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Sixty’s, (Sensational or Surviving?)  We’ll see, right?

Sixty’s, (Sensational or Surviving?) We’ll see, right?

        Welcome to My Sixty’s Currently Aging to Perfection When I look at myself in the mirror, I see that this is what I am supposed to look like.  My entire life has been leading up to this.  Being born, growing up, 

Canoeing Hillsborough River, Thonotosassa, Florida

Canoeing Hillsborough River, Thonotosassa, Florida

              February 13, 2021 Turning 60 with a Pistachio Birthday Muffin WARNING ALLIGATORS Canoeing Through Alligator Infested Waters 60 Today! Julie and Gordon ——————————————————————– We were not disappointed.  We must have seen around 35 alligators.  We would have seen 

Our Purple Sweet Potato and Taro Stuffed Steamed Buns and Asian/Pacific Sliders

Our Purple Sweet Potato and Taro Stuffed Steamed Buns and Asian/Pacific Sliders

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Love Steamed Buns As Much As We Do?

Then You Are Very Welcomed Here

This Purple Sweet Potato Steamed Bun was born out of a recipe that we discovered back when we were living in Hawaii.  The Purple Sweet Potatoes originate in the Philippines.  Hawaii has a very large Filipino community.  The Purple Sweet Potatoes are beautiful!  Also very tasty.

Getting Out The Pots, and the Steamers

You Can Make Them Any Size You Like

You Can Also Fill Them With Whatever You Like

We made two kinds of Steamed Buns here. 

One is stuffed with a sweet Taro Filling, and the other has no Filling.

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You Can See The Taro Filling Here

These Are Right Out Of The Steamer

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Our Asian/Pacific Sliders

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Tocino Pork

Tocino Pork originated in the Philippines.  You will usually always find it in the Asian section of your grocery stores.  This ham is usually from the pork belly of the pig.  We love this pork!  It is slightly sweet and is already marinated.  Comes in Pork and Chicken.  All you have to do is to follow the package directions.  We however, did not!  Gordon placed it on a foil lined baking sheet and put it in the oven on 350F to cook for 15 minutes each side.  The more char that it gets the better caramelized it becomes.

This is perfect on our Asian/Pacific Sliders.

Our Purple Sweet Potato Buns, Tocino Pork, Kimchi, and Pickled Ginger

A Nice Light Lunch,

or, a Burger Sized Dinner

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Continuing with our Kimchi Condiment, Kimchi Crisps and Veggie Chips

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Also Great With Taro Fries

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Making Taro Fries

This is easy!  Gordon just bought a block of the Taro Root from the Asian Grocery Store, and chopped it into long fries.  It is a more firm root vegetable.  More so that an Idaho Potato consistency.

Gordon poured about 2 inches of Vegetable Oil into a cast iron pot.

And heated the oil to medium temperature, about 5.5.

When the oil is up to temperature then add your Taro Fries.

You want to cook the fires for about 5 minutes or until a crispy brown. 

Do not crowd the pot, fry a few at a time.

Remove from the oil and place onto paper towels for the oil to drain. 

While still hot immediately sprinkle the Black Hawaiian Sea Salt.

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A Good Sprinkling of Black Hawaiian Sea Salt

This is honestly the best salt I’ve ever tasted.

Enjoy The Sliders!

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Also Check Out Our:

Asian Steamed Buns, Bao and Manapua

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Recipe Write Up Coming Soon!!!

Purple Sweet Potato Steamed Buns w/ Sweet Taro Filling

Ingredients:

2 x 16 oz. pkgs. Grated Purple Yam – Thawed, (It Comes Frozen)

1/2 Cup Water for the Grated Purple Yams

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2 x 20 oz. pkgs. Taro – Thawed, (It Comes Frozen)

1/3 Cup Water for the Taro

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1 Tbsp. Sugar

1/4 Cup Half and Half

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1/3 Cup Water (Heated between 100-110’F)

1 pkg. Active Dry Yeast

1/2 Tbsp. Sugar for the Yeast

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5 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil for the dough

2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil for the bowl

Red and Blue Food Coloring

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Pictured are the thawed purple yams and taro.

Place two packages of the yams into a blender.

Add 1/2 cup water to the blender.

Blend until smooth.

Remove the blended yams from the blender and place into a medium sized bowl.

 

Here is our thawed taro with some type of seasonings on it.  It came that way.

Add the taro to your cleaned blender.

Add 1/3 Cup water to the blender.

Blend the taro and water until almost smooth.

Add 1 Tbsp. sugar to the taro…

and then add the Half and Half to the taro, then blend until smooth.

Add the taro to a large saute pan.  Heat the taro until it begins to thicken.

Stir the taro as it is heated.

Heat 1/3 Cup water to between 100 and 110’F.  I use a digital thermometer to check the temperature.

Place the yeast into the heated water.

Add 1/2 Tbsp. sugar to feed the yeast which helps it to activate.

Stir the yeast and sugar until slightly combined.

Let the activated yeast sit.

As it sits, you should see it grow in volume as shown.

Add 5 1/2 Cups All Purpose flour to a large bowl as shown.

The yeast is still growing!

Pictured is the flour and the yams.

Add your yeast to the flour then add the vegetable oil.

Now, add your yams to the flour and yeast mixture.

Stir and the ingredients to start combining them.

(The photo on the left is the start of the dough.  The photo on the right is our Taro Filling.)

Gordon Stirring the Dough Together

With your clean hands begin to form the dough.

Blue and Red Makes Purple (Sort of.)

We added some food coloring to the dough to try to make it more purple in color.  Kneed the dough by folding it onto itself for about 5 minutes to form the gluten within the dough.  Gluten makes the dough elastic.

Here is the dough after the 5 min.

Remove the dough from the bowl and add vegetable oil to the bowl.

Place the dough back into the bowl and coat the dough and the bowl with the oil.  This will help the dough to not stick to the sides of the bowl.  Cover the dough bowl with a large kitchen towel.

Place the dough into a warm place for an hour.  I turn my oven on for about 10 seconds then turn it off.  This will ensure the oven is slightly warmed.

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Second Batch of Dough

(This time we’re trying to make it more PURPLE.)

Here we made the dough the same way, but this time added the food coloring to the yams before blending them.

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Now That is Purple

Make your yeast again…

Mix the flour, yeast and yams as before.

Kneed the dough as before.

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Tocino Pork

This is the Tocino Pork that I write about above.

Marinating in it’s Package

You want to separate it and place it on a foil lined baking sheet.

Into the 350F Oven it Goes

15 Minutes Each Side

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The Tocino Pork is an All Day Breakfast Food served in the Philippines.

Perfect for Lunch, Snack, or Dinner

Aloha,

Julie and Gordon

 

 

Julie and Gordon Whann Way Mexicana Cuatro

Julie and Gordon Whann Way Mexicana Cuatro

              En Construccion                       ———————————————————————————                          

2021 Julie Barefoot Blogging

2021 Julie Barefoot Blogging

      Welcome to 2021 Julie Barefoot Blogging Happy New Year! (I guess.  We’ll see won’t we?) Julie Lancaster-Whann Normally I like starting out a New Year, New Blog Post with new photos of myself, usually sitting at my computer desk blogging.  However, we 

Our Home Renovations

Our Home Renovations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Money Pit

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

(LITERALLY)

New Entries are Down Below

I Do Have A Very LOOOOOOOONG Introduction Until You Get There.

