‘hood living

at one point in my life i would’ve said one of the most annoying sounds ever is the back-up beep.  that beeping noise a garbage truck or construction equipment or hospital van makes when it is in reverse.  beep beep beep beep beep beep beep.  especially at 7 AM.  oh, that noise grates.

last night at 12:56 AM i think i discovered a noise that tops the back-up beep.  the stuck car horn.  not a car alarm horn.  a stuck car horn.  that noise jumped me outta my skin.  #1 – i thought the stuck horn was coming from my jeep, and when you don’t know what to do when it’s your car makes it all the more worse.  i went outdoors to check the jeep, and to my relief, it was a car across the street that’s been mysteriously parked there for weeks.  it made me wonder if it was a mob hit – you know the ones – a guy is sitting in his front seat, gets shot in the head from behind, slumps forward and lands on the horn. 

lemme tell ya – it was LOUD.  a police officer managed to silence the horn less than 10 minutes later, thank gawd.  i had ringing in the ears for about an hour afterward.  and no, not a mob hit.  phew.  the car was gone this afternoon. 

it made me google “how to stop your stuck car horn” in case this ever happens to me.  you remove the fuse.  you can tap on the steering wheel a couple times first to see if that works, and if not, remove the fuse.  i even researched where my car fuses are located.  another future crisis averted.  and yes, you’re welcome for today’s life lesson on how to disable a stuck horn.   

i desperately need peace and quiet.  it’s bad enough i live below the loudest people on the planet.  i can’t be jumping outta my pj bottoms like that from a dead sleep.  that’ll wreak some havoc on the ol’ heart. 

ok, enough of that.

whaddaya make of this tiny table?  

a 3-legged triangle metal table with a removable top.  i dunno.  for some reason, i liked it.  looks swedish-y.  seems like a nice side table to set a drink on.  you can never have enough of those.  it was missing 2 plugs from the top and i thought i could find replacements no sweat.  well, turns out i couldn’t. 

missing a plug

not missing a plug


but then i found some wooden button plugs at the flea market and they’re a perfect fit.  i think i’ll paint ’em up, but not sure what color.  black?  neon pink?  and maybe i’ll cover one side of the table top in vintage fabric.  make it reversible.  to suit my ever-changing moods.

here’s hoping tonight’s sleep is a little less eventful.

more tea

yup, more frickin’ tea that i don’t even like.

i woke up with some kinda something this morning.  i thought i didn’t get sick, but apparently i do.  now i’ve become one of those people who say, “i don’t get sick,” and then gets sick and then says, “i thought i didn’t get sick.”  i’ve got the worst headache and an all over bad feeling and am just downright exhausted.  and no – no booze was involved for those of you thinking booze was involved.  how do i get a bug when i rarely have human contact? 

so i’m drinking peppermint tea.  and lying on the couch.  i’ve been trying to watch the 4th season of dexter, but it has been impossible to get disc 2 from netflix for over a month now.  so frustrating.  in that time i have been occupying myself with flight of the conchords (hilarious), ira and abby (good relationship-in-NY movie), temple grandin (amazing story), date night (didn’t do it for me), and séraphine (good, sad, tragic, not a movie for everyone).  i recommend them all except for date night.  again, sorry, tina fey.  i still love you and i loved 30 rock this past week.    

i’m looking into becoming a court reporter/broadcast captioner.  does anyone know anything about it?  from what i understand you don’t have to be a “people-person.”  sounds kinda perfect for me.  i’m a speedy typist and a pretty good speller (i won a spelling bee in 3rd grade.  i won on the word lily.  i know.  doesn’t sound too impressive, but i was thrilled.  ralph, my opponent, spelled it  l – i – l – i.  what an idiot.)  i lost a spelling bee in 4th grade on the word adobe.  i’d never even heard of the word adobe.  i was in 4th grade and lived in new england for cryin’ out loud.  i knew ranch.  raised ranch.  cape.  just like the lili dude the year before, i ended adobe with an “i”.  no, wait a minute, i think i ended it with a “y”.  whatever.  i didn’t end it in an “e” and was eliminated.  rest assured, i’ve never misspelled adobe since that awful day in 4th grade.  adobe haunts me. 

