FAIL

My FL State Real Estate Exam actually said that.

No lie.  FAIL.

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Yes that is the current torn floral wallpaper in the kitchen right now.  This thumbs down can be for that too! Haha!

I’m going to allow myself 24 hours to mourn that test and then I am back on that test horse for the weekend and hopefully I can take it again as soon as possible.  The lady from the test company said I can take it as soon as they have their next available space and I’m comfortable taking it again.  What? Did someone say Tuesday of next week?  That’s my plan y’alls.  I’m determined to get the mastery over this thing.

BONUS MATERIAL: Phone call with Michael after I got out of the test…

*ring. ring. ring.*

Me: Hey….

Him: Heeeeey baaaaabe…..

Me: You got my message huh? (The 1st call went to voicemail so I left him a message.)

Him: Yeeeeeeaaaaaahhh……don’t worry, you’ll pass it next time.  Everyone fails tests sometimes.

Me: Not you.  I bet you never failed a test in your entire life!

Him: Ummm….I’m sure I have.  Maybe once.  But I can’t remember it right now….I mean……….nevermind.  Yay you’ll pass next time!

Me: —_—……thanks babe.  Hanging up now.

Is anyone else out there a two time test taker now that they are getting up in years? (I turned 30 this summer so I’m going to try and get away with blaming that for as long as I can get away with it.)

This Is My Brain…

This is my brain on coffee…

In these past two days I have accomplished many great things.  And all thanks to the mighty powers of Java the Cup.  I tackled one major project on my “Get-it-Together-Before-School-Starts-and-you-Have-a-whole-new-slew-of-Projects-to-Tackle” list.

#1!  Get all of our Little Beanettes hair clips in order in one central area so our morning routine seems more like a graceful ballet rather than some herky jerky rave concert from the 90’s.  (Do people even do those things anymore?  No.  Seriously I wanna know…)

#2!  Get the lounging chairs sanded completely and prepped for their new stain.

Now out of these 2 projects I actually was able to completely tackle the 1st one of organizing my daughters hair clips and barrettes into something I can easily maneuver every morning before school like a boss.  So how do you go from this…

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To this…?

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Read on and I will let you in on my madness turned genius.

First, I went to Pinterest to find some inspiration and I stumbled upon this beauty of a thing –

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So with this in my head I set off on my own variation of the same thing.  Here’s the materials list:

  • Scissors
  • Poster board in any color that tickles your fancy
  • Ribbon or material cut into strips
  • Glue gun with glue sticks at the ready
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil (I know you know, but you never know who doesn’t know!)
  • Paint or markers or crayons
  • All of your hair accessories

To start I measured my door space to see where I wanted my name board to call home.  It was pretty easy to settle on a space because earlier in the week Michael took down Little Beans towel bar off her door.  It was completely not functional because she is only 3 feet tall and the bar was installed about 7 feet above the ground and that spelled trouble for her towels drying ways.  Down it came and left this to remember it by:

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I measured from about the middle of the top row of boxes to the top of the 2nd row of boxes for the name plate to rest. It came out to 24″x8″.  I cut out my first piece of poster board to the exact measurement and then made a second piece of fluorescent pink poster board to lay under it and measured it just a smidge larger to create a small border around the white piece.  Like so…

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And then I just let my imagination run wild.  I hand drew about 9 different name options from cursive to block print to robot letters to lips for her i in her name on pieces of scrap paper and she finally settled on what I affectionately call “The Greek” font version of her name.  I painted in butterflies after Michael wrote a few sample ones for me.  I hot glued the 4 corners of each board together and they dried really quickly. Now since I didn’t glob the paint onto the board either that dried rather quickly as well and I was able to just keep moving onto the next step.  Which was finding the right ribbons.  So into my bags o’ fabrics I dove…or we dove because the kids helped too.  Along with playing some midday dressup!

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And this is why I keep random pieces of fabric in bags in the corner of our room Michael.

I picked out 7 pieces of fabric and just cut them down to size and hot glued them to the back of the board.  She picked a few, I picked a few, and now looking back at it I think it would be fun to switch out a few of the colors one day.  Keep it fresh right?Image

Next attach the MacGyver of all tapes – Duct Tape – to the back of the board so you can stick it onto the door. I simply rolled it up into an oval like this and used about 5 of them across…

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I pressed it against the door and then attached all the barrettes I could match and not match up onto the ribbons.  This is where you get to be all crazy creative and put them wherever you’d like.  In the end you will end up with something like this.

