February 1, 2016

T-Minus Five Days and Counting...

The past few days have been chaotic to say the least.

Thursday evening found us doing the final walk through.  Everything seemed to be in order.

Friday found us signing the papers and moving a few boxes.

Saturday found us doing nothing but moving boxes.  Unfortunately, there was no emptying of boxes as we want to have the house painted first. *sigh*

We did meet with the painter and he claims he can have it done by Thursday or Friday, at the latest. Which is good as we hope to move in for good by next Saturday.

We finalized our paint choices...Benjamin Moore Smoke Embers for everything

It doesn't quite look like this on the wall...

With Glidden Silversmith Gray as a contrast in the kitchen....

Yeah, this looks a bit more true to color...but I am concerned that on the monitor this color looks lighter than the other...

Sunday found us moving even MORE boxes.  All of which will have to be moved again once the painters are done.  But, at least they are now "on location."  I plan on taking three days off and hope that is enough to get us situated with "living." (i.e., the kitchen is functional and we can find our socks).

Moving is stressful.  But I must admit, this move, so far (fingers crossed), has been WAY less stressful than the last one.  Which tells me that I will NEVER, EVER move prior to Christmas again.  Although life being one big roller coaster that it is, you really can't say Never, can you?

The one big downer came today, when I was attempting to transfer our internet service.  I asked to have the service transferred on Saturday.  I was informed that the first available date was next Wednesday.  What?!  FIVE days without internet?!  I don't know how we will survive.  If we get desperate, we can come back here to get our fix, as we don't officially move out of here until the 14th and the internet won't be cut off until the 10th. (Seriously, is it THAT complicated to transfer service?! Inquiring minds want to know!)

Luckily Saturday will be filled with all the moving stuff.  Sunday will also be filled with moving stuff...until the kickoff of Super Bowl Sunday, which means the boys will be preoccupied, while I continue with the unpacking/moving stuff.  So technically, we will only be Monday/Tuesday without internet.  Which, in my case, will be a good thing as I really need to be setting up house and not faffing about on the internet.

I will tell you this...EVERY SINGLE time that I have driven to the new house, I have felt like I was coming home.  That may be because we lived out there for so many years or because this house was meant to be, but I am ready for this move.  Yes, the commute will be longer, but I have a feeling that this is where we need to be - and I'm ready for it.

January 24, 2016

The Great Escape...

As some of you may have heard, the East Coast was slammed with a pretty powerful winter storm.

As some of you may have also heard, I live on the East Coast...we, of course, didn't get hit with all the snow.  No, we received maybe 2 inches and then received maybe another 3 or 4 inches of pure ice.  That's the one curse of where we are located.  If we were a little further south, it probably would have been mainly rain.  If we were a little further north, it would have definitely been more snow.

Given my druthers, I'd rather deal with pure snow than pure ice.

We woke Friday morning to watch the fluffy snow fall for about an hour and then it switched over to sleet.  All day long.  All night long.  It was coming down so hard we could hear it over the television.  By Saturday morning sometime, the sleet finally stopped as the storm moved up the coast.  Unfortunately, it was a gray and frigid day.

We kept waiting for a plow to come through.  We figured that the property management company would have someone lined up to clear these roads - we knew we weren't even on the city's radar as this is a private community.  But no one came.  We looked out the window in vain, time and time again throughout the day.  By 3:00 pm, it became clear - there was no way we would be getting out that day.

The situation was bleak.  I was suffering from cabin fever in a big way.

Around 6:30 pm, we heard a rumble.  We jumped up and ran to the windows, excited to see the plow come through the road in front of our house.  We felt a great weight lift from our shoulders - the possibility of getting out on Sunday elated us...and then he left.  We assumed that he was doing the circuit through the neighborhood in an attempt to clear the roads.

Oh sure, we were questioning the wisdom of plowing in the dark and during freezing temps...but surely, he knew what he was doing.  Right?

Today dawned sunny and with a forecast that promised temperatures above freezing...eventually.  But when we looked out the window, it became clear that Mr. Plowman DID know what he was doing last night...he was giving up.

