Marc has always made fun of the way that I mow, specifically the pattern in which I mow. I never thought anything of it until last week while mowing our lawn. I had a "light bulb" moment.
Growing up, we had 6acres (Mom & Dad correct me here) to mow. Luckily my parents had 3 daughters eager to do the job and an International Harvester 184 tractor mower. Eager? you ask. It was the easiest chore outside because you got to sit, be in your bikini AND listen to headphones (but only in one ear). (My younger brother was relegated to push mowing the septic hill. Sucka!)
Anyway, as a COUNTRY MOUSE this always how I mowed:
See that pattern? As a young Country Mouse, I did that because I weighed 73lbs sopping wet. I'm pretty sure the International doesn't have power steering. Therefore, getting the tractor mower to do a 180 degree turn required more muscle power and weight than I had in me.
The new CITY MOUSE in me just realized that it is easier and looks nicer to do this pattern:
I do still love to mow the lawn. I don't even wear headphones now because it takes only about 10 minutes, not the 3 hours of my youth.
Of course, now that my parents don't have 4 peons to do the mowing, they bought one of these awesome zero radius mowers:
Ok, how dorky is it that I have a photo of myself on my parent's lawnmower?
What about you: City Mouse or Country Mouse mower?
Ikea was its normal Saturday madness, but Franca had a blast testing out the beds:
There was some re-strategizing in the kitchen department when we realized our original cabinet door/drawer plan would not work. With that cleared up we made our way thru the store and ended up with quite the haul! I had to navigate through checkout and furniture pickup solo with both a cart and a skid because Marc took a sleeping Franca to the truck. That was fun.
|Baby J (Franca's fav doll) ate pavement. Whoops.|
Stop #1 was Panera (espresso for Daddy, cookie for Franca)
Stop #2 was Bojangles (Franca potty and small fry to share)
Stop #3 was Sonic (Franca potty again)
Of course, as soon as we got home a torrential downpour started. The stuff wasn't tarped, so Marc and I got SOAKED unloading it. We took some crappy cell phone pics of our drenched selves. My jeans weighed about 10lbs.
When we finally did get home I convinced Marc to help me get to work putting Franca's stuff together. I'm neurotic like that! We thought of putting it off until Sunday, but Franca kept asking: "Where's my big girl bed?"
It was getting late so we put it mostly together, put her in the new bed and she fell asleep like the sweet little thing she is (but then I had to transfer her to her crib for safety).
Can't wait to show you her 'big girl' room adjustments and the plans for the kitchen finishing!
We have been putting off an Ikea trip for 3 weeks now, but have finally decided to pull the trigger. I'm just a little excited. So little bit excited that I've made a list on ikea's website, then copied all the images to this:
ODDS & ENDS
This post is for other blogger nerds, so regular-non-blog owner readers can skip this boring stuff!
I was having a big problem getting Facebook (FB) to show a thumbnail image from the posts I share there. It took me forever googling to figure out this method, but it is working! I did a bunch of stuff and I'm not sure which it was or why it is working, but it is. That is all I care about.
- Upload the photo directly from your computer to your blog post. Not from picasa web albums, etc. (There are supposed to be some issues otherwise. Not sure.)
- Add this link to the very beginning html of your post: < link href="http://yourimagelink.jpg" rel="image_src"> Removing the space before link and filling in your desired thumbnail image url. (I think this tells FB an image to use.)
- Add your meta data to your template html. This will give you a good title, blurb about blog, etc. I think I followed these guidelines: http://www.simplebloggertutorials.com/2011/07/add-open-graph-protocol-meta-tags-to.html (These give FB info on your blog)
- Wait a little bit before sharing. (This seems to help the issue. Who knows!)
- Link by pasting post url into FB, not with share button. (my share button won't work)
- There I still have to edit the title because my post title isn't coming in, but that pain I can handle.
Marc has been very busy working in the back yard doing little tweaks and improvements on our big makeover.
When we did the original makeover, we just used metal edging to separate the grass from planting areas. This can be a pain to maintain, and looks a little thin. So Marc decided to use the stepping stones we originally found in the garden (and put in the gravel, only to later take up) for edging and stepping stones.
