Friday, October 20, 2017

nothin' but blue skies

Well, this week was not my favorite.  Work was very lousy for many reasons, and I was so relieved when 4:00 came around this afternoon.  I was going to run a few errands after work, but Matt's train was canceled so I had to pick him up at another station and then drive him to his regular station to pick up his car. 

Instead of going right home after that, I decided to cash in a free drink reward I've been saving at Dunkin' Donuts and go to Payless, because sometimes a girl needs a little retail therapy but happens to be on a tight budget.  I also ran into the mall for something and felt like I was walking through the junior's department of JCPenney, circa 2001.  Hello again platform sneakers, ribbed striped sweaters, and all manner of velour apparel.  I've never stopped loving you.

We ditched our cooking plans and I picked up pizza on my way home, and now I'm sitting on the couch with a new candle, a glass of wine, watching We Are Marshall.  College football was a big deal in our house growing up and I remember my dad telling us stories about the Thundering Herd.  My parents bought the movie when it came out and my dad even has a Marshall sweatshirt.  I cry every time I watch it, but I love it.

I was going to cut coupons while I watched but I decided to save that for tomorrow morning during College Gameday because I wouldn't want to get too wild on a Friday night.  Plus, tomorrow Gameday is at Penn State, my alma mater, so I will be spending three hours on the couch watching TV and drinking coffee.

And cutting coupons.

I won't be able to watch the whole game because we are going to a Halloween party.

At Matt's boss' house. 

As Fred and Wilma Flintstone. 

We tried on our wigs tonight and I laughed so hard that I lost a contact lens.

And now that I write all of that out, I guess this week isn't so terrible after all. 

Plus, we had an entire cloudless day.  It was a big deal on the news because it hasn't happened here since February.  There was legitimately not one cloud in the entire sky for the entire day.

Cloudless skies. Dunkin' Donuts.  New shoes from Payless.  A great football weekend.  Pizza for dinner.  A hilarious Halloween costume.

I've got nothing to complain about.

Monday, October 16, 2017

i hate to say i toe-ld him so

Well, it was a good weekend.  We had dinner at Matt's mom's on Friday and I'm happy for any night that doesn't require me to cook in a construction zone.  Matt went hunting with his brother on Saturday and they both got ducks.  While they were hunting I went to a writing group at our local library.  I was so nervous that I got there early and then sat in my car for 15 minutes.  When I finally worked up the courage to go inside,  I walked past the community room door and peeked in so I could get a sense of what kind of people attended the writing group and if I would be too intimidated to go in the room.

I don't know who I was expecting to be intimidated by.  J. K. Rowling?

The people who attend the Saturday morning library writing group, as it turns out, are not the intimidating sort.  I had a great time.  There were six people there and everyone went around the table and introduced themselves to me, and told me a little about their writing.  One woman, Marie, said, "I joined this group two years ago, when I was finishing up my first novel, which is called....oh shoot, I always forget the title.  Does anyone remember what it's called?"

Marie, I'm sold.  When you remember what the title is, I will buy a copy.

On Saturday afternoon we did some work on the kitchen, and did even more on Sunday.  Sunday's tasks included sanding the entire ceiling.  We put away or covered as much as we could, but anything that was out was covered in a layer of dust.  We put a fan in the window to suck out some of the dust, and when I took the fan out of the window last night, this is what the screen looked like.

At least it worked.

We primed the walls and then celebrated the anniversary of Matt's diabetes diagnosis in the most (in)appropriate way, with ice cream.

He was diagnosed 16 years ago with type 1 diabetes.  I've known him for 12 of those years and I cannot think of a single time I've heard him complain about any of it.  Last night I asked him how many times a day he thinks about diabetes and he couldn't even come up with an answer because he can't really ever NOT think about it.  So we celebrate his anniversary and the medical miracle that is insulin every year and this year called for Dairy Queen.

Speaking of diabetes, Matt's blood sugar sometimes goes low in the middle of the night and he has to eat a bowl of cereal or drink some apple juice.  He also has a less than stellar habit of just stepping out of his slippers somewhere between the kitchen and the bedroom.  You may, like me, recognize that as a tripping hazard for someone who wakes up the middle of the night and traverses downstairs to the kitchen in the dark with low blood sugar.

Exhibit A:

(New carpet for those stairs is on my endless wish list.)

Well, yesterday, on his 16th anniversary, he tripped on his middle of the night kitchen trek and sustained a toe injury.  He claims it wasn't because of the slippers but I have my doubts.

