Sunday, December 30, 2012

Step One

Step One in the De-Crapification of my laundry room:

Getting rid of this mess.


Yes, folks, this is the first thing people see when they walk into my house.  (Because the back door is used way more often than the front door, which leads into my pretty little foyer.)  Actually, this photo doesn't really do justice to the crapification that I've allowed to happen to the laundry room.  About half an hour before this photo was taken, there was a little vintage folding table next to that trunk.  It was piled high with tools, plastic bags from the grocery store, and junk mail.  I didn't think to take a photo until after I'd thrown away 98% of what was on the table and then banished the table to the back bedroom.  And yes, I do always have two containers of kitty litter.  Trust me, you don't want to run out of that stuff.

After I cleaned off the table and took that photo, I remembered that I told y'all I wouldn't start the de-crapification until after I'd finished the bathroom.  So I did this:
More stenciling.  I'm now slightly more than halfway done.  It's going a bit faster now that I've got the hang of it.  (By the way, all those blank areas around the edges will be filled in.  I just have to either cut the stencil apart or do it by hand when I'm done with the main part of the floor.)  I really am almost done with the bathroom.  Really.  I promise A Big Reveal when it's done.

And then, because there's only so much stenciling I can take before I start to get really cranky, I cleaned up the rest of the mess in the laundry room and put a little telephone table where the mess used to be.  The tag on the table calls it a "gossip bench", which I happen to think is a really cute name for it, but my momma says it should be called a telephone table.  My momma rules.  Telephone table, it is.
Libbi and Louis think I bought it for them.  And really, as my friend Mandy said, "it fits them perfectly", so why not?  I made them both paw-promise that they wouldn't barf on it.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Laundry (Room) Day

I can explain my absence.

I'd like to say that I've been gone on a fabulous vacation to someplace warm, sunning myself on a beach while drinking fruity cocktails, but that's not true.  (Actually, I don't even like fruity cocktails.)

What really happened is that I stumbled onto a snippet of local Civil War history while reading something else and became obsessed with it.  I've been spending a lot of time in 1864...at least mentally.  (Oh, that I could travel back in time!  I have lots of questions.)

Today I forced myself to live in 2012 and take care of some electrical issues in my laundry room.  Things have been in a sad state back there for about a year.  By "in a sad state" I mean that I've been doing laundry by flashlight because both the ceiling fixture and the wall fixture quit working.  I tried to plug a small lamp into the only outlet in the laundry room, but the outlet is so loose that the plug just falls right out.

Today, therefore, was Laundry Day.  No, that's not right...I still have a big pile of unwashed clothes in my bathroom.  Today was Laundry (Room) Day.  First, I ventured down to the scary basement to shut off the breaker.  An utterly uneventful trip.  No ghosts, no dead animals, nothing.  Then I replaced the loose outlet, the ceiling fixture which operates with a pull chain, and the wonky switch that was keeping the wall fixture from working.  I have lights!

And then, because there's no heat ducts back there and it gets mighty cold in the winter, I bought one of those oil-filled radiators and plugged it into the now-not-loose outlet.  I have heat!  (I should have done that a long time ago.  It's really nice back there now.)

And after that, I took a hard look at the laundry room and decided it's in serious need of a makeover.  Y'all, it's ugly.  Just as soon as I get the bathroom done (and I'm just about finished) I am starting in on the laundry room.

If I can stay away from 1864, that is....

**PS:  Is anybody else getting an error message when they click on the plus sign for Google Friend Connect?  It doesn't seem to be working.  Google eliminated Friend Connect for all non-Blogger sites several months ago, but now I wonder if they've abandoned it altogether.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Scones


I made cranberry scones from scratch a few days ago. This conversation followed.

Me: I made some scones if you want one.
Charlie: What the hell's a scone?
Me: Those things on the counter, those are scones.
Charlie: I know, but what ARE they?
Me: They're like biscuits, sorta.
Charlie:  What do you mean, "sorta"?
Me:  Hang on, I'll look it up.  Scone.  A single-serving cake or quick bread, originally hailing from Scotland.
C: I'm not eatin' 'em.
Me: And why not?!
C: Because I don't eat things that I've never heard of or that I can't pronounce.
And that is why I devoured 8 scones in two days.
(Should you want to make scones--either to share or to devour all on your own--you can find the recipe I used here.)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tinkering

I've been tinkering with the look of my blog and I think I finally have it all spruced up.  It might not have taken me so long if I actually knew what I was doing...  I am no expert in HTML, folks.  I just stumble along until finally it looks right.  Sort of.  I get a lot of help from internet freebies.

