Friday, June 29, 2012

I Love Freebies!

Living in Chicago was SO awesome because I would be walking down the street and see something that someone else had put out for trash that I could see a treasure in.  I know that might disgust some of you, but let me settle your fears and tell you that NOTHING I have ever picked up off the street was in the actual trashcan or dumpster - all were just sitting on the side of the street next to the dumpster (not that I wouldn't contemplate pulling things out of the dumpster if the *right* item needed rescuing!).  I scored this awesome tray off the side of our street that someone else had deemed "trash", as well as this arm chair (Charlie the Chair, if you will....he's still awaiting to be 100% completed, although he's WAY more clothed now than this post leads you to believe).

In March, 2011 I was in our apartment getting ready for our trip to Salt Lake City to visit friends and go skiing.  Our apartment overlooked the side of a high rise building and I could see down into the area that was used for the dumpsters.  Next to these dumpsters, a certain piece of furniture caught my eye...

 I loved everything about this dresser - the size (it's a little bit higher than waist level), the drawers (I love the 2 smaller on top) as well as the pulls!  At this point in time, Stephen and I knew we were going to be moving back to Kentucky sooner than later and that a house was in our near was going to be a must!  The only problem with this charming piece was the lack of a top piece of wood.  That's right ladies and gents, this dresser was topless!

{censored!}  Make sure you're 18 or older!!!

Despite Stephen's disbelief, this did not stop me from wanting this dresser to be mine.  My sweet husband went outside in the snow (it's March in Chicago) and carried this sucker down to the dungeon basement of our apartment building.  There it sat until the end of July when we were packing up our moving truck to head back to our Old Kentucky Home.  Our truck was literally filled to the brim and I almost lost this wonderful possession.  In fact, Stephen contemplated (I could see it in his face) trying to convince me to accept my loss and leave Debbie the Dresser in Chicago.  That moment only lasted a couple of seconds as I know he could read the longing on my face!

Fast forward to April, 2012 months after we have moved back to Louisville and Debbie (the Dresser) has been hanging out in our garage yearning for attention.  It was my Spring Break and I knew I needed to make room in the garage (my parent's old dining room furniture is also hanging out in there - even as I type...I haven't gotten around to tackling that monstrosity!).  So, if you ever come across your own slutty dresser that has lived a topless life and needs a face lift, here are the steps I followed:

1. Measured the opening in the top that was missing a wood piece.  Went to Home Depot and picked out a thick piece of wood and had them cut it to size ($18).  Used Elmer's Wood Glue ($6 - big bottle) to glue it into place and then used finishing nails (had them in my little kitchen nail kit from Target) to hammer it in around the perimeter.  

2. After attaching the new top piece, there was still some gaps around the existing trim and the new top.  I applied a liberal amount of wood putty ($8) to fill in the gaps.

3. I impatiently waited for this wood putty to dry and then I used sandpaper that I already had to sand down the wood putty I had put into the gaps.

4. I also used the same tub of wood putty to put on the drawers to fill in any scratches that I knew would be evident when I painted.  I also waited for this putty to dry and then sanded it down smooth.  (Before I did this, I removed the pulls)

5. My friend Jen told me about this blog where the blogger repainted her credenza.  I literally did exactly what she did, only I used a different color.  I went out and bought this Zinsser primer ($17) and I brushed it on, doing about 2 coats.

6. While I was waiting for the primer to dry, I pulled out some Krylon ORB spray paint that I already had on hand for this lamp project and I used it to spray paint the pulls for Debbie.

7. I used Rustoleum's High Performance Spray Enamel in White ($6 per can, I used 2 cans) to spray roughly 3 coats of white onto freshly primed Debbie.

8. I used a paint brush and sprayed the ORB spray paint onto a paper plate and then dabbed my brush into it to paint the keyholes without getting any ORB paint on my freshly painted drawer.

9. I did a thorough cleaning of the inside of Debbie (don't forget, she was a dirty dresser - that topless thang!) and then reattached my pulls.  I had my studly hubby (and a friend) carry face lifted Debbie up to her new home in our guest bedroom.

  The Price Breakdown:
-Dresser - free!
-Wood piece for top - $18
-Wood Glue - $6
-Wood putty - $8
-Primer - $17 (I bought a quart with lots left over)
-Spray Paint - $6/can, I bought 2 so $12
-Sand paper - had it so free!
-ORB spray paint - had it so free!
Grand Total: $61!  
Talk about a CHEAP piece of furniture!

What a transformation!!!
With a little elbow grease and paint!

Here is Debbie the Dresser enjoying her new life in the guest room:

What about you?  Have you found any treasures that someone else has put out for trash???  Tell me about your adventures!

I'm linking up with:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Hunting Dog

My dog, Princeton is a hunting dog.  He spends a ton of his time "hunting" in the backyard.  We get the biggest kick out of watching him find his prey, point, and then tip-toe to catch it.  Very rarely does he actually catch anything (I guess that makes him a wanna be hunting dog), but nonetheless, it's still fun to watch!  If you don't recall, a little less than a month ago, my dog brought my attention to a nasty snake chillin' in my backyard.  He got my attention by having a very angry and repetitive bark.  At first, I wrote it off to him being a "dumb dog" and then had my hand quickly slapped when I opened the door and was greeted by the reptile from hell.

About a week ago, I was alarmed when I heard the same bark coming from him in our backyard.  I was nervous to go out and take a peek at his latest find, assuming there was another satan serpent snake in my backyard.  As I walked out to the backyard, I braced myself for what I was about to find...
Until I found this harmless turtle being tortured by my dog...
(Check out Princeton's hind legs as he "ferociously" attacks this turtle)

Once Princeton saw my reaction and how un-phased I was by this harmless turtle, he got a little braver. That's when he picked it up in his mouth (poor turtle) and pranced around the driveway with it.  It's a good thing we've been working on the command "Leave it!" and I was able to get him to stop terrorizing the poor fella' while I worked out a plan.  That plan involved me holding Princeton while I called my mom over to help me remove the turtle from our yard and relocate it to the woods near our house.

Here he (or she???) is, enjoying their ride to safety.

Free at last!

And, once again, to prove that Princeton is a hunter at heart, here he is preying on a fly.  My blinds didn't really appreciate the attention he showed them (and neither did I!)!
He is currently sleeping next to me on the couch, hunting something in his dreams (there's an occasionally growl, muffled bark and movement of his legs)!
Oh Princeton!  Our life was so boring before you came into it! :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Unimportant (yet seemingly important) Problems

***Notice - this is a full out whine session.  I realize that I am blessed beyond belief and I truly have no reason to complain.  However, it's my party and I'll cry if I want to.  Continue at your own risk...

Last year, while Stephen and I were feverishly house hunting (we went to 12 houses in 1 day...okay, just thinking about that makes me too tired to finish this post..but I must....push on.....) a pool in the backyard wasn't even an option for us.  It wasn't until the *perfect* house came on the market (that happened to have a pool in the backyard) did we start thinking about being pool people.  We heard it all, "a pool's a lot of work!"  "not everyone wants a pool - it could make for a hard sell down the road..." "a pool's a lot of money!" and yet we continued on because we loved the house that much (and, let's face it, I'm a teacher and I LOVE to lay by the pool in the summer time.  L.O.V.E. it.  I had no qualms about being "pool girl" every summer for the rest of my life!).

When we closed on our house in early September, the pool had already been closed for the season.  We saw the pool before it was closed - it was picture perfect - crystal blue - clear and wonderful!  We also knew that it had a brand new liner installed that year - SCORE!  (I actually know nothing about this, but I've been told that liners are cause for lots of moo-lah and a new one meant nothing but great things).  So, needless to say, we've been living (maybe just me) in anticipation for the day that we would open the pool.  As the weather started to turn warmer, I began thinking about my days by the pool.  I even picked out great lounge chairs from Wally World and set my heart on them.  What made these lounge chairs so great were 3 things: they looked fabulous, they were incredibly comfortable, they were the CHEAPEST lounge chairs I could find (the 3rd reason was the most important reason for the Mister of the family).  I talked with Stephen about the possibilities of purchasing said lounge chairs and we decided that this was definitely something we could do with our tax return.  I should mention here that Stephen is a man that must be certain of all his decisions before he continues on with them.  This is a great quality in many ways, but not in the retail world.  You know how retail works - Hobby Lobby starts putting out their Christmas merchandise in July but Heaven forbid you try to find your Christmas items in December!  They're already working on summer by then!  So, by the time this girl convinced Mr. Certain-Pants-Man to go and buy the lounge chairs, they only had 3 (I wanted 4).  Wait for it...wait for it...and 2 of them were broken.  Ouch. Painful.  

I like to think I'm a hopeful person (however, there are a lot of days when that glass just sits half empty) and so I purchased that 1 chair thinking that surely they'd get more in.  I'm fairly certain that Walmart could have taken out a restraining order based on the number of times I came to their store.  I was showing up every other, sometimes even every day to check and see if they had anymore of these chairs.  And for those of you who were thinking I should call other Walmarts, did that too!  I even had friends in Lexington checking out ALL of the 3 Walmarts in their town.  No dice.  Ugh. (EVERYWHERE else I checked charged at least $30 more per chair - that's $120 more at the end of the day!)  Thanks Mr. Certain-Pants-Man.
(disclaimer: Mr. Certain-Pants-Man feels very badly about this and has apologized many times...unfortunately, the wound still burns....)

Here it is, June 18 and I am without lounge chairs for my pool.  I know: get over it.  I should actually get over it, because I have even bigger fish to fry besides these measly little chairs....

To add more salt to the wounds - Stephen and I went back and forth over whether or not we were going to try to open our pool ourselves or hire a pool company to do so.  After much discussion and thought, we went with route 2 and hired the people that his parents use to open their pool.  They came out on June 1 and "opened" our pool.  Notice how the word open is in quotation marks?  Well, let me explain to you why that is.  Two and a half weeks AFTER they came out and "opened" our pool I'm sitting here at my kitchen table looking at what looks more like a POND than a POOL.  That's right ladies and gentlemen, I have a green pool, a green, murky pool.  Yum. Mmmmmmm - refreshing!  You see why I said that these lounge chairs were the least of my pool problems???

So, to make a long story short - I need to quit complaining; quit whining and think about all the good things that are coming out of this.  #1. I'm being reminded in a quirky way how blessed I am - I mean I have a pond pool and the resources to try and get it up and running #2. I'm reminded of what great family and friends I have - friends who will drive around Lexington for me to look for lounge chairs and family that will come over and help me try to care for the pond pool and spend hours with me at the pool store #3. I'm making great new friends at Leslie's Pool Supply Store ;)

Do you feel sorry for me yet?  :-)

p.s. if you are an in-ground pool owner and would like to offer this poor gal some suggestions, she'd love to take them!