18 February 2019

"Just To Look Around"

In this weekend's episode of HGTV...

Remember way back when two weekends ago when we bought the fireplace and it had the wrong finish?  Well, our solution to that was a brand new pellet stove.

Kevin has wanted a pellet stove since we moved in but I was hesitant.  It's a small house and brand-new so I wasn't super excited about it.  Then about a year later Kevin's parents moved up with us and we inherited a heirloom china hutch with heirloom china.  It went in the only place we could put a pellet stove so: all done. *brushing of hands*

The topic came up from time to time and I just would gesture to the giant china hutch. (corner styled, over 7 feet all, four feet wide, full of heirloom china)  Kevin one time lost his mind and suggested it could go in my office.   So, again: all done.

Finally, we...I...came to the realization that the furnace is going to be aging out soonish. Coincidentally, Kevin had been researching buying used pellet stoves.  We came to the agreement that we would not spend a bazillion dollars on a new one and if we found a used one on the lesser side, we would do it.

First we headed north, thinking that would be our best bet. Two stores and one lunch later, we decided to head into the other, south, county "just to look around".  Icy and snowy roads will not thwart this ill-conceived decision.

We went to one store and they only had fancy stoves that were way too big for our house. Oh, that's also part of the problem: we have a tiny house so finding a stove that won't require us to have the windows open in February is a challenge.

Even though we had already been to the store in the other town, we went to the store again "just in case."  If you're wondering: "Just to look around" and "just in case" is how we have ended up with dogs and vehicles that we didn't intend.  That's why the quotation marks and yes, maybe a little sarcasm.

This store did have pellet stoves that were the size we needed and they were on supery-dupery sale.  50% off.  Actually, there was only ONE left that was what we needed.  Now we've wandered into "We're stupid not to do this." territory.

We bought it and the kit but still had to return to the other store to pick up another piece.  Then we finally headed home and it's 3:00 in the afternoon. We started at 10:00.  We still have to buy pellets and the accoutrements for keeping it maintained.

It took three men and a dog  to unload the damn thing.  (Lucy was in supervisory capacity, in case you were wondering)  While they were doing the unloading and carrying, I was hurriedly and not a little panicky, emptying the giant china cupboard.

The mom-in-law was worried that the china hutch wouldn't stay in the family.  It was hand built by my father-in-law and I totally understand.  But we don't have space to store it.  So a quick survey of nearby family members was conducted.   Kevin thought to ask the Nephew and to my surprise, he said YES!!!  Otherwise, it was going to get shipped out-of-state to cousins.

Now we're loading the giant cupboard into the back of the truck and going back into town.  Again, it's in the teens and snow on the ground so it was a DO IT NOW situation. Now Difficulty Level Increased: it was getting dark.  We unloaded it at the Nephew's, had a little visit, then realized that we had forgotten about dinner.  I would like to say that this is unusual for us but that would be a lie.

By the time we returned home, it was 8:00 and we were both just done.  But I had heirloom dishes that had to be dealt with.  It turns out that Kevin's mom would like to have some of them at her house. (sigh...on many levels)  It is a very tiny house (ours is 1100 square feet, theirs is 400)  and I'm skeptical but I boxed up some stuff.

I got into Jedi Mind Meld and chose some dishes for her.  Then I took stuff that I knew wasn't super valuable/important and put them in cupboards where I keep vases, etc.  I put a set of china that Kevin likes, that I don't, into our china hutch and now I'm stuck with a bunch of stuff that I have to find homes for.
Mickey Mouse cookie jar plays a song when you open it.  Hurricane lamps and candle holders are 100+ years old. Gnome is actually mine, he was relocated while painting. 

Oh, the fireplace?  It's totally going into our bedroom even though it doesn't quite fit so it's fate is yet to be decided. But it does match that furniture; especially if the dresser that has been on back-order for over two weeks ever arrives.

Lucy being Vanna...no, not really. She just came in and wanted treats.
Ignore the schmutz on the table.  So much stuff going on and I missed it. I could retake the photo but then Lucy wouldn't be in it and we can't have that.

Now the painting.  I'm never going to be done painting!  The wall where the giant cupboard lived desperately needs painting and a smart person would have done it prior to the installation of the stove but as you've surmised: we don't plan ahead. Like, ever.  And it's on a wall with a vaulted ceiling so I have to employ Kevin and his long legs.

However, because I continually make good choices, I did spend my last snow day painting one of the living room walls.  After much debate and me handing the paint color cards to Kevin and saying "What color do you hate?", we chose...wait for it...you'll probably guess...mocha.

I had about one fourth of the wall done and was so, so, so regretting my choices.  Like, nearly a panic attack regretting my choices.  But I persevered because changing my mind at that point wasn't an option. People will notice a half-painted brown wall.

In the end, I like it.  Kevin likes it.  Now I'm obsessing if I want to do any of the other walls that color. I fear it will be too much but I'm still pondering.
The hutch is the one built for me by my father-in-law. It is nearly half the size of the banished one.

