Friday, June 29, 2012

Tuna the Opposum, and dining. With Style.

I'm having a poor time lately keeping blog posts down to one topic a go.  Let's just pretend I'm aiming for a "something for everyone!" type deal instead of just not being able to make myself stop ramble-typing.


I have additional thoughts on this stupid groundhog saga.

  •  Apparently I do not live in suburbia.  No.  No, apparently I live in the middle of Snow White's forest, because all I seem to be able to trap is baby animals.
  • Either that or the groundhog is a pedophile, because the trap is as close to the entrance of his den as is humanly possible.  Which leads me to wonder if I'm just enabling him by offering up the candy for his creepy white van through putting out tuna and yams.
  • Since none of the trapped critters have sung along to birdsong with me, I'm leaning toward number that second bullet point.
  • To that effect, this is Tuna the even-tinier-than-Yams baby Opposum, who I met yesterday.


I'm gonna go ahead and pretend this is an educational blog for a moment:   Many Americans call these little dudes Possums, to the point where some think the two names are synonymous.  This is false.  True possums are only found down under, in Australia and surrounding islands.  And they are fully furred (think giant squirrel) as opposed to Opposums, which have furless tails (think giant rat).  Both critters are marsupials (they have a baby pouch like a kangaroo!), but that is where the similarities end.

(actual possum)

Opposums can be nasty, sport some fairly sharp teeth, and can grow to the size of a large cat.  In other words: you don't mess with them (or keep them as pets, no matter how economical it seems).  They're also nocturnal, so unless you're trying to make trouble or it's rabid, you're not going to really run into a problem with them.  Tuna, though currently no bigger than baseball, took a lot of time trying to convince me he was bigger than me.  He hissed and he huffed, and he puffed, and then he  lost his nerve and squished himself into the far corner of the trap from me.  So in the same vein as Yams, I opened the trap and let Tuna wander back off into the trees at the corner of the yard, all while wondering "seriously, where are these critters coming from?"

And then I set the trap again, because I'm thinking the way things are going, odds are next time I catch a baby fox.  At which point FIANCE WE HAVE A NEW PET.  Have you ever seen a baby fox (yes I know they're called kits)?
Lookit all that cute.  That's a fox and the hound remake which needs to happen.


Movin' right along.
I was just watching the Wendy Williams show.  I'm finding that after not having TV since last August, somehow I am now instantly drawn to the trashiest TV program available at any given time (My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding?  Get that Trashy TV producer a raise).  Or cartoons.  I am pretty sure I watch far more cartoon network than is healthy.

But there's a more interesting part - in watching WW, one of her guests started talking about how he was part of a "dinner club"  where each week his friends gathered at a different house to have a nice dinner instead of wasting money at an overpriced restaurant.  I was instantly in love with this idea.  Friends, Romans, Countrymen, when my dining room table gets back here from Mexico, remind me, I'm totally starting a dinner club.  Do you want in?  I'll make us t-shirts.  No I won't.  But I'll make sure you're on the invite list.



Lastly (hey you know how in my last post I promised I'd be finishing my library and showing it off here?  I lied.  Next time.)  I wandered to the thrifty yesterday.  Thrift stores have always made me happy.  You can find amazingly cool stuff in there, yo.  And since the dreaded 29 has seen me loose a few sizes, there's even MORE cool stuff to be found.  And find I did.  Specifically, I snagged an LBD for 6 bucks.  But then I got home and realized I am out of he American fashion loop.  How do I accessorize this beast?

I don't have a picture, but it's your basic LBD - sleeveless and pencil-skirted.  When I dressed to go out in Mexico, neutrals were where it's at, but I feel like there's a lot more going on with "pops of color" here in the states.  I also feel like I have some fashion-forward friends/ readers, so I ask y'all - what do I need to make this look good for night on the town?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I set a live trap to get rid of the groundhog. Also: books.

