him over to the US back in 2000.  We met up with people we hadn't seen in a while and were surprised that some were back in the US already.  One inparticular was our friend Paul.  He is from the Netherlands and his wife if American.  They moved to the Netherlands in 2011 and a couple months back, Jerome received an email from Paul letting him know that they were planning on coming back to the US and if Jeorme could be a work reference.  Jerome was on-board with all of that and was being his typically helpful self.  Imagine his surprise when we arrived at the retirement party and Paul was sitting there.  They've been back for over a month and hadn't told Jerome that he was back.

Our Annual Pot Luck was held on the last weekend of the month.  This is the latest we've had it in the season and actually it's not even the same season, it is now fall.  We welcomed to our home and fed 77 people.  Most had been there before and some had not.  Most everyone that came were very interested in seeing the kitchen re-do.  We had a lot of praise that day my friend.  That is always nice to hear after you've worked your tushy off for months (as my dad would say, "look behind you").  We heard nice things about my decorating style which makes me smile.  Someone said that it is like walking in to Pottery Barn!  I like that it looks like that even though I don't typically buy from stores like that since everything is made in China.  I try to find unique things at local stores or use what I already have.
Party aftermath

~ ~ ~

Believe it or not, we've done even more than all of this in the month of September.  It's amazing and we have even more on the schedule for the next two months.  I don't think we can say that we are ever bored.


OH! And I was published!  Here's the page from the Great Outdoors Magazine ~ Fall Winter Edition
 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

airbnb...

Have you heard of it?  Have you done it?

My husband reads EVERYTHING about tech stuff.  He loves it and finds it very interesting, even if he will never own the thing he's reading about.  A good example of that is earlier this week, Apple released its new iPhone 5s.  My husband is probably the ONLY person left on the face of the earth that doesn't want to own and has never owned a cell phone, however he listened to the release presentation for the iPhone 5s for over an hour and has read all of the hubbub about it.

Last year, Jerome read something about a new, popular app that will allow you to reserve a room at someone's house and/or list rooms in your own house to allow people to reserve.  The website (and subsequent app) is called airbnb.com.

For us it sounded pretty cool, ever since our first stay together at a B&B in Ireland, we've always thought it would be fun to own one.  This app/website gives us a taste as to how it would be to own one...actually, it's like we really do own one.

After we put our two empty rooms up on the site (you can see the links on the top right of my blog), we really thought that we might have maybe one person inquire about it but we never thought we'd actually have people stay with us.

At this point we've had 15 people inquire.  We've hosted 6 times and we've made our own reservations twice.

I've told my family and friends about it and my sister used it for their trip to NC.

We would have hosted everyone but we were in the middle of the kitchen renovation and it just was impossible to host because the entire house was a dusty mess + no kitchen to make breakfast or even have a cup of coffee.

Here's a little synopsis of the types of people we've hosted and also the people with whom we've stayed.

Angela & Brad - nice young couple living in the Grand Rapids historic district.  We stayed with them overnight while we visited our niece who is attending GVSU.  The house is an older home that they've been busy remodeling.  They have really nice taste in decorating.  This place took the "air b" portion of the moniker to heart and had an air mattress in the room.  If I had been 15-20 years younger, that might have been OK but my back just killed.  The other thing is that they didn't take the "nb" portion very seriously as they didn't offer us anything for breakfast.  Bummer.  Other than that, we had a nice conversation at the end of our stay.  Prior to our stay, she had sent us very informative emails with local restaurants and things.

Loise & Ron - young retired couple from Connecticut (they winter in Florida).  Very nice and quiet.  Mostly stayed to themselves until we "made" them talk to us at breakfast :)  In our home, we make you breakfast (on the weekends) AND we eat with you since you are guests in our home.  We had a really nice conversation with them during breakfast where we learned a lot about them.  She is an artist and gave us a set of greeting cards that she had made.  Really, really nice.  We were lucky to receive an invitation to visit them the next time we are in Florida :)  That will be in November - and we WILL take them up on the offer.

