My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Answer To Hubby's Questions

Even though my hubby is wonderful, there are a few things that irritate me to no end. One of them is this: When he's away from home during the day, sometimes teaching a class and sometimes volunteering for something, he'll call me when he's on his way home. He's very good about keeping in contact so when he occasionally forgets, I get worried, but that's not common. Anyway, it's gotten to the point of this discussion verbatim.

He: I'm on my way home.
Me: Good. Drive carefully.
He: What's for dinner? (Can you hear my teeth grinding here now?)
Me: Not sure. But be prepared to travel. (Dine out, get it?)

Another thing is when we eat out he never, ever leaves enough food on his plate to bring home. For me, most dinners out at a restaurant are at least two dinners, not for th' hubs. He eats it all. Incomprehensible to me how someone can eat all that food on the plate.

Another thing is dessert. Usually I don't order dessert, but when I do, I don't share. I tell this to hubs beforehand. Invariably, he'll try to take a bite of my Black Tie Mousse Cake at Olive Garden. The last time he tried that I snatched it away so fast it almost flew over my shoulder into the wall! I said I don't share dessert. Of course, there have been times when we're trying to lost a bit of weight that we order dessert and eat it together but the waitress cuts it in half for us so there's no fight. (This one waitress at Olive Garden knows us well. ;-) ) When I'm as hungry as a painted cannibal coming off a fast, you do NOT want to mess with my food.

He graciously helps me make our bed now that he's retired. I never really asked him to do it but with the things I've gone through this past year he just does it or helps me. So, here's the conversation:
Me: Make sure you have enough blanket on your side.
He: I do.
Me: I think the quilted bedspread needs to come over to my side a bit. Get the 3rd ruffle even with the edge.
He: No, it's perfect.
Me: I'll tell you when it's perfect. ;-)

I think I'd better stop while I'm ahead here on this discussion. ;-)

I was on the treadmill the other day and had the radio on out in the garage while walking. I couldn't believe it but I heard a commercial for borrowing money. It was pretty much the ones you hear with low or no interest if repaid by a certain time. It had a few more creative things, which I can't remember now. But when it gave out the name and phone number, I was stunned. It was an Indian Casino! Since Indian reservations are sovereign nations they don't pay taxes and can do pretty much what they want, but that was a new one for me.

If you are ever in London, this is the place you want to visit for yummy cakes.

Clever idea using vintage wallpaper.

Beautiful vignette using perfume bottles.

I used this photo to do one of my own. I had all the basics and didn't have to buy a thing. I love mine! You can do this also.

A gorgeous living room. Love just about everything about it. I'd put in pink of course.

Stunning winter display.

Vintage tins.

A magnetic tray.

Old doors set up in a garden. Lovin' it!

Pretty office in an old loft.

Beautiful ranunculaceous.

Pretty pink clock.

I fashioned the chandelier in my dining room after this one. A few differences but I couldn't find the chandelier shades like this one has. Had to adjust my thinking!

Darling, darling home office out of a closet.

Love these old trailers but don't want one or Love Bunny would insist I go camping and we all know how I feel about camping!

Walter Anderson's two claims to fame: inventing the hamburger bun and co-founding White Castle.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Few Stories About San Diego

In the mid sixties we lived in San Diego. I loved San Diego. Hubs was a Marine drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot and used to come home with the weirdest stories. He and our son, who was also a Marine, would sit and tell stories in the later years and we would laugh and laugh together till tears rolled down our cheeks. It's really fun sitting and listening to those two talk about the Marines.

He came home with a story about the new recruits. When they would arrive they had to send every single thing on their body, except a wedding ring and a watch, home to their folks.

Hubs told me about young men arriving there on the bus without shoes even. Some had never even worn them. Some had never worn a belt. They were then immediately taken to have their heads shaved. He said once there was a kid with an open sore/cut on his head full of lice. There were other stories I'll have him tell me and post here again later, but that's the few I remember at this point. We're talking really "green" recruits, first time away from home.

