Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Keeps on Going and Going . . .

Ok, so in 2002, we bought a Chevrolet Suburban. Now I did not want this car, it was too big and too much of a gas guzzler. My hubby was the one who kept insisting we needed the extra row.

However, while driving to Miami for our annual Stone crab trip, I had a 3-year-old sitting right next to a  4-month-old in a Jeep Cherokee. Now the oldest daughter wanted to love on the baby and kept touching her, squishing her cheeks, and making her cry (not a 100% sure it was all loving but let's just go with that). By the time we had driven to Ft. Myers (barely an hour and 45 minutes from home), I was convinced we needed a bigger car. Thus the Blue Burb, as we sometimes call it.

Now I will say, I have really come to appreciate this car. The most important reason is that there are three rows and still enough room in the back for lots of anything and everything you need to haul. Plus, if someone rear ends the car, they are not in the back seat with my family - big plus!

So my sister and I took a quick trip to Atlanta to head to the Gift Mart for our on-line store Two Chic Gifting Gals. Going to market is super fun, especially when we discovered the vendor giving away tumblers full of wine!! On the way home from Atlanta, something big happened, or at least it was exciting to me. No explanation needed:

200,000 freaking miles! That's amazing and a heckuva lot of miles!! After dropping off my sister and picking up my girls (a row for each of them!), I started thinking about everything this car has been through:

- driving Girl Scouts to meetings for 9 years
- 8 Girl Scout camping trips
- 10 years of school carpools 
- driving family members home from the hospital after three surgeries
- tons of trips to Gainesville for Gator games
- driving to West Virginia with 6 family members for skiing for my parents 40th anniversary
- driving the Masellis and Hutchisons to Kentucky for the Gator game
- being hit in the front by a KY Wildcat trying to jump the car and instead jumped the curb
- trips to New Orleans, Tennessee, Atlanta, and yearly pilgrimages to North Carolina for fall leaves
- my 15-year-old daughter learning to drive (if she can handle this car, she can drive anything)
- my 15-year-old daughter stopping at her first red light and being rear-ended TWICE by some crazy man (no damage to our car)
- too many to count field trips
- 2 sleepovers at Sea World
- 1 sleepover at Busch Gardens
- hauling furniture, supplies from Home Depot, you name it
- home to a lizard for one, very long, week
- trips to Disney, concerts, the beach, dinners out, church
- no tickets (knock on wood)
- no major accidents (2 fender benders not our fault)
- backed into a pole and scrapped a stop sign (both not visible to driver and both the driver's fault - that would be me!)
- has a J carved in the passenger's, backseat door (oldest daughter to blame for that)
- still has a VCR installed in the ceiling (yes, we were trendsetters at the time!)
- brought home our new puppy (now she's 9)
- no major repairs

I imagine in the next year, the Blue Burb will conk out on us and no longer want to take us where we want to go but all-in-all, this car has served us well. While I will happily go look at new cars (who doesn't love that new car smell??), I will not happily look at the price tags. We have not had a car payment in over 9 years! Oy vey! Off to go load up the car for a sleepover with 10 teenagers at the Tradewinds, but that is for another post!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Kitchen Confidential (But I'll Share) . . .

Ok, so the kiddos and the hubby were both out-of-town last week and that left me and the dog. Hattie (our black Lab) is fun but she won't fill my days nor will she take out the trash (was really missing hubby on the second trash day he was gone!!). I was pulling another filled trash bag from under the sink and was grossed out by what I saw. Originally, I had laid down a shelf liner like this -

Here I was, thinking this was so smart. Reality check - NOT! It appears my family is a group of slobs and only hits the trash can accurately about 60% of the time. The rest obviously misses and lands on my shelf liner. Funny thing here, the liner has little open squares and the missed trash would fill these holes and harden. When I removed it, there were actually squares of dried nastiness. I had to take a razor blade to the gunk to remove it. I then bleached the cabinet floor and this is the best I got!

There was a small, wire pull-out shelf that held cleaning supplies
but basically no other organization.
I ran (ok, not literally) to Home Depot and bought 6 vinyl tiles.
I figured these would be much easier to clean and it only cost $7.00!
Armstrong 12" x 12" Peel & Stick Slate Modular Brown Vinyl Tile
I was able to cut the tile with an old pair of scissors.
Forgot to take a finished photo of just the tiles but trust me here,
it looks SO much better!
I added a pull-out trash can  and shelf, all from Home Depot,
and now have everything in reach.
I do plan on adding some sort of dividers for the shelf
because if I close it quickly, some of the items tend to fall over.
Other than that, it is clean and organized.
My youngest daughter was really impressed with the new and improved look so that's enough validation for me! Of course, the new rule in the house is to always pull out the trash can before adding anything to it. That way, we avoid the messy overspills. 

I am so excited to cross another item off my Summer To Do List. Crap!! Just pulled it up and another project not on my To Do list - ugh!

Off to finish something ACTUALLY on the list but that is for another post.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

It's About Time . . .

Ok, so I have been living with this 1980s, completely hideous, ugliness for almost ten years (I think I deserve a major award!).

If you look super closely, you can see the wood from the other side.
Many years ago, I put up bead board in Caitlin's room to
hide the glass blocks on her side.
So with the girls in Gainesville and hubby visiting his dad, I woke up this morning and decided it needed to be a productive day. I pulled out the big ladder and took detailed measurements. Then I headed to Home Depot, picked up some luan, and had one of the employees cut down the wood for me (makes it super easy, peasy!). Now in my mind, I would just stick up the luan, add a few nails and then paint it all and believe it or not, that's exactly the way it went.

This piece was cut a little crooked but once I painted it,
you really couldn't notice.
This was my trick corner because it actually had a bend.

All the luan fit nicely and was super easy to install,
plus it's light so not too heavy to lift by myself.
The Home Depot man cut some 3' x 1" strips for me and I used them as trim to go over the seams. I originally was going to just glue up the strips so I started that (gobs of glue later) but found it easier to just nail them in place. I then added a bunch of spackle (forgot to sand so don't look closely when you visit) and added paint. And here's the finished product . . . 

Not too bad??
I was going to paint the wood strips brown to add some more color
but since their placement apart varies based on where the main
supports of the glass blocks are, I painted them white.

I might actually add some fun art or some sort of decorations up there but for now, I will just admire it. I do have some touch-up painting still to do but tackling that tomorrow. My dog woke me up at 4 a.m. this morning and I didn't really fall back asleep (thanks Hattie!). More painting tomorrow but that is for another post.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Loving Me Some Dowton Abbey . . .

Ok, so I can become a completely obsessive person. With that being said, a lot of the time, once I make my mind up, there is no stopping me (remember I painted 18' high walls!?!?!).  So I was sitting down to fold several loads of laundry and I turned on the TV. With nothing being on, I switched to Netflix and came across Downton Abbey. For those of you not in the "know," it's a PBS fiction series set in a grand house in England beginning in 1912 with the sinking of the Titanic. It follows the lives of the wealthy family who live in the house and the servants who are at their beck-and-call. Little did I know, when I innocently played that first show, that the next 36 hours of my life would be in front of a TV and computer! I was completely hooked in the first five minutes (I am a bit of an Anglophile).

I love the grand home (they use the real English estate Highclere Castle) . . .

the amazing costumes  . . .

A staff (who wouldn't want a staff???) . . .

the great, can't-stop-watching storylines  . . .
Shirley MacLaine as a sassy, outspoken, ridiculously wealthy American . . . 

but best of all, Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess of Grantham 
(Lady Grantham)!

Every family needs a dowager. Here are some of my favorite lines she has spouted -

Lady Mary: "Sybil is entitled to her opinions."
Lady Grantham: "No. She isn't until she is married, then her husband will tell her what her opinions are."

Lady Grantham: "You are quite wonderful the way you see room for improvement wherever you look. I never knew such reforming zeal."
Mrs Crawley: “I take that as a compliment.”
Lady Grantham: “I must have said it wrong.”

Tom: "They turned everyone out of the castle. Lord and Lady Dromgoole, their sons and the servants. And then they set fire to it."
Edith: "What a tragedy"
Lady Grantham: "Well, rather yes and no - that house was hideous. Of course, that is no excuse."

Lady Grantham: "I do think a woman's place is eventually in the home, but I see no harm in her having some fun before she gets there."

Robert: "They do say there is a wild man inside all of us."
Lady Grantham: "If only he would stay inside."

Lady Grantham: "Parenting is difficult enough even when you like the child."

Lady Grantham: "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's so middle class."

Sir Richard: "I am leaving this morning Lady Grantham, I doubt we will ever meet again."
Lady Grantham: "Do you promise?"

Lady Grantham: "Judas was only trying to help."

Lady Grantham: "I will applaud your discretion when you leave."

Lady Grantham: "I do hope I am interrupting something."

So, needless to say, I watched Season One on Netflix. Immediately had to switch over to Hulu.com (signed up for a free week, watched my stories and then canceled it) since Netflix didn't have Season Two. After watching Season Two (took a short break to sleep), onto Amazon Prime (free membership for 1 month) to watch Season Three. All that rushing (literally would have been a page turner if I was reading it) and now I have to wait until January 5, 2014 for Season Four. Bummer! Something MAJOR happened in last minute of Season Three but I won't be a spoiler. Go see for yourself! It's really good!

Now off to get something finally done but that is for another post!