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 …
The Money Pit
New Entries are Down Below
I Do Have A Very LOOOOOOOONG Introduction Until You Get There.
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.
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
(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. 🙂
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.
Here I am Making Peanut Butter Sandwiches for Gordon and I For Dinner,
While Gordon Goes Over All the Bills
I Do Love That Peanut Butter
In Spite of all the Renovation Crap……
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?
When we think the camera has stopped shooting. 🙂
We also created a new post depicting our Thanksgiving Turkey called:
If You Would Like To Take A Look
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.
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.
And Now For The Bread
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.) 🙂
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.
The Dinner Was Delicious!
Gordon/Walter Enjoying His Meal
The Picture of Domestic Bliss 🙂
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.
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……
Gordon and Julie Present………………
Our Home Renovations
Gordon Installing New Hurricane Proof Windows in Brodie’s Old Bedroom
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.
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.
Also Check Out Our:
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
We are sequestered to our bedroom and bathroom while all the work goes on.
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
We are making the best of it, all 4 of us!
BLOG ENTRIES START HERE
February 15 – 19, 2021
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.
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!
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!
February 1 – 5, 2021
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.
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.
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.
January 30 – 31, 2021
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! 🙂
January 25 – 29, 2021
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.
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.
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.
January 18 – 22, 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
January 9 – 10, 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
This second mermaid we are saving for something special. 🙂
As you can see we had a busy weekend. 🙂
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. 🙂
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.
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,
January 2-3, 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
December 21-25, 2020
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.) 🙂
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….
Our Tropical Hawaiian Cranberries….
Sweet Hawaiian Bread and Snow Peas.
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
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…..
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.
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.
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.
Sunday was Spent Making Peanut Brittle and Sausage Balls
We made several kinds of brittle’s to give as edible gifts.
And of course, our daughter always requests our Sausage Balls every year.
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!
I’m sure our HOA is just giddy over the fact that our POD is now gone.
They picked our POD up on Wednesday.
Thursday was Funday!
Our Kitchen Counter Tops Arrived!
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…..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.) 🙂
What’s left of our Purple and Green Basil from our Herb Garden
We pretty much just threw this together without much thought.
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.
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.
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
And then grind until nice and perfect. OH! I almost forgot.
We did throw in a few of our Tabasco Peppers from our garden.
We did let it sit to turn a bit brown until we were ready to dress the salad. It was a prettier green initially. But the color does not detract from the taste at all.
While all the renovations go on Gordon sits at his little table and works from home.
Reno Week 3
November 30th. – December 4, 2020
We were originally told that the entire renovations would be 3 weeks but obviously they will go into a 4th. week and maybe even beyond. They didn’t do that much last week because it was Thanksgiving week, which is fine, we understand, it has actually been something of an adventure for us. And we have played around with it a bit.
We woke up early, as usual, to a huge thunderstorm!
Ahh… Loved it! Loud thunder, forked lightening, torrential rain! Julie’s perfect day. 🙂
While Gordon was in the shower I started opening up the shutters and turning off our outside lights when I noticed a white van parked in our driveway with a man asleep at the wheel. I immediately launched into my, “Gordon. There’s a man asleep in our driveway in a white van. You wanna hurry up out of the shower?”
Turns out it was one of the workers that prefers to beat the rush hour traffic to get to a job site and while he waits for everyone else to arrive, he takes a nap. Well, can’t fault efficiency.
Over the weekend I had restocked our little mini-fridge in the bathroom with some new foods because I knew things were to get really busy in our living room and the dogs and I were going to stay put in the bedroom all day.
Breakfast of Eggo Waffles, I’ve eaten every morning this week.
(The breakfast of Stranger Things fan’s everywhere.)
And Lunch was a nice Salad
I do have to tolerate the whining from Sparky as he longs for his man Gordon.
So, while the dogs and I are in the bedroom, work was going on right outside our door.
Drywall Being Installed
(Although we had to wait until the storm passed before they could bring the drywall into the house. It getting wet would have put us back to square one with mold.)
Drywall On Both Sides
Electrician Did Some Rewiring
We always attach our ‘walk through dog gate’ to this island and Gordon wanted the area where he attaches it to be a strong connection instead of it just being screwed into dry wall, so he has taken measurements and will tell the guys where he would like a 2×4 placed inside the island so that he can do that.
And Yahoo! Our New Dishwasher Has Arrived!!!
Although it really doesn’t matter as we can’t hook it up yet. 🙁
The drywall people came back to spray the texture on our walls today.
And if you notice we had our countertops and breakfast bar raised by a few inches.
We are tall people and we wanted this area raised so that washing dishes and chopping food would be a more comfortable activity on our lower backs.
My bathroom sink faucet has been leaking water all around it now for a week or so. We have sort of ignored it as we are just so preoccupied with all that is going on in our kitchen and living room. However, when I reached for my hairspray it was sitting in water underneath my sink, I knew things were bad!
Everything from underneath my sink went into a box and now sits on the edge of our bathtub.
Hey, it’s not like our tub isn’t full enough.
Luckily, there is no damage underneath my bathroom sink. Gordon did buy us some new faucets and hopefully that will solve the problem. The last thing I want to hear right now is that we need a new bathroom. 🙁 I know that we do, but I am not ready for it right now. I want the rest of my house back in order first.
I am not quite sure what is going on here,
but I know painting is going on here.
Also new baseboard trim.
Things are coming together.
I decided that I no longer wanted the gold walls here. After all, we are getting a sandy colored countertops in our new kitchen and I didn’t want the old yellow conflicting with the tans. So, I figured a white space would be best for now.
Our Kitchen Coming Together
Our Kitchen Cabinets are Back
Now we are just awaiting next week, Week 4, to see what happens next.
Happy Birthday Brodie!
We asked Brodie to drop by for his birthday gifts.
Brodie greeting the dogs that miss him and love him tremendously.
It was a Pizza Day for Brodie! We had him pick up some for us, and some for him and Mackenzie.
And I just had to post this cute photo of Gordon with Spooky and Sparky. 🙂
November 28-29, 2020
Our Granite Slab that we have chosen for our Kitchen Counters.
(To me it looked like the waves rolling onto the beach. Very sandy and wavy. Leaving exposed the sea shells.)
Canning Spicy Hot Mexican Cranberries
(As you can see I haven’t worked on the Tropical Cranberries yet.)
Seeing as how we had nothing going on this weekend, and we had just used up the last jar of our Florida Christmas Cranberries for Thanksgiving, I suggested to Gordon that we do some canning. I mean, why not? We had the time, we had the space, and we had nothing else to do.
They both turned out really great. Not just for us to use, but for us to give as gifts.
They are Spicy HOT!
If you would like to take a look:
November 27, 2020
Leftovers, The Last Taste of Thanksgiving
I believe this one will be memorable.
November 26, 2020
As you know we cooked our Thanksgiving Turkey a few days ago on our outside grill…….
(It was hot as hell, but we were determined to wear our Thanksgiving pajamas as we can only really wear them 1 or 2 days a year. We are also determined to get our money’s worth out of them for years to come.)
Luckily for us we do still have a working microwave and a stove top/oven.
Our Lovely Kitchen
Gone is our kitchen sink but we did set up a portable table to help with the much needed counter space.
We wanted our Thanksgiving to be simple and easy.
What with the turkey out of the way it was just a matter of grilling and cooking up some sides. We knew that we just wanted turkey sandwiches with the works!
Our Thanksgiving Dinner consists of Turkey Sandwiches made on either Sour Dough Bread slices, or our Cornbread Dressing that we made into bread slices by spreading it out on a baking sheet and then placing it into a 350F oven until done, and then slicing it into sandwich sized bread, and then placed back into the oven to brown a little bit more.
This recipe is on our:
Here Gordon is fixing his sandwich using our Cornbread Dressing as the bread slices.
