Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Reveal! Before and Afters!!

Let me begin this post with a lovely picture of the rainbow that arched over the end of my street on Monday.
There will be decidedly less lovely picture later in this post...a whole lot less lovely in fact.

Now last week I posted my "inspirations" for some long over due interior decorating that I was tackling:

This fabric was my inspiration for a complete overhaul of my laundry room!

A giraffe, hearts, cats...just the thing to get my mental wheels a' turning.

Boy did I ever need inspiration to tackle this mess.
Our basement laundry room.
Ugh ugh ugh ugh.....

It also served as the cat's dining room
And the cat's litter box room.

Our house was built in 1954.  People (OK..women mostly) have been slaving away over their washing machines down here for over 57 years at least.
At some point one of them painted the walls a turquoise green. I don't think that would have been much of an improvement.
Later, probably the last owner, painted the room a shade of deep tan.
The cave like effect was stunning.  
Isn't being able to do laundry in a cave every woman's dream??

While we were painting the other basement rooms (family room, office, hat room, hallways) we slapped a bland beige on the walls just so I could almost bear to be in the room long enough to throw a load of laundry in to the wash, feed the cats, scoop the litter and RUN AWAY!

I used to joke that if they ever had to find another place to house terrorists for waterboarding, my laundry room would be just the place.
I was sure the terrorists would crack in no time if they had to spend time in this room.

Battleship gray is my least favorite color in the whole wide world. 
Naturally someone had decided at one point to "cheer" up the room by painting the floor exactly that color.
They must have done a terrific job; the floor paint was chipped everywhere, revealing the floor paint color history. 
Frankly I think plain concrete would have been just fine.

The other MAJOR problem:

The floor drain in the middle of the room.
The floor slopes down on all side into the middle.  I guess in 1954 the washer wash plopped dead center in the room?

The drain pipe size of 1954 was smaller than modern drain pipes which are designed to take on the high speed washing machine water flow. 
This means that every time my washer drains, the floor drain can't keep up.  A space about three feet wide fills with water and suds for about three minutes.  

And of course remains slippery for long after.

The solution would be to jack hammer out the floor drain, re-plumb the pipes and re-concrete.  
With the sloping floor this would not really work unless we jack hammered out the whole floor. 

The mess on the walls: The heater/air filter/ac unit are all housed in the basement as well, and need to be kept open for air flow.
We discussed dry wall, partitions and kept coming back to the problem of how to keep access to those units free.
Plus the cost for jack hammering, plumbing, framing, dry wall, doors just left us stubbornly refusing to creak open our check book.
Huge sigh. 
Much grumbling continued by both of us every time we did laundry (yes, my darlin' Mr. B. is just as likely to throw in a load as I am.)

Two and a half years of this grumble, revisit ideas, discard ideas, slip on the floor, avert eyes every time we walked through the room

Then suddenly...I had a brain storm.

Step one: Paint everything except the floor and ceiling good old Navajo white.
(Only took me an hour to figure out I wanted that paint color at the big box store.)

Step two: Paint ceiling and door a high gloss white.
Step three: Select Armstrong's Pietra Grande White self stick floor tiles.
(Part of the hour selection time at the big box store. Wished I had my blogging buddies there with me to help with the decorating decision making....)

Step four:  Hire a cat to assist with the floor tile work.

Step five: Enlist helpful knowledgeable Mr. B, who explained to me why I couldn't just slap a tile up in the corner and then go from there.

I wore the same white tee shirt and old pull-on pj bottoms for the whole project. 

Tate's job was to remind me to take lots of breaks...

The room was built four months after I was born. We both are showing our age.
My body was only able to do this work with the help of regular doses of Aleve.
Did you know you can take up to four of those tablets at once?
I checked with a medical professional and got the OK.
And found if you wash them down with a glass of wine before going to bed it also helps to make one able to fall asleep without pain.

I had scrubbed the floor clean before installing the tile.
Yes...that is the floor clean.

Bernie tackled the floor drain cover...he even bought me a nice new one!

And now...without further ado...

The new improved basement laundry room!
(Note the new white and stainless drain covers at the base of the drier unit!)

I have moved my sewing machine into the room now.  It was in the orange Marley room before; the light in there is not as good.
The door leads out to the patio and our hot tub, hence the need for robes and a basket of assorted swim suits at the ready.

My brainstorm for hiding all the storage items while still allowing air flow and easy access to the heater/ac/air filter:
Good old IKEA Fabler Kamrater curtains, found in the baby/children's department were hung on the IKEA wire curtain hanger system. 