Yesterday morning I peeked out the backyard window to see MOVEMENT IN THE TRAP!
At which I immediately panicked.  What the hell do I do with an angry groundhog in a tiny cage!?  I mean, let it go somewhere else, right?  But where?  Is that legal?  Can I put plastic down in the car under the trap so he doesn't pee in there or will he eat it and die?  


Whatever the case, it was hot yesterday and I needed to at least move the trap into the garage out of the direct sun while I pondered.  So I opened the back door and started trudging out to the trap.  With each step I became more confident and proud.  Hell yes.  The groundhog was finally caught, my garden was finally saved, and I could finally fill in the hole under the shed.   Except.... he looks smaller than I remember  seeing him when he would lumber across the lawn at dusk.


Way smaller.


It's... it's totally not the ground hog.


No friends, I did not catch the stupid groundhog, I caught a tiny baby raccoon.



And I will love him and squeeze him and pet him and hug him and I will call him George.


Just kidding.  I will call him Yams, because thats the bait I used which caught the little dude.
Additional just kidding, I already let him go. Right back in the yard because he was a baby (just slightly bigger than a softball!)  and mama was waiting, and I felt horrible for scaring the little dude so bad.

Yams waddled pretty quickly off to the nearest tree, scurried up it, and rejoined mama with a few of those criioooo noises that raccoons make so well. 

And then I put more yams in the trap, crossed my fingers, and went back in the house.  Still no groundhog.

Ever had a groundhog problem?  Any suggestions?  
He seems to be too smart for the trap, but I am limited in other areas too:
  1. Illegal to shoot him in city limits (also it is unrealistic that I could really 
  2. I'm not putting poison out in a yard that Mac and Bubba use to regularly
  3. Animal control will not come and get him because he is a native Michigan species and is not wounded or sick.

Ugh.  Rock, meet hard place.

Different topic/ Lead in to Friday's post:
I've been busy in the basement/ living room space lately.  Namely, I've taken to moving all the books we own down there.  All of them.

It seemed like a really great idea to have all the books in one central spot in the house, library style.  Until I moved all of them.  

Fiance, we have a book problem, and we need help. 

(no we don't.  books are awesome).

But even more amusing is when all of our books are laid out together, I get to look at the books I brought to this pile versus the books Fiance brought.   There was one in particular which made my OCD heart laugh out loud.

This was not my book folks.  Clearly Fiance skipped the important chapters.  (Which I say out of love.  From my position on the floor.  Where I am rolling around laughing at the absurdity that Fiance owned a book about reducing clutter.)

Monday, June 25, 2012

I'd Like to Solve the Puzzle, Pat.

(exclusive nightclub. are. you. kidding. me.)


On my third date with Fiance, he taught me how to solve a Rubiks Cube.

That multi-colored, mind-boggling piece of 80's nostalgia has long interested me.  When I worked at a school in Texas, I had a student on staff who was an avid cube-solver.  When I had our weekly one on one meetings I realized that he were more open to talking if I spent the time scrambling a cube and handing it back to him so he could talk while focusing on re-solving it instead of being your typical stoic Texan.  Said RA also offered on numerous occasions to teach me the secrets of the cube, but I just had no interest.  It was more interesting to me to watch him solve it in record time (his goal throughout the year was to be able to regularly solve a cube in less than 2 minutes - a goal he accomplished by the time I left T-sas.)

It was just as fascinating when Fiance showed me he could solve a standard 3x3 cube in the same amount of time.  Except, you know, more so because this wasn't a student, this was day two of me knowing this handsome and chivalrous man I wished to date, and so I was still super twitter-pated.

Skipping back to date three (di-di-di-li-do) and Fiance sat me down, put a cube in front of me and said "I'm gonna teach you how to solve it."

