Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
We had a paint crisis yesterday. Chris had put a sample of the wall paint up on the walls and it was way dark. Then we checked it against the "true" color we wanted and found that the paint we had bought was more greenish-yellow. Not what we wanted at all.
Our designer came to the rescue and agreed with me that the color was all wrong. Don't know if the store mixed it wrong or what, but it was wrong.
We chose another shade, a warm beige. Chris had a quart mixed, applied it in several spots and we came back home after the Pitt game yesterday to find the new color sampled on the walls. Much better. Hope you can see the differences in color from the photo below. The color we are going with is marked "E" for Everlasthing I think. The color on the corner is the original Hush color that turned out so green.
Also, Chris put in some work on our new mantle which also looks great.
Gearing up for a big week. Painting to be done and and carpet laid this week. Yippee!!
Friday, October 29, 2010
The family room is shaping up nicely, but will not be done this week as we had hoped. Our contractor has brought in some reinforcements, though, so that will help hurry things along.
A lot has gotten done this week and that is good. The walls and ceiling have been primed and today, Friday, is clean up day so they can begin to paint soon. Maybe even tomorrow? The trim around the large windows in the room has been primed also, in preparation for being painted white, and that looks great. I was worried about painting over wood, but I am glad we did.
The family room looks amazingly large, which was the goal. Everything we have done in there has been geared towards making it appear visually bigger. And I think we have been succesful!
Carpet is set to be laid next Wednesday and that is a huge step. All the little details will not be done by then, but baby steps are OK at this point. Everyone is working so hard to get this done, I have no complaints. (Although it still would be nice to have my office finally completed. But it will be, I know, and soon. Patience is a virture, as my mom used to say.)
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
As you can see, the marble surround on the fireplace in our family room has been installed. One "leg" (a vertical side piece) gave Chris, our contractor, some trouble, but he worked it out. The wall behind the fireplace has also been covered with mud to even it out. No more paneling!
This fireplace is a little sophisticated for what we are used to, but I am liking it more and more. Our house is contemporay, but not really. The house has never quite known what it wanted to be when it grew up and we haven't challenged that over the past 24 years. But we are now.
When they were building the homes on our street, the builders repeated our floor plan in several, but gave each of these homes a different facade. We got the most "contemporary" exterior look, but again, it's not a true contemporary with lots of landings and railings.
I can remember when we were still touring the house how one potential home buyer walked in the front door and turned right around to leave. "This will never do," her parting comment.
But we love this house and plan to stay in it a long time. The sophisticated fireplace will just make it that much nicer!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
All in all, things have gone smoothly I think. It pays to work with good people on a project of this size for sure! We are now waiting, not inpatiently yet, for the marble to be sized and prepared for the fireplace, for the doors to come in, for the small lights over the fireplace to be installed, and for the paint color for the walls to be chosen.
Not too bad as far as I can tell.
As for the house residents, we are doing OK. It's amazing how you can get used to any routine after awhile. I still find myself wandering around the house without a place to perch, but doing that less and less. I have managed to pretty much ignore all of the boxes and baskets sitting around many of our rooms, not even seeing them anymore. (Ha! I am so busy catching stink bugs, who has time to fret over boxes?).
Looking forward to more progress this week and the general wind-down of the project.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
This is the corner of my former office where my computer used to be. All gone I would say. Work on our small (!) remodeling project is coming along. The carpet has been ordered and will sit in a warehouse waiting for the room to be ready for it. We chose paint colors, all in the beige family, but seeing them on the wall I think they are too dark. We shall see.
One of the positives about this project has been that we are actually getting things done that have needed done for several years. I would notice something I thought should be changed or updated and never had a way of doing it. Now some of these small things, like replacing non-working outlets and powering up a wimpy shower in the bathroom, are being done. (We won't be using the black market elephant-washing shower head like Kramer had installed in Seinfeld, but ours could be a lot closer to that than the low-flow one we have now. And who likes the sound of that?).
Also, and I am not sure how this happened, the two bedroom doors that our sons plastered with stickers will be taken down and replaced (see below photo). I can just imagine seeing the reaction of some future home buyers when they saw the decorated doors. I am not sure how this even happened. I am certain that I was out of town when they did this.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Since I got home they have been making a lot of noise. Since I am only hanging out in non-construction zone rooms, I can't figure out what they are doing. But it is definitely loud and shakes the whole house.
