Thursday, July 29, 2010

Living Room

I've been searching for window treatments for a few rooms in the house for quite some time now. I haven't been ready to commit to anything because I haven't found what I'm looking for and because when I have found what I like, there is no way I can afford it. I had originally thought that I wanted some crisp white roman blinds for the living room with some sort of accent material or something, but then I saw these:

 And although I don't LOVE them, I think they'll go well with the living room and I'd like them more than white ones.  Part of the issue with having white shades is that the windows take up a large share of the wall space on our "tv wall". I hate the wall with the television backed up to it because I feel like I can't put anything above the tv with the way it is currently set up.
So since I don't want the wall to be any more stark than it already is, I'm opting for a patterned shade from IKEA.

It's the LISELOTT roller blind and it retails for $20.
It's pretty hard for me to bring anything into the house that isn't decent quality, so I'm hoping that these are at least somewhat okay (fat chance). I'm kind of afraid to look at them at the store in fear that I'll drive all the way there and then hate them.

So I'll have to pick up a couple of these throws to make it worth my while (and then cut the tassels off because I don't like tassels):
 Because, you know, driving 140 miles for a blanket is so worth it...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


This past week has been filled with many emotional highs and lows.
Yesterday we buried Joe's cousin, Marcus, who was killed in a motorcycle accident.
He was 25; the same age as me.
My heart remains heavy.
I feel very sad for his parents, sisters, brother in laws, nieces and friends.
Hundreds of people showed up to the services- the outreach was 
very touching.
To say that he was loved by many would be an understatement.
He was one of those genuine people that you don't come across very often.
He seemed to understand life. Many people who I have met don't understand what life really means, so to see somebody like this go is very hard for me. 
We will miss him dearly.

I was hesitant to post this on the blog- I typically keep this sort of thing private.
But this is my primary journal and it wouldn't feel right to not make mention of it.

I go back to work today.
I'm hoping that it is the start of a familiar routine, which has been put on hold for almost a month now.
It will be nice to get back into the swing of things.

We haven't been doing many projects lately, but we are going to finish 3 good ones in time to post by mid August.
Mid August will be our "1 year anniversary" as home owners.
I know, I know- we celebrate milestones a lot.
But it's what keeps things fun.

See you soon.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Not knowing exactly what time it was probably eased the grog a little this morning when I snuck out of bed to decorate for Joe's birthday.

Turns out it was 5:15.

It was kind of a spontaneous decision, but down to the basement I crept in search for the party flags I made for him 3 years ago.

I knew they'd be tangled and wrinkled and smooshed but that was okay. A 30th birthday is worthy of party flags, whether they're crumpled or not.

After I decided where to hang them, I remembered that our walls are not made of the typical paper thin drywall that I grew up with. I know that "sheetrock" is a general term for drywall, but I am convinced that we have real sheetrock while others just think they have sheetrock. Anyway, what I'm getting at is that I needed a hammer to get the dang tacks in the wall. Luckily I own 6 hammers so there is always one somewhere. And lucky for me again, we have these nice thick walls that sound doesn't carry through. It's nice not worrying about hammering into the wall or dropping the hammer on the floor at 5:30 am.

Anyway, I finally got those things hammered in and while I was doing it I decided that I, too, should have a birthday because it is definitely not as easy as it once was to crawl around on the counter. I know I know, I'm still young and probably younger than most of my readers but you know what I mean.

So after those damn things were untangled and hung (and then re-hammered and re-hung since they were too low, of course...) I decided that flowers would be a nice addition. So I went out and picked some black eyed susans and cone flowers and stuck them in a pitcher. I have to admit, this pitcher gets more use as a vase than it does as a pitcher because it's too damn wide to hold when you pour.

So after those were set, I crept back to the basement to make a card. At this point I was running out of steam because I had not yet had any coffee (and still haven't...I'm typing this while I wait for Joe to get up) so I was happy to find a card in the right color that I made like 5 years ago.

I thought about making cupcakes, but then I realized that I'd have to tell you guys that I made cupcakes and I just couldn't bring myself to be that Martha. So I'll save those for later. For now I'm going to try to snooze a little more because I'm sure that I'm running out of time.

Oh. By the way. I never did get to snooze because Clem found a MOUSE in the bathroom (in the middle of summer...) and has been after it for like an hour now. I caught it in a butterfly net but it got out. Yeeesh.

Friday, July 16, 2010

7 years

Seven years ago today, I was driving up Route 59 with a cute boy in my passenger seat. His name was Joe.

I didn't dare to mention the major crush I had been hiding from him for 2 months. I knew I was safe though, I hadn't said more than 3 words to him up until the day before. I was playing it cool...
This was our first time hanging out and I wasn't about to mess things up. I was happy to have a new friend. My first friend that I didn't meet at school. I had just graduated from high school a couple months ago, so I knew he didn't like me anyway. I was too young for him to like. And if he found out that I was head over heels for him, then it would be really awkward. A friend can't like a friend and know about way.

