Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What About Kate?

B came in the room the other day and said:

B: Did you hear Kate is coming to town?
Me: Kate who? [envisioning Katie Holmes shooting a movie]
B: Kate Gosselin.
Me: Oh my god. Why do you know this?
B: It is expensive to see her.
Me: Your DVR rights have been revoked. You are on notice.

*I will admit with all of the controversy surrounding the Gosselins and the show lately, I have been tuning in more. Less screaming kids and more drama? Sign me up!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lights, Camera...Pictures!

B has been a busy boy replacing lights left and right. All of them are gorgeous. Sure, it may have taken longer than he would have liked. And, sure I wish my computer and TV wasn't hooked up to the same breaker as every other part of the house. And, sure I wish he would give me a little notice before switching off said breaker so my computer doesn't keep abruptly shutting off. However, the end result of all of that? Magnificent.

In case you have forgotten, this was the ceiling fan in our master bedroom:

UGLY and old. And white and brass. Yuck! This is what it looks like now:

Much better, right? And it matches the drapes!

Meanwhile in the upstairs hall, this has been our light fixture for quite some time. It used to have a glass covering but B broke that long ago. Plastic and glass fake candles with a brass chain? Yuck!

Now look at this beauty! Totally goes with the style of the house. Not too old fashioned but still antique looking.


This fixture was a gift from B's aunt and uncle (and our good friends) K&G. We couldn't thank them enough. The difference in the hall is astounding.

Of course that meant B wanted to replicate it in the next landing. It is hard to tell because the light is on but this was a glass dome type light fixture with brass around it and I believe it had flowers etched on the glass. Yuck!

Look how pretty now. Similar to the one in the main hall but flush to the ceiling.

I love it!!

Thanks K&G for giving us the fabulous light fixture which looks great and inspired B to get a similar one in the landing! We love it!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

All's Well That Airs Well

You may not know this, but our house does not have central air. NO AIR. Have you been around lately? It is hot has Hades in these parts and we are all feeling the heat.

Long before this heat wave we decided that air was in order. Also, a new furnace would be a good idea since ours is about 20 years old, huge, and makes the worst noises when it is running. Efficiency is the order of the day so we were all set to get them both installed. Then we discovered we needed our neighbor's permission to put the a/c on the side of the house. Our 90 year old neighbors. Our 90 year old neighbors that don't have air themselves. (Thanks city!) Can you guess what happened?

B spoke to them first planning on feeling them out. That went something like this:

B: We are thinking of getting air.
Old Ass Neighbor: Oh! That's not a good idea.
Old Ass Neighbor: That will bring down property values.
Old Ass Neighbor: I don't think the city will allow it.
Old Ass Neighbor: Nope. Not good.
B: .....

Yep. That went well. I was sent in next to "charm" them. That didn't work out so well either. In fact, rather than being the charmer, I turned out to be the ambushee. I came home one day to change clothes before going to the doctor and was waved over by Mrs. OAN. She told me she had a "construction guy" (seriously she pronounced it like it had quotes) over to work on her house. Thinking this was the perfect opportunity to charm her, I opened my mouth to say "speaking of improvements..." but it was too late. Her next sentence was out: "I want you to talk to him about some ideas WE have about YOUR air." Oh joy.

The next 15 minutes dragged by as I listened to the "construction guy" give me such options as under our kitchen window. Um, no. We call that the driveway. Then they took me to the FRONT of the house and told me to stick it behind a bush. This bush, in fact. Where the tree is:

Although I said I didn't think the city would go for that, they were not deterred. However, their "construction guy" could not focus. He was insane. He looked like a homeless person and drove a beat up old rusty Pontiac. He told me stories of the neighborhood. All of the work he did. More stuff, but unfortunately or fortunately, I could only understand one out of every four sentences. I did clearly understand him when he said he worked Special Ops out of the nearby airforce base. It took a lot to hold my composure. The same would be true when he pulled out 10 huge pictures of planes from his portfolio. Mrs. OAN had asked him to get me a business card. That is what I got instead. 10 pictures, 8 of which were identical. Mrs. OAN rolled her eyes. Mr. OAN told me that my furnace was not old. I assured him it was. Mrs. OAN called Mr. OAN senile as in "Oh be quiet, you are senile." I finally got a business card, without really wanting one, when "construction guy" informed me that his email address was captain pig. How professional. Excusing myself with a "I will take this under consideration", I thought I had escaped. Oh no:

Construction guy: You really should get more than 1 estimate for work of this nature. (Oh NOW he decides to be some kind of professional)
Me: I got 5 estimates. Do you think FIVE estimates are enough?
CG: Oh, well, yes.

