Release the Kraken!

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I wanted to cry, “Release the Kraken!” this morning.

The Kraken!

The Kraken!

Spanish moss

I had intentions of pulling weeds in the front and back yard, but I knew I had to trim the bushes a little bit too. I didn’t want to lug out the hedge trimmers and extension cord. It was already hot out this morning! So I found the pruning shears my husband had unearthed during his garage-clean a couple of weeks ago and went out front.

I trimmed the very pointy holly hedges that bracket the front porch then looked at the live oak tree on the corner of the property. It was lush and lovely and draping low now over the sidewalk and street. *sigh* So off I went.

Being a little bit shorter than average (ha!) I had to reach up and pull down the branches I wanted to clip. I went along, getting a nice little pile going as I made certain no one would lose an eye cutting the grass or walking on the sidewalk, and then thought I’d attack the Kraken. Spanish moss, for those of you unaware of the resemblance to the mythical beast. I trimmed and snipped and then reached up to release a branch killed some time before by the moss and barely hanging on. Aargh! Moss and dirt and bark rained down on me!

I brushed off and finished the job, cursing under my breath since kids were walking by on their way to school, and finished the weeding. So that’s done. And the next time the tree needs trimming? My husband can do it.

Release the Kraken!

Mints on the Pillow

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Don’t judge me, but I want my mints on the pillow.

Turn down service?

Turn down service?

I don’t like to get into bed unless the sheets and comforter are turned down now. The sheets smoothed and crisp and cool. I came to this realization slowly over the last few days.

This turning-down-the-bed stuff started a couple of years ago, actually. Here’s the reason. My husband. In a nutshell, the man just doesn’t know how to get into bed. He tosses the plump pillows in their shams to the floor He swirls and tangles the sheets. Kicks off the comforter to use the wrinkled sheet by itself. Pulls the sheets from my side of the bed, too. And all this is way before he falls asleep!

I like the sheets folded over the comforter. Even and precise, as weird as that sounds. I’ve been known to tug and pull at his side before I even get in. Folding the comforter and sheet over him like I’m making the bed with him still in it! This drives him crazy, of course. Does that stop me? Nope! As long as I get my side of the bed in some semblance of the order I prefer, I’m happy.

So I’ve started turning down the bed in the early evening myself. This way I know I have a better shot of him getting into the bed without causing a ruckus. Even if he’s working out of town, I do the turn-down thing for myself. Hey, I like the touch of civility when I finally turn in.

There are never any mints on the pillow, but maybe I shouldn’t have sweets right before bed, lol.

My New Counters are done!

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I refinished my own counters and they are done! Yep. Me. I read a ton of reviews and tips online and pored over the instructions and did them. Yay!

I used Giani Granite Paint in Chocolate Brown and it was very easy to follow the directions. The primer coat took me the longest, I think. Since I apparently left a bit of silicone caulk smeared on one part of the counter at some point long ago and the primer wouldn’t adhere. Grr!

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I did a lot of research and one of the best tips I found was to use the sponge brush to apply the color paints to the sea sponges instead of dipping them into the paints. I was able to keep the application nice and uniform that way.

Get your rhythm when you’re doing the colors part. You do three-foot square sections at a time, so what I did was start in the far left corner and apply the sponging in diagonal lines from left to right. Making a larger and larger “triangle,” if you get me, until the midpoint and then smaller and smaller until I filled in the square and went on to the next section. 

granite paint section

I had fun and learned the best way to get the color to “run” over the edges of the counter so they look like it’s really a cross-section of granite.

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If you look at the picture on the left, that’s before the poly coat, you can see how nice the colors look. They even have texture! Don’t know how. Then the poly in the picture on the right shows how nice and glossy. Love!

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I think I was the most nervous about the final poly coat. I must have watched that segment of the DVD over a dozen times! But loading up the roller good and heavy and not going over and over a spot was the rule I followed. Then, using the “lean slightly to one side” on the back rolls to avoid the lap lines really worked. “Back rolls!” Sorry. #rupaulsdragrace reference.

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So I have a brand new kitchen! It looks even better in person, and with the poly coat it even “feels” like granite. Again, don’t know how. Don’t the edges look great?

I found the product on Homedepot.com but several places sell it. I needed to buy two kits, since I have over 60 feet of countertop. I used some of the primer and all of the poly coat from the second kit. I’m thinking of getting another can of the poly since there is a spot where it’s not as glossy as I’d like. But hey, I’m anal! Maybe I’ll redo the area right behind the faucet, too. Add a little more of the black primer….

If you decide to give this a shot, good luck. It’s a lot of fun and I love the results!

 

Running without music

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I went running without music last night. And heard and saw way more than I ever thought I would.

Surprising sights and sounds!

