Talks with Tom #20

I was gone for the weekend, leaving Tom to his own devices.

When I got home yesterday, this is how Tom greeted me.

Tom- I am so lost when you aren’t here.

Me- I thought you wanted a weekend to yourself?

Tom- I am like a lost kid though. You know that kid in the middle of Walmart who can’t find his parents and is just falling to pieces. That’s me. (He also acted this out)

Tom- For the first 5 minutes, I’m like, “Yea, weekend by myself!” Then those 5 minutes pass and I think, “This sucks.”

Me- You are sweet.

Tom- I am lost with out you.

He may have a rough exterior, but he is a pretty sweet guy!

Fight For It

It’s a Monday after a holiday weekend. So like most, I sit here reflecting on the amazing down time that I had and dream that it wasn’t over. My newsfeed this morning was littered with all the witty “I hate Mondays” commentary.

So to recap our 4th of July.

It was not full of BBQ, beer, red/white/blue ribbons, or personal fireworks.

It was full of rain…all weekend long.

Don’t feel sad; we managed to make the most of it. We had a great relaxing weekend being free of work and responsibilities. And seriously what is better than actually being able to sleep in and be lazy on wet and rainy days?

Fort Campbell had a 4 day long carnival event, which we did attend on the 4th in the brief parting of the clouds before they canceled the firework show. It was really cool to see all the families tredge through the mud to celebrate what our families have gone through to ensure freedom for our nation.

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We did not ride any rides because after working at an amusement park for 6 years (this is where Tom and I met btw), I am pretty skeptical of any ride that can be packaged into a trailer as a traveling show. And don’t get me started on my nightmares of Ferris wheels. Plus it cost money, and we were being cheap.

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I also worked games for 2 years, so I cannot wait until we have kids so we can win them useless toys. After working 8 hour shifts for 2 summers, you learn a few tricks of the trade. We just don’t have a need for the game stuff now.

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We were not too cheap however for my ICEE obsession. I L.O.V.E ICEES.

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We love that we are lucky to be together to celebrate our independence! I think about all those families who cannot say the same. (Special shout out to our buddy Andrew Martin and his lovely family! We can’t wait to celebrate with you when you get home! And also to the Landis family, you all are in my thoughts and prayers regularly!)

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The night of the fourth we ended up watching from our backyard some of our neighbors shoot off their own fireworks.

Grace did not seem to mind her first firework display.

And yes we made an outside bed for Grace to be comfortable watching the show.

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They had rescheduled the fireworks for Friday. But it rained all evening so we didn’t really want to pack up to go across the base. So we watched in the rain from a parking lot right by our house in our Jeep. Nothing more American than being barefoot in a mud covered Jeep watching fireworks I guess.

All in all it was a good holiday for us, and we cannot forget the sacrifices that are made to grant the freedoms we hold so dear.

Talking with my husband about how the fireworks sounded like war and his FB statuses for the day gave me a lot to reflect on, and I hope they do for you too.

“Today and every day, ask yourself two questions. Who sacrificed their life so that I could have mine? What am I doing to make myself worthy of that sacrifice?”

“Remember that rights aren’t something you are entitled to. Rights are something we have to fight for. Nothing in this world is free.”

Nothing like a national holiday to make you think about your priorities eh?

It’s ironic  (don’t you think) that those who give up so much of their own freedoms are the ones that are making sure you and I have ours?

Now on to our home improvement project of the week.

We created these shelves so that we could have some flexibility on changing the deco in our house without the hassle of measuring and putting in new holes in the wall. Since we live in on-base housing, we are trying to leave as little damage as possible.

Shelves are pretty expensive if you want to buy more than one of these at the store, and you cannot get them in a very long size. I think the cheapest we were able to find was like $30ish bucks for one that was like a foot long. So Tom volunteered to make them for us. For 8 shelves, it was around $75 for us doing it this way. (If you are able to find ones cheaper than this, share with the world please!)

