Monday, September 24, 2018

Final Touches - Laundry Room

It's been a while since I've posted any post-renovation pictures, mainly due to not having the final touches done.  It's been odd to realize that getting the big items in a room were fairly simple decisions, but adding the decorations ended up taking a long time.  I knew I needed some extras for several rooms, but figuring out exactly what they were was a challenge.

For the laundry room, which is just barely a room - it's really a passage way from the garage into the house, with room for a washer, dryer, and not much else - there wasn't a lot that I could do, but I did end up with a little shelf just above the washer and dryer, and I wanted to make it pretty.  I don't have pink anywhere else in the house, so it felt like this was the right place to indulge in my pink desires, and I ended up with just enough in there to make me happy:
I was standing outside of the room to get this picture - like I said, it's tiny.  I still need something to put on the shelf above the clothes rod - I had a cute metal basket there but moved it to one of the hallway bathrooms to hold towels.  I tend to do that a lot, move things around from room to room.  And I'm kicking myself for not buying a cute soft pink metal step stool when I saw it at TJ Maxx a few months ago - but I hadn't decided if I could do pink in that room yet, so I held off and of course, it wasn't there when I went back.  I know better - the rule of shopping at TJ Maxx is buy it when you see it because it won't be there the next time you shop.  Oh well.
Shelfie.  Haha, I crack myself up.  But look - it's so pretty!  I love it.
We needed a little trash can for the dryer lint, but a traditional trash can wouldn't fit anywhere near the dryer.  I was wandering around an arts and crafts store one day when I saw the galvanized tin bucket and thought it would make a nice little trash bin, and it does.  I found the soft pink clock at Target - it's nice to have a working clock in there again as our old clock had stopped working years ago and of course I never replaced it.

There was an empty space between the trash tin and the clock for quite some time.  I kept looking at laundry room makeover pictures for inspiration, and I finally went with the extremely standard glass jar of clothespins - not that I'll ever use them - but it was cute, inexpensive, and appropriate for the room...and I like it.  I think the wood next to the tin adds some nice texture to the shelf.
I bought the two pink pots at Ikea a while back - I'm a sucker for all of the colors in this line.  The light pink pot works great to hold our laundry change, and a fake plant in the darker pot added a bit of greenery.

The left side was empty because I couldn't figure out what else to put there.  Even going with the laundry theme, it seemed silly to put a jar of powdered laundry detergent with a scoop in it on the shelf, which is in every laundry room makeover picture, because we use liquid detergent.

Even though I'd taken out all of our art to hang in other rooms and had it all leaning against the wall in the dining room, I didn't think about using the pink flowered watercolor in the laundry room until last week.  It was in a much bigger frame with a huge mat, but I saw it with a different perspective and took the frame apart.  All I needed to do was trim a little bit off the edges and it would fit into an 8x10 frame.  It's an unexpected spot for art but I see it all the time and that makes me happy.  My Grandmother painted it and I know she would have been pleased with this display.
My last pretty addition to the laundry room were pink tags to label the baskets.  When I was putting the room back together after the renovation, I organized all of the small things like light bulbs and candle holders and bandages into baskets - but we couldn't tell what was in them at a quick glance.  I kept thinking I would get some miniature chalkboard tags to use as labels, but every time I went to buy them, I wasn't that enthused, so I held off.

Once I had the pink theme firmly established, it was easy to walk down the party/gift wrap aisle at the arts and crafts store and pick up a pack of tags; I'm glad I waited on the chalkboard tags because the pink ombre tags were a cute way to bring a little cheer inside the cabinets. 

I added up everything that I spent on the laundry room decor and it came to about $35, which felt like the right amount to put into prettying up the room.  Best of all, it's my little pink oasis - and if you're wondering, the answer is yes - laundry is a much more pleasant chore now.

Friday, September 21, 2018

FMM - Super-Sized Mishmash

I still can't get over the change in Paco - between an allergy medicine that actually works for him, and Prozac to calm his OCD licking, he's much more like his old self...and the sad thing is, now that we see him this way, Jeff and I realize that it's been years of a less-than-optimal life for him.  But look - this is something we haven't seen in forever:
He was watching Jeff lay out his running gear, but happily chilling in the family room with his bone.  I used to have to buy him new Nylabones every few months because he'd chew them down to small nubs, but he wouldn't use them prior to just a couple of weeks ago.

He's also sleeping more soundly, which might be partly due to the Prozac relaxing him, but also because he's not constantly itching and licking and chewing all the time:
He nosed the pillows off of the couch for this nap.
I was knitting on the other end of the couch, got up to refill my water, walked past him, and he never woke up, even when I took several pictures.  This dog was OUT.

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Remember when I wrote about my longtime hairdresser up and quitting the business?  Well, I've had three visits with her replacement and I am happy to report that we've gotten into a good groove with my hair.  I'd been going to my old hairdresser for so long that I never had to say anything about what I wanted; she just knew what to do.  I had an appointment this week and my new hairdresser got the highlights perfect - it took a couple tries to make the same magic happen, but it finally did:
All foiled up, processing away!
Shimmery blonde - ahhh!  Love it.

