Tuesday, July 29, 2008

reading catch up

Since I haven't posted on what I've been reading lately, I thought I would put the last 3 books I've read into one post and let you know what I thought about each one.

Pieces of my sisters life: good story, takes place in the northern atlantic coast. Nice setting. I loved how you would convince yourself when you were reading this book that such-and-such wasn't going to happen, then you would just be so shocked when it really did! I guess I just couldn't belive in a lot of instances that the author *went there* with the story. It was a great summer read nonetheless and I would recommend it as that.

The namesake: sucked! I was so looking forward to this book. It got such wonderful reviews, won prizes, NYT bestseller blah blah blah. That doesn't give the story a plot! I suppose it was trying to be an 'epic novel' that jumps across the boundaries of generations, but not so much. It was just boring, I didn't like the characters and there was no 'lesson' to be learned from it.

My best friend's girl: haven't been able to put this one down! I got to page 120 and had a major *duh* moment and if I hadn't been so far along in the book, I would've gone back and started over. You know how you have a certain image in your head of the characters. Page 120 just completely threw me off and I've had to rethink the whole premise of the book. I don't know if I missed it earlier on, but if you choose to read this one, I'm not giving it away! Great great book. The basic storyline is: best friends have a falling out, one friend contacts the other when she's dying to ask her to care for her child after she's gone. You can imagine the rest. Great summer read!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bistro Project part 2

We have a chair!!! Hubby woke me up during my after dinner siesta and asked me to come check it out. There it was, sit in it hon he says. Um, that was easier said than done. He hopped right up in it, it was a tad too tall for my short legs. That was his point, after looking at the chair and thinking of his vertically challenged wife, he thought there might be some problems. 3" off the legs later, I present to you a lovely chair to match my bistro table. I like the shorter as well because now the arms of the chair go under the table. I measured both of the tables in my house in proportion to their chairs and they were 12" from the top of the table to the top of the chair, so we kept that proportion the same on this set. I really like it. I can totally see us in the evening chillin with a beer sitting on our patio with this set.

Bistro set project part 1

So since hubby has been doing such a fab job on the adirondack chairs, I decided to give him a challenge. I want a tall bistro set for my future patio. Obviously if it goes well, we will try to sell them like we've been doing with the chairs. I took a couple chairs with me yesterday to a big yard sale and the response was unbelievable. I knew my husband was talented, but I was impressed that so many other people thought so as well. I didn't bring the chairs home ;o) So, for the bistro set, I printed out some pictures with ideas for what I wanted, but John decided to go with his own design. We finished the table last night and he's working on a chair today. I'm not sure what the going price would be for something like this. We're making these out of pressure treated lumber, most sets like this that you would see would be made from teak or cedar or oak. I'd like to make them affordable and the higher priced wood would jump the price up significantly.

So here's the table (with a little shameless self promotion in the background):
The detail of the top of the table (again with the self promotion):

is good, no?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Silly ass co-workers!

So a coworker in another town and I were talking about a month ago when the whole salmonilla tomato scare was in full force. She had her little 'freedom garden' planted so she was going to be set with the tomatoes. Well, I love me some tomatoes, and I made her promise, no poop with the tomatoes. She said that the second red tomato that she got, she would send it my way! I sure wish she'd sent it before lunch, I'm afraid I'm too stuffed to eat it now!

I put the tic tack box on there so you could get a true feel for the size of this monster. Nearly pee'd myself when the courier dropped this on my desk.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What is $383?

It could be:
-a moderately expensive car payment (for me)
-first oil fill of the year
-really big wal mart shopping trip
-plane ticket to somewhere fun
-one night in a fancy hotel
-new cookware
-new dining room set (an inexpensive one)
It's not any of these things, do you give up? Okay, the real answer is, this is that fun thing I get in the mail every month called: MY ELECTRIC BILL!!! The truth is, it's actually less than last month. We've known there's some sort of problem so we've taken small steps, and now we're taking big ones. We turned off the hot tub about a month ago to see if that makes a difference, obviously that isn't the kicker so we can go back on that. I haven't used my drier since the new electric cycle started, but I only do like 1 maybe 2 loads of clothes a week. I've been using drying racks. I've been cutting back the air when we aren't home. Keeping the shades pulled. All the lights are turned off. I just don't get it. It's not like my house is a mansion! It's tiny! I'm thinking I may get hubby to install a new cut off switch for the furnace so it's not heating up water when we aren't home. Any ideas?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

stupid stupid girls...

So, hubby is gone for the rest of the week... Do I need to mention how exciting this is??? That means I will be:
-cooking a big fancy dinner just for me
-watching oprah and what not to wear til the wee hours
-cuddling with as many critters as I can squeeze on the bed
-sleeping in the middle of the bed
-cleaning without having someone mess up behind me
-NOT building chairs
ahhh.... how sweet it all is.... there is a problem though, my hubby's employee, his wife does not see all these wonderful things. Nope, she wants him home with her. Just what the hell is wrong with my species??? It's times like this that I'm downright embarassed to be female... so darn needy. Not only that, but he could be leaving you with 2 kids while he goes to Iraq for a year. Go stay with BFF for a while and find out how fun that is. It's all just very frusterating.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

So Sad....

