Thursday, June 16, 2011

They Came...They Conquered

Bob and Lana blew into town last Thursday. The boys were counting down the minutes.

SIDE NOTE: Wednesday night Bob called to let me know they were in Shreveport. Said they would be in about 2:30 on Thursday. I was working like a maniac. I had so much going on last week, but 2:30 gave me plenty of time to return some order to the chaos that was my house. At 10:30 they called and said "We left early. We will be at your house about noon." AHH!! The boys and I sprung into action and whipped the house into shape quickly!

The boys waited at the end of the cul-de-sac to spot the white van, driven 910 miles to see them.

Oh yea! They are here! That's them.

Wait! You missed us! Grandpa! Mer!!! It's your grandsons!!

Grandpa tricked them and sped past them down the street. The boys were in hot pursuit.

SIDE NOTE: Remember that I told you Bob was pulled over by a State Park patrol woman in the painted desert last month on their cross country trip to Vegas? He was tailgating the couple they were traveling with at about 20 miles per hour. He got away with a warning. Well he was pulled over again yesterday on their way home. Lana called me just cracking up. This time he was speeding, but also got off with a warning. Prior to these two offenses, he was pulled over some time in 1978 for an inspection violation. It was 33 years since his last violation, but now he is on a roll! Slow down Grandpa!

So anyway, back to the whirlwind. They arrived safe and sound. Mer even beat the casino out of a little money in Shreveport. Hugs all around. We had a quick sandwich and then they said "Where's your list? What are we doing while we are here?"

Within seconds the bathroom drawer with the super wiggly knob was out and being worked on.

Bob was on the floor in the bathroom tightening up a faulty toilet paper holder.

This was child's play for them. I had to give them something more challenging.

Grandpa helped Harry take down the old clunky blinds on the back door. Drills were called for. Screwdrivers. Other tool like items and stuff. Lots of stuff everywhere.

Then my kitchen started looking like this.

The knob need a new washer so we loaded up the car and all headed to Lowe's for the first trip. We went back to Lowe's at least six more times during the course of their visit. They were only here for five days.

While at Lowe's, I purchased a drum light I have been drooling over at Lowe's for a while now. Bob took down the old light over the kitchen table and put up the new one.

YUM! Love it. If you like the old light better, please keep your comments to yourself. My husband and children have been relentless in their hatred of this fabulous new light. I do not need any further slamming of my decorating tastes from elsewhere.

My kitchen table, which was purchased secondhand by my parents in the 1960's was in dire need of a new paint job. I had painted it about 12 years ago and it was all chipped and grungy. It was beyond time for a facelift.

The new light was just the inspiration I needed to make some changes.

So we sanded. And then we sanded some more. Then we sanded just a bit more. And then sanded for a little while longer. It was really fun sanding the spindles on the chairs. There were so many of them. Plenty of fun for everyone. It also used up tons of sandpaper too!

While I went to Sherwin Williams several times with my samples, Grandpa put Chip in charge of power washing the front porch area. He did a great job.

The table was finally sanded enough and it was time to bring that baby in the house and put some new paint on it. As soon as Grandpa picked up his end of the table to carry it through the door, this little lizard fellow ran down his arm. Lizards running down your arm is not so good for your heart. Or for your foot if you drop the table on it. Grandpa remained calm and the little fellow scurried off. He's a champ that way.

Then the painting started.

I had picked out a nice grey paint for the legs. A nice sharp white for the top and the chairs. I loved the colors

I made sure to ask the guy at Sherwin Williams lots of questions about the paint. I wanted to make sure it would cover the old oil based paint on my table. The very same paint had covered my kitchen cabinets beautifully and I was sure it would do great on the kitchen table as well.

Grandpa started painting the legs. He got one good coat on it and then it was time to quit.

It was getting late so we shut down the home improvements and had some dinner.

SIDENOTE: Pioneer Woman's Lasagna was delicious. Easy to make and scrumptious! I will definitely make it again.

After dinner, we were lounging in the den and when I looked into the kitchen the table legs looked blue.

Not just any blue.

Country blue.

Remember the 80's and Duck wallpaper and those big giant Duck Cookie Jars?

That kind of Country blue.


Me: Dad, I hate to even say this, but that grey color looks blue on the legs. It is way off. Not at all the look I was going for.

Dad: That's okay. Go get another color you like tomorrow and we will repaint it. Sometimes you can't tell how it is going to look when all you have is a little chip of paint.

SIDENOTE: If it had been me, I would not have responded so nicely. Just saying.

So in the morning, I head back on over to Sherwin Williams in search of a darker grey. I have such angst about picking the wrong color that I make another round trip home so I can bring the paint samples into my kitchen and see them in that environment. I laid them all over the kitchen and finally decide on Sealskin. It is super dark to the point of being pretty darn close to black.

I totally don't want light grey that looks like blue so now I am swinging wildly the other way.

