Thursday, February 28, 2013

One small step

I did it!

I finally painted the kitchen cabinets. The task of taking them from red to white proved to be a lot harder than I anticipated. I was challenged by several things - first, and not entirely unexpected, was the amount of paint it called for. Second, I just don't have the stamina I once had and was forced to spread the work out over a week and a half. And third, mentally I wasn't aware of just how attached I was to my red cabinets and wasn't prepared for how much I would miss them.

I had almost a full gallon of Behr Paint with Primer on hand. The fact that I wasn't going to have to spring for paint (have you priced a gallon of paint lately? Yowsa!) was the deciding factor that tipped the scale in favor of tackling this project. This was going to be a cheap and easy project. Yeah, right.

I took advantage of a Monday with no Eddie to start painting and began in the breakfast area of the kitchen. I figured it was easier to start there where I could knock it out fairly quickly, painting the wainscoting before moving on to the actual cabinets. I wasn't naive enough to think one coat of paint would cover the red, but was really thinking two would do the trick. I was quickly disappointed when the first coat wasn't covering well at all. Imagine my delight (and dismay) when I discovered I was painting with ceiling paint and not wall/trim paint. Doh! It pays to pay attention to what you're doing.
there's wainscoting behind the bench, promise!
 After switching to the right paint I quickly took care of the wainscoting and moved on to the cabinets where I removed all the doors. By this point I was already tired but forced myself to press on. I had to take advantage of my kid-free/husband-free work day. I successfully applied two coats on the outer shells of all the cabinets before calling it quits.

The following day Eddie walked in after school and pointed out the obvious, "hey, you're painting!" He went on to voice his approval and added, "it looks good without the doors, you can see where everything is." I had to chuckle at his diplomatic approach. I think all those lessons his mother has been pounding into his head about making only positive comments is finally sinking in. Either that or he's trying to save me work. The funny thing is, just the night before I had commented to my husband how I would like to try the open cabinet look. But, coming from an eleven year old it suddenly sounded weird not to mention a timely Facebook post by a friend discouraged me further. She claimed it was impossible to keep the dishes clean when they're out in the open like that and we all know how I abhor extra cleaning. What sealed the deal was the look my husband gave me when I initially suggested it. Fine people, rain on my parade!

one of two painting assembly lines. Please excuse the surrounding mess, I *am* painting you know

I didn't attempt any more painting until the weekend. Before putting paint on the doors I had to remove all the hinges and handles. After the painting was complete all that hardware had to be reattached and the doors rehung. I have 19 doors, 5 drawers, and 4 hooks which, when it's all said and done, amounts to removing and reattaching 492 screws (508 if you count the two doors that were put back upside down and had to be fixed).

Did I mention that when I started this project I promised my dear husband that I would try to keep the chaos to a minimum and I would do all the work myself? Yes, me and my handy little screwdriver worked ourselves silly. As luck would have it dear husband finally took pity on me and took over, with his handy electric drill, and rehung the last nine doors lickty-split. But by then the damage was done. My fingers, wrist, and elbow felt like they'd been through a meat grinder, and it wasn't just my right arm but both since I'm apparently ambidextrous when it comes to using tools.

Note to self for future home improvement projects - always, ALWAYS check first to see if there is a power tool that can be used to get the job done. And never, NEVER tell your husband you can do the job yourself. ... he might just take you at your word! And speaking of projects ... I failed to mention that I did not have the resources to make a few of the changes I desperately wanted to make. Specifically speaking, I want to change out the hardware! Yes, you read that right. I really, really, REALLY hate the brass hinges and white porcelain and brass handles on my cabinets and one day, as God as my witness, I will change them! Ok, sorry, I got a little over dramatic there but you can bet, next time around, I will use the drill.

Anywho, the painting is done and my kitchen is pretty much back in order. Switching from the red to the white has really brightened things up. I look at it and am pleased with the change but I'm also reminded why I painted them red to begin with ... every tiny imperfection and each and every speck of dirt glaringly stands out. The crisp white of the cabinets also makes the appliances and floor look dingy and worn. We won't even talk about ugly white laminate countertop that screams, "put me out of my misery!"


For now, I'm just going to focus on how bright the kitchen looks and be thankful for tiny improvements. I think my dear husband is pretty happy about it too because he knows I will work hard to keep everything looking clean and fresh (for awhile anyway).

Why ... I might even ramp it up a notch and

mop the floor! How's that for improvement?!

