Friday, July 23, 2021

Ordinary Times Call For An Adjustment

Week 29 of 2021 was neither joyful nor joyless. It was just an average week, filled with mostly average days. I imagine the excessive rain had something to do with the lack of excitement. I know it seriously impacted my swim time and that seriously impacted my mood! So here is to some sunshine, swim time, and an attitude adjustment. Fingers crossed!

 Friday:The day was pretty uneventful but we had plans to go out to eat, which fell apart  at the last minute. I think the biggest joy was actually getting dressed to go out, even if it did not happen. I probably should pay more attention to my hair, makeup and clothes everyday, but I only go to the grocery store, Mom's house or stay here at home and none of those places care what I look like.

Saturday: We made our usual trek to the produce market. Even though it is not keto, sometimes you just have to cave to delicious watermelon and an ear of corn. Mouth dribbling joy!

Sunday: I slept late, well at least very late for me and did not wake until almost 9. TheHub and I had a mostly lazy day, though we did go out riding around for a bit, and we got to talk with a couple of the sons. 

Monday: This does not sound joyful and was not while I was doing it, but I got the stairs at Mom's house sanded and stained. Talk about a huge difference. The joys are it looks so much nicer, and it is done!
Later that afternoon and through the night we had horrendous rains and flooding. I am thrilled that we had no flooding at my house.
And the last joy was TheHub's dinner meeting left me to my own devices at dinner. Translation: No cooking!

Tuesday: There was a special joy that the waters which were so high in Mom's back yard receded leaving little debris in its wake. And the second, though somewhat selfish joy, was TheHub's second dinner meeting this week which meant I did not have to cook again!

Wednesday: I spent all week waiting for various people to show up at Mom's to do a little bit of last minute work. I waited all day Wednesday for the guy we hired to do some work in Mom's back yard to call me so I could see it and pay him. It was a no show, no communication type of day. My beloved sister was the contact point and I did not have his phone number, but she had texted him my number because she had several appointments and would be unavailable. So I basically wasted my day hanging around waiting  on his call. While I was waiting for him I did at least have a really nice phone visit with my cousin who lives in San Antonio.

Thursday: The yard guy finally showed up and did a really nice job, then it was wait for the electrician. I knew he was not coming until later in the afternoon but he has great communication skills, and a little heads up is all I really ask for. He did not finish until well after 7, but he did change over the old fuse box to a breaker box. And that was the last major hurdle.  

I hope you find your joy this week. I hope I find/create more joy this week. It is always there even on regular mundane weeks!

And these are the pics of Mom's post reno. All we really did was trim the bushes and shrubs and change the paint colors.

If you look in the center of the lawn you will see my flip flops. Mom's grass is so thick, it eats my shoes, so I usually take them off before stepping in it.  I forgot yesterday and just left them where they came off.

Front porch

 Patio in the front yard

Back of house


Monday, July 19, 2021

Glub, Glub,Glub

I know some of you are dry, parched and blazing. It is anything but dry here.
How Mom's backyard looks on a normal day. The creek bed is about 30 feet from the tree on the left.

From this angle the tree on the left is now the tree on the right and is about 5 feet from the water
Will trade a couple of dry days for a couple of inches of rain!

Plan, Pffft

I love to cook, but in the summertime I like to swim in the early evening. I get my exercise done without the bother of sunscreen. But swimming late does put a dent in the meal prep time. Our resulting meals are now something I can either cook ahead of time or throw together at the last minute. 
Each morning I cook the previous days harvest either for dinner or for the freezer. (This will change once the okra starts coming in. It is not a happy vegetable if it gets cooked in advance) If it is going to be eaten that night it goes into the fridge for a quick warm-up for dinner.  Since I am being very intentional about planning things that require little last minute cook time, I should actually a little more apt to stick (mostly) with the plan. As you can tell, I did not.

