Friday, July 30, 2010

I've got range

July 30, 2010

Not only am I a tremendously gifted actor, but I've got a new stove.   Well, we have a new stove.  But I helped with the purchase.  As you can see, it matches the other two appliances and officially puts and end to our appliance purchasing for a while.  Thank goodness.  So, take a gander.

People keep telling us that the smooth surface cook tops are tough to clean, but how much tougher can they be than coils and drip pans?  I dropped a screw under a coil the other day and found food we haven't eaten for years.  I think we will give this smooth thing a try.

We also had Joe over today to move the plug behind the island so we can plug in the microwave without a cord showing.  Moving the window seemed like a much tougher solution.  Like Barbie would say about math class, moving the window is tough.

Friday is the last weekday of my vacation and is supposed to be the best weather day of the week, so we plan on doing something outside.  We thought about going to see the Bengals practice down in Georgetown, Ky, but with Terrel Owens joining the team, it seemed like every crazy would be out.  We have gone the past two years and I have enjoyed it, but I am something of a sports junkie.   I stand alone in our family.  Beth always pretends she is enjoying it so I won't feel bad about dragging them along, but CJ is not into it.  Unless the guys started pulling out AK47s and shooting each other, he would rather be playing PS3.  Therefore, putting up with the media circus was not in the cards this year.  We may go see a Reds' game since there are fireworks after.  That would prove big fun for all and not as much driving.

The next step for the kitchen is the last big step-counter tops.  When, hard to know.  Even in this tough economy, it seems that Cabinet Pak is busy.  Until then, I may have to find something more interesting than our kitchen to talk about.  How could there be anything more interesting than our kitchen?  I know.  Maybe CJ will steal something.  We can only hope.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Honey, the refridgerator is here. Grab the saw.

July 29, 2010

???????   Beg your pardon?  What was that? 

So in the never ending search for reasons why The Genius Society has not called me to submit an application for membership, I give to you our refrigerator purchase.  While we were in Lowe's, we witnessed a buyer exchanging their first fridge to buy one that was smaller.  What a dumb butt.  Everyone knows you need to measure your fridge hole (not to be confused with pie hole) at three places to make sure the hole is cut big enough for your new fridge. 

As it turns out, one of the places you should measure is along the floor where your quarter round is.  So there we were, with two guys delivering our brand new fridge, having to leave it in the middle of our kitchen floor since it won't fit in the hole.  AWESOME.  The worst part of this, is that we did not have them do their due diligence with the water line before they left.  We were able to get the saw, cut the quarter round, and squeeze the fridge into the hole.  However, I then went to turn on the water line in the basement that had been installed the night before, and was greeted with drip....drip....drip....drip.  You get the picture.  Not a real one, I was too disappointed for a photo montage at that moment.  Real long story a little shorter, we finally got hold of the guy who had installed the water line the night before and got him to stop at our house first thing today to stop the drip.

I know you handy people out there are thinking I should have been able to do this myself, but hello, have you met me?  Besides, we prefer to only have one shower in the basement, if you know what I mean.

So as we speak, the fridge is tucked into its alcove (a term Beth much prefers to "hole"), and we have a fridge with water and ice in the door.  Beth's mom warned us against such things as though people who have water-in-the-door fridges are evil, but she is 77 and had to get her water from a well at one point in her life.  As those of you with moms know, however, the opportunity for them to say "I told you so", is waaay scarier than running into Sasquatch with some beef jerky in your hands.

So Beth may have freaked out a little.  I may have yelled at her. 

It took me back to the time Beth and I went on vacation to Atlanta, and took my dad, her dad, and her mom with us.  Great idea, huh?  It actually went rather well, if you don't take into account the bottle of Tums that was consumed by Beth and myself.  That is until we got to the last airport.  I was carrying the garment bag and Marybeth (Beth's mom) asked me if she could help with it. 

Me:  No thanks, I'm good.
Mb:  Can I help you now?
Me:  No thanks, I'm okay.
Mb:  How about just letting me carry it for a bit?
Me:  I'm really okay, but thanks.
Mb:  I'm worried about your back, let me have a turn?
Me:  My back is good, I got it.
Mb:  Your arms must be getting tired, my turn yet?
Me:  I have two of them, they will be just fine.
Mb:  What if you hurt your back and then have to sit on a long plane ride?
Me:  They have alcohol on the plane.
Mb:  Look, there's one of those carts people use for their bags.
Me:  We're almost there, don't worry about me.
Mb:  I would really like to just carry it for a minute...

Oooooops.  She won.  I looked over my shoulder where Beth and her dad were walking behind us to see how much trouble I was in, and the two of them were sharing a high five and I think money exchange hands as if there were some sort of wager just settled.