Apparently, he did the bit in front of our house and realized that he wasn't making any headway, called it a day and headed home.  Every other road, and most of the road on either side of the little bit he got up the night before was completely encased in ice.

I was broken-hearted as I knew there was NO way we would be able to get out today.  The Husband took one look at my sad face and knew he could not live with my crabbiness for ONE MORE minute would do everything in his power to make me smile.

He went out to the driveway and hacked his way through all the ice, making a clear path to the skating rink street.  When he finished he came in, took a shower and told me to ditch the pajamas I'd been living in for the past couple of days because he was taking me for coffee, lunch and a much-needed grocery/wine run, my hero!

By the time, he'd cleared the driveway, the sun was doing it's best to melt all that ice, but those streets were still really icy.  I had my eyes closed the whole time as we slid through the neighborhood (luckily, we live fairly close to the front of this neighborhood) and when we made it up to the main, city-maintained road we could see that the city had indeed taken care of plowing it.  It was completely clear.  In fact, all the main roads were clear.

Unfortunately, when we stopped for coffee, the parking lot hadn't been cleared.  But once again, he guided us in safely.  As we sipped our coffee we talked about several of the very young and very clueless kids who wandered in - several were severely under dressed for the weather.  One young woman that came in was actually shivering, which made sense since she only wearing a thin t-shirt and leggings.  The Husband wondered what she would do if her car got stuck and she had to walk.  I surmised that she would freeze.

Our next stop was across the street, where we had lunch and hit the grocery.  That parking lot, thankfully, was cleared.  After which, we headed home and The Husband skillfully slid us right into our cleared driveway.  We'd spent no more than and hour and a half out and about; but it certainly re-charged the both of us.

Luckily, as I've been typing, Mr. Plowman has come back and has pretty much cleared all the roads in here - so I should be able to get out without too much trouble tomorrow, once the sun comes up and melts whatever may re-freeze tonight.

One of the things we are really looking forward to with this move is that we won't be so isolated for the next storm (fingers crossed that won't happen for at least three weeks so we can get moved!  Only a little over two weeks to go!) as we will be in walking distance of all of our friends.  The last few winter storms we've had while living here, we've been extremely isolated in that the only people we've met have been the people immediately next door.  And while they are an extremely nice couple, they aren't exactly socializers - so when we are frozen in and can't drive for more than a day or two - it's just the two of us.  Looking at each other and wondering how long it will be before we can escape.

To everyone else who was impacted by the storm, I hope you've made it through safely and that if you are snowed/iced in that you have plenty of wine, dear friends nearby and most of all, that you get out soon!

January 17, 2016

Zipper Feet...yes, I know...I have more important things to worry about but still...

Still packing over here, but I have learned a few new things (that everyone else probably already knows about, but I didn't.  So I'm feeling pretty proud of myself....) in the past two weeks.

Last weekend, I learned how to make envelope pillow shams, all thanks to this video.



Prior to viewing that video, I had looked at dozens of websites that described the process but, for the life of me, I could NOT figure it out until I saw this video, usually I'm good with direction...this time not so much.

About a year ago, I saw this tutorial on Pinterest that claimed you could recover a pillow sans sewing....




I tried it.  It was a complete and total failure.  But I lived with the results for a year a few weeks before I attempted the envelope pillow sham, which worked like a dream!  I was so pleased with myself.  No picture, because I was too lazy to couldn't find the case that holds all my bobbins, so I used black thread to sew the gray cover, figuring it wouldn't work out any way....I was wrong.  It was perfect.  Even The Husband was impressed.  I figured since the envelope part would be in the back no one would ever know about the black thread....but I didn't count on the fact that The Husband doesn't have the keen eye for decor detail that I do and when he makes the bed about half the time, he places that pillow on the bed back side up.  *sigh*

Which explains why, when I came across this post about how to sew a pillow cover with a zipper, I was intrigued.  I mean, why not?  Obviously, I am a WHIZ with the sewing machine now!



HAHAHAHA!

