Thursday, August 8, 2013

Secret Garden Bath

Back to Design!  How fun is that?  I wish I had a degree in design of some kind because it really is a science.   There is so much to know, so much to figure out, so much to SHOP FOR (heeheeheehee;)!  So I've been all over, on line and in person, in stores and outlets, in warehouses and other people's basements!  It's kind of ridiculous.  But now the contractor is here and things are progressing...
Here is the before shot and all the goodies that are going in...

for some reason I can't find the real before pictures.  I thought I took them to send in to Nate, but I can't find them now.  So these will have to do.

First the floor inspiration!  (JK - these are the floors at the Phillies game.  Everyone who walks in this bathroom, says, "Wow these look like grass!  Look, the tile looks just like glass."  Now it has taken me years to get over the "Look,-there's-an-airplane" thing, that horrible speech-petrifying syndrome that affects all new moms until their kids are about 10, when we point out Everything That Moves, like trains, planes, and cows, and I'm still tempted to do it at outdoor bars with grownup adults who know what an airplane looks like, but I'm always amused when we do it still over lots of things that are perfectly obvious.  Anyway... I digress.  And I am not doing a baseball bathroom.)

So here is the floor tile.  We are going to try to install it ourselves - DIY - difficult, icky, yucky!
This is the sink I found at Restore for $90 complete with faucets!  I Love Restore!  It has some hidden gems that you have to search for, but they are there!  If you are in the mood for a Teal bath, they have a teal pedestal sink and matching tile to go for dirt cheap.  Go ahead - go for it!  I should've taken pictures.
The base.

 The sink which now occupies significant space in our bedroom.

Annie reading in a perfectly sunny spot having taken the cushions off the lounge chairs that they were designed for, while I work, work, work!

The retro faucets!

A towel hook bar from Target on clearance because I have given up on towel bars.  They are not as useful or functional.

Then we found ourselves down in Delaware in every design maiden's haven - Interior Alternative.  The outlet for everything Waverly and beyond.  I have never regretted one purchase here AND we got everything 40-50% off!  Yeah!  Off their outlet prices!

They have everything you can imagine!

This is the one Annie found for our girls bathroom Shower Curtain.  Not quite what I had in mind but it works.  And at $5.25 a yard, I'm very happy!

Rows of glorious fabric!
We got it home and were all excited...until...

We found this old tile under the floor boards in the bathroom.  
IT is almost a PERFECT match!  Du-do-du-do-du-do-du-do!  Love finding old stuff in the walls, just wish it was money!
Weird? right, because this is the 3rd time this has happened: Once in the living room with navy blue walls, once in my room with pale blue walls, and now with the tile! It just makes me realize the house is speaking to me, or at least Annie cause she's the one who picked it out!
These are the wall sconces.  Much bigger in person than the website picture, but we are going to make it work.  Plus a few items from Amazon.com, really great deals on toilets, mirrors, and hooks, etc., to make it all work.  
Now you may be thinking that this is all a bit too feminine.  The round bath, the curvy sink, the little pale blue polka dots but that's the deal.  But this is the ultimate in women's liberation, you know.  This bath will be shared not by my husband and I, no, but my daughter and I.  Yes, we have a Women's bath, and a Men's bath.  The way God intended.  Women's liberation has come a long way, even in France, where they no longer use Mademoiselle!  But not so far as to make this momma want to clean up after the men.  They can manage that just fine on their own, thank you very much.  Or is it the opposite?  That true women's libbers really want to have their own space?  I don't know - all I know is we are all just fine with this arrangement.  No one wants to see the other's "Junk".  I tease my male hairdresser that it's not really fair to his girlfriend that he knows all our secrets.  And there should be a few secrets - our Secret Garden.  That's what we'll call it - our Secret Garden Bath.
So we'll be putting it all together, with the new tub.  However, I've been overruled and we are getting The Tub reglazed.  All my hard work, all those days in the heat, all that time scrubbing all the nasties out, and we have decided that to get it glazed is the best option... so stay tuned.  There's more fun to come!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back Roads

