Friday, April 26, 2013

Need for Speed & a Sound Bar

During the first four years of our marriage, BF and I lived in a duplex and townhouse. In those days, window-shattering and floor-shaking sound systems weren't options. Despite our neighbors' obliviousness and rudeness, we were respectful by not installing a sub woofer and additional speakers. Now we have a house that sits on a large lot.

BF and my dad share a fondness for home theater equipment. Although I don't encourage my parents' shopping habits, I was very pleased with my dad's recent gift to us. The sound bar replaces the need to have speakers installed in each corner of the room. Because they enjoy gifting us with household items, an extra sub woofer and older large receiver were all part of the package.  

I warily stared at the sub woofer and receiver. I could deal with the sound bar sitting on the TV stand, but the two other large black boxes were eyesores. Where were they going to live? BF knew if he couldn't hide at least one of the black boxes, I'd force him to get rid of the other.  

BF cut a hole in the back of the TV stand and the receiver fit!   With a quick run to the store for extra cables, BF was in business. He immediately started searching through the list of movies on Netflix and Hulu. 

While getting ready for bed, I heard snippets of Captain America, Transformers, Equilibrium and other random action movies. As I started brushing my teeth I heard a familiar song. The opening theme of Top Gun blasted loudly through the house and I couldn't help but roll my eyes.  

TF, "Out of all the movies you can choose from, you pick Top Gun?"
BF, "Come on!  It's TOP GUN."
TF, "Really? Kenny Loggins?"
BF, "The sound is pretty awesome."
I secretly agreed with him.  There's nothing like hearing the roar of jets flying by. NAS JAX isn't too far from our house.  I love feeling the rumble of bass from the sub woofer.  I just hope our neighbors don't complain.  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Five-Minute Fanfare

BF, "Do you notice anything different?"
TF, "OH!  You installed the dining table light!"
BF, "Keep looking."
TF, "What is it?  I don't see anything."
BF, "Keep looking.  You don't see anything different?"
TF long pause, "OH!!! You installed a fan!"
BF, "Wow, that took you a long time."

Due to the width of the spiral staircase, we thought were limited to a specific fan-type and/or fan diameter. We worried a small fan wouldn't move enough air around the open living room. We also worried mischievous kids would be curious to see if they could touch the fan blades while playing on the staircase.  

I wanted a contemporary modern fan with a remote. BF thought we should considered an enclosed fan. Both options are expensive and we couldn't wait any longer. Spring and summer were quickly approaching in Jacksonville. Even with air conditioning, ceiling fans are a necessity in Northeast Florida.

While selecting the dining table light, BF saw this Hunter 44-inch Five-Minute fan. We used a similar one in the upstairs guest bedroom. Excuse the pun, but it was a breeze to assemble and install. It literally takes five minutes to put together. BF said the only phase that took additional time was installing the wiring and downrod. Despite its builder-grade look, it works wonderfully and cools down the living room.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Just Right Light

BF, "Wow, I wish I could see the food I'm eating."
TMF, "Yeah, it would be nice to have a light over the dining table."
BF, "What are you waiting for?"
TMF, "Sigh."

Whenever we would eat meals at the dining table, we resorted to turning on all the lights surround the dining area.   
We were waiting for the perfect light fixture.  Something that wasn't too expensive, builder-grade nor boring. 

I dreamt of a large drum shade or sparkling crystals.  Many choices were thrown out because their chains or cords weren't long enough for the vaulted ceiling. 

I felt as if I was Goldilocks when saying, 
"No, it's too expensive." 
"No, it looks too cheap."
"Ugh, why is it gold?"
"It's too boring."
"It's just not right."  
In other words, I couldn't find the right light.  

During an unscheduled visit to Goodwill, we came across this billiards table light. We planned to buy new and creative lamp shades, but ran into the same problem. We couldn't find the right shades.  

We considered waste baskets, tissue boxes, lamp shades and serving bowls. I attempted to spray paint the existing shades, but BF thought it still strongly resembled a billiards table light.  

While shopping at Lowe's, BF saw this fairly simple light.  It fit all the criteria except for the builder-grade and boring characteristics. It's not the fanciest or eye-catching of lights, but it looks very nice hanging above our dining table. 

It's just right. Now we can see our food and each other during dinner.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Rast, Wind and Rain

A couple of months ago, I forwarded the blog link to Better After to a coworker neighbor.  Jennifer immediately became excited over the idea of IKEA's Rast.  The drawer chest would work very nicely as night stands.
I debated on copying Jennifer's night stand idea.  Would it be worth the money and time?  Would I need to sand and prime the unfinished pine?  How many coats of paint would it need?  Despite these questions, I decided to be somewhat creative and went forth.

As soon as I opened the flat box and ran my hand across a board, I knew this project would take a minimum of three days.  The unfinished pine definitely needed to be primed with several coats.  Each primer and paint coat takes at least an hour to dry in the North Florida humidity.  

I started priming with Kilz on a Friday evening in the carport.  The first coat went smoothly until the wind started blowing.  It was extremely discouraging and annoying to see oak tree leaves and pods landing on the freshly painted boards. Not only did I not have the patience for second and third primer coats, but now I was forced to sand the boards.  This is when I wish we had a enclosed garage.

I loudly complained about all the bending, kneeling, getting up and down.  BF was sympathetic and strapped his knee pads to my legs.  I don't know how you exercise fanatics do it.  Lunges and squats are murder to my legs.  I was sore for the next two days.  
I spent Saturday painting the drawers inside the kitchen.  Normally I wouldn't advocate for an inside painting project, but it was POURING down rain ALL day.  Mother Nature had her fun and sent tornado-like wind and rain through our neighborhood.

This is the second time I wished we had an enclosed garage.  There were chartreuse green, silvery gray and dark gray boards haphazardly placed all over the kitchen counter tops and stove.

On Sunday I asked BF to spray paint a third and fourth coat on the drawer chests' base.  BF skills in using a sprayer are much greater than my own.  You can see the streaks and unevenness with my work.  His results look very smooth.    

I'm still not sure if these night stands were worth the time and effort, but I'm extremely happy with the results.