I've been getting texts throughout the day with updates.

(I appreciate that in the midst of a crisis of the hallux, he still adds a "z" to the end for a little flair.  Also, you'd think a girl who went to a writing group two days ago could come up with more verbose, varied responses.  Geez.)

Anyway, Matt is going to the doctor after work and let's hope it's just a minor injury, because we've got a hot date on Saturday and speaking of toes, Matt is wearing these.

Friday, October 13, 2017

let them eat cake. and a pork roast,

Matt's dad turned the big 6-0 last week and there was a party at their house on Saturday for the occasion.  Matt's stepmom had texted him early last week to let him know the menu was going to be meatball sandwiches and hoagies.

Two of my personal faves.

The following day, she sent another text to Matt, and to all of his siblings, that said, "I decided to do a roast/toast for your dad's party.  Please tell your spouses so you can be prepared."

Matt proceeded to tell me absolutely nothing.  Coming soon: our book on how to excel in communication.

We got to my in-laws' house early on Saturday to help set everything up.  My mother-in-law told us how she planned to arrange the food table.  "I'm going to put the meatballs here, and the hoagie trays down here."

"Where is the pork going to go?" Matt asked.

"Pork?" said my mother-in-law, "We're not having pork."

"Oh," Matt replied.  "I thought you said you decided to do pulled pork."

In the hustle and bustle of getting ready we moved on quickly from the pork confusion and set to work putting the champagne in the fridge.

Champagne for the toast.

Do you see where this is going?

We ate dinner and then my mother-in-law went inside to get the champagne.  My sister-in-law, Liz, came over to Matt and said, "So, I assume as the oldest son you're going first, what are you going to say?"

I've never seen Matt look more bewildered.  Because as it turns out, my mother-in-law meant a ROAST, as in, making jokes about my father-in-law.  Matt thought she'd meant A PORK ROAST.

The funniest part is that Matt responded to my mother-in-law's initial text about the roast, saying "Great idea! I love those!"  So she thought he was all in.  No.  He was all in for some pulled pork.  He said he wondered why she put "/toast" in the text, but knows his dad likes pulled pork and toast, and since her last text had been about food, he didn't think the topic had changed.

Luckily we both thought quickly on our feet, since Matt did indeed have to go first.  Everyone got a good laugh out of Matt's confusion, and someone came up to me afterwards and told me I had the best line of the night, so we will call it a success.

My father-in-law had such a wonderful time that he declared a party should be hosted in his honor every single year.  

Next year we can have it at our house.  Maybe our kitchen will even be finished.

And we will definitely serve a pork roast.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

what i read: october edition

It's time for a book post again with Steph and Jana.  I read three this month, and first up was Amy Poehler's Yes, Please.

Do you want to get to know the woman we first came to love on Comedy Central's Upright Citizens Brigade? Do you want to spend some time with the lady who made you howl with laughter on Saturday Night Live, and in movies like Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and They Came Together? Do you find yourself daydreaming about hanging out with the actor behind the brilliant Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation? Did you wish you were in the audience at the last two Golden Globes ceremonies, so you could bask in the hilarity of Amy's one-liners?

If your answer to these questions is "Yes Please!" then you are in luck. In her first book, one of our most beloved funny folk delivers a smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read. Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras and advice. With chapters like "Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend," "Plain Girl Versus the Demon" and "The Robots Will Kill Us All" Yes Please will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by.

I've read a lot of mixed reviews on this book.  I'd been on the waiting list for the audio version for several months, so I was so excited when it became available.

(Sidenote, do you use the app Overdrive?  It's free, and you plug in your library card information, and have access to thousands of audio books and e-books.  I love it.  I spend a lot of time driving and love having access to free audio books.)

The book was good, but I didn't love it.  Like a lot of people, I think I expected it to be a lot like Tina Fey's book, and it wasn't.  I loved hearing the behind the scenes info about SNL and the other shows Amy has been involved with.  I really enjoyed when she wrote about her friendship with Tina.  Michelle and I often compare ourselves to Amy and Tina so I felt like I could relate to what she was talking about.  There were certainly funny parts, but I didn't laugh out loud.  One thing I did take away from this is that Amy is one hard worker.

Next was My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella. 

Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she's desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

 I absolutely loved this book.  Five stars.  It was sweet, but there were some parts where I was laughing so hard Matt said, "What is going on in that book?!"  By the end I wished I lived in England, and that the characters were real, because I wanted to meet them in real life.

The last book I read was Church of the Small Things, by Melanie Shankle.  

