Saturday, May 30, 2009

To Answer Your Questions...

No, we aren't in the new house yet. It seems to be taking an eternity to do the things that need to be done on that house, but with only me and Jamie to do it.... well, it's taking a while. But it'll get done. Eventually. And then, my house will be just the way I want it. Eventually.

Friday, May 29, 2009

House Progress

I didn't cry when they called Jamie up to get his graduation certificate; nor did I cry when they called him up for certificates for Safety Patrols and Strings. However, when they showed a slideshow of pictures from the entire year, with him looking so little at the beginning of the year, and pictures from the end of the year where he looks so much more like a young man, I had to look up at the ceiling and chant under my breath "do not cry. do not cry. do not cry." I managed to hold it together through the ceremony and the meet-and-greet afterwards. But when I got to my car, I put my head down on my steering wheel, and had a little cry. Seems like just yesterday (literally!) I dropped him off for his first day of Kindergarten, and today he's graduating to go on up to middle school! Sniffle, sniffle, sigh.

Well, here we have episode # 511 of how the new place is coming along. I now have a permanent crick in my neck from standing on a step stool and taping the walls right next to the ceiling. All the tops of the walls are taped, so ceiling painting can finally commence tonight. I know, I know, it sure did take me long enough. I put Jamie to work taping off the molding at the foot of the walls so that will be one less thing we have to do before we can start priming the walls. He actually did a fantastic job. He got mad at me last night because I ran out of tape before I ran out of wall to tape off, so I went to where he had been taping and stole some of his tape. Then when I said I was going to let him paint a few stripes on the ceiling, he got over being mad. We have to go get more tape at Home Depot so that Jamie can continue taping what he can reach while I get started on the ceilings. Someone is supposed to come over tonight at 7 to look at some furniture. Honestly, I'm not holding my breath on that one. I've had waaaay too many people tell me they're coming at such and such time and they never show up, don't respond to e-mails I send or phone calls. I have found that the people who are the worst about it are under the age of 27; the older people who I have talked to show up when they say they will, and if they cannot show up or don't need it anymore, they call or e-mail me to let me know. I have noticed a definite generational difference in how courteous people are! Anyway, I'm off to finish my coffee then get ready for Jamie's graduation. Jamie already informed me that if I cry, he'll be "mortified" (his word). At least I know he's got a great vocabulary.

Oh, and BTW, he still has straight A's. I'm so proud!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I have very heavy living room furniture. The loveseat is a dual recliner, the couch is a sleeper sofa. This means that one grown woman and two tween boys cannot move them alone. One of the techs at work had said he would help us move, but I had forgotten he was going to be out of town this weekend and couldn't help us until next weekend... S0, the move is postponed a week. But this actually works out better for me, as it gives me longer to pack and longer to paint. Last night was spent in taping around the tops of the walls. I haven't gotten to actually touch paint to ceilings or walls yet. Part of the reason for that is the fact that people keep scheduling times in the late evening to come look at furniture, then they don't even bother to show up. If I hadn't had to come back here last night so early, I could have started on the ceilings. But, neither person who had scheduled to be here showed up. Grr! Inconsiderate people really hack me off! If you make a stinkin' appointment, KEEP IT. Especially when the person selling the furniture tells the prospective buyer that she will drop everything she's doing at the new house to come back to the old house to show the furniture. If they had called to say they weren't coming, at least then I could have stayed and painted. But no... didn't even have the decency to call. Twerps!

Anyway, I have to tape off the bedrooms and bathroom still tonight, but they are small rooms, so I fully expect to at least get the ceiling painted tonight. While I'm painting the ceiling, I'm going to have Jamie tape off the trim. That way, tomorrow night, when the ceilings are dry, all I'll have to do is tape off the ceilings and I can start priming the walls. Hope to have the whole house painted by Sunday, so then we can spend the rest of the week packing. Friday night, the tech will come over for us to load the truck of all but the air mattress and cot, then Saturday early we'll throw the last little bit in the car and truck and head out.

I'll be glad when this is all over with!


