Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Blessings

There is still  so much that needs to be accomplished  at the house in Hooterville within the next few weeks so we  (hubby, daughter and her boyfriend who has no family in Florida, and I) have all decided to use Thanksgiving day as a work day at the property.  The four of us  will, however,  take a break in the early evening  to have our Thanksgiving dinner at a little home-style buffet restaurant a few miles down the road from the new house.    Admittedly, this is quite a departure from our usual huge traditional home-cooked meal with all of the extended family present but it only took us about 5 seconds to agree we are okay with that this year.  What better way is there for us to appreciate and celebrate our good fortune to be blessed with this new home and the opportunity to live what we have dreamed about?
To all my American readers, wherever and however  you spend your Thanksgiving, I want to wish you and yours a bountiful and blessed Thanksgiving holiday from My Cottage of Bliss.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunken Floor…NO MORE!

Oh boy, I can’t even begin to tell you how EXCITED I was to see this truck show up at the house in Hooterville Saturday morning! 


My daughter has a friend who is a contractor and he made arrangements to have the U.G.L.Y. outdated, sunken living room filled with concrete so it would be level with the rest of the house.  The sunken living room concept might have been fashionable in 1978 when the house was built but in 2009, it sure wasn’t floating my boat so I was thrilled when I found out how easy it was to fix.
After the carpet was pulled up and the walls were covered in plastic…



…it was time to start pumping!   At this point, I was almost giddy!




When the hole was filled, the guys used a long board to level the cement.  The board also helped them  determine if there were any low spots that needed more cement.




The cement had a quite a bit of water in it so after a little while, we decided to close up the windows and turn on the air conditioner to help pull some of the excess moisture out. 
There was just one little problem…
Nobody thought to close the window in the living room before the concrete was pumped in!   Oooops!
Daughter’s boyfriend and contractor friend came to the rescue though!


I was holding my breath here!    This could have gone soooooooo wrong!IMG_0731


But all ended well and 24 hours later, the concrete is drying nicely.   It should be dry enough to walk on in about a week and then we can paint.  The carpet is scheduled to be installed the week of Christmas.




Go visit Between Naps on the Porch to see more Metamorphosis Monday before and after posts.

met monday

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Like Mother, Like Daughter (Sort Of)

This little cowgirl all decked out in the cowgirl hat and fancy chaps is me at approximately age 4.

Shari (approx 1957)

I was visiting my grandmother when a man came through her neighborhood offering to take pictures of children on his  pony.  Even though this was more than 50 years ago, I still very vividly remember this event, as well as my excitement over being on a real, live horse for the first time.


This precious little cowgirl wearing an eyelet trimmed denim skirt, boots, and her hat at a jaunty tilt in the photo below is my daughter at age 4. 

Kelly (Jan 1987) sepia

A shopping mall in a neighboring city was offering pony pictures.   That happy grin on her face should have been my first indication that this would not be the last time she would be on the back of a horse!
After we were there the first time, my daughter relentlessly begged me to take her back to the mall the next day so she could “ride” the pony again.  That should have been my second clue that I had a budding equestrian on my hands!
 Throughout my childhood,  an occasional pony ride at the fair or on a brightly colored carousel horse  was pretty much the extent of my horseback “riding” experiences and I soon outgrew my excitement over horses.
On the other hand, in the 23  years since that photo of her on the pony was taken,  my daughter’s  passion for horses has never waned. 
Not.   For.   One.   Second. 
As a small child, she has always had a special, extraordinary love of  all animals but, as the saying goes, she really  “eats, sleeps and breathes” horses. 
She  started taking weekly horseback riding lessons at age 9.  
IMG_0005 (C&E)
IMG_0002 (C&E)
She was 13 when we bought her first horse. 
IMG_0001 (C&E)
At 16, we bought her a second horse.  Even through those potentially troublesome teen years, the only place she ever wanted to be was at the barn, riding her horses. 
Primarily she rides English (Hunter/Jumpers)…

DSC_0503 (2)

tango (C&E) 

Benson QH Ice 1 (E) 


But she has been known to throw on a western saddle and cut a few calves too.
l_d56028ec06c11102d4e8ffd3f1869429 (C&E) 
l_1fe849a73c8df76eee054849162a796a (C)
She also loves teaching other little girls all about horses, horse care....(like routine deworming with oral paste dewormer)…camp22 (2) 

…and how to ride.



Although she has certainly tried many times to make  working with horses a full-time job, living in the city has made it very difficult and almost cost prohibitive.   However, the 30 acres and 3 barns at our new  house in Hooterville  will give her a place to establish her own business of buying, training and selling horses, running a boarding facility, and giving riding lessons on a full-time basis.

