A blog about "nothing"!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cleaning: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

This week I am doing a deep clean of my living room.  I normally do this every spring, but I put it off knowing that we would have some mess from the bathroom remodel.  Wow, am I ever glad I waited!  Our living room isn't huge, but I knew that the dust and dirt would stir up my allergies, so I mentally divided the room up in 6 different things/areas to clean.  Today is section 4 which is the wall where our bookshelves and entertainment center are.  Lots of little things on those shelves that will need wiped down and cleaned too, last night I at least had the foresight to put some of the glassware and pottery pieces in the dishwasher.

The Good:  We sure have a lot of DVD's and VHS tapes as well as CD's.  And I had to dust each and every one of them-yuck!  Some weren't bad as they were in storage bins but others were just gross.  As I was cleaning these I came to the decision that when our Amazon Prime membership expires at the end of the year, I'm going to hold off renewing it and we are going to watch all of these and at the end of each viewing, decide if it's worth keeping or donate it.  The good is that we will save some money by not paying for a streaming service while doing this!

The Bad:  Too many books!  But not as many as we used to have.  I really went through them a few years ago before we moved, but I realized that they needed some further purging.  When I was done I had a box of books that I immediately took to the Goodwill before I could change my mind.  With the advent of digital media we've bought way fewer books than we have in the past and now I have them all in the small built in bookcase.

The Ugly:  When my mom passed away, I ended up with her photo album.  Things were kind of crazy at that point, I just took it home, set it on a shelf and a few months later when we moved stuck it on a new shelf.  Yesterday as I was cleaning where it was I decided to look at it.  Good thing I did!  It's one of those old "magnetic" style albums (remember those?) and it is disintegrating.  Fortunately it hasn't affected the photos much, so I'm going to systematically pull them all out and put them in something else that is safer.  There is even some mold in the album, not sure where that came from, but definitely don't want that around any more. 

The really good thing is that we've done a really good job of purging things we don't need, use or like over the years, so other than the box of books, I really haven't had much to get rid of.  Most of what we have are things that have personal meaning-photographs, mementos from travels and things that we really like.  It makes me feel good knowing that while some days I feel like I haven't accomplished much in our purge, I really have made a ton of progress.  It's coming along.

Tomorrow I'm going to scrub the area rug, kind of looking forward to that because it means I either have to find something else to do afterwards or go somewhere since I don't want to walk on it for several hours.  I haven't decided which it will be yet.  Saturday I will take the curtains down and wash them and clean the giant window.  The only reason I don't already have that done is because I need help taking the curtains down and putting them back up.  I'm also going to make my husband help me rotate the area rug, definitely something else I can't do by myself.  Then we will be done for a while!  :)

Next week I'm going to tackle the kitchen and the dining room.  Both of them ended up with some dust and dirt from the remodel, but not nearly as much as the living room because of the way the house is set up.    Thank heavens I was able to close the doors to the bedrooms!!! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Photo of the Week, July 28, 2014

Another photo from our 2009 trip to Ireland:
This particular trip we concentrated on the Western area of Ireland.  This photo was taken in the area of the Dingle Peninsula.  I just love Ireland and the Dingle Peninsula is probably in my top 5 areas that we've been to, it is just gorgeous.  Only one problem-tons of fuscia plants growing, they grow like hedgerows there.  I'm HIGHLY allergic to them, didn't even think about it until my eyes started itching and swelling up.  I spent our drive out of the Dingle area with my eyes closed, thank heavens I got quite a few photos before that.  Ooops!!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Have you tried these?

I've seen a lot of ads for the new Lancaster chews and I've been curious about them.  I love caramels, these looked really good to me.  I hadn't been anywhere lately that had them, on Wednesday I needed to run a few errands and was excited when I came across them on an endcap.  First I was going to get just the plain caramel, then I noticed a caramel/vanilla swirl--and then vanilla AND RASPBERRY--decision made!  These are so good, I am addicted.  They remind me of a chewy version of the LifeSavers cream candies they used to make, anyone else remember those?
Not much going on around here at the moment, I was sick earlier this week.  Nothing serious that some antibiotics wouldn't take care of but it definitely slowed me down.  Mostly I've been getting things sorted in the new bathroom and working on getting my energy back so I can do some serious cleaning around here.  Now that all of our busy stuff is done and over with I can get back to some serious Ebay stuff, I really need to because the box collection is taking over my spare bedroom!  I have some larger items that I needed boxes for and then I got side tracked with everything that has been going on and they just kept "reproducing".

The garden project has been interesting to say the least.  The weather has not been cooperative at all.  We've had so much rain that my lettuce has been a horrible disappointment.  The same day I bought the Lancaster chews I did find some lettuce seeds so I may replant.  My peppers are doing okay, hopefully next week we will have our first dinner of those.  The onions are doing terrible thanks to an over-zealous tomato plant that has taken over and is shading them.  Hopefully all of the little tomatoes and buds on there will produce something, we will be eating tomatoes in everything in a few weeks if it does.  I planted cherry, roma and beefsteak tomatoes this year, we've had samplings off the cherry and roma plants, the beefsteak is the one that has turned in to the monster plant.  Some of them are getting some size to them, so I'm thinking we might get to try them soon.  Mmmmm!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Photo of the Week-July 21, 2014

This photo was taken at Quin Abbey in Ireland, July 2009.  We just kind of "found" it on our way to something else and decided to stop, so glad we did.  This was one of those days where we just drove around an area of Western Ireland and when we found something interesting, we checked it out. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The big reveal, ta-da!!!

It's done!!!!!!  Everything was finished up by the contractors yesterday about 3:30.  I took my first shower in my new bathroom at 6:15!  It was wonderful AND relaxing.  I just wish it would have worked as far as helping me sleep, I've had a terrible time sleeping through the night the last two nights, not sure what is up with that.  I'd better sleep tonight or I'm going to be one of those people no one wants to be around tomorrow.

Anyhow-thought I would share a couple more pictures of how bad things were before we started:
I put this one in so you could get a better view of the light fixture on the wall above the mirror and the mirror itself-the only two things we kept for the new bathroom.  I love that giant mirror for putting on makeup and doing my hair, and the light fixture is kind of retro and has 6 (yes 6) bulbs in it, so it's like being in a Hollywood dressing room when they are all working.  Oh, and the ceiling was kept, but they textured it so it isn't pink anymore ;)

 Not only were these pink tiles ugly, but they periodically liked to join us in the shower!!!  The toilet paper holder was falling off too because the piece of wood it was attached to had let go from the wall since it was only glued.  Argh!!!

Here you can see the lovely mess made from not having a ceiling fan!!  Throw in some incorrectly installed tiles, and you have a really big mess.  Especially in a 1950's/60's bathroom that was never intended to have a shower in it in the first place.  The contractor said they see a lot of this, and because of the moisture damage, it's best to tear it all out and start over so that there is no chance of mold or other things rearing their ugly head.  Plus the kind of shower stall we put in actually anchors to the wall studs and you put the dry wall up around it. 

This is where we were at as of Saturday--toilet in so we could use it (very nice to have for those late night potty runs!), shower in but not functional, walls in but not painted.  Still needed the flooring too.
And here we are!!!!!
The green is a little brighter than our inspiration photo, but it was a compromise.  I had chosen everything, so I let my husband have some of a say in the paint color.  He loves green, and since it was close to what I had in mind I figured what the heck.  I know it can always be painted somewhere down the road if we get tired of it.  At first I was like "whoa!" once they got it on the walls, but now I really like it, especially now that we have some of the other things in there.  I need to figure out what I would like to put above the toilet besides just that towel bar, I'm trying to think about some of my photos I've done and what would work well there.
This is the shower stall--it is just slightly deeper than a standard size bathtub and just as wide.  We still have one grab bar/towel bar to go across the wall, if you look close you can see a pencil line that is a marking for them when they go to put it in.  Unfortunately it was out of stock (figures) but it supposed to be in in the next week or so.  They are going to be renovating the bathroom in the house right next door to us in the next several weeks, so it all worked out.
I just had to share with you  picture of the shower head.  All I could think of was Kramer from "Seinfeld" when I saw it.  It is very nice and the pressure is adjustable.  I also was excited to find out that they made grab bars that matched all of our fittings, it was worth the couple of extra bucks so that it looked finished instead of institutional.  I'm not thrilled about getting older and installing these things, but now was the time to do it, and I figured I might as well make it look good too.
Today I spent most of my day putting all the stuff back in the closet.  I had thrown out a lot when we emptied it, today I threw out even more!  Amazing all the stuff you accumulate, and we've only been here 4 years.  Some of it was stuff we moved with us, and it's all sorted and organized now.  Or in the trash.
It was a week and a half of mess and hassle, but so worth it.  Hopefully one of those things we won't ever need to do again either.  I figure if the previous one in it's badly assembled state lasted more than 50 years, we ought to be good until we die.  We'd better be!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Photo of the Week-July 14

