Sunday, November 29, 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like....

WARNING: LONGER THAN NEEDED POST!

I received no less than 6 emails today from various retailers I have subscribed to that began with the title of this post. One ended with "savings!"  Another "Cyber Sunday!", which I suppose they can do that since Black Friday seems to technically be Black Thursday these days (neither of which I do...did Black Friday when it was still only on Friday ONCE, and felt like I was taking a chance with my life so never again).  Around here, the verse ends with "Christmas" and it is truly lifting my spirits!

I have struggled this past week with depression...I do believe, now that the house move frenzy of packing/moving/unpacking/painting/flooring has slowed down, it has finally hit home that I've moved away from all that I knew the past 13 years.  I know it's not that far, and it really isn't...the commuting to church, shopping, friends, doctors, work for Hubs is something we've quickly gotten used to.  Millions do it every day, and now so do we.  But unlike Hubs, who gets to interact with adults and converse (if he chooses) with, I am alone with my thoughts if I'm not doing something to the house. I am a SOCIAL PERSON whereas Hubs is not.  The man has had to talk more the past month we've been out here than he has the 13 years we've been together!  As soon as M gets in to the house off of the school bus...until he runs upstairs to get away from me.  As soon as Hubs walks in the door from his hour commute home that started at 4:30 that morning, I'M IN THEIR FACES. I'm trying to get conversation out of him when I'm sure all he wants to do is relax a bit.  He's too nice to tell me to shut my pie hole though. :)  Every time that little devil comes creeping up and whispering his crap in my ear I'm trying to do my best to swat him away...it's a struggle to do some times. I joke that I'm one of His favorite sinners...truthfully, I'm human therefore imperfect. But I'm forgiven. Something I have to remind myself of daily.  I need to get out and meet people, go meet the rest of my neighbors (I apologize to those that read this blog that I haven't introduced myself yet to!). Find me again.

SOOOOO......

I'm looking forward to a visit this coming week by a very good friend who is taking the time out of her busy schedule to come see my house for the first time, and a Christmas party at the end of the week to get my laugh and groove on with people I love and miss dearly.  I am determined to fill my heart with the good word of the Lord so that my spirits lift and stay that way.  And fill this house with lots of Christmas sparkle!

Over the long Thanksgiving break, we FINALLY got the 2nd floor all unpacked!

Before:

This.  This was KILLING me.  I hated walking up the stairs, hated that M had to side step this mess every day. That I had to side step it!

After:




I moved M's dresser into his walk in closet to make room for the 2nd black bookcase (moved out of the office) and Hubs unpacked all of the books into them.  There is a small amount against the wall but that is waiting for me to find an organizer bookcase...that will accept those Ikea baskets.  I also (with a few strong words) got his new curtains and rods hung.

I had purchased 2 organizer (cubby) bookcases online that a reviewer stated were big enough for M's Ikea baskets.  They weren't of course.  We left his very large/very heavy Expedit bookcase with the old house with the intentions of purchasing another (now Kallax).  I thought to save a few dollars and look at alternatives that were the same size...yeeeaaahhh.  We did get one 75% assembled when we realized its cubbies were too small but kept it for his books and the other will be returned. I guess I will need to make that trip to Ikea after all.

M's "man cave" is much more organized...not that he cared, but it was bothering this momma.


I would say that this 12 year old man-child has quite the sweet set up.  I will sit down and work on the original design plan I'd done up for his area one day...right now I'm letting out a huge sigh of relief that we've unpacked 95% of this area.

Unfortunately, there is still this area:


The office-slash-craft room.  With it's lovely white carpet.  Eh, it has a door I can shut.

After that great endeavor, I started dragging out the Christmas decor.


The Christmas tree we had at the old house was bought specifically for its small size (fI ound it on Ebay eons ago and it shipped from some retailer in Texas) so that it would fit perfectly into our bay window.  Here, it was a tad short for the front window but still the perfect circumference to allow us to pass by easily without knocking it over.  So my dilemma began: how to give this tree a boost so it could be seen through the window?