He also came home one day with lice. Yes, lice! I discovered them on me one evening and since we had never had them even as children I didn't know what was crawling on me. Hubs, being a Marine and having been versed on those kinds of things as all military men are, knew immediately what those tiny things were. I was appalled and in shock and couldn't sleep that night. But the next day he went to the base and got medicine for both of us. We also stripped all the beds in the apartment and went to the laundromat that night. We figured he got them from the toilets at the base because we were both faithful to each other and, after checking our two kids, didn't find any on them but they weren't even school age then. He was much more careful after that.

But we lived across from MCRD and near a small Mexican take-out-type restaurant that sold taquitos for ten for a dollar. Actually, at that time we could get tacos at Tico's Tacos ten for a dollar also. But I'd run down there in the next block and buy them for me and the kids all the time.

That small house was backed by a huge hill with a retaining wall that came tumbling down in a terrific roar during some heavy rains one year. If my kids had been out there, they very likely would have been hurt at the least. It also sent a huge wood beam through our bedroom in the back of the house. The landlord lowered the rent for us but we had to find another place relatively soon. So we moved up to a house near Kensington. It was fun living in that house because it was bigger than any place we'd lived in previously in a real neighborhood and was close to Mission Valley, which was great shopping for us then, even if we were too poor to buy much.

One day my cousins and I decided to go downtown San Diego. We just wanted to window shop. We dressed in nice pants but a policeman stopped us downtown and told us pants were inappropriate for downtown! We were floored and embarrassed. San Diego is a tourist town with a Navy base and a Marine base in it. We couldn't believe the policeman. I think he might have been flirting but here I was a mother of two kids and didn't even think about someone flirting with us but it was inconceivable that we weren't dressed "appropriately" for a beach town. I imagine now they go into town in their bikinis with the way things have changed! We're going down there next year for a convention and I can't wait to see how things are. We were down there a few years ago at UC San Diego when our grandson was going to school there.

This is an antique servants bell. I think it's beautiful.

A beautifully clean street somewhere in western Europe.

Glittery handmade flowers with jewelry in the centers.

Just a bit of froufrou today.

This looks like it was or is a porch by the looks of the walls but it's beautiful just as a living room also.

Cute idea for extra cups around the house.

Italian coastline.

More eye candy but actually real so you can eat it!

Lovely arrangement for a cookie party.

Another darling birdhouse.

I couldn't tell if these were fabric or edible but they're fantastic looking no matter what.

Another beautiful road in Europe somewhere.

I thought this was a decorated bottle but it's a jewel with more jewelry around it. Stunning. Maybe it's a pin.

Wish I had a sign like this for my front porch.

Just some romantic roses and peonies.

Conakry, Guinea, in West Africa, is the world's wettest capital city with over 12 feet of rain per year.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Experience with Annie Sloan and Chalk Paint

Remember to check out my Pinterest page where I have almost 7,900 pictures of eye candy. I have a couple of hundred more photos to upload but it'll take me a couple of days to get them ready. So far in my Photobucket account I have over 16,600 photos. A great deal of those are on Pinterest.

 We've had this dining table for probably 30 years now and in the last 6 or 7 years I've wanted to paint it white. I cannot find a photo in my iPhoto that shows it in its original stained oak. There is always a cloth on it. Sorry. This has been what it's looked like at the Living Beautifully household for a week now. Today, hubs ate lunch at that right corner as there is too much wet paint on the drop cloth to eat anywhere else. I'm sure he's going to be thrilled when this is entirely over tonight. Sigh. Me, too!

Anyway, I put it off because I was not looking forward to all the prep work it would take: paint removing, sanding, etc. I've done that to several tables we have had through the years and it's WORK. I am allergic to work! I hate redoing a piece of furniture at my age. It just isn't going to happen.