Is my ordinary, everyday life actually significant? Is it okay to be fulfilled by the simple acts of raising kids, working in an office, and cooking chicken for dinner?  
Melanie Shankle, New York Times bestselling author and writer at The Big Mama Blog tackles these questions head on in her fourth book, Church of the Small Things. Easygoing and relatable, she speaks directly to the heart of women of all ages who are longing to find significance and meaning in the normal, sometimes mundane world of driving carpool to soccer practice, attending class on their college campus, cooking meals for their family, or taking care of a sick loved one.
Through humorous stories told in her signature style, full of Frito pie, best friends, the love of her Me-Ma and Pa-Pa, the unexpected grace that comes when we quit trying to measure up, and a little of the best TV has to offer, Melanie helps women embrace what it means to live a simple, yet incredibly meaningful life and how to find all the beauty and laughter that lies right beneath the surface of every moment.
I've read Melanie's blog and listened to her podcast for years, and I love all of her other books.  I was so excited to read this one and it did not disappoint.  Melanie's writing never fails to make me laugh out loud.  She has a way with words that can make you laugh and make you think and make you cry, all in one chapter.  

I just went to the library today and re-stocked, so I am all set for the next few weeks!  Did you read anything great this month?

Sunday, October 8, 2017

our house is unspeakable but at least our lawn is in tip-top shape

Matt and I are going to a Halloween party in a few weeks.  The party is at his boss' house.  Costumes are required and there are prizes for the best ones.  Apparently people go all out.  His boss spent $500 on his costume last year.  That's about five hundred times our Halloween costume budget.  We have a few possibilities, but if anyone has an award winning costume idea, I'm all ears.

Last night I took a little walk down memory lane in search of some inspiration, and discovered this photo from the year my brother was a dinosaur and I was an elephant.

And then this year, where Em was Cinderella, and I was Pippi Longstocking, complete with a wire clothes hanger in my hair.  Phil was a table.  Our high school allowed seniors to wear their costumes to school, and my brother is about 6'5''.  His table top sailed above the heads of the other kids and was a hit.

The other day I had an appointment to get my eyes dilated.  Before I left, the doctor asked if I needed a pair of the little plastic lenses to put inside my glasses.  I told him I should be fine without them, that I had a pair of sunglasses in my car.

"Prescription?" he asked.  I told him they were just my normal sunglasses  and he said, " He said, "I think you're going to need these."  I took them even though I drove to and from work like this just fine.

I'll admit the little lenses helped.  Though I did take them off when I went through the Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru because even I have some standards when it comes to what my coffee friends think about me.


80% of our house is in shambles.  The kitchen is torn apart, and the cabinets were delivered this week.  Our dining room is packed full, there are stacks of boxes in the family room, there is an open cabinet in the middle of the living room floor because the box was too big to fit inside the house the pantry, which is legitimately the size of my Ford Focus, is in the kitchen, AND there are 24 boxes of hardwood floors in the living room.

There is about 4 square feet of space in the dining room where Matt and I were able to wedge two chairs in next to the dining room table so we can continue to eat dinner like civilized adults.  Unfortunately I put my chair directly beneath the chandelier.  I stood up tonight and I don't know where I was looking but it certainly wasn't in front of me, because I marched full speed into the chandelier.

Luckily nothing was wounded but my pride, although the chandelier is a little worse for the wear.  All of the glass globes were knocked out of place and the impact burned out a light bulb.

Thursday night I got home after Matt and he called from the kitchen, "Hey, I'm in here!  I'm building something!"  I wound my way through the boxes and expected to see him building a cabinet.

Do you know what he was building, in the midst of the chaos?

This, a lawn thatcher.

Because of course.

Jesus, take the wheel.

Or the screwdriver.

Monday, October 2, 2017

if pumpkin products cure tetanus, matt is going to be just fine

Well, I blinked and it is October.

We've been working on the kitchen almost every night.  

So far we've gotten electrical work done, removed all of the old paneling and woodwork, ripped down old drywall and put up new walls and insulation, spackled the walls, spent HOURS repairing the ceiling, removed some cabinets, an old oven, a built-in desk, and installed a new AC unit.  I know this prep work is important but it's also tedious and I am excited to see the new things going in.  There are 24 boxes of flooring in my living room and the cabinets are coming on Wednesday morning, so let's hope we can get to that quickly.

