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The redone living room!

Okay, here are pictures of the living room.  We still have pictures to place and window treatments to do, but if I wait until all of these are done, you will never see pictures.  I also was hoping for a sunny day to take shots, but seriously – we haven’t seen the sun in probably a week?  Anyhoo, here is what we were looking at before:




The wallpaper in here looks okay from a distance, but it had rips and tears and gum stuck to it.  Plus it was really dirty.  The first thing done was the sanding of the floors because  the finish was worn down and dirty:


That was done waaaay back in August!  I can’t believe how time flies.

There wall wall repair to do, of course.  There is always wall repair to do…


 Then finally after getting rid of all the wallpaper and much discussion over the paint color, we were ready to move forward:



We decided on Olympus Silver Spoon for the wall color. It complemented our art work and actually made the fireplace look pretty good without painting it as it matches the grout. Go figure.  I wish that I had better lighting because I don’t think these quite do justice to the color, but I am very happy with it.


In the ‘keeping it real’ department – that lamp behind the piano is barely held together. If you bump it, the shade falls off and our other lamp is just like it. That is on the list to replace.  I also haven’t moved my dead plumeria that is under the piano. I realize that now, but there you go.  We won’t be featured in House Beautiful any time soon :D



Where the bench is will be 2 chairs once I find the perfect ones for the nook, but my bench is there for now.  That’s my foot pedal for work on the floor.  My life has never ending cords attached to it.







I am not really a good decorator. I am pretty good fixing up the ‘shell’ of a room, but  decorating is hard. This is a work in progress. There is no hurry, though. This is our forever home, so there is plenty of time to tweak that stuff.

Lifting and a tiny parade

I am going to be glad when the days start getting longer again.  Darker and darker in the a.m. for going to the gym. Even Pixie wasn’t up yet when I got up!

I started off with jogging/walking for 2.5 miles and then hit the weights.


Exercise Set/rep
Seated leg extension 3 sets of 10
Seated hamstrings curl 3 sets of 10
Step Ups 3 sets of 10
Good Mornings 3 sets of 10
Deadlifts 3 sets of 10
Alternating side lunges 3 sets of 10

My legs were tired after this, especially after the treadmill work. I am going to have to rethink how much jogging to do on leg days.  Not to mention we walked downtown this evening so I have a total of 4.5 miles on the footstep front today.

Things have been pretty routine around here pre holiday.  Work has been keeping me busy. It’s nice, actually.  I am not having to look for another job since it has been so busy, and they have just gotten a new hospital account, which hopefully I can get a couple work types on.  I specifically requested orthopedics if they have one. I miss doing the orthopedic work.  I still do the operative notes, but not the clinics. I don’t know if this job will ever feel rock solid stable, but it feels pretty good for right now.

I finally got up my Charming Tails christmas parade. I didn’t take it out last year since we thought we were going to be closing on the house shortly thereafter – HAHAHAHA!! Anyway, Pixie’s favorite board was taken from her:


Sucker that I am, I actually felt really bad about it.  I was going to paint the board white,  but then remembered I had some batting from doing my upholstery project and decided to fake snow it. 





The Old Cob Mill is one of my favorite pieces.



Of course, somebody did try to cram herself onto this and knocked over a couple figurines. Sigh.  At least none of them broke since they didn’t fall to the floor.  I put another board on a different radiator in the hopes that she will use that one instead, but you know when cats make up their minds about something…



Gingerbread houses

I can’t believe the weekend is gone again already.  Nothing very exciting going on here.  I did get myself out for some consignment shopping and found 3 pairs of pants that fit!  I can’t even find 3 pairs that fit in a regular store. Bonus is that all 3 pairs only cost me $25!  Woo Hoo!

I also saw these chairs and texted a picture to John saying they were for our nook:


His response? “Subtle” LOL.  I didn’t get them, btw…

Enough of my bargain bragging, though.  Keeping in holiday spirit, here is another local ‘thing’ going on.  A gingerbread house contest, or a throw down, as Shelley likes to call them.

Here are some of the entries:





This one is the raised ranch of gingerbread houses :D



I think this one is my favorite.  It’s all made of gingerbread ‘logs’:




Now I either want to eat gingerbread or make a house.

Speaking of houses, progress is being made in the downstairs bathroom.


The wallpaper is gone except for right behind the sink basin, so we need to unhook that from the wall to get the last bit of paper off.  Luckily, I didn’t have to remove the toilet tank as there was enough space to reach behind there and scrape. Thank goodness for the small stuff, right?

After removing the paper, all around the doorway needs repair, though,  Every project ends up with some issue.  This is the one for this room. 