So just a little recap of our summer... Yes, there are EXACTLY four weeks left.  Four Tuesday mornings from now the kids will be back in school.  At least JJ and I will be.. the other kids get until Thursday.  LUU-cky!  I am going back soon too... well, more about that later.
So what to do?  Plan your next four weeks - every single day.  What will you do?  It's entirely up to you.  I started my calendar last week and I still have some blanks to fill in but I'm going to accomplish as much as I can.  We have two days scheduled for Out and About Stuff, cleaning closets, shopping for floor tiles, etc., and two days of Away Stuff, going to the beach, going to Grounds for Sculpture, visiting Daddy at work for lunch, and one Home Day, wear pajamas all day and just do nothing, sweet-summery nothing.  Hopefully those coincide with the Rainy Days!
If you don't know where to begin, look up your State Parks.  There are lots of things to do out there.  Even looking a good old fashioned map and finding a little watering hole would be great.  Pack a chair, a fishing rod, and a sandwich and you're good to go.   Go to your library on the way - Librarians always know where to direct you and they can give you a good read for when the fish aren't biting.
Here's another great site National Recreation Trails.  We found one so close to home we can ride bikes there.  You never know what's right around the bend.
Here are the picks I took:
Isn't this amazing?  Apparently it was an ice house back in the day.

The main house, newly renovated.  The funny thing is, I used to ride my bike here when I was in high school  and it was all overgrown and hidden and I felt I'd found a secret garden house.  So cool.

When I peeked in this crack in the door I half expected to find someone looking at me!


Great old kitchen in Cook's Blue - the color they believed kept flies away!

Picture a part out here in 1890...

Marble slab step.

Through the window.

Easy to find and enjoy!

On our summer travels this year we've been taking a lot of back roads, either to avoid traffic or find a little off beat path.  Usually to avoid traffic.  But we've been surprised when we are back there on the back roads, little old farm houses, a park with paths and lakes and streams, all kinds of stuff.   When we see that Detour sign, and we're forced to make alternate routes, we feel that sense of dread like we may never get home, that our destination is just too far away.  But then we see little reminders that there is no rush.  That the journey is a good one and we'll get where we're going, even if it's a little longer, a little slower.
In our busy lives we feel the same way when the job doesn't come through, when the kids get sick, when we get sick.  When someone has hurt us or something has struck us, a fire, a catastrophe, an accident.  Yet sometimes these are just reminders to look at the Back Roads, follow the detours and we'll find our way to our destination, our dream job, our dream house, our dream, even if it's not the path we imagined - it may look more like a trail that goes no where.  But slow down a little, the signs say.  Look up and around.   Sometimes we have to go back to go forward.  Just around the bend. Pearl Jam has a great song "Around the Bend."  There's a Sun Around the Bend.  And it might be closer than you think.

Monday, August 5, 2013


This is the first summer in a long time that I've had a real garden.  I still remember our first 'home' where I had a small flower garden outside our back door.  It was next to the driveway, a little raised bed made with stone that matched the house we were renting in Ridgewood.  I planted Zinnias and Tomatoes.  Almost 18 years ago.

Anyway, this summer I was not expecting much.  I mean my expectations were really low.  I just figured I'd stick some stuff in the ground and keep visiting farmer's markets and kind of faking it.  But now I'm so happy to announce the birth of our first... Watermelon!  It's real too!  A Sugar Baby Watermelon.  8 pounds, 6 ounces.  I think.  Not ready to eat yet, but it will be soon!

Honestly I feel like a new mom.  Well not quite but this was a complete surprise.  I planted the garden in a little patch on the side of our house where I know there is a lot of sun.  It's also cheating a little because the sprinkler system hits here every morning around 5am.  So I was able to ignore this garden when we were on vacation or busy or whatever.  It just kind of did it's own thing.  Which is why when I looked outside the border created, under the gutter that served as a border, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this:

Goof balls!