I'm gonna teach you how to solve this!
I love puzzles.  Which I had mentioned to Fiance, but since we were still very very early in the getting to know you portion of the relationship, I don't think he really understood just how much I love puzzles, and how competitive my brain becomes, and how hard my OCD kicks in with regard to completing a puzzle - until he insisted on teaching me the cube, even after I said "really, I don't know if that's a good idea... I'll become obsessed."

Woah!  did you see that!?
Huh?
We watched a movie that night.  What movie?  No.  Idea.  


The next few weeks were spent eating, sleeping, breathing the furthering of my knowledge on how to solve a cube.  I would work on it as I walked to and from work.  I would sit on the couch each night, pretending to be watching TV like a normal human being, but every once in a while I'd look up and it would be 60 Minutes because I had originally turned on a rerun of Friends three hours earlier and then forgotten the TV existed.

Eventually, my boss very gently suggested that I stop bringing the stupid thing to work, as my productivity had taken a notable nose-dive.

But about a week later - I finally got it.

I took this picture 1 minute and 30 seconds after solving the cube for the first time all on my own.
The gap in time between solving and picture can be attributed to me being so excited
about my triumph that I had to go pee before I fired up the camera
.  True story.

I'm not going to be that person who's all "oh, it's EASY once you know how."  It's not really that easy. With practice you get some muscle memory and it gets really fun to impress friends with your new bar trick.  But it takes some time to pick up.  If'n your interested, here's the a link to the steps I/ we use:


If you're a super nerd and already know how to do this, I pose this question:  
Which side do you solve first?  
Fiance always solves green first.  I solve yellow, because I think it's sunshine-y and happy.  And since he's so trained to green it trips him up and makes me laugh.

Fast forward a few years, and we're just a few months out from our wedding.  As soon as I got to the checklist item of "find favors" I knew what I wanted to send with each of our friends and family members as they left as a reminder of our ceremony and celebration.  Fiance was on board when I pitched it, and thus, the search for affordable bulk Rubiks Cubes began.  Throughout this search it has occurred to me that I'm going to need to go back to practicing the cube because I'm getting rusty and I'll be damned if I'm going to be embarrassed by a child's TOY in front of all our dearest friends and family.




I finally found them this week and placed an order over the phone with a really rad sales rep who gave me free shipping "as a wedding present."  I hung up the phone with a grin from ear to ear, feeling like this was one of those bits of the wedding that we truly personalized to us.


About 15 seconds later it occurred to me that 13 GIANT BOXES of Rubiks Cubes are now en-route to the house. 
So if you'll excuse me, I'm off to try my damnedest to identify a space for that to be stored.  Wish me luck!

What did you do at your wedding/ reception that made the day feel like it was really yours?


PS. um.  this.

Friday, June 22, 2012

No witty title. Just a dining room makeover. And about a million photos.

Here we are - another week, another room to talk about!
Again, these re-do themed posts exist mostly to keep Fiance in the know about what I'm doing to the house in his absence, but if you're so inclined to read, I'm happy to brag a bit!

This week was devoted to the living room.  Or, what used to be the living room.  We have a split level house where this room and the kitchen are on the entry level.  At the split, upstairs is a bathroom and three bedrooms.  Downstairs is the laundry, another bathroom, and a large open space that was previously the man-cave.  This is the step of me coming home early that I wanted to take full advantage of:  re-establishing purposes for rooms.  

In the interest of utilizing the house's space to full potential, the Man-Cave will be moved to the larger upstairs guest bedroom.  This leave the basement open for becoming the living room (which is bigger and more appropriate for how often we entertain), and the entry-level space will now be the dining room.  This also opens up the opportunity to put not just the dining room set, but also a few storage pieces in that room, giving us more storage options for the kitchen stuff.  Because we have.  A lot.  Of Kitchen. Stuff.

Ready?  Here's the before:

Theres a big window here, which I realized after a whole bunch of attempts I can't take a direct picture of without getting glare.  
So... here's the floor near that window with a bunch of crap I brought home with me.