ok, where was i?  i can spell well.  i’d like to think i have pretty good grammar skills.  but i’d need a refresher as far as all the rules go.  lord knows, i’ve just discovered you’re not supposed to put 2 spaces at the end of a sentence anymore and i’m mortified (i still do it.)  all i know is i’ve worked out in a gym watching a closed-captioning program on the tellie while riding my recumbent bicycle thinking, “who the heck is typing this stuff?   they STINK.”  well, i wanna be that gal (or guy).  i wanna be that gal people working out in gyms watching TV curse at and judge and mock from their ellipticals and treadmills and stairclimbers.   that, or working in a court room where a non-assh*le attorney with a personality and no baggage admires my amazing style as i’m keeping to myself with my fancy steno machine being all professional and accurate and amazingly stylish and we fall madly in love and i succeed in having a mature, successful, later-in-life relationship all the while living in a non-pretentious, cozy lakeside bungalow with a fireplace and 2 bathrooms and a garage. 

does peppermint tea have hallucinogenic properties?

so, it’s fall

it’s fall and i’ve been fall cleaning.  kinda like spring cleaning, but i’m a procrastinator and it takes me 6 months to do anything.

and cleaning isn’t very interesting, so i haven’t got anything interesting to post.

(the photos above are me being fall-like heating up apple cider, even though the temps have warmed back to summerlike.  if there’s cider in the house, then i’m drinkin’ my fiber, hot temps and all.)

i changed my bed linens from this:

to this: 

i told you. 

not exciting.

yup, i’ve got the recently thrifted vera sheets on the bed (i insisted the maid wash ’em twice due to bed bug fear.) 

and my poor little table i worked so hard to refinish last summer?  it’s teak and i thought teak was good for outdoor furniture.  could withstand the elements.  i used it on my porch to house my potted herbs this summer. 

turns out it didn’t fair so well in the few torrential downpours we had.  i had to resand the entire thing (just a light sanding) to remove rust rings and watermarks and then re-oil.  and reglue the underside where some veneer was coming unglued.  oops.  i’ve got to start taking better care of my little gems i’ve found along the way.  in my recent trips to the thrift stores, the pickin’s have been slim.  there doesn’t seem to be anything good out there anymore.    not sure if it’s cuz i already own everything i could possibly want or what.  no, that’s not it – i remember good danish stuff popping up all over the place.  now i can’t even find a coffee cup that excites me.  or a cocktail glass.  not that i need any of that stuff.  i don’t.  it’s just not there anymore. 

but the point is, the table’s lustre and shine have returned and it is back to being an indoor table. 

a bottle of prosecco fell off the fridge door and landed squarely on my middle toe and it HURT.  and it drew blood and then i walked across my flokati rug and flokati rug hairs got all in it and it was gross.  lucky me, i had a bottle of prosecco to ease the pain caused by the bottle of prosecco.

prosecco with a splash of cranberry 

cleaning, sanding, and pain.  that about sums up my week. 

the dullest post of all time.   but i warned you.


i may have jumped the gun on complaining about the cold weather.  yes, we had a morning in the 40s and yes, the temps have plummeted during the evenings, but lately the days have been sunny and in the 70s and it’s feeling summery all over again.  i’ll take it.  no complaints.  for now i’m done with that afternoon tea that i don’t even like. 

on to thrifting –

what the hell kind of ear syringe turkey baster battery operated lampy light thingies have i got here?

made in italy.

kinda mod.

i think vintage.

i’ve never seen them before and that’s why i like ’em.

you twist the bottom and *instant light.*  just like a glade air freshener. except light instead of smell. 

they’ll come in handy in the event of a power outage.  i’ll be able to see myself doing nothing.

hot pink vera sheets:

it’s official.  i’m never getting a man with all this pink.

i met up with a former work buddy last night for dinner and drinks and she’s going through her 6th divorce at the moment.  not a typo.  6th.  maybe i’ll just keep the pink and not worry about a man.

i know i said buying used sheets was giving me the heebie jeebies due to how bedbugs are taking over the world and ruling the universe, but screw it.  i took the plunge.   

i now have enough sheet sets to change my bed linens every other day –  just like oprah – without having to do constant loads of laundry.  yup, me and oprah.  same sheet schedule.  fresh clean crisp sheets every other day.

except i don’t do that.

but i could if i wanted to.

i don’t make the maid work that hard.

umm, brrrr

how did i go from sweating and barely able to move to downright freezy-cold?  i mean, it was SO HOT not long ago and now it is SO NOT.  blink of an eye.  weather is a mystery.

