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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Confession Time- My Netflix Addiction

I have a confession to make. 

I just spent the last week and a half watching 44 episodes of Glee on Netflix.

(does that make me a Gleek?)

That's 44 multiplied by an average episode length of 43 minutes.

(pause to grab my calculator….)

Ok, that’s 1892 minutes, or 31.5 HOURS spent watching a TV show that I didn’t really need to see.

A show I never once tuned into before.

So why now?

 

Yes, Netflix.

It all started one evening about a week and a half ago when I asked Mike if he was liking the Netflix subscription he got  for Christmas this year. 

Before I knew what was happening he had set it up for me on the Xbox console in the living room and I was scrolling through all the available titles finding nothing I really wanted to see.  (I’m not a big TV watcher or even movies for that matter.)

Then I remembered that my son has told us he only watches TV shows through Netflix instead of regular TV.  No commercials, no waiting for the next week, (or season), every episode of the season is there so you can watch as many as you want when you want.

So I search the TV show section and settled on Glee.  I had read some reviews of the show in Entertainment Weekly and they were pretty favorable.

So I selected Glee and fired up the first episode.

Within 10 minutes I was hooked.

What’s not to like;  there was great music, singing, dancing, teen angst, it was funny, it was sad, there was the outrageous bullying of Coach Sue, handsome heartthrob teacher Will, love interests galore, it was like a musical soap opera.

 

In other words, mindless TV viewing at my fingertips with no rationing.

Dangerous combination.

I spent every “spare” minute watching this show.  I’d wake up in the morning and jump out of bed thinking, I can get 2 episodes in before I have to get into the shower.  Or coming home from work and immediately turning it on and watching 4 episodes in a row.

They make it so easy to keep going.  When one episode ends, the next is highlighted and all you have to do is click on the green button and the next episode begins. No interruptions, no commercials, no waiting.  Heaven.

Well, Saturday night I sank to a new low.

I watched 10 episodes in a row. I didn’t mean to, but I kept clicking on that green button on the controller, even though I knew I needed to get some sleep.

It was 5am before I went to bed!

4 hours later I was up and watching yet another episode before I had to leave the house to attend a bridal shower.

This was like crack must be to a druggie.  I was living for the moment I could get home and watch some more.

Last night I rushed home from work and as was my new habit immediately turned on the TV to watch the episode i had fallen asleep to the night before.

At the end, instead of highlighting the next episode it brought up “other shows you may enjoy”

Huh?  What happened?  Where’s my Glee?  I want to watch the next Glee, not some other show.

To my horror I discovered I had just watched the final episode.  Season 3 is not out on Netflix yet.

I was done.

What an awful feeling.

Then I felt plain silly.  What on earth had I done?  All that time and not a thing to show for it.

My blog was totally neglected as was my house, my projects at the kid’s houses, everything.

Just think what I could have done with those 31.5 hours!

I think from now on I’ll be leaving Netflix alone.  I don’t have enough self control to ration myself. 

I’ve always  been one of those people who finishes off a whole bag of chips or cookies or candy in one sitting.  Even when not hungry anymore I keep going until  the last crumb is gone.  Just can’t stop myself.

Netflix is like a giant bag of chips.

Something I’m better off not even opening. (until maybe season 3 of Glee is out)

How about you?  What’s your “Netflix”?

Can you ration it?

How?

Is there a Netflix Anonymous group out there?

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Three Chairs = 1 Bench

Someone asked me recently about the bench that is shown in my blog header photo. I made this bench 3 years ago. .I didn’t have a blog back then so Gail of My Repurposed Life featured this for me on her blog.  You may have seen it over there, in a post titled triple chair bench in August 2009.  Turns out I never included it over here when I started this blog. 

Guess I should, since I have a picture of it in my header!

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Here’s the story.

My Sister-in-law’s neighbor was cleaning out her garage, throwing everything into a rented dumpster.  She was about ready to throw some dining room chairs in that she had been given by her mom years before.

They were Spanish/Mediterranean style and very, umm….I guess ornate would be a good word. 

Lynn, my sister in law, spoke up and said I would take them.  (she’s awesome that way) That’s when I got the call to come and get them.

When I saw them in person I wasn’t too excited. Upon close inspection the wood chairs were not even really wood.  They had some molded plastic parts on them, with faux wood grain.

But there were 3, and I’d been wanting to try to make a bench from 3 chairs ever since seeing one made by KyLady on the HGTV trash to treasure forum in April 2008.  Hers was so beautiful and she even included a how-to on her post.

Unfortunately  I have no idea where to get those directions or even how to reach her for that matter.

I’d have to pay it forward by telling YOU how to make one of these for yourself.

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The first thing is to take off the cushions and set them aside. (The back cushions will be re-used)

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Then you take the front legs and the seat off one of the armless chairs. (you can see it in the right corner of the above picture)

Next remove one of the arms from the armchair and attach it to the 2nd armless chair..

These would be the outside arms of the bench.