So I yelled at Beth yesterday.  I am not sure what the clinical name for how she was acting prior to my outburst, but I think textbooks would say she went a little scooters.  She had a chicken in her pants.  Our kitchen was a cow farm.  Her timing was bad as I had the saw in my hands at the time, but we will not be on an episode of Cops anytime soon.  I have apologized and everything is cool now, but they are delivering the new stove today.

So without further ado, here is our new fridge:

Looks a lot like the old one, huh?  Just kidding.

Fits like a glove.

And looks great with the cabinets and silver pulls.  And phone.

And the fridge handles match the dishwasher handle!!  Aaaaah.

As I said, the stove is coming today, and involves no new hook up or anything that should present a problem.  As far as we know.  Maybe Marybeth will stop over right when they are delivering it.  Let the wagering begin.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy Anniversay, I bought you an island

July 27, 2010

Today is the 19th anniversary of the nuptials of Steve and Beth.  At this time 19 years ago, we were preparing for Beth's big day, and Beth was helping find her brother some pants.  Yes, that is what the bride's big day is all about, making sure one of her six brothers wears pants to her wedding. 

Fix hair and makeup, check.
Look beautiful in dress, check.
Get to the church on time, check.
Make sure brother number five has pants and a sport coat to look good in the family photo, check.

Ironically, said brother is not in the family photo at the wedding as he had disappeared to the reception already.  For the record, he did look good.

Beth looked quite awesome as well.  It had been a trying time to get to that moment, and it went off great.  Nineteen years later, it has still been great.  There are still some trying times in our lives, but we have certainly become very comfortable together and are able to get through the trying times together and are still in love.  I think I love her more and appreciate her more every day.  As I look at our future lives together, I am always grateful that I will be spending them with my best friend. 

Not to spoil the sentiment, but I accidentally typed tying times instead of trying times, but I assure you that Beth is not into that.

In fact, I love Beth so much, that I bought her an island.  It is not so much like those commercials that advertise that you can buy a loved one the perfect gift-a star.  You can pay to have a star named after whomever you choose.  And they can get a certificate, and a photo I think, of the star named after them.  Do people really like this sort of gift?  Talk about a gift for someone who has everything.

Well, Beth does not have everything, she needed an island.  I will show you a photo of where Beth will be getting leid.  CJ, if you are reading this, not to worry, a lei is one of those things they hang around your neck when you swim ashore in Hawaii.  You can still slice your bagel on the new kitchen island.  And Ewww, I know.

Ta daaa, our neighbor's window!

This wonderful piece has been purchased at Ikea and assembled by the two people who like each other enough after 19 years of marriage to assemble furniture together.  Impressive, I know.  So is the new light fixture above the island.  And our neighbor's back porch.

Beth would have preferred I cleaned up the shoes or let her arrange the shelves or move the electrical outlet or figure out the wall paint color or any number of things before I took the photo, but she understands that my followers (and lurkers) need to see the new island AND THE BRAND NEW FLOOR!!

I know we kind of seem like Imelda Marcos with shoes in every photo, but really it is just that CJ has two pair that he leaves just about everywhere.  And anywhere for that matter.  So the lighting quality is not great, but the new floor is awesome.  We also love the island.  New appliances were purchased on Sunday and will be delivered this week.  I told Beth I hurried along the appliance purchase because I wanted the kitchen finished (she was starting to talk about Labor Day sales), but I really needed stuff to blog about.  Don't tell her, okay?  Obviously she does not read my blog.  Do you see her as one of my followers?  No.  Does she ever comment?  No.  I think I am in the clear.

So here are the latest dilemnas with the kitchen.  You see in photo number one that the phone has to go.  Also, the outlet the phone is plugged into needs to be moved behind the island as there is no outlet back there.  The microwave can be plugged into the left wall outlet, but would require an extension cord with the island in current position.  Otherwise, we could shift the island to the left into the corner, AND THEN move the window to the left for balance.  What say you?  Move the outlet, or move the window?  Voting starts, NOW.

I am off to celebrate anniversay time with Beth, so the rest of you please discuss amongst yourselves the decorating that needs to carry on in the kitchen.  And how big CJ must be with the size of those shoes lying about.  You know what they say about people with big shoes...they must have really big feet.

Friday, July 23, 2010

What are you wearing?

July 23, 2010

We were watching television last night and saw that there are questions about Chelsea Clinton and what she will be wearing for her upcoming nuptials.   I did some very quick googling to see what the answer was, and found that there are more questions about her marriage than I could have imagined.  I have a tendency to live my own life and ignore the lives of celebrities and politicians, but sometimes you can't help but see what is going on out there.

