Still having fun

While the last few months have been stressful and the last couple of days have been mostly about work, we have managed to find some fun things in all the work.

Ben and the two boys built a bendy straw extension to the straw on the “canned air.” They were using it to reach a really impressive spider web that had formed on the chains of the ceiling fan in the living room. They discovered this was not an effective method for spider web removal. I wish I had a picture because it was pretty funny to watch. It was “for the science” they declared.

Mental note to self: buy more straws for when I am drinking my tart cherry juice.

First comes work, then play. At least that is what we try to convince the kids. We try to mix it up a little at our house and break the work up with the fun sometimes.

We took down the towel bar in the master bathroom. Who likes those things anyway? No me personally. There has NEVER been enough room on the towel bar in the master bathroom for Ben’s towels and my towels. NEVER. So. One of us got to put our towel(s) on the bar and the other just improvised over the past 14 years we have lived in the house. Since the towel bar was over the garden tub, guess which one of us improvised…
That is right, the shorter of us…me. 
I thought a great addition…err…selling feature to the house would be to replace the dated towel bar in the master bath with updated ginormous hooks like what we had upstairs in the boys’ bathroom. Of course this required buying the hooks and ultimately mounting them. You know the whole story “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”? Yep, that is pretty much how this project got started. The good news is that we did not go too far, just a glass of milk to dunk the cookie into. See, it would not be “ideal” to just mount these hooks right onto the sheetrock unless you are mounting them into a stud, so you really should mount them onto something significant and then mount that into something significant like a stud. Wet towels carry significant weight especially if you are talking about 2-4 of them. I wanted enough for at least 3 towels, but what if they had 4 towels? Three is just an odd number. So that is why there are 4 hooks. I could have gone with 6 but that would have just gotten really crowded very quickly. 
Ben had his friend, Carl Lindberg, cut the mounting boards for us. I am truly grateful for this. He even rounded the ends for me so they matched the top and bottom edges. How wonderful is that? He even drilled the counter sunk holes for Ben for mounting. Carl is pretty awesome. 
The best part about mounting these hooks? We could mount them as high or as low as we wanted. How about that? There is a standard-ish height for these things. The thing is, they put this above the bath tub. You will notice that I have 3 of our “typically” used towels hanging there. They are 3 different sizes. Of course the one on the far left is hanging on the hook a little crooked because I had to really reach to get the towel up there from where I was standing. I could reach it, it was just a stretch. So a taller person will be the one using the far right towel hook. Shrug. My concern was that I DID NOT WANT my towels hanging in the bath tub. I wanted the hooks mounted high enough that the towels hung and draped so they were above the bath tub. Mission accomplished. 
Here you can see Lance putting in the little caps for the counter sunk holes. I need to paint them white in the morning. He had his rubber mallet and was putting in all the caps in all the boards we mounted. He also had a little screwdriver to dig the paint out of the holes so he could get the caps to fit as my paint job filled in some of the holes more than it should have. We mounted 3 additional boards in the upstairs bathroom as well today. Those boards were for the additional pieces of hardware we mounted in the bathroom – 2 hand towel rings and 1 toilet paper holder. 
This was a fun find in the upstairs bathroom. The vinyl flooring looks very nice. I was a little surprised by the size of the quarter round they used but it was consistent in both rounds. After I looked at it and thought about my complaints with the other flooring that was down previously, I have to say that I like that they did use the larger quarter round. It just stands out more as it is not the same color as our existing baseboards. It really stands out – a lot. 
I have yet to find a vinyl flooring job that does not leave some sort of mess behind. I have seen it done several times and every single time it has left something. I scraped it off the side of the bathtub yesterday in one spot. Ben found some more on the bathtub today. This morning I found this spot on the floor and it was significant. This is the adhesive folks. It is going to get dirty. The problem is that it is sticky. Stuff sticks to it. The good news is that it DOES come off, it just takes some work. 
I know that this is a skilled job, but I just wish that more care was sometimes taken on the details in the bathrooms as these seem to be the hardest places to keep it off the other surfaces. 
The good news is that Kyle was assigned to get the adhesive off the floor in this spot and he rubbed and rubbed and rubbed. He announced that he did in fact get it off the floor. He got it off the side of the tub as well. Yay! 
Yesterday evening Ben and I went out on a search for a replacement bulb for our coach light on the outside of the house. We only have one so it is not a huge deal. Here are the caveats we have to work around. It is an outside light. It is a totally enclosed fixture. It is a potentially wet area. It must be an LED. It must be the 2700K color temperature. 
The light burned out a while back so I swapped it to an LED like we had talked about doing. Except when I swapped it, we had not decided on a color temperature. Nor did we know how big of a difference the color temperature makes overall. I was more interested in the fact that it was the outside coach light and we wanted bright to light up the front part of the house a little. I also needed something that would go in that fully enclosed light fixture that would also be suitable for a wet environment. 
I ended up with a “bright white” or “daylight” color temperature. It was horrible! It was blue. It cast this blue tinge on everything. It was painful even for the kids to look at they said. Kyle really hated it. It didn’t bother me so much, but I did not care for it as much as I liked the others that were more yellow. It was outside so it really did not bother me. The only difference was when the other lights were on and you could see them through the windows. Then it made a difference. 
So we were on a search for a replacement bulb. Just one 100 watt bulb. That is all we needed. Well we were looking for 4 flood lights as well for the outside. 