This is the entry way next to the window.  Of particular note here is the closet, because the track on that closet door is so off that there were days the big heavy door would just fall out on it's own and scare the bejeezus out of me.  

These chairs are downstairs now (I'm sitting in one right now), but while they were in this corner, Mac and Bub greatly enjoyed the space for sun-soaking.

The view from the kitchen

And here's the after!:

New paint color!  I went with a grey-blue.  Mac seems happy.
After the wedding, our centerpieces (which will be framed doodles) 
can be hung up on them-there walls.

New curtains too.  Most of the windows in the house before I came along were covered with sheer white fabric.  With this giant window in the front of the house, even when the drapes were shut, people could totally see into our home.  Then I saw these curtains on sale and they matched the color I picked out for the closet.  Done and done.



I don't get it in the before picture, but I spray painted all the outlet covers and the curtain hardware to match now.  Before the curtain rod was a cut-to size copper pipe with silver bulbs on the ends.  
Now everything is "oil-rubbed bronze."  It's very sophisticated.  
I will have to remember this is a "pinky-out" type of dining room.

The closet!  I'm most excited about this.  First, because this wall next to the closet now proudly displays my Fluer-di-Lis coat hook collection (or at least part of it), and the closet, once we play the "getting things from our registry" game (see below), will not be a closet, but instead a spot to sit-down and put on shoes.

Why did I choose blue you ask?  Because I generally like blue.  And because...
          Oh what?  Oh.  It's 5:30.  Feeding time.
          Hey Mac.  Are you hungry?

          Yes.  He has a dinner time dance.

Okay so  I chose THAT blue because it goes with the blue of the kitchen counter tops.  So when you look in from the front door -

You can see the dog stuffing his face with a speed that suggests he has never been fed food ever before, and you can see that the kitchen doesn't clash with the dining room, even if at the moment it's a bit cluttered 
I feel it ties everything together nicely.


Ready for the "getting things from our wedding registry" game?  Here we go:
The closet-turned-seating space will need this lovely bench and these baskets for storage:


And in front of the window shall go this "buffett," which will allow Bubba to sit in the window, keep Mac from jumping up on the window, and let us store our new blender and a few choice bottles of booze.
And beneath our dining table shall sit this rug:

I mentioned on Facebook a few days ago that I was feeling like a yutz for getting into the wedding registry business so hard-core.  I've turned into Jane from 27 dresses:  
To you, it's just another casserole dish. To Tess, it's the pot she's gonna cook my mother's Christmas roast in.
 And that's ridiculous.  It's just another casserole dish, really.

But that bench?  That's not just a bench.  That's the bench that will welcome people into our home, to sit down and take a load off.  To feel the warmth of our love.  Did you throw up in your mouth a bit just there?  Too bad.


I'm gonna change topics just a bit here before I end up sitting and staring at target.com for yet another 5 hours.
Yard update!




In the few weeks since I hauled so much dirt it's a wonder my arms didn't fall off, the yard has started coming into it's own.  Grass has started to come in around the mailbox and the garden.  The plants are taking root and particularly of note are the tiny tomatoes that make me squeal with delight every darn day.

Next up:  The Man Cave!  

This is a tricky one, because, being the non-man in the house, I am tasking myself with getting the cave set up in a way that the actual man in the house finds appealing and useful, while still keeping it contained to the one room so I can shut the door to keep my OCD from exploding.

But I have ideas.  And I can't wait to bring them to light and show Fiance when he has a work trip to the states in a few weeks!

Do you have a Man-Cave in your house?  
What would you say is the part of your cave which makes it the most Man-appropriate?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Random Stuff I Said I'd Talk About in Random Posts... and then didn't.

Mac is like, supa needy today.  Because it is too humid and hot for him to be able to take a walk without me thinking he's going to die.  This is true.  The radio is all "STAY IN SIDE!  SAVE THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN!  ALL THE WORLD IS LAVA!" and so Mac is all "Mooooooooooom, I'm boooooooooored."  There's only so much I can play "tug" in a day with a dog capable of ripping my arm out of socket.  He's kind of driving me nuts.


