Thursday, December 16, 2010

The House -After

I just need to say something before we get started...

I don't want any of you mysterious readers out there to think that I'm going to post twice a month from here on out.

I am...spontaneous. Creative. Independent.

which can also be confused as procrastination in some cases.

...not this time.

I ALSO don't want any of you anonymous readers out there to think that I'm posting new house pictures just because I've been hounded and nagged by various relatives and friends ever since the day we bought, painted, and moved in.

I am...spontaneous. Creative. Independent.

The hounding and nagging has also been kind of annoying.

go figure.

So now that we have all THAT out of the way, I can move on to what you're really wanting to see. But who am I kidding? You've already grown bored and moved past all this to the pictures anyway. With every sentence I write I merely add to the tedious exercise of your finger to scroll down to the pictures.

moving on.

Noah put in bamboo laminate here all the way to the kitchen and then down the hall.
The carpet is pretty much the most wonderful carpet ever.

I tell it that everyday.
I can get pretty sappy.

...when it comes to carpet.

You'll notice there is no longer a large hole/window in the wall leading to the kitchen. We filled that in. Eventually we're planning on selling the armoire and coffee table and building something smaller to fit the space better.

My couches have not changed.

This is the bookshelf we/mostly Noah built, it kind of looks like a jumbled cluttered mess here. But I promise it looks much better in person.

Its orange.

. )

Moving on to the kiiiiiitchen.

We opened up this wall here to include a bar height counter. And like I said, we're saving up for cabinets...hopefully that will be our next project. Maybe February?

The other side of the kitchen. yaaay. I'm truly ready for new cabinets with much more pantry space. We'll be putting in 6 ft pantry cabinets where that hutch is.

I found my bar stools on craigslist.
They matched my table and chairs
. )

We opted to put in beadboard and a chair rail in the dining room...I loves it.

And Noah put in a mix of two different laminate flooring types in here...he did a really nifty diagonal design that you can kiiinda see in the photos below.

We still don't have much on the walls..which is fine for now...I can wait.
I did finish making this really cool memo board out of wine corks...

Remember that infamous hallway?

There it is again. New doors, casing, knobs, hinges, the works.

Its kind of difficult to get a good picture of the bedroom...its really not finished anyway. We're going to build a farmhouse frame/headboard when the season slows down.


And the last room, possibly your favorite...

the bathroom.

Ok thats it...I'm done.

how exhausting was that?

Monday, December 6, 2010

House -Before

This is the story of a house.

and its transformation into a home.

grab your popcorn and snacks now...I stop for noone.
Green and Maroon. Not exactly my favorite color combination. But lets stay positive.

Look! A floridian garden!

get it? get it?

its ok to laugh you know.

When we first viewed this house we were pretty excited. Compared to the other short sales we had looked at this...this place was amazing. The problem with short sales is...a lot of them become vacant for several months before somebody buys it. The entire process takes at least 4 months and thats bare minimum. So after being vacant for so many months, the house isn't being taken care of properly.

We were happy to see the owners still living in this house until it sold.
However, they did have small pets that peed on the laminate floor which was....really gross.
We ended up having to strip the dining room, kitchen, and living room of its flooring right away because the smell made me want to take a sledge hammer to the wall.

We went to look at the house a second time in order to take pictures of was then that I started noticing all the little things.
Things like cobwebs, pet hair, missing baseboards,
bubbling laminate, missing tiles and grout, and bad bad paint jobs.

just to name a few.

You don't really notice those sort of things when you're used to viewing vacant houses with gaping holes in the drywall and blood stains on the floor.

ok...I'm just kidding about the blood stains.


The house! right...View 1 of the living room. The large window looks into the kitchen and is right over the stove, which prevents a range hood from being installed. We closed that in.... The flooring doesn't look bad in theses photos...but when you're right up on see that whoever installed it did a really poor job of tapping the strips together.

If you don't tap the flooring together...dirt will gather between the strips and the layers will begin to peel away. So says me...who knows about these sort of things.View 2 of the living room. We set up our couches pretty much the same way. Don't look now, but there is an inch of dog hair, dust, and bugs on that window sill.

