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Current state of the LR coffee table


Where I spend a lot of time reading

I started the week with a hard workout at the Y -- always a great start for me -- it is so energizing!  When I arrived at home, I found sweet Hubs diligently dismantling that Frenchy-styled hutch cabinet that was the subject of quite an adventure a few weeks ago.  I pitched in, and soon we had all the hardware off.  We ditched all that glass which was dangerously thin, but not before we both managed to cut ourselves on that cotton-pickin' chicken wire.  We got rid of that, too.  We removed the door, and disposed of that piece of glass as well.  

Remember, this is how the hutch looked at the sale.
You can't see how cheap and thin the glass was.

Door frame and drawers

Hutch without glass, chicken wire or door

The game plan is to (1)  glue the door frame back onto the main frame so that it looks balanced from a design standpoint (see "before" photo);  (2) replace the thin glass shelf inserts with wood inserts which will be glued in and painted out; and (3) stabilize a couple of places on the underside of the lower buffet section of the cabinet.  

The whole piece will be painted with chalk paint, and the interior is going to be a contrasting color -- yet to be decided upon.  I am hoping that this re-jiggering of the shelves will make it stable enough to accommodate lots of books or dishes, etc.  It looks plain-ish without the hardware, but I will put back the pieces that are decorative.  I am debating about adding some of those Effex moldings which the chalk paint dealer sells to doll it up, but I guess it really doesn't matter one way or the other.  Another option is that stencil/joint compound thing which also gives a raised design.  There is always decorative painting, too.  We'll see how I feel about it when we get that far.  

I have considered using some wallpaper on the backboard, but the shelf structure does not come out, which would make it very tedious to put in wallpaper.  I am not interested tedious.

Rehanging some artwork


Our landline phone died this week, so we went in search of another.  I had a $30 store credit at Best Buy, so we started there, and we found just what we wanted.  It only cost $20 after applying the store credit.  We made a decision to remove the landline phone from the bedroom since it is really annoying, even with the ringer turned off.  We are regularly awakened by the occasional drunk in a honky-tonk or juke-joint attempting to leave a message that somebody is going to get their a$$ whupped at 2 a.m. sometimes.  No more!  We moved it to the kitchen.  I always have my iPhone in the bedroom if we need a phone there, anyway.  Many people have gotten rid of a landline altogether -- what about you?  Do you still have one?  Sweet Hubs says that he doesn't want the hassle of changing a gazillion account contact infos, so landline it is.  (He has spent most of the afternoon playing with it.  He is easily amused.) 


We also looked at some very nice gas ranges while in there.  I didn't even realize Best Buy sold kitchen appliances, did you?  I usually think of electronics when I go there.  I came home with some more brochures for fancy gas stoves. These are more reasonably priced than the ones in that high-end showroom where we looked before.

We then cruised through Tar-zhay and World Market while we were out and about.  The first is always like a tomb -- I don't know how they stay in business, here, honestly I don't.  I always see all this cool stuff people on the blogs find in there, and I have yet to see any of it.  They must order online.   I did finally find two cotton camisoles, one in grey and one in aubergine.   

On to World Market -- and this is another place I always see their cool stuff all over the blogs and websites.  When I go in there, mostly, I see junk.  What really was irritating was when we picked up two bottles of wine which said 20% off.  We get to the register to pay, and lo and behold, you have to buy FOUR bottles to get that price!  Otherwise, it is full price.  What a ripoff.  Speaking of ripoffs, I located Miraval Rosé in there, which I think is the best rosé I have ever had.  You know the one -- it comes from the French Brangelina chateau of the same name.  I can't find it at Costco anymore.  Guess what WM is selling it for?  Almost $30!!!  I think it was about $12 when I found it at Costco.  I didn't buy any at WM, that's for sure.  We walked out with one bottle of Cabernet, and if I had been the one paying, I would have not bought any.  I thought they had some nerve, with that fine print nobody but a beady-eyed eagle could see!!!

CONSIGNMENT UPDATE: We popped into Trader Bob's to see where they had parked our stuff which we left on consignment.  Finally, after walking all the aisles, we located it.  The Victorian chair is all the way in the very back, near a very ugly gold and white "ho-house"-looking psuedo-Victorian sofa.  The bargello chair was parked in a space full of total junk, also very near the back.  The yellow desk and chair were out in the middle of the far right aisle near some kiddie things.  I was not a happy camper when we left.  The ladies who work there were not nearly as friendly as they were when I was bringing my stuff in the other day!  I didn't say anything, but if I don't see some action pretty soon, I may go back and get it and try Craig's List.  Sweet Hubs is fairly paranoid about CL, but I am very put off at what TB's have done with my things.  That boatload of fancy stuff they got in last week when I was trying to bring my items in has totally preempted most of their space!  Mine gets put with other consignment items, and I guess they don't matter much to the owner since I am not actually paying on the front end to rent space.

