Thursday, July 7, 2016

Something old, something new

So things are proceeding at a nice pace here at the homestead. After a much-too-busy May and June, the July schedule is pretty open, and it's giving me a chance to think about a few projects.


My adirondack chair project is still in the garage, unfinished. It hit a snag when I discovered that whatever was underneath the teal paint you see is some kind of mega-waterproofing Kilz-type product that will not respond to even the strongest stripper. Basically it liquifies and cannot be completely removed.  So now I will just take off whatever paint I can, see if Big Ag can find a way to stabilize the chairs by adding additional screws. We can't get the old ones out because they are also completely filled in with the aforementioned White Goo of Death, whatever it is. (Fun Fact: "White Goo of Death" is actually also the Secret Service's code name for Donald Trump). Anyway, the plan with the chairs now is to sand off what I can and then re-paint them a color to match the other stuff in the yard. 

So not a total fail, but not really a success either. But for $15 a chair, I can't really complain. Oh wait, yes I can. I can always complain.

Meet Adele.

So what's new, as the saying goes? Well, I bought a Roomba. In light of my hip recent surgery and the fact that I'm about to turn 55, I decided to grant myself a back saver and hire a robot to do my floor cleaning. The cost of a mid-range Roomba is about the same as having our old housekeeper come two and half times, so it's basically already paid for itself and unlike the housekeeper, Roomba cleans every day of the week and does not check her cell phone and listen to annoying radio stations while she does it. 

So have you ever owned a Roomba? It's amazing. It gets under furniture, cleans corners well, picks up cat litter and fur, and generally keeps my home looking like it's just been vacuumed, all while I am doing other things, like yelling at the Adirondack chairs in the garage. My Roomba, by the way, is named Adele. And I love her.

in black.

So as most of you know, the trick to catching great thrift store finds is to shop out of season, and with that in mind I went looking for some dress jackets at the local Goodwill the other day. I have barn coats aplenty -- ones that actually get filthy from doing field and barn-type work -- but no coats I could wear for an evening out. First World Problem, obviously. But still a problem. So I got one plain black suit jacket to go with jeans (above), another quilted coat with a faux-fur hood (above also), and this baby right here.


I think it would look great with some pencil-leg black pants and heels, don't you? Very European, very metallic. I love it. It just needs the sleeves shortened and a new set of buttons for a matching  hood that was safety pinned onto it and it's all set to go. I'm thinking New Year's Eve? Got to begin planning these things early.

And so it goes, something old and something new. Between the two I manage to keep myself on a budget. Kind of. 


  1. I have been thinking about a Roomba the past few months. I haven't been able to justify the cost since I have a $500 Dyson Animal, lightweight and does a good job. Anyway, who wants to vacuum in this fabulous weather???? Could we please have this for the entire rest of the summer?

    1. I know, right? If it stayed like this through September I'd be in paradise. Just so perfectly pleasant, and cool evenings to boot!. Regarding vacuums, thankfully for me, Roomba takes the place of an old $60 Dirt Devil, vacuum on its last legs. I have several friends with Dysons though, and they absolutely love them too.

  2. I would love a Roomba, but I think my dogs and cats would chase it around.

    I love your thrift store finds! Very classy.

    1. Thanks, Molly! The dog was actually kind of scared of it at first, now he just avoids it and stays out of its way. A larger dog might challenge it, though!

  3. You know I sort of like the aquaish teal as a detail on the sides. It might be one of those things that photographs well but not so much in person. But it sort of gives me an idea! I love contrasting details like that. Kilz is the nastiest stuff! I have a Roomba, her name is Rhonda. One problem I run into with my very open floor plan is that she gets too far away from her base and freezes. So I have to check in on her from time to time. I've sort of thought of getting roomba fences that I put down before I go to bed but that seems a little ridiculous, doesn't it? Haha of course that would be par for the course from me. Great finds! I'm always telling people to look for great deals on holiday tableware in the early summer because people are cleaning out and no one is competing for it! I got 12 1880s stunning flo blue dinner plates for a song! Congratulations on your new smart labor! I think we should make name tags for them.

    1. Nametags are a great idea (our new cottage industry -- an Etsy shop for blingy Roomba nametags, haha). Adele actually occasionally gets obsessed with our library and I have to use a baby gate to fence her out of it, so I actually do use a gate to confine her to where I want her to clean! Good score on the 1880s china, and to find 12 at once (not 11 or 5, indicating breakage) is extremely rare, as you know. That's a real find!