On Being Flexible…

The setting goals is always an interesting endeavor. We often accomplish more, we are encouraged to do better… “Shoot for the moon; even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” (Norman Vincent Peale) We need goals and drive to accomplish them.
But, we must also be flexible. In being flexible, we are open to surprises and blessings we might otherwise have missed! “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” (Albert Einstein)

I’m temporarily setting aside my month’s goal of attending to home fixer-upper chores this month. There will still be time to repair the damage from barstools gouging into the wall under our kitchen counter, and I will eventually repaint my stair risers to cover up six years worth of scuffs. Instead, it looks as though we will be swapping over my two teens’ rooms and adding on a third one. Teen, that is, not rooms- oh my GOSH, I don’t think I could put up with remodeling a home… I’ve heard the horror stories.

We have never played host to an exchange student or any houseguest for more than a month at a time- usually, it has been my mom and we have had a ball with her long stays. But my parents, on the other hand, many years ago they have had a few of my friends live at their home for one, three, twenty-five months at a stretch. They made me proud. To know that my parents were ready, willing, and able to help out a friend gave me such a good feeling about my family. They taught me well.

If we can, I look forward to having one of my teen’s friends hang here for his senior school year, as my parents did for my friends.

It will be a pleasure.

July Project #1, All Done- No More Ugly Door

Bye-bye, ugly front door!

Door sanded, wood filler dried and sanded
Door sanded, wood filler dried and sanded


It was easier than I thought to paint with the door still on the hinges...
It was easier than I thought to paint with the door still on the hinges…


Ta da!! Nothing left but to let it dry and clean up!
Ta da!! Nothing left but to let it dry and clean up!


Although I didn’t need to use the orbital sander (overkill) or take the door entirely down for easier painting, it still feels great to complete a project that I never tried before. I’m glad I made myself round up a bunch of new-to-me home improvement projects; we have let many little jobs like this slide for too long with our weekday long commutes and our weekend family activities. If I have enough time to watch two seasons of “Agents of Shield” and “Agent Carter,” season one, I have enough time to get some painting done around here… no more excuses. Wish me luck, I have two or three more painting jobs on my list.

I think the outside entryway looks lovely.

Abby likes it too-

“Are you done yet? Take me for a walk, the cats are talking smack and I want to go check my pmail accounts.”

One last before and after for my records-IMG_7442

Go me!

Move over, Nike, I’m Going to Just Do It

What happens when you have little to no home improvement skills or experience, and you try to apply wood filler to parts of your front door?

What happens if you botch up the job?

Will you permanently ruin your lovely front door? Will the children have to hang their head in shame and say that they don’t really live here when friends come by? Will one hundred handymen pop out of the bushes, pointing their fingers at you and laughing? Will you glue the front door shut with the wood filler??


Look at that beautiful job!
Look at that beautiful job!

Yeah, look at that fine job! I’ve sanded down all of the wood filler and hope to take the door off the hinges tomorrow and paint this bad boy a lovely dark green.

When this project is finished, I am going to very much enjoy telling the little voice in my head that always says how I can’t do anything that it is time to shut up once and for all. Nyah!

Front Door Repainting Step 2 (in only two trips to the store!)

Today’s trip to the home improvement store was quick, painless, and I think I only need to go back one more time for this project. That’s pretty good for the novice DIYer, oh yeah!

Today I started my front door repainting project…

  • Decided on a color- isn’t that always the hardest thing to do? I walked right into the paint section, looked at the simplest display, chose the darkest pine green and was finished in less than one minute. The guys at Home Depot had to then redirect me to the proper exterior paints. So I just picked the closest color to the one I liked. Done.
  • Sanded down the whole door by hand with a coarse paper
  • Realized I already owned the proper paintbrush, enough wood filler and the fine sanding paper for the orbital sander. Trip #2 to the store will be for returns only, I hope.
New color- Behr Marquee "Black Evergreen"
The new color- Behr Marquee “Black Evergreen,” click the pic to link to Home Depot’s web page for purchase info…
stuff on the top right gets to be returned… saves me some $$
That was the fastest I’ve ever picked a paint color and was in-n-out of a home improvement store EVAH!

Tomorrow I’m hoping to fill in low spots with wood filler and sand down the rest of the door to smooth it all out… that is, if I’m not standing in a Comic Con line to get passes into the fabled “Hall H.”

Wish me luck…

What do DIY Tutorials and Teen Culture Have in Common? You Tube.

“Oh yeah, I learned how to do that on You Tube.”

Everyone except me… I have to admit, I’ve never used online videos to learn how to do anything. Supposedly there is a video tutorial for everything online. The Girl taught herself how to play guitar just by using You Tube and other online tutorials. The Boy is learning coding. And do we even need to mention how every high school student in the country knows about The Vlog Brothers and their Crash Course videos? John and Hank Greene are better than internet rock stars for this generation of students- they are leaders. Don’t know who they are? READ THIS ARTICLE and get your own crash course in Online Teen Culture- “The Teen Whisperer,” by Margaret Talbot as published by The New Yorker Magazine. You will be glad to know that the Youth of today have better role models than the latest pop star or celebrity.

Hide your weather beaten front door behind a Door Monster this Halloween!
Hide your weather beaten front door behind a Door Monster this Halloween!
Fall 2014 1st day of school and the leftovers of the Doctor Who party
Fall 2014 1st day of school and the leftovers of the Doctor Who party… the fez is out of shot, unfortunately.

My July projects include repainting my sorry front door. Hoo boy, is it in bad shape. We’ve abused it with tape and crepe to make a Door Monster for Halloween (and it hid the chipped, faded paint!), and turned the blue-ish door into our own personal Tardis for a Doctor Who party. But, the door has taken a beating and is ready for repainting. I’ve painted the inside of my house before, but never have done any exterior work. It’s gotta be different with some important steps to follow. And should I paint it a true Tardis blue? Or a forrest green, like The Husband has requested… decisions, decisions…

You Tube to the Rescue!

This guy had great instructions, door totally off the hinges with no hardware to tape around:

So did the people at Dunn-Edwards Paints, and they left the door on the hinges and some of the hardware on:

This video was helpful, too, another with the door on the hinges and hardware taped and providing a materials list:

OK. I’m ready to hit the paint counter and get started.