Monday, July 21, 2014

andi gets famous

There was a big to-do in the 'hood this weekend.

Dead Raccoon.

In The Lake.


Our 'hood has a homeowners' association.  I got drafted to be on the board.  It's all Phil's fault, and don't you think otherwise for one second.

One board member dug in his cloven hooves and didn't want to reimburse the person who had it cleared from the lake.


I swear, what's this world coming to?

All I could think was there are far more important things to do with my life than argue over a freaking dead raccoon.

Like write a post about a dead freaking raccoon.

My inner hippie wanted us all to hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

But since I'm not a hippie (and I don't have a personal recording of Kumbaya), I thought I'd make myself famous and introduce my very first YouTube video of the next best thing.

Brief intro...A couple years mom, my daughter, and I sang as a trio at Saturday evening mass.  Mom and Emma are both music majors and have beautiful voices.  I shamelessly begged them to let me play along and they were gracious enough to let me.

They're my two favorite women in the world.

I give very first (rudimentary) YouTube video.

And since Peace was Flowing Like a Dead Raccoon in a Lake in my neighborhood, I decided Peace should Flow like a River instead.

This was recorded in Mom's living room, so be kind.

Mom's on guitar and melody.  I'm on alto harmony.  Emma is on descant.

There are some lovely key changes and some lovelier 3-part harmony. 

In the end, Cloven Hooves sang Kumbaya.  

And all was well in the 'hood.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

treasures and guilty pleasures

So, I spent my kids' inheritance the other day.

Sorry kids.

I was having trouble stuffing roadside treasures in the trunk of my car, so Philly bought me a Jeep.  It's not like a JEEP Jeep...I won't be off-roading or driving through the desert and calling it a horse with no name or anything.

This is a Princess Jeep.  I can start my Jeep from my cell phone while sitting on the throne.  Or before I leave work.  Or while sitting at the bar.  Or on the throne at the bar.  It doesn't discriminate.

I know...I'm sofa king spoiled.

But, more importantly, I can stuff all kinds of treasures in the back of it.  It makes Philly so happy when I bring home other people's crap.

On the first day of owning my new guilty pleasure, we went shopping at Casa de 'Rents again.  Remember when I got my trunk?  Yeah, it's still sitting in the garage.  I haven't finished started scrubbing it down yet.

Anyhooser, I scored my first hatchback treasure. 

This lovely chickee belonged to my Gramma.  (The same Gramma who handed down her lovely buffet that I said I wasn't going to paint but I'm a total liar because I am going to paint it I just have to work up the nerve.)


Do you ever go back and read old blog posts and say out loud, "You sounded like an idiot."?  I need to avoid the mistake of reading my old blog posts.

Anyway, see my treasure?

In my Jeep?

Yes, my Jeep is white.  The Mustang is white.  Our pickup truck is also white.

We've become white-car supremacists.

Here's the cool machine that lives inside.  It's the rise of the machine:


But right now I'm using it as my laptop station.  I'm shopping online for fabric.

I got a few other treasures through Craigslist.  I had been saving for new bedroom furniture for 15 years.  Then I decided I didn't want new.  I wanted old-new.  So I spent 1/10 the money I had saved and got these beauties!  They are in amazing condition.  The color isn't my favorite, but that's easy to change, right?

Sorry I didn't dress them up for you.  I'm feeling so lazy these days.

And here's my Jeep smiling at you.  I was too lazy to take a good picture of this, too.

Doesn't it look like a snake?


Did you find this as riveting as Eddie did?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

he likes it! hey mikey! {sofa table makeover}

Hey!  Where've I been?

Well, I've been playing World Cup Soccer.
I've been walking on the moon.
I've been learning how to do DIY colon repair.
I've been making pizza.

Okay, that, I have been doing.  I think the pizza gods have defeated me.  I'm obsessed with Chicago-style pizza and I've made this twice and screwed it up thrice.

Only I can do that.

Do you ever have one of those CalgonTakeMeAway Months?  I didn't even realize I needed one until I stepped away from the computer and ignored it almost completely for a month.  I've been a bad blog friend though.  I haven't been visiting you guys very much either.  Boo.

I will be remedying that. 

But first, a brownie.  Because the pizza didn't make my pajama pants tight enough.

Anyway, I have a makeover to share with you.  All I have is a crap before picture, which makes no sense, because I've had this sofa table in my possession for 15 years.

Phil bought it one day when I was twirling on the monkey bars on the playground at parochial school.


He fights with me tooth and nail whenever I want to paint anything.  He's like Mikey.  He hates everything {painted} (until he tries it).

This table has been on my radar pretty much from day one.  Its time has come.  (No apostrophe in its.  Your punctuation lesson for the day.)  It's means "it is."

And guess what?


Here's the before.  I've snarled at this piece of furniture every day for 15 years.

Pay no attention to the lack of baseboard and the overabundance of dust.

No, really.  You're paying attention.

Stop it.

Now it makes me purr and rub my head against it constantly. 

