Sunday, October 31, 2010


As expected, my birthday was fabulous.

I rocked out in a B&W polka dot sweater and plum dress (both from Target!!) at work paired with dark gray tights and black knee high boots. There's just something about polka dots that seem youthful to me. Jim thought I looked like the Joker.

I received a mum from my receptionist, a strawberry filled cake from the whole staff, and a bouquet of flowers from one of my Mexican patients. They are roses. I'm not sure that he understood that is kind of a romantic guesture. He actually came in from treatment, left, and came back with the flowers and a box of chocolates stating, "I forgot to remember your birthday." He's such a nice guy and his son is the cutest. Thanks Martin!

Fridays are a half day for Jim and I, so after work we met at the South Philly Tap Room for a late lunch and early drinks. They have a fantastic variety of draft beers. I also recommend the chips & dip, which among other tasty chips and dips, comes with plantain chips and guacamole

Before heading back home we stopped for coffee at the Ultimo Coffee Bar. Each cup is individually brewed. Inside you'll also find a selection of variety of take-out bottle speciality beers. Jim's favorite in Milk Stout made by Lancaster Brewing Company.

Next on the agenda was pumpkin picking, which would lead to pumpkin carving.

If you look closely you'll notice that I have something stuck in my teeth. Apparently it was there all afternoon and Jim failed to mention it.

We ended up with the pumpkin patch all to ourselves. Seriously. Not another soul in site. It was a beautiful, crisp fall evening and we truly enjoyed just wandering around and soaking in the peace and quiet. The farmer came back to pick us up on the hayride. Jim and I go pumpkin picking every year and we're always the only people on the hayride without kids. This year we were the only people on the hayride, period. It made me gitty.

At my request, Jim dug out the record player and some of my favorite vinyls for the evening. We carved pumpkins, drank merrily, opened presents (including a new camera which I'm totally pysched about!!) and stuffed ourselves with sugar loaded treats and candy corn cake. I would say it was a perfect day to be 30.

Friday, October 29, 2010

An arranged marriage

I received a birthday card at work yesterday (which is really odd because I don't know why anyone would have that address). Enclosed was this...

This is prime example of how wrong I was about life at 30. Obviously if I wasn't married by the terribly old age of 30, I would have to resort to an arranged marriage. And my requirement...make a lot of money and be a caring husband. Seems reasonable?!

In case you're having trouble with the math, I was 16 in 1996. Doug Marsh was a good friend. He was actually my first date. My mother made an exception and let me go on my first date when I was 15, even though the rule was no dating until I was 16. Doug's mom worked at the post office and he was from a good family. But, I decided that I didn't like him "like that" and we remained friends for a lot of years after that. We lost touched in college and I haven't spoken to him in a really long time. I still am somewhat puzzled with how he managed to find me? He was a always a resourceful fellow.

In other birthday happenings...

Jim and I are heading to the South Philly Tap Room after work for drinks and a late lunch. I've requested pumpkin carving, wine, and vinyl records for the evenings festivities. I'm rockin' a polka dot sweater today. Polka dots seem youthful.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Turning 30

It's only hours until my twenties just float away.

I'm can't say that I'm really sad to say good-bye to being 'twenty-something.' I think my thirties are going to be freakin' awesome. The fact that I still say things like "freakin' awesome" goes to show that I had no idea what life would really be like at this age. Who does, I suppose? I'm not sure what I thought, but this isn't it.... First of all, why am not living on some exotic island drinking fancy mango martinis!?

Aside from this working everyday thing, which I think is just called reality, the deep, real part of my life has become so much more than I could have ever imagined a decade ago. Ten years ago, I was working 3 jobs, totally more than 40 hours a week, and a full-time college student with some kind of crazy course load including anatomy & physiology, microbiology, organic chemistry, and calculus II.

I spent my 20th birthday in the emergency room with my mom. She refused to leave the house until I after I had opened my gifts and we all had cake, cake decorated with candy corn because that was my birthday tradition.

My mother was stubborn. And mostly she hated to let our lives controlled by cancer. I don't even remember what was wrong with her that day, maybe bronchitis or some sort of cold. Cancer patients have no immunity, so anything is something. She never really recovered after that and died less than six months later.