Let's take a look shall we? And as we do, let's play a game of Where is Franca?
|New stepping stone path from parking to patio. (Now we just need a real gate!)|
|And continued over and around the garden.|
|See that big box behind Marc's truck? It's the box from his new smoker.|
Yes, because he needs 3 grilling/smoking appliances.
(He actually has another smoker too!)
|Franca loves the paths. More places to run and play and jump.|
p.s. So "we" own 3 smokers and I don't even really like BBQ! Give me a steak med-rare! Anyone else with me?
The final frontier in the closet make-over was my jewelry box. (I swear I took a before picture of my jewelry box, but I cannot seem to locate it.)
Marc gave me this awesome green leather box years ago. As of late: imagine a huge tangle of earrings, necklaces and bracelets sitting on top like a big tumbleweed.
I am a work from home mom, and for me a good day is remembering to brush my teeth, like I need a clutter obstacle between me and accessorizing.
While trying to finalize our office makeover, I realized both of our office chairs were in a sad state. I sit on an Ikea Jules Chair. It was pretty cheap and it is functional, but not the most comfortable. Marc sits on a pretty cool Steelcase chair that we reupholstered about 10 years ago. (I guess blue vinyl was in then?)
We toyed with getting new office chairs, but it's just not in the budget. I'd MUCH rather not have to haul a potty seat of pee up the stairs 10x's a day, so new chairs took a back seat (har-har) to the downstairs bathroom construction.
I did decide to do a quick and dirty double chair makeover. So, I scored some orange fabric in the remnants section at Hancock Fabrics and got 3 yards for $12 and got to work.
FIRST up was Marc's chair. Seemed easy, but apparently I suck at upholstery because there are puckers.
|Cool Steelcase bumper I spray painted matte black |
along with the arm rests.
NEXT up was my chair, which also required a $8 piece of 2" x 18" x 36" foam. This one was much more tricky and honestly doesn't look that awesome, but it is MUCH more comfortable and fits better in the renovated office. In retrospect, I should have used a patterned fabric to not show the staple imperfections on the back. Sigh.
- Take your chair apart, leave bolts in.
- Cut foam to match.
- Spray-mount foam to chair.
- Staple fabric to chair.
- Cut fabric backing.
- Spray-mount fabric to back of chair.
- Cut holes for bolts, reassemble.
The goal of this office renovation and clean-up was to make it a comfortable, workable office on the cheap! With both of us working from home, this has been a long time coming, but we finally got all moved back in, cleaned up AND some final touches done.
With my weird line of work (computer products for the blind), I require a lot of "stuff" around me in order to work. I wanted to keep this real, so I didn't move anything out of the room of off the shelves. Even though it was so tempting to get better photos.
|The Blue Lady stayed. Minus the gun. Paint colors here.|
|Love the roller shades! More on those here.|
|Linoleum block prints from our wedding invitations and an illustration by my nephew.|
|Shelving (from Ikea, no longer sold). Sat under the guest bed for 5 years!|
|Marc's office chair recovered and tuned. More on that later this week.|
|New sitting area with door now closed to bathroom hall. (We never used this door anyway!)|
- We had the door/table (free from a friend). Painted it.
- Had filing cabinet (scored at Habitat)
- Paint we had from other rooms (colors here)
- But I did have to buy brushes and cutting in tools about $23
- Shelves we had from Marc's apartment in Hoboken.
- Roller shades Marc bought about 4 years ago and never put up!
- I did buy some cheap organization baskets at Target $21
- Chair we had in the bedroom.
- New window sash hardware $2.48 x 7 windows = $17.36
- Eyelets to alter shade hardware. $0.98
- Fabric for under desk $4.00
- Fabric to reupholster chairs and pillow $15 (more on those later this week)
[Edited to add]
Minus = $40 for desk sold
Grand Total = $41.34!
- I'd LOVE new matching office chairs
- Radiator cover. (Seriously, where can I find these??)
- Replace horrid ceiling fan.
Anyway, I'm loving having an organized, sane place to work (and blog of course!)
So I should have been updating a web store for my work, but this was so much more fun!
Hope you like the new look. It is a work in progress and I'm going to try to improve the B&A (Before & Afters) page very soon too.
As always, thanks for reading!
This post shows the aftermath of Franca's first day with her dollhouse. I'm dubbed it the Ling's Housewarming Party.
The Ling's apparently had a pretty crazy party. How do we know? Let's see: