Saturday, July 24, 2010

The drapes, the drapes!

I have been working on making over the dining room the past few weeks (Really, over a month, but who's counting?!) and finally have some fruits to show for my labor. Below you can see the before, ugly brownish mustardy tan color, with horrible lace curtains. Also, you probably can't tell, but the trim has about four shades of white and cream in various places.


Once I painted the hutch and moved it into the kitchen I finally had space in the dining room to set up shop and go to town painting. It took a ridiculous amount of time to pick a paint color, but it was worth it because I am so pleased with the green color I finally chose! It is bright (but not too bright) and sophisticated (in my opinion), and works perfectly with the curtain material. And it only took painting five sample color squares on the wall to find it! (If anyone is looking for Benjamin Moore paint in green, I now have every green sample strip they make.)

But really, the curtains are what this post is about. I only mention painting the room because you can see the color in the picture of the finished curtains. But really, I can't seem to get a good photo of the color, it just has to be seen in person!

I found fabric that I absolutely fell in love with at the Fabric Warehouse here in Auburn. For $5.98 a yard! With 8 1/2 foot long panels x4, a nice low price was a necessity.


I did take the extra step of lining the panels with a thermal lining fabric that will help the house stay cool in summer and warm in winter. We have such huge windows lining the drapes was important to me. I would much rather have lined drapes than plastic covered windows!


Here they are! I had planned on one day of sewing, but that stretched into five as I sewed, ripped apart, sewed, ripped apart a number of times until I was happy with the results. The fabric was VERY particular about how I sewed it, and if anything was off even a little bit the panel did not hang well.


It's all in the details, right? I found a curtain rod with a neat little glass bulb at the end that will coordinate with the chandelier (once I get time to make over said chandelier!). I actually bought and hung a different rod, but then decided I hated it. The rod was too thin and didn't look good with such substantial drapes. Back to Lowe's once again, but these are worth every cent extra.

Thanks to Mom, who helped me choose a color and then trimmed out a large portion of the room. Without her I would have been even more undecided about what color to pick!

And also, many thanks to John, because if it weren't for my wonderful supportive husband, I wouldn't be able to do any of my projects. He helps pick up the slack with the rest of the house, always has positive things to say, and lets me decorate however I want, which is such fun! He actually told me later that when I first brought the paint home and showed him the color he didn't like it, but didn't want to hurt my feeling so kept quiet. Two coats later he says he loves it!

Water baby

We have taken Sophia to Range Pond a few times now, and finally she has decided that the water is not such a bad thing. The very first time she screamed bloody murder . . . but most recently the water was nice and warm and she decided going in with mama was fun!


Thanks to Helene she has a cute little pink bathing suit, complete with a decorative heart on the front of it. The suit fits her pretty well, but is just a little bit baggy, especially on the bum, which only makes it even cuter!


"Hmm, this is pretty cute, but I wonder what it tastes like?"




So at last we have a happy baby at the beach, not a screaming-don't-put-my-toes-in-the-water baby. I don't love her more or less according to her willingness to get wet, but going to the beach is so much more fun with the water as part of the equation!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Little reader

Sophia's mama loves to read. A perfect afternoon is one spent cuddled up in a cozy chair wrapped in a blanket with a good book and some chocolate while a storm rages outside. Rain pounding the windows while I am off in Egypt with Amelia Peobody or playing with Emily Byrd Starr a hundred years ago on Prince Edward Island . . . bliss!

By all appearances, the little Snuggler seems to be taking after her mama. My (four) faithful followers will remember seeing her sneak a peek at my book while on the way to the beach a month or so ago.

As you can see, she continues to love her books!


Mom and baby chilling out with their books at the beach . . .
a mystery for mama, Noah's Ark for Phia.


"Ooo, what are you reading?"

Notice Noah's Ark has been discarded, because whatever Mama is doing
is what the Munchkin wants to be doing. It's always more fun!
And I wouldn't have it any other way.


This morning I got home from work, and found "Go, Dog, Go" on top of the bookcase,with page 23 lying on top. Out of the book! Crumpled by my favorite little bambino's adorable dimpled hand. I am glad she is learning early to love books and if a few pages get torn out with her exuberant arm waving while "reading," so be it. Though, we'll see how happy I am about said "reading" and page tearing when I am writing a check at the library because she has been enjoying my books . . . might be a different story then. (Ha! Pun intentional.)

Read on, folks!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Goodbye . . .

This summer is flying by faster than ever before, a frenzy of plans and events, not quite enough cuddle time with the Snuggler, and NO time for strawberry picking.

What a sad day it was that I realized I would not be stocking our freezer with berries to last thru the long winter. Even when I was ginormously pregnant last summer, I picked five gallon bags worth of strawberries for the freezer, and enough besides to make a pie and eat them for days.

Not so this year. How time flies with an almost-one year old, between laundry, meals, cleaning, playtime, working a night a week, and my current dining room redo.

