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Showing posts from October, 2013

Here's What We Got So Far

Behold the new doorway and yes, there used to be a closet there.


Our new storage area. This picture was taken before the new insulation and flooring and walls were put in. I am going to paint the area an obnoxious color. Like fuchsia  or sunflower yellow. Something fun. Most likely our son will think this is the best fort ever.


And that is how the two man team have been bringing things in and out. No one traipsing through the house. It has been glorious.
So there is the progress report. I will update again on it soon.
Cheers! MissFifi

Room is Coming Along

I am feeling a little giddy. No particular reason. Well, maybe because our bedroom has been demolished and looks like it is going to be quite awesome. The contractor also disabled the fire hazard of wiring throughout the room. Good times. Always nice to find out our house could have gone up in flames any moment. As a whole, our  house has pretty much been pasted together over the decades. Ahhh well. One of the cooler things that happened during demolition was he uncovered a nice crawl space that can be used as storage. It will get insulated and have flooring which will be nice. The doorway of the room is also being relocated to where the old closet was which has opened up the room a great deal. Amazing how poor layouts really doom a space.
As for the color we are still in process o deciding on a blue we want for an accent wall. My brother offered his two cents as far as the trim and other wall colors and now I need to do more searching. I would like to take a ride to Benjamin Moore an…

Still Unpublished

My short story did not get picked for publication.
Bummer.
I sort of expected it as I have never considered myself very good at writing short stories. Even so. When I saw that I was no longer in the running a touch of melancholy ran over me. Then a small panic kicked in that I needed to finish my latest novel ASAP. Then came the thought, "What I never will get published? Maybe I am not supposed to write. Maybe my career or life's work is that of wife and mother." Not that there is anything wrong with that job, but when one is creative, one constantly has an urge to achieve something.

Then I stopped.
I am far from wanting to be Superwoman like Ms. Lean In Sheryl Sandberg, but I can certainly be a mom, wife and writer. Do I care if I get published? Sure, but I also believe luck and timing have a lot to do with it. There are many poorly written books out there that do well. Why? Because they had/have an audience. Same goes for brilliantly done novels. Not every writer hits …

Change Happens (in a rambling sort of way)

Years ago I cared about things like celebrities, sports teams and what the latest fashion trends are.

Not anymore.

Are you thinking I am crabby? Well I am not. I am just expressing my acceptance of myself. In the here and now I have become more of a home design, simple living and food person. I am older so what Taylor Swift is wearing no longer applies to me. As someone who loves music, I no longer seek out the latest and greatest as at some point, Pandora or NPR will deliver that artist to me.  Netflix gives me movies and shows and if I read about any or hear of one, I wait till it appears there or on YouTube. Funny. I am the "older" generation, but I use technology to my advantage. The only place I don't play is in social media. For me that exists only here and on Pinterest. I use Google+, but it is not very interactive and that is fine by me.

Now listen, sure I still like when the Yankees win and will eternally root against the Red Sox and all New England sports teams…

Not here, but there.

I am one of those people who enjoys having the ability to rearrange furniture. Not in every room mind you, but I get bored with the layout and like being able to move a bed here or a chair there. This weekend the living room was scrutinized and got a nice face lift.
We have a very long living room. The prior owners tore down a wall that enclosed a small bedroom and lengthened the living room. It is a little odd and hard to work with,thank God we have no television, but we have found a way. FYI the striped couch you see is being donated to Salvation Army, but for now needs to stay where it is which is fine.


Okay, here are a few fun facts. I have a demented obsession with wing back chairs and I have all intentions of reupholstering these beastly Laura Ashley ones.  My father in law hates our curtains and was happy to tell us so. God love him, but I got them on sale at Lowe's. I would have loved Plantation Shutters, but they were ridiculously expensive and being house poor is not a g…

Ants and Gratin (Not together of course)

For some reason, ants have decided that my draining pads are a great resource for water. I now can no longer leave things out to dry because I will undoubtedly attract these odorous house ants. This frustrates the hell out of me because this means there is a nest close by or in the wall of my home.
Aces.
To the right of my kettle, on the other side of the boxed wall section is where there is cayene pepper, which does NOT work, and where the ants come through. That is also where our toaster oven sits and oddly enough, they ignore it, more eager for the water.

