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Chair progress

It is March, isn’t it? You think that and now it is snow again today.  Yippee!!

Anyway, in honor of Dr. Seuss’ recent birthday, I found this to be quite amusing.


Progress is being made on the chair.  I love working on my projects, but I wish that I could do it all the time and not just in spurts.


But… I digress. The chair was really wobbly, but those things can be fixed pretty easily – and it is what makes them cheap to buy. When I pulled off the bottom webbing, I could see why it was wobbly:



There’s your problem, ma’am.  It was an easy enough fix. Glue, hammer the joints back together and a few screws. Now it is solid again. I love easy fixes.

I was trying to decide on the finish of the chair. This is what it was:



It doesn’t show too well, but it had kind of a speckled finish. I don’t know if someone did that or what, but I decided to go ahead and paint it instead of stripping it down because I really liked how the off white would look with the purple fabric.  So, I chalked up some of the moonlight white that is the trim paint for our house and went to town:



I decided to wax this piece instead of poly since it isn’t like a table or dresser that will have stuff sitting on it.  I am in the midst of 3 coats of wax on it. Then I used the old fabric pieces as a template to cut out the new ones and got to work on the back panel. WP_20150303_003


I actually remembered to put this piece on with the reverse side in since it shows through the back.



The air is so dry around here and it seems everything sticks to the suede with static. I imagine Pixie is going to be getting hair all over this chair…

The inside of the chair now gets its foam back put on:



And then that will get covered.


Of course, I now need to go out and get new staples or tacks that are longer since the other layers fit into a channel, but not tonight with the weather.  I hope to get this chair done by the weekend :D


Beauty in snow.

This weekend started some wallpaper removal in the bathroom. My sister wanted to help and she was free on Saturday evening, so work started in that room. Then at breakfast, I see this in the paper:



It’s now March, but it sure still looks like winter will be around for a while. Today was the last day of the Lake George Winter Carnival, so we stopped by to check out the snow sculptures and appreciate all this snow we have.


There were ice sculptures as well.



I made the mistake of sitting on this bench and it was soooo cold! LOL

Small children’s throne:



These were carved with a chainsaw.  

The lake is completely frozen except right at the docks where the anchored boats churn the water to keep them from getting locked in.



Today was a truck racing day on the lake.  It is so weird to see vehicles driving out into the middle of the lake.



More snow sculptures:



It says happy valentine’s day because the winter carnival is every weekend in February.  It was too cold for me to go on the other weekends, though.

The snow king:


He had ice fish around him, not sure why.



An octopus eating a boat:


Or as John called him Snowptopus :D

I wish I had the talent to do something like that. Even to put it in our front yard would be fun!  Snow isn’t so bad when you have fun with it.

February Wrap Up

I had to double check  the title and make sure I spelled February right.  That is one of those words that just looks funny, you know?

I can’t believe March is almost here, even though we still are in the deep freeze with more snow coming Sunday night. 3-5 inches is the thought now, but maybe it will just not happen, right?



Anyhoo, I won’t be posting on the last day of the month, so here is the wrap up for February on my goals:

1. Host the Healthy Heart Weekend. Done! Thanks to all who participated!

2. Start painting the master bedroom. Actually, not just started, but the room is mostly done! It’s amazing how fast a room gets done when there is no wallpaper to remove. John painted the doors and I did the walls.



One thing about this house, it certainly isn’t lacking color now.  I guess it goes against the whole house color scheme idea, but screw that. I want color.

3. Finish one of the trunks and try to sell it.  I finished the trunk and I think it came out quite nice.

1880s trunk

There have been a few people interested in it, but no one has bought it yet. I might be taking it to an antique store and have it sold on consignment. 

4. Start a bowflex routine. Total fail on this one. I kind of forgot about this goal. Oops.

Before all the snow comes, it looks like it will warm up to maybe 30. We might go venture to the winter carnival this weekend at Lake George and see the snow sculptures.

Have a great weekend!

Some eats

So, after my kick to my own pants, I have curbed the excess snacking.  It’s not so bad, really. I just needed to adjust my attitude about it all. Not always easy, but manageable :D  I said other than the oversnacking, my meals are pretty good. I haven’t posted a lot of food stuff since we have been renovating the house, since this blog became the rehab blog!

Here is what I have been eating for meals lately:

I made a batch of overnight slowcooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats from this recipe – although I used the water bath method instead of direct heat.
slow cooker oats


These were really good, too.

