around the house

when porch life is work

Saturday was one of those rare gorgeous summer days. Sunny and breezy temperatures in the 80’s no humidity to speak of. Of course I took advantage of the beautiful weather by spending the day on the porch but not in the way you might think.
There was no lounging about. No day drinking. No journaling.
It was work work work!
Wanna see?

This reclaimed red oak needed a little love in the form of stain before it becomes our outdoor dining table.

Fence posts are the perfect choice for this bar height table’s legs. A coat of Sikkens is about to protect them even though they’re pressure treated.

Remember I said it was breezy? The plastic blew right over that last post…once I put down the camera, I was able to sort it and got quickly to work.

These “flaws” are what drew me to this piece of wood in the first place. I believe it makes them even more lovely.


Once I got everything finished and lined up to dry, I took a much needed break.


With a little “House Wine of the South” and my special birthday birthday Queen straws from Sundance.
But wait!
There’s something even more exciting!!
I realized that I could “have my cake and eat it too”!
I wanted to be outside in the breezy weather. But I also wanted to be in front of the TV watching the Nats game.
Oh my goodness!

To my surprise and delight, I realized I could sorta-kinda see the game and have porch life at the same time!

The table top wood was still drying Sunday afternoon, so we moved it into the house and set a fan on it. Everything else was already dry so it went back into the garage. It’s raining today, and supposedly tomorrow also, so there will be no actual construction for a few days.
I’ll keep y’all posted on the progress…right after I go shopping for chairs, and perhaps a sail cloth for shade over that part of the porch. Might need some pillows too…guess we’ll just have to see.

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

kitchen in progress

What day is it?

GRANITE DAY!!

(as Thing 1 would say) Wootness!!

It’s very exciting!!
Here’s what the kitchen looked like before.


and

The cabinet doors are still off because I’m in the process of waxing them. I’ll paint the base cabinets as quickly as I can. See how much better the island looks painted?
The guys are still here working nearly finished…so these are just “in the process” pics. But stay tuned, y’all.


and

I’m SO freaking excited!!

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

coming soon to a kitchen near me

One afternoon not too long ago, YBW suggested to me that since we had a bit of extra money it might be time to consider what to do in the kitchen. Let me assure you, he didn’t have to say it twice!
Thus began my search for the perfect countertops.
For a while I was convinced I wanted concrete. I moved past that and re-embraced my love of granite.

We wandered three granite yards to end up here.

It’s called Black Fusion and is quarried from Brazil. And soon coming to a kitchen near me!

So that granite really isn’t going to sit beautifully on the cabinets the way they are now.

So…I decided to paint them!

(don’t mind the messy cabinets, I was too busy painting to tidy them up for a photo)

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is my new BFFL!
One quart of paint covers 150 square feet.
I’m gonna Rock the Casbah out of these cabinets!
My goal was to have the uppers done before the countertops are installed…but there was a mishap at the fabricators…they only got in one of our two slabs. (Full on ‘Ice Queen Bitch’ mode phone call in which I will negotiate a sink for my trouble about to take place.) But…the bit of delay means I may be able to also finish the lower cabinets before installation!


One more coat of paint and a bit of wax and they’ll be ready for new hardware!
I’m so freaking excited!!

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

pretending the bed is a raft

I once had this book called Pretending the Bed is a Raft. It’s a collection of short stories written by Nanci Kincaid. I remember the stories were beautifully written but devastatingly sad. I’m not sure what happened to that book. A quick scan of my shelves and I don’t see it. It may have gone to the used bookstore during one of my annual book purges.
What I have to say isn’t really about the book anyway. It’s about the title.

Pretending the bed is a raft.
I love this concept! Let’s pretend the bed is a raft.
I feel like it’s a game of make believe we might have played when Thing 1 and Thing 2 were little. They would have wanted to be pirates on that bed raft. They would have had us all dressed up with scarves and eye patches and Thing 1 would have wanted to be the captain, but Thing 2 probably would have been calling the shots. I would have been the dutiful first mate, responsible for the safety of the crew while the captain(s) lead us into death or glory. I can hear Thing 2 in her ‘little old man’ voice saying, “Storms a-brewin!”

Pretending the bed is a raft.
I feel like I’ve done this my entire life, only I never used that phrase until I’d seen this book. It stated simply the concept I’ve always understood.
With absolute certainty, my most fundamental belief is: When the going gets tough, get in your bed.

I’m a big fan of getting in my bed when I’m feeling…well, anything actually. I mean, obviously when I’m tired. But, I’m thinking about all the other things I feel. Emotional exhaustion, frustration, or illness. These could all be considered fancy words for depression. Some people use ice cream. I use my pillows. Because nothing comforts me like my bed.
Loneliness and heartache send me straight to my bed.
When I’m craving peace and quiet. If I’m overwhelmed or overjoyed, I take to the comfort of my bed.
That bed is my raft in the seas of all feeling.