One funny note is that I was right about something, which doesn't happen very often it seems (ha). I had thought that birds were nesting between my walls and the insulation in my office walls a couple of years ago, gainng access from the huge holes woodpeckers had drilled into the wood. And there was proof today. Two nests were unearthed when the paneling came off that had housed numerous baby birds and their incessant chirping.
We found what looked to be a blue jay feather stuck in one of the nests. I wonder if any of the three blue jays which fly around the house and eat my suet are the parents of the babies, or the baby birds themselves, all grown up.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Our computer tech guy is coming at 1 p.m. today to re-install the computer and all of its parts. It will be close whether he can get into the new office or not.
I have been like a woman without a country the last couple of days or is that a fish out of water? Whatever, I am not sure where I should go or not go in my house. Since I work here, it's doubly distressing. So today I tried to focus on catching up on laundry which knows no limitations even in a construction zone. I was able to complete one project up in my bedroom to reduce some of the items I will need floor space for in my new office. Since the wall unit is now taking up most of the floor space in the new office, I can't put things where they normally go. There will be a new normal, but not sure I am ready for that. Guess I will have to be!
Change is good people say, but those are usually the ones who aren't experiencing it. My car is blocked in too so if I wanted to go out, I couldn't. But for today that is OK. I don't want to do anything to slow the guys down. We need forward progress. Git R done!
I think Borders, Panera's or Mickey D's will be seeing a lot of me soon. Free Wi Fi is a wonderful thing.
Friday, September 10, 2010
But then I had to finally sit down and choose my own list and that proved a little more difficult than asking for others.
The Beatles were HUGE when I was growing up. We were out of ourminds for them, back in the early 60s, and I remember a lot of how that felt. I was particularly fond of Paul (everyone had to have a favrotie Beatle, of course) and tended to favor his songs. But then my tastes matured a little, and I accepted that the other three could knoock out a pretty good song, too, sometimes.
Interestingly enoough, even though the Beatles were one of the first "boy bands," their legacy has lived on and doesn't seem to be in danger of fading. Somehow that makes getting older and having to deal with other forms of music like rap, good grief, a ltitle easier to handle. OUR music is still here and vibrant. Really wonder if rap will have the same staying power.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
The rules of fashion don't apply in these easy-breezy times. Wear colors that don't go together in nature and see what happens. Wear as much color as you can stand and it's OK.
I began to feel this fashion freedom last year when I splurged and bought pairs of shoes that were mint green and dusty rose with blue trim. Short of some old sandals I may have worn as a child, that's the first time I have worn colors on my feet that weren't fashioned in classic (blah) colors -- black, brown, navy etc.
Then, I really went wild, and bought some white sandals to wear to a summer event. I can't remember the last time I owned white shoes. It might have been for First Communion.
August is here now and for the first time in years I am not anxious to see summer go and make way for my favorite season -- fall. That's only because I want to be able to wear my groovy footwear longer. I even want to be able to break the No-White-Shoes-After-Labor-Day rule and wear my new sandals on a trip to Nevada early in the fall. It's got to be summer in Nevada all year, right? That's what I think too.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Hello? Is anyone reading all of these blogs and if so, why? I am just curious as to what people are interested in and what they will spend their precious time reading.
It would be good info for a blogger such as myself to know!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Lately my new computer program has been guessing at the words I have misspelled in the text and chooses what it thinks I mean. It hasn't worked out so well.
For instance, this week, I wrote an email about a project I am working on and said something about getting the "yen" for it. It could be that my machine thinks I am Japanese, but the correct word, ladies and gentlemen, was yarn.
Right after that, I wrote an email about basking in the "job" of a young, happy, pregnant woman. What I meant, of course, was her "joy," but maybe the compuer has been around new moms and is just commenting on how much work little babies can be? Hard to say.
Guess I will have to be more careful and slow it down some. Or did I mean dim sum?
Saturday, July 17, 2010
My guitar was bright pink, designed for the "feminine guitarist" which I guess was me. I loved my pink guitar with Princess emblazoned on the front, but sad to say, I wasn't a very good feminine guitarist. I took some lessons and played in school shows, but really only limped along. I much preferred listening to the Beatles in those days than practicing or listening to my own excruciatingly slow version of "El Paso."
The guitar moved around with me over the years and today we unearthed it from the attic. It was a little worse for wear, but otherwise in pretty good condition. I had already gotten rid of the amplifier a while back because it didn't work so I can't really try out any chords. Which, at least for the people I live with, is a good thing.
I plan to hang the Princess guitar on the wall in my newly painted office (just like I saw in one of those home and garden shows. What an accent piece!). There's something comforting about having old things around us to jog some old memories.