I am not an ant hater, but I do not want them crawling all over everything. I found them in the cabinet about a month back roaming through a box of graham crackers. Nothing like that is even kept in the cabinets now, but I am still contending with them and their water desires. Pain in the asses. Ah well.

Tonight I made a roasted cauliflower gratin from a recipe posted by The Shiksa in the Kitchen. Seriously, what an awesome name. …

Give Me Better Choices

Yesterday I had to run out to pick some stuff up for dinner. My supermarket choices where I live are limited to Shop Rite (2), Kings and Weis. Yes we have the farms, but I needed things like vacuum bags and mayonnaise.
Shop Rite and I have a very serious love hate relationship. They carry some products for our son at very reasonable prices. The flip side is anything organic or vegetarian is double the price of a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. Those two markets are 45 minutes away and we do make the occasional pilgrimage. They won't come out our way as they do not consider my area a strong demographic. Sure there are big bucks, but they want mega traffic like in the urban areas where they thrive. Idiots. They would thrive here, they are just too far removed from the area to know that. Okay, stopping side rant and getting back to the topic.

Shop Rite.

I head down the condiments aisle and stood there annoyed. The dominant brand was Hellman's. There was one squeeze jar of Kraft …

I Read The News Today Oh Boy...

And I probably shouldn't have.
I try to avoid the news like the plague. No reason to get upset about things I can't help or fix, but a recent story out of Maryville, Missouri regarding rape and a possible cover up is an embarrassment to human kind.
You can read the story here on the St. Louis Dispatch website and get your own rage on.
What kills me, kills me about my country of America is that we get all crazy about sharia law and how Muslims treat their women and children, but God Forbid a revered high school footballer in a podunk town does it. We let the slut shaming begin, rallying around the accused and disregarding the hard evidence. It is mind blowing how so-called devout Christians can be just as small minded as the Islamic Fundamentalists that they claim to have nothing in common with.
The truth is, it is high time the Bible Belt gets it shit together.  I say this because two rape cases that went National occurred in Ohio and Missouri.  These incidents happened in sma…

The Purge

No, not the movie. My closet.

I went through the box of winter clothes and ended up donating quite a bit. This now leaves me with a very streamlined wardrobe. I am choosing to keep out the t-shirts for layering purposes this year.


From the left is my jewelry bag with nothing very fancy in it, tank tops, t-shirts, three quarter sleeve and long sleeve shirts, two fancy shirts, one black turtleneck sweater, a few cardigans, three pairs of pants including jeans, four skirts, pretty scarves and a black dress I keep out in case we have some place special to go like a wedding. On the top shelf are my shoes, God I miss Nordstrom shoe sales. I used to have the best boots ever. The bins you see hold underwear, bras, winter scarves and hats and pajamas. My pajamas consist of only a shirt and sweat shorts or my preggy yoga pants. Very sexy. Out of everything I have, I would like to get some better pajamas. Not Frederick's of Hollywood type stuff.
Though I am sure my hubby would not scoff if I…

Thank You Andre Dubus III

Here is a fun story for you. Quite a few years back we were up at a friends on Cape Cod. It was late, probably around 12:30-1am, and I was reading what is now one of my favorite books, "The House of Sand and Fog". As I reached a pivotal scene, I gasped and jerked my hand and slapped my husband in the arm since I could not scream. He woke up, none too pleased, but I was still riveted and began to babble at him for twenty minutes.
That poor man.
I did see the movie, but like most interpretations, while it was good, the book's impact was far greater and haunts me, still.
Odd thing is, I have never picked up another thing by the author, Andre Dubus III, and I should. I read a recent piece of his in The Atlantic and it had such an effect on me that I read parts of it out loud to my husband. (There was no arm slapping this time.) Seriously, even if you do not write, you should read the article.
The Case for Writing a Story Before Knowing How It Ends

I do most of what he talks a…

Master Bedroom

October 21. Want to know what that date is for? It is when the gates of the construction gods open and my contractor crosses the street and comes to work inside our house. The earth has moved my friends.  While I have never been excited about spending the money to renovate a room that was never to have been redone. (Thank you ceiling leak, mold removal and roof replacement for making that happen.) I am looking forward to figuring out what color it shall be. Currently it is gray. Since walls are being ripped out and replaced, we get to choose a whole new scheme. This is where I admit my issues with neutrals, but I think that might work best in this case. Or at least, neutral and then one wall with a splash of color. That splash is the color I am having the hardest time with.
Let me tell you what we have to work with. A dark wood MALM bed from IKEA and silver lamps with sky blue shades. I also need new curtains since the pair that was in there would not match, so they got moved to anot…

