10/23/11

Greetings from a warm fall day in Iowa!

The temps got into the mid 70’s today – was a nice surprise!

On Saturday morning I slept in until 9:00am.  Have no regrets – was really nice to sleep until I was done.  Got up and John announced we are going shopping for window treatments.  Think he was sick of dealing with the crappy white plastic window shades that keep falling out of their brackets when you close them – and ending up falling on you.

Then a short time later received a phone call from Don and Troy.  We meet them through Dave and were at his house the evening we accepted the offer on the apartment building.  They wanted to meet up for supper in the evening.  Sounded like fun to me!

So our mission was to purchase and install window treatments for the two sets of living rooms windows, kitchen window and the bed room – before we headed out for supper that evening at 6:00pm.

Being a “value minded home decorating homo” I was thinking of checking out Burlington Coat Factory, TJ Max and Marshall’s.  Believe I have seen window treatments at all three places.  John being of the “lets get’er done – today” frame of mind said we were going to Bed Bath and Beyond.  They are usually not overly expensive for most stuff – so thought it was a decent decision.

Bed Bath and Beyond had a location about 3 miles away from the apartment that was easy to get to.  Grabbed a cart and had $100.00 worth of stuff picked out before we even found the window treatment department.  The place is a trap – especially when we are starting over – paper towel holder for the counter, OXO dish scrubber and sink strainer, frames for our ham radio licenses, larger frame collage thing where you put lots of small pictures into… and on and on….

Picking out curtains with John is an adventure.  He’s surprising pretty good at putting colors and knowing when something is super tacky.  We have a white room with brown trim, dark brown dining set and burgundy sofas – so we wanted something that was not too dark, but not too light….  Spent 15 minutes wandering around the forest of fabric panels on display.  We finally went with one called “Metro – Bronze”.  Has squares of different shades of brown/bronze color on sale for $19.95 a panel.  We went with four panels of Metro Bronze and four sets of sheers from the clearance area.

Next we had to figure out what hardware was needed to hang the sheers behind the curtains.  John consulted with several employees and finally found the correct box of hardware that has large main rod, with smaller one behind it for the sheers.  So far so good….

Next we found some dark brown panels for the bedroom.  They were made out of a heavy cotton fabric that would help to block out light.  We don’t plan on opening up the bedroom window so opted out of sheers.

Final thing was to select was some cafe curtains for the kitchen.  So what goes with tacky brown cabinets with a almost orange counter top.  Decided to go with ones made out of a simple brown burlap fabric.

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Our cart is full - it's time to go.... John.... Lets go....

 

Got everything paid for (around $500.00) and headed home.  On the way back we stopped at Qdoba for a quick/easy lunch of burritos.  I had a yummy veggie burrito with lots of sautéed green/red peppers and onions.  Was pretty good….

Go back to the apartment and divided up the work.  John took the old blinds down and put the new hardware up.  My job was to iron all of the fabric panels to get them ready to hang.  Would have liked to have just put them in the dryer with a wet towel, but they have heavy grommets along the top where the curtain rod goes through….

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Packs of drapery panels ready for me to iron... oh joy....

 

So spent the next thee hours ironing out the winkles using the bed as an ironing board.  It worked out fine.  The living room curtains were easy to iron along with the sheers.  The bedroom ones took forever – the heavy cotton fabric really like to keep the wrinkles in place.  Finally got them presentable….

Now with everything up, John decided we needed two additional panels for the living room to fill out the window better.  He also thought the bedroom looked too plain with just the dark brown panels.  So went back to Bed Bath and Beyond with one of our pillow cases to use as a color reference.  Grabbed two more living room panels and found a blue panel in the same design as the brown ones in the bedroom and made it back home.

Got back and John was happy with the bedroom panel – but I quickly discovered I grabbed the wrong living room panels.  Had purchased “Metro – Ivory” when I really needed “Metro – Bronze”….  So headed back for my third trip to Bed Bath and Beyond…  I now know how to get there without using the GPS 🙂

Got the correct “Metro – Bronze” panels, made it home, got them ironed and installed about 30 minutes before we were meeting Dan and Troy for supper.  So went through my intensive beauty regime and meet them in our parking lot a few minutes later.  They were  our first official guests to the apartment.  Here’s some pics.  Didn’t take much time to style – so they look just ok.  Like them better when they are not on the tie-backs… but like the light and view during the day…

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Dining room - open during the day - will close at night

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Living room - rearranged furniture a bit - still using a box for coffee table :)

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Kitchen...

