Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm floored

Oh. Em. Gee.
Where My Kitchen
Used to Be.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pack It Up. Pack It In. Let Me Begin.

We finally got word that Monday is the big day. Some rogue crew of God only knows who is going to crack into our kitchen floor like it's a big ole walnut. Whoo. Hoo. To ready ourselves, I've started packing up the kitchen. Seriously, you never truly know how much stuff you own until you start packing up a kitchen. It all seems so harmless and manageable when it's behind closed doors and drawers. But when you start to really dive in...wow. So, I thought I'd show you a new treasure before it gets lost in the fray.

This morning, the Mister hit an estate sale for me in the hopes of finally landing the taxidermy swordfish that I've always dreamed about. Oh yes, I have dreams. I've wanted one for years and after seeing a tiny sliver of one's tail in an estate sale ad picture, I became absolutely frenzied. Had anyone noticed but me?? Surely the entire world wants this fish too!! Trust me when I say that you don't see many taxidermy sea creatures in landlocked Tennessee. You'll find woodland creatures of all kinds but the chances of finding a swordfish are slim. I couldn't even sleep last night for picturing how it was going to look over the mantel.

When I woke up sick this morning, I was crestfallen. I swiftly made an "I'll bake you cookies!" bargain with the Mister to swing by there and snag the fish o' my dreams. Alas, he was at the sale bright and early but the family had decided to keep the swordfish. D'oh! Dammit! My little heart was crushed. I had already named him. And visualized him in this year's Christmas card picture. He matched my eyes. There is no justice in this world.

Why couldn't they have squirreled this away for posterity instead?

(Don't even get me started. With all of the hat racks in the world, don't you think that the poor deer needed his feet more than we did?  Uggh.)

 Even though the poor deer lost out, not all was not lost on the treasure hunt, it's always fun to see what Mister Kitsch picks out when he goes to estate sales alone. First he'll hit the boxes of 78's but after that, he's really good about combing the wares to make sure there aren't any undiscovered Eartha style treasures like old cleaning products, hillbilly memorabilia or sixty year old rick-rack. Or wacky glassware. He's really good at the hunt and I always wait with anticipation to see what he'll bring home. He brought a few lovely glass treasures home today and there are rumors that there are some concrete planters in his car trunk at work. Here is my favorite of his finds. It's an old alcohol jigger:

This illustration made me laugh so hard! No alcohol for rabbits, apparently. 
I bet it has something to do with how promiscuous they are. 

Men get twice as much booze as the ladies. 

Obviously, if you're in the three ounce zone, you're a pig that drools on vacationers. 

And well, nobody wants to be the Jackass!  Hic-Haw! 

As an additional bonus, this little jigger came from Rock City where the Mister and I were married so there are little scenes mixed in like the swinging bridge. 

Here we are on that same bridge on our wedding day. 
Thankfully, not getting drooled on by a giant drunken pig!

Though in retrospect, the Mister probably could have used a few more ounces of elixir. 

Here you'll see him taking Lover's Leap a little too literally. And this was only mere minutes after our wedding. Can you imagine how he must feel years later?  I love how the tourists don't even notice that some guy is about to jump. 

And speaking of "about to jump", I'd better get back to the packing so that we can enjoy one last weekend before the dust starts to fly again. I hope that y'all have a great weekend! 

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chicks Ruin Everything

Started this project. Got a girlfriend and she hates it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Gettin' Out of The House

The house repair experience is still fraught with woe. They haven't cracked into our kitchen floor yet but it will be soon. The wait is killing me. I just want it done. I want to see what's under there. I want to deal with it and have it behind us.

On Sunday, the Mister and i were about to fall into the trap of doing more renovation work but I had to put my foot down. I knew that if we didn't get out of this house for just a little bit, I was going to go absolutely insane. We decided to hit the little town of Goodlettsville and do the antique stores there. We didn't last too long since the air conditioning is usually fairly hit or miss in those places but we did manage to forget about house repair troubles for a little while.

Here are a couple of items that I didn't get but had to document for y'all:

Ha! Now, this is the kind of thing that I'd usually buy but I'm trying to practice catch-and-release from time to time. I can't bring home every crocheted animal with a crooked mouth. Or so I'm told. 

Yikers. This is the kind of thing that I usually would not buy but it was so insane that I had to let you all have a peek. This is one happy dude!

Here's what I did get!

I couldn't resist this little housedress because it has the holy trifecta of cotton gingham, rick-rack and a hand-sewn zipper. Trust me when I say that this dress would not fit me even if all of my bones were removed but it was cheap and to me is like a lovely piece of folk art.

