31 March 2020

Homemade Ranch

Again, since we are stuck inside and not social distancing, I wanted to share another of my recipes.

There are so many good homemade ranch dressing recipes out there, but this is the one that I use in my house.  Why make it? Oh, it tastes so much better than store-bought and you control the ingredients, you know exactly what is inside there.

First of all, I have to make some buttermilk because I never have that.  I pour about a 1 1/2  cups of milk (I rarely measure) into a bowl and add about a 1/2 teaspoon (again, eyeballing) of vinegar.  I stir it up and let it sit for a few minutes.

While waiting for that I get another bowl out and add:
 1/2 sour cream
1 cup of mayo (I use the Great Value brand)

I am sorry but I do these to taste or how I like them to be (so bad at measuring), these are all dry ingredients I keep in my cupboard:

Dill weed
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
guessing, I would say about 1 teaspoon to start out and see how you like it.  I like about 1/2 garlic, 1 1/2 dill, 1/4 onion,  and 1 parsley.

When I started researching ranch recipes many say to add a little lemon juice so I started adding a little bit and I admit it does give it a WOW!!! So add a little lemon juice.  You can taste test it right now...isn't that yummy?  It will taste even better after about an hour.  If it gets to thick just add a little milk (a very little).

Mix all of these ingredients with about 1 cup of the buttermilk that you made.  I store it in a glass jar, for up to two weeks, it never lasts that long.

Poppyseed Chicken

Since you are all cooped up in the house these days, trying to be "healthy at home", I am sure you are like me and going through all the recipes to see what new you can fix for dinner.  I am going to share with you one of my easy fave recipes. I did not create it, I have no idea who did, but I know it is yummy.

Poppyseed chicken

3 cups chopped cooked chicken (the rotisserie chicken at Sam's is perfect)
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted 
1 (16-oz.) container sour cream (I don't use this much, I just add a big scoop)
3 teaspoons poppy seeds 
31 round buttery crackers, crushed 
1/4 cup butter, melted 
1. Combine the first 4 ingredients. Spoon mixture into lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.
2. Stir together cracker crumbs and melted butter; sprinkle evenly over casserole.
3. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Bonus: I like to add cheddar cheese to the mix because I love cheese. I add to the mix before topping with crackers.

Second bonus: It is also good if you throw in cooked broccoli in the mix when you add the cheese.

Leave out the poppyseed if you don't like it and you still have a tasty meal.

30 March 2020

Relax, don't do it

Pick your pleasure:

You are lying on a beach doing nothing but sitting and listening to the ocean.

Or you are just swinging on your porch swing, staring into space.

Sounds wonderful right?

NO!!!  That person is so not me. Yes, I like to go to the beach, but I will not simply sit there and do nothing.  Yes, I like a good porch swing, but for about 5 minutes then I am done.  I am simply not that person that can sit and do nothing.  To me if just gets me uptight and anxious and makes me rest even less.

Even if it is forced upon me!!!!!!

January 29, I was at work. My back was killing me.  Which was not out of the norm.  My back has been hurting a lot there for months because my chair is simply too uncomfortable.  So no big deal. I stood up like I normally do while I worked.  Only today it did little to alleviate the pain.  Lunch came and I started getting sick to my stomach.  I thought it was my chicken and dumplins because it was a tad undercooked.  So I ate some peanut butter.  That seemed to do the trick.  After lunch I went back to work and all the sudden my face got numb. Quite like it does before a seizure comes on.  I stood up and drank a Dr Pepper.  Thanks to the girls at work nurturing me through, I made it the rest of the work day.

I got home and all the pain increased, by now I thought I was having a heartattack.  I call my mom because I want her.  She's got the flu!!!!  She encourages me to go to the ER.  We do.  I am a germ a phob, but at this point my pain was so bad I was rolling on the ER floor.  I am grossed out by it now, but I was in horrible pain.  Many many many hours later it was determined I needed my gall bladder out, but I was told they don't do emergency surgery in the ER.  I was NOT in the frame of mind to argue or I would have. Had my mom been there, I am bet $100 I would have been wheeled into surgery.  Had I not been drugged up, I bet I would have gotten better results, but at 3am.....everybody wanted to go to bed.  I got up the next day and went to my doctor, she said if she could do the surgery it would come out now.  She made appointment for the scans.  Apparently, they won't take it out until you have had the scans, even though I had a PET scan in the ER.  It was instantly determined I needed it out.  I had one stone that was almost 1.5 inches big and another right behind it that was massive.