One more thing: we were supposed to have a refrigerator delivered but the over one foot of snow on the ground delayed that one week.  I'm equally disappointed and relieved.  I don't know that I can take much more.

But I can.  Skip ahead a few more days with me.

When we were looking for a different dining table, because fireplace, I had spotted a bed frame that I liked.  It was in the north county and it snowed right after I found it so I didn't act on it.  Also, I didn't want to add another project to the already ongoing projects.

Except I did.  Two weeks later and the ad was still there.  I emailed them and it was still available. As luck would have it, Kevin was getting a haircut on Saturday and it was nearby.  The fates have spoken.  Like the table and the stove, it was $75 and we would be stupid to pass it up.

Now we spent Saturday evening (after visiting Kevin's mom in the hospital because OF COURSE) taking our bedroom apart.  I've mentioned before our bed was an old waterbed frame from the 80's.  I didn't mind it so much but it was super dated. And BIG.  And dark.  It's in our backyard, waiting it's fate in the burn pile.  (Yes, it does make me a little sad. Thanks for asking)

Now I'm wondering if I could paint the wall behind the bed the same mocha color.  Strangely, in the craigslist ad photos the wall color is very similar.  It is a Queen Anne Victorian iron bed.  The home we bought it from was a million dollar home so we can assume it wasn't a wallyworld, cheap bed frame. They were downsizing so that's why it was so cheap.

Fireplace will probably move to the left wall but isn't it lovely?

And, the dresser still hasn't arrived. Rumor has it that I can go pick it up tomorrow.  The refrigerator is scheduled to be here on Thursday but our driveway is nearly impassable so I'm not holding my breath.

Today is President's Day so I'm home.  I had a list of errands and tasks that I was going to do.  I woke up this morning in our cool new bed and thought "Nope. Nope to all of that."  Writing this bloggity is the most productive thing I've done all day.

And Kevin has asked me to stay off of Craigslist and OfferUp.  Fair enough.

05 February 2019

A Musical Journey

Quite a while ago, Swistle wondered what kind of music the elderly would like to listen to.  Like, if you're in your 70's, what do you listen to?  How does your music taste change or not change as you age?

My mind has been puzzling with this query since she asked it.  I really started thinking about it after the very big birthday in December.  And right now when I have a *snow day* and I have MTV Classic playing "I Want My 80's"  I'm in a reminiscing time warp right now. Perfect for this pondering.

Here's what I've surmised and there are a few takes:

I think a person tends to stick with the decade of time that was the most formative.  So, in my case: it's the late 80's.  In Kevin's case, it's the late 70's/early 80's because: age difference.  My guess would be for most folks it would be generally in your late teens.

My dad listened to 40's music and sometimes earlier music.  He graduated high school in 1952 so that math kind of plays out.  Kevin's mom lights up when Elvis plays and his dad will sing any old Country song like he's at the Grand Old Opry.

Here's what's fun though:  Reactions to the songs are different now.  There are songs I used to like that now I think "I could live the Rest of My Life without hearing this song again."   There are songs that I hated back then that I like now.  (Bust A Move, which happens to be playing right now)  I can see how Madonna changed music as a whole now but I just found her kind of annoying back in the day.  

When I was little, my brother returned from a tour in the Army.  He brought home one of those giant stereo systems that were becoming a thing back then.  It had noise cancelling headphones and I would lay in front of that system for hours wearing them.  (hello traumatic childhood coping mechanism)

REO Speedwagon was just becoming huge and I loved that album. I would play it over and over.
Take It On the Run was super popular when Kevin was in his formative music time.  The lyrics to that song were super pertinent to him because his then-wife was like that song.  I just loved the song because I did, but for him it was a whole other meaning.

Songs tend to lose their power over time, I think.  It's like a scar or a bruise. There are a handful of songs that I would launch across a room or car to skip and now I'm more meh about them.  Oh, I still have one or two that will gut me but mostly the teen-aged angst associated with songs are gone.

One more thing, slightly to the left of the topic:

I grew up when the debate for parent advisory labels was a big debate.  At the time I didn't care because I didn't have parenting that labels would affect at all. Friends of mine wouldn't be able to buy certain things because of a label though but I would have just bought it for them so it was a non-issue to me.  

I will say that I didn't like any sort of curbing of free speech, even at that young of age. However, now I can see how parents must have thought we were all going to hell in a heavy metal handbasket.  Also, it makes me wonder because the music has gone so far past what folks were worried about Back Then.  Did the labels work? or make it worse?  If I were a parent, would I monitor my kids music? (I don't think I would but it's only a guess)

Everything changes, music often reflects that. Rap/Hip-Hop didn't exist until I was in my late teens. Heavy metal didn't exist for my parents. Rock and Roll didn't exist for my grandparents.

Finally, tastes change.  I grew up in Rednecklandia so it was all Bocephus and country music then. I hated it.  HATED. IT. It just represented everything that I wanted to get away from. Fast forward too many years and country is mostly what I listen to now.  It has to be acknowledged, though, that country music now is more like pop music of the 80's and not all twangy my dog died, my girlfriend stole my truck and my house blew away.    

