Saturday, February 25

Before and After

We sent the red sectional packing. We liked it but it needed updating and the color didn't work.

Buh-bye sofa, hasta la vista!

While it was gone we bought a rug to replace the temporary jute number. That one went in the trash. It got soaked in the storm.

It has dark gray and soft green among the beige-y colors.
But when we set it down it looked murky and brown-mustard against the wood floor. We didn't love it. But we warmed up to it rather quickly, it looks best at night.

Here comes the "new" sofa, exactly two weeks later as promised.

Big difference, huh. They stuffed up the cushions a lot (maybe a little too much,we're hoping that's a temporary thing), and made arm-guards. Oscar did an exceptional job. There was enough fabric left over for a lifetime supply of arm-guards. Now we are looking at accent pillow fabrics. I'm thinking chocolate and teal.

We love and it cost a fraction of a new sofa. With the money we saved we can get some really nice accent pillows.

Thursday, February 23

I am Techie, Hear me Roar

This was my world today. No, really. Yes, really.

When we got our A/V system installed a couple years ago, they (really just cousin John) automatically added in a universal remote at a cost of something around $500. I said no. "Yeah, but you will be using four remotes," John declared. "We've been using four remotes for years, we're used to it," I replied. "For $500, we can deal with four remotes. Hell yeah!" Okay, I didn't say hell yeah, but added it here for emphasis. Poetic license. Anyway, I got to thinking, how hard could this be? John led us to believe programming remotes was a very esoteric thing.

I did some research; it looked doable. I asked my son, he said go for it. So I bought a $50 remote, and with the money I saved, I bought a chandelier to replace the dorky one the builders put in. Love it!!!

Anyway, long story short, I programmed a universal remote (not terribly impossible) and it worked great! Until it didn't. We think it got damaged somewhere along the line because when you shook it, you could hear that something was loose. When it worked, it worked great. But it was very temperamental.

What to do? The choices were either go back to multiple remotes, which we dealt with enough during the broken period to know we didn't want to go that way, or buy another (more expensive) model. We chose the latter.

Actually, looking at the above picture, there were five remotes! Two of these are the old universal and the new one.

It was not a slam-dunk. I spent many hours troubleshooting why one component would turn off when it was suppose to turn on, and vice-versa. It was a real puzzle and I said I'd try again tomorrow--when I could see.

Well I won't bore you with the details, but, finally, success!! And below are ALL the remotes we use now. It's a sweet little thing. Very small.

Success--how sweet it is!

Monday, February 20

Around Here

We have had a little rain. We don't get much rain in these parts, but when we have a storm like this, it's too much to handle. Dams overflow, trees are toppled, and creeks become raging rapids. Pity the poor creatures that live in the normally dry San Juan Creek riverbed.

Friday was a real "barn-burner." JJ played bridge but I was hunkered down in my chair by the fire with my Kindle, listening to the rain and wind pelt the house for hours and hours. Above, Dallas Raines (yes, that's his name) forecasts the next squall coming our way. I live just about where the I-5 sign is on the above map. I was glad to not have to be on the freeway at 5:00 on that Friday....or any other Friday, for that matter. The image below is a screenshot of the traffic from my phone.

No Carol, that island is not Hawaii. It is Catalina. Yes I am sure.

The house did not blow down or slide down the hill, and I am extremely relieved about that. I was worried.

The hills are green--a rare occurrence.

In other news, we have been furniture shopping. Replacing our red sectional came to the top of the wish list, and we spent way too much time looking for a replacement. We finally found a leather sectional that we both loved. It's gorgeous and buttery soft.

But was WAY too expensive. I asked for a couple days to think about it. The next morning I knew I did not want to spend nearly $7,000 for a sofa that I would worry about spilling something on.

I really like our sectional, it fits in the room and it is still in good shape, but it's kind of worn. And the red just doesn't work in this house.

So we sent it out to be re-covered. This is Oscar.

The cost to re-upholster it is $1,200 plus the cost of the fabric ($900). I can live with that.

While we were at it we bought a rug to replace the temporary jute one we got three years ago "for now." They had some drop-dead gorgeous rugs, it was really hard to choose. But we chose this one. It looks really mauve-y in this photo, but it's the lighting. It's actually very close to the color of our floor, which you can see below.

Meanwhile, we are making use of the chairs we never sit in.

Thursday, February 9

Hey Good Lookin'

Whatcha got cookin'?

Some good stuff! Mango salsa! I had a couple mangoes and decided to make brie quesadillas with mango salsa. We had this dish at a party last summer and want to incorporate it into our dinner parties. But we wanted to practice on ourselves first.

These are the ingredients: Purple onion, mango, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime.

Chop 'em all up. For the record, I used two mangoes and 1/3 of the onion. I could have used two jalapenos, but let your tongue be your guide. Most everyone we know can take the heat.

We put a couple slices of brie in a flour tortilla and toasted them on the barby.

We had the fire too high and they got a little burny, but that didn't seem to matter--they were still delicious. I think you could just as easily use jack cheese, which is easier to cut in thin slices than brie, or even pepper jack...mmm.


This appetizer is a little bit different, has a note of elegance, and the brie and mango pair beautifully with a crisp, cold chardonnay on a warm summer evening. I can hardly wait for summer!

If you make them, let me know what you think!