Monday, October 28, 2013

Lost in the garage....

The last few months have been busy, let alone frustrating.
You see, when my Father-in-Law passed away, we had to bring home a great deal of "stuff" to our garage to go through it and organize. It is traumatic. It is exciting. It is frustrating.
We finally got two cars in, but honestly, the second car didn't really fit, it was too tight.
So, the process has been "weeding".
Now, I am a librarian, "weeding" should be easy. Well, sort of.
It can be obvious what needs to be "tossed" and what needs to be kept. It isn't always so simple when it comes to "historical". Afterall, Hubby's Dad had all the movies from Hubby's Grandfather as well as Hubby's Dad's movies, and slides and photos. Lots and lots and lots of those.
How do you weed those and how?
We discussed it at length...both of us. The conclusion is put all the slides and movies we want to keep on DVD. They will be in a smaller format, less space to store and since the movies are degrading with vinegar syndrome (see Kodak site on that), then no time like the present.
So, we started with the slides. Boxes and boxes and boxes of them. We were "hardcore" on them. If there were three pictures of the same thing, we picked the best of the three. If we didn't know who it was, we "discarded" it. We have spent two months now going through slides!
So do you remember slides? Do you remember carousels? Luckily Hubby had our old projector, so we have been able to go down memory lane most every night, "weeding" the collection. Soon, we hope to have it organized so we can take carousels labeled and ready for turning into DVD!
We also got out the old, old projector for movies that his Dad had and started going through those. Finding that most were important enough for family history, we have taken the smallest down to Costco to be converted....

So, right now our living room looks like this! A projection room! Hopefully soon, we can have it back as it is the first room you walk into and Christmas is just around the corner....yikes!
So, I have to say, if you have those family history in media as we seem to have.....consider Costco...much more affordable than the other companies....
Have a great week...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Many projects

Our internet has been somewhat on the fritz. It would be come and go like a breeze and was unreliable. It actually still is, but seems to be working for now. So, finally I can show you some of the things we've been up to.
First, I wanted to show you my Ebay coup!
I found oil rubbed bronze lever handlesets for a very affordable price! Even with the shipping I finally could afford to order the six privacy sets I needed, so all the doors match. Not only that but my hands have been so sore lately, it isn't a moment too soon. But, wonder of wonders, I was able to put them all on myself! YUp, even the two that had to be reversed. These handlesets were reversible and adjustable. Meaning, that I didn't have to know what size the door was, or anything ! I just followed directions for installation. The reversing of one was super easy, the other wasn't quite as easy, however, I was on the last door and my hands were quite sore!
So, we went from brass knobs to bronze levers. You can use your elbow to open a door!
We love them. We have wanted them for about ten years. Yes, ten years. But they have been so expensive! And you had to order right handed or left handed and know the size of the door and all that. It didn't make sense to spend so much. So, I watched Ebay. Finally, the same as the bathroom door that we did over a year ago! They came at $7.99 each. Yup. Gotta love Ebay! And shipping was nominal....
We also have been busy "winterizing". Well, our version in So. Calif. We put in a new furnace filter and hung the winter drapes everywhere but the Master. I want to get the carpet cleaned first.
We had our first rain and with that we have our French Onion Soup in the living room. It is a tradition we started way back when the girls were so little. It stuck, even now when they are gone.
This year, when I made it I used Cognac instead of wine. And not a huge amount either, only about 1/8 of a cup. It was the best by far that I have made! It adds a richness and nutty flavor that is amazing. Thanks Ina, great suggestion!
Here it is in the pot....
I also used a really good Gruyere cheese, that is better than Swiss really.
And served with a fresh toasted  baguette...
So, that kind of catches you up on what we have been up to since the internet has been....well, frustrating. Hopefully, we will continue to have it work....
Hope you have a good day...

Friday, October 4, 2013

Dresser #2

Here it is, all done, dresser #2.
It is also painted Duck Egg blue and drawers are lined with the same wonderful paper that I put in the first dresser.

I posted it on Craigslist, so we will see. I got three interested people on the first dresser, then they haven't gotten back to me on when they want to see it. I guess that happens.
In either case, Hubby said he will sell them at the neighborhood garage sale if they are sold by then. Our neighborhood garage sale, for those in the Orange County, Ca area, is October 12th. Neighbors put out all kinds of stuff...and yes, I have other things to sell, such as some chairs I have redone, pillows, trays and come on by to the Mesa Verde Neighborhood garage sale!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Sweet dresser

Well, I finished the first little dresser!
I couldn't wait, I think it is much cuter than the first view...
This is what it looked like this morning. Not bad.  It had potential, needed cleaning and dusting and color!
Here it is now, about 5 hours later....
And then I added some sweet shelf paper....
Not bad I'd say! No more dirt or spiders, just sweet detail. Lovely vintage little dresser, ready for a new lease on life......
Take care.


