Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why is this taking so long???

Several times a week I watch home improvement shows on HGTV in which people make major home renovations in 30 minutes including new flooring, kitchen counters and paint. Yea, I know there's a lot of editing involved, but I seriously think I'm the slowest painter in the world. Good thing I work in an office instead of as a home improvement person.

I'm still working on the first half of my garage revitalization project. Tonight I painted the edges of the ceiling and it took a really, really long time. Plus, I'm not good at edging so now I'll have to touch up the tops of the green walls with a tiny little paint brush. I tried to convince myself that the ceiling wasn't that dirty. But in the photo above you can really see the difference between the new white paint and the old ceiling paint.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Needed Distraction

Now that the walls look so nice, I'm ready to tackle the ceiling. But, I hate painting ceilings. The last time I painted a ceiling I ended up covered in little specs of paint.

So, as a distraction from that project, I painted the garage cabinets.

Here's the before...

And the after...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cortina Valley

A quick trip to Menards for some wall and ceiling paint turned into a major shopping trip. We settled on a very light green (cortina valley) paint for the garage walls. Painting a light color in a room with bad lighting is not that easy to do. Now that it's dry, I can see a few spots that I missed. So, tomorrow night I'll touch up the walls and paint the ceiling.

Thanks to our Menards shopping trip, our fall chore list has grown significantly.
  • We bought supplies to put additional electrical outlets in the garage.
  • We picked up some new flooring for the kitchen. The sales guy suggested that it would be an easy weekend project. Somehow I think we'll be eating out for a month while the kitchen floor is ripped up.
  • I got some paint for the garage cabinets so that's one more thing I'll have to finish before I can start the epoxy on the other side of the garage floor.
  • Then, I got 200 flower bulbs which will need to be planted in the next few weeks.
  • We didn't get the flooring for the dining room/office. Spike has left puddles all over the carpet in that room and I've tried for months to get the smell out. Since Menards had wood flooring on sale, we thought we'd pick some up today and then rip up the carpet and put the new flooring down. It looks so simple on HGTV. Turned out the stuff we like is real wood and requires quite a bit more labor and specialized tools to install. So, we'll leave that purchase, and project, for another day.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Notre Dame Beats Purdue

Late Friday afternoon Bruce received a call from WRBR letting him know he had won entry into their Notre Dame tent party, along with two friends. Kelly and I were happy to join him.

We ate tons of free food from Taco Bell, played the corn hole game and ran into several friends and neighbors.

One of the WRBR staffers was passing out t-shirts using a shirt cannon. Rather than pointing the cannon in the air, he aimed it right at my stomach. I sure wasn't expecting that. It didn't hurt, but really surprised me. Not being a big fan of either t-shirts or Miller Lite beer, I happily gave the t-shirt to Kelly.

Bruce visits with neighbor Bonnie and her daughter, Tamera.
After the party we headed over to Between the Buns to watch the game.

Bread Bag Comes to Life

As we pulled into the ATM in Osceola Saturday morning some movement in the grassy area caught my eye. It was a bread bag jumping and spinning around. Turns out it was actually a squirrel inside of a bread bag.

Social Media at its Finest

Don't you just love social media. ...
1) Complain about something.
2) Point out the spelling mistakes of those who complain about your complaint.
3) Tell people to stop complaining about other people's complaints.
4) Rinse and repeat.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Go Jimmies

We've lived in Jimtown now for five years and tonight was the first time we went to a Jimtown Jimmies football game. We started by going to the Original Jonah Fish Fry at the high school and then moseyed on into the stadium for the game.

Many of our friends and neighbors were at the game, and other than the uncomfortable seats, we had quite a nice time.

What a Difference Some Paint Makes

I've had this long-time fantasy of having a garage with stark white walls, a shiny floor and nothing at all in the garage except for my Ford Mustang Convertible. And, of course, that Mustang is on a turntable so it spins around while I admire my car from all angles.