I have been eating more yogurt for lunch than I normally do when it is cold. Not sure why that is.  Here is plain greek yogurt with a blueberry compote and some cereal on top.


Mondays are called salmon Mondays because often times we buy salmon on Sunday with grocery shopping and I don’t want to wait to eat it.  Of course, John isn’t eating meat now, so I had salmon Monday while John had a meat substitute.


I just baked the salmon with some salt and pepper. Simple, but pretty good – considering I am not the biggest fish fan.

Note that I am doing good with eating more veggies, as promised for 2015!  This is a classic “I am not sure what I want for dinner” dinner:


You can never go wrong with an omelet.

I also eat a lot of chicken. Like tonight:


It’s got a wedge of laughing cow on top with some hot sauce.

I used the slow cooker 3 times in as many days making stuff, too.  It’s really a great appliance.  I did the cheesy chicken corn chili:

chicken chili


That was good for some lunches and a dinner.  

My snacks usually consist of fruit or a protein bar, although one of them is always a latte. Never gonna change that one ;) Maybe a couple pieces of chocolate.  

So anyway – back to my passion. I started work on my chair. I have 2 chairs now that need reupholstering and I am starting with this one since it was cheaper  :oops:  and it doesn’t need to have the springs messed with.  The other chair I need to redo the webbing on.  Anyway, here it is in it’s naked glory:


Please excuse my basement work area. It’s a bit of a mess.  With the fabric off, I glued the joints, which is why the clamp is on there. Now the chair will be solid again.  The inner stuff on this chair is in excellent shape and won’t need replacing, so it is just the fabric on it. I will need to either restain or paint the chair wood (thinking stain) and then pull out about 1000 staples left in the wood.  I bought fabric for the 2 chairs and it is a plum colored suede, so hopefully it will look nice when I am finished. It is a bit of a tricky cushion, so it will be a challenge.


One good thing about the cold weather – I am getting projects done!


Getting my act together

Okay, it’s time to get real and get cracking.  I want to get off that weight I gained during the house closing stress of last year. I have been sort of muddling around with a few days being really focused on track with my eating, then eating too much chocolate or cereal in the evening.  I know a lot of this has to do with the freaking cold and I seem to want to eat and stay under a blanket.

John and I were just talking the other day about how we aren’t outside at all anymore. On Sunday when the temps got into the low 30s and sunny, we were rejoicing outside – albeit while shoveling, but it was enjoyable.  Kind of sad that the 30s felt so warm. We actually spend a fair amount of time outside biking, walking, gardening (okay, not John on this one) and just being outside. With temps so bitter cold now it just is impossible to be outside even bundled up, let alone the walks aren’t really clear enough to walk.  So, it does make one a bit stir crazy.  I know spring will come, but I just feel at that breaking point and so I eat to soothe and entertain myself.

It seems hard to get back into a weight loss mode after a long time. You get used to eating more and knowing there are certain things I have to cut out.


It’s balancing wants and needs.  I can have treats, but I just don’t need them every day.  When we go out for coffee, I don’t need to have a sweet on the side every time we go. I can just stick with a latte or coffee.  In the evening, I can have  a snack, but I don’t need to go back for a second helping.  It’s just small changes like that. I don’t need to do huge drastic things because I generally eat pretty well, just too much.

It’s time to put on my big girl pants and do it. Sometimes I feel resentful if I want something, but I don’t need it and know the better choice is to not have it (or have less). Seriously, it’s like I am 5 years old or something. I have to retrain myself once again and that is harder to do for me now. But, it must be done.  It’s one of those times where I have to say, “Just do it already and quit dinking around”.


Salvage shopping



John was going to go out of town Saturday, but I talked him out of it because of the coming weather, so we spent the day shopping instead LOL! It was where I was planning on going anyway if he was gone, but it was nice having him tag along. Usually I can bribe him with lunch or coffee to go with me.  We had a groupon and went to lunch at Comfort Kitchen. 



I know I have posted pictures of their butternut squash mac and cheese before, but it is so good. Seriously – if you ever get to Saratoga Springs, put this on your list.  It’s 2 meals worth, too.

After fueling up, we went to Albany and stopped at Silver Fox Salvage. Stuff was a little pricey for me, but such neat stuff.




They had some trunks there as well, which were really nice, but priced too high for me to buy, fix and resell (at least around here).



I need to get into the market where the restored trunks go for $600+ dollars to do these. 

I also found the shop kitties.


Of course. This little guy was a feral kitty and now has a home in the shop. :)

Empty handed, we stopped for some coffee. John ordered a large Americano and it came in a bucket!