We try to walk the dogs everyday....but usually, we get out later, around 4. Today, Hubby wanted to take the dogs out early. Good thing! It is Thursday, and that is trash day. No telling what people will throw out!

They are vintage and a little rough. They have seen other shades of paint, they just need a little TLC. And to make things better, there is a garage sale in the neighborhood in a week!
I am thinking Duck Egg blue!!
See ya, gonna go paint!

How to know when your hot water heater needs replacing....

Yesterday, we got a new hot water heater. No simple feat, even for plumbers.....
Our hot water heater is in a cupboard, inside the house, in the hall, where those lovely new wood floors are. I am very careful and check it at least quarterly.

Day before yesterday, I noticed it took a longer time than usual to get hot water.
Symptom #1: delay in hot water
Pay attention to the rhythm of your home. If it takes longer than usual to get the hot water, then check it. Perhaps the pilot light is out, but check it.
Symptom #2: dried water streaks....

Symptom #3 evidence of water that has come from pipes, green tinge on pipes and dried water on top from that water....

Symptom #4: water, in any's time!
Now, we had no active water coming out. We wouldn't want that, not with wood floors below. We are grateful that we checked the heater when it was slow getting warm. What apparently sped up its demise
was the fact that the water main had been shutoff several times in the last couple of weeks to fix sprinkler issues. However, the result is the same. The hot water heater was a little over 10 years old, and the dried water that wasn't there a month ago, (yes, I really do check it), made a quick decision to call the plumber. The plumber was just a short matter of time before it would flood everything.
The plumber was very careful about draining the tank to outside and removing it. I had a plan in place to drain out the bathroom door to outside into a drain we have. My recommendation, have a plan in place before you need it. Old hot water heaters need to be drained before removal ( unless of course they drain all over your house). Also, know which path they should take it out of the house.
Now, I realize some of you will wonder why we haven't ever moved the hot water heater out of the house.
First, it is very expensive to move it. Pipes have to be moved.
Second, there isn't a good place to put it other than here.
Third, we considered a tankless, but again cost, cost, cost. That is a different bird altogether in pipes and they have a shorter life span than tanks.
Moral: pay attention, regardless of where your hot water heater is, for changes. Know where shutoff is both for gas, and water.
Our story ended happily. No flood  and nice hot water.
Just thought I would share with you what we have learned.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Saving the bench

Last year, you may remember that I found a bench on craigslist. It was an antique that had lived outside. I too am having it live outside, it serves a purpose the dead of winter, it lives under the table cover and is protected. However, there has been a few cracks that are threatening to become bigger and I had to treat it recently for termites!
I also have begun hating the shade of blue. It seriously looked like they had used Tempra paint to go over it. It was time to paint!
Well, I didn't want to use ASCP this time. I wanted more durability and help keep the cracks from getting bigger, so I wanted to use exterior latex. But what color??
Well, inspiration hit me, the same gray/black color of the Restoration Hardware bag!!

I took it to Ace Hardware and had them match the color......a lovely dark gray!
This shot shows you the crack and the blue....

It isn't quite finished yet, my back isn't too happy about bending over to paint, but I am happy with the shade, although here it looks more blue-ish (probably because it is painted over blue!).
I might even go ahead and paint the other outdoor chairs, because they are looking a little bedraggled themselves and I don't want to have to buy new furniture!
Here is the back, this shows the difference in color....
I have been thinking about the colors I would paint the outside of the house, and had thought I might possibly use this color gray for the shutters and the other bench on the front, but we will live with this color and see....I am having trouble finding the right shade to paint the main part of the house. I am vacillating between SW Agreeable Gray and SW Popular Gray for a subtle gray tone. There are three houses (one right next door) that are gray so one has to be careful and all....Does anyone out there know these colors?? I also like what I painted our livingroom, however that is a funny color that can turn lavender or pink in the sunlight!
I also am thinking a subtle white with a touch of the color in it for the facia and posts and then just around the window trim (windows themselves are white vinyl) a touch darker ...what do you think??
Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Viki Archer's giveaway

Ok, I have never been much excited about giveaways, but this one is different. I have read dozens of blogs over the last few years, and this, well is the stuff I dream of!
Viki Archer's blog is five years old, and she has been working on a beautiful little house in Provence. Yup, France!
So, I borrowed a few tasty little shots from her blog so you can see. If you want more you will have to go to French Essence.
This is the way I would decorate and I am happy to share her pictures.
For the rest of her exquisite photos, you will have to go to her blog......
To enter her contest, go to
and good luck.....

That is just a taste, stunning and soothing. Oh, wouldn't it be fun to fix up a house in Provence?? If you don't win, it is possible to contact her and book it.....
She will be picking a winner on Oct. 8th....good luck!
You can enter by subscribing to her blog....