Monday, August 31, 2009

Country Roads, Take Me Home.

I used to l-o-v-e country music. I could listen to it all day, every's like each song was written for me. I think my love stemmed from working on my grandpa's farm for a few summers up in in Newton with my cousins. Here is how a typical day went:

  • Really Early: Wake up and go pull rye or move pipe.
  • 10:30ish AM: Come home and nap.
  • The Rest of the Day: Call and prank cereal companies and/or do whatever we felt like. Also. CMT was on THE ENTIRE DAY.
We would leave it on and then hurry and press record on the VCR when a tape-worthy video came on. Here are a few of our faves.

Another favorite of Katie's was 'Standing Outside the Fire' (of course by GB). I was DYING to see this video. Katie had really hyped it up-- a cute handicapped boy who is running in a track meet. He falls just before the finish line, but gets cheered on by his mom and coach to finish. I know, right? I had to see it. It's like CMT knew it was a fan favorite though and never played it. One day after another great nap, my grandma told me Katie had called to tell me "the video" was on. WHAT!?! It was like taking a bullet. Grandma grandma grandma. Rest assured I did finally see the video, and yes- it was everything I had hoped it would be.

Years later, I began to h-a-t-e country music. No reason, really. My friend Lindsey and I decided it was lame and made a vow to disown it. I really don't think I listened for a good 3-4 years. Working on Virginia has changed all of that, though. It's like my soul was screaming for it as I was getting down and dirty with all the work the house has offered us. At first I almost felt guilty pressing play, but before I knew it I was singing right a long. Total bliss. Alabama, John Denver, Keith Urban...I need it all!

So thanks, Karlee and Katie for getting my love started. And Virginia, thanks for bringing me home.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Christie's Cafe

My cousin Karlee and I used to always play "restaurant" and that was the name of my establishment. Delicious food. There's also been a lot of delicious food emerge from Virginia's kitchen. She truly was one classy cook. Rob requests her oatmeal raisin cookies on a regular basis. Um Rob, I'm kinda busy with a home remodeling project last time I checked. JK, guys. I'm a sucker for baking cookies.

Anyway, on to my new cafe. I don't know how my dad's family of 5 kids (4 being boys) survived in that kitchen! Talk about crampville. It was a U-shaped kitchen, with a bar that was from the devil. It had cupboards above the bar so it really closed you in. Here are some shots of the kitchen and the disassembling process. (Side note: my grandma wasn't a hoarder. They were cleaning out the house the day I took some of these)

The oven didn't fit a cookie sheet. Unacceptable.

V really loved her pink.

Right through there is where the dining table went.

Jim's loving life. Ahh. Much better, right? Instead of the U-shaped kitchen, I'm going to have the counter tops and cupboards make an L-shape and put this guy where the bar used to be. Top it off with barstools on the other side.

The kitchen is really going to be fab. Jodee came up with an amazing new seating arrangement that really opens up the room. Just you wait.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Object of My Affection

That was Rob's face after I told him I wanted to paint this little baby white:

I had a lot to think about after he told me he wanted to keep it as is.

Even little Max was pretty freaked out when I told him what Rob was thinking.

Rob and I are having a little lovers spat about what to do with the hearth. I want it painted white, he wants it left in its original state. To be honest, I think he’s trying to impress my parents. They’re basically threatening to cut me out of their lives if I paint it. All I hear is this and that about how old the brick is, how special it is, blah blah. I’m not going to lie, my mom has even shed a few tears and thrown some spiritual comments in about it. Not buying it, Maxine. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate things in their original state of beauty. Joan Rivers used to be a knockout. But there’s a time and a place-- and this hearth needs a face lift, people! And if it ends up looking bad, it’s all Jodee’s fault. It was her idea and I wanted to leave it as is. I just wish Tim was here to talk some sense into everybody.

Stripping Down

The wallpaper is gone. Big sigh of relief. Also, the exterior color is gone. It was pink. Tasteful? Questionable. But hey, Virginia loved it so that's all that matters. Grandma's can get away with cute pink houses. I want people in the neighborhood to respect me, and I'm really thinking this new taupe is going to lay down the law. Here are some before and after's.

This isn't the best pic since the shutters were already taken down, but you get the idea.

We still need to paint the trim white, ditch the screen door, and paint the shutters and front door black, but overall I think it's screaming "responsible young adult's home".

Oh, and check out the bonus in the backyard!

My sister's and I totally thought this was a playhouse for us when my grandpa started building it 20ish years ago. No such luck. We all had a rough couple weeks when we found out it was just a shed. Still kinda hurts.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Let's Get This Party Started

...on a Monday night.

I just got back from seeing Julie & Julia with Gina. Say that ten times fast. For those who haven’t seen the movie, Julie basically wakes up one day and decides she’s bored with her lame job and really nice, good looking husband. For some reason that I swear they didn’t explain, Julie is obsessed with Julia Child. She decides to cook her way through Julia Child’s French cookbook and log her progress/results on a blog. The book has 524 recipes and she gives herself a year to do it. The result? A book, a movie, and I would imagine a whole lot-o-weight.

Julie decides to blog so she has accountability for the project. Something to own up to. And I've decided I’m copying her. I figure if a girl from Queens with a bad haircut can do it, so can I. Expect a book and movie about me around Christmas. The project? I’m calling it Virgina. That’s my grandma’s name, and I happen to be buying her home. The house has class. And thanks to my girl Jodee, it’s going to be even classier. It also happens to have a lot of work that needs to be done to it. To give myself some motivation, and to log my results- before and after pics, new finds for the house, etc. I decided to start a blog about Virginia’s progress. First step? Remove that nasty wallpaper that’s covering the ENTIRE house. All 4 levels.

Here's a little sneaky peek to get this party started:

Doesn't this master bedroom wallpaper want to make you just curl up and relax?? So soothing.

Thanks for putting the wallpaper directly on sheet rock, Virginia.

I insist on working in skirts out of respect for the home.

So anyway, here comes my home remodeling/designing adventure. Tim and I welcome you to join us as we make it work.