Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Disclaimer: I tend to be fairly behind on my tv watching. Even so, consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead if you're even further behind than I am. You read at your own risk!
**Timmy finally quit! I hope he sticks with it. Russell may be one of the most annoying characters on television. (Rules of Engagement, ep 11)
**The way Mad Men makes me think and analyze like pretty much no other show I watch.
**I have a love-hate relationship with a show that can pull off a good child criminal. Something is so creepy about a kid being that creepy. Maybe because we expect it of an adult, but kids are supposed to be innocent. All I know is Body of Proof's "Committed" creeped me out like crazy! Which is, I guess, what you want from a crime drama?
**I love that Bailey could finally feel safe and come unglued when Ben arrives. (Grey's Anatomy, ep 22)
**There was a scene when Mer and Derek are having a tea party with Zola and talking about how her whole world is about to turn upside down when the baby arrives. If that doesn't just tug the heartstrings, well, I don't know what does. (Grey's Anatomy, ep 22)
**The Moriarty arc on Elementary intrigues me. I clearly enjoy a running background story in my crime dramas (Red John on The Mentalist, what really happened to Megan's father on Body of Proof -- just to name a couple) and I like that this "Moriarty" seems capable of playing on Sherlock's level.
**I thought the cardiologist poisoning the man who poisoned him with the same poison was the perfect poetic justice. (Person of Interest, ep 20)
**I love the way I can feel Person of Interest building up for the season finale! So many questions and threads left hanging, just like last year. Just as you start to wonder what it all means and how it connects, they present you with the season finale and something to chew on all summer!
**It is a wee bit annoying that Natalie (the little girl) is the smartest character on How to Live With Your Parents. Especially when you consider that there are at least five regular adult characters.
**I keep reading that there is going to be a police spin-off of Chicago Fire. I am not interested. There are a thousand police dramas already done. Some of them are among my favorite shows. However, Chicago Fire's "schtick" is that it's unique in being a fire department. You cannot lure me into what's going on at the police station down the street, especially not after one season. And a season that was slow to hook me, at that.
**I know I am supposed to feel some angst with Dawson's love dilemma and to find myself on some Mills or Casey "team," but really? They can't seem to make me care about who she chooses. I kind of just want to smack her and tell her to stop being a child. (Chicago Fire)
**Why does there always have to be some cheating or some sort of ambivalence regarding fidelity on Grey's Anatomy? I don't like that some new lady doctor is threatening to rock the boat with Arizona and Callie. Can't we just leave intact relationships alone? I guess I should be happy it doesn't involve Meredith and Derek? (ep 22)
**As annoying as he could be, I am bummed they killed off Jamie's partner on Blue Bloods.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
1. Paper, plastic or bring-your-own?
Yes! I actually have a finely tuned method to my madness: I get paper when my stash runs low for containing my paper recycling between pick-ups. I get plastic from the grocery stores when my stash runs low, because I use these when I need to contain some kitchen garbage that will be too stinky or messy to hang out in the regular trash can until that bag is full and will get tossed directly into the big garbage bin that goes out to the road on garbage day. I get plastic from Target when my stash for lining the bathroom trash cans gets low; they are the perfect size, a little bit bigger than the grocery store plastic bags! And most of the time, when my stockpiles of paper and plastic are sufficient, I use my own bags, four regular reusable totes and one insulated.
2. What's the next trip you're planning to take?
I don't have anything planned, long distance, at the moment, but I will likely take a trip to visit Nichole and Daniel at some point this summer.
3. You are going to the beach for the day. Your essentials--sunblock, bathing suit, towel, sunglasses, water and snacks--are provided for you. One ONE other item do you bring with you?
I'm not much of a sunbather, but I think I would need to bring a book for between walks along the water and people-watching.
4. What was the last food you *really* craved?
A vine-ripened tomato sandwich. That's what I am actually craving right now. It will be a while, though. The tomato plants only have blossoms.
5. What is the last thing you changed?
Well, I changed out the towels on Saturday morning, but the last things that I actually changed, like from one thing to another, was the color of the master bedroom. Well, I contributed to that change, anyway. I chose the colors, T did the actual painting.
