Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dresser Update, Day Three

 It is day three of the dresser saga.  Today I pulled the quilt out from under it and noticed that it left a black mark in this room too!  And that was after I moved it out of the hall! Anyway, I'm resolved to the floors being dealt with this year, so the carpet will come up.

My effort on the project today consisted of carrying two of the three drawers up from the basement. TBG handled one for me.  They are back in place and tomorrow I'll screw the handles back on.

Here's what was in them.  There are some sweaters that will go into storage and I also have to put some laundry away.  With the contents of the drawers dumped on the futon, I haven't been able to get everything in order.

We have guests back this weekend and I'll have the room back in shape by then. I'll have to open the window so that the room doesn't totally smell of varnish.  This is something I should have thought of before hand.  But I just wanted to fit this in when I could.

There is still a mirror that goes with this that I will have to get to. I'm thinking I might do that later in the day on Sunday.  Then again, I might wait until the following weekend.  Maybe I'll just stuff myself with candy on Sunday and forget about being productive.  Sounds like a plan!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Carrying On

While I am not giving up on the carpet stains, I am resolved to finish with the dresser.  Our weekend guests will be back on Friday and I want that room put together by then!

The drawers were less traumatic. I emptied them and brought them down to the basement. It would appear we can get away with one coat.  The color turned out nice and dark.  I purposely left the old stain on because I wanted to go darker.  I think this will make the piece look a lot nicer and they've been banged up.  The set was in my grandparent's house, was moved to our first apartment, then on to four more homes.  It has taken a beating!  I would much rather salvage this than buy something new because it is solid wood.

I hope to write about the steamer this week at some point. Or maybe I'll get pictures when I clean again on Saturday.  It won't get rid of old/set in stains, but it cleans the grime and schmutz out of grout, crevices and does a great job on soap scum -- using just steamed water.  No cleaning solutions required.  It probably won't be as much fun to use in the summer when it's hot (well, cleaning is never fun), but it did a great job of de-gooking our kitchen counter, the cabinet doors, all of the tile in the bathroom and the gunk around all of our plumbing fixtures.  I'm glad I ordered it!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Smart and Not So Smart

We went out to get solar lights for the back yard yesterday. On the way home, we stopped into the Burlington Coat Factory so I could pick up panty hose for work. Now that we are headed into spring, I'll have to retire my tights.  I'll also be putting many of my sweaters away.  In an effort to obey the dress code that prohibits the showing of shoulders, I picked up a lace cover-up that I plan to wear on warm days.  It is very lightweight and it has sleeves.  I hope it flies!  If I get away with this one, I'll pick up a few others.
When we were at Loew's, I picked up an ebony polyurethane stain for the dresser in the second bedroom.  The piece was getting a bit beat up and I wanted to test the stain before using it on the main set in our master bedroom.  What I realized is that I am a moron.  Not wanting to schlep this piece downstairs, I set it on a heavy quilt that I paint things on.  Not thinking that stain is a lot thinner, I did not realize it would soak through the quilt so now there are some very ugly dark spots on the carpet.  And since it is stain, it's probably not hard to imagine how permanent these marks probably are.  I had wanted to pull up the rug -- but not any time soon.  I'll try to work through the spots some more but I'm not hopeful.

One thing I was smart about, was buying a couple of marked down steaks last month.  We had another one for dinner tonight.  It was pan seared with mushrooms and onion, then I added some wine and cognac.  It baked for a bit and then it was ready for us to enjoy.  While we had wanted to grill, it's raining cats and dogs here.  Rumor has it that will turn to snow tonight. I really hope not.  We don't need the ice that is likely to form under it.

The bright side is that I am behind on grocery shopping so having a cold day means I could shop at lunch.  Maybe that's smart -- or maybe it's not.  Given my recent track record, I'm not going to claim any great intelligence!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Busy Weekend!

The  Big Guy and I spent so much time getting ready for overnight guests (his sister and her family) yesterday that there wasn't a free moment to post!  They're on their way to Michigan today, so the spare cushions and air mattress and the guest bed is made up and waiting for their return next weekend on their way home.

I had vowed that TBG and I would have pancakes for breakfast on Saturday because it was his "off" weekend.  It worked out great because I made a huge batch and then microwaved the leftovers this morning to feed the kids.  It was a swell visit but between cleaning up (using my new steam cleaner which I'll post about), running around to get groceries, making dinner and getting appetizers plus doing some preparatory patio work, we were literally beat. Our bodies were sore so we are not working out today!

Here's a quick tip to make up for my lack of content yesterday.  Small screen cleaning pads are a buck at the Dollar Tree.  They come in a variety of patterns.  Buy one and keep it in a pretty silk pouch in your purse.  These are great for cleaning glasses and polishing your jewelry on the run.  This is such a cheap and easy thing that it's worth it to keep a set in your car, at your desk, etc.  In fact, you can even stash one of those cheap glasses repair kits (small screws, mini screw driver, etc.) in the pouch.  This would make a good stocking stuffer come holiday time.  At our age, who doesn't wear glasses?

Friday, April 11, 2014

River Foolishness

Back in the days when I was a runner, if anyone asked me where or when I thought I would die, I could have named the most likely place, but not any particular time.  It would have been on Amherst Street in Buffalo, heading east, on the south side of the street, crossing in front of the entrance/exit of the Wegman's super market.  Cars would turn in and out without looking out for pedestrians, totally ignoring the stop sign.  One day I threw myself in front of a car that would have hit a young boy crossing the street.  The car only stopped because I made a mad dash and pounded on the hood.  Yes, even I, on occasion, have taken steps to keep a child safe.

Ask me the same question today and my reply would be that I would most likely bite the biscuit trying to retrieve a lost ball out of the Niagara River any time between March 1st and April 31st.  This year we can probably extend that a few more weeks.