He couldn’t even finish it. From here, we stopped at Habitat Restore.  This is the big warehouse resale shop for Habitat for Humanity. They take donations of all kinds of household stuff from furniture to lighting to paint and shingles. It is very cool and they had a lot of great stuff …and some not so great stuff.




I was totally excited to see these doors from a really old house.


We need to replace 6 doors in our house and we want real wood doors.  So, we need to now measure and see if these will work – and if so, grab them. They are $50 per door and come with old knobs, too.  That’s a score if they work. Getting them home will be a puzzle, though. 

John also spotted a chair that he thought I would like – and he was right!



This is very similar to my other chair and it was marked down to $30. It needs glueing, which is probably why no one bought it. With glue and upholstery, I will have a really nice chair here.  

Pixie has already staked her claim. Slowly, but surely, we are getting this house finished and furnished on a tight budget.  I’ll just tack this chair onto my huge list of projects that never seems to get any smaller.

That snow that I didn’t want John driving in started while we were in Albany earlier than expected and it took us 2 hours to get home, which was double the normal time. Ugh! It was worth it, though. 

We did get into the low 30s today!!  We haven’t been above freezing in a month, so it felt like being in the tropics today.  Okay, not really, but dang it was nice to be outside and not being completely miserable while shoveling the 6 inches or so of snow that fell  :D


Short lived and tomorrow we will be back in single digits again, but spring will come.



Thinking spring

Let’s celebrate spring a little early shall we? Especially as we are supposed to get more snow this weekend and early next week.  Let’s celebrate with a What’s Blooming type of post!  Or I guess it should be What Will Be Blooming :D

When I buy plants online, I usually use Bluestone Perennials.  I have always had good luck with their plants and when one doesn’t thrive, they send a replacement – no questions asked.  That’s good customer service.  Each Friday during February, they have a 50/50 sale, which is 50 different plants for 50% off.  So, I managed to find a few to order that will arrive in May to plant. 

This one is Agastache Raspberry Daquiri.  I am really, really hoping for hummingbirds at the Manor. I get lots of sphinx moths, but only the very occasional hummingbird. This plant should help bring them in.


Astilbe Deutschland.  You may or may not recognize these from my old garden. I love, love the astilbes for shade and I have a whole bunch of shade to fill in my new beds. 


And you all know I have the love for the specialty coneflowers.  This one was 50% off, so I nabbed it. Flame thrower:


Of course, there is soooo much real estate to cover  that I could spend a mint on plants, but in order to save some money and still have a good number of blooms this year, I will be starting some plants from seed.  Here are the packets I bought:


The columbine will be new for me in my garden. I have had delphiniums, but I didn’t grow them from seed. The marigolds and moonflower I have had as well, although the moonflower not for about 10 years!  I don’t have a lot of luck with starting seeds indoors, but I will give them another shot.


Ahhhh…. it feels like spring already…

Finished Trunk!

Thanks again to all the Healthy Heart participants!  I apologize for the picture heavy post below… well, not really apologize. I’ll just say it is a picture heavy post.

The Lady has been finished!  This was the second trunk I purchased. I haven’t done anything with the first one yet because it is in good shape and I actually am using it in my practice room… and I got a third one.  

First off, I have to say that this is probably one of the most interesting projects I have done to date. I think a lot of that comes just from what a unique item it is.  Pretty much everything about this restoration was new to me. This trunk probably was from the 1880s based on the barrel stave design and the trunk maker (J. Levy). Anyway, here are some before shots of the trunk.








One thing about this trunk is that it smelled of mothballs on the inside, along with must. Peee-ew!! A lot of the mothball smell came from the pressboard cover on the tray and lid, plus the paper coating inside. Those were damaged beyond repair anyway, so they just went away (although I kept the lithographs).

To restore this trunk, I used a spritz of water and vinegar to remove the paper covering inside and out. The glue they used eons ago was water based, so this made removal fairly easy. Then I sanded down the wood and used wet sandpaper to sand off as much rust as I could from the hardware. It’s amazing how much better it looked just doing that. And smelled better.


I used Rustoleum flat black enamel to paint the hardware with a small paintbrush.  Then I coated the inside and outside with Waterlox (including the hardware). I wanted a satin sheen on this and I still had Waterlox leftover from doing the counters, so it’s a win all around!

 I chose to line the trunk because the wood was a little rough despite the sanding and I wanted whomever has this to be able to use it for storage – not to mention just protect this very old wood. I talked about lining it in this post, so I won’t repeat that here.

