19 October 2011

Off With Her Hair!

Photograph by Lola

Adventures Of A Housewife

You may have noticed it's been a little quiet around here lately. I know. It really bothers me, in fact. It's not that I have nothing to share, there is more than enough. There is a plethora of pictures to publish: the local fall festival, the pumpkin patch, Lola's field trip to the apple orchard. Ryan I have been to beautiful Bayfield to celebrate our fifth anniversary. We have visited family down South. We have all been sick over the past three weeks. And then there's the kitchen update. I am sure you would like to see what those lovely pee stained doors look like and if they've grown on me. Why yes, they have.

So why the silence? Because there is something I have to write about first, something I have been struggling with. I am looking for a new job. Why? Because I lost the one I had. About a month ago I was told my position had been eliminated, effective immediately. In fact, an entire layer of management would be cut out, I was told. Seeing that the casino is a bit top heavy in that respect, it makes perfect sense to me from a business perspective. From a personal standpoint, not so much. Enough said.

Dancing around that subject has caused me to clam up, save that one extremely frustrating kitchen cabinet door incident. I have started several posts, but haven't been able to finish a single one. Now that my secret is out, it should get better. So brace yourselves for lots of fall pictures. In between the job applications and painting projects, there is plenty of time to update you on the adventures of a housewife.

07 October 2011

Progress Report

Before we even moved into this house, we started working on the kitchen. I took down all the cabinet doors and drawers to transform the gloomy seventies look into a more modern one by painting them white. In the meantime Ryan ripped out the ceiling, painted the walls, and replaced the fixtures. The painting took a bit longer than anticipated. In fact, it is still not done. But, we are making progress. Sort of.

You know how they say "When it sounds too good to be true, it usually is?" After reading some rave reviews on the web, I decided to use Rustoleum's Cabinet Transformation kit. It contains everything you need for a complete cabinet make-over: a bottle of de-glosser (overpriced Spic & Span, if you ask us), a bond coat, optional decorative glazing, and the final clear protective top coat.

Supposedly two coats of the bond coat will turn those nasty dark tinted doors into fresh white colored ones. Not true. Even after three coats, you could still see brush strokes here and there. I was okay with that, though, and felt a fourth coat wasn't necessary. There is perfection and then there is completion.

We have 27 doors and 11 drawers. The doors were painted front and back, three coats on each side. 27 x 2 x 3 = 162. Add the 33 coats of paint on the drawers to that and you have 195 coats of paint. That does not include the 65 coats of the clear protective top coat still to be added, nor the painting of the cabinet frames. It's a lot of painting. A LOT. I cannot begin to tell you how much I have come to detest this project.

But the end is in sight. All of the doors and drawers are done, as well as half of the cabinet frames. But then. I found out the clear protective top coat is not really clear at all. It dries yellowish, like aged varnish. My white cabinet doors all have a stained, dirty look to them. Every single one, though some worse than others. As if someone peed all over the cabinets and did not wipe it off. It's hideous!

Can you spell F R U S T R A T I O N?

I am sure if you use a different color than white and/or apply the optional decorative glazing, there would be no problem. But we did not. We wanted simple white cabinets. Argh!!! I must say though, when I just walked downstairs to pour myself a cup of coffee, I was nice to walk into a kitchen with doors on the cabinets instead of on the dining room floor.

Perhaps the pee stains will grow on me.

08 September 2011

A Super Great Day

Ready for The Big Day
"It was a super great day!" Lola said to me when I picked her up at school yesterday. She loved everything about her school: her teacher, her class room, the new friend with the purple dress (Lola is horrible with names), recess, pizza for lunch, and no nap after lunch.

That's right, now that she's a kindergartener, she doesn't think she needs a nap anymore. When it was time to rest, Mrs. L. played a movie for the kids that don't take naps and Lola considers herself one of those now.

This is Lola at 6:30 PM. Out like a light on the couch while I was preparing dinner. She murmured something about being super hungry but try as I might, nothing could wake her up. 


Those super great days, they wear you out.

31 August 2011

Countryside Snapshots: Sun


I cannot remember the last time I drove past a field of sunflowers but I know it was in France. I have never seen them growing in such abundance anywhere else. Imagine my surprise when I was driving down a Wisconsin country road and happened upon this sea of big yellow sunflowers amidst the fields of corn.

Fall has started to set in up here. The lush green of the foliage is gone, the ferns alongside the road have turned yellow, and I see a little fiery red peeping through here and there. But standing in front of this bright sunny patch made me briefly forget summer is about to bid us farewell for another year.

29 August 2011

The Real Thing

Miss Lola is going to start Jr. Kindergarten next week. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday she can be found at school. Not a school-like daycare, but the Real Thing. She is so excited.

It became very real when we visited the school to register her, two weeks ago. We were given a little tour, took a peek into her classroom, the gym, the cafeteria, the playground, and the Principal's office.

Last week we went back-to-school shopping together to make it even more official. Markers, crayons, glue sticks, and two pairs of new shoes; everything has been checked off the list. We had a wonderful time together.

The only thing we are still going back and forth on is the size of her backpack. I think her current small one can still do for a year. Lola is trying to convince me she needs a big backpack now that she is a big girl. Not to mention that all the other kids at school have a big backpack, too. Or so she claims. Given the importance of the occasion, I will most likely cave before next Wednesday.