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Now if only I can figure out what to do with all the rest of these headbands and other accessories…

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Just kidding.  I’ve already got something brewing up there already.  I’ll let you know when that gets off the ground.

Anyone else working on something crafty in the kitchen?  Share and share alike y’all!

Pinterest photo from ourfifthhouse.blogspot.com

Yeah…So Here’s How NOT to Use a Table Saw

We’re diving into finishing our office flooring situation.  We are laying down Brazilian Cherry laminate wood flooring.  It’s tremendously delicious!  It has this deep dark woodsy matte finish that we just died for when we saw it at our local flooring store.  Well, not so local – the place was 30 minutes away, but still so worth it because the flooring was on sale at .89 cents/sq. ft.! Whaaaaat???? Yes please and can I have some more?!

Here is a picture of it in all its glory after we fitted our living room with it…ImageWe were in the middle of painting that nooked wall gray.  It turned out nice.  We’ll share it one day with y’all. 

And so like I said we are laying this same exact flooring down in the office.  So we put our new Ryobi Table Saw up in the room to make our quick cuts in the office and cut down on sawdust traffic in the living room because originally it was in a room all the way across the house.  Now when we started it up, after a few cuts smoke was coming out of it and we were all like “What’s up with that?!” so we shut it down for the night and regrouped the following day.  Oh this all happened this last weekend by the way.  So Michael goes off to work and I go ahead and try to tackle the mystery box that is our table saw.  We bought a cute little meaty Ryobi Table Saw + Stand Model RTS10 in case you have the same one and come across this same issue or in case you are looking for a new one.

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Here’s the rub.  I had to change the saw blade on the table because the one that was on there was from a previous friends project and we had lent the table to them to use.  So off I go with my handy dandy manual and my brains and my goggles and mask all ready to get this thing done when I realized that the manual can get kinda murky at times.  Like take for instance p. 19 of the owners manual…(read it below or scroll to p.19 in this link to the manual)

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TO CHANGE BETWEEN A SPREADER AND A RIVING KNIFE

See Figure 12.

This saw is shipped with the spreader/riving knife placed in the non-through cutting or “down” position (riving knife position).

NOTE: The spreader/riving knife must be placed in the through cutting, or “up” position (spreader position), for all other cutting operations.

 Unplug the saw.

To place in spreader position (or “up” position for all through cutting):  Remove the throat plate.

 Raise the saw blade by turning the height/bevel adjusting handwheel clockwise.

 Unlock the release lever by pulling it up.

 Grasp the spreader and pull it towards the right side of the saw to release the spreader from the spring-loaded riving clamp.

 Pull the spreader up until the internal pins are engaged and the spreader is above the saw blade.

 Lock the release lever by pushing the lever down.  Reinstall the throat plate.

To place in riving knife position (or “down” position for all non-through cutting):  Remove the throat plate.

 Raise the saw blade by turning the height/bevel adjusting handwheel clockwise.

 Unlock the release lever by pulling it up.  Push the riving knife down until it is below the saw blade.  Lock the release lever by pushing the lever down.  Reinstall the throat plate.

RELEASE LEVER (UNLOCKED)

IN “UP” POSITION FOR THROUGH CUTTING

RELEASE LEVER (LOCKED)

IN “DOWN” POSITION FOR NON-THROUGH CUTTING

Fig. 12

———————————————————————-

Now do you see the last 4 lines that are highlighted?  I did that myself and it doesn’t look like that in the manual.  The choicest words that I was scratching my head over was “IN “UP” POSITION FOR THROUGH CUTTING” and “IN “DOWN” POSITION FOR NON-THROUGH CUTTING”.  Now thought that they were referring only to the release lever so I added the riving knife to the spreader however I didn’t lock the release lever by turning it into the down position because I thought “Hey I’m making through cuts with my wood and it says leave in the up position for through cuts right?”  (I know that sounds ditzy but I’m a super visual person and you have GOT to see the figure pictures on page 19 and then you will see that I am not completely crazy for thinking they were talking about the release lever – it’s veddy veddy tricky that manual)

I WAS WRONG!!!!!! OOOOOHH SOOOOOO WRONG!!!! (and you saw table experts know where this is heading right?)

