Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We're on the map

I certainly never thought that our city of Racine, WI would be a place our president would care about.  Well, he must, because he came here today! 
He held a town hall meeting downtown at Memorial Hall, which I wrote about in this post.  It is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, it was perfect for this occasion.
In a cool surprise, the motorcade first stopped at Racine's Danish bakery, O&H.  Obama wanted to pick up some famous Danish Kringle for his daughters, he also sampled some and spoke with the employees.  I love this picture, how funny!  He think he liked it.
Nobody is really sure why he chose our city for a town hall meeting.  I can only imagine it is because our unemployment rate is over 14%, well over the national average.  He wanted to speak about jobs and the economy, but most people were so starstruck by his presence that I'm not sure anyone cared what he said.  There was a line a mile long to secure tickets to the speech, some people had camped out since 10pm Monday!
I was certainly glad when everything was over, during lunchtime there were police everywhere and many streets were blocked to accommodate the motorcade.  It was a very exciting day for our city, though!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Mostly, anyway.  Since my last post, we have seen the framed structure of our porch evolve every day.   Here is the plywood sheathing going up:
Fully picture-framed walls weren't far behind.  We now have 6-inch window sills, people!
Everything was primed inside and out, and it finally started to look finished.
And when everything was painted with a coat of satin white, I was in love!
The outside view is just what I had pictured, they did a great job. 
There is more work to be done.  I have to put another coat of paint on everything 
because the contractor's bid only included one coat of each.  I also have to prime and paint the window box.
And the ceiling needs paint since they moved the wall in slightly from the old one. 
All of this extra painting is worth it, I am just thrilled with our new space.  I've already got bamboo blinds ordered and a ceiling fan will be on it's way soon...I can't believe this space used to be rotted and screenless! 
I love the chunky new wood, thick window sills, and tall windows.  It doesn't get much better than this!  Unless my Neon would magically turn into a new F150.  That would definitely be better.

Friday, June 25, 2010


On Tuesday, I was delighted to see a big Menards truck pull up to the house with all the building materials for our porch rebuild.  I know many of you thought I should leave the porch open, but we share a driveway with our neighbors.  I thought they wouldn't appreciate sitting on their patio staring at us lounging on ours, so putting up walls was the best idea. 
All the materials got dropped off on the front lawn so our fabulous carpenters could get started with the framing asap.  At the end of Tuesday, we had this:
It was supposed to rain again that night, so everything was piled against the house and covered with tarps.  On Wednesday, some real progress was made, both walls were fully framed out. 
By the end of Wednesday, all the rough framing was done, and all the windows and the new storm door were installed.  
I think Lucius was a little bummed that he couldn't escape by running out the back door anymore. 
Shaun consoled him by taking him out for a supervised outside visit. 
I don't think he appreciated the gesture.   
Now I just have to find a ceiling fan for the porch that doesn't offend my eyeballs.  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Yesterday we had 'a bit' of work done on our porch.
These nice men came and started the process of dismantling the rotted wood and old glass, all while the county was under a severe thunderstorm warning! 
They were very careful with my plants, which was awesome.  We had thought the job would have to wait until Thursday due to the weather, so the fact that they fearlessly pressed on was pretty exciting. 
I thought too late about saving the old glass for a project.  It's for the best, I'm sure Shaun would've tried to kill me if I had asked the crew to save them for me.   
They did save the original wood window box, it was too cool to destroy.  They will put it back on with the original brackets, I love that we're saving a piece of the original structure! 
When I got home from work, everything was gone and I couldn't stop staring! 
It looked so awesome, I was tempted to just leave it an open patio.  Unfortunately, we are not in Florida...we need walls if we want to use the room for longer than three months. Boo!
That night, the promised storm came and the entire neighborhood was pounded with rain and littered with tree branches.   Our tornado sirens even came on!
Of course, I had to go outside and pick up the most impressive branches and ask Shaun to take my picture.  What else are you supposed to do during a tornado warning?  
Buffy isn't afraid of tornados, people.   

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's my party

Yesterday I turned 31.  Shaun was a busy bee on Saturday, he put together a surprise party while I was getting a massage (his gift to me) Saturday afternoon.   When I came home, I was greeted by a decorated patio, friends, and my mom's famous sangria! 
Baggo was set up in the backyard...
And my dad got to play with our mosquito fogger.  Thankfully, all the plants survived.   
Earlier Saturday, we had put out some lanterns and other patio decor because of the beautiful weather.  I had no idea they would be put to use that night for a surprise party!
Everything looked perfect, but the highlight of the night was definitely Shaun's winning keg stand. 
We know how to party around here.  Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with me!

Friday, June 18, 2010

CSN is my hero

When the folks at CSN emailed me and told me I was a ‘Preferred Blogger’ (do I get a trophy?) and could review one of their products for FREE, my day instantly got better.  They sure know how to do business, doing giveaways all over blog-land to generate buzz and selling everything that you could possibly need for your home.  Did you know that you can buy a bathroom vanity, mattress, or entertainment center on their 200+ sites?  And many of their items, even those big pieces, offer FREE SHIPPING!  Another reason to check them out.
As soon as I get the item I’ve picked out in my hot little hands, I will be back with a review.  I'm pretty happy to be on the receiving end of CSN's generosity this time, even though I loved giving something awesome away in April.

I have some good stuff to share with you all next week, including what the heck is going on with our porch:
It's going to get a whole lot breezier in there.  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Backwards gal

After I spiffed up my bench on the front porch, my planter full of Gerbera daisies was looking SAD.  Here is it right after I planted the flowers - which is why there is dirt everywhere.  
Being Polish, I decided to plant stuff and then figure out how to make the planter look better.  So, I got some plastic bags...
Whipped out the same stain used on the bench, and got to work slapping it on.
I'm not sure wood stain is good for flowers.  Oh well, it was worth it. 
And when it came time to spray the thing with the Spar Urethane, I did this:
I know, I'm such a weirdo and did this totally backwards.  It turned out great though, and it looks so much better with my bench! 
Next time I will figure out whether something needs to be painted before I plant things in it.  Duh!