Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Almost Finished Remodeling the Master Bath!!

Since the master bath should be completed soon, I thought I would post an early demo picture (or two) and one of where it is today.  In two more weeks I should will have a completed project!!! 

Taking out the walls was fun.
Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it to ask the kids to help. Yes, those are bare feet in the midst of a construction zone.

Did you know that in the early 70's tile floors were laid in an inch and a half thick base of concrete with some kind of wire set in  it? I am the floor demo person.  I know this now. Then you need to put in a new sub-floor to raise it so that it is even with the bedroom floor.  Nothing is ever easy when remodeling.

Here we are today with a new wall minus a linen closet.  I will miss that linen closet but, the bigger bath will have towel storage.  I repainted the whole bedroom since I had to paint the new wall.  It's still green, but two new shades.  We still need to put the chair rail up on the new wall.  Is it not annoying how one job always leads to six more?

We are almost there!!  Two more weeks and pics of the completed bath and closet WILL be up--I hope. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I'm Blaming My Blog Absence on the New Kindle

It's the Kindle's fault that I have gotten little done to blog about since Christmas.   It is so freaking easy to use!  It fits so easily in my purse! And, when I'm reading in bed, it's so easy to hold!    That last one was what caused me to start lusting after my husband's Kindle.  There I was lying next to him in bed getting sore wrists holding onto a fat book while he was holding onto that skinny little Kindle.  I guess all the hints at reading time paid off.  He got me one for Christmas.

So far I've read eight books including The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I've been wanting to read the Tolkien books again for a while.  They were as good as I remembered.

I'm watching prices of books carefully, however.  $9.99 is my limit.  (Now, should I put off getting my book club's selection until too late, I may have to break that rule on occasion.) I wanted to read Watership Down again, but they want $12.99 for the Kindle Edition while one of the new paperback versions would only be $4.50.  In fact, you can get it used for a penny on Amazon!

There are many, though, that are reasonably priced or free.  Free is great and lots of the classics I love are free including The Tale of Two Cities--just downloaded.  Downloading them from anywhere at any time is amazingly liberating.  I was waiting for my daughter to come out of surgery and playing around finding books on the Amazon site!  Yeah, I could have done it on my laptop, but the Kindle is so much easier to carry and the battery lasts forever as long as you remember to turn of the search connection.

I'm ready to get this new addiction under control now.  Back to the remodeling of the master bathroom!  Within two weeks I should have pictures up with the finished --yes finished-- project.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Stairway Pictures Are Up

I wanted to show the pictures I put up on the staircase wall, but my hall is too narrow! So, instead, I will show you the three pictures that I used.  They are 8.5x11 photos matted in 11x14 frames of my three kids and their significant others from youngest to oldest.  The first is Kiefer and his Kelsey, then Kyle and his Melissa, and last, my oldest, Keegan and her Clifton (aka Pep).  
Wish I could show how nice they look on the stairs, but this will have to do.  I'm lovin' how it all came out.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  I got half my new year's resolution right on the first day!  I started to make excuses for not getting it perfect, but remembered that the goal was not to be perfect anyway, but to be better.  I got up at 7 instead of the five but, but I did get the other half right.  I did make a plan for the day over coffee.  I already have my meat loaf thawing for supper tonight!  I'm usually thinking about what to have at around 5:30--at night. 

Wishing you all the best new year ever especially those who are in their first year living in a new place.  I know that some are in new houses, new cities, even new states.  I've been in New York State all my life, so I really enjoy sharing new places vicariously with friends and bloggers (who quickly seem like friends;-}).  It's been great to see how each of you handles the adventures of relocating.  Brian and I will have learned much from you all on how to handle the change well when we are finally able to move to a nice warm climate in a few more years. 

Have a great day and let me know what your resolutions are! 

(To Elke who I can't get hold of because she is somewhere between New York and Florida, Let me know what courses your going to be taking for the new year, too.)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I was looking back through a couple of journals from 1993 and 1998 and found a pattern relating to new year's resolutions:  they are always the same.  I've never faced that fact before.  The mind is amazingly good at protecting itself.  I could see the problem when reading through the journals.  Every year I vow to try to become perfect and do everything I want to do.

Every year I vow to get my house organized in order to make better use of my time.  This first one is the killer.  It requires that I get every facet of my house in order.  It means that I will need to get and keep the house organized.  I will need to maintain a schedule to keep it clean.  I'll need to make menus and grocery lists that include everything for those menus and all the other things I'll need to keep the house going.