And there'll be tomatoes!

And more watermelon!

And is anything more beautiful in the world than a perfect Morning Glory!

More babies!
Until everything ripens, I'm visiting the farmer's market.  Here's the loot from Saturday:
Yes, I guess there are farms that grow Donuts!  There must be something healthy about them because they are Apple Cider donuts - serving of fruit?  Now that's a market I can invest in.

Ready to slice...
It's not too late to plant.  August is perfect for planting lettuce seeds, herbs and lots of good stuff you can harvest well into October.  It's nice to have your fingernails caked in mud but then to eat your very own fruits of your labor!  No matter what else in life seems out of control or beyond our control, plant something and  yield great returns.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Coming along, coming along

First of all, it's August 1st.  AHHHG-ust 1st.  That's the way my aunt from Maine used to say it.  Really, AHHG-ust.   And it's true.  We all kind of go, AHHH!  because...(dont' say it! we ban the s-word in summer)  but really we shouldn't do that.  No.  There are exactly 4.5 weeks of SUMMER left and more... c'mon people... it's ok... take a deep breath.
A friend of mine used to say "Every day in June is like a Friday, every day in July is like Saturday, and every day in August is like a Sunday..."  Alas, it is true, but it's not September yet, so brace yourself for the last 4 Awesome weeks of August.  Pretend someone just walked in your office and said "I'm granting you four weeks of vacation!"  What would you do?  Well, for one thing you can get started on that Summer Bucket List.  Really, let's go people... time's a wasting...

The one thing I absolutely Have to do before this week ends is get my Tub Clean. It's not a Bucket List, it's a TUB List.  It's been a Process.  I looked up what to do to get those old rubbery adhesive decals out and found "Goof Off."  Now the name sounds innocuous, so I asked my husband to pick some up at the hardware store, but it is not Innocuous.  It's actually pretty bad stuff.  So I became determined not to use it, even though I didn't take it back to the hardware store yet.
First I realized it had Acetone in it, which is also in nail polish remover, so I grabbed the acetone-free kind and got to work.

Then, as I was rubbing away with the rubber gloves that my ever-so-thoughtful-husband got me even though I didn't ask him, the rubber latex whatever worked like an eraser to take off the adhesive once the acetone had gotten into it.  Then I had the ingenious idea to use an actual eraser to scrub it off.

That worked too.  However, the next day I started to clean all the gobbledy-goock out and the hot, boiling water I used did make the adhesive less sticky.  So I started scraping with an ever-green wooden popsicle stick from my kids art supplies! Yes, chemicals be damned!  This actually worked the best and brought the most self-satisfied grin across my face as my elbow grease and determination got all that yucky goo off there!  It took a lot of work.  So we have about 9 decals off and 5 to go.

 It's coming along, coming along...

And maybe, just maybe someday I'll have this! (I think maybe I need to tack this over the tub as I work.)
Just like Summer...it's just coming along - not over yet! and we'll keep working at it till we have that perfect summer day when we get to do everything we want... sleep late, drink coffee outside with a blue sky all around, lounge on a beach chair or deck chair or chaise lounger with our feet up and a book too, wear our bathing suit til it hurts, get a hot tan without trying, (you know that not-so-good tan that feels so good when you get between the crisp white sheets of your bed that lets you know you had a little too much sun today...) eat something fresh from a garden, water ourselves or our children or our plants, eat a perfect salad for lunch, drink a really refreshing ice water that hits the spot like only it can in summer, drink some wine before dinner, and have fish tacos for supper...walk around the block and check out everyone else's gardens, weedy as they may be, because it's summer:  lazy, hazy days of summer!  Even if you didn't get to yet, you have plenty of time...  34 days to go by my count.