Wednesday, November 29, 2006

If a table is missing one leg, can it still stand?

The answer is a resounding NO!

Here's the story:
When I moved, two legs of my dining room table had to be removed in order to get the table out of the doorway. Since I've been working on the kitchen, the two-legged table and its two lose legs have been sitting in the basement waiting for the day when it could be re-assembled and put back in the kitchen. (I don't have a dining room; there is an eating area in the kitchen). I looked everywhere for the bolts that would attach the legs back onto the table. Finally, I bugged Rob on Thanksgiving to see if he could remember what we did with them. Come to find out, he had the bolts. No problem. My dad was in town, and we were headed to Home Depot to get some stuff, so we decided we'd take one of the legs with us and find some bolts that would work. We found what we needed and got a lot of other stuff, too. My dad got me my Christmas gifts while we were there. I'm set with a lot of nice tools, now :).

Anyway, we get through the checkout, and we load all our purchases into my Beetle. We had to put the back seat down as we had some large items. (a trash can, a folding table for down in my basement by the washer and dryer, and a large box that held a set of tools that is still making me drool!) We then headed to the grocery store, then home. The next day, we go to put the table together, and can't find the leg. I realize we must have left it at Home Depot, so I call the store and sure enough, they had the table leg. The girl I talked to, however, could not find it, but said the associate who had found the leg would be in tomorrow and that he would know exactly where it was.

The next day, my dad and I go to Home Depot to get the leg. We find the guy who found the leg, and he goes to get it for us and it's not where he left it. He looks around and can't find it, so he tells us to come back at 5:00 when the manager gets in. He seems to think the manager had put it in a "safe place". My dad and I head back to Home Depot at about 5:30, and we see the same guy who found the leg. I look hopefully to him to be the deliverer of the leg and he informs me "They threw your leg away."

"What!?" I scream. "You threw it away?! It's not like it was a scrap piece of lumber! It was a lathed solid oak table leg!" At this outburst, everyone who was in the area was looking at me. The guy who had found the leg told me he even put a note on it saying Do Not Throw Away. Hmmmph. They did it anyway.

After getting the 800 number for the corporate complaint department, all they were willing to give me was a gift card for 10% of the cost of the table. It was an $800 table (at least, that's what I told them), so I'm getting an $80 gift card. Great. I'm pretty much done with the kitchen, I've got enough tools to start my own contracting business, and their stupidity left such a bad taste in my mouth that I never want to shop there again. Replace the table! At least pay for a custom leg to be made. $80! It's not even cash! It's $80 that I have to spend in their stupid store. What a joke. Now, I take some responsibility in this because I left the leg in the cart. Had someone taken it and it was never found, then shame on me. But, they did find it, and I called about it, and they knew I was coming for it. Seems to me this mulit-billion dollar company could have given me a couple hundred dollars to get a new leg made.


Or that Tractor Supply Company. (Something like that). They have funny commercials.

Oh yeah. I have to add this:
My five-year-old niece, Jackie, was at my house when I got home from Home Depot and was fuming about the leg. She asked me what was wrong, and I told her about the Home Depot people throwing away my table leg. She asks me "Well, don't you do Tae Kwon Do?" I tell her "yes." To which she says "Well, why didn't you just Tae Kwon Do them to make them give you another leg?" HA HA HA! She's a funny girl.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Kitchen Update

I thought I'd keep you all updated on my progress in the kitchen. It's coming right along! I'm happy to say that everything I'm doing now is actually making my kitchen look better instead of worse!

I've gotten most of the painting finished. The walls are done, and I've got one more coat to do on the cabinet frames. To finish the cabinets, I have to turn the doors over and paint the other side. The painting of the cabinets has taken awhile because the frame required primer and two coats of paint, and for the doors, I had to prime one side, wait for it to dry, prime the other side, wait for it to dry, paint one side, wait for it to dry, and now I have to turn them over and paint the fronts.

Following are the photos documenting my recent labor. Rememeber- I HAVE A VISION! I must warn you, the colors I chose are BOLD! But, it's all coming together just as I pictured and it's going to look nice. Kind of like that dress that looks ugly on the hanger, but once you put it on, it looks fabulous.

Here are my two-tone walls. I'm going to put up a chair rail, so the squiggly line bisecting the two colors will be covered.

I'm painting the frames of the cabinets a color called Turkish Coffee. It's a deep brown and it's RICH! It looks good next to the burnt orange and the cream of the walls.

The doors of the cabinets will be the same color as the top half of the walls. Here they are down in the basement waiting to get the other side painted.

I'm finishing the cabinets tonight, and starting on the tile. Exciting, huh? Stay tuned for more updates!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My kitchen remodel

As you know, I've been spending almost every bit of spare time trying to remodel my kitchen. I want to have it done before Thanksgiving when my dad and stepmom are going to come stay with me. Unfortunately, I didn't start taking photos to document the occasion until recently, so I don't have pictures from the very beginning, but I'll keep you photographically posted from here on out.

The first thing I did was rip off the chair rail and baseboards and tear up the floor. The floor was some '70s-era linoleum that was made to look like parquet flooring. It was hideous. After the floor was up, I screwed down cement board over the existing floor. This is what I'll lay the tile down on. That's where the photos pick up. The next task was to strip two layers of ugly wallpaper. I tried everything until I finally used the steamer which worked great.

That is the steamer that I so love.

Next, I had to patch a whole in the wall that a slightly overzealous Dan decided to tear into it when I mentioned I might want to cut a window in that wall that would look into the living room.

Now, the wallpaper is finally gone!

Then I had to patch this hole. There was an old out-of-use exhaust fan in the ceiling. It made quite a mess getting it out.

Next, I had to fill in all the nicks and holes in the wall with Durabond, which is a find drywall powder that, when water is added, turns into a paste with the consistency of frosting. You basically take a putty knife and "frost" the walls.

Last night, I sprayed the walls with a drywall splatter. It will look great when I'm done. You can't really see the texture in the photos. But I took a close-up so you can sort of get the idea. I bought a five gallon bucket of wet drywall and then added more water to make it a little less stiff. I added it into the hopper of this thing that was hooked up to an air compressor. When you pull the trigger, the drywall shoots out and splatters on the wall (I did the ceiling, too). After it dries a little, you take a wide putty knife and smooth it out a little bit so it's not so bumpy. You're left with a really cool texture.

There's that ugly '80s era chair that keeps hanging around. With a floor from the '70s and a chair from the '80s, I'm on my way to having the decades well-represented. I bet the wallpaper was from the '90s.

This is a photo of the texture.

My mom's cornbread stuffing

There is not a set "recipe" for my mom's stuffing, but I'll tell you how to make it, and if you have any questions, you can call the Brenda Stuffing Hotline at 555-STUF.

1. Make your cornbread at least two days in advance. In whatever cornbread recipe you use, make sure you add an extra egg and about 2 tablespoons of applesauce.

2. Get a package of chicken parts (you can use turkey, but chicken makes it taste better) and boil the chicken. You'll use the broth in the stuffing, as well as the chicken meat.

3. Crumble the cornbread into the baking dish.

4. Soak 4-5 broken up slices of stale bread in milk then put in into the pan with the cornbread.

5. Chop 1 medium onion, a green pepper (you don't have to use the green pepper, but my family likes the way it tastes), and a cup of celery (chopped).

6. Add sage, salt and pepper to taste.

7. Add the chicken you boiled earlier to the and a couple of eggs and mix it up!

8. Use the broth from the boiled chicken to pour over the stuffing. It will get soaked up, so keep pouring until there is a very fine layer of broth covering the stuffing. This will cook down. If you like your stuffing to be a little dryer, don't use as much broth. But add enough so that it doesn't end up too dry.

9. Set the oven at 350 and bake it long enough to absorb the broth and for the stuffing to get a crust on the top.

You can use a fork to check it. When you pull it out, you want the fork to be moist, but not wet.

When you take it out of the oven, don't cover it.

That's it. Let me know if you make it and how it turned out.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Remember a couple of posts ago I mentioned the woman I work with? The one of whom I am not too fond?

This post is inspired by her.

I've come to realize that the sound of her voice - not just the tone of the actual noise she makes when she opens her mouth to speak, but the sound of her dry lips, tongue and mouth making that disgusting smacking sound as it all sticks together because she doesn't drink enough water - makes my blood pressure rise.

...The way she walks around with a superior attitude because she thinks no one is as intelligent as she is with her PhD. You know what it takes to get a PhD? Money and time. Time and money.

...The way she's trying to put her thumbprint on everything - including things that don't concern her.

...The way she dresses in nothing but black.

...The way her breath smells. That goes back to not drinking enough water.

...The way she's supposed to be the "Director of Advertising and Public Relations", but has no idea what time the Ice Zone is open, what the ticket prices are to a Phantoms Hockey game, what the difference is between a repeater and a firecracker, or that we artists actually have a clue as to what "point size" means. Yes, she actually asked if we knew what to do with point size.

...The way she takes one thing I say, like "I wish Andy wouldn't have just dumped his broken monitor in the art room", and makes a company-wide stink about it and makes me just want to hide in shame and take back the words.