My perfect bed is a dark wood farmhouse canopy, made with the most crisp white cotton known to man. This bed is my cocoon. I bought it to keep me safe the first time I ever lived alone. Newly separated, children part time at my home, part time at their father’s, I knew I would need a haven that made me feel safe and sound.
This bed carried me safely through the feeling seas for many years.
Sweet Izzie kitty, so grouchy with everyone but me. She would curl up next to me in that bed and her soft purring would match my breathing and we’d sleep happily together.
My girls snuggling in that cocoon with me. Thing 2 coming in every night for months with her pillow and sleeping with me. Thing 1 didn’t sleep with me that often, she’s an active sleeper, making full use of her bed. But when she came for a snuggle it would be an event.

YBW was invited into my cocoon.
He invited me into his bed, he named it serenity.
The first time I came here, we went to bed and he told me to close my eyes…when I opened them there were stars all over the ceiling. He told me on the phone that when I came to his home, I would sleep in serenity in a sea of stars. He made that happen for me. We could be together in the cocoon or in serenity and it was lovely.

When I moved here, the cocoon moved to the guest room.
We bought new mattress and foundation and I began to sleep full time in his bed. I’d lived here for almost a year when we had a little mishap and broke the bed. I fell in love with a bed and took him to see it. He agreed and the new bed came home to our room. The bed we share is a beautiful dark wood, with a very high headboard and drawers in the footboard. It is made with crisp white bedding.

When I’m in need of pretending the bed is a raft, I don’t often take to the bed I share with YBW. I’ll go to the cocoon. It’s not that that I don’t feel comfortable or safe in serenity. It’s just different. I think it’s tricky when you share a bed with someone. That bed is our shared space. Where we have conversations. Where we make love. Where we occasionally keep the other awake. The bed is lovely, especially when properly made, but it’s not a bed I’m inclined to pretend is a raft. I think it’s because it doesn’t fully belong to me.

In the old days, my bed was a place where everyone just kind of piled in and we hung out. Small children all in it together with story books or soft toys. Grown up girls doing each other’s make up. Sometimes, if they were very lucky, little girls having their make up done. It was a place for snuggles and giggles and opening birthday gifts first thing in the morning. It was a place to simply be. And to feel loved.

My sister in law’s bed is like that too. We all just go in there and pile up on the bed. Sometimes the TV is on. Sometimes there are books or computers or tablets or smartphones. Sometimes we just all get in and talk and talk. Kids, grown ups, boys, girls. It doesn’t matter. We get in her bed and without even knowing it, pretend it’s a raft. It is one of those rare places I feel nurtured without having to do the nurturing.

When my heart was freshly broken, I came to be with Sundance. Her sweet husband went to sleep elsewhere in the house so I could sleep in bed with Sundance. She helped me heal as we talked quietly in her bed. We poured each other into that bed after we’d had way too much to drink. Her bed was a raft that I didn’t have to be in alone at the lowest point in my life.

I have a friend who has the unbreakable rule that no one is allowed in his home. He never shares his bed. I sometimes wonder if he feels like his bed is a raft in a safe way, of if it’s a raft in which he drifts, lost at sea. I respect the desire for privacy. For boundaries. No one in your sacred space ensures safety, but it seems to me a lonely life.

Pretending the bed is a raft means something different to each of us. Our bed means something different to each of us.
Your bed can be a haven. Or your bed can be the place where you live your life. Your bed can be a playground for children. Or a sexual playground for adults. Your bed is a place to rest your weary head.
You can share your bed or choose not to share it.
The bed I share with YBW is the place for us to be together.
But, my bed is a sacred place. The place I feel safe and sound. It is the raft on the feeling sea.
And even though it’s now the beautiful and comfortable place for our guests to lay their heads, it will always be my cocoon. My space.
If you’ve been invited into that bed, know how much you are loved.

Categories: around the house, love, me, on being a mom, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Samsung stainless up in here!

New appliances arrived yesterday! They’re resting beautifully now in the kitchen. The refrigerator hums quietly and occasionally drops ice into the tray.
20160716_132320
The marks on the fridge are from me hugging it.
This just might be the new love of my life!

The gas range still wrapped in cardboard and plastic slid perfectly into place.
20160716_8
I can hardly wait to cook with this!!

The dishwasher stands next to it’s new home waiting to be installed.
20160716_9
Meh, I hate to do dishes…but a new dishwasher means clean dishes the first time around AND (hopefully) no more of my plates get broken.