i drank hot apple cider.  it’s TOO EARLY for hot apple cider.  i’m not READY to say goodbye to summer.  i’m wearing socks.  i’m wearing layers.  my windows are closed.  i’m even drinking tea and i don’t like tea.  i just needed something warm the other night.  i’ve got the down comforter back on the bed.  oh, i don’t like this at all.

speaking of down comforters and all things blanket…

i’m mid-baby-quilt. 

don’t ask. 

not sure if i like my color combos.


didn’t want anything “babyish.” 

why?  because i’m anti-baby, of course. 

no,  of course i’m not anti-baby. 

i wanted modern and unisex.  it’s a boy baby.  so it’s got a boyish slant.  no flower fabrics.  maybe that’s why i don’t love it. 

if this thing eventually comes somewhat close to resembling a quilt, maybe i’ll make one similar with girly vintage fabrics.  although why, i don’t know.  the last thing i need in the world is a baby girl’s quilt.


the next decision is whether or not to hand quilt. 

i saw a beautiful, handstitched vintage quilt at the thrift store the other day.  it was so well done.  and so well worn.  tears all around the edges and throughout the itty bitty patches from several washings and tons of use, i assume.  it was $25 and i couldn’t justify buying it.  but i did pause and admire the handiwork. 

i can only hope my little baby quilt ends up in a thrift store someday, overpriced and torn to pieces, where some random shopper sees it, admires the workmanship and then walks away. 

that is my dream.

i herd you finished another pillow.

you herd right.

“stop staring at my butt.”

the deer pillow is done.

and the back:

all vintage fabrics.  made the size of a standard bed pillow.  i think i’m pretty much all set now for pillows for awhile.  like, for the rest of my life.

i’m positively in love with the cover of the september 2010 issue of living, etc.  what is it?  a vintage modern boho hippie floral granny downtown scandinavian cottage-y relaxed look?  whatever it is, it’s the look i’m going for. 

of course, we all know that one minor detail that seems to be missing.  yup, the house.

ok, well, maybe a job, too.  whatever.

i’ve got my eye on this:

screams me.

can you put a house on a credit card?  cuz i’m pretty sure i could do it.  forget all that qualifying for a mortgage crap.  forget the red tape, the bureaucratic b*s.  i’d just like to divvie it up between my amex card, discover, visa, and mastercard, please.  and maybe a little on old navy.  sure, go ahead, take a down payment from my debit card.  whatever you need.  c’mon.  there’s GOT to be a way for me to get a house.  i pay my bills.  i’m not part of the problem.  i’m one of the good guys.  i’ve got cute furniture.  i’ve got great artwork.  i’ve got swedish light fixtures, for gawd’s sake.  lord knows i’ve got pillows.  it all needs to go somewhere.  and the world needs to see me decorate with all my cute stuff.  the world is passing me by and i’m missing out on this wallpaper trend.  i need to wallpaper!  i want to swear my brains out hanging wallpaper, watch the trend come and go, and then swear some more over what a hassle it is to remove wallpaper.  this is what i want.  all i want.  i just want something to decorate and something to complain about.  isn’t that what we all want, really?  and maybe a good meal?  with some good company every now and again.  and a few laughs.   maybe a good movie.  well, that’s all i want.  and i’d like to put in on a credit card.     

that last paragraph could be menopause sneaking up on me.  what a rant.

i need a life coach.  i need a swift kick in the butt.  i need to regroup.  i need a drink.


i got locked into a hoarders marathon for a good part of my labor day monday.

i had seen commercials for the show, but never full episodes.

fascinating and frightening. 

part of me feels like i could be a card-carrying member of the hoarders club. 

and part of me is grossed out.  c’mon – some of them are just PIGS.  the ones who don’t do anything about garbage?  i understand collecting.  i don’t understand trash piled up to the ceiling. 

i need to watch my words.  part of me is also thinking, “those in glass houses….”   

finished the quoi de neuf pillow from my hoarded vintage fabric collection.

i’m feeling a strong urge to tidy up. 

maybe now that the weather isn’t so extreme, i can get some organization going.  thank you a&e for that hoarders marathon slap-in-the-face.

if you’re in the mood for a collector’s movie, watch “the art of the steal,”  a documentary on who gets control of one man’s (dr. albert c. barnes) $25 billion dollar modern art collection after his death.

the gist of the movie is how dr. barnes’ collection was scoffed at (by peeps in power) way back in the day and how he could hold a grudge once those hater power snobs caught on and realized what he had, all the while being oh-so-generous to the true art lovers, the students and teachers of his barnes foundation.  i like his style.  another little guy vs. big government.