I put the goggles on.  Check.  I put the mask down.  Check.  Plugged in the table.  Flipped on the switch.  Blade starts up.  I approach with my first board and the second it hit the blade would you believe it that the whole safety unit (blade guard, anti-kickback pawls AND the riving knife) went flying at me like a bullet!  Thankfully I played JV and Varsity tennis in high school and have reflexes like a cat because I had to move like lightning to get out of the way of the shrapnel that flew off that thing!  It all happened so quickly.  I ended up with little bits of blade shard stuck to my upper arm which did no damage really but other than that I came out unharmed. I thank God that I am on this side of that incident alive and well to tell this cautionary tale.  It could have been 100 times worse.  After I was able to take my wobbly finger and turn off the blade I unplugged the whole unit and sat on the floor shaking like a leaf.  And all I could think about was that touching episode from Extreme Makeover Home Edition of that young kid who liked to do home repair around the house for his single mom and one day he chopped his hand off with his table saw.  True story.  Poor kid.  Just trying to do something nice.  But my story has a different ending maybe because I wasn’t wearing a large leather coat while doing it?  Ay, ay, ay….

I immediately called the Ryobi hotline # that was on the manual and by then (call #3) I’m sure the 3 people answering the phone were whispering to each other like “If it sounds like a young woman with no clue just give her the runaround and hope she starts crying and hangs up in frustration.”  I got “Georgie” on the phone and between my bad reception and his thick syrupy southern drawl we got absolutely nowhere.  By the end he was just agreeing with me to get me off the phone I think.  “Mmmhhmm…yep…sounds like you got it….if not then call us back….yes ma’am…..” I hung up frustrated but sans tears and not completely defeated.  There was only one logical thing I could take away from that last phone call and it was 

“Do you have a Home Depot nearby?”

“Yes I do.”

“Well why don’t you go by there and look at their floor model and ask how they put theirs together.”

SOLD!  I got the kids in the van lickety split and straight to Home Depot we went.  Thankfully I had 2 guys that walked me through the process of putting the thing together – SAFELY – and in the end everything worked out.  The moral of this story?  ALWAYS LOCK THE YELLOW/ORANGEY COLORED RELEASE LEVER IN THE DOWN POSITION NO MATTER WHAT KIND OF CUTS YOU ARE MAKING!!!!! (was that too hard of a sentence to put in that there manual of yours Ryobi?)

Whew….I felt like I needed to write this post because when I was looking for information on this particular model I couldn’t find much weirdly enough out on the world wide web.  So hopefully here is a little help for my fellow Ryobi 10″ Table Saw with Stand Model RTS10 owners out there.  Holla if ya hear me! 

This whole shrapnel deal happened just yesterday and I have pretty much worked my nerve up again to get back on that table saw horse and get that room done, but now I think I will start that blade up after a well placed prayer.  And at lunch Michael begged me “Please don’t lose a limb I’m begging you!”  So here goes nothing…

Anyones else a semi-newbie as well that can swap shrapnel stories with me?  Any words of encouragement or caution that have still been left out of my owners manual?

Table saw pic source: www.cybuyguy.com

 

Here’s The Happs…


Sorry I’ve been gone for a spell.  Life.  It moveth so rapidly. Here’s a few things that have been going on since we last spoke…

I have slowly – and when I say slowly I mean slooooooowly – but surely been refurbishing our 2 antique chairs down to hopefully something I will want to live with for the rest of my life.  Here’s an “action” shot.

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Those tiny hands are being put to good use on this intricate piece.  Her “What I Did This Summer” essay will win her absolutely nothing I’m sure.

We I actually mourned the passing away of Big Wicked aka “Bee Dubs”.  Yep he bit the dust finally.  And all through sheer accident actually.  After introducing him to you back in May and after weeks of playing hide and seek every time I had to do my laundry one day my child must have went in to get something from the dryer and came upon B.W. (we pieced this theory all together after the fact) and in a frightened state must have thrown one of my head scarves onto the beast and ran off.  The next day I go in to put a load in the washer and as I walk in out of the corner of my eye I catch a glimpse of my beautiful scarf on the floor tucked behind our massive 1982 water heater.  Now…I am at times known to be scared of my own shadow so something like this was definitely not something for my faint heart to tackle.  

MIIIIIICHAAAAEL!!!! (that’s Michael my husband in case you can’t decipher my yell spell)

I got him in the laundry room and just pointed to it and it was covered in a massive spiderweb which I thought must have happened when my son threw it back into the corner of B.W.s house.  So my husband picks it up and whoa and behold I hear a quick “Aaaahhh!!” aaaand STOMP! That was all she wrote.  Big Wicked died because he naively thought he was movin’ on up to that deluxe head scarf in the sky and in one night he set up shop in my scarf and when Michael moved it he freaked and ran which made my man drop the scarf and subsequently stomp him out.  I was sad for about 2 days because then I freaked out about who will kill all the bugs that meander into our house at 1:38 am with no invite now?  But then I remember the 5 other B.W. cousins that still live in that room and the mourning period ended.  

For the faint of heart like myself, I will spare you the death pic…just know he left quite an impression…

Now what else, what else is new……….

OH I KNOW!

We finally heard back from the insurance company and they ended up cutting us a measly little check for $200 to cover the roof leaks.  200 bucks.  When we got that in the mail I said “Ummm lets just go out for a fancy shmancy dinner because this won’t cover anything roofwise.”  But we didn’t.  We are trying to be all adult like and responsible.  So instead it now sits in our roof fund as our beginning amount.  I can’t complain cause it’s definitely more than 2 pennies.  Which is what I thought they would send us in the mail.  Attached to an index card with scotch tape. And a note scribbled onto it saying “Good try suckers!  And that’s our 2 cents on the matter!”

I should never get a job for an insurance company.  I can see all the lawsuits now…

Oh and this came in the mail today… 

Suddenly tonights school shopping extravaganza doesn’t seem so daunting.  I love shopping but not waiting in the waiting rooms for my kids to come out.  Now the Hubs and I will bring our 3rd friend along and browse the pages for inspiration.
So that’s what’s new with us…what’s new with yous guys?  Eh?  How is your summer going?  Anyone else in love with the back to school season?  I get so optimistic about life.  Maybe because I was the class of 2000.  Boy did they sell us a dream or what?  Where is my flying jetpack and personal robot?

Judgment Hour Approacheth

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So tomorrow the insurance adjuster arrives to assess the flood damage done by Tropical Storm Debby and let us know whether or not it is check/cash/money/moolah/payout worthy.  Hopefully the man will be like “You are right and we owe you money as a valued customer and so here’s a large floppy take your picture next to it check for 100,000 dollars!” and confetti falls from the sky.  

Reality: “Sorry to tell ya ma’am but this here aint covered by your policy but here’s a 20 spot for yer troubles.  Oh and I clogged your toilet.  Have a nice day.”

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Should I be really concerned that my insurance company won’t pay up?  What is the norm?  Laughter and pointing or just doing the right thing for the homeowner and paying out?

So Much To Do…

So little time, am I right?  Of course because it’s a saying for a reason. Ha!  Today I was sitting back and enjoying some peaceful time alone while the kids napped and then the all encompassing starting to make me hyperventilate if I think about it too long list of things we need to accomplish before September hit me.  

September is a deadline we MUST meet because that is when we are hosting our FIRST house guest – my mother-in-law.  We haven’t seen her in about 2 years and I blame it on the economy.  We moved here to be close to my parents because they are getting up in years and then the price of tickets for air travel went up and we look like rejects with no friends because no one can hardly afford to come visit us.  Haha!  We tell our friends here “We swear we are not running from the law and we do have friends and family all over the place but they just haven’t visited since The Great Recession started.”  

September.

