Seeing F*R*I*E*N*D*S And We Were Van Gogh’ed

One of my favorite blog friends Ernie was in the vicinity for spring break and wanted to meet up. I had my assistant look into my schedule and see where I could fit in a little gab-fest; Friday afternoon it was! She and her family had spent the day at Fort Myers beach and it was only an hour for me; naturally we met at an ice cream shop because Vacation calls for Ice Cream. We had a great hour long conversation and could have sat and talked all day, but I had a meter running and I’m partial to NOT being towed. Her daughters are just as bright, sweet and funny as I’d imagined; basically mini versions of their mom.

Ernie is the sixth blog friend I’ve met over the years and so far I’m Zero for Six at meeting a Sociopath who wants to make a skin mask out of me.

WINNING!

Ernie doesn’t show her family faces on her blog, so I need to respect that too. I know I’ve professed before that I have zero artistic abilities, so now you can see I was clearly lying telling the truth.

They DID see a dolphin & they DID have ice cream (those aren’t shanks in their hands)Clearly, I am the shortest one there, per usual.

Van Gogh And My Little Artists

The girls and I had a ‘play date’ on Saturday that involved an hour and forty minute drive for me with two stops along the way to pick up my children on the side of the highway. Wait., that doesn’t sound safe. We met at a place near the highway, which is funny since I recall a few times I wanted to leave them somewhere along the highway. Or maybe just a small country road? I don’t sugarcoat that there were challenging times while raising teenagers.

The good news is we got through it and I love spending time with them. I purchased tickets to Van Gogh-The Immersive Experience for the three of us. We had reservations for a lovely lunch first and then we high-tailed it to the event since you have a timed entry and lunch margaritas took longer than expected.

(FYI, while looking for the link I saw that there are two different versions of this around the world, we didn’t have the virtual reality experience that they show on the other site and now I’m so mad I could cut off my ear)

I didn’t exactly know what to expect, but it was a really cool experience. The first 15 minutes you walk through an area where you read the timeline of Van Gogh’s life. He was a ‘complicated’ man who at first thought about being a preacher before going into the art world. He was SO very hard on himself. The girls and I agreed that if he realized in 130 years people would be seeing his work, he would have really lost his marbles. Although that happened anyway which is very sad.

Then you plop yourself into the huge room with canvases all around that morph from one painting to another.

I felt like I died and went to heaven when the entire room was sunflowers; I didn’t even take a pic of that part as I was mesmerized.

It was so cool to see the progression of all his work. Well, I’m not such a fan of all the paintings he did of himself with his ear/head bandaged; that made me sad. He really struggled with mental illness. Did you know he did some of his most renowned work while in an asylum? (there’s hope for me yet!)

Here are some unknown facts about Vincent if you are interested. (theories that he might NOT have cut off his own ear or even taken his own life)

I Have My Own Art Gallery

While we were enjoying the exhibit I was reminded that I also have artists; this is a gallery wall in our back hallway of paintings the girls did in elementary school. A little Vincent (Starry Night) and Georgia O’Keeffe, plus more pretties.

I’m gonna keep this artwork up until I have some NEW little budding artists one day.

Does anyone collect art? Does your art look as special as mine? I’m talking about my kids art, not MY special art.

XOXO

Who Doesn’t Love A Renovation Reveal?

I know you and you love a good ‘after’.

We started discussing an update for this room (and hallways, 1 guest room and a guest bath) about three years ago; I’m here to tell you that dreams DO come true!

We finally finished my craft/laundry/office update.

BTW: I don’t really craft any longer and I don’t host meetings for 15-21 Girl Scouts in here any more, but I do use this room daily.

Do we remember what it looked like before? It wasn’t horrible, but it was due for a refresh.

Of course I didn’t take a PROPER before pic, but these old ones will have to do. A pic as we started packing up my stuff, another from the days-gone-by when I was organizing photos and one from a time that we actually stored an extra queen sized bed in here for a few months.

In order to paint the cabinetry, all the doors and drawer fronts had to be removed. Ya’ll this about killed me. Seeing ALL the crap I had been storing for 18 years. This pic is AFTER I started cleaning/clearing out.

I might win the award for the Most Crap Kept Behind Closed Doors. Do you think I saved the Easy Bake Oven just in case our oven quit?