I still would rather listen to the Beatles than play myself, but I am a much more easy-going ritic of my talents than I used to be back in the day.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
And even if you are strong enough to do it most of the time, there will still be times when you can't resist a little goodie or more than one. What can be done? Hmmmm. Wish I knew! I am trying to figure it out, like so many of you.
I did take a positive step today and bought a new book entitled Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth. That ought to about cover it!
I have read some of her other books and liked them a lot. She also writes a column in Prevention magazine.
So I will look to Geneen to help me figure out why we can't just eat healthy all the time and be done with all of this worrying and fussing about.
Stay tuned for an update to see how I am doing!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
We have to get it out before the new carpet comes. We had water damage from snow and ice build up on our roof this winter. The insurance company came through with funds to fix things up again. So it will take baby steps to get it all done.
Like so many projects, it will be good when it's done. Now I am in the middle of a mess that I won't see the end of for awhile as we have other damage to repair and some other projects to get done.
Love 'em when they are done. Hate 'em while they are going on. Isn't that always the way?
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I had no idea that he had died. I only found out last night after watching a Jesse Stone movie on TV, which was based on another character Parker had created. When I saw the dedication to him on the screen, I rushed to the compuer hoping that it was a relative of his who had died.
The Spenser books are some of my all-time favorites. I love the great dialogue, the friendship between Spenser and Hawk, and the interplay between the Boston PI and his girlfriend of many years, Susan.
I read that there are a couple of Spenser novels yet unpublished. Here's hoping that they come onto the market soon to give all Parker groupies one last outing with the characters they love.
It's hard to believe there will be no more novels written by this terrific writer. I hope he realized how much pleasure he gave to so many through his books. What a legacy to leave behind.
Good-bye, Robert B. Parker. We will miss you.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Today we are awaiting the arrival of some of our bird friends to the new feeders we have hung from our upper deck.
They were all ga-ga over the seed we have been putting out, but today things are quiet. Guess they are taking it easy, getting used to the new feeders before they commit to a visit. That's the smart thing to do, and since I have begun dealing with birds, squirrels and the like, I have decided that they are much smarter than we would like to believe.
For one thing, the nasty blue jays have designed a way to get seed to their mates and friends. One of them perches on the feeder and knocks seed to the ground with his beak. It's much easier to eat it that way, although he may have to shoo a squirerel away from his bounty once in a while. For a blue jay, this goes with the job description.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
We took a few days off to visit Ocean City, MD. It was warm and sunny and pretty much perfect. Since we were there during the "off season" -- typical for us -- there were not too many folks around. The Springfest celebration on the Boardwalk promised to bring bigger crowds and kick off the summer fun.
Beach vacations are some of the best kind. A lot of walking, shelling, reading, eating, ice cream and then repeat. I got a little reading done including starting Anna Karenina, which is proving to be a very LONG book. But I will keep at it and shoudld finish sometime this year!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
When I heard about a class in installing rain gardens, I was intrigued. It sounded so pleasant, so relaxing; the makings of a spot to sit and drink lemonade and commune Thoreau-like with nature.
In reality, a rain garden is something you create to capture excess rainwater on your property to keep it out of storm and sewer drains for many good reasons, including reducing the threat of flooding.
My property does not lend itself to making a shallow depression in the ground and planting deep-rooted native plants and grasses to hold onto the water as it is slowly absorbed into the ground. But as is often the case, if you can't do one thing, you can do another, so I will look for other ways to help reduce runoff and keep it out of the small creek at the bottom of our large hill which often oveflows its banks when we have heavy rain or snow melt.
Thoreau would have liked that.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Guest Blogger John Brady:
As a successful Baby Boomer, you’ve worked hard, raised the kids -- and most importantly -- learned valuable lessons about life along the way. Retirement will be here soon, and it should be an autumnal blast of beauty and joy in your life, much like asters bring your garden back to life in the fall.
Retirement could be your second chance on life -- if you spend some quality time thinking about what you want out of this next phase of your life. But, if you don’t make that investment, your retirement could fizzle. Even if you have worked hard all your life, a beautiful retirement is not guaranteed by what you have done so far.
I write a lot about the best places to retire on my website, www.TopRetirements.com, which has a lot of resources to help you find where you should live in retirement. The where question, however, is not the only decision you have to make in retirement. For an enjoyable and satisfying retirement you must also answer the when, why, what, how questions. Planning, evaluating your options, and ranking your priorities will greatly increase your likelihood of success in retirement.