Bob starts painting again. Um...does this look dark grey almost to the point of being black?

Or does this look green? It is most definitely green.

Bob keeps saying "Was someone else in the store with you? Did they mix up the paint cans or something?"

While the paint is drying we try to hang up the fancy, smancy, super cheap curtain rod contraption we got at IKEA. It is a wire. We were confused as to how it would work.

We are easily confused so this was not at all alarming.

We fooled around with and finally figured it out. It was genius actually. Not us, but whoever designed the fancy, smancy, super cheap contraption.

Meanwhile, Lana seems to be missing from some of these photos. No fear. I had her hand-cuffed to her sewing machine under piles and piles of fabric.

She wasn't really hand-cuffed. I just threatened to taser her if she got up.

Just kidding. Seriously, she was free to roam around the house as she wanted to. But she did spend alot of time here working her magic.

The next morning, while having coffee at the newly sanded and painted table, we discovered a problem.

A big problem.


Worst problem ever.

The paint was coming off.

Big time.

Son of a *(#&$!!!! That stupid (*&^ at SW said this paint would work.

That is me. Not Bob.

Do you know what Bob said? He said "I'm not surprised. Something was bound to go wrong."

You can see that we are super confident in our home repair abilities around here. We are also super persistent, so off I trotted to Lowe's to buy oil based paint.

We peeled and sanded and scrapped and washed and peeled and sanded and scrapped and washed all the paint we had just put on the day before.
It was depressing.

Except it was also funny.

In a very depressing kind of way.

Well nothing else had gone wrong so we were staying positive.

And then.....

I walked into the house covered with dust and saw this.

Me: "What's the matter, Mom?"

Mom: "These panels aren't the same length. I measured. I double checked. I measured again. I cut. They don't match. I just don't know what happened."

SIDENOTE: I would have said Son of a *^%*(! I measured these *&^% panels three times to make sure they were right. What the &(%$ is going on?"

We figured out how to fix the variances and Mer carried on with her sewing.

In the meantime, Bob put a nice thick coat of oil based paint on the table and it looked awesome!

Did I mention that while at Lowe's we also picked up a new insert for our backdoor that has the mini-blind inside the glass. Mom had seen it in a friends house and when she described it to me I knew it was the perfect fix for us. We took down the heavy banging blinds that were on our door.

While we were at Lowe's Dad said, you should get a new doorknob for that door. It won't take but a second to put it on.

It took about 2,700 seconds, but we got her installed.

There was also a giant clock installed in the family room. Hubby did that.

See the new door knob. Works great. Also note the old yellow window covering because that is going away!

Also, in the meantime I decided to paint a stencil on the back of the chairs and a stripe around the top of the table. It required another quart of paint.

My kitchen island looked like this.

Seriously good progress is being made on the curtains.

Peek at the chair stencil. The first one I did, the paint went all under the stencil and it looked terrible. Sand the chair, repaint it, wait for it to dry so we could try again.


The best improvement of all was that window.

It was by far, the easiest project of the week. Unscrew the screws, pop the old one out. Put the new one in, tighten down the screws. Done.

That was too easy.

We assumed we would turn around and it was fall out on the kitchen floor or back patio. It hasn't yet.

Look, we have done everything on the list.

It was a long list. I didn't even show you pictures of Bob repairing the three sets of curtain rods in the family room, or the touch up painting of the kitchen cabinets, or the new doorknob on the pantry door.
On the final day, my kitchen island looked like this.

My parents looked like this.

Bob worked hard. His only reward was one cold Miller Lite a night.

Lana worked hard. I let her play her Words With Friends for a little while. She was too exhausted to enjoy it and just fell asleep.

But, oh la la, do I love my little breakfast area.

Aren't the curtains so pretty. I love them. She is a terrific seamstress.

And check out the paint job on the table. I love it.

So happy that my parents are so willing and able to work on projects like this with me. I would never, ever tackle somethign like this on my own.

Here it is again, with the beautiful new back door.

Love it.

I love even more that every single room in my house has something in it that my parents have helped me with. I am so appreciative and hope they know how much I adore them.

I have other stories to share with I almost killed myself with an overdose (not really), I was sick with a nagging cough the whole time they were here (nagging is the understatement of the year!), I went to the Farmer's Market and got a HoneyDew that smelled like poop (isn't that disgusting!)....

I have missed blogging and hope to get back to a routine now that things have settled down. I hope I still have a few readers. Let me hear from you, friends!

For now, I am going to hit the "Publish Post" button and quit trying to figure out why the spacing is so off on this blog. Then I am going to sit and my new kitchen table and go to sleep!



  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new dining area!! I would like to redo a few rooms in my house, but all my money is going to baseball right now!! You all did a fantastic job!

  2. Looks fantastic! Would like to have seen before and after photos, especially on a make over.

  3. And it is even more gorgeous in person!!! You all did a great job!