Attempt 1: round basket

Unfortunately, the base of the tree is wider than the basket. Fail. It now holds blankets.

Attempt 2: rectangular basket:
Wide enough!

I used three 1 gallon paint cans and my thick old wood cutting board inside this basket to "boost" the tree up, but it still wasn't tall enough for the window.

Attempt 3:


Here's how this combination breaks down: Hubs had these *cough*ugly*cough* yellow plastic cubes from his youth downstairs so he brought one up.  I rummaged through the unpacked goodies up in the office/craft room and found a large grain sack I'd picked up somewhere that fit over said cube.  I then tucked a burlap sack I found while rummaging around the base of the tree to cover up the oddities.

I just didn't like it.  Loved the height, not the style.

Attempt 4:
Winning!

I got rid of the basket entirely and just went with the cube.  Found 2 more burlap sacks, layered them over the top of the grain sack-covered cube and used a piece of red burlap as a skirt for the base.  Yes, I fixed the leaning tree.

Moving on...

I put my small tree at the bottom of the stairs, wired lit garland to the stairway handrail (this excited me...have never had a handrail before!), and put my mini tree on the sofa table.  I was losing light, so I quickly put my battery-operated wreath on the door and wound some lit garland on the porch railings.  I also added my flickering batt-op candles in the upstairs windows, master and guest room windows.  Today I added the wreaths to the porch railing before the sun went down.

While I was doing all that, Hubs put together the large 7ft tree I came home with from the local thrift store the other day in the sunroom...the only room large enough for this monster. Gorgeous tree, easy to put together...but missing its top.  Met my MIL (who works there) at the store to get 2 tree tops I knew didn't have trees (who donates pieces of a tree?!) to see if they were matches. One was a match needle-wise but a different color green...I do believe if I load it up with lights and various tree decor, the color difference won't be that noticable. :)


I'm not done decorating, have lots of "smalls" to get out, but I'm off to a great start!

I got the good camera out tonite and the 50mm lens, so prepare yourself for photo overload to close out this post...happy decorating, and hopefully happy hearts! And thanks for letting me vent.









Ode to my favorite Brits

Monday, November 23, 2015

Finally winter arrived in Michigan...

Not that we ALL weren't enjoying the unseasonably warm temps our state has been experiencing (and will again in a few days).  I know the sled heads and hill dogs (aka skiers/boarders) would not agree with said statement.

Anyhoo...

This establishment has yet to find a form of snow removal *hint-hint Hubs* so we got out the 2 shovels we own and got to work.  OK the boys did a bit of work...I did this.  By hand.


Thankfully it was fairly light and fluffy stuff but STILL.  The boys side-stepped me for most of the day and Hubs did get a few things checked off his honey-do list inside the house, like removing the nasty pieces of cardboard that had been stapled down onto the basement steps and hanging the tv on the wall in our bedroom.

I of course worried about One Eye Bill, the feral cat that adopted this corner of the road, all night...hoping he was using his cozy kitty shelter I made him, made sure his bowl was full of food and protected from the snow fall.  Didn't see him all day until later in the afternoon yesterday...when he crawled out from underneath a BUSH at the corner of the front porch. So much for worrying myself silly about Bill...he's a survivor obviously.

Here's a before and after, a week apart:
(Yes, the upper shutters are still unpainted...logistics)


Love that Michigan turn-on-the-fly weather!  Notice my lovely yellow door? Makes me happy!

Here are few more winter shots...it really was gorgeous when the sun rose and it all sparkled like diamonds:



Before Operation Angry Driveway Shovel commenced.




A couple of quick lake-effect squalls moved through...every time I started to shovel.

Looks like the temp will stay around freezing today then start to climb the next few days...50 and rain on Thursday and Friday. Yay.

So get out there and enjoy the snow while it's still here!  Which will be until tomorrow afternoon.

Looking forward to November 27th...when I'm allowed to get the Christmas decor out! Yes!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The latest and greatest...

Just a quick photo heavy post showing what's been going on around here this past week.