Just about 3 months away. That is not alot of time to accomplish aaaaaaaall this…

Things to do before September:

  • Finish the flooring in the office.
  • Figure out the configuration of the laundry/mud room
  • Finish repainting living room missed spots
  • Hang all pictures
  • Set up office to host Michaels mama
  • Fix the side bathroom
  • Redo the floor
  • Paint over the tub
  • Replace the shower heads – plural (hallway and ours)
  • Clean out all sawdust in grandmas room (don’t worry she doesn’t live with us yet so it’s serving as our tool room for now)
  • Return everyones tools (this should be fun figuring out what goes to who – which reminds me – start labeling all our tools somehow!)
So I am thoroughly concerned and determined all in one fell swoop.  Taking this list one day at a time and adding to it and crossing things off satisfyingly will be the hamster wheel that we are now on after we got the keys to this here abode.  I love this house, so I’m not really complaining because these are nice problems to have in the world considering.
 
For tonight hopefully we can finish painting the living room once and for all and can start on the final baseboards caulking.
 
I have a thyroid seminar to attend first, but after that these walls won’t know what hit em.  Mostly because they have no brain function. What are you guys up to?  Any painting or caulking going on?   

Yes! Nooo…and Oh Boy!

Okay so I have good news, bad news, and a little bit of the ugly as well.  First things first, I will lead off with the good news and get to the sobering in a bit.  

I passed.  I did it!  I did it, I did it, I did it!  After my first failed attempt to procure my FL State Real Estate License I didn’t give up and instead took about almost 2 months to mourn the loss of the 1st test, dust off my book, contact my teacher, and dive right back into the beast that is the Real Estate industry.  When I say the test is a killer I kid you not.  Unless you are super good at all things math and memorization (which 1 out the 2 were in my favor and it doesn’t rhyme with bath) I failed the first time by only 3 points.  This time I wiped the floor with that test and pulled off an upset to the tune of a 93!  Yeeeeah dawg!  Yes I did give my teacher the biggest hug in her office and then run around the corner and proceed to dance a jig in the main conference area since no one else was there.  You’re welcome future security camera checker upper!  Aaaahhhh…sigh…good news is great news.

Onto the bad…

I don’t think I can upload the video because the Flip camcorder is acting all stuck up and wonky after I import the vids to my computer.  They copy but the playback is kinda all Max Hedroomey…ish.  The other day we were sitting around the house because it was raining outside – yet again – and my daughter “SuperGirl” comes in and says in her little voice “Mommy do you hear that?”  I listened for a sec but didn’t hear anything.  “I hear your voice.” She smiled and walked away.  Just a few seconds later she comes back and grabs my hand and says “Mommy come here you don’t hear that?” and walks me across the house over to the hallway and I looked one way and all of a sudden I hear a cascading water sound.  

It was cascading water.  

Groan…and then panic at the disco because I realized what was causing it was actually a pretty big deal.  Water was gushing in through the top of one of our doors that leads to the back patio and it was causing some rapids to develop as it coasted down the hall threatening to enter our kids bedrooms.  To which I say “NOT ON MY WATCH!”  Did I tell you that I almost single handedly installed all their wood laminate flooring in their rooms?  My back still won’t let me forget it, nor do I think has it forgiven me.  So all that flashed before my eyes was warped floor boards and me wailing uncontrollably and I would have raccoon eyes from the mascara that only appears in my daydreams rolling down my face.  It would scare the children…a whole big thing…so I jumped to action.  

Towel. Stat! Acrobatic measures to hurdle jump the random puddles forming. Check! TOWELS!!!!! Phone.  “Honey it’s like Noah’s Ark up in here get home as soon as you can.  Please and thank you!”

So the end result (so far) is that we had our carpenter friend come over and assess the situation and he said he saw 2 holes in the roof. When he said that I was like “Who’s-a-what’s-it now?”

Needless to say, I am getting really familiar with our homeowners insurance policy.  Haha!  

And finally the ugly…

Yes those ants are back…the bane of my existence.  The things that are making a much more flinchier human being have reared their ugly heads again.  I almost give up.  They seem to surge when the weather gets rainy.  I think the rain is washing away all of my home remedies.  Come on!!  I can’t take much more of this.  Tomorrow hopefully will be a clear day and I can run out with the kids to do some much needed errands.  I’m sorry, did somebody in the back just shout “RAAAAID?!?”?

Any tips on how to get the animals in check?  What are your go to bug remedies when it comes to carpenter ants and palmetto bugs?  Who also seem to come out of the woodwork whenever we get a downpour.  Thanks Tropical Storm Debby…for nothin’!

 

Dare I Say It?

This morning I woke up to no sound of Michael stomping out some ants in the front door area and in the kitchen.  Just a quiet little house and nothing but some cinnamon dust on the floor from when Michael went out and then ran back in to get something when I got out of bed.

So dare I say it?  I don’t want to be prematurely happy about anything when it comes these pesky little ants, buuuuuut….(I whisper this) “I think we’ve won…”

I was talking to my friend and her husband tonight about it and they said that their mother had the same situation but with those tiny ants and they were always in her sugar jar.  She finally put full cinnamon sticks inside and then they disappeared and they never saw one ant after that.  Hopefully the powder will do the same trick.  But if that alone won’t do the trick, I read on some ant forums (oh yeah, it’s a whole big thing on the Interweb that could possibly rival the number of Star Wars forums out there) that spraying Windex on their pathway will help screw up their sense of direction and they won’t know which way to walk because it covers the scent of the urine (ewww!) that they use to let the guy behind him know where to go.  With friends like that…

Since I didn’t have any Windex in the house (I just use vinegar or rubbing alcohol and water on my windows and glass) I went to the next best thing and used up the rest of my Febreze that has been staring at me since we have moved.  I dropped it all over the back lanai down their “path” and hopefully the potpourri scent will screw them all kinds of up and they will end up marching right into the pool.  Oops wrong turn!

My disdain for these things doesn’t make me come across as a serial killer psychopath right?  I’m not like a squirrel shooting bbgun holding weirdo.  That’s just crazy.  But cinnamon…ing some ants that threaten to eat me out of house and home?  I’m down with it.

Tonight though we are going to start the repairs back up on the house.  We had to take a little breather after the kids end of school party because basically it taught us that it probably – no, wait – most definitely is not the best thing to agree to host after being in your new home for only 2 short months.  In short – we are both no longer 20 and we are beat.

So we rest.  Until tonight.  When we shall dust off our work shorts and get back into some spackling.  Tackle some spackle as only I they say. ImageImageImageImageImage

This is work that can only get done after the kids get to bed.  The temptation to tag the walls with “Kiddo #1 Wuz Here 2012!” or “Kid 2 In Da Hizzow!” would be too great for them to conquer I fear.  So sleep little babies and hopefully tomorrow they can help with the fun and easy stuff a.k.a. painting.

Are any of you out there tackling any spackling as of late?  Share your stories.

Cinnabuns?

So this is what our front entryway and our back door into the lanai look like presently…

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That’s cinnamon…

Why?  Well because my chalk method which turned into my basil leaves method which then turned into my vinegar method ALL FAILED.

Miserably too.  The chalk method I thought was solid and had it in the bag and after a few ants were like “Whoa…what is this powdery substance?  Me scared.  Me run away now.” the word must have gotten out to send in the A-Team.  You know, the ants that are on the ‘roids?  Because those bad boys just muscled their way right on through that chalk like they could care less about me and all my googled methods.  

So I switched over to the basil and one queen ant actually sat on it and apparently fell asleep! So I nixed that method.  Onto the vinegar!  Now other than probably sanitizing the chalk to make it even more approachable for the ants that pretty much did nothing.  In fact, when we woke up this morning there were more ants than ever in the house.  Just chilling on the floor playing poker, shooting dice, playing spoons.  So to say there was a stomping massacre is an understatement.  Yes it was in slow motion set to this music…

Ride of the Valkyries

I am almost at my wits end.  I HATE BUGS!!! I don’t know if I have told you that – but I do.  With a strong inward passion.  I hate em.  All kinds of them. Moths the most because they remind me of miniature bats.  So have I been a flinchy mess before bed every night this week?  Yes I have. 

I finally called my brother today and he said to try cinnamon because it burns their little legs and they scurry off and tell the tale of the “Fire Door” hopefully to all their little friends and girlfriends a.k.a. the queens.  This had better work.  Or I’m giving the keys back to the realtor. Haha!

But seriously, what does a girl do???? Any tips on how to get rid of these carpenter ants without having to use really toxic bug spray?  Is there any natural ways to kill carpenter ants?