Gary - middle aged guy who is a rep for a bike company.  We were centrally located enough to be homebase for him during the week.  He was very soft spoken, all around nice guy.  Very detail oriented and gave us some very good advice on how to improve our room for the business traveler.  We immediately implemented his suggestions.  We hope he comes back to see if we are doing it right.

Laurie & Karla - sisters in their late 60s.  So down-home nice, it was like having family members staying with us.  They were coming for their brother's 50th wedding anniversary.  Spent two breakfasts with them and had great conversations.  We were lucky again and have been invited to visit the one sister at her home in Florida.  Looks like our trip in November is filling up!



Alexis & Rochas - young retired couple from Hong Kong!  They were here seeing to the enrollment of their son into a prestigious High School in Bloomfield.  They stayed with us for 4 nights.  This was so much like hosting an exchange family.  We spent a lot of time with them and getting to know them and their home land.  They even brought their son over for Sunday breakfast.  He speaks so well, you'd never know he wasn't from America.  On Sunday, they helped us with YARD WORK!  Oy!  I told them to come back at the end of October when all the leaves are falling.

We have just had two more inquiries which have resulted in reservations for this weekend and next week.  And we just made our second airbnb reservation.  This time with Helen in Los Angeles.  We'll be heading to Las Vegas for my friend's wedding and then take a couple of days and drive to Los Angeles.  The house we will stay is in the Hollywood hills with some awesome views.  It will be pretty cool.

Airbnb has so many cool places to stay and at reasonable prices, it's ridiculous!  Plus you get to meet some really neat people and perhaps create some friendships along the way.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I love this app!...



It's called Diptic and I love the collages that it makes.  However, I'm a person who when I find something that I like, I tend to only do that same thing - over and over again.  So, there are many more types of frames that you can use and backgrounds, etc., but I like the black with the curved inner picture frames.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

anything new and exciting ~ last week of august


Bullet list of things that we've been up to in the past two weeks:

  • Grand-doggie sitting for the weekend
  • Harsens Island 1st annual kitchen tour
  • Bat in the house!
  • Price is Right LIVE at the Casino Windsor
  • Hot air balloon festival in Metamora with my niece Sam
  • 2 sets of Airbnb guests; one stayed for 5 days and the other two stayed for the weekend
  • Fall/Winter Community events schedule came out and my wreath making class is in it!
  • Finished (FINALLY!!!) spraying the last of the kitchen cabinets
  • oh, and it's our 10th Anniversary today!!!
Clarabelle


Bat catching outfits






The list of things that still need to be done:
  • install last of the cabinet doors
  • install cabinet hardware
  • install and paint moldings (around windows, one door and island)
  • paint windows and frames leading outside
  • install window sills
  • finish decorating.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

over-cabinet decorating and other random things...

One of the main reasons I wanted to update the kitchen was to get rid of the soffits.  Me no likey soffits.  I think I'd be OK with cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling, but those big empty boxes that are up there for no reason, Nope.

I've always been intrigued to see how other people choose to decorate above their cabinets and now that we all have Pinterest, stealing ideas was never easier :D

I made a board and spent some time looking at what other people have pinned or liked and added things to my board.

Some ideas were right up my alley and others fell short.

I was cleaning up the basement last night and I thought I'd throw together some items that I could use above the wall of cabinets.  Not sure they will all stay, but it's a good start.

So, let me explain my items.

A few years ago, Jerome and I had our front entry rebuilt.  The only things we kept from the original were the door and the lower half of the side lights.  We kept the lower half because it had an integrated shelf on either side, which I really liked.  Good for holiday decorating, otherwise they are left empty.