And don't even get me started on the blinds.

the bliiiiiiiiinds....

-eye twitch-

Kitchen View 1: See what I mean about the range hood? rar. The cabinets are actually very nice. We think they bought them off of someone and installed whatever fit in this kitchen. The rest were in the garage taking up space. And when I say whatever fit, I do mean...

whatever wherever however it fit.

What I really like is this little drive-thru window above the sink.

Really, I do!

ok...not really.

We took out a very large portion of this wall above the counter in order to make a bar
...which means we don't have ANY upper cabinets and now have access to all sorts of alcoholic beverages.

...wait. wrong bar.
my bad.

We're currently saving for new cabinets...since we want to adjust the position of the stove. Our plan is to move it over to the right in order to have a more servicable space on each side of it. We'll also put in upper cabinets along that wall including a microwave above the stove.

From these pictures, it looks pretty nice. However, the counter top is bowed across there....a good two inches down in the middle compared to the ends. The sink is built into the counter top and the faucet is one of those pull out sprayers that never tends to work right.The tilework was attractive at first glace...until you see they just stuck it up there and didn't bother grouting it. Which means it was basically useless in repelling water from the drywall. Nice.

I'm so negative aren't I?

Here's that meaningless window from the other side.

Oh, what a wonderful idea!! How handy!


One side of the dining room...complete with useless window.

Other side of dining room.

complete with dogs who peed on floor.

They stuffed this room sooo full.
Then again, you don't need me to tell you that.
We ended up pulling that large cabinet out and selling it to some guy down the street. Thank goodness.

You'll be shocked to see what this room looks like now.

paaaatience my very few readers that I can count twice on one hand.


The hallway!! And some grassy looking...thing.

The bathroom!!! Which I liked.

even more so after I painted it and added a toilet seat cover.


They must have had someone come in and do the tile work..because its actually really nice. I don't think it was the same guy that did the laminate flooring.

The duck was not included.

There's not really a point in including pictures of the two bedrooms...since you can't really tell anything from the angle and lighting. They were boring anyhow.

So thats the house tour.

I feel so much more fulfilled now.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Move Part 1

Due to some complaints from my non-commenting readers
I am now updating my blog.

The end.

So tempting.

Well, we did it. We bought a house.
I was oh so very patient.

and Noah DID buy me a sock monkey last week.
pictures to come.

I took a lot of pictures of the whole process of purchase, remodel, move-in.
I won't be posting them this time...(you'll notice this is Part 1)
I've really been too busy/lazy
to do anything outside of the necessity.

Noah's mom, came home from the hospital the same day that we ended up closing on the house...literally an hour or so the weeks that followed were pretty hectic for us.

I was able to get some sisters from the church together to clean the place down.

some notes:

an inch of dog hair and bugs on the window sill in the living room.
a rubber snake in the utensil drawer
552 plastic grocery bags stuck between the refrigerator and the wall
the nastiest fridge and stove I have EVER seen.

Thats just the short list.

We ended up having to take up all the laminate flooring through the dining room, kitchen, and living room because their dogs had peed on it and the smell was AWFUL.

And when I say we...I really mean Noah.
lets just get that straight right here.

We also tore down a wall. And rebuilt one.
Actually, I helped on the tear-down....does that surprise you?

For Noah and I..this house was a blessing in many many ways....
It's definitely in need of work and repair...and we've done a lot to it so far...
You'll see all that in the posts to come.

I'm so thankful to have a place of our own.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

pink rats & healing

We have had QUITE a week.


not to be confused with quiet.
Which is very similarly spelled but not so very similar in meaning.

Poor Sister Pat, my mother-in-law, hasn't been feeling the greatest. She's complained of being tired off and on...not having much energy and such. Well, after having been sick Monday through Wednesday, Noah and I drove her to an appointment early Thursday morning.

(i was up at 6am)

..i'm NEVER up at 6am.

all for you Pat.