Who didn't grow up watching the Golden Girls??? You will be missed Estelle...


So while driving home from DC Saturday, we passed a whole bunch of these:

Now, obviously I've seen these signs before, but.... how? The logistics just don't seem right. John said, well maybe the aircraft radios to someone on the ground to come catch you. Um, okay. But how would they identify me? Late model tan sedan? I'm sure that among the 5 lanes of traffic on the beltway, that'll be easy to spot! They can't scan your car, it doesn't have some secret government microchip in it with all your info. He could probably get close to me and follow... until there's an overpass! There's even signs like this on the Bay Bridge. If I see a helicopter trailing people on the Bay Bridge, I'm going to be more than a little concerned. It would be a very cool story to tell that you got pulled over by a helicopter though.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Catching up....

So, I haven't blogged for a few days, life hasn't been that interesting, until yesterday...

Chapter 1: For the love of cheap pavers!!!

So, I saw this ad in the paper for this place in Salisbury that was moving locations. They want to sell their bricks so they don't have to move them. The sale started at 8 on Saturday. Laura wants a patio that goes here:

notice the half taken down deck that requires way too much maintenance to keep it looking wooden? yeah. Don't want that anymore. So, we call our good friend JC because we know he has a huge trailer and we know that we'll get a better deal on pavers if we take them with us rather than asking to have them delivered. He drops off the trailer Friday night and we're ready to go! We decided to hook my Yukon up to the trailer because it's wired for trailer brakes already and we're thinking that by the time we get our pavers, this rig is going to be kinda heavy. JC points out that one of his tires on the trailer is leaky so check it before we leave. Okey Dokey! Checked for lights before we pulled out, there weren't any, but if you've pulled a trailer, you know that happens because the lights get their ground from the hitch ball sliding around on the trailer tongue.

So, we get to the place shortly after 8 and after about 6 calls from my place of employment, we get to some lookin. Find just what we want! And the guy says that there's plenty more at his new place that he'll sell us for the same price, sweet! They are normally close to $4 a square foot but he's sellin them to us at like $1.80 a square foot. That's WAY cheaper than anywhere else. So we get 3 pallets which is just over 300 square foot for like $650. Total total deal! (note to Karen: total Cowboy sighting down there, lookin good! apparently his wife wants a patio too!)

So, since we're taking them with us, we pull around to their new location to load up. Pavers are fucking heavy by the way! This is a car trailer that we borrowed. The guy drops the first pallet on the trailer and I decide to step out of the truck, because it jerked me around worse than a car accident. The second pallet was even worse. Then we can't decide if it's better to put the third pallet at the very front of the trailer, or the back. We try the front, my truck drops about a foot. We try the back, at that point we figure out which tire JC is talking about when the weight of the pavers drops the rim of the tire onto the asphalt parking lot. Oh, and this raises the ass of my truck about a foot in the air. We go for the front option because dragging ass is better than a flat tire. We immediately head out in search of air. I bust out the calculator and figure out that each pallet weighs about 2400 lbs and so that means we have 7200 pounds of brick on probably a 1500 pound trailer. Yeah, my owners manual says my truck is rated for 6000 pounds. That means we need to avoid weigh stations on the way home. Jump out on 50 and thank you Valero for being right there when we needed you! It's scary the way the trailer was squirrelling around with a goofy tire (tandem axle so at least one was good on that side). After that we were fairly home free. We knew where the weigh stations were to avoid them and even though it took like a mile for my truck to get up to 50 mph, she made it the rest of the way without incident. This picture was taken after we jacked the front of the trailer up so as not to ruin my shocks.

Chapter 2: Rush Concert

For John's birthday in May, I got him tickets to see his favorite band everrrr. The concert was last night at Nissan Pavilion. This was my first concert at Nissan and I loved it! If it wasn't a 2 1/2 hour drive from here, we'd be going every weekend. You can get lawn seats for like $10 a ticket to see awesome shows. We had actual seats because I wasn't familiar with the lawn, if I were to go back, I'd have no problem with the lawn though. Took the pos honda up there (complete with new CV joints thanks to Moe) and everything went completely as planned. The show was awesome, we left after 3 hours because we wanted to beat traffic home, but for old guys, they totally rocked it out! The tour was called the 'Snakes & Arrows' tour, but it could've been called the 'white and nerdy' tour. The group that sat down beside us all had mowhawks, cutoff jeans and acid washed sleeveless jackets (and no deodorant!) and they totally fit in with the rest of the crowd. I was surprised at how many college age kids there were there, most people my age have never heard of Rush, I think their heyday was in the late 70's.

Here's us: yes, we're extra sweaty because, well... it was 90 degrees out yesterday and it was a pavillion... I didn't even bother with the makeup. Oh, and did I mention that Nissan Pavillion has like 8 bazillion stairs???
Random picture from the show. If you LOVE Rush, I can send you more.