Every night I ask Matt what's on the docket for the next day because I like to be prepared in life.  Always have.  Growing up, and let's be honest, even when I lived at home at the ripe old age of 23, I would ask my mom at dinner what we were having the next night for dinner.  She always answered patiently even though someone, especially a 23 year old someone, asking me that every night would drive me nuts.  But I enjoy knowing what's to come.

Anyway, usually Matt gives me the basic rundown.  But tonight he said, "Tomorrow?  Tomorrow, you are going to see your wonderful husband create his own, unique, spackle masterpiece."  So, that should be interesting.

The worst part so far has been sanding the ceiling to remove the adhesive the old owners applied QUITE LIBERALLY to the styrofoam beams they attached to the 11 foot ceilings.  I am a girl who sometimes struggles to lift a full gallon of milk onto the top shelf of the fridge, so holding a sander over my head all day made my shoulders feel like they were a raging inferno.  I could barely life my arms to shampoo my hair on Monday morning.

This weekend we had our first actual injury, when Matt was trying to break down a piece of wood paneling.  He held one end up and stepped on the middle to break it in half, but a nail went right into his calf.  

After he pulled it out he said, "Well, that was dumb.  I knew that was going to happen."

Cue all the googling about puncture wounds and just how quickly tetanus sets in (3 to 21 days).

A trip to urgent care, a tetanus shot, and an antibiotic later he is back in business.  He is supposed to ice it and when I suggested he do that he said, "I can't.  It will make my leg cold."

You can lead a horse to water.  Or a man to the freezer for a bag of frozen corn.

Last week I spent a few days at my brother and sister-in-law's to watch my baby nephew.  He is the cutest thing in all the land.

I checked in with my boss the afternoon before I left and she asked if I had anything fun planned for my days off.  I told her I was babysitting, and that I had such high hopes to get lots of reading done that I stopped at the library to pick up three books I'd reserved.

She laughed and said, "You know what mothers who stay home with newborns always say?  You won't BELIEVE how many books I've read."

I am here to report she was right and I read exactly half of one chapter.  I didn't even have to worry about normal day to day activities like laundry and food shopping and cleaning the toilets but a baby has a lot of requirements and who wants to read when you can spend hours upon hours trying to make a baby smile?

I came home on Thursday night and pulled up to see my father-in-law standing on our front steps with a beer and Matt's pick-up truck on the middle of the front lawn.

Things sure get crazy when I'm away.

Turns out they'd gone to pick up the floors, and Matt backed the truck right on up to the front door for maximum unloading ease.

I thought the idea was brilliant so I did the same thing on Friday afternoon when I made a big Trader Joe's trip.

Just kidding.

But I did buy so many pumpkin products that it probably would have been easier to unload that way.  I'll have to remember that next week when I go to replenish my stock of pumpkin waffles, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin coffee creamer, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin biscuits.

I might even need to bring the pick-up.

Monday, September 18, 2017

monday five

When Matt and I bought our house, we knew it needed a lot of updates, the biggest being our kitchen.  My mom, sister and I went to D.C. the summer after we bought the house and we joked about how our kitchen could go to the National Museum of American History.  

I knew it would be a lot of work to remodel, but I don't think I really processed that I would be doing a lot of that work.  But, we are about two weeks in and I am here to tell you that remodeling a gigantic, 60 year old kitchen is A. LOT. OF. WORK.  Our cabinets arrive on October 4th, so we are trying to get as much done as possible before then.

We did some work Friday night, went to Lowe's, and when I woke up on Saturday morning, Matt had the following items ready and waiting in the kitchen:

-abreakfast sandwich
-a gigantic pot of coffee
-12 sheets of drywall

We hung drywall on the back walls and it already looks like a different room.  It might not seem like a big deal, but when you live for 18 months with brown and gold wallpaper featuring actual jugs of cider, bare drywall is amazing.

My eyes have never been so relaxed.

Anyway, I don't have the brain power to come up with a whole post of words, so I thought I'd take the easy way out and talk about five things that made me happy this weekend.

1 - This sunset at Lowe's on Friday night.  

“There's a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they're absolutely free. Don't miss so many of them.” 

2 - On the way home from Lowe's, Alanis Morissette's Ironic came on the radio.  I started singing along and I asked Matt if he knew who sings it.  "Of course I do," he said, "it's your girl Reba.  It's the one about all her friends that died in a plane crash."

Well, I am positively thrilled that he referred to Reba as "my girl."  However, that was your one chance Fancy and you let me down with the song content.

3 - We took a kitchen break on Saturday afternoon and Matt cut the lawn and I went to the mall.  I got all of the following for $89.   