Believe it or not, some of the drawers are now empty.

TIME TO GO SHOPPING.

Kidding.

When we first built this add-on room we used Pergo laminate flooring because it was new-fangled and we could afford it. WE HATED IT. *clink, clink, clink* So loud and hollow to walk on. When we redid the floors in the front of the house I was SO thrilled that we could bring those travertine floors through the back of the house. Then when we really redid the front of the house (total renovation) and had to redo the floors (again) I really wanted the front and the back to be cohesive.

We are now almost completely cohesive; at least cohesive enough for me to not lose sleep over it.

Is anyone mad at me for NOT using wood on the craft tabletop? I went back and forth with this and I thought I’d decided on WOOD and the Coach thought I’d decided on QUARTZ and ordered the material. We should name our house Communication Central.

We went back and forth on the washer/dryer placement for almost a year. Do we stack and modify the cabinets? Do we move them to the right? We finally settled on leaving them where they were, but the ones prior were 24″ wide and undercounter and these are FULL GROWN. I probably love the washer/dryer more than is humanly natural.

Coach said he had a plan of wrapping them in quartz and I was all, do what now? I couldn’t picture what he was selling, but it worked out beautifully.

WHO THE HELL LEFT THAT TOP DRAWER AJAR? I’m getting a Sixth Sense vibe.

Oh! See that box on top of the washer up against the wall? That is my ugly ass but necessary water supply box that I had been looking at for 18 years. The Coach had a brilliant idea to cover it’s ugly nakedness; he made a box out of plywood that covered the water supply area and had our tile guy put the backsplash tile on top of it. I can pull the box out if we need to get to the water. I was extremely excited about it.

Oh how I LOVE the backsplash and I’d always wanted backsplash in here. We used this tile in one of the vignettes in our Design Studio; actually we used it with white cabinets and this very same countertop. I’m nothing if not consistent.

I just love how bright and fresh everything looks; it’s very inspiring for me to pay bills, tend to my bookkeeping, perform laundry miracles, occasionally bathe Lillie into that big ass sink and of course write this blog post for you, my dear friends.

Soon I’ll share the updated guest bath and my In-Laws room.

I’m thinking of hosting a Laundry party Wine Tasting in here soon; who wants to join me?

XOXO

Thelma & Louise, Plus A Possible Mob Connection

One bonus on the tearing out of floors and countertops in my craft/laundry/office is that I was able to upgrade my washer and dryer. My pair was still working (will go to Lolo and Nathan) but I was ready to move from the little undercounter 24″ wide to full sized. It was over a year ago that I did all my research and decided what machines I wanted; but of course I didn’t actually try to purchase them until a few weeks ago when I had a commitment on the floor situation.

I should have known there would be a delay on getting them, but as I sometimes do, I was living in my own little blonde bubble and didn’t think about the pandemic and how it affected every.damn.thing. I searched for my new machines all over the place, there were none available and NO dates of future availability.

I was about to restart my search and go with a different brand when I expressed to the Coach that we couldn’t get the ‘dream machines’. He said HOLD MY BEER Let me make a call, I have a guy.

And just like that I had my dream machines a week and a half later.

Is there an Appliance Mob? If so, he might be connected.

Meet Thelma & Louise. I hope they never decide to drive off a cliff. My new countertops will go over and around them. Or something like that. I’m told it will all look lovely and you don’t question the Mob.

Y’all it was all I could do to conceal my drool joy when the installers were bringing them in. If you think they look pretty, just imagine how well they work; the efficiency is mind blowing.

The cabinet painting will start sometime next week.

And at some point I’ll reveal what top I decided on for the craft table. Some of you will be happy. Some of you will be very angry at me will not. I said: What if I don’t like it? Can I exchange it for another in a year or two? He replied that he’ll save the old red one for me. Smart ass Mobster.

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie

In a last minute change order Coach decided to rip out all the baseboards and door trim in the back of the house to match the updated stuff up front. So last weekend he and our neighbors’ son did just that and we had someone here on Friday installing new trim.

And while we’re at it, let’s redo two closets with new doors and closet systems.

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I look forward to the day when I don’t have workers in the house, however I am thankful they are here when I need them.

Anyone else in love with their appliances or having a home facelift?

XO