6. Have you ever peeked at a present?
I did once, when I was probably 9 or 10. There was a stack of gifts in my Gram's bedroom and I looked, even though I knew I shouldn't. Ruined that whole Christmas for myself and never once considered doing it again.
7. What is your least favorite part of the morning?
The part where I have to leave for work. I am grateful I have a job, but I like having slow mornings at home.
8. Ocean or pool?
The ocean. But not for the beach or swimming. I prefer it at sunrise or sunset. And I want to take a slow walk. With my camera. And my guy.
9. Name three of your guilty pleasures.
Red Sox t-shirts. Yankee Candles. The tv show "Dallas."
10. Who was your high school celebrity crush?
Ohhh, Dylan McKay... because that was the closest I was ever getting to a bad boy.
11. Other than church, to whom did you make your last charitable contribution?
The One Fund for helping victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
12. What was the last thing you created?
In an artsy-craftsy way? A bunch of items for our wedding last September.
13. Do you attend church?
14. What item do you always seem to forget when you're packing to travel?
My earbuds for my iPod.
15. How many email addresses do you use?
I use two regularly: my personal email and my work email. I have a third, but I haven't logged into my old Hotmail account in I don't even know how long now.
16. What kind of camera do you use?
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi. And sometimes the cameras on my cell phone and iPod.
17. How old is the oldest pair of shoes you own?
Of the ones I actually wear on a regular basis, I believe my black heeled boots are about 8 or 9 years old (hooray for good quality, real leather shoes!), but I have a pair of strappy black heels that Michael picked out for me back when we were dating, and considering we broke up in early 2000 (or was it 1999?), you do the math? They are beautiful shoes and very classic, which is great, because they might last forever at the rate I have the opportunity to wear them!
18. What was the last pill you took?
My multivitamin this morning.
19. Who was the last person to instant message you?
Pretty much no one messages me anymore! It was probably G or possibly my brother. Everyone else just texts.
20. Which board game was your favorite when you were a child?
I loved Clue, Monopoly and The Game of LIFE. Don't ask me to pick just one! I'd still play any one of them, if the opportunity was there.
Friday, May 10, 2013
When we first moved into this house, lo these fifteen months ago, we dd a lot of thinking and planning and dreaming about how we'd make it into our own over time. We're still thinking and planning and dreaming (as is the state of pretty much every homeowner ever, I suppose), but bit by bit, those plans have begun to take on actual existence outside our heads and conversations.
The very first project was...
I'm getting ahead of myself.
Our kitchen looked like this on the day we signed all the paperwork.
Back to the early 80s. Which was when the house was built. Almost immediately those (possibly) original appliances were carted off and replaced with these new lovlies.
The cabinets and counters remain. For now. Because a kitchen renovation is a giant endeavor and we're just not there yet. But we were feeling a little cramped for kitchen storage (kind of funny, since we'd pretty much doubled our storage space from the miniature kitchen we'd had in the apartment, but ::shrugs::) and there was this big empty space.
Sure, we could have just found some shelving or a baker's rack or an armoire or something, but instead of wasting time and money on something absolutely temporary, T decided to construct the template for what will, eventually, be the cabinetry for the entire kitchen! Which, let's be honest, is *way* awesome. In time, all that bleh off-white fake yuck cabinetry will match this gorgeous, custom-made cherry wood beauty. (And yes, that wallpaper will also be history at some point as well. Ahem.)
Want a little peek inside?
We've played around with the arrangement a bit, because daily use is the best way to fine tune. First, there was this...
...but there was an awful lot of unused space over there on the left. That bugged me. So we added a shelf in there, which worked for a while. Until we got married and had some fabulous new cookware to house. So we tweaked a little more and came up with this! The perfect solution to all our beautiful new Calphalon which was a wedding gift (via gift card purchase) and a few old friends not yet ready for retirement.
And while that is a multitude of awesome, the lower half steals all the thunder.
