Thursday, August 30, 2012

Audio Crush - Sallie Ford and The Sound Outside

SALLIE FORD - "Rock & Roll" from More Dust Than Digital on Vimeo.

I love her to pieces. She's super spunky and I love it when ladies get their growl on.  When I hear that song, I imagine myself riding an old fat tire bike around a small town and dinging the bike bell each time that the chorus kicks in. Singing along as my corduroy britches make that corduroy britches sound.

Do any of you ever picture songs this way? I have to have scenarios for my favorite songs. Did you see my mad awesome hairstyle in the aforementioned scenario? Yes, those are rainbow hair ribbons! Thanks for asking!

Sallie and the guys are currently doing a lot of U.S. tour dates and are hitting Nashville on September 12th if any of my local peeps want to go. And you can find their website here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What's Up

Hey y'all! I hope that you all are having a great week! Ours has been kind of crazy so far. We are STILL dealing with the flooring fiasco. We finally got our contractor to refer us to an actual flooring company - after a rather uncomfortable afternoon where we had to force his flooring guy to leave our property. No joke. Awkward!

The new company sent out a guy who actually stood in our kitchen and laughed and laughed at the job that was done by the other people. Which gave us faith that if he knows what a bad job looks like, he can most likely eek out a good job. In the end, the new crew is going to have to pull up all of the flooring that the other guy did, scrape up the glue and start over. Unfortunately, they can't start until  next week so we're still eating microwave and toaster oven food.

Let's see...what else is going on? Oh! The other night, we went on an adventure! Someone reported that a guinea pig was seen running around in traffic on the four lane road near our house so the Mister and I drove up and down streets for a long time, trying to spot a guinea pig in the dark. I have no idea what kind of jerk released a guinea pig out into an urban area but I still have hope that he'll end up in my yard. Poor boo.

By now, Mister Kitsch knows that if I say late at night "Want to go on an adventure!?" that he should turn me down. He actually did turn me down this time until I said, "! It's not a dog! It's a guinea pig!" He was all, "Oh, a guinea pig! Let me get my shoes!" Poor guy. He's been conditioned to my lifestyle. He didn't even ask me if I was joking.

And today, I saw my neighbor's house getting robbed! I heard a loud muffler and looked out the window to see a truck in my neighbor's driveway. I thought that maybe someone was there to cut the grass  - but then I realized that the guys in the truck had cracked into the garage and were stealing stuff. Unfortunately, the police got there too late and the burglars made a get-away.  There are a lot of daytime burglaries in our area and I can never get over how brazen the criminals are. I mean, these guys just drove down to the end of the driveway in a truck with a loud muffler, completely drawing attention to themselves - and then started stealing stuff. My neighbor on the other side ran out into the yard and tried to chase them to get their license plate number but unfortunately, couldn't get it. We got an excellent description of them and their truck though. It was a very Cagney and Lacey kind of day!

Oh! And gawd..okay. So, the last time that I had to call the police was last year when there was a strange man lurking behind houses. I literally awoke to see him in the yard near my window. So when the police came, I was barefoot and wearing a skirt, a huge wool coat and the worst case of bed head that I've ever had. It was actually a side ponytail circa 1984 with bedhead. Take a moment to picture that, if you will. Oh, and no bra. Because that's what I get for making fun of women on COPS who never seem to be wearing bras when the long arm of the law comes after them. I'll never forget standing in my front driveway looking like a damned crazy fool with a row of cats lined up in the window behind me. I'd become that lady.

Today, I looked just as ridiculous. You see, I had just returned from the store where I decided to purchase a new eyebrow pencil with this built-in brush thingie. When I got home, I noticed how great the lighting was outside and thought that it might be a good idea to try it while in the car.  After using the pencil, I realized that I looked like I'd filled in my eyebrows with a brown crayon and that they were unnaturally thick and wild looking. Imagine Joan Crawford's brows if they were going down hill on a bobsled.  Anyway, I chuckled to myself and went inside where nobody could see me. Mere minutes later, the criminals hit the scene. Of course, I'd completely forgotten about the waxy inchworm eyebrows crawling across my face and went out to talk to the police. I didn't realize until a couple of hours later when I passed a mirror that I still had on my faux pas brows and that one of them had sweated down my face. Mortifying!