It was going well, up until I was presented with how to attach the zipper foot to the machine.  Oh, getting the pressure foot off was self-explanatory, but attaching that zipper foot?!  Impossible.  So I headed off to Google, of course, but it still didn't make sense.

After about an hour of total frustration, I headed out to the local JoAnn's (this is what I will miss about living in town, having JoAnn's or *insert any other major retailer here* so close - I got there and back in less than 20 minutes), where this wonderful person was able to show me how it worked.

So, in an effort to save anyone else from the sheer torture that I went through, I am here to show you how to attach a zipper foot. (Holy cow!  Now I know why I couldn't understand what others were saying...do you know HOW hard it is to photograph the proper way to attach a zipper foot?! I now have more photos of the zipper foot than I do of my only child!)

Despite what may be your first inclination, this is NOT the way the zipper foot attaches to your machine.




Instead, it needs to attach like this...

That horizontal piece goes behind the shaft/needle.  That pronged piece is attached to the shaft/needle.
Hopefully, that makes it clear.  Also?  My table really isn't that color...

I know, right?  (Please don't tell me if I've only mystified you even more.  Instead head to your nearest fabric shop, they will be happy to show you the proper way to attach the damn zipper foot).

But once I got the zipper foot properly attached, I was able to see this project through to a successful conclusion.

Evidence

And to prove that I actually was able to put a zipper in....

More evidence.

The Husband was even MORE impressed...he also noted that he would probably be seeing a lot more pillows around the house.  He would be right.

There will be pillows EVERYWHERE!!!

And I'm reining in the impulse I now have about making our clothes...that would only end in tears.  And disaster.











January 11, 2016

Daydreaming....

Despite the last post, which makes it seem like I have been super productive, I must admit....I have actually been spending all the time I have between packing either perusing home decor blogs, Pinterest, Houzz and any and all stores that carry housewares and dreaming.

I have been restraining myself from buying ALL THE STUFF that I think I might want/need for the new house.

To be honest, the only thing holding me back is the fact that I don't want to pack or move anything I don't have to!  Plus, I think I need to get into the house.  Look at it.  Live with it.  And then figure out where I want to take things.

One of the best pieces of advice I keep seeing/reading is that the Number One thing that you should do when you move into a new place is to wait and see how you use the space.  That if you jump in and start making major changes you are bound to make mistakes...possibly VERY expensive mistakes.

Considering we still have some more college expenses to get through for the next year, we cannot afford very expensive mistakes.

So, I've been restraining myself.

And I'm not gonna lie...it's been difficult.  Particularly when I keep seeing images like these....

This might work for the new house!:
A lovely desk...would fit perfectly next to the fireplace.
Or this....

Possibility for the kitchen!:
This would be perfect in that little nook in the kitchen


Or this...

Wouldn't this be a wonderful oasis?:
Wouldn't that be a beautiful oasis to have right in your own backyard?
I could fill this post with SO many images, yes, I've been "pinning" like crazy; all while daydreaming about the possibilities.

Since I'm in daydream mode, what about you?  What what would you do - right now - to improve your living space if money (or rental restrictions) were no object?

January 10, 2016

Packing, packing and more packing.

Can you guess how I spent the majority of my day yesterday?

In case you can't, I've been packing.  I decided to call it a day after I found myself labeling a box "Stuff."  I'm sure that will be SUPER helpful when trying to figure out which room that one needs to be moved into.

I had the following text message exchange with a friend of mine....

It was meant to say "a horder of ribbon" *sigh*

And it's true.  Apparently, I DO hoard ribbon and tissue paper.  But in my defense, it was all shoved into this tiny cupboard so I really didn't know what I had, so I'd buy some more white ribbon and tissue paper whenever I thought I needed some.  Well, I suppose that's not really a defense.  Obviously, I need to get better organized in this area.

Before I boxed everything up, luckily I remembered I had two birthday presents to wrap.  So of course, that sidelined the packing but the good news is the gifts are finally wrapped (and not at the last minute for once!).  The bad news?  Somehow I managed to shred my finger using the tape dispenser (I know, I don't know how I managed it either).  I would recommend that if you can avoid doing the same you should do so...it really hurts.

