✍ All sorts of new and exciting things coming up for the cast of L to the Third so stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

[Don't] mind the gap

After my big day in and around West Chester with my mother-in-law on Saturday, I went antiquing in some of my old favorite haunts in the Philadelphia area and stumbled across this lovely nickel-plated Deco beauty on Sunday.  I brought it home and had to figure out where exactly I wanted to install it (it had already been rewired, which was awesome).  I settled on the master bathroom because A. every master bathroom should have a little bit of glitz and glamour, B. the ceiling is too low on the second floor landing, which means I'd constantly be hitting my head off of the crystal drop, and C. I really couldn't stand the overhead light in the master bathroom.

I consulted with my electrician-friend to make sure everything looked safe and sound and then tried to figure just how exactly to attach this thing to the mounting strap already in place.  Apparently, my new old chandelier was made in France, which means it was threaded in a size different from most standard American models.  This basically meant I was going to have to jerry-rig (also known as doing a MacGyver) the darn thing using plumbing fixtures threaded at a 3/8" diameter.  Two trips to two hardware stores later, I cobbled something together that would safely hold the light in place.  I set to work and got it all in place and then ran down to the basement to turn the power back on in the bathroom.  I half-expected the thing to burst into flames when I flipped the switch, but it worked!  Now all I have to do is pick up a ceiling medallion or something along those lines to fill in the gap between the top of the fixture and the ceiling, but that shouldn't be too difficult.  Famous last words, right?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shiny brite

This past weekend I went up to Chester County to visit my mother-in-law, who had planned a whole day's worth of activities; some antiquing in the morning, a holiday tour of a dozen or so houses in West Chester in the afternoon, followed by an evening spent taking in the lights and sights of Longwood Gardens.  Although the day was chilly at times, we had near-perfect weather for walking around the town and touring some really lovely houses that had been decorated to the nines for the holidays.  One house, a spectacular Italianate Revival from about 1865, was open all the way up to the cupola on the fourth floor, allowing for a bird's eye view of the park and surrounding areas.  

After a brief rest and a visit with Captain Husband's grandmother, my mother-in-law and I set out for Longwood Gardens, along with several other hundred people.  I had never been before and I know that this will definitely be the first of what will hopefully be many visits!  The lights were gorgeous and the arrangements inside the grand conservatory were truly breathtaking.  The last few minutes of the musical fountain finale that we managed to catch before the gardens closed was stunning, as well.  I can't wait 'til next year when CH is stateside and he and I can go together and stroll about the grounds hand-in-hand with some hot chocolate to keep us warm.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A public service announcement from Captain Husband

Captain Husband sent me some information about an ongoing humanitarian project when I asked him if there was something I could do here to help out over there.   He informed me that the United States Navy, Army & Air Force, along with the Afghan Army, provide free medical care to the citizens of the Khowst province; they need donations to continue as they cannot accept financial assistance.  Here's a list of the things that they need the most to continue providing care and help to those in need in Afghanistan:

Children's multivitamins
Children's ibuprofen & Tylenol
*Spiral-bound notepaper
*Hand-held pencil sharpeners
*Coloring books (no English writing, please)
*Backpacks, gym bags & totes
Folders or small notebooks & loose-leaf paper
Pens, pencils & crayons
Shoes & athletic socks
*Blankets
*Jackets (especially children's)
*Hats, scarves & gloves
Travel size toiletries
Toothpaste & toothbrushes
* Most urgently needed

Items can be sent by US mail to the following address:
Community Clinic
1/203rd BST
FOB Salerno, Camp Clark
APO AE 09314

As an added incentive, the United States Postal Service charges a flat rate of only $10.95 when sending priority mail flat rate packages to APO/FPO addresses.  Not too shabby when you think about it.  I have a couple extra priority mail boxes around the house and I'd like to send a couple of these special care packages over while Captain Husband is on tour; if anyone is interested in helping me put some together, let me know.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

UPDATE: One art, please

I was the underbidder.  Crap on a crap cracker.

