Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How I Love Fall. . . .

Fall. . . .I love you. No really. You make me swoon.

I love your smells. Like warm apple cider and cinnamon and spice. The leaves buring in the evening. The crisp air.

I love your tastes. Roasted pumpkin seeds, caramel apple (martinis!), soups and stews.

I love your colors. Righ eggplant, burnt orange, forest green, brown, brown, brown.

I love how you make me feel. No humidity. No sweating. No grass to cut. Sigh.

I love you so much, dear Fall, that I throw a party every year in your honor.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's Official. . . . .

. . . . .my garden was a bust.  Mother Nature just did NOT want to cooperate with us good folks in Illinois.  Our "summer" consisted of rainy and cold days in July.  You have no idea how bummed I am.  All winter long, I had daydreams of working in the yard, lovingly tending to my veggies and flowers.  Don't let me fool you; I really have no idea what I am doing out there, but I enjoy it and every year seem to learn a bit more.

After many successful years of growing tomatoes, cukes, and onions, I decided to add some pumpkins and gourds to the mix as well.  But let's talk about tomatoes.

Ah yes, tomatoes. . .how I love thee.  Every year I start my plants from seeds.  I always plant about 4 "large" variety plants, my favorite being the beefsteak.  And I also plant about 4 of the "small" variety such as cherry, grape, or roma.  This year when I was looking at the seed packets, I found a small variety called currant.  Now, I know the name alone should have tipped me off.  I mean currants are berries, so how big could this little gems be, right? 

But, I really had no idea that I would be planting the. . .
. . . . . World's Smallest Tomato.

What, you don't believe me?  Well, good thing I took some pictures for proof:

See? I told you.  My 4 beefsteak plants netted about oh, 5 ripe tomatoes. Yes folks, 5.  My currant tomato plants netted about oh, 5 MILLION little "what the hell am I supposed to do with these?!" tomatoes. 

Here's a fun picture just to compare the size:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Budget Bathroom Remodel

A couple of months ago, I was in my upstairs bathroom (which is the only full bath in the house until the basement bathroom is finished) and I realized I hated it. Pretty strong word, but. . .ugh! It was time to do something. Since I have other projects that require my time and attention, not to mention money, I decided to give myself a little challenge. What could I do for $200 or less?

Country was doing a side job, so I decided to tackle this little project solo. Plus, I had this (crazy) idea that I could have it finished by the time he got home. Huh.

So, I got a pen and paper, wrote up a materials list and headed on down to pay the good folks at The Home Depot a visit.

Let's start with some before pictures, shall we?

Hmmm, unispired, boring, WHITE walls. Anyone that's ever paid a visit to my home knows that I do not take to white walls kindly.

Next is the outdated vanity. Yawn. White faucet. Ho-hum.

Hey! The 80's called! It wants its flooring back!

Oak toilet seat.

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating about the condition of my bathroom. I mean, it's not terrible.  But, as we Libras know, we love to be surrounded by beauty, so I pretty much had no choice. I had to do something about it. And now. I've been in this house for 4 years and have lovingly ripped apart  restored pretty much every room, so the time had come for this sad little bathroom.

So, we'll start with the walls. I chose a neutral gray tone that's almost a bit taupe. And, being budget consious, I went with another peel-and-stick flooring. (Remember I said I wanted to have this little project finished by the time Country got home from work? Well, gentle reader, this was not the time to be messing with ceramic tile and grout!)

Please forgive my non-exsitent photography skills. And P.S. Some of these pictures were taken at night so the colors look a little weird.

After I disconnected the faucet, I somehow managed to heave this huge vanity out into an extra bedroom. As you can guess, I couldn't finish this project in one day. I don't know who I was kidding. So when Country got home, he helped me haul this thing into the basement so I could prime, paint, and sand the edges. This process took about 3 nights, but I'm very happy with the result. And do you like the new fixture? I put that in all. by. myself.  Woot woot!

New white toilet seat.

Pretty shower curtain and new rug.

Cute little wall hanging I sewed.

I forgot to take a picture of the hidious light fixture that was above the HUGE mirror that used to be on the wall. It was pretty ugly. And about 3 of the 6 bulbs had burnt out and I honestly didn't even care enough to replace them. But, there is now a nifty new light fixture up. Although I changed out the outlets myself, I asked Country's friend, The Electrician to replace the light fixture for me. My house has some ancient wiring and I just didn't want to risk it.

What a fun challenge!  And what an amazing difference $200 can make!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Do You Think It's a Sign?