Chapter 3: Sunday morning randoms.

So this morning, John wasn't sure whether to do windows or chairs. It was freakin hot outside, so he opted for chairs because at least then he can work in the shade. So we put together another chair first thing and John built a foot rest for this one. I sat in it to try it out and said: go get my book.

Chair 2.0

Starsky, lovin the chairs!

A chair in progress and a photo op for my 4th of July pedi. Cute, no?

Chapter 4: Sunday afternoon/evening.

So our buddy JC told us not to bother unloading the pavers, he has another trailer to bring his bobcat over and he has forks for the bobcat so he can just drop them off for us. Sweet! That saves us from unloading them by hand! So just when John was finishing up his most recent chair, I threw some burgers on the grill and started boiling some corn. Just as we were finishing up our burgers, here comes JC and his dad with the bobcat. Well, remember that calculation way back at the beginning of this post, about how much each pallet weighs? Yeah, bobcats only pick up like 1200 pounds. Even with people hanging on the back of them trying to weigh them down. I swear the back wheels of that bobcat were like 2 feet off the ground. So we started unloading. Got a few rows of bricks off and the bobcat, she did struggle, but the pallets were safely on the ground. So, John said he'd follow JC back to his house with his trailer that we'd borrowed, oh, and did I mention he never ate his corn? Yeah, in the meantime, he let the dogs out. Who'da thought?

Oh, and my new siding was delivered last week, here's what it's gonna look like. I'm lovin the gray so much more than the white! The beaded is a nice detail.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Like a month ago, I introduced you to Stuff White People Like so now I feel like even though I can't access it at work (racists!) I must share this: Stuff Black People Hate

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Place your order now

So John's been working on putting in our new windows for the last few weekends. He has 12 down and 8 to go. He finished up the 3 he installed yesterday this morning, but for this afternoon, he decided we should do something *fun* together. So here you have it. Place your orders now for the Wooters original adirondiac chair! He said next is a loveseat. It's amazing what a new band saw will make a man do.
Admiring his work:

I think the apron is a nice touch, don't you?

I ain't no dummeh!

Can you find the dog in this picture?

It's Daisy, you can kinda see the gold between the branches. I didn't want to disturb her because if I walked outside, she would feel she needed to get up to greet me and I wanted her in her natural habitat. So while John has been installing windows the last 2 days, this has been Daisy's home. I realized yesterday that she has dug about a 12" hole under this bush where she can see the street and the front door and she's just been hanging out there. It's nice and cool I'm sure and she can see everything that's going on. Unlike her silly bird dog sister who I have to keep putting in the house for fear of her getting heat exhaustion.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Book o the week

What a great great treat I have for you this week. This book is absolutely incredible! Amazing imagery, the characters seemed to develop right on cue, and it was kind of realistic. It gave a different view of the middle east than some of the books I've been reading lately. This is a much much lighter read than a thousand splendid suns or kite runner. More of a beach book. This definately goes down as one of my favorites though!

She MUST write a book!

Like most of the world, I followed the Ingrid Betancourt drama on the news. What an amazing woman. The pictures of her seeing her children for the first time in 6 years made me cry. I would be getting as far away from Columbia if I were her as I could, but she still loves that country and wants to be president. What a role model for our young women out there!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

book o the week

So here's what I'm reading currently, so far so good. It's about a girl (Beryl) whos dad abandones her at a young age and her mom remarries and they all have these quirky yet real obsessions. So far I would call it interesting and well written, but not groundbreaking.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Pit Bulls

Here's a sweet story about the fate of that dirty, nasty Michael Vick's dogs that were used for fighting. They appear to have much happier lives today.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Forgive me Victoria...

For I have strayed. I used to buy your bras in college, when I could run over to the mall and I had way more disposable income than I have now. That's really your secret isn't it? College kids with more disposable income than they realize. Well Vicky, years went on and I got broke. I saw these vassarette or hanes bras in WalMart and they sure did look a lot like yours, and they were only like $12 instead of $40. I did not realize the difference at the time. I started running low and pulled a trusty VS out of the back of the drawer drawer lately and I have to tell you Vicky, I am so sorry. I can't believe I ever doubted you. Since I've been back on track, I have not slid a single bra strap back on my shoulder, and that's worth it!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Book o the week

I do love Jodi Picoult. Yes I do. So this is what I'm reading at the moment. I've read a lot of her books and this one is significantly different. The other books I've read of hers have been based on courtroom drama. Even though she's not like a John Grisam kind of writer. She focuses more on the 'feelings' than the law aspect of things. Anyway, This, so far, has been more of a doctor/hospital book which is very different than what I've read by her in the past. Jodi Picoult must do an unbelievable amount of research for each of her books because the detail she puts into each one is incredible. I have found this one to be no different.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

you know you want something free...

This stuff is so cute too! she's giving away something different every day, and it's all like kitschy crafty preppy. Enjoy!