Of trees and trim

My version of the Charlie Brown tree

Last evening I picked out a lovely tree at my local nursery.  I had learned a lesson from last year and remembered to bring my tree stand with me to make sure the tree that I chose actually fit. Captain Husband broke two [cheap] saws last year trying to whittle the trunk of the tree down so that it would fit into the stand--we finally had to bring out the big guns--a hatchet, to make it work. (Thanks for the advice, Tim Gunn!)  I'm still finding sap and pine needles in the garage from that little operation.  I managed to drag the tree up the many, many flights of stairs and successfully upright it, with a few swearing sessions thrown in for good measure.  After all, it's not truly Christmas until someone has hurled the f-bomb a half dozen times at an inanimate decorative object.  Once that was taken care of and the tree no longer looked like the leaning tower of Pisa, I put on some holiday music and hung all of my ornaments with care.  So far, the cats are being pretty good with the tree; the fact that neither of them has their front claws probably discourages the innate climbing instinct in both of them, thank goodness.

For those of you out there attempting to cross things off of your holiday shopping list in the greater DC area, Finials, the cool antique/vintage shop in Chevy Chase that I work at on weekends, is having their annual Christmas sale:  15% of the lowest ticket price and all of the fabulous costume jewelry is tax-free this weekend only.  I'll be there from 12 until 5 today, so stop on by and say hello!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

One art, please

I've totally fallen head over heels for this femme fatale, which is going to the auction block this coming Sunday in Chicago. Given that the artist is unknown, I'm hoping that I might be able to score it at its low estimate or maybe even lower if the gods of cool stuff are looking out for me that day. I've put in a rather modest absentee bid and I'm quite excited about the prospect of getting to hang this lovely lady somewhere in my house. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Red sky at night, soldiers' delight

Afghanistan sunset courtesy of CH

I can now say that the husband is safely ensconced at his final destination in Afghanistan; I can't really say where exactly he is nor am I willing to disclose his name due to security reasons, which is why I've given him the new moniker of Captain Husband (or CH if you're into the whole brevity thing). This keeps his identity safe and also sounds like a sort of super hero, so all in all a good alias in my book. Anyway, I've asked him to take some pictures of the things that he sees overseas (ha!) so that I have some idea of what he's talking about when we manage to get some phone time together. He seems to be enjoying his deployment so far, in as much as one can really enjoy such things as mortar attacks and a complete lack of privacy, but I digress. If anyone would like his contact information, let me know as he's finally scrounged up a mailing address over there (hence the previous post for those of you keeping track of such things).

We manage to stay in touch on a regular basis for the most part. When he first arrived, he bought a cell phone that gets some pretty decent reception, at least when compared to the satellite phones that he had access to in Germany.  Man, those things sucked. It was like talking into an echo chamber. Email is still a little spotty these days; apparently no access in their personal space as of yet, but he has hopes that soon he'll be able to check it a bit more regularly. So until then, skype is out. Sigh.

As for me, things are going pretty well. I've started decorating the house for Christmas and am trying to figure out when exactly would be the best time to go and pick out my tree. The cats are pretty much the same, still hissing at each other, but seemingly a bit more tolerant of sharing the same space especially now that its a lot colder.  Josie is dealing with some physical issues that are probably going to stick with her for the rest of her life, which is why her new nickname is Handi-cat.  According to the vet, who took some x-rays two weeks ago, Josie was either stepped on or hit by a car when she was very young which is why she has a nubbin' for a tail and a pretty severe limp.  She's also been having some poo issues in that she's apparently not really in control of her bowels and just lets it go whenever the mood hits her.  I'm single-handedly keeping the stock in OxiClean carpet cleaner up despite the economic crisis.  Too much information, I know.  And on that note...'til tomorrow!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Anatomy of a care package


Big fuzzy blanket: check. Candle in the shape of a Christmas tree: check. Q-tips: check. Drier sheets: check. Body wash and antibacterial stuff: check. Blistex: check. Pot scrubber/body wash thingie: check. Boxer shorts screen-printed with one of our inside jokes on the butt that I stumbled across while in an antique mall in Hancock, Maryland, of all places: check.

The reaction I imagine Captain Husband having when he opens this care package in a couple of weeks: priceless.
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