Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Storage wars?

Mike and Santa saluting in the "before" picture
While organizing our storage units, I thought about the reality TV show, Storage Wars.

If you haven't seen the show, it's based in California, and the contents of a storage unit are auctioned off if the storage unit rent hasn't been paid for 3 months.  Prospective buyers get to see the contents for only 5 minutes, and then they bid on the contents, hoping to find valuable items and make a profit.

And if you could view our storage unit for only 5 minutes, what would you find?

  • U-Haul boxes (and if they could read my amazing labeling would know they contain books, art and photos)
  • See through plastic bins of Christmas decorations, towels, blankets and books
  • Carpet remnants
  • A bike
  • Furniture including a buffet, sewing machine, oak whisky barrel, rocking chair and small benches
  • Large Plastic Santa and Snowman
  • A wooden door (where I started removing the paint about 5 years ago)
  • A garden hose
  • An old gas can

And, the biggest prize of all...a 1973 Dodge Challenger!

And why do we have all of this stuff in storage?  Well, it's the story of merging 2 complete households into 1 house and needing space for those items that didn't fit.  When I first moved here after selling my house in Iowa we had 3 storage units.  Later we consolidated into 2 storage units, and now the finish line is in view:  only 1 storage unit.

And unlike those people who forget about what they have in storage, we know what's there.  AND we try to organize it.

So Mike had the idea of building metal shelves for vertical storage and parking the Challenger under it.  I know, I thought it was crazy too when I first heard the idea.

But after a weekend of building shelves and moving stuff around, I have to say IT WORKED!

Mike doing a trial run of the shelves outside the storage unit

Holding shelves to see if trunk lid could open

Metal shelves in place and Challenger parked under it!

Front view of Challenger

And yes, we still have the second storage unit which contains all the items we plan to sell on Craig's list.  And if they don't sell, off to Goodwill or St. Vincent dePaul they go.  And then....we will just have one storage unit!   The end is in sight.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fun and unexpected

Strange way to advertise margaritas?

Sometimes unusual things bring a smile to my face.  Here are a few that recently caught my fancy.

Towing a rock out of the parking lot?

Flowers as big as your head?
  Great-niece Alice in full pirate regalia.

I still have "the moves".  A game of kick ball with great-nephew Rhys.

Look closely to see the train hood ornament.
Interesting sign in a food court...
New use for embroidery hoops!

Chef Mikie?  Not sure about that pillow around his head...

I hope you are finding the fun and unexpected in each day!


Monday, April 7, 2014

The Ohio State University

Recently we had a little family get together in Columbus, Ohio to see where my niece and nephew attend college.  Alex is a junior and Richie is a freshman, and they love the school.  After a weekend there, I can understand why.

Beautiful red brick college campus with Columbus in the background

The campus sprawls for miles and miles and is absolutely beautiful.  It is one of the largest colleges in the country in both student population and campus size.  There are over 40,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs, and the city of Columbus has a population of over 1 million people.

Unfortunately the weather wasn't very cooperative with rain, sleet and snow, but we made the best of it.
Alex's friend Brian gave us an amazing driving tour of the campus, and Brian and Richie then gave a walking tour of the Rec Center and the Library.  Here's  a quick glimpse of what we saw:

Central campus
Library "quiet room"
Floors of books
Nephews Richie and Dane hanging in library

Mike and nephew Adam in library
The multi-floor Rec Center with a walking track on the top floor

And of course we had to visit the bookstore, where hats were all the rage...

And we enjoyed lots of laughter, food, drink and OF COURSE NCAA basketball..

Angie, Peggy and Gary watching basketball

Eric and Adam watching the game

Peggy, George, Mom and Pam at the hotel
Pam, Brian and Alex at breakfast
Mike, George, Richie and Pam at breakfast
On Sunday everyone headed back home, but Mike and I took advantage of a sunny day and checked out the antiques in Columbus.  And our final stop before leaving town was lunch at "Melt".  They specialize in grilled cheese sandwiches, and they have been featured on the Travel Channel and awarded one the 21 best sandwich shops in the country.  The sandwiches were amazing. Mike tried the "Philly steak" grilled cheese, and I had the basic "Kindergarten" grilled cheese.  

Undoubtedly the best grilled cheese ever, and the decor was fun too...

And why not decorate for all seasons?
So if you are looking for a Midwest travel weekend, I would suggest you head to Columbus.  And definitely eat at "The Melt".