Before we set out on our drive, he came over to my parent's house (because most 18 year olds live with their awesome parents...) and my mom had secretly called my dad who was on his way home from work. I found that out when he pulled into the driveway and immediately walked up to us, shook Joe's hand and started chatting him up. "What the hell is going on!?", I thought. My dad is a quiet person. He just doesn't do that sort of thing. I went in the house and gave my mom a funny look (maybe even a glare) and she told me that she called my dad and told him that he better go out there and make a good impression on this new friend of mine.

Great. Thanks a lot, Mom

(I should mention that I had just (the day before) left my shitty boyfriend who was terrible to me and my family and my mom hated him and wanted me to have a nice boy.)

So anyway, back to the part when we're driving along. I start thinking about how embarrassing this little exchange that my mom put my dad up to just was and how easily he could have wrecked my little secret and what if Joe caught on and aaaah shit I should probably mention something.

"Yeah, sorry about my dad acting like you were my new boyfriend or something, my mom put him up to it and he--"

"Yeah. About that"

Shit, "about that"? What the hell does that mean?? He knows, I know he--

"Do you want to go out?"

Now, at this point, I don't know if I was more relieved or more caught off guard. All I remember was saying "sure" or something like that and trying not to make it too obvious how extremely giddy I was. And then I remember thinking that I couldn't let my parents know because I had just yelled at my mom for even thinking that I liked him. How dare she?!

I ended up telling her a few days later (when she asked).

And I ended up marrying him a few years later (when he asked).

And I ended up blogging about it 7 years later (when he would have asked me not to, had he known I was about to do this).

Spending 7 years with my best friend has been a lot of fun.

And I know that spending another 7 with him will be even more fun.

I love you Joe. 


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bird Houses: After

Today is my last day off before returning to work.
I've been trying to keep myself from becoming a couch sloth without going overboard.
Low energy activities are key.
So remember these bird houses that I got for a $1 each?
Well I decided to give them a little makeover:
The yellow and brown one is now purple and the blue one is the same, but with a newly painted roof and some doily looking things.
While I was painting them, I had to smile because each one had a long nail stapled to it.
The woman I bought them from was sure to point this out: "And look, you don't even have to buy any nails!"
I love cute old people.
So thoughtful and simple.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Ah, my favorite title for a blog post.
Always a good indicator that I got a sweet deal on something.
As you know, thrifting is my all time favorite thing to do.

I like to look for planters, ceramics, wooden things that can be painted and vintage sheets.
I have never had luck with finding artwork at the thrift store.
I typically only look in the section when I'm searching for frames, which is what brought me to the there in the first place this time.

Well, I was lucky enough to stumble across this beauty for only $6.
A large, graphic block print.
The inked area measures at about 9"x12".
I can't stop looking at it- those patterns are so so good.
I'd have to say it's one of my favorite scores to date.
And it totally makes me want to start carving again.

I was hoping to find some info about the artist but haven't had any luck.
I googled every possible name that I thought the signature resembled, but to no avail.

It came matted in a silver frame, but now I'm in the market for a black frame for it.
I'll probably just end up buying the frame at Michael's or Hobby Lobby when I get a coupon.

I also got a pair of American Eagle jeans, which I am always searching for.
They discontinued the kind I like before I had a chance to get more.
Every time I go to the thrift store I look for AE pants.
I get lucky and find them a lot, too!
They hold up well (I'm hard on my pants) and are the only pants that fit me the way I like.
But since I'm not about to spend $50 for new pants, I spend $7 instead.
It's a waiting game, but I'm used to that...good things always ALWAYS come to those who wait.
I promise.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Happy Dance

Despite having to come home from work early every day that I've worked this week because of my stupid sickness, I am still pretty happy.

Not because it's Friday.
Not because I have the house to myself.
And not because the cats aren't fighting...
But because we have finally made it to the point in our life where we don't need to save for a wedding, a house or a car and we can spend money on FUN stuff (sometimes).
Sure, a wedding, house and car are all fun stuff.
No doubt about it.
Well, okay- the wedding thing is kind of a drag. I have to say. Thought I'd love it...Couldn't wait for it...HAD to have it. Haha, yeah. It's really pretty lame...
But anyway, those are all life things.
You know?
After you get the life things out of the way you can start having fun.
Or at least that's the way we decided to do it.
 (let's not talk about kids here, okay? no rain is needed right now...)

So yes- back to the fun thing. First on the "fun" list is camping.
We love camping.
But our gear is less than desirable.
To the point that I refuse to go.

