29 May 2015

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES?

  William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
                      from Macbeth
A dark Cave. In the middle, a Caldron boiling. Thunder.
                Enter the three Witches.
       1 WITCH.  Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
       2 WITCH.  Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd.
       3 WITCH.  Harpier cries:—'tis time! 'tis time!
       1 WITCH.  Round about the caldron go;
    In the poison'd entrails throw.—
    Toad, that under cold stone,
    Days and nights has thirty-one;
    Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
    Boil thou first i' the charmed pot!
       ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
       2 WITCH.  Fillet of a fenny snake,
    In the caldron boil and bake;
    Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
    Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
    Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,—
    For a charm of powerful trouble,
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
       ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
       3 WITCH.  Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
    Witches' mummy; maw and gulf
    Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark;
    Root of hemlock digg'd i the dark;
    Liver of blaspheming Jew;
    Gall of goat, and slips of yew
    Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse;
    Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips;
    Finger of birth-strangled babe
    Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,—
    Make the gruel thick and slab:
    Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
    For the ingrediants of our caldron.
       ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
       2 WITCH.  Cool it with a baboon's blood,
    Then the charm is firm and good.


Getting a little highbrow on you today!  Seriously, though, for the last couple of days I have had an ungodly (for me) number of hits on my blog.  I cannot figure out where they are coming from.  I suspect a nogoodnick.  Anyone else having a similar situation?



The living room floor project is almost at an end (we hope).  


 We got all the pieces fastened down with glue (and nails where necessary), and discovered that we had a squeaker.  So we pulled up that one and realized that there was a sunken spot in the subfloor we had missed while leveling.  There was no more luan in the house, so the husband got creative.  I heard rummaging in the attic, and next thing I know he proudly announced that this one no longer squeaked.  He used ....   



...this!  A couple of flaps off an old cardboard box did the trick.  





Here, he is trying to remedy a mistake the Lowe's folks made in the cuts.  I suspect that more than one person made all those cuts.  We discovered while laying them out that some of the pieces were not exactly two feet and others were a fraction over.  It left some little spots that had to be filled in with a 3/8" strip taken off another square.  See left square above.



 I used this white wood filler over all the countersunk nail holes and to camouflage some of those areas where the little strip was added.  Tomorrow it will get sanded, and the next step will be to fix the paint and then seal.  


Here, Sweet Husband was using some of the leftovers to fill in the closet floor in the adjacent pass through hall.  We need another sheet of luan and another sheet of plywood to do this section of the floor.  We just laid a bamboo mat over the subfloor for now till we finish the living room, and we'll finish this after we take a little break.  

Tomorrow we have to go do a little shopping for two vent covers, some new thresholds and a few other items.  


We are pretty pleased with ourselves, but I will tell you this:  this floor was a lot of work and probably not for the faint of heart.  I will talk more about that after we are completely done with it.  While much less expensive than the options we were offered by the flooring people, and we did save a lot of money, it was more expensive than we thought it would be.  When I do a final post on this, I will share the breakdown of the cost and a few things to watch out for.





23 May 2015

NICE TO KNOW I WAS MISSED



I was surprised to see that I was missed during my recent experiment.  Really.  I always assume I just kind of blend into the woodwork and no one knows I am there.
First we tried the diagonal placement, my first choice.  However, in the interest of staying married, I decided that it would be better to place them straight across.  There are just too many cuts and weird angles this way, which is why installers charge you so much to do this!

Here are some photos of the last couple of days' work on the floor:
Here, the first three rows are glued
the flower pots are to hold down a problem area

painting the fist half white

painting the second half black

uh oh

time to shim

trying to decide the best way to deal with the saggy floor

Dryfitted over some sheets of luan

still required some shims


Yikes!  Suck in that gut!
I am nailing in the corners.



I may never be able to straighten myself up again!  The thigh bone is connected to the hip bone, yada yada yada, but will it ever work again???


I have pounded nails all day, determined to make this blooming floor level!  Still, we have the back one-third section to go, plus the little adjacent pass-through.  Tomorrow the furniture gets moved to the fireplace end, and the rest goes down.  Unless we decide to play hooky, of course!  Geez, even God rested on the 7th day!

I am too old for this s**t.  Who does this at my age?  




A GREAT IDEA THAT HAS NOT WORKED WELL






Recently I decided to try making this blog private.  I read all the instructions, combed through all the chit-chat on Google forums, and when I thought I had a grasp of what to do and the ramifications, I changed the settings so that only invited guests could see the blog.


I'll get to an explanation of why I did it shortly.  More important, the whole thing did NOT work the way it was supposed to.  First, the list is limited to 100, and I had a really hard time choosing the first 99 (because I actually count as one).  Most of these invitees did not reply to the invitation.  It may have gone into their junk mail, or into a mailbox they never look at.  I understand that because I have a few I never look at either.  Then, I started hearing from some of those who accepted and jumped through all the hoops, that they couldn't see the blog.  Also, it would not update on anyone's blogroll, and it would not come to their email either because the feed mechanisms do not recognize it.


