Tuesday, July 28, 2015

today's the

day.  It's the big reveal.  Oh, first let me mention that we decided against concrete for the walkway and went with pavers.  The backyard patio extension HAS to be concrete though.  (I did mention we have two dogs, right?)

Anyway, after 7 trips to Home Depot and 2 trips to Lowes, the walkway is done.  We called Antonio to do it and I am SO happy with it.

Are you ready for the big reveal?

Are you sure?

I'm sure you're not near as excited as I am but let me tell you this.  Sure, I didn't have to actually lay out all the pavers but my role in this was pretty involved and tiring.  For example, after actually picking out the pavers, I had to figure out how I wanted them and also how many to get.  (FYI, math is not my friend.)  Anyway, Home Depot had this awesome catalog that gave me a formula for the pattern I wanted. 

(Have I ever mentioned that the only thing I ever thought I really wanted to do was to be an architect?  I used to sit around and draw houses and floor plans.  So, I guess the drawing it all out was a little fun.)

So after deciding my walkway needed 360 pavers, I made trips to haul 50 at a time (with one trip of 60), in addition to the 2 trips to Lowes for other material and now I have a walkway.

This is it.

Now my plan is to get from the backyard to the driveway without anymore injuries.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

this will be a

2 Coke day.  I feel it.  The one I have now feels so nice going down I just can't stop.  I won't waste it all at once, I'll wait so the other one will be just as nice later in the day.  A little throwback to when my addiction began.  (Well, it probably didn't start here but it's the only evidence I have.)

Today is also going to be a pool day.  I need to float and chill and swim and float a little more.  Maybe I'll hang out in here and listen to music and do whatever I feel like for a while.  I don't know but today is definitely one of those days.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

we were without

U-verse this morning.  Actually, it went off around 9:00 last night but I was already asleep.  That means we had no internet, telephone or television.  Two guesses as to what happened, one guess for each answer.  Did you guess Maggie and Archer?  Very good.  You're catching on.  So while I was waiting for the AT&T guy to show up between 8:30 and 12:30, I walked the fence to find where the wired fence was out of commission.  I found BOTH places, fixed that and let the dogs back out with their collars.  There were a couple of yelps.  Did I mention that we had to order a new collar?  Yeah, apparently they figured out how to take them off and chew them up.  (sigh...)  So that sums up my day.  Ha.  Yesterday I was so far ahead of everything as far as my to-do list went, I thought today would be a do-whatever day.  Yeah, it was a do-whatever day, as long as the "whatever" didn't involve tv, internet or leaving the house.

I did fix the fence today and the garbage disposal yesterday. Today I came to the conclusion my car needs to have the spark plugs changed.  (You know, now that I'm officially an accomplished DIY-er, I can diagnose things like that.)  If I don't watch it, people might start thinking I'm competent or something.

Anyway, I took this the other night on the driveway.

If I'm not passed out by 9:00 tonight, maybe I'll head out with my tripod... further than the driveway.

Monday, July 20, 2015

so i went to the dog

show on Saturday.  I'm still having a hard time sitting, standing, walking and pretty much just moving my legs around.  It was a morning of intense squats.  Lots and lots of squats, some lasting a second or two and others lasting a few minutes.  OMG.  I hurt.  But here are some of the pictures I got during my squat session... along with a few non-squat session.
This one just seems sassy and like she maybe knows all the latest gossip.

That face.  I don't need to say anything. 


Over it and ready to go home.

I would go try to finish stuff around the house but I'm too sore to get up.  I'll just sit here and look at dogs.

Friday, July 17, 2015

well the walkway

and patio extension were approved by the neighborhood ACC.  Now I'm running out of time to convince Cosme to pay to have it done.  Wish me luck.  And if I don't succeed, wish us both luck.  I'm not stressing though.  I have other things to worry about, like what plants will look good planted in the 3' wide strip between the house and walkway.  By the time the river rock is in, that won't leave much room for anything.

In other news, I'm doing a Capture Crawl tomorrow.  It's the same as a photo walk but it's with Houston Center for Photography.  Everyone knows how I am at socializing.  I think I'm stressing more over that than the walkway.  Anyway, it'll be at NRG where the cooking shows were that Mom did.  It's going to be a dog show.