The lithographs took some work to save. It was a lesson in patience, let me tell you. It was soaking with water and gently and slowly peeling it off the old pressboard.


I wasn’t even sure I would be able to save them, but I did and that made me happy to be able to keep that original part. I dried them out in paper towels squished in books. Not sure if that is how the pros do it, but it worked pretty well.

The hardest thing on the whole trunk? The darn handles! I had the original hardware, but needed new straps. Of course, fitting modern straps into old hardware was a challenge, but so was attaching the handles to the box. I had to buy special nails of softer steel so that I could hammer them in and bend them over on the inside – like what was done when the trunk was made. Can’t do that with modern nails. Anyway, there are a few companies dedicated to parts for restoring trunks (because of course there would be, right?). I used Brettuns Village and was very happy with their service.


Here is the finished product:

1880s trunk


1880s trunk



I mentioned on FB that I love how this still looks old, but now it doesn’t look decrepit and it can have a long and useful life instead of moldering in someones attic.

I am getting a lot of nice feedback on her from my vintage groups. I have had a nibble on someone wanting to purchase it, but we shall see.  I hope it sells as I now have another one to work on! :D

Healthy Heart Weekend Roundup!

Thanks to all those that participated this year! I know the weather affected a lot of you and you found a way to still work out. You all rock! :D


Me!  Riding on the bike trainer doing intervals.LoriHealthyHeart John also on the trainer! His legs in the mirrorWP_20150214_003 Bonnie and her family did a group race of a Marathon, 1 the half and 1 a 5kbonnie
Amanda and her husband finishing a WOD at their local crossfitWOD Sara – 3 mi run, 15 min elliptical, and 30 min weight sessionsara Debby – 20 minutes on the exercise bike, 15 minutes on the weights, and 20 minutes “jogging” in the pooldebby
Shelley – 3 mile runHHW run Jen – 2.5 mile walkJen Emmaclaire – 4 mile runemmaclaire
Fran -

Friday: walking 2 miles
Saturday: walking 2.7 miles.
Sunday: running 2. 5 miles and walking 1.7 miles
Healthy heart weekend
Cammy – treadmill incline workoutcammy Cathy – 5k in 7 degrees, then biked 12 miles and walked 2 miles inside at the local YMCAcathy
Judy – Walked and ran on the treadmilljudy Leah 7.25 mile runleah Biz – 90 minutes of cardioBiz
Roz – 2 hour walkroz Kim T – Saturday  ran 5 miles.
Sunday  ran 12 miles
Helen – 5.5 mileshelen
Kim K – lots of snow shoveling! Carrie a treadmill run. With a long bike ride of 12 milescarrie Lisa H-  1/2 an hour on the treadmill with weightsLisa
Julianne – lot of activity including tide pooling!julianne Jody – runningJodyRunFeb15 2015


Thanks to all those that participated!  And now for what you all have been waiting for – the winners of the giveaway!  Three randomly chosen names via

Jen – Saratoga Maple Peanut Butter

Cammy –  Stevia!

Lisa H – Shelley’s Hand Knit Hat!

Please email me at with your addresses so I can pop these in the mail this week.

Thanks again for participating everyone!

Mardi Gras party!

Don’t forget to send me your Healthy Heart Weekend pictures to by Monday night so I can compile them and pick winners!!

What is a great way to beat the winter blahs?  With our annual Mardi Gras party, of course!  We didn’t host one last year because we had just gotten back from vacation and there was all the house crap going on. Not this year, though.  First Mardi Gras party at Radiance Manor :D



Okay, so this is going to be a post mostly about the food LOL!  We got out the beads:



The menu this year included shrimp and andouille jambalaya:



John isn’t eating meat now, so he cooked the jambalaya without the meat and then pulled out some of the rice and veggie mixture for himself. Then I cooked the sausage and shrimp and added at later. That way it was a win for everyone.

My sister brought along corn bread:



There was also slowcooker pulled BBQ chicken mini po-boys and some corn maque choux:



The maque choux was really good. It’s called cajun succotash. We got the recipe from Epicurious.

It was all very tasty!  Festive, too – although we didn’t wear the masks while eating :D


We played a game of  Ticket to Ride:


And then had some dessert. Praline cookies:



And a white and dark chocolate bread pudding:



Good thing this dinner only comes around once a year! 8-O

Always a fun time. Laissez les bon temps roulet! Anyone who wants to beat the winter blues can come on over next year :D