Saturday, March 15, 2014


You know those times when you accidentally wake up too early and you find your self in that predicament of trying to decide what to do with your surprise extra time... make cookies or blog post? Well, I'm not one for decisions or compromise, so here's my plan: crappy blog post and drop cookies (I don't even have a shamrock cookie cutter so the roll-out cookies I was dreaming up would've involved some serious leg work including metalworking). Look alive people, we gotta make this quick!

So this one is about re-tiling the guest bathroom. We had a couple tiles left over from the addition so Jaydee decided that, in order to practice his tiling skills, he should start by re-doing the floor in the little bathroom rather than diving right into the kitchen/dining area/laundry room/ half-bath project. I suppose I can understand. And, while the guest bathroom wasn't terrible looking, it was in need of a bit-o-do-up.

Don't worry, we kept the aqua counter tops.

Just kidding.  This isn't our bathroom. This bathroom is gross. Our problems were limited to crappy linoleum floor, a vanity that should probably be replaced, a real ugly shower insert and a flaky blogger who forgot to take before pictures. 

The first step to the bathroom project was tearing out the old floor. Jaydee pulled out the vanity, toilet, linoleum and old backer board all by his lonesome.

It was very impressive and by the end of it, Jaydee looked like he was about to die. I remember catching that moment on camera - the picture was priceless... however, Jaydee recently "re-organized" our picture files and somehow that gem disappeared. No worries though, I recreated here.  I found it! But just for giggles let's compare:

I see now that I exaggerated the length of his hair.  

While Jaydee recovered me and the dogs played in the empty bathroom. 

Next came some very tedious leveling then lots of nail gunning then tile. To lay the tile we had to use mortar of course and Jaydee and I have taken to referring to the substance as MORDOR!

Which, unfortunately,  is very scary to Bruce.

When we were done torturing the animal, Jaydee began the cutting and sticking. His tile saw skillz are getting serious.

Crossed leg, relaxed pose - he was real proud of himself.

Jaydee finished the tiling, added grout, I painted, spent way too long shopping amazon for hooks and such, Jaydee installed, trent inspected. We was done.

Guess if there's still time to make cookies?

Nope. Instead I used all my time drawing pictures of my husband, stopping every few lines to giggle at my handy work. Uh huh. Yeah. So no cookies today.

... did I have time? HA! There's always time for cookies. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Big Cover Up

As I mentioned in my post from six months ago, (ok not quite six months but let's be honest, there's no amount of prune juice that could make my blogging regular so I'm going to make sure to keep expectations low) one of the den-doer-upper projects was covering that big ugly painted brick wall in our living room.

Remember this guy? Yep. It had to go. Jaydee and I debated what to do with this beast of a room separator since day one at 16202. The first thought was to get the paint off somehow to return to the wall to it's glory days of natural brick. So we tried sandblasting. Then chemical stripping. Then scraping. Then a seance. Alas the gray was not budging. So we had to change course. We decided to do what we usually do when we run into a problem or a mess thats just too big of a pain in the old arse to fix - we covered it up!

With what you ask? Well I will tell you. With something called ledger board. Jaydee and I scoured Houzz and Google images until we found what we were looking for and then proceeded to call around to various rock shops to inquire about the goods.

"Hiiiiiiiii yeah, we're interested in purchasing skinny rock that goes up the wall. Yeahhhhhhhh something that's like skinny and kinda thin. Uh huh. Yeah. Oh you don't have skinny rocks? Ooooh ok. Ok. Ok great. Thanks for your time"

Try again

"Um yes hi. I'd like to purchase rock to cover a fire place. Yeah like rock on a board. You have rock on a board? Oh ok. Right. Great. Ok. Thanks for your time."

Until finally we called a crazy lady. She was REAL crazy but also really helpful and when she heard our stumbling speech about 3D stone wall paper for covering brick she immediately knew what we were talking about. That's when we learned that new fancy term Ledger Board.  Next we went to visit the crazy lady at her rock shop and thats when we learned that she was crazy. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said she had 28 grey hound pictures in her office AND she was wearing a grey hound jogging suit. Yep. A grey hound jogging suit. We were in her office approximately 12 minutes before she got teary eyed and told us about Darla, the grey hound that was immortalized by a 4 ft by 4ft oil painting on her wall, and how she was so fast she ran full speed into a fence and killed herself while playing one day. But I digress. We got the ledger board - moving on.

We took advantage of the two able bodies and contractor dad who visited us over Christmas and guilted them into helping with a tasty deep-fried turkey and two pies. Here's how the process went.

Tape off the rest of the house with pink tar paper while little able body played with a helicopter.
Then cut.




Break for video games.

Break for video games.


Calk (hee hee hee).
And viola!

I know what you're thinking.

Don't worry. Tile is coming....

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Back in Da Saddle


Well, now that we're done getting married and robbed, overcame Trent's drug problem, we got honeymooned then made it through the holidays, I do suppose it's time to end the home-improvement hiatus and carve a little quality time for the den.

I can't pretend I'm the one who reinvigorated the movement. About a month a ago, dear husband got it in his head that he needs to build one of these. Nope, not kidding. He calls it a quadrahopper or something like that and he's dead set on it. If you all remember, the last time Jaydee endeavored such a project, it took him the better part of two years to build it and then a solid six months of emotional recovery after it's first flight led to a fatal crash.  So, as you can probably imagine, if Jaydee gets started on the quadcopter, we can kiss those den do-up dreams goodbye for at least three years. I knew I had to act fast and get us going on the house projects before he had time to take the carbon fiber out of storage or whatnot.