(Boy, this is really turning out to be a cheery post)

Point being, twenty seems scarred with tragedy and pain and catapulted me into a world I didn't really want to be a part of, even if I knew it was likely to come.

I spent most of my early twenties trying to endure life financially, mentally, and physically but at the same time attempting to untangle the riddles and rhymes of what life had become for me. Life without my mother. Life as a woman. Life with obligations. Life with avoidance. Life with acceptance. Life with bad hair. Life with love. Life alone. Life with opportunity. Life with ambition. Life with sadness. What life had meant to me and where and I wanted it it to ber. In the process I walked away from a lot of people. I quietly closed a lot of doors on others.and let myself slip into a world of self-absorption. Not so much literally slamming doors and locking people out, but a definite mental shut down. It was a time of self-discovery

As my early twenties slipped into my mid-twenties, my discernment turned into acceptance and appreciation for who I am and how I want this life, my existence, to be. Those years of affliction have brought me so much peace and happiness now. And truthfully, amongst all the grief and turmoil there was a lot of happiness then too, it was just harder to recognize or maybe just hard for me to allow myself to truly enjoy it.

On the eve of turning thirty I feel content with what I have accomplished, grateful for my health, zest for what the next decade has in store, and so thankful that I have achieved such blissful happiness and fulfilment.

Rock On thirties!

me & Kim Tilly, Baldwin-Wallace College 2000

a little Halloween fun in the chem lab

(It is easy to recognize pictures of my early 20s because I have absolutely terrible, crazy hair)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An American Tail

Probably about a month ago, Jim informed me that we had a new friend. A new friend of the rodent type, seen jetting behind the fish tank stand in the basement. I honestly wasn't surprised. We had found 2 dead mice in the pool filter basket over the summer, so I had always assumed there were a few more around. I guess the cold temperatures finally brought them in. And to think, just a week before Jim and I were camped out in our temporary basement sleeping corridors while our hardwood floor were being refinished. It would've been an ugly scence if Mr. Mouse had appeared any earlier!!

But, for whatever reason, I was feeling really guilty about killing the little guy(s). I had seen absolutely no signs of mice upstairs in the kitchen or other living areas, we were no longer living in the basement, and I have to admit there is something kinda cute about mice. I surveyed some coworkers about types of traps and what my options were, but was really taking my good 'ole time putting any kind of plan into action. I decided on the old fashion traps (poison=dead, rotting mice in unknown places; sticky traps=trying to chew off legs and a slow paiful death) and pick up a batch at Home Depot but they remained in the bags for probably 2 weeks until....

Fast forward to October aka candy corn season. It is tradition (in my world at least) to consume mass quanties of candy corn + peanuts (seriously though if you aren't eating this stuff, you're not living life). So, two weekends ago I mixed up a fresh batch on Saturday to enjoy throughout the day while we working all day.

Sunday morning I made my way to the coffee pot in a sleepy daze, half noticing that Jim had picked out most of the peanuts from the remaining mix in the candy dish. That's wierd...why would he pick out the peanuts? The candy corn is obviously the better choice if you're going to pick through the mixture. And what's this? A few random candy corn on the opposite side of the kitchen. Boy, that husband of mine is a slob!

Many apologizes for my bad thoughts Jim. It wasn't you at all.

It was Mr. Mouse or perhaps Mr & Mrs. Mouse and all there neighborhood mice friends (there was seriously a large amount of peanuts missing!) Somehow I didn't know that peanuts (or peanut butter) are the preferred food of those damn rodents. Not only did they ruin my batch of candy corn, but they left a filthy trail of mouse poop all over my kitchen; resulting in rewashing the dishes that had been drying on the counter overnight,an wiping down EVERYTHING in the kitchen, twice. Naturally, I lost any sense of guilt about abolishing the bastards and set Jim on a mission to set up the traps and masacare anything that even resemebled a mouse.

The very next day, we successfully capture and killed (a fast, instant death I assure you) one. And the remaining traps have been untouched. Beware...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Nothing *edited version*

Postseason baseball is sadly over here in Philadelphia. It's a sore subject, so I recommend not bringing it up. At least we'll be getting to bed at a decent hour.

Jim & I at our last Phillies game for the 2010 season

I really need to do something about those bags under my eyes. eek! I'm going to place some blame on the camera angle and the shadow of my hat...but that's becauase I don't want to discuss the fact that I'm turning 30 in a matter of days!

