Monday, September 28, 2009

Pillows and .... Gourds?

It's almost October and fall is here! I have always loved seasonal decorating so I couldn't resist when I saw Gourds for sale in the store this weekend. I have always loved gourds. We used to grow them in our garden on the farm before the whole family gave up on gardening due the the out of control weeds that come along with the fertile valley soil. I love how each gourd looks different and how they are so ugly but also fascinating. There was one gourd that caught my eye in the bin this weekend, and I couldn't walk away without buying the exquisite thing! (And all of you please keep your thoughts clean! I'm aware of the comparisons you can make with gourds, but this is strictly about gourds!)

I think that is the most hilarious example of a gourd I've ever seen. Adding to my fun was the fact that Justin returned from Wyoming with a few gourds he'd bought me as a suprise (the cute pumpkin shaped ones)! Oh, he knows me too well...

This afternoon unpacked my sewing machine and did something I have wanted to do for a long time. . . cover the ugly, generic pillows that came with our couch ensemble!

These are the pillows before I covered them. Very wierd, kind of 80's, not my style...

Here is the first one I covered! I found a really easy technique on the "Internets" that gave the measurements for the type of cover that has an overlapping slit in the back instead of a zipper or buttons.

I think someone is jealous of how good the others look! Don't worry, #4 got its cover as well!

I also finished another project I have been thinking about since I moved almost one year ago. My mom and I went to an estate auction last October to see if I could buy the washer and dryer on the bill. There was alot of other crap there and I ended up buying a little white stool with a pink ruffle glued around the seat for $4. I thought "I can paint that". The plan backfired when I pulled off the ruffle and discovered that there was a thin wood cover glued on the original seat with some sort of black material that resembled tar. It was almost impossible to remove and came of one tiny sliver at a time. I decided it wasn't worth it and set the stool by the door to throw away. However, after several days of sitting on it to put on my shoes, I realized it really was a solid thing and never did throw it away. will live up to its potential!

I painted it brown (the same brown as the "blood furniture" mentioned previously), bought a piece of foam and some fabric, and stapled it on with a staple gun. I must say that it is really cute! I can't believe I waited so long to do something with it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Post to Honor the Despised Storage Equipment

Tonight we finally moved the final, last, most unloved items from the apartment. It is a huge relief because I don't think I can climb those three flights of stairs's OK on a regulary daily basis, but this has been exhausting. Not suprisingly, what was left were a few of the things I loathe the most when it comes to moving. They are items that I have been looking forward to getting rid of every time I move, but never do because I still require the storage.

This horrible wire unit was purchased in the fall of 2003. It was one of the first nights Ashley (the person I usually refer to as Roommate) and I were spending back at KD after summer had ended and Junior year was starting and we were trying to get our room situated (they were very small rooms.) We realized we had a problem so we headed to Wal-Mart at about 11:00 pm to find a solution. We were silly and giggly the whole time and eventually settled on this modular thing that you could configure to fit the room and your needs. We pointlessly debated about purchasing a black or white one, and chose the one pictured above. For the next two years this cage-like thing was snapped into all different shapes. The boxes were separated then reconnected. When we graduated, she so very graciously let me keep it and every time I move I hate snapping it apart and back together again. We moved it whole this time...and it's new life is as a laundry room utility shelf. As much as it has irritated me over the years, it has served a good purpose.

This cheap looking shoe bag was another college necessity. I think I chose it because it was the cheapest one and I still dislike it. It was also purchased in 2003 and has been with me everywhere. Everytime you try to move it the whole thing flops around and the shoes fall everywhere. Every time I move, I think I might throw it away, but I never do. Those little worn dress shoes need to go somewhere, right? Now they will hang in one of our extra basement closets, rarely to see the light of day, still trapped in their cheap cardboard and plastic barrier.