So I ordered a new tent...a Mutha Hubba HP.
Which is actually a 3 person tent, but it was either this or two solo tents.
You see, I am not what you'd consider a close sleeper.
Joe and I actually sleep on opposite sides of the bed because of this.
I'm not kidding. I'm sure I've made mention that the only hard part of moving in together was that I didn't get my own bedroom anymore.
Luckily the guest room will be finished soon...
But back to the tent thing, here she is, in half her glory (her other half is with the fly on).
 And of course we needed a footprint for beneath the tent
A stove for water, soup...that sort of thing.
And an awesome pot set.
(Quick 2 System)
And a sleeping pad for a good night's sleep.

A Boundary Pack for keeping our things dry on river trips (I got green).
Oh shoot, somehow my dromedary bag got deleted from my cart. 
Well, that's a drag. Oh well, I'll have to buy it separate.
Probably when I buy a water filter and some other stuff.

So that's that. 
I ordered all of it from Cascade Designs, in case you were wondering.

Joe's 30th birthday is coming up and I asked him what he wanted to do.
He said he wanted to do an overnight trip down the Wisconsin River.
I am hoping that I am feeling 100% by then, but I have to admit that I really pushed my limits over the past few days and I think I may have screwed things up a bit.
I have to take a couple more days off work to rest some more.
Not looking forward to that...
I'm sure I'll visit plenty of blogs during that time

Which brings me to this- if you are a reader who has been shy, say hello! I want to know who you are! And I will be sure to visit your blog if you leave a comment.

I know you are out there. Google Analytics told me so. ;)

*ps- before anybody jumps down my throat about comparing kids to rain (joseph...) i was referring to the financial aspect of it all. i'm excited to have money for ME! kids would definitely undo not ready for any of that stuff!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Come on Day, Speed Up

I'm off work still, but feeling a lot better.

So since I currently feel like I have all the time in the world, sitting here resting up, I suppose I'll show you the project that I've been working on.

It's not all that exciting in photo-form. Much better in person. And better still when more stuff starts blooming...

2 weeks ago I started clearing a path through one of the gardens. I took this photo after I already started, so it isn't a true "before" photo, but it gives a general idea...

Tons of weeds were pulled (2 wheelbarrows worth) and I ripped out the daisies, which was highly gratifying. I don't think I've mentioned how much I dislike daisies. Joe doesn't like them either. Buuuut both of our moms love them & it wasn't until after I ripped them out that I remembered this. Oh, don't worry mom- there will still be plenty to give you next spring I'm sure.

Moving along...the lilac bush was cut back & a wooden border was placed (dumpster dive score!).

A few plants were added (like I needed more...)

And multiple strolls have been taken.

This is the view to the right of the path:

It's hard to see, but today I spied a new hydrangea (in the middle) which is different than the Annabelles that seem to be practically taking over the property. It was a nice change.

I added a few little thrift store/rummage finds and moved some railroad ties to create borders.

I thought that a small firewood pile would make for a nice addition to the path as well, especially since the fire pit is just to the left of the area.

And we recently moved our trailers to the back and Joe and my dad & brother split fire wood for 4 hours over Memorial Day weekend. One of the walls of wood is seen to the far right.

Joe and I have a master plan (although not yet drawn out) for the path to extend to the very back of the yard (which you can't really see in the photo above) between the 2 bordering rows of pine trees. We hope to have this finished in 2-3 years. We'd like to have a pretty serious bird sanctuary within 5 years, and the path will lead around the entire perimeter, complete with a couple of bird watching huts and lots of benches. I'm not quite sure when I'll have the time to maintain such a huge garden, but we plan on using a lot of low-maintenance plants and to add multiple rock gardens.

And since I haven't shown you enough photos in one post, here's another. This demonstrates just how over-grown the gardens are. We wanted to live here during an entire grow season (rather than just half, like last year) to see what we were going to be able to work with. Next summer this garden will be heavily divided and we will most likely sell about 1/4 of it to buy some plants that are more of our taste.

So anyway, that's all. Hope your day is going well. For now I'm off to take a snooze.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Lay Low

Yesterday was day 5 for not feeling well, so off to the doctor I went...turns out I have pneumonia.

It started out as the flu and quickly warped into this annoying infection.
I must admit that I'm feeling better than I have in 6 days, due to antibiotics, but I'm still not well enough to do anything that's remotely strenuous.

Since I can't be in the garden much, I decided to bring some flowers in. I always have intentions to cut fresh flowers but rarely follow through. They do so much for the house!

I tried to lay low most of the day, but it's hard. I feel okay when I'm lounging and I think that I should be doing something, but it doesn't work out that way.

So instead I took photos from the couch.

Look closely and you'll spy a mischievous Clem.

Oh, and window treatmentless windows and painter's tape.

Joe took the day off to bring me water, magazines, paint my toe nails and to offer the occasional foot rub had the day off, which was nice. He helped me get a few things planted. I pointed and he dug.

We also played a game called Mill Bornes. It's a French game but we got the English version. I won my first 2 games but told him we'd have a rematch later on.

Okay, well for now I'm going to take a nap. I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July! Take care. :)