Not that there's anything going on in the dining room

But how much do I love this chandelier. Thomas O'Brien for Visual Comfort. Kind of mod, kind of retro, a tiny bit wacky. Thirty-three and a half inches wide, in polished nickel.

Oh look

Here is a handsome Ralph Lauren for Henredon buffet. Last year the lady selling it on Craigslist was asking 600. Last month she listed it again at 400, and if I had any extra cash I would have bought it. We've got lots of empty space and storage is always good.

If you're interested, it's now available on eBay at the bargain price of $2499.99. The seller is in Garden City, not too far from KC. They also have the Baker sideboard they beat me out on at an estate sale two years ago. They started somewhere around two grand on it and its down to $724.99 now.

Anyway, handsome buffet is on my watch list now in case I have a spot for it in 2013, when I'll shoot them an email offering 425. And just in case the sellers might find this post (stranger things have happened) I'll say this: You buy pretty good stuff, but even with Ralph's nameplate inside, in the end its just used furniture.


photo credit

I had a whole post ready in case the teabaggers hijacked Dancing With the Stars, alas with Bristol out in 3rd place there's no need. But why waste the Shirtless Mark Ballas photo I found?!


Its amazing what happens when you get after a project. We spent the weekend hanging drywall and we're over halfway done. And most importantly, there were no injuries in spite of the use of a rather scary jab jaw.

You'll note the copious use of screws, perhaps more than you'd see if you had this done by a pro. Yes, there were lots of misses and screw-throughs, but its up and its solid. Our carpenter Bill would be horrified, but we're pretty proud.

Pat, the really nice neighbor behind us came over to check on us and was kind of unsure how to reply when we mentioned tiling next, thinking that we didn't know sheetrock wasn't the proper underlayment, but we explained that it was all getting covered with the Schluter fabric and would be waterproof.

Just about 1 1/2 walls left and we'll be ready for the next step.

After a bite to eat and a shower we treated ourselves to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I. If you've enjoyed the others you'll like this one just as much.

Why I don't DVR daytime TV

Weekend Recap: The good and the ugly

Thursday I was running errands over lunch when a series of Estate Sale signs guided me into a strip mall near my office. It was the strangest mix of things, from what looked like an old french pine armoire priced at $1800 to tupperware pitchers. My friend Jenny just bought a pair of lovely old twin beds with inlaid wood head/foot boards, and I've been searching for a small chest we could paint to go between them. I didn't find a chest, but I did find the Henredon buffet you see above. Of course at our house we like to say Henry Don because we're weird like that.

I thought the lines were good, but they had $235 on it which seemed like a bit much. I mentioned it to Brett, and also emailed another friend who likes to refurbish the occasional piece of furniture. Saturday we ran to the coffee shop near that strip mall for breakfast when Brett asked if I wanted to show him. I balked at first, I was feeling tired and lazy, and if by chance it was there I wasn't really in the mood to heave anything heavy into the car. Well, not only was it (surprisingly) still there, but it was half price. And its on wheels, so it rolled right outside to our vehicle.

Hello Gorgeous recently unveiled some magic she worked on a set of Henry Link Bali Hai bedroom furniture. In that reveal post she also noted some information she received on using Fine Paints of Europe's Brilliant sign enamel for an approximation of a lacquer finish. I'm going to have to order it online as there are no dealers in KC, and from what I can tell its about $100 a gallon for both paint and primer, but I'm going to give it a shot. The ten buck fee for a custom match is cheaper than ordering a $50 paint deck, so the search for a color is on. My first thought was a soft, pale gray, although Brett and I are both intrigued with the idea of burnt orange if we can find the right one. It also desperately needs new hardware, so if you know of a a really good ring pull give me a shout.

So that was the good. Also good was the fact that we completed the cement board on the bathroom floor, and late in the afternoon I got our leaf-filled front yard mowed.

But midday today came the ugly. Brett was scoring the last little piece of board when his utility knife slipped off the straightedge. The urgent care folks were great and about an hour later I was driving Frankenfinger and his six stitches home. It was horribly painful for him I know (and unbelievably bloody!) but he's alright, and has spent the evening medicating with a bottle of chilean sauvignon blanc.

Chili time

Every year on the Friday before Halloween my office has a chili cook-off. I don't usually participate because I have a policy about getting out of the office for lunch, but this year I was kind of in the mood for chili and thought what the hell.

I don't have a go-to chili recipe. I've always kind of thrown it together from what I have around, or I've seen a recipe somewhere and given it a shot. Nothing has wow'd me so far. So I went to my favorite recipe site,, and picked the recipe with the highest score (5 stars) and most reviews (1794). It's called the Boilermaker Tailgate Chili.

We're still handicapped without a stove so browning meat in the electric skillet and moving to the crockpot was a little bit of a hassle, but the beans and tomatoes are easy from a can. Other than that it was just chopping vegetables and measuring spices (there are lots of ingredients), so it wasn't a horrible deal. I made it the evening before and tasted it before we went to bed. It was just okay. So just okay in fact, I left it at home on Friday and went out for lunch as usual.

That next evening, well, it was there so we warmed it up for dinner. And as is often the case, it was WAY better the next day. So if you don't have a favorite you might give it a shot, and here are a few tips:

-You want the bulk sausage, nothing in casing. Also, I like the rougher grind of the beef.

-I used one fewer can of beans for a total of three, and it was fine. Four would be too much.

-A half can of tomato paste worked just fine.

-I chop all the celery and peppers on the big side because I like them to stay firmer, and they did.

-A small can of chiles is fine if there are no fresh ones.

-Forget bacon bits, 3 pieces cooked crisp and crumbled is delicious.

-You do need the beer. Drink the other half while you cook!

-And finally, be generous with the spices. Rounded teaspoons beat level, although I eased off on the cayenne and thought it was spicy without being overwhelmingly hot.

If you give it a try let me know what you think.

Preview: wall & floor tile

One of my colleagues at work (Hey D!) is renovating his bathroom so we've been discussing our projects. I was describing my tile when he asked if I'd posted a shot on the blog. It's a good idea, so here it is laid out on the living room floor.

The 8.5"X19.5" wall tile will be laid in a running bond as shown. The 12"X12" China Black for the floor will be laid on the diagonal. Both will have teeny grout lines. Hopefully we'll be ready to start laying this stuff in a weekend or two.