2 Time for another furcut?

I was going through some photos on my computer the other day, and I did a double take when I came across these.

Obviously, they were taken right after Zelda's Mother's Day Makeover. (Remember this post?)

Zelda's fur has grown in quite a bit since those photos were taken. Here are some shots from last Friday when I took Zelda to the vet for her yearly shots. (You wouldn't know it from this photo because it looks like she's smiling, but this little girl is not a fan of going to the vet. She is, however, a fan of posing for photographs.)

What do you think? Is it time for another summer furcut? 

And secondly, is it just me or does my dog have a bit of an astigmatism? Or is she just slightly wall-eyed?

My, how I love this little rascal. (And speaking of rascals, Zelda cannot wait until next week when she gets to meet her new uncles, Rascal Roscoe and Randy Scooter. Yep, two precious pups from the Sumter SPCA hit doggie Powerball last week when they got 'dopted by Tod's folks!)


3 Habitat Hunting

Sometimes when we don't have much else to do on a Saturday morning, I can sweet-talk Tod into taking me to the Habitat Re-Store for some quality "junking."
Junking, which is a term of art to me, means looking for junk. (If you're not sure how that makes it a term of art, then you're just thinking too hard about it and you're taking this blog way too seriously.) 

When going junking, you might be looking for a specific kind of junk, hopefully at a very cheap price, or you might be just looking for junk that you never would have guessed you'd just have to have. Most of the time, I'm not junking for anything particular; rather, I'm just junking because I love to think about what I'd do with the junk that I find if given the opportunity. And it's probably a really good thing that I don't have a garage or storage shed because who knows what I would have come home with by now. As it stands, all of the junk I pick up must fit into my house, and my house is pretty full, so that's a good deterrent for me when I'm junking and something really speaks to me. (Hey mom, remember that old, wooden, factory shoe rack that we almost brought home? I'm glad we didn't bring that one home, but it sure was fun thinking about the possibilities.) 

On one of our Habitat hunting trips, we were fortunate to find some really different bedside "tables" for Tod's very-low-to-the-ground platform bed from West Elm. Seriously, the bed, which you may remember from this post, is something like two feet off the ground, and finding something appropriately sized to go beside it was a bit of a challenge. Anyway, here's where the Habitat Re-Store comes in because it's where we found these beauties. 
As you may be able to see here, the "tables" are actually old military trunks, and from what we could gather, they housed typewriters in the field. They are quite heavy and sturdy, which makes us think they're older, but we really don't know much about them other than that. They were $20 each, and we just couldn't pass them up. (Even if Tod didn't have such a low bed, I probably would have talked him into buying at least one of these to use as a coffee table in his den.) 

So yes, you can find some interesting things at your local Habitat Re-Store. Like light fixtures, tons and tons of old light fixtures.

Although most of the fixtures are incredibly dated and not worth the trouble, every once in a while you'll find a couple that would make fun projects. Just pick up a can of instant makeover in a can (you know, spray paint) and some new shades, and you could have a totally modern and updated fixture. (And honestly, a lot of the older fixtures are actually much sturdier than the mass-produced fixtures that you find in the box stores today.) Or say you're going for a vintage feel in a bedroom or a bathroom or a nursery, well then definitely check out your local Habitat Re-Store before you go hunting around in antique shops.  

Most Habitat stores also sell furniture, but it can be very hit or miss. On this particular day, I spotted this full-sized headboard and footboard for $8. It's missing its rails, but I think you could actually just forget about the rails and the footboard and just bolt the headboard to a regular metal bed frame. Although the wood pattern on this bed was pretty, I'd probably paint it white, or maybe even a fun color for a child's room, to give it a cleaner look.

Here's another bed, twin-sized, and I'm not going to lie, but I'm pretty sure I had a bed that looked just like this when I was about five. Am I remembering correctly, mom?

Can you guess the price on this bed? 

Yep, a whopping $5.