I also resolve to take better care of myself.  I will lose that 10 (or 20, 30, 40...pounds--depending on the year), cook healthier meals (making the menus and shopping above a bit harder), make the hair appointments, do my nails, exercise, shop for clothes, meditate, do yoga.  As part of this, I will fit in my hobbies and passions including writing, sewing, and crafting.  What I have looked at as two resolutions requires an unending number of other resolutions.  I'd be just about perfect if I had pulled it off.

Despite the stupidity of my resolutions, I've had some success over the years.  I've managed to keep within 10 to 20 pounds for the weight loss for the last eight or nine years, my meals are healthier, and I'm better organized in many ways. Another problem is that my resolutions failed to take "life" into account.  Families have problems.  Members need comforting, counseling, a kick in the butt, to borrow the car, someone to accompany them to the doctor, for surgery.  Jobs, volunteering, and neighbors also make demands on time and energy.  These things all take time.  Plans fall behind or need tweaking.  I become discouraged and stressed out more easily than many others.

Here is what I am thinking now.  I need to pick one thing and work on it, become comfortable with it, before adding on more.  So this year, I resolve to get up at 5:00 a.m. every day and write down a REASONABLE plan for the day over morning coffee.  Getting up on time and writing the list are the only things I HAVE to do to succeed at the resolution.  Having extra time in the morning to plan and get started on the day might be just what I need.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Review of Martha Stewart's Glitter Glue: Two Thumbs Down (both mine, of course)

I love glitter.  Actually I love almost all shiny things.  I must have been a raccoon in a former life.  Consequently, it was inevitable that I would try Martha Stewart's glitter.  I got the 24-pack of small bottles in all the colors for half price at Michael's.  Who could resist that?  I want to put glitter inside the clear glass ornaments.  Two problems with that.  I can't find the ornaments or the Future floor wax suggested by many people for adhering the glitter.  The next best thing was to try some glitter in my art journaling.

I bought Martha's glitter glue which looks exactly like the thick craft paste I used in elementary school; the one with the brush attached to the inside of the top.  It worked just like the old-fashioned paste, too.  The paste was difficult to get out with the brush.  As you move the brush around, the paste (or as Martha says, glue) moves to the sides of the bottle and stays there.  The "glue" also wrinkles the paper just as the elementary school paste did.  You end up with a stiff, bubbled, warped piece when it dries.  Did the glitter adhere?  Kind of.  Maybe with practice it would be better.

I also bought the ballpoint-tip glue pen.  It has a squeezy area in the middle so that you can get the glue out when you need it.  It says, "permanent bond when used wet; let dry clear for a temporary bond."  What does that mean?  I'm still not sure.  I think it means that it remains sticky if there are spots that don't have glitter and that that glitter will come off pretty easily.  I know it means that my journal pages will stick together if the glitter comes off.  I'm sure I should not use it in my art journal.    Also, after using it a short time, I could no longer get a uniform amount to flow.  That is a problem with lettering.  Perhaps someone with patience could get this to work.

All in all, The glitter is superb.  It is ultra fine.  The colors are magnificent.  Martha's glue?  Any money I saved on the glitter I lost on the full-priced pen and paste.  (It's paste, Martha, paste!  Thick, clumpy paste!) Both are in the trash can. My end result was five sticky, warped pages with uneven thicknesses of glitter.  Had I been glittering a picture of a dog, it would have appeared to have a bad case of mange.  I've had pages warp a bit from other media.  I'm okay with a bit of that. These pages were not even salvageable. (BTW, I didn't DO five pages.  It's just that the paste/glue was wet enough to soak through making the pages lumpy.)

I'm pretty sure with all the reviews I've seen that the Future floor was will work on the ornaments, but I'm going to have to do some research to find a way to use this glitter for anything else.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What non-bakers do for sweet holiday treats

I love these marshmallow lollipops covered in chocolate and sprinkly things.  Plunk marshmallows on lollipop sticks from Joann's, melt a bag of Nestle's chocolate bits, pour some sprinkles into a bowl, and have at it. 

I had an piece of packing Styrofoam that I poked holes into to hold the pops til they hardened.  I had to use a skewer for that cuz the lollipop sticks don't have a pointy enough end.

The plastic covers, also from Joann's, went on after the chocolate hardened.  I bought the covers last year for diabetic cookies I made for my father-in-law.  He was the ONLY person for whom I would bake cookies.  He died last month, and we will all miss him.  Frankly though, he had been so sad after losing my mother-in-law the previous year, that I feel at peace with it.  I hope they are together again in some realm and drinking the beer that Ed loved but couldn't have because of the damned diabetes.  Diabetes sucks.  Homemade marshmallow lollipops do not.