Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm a Fly Girl

No, unfortunately not one of those hot dancing chicks from the days of In Living Color. I have NO rhythm and my hotness left the building about 15 years ago. Hubs still calls me a hot babe but you know he has to. He has to....he took a vow....for better or worse. It was better 13 years ago when we married. It is worse now that I am in the full on schlumpadinka (or whatever Oprah calls it...what does she call it Jennifer? My good friend Jennifer Aniston knows what the O says!) stage of life. You know, housewife in the late 30's, forgoing the makeup on most days, sporting the unflattering shorts and t-shirt with the hair in a ponytail.

Oh well, I am blessed that hubs still sees me through his rose colored glasses! Of course his view of me could be altered by the fact that he is getting older and the eyesight could be going!!

Speaking of getting older...when I blogged on July 12th I failed the mention the HUGE importance of that day. You see that is pesky brother-in-law Mark's b-day! Pb-i-lM takes joy in the fact that he is 2 years younger than hubs, his older brother. Which is not really revolutionary because, well, we all know hubs is old. What IS revolutionary is that I am in fact 7 years younger than pb-i-lm!!! Let's state some simple facts. When pb-i-lm got married...I was 14. When pb-i-lm's 1st child was born (my stellar niece Meagan) I was graduating from high school...I'll stop now. Simply put, Pb-i-lM is old and I am young...well younger than he is!!!

I digress. None this has anything to do with flies or flying!

So Friday night was scrapbook night. I hosted it at my house this month. There are 9 of us in this exclusive clique of fabulous friends. The problem with there being 9 (although it is rare that on any given month ALL 9 can attend) is that having 9 people around a dining room table scrapbooking, makes for really tight quarters.

I had this brilliant idea to have scrapbooking in our barn. No not a barn with animals in it! It is a glorified storage building really. But you know with overhead light and concrete floor. The beauty part of this being that I have 3 of the 6ft long tables, so we could all spread out and scrapbook. (However, we don't always scrapbook. We should re-name it girls night out with the potential for scrapbooking!)

The only potential down side to this great plan was that until the sun went down it could be a little toasty. Granted we can open the overhead doors to get cross ventilation and I had fans going...but it was a little warm for say an hour. The other problem was the flies! I knew the flies would be around until the sun went down. Because the flies always go away at night. They sleep or die or I don't know what they do but generally speaking if it is dark then there are no flies. Right? WRONG!

The flies were out of control while we ate. Understandable. We then covered the food up and threw our plates away, thereby eliminating the fly risk. Right? WRONG!

It was like the dadgum Ametyville (sp?) Horror! A zillion flies. After dark. After the food was gone. Who knew? I guess they stuck around because the conversation was so engaging and enlightening and entertaining. I can't repeat what was said because we have all taken the what happens at scrapbooking stays at scrapbooking oath. That and the fact that this is a G rated blog.

Well the girls were good sports and were swatting flies like it was an Olympic event. The floor looked like a fly graveyard!So I think that barn scrapbooking will be put on hold until fall or spring when the flies are non-existent. HOWEVER, you will not believe what my m-i-l told me. She was at my favorite Aunt Gay's house this weekend, who has a beautiful porch and backyard area. It is hard to enjoy sitting out on a porch in central Texas because, it is humid for one thing, and the mosquitoes will carry you off. My m-i-l reported that they in fact spent lots of time on the porch and kept the pests at bay by spraying Listerine!!!!!

Yes, Listerine in a spray bottle. She said they sprayed the area with Listerine and the bugs stayed away for the duration of their porch sitting! Holy smokes I will be testing this out. I'll get back to you with the results. The up side is that if you are sitting on the back porch and the neighbors stop by then you can give your breath a quick squirt too!! It is a win-win situation.

SO girls who knows, if Listerine works on fly infestation then scrapbooking in the barn may work out after all! It will be a B.Y.O.L party!! I don't know if I will ever convince them to enter the barn again!!!!

In other fly news, I am back on the Flylady bandwagon. I got on flylady a few years ago right before we sold our previous house. I eliminated all clutter. It was a breath of fresh air. I have pretty much remained clutter free since then. I always have a bag to go to Goodwill in my trunk. If it sits around our house for too long without being used or loved, then it goes to Goodwill!!!

We moved to our new house and I stayed on the Flylady ritual of cleaning. Not rocket science but totally revolutionary...your house stays perpetually clean. After a while I started slacking off because it was too easy! My house was always clean so I eased up a little. And
then before I knew it I was back to the dreaded and huge job of once a week cleaning that takes your whole day up and makes you angry! I panicked when someone would knock on the door because the house was in disarray.

Last month I decided to start back up with the Flylady method. Ummm...hello? It is so easy and really works!!!

On Monday it was "House Blessing" day. This is where you set a timer for 10 minutes for each of the following chores: mop the floors, purge magazines, dust, vacuum, clean mirrors and glass doors, change sheets and empty all trash.

Blonde rascal was grumpy. None of the neighbors were at home to play, TV time was over, I played Jinga with him but he was still grumpy. So I said you are helping me with the house blessing!!! He had a BLAST. It was hilarious!

He held the timer while I ran through the house like a mad woman sweeping and mopping. I was screaming and running with mop in hand, he was calling out the time remaining and jumping over the couch to keep up with me! I could probably add an additional 1/4 of mile to my morning run distance after that!! I mopped the kitchen, bathrooms and entry in 9 minutes thank you! He dusted while I vacuumed. We both armed ourselves with a paper towel and knocked out the glass in like 3 minutes. We high fived between each event!

When were done, we were laughing and sweating and blonde rascal said "I don't want to stop, what else can we clean?" Excuse me? Get a timer ladies, try it!!!

Blonde rascal and I are leaving for Houston on Sunday to visit my parents. Blonde rascal is the only grandchild so lots of attention is lavished on him when we go to see Grandma and Papa!
He has a ball and I get some down time to read. Read lots! Yipee!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Free is good

It has been raining for 3 days now. A good hard rain Monday and raining off and on since then. That is unusual for this West Texas I am loving every minute of it. I have not left the house since Sunday and that makes me so happy. It makes me AND my gas tank happy! Tomorrow is going to be my errand day. We are about out of food!

SO to pass the time during these rainy days I drug out all of the old pillows and fabric I could find and dumped them on the floor in the living room...Missy and her Clifford are just an added bonus. She thinks it is time to play anytime stuff is dumped in the living room floor!

It was time to make cushions for my find of the century.

I emptied out the linen cabinets in the bathroom. Old pillows, they were old when I took them to college... geez 18 years ago!!
Decorative pillows that no longer go with decor...
An old slip cover....
And an old box of unfinished quilt tops and squares that came from hubs granny Erma. These could have sat in the cabinet for the next 50 years until I die and then my boys would give them to Goodwill....or even worse throw them I decided to make use of and enjoy them NOW!

This is my favorite kind of patterns just cutting and sewing. But that is what is called for when you have free wicker, old quilt pieces and random other parts!!

Now I have a place to curl up with some lemonade, a magazine, a good book with blonde rascal, a glass of wine with hubs....the list goes on and on!!!
There is still more to be done on the patio, a little sprucing, a little painting of perhaps an old lamp, a fountain, etc...

We had a problem with the dang little finches building nests on the ceiling fan and speakers. They are cute little finches of course but they are RELENTLESS when it comes to building nests. I would knock one down and the next day it would be rebuilt. The problem with the nests is that where there are nests, there is poop. Poop and a relaxing porch do NOT go well together.

Hubs took down the speakers and the ceiling fan. He put up this light fixture.......which I am happy to say birds cannot perch on!

A few Craigslist purchases thrown in the convertible, again a la Beverly Hillbillies style,...awaiting a new paint job...Black, white, whimsical, shabby....what to do?

Procuring abandoned wicker out of a cotton field, cleaning out the linen cabinet, random sewing, a few Craigslist bargains awaiting a new paint job, eliminating bird feces...and I have a low budget patio to enjoy!

Now I am off to torture my son this morning. I bought some workbooks to keep him sharp over the summer and now we must do a few pages. This is a fate worse than death in his opinion. Wish me luck.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Just another brick in the wall

The unfortunate faux brick/vine/grape situation in my dining room and breakfast room had just about driven me over the edge.

The time had come to eradicate all the brick/vine/grapes. I fell in love with the green wall color at Daisy Cottage . Luckily the generous Kim of Daisy Cottage so kindly shares the colors in her house! I knew that green was exactly what I wanted.

The other item I had been drooling over for months were these Waverly curtains from Target.So there it was, the inspiration for my dining room make over ...wall color and curtains.

Hubs obviously was so tired of hearing me whine about it loves me so much that he let me hire professional to sand out the brick disaster and mud/texture the walls. Yippee!

I then painted the walls Daisy Cottage green, which I have to say I am in love with.