[as I am walking away]

CG: Do you have any kids?
Me: Um, no.
CG: Kids get hot.

OMFG are you kidding me? Did he think we were considering whether or not to GET air? No. F the kids man, WE get hot! The man was NUTS. I immediately told B and told B when he got home he better go over there because there was no charming and we clearly weren't getting any permission and that guy is NUTS. What did B do?

He hid from them inside the house.

Which led me to the public library to search for the ordinance so we could find some place, any place, to put it without Old Ass Neighbors' permission. With heavy hearts, and the information that we would have to blow through four walls in our basement, we resigned ourselves to put it under our kitchen window. And we were sad.

Then B decided to try one more time. For reasons unbeknown to us, OANs gave in and gave us written permission to put in on the side. They were concerned about noise and I guess B gave them enough info to ease their mind. Or they decided we weren't going to back down. I don't care about their reasoning. I just want air.

Really....look at Chester. Doesn't he look like he is dying?

Now why he decided to spend the hottest day of the year UPSTAIRS and rolling around is beyond me. And if you are looking for his boy bits (pervert!) I blurred them out. Chester is modest you know. Can't you tell? Look how shocked he looks at my capturing all of him:

Yeah he is fat and hot. He will be glad when we get air. B will be glad so he can sleep at night. I will be glad so I can sit at the computer and write witty posts for you without melting. Or read without melting. Or watch TV without melting. Or just not melting.

Air, sweet, air. I love you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

All You Need is a Little Change and Some Gum

The latest edition of the crime watch chronicles for the neighborhood had the following sad tale:

Change taken from car

Police were notified when a man complained that change was taken from his unlocked car in his driveway. It totaled about $10. It happened anywhere between 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. the next day. The glove box was opened and the contents scattered everywhere.

Let's review. You left your car unlocked for over 12 hours. All that was stolen was change. You had about $10 change in your car.

Very sad indeed. Sad for the crook! You know the contents were scattered everywhere because the thief was trying to find something good. Do you know how heavy $10 in change would be? Even if it were all quarters you are talking about 40 quarters. Hopefully the thief found a bag in the car to carry it in.

You know what is even sadder than that crime tale? When you take your car in for service and later discover that someone at the dealer stole your gum. Your gum. The gum that was sitting out in the open which you would quite obviously, but many hours later, realize was gone. The gum that you would accuse your husband of taking.

Times are tough when people start stealing gum and change. Especially when it gets stolen from people you are paying.

We paid to get our gum stolen. How sad is that?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How Many Variations Can You Find in 2222?

The other day while in line to buy a Coke Zero, also known as my sustenance, I was behind a woman who decided to play the lotto. Apparently, she was going to play the four number daily lotto, so she said:

Lady: Yes I would like to play 4 twos
Lady: 2222
Lady: Oh, can I get that straight?

Could it be anything other THAN straight? It is 4 twos! For those of you who do not waste your money weekly or daily on the lotto, when playing daily 4 numbers in these parts there are two ways to do it:

1. Straight - so if you play 1234 and 1234 is drawn, you win.
2. Boxed - if you play 1234 and any combination of those four numbers is drawn you win.

The payout for straight is larger than boxed.

Good thing that lady was paying attention. Those twos could have come out in any number of combinations.

She did not buy alcohol in case you are wondering.

Perhaps she should have.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Very Special Father's Day

One day, a while ago, B said to me "I am going to make a present for your father." Having been announced out of the blue, I was curious. And then he showed me this:

Terrible picture (we will blame B's camera), but it is a very old fire extinguisher. "Nice," I thought. My Dad was a firefighter. He likes fire things. Then B showed me this:

A lamp kit. I called B "creative" and "ambitious." When many months later it was still sitting there, I called B "tenacious" and "determined." At some point, when he told me he couldn't find the right drill bit to drill through the many layers of metal on top, I called him "nuts." And then when others told me that there may be extinguisher residue in there, I called him "brave."