Anyway.  Remember that one time, where I was all "I'll have to talk about that in a later post."  ...and then I didn't?  I figured it was time to go back and take care of a few of those items.  Prepare for ultra-randomosity.



The SCoSP:
I'm obviously not able to see the Street Cats of San Pedro any more, thus unable to recount the daily shenanigans of their trials and tribulations.  But Fiance reports that they are doing well, and that Zombie has taken to sussing him out when he is out in the garage for not putting out cat food anymore.  You may also remember from this post, that one of the cats went and had kittens in the cardboard boxes that Fiance is supposed to use for packing up the house.  I promised a picture.  Behold the cute:


They are adorable enough that, should I actually have any desire to deal with another Bubba-gato, I'm fairly certain I could have convinced Fiance to bring the a little orange one back to the states.  But really. One Bubba is plenty of Bubba.  Still.  Squee.

Orange cats are clearly my soft spot.  
Do you tend to gravitate toward a particular color of kitty/ breed of dog?  
(And if you are a cat person, please head over to the itty bitty kitty committee, because their annual fundraiser for the Tacoma Humane Society started today, and there are a ton of adorable pictures from the "telethon set")



Audience Participation Fridays:
APF was awesome for the first few Fridays.  And then there was a Friday or two where only one or two people checked it out.  And then there was a Friday or two where I was busy and thus put up a participatory link that I hoped didn't really appeal to anyone so I wouldn't "have" to draw.  Then I realized that was SERIOUSLY the wrong way to go about APF, since originally it was born to help prevent the time-suck that can occasionally be posting a regular blog update.  It's not gone, but from here on out Audience Participation Friday will only come up when I have a legit fun link to post, and the time to devote to submissions.  This being the summer before I get married, I'll be very frank that they're going to be way on the sparse side for a while.



The Rat B@stard, which is actually a mouse:
I haven't seen the tailless wonder again, but I did manage to catch a different mouse in the basement.  Since then I haven't seen any evidence of any other pests.  Apparently the eviction notice was received, loud and clear.  However (comma), a new trap has been set in the backyard.  A large live-trap.  Because the land beaver is back, and he has been trying to mess with my garden. B!tch got to go.  Unfortunately, the only thing I've managed to catch so far is Bubba.  Because his learning curve is apparently fairly steep.






The Dreaded 29:
I am well aware that I haven't posted an update to the 29 in a good long while.   I am currently at -14, 15 to go.  Which is where I have been for quite a few weeks now.  I'm having a bit of a rough time with the fact that I had to leave the treadmill in Mexico when I came up.  Finding alternative exercise has been a bit of a bitch, because, as mentioned at the top, it is pretty killer to go out in air so thick with humidity that you could cut it with a knife while trying to be active.
Which is not to say that I haven't done just that.  I've made sure that every day has included rollerblading, long walks with Mac, running (that only happened once because I couldn't breathe and truly thought I was going to die), etc.  But while I've been dead set on staying within my calorie restraints, and I've done what I can to get off my tookus, it's just stagnant at the moment.  I'm a little lost.

Honestly, is there something I could do to jump start this back up?

  • I drink 8 glasses of water a day. 
  • I watch my calories and exercise for at least a half hour, usually more.
  • I avoid salt as much as possible.
  • I try very hard to avoid carbs.
  • I drink around 1-2 sodas a week if that, and alcohol is all but none.  

What am I missing!?  Have you done something (which is FREE) that has worked for you?

On the up side, I am, depending on the brand of clothing, sitting at between 2-3 sizes smaller than I started in January.  Which is halfway fun and halfway killer because I find myself wanting to go shopping every second of the day.