Friday, February 8, 2013

I learned a new word and I'ma gonna use it!

When talking to my mother yesterday she informed me that I needed to write a few blogs, that she needed something to laugh at. Unfortunately I haven't been feeling very funny lately so I guess I will have to disappoint her on that level. But, to keep peace in the family, I will write something today. There is no theme to the blog, just a lot of mish-mash (my term for filling space).

I learned a new word today - insouciant - it means showing a casual lack of concern, indifferent. I read it here Lesson learned - a person's insouciant behavior in court can lead to a higher fine and thirty days in jail. Apparently this chic never got the memo that hair-tossing and giggling, followed by finger flipping is frowned upon in our judicial system. Sadly she probably still doesn't get it and will eventually end up back before a judge in no time.

We've had a lot of rain and cloudy days this winter. I think that's probably why I'm not feeling very funny, it's hard to find humor in dreary weather. It's also hard to find motivation to do much when all I really want to do is hunker down in a blanket and zone out in front of the TV. Usually I have a list a mile long of things I want to do and find it hard to pinpoint what to tackle first but right now I'm sporting an insouciant attitude towards making that list, much less acting on it.

See how I used my new word there? Clever, huh?

Every once in awhile I do have a day where I get a burst of energy and manage to accomplish some small feat. Wednesday was that day. It probably came about because the sun actually made an appearance and it proved to be a mild day. I decided to take advantage of the good weather and took the cat outside for some play time. Spunky's been feeling a lot like me lately - sorta blah - and I thought the time outside would cheer her up. She had a grand time roaming around the backyard. She was inspecting every little thing as if she'd never seen it before. I guess it's been too long since her last romp.

I decided that I should follow her around and video her escapades .... cause you know, everyone loves to see videos of kitties.

I actually caught her in the act of climbing up to the treehouse, something we've wondered how she managed to do. As you can see, it was no easy task but she finally made it up there. After a few minutes of investigating her surroundings she got this gleam in her eye. I recognized the gleam as I've seen it many times before. The cat is about to spazz out. She tears down the board and races lickity-split across the yard to the back porch. This feline is freaking fast. When she's in this mode, I swear she is part jaguar. Or, maybe it's cheetah. Whatever. She is breaking the sound barrier as she goes from spot A to spot B.

Because I knew what was about to happen I was able to capture it on on video ('cause I just knew all of you would want to see it). Except, I didn't. Because my stupid phone didn't have enough space in it record. Sob. I missed the whole darn thing.

Well, dagnabbit, we can't have that happen again now can we? One never knows when an award winning video opportunity might present itself so obviously something needed to be done. The logical thing would be to clear up space by deleting photos off my phone. I didn't have the time or energy to go through them one by one and pick what needed to be saved and what could be deleted so I decided my course of action would be to remove all of them from my phone and deposit them onto my laptop where I could later decide which were keepers and which were goners. However, knowing me and my current state of non-motivation I wasn't so sure just when I would get around to that purging process.

I also wasn't too keen about not having any photos readily available on my phone for impromptu postings to Facebook and Instagram, and then there's always my Project 365.  I needed to be able to access the photos from my phone and my laptop. Long story short (aren't you glad?) I decided to try out Dropbox which would enable me to do just that. All I had to do was download the app to my phone and my computer, set up an account and start the download (or is it upload, never can keep those two processes straight). Sounds easy, right? Well it is. But, it's also very time consuming. As in it took me ten, yes TEN hours to download 1100 photographs. By the time it completed I could have manually gone through the pictures myself and made the decision to keep or delete each one ... about three times over!

Ai-yi-yi I'm sure there must have been a simpler solution to my problem but if there is I don't want to know about it. What's done is done and now I have a whopping 1.8GB of available space on my phone. What the heck? That's not much more than it was before. Obviously the problem wasn't so much the photos as the apps I have on my phone? I really do need to read up on my phone and figure out what I'm doing here. Meanwhile, I'll just carry on with my insouciant self and make a list of things I want to accomplish over the next couple of weeks ... if I ever get up the energy and motivation.

these babies are going white

these babies are screaming for me to put my craft hat back on

but a small stack of hundreds of books that need to be gone through and re-homed

a garage that needs to be purged


this baby that needs lots of love and attention. (And perhaps a little brother or sister??) She appears to have a pretty insouciant attitude regarding the whole situation. But what do you expect? She is, after all, a CAT. She'd probably show the judge the finger too ... if she had fingers!