Reformed Grits

Lookie what I dun
August 27, 2008, 9:58 pm
Filed under: What's she up to now?

Ok, so I've been doing some sewing during my respite because sewing is so much cheaper than therapy!  Especially when you get deals like this…

A couple of years ago, a dear friend was "updating" her sweet little girl's room from a nursery to a big girl's room and gave me a ton of the fabric from her beautiful custom nursery!  I have made "sew" (giggle, snort) many things including a diaper bag for Bee that is pink and cream toile with a pink lining and a brown and pink polka-dotted strap and brown monogram (I'd post the pic but it's got her name on it and you know I'm anal about stuff like that…), a CUTE dress/tunic-style top for Sugie that everyone is probably sick of seeing her in, and now… My friend Kimmy sent me the link to a blog I'd not had the pleasure of visiting before called The Handmade Dress.  I love this place because the things she shares seem doable and she has tutorials that are extremely down to earth!   In fact I knew that Bee, going back to school, really needed a bag bigger than her diaper bag so she could put her lunch, blanket, papers, etc in it… so I saw her link to this (scroll down to Little Dress pattern) and I made this… for free with the remnant fabric:

I thought it was cute!   She calls it her "dress bag!" 

I'm in the middle of a couple of other cute things too I hope to share when I finish!  (Lord willing…  you know how it goes!)


It’s blogworthy to me
August 20, 2008, 10:10 am
Filed under: Food and Drink, Life, What's she up to now?

Thanks for coming back to check on me in my prolonged absence.  I'm not "back" but I've been thinking of you.  It's hard to go back to regular blogging when you stop cold turkey but I've needed the break.  But I just can't get enough of you, my friends, so I thought of something I should share:

First, I'm struggling to do dinner right now.  I don't wanna cook.  It's hot and I am really not in to eating things that are good for me because they don't taste good and are expensive.  So we've eaten chicken and minute rice 15 ways, had tacos and/or spagetti every other night and I'm tired of it.  So when I ran in to Publix the other night to pick up something I needed, they had a little cook-person handing out samples of one of their "Apron Meals." 
"Would you care for a sample of our 'Beenie Weenie Pizza'?" 
And then I threw up a little in my mouth and willed out, "Uh, no thanks."  The two kids with me obliged the lady and then I realized… I was STARVING.  I wasn't even sure when I had eaten last so I said, "I changed my mind… I'll try it." 
And with that, I scarfed it down, trying to not taste it…
But it actually was really good.  So I went back and got the recipe card.
And that night I found myself thinking about it again. 
That's when I started plotting out when I'd get the ingredients to make it myself.  It was so strangely satisfying, like some weird comfort food.  I wanted it again.  I started craving Beenie Weenie Pizza.  But I had to wait until grocery day, because you know Dave Ramsey lives here and I had my money doled out already. 
Here I need to interject some important commercial information.  Did you know that Publix sells pizza DOUGH?  I'm talking the squishy stuff in a bag in the bakery.  It. Is. Delicious.  And this, from someone who grinds her own wheat to make her pizza dough normally.  It was more expensive than I'd like (2.59 a bag, for Pete's sake) but I had to try it. 
Back to the story.  Grocery day came, and could hardly wait until I got my goods to make the much-anticipated Beenie Weenie Pizza.  The kids were in a frenzy from hearing about it from me and the other children who had the privilege of sampling it. 
That night, would be Beenie Weenie Pizza night. 
After a few stops and starts with the crust (does anyone have a two sided grill?  I'm thinking that's like a Foreman grill which they do NOT make in a size big enough for the Grits family and if they do I don't care to try to store one in my kitchen…) we were underway.   Reading the recipe, I did a double-take as I realized that the recipe was for four.  I had already planned to double it, but as I was reading the recipe I realized that their recipe for "four" would feed only Mr. Grits.  Seriously, people, tearing the original pizza dough ball in half and making it into an 8×10 oval?  Is that about the size of two normal pieces of pizza, or is it just me?  That is supposed to be the main course for 4?  That's just enough food to tick us off.  So I'm scrambling, folks, finding more beenies and more weenies and then I realized the kids hadn't liked the onions so what should I do to compensate for that, and the dough.  Oh the dough.  For real, it's delicious.  But it's made of silly putty.  No, no.  Silly putty actually stays flat if you make it flat.  This was some sort of flubber.    Consider trying to make a pizza crust out of something that did not want to be made in to pizza crust.  It had a will of its own.  And it was some seriously strong-willed pizza crust. 
It was at this point that the reality– and insanity– of what I was doing hit me.  I was making Beenie Weenie Pizza.  Which upon hearing the name of it had originally make me do a baby barf.  I was now attempting to stretch out some half-dried gluey dough into a semblance of… dinner for my family?  Stop the insanity! 
At this point, Sister began to hover around and I had to confess that I had failed her… not only as a person who was supposed to feed her and nurture her, but to protect her from the evils of the world– like Beenie Weenie Pizza. 
An hour and a half later, we sat down to this "easy and delicious recipe that may take as little as 15 minutes to prepare" and I probably should have set the table with spoons and bowls.  Yes, I followed the recipe but it was a MESS.  Most of the kids loved it.  Bee pushed it away and said, "I no wannit."   Mr. Grits tolerated it, and actually may have liked it.  I couldn't bring myself to ask and he never complains when I go to the trouble to cook a meal for him.  No one had enough to eat, however, so I whipped out some chips and dip, and veggies to dip as well because like I mentioned– I'm all about health food right now. 
My friends, I have hit my all time low in life.  Considering that it was a good idea.  Spending hard-won money on it.  And serving it to my beloved family. 
We all may need to seek professional help after this.  Pray for us, my friends.  Pray for us. 