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Welcome to Our Home Renovations

 

Ahh, Home Crap Home!

Said by Tom Hanks character, Walter Fielding in the movie The Money Pit when he came home from work after a long day only to discover all the renovation work that still needed to be done which they were originally told would only take 2 weeks.

 

The Money Pit was made in 1986 and starred Tom Hanks, Shelley Long, and a cast of excellent characters.  I pretty much watched my copy of this VHS movie on a loop in 1986 when we were living in an apartment in Pearl City, Hawaii. 

(Me, 1987 in our apartment in Pearl City, Hawaii and pregnant with Veronica. 

I can also guarantee to you that I am watching The Money Pit.)

Every thing imaginable that is terrible happened to us our first year there.  For some reason this movie just made me feel better about our own circumstances. 

Which is why when I decided to blog about our home renovations I couldn’t possibly do that without referencing this very funny movie.

This couple could very well be a young Julie and Gordon.

Steven Spielberg Presents…..

The Money Pit

Tom Hank and Shelley Long as Walter Fielding and Anna Crowley

(The potential home buyer’s.)

Maureen Stapleton as Estelle, the Con Artist

(The home owner.)

Walter Fielding with his new home and his new car that came with the new home.

The House is Falling Apart, Literally

Plaster Falling From the Ceiling

(That is real plaster hitting her on the head.  That has to hurt!)

You know, I have to wonder if these two excellent actors and comedians would even be hired to play leading roles in this day and age?  Although they are both very attractive people I don’t know that if by today’s standards they would even be considered good looking enough?  Which if that were the case a lot of talented people would never make the cut and that would be our loss. I’m just glad this movie was made in 1986 and that both actors were cast here.

Walter Trying to Fix a Few of the Stair Steps

While the Whole Staircase Falls Down

This is just one of my favorite scenes in the movie.

Although our Home Renovation Journey is not nearly as extreme as theirs, we can relate to all the inconveniences that they go through.  Which is why we wanted to share our experience with you. 

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Here Walter is Gathering Water From any Available Source

Seeing as how they lost their stairs they have to climb a ladder carrying water to their upstairs.  While Walter is being Walter.  🙂

Gordon and Julie carrying empty beach buckets, and with a thermos tied around my neck.

Julie and Gordon, as Anna and Walter

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Thanksgiving

(That is the only reason they would be cooking such a large bird, however they do live in New York and normally it would be very cold so I doubt the time period is actually November as they are running around wearing shorts.  But, we run around wearing shorts in November so we’re just assuming it’s their Thanksgiving.) 

This is what we can relate to the most.

They are determined to go through with their ‘Thanksgiving’ in spite of all the renovations.

Anna Placing the Turkey in their Oven

Walter Turning on the Light Switch in the Kitchen Started the Fire

Julia Child Even Made An Appearance

The Fire Quickly Spread Throughout the Kitchen

 

Causing the Oven to Explode and launch the Turkey out of the Kitchen Window…

(If you look closely you can see the turkey sailing through the air in the photo top left.)

…and into the Window of the Bathroom Where Anna was Planning on Taking a Bath.

Walter Rushing to the Rescue only to be Told,

“Well, The Turkey’s Done”

Their Turkey Ended up in a Bucket

So, we put our turkey in a bucket.  🙂

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Anna and Walter

Walter Looking Through All the Bills

Because their turkey ended up in a bucket, Anna decides to make Peanut Butter Sandwiches for her and Walter for dinner.

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Here I am Making Peanut Butter Sandwiches for Gordon and I For Dinner,

While Gordon Goes Over All the Bills

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I Do Love That Peanut Butter

In Spite of all the Renovation Crap……

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Hi!  How do ya like our set?

We Did Manage To Have….

Our Home Renovation Thanksgiving

Does it really matter where you have Thanksgiving?

Or just that you are able to have Thanksgiving?

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When we think the camera has stopped shooting.  🙂

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We also created a new post depicting our Thanksgiving Turkey called:

ThanksGrillin’

If You Would Like To Take A Look

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We Also Recreated the Dining Room Dinner on the Ping Pong Table

This is such a cute dinner between the two of them.  Anna is used to having champagne with dinner every night so she always totes around this galvanized steel bucket with a bottle of booze in it.

Seeing as how she doesn’t have a champagne bucket, she uses this one.

Anna, Bringing in the Salad

I could very clearly see that this was a very simple salad of lettuce leaves, some tomatoes and cucumber.

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Anna, tossing that salad for what seems like forever.

We are guessing that these are Brussel Sprouts?

Here come the Cornish Hens with all the Curly Parsley.

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And Now For The Bread

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Dinner on the Ping Pong Table, Love it!

(I grew up with a ping pong table in our game room.  I was actually pretty good at it too.)  🙂

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Our Recreation Dinner

The Hostess With The Leastest

(Ya know, all we have to do is to buy a few paddles and some ping pong balls and then we’ve got us a game table.)

This is our recreation dinner. 

Me, tossing that salad as much as Anna did.

Placing those Cornish Hens (Rotisserie Chickens) on the table.

We noticed that all the food in the movie seemed to be green.  The Tossed Salad, the Brussel Sprouts, all the Parsley around the Cornish Hens…..  We decided to just go ahead and make everything green ourselves.  How about using up that broccoli that we have in the refrigerator?  And why not add to it the cauliflower too?  Let’s steam it.  Oh, and let’s add a green pesto dressing to the salad too!  In addition to our roasted Brussel Sprouts.

Me, doing my best to be domestic.

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The Dinner Was Delicious!

Gordon/Walter Enjoying His Meal

The Picture of Domestic Bliss  🙂

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Julie’s Money Pit Salad

(Do you see a resemblance here?)

We’ll give you the dressing recipe.  It just needs a good toss.

I’ll Take Some Chicken Gordon.

I suppose that the longer our renovations go on, the more scenes from the movie we will re-enact.  🙂  I want to do the mattress on the floor scene but Gordon doesn’t want to drag the twin beds out of the attic.  Can’t imagine why?

If I were to try and explain our website to someone that didn’t know us I would probably coin the phrase, It’s our life in movies.

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Our Story Starts October 2, 2020 with our dishwasher leaking water, and then with Renovation Prep Starting October 27, 2020, and our professional Renovations Starting November 16, 2020. 

I’ll let you know when we’re through……

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Gordon and Julie Present………………

Our Home Renovations

 Gordon Installing New Hurricane Proof Windows in Brodie’s Old Bedroom

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This part of reno is all ours to do. 

We are doing quite a bit of work before our actual renovations begin. 

As in turning our son’s old bedroom into a den for us.

