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My vegetable gardens have been in a state of death for a while now. The lack of rain and extreme heat we’ve had in this area this summer have rendered them completely…well…dead. I got a total of four tomatoes off the nine plants I planted. It was sad.
Well, while pulling out the dead plants I noticed a little gift in one of the beds.
A pile sized gift.
A Sam Dog sized pile.
A poop pile.
In my vegetable bed.
To say I was angry would be an understatement.
I called Sam over, right away she had known what she had done.
And that was it, cause she knew.
And then the next day…I saw this…
I let it happen long enough to snap a few photos and then I ran outside and scolded her. I haven’t caught her in there again since. It seems that the squirrels (the ones she’d really like to eat) have been digging up my plants all around the yard to I suppose eat the roots for water or food or whatever. I think that’s what attracted her to my veggie beds.
That squirrel smell.
This was our first Thanksgiving in our new house, the first time the inlaws came to visit, and the first time for Sam to have Thanksgiving with us. It was a fun time, but I was completely exhausted afterwards and had to take a day to rest.
James, my father-in-law helped peel apples for apple pie.
We made two apple pies, one with crumble crust and one with regular crust. The pie dough is my Grandmother’s recipe, and it turns out perfectly every time (maybe I’ll share it…hmm).
I like the pre-Thanksgiving meal appetizers almost as much as the meal. I am under the conviction that Thanksgiving dinner should be enjoyed at…dinner time…so 6pm is when we eat. But, through out the day we snack on deviled eggs…
Crab, Sundried Tomatoes, and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms…
And for breakfast we eat homemade chocolate Amish Friendship bread and my mom’s Banana Bread.
And we take pictures with the giant corn…this became a tradition during my first Thanksgiving after college. I bought the giant corn mostly because it was ridiculous and we all took pictures with it, so thats what we do every year.
And then, after the pre-meal, and the real meal…we all take naps…This is my husband Bill with his mom. I think this is precious.
I’ve been busy. Life has sort of taken me by storm. In the midst of it all, while trying to do some simple painting in our hall bathroom, I noticed a small little thing…the vanity was rotting. Like crumbles when you touch it rotting. Then I noticed the vinyl tile, it was coming up around the toilet. Bummer. So a simple paint job turned into a full remodel of the bathroom, all for under $500. Yes. Be impressed.
Here’s the whole remodel and how we did it for under $500.
The Original Bathroom
I took these pictures when we first saw the house back in February. It was staged and they were taken with my iPhone so please excuse quality and the bird house/accessories, not my choice.
Ok so it was this can of paint that began the remodel. I must thank you again Martha. Martha Stewart Paint $25, except Home Depot was running a special so I got a $5 mail in rebate. Score!
After I saw the stupid leak from the toilet we gutted the bathroom (everything except the tub). Our good friend Bill is so awesome, he came over and helped us with the whole project. We never could have pulled this off without him. Especially when we realized it wasn’t just the toilet leaking but also the sink area. So key #1 to an under $500 bathroom remodel, have a friend help you who knows what he’s doing.
And you’re thinking, “Oh your husband works at Home Depot, so you got a discount on everything, that’s how you did the whole remodel for under $500.” Yeah well, Home Depot does not give an employee discount. I know, shocking right? Its also horribly disappointing. I suppose sticking your tongue out a little helps?
New tile! We went to a place called Floor and Decor Outlets, they were very helpful and we got the tile, thin set, and grout for about $80. Not too shabby!
The Big Reveal
We got the vanity at Home Depot as well, on sale for $169. It included the sink. We were going to just use the toilet we had, but I figured the few hours I was going to spend cleaning the tank and everything was worth at least $68 so we just bought a new one for…drum roll…$68, which included all the insides. We bought new trim, it was roughly $15. The trim paint was around $15 as well (and I have a TON left over). I went dark which was a brave step for me, but it turned out awesome.