  • The background came from Hot Bliggity Blog.  Lots of cute stuff there.  
  • Those cute little connect buttons were created by Kira at Her New Leaf.  I chose the set in Clementine, but she made sets in other cute colors too. 
  • I'm completely incapable of choosing HTML colors with that slider thingy so I use the chart here

I get by with a little help from my friends, too.

After Andrea from Blue Shoe Farm reminded me that I didn't have my contact information on here, I added those little orange buttons in the sidebar.  Just click on the one that looks like an envelope to send me an email.  If you'd like to subscribe to The Kelly House via Feedburner or follow me with Google Friend Connect you can do that at the other two buttons.

A lot of my traffic comes from readers at Houseblogging, so I added their button as well.  That site is chock full of great house blogs.  Check it out, if you haven't already.

If, like Karen Anne, you're wondering what happened to the pictures of my house that used to be in the sidebar, you can find them under the tab called The House at the top of this page.  I changed the color and the font of the tabs to make them a bit more noticeable.  While you're clicking on the tabs, check out the one about my hometown and the one about me, too.  (That last one mentions you.  Yes, you.)

Twitter recently updated their widget, so I changed the one in my sidebar.  I think it looks nicer, and it's so much easier to interact with.  Reply to any tweet by hovering on it until the icons for reply, retweet, or favorite appear; send me a tweet via the window at the bottom of the feed; scroll down to see more tweets than before, including my photos and the photos of others without leaving this page; and follow me on Twitter by clicking the button at the top of the Twitter widget.

Hopefully, all these changes are for the better?  What do y'all think?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bleah

The word of the day is "bleah".  Actually, that's the word of the week.  I have a cold which is persistently hanging on in spite of my best efforts to shake it--efforts that include chicken noodle soup, lots of naps, regular doses of Airborne and DayQuil, and quarts of sweet tea.  I spent most of my days off snuggled in bed surrounded by furbabies.  And used tissues.

To avoid feeling like I'd totally wasted my days off, I set myself the goal of finishing the chair rail in the bathroom.  It seemed like a reasonable goal, since I had only three pieces left to hang, caulk, and paint.  I put up one piece each of my three days off.  I just put up the last piece, and now I have no energy left to paint it.  

Bleah, I tell you.  Bleah.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

All Things Considered

At the beginning of my days off, way back on Wednesday morning, I channeled my inner Scarlett O'Hara and vowed that I would finish the bathroom ceiling.  I papered it with stuff that looks a little like tin ceiling, which may or may not be a really stupid idea considering that there's a lot of steam in a bathroom and steam is the best method for removing wallpaper.  I decided that I would caulk all the wallpaper seams and then put two coats of paint on it to protect it from the steam.  I finished half of it.  Not all of it, but it's a pretty good start.  Considering all the other things I could have done by channeling my inner Scarlett O'Hara, it's not so bad.  I mean, I didn't kill any Yankees in the past four days, fool around with a married man, or steal my sister's boyfriend, so all in all I think I'm good.


I did get some other things done.  (Wholly unrelated to Scarlett O'Hara.)  I hung chair rail on one side of the bathroom, cut down some baseboard and quarter round and put it back, painted the rest of the beadboard wallpaper, and put up a towel rod and a toilet paper holder.  That last item I'm especially proud of, since there hasn't been a toilet paper holder in that bathroom for six years.  A phone jack on the side of the old vanity, yes, but not a toilet paper holder.  What phone call is soooo important that you'd need to install a phone jack mere inches from the toilet so that you'd be sure not to miss a call while you're in there doin' your bidness?  People have different priorities, I guess.




Saturday, December 1, 2012

Maybe Not Really

Today I announced triumphantly to Charlie that I am almost done working on the bathroom.

He raised his eyebrows and asked, "Really?  You think?"

"Sure," I said.  "I just have to finish stenciling the floor and then I have to put poly on it, and put up some chair rail, and cut that other piece of baseboard down and then nail it in."

He ate another piece of the Christmas chocolate that my mama gave us.  We have a deal that I won't eat any of the Buckeyes and he won't eat any of the Pretzel Joys.  "And?"

"Oh yeah, and I have to finish painting the wallpaper, and the ceiling above the shower, and buy that hook with the bird on it that I like--"

"And replace the toilet lid that you got paint all over when you stood on it."  Charlie shook his head.  "I still don't get how you did that."

"Oh, I forgot about that," I said.  "I think I might want to get that door we saw at Lowe's too, so we can replace that stupid Dutch door that I hate.  I need to get some double-face tape for the wallpaper I put inside the medicine cabinet too, so the paper sticks better.  And then I need to figure out where to put the toilet paper holder."

Charlie laughed.  "But you're almost done.  Almost."

"Well, maybe not really...." I allowed.