November 2009

I say part 1 because I took a LOT of pictures and I doubt I’ll have the patience to upload all that I want in one sitting. And as I have not been home to do any home improvement, I have to prove that I’ve been doing something.

“Home” may not really be accurate, as I only went to four years of high school in Fletcher, OK (population 1001). Home is pretty much where my parents are, and they’re still there, so yeah- home.

Ahh, Main St. It’s actually Cole St, but no one calls it that.

Here’s the jail:

And here’s the pizza place:

Well, it was the pizza place before a windstorm blew the roof in. Cute little park though, huh?

My parents’ house is different every time I go there. My mom “multitasks” in the same way I do, in that she starts a project and gets distracted and starts a couple more. I hate that about myself, but I love it about her. It keeps things fun. I loved walking around the house and seeing new things, and old things rearranged.

Here’s my old bedroom:

Most of those pieces are ones we’ve had for as long as I can remember and I like how she has them arranged in her homey-cutesy, but not over the top craft closet kind of way. I love that bed and the quilt, and the bedskirt.

I love this old sewing chair she has beside the bed:

These kitchen canisters belonged to my great-grandmother:

And this thing is so bizarre but I can’t help loving it:

I opened the closet and saw my old prom dress (made by my mom and my friend’s mom) staring me down:

I’m happy to report that I did still fit into it, but no, you will not be seeing any pictures of that.

My dad gave me the grand tour of the yard, as if I’d never seen it before. Well, it does look quite a bit different from the way it did when I lived here.

The bench on the left is an old ski lift.

Neat little stone bench and steps:

This is my dad’s method for moving rocks by himself:

I did a few backflips on the ol’ tramp:

My dad claimed he had been saving these just for me:

Then we went out back, where my dad’s huge garden is. Here he is puffing up his chest with pride:

Carrots in November!

And fresh parsley too!

We lived in a log cabin in Colorado for nine years before moving to Oklahoma. Our house was right on the river, and the railroad ran on the opposite side of the river. We used to cross an old sheep bridge all the time and explore the other side, and we collected a lot of these old insulators around telephone poles. It makes me happy that my parents still have a bunch of them around their yard.

And I can’t NOT show you the alligator:

which my dad insisted be hauled from Utah to Oklahoma by my mom in a sedan. It was hanging halfway out of the trunk for 1200 miles.

Home was nice, but as always, not long enough. Thanksgiving was the next day but for now it’s bedtime.

Thanksgiving was a blast. The RV was a riot, I ate until I couldn’t move, went canoeing on the lake, bonded with my sobrinos, convinced the niece that can talk that I’m the best aunt (no ‘fense other aunts), and fruitlessly went fishing. We enjoyed a Thanksgiving spread that wasn’t missing a thing, despite the fact that it was all prepared ahead and in the RV.

My parents’ house is always fun too, though I wish I had more time here. I took pictures of a few of my mom’s cute things and their cool yard, but my camera is dead now so I can’t load them. I hope everyone had a lovely holiday!

… will involve one of these:

ten people, and a dog. And yes, there will be a turkey, stuffin’, potatoes, the whole deal. And more pies than people, of course (we may have already polished off a pumpkin yesterday).

Friday, I made delicious black bean dip. It contained avocados, black beans, corn, green chiles, and copious amounts of cilantro. Mmm. Mmm, until I started seeing some of that cilantro regurgitated back into the sink from the drain!


I whined something about Drano, and Stan said I should try a plunger. I whined that I don’t have one. Then that sweetheart got under the sink (which was full of greasy cilantro-y water at the time) with a 5-gallon bucket, and unscrewed the P-trap (the thing that catches your jewelry if you drop it down the drain). The water gushed into the bucket, and when the sink was empty, he reached into the bottom of the bucket and pulled these out:

Here’s a closer look.

Stan looked at me scoldingly. “That knife is not mine!” I defended. Hence the name of the post- the knife is yet another hidden treasure that my house has given me. That rusty old knife was just waiting for a companion, in this case a hardened piece of grout, to come along so the two of them could clog up my sink together. And yes, the grout is my fault. Who knew that grout could harden long after you’d washed it down the drain? Okay I knew, but it’s just so convenient to do so. I’ve learned my lesson.