FYI - tomorrow is Jamie's 5th grade graduation. I'll be sure to post pics tomorrow if I get a chance. If I don't have time tomorrow, I promise to post them soon.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

400th POST! and Paint Angst

According to Blogger, this is my 400th post! Woot! Can't believe it! Although, content importance wise, this is probably only about my 100th post. I'm not the most relevant writer to the world - most of my writing has to do with me and mine, rather than the state of affairs in the world or rants about the frickin' media being so yakity-yak about Michelle Obama's fashion sense, but practically ignore the fact that she's one smart cookie and has made many decisions and changes at the White House that are soooooo relevant to the financial mess we're in right now (my favorite: the White House vegetable garden)! But don't get me started on that. I'll blow a gasket. I have to turn off the stupid news anytime someone starts gushing about her clothes and acts like that's all there is to her.....ARRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH! Now I'm all batty thinking about it. I'll just stop now.

The rest of this post will be dedicated to the bedrooms of the new house, and the heart attack I had over the weekend regarding the price of paint. Ai yi yi! Yes, the landlord is going to reimburse me, but DAMN paint is expensive! I'm looking at about a $200-$300 investment, and that's just for the low end stuff. But paint is a necessity. This house is ugly, and I will go batshit insane (to steal a phrase from Suze) if I have to sit in my living room and stare at shit-brown walls. (Upon close inspection of the walls over the weekend, I've decided they aren't pretty enough to be chocolate brown. Instead, it looks like shiny poo has been smeared all over the place. I refuse to sit and look at poo all day!) So, since the investment is more than I thought it would be, instead I'm painting the whole house one color and all the trim a bright white, then as I have money I'll add the accent walls in one room at a time. It won't be as pretty in the meantime, but I'll be there two years. I think I'll live. Besides, even the one color I choose to paint it will be soooo much better than poo. I don't like feeling like I'm sitting on the inside of a dirty diaper.

Anyhoo, here's pics of the smallest bedroom, which will act as our office/music room/playroom/guest room, as the need arises. Normally, I would like this pretty shade of yellow; however, it is too yellow for the tone of the rest of the house, so it will be painted over, as well.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bathroom & Hallway

Here's the teensy little hallway area and pics of the teeny tiny bathroom. At least the floor in here is ceramic tile put in within the last year, and it matches the color scheme I'm going for in the whole house. My shower curtain is beige with itty bitty little palm trees on it (and the occassional monkey), and my bath rug is a light beige. Since the palm trees have a nice neutral green in them, the bathroom will have green accents to make the beige/tan/whatever neutral color I pick walls and white trim "pop". Oh, and in the picture where Jamie is lurking outside the door, you can see what pitiful shape the bathroom door is in. All the interior doors in the house are like that. They all need to be replaced.

The hallway will probably be a slightly lighter shade of whatever color goes in the bathroom, (since the hallway is so small), well.... maybe. That one wall between the doors to my room and Jamie's room is crying out for some artwork, pictures of Jamie, maybe a tall bookshelf, SOMETHING right there. It's such a natural focal point that I want to take advantage of it. I only have the one picture of the hallway; it was so teensy, I didn't see much point in getting it from several angles. It's basically just big enough to turn around in and decide which door you want to enter.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kitchen/Dining Room

So, the kitchen/dining room has a lot of potential, but it also needs some work. Luckily, the creamy yellow countertops will work with my "theme" for the kitchen (blue/white plates, yellow and beige accents). Also luckily, my side-by-side frige will fit in the designated frige space (whew!). Paint and putting drawer pulls and door knobs on the cabinets will help a bunch in this room. And that paneled wall has got to be painted! I'll be taking down the lateral blinds from the back sliding glass door and the blinds from the window above the sink. I'm torn between my light blocking curtains or installing some of that super-duper dark window film and not putting any curtains up at all back there. I know for a fact that, even at night, you can't see inside that tint stuff, and it does a great job of keeping out the heat and UV rays. I've also got an insulated doggie door panel and brace I'll be installing on the back door. I'm SOOOOO tired of having to let the dogs in and out! Also, you can't tell very well in the pictures, but at some point in time they apparently had a leak under the bathroom sink, so they had to cut out a large square from the paneled wall. It's being held in place with packing tape! That definitely needs fixing! Also, if I can find some cheap, the whole house would look better with some plain crown molding up by the ceiling. Don't you think so?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Living Room

We begin with the living room. Note that the walls currently look like they've been Hersheyed. Great in your food; awful on your living room walls.

Note how the high gloss (supposed-to-be-exterior) paint reflects the light on the walls. Not only does the dark color make the room feel tinier than it already is, but the high gloss makes every single imperfection and nail hole stand out. It also shows the fine layer of dust and dirt on the walls, and where other people have swiped their fingers through it. Furthermore, the warm undertones of the paint do not really go well with the cool undertones of the carpet. At least, I don't think so.