I have multiple sets of these cheesy plastic drawers in my life. I have one that holds clothes (still!) which I have wanted to eliminate since I moved to law school. Alas, I still have it because eliminating it would mean eliminating clothes. Not happening! The one pictured above is full of stationary, office supplies, and old cell phone parts. It says "Neameyer" on the back because at some point Roommate and I ended up switching and never switched back. I'm going take a risk and say she probably doesn't want to see this unit ever again. Neither do I, but with me it will stay...probably forever...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More of the Same

Ugh this place is such a mess! I can't say it enough! For everthing that gets where it should be there are three more things that appear in the same place.

The only remotely interesting (and the interest is minimal, just like most of what is on this blog!) is that I have been painting some furniture in the garage. It is a "bedroom set" for our guest room, which is the furniture I started using when I moved to Grand Forks for school. This bedroom set, if you can call it that, is a headboard my mom found at a rummage sale for $5 and two old living room end tables from the 70's that I have painted different colors throughout the years. First, they were a swimming pool blue to match a very juvenile looking Hawaiian themed bed in a bag set I bought in 2005. It was cute, but pretty juvenile. I still have the sheets, which are very cute and printed with palm trees. The rest made its way to a thrift store last year. After that, I painted the ensemble bright red. The newest color is a dark brown. I bought pre-colored Rustoleum paint because I was embarassed to ask the Menards paint workers to mix even more paint for me (This would be the 6th color in a month).

This whole project has been questionable. When I opened the paint, it looked like dark purple, not "Kona Brown" as the paint was labelled. I was secretly excited because I love purple, but since I live with a man I try to keep "female" colors (whatever that means anyway? It's all based on our socialization!) to small doses, just as I ask him to keep the hunting and outdoor themed elements to a minimum. Compromise is important!

I did the first coat last night, and discovered that it dries brown. However, the paint does not cover well, and the red showed through alot. It actually all looked really bad-kind of like dried blood! (Sorry, that's really gross, but it's the first thought I had!)

I did two more coats today and it looks much better and less bloody. One more should do it! Notice the blue window frame in the picture. That is a jewelry holder I made from an old window I found at home on the farm...It used to be red also. I used normal mixed paint on that, and (of course) it covered most of the red with one coat! Ugh, have dissapointed me...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

After the Cyclone

We just had the "Internets" and cable activated at the house today. I hadn't seen the internet since (gasp!) Sunday! And I was in Fargo all weekend for some NDSU tailgating (and I'm ready for more!) But now I'm back in action...
Actually, I haven't had time for the TV and the computer for the last few days anyway. On Monday morning, Justin left for Wyoming for a few days and I have been moving the last remnants of crap out of the apartment and trying to organize the house. It is really out of control and I feel like there is no end in sight. Today I made progress, but you wouldn't be able to tell. Most of my work consisted of putting everything away in the kitchen. I unpacked some wedding presents that we haven't had room to use before (and that is pretty much everything except the basics such as plates, glasses, and silverware).

How grown up does this cabinet make me look? Don't be decieved!
I'll take more pictures when it looks better around one needs to see it right now!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Even though it is fun getting a house, I forgot about the drawback...actually packing and moving! This apartment is a nightmare! Oh well, it has to get worse before it gets better!

This is the usually looks bad, but not this bad!
Who's jealous? Anyone want to help? Hahaha ...
This is our living room furniture during the transition period!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I was just reading my previous post and caught a few typos...embarassing!

We might start moving tomorrow! It has been pretty hot for September, so we turned on the air conditioner this afternoon, even though we knew what the consequences would be...more dust flying everywhere and another round of cleaning...I really just want this house to be normal and not smelling of chemical fumes or obscured in a cloud of dust!

I drove by a high school football field today after school hours were over and saw the football team practicing. It was 90 degrees outside. The sight of the players and the heat, combined with the smell of the varnish in the house, brought back memories of the first hot, sweaty weeks of sports practice in the fall when I was in high school.