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Our Professional Home Renovations are only to last 3 Weeks…

or so we are told by our contractor.

(We’ll See, Right?)

(That would be Gordon doing who knows what?)

But until that day starts when the workers arrive we have our own renovations and work to do around here ourselves. 

Lots and lots of Prep!  Some of what I blog about may be informative, some of it may be entertaining, and some of it may be boring.  Either way, this is our life.

Julie and Gordon

(Written by Julie)

Our Kitchen  🙁

The story begins with our dishwasher that leaked water underneath our kitchen cabinets and island and into our living room……

If you would like to read our story from the beginning, then start at the very bottom of this post.

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Also Check Out Our:

Home Rehab Projects

AND,

Gordon and Julie Renovations and Apps For Dinner

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Great News!!!  Julie’s Got a Mini-Fridge!!!

(And in the bathroom too.)

I’ve got it all set up.  Can’t wait to show you.  It fits right there where you see it, except underneath that drawer.  It’s perfect!  As Mackenzie say’s, “You’ve got a cute Studio Apartment now.”  Oh yes we do!  This mini-Fridge and everything you see in the bathtub will get us through our upcoming renovations.  🙂

Drinks, Juices, Saran Wrap, Aluminum Foil, Cutting Boards

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We are sequestered to our bedroom and bathroom while all the work goes on.

HENCE…..

Our Coffee and Tea Station

(In our bathroom.  BUT, just so you know, we do have a separate toilet room so the coffee station isn’t exactly in our “bathroom.)”

Found my Splenda Packets

AND,

We are making the best of it, all 4 of us!

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BLOG ENTRIES START HERE

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 March 13, 2021

Week 18

Hanging The Mermaid Tail

Here Gordon used fishing line to hand the cutting board fish that you see above.

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It’s been a while since I’ve written.  We’ve been busy doing other things.  But now we are finally getting our 100 plus pound mermaid tail into place.  I will leave the write up to Gordon.  So, here goes:

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I first took many measurements of the tail and the space it would be placed into.  I noted the flat part of the body and the curve of the tail were a little over 2 inches from being level with each other with the body being higher.  This was important as it meant the body would be able to rest on the openings base, leaving the tail room to rest on the wall.  I made a template of the opening and drilled two wood screws into the tail base as shown.

I taped the board to the tail so it wouldn’t move and angled the tale to ensure it wouldn’t hit our wall below the opening.

As stated before, I drilled two wood screws into the template and base to ensure the template wouldn’t move.  I then drilled two holes which would hold the 5 inch bolts I purchased.  I then barely screwed a bolt into the drilled holes then removed the wood screws and drilled two more holes where the screws were.

I used my work table to hold the tail when I drilled the holes.  It really is a beautiful piece of wood.

Here you can see the holes in the tail base.  You can also see the hanger provided in the center of the base, which would never hold the 80-120 lb. tail.

Here, Brodie is helping me set the heavy tail into the space above our bar area.  I also placed a 2 inch by 5 inch piece of gasket material under the base so the wood wouldn’t be marred.

Here, Brodie and I are taking turns ratcheting the bolts into the tail base.  I am also securing the 1/8 inch X 2 inch X 36 inch metal bars into the sides of the wall holding the tail in place.

Here you can see how I secured the tail base to the inside walls of the space.  My neighbor has a friend who was able to bend the bars at an exact 90 degree angle.  Eight bolts are holding it onto the wall.  It is overkill I know, but the bars are securely fastened to the wall.

Here you can see Julie underneath the large mermaid tail.

With a few great ideas by Julie to cover the holes, our vanishing mermaid is complete!

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February 15 – 19, 2021

Week 14

We actually took almost 2 weeks off in order to await the arrival of some furniture that we had ordered.  And to just enjoy my birthday and the food and activities that came with it.

Turning 60

I turned 60 on February 13th. and I wanted to really mark the occasion with some good food, a nice birthday cake, and we did take a canoe trip down Hillsborough River in Thonotosassa, Florida in alligator infested waters.

Julie The Photographer

I loved just sitting back and taking photos of such a lovely and peaceful birthday.

And yes, we saw about 35 alligators. 

It was awesome!

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The furniture that we have been waiting for finally arrived!  🙂

The only problem is that the movers couldn’t get the couch into our “den” which is located in the back of the house, a.k.a. Brodie’s old bedroom.  So, I told them to just leave it in the middle of our living room and I will have Gordon deal with it when he gets home.

Gordon Dealing With It

We originally ordered this pull out sleeper sofa for our den so that it could provide extra sleeping when we have guests, and if one of us gets sick from Covid we can isolate to that side of the house and be comfortable while the other one of us brings the food and drink while we are sick.  BUT, it won’t fit back there because it is just so big!

We did think about returning it but the thing is, we really do like this sleeper sofa.  It’s nice and big and sturdy.  It fits great in our beachy Hawaiian decor.  So……  we decided to rearrange our living room so that we now have 2 couches.  Yes!

The Matching Chair

All the Pillows Everywhere!

Gordon Putting The New Sleeper Sofa Together

I look forward to bringing you the finished photos of our new living room. 

Although a bit hard to tell here, it looks great!  We’ve arranged it so that we have 2 couches and the new chair and believe it or not even though we have more furniture in this room, we have managed to have more room in this room. 

You’ll see when it’s all done.  Can’t wait to show it to you!

Julie

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February 1 – 5, 2021

Week 12

Before and After

Before and After

The Furniture that we had picked up to be upholstered on November 16, 2020 is FINALLY finished and has been delivered!

They did a wonderful job!  We are so very pleased with everything! 

The chair above, and the couch below.

The fabric that you see above placed on top of the couch is the actual front of the fabric.  I knew that it was just too bold for this room so I asked them to order the fabric for us except to turn it inside out so that we have a nice hint of the fabric without throwing up Hawaii everywhere.  We love it!  it looks great!

It is now a much more comfy couch for our living room.

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This is me, age 2, sitting in that yellow chair from above except that here it is a lovely green. 

That chair belonged to my grandparents.

Here I am holding our daughter Veronica in 1988 sitting in that yellow chair.

In the photo right is my grandmother, my mother, me, and Veronica.  4 generations.

And here I am sitting in the same chair, recovered, at age 60.

  Well, I’m 60.  The chair is probably around 65.

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The History of a Couch

These are photos of my mother when she was young and lived at home with her parents.  In the photo at right she is on her way to to prom with my biological father.  The couch she is sitting on in the photo at left, and you can also see the same couch in the photo at right, is the one I just had recovered.  AGAIN.

This is me, probably age 2 laying on that couch.  I’ve always been a bit lazy.  🙂

Fast forward to 1985 and you can see me and Gordon with my little brother’s Frank and Ben, sitting on that same couch with a different fabric.  My grandmother had it recovered.

Same couch, more brothers, 1988 at my grandmother’s house.

L to R:  Ben, John, Mary Keith, Baby Veronica, Me, Johnny

Frank in Front

Same couch in green.  When I inherited the couch I decided to have it recovered in the pretty green above.  That was almost 20 years ago.