I was told it would be a two week wait to see my surgeon of choice.  There was no way in this pain, that I would make that.  I had some friends that called the doctor and I got an appointment for the next day.  I went into the appointment on that Friday (having not eaten because I really could not eat, the pain was miserable) and he said "we are going to surgery now".  Turns out I was very bad and should have had it out the very first night in the ER.  The doctor did not even understand why they didn't call him that night.  I now had a bad infection and required a drain.  Almost a hospital stay, but luckily that did not come to be.

Fast forward one week....last night was my one week post surgery.  One thing I have learned....when my body can't do something I sleep.  I don't enjoy being in bed, on the couch....so I sleep. I guess that is good.  Yesterday, Friday, was the first day I could do something. I learned how (since sitting up for a long time is still a problem) to make cards lying on the couch.

My cards may not be the most perfect, but I am very pleased. I started at 8am and finished around 8pm and I made 8 cards during that time.  Not nearly as well as I could do if I was normal but pretty good for someone in my condition.

I am excited to be going back to work Monday.  Even for a half day.  I am excited for a schedule, for my friends and getting back to normal!!!

Have a great weekend.

Operation beautify your home: Laundry Room

I have been working on making my house a little more put together, a little more cohesive, a little more not so much a showcase for our yucky mismatched furniture, but a shabby chic paradise.   My first project was the kitchen that you all ready know of, my second the utility room.  This room is going to be my owl room. In reality I am the ONLY person that spends any time in this room so I am making it into something I LIKE!  I started with redoing some of the picture frames that were in the room, then I made a canvas, then a quote, and next was the first owl.  Today I made the second owl, and started working on the third and forth (those two won't make their appearance for a blog post or two).

Today addition was inspired by a quilt hoop that my mother-in-law gave me about 10 years ago. I held onto it thinking I would do a large cross stitch and would need it for that.  NOPE that won't happen so I got it down and thought about what I could do.  Since I usually work in paper I decided I needed a change of pace. I chose felt. I have a massive pile of felt that I stamp on and make into flowers.  Since I have it by the yard it works perfect in the hoop.

I chose a blue for the background, and free handed cut out things from the felt. Since it was a laundry room I chose a clothesline and owl design.

I glued the shapes onto the felt and had all ready planned I would stitch around the pieces.  This was the fun part. I used some of my stitches I learned from cross stitching.

When I was all finished with the sewing I painted the hoop black and I have the perfect addition to another wall in the laundry room.

Oh the places you will go....

I LOVE to travel...love to see the country/world. It started when I worked for a little company called Cracker Barrel. I was lucky enough to be a their traveling team, they paid ME to travel. However, they did work my butt off in the process, you were lucky to have one day off in a month and maybe a half day (a 9 hour shift instead of an 18 hour shift). But you know on that one day off (or half day) I made the most of it.

My first store was in Jeffersontown, KY...I had NO idea what to expect. No idea of the hours my new job would entail, and definitely no idea what it was like to share a room with a smoker...cough cough. I got to make a few side trips during my time off, I went to the Mall of St Matthews and thought I was big stuff because I got to go all by myself. I drove down to Elizabethtown one weekend to stay with my old preacher and his family (my dad met me there), and once I drove to Bowling Green to see John.

In Jacksonville Florida (this trip was a day and a half off because the store was not open yet), I drove down to Orlando and went to Disney World, not for the first time, but the first time by myself and it snowed in Orlando for the first time in many many years. The power went out and my cousin's dad, booked a hotel and then we got up the next day and went to WDW! It was nice to be in charge of what we were going to ride and what not. Oh, on that 1/2 day the day before, we did seaworld (my first trip).