When you have 2 different substrates (such as wood trim and concrete wall in this case), you can’t just paste plaster over both and expect it to stick. Whoever did this tried to plaster over the wall and the trim, so whenever the trim expanded with weather, it cracked the plaster and it now looks like this around the whole door.  The solution is to patch up to the wood trim, but not over it, which is what they should have done in the first place.  Instead, they just covered it with wallpaper.

There is your home improvement lesson for the days, kids. :D

I should have the bathroom all done before our Christmas Eve party, so that is definitely good news!




Shoveling, shoveling

We thought we were going to escape the snow from the Nor’easter as there had just been rain, rain and more rain. Then yesterday afternoon it turned to heavy wet snow. 

Normally I go to the gym early Thursday morning, but I figured because of the weather that exercise would consist of shoveling and I was correct on that.



The heavy snow sticks to the branches and looks beautiful, but it sure plays havoc with the power lines. Luckily we didn’t lose power.  We got our driveway cleared of the heavy wet stuff and then in the mid afternoon we went over to our old house to shovel all that.  Ugh!  That was such a slog. There was a layer of icy slush under all the snow.  Good thing I do lifting or I doubt I could have done the driveway.  Funny because today’s lifting workout would have been upper body anyway :D   My old garden:



Seriously – it is only December 11th and we have this much snow already?



It is a little disheartening that this house isn’t selling. There just is hardly any activity in the market right now. Since our house went on the market in late August, less than 10 houses have sold in this town and they were a mix of multifamily or junkers and one higher end house – so nothing really comparable to our house. It’s just really slow right now. We figure we probably won’t sell until at least the spring. That’s a bit of stress carrying 2 houses.  That whole stupid delay with the closing and we missed the prime time to have our house on the market.  Gah.  Oh well, not much can be done about that.

I won the football picks this week and finally got to go to Rockhill Bakery!  We worked up an appetite with probably 1-1/2 hours of shoveling done today between the 2 houses. I had a Grandpa Smith sandwich, which is local ham, cheese, granny smith apples and honey mustard on toasted cinnamon raisin bread.



With a bag of chips!



All this time spent on shoveling and I will pull something from the Laziest Cat in the World files:



That board is a piece of MDF I got to put over the radiator. The plan is to paint it white and I will be putting my Charming Tails figurine christmas town and parade on it.  Only someone decided she liked how warm the board was and has been sleeping on it since I put it there. She was on the board from about noon until 8 pm today.  I want to come back in another life as Pixie.

A little jogging

Gym time!  It was hard to get up today because I stayed up too late reading :oops:  Don’t you hate when that happens? I kept saying “5 more minutes, then I will turn off the light” One hour later and I knew I would be really tired today :D

It hadn’t started precipitating when I left for the gym, but it was coming. 

Today’s lower body workout:


Exercise Set/rep
Lying leg press 3 sets of 10
Seated leg extension 3 sets of 10
Seated hamstring curl 3 sets of 10
Barbell deadlifts 3 sets of 10
Stiff-legged deadlifts 3 sets of 10
Standing calf raises 3 sets of 10

Before doing this, I got on the treadmill and did 2.25 miles.  I actually jogged for 1.5 miles of that with 3 intervals of jogging for 1/2 a mile with a walking break in between each one.  The past few weeks I have been slowly building up the time I spend jogging versus walking. I have to say that I am encouraged by being able to do this. Granted, my pace is barely above a very brisk walk, but its a start.

 I think I just have to forever forget that I ran much faster in the past before my back injuy and just accept that it won’t ever be the same.  I think the last time I tried to get back into running I was pushing too hard, too fast and it felt so awful on my leg that I gave up.  My leg seems to be okay the day following the jogging currently. It feels a little funny, but nothing uncomfortable. So I will continue and see where this leads.

Why I seem to want to keep trying running is something I don’t get – although part of it probably has to do with the fact that it was easier to maintain my weight when I was running along with lifting and biking. I also don’t like not doing something that I used to be able to do. It’s funny, though, because I don’t have any desire to want to do chin ups again :D

It started to sleet when I left the gym. It seemed like it was going to be a horrible weather day, but then after a couple hours it turned to all rain instead of all the snow we were supposed to get. As long as this doesn’t freeze overnight, we should be okay tomorrow.

My breakfast today: Protein waffles, but instead of being topped with blueberries – I sauteed a banana and added a bit of coconut butter.



Looks like scallops, right? :)

On the house front, we got our new living room light and it actually installed really easily. It arrived and next thing I knew – John had it up and working!  I like it when things happen and I didn’t have to do anything.



It’s very pretty and makes me happy.  I will say that out loud. Material things do make me happy… or happier, because I was happy before the light came.  Now we need a couple floor lamps as our current ones are kind of broken. Each paycheck I get one more thing for the house. Guess it’s lamps next :D

Festival of Trees!