I sanded down the top surface and the bottom shelf and stained with General Finishes Antique Walnut.  It looked like almost the same color I started with.  Boo.

So I added a layer of Kona and I loved it!

I painted the rest of the piece a half/half combo of ASCP Old White/Coco.  It was left over from THIS PIECE and THESE PIECES.  Then I waxed with AS soft wax.

I don't know why it looks like there are little white specklies on the wood.  Maybe I need to wipe off my camera lens.  It's really not on the wood.  I promise.

Diana Gabaldon is my all-time favorite author.  I have all her books.

Start with Outlander.

After a few days, I used 3 coats of General Finishes Enduro Var Satin on the stained surfaces. 

Then I licked it for good measure.

Yes, that's that same damn clock.  It's a vignette whore.

Yum!  Philly actually likes it BETTER than he did before!

Knobs 1/2 price from Hobby Lobby.

I'm preening.

And you thought I didn't like cats.

Well, there you have my reentry into blogdom.  Hopefully it won't be another month before I have some inspiration.

Eddie just because.  (He did this all by himself):

Now I'm off to have another brownie and a bath.  The brownie will help tremendously with the water displacement.

For all you Mikey fans out there:


Sharing with:
Miss Mustard Seed
Saturday Sparks

Saturday, May 31, 2014

meat loaf, mickey mouse, and mustangs

I've always been a bit of a car girl.  I blame my Dad for that.  He taught me how to drive in a 1971 red MGB convertible.

Not ours, but mostly what it looked like:

not my dad's actual car

It had a manual transmission because we were not allowed to drive an automatic until we'd mastered a clutch.

My Dad is a genius.  Now you see where I get it?

He's also humble.  That trait skips a generation.

My first "toy" as an adult was a 1985 Buick Grand National.  I freaking loved that car.  The whoosh of the turbo...

not my actual car

Then I got pregnant.  I gave up coolness and speed for poopy diapers and sore nipples.

Sorry, no pictures available.

A few years and one divorce later, I did get another toy.  It was a 1968 Chevy Impala convertible.  I called it Big Blue.  I'm sure I have a picture somewhere, but I'm too lazy to go looking for it.  No one ever accused me of being organized.  But basically it looked like this:

not my actual car
My kids would squeal and say, "Let's go for a ride in the Vertible!"  I'd pull the lap belt across the two of them and off we'd go.

Safety first.

Philly has always been a toy guy.  He had toys when our kids were little.  We were married at the time, but to other people, so I didn't get to partake in those toys.

He started with dirt bikes when he was a kid.  Then he progressed to street bikes.  Sport bikes.  Fast bikes.  And Philly was FAST.  We would take a weekend and load up the Ducati and head to a track day where he could fly like an eagle and I could get a sunburn and wrinkles.

I rode a Ducati for a while too.  Philly called me his Duckling.  I definitely waddled more than soared.  But it awesome while it lasted.

Philly in action:

Me looking for some action:

He also likes his cars...Porsche (pronounced por-shuh, NOT porsh--learn it; remember it), Corvette, Mercedes-Benz...he's had quite a few.

Lately we've been on a quest for a new toy.  I have no idea how we ended up here, but we did.

Neither of us has ever owned a Ford.  Neither of us thought we'd ever own a Ford.  We found one that suits us both just fine.

We found this car locally.  We usually have to venture out-of-state to buy the perfect car.  We're weird like that.  That's how we roll.  But this one we found in our own backyard.  It's a 2006 Mustang GT and we drove it off the lot with only 2900 miles.

You read that right.

An older gentleman ordered it new and passed away shortly thereafter.  After years in the garage, his widow finally decided to let it go.  I'm quite certain she will never read this post, but we will take very good care of this car.  You needn't worry.

What does this have to do with Meat Loaf?

Paradise by the Dashboard Lights, baby.  That's the first thing that went through my head when I mounted the 'Stang for the first time.

I love belting that song at the top of my lungs to the complete horror of my kids.  Life doesn't get much better than that.

Parents aren't even supposed to know what that means!!!


And, finally, Mickey Mouse.

I'm not a fan of black leather interior.  If this car had been plain black leather, it would have just been another car for me.  I LOVE the red leather and I was completely drawn to this car.  Then it dawned on my why.

It looks like Mickey Mouse.  I love Mickey Mouse.

This car reminds me of the jacket Philly bought for me when we were dating.  I pretty much knew he loved me at this point.

See the resemblance?

Well, there you have it.  And I didn't think I had enough material to write this post.

So, what about toys?  Do you (or your spouses) have an affinity for motorized toys?

Not that kind.  There are other websites for that.

Paradise by Meat Loaf:

I gotta know right now!  Do you love me?  Will you love me forever??

Sunday, May 25, 2014

finally got me some trim

...out in the garage no less.

What did you think I meant?

Philly parked it in my stall where my little car likes to sleep at night and sometimes nap during the day. Now, you probably think I returned the favor by taking over his stall.  And you would be absolutely correct.

We moved in 6 months ago and we're finally getting around to trim.