I am taking the day off to take her to school on her first day. After that, she will take the bus. Finally she gets to ride the big yellow school bus she always points out to me when we are on the road. In Lola's eyes, that just might be best thing about going to school.

Another milestone. My daughter truly is a big girl now. I just know my emotions are going to get the better of me next week when she disappears into that classroom. And possibly (probably) again when I take her picture as she steps onto the bus for the first time. I apologize in advance, Lola.

27 August 2011

I Will Survive

Since moving house, my commute is back up to fifty minutes. In the summer that is. I expect it to be quite a bit longer in the winter. The road I take now is not a well traveled, well plowed, well salted highway like the one I took last year. No, these days I drive down an itty bitty country road, with lots of lovely curves. The first part is not too bad, but as I get closer to the casino the road gets rougher. About twenty minutes out, I have to make a choice: take F, which has co-workers shoot me looks of pity, or C, which, in the winter, is certain death.

But even in good weather it’s a tricky drive. I practice my dodging skills daily with the help of care free bear, oblivious deer, and suicidal poultry. There is the occasional raccoon family to avoid, or the odd sandhill crane. And if it’s not an animal testing my reflexes, it’s the Fedex truck tearing around the corner like a bat out of hell. The drive is even more fun in the dark, as you can imagine.

I am however, determined to survive the months ahead. I have replaced the tires on my car with all weather, all terrain ones and had them slashed for extra traction. My subscription to OnStar is renewed and I have started to stock the car with emergency supplies. I should be fine.

Fingers crossed.

And maybe send up a prayer or two.

25 August 2011

Pitiful

Meet our tomato plants: Mr. Stripey on the right and Black Krim on the left. Heirloom tomatoes they are, and high maintenance I found out.

They were bought at Fleet Farm earlier in the summer. The plan was for them to find a nice home in our soon-to-be vegetable garden. In the meantime I planted them in freshly painted pots with topnotch potting soil.

However, the vegetable garden plan has been rescheduled for 2012 and the tomato plants stayed in their pots. I don't think they like their pots much, especially Mr. Stripey. A whopping two pieces of fruit he has given us. At $2.99 a plant, that is $1.50 a tomato. Who said growing your own food was economical?

24 August 2011

Countryside Snapshots: Harvest


There is a small apple tree on the border of our backyard and our neighbor's. We think it's ours, but we're not sure. It is filled with apples and they are almost ready to be picked. The apple tree at Lola's new daycare is already there. Yesterday I sent Lola off with an empty basket and when I picked her up, it was filled with freshly picked apples.

We set out to make apple sauce as soon as we came home. Lola was very excited about the process. She made certain that Ryan knew this wasn't just any apple sauce, it was home made. I have now added a food mill to my appliance wish list and I can see canning in my future. Very clearly.

11 August 2011

Trickster

Lola was cutting up a storm yesterday afternoon. When I asked her what she was doing, she told me she was cutting up fake food for Sandman. She was going to set out a bowl filled with her paper snippets and wait for him to go: "Hey! What is this?"

I am pretty sure that is exactly what he was saying when I heard him meow at four o'clock in the morning.

09 August 2011

New Do


We spent the past week in Elkhart Lake, enjoying some free time, good company, and many hours in the pool. Lola especially loved the pool. She would jump in around ten in the morning and would not come out for anything until the late afternoon, save a potty break or two.

As a result of all that bobbing in chlorine, her hair turned into one big dreadlock. Not even the half gallon of conditioner and detangling spray I used could untangle that mess. I was forced to resort to scissors.

I love it! She really rocks the bob and looks so big all of a sudden. Lola likes it too, but she did check with me several times if her hair will grow back. And if I do say so myself, I didn't do too badly at my first cutting job.

Mom also has a new do, by the way. I am now a redhead. Pictures to follow at a later date. Maybe.

30 July 2011

Skinny Dipping

After working hard in the new house the weekend before we moved, we decided to take off early on Sunday afternoon and take the pontoon boat out on the lake. I didn't actually get to go, but Ryan and Lola had a great time. They made it back just in time to beat the severe thunderstorm that had been brewing for hours. In the midst of the storm Ryan realized he had left his wallet on the boat and ran back to get it. Within five minutes he was back, dripping wet and wide eyed. "The boat is gone!" he panted.

I thought (hoped) he was kidding, but no, he wasn't. The line that tied the boat to the dock had broken, and the storm had blown it into the bay. It was sitting right next door in fact. The two of us went out into the rain and anchored her down for the night. We thought we would just push her free the next day, then take her out for a spin around the lake and go swimming in the rain. Simple enough.

Things are never that simple though. Unfortunately the boat was stuck in the mud. Really stuck. In order to do any sort of pushing, we had to get into the muck with her. Before I knew it, we were chest deep in stinky muck, trying to find some footing. There wasn't any, just roots, weeds, sticks, and other unidentified objects that kind of freaked us out. For an hour we pushed the boat through the muck, slowly inching forward. Lola was cheering us on from atop the boat. My arms hurt, I could barely hang on, and did I mention it smelled really bad?

When we finally cleared the weeds and were able to lower the engine into the water, Ryan climbed back into the boat to start her up. I hung onto the back, dragging behind her until I was unceremoniously hoisted into the boat by my husband. When we got to deeper waters, Ryan and I jumped in to wash off the mud. It was everywhere. In my pants, my shirt, my underwear. What's a girl to do but go skinny dipping? We had the lake all to ourselves and enjoyed swimming naked until lightning chased us off the water.

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