Gingham is so hard to photograph. It's like a wacky optical illusion. 

Kelly green is one of my favorite colors and I'd been wanting this necklace for nearly a year. Finally, it was reduced to just a few bucks. I also found this glittery bangle bracelet  for two dollars. 

I know that I told you all once about how I've started collecting "Missed You In Church" cards. For some reason, I just love them. I thought that it would be one of those collections that might be a cheap slow-burn as I hardly ever find them. Well, what did I find an entire shoebox of? Yep, you guessed it. "Missed You In Church" cards! It was heartbreaking because they were priced more than I'll usually pay for a postcard so I had to choose three out of the box. It was really hard but I gravitated towards the cute animal ones. 

Whoowhee! They hit hard! Bringing in a sad basset hound to guilt me back into Sunday School! 
Who could resist those eyes? Jesus may forgive but that dog looks like he's still waiting on an apology that suits him. 

Two kittens shoved into a flower pot that is obviously meant to hold only one kitten! 
They'll stop at nothing!! 

And this reminds me - never plant kittens. They'll only grow into disgruntled, couch destroying cats. 

We had a good day of peeking at treasures and even had a diner lunch complete with fried pickles. Luckily, by the time that we got home, we were too tired from the heat and fried food to do much in the way of house chores. I think we really needed that day out.  I hope that you buckaroos have had a chance to get out and do something fun lately! Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the stress and chores and grown-up stuff that we're forced to do - but we all need a mind break from time to time. 

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I fell down the Dutch Disco rabbit hole and brought this back for you. I challenge you to get it out of your head afterwards.

I don't know about you but I think that we finally know who the members of Appolonia 6 stole their dance moves from.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Monday, July 23, 2012

Can't Trust Your Ceilings. Can't Trust Your Floors.

In our last post, we found out that we can't trust what's above us. In this post, we'll learn that well, we can't trust what's below us either.

1.     I love this guy.

2.     Yes, we all talk like this here.

3.     Most likely, there is something like this under my house. You just know it.

4.     "The Original Man Cave" = brilliant. I wish this guy had his own HGTV show. He's a hoot. I'd gladly trade Candice Olson for him.

5.     I've been interviewed on the news before and the tongue does easily get away from a person. I'm sure he didn't mean that the bad thing about the sink hole was that it opened up after his wife left the vicinity. Surely.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Quick One

Hey y'all,

We are still battling the insurance company and are elbow deep in madness here at our house - but when I read this story this morning, I had to share it. Because this actually happened to someone else who lives in a 1950's ranch house and not to us. For once.

 Just like Scarlett O'Hara, I'm going to think about this one tomorrow. Click the following to see an unexpected way that our houses can betray us:

Oh, and excuse the language and dog name-calling in that piece. It's totally uncalled for if you ask me. I'm no prude and have been known to throw some expletives towards the wind when things get really bad but I think that a writer is really reaching when they have to do that to get their point across. *

* says Cranky Eartha who thinks that the world is swiftly going to Hell in a hand basket, the sky is falling (as evidenced by that article) and who can't get to any of her toiletries in the bathroom closet without bags of beans, couscous and other various crap that should be living in the kitchen falling on her head.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Monday, July 16, 2012

Kitty Will Be Missed

My heart is so heavy tonight after hearing about the death of Kitty Wells. Driving in the car, I switched on the radio and the announcer was talking about Kitty's life. "Oh cool!" I chirped, turning up the volume as I did a little dance in my seat. It was then that I realized that he was talking about her in the past tense.  Tears welled up in my eyes as the audio piece ended with her date of death.  I couldn't breathe for a minute. I'd never before lived in a world where Kitty was past tense. I still can't bear to think about it. One left turn of the car and then a right would take me past her house, but I couldn't bear to do so.

I can't put my finger on it but my love for Kitty crosses over from music appreciation into a realm where she felt like family to me. I remember as a girl, realizing that she had the same drawl that I did and though she didn't belt it out, she got her heart across in every single line. Quite often, her songs were very melancholy but sweet - like when a good friend tells you a story about her life that makes you love her more than you did five minutes ago. She has always reminded me of my own strong, lovely and vivacious female relatives and with her beautiful ranch house nearby, she actually did feel like family. Or at least a neighbor.

The Mister and I would always discuss fantastic plans when we drove past her house - how one day we'd stop and ring her doorbell and just say hello. Maybe we'd even plan it in advance and take along some of her records and a big plate of cookies to prove to her that we cared. But we never did. We just drove past her house time after time, telling only ourselves what a treasure she was. And so she died, right there in that very home with family around her as it should be.