And I shall never sleep again…
August 2, 2008, 6:17 pm
Filed under: What's she up to now?

I am still officially away for now, but I just HAD to record this blog-worthy moment in my life.  Things this horrific don’t come every day, praise be to God, but when they do– well, they are worthy of being recorded. 

It’s been a wild ride lately, and to make a long-story short yesterday morning we had a call before 6 AM that my granddaddy was taken by ambulance to the hospital due to the fact he was suffocating from pneumonia.  Not a great way to be awakened– much less when you are getting in the lazy habit of sleeping until 8:30 or so.  The rest of the day was spent going to the hospital, coming home and readying the kids for “first of the month” shopping (yes, all 6 of them)– including all the back to school tax-free shopping that needed to be done.  We did our shoe store stops, Sam’s for monthly purchases, bank, school to pick up my new computer (which wasn’t ready so I had to go by a second time later that day… new computer is a whole ‘nuther post but I’m acclimating) , another shoe store, the sporting goods store (so Jojo could shell out hard earned cash to replace a soccer ball he lost.  This makes, oh, number 5,487 I believe), Walmart for the school supplies etc., Sonic to treat the kids to happy hour (and mama to a java chiller),  a gift shop to pick up some birthday presents, to see Daddy at work, and then home to put the groceries away.  I dropped them off at home, had them unload the groceries and put them away, put the baby to bed, and went back to the school for the computer, then to the grocery store; came home and had them unload those.  Picked up Jojo, took him to his timed run (he passed with flying colors) and to a friend’s party, then to CVS to do my shopping, which ran me past the local KFC to pick up a bucket o’ chicken to feed the remaining kids at home… at 7:30 PM.  I spent the rest of the evening on the phone with family members updating them on granddaddy’s condition.  My beloved spent the whole evening at the seminary library working on research papers and then brought Jojo home from the party about 9:30.  It was then that I finally booted up the new computer to check email.  For the first time yesterday. 

And it was funny that I got an email asking if I was rested and ready to come back to bloggyville yet. 

Um, the answer is… no. 

But I tell you all this to set up my story.  Yes, that was not the story; it was just the set up.  Now sit down with a nice stiff drink to relax you and I’ll finish. 

So you get the idea that when I fell into bed that I whimpered I was so tired.  I hurt ALL over.  I was drained physically and emotionally and psychologically.   And I slept.  This says something because I NEVAH sleep (well, hardly ever) without benedryl or nyquil or something like that.  But I was sawin’ some z’s.  Totally wiped out and sleeping so hard, I was nearly comatose. 