"I go back to the smell of an old gym floor..." This phrase is from a nostalgic song by Kenny Chesney called "I Go Back". My house smells like an old gym floor right now and it reminds me of basketball practice in the fall in our non-air-conditioned class B school. We would sweat so much our practice clothes, hair, even the tacky fabric hair scrunchies we wore, were soaked. Everyone used to drink my water because I always brought a frozen bottle that would sweat all over the stage as it melted. I don't even want to imagine what it was like to be practicing football out in the sun, wearing all those pads and the helmet! It might be fun to go through one more practice, just to see if I could still handle it! wouldn't be fun at all! NO THANKS!

House of Fumes

On Monday and Tuesday, my mom came to visit and we painted the kitchen. It is two shades of yellow! I'm so excited. I love yellow, but it's not the most flattering color for me to wear so I have to incorporate it in other ways (although I do wear it when I am wearing Bison apparel...)
This is the darker of the two yellow shades...I think it was called Butternut or some other whimsical thing...there are some silly ones out there! The lighter color on the walls is called Sawdust, which is almost nauseating considering that the whole house is already full of sawdust, but I was able to get past it.

Mother did the detailed work.

Here it is, all finished! When the painting was done, we cleaned up all the sawdust that had accumulated everywhere! It was in side the cupboards and covering the floor. This means that in addition to the four coats of oil based floor stain, the house is also fulled with paint fumes, and the fumes of Pinesol, Endust, and Windex. It was a relief to get out of there yesterday afternoon!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This wasn't as easy as we thought...

We have had a long weekend working on the floor. We finished sanding this afternoon (finally) and have applied the first coat of stain. It has a been a tedious day. Justin operated the sander while I tried to keep the dust sitution under control. I have always hated dusting as a chore, and I spent most of the day doing it! It got everywhere and we ended up putting towels under the doors so we could actually make progress.

The good news is that the floor looks great so far! Although it is getting old fast, I think all the work we are doing will be worth it in the end.
This is a shot of the sanded floor in the living room in its raw condition.

The first coat of stain! It has a nice glow, I think!
The weekend was made more fun by the fact that my sister, Andrea, and cousin, Katie, came to visit from Fargo! They also brought Andrea's dog, Jake, who got right down to business barking and annoying the neigbors (they'll get over it though!). Once they arrived, my usefullness diminished quickly as we popped open a bottle of wine and excused ourselves to the deck in the back yard. Tomorrow my mom is coming and we are going to paint the kitchen.
Well, I have to go because...guess what? We are going back to the house to apply the second coat of stain at midnight! Yeah! I don't want to sleep! Sleep is boring!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


It's 7:30 on Saturday, and I'm awake! We've got sanding and staining to do on the floor that never ends! But I don't care...because...I passed the bar exam! I found out yesterday! More about this later...

Friday, September 11, 2009

"A Day You Won't Forget"

I'm currently procrastinating before going to scrape more floors (!@%!#%!!!!). The History Channel is playing shows about the September 11, and I feel compelled to remember that day. . . I had been a Freshman at NDSU for two weeks, and I had to get up early (by college standards anyway) for Fitness and Wellness class. I got up and got ready in the dark because my roommate was still sleeping and went to knock on the door of the room next to mine, where my new friends lived. One of them was in the class also, and we would always walk together. She opened the door and said "Have you seen this?" On their TV screen was a shot of the two towers. I wasn't really even sure where those buildings were at the time and she said they were in New York. I went back to my room and yelled for my roommate to wake up, turned on the TV, and sat on the floor like a kid watching cartoons because our only non-desk chair was piled with crap. At the time, it looked like only an accident because only one plane had arrived.

We went off to class, which was in the library that day because we were using some sort of computer program where you answered questions about your lifestyle and it told you how unhealthy your choices were. It told me that I drank too much alchohol and not enough milk (big suprise). When it was over, people were gathered around a TV in the lobby of the library and hell had broken loose on the screen. One tower was on fire, one was gone, and the streets were in chaos.

