Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Product Review

I've painted a lot of rooms in my time.

Considering how cheap I am about things I can easily do myself and all the houses we've owned, it makes sense that I've painted so many rooms. I've used about every paint brand available: Pratt and Lambert, Anderson, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Ace brand, Ralph Lauren, and Martha Stewart (back when she hawked stuff for Sears). I have my favorites (Benjamin Moore and Ace brand) and a list of paints I will never buy again. Do not, under any circumstances, buy Ralph Lauren paint. The lovely colors can be matched at any paint counter and you can use a quality paint.

Which brings me to the reason for this blog topic. Until this week, I had never used Behr paint, available only at Home Depot. I figured you get what you pay for with paint, so I stick with paint I've used before and liked. But, the previous owner of my house left her paint behind and I needed to touch up some trim after painting the living room and dining room dark green. One coat of the cream-colored trim paint covered the dark green -- no problem! I was very impressed.

So, I bit the bullet, and bought a gallon of Behr Premium flat paint in the rusty red color for the big dining room. I used a half gallon. One coat covered the whole room and it's a nice, rich color. Wow! For less than $20 and about three hours work, I transformed a room.

It's on to the next room!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Sweet Relief

About three weeks ago, my allergies really started acting up. They just got worse and worse. One night my lips swelled up with hives -- I spent days sneezing so hard my sinuses ached. No sleep, no peace. I'd gone to the doctor for new prescriptions, I stayed in rather than go out into the pollen-infested air, I resigned myself to feeling like this until the season was over.

Then Len suggested it might be the air conditioning. That's when I remembered the grocery bag full of cat hair I found behind the old appliances when the guys came to deliver the new ones. Cat hair and mold in the vents! That's it!

Most people who know me know that I have a strong allergy to cats. Not all cats -- I seem to be fine around some -- but when I get near a cat with the right kind of dander, I can't stay. Hives, can't breathe, itchy eyes. Misery.

So I turned off the air conditioning in the house. That was the first night I had relief. I've sneezed some, but no more than normal, since then, and my eyes aren't nearly as itchy and my hives are gone. Hurrah!

Sears is coming out on Saturday to clean all our vents and we will replace the filters. Until then, I sure hope it stays cool outside!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Living where the breathing is not so easy...

I'm on an Allegra high.
And, a loratidin high.
Yeah, and maybe with a little Benadryl thrown in.
If I break out the wine, who knows if I'll ever come to...

I'm having a really hard time with allergies this season. I don't know if it is because I've been consistently on Loratidin (Clariton-D) for the last several years and the effects have finally worn off, or this is just one mean allergy season.

I saw my doctor last week and she prescribed Allegra since the other seems not to be working. I've also got these great eye drops called Optivar to prevent the itching there -- I seriously look like a dope fiend these days. The Allegra seemed to be helping, but today was unbearable. My nose hurts from rubbing all day, and I'm out of tissue. I've been sneezing so hard my sinuses feel overworked -- if that is even possible. I can't really describe that feeling in my sinuses. Let's just say I can sometimes taste blood in the back of my throat. I know TMI, but, GEEZ, I need a little pity here.

I took my daily dose of Allegra at 9 a.m., a dose of loratidin at 1 p.m., and just swallowed an OTC Benedryl-type drug. (Len, if I don't answer the phone, call an ambulance.) I finally have some relief from the constant sneezing.

Pity me.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The night the lights went out in Georgia

Our power went out Friday night. I was loading the dishwasher when there was a good rain storm going, when lightning struck and we heard a lot POP and the lights went out. Since we have internet based phone service, we couldn't call the power company to report the outage, but Len used my cell phone (the only one with any charge) and called while I got out the candles. 10:30 p.m., the recorded message told us, so we opened another bottle of wine and sat out on the front porch to wait out the storm. Time passed and I got antsy, so I called the power company back, only to hear that the time had changed to 12:30 a.m. That's when we decided to watch a movie on Len's laptop. We decided on the classic "Undercover Brother." Suzy and Clark got it for Len a few years ago and it has been a favorite since. Well, I've been watching a lot of Food Network lately and recognized Jim O'Conner from "The Best Of" in a bit role in the movie. He plays Chad, a totally white guy. Fitting.

For Suzy, I'm posting a picture of my new hair. I know I look stoned in the picture, but really, it's just my allergies that are making me look that way. The hair seems much cuter in the mirror than it does in this picture, though.

The greatest news I have to report is that I have finally finished stripping the wallpaper from the small dining room. Today. Phew! Next step is to prep the walls for the "Mossy Shadow" color I chose -- the same color I painted in the living room. After painting, I will decide if I need to do anything about the damage. I did some pretty extensive spackling yesterday and I hope that repairs the gouges I put in the walls when scraping the paper off.

Once this project is complete, I'll work on the small bathroom, then the bigger dining room, and finally the bedrooms. Hurrah!