Saturday, January 21, 2017

Master Bath's Crowning Glory

I don't know what prompted Scott to want to <finally> work on projects in the master bath but I didn't want to squash his enthusiasm by asking too many questions. I was here to offer encouragement, take a trip to Home Depot, smile nicely - whatever it took to help him along. Lo and behold - three weeks later - the master bath's new crown molding is in place.
As the tile was installed, we didn't take extreme caution to keep grout off the ceiling. The top edge of the tile didn't match up evenly around the room. Adding a small crown molding would help cover both some grout stains and the uneven tile.
Pre-installation clean-up included washing the ceiling with a damp cloth which - shockingly - removed most of the stains. After spending about 5 minutes on the task, the ceiling already looked 90% better. The chunkier chunks were eliminated with a swipe of the putty knife.
Measuring was the most important step. Previous experience with molding at Grant Street taught us that it's not the easiest task but accurate measurements will ease the pain.
Of course, we drew a little floorplan on which the measurement of each wall was recorded. The small piece of molding in the top of the photo was cut from a piece we bought a couple of years ago during our (very slow) planning stage.
$48 later, the necessary molding was purchased and ready to be cut to length.
As each piece was cut, Scott wrote the name the wall on the front with a pencil. Luckily, we were able to erase all of this before the staining went on. Why do you need to write "southwest piece"? Why include the word "piece?" Sometimes his logic escapes me. All of the pieces were taken upstairs to make sure they would fit before the finishing began.
It felt pretty familiar to be back in the basement with some woodwork to do. 
First the sanding... 
 ...then two coats of cherry stain...
...then one coat of brush-on poly followed by a little steel wool...then two coats of wipe-on poly to bring the woodwork to the perfect finish.
Finally, installation took place this morning (January 21). After a little bit of "let's try that again" and brief moments of "why won't this line up?" frustration, the nail gun and the nail guy got in sync.
The long north wall was the final piece put in place. 
Ta Da!
After about one hour, two ladders, 52 feet of molding, one noisy air compressor and 100 nails, the project is complete. It really does make the bathroom look "done."  Good job, Scotty!

Now - what should we do next?
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Ice Day = Work Day

Two things have been missing in our master bath since the construction in 2013:  additional towel bars and crown molding. Now, three years and some odd months later, I'm excited to tell you that progress has been made! Omaha was hunkered down during Winter Storm Jupiter on January 16, so we took advantage of the "snow day" declared by our employers and took on a project. Check out the story of the towel bar installation:

While we installed a double towel bar and two hand towel rings previously, we still had two towel bars to hang inside the shower. The 18" and 24" polished chrome Kohler "Margaux" bars had been in storage under Scott's sink for (literally) years.
The laser light level came in handy when Scott taped the template to the west wall of the shower. Sadly, being stored under a sink for two years wasn't the best for these paper templates. They were both a little too warped to be accurate.
So, once the first few holes were marked by the drill, Scott used a tape measure and the laser to mark the remaining hole locations. He used a diamond-tipped drill bit to get through the tile (I helped by spritzing the drill bit with water as it gnawed its way through.)
After two holes were drilled for each end of the bar, plastic anchors were inserted then the mounting bracket was screwed into place.
One down . . .one to go! 
With the bar in place, tiny set screws were inserted to finish the task. 
Good job, Scotty! 
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Holiday Decor Updates

During the first week of December, the annual ritual of Christmas decorating begins. The tubs come out of storage and the thinking begins. Although I use the same things over and over, I try to switch them up a bit.

I pinned a red pom on the end of the deer's nose again but the mantel is dressed with thick garland wound with mercury glass lights. We've had the lights beneath the mantle for years; the shades are pierced galvanized metal.
The toy farm wagon I bought during Junk Jaunt this September is filled with pine cones and silver sparkly picks. Under the entry hall table, I filled a new galvanized pot with greenery sprigs and added a red woven ribbon. The little inverted crate is the perfect pedestal for the top hat tree topper I bought on clearance a few years ago.

