Thursday, July 17, 2008


Does anyone remember that song by Johnny Horton? You can google it and relive your youth. While there you can also find other songs about history...Sink the Bismarck and the Battle of New Orleans. I have so much to do and I am listening to Johnny Horton, what gives?

Actually I am fairly well prepared right now. All my bag(s) are packed, I'm ready to go. That would of course be a reference to one of my favorite Peter, Paul and Mary songs. Enough already. I just need to tighten a few loose ends; my contractor is coming in an hour to get a key and a check, my stepson is coming to get Sophie so she doesn't get scared by all the confusion and we are going out for Chinese so I don't have to cook. We get picked up at 4:30AM for a 6:45 flight to LA where we languish for 3+ hours before heading to Seattle. I will get hungry on that 6 hour flight so a sandwich and some fruit is in order. A girl can't live on peanuts alone! Oh wait, they charge for peanuts now, so that is out of the question.

My FIL has been moved to a rehab facility and hopefully he will get more attention there. They will get him up in a chair and start some PT to help get his strength back. Will he ever be strong enough to come home? That's questionable since his heart disease is chronic, but we can hope.

That's it for now. I should have done some posts to be posted while I was gone and I had good intentions, but unless I have a spurt of ambition/creativity this evening, you are on your own until August 1 or 2. Don't forget me, please.

Au revoir,

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Linda at Restyled Homes has challenged us to do a post about a makeover we have done. I did this last summer and have posted pictures before, but I thought I would play along and post some new ones. Click to enlarge, if you like.

close up of the metallic bronze finish

This room has belonged to various boys over the years and once they were all gone I claimed it as the Guest Room. The warm, neutral wall color is Weston Flax by Benjamin Moore. The furnishings were a catchall. The bed was once my pride and joy...shiny brass (plated?) from 1988 when I went out on my own with my two young boys. I bought bronze metallic paint and after priming the brass, I gave it two coats of bronze with a sponge brush. Instant update!

closeup of the multi-layered finish (and dust)

The dresser is one of those heavy nasty dark pine jobs that I inherited with Bob. He had several other pieces that have disappeared, where I can't say. His plaid upholstered pieces found new homes, thank goodness. I wanted to throw the dresser out and then thought the storage was useful, so why not invest a few bucks in some paint and new hardware. I rather like the way it came out. Not perfect, but perfectly imperfect and it houses lots of stuff and don't you love that cute rooster tassel??


Sunday, July 13, 2008


stolen picture from an unknown site shh...don't tell

We eat boneless chicken breasts two or three times a week in the summer. I recently purchased about 8 pounds at $1.79/ pound so I have plenty in the freezer right now. I usually try to vary the way I cook them just by changing a basic marinade. I don't measure anything, but I will try to give an approximation. I usually marinate for 30-60 minutes. Any longer and the acid in the marinade will start to cook the chicken. After they are marinated I cook them on a hot grill ( I use charcoal) for approximately 5-7 minutes per side depending on thickness. DO NOT overcook. It should be firm, with just a little resistance when you press it lightly. Cover loosely with tin foil and let rest for ten minutes for the juices to settle back into the meat and for any carryover cooking. Serve with whatever side dish suits the style of the chicken.

Each marinade starts with about 1/4 olive oil and a couple of cloves of garlic, rough chopped, salt and pepper.

For Mexican Chicken add the zest and juice of 2 limes and some chopped cilantro.

For Greek Chicken add the juice of one large lemon, some zest if you want and fresh oregano or marjoram.

For Italian Chicken add a couple tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar and some chopped rosemary. This also works well on Pork Chops. We prefer the chops with bones left in for more flavor.

Super easy, delicious and healthy.

On another note my FIL seems to have rallied a bit and tonight he ate quite a lot of the most ghastly looking food I have seen in quite some time. He is very weak, but managed beef stew and when I cut up the two canned peach halves he was able to eat them all up. We snuck him in some Dunkin Donuts Decaf and he drank it through a straw. He says he is feeling better. There is still some question whether this is another episode of Congestive Heart Failure or something else, but he seems to be out of the woods for now. I am encouraging Bob to spend time with him this week and it looks like the trip is a go, at least for today!

Now I have a lot of work to get done for the bathroom reno (the contractor doesn't paint) so I want to gt the ceiling primed and painted and the walls primed, so they will be ready when I get home. I still have to buy a tub, tub tile, light fixture and faucet, work 2 days this week and a bunch of other stuff, like BLOG, pack etc. Makes me tired just thinking of it, particularly because I haven't been too industrious of late.


Thursday, July 10, 2008


Apparently this is Bath Week on Designed to Sell and since I am in the process of recreating my bath I feel I am an expert this week. First of all, why does every house need a "Spa Bath"? Sometimes there just isn't room and in a rather ordinary house I think they look stupid. OK, that is just MY opinion, but this is MY blog, so I am entitled.

We made a trip to Lowes tonight and bought a simple white vanity, the granite countertop, porcelain floor tile that looks like tumbled marble, a toilet and some accessories. So far this little adventure has cost me $865.( I had a 10% off coupon) but I still neeed the tub and the tub tile. Now if I had DTS budget of $2000, I would be able to do another room, but alas the labor on my bath is going to be approximately 5K. Another thing that I find irksome about these bath shows...move the problem, they don't even mention bringing in a licensed plumber. These contractors they have can do anything..building, plumbing. problem! They are super contractors and sometimes even get their own show to boot!!

