Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ceiling Madness and Mayhem

You may remember how much I HATE popcorn ceilings.
(If not, check out an old blog post here)

Well for the last three weeks, our house has been a disaster zone... and it is sooo worth it because the popcorn ceilings are gone!!!!

Here are a few gross "before" pictures before the contractors got their hands on it. (Ewww!)

Master Bath:

Living Room: (we had to move all the furniture to the center of the rooms)

Kitchen: (we removed the outdated light with help from Father-in-law (FIL))

 And then here is the in-process we have had to deal with for three weeks:

Master bath and bed

Here's the vaulted entryway:

And here are a couple photos of the smooth-as-satin ceilings!!!
(When I first saw them, I may have made some sort of noise resembling "Eeeeeeee!")

 The downsides?
- Well, the cost of course. But with the vaulted ceilings and the sheer volume of popcorn there was no way I was getting it done myself.
- We were migrants inside our own house for a bit there, but our own guest bed isn't so bad.
- Drywall dust EVERYWHERE. The crew we had did a great job of covering things up, but the dust snuck under the plastic and tarps.

All in all? Totally, completely, and utterly WORTH IT!!!!

I can't wait to get some paint on the walls, the furniture moved back, and everything a thorough wipe-down!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Oh Sh*t Kit

It's the day of the big event, but then something happens or is forgotten... "Oh Sh*t!"
That is where the "Oh Sh*t Kit" comes into play.

I first put it together for my little sister's (SisV) wedding. It was part of my role to be prepared for anything. Since anything can happen at a wedding, I needed to be armed for everything.

In this instance, the wedding music had started and we were seconds from starting down the aisle. SisV was nervously picking at her cuticles. She then brushed her hand against her beautiful white gown, and a streak of red blood appeared!
We searched everyone looking for the source, and found her bleeding finger. (Panic may or may not have ensued.)

I grabbed the Oh Sh*t Kit and threw tissues at Mom so she could stifle the bleeding. I whipped out some SuperGlue (or Krazy Glue) which can be used as liquid stitches. While Mom applied the glue, SisV (the bride) hopped around because the glue stings, SisX was in her face calming and controlling the situation, while I dabbed the bloody gown with a wet tissue.

That moment seemed to last forever, but I think we got her finger and gown fixed up then shoved her out the door in less than 2 minutes. Whew!

Thankfully SisV has ALL the luck on her side, and her wedding was a spectacular and fun event! Seriously, NEVER play any game of chance with her... She is what balances Murphy's law in the universe.

I recently pulled this kit out again for my other sister's wedding (SisX). Her wedding was also spectacularly beautiful. While the kit did come in handy a few times, thankfully there were no major disasters to avert.

My Oh Sh*t Kit really consists of many mini kits each in their own Ziploc baggie (see left). This makes things quicker to find, easier to use, and simpler to put away.

The "Accessories Kit"
- Rings of various sizes (in case the bride and groom's have been lost or forgotten)
- Extra earrings (pearls and rhinestones in case the bride forgets hers)
- Extra earring backs
- Extra bracelet
- Matching earrings/necklace set

The "Hygiene Kit"
- Lady products (both kinds)
- Deodorant
- Razor (because "bride brain" is a real thing)
- Contact solution (also works as eye drops in a pinch)
- Contact case 

The "Hair Kit"
- Comb / Brush combo
- Hair ties
- Hair spray
- Bobby pins

The "Rx Kit"
- Benadryl (pills and cream)
- Tylenol
- Ibuprofen
- Tums
- Cough drops
- Neosporin
- Allergy pills
- Pepto Bismol

The "Mouth Kit"
- Mints
- Floss
- Mouthwash
- Toothbrush (I found these single-use Colgate Wisps with the toothpaste already included)

The "Hosiery Kit"
- Nylons
- Knee-highs
- Footie nylon socks
- Dryer sheets (You heard me right! Rub these on skin/fabric to get rid of that static cling on the inside of that wedding dress!)

The "Clean Kit"
- Hand sanitizer
- Bar soap (never know if the bathroom is missing it!)
- Lotion
- Moist towelettes
- Sunscreen (a must for outdoor weddings!)
- Bug spray (double-bag this puppy!)