I looked a lot like this guy.  

Can you believe that I donated this cookie jar?? Insane.

I guess that the lesson here is to always be prepared for a police interview. Or for the media. Not too long ago, I rolled out of bed on a lost dog hunt and ended up on the 6:00 and 10:00 news with no makeup and nary a comb having touched my hair! And wearing that same stupid crazy cat lady wool coat. 

I hope that you all have had a great week so far and that your natural features are firmly in place! But before I go, I want to share some something cool with you.

Wasn't that beautiful? You can learn more about the artist, Sue Austin and her underwater wheelchair here and  here.

And on the flip side, go here to read about a surprisingly lucrative find for one young boy:

Can't you just hear Veruca Salt screeching "Daddy! I want whale vomit and I want it NOW!!"?

I'm pretty landlocked here in Tennessee but have high hopes that  I'll find one of those in a thrift store one day. Or in the back of an estate sale closet.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Thursday, August 23, 2012

1974 Piñata Party!

The following were found in Mr. Kitsch's family photo albums. I just loooove these shots - the
remarkable piñata and the fabulous decor and fashions. Straight out of 1974.

Piñata standoff! 

I love those birthday paper goods with the cowboys on them. And that yellow rotary phone! 
And the drapes! And the little desk with cookbook storage. 
I think that 95% of homes had that dinette set in the 70's. 

High Fructose Corn Syrup never killed us. 
See the Mister's tiny little feet dangling from his high chair? 

That kid does not like the paparazzi. 

My in-laws got rid of this kitchen not long before I saw their home for the first time. Now they have a beautiful state-of-the-art kitchen with the dishwasher and fridge hidden behind cabinetry. I'm sure the kitchen shown above was completely dogged out with four kids and countless numbers of pets throughout the years but I sure do wish that I could go back in time and see it. And steal that refrigerator for my own use. And rescue Mr. Piñata as I'm sure that he was whacked to smithereens by corn syrup fueled youngsters before it was done!

Did any of you have piñatas at your parties as kids? I never did. I'm not sure that the people in my small South Carolina town knew what piñatas were! I'm making up for lost time as an adult though. I try to fit them into what ever occasions I can. And every time that we got to the local market, I beg the Mister to add one to our cart as they dangle and sway provocatively over our heads.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In A Spin...Lovin' That Spin I'm In

 Whoo Boy.

Doing the laundry nowadays is a real drag. I used to think that it was a drag before because our laundry room is inside a small, dark closet in our garage that can reach over 120 degrees in the Summertime. But that was a German chocolate prize-winning cakewalk compared to what it is now.  With the kitchen sealed off, I have to carry the laundry out the front door and then down the front walk. Then down the long driveway while dropping rogue socks and underpants for the neighbors to giggle at. Then in the sun porch door before entering two more doors to the garage. In this heat, I feel like I'm in basic training.

As one might imagine, switching out loads takes a real drive to succeed! Not even Mr. Quackers, the Hell Hole Laundry Room Duck can make me feel better about the situation.

Nice Try, Mr. Quackers! 
Thanks for not taunting me like the "Ring Around The Collar!" Parrot.

Of course, I realize that I still have it good. I don't have to walk for miles and beat my clothing on a rock in a river. Or sit at the laundromat wondering who washed what weirdness in the machines before I got there. I realize that I've still got it good. I guess this is just the Summer of my whiny discontent.

All of this laundry thinkin' reminded me of this photo that came from one of my Grandmother's photo albums.

My Grandmother told me that this photo was taken right after her  brother gifted his wife with her first automatic washing machine ever.  Darned tootin' she was overjoyed! 

Before the kitchen situation, the Mister and I had talked about having a laundry room built inside of the house (a real modern marvel!)  but after the construction woes of late, I'm not sure we'll ever have the nerve!
x's and o's,

Big Ole Favor?

Hey buckaroos! I'm wondering if you all can do me a favor if you're on Facebook? My friend Rebecca  AKA "Fanny Freckles" from over at Midnight Maniac is in the Maidens of Iron pin-up contest and she needs folks to "like" her photo to get votes. She's in the lead but we want to get her a HUGE lead so that she can keep it going and become a finalist. If you're on Facebook, please stop on over and like her photo. That will count as a vote. You can comment too of course but it's the "like"s that are being counted.

