Thursday, April 28, 2011

What's going on

  • I read Two Kisses for Maddy by Matt Logelin in less than 24 hours.  Obviously that means you should go buy it and do the same (you can take more than 24 hours if you have a life unlike me).  I'm also in the middle of two other books but about to start reading Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond.  I already knew a lot of Matt's story, as I'm a long time blog reader and supporter of the Liz Logelin Foundation, but the book had me laughing, crying, laughing and crying again.  Maybe because I understand the pain of loss but know enough to know that I have no idea what it's like to lose the love of your life, but my heart literally hurts when I think about him losing Liz just a short day and three hours after they welcomed their precious daughter into this world.  But, the story is so poignant and well written, if you don't mind some well placed f-bombs and other choice words.  Much to my chagrin, I have more of a potty mouth than I'd like to admit (I try not to, but they just come out), so needless to say, I am not offended.  Especially when he says, "This f*&%ing sucks," in reference to giving his wife's eulogy.  To that I say, "Amen."
  • I have been sick since Sunday and ran a fever for three days.  I don't know the last time I ran a fever for that long, and for that, I am thankful.  I hate being sick.  And, I think I make it worse because I can't just rest if I'm not totally wiped out.  Yesterday, I vacuumed and cooked.  And today, I washed the dogs and cooked.  But, at least I also went to the doctor today and got some antibiotics.
  • I'm sitting here watching the weather because there are some major storms coming through.  Doesn't look like my immediate area is going to see the wrath of it, but north and south of us are getting hammered.
  • I've got some big decisions to make on the job front by the end of the week, and I'm feeling a bit of anxiety about what to do.  I'd prefer not to put anything out there in the blogosphere right now, but if you wouldn't mind saying a little prayer that I'll get the sign I'm asking for or make the right decision, I would appreciate it.  I will share more once decisions have been made.  But, I'm ready to be back in the workforce!
  • We had a lovely Easter weekend.  Good Friday dinner with family in the 'burbs, Madelyn's 2nd birthday party on Saturday (she was so cute... I'd share pics but her mommy hasn't yet so I'll save that for her), and a good Easter service followed by brunch with friends on Sunday.  Then Matt and I came home and I laid down for awhile (this is when I started to get sick) while he smoked a beer can chicken (but our own au jus instead of beer) and wings.  We had that with sweet potato fries and tomato, basil and mozzarella.  I love having a husband who can cook.
  • And with that, I'm off to tend to my thunder-phobic golden.  She's such a wimp but I love that she feels the need to cuddle with me when there are storms, especially when I'm still awake as opposed to being woken by her face in mine, panting furiously.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

When you say "TGIF" today, it has extra special meaning.  Maybe it should be "TGIGF".  And, for real, right?  Thank God that He sent his Son to die for our sins so that we can have everlasting life.  I don't even have kids yet, but I cannot imagine sending my child to die for humans, who are so flawed when He is perfect.  But, He did it willingly and out of His incomparable love for us.

   11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
   14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
John 10:11-18 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Old is the New New

So, maybe it's not the new new... maybe old is the old new.  But, I like old.  And, I like new.  So, I took some old and new and voila, a masterpiece new dresser!  (Please pardon the iPhone pictures... I will take some good ones once I have it "staged" so you can see it in the room.)

Exhibit A: an authentic mid-century (we think late 40's/early 50's) Broyhill dresser

The dresser has dovetailed drawers that are also lined in cedar, is solid wood with a thick wood veneer (not like you see today) and all the drawers worked great.  It had some minor damage, including stains and chips and cracks in the veneer, but no matter since I was painting it anyway.  Oh, and I got it off Craig's list.

The first thing I did was remove the drawer hardware (which I'm going to sell on eBay... holler if you're interested in some authentic mid-century drawer pulls... I have 12) and sand all of the surfaces with a hand-sander and 150-grit sandpaper (I believe... may have been a little lower grit than that).  I just wanted to rough it up a bit and remove any stickiness or debris from the dresser.  Then I cleaned it very well to remove all of the dust from sanding and many, many years of use (the amount of regular dust and wood dust from sliding the drawers inside of that thing was impressive).  

Once it was clean, I used Elmer's wood filler to fill in the extra holes left by the old drawer hardware (they used two screws and the ring pulls I got only needed one), the "cracks" down the middle of each dresser since I wanted a flat front, and any imperfections in the veneer.  Let it dry, sand, apply more wood filler as needed, rinse and repeat.  Once I felt like everything was smooth (and fully dry), I began priming using Zinsser oil based primer, since I knew it would stick to the veneer.  I added Penetrol to the primer to help it go on smoothly and used a combination of a good Purdy brush and foam roller.  I still had issues with it going on smoothly, but I sanded with 220-grit sand paper in between coats.

Once the primer was dry, I began painting.  I used Benjamin Moore slate teal in semi gloss latex, as it was a close match to the blue I wanted to pull from the zig-zag fabric on my grandma's old cane back chairs and it also compliments the light blue-grays in the room.  I actually had them mix it at 125% saturation, because I wanted it to be a little richer than the swatch.  There was a more navy blue color above it on the swatch (I think it was called twilight), and I wanted to do 50/50 of those colors, but that wasn't possible without buying a quart of each, which was just too much paint.  I should have gotten Floetrol to add to to paint, as I had a lot of issues getting the paint to go on smoothly.  Latex paint just dries too quickly, so it was tough.  Unfortunately, I had to give up here, because I had a friend coming in town and couldn't spend any more time on it.

