Welcome To My Bachelor Pad

I’m not sure when I lost control over my house. Perhaps it was when the hormonal balance within these walls shifted. Considering my own lack of estrogen and the absence of another female in the house on a consistent basis, the testosterone can be almost palpable at times.

I know I’m partially to blame. Last October I went away for a girls’ weekend and when I returned home there was a hammock in the family room. I let Mr. Jenster keep it inside for a temporary, yet unspecified amount of time. And then I took a nap in it.

Holiest moly ever!

It was a chilly Sunday afternoon and a nap seemed just the thing. Mr. Jenster suggested I get snuggled in his mummy bag inside the hammock. So I did and there ensued the best nap in the very long history of naps. I’m fairly certain I smiled the entire time I was asleep. And I fully understand why babies like to be swaddled. I felt as though I was being perpetually hugged, held in loving canvas arms.

I could wax poetic much longer about the nap to rival all naps, but you get the idea. It made it really hard to ban the delicious haven of fabric and cord after that. Was that part of Todd’s diabolical plan? Possibly. Whether on purpose or not, though, I fell in love with the hammock.

Finally, however, it had to go. It does take up a lot of room and I think we may have had some friends over or something. I don’t really remember the reason, but sometime around Thanksgiving the hammock was removed from the frame and it was taken from the family room.

Only to show up again earlier this winter. But that’s not all that’s ended up in the family room. Look here:

Bachelor Pad 1

Do you see them? Look a little closer:

Bachelor Pad 2

A framed photo of Roy Halladay and a Lord of the Rings pez dispenser set placed on the ledges that are supposed to hold only family photos and such. When I complained about it I was met with, “You know you love it.”

Just so we’re all on the same page – I don’t love it.

But the insanity goes further. Last Saturday, while we were supposed to be doing some spring cleaning, Mr. Jenster and the man child started scheming about a pulley system throughout the entire house. One that would hold chair hammocks and allow you to “glide” from room to room. The hammocks will have drink holders and Mr. Jenster will use his little drone to carry beverages to persons wherever they may be. Those pesky man-types fed off of each other and one crazy idea led to another, crazier idea.

I ended up with a stomach bug that afternoon. Coincidence?

While the odds may be stacked against me, I’m not giving up on the dream of a Pinterest worthy family room…

Bachelor Pad Wish

… and I’m crushing the nightmare of this possible eventuality. Frat House

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Aaaaaaannnnnnnd It’s Done!

Well mostly done, anyway. It’s pretty much complete. The powder room is just a few touch ups away from being finished!

I promised before and after pictures, but I can’t find the before photos. Just suffice it to say it was a boring, construction-grade bathroom. Linoleum on the floor, a beige toilet and a standard cabinet with standard sink and faucet. Got that image in your head?? Now follow me to the bathroom. (That sounded much less awkward in my head.)

First we see the beautiful sink and faucet. I am in love.

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Beautiful, no? I’m filled with delight every time I see them. I’ve never thought myself to be very materialistic, but I’m starting to reconsider.

Now check out these killer switch plates I bought in Cape May! They were instrumental in my choice of cabinet color (which we will get to in a moment).

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Aren’t they nifty??

And now for the Piece de Resistance. The cabinet, which my super talented man made with his own two hands and all those spiffy tools in the garage.

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That dude has some seriously mad skillz! The delight I spoke of when I mentioned the sink and faucet? It’s totally surpassed by my complete joy and amazement every time I look at the cabinet and counter top. We actually had looked at vanities and I knew I wanted a vessel sink, but everything we looked at was either outrageously expensive or just icky. While looking at a particularly flimsy (yet reasonably priced) vanity at Lowes or Home Depot Todd said, “I can make you a vanity if this is all it is,” and BAM! Another new idea was born.

And a few of the finishing touches – the light fixture, the mirror and the flooring.

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The light fixture was one of the first things I bought, along with the sink and faucet. The photo doesn’t really do it justice. Just believe me when I say it’s really cool. And the mirror used to hang in my dining room. My Mother-In-Law bought a pair of these mirrors at an estate sale years ago and then gave me one of them. I had originally thought to paint it the same color as the vanity, but I’ve since changed my mind. I actually like the look of the dark cherry wood atop the bright green vanity.

