Monday, March 31, 2014

Meet Sophia

The other day Terry sent me this picture with the following text message: "New at the Depot!  Woo!"

Curious, I joined him on a Home Depot trip one evening last week so I could check it out.  Like other branded Chalk Paint, there aren't a ton of pre-mixed colors available, but I was told it is mixable.  In stock, my Home Depot offered a blue and several variations of white.  They also sold an accompanying wax.  I was a little salty because I wanted to try it but I didn't have anything to paint, which is a total lie, because I have a basement full of furniture.  But none of the pieces waiting for me downstairs have told me what they want to look like yet, so I'm in limbo and without any furniture to paint.

But then I bought this table this weekend:

So I promptly went out and bought this paint in color Lace:

And with that Sophia was born:

Tell me you don't love her.  She really is breathtaking.  I've taken to repeating to myself "don't get attached"every time I sneak a glimpse of her from the laundry room.  She still has a little repair work that needs to be done, and I need to wax her, but her overall appearance will not change.  As far as the paint - it worked nicely!  I'm pleased with the finish, I think it's on par with other chalk paints.  That 8 oz. container cost me about $9.  I did two coats on the table and used a little more than half the container.  Once lightly sanded upon completion it has the same soft, velvety texture of other chalk paints.  I don't always use it, but certain pieces call for chalk paint.  For those that do, I have no problem using Home Depot's brand again.

Unrelated, but what a difference 24 hours makes.  This time yesterday, there were snow emergencies being declared and the rain we'd endured all weekend turned into a wintry mix and then eventually all snow.  Minor accumulation, but it was cold, wet, and windy.  Today - sunny and 65.  Kenny got to assume his position, ready for Spring.

And despite all the crazy weather, these guys are still hanging out in my backyard.

And now if you'll excuse me, I have to go to Chicago to hang out with frozen lower extremities. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What I Thrifted This Weekend - OMG Edition

OMG.  It's been like, forever since I've blogged.  Work has been work with one meeting leading straight into another combining post-meeting recon with pre-meeting prep.  Attempting to be witty and profound is difficult when you don't even want to think.  In short: blogging's hard y'all.  I leave for Chicago this week but I did want to sneak in a quick What I Thrifted update.

The above OMG is the cover of this sweet book picked up an indoor yard sale/estate sale this weekend. 

Also found this weekend at the same sale:  ALL THIS AWESOME STUFF!

A table, and an upholstered bench all in need of some TLC.  And the detail!

This sweet little tin cannister - you call it rust, I call it patina.  I'm not sure if those are cherries or strawberries but I don't care because I like both.  This guy is going to be a fun rustic planter, if it ever actually warms up to plant anything.

More awesome, more patina, more rustic, more future planters.  

This sale was the type of sale that didn't have anything priced, the house was trashed within an hour of opening (but not as bad as others I've seen), the signs for the sale were pointed in the clear opposite direction of where the sale was located, but it was awesome.  Lots of vintage treasures at good prices, even if nothing was marked.  A good haul overall and I have to give all credit to my mom for scoring the table.  We went to our first rummage sale of the season last weekend and walked away relatively empty handed.  This sale more than made up for it. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lucky Charms

Since I won't have blogging capabilities on St. Patrick's Day this update is coming a few days early.  While out and about this past weekend Terry and I stumbled upon a local florist that isn't local to us but is local to where we were for the day, and my God this floral shop was excited.  Excited because Shamrock Plants!

$7.50, cash and carry.  And in case you missed it the first time:

There were also signs hanging in the shop windows proclaiming SHAMROCK PLANTS ARE HERE, but I couldn't take pictures of those signs because they were right next to the NO CELL PHONES sign.  Although after chatting with Ricky who worked in the floral shop he explained those signs were really meant for the roving band of young people that are always texting and talking too loudly, so I think I would have been ok.  Anyway, Ricky and his flower shop were excited to have Shamrock Plants and I was too, so I asked Terry to make an illegal u-turn so I could purchase one.