Our sandwiches consist of our Thanksgiving Turkey, Bacon, our homemade Tarragon Mustard, White Cheddar Cheese slices, Grilled Yams, Grilled Onions, store bought Cole Slaw, and our last jar of homemade Florida Christmas Cranberry Sauce. Also store bought gravy for dipping our sandwiches into.
Our Sides are the Hasselback Potatoes cut into medallions to resemble Potato Chips.
With a nice drizzle of Sour Cream and Chives.
Also, our homemade Dill Pickle slices and some store bought Salt Cured Olives.
Gordon’s Dinner Plate 🙂
Decorations were simple. A pumpkin with some flowers in a bucket. 🙂
Putting all the food away was actually quite easy because dinner was easy.
We hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!
November 23, – 25, 2020
Thanksgiving Week, and Week 2 of Renovations
This Was a Very Light Week
This has been a slow week as far as our renovations being done. They came by at noon and told us to get out of the house for a few hours while they sprayed this alcohol based mold remover in our kitchen. So, we just moved outside to our lanai while the spray did it’s thing and then came back in when it had evaporated. I grabbed a quick lunch, obviously.
They came back today in order to gather samples to send to a lab to make sure that all of our mold was gone.
That is all they did today.
In the meantime, what with Thanksgiving in 2 days we needed to make our cornbread for our cornbread dressing.
You see, it needs to sit out and get a bit stale so that the dressing will be magnificent.
Making Corn Bread
Here Gordon is pouring the buttermilk batter into my Great-Grandmother’s Cast Iron Skillet.
But first, a blob of Crisco goes in the skillet to then melt in the oven and then the batter is added. You can see the rim of grease around the sides of the batter. That is perfection. 🙂
Into the oven it goes on 350F
Gordon was monitoring this. I just wish he had let it brown a bit more on top.
Other than that, it was perfect.
We placed the cornbread into a mixing bowl and covered with foil to vent so that the cornbread could dry out a bit. I have it on my Xylophone behind my desk in our bedroom. Just because of the renovations.
The cornbread wasn’t getting stale fast enough for me so I decided to place it beside this machine that we have had going off in our home sucking up the moisture in the air. I figured, why not? Turn that cornbread stale! 🙂 And it did!
The workers did come back today and removed that big tent that had roped off our kitchen. That’s good. At least we now have more room to access what is still left of our kitchen.
Sunday, November 22, 2020
Our Weekend Thanksgiving
We decided to shoot and grill our Thanksgiving Turkey before Thanksgiving.
We have something very special planned to do with it and we will bring that to you. 🙂
It Turned out Perfect!
We also created a new post depicting our Thanksgiving Turkey called:
If You Would Like To Take A Look
November 21, 2020
This is a great start to a nice weekend. With all the worker’s gone we got some much needed privacy. We do have access to our refrigerator in our kitchen, we just have to unzip and crawl through something akin to a tent to get to it. But with people and construction going on we usually steer clear of it.
Those loud machines that suck the moisture out of the air were going full force though through the entire weekend. I do have to say that all that white noise helped me to sleep very well. As well as pick up so much information that travels through white noise. 🙂 (Only an Empath will understand that.)
I’ve shown you a bit of our menu over this past week. We haven’t used a lot of dishes as we have mainly eaten sandwiches, some soups made in the coffee pot, and a few salads. But that light eating can only last so long. Here is one of my salads.
I have been washing dishes in our laundry room sink and setting them out to dry on top of our dryer. But, I only do this when our worker’s aren’t here as I am doing my best not to come in contact with them for health purposes.
We have picked up a few nights of take out food.
Here we picked up Chinese Take Out and watched the new release of the movie Mulan. Loved it!
Chinese also makes excellent leftovers.
November 20, 2020
Reno Day 5
Me, In the Pantry, In the Kitchen
As you can clearly see, this is not an ideal kitchen situation.
Yes, we do have access to our stove top, oven and microwave, but who wants to be in that cramped space?
Which is why cooking in our kitchen isn’t so ideal at this time.