I took an old dresser from the Marine's room and painted it black.

Then I bought this little number on Craigslist...I love me some Craigslist. It is like a crack addiction.

The only thing missing was the curtains. Sure they were "affordable" at Target...but they were even MORE affordable when I found a pair on E-bay! The only thing was they were too short.

In honor of the Nester I of course performed some mistreatments of the window!
A little extra fabric and some dingleberry trim and I had curtains that were indeed long enough.
All is right with the world now, my dining room no longer has faux bricks.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mission Organization: The Laundry Room

I have been on this mad re-organizing and furniture re-arranging frenzy for a week. It was all brought on by the patio. I know that does not make sense but I will explain that project soon.

Today I give you the laundry room.

I have a few issues with my laundry room.

1. It is small. The door to the laundry room was huge and swung in, so pretty much I had to go in and shut the door to use the space effectively. When we first moved in I found the original house plans on top of a cabinet. The original plans had a pocket door in the laundry room. Hello? That would have been ideal. I bet a man changed that detail. Anyway I ended up just taking the door off.

2. The other issue I have is that, it is the cat's domain. Litter box and food. And it has become their sanctuary. You know, a place they can escape from....
...the naughty pup who lives for pestering them.

So Jingles,
stays on top of the dryer, in the pink prissy dog bed I bought for princess pup who incidentally decided that human, not doggie, beds were more her style. It is OK though because Jingles is secure enough in his manhood to sleep in a pink bed.

I put up a doggie~gate to separate the canine and feline population.
Val, the diabetic cat, is not intimidated by Missy. In fact here he is waiting for a chance to pounce on her and open a can of whoop ass!

So add that all together and you have a laundry room with no door, that is across the hall from the guest half bath and in the main traffic hall from the garage to kitchen. Which means you have a potentially smelly, messy, cat hair covered laundry room which is open to any guest walking by!

I have to add that I am paranoid about my house smelling. I religiously keep the kitty litter emptied and have a yummy Bath and Body Works plug in thingy in "Fresh Linen" in the laundry room.

And the other problem is that it becomes the dumping ground for everything that does not have a home. So the counter top was always full of various things that did not necessarily belong there.

Now I don't mean to gripe. In fact I consider it a blessing to have a laundry room. I mean some houses don't, right? The pros are that it has good cabinet space, a window, rods to hang clothes and a sink.

I decided that organizing the cabinets would be a great start to having a laundry room that I could stomach.

I am not OCD about cabinet organization, but unless every thing has a "place" then stuff just gets stashed in a cabinet, without any rhyme or reason, and THEN it turns into a total waste of space. Right?

Here we go with cabinet #1Light bulbs all willy nilly on the top shelf and stuff thrown in. TOTAL waste of space.

A little organizing and label making later and.......hello lots more storage room! If you don't have a label maker, you are missing out. Honestly, that thing brings me great joy.

Cabinet #2 over the washing machine......seriously, that is ridiculous. First of all putting all the old towels on the top shelf was a poor plan. Pull one out to dry the dog off with and they all fall down on my head.

Now it is full of all cleaning supplies!All together in ONE cabinet. Revolutionary I tell you.

Cabinet #3 under the counter......perfect example of how unorganized equals wasted space. That cabinet is very deep with tons of available space. There also is my bag of rags and old t-shirts (6,000 of them) waiting to be cut into rags all stuffed in there. my fit of productivity I now have a basket of rags and all the old towels stashed and ready for those messy cleanups! Wooo Hooo! Look, even Val the diabetic is checking it out.

No clutter...Behind the curtains is the "kitty loo" if you will. I took those cabinet doors seems to be a specialty of mine. Do you need any doors removed at your house?

Cluttered again....
Now a calm kitty resting spot...I also cleaned out the junk drawer in there. It is just too amazing for me to show you a picture. It would hurt your eyes it is sooo organized. I threw away all the mystery parts that accumulate in there. I bought some new screw drivers and a pair of pliers and put them in a cute little drawer organizer. I don't know about your house, but we can NEVER find a screwdriver when we need it. I rectified that little dilemma. And threatened hubs that these tools were not to leave the house!

Once the kitties are gone (I mean I love them and all, but...) and I reclaim the laundry room as my own, then it will look like this.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!!!

3 cheers for America!!!!

I am volunteering at the Marine Parents booth at the parade and street fair this morning. After that we are going to enjoy a slow paced day and maybe grill some burgers tonight. Low key is how I like to be!!!

I am going to leave you now with another installment of "why me?"......