So, what's a girl to do?  Snatch herself bald-headed?  Don sackcloth and ashes?  I set up another blog that was public, thinking I would just keep it very general and impersonal, and keep it focused on color.  It went over like a lead balloon.  People like to read blogs where they get a sense of who the writer is.  We form an opinion, favorable or not, of the writer of the blog, and maybe a connection is felt or sometimes a real friendship in real life is formed.  


Why did I do this in the first place?  Several reasons.  First, we all are aware of how blogging has changed over the last two or three years.  A lot of us "old timers" do not like these changes at all.  I am not going to enumerate those changes here because I have done so before, but I am happy to see that others are starting to join the chorus.  Quite a few of my personal favorites have just quietly gone away, and that is sad, like losing a friend.



Second, various people I have known over the course of my life have always had a bizarre fascination with me and everything I do.  (God only knows why -- I am really not that interesting.)  While I was experimenting with Facebook and other social media, some of them discovered me.  A good many of them found the blog through those connections -- or the omniscient Google. I no longer use any social media except Google+ and Pinterest.  I did sign up for Instagram, but I really haven't quite figured out how it works.  I think I have managed to post about three photos including this one.



I was really starting to get unnerved about some of these people from days gone by reading about my everyday life as I blogged it.  As I pointed out in an earlier post, sometimes we tend to overshare on our blogs because we get so comfortable here, kind of like settling into our favorite chairs with the phone for a chat with a good friend, and we forget that anyone, anywhere in the whole wide world, can read what we are writing.  A blog is not the same thing as writing in your personal diary, either.  Some things are best shared only with your priest or your therapist.
   


The third thing has to do with the sheer number of blogs out there now.  Everybody and their damn dog has a blog now.  There is such a glut of information on every conceivable topic, and so we tend to fall into familiar groups where we find a level of comfort and sometimes don't branch out to see what else is out there.  Those of us who are not interested in turning our blogs into a moneymaking venture are more often than not dismissed as not worth bothering with because we don't feel compelled to blog on a schedule.  



I long ago stopped participating in a lot of the link-up parties because a lot of the time I don't have anything appropriate to link.  If I do then I might, which is the reason I created the COLOR MY WORLD blog.  For instance, quite a while ago I stopped buying tons of dishes I don't need and have no room to store, so there went that tablescaping thing out the window.  Until recently when we started a long overdue revamp of our living room, I didn't really have any noteworthy home projects to share, either, so I couldn't really go to those before and after link-ups.  I had to laugh when I read on an old friend's blog recently that she was a bit baffled by all those girls who run around till they are red in the face just to have something to blog about every day.    My sentiments, exactly.


It is nice to have a big following and be popular, but it is not the end of the world if you don't. I have made some nice friends through this blog over the last nearly eight years.  They do tend to come and go, and it is sad when they fold up their tents and move on.  


I have just imported the contents of the COLOR MY WORLD blog into this one, and soon I will be deleting that one.  This one is going to be opened up for public consumption again, for a while anyway, and we will see how it goes.  You shouldn't be surprised, however, if one day I just quietly go away, too.  


 The photos you have been looking at are what's going on in my little world.  No excitement, just living my nice quiet life.












19 May 2015

PROGRESS AND THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SIGHT

Hello, little Moroccan tea table!
Where have you been all my life?


Goodbye sh***y old carpet!
Why have you been in my life so long?

Today Sweet Husband ripped out the old carpet.  He is a machine, I tell you.  I, however, am lounging on the back porch, smelling the sweet perfume of the gardenias and ligustrum.  



Lowe's brought our wood "tiles" this morning.  After getting a rude shock at Home Depot over the cost of installing the tile we had chosen, we decided to regroup.  I really wanted a black and white floor anyway.  You might remember that we have black background wallpaper in the dining room; black and white paint in the foyer with plans to do that floor, too; a new black mantel; and black granite and appliances in the kitchen.  There is also black in the rooms upstairs.  

With that thread of black running throughout the house, I decided that it was now or never to get that classic black and white "tile" look that I have always wanted.  I Googled how to do floors with plywood, and when I thought I was well enough informed, I broached the subject.  Sweet Husband immediately got on board, especially with the low cost, and fortunately he doesn't mind the hard work.  He's physically very fit, and having retired at 50, he frankly doesn't have enough to do all the time.  Therefore, I like to keep him busy.;>D


this is the wrong side, stacked on the pallet
I worked out the gameplan on paper as I always do before starting a project.  The room is about 320 square feet, and I worked out that we would need 10 sheets of 4' x 8'  plywood cut into 8 2-foot squares for a total of 80.  At Lowe's they offer a top-grade 3/4" plywood that is already sanded and primed.  They cut it for us at 25 cents per cut (the first two cuts are free), and they delivered it on a pallet via a flatbed truck this morning.