The wine/liquor store is open on Election Day. I mean in case you were worried. Really? why the heck would a liquor store close on a Tuesday because of elections?! I'm so over politics.

Following Jim's recommendation, I'm in the process of adding Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" to my iPod.

I'm also in the trying to catch up on Project Runway. Jim anti-recommends the show. In fact he completely hates it and has banned it from being broadcasted while he's home. DO NOT tell me who makes it to fashion week. Although I can probably guess and in my opinion Mondo is the only one who can really make anything worth a crap this season, I don't need you ruin the drama of it all.

On Saturday night I ate an entire head of cauliflower for dinner (I guess Jim helped with a few bites). The rest of my caloric intake for the day consisted of a yogurt, 2 string cheese, one apple, multigrain GF crackers & hummus, and about a dozen RedVines. So, I think the dinner menu balanced it out. Right?

We decided that Jim's DJ name should be DJ Jammin' Jim i. v. Maybe it was Jazzy. Maybe there wasn't another J word. The point being "I. V." (like ivy) making a play on Jim being the James G. Robinson IV. It's essential to have a catchy, unique DJ name. It even says so on eHow. The creation of Jim's DJ name is actually old news, but I just thought of it again. And it's really irrelevant because I don't imagine that he has any immediate plans to abandon his current profession. But, he's prepared just in case.

The couch is back in the living room. The recliner is on it's way to the basement. The refrigerator is in the middle of the dining room. And the island is in the foyer. Sounds like progress to me.

Tomorrow is Friday, right?

*sorry I hit publish instead of save*


"Happiness depends upon ourselves."


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Squash Feast

Sunday afternoon before heading out to the grocery store, I inquired with Jim about what he wanted for dinner. "Squash, squash, squash!" he replied. So I set to work coming up with some new and exciting fall recipes.

Every year when it starts to get chilly I vow to make a different soup every weekend. We're BIG fans of soup and I just love the smell of it simmer on the stove all day. Plus, it heats up easily for lunch or a side dish for dinner during the week. Every year I end up making about 3-4 soups. And trust me, cold weather last way longer than 3-4 weeks. Jim's squash request seemed like the perfect opportunity to try a new soup and keep my soup vow going for week 2 (week one here).

Thai Pumpkin Soup

1 cup carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 leek, chopped (use the white part and peel away the first layer. I used 2)
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
curry powder or paste (I used powder)
1 smallish pumpkin, peeled, seeded, & cubed
2-3 medium sweet potoatoes, peeled & cubed
2 qts vegetable broth
2 cans coconut milk

Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in soup pot, medium heat. Add carrots, onion, leek, and garlic, season with curry poweder & ginger. Cook until start to everything starts to soften and the onions start to sweat. Add pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover, and let simmer. When the chunks of pumpkin and sweet potato are soft enough to smash with a fork, blend with immersion blender. Stir in cocunut milk. Season to taste with curry, ginger, salt, and pepper. Simmer away (stir frequently). I think the longer it cooked the more the flavors started to come through. It such a beautiful bright orange and super delicious!!

---Side notes ---
*I ended up added a can of pumpkin after I added the coconut milk and let it simmer for awhile. After I slaughtered the little pumpkin trying to peel it, I don't think it was enough to get the full flavor.
*I modifed this recipe from one I saw online and decided to add the carrots (mostly because I needed to use them). I think it made the consistency a little less creamy after blending it, which we didn't mind.
*Remember. I'm more of of an eyeball cook and don't really measure things (baking is a different story!), so you might need to modify for taste.

Next on the menu:
Butternut squash pizzas

butternut squash
asapargus (optional)
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
rosemary, salt, & pepper
premade pizza crust
shredded cheese (I used monteray jack and mozerella)
parmasean cheese

Preheat oven to 400.

Heat 1 medium butternut squash in microwave for ~3minutes. This will help soften the skin and make it easier to peel. Let cool. Cut, remove seeds, and peel (kind of like a cantelope). Thinly slice. Peel and thinly slice onion. Cut asparagus into ~1 inch chunks. Mix in medium bowl. Season with salt & pepper. Add rosemary (1-2 tsp). Drizzle with olive oil and balsmatic (~2-3 Tbsp, you don't drench them in olive oil though). Bake in roasting pan for 20-30 minutes. Squash should be tender and onions will start to brown.

While the squash and onions are roasting away, deal with your pizza dough. I bought frozen cornmeal pizza crust from WholeFoods, so there wasn't much to do aside from remove from package and place on a baking sheet. I decided to drizzle the edges with olive oil and sprinkle with parmasean cheese, which turned out to be a good idea. The recipe I modified suggested rolling out the pizza dough on a floured surface into ~ 8 inch rounds, and sprinkling the top with cornmeal (1Tbsp). The cornmeal crust turned out to be freakin' delicious, so recommend just going with that.

Back to the squash. After it's soft and brown and looking delicious, spoon onto prepared pizza dough. Sprinkle with shredded cheese of your choice. Bake at 425/450 (following directions on the pizza dough) for ~10 minutes or until crust is warm and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and give sprinkle with parmasean.

This is seriously the most gourmet looking thing I've ever made! And it was so good!!! I think the cornmeal crust really put it over the top. We cut up the second one and package it for lunches for Monday...if it's possible it may have been better the second time around. I also had extra squash/onion mix because I didn't want to overload the pizzas, which was yummy warmed up as an extra side dish.

Try it. You'll like it

Monday, October 18, 2010

i heart fall.

Last weekend was such perfect weather! We had a great weekend complete with 2 popcorn nights (we make the best popcorn if I do say so myself!), a squash feast on Sunday, a cool crisp hike with Sofee dog, and plenty of home renovations. I'm happy to report that at a glance, in one room, from one angle it looks like a normal house! Next weekend....cross your kitchen floors!!!!

Our weekends are so jammed packed and the sun seems to be disappearing pretty early these days, so we decided to head out to the park early and bring along a breakfast picnic. Out of convenience we stopped at Einstein Bros Bagels. We had never had breakfast there, but I had experienced a turkey sandwich on a bagel with veggie cream cheese there in the past, which was quite yummy. We have vowed to never go there for breakfast again!!
They basically microwave their breakfast sandwiches and didn't even toast the bagel! It was all soggy and mushy. I could've just went to Dunkin Donuts and paid half the price. Plus, it was a complete madhouse. Next time we'll opt for Manhatten Bagel were they make the eggs & sausage on a griddle and make an excellent breakfast sandwich (I prefer the wrap myself...neither of which are gluten free)
Tyler State Park. 10.17.10


The best dog ever.

At least it's clever grafitti

Go Phillies!!

Stay tuned for delicious Squash Feast recipes....


"Well begun is half done."


Sunday, October 17, 2010


I can't believe tonight is the MadMen season finale! It's such a fantastic show. I love the story line, the of the 1960s as the backdrop, and the way it kinda makes me want to be suppressed into wearing skirts & dresses. sigh. It will be a long, lonely winter without it. True Blood's over and Project Runway only has a few episodes left...seriously, what else is good on Tv these days?

In honor of the finale....
Rolling Stones Inside 'Mad Men' with on set and behind the scences photos...

I also love how the cast is made up of new talent...people that weren't really know before but now famous, recognizable actors.

Also worth checking out is the John Hamm interview on Fresh Air. Fresh Air is overall a good program that I often listen to on late night home commutes, but it's also available on podcast.

Or you can MadMen yourself here. Doesn't it look just like me?

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I hate driving in the rain.

I hate driving in the rain in the dark even more.

But driving in the rain, in the dark, in traffic & construction for 2 hours and 18 minutes never traveling over 40 mph even though my entire commute is on highway roads, needing to pee about half way through, and totally starving is the worstest!!!

(yes. I am aware that worstest isn't actually a word)

That is why I'm finishing my second glass of wine...and will probably have a third. Who am I kidding? I'm definitely going to have a third.

No need to judge me friends. Jim is drinking too, so that means I'm not an alcoholic. That's a rule, right?

Plus, every good commuter knows that drinking is the 2nd best way of coping. The first being cigarettes. The obvious, ultimate, supremo choice because you can consume while driving. A direct and immediate reward. Some days I would die for a smoke. Ahh...a deep inhale, an instant tobacco buzz, calmness coursing through your body, the traffic surrounding you just melts away. Somedays I want to yell out my window to the guy smoking in a car next to me. But I know that one will lead to a pack, leading to another pack, and the next thing you know am a smelly, hacking, raspy smoker. No thanks. I'll drink.

On a brighter note, I had an excellent hair day today thanks to a much needed new haircut. I am extremely apprehensive about changing stylist. Curly hair is apparently difficult for a lot of stylist, resulting in many bad haircut and some serious traumatic events, (like the time a girl dry cut my hair!? What the heck was she thinking?!) so I usually avoid it as long as possibly. Liz was my second shot at someone in the this area and she's definitely a keeper.

It's the best haircut I've had in a really long time.
I got a lot of compliments too, which is always nice.
And I really like the jacket/blazer I was wearing today.

In the end the extra good cancelled out the extra bad, leaving me with just another day.


So the problem with kale, at least at my local grocery store, is that you can't buy just a little. The bag is HUGE, not only taking up way too much space in the fridge, but also requiring a lot of kale consumption.

So, in addition to a couple of nights of roasted kale, I made made up a batch of soup. It was kind of a hodge-podge recipe (I was trying to use up a lot of left-over veggies) but turned out really tasty.

Veggie Soup with Spicy sausage and Kale
(oh by the way I don't really measure stuff when making up my own recipes)

yellow or spanish onion
italian sausage (I used spicy)
1 can diced tomatoes
chicken stock
salt, pepper, italian seasoning
  • Wash, trim and dice carrots, celery, and onion. I like soups to be a little chunky so I keep everything on the larger side.
  • Sautee in soup pot with a little olive oil with salt, pepper, and italian seasoning on medium to medium-high heat.
  • When onions start to look a little 'sweaty', add in italian sausage, remove the casing and pinch off chunks.
  • Sautee until sausage browns, stirring often.
  • Add chicken stock. I added 2 cartoons of the Trader Joe's low sodium brand. I always keep this stuff on hand, especially in the winter, and just kinda eyeball it according to how many veggies I have in the pot.
  • Simmer 10-15 minutes.
  • Add 1 can diced tomatoes, including the juice.
  • Simmer until your hearts desire...or until the veggies and soft and it's nice as steamy hot.
  • Add kale (no stems) at the last minute and cook.

Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Veggie Tales

Who eats kale, right? Aside from the occasional appearance in a soup, I never did...until recently. I think most people think of the semi-slimey consistancy of kale in a soup and assume it will cook up that way. Well, my friend, this recipe is super simple and makes a great crunchy side dish and it's super healthy and loaded with vitamins.

Roasted Kale

4 C. firmly packed kale
1 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash & trim kale, removing any hard stem pieces (at our local grocery store it's mostly trimmed up and ready to go, so I just sort through and break off any remaining stem). Toss with olive oil.
Roast 5 minutes. Toss. Return to oven for an additional 5-7 minutes or until it turns a crispy (kind of brittle) and starts to brown on the edges.

Warning. 4 cups looks like a lot when you start but it cooks down A LOT!

Also pictured above:
Southern style eggplant (It was freakin' delicious!!)

I've had issue trying to make eggplant recipes in the past, but this one was a hit. I choose this recipe because it used corn meal, making it gluten free. I think the key to my success this time around was draining out the excess water. I didn't have buttermilk on hand (and didn't feel like leaving my house to get some) so I found this little trick with the help of a little google searching....

Buttermilk substitute
slightly less than 1 C. milk (I actually used soy because that's all I had)
1 Tbsp white vinegar

Add white vinegar to empty measuring cup. Add milk until it reaches the 1 C. line. Let stand for 5 minutes. Use required amount for the recipe you're using. It actually looks really gross, but tasty like buttermilk in some wierd way.

The pasta pictured is the elbow style Bionaturae, making this gluten free, vegetarian, healthy, and delicious.

Monday, October 11, 2010


"It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinions; it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Life Goes On.

Well, since Jim already leaked this for the world to see...

A little reminder of drunken summer nights & a fantastic simple 'family' vacation. I should warn you that I have no business in karaoke and teaming up with Jim doesn't really help matters. The entire thing is pretty close to horrible...and amazingly I start out with one goofy off-key voice and some how end in another equally horribly, off-key voice. Overall we got a pretty good crowd response. I think it's in part due to our fantastic dance moves. Personally, my favorite part is the voices in the my friend Nicolette's beau laughing.

...i can't get the video to upload so you'll just have to see it here.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Do you think we look alike?

We certainly have similar mannerism.
And a lot of people have always said that it was obvious we were sisters.
I have never really agreed and have thought the Jenn favors my mom and more my dad.
But this picture made me change my mind a little bit.
I think it's because my eyes are hidden.
We have very different eyes.
So different that it has always distracting me from the little features we share.

Eyes can tell you a lot about a person.
I think it's where you can really read a person emotions.
It's easy to smile and hide your sadness or vice versa.
But eyes never lie.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gluten Free Favorites

chunky peanut butter protein bar

I kinda wish these had a different name. I don't like thinking of them as a "diet" food. I actually starting eating these before my gluten free-ish days because they have a ton of protein and no sugar, which is perfect for my post morning workout snack. And now an added bonus that they are gluten free. You can find them at Trader Joe's, WholeFoods, or purchase them on the website. My favorite is the chunky peanut butter ( i don't really care for the chocolate/fudge ones).

2) Bionaturae GF Pasta
Also organic so that's a plus. I've tried the elbow variety first, thinking somehow that a smaller shape was less likely to taste different than regular pasta. I don't just seemed to make sense. I made it as a side with plain red sauce and a little cheese. Jim said he could definitely tell the difference but it was Ok and he would eat it again...he knew ahead of time that it was GF pasta. Last night I made the rigatoni with a spicy ground turkey meat sauce and lovely big chunks of steamed aspargus, sprinkled with parmasean. It was so YUMMY. Jim commented that he loved pasta and should eat more of it... this time he did NOT know ahead of time that it was GF pasta.

3) Bob's Red Mill GF Brownie Mix

The company makes a really extensive line of GF products, but I have only tried the brownie mix so far. The texture was a bit gooey and kinda cake-like all at once...if that's possibly, but the flavor was just as good as any regular brownie mix. I added chocolate chips but think I will try a icing/frosting of some sort the next time. I brought a batch to work and the were gone by the end of the day (not mentioning the words 'gluten free' is key here!) I'm planning to try more products in the future. They get really great reviews and offer a lot of variety in pre-made mixes and GF flours and grains. Although gluten free baking is definitely a whole different ballgame from cooking, so I think I need to do some more research & planning before I get to crazy with it.

4) French Vanilla Coffee-mate

A dear old friend... Thankfully GF, requiring no changes in my morning coffee routine. (check out the website for printable coupons!)

5) Potatoes
I don't know why but somewhere along the line I got away from eating a lot of potatoes. But, now there back in full swing. Baked, mashed, home-fried...I'm loving it. I also think it's comforting to know that I can order them as a side dish if we're out to eat...especially for breakfast at the local diner..." cheese and spinach omelette with home fries, no toast please"

I've also been cooking up some damn cook dishes using corn meal and tortillas...Hopefully I'll get some time to post some recipes this week. The cool temperatures really have me in the mood for cooking!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Another busy weekend at the Robinson house. I started off my Saturday with an early trip to the flea market in our town. Flea markets are the best. And the weather was perfect for browsing around with a hot coffee. For a whooping $15 I came home with a set of coffee mugs that match my moms old dinner plates, 2 rolling bins, a coffee urn, a candlestick, and 4 super cool 50's style glasses with orange stripes! I'm still so psyched.

The rest of the weekend wasn't so luxurious.
We're trying to tackle removing a bazillion layers of paint from the front doors...

Looks like fun, right?

For the most part we (mostly Jim) have had good success with the a non-toxic, biodegradable paint stripper called Citristrip. There are just a lot of layer and a lot of small details on the doors, so it is proving to be very time consuming. This was basically the second straight weekend working on them. It has required all kinds of little brushes and scrappers and is a very messy process. I think Jim was getting frustrated by the progress, so he tried out some old fashion smelly chemical stripper. I couldn't take the smell. I'm not sure that it was that big of a difference, especially for all the terrible fumes it caused.

Not complete, but we're getting there.

Speaking of citrus...
World on the street is that my little spider friends are not so fond of lemon or orange. Would you think I was crazy if I happened to spray all the bushes, trash cans, mail box, and patio areas with lemon antibacterial spray cleaner? Hypothetically speaking of course...
P.S. for a reminder of the true before check out post here and here


" Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first."

~Ernestine Ulmer