Apparently, there are quite a few questions about the interfaith relationship these two kids are having.  Chelsea is Methodist, and her fiancee is Jewish.  I could see where this may be an issue.  I have decided that I really don't care what they will be doing, but I was amused by the one quote I saw about people having opinions.  "Two Jews, three opinions."  I had never heard that before, but I will admit that I do not know a lot of Jewish people. 

The opinion I do have now that I have finished my all of thirty second evaluation of Chelsea's wedding situation, is that I am VERY  glad no one is evaluating my every move.  I cannot imagine what it would be like if there was some dude with a British accent telling everyone that Steve is wearing gray mesh shorts from the Champion collection at Target and a white tee shirt most commonly found in a package by Hanes, also at Target...  That is what I was wearing when we saw the show about Chelsea's dress. 

Right after that Beth talked me into running to a store to see the appliances we may be purchasing.  The store was closing in 20 minutes, so there was a bit of a rush.  Beth was almost out the door when she wondered why I was retreating to the basement quickly.  Normally, I do not leave the house in a white tee shirt unless I am wearing a polo shirt over it.  I had run to the basement to get a knit polo.  Beth amused herself at the thought of me running to the store in my gray shorts and white tee.  We decided it may have worked out better in the long run as the salesperson might have given us a deal, or tried to talk us into a smaller fridge.  "You may need one that will fit better in your trailer home", I imagined them saying.

It goes back to my upbringing.  As a kid, my mother normally had us dressed rather nicely to leave the house.  Church even meant a suit when I was a kid.  I remember one time when we were going to the grocery and I was so thrilled to be wearing shorts.  That was an exciting day.  I was allowed to wear shorts that day since I had just had a wart on my knee frozen at the doctor's office.  You know how they balloon up and look like a blueberry?  Long pants would have been a bad idea.  Can you imagine being excited to wear shorts in public?  Of course, I think I was still wearing dressy shoes.  Geek alert.

So you can see how it comes to be that I will not wear my underwear to an appliance store.  At least not on the outside of my clothes...I was not going commando to the appliance store.  My mother would have rolled over in her grave, and whacked my dad.  Would have been his fault, somehow.

As for the purchase, Beth read on line, at 5:30 this morning, that this particular Fridgidaire is noisy.  Beth has moved on from Farrah Faucet porn, and started looking at appliance porn on the sly. 

I know you are awaiting pictures of the kitchen, and they will be coming shortly.  The floor is in and looks great.  I was waiting for the caulking and painting to be done on the quarter round before I take the photos.  I start a staycation tomorrow, so that should be soon.  I have heard that HGTV is eagerly awaiting our results so they can make it into an episode, but we are still working on the actors who will play Beth and myself as we are not attractive enough to be on television.  Well, Beth is, but she refuses to be filmed.  She may be a vampire, I am not sure.  I will let you know how it turns out, but be assured that photos will happen soon.  I may even wear clothes for the photo shoot.  Hard to keep your breakfast down, huh?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

You so crazy

July 17, 2010

Last night was the best night's sleep in a while.  Was it because all the stress from work was gone or because all home remodeling is complete?  You must be living on No Fricken Way.  However, I dealt with the stress of work with my new Steve 2010 attitude and it is working itself out.  Home remodel is still going on and may be for the rest of eternity.  We should have gotten one of those Glade 60 day things.  That is due to seeing that commercial last night where annoying Glade lady is having her kitchen redone by (apparently) smelly handyman, and the project takes 60 days instead of 30 days.  Our daily visiting handy person is not smelly.  It is Beth and she and her bubby pants have been painting and fixing and looking at faucet porn on a constant basis.  Smell free. 

The best night's sleep came from a new mattress topper that came from  Heavenly.  Aaaaah.

We do have floor installation scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of this coming week.  Counter tops should come at the end of the month.  The end is in sight and I am hoping it is not a freight train putting off the light at the end of the tunnel.

CJ is in recovery.  He is wearing one of those home-tracking ankle bracelets like the charming, handsome guy on White Collar.  Sure his thieving was accidental and a one-time thing, but you can never be too careful.  The final straw was his act of vandalism the very next day.  Beth, her mom, and CJ went to Ikea to look at stuff.  It is like going to a strip club after you have been looking at internet porn.  I think there may have been a table dance performed by a kitchen island that wants Beth to bring it home.  Grandma even offered to pay for it, so things are getting a little weird.  At some point during the shopping/partying, CJ knocked something off a shelf that shattered into a gazillion pieces.  I know it sounds like another accident, but what the managers did not see is that CJ was climbing the shelf to scribble some graffiti on a mirror or something.  I have been watching out for signs of drug abuse since he is a teen ager now, but thieving and vandalism are not as bad as listening to Marilyn Manson.  I will stay vigilant.