So after all that, I posit that a person might tend to listen to music from then they were young. Nostalgically perhaps.  Comfort, maybe.  But music is fluid and reflective throughout time so of course, tastes will change.

Unless you were my dad.

(and the title is an unintended pun...)

03 February 2019

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie - HGTV Edition

On this episode of HGTV...

For few months now I've been...we've been...rehabbing this house a bit.  It's thirteen years old so it  is due for a makeover.  It is a teenager, after all.

We redid the floors in 2014 and swore we would never do that again.  OMG such a huge job to empty the entire house then reload the entire house, in one day because we set easily achievable goals. (and/or we live in the Pacific Northwest where you don't leave stuff outside overnight unless you like your property damp)

Sidebar:  When I was painting, Kevin was a little worried for the carpet and rightfully so because I have the attention span of a small child.  "Do you want to do the carpets again?", he asked.
"No because that suuuuuccckkkeeddd."
He knows how to motivate me.

Now I've painted both bathrooms, the kitchen, 90% of the mudroom, and the entryway.  Truth be told, I should be painting right now but I just don't have it in me, yet.

It's that old adage of "If you paint, then you'll need new floors, then drapes..."  Paint one wall and the one next to it is yelling at you that it needs painting too because OMG Look.

We put in new mirrors in the bathrooms, courtesy of BFF K and Kevin for my birthday/Christmas. which meant I had to paint in the bathrooms AGAIN because removing the old huge mirrors uncovered unpainted walls.  Sigh.  But it's beautiful now so worth it.

I had chosen easy install adhesive tile for the bathroom, prior to the mirror thing.  Wouldn't you know it but the tile didn't match anymore once the mirrors were up and the walls painted.  It's a good thing because Kevin was about as excited about grout as he was with me painting anywhere near the carpet.

I searched the amazon and found cheap adhesive faux tile and it is perfect. Kevin was skeptical that it would look cheesy but once he got it in, he was good with it.  So, master bathroom is complete.
But that faux tile doesn't match the common folk bathroom because, really, why would it?

I've yet to solve that puzzle because I keep dithering over whether or not I want to go mainstream or funky.  Kevin's taste is more conservative but in the end, is just happy if I'm happy so the pressure is on me.  I'm totally going to wuss out and do mainstream but it's fun to think about.

Photo from Amazon. This is the grownup choice

Photo from Amazon. This is the fun choice

So, yesterday.  I don't even remember why this was a thing yesterday but replacing our giant dining table came up in conversation.  Kevin said to look on OfferUp.  Yeah, that was a super dangerous idea. I found one in about five minutes for $25, marked down from original $100.

Now, to be fair, Kevin was already going somewhere today for truck parts.  But now we had to get up early (for me) to pick up this table.  We left, had breakfast in the town that the table was, woke up the owners of the table, then headed another 20 minutes south for Kevin's thing.  Then it began snowing. I love snow but not when we have furniture in the back of the truck.

Wait, I skipped a part.  I remember why the dining table was a thing!!  We bought a fireplace.  Because we shouldn't be in charge of our own lives.  It was on clearance and it replaces the heater style one we bought in a panic after being out of power for three days that Lucy loves and we don't.

Kevin assembled/installed the fireplace last night.  At first, we thought we had to move the dining table to make room but then we figured out something else.  And we already committed to getting the table. So here we are with a new-to-us oak table.

And we bought the wrong finish fireplace but we are Living with Our Choices.

I realized this morning, that painting the living room is next on the docket because that will solve the wrong color fireplace thing.  This requires choosing an actual color so here we are: me writing about it  instead of doing it.  President's Day is coming up, I will set that as a goal-ish.

Gratuitous puppy photo.Or: New table featuring walls that need painting 

01 February 2019

Goodbye Superhero


We lost a friend on Wednesday.  If ever there was a real-life superhero, it was Stacie. 

We met her when she was a barista in high school. She ended up being the manager, because, of course she did.  She made the best coffee ever (sorry other barista friends)  and started the tradition of giving Kevin a pink straw in his drink that is still happening years later.

She decided to be a RN, working full-time and on an accelerated schedule.  She never did things slowly. It's like she knew she didn't have time.  She accomplished that goal but it wasn't enough: she became an ER Nurse then Trauma Nurse then achieved her ultimate goal: Med Flight Nurse in Alaska.

We experienced her as a nurse with Kevin's mom right before she left for Alaska and it was clear that it was absolutely what she was meant to be.  She had to fight in her life, nothing seemed to come easy, and it just made her stronger.  Thus the perfect person for taking care of those fighting.

To quote her fiance: She died doing what she absolutely loved. 

She is on the insta as FlightNurseStacie.  Check out what a badass she is.  We say her name so she isn't forgotten. 

Godspeed Stacie and your tiny baby girl.