Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Winter Sale

Summer projects languished into fall. Mr. Jim finally finished the bathroom and the work was impeccable. I even miss having him around. I put the house on the market a few days before Thanksgiving then went on a cruise with friends. About a week later the house had an offer $9k over asking and I accepted.

Unfortunately, that buyer pulled out and I went back to square one with the sale. I did have a dream I received a check for $100k from the sale so I think as long as I keep that image in my head, it will materialize.

Right now there's nothing of interest in St. Petersburg, the area I'm looking to buy.  Also, since I fired the 420 crew, I'm not sure who to call about doing another rehab.

Detail details details. I know it will all work out and in the right time. Always does.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Summer Projects

Along with two rooms worth of new windows, the master bath took the remainder of my savings from working in Alaska last summer. The contractor for the bathroom, a friend from running, discovered terrazzo under the old tiles so I decided to have the floor restore rather than re-tiled. While the terrazzo guy was here, I decided to have him restore the foyer as well. Bye-bye budget.

Floor and windows and the entire house looks fantastic. Gus and I will add a window seat under the bay window and do a minor roof repair. Other than those two things, the summer rehab projects are done.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Frustrated, Inc.

I'm really frustrated with the 420 crew today. After pushing my window install out for weeks, they finally started the work, but showed up a week early. Basically, using a calendar is not in their sweet spot. Now a tape measure. The windows in the extra bedroom do not math the rest of the windows in the house and the bay windows are the wrong size. All of which could be fixed, but would only be expensive and time-consuming. Yes, it's their "fault", but contractors never have to work so it's the homeowner left shaking her head.

Today is 4 on the Grrr Scale. One bright light, TyTy is staying here while his biodad is doing a 3-week training :) I love having that little nugget home.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Why I Haven't Commented on Phoebe Jonchuck's Murder

Two days ago, Phoebe Jonchuck was thrown off the Sunshine Skyway bridge by her biological father. Phoebe and I live in the same county. She died about 40 minutes from my home. Phoebe Jonchuck was 5-years old.

When I heard the news of her murder, less than 8 hours after it happened, I couldn't help but think of January 2008.

On the same day as Phoebe's murder, I saw Facebook tributes and shared articles that showed pictures of her parents. I read so many angry comments. Scouring the online articles, stalking her mother's own Facebook page, I stared at the pictures of her father, captured and booked less than an hour after he killed his daughter. And I thought of January 2008.

On the same day as Phoebe's murder, my foster son's Guardian Ad Litem (volunteer legal representative) called me. Her voice was shaking, her words bordered on frantic. She asked me if I had heard about Phoebe and I told her about January 2008.

In 2008 I was finishing graduate school in Honolulu, Hawaii. On January 18 of that year, just a few minutes from my home, a low-functioning meth addict walked into the apartment of another meth addict, picked up her 1-year old son, carried him to a nearby pedestrian overpass and threw him into H-1 traffic. I passed under that bridge everyday. The baby's name was Cyrus.

You see, even though my son is a healthy, bouncing 6-mo old, his Guardian knows he, and 999 other children in Pinellas County, are Phoebe Jonchuck. The only difference between those kids and Phoebe is that little Phoebe, just like baby Cyrus, never spent a single night in foster care. Tonight, 1,000 luckier children will. 

I haven't commented on Phoebe's Jonchuck's murder because I, along with every other foster family, have been busy preventing another tragedy. Being busy doesn't make us less angry, it doesn't take the shaking out of our voices when we talk about our kids' cases. And nothing about being a foster parent makes you feel good about any tragedy. While we all hug our little ones closer when we hear about children like Phoebe and Cyrus, I know every foster parent pauses, thinks, or prays---this is why we do.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Slow Down, December!

While this blog has been severely neglected, the house and yard have not, so much so that I'm actively looking for another property. There's not much inventory in the area, which means continued patience. However, the other blog has received much more attention this past year, but since this is my public forum, the following is my very public plea: SLOW DOWN, DECEMBER!

The holidays are so special to me and my family. We don't go overboard, we don't travel to an exotic location, we don't even go near the mall, but we do have our own favorite (somewhat odd) family traditions. And this year we have TyTy!!! So it was with great JOY we celebrated Thanksgiving Day with turkey and trimmings, Visiting Day dressed up and sipping wine with friends (and of course oysters). But then it was over. Just like that--over. All the cooking, the music, the DIY projects, all the laughing till we cry (mostly at the DIY projects). Done.

I don't want this Christmas to pass just as fast. I want to savor every minute with my family, friends, and my super cute house guest---every cheesy parade and misdirected pageant, every loud party and naughty gift exchange, every Santa's lap, poorly sung carol, stolen tree, obnoxious light display, fake snowflake, and cheap bottle of eggnog. And mostly, I just want to show and share everything I love about this time of year with TyTy (except the eggnog). 

With props to Simon & Garfunkel and "The 59th Street Bridge Song"
SLOW DOWN, DECEMBER! You move too fast!

I've heard good things about a fat man dressed in red.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

It's a Shabby Thing (or Defacing the Hemnes)

Shabby Chic is all the rage, especially with coastal decor. Unfortunately, my retro living room and terrazzo floors just weren't jibing with the classic white beach style that has pervaded the rest of the house.

Harbor Farm had hardwood floors stained in a deep espresso. The Ikea Hemnes living room collection complemented those floors and the West Indies style that ran through the farmhouse, but not so much at Trading Up.

I spent a little time researching how to distress (think destroy) perfectly good Ikea furniture and came across a blog called 'I Love Rehabs'. Jennifer's ideas for her Ikea Lack coffee table inspired my project and Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint webpage helped bring the look to completion. 

Here's how it was done...

Start with one perfectly innocent Ikea coffee table...
Cut linear grooves across the horizontal surfaces to mimic the look of planks...

Use milk paint to cover any dark stain...
Let milk paint do its thing...

Add any amount of additional destruction you desire...

...and voila!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Kitchen Mini-Remodel (the Christmas Project)

My family believes it wouldn't be Christmas without having to slave over reno projects. This year we kept the tradition going with a mini-remodel in the kitchen. Despite an open house on Christmas Day, a week of culinary prowess, and a few electrical issues (no one was hurt), this project came together pretty well.

Before - Dark with Weird Drop-Ceiling Feature (i.e., the Headbanger)

Before - Hello? Is anyone back there?

After - Bright and Open


For those that like to see the "during" shots...