Next Cracker Barrel sent me to Texas. God Bless Texas...I was so mad, my mom (yes I am still mad about it) told the company that I would fly down there. So 6 weeks in Dallas without a car!!! I got to drive by the Book depository, but did not get to see it...never got close to South Fork, did hit the hard rock on my 21st birthday, but had to bum rides, and walk to work across an interstate. That sucked big time. So I saw nothing here...NOTHING!!!

My next trip I totally made up for it...Round Rock Texas and I made the most of it...drove to Waco (the whole Janet Reno thing had just happened), San Antonio (river walk, SeaWorld, Alamo)...hung out all over Austin, whenever I could. Found a great used bookstore on Research Blvd, that I still think of to this day. Wonder if it is still there, Susan is it? I went to my first Hobby Lobby here in Austin...oh my I was hooked. I was driving all over looking for a Michaels and there was a Hobby Lobby near my hotel...duh. I enjoyed driving along the river bluff and seeing all the fancy houses and paying homage to the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue. I even ventured down to the famous (then...have no clue about now) 6th street and bought some BBQ...YUMMY!!!

Chicago was next...now this way happening...Sears Tower, John Hancock, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Museum of science and industry, great restaurants (I feel in love with food on this trip), first super walmart, first super target, first driving in snow, first bronchitis, United Center, Cominsky Park, and first run in with the law over Wrigley Field, McCormick Place, Grant Park, Water Tower Place (began my love affair with malls), Lake Shore Drive, The Drake Hotel, Oprah's condo, my first submarine at the Science Museum, watching a movie on the side of the Field Museum, and getting lost under the "el"...good times. We had some celebrities to come in the store here..Flo Jo, some chick named Oprah, Scotty Pippen...and a few more basket ball players. Speaking of basketball, we got to go into the new bb arena where Michael Jordan would get to play. They were just building it and yeah, we ventured inside. We were a little brave this trip. I really wanted to see the ivy at Wrigley Field. Very badly...well, we parked in the lot and walked up to the stadium, there were these security bars that we "overlooked". We climbed inside and got out onto the field. UH, this is where is got bad, a cop came in and told us we had 30 seconds to get out of there, I don't think that I have ever moved so fast...NEVER!

Next was the lovely city of Cleveland. Now I was really in love...really really. Cedar Point, all those malls, Rock and Roll hall of fame...This was great...This was wonderful. I drove all the way to Lima to pick up to go cups for the store, just because I could, we did need them. Football hall of fame (bored to tears, went with the gang), Wynonna Judd (yep stayed next to us at our hotel), Bath and Body seaspray (I really stocked up) and Lake Erie.

I remember the last store the best because I really wanted to soak it all in...This was the last one, the last time I would travel and make the big bucks and it was in Virginia. I was so thrilled to be opening Newport News. I had big plans....to see William and Mary, and to get to DC! My friend Scott had been to DC so he knew how long it would take and how to get there. So here we go on our one day off for the month, we get up VERY VERY early and head to DC. I get to see Mananas (the first big stop) then as we are driving along I see it! OMG it was so exciting. I was in the front so I had a great seat. The first thing we did was buy a bus ticket. This ticket would take us to the sights, we have ONE day its really got to count. Scott was the leader but he let me pick the sights because I was the only one of the 4 that really really really wanted to go to DC. First Stop the White House. In pre 9/11 days, we got to walk onto the grounds, Scott drove up Pennsylvania avenue so I could see the whole house. We could not tour the house today, the line was forming but if we wanted to do the other things we had to move on. Next stop was the Washington Monument. We climbed all the way to the top and I took some photos with my crappy camera (however they turned out good--got to get those scanned). I told everyone the story of Zachary Taylor at the base of the monument, then we trudged on (yeah cause it was freezing, the ground was like ice and there was a threat of snow). I wanted to see the Jefferson Memorial....we walked all the way over there but it was closed due to the fact that Air Force One was was tearing it up....everytime Air Force One took off a chunk of the structure would break, so the best I could do was see it from afar (the only disappointment of the day). We next saw Arlington House and ate lunch while walking (no time to stop). At the Lincoln Memorial I got teary eyed...this was the best trip ever (I wished my parents had brought me here). Well, I was crossing the street near the Lincoln and hit at ice patch, fell down right in the street flat on my back and could not move for a bit. Finally, I was helped up a little dazed but determined to go on. My back hurt and my head hurt but I kept going. Arlington Cemetery was next. My first stop here was JFK and William Howard Taft. Second on my list was the Challenger spot and then I could relax and look around a bit. I bought 2 books on Presidents in the gift shop and then the bus was moving us to the next location. The CAPITAL!! WOW!! Mesmerizing was the word that I used. I could not stop looking at the architecture and the beauty of the design. Oh my, this was our last stop, we had a 4 hour drive, it was late and beginning to snow. It sleeted all the way back to Newport News, I slept Felicia thought I had a mild concussion from the fall, but we will never know. This was the greatest excursion of any of my Cracker Barrel trips what a way to go out....