I should probably think more about going with Maggie and Archer instead of Canon.  You know what I'm saying?  They sure are sweet but dang, they're destructive and stubborn.  Something tells me I'll probably get sidetracked from photos.  Oh well, anything to help with the social anxiety.

Monday, July 13, 2015

well here it

is.  The new roof.

The new CHARCOAL roof.  Remember, I posted the old one here a few days ago.  I'm happy with it.  The only problem is now I don't like the light fixtures and think they need to be bigger and bolder.  Here are a few I found when I first started looking.

But since then I've found several more that I think I like better.  The top left is a lot like what I already have, just a little frillier.  The bottom two, well, I just don't know how well the style matches but I'd probably pick the one on the left over the one on the right.  And the top right?  I like it but I just don't know.  It seems like it's close to that fine line of being a little too rustic.  Whichever one I choose, if any, I just want it bigger and bolder.  I really want it to stand out.

Totally off topic, can I share something?  (I mean of course I can, it is Melanie's family blog...)  It smells wonderful in this house.  I started off making bacon and to make it even better, I just pulled banana bread out of the oven.  Yeah, it smells pretty awesome.

Okay, I've got to run before it gets too hot.  I'm going to water plants in Brazoria.  On second thought, the earlier and cooler it is, I'll probably have more mosquitoes.  Maybe I'll wait.  But, if I do it early, I can get a $1 large drink from Sonic.  (Which I could always do if I waited until this afternoon but I like early happy hour better than afternoon happy hour.)  Maybe I'll do it now and leave a loaf of banana bread for the neighbors.  But first, I'd better try it and make sure it tastes okay. 

Time to TCB.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

well the roofers

were here at 7:00 this morning and it sounds like the house is being torn apart.  Technically, I guess it is.  I'm hoping that our roof, being as old as it is, will come off extra easily, speeding up their process.  I love home improvement projects and I hate home improvement projects.  I love the planning and the finished product.  I hate everything in between.  HGTV really sugarcoats it all by only showing us bits and pieces of the "during" process.  (Yes, I know a whole backyard can't go from desolate to "zen oasis retreat" in 30 minutes but still…)  This is different, in a way, since contractors are out there doing all the work and cleanup but there's still the one thing of the work part I don't like.  The mess.  Everything being out of order and chaotic just makes me a little on edge.  Oh, along with everything being out of order, the dogs are stuck inside to avoid barking and debris.

In other news, Apple sent an email yesterday and my computer is ready!  I'm so excited.  Not only is this computer totally awkward, but once I sit for a few minutes, my back is killing me.  Guess I'll head to Houston shortly and pick up my beloved laptop.  I hope I didn't just jinx anything there.

Maybe if I go watch TV it'll drown out the roof demo and keep my mind off the mess being created out there.  I'm scared to look out the window.  Yes.  This might be a 2 Coke day.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

a week ago

today I messed up my foot.  It's better but sometimes, depending on the shoe or lack of, I still have a slight limp.  A week ago tomorrow I took my computer into the shop.  I still don't have it back.  This is what I've been using as my computer and it SUCKS.

Can you imagine how annoying it is not only trying to work my way around all of these contraptions but using a mouse that I'm not crazy about… on top of one of the contraptions.  I'd really like to have my laptop back.  Having a keyboard at the level of my collar bone is less than ideal.

Yesterday I was in Brazoria and Mom and I picked figs.  This morning I made fig preserves.  I really don't know what they're supposed to taste like so I'm waiting on Eric to try some.  It really only needs his approval.

I think I had 5 cups of figs and that made a little over three jars.  The jars are sealed and the extra is in the refrigerator… awaiting approval.

I'll try to post more tomorrow.  I can only take so much of this computer's setup.  Hopefully I'll receive a call to picked up my repaired laptop soon.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

okay so

I'm not on my phone but I'm also not on my computer.  I'm on Cosme's computer and right now there are too many flight simulator gadgets in my way.  I seriously want my computer back.  On the plus side, I'm able to upload the picture of Lucille I wanted to share yesterday.


This is me without my computer.