But, it was time to recover it again so……

Julie and Sparky

This is the fabric I chose.  And I love it!  I also told them to make it a bit more comfortable than it was before.  They did such a wonderful job on it.

I’ve known this couch  and that chair my entire life.  This couch has been a part of my family for around 65 years or so.  Same with the chair.  It would be where I would sit when I would visit with my grandparents and great-grandparents, and then it belonged only to my grandmother.  When she died I asked if I could have it. 

No work has ever been done to this couch other than to have it recovered.  It is strong and sturdy.  This couch has been with us all through good times and bad.  Happiness and sadness.  Death, and new life.  It has known 5 generations of my family.  I just hope that when I die that my children will recognize it’s value as an important family member and don’t just donate it to Goodwill when I’m gone.  I will so haunt them if they do!!

People say that we aren’t supposed to love material things. 

I disagree.  Especially when those material things are family.

Julie

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January 30 – 31, 2021

The Weekend

SPECIAL DELIVERY!

It was too big to bring through the front door so Gordon had to open it up outside.

Cannot wait to show you what we have planned for this!  🙂

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January 25 – 29, 2021

Week 11

Kitchen Drawers and Cabinets

When we started putting our kitchen back together we literally had to do everything from scratch.  New shelf paper, etc.  But, I Julie, literally had to clean every single item before placing it back into each drawer and cabinet.  THAT was A LOT of WORK!  As you can see judging just by our silverware drawer alone in the photo above.  So, you can imagine how much time it has taken me to tackle this big project.

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Reinstalling Shades and New Blinds to Den

The bamboo shades you see have hung in this room since we bought the house.  I chose them and am very happy with them and I didn’t want anything new where they are concerned.  However, our fabric blinds were filthy, so we needed to buy new ones.

Here Gordon is installing our new fabric blinds and reinstalling our old shades.

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Before we ordered the new fabric blinds, we needed to measure the full opening.  Once they arrived, read the directions they provide.  I then space the brackets in the opening and screwed holes into the window opening.

I then inserted plastic anchors into the holes, then drilled the screws into the bracket and anchors for a nice tight fit.

I inserted the shades into the brackets….

and made sure they worked properly.  When I removed the shades from the bracket, I accidentally broke one of the brackets.  The directions didn’t tell you how to remove the shades if needed, so I didn’t really feel bad about it.  We had another shade, so I borrowed the bracket and continued on with the installation.  If you ever break a bracket you can always call the manufacturer, tell them what happened and request another one.  It took about two weeks for them to send it to me.  They ended up sending me two at no charge.

I then had to install the bamboo shades, so I drilled holes for its brackets which went into wood, so there was no need for the plastic anchors.

When trying to install the bamboo shades they wouldn’t go into the bracket due to the assembly holding the string for the cloth shades was slightly larger.  I didn’t account for this when I installed them.  To fix this, I removed the right side bracket, filled the holes with drywall spackling, and let it dry.  I then moved the bracket out to its furthest point and drilled it back in place.

Moving the shade out 1/8 of an inch is barely noticeable as you can see.

I drilled all the holes for both shades around the other window, making sure to leave room for the string mechanism before installing the bamboo shade, as we waited for the bracket to be delivered.

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January 18 – 22, 2021

Week 10

Creating Space

I will let Gordon do the write-up of what he did to create more usable space underneath our sink, but I wanted to point something out to you in the photo above.  See the space between where our dishwasher goes and the cabinet underneath where our kitchen sink goes?  Well, it was when our cabinets were returned from being renovated that I noticed it, and I pointed out to Gordon, it is a shame we can’t utilize the space to give us more room underneath our sink, where we pretty much store quite a bit of stuff.

Gordon then called the people doing our renovations to see if they can extend the cabinet to encompass that space?  They said they could, but it would cost just over $1,000.00.  Gordon was onboard but I said, NO!  We are not paying that much money for an additional foot of space.  We will just do without. 

It was then that Gordon, the creative genius that he is, started using that noggin of his and came up with two ideas to give us more space and he didn’t buy anything in order to do it.  He used what we already had in our garage.

I will let him take it from here…….

Here to the left, we stored our cleansers, sponges, scrubbing pads, gloves, etc…  Those latter smaller items always seemed to get lost or fell between the cleansers making them hard to find and keep organized.

Here to the right of the sink, we stored all of our cooking oils, bottled sauces, vinegar, as well as our plastic wrap, baggies, aluminum foil, paper towels, etc… that couldn’t fit inside our drawer where we keep them in our kitchen.  Those were the extras because we like to stock up.  You can see how disorganized it became.

On the left side I decided to mount a basket where we could easily store our sponges, scrubbing pads, gloves, etc.  The wire basket wasn’t fully square all the way around and fell to a taper at the base.  I needed to create a way to get into the basket as well, so I removed some of the wires at the short end of the basket so that all we had to do was to reach our hand through the basket to get what we needed.  To do that, I simply used wire cutters to remove them.  I then used a file to remove the sharp points so that we wouldn’t scratch our hand or arm as we reached into it.

The tools for this job minus the canned spray oil are: a pencil, a drill, a wood drill bit, 2 wood screws 2″ long, measuring tape, level, wire metal basket 10″ x 13 1/2″ x 6″, wire cutters, file, 11″ length of 1″x 2″ wood, 2 wire shelving hanger clips, four 1″ screws, and a flashlight.

I first set the basket in where I thought would be a good spot to place it where we could access it easily and it didn’t interfere with the other things under the sink.  I then found the taper of the basket could be corrected and kept straight by using a 1″ thick piece of wood.  I then marked where the front and top of the basket should be and then where the piece of wood should be.  I drilled two holes in the wood, then a hole in the side of the cabinet.  I then drilled a 2″ screw into the closest hole joining them together.  I placed the level on the wood and drilled through the cabinet using the existing hole in the wood as a guide.  Now, drill the screw through both pieces of wood.  Using my pencil marks where the basket should go, I then placed the clips where they would lie between the wires of the basket near the front and end of the basket.  Use your pencil and mark the holes and then drill the four holes.  Place the basket and clips in place and secure them all with the screws.

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Here is my finished results.

You can see the wide opening we have to access the previously loose items.  This was an easy project to do and I hope you are inspired to do the same with your unused space.

Now, to work on the right side storage space.

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Here, I removed the items to go on top of the shelf… baggies, foil, plastic wrap, etc…  You can also see the empty space not being used.

Now, I had to place many of the items in a box, so I would have room to work.  I kept some of the taller items to use as a guide for the height of the shelf.

The shelf base is a thin piece of plywood 2′ x 3′.  I used a large piece of wax paper and with my fingernail, I traced the base section of my cabinet by making an impression into the paper.  This then gave me the exact angles and area of the space.

I used my circular saw to cut the thin plywood.

Once I put the corner section in place, I could figure out the angle of the curve for the front section.

On the picture to the left, you can see the faint wax paper template I used.  On the right, you can see the angle I used in the front.

Now With Everything Out of the Way….