This was Breakfast and Lunch for me Today
These are foods that are easy to keep in our mini-fridge and besides, I really don’t associate eating in my bedroom so I haven’t been that hungry as it is.
The dogs also haven’t been very hungry and I think that is because all of this is new and different and they just don’t know what to think about it. But, we have got through Week 1! Our workers won’t be back until Monday, November 23rd.
We do have something special planned for this weekend and you will just have to trust me when I tell you it will be fun. You’ll see!
November 19, 2020
Reno Day 4
I haven’t been in there yet to see what they’ve done today. But, they found a hell of a lot more mold which is alarming to us. Also, the supervisor overseeing all the work is no longer with the company as of today. Don’t know what happened but that is a bit disappointing given that we started with him and were happy with him. So, the new supervisor just left. Gordon met with him.
The dogs and I spent most of the day in our lair/bedroom/bathroom.
They are very sweet and easy to handle.
They just like to go outside and chase the squirrels.
Spooky went nuts when she saw squirrels running all over our lanai cage.
But, now is the time to do those things that I never have time to do because a house is a big responsibility and there is always something to clean or do.
My Reading Nook
(I also have two very long stacks of books beside me.)
It’s been fun just sitting there flipping through decorating books. Some of these books I had not gotten around to looking at and I bought them years ago. And some books I had just ordered and happy that they had arrived.
Well, I finally decided to take a look in the kitchen and to grab a few cans of mango.
(Oh, and the shirt I am wearing was a gift Gordon had made for me when we were dating and both of us working at Carowinds Amusement Park. It is 38 years old. He used to be Yogi Bear.) 🙂
Here is a photo of Gordon getting into his costume.
Gordon as Yogi and that is Jabber Jaws on the right.
They are from the Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Series
I came across these photos when I was doing some reno-prep and that got me to thinking about the shirt I am wearing above. I hadn’t worn it in awhile and I wanted to. I can be very sentimental.
This is an area where they found more mold and had to cut away at the dry wall and rip up this part of the carpet.
And we still have those loud machines going in our living room/kitchen, sucking up all that moisture.
Thawing Sandwich Meat out in our Bathroom Sink
(It was frozen in vacuum sealed packaging.)
Everyone is Having a Snuggly Day
We Do Have a Comfy Cozy Bed
I Think Sparky’s Drunk on Love
(He loves his man Gordon.)
Sandwiches For Dinner
Making Toast in the Bathroom
The bathroom mini fridge easily houses lunch meats, cheeses. and condiments. Which is why we’ve eaten quite a few sandwiches this week whether for lunch or dinner.
Mine above: Salsalito Turkey on Seeded Rye with Muenster, Romaine, Our Tarragon Mustard, Our Dill Pickle Slices, Roma Tomatoes purchased at a road side stand from a family, and my cheese stuffed red peppers. Oh, and I always love a spring onion whenever I have a sandwich.
All For Now,
November 18, 2020
Reno Day 3
Right Outside Our Bedroom on the Lanai
Sparky and Spooky
This was not a particularly busy day for us. The workers did show up and finished packing and moving the rest of our living room things out into our POD. They also expanded our kitchen area that they had roped off from yesterday with their big plastic tents.
I know that when I took the dogs out while they were working that they all stopped what they were doing to look at me and the dogs as we exited into the backyard. As if they had spotted some rare unicorn. I was even tempted to start prancing around just to entertain them but then thought better of it. 🙂 I have been keeping away from them and sequestering the dogs away as well, just to keep on the safe side.
They will be back tomorrow to do more work. We’ll document, as usual. Until then.
But here is our kitchen:
November 17, 2020
Reno Day 2
Julie’s Pajama Bedroom Selfie
(Something I never dreamed I would be doing. I feel like such a naughty Kardashian.) 🙂
If I am going to be sequestered to the bedroom then why not wear pajamas?