At the end when they show how they spent the moolah, there is never a line item for permits. Permits cost money folks. I am pretty sure that Massachusetts is not the only state that requires you to purchase building permits for a new/ remodelled bath. Makes you wonder if they don't ever discuss how much the labor is worth and how much permits are, what else are they not disclosing?? Just something that bugs a detail person like myself.

Trip is on hold and we will hopefully make a decision over the weekend whether we will cancel.

That's it for now,

Monday, July 7, 2008


I feel like I have been a bad blogger friend lately and for that I apologize. I want to thank everyone who has responded to my pleas for packing advice. Looks like I will have to go out and buy some sort of wind/rain breaker that will fit over my fleece jacket. I am not looking forward to this because a.) I don't want to spend the $$ and b.) I feel bulky enough without adding layers, but what are you going to do? Some of you have asked for my itinerary: We will be in Seattle Friday the 18th and hopefully will see my son. Those of you who are new to the blog or forgetful (who??) don't know that my youngest son graduated from college in Rochester NY last May and moved, with his artist girlfriend ( immediately to Seattle to begin a job as a Web Developer. He is extremely independent, like his mother, and I don't hear from him as much as I would like to, so hopefully we can have dinner.

Saturday we sail on the Norwegian Star and will stop in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway as well as cruising/sailing the Sawyer Glacier. Yes, I know there are lots of excursions to take, but we will be doing limited touring, mostly on foot, while ashore. Thanks to Jerusalem I know where to get a good sandwich and a most delicious Mocha in Juneau...yummm :). Bob will take hundreds of pictures and I will be sure to post some when I get home.

We arrive back in Seattle the morning of the 26th and hopefully will see my son again. Bob flies home on Sunday. My friend Barbara will be in Silverdale WA visiting her sister and I will stay with them until Thursday. While there we are going to visit the Lavender Fields ( capitalized because I felt like it, lol) and I am hoping to get to visit Clarice at Storybook Woods. I come home the 31st.

My computer seems to be having some issues of late, so I have been doing a lot of lurking and very little commenting. I think the problem is with the browser, but I am apparently in the not so silent minority. Bob's "side" of the computer seems to be much better than mine...go figure!

My FIL continues to ail and has been in the hospital for 2 weeks again. The lack of information about his condition and what the prognosis is and what is being done continues to frustrate me. I think my MIL is playing the denial card and is also pretty hard of hearing. Makes it easier to hear only what she wants to hear. Unfortunately it is not up to me to press for information and when I offer my two cents it isn't always appreciated, so I simmer somewhat silently.

We went to Vermont for the long weekend although we didn't actually get there until Friday night. My father has flown to Virginia to spend a couple of weeks with his sister and his brother. This is the first time she has actually been home alone for more than overnight since WWII...can you imagine?? She has the car and the checkbook and is very independent ( now you know where I got my independent streak). She decided she was finally going to get a new couch after 30 years with the brown and gold plaid Herculon...ugh. My Mom has no decorating sense or inclination and she just doesn't really care about such trivial things, but we went to Big Lots and bought a blue loveseat and to KMart and bought a new TV stand. Bob got the old couch into the garage( for the recycle people to take it away), new couch in and TV stand assembled. We also bought some perennials and mulch for the front of the house and got that done. It felt good! We usually spend time in Burlington going in and out of shops and doing fun stuff, but this time we just worked and made a nice holiday for my Mom. She took us to Friendlys for dinner and we even got ice cream because we had worked so hard. Then we watched the Boston Fireworks on TV and she loved it. Personally I like to go and see them but it is such a big production to go early in the day and hang out and then get a decent viewing spot when they begin and then take the train home late at night with thousands of revelers.

So, that catches you up for now. Thanks for your patience and I will try to post when the computer lets me.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I bet you think I live in a sparkling clean home decorated in a tasteful fashion ready for guests at a moments notice. You do, don't you?? Guess again. As much as I wish my home were "done" to my rarified taste, it isn't, so there. Life has a way of getting in the way of decorating projects. We moved here 17 years ago this month with boys ages 6,9,10 and 13. The house was built in 1973 and had had several owners when we bought it and quite frankly I hated the house, but it was the only one in our price range in the town I lived in, where my two boys were in school that was big enough for all of us. Of course I thought it would be redone to my specs very soon. What was I thinking?? Seems Bob is not particularly handy and 4 boys take a lot of cash to raise. Who knew?

The only full bath in the house was the worst. Look at that sink; my immediate response to the sink was "thrown up spinach" and "that has to go".Hmmmm...time flies! About a year ago we discovered that there was a leak of some sort in the avocado green tub. We called a plumber, had a new shower fixture put in, looked great, still leaked(only when I wash my hair, it seems). We have re-caulked the tub several times, re-grouted some tile and it still leaks. My son repaired the kitchen ceiling thinking the leak was gone, now the ceiling looks worse than ever. So.....drum roll please.... while we are away we are getting a NEW bathroom!

The plan is as follows: replace green tub with white tub, gold flecked off white tiles in the tub area will be white tiles ( maybe subway tiles...not sure yet), vanity will be white with a brownish granite top, walls will be beadboard wainscot(white) and the floor will be tumbled marble 6" tiles. Classic, simple and hopefully timeless. The walls will be a light terra cotta color and I am hoping for a white w/brown toile shower curtain. I am so excited I can hardly stand it!

That's it for now,

Changed the title because I guess people like to google the original title, lol.