Every time one of her riding students wins their first ribbon at a horse show (like in the photo below), she truly experiences a genuine thrill so my heart swells with love, happiness and pride that she will now be able to make horses her business and share her passion of horses with others on a full-time basis…especially horse-lovin’ little girls.
This is why I am so willing to move away from  My Cottage of Bliss in the city for a more rural life in Hooterville.
And who knows… with horses in my own backyard, perhaps I’ll rekindle my excitement over horses. 
Maybe I’ll even decide to ask Daughter to teach her old mom how to ride! 


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Priming: What a Project!

We are still plugging along at the house in Hooterville, making progress, little by little.
This past week, we’ve been busy priming.
And priming.
And priming some more!  
I think we went through 6 GALLONS of  Zinsser Bullseye 123 primer!  And 2 gallons of Gripper.
But the priming is finally DONE!
And boy, what a different just one  coat of primer has made in lightening, brightening and changing the atmosphere in some of the rooms!
Would you like to see?
The dining room wall went from this…IMG_0450
to this.IMG_0665
The “teal room” went from this…IMG_0455

to this!  (Wow, that carpet actually doesn’t look half bad when it’s not fighting with aqua walls, does it?  But it will still be replaced with something more neutral.)IMG_0701
The blah brown master bedroom before…IMG_0538
is already looking a little less dreary with just primer on the walls and baseboards.IMG_0703 
The wallpapered office before…IMG_0488
and after wallpaper removal.IMG_0699
There are 13 wood doors in this house. Each and every one of  those doors and all of the 5,000 miles of wood baseboards and door moldings needed priming. 
Well…I’ll admit 5,000 miles of molding might be a slight exaggeration but, at my age, it sure FEELS like 5,000 miles when I am sitting on the floor with my legs curled up underneath me as  I paint…and paint…and paint.  




Now that the priming is done,  I get to scoot around the house  on my hands and knees a second time, applying crisp, white semi-gloss paint to all the  baseboards and moldings. 



After we got all the doors and moldings primed,  I started to  feel like we have finally turned a huge corner.  In reality, there is  a lot more painting ahead  but now I can actually see we’ve made progress!
If all goes according to schedule, I hope to  start putting color on the walls the day after Thanksgiving!  I’m really looking forward to seeing how much “my” colors change the look and feel of each room.
At some point this week, I will try to take a break from working inside so I can take a few photos of all the progress outside. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tractor & Carpet Shopping

Hubby has been looking for a BIG used tractor with a BIG scoop on the front  to use at our property  in Hooterville so today he and I took a  drive a couple hours north of the Tampa Bay area to Ocala, Florida to preview some used farm equipment that will be auctioned off this Friday.


The lobby of the auction house had several of these floor to ceiling display cases filled with all types of model tractors.  I bet little (and big) boys go nuts when they see all those tractors.


Hubby only found one tractor that would meet his needs but unfortunately, it was already sold  so he will continue shopping.



Meanwhile, I’m trying to decide on carpet and wood laminate flooring.   I find it so darn difficult to chose a color because the colors always look so much different on a larger scale than they do in the little display swatches in the store. 


Hopefully, I’ll have some more photos of the progress on the house in Hooterville in a few days.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

An Apology To Those Who Leave Comments


It has been almost 6 months since I started my blog and up until this week, I had  received only a couple spam comments during that time.  However,  for some reason, I have received 3 or 4 spam comments in this past week alone, primarily on older posts.  I don’t understand why all of a sudden I am now getting a rash of these  unsavory comments but I don’t want links for male “enhancement” products etc.  “dirtying” up my blog.  If possible, I’d like to nip this in the bud so,  for now,  I have decided to enable the Word Verification feature for comments.
It really saddens me to have to resort to this because I know most people dislike having to type those Word Verification letters when they want to leave a comment.   As you probably know, another option would be for me to turn on the “Comment Moderation” feature instead of the Word Verification  but if I use the Comment Moderation,  your comments would not appear until I had a chance to approve them.  With me running back and forth to the house in Hooterville, I might not get a chance to approve your comments right away and I’d really like for  comments to appear as soon as you leave them.
If you have a preference… Word Verification or Comment Moderation…please feel free to let me know.  (To use both would be redundant so it would be either one or the other.)
Again, I apologize for this inconvenience to you.    Please know I only plan on  using one of these features for a short time, in an effort to  see if it will encourage the spammers to go elsewhere.