Monday, August 01, 2016

Ten Year Refresh

Chad and I recently celebrated the ten year anniversary of purchasing the 1952 House. After ten years, it was time for a refresh and some repairs. We had the air conditioning ducts replaced, installed a solar-powered attic fan, installed an attic access ladder in the long hallway, got the original bathtub reglazed and installed a fan in the bathroom. While these were very necessary repairs/renovations, they aren't anything to photograph and submit to House Beautiful magazine.

The showstopper projects to behold are the new windows and the new exterior paint color. If you happened to drive by the 1952 House during the past month, you surely noticed an ever expanding collage of test paint patches on the front of the house, seven different colors in total. After much negotiation, Chad and I chose Sea Sparkle by Valspar. As always, click on any photo to view it larger.

Before paint and new windows in May 2016

After new paint, new windows and removal of shutters in July 2016

Back of house in May 2016 before new paint and new windows

Back of house after new paint and new windows in July 2016

Major props and thanks go out to The Fix It Chick, Kristi Copeland, and her amazing crews for all the interior projects and the perfectly executed paint job. I highly recommend The Fix It Chick!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Weekend Wishes

My heart, my soul and my brain hurt from all the ugliness, divisiveness, hatred, violence and racism that I see on social media, the news and in the world lately. I'm not so naive to think that any of these problems will be solved easily. Maybe we can all agree to be kinder and more thoughtful in our daily lives and our daily interactions. Maybe we can all strive to acknowledge our own prejudices, and squash those thoughts before they spur us to regrettable words or actions. 

Best wishes for a harmonious and enjoyable weekend. 

Friday, July 08, 2016

I'm the Worst Brunch Date

Chad loves brunch. It's one of his favorite things. He loves all the egg dishes, especially eggs benedict. He loves pancakes. He loves coffee. He loves a good bloody mary.

Chad does not take very much time in getting ready for the day. In under ten minutes he brushes his teeth, puts a little product in his hair, applies suncreen and chooses an outfit from his very well edited and curated closet. (Yes. I curated and constantly edit his closet. You're welcome.)

I stay up later, and sleep later, than most polite earthlings. Brunch hours don't jive with my night owl ways. I don't like a big meal early in my day. I prefer iced tea to coffee at just about any hour. I find bloody mary drinks repulsive. *gack* A mimosa is nice in the early evening on a hot day. I don't like eggs, especially eggs benedict. *gag* I may be the only person who doesn't love pancakes. Pancakes are okay, but not really cake, and not really proper nutrition. Why spend the calories on them?

I take much more time than Chad does to ready myself for the day, minimum fifteen minutes, but usually thirty minutes. It feels like work when I have to rush to ready myself to beat the crowds to brunch for food and drinks I don't love at a time of day when my face hurts. Yes. That time of day is anytime before 11:30 AM. I'm chrono-delayed. It's a thing. If you need something done at 1:30 AM, I'm your girl. We all have our strengths.

Part of going vegan means that I don't have to suffer through egg brunch dishes anymore. Yay! I can just eat the carbs and beans that I like. Hash browns or home fries, with black beans, vegan toast, maybe some steamed broccoli: these are all yummy brunch foods to me. I still have an issue with the timing of brunch, and the long waits to "brunch" anywhere decent. I still won't be a brilliant, sparkling conversationalist at brunch, because it happens early in my day. Sorry.

If you love brunch, I will go with you. I will be the worst brunch date, but you don't have to brave it alone. Are you going to finish those hash browns? May I have them?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Are You THAT Jenn C.?

We all do internet searches for specific people from time to time, be they famous or just an acquaintance. Don't lie. Maybe it is poor manners to confront people with the findings. Maybe it is disarmingly charming to admit to trying to find out more about a person, and ask that person more about their life. In the past year, I experienced two instances of people admitting to searching out information about me with Google, or googling me.