The flooring is 12×24 inch tile with gray grout. Tile is one of my nemeses because I can never find just the right one. But when I saw these I just knew. Kind of like when I met Todd. I just knew.

The beadboard was one of those, “Oh no! We pulled the old vanity out and there are holes in the wall and we need to cover them up,” decisions. I think it was a good one.

And that, dear ladies and gentleman, is a tour of my new powder room. I can now get on with my life.

 

A New Disorder

My fans have been hounding me about writing some more since it’s been several months. There have been at least two, maybe three people beg for another post, ask for another post, mention there hasn’t been a post since December.

Always the people pleaser, I’ve decided to forgo the laundry, dishes and other assorted chores I always, usually, sometimes, think I should probably do on Saturday and give the people what they want a bit of time-wasting uselessness.

But what to write about? There are so many options and I’m not good with choices. So I think I’ll just tell you what’s on my mind at this very moment.

I have DADD – Decorating Attention Deficit Disorder.

We have a small powder room that I want to completely redo. Everything – and I mean everything – is coming out. I’m going to put in new flooring, a new toilet, a new vanity, a new mirror and a new light fixture and I’ve been obsessing over making the right choices.

It’s a powder room, for crying out loud. It’s not like people come to the house just to hang out in there. And if that is the reason they’re coming to my house they need to stay away because that’s just weird.

Urban Industrial Rustic Shabby Chic is pretty much what I’m going for. (See what I mean? I can’t even make a decision on what to call the style.)

I was thinking about doing a pallet wall behind the toilet and vanity, but foraging for useable pallets is more than I’m willing to do at the moment. So I’ve spent the last hour or so talking to Todd about the cheapest way to get the look I want and frankly, I think I’m going to like this even better.

Can I just stop here for a second and tell you how much I dig on this stuff? Thanks! I LOVE this stuff! If it didn’t cost money I would be just like Nicole Curtis on Rehab Addict. And if you don’t know who she is or what Rehab Addict is then you haven’t lived! She’s like the cool version of “This Old House”.

Thanks for indulging me.

I’m very excited because we have a plan and it includes paint and Home Depot and the lumber yard and tile and a super cool project. I will, of course, post before and after pictures. I just hope it turns out half as awesome as the image in my head. Sadly, that very rarely happens.

You do know what this means, right? It means I’m going to be too busy to write posts.

And we’ve come full circle.

Todd the Carpenter

When I first met Todd nearly 30 years ago he lived in a postage stamp sized studio apartment. Inside the apartment was a sofa bed, a large trunk, a dresser (in the closet which was in the “kitchen”) and an entertainment unit. He had made the dresser and the entertainment unit when he was in high school and we still have them. I would never go so far as to say I dated him because of his woodworking skills, however, there was a small part in the back of my head that thought, “this could come in handy someday.”

Turns out making furniture requires a lot of tools and equipment. Turns out those tools and equipment are really expensive. Turns out when you get married relatively young and are happy when there’s a little bit of cash left after the bills are paid you can’t afford all those tools and equipment. Ergo, there was no carpentry going on for the first twenty or so years of marriage.

A few years ago a very good friend of ours started getting into cabinet making. Stan upgraded his router/router table and gave me his old one to give to Todd for Father’s Day. He had recognized the fire in Todd’s eyes whenever they would talk shop.

Todd and Stan started taking Saturday morning trips out to a local sawmill and I kid you not when I tell you he would come home with the same excitement as a kid who had just been to Disneyland. The one router turned into another piece of equipment and another tool and pretty soon he started building work benches and jigs and the next thing you know, he had a legitimate workshop of his own on one side of the garage.

Finally! The whole reason I married Todd has come to fruition. It took nearly 25 years, but it was worth the wait. I am truly in awe of the product he turns out. His shop alone is a work of art and a testament to his skill. Adjustable work benches, portable work benches, storage… his portable organizer makes most everyone I know drool with envy.

Workbench All Portable Workbench

Storage Unit front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He started out making beautiful wood boxes as Christmas gifts and then gorgeous wood cornices for my family room.  He’s also made rain sticks, frames, and shadow boxes.