That brings me full circle to today's title.  We have a couple expressions here in our house for when someone says or does something crazy.  For some reason, these expressions get used quite a bit.  It is a mystery as to why.  However, just in case I want to start using these expressions on the blog, you need to know where they came from and that they just mean something or someone is acting crazy. 

First expression comes form those little darlings down in Atlanta.  Little kids are not born with a full grasp on the English language, so their smack talk has to be learned.  My sister has not let her young 'uns watch MTV or any of those stations for young adults, so their smack talk repertoire comes mostly from Buzz, Woody, and Dora.  They said a couple things to me in Spanish that may have been real smack talk, but I'm guessing they were just saying monkey or shoe or something like that.  Therefore, when they decided to taunt CJ and Uncle Steve, they made up their own expressions.  Our favorite was that someone acting crazy "had a chicken in their pants".  We now use that one frequently around here.

The second comes from a movie that CJ and I watched together.  The movie was Barnyard.  The main characters in the barnyard were cows who could walk and talk and drive cars.  They tormented the farmer as much as possible.  The farmer's wife was always on the look out for cow shenanigans, but her husband just thought she was crazy and did not believe that his cows were looking through windows or driving cars through their yard.  Let me see if I can link the pertinent scene.

I know the picture is not great, nor is the audio, but otherwise it is steller.  The two lines that we use are simply, "It's a cow farm, your gonna find cows outside", and "Her mind's gone, where'd it go, I dunno? It's gone."

I just watched it three times and snorted every time. 

Feel free to use the lines, but be prepared for their use here on my blog.  There may be rare occassion when someone around here has a chicken in their pants.  Not me so much, but CJ.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

CJ the booster

July 14, 2010

Beth and I used to differ on our opinion as to whether CJ should be watching those cop/chase/world's dumbest driver type shows when he was younger.  I said yes since he was seeing that criminals get caught for breaking the law.  Beth did not want CJ getting any stupid ideas.  She used to look at me as though my DNA was the reason he might do something stupid.  I used to explain to her that the only time I did anything especially stupid, Uncle Al came along.  Al K. Hol, that is.  My college friend Steve was usually there too, but definitely Uncle Al.  I am pretty sure CJ is not boozing it up just yet, I used to tell her.

Why do I bring this up?

Do you remember the first time you broke the law?

I remember shoplifting a Three Musketeers candy bar when I was 10 or 11 from a Walgreen's.  What can I say?   My allowance did not support my habit.  Neither did my parents.  And there it was, the giant Three Musketeer's bar. 

What I learned that day is that I am a decent thief, but I could have easily been on one of those dumbest criminals shows.  I hid the candy bar in the car in the back seat.  Did I mention that I was 10?  How was I going to get this giant candy bar in the house?  I was not a well-endowed (if you know what I mean) 10 year old.  No mom, I am not happy to see you, why do you ask?   I guess I did realize my pants pocket could not handle one of those even more gigantic Marathon candy bars, but still.

So I was busted.  I tried to tell them I paid for it, but they were not born the night before.  So there we trudged, back to the Walgreen's (or maybe it was a Super X) to let dude know I had stolen the candy bar.  Somewhere along the way, my mother took pity on me and just made me sneak it back in, and then take it to the counter and pay for it.  I am fairly certain I was not the one noshing on said candy bar later.

So I picked CJ up from drum lessons and we headed for Grandma's house to meet Beth and celebrate Beth's mother's 77th birthday.  Along the way, CJ and I stopped at a BP for drinks.  Beth was stopping for the pizza.  Yes, we really put on the dog for Grandma.  I purchased coffees for Beth and myself.  CJ and I had had a discussion about whether he could get an iced coffee.  I asked if he was paying for it and he said yes.  He showed me his wallet.  Once in the store, I talked him out of the iced coffee since it was after 5:00 and CJ on caffeine is not an evening activity.  It is a rare activity at all, so caffeine in the evening is not a smart idea.  I told him he could get a small Fanta Freeze drink.  It is like an Icee or Slushie if you are not familiar.  So we fill up our drinks and I pay for the coffees.  We walk out.  We drive half way to Grandma's and I look at him having his 3rd brain freeze attack in the past 5 minutes.  They say this causes no permanent damage, by the way, but I am not so sure if there are any math facts left in CJ's brain.  CJ put his head between his hands, brought his brain temperature back to normal, and I asked him if he paid for this liquid dumbifier.  He said, that he thought I did.  Awesome.

So we got to Grandma's house and I called the BP station and talked to the manager.  I told him we accidentally stole a drink, and that we would be in later to pay for it.  He said not to worry about it, but I said I was not planning on teaching my son to steal until he was an adult, so we would be in. 