Anyone can skip this planning process and still enter retirement. The problem is that if you haven’t done the right spadework, you might miss your chance to bloom in the third season of your life.
To help get you started on your personal planning process, I have prepared an article that explains the most common retirement planning mistakes that people make. (Teri was once kind enough to link to it in her wonderful newsletter). Although the article concentrates on the negative, you will easily see how to turn those common errors into positive choices, taking the steps to achieve a happy and fulfilling retirement.
Spend a few hours planning and discussing your retirement with your significant other and you can effectively start your life over again, becoming a late bloomer like that beautiful flower, the aster.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Since the world is now so focused on going "green," attempting to be just right has become a way of life. Sitting at a board meeting for our local library one night this week, I realized that libraries, so often threatened by budget cuts, are the ultimate green spaces. As we honor Mother Earth today, we should extend that to our libraries where being just right is an everyday thing. Want to read a book? Borrow it and return it, no waste involved, no cost either, another glowing tribute to our library systems.
In honor of Earth Day, I will be giving away two Bead for Life bracelets through this blog. These bracelets -- fashioned from recycled paper by women in Uganda who are now able to make a living wage through their labors -- are lovely and a terrific use of recycled resources. To enter to win, simply send an email with your mailing address to email@example.com.
Happy Earth Day!
Congrats, Jade, on winning the contest! Your beads will soon be on their way.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I signed up for Twitter last week and when finishing up my profile I was told that my email and Twitter UN were already in use. But how could that be? It was me after all. So I redid the whole profile thing and got a confirmation that all of those details were good, only to find later that I now had two Twitter accounts.
I am not quite sure how that happened, but I guess what they say about it being easy to sign up is true.
So I am sticking with the second UN -- twitter.com/boom_this -- since that one has the most tweets and followers so far. Who am I to mess with success, no matter how small?
Friday, April 16, 2010
Since the window pecking began a couple of weeks ago, we had been trying to stop the bird from crashing at the window by placing stuffed cats in his line of sight, placing some garden statuary in his path (a bunny and St. Francis) and propping a folded up lawn chair in his way.
No luck. Yesterday he started pecking at a different window in the dining room. He would perch on the rhodedendron outside the window and then make a kamikaze move directly into the glass. I shook the blinds at him a couple of times but to no avail.
I'm not sure how long this will go on. You would think the bird would have figured out his task is useless by this point, but I am not sure that is going to happen. Being a bit on the stubborn side myself, I realize this could go on till the birds fly south in the fall. Hoping the windows hold up!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
In a program last evening, my friend Vickie Dellaquilla of Organization Rules, Inc., offered some great tips for people who are thinking about downsizing their homes, whether they are Baby Boomers or seniors.
Here are some of her great ideas:
Get someone to help right at the beginning. You will need it.
Give yourself the luxury of time. Don't try to do everything in a week!
Set aside time on your calendar for downshizing and keep those appointments with yourself. They are as important as anything else you are doing.
If moving, get a floor plan for your new place with measurements marked off so you will know ahead of time what kind of space you will have and what you can bring with you.
Start de-cluttering in rooms or spaces you don't use every day, like the basement, garage, attic or a spare bedroom. Having some positive reinforcement after making headway in these rooms will keep you motivated.
And lastly, there's no other way to do this then to go through everything you own. It may seem daunting but if you limit yourself at first to small areas (a dresser, a closet) and stay focused, you will get it all done.
Stop back for more tips and visit Vickie's website at www.OrganizationRules.com.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
My Twitter address is www.twitter.com/boom_this. Someone had already chosen the Twitter acoount using "boomthis" sans underscore, which bummed me out, but such is life for the not-so-early bird.
I hope you will join me here often and will "follow" my tweets if you are so inclined. I may not be Ashton Kutcher, but hey, I promise we will still have a good time!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
“Is this edible?” I asked the helpful sales woman at the spa shop at The Hotel Hershey after I had slathered chocolate scented hand cream on my arm. “That is our most frequently asked question,” she replied.
I was in Hershey, PA -- “The Sweetest Place on Earth” -- with my daughter, Eliza, for a girl getaway and we were making the most of our time together. I love Hershey – I mean, who wouldn’t love a town built around chocolate?
I took it as a sign from God when I opened the morning paper the day of our trip and read that a daily dose of chocolate may actually help us live longer. Yippee, a license to eat chocolate! Not that I needed any encouragement.