We will paint half of it black and half of it white before laying it down.  We are using Behr Marquee paint again, being so impressed with how it performed on the walls   and woodwork.  The pieces will be glued down with SubFloor adhesive.  The tutorials I have read suggest spacing the pieces with a dime so that there is a small amount of space for the wood to expand and contract.

We bought some shims, too, because this subfloor is not level, and if we have any hair pulling, I imagine it will be over this!  At any rate, I cannot wait to get this all done.  I have no idea where most of my stuff is, because Sweet Husband stowed it.  Somewhere.  It may never be seen again...



The little tray table from this past weekend's estate sale is finished up and ready to use, except for hammering out those pesky little dents.  I painted it red with Americana Decor Chalky Paint, and accented it with my gold leaf paint pen.  Then I sealed it with their clear wax.  The diameter is 30" so I am still not sure if it will be in the LR or on the back porch.  That one out there is bigger at 36".

Thank heavens for the new Chick Fil-A which recently opened up very close by.  Who has time to cook with all this going on?


And here is the world's most beautiful sight:
the nasty old carpet is gone!
Good riddance!

(At least in here.)

17 May 2015

WHAT'S THE HAPS?

Contrary to popular rumor, I am still alive.  We are living in a state of disarray with the LR deconstructed because the whole flooring game plan has blown up in our faces.



In brief, in the process of trying to order flooring, we got shuffled among three different people at Home Depot, all very nice, but also very inexperienced.  We have already had the measurer come out, and when the breakdowns for the spaces came in, they were about four times the original estimate.  It is back to the drawing board for now.  We have kicked it around, considering everything from wall-to-wall seagrass to sheets of plywood painted white. 



I have now decided what I am going to do in the LR which will flow better with the plans for the foyer/hall/stairs/landing, but I just have to make sure I can get someone to do the cutting for me.  We plan to do the install ourselves.  You need to stay tuned, because it will be a miracle if we don't get a divorce before the house is put back to rights.  Neither of us is liking this living in chaos, and it makes us both very grouchy.  



Some things are just to keep us sane, like visiting a promising estate sale.  We have been to a few good sales recently, and I have actually found some specific things I was looking for.  We scored this mirror a couple of weeks back:




Sometimes in the midst of the craziness, the fates align and the gods smile.  Yesterday, this Moroccan tray table (with a solid copper tray top that has polished up perfectly) popped up in a private estate sale.  The base is getting a paint job -- yup, it is red.  



I still haven't decided if it will go in the LR or on the back porch.  If the latter, I will conscript that big glass and brass one on a stand and bring it into the LR with a new color on the base.  There are a few small dents that I tried to knock out with Daddy's old rubber mallet, but I must be doing something wrong.  Oh well, they give it character since I am sure it is the real deal.



Speaking of character, the sale we hit yesterday was really interesting.  The lady passed about a year ago we were told, and she was of two old Alabama families, the Bankheads of Jasper and one other, maybe Crowe?  At any rate, there were many, many items from all over the world, and I do believe that this table was probably found on her travels.  Some items in the sale had actually been on loan at one time to the Birmingham Museum of Fine Art.  However, I couldn't afford any of those.  Re this tray table, I remember when I was growing up, many military families had these tables, having been posted all over the world.  Did I ever mention that my husband was conceived in Morocco, and that his older sister was born there?  Their father was military.  Just a little trivia for you.



Recently we have found various African/tribal artifacts for Sweet Husband's bathroom.  I am going to build him a shelf or shadowbox of some sort to group them together because they are growing numerous.  When this project is finished I will show you what we have found, along with his little collection of Buddhas in his den.

This is a shot of my red lilies and has nothing to do with anything, except perhaps you can sort of see where this color scheme is going?  I just felt like showing it to you.
I also scored a set of 12 large heavy white damask napkins yesterday.  I soaked them overnight in OxyClean and they came out snowy white.  There were several sets, but these have the Greek Key pattern that I like around the border with a rose pattern superimposed.

Dinner is underway, and I am getting hungry.  On the menu is Teriyaki fish fillets from Costco, Mexican squash I found at Sprouts (curious about it, but I just tasted and is only short zucchini haha), loaded baked potato salad casserole (more on this in a minute) and Meyer Lemon Poundcake with strawberries and raspberries and ice cream.  That casserole is an attempt to salvage some Loaded Baked Potato Salad from Costco.  The damn potatoes are half raw!  It is very annoying to buy a large container of something, and it is not the way it is supposed to be.  I decided to try baking it and call it a casserole and see what happens.  (Note:  it wasn't great and contains WAY too much fat.  Garbage.)  

The mantel has since had a coat of satin sealer put on the high parts of the carving, but not down in the low spots.  Sweet Husband touched up all my little misses.  See how we extended the hearth on each end?

You are probably tired of my rambling by now, and I can't say that I blame you.  In conclusion, here is the photo of the finished mantel and the wall color -- Fresh Sprout.  I do love this green.  I will love it even more when I get this ratty carpet out, my new creation down, and the furnishings put back!  


Yes, my mind does make some sudden U-turns sometimes...









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