Sunday, June 24, 2012

Some Things my Grandmothers Taught me

1. Wash your hands
2. Always be kind
3. Give when you can give
4. Sometimes life is hard and unfair, just do your best.
5. Family is everything

And for those really special and personal lessons that only my grandmothers would teach:

6. Always have scissors in your car to cut flowers on the side of the road
7. Don't worry, be happy. Have some wine!

Thank you Nana and Gramma, for these unique life lessons. Susans and Sangria for you this Sunday!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pesky Porch Problem

As I mentioned last Sunday, the porch is looking pretty good right about now. There are still some outstanding tasks, but I can't seem to get to work on those things with my current distraction.

I can't figure out the flower situation. Look below:

The arrangement on the cement walkway is good, I like how it looks and I want to keep it there to cover up that cinder block... and other unpleasant weeds. But what is going on with the stairs? I don't know... I didn't like it though.

Right now it looks like this:

But I don't really like this look either. I'm stumped, bamboozled, confused, hungry for an ice cream cone! Please help me readers, I don't know what I should be doing over there... I'd hate to think about all of this effort being put into a porch that looks less than perfectamente.

Send suggestions right away!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Porch Update

On Friday, I did a ridiculous amount of scraping and sanding. 


Aero rested, because as you may not realize... it's pretty hard to be a dog. Bruno made sure no birds or squirrels got too close. I didn't really mean to spend so much time scrapping, but the Mr. was at work and I didn't have any muscle readily available to get the grill off the porch so that I could paint.

So when he finally got home to help, we moved the grill and then he went inside to eat whilst I taped off the siding (because I'm notoriously messy) and then got busy with the brush!

The dogs wasted no time in getting the newly painted porch muddy again.

But even with the dirt, it remains a vast improvement! My rug was shipped on Friday, the patio chairs have been painted and I managed to snag some new cushions for a steal at Walmart (don't repeat that), so things are looking up around here! Once the rails get painted, the light gets replaced and we finally come to a solution for the screen doggie door, this place will be looking quite fresh!

But don't worry about us (me) working too hard... the dogs are resting enough for everyone.

Monday, June 11, 2012

git-r-done weekend

Meet our redneck back porch.

Let's point out of all the short-comings:

Well, for one thing, the gap between the porch floor and the cement ground is wide open. Why is there not any sort of lattice or something to cover this area up? Additionally, why is there a cinder block right there (Dan)? There is no screen door, the house is literally covered in dirt, the porch needs painting, the chairs need to be re-painted and they need new (un-ripped) cushions. The door is scratched and beat up, the light doesn't even have a glass enclosure, and we need some new, more lively plants. 

Where does one even begin when faced with this many "to-do" items on such a tiny little porch? I'm not going to lie to you dear readers, I started by trapping my husband in the house with no means of escaping. This forced him to fix the old screen door. 

I didn't "trap" him per se, I just left all day with the only vehicle (out of 4, and a motorcycle) that was working. Why yes, we must be rednecks with that many vehicles. Anyway, rather than sit on the couch all day for the second day in a row, he decided to "have at it" with the screen door. 

Now, as I'd like to point out, there is no real bottom to that door. Bruno kicked it out years ago... So we improvised and added vinyl (and now old screen) to create a "doggy door". Does it still look bad? Yeah... definitely. Are the other screen portions still vulnerable to Bruno kicking and tearing? Why yes, so funny that you mentioned it! 

At Home Depot on Saturday, Dan and I had a battle royale about the state of this screen door. Basically, he wants to add pet screen to the outside of the door by simply screwing it on. I would prefer a more refined look. So there was an argument about getting a new door all together, followed by an argument about why he couldn't just make a new screen with the pet screen rather than screwing it on and making it look so bad. His response?

"Well it all looks terrible out there anyway, so why should I bother to try and make the door look nice?"

Can you see the steam coming out of my ears? So we had a feud inside the Home Depot, and then on Sunday morning I got a bucked full of soapy water with bleach, a car wash sponge and a hose. And I cleaned the house. Literally.

The right side is clean in this picture. That's how bad it really was. The floor and the banister were no better...

Floor Before
Floor After
I know it is hard to tell from the pictures, but the porch floor looks completely different, almost unrecognizable. So let's call the cleaning step 3. (Step 2, spend $75 on flowers) Step 4 was to prime the old chairs, and find a new purpose for the beat up, ripped cushions.

Check and check (look at that cute little face!) Tonight I plan on painting the primed chairs, and I bought an outdoor rug online. It's adorable, and it was pretty cheap ($50, free shipping! at Step 6 will be scrapping and then painting the deck, which will hopefully take place next weekend. 

Until then, I can only hope that our weekend has gone from "git-r-done" to "wow, we did a lot of stuff". Maybe next Monday I'll even tell you that "we accomplished a great, many things". Who knows?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hi, my name is Mandy and I...

Hi, my name is Mandy and I am addicted to buying kitchen devices.

What you are seeing here (aside from the world's most ridiculous obsession) is a pineapple core-r, and a mango slicer. I may or may not have dropped $25 at Bed, Bath and Beyond yesterday on these little utensils. Don't tell the Mr.

Here is the thing... we have been doing some diet experimentation in our house lately. And I don't mean the  "no ice cream" kind of diet. This is much more hardcore... here are the things we have been without for the past 6 days: gluten, lactose (so basically all dairy), red meat, leafy greens, any fruit or vegetable with a skin, or lots of seeds, beans, and anything with a strong amount of spice. What have we been eating? Well, mostly chicken and rice for dinner, banana and pineapple smoothies (with almond milk) for breakfast, baked oatmeal and quinoa. Also lots of starburst.

Anyway, the point is, I've been working my little fingers to the bone to slice and dice the things we are eating and I am just not into that. So I went to the triple B to buy a mango slicer, because mangoes are fantastic, but I never buy they because they are a huge pain in the *cuss* to peel and slice. So I'm in the BBB finding my mango slicer and I stumble upon the pineapple core-r and decided I had to have it. Pineapples are another one of those delicious fruits that really suck to get open.


Do you see what the "left-over" pineapple is? A DRINKING VESSEL! So when we reintroduce alcohol and lactose into our lives, we are going to fill a pineapple with pina colada to celebrate!

On that happy note, I hope you have a great weekend. I am vowing to finish a project this weekend that has been in the barn for a month now, what are you going to do? Oh! I know! Drop what you are doing this instant and go to the store to buy champagne mangoes.... that are life changing.