My Thoughts on Mexico:
I teased back in this post that I would have to take some time and write out my thoughts and reflections on living in Mexico.  I've actually tried to do this a few times now, but what comes out on the screen as I type does not come across how I had hoped.  So for now I'm going to have to stick with this statement:  That I'm glad I went.  I wouldn't change that for the world.  The people and the culture and the language were all welcoming, friendly, and fascinating.  I learned how to cook.  I got to see the man I love every day.  I am glad I came home when I did, but there is a lot I miss and will continue to miss about what I left behind (tacos?  also... FIANCE.)  I asked for adventure, and I definitely got just that.  I'm thankful for that time.

Or maybe I'm jut lacking direction on HOW to reflect appropriately.  
Did you ever go abroad on an adventure?  
If you went for school, I'm seriously curious, how did your 
study abroad office help you process when you got back and re-assimilate?




KpQuePasa.com is still... broken.
Indeed, and how.  As mentioned back in this post, my home page was hacked sometime in January, and was being used as a back alley to filly black market prescriptions.  (not even joking)  Our host locked up the site for us to put a kibosh on the shenanigans, and gave Fiance and I a list of stuff that needed to happen for the site to get back up and running.  Nothing Fiance couldn't handle in due time.
Only problem there is Fiance was finishing up his last classes for grad school and working full time, so we put that project on the back burner.
Then I moved back up here and Fiance planned to fix it for me in his down time after school got out for the summer.  A great plan.  Until Mexico decided that we didn't need internet at our house anymore.  According to a friend who was nice enough to callt he company on Fiance's behalf, they updated their wi-fi system, and apparently that blew out a bunch of boxes (including ours).  They replaced the box, and when it still didn't work, they said it was likely that our wires were fried too, and that they'd be out to fix it in 3-5 days.
That whole conversation happened before I even left Mexico.
Internet?  Still a no-go at the house.  Suddenly, the fact that my website is down took a serious back-seat to how our plan to keep in contact while apart online was cut-down to the maybe 5 minutes a day Fiance has good enough reception to call and say "hi."
So I'm stuck with either:

  • Play the waiting game for Fiance to move into the hotel and use their internet or
  • Hire someone to fix that for me.

I'm cheap.  Patience is a virtue.



And in closing, stuff you should try out because I decided it's awesome:





Monday, June 18, 2012

I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

Guess what came in the mail today.
Go on, guess.

THAT'S RIGHT:  THE ROOMBA.



(no Mac, we're not replacing you.)

 I'm (understandably) SUPER geeked about this, so I decided to do a little review here of the Roomba's maiden voyage in the basement.

 I don't really know how to phrase my disclaimer here since this isn't a paid endorsement by the people of iRobot/ Roomba... but they did give the thing to me for free (minus the cost of a roll of tinfoil and Mac's doggie-dignity).

If any of this Dog/Roomba talk is new to you, you should start here. But otherwise, let's make this happen!

It's notable how much bigger the Roomba is than I originally imagined it.  Not very heavy though, just sturdy and ready to rock, more or less straight out of the box.  According to the little booklet/ CD that came along, you're supposed to set up the docking station and let it fully charge before the machine's first run.



Three hours later, and it's time to press the big button in the middle which reads, simply: CLEAN.  And so, that's just what I did.  And then we (Mac, Bubba and I) all sat back and watched.  Seriously.  We watched it go over the entire floor.  It was mesmerizing.


Initial thoughts on the whole thing?

  • I was amazed at Bubba, who was not at all scared of a self-propelling vacuum.  Perhaps he will become a Roomba-Riding Cat after all.
  • Mac was the most unsure of the Roomba by far.  The first half of the little guy's run, Mac made sure to position himself between me and the machine to make sure it couldn't get me.  And then it hit him in the foot, and while I'm certain it didn't hurt, it did scare him to pieces.  
  • I was impressed with the little bumpers on the front.  As it runs into things (like the wall), it clearly makes a "mental" note, and the next time it passes by that object, it slows down a bit before it hits.  
  • Changes in flooring didn't trip it up at all - I thought perhaps it would see the change between the carpet of the living room and the file of the bathroom as a barrier, but it just shuffled right on in.
  • However, once it got in the bathroom, it got behind the door and accidentally shut itself in.  Which was funny but I'll have to either supervise the vacuuming sessions to let it free again or just sweep the bathroom on my own.
  • I could have finished vacuuming the basement in less than 5 minutes.  The Roomba took roughly an hour.  Which was annoying as I watched it (because the OCD in me wanted so badly to be all "You just passed by here!  go to that corner, you haven't been in that corner yet!") but in the end, the Roomba is supposed to be a set it and forget it sort of thing, so generally speaking from here on out it'll vacuum for that whole hour while I'm off being productive elsewhere.  
  • When it hit a dirty spot, it would back up and go over it a few times.  Color me impressed.
  • It picked up, a LOT of crap.



All in all, I'm really excited about the Roomba.  I give it two thumbs WAY up.  It did a very thorough job, and I'm also pretty sure that if we had people over and we were bored, hitting "CLEAN" would instantly liven the party back up.

Everybody wins.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Marking My Territory

Before we get into the thick of it, I would like to note that I am typing this post from the middle of Mac's dog bed.  Why?  Because the camping chair I was using decided it didn't want to live anymore.
(note that the one side's arm rest is no longer available for arm-resting, compromising the structural integrity of this piece of metal and blue canvas in its purpose as a chair.)

Meanwhile, the nice, plush, comfy chairs that my mum was so kind to give me when I was in Green Bay last week are... taken.  



Thankfully, Mac's always been pretty spoiled in the realm of dog beds (he's a variable canine princess and the pea), so with a few of them stacked on top of each other I'm oddly comfortable.  

Since I seem to be getting a lot of questions about it, the furniture in the house with me is as follows: 
  • The broken camping chair.
  • An inflatable mattress.
  • The two chairs I'm apparently not allowed to use by penalty of Bubba-inflicted death.
  • A desk that we left here when we originally went to Mexico.
And that, for right now, is plenty.  I knew coming back here that I wanted to throw some paint on these here walls, and I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to deduce that this is an easier task if you don't have a lot of crap to move around first.  

Painting, and where I started painting, was important to me for two reasons:
  1. When I first met Fiance, literally everything in his house (including the couch!) was white.  You may have noticed I fancy myself an artist.  I see the house largely as a blank canvas, and Fiance seems to care little to none about what color things are now, or when I'm done.  This all makes me happy.
  2. The one room that wasn't 100% white was the kitchen.  I could go into how I thought the colors dated the kitchen and how much I thought it would be nice for a fresh coat of paint to clean the place up a bit, but if I'm completely honest the big kicker is that a previous lady-friend of Fiance painted the kitchen back before my time, and I wasn't cool with that.

I don't think of myself as a jealous person.  I would wager that Fiance would say I wasn't a jealous person at all.  I know we weirded out our Mexican friends quite often with my comfort in him hanging out with other women without me, or like last weekend when he went dancing - that's not my bag, and he had a good time.  All about trust y'all.  And then he came home and called me, and I so I feel like everybody won on that one.  

Listen, I know he had a life before me, and likewise, he gets that I had one before him.  I'm not denying those times happened, and I'm happy they did because previous relationships always teach you something good to take with you to the next one.  BUT.  I don't need to be reminded of his past without me while I eat my Wheaties every morning.  

And thus the kitchen was the first stop on the paint-train.  Woo-wooo!