collectors and hoarders.  we all want to believe our stuff is worth money.  something tells me i’m no dr. barnes.

sabre 620

ok, so earl weren’t much.  (that’s hurricane earl for those of you not on the east coast.)  he dumped a little rain on us, but pffffft…hardly memorable.

and now we’re having some normal temps.  nice and normal.  i’m not wiped out.  i’m not exhausted by noon.  i can drink think clearly. 

so – in a last minute decision while out and about today on an empty tank of gas, i opted to venture forth to the sundays-only flea market.  didn’t need anything, really.  didn’t buy anything, really.  $1 worth of some vintage trim for sewing.  and then, just cuz it was vintage-y looking, i found a dirty old cheap plastic square box camera in a pile of junk.  i asked the dude selling how much he wanted for it – he took it from me, looked at it, said, “how’s 2 bucks?”  

i said, “2 bucks is fair.  i’ll take it.” 

i googled the sabre 620 camera when i got home and apparently people like to collect these little crap cameras.  they come in assorted fun colors other than my dreary black one, but i’ll take my scruffy $2 box-o-plastic rescue any day, just to throw on top of a bookshelf. 


the BEST part of the day came as i was moseying out of the flea market – i found $16 on the floor. 

i looked down. 

i looked up.

i looked down again. 

i looked around.

i turned around. 

there was NO-ONE in the vicinity.  that ten, that five and that one were mine.   

i threw that cash right in the gas tank.  

thank you and thank you.  that counts as a good outing.

hunkerin’ down

if it’s not a heatwave, it’s a hurricane.


i’m truly looking forward to some middle-of-the-road comfortable weather, not too hot, not too sticky, not too rainy, not too windy, just sunny and warm and pleasant without the humidity.  and i even like sultry and oppressive on occasion.  but DAY after DAY after DAY after DAY after DAY just rots my brain.  i need some “just right” stuff. 

but first – we’ve got earl to deal with.  he’s breathing down our necks and not in a good way. 

so, i’m hunkering down.  and by hunkering down i mean i’m well-stocked with limes for fresh margarita-making to ride this storm out.  10 limes/$2.  good deal. 

and also by hunkering down i’m netflixing the first season of “hung.”  it is so nice to see a man in his 40s with a non-casino body.  in fact, it is HEAVEN. 

thomas jane as ray drecker in “hung”

i need a cigarette.

and i don’t smoke.

margs and one handsome tv dude.  i’m prepared for this storm.

unless the power goes out.  then i’ve just got warm margs and darkness.  and that’s just sad.

in non-preparedness news, my jeep leaks like a mutha.  rain + heat + wet carpet flooring always makes for an interesting smell inside the jeep.  i suppose i need a tarp for it.  a cover of some sort.  great.  i’ll put it on my list of needs.  right after “job” and “boyfriend.”

stay dry.  or should i say, stay outta the rain.

blackboard walls

i ate pizza (wheat-free, corn-free, dairy-free pizza) (i know, it’s a poor excuse for real pizza but it’s my life.  my allergy-filled life.  i wish they’d had honey for the crust, but i will bring my own next time.  honey?  it’s a colorado thing.  honey came with every pizza order.  i got hooked.)  anyway, i ate pizza and washed it down with a gluten-free beer in the most darling restaurant the other night.  the teeny-tiny bar had a black chalkboard wall, along with stair kickboards painted in chalkboard paint.  did i take any photos?  no, of course not.

like i mentioned before, i thought my sister’s kitchen would look good with a black chalkboard wall. 

but really, i should just buy my own darn house and paint my own darn chalkboard wall.

while i was in maine, we peeked into the windows of this house-for-sale.

is that a white picket fence?

well, no, not exactly picket.  but it’s white and it’s a fence.  close enough.  i like the porch.

look.  a wishing well.  i wish i had a job.  i’d buy it. 

it was $125K bucks, which seems like a decent price in the scheme of things.  did it have the location my sister’s had?  not even close.  nor does it have the square footage.  nor the storage barn.  and this house was $34K MORE than she paid.   boy, did she ever get a good deal on a good house.  i still can’t get over it. 

regardless – here are some chalkboard walls i’ve admired found scattered over the internet.  yes, this look has been around for a couple years now, but i’m not tired of it at all, especially with a white contrast.

via canadian house and home 

via house obsession

via style files

via style files

via style files

my luck i’m probably allergic to chalk dust.