When mom got to the party, we explained what had happened.  I was not making a big deal out of it because it was an honest mistake.  However, the need to call CJ a booster arose about every 5 minutes or so, just for fun.  Being the "my baby can do no wrong" type of mother Beth is, she defended CJ instantly pointing out that the cup did say FREEze on it.  Well, okay then.

We stopped on the way home and paid for the drink.

Happy Birthday Marybeth!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Can't we just look at pictures of Farrah Faucet?

July 13, 2010

Beth is currently watching the show Hoarders.  I like when she watches it because she instantly goes and throw something away when the show is over.  Not that we have rooms full of unneeded stuff, but we have small piles of stuff that are no longer needed.  I do not expect or want Beth to start throwing away aaaaah moment stuff.  You know, that stuff you pick up that is a memento of young CJ, or memorable moment, or fun event that makes you say "aaaaah". 

I cannot watch Hoarders.  When I see the rooms and/or houses of these poor souls, I cringe.  I understand that their need to hoard is based on some latent psychological disorder or trauma, but I cannot watch them go through it.  It is the same with shows about overweight people, or addicted people, or stupid people.  Except I can watch Wipeout.  I think it is the competition factor, not the people bouncing off the big balls.

Don't you hate when you misspell a word so badly that even spell check can't figure out what you were trying to type?  I keep spell check on while I type so every 30 seconds I am reminded of what a poor typist I am.  Like now, apparently I don't have spell check on, I have spleel check on?!?   However, rather than having a physiclogical (psychological) disorder, I more accurately have a not so smart disorder.  I ain't stupid, I am just a bad typist, as Loretta Lynn would kinda say.

I have no segue for this next topic.  So I found Beth on the computer in the middle of the night and wondered if she was secretly addicted to porn.  Faithful reader 12days (who just changed her picture to her with closed eyes.  Did you lose your sunglasses?) has asked for more information about Beth, but as it turns out, Beth is not into that kind of porn.  You can cross that off her "likes" list.  She is, however, into faucet porn.  She is obsessed with faucets.  Yes, we need a new one, but there are sooo many.  It is the chicken and the egg conundrum as to whether you choose your sink hole criteria first, or you faucet first.  What kind of faucet you get can tell you if you need a sink with one hole, three holes, or four holes.  OR, what kind of sink you get will tell you if you need a faucet that fits one hole or three holes, or four holes.  We have assumed it would be a good idea if the two coordinated.  You can check out Playfaucet yourself to see what kinds there are, but let me just warn you about something.  Even after you fulfill the faucet style you like and the sink that coordinates, you then have to pick the finish of the faucet.  Stainless, brushed satin, brushed nickel, etc.  Oy vey

I say we take a break from all these faucet web sites and revisit my favorite childhood faucet.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Yo dude, where's the party?

July 11, 2010

Yesterday I went out to trim the bushes in our front yard.  They have needed a good trim for a few weeks now, so Beth was very excited that this got accomplished.  She was almost giddy.  She loves me again, so plank got returned to the stores we borrowed them from.  Both planks.  She is not hiding one in the closet.  You would love me too if you saw the wonderful job I did trimming the bushes and cleaning up after myself.  Here's an idea, why don't I post a photo for you to see my wonderful bush trimming results? 

Aren't I funny?

As Neil Diamond would say, "so good, so good, so good".  I like the fact that we have kept these trimmed down to bushes and not let them become a hedge.  Exhibit A, next door at my neighbor's house.

I snuck that photo while grabbing the paper this morning.  He keeps them well manicured, but I find them to be a little large.

While outside, I encountered the shell of a cicada.  Do you have cicadas where you live?  They are supposed to come around to certain parts of the country every seventeen years.  We last saw them here in Cincinnati in 2004.  They were everywhere.  It was very crunchy and loud to take a walk around here.  However, every once in a while, we will find evidence that one surfaced recently.  Exhibit B.

This is just the shell of the insect, the actual insect has moved on. 

 There were a couple of shells lying about, but the other had been trampled upon.  What I am wondering, is how do you mess up setting your internal alarm such that you are either 6 years too late to the party, or 11 years too early?  Imagine your frustration.  I am guessing that the reason for two shells is that it was a husband/wife team that showed up at the wrong time.  We could debate for days whose fault it was that this couple showed up at the wrong time for the party, but ultimately I have to believe that it was the female cicada's fault.  You know male cicada was sitting in the car waiting while female cicada was yelling out the window, "one more thing..or almost ready...or have you seen my extra skin...or did you unplug the plant nutrient blender...or what if Cindy and I are wearing the same thing...or do you have your glasses...or are you sure the invitation didn't say 2021 instead of 2010?"  ?!?!?!?!?!?  Uh, whose fault did I say it was?  Clearly, I may have been mistaken.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Help! We're sinking!!!!