The incubator tray features an oval picture frame (another $1 Junk Jaunt find) that I spray painted gray. I found this cute vintage image of a fawn on the internet and added the script "Peace." A simple print on card stock fit the frame beautifully.
Our tree this year is another beautiful Frasier fir. Trimming the tree is always fun when I find my stash of post-Christmas-clearance bargains in the bins of ornaments. I love the mix of decorations we've collected over the last 30 years.
We Hope Your Holiday Was Holly Jolly!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Sweet Christmas Tradition Continues

One of my favorite things about Christmas is baking sugar cookies. Using my family's recipe results in the yummy smell of butter and lemon extract drifting through the kitchen. When it comes to decorating though, it's always better to enlist the help of some friends. Luckily, I found three adults and five adorable children willing to labor over bowls of buttercream for a few hours the Friday before Christmas.
This year's cookie crew consisted of Amy B. with Brenna and Tripp; Leigh Anne and Meredith, and Sara with Bennett and Elliot.
Brenna may have had more than a few little bites of frosting. It's hard to resist the buttery goodness!
Bennett concentrated on adding details to his cookies while mom Sara and baby brother Elliot cheered him on from the sidelines.
Leigh Anne gave the kids lots of good frosting advice. She's been by Cookie Buddy for (literally) two decades!
Bennett took a break from creating works of art and devoured a "B" cookie.
Amy created super hero-inspired frosting designs for Tripp and Brenna. When they were restless from all the work, uncle Scott hopped in to entertain them with walkie-talkie lessons and general silliness.
Leigh Anne snapped this great action shot.
Bibbers shared a bunch of cuddle time with Meredith. 
The best part about Cookie Frosting Day is spending time with wonderful friends! Thank you Amy, Sara, and Leigh Anne for your friendship and hard work (and for bringing along your cute kids.)
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Deer Little Post

Scott set the trail-cam up near the top of the west slope and captured a few photos of our noTTafarm deer family. Sadly, we are still unable to determine if these guys are related to Rudolph or Blitzen.
Hello, Deer Friends! We hope you are enjoying this fine day. 
The deer party is just getting started when the sun goes down.
What the . . . ?
Rudolph, is that you?
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Time Already!

Hi, Mommy! Finally - a new blog post!
At last. Something to write about:  Christmas with the Ward Family. My mother was starting to wonder if I would ever post again! The whole family was able to meet in Kearney this past weekend (December 16/18.) We packed alot of fun into our brief time together!

"Welcome home, Kids! When are you leaving?" 
Mom and Dad have grown accustomed to having a quiet empty nest. With kids, grandkids and four great grandkids, it does tend to get a bit noisy when we're all together.
Great Uncle Scott got a squeeze from Allie - the oldest of the "greats." Allie is now 5-and-a-half and killing it in kindergarten.
Our baby nephew, Clark, is now 18 and a freshman at UNL. He's very sophisticated and can't quite bring himself to enjoy his family. Luckily, Miracle the Cat offered some relief. We love you, anyway, Clark!
Meanwhile, Clark's big sister (Karli) and beautiful mother (Teresa) couldn't have been sweeter!
Warning: watch out for these three. Cousins can get a little crazy! (Kitra and Maggie are already 3 but Allie does her best to keep them in line.) Brooke outfitted the squad in adorable pink leggings and cute Scotty t-shirts. Of course, being a Scotty Dog expert, I heartily approved!
Sweet 8-month-old Bailee is the apple of everyone's eye - including Great Gramma! Bailee rarely fusses and loves being held by whoever wants to hold her. Isn't that the best? I hope she never outgrows this stage.
Our niece Chelsie took control of the food and set-up - and ran it all the way to the finish line of our successful event! Since our family of 24 (22? 26? I can't keep track) has outgrown Mom & Dad's house, we moved the celebration to Dad and Nick's business, utilizing the conference room. Chelsie had everything in place, from elegantly dressed tables to a beautiful tree. Best of all, we let Hy-Vee do the cooking so clean-up was a snap. Thank you, Chelsie Lyn! We all appreciate your hard work! (Note how Chelsie's mom and dad and brother all pitched in to get the buffet line ready.)
Again this year, all of us were spoiled rotten with the quantity of gifts!
Chelsie and her mommy, my much older sister Karolyn. 
Now this pic is a keeper: the four original kids. 
From left, Tim, Mark, Kristin & Karolyn. 
Kitra took time away from her duties of passing out presents to give her baby cousin Bailee a little pat. So sweet!
Speaking of Kitra...who gives little kids recorders? Each of the girls got one and created quite the calcophony.
General chaos ensued as presents were opened. (Note Allie with her own recorder.)
These three nieces have reached the stage in their young lives when they have earned their own copies of the Ward Family Cookbook. It was my honor to design custom covers for the notebooks that hold family recipes typed by Mom back in 1984. Lots of good stuff in there!  
Dad and our nephew Joe show off their new winter hats from Santa.
Lauren and her boyfriend Jeff - ugh, too cute! 
We took the time to get everyone seated for a family portrait, using the camera's timer. Despite the noise and having to travel through icy conditions and nearly freezing in the cold north wind (in the time it took to run from the car to the house), I declare this Christmas gathering a huge success!
Merry Christmas!
Stay Tuned for More Christmas Adventures!