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Now that I’ve upped my cable, I’ve logged way too many hours of HGTV and DIY. I love the before/after shots, I love the simple explanation of how to do something, the show-off of cool tools. What I tend to forget, though, is the magic of TV editing. These shows make you think a little sandpaper and paint make everything better. Well, sometimes.

In any event, my cable viewing made me feel up to the challenge of refinishing my dining room table. We have a black Pottery barn table, and I wanted it white.

The whole project started out OK. We moved the table outdoors. J showed me how to use his power sander. I went to town sanding. I stirred my paint. Found my paintbrushes. And then … one coat on, and helloooo rain! Seriously. Got to love South Florida weather. It was blue skies, then instant downpour. By the time we moved the table inside, the rain stopped.

Post-rain mishap, table was back outside, and after more work than HGTV made me believe, we had a white dining room table. I still need to so some touch-ups to the table, and I’m looking for new chairs, but all in all, I’m happy 🙂

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Today, the wonderful Mangopunch sent us a fabulous Valentine’s Day card, and I dare say one-of-a-kind.  As in, hand crafted.  As in art.  Ladies and gents, the lady is talented.  She always sends the most thoughtful things, and regardless of it’s size or material, you know it’s priceless and unique.

Earlier in the day, I starred in awe as my Cubicle Neighbor showed me the cuteness she crafted with her two hands (I don’t want to give it away here as they were gifts, but they were really cute).

These folks do art.  They create something with their two hands.  They go to the store and choose colors and materials, and patterns and supplies.  They take a thought and make it something you can see and touch.  And ultimately, they’ve made a smile.  Behold, the power of the arts – in any form.

I say this as we’re about to enter yet another Hallmark Holiday weekend – Valentine’s Day.  Let the flowers, the candy, the balloons, the teddy bears all roll in.  Watch the frenzy and the sweat drip in the greeting card aisle as one tries to pick the perfect card.  Are we just friends?  Do I really love this person?  Maybe I just like them a lot?  Should I go funny or serious or sappy? There’s nothing wrong with these things, let me say, but it makes me remember just how much I hate Hallmark and how much I love a good handwritten note, or personal mix tape (fine, a playlist will do), or self-made cupcakes.

I’m so jealous of those with talents I lack – pasting, sewing, sticking, threading, cutting.  But, I’m very happy to be on the other end – the receiving end.  If you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter.  That’s my motto.

I know, they call them DIY projects – but, honestly, all by yourself?  Cue Celine Dion: All by myself, don’t wanna be, all by myyyyselllff … I’m sure there are a ton of DIY projects – painting a room, making popcorn, hanging a curtain rod, feeding the cat ….

JP and I decided to tile two bedrooms and a closet.  Now this, I’ve learned, is NOT a DIY.  Rather, a DIT project: Do-It-Together.  There’s no way one person could do this.  Thankfully, JP is rather handy and knowledgeable and has magic powers that get me to agree to taking on projects like this – so this was a do-able task.  With any construction-related project in the Pace casa, however, I have to take the role of peon given my degree in English and his in Building Construction Management 😉  In any event, after a slow start, some YouTube searching (me, on how to grout – this guy’s tip on leaving the ‘chunks’ … it really worked!), getting our hands on an awesome tile cutter (thank you so much, V!), a lot of coffee and one minor ‘tude meltdown (me, it was Day 2 and 40 degrees outside!), we’re pretty much done.

And in this process, I’ve learned some valuable and miscellaneous things:

1) My knees are far more valuable (and feeble) than I thought.

2) It (and in the Pace casa, “it” is everything) always takes longer than planned.

3) My wee arms cannot even hold a chalk line down.

4) Realized, however, I actually knew what a chalk line is and is used for.

5) Cleaning buckets of tile set and grout and tools in 40-degree weather is not cool … it’s freezing.

6) Gloves are amazing.

7) Construction is not a science, but an art.  Well, maybe a little of both 😉

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The house as we bought it with ugly purple room with rug:

… painted Mint Ice Cream (an earlier project) and rug removed, showing lovely old school chalkboard-colored vinyl tiles:

… tile almost done! (And new wooden blinds!  Really, is there anything JP can’t do?!  He is quite amazing.)

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