Click here to "like". 

She's a really great gal who helped me along in my very own voting contest a couple of years back. Please help me return the favor. Thanks so much!

-Eartha   : )

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday and It's Trappings

Thanks to everyone who stuck with me to the end of my post yesterday - and thank you SO much for all of your great advice! (and offers to bust some heads)  Here's where things are at this point: No, we still don't have a kitchen but according to the construction company, they have now arranged for a team  who installs for our local flooring store to come out on Friday morning and make things right. Apparently, they do VCT for a living and know what they're doing. Of course, as you can imagine, we are taking all of this with a few thousand grains of salt right now until we see the job that they do.

And not to worry - we're not going to sign off on anything until it's done to our standards. Since that's three days away, we think that our best option is to give them a chance as if they actually do a great job, we can be done with our repairs by the middle of next week and be moving back into the kitchen. Since that will be week six, we want to give these people a shot. Because we know if we start contacting the authorities, boards and media right now, we're liable not to have a kitchen well into next year once the ball gets rolling. If these guys jack things up though, we won't hesitate to take this situation to them.  Oh, and rest assured that even if they do things right and are finally out of our house, we're still going to file complaints and leave scads of negative reviews all over the internet so that hopefully, no more homeowners will be caught off-guard and use them.

In positive news, I've been cat sitting for the sweetest little round eyed tuxedo cat named Elvie the past few days.

Look at that face! She has seriously been my bright spot. Her meow sounds like a cross between a cricket and a duck and it always makes me smile. We go out on her patio in the sun every morning and sit and watch the birds and bugs and in the evenings, we play toy mouse games and she lets me hold her. She's been a serious stress reliever for me. And her parents' house is beautiful and full of vintage delights that I can sit surrounded by without any dust, demolition or stress. They even have a kitchen which reminds me that I will one day too.

In my search for microwaveable recipes, I came across this in a Betty Crocker cookbook for kids from the eighties and it made me laugh so hard - which I needed.

I love her hair and giddy grin. And how excited she is not to have to clean a cookie sheet.  I had that exact same hair when I was a teenager. Lord have mercy. Some were the cool kids and well, some of us were the Robins. I'm probably still a Robin if the truth be told.  

Another thing that has made me happy? Panda bears on a slide!

And my imaginary boyfriend, Tommy Seebach. He was the original rump shaker. 

I hope that all of y'all are having a great week and finding some things to smile about. I'll let you know how the Friday crew does and hopefully come up with some more happy stuff before then.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Monday, August 20, 2012

Madness is The New Norm

I've been putting off writing this post. I'll sit down at my computer and the words don't come. Or rather too many words come all at once and then I get mad and abandon ship. Folks, the Mister and I and our ranch house are smack dab in the middle of a never-ending injustice. Now, I'm normally pretty even-keel. It takes a lot to get me riled up - unless it's an injustice. I can go from zero to sixty - from smile to spittle in a New York minute if an injustice is being committed. And we're five weeks in to the biggest injustice that we've ever had to endure. This post will be long and not for everyone but as big part of Ranch Dressing is the restoration of the ranch, it must be done. Hopefully, it will help someone else down the line who might end up in the same situation that we have.

As some of you know, a few months ago, we had a plumbing leak that ruined our hardwoods. We got that replaced and went on vacation. When we came home, we learned that a pipe had burst in our kitchen floor as well. Deep inside of a concrete subfloor where it couldn't be seen.

We contacted our insurance company and told them that we wanted to use a construction company that we'd had great recommendations about. We gave our insurance company the estimate of that company and they said that they wanted to send out one of the construction companies on their list to get another estimate for comparison. Well, their company bid in $4000. under our company and they refused to let us use our guys unless we paid the extra  - which we couldn't do. In the end, we had no choice but to use their people but did inform our insurance company that their bid was so low that we had the strong feeling that something was sketchy about them.  Our insurance agent denied that our fears were warranted.

The construction company started the job and removed our cabinets and jackhammered out the floor. With the company not having taken good enough care to cover everything in plastic, our ceilings and rock wall were now splattered with wet concrete and one of our remaining cabinets was chipped.


After some argument between workers about who was supposed to haul that concrete out of there, the leak was fixed and concrete was poured again. We thought that things were moving at a pretty good pace with just a few annoying glitches. That was when things started falling apart. When the floor guy (who from now on will be referred to as "Mr. Unskilled") leveled the concrete, he left a hump of concrete in front of the sink. that was higher than the rest of the floor. We spoke to him about this and he said that it would be fixed before the VCT tile went in. Up until this point, a good week had passed and our contractor hadn't stopped by or called to check on the job once. We had to call him every day to see what the next step was and who was coming when. And when we did talk to him, he always seemed annoyed that we didn't want to just stay at home 24/7 to see when his people would show up. Like it wasn't our place to question him or to expect him to keep an eye on his workers. They came and went as they wanted with no system of checks and balances and in essence, we'd become the contractors on the job.

Then the cabinet guys came (who from now on will be referred to as "Those Who Wouldn't Know Straight Lines if they Smacked Them In The Sides of Their Heads") and put our cabinets back in. Well, wouldn't you know that after they were done, our cabinets looked like they were straight out of a carnival fun house. The dishwasher no longer could open.

See how the dishwasher is wedged in there? 
You can see the hump of concrete there in the left hand bottom corner. 

The counter tops leaned backwards towards the wall and were a good inch lower than they were before. Doors that closed before now stayed open. We could see daylight where there was no daylight before and everything was just wonky beyond belief.

See that line across the back? That's where the top of the countertops were supposed to line up again. See that line of wooden cabinet top at the front? That's supposed to be hidden by the counter top so that the sink could go back in.

We knew that our contractor was on vacation so Mister called the company and told the secretary that the cabinets were a mess. She called the cabinet guys and they told her that they did a great job and weren't coming back. Whaaaaa? I'll be damned. And the secretary was SO rude to the Mister. We couldn't believe how ugly she was and the attitude that she gave about how we must be wrong about our cabinets being on the verge of destruction. Her guys said that they did a great job and that's all that she was going to hear.

The Mister told her that our job was stopped and nobody else was coming back into our house until the cabinets were fixed. Thanks to the power that is not getting a paycheck,  the manager of the whole company was at our house by the end of the day. One look at the cabinets and his face fell. We could tell that he came in expecting to defend his company but then he just couldn't. He apologized profusely and said that the cabinet guys would never work for him again. He said that he'd send his "best guys" out to do the job right and that from now on we'd never receive anything but the best service from his company. We were relieved to lose our jerk contractor and be on the radar of the head of the company. The next time that we talked to the secretary, she was so sweet that sugar wouldn't melt in her mouth. We could tell that the manager had told her to be nice to us. Things were finally looking up! <-- famous last words.

A crew came out and fixed the cabinets back like they were supposed to be and Mr. Unskilled came back to put leveler on the floors. The Mister kept pointing out the hardened hump of concrete to him and he kept telling the Mister that he'd sand it out before the flooring was done. After waiting ages for the company to get us floor samples that hadn't been discontinued in 2006, The Mister and I worked towards finalizing a pattern and ordered the tile.

(I'll reveal the pattern later if we ever make it out alive.)

Then came the flooring day. Mr. Unskilled and another guy showed up to lay the VCT. Things fell apart from the start. They kept getting our pattern wrong and gluing the wrong colors in the wrong spots even though we gave them a color diagram AND photos of the tiles laid down without glue to go by. In the end, The Mister stood by the doorway the entire day telling them one by one, which tile went where. And they'd forgotten to address the transitions from the kitchen doorways into other rooms. They were now just ugly jagged gaps where transition pieces should have been installed under the VCT tiles. We were less than satisfied. When they left, we noticed that the concrete hump was still under the floor and now under the tiles. When I stood at the sink, one leg was longer than the other!

It's the stuff of legend, I tell ya! My friend Enid even wrote this awesome blues song about it:

(to be sung mournfully and with a plaintive tone)
Woke up this morning
With a big hump in my kitchen floor
Oh, yeah, woke up this morning
With a big hump in my kitchen floor
Now if the Man don’t dump that hump
I ain’t gonna let him near my flo’ no mo’….

