popcorn, anyone?

So, after the grand finale of Project Powder Room, we decided to take on a smaller DIY project…popcorn ceilings. 

The kitchen was our next target.  We’d had some significant water damage a couple years ago, and while we got a new roof out of the deal, we never quite got around to fixing the water-stained crumbling spot in the kitchen ceiling.  Also, when we changed out the light fixtures when Trey first bought the house, we chose a smaller fixture, leaving a dark ring around the base of it where the previous fixture once was. 

It seemed simple enough.  I’d already scraped the popcorn ceiling in the bathroom, and that project (well, that part of it anyway) only took a couple hours.  So I cleared everything off the counters and taped up plastic to protect the walls and appliances and went to town.  I was careful not to scrape as deep  as I had in the bathroom in order to keep the surface as smooth as possible.  After two days the ceiling was flat and had two coats of paint on it, and I was perfectly ready to put the project to bed. 

Trey had other plans.

Because I put two coats of paint up in about three hours, (for the record, the can of paint specifically said that a second coat could be applied after only ONE hour), the ceiling started to ripple and bubble. I was perfectly content to pretend it wasn’t there…cause come on, who’s gonna pay that close attention to the ceiling anyway? But my precious husband wanted to make sure the job was done right. 

So…after some ridiculous mood-swingy hormone-filled sobbing and crying on my part, Trey convinced me to let him repair the lumpy spot in the center of the ceiling. 

And, while it didn’t seem necessary to me at the time, the ceiling really is better for it.

Now, the thing I most regret is that while the plastic was up in the middle of the room, I didn’t get a picture of Rufus getting stuck in it.  We’d retaped the plastic to the ceiling just around the middle section that Trey fixed up.  We made a complete cone of plastic – you had to walk though about 4 feet of a plastic “hallway” to get in.  I don’t know how Rufus made his way in to the plastic cone…that was covered in debris from the ceiling, but I do know that he knew he wasn’t supposed to be there, and he didn’t know how the heck to get out.  Trey and I pointed and laughed at him for a good five minutes before he finally broke through the force field, covered in plaster from the ceiling.  We’re pretty sure he was traumatized.

We’re gonna make great parents one of these days…

dog gone

If you’ve met my mother, then you’ve probably met Ben.  If you haven’t met Ben, I’m sure you’ve heard enough about him to know that you want to meet him.

A handful of years ago, Mom and Dad adopted Ben from a pekingnese shelter.  He had been in a horrible accident, leaving his previous owners feeling like they were no longer capable of caring for him. For Mom, it was love at first sight.  This little blonde  ball of furry love instantly took over either mine or Amy’s place as favorite child (we’re not jealous – this way Mom never dresses us up in bandanas with doggie bones on them).  Ben has ridden in Mom’s car more than I have.  He is a trained therapy dog (he can dance, roll over – only to the left, pray, sit, stay and beg). He goes everywhere Mom does (don’t worry, she’s never carried him in her purse) and most people she encounters on a regular basis greet him by name. 

Since my parents have moved back to Spartanburg, Trey and I have been lucky enough to spend more quality time with Ben.  This past week, while Mom and Dad were out of town, Ben stayed with us from Tuesday through Sunday…much to Rufus and Roger’s dismay.  Frank, on the other hand, just seemed to think he was a very strange cat. 

Being a cat person for so long made dog-sitting seem like a bit of a challenge.  For example, the cats never have to “go out,” so I had to remember not to keep Ben indoors for too long.  Also, cats are infinitely more independent than dogs.  If I don’t pet them or speak to them for a few hours, they could care less…Ben, on the other hand, seemed almost heartbroken when I’d leave him to go work on the bathroom for the afternoon.  And cats don’t run to the door to greet you as soon as you get home…this only proved to be a problem once: I had my arms full of groceries, so I kicked open the front door, knocking Ben square in the teeth.  He was so happy I was home that he didn’t even notice that he’d gotten nailed in the kisser…or that his little gums had started bleeding.  This, of course, sent me into fits of hysteria, sobbing and moaning “I’m such a bad aunt!”  Trey assured me that if Ben didn’t seem to notice, then I was obviously over reacting. 

A few Ben-isms I learned over the past week: 

  • When “marking his territory,” Ben prefers to only lift his right hind leg.  So if you’re walking on his right side, he’ll do a complete 180 and face the oposite direction to do his business.
  • Ben knows I love to see him dance, so much so that he’s stopped waiting for me to give him the signal, and just starts doing it every time he sees me reach for a doggy treat.
  • Ben wants to be loved…even by cats.  He wants it so badly that he will follow Frank around wimpering until she swats at him to leave her alone.
  • Above all, Ben loves Mom.  When she came to pick him up Sunday afternoon, he never looked back.  He didn’t want to say goodbye to me, Frank or the boys…he just wanted Mom. 

