Wednesday-Bensday! Special Two-Dogs-on-a-Couch Edition

After a big day of helping their dad out in the yard and playing frisbee, our dogs were pooped! So they settled in to the cutest sleeping arrangement ever: Smalls in her preferred spot on the back of the couch, and Ben snuggled up to his favorite parent.

Is that not one of the most adorable things you’ve ever seen?

How do Kaya, Rufus, Ted, Gus, and Zapp relax after a hard day of playing? Go visit them and find out!

A little silhouetto of a man

How in the world did Queen’s Greatest Hits album end up on my Zune?

The Painted Room

I think I’ve mentioned once or twice that I recently spent a weekend painting, right? This would be the same weekend that Tim cleaned the garage. It was a productive weekend.

Well, this past weekend was productive too. Tim built a firewood hutch in our backyard that both stores firewood and blocks the view of the neighbors’ ever-expanding pile-o-trash, a pile which has included everything from old rugs and couches to dishwashers and lumber. While I respect the neighbors’ right to do what they will with their garbage — even if it includes making a big pile between their house and our fence and then leaving their dogs outside all day to shred the various items in the pile and scatter the shreds all over their yard — I certainly don’t mind not having to look at the pile anymore.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, right, productive weekends. So, the other thing Tim did this weekend was help me hang stuff back on our walls so that I could finally photograph our lovely painted walls and share them with you lovely people. (Lovely!)

In order for you to fully appreciate how beautiful our walls are, I think you should first take a look at how thoroughly un-beautiful they were before. See, our house was a rental for many years before we bought it, and it was never well taken care of. Word on the street is the neighbors used to call it “Hell House.” (Hopefully they appreciate our efforts and don’t call it that anymore!) I don’t know the history of the walls beyond the fact that at one point they were a hideous teal color that we found behind the smoke detector, but I do know that right before we moved in, someone came in and sprayed high-gloss white paint over everything — walls, trim, and most doors. See for yourselves:

When we bought the house, we resolved to eliminate the shiny white walls as soon as time and budget permitted, and in the meantime we did our best to hang pleasing art and posters to help distract from The Shine.

We started with the bathroom, continued with the downstairs “reading room,” then tackled the kitchen and dining room, and then painted our bedroom. But the bulk of our house was still un-painted. We thought long and hard about what to do with the main living room area. Because of the layout of the main floor of our house, painting the living room would mean painting the giant wall that spans the living and dining rooms, the little nook around the front door and coat closet, up and down both staircases, and the small hallway at the top of the stairs. Not only was it going to be a big project, but we would have to select our colors carefully since they would be dominating the majority of our house.

We hemmed and hawed over colors, consulted some friends, tested some sample colors, and finally made a decision. 3 gallons of paint, 8 hours, and 2 coats later, this is what we ended up with:

In the foreground you can see the green that was already on our dining room walls. Behind that is the blue we used for an accent wall and the light beige that ended up on the rest of the walls. Also: Ben.

Here’s a closer look at the blue and beige. The beige is really subtle — it’s almost an off-white — but the difference is incredible. The room feels so much softer without the glare of the high-gloss white coming at you from every direction.

Here are a couple of shots of the big huge wall that connects the living room and dining room. Also: Smalls. We re-arranged the two paintings and the poster a bit after painting, and I’m really pleased with the result.

And, for the sake of full disclosure, here’s the Chasing Amy wall and the stairways (complete with puppy gate).

Now that this is done, the only shiny white rooms that remain unpainted are the main basement room, the office upstairs, and the downstairs bathroom/laundry room (which really doesn’t count anyway, as we have no plans to paint it that I know of). It feels really good to have nearly the entire house painted. Little by little we are transforming this house from Shiny White Rental into Tim and Audrey’s Home, and I am absolutely loving it.

Smalls Sunday: Frisbee Fun

Yesterday was Ben’s 4th birthday. Smalls’s gift to Ben was to let him fetch the frisbee most of the afternoon. She’s very generous like that.

Be sure to check in with Kaya, Rufus, Ben, Ted, Gus, and Zapp!

Green Streaks No More

Hey, remember how a couple of weeks ago I spent an entire weekend painting? And how I promised you pictures? And never gave you any? That was pretty cool, huh?

You know what else is cool? I still don’t have pictures of everything I painted. Because I’m awesome like that. (Actually, it’s because I’m anal and don’t want to show you pictures before we’ve hung art and stuff back on the walls. And we haven’t gotten around to doing that yet. Maybe this weekend!)

But you know what’s actually cool, in the non-sarcastic way? I do have one picture for you. I was going to wait and share it with all the rest, but I figured it was about time I gave you something to prove that I did indeed do some painting, so you’re getting it now. You’re welcome.

Do any of you remember when I accidentally got mildew cleaner on my purple bathroom walls and ended up with yucky fabulous green streaks? And how I put “re-paint” on the list of ways I was thinking about dealing with it even though we all knew I was just going to ignore it completely? Well, ignore it is just what I did. For 8 whole months.

But a couple of weeks ago, when we were getting ready for the Weekend-o-Painting, I figured if I was going to be painting anyway, I might as well re-paint the bathroom. It’s a really small room, so I knew it wouldn’t be a big deal to add its 4 little walls to the agenda. Plus, I’ve never really been 100% happy with the purple paint we slapped up there shortly after moving in for the sake of having at least one room in our house that was not covered in high-gloss white paint. Plus, we are trying to get the house looking all pretty so that people don’t laugh at our purple-with-green-streaks walls when they come over for a party we’re throwing in honor of a certain someone who happens to be graduating next month.

So! We painted the bathroom! And I thanked the gods of paint that it only needed one coat! And it looks so! much! better!

Check out the before:

And after:

A huge improvement, wouldn’t you agree?

Besides the lack of streaks, the blue is way brighter and more fun than the purple. And it looks totally cute with our green towels and shower curtain. It feels more like a bathroom is supposed to feel, if that makes any sense to anyone besides me.

So now you have one paint picture to tide you over until I can show you the rest. I hope you’re happy.

Happy weekend, everybody!

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