Monthly Archives: February 2008

A Cheap DIY Chair Make-Over

before2.jpgTwo-and-a-half years ago I stumbled across this chair in an antique store in Lake Lure, North Carolina. It didn’t have a price tag on it and when I inquired about it the owner seemed surprised that someone actually wanted the thing. As you can see it was a little pathetic looking, but I like retro modern stuff and that’s what it reminded me of so when he asked for $5 I politely took the deal.

I’ve been meaning to fix it up for over two years now. The screws were loose and made it a little shaky. The chipped wood on it kept getting snagged on my clothes. But nevertheless, I’ve been using it as my desk chair. It’s where I do all of my writing. In case you were wondering, I prefer not to be too comfortable. It keeps my mind fresh.

Last weekend I decided to begin the make-over. My inspiration was this awesome blog I visit regularly. They’re having a DIY contest and I’m a sucker for a good contest. I bought a $3.99 can of black spray paint and touched up the legs. during2.jpgThen I found a “fleur-de-lis” pattern off the Internet and carefully cut it out to create a stencil. Then I used some leftover stain we had from doing our backyard fence and made it a chocolatey brown color. But I didn’t stain the “fleur-de-lis” so it created a subtle pattern on the wood. Finally, I shined it up with a $2.99 can of spray lacquer.

Oh- I almost forgot to mention that while using some super glue to fix some peeling wood I glued the tube to my thumb. While Tim offered to get it off using a box cutter (I’m not joking!!) I declined and used fingernail polish remover instead since that’s what the tube said to do. after2.jpgAfter some painful pulling it came off. And this is the finished product. I think it turned out pretty good. It’s not perfect, but that’s ok. I like a little character. Thankfully, even though it’s a lot prettier, it’s not any more comfortable so I can keep writing these incredibly entertaining blogs. If you think of it, head to this site starting March 5 and vote for my lovely chair. If I win I think I’ll get some money so I can give more of my furniture make-overs.


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Filed under Funny, Home, Marriage, Writing

The Mysterious $1,004.43

I’m pretty meticulous when it comes to tracking my money. I know where it’s coming from and I know where it’s going. So when $1,004.43 showed up in my account Wednesday I noticed right away. My online statement showed that it came from a wire transfer. But we weren’t expecting a wire transfer. Did someone mistakenly put it in our account, we wondered? Is this a gift from God? We decided to wait a day and see what happened. So we waited. And nothing happened. The money was still there.

I admit, there was a teeny tiny part of me that wondered if we could just keep it. But in the end I decided to call Bank of America to inquire about this windfall. The local branch told me to call a national customer care number. The national customer care number forced me to listen to some mind-numbing instrumental music while they got to the bottom of this mystery money. Turns out, someone hit a wrong button.

We are heading to the UK in a few days and an attempt to exchange some dollars for GBP actually was entered into the system in reverse, so it appeared that we had given the bank GBP in exchange for dollars. “This has never happened before,” explained our local teller. It made me wonder, is it really that easy to move money around? Just a couple clicks of a mouse and someone becomes $1,004.43 richer? But with a push of a button the money left our account. I was a little sad to see it go, but I’m sure we’ll get rewarded down the road for doing the right thing.

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Grab Your Cardigans, Kids! Mr. Rodgers is Turning 80!

Remember how he fed his fish in every episode? Remember those creepy puppets King Friday and Prince Tuesday? Mr. Rodgers was a part of my childhood and probably most American kids growing up in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Last night I was reminiscing and singing “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” fulling expecting my husband to chime in. Nope. Mr. Rodgers didn’t make it to Northern Ireland. Tim never got the chance to watch.

Fred Rodgers passed away five years ago. On what would have been his 80th birthday, March 20, 2008, there is a push to get everyone to wear sweaters. (Cardigans with zippers down the front aren’t required.) Here’s a video I found on YouTube starring Mr. McFeely, another member of the cast.

Won’t you wear your sweater on March 20th?