Drain works like a charm now.

I changed my mind on the dark stain for my dressers. I thought I should do something a little more fun, since I was starting with such a blank slate:

I thought I could mix white paint with dark stain and it might look kinda cool. So I settled on white stripes with gray outlines, with the rest of it stained dark. It was hard to get a nice even line.

And it was a pain, because I had to tape three separate times. I was excited to pull the last of the tape off, but I was less excited when I actually saw the finished product:

What is it that’s rubbing me the wrong way about this? I liked the white and gray stripes before I put the stain on… I thought I would like the stain… is it better than leaving it plain? Hmm… it somehow looks like it belongs in an 8 year-old boy’s room… but why?

Finally, Stan picked up the drawer, held it over his shoulder and said “Go long!” That’s it! it looks like a football! I knew something deep within me was rejecting this, and now I know why. Although Stan did find this beauty that would go quite nicely in my room should I decide to keep them like this.

It even has a “foot” rest, he said. Hilarious.

Needless to say, the dressers are still a work in progress. I’ll keep you “post”-ed. As in blog post. Hilariousx2.

A while back, I featured this picture and told you that it was a sneak peak at my next project. Well that wasn’t entirely true, as other projects, like the tile, overtook this one and it has been sitting in my dining room for a few days now. The project is figuring out a color for two of these:

and gettin’ to it! I think I’ve decided on a rich dark stain. I’ve seen a lot of lavender rooms with all white furniture, which I think is pretty, but I’ve also seen them with dark wood. I think I would prefer some darker colors in the room, as there is already a lot of white and pastel. I also bought some of these blinds:

which are “semi-private” (um, okay) but I figure that’s better than the sheer-ish Ikea curtains I currently have. Plus they were about the least expensive window treatments I could find, and bonus: they’re bamboo, which is more environmentally friendly (the packaging says so!). I think they’ll go nicely with some dark stained dressers.

I looked all over the classifieds for some reasonable used small dressers/large nightstands, but to no avail. Maybe that’s an item that people just tend to keep. So I found these super cheapo Ikea children’s dressers, which I’m planning to use both as dressers and as nightstands. So they’re drightstands. Or nightssers. They are really tiny in terms of actually fitting clothes inside, but as you know, my goal is to keep my clothing to a minimum. I think I can do it.

So, I’m not sure when that project will get done, but it would be awesome if it could be this weekend before I go to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving. It would also be awesome to show you the completely finished bathroom by then, but that might be a bit of a stretch.

Here’s a refresher shot of my bedroom:

And before that:

Before that:

And I wish I had it from the same angle, but here’s a different view of the ultimate before:


So what do you think of my drightstands? Also, I have black curtain rods. Does that mean I need to have black hardware on the drightstands? (Drightstand drightstand drightstand.)

When I got home from work last night, all I really wanted to do was watch the Colbert Report on Hulu. And eat leftover carbonara, and maybe daydream a little. But nay, I did not give in! Thanks to Stan helping me finally lay the rest of the bathroom tiles (click here to see where it needed patching and touch up), I had just enough motivation to finish the grouting today. It was a bit of a pain reaching around the sink and the toilet (I do love some good up-close-and-personal quality time with a toilet) and hard to fit the rubber grout float in those tight spaces, but I may have cheated a little bit and just shoved some grout in those spots with my fingers. Trust me, no one will ever look back there, unless maybe they lose an earring. And anyway, it looks fine. Here’s the finished product! (Well, it will be finished after I clean it up a bit and caulk at the base of the tub.)




If you’re wondering why there are cans of tomatoes in the picture, we used them to weigh down some of the tiles just to be sure they stuck. Then we ate them.

I was kind of at a loss for what to do with that big hole that was left behind when the toilet had to be moved. I don’t own a saw (my brother usually brings one for big projects) so I couldn’t really cut a piece of wood to go in there, so I just filled it with thinset mortar (uhh I hope it works):

That’s my hand chipping away at the half tiles that remained. Which brings me to the blood part of the post:

I guess I got really into it and scraped/split up my knuckles a bit. Sorry, I know it’s gross. There was more.

I’ll be able to post finished bathroom pics soon- I can just feel it!

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