Several years ago we had a man do a small remodel on this house and I asked him how much he would charge to do the prep work on the table. I would be the one to paint it. He refused. Why? Because it was oak, the sacred wood of men. They just seem to have a problem with painting oak. It was MY table, for Pete's sake! He simply wouldn't. He lost a job for his obstinacy.

So recently after acquiring those 2 French cane back/seat chairs, I thought about painting it again. I posted a question for advice on how to do it without having to kill myself. The answer I got back was "Chalk Paint." No stripping or sanding. Simply dust off the table and wipe off the food and paint it. Sounded good to ME.

Then I had to find Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It's an English product. It's also very expensive and not very available here in the U.S., let alone Idaho. I did a search for how to make my own chalk paint. There were many recipes for making it. I did the one with ingredients I have here in the house. Some recommended non-sanded grout and others recommended Plaster of Paris. Hubs has a lot of Plaster of Paris. My recipe is:
2 cups of latex paint. I used WM semi-gloss white.
5 Tblsp. of Plaster of Paris
3 Tblsp. of water

I followed directions exactly and it came out beautiful. However, the finish was not semi-gloss, but a chalky-type look. Fine and dandy with me. It also said it dries fast and it did. There was also a warning about the paint recipe drying fast in the small containers you should use instead of using the whole gallon of paint. It didn't dry out at all for me, but if you try it, be careful. I used a Cool-Whip container for the 2 cups.

I put on one coat, covered the container with plastic wrap, sat down reading a book while the first coast dried, which is pretty fast. Then I did a second coat. I set the whole day aside for this so that necessitated sandwiches from Subway for lunch and my usual Friday night dinner out. But it only took a few hours to do everything that needed to be done. Of course, I did 3 or so coats since the wood was a dark oak. NO sanding, NO paint or varnish remover. My kind of endeavor! I was very careful with watching the paint in the container not drying out, but with only 2 cups of paint for a 42" x 42" table with 4 claw foot legs, I'd say that's a heck of an accomplishment with so little paint. I didn't do the leaves because we rarely use them and when we do, a tablecloth covers the them.

Just let me say, this was one of the easiest projects I've ever done. I loved using that paint! I shall find some of Annie Sloan's soft wax and put that on and then shabby it up just a little bit.

Just giving it the first coat.

Almost finished. Two legs in back had to be painted.

Looking good so far.

This is the end result. I am also looking for a new rug for the dining area. I'm leaning towards a white shag, mainly because this is such a dark house with the main areas facing north/south. We'll see what I can find. Having been through the shag period in the 60s, I didn't think I'd want to go it again. But I'm starting to like homes in magazines I've seen with gorgeous shag. It will lighten up this area I think.

This is the first chair. I started it early in the morning and then a friend came over and I got sidetracked for a few hours. The chair was harder by far than the table. It took the better part of the day to get into all the nooks and crannies so I'm doing the other chair tomorrow. Then I'll put the wax on when it comes and do the shabby-ing up with a very fine sandpaper on the table and the chairs. I'm so excited about seeing the end results.


This pink girly room is just adorable to me. I love everything about it.

See. More chairs and a table painted white with pretty pink fabric on a chair and other fabric on the others.

A bathroom that looks like it's overlooking water.

I love wearing cuffs and this one is very fancy.

Cute adornment.

More painted furniture.

Bright flowers, vases and furniture.

A very serene dining area in the back yard. Lovin' it!

More pretty homes in Europe with love roofs and pots of flowers.

Aren't these candles in these glasses pretty? I like how the homeowner did them. Very clever.

A vintage white table in a room that could be an office, library, dining or living room. Very gorgeous.

A charming patio with all the accoutrements for relaxing.

Russian scientists have developed a new drug that prolongs drunkenness and enhances intoxication. My question is "WHY"?!
Linking up with Ivy & Elephants & Open House Party & SSS and at Transformed Tuesday.