She was and always will truly be one of my role models, idols and imaginary coffee klatch partners. I'm sending lots of love out to Miss Kitty tonight. I'm sure that she's gone on to meet with her husband Johnnie and their daughter Ruby up there on the great big ole front porch in the sky. She will be missed.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

And So It Goes....

Hey everyone! Hope that you had a great weekend in your many different corners of the world. Thanks so much to everyone who left nice comments of support on the situation at the ranch. You folks are really great!

Things are creeping right along here.  We finally found an amazing contractor and worked to line up some really great subcontractors. We felt really relieved and were supposed to start busting into the floor this coming Wednesday. Until this morning when the insurance company wielded their fatal blow, saying that our contractor was too expensive and that we'd have to use one of theirs. And their subcontractors. Boom, y'all. We're not feeling too good about that situation so we're fighting them tooth and nail right now.

This morning, the work on the hardwood in the foyer and living room started. Instead of the usual team of motley suspects, they sent one guy. Just one really huge guy. Who from the time he stepped into our front door seems to have great animosity for us. I think I'd rather have the poopy pants guy back. Poopy pants can be changed quicker than a foul attitude. We had been promised by the flooring company owner that what the "team" would be doing today wouldn't cause any dust and that no, there was no reason to clear out rooms, cover things with plastic, etc.   "Absolutely no dust!" the guy told me on Friday.

Of course, when this guy showed up he said that what the owner said was complete bunk and that he'd be using a circular saw right into our floor which yes, makes a lot of dust. Basically, the inside of our house has become a woodshop. I asked him if the dust usually stayed in close range to where he was cutting or if it was going to spread around the house. He looked me dead in the eye and said, "When I'm cutting, I don't look to see how far my dust goes." Brilliant. I bet his wife has the best time of things. Just a few moments ago, the smoke alarms started going off. That's how much dust there is.

So, this morning we were running around covering up furniture and emptying everything from those rooms into the kitchen and Den. I think Mr. I Don't See How Far My Dust Goes enjoyed watching us run around like chickens. To be honest with you, this flooring guy kind of scares me. He's kind of like Andre the Giant but less whimsical.  Gah, I know that there have to be great workers in the world but I can't prove it. So, I think that it's time to talk about some happy things, don't you?  Here are a few bright spots from the past week:

My Mom sent this glorious picture of canning season back home. 

Straight from the garden! Can't you just smell and taste them?

She also sent this photo of my niece and nephew enjoying my little nephew's birthday.

Cracks me up! Here is their Dad and me in a very similar pose back in the 70's.

Yesterday, we had a photo shoot at our house!

That's Misha Williams  totally glamming it up there. She's an awesome singer, songwriter and friend. I met her on the Skippy Lou search and she's a real go-getter and advocate for the animals. One weekend, she trapped over a dozen cats and still managed to look glamorous. We were honored that she picked our house (taking special care not to show the destroyed sections.....oh, the magic of photography!) and it was fun to have some positive energy around the joint with all that's been going on.

My friend, Kaycee sent me these seriously amped up kicks.
Hot pink glitter Converse All Stars! 
No, I never go out in the sun. Why do you ask?

Oh! And while we were in Alaska, I had the pleasure of having guest posts shared on two great sites.  First, I wrote about an interesting found art piece over on Curious Objects.  And I got to share Jason's fantastic vintage shower door remake with the readers over at No Pattern Required. These are both really great sites and I'd recommend checking them out. Elsie of Curious Objects has a real knack for curating wildly interesting things and the ladies over at No Pattern Required are on top of everything that a vintage lover well, loves! They're good people, all of them. 

Alright, I'd better get back towards the front of the house and start checking on the kitties who are cordoned off into safe rooms. I'm also thinking of baking a bunch of whiskey & chocolate pecan pies to stockpile before our kitchen goes gasping and screaming into the deep, dark void of demolition. And admittedly, part of me likes the idea that the wonderful aroma of the pies will torture that flooring guy and pay him back for his rudeness and insolence this morning. He'll so wish he'd been nice to me! 

I hope that you guys and girls are having a great week so far! I'd give you pie. I totally would. 

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Water...Water Everywhere and Someone Fix Me A Drink

It is with great sadness that I have so much fun stuff to share with y'all about the Alaska trip (and some other things as well)  - but oh my cheese and crackers....life has taken over!

From recent posts, you may know that we were one small project away from having our entire home restoration completed. Three years of hard work and we had the hall and foyer to paint and then we'd have the whole shebang complete. And I even tempted fate by remarking that I couldn't believe that we were almost finally done. That's when a plumbing pipe went haywire and flooded under our hardwood. What a mess-o-rama.

Even still, we left town on our trip and tried to keep stiff upper lips. Convinced that everything was under control, we covered the holes where flooring used to be with plastic and tried to convince ourselves that our house smelling like a cave was somehow a fun twist. Why, we love cave tours! We were one gift shop short of denial.

A couple of days after returning from Alaska, we found out that we had worse problems. A pipe had also burst inside of our concrete foundation. Five days later, and several consultations with the pros and we're still not completely sure where the busted pipe is. Approximations tell us that part of our floor will definitely have to be jackhammered up. Oh yes, church. Our kitchen cabinets have to be removed and there might be some trenches dug in our kitchen, sunporch and our recently (finally) finished bathroom floor.  This is a major big deal. Trenches in the house. When the plumber mentioned ever-so-casually that the tub might need to be removed, I went into some kind of self preservation mode where I could only rock on my heels, clutch my ponytail and imagine showers at truck stops. "They usually have a Subway sandwich shop inside!" I reasoned to make myself feel better about my impending foot fungus after realizing that I don't own shower shoes.

We're trying to figure out if we'll be able to live here while this is happening. With four kitties and my asthmatic nature, it sounds like Hell on Earth. And don't even get me started on what a neat freak I am. Dust of any nature and specifically of the construction kind makes me crazier than a rat in a coffee can. I can go from docile to postal in the flip of a switch if I think that fine dust is in the air. I woke up around four this morning and started obsessively worrying about a bright blue porta-potty being installed in our yard.

Another twist is that though concrete slab foundations are very common in some places, they're not in Tennessee. People just don't encase their plumbing in concrete here. And they're quick to tell us so. Contractors and repair people look at us either with pity or that tell-tale gleam in their eyes that means they think they're about to be able to afford a Summer home.

That said, when I saw the following video shared this morning by two of my favorite buckaroos, Karen and Jon, I really needed it. Not only for the amazing fascinating wonderfulness that takes place after the one minute and fifteen second mark but because yes, we truly do "gotta get out of this place".

I hope that Jesus will understand because I am letting that joyous jump-suited rollerskating dude live in my heart too. 

As you can often tell, things here at the ranch aren't all sunshine, lollipops and rainbow skittles. I believe in telling it like it is and nothing is ever perfect. I'd feel like a sham reporting that it is. I'm still trying to remain cognizant of the fact that we're lucky to have a home when so many others don't have roofs over their heads. Life gets really hard sometimes and you wake up in a terrible, bad mood (sorry about that Mister Kitsch!) and well, you just want to drive to a donut shop and curl up under a booth, suckle a chocolate bear claw and never come out. Thus, for a while, I may be bringing you reports from the trenches for real, yo. We still love our little '56 ranch but right now, we feel like we should be forcing it to take a DNA test on the Maury Povich show.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Back into the Frying Pan

Well, we're back in Tennessee. But not just any Tennessee - the sweltering hot, I'm talking 103 degrees Tennessee. All of our grass is yellow and crunchy and the plants are done for. And the poor trees! They're dropping their leaves like it's Fall.

As you can imagine, this was a maddening jolt to the system as we were in ice cold, coat-needin' Alaska for ten straight days before. I can't even muster up the courage to so much as take the sweat inducing hike to the mailbox but only peek out at it from behind closed curtains. Our poor air conditioner whines away as if it's begging us to say that we're only kidding. Even the ice cream trucks have stopped circulating, their drivers most likely figuring that the box fans will block out their jingly-jangly drive-bys.

During our last few days in Alaska and Canada, we had really spotty internet reception. Which I guess was good as it forced me to actually enjoy the vacation and concentrate on beautiful things like nature and historic bordellos. Oh yes - bordellos. I have to admit that they were one of my favorite parts of the trip and I can't wait to tell you about them. Anyway, I have a lot to share with you buckaroos about the trip as soon as my mind can get itself together again. The fifteen hour trip home along with the extreme time change and heat has not quite been registered by my body and I feel like I'm drunk on something. Quite possibly exhaustion and a steep drop in excitement.

In the meantime, check out this trailer for "Moonrise Kingdom". I highly recommend this film if you haven't already seen it. It's a great story and absolutely stunning to look at. And with a soundtrack that is heavy on the Hank Williams, Francoise Hardy and Alexandre Desplat, you can not go wrong. I wanted to see the movie again the minute that it ended.

I hope that you all are doing well and are staying cool where you are! 

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What Would Lee Greenwood Do?

Happy 4th of July to my American friends! This wish comes to you from the ocean in Canada with an enormous styrofoam cake but still, it's heartfelt.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Monday, July 2, 2012

Three Shots From The Day

Here are three shots from the day today!

Mr. Kitsch took a helicopter ride up to a glacier and got to taste water fresh from a stream of melted ice running through it. No, he hasn't fallen. This is apparently the real deal way to drink from a stream. I've seen cowboys do this in movies so I have a good feeling that the guides weren't just trying to make a fool out of him.

Earlier in the day, he took a walk around Juneau and two guys tried to pick a fight with him outside of a bar as he walked past. This has been Mister Kitsch's most testosterone fueled day in a while what with all of the action adventure and near-fisticuffs with local nary-do-wells. 

Here is the fur bikini that I didn't buy. Very The Clan of the Cave Bear, no? 

We were sitting on the balcony of our room at the foot of a glacier watching chunks of ice go floating past. All of a sudden, we noticed this cute guy. He was snoozing and just floating through the ocean. It's so very cool  to see nature doing what nature does and not trapped in a zoo somewhere.

On a related note, that's pretty much what I look like after the ship buffet lunch. I'm not sure that I'll ever fit into a fur bikini again. Sigh. 

Until next time,
x's and o's, 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Go (Way Far) North, Young Lady!

Greetings from Alaska! Yes, Alaska! Crazy, huh?

As you can tell by my previous post, I didn't think that we'd have internet while away but since we've got coverage here and there, I thought I'd drop in from time to time to tell you about our trip. Yes, we escaped Nashville. Where it's currently between 106 and 110 degrees. Like the face of the sun. We taped plastic over the holes in the floor, left the kitties and the destructive plumbing at home with a house sitter and went on the lam. Hallelujah!

The Mister's parents offered to take us with them on a cruise around Alaska. Talk about incredible. This place has got to be one of the most beautiful, awe inspiring and mind boggling places on Earth. I'm talking icebergs, glaciers, whales....the whole nine yards. We wake up to views of beautiful snow covered mountains and waterfalls. We simply walk out on our balcony and can see whales and sea lions and otters every day. People, it's incredible. I keep thinking that I'll wake up and find that I've slipped on a rogue puddle of cat pee and hit my head and am simply dreaming this experience.

If this is a cat pee head wound dream, please don't wake me. 

So far, it's been a little hard to get used to the constant pampering on the ship. It's SO completely different than my normal life. There are people that insist on doing everything for us. Turning down our beds each night...putting our napkins in our laps for us (which never fails to startle me. The waiters are lucky that I haven't gone into self defense mode on one of them and cleaned their clocks.)...and even scraping our crumbs away with fancy little tools after we eat because well, one simply can't be bothered to wipe one's own crumbs away from the tablecloth. Yeah, insane. Now I know how being royalty must feel. At one point, the Mister's Dad got caught brushing his table crumbs into the floor and the waiter ran over as if he were committing a cardinal sin!  "Oh no, sir! I'll take care of that!"

It's also the time of the year when it doesn't get dark here. As you can imagine, I never know what day it is...or what time it is. Or what floor I'm on. Or what town we're in. It's all just a blur with no deadlines, no nighttime and mysterious chocolates appearing on our freshly fluffed pillows. And the movie channel shows all movies that are set on boats. It's as if no life exists outside of the ship life.

And can I speak to you of the opulence that is never-ending fresh bread baskets on the dinner tables every night and that the food is perfection? Hello, Heaven. Dinners take hours with all of their courses and pomp and circumstance (and crumb brushing). And the fact that the air smells like fresh snow, clean air and rich green fir trees? And that this morning, the Mister and I were forced to have our photos taken with people in moose and bear costumes before we were allowed to leave the ship for port? Yes, don't wake me. Don't you dare.

Well, the Mister is off walking on glaciers and I think that I'll take a little stroll around deck. I hope that y'all are having a great July so far. And to my friends in Canada - Happy Canada Day! We visited your turf yesterday and it's glorious! To celebrate, the ship staff unveiled a giant cake. Which happens to be made of styrofoam. Totally weird but somehow almost celebratory.

Oh, and not only are the cakes classy here but the souvenirs are equally as grade-A. 

Until next time,
x's and o's (and icecaps and nightcaps)