Hopefully I'll get a call from Apple to bring my computer in to have the new video card put in any minute now…

Still waiting…

I'll find something else to do to help the time pass.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

this is a first

and I don't like it one bit. I'm doing this from my phone and I absolutely hate it. I like typing on a keypad, not a phone. I like viewing this full, not on a phone. Anyway, I was on my computer last night when all of a sudden my screen went white. Well, a grayish whitish hue. I took it into the Ape store today and found out two things for sure:
1. My video card (or whatever) went out
2. It's normally $545 but for some reason I get it for free

So they ordered the part and I'll take it back in to get it replaced when they call. Since they couldn't finish running their tests without video, they'll finish that once they can see. So until then, I'm hoping for nothing but good news. 

On that note, I leave you with a picture of Lucille. Her expression while resting on Eric's guitar is a fine representation of me typing on my phone.

UPDATE: Forget it. I can't get the image to copy. I'll do it later... or on Facebook. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

so the night before last

I was lying in bed and looking on Pinterest.  There are so many different ways people have pinned to clean out and declutter.  I need to try one of them bad.  I'm running out of room and I'm just ready to throw stuff out.  I was looking over the different ways people are managing, some do a bag of stuff a day or week and others spend a month organizing a certain room.  I haven't really decided which route I'm going to take but I know it needs to be done.  To make it all even better, I've already thrown out or found new homes for a few things from my laundry room.  This is just the beginning.  It is a little overwhelming though.  Some things I know I should get rid of because I never use but then there's the "what if I need it next week" thing.  Also, it's hard to start in one room because when something needs to be taken to another room, I get sidetracked in that other room.  It's a battle, it really is.  I'll probably start next week after Mom goes back.

Today isn't off to an ideal start so I'm about to try to turn it around and TCB.  Yesterday, when Cosme got home from work, we went to the tennis court and hit balls.  After I hit our last ball out of the fence, we decided we'd leave.  According to Cosme, I have a really good swing but my timing is way off.  Oh well, I was hot, tired and HUNGRY.  We stopped by Red Top because there was a long line at Whataburger.  I probably shouldn't have ordered the pickle fries and fried burrito with chili and cheese (one of the best items they had in the school lunch line) because it kept me up not feeling so hot.  [And by the way, I wasn't even very hungry until after the tennis workout... (insert eye roll)...]  Anyway, Cosme left for work this morning and I went to lie down since I had a rough night.  I hate falling back asleep but I did.  I dozed off and now I'm off to a late start.  I have clothes washing a couple of hours later than planned, there weren't any cold Diet Dr Peppers so I'm drinking a cold carbonated water (trying to save my Coke for later in the day) and there isn't any softened butter for my peanut butter toast.  So now I need to add a trip to Kroger to my to-do list.  And to top it all off, my stomach is still feeling funky.  Oh well, live and learn.

For now I'm sharing a picture of the house, just in case they show up and start tearing the old roof off today.  I'll get a better shot from a different angle once I go outside this morning but for now, here's a general idea.

Oh, and that estimate for the walkway I asked for?  It was $500 more than one I got last year... (another eye roll, please)...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

yesterday I mentioned

how I'd talk about all I got done yesterday and the things I'd gone to bed thinking about the night before.  Tomorrow.  But yes, I got most of the stuff put away.  I'm just working on deflating a tiki totem pole.

There are more important things at hand.  Yesterday I called to get an estimate on extending the back porch and getting my walkway.  Here's my idea.
Coming off the back porch a little over 6' and filling in the whole area up to the house and gate with concrete.  Then, from the gate to front yard, only having a walkway.

I sent this text to Cosme after that.
Extending the other side of the porch to the end of the house.  It was just an idea but I'm not totally sold on it.

Then, a little wishful thinking.
Adding a rounded patio area so I can set up a basketball net.  Not really.  Just doing that to add more room for chairs and maybe the fire pit, relocating the stone patio for other purposes or maybe just relocating the whole fire pit area.

And last was the full blown in-my-dreams, phase 4.
Fill in the whole area with concrete and a pool.  I guess Phase 5 of this project would be the french doors added in place of my bedroom for easier access without having to walk through the living room.
I could keep going with all this planning.  For now my goal is finding the right (best and cheapest) person to do Phase 1. 

I was sitting at the dining table in my pajamas, eating my peanut butter toast and another big truck pulled up down the street to deliver shingles.  Did I mention that just about EVERY roof in this neighborhood is being replaced?  Anyway, I was wondering which house was getting the new roof now because the house the truck pulled up to already had their shingles delivered and stacked in their driveway.  Then the doorbell rang.  Crap.  There I am in my pajamas, hair looking crazy and probably with peanut butter toast in my teeth.  I had to answer.  What if those were OUR shingles being delivered?  I answered the door, luckily he had already stepped back a few steps and I told him I'd be out to move the Mustang.  So, looks like our shingles have arrived and the next step is a new roof.

Oh, I guess I should take a before picture, like I failed to do with my furniture.  Did I mention we're going with a different color?  This should be exciting.

Monday, June 22, 2015

the luau

was fun and yesterday I was worn out and today I'm finishing the cleanup.  Well, not that there was much cleanup yesterday.  Putting a party together is a LOT of work and yesterday I rested.  I rested and watched tv and rested and watched tv and snacked on chips and dips throughout the day.

This was yesterday.

This is today.

And for some reason, while I sit here typing, this hat is staring at me, reminding me that coming in here won't make the cleanup go away. 

I will tackle this today and it will ALL be put away.  I am determined.  When I come back tomorrow, I'll tell you how it's all packed away nice and neat and then I'll tell you how thinking of it all last night as I was lying in bed, I searched Pinterest for organization and decluttering.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

i shared the dresser

yesterday but here's the bed.  It's so much better than before.

Today doesn't really start the countdown to the luau because technically, countdown started once the date was set.  Today is when the for-real prep starts.  I'll probably make a cheese ball today, go over one of my MANY lists to make sure I'm not forgetting anything (which I probably am) and I'll go over the decorations to work it all out in my head.  For now I'm working on a pineapple sculpture.  It's something I saw on Pinterest and I decided to try it today for a test run.  I'll keep it in the refrigerator and if it keeps until Saturday, that's great.  If it doesn't, at least I have an idea of how it works.  If it flops all the way around, no big deal.  I've got flowers ordered to put on the table too.

Here's what I just put in the refrigerator.

Here it is with a photoshopped beak.

Here's the original I'm going by.
I think I need a little more practice.  I also think I should use something bigger for the eyes, maybe clove instead of peppercorn?  And definitely make a smaller beak.  Maybe use a smaller knife to make the head a little more rounded?  I don't know.  Like I said, I need more practice.  And if it flops?  No biggie.

For now, I'm off to my lists where there's plenty of TCB to be done... starting with a trip to the vet for Maggie.  Maybe I can fit in a few more things before then.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

i finally got my dresser and

headboard back into my room.  I haven't finished the mirror so it's still in the garage but I'm fine with that. 

You know, things can be a lot different online than in person.  I went to Home Depot with an idea of a few of the knobs I liked.  Some felt cheap, some looked ugly and others just weren't right.  Then I saw one that I liked but just didn't know if it would match.  I had a couple of each that I was going to bring home and try out.  I don't know what came over me next.  I put all of those back and got (what I thought was) enough for the dresser and chest.  I came home and put them on.  Here it is with the knobs I decided on, which weren't in the original lineup.

And a closeup. 

There was just something about those knobs I liked.  And then I realized something.

Every door knob in the house is the same shape.  It's a good thing I like it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

well the rain has started

but on the plus side, I don't think it'll be near as bad as the hype.  No, I'm not a meteorologist but I've watched the news for years.  I guess all the people doing their grocery store stockpiling might have more to do with them thinking they'll be flooded in? Maybe?  I don't know.  I mean Houston did take a beating with the flooding a couple of weeks ago.  I'm sure Cosme wishes Houston would have another flood day.  Anyway, the center of the storm is supposed to hit around Matagorda Bay, making us on the bad side of the storm.  But my main worries right now are 1) the luau and 2) drying the yard out for the luau.

Anyway, this was yesterday

 This is today

Not bad at all but again, some of that dry weather sure would help with my to-do list... and the luau to follow.

I've been doing laundry and trying to get the last of it done this morning but here's what's been going on in the laundry room.  Strat and Lucille have found a new spot.

I guess that'll change once I finish.