When the woodworker pulled off the old side lights, I kept them, of course.  I've had them in the basement all of these years, leaning up against a support pole.  Well, I was hoping that I could use one of them as a background for my vignette.  I wasn't sure it was going to fit, but it did!  Just barely.  Then the decision of whether to use the side that was painted white or the side that was painted pea green.  So, for now I've chosen the pea green side.  Pea green was the trim color that the previous owners had on the house.


The item closest to us is a metal basket that we found at Jerome's grandmother's house in Fulvy, France.  Jerome's grandmother hadn't lived at the house for a long time, but it is still in the family.  The basket was sitting on top of a pile of (most likely) stuff to be thrown away, in a shed in the back of the property.  I GRABBED IT!  And asked my husband if he thought it would be OK to take it.  He thought it would be fine and so I did.  When we showed it to his parents, I think they scratched their heads.  Later during the trip, my Father-in-law asked if I wanted him to use a wire brush to clean it up.  That was nice and I agreed.  

This type of basket is sometimes thought of as an egg basket, maybe even used as one but my In-laws said it actually is a salad spinner.

For the last couple of years, I've had it as a decoration in the living room but thought it might be better served on display up here.  Inside I have some dried hydrangea blooms from my garden and I have a fabric ribbon around the handle that also came from France.

Next up is the cast iron naked lady.  This was the property of the previous owners.  They left it behind with many other treasures.  All these years, I've had it in the exact same spot as they had it; at the entry of the back door.  A little surprising and shocking for some people coming to visit - to be greeted by a naked lady with her legs splayed.  Well, come to find out, this is a boot remover.  You stand on her face and use her legs to take off your boots. It's called a Naughty Nelly Boot Jack and one just sold on eBay for $150!  I think I'll keep her.

Then I have a bunch of vintage glass bottles, some that I've found at one of the houses and others that I've purchased at garage/estate sales or antique type shops.



This is one of those terracotta Romertopf roasters, you soak it in water and then you cook your chicken or pork and the water steams what you are cooking and I guess it is supposed to be pretty good.  This was my mother's and it has never been used - to my knowledge.

Finally, a little metal wine bottle holder, holding a bottle of wine in the shape of a cat.  The metal baskety holder was a gift from my Mother-in-law.  The cat wine, I think this was something that was on sale at our local grocery store.


This is another display over a different cupboard.  Most are my mother's items and some come from my grandma DeYonker.  When grandma died, anything that I took from her cupboards, I marked with "C" for Clara.  That way whenever I used the item, I would see the "C" and think of her.  It works.

So, what do we have here?  Back left is a flour sifter, back middle is an old Clabber Girl Baking Powder container, back right is an Androck nut grinder/chopper ~ mostly my mother's stuff.

In the front (left) we have a butter box that I got for free at The Lamb's Tail Antique Shop in Armada, MI.  A couple of years ago, the owner put out a table of things that wouldn't sell so that people could just take them.  I thought it was cute.  I tried selling it on etsy, but later I thought that I'd rather keep it.  Middle front is, you guessed it!, from my grandma - a spice tin of Thyme from Frank's spices and right next to it is a small bottle of yellow food coloring.  This is most likely my mom's since it doesn't have a "C".


As with any renovation, you find stuff that was not yours.  These items were found between the refrigerator cabinet and the lower cabinet to the left of the fridge.  I believe many, if not all of these items are from the family who reno'd the kitchen the last time.  They would be the Stone's.  Everything here seems to be from the early 90's.


There was one other item that we found in the walls.  It's a small hand tool with a red handle and a curved blade.  A scraper of some sort.  This would have been from when they first built the house in 1947.  We actually used it while we worked on this remodel.

Oh yeah, we also found a ton of wooden matchsticks that were used.  They were embedded in between the slats of the original wood floor.  Not sure if they were there because the workers were chain smokers or if they were being used to fill in the gap of the slats.  As I think I've mentioned before, a friend of ours said that he can tell by the amount of burn on the end of the matchstick that it was not cigarettes that the guy was smoking.  Rather, it was most likely a pipe.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

second week of august ~ anything new and exciting?...