This is a good reminder to me that change can be OK, even when it isn't your choice.

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This is from last Saturday at Blue Baker:
Logan is at such a fun age - we can play with him and he plays back!

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Jeff and the marathoners have 10 miles to run this weekend, eek!  I'm aiming for 3, if it doesn't rain.  I was thinking I'd need to increase the mileage a bit more because we had a race scheduled for October 6th and I was registered for the 10K, but apparently the city of San Antonio and the Rock and Roll Marathon people denied permits and caused a big brouhaha and now the race has been moved to February 2019.  Which really stinks, especially for a fundraiser race.  Big money beats charity - somehow, it seems apropos considering everything that is happening in 2018 in general.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

WWU - Dead Bugs and Live Cows

Workouts: Even though what we do during the group workouts is very challenging, I really am enjoying all aspects of it - from the friendly coaches to the people in my group, as well as the crazy exercises that we do. There is a lot of camaraderie that comes with everyone trying their hardest to get through a workout, and you know how much I like that - being with a group makes exercising really fun for me.  With each workout I am discovering which areas of my body are in need of strengthening...and that would be all of them, no joke.

I have a long way to go, but I had a small victory yesterday when we did a dead bug (where you're on your back with your arms and legs (knees bent) up in the air) - we did this while balancing on a Terra Core, which is a rectangular inflatable thing that wobbles with the slightest movement, thus making you work hard at keeping balanced.  I was only managing to keep all four limbs in the air for just a few seconds the first time I was on it, but when I cycled through the rest of the exercises and did the dead bug again, I was able to balance longer!  This is my first goal at BCS Fitness - to conquer the dead bug on the Terra Core and last for a full minute on it.

Running:  I am really enjoying seeing new PR's on my Garmin now that I've reset it - yes, it's a bit silly to be happy about a new distance record of 3 miles, but hey - I didn't grow up in the trophy generation, so I like seeing this trophy and fireworks, woohoo go me!

As you can see, I am able to run again - I tested my calf out with a very slow 1 mile run last Thursday, and then a slow 3 mile run on Saturday.  I could tell that my calf is still not healed, but I was glad to be running.  However, I ran again on Monday morning and that one didn't go as well.  We were running at a pace that was a minute faster than what we did on Saturday, and my form got off, my left foot was toeing inward while my right side was trying to compensate for a weaker left side and as a result I was running very wonky.  My entire right side from the hip down was sore afterward, which put me in a low mood.  Injuries suck and are such a royal pain to come back from.

I do have one crazy running moment to share with you - during Monday's run, Diane and I headed down the cowdog road.  It was much darker than when we first ran this route, and I saw something moving just a couple hundred feet in front of us - it had a white head and was running and making noise and I think there were others and it scared us enough that we all ABORT, ABORT and we turned around and got back to the more populated road that we normally run on.  I drove over there yesterday to check out that area in the daylight - and to reassure myself that there really is a fence containing the cows, because you sure can't see it in the dark.  I took the picture from where we were when we turned around:
THERE IS NO FENCE.
I REPEAT:  NO. FENCE.

I sent these pictures to Diane and she says there has to have been a fence but in one day it's gone?  I maintain that we could have been trampled by the scary cows and long story short, we won't be running down this road in the dark anytime soon, eeek!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Sam and Florence Update

Sam and his house came through Florence's onslaught of wind and rain pretty much unscathed, thankfully - Friday was very windy and rainy, and he kept losing power and then it would come back on, and then it would go off again, but he had enough battery backup that he was fine.  His Nest camera did capture the nearby transformer getting zapped - watch the video below and look to the left - there are two loud BOOMS:

Also, Gary the tree blew over:
Poor Gary.  Hopefully he will recover from this.

Mostly, he's spent the weekend working from home, getting cell service back up for everyone, everywhere.  He's been busy, but at least it was work-related and not property damage like so many others in North Carolina are experiencing.  It's still raining there, and many areas in and around Clayton are flooded; I'm sure you've seen news pictures of some towns closer to the coast that are underwater.  Florence wasn't nice to North Carolina, that's for sure.  I feel bad for everyone affected, and especially for those who lost their lives in this hurricane.

Thank you to everyone who commented on my posts last week, and who texted and emailed over the weekend, checking on Sam.  I very much appreciated it, and I am relieved to have good news to report.

Friday, September 14, 2018

FMM - The One Without a Title

Thanks for the comments on yesterday's post - today is going to be interesting for Sam and his fellow North Carolinians, I suspect.  Here's a picture of the GOATs ready and waiting to be put into use:
GOATs - generators on a truck.  He didn't sent a picture of the COWs...