You can't say anything without her jumping on it; you can't do anything without her reading a novel into it, and you can't give her an opinion because she already thinks her over-educated brain knows it all.

In thinking about all this, and dreading coming to work every day more than ever, I realize that when I'm around her, I become someone else. I'm downright mean; I say things that I would never normally dream of saying. It just goes to show that the enemy can use anything or anyone to make us fall and to make us look bad in the eyes of non-believers. And lately, he's been succeeding with me.

Yesterday, on my way to work, I prayed that the power of the Spirit in me would help me see her the way Jesus sees her so that I could show her the same kind of love. Let me tell you, even with the Spirit, that was a hard thing to do. I wouldn't say I showed her love, but at least I was able to keep my mouth shut and not say anything at all. I'll keep on praying, try to keep on loving, and one day, I'll conquer this intense dislike I have for this woman. I don't think we'll ever be friends, but Jesus never said we had to be friends with everyone. He wasn't friends with everyone, nor did He trust everyone. But, he did LOVE everyone and that's what I have to keep in mind.

Until I can do that, I'll keep on praying.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The best way to strip wallpaper... a steamer.

I love the steamer! I want to kidnap the steamer and run away to Canada where no one will ever find us. There will be people all across Canada who come home to bare walls.

I should have just rented the darn thing from the very beginning. But people who were supposedly "in the know" about the whole thing told me not to use the steamer - that the DIF stuff was better. Wrong!

In just two short hours, I stripped more wallpaper than I had in two weeks! Now granted, that two weeks wasn't a solid two weeks - I'd work on the stripping between other things, but it was slow going, and I was getting discouraged. The steamer came along and changed my life. Now the work I'll be doing in my kitchen will actually start to make it look better instead of making it look worse. It's getting there. Slowly but surely, it's getting there.

I took some photos of the kitchen before I stripped off all the wallpaper. I'll start posting some progress photos. Stay tuned!

Friday, November 03, 2006

My terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.

Today was the worst day I've had in a very long time.

There is this that was hired here at my place of employent and I don't like her very much. She is one of those people that just the sound of their voice is irritating. Add to that the fact that she's an exhausing know-it-all, has the breath of a demon of hell and the face to match, and you've got a person who pushes every button I have. She loves to make others look bad to make herself look good instead of just doing her own job well. She has made everyone elses business her business (at least she's tried), and has made an enemy of just about everyone in this company. Well, today she was made my boss. YES! In two weeks, I will have to pass everything by her. My current supervisor quit (which is quite common for those who find themselves with his job title. In the last 11 years, there's been 12 of them!), and she will be taking over his duties. Oh! Did I tell you she talks to intelligen people with the same voice I use to explain things to my five-year old neice? Nice. (Neice, nice - ha! ha! ha!) I'm cracking up.

So, yesterday at 5:00, she comes into the artroom and proceeds to "discuss" one of my projects with me that happens to be on a very tight deadline (today, to be precise). She starts of with "Who told you to do this?" That immdiately got my hackles raised because I had a feeling she wanted to change it and put her stamp on it like she is trying to do with everything around here. How DID we get along without her? I didn't answer and she proceeds to try to argue with me about it. Basically I told her to get bent because I wasn't changing because I'd miss my deadline. She made some crack about my not wanting to do it because it was 5:00. That got me angry and I let her have it. In a semi-calm and precise way. I said my piece, and I left.

So I make it to my martial arts class (late), and I'm waiting for this guy to arrive who was supposed to come at 6:00 to talk to me about teaching classes for his program. He arrived just as I was leaving, of course. So, I had to stay and talk to him, and he made me late to get home to catch "My Name is Earl". I get home about 9 minutes after 8:00 and my cats are screaming at me to feed them. The usual ritual is that I feed them right when I get home. I was waiting until a commercial, since I'd already missed some of the show anyway. It wasn't fast enough for my kitten, so she squats right in front of me and pees on the carpet! AAAHHHHH! By this point, my blood pressure is through the roof, and I'm seeing red. My sister had this same problem with her cat at one point, so I called her for her opinion on how to get the smell out of the carpet and she informs me that she had everything I would need to remedy my situation. I put my coat on over my pajamas, and drive to her house to pick up the stuff. When I get home, however, I realize that I have locked myself out of my house.

I have to call a locksmith who charges $115 to unlock the door. I summoned some tears and got the cost down to $85. Still, a hard lesson learned.

Don't hesitate to feed the cats, and get a spare key made.

Sorry if there are a lot of grammatical/spelling errors in this post. It's 5:00 and I'm heading home.