Because Dirty White is Not a Color


When we first bought our place in Florida, I went down for a weekend to hire contractors and get things moving. A neighbor was having a yard sale and I bought two awesome patio chairs. This was before we had toilet seats. I think I spent $30 for a beachy bedspread, 2 chairs and a roll of fabric (to recover the seats of the chairs-not my style). Before I got in the door at my place, someone yelled at me from their car-I KID YOU NOT, this woman followed me as I staggered down the street with my chairs because she wanted to buy the bedspread from me for her 90-year-old mother. I felt like a bandit already, so I just gave it to her. A few minutes later my doorbell rang and she pressed a twenty in my hand insisting I take it. Um, okay. The whole thing was very hilarious and rather sweet.

The chairs have held up really well considering I’m not sure they were really meant for outdoor use, let alone by a pool. The slip covers are a heavy off white canvas. It’s washable, but….. has gotten pretty disgusting over the two years we’ve had the chairs sitting outside getting used by people in wet bathing suits.


This was after many attempts to clean them-dry cleaning and bleach included!

I shopped all over town and online with no luck finding cushions or affordable covers to replace them. And spending hundreds of dollars on cushions or custom slip covers that would continue to sit outside and be exposed to the elements just wasn’t gonna happen.

Maybe we can dye them? I had asked the cleaners about this and they said they could but it would be darker in spots where the stains were. I figured I didn’t have anything to lose and would just try it myself with my favorite dark color: navy blue!


Supplies: 2 stained slip covers, tongs, 4 bottles of RIT dye, salt, hot water, and a large tub

The RIT dye website is awesome! And no, this is not a sponsored post. They have lots of tips and directions. Enough information that I ordered up my four bottles and got to work! And really, that’s all I needed-4 bottles of dye for 2 large chair covers, lots of salt (thanks mom for the tons of salt you left when you moved), hot water, and a husband willing to schlep everything to the backyard so I could watch the kids in the pool and he could cook dinner!


Thanks, hubby!


Dark clothes to go with dark dye! Stir the salt into the hot water first so you can see that it is all dissolved.


Add the dye and stir again.


Keep mixing it up so you get even coverage. Our fabric was really heavy and large, so I kept moving it about the whole time as it tended to fold up a lot. Time varies on how dark you want your color.

 Much improved! I’ll let you know how they held up when I get back down there. But over a few days of use with wet bathing suits and white towels/clothes, nothing rubbed off and they still looked great! blue-cover-pl

Good Ole Florida Kitsch


The Sponge Factory-Tourist Shop and history of Tarpon Springs video on a continuous loop. I love these old cut-outs!

Looking for a fun day in Florida? You’ll do well to spend an afternoon in Tarpon Springs. I remember its claim as the sponge capitol of the world when I was a kid, and it’s still trading on that century old history. The sponge industry was huge at the turn of the last century and as it grew attracted Greek immigrants that brought their knowledge of sponge diving and culture to this little Florida town.sponge-capitol-pl


As we headed back to the DC area late this summer, we spent a few hours in the historic Greek district centered around the Sponge Docks on Dodecanese Boulevard (map).

This area runs along the water and you’ll see boats of all shapes and sizes, plenty of shorebirds, and lots of snowbirds. There are totally cheesy tourist shops-complete with videos on the history of sponging-and delicious Greek restaurants with live music and waterfront seating.


Boats of all shapes and sizes


Dining doesn’t get anymore waterfront than this!


Natural sponges



My favorite? The art bikes! Just like everything else in this charming town, they had a local spin incorporating life on the water and many, many sponges!





I’m not the only one who loved the bikes! This one was by far my favorite.


To see more of this artist’s work check out Flowerbikeman on Instagram.

PS: I know this is out of left field as I’ve mostly just been trying to spread PANDAS/PANS awareness and give updates on our son this year, but hey! I am trying to get back to normalcy-whatever that means, right?!?! B is doing well (much improved actually) so far and we are all just holding our breaths to see if he heals all the way and if that healing sticks around for a while this time!

IVIG Again: Second time’s the charm?


After all the ups and downs of the last 5 weeks, we are doing IVIG again. This means B spends 2 days in his Neurologist’s office receiving donor antibodies via IV in an effort to bring his immune system all the way back, steroids for the migraines and immune reaction to the new antibodies, and saline for hydration.

Then we hope he won’t have the migraines and vomiting, a common reaction, which he had after last time.

He did well today. It’s very hard for someone with a OCD fear of vomiting to let you do something he knows will likely make him throw up. I can’t imagine the stress in his little head-but it is palpable as we peel him from the car and hold him on our laps while his heart pounds away.

I share because, the invisibility of this illness and its psychological manifestations causes many to blame and question children and parents. These are sick kids who need extreme medical intervention.  Treating the symptoms (OCD, ADHD, anxiety, etc) will not cure them and may cause harm. Families need more medical professionals knowledgeable about PANDAS/PANS and insurance coverage for these doctors and procedures.

In the months since B’s last IVIG we have had huge gains. Our hope is that doing it again will bring our son all the way back and give him much needed relief from his symptoms and a chance to just be himself without the demons that have made everyday such a struggle.

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