And now, last summer's berries have run out. I made John a strawberry-blueberry pie for his birthday, and emptied every last berry from the freezer. At least it was a pie to remember! Flakey crust, berries oozing out, cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top, and just warm enough to get the vanilla ice cream a little melty. Perhaps my best pie ever!

So with a sigh, I say goodbye to strawberry muffins in January, cobbler in February, and waffles with strawberry syrup in March. At least blueberry season is still going strong, so there is still hope for blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup on Christmas morning.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Midnight fears

Confession time. I have a fear that is so rare it doesn't even have a name (you know, like agoraphobia, etc). I have had it ever since the first time I saw the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" when I was about 12.

If any of you have seen FGT, probably some of the most memorable parts are the kid getting run over by a train, or the woman answering the door in saran wrap, or the "Towanda!!!!" car incident. Those are all great moments, and upon reflection it is probably about time to watch the movie again, but none of them inspired my lifelong fear.

So here it is. I fear that a rodent might get into my sewer line, swim as hard as it can upstream to my toilet bowl, and bit me on the bum in the middle of the night.

Probably most of you don't even remember that story from the movie. I do!

Now, I am fine in the daylight hours. A cursory glance at the toilet bowl proves that there's no sewer rat waiting to pounce.

But the middle of the night?

First of all, everything is far scarier at three in the morning. I used to have to actually turn on the bathroom light (every time, since age 12) to make sure nothing was swimming around. Now within the last six months I have progressed to leaving the light off and just listening for a minute. No splashes, I'm safe. Just have to pee really fast!

Second of all, this has actually happened! I thought it must be an urban myth, but then I was listening to NPR, and a guy told a story about finding a sewer rat in his toilet! That really set me back for a while, but I keep telling myself he lived in NYC, not Auburn, Maine, and the sewer rat population has got to be less out here.

There is no resolution to this story, no happy ending. Tonight when I get up to go to the bathroom, I will pause for a moment to listen for the sound of splashing in the toilet bowl. I don't know of a way to get past this, so for now, I just live with it, as I have for 17 years. Perhaps someday I will be able to go to the bathroom without fearing a bite on the bum.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The hutch do-over

Do you ever find that one project begats another project begats another project? Because that is where I find myself right now.

I have finally gotten around to a dining room makeover, and after much tossing and turning have a color chosen (thanks to my color consultant!) and material bought for curtains. These walls are not going to be painted in the next week, though, because of all the "stuff" I have to do first.

Part of the dining room re-do was to move the dish hutch into the kitchen. In order to have more room to move around while painting walls, I decided to do that first.

BUT the hutch needed to be painted, because the hideous fake wood covering more fake wood finally had me at my limit. So then to choose a color for that! I had plenty of white, and decided to give it a distressed finish with some crackle coat. White it would be.

Or not.

After priming, applying crackle coat, and half of the first coat of white I realized that I was going from hideous to hideous.

New paint color. Something that would really "pop" in the kitchen, which is mustard and white. After yet another trip to Home Depot, I had a new quart of paint, and determination to finish this darn thing as soon as possible.

Sanded off the crackle coat (good thing that bottle only cost $1.89), paint two coats, attach new pull knobs, done at 11:30 p.m. Friday night!

Saturday John was working, but I really really wanted to be done with it. How to get it into the kitchen?

I loaded that sucker onto a couple of bath towels and did my darndest not to put my back out, hauling it into the next room. I suppose I could have called over to my sister's for some help, but I didn't for whatever reason.

Long and short of it, here are the before and afters (I forgot to take a before prior to starting the primer, but you get the concept). Now I'm off to paint the bookshelf in the dining room. Perhaps the walls will get painted and curtains made after that . . .



Monday, July 5, 2010

New fun

Sophia has been learning to do new things at such a rapid rate, and it's so fun to watch. And sometimes, so funny I just laugh and shake my head. And then laugh some more!

This morning I walked into her room to find a naked baby sitting up in bed, diaper off, proud (defiant?!) expression on her tearstreaked face. Not only was her diaper off, but it was dry. Dry diaper says to me that this was not a recent diaper removal. No, this diaper must have come off first thing when I put her in bed, then she fell asleep in the buff.

First rate detective that I am, I noted another sign that said "I slept naked and loved it!" And that would be the large circle of dried urine on her sheet.

Now this is where things get a bit gross.

Sophia tends to be a bit constipated, and frequently poops small rabbit poop-like pellets. What did I find in the crib? Yep, pellets.

Now here's what I am just a little bit worried about.

What if the naked baby decided to have an early morning snack? Those things kind of look like chocolate puffs . . . so I am still figuring out if a call to the doctor's office is in order. Because really, when pellets appear there are usually more (and bigger ones!) than I found today.

Hmm. Enjoy thinking on that one, folks.
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