I used three shelf brackets to secure the wood shelf to the cabinet.

I used a pencil to mark the optimum height of the shelf.  I then screwed 1/2″ screws to hang the brackets on the cabinet wall, being especially careful on the wall leading to the outside showing wall.

I spray painted the wood shelf white so it would blend in well with the cabinet.

I used a hot glue gun to glue the thin wood shelf to the top of the brackets.

I then placed the foil, wax paper, plastic wrap, etc… on top of the shelf.

Again, I hope you are inspired to complete this easy worthwhile project.

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Week 9, January 11-15, 2021

On The Treadmill In Our New Den

Our new den is awaiting it’s pull out sofa to be delivered mid February.  Until then it really is pointless to put this room together until that happens.  Granted, I did order some white fabric blinds to be installed.  And we will once they arrive.  But it is pointless to stock the many shelves we have in this room until that couch is delivered because we will need to clear a path for that couch and we will just need to undo, whatever it is that we do.  So, therefore we mostly wait.

We really didn’t do that much this week. 

We are slowly putting our home back in order.  We did do a lot of cooking this week.  But as far as putting our house back in order, that is taking some time.  We did call about our antique couch and chair that we are having recovered but once again they have put us off until the end of the month.  They say it is because of Covid.  Well, Covid has been a part of our lives for almost a year now so they should have factored in Covid when they originally told us it would only take 3 weeks to recover our furniture.  It’s been 2 months now and we are to believe they will both be ready in two weeks?  I am starting to doubt that.  But, we will see.  In the meantime, we are getting to things here and there as we can and as we feel like it.

My priorities are small goals and walking on my treadmill. 

I just figure that everything else will fall into place as we go.

TTYL….

Julie

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January 9 – 10, 2021

The Weekend

Backsplash on the Right of the Kitchen

We already had this backsplash in a few places in our kitchen and seeing as how we had a lot more of it in our garage, we decided to place it on this side of our kitchen.  It really was the perfect place to put it.  Gordon installed it and I will leave him to tell you how he did it.

Julie

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Don’t be afraid of trying this as most of the DIY shows are able to teach home owners this in about 5 min.  The first step in installing a backsplash is getting the tile ready.  To do this, carefully measure out the space you want to tile.  Since we had tile right on the other side of the wall next to the tiled area I was about to install, I started there. 

Gordon had already tiled this area above our breakfast bar.

In keeping with the brick look where the tile pieces are staggered, I kept the pattern going making sure the tiles were even with each other both horizontally and vertically.  When needing to cut the tiles, I used a grinding tool with a tile blade attached.  I taped the tile down on my wooden work bench and turned the grinder on its head to make these very precise straight cuts as seen above.  I also had to make some other half tile cuts, so I made them as well cutting them off of a full sheet. 

You can see the half tiles to the left of the cut sheet in the photo above, which I will place in by hand within the gaps.

These tiles come in sheets which are held together by a netted cloth which is glued to the back of the sheet.  The glued on mesh net keeps the tiles evenly spaced out.  Tiles can be easily pulled off if needed to fit your pattern.  In the picture to the right above, you can see the straight edge on the left I made when I cut off the half tiles.  After making all my needed cuts, I placed all the tiles in my pattern which would then go on the wall.  I then took some packing tape and foam packing sheets and covered the areas of my countertops as I didn’t want any excess grout to adhere to our new counter tops.  I used a putty knife to remove some grout from the container and placed it on the edges of my wall.  Using a finely notched trowel where the notches are very small, trowel some grout on the wall. The thicker the tiles you have, the thicker the notched trowel you will use.  Generally, the notches should be as deep as the thickness of your tiles.  I also used white grout for this project but it does comes in different colors.

(Although hard to see, Gordon does have clear tape on the ledge of our countertops so that the grout won’t touch the granite.)

As you move the grout with the trowel over the wall, the notches allow a small amount of grout through.  Trowel the grout over the entire surface of your wall, then place the tile on top of the grout.  Use a grout float to gently push the tiles in place as well as flattening down the tiles across the surface of your wall. Continue to trowel some grout on the wall and place more of your tile sheets within the pattern.

Here is the finely notched trowel I used and the tile float is down on the protective foam packing sheet protecting our counter tops.

Here I am placing my last piece of tile sheet on the wall.  Be sure to keep the spacing of the tile as you place them next to each other.

I had a small section to complete the pattern which I put in by hand along the top.

Use your float to press the tile to the wall.  You can also use this tool to move the tile sheet closer to each other as the grout will be wet for about 20 min.

Here, I am ensuring I have some tile under my electrical cover.  Using a moistened grout sponge, remove any excess grout off your tiles being careful not to move the tile.  Use a bucket of clean water to clean off your sponge after wiping.  Let the tiles dry for about 30 min. to allow the grout to dry and adhere the tiles to the wall.  The thicker the tiles you have, the thicker the notched trowel you will use which will then mean you have more grout.  With this said, the thicker the grout, the longer time it will need to dry.

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24 Hours Later…..

Once the tiles were adhered to the wall and are dry, it was now time to push grout between the individual tiles.  I again used a putty knife to place some grout on the tiles.

I then used a small float to push the grout between the tiles.  I used a larger float for the larger sheets.  Use a criss-cross pattern to push the grout evenly into the crevices between the tiles.  The float will almost clean the surface of the tiles of the grout as you move it.

Let the grout dry for about 5 min. before wiping it off with the dampened grout sponge.  You can see here that the tiles look a bit dull because they haven’t been wiped clean.

Use a bucket of water to clean the sponge.  Ensure the tiles are mostly clean from the grout.

Use a buffing cloth to fully clean and shine the tile once the main grout has been mostly removed.

I then remove the tape and protective foam sheet and screwed in my socket cover.  What a simple project to do which makes the entire kitchen look great.  I can’t wait to do the other side with beach glass tile.

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This is the Left Side of our Kitchen

We want to place some sort of sea glass backsplash on this side. 

We just haven’t found the right pattern yet.

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Gordon Hanging Up Our Mermaid

Call us Cornball, but we do love mermaids, especially those that have been hand carved by skilled craftsman.

We actually found these from a business in Texas that does hand carving.  Very impressive!

We are planning on ordering some more items from them soon.

We Think She Looks Beautiful

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This second mermaid we are saving for something special.  🙂

As you can see we had a busy weekend.  🙂

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Week 8

January 4-8, 2021

On Monday carpet was installed in our new den.  It’s wonderful too! 

A cashmere that your feet just sink into it with comfort.  I can very easily lay down on this carpet and be comfortable.

  The perfect carpet for a barefoot lifestyle.  🙂

Gordon Installing the New Den Door

We also bought matching doors for the guest bath and the other bedroom that will have to wait for another time.  Right now we are just focused on all that we have to do that is right in front of us.

The Den is Coming Together

(This Will Be Our Nautical Room.)

We moved my treadmill in.  It fits along that wall very nicely.

I’ve also ordered a pull out sofa and a matching chair.