The wire is tensioned between the walls so there is no sag and the curtains need not be separated by a curtain rod holder mid way on the wall.
I liked the heavy cotton smooth finish curtain fabric, and thought the butterscotch colored plaid trim on each panel would break up the "wall o' fabric" feeling.
Plus the cat, giraffe, heart, and other motifs were adorable.

Since I don't sew every day...
The cat's litter boxes sit out of the way beneath the sewing desk.
I purchased an inexpensive vacuum cleaner to vacuum up stray bits of litter daily.
Their food dish is hidden behind the curtains. 

My view out the door...I have a removable screen that goes up on tension rod for days when I want the door left open.

I might get a folding table eventually. For now, the sewing desk chair can hang out in the corner.
I notice the cats seem to be enjoying having a chair to sit on, or under in this case.

A small "beachy" painting above the robes gets one in the mood for a splash in the hot tub.
My mother-in-law, who has a swimming pool at her house, taught me the trick of having a few extra swim suits in various sizes available for guests.  I think I will try to find a squarish basket to hold the suits eventually.

Too cute huh.

Can you believe we actually like being in our laundry room now?
Two and a half years of thinking, a week of work and finally we have a room that works for us.

Totally cost?

Around $300.

That kind of price tag works for us too!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Whirlwind pt. 2

(My iris are blooming, for the first time.  Loving it!)

For some crazy reason, my last two posts have posted without pictures! 
Then I had to re-post the pictures to see if they WOULD post.
Then I had to go back and add the text.
Anyone else experiencing this blogging glitch?


I'm going to give posting this post another try.

Sunday morning we were pretty tuckered out from all the fun we had on Friday and Saturday.
A quick trip up Cottonwood Canyon to Silver Fork for their locally famous sour dough pancakes finally got us out of the house again.
Back home we retreated downstairs for a private showing of Laura's Texas/Argentina/Uruguay pictures.
(Notice how Hart is snuggled up with Laura and Bernie.  Shy Hart usually will have nothing to do with visitors, but as soon as he saw Laura on Friday night he came right up to her and wanted to sit on her lap.  He hadn't seen her for two years, but clearly remembered she was a friend.  And people say animals don't have memory...)

A couple of thousand pictures seen on the TV screen with her Argentina purchased music CD playing along was a fantastic way to join her on her adventures.  She had sent us her "best of the best" shots via Picasa web album.  We wanted to see ALL of her pictures, so she flew into town with her camera chips and we got to see almost every minute of her wonderful trip.

(And wasn't it very bloggerish of me to take a picture of her picture on the television screen?  Well, my camera just happened to be right next to me, so why not?)

Surfer Girl Laura hangs ten on an old canon.
That's something you just don't get to see very often.

I thought it was interesting how someone in Uruguay had crocheted  a window cover.

Sadly, Bernie had to fly to Houston late Sunday afternoon, leaving us girls to our own devices.
A quick drive up to Neff's Canyon for a short hike on a trail I hadn't known about before, and then a quick run up Mill Creek Canyon to try our luck at morel hunting.

About a five minute trail walk, then I spotted a morel.
Then Laura spotted a HUGE morel.
Then we just kept finding them until I had filled my new willow creel full of mushrooms.

Nice collection of 'srooms!

This one was huge.  Absolutely blew me away when I saw it in the forest.
We had been invited over to our neighbor's home for a glass of wine; they had not had an opportunity to meet Laura before so we just left the unwashed mushrooms on the plate as we headed next door.
My neighbor had graduated from her surgical internship the night before.  We toasted her success and endurance.  Not only had she completed the two year program, but had produced two babies during that time as well.

When Laura and I came back home about an hour later I went to pick up the plate of mushrooms so I could wash them before cooking.
That whitish spot:  The mushrooms had spewed spores all over the table while we were gone!
Laura was totally grossed out.  She had refused to actually touch the mushrooms in the first place; she used a large spoon to lift them out of the earth and over to my awaiting creel.
I would never have guessed my nurse daughter would be so squeamish about mushrooms and spores and such.

A little olive oil, garlic salt, and the mushrooms were cooked up for dinner.
Anyone have any other suggestions about how I could cook morels?
I am thinking with butter and a splash of wine might be good.  Maybe chopped up with some pasta?

Then we just talked and talked and talked into the night.
We often talk on the phone together, but lately with work and school our conversations have had to be rather short and farther apart.
That night we got all caught up.

Mother-Daughter talk.
Friend to Friend talk.
Heart to Heart talk.
The kinds of talk that I had always hoped I would have someday when my little girl grew up.
It was even better than I had imagined it would be.

It was just a grand long weekend together.
A whirlwind of memories and good times together.
I'll take those kinds of times together, any time.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Seven months without seeing our girl....and she hasn't been to SLC in two year.  She's been a busy girl with work and working on her Master's degree, and just got back from a vacation to Texas, Argentina and Uruguay.

We knew what would draw her here: 

Her favorite group was playing here!
By catching an afternoon flight the following Friday, she could get here just in time to catch the show.
Big Bad VooDoo Daddy!  A group she has listened to since high school, and yet never seen in person.
(We are huge fans now too...this was the second time we have seen their show in person.)
Here's a link to one of their songs: Old Man on the Mountain
Trust me...if you ever watched cartoons as a kid you know this song.

Nine men, pushing out the Swing sound into the night.
What a party!

People were swing dancing in the aisle, and in front of the stage too.

(Don't you just love those shoes???)

The next morning, Saturday, we were all still singing "The Old Man and the Mountain" and other memorable tunes.

What oh what else could we do for fun on Saturday?

How about a day in Scotland?
Laura and her grandmother and I had taken a trip to Scotland together a few years back. We loved Scotland!

The next best thing to actually flying to Scotland was driving just 30 minutes down the road from us to...

How fun is that??

We really didn't know exactly what we would be seeing.
Sword fighting?

How interesting to see the US Army taking notes on Highland Sword fighting.

What little boy wouldn't want to play sword fight with a great wood sword?
And in a kilt no less?
Start 'em right, start  'em young.

Dancing is apparently part of Highland Games.  Contests were judged by age, and groups size.  These girls were terrific!

Then it was on to "men tossing heavy things up in the air" contests.
The burlap covered something or another was stuck with a pitch fork...

Then thrown up into the air over a bar.  The guys came from all over the Western USA, and were ranked.
As one would get their "sheep" over the bar, the bar would get raised for the next guy.

Other guys tossed iron balls over bars.

It was pretty interesting how quickly we became to view kilts as regular guys clothes, even with athletic shoes and modern sunglasses and tee shirts.

Some guys "twirled" (they were wearing bike shorts beneath their kilts) while others just grunted the heavy object up.

What a great sport!

Lunch time...Not haggis...
We got the BEST barbequed lamb ribs EVER!
Served with herbed lemonade: Fresh squeezed lemonade with fresh mint and fresh dill.
I had never though of adding dill to lemonade; now I am hooked on that add in.

Laura saw the sign "Wicked Tinkers" and went Shut UP!!!
She had heard the group in San Diego and had actually chatted/flitted with the guys before knowing they were the musicans of Wicked Tinkers.

I would have never imagined Celtic music with Australian diggerydoo music included.
When CJ blew into a diggerydoo, the reverberation inside my chest was amazing. 
The whole show was amazing.
And they played for one hour every other hour, performance included in the admission to the Festival.

Bernie and Laura share McIntyre blood.
The love of Scottish music comes naturally to them.

(Isn't is just too cool to see a guy in a kilt pushing a baby stroller? While his friend goes about with a giant sword strapped to his back?)

Playing the alternating hours: Molly's Revenge.
They were more traditional folk sounding, with a ton of energy added. Listen HERE.
Found out they where all from Santa Cruz California.
Laura had heard them play in San Diego as well.
We loved both groups!

(The Wicked Tinkers really were a whole lot wilder in San Diego according to Laura.  Since this festival was being held at Thanksgiving Point, which is a huge venue owned by a Mormon family, there was no alcohol allowed at the games.)
This guy could rock a diggerydoo, rock a kilt, rock ANYTHING.

Catch a bit of Wicked Tinkers on Youtube HERE
To understand why there is a stuffed cat on stage, click HERE

Between sets there was a Public Service announcement about some lost parents.  The guy is wearing a utility kilt.  Love it!

Lots of vendors, and booths for various highlander families. We did eventually find the McIntyres too.

We got Bernie to try on a utility kilt.
(Please weigh in via a comment whether you think Bernie should or shouldn't get a utility kilt. 
I get 5 votes as his wife: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!)

He said they were really comfortable...didn't buy one.
Maybe he will some other day? If enough ladies say he should?

Just in case you want to catch the fun in your own area, here's one band's tour venues and dates.
Three hours of Scottish music, an hour of Scottish food, an hour of Scottish games...we were ready to go, totally exhausted from all the fun.
It would be way to much work to go home and cook dinner so, naturally....

We went out for Indian food and an Indian movie.
(The local restaurant Star of India has a wide screen set up so you can watch Bollywood while you eat.  Really fun, and GREAT food!)

Whew!  So that was just Friday night and Saturday.
Laura flies back to San Diego this afternoon (Monday), I'll post the rest of our adventures tomorrow!

And special HAPPY BIRTHDAY greeting to my wonderful Mom!

And what a great place to go to see the show.  Sandy Amplitheater on a pleasant was perfect.