Normally we like to do the Christmas in the Country, but Saturday weather was pretty yucky.  There was snow overnight and sloppy slush going on, which wasn’t conducive to driving in the country and on some dirt roads.  So, we decided to do something in town, which was the Festival of Trees!

Festival of Trees

The FOT benefits Prospect Center, which is a nonprofit that helps developmentally disabled and at-risk individuals and this is their primary fundraiser. Businesses and individuals create holiday trees and they are all on display for one weekend.  You can actually buy these trees once the weekend is over as well – which is pretty neat. 


There are a few rooms for viewing.  The nice thing about the crappy weather is that it wasn’t very busy when we were there and could get right up the the trees without bumping into people. Enjoy the photos!


This one was called “Peas Over the World”


Some of the trees were really big:


Some were tiny table top trees, including some humor:






Cuppicake Tree!


Red Cross Tree:





This tree was so pretty. It was called  Winter Roses and it had red roses and white baby’s breath in it.




Rainbow Tree!


Word with Friends Tree!



Definitely a lot of creative and talented people out there. I hope it raises a lot of money for the Prospect Center.  





Upper body and mantle decorations

Its that time of year where it is hard to get out of a snuggly warm bed to go to the gym.  If I didn’t actually like going, it probably wouldn’t happen as often :D  I guess other people feel that way because it was really empty in the gym this morning. I was chatting with the employee and we were wondering where everyone was.

The iron den section all to myself!


No one was there to see my nice attire.  Cupcake socks :D


John got me these. I don’t remember if I showed them before or not.

Now I have moved to doing an upper body split/ lower body split, which means twice a week I do lower body and once upper and then the next week will be twice upper and once lower.  Today was upper body.

Exercise Set/rep
Cable lat pulldown 3 sets of 10
Barbell bench press 3 sets of 10
Seated lat row 3 sets of 10
Lateral raise 3 sets of 10
Bent over cable row 3 sets of 10
Incline chest fly 3 sets of 10
YTWL 3 sets of 4 (each letter)
 Triceps kickback  3 sets of 10

Here is a link to a video of me doing the YTWL a few years ago (and a size smaller as well… )  I like this kind of split better because I don’t like to focus on my biceps since they respond really well to training with other upper body exercises and I don’t really need to work them by themselves.  I know they always say women don’t bulk up with strength training, but my biceps will. Not the rest of me, but just my biceps.

I did some walk/jog intervals on the treadmill getting in my 60 minutes today.  I was pretty hungry for breakfast. Good thing it doesn’t take long to make protein waffles!


 I think Pixie has found a new spot. Now that we have our Christmas tree up, Pixie has been laying in this window with the sun and by a warm radiator:



She is showing off her big feet, too. ;)

I mentioned the other day that working on the little half bath was the December goal. This is the room:



It mostly needed cleaning when we first moved in. The toilet had a bunch of stickers all over it, needed a new wax ring and being cleaned because of the filth that was left in it :barf:.  I would like at some point to replace the sink way in the future because it is a huge sink and not to scale for this bathroom. It doesn’t look so big in this picture, but in person it is large. Whoever designed the 2 bathrooms did not understand the concept of scale.

The walls actually look good until you get to this wall:



It’s nice that a thoughtful child tried to color in the missing wallpaper, too :D  So, there is some wall repair here as well.  

Anyhoo – We are getting pictures hung up in the living room bit by bit.  I will show the whole room once we get that done, but here is the progress on the mantle for the holidays:


Bit by bit things are coming together.  It’s never ending, though. I wish I had a never ending budget!

December Goals

The last month of 2014. It’s been a crazy year, that is for sure. I never made any goals for November, although the one I had in my head was to get the living room painted, which was just done on Friday.  Whew.  We have hung up a couple big pictures, but the smaller ones have to wait until the paint cures for 10 days before using the Command strips on them.  We also have thought about the arrangement of the living room.  What do nerds do when you want to do that?


A scale model of the living room. It almost is like Colorforms for adults – anyone remember those? I remember having to lick the pieces after a while when they stopped sticking…

Anyway, the piano is really the elephant in the room so to speak. I decided on a new home for my chaise, though. In the corner where it says ‘settee’ in the above picture.


I need  taller lamp, though, I think. And please excuse my cords. My life is made up of cords. For the computer, my headset, my foot pedal, etc. It’s like I am Doc Oc or something.

Anyway, I do have a few goals in mind for December:

1. 60 minutes a day for exercise as many days as I can.  Since this is the season of eating, I need to also make it the season of exercise in order to balance all that out.

2. Enjoy the season. In the rush, rush and all that – I need to make sure I take time to relax and enjoy the festivities and the fun of Christmas in our new house. John and I aren’t religious, but we do get caught up in the holiday spirit this time of year.