Monday, June 15, 2015

i've been running around

all morning.  We've got a luau on Saturday, all the planning that goes with a party and a storm brewing in the gulf.  So, I'm trying to get as much running around as I can today while the sun is still out.  I don't get it.  It was raining earlier and now it's sunny.  Whatever, they said the rain should start this evening but I'm just hoping it turns towards Corpus Christi because I've got a LOT to do before Saturday.

Part of my running around today was trying to find something to wear to the luau.  If there's anyone whose wardrobe is anything but luau friendly, it's me.  I've got you covered for fall but a luau?  Not so much.  I found a few things at JCPenney and this is the brightest group of clothes I've worn since... probably since the 80's when everything had to be florescent.

And just because it's a luau for Mom's birthday, I even picked one shirt that's pink.

Now I'm off to run more errands while the sun is out.  Man, I sure hope that storm turns away from us.  I need some good, dry weather for party prep.

Friday, June 12, 2015

i have a picture for

today and it was my photo-a-day challenge and went to fb as well. 

These are my lists for today.  I think I might have a problem.  Is it normal to want everything listed out with details?  Is it normal for those lists to put someone in a good mood?  I'm going to take that as a yes and go on with it.  I've got one list of all the places I need to go today and then each of those places has a list of things I need once I get there.  If that wouldn't put you in a good mood then you're not normal.

One of those lists is for Home Depot, where I need to get some stepping stones and dresser knobs.  (By the way, I haven't decided and I guess I'll have to make a few phone calls before that happens and probably drink a Coke... "think about the lists Melanie, it will all be okay...")  Here's where even more awesomeness kicks in.  Lately, I've been trying to do my Kroger shopping on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays because they're giving double fuel points through August 2nd.  Anyway, I checked my email this morning and they're doing 4X fuel points on gift cards!  Maybe it's only me but I LOVE that.  This means I'm going to get a Home Depot gift card from Kroger before my shopping trip, in addition to a Dominos card and anywhere else I think I might can use in this busy week coming up.  I doubt I'll get the 2X points on top of the 4X points but I don't care.  I'll take the 4X points and my awesome lists.  And to top it off, MY CAR NEEDS GAS.  Now is where the Melanie way of thinking kicks in.  I hope all this wonderful stuff putting me in a great mood this morning isn't some way of balancing out dreadful stuff to come.  For now, I'm going to enjoy it and buy those gift cards and fill up with gas with a discount and try not to think about what's going to happen to kill this mood.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

it's not that i don't

appreciate the fact that there are people who get paid to do services for everyone, whether is due to lack of time or lack of knowledge, but I've really had enough lately.  Like I said, I'm glad someone is available to do the work I don't want to do or don't know how to do but I've got one word.  No I don't, I have too many words but let's just simplify it and start with "respect".  Respect of other people's belongings.  Respect of other people's property.  Respect of other people's space.  I won't expand on it here but this is Eric's car. 

Like I said, I won't get into it here and I won't even text about it... but if you want to call me, I will totally go to town.  I'm trying not to get worked up because let's face it, it's a dent and isn't 1,000 times worse.  But again, "respect", people.  RESPECT.

On the bright side, everyone is well and I'm sitting here drinking a Coke.  I've got a luau to plan and invitations to finish, shopping to do and meals to eat.  Things are pretty good.  Just don't get me riled up and things will stay that way.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

i've been a little busy

today.  Actually, I've been a lot busy today.  First, here's the headboard I painted the other day.
I think it's ready to go back to the bedroom.

Paige came over today and helped me with the dresser.  Here it is.
Now I just need to let it dry and find knobs for the drawers.  I have a few in mind.  (Side note: that dresser was a PITA since those drawers wouldn't come out.  Nobody tell me there's a secret to it now because it's too late and I'm not going back.)  I think we'll start the last piece on Monday and in the meantime, I'll think more about whether or not I should do my dining table and chairs and decide on knobs.

I kind of like these too but don't think they'd match the the style of the furniture.

Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

and then there

was a fence.

Now I just need to start my planning for a walkway and landscaping... and patio extension.  I have something like this in mind, but leaving a little space, maybe with rock, for access to the breaker box and all that mess.

I do think something like this would be good too.

But I like things a certain way and that seems too rounded and off balance.  If that makes any sense. I don't know.  I just don't know.  I guess I better find out how much it costs first.