An old family friend comes tomorrow to install the two smaller appliances.
So it’s kind of like two appliance days in the same week! I get to oodgey-goodgey them for a couple days before I even use them! Wonder what I’ll cook first!?!

Categories: around the house, me | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

feather your nest

You know when an idea takes hold of you and you can’t see anything else? I’m experiencing that right now.
My sister in law suggested I somehow parlay my mad organizational skills into a business. She called it “feather your nest” as a play on The Robynbird’s Nest.
She suggested that I provide organizational services for people’s closets, pantries, etc., as well as packing for trips.
I should have taken photos of my bag packed coming home from Charleston as an example…but I unpacked it too quickly this morning to remember.

I haven’t the marketing skills to help it go from idea to income. But I have the organizational skills to make it work…
You know, the more this idea sits with me, the more I fall in love with it.

It reminds me of this children’s book by Kobi Yamata, beautifully illustrated by Mae Besom.
20160714_170942.jpg
Pretty much the gist is the child has an idea but doesn’t know what to do with it at first, but it continues to follow him around.
20160714_171316.jpg
But sometimes asking what other’s think about an idea isn’t the simplest thing.
20160714_171116.jpg
The last page of the book says,
“And then, I realized what you do with an idea…
You change the world.”

Now, I don’t expect to change the world with this “feather your nest” idea. But I will say this. I changed my friend and mentor’s home. I changed my own home…several of my own homes. My sister in law is adamant I come change her home.
So maybe, just maybe, this idea has room to grow.

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

appliance day

Appliance Day!
It’s not a holiday for the general public, just for me!
It’s like Christmas and my Birthday and something else SUPER GREAT all rolled into one.

First the old washer was removed:
20160308_114245
Bye, Felicia!

The new washer in the garage waiting to be brought inside:
20160308_114611.jpg
Hello, Lover!

Both machines all set up!:
20160308_120041.jpg
Eeeeeeeeee!

Just in case I need to know something about these particular models:
20160308_120851.jpg
I read nothing I didn’t already know…
But they’re all laminated and have little suction cups to attach them to the machines. How cute is that?

A load running in each machine:
20160308_135336.jpg
Tuesday is my scheduled laundry day and these new machines are kicking ass!

Categories: around the house, love, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

a.w. anonymous

My name is Robynbird and I’m an appliance whore.
Hi, Robynbird.

I absolutely adore appliances. They’re my most gasm-inducing items. I don’t know what that’s actually about, but I like it.
Something about having the proper tools to do the best possible job just makes me downright giddy. A mechanic needs the best tools to fix vehicles. A plumber to…plumb? A carpenter needs the proper tools to build. I need the proper tools to prepare delicious meals, and my most favorite of all household jobs, laundry.

When my house in SC was built and all the appliances came in, I cried tears of joy. I literally hugged my fridge every single day. I sat on a stool in the laundry room and watched the washer and dryer run for the first load in each machine. I promise I’m not making this up.
Yes, I have a problem.
Yes, I’m seeking help. (Not really.)

Appliances is my go-to department when YBW wants to go shopping and get his electronic geek on. He geeks out on computers and gaming. I geek out in appliances.
It’s just such bliss!
The folks at Best Buy and HH Gregg always look so disappointed when he comes to “pick me up” in the appliance department and we leave. It’s not like I engage them or anything…they just see a woman looking then a man shows up and they assume. (Sorry, y’all. That’s just not how we roll.)

All the appliances in this home are from when it was built seventeen years ago…this means I’m not working with proper tools. That’s OK though, we’re aware and have kitchen “remodel” plans in the works. (If we hadn’t finished the basement for ‘someone’ to not live there, I’d already have new appliances. But I’m not bitter…I’m actually not really, but it amuses me to say it.)
The washing machine has decided to give up the ghost…Little D’s dad says it sounds like a drive-by. (He ain’t lyin’.) It’s an old top load machine and the belt that drives the spin slips. It also screeches like a banshee. (Warning us of it’s impending death.)
YBW took it apart to see if it could be easily sorted…then came the question. Do you replace the belt on a seventeen year old machine?
This little red haired girl votes: HELL no!
Her blue eyed husband voted the same way.

You know what that means!?!
NEW APPLIANCES!! (Er…sorry. Had a little gasm there.)

I chose replacements.
This wasn’t hard, I’ve been doing research for a while in anticipation of this moment.
I found exactly what I wanted at the best price (LG steam washer and dryer)…the problem is the price wasn’t exactly what YBW wanted. So I went with my second choice machines (LG no steam).
BUT I found exactly what I wanted (the pricier set) in a different brand for only $30 more (than my second choice). YBW was intrigued.
Thank you, Sears for still being kinda awesome in this crazy day and age.
I chose this Kenmore set:
20160305_135422.jpg
That is actually made by LG. (Boom!)