Poor Philly.  He used to be a general contractor, which means 2 1/4" oak casing and 3 1/4" oak baseboard.  

First, he didn't understand the concept of painted trim.  Then he really balked at anything larger than standard.  Poor fella didn't realize who he was dealing with.

In the end, fashion sense beat builder-grade to a pulp, and we're installing 3 1/2" casing and 7 1/4" baseboard.

I was a total spaz trying to pick out trim; otherwise, it probably would have been done months ago.  Here's what I finally chose:


 The brand is MetrieTM and it's from their Very SquareTM line.

 This illustrates the basic idea, but ours won't be quite so fancy.


I'm not a huge fan of quarter round, and Philly's not a huge fan of installing baseboard and quarter round.  This sweet stuff is an inch thick at the base, so guess what?  No additional trim necessary!

I will be painting this stuff all week.  Here's a close-up.  It's a really crappy picture of the trim, but mostly I wanted you to see the roses I bought for myself.  For no reason at all.  Can you believe how sweet I am?

And, of course, Eddie.

In other news, I went shopping at Casa de 'Rents.  Look what I got! 

My mom asked what I was going to do with it.  I said, "It will either serve as our coffee table in the family room, or I'll put it at the foot of our bed."

Philly:  "The foot of the bed?!  I'll break my neck!"

Me: "Okay, we'll put it there."

Philly:  {blink}

Friday, May 9, 2014

me, myself, and chair

Me: Philly's out of town for a couple days.  Should we get ourselves into trouble like we always do?

Myself:  Ohhh....YES!  What sounds good?

Me: You want to reupholster that chair, don't you?

Chair (in the distance):  Oh, crap.

Myself: Yes, but I'm afraid.

Me: Me too.  We like the chair, right?  Just not the old-lady floral fabric (that YOU picked out, if I recall)?

 Myself: It's okay...

Me: Well, we have to do SOMETHING with it, right? 

Myself: I know...but I'm afraid.  I don't know squat about that stuff.

Me: What about painting the fabric?

Myself: Paint the fabric? Now I'm super afraid.

Chair (in the distance):  Oh super crap.

Me: Don't be afraid.  I'm here.  And others have done it; how bad can it be?

Myself: Won't it be weird and sticky, or crunchy...and...weird?

Me: I don't know, but there are magical places in the computer called blogs;
they've done it.  We shall consult them. 

Myself:  Are you sure?

Me: Of course.  And if it's awesome, we'll become one of those magical places.

 Myself: And if it sucks, we can always reupholster it.

Chair (in the distance):  Kill me now.

Me: And we're not going to tell Philly, cuz he'll kill us all. 


We decided to use ASCP on the chair.  Since we've had this chair since its birth, we didn't have to get out the hazmat suit and sterilize it first.  I think Eddie licked his nevermind on it once for 5 minutes; otherwise it's had no use.

I armed Myself with our paint and a wet wash cloth.
Myself gets to have all the fun.

After dampening all the fabric, the back got some Graphite.

But first, Eddie helped:

The rest got covered in a mixture of Old White and Pure White.
(More Pure than Old.  Which is just the opposite of Philly.)

Here's the first coat: 

Looks like crap, right?  Well, after a couple more coats it looked pretty fly. 

It looked so fly that Eddie told me we need to do the ottoman too.

Once dry, I measured and taped (green painter's tape) for a stripe down the center.  Upon first glance, this chair appears symmetrical.

It is not.
There may have been some swears during the measuring and taping.

Before I painted the center, I "sealed" the painter's tape down with my white mixture so the blue/green wouldn't bleed.

Of course I forgot to take pictures of everything I just talked about because I was too busy with my swears.

Anyway, here it is!

The stripe down the center is a custom blend of Old White, Pure White, Paris Grey, and Duck Egg Blue.   

And by "custom," I mean I mixed up a little pot and hoped like heck I had enough to finish the job because I'd never have the recipe again.

Someone left the cake out in the rain.

Am I the only one who went there?

I love the contrast of the Graphite on the back of the chair.

Remember my night(mare) stand?   


We sealed the whole project with clear wax.  Most people say this gives the fabric almost a leather-like feel.  I'm going with more like a Pleather.  We can't all feel like buttah.

And then we waited for Death to come.


Death darkened my door and....nothing.

Nope.  He didn't notice the chair, even though it's sitting right next to his big-ass TV he was watching that evening.  That was Wednesday night. 

Thursday:  Nada.

This morning?  Nope.

They say it's easier to ask forgiveness than get permission.  Apparently I need neither.  Ima go trade my 9-year-old VW in for a new Audi or BMW and see how long it takes for him to notice THAT.

Can I get an Amen and Alleluia.  And some German engineering.  MmmHmm. 

One more look.

Would YOU have approved this project?
Or would you have been Death?
That is, if Death actually knew about it?

Which he might now....

***Update!!  Death just saw the blog post and he is FREAKING OUT!!  Bwahahahahaha!!!***


Life on Lakeshore Drive

Elizabeth and Co.


The Dedicated House