And I know this chair looks a bit granny-ish, but stick with me here. You could pick up some amazing fabric that you adore, something graphic and bold (maybe even an on-sale remnant in the back of your favorite fabric shop), and reupholster the chair. Depending on the style of and the colors in the fabric, you may wish to stain the wood darker, or maybe even paint it white or black prior to reupholstering. Or, to go a totally different route, paint the wood cream or off-white and reupholster the chair in very neutral burlap or linen, or maybe even some neutral ticking, for a beachy feel. Really, I see lots of fun options for this granny chair. And I cannot remember the exact price of this chair, but I want to say it was something like $20. 
Sticking to the granny theme for a minute, I love white bubble glass, so of course this lamp spoke to me. I would definitely bust out my paintbrush for this one and paint the wood and the metal parts (probably white, but maybe black or a fun color depending on where I was going to put the lamp). Then find a fun shade and voila. The price tag on this one was $12.

I'm guessing that this big piece of furniture came out of an office somewhere, but I immediately thought of putting it in a playroom, a craft room, or a home office space. I'd definitely paint it, if only to cover the metal shelf holders and to make it look more like a built-in piece of furniture, and I'd add a few more shelves. The divided shelf could house all sorts of things: children's books, magazines, file folders, school or scrap-booking supplies, or even board games. Isn't organization fun?

Finally, this looks like someone else's DIY project, and although I'm generally not a fan of chicken wire in the house, I liked this and it looks like an easy project so I thought I'd share it. Just find an old picture frame (Goodwill is great for this), paint it whatever color you want it to be, staple some chicken wire to the back of the frame (you could even spray paint the chicken wire if you were going for a matchy-matchy look), and then pick up a pack of clothespins to create an attractive place to hang things like photographs, invitations, messages, and children's artwork (as an alternative to the refrigerator door, you know). I also think it'd be fun to create one for the holidays by painting it red or maybe even gold and then hanging it in the kitchen (or other popular gathering place) so you could display all of those adorable Christmas card photos you receive from your friends. 

What do you think? Have you found anything fun at your local Habitat Re-Store or other thrift shop recently? Happy hunting.


0 Food Truck Rodeo

As I told y’all yesterday, Tod and I (plus Heidi and Zelda) had the good fortune of attending our first ever food truck rodeo last Friday night at Brick House Kitchen on James Island. 
It was hot, but it was fun and totally worth the trip. I mean, good food, good music, and even better people watching -- what’s not to enjoy? Plus, the whole food truck thing just brings back hilarious memories of that summer back in college that I spent driving around the middle of the country in the Bocamobile cooking Boca Burgers. (The Bocamobile is the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile’s meatless, soy-based cousin in case you’re wondering.)
Anyway, we learned some important food truck rodeo lessons, too. For example, maybe a food truck rodeo isn’t the best place for dogs. (Don’t get me wrong; Zelda and Heidi had a great time, what with all the other dogs to greet, the random petting from barefooted strangers, and the dropped scraps of food on the ground, but it’s hard to order, carry, and eat your food when your dogs are pulling you every which way and knocking over your beer.) Also, don’t wait until the crowds arrive to order your food because the lines quickly grow out of control. (Plus, due to the simple fact that a food truck can only hold so much food, you run the risk of the truck running out of the most popular dishes.) So, for our next trip to the rodeo, and I’m sure there will be one, we’re probably going to leave the dogs at home and plan on ordering our food quickly (you know, without wandering around to check out all the trucks and their menus before making up our minds about what sounds good only to realize that the lines have multiplied like the Duggars.)

In addition to food and music, this food truck rodeo came complete with tables of locally-made jewelry for sale.

I love the mint green footboard that this chick is using to display her baubles and bling.

Oh, and don't forget about the hula hoops. For a minute there, we thought we were in Asheville, but the heat and the live oaks brought us back to our senses.

Umm, and do you see the $2 draft Bud Light. Yep, $2. I'd say that's pretty budget-friendly.

