Sunday, October 26, 2008

Where are the squirrels?

We've worked hard on our yard the past five years. It isn't perfect but it is nice. We even laid sod in the back yard three years ago. That was a long and tiring process since we did everything by the book. You know: till, add topsoil, amend with lime, smooth out, then lay the sod. So, we try to maintain our hard work. In years past, we've had acorns to pick but not like this. For the last two Sundays, we have spent several hours, on our knees, picking acorns. I kid you not. The pile you see pictured is from just the front yard and collected in less than two hours. The bucket is what we used. That pile represents SIX full buckets! And we aren't even halfway through the back yard.

Which makes me wonder - where are the squirrels? For years, we have lamented the little holes the squirrels dug, hiding their food for the winter. Our cat would sit for hours at the front of the house, twitching his tail and making these weird noises. Not so this year. Really. In the last week, I've seen two. That's all two. Are we facing a harsh winter? Did the squirrels get scared away? Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Two weeks ago I went to my gynecologist for my annual. I've been noticing some changes - nothing serious - and thought I'd ask him about it. Things like irritability, not sleeping well, quick mood changes, irregular periods, and here's the big clue - hot flashes. Yes, I'm in perimenopause. Oh the joy. Add this to the small but increasing amount of gray hair I'm finding and it's just a stellar month! For the record, I'm now 42 (as of today) and this starts in your 40's.

I knew it was coming. And I thought this would be his answer. But still it's a little unnerving. I mean, it's one more confirmation you're getting older. I don't mind the idea of not having a period anymore. Really, who would? But, why is a different story.

I came home and told Jeff the news. He took it like a typical man (meaning his only comment was "OK") until I told him this could last up to 10 years. Then he just looked at me. He has been on the receiving end of the mood swings and crankiness a lot lately. He just looked at me a LONG time. I think he was dazed. His next comment - what can I (meaning me not him) do for it? Answer - low dose birth control pills.

I don't really want to do that. I don't know why. I enjoy the freedom of not having to remember taking it. (For those who don't know, Jeff was snipped three years ago.) And the savings is nice too. But after this weekend, I think I'll have to go on it. I really was a *itch to both Grayson and Jeff. Jeff is one thing, but Grayson can't understand all this. And he shouldn't have to.

So, I can't believe I wrote this. Southern ladies don't talk about these things in public. But, then I thought, I don't know who's reading this. And the ones I do know about, I'd tell anyway! Something to look forward to ladies!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Update on the bath - yet again

So this time, it's good news. The plumber came today and he saved us money! I KNOW!! How often does that happen? Anyway, he figured out how to get the drawers out of the vanity in no time. Apparently there is some little "trick" to it. He told me he does a lot of bathroom renovations and sees this a lot more lately. So, the pipes do not need to be moved!! (I love this plumbing company anyway - they have always steered me right, been honest, timely, and, here's the kicker, one of the cheaper quotes! When you find a goodie, keep them!!) Whew!!

The Money Pit

That's what this bathroom renovation is. The money pit. I don't know if you ever saw the movie but I feel like I'm living that right now.

We thought, after getting the tile down and the light fixture moved, that we were coasting toward easy street. Who was I kidding? It never works like that. We McMullans (my maiden name) are notorious for having stuff go horribly wrong.

This weekend we decided to install the cabinet and vanity. We measured where the pipes were in the wall so that we could drill the holes in the cabinet. And, yep, here's where the problem starts. The water pipes are perfectly lined up with the drawers in the cabinet. Meaning we would never be able to get the water shut off in an emergency. Why don't we just take the drawers out if such an emergency would happen, you ask? Because we can't figure out how to get the drawers out. Seriously. I know it shouldn't be hard. But after 45 minutes of working with the drawers, they won't come out. So, see, that's a problem. Because you just know that you aren't going to have 45 minutes to fiddle with drawers if there's a water break.

So then we thought, why not just put a hole between the open space under the sink and the drawers. We could simply reach through and turn off the pipes that way if necessary. The problem there is that there is a support board there. A 2 inch board. And, I'm not so keen on messing up something that helps it stay stable.

The only solution we could come up with was to have a plumber come and move the pipes over a few inches. I know, I know. The cost! But, what else can we do? Seriously, if you know something, share it with me!! We need a plumber anyway to put in the shower/tub fixtures so we'll have him do it all at once.

Now, one more kicker. The vanity top. The one I loved. It was marble and oh so elegant. Not happening. We have taken the top back three times now due to cracks. We discovered that this weekend too. After returning the third one, we agreed that we aren't meant to have marble. We found one in granite we like At Home Depot. And it's cheaper. So that's sweet. But still - the marble was just gorgeous. But if it was so susceptible to getting chips in the padded box, can you imagine what a five year old could do to it?

Bath Renovation, Part 2

At this point, living in an apartment looks good. No, seriously. This bathroom renovation is just awful! Here's where we stand now.

The tile floor is laid and looks great. Wasn't hard to do, just time consuming. Spreading the grout was a little harder but not much. Again, just took a while and the cleanup was more physically strenuous than I thought it would be. (Who knew you would need to scrub the tiles three times, hard, to get the residue off?!)

After the floor was laid, Jeff and I thought the best thing to do next would be to sand the areas of the wall that were dinged in the gutting process. We also decided to move the light fixture box so it would be centered on the vanity. Yes, you read correctly. The light box was not centered over the vanity in the first place. Now, you may recall from a previous post that the original light fixture was glued to the wall. We discovered a month ago, after patching the sheetrock from the glue, that the box wasn't centered when we hung up our new fixture. See, the original light was one of those hollywood globe lights that are standard contractor grade and it never showed up. The new fixture made it very apparant.

My husband is very handy. He went to Lowes and found all the stuff he needed to move the box. It was supposed to be as simple as adding a piece of wood to the 2x4 and then attaching the box to that. The box only needed to move over about 2 inches. Well, get this. The original box was never attached to the 2x4. It was simply pushed into the sheetrock. Yep. That's right. The box was attached to NOTHING!! I kid you not. Who does this kind of crappy work?>! Once again, a 30 minute job became a 2 hour job.