Ricky offered to wrap this guy in foil for me, complete with a bow but I declined insisting I wasn't worthy of foil.  While discussing the No Cell Phones sign, Ricky shared with us his own horror story of going to church on Palm Sunday last year forgetting his cell phone was in his pocket, and he was so distracted through the service worried that it would ring that he forgot to pray.  But God and luck were on his side because his phone did not ring while he was in church; he'll be sure to leave his phone in the truck this Palm Sunday.  And with that he handed me our plant, "May it bring you both good luck!"

Monday is when we all get to be Irish for the day.  People take this to mean they need to drink green beer in excess, when in reality being Irish for the day means people butcher your last name and ask you why you don't tan.  

Whether you're Irish for a day or for a lifetime, the key to being lucky is perseverance and resiliency.  If you stick around long enough you're bound to get lucky at something.  My people almost starved; fought the Vikings, the British and each other; drank too much, and still considered themselves lucky at the end of the day.  

I'll spare you all the "May the wind always be at your back..." stereo-typical St. Patricks Day malarchy (see what I did there?).  If you really want to be Irish for the day, make your own luck.  And if you're not feeling particularly lucky, sit down and count your blessings.  

If you still don't feel lucky you didn't count long enough. 

 I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.    James Joyce


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Before This River, Becomes An Ocean

I'm in a mood.  

Today was inexplicably frustrating - a lot of stops and starts on projects without really completing anything.  The sun was out but the wind was blowing and I was really hoping to get more spray-painting done than I did.  In addition to my frustrating day, this week is going to be a tough week at work, complete with an emotionally-charged meeting happening this weekend that already has my stomach in knots.  And it's not even my meeting.  

I wasn't going to blog.  I was going to pack it up and go to bed and blame it on the time change.  But then I realized the irony in doing so because if I just paid attention to what I was painting, maybe I'd lighten up a little bit.  George Michael said it best - you gotta have faith.  And I indeed do have faith, see?

Faith is the name of my four-legged sister.  My parents adopted her a couple months ago.  She's old, incontinent, walks with a limp, has no teeth, and has a penchant for sitting on top of me. Kenny might not like her, but I think she ranks as one of the best dogs in the world.

This is for her:

Found at the Goodwill; it was broken, it was brown, it could be fixed.  

Like Faith herself, except with more pink.   

To accompany Faith is this framed lithograph of a dog that kind-of, sort-of, not really looks like Faith. 

Well maybe a little in the face.  I mean, they both have noses.

It really is beautiful and I love all the colors.  Painted for my mom, my goal is to create a dog collage in my parent's living room.  This is one of the three that we've recently thrifted.

So the moral of the story is this week will undoubtedly suck, Faith will always limp, but at the end of the day it doesn't matter.  What matters is that you have Faith to get you through to the next day or week that won't suck.  

My faith is in Faith. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dipped Flower Pot

Three things happened last weekend:

1.  We drove about an hour out of town to check out a possible wedding venue.  Everything was going well until we headed home and Terry got lost without realizing he was lost.  "Why didn't you tell me we were going the wrong way?!" he asked me.  I thought the Welcome to Pennsylvania sign was a clear indication we were not heading in the right direction, but I was wrong.  Apparently when he said "Right now, we're going towards Pennsylvania" and I affirmed "Yes, we are headed towards Pennsylvania" he took that mean we were supposed to be going towards Pennsylvania.  But we don't live in Pennsylvania so I'm not sure how one would derive returning to our home in Maryland via Pennsylvania.  Unless of course we were returning home from maybe Vermont?   

2.  I attempted to eat more veggies and was successful!  I really do enjoy vegetables, but I'm a fan of summer vegetables.  Fresh tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, zucchini, that type of thing.  So in the winter I struggle.  The night after our trip to Pennsylvania I prepared roasted broccoli and eggplant with a tomato and mozzarella salad.

No, my tomatoes cannot touch my broccoli and vice versa.  But wait, what's that hanging out with the tomatoes and mozzarella?

AVOCADO!  I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  I like avocado; it's my mouth's way of craving summer.  It really worked well with the creaminess of the mozzarella, and the balsamic reduction blended all the flavors nicely.