As far as the accessories go I had most of them already, but in case you’re curious…The shower curtain I purchased when we first moved in for $15 at Wal-Mart. I had the rug and accessories, they’re from Bill’s bachelor days, but they are pretty cool. The towels I had as well, but they are Thomas O’Brien from Target, Best.Towels.Ever. So plush and awesome, and very well priced, around $15. The tulips are made of metal and about three years ago I managed a cafe that was inside an interior design/boutique/art/market thing. They were in a booth directly across from our cafe and I lusted after them for months until the manager of the market bought them for me for Christmas. They hold tea light candles and I just love them. The frame was a wedding gift and it has photos in it I took when we went on a cruise last October.
I still have to hang the mirror. I purchased a basic beveled mirror from Wal-Mart for under $10 (you can see it leaning against the wall in the first picture). I’m going to frame it out with fat wide trim and paint it with the same paint as the trim in the bathroom. We’ll eventually update the shower head and the light fixture but this was project we weren’t really planning on doing so it will have to wait until later. Also, Sam Dog snuck into the second picture, she’s the black blob near the bottom of the shot. And yes, that is a book on the back of the toilet, its titled What’s Your Poo Telling You and I highly recommend it. And that’s our bathroom remodel for under $500!
Today, while flipping through Martha Stewart Magazine I saw an ad…Martha Stewart Pets. Then I went here.
And its true, the mighty Martha has now developed a pet line. I don’t know why I didn’t see it coming. I checked out all of the items, most of them are for small dogs, which only furthers my desire to make a line of pet stuff for larger dogs 75lbs and up. The colors and designs are nice, very Martha-ie. Not a lot to choose from yet, I’d assume this is the trial line. I do like some of the clothes (yes I put clothes on my 85lb black lab, don’t judge me), but I’m pretty sure they are all too small. Either way, kudos Martha, you’ve inserted yourself into yet another market. My love for you only grows.
My birthdays, on the average, are synonymous with bad events. Usually there are high lights to the birthday week, but more often than not something super crappy happens that kind of brings down the overall celebratory mood. For times sake I will list both highlights and low lights in bullet form.
Highlight #1: I was born 25 years ago.
Lowlight #1: I’m half way to 50.
Highlight #2: I went out to dinner to one of my favorite restaurants, La Vista, with my family on the day of my birthday. (excuse the low res pic, I forgot my camera, gasp I know, and was forced to use the iphone pic).
Lowlight #2: I had to work on my birthday. I realize most people have to work on their birthdays, but I am a strong believer that no one should. And if I ever do own my own company each of my employees will get off on their birthday, with pay. Agreed? Good.
Highlight #3: My husband knows me so well that be bought me all of my favorite coffee branded things, plus a Martha Stewart magazine (I have a weird obsession with her, not unhealthy, just odd).
Lowlight #3: See lowlight #4, it counts for two.
Highlight #4: My dad washed my car, changed the oil, sand blasted my headlights, and made my air conditioning blow cold. He is truly the best dad ever. (Side note, he can work on your car too, see Royalty Paint and Body).
Lowlight #4: I got laid off. Yeah. Awesome huh. Via email too.
Highlight #5: My new found lack of employment gave me a chance to clean my house, unpack things, and cross things off my every growing to do list.
Lowlight #5: While shopping for the Quarter Century Bash Party we had this weekend (a joint birthday party for me and our new house, we’re the same age) I bashed my pinkie toe into the wheel of a walmart cart which caused blood to fill my flip flop and I’m pretty sure that toe nail is going to fall off.
Highlight #6: The Quarter Century Bash was AWESOME! I feel incredibly loved by the 50+ people who attended. I got to make awesome food for them (this makes my heart really happy). My husband had a birthday cake made for me (I usually make my own, I’m told I am forbidden to do this from now on) by the amazingly talented Stacy from Stacy’s For the Love of Cake. And everyone seemed to have a good time.
Lowlight #6: Sam (the black lab) got lots of “treats” from my husband and I, and I’m sure from many party goers. The next day there were three large puddles of liquid poo on the one piece of carpet she has access to in the house. I think it was the brisket scraps that did her in.
Overall I’d say 25 was a success. I mean yeah, I lost my job, but its just a job. My dog got sick and pooped on the floor, but I hate carpet anyway so no biggie. And luckly, unlike most things on the human body, toe nails grow back. The highlights much out way the low lights. I have such amazing friends and family in my life that constantly bless me simply with their existence. I hope the next 25 years are equally as awesome.