My couch and reclining loveseat set is oatmeal colored, maybe only a couple of shades lighter than the carpet. The other furniture (TV stand, media tower, end table) is black. The light-blocking curtains (a necessity with South Texas sunshine) are a dark red. I have accent pillows and a throw afghan on the couch that pick up the deep red color. I'm also planning to get a large floor carpet that picks up the red and black with various shades of browns in it, as well. I'm thinking the walls in here should be a creme color to make the room lighter and seem bigger. Should I do an accent wall in this room, since it's so small, or would the red curtains and pillows/accessories be enough to make it "pop" in such a small room. It's so tiny, I'm afraid an accent wall (or two) might overwhelm the room a bit.

I appreciate the comments on the last post. Really. Please don't be afraid to tell me your opinion. I don't expect expert advice, just gut feelings would be great. So please, give me your "two cents worth" on this room. Accent wall, yea or nay? Would it overwhelm the room or make it look fantastic? Opinions on wall colors, throw rugs, and your great Aunt Myrtle's secret recipe you had last night for dinner would all be welcome. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Makin' Pretties (and Reader Opinion Poll)

The realty company gave me the key code to the house and have agreed to let me start painting the interior of the house before we move in, and will pay for 1/2 the cost of the paint. I took a bunch of "before" pictures when we went by the house today. Tomorrow we go look at paint and make final selections. When I get the opportunity, I'll post the pics we took tonight. I can't post them now, because I don't have a card reader here at home. I'll try to go to work early tomorrow so I can post them.

Now, here's a question for all my faithful readers:

I'm leaning toward natural tones, like beiges, cremes, sage, brown, etc. Jamie and I have a debate going right now on whether we should paint each room in different colors that complement each other(which looks really lovely but can get expensive), or if we should paint the whole house all the same wall and trim colors, then paint two walls in each room an accent color (which all happen to complement each other and look really lovely, but winds up being less expensive). So tell me your thoughts. What do you think we should do?

Monday, May 18, 2009


We got the house! Can start moving in stuff the last weekend of this month. Pray that someone else rents my old house before my lease is up so I don't have to pay rent on two houses at the same time. Also pray for me to have the energy to get the old house cleaned up and stuff packed where we can allow the realtor to start showing it by June 15!

Friday, May 15, 2009


My lease is up July 31. I've been panicking about what I should do, because it's a bit early to start looking for a new rental, but if I wait until closer to when the lease is up, there will be NO. HOUSES. AVAILABLE. That's when EVERYONE and their Aunt Patricia moves, so every house will be taken.

Before you ask, "Why don't you just stay in your current house?" The answer is, it's too big for two people and two dogs, I'm throwing away money in many ways by renting this house: heating/air conditioning such a large space (even with vents closed in the rooms we don't use), paying rent for 1600 sq. ft. of house when we'll do just fine with about half that, the unused rooms, the huge task of cleaning so much space... you get the idea. It's wasted money. Sure, it's great to have an extra bedroom and bed when you have company come, but - barring tragic family circumstances and the sorting out of boucoup crap due to said family tragedy - we typically don't need two extra bedrooms. We have a couch that folds out into a double bed, and we also now have an air mattress, so we should be able to keep company fairly comfy with less than four bedrooms.

Anyway, a house came up for rent down the street from Jamie's elementary school (which also happens to be really close to 95% of his friends). And the rent is $225 cheaper a month than I'm currently paying. But, there's all kinds of people with appointments to go look at the house on Saturday and Sunday. So, I scootched to the head of the line by asking to see it today, right after work. The lady brought the application with her, and after looking over the house top to bottom and making notes of many many things that need some TLC and attention... I filled out the application.

It is almost half the size of the house we currently rent - 3 BR, 1 BA, 1 car garage, 894 sq. feet. The rooms are tiny, the previous tenants scribbled all over the doors with Sharpies, punched holes in the doors, took doors off hinges, and for some unknown reason painted the living room chocolate brown. It looks like somebody poured old Hershey's syrup all over the walls and let it dry there. I love chocolate, but not chocolate-looking walls. The fence needs repairing in several sections, the carpet is trashed in part of the house, the closets have those awful metal bifolding doors with the funky slats on them, the yard has barely any grass, they left DEER ANTLERS in the back yard, for goodness sakes! This house was darn near pitiful.