And if you do come to my house, I will offer you candy, but don't expect anything you see in stores because I order sugar free candy from Choc Zero. (no affiliation, just a really good product ) It is a  good alternative for a no sugar treat. The downside is it is so tasty and smooth that TheHub has started eating it too.  I kept noticing the wooden box I keep it in was awry but didn't think anything of it. I only allow myself a couple of pieces a week and the last time I was getting some I realized  it was seriously low, and just about all the milk chocolate was gone. So now my only alternative is to re-order a bunch more so he can have his quota (which is more often than mine) or order only dark chocolate. I guess we will see if I have a totally black heart or not!

What was planned:
1. Veggie meal subject to garden and produce stand finds, keto cornbread
2. Meat loaf, caulimash,  sautéed zucchini, tomato slices
3. Greek style snapper, green beans, tossed salad, keto dinner rolls or keto hushpuppies
4. Maurice Salad, rolls or keto crackers
5. Thai lettuce wraps
6. Chicken enchilada bowl

What we really ate:
Monday: I had a lot of chicken left over from a rotisserie chicken meal and it had to be used pronto. Additionally I really did not want to go to much trouble preparing dinner.
Chicken enchilada bowl

Tuesday: I fully intended to have a meatloaf that I had prepared and frozen a little while ago, but as I was getting it out of the freezer I found 2 German hamburger patties I had frozen. They have the taste and feel of meatloaf (mostly) and I had the advantage of being able to cook them in the air fryer.( No oven heat!)
German hamburger patties, mashed potatoes or cauliflower rice, asparagus

Wednesday: We both grew up in households having vegetable dinners when veggies were at their prime. It is something I have continued all of our married life and to us a meal of fresh vegetables just screams summer.
Squash casserole, green beans, sliced banana peppers, sliced tomatoes

Thursday:  I decided I was not going to cook___ period, the end. TheHub decided it might be a great night for us to bring home some takeout.
Fried chicken, coleslaw, fried okra (or none)

Friday: We had decided we would go out to eat, and would find a restaurant that had delicious food, but was uncrowded enough for my comfort level. I was kind of excited to get gussied up with hair done and full makeup, but right before we were leaving TheHub started feeling pretty bad. Nothing is worse than going out when you feel like crap, so_____.
Curbside pickup meal: Grilled lamb, grilled veggies, Greek salad

Saturday: We both woke early, watched a little of the British Open then ran out to do a few errands. One of them was a stop at our regular produce stand.  That stop decided what we would be eating for dinner.
Pink eye peas, corn on the cob, fried green tomatoes, cuke peach salad.

Sunday: TheHub was still not feeling great, and wanted nothing heavy for dinner. It was fine with me and I actually made  a planned meal
Maurice Salad*

What's up next:
1. Pesto chicken, over pasta or zoodles,  sliced tomatoes, green. beans
2. Cereal or something equally easy (Hub has a dinner meeting)
3. Chopped salad, rolls or keto rolls
4. Veggie dinner (depends on garden output)
5. Grilled something (steak or burgers) tossed salad, green beans
6. Take out
7. Veggie dinner (tbd based on what we have in the garden)

I am sure things will change because they always do, but neither of us are underfed and dinner will happen one way or another.

Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan, or with no plan at all!

And now I need to quit writing this post, go string beans to cook, and prep some squash for another squash casserole!

*The Maurice salad was perfectly fine, but I obviously have no sentimental attachment to a salad served at a now defunct department store in Detroit. All the reviews I read were so favorable and they claimed it tasted just like the salad they had eaten previously.  Like I said, it was tasty, but did not wow us at all. I would have  been just as happy with a chef's salad. 

Friday, July 16, 2021

Joys Even When It's Raining

And now the 28th week of the year is over. This week had a good bit of rain and afternoon thunderstorms mixed with some beautiful mornings and one drop dead gorgeous day. Well it was drop dead gorgeous if you like sunshine, blue skies, big fluffy clouds and 90 percent humidity! That is why I wear only cotton clothes during the summer.

The day was beautiful until late afternoon showers. Fortunately I got my swim in between them. (I don't mind swimming in the rain, but there was lightning and thunder and I just don't go there.)
We were able to stream my DIL's show and loved hearing her and her band of heathens.
Midway through the show, my SIL arrived to stay with us for the weekend so she got to see/hear her too.

Saturday: My SIL was still visiting with us and went with us as we made our Saturday rounds. She wanted to go to Leaf and Petal ( a plant___I don't know that there is a better word than emporium to describe it) They have everything you could ever want beautifully displayed. (Including a cement monkey that I wanted badly, but it cost much more than I was willing to pay)  While we were out we stopped by their clearance store where I found a huge planter (more than %50 off) for the patio and Christmas presents for Book Club. I am going to start going there at least once a month just to see what is newly reduced.
We did a few more errands then picked up lunch to bring home. After that we did a little work around here, sat on the porch under the fans, and talked. We intended to swim but waited too late and the thunderstorms came. It was still a really nice day!

Sunday: My SIL got up early to go to a local church. One of her son's friends was hired as the minister and she wanted to go hear him. Afterward she decided to ride to Tuscaloosa to visit with some of their cousins, so TheHub and I just hung out and read. When she came back we ate and then got a FaceTime call from Pip then spent time watching TV while talking and laughing. 

Monday: SIL left Monday morning. She has 3 grandchildren she often keeps and needed to get back to them. We really did enjoy her visit and hope she will come more often.  My sister and I met at Mom's and set up a few props so we could get some shots of the house to use on the Zillow post.  We laugh a lot at silly things when we are together.

Tuesday: Tuesday's biggest joy was getting to stay home all day. I finally had everything I needed to get Mom's sewing supplies, that had been sitting in a huge box in the laundry room for a couple of months, organized. Yea me! Never accuse me of needing immediate gratification!  Now I just need to find a place for Dad's LP's and CD's, but that might be for another month !?!

Wednesday: My Beloved Sister came over to my house mid morning. The day was gorgeous and we put the pool to good use! Later in the afternoon we met at Mom's to talk with an electrician about changing the fuse box to a breaker box. We need to have things up to code before selling the house and code has changed substantially since my folks built the house.
That night we watched a live stream jazz show from FirstLive in Brooklyn. Aaron Matson has a tight little combo, and has the voice of a crooner. It was very enjoyable.

Thursday: I had a wonderful phone visit with Sluggy. She makes me laugh out loud. In fact, I am glad I was not drinking coffee or I would have spewed a couple of times.

I hope you find your joys each day. They are always there even if you really have to look for them.

Today I am sharing the photos of the rest of the interior changes

There is no point in showing a living room before picture since she only got some fresh paint. The original hardwoods are just as pretty as they have always been.

The dining room had some pretty dated wallpaper but seriously gorgeous hardwoods

Wallpaper removal and a coat of paint made a huge difference. As a frame of reference the china cabinet is about four feet wide.

One view of the den

Another angle. The cabinet to the right of the piano was built to house Dad's stereo, and the alcove was built to hold the piano. We had to rethink it when we had everything painted.

Bad angle and bad lighting 
This room is kind of tricky to photograph. If I were buying the house I would change out the outside door to the deck to  a 15 pane glass door, just to let in more light. But that's just me. The new owner can do it if they want to.
Painting everything really brightened the den. We had to rethink the piano nook, but fortunately I had a TV from the lake house hanging out in my basement. We lowered the shelf and it worked.  Staging it for television placement looks intentional. I do have a small sage colored desk from the lake that I might put underneath just to fill the gap.

The fireplace does not look so foreboding now that the walls are painted

This is the multi use room in the basement. It is approximately 37x24, and you can't tell in the photo but the walls are light blue with fluorescent overhead lighting. 

The ecru paint really did warm the room and the recessed lighting looks so much better. For scale that is a regulation sized ping pong table in the corner. The room also had a kitchenette/ wet bar at the back of the room.

Another angle of the gigantic room

Kitchenette/Wet bar with sink, two burner gas stove and mini fridge

All we did in here besides the ecru paint was to reface the refrigerator  and change the color of the cabinet tops

I am not going to post pictures of the bedroom b and a because they were simply painted  and the hardwoods cleaned. There was virtually no change.

Up next exterior shots.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

More Bits and Pieces

I thought I would show pics of the mini flip at Mom's of just the kitchen today, and decided before and after shots would be the easiest way to do it.

Kitchen as it was before the flip. The cabinetry is all solid wood and much higher quality than we could have replaced them with, so we decided to keep them. 

Post flip

Stove and Microwave

Same view with the pocket door to the dining room closed

Tight shot of  Corian counters, blacksplash, window sill, and molded sink

Tighter shot showing the quartz counter top, new under mount sink, tile backsplash, and new faucet and new windowsill

Family dining area centered in a bay window

Post flip but a narrower view. Paint and a new light fixture is all that really changed.
 We kept my grandmother's table in the eat -in area just to give it some scale. It their table when she and my grandfather were first married in 1918. Neither my sister nor I could use it in our homes, but after the house sells it is going to my cousin's daughter.  I am just happy for it to stay in the family.

View from the dining room door

Same view but slightly different angle

You might or might not have noticed there is no picture showing the refrigerator. It is on the other side of the room but we had a little snafu. The new quartz countertop is a tiny bit wider than the previous Corian was. The refrigerator was always a tight fit, but now it will not fully recess into its "hole". We are waiting for a little adjustment, which is the last piece of the puzzle before we can list the house.

Fingers crossed it happens soon. Though this house has been a big part of our  lives since we were kids, we are ready to lock the door and hand the keys over to another family, who will hopefully love it as much as Mom and Dad did.


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Bits and Pieces

As most of you know, we have been doing a small mini flip at Mom's house. I am sharing some of the things that have changed a little. I would appreciate constructive feedback, since we are just about ready to create the Zillow listing. The house is vacant except for 3 pieces of furniture and it is very difficult to stage an empty house without going to the expense of hiring someone who has all the staging furniture at their disposal. Instead we grabbed a few things from our houses to hopefully create some inviting pictures of an empty space.

This was the deck outside her kitchen door. It is a large deck and the only thing we did was have it painted

After the paint job

A sweet spot to wind down, possibly with some wine

Grill and an exit

Stairs, obviously!

This was the original Master Bath at Mom and Dad's house. White and grey ceramic tile, white painted sheetrock and white ceiling. We had changed the drawer pull and cabinet knobs by the time this picture was taken and were deciding on what we would do next. Everything else was from 1968 when they built the house. 

We added a quartz countertop with a new under mount sink and a new faucet. Then we added a charcoal gray decorative edge beneath the quartz. You can't see it but we took the vanity light fixture down, sprayed it gunmetal gray and put it back up.

Though comfort height toilets would be nice we decided there was not a big enough financial gain to be made by changing them. Instead we just scrubbed and scrubbed to get it sparkling, then bought a new toilet seat.

Tomorrow possibly the den and kitchen

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

I Can't Say No to Tuesday 4

When I actually remember it is Tuesday, I play along with Annie @Tuesday 4.

Today the topic is Books.. TV.. Movies.  I kept it simple and stuck with movies.

1 A movie theme song will play every time you walk in the room.. what is it? (consider asking family or friends)
I asked my beloved sister who said it would depend if I were in a good or bad mood. 
The first is not a theme song but is a song from the movie Oklahoma, I Cain't Can't Say No which, in my case, has nothing to do with relationships. Everyone that knowns me knows I have a hard time saying no to requests, so I wind up doing a lot of things I don't necessarily want or have the time to do. (This would be my pre-covid self. Now I have developed better "No" skills)

 If I am in a really foul mood she said my theme song is the theme from Jaws

Maybe I should not have asked the one person who has known me the longest for this answer

2. What movie, book or TV program could you live in? 
I have never thought of this before but I think I could live happily in "Chocolat" It is a sweet movie with chocolate and Johnny Depp!

3. Is there a book/movie/TV quote you often think about or that effects you in some way? 
"I am just one stomach flu away from my goal weight", from The Devil Wears Prada. I use it sarcastically all the time.

4. OK friend, its your turn to organize our Blogger Movie Night where we get together as a group for snacks and movies!  What movies have you planned for us tonight and what snacks are we going to have?
I would probably show "The Shawshank Redemption" It is a nice and non-offensive movie that works for everyone and it has a feel good ending. 
Snacks? Cokes and popcorn of course, with a theater size box of Goobers or Milk Duds for everyone.