From the Cindy Crawford Collection

The sofa is a pull out sleeper queen sized bed.  That will be great for extra sleeping when we have guests, or in case one of us is sick.  In the case of Covid, it would be a nice room to retreat to so as not to infect the other person.  Unfortunately, it won’t be delivered until mid February.

I also ordered the matching chair for our living room. 

I love it!  It will fit so well into our home.

This actually reminds me of a funny story of when my mother was looking for furniture for her condo out in Indian Shores years ago.  We visited a few furniture stores in Tampa but found nothing that appealed to either of us.  That is when she spotted that Scan Design store.  Scandinavian furniture.  There were NO cars in their parking lot.  I even suggested to my mother that I don’t even know if they are open?  So, we parked and walked up to the front entrance.  The door was open.  We entered their massive store.  Not a customer in sight.  All of a sudden a blonde man in his early 30’s emerged to greet us with a Scandinavian accent and asked if he could help us?  We told him that we were looking for furniture for a rental condo.  He immediately looked down his nose at us and said, “We don’t have any bam-buh.”  I immediately informed him that we are not looking for Bam-Buh!  He then looked at us with skepticism.  We did look around but saw nothing that appealed to us so we then turned around and left.

And now I have bought some furniture from the Cindy Crawford Collection that has Bam-Buh in it.  🙂

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This is What We Are Dealing With

Everything is still in disorder. 

Lots of things are still in boxes.

We are trying to build up our den while putting things away in the rest of the house.

And because our sofa bed won’t be delivered until mid-February we need to keep a clear path to the den so that it can fit in.  That means putting a hold on placing curio cabinet’s and baker’s rack’s where they need to go.  Putting the nook back together will have to wait until after the sofa bed delivery.

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Gordon’s 56th. Birthday

Dinner is Lebanese Take Out

Dessert is Pecan Pie with Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream  🙂

We played it down because we have so much going on right now.

Stay Tuned For More,

Julie

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January 2-3, 2021

The Weekend

A Project

This is a seashell picture frame that Gordon saw at a yard sale years ago and brought home one day.  It was wrapped in shrink wrap with a $119.00 price tag on the back of it, but he only paid $5.00 for it.  Great find!

We didn’t know what to do with it but we liked the fact that it matched our seashell accent and backsplash in our kitchen.  So, therefore we stashed it in the attic believing that some day we would do something with it.  Well, we pretty much forgot all about it until we started our renovations and were plowing through the attic looking for Brodie’s things so that he could haul them off to his storage room, when we came across this frame once more.

I told Gordon to bring it down from the attic and let’s see if we can find somewhere to place it in our new kitchen.

The Project Taking Form

This is a space in our kitchen above our breakfast bar.  I have always kept pretty baskets up there, usually Easter in nature.  And although they looked really nice, they did kind of detract from all the other season’s of decorating that I would do.  For example, lovely spring baskets at the top while Christmas or Thanksgiving or Halloween decorations were all over the kitchen, didn’t look too great.

You can see our seashell accent above our breakfast bar there, and the space above it.

I have always thought about somehow using fabric to make some kind of curtain to hide the baskets during the holiday season, but when we brought the frame out I realized that we could hang it there when we don’t want basket’s exposed, and remove it in the spring when we do want to display our pretty Easter baskets.

So, we have the frame, but what can we place inside of the frame?  That’s when I told Gordon to put some of our leftover seashell tiles in the middle and tie it all together that way.

Hence, The Project

You can see the heavy cardboard frame backing in the photo top left.  Gordon has spread that putty goo on it that will act as a glue so that he can attach some of our seashell backsplash.  There is some cutting involved and some squishing it flat with that yellow handled thingy, photo top right. 

(If you are impressed with my knowledge of such tools and putty goo then you should see me at Home Depot.  I’ve been known to pantomine what I am trying to find to store employee’s because I don’t know the names of things.  Much to their embarrassment.)  🙂

You can see that the project is coming together.

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Now the board has been completely covered with the seashell backsplash and it has dried.  Although I don’t have a photo of it, Gordon did spread that goo over top of the tile to fill in the edges around the shells.  It is then wiped clean so that none of the goo dries on any of the tile.

Now it was just a matter of framing the tile and then hanging it all up.

I like it!  I think it looks great and it can be removed when we want that area exposed.  The other area that is open to the right of the frame we are still debating what to do there.  We have some ideas that we are pondering.  We’ll let you know.

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Painting Over The BLUE with PLATEAU

 

The BLUE just no longer worked in our kitchen against our beautiful sandy beach countertops.  That is when I got the idea for us to choose a color that is embedded into the countertops and paint over the blue accents with a nice light beigy color.  And we chose Plateau.  I prefer a lot of natural light and our house just always seems so dark so we turn to lighter paint colors to brighten things up.

We do like the color plateau!  I’ll bring the finished results to you when we have put our entire kitchen back together.  But, as I see it we have plenty of time.  It’s January and I’m so tired of being so disorganized that once all of the professional renovations are completed I just want to take a break from boxes, and unpacking for at least a few days, or longer.  This is our winter so why can’t we hibernate a bit?  I would like to just work on things on my own time schedule.  I’m tired of jumping through hoops for all of these workers and their time schedules. 

Gordon did finish the painting this weekend.  He did white underneath to cover that blue.  And he did the plateau to cover all the rest of the blue.

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January 1, 2021

New Year’s Day

In the south we celebrate New Year’s Day with a Linner, my word for Lunch and Dinner combined, which consists of any version of Black Eyed Peas to bring us luck, and any version of Collard Greens to bring us money, Cornbread (Duh!), and any kind of meat such as Keilbasa in a Hoppin’ John, leftover Christmas Ham, or in our case, fried SPAM!  🙂

Cornbread with Onions, Cottage Cheese, and Broccoli

Oh, and everything is usually eaten in a few bowls.

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Week 7

December 28, 2020 – January 1, 2021

This has been something of a slow week.  We were able to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve/Day.  We did do a lot of cooking, which was very nice.  And our work with Graystone is finished.  They are the one’s that have been doing our professional renovations.  We did sign the last of the paperwork and have completed our association with them.

We have been moving all those things that we packed into our new “Den” out, and we have boxes and containers strewn all over our house in a very unorganized manner.  I’ll get to that in a little bit.

New Year’s Eve

Frozen Margarita’s and Nacho’s With The WORKS!

With all that we have going on inside our home the last thing that we wanted was to do a lot of cooking, so we made things fairly easy.

Great taste and not a whole lotta work.

Happy New Year!  (Finger’s crossed!)

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Week 6

December 21-25, 2020

Christmas Week

I really don’t have any construction related photos for this week. 

The electrician arrived late on Tuesday and gave us electricity in our kitchen island.  Once he did that, it meant that our professional renovations were almost finished.  It was then that a man came and finished up our plaster and trim for underneath our breakfast bar.

You can see here how nice it looks underneath!

The contract coordinator did arrive on Christmas Eve to have Gordon to sign over a check.