Michael's dollar bin find

I tell you what, I am doing EXCELLENT in the Michael's dollar bin.  Today it was the first place that I intended to visit as I entered the store.  All items were $.50 instead of $1.00.  I purchased a couple of frames for my office and then I hit the jackpot!!! Chipboard albums!  The albums were shaped like flowers. I got a two different ones.  My goad was to make a positive motivation album out of one.  I have a friend that needs some motivation and I thought what a better way to remind them of how special they are and that they can achieve their goal....than to give them a flower shaped album!!!

My first step with the albums was to cover each page with Ciao Bella paper by K&Co.  I used Aleene's tacky glue to adhere the paper.  Once it was dry I used the Little Sis took by Creekbank Creations to trim the paper off the chipboard.  Then using Tim Holtz's Distress Ink in Walnut Stain, I distressed the edges.  And of course I had to mist each side with water to give it an aged looked.

I had some quotes that I had found regarding friendship, God, and losing weight.  I complied them into a word document and edited it to be the text on each page.  After printing, I inked each quote using Walnut Statin.

The next step was very random, I used stamps, stickers, charms, and expoy stuff to decorate the pages.  Once all decorating was finished, I coated each page in Modge Podge (matte) for durability.

My album is ready to give to my friend. 

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

My favorite Carnival receipe

From Michael Wisdom (Sous Chef)
  • 2-1/2 Quarts Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Pound Onion, quarters
  • 5-2/3 Ounces Leek, chunks
  • 1-1/8 Ounces Garlic Clove
  • 3-3/8 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1-2/3 Cups Half and Half
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 5/8 Ounce Chicken Base
  • 1-1/4 Pounds Pumpkin Puree, roasted
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Dash Nutmeg
  1. Roast onions, leeks and garlic cloves in olive oil in a preheated oven at 300 degrees Farenheit for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove and puree in blender.
  2. Bring stock, pumpkin puree, pureed vegetables and chicken base to boil. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. Add Half & Half and simmer.
  4. Season with salt & pepper.
  5. Finish with heavy cream.
  6. Top with nutmeg.
This recipe serves 15 people.

Prayer Flag

I thought this was the greatest idea!  A girl I know knows a girl that has a sister (man that is complicated) that is going through chemo.  In order to lift her sister's spirits she is having folks make Prayer Flags that will hang near her while she is getting chemo. I think it is wonderful that she will be able to read God's word, uplifting messages and inspirational quotes while she is sitting there. I was honored when I was asked to make one for this girl.  I feel so blessed that not only did I get to make one for her, but I also get to pray for her.

Here is my flag:

And I just want to add.....be a positive inspiration in someone's life today.  

Yard Work

I think it's good for your kids to do some work around the house.  Today was a lovely day and I planned on getting much done.  I gave each kid requirements....Hannah was to clean the cat and Trevor was to help me in the flower bed for half an hour.  The half hour passed and he said, "we can keep working".  We pulled vines, cut back stuff and cleaned out all the leaves from the front two beds.  What was a required 30 minutes turned into 3 hours!!!!  As we were nearing the end you could tell Trevor was having enough and may have committed to more than he wanted to.  I let him get out the garden hose and wash the porch, the wheelbarrow and the driveway. This was the greatest thing ever...given that it was 72 outside, he squirted himself, ran through the spray and generally made a mess.  It was quite amusing to see him having such a good time. Hannah missed out, she should have come out with us.  Of course her idea of fun is to go to the mall for 3 hours! 