4 - Penn State won their game (and is currently ranked #4!) and my siblings are tweeting again.  

5 - My Friday ended lousy at work.  But, I scheduled vacation for the days between Christmas and New Year's and I will have TEN DAYS OFF IN A ROW.  I cannot even wait.  95 days to go.  

But who's counting.  


I plan to spend those ten days sitting in my new kitchen.  In my bargain priced neutrals.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

matt can blame cold medicine for his faux-pas. i've got no excuse.

I ran to Target last night because I heard their home decor was on clearance to make room for the new line by Chip and Joanna Gaines.  Also, Matt is in the throes of a terrible cold, so I had to re-stock on the necessities.

Reese's peanut butter cups and wine.

Oh and Theraflu.

After work yesterday I sniffled a little bit and Matt said, "Oh, no.  Are you coming down with the same cold?  I'll prep you with the timeline.  You will feel sick for one week, and then the normalization process will begin, and you can expect that to take about 3 weeks."

So by my calculation that means the common cold will knock him out for an entire month.  And also, what is the "normalization process?"  Matt invented an on the spot explanation that it has something to do with taste buds regenerating and overall recovery going from 90% to 100%.  That last 10% is, apparently, no joke.

Matt said the cold medicine made him feel better, but tonight he started with some labored (and dramatic) breathing, and said, "Uh-oh, you know what this means.  My areolas aren't working properly."

Whoa boy.  That's a WHOLE different kind of illness.

I cracked up and said "I don't think areola is the word you're looking for!" 

 "Maybe not," he said, "but I know it starts with 'a' and ends with an 'ola.'

"I think you mean alveoli," I said.  One entire year of college nursing, all paid off in that moment.

"That's it!"  he said, "I knew it was another Italian word."
Tonight we laughed at one of Matt's mistake, but last week we were laughing at one of mine.  We have been talking constantly about the devastating hurricanes in Texas and Florida.  Just last weekend when we ripped the drywall out of our kitchen and I was tempted to complain because it was messy and dusty and tedious, I thought about all those people in Texas ripping drywall out of their homes because they'd been completely flooded, and here I was ripping it out to get a brand new kitchen.

Anyway, we were talking about the three active hurricanes: Irma, Jose, and Katia.  I remarked about how I could not believe Katia was already well into the gulf, while her alphabetical predecessors, Irma and Jose, were still way out in the Atlantic.

"I just don't understand how Katia got so far past them.  That must be one fast moving storm," I pondered.

Matt looked at me quizzically.  "It's because Katia formed in the gulf.  You know hurricanes can form all over the place, right?  There is no universal starting line, it's not a race."

Well, hmm.  I'd never thought about in that respect.  I always imagined there was in fact a starting line for hurricanes, and it was the bottom right of my television screen.

I guess we should leave the tough stuff to the experts.

Monday, September 11, 2017

what i read: september edition

I'm linking up today with Steph and Jana for Show Us Your books.  For the second month in a row I only read two books.  

First up is Fly Away by Kristin Hannah.

Tully Hart has always been larger than life, a woman fueled by big dreams and driven by memories of a painful past. She thinks she can overcome anything until her best friend, Kate Ryan, dies. Tully tries to fulfill her deathbed promise to Kate---to be there for Kate's children---but Tully knows nothing about family or motherhood or taking care of people.
Sixteen-year-old Marah Ryan is devastated by her mother's death. Her father, Johnny, strives to hold the family together, but even with his best efforts, Marah becomes unreachable in her grief. Nothing and no one seems to matter to her . . . until she falls in love with a young man who makes her smile again and leads her into his dangerous, shadowy world.
Dorothy Hart---the woman who once called herself Cloud---is at the center of Tully's tragic past. She repeatedly abandoned her daughter, Tully, as a child, but now she comes back, drawn to her daughter's side at a time when Tully is most alone. At long last, Dorothy must face her darkest fear: Only by revealing the ugly secrets of her past can she hope to become the mother her daughter needs.
A single, tragic choice and a middle-of-the-night phone call will bring these women together and set them on a poignant, powerful journey of redemption. Each has lost her way, and they will need each one another---and maybe a miracle---to transform their lives.
This is the first book I've read by Kristin Hannah and I know a lot of people love her.  Let me start with the positives.  I think the cover is so pretty that I want to frame it and hang it in my house.  As for the actual content, it wasn't my favorite.  Each chapter was written from the perspective of a different character, and it jumped back and forth in time.  On more than one occasion I felt like I was re-reading the exact same thing I'd read 50 pages before.  I actually went back and forth to compare page numbers because I thought I might have gotten a faulty book!  The plot was okay.  Nothing great and I was kind of relived when it was over.