Time To Pay The Bills
I am feeling much better today than I felt yesterday. I think I just needed to rest up, take that 3 hour nap I took, and have the lazy day that I had yesterday. Not to mention the good night of sleep I got last night. My only ailments today are some sore arms from a lot of heavy lifting in our reno-prep, and my butt bruise due to my hard fall I had last week.
I Took These Photos of our Kitchen Last Night
This is where it all started.
We’ve had some mold experts out to our house yesterday and today to take samples of our mold and to take some with them. I told Gordon that I think that we should be collecting our own samples and keeping them, just in case. I think in this day and age we need to look out for ourselves and there are so many businesses and organizations that do not care about people and what we go through and will not have a problem screwing us over to protect their own interests. I’m not saying that about this company that is overseeing our renovations, but I do worry about who they report to.
We are also documenting everything by taking photographs.
When we had our lanai extended a few years ago one of the workers drove a spike down into the area they were pouring the cement and busted a pipe in our sprinkler system. Luckily, because I took so many photos, we had the proof and the company paid to repair our sprinklers whereas they weren’t going to until I produced the photograph. So, document your workers.
As I’ve said, the dogs and I are staying put in mine and Gordon’s bedroom, but Gordon is stationed in a corner of our living room doing his work from home while we had so many people coming through the house today. Gordon is on a ‘one week at home, one week at work’ kind of a schedule. This is his week to work from home. At least he is in there to oversee everything that is going on and in documenting the work as well.
I’ll be posting all those photos.
I Set a Table up Outside our Bedroom Door
I told Gordon this is where he can deposit our mail for me to go through.
We are expecting a lot of packages.
I Made Us Lunch Today
A coffee pot is for much more than just making coffee.
It is great for heating up water to be poured into a Cup of Noodles Soup.
I washed the coffee pot and filter out first. I then ran hot water through the coffee maker twice before I heated up the water to make Gordon’s soup. I didn’t want any coffee flavor residue to taint the taste of the soup. These soups are very easy. You just need to add hot water to them and let them sit for a few minutes to soften the noodles.
Now For MY Soup
These soups are the snacks that local people in Hawaii eat everyday. You will see kids playing in parks and they will pull a pack out of their pocket and start snacking on the dry noodles. When I was cooking them I would always snack on the dry noodles myself. Veronica and Brodie would also eat them dry occasionally. A common sight with the locals of Hawaii. A nice memory to add to our renovation diary.
I simply placed the dry noodles into the coffee pot and then turned it on to have the water heat up and make my soup for me. (Along with the spice packet, of course.) I used to do this when I was in college. We never drank coffee but everyone in the dorm had a coffee pot in their rooms to use it to make other things.
I could have wandered out to our herb garden and snipped off something nice to add to my soup, but I didn’t. Next time I will utilized my herbs that are right outside my door.
The company we are working with.
Our Upholsterer’s O’Neil and Son’s Picked up our Couch and Chair Today
(Can’t wait to see the results when they finished the recovery.)
It was funny that when Gordon was talking to them he mentioned the fabric that we want except we want it inside out and that is when the man in the red shirt said, “Your the one! Your request went through the whole store!”
I write about that in the post below.
Back to Back
Our corner of our living room that housed our entertainment center. Look at all that mold and damage. The water leaked from underneath the wall in the left photo, and ended up here on the right photo. We are told that our entertainment center damage is too massive underneath and that we will need to buy a new one.
This is our Entertainment Center
This is perfect for our needs. We own lots of DVD’s, VHS Tapes, and Bluray’s. We will never find a more perfect entertainment center that can house all of our collections and keep them tucked away. We have been looking online at furniture stores in our area and none of them are this massive and has this much storage.
The younger generations are not into owning video’s. They are into subscribing to this or that and then streaming what they want on their computers or cell phones. But, they are dependent on a corporation and technology for their entertainment. We are just dependent on electricity for ours. I think ours is more reliable.
When you own something then it is yours.
But, if you are constantly “renting,” then it isn’t.
The Kitchen is Cordoned Off
That is Gordon doing something underneath there. I forget what? 🙂