Many months later and in perfect time for Father's Day, B found the right drill bit. Then B made this very beautiful lamp that did not ignite or explode after turning it on:

I take credit only for purchasing the shade, which was quite easy. B did all of the hard work. B informs me this is one of the old kind of extinguishers that needed to be held upside down in order to get the chemicals to react and extinguish the fire. Here is a close up of the printing on it:

And it still has the hose:

A view from the top:

Now how cool of a Father's Day present was this? My Dad appreciated it. Now I call B, once again, a "DIY hero." Not only has he done all of the renovations around the place, not only did he install a floor in the old place, and not only does he have an awesome work room, but now he has made a lamp. A very special lamp.

Just wait until you see what B is up to next...

Happy Father's Day to one and all and especially to my two Dads.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Absurd is the Word

Nothing like being stalked by your boss to start your morning off right. In recent times I have been subjected to the following:

Arriving to find my boss pacing outside my office door.

Arriving to be told he has been looking for me even though the sun is not yet up.

Arriving to find my him just on the other side of the outer door and almost smacking him with it.

And my favorite:

Arriving at work and while walking toward the building, hearing a faint tapping only to lookup and see him waving down at me, smiling like a clown.

My life is a circus and he is the ringleader.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

All He Wants to Do is Dance...

Usually when I receive our local neighborhood paper, I have to scour the crime watch section to find a gem. Not this time. This time, the heading said it all:

Man Denies Dancing

Intriguing. What is wrong with dancing, I thought? Surely it cannot be a crime. Why would the man deny it? Must read on.

Apparently, the police were called with a complaint of a man dancing in the rain at 3:30 a.m. When the police arrived, the man denied that he was dancing and stated that he had just been riding his bike. The police told him to move along.

Um...okay. Let's review. The man was accused of dancing, not singing. It was the middle of the night. It was raining. How the heck could the person reporting it even know it was happening unless the man was tap dancing or had a soundtrack or the person was an extreme busybody? Last time I checked, dancing was really quiet. Was the reporting person just miffed that the guy seemed to be having fun in the middle of the night while he/she had to get up the next day for work?

Then I began to ponder...is dancing in the rain, or dancing in public at all, really a crime? Is calling the police justified if there is no nuisance allegation such as loud noise? Well, I am here to tell you in my new little town apparently it is. One day recently I went to the library to research city ordinances on an unrelated subject. Unable to find my exact ordinance, I ended up reading almost the entire book. Way in the back I found an ordinance about singing and dancing not being allowed past a certain time at night, no matter the noise level.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am now living in the movie Footloose.

Could someone please send Kevin Bacon* or Chace Crawford** my way? This town needs someone to shake it up! We need to put an end to people getting busted for boppin'!***

We need to be able to dance in the rain!

Well, not me. I prefer to sleep.

*And I mean the Kevin Bacon of 20 years ago
**Chace Crawford is the new Kevin Bacon for the remake of Footloose, have you heard? How timely is this post?
***That is a phrase right from Footloose. No, I don't regularly use the term "boppin'"

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Just One More Deal...

Remember yesterday when I said I was so tired? It wasn't from working at the office or from working in the yard. It was from a long hard day of bargain hunting. Unplanned bargain hunting. How does this happen? It goes a little something like this:

Go out with your Mom and end up in a subdivision sale for three hours. Sometimes end up lost and unable to find the car. Buy:

That comes with bonus sand dollars:

and buy this lamp which was missing one jewel on the bottom:

Then decide you cannot garage sale one.more.minute. Declare garage sales the winners, whine and go home.

Show B what you bought. Have him immediately cause another jewel on the lamp to fall off (it can be fixed!), but marvel at how beautiful it looks in the office:

Whine to B about all of your hours of garage sales and bargin hunting and how you are DONE. B decides to go for a bike ride. Tells you to keep your phone nearby in case of a flat tire.

10 minutes later he calls and you are worried he is stranded somewhere. Instead he says:

B: Can you do some measuring?
Me: Measuring? Measuring of what?
B: The small dining room windows and the fireplace windows. I am at a garage sale and they have some wooden ones here really cheap.

You measure. You report. Then he says:

B: Come down and check them out.
B: And bring the measuring tape.

You tell your Mom via instant message that you will be back because you need to go to another garage sale. You both LOL.

So you go back to the car. You forget the measuring tape. You go back inside for it and then off you drive. It takes you a while to find B because he is on a street with 3,456 garage sales. You find him, look the blinds over, decide which ones are best, load them up and take off back home. You report to your mom what you bought and you LOL again.

Then the phone rings. It is B. When you answer he says:

B: What's up?
Me: Not much. What's up?
B: This guy at this other garage sale has a fertilizer spreader for $10 can you come down?
Me: Sigh.
B: Do you have $10?

You ask him if he will be there, recalling the difficulty of finding him last time. You instant message your mom. There are no LOLs this time. This time it is all "I have to go to another @%#^* garage sale!" You get back in the car and take off.

In the 5 minutes it takes you to arrive at your destination, you find that B has ingrained himself in with the garage sale family so much that when a woman asks about a bike, the garage sale guy says "you will have to ask B." When you realize he is talking about your B and by his name, you wonder if you have entered the Twilight Zone. You then realize that the lady wants to buy the bike that B has been using to find all of these "deals" for you to come pick up. So you say:

"How much will you pay for it?"

Here are the shutters which need to be dusted:

And another recent garage sale find (actually a church sale) which also look great on the window sill in the office:

B thinks this was the perfect set up - he would find bargains and I would come get them and pay for them. I think B needs to stop drinking...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My How the Garden Grows...

I am too tired to do anything but post pictures. Check in tomorrow to see what made me so darn tired. In the meantime, enjoy these pictures of our random flowers:

Friday, June 12, 2009

This Door is Closed to You

Yesterday I was sitting in McDonalds enjoying an uber healthy lunch of hamburger, fries and an apple pie when I saw the strangest thing. I was in the back of the restaurant near a door. I sat there and watched a guy outside walk away from the door twice. Both times he hesitated as if he was going to try the door, but he never did. The only thing remarkable about the door was the fact that there was a big yellow sign on it. The sign did not say "do not open" or "out of order." It said to remove your hood for security purposes. The man was not wearing a hood.

Shortly after that I saw a woman walk past me and the door all the way to the front of the building, out the front door and back around the side of the building, past me and past that door. Again, someone else avoiding the door.

Next up was a man and his child. They approached the door and the man said "I bet this is locked." They did not try the door.

So I sat there and pondered.

What made these people not even try to open the door? Was it the yellow sign? Was it the fact that they had tried it before and it was locked? Did they need the exercise of walking around the entire building?

I was tempted to actually exit through the door myself to show everyone it could be done, while shouting:


Then I realized I was parked out front.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

These Old Houses Part Deux

Back to our tour. As you have figured out, I took a LOT of pictures. I thought it best to break them up into two parts.

So, let's keep walking:

This is not the side of a house, it is the carriage house out back. I call it "super cool" because it is an entire apartment over the garage complete with kitchen, bedroom, living room and bathroom. It reminds me of the carriage house that Minnie Driver had in the movie Grosse Pointe Blank:

The backyard of that same house:

The tallest flower I have ever seen that was not a sunflower:

Full view of the back of the house:

As B and I were walking down the street, we saw this garden like thing where a house should be:

Then we noticed that house way back in the left corner behind the brick wall. B went in for a closer look:

Look how far away that house is! Now that is a yard!

One of the last houses we visited. Also, one of the longest lines, so I took a lot of pictures:

It may be hard to tell from the picture above, but the front of the house faces the side street rather than the main street. We have a house like that on our street. Unfortunately, the one on our street faces a main road.

This is the side of the house that faces the main street:

And right after I took the picture is when the twins I referenced in my last post arrived. MY twins. Yep, I looked down to discover that my blouse had basically become almost all the way undone and you could see everything I had. Thank god I was wearing a bra. Apparently B didn't notice. I would like to think no one else did either but I find that highly unlikely. B decided I wasn't fit to be taken out in public anymore. He may be right.

Back to the house. This is approaching the front door:

A view of the stained glass windows and details on the window sill:

Detail of the wood above the doorway:

This is an alley. An old school, accessible alley. B decided we should cut through it. I felt like a criminal. The dogs thought we were criminals based on their barking and growling.

I love how this house is covered in ivy. I do not love how that lady is in my picture:

However, I could not wait for the lady to move, because B was already on the move. Look how far ahead of me he was:

A home that looks good from across the street:

But, as you get closer, you see it needs some "TLC" as one lady put it:

I love this door:

Like a fairytale home:

And then the tour ends:

We had a great three hours and picked up some ideas for our house as well. I did not take any inside pictures because I thought it might be disrespectful to those that lived there. Actually, in some homes they told us we were not allowed. I kind of wish I had though. At least of those items B and I thought would work in our home.

So concludes our tour for this year folks! Until next year, you will have to be satisfied with pictures of our house.

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