Cornice Collage

But the creme de la creme is the incredible farm table he made for me. This table is so beautiful and so perfect and so everything-I-wanted-in-a-table that it deserves its own post. You’ll have to come back for that, but here’s a little teaser…

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Currently he is working on a project for a friend and then he’s going to build something else for the workshop (a box joint jig, if you must know). After that is another project for a friend and then a custom end table (that we’re still kind of designing) and then another project for a friend and then… well, the list is rather lengthy. I have a whole catalogue of things for him to build and there are a few “fun” projects he wants to do as well.

I’ve been meaning to brag on him tell you about his rekindled love but, as you know, my blogging has become terribly sporadic. He has provided a ton of material – and I mean that in the good way, not in the he’s-always-doing-something-stupid-that-I-need-to-tell-you-about way. Not only is he doing the woodworking, but he’s also started carving and has an actual paracord business. (I like that he has all these hobbies because it will make his eventual retirement so much more pleasant for me.)

I could go on, but instead I’ll just summarize. I am one lucky gal!

 

Beds, Old Wood, Pit Arm Hair and a Black Sheep

BEDS

Last week I was on my way to meet my friend, Cristie, for lunch when Todd called. The words he said were enough to instill fear in even the stoutest of hearts.

I’m about to make an executive decision and you’re not going to like it. But I think you’ll eventually love me for it.

What do you say to that? All I could think of was a very hesitant, “okaaaay…”

Our original plan had been to move Taylor’s futon down to the basement, move the guest bed into his room and then purchase a new guest bed. While he was in the mattress store, however, he was struck with a case of momentary brilliance. Instead of buying a new guest bed he bought a new bed for us. And not just any bed. A Tempur-Pedic with the elevating head, feet and a massage feature.

He was right. I didn’t like the decision because it’s a lot of money. He was also right, though, that after one night of sleeping on it I love him for it. The next morning was the first morning in as long as I can remember that my hips and lower back didn’t hurt. And I’ve gone more than a week, now, without the pain I had come to expect.

The jury is still out on the elevating and massage features – just seem like extra nonsense to me. I don’t let that stop me from using them, though!

OLD WOOD AND PIT ARM* HAIR

Now that I’m making my own money I have to decide what to do with it. It’s not a fortune I’m making and it’s fixin’ (I’m embracing my Southern roots) to be even less because I will be going to two days a week. But it’s my money and I can do whatever I want with it.

Here’s my dilemma. I want an old red barn door or old red gate for over my sofa in the living room and then I plan to hang black and white photos I’ve taken of barns on it. Todd can’t imagine why I would want to put scrap wood in a nice room. Now that I have my own money I can buy the perfect piece when I find it without any guilt. And not just a junky section of a demolished structure, but any decorating pieces for the house.

I also want to have laser hair removal on my underarms. Since I had lymph nodes removed with my mastectomy two-and-a-half years ago I can’t ever shave the left underarm so I use Veet. I find it to be a great inconvenience and would like to just get the hair removed permanently so I don’t have to worry about it. Right now I’d fit in great on the Riviera, except I’d be wearing a bathing suit complete with top and full coverage bottom.

What to do, what to do…

BLACK SHEEP

I’m sure by now you all have heard of the familial link between Dick Cheney and Barack Obama. Yesterday morning on Good Morning America Chris Cuomo said that would make Dick Cheney the black sheep of the family. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

*****

*I do realize “pit arm” is not an actual word. When I was little I always got my words mixed up and said “pit arm” instead of “arm pit”.

A Gripe and a Praise

GRIPE

Todd was watching The Unit last night and in the show a chemical weapon was stolen from the Pine Bluff Arsenal in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. This piqued my interest because Todd used to work at the Pine Bluff Arsenal in a civilian contract capacity.

The men in the show talked about the age of these weapons – some from WWII – and how unstable they are. Todd sat here and shook his head in agreement. Then the men go to Pine Bluff and I was anxious to see a little bit of almost home. (Almost because PB is about 60 miles from where we lived.)