Heidi and Zelda really did have a good time. Oh, and do you see those colorful doors in the back of this photo (beside the porta potties)? Well, some dude was back there just spray painting away to his heart's content.

 Tod already told me that next time he's leaving his shoes at home, too. 

And is it just me, or does this guy look a little bit like that "Every Rose Has its Thorn" guy? On second thought, it's probably just his bandana that makes me think that.

If South Carolina had to have two state trees (you know, in addition to the Palmetto), then I'd vote for the live oak. I just love live oaks.

Okay, Zelda, if you promise to be good like this, then I guess we'll take you and Heidi to the food truck rodeo again. 


0 Too Hot To Blog

I wanted to blog tonight about our trip to our first ever Food Truck Rodeo last Friday, but alas, it's just too dang hot to blog. Why is it so hot, you wonder? Well, my A/C is out, and thankfully I was lucky enough to get a repairman to come look at it tonight. He just left, and it looks like I'll be getting a new unit this week (hopefully). Yes, renting is a beautiful thing on days like this (especially because my landlords are responsible and prone to fixing things quickly). And I'm just going to try to look at this as an opportunity to sweat out some toxins without having to exert too much energy. Zelda, well, she's just enjoying the ice cubes that I keep dropping into her water bowl. What is it with dogs and ice cubes anyway? 

As for the Food Truck Rodeo, I guess you'll just have to come back another time to get the scoop about about that.  


2 Sharing the Blog Love

I'm still pretty new to this whole blogging thing, but I've been learning a lot, and I'm smart enough to know that what I've learned is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the technical workings of this ol' blog here. Anyway, I've been reading books and other blogs about blogging so I can figure out ways to improve my blog. (And now I'm blogging about blogs about blogging, just to improve my blog. Yeah, welcome to my brain.)

One piece of advice that I keep seeing over and over is to include a post, like this one, explaining the gadgets on the blog and asking for readers' opinions about the blog. So, even though I've only got a handful of readers (which is totally cool by the way because I'm honestly surprised that I have any, well, other than my mom, my sister, and Tod, all of whom I pretty much force to read by calling them out on the blog), here goes.

First, on the righthand side of the blog, you'll see a picture and a few random words about the blog. Then you'll see a "followers" or "members" gadget. If you enjoy reading my blog, and you're the joining type, then just click on the "join" button to become a member of the blog. You can either join publicly or privately, and what this does is it: (1) lets me know that you are a fan of the blog; (2) allows you to see other fans of the blog (and if you click on their pictures you can see the other blogs they follow); and (3) allows you to keep up with the blogs you follow via your reading list on the blogger dashboard. Anyway, this explanation is by no means meant to pressure anyone into joining, although I am gunning to get my member list up to 10 by the new year. I'm pretty sure that's an attainable goal. 

Next after the members gadget, you'll see the blog archive, which is a running list of all of the blog posts organized by month. Do you want to go back and read my first ever blog post? Well then click on "March" and go down to the first post and open it.

The next gadget on my blog is a popular posts gadget. It keeps track of the seven most popular posts based on the number of pageviews, and honestly, it's a little self-fulfilling since the posts on that list are most likely to be clicked on again, but whatever. 

Following the popular posts gadget, you will see my Amazon widget. (Yeah, google calls things gadgets while Amazon calls them widgets.) This widget just contains things I'm digging right now from Amazon (although I need to update it). If you click on any of the items, it will take you to the item on Amazon, where you can then complete your Christmas shopping for me. Only kidding.

Finally, you'll see a picture and then the labels gadget. When I draft a post, I try to add labels to it based on the post's content. Thus, if you want to see all the posts about biking, click on "biking." Or if you want to see all the posts about Zelda, then click on "Zelda." You can also see the labels at the end of each post in the tagline. (The tagline includes the comments link, too.) You get the idea, I'm sure.

Let's see, what else? Well, at the bottom of the page you'll see another Amazon widget, and this one contains all of the books that my book club has read in its three years of existence. Again, you can click on any of the books, and it will take you to the Amazon page for that book, where you can read reviews of the book, find similar books, or order the book.