In the first instance, a stage manager for a show in which I performed asked if I ever worked for a respected local judge. No, I never met, or worked for, that judge. The stage manager persisted, "then you're not the Jenn C. who accused Judge ---------- of sexual harassment?" Nope. Not me. The stage manager, still unsatisfied with this unproductive conversation said, "Well, she spells your full name just like you do, and goes by the same abbreviated nickname." I distinctly felt as if defending the good name of this judge ranked as a high priority on this stage manager's agenda, whether the judge harassed this other Jenn C. or not. I finally shut down the conversation by pointing out that Austin combined with the greater Austin metro area boasts a population of approximately 2.2 million people now. A few of us are bound to have the same first and last names, especially with a first name as common as Jennifer. What I left unsaid, but thought: calm down, and let me do my job here.

In the second instance, I stayed at a fancy, boutique hotel in small town. Upon check-in, a group of revelers made it a bit difficult for me to hear the employee at the hotel's front desk. One of the revelers, waved his arms and called out, "Jenn, over here." He looked in my direction, but called to a person in his group, apparently also named Jenn or Jen. The hotel employee jokingly asked if I needed help shaking my adoring fan and the paparazzi. I gave a courtesy laugh, and politely declined.

The next day, I bumped into the same hotel employee in the lobby. He smiled knowingly, and asked in a hushed tone, "Ms. C-----, are you the Jennifer C----- that is the life coach?" I replied no with what I hope was a look of bemused surprise. "We googled you," he admitted. I explained that my very minor claim to fame/infamy involves work as a featured extra in a few films and television shows, and as an Austin stage actress. He seemed a bit deflated. Maybe he liked this life coach's website, and was sad to find that we were not one and the same person.

Later, Chad and I joked that a life coach is the last thing I would ever be for a profession. I do not have much of anything figured out, and am the last person to presume to be capable of coaching others. You do you while I be me.

I'm going to be me over here, away from you, if you admit to googling me.

Are you flattered, alarmed, suspicious or amused when an acquaintance admits to googling you? How does that make you feel?

Sonic waits patiently to google you. He's creepin'.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Follow Me on Instagram

Or don't. It's totally up to you.

The Instagram widget that appeared on the side bar of my blog broke. Here is my Instagram link if you'd like to follow me:

Here's a sample of my favorite recent Instagrams:

This is the door to my Great-Aunt Alma's root cellar. It's fairly magical how cool it stays in there. Also, my Great-Aunt Alma is my favorite. Shhh... don't tell the other family members. 

Kenji and Marigold  hog the sofa for naps.

We recently got new air conditioning ducts at the 1952 House. A young workman put his knee through the ceiling. He was unharmed. Then he wiped his muddy boots on our living room rug. I left the house before he was harmed for that lack of manners and common courtesy.

I never had a Lite-Brite as a child, despite wanting one pretty desperately. Chad corrected this situation one Christmas. Now I create themed Lite-Brite images. While not exactly red, white and blue, you get the idea for this Memorial Day meditation.

Janie likes to press her big, lumpy head against Marigold for naps. With all of the elderly pets napping on the fancy Mitchell Gold sofa, Chad and I rarely sit on said sofa.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Kool and the Gang Would Not Approve

Last night, I washed Marigold's (really old cat) face and brushed her long Persian fur. I brushed Sonic (ten year old boy cat) and cleaned his ears. I tried to trim the kitten's nails, but he wasn't having it. Then I decided to groom myself with a shower, hair-washing, shaving my prickly legs, removing old nail polish that started to chip, thoroughly flossing and whitening my teeth. The whole time, this song was stuck in my brain.

When I felt so good, fresh, clean and groomed, Sonic (ten year old boy cat with all kinds of anxiety) decided to spray smelly kitty urine* under Chad's side of the desk. I got to climb under the desk in my pajamas with a flashlight, Nature's Miracle cleaning spritz and a roll of paper towels to clean up the stinky spray. This was stuck in my head:

*Sonic has been to the veterinarian about the urine spraying. He always gets an excellent bill of health. He does not spray because of any type of infection or illness. His spraying is purely behavioral. He is also a resource guarder: blocking the other pets from food, water, litter boxes, the good toys. He was neutered at seven months old. Sonic is a fifteen-pound bruiser of a cat who started life as part of a feral cat colony. He is also our only cat allowed outside. He has a waterproof, heated little house on the deck with dual exits. I fear if we forced him to live only inside, our entire house would end up covered in his stinky musk. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Love Will Keep Us Together

This is stuck in my head today. You're welcome.