I’ve got those wacked-out crazy-installer subcontractor blues…

Mister called the contractor and asked him to come out because the job had been badly done. He also left a message on our insurance agent's phone saying that the job was going badly. Well, the contractor sent Mr. Unskilled ten minutes before he arrived and this guy began to argue loudly with the Mister that we'd had a hump of concrete in our floor BEFORE they even started on our house and that we were just trying to pawn it off on their company.  Sigh. Grumble. Sigh.

The above photo shows how much I've aged since these repairs started. I used to look at least half this young. And I'm pretty sure that my eyes weren't made of plastic grapes.

The plumber was raising his voice and kept saying, "What do you want ME to do??" while the Mister and I yelled out in unison, "YOU tell US! You're the flooring guy! Not us!" He then said that the hump would go down over time. You know, like concrete does. Of course, we're such fools! The hump will just melt away over time. Then he changed his strategy and kept rubbing his hand across the hump and acting like it wasn't there.  It was totally weird - like he thought that he could just smooth it out like one does a wrinkle in a bedspread.

Being the "I'll show you!" type, I went and stood on the hump and showed him how the leg that wasn't standing on the hump dangled over the floor. I even brought his wife into the scenario, asking him if his wife could do dishes with one foot higher than the other. The contractor showed up in his usual jerk mood and kept taking phone calls while we were trying to talk to him. Mr. Unskilled lied right and left and said that he'd offered to put nice transitions in our doorways but we told him not to. Because, that seems like what we'd do, right? Tell a floor guy NOT to put smooth transitions in our doorway? Mr. Unskilled kept going out to his van and slamming our door and acting like a four year old. Mr. Contractor never even touched the hump or looked at it. And only barely glanced at our gaping transition areas. He was taking Mr. Unskilled's side and there was nothing we could do about it.

The usually calm Mr. Kitsch began to lose his cool. 

The argument moved out to our driveway where the Contractor kept saying, "He'll come back tomorrow and fix it. THEN WILL YOU BE HAPPY??" He said that over and over - "THEN WILL YOU BE HAPPY??" like we were fools for wanting our house to be put back together right. It took all that I had not to sucker punch that guy. While we were standing there, the Contractor looked down at his phone and noted that our insurance agent had just called him. A few minutes later, the insurance agent called me and I told him that we were in the middle of arguing with HIS guys and that I'd call him back when we were done. RED FLAG ALERT: Now did anyone notice that the insurance guy called the contractor before he called us...his clients? Later in the day, when we called him back, he let it slip that the owner of the Construction company had worked at the insurance company for twenty years. There you have it. That's why they were hired even though they looked sketchy. The insurance company has ties with the Construction company! Twenty year ties! Oh Mylanta.  I think that steam started to seep out of my ears at this point. Our insurance agent kept acting like things just couldn't be as bad as we thought they were.

The next day, we were almost five weeks into the job that was supposed to take a couple of weeks. Mr. Unskilled came back alone and after the Mister discussed with him precisely how the transition pieces should go, the guy set to work.  He hammered and grunted and threw tools around. He cursed to himself loudly and beat on our transitions and slammed doors. Occasionally, the Mister had to go out and point out tiles that he'd put in backwards or that were the wrong color. Or to discuss how the transitions still weren't looking right. Now, we're not ones to usually hover over workers but with this guy, we were not taking any chances. At the seventh hour, The Mister went to check on him again. At this point, he had glue smeared across our hardwood edges and metal transition pieces were wedged in and dented. Tiles that before had been perfect were now gouged and scratched. And he hadn't even begun to address the hump of concrete under the tiles in front of the sink. Cast your wondrous eyes on some of his handiwork:

Pretty smooth, huh? 

Can you see all of the shattered edges of tile sticking up on that pasted in piece? 

The pattern in these two tiles is supposed to go in the same direction. D'oh! 
It's hard to tell here but that metal edge is bent and sticks up in the middle. 

We were on a sinking ship. The Mister told him that he was done and wanted him to leave. Mr. Unskilled began to beg for us to let him come back the next day to "fix things right". It was entirely stressful and awkward and uncomfortable. The Mister insisted that he leave and he gathered his tools and left. We vowed that he would never come into our house again and stared sadly at the mess that he'd made in our kitchen. While worrying that he'd come back and knock us in our head in our sleep. We knew that we'd already gotten the cabinet guys fired. Would he be next?