 

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Bedroom - John was right about having center panel be a contrasting color.

 

We were going to John and Nick’s Steakhouse about 7 miles away in Clive, IA.  They had seen commercials for it and wanted to give it a try.  I called earlier in the day for reservations – but they only have “call ahead reservations” that you make 30 minutes before you arrive.  So called them at 6pm for a 6:30pm seating.  They informed me the earliest would be a 7:00pm seating – not a big deal.  So we just hung out in the apartment and chatted about RVing and etc..

We arrived at the restaurant and they were really busy and had an hour wait before being seated.  The food was really good – they start you out with a trip to their large salad bar and then bring your entree afterwards.  I went with their yellow fin tuna with side of broccoli.  Was served with wasabi and soy sauces and was really tasty.  John had a large pork chop with baked potato and enjoyed his as well.  Was also fun getting to know Dan and Troy some more.  They are starting to shop for a RV and John was able to give them some good advise…  Was 9:00pm before we left the restaurant …  time flies when you are hungry and having fun 🙂

Today (Sunday) got up and noticed it was really nice out – so decided to take advantage and get some yard work done.  Wanted to remove some scraggly old bushes at the back of the building.  They were overgrown and beyond help by trimming them.  Didn’t have the proper tools to do the job – so headed off to Homo Depot.  Picked out a spade, garden rake, lawn rake, Bypass Lopper and some hand help clippers.  All set.

Then spent the next six hours removing all of the branches from each bush, digging each bush out of the ground and getting everything put into the special lawn refuge bags for collection on Tuesday.  Digging 20+ year old bushes out of the ground was not fun.  Ended up digging all around it and using the lopper to cut all of the roots I dug into with the spade.  Eventually worked them both out of the ground and filled the hole back in.  Also had to deal with all of the leaves and junk I found in the bushes – things like beer bottles, rocks, old toys and strange metal objects.

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Before...

 

The worst part was getting all of the branches into the recycling bags.  Ended up cutting all of the branches up into 8″ pieces so I could get as much as possible into each bag.  Bagging everything took longer then actually getting the bushes removed….

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Digging around the old bush.... nasty old thing

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All out... just need to fill hole back in...

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Ham radio antennas on the roof.. John installed last week... back on the air now :)

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Done for the day.. Leaves keep falling as I work... so never get them all...

 

So tonight I’m dragging ass…. completely tired.  Still don’t have the yard work done.  Have the side of the building where the RV is parked.  There’s a collection of crappy old perennials that have been neglected for years that I need to deal with.  My plan is go take everything out and start fresh in the spring.  John brought up the idea of putting in a small garden on that side…  not sure if it would get enough light… think along the back may be a better location…  have all winter to think about it…. 🙂

One bonus of working outside is that one of the tenants put some old toys that were sitting around outside in the trash.  So less stuff laying around….  yeah….

While I was hacking away at the bushes I found some old coaxial cable that was not connected to anything.  Assume it was used for cable TV at some point.  Asked John to take a look at it and see if maybe it can be removed.  He removed that and then started looking around at the rats nest of cables going all over the building.  He thinks the building was setup for cable TV when it was built in 1979.  Then over the years when Satellite TV came into vogue, installers did really crappy jobs of putting the satellite dishes on the roof and running cable all over the building.  John was able to remove three satellite dishes from the roof and at least 300 feet of old cable that was no longer used.

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John removing old cable.... looks very serious....

 

In the future he is going to make sure to be around when new cable/satellite TV service is installed.  He wants the installers to use as much existing cabling as possible, remove old equipment and to avoid drilling new holes in the walls…

The garbage men are not going to be thrilled with us the week…  20+ bags of lawn refuse, three old satellite TV dishes, old toys along with our regular five totes of garbage and four totes of recyclables.  Will probably take me an hour to get everything hauled to the curb on Tuesday evening.

So now it’s 7:15pm, got my blog posting done and I’m really sore and tired.  Think I need some time petting the cat while watching TV.  Have a few episodes of X-Factor Australia downloaded.  One of the judges is Mel-B – know as “Scary Spice” when we was with The Spice Girls.  The really scary part is that she is actually a great judge.  Is as raw as Simon Cowell in American Idol, but still has a fun/sweet side now and then….  Looking forward to my TV time now…

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