Here's the before:




See, not horrible, but it's pretty "meh."  The countertop with the earth tones always made me kind think "yuck."  So off to home depot I went.  And here's how the rest of the painting adventure continued from there in my mind...
  • There are few things as wonderful as the paint with the primer included.
  • This couldn't possibly take that long, maybe two days - one for cupboards and trim, one for the walls.  Boom.
  • Wow, taping off these cupboards took forever!  Good thing the actual painting will go quickly.
  • You know, I wasn't going to paint the inside of the cabinets, but I bet it would look better.  And how much longer could it possibly take?
  • There simply must be something in my brain that just makes me block out how much I HATE painting [rooms, not paintings.  Love painting paintings] just before every time I go to paint a room.  What the hell was I thinking?  The INSIDE OF THE CABINETS?!  Who looks in there?  I mean, besides when you go to get a glass of water.  But who would be all "oh, the inside is a different color."  Assholes, that's who.
  • Oh my lord in heaven how I am STILL NOT DONE WITH THE CUPBOARDS?
  • It is a nice day out, I'm going to paint all the cupboard doors out in the backyard.
Death to infidels.
  • Did that bird seriously take a deuce on the door I JUST finished painting!?  I will end you, Mr. Grackle.
  • I'm at a good point to probably move this fridge out to the garage I think, make room for the nice new fridge we're bringing up from Mexico.
  • Oop, yep, nope, not moving that anywhere by myself.
  • OMIGAWD yay!  Cupboards are done-zo!  Time for walls.
  • My arms are going to fall off from roller-painting the walls.
  • What are those little grey bits on the floor?  ...Bubba walked through the paint.
  • EDIT:  There are few things as wonderful as the paint with the primer included which scrapes easily off of tile floors.
  • Holy cow this looks schmexy.  It's going to look even better when I paint the dining room! 
  • See that?  That's how I end up painting even more rooms and continuing this masochistic spiral of doom.
  • Paint: completed!
  • Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up!  
  • If I thought painting the cupboards was a stupid time-suck of an idea, screwing all the hinges back onto said cupboards and cupboard doors is a bigger one.  
(This is about the time I started taking a "break" every fifteen minutes so I could be all crabby and flail my arms at the hopelessness of the project that never ends.)

  • Done!  Yay!

  • ...Wait... where's the doors for this cupboard?
  • ...On top of the fridge...
  • ...unpainted...
  • Cue ultimate rage storm.

(and the before again for instant comparison)

But really, it looks awesome now, right?  (if you disagree you can feel free to not comment.  cool, thanks.)
And now I'm really into the swing of wedding registry dreaming.  

Like, right here?  Here is where I will store our set of matching dishes and flatware



Here is where we will store our serving dishes, and possibly our new folding pancake griddle (which will be used to make tortillas for friends and family.)


And here is where our breakfast buffet/ extra counter space with stools will go, centered nicely underneath our new pot rack.  

It will all be wondrous*. 

Now I just have to figure out how to move a few things around before I start the next round of painting.  Namely, I need to get that old fridge out to the garage, a few book cases moved from upstairs to down stairs, and the desk downstairs needs to get relocated upstairs.   Short of hiring some creeper off of craigslist, I'm a little lost on how to make this happen.  Any suggestions, peanut gallery?

What kind of painting projects have you tucked into?  
Any horror/ triumphant stories you want to share?  
I'd love to read them in the comments!


*When I was in college, I took a ceramics sculpture class.  The Professor (one of my favorites!) gave us a list of things we had to turn in for our final critique to receive a grade in the course; "one sculpture of a food item, one functional vessel, a self-portrait bust..."  I thought I was totally on top of this, and a week or so beforehand I lined up all my sculptures to turn in so I could go down the list and check them off.  Horror struck when I realized I was missing the last item: "One wondrous piece of your choosing.

I totally didn't have a wondrous piece left over to add into the mix.
And so I did what any good-natured art student fearing an F/ incomplete mark would do:  I hollowed out a lump of clay, wrote "I'm wondrous, wondrous I tell you."  on it, then put it in the kiln.  A week later, I honestly turned that, unglazed, lumpy piece of ceramic in as my wondrous piece.  

I aced my critique.
And that's college life as an art student.  Jealous?