Surprising sights and sounds!

I participated in the IOA Corporate 5K out at Lake Eola Park in Orlando last night. There were about 18,000 other runners out there and the event was a lot of fun. But there was one drawback to so many people crowded into one place. And no, I’m not talking about the porta potty situation. There were plenty of those. No. It was when we were on the street, in our corrals, that the inevitable happened.

My phone was happily streaming iHeart radio when it went suddenly still. Quiet. I tried rebooting, even as I knew time was ticking toward the starting gun. But nothing. Then we realized that, with so many corporate and plugged-in people in one place, the signals just must have been overloaded! So, pouting, I crammed my phone into it’s case on my running belt and tucked my left earbud into my shirt to join its useless brother.

Then the race started and I bopped along to the music provided by the visiting radio stations until we made the first turn. Then, radio silence. Except for sounds I never heard out running by myself and not even during other races.

My breathing, urging me to keep my cadence even and my pace steady. The whoosh of the fountain and the bracingly lovely breeze through the trees. The pounding of so many other runners’ sneakers it sounded like I was running with the bulls. In a good way.

I felt a part of something last night. Of a herd, maybe. It was surprising and fun and I discovered that running without music isn’t the end of the world.

Still, I missed my Maroon 5, Coldplay and Neon Trees…

My wildlife adventures continue…

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It seems that my wildlife adventures continue here in Florida. If you read my previous post, you know of my close encounter with the two snakes (please God, let it only be two snakes!) who live in my front yard. And tonight? It’s lizards.

Smug Lizard

Smug Lizard

I was in the garage, getting the trash ready for tomorrow morning’s collection, when I saw a big lizard a couple of feet in from the closed garage door. He was stock still, so I toed him gently. He sprang to life and ran toward the corner beside the garage door. So I opened the big, double-width door and told him to go outside. Nope. Nothing.

I really like lizards. Lizard was one of my grandson’s first words. Sizzard, actually, which is too cute for words. Lizards eat lots of bugs. They can grow back their tails. They can change color. Yeah, you always know if you spot a plant lizard, a mulch lizard, or one who hangs on on your beige patio furniture. But back to our friend in the garage.

He hid inside a few things we have standing in the corner. Why we have part of a shelf and a hydraulic jack near the demoted-to-now-only-for-the-car vacuum is probably another story. Anyway, he slithered and skittered all around and under these things before eschewing the ginormous opening to the outside world and dashing under my car. Grr.

I picked up a long reachy thing for painting and carefully placed it under my car. I urged him toward the wide-open door and he ran out from the car and, for some reason I can’t comprehend, hopped into my back wheel. I gave up! I told him, “This is why you people never evolved!”

So I’m going to fret about him stuck in there all night and worry about him when I drive out of there in the morning. But then again, they are pretty resilient. I hope he’ll be just fine. He was pretty big, which means he’s lived for several seasons.

Hmm. Probably in my garage.

Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

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Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

And two of them because, apparently, one isn’t enough.

snake #1

snake #1

 

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snake #2

I came home from a hot, sweaty run and found two lovely reptiles just steps off my front porch. But not before I’d weeded all around those bushes. Up to my shoulder, too. Eek.

So I know these snakes aren’t the venomous kind. I know they eat big bugs and keep any rodents away that might dare to come up to the house. But, still.

There I was, sweaty and breathing fast and pulling out weeds when BAM! Snakes. *shudder* I just had my hand under those bushes. I just had my hand under those snakes!

I have to admit, now that I’m safely in the house with the door bolted shut, they aren’t really scary looking. In fact, they’re kind of cute.

Peekaboo!

Peekaboo!

If you like that sort of thing….

New Couch!

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At last I’m getting a new couch. Couch and loveseat, actually. Meanwhile, I feel like I’m living with a college couch. Here’s the story. I’m waiting for my new couches, which had to be ordered. No biggie. I was told they would take a week or so. And instead of using our old couches while we wait, we’re using a daybed from the guest room.

New Couch!

New Couch!

This daybed is a pretty little white iron thing, but it looks ridiculous in my family room. It’s a step away from a futon. I told my husband all we need now is a bookcase made out of cinder blocks and planking. He suggested milk crates, lol.

If you follow me on Facebook, you know the kids moved out the other day. They’d been living with us for over two years, with their two cats and my adorable grandson. No tears, though. They moved about 8 miles away which is terrific. Now, here’s why I have no couches.

We gave the couches to them. They needed couches. These were only a little worn and their cats had used one side as scratching posts a few time. There was no way we were going to get leather while those clawed kitties still lived in the house. Our fat, lazy clawed kitty Spike should leave the new couches alone. He’s never scratched the others. But just so he knows, I’ll be watching.

Oh, and the couches are coming tomorrow!