I was grousing the other day about all the moving boxes still in our attic.  We have only been here nine years this past May 7!  Why do we still have our moving boxes???  We didn't move after three years, which was the plan, since the economy tanked and we would have lost too much money if we sold at that point, assuming we even could have sold.  We are now apparently planted Forever and Ever Amen (sorry Randy Travis), for better or worse, for richer or poorer, so after years of nagging a gentle suggestion, Sweet Hubs made a run to the recycle drop-off spot with a Jeep load of flattened out moving boxes.  I did keep the dish pack boxes which are full of dish sleeves and bubble wrap because you never know...

Yes, I am still looking at this ugly carpet.
One battle at a time...

Do you ever track your blog page views, look to see who's looking at you?  I admit I do, especially since I used to get a lot of pornographic spam.  I am no longer on Facebook, but recently I got a gazillion lookyloos from FB again.  How can that be?  I have a three years-old post that periodically seems to get a ton of views, and they all come from FB.  None of the photos on that post are even mine!  I did that before I knew you that weren't really supposed to use photos off Pinterest, etc.  


The Reading Room

Midweek, I attended the Greystone Book Club meeting where my contribution was ham biscuits and RJ's was some totally delicious artichoke dip.  Our hostess had her house done up for Halloween top to bottom -- too cute!  Later in the week -- an estate sale!  Yay!  I always check out the photos on the online gallery first.  Two sales looked promising, so we went to check out the first one.  Let's just say I got lucky on a couple of the items I had my eye on!  I wound up blowing off all the other sales after that because I had also blown my spending money.   
 agent's photo of étagère at the sale

missed out on this one

but I got the bigger one of these!
Here is where the orange vase wound up--
in the bedroom.
I did score that étagère I spied,  so I have decided to leave my kitchen secretary right where it is, because I really like having it in there.   (I can keep the desk messier than if it was in the LR.)  That hutch we are working on would not have fit where the étagère is now standing, so it might be for sale when we finish it, or maybe I will save it for a future sunroom.  I am still lobbying strongly for one of those for a studio, so we will see.  Sweet Hubs said maybe next year.  I'll have to work on Friendly Persuasion...  (remember that ancient movie about the Quakers?  I was so in love with Anthony Perkins.)  I said sweetly, "I can wait."  However, my patience does have it's limits.  Just saying...

Some (probably) decorator who was shopping with a (probably) client was really not happy about it when she saw us taking it out.  She demanded to know what I paid, but I didn't open my mouth.  The sweet guy who works for this particular estate agent likes me, and he didn't tell her either as he was carrying it out.  He only said, "I really don't know, I didn't sell it."  Ya snooze, ya lose, Baby!


Here are some photos of my styling efforts once the piece was in place.  This is a work in progress, and it will probably change every time the wind blows.  My game plan has obviously flip-flopped back to the first idea I had, which was adding an étagère to the LR in this spot, which would give me a place to put unread books as well as a bunch of junk some other attractive decorative items.  That's why the painting got moved.

Work in progress

At some point soon, I will move these peacock chairs to the attic, but I am in no great hurry.  I have some green and white fabric found in the last days of Hancock Fabrics to slipcover those Queen Anne chairs I painted fuchsia a couple of years ago, so I guess I need to get cracking with the sewing machine -- on those as well as that red slipcover on the camelback which is still put together with quilting tacks.  Oh well, I'll get to it when I get to it.  Rome wasn't built in a day, as my Mama used to say with great regularity.

This is where I left it.
The remaining shelf got filled in with two bins of magazines.
Probably this whole thing will change regularly.


Mercifully, the last presidential debate is over, although it is hard to use the term "presidential" at this point.  I didn't watch that one either.  I have noticed that a lot of bloggers say they are doing what I have done:  tune it out!  Read some good books, cook some good food, get out and do fun things.  Many of the shops will be having their Christmas open house events over the next couple of weekends after Halloween.  Really, I just can't stand the ugliness of the whole thing, and it is just mind-boggling to me how this state of affairs has come to be in our country.  It is impossible not to hear about it peripherally, but it is not necessary to follow it 24 hours a day.  

The Hat Lady in her new spot.


Please help me I'm Fall-ing!

Notes for this week's blog post:

We swapped a bunch of chairs from downstairs to the attic and vice versa; cleaned and painted the yellow wicker desk and white chippendale tea table (which also needed repairs again after being on the back porch for three years); vacuumed and waxed the two antique chairs.  

I made the Foo Dogs more orange-y, and gold leafed the bronze cap.
Now if I can just find the antique glaze, I will finish and put them in the bedroom.

Modified new lamps; made spaghetti.  

You can see these at Trader Bob's, located on Hwy 119
just off Hwy 280.  The store is right behind Chick-Fil-A and directly across from the new Brookwood Emergency Room.
(Birmingham, AL)

Unloading at Trader Bob's

That big truck was not ours.
They got in a huge shipment that day from a dealer.
Three of these trucks full!
My stuff is there on consignment.

This wicker set has been outside in an open air display --
I thought surely someone would have snapped it up by now!

That bargello chair, which was my mental health project when we first moved from Texas, has a little history, and below is something I found out about it.  When we redid it, I found the label on the bottom which I permanently affixed with poly-sealer to the underside of the frame.  We refinished it, stripping off an inch of old crackled yellowed white (no doubt lead-based) paint, and pulling at least 85 million old upholstery nails.  We stained the frame walnut after getting all the goopy paint off, and it appears from this old archived catalog found in the University of Wisconsin archives, that walnut was the original finish.  The bargello fabric was from a Dallas designer's fabric remainder sale.   I had an upholsterer put on it after we finished the frame.

Screenshots from catalogue of Phoenix Chair Company, Sheboygan, Wisconsin from University of Wisconsin Design archives.
Looks like one version in the center of the page might have had a footstool to match.

They not only made this chair for home use, but also for their contract division.
That meant they were sturdier constructed, and would hold up to heavy use in hotels and restaurants.
I assume this one was probably for the home, since there was only one.
I found it in a junk shop in Springville, AL, and that is a long way from Wisconsin.

Went to Trader Joe's BY MYSELF(!) and as usual found stuff I have never tried before.  I rarely get to go alone, and that is a treat because I can look to my heart's content.  If you have a retired husband, you know whereof I speak.

We took the yellow wicker desk and chair to antiques mall and found the place in a state of chaos, as they were accepting a very, very large new client.  Three big truck loads!  They accepted my desk and chair, but asked us pretty please to bring the other pieces tomorrow.  I scrounged in the attic for fall decor when I got home, and I almost passed out in the heat.  Our attic fan died a few weeks ago, and the AC man said he would put in a new one in the Spring.  I think maybe we should have just gone ahead because it is still very warm here, and the attics get SO HOT!

We dropped off the Victorian ladies' chair and the bargello Phoenix chair. The ladies at Trader Bob's are still trying to get all that huge shipment priced and set up.  Of course, I saw tons of stuff I wanted to take home, but I restrained myself.  They had gotten in a collection of really good milk glass, as well as a ton of very high end stuff from a huge house whose owners are downsizing and changing their style.  I may have to go back and get some of that milk glass.  Still trying to talk myself out of it.  I am trying to stay focused, though.  It is so, so tempting, all that cool stuff, so nearby, just waiting to be scooped up.  But then what would I do with it?  This why I am selling stuff in the first place!  Don't enable me, please.

I did my cardio workout at theY, then went grocery shopping with Sweet Husband after lunch.  Trader Bob's has put the yellow desk and chair outside in front with some other things from other dealers.  I hope someone snaps these things up, because there is so much more in the attic.  I nearly had a royal hissy fit today trying to find my Fall decorations in there.

Sweet Hubs has sprayed these two old pumpkins white.
I refuse to waste money on the real ones, anymore.

I guess this wheat could be more artfully arranged...

A couple of weeks ago I found Sweet Hubs a new iron table for his magazines and coffee cup.
Pier 1.  On sale.
This one is probably more durable than the oldie that has been here for a long time.

The Trader Joe's chicken salad was pretty decent on a sandwich -- after a good shake of Penzy's Sandwich Sprinkle (why does a lot of their food always need salt?), then piled it on some of that good multi-grain bread I got from the Farmer's Market and some buttah-lettuce.  Quite OK.

I found out about a new TV show on Lisa Thomson's blog with SJP on HBO called DIVORCE that I have set to record.  Another new book showed up -- SOUTHERN AS A SECOND LANGUAGE by Lisa Patton, as seen on Preppy Empty Nester's blog.  Now to find the time to read it.

Funny little neighborhood scene:  Late afternoon, Sweet Hubs looked out the window from upstairs where we were watching TV news, and started laughing.  He said, "Little E is running around in the yard  -- looks like he's wearing a shirt but no pants, scratching his bum!"  A little while later the doorbell rang, and when we saw it was our cute neighbor next door with both the kids, we hurried to open it.  Sure enough, Mama L was holding Little E, and the first thing she said, was, "Sorry he's not wearing pants -- he's had diaper rash all week!"  (Insert eye-roll.)  She had actually come to tell us Sweet Hubs had left the Emergency flashers on, and they were afraid it would kill the battery!  We had a good laugh about that, and the cute kid with no pants.  He's not quite two, and a real character!

FINALLY!  I located the boxes of what remains of my fall decor which is precious little.  Last year I got rid of most of it at that ill-fated neighborhood yard sale at a nearby church.  Sweet Husband, bless his little heart, periodically goes in the attic and cleans and organizes.  This drives me insane!!!  I will admit he always gets it clean and orderly, but I CANNOT FIND A BLASTED THING when he does this.  I might have said some Sunday School words in the last couple of days, but I apologized, and now I have put out some of what is left, mostly out on the back porch.

It is so HOT here, still, although pleasantly cool in the mornings.  Still no rain in sight.  We have fallen in love with the back porch all over again, once the mornings cooled off enough to sit out here for coffee and reading time.  We are in something of a drought right now, with some restrictions on watering, no burning, etc., but it is still mostly sunny and pleasant, just the way October in Alabama should be.

Added some more to the DR table.
Those gourds are not real -- they are old candles from PB.

We've done a little spray painting this week besides the furniture pieces.  One thing I sprayed is this tin -- Pirouline cookies came in it.  I save the occasional cookie tin of some sort for organizing things like sewing notions, odds and ends in the garage, etc.  I have occasionally decorated them and used them for gifting homemade goodies, too. When I was looking around for another pop of orange for the back porch, I spied this one in my stash, found the spray paint, and presto -- a pop of orange!  It now contains a pair of sunglasses, an emory board, reading glasses and a pocket pack of tissues.  Since it is airtight, it keeps these personal items from getting wet or dirty on the screened porch.

Electronics all messed up with some new update, which got them all out of sync somehow.   Got to the Y for my cardio in the a.m., and found Hulu was out of whack, no reading glasses, had forgotten password, so workout cut short (to 30 minutes).  Went home very frustrated, chewing nails.  Hubs said,  "Get changed, let's go to lunch."  (It took ALL DAY to get those so-called updates installed and everything back in sync.)  I just left them doing their thing.

We went to Pappadeaux, and I had a loverly lunch of half a shrimp po'boy and a cup of crawfish bisque.  Went on to the Summit, got into a store -- no wallet!  Had forgotten to take it from gym bag.  What a birdbrain am I.  Went back home, Sweet Hubs driving patiently through heavy Friday afternoon traffic, retrieved wallet, went back through the heavy traffic.  Sometimes I think the man is a Saint.

Still need something for those cachepots.
Back to the attic.

Found two pretty copper glass pumpkins on sale (20% off, double points!) at Pier 1 plus a Spice Cake candle (smells divine!).  This last, I popped into one of my Mama's little cut glass bowls.  Picked up cleanser at the Estee Lauder counter, plus great new shade of lipstick for Fall.  Probably the extent of my Fall wardrobe update.  I just can't get interested when it is still ...

...Still hot.  Still no rain.  I did wear my cute new Fall top and hat (kind of olive green, forgot to take a selfie) that Sweet Hubs treated me last week.  He told me I looked "Sassy."  I think it is his favorite new word because he says it a lot.

We woke up to clouds, heavy humidity, but no rain.  The weather prophet says none in the forecast, either.  I hit the Farmer's Market by myself -- only two more Saturdays left.  Once home, I worked on produce, cooked a bit and made some refrigerator salads.  Then I swapped out a bunch of dishes from the huge dish cabinet in the passage way from DR to Kitchen into the kitchen cabinets, and vice versa, while entertaining myself with an Aussie hospital soap opera on Hulu.  I do this about twice a year, so that I can keep all of them in rotation.  What's the point of having them if you don't use them?

I think I have created a monster.  Sweet Hubs has discovered spray paint, and when he gets on a roll, he sprays everything not nailed down.  This yellow table got cleaned and a fresh coat of paint, which it desperately needed.

It is still very, very overcast with not a drop of rain in sight.  I told Sweet Hubs to go wash the cars and do a rain dance while he was at it.  That ought to do it!

Made this pumpkin bread up for Sunday breakfast -- from the mix found at Trader Joe's, but I used butter instead of oil.  Also added finely chopped pecans and Vanilla.  Forgot to sub buttermilk instead of water.  This weird weather gives me serious brain fog.

This bread was quite good, considering that it began with a mix.

You might also check out that pumpkin butter at TJ's and compare it to Williams-Sonoma's.
I couldn't tell any difference -- except maybe about $10 less!!!

No estate sales this weekend, at least none of interest to me, so nothing to share there...

Low-light camera setting --
I kind of like the dreamy effect.

Some of these photos I tried with a low-light setting on my camera because it has been so overcast the last two days.  You already know I am not a great photographer anyway, but it was nice to find a setting which lets me avoid a flash.  I took some of those, too, but they were awful, got dumped.

Plans for next week:  to work on that buffet/hutch out in the garage.  Still thinking of offering it for sale.  Haven't decided yet.  Guess I will see how it turns out before I decide.  Still looking to take a couple of little getaways.   It is so hard to make the time!  Who told us that retirement years would keep us so busy?  I thought we would be "playing" all the time!


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