Monday, August 21, 2017

Stainless Steel Cleaner That Works

If you've tried stainless steel cleaners without any success, I have another one you might try. Sear Kenmore's Stainless Steel Cleaner.
I had given up on this sink and wanted to replace it. The metal ring was all rusted and it was terribly dull before. The lighting makes it look dull in the bottom right, but I promise it shines like the top section.
When we replaced our dishwasher and garbage disposal recently, I asked our plumber about replacing the sink. 

He said it was in fine shape and just needed the ring replaced. He did it in just minutes for about $17 for the part. Vast improvement!

And then when he installed the Kenmore dishwasher, there was a small packet of Kenmore's stainless steel cleaner in the information package, so I tried it. Wow! 
This is my torn packet with the top ripped off. If I had had any hope of this actually working before I tried it, I would've taken a nice "before" picture!

Sorry, but that's all I've got to show as I've used this little packet for quite some time and keep forgetting to buy a bottle. It only takes a tiny bit of it to get that shine.

Of course I used it everywhere! This almost 7 year-old refrigerator shines better than new. 
If I stand beside it the light reflects like crazy!
So that's the end of my quest to find the perfect stainless cleaner. As always, this is my true opinion of this product. I never receive any compensation for my endorsements.

With Sears in limbo (for non-USA friends, they're closing some stores and selling off their Kenmore brand), I'm going to buy enough to last for years just in case.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Gray Lady Down

I've been dreaming up a lot of projects I could do, but I'm actually on hiatus for a while. 

A few weeks back, my arms started to hurt and were hard to lift and painful to flex. I sat in a chair for most of the day waiting for that to pass. It didn't. 
Then my back chimed in, which was where the muscles in the back had knotted up causing the arm problems. It went downhill from there!
Honestly, in my mind I'm still 19 and up for high adventure. Maybe that's why I never mentioned here that I had spinal fusion surgery in 2007, which lead to early retirement. 

It took years for my back to return to somewhat normal.

I've had a lifetime of back problems due to an injury in 1972 while working evening traffic in a RADAR unit in Tampa Florida. I've posted some Air Force pictures of me, around that time, on the upper right corner if you're interested in a visual. 

That night, when all the planes had landed, I took a minute to bend over and fix a loose wheel on my crappy government chair when a 20-pound, overhead emergency light came loose and swung down on its cable, hit the middle of my lower back and knocked me head-on into a heavy metal door. 

After going to bed that night, I woke up around 3 a.m. and my back had locked completely up, and I couldn't move! It's a scary feeling. My heart goes out to the men and women who get injured and live paralyzed the rest of their life.

I've had several bouts of that over the years (due to herniated discs) until the fusion surgery in 2007.

During spinal fusion surgery, three of my lower back vertebra were fused together using the bone of a cadaver and a piece of bone from my hip. 

As you can imagine, I have some limited motion in my lower back, but most of the time you wouldn't know I have a problematic back. I have never regretted having the surgery. 

What I do regret is that through the years, I didn't seek chiropractic help. 

Only one time, around 1994, when my back froze up and the E.R. (at the HMO I was a member of) kept giving me drugs and sending me home on bedrest even though I could barely move without two people assisting me. 

I, who rarely ever called in sick, was off work for over 2 weeks on intermittent bedrest. Well, it was actually "floor rest" because if I got up to go to the bathroom during the night, I usually couldn't get back into the bed.

During that incident, my mother and another person put me in mom's car and she drove me to her chiropractor. I could barely get into the office. After an hour of treatment, I walked out by myself. It wasn't a pretty walk...but it was on my own two feet!

I completed a 6-week treatment plan with that chiropractor, Dr Wyrick, which I (a single mother barely making it) paid for since my HMO only wanted to provide drug treatment. After the 6 weeks, I was back to normal again.

Now when I look back, I really wonder why I didn't see a chiropractor again through the years during the sporadic bouts of back issues! 

I can only say, in the military, we were taught to "suck it up" and keep going.

I've been seeing a chiropractor for 3 weeks now for my current back/leg/arm problem, and I'm feeling much better, almost normal. 

In fact, better than normal because now I'm sleeping through the night whereas, before treatment, I was used to being awake every few hours!

I just wanted to share with you what I've learned lately for my own situation. 

1. The sign on the wall in the treatment room reads:
Manipulation First...
Then Drugs...
Maybe Surgery

2. This clinic advised to stay away from heat, as in only use ice.

3. Turns out, babies can benefit from chiropractic care. Every time I'm at the office, I see at least one or two babies with their moms.

Let me be clear, I'm not giving medical advice here. I just want to relay what works for me. You should always check with your doctor concerning medical conditions and treatment.
I'm not trying to be "woe is me" about this. I think I'm more the norm than the exception...half the people I know have back issues. 

Just thought you might like to know that if you, or someone you love, suffers from back pain and related issues -- there may be some good treatment out there just waiting for you to stumble on in.

Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

DIY-ing My Lights To Chippy White

My last post was about Quorum lighting options I found at a local shop

Before seeing them at the local shop, I had been drooling over the Quorum line of lighting at the online site called Lighting New York. 

I'm smitten with Quorum's whole line of chippy white metal and glass lights. Here's the option I love for the bathrooms...

Here's our kitchen island in an old photo from when we looked at the house when it was for sale.
I'd love to put this light below over the granite island, but I think I'd need three of them so that means I'll need to win the lottery soon!