Getting the week off to a good start by actually doing this on Monday-wow!  Now that I have two blogs, I decided that I need to get on a schedule as far as posting on both of them.  This is a beginning.

My husband and I are both fans of Indy Car racing, we've been to the Indianapolis 500 sooooo many times we've both lost count.  Another track we liked going to for Indy racing was Michigan.  Unfortunately they no longer run there, I hope they eventually bring it back.  Michigan is a nice track, easy to get around and truthfully not a bad seat in the place.  This was a pit stop of one of my favorite drivers, Dario Franchitti.  He had to retire last year due to a serious injury, but is still involved in motor sports from the sidelines.  It has been hard for me this year knowing he isn't driving, but I'd rather he be healthy. 

Bathroom remodel is progressing nicely, I should have photos of a finished room to share at the end of the week.  Getting excited now!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Photo of the Week

With everything going on this week, I almost forgot to post this!  I took this a couple of years ago at our old house.  I do miss all the lilies we had, if our timing been better we would have thought to dig up a few of the bulbs and bring them to the new house.  Oh well.
Hope everyone is having a great week.  The bathroom remodel project is moving along, they are hanging the new drywall today.  It's starting to look a bit like a room again instead of a bomb site. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Cough cough, hack hack!

Today is a big day in our house--the beginning of our bathroom remodel.  When we bought this house we knew we would be doing this, just weren't sure how soon.  I was not a fan of the color scheme and it had a few issues.  We didn't realize there were other problems, but we had resigned ourselves to just using the darned thing until it wasn't usable anymore. 

In May we discovered the bathtub was leaking in to the basement!  It was time.  Luckily in the four years we've lived here we've thought about things we would like to have, what we didn't like and so on, so it was just getting things in motion.  We contacted a contractor (say that 5 times fast!) and got it all set up.  I had a hard time sleeping last night just thinking about what I still needed to do before they got here. 

This is how it looked this morning:
Isn't that just...hideous?!  The tiles aren't even real tile, they are plastic.  And black countertop in a bathroom is a nightmare, it shows every water spot, toothpaste, powder--ugh!!!  I'm not even showing you the state of the shower with missing tiles and some more ready to jump.  It was bad, really bad.
This is sort of what we are shooting for, I found this on Pinterest.  Our vanity won't be that big because we don't have the space, and we are keeping the giant mirror and the existing light fixture because we actually did like them.  That's all we kept.
I never thought I would consider painting any room a pale green but there was just something about this that really caught my eye.  Hopefully a week from Friday it will be done.  Thank goodness for the downstairs bathroom so we can still shower and use the toilet!
This is what our bathroom looked like as of lunchtime today:
Thank heavens I hadn't done my spring/summer cleaning, I knew that this was going to create a lot of dirt. We now have a thin layer of dust on everything that we hadn't sealed off.  Glad I waited!  My allergies are already stirred up, definitely will be taking some meds tonight.  The bathtub is now gone too, they actually cut it in half and they pulled up the flooring.   Progress!
I will post more pictures, definitely ones of the finished product.  Excuse me now while I go blow my nose.  :0)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Photo of the Week/Happy Independence Day!

Since tomorrow is Independence Day in the US, I thought this fireworks photo would be appropriate:

Fireworks are one of my all time favorite things to photograph--I took several hundred photos in this particular session alone.  Digital is wonderful for anyone wanting to learn how to do them, I learned back in the days of film and this is so much easier! 

My doll blog is up and running too, there isn't much there yet, but hope to have it going full strength over the next few weeks.  Check it out at Say Hello To My Little Friends

Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Target, I am so done with you!

Several weeks ago I posted about a trip to Target that left a bad taste in my mouth.  In all honesty, most of the issues I had were not Target's fault, but the fault of bad parenting.  However, since that incident, I've had a continuing issue with Target that has completely ruined my opinion of a company that I once really liked. 

The original trip was to buy a doll armoire and an accessory set that had a sewing theme.  First off, the doll armoire was seriously damaged once I got it home.  The box had some marks on it but I didn't think much about it, wouldn't most people assume that there would be more protecting something that large and heavy besides just the cardboard box?  WRONG!  All that was "protecting" it was a thin sheet of foam.  The following morning I drove back to the Target store I purchased it at, and when I told the lady at the service desk why it had been damaged, she was as appalled as I was at all the more protection the item had.  She even suggested that I write a letter to the company that made it, but now that I have had further experience with Target and their lack of caring, I've decided writing a letter would be akin to spitting in the wind.  (This is an item made specifically for Target.)

The other item, the sewing set, was not available at this Target, despite the fact that their website said it was.  Hmmm.  I checked the website before I left, and I checked it after I returned home and it still said it was there.  It wasn't.  Not a big deal, I'll try another Target store.  I had to go to another one anyhow to repurchase the armoire that I wanted since the damaged one was the last one they had.  I had checked inventory at that store before I decided to go there and it said that both items were in stock.  The armoire was there, but once again, no sewing set.  This was getting annoying, so I sent a letter to Target explaining that I felt that they needed to look in to their online inventory program, that there was obviously an issue with a very detailed explanation of my experience.  This is what I got back:
We know you’ve come to expect great guest service from Target® and Target.com and we’re sorry that you had difficulty using our 'Find it in store" feature online.
Here's some information that will help you. Were you aware that store can hold an item for you?
You can click the Find in Store button to see whether an item is available at a store near you. Just enter your ZIP code or city and state and click Search to see a list of stores near you that have the item in stock. If you need directions, click See the Map and Details.
You can also give the store a call to confirm the item's availability and find out if they can hold it for you until the end of the day. To make things easier, give the team member the nine-digit DPCI number when you call.
We’re doing everything we can to improve our site and the service we give you. Your comments are a big part of helping us get better.

Seriously?  Did they even read what I sent them?  I DID use the "Find In Store" button.  It told me it was there--it wasn't.  And the option of "store pickup"--not available on this item.  I even gave them the item number in the e-mail I sent.  Instead of actually looking in to this fail, you try to belittle me?  Gee thanks.

About a week later I had a trip near the second store I tried so I decided I would look again, checking inventory before I left, according to the website, it was there.  And as before they didn't have it.  What made it even worse was seeing the disappointment in a little girl there who was looking for another item that she had also checked online for and not finding it.  It broke my heart hearing her say "but mom, it said on the website that it was here!"  I thought she was going to cry.  It ticked me off.

I've since gone to two more Target stores looking for this item, checking the online inventory BEFORE AND AFTER.  Both times it said it was available.  Both of those times I didn't find what I was looking for.  The most recent incident was yesterday.  I also looked at 4 or 5 items online this morning to see if it said they were in stock.  It did.  I can assure that the Target store I was at yesterday had NONE of these items in stock.

So Target, tell me--what's the point in offering this on your website if it's not going to be accurate EVER?  And why did your employee who answered my e-mail feel that it was okay to treat me like an idiot in their response.  FYI--I used to work in retail.  The last thing you do is make the customer feel like they did something wrong. 

The nearest Target is about 20 minutes from my house, and I was willing to drive there because Target had interesting merchandise.  I've noticed over the last few years that they are just turning in to Walmart now.  The uniqueness is gradually disappearing.  And this whole incident over a toy has left a very, very bad taste in my mouth.  You can't even order this item online, it's only available in store, but you don't have it, even though your online inventory keeps telling me you do.  At nearly $4 a gallon for gasoline, I'm not going to bother driving to Target anymore.  In fact, even if you built one near me, I don't know that I would go now.  You've alienated me to the point that I don't care if I EVER set foot in one of your establishments again.  I'm not alone either.  You need to start paying attention to your customer base and their displeasure with your company.  It's a highly competitive world out there in retail right now, and you aren't keeping up.  In the words of Anne Robinson-"GOODBYE!"