Hmm, I think that's it as far as the gadgets and widgets go. But if you look across the bar under the "Moving Stuff Around" header, you'll see links to separate pages. These are stand-alone pages, including a page about the name of this blog, a page of questions I've been asked (email me any other questions you want me to answer), a page with pictures of all my favorite pups, a page of my favorite things about Charleston, a page about stuff that makes my house feel like home, a page with my contact information, and a page about this blog's privacy policy (because I am a lawyer, after all).  

Okay, now how about some feedback? Do you all have any suggestions for me? Do you know a better way for me to organize things? Or is there something you particularly like or dislike about the blog or its layout? Leave me a comment. Oh, on that note, this blog allows anonymous comments, so feel free to hit me with your best shot. 

And for those of you who do view the images and read the words that I'm having a ball spilling all over the web, thank you. Having you makes this all the more fun for me. And now I will leave you with a few images from an amazing harbor cruise that I had the good fortune of taking the other night in honor of my boss's 40th anniversary on the job. (I even got to drive the 62-foot Viking for about half an hour. Yeah, no pressure there.)

I'm going to have to start keeping track of the cheeseball photos of me on this blog. I think it might be getting out of hand. 


2 Camp Quilt

Last week I told y'all about how my mom has been teaching my nieces how to sew, and I showed you this pic of my youngest niece sewing her special quilt. (That's some serious concentration for a soon-to-be first grader!)

Well, this week I thought you might enjoy seeing her older sister's special quilt being put to good use at camp. Yep, my oldest niece is just following in her crazy Aunt Nantie's footsteps by cuddling up under a homemade piece of love -- a La La special complete with rainbow rick rack -- while she's away at Camp Seafarer.  

You know what's even more fun? She's in cabin 1, which just so happens to be a very special cabin in which both her mom and I have spent summers (15 to 20 years ago, mind you). I don't know about you, but I think the view from her cabin's front door is pretty swell. 

Oh, these pictures bring back such sweet memories. Honestly, not too many days go by without a Seafarer memory or two reaching the surface of my thoughts. (Just ask Tod.) Although, when you add up all the summers, I guess I spent a little over a year of my life at this special place, so that only makes sense. In any event, I'm so excited for my niece, and I cannot wait to hear all about her cabin 1 memories.

And yes, this all just makes me want to go find my homemade camp quilt (another La La special) and put it on my bed for the summer.


2 Home Improvement Sunday

Love 'em or hate 'em, but every once in a while it's time for a home improvement Sunday. And it just so happens that we had one yesterday. (After all, I can be pretty bossy.)

Remember that light fixture box from the photo of plant tags from yesterday morning's post?

We had the good fortune of stumbling across a 4-light fixed track fixture on clearance at Lowe's on Saturday. Believe it or not, we saw the fixture hanging on the wall with all of the others, but the price was not marked, and we said "wow, that would be perfect." I think we both expected the price to be high (because usually the wow-that-would-be-perfect items end up having wow-I-cannot-afford-that prices), so we were thrilled when we saw the ridiculous clearance price of $23. And luckily, there was one box left; however, I will say that we were nervous because the box was slightly dinged up and awkwardly taped, and because someone had scribbled "new" with a black sharpie on the end. (The fact that someone scribbled "new" on the box sort of makes a person think it's not new, right?) Anyway, we bought the $23 fixture knowing that we could return it if something was wrong with it.

And why did we buy this fixture? That's simple: to replace this awful thing in Tod's kitchen, which I've been trying to get him to do for years, literally. The light actually quit working a couple of months ago (maybe because I messed with it?), so it was finally time to make the change!

Once we carefully removed the parts from the "new" box, Tod held it up against the old fixture so we could get a better idea of what it would look like. Even though it was a bit smaller than we thought it would be, we were ready to give it a shot. 