We'll today I patched up the garage walls (still working on just the south half of the garage while all the junk is crammed on the north half) and painted the walls with Kilz primer. It sure looks nice. Sometime this weekend we're going paint shopping.

Here's the Before photo (not sure why it came out blurry):

Here's the After photo.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wouldn't I Look Great in This

Planting a Tree is Easy...

... when someone else does the digging.

Two more fall chores crossed off the list:
  • Tree Planting: Done
  • Front Yard Seeding: Done


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Planting a Tree is Hard

I'm skipping around on my fall chores list. The garage floor epoxy seems dry to the touch, but I think I'll let it set for another day to really firm up before I start in on the garage wall patch and paint job and then epoxy the other half of the garage floor.

Tonight's projects were going to be planting the Japanese Maple tree that I bought earlier this summer, and sowing a bit more grass seed in the front yard.

I got a late start -- worked late and stopped to help out a friend after work. By the time I got home, ate dinner, and got some tools out of the shed, it was a bit after 7 pm.

I really thought I could get the tree in the ground before sunset. I measured out the area -- 7' long on the sides -- and marked it with bright red powder. I dug out a couple of dozen shovelsful of sod. But, it got too dark to see the red powder and I was really sweaty, so I turned in my shovel for the evening.

Although little Spikey is standing in the exact same spot in both the before and after photos, I suspect he moved around a bit while I was digging.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Garage Floor Epoxy Project - Day 3

I came home from work Monday, anxious to finish the first half of the garage floor revitalization project. Sunday night I slow cooked enough food for the entire week so I could jump into my fall chores each night after work, rather than wasting time cooking. So, as I warmed up and ate Monday's dinner, I watched the garage floor epoxy instructional DVD.

Step 1 -- rinse the garage floor, apply cleaning agent provided with the kit, scrub, rinse and repeat. DANG! I could have done this Sunday had I realized the kit included its own cleaning agent. I considered skipping this step since I had invested so much time scrubbing, rinsing and repeating on Sunday. After wrestling with the decision -- scrub again or skip it -- I considered the possibility that the epoxy wouldn't stick on the concrete if it wasn't treated with this magical cleaning agent.

So, Monday evening was spent cleaning the garage floor, yet again, but this time with the approved (and pleasantly citrusy smelling) cleaning agent.

Then, as that was drying, I cleaned some veggies for diety snacking for the week. And, with nothing to watch on TV and since I hadn't turned on my computer yet, I washed the patio door windows -- inside and out.


Fast forward to Tuesday. A quick dinner of warmed food from my Sunday cooking marathon and then it was finally time to start painting on the garage floor epoxy. From starting to finish it took about 2-1/2 hours. That included washing out the paint brush and roller.

It's going to take 24-48 hours to dry so I'm guessing by Thursday I can start painting the walls. As I was scrubbing the floor Monday I noticed how badly the walls needed patched up and painted so I stopped by the paint store on my lunch hour Tuesday and bought some spackle and a gallon of primer. I might as well get the walls spruced up while that side of the garage is totally free of clutter.

Maybe by Saturday I'll be ready to start in on the other half of the garage floor. That will give me something fun to do while I watch Purdue kick ND's butt.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fall Chores Continued

I crossed #2 off my list today. I painted the front door. I'd really like to get a new front door, but the one I have my eye on is nearly four grand. I don't want it that bad!

As I stood back to admire my paint job I noticed the porch lights are quite rusted. I think I'll add a #11 to my fall chore list and paint those light fixtures. They have a brass finish now, but I'm thinking about painting them black -- maybe a textured black finish.

I'd really prefer new light fixtures -- in sort of an arts and crafts design -- but again, not really interested in spending money right now. It's hard to justify any sort of expenditure, beyond the basic necessities, when the entire US economic system is in such a state of uncertainty.

I made some progress on a couple of other fall chores today. I washed the garage windows. Well, I washed the insides, but I'll have to wait for the plants in the window baskets to die back before I can wash the outsides of the windows.