Cigar Box Tutorial

At the Trace Creek Crop yard sale, I found a $1 cigar box.  I HAD to have it!  I opened it and it did indeed smell of cigar (have to figure out how to fix that).  Now it was time to decorate the box.

I measured everything first.  I didn't like the way it was measuring so I went back to the technique I use all the time.....eyeballing. My eyeballing skills are WAY better than my measuring skills.  I must say they were much more accurate as well.

After I eyeballed the paper size and cut the papers to that size. I inked the pieces of paper with Walnut Stain, Worn Lipstick and Black Soot.  All by Tim Holtz (Distress Inks).  Then I misted with water.

 I didn't think the paper had enough depth so I wadded up the papers, opened them and inked again. Once again I misted with water.

The box was an ugly yellow and the paper I was using by Lost and Found by MME which was colored in pinks and browns with a smidgen of green.  For sure yellow would not work. I had brought my gouache paints with me to Trace Creek so I mixed some crimson red, dark brown, and a bit of white together. I got the perfect dirty pink color.  I painted all the edges of the box in this dirty pink.

Gouache dries quickly, so I was ready for the next step in just a minute or so.  I used Aleene's tacky glue, because frankly I think it is the best.  I put the glue onto the box and paper. I wanted a good hold.  then I started putting it on.  I am one of those folks that could are less if I get glue/paint/ink on my hands so I really rubbed the paper into the cracks and the edges and even molded the paper to fit the corners. My hands were a wreck, but the effect is well worth it.  Give it a try. You can always clean up with soap and water.

Once the paper was adhered I added ribbon onto the edges for one more dimension.   The box is starting to take shape. I knew that I could not finish it here at Trace Creek, because I would need some bling....but I did try to get as much decoration on the box as possible.  Here is what the box looked like when I left Trace Creek.

Now, once I got home I had to add to the box......I misted the box with Michelle's Musings Sterling Silver shimmer paint and allowed that to dry.  I did not want to use a heat gun because I did not want to risk damaging the box.  The next step was to paint the box with modge podge.  I used a matte finish, this will provide a more durable surface...if there is one thing I hate it is when someone makes something and doesn't protect it so it lasts.  All that hard work gets bent up/dirtied up and falls apart.  It's a shame in the fact that the work goes down the drain and that you lost the great object you made or made for someone.  Protect your work!!!!

Here is the finished product....enjoy GET CREATIVE!!!  What do you have lying around the house that you can repurpose?

29 March 2020

Things to do while you are "stuck" at home

There is a worldwide pandemic going on right now.  I never thought  I would say those words. No one wants to get sick and folks are trying hard to avoid others so that they don't.

 Here in Kentucky, we are supposed to be at home, not having any gatherings and basically taking care of the people that live in our house.  I have seen people, probably due to the nice weather, hanging out with others and getting too close at the store (I wanted to order online, but you can't get mixed paint online). I am not a fan of the "B" word (bored", because I think there is always something that you can do, always.  So I put together a little list of things you can do at home so that maybe you could save a life.

Things to do:

1.  Work on that "honey-do' project you have wanted to do for some time and never had time to accomplish.  Maybe you have wanted to clean out the garage, maybe you needed to hand mop the bathroom floor, maybe the mailbox needs to be painted, why not use this time to mark things off that home improvement list?

2. Work on a large puzzle, you know you have been wanting to tackle one and see if it was relaxing as your friends say it is; well, now is the perfect time to try.   I have seen so many neat ones on Amazon that you could order and have at the house in a couple of days. 

3.  Why not bake a cake or pie from scratch?  You have all those groceries there at the house, why not learn a new skill and bake something without using a mix. Celebrate being together with your family.  Together with no obligations!! No soccer practice, no meetings, just the family.  What a cool thing to celebrate. 