Slowly (and I do mean s.l.o.w.) but surely, we are coming to this project's end.

Today marks 4 months that we've been working on this project.  FOUR MONTHS!  We've been asked or it has been implied that this project shouldn't have taken this long.  What's the deal? Why is it taking so long?

Out of all of these people that have asked or implied, have any of them ever tackled a project of this magnitude?  While having jobs and other responsibilities that are constantly pulling you in the other direction?

Take this past Friday.  My day off from work and a day off from parental care duties...or so I thought.  I had a laundry list of things that I wanted to accomplish (maybe even some laundry...), but as I was waking up from my well needed slumber, I received a phone call from my mom who was experiencing some severe leg cramps all the night before.  She wanted to see her doctor and didn't feel confident enough to drive herself.  So, I get the call.  Of course.  I'm the only daughter in this state.  I always get the call.  Always have, always will.  ALWAYS.  I tried not to be too disappointed that my planned day was crumbling around me and I figured, eh, I will be home around noon, 1pm the latest.  Boy, was I wrong.  Her doctor doesn't work on Friday's (oh, neither do I!...), so we needed to go to an Urgent Care.  She didn't want to go to ER, as it was suggested by the doctor's office because she says it takes too long.  So, we picked an Urgent Care in the area that is affiliated with the Henry Ford Hospitals.  When checking in we asked about the wait time and were told it would be over an hour.  This was enough to depress both of us, but we went and waited in the waiting room.  We were not seen by a doctor for well over 4 hours!  Day was a total bust.  The doctor didn't even prescribe her anything, only to tell her to drink lots of water, walk around when it's happening and when she feels it coming on, she should take her pain medication (that she already has at the ready).  Really?  I had told her that in the waiting room.  Really, it was such a shame and such a waste of time and of a beautiful day.  Plus, the entire time I was with her, she was not experiencing any pain.  None.  Oh, was I frustrated!  Driving home thinking all kinds of bad things about time wasted and stuff I wanted to do...blah, blah, blah.  By the next day, it was in the past and I wasn't angry anymore and life went on.  Sunday night, just as I was watching TV and falling asleep on the couch, I was rudely awoken by a HORRIBLE cramp in my upper, inner thigh!  Leg Cramp of all leg cramps!!!  I couldn't even stand up straight.  I have never experienced this kind of cramp in my life.  And immediately, after I screamed a bunch of MF'rs, I very loudly apologized to my mother.  Lol.  BTW, it's the next day and my leg still hasn't completely recovered.  Karma's a b!tch!

So before my leg cramping experience was the weekend.  The weekend consisted of finishing the grout on the backsplash, spraying the last of the doors (NOT!) and hooking up the water to the kitchen.

Saturday we ran out of white lacquer.  The place where we buy it is only open during the week.  I called the technician to see if he would be willing to do an "emergency paint mix/pick up" and I guess he has boundaries ;) and told us he could take care of us on Monday...it turned out to be fine.  We did what we could with the white that we had and then we were done with the spraying until next weekend...maybe.  We were spraying until after 11pm on Saturday, so I'm not sure we would have had much time to finish up the 15 white doors and 2 black doors on Sunday, so it was just as well that we didn't pick up any more paint as it would have forced us to try and finish.  Never good to force yourself because then you make mistakes.

My sister says this reminds her of an Easter Island statue :D
 




The list of things that still need to be done:
  • finish spraying the fronts of 13 white cabinet doors and respray 2 espresso & 2 white cabinet doors
  • touch up paint on crown molding
  • connect electrical boxes
  • reinstall phone (NEEDED! ~ yes, we still have a land-line) 
  • install said cabinet doors
  • install cabinet hardware
  • install and paint moldings (around windows, doors and cabinets)
  • paint windows and frames leading outside
  • install window sills
  • fix leaky garbage disposal
  • decorate!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

end of july - beginning of august ~ anything new and exciting?...

