Thursday, August 23, 2012

sand first, then prime, and paint …



last weekend, erik was somewhere around 9,000 ft above sea level with a few fellow backpackers on a camping trip they take every year.  ever since the date was set for their annual trip into the wilderness, I planned to use the lack of distraction {being my cute husband} as the perfect time to get my painting finished. 

I wanted to finish painting our bed, his nightstand/dresser, and a wine rack.  all in one day.

I was actually pretty excited for my painting day, knowing how fulfilling it is to transform something that was once ugly, into something that is … well … no longer ugly. 

watching the paint instantly cover the bruises and scratches an old piece of furniture has acquired over the years is thoroughly satisfying …

although, my use of the word “instantly” isn’t really accurate.

while I love the painting process, I HATE the prep process.  taping is fine.  and even the priming is fine.  but the sanding.  blah! I wish it wasn’t such a critical part of the process.  every time I thought I had successfully roughed an entire layer of stain off the dresser, I’d smooth away the dust to find that I did not in fact sand away an entire layer, but rather barely touched the surface. 

uhhhh.  I had too many projects to complete in one day (day 2 of his trip was dedicated to organization), to waste spend so much time sanding … unsuccessfully at that! (clearly, I should have spent more time looking for my contractor-husband’s electric sander …)

I hate to admit, that when it comes to painting, I’m a lazy DIY-er.  I sanded what I could … and then I went straight to priming.  and oh, did I prime that baby! gave it enough for my black paint to grip on to.

in the end … I’d say it looks pretty good.  we’ll just see how long the paint lasts. 

but hey, by the time it starts to chip, I’ll probably be ready to paint it another color … so in reality, I’m just making the job easier next time around.

pictures of my newly painted furniture to come.  prepare yourselves.  or don’t.  it’s really not like I painted anything a really fun color.  it’s all just black.  BUT, I did try my hand at a very subtle antique job on the wine rack.  could have been better, but for now, on a $5 wine rack, I’m pleased. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

and they were already good …

I know I’ve mentioned it before … but I LOVE mexican food.  in fact, my employer is picking me up a carne asada taco and 3 rolled tacos covered in queso and guacamole, right now.  he asked what I felt like, and I said … “mexican!”

really, it’s never a surprise. 

in particular though, I love tacos and burritos … and the fact that most mexican meals are comprised of the same ingredients in a different form.  easy to keep those staples around the house!

last night, in the midst of this 100+ degree weather, erik and I halted our work on the projects we were wrapped up in, at the realization that we were both starving.

in an effort to think of something that would not require the heating of the house via the oven (and even the stove), we agreed on grilled fish tacos.

and can I just say, they were pretty fantastic.  we had tilapia steaks in the freezer and given their thin nature, they thawed in a matter of minutes.

erik spread them over a foiled bed of olive oil, lemon pepper, & garlic salt, then topped them off with the same seasonings plus a squeeze of lemon and a drop of butter.  and then he grilled those babies to perfection.

meanwhile, I prepared the tortillas, using a new trick I learned in mexico.  a trick that has increased my love for tacos even more … and I didn’t think that would have been possible.

July 2012

at our favorite taco stand in mexico, we saw them throw the cheese directly onto the grill … genious.

after a second or two, they threw the tortilla right on top.  they let it sit, then used a spatula to flip the tortillas, cheese and all.  amazing.

I prepared a couple of tortillas and stacked them, allowing the hot, gooey cheese to keep them warmer, longer.


and then, we topped them off with lettuce (our last minute decision for fish tacos meant the lack of cabbage), tartar sauce, and hot sauce.

can I just say, I was in heaven ….

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

nails, polish, and all that girly stuff …

Yesterday, my youngest niece left the world of childhood and jumped daringly into the world of teen-hood.

Given her southern california roots, it was quite an act love when her family drove her north on i-5 in order to celebrate this momentous occasion with her family.  And for that, I am grateful.

I don’t get to see my sweet cousin enough, nor do I check-in nearly enough via the numerous avenues as are now readily available thanks to the wide world of social networking.  And I hate myself for it.

But that’s what led me to really think about what I wanted to give her for her birthday.  She is no longer a little girl, but she’s not yet a woman (oh dear, never thought I’d reference a Britney Spears song in my blog).  I want her to enjoy her youth and not race towards the next stage of life that promises freedom … or the illusion of it, rather.  We live in a world where girls leave childhood behind before they have the chance to experience it.  And I told her that in my card.  I also told her, that elegance and class are seen as fashion trends, instead of qualities to pursue.  And that, my friends, is a shame.

I did my best to put together a “Teenage Girl’s Survival Kit” … full of all the fun girly things necessary for life as a lady … while attaching tid-bits of advice from her older, grey-hair-going, cousin.  You know, things like, your parents are actually on your side, contrary to popular belief (as is established by most teens these days); and guard your heart, you’ll be softer because of it, etc.

(I should have taken a picture of my survival kit … it looked pretty cute, if you ask me)

One of the things I included was a travel sized pack of nail files.  this may seem silly to anyone who was not raised under the teachings of Barbara Richardson (the quintessential lady, in my opinion).  you see, Barbara, or as I affectionately referred to her, Omie, was the epitome of class and elegance.  She was calm, passionate, strong, tender, proper, kind, forgiving, hospitable, and nearly every other quality of the noble woman as described in Proverbs 31.  and we are blessed to have had her as an example.

now back to the nail files … I’m not sure if it was something she was taught in her etiquette classes or not (yes, ladies, they actually took classes on etiquette … what a novel concept, right?), but she always had a nail file by her side.  by her chair, in her purse, in every drawer of the kitchen and each bathroom; a nail file was no further than a reach. and because of her obsession with the beauty tool, her nails were always perfect.  sometimes they were painted and sometimes not; but they were always beautiful. 

I’m sure, if I though hard enough, I could think of some sort of metaphor or analogy to her nails and the nail file, but work has nearly fried my brain, so I’m not going to think much more about it.

I just loved hearing the resounding remarks of agreement when kate opened the package of nail files, from all of the women in the family.  nice nails are a part of being a lady.  they aren’t reserved for school girls anymore … it can be a beautiful accessory that compliments the “lady” in all of us.  painted or not.