Monday, January 31, 2011

Pull Up a Chair

Don't you just love to try new things? Especially new types of projects? I know I do!

When my dear friend's son broke one of the chairs in her sitting area, I hatched a scheme that would allow me to try my hand at a little reupholstering.

I scoured the local thrift stores and found this little beauty:

Several hours, many staples and not even one swear word later, I presented her with this:

Now, let's not kid ourselves: it's not perfect. But, my friend cried when she saw it. And I count that as a success. I mean, who doesn't love trying something new and making a self-proclaimed non-crier shed some tears ?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

If You're Going to Make Fun of Me...

Allow me to give you some good ammunition to use:

I stayed up until midnight last night finishing a Christian romance/suspense novel.

(If that genre alone doesn't crack you up!)

I quite enjoyed Saturday's book. It won't win any awards, but it sure was a fun little escape.

And I can't stop laughing at myself for turning the pages so quickly in a Christian romance/suspense novel. (I mean, who knew there was such a thing?!)

I know, I know, you want the title. I am too embarrassed to put it! I was a little sheepish about people asking me what I was reading yesterday morning. A Kindle sure would be handy at times such as those!

Fine. You beat it out of me: Beguiled. See? Embarrassing--I told you!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm Handy Like That

Once upon a time, in a time long forgotten, our dishwasher stopped working. Oh, it would still "run"--making loud noises, using gallons of water, etc. But it didn't actually wash any dishes the way you would expect something called a dishwasher to do. Gradually, its performance became so poor that we abandoned all attempts of even claiming to own a dishwasher. Eventually, it became a large black box sitting under the counter. I tried to be a real trooper about it, but I was growing really grumpy, frankly. I felt like I was wasting so much time washing dishes.

So, when my Michael asked me for ideas of a Christmas present, I told him that I just wanted to get a new dishwasher (and not feel guilty about it). And that, dear friend and devoted reader, is what I did!

Last week, I went to Sears and purchased the long-awaited appliance. The salesperson told me that Wanda didn't qualify for free delivery. "No problem!" I responded, "I can pick it up." Warily, the salesperson continued, "But you will need installation, right?" (I had seen the "Installation $169.99" signs posted around the floor models.) "No, thank you. My brother knows how to do it," I replied. And that's true. He does. And I was going to have him help me if I needed it. But guess what? I didn't! I did it all myself!

The next morning, I drove to the merchandise pick-up center where they loaded the dishwasher into my van. I drove home and pulled it out of the car. It wasn't too heavy, despite the "Warning! Excessive Weight Hazard" label on the box. I picked it up and started to go up the stairs to the front door (my front door is 1/2 story up and on the side of my house). The box was rather large, obviously, so on my third step up I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and called my neighbor to see if she could come out and help me get it up the stairs. She didn't answer her phone, so I muttered my mantra to myself: "Where there's a will, there's a way." Then, I hefted that sucker one more time and took it up to the porch, scooted it around the corner and lifted it into the house. Thankfully, it slid effortlessly across the wood floors to the kitchen once I was in the house.

Then, I started the installation. I had watched a handyman video online the night before and felt like this task was totally doable. (A big thanks to Hans Vatter, The Handyman Extraordinaire!) I am not saying that is was fun be on my belly trying to reach the various pipes and wires while turning a wrench when there was nowhere to turn it, but it wasn't too bad. And it was certainly worth the savings of $170.

No, things didn't go perfectly smoothly. Right off the bat, I totally thought I'd turned the water off under the sink but realized when water came pouring out from under the old dishwasher that I had not. Big oops! That sent me running to the basement, groping in the dark of the laundry room to reach the house's main water shut-off valve (in the dark because I had already turned off all the power to the whole house--that's how we chickens do all of our electrical repairs!) But other than a couple of soaked towels, it was all good.

And it didn't take a super long time, either (even with a run to Home Depot in the mix to get a needed part (really, you can't put a 70 cent part in the box with a major appliance?!?!?!?--I would have paid a whole extra dollar, maybe five, not to have to run to Home Depot in the middle of the installation process!)). But I digress. Even with the annoying trip to Home Depot, I had a load of dishes being washed by the time I went to pick the kids up from school.

So, Merry Christmas to me and my new BFF, Wanda the Whirlpool (I figure a friend who came to my rescue and saved my sanity deserves the title of "new BFF" and a real name). She is such a welcomed addition to my kitchen!

Quotation of the Month

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.

-Jill Churchill