July 10, 2010

Cancel the Coast Guard, we are actually sink shopping.  Beth bought one yesterday after another long, intense search.  We needed one by Monday so the guy who comes to measure for our BRAND NEW COUNTERTOP has the dimensions of the sink for more accurate measurements.  Yes, you read correctly, we have ordered, and plunked down money for, a Formica countertop.  You will get after pictures when that is done, but it may be awhile.  Therefore, to avoid any needless angst over what it will look like, the countertop color will be Ebony Oxide.  The gentleman who came to sell it to us brought his own samples, but loved the one Beth had picked out much better.  Shocking!  The guy trying to sell us $1000 of merchandise loved Beth, her color choices, and her paint job on the cabinets.   He was quite the salesman. 

One tidbit of information he did share with us lets me know that some of you are very good at keeping your opinions in check.  When Cabinetpak people get together to chat about cabinets around the country, they share information about what cabinet styles and colors are doing well.  I'm sure they also check out local bars, golf courses, and bible study groups, but they also talk about cabinets.  It turns out that white cabinets are not the most popular across the country.  Cincinnati skews all their numbers by purchasing 94% of the white cabinets that Cabinetpak sells.  94%!!  Cincinnati also has a high viewership for reality television, but are those two things related?  Can't figure out how.  Anyway, it does tell me that probably none of you looked at our new white cabinets and thought you needed those in your home right now.  Cabinetpak dude (yes, I am hoping for an additional discount by mentioning Cabinetpak as many times as possible) said that California sells a lot of orange and lime green cabinets.  We saw an orange back splash in a local show room and could not stop thinking about sherbet.  It is funny how tastes vary by household and by region.

Okay, picture time. 

This is the old doorbell cover that we had in the hallway.  It also randomly broadcasts the radio episode of the War of the Worlds that made Orson Welles famous.

This is the sleek modern one that Beth installed all by her little self.  It also actually works.  When someone would ring the doorbell before, we would hear nothing except the door bell cover crashing to the floor due to the vibrations.  No bell.  While it did alert us to someone at the door, we did not think it would work well with a new floor.  It may have also violated some OSHA safety codes.  If we were ever to throw a party, everyone would have to wear hard hats until the last guest arrived.

These are two samples planks of our new floor from McSwain's Carpets.  They grow their Armstrong Floor samples big at McSwain's.  You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a McSwain's here in the Cincinnati tri-state area, so we have thought about getting one sample from each location and we would be very close to having a new floor for free.  Beth loves this floor.  I caught her in bed with it yesterday.  She calls him plank.  I know calling it Matt would be appropriate too, but her brother's name is Matt, and that borders on grossness.  It is a long story why we have settled on Armstrong vinyl flooring, but if you want to know, you can stop by and we will tell you all about it.  Bring coffee as the story is not nearly as riveting as you might think.


This picture is of Beth making eggs and bacon for CJ and his friend who had a sleepover last night.  No, they did not sleep, so I could call it a hangover, but that doesn't sound right either.  What's that?  You can't see the photo?  OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOh, yeah.  Um, the possibility existed, if I left that photo on the blog, that CJ's new daddy would be called plank.  Or Mr. Plank number two.  Mr. Plank number one would be in prison for the murder of Steve.  Did I mention that plank is made of vinyl and is quite large?  It turns out that Beth can swing a mean plank.  Sammy Sosa on steroids has nothing on Bethie in pink jammies not wanting her photo on the blog.

This is a frog we found hanging on our back door last night.  He was trying to perform the long-standing prank called ding-dong-dash.  We caught him green-handed.  How do I know it is a he?  Look at the picture more closely.  Actually, this was a first for us.  We do not live near any water.  I have limited (limited being none at all) knowledge of reptiles, so I suppose it could be a tree frog...or a prince.

That is it for now.  A guy is coming today to measure for our new counter top.  Other than that, I have to trim the bushes in the front.  Sounds exciting, I know.  It may turn out to be when I am randomly attacked by a plank-wielding frog.  By the way, are you still looking closely at the frog photo?  Well, cut it out, ya perv.  This is nothing to see, I was just kidding.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy 4th of July!!

July 7, 2010

Things have been a wee bit hectic of late as we visited family for the holiday and continue with the home remodeling. 

