Friday, April 3, 2015

Husbands Take Notes - This is How It's Done!

Well, it was my birthday yesterday and, although Google made me a Doodle and I got a bunch of text messages (some in the middle of the night from folks who forgot we have a global time difference!) and email wishes, I kinda felt a little lonely with Himself far away on the other side of the world. He did phone me first thing in the morning and tell me I'm as old as dirt today. Wonderful man! :)

However, he wuz jes' settin' me up!

When I got to work, the most gorgeous dozen roses were delivered. They smelled heavenly!
'Scuz the funky arrangement, I just wanted them in water in the office so that I could take them home easily. They're still wrapped in a bunch, and the tape on the vase is holding them upright. 

With a delicate gold and white topaz heart necklace. Beautiful!
But that was not all! He secretly contacted my boss, my BOSS, I kid you not, by email about three weeks ago and told her that he didn't want me to feel alone on my birthday, so would she help him set up a day for me? Of course, she did (great boss!) and at lunch time, a large box of cake and another of cookies was delivered to me in the office by my boss and the Operations Manager. 

When I phoned to thank him, he said it was all deliberately done in the office so that I could share cake with my peeps and have a little party. The cake was a huge gluten free carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, yum yum yum nom nom nom, as specially ordered by Superman, and it fed a LOT of people. I ended up having my party in three stages, as everyone couldn't fit in my office at once. And there was enough left over to bring back a slice each for the two elderly neighbor couples that I've befriended in the apartment complex, and still have another slice that I enjoyed for breakfast this morning. Decadent, I know!

The cookies (biscuits to the Queen Ann's English folks) are Gingersnaps, also ordered especially by Himself, as mah faborite cookehs eber!

And THAT, husbands, is how you give your wife the most amazing birthday!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cat Snug Box

All You magazine had an article on creating this cat snug box. It's pretty simple: draw a box shape on 4 sides of a cardboard box, 3 inches in from the edge. Cut out all 4 sides. Tape the box closed securely. Pierce a hole in both sides of each "leg", cut fleece 4 inches wider than the box, slit each corner slightly and push the slit ends through the piercings. Tie off, and voila!

I used one of our book moving boxes after it was emptied. Now, while it did work exactly as described, and I carefully measured the 3" outline for the cutout, I didn't actually measure the fleece so carefully, so the 'droop' was a little pronounced. Not wanting to untie each corner and do it again, I merely stuffed one of the cat beds underneath the droop. Instant fix. And instantly approved of, as you can see!

It has resulted in a somewhat unexpected outcome. One snug box. Two cats. For some reason, Trix has decided it is "his" snug box and he gets seriously miffed when he sees Goldilocks in his bed!

The snug box has been moved under the window next to the cat condo, and they absolutely love it and its proximity to the Cat TV (which operates when the blinds are up, especially well in the mornings when the birds are out.) Very happy cats. Except when the usurper has taken occupancy. 

Have you ever seen a cat sulk? 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Master Bathroom Completed.

The master bathroom is pretty much complete. Originally I wanted to do double curtains across the shower, but decided that it's far too much of a hassle/cost for a rented apartment, especially as I will probably do stuff very differently when we finally move into our own place. The colors stay in the blue, white, and yellow scheme of the master bedroom (still to be revealed, as it's not finished yet.)

Himself found the over-the-commode storage unit and I use it to keep my watches, bracelets, and box-stored jewelry. Hanging on the side is a zippered unit in which I have a selection of necklaces, each in its own little plastic pocket. I don't wear necklaces often so I don't need many, but I change my watches and bracelets to match my outfits daily. I have quite a range of colors and styles!

As you can see from the very top photo, there is an odd L-shape counter with the two sinks at each end of the L. I tend to use only one sink, so all my stuff is corralled at that end. Note the impressive earring collection. Yeah, earrings are my Kryptonite. J

I'm especially proud of my corral - a metal tray picked up at the thrift store for a dollar. It fits the blue scheme and holds all my essentials neatly and prettily. 

And lastly, there are two power outlets in this bathroom, one close to each sink. They are cleverly done in mirrored finish, so they are unobtrusive - well, as much as two great power outlets can be. However, they obtrude to me, especially as they look surprised and displeased. I don't need any negative feedback when I'm naked, thank you very much!

One of the outlets is hidden behind the lower, standing earring stand, but the other is way out in the open. So when I found this lovely little item at the Dollar Store, I grabbed it. It's just the right height, as you can see, to cover the outlets. When I want to use a power device, I simply move it to the side. It does not fit the color scheme, but I've not yet worked out if I want to paint it, gilt it, or just move it to another room one day when we have our own home. In the interim, I love the advice. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Smoking Man

I'm not crazy about incense, I generally find the smell overpowering and sometimes think it smells like a public urinal. However, when I found this cutie in an antique store I was motivated to go find some good incense to burn in it. I found pure vanilla and jasmine, and they smell lovely. 

This is a handmade wooden incense burner made in Germany, or so the saleslady informed me. The body is hollow up to the little hole where the pipe is. You lift the torso off the legs, pop an incense cone onto the little base there, light it up, replace the torso, and enjoy the special effects as the man "smokes" through his pipe. 

Such fun!

Monday, February 23, 2015

McFarland USA

When I first heard of McFarland USA I thought of the 1989 movie Lean on Me starring Morgan Freeman, which obviously made quite an impression on me as there have been so many in this based-on-truth inspired school genre. It's a winning formula, because almost all of them are popular, but this movie is gritty in an unusual way. 

While McFarland USA is set in 1987, it has a contemporary feel; as if it was something that happened just last year. Some things are timeless: poverty, hopelessness, racial prejudice, despair. McFarland could have been your hometown fifty years ago, or it is today. I didn't feel like I was watching a piece of history from nearly three decades ago, it was like watching something that could have been in the news only a couple of months back. Perhaps that makes it have a connection that resonates more than others.

Kevin Costner is, of course, the master of the inspirational epic movie and he doesn't disappoint in this one. He is not afraid to demonstrate weakness, frailty, arrogance, and a host of other failings that make his characters human and believable. We feel for Coach White as he gets fired despite trying to do his best, falls foul of the new head coach in his first week on the job, fears for the safety of his wife and daughters in this rough, mostly Hispanic, town. We're rooting for him as he pushes, when he fails, as he stumbles across new truths. Costner leads us into small town living and makes us one of the community. 

He is not the only powerful performer in this drama, though. The kids really shine. The casting seems to have been spot on. I could almost believe the casting agents found old photos and searched for as close a match as they could get. I loved that hint of authenticity. The ability of the human spirit to overcome was apparent in these teens even before the Coach gave them a dream of greatness. They laughed, worked, studied, fought, with the immortality of youth and the hoary knowledge that it would lead nowhere fast. These kids, old before their time, still believed in the possibility of a future. What an inspiration!

It's an inspirational movie, you know that up front, so it's no surprise that the kids end up getting what they hope for eventually. Despite that, I was really surprised at the outcome, but learned afterwards that the process had been fast-tracked for the movie just a little. While the speed-up made it a little less believable, I think the movie would have suffered if they hadn't, so it was a good call, IMHO. 

I especially loved that each one of the kids was displayed at the end as they are today. I know it's common to have the "and this kid went on to become president" finish on these types of movies, but having the adult IN the movie at the end? Yeah, new. Nice!