….I knew that I needed one of those Frankoma arrow head ashtrays. (Like I need anything else)
I’ve written about my obsession with the now defunct Frankomapottery company a few times.
Took a while of cruising eBay, but I scored one for myself…….pale green glaze, and cheap too.
Now I finally have enough..
With that settled, let me introduce y’all to Roger and Chris, and the 160 year-old Victorian they refurbished in Sharon Springs, NY.
…and their pink Isetta too,
Isn’t that place just awesome?
Never in a million years would I think to paint a house black with a hot-pink door…….but it works. (Oooh, it looks like the house and trim are 2 different shades of black, but they’re really just flat vs semi-glass)
And the inside of the place?….Just the right amount of junk, and color, mid-century, and antique.
I’ve been following these boys since they lived in Austin a few years ago. Check out that house here. (I think that I might actually like it better)
There’s only so much we can tackle by ourselves on a bathroom remodel.
Well……..Everything so far….except for the plumbing.
We found a professional plumber for that. (Probably a good idea)
Here’s our list for him:
Move water lines for sink to the left of the stud about 14″
Move drain closer to the vent on the left
New wall will be 4″ thicker
Move water lines for shower to center wall
Replace water line for toilet
Replace toilet flange and adjust for new floor height
Replace shower drain and center on floor
Also, is this a good time to move the outdoor faucet to the side of the house? (Easy access when we remove the shower floor completely)
We WILL build a deck out there one day and this is problem numero uno. We can not have a faucet under the new deck.
Back to the bathroom….
We also need him to install a custom shower pan liner and all the new fixtures. We were looking forward to installing the toilet ourselves, but all the reviews online stated that it was tough to do……..so let’s just pay him to do that too.
Is that everything?
Nope, while he’s here…
how about changing the knobs in the other, currently working, shower? They are a little …….embarrassing.
Of course, Jamie wants him to bid out installing a tank-less water heater……
I’ve known Carmen as one of our store’s best customers for about 12 years.
With her mandatory crested-blazer, jingling charm bracelet overflowing with Cartier charms, and blond hair piled high like a heaping dollop of gravity-defying whipped cream….she’s hard to miss. She commands a room with all the gentle enthusiasm of a longhorn stampede.
A few years ago, I had the good fortune to sit next to her at a dinner party. Her quick, syrupy southern wit had my side aching from laughing hard all night. Somewhere in the course of that evening, she shared this recipe with me….and I’ve been making it ever since.
You can tell it’s a great southern recipe because it contains a stick of butter, a can of something, and as many jalapenos as you can handle.
When a Texan woman shares a recipe like that with you….you better believe that it will be good.
And now I’m sharing it with y’all.
Here’s all it takes:
1 Stick of Butter
8 Ounce Brick of Cream Cheese
2 Cans of White Shoe-peg Corn (Drained)
8 Ounce Jar of Pickled Jalapenos
Melt the butter and cream cheese together in a small pan over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Once they’ve both melted and blended together.
Mix in the corn and heat it through….
Finely dice as many jalapenos as you can handle and add them too.
Make sure they’re crisp and not soft. The soft ones just fall apart.
Now, how many is enough?
Pickled jalapenos aren’t quite a hot as you may think they are……and the cream cheese/butter cuts a lot of the heat. Carmen uses the whole 8 ounce jar.
Trust her, the more – the better. (I use the whole jar too)
Of course, you could just serve it like it is…..but this seems like such a “Steak House” side dish that I treat it like one. I pop a big heaping scoop into individual cast iron dishes and slide them under the broiler for about 4 minutes……
……’till they’re lightly browned and bubbling.
Perfect side next to a grilled steak….and everybody gets their own dish.
Every now and again I like to imagine that my life is a sitcom. And sometimes, just occasionally mind you, I’ll step outside of my comfort zone and make a smallish life decision simply based on whether or not it would make for a good episode.
I thought, “Why not do it? How many people can say they were in the cast of a professional opera?”
I’d watch that episode.
My roommate back then worked for the Dallas Opera. Because the show they were producing at the time was an entirely male cast, they were having a little trouble finding enough available men to fill the stage. I have to be honest, I’d only seen one opera before then and it was pretty dreadful. Maybe y’all have heard of it……De Valkyrie. It’s the Wagner opera with Brunhilda.
Still not familiar?
See if this jogs your memory…….It’s the one where Elmer Fudd has the “speawr and mawgic hewlmet” that Buggs Bunny, in drag with a horn-helmet with pig-tails and riding a ridiculously fat horse, tricks him into relinquishing. Fudd sings the ohhh-so-memorable chant,
“Kill the Wabbit! Kill the Wabbit!”
Ya know what? Here ya go…..
Ahhhhh, there it is. Now you know which opera I’m talking about. (I never claimed to have “high-brow” readers)
Anyway. If you’ve never seen an Opera before, I don’t recommend Wagner to start with. De Valkyrie is the second of 4 excruciatingly long operas based on the none-too-fascinating topic of Norse mythology. (Insert big eye roll) Also, It’s a bit like seeing the Empire Strikes Back……without ever seeing A New Hope or Return of the Jedi. But not even remotely as interesting. There’s a reason that Hitler played Wagner over the loudspeakers at concentration camps.
Back to my story,
My opera was Billy Budd by Benjamin Britten. It’s based on the Herman Melville story about a young muscular sailor whose hanged after his homo-magnetism leads him to accidentally kill his Master at Arms with one punch.
I was to be a supernumerary……a “climber” they called it.
In the opera world, supernumeraries are non-speaking/non-singing roles. They mostly fill the stage in crowd scenes. I wasn’t supposed to sing, I’m hardly a trained professional opera singer…….but of course, I was singing anyway. Anyone who’s ever been in a car with me for more than 5 minutes knows that I was most certainly singing. I can’t control it. I think it might be a form of turrets.
My costume was a pair of grey linen Capri pants and a belt. That’s was all. No shirt, no shoes, not even a jaunty sailor cap. Some of the other “climbers” we’re given head-wraps or gauntlets, but I wasn’t even that lucky. After about 10 of the guys cut their feet, we were given espadrilles to wear so we’d stop leaving bloody footprints on the stage……….but still no shirts. The wardrobe department assured me that it was more historically appropriate for me to be shirtless………but they had no comment about how historically accurate it was for 19th century sailors to wear espadrilles. So there I was, onstage for two-thirds of the production, shirtless and in karate shoes, nipples exposed to the world. When I wasn’t scrubbing the deck, climbing rope ladders, or carrying a spear….. I spent the rest of my stage-time crouching behind other dudes in crowd scenes hiding my “fondness for Tex-Mex” that was hanging over the waistband of my Capris…..
The scope of the production was beautiful. The music, the sets, the lighting……just beautiful.
If I wasn’t much of an opera fan before this experience….I certainly am now.
I found a few pictures from a recent production in Los Angeles. Pretty similar to the one I was in. (Notice the espadrilles on the extras)
It was quite a commitment. Every night from 7 to about 10 we rehearsed, 3 weeks at an unairconditioned rehearsal studio and then a week at the Fair Park theater on a hydraulic stage. The 3-hour show had 2 dress-rehearsals, and then 4 performances.
Some members of the Dallas Boys Choir were in the production too as cabin boys. Only they were being paid to sing. I think they were all about 10 to 12 years old. On the night of our final performance, at the end of the 5 weeks of work, we got our paychecks. The boys were thrilled to get checks for $150. Just thrilled.
Because I wasn’t a paid singer, and just a supernumerary, my check was only $120.
Let me save you from doing the math on your own……that comes out to 80 cents an hour.
It wasn’t about the money for me anyway.
I was just hoping that the whole experience would make for a good episode.
If I really was living in a TV show….
I think it would have been one of the highest rated episodes of my life.
It used to look like this bumpy, rusty nastiness….
Anybody who willingly sprays “popcorn” on a ceiling should be shot on sight.
It took Jamie an hour to scrape all that crap off. True Cavender Diary fans will remember Jamie scrapping the popcorn off the master bedroom ceilingthe first week we were in the house 5 years ago. He’s a pro at it by now, even made himself a stylish trash-bag-poncho.
Lying on my back and looking up…this is the view after Jamie finished.
Since there were just too many holes, from the heat lamp, vent, fan…..and nothing over the shower, my brother Ben and I decided that the best plan of action was to just add a fresh layer of drywall over all the existing ceiling.
….took an act of God for one of us to hold a sheet of drywall over our head and the other to screw it into the cross beams. (Look at the far right and you’ll see all the holes from our failed attempts)
But we got it…….
Then the layers of mud and light sanding to make it all smooth. (I’m starting to see why people use popcorn spray now)