But. BUT! It has potential. Yes, it's small. But that means that the insulated curtains will work better at keeping out the heat, and the a/c and heating will be less expensive. The rent is MUCH less expensive. A new coat of paint, steam cleaned carpeting, and some new tile in the kitchen will go a long way to make the house cute. Plus, the owner has agreed to consider a 2 year lease, which means she can't jack the rent up on me next year, and it's near 95% of Jamie's friends, still less than 5 minutes from my work, and is just down the street from a public park with basketball goals and a baseball diamond on one side, and his elementary school on the other. True, he won't be actually attending this elementary school next year, but he can still go up there and play on the playground and the soccer field. And the street dead-ends at the park, so there is very little traffic. And, it has some really large, nice shade trees in the front and back, where my current house does not have any shade in the front, and weirdly placed shade in the back.

One big drawback about moving now is that I'll be (temporarily) paying rent on TWO houses, because I can't break my lease. They are way more strict about it down here than they are in back home. But, my current rental company will waive the remaining two months on my lease if someone else rents the house before my rental term is up. If I've already paid that month's rent, they'll give me a prorated rebate. And, by moving during summer, it increases the chances that someone else WILL rent the house before my term is up at the end of July.

So, I went ahead and gave my current company notice that I am not renewing the lease and will be vacating the property before the term is up. I also told them that the house will be ready to show to prospective renters by June 15. This presents a bit of a problem, though, as the house is a. freaking. mess. This semester kicked my butt, so the house looks like crap. I need to do some major trash hauling, and some series going over what I have. See, if we're moving to a house half the size of this one, I have a lot of stuff to get rid of. I'm thinking garage sale, a LARGE garage sale!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Do Re Mi Me me meme

I cheerfully stole this meme from Suze, but I have also seen it circulating via e-mail with my other Internet "family." If you like it, consider yourself tagged.

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Not that I know of. My parents needed another "J" name for a female, and needed a "D" name for the middle name so that all the kids would have the initials "JDH" - so Jennifer Dawn it was.


3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? It's okay. It can get sloppy, though.


5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yes, I have three boys, Jamie, Ziggy and Buddy. Only one is my biological child. Guess which one?

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Probably not. I'm a little psycho sometimes.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Ummm.... Yeah!


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Not even if you offered me a million dollars.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Generic maple and brown sugar frosted bite-sized wheat cereal.


12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Physically or mentally? I think so, or at least, I hope so.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Ben and Jerry's Dublin Mudslide.


15. RED OR PINK? Depends on what mood I'm in.



18. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? black soccer slides


20. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The scanning electron microscope pumping down


22. FAVORITE SMELLS? fresh brewed coffee


24. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Absitively posolutely

25. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? soccer, figure skating.

26. Hair Color? brown, black, red and gray.

27. EYE COLOR? blue/gray/green, depending on my mood


29. FAVORITE FOOD? California roll sushi


31. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Kim Possible: So the Drama (I was watching it with Jamie)



34. HUGS OR KISSES? I'll take either

35. FAVORITE DESSERT? cheesecake

36. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Danse Macabre by Laurell K. Hamilton



41. FAVORITE SOUND? Jamie's giggle



44. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I've got a few.

45. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Defiance, Ohio

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Graduation Plans

I've been thinking a lot about graduation (obviously, otherwise why would I have put a graduation day countdown calendar on my blog?). My original plans for graduation weekend was that Jamie and I would drive or fly up, spend Friday night in a hotel, go to graduation Saturday morning, go out to eat to celebrate, then go home. But then I got thinking. Jamie can't stay with me when it's time to line up. He can't sit with me with the graduates. He'd have to sit in the stands and wait for me. From everything I've read on the school's website, the stands are pretty large. I don't know anybody there, and I don't want Jamie sitting by himself.

At one time, it was important to me for Jamie to see me graduate. It was important for him to see all my hard work pay off. It still is important, but Jamie's safety is more important. So now I think we aren't going to attend the graduation ceremony. We can take the money we would have used for gas, food and hotel, and instead do something together to celebrate that weekend. I'm still hoping we can go to Disney World to celebrate - I just don't know what to do about the dogs. The main problem is not Ziggy, but Buddy. I'll think on this more, and get back to you.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Mother's Day...