Someone finally got his bed!  We took advantage of the Sam's Club sale this month on their 12" iCoil Night Therapy Euro Mattress with Smart Base; the order came in 3 different boxes...all delivered on 3 different days over the course of a week. The mattress comes folded in half and rolled up, and was EXTREMELY heavy. We all had to jump out of the way once Hubs cut the plastic holding it in its folded position...take a leg off if you're not careful!  The Smart Base acts as the box spring.




 All made up and ready to sleep in!  Found a 7pc bed-in-a-bag set at Wally's World (aka Walmart) for $40.

Unfortunately, this is what the other side of the room STILL looks like:
I have yet to get to Ikea and get the boy some bookcases so we can clean up this mess.  He doesn't say anything though since he's got the man cave going on in his area with a couch, recliner, bean bag, computer, gaming area and now a bed.  All he needs is a mini fridge. KIDDING!


Received the wood finials I ordered from Rockler to cover the massive dowel holes left after removing the 2 posts from the end of our bed (for tv viewing purposes...priorities, people) and took advantage of the unseasonably warm November weather here in Michigan with some spray painting.  After they dried, I got out the tube of super glue and waalaa.  Now it's just a 2 post bed which we're actually liking much better with the footboard posts out of our way.

 


I started removing the floral transfers that had been adhered to the ceramic time around the massive unusable corner tub in the master bathroom.  After much research, I found that others had the best luck using nail polish remover...I think I will need a gallon, there are quite a few of them and it takes quite a bit to remove just one.  I'm vowing to do one removal a day!  So far two have been removed...I get distracted easily.


 Built a shelter (Pinterest, thank you!) for One Eye Bill, our feral kitty we inherited using 2 different size storage tubs, left over insulation from the sunroom floor insulating project, and hay I snagged out of the mouths of my bil's cows for bedding inside.  I set the shelter up with opening towards the opening under the stairs coming off of the sunroom and put a large board on top to not only help hold the top on but act as a "porch roof" so to speak.  Today's weather is horrendous so I ended up moving his food and water bowls under the board to keep it out of the rain and hopefully Bill will take notice that he can shelter himself inside the tub as well.

Added lights to the tops of the kitchen cupboards...because it HAD to be done. HAD TO.  Makes me smile when I walk into the kitchen every day from 4p - 10p (yes, they're all plugged into timers).


Put up shelves we brought from old house on office wall:


Worked outside:
Well, technically this is inside but put 2nd coat of yellow on door.  The overwhelming response from my last post was red for the door, so when barn gets painted next spring so will the door (thank you!).

Painted the trim and sidelight white (was the blue color as well).



Now we need to devise a plan to get to those 2nd story shutters...may not look like it from this photo, but that roof is STEEP. 

Can park 2 of the 4 cars in the house garage...woohoo! The other 2 will be going into the pole barn...Hubs is loving all of this storage space and is definitely taking advantage of it from the looks of his barn.


Had a new furnace installed on Monday...all 3 feet of her. The previous furnace that came with the house was known to be defective 16 years ago when it was installed (was a builder grade model that anyone, did not need to be a dealer, could purchase).  It was running rough so decided to call someone to look at it...and we are so glad we did.  The blower fan sounded like a jet engine (which prompted our call) and the heat exchangers (known defect) were bad, coating the inside with a black substance. Thankfully the home warrantly paid for a big chunk of the replacement.

 Last but not least, the Fedex man (he's been very busy this past month!) delivered the 24x36 frames I ordered (wood look plastic to keep the cost down) for my ornithology reproduction print posters I picked up at the Country Living Fair back in September...they look awesome hanging in the corner of the master bedroom.  Need to find some more for the other side of the bed, smaller prints to cluster.

I have yet to get the rest of the unpacking done in the guest bedroom to make way for the new bed (ordered another iCoil in queen size for this room while sale was still going on) but with the nasty weather that looks to be coming, I will have plenty of inside time to get this done.

I've heard I have visitors waiting for a bed.  Soon, visitors, soon!