The "Med Kit"
- Band-aids
- Gauze (roll / patch)
- Medical tape
- Butterfly bandages
- Alcohol pads (to disinfect)
- Super Glue (liquid stitches which came in handy!)
- Condoms (because you never know)

The "Fashion Kit"
- Stain stick (I had wipes too)
- Lighter (stops stray threads and frayed ribbon!)
- Regular tape
- Extra ribbon (I had black and white)
- Fashion tape (double sided to help keep fabric in place)
- Lint brush
- Floral pins (for stray boutonnieres, corsages, and bouquets)
- Mini sewing kit (needles, thread, scissors, pins, and SAFETY PINS!!! Safety pins are a must! So versatile. Between shoes, dress straps, bustles, etc., pack lots of these!)

The "Makeup Kit"
- Oil absorbing sheets (no shiny foreheads in pictures please!)
- Powder
- Mirror
- Clear nail polish (also good for runs in stockings and loose threads)
- Nail polish remover (I found wipes!)
- Eye shadow
- Nail kit (clippers, file, cuticle scissors)
- Tweezers
- Eye liner
- Mascara
- Lipstick
- Chap-stick
- Concealer (try to match the bride)

The "Sustenance Kit"
- Water! (for the bride... make her drink!)
- Straws (so she doesn't mess up her lipstick)
- Granola bars (a must for blood sugar boosts)
- Alcohol samplers (not enough to get drunk or spike the punch, but just for a little liquid courage if needed...)

- TISSUES!!! (I didn't bother putting these inside a mini-kit since they would be needed so often)
- Paper (never know when you might need a note)
- Pen
- Cotton balls
- Q-tips
- Playing cards (never know when someone needs to be occupied)

There you go, the all-encompassing Oh Sh*t Kit! Not even a quarter of these items were needed, but you never know which you will need. In the end it all packed in a bag about the size (and weight) of a bowling ball. Not too bad when you try to prepare for anything!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Goodnight Garden

The garden has been tucked away for Winter in it's beds,
straw as a blanket and with compost, it's been fed.

Garlic and asparagus sound asleep underground
and tools wait patient while cold silence resounds.

Wrapped and snuggled for the long winters night
the Hydrangeas hibernate, impatient for Spring light.

Ok, that's enough of that terrible nonsense! In reality we have been working hard to get everything prepared for Winter. I got my garlic in the ground just in time. The soil was just a little icy from the frost but warm enough to dig around in.
With those in the ground, we were able to add compost and straw on top. I didn't bother mixing the compost in, because the nutrients will naturally trickle down with the rain and melting snow. The 6-8" of straw prevents snow from compacting the soil, and helps keep an even temperature for the garlic and asparagus underground. (Too many freeze-thaw cycles can heave the plants toward the surface.)

While I was back there, I tried my best at a quick organization for the shed. I didn't have time to clean all the tools or oil them like I should, but sometimes there is only so much you can do. We need to fit our bikes in there for the winter so that there is room for a new snowblower in the garage!

We also wrapped the hydrangeas in burlap and filled them with leaves and straw. We didn't get many blooms last summer because the previous winter was so bitterly cold. (I'm just glad the plants themselves survived.) So in a test to see if we get more blooms next year, we have wrapped and insulated them. I have seen this done on a smaller scale with normal sized hydrangeas, but ours are giant so we will have to see how well it works.

Eva had to stay inside after she was naughty and ran after a neighbor!

The other project I just finished up was fences for the raised beds. I had started these fences in Spring, and it has taken FOREVER to finish them. I would do a whole post on them, but honestly I am kind of sick of them right now. They have been the elephant in the garage for over 6 months. Uh!
Here is where I got the inspiration from, but I replaced the wooden dowels with more PVC.

I finished them off just in time to get them out of the garage and into the shed for the Winter. At least they are out of view and off my "To Do" list!

On top of all this, Eva celebrated her 2nd birthday! She's not a big fan of wearing things on her head, so she found a different way to wear the tiara. Just look at that pose!