Hershey has an amazing amount of fun things to do including the thing that Eliza and I loved best – a visit to The Spa at The Hotel Hershey. First, the Hotel was beautiful and had a very European feel to it (the intention of Hershey founder and hotel builder, Milton Hershey). We were delighted just driving up to the place! But then the spa...there is a variety of services offered many to do with chocolate. Eliza chose the chocolate fondue wrap and I had the cocoa massage. Although they weren’t edible, they were delicious!
Another fun task was the Countries of Origin chocolate tasting -- six shots of hot cocoa at the Cafe Zooka in the Hershey Museum. We couldn’t have been happier, drinking our chocolate and comparing notes. We also had the opportunity to visit Chocolate World, the gardens, the museum, and take a class at the Chocolate Lab at the museum. By the end of the two-day trip, we had to pass on a second chocolate tasting -- we did reach our limit. But we stocked up at the chocolate store at Chocolate World for the ride back home, just in case.
For more information about Hershey, visit http://www.HersheyPA.com/.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Hmmm. Did he want to come in and see what was on TV or did he think that the stuffed Pittsburgh Pirate Parrots sitting in the window well were long-lost relatives?
Then last night we found TWO robins pecking away at the patio door in the basement. Guess when a window doesn't open, maybe a door will?
It's hard to figure out a bird's intention, but this is a little odd, don't you think?
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Yesterday, for the first time in over six weeks, I could get on my own websites. Now I have to work at updating articles at http://www.boomthis.com/ which I haven't been able to do for so long. I also replaced a definite fall photo on the home page (a football player kicking an extra point) with a photo of hyacinths, now blooming in all their glory.
Amazing. Technology will either save us or kill us I am afraid. Not sure what the end result will be but for today, my little kingdom is OK. I will wait to see what happens tomorrow.
Friday, April 2, 2010
I have been having tech problems sending the newsletter out and no one seems to know why. For some !#$@ reason, I can no longer access the websites that I use to post articles to my own site http://www.boomthis.com/ I can't post new photos at this site either, and this goes for the other computer in the house too.
To send out the Ezine, I have to use the OLD computer we put in an upstairs BR. and even today that didn't work very well.
None of this makes any sense to me and I have been trying to figure it out to no avail. Ithink I may have to resort to getting my computer guru out for a visit to see if he can naviagate through all of these situations that make no sense!
Sorry to vent but I am guessing that's what blogs are for, at least sometimes.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Some friends and I took advantage of the great weather yesterday to visit a Pamela's restaurant in the small town of Millvale. The restaurant is a throw-back to an old diner -- and the favorite spot of President and Mrs. Obama when they visit the 'Burgh. There is a bulletin board of photos showing the First Lady and the staff from the restaurant when she stopped by with her entourage for some lighter-than-air pancakes last fall.
These people know their pancakes. They are scrumptious and deserve several more visits just to make sure they are as good as I thought. If you are visiting Pittsburgh anytinme soon, or lucky enough to live here!, there are several Pamela's dotted around the city.
Monday, March 29, 2010
It surprises me how much a dark and dull day can affect my mood. Sunny days are just so much more, well -- sunny. My energy level is higher and my outlook on life much more positive. Launching a new project on a sunny day generally means that I can expect a much higher chance of success with it than for one begun in the drearies.
Knowing that, I probably shoudln't be living where I do in Pittsburgh, PA, a city I do love. The Steel City is known for a lot of things -- three rivers, the Steelers and Penguins, friendly folk -- but not for being a sunny locale. We have won lots of contests for Most Liveable City etc. based on several criteria, but having an abundance of bright and sunny days isn't one of them.
Too bad. It's a great place to live but today it's a lot harder to work up some enthusiasm to get something done.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
The blood-taking rules also forbid coffee, which is enough to send me into a catatonic state. My morning routine always includes a cup of coffee before I present myself to the world and the world is very happy that I do that. Saves a lot of wear and tear on other people.
The waiting room was pretty full when I got there and then when it seemed to be my turn -- with me clutching my script and insurance card in one hand to save time --the tech called in another man first. What the....? That phlebotomist had no idea how close he came to having an incident in his waiting room! Film at 11.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I will stay away from any more customizing of the blog space for awhile and concentrate on the posts, where I hope you will find something of value and worthy of your taking time to comment.
Have at it. This blog is for all of us.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I hope you will join me often as we try to figure out this Boomer life we lead. Please tell your firends to come along too, because it's true: the more the merrier, always.
Check back for news, opinions, thoughts I think I think, and more.
This is going to be fun!