3. Finish the downstairs bathroom. There are 2 places of wallpaper left on the first floor – the foyer and the half bath.  My goal for December is to finish the half bath. It’s a small room, so hopefully that won’t take long to get the wallpaper off and paint, and I really hope to get it done before we host the Christmas Eve dinner. Best get started on that soon, then…

4. Post some vegetarian recipes. With John eating all veggie now, we are trying new recipes, so I hope to share some of them.

I have been working on decorating the mantle in the living room.  10 years ago or so in our first house, we had a fireplace and for the life of me I cannot recall how we decorated it, if we even did other than hang stockings. CRS, I guess. Anyway, I wanted to decorate our new mantle, but it has to be done on the cheap. Hello Pinterest and the Dollar Tree!  I went to Dollar Tree and got 3 candlestick holders, 3 glass candle jars and 3 things of ornaments. $9 total.


Then (after cleaning with glass cleaner), I superglued the candlestick holder to the bottom of the glass jar:


 This is a nice craft to do while watching Monday Night Football.  About 5 minutes later waiting for the glue to set up and I have nice hurricaine glasses!


Filled with ornaments and they are very pretty!


The nice thing about these is that you can use them all year with candles in them or sea shells or fresh flowers. Whatever!  Pretty good deal for under $10.


I am still working on the rest of the mantle. Note that I did not paint the brick on the fireplace. After we got the gray paint on the walls (which doesn’t show real well in this picture), it toned down the pink color in the brick and actually highlights the mortar. John likes the brick and since I can tolerate it now with the wall color, I am not going to paint it…yet.

Here’s to a good December.


I also wanted to take a moment and ask you to go over and give some support to Biz at My Bizzy Kitchen. She has just lost her husband and I know that she can use all of the cyber support she can get right now.

Shopping Local


We had a nice time at the Shirt Factory.  I love to go to their open house every year.  The Shirt Factory is an old factory that has been converted to art galleries and studios and retail shops.  They hold their holiday open house Black Friday weekend. Enjoy some of our local artists:

 Hand dyed wools and silk:





Fun purses:



This is where a silversmith does all his smithing :D


Lots of soap and aromatherapy this year:



I had to buy a bar of soap:



This lady had all of these natural stones and she would make a pendant to order right there for you.



My sister and niece each bought one. I came really close, but I wanted to buy more Christmas presents for others LOL!

Bears in a sap can!


There is a shop called Travel Well and they have all kinds of handmade and vintage stuff from all over.  I love their display:



Carved stone bowls:



Himalyan pink salt everything in this store, from lamps to the actual eating salt.



And some cigar box guitars.


They only have 3 strings, so I don’t think I could play it :D

I managed to get some Christmas shopping done, too.  Then we stopped for lunch – hot soup:



The necklace my sister bought:


She was being all artsy with the styling :D

I love this time of year.  Next weekend is Christmas in the Country! Hope you all had a great weekend!


Turkey Day feast!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving – or regular Thursday :D

We had all that snow on Wednesday night and it sure was pretty in the morning.  We had to shovel 2 driveways, though.  We haven’t hired a service to do the old house yet.

I did my Turkey Trot at the gym.


I did about 3.5 miles after cooling down. I actually did some slow jogging intervals (4.3 mph) to mix things up and my leg was okay with it. Maybe I will try just that pace and see if I can build up any jogging distance. There is that point when brisk walking where it is just easier to start jogging, you know?


Anyhoo, we headed on down to my sister’s for the family shindig through the snowy landscape:


Table for 9, please!




This hard cider is really good.  I think I drank the most out of the bottle, too. Pretty unusual for me, but it went down easy  8-O 


Nom, nom, nom!


Some of us bundled up and took our usual postprandial walk around the tree nursery property (my BIL is the caretaker of it and they live on the property). It was starting to snow again, too. 


We took the doggies.  Gryffon is the Clumber and Lizzie is the lab.










We then had dessert and games.  New one this year was Mexican Train:



This is a good game for all ages, although youngest niece didn’t like it too much.  

I had a slow day at work today. Lot of doctors were out on holiday, so it made for a slow day, but that meant I could get a lot of painting done!  We were out for lunch and stopped at a thrift store to check furniture. You know I am still on the lookout for a couple chairs for the nook. Anyway, I found something else:



One of the back legs is partially missing, so this was $4.  It still stands fine and I want it for looks, not for serving tea.  It was totally tarnished, but I love the shape.  I should have taken a picture of how it looked before I cleaned it up. I used some Barkeeper’s Friend to take off most of the tarnish, but left it in the crevices.  This will have a home on the mantle.

John was busy outside hanging lights today – and a wreath on our door:



It’s hard to believe December is almost here.  This weekend is Shop Local!  We will be going to an arts open house shopping this weekend (girls’ day out!)