Great Expectations

or “My Life in Blog Sounds Much Cooler Than It Really Is”

Archive for June, 2009

Copper is content…

Posted by mandyhuckins on June 30, 2009

In the photos from yesterday, I neglected to take a picture of the little reading nook in the living room.  Here is Copper enjoying it last evening:


Sleeping dogs sure are cute!




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Hello Wichita…

Posted by mandyhuckins on June 30, 2009

I am not dead – just overworked.  Sorry it has been so long since my last post.  I now have so much to share, I should be able to do a post every day this week to make it up to you.  I thought I would start out with some photos of the new digs.

Here is the exterior – no one said government housing was exciting from the outside…


The houses on this side of the base are 50 years old.  And, I must admit that when I saw the inside of the home, it was not as bad as I had feared.  And, I am doing my best to give it personality and warmth and make it our own.

Here is a picture of the living room:


I am sitting in the reading chair in the corner to take this picture.  Notice that I painted the walls in this room a peanut-buttery color.  I just couldn’t stand all off-white everywhere I looked.  I think it really warmed up the space.  I would have liked to keep on going, but the big china cabinets were already placed in the dining area and I just couldn’t move them.  Note: I did this painting while my husband was gone for a week.  I knew that he wouldn’t want me to do it (mainly because of the hassle of having to repaint everything to off-white before we move), but once something is done, it is done.  So, I did it.  To try to make the repaint easier, I did leave a tape line at the bottom and at the top of the wall (kind of like a fake molding), but that will mean that we can just slap the off white up there when we leave without having to worry so much about edging.  (I hope!)

Here is the view of the other side of the room – the chair I was sitting in to take the first shot:


Hmmm….I can almost hear you wondering about that lovely entertainment center.  Remember the argument I had about it with my husband before we left Montgomery?  (Read about that here.)  Almost immediately, my husband started talking about going out and buying some “cheap, plastic tv stand” to put all of the electronics in/on.  I almost flipped!  I reminded him about how he wouldn’t let me buy something in Montgomery and that I knew he was going to want something right away in Kansas.  So, we made do with this sofa table we already have.  It isn’t a permanent solution and at least it buys me some time to look for something else.  Sheesh!

Here is a picture of the kitchen.  I will need to show you some more in here later, including my ingenious window “mis”treatment (to use a term coined by one of my blogging idols, The Nester).  But, for now, this is all I have:


The beautiful linoleum floors in here have a definite pink hue to them.  My grandmother would love them, but I hate them.  So, I am just choosing to pretend that they aren’t even there.  I am not decorating around them or trying to find things to match them.  I am just setting up my kitchen as if the floors were taupe tiles or slate.  (I wish!)  I also wish I could paint these cabinets white and add knobs (but I really, really cannot).  I could paint in here, and I still might, but going around all of the cabinetry is quite a challenge.  Especially when I would have to do it again in two years.  So, laziness might win out on this one.

Here is our truly lovely backyard:


And eating area on the back porch – we have used this already a few times.


Copper loves it back here because squirrels and birds come on to the ground to pick up seeds they dropped from the feeder in the trees and Copper can stalk and chase them to her hearts content. 

Of course, sometimes it is absolutely too hot to be outside for more than a millisecond.  I am very surprised to find the great plains are so hot!  All last week we had highs in the lower 100s and lots of humidity too.  I thought I was going to get a break from some of that by leaving Alabama.  So far this week, we have had a cold front from the north, bringing our temps down into the 90s and it does feel much, much more reasonable.  Weird.

Well, that is all for now.   I will be back tomorrow with more pictures of the house and I hope to get some pictures of the new stables too.

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Moving sucks…

Posted by mandyhuckins on June 5, 2009

I really hate having to move.  I hate having to leave the place where I have worked so hard to make a life.  I hate having strangers come in and see EVERYTHING I own – all the junk – all of my underwear.  I hate having to unpack everything on the other end.  And, I really hate having the things I worked so hard to accumulate be damaged or ruined in the process.

We were very lucky on our move from Germany – only two minor things were broken.  Pretty amazing…

This move, although door-to-door (they pick up here in Montgomery today and deliver it to our house in Wichita on Tuesday) is shaping up to be disastrous.  They insisted on taking everything out of everything and re-packing it themselves, which would be fine if I felt like they were doing a good job of packing things.  But, here is what some of our boxes look like….




Wow.  I’ll keep you posted…

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Attempted poisoning…

Posted by mandyhuckins on June 4, 2009

Yes, it is true – I thought I was coming down with a stomach bug last night (I was starting to wonder if I am going to be getting sick everytime we move – I contracted the most horrible stomach flu of my life a day and a half before I had to fly on the plane from Germany), but it turned out to be just an attempted poisoning from my husband.

He brought a bucket of fried chicken for me and the movers to have for lunch yesterday.  Apparently, this company uses non-fat dry milk in their batter. 

So, it is confirmed – I am still lactose-intolerant.   Yuck!

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More yard sales…

Posted by mandyhuckins on June 1, 2009

It is time for the weekly edition of other people’s trash to Mandy’s treasure!

Despite the fact that I am suffering from a summer cold (hate those!), I managed to get out of bed on Saturday morning and head over to a neighborhood yard sale.  If it hadn’t been a neighborhood wide event, I probably would have skipped yard-saleing this weekend.  I also had to make an appearance at a barn work-day, so I couldn’t spend the day lounging in bed as I would have liked.  As it was, I got a late start (after 7:00!) heading to the yard sales and I was worried that I might have already missed out on everything. 

I hit many, many sales – I think eight or nine in all.  Sometimes I found a few things, other times I did not.  I did not find the elusive belgian waffle-maker, but never fear – I am sure persistance will pay off in the end.  Here is what I did find:


Two gold plastic chargers for $.75 each.  I use these alot during the holidays as underplates at the table or candleholders.


A set of ceramic pumpkin salt and pepper shakers and a little ceramic lidded pumpkin designed to hold a tealight inside.  This will go great in my fall decorations and I LOVE all things pumpkin.  $.75 for all.  This was also the sale where I gave the cutest little girl one dollar for the tiniest, yet tartest cup of lemonade.  I am a sucker for cute kids selling un-palatable drinks.


Costume jewelry set of pearls for $.75.  I love pearls – but already have several strands.  I am thinking of giving these as a gift or using them in some other creative way.  Wrapped around a package?  Especially a wedding shower gift?  If you have any other great ideas, be sure to let me know in the comments section.


This cute little lamp for $3.00.  I have been on the lookout for cute little lamps – now I have two.  (I found a little pineapple one last weekend.)  I feel a change of lampshade coming on, but the base is cute as is.


How many of these cheese servers are out there?   I have seen them many times in the past and on many of your blogs.  Of course, I bought it for the glass dome (the wooden base will probably be trashed).  There are so many cute uses for cloches out there.   Now I have one to use when the inspiration strikes me.  $2.00


These little sherbert dishes were only $.10 each.  In my best blog-stalking, copycatting mode, I plan to use them to create pedestal dishes the way I have seen many of you more creative bloggers doing.  Now I am on the lookout for cute (paintable) dishes. 


This pair of paintings was $2.00.  I bought them for their gorgeous frames:


I wasted no time in popping the paintings out and covering them with chalkboard paint.  Now I have two of these:


Some of you might remember this – I picked it up a few weeks ago for $10 at a yard sale.


(sorry about the fact that this picture is so huge compared to the others in this post – I must have been feeling generous when I took this one!)

I removed the mirror and covered the painted back of it with chalkboard paint (I am hoping this holds up).  I removed the hardware, lightly sanded the piece and spraypainted it a light green color. 


It looks good from far away, but up close there are two spots that look like this:


The paint is all buckled and crackled.  This didn’t happen until I applied a top coat of poly.  My other foray into spray painting yard sale finds was a valet for my husband.  I did many light coats of a brown spray paint.  It wasn’t until the very last coat (no poly involved) that this happened:


Has this happned to anyone else?  Can anyone help me?  You all make spray painting look like a cinch. 

Oh, one other thing – I found this sitting out by the road on trash pick up day.  I thought it would make a nice printer stand in my office.   Of course, it needs a fresh coat of paint, so I need to be schooled on my painting skills before I tackle it.


Of course,  I am linking my finds with the fabulous Southern Hospitality blog’s .  Man, she found some AMAZING stuff this weekend.

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