Well...the appointment was to have some bloodwork done that she had scheduled about a month in advance. After the bloodwork she started feeling dizzy and shaky. So the nurse came out to get me. When I realized I'd have to help her out, I got Noah...and we decided to sit with her while she tried to drink some OJ. After about 15 minutes of constant shaking and dizziness...the nurse suggested we take her to the ER...which after a scare she gave us earlier in the week when she was feeling sick...we decided that was the best course of action.

And it was. They did an EKG in the ER and found that had had a "heart episode" earlier that week. Because she is diabetic she doesn't feel chest pains or pressure like most people do when they have heart attacks. So the doctors where we were at sent her to Sarasota Memorial Hospital to get a heart cath done.

As a testimony of how God watched over the situation...Noah just happened to not have work that morning. It would have been just me having to make these quick decisions, but he offered to go with me. They took her in an ambulance, got her right in for the heart cath, and it wasn't too long before the doctor told us she needed open heart surgery.

This was all before noon.

Apparently she had only been using about 25% of her heart due to 100% blockage in two main arteries. And rather significant blockage in the other two. The blockage was too many and too much to do stints. Around noon they had her in pre-op for a quadruple bypass surgery.

Talk about information download. All of it was happening so quickly...wasn't it just last week she was out mowing the lawn? Or running me around to JoAnne's and quilting stores for fabric? This woman NEVER slows could she only be living on 25% of her heart?

What will it be like when she has full usage?

The bypass surgery went so well. We had the best doctor in the area...and people all over the States have been praying for her.

I'm sitting her beside her bed, just 3 days after surgery and I'm just amazed at her recovery. They did give her some type of pain med that makes her 'see things'...but we had that stopped and replaced with something else. Apparently its not out of her system yet because she is still seeing pink rats, pink birds, spiders, and tattoos on Noah's head. Oh and spilled paint.

She is determined to be out of here.

Today she's been sitting in a chair, walking around the hospital, nibbling at solid food...I'd take her home today if they'd let me...I'm that confident. But they want to keep her for a couple more days. I'm anxious to see what she'll be able to do next.
God is SO good. Sometimes it's hard to see why God allows us to go through things like this. Why our lives have to be turned upside down without a moment's notice.

The truth is, He's healing more than just surgical wounds here.

He's drawing this little family closer together.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Patient I am.

....wait for it...


oh snap.

Actually...I was going to say...


hurrah! hurray! WAHOO!!

Don't have a closing date yet...but it will be before the 17th.

of August.



I'm beyond excited. And have been INCREDIBLY patient. But only because Noah asked everyone to pray for me to have patience during this process.

"Is there anything we can help you with, Noah?"

" Nope...just pray for Jeni to be patient."

"Can we help you guys pack?"

"Nope, just pray for Jeni to be patient."

"How bout dinner at our house this week?"

"Nope. Jeni needs to be patient. Just pray."

That's what it felt like anyways. Well, Mr. Lancaster...I HAVE been patient. I hope you notice
...and buy me a sock monkeez as a reward.


It's worth a shot anyway.

But really, I HAVE been pretty patient.


(is there any way to subliminally message your husband in his sleep?)

...I've tried whispering things in his ear while he sleeps...I don't think it works...because I'm still purse-less and sock monkeez-less weeks later.

...did I mention I've been really patient?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A snake, a glove, and a damsel in distress

I'm so ready to move out of this rental. If I wasn't ready yesterday, I'm ready now. Need I mention I have like...30 packing boxes sitting on my porch just waiting to be filled? I'm so ready.

Last night, we were getting ready for bed. Actually Noah was rubbing my back 'cause he's sweet like that and I'm a wimp when it comes to Chiro visits. And I announced that I was going to fall asleep if I stayed I was going to the bathroom and taking out my "eyes" and would he continue when I got back? Being the chivalrous man he is, he said sure.

Enter: Snake.

I step into the bathroom.

...let me just interrupt myself and tell you that we have a really really small bathroom.
There's barely room to squeeze a trash can between the toilet and the tub.

And thats when I saw it.
...trying to disguise its nasty red and brown body
against my white bath tub and 70's baby blue tile.

The audacity.

I glanced over and was looking at its tail
(the rest of him was squeezed between the trash can and tub and his head was near the corner)
So all I saw was the tail...and I'm thinking...I have no idea what that is.
It took me about 5 long seconds to realize it was a snake.

I did not scream. I'm really not a screamer to begin with. Even on roller coasters I'm kinda lame...
I'm more of a "wa-hoo" kind of girl. However, this was not a "wa-hoo" kind of moment.
I simply backed up all the way to the wall...(which wasn't very far...its a small bathroom)
and yelled "NOAH!"

Which is, quite honestly, the best thing you can yell in a situation like that.
Unless you don't have a guy with that name around.

So he's like "whaat?"
Apparently I didn't have an adequate amount of urgency in my tone,
because he didn't actually come running at the sound of his name.
So then I said, "There's a SNAKE in the BATHroom". And I wish I could record myself saying this...because my voice was kinda low...went up in articulating SNAKE and down and up in BATH and down.
So Noah was still like "whaat?"
But this time he was moving as he said it. Which is better.

So he came in and....

wait...first I had to let him.

Because I was so barricaded up against the wall that he couldn't open the door. I mean...that corner was as far away as I could get, ya know? So he finally pushed hard and I took a chance and scrambled around the door while saying, "its right there!"

Then I did a hop, skip, and a jump and kerplunked myself
right into the middle of the bed, leaving Noah to the vicious reptile.

The Battle:
So Noah is like....OH...there IS a snake.
(what, you didn't believe me?)
So he asked me to grab one of my rubber gloves.
To challenge the snake to a duel I'm sure.
So i checked the floor around the bed before jumping off, running to get a glove, and throwing it at the door
...and jumping back in bed. (it seemed like the safest place to be at the time)

So he grabbed the snake.
I did not take pictures.
I did not video.
I did not care HOW it was removed.

I could hear it hissing and whipping around as he carried it out of the house.
And all I could think about was 'there was a snake. in my bathroom.'
I was NOT happy. In fact, I was a little freaked out. go figure.

The Question:
How did it get in? So Noah came back in after throwing it really far away
(I personally thought he should have thrown it at the neighbor's dogs...but he didn't)
and convinced me to go back into the bathroom because he checked it really well.

So I went in and I'm looking around really closely...wondering how it got in.
And then I saw it. A hole in the wall and a shed snakeskin.

And I ran back to bed.

There was a small hole in the wall where the pipe is and the snakeskin was hanging on the pipe... So I told Noah I wasn't going back in the bathroom until he fixed the hole. I didn't care if he duct-taped he ended up caulking the hole.

The Conclusion:

After that I did manage to finally use the bathroom and take my "eyes" out....but I'm still a little freaked out.
In fact, I had to use the bathroom during the night
and I held it until Noah got up this morning and went into the bathroom.
I jumped outta bed and ran in there and was like...uh...I gotta go.

I think I'll be ok. In fact, I think I'll pack a box or two today...

Friday, May 7, 2010

I Dream of Boxes.

This will most likely be a short post.
And it probably won't have pictures.

Leave now or forever hold your peace.

Let's recap, shall we?

March 31st-April 5th:
Noah and I volunteered as chaperones for the trip to Louisiana Youth Camp. 42 kids, 28 hours of driving...

Not to mention the fact that all the kids brought sugar-filled snacks and drinks.

We survived. Barely.

April 5th: We arrived home to discover our fridge went out while we were gone and all our food was spoiled.


The silver lining is the landlord replaced the fridge the next day with a nice clean NEW fridge and gave us money for more food. (no more cleaning out that nasty old one)

April 12th-15th: We used half of our free Disney tickets with Momcaster....for a 3-day stint in Orlando where we went to two parks and a timeshare presentation that paid us $70 bucks to eat their breakfast and listen to their pitch. We declined the timeshare and their 17 3/4% interest rate, took the 70 bucks...and ran.

April 18th-23rd: We met my family in Gatlinburg, TN for a week-long vacation in the beautiful Smokey Mountains.

on second thought...maybe I will post a picture.
And now we're finally back home.