All the lights are part of Quorum's group of lights described as a "Persian White" finish. As a typical DIY-er, I've been studying the finish and thinking I could replicate it on some of the lights (instead of buying new ones) to save some money! 
I think a good candidate for that chippy white finish would be our master bathroom lights, so I'll start with them. Don't worry, I'll clean off all that dust first, and hey if you think yours aren't dusty just go take a look...I was shocked.
I think if I flipped those bathroom lights upside down, painted them a chippy distressed white, bought clear bulbs and clear glass covers, I might get them to look like this...

Since our house was built as a spec house by a local developer, it came with a collection of odd ducks as far as lighting goes 

After buying 5 spec houses in a row, our experience has taught us that spec houses are built with bargain pieces, seconds, and mis-matched leftovers. Our current house is an example of that. 

There's an antique chandelier in the dining room. It's a little rickety and lightweight, but it does provide a lovely glowing light at night. This old photo was taken when we first looked at the house.

It might look better if the finish was like this one...

The half-bath has this black, torch-type sconce, which doesn't even try to look compatible with the rest of the house.
I was thinking this torch light needed to go, but then I saw this Quorum one and thought I would give it a go too. I think I'll use more white and less brown for the finish.
Even the fan in the bedroom has a light that needs some improving.
It's hard to see because it's a 16-foot high ceiling, but it's a gold-ish type frame and amber glass. 

Here's the one I could buy to replace it, but it would be so easy to paint and replace the glass.
I'm going to give them all a try and see if the lights can be improved, or at least a little more coordinated. I'm not going to make them matchy-matchy, but just not so out of whack with each other. 

And if it doesn't work out, I figure I was going to replace them anyway so maybe no gain, but no loss either.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Local Lighting Options

Carol's Home Interior Store, a local shop in town, had a lot of lights displayed a few weeks ago when I was there. 
These two are my favorite picks for the dining room (above) and the breakfast room...
I would love to replace the lights in those rooms with these two, but here's the one I actually couldn't leave the store without.
I've been in love with this little guy forever. I thought they had sold it, but when I saw it had just moved to the lighting area, I bought it on the spot so it didn't get away again. 
It's going to replace the light in our entrance hallway in the picture below.
Of course when Wild Bill saw it coming home with me he was less than awed. I go for anything beat up with a little industrial bend. He likes modern (excuse me while I gag) and matchy-matchy! 

We used to compromise on our furnishings until we realized that when you compromise, no one gets what they want! In the case of furniture, that meant neither of us ever liked what we had. 

Now as far as furniture, we generally do without until we happen upon something we both like, but housewares and the fluffy stuff...that's a different story. 

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Short Vacation

We joined part of our family in Albuquerque last Wednesday for a long weekend. It's always fun to get together when there's little ones involved. 

The youngest four of our six grandchildren were there and in rare form. 
That's the youngest, Little Henry, in the orange T-shirt. He's trying really hard to make a funny face like his older sister next to him and his two cousins on either end.
At just 3 years old Henry hasn't completely mastered swimming, so we had fun floating around the shallow end together in the hotel pool. 
We were lucky to have the hotel pool and hot tub completely to ourselves almost every time we went down to swim. 

Henry fought it a little, but nap time couldn't come a moment too soon for Henry's dog Lucy...

On Monday, Wild Bill and I headed east towards home and the two daughter's families headed west to the Grand Canyon for four more days of fun.

Or what they called fun. Here's our son-in-law Mike crazy close to the edge...
The last time I was at the Grand Canyon, in 2002, I spent all my time clinging to the far side of the parking lot and yelling at Wild Bill and the girls to get away from the edge!
I think if I'd gone this time, the side trip to Bearizona would've been more my cup of tea. 

Plenty of friendly animals in the petting area...

The cool weather last week in Albuquerque and this week in Arizona really helped to make the trip more enjoyable. Usually both New Mexico and Arizona are much hotter this time of year.

Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Paint Project Easy Distressing

Here's a paint project I should have done years ago.
This sign was from a garage sale ages ago. I never knew what to do with it, so I left it as it was. The frame was dark brown wood and not very attractive with the dark lettering. 

I always planned to make a chalkboard with it, but honestly, I have about 33 frames, hidden in various closets and stashes, that I always planned to make into chalkboards too, so I needed a little more imagination here. 

I'm trying to follow my grandma's saying: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without" Because of that, I decided one could (possibly) have too many chalkboards!
As you can see, the sign stayed in the frame and the frame got a couple coats of Amy Howard's One-Step Paint in Ballet White. It was leftover paint, in a mason jar from another project, so that was actually TWO "use it up's" in one project.

I didn't want to muddy up the white frame by using dark wax to age it -- like I did on my recent "over do" disaster on the poor Reindeer sign Here -- so I simply waited for the paint to dry a little...maybe 30 minutes.

Next I took this sanding block with rough edges, a spray bottle of water, and a rag and scraped on the edges to take off some of the paint. Spraying the fresh chalk paint with a little water before sanding it really helps remove the paint.

There are two reasons why this just might be my new favorite way of aging a white-painted project; 

1. It was so easy to do and didn't look like I'd left mud all over it.

2. Wild Bill had just aggravated me before I started with the sanding block so I was able to take my aggression out on the frame.

For my final step, I waxed the frame all over with Miss Mustard Seed's clear wax. Then I took a little teeny bit of dark wax and went over the edges that were scraped down. 

The frame turned out to be so smooth and soft. I plan to use that combo again on some furniture that turned out a little rough a while back.

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