I was appalled! Obviously they filmed the arsenal scenes in California. It looked like they were somewhere around Camp Pendelton and looked nothing like Arkansas. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see the ocean in the background!

Also, the local sheriff didn’t have a Southern accent. He didn’t have to sound like a “Good Ol’ Boy”, but he should have had a little bit of a drawl.

*sigh*

I should just give up TV all together. Except for Lost. And Desperate Housewives. Though I’ve got a problem with DH, too. How come all the houses are always perfect? Nobody’s house is ever messy. There are never dishes in the sink (I say as I look at the overflowing basin in my kitchen); the counters are never cluttered (I say as I look through the mess to see said basin); the coffee table and end tables are always perfect (I say as… well, you get the idea.)

At least Lost is all SciFi so anything goes. Except they are awfully clean for living on an island. Hm. Maybe it’s part of the magic of the island. I dunno.

PRAISE

It’s getting cool again!! Yea!!

OTHER

I’ll take a picture of the new dinette – along with the sideboard it goes so nicely with – this afternoon. Promise!

Eureka!!!

Or Topeka!!! if you’re Tigger. We are now the proud owners of a five-piece dinette. It’s the perfect size, the perfect color, the perfect style and more than the perfect price.

The wood pieces in our family room and kitchen area are Mission style in a warm honey oak. It seems like most of the small tables we found in the right color were more of a farm style with turned legs and I didn’t think that would work well with the simple style of the Mission furniture.

Here’s a synopsis of our search for the elusive dinette set:

Table at local furniture store – Right size. Decent price ($350.00). Good style. Color questionable. (Two toned with a warm oak top and antique white legs. Also the chairs were antique white arrowback chairs. Cute set, but not what I had in mind for this area.)

Table at Snyder’s Furniture in Lancaster – Right size. Right style. Pretty good color. Un-good price ($1,850.00) ’nuff said.

Internet Searches:

Sears – Right size. Right style. Color looked good. Decent price ($275.00), but chairs weren’t included. Couldn’t even find the chairs on-line.

Ikea – Right size. Right style. Excellent price ($119.00). Totally wrong color. (Very light oak.)

Furniture XO – Right size. Right style. Seems to be right color. Price a little higher. ($590.00)

I must have browsed through ten or so internet sites looking for a simple little table. I tried Penny’s, HomeDecorators, Boscov’s, Target, Walmart, and a whole host of others to no avail. Until I checked K-Mart. There it was. The perfect size. The perfect style. The perfect color. The perfect price of $159.00. And they only wanted $115.00 to ship it to me. (Is it just me or does that seem like an outrageous sum to anyone else?)

After writing down the information I started calling the local K-Marts to see if they had it. And really, I wanted to actually see it and touch it and jiggle it before I bought it because it was K-Mart. Know what I mean?? I was informed that the stores don’t necessarily have the same stock as on-line and the numbers I had were different than the in store products. But I might want to check the store in Exton.

So after a wild day of cleaning yesterday, the family loaded up into The Beast (Todd’s truck) and headed to Exton – about a 30 minute drive or so. We started out by eating an early dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise where Todd and I successfully grossed out our children by our sassy banter with slightly inappropriate undertones and “those” kinds of glances. Then we ran across the street to K-Mart and they had the table on the floor, but not in stock. At least we were able to see the table and it wasn’t flimsy like we anticipated. I was also able to write down the box number they use for stocking so I could call the other K-Marts in the area and better determine if they had it or not.

After that we went to a nice outdoor shopping center and walked around before leaving to come home. Since we’d had an early dinner we decided to stop for ice cream on our way home. The kids got to choose where to stop and they picked Handel’s – basically on the way home, though off the beaten path.

We ate our yummy ice cream and then headed for home again. Instead of getting back to the freeway the way we’d come, we went a different way. And passed a K-Mart. Todd flipped the truck around, he and I ran in and they had two stacks of boxes. AND instead of the $159.99 that was advertised, it was actually on sale for $127.99!

So now I can stop dreaming about dinette tables. The size is perfect. The style is perfect. The color is perfect. And the price was even more perfect than we at first thought.

And that’s the story of the kitchen table adventure.