...and I'm dreaming of boxes.

We put in an offer on a house here in Sarasota. However, its a short-sale. Which does NOT mean the process is short. In fact its outrageously long.

I'm trying to be patient.

Unfortunately, this has never been one of my many...MANY....MAAAANY virtues.


But I'm not worried...really. We put in an offer on ANOTHER house before we left for Gatlinburg...but we liked it more for its location than anything else. It fell through due to the dozens of other offers on it.
THIS house...we're the only offer...and its just what we want. The seller has accepted and now it's up to the bank. This can take 4 months or more.

I have faith it'll be less than two.

in the meantime I shall dream of boxes.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Purse and Boogers

Hello world.

yes...I know you're out there.
You come to my blog,
read my personal thoughts,
and you leave.
Without commenting.
Thinking you can stalk me under the cover of internet.

Don't mind me...I haven't had my coffee yet.

Speaking of coffee...I've really been trying to cut back on my caffeine intake.
My body is responding better than I had thought it would, minus the headaches.

They go away though, once my body gets caffeine.

Mind you I only said I was cutting back. Not giving it up.

So for the last few weeks I've been going over to Momcaster's once or twice a week to work on a purse. Well, it started out at as a purse. It grew a little.

See...when Noah and I first started dating, Momcaster was getting into quilting (so she'd have something to do when Noah r-u-n-n-o-f-t and got married) SO...I had told her, oh this is cool! I want to learn this.

me and my big big mouth.

SO...she proceeded to secretly purchase kits and fabrics I pointed out. Including a kit for a quilted purse, which I only discovered a couple weeks ago. I know she also has fabric and instructions for a bed quilt
(which I'm not ready to attempt yet)
...but who knows what else she has up her sleeve. ...or in her sewing closet.

I have a way of stretching a short story into a ginormous entry, just so you know. (no, really?)


la. you impatient stalkers you.

TADA!!! 15 hours worth of purse/tote/suitcase.

Another picture...thats a pocket there in the front.
Kinda looks like a tulip from Mario Brothers.

The inside...WITH pockets.

A closer look at the quilting...
The fabrics were individually quilted using freemotion quilting which is a lot more difficult than it looks because the machine can't measure the stitch lengths for you. Basically, you run the fabric through with your hands and choose the speed by how hard you press the pedal. No feeddogs or anything to guide it. Which is why its in swirls instead of straight lines. cool huh?

So thats it...the quilted purse/tote/suitcase that Noah and I will be using to store our 15 pounds of junk food in on the way to Louisiana Camp. Shhh..don't tell.

And now for something you'll REALLY enjoy....

(thats what my mom calls em...she just forgets to pronounce the r in 'burger')

Bacon Chicken Sandwiches with Pepper Jack Cheese.
oh. my. goodness. These were so delicious.
(...we used bacon grease)
So good I had to tell you about them. When have I done that before?
The bacon is made first in the skillet. Then removed onto a papertowel. Then you take your flattened chicken breast and season with lemon&pepper seasoning. Put it in the skillet. (you may want to remove some bacon grease...Noah convinced me to leave it since we're usually pretty good about cooking healthy) Once you're ready to flip the chicken and its all good and cooked white around the edges and golden on the bottom...flip it and layer your cooked bacon on top of the cooked side. Then add your pepperjack or whatever cheese on top...and by the time it thoroughly melts your chicken should be done. Serve on a bun with mayo or any other deliciously fattening ingredient you so desire.

oh sooo good. Noah had two and proposed to me all over again. I said yes.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Paint + Craigslist

Well....we did it. We finally painted.

Enter Relief.
Enter sighs of contentment.
Release all frustration over ugly nasty rental house.
And now move your right foot above your left hip bone and repeat after me...

I am now content. I am now content. I am now content.

in case nobody got that...its ok. I'm just exhausted at this point and my humor is lacking in the wit department. We've a long last two weeks with way too much going on.

These are the starfish I had left over from the wedding...I decided to get slightly creative with them...and I think it turned out pretty good. Not important. Just nifty.

