Thursday, July 31, 2008

Another project


Finished up another project tonight....it was my most challenging to date and involved this tool:















Want to see more? Jump over to my home blog to see more!


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Master Bedroom

So, the master bedroom re-decorating project was an add-on to the Great Bathroom Remodel of 2008. But I am so happy with it! I am done! I will be working with my bookshelves some still, moving some books from my living room, but the projects are done.


I can't find any "before" pictures....guess I never really took any? Or they are just hiding from me right now. The closest I can find is this one from last Christmas - which only tells you that my bed was under the window and the walls were a creamy beige color.


























Then in January, I got a piano and it was near the outside door to my side yard (by the bathroom)























And now (photo taken standing in the doorway from the hall) you can see that my piano is where the bed was under the window and the bed is where the piano was by the door!
























a close up of the photos over my bed.....(R-L) a yellow flower from my
New York trip a couple of years ago, sweet Emily in her carseat, a cool mosiac tile J taken from the entry to EJ's Luncheonette where we ate Sunday brunch in New York, Heather Emily & I in the hospital, and one more close up of Emily. Can you tell I love that precious girl? (oh, and how I got the frames to hang straight? screw-in eyes.....just drilled a little pilot hole in each corner and screwed them in.....)
























and opposite the bed (photo taken from the bathroom door), my dresser from babyhood (and yes, those yellow knobs are original!) that has been painted over and over and over again, my great IKEA paintings (a find courtesy of my friend Sarah) and a cool vase I found at Bed, Bath & Beyond. In the green frame is a great 4 generation photo - my granddaddy, Heather, Emily & Mom. Emily is wrapped in the yellow crochet blanket that
grandmommy made.



















Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Another decorating project

I am so almost done decorating my room......but I needed some major design inspiration for the large empty wall above my bed. My friend Kelly provided a great idea (based, I believe, on an idea from her sister-in-law)......then it was just on to the execution.

So, here is the before (and picture that the wall keeps on going to the right for another six feet or so)


























measuring, taping, leveling.....



















yes, that is a curtain rod hung above my bed!

























and the (more or less) finished product.....still need to decide on which photos to enlarge and fill the frames and trim the ribbons



















I'm also trying to figure out how to keep the frames from swinging. The center frame (8x10) has two hangers on the back, so it is pretty stable. The two smaller frames (5x7) seem to be doing okay with just the ribbon. It is the square frames (7x7) that are giving me the most grief. Do I just let them twist? Do I try to adhere some other "eyes" on the back to string the ribbon through -- would that be secure enough? I don't really want to glue the ribbon to the frames in case I want to change out ribbon, but I guess that is one option. Any ideas from other home decorators out there??

I'll post full before and after photos when this project is complete!!




Thursday, July 24, 2008

Emily's visit

I so enjoyed Emily's visit....it was short, but oh so sweet.




















Here she looks quite unhappy to be having a bath, but mommy says she usually likes it.



















Emily - thank you so much for coming and bringing mommy and Pearlie with you. Can't wait until you can come again!!



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Emily.....


























she's headed this way! I'm so excited to get to love on this little girl!! (p.s. that is a vintage t-shirt from the 1970s.....either her mommy or me wore that as a baby!!)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lyric

I have a new favorite song...."I Believe in Love" by BarlowGirl....the song is compelling, the harmonies are beautiful and the words are a balm to my soul. Hope you enjoy it as well....


How long will my prayers seem unanswered?
Is there still faith in me to reach the end?
I'm feeling doubt
I'm losing faith
But giving up would cost me everything
So I'll stand in the pain and silence
And I'll speak to the dark night

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining
I believe in love even when I don't feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I, I believe

Though I can't see my story's ending
That doesn't mean the dark night has no end
It's only here that I find faith
And learn to trust the one who writes my days
So I'll stand in the pain and silence
And I'll speak to the dark night

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining
I believe in love even when I don't feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I, I believe
No dark can consume Light
No death greater than this life
We are not forgotten
Hope is found when we say
Even when He is silent

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining
I believe in love even when I don't feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent

And I, I believe.




Friday, July 18, 2008

The New A/C Unit!!

And here is the new beauty.....3.5 ton, 14 SEER air conditioning/heating system. The house is definitely cooler than the last week......though still not quite all the way there. I will have to do some duct work in the near future to get the full efficiency of my new unit, but I've got to replenish the savings account a bit first. For now, I'll enjoy the coolness that I get.








































DONE!

Just got the word that my new A/C is in and running! It will take a while to get cooled back down to normal, but I can go home and sleep in my own bed tonight! I'm very excited.



Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tomorrow!!

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY.....the one where I get a whole new heating and a/c unit. (I was going to type HVAC, but since the vent/ducting won't be replaced right now, that is not a completely correct statement.)

Since the technician that the warranty company sent told me that I really needed to replace the whole condenser unit, but, of course, did not communicate that at all to the warranty company, all they were willing to do was replace the compressor. And they continued to stress that they are a "repair" company, not a "replacement" company, so there was no way to upgrade the amount they would pay out. (But frankly, I wasn't willing to just do the repair and have to deal with all this drama again at any point!!!) So, after waiting 4 1/2 days for a phone call, transferring through at least 3 supervisors, all the money they will give me is what they would have paid the service company for the compressor (about $500). And of course, since they are a big, national company, they are able to cut deals and get equipment for cheaper than the average joe. (of course cheaper equipment probably isn't the greatest deal of all time either!!) Quite frustrating, but not at all surprising.