So there are these weird clear/white gecko lizard things that are here in Spring, Texas that we DO NOT have in the city of Houston. We have the green ones that change colors and have the red necks that puff out when they are trying to mate, I hear they are called Anoles. But these things, yeah, not real sure what they are all about. They are much more plump and I feel like they would be really juicy if I ever accidentally squished one, not that I would want to. But they are everywhere at night.
My first run in was when we first moved into the new house and we were cleaning all the windows. I was taking the screens off from the inside of the house, I got to the last screen and inside the lip of the window (which slides right to left, not up and down like a traditional window) was one of these gecko things. I screamed, more because it startled me than anything else. Then I quickly closed the window.
Bill got to said window to clean it from the outside, yelled to me to take the screen off. I told them there was a lizard thing in there and he just gave me this look like, “are you kidding me?”. So he forced me to open the window again, and there it was, but this time it somehow got on the inside of the house, in the track. If I left the window open he was trapped, but we couldn’t get to him. If I closed the window, he was able to run loose in my house which was not a situation I was going to allow. So I made Bill catch him.
I’m told that he got a broom to try to shoo him out the window, to which the lizard thing responded with a leap into the house, my husband somehow harnessed ninja like reflexes, caught the gecko lizard thing mid air and then tossed it out the window in one swooping motion. I’m told that the gecko hit the fence, landed on the ground cold, got up, shook it off, and then ran away.
So today I get home after a long day, go to fill Sam’s (our black lab) water bowl. I reach for the knob of the kitchen sink and one of these lizard things jumps up at me. I scream, again from being startled. I’m also super pissed that somehow it got in my house and is now getting its lizard germs all over my sink. Its trapped. So I make Bill catch it between a cup and a piece of paper and toss it outside.
These creepy lizard gecko things want to be in my house. This is seriously not ok. And what worries me more is they’ve clearly found a way in and I have no idea where it is.
So I did some research and it turns out its a gecko, more specifically I think its the Mediterranean Gecko. See the picture below (note I did not take this picture, found it on a google search).
I also found another website that called it a house gecko, which is SO NOT OK! These WILL NOT be living IN my house, on our around is fine, just not IN. Though I do like that I found a picture of one eating a spider (found at this blog), because we seem to have an issue with that as well. The blog this photo came from, called Biological Ramblings (check it out, its pretty awesome) also noted that some species of this house gecko are parthenogenetic (female-only, reproducing asexually) which is crazy interesting.
I wonder if I could train Sam to hunt them and then gently put them outside so they could live happily in the outdoors. Hmm…
Bill brought me pink gerberas for no reason at all. Stuffed 20,000+ something easter eggs with folks from church for The Hunt. Played Trivial Persuit cerca 1981 with mom, Bill, and Mike (Sam supervised). I lost pretty badly by the way. Thats it. =)
This is the time of year where my sinuses start going crazy, at least they have for the last two years. I blame the massive amounts of pollen seen in the pic to the right. Yup, all that yellow, thats pollen. And all that yellow powder is making me feel like I’m walking around with a cinder block on my face. Below the lovely pollen is my dog Sam. I have a really hard time taking pictures of her, I think its mostly because she’s shiny and black, lighting her is a pain. This one is ok. Then, happy St. Patty’s Day, a little late, because I fail at updating daily. I promise I’ll do better from now on.
Tonight Bill made dinner. Bill is an amazing husband and does a lot of great things for me. Rarely does he cook dinner. Its more the thing I do. He makes a mean hot dog, and some fantastic tater tots, and I hear he can make scrambled eggs though I have yet to see it happen. But tonight I was really impressed. He made Philly Cheese Steaks from scratch. When he threw that meat down on that hot griddle he morphed into this super Philly Cheese Steak Chef. He melted the cheese right on the meat, then he did this crazy flip the meat, onions, and cheese all in one move right into the bun. I tried to catch it in action. It was quite a show, but…they were also DELICIOUS! I think he approved, see his face after the first bite.