…was not exactly the best day I’ve ever had.  Through convoluted circumstances, we wound up having a friend of Jamie’s spend the night Saturday night.  We all stayed up way too late watching cartoons and such and playing Monopoly, so I wanted to sleep in Sunday morning.  Unfortunately, instead, I got this about every 10-15 minutes:

§  “Mom, can Jackson and I eat ____________?”

§  “Mom, can Jackson and I go outside and play with ______________?”

§  “Mom, can Jackson and I play with _________________ in the living room?”

§  “Oh, sorry, happy mother’s day, and can Jackson and I watch __________________?”

§  “I’m hungry, can I fix ________________?”


Over and over again, in an endless loop, starting at 7:00 a.m. After the fifth or sixth time of him waking me up, I sat up, grabbed one of the many pillows next to the bed and threw it at him.  After that, he got the hint and left me alone until I was ready to get up on my own.  I mean, for Pete’s sake, they’re 11!  They should know how to keep themselves entertained and not keep waking me up for permission for things that they know perfectly well if it is or is not okay to do while I’m sleeping (food is always okay, playing with toys quietly or watching approved TV channels in the living room are perfectly okay while I am sleeping, while going outside is definitely NOT okay if I’m asleep.  Jamie knows this.  So I woke up grumpy.


Then, we took Jackson home and headed for Starbucks for a little treat to celebrate the day.  We were supposed to go out to eat to Jamie’s favorite place (Incredible’s Pizza, which has a giant game room and go-karts, putt-putt golf, skeeball, bowling, etc.), but my professor was supposed to post my exam yesterday, and I really wanted to get it done over the weekend so I wouldn’t be mentally fatigued from work before starting the test.  So we waited around all dang day… and waited…. And waited…. No exam. 


Around 8 p.m., I decided that – hungry or not – Jamie needed to eat some supper.  We both go into the kitchen, and while I’m digging around for something to fix out of the freezer, Jamie moans a little bit, then projectile vomits all over me.  Nice.


I get him (and me) cleaned up, then I run to the store for Gatorade, Sprite, crackers and soup.  Get home, fix him some good old chicken noodle and crackers, then get him settled into bed.  Check the computer, STILL NO EXAM. 


By this time, I’m tired, cranky, and too darn tired to take the exam anyway, so I get ready for bed.  Get e-mail notification on my phone (that wakes me up) that the exam was finally posted – at 11:30 at night!  Then I get teed off, because this creates an unfair advantage for the students who don’t work full-time, because they effectively get more time to finish the exam than those of us who do have kids, families and full-time jobs (and there are quite a few of us in that class).  I go back to bed, but I’m so mad about the test situation that I toss and turn for a while before I can go back to sleep.


So, my mother’s day wasn’t spectacular, but at least I got to spend it with my kid (sick or not).

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Concert

As promised, Jamie's concert (in three parts - because I goofed up and hit the "stop" button)

Hope you enjoy! Jamie is planning on sticking with the violin and looks forward to having Mr. Prado as his orchestra teacher in middle school next year. As Jamie says, "Yay! I get to be an 'orch dork' next year!"

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Mountain Dew Throwback

I am a self-professed caffeine junkie. I have to have two HUGE cups of coffee in the morning before I can even start getting ready for work. I’ve been a good girl and made myself drink more water of late, but IMHO, if it isn’t caffeinated, then I have no use for it (unless we’re talking alcohol; that’s a whole different ballgame, folks!). But there comes a quandary. I love caffeine, but hate high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). So, imagine my utmost delight when I went to the store the other day and found 20 oz. bottles of –
It’s Mountain Dew, but it is made with natural sugar instead of HFCS. To me, it tastes so much better than regular Mountain Dew with HCFS. I did some Internet research, and discovered that this stuff just came out mid-April. The sad thing is, there hasn’t been much news about how long it will be available for purchase, nor in what quantities. So far, I’ve only been able to find it in 20 oz bottles. If I could find it in cans or 2 liters, I’d stock up. But it’s a bit cost prohibitive for me to keep buying 20 oz bottles that cost more than a 2 liter bottle would. So if any of you spot this product in cans or 2 liters, drop me a line to tell me where you found it and in what sizes, so I can go haunt my local store and beg them to get some!

Oh, and for those of you who hate HFCS but don’t like Mountain Dew, there’s also Pepsi Throwback, using natural sugar. Enjoy!