Who knew that it was so difficult to find either of those items? Either LEDs have become very popular or there is a shortage for some reason. Ben and I think we have found the shortfall in the LED market when it comes to the outdoor lighting. That or Home Depot’s selection simply sucks.

We ended up going to Walmart. Their LED light selection is not as diverse per say, but in my opinion is a little better in that the prices are more friendly. 
It can be VERY EXPENSIVE to convert your house completely over to LED lighting, but Walmart has made it so that it can also be a very affordable proposition if you are willing to spend a little money up front. Due to the prices on their “traditional light bulb” options, it makes it a bit more affordable to go the LED route. You are look at $10-20 per room instead of $50-100 per room in most cases. This is not always the case for the specialty bulbs, but for a traditional bulb it is now a more affordable option. 
We did find a replacement for the “blue” light. It was not exactly what we were looking for, but it will definitely work in the meantime. 
They were also out of the “outdoor floodlights” except those that needed to be put in enclosed fixtures. The problem we have is that our outdoor fixtures are completely open and exposed to the elements. They are just raw, open fixtures that the bulbs screw into with two adjustable bulbs on each. That is what we have to work with. The only bulbs we have found so far are the “blue bulbs” and they cost about $25 each. So we are looking at minimum of $50 per light fixture. At that rate, we are looking at almost the cost of a brand new light fixture. Since these are bulbs we leave on at night the cost savings are immediate for us. 
We are not sure what we are going to do yet. I am still going to go look at Lowes and see what they have. It is irrelevant if I cannot find the 2700k lights.

We will call our trip to Home Depot and Walmart a mini date night. We take what we can get when you are in hell week of getting your house on the market and stress levels are high. I will not lie that things are tense around here from time to time. 
As we were on our way to the cash register in Walmart, Ben saw these bins of large pillows. They had Star Wars pillows, and other things. He says, “I wonder if…I have to know…” and starts digging. I thought he was looking for something Star Wars something or another. That was mostly what was in the bin that he was in. It could have been Yoda, Darth Vader. Who knows. Then he says, “I’m sorry dear, they don’t have any.” 
Then the next bin over, thrown in on top of some decorative couch/bed throw pillows…there they were…two of them…
Ben bought me this Minions pillow for no reason at all. Just because I like minions and it had 4 minions on it. 
Here we are trying to sell the house and I have this bright cheerful Minions pillow that I now have to figure out what to do with because my husband loves me. He knows I like all things Minions. 

Of course, as soon as we got it home, my personal Minions walked off with it…Who wouldn’t want this pillow? This pillow is seriously awesome. I have to threaten him with bodily harm to get the pillow back. His father bought it for me and yet I have to fight for it? Not sure how that came to pass, but it did. 

Here is the new blanket for our bed. I think it goes beautifully with it, what do you think?

After getting our room painted and having to go up from the original 25 watt bulbs in the ceiling fan to 40 watt bulbs (see with LEDs you can do that), I decided that we needed something far lighter in color than the blanket we have had on our bed from the past 17 years. I am grateful for the bedding that we received all the years ago, but we NEEDED something BRIGHTER and more CHEERFUL than the navy blue and hunter/forest green that we had on the bed. WE NEEDED COLORFUL! We needed to brighten up the room a little bit. So I bit the bullet and bought a brand new blanket for our bed for the first time in the 17 years we have been married.

You will probably notice what color the back of it is. Yes, there is some serious turquoise involved. It is more aqua than anything. There was one that was more turquoise, but it is was very busy. I decided I wanted a more colorful and lighter background.

This may not live on our bed long term, but I also bought something I could live with and use other places in the house. I took a nap under it today. I sat down to rest. I was waiting on the washer and dryer – still washing. I fell asleep. I had a nice little nap under this blanket. It is much warmer than it looks for being so thin. I am impressed. I was worried about it not being very warm, but it is warmer than it looks like it is going to be. I just did not want it to be something I could not live with once the house was sold if that makes sense. It is a pretty quilt, it is just a little more colorful and busier pattern than Ben or I would normally consider. However, I bought it for a purpose of looking good on the bed. It does do that. It will make a great throw blanket when we are done with that as well.

Now, to just have lots of free time to make a beautiful bright and cheery quilt for the bed when we move. Something that I will love instead of just be “okay” with.

I was an awesome mom tonight, I let the kids eat ice cream for dinner. Then we played a game. I am not entirely sure what the game was called. It was a word game. It was one that my Aunt Judy sent us for Christmas. It was kind of fun. We played a couple of rounds even though it was late.

I think we should play it more often, personally. It was not spectacular as far as games go, but it would probably help Lance. He is a decent speller, but it would help with his speed. Most importantly, it would help build his vocabulary a little bit. Not because it is a vocabulary game, but because it would expose him to other words as others find them.

The game is similar to Boggle. It is is a glorified form of it. The rules have been changed to be a little friendlier. Boggle is about speed and how many words you can find when racing against the clock. This is essentially the same thing, except your winner is determined after 3 rounds. So you can have a really crappy round in this game and still win. Kyle totally won the last round because of the bonus ring giving him extra points on all his words the last game. It was not because he had a lot of words, it was because all his words were worth 2 points or 4 points each. He used those bonus rings to his advantage. To me, this game takes the pressure off that Boggle put on and makes it a little more fun.

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