An Ode to My Knitting Teacher

What seems like many moons ago I learned how to knit. I do not remember how or why, but I got a bee  in my bonnet to want to pick up needles and yarn and declare myself free from shopping for clothes. I have not gotten there, but at least I will never have to buy scarves or hats ever again! On an internet quest, I found a woman that was sort of local, contacted her, set up a time and date and me and some gal pals went to her house in South Orange, NJ. We walked into an awesome rambling home with children, pets and a very warm and welcoming teacher with great wit greeted us named Annie Modesitt. Because of Annie, I adore knitting. She was laid back, funny and made us realize there was nothing to stress about. No one was asking us to knit an afghan to cover the Statue of Liberty so relax. She had tea and cookies for us and we all took to this new skill with aplomb.  There were five in our group and she took time with each of us. She asked what we all wanted to make and then got us start…

My New Girl Crush

Her name is Victoria Elizabeth Barnes.
Why?
Because her and her beloved husband are renovating a Victorian home and she has the absolute audacity to be funny about all the painstaking projects they have taken on, along with the Craiglisting she forces her husband to endure.
I am in love.
I freely admit that I torture my own husband with design ideas and my brother too. (Damn you Houzz!!) But this woman?  She takes it to a level that I only wish I could.
Anyone who has ever bought a home that needs TLC, my hand is raised, knows what it is like when you are waiting to find that perfect paint or perfect design, then tossing it all away when you realize you are NOT a Rockefeller. This will always disappoint me because I know deep down I would have made a fabulous society dame. C'est la vie!
I doubly appreciate when anyone buys a period home and works to restore it. There are many blogs out there documenting the seriousness of it all and the efforts which some people put in. I respect t…

Our CSA, Knitting and A Cat

Last night I decided to look into what the CSA we belong to will cost next year. As I opened the form I did a double take. They have upped the price by $50 making the cost of membership over $500!! Well, there goes that. All the food we have gotten has been delicious, seriously the best fruit I have EVER had, but there is a small downside. There were things we received in abundance that just did not work for us. Namely corn, green beans and peaches. I gave some peaches away and pureed others, but the corn and green beans were a touch more difficult. Right now I have six ears of corn sitting on my counter that I am going to turn in to bird food. We are supposed to get four more today, but I will be donating it to the food pantry. After discussion, my husband and I decided it is better for us if we just go to the farms when we need the produce and can buy exactly what we want. When we work it out the CSA has cost about $22 a week for produce. And that does include things in it we would …

Much To Do

A friend of ours really liked the little neck warmer scarves I had made for our shared friend's three little girls. So much so, she has asked me if I was interested in knitting a bunch for her to sell at a craft show in Ohio.

Absolutely.
I could use the cash and I sort of miss selling things I have made.

Big sidebar:
Many moons ago I used to be part owner of a jewelry business. I loved designing and creating and we took classes in wax carving and both of us made beautiful pieces. Sadly the business never really took off. We did craft shows as far as DC and Rhode Island, went to an Open Call at Henri Bendel's which was a disaster as they turned away every high end jewerly designer. One Russian guy did the most amazing work I had ever seen. The jewelry buyer literally held up her cheap ass necklace and said, "I want stuff like this. Clunky costumey stuff." Then she proceeded to fawn over a woman's line of simple chains with charms. Why thank you for wasting my time…

Tuesday's Post - No I have no better title LOL

Well, the American government is shut down.
Say it ain't so??
Please. They do this EVERY year at this point. A bunch of spoiled brats who just refuse to share or get along.
What irritates me the most is that the National Park System and Smithsonian Museum lose out and get shut down as well. That's real bright. Some of our best attractions and money makers can now not make money. This was a well though out temper tantrum eh?
I am going to say I do not believe any of our representatives have half a brain nor any respect for their country. If they did, Obamacare would have been looked at seriously and reformed to work for everyone and they would not be so eager to cut food stamps. Yes, this is my fine Nation and I am displeased.

Better to move on to better topics and things as the shutdown is just beyond ridiculous.

I started to watch "The Grapes of Wrath" last night. How timely. And what an incredibly depressing story. I am a little over halfway through it and man, it …