3.  I re-potted by button fern.  The poor gal was all but packing up and moving out of her old pot all on her own, but before I could do anything I needed to find a bigger pot for her to relocate to.  Flower pots and planters are one thing I'm always on the hunt for at thrift stores.  They're so unbelievably expensive at nurseries and garden centers.  I recently purchased a pot from the Goodwill that still had the price tag on it - $44.99.  I paid $2.96.  And now it's housing my begonia bulbs.  Larger pots can be harder to find so I'm always keeping my eyes peeled for a comparable alternative.  This weekend I didn't find any large pots, but I did find a small trash can...

So when life gives you a trash can - make a flower pot!

And a dipped flower pot at that! To be fair, this trash can was cuter than the average trash can.  I toyed with the idea of spray painting it when the weather turns nicer, but ultimately impatience won out. 

"Dipping" this guy proved tricky.  And I have to give credit where credit is due, Terry took over this project and I was grateful for it.  Really what was required was lots and lots of tape to maintain a straight even dip line all the way around.  If you look closely you can see the pencil where we traced the outline for the tape.  Once painted, all that was left to do was drill some holes in the bottom, and cross my fingers for a successful pot transition.  

Fresh potting soil and a shot of Miracle-Gro - my sweet little bigger button fern looks super cute in her new home!  It's been three days now and she seems to be holding her own, so hopefully she'll take to her new digs just as well as she took to her previous residence.       

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Spotlight on Frito

Well this doesn't look suspicious.

I walked into our bedroom to find the boys like this on the bed - please note Kenny is sitting on Frito's paw. 

After a rousing game of fetch on the bed, Frito decided he needed to take a load off.

And he continued to stay like that long enough for me to take 75 pictures of him, which almost never happens.

I could not have posed him like that if I tried.  If I did he'd have the whole mopey-ASPCA "stop abusing me" face, which doesn't translate well in pictures.  Unless they're for the ASPCA.  

Not a day goes by that Terry and I don't remark on how far Frito has come since we brought him home a little over three years ago.  We met Frito months before we actually adopted him.  He was at an adoption event, and Terry and I fell in love with him.  However we were in the process of moving in together and the timing wasn't right, so we left him behind.  Fast forward a couple months later, and there's another adoption event but this time without Frito.  Terry was looking at some other small dog, and I reminded him "We said if we were going to adopt a dog it would have been Frito."  The adoption coordinator overheard, said she knew Frito, and he was still available.  Two weeks later, he came home with us.  The stars that had to align to make that connection still astound me.  

We brought Frito home on a Saturday - he didn't come out of his crate until Monday afternoon.  I finally got him to eat by sitting on the floor next to his crate, not making eye contact, and feeding him pieces of pulled pork bbq.  To say he was shy or timid is an understatement, the dog was terrified of everything and everybody.  Before us, Frito had been adopted out once and returned back to foster care not because he was aggressive but because he didn't act like a dog.  Their loss was our gain.  The Humane Society said Frito would never be the dog to greet us at the front door when we got home.  Tell that to the neighbors who have to endure him barking at the window when he see's Terry's truck pull up in the drive way.  Whether it was us, Kenny, or the pulled pork bbq Frito has come into his own, and he's ready for his close up.

People have commented how lucky Frito is to have found us, but it's the other way around.  

We're lucky to have found Frito, twice.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

This is Pretty Much Only Awesome to Me

I couldn't have timed this better if I tried.  Coming on the heels of my Birthday Bulbs post, what did I spy this evening?

Baby Begonia Sprouts!

See, there it is!  There are actually two sprouts in that same pot.  Before I pat myself on the back too hard these bulbs were most likely ready to sprout with or without my help.  Or they have some mutation and their rapid growth will soon result in Begonia's crying out "Feed me, Seymour, feeeeed meeeee!".  And then they'll try to eat Kenny.

Sure, these guys are hanging out in a pot, in my basement, without any knowledge that it's 15 degrees outside with 20 mile per hour wind gusts.  But, there is hope in growth.  There is also hope in the fencing going up in the Home Depot parking lot.  I have it on very good authority this is in fact happening so unless they're receiving a super early shipment of Christmas trees, that means the Garden Center is expanding, which means plants are coming and so is Summer.

Monitoring the growth of these baby sprouts will now give me something to do while I'm watching paint dry.  See, I totally have hobbies.