Next step, attach the 3 chairs to each other along the sides and legs. (be sure to pre-drill and use wood glue too)

This is why using matching chairs is important for this project, they line up perfectly.

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This is where it got tricky for me. 

The next step was to cut the front trim piece of the chair I took apart to fit into the front opening between the other two chairs.

As you can see in the photo, the front space for the middle chair is much smaller than the original chairs due to the shape of the original chair seats. (Its kind of a reverse seat shape.)

I made the cut but was not quite sure how I would get it securely connected in place. (note; if I were to do this project  today I’d have used my Kreg jig to make pocket holes in the back of that piece and then screwed it into the sides of the adjoining legs..  It would have been easy!)

Since I was stumped I walked away from it for a while.

It got moved inside the garage and sat there for nearly a year. 

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Things got piled high on top of the bench and I soon forgot all about it.

garage , left

Then my son and his wife (Jason and Yurah)  bought a house and I was inspired to help them furnish their first home.

They had a front porch that was just begging for a bench like this!

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So I dug it out, dusted it off and tackled it again.

Funny thing, all this really needed was that center front piece to be connected. 

Why on earth did I wait so long to do that? 

It wasn’t so difficult after all.

Simply pre-drill some holes at an angle so the screws go in through the back of the piece and into the sides of the chairs beside it. (as I said before, a pocket hole jig would have made this soooo much easier!)

Once that’s in place it’s time to paint. (or stain)  I chose Nutmeg spray-paint because that’s what I had on hand. Since my chairs weren’t really wood throughout painting was my only option.

A piece of 1/2 inch plywood (not shown) cut to size makes a sturdy base for the seat cushion.

Layer some quilt batting to make the seat as soft as you want.  Don’t use too much on the outside edges.  Secure around the batting with a few staples from a staple gun.  Next cut fabric approx. 3’ wider all around the  seat base.  Start in the middle of the front and back edges and pull and staple the fabric so the seat looks smooth.  Continue around to the sides, skipping the corners.  Once the 4 sides are smooth and even, go back and pull the corners around being sure to tuck them under neatly before stapling. 

I used the original pads for the backs of the seats and just stapled the new fabric around the sides.

You may need to take a hammer to drive home any staples that didn’t go in far enough.

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Use screws from below through the original corner braces to hold the new seat on the bench..

(be careful not to use too long of a screw or it’ll poke through!)

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I used some antiquing glaze over the paint to enhance the “grain” of the faux wood.

This is entirely optional!

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And that’s how to make a Triple Chair Bench. 

Although I didn’t like the chairs used to make this they looked totally different to me once done.

Someday I’ll use some really good chairs to make another one of these. 

What about you, will you be on the lookout for 3 matching chairs now?

Oh yeah,  remember the neighbor who was throwing the chairs away? 

Lynn showed her a picture of the bench and she wanted them back.

She simply could not believe they were the same ugly chairs she threw out!

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Monday, March 19, 2012

J’s Laundry/Mudroom- update

I can’t believe it’s already been two and a half months since I started on the mudroom project at my son and daughter-in-law’s house. What I thought would take just 2 long weekends is still not done.

Being away for 3 straight weekends puts a damper on project time too.  This was the first time I was able to get some work done on J and Yurah’s laundry/mudroom in over a month.

The weather here has been unbelievably beautiful, which makes me jumpy with “spring fever”. I’m feeling the lure of a million other things…yard work, spring cleaning, golf, putting up the gazebo, starting a furniture project. curb shopping….my project A.D.D. is in full swing. 

Honestly, it’s taking every last bit of self control I have to keep from starting something new.

I simply MUST get this done before I can start anything else.

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Thank goodness J was home and ready to work with me this weekend!

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Can you believe not one picture got taken until we were wrapping things up last night? 

Of course by then it was dark outside and the flash was necessary.  (Sorry about the glare.) 

It’s tough to take pictures of such a small space esp. where semi-gloss paint was used.

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Both J and Yurah worked hard, wielding the paintbrushes like pros. They were still painting when I went home last night.

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It’s so very close to being done.

Next weekend the floor is going in.

After that comes cabinet doors, shelves, a few finish trim pieces and a new light fixture.

I can’t wait!

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Estate Sale goodies

 My friend  had the daunting task of clearing out the home of her elderly Aunt after she was moved to a full care nursing facility. The house was sold and needed to be quickly emptied before the closing day. 
She decided to have a sale.

Linda gave me a call before the sale to see if I might want these chairs for my gazebo.

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She knows me well.

It turned out that the sale was going to be the very day we were leaving for our Florida vacation.

That just wouldn’t do, so Linda very generously offered to have me meet her there one night after work instead, a full 2 days before the sale.

Well I bought those chairs, of course. 

They’re a very heavy wrought iron with the original cushions. 

They’ll be perfect out in the gazebo this summer.

Once done with that transaction I started looking around.  Big mistake!  There were all sorts of cool things I wanted to bring home with me.