Until something on my face, around my nose and mouth awoke me. 

It felt cold and kinda wet.  And I could smell it.  And taste it.  

In one sweeping motion, I violently brushed off my face and jumped out of bed.  Wiping my face and saying, “Oh my gosh!  What was that!?!”  My sweetheart popped up and said, “What’s wrong?” to which I told him what I just told you about something on my face. 

I walked in to the restroom to look at my face and saw nothing but stone-cold sleep on my face– puffy, red eyes and the imprint of the pillow on my face. 

“Do you think you could have been dreaming??” he asked me.

“I do NOT think so… because I still can taste that awful… whatever it was..!  Close your eyes– I’m turning on the lights to look.” 

I turned on the lights.  Tore back the covers. 

Brace yourselves. 

Here it comes. 

Have another drink. 

Take a deep breath, and click here. 

And then I had 37 flavors of a panic attack and didn’t want to turn out the lights or lie down or close my eyes… or even live in my house much less the south where these heinous things dwell. 

Mr. Grits thought I was going to need therapy and some happy pills to get to sleep ever again– that is, after he killed the foul thing, may it rest in hell.

I’m just not so sure sleep is worth smelling and tasting the euphemistically named Palmetto bugs

Picture diary of my days…
July 7, 2008, 8:36 pm
Filed under: What's she up to now?

It started like this. 

Then it progressed to this:

But then came July 4th and we needed to do some of this:

And eat some of this:
DSC02575 DSC02576

Finally, I was able to do this: (I know it’s dark… but I primed the room… )

The next day… FINALLY we got some paint on!  Notice the transformed light fixtures!  They look better and I had paint in the basement and didn’t even have to buy it!  DSC02585 

Without further ado, here is the finished product, minus the towel “system” as I’m still searching for what I want, but I’ll post that when I buy it and put it up. 

Drumroll please……



There are still some little touch-ups around the room I need to do but overall I’m VERY pleased with the updated look.  As Jojo said to me, “Hey, it looks like a bathroom in 2008 and not one from the 80’s!” 
I agree! 

Of course I turned around to the “water closet” and still saw this:

And alas, the paper mess in the “Master Bath” looks like this:


Not to mention a week in concentration on the upstairs bathroom resulted in the house looking like this:


Oh well.  Job security, eh? 

The Never-ending Project
July 3, 2008, 5:56 pm
Filed under: What's she up to now?

I think it was approximately a year ago that on a whim of fury and hate that I started ripping down the heinous “sante fe” style pink, tan, and country blue wallpaper in my children’s bathroom.  In that vicious hour of frenzy I accomplished, oh, about 1 square foot and did nothing more than irritate my poor husband who, bless his heart, has grown accustomed to me. 
About a month or two after that, I whipped out the wall-paper steamer that we bought (supposedly in joint  endeavor with my sister, who now has no wallpaper in her house, lucky dog) and began furthering the mess project. 
Now let me pause to say that Providence has smiled upon me thus far in my house-wide wall-paper pillage.  The first room I attempted, a small extension of my laundry room and sewing room 2nd dining room off the kitchen was painted-over wall paper.  Let me just say, if you paint over wallpaper instead of stripping it before painting it, there is NO way on earth we can be friends.  Everyone says, “You can’t even tell.”  Bull.  You are lying to yourself.  I can walk into any room and tell you if it’s desecrated in such a manner.  I have no patience for it.  So when we moved in to this house 3 days before Christmas, the first room I attacked wasn’t the aforementioned bathroom from hades.  It wasn’t my country blue and rose bathroom, coordinated with flowers and stripes.  It wasn’t even the jewel-toned border in my bedroom.  It was the gold-yellow room that had been previously wallpapered and painted.
And God smiled on this endeavor.  I specifically remember being told by the man at Home Depot that I was “better off re-sheetrocking.”  And I considered it.  But in a “what-have-I got-to-lose” moment, I pulled at a loose corner approximately one hour before I had to pick up my children from school.  With a ray of sunshine from heaven illuminating the place, as the angels sang “Alleluia,” all the wallpaper came off in complete sheets.  By the time I left to get my children– on time I might add– the room was completely and gloriously denuded and the nefarious painted wallpaper was in trashbags in the bins outside. 
On a rampage, and now 6 months into my 7th pregnancy I might add, I tore apart my kitchen for the same reasons.  I tip-toed across the counter-tops and peeled wallpaper with two fingers.  It was glorious.  Next came a small hall bath.  I was on a roll. 
Then came Their Bathroom.  It had not been painted, which I don’t know if this was a good or bad thing, and the paper came off in pieces so tiny I forever was dislodging them from under my fingernails and finding tumbleweeds of scraps rolling across the bathroom floor.  So I’d work on it for an agonizing few hours with the smelly, sweaty steamer and then let it sit.  Like, for months. 
Along the way, I’d say things to my poor husband such as, “Let’s paint Sister’s room!” (again) and he’d say, “Sure!  Just as soon as you finish that bathroom!”  Rats.  He had me nailed on that one. 
I dreaded that job.  I have procrastinated, and put off, and neglected.