Our trip to Louisville started out slow as our departure time was delayed by a handyman telling us he would be here at 8:30am and then forgetting to show up.  If you couple that with the fact that Beth could not find her purse or her sunglasses, we started on the road later than we had planned.  Beth assured me that the delay was caused by our Guardian Angel.  Who am I to argue with that?  I am in agreement that God works in mysterious ways and that He has gone out of His way to take care of me and my family, I just wasn't aware that He would hide Beth's sunglasses under the couch to keep us from getting in a car accident.

When we arrived in Louisville, it was my turn to cause a delay as I forgot exactly where the hotel was.  We have stayed there in the past, and I thought I knew where it was; thus, I did not bring the directions.  As it turns out, I was correct about the road it was on, but I approached it from a different direction than I had in the past and made a right turn when I should have made a left turn.  So close.  I did the obligatory man thing of not stopping for directions.  That is until I lost all hope and started seeing signs for Canada as I drove the outskirts of Louisville.  For all you geography majors, Louisville, Ky is nowhere near Canada.

So we stopped at a Starbucks to call my brother for directions to Embassy Suites.  As he texted it back to me, I watched an interaction between two sisters.  Older sister arrived at Starbucks with Grandma.  They waited until younger sister arrived with mom.  Younger sister ran up to older sister and hugged her like they had just been reunited after years apart.  It was a Hallmark moment...until older sister popped younger sister's bra and asked why an 8 year-old was wearing a bra.  The two of them starting yelling at each other and their normal relationship was instantly restored. 

So we found Embassy Suites and had a great stay there this weekend.  It was free due to a bad experience with a noisy air conditioner the last time we stayed there and some good phone work by Beth.  It also turned out to be a great location to watch fireworks on Saturday night. 

Our visit with my brother and sister's families were also quite enjoyable.  My brother, Jamie, has a pool.  It was funny as he gave us some great advice, should we ever get a pool, as to how to best take care of it.  Step one, do not have a pool.  So I will post some pictures of the kids in the pool.  You will not see me in the pool as there was no life guard on duty and I am a safety first kind of guy.

This is my sister, Kay, and my niece, Julia.  Julia has mood swings. 
Happy with mom...

Happy in pool...

And mad at Uncle Jaime for closing gate without asking her permission.

This is a picture of my nephew, Ben, waiting for Julia to come back out the doggie door...for time number 439, 284.

Ben, Julia, and sister Mary enjoying popsicles on the patio.  Mary is showing you her orange eyebrows.

This is my 14 year-old nephew, Joseph, and CJ.  Teenagers love to have their picture taken.

And the best for last.  This is my niece Emily who was born with Ataxia Telangiectasia.  She loves the pool and is as sweet a teenage girl as you would ever want to meet.

A good time was had by all.  We have returned home to resume work and remodeling.  This post has been long enough already that I will spare you remodel news until next time.  If you want to see what some possiblilities for our kitchen are, you can look up QuickStep laminate flooring-style Country, color Oak Colonial.  The counter top possibility is a black pearl Formica.  The guy Beth called to get to come out, told her that Formica also comes in some pretty colors.  I get the feeling he does not like black.  Perhaps, he also does not like to sell Formica.  We will see.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Are we going to Disney World?

July 2, 2010

Beth and I are too excited to sleep.  Have you seen that Disney commercial where the little boy can't sleep because his family is traveling to a Disney theme park the next day?  The boy was very cute.  Sometimes Beth and I joke that we are too excited to sleep before something good is to happen the next day.  The big event for tomorrow?  If my brother and/or sister are reading (which is doubtful no matter how much I beg), the event is getting to see them in Louisville tomorrow.  We are driving down and my sister is driving her family up from Atlanta.  We will be meeting at my brother's home. 

If they are not reading, the real reason we are excited is because we found a flooring store with potential.  We got there after they closed today, so all we could do was drool through the windows.  The windows were pretty dirty, so our drool may have cleaned them up a bit.  The store carries wood and laminate at good prices.  We still cannot afford the wood, but we really liked the potential of the laminate they had. 

Are we ready for floors, you may ask.  Well, yes these are Bugle Boy jeans I am wearing.  I don't know, I just have that expression in my head all the time and it has to come out.  I know a couple of you are too young to have seen that commercial or heard of Bugle Boy jeans, but whose blog is it anyway?

YES!! We are ready for wood floors.  Prepare to be bedazzled at the completion of cabinets AND our bathroom vanity.  Please do not ask about the basement.  Without further ado:



Just look at the cabinets, not the crooked towel or the calendar on my fridge.  Did Beth not do a fantastic job?!  She is awesome.  Anal, yes.  But awesome!!  You can't see the satin chrome handles or hinges very well, but they look terrific.  However, you can probably see why we need new counter tops, new flooring, and new appliance.  Almond colored appliances aren't the whole problem.  Appliances not from the 1970s is what we are looking for.  Though the look of the chrome dish washer really outshines the stove and fridge.  We are still working on a wall color for behind the cabinets as well. 