An hour later we ripped up that first check and I found myself writing one for twice the original amount.

Want to see some of my goodies?

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118 102

 

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There was a mirror too. Guess I forgot to get a photo of it.

For the record I tried hard to limit myself to things I thought would fit into my next room makeover.

Can you guess which room was on my mind?

It sure was fun having first dibs at a sale!

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Breakout!

Mike and I are in Florida this week on our annual visit to his Mom’s.  While we’re away my daughter is staying at our house, babysitting the dogs.

She brought her 2 pups with her.

The other morning Erin let the dogs out to do their business and only 3 came back in.  Puzzled, she stepped out into the yard to investigate.

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In the far corner of the yard, just inside the Rainbow Garden, she was greeted by this sight.

Uh-oh, seems Sandy and Katy took advantage of the situation and made a break for it.

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After 15  terrifying minutes she, her boyfriend Steve, and a sympathetic Water Authority worker had the 2 escapees rounded up and back home.

Katy had several scratches, no doubt from scaling the tree branches to make her getaway. Sandy, a seasoned escapee, came back none the worse for wear.

Thank goodness they didn’t get too far away.  And another big thanks for the guy in the Water truck who saw them leave and was able to point out which direction to look and help look for them.

(of course they took off in opposite directions)

Yesterday Steve and his brother went after the downed tree with a chainsaw to get it off the fence. 

The fence guys are due to fix it today.

tree on fence 

My poor Erin is traumatized for life over this escapade.

I’m not so sure she’ll be too keen on doggy sitting for us next year;  let’s just say I wouldn’t blame her.

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Meanwhile, Katy got to take a trip to the Vets’ to get her scratches cleaned and looked at. They put her on penicillin.  She’s receiving the royal treatment right now and eating it up.

It’s hard to be away from home when something like this happens.

Rose

Friday, March 2, 2012

How Jon Acuff Saved My Marriage

Exactly one week ago today I woke up not knowing who Jon Acuff was.  I was staying at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville Tennessee, a long way from home.  It was the first day of the Blissdom12 conference and I had no clue why I was there. 

Then Jon Acuff walked into my life.  He got up on that stage during the opening session and started talking…..and you won’t believe this, but he spoke directly to ME.  Yes, somehow he knew exactly what I needed to hear that very moment.  There were a lot of other women in that audience thinking he was talking to them but they were wrong.

It was me he came to see.

I was enthralled during the entire speech. At the end he did an extraordinary thing. 

He gave every one in the audience a signed copy of his book, “Quitter”.

 

Was his speech about the book?  I don’t think so.  In fact I really couldn’t tell you what he said that day.

All I knew was this was a game changing moment.

I wish I could say I went to his book signing session afterwards and spoke to him in person, but alas, I didn’t.  I was afraid to break the spell.

Two days later, on the flight home from Nashville I opened the book and started reading.  Once again I got the feeling he wrote every word just for me.

See, just a couple weeks before Blissdom12 I had a conversation with my husband about wanting to quit my job and start out on my own.  I thought I could do something with blogging and curb shopping and makeovers and selling my stuff……I don’t know, I had no real plan for HOW I was going to make my dreams into a real living, but I knew I wanted to.  I needed to.  I would just bust wide open if I couldn’t do it.

Yeah, I know.  Overly dramatic.

What was really happening was that I was going through a lot of changes at work. My department was restructured and I was reassigned to a different job.  I was resentful and hurt and afraid.  I wanted to run away.  I hated the thought of staying there a minute longer.  I started to daydream about doing my own thing.

After doing some faulty math I figured we could afford it if we lived very carefully.  When I let Mike know of my new plan I was shocked at his reaction.  You see, he wasn’t enthusiastic at all.  No, “Hey honey, that’s  a great idea! “, nope, not even close.  It was more like a dead silence, then a bunch of stupid questions about what we would live on, how would we save for retirement, how could we afford insurance, what about this, what about that. Then he started talking about taking on extra jobs after work to make ends meet.

This was not what I wanted to hear!

I backed down and said it wasn’t anything I was going to do right away anyway.  I was just thinking about it, for crying out loud.

The subject was dropped.  But we were both simmering inside.  Mike with fear of financial ruin, and me with resentment at his lack of faith in me.

We didn’t know it but our marriage was in serious danger. I was on the verge of making a fatal error.

Then I met Jon, and read his book, and realized that my job was my friend, not an enemy.  My job is what will allow me to follow my dreams, in fact fund my dreams.  Quitting my job would be the worst thing I could do at this stage.  This Quitter won’t be quitting anytime soon, yet strangely enough that doesn’t bother me anymore. I know I’m not ready; not yet. 

Maybe someday I’ll  be ready to quit the day job. And when that day comes Mike and I will still be happily married thanks to Jon Acuff coming to Blissdom to deliver his message to me in person.

(Oh, and Jon, don’t be too sad that I didn’t know who you were; I’m still trying to figure out who that Dave Ramsey guy is you were talking about.. 

Did he write a book too?)

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