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Big Black Loves Master J

robandbig.jpgIt’s a topic I love to write about, talk about and laugh about: Rob and Big. Last night the hubby and I sat down to watch this MTV reality show about a superstar skateboarder and his bodyguard, Big. In search for some inner-peace Rob attempts to follow some bizarre spiritual rituals. He takes Big along as he tries to find his “chi” with the help of a shaman. The spiritual guru asks Big how he feels about the experience and Big replies, I’m a southern boy. I follow Master J, as in Master Jesus.

So there you have it, Big Black is a Christian.  Throughout the episode Rob continues to put his hope in “sacred geometry” only to be let down.  Rob puts posters printed with “sacred geometry” under his mattress and on his skateboard. When it fails to bring him peace Big says, that’s what happens when you put your trust in paper.  Amen, Big!

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Filed under Christianity, Funny, Uncategorized

Red Carpet Memories

cameron_diaz.jpg Hollywood rolled out the red carpet this week for the 80th annual Academy Awards and it brought back memories of my trip to the Kodak Theater.  Four years ago today I was a bleacher creature, one of the 300 chosen to fill fan seats along the red carpet.  My sister, a friend and I waited on our hard, metal seats for eight hours, watching workers roll out the red carpet, polish the golden statues and prepare for the stars’ arrival.  My Oscar experience was filled with highlights- having Wolfgang Puck himself toss me a mini-golden statue made of chocolate and powdered in 14K gold dust, getting autographs from Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller, and then there was that moment I was lost in the crystal blue eyes of Elijah Wood. (This was way before Tim arrived in my life.)Not only did I get to stand on the red carpet, but I got to take a piece of it home. Few people probably own a piece of the red rug. (Although I did try to sell half of my chunk on Ebay and didn’t get a single bid.)  

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Dear Panera Bread, Do You Check Expiration Dates?

In a recent blog I wrote about an experience my husband and I had at Panera Bread. Long story short, just as he polished off his sun-dried tomato cream cheese I noticed the expiration date on the tiny tub had long since passed. After posting the blog I heard from several other people who experienced similar Panera expiration date discoveries. So I decided to write a letter to Panera. Here is my letter and the company’s response. I’m still formulating my next move.

Recently my husband and I were eating at Panera, one
of our favorite restaurants. My husband had just
finished his Asiago bagel and Sun-dried Tomato cream
cheese when I noticed the expiration date on his cream
cheese. The date read 1/22/08. The problem was, that
the current date was 2/10/08. That's almost three
weeks past the expiration date. The manager quickly
apologized, refunded our money and was incredibly
polite. In fact, because he handled the situation so
well I wasn't going to contact you. But I wrote a
blog about the experience and have since heard from several people who have had
similar experiences, many of whom I have never met. I
wanted to draw your attention to the fact that there
may be a problem with expired cream cheese regularly
being served at your restaurants. Thank you for
taking the time to read this e-mail. I trust that you
will respond accordingly.

Dear Allison, (Notice my name is incorrectly spelled.)
Thank you for taking the time to contact Panera Bread. We sincerely
apologize that you were served expired cream cheese at our Greenville, SC
bakery-café (#911). I have forwarded your comments to the bakery-café
management and our Quality Assurance group for review and follow-up.
These isolated incidents can happen when you serve more than a million
customers each week at nearly 1200 locations. We have had no indication
from customers that expired cream cheese is being "regularly served" at
our bakery-cafes, however.

Thank you again for contacting us. We appreciate your business and
value your comments.
Customer Comment Coordinator


Filed under Food, Funny, life, Observations

The World Grits Festival

I was writing a magazine article and I came across an event I must attend. Apparently St. George, South Carolina consumes more grits per capital than anywhere else in the world. So back in 1985 the manager of the Piggly Wiggly decided to start The World Grits Festival. You can partake in a grits-eating contest, watch the crowning of “Miss Grits,” or what I’m most interested in, roll around in a pool of grits.


(Photo copyright The World Grits Festival)

Now seriously, doesn’t that look like fun?

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