Basically you pick the size shelf you want from the wood selection. We chose a couple different sizes because of the what we had planned to put on the shelf, so we had 1X2s and 1X3s.

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Then we picked out simple decorative molding to make the face of the shelf. You can make it relatively inexpensive depending on the molding you pick, or just not getting molding and just using the base wood only.

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Tom did all the handiwork. It seems pretty simple from watching him. He made all 8 of them in an afternoon.

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This is before he stained them all.

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Then he added wall hangers/hooks on the back to make them more secure on the wall.

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Then was the long process of measuring out the locations on the wall. This included a stud finder, tape measure, level, T-square, and Tom’s persistence for perfection.

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Here they are empty.

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And here is our new photo wall. I am working on getting some new photos, and it will be so easy to add. I can just move them around until I feel like I have the layout I like. Until the next day when I want to move them around again.

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And then this is our photography wall. We are really into collecting old camera gear and wanted a way to display it!

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They turned out fabulous. They really make the room complete now! Pardon my crocheting mess in the corner…

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I hope you all enjoyed your Monday as much as one can after a freedom celebration weekend!

“My Job is Freedom”

Another dose of Talks with Tom.

With deployment, one misses out on a lot of TV programming. Seasons come and go. And in the past you would just miss out on them forever, or until the next year when the DVD was released. Then you had to spend a nice chunk of change on that. Oh, or Hulu may or may not have your show, but you can only watch the last 5 episodes and hope they don’t go to HuluPlus.

That is until recently.

My friend Susan introduced me to a site that allows you to watch ANY episode, from ANY season, at ANY time. As a TV junkie, this is a life changer. And when I say any, I will admit that I have not looked for every show out there, but it has yet to fail me.

I introduced Tom to “Project Free TV” so he could catch up on the Walking Dead and Gold Rush.

The trouble with the site though is that it can be finicky and not load as lickity-split as Hulu or a network site, or the unrealistic expectations we may have as millennials.

Tom was near the end of the season for Walking Dead when we had this conversation.

Tom:  This shouldn’t be this difficult. (talking about uploading a video)(groaning and impatient foot-tapping commenced)

Me:  Well, if it is that easy, why don’t you figure out how to post episode videos online on your own?

Tom: That’s this guy’s job. This is his only job in life, and he can’t do that? How hard is it to be awesome at your job? My job is freedom, and I am pretty awesome at that. I have that down pat. I’m just saying.

Happy Independence Day everyone! I hope that we can all celebrate our freedoms this week, and that videos will upload at your command.

And what can be more than American than a weekend was full of home improvements?

We inherited a pair of dressers from my grandparent’s over Father’s Day weekend.

This weekend we did a makeover on these bad boys.


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They were this old plastic wood, so I first primed them with this stuff.

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Then I painted on a light orangey brown satin finish paint. I did two coats of this. Tom had to help with some parts because I am not the “smoothest” or most patient painter. You can tell the edges that I worked on–>globs of dried paint are left in my wake. But I did paint 95% of them fairly successfully! It was just a lesson in my on-going curriculum of patience.

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And after…

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We ended up keeping the same knobs (just taking off the fancy plate things that were on there). It would have cost too much to replace around 25 knobs, but that is an option if you are trying to redo dressers to make a different look.

I wish I had taken a before and after of our bedroom/closet to show how dramatic of a change it was going from living into laundry basket chaos to a much more organized and structured closet. We can actually see everything now in it’s place.

They aren’t perfectly brand new. You can still see nicks and wear and tear from the years they spent in my grandparents’ home. But we gave the pieces a facelift and hopefully a new life with just an afternoon of time and a little bit of paint. And as Tom says, “They are just showing some character.” (He also said that about my globs. He’s a keeper.)

I am excited this week to see what is happening on base for the 4th of July. Red, white, and blue baby!

What are you doing for the 4th?