I've had tickets for a hot air balloon ride for three summers now.  After, oh, I'd say 13 or 14 attempts to use said tickets, our scheduled flight for tommorow morning has been canceled. Hmmmm. Do you think it's a sign?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sweet Justice

I'm on a posting roll today. It's Sunday and I'm being lazy and Country left this morning to go hunting, so I thought I'd share with you some pictures of my sweet dog, Justice.  He is a very gentle, loving dog who is terrified of storms, loud noises and his own shadow. I just love him to pieces.

Here's Justice when we went camping a few weeks ago. He is so proper, with his paws crossed.

Oh, did I mention I have the only lab in America that doesn't know how to swim? I guess I can't blame him after his Hurricane Katrina experience. . .

And here's J with Country's dog, Tripp.  They are snuggle bunnies and always have to be touching.

Garage Sale Success!

So I was a little reluctant to have another garage sale since my last garage sale ended in divorce. Seriously. That was the day that Fargo told me was movin' back home for the summer because we "needed a break. "

But, with all of my coupon craziness, my house was beginning to look like a store and I thought it was time to clear some of it out. I'm glad I did! Sister-in-Love came over with some of her cast-offs and we had a fun day and made some money to boot. Success.

It always amazes me though, how incredibly balls-y some people can be. I mean, it's a garage sale, the stuff is alreay cheap to begin with, and then you tell someone, "That'll be $10 please," and they ask if you'll take $2.  Really? Seriously? And someone stole some stuff, which is a real bummer.  For that person's sake, I'm glad I didn't see it and I'm glad Country wasn't home at that time.

About an hour before quittin' time, Country came out and told me he'd be happy to go out and gather the signs when the sale was over. How sweet.  I asked him, "So, you're not going to break up with me?"  He was confused. Once I explained, he laughed and smiled and said, "No baby, I'm not going to break up with you."

So I still have a boyfriend and more room in the house.

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

As I mentioned in a previous post, Dad's birthday was Sept. 11.  The fam gathered at Mom & Dad's to celebrate. Family gatherings are just that much more fun now with the addition of my nephew, Little Man.  He is seriously one of the happiest babies in the world. It is so much fun to watch Brother #1 and my Sister-in-Love introduce him to new things.

Brother #1's Chevelle resotration is almost complete, so the proud parents were excited to show Little Man their new (old) wheels. . .

Here's Sister-in-Love with Little Man:

And the proud papa with Little Man:

And one more, cuzz I just can't help myself:

And proud papa teaching Little Man about the drums. . .

Oh. My. God.  He is so adorable.

Here's my dad trying to get Little Man hooked early on his favorite food group, chocolate.

Ah yes, my family knows what's important in life. . .fast cars, music and junk food. We rock.

Roughin' it

Last weekend, my boyfriend Country and I were invited to spend the holiday in Michigan.  We didn't know what to expect, but we were up for a fun weekend of swimming, hiking, shooting guns and a variety of other activities. 

I thought I would share a few photos of this shack:

The farmhouse to the left is where all of the kids were going to sleep.  The barn house
 would be where yet more people would sleep. 

Country and I were put up in the pool house. . .

I wasn't sure there would be enough room for everyone. . .

. . . .but somehow, we all managed to squeeze in and feel comfortable. he he.

Here's Country showing all of the kids how to shoot a gun. He is an excellent teacher.

And when we were done with shooting, we decided to take a swim in the tiny little pool. . .

As you can see, it was a rough weekend.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Let's Remember

Wow, has it really been 8 years since the horrific events of 9/11?  I remember where I was when I heard the news. . .at home with strep throat.  My ex-boyfriend called me and said to turn on the TV.  I was in shock. I cried until I couldn't cry any longer. Later on in the day, I had to drive over to Wags and pick up a prescription and I'll never forget how empty the roads were. It was eerie.  I'm sure everyone was glued to the television set.

A few days later, I heard a song on the radio that to this day, makes me think of 9/11.  It's called, "Overcome" by the group Live.  I literally get chills everytime I hear it.

Dad's birthday is today. 8 years ago our family went out to eat for his b-day and we were the only people in the restaurant, trying to maintain some sense of cheerfulness despite the day's events.

So, where were you? What do you remember from that day?  How did it change you? Or didn't it?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Mom Would Be Proud

Look ma! I've got me a blog!!  I figured if you could have a blog (that's beautiful, by the way!), then I could too.

Although it's past my bedtime, I wanted to get this little world-wide 'journal' going.  Since "mellierose" was already taken as a user name, I added the "Sweet" part because, well, just because.  It kinda has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Well, this first post is going to short and sweet (ha! there's that word again!) because it's time for me to simmer down.  Good night!