He never barks, he sleeps through the night, and he wants you to love on him 24/7.  He’s the best baby ever.  But I must admit, the cats seem to be much relieved that they’re furry visitor has left the building.

run away with me

On Monday, after running too many errands and waiting for cable guy to come fix our broken internet (gotta love all those thunder storms we’ve been having) and all but hog-tying Roger to get him in the car, Trey and I (and Roger) finally hit the road for a much needed vacation.  Poor Roger got to come along because we couldn’t separate him from Frank and Rufus for the week due to our unfinished bathroom floor.  Let me tell you, if there’s one thing cats love, it’s a good road trip…

“Meow.”
Where are you taking me?

“Meeeeeeow!”
Not the vet, anything but the vet!

“MEEEEOOOOOOWWW!!!”
THIS IS NOT OKAY!!!

“MEEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW!!!””
HOW CAN YOU BE SO CALM! THE WORLD IS OBVIOUSLY COMING TO AN END!!

By the time we got to mom & dad’s mountain house, Roger had calmed down a little…but he wasn’t happy about his new surroundings.  At first he stayed curled up behind the toilet with his ears pressed back and his hair standing on end, but then he discovered the couch and spent the next two days under it. 

While he was in hiding, Trey and I commenced relaxing like lazy bums: sleeping late, lounging around in our pajamas, watching cable (real CABLE TELEVISION!), and creating this website.  It’s strange how being removed from your house allows you to relax so much more completely than you ever could at home.  I can’t remember the last time I felt so rested. 

We spent Tuesday doing mostly nothing – and it was indeed as glorious as it sounds.  Wednesday we decided to get out a little by visiting the local driving range to remind ourselves how much we both truly suck at golf and by lounging by the pool.  As we laid there, roasting in the sun (I can’t remember the last time I had a sunburn, and strangely, I’ve missed it), Trey pseudo-napping and me reading Eat Pray Love (I sincerely hope my enjoyment of the book doesn’t ruin the movie for me), we were interrupted suddenly: from amid the laughter of the children splashing around in the shallow end, came a blood-curdling scream:  “DIE EVIL DEMON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Kids say the darndest things.

That night, Trey and I got gussied up for  a night on the town.  We planned on dining at a little pizza joint we’d enjoyed before, but since the town of Waynesville shuts down at 9pm, they were locking the doors as we were walking up.  In the spirit of going with the flow, we walked across the street to Ceviche’s.  With a name like that, I had no idea what kind of cuisine they featured – and I’m kind of a picky eater.  But they were open, and the waitress was friendly.

When I say it’s the best meal I’ve had in forever, I mean it (excluding, of course, birthday dinner at the Cheesecake Factory).  Meatloaf, smothered in homemade mashed potatoes, corn, three cheeses and made from scratch gravy.  Heaven.  And to top it all off, one of the sweetest, richest carrot cakes I’ve ever tasted, and yes, they did drizzel caramel over it.  Divine. Even the reheated leftovers were amazing.

Roger seems to be finally comfortable with his new surroundings…just in time for us to scoop him up and take him back home tomorrow.  I’m sure he’ll never understand why we kidnapped him for these few days, but secretly, I think he liked it. 

Oh, how I wish we could stay here forever, in our private little mountain cottage without a care in the world, doing my favorite thing ever…being complete and total lazy bums :)

lifeguard

This morning I overslept…like I do every morning. I stumbled to the kitchen to feed Frank & Rufus, then dragged a protesting Roger to the bathroom to feed him (he’s allergic to normal cat food so we have to feed him separately). Roger was finishing up his expensive breakfast of prescription cat food as I hopped in the shower…leaving him meowing in protest on the other side of the green and brown wall of the shower curtain. I had barely finished verse one of Beyond the Sea (who loves Bobby Darin? that’d be me) when Roger leaped onto the ledge of the tub, between the curtain and the clear shower liner. He stared at me, confused, wanting to save me from drowning. He paced the length of the bathtub, meowing words of comfort and aid: MEOOOOOOW (“It’s okay, I’ll get you out of there”), MEEEEEEOWW (“Hang in there, I’ll save you!”). Eventually he gave up, realizing he was no match for the clear plastic force field that had me pinned under water. My hero collapsed in defeat – his front legs straddling the sides of the tub, his chin resting on the surface with his eyes looking up at me apologetically and his long black tail swishing back and forth down the inside of the tub, barely poking through beneath the shower liner to leave a trail of fuzzy black cat hair on the bottom of my tub.

I love my handsome man :)