It's *really* difficult to compete with pull-out spice racks and shelves-that-are-actually-drawers for canned and jarred goods. And that little deal on the bottom left? A drawer with slots for all those awkward-to-store kitchen necessities, like muffin tins and cooling racks and cookie sheets. On the right, the top drawer is divided for all kinds of utensils. The next two shallower drawers hold all manner of various kitchen-related odds and ends that are useful but awkward to store (like manual can openers and corn cob handles and my beloved citrus trumpet, to name just a few). The drawer below them has dishtowels in it and the big deep drawer has bulkier items, like the mandolin, various attachments for the KitchenAid mixer, the cord for the electric griddle. The slow cooker and the electric griddle share that cubby on the bottom, thanks to another handy dandy shelf. It's pretty ridiculous how much I love what T created here. It's been in for over a year and sometimes I still stand in front of it with all the doors open and just grin. I cannot wait to see the kitchen in its full glory one of these days...and in the mean time, I am busy saving ideas on Pinterest, so that when T asks if I have any requests, I'm ready to go!
Thursday, May 9, 2013
A long time ago (or a little over a year, whichever), the space by the front door looked like this.
We don't wear shoes in the house--a rule we follow about 98% of the time--which meant a lot of sitting on the floor to put on shoes. "A bench would be nice here," I mused, as I climbed up off the floor yet again.
I commented here and there in April.
And in July.
And again in October.
(And probably about a hundred other times. You'd have to ask my husband for a true count.)
In late December, I went to California to visit Nichole and Daniel and to celebrate some more Christmas. While I was there, my husband was bored one day.
I returned to find this, designed and built to match the entertainment center:
Moral of the story: I leave for five days and come home to newly constructed furniture.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Not all that long ago, I had to brag on my husband for his crazy woodworking skills that resulted in a gorgeous new bed and blanket chest in the master bedroom. I would be remiss to make you think that his handiwork was limited to that one room. Back in October, this beauty was unveiled in our living room.
Our living room has high ceilings and abundant light, so not only can it handle those deep red walls, but in order to achieve the warm cozy feel of autumn, it needed a little more weight. So T designed this entertainment center, complete with storage and lights and curio cabinets. It's enormous and beautiful and *heavy*. The day he brought it in from his workshop, I tried to help him move it into place. He had it on these coaster thingies, made for easily moving furniture. I tried to brace against one side, in an effort to hold it in place, so he could shimmy the other end toward the wall, and the combination of his strength and the weight of the entertainment center basically swung the whole thing in a circle, taking me with it! There is something to be said for actual wood construction as compared to the cheap, mostly-particle-board stuff for sale now, even at higher end furniture galleries.
(As an aside, if you ever want a special treat, take T furniture shopping. He will eyeball, circle, tap and poke at everything, then proceed to point out all the ways in which it was poorly designed, sloppily assembled or constructed out of cheap sub-par materials. And then he will tell you he can build something twice as awesome for a third of the price. And he will be very right.)
(Also fun: Ask him to paint a piece of furniture for you and then ask his honest opinion. Go ahead. I dare you.)
Back to his work of art. The lower cabinets beneath the television are great for all sorts of accessories that you want protected from dust but still need to access, necessitating glass doors, like the DVR and the (please hold back your laughter and judgment) combination VCR/DVR player. (What? It still works!) the side cabinets are way awesome though. The lower ones (without glass) are great for stashing things out of sight. The upper ones are genius though! Just look.
That would alongside the glass is not just a decorative design! It hides shelves for all our DVDs!
Shelves that SLIDE OUT. (My husband is a genius.)
I have had way too much fun decorating my mantel-like shelf for the various seasons and holidays. Easter/spring is still up (in the top photo) and I am still kind of impressed with what I cooked up for the way-up-high top, if you want to know the truth of it.
Now I need to figure out what will live there when Easter comes down, now that it's May.
All we really need to complete the living room are three matching end tables to replace the old black ones (and the tv tray) we're making do with right now. We're toying with the idea of painting the trim white and I'm trying to decide if I want a valance over the windows. All in good time. What I do know is that I will love every piece of furniture he builds as we make this house more and more our home.