The FIRST thing we did, because even though we are lawyers we are not complete idiots, was turn off the power to the kitchen (really, to the whole back of the house because I was a bit paranoid about the whole electrocution thing, especially after Tod gave me careful directions about how to most quickly deliver him to the ER in the case of an emergency). Then we removed the light cover and the bulbs. After locating the black, white, and copper wires and disconnecting them (making sure to cover the ends again with wire caps), we unscrewed the actual fixture from the ceiling. 

P.S. I'm sorry about the quality of the photos in this post, but we had the power turned off at most points so lighting was a bit of a challenge. Thank goodness for Maglites though.

Anyway, as you can see, we were left with both a discolored area that had missed out on the ceiling's last paint job and a couple of quarter-sized holes where the old fixture was screwed into the ceiling. So we made our second trip to Lowe's in as many days and picked up some white paint and some environmentally-friendly spackling paste. 

After I spackled the holes, we needed to wait 30 minutes or so to let it dry before I busted out the paint roller.

So did we sit on our laurels and watch the World Cup? 

Nope. First, we enjoyed a few laughs and a Capri Sun. (I am laughing in this photo, not crying.) 

Then, because we wanted to give the spackling paste extra time to set so gravity wouldn't pull it out of the ceiling and onto our heads, we marched ourselves outside where we proceeded to cut down a forest's worth of tree limbs. I guess I should say that Tod proceeded to cut down a forest's worth of tree limbs because you know I'm way too accident-prone and scared of chainsaws to wield one myself. But I did supervise and make him wear glasses. And at one point, I got on the ladder and caught a limb so it didn't slam into the neighbor's roof. So I think I was pretty helpful actually.

The idea was to remove the limbs that hung over the roof (and some that even sat on the roof) so the next big storm doesn't send one of them through the roof. 

While Tod finished getting in touch with his inner Rambo, I decided to head back inside and start the paint job. (Also, Tod feels about painting the same way I feel about chainsaws. Basically, he's terrified of it, which is fine with me because I enjoy it. Plus, I'm messy, and if you're going to make a mess of someone's house, it's usually better to do it while he's not watching, right?)

The painting was going fine until one part of the darn popcorn (Tod has blown ceilings) started peeling off with my paint roller. I did not panic, however. Instead, I turned on my ever-flowing fountain of patience and kept my cool. I let the paint dry a little and tried not to screw it up even more. Eventually, I was able to get the peeling under control and to camouflage it with paint. You can still see where it messed up a little, but thankfully it turned out to be a manageable crisis.

Once the paint dried a bit, we started tackling the job of actually installing the new fixture, something we had watched before but had not actually done ourselves. Very quickly, we realized that we would end up with a crooked fixture if we did not get another part, something we were calling a universal adapter thingy. It turned out to be called an all-purpose crossbar, and thanks to a helpful employee at Lowe's, we were able to quickly find what we needed. (It was our third trip there in two days, after all, so now we're like Lowe's pros, right?)

And before you say that Tod is going to get struck by lightning for riding in the handicapped cart, he was actually doing the store a favor because someone had just left the electric cart in the middle of the parking lot, and he was just returning it to the front desk. (On second thought, perhaps it is me who is going to get struck by lightning for snapping this picture and then posting it on here. Hmm.)

Once we returned home, we realized that we needed yet one more thing: some different nuts and bolts to unite the mounting tab with the crossbar. Because Lowe's was closed by this time, it was time for a trip to K-Mart instead. 

The mounting tab is on the left, and the crossbar is on the right in the picture below.

After a few logistical misses, we finally got a hit insofar as figuring out how to put the whole thing together and wire it properly. (Thank goodness for Maglites and for the internet.) 

We installed the fixture and carefully screwed in the glass shades and the bulbs. 

I'm pretty sure I squealed when we turned the power back on and everything worked.

If these photos don't do the transformation justice, then maybe you can just trust me when I say that this new fixture makes a world of difference. But honestly, what do you think? Was our home improvement Sunday totally worth it or what?

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