This morning, Mister called the manager of the construction company and was told that Mr. Unskilled was out getting more materials to come back to our house to finish! Even though we had to force him off of our property on Saturday! And the manager who before had been so very nice and promised us that his company would do right by us wasn't nearly as nice this time. He treated the Mister like we are too demanding and said that everything is going wrong because our pattern is too complicated. He said that his floor guys "aren't artists" and can't follow our pattern. Which had nothing to do with the hump in the floor and the jagged transitions. Not one thing. He said that he'll have to "research" to see if anyone in his company knows how to do VCT and will get back to us. He refused to come over and see what had been done and every time that the Mister tried to tell him what had happened, he kept cutting him off and wouldn't let him talk.

At this point, we're stuck between a serious rock and a hard place. The insurance company doesn't have our back, the construction company is made up of the worst bunch of nary-do-wells that we've ever met in our lives. And five weeks in, we're left with a humpy, scratched kitchen floor and are completely sick of eating microwave food and washing dishes in the bathtub.

Though admittedly, the kitties do think that washing dishes in the tub is the best thing EVER. They congregate and watch the dishes soak in the dish pan. It's the hit of the kitty cat club circuit, I hear. 

With all of the awful workers that we've had through the years, this is our worst experience EVER. We don't sleep at night and only lay there in the dark exchanging comments about what's happening. If things don't get rectified, we're  on the verge of having to go higher and get involved with complaining to the corporate offices of our insurance company AND the construction company which we know is going to be an uphill climb. We just want our kitchen back. We don't have the money to just hire our own person and tell the insurance company and construction company to go jump off of a steep cliff. And of course, it's the principal of the thing - we pay insurance fees every month so that we're supposed to be covered and well taken care of. And it's really not asking too much for workers to be skilled, polite and timely. We know these things as facts and of course, onward we'll trudge.

And that is what's going on at the ranch.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Three Cheers for Spuds!

Happy National Potato Day, kids! Yes, such a thing exists and I'll be first in line to celebrate.  Here are some potato themed videos for your enjoyment!

And my favorite one: 

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pants Are Optional

I haven't posted anything happy in a while so I thought I'd show y'all this old cake decoration that I found. What I like the most is that it looks like the Rooster is all business on the top and party on the bottom. Pants are optional in the barnyard. And on Easter apparently! Cockadoodle Whoo Hoo Hoo!

I'll talk to y'all soon!

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Dear People of The Future: We Plumb In Peace

Thanks so much to everyone for your comments on my last post. And for your advice too. Things are still grinding on here at the ranch. On Thursday, we reached our tipping point and called the contractor up and demanded his presence at our house (as we'd had none up to this point). He tried to be a real ass about things but we didn't let him intimidate us in the least. This is not our first rodeo and so it isn't our first experience with rodeo clowns who call themselves "contractors" either. It was very cathartic, let me tell you!

The hole in the floor is now covered over with concrete so that's a step in the right direction. The plumbing has been fixed too which gives us peace of mind. The kitchen is still a complete disaster zone and we'll be living without one for a while longer. After becoming tired of ordering pizza, we went to the grocery store and tried to come up with groceries that could be cooked in a living room microwave. I'm afraid that I bought way more frozen egg rolls than should be allowed into one's home. And a frozen Stouffer's mac and cheese large enough to feed an army. The Mister went a different route and pansy-ed out with fresh fruits and vegetables. Yeah, whatever. We all pick our own poisons, I suppose.

I can't remember when we have ever been this tired and stressed. This morning, I was walking down the driveway, consciously attempting to look presentable because we just got new neighbors next door who I haven't met yet. I was so tired that I walked right into the side of a car, sloshing orange juice down my arms. Right beside their window. Then I had to keep walking, acting like I meant to do it. Because that's what you do, right?

We've got a ways to go but right now we feel like things are on track. Today the Mister is putting drywall up behind where the cabinets will go as there was none before. Let me tell you - when those cabinets came out, it looked like shanty town behind there.