Our Christmas Kitchen

Oh, we still have boxes everywhere.  And the den is full of things that we need to get out of there and put back into our kitchen/nook/living room/dining room, but we are getting there.  Gordon put the dog gate back up.  Except this time he had the workers to reinforce the island from the inside construction so that it would have a strong supportive backing instead of him just screwing it into some drywall.

On Christmas Day we were literally laying shelf paper down as we were cooking our Christmas dinner.

(Check out that space between Gordon’s shirt and jeans.)  🙂

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It was really nice making Christmas dinner in our new kitchen.

We veered from tradition, as usual, and created our own Christmas Dinner based on what we wanted to eat. 

All Asian and Hawaiian inspired.

An Asian Inspired Pasta Salad, Steamed Muscles….

Baked Ham….

Our Tropical Hawaiian Cranberries….

Sweet Hawaiian Bread and Snow Peas.

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And,

Pineapple, Mango, Papaya, Coconut and Cherry Upside Down Cake

With Spooky and Sparky

We do so hope that everyone had a nice Christmas.

Julie and Gordon

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December 19-20, 2020

Our weekend was spent decorating for Christmas

We did have easy access to a few Christmas touches but other than that the last thing in the world that I wanted was to drag out boxes of Christmas from the attic, just to add to all of our boxes of household goods stacked throughout our house as it was.  So……

It was my idea to just create a Christmas Tree ourselves out of what we had at hand…..

BOXES!!!!!

There are some of our household items packed in those boxes and we have no clue what is in them.  🙂

I think that we have proven that you can have a nice Christmas simply by wrapping boxes with old wrapping paper and just being a bit creative.

My cute little pride and joy for the holidays, the gingerbread house mold and the spoons.  I bought one for me, Veronica and Mackenzie for Christmas this year.  May we all have one for our Christmas kitchen.

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As you know the plumber came on Friday and spend a few hours installing all of our plumping. 

We FINALLY have a working kitchen sink!

We Kept Our Old Kitchen Sink

(I love it as it is a nice porcelain.)

Gordon and I actually purchased this kitchen faucet a few years ago but never got around to installing it.  We love it!  It not only looks really nice in our new kitchen, but it is also very efficient in our working kitchen.  What the contractor’s did was to add the nice drains and stoppers.

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We also purchased a new garbage disposal.  The plumber installed that as well. 

You can see the button in the photo top.

All of this still has to be textured and then a trim added.

You can see underneath the breakfast bar that there are supports in place. 

And we did extend it so that it was longer that it used to be.

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Sunday was Spent Making Peanut Brittle and Sausage Balls

We made several kinds of brittle’s to give as edible gifts.

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And of course, our daughter always requests our Sausage Balls every year.

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Week 5

December 14-18, 2020

This has been the fun week. 

On Monday some mover’s came over to our house and unloaded the POD that had been sitting in our driveway for weeks now, housing quite a few of our household goods.

Now we have boxes on boxes on boxes…..  Great.  🙁

I have to say that Spooky and Sparky have fared very well through all of this, so far.

And there is our kitchen sink!

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I’m sure our HOA is just giddy over the fact that our POD is now gone. 

They picked our POD up on Wednesday.

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Thursday was Funday!

Our Kitchen Counter Tops Arrived!

Granite’s Here!

Brown Fantasy

The Granite is Here and it is Beautiful!

It was so heavy that Gordon had to help them carry it in to our house.

Our Kitchen BEFORE

Our Kitchen During…..

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Dot, Dot, Dot, Dot, Dot………

It is coming together beautifully!

You can see in the photo left that when they pulled up the old backsplash it left behind some damage.  That is o.k. as we are going to plaster that in and cover it with a nice backsplash.

Everything is looking so nice!  🙂

We love how much taller our counter around the sink and our breakfast bar is. 

About 2 inches taller.  Washing dishes will be so much nicer on our lower backs now.

Such a beautiful pattern.

The sink is in but there is no running water, YET.

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Friday:  The Plumber Arrived

He must have been here 4 hours.

Because we built up our counters and island by 2 extra inches he had to build up the dishwasher as well in order for it to fit.

He installed our new dishwasher that we bought. 

It looks great!

He also installed our new sink faucet, and our new garbage disposal.

It’s all coming together.

We’ve also been going over paint swatches for our kitchen.

I think we’ve decided.

Plateau it is!

These will be the touches in our kitchen.

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The Weekend

December 12-13, 2020

A Project of Gordon’s

With our new carpet down we wanted to get rid of this brown plastic outlet that sits in the middle of our floor, and upgrade it with a nice brass one seeing as how we have lots of brass outlet and light switch covers in our home.

This project took Gordon a lot longer than he thought it would.

He had to dig out the cheap plastic gray ring inside of it and do a bunch of other technical stuff that I just don’t know or care about.

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With the power being shut off in our living room and in our bedroom, I didn’t have power to run my computer so it shut down.

As the hours went by and Gordon was still working on this outlet thingy, I started to get a bit stir crazy.  That’s when he said that he had to run to Home Depot to buy something to make this thing work.  Well, it was then that I decided to turn the power back on while he was gone so that I could have the internet and get my computer charging up.  So, I left Gordon a nice note:  I TURNED THE POWER ON!  You can see it above.

When he got home he saw the note and I got the chewing out of my life!!! 

Apparently there were live wires…..  something like that?  Boy!  Was he ever mad at me! 

Hey, I’m intellectual but I never said I was smart.

(Our second fight during renovations.)

Gordon did get the fixture installed correctly. 

You can tell by those green lights that are on.

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I did spend the weekend putting together packages to get in the mail for our out of towner’s, and I wrapped all the gifts for underneath the tree for Veronica, Brian, and our Grand-dog Chewie.  Then Gordon ran those over to their house.  Veronica is in lockdown because someone at her job tested positive for Covid 19 but, she is on holiday from her job until January so no one at her job is missing work because of it.  They are shut down as it is until after the new year.

We do have edible goodies to run over to their home soon but we wanted them to have our gifts underneath their tree for them to enjoy.  My kids always did like it when the gifts would arrive from everywhere and we would place them underneath the tree.  🙂

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Mail Has Arrived!

These lovely carved wood mermaids will go somewhere around our breakfast bar.  Whether they be swimming from on top, or nestled underneath where you see them in the photo below.  That we don’t know yet but we are very excited they have arrived. 

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Week 4

December 7-11, 2020

This has been a fairly slow week as far as renovations go.  Gordon has been doing a 4 hours in the office on base and then 4 hours at home, work schedule.  On Tuesday we had our Renovation Coordinator over to inspect the installation of our kitchen island that took place last week.  And then we also had our countertop guy come and create a template of how long and wide we want our countertops and breakfast bar to be. 

On Thursday we had our new carpet installed:

BEFORE and AFTER

Sweet Basil it is!  Although the photo top right, doesn’t do it justice.  It is a beautiful color carpet.  Gordon had been vacuuming it which is why you see all the lawn mowing rows in it.  I feel like I am walking barefoot in freshly mowed grass.  Which is what I wanted in the carpet to begin with.  I was so sick of beigey carpet.  Although I do love a white beige in the bedrooms and dining room.

It’s been a fairly cold week for us which is why we have had lots of snuggling in blankets with the dogs.  🙂

Last Night’s Dinner of Potsticker’s on a Paper Plate

They were delicious, and Gordon can make anything look good. 

Even on a paper plate.

As far as I know there is nothing going on tomorrow, Friday, except some projects of mine.

Monday, they move our things back inside our house from our POD in our driveway.

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Renovations and Relationship

I felt it was important for me to give you an idea of how our relationship has fared through these renovations just to give you an idea of perhaps what to expect if you are to go through something similar in the future.  First of all, every couple that we have ever known in our life that have gone through home renovations and lived in the house through those renovations have all said the same thing….  that they almost divorced.

I believe that they were kidding but I also believe their joke was based on probably a lot of stress and arguing that went on between the two of them during their home renovations.  So, when we were going to be going through these I had a talk with Gordon about how I hope that we will fare well through all of this and not be at each other’s throats all the time.  We both agreed that we would do our best to get along with each other and not let things get to us.  Also this movie, The Money Pit, is about how the renovations of a house almost ruined the relationship between a young couple that were planning their lives together.

Well…….

Two weeks prior to our official renovations started Gordon and I had a lot to do in prep work to prepare for those renovations.  It was a lot of hard work.  I have never slept so soundly in years than I did during that time frame.  Once my head hit that pillow I did not awaken until the morning hours.  I go to bed at night with a glass of water beside me and when I wake up it is usually gone because I sip it throughout the night.  However, every morning that I would wake up that glass was still full from the night before.  I got some great sleep during those 2 weeks.  Gordon did too.

It was 4 days prior to our official renovations starting that Gordon was feeling a bit stressed.  In the past when Gordon is stressed he will pick a fight with me.  Now, whether he does this consciously or subconsciously, that I do not know.  But, he does start a fight with me when he is stressed because he knows I will fight back.  I am a fighter.  So, while we argue, he gets it all out of his system and then starts to feel better, I, on the other hand, feel worse.  Being an Empath I absorb all his bad feelings so he feels better but I feel worse.  It is also exhausting to me.  Which is why in the past I had dubbed him The Human Vacuum Cleaner, (because he can suck the life out of me.)  🙂

That is when I grabbed the T.V. remote and a little throw pillow and blanket and camped out on the Lazy Boy Chair and I told Gordon that I am done for the day and that he can do the rest of the work himself.  He then tried to plead with me that he needed my help.  That’s when I told him that if he is nice tomorrow then I will gladly help but right now I am exhausted and that I am going to care for myself.  And that perhaps in the days to come if he needs my help then he needs to reign in his stress and not take it out on me.  Otherwise, I will not lift a finger to help him prepare.

And that was the last fight we had.  Actually, I’m sure it won’t be our last fight ever.  But, it was the last fight we’ve had, and we’ve started week 6 of our prep work and home renovations.  🙂

I think that because people see us all smiles and happiness in our website that people assume we have some perfect marriage.  We don’t.  It’s just that we tend to photograph all the good times and not the bad times.  What do your family photo albums record?  All the stress and arguments?  Or, all the happy times of family, and holidays, and trips, and foods, etc.  We’re no different than you.  But, we have been together for 38 years, and married for 35, so we have learned a thing or two along the way and every marriage does require work.  If you don’t work on it then it will end.  Any relationship that you have that is important to you then it does require some work.  That’s just life.

I can’t help but think had we be going through these renovations in the summer months when it feels like 100 degrees outside would we be as calm as we have been?  This being December it is much cooler and we can open the sliders into the back and let the cooler air in, in order to air the place out and for the workers to bring all that they need to into our house from the front door.  Had we had small children through all of this how would that have affected us?  We would probably be under a great amount of pressure to hurry up the renovations just so that we can put up a tree for the kids because they are sad that everyone they know has their tree up but us.  The fact that Gordon has been able to work from home and not going into the base has made our home renovations better.  He is here to sit out there and supervise while he works online.

There are always factors that either contribute to your situation or detract from it.  We have fared very well so far with these renovations because of our circumstances.  Other’s may not fare as well as we have because their circumstances may be different.  Just because we have had an easier time than you and have not had a bunch of arguing doesn’t make us better than you, it just makes us different than you because perhaps our situation was easier than yours?  Just realize that when you encounter your own challenges it is up to you to rise to the occasion and figure things out along the way.  And recognize that.  Good luck!

See You In The Money Pit,

Julie

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The Weekend

December 5-6, 2020

More NEW Faucets in our Bathroom

It wasn’t that long ago that Gordon had installed new bathroom sink faucets.  We were very happy with them until mine started leaking a few weeks ago.  Because we were going through renovations in our kitchen and living room we just sort of ignored it until we could no longer.  I do write about it below.  However, when the leaking became too much Gordon shut the water off to my sink and then purchased us two more faucets to replace the one’s he just installed a few months ago. 

Here is my New Sink Faucet

Gordon Installing My New Faucet

It looks good and it works, but I am not going to place all my toiletries back underneath my sink until I am sure that this new faucet is secure and won’t leak.  I’ll post a picture when I get things more in order.

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Paint Swatches

With our new kitchen countertops being a granite with colors that look like the beach, I thought that our kitchen blue just wouldn’t look very good anymore.

Everything that you see here, and the photos below, are the blue touches that we have in our kitchen.

A lot of our kitchen is white, we just have borders of blue.

Gordon Holding up Color Swatches

Thinking About Painting the Blue a Tan/Beige Color

Seeing as how our countertops will be this……

And, the kitchen accent wall is this……

I think we need to remove that blue that is in our kitchen and paint it a beigy color to match one of the colors that ties the two together.

We will still keep our kitchen nook the blue and white though.

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We also did our recreation Money Pit dinner.  It was fun!  We did our best to make it simple too.  We purchased the rotisserie chickens from the grocery store so that we didn’t have to cook them, I made this very simple garden salad, Gordon roasted some Brussel Sprouts and steamed some Broccoli and Cauliflower, and I warmed up some store bought bread.  Easy!

Me, tossing that salad as much as Anna did.

The most complicated thing that we made was the Basil and Curly Parsley Pesto Salad Dressing.

Our Money Pit Salad and Dressing

(We even waited a while for it to turn a bit brown to resemble the dirt and rubble in the photo left.)  🙂

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What’s left of our Purple and Green Basil from our Herb Garden

We pretty much just threw this together without much thought.

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts with a drizzling of Olive Oil and a Coastal Seasoning, tossed, and then placed on a baking sheet to be put in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes.  I forgot to take a photo of the finished results.

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Our Pesto consisted of Fresh Purple and Green Basil, Curly Parsley, Hot Chili Oil, Garlic Clove, Sea Salt, Key Lime Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, Freshly Ground Black Pepper, and that’s it.

We just eyeballed this recipe.

Place all of your green and garlic clove into a blender and then add some oil. 

Here we used a hot chili oil to give the pesto some heat.

Adding the Lemon and Lime Juice.