Repainted the cabinets a bright white and installed new hardware. Just the handles..and only el-cheapo, because after all...its not OUR house....I just got tired of the grimey build up on the handles that could only be chiseled off by a diamond tip drill.

Cool story on the paint. I had decided to go with Benjamin Moore's 'Dill Pickle' color. And we went into Bro. Dave's store, Sarasota Paint, with the intention of purchasing the paint needed. Well...BM came out with a new product called Aura Paint which is about 60bucks a gallon...(we weren't going to buy that...thats just info for what you're about to read next) SO...we went in to look around at their mistints to see if they had anything we could reopen and squirt some color in to get it CLOSE to dill pickle. Cuz those guys are just oh so talented. And lo' and behold...there was a gallon of Aura paint sitting in the mistints and labeled 'Dill Pickle'. So you see...God WANTED me to paint my kitchen Dill Pickle. Even if YOU don't like it. He knew my heart and I felt rather blessed to get JUST the color I wanted for FREE. Courtesy of Sarasota Paint.

This is a room we have right off the porch. It was originally white. As was EVERYTHING else in this STINKIN house!! Seriously...whoever painted this place did one coat of very very cheap and thin off-white paint. It looked horrible. And depressing.

This room is rather small and you'll remember it from my last blog post regarding furniture...this is where we had our huge FREE executive desk. Which, by the way I sold a LOT of furniture since then and got all our money back and basically our couches free.

yes...I know.

There is no charge for awesomeness.

Noah brought home some nice carpet he pulled out of someone's house. Its a truckload better than what WAS in there...which was some type of indoor/outdoor ugly grey junk. This lighter shade really opened up the room. In this picture he's using a stretcher...basically it grabs onto the carpet with these really really sharp claws and his knee hits that large rubber square really really hard...and jerks the carpet toward the wall.

I'm glad I didn't have to do that.

Bad picture...I know..but the lighting is just awful. That armoire is a new acquisition. It matches our coffee table perfectly (Mexican Pine) We got rid of the end tables we DID have...they didn't match. Sold the lamps with them for $125 on craigslist. You'll remember that we bought the two couches, end tables, lamps, executive desk, and an extra chair for $250. So...the tables and lamps alone got half our money back.
Here's a better picture...and it includes that shelving area that just did NOT make sense. I painted the backing and sides and bottom the same blue as the wall...which ended up being a GREAT decision because it kinda made it blend in better with the wall instead of jumping out and saying "HEY! look at me!! I'm an area of the wall that just DOESN'T make sense!!"

And if you were wondering where our awesome oak bookshelves went..there they are. In the dining room. Ha. Putting the room this way really opened it up for us. It's so much less crowded and we actually enjoy spending time in here now...
There's another shot...thats also a new dining table. New as in I bought it on craigslist. And it matches the armoire and coffee table (Mexican Pine). I'm just so proud of myself. Can you tell? Its from Pier One, which I'm pretty sure is kinda expensive. But I got a super good deal on it and managed to resell my old dining table.

on craigslist.

I should get an award or something.

This is just a close up of what I have in between the book cases. Mom bought me that little box for my bridal shower and had towels in it..and it perfectly matches everything i've decorated with. I'm really really happy how everything turned out...

The house feels so much cozier now and I'm almost dreading the day I have to leave it. ...almost.

And last but not may have heard I got something I've been wanting for years and years.

A bearded dragon. Finally. We've named him Franklin...but he mainly gets referred to as Frankie or Frankie Fat Face. What can I say? I like mobster names.

Frankie was my birthday present. I bet you can't guess where we bought him.

That's right...craigslist. Bearded dragons generally run between $50-$100. He requires an aquarium and two different types of lights PLUS something to climb on and lots of food. A proper set up + beardie would probably cost NEW about $400. More if you count a stand for the aquarium to go on. We got our entire set-up for $150. And the dragon has been vet-checked and was only 7 months old which is pretty young considering their lifespan of 10-12 years.

So that's it folks...sorry it wasn't more entertaining for ya. But hey, at least you FINALLY get to see some pics.