I've got six hours into the garage floor epoxy project. I bought the epoxy in April, thinking I'd get it done this summer, but summer is over and I never got around to it. Around 10am I started moving everything from one side of the garage to the other. Then, I spent the next several hours sweeping, hand-scrubbing, power washing and shop vacuuming the empty half of the floor. I think it should be dry enough to epoxy tomorrow evening. Then, it needs to set for a couple of days. So, next weekend I get to move everything to the other side of the garage and start the process all over again. Wow... it better look great when I'm finished because this is a huge amount of work.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Garden Cleanup

Saturday I pulled the last of the kohlorabi and cukes out of the garden. The tomatoes have been done for a few weeks. The strawberries and peppers are still blooming. I spent a few hours Saturday morning pulling up the dead plants and spent vines. Garden cleanup was #1 on my list of fall chores. I know I'll have another full day of garden cleanup in the coming weeks, but for now, I've crossed it off my list.

Still to go:

2) Paint Front Door
3) Plant Japanese Maple Tree
4) Mulch
5) Replace Warped Deck Board
6) Water Seal Fence
7) Wash Windows
8) Garage Floor Epoxy
9) Put Down More Grass Seed
10) Paint Garage Walls

Friday, September 19, 2008

Still Running After All Those Miles

My 1998 Ford E150 Van turned over 200,000 miles today. I really like this van and am sad to see it start to show signs of aging.

The body was perfect until a couple of unfortunate incidents last year. One dingy woman decided she was tired of waiting for traffic to clear for her left turn so she turned right, right into me. I wasn't even moving. A few months later, I ran into a very short, but very solid cement post and dented in the front bumper.

A few weeks ago, my trusty mechanic told me the van had a leaking head gasket. And, he didn't recommend putting money into it to get it fixed. So, although I don't want a car payment, I don't want to drive anything else, and I sure don't want to go car shopping, I will have to trade in the old van for a new (and hopefully a bit more fuel efficient) vehicle sometime soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sign of the Times

I don't feel the need to know what Saulo Ribeiro Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is, but I thought it was a neat idea that they added "Google It" to this sign.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Honey Bees

My asters are in full bloom, finally. I transplanted them from the patio area to the side yard this spring. Last year they got so huge they blocked the sun from smaller plants around the patio.

This evening I noticed they were covered in honey bees.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Speak Out Column in The Paper

Previously in this blog, I've poked fun at the Speak Out column from our local, weekly shopper newspaper, The Paper. Here's another "winner" from this week's issue:


I believe when a man and a woman are married, they should communicate and try to work things out. In fact, I have had a man come and cry on my shoulder who I thought was my friend. He sure had a mental problem. I told him to leave and never come back. He is on his fifth marriage. I am not a marriage counselor. She must not be much. There ought to be a law they don't issue a marriage license more than three times.

As I read this, I wondered what sort of editorial policy this paper has that would justify them printing this nonsense. Then, I saw this on the inside front cover of The Paper:
(The submissions are taken via phone, not by mail.)

--- Editor's Policy
Callers are asked to limit their comments to 150 words. The Paper reserves the right to edit comments and make final publishing decisions.

So, if anyone out there in blogland wishes to share the most bizarre thoughts that have been rattling around in their head with the The Paper subscribers, I invite you to call in your submission. Call 574-534-2591 after 5pm M-F anytime Sat or Sun.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Love Gumbo!

My little sis tipped me off that my favorite Indianapolis cajun restaurant, Yats, just opened in Chicago. I had to go to Chicago today for a meeting and made it a point to stop by Yats to get a bunch of food for carry out.

As soon as I had secured the Gumbo, Chili Cheese Crawfish Etouffee and Red Beans and Sausage, I called hubby at worked to let him know what was coming for dinner. He was almost as excited as I was.

If you like cajun food, check out Yats the next time you're in Indy, Lafayette or Chicago.

I found this video of Joe, Yats owner, on Facebook and YouTube. I met him at the Broadripple Yats location and talked him into selling me a gallon of his awesome chili cheese crawfish etouffee. Too bad he can't clone himself so there's one of him in every Yats restaurant, because his personality adds so much to the charm of the restaurant.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Did you see SNL this week? The skit with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler as Senator Hillary Clinton was hilarious. I actually liked this version of Hillary better than the real thing.

My favorite lines:

Hillary: "I believe that diplomacy should be the cornerstone of any foreign policy."

Palin: "And, I can see Russia from my house."

Hillary: "I believe global warming is caused by man."

Palin: "And, I believe it’s just God hugging us closer."

And my favorite part was Hillary's expression, shown in the clip below, after Palin asks, "...can you believe it?"

Hope you filled up before the hurricane hit

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New Church in Osceola...

... Not Really ;-) Make your own Church Sign at ChurchSignGenerator.com.

New Grass

I'll need to get some more grass seed down this week. The new grass is coming in nicely, but there are a couple of bare spots.

Compare this photo to the photos below. Since April we've removed all of the bushes, removed 13 trees, brought in 16 tons of black dirt, planted several new types of flowers and reclaimed much of the formerly wooded area into grass for the lawn.


It's Official...

It got pretty wet here today.

Rainy Morning

The rain gauge shows 3" from this morning's rain. I usually complain about our sandy soil, but today it was helpful in quickly draining the 7" of standing water in the culvert under our driveway.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fun with Potatoes

Ever wonder what goes on in a restaurant's kitchen when business is slow?

Late Friday night, the head chef at Hunter's Place in Elkhart came out of the kitchen to visit with a few patrons and show off his artwork.

Celebrating New Beginnings

Here Coy wishes both Lori and JoAnn the best of luck as they start a new chapter in their lives. Lori is going full time with her photography business and JoAnn starts her new job on Monday. I sure will miss having these girls in our office.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2001 Remembered

From: BreakingNews@CNN.COM
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2001 8:52 AM
Subject: CNN Breaking News


-- World trade center damaged; unconfirmed reports say a plane has crashed into tower. Details to come.


From: BreakingNews@CNN.COM [mailto:BreakingNews@CNN.COM]
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2001 9:21 AM
Subject: CNN Breaking News


-- Second plane crashes into World Trade Center.


From: BreakingNews@CNN.COM [mailto:BreakingNews@CNN.COM]
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2001 9:55 AM
Subject: CNN Breaking News


-- CNN confirms a plane hit the Pentagon.


As I sit here this evening re-watching the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on the History channel, I'm reminded of the total disbelief, utter confusion and complete horror of that morning.

Everyone in our office that day was frantically searching for information on the Internet. Most of the news sites were unbearably slow because people in offices throughout America were also searching for answers.

Thinking back, it seemed like time stood still for weeks as I tried to make sense of this strange new world where terrorists were able to attack us on our own soil.

So many people lost so much that day -- family, friends, faith, trust, peace of mind.

I can't imagine what those terrorists must have believed in that would make them think these attacks would further their agenda. I can only hope for some enlightenment that would make it possible for such frustrated groups to overcome their hatred and learn that we all have to figure out a way to share this planet in peace.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Still Working on Curb Appeal Project

Here's a before and after view of the front of the garage. We took out the bushes in April and added some flowers. Later this fall I plan to add some red mulch, but that will be much easier to do after all of the flowers die back.


Another Freaky Bug

This one was hanging out on the garage door this evening. Its body is about 3" long with a huge stinger sticking out the back.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

No Painting Today

I had planned to paint the front door today. But, I didn't have the heart to scrape off or paint over the many critters hanging out there.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

New Fall Sweater

I haven't bought any new clothes since February and was hoping to make it to the cold weather without having to buy any season- transition clothes.

Turns out I didn't have anything light weight, yet warm enough for my Chicago trip. Too cool for short sleeves, but not cold enough for a winter sweater.

I found this light-weight, 3/4 length sleeve sweater with a built-in blouse collar and cuffs at Kohl's. I really like it and was tempted to buy it in multiple colors, but resisted the urge.