Archive | September, 2009

Find the Kitty #10

September 12, 2009

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We’ve been having such fun with our Find the Kitty series that the other cats have been starting to join in, too. Haha, that, or the children are finding more opportunity to LOOK for photo ops.

Here’s that ham, Fuzzy, our tabby cat. He’s a real cuddly cat, too– the moment you sit in the grass, he’s in your lap.

Find Kitty Fuzzy

Livvy is hiding. Find the Kitty! 😉

Find the Kitty LRBx

And this isn’t a Find the Kitty moment, but I found Livvy’s position amusing. She pining in front of the window, because she can’t go outside like the “other” tabby cats.

Monorail Livvy

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Our First Year of Apples!

September 8, 2009

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The boys harvested our very first harvest of apples from our apple tree! Woohooo!!!

Our Apples

Yeah… we have a LOT of hornets and wasps around the homestead, how could you tell? :-p

I am now convinced of the beauties of pesticide, people. Yow. Those bugs had a feast.

We will chop up what we can of the apples and freeze them, for making pies and other yummy things during the winter. It’s our first year where we got anything meaningful from our tree, so I am excited! It was many hard years of beating back the rabbits and the deer from my poor tree, all these years. Ah, success!! I BEAT THEM!!

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A Review of the BugZip Luggage Encasement

September 4, 2009

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With everyone going on their final vacation blitz for the summer, I thought now would be a great time to mention a very handy-dandy item that I recently tried out. It’s BugZip. It’s marketed as a travel accessory, but I think it is also perfect for around the home, too.

BugZip is an all-vinyl, zippered encasement that you can use to protect your clothing and linens from bugs, especially [insert creepy organ music] BED BUGS. The plague of bed bugs has been the #1 reason why I rarely stay over at hotels or motels. I don’t care HOW clean those places “look” or even “smell,” bed bugs are tiny and are very good at hiding themselves. And I HATE them. I am horribly allergic to bug bites- even a black flea bite or flea bite causes me to break out into hives, and my lymph glands swell up like golf balls. I have to be very, very careful about bugs. The thought of bed bugs makes me feel very queasy. :S

BugZip1

BugZip has a tear-resistant vinyl case with a reinforced plastic zipper. Whoever invented this was really smart– the BugZip cases come in various sizes, including Drawer Liner, Luggage Encasement, Medium Suitcase Encasement, and Garment Bag Encasement. BugZip is specially designed to resist bed bugs from creeping into the clothing and linens. There are no seams or cracks in the vinyl for bed bugs to hide– plus, everything is clear colored and visible. The BugZip people recommend that if you use the BugZip cases for travel, the last thing you do before leaving a hotel/motel room is that you leave the BugZip cases at the hotel/motel for disposal. That’s an extra precaution, just in case those bed bugs find a way to nestle into the zippered area. Bed bugs are insidious critters. It’s been said that most hotels/motels now have bed bugs at some level. :S Be extra, extra careful. Bed bugs are very invasive and are very difficult and costly to get rid of.

OK, on to my review. The BugZip packages are very lightweight, and very flat– perfect for taking along in your suitcase or camper, because they don’t take up much room. Or, you can pre-load your clothing into the BugZip cases and then tuck the cases into your camper or suitcase, whichever you prefer.

BugZip2

I opened the Drawer Liner case package and attempted to shape the case. The vinyl is durable. The zipper enclosure seems a little stiff at first. The corners of the case must be zippered slowly and carefully. I was afraid the zipper would break, but it didn’t. After a few times zippering and unzippering, the zipper softened up a little and it was easier. But I advise you zip slowly around the corners.

bugzip4

Overall, I like the sizes of the cases– they seem to be measured with most drawers and suitcases in mind. Clothes and blankets fit easily into them. It’s MUCH better than digging your travel clothes out of garbage bags at the hotel!

BugZip3

They are perfect for home storage, too, and can be used indefinitely for home use. The plastic cases would prevent critters like moths, fleas, ants, and nasty earwigs from creeping into your clothing. The cases would also keep the clothing dry in storage. I think they are great!

So I give the BugZip a thumbs up. Depending on the size of case you need, BugZip cases can be anywhere from $10 to $20. That’s a little pricey, but if you are getting just a few from travel and work it into your budget, it’s not too bad. And it is WAAAY better then bringing home bed bugs and having to pay an exterminator $5,000.

Remember, I’m a pro-blogger and I am sometimes compensated with stuff or money to review products! This was one of them. 😀 You can read more about my blog policy on my “About Us” page.

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Securing Your Garage Door for a Hurricane

September 3, 2009

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My weatherman has been warning us from time to time of “tropical systems” creeping up into the Northern/Western Hemisphere. While hurricanes rarely hit the Northeast (they DO strike us, though– check out this post about the most damaging one to ever hit the U.S., in 1938), they usually do affect our weather. But this post isn’t for those of us in the Northeast; it’s for my many readers in the South, who are in the midst of hurricane season right now. I have never been through a hurricane, but it must be a horribly harrowing experience. The photos I have seen on the hurricane-chasers’ digital cameras and videos are scary enough!

Bob Vila has a great article about getting your garage doors storm ready. I think it’s very timely!

Hurricanes have taught us that garage doors are possibly a home’s greatest danger zone in a high-wind event. Bracing garage doors against failure has become the focus of code officials and manufacturers as buildings are built better to resist damaging winds.

…In the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew’s devastation in 1992 the building codes in many coastal counties and storm-threatened areas made a leap in stringency. One of the most important changes in code concerned the biggest hole in our homes—the garage door. Failure of the garage door in a hurricane leaves a breach in the house envelope that can be as big as 300 square feet. Experts conclude that the resulting change in pressure can blow a roof off the house or create other tears and fissures in the home that allow rains and water to invade and damage or ruin drywall.

Basically, your garage door needs vertical AND horizontal bracing along the interior of the door. You can buy a new garage door specially built for hurricanes, build the bracing yourself, or buy kits to “retro-fit” your garage door to bring it up to standards. Of course, the bracing is only as good as the structure you are attaching it TO. Check out Vila’s article for more info!

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