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!

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Peanut’s back in town, baby!

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Peanut is back in town, baby! Our crazy cat is now back in Florida and, seemingly, doing well.

Peanut at home

Peanut at home

As backstory, when our house was overcrowded with too many people and too many pets, Peanut’s quirks ratcheted up to high-strung territory. Hissing. Hiding. Rage-peeing. As a remedy, we moved her up to Connecticut to live with my mom and dad. Almost immediately, I saw a difference in her.

Over time my parents grew to love her and she loved being the solo pet in the place. Even so, I’d promised my mother it would be a temporary arrangement and she made me keep my word, lol. Since the “too many people and pets” thing resolved itself when my daughter’s family finally found a house for them and their pets in February, I had no excuse come August. And although Peanut was so content there, we made arrangements for her to fly back home with me after my next visit.

So it was with much trepidation that we booked her passage and bought her a nice, new carrier. Then we took off. She travels well, actually. Which is never more surprising to me than to everybody else. We got home and after a few hissy fits, she growl-ate, growl-drank her water and growl-peed in the litter box. That was a week ago and, after only one peeing-in-the-sink incident, things seem to have settled down.

Yes, fat cat Spike bugs her and chases her. Even my sweet little dog Bailey starts up but leaves her alone for the most part. So Peanut is back home, where it’s nearly as quiet as it was at my parents’ house.

So far, so good!

The dwarfs need a new foreman

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Yeah, I think the dwarfs need a new foreman.

New Foreman Needed.

New Foreman Needed.

There’s a small house I pass every time I drive to my daughter’s house. It’s under construction and set on a big plot of land, in a thick copse of trees between two even bigger plots of land. The houses on the adjoining lots are large, sprawling even. The house in question? It’s a teeny little thing that looks like Snow White’s cottage.

Seriously, this house has the steeply peaked roofs and the cozy gables. Deeply shadowed eaves and the requisite fireplace. Here’s the thing. The fireplace chimney is framed to be curvy as it reaches for the sky. Charming? Yes, it’s very adorable. And looks very much like the dwarfs’ cottage. I live in Central Florida, the land of Walt Disney World. There are houses dotting the whole landscape here and there that look like they could have sprung right out of the first reel of a Disney cartoon. In fact, Give Kids The World Village is filled with these charming buildings to help sick kids and their families forget their troubles for a little while. I’d love to see this particular little cottage in our neck of the woods finished.

This house seems to be at the same state of construction since I first took note of it in February. Oh, I see trucks parked outside sometimes. And the door was open once. Just the other day, ladders leaned against the front and back of the house. And yet, nothing seems to be happening.

I remarked to my daughter, “That’s what happens when you make Sleepy the foreman.” She replied with, “Yeah, everyone knows the foreman needs to be Doc!”

The place is very cute, though. I admit I wouldn’t mind staying there, as long as forest creatures do the housework!

 

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.

Lawn Mower Angst

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I willingly endured lawn mower angst this morning. Ah, Florida in May! Steamy hot like summer yet spring love bugs buzzing around your face.

Lawn demands

Lawn demands

I really don’t mind cutting the grass. Too much, lol. There’s just something about the constant demands of the job! Even as I’m doing it I’m thinking that it will have to be cut again next week. Oh, and the trimming and edging has to be done, too. Grr.

I always worry that there won’t be enough gas in the lawn mower before I start. And then I worry that the gas can won’t have any gas in it and I don’t want to put that can in my pretty little beetle! Yuck! But the biggest worry? The biggest pain in the *ss? Starting the darn thing.

Now, we have a very reliable mower that we’ve had for over 10 years. But you see, I’m short. There’s something to the speed and pull of the cord that I can’t seem to master. I’m sure it has something to do with the angle and I can’t achieve it on the first, second or even third pull! I hop when I pull, lol. I hop and shove the mower away as I pull and eventually I can get the thing to grumble to life. Then off I go!

So tomorrow I’ll trim and edge. It’s going to rain this afternoon, so I’ll take the reprieve. My shoulder hurts from pulling on the cord over a dozen times and my hands are still tingling from holding so tight to the bar thingie that keeps the mower from running me over if I trip and fall. And you know what?

I get to do it again next week. Unless I can talk my son-in-law into doing it, 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…