4.  Repair dangling buttons,  ripped seams and loose hems on your garments. Maybe your jacket has a ripped lining and you never remember it needs repairing until you put it on your body and you have to be out of the house in 5 minutes.  Go through your wardrobe and pull out anything that needs repairing, get your supplies and sit down in front of the TV and get this done.

5.  If you have some paint at home, google "painting tutorials", there are so many fun ones out there that will teach you basic techniques. I have started filling up a notebook with paintings I am doing.  The website I am using Step by Step Painting has all types of fun projects.  I am putting all of mine in a 6x8 spiral notebook so I can have a keepsake when finished.

6.  While the weather is nice, go outside your house and work on some things. Look for holes in the siding and repair, look for issues with the window screens, wash the windows (inside and out), trim the landscaping, clean up litter from the yard, clean out the gutters, or even decorate the porch, this list could go on and on.

7.  How about playing a board game with your kids?  My son and I used to do this when trapped inside for a snowstorm.  He now thinks he is too big for this, but I am ready for a mean game of Connect 4 at a moment's notice.

8.  It is a great time to do that Bible journaling that you have wanted to try.  Find some verses that make you feel good and lift you up, especially during this pandemic.  Decorate those verses with all kinds of fun things.  If you did this on paper, go to the garage and find a frame, paint it black and frame this verse. You can hang it somewhere that you walk by every day so you can have that good feeling that made you choose the verse in a struggling time and you will always feel comforted. 

9.  Do some of that spring cleaning that you really need to do.  Clean out from under the sink, clean out your closet, go through the kid's toys and box up what they don't use, or maybe clean the hair out of the bathtub drain.  This time at home is a perfect time to stop putting off those things you know need to be done. My motto is, you know you need to do it, just get it done and then you have more time to play.

10.  Find that project or activity that you keep putting off because you "don't have time".  Maybe it is using your public library site to learn a new language.  Maybe you would love to learn to embroidery, but never took a moment to try it, now is the time.  What if you wanted to paint a mural in your daughter's room, but never tried, now you can. Maybe you saw a drawing class online and could not do it because you just had no time, now is the time!  How about that dream to write a book or start a blog? Be creative and think about that one thing that you said "I am going to do that when I have more time", you may never have a chance like this again, seize it.   Do it now!

11.  You knew I was going to add this one...READ A BOOK!  There are tons of resources for free (online) books you can use.  I can help you use your library card to use Overdrive, Hoopla, and a couple of other resources.  There is also a site called, Internet Archive that has TONS of older materials you can borrow for free. I am enjoying reading some "trade paperbacks" on celebrities from the 60s and 70s and I listen to old radio shows like Suspense or Lights Out!  This is one of the best sites out there,  in my opinion.

12.  Ok, you hate to read, I get that, but how about doing an audiobook?  There are so many great ones out there.  If you love Harry Potter, listen to those, the narrator, Stephen Fry, is exceptional!  What about Tom Hanks, who doesn't love Tom Hanks?  The Dutch House is my favorite (book by Ann Patchett), but he has done more, including the book he wrote,  Uncommon Type.  How about Me by Elton John?  Elton will read this to you and I will tell you this is one of my favorite celeb memoirs ever.  I have not done the audio, but I am on the waitlist for it.  One more author's books I would like to recommend, Sarah Vowell.  She has two that I really love, Lafayette in these Somewhat United States and Assassination Vacation.  They are both read by celebrities and are just fascinating!  Assassination Vacation is my favorite of the two.

13.  Binge-watch a classic old TV show...I am not talking about Friends or Seinfeld (even though I love that one), I am talking about something older and maybe more obscure.  Maybe some of the shows on the classic tv station, or (if you can find these) Homicide Life on the Streets, the original Dallas, The Facts of Life, Our Miss Brooks, what about Buzzer TV and some old gameshows? I personally am watching classic Jeopardy episodes, just for the practice. 

14.  Clean out or detail your car.  Yes, this thing is nasty.  There is a french fry under the driver's seat, there are shoe marks on the back of the passenger seat, the steering wheel needs to be disinfected. Spend about 2 hours and clean the inside and outside.

15.  DEEP CLEANING.  Get into things you neglect!   Washing the walls, doing all the windows and mirrors, washing the curtains, touching up any nicked walls or trim, re-chaulking the bathtub, really cleaning the ceiling fans, dusting every book on the shelf and frames on the walls, flipping the mattress or one I like to do, hand mop all those hard surface floors. I like to do this a couple times a year, you can really get into the edges and make that floor super clean.  I usually do one hour at most because the knees don't like rolling around on the floor like they used to.  It is time-consuming but worth it. 

If you do have to go out please stay away from others.  Do not have a little meet up at Wal-mart because you miss your friends.  Try to stay home and do something you have dreamed of doing when you had more time. Be safe, be careful and take care of each other.

25 March 2020

Carpet isn't my bag

(This post will be updated as we tear the carpet from our new home)

I am not really into having wall to wall carpet in my house.  First of all, it traps dust making it hard on my allergies. The pile tends to look matted and you can just feel the germs and I just hate to be barefoot on it, or even walk on it with socks for that matter because your socks will get nasty.  I had read once that chances are good when you buy or rent a house with existing carpet you get all kinds of things from previous owners/renters, like toenail clippings and I know for sure it traps all that cat hair and makes it harder to clean if they vomit.  Yeah, I am done.

 Most of the houses we looked at had carpet throughout the place.  The one we purchased was full of it.  My goal was to get rid of much of that as I could.    I had no idea what was under ours.  I only knew the main part of our house was built in 1967, that COULD be good because there possibly would be hardwood under some of this stuff.  The first addition was built in the 1980s so chances were great that there was nothing but sub-floor under there.  And the last addition was built in the 2000s, and I know what is under there because I saw photos of the construction on old realtor listing sites....all sub-floor.  The last addition didn't bother me as much because it is evident that Trevor is the only person to "live" on that floor, both by the listings and the newness smell of the room.  I think it was just finished recently.  Carpet appears to be in perfect shape.

This post will grow longer as I tear this stuff up and redo the floors under this mess.

The grossest part to me was the carpet in the master bathroom.  As of today that is still down because I have to get money to purchase new flooring for that room.  I am looking at vinyl planks online but I want to see them in person.  Right now our country is going through this pandemic so installing flooring is really not something I want to tackle at the moment.

All the bedrooms have a carpet that is obviously older looking than the main house and the 80s addition, so I wanted to start with those, plus I slept better in a room without carpet (allergies).

March 20, 2020
We started in the closet room because I wanted to see what we were about to get into.   When we started ripping it up, the carpet tore easily.  It was full of dust (and I did find a fingernail) and was hard to breathe, I will wear a mask next time.  We tore the carpet in sections and ripped it up that way.  It was easier to manage and easier to put in the trash can.  We tore it in about 5 strips, as we got to the last strip, we saw the damage.  It looks like old termite damage to four boards.  I am pretty sure I can fix this so stay tuned because as I type this, it is the first morning and we are still in a pandemic so I can't get the wood I need.  I am going to finish ripping up the tack strips and covered the bad spots with a carpet until I can finish this project.  It took about 1 hour to get the carpet out, it is (and expected) to take much longer for the strips and the staples.

24 March 2020

Woodrow's Place

Today I am talking about this "ugly" little statue that greeted us the first time we looked at our new house.  He was sitting on the sidewalk as you approached the front door.  He was NOT in good shape, but I liked him.  He had character, and his presence was welcoming.  When we looked at the house the second time, I felt of him and notice he was solid concrete.  A good sturdy dog.  In my mind, I started referring to the houses we saw as names to help remember things about them, this one I called "The Dog House".  I honestly never dreamed he would still be there once we closed on the house, but he WAS!  My husband didn't like him (and still does not), but I loved him and I am not even a dog person.  I was excited to let him stay and I wanted to name the house after him because he was his place.  Since I have this obsession with all things Presidential, I started calling him "Woodrow" instead of "dog" and this because "Woodrow's Place" to me.  I really want to keep him so I had to make him look good so he did not disappear while I was at work (I am still worried that will happen).  Here is a little before and after of what Woodrow looked like when we purchased to what he looks like today.