Last year I had an early spring river fiasco but managed to save the ball and not actually end up as fish food -- or fodder for the Falls (which churn up dead bodies every spring).  Tonight was another misbegotten dog and ball adventure.

The ice situation has been hit or miss over the past two weeks.  The boom that consists of a series of chained logs laid out at the point where Lake Erie feeds the Niagara River have not yet been removed.  Too much of the lake froze this year and the amount of ice is so great that the river can't handle it.  Some ice is still making it through and it shows up at unpredictable times.  Like today.

I noticed a lot more ice than normal in the river but the current was pretty slow, so I decided it would be OK.  Teddy did fine with her first toss -- taking into account that the first retrieval ends in an annoying period of playing Stupid Teddy Games (or in less gentle terms, "douche-baggery").  These games are called "Keep Away," "I Taunt You a Second Time" (name inspired by Monty Python, consists of multiples of taunts), "Shake Until I Soak You" and "Outdoor Voice" (annoying non-stop barking).  On the second toss, she went in and then swam within a foot of the ball, turned around and swam to shore.  She was bothered by the ice.

Well, I watched the ball float away.  These balls are not cheap but more importantly, I don't have time to go and buy another one right away.  So, I leashed her up and she pulled me down the tow path.  Twice I spotted the ball in locations where she could easily get in and retrieve it, but she either didn't see it (her visual intelligence is as pathetic as her vocal repertoire) or was afraid.  Of course, she was under exercised and over stimulated, so she pulled me like crazy.  We climbed over a number of rocks and finally on our third or fourth try, she got the ball.  Not only do I protect children, I act heroically to preserve the existence of orange rubber balls.

One of the more annoying aspects of our adventure is that I was feeling too lazy to take her out because I had also gone to the pool on the way home.  I was tired, but I thought that it wasn't fair to deprive her after I got my exercise.  Next time, I'm going to think twice!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Turkey is Done!

It is Thursday, which means it's the last work night of the week where I have to make a meal and I don't have to make lunch for tomorrow either.  We get bagels as a perk on Friday but I make a breakfast sandwich anyway in case there are none left by the time I get to the tray.

I was struggling for dinner ideas to use up the last of the turkey, so I took a nap. After all the stuff that went on at work this week (nothing bad, just a lot of stuff getting done), getting the dog out, adjusting to a new mattress, etc. I was beat.  The nap helped.  And just as I was getting out of bed, I remembered that I had a jar of cous-cous sauce.

I have found if you are sick of your meat/chicken and you want to use it up, pick a novel/unusual method to "hide" it in.  I don't cook Indian/Middle Eastern every day (I don't count Mediterranean in that category), so this was the best way to hide the turkey.  I sauteed up onion, mushroom and olive then tossed in the chunked up turkey.  Once I poured in the sauce, I added some steamed broccoli.  I know brown rice is healthier than white but also knew white would taste better.  There's enough fiber in the veggies so we don't have to be too worried.

There is just enough for The Big Guy to have the rest for lunch tomorrow.  That one turkey breast that was under eleven bucks fed us for an entire week.  I had some form of turkey sandwich each day too.  While my food spending was real low this week because of this (65 bucks), we're having weekend guests so I'll make up for it then!

The steamer I ordered from QVC arrived today but I am not motivated enough to unpack it and put it together. I'll do that this weekend when I am ready to clean out the tiles around the tub.  There's nothing like the prospect of house guest to get one in gear and get the house in shape!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lazy or Not?

I skipped another night at the pool!  The problem was that when I got there, the parking lot was almost completely full.  Usually at the time I go it is less than half full.  I just didn't want to park in the back, walk all the way in on the uber-high heels I'd spent the day in, only to risk I'd get there, find out the place was too full to get a lane and then have to walk all of the way back in those heels.  So I went home and we put out all of our warm weather patio stuff. It wasn't the same as a work-out, but we got something done.  I'm waiting for mail order annuals to arrive and we'll probably have Jimmy Jam take down the wisteria and fence, but for the most part we are ready to enjoy our patio.  Woo Hoo!

I started turkey stock last night and once I pulled out the bones and meat/flesh, I was left with a small heap of bones for the garbage, a portion of meat for the dog and enough stock to make dinner for tonight.  It was nice to have the time to do that -- which I would have done even if I swam, it just would've been a mad rush.
We had cream of tomato soup tonight.  I had enough stock plus left-over marinara, a half container of part-skim ricotta from the ziti and tofu.  I pulled other odds and end out of the fridge and mixed it all in.  I was able to use up a lot of errant foodstuffs and make a flavorful side dish.
The focus of our dinner was an uber salad.  This had everything but the kitchen sink in it.  Cold turkey over salad is very tasty and one of TBGs favorite meals.  I didn't finish all of my salad, but he'll enjoy it with a piece of pot-pie for lunch tomorrow. He finished the ziti today.  There's enough quiche for him to have another breakfast.  That will bring us into Thursday in good shape. I'll just have to figure out dinner with the turkey and broccoli that we still haven't finished.  I'll have turkey salad for lunch.  Once those meals are done, we will have consumed just about everything I bought. 

TBG's sister and her family will be in on Saturday evening on their way to visiting relatives in Michigan.  I'll have all day Saturday to pick up and turn whatever spare food we have in the fridge into snacks and appies. 

That one turkey  breast was just a little over ten bucks and we're eating it all week.  The dog too!  Once we've finished, we won't be in the mood for turkey again for a while, but it is a good way to get many meals out of a single purchase.

I guess I've been lazy from an exercise perspective.  My yard work and short walk with the dog this evening is not as effective as a swim.  But I don't feel too guilty if skipping my work-out means I can get something done around the house/yard and also still manage to make a healthy money-saving meal!