We've spent the last couple of weeks doing small things in the kitchen, like pulling off the paper and plastic; revealing somewhat how it will look.

We spent a whole weekend spraying the island and the backs of the cream cabinet doors.  They have spent the past week or so curing.


I had made a nice painting station in the garage using plastic sheeting, our canvas tarp, left-over paper roll that we saved when we were taking it off of the kitchen ceiling.  It turned out pretty nicely.  I think we could make a living spraying furniture now.  While I was putting up the plastic sheeting, and it was taking me quite a while, I pondered on how Dexter does this all in an evening AND captures, kills and disposes of all evidence.  He's just so much better at it than any of the rest of us.

Other notable things that happened would be winning tickets to see a tribute band for Van Halen at the local pub.  I don't even care for that kind of music, but when the trivia question was asked on Facebook - I was quick to google the answer and even quicker posting it.  So, I won 4 tickets and posted the same trivia question to my FB friends so that we could share the evening with the lucky winners.  My old friend Tami came up with the right answer...and she could have come up with a million wrong answers and I still would have handed over the other 2 tickets to her as she was the only one of my FB friends that even seemed remotely interested.  So, it turned out to be a nice evening.  Hadn't done anything with her for many years and had never met her husband, so it all worked out really great.


The band was LOUD!  We needed to put pieces of napkin into our ears to save our hearing.  The lead singer was wearing skin tight leotards that showed off his package to the point where you could.not.look.away.  My friend thought he had stuffed something in his pants to give you the impression of a larger package, but all I can say is "male camel toe" to the max. 

Just before leaving for our small vacation, we needed to attend to the red currants that I had harvested from our two bushes.  So, we made jelly!

Yep! That's all we got!

Our long weekend get-away encompassed attempting to break a Guinness Book of World Records, record.  The event was called MINIs on the Mac(k) (I put the "k" in parenthesis because if you are a real Michigander, you would not use the "k" when referring to the Mackinac Bridge) and we were hoping to gain enough interest from those that own MINIs to break the current World Record that was set in London.  They had 1450 MINIs on parade.  Well, we didn't come close; only 848, but it was a cool event to be a part of AND we did end up breaking a World Record...Largest ensemble of car horns beeping Smoke on the Water...



We also did our yearly stay on Mackinac Island, which is always relaxing.  I would say though that we won't stay in that bedroom again (at "our" B&B) because the bed is just way too uncomfortable.  I could barely sleep and woke up in achy pain.





While preparing for this trip, our MINI friend, John asked us if we wouldn't mind taking his (Matchbox car) MINI along with us and take some pictures of his MINI enjoying the event...and also include another MINI friend's (someone we've never met) mini MINI.  This was because neither of them could attend the event themselves.  SURE!  We've done this before, once while on our honeymoon with our brother-in-law's shoe (he left in our honeymoon suite, by mistake - drunk bastard ;) ) and once with our friends on a trip to Europe.  A blow up palm tree that their son sent them as a gift.

It was fun and gave us a bunch of things to take pictures of while on our trip.  And the owner's loved all the creative shots!

While on the island, I was pleasantly surprised with an email from the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau stating that they picked my story that I had submitted to them about our trip to Punxsutawney to be featured in their Fall/Winter GO Magazine.  This magazine will be distributed at high traffic areas such as rest stops, restaurants and hotels.  You can read the whole story here on my blog - I sent them an edited down version - which I'm sure they will edit down even more.

After our 4-5 hour drive home from the Upper Peninsula, I think we were home for an hour before we were "BACK TO WORK!"  Needed to get ready because the next day our counter tops would arrive and be installed.  We are so happy that we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel for this project.  This coming weekend marks 4 months that we've been at it.  It's a long time to not have a working kitchen - or, the most missed is not having a sink.  Whenever we need water, we have to trudge down to the basement and fill up a pot.  I call it "going to the well".  





But for a short time, I believe I've felt what our forefather's (or mother's) had to live with.