At any rate, I wasn't the only one packing.  Oh no.  I directed the Husband to empty the kitchen of anything he will not need for the next few weeks.  I have to say, he did a pretty good job.  Now whether or not he packed well will be determined once we arrive at the new place and I open the boxes to see what survived.  I'm not too worried as I made sure that I packed all the breakables that I want to make sure survive the move.

Man-Child actually never unpacked when we moved here (to be fair, he hasn't really been here as he's been at school) but he packed a the majority of what was unpacked in his room before he went back to school on Friday.

After the nightmare of the last move, I'm trying to make sure that this one isn't so bad.  But no matter how prepared we might be this time, moving is never fun.

As you might surmise by all the packing talk, I'm feeling pretty confident that this move will actually take place this time.  That's because the seller's actually agreed to our requests and we have it in writing.  AND at least one of the repairs was actually completed yesterday.

So yes, I'm getting kind of excited.  A house.  Finally!  And we will have some of our dearest friends as neighbors.  Life is good.

We have also determined that gray is the new neutral and are poring over ALL the gray.  Here's what you need to know about gray...other than maybe red and orange, gray can be made from most any color.  So we are attempting to find a gray that is not too blue, not too green, not too yellow, not too brown (if the name "Goldilocks" crossed your mind, you aren't alone) - basically what we want is just a soft, neutral gray.  I'm trying not to get too caught up in the decision because, really?  In the end, it's only paint.

All this packing has me really thinking that we should become minimalists.  Considering how much stuff we offloaded in the last couple of moves, you would think that there wouldn't be much left to pack.  You would be wrong.  It seems as we were shuffling stuff out the door to the trash or Goodwill, some other stuff was sneaking in through the back door.  It seems I'm going to have to invest in a good lock for that back door in the new house!

Well, I suppose I've procrastinated for as long as I can...it's time to get back to packing.

January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!

I had hoped to post something really inspirational.  Or a look back at the past year.  Or anything else really...but instead you get this.

Really, by now, you should be used to that.

We did not stay up to ring in the new year.  This isn't new for me.  I know my limitations and figure that the new year will be waiting for me in the morning.  So far, I haven't been disappointed.  But I was surprised that the Husband was also in bed extra early...but then again, he woke up early on New Year's Eve as he had to work.

New Year's day found us kicking around and looking at each other as Man-Child has embarked on another "adventure."  This time he was headed to Chattanooga, TN.  When I asked what was drawing him there he responded with, "Well, it's somewhere we've never been."  I must admit, I do miss being the one to show him new places.  I know...this is important.  He needs to learn to venture out on his own and I need to learn to let him.  But we've been travel buddies for so long now and been on so many adventures together, I kinda feel left out.  Which has me giving the Husband the side-eye.  Whether he realizes it or not, he is my default travel buddy and he'd better get used to it; despite his distaste for travel.

After wasting the morning not packing (yes, I know.  I'm kicking myself.  I need to get on the ball here.) we went to our neighbors annual get together.  Apparently, we showed up too late last year, because Mr. B. specifically told my husband that we needed to get there earlier this year.  So we made our appearance earlier...it seems that Mr. B. is a matchmaker at heart as he was disappointed that Man-Child wasn't with us...he wanted to introduce MC to his grand-daughter.  It was cute.  And I'm honored that he thinks enough of MC to attempt to fix his grand-daughter up with him.

After our visit, we attempted to install the Time Warner digital adapters that are being forced on us...again.  And again we were unsuccessful.  And we are NOT inept with technology...or at least I'm not.  Here's what I think about this whole "forcing us to change" thing.  If, as a company, YOU are making a mandatory change then you need to send your people out to enforce the change from the get go.  Otherwise, you, the company, are making people's life a living hell; as evidenced from the snarky comments that were coming from both of us.  Eventually, they agreed to come out and fix the problem since they couldn't resolve the issue remotely.  And really?  Just how is this adapter going to revolutionize my life?  Methinks very little.

I did pop into the office at least three times over my vacation; which did help me ease into the first day back at work this morning.  But, if I'm honest, waking up to the blaring alarm this morning was not very fun.  I have determined that if I could roll in every day around 10:00 am then the working life wouldn't be so bad...which lead me to buy a lottery ticket at lunch today...being a lady of leisure would definitely suit me.

Yes, this post isn't AMAZING, but it's a post.  So at least I'm making an effort at posting...which is more than I've done in the past year or so.  YAY ME!

Here's hoping that 2016 brings you much joy and peace.  It's gonna be a great year...right?!






December 28, 2015

Favicons for Blogger. Yes, I finally took the time to figure it out. Always a day late and a dollar (or a million) short.

As you may have noticed, any blogging that's been going on around here for the last year or so has been...erratic, at best.

You may have also noticed, in the last couple of weeks I've been posting more - I put that down to the fact that I've been on vacation for the last ten days.  And I've realized just how much I miss it...even the behind the scenes stuff which, admittedly can make me crazy, at times.  I was reminded of this fact as I was faffing about in the behind the scenes stuff today.

The other day I was monkeying around with a photo editing website using a recent picture that actually had me in it.  And when I logged into Blogger today it occurred to me...I haven't updated my picture on the blog in about oh, three or four years!  Bad blogger!  (Note to self: Update Twitter picture too!) But in my defense, I really don't have that many pictures that include me since I'm usually the poor excuse for a photographer in this family.  The picture I was goofing around with was probably what jogged my mind as it is probably the most recent picture I have that includes me.

So, over there on the right is the me of now-ish (it was taken in November by a friend).  I haven't changed too much, I don't think.

Anyway, as I was looking around trying to figure out how to replace the picture (come on people cut me some slack, I haven't messed around in the back end of the blog in over three years!), I stumbled over the layout portion of the blog.  And noticed, not for the first time I'm sure, the Favicon gadget.  But this time, I actually had time to figure out what a Favicon actually is...it is a teeny-tiny picture that you may have noticed on certain web page tabs.  Like these...



And I figured that can't be too hard to do...can it?

After a quick Google search, I came across this website, which explains it in fairly simple terms.  So, if Blogger is finally behaving, you should look up and note that I was able to accomplish this and I'm going to share how I did it.  Now, to be clear, if you are using a different blogging platform, you are on your own for how to upload it - but you should be able to follow the steps I used to actually making one.  Unless of course, you are on a Mac...but even so, I would think the steps are pretty similar.

You'll note mine is fairly simple - which means anyone can make one.  One word of caution though, be pretty sure that you really like the result before you put it on your blog because I put one up and didn't like it.  After creating this one, I spent far to much time trying to get Blogger to use this one instead of the first one that I didn't care for...uggh!

I used PowerPoint but you can use Word, if you'd prefer.

I opened a blank PowerPoint slide, I knew I wanted the initial G.  So I inserted a text box, typed the letter G in a font that I liked and added some background color that I felt coordinated with the colors on my blog (which, hey-ho, maybe I should change that up too?).  Then I saved the PowerPoint as a JPEG (this step is important).

Then I logged out of PowerPoint and opened the JPEG with Microsoft Office Picture Manager and cropped out all the extra white space.  Next click the resize option and in the custom width and height section put 16 in both boxes and hit okay.  This will make your picture teeny-tiny.  Save the new image.

Now log into Blogger and go to the layout section.  If I'm not mistaken, the Favicon gadget is hardwired into your layout and if you don't choose your own, Blogger automatically puts it's ubiquitous symbol there instead.  Click edit and choose the Favicon you created.  Hit save and you should be good to go.

Now, after all that, go create yourself a Favicon.  Are they necessary?  Not really.  Are they fun?  Yes.  And if you don't add your own, just remember you are, in a round about way, advertising for Blogger - which is all well in good; but wouldn't you rather promote your own blog?

Now if you tell my that my "G" Favicon isn't up there; I will probably cry...as I tested and re-tested with success.  Until I hit Preview on this post and the first thing I noticed on THAT tab was the first Favicon...*sigh* Sometimes I think Blogger is just out to drive me mad.