Someone told me once that if we were allowed to see the hidden workings behind things, afterwards we'd never trust them to work again. That was proven with this wall. The last people inside of there had stuffed it full of broken boards, a pitiful attempt at insulation and wires hanging willy-nilly. Today, we're tidying that up and leaving something even nicer inside:

A Time Capsule!

We have hopes that it will be many more decades before anyone finds it so the items inside will be pretty interesting and historically significant. I know that I would have loved to have found something like this inside of the walls from when it was closed up in the 1950's. I would have lost my mind from glee actually. We've done this in both of our houses so far. Some day when someone pulls out the medicine cabinet at our old house, they'll find a vintage drinking glass and some wacky pictures. We love hiding notes and souvenirs behind walls and fixtures for people to find later on.

Inside of the time capsule, we put pictures showing how the house looked when we bought it plus several after our restoration work. There are also some photos of us and some coupons (because I think it will be fascinating for the future residents to see how much groceries cost in 2012), vintage playing cards and a pickle bag (because my nickname is "Pickles" and well, who can resist a pickle in a top hat?). I also included screen grabs of the pertinent news items of the day including:

  • Chick-fil-A Kiss Day Protest
  • Will Ferrell Upset At Kristen Stewart
  • 10-Foot Beehive a "Mountain of Hell"
  • Dwarf Goat Knocks Over Playmate
  • Man Plunges Off Cliff While Texting
  • Snooki Show Renewed

Wow, I hope that this time capsule is found well after people forget about Snooki and why it's supposed to be anyone's business who other people love and marry. Though, I imagine that a ten foot beehive will always be considered a "mountain of Hell". 

Mister Kitsch did this drawing and note for the future finders: 

Then we both laughed and said how tragically funny it would be if we are the next people who open up the wall and find the time capsule and note from ourselves about how bad of an idea it is to put plumbing in a slab.  Yes, that would be a laugh riot!  I also left the people of the future a handwritten note asking them that if they are indeed ripping out the original kitchen, to reconsider what they're doing. Yes, my nagging knows no time limit or bounds! It's eternal...

I hope that you all are having a great weekend! Oh, and before you rush off to see why Will Ferrell is angry with Kristen Stewart, be sure and go here to see this person's horror tale and photo essay entitled:  Bees In My Roof

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Calgon, Take Me Away!

I'm shell-shocked. 

Okay, so you know those bloggers who post only happy stuff every day? The bloggers who seem to live in a world where the worst thing that ever happens is that their vintage sheet forts collapse on their heads?  I realize wholeheartedly that Ranch Dressing has become the opposite of that lately. But so it goes. I've lived way too long to pretend that sugar plum fairies wake me up with candy coated kisses every morning. Today has been a horrible day.

Yesterday, I showed you the hole where our kitchen used to be. Today, that hole got even bigger. And that damned contractor that the insurance company forced on us has turned out to be just as lax as we expected. We have to call him every day to ask him what's happening next. It's like we don't even exist. We're here washing our dishes in the bathtub and getting up at six in the morning just to have subcontractors not show up. It's day three and we're already over it. Completely over this whole thing.

To make things worse, we awoke around four o'clock this morning to find that Pip, our tuxedo kitty was very sick. We rushed her to the vet the minute that they opened only to learn that she had become so stressed from the jackhammering and general madness up in here that her poor little system had become constipated into a very dangerous situation. She was in horrible pain. She's been to the vet twice today and has come home to what promises to be a mad house for quite some time. She's endured many injustices today including the worst hack grooming job that I've ever seen.  I feel so horrible for her. And for the vet tech that had to get up this morning and do kitty enemas. On top of the unexpected $400+ vet bill today, well...we're just worried about our Pipster. A lot.

Where we once had a fair approximation of when this project would end, now we have nothing but questions with no answers. And a big gaping trench through the kitchen. And a stressed tuxedo cat who wishes she didn't live here. 

If it weren't for our plumber showing up in a head-to-toe camouflage jumpsuit with a bullet hole straight through the crotch, I'd be convinced that this world is no longer full of wonder and joy.  God bless him.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Light a candle for us. Use your kitchen sink in our honor. We've been bitch-slapped by the fates but we're going to keep getting up every morning until the happily-ever-after begins again.

Until next time,
x's and o's,