Most classes were cancelled for the rest of the day, and hysterics descended on the dorm. Most people didn't have cell phones yet, so girls would talk in the hall to have privacy from their roommate (which was pointless, because you could hear what they said in the rooms. It actually meant having less privacy!) At one point I went into the laundry room for some reason and was greeted by a teary-eyed girl sitting on the dryer talking on the phone in the dark. Anyone with a boyfriend in the military was in a state of panic. I'm not really the hysterical consipracy theory type, so I just observed all day and didn't say much. In the evening, my roommate and I took our vehicles to a gas station on 19th Ave. and waited in line to get gas in anticipation of a shortage that never happened. The prices were rising though, and we paid $1.89 (That's it!) It seemed like a huge amount. Little did we know what the future would hold...That night, my roommate and I drank some beer in our room that she had in the trunk of her car. She smoked, so I sat on the step of the building with her and the other smokers as they speculated about the day. There was a guy from on of the men's dorms sitting there, and he had a bag of weed in his sock! That was the first time I ever saw it, besides when the Sheriff brought examples of drugs to our high school for a lyceum. What a day!

Looking back, the fear that everyone felt seems kind of over the top, but everyone who was there will remember how uneasy it felt before we had any idea why it happened or who did it, especially since there were attacks in other cities that day, not just in New York City. It could have been anywhere! Were were probably in one of the safest places in America though...

OK, time to go scrape!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Anyone feel like treating me to a manicure?

Hola...I don't have any exciting news dealing with the house. All I've done for the two days of this week and the last few days of last week before the long weekend is scrape glue residue off the floors of the bedrooms. I mentioned the residue in an earlier post. We were hopeful that sanding would remove it, but we experimented and discovered that it would require massive quantites of sand've been scraping it off.

It is an inch by inch process, and holding the scraping knife kills my hand! For some reason, it makes my little finger numb...I think the way I hold it makes it press on a nerve or something. The good part about this project is that I have been able to listen to alot of my old cd's! I listen and reminisce about lounging around in my room at KD with my roommate...ahh...Roommate...(that would be Johnny Cash and Pat Green cds that we were listening to)... sitting in the bathroom at KD spending an hour straightening my hair on Friday afternoon while my straight haired friends curled theirs... laying on a blanket on the lawn and hearing music through the windows when the weather got nice in the spring, waiting for the guys to stop and talk (they always did!)... riding the bus with my high school basketball team, singing while we made ourselves matching "lucky" hair ties for our games...I could go on and on! I suppose I should get a new cd or download some songs so I can have music that will remind me of my first weeks with this house!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I can't help but have the song "Walls" by Tom Petty in my head as I write this..."You got a heart so could crush this town...I can't hold out forever...even walls fall down..." Fortunately my walls aren't falling down.
We spent alot of time painting this weekend and here are some pictures of our improved (in my opinion anyway...) walls!

This bedroom is painted a bright, springy green called "Sublime Lime". I had the worst time deciding on colors and eventually just picked one from many samples. First I liked it, then I wasn't sure. Now that it is done, I really like it! It is kind of over the top, but I have lived in apartments for so long and I am tired of white.
This blue is called "Tide Pool". In real life it looks like a light aqua color. I love it! I love blue. If I were the only one living in this house, I would paint the whole place to look like a swimming pool.
This is the living room. It is hard to see the exact color in the picture, but it is a light gray. It is called "Stormy Weather". This room was almost going to be a shade of blue as well, but we decided on gray instead because of its versatility!
On TV shows about decorating, painting seems so easy and a simple way to change a room. It is not extremely difficult, but there are so many details! Mary, Justin's mom, spent hours touching up the ceilings. Painting around the trim took forever in these rooms. To make it more complicated, the previous painters didn't take care, and there is paint on most of the woodwork. Several colors in fact! I tell myself I will scrape it off with turpentine, but we'll see if that actually happens! Yesterday and today I painted the coat closet and the linen closet, including shelves. I really don't feel like painting again for a very long time and the kitchen is still in its original white state! We'll see what happens in there...

To change the subject, I harvested my first tomato today! The plants are very happy to be in a yard (they told me so!) with sunlight instead of the north facing apartment balcony where they only got a short amount of sunlight in the early morning hours. I think I will eat it in an omelet tomorrow morning...