I have liked the repair company that was recommended to me so far -- they have been great to deal with, talk with, and learn from. And tomorrow they will be putting in my whole new unit!!!

Now that the inside and outside units match, they should be much more efficient and it gets me a GREAT warranty. Parts/labor for first year; parts only on the AC for 10 years and on the heat exchanger for 20 years! And next spring when I have saved back up some money and will get the old, uninsulated, poorly designed duct work system replaced and reconfigured and a few more vents cut, I will be able to realize the full efficiency of this great new unit!

So excited. Very glad to be able to move back home and not be living out of a suitcase and laundry basket anymore. My savings account is not so excited.....oh, well. Yet another joy of home ownership....




Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A/C Update

So, still waiting to hear from the warranty company about how much money they will give me for the a/c repairs.....the phone call should come today (I hope!!!)

Since I am doing more work than they would "require," I can use my own contractor! Yeah! I asked a friend at church for a recommendation and talked with her folks yesterday. It is nice to call a service company, tell them by whom I was referred, and hear "oh yes, she has been a client of ours for a long time!" I had a nice long chat with the lady, learned way more than I ever wanted to know about a/c, and feel pretty good about using them full time going forward! They are coming out to assess things today -- from our discussion yesterday, I will actually probably go ahead and replace the entire unit - inside and out. A little more costly now, but more of a cost benefit for the long haul.

Moving to my friend Kelly's tonight. We were supposed to hang out at my house for her to see all my completed projects. But, since that can't happen, I'm just going to her place to hang out, do laundry and spend the night!

And the saga continues.....



Friday, July 11, 2008

thank goodness for friends

I am so thankful for all my great friends. I am currently typing on Sarah's laptop. She graciously offered for me to crash at her place tonight (and I am going to try to finagle tomorrow night too, though she doesn't know that yet!). She had plans this evening with her church small group, but left her place open for me to come once I made it home from work and gathered up some stuff. She has crashed at my place several times en route to travels and it is fun to return the favor!

Looks like I will probably get a whole new outdoor a/c unit. Still don't have the word from the warranty company about how much they will kick in, but I know it will be some. Now the trick is getting it scheduled! (it was 93 in my house at 6:30 pm when I got home from work--ugh!!)




Bad news....bright spot

Well, not quite so easy a fix....it is a dead compressor. The technician said I really need to replace the whole condenser unit - a more expensive fix, but better in the long run. What I have is old and inefficient. So, I will be trying to get the warranty company to pay for it all -- or at least split the cost with me. Now, just to get it all authorized and scheduled soon!!

It is supposed to be 100+ all weekend long......why is it that these things always happen at the most inconvenient times?!?!?!



and then I got this in my email....a couple of things miss Emily opened in her one-month birthday box from aunt Jenni today:
































It's getting HOT in here.....

Summertime in Texas......one word HOT!!!

I've made no bones about the fact that I'm a wimp and really really love my air conditioning. Imagine my consternation when, about 5 am yesterday, I heard some popping noises coming from my a/c unit outside (it is right by my bedroom and I was starting to wake up anyway). I walked outside and a burning odor clung to the air. The fan was no longer running, though the blower was running inside the house.

Uh-oh.

I got ready for work in the normal fashion - it wasn't really too bad. I was afraid of what I would face when I got home from work, however. When I got to work I called in a service request from my home warranty service because I knew it wasn't going to fix itself.

Yesterday was a hot day.....near 100 degrees.

I got home about 7:00 pm and it was 85 degrees in my house. Ick. Immediately turned on all the fans just to keep some air moving.

I slept surprisingly well, considering. Much better than my family did those first couple of nights on our vacation to Germany when it was hot hot hot and our hotels didn't have a/c (of course, we didn't have our luggage either!!)

This morning it was miserable. It was 90 in my bedroom. And 80 outside. You know it is bad when you sit outside in July to put on makeup because the breeze is cooler than the air in your house!!! I think it is the first time ever that I've gone to work with wet hair because I just couldn't bear to heat myself up more with the blow dryer.

The repair guys are scheduled to come this afternoon. From talking with folks at work, it sounds like the fan motor probably died, which hopefully will be a quick and easy fix. I might have to take myself to a movie tonight while my house cools off though!!

Stay tuned for more adventures in home ownership!



Monday, July 07, 2008

Gas Grill

I've been wanting a grill for a while. I'm accustomed to using gas at my parent's house - well, more accustomed to gas than to charcoal. I really haven't grilled all that much. BUT, I want to. So, this past weekend I bought a grill! My parents had an extra propane tank so I got that for free! The grill is a small one, but it still took more effort to put together than I felt like it should.


























The instructions said 30 minutes, but I think it was closer to an hour to assemble. And actually, one of the wingnuts didn't tighten on the screw, so I'll need to find a replacement before I feel comfortable using it.


And of course, more pics of Emily from the Fourth of July (wearing an outfit that her mommy wore as a baby!)






























































Tuesday, July 01, 2008

New pics of Emily

meeting Granddaddy (age 95) .... wrapped in one of the crocheted blankets that Grandmommy made for each of her great-grandchildren. I know she is smiling down from heaven watching them grow!




















resting with Grandpa - the way mommy and aunt Jenni did when they were little!




















being introduced to a squishy rattly elephant that mommy and/or aunt Jenni were given at birth




















dressed in bright orange on Grandpa's birthday!