The bathroom!!!!  Hey are you looking at the crooked towel??  Are you sleeping with the enemy??   At least I closed the toilet seat this time.  Look at the height difference.  We did not add tile, the vanity is taller.  I think the previous owners were Ooompa Looompas.

So we have drawers that work, an outlet that is to code-and moved to the side wall, the light is raised, and the mirror ate some steroids.  Oh yeah, the faucet is new too.  Other than some touch up painting and some caulk work, bathroom is done.  Hallelujah!!  Yes that is our bath tub.  It can only be used by Flat Stanley.

So there it is.  I will be brief tonight as I must get to bed and not sleep.  We are going to the floor place and then driving to my brother's.  Priorities people. 

Just in case I do not get to post, happy Independence Day to all of you.  Freedom rules!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Money Pit

July 1, 2010

Yes, this project has become the famous scene from The Money Pit.  Wow, were Tom Hanks' shorts short in that scene. 

I had a challenging day at work.  Not bad, mind you, but wearily challenging.  Not an issue, I thought as I left work, I get to go home and see my new bathroom.  Joe will have completed the mirror hanging and dry walling (not in that order hopefully), and I will get to see the finished product and post the photos on my blog for all (3) of my readers to see. 

I walked in the door, was greeted by Beth, and looked up.  Beth has been working on the cabinets to fill some holes from which we had removed some screws that originally had been painted over.  She had decided that she did not like the bumpy look and could simply remove the screws, fill the holes, sand them down, and paint over them.  This is the project awaiting completion before I can install the handles and take finished photos.  Finished is currently being defined, not as completing a room, but by completing phases of rooms.  Hole patching/handle installing would complete the cabinet portion of the kitchen, which would then take us to the floor or counter top or wall color portions of the kitchen.  I realize you cannot help us pick out counter tops or wall colors until I post pictures, but have I mentioned the cabinets are not done?  Anyway, I AM NOT CRITICIZING BETH FOR HAVING NOT COMPLETED THE CABINETS!!!  I need to make that perfectly clear, which can only be done with capital letters.

Okay, kitchen not ready, I walked towards the bathroom.  I peeked in to see it looking very much like it was when I left it this morning.  The difference was that there was a fan blowing on the wall putty which was not dry, and therefore, Joe could not finish the drywall.  I did not know that it was named drywall for that reason.  Joe will be back tomorrow to finish the bathroom.  While Joe was waiting for putty to dry, he did install some toe strips along one wall in the living room, and one wall in the dining room.  Why just one wall, you ask?  Well, because I was the one who installed toe strips in those two rooms not long after we moved in.  So for the past 9 years, the toe strips on those two walls had looked like crap.  I did not know what I was doing.  I had followed the advice of a DIYer who had said anyone could do it.  He had never met me or my 6 thumbs.  So the toe strips Joe installed today were a significant improvement over the ones I had done.  However, they are not painted.

Four rooms entered, three projects started, zero projects complete.  I know you do not know me, but I am a start something, finish something kind of guy.  I understand the reasons behind all this, but it does not make it any easier to swallow.

Then Beth told me to follow her to the basement.  Ex squeeze me?  Baking powder?  I followed.

Beth had asked Joe to fix this one corner of drywall while the putty dried in the bathroom after the toe strips were done.  Are you starting to have a sense of why Beth did not have time to finish the cabinets?  As Joe removed the old drywall, he discovered that a pipe was leaking behind the wall which was the cause of the problem in the first place. 

Those are moldy shelves.  And a big hole in my wall.

I had a philosophy professor ask the class once whether the hole in a doughnut existed.  I never came to a conclusion, but I did eat a lot of doughnuts.  I can tell said professor now that the hole in my wall exists.  It is next to the stationery tub.  On the other side of the wall is the shower which had a leaky pipe.

This is the non leaky pipe.  Joe, who I now assume is part owner of my house, will be back tomorrow to finish this off.  Who am I kidding?  Joe, the part owner, will be back tomorrow to start fixing the wall where he has already fixed the pipe where there had been a drywall problem.

In reality, I am WAY grateful that this problem is fixed, and that Joe, co-owner of my house, has been the one fixing it.  He truly knows what he is doing, he is not charging me plumber's rates, and he is a great guy.  I truly understand that things could be worse.  If you are not sure about that, see Kelly's comment from yesterday.  If I had to use a portable toilet in my back yard for three months, laughing at the problem would not happen.  I can't imagine Beth meeting up with a raccoon on her way to drop the kids off at the lake. 

So I am going to thank God again for the good things in my life, and then I am going to go water the money tree out in the back yard.