It’ll be delivered Tuesday.
I seriously cannot wait to do laundry in these new machines!
(Yes, there was clapping and the teeniest squeal!)

Categories: around the house, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

new blue loo

I needed a project. A little something I could do around the house to make me feel useful. I chose the main floor powder room because I could knock out in one day.
Tuesday I went on an inspiration trip, and found just what I was looking for at Home Goods.

20160205_144708.jpg

I fell in love with the deep purpley-blue color in the mosaic and knew that would be the wall color. I walked into Lowe’s with the soap dispenser and sorted that pretty easily. This was the first paint chip I pulled.
Valspar Precious Sapphire

It was a bit strange for me as it was the first time I made the decision to change something in this house without running it by YBW. Perhaps I finally feel at home here?
Wednesday morning I got up early and gathered my tools. After removing the mirror and other hardware, I took down a small cabinet and patched the holes. I ate a quick breakfast while waiting for the putty to dry then went to work.

Before:
20160203_082710.jpg           20160203_082703.jpg

After:
20160204_135956.jpg           20160204_140048.jpg

YBW and I chose a few architectural photos to hang on the wall. (He didn’t know what they were for when I presented them to him.) I actually took both of these with my phone. The first is Loudoun Street in Old Town Winchester. The second is the abandoned Harrison Point Lighthouse in Barbados.
They’ve been printed but not yet picked up and I don’t yet have frames, but here’s a sample:
IMG_20150830_115056                                                       IMG_20151203_150424

All in all, I feel exceptionally good about the work I did. I like to feel useful. I like to feel creative.

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

early morning trains

20151212_065509.jpg

This is what we do at my house before 6:30 on a Saturday morning. It’s been fourteen years since I had a four year old in my home.
I forgot how early they wake up!

My sweetie, little D needed someone to look after him while his daddy went to a holiday party last night. So I picked him up at school yesterday (after spending an hour visiting former colleagues and students) brought him home where he and Thing G and I watched all the ponies episodes off the DVR then when Thing C came home we ate little D’s favorite dinner: “Apoachlay” (that would be Chipotle to you and me). We played a little while then he went to bed.
Sweet dreams, little D.

This morning at 5:30 my bedroom door opens and little D comes across the room he says: Hi Robynbird! Hi YBW!
Then he climbs in bed for a snuggle and the first thing he says is: You hot Robynbird. (My skin was warm from being under the blankies and his feet were COLD!) He accidentally kicked the blankets on the other side of him and said: Oh! I sorry, YBW.
I told him YBW wasn’t in bed, he was downstairs on his computer.
He said: We go see him.
I said: Not yet, let’s snuggle for a minute.
A minute was not a lie…we were up and he was raring to go. (But he had to be quiet because Thing C and Thing G were still sleeping.)

So trains it was.
YBW and I built the track and little D drove the train all around.
Then he ate two huge bowls of cereal then got dressed. It wasn’t much longer before he got picked up to go to swim lessons.
Did I go back to bed?
Nope.
Why not? You ask.
Because I’m an idiot.

Categories: around the house, love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Sawblades In Your Walkman

I'm the rain on your parade

The Blonde at the Film

a fresh look at old films

Must Be This Tall To Ride

I'm a single dad documenting his journey. A guy trying to walk a higher path. And messing up. A lot.

Staying Southern

A guide to living a Southern life outside the South

rhondastephens

To Catch A Falling Cactus

Neurodivergent Rebel

Rebelling against a culture that values assimilation over individuality.

ChrissyAdventures

Everyday is an Adventure. Embrace it

Part-broken, Part-whole

I come here to bleed in all 26 colours of the alphabet.

Here By Design

Ideas and inspiration for beautiful, sustainable gardens.

Be Inspired..!!

Listen to your inner self..it has all the answers..

Kana Wanders

Life in Kana-text (er... CONtext)

Spring into Summer

finding my voice and speaking my truth

Ginger's Grocery

Come on in and browse. The biscuits were made fresh this morning, the Slush Puppie machine was just refilled with a new bottle of red syrup, and we have the biggest selection of bait this close to town.

witlessdatingafterfifty

Relationships reveal our hearts.

JackCollier7

Charming, cultured, generous, honest, sophisticated, understanding, and urbane.

The Georgetown Metropolitan

News, Information, and Events for the Georgetown Community

Raphaela Angelou

Love, Friendship, Art, Survival and Living with Skeletons!

%d bloggers like this: