Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Chalk it up

Our little escape to Savannah, Georgia, which I told you about over here almost did not happen. Husband realized with a start that the weekend for which he'd planned our secret getaway was fairly packed with all kinds of impromptu activities and events. Fortunately, these were easy enough to reschedule (and there's nothing I'd rather do than escape with the husband) but it showed we needed some sort of command central so we wouldn't lose track of things.

Between cub scouts, sports, dinner club, school events, neighborhood events, snack calendar and more, we needed a better way in a more prominent place to consolidate all of our appointments into one family calendar.
I love our chalk board in the kitchen and it's been great for leaving little late-night notes for the husband, seasonal drawings and greetings for guests but it didn't really work so well in the calendaring part.

Shopping for work at a local Office Depot, I discovered these really cute Dry Erase Decals and at $4.99 a piece (two decals plus pen) I couldn't resist to pick one up.

It did take me a while to stick it to the door, but I finally got around to it and it was a quick and easy fix.
Making sure it was level without diving into the tool shed to actually get a level took the longest and was the hardest part of the installation.

I chose not to use the second decal here but rather to save it for a different occasion. There's enough chalk board area left for more and other notes and two decals would have been just too much.

With May almost over I can't wait to test it for June! Maybe it'll help me to stay organized enough that I'll actually get around to doing things rather than running around like a chicken with her head cut-off.

Time will tell ...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bold as brass

When we bought the Ugly Duckling many months ago it had been sitting vacant and lonely for so long that we were required to pass an electrical inspection before the local electric company turned on the juice for good (to the tune of several hundred dollars, of course).

For that to happen, all of our light fixtures needed shades. Bare bulbs were - surprise, surprise - not acceptable which baffled us then and continues to baffle us to the present day. Since we wanted electricity ASAP so that work could start at the house right away, it was "cheap light fixtures to the rescue!"
Right now our Ugly Duckling sports an eclectic mix of boob and ball fixtures along with a few modified ceiling fans. Yes, ceiling fans aren't the light of the word when it comes to looks but here in sunny, muggy, warm Florida I consider them a must-have, unless you don't mind spending half your salary for your electric bill. Just a little air movement makes such a difference!

Anyways, ball fixtures. During my last trip to the blue box I decided to pick up an extra lamp shade, sized for a ball fixture but in the shape of vintage school house fixture instead. Along with that, I also grabbed a can of spray paint in what looked like the perfect shade of aged brass.

Armed with those I zoomed in on the little unsuspecting ball fixture in the breeze way to the kitchen.

I taped everything off and covered the part where you screw in the light bulb so the contacts wouldn't get covered up with paint and stop working and gave the light fixture a couple of thin, even coats of spray paint.

I was right : It IS the most perfect shade of aged brass (not quite the real thing but close)! Woot! Aged brass in a bottle! While glossy shiny fake brass makes me shudder and twitch, I'm very much in love with the warm honey-golden color of vintage brass.


This is quite a bit cuter and at about $5 for the whole project, this little Switcheroo can't be beat! Small semi-flush school house light fixtures seem to start at $60 and go up from there so I'm glad I was able to re-purpose and modify an existing fixture and save some "moolah" for another project.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

The Torrents of Spring

The morning after "Beryl" is wet and grey but everything is still standing, the house didn't spring any leaks, electricity never failed us once and even the creaky old holly in the back yard didn't loose a single limb (a miracle, really). Springfield is to Jacksonville what Jacksonville is to Florida in the grand scheme of storms: crap misses us for the most part.

We caught "Men in Black III" yesterday afternoon in 5 Points making it home before weather got really bad, and then spent the rest of the day sneaking in a nap, devouring books and eating munchies while playing boardgames - our family-friendly idea of "hunkering down."

Hopefully, today the clamoring of "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" will cease. "Beryl" was 'just' a Tropical Storm and while these can cause some damage, a Tropical Storm has nothing on even a baby hurricane.

Best thing to do?
Be prepared.

Have your hurricane supplies ready, preferably before June 1, because, you know, it's not like the weather is unionized and won't happen outside of "The Season." Water, non-perishables, pet food, toilet paper and the means to see and cook without electricity should be on the top of your list along with a full tank of gas and a plan, should things get out of hand.
Don't be stupid and try to sit out a regular hurricane, especially the really big, bad-ass ones like a 3 or a 4. It's a nice thing for them to give us plenty of warning ahead of time - use it!

Oh, and toilet tissue. Always stock up on toilet tissue.
Jus' sayin' ...

Saturday, May 12, 2012


The past two weeks have had a serious case of the crazies: having run myself ragged I fell victim to the plague and came down with a serious(ly annoying) bout of the sniffles and pinched a nerve in my back which caused much joy pain for a couple of days. (This is the second time and frankly, I'm suspecting something as pleasant as a slippped/slipping disc being the culprit. One of these days I'll have it checked - promised!). Not so good news from the family in Germany topped the week off and so when the husband told me that he was whisking me away for the weekend after organizing sleepovers for Little Man, and a house and menagerie sitter, I could have cried with relief and let myself be whisked.

The husband and I spent a whole glorious weekend in Savannah, Georgia.
Just the two of us.
I still love him and enjoy hanging out with him just as much as when we got married, almost a decade ago.
Maybe even more so :o)

Rather than writing up a lengthy post of what we did, I'll just share a few of my favorite pictures. Savannah is known for its lovely historic river front and city center, and we enjoyed it a lot (although we were partial to the lesser known and frequented Victorian District - gimme sugar gingerbread, darling!)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


snif·fle  (snfl)
intr.v. snif·fled, snif·fling, snif·fles
1. To breathe audibly through a runny or congested nose.
2. To weep or whimper lightly with spasmodic congestion of the nose.
1. The act or sound of sniffling.                                                               
2. sniffles A condition, such as a head cold, accompanied by congestion of the nose. Used with the.

Ugh, I tell you, just ugh ....