And of course, I couldn't end the summer without reading an Elin Hilderbrand.

Claire has a problem with setting limits. All her life she has taken on every responsibility, assumed every burden, granted every request. Claire wants it all--and in the eyes of her friends, she has it: a devoted husband, four beautiful children, even a successful career as an artist. So when she agrees to chair the committe for Nantucket's social event of the year, she knows she can handle it. Claire can handle anything.

But when planning the gala propels her into the orbit of billionaire Lock Dixon, unexpected sparks begin to fly. Lock insists on working closely with Claire--often over a bottle of wine--and before long she can't ignore the subtle touches and lingering looks. To her surprise, she can't ignore how they make her feel, either. Claire finds the gala, her life, and herself spinning out of control.

A Summer Affair captures the love, loss, and limbo of an illicit romance and unchecked passion as it takes us on a brave and breathless journey into the heart of one modern woman.

This book won't win any literary awards, but much like The Bachelor, the drama sucked me right in.  If you're looking for a fantastic piece of literary greatness, this is not the book for you.  If you're looking for a mindless read about people whose lives are far more dramatic than you'd ever want yours to be, give it a try.

I am going to the library tomorrow and have a whole list of books to look for thanks to posts from this link-up.  Have you read any of them?

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist
Celine by Peter Heller
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer
Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen
The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland by Rebekah Crane
That Night by Chevy Stevens
I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Friday, September 8, 2017

there's a dumpster in my driveway, and hope in my heart

I had high hopes for a beautiful Labor Day weekend, an extra day off, and some time at the beach.  But, that didn't happen because I had to work on Friday, and Saturday dawned cold and rainy.  Matt and I decided to finish up our little living room remodel, which we started right after Memorial Day, but who’s counting?

Me.  I’m counting.

We installed the new baseboards, bought a rug, and then sat in the living room and admired our handiwork.  I still need to put up decorations and do a few final finishing touches, but the room has come a long way.

This is what it looked like when we bought the house.

The weather wasn’t much better on Sunday, so we went to the store to buy a new air conditioner for the kitchen and then Matt decided to start demolition.  There's no turning back now.

On Monday, I decided I would tackle wallpaper removal.  I created a little itinerary for the day in my head, and set aside three hours for wallpaper removal, because I am a fool who forgot about the painful master bedroom wallpaper removal of January ’16 and the fact that it takes many, many, many, DEFINITELY NOT JUST THREE, hours.

You know how much progress I had made in three hours?  I’d gotten about 3 square feet removed.


I’d also sliced my finger on the scraper thing whose technical name I cannot remember at this moment.  I want to say scalpel but I know that’s not right since I wasn’t operating on anyone.   

The hours ticked by and finally at 4:15 I decided I’d go to the store to buy decorations for the living room.  I went to about 4 stores and left every one empty-handed because I was overwhelmed with the thoughts of shelves and gallery walls and is there such a thing as too many mirrors?

A high point of the weekend was that the local rock radio station does a back to school A-Z special every year, and it started last Friday.  They play their entire library of music in alphabetical order and it takes about ten days.  Matt and I enjoyed listening and racing to see who could name the artist first.  Matt kept thinking he could stump me but I continuously surprised him by knowing, among other, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steely Dan, and The Doors, like I didn't grow up with my parents playing the same music his dad did.

The low point of the weekend was probably when I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash came on, and Matt said, "Hey, it's George Thorogood! Or is this Bob Dylan?"

However, he did know a Heart song so that might cancel out the Johnny Cash mix-up.

Speaking of old classics, we’ve found all sorts of things in our kitchen.  The kitchen is an addition to the back of the house that the previous owner built about fifty years ago.  When we ripped away the window woodwork, we found cardboard shoved in instead of a shim.  Upon further inspection, it was actually a recipe card.

Pudding, anyone? 

(Also, I feel the need to tell you that nail polish situation has been rectified.  Shameful.)

We also discovered a hole in the floor that had simply been stuffed with old newspaper.  In case anyone was wondering what was going on in Philadelphia on April 6, 1979, I can tell you.

I also know how old two of their kids were in 1968.

Here is where the kitchen progress stands as of tonight.  As you can see, I've waved the white flag of wallpaper removal and new drywall will be installed tomorrow.

We have a lot of work ahead of us this weekend.  Hopefully no more injuries.  And lots of good music.