Until last week. 

I have so many other things in this house that need to be done, Mr. Grits has finally won, and I have committed to finishing the deed.  I have gotten all the wallpaper off (woot!)  I have sweated and scrubbed and gagged cleaning all the wallpaper paste off the walls, which, let me tell you, requires a strong stomach.  I rinsed off all residue, I’ve spackled and sanded, I’ve taken the mirrors off the walls (those dudes are HEAVY!) and now in another fit of compulsion, decided to paint the dated natural oak bathroom cabinets (with simulated brass pulls!) as well. 

Today I used a deglosser to clean and prepare the surfaces as well as removed all the hardware (which I’m considering painting since they are metal and not plastic.)  Now they are drying with the second coat of primer.  The cabinets will be black with nickel(ish) pulls.  The walls will be a deep (but not too dark) brown.  I have to decide what to do about the light fixtures (which are also brass) because they are just ugly as sin.  I thought about painting them as well but there is a decorative feature to them that screams “Kuntry style!”  I still have time on that. 

So to make a long story longer, I told you all that to say that to keep me motivated and accountable I’m going to post updated pictures as I do things so you can see. 

OH and I forgot the beauty of the whole bathroom set up.  Towels.  They come in mounds down my laundry chute because I took the towel bar down a year ago when I started the project.  My kids would wash their hands, get a whole new towel, and throw it on the floor which consequently went down the chute.   I’m going to get six towels that will go with the bathroom somehow (need a color for some pop but I want towels I can bleach occasionally yet will hide dirt.  Any suggestions?) and I’m going to monogram their names on the towels, and on the long side of the towel in the middle I’m putting a grommet so they can each be hung on their own hooks.  Yes, everyone will have their own hook with their names by them so THEY can be accountable!  If a towel is on the floor, I’ll know whose.  It’s a beautiful thing, and I can’t wait. 

So without further ado, here’s the mid-way through the stripping nasty wall paper pictures. 
Ignore the little kid below with no shirt on.  I’m sure he’s watching a sibling play on the computer or something.  Don’t you love our “retro” light fixtures?  Yeah, they are going in the trash.  Pretty sure.
And after the wallpaper was off and the walls were scrubbed…(below)

4th of July tip for locals… and invitation…
July 2, 2008, 5:30 pm
Filed under: What's she up to now?

Without being too specific I’d like to tell you that the best place to see “my city’s” fireworks display, which is great by the way, is in our church parking lot!  If you happen to know the time and day of this particular display, and you know where our PCA church is, come early and lots of people (informal) will be tailgating there to enjoy the fireworks together! 
If you know you are local (central Alabama) and would like more information, email me!
Come join our family as we celebrate the 232nd anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence!

By the time you read this…
June 7, 2008, 10:22 am
Filed under: What's she up to now?

…I'll be gone with my honey! 

Don't miss me too much.  I'll have lots to share about our time when I get back from The Big Easy!