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Paco Prozac update:  After being on Prozac for six weeks, it seems to have finally kicked in more fully.  He's coneless!  We are all happy about that, including my shins that have been full of tiny bruises at Paco's cone height.  A couple of nights ago he jumped on our bed while we were reading and chewed on his Nylabone for quite a while - this is remarkable because he has not done that in months, and he used to love his bones.  It feels like we've got our dog back.  Between the Cytopoint injections for his allergies (which we are doing once a month right now) and the Prozac, his itching and chewing and excessive licking has stopped.  I am SO GLAD we switched vets.
He's so happy to have his cone off that he took both pillows for a nap!

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We don't have much planned this weekend beyond running - and of course, some of this:
Right hand...
 Left hand...
Both hands!
It's so perfect that baby pumpkin muffin, as he was known while in utero, loves pumpkin bread.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A Rare Thursday Post: Hurricane Florence


I'm posting today because I've had a lot of messages asking if our son Sam is in the path of Hurricane Florence.  I appreciate the concern, and believe me, we are concerned as well because yes - he is in the path of the hurricane.  Clayton, the town that he recently moved to, is just southeast of Raleigh so he is in the zone, although seriously, it's looking bad for most of North and South Carolina.

Because the devastation that Hurricane Harvey caused to Houston is so fresh in our minds, I called Sam on Sunday to encourage him to start taking some action, and he did, buying non-perishable food (I knew the state of his pantry was practically empty when I left about 6 weeks ago, and sure enough, it was still pretty sparse until this week), some water, and filling his car with gas.  Not that he was planning on evacuating, but when Harvey struck, the power was off for so many people that they were relying on generators - which run on gas.  The gas stations HERE, over 100 miles away, were out of fuel because Houstonians were driving up, filling gas cans, and taking them back to Houston to power their generators for a few hours each day.

On Monday when Sam went to work, he was part of a conference call regarding hurricane planning.  He is an engineer at Verizon, and his territory is North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee - so yeah, there were some big plans to be made.  He told me later that day that they had cows and goats ready - wait, I mean COWs and GOATs - Cell on Wheels, which are temporary cell towers, and Generator on a Truck, which are portable generators.  I love all these acronyms, but mostly, I love the thought that he will still be able to stay in contact with us.

On Tuesday Sam and his coworkers made a pilgrimage to Sam's Club and they all bought more supplies.  The worry is that power will be out for an extended period of time, so they hedged their bets and decided that they'll have one heck of a potluck with all the food if they don't end up needing to use it during the hurricane.

Sam's new house should be OK - I mean, it's brand new, right?  He did get a fence and sod installed recently in his backyard, so hopefully they will withstand the high winds and rain.  We think the only issue he may have is a lot of mud washing onto the side of his yard and house because there are two empty lots on the higher side of the street next to him.  His house is above street level and there's a big culvert behind his house, so the water should have somewhere to go, even if they get a lot of rain.  Of course, it's been raining there for a week already, so the ground is saturated even before Florence will hit.  Not ideal, that's for sure.

Anyway, as you might tell, I'm nervous and wish he wasn't having to face this alone, although he has made friends with quite a few neighbors and I'm sure they'll all look after each other.  And writing all of this out is helping me to stay calm, although I've been doing quite a bit of nervous knitting this week and I'm sure will continue to do so.

Hang in there, North Carolina - I'm quite fond of you and your inhabitants.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

WWU - Run for Icee! Er, Drive for Icee! Er, Drive for Frozen Smoothie!

Well, you plan for one thing, pivot to another, and end up going a third direction sometimes.  On Saturday the Renegades had our annual Run for Icee, where we set our route to end at the nice Stripes gas station near the clubhouse.  Everyone carries a few dollars on their run and afterward, we get refreshing Icees - yes at 7:30 am, and maybe that's why the rest of the customers in the store were looking at us like we were weirdos, getting frozen drinks while they were all getting breakfast tacos and coffee, but hey, that's how the Renegades roll!

I still couldn't run on Saturday, but I had a great time hanging out with Jimmymeow - we drove to McDonald's for coffee, then drove to Stripes and chatted while we watched for everyone to come in.  Once the marathoners arrived (they had 7 hot and humid miles on tap), we all went inside only to discover that the Coke Icee machine wasn't running!  That is the best flavor, dang it!  Karen investigated the frozen smoothies that you mix up in a machine right next to the Icee machines, and made one - she said it tasted good so the rest of us followed suit.  I picked a coconut/pineapple smoothie and had a few spoonfuls, but Jeff ate most of it - after all, he ran 7 miles.  The cutest thing was seeing Logan taste his first Icee:
Open WIDE for the straw!
Cold.  Cold cold cold!
Yum!  I like this!
It's good to be a Renegade!
Group shot - missing a few Renegades, but we'll probably do this again, and maybe next time I'll get to run it!

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My workouts with Brad and his crew are going well, but I've figured out that I need to slow down and work on my form because I had a heck of a backache for several days after Thursday's workout, and I'm pretty sure it's because I was a little off in how I did a couple of the exercises.  I'm starting my fourth week and I have to say, I do feel a little stronger, which is one of my goals, along with becoming a better, stronger runner.  That one is on hold for a little while longer, but hey - feeling results after just a few weeks is pretty good in my book!