Exhibit B: the new old dresser with burnished bronze ring pulls from Lee Valley

At some point, I will sand everything back down with fine sand paper, add Floetrol to my paint and try to get a smooth coat, but it's actually not noticeable in the room (outside, the brush strokes were glaring).  After that, I will add a low/no-VOC clear coat, such as Acrylacq to give it some sheen and wipe-able protection (and so I can bring it back in the room and not suffer through the fumes, even though I secretly like the way they smell).  Although the above picture is not a very accurate depiction of the color, you get the idea.  More pictures when it's really done!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Life with dogs...

... is great. And fun. And a little bit of work. And sometimes expensive. And involves a LOT of cleaning floors. But, I wouldn't trade them for the world.

I am that person. I love my dogs. I show pictures of them on my phone to friends.  Probably strangers too.  And to the interwebs via facebook and the blogosphere.  I mean, that's what it's all about anyway, right?

So, it has been approximately four and a half months since we adopted Max and Maddie, and I think they're pretty well settled in to life with us. They have such different personalities but have captured our hearts in their own ways.

Max (or Maxy-boo, punk or Max the Million) is a big, goofy lover. He is so excited to see someone new, whether us coming home or guests, and lets you know. If we had renamed them, I think we would have named him Chewbacca, because he makes this "moaning" noise when he's super excited that is reminiscent of the big, furry guy from Star Wars. He just wants your love and affection and will push his sister (or anyone, for that matter) out of his way to get it. He's a big time licker, and we're trying to work on that, but it's tough to break a life long habit when he doesn't understand what we're telling him not to do. He also has some ear issues and we can't decide if it's a nervous reaction or they legitimately bother him (he hasn't had an ear infection since we've had him, but they get so swollen from him scratching them... we don't know why he goes after them like he does... I think it's just a vicious cycle, but we have tons of ear stuff to try to soothe them). I think I get him more than Matt, so he and I have a special bond.

Maddie (or Maddie girl, Maddie Belle (I decided that Belle is her middle name), princess, or pumpkin) is our sweet, smart, manipulative, beautiful girl. Everything a girl should be, truly. She really is so smart and conniving and knows how to get what she wants, especially from her daddy. (Yes, we call ourselves mommy and daddy when speaking of the dogs.) She would pick Matt over me any day of the week, unless I had a treat. In fact, I was outside brushing them the other day (for like the third time in 24 hours because our house looked like a dog salon, with all the hair everywhere) and even though these dogs LOVE to be brushed, she was standing at the back door looking inside for Matt and wouldn't come when I called her. To say that he loves that would be an understatement. ;) Maddie is really everything that Max isn't. She doesn't get nearly excited or worked up over things and is much smarter, gentler and the troublemaker of the two. It's like a movie where you have an impressionable goofy kid who hangs out with the troublemaker and follows what he/she does... that's Max and Maddie. And, when I say trouble, it's not much... getting into the trash once, sitting on the couch when we're not home (think we broke that habit), tearing up her bed or blanket (thankfully, nothing that isn't for them, but I'm a bit upset at the condition of their LL Bean beds!). One of the best things about Maddie is that she's a champion cuddler... we don't let them sleep with us, but if we did, she would be a good one to sleep with. Plus, she's so soft.  We've also found over the last few weeks as we've gotten some thunderstorms that Maddie has thunderphobia, which is common for goldens.  She's not totally crazy like some are, but she shakes like a leaf and pants like a fool.  Last night, I was watching the last parts of Mildred Pierce on the couch when the storms came through, and I was trying to comfort her by giving her lots of pets and affection... she jumped right into my lap on the couch.  It was hilarious and I let her stay there in my arms like a child, because the poor thing was shaking so badly!  They no longer sleep in crates (I love the way my room looks with those things gone), so I'll wait for the day that another night t-storm rolls through and she ends up in bed with us.  Money says Matt won't kick her out.  ;)

I can't imagine why their previous owners would have given them up, but I'm glad they made their way to us. Life is crazier, dirtier, more planned, more expensive and better than it was before dogs.


After the Shamrock 'n Roll 5K

What happens when Max's tail hits the wall...

Love for Yoforia runs in the family


Auburn fans (duck and elephant)?  I think not.  Guess we should get them a bulldog toy to tear up.  ;)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Like Whoa

I have a lot to say and not much at the same time.  So, bullet points it is.
  • Unemployment budget is in full force.  My car was FILTHY, so instead of taking it to the ol' they-do-it-for-me-and-I-like-to-watch-it-go-through-the-car-wash place, I went to one of those DIY places.  Took me forever, but I'll be darned if that ain't one clean car, practically detailed for about $6.00.  I could have done it at home, but I really needed a heavy duty vacuum to get the copious amounts of dog hair out of the way-way.
  • Speaking of copious amounts of dog hair, my dogs are definitely shedding their winter coats.  We bathed them on Monday then gave them a good brushing.  I vacuumed the house.  Yesterday, there was hair all over.  I cleaned most of it up.  Matt brushed them again.  Today was way worse!  Unreal.  But, I do love them so.  Little lickers.
  • Back to the car wash... I somehow left my driver side floor mat and it was still there today.  Yay.
  • It is the week of the job.  All of a sudden, I have a couple of things in real estate that are promising.  And, maybe something in med device, but I won't get my hopes up on that one.
  • I had to turn down an opportunity to go help do Bod Pod testing for the Clemson football team next week, because one of my best friends, Kelly, will be in town from California.  She's worth it, but barely.  You have to be darn near naked for the test, and I wouldn't mind seeing a bunch of football players, even the big dudes, get tested all day.  No siree.
  • We went to Raleigh for one of Matt's best friend's wedding this weekend.  Let's just say there was not a lot of paleo activities going on, and Matt and I are not what we used to be.  Thankfully, I got to sleep in the day after we got back but he suffered through the day.
He's so handsome.
The boys.  Three of these guys were Matt's groomsman and the other is a really good friend.

    Well, that's about it. I don't even know why I bothered writing any of this profound information, but I did. So, yeah.