So I did what any determined, yet slightly incapably and quite constructionally challenged, girl would do - I started 8 different projects and left the pieces strewn about Jaydee's shop.

You see what I did there? No room for quadcopter and the pain of watching me try and do these things on my own would drive any man to help.

Would that I could have a quadcopter....
As luck would have it, this little stunt was paired with an impromptu visit by Jaydee's contractor-dad and his two able bodied little brothers. Win.

Jaydee's family shares his copter fascination.

Now, we don't take pride in the fact that we exploit our family members for their vocational skills (it's not our fault we've got familial ties with some extraordinarily helpful people). However, we got some fantastic advice and a solid does of kick-in-the-pants to get us moving. Not to mention consulting services and a small work force for operation: hide the ugly painted brick. More on this later.

And so my friends,  with that, I'd like to extend a warm "welcome back" to me and the pack.  We know... you missed us a lot.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Best Wedding I Ever Had

I'm not gonna lie, our wedding was damn good. Like, seriously great.

It all started on 9/11 when I hopped a plane to go meet one of the Maid of Honors in Denver for a bitty road trip up to Dubois for the wedding. If you'll remember, this was the week of extreme flooding in northern Colorado...

Thursday, 6am, pouring rain, we're driving north on Highway 287, when a radio warning comes on that causes us both to pause our, I'm sure very-deep and intellectual, conversation: "WHAMP WHAMP WHAMP WHAMP Warning extreme flooding in Larimer County, seek higher ground to avoid death." We both head tilt in confusion, "did he say death?!" But luckily, the nice radio announcer repeated himself, "I repeat, seek higher ground to avoid death." We looked around at the growing streams on either side of the road and Al, like the great MOH that she is, stepped on it.

Good news, we made it. And let me just tell you, it was worth the mud, the blood and the tears (ok, just mud).

I steal pictures. Thanks for the great booty, my friends.  

Day one on the ranch: lots of running around, primping and such.

This is not on the ranch, but it's a very cute picture all the same.
Day two on the ranch: lots of running around, people start arriving, a real great rehearsal dinner, then a night in the hoping metropolis of, Dubois, WY (Pop. 22).

What you see is here my loving friends taking one of many Patron shots that were distributed throughout the evening. Notice Hannah's face, she's thinking, "Ha I live in Nola. This is like breakfast." 
Day three on the ranch: Woot Woot, Wedding day! Yahoo! We started with a hike to crystals and bat guano.

Jaydee and I broke that whole rule about not seeing each other the day of the wedding, but eh, whatchyagonnado?

I made it back to the girls cabin exactly 22 minutes before I was supposed to have my hair done. I was running like a madman, hell bent on a quick shower (you see, I had been forewarned by the nice lady who was doing my hair that if I sat down in front of her with a wet head there would be consequences). However, when I walked in the door I was quickly ushered away from the shower and into the dining room for an impromptu, wedding day, mimosa, cookie brunch with 6 BMs.
And so it was, with 13 minutes to spare, I finally made it to the shower. My hair was 80% dry by the time the nice hair lady showed up. It was fine. Consequences were minimal. 

In the meantime, Jaydee and his 6 GMs were drinking and preparing the dog. Yes, I said dog. Only one dog was in the wedding party because only one dog can be trusted to not pee when he gets too excited. 

Soon, the preparation was finished and I was left with no choice but to walk across a gigantic field while people stared at me and secretly wished that I'd trip or step in a cow pie, and then stand up there and say important, serious things to my best friend while a bunch of people gawked at us. Not cool. I was real nervous. Luckily, my favorite Dad in the world was there. He gave me look over and then, noticing that I was looking a bit terrified, pulled me into the kitchen and said, "Dani, drink this" as he handed me a healthy shot of Pendleton. It helped a little.  We was ready.

As you saw from earlier pictures, up until about an hour before the ceremony, the weather had been perfect. However, as fate would have it, by the time "I do" came around, it was raining pretty good and the temperature was hovering right around a nippy 45F. Don't feel too bad though - the cold allowed me to play off my uncontrollable shaking to a chill. Win. 

Then, before we knew it, the ceremony was over! I got to put on a coat and finally add to that lonely whiskey shot sitting in my belly. This is the part where it starts getting really good. 

We had some great speeches but little bro, Jake, stole the show with an awesome speech that's punch line was something to the effect of, "so there you have it folks, stubborn love." 
Note: we did not decorate with trash bags. The trash bags you see in the background are actually clear tent walls in a very dark and stormy night.

I bet you can guess what happened next. Yep, boozin and groovin. Lots of it. 

Yes ma'am, that's our priest grooving withe the mayor

Did I mention boozing?

And then, just as it seemed like things may start settling down... it got real

Life Coach, thought of a great solution for people stepping on my train. #hillbillyhaute

I'd be lying if I said it ended when the tie came off. Tie coming off was followed by an eventful trek back to the cabin (I wont name names, but one groomsman had a bit of a fall, we found one lost and stumbling elderly relative by the horse stables, and at least one person slept in their truck because the 200 yards to bed seemed too far). Then, for those who made the journey, an after party at the girls' cabin.

Like all things awesome, the great night eventually came to a close. When Jaydee and I finally made it back to our cabin for two, we found a beautiful, pristine, blueberry pie and two forks waiting for us. You know what that is? That's the mark of a damn good bridesmaid. 

There you have it folks -ze wedding of my century! 

If you'd like to see all of the glorious shots from the evening, you can find them at, password dubois. Or, if you're interested in seeing the dancing (and a better Dani & Jaydee's wedding blog post) check this out