Archive | January, 2010

Find the Kitty Friday 1/29

January 29, 2010

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Well, where COULD she BE? She’s not as good at hiding any more, because she’s such a big girl now. And I think Pumpkin Spice has got her beat. But she still sometimes thinks she’s invisible, lol.

FTK 1.29

But she’s a bored kitty. She desperately needs some new toys. She is usually in front of her hiding place, either staring at me or licking the screen, YUK! I have no idea what to get her, as she is easily bored. Suggestions are always welcome. šŸ˜€

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Just Try and Knock This Over, Buddy

January 28, 2010

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We haven’t had hardly ANY snow this year, but the snowplows have gone wild! There are three road signs along the front of my property, and two of them are fallen on the curb, the victims of the maniac snowplow driver. One of them (a “No Parking” sign) is horribly mangled, as if the snowplow dude ran over it back and forth with sadistic glee. šŸ˜ I hope the town gets the sign repaired before spring, or we’ll be inundated with parked cars all summer. Then again, we usually ARE, because the drivers practically ignore the sign, anyway.

My husband is a mailman, and he’s had his share of reaching for mangled mailboxes. People seem to like those new-fangled Rubbermaid plastic mailboxes, but I think they look like those Little Tykes toys… and I doubt they’d survive the Sadistic Snowplow Driver!

How about this sweet baby? CAST ALUMINUM! Now that’s what I’m talking ’bout! He hits that, and he’ll hear a “DING” all right! It’s a pretty penny– over $100 at Buy.com. May want to wait for it to go on sale, though. Knowing Buy.com, it wouldn’t take long… they are such a cool store! I always check them first before any other retailer now. Their deals are so sweet!

So what do you think? Do you think it would stand up to The Snowplow? Or at least make him think twice before slamming into it? šŸ˜‰

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I Did It Again

January 28, 2010

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Well, I rearranged the furniture in the living room again. Hee hee. I do it just about every four months or so. :S This time my husband was at work, so it was quite the surprise when he came home. His first reaction was, “Uh oh, she did it again” followed by, “Hey, this is much better.”

Whew.

The room has been renovated for over two years now, and I really haven’t done much for decor. I’m kind of baffled as what to do with it. Last year, the room was a combo classroom and living room, with desks, computers, and a couch. But three of the children have work stations elsewhere in the house, now.. so I have my living room back (and we’re down to two desks). Maybe my listlessness is the result have having been decor-less for so long…. but I have not the foggiest idea of what to do in here. It’s still so utilitarian. Any ideas, anyone? I know I have some very talented readers… feel free to offer suggestions!

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I know the first thing is to get rid of that ugly brown carpet. :-p I added it to protect the laminate floor from heavy scuffing, but now that I no longer babysit, I think I can remove it. My main concern is the walls. They are just… empty, and bland. I need more artwork, more… something. I have some Norman Rockwell prints that need frames yet… and I saw this print at Buy.com (yes, they even have art!) and just love it! It’s the Native American Indian Old Tribe And Symbols Tribal Map and I love it! I think it would be cool to have prints of maps and other historical things hanging on the walls, especially since my living room serves as a partial office. Buy.com always has a good sale, and they have everything, even a decor department. I’ve been sifting through the pages of sales and am TRYING to control myself! lol. I also saw this Old World Map and it’s spectacular!

As far as decor, I’d like to have a “sepia” tone, old-fashioned, historic look about the decor here. But the placement of the furniture– with two desks, a couch, and three bookshelves— and the style of the room– with three huge windows and two doorways— boggles my mind. Not to mention that the heater vents are on the FLOOR in the middle of three of the walls! Gah! Whoever did the furnace system was a NUT.

Anyway, the place is cluttered, and I don’t know what to do….

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Find the Kitty Friday 1/22

January 22, 2010

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Not too hard for this January Friday. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been working my tail off (I got a new WAHM job) and am too tired to play hard….

Find Kitty Laundry

I hope you guys come up with some good ones! Leave a comment and I’ll come visit. šŸ˜€

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The Mother of All Surge Protectors

January 21, 2010

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Wow. Surge protectors are getting pretty spiffy these days. I saw this monster on sale at Buy.com. It’s called the Monster Cable MP HTS850 Home Theater PowerCenter!

I have a few big surge protectors– but not enough and definitely not one as beefy as this baby. It’s a very smart thing to buy surge protectors for your electronics. That $2,000 HDTV or $1000 computer and monitor can fry in a second’s notice should your electrical system experience a power surge. We’ve had some pretty close calls here. The power system is sometimes unstable (and it doesn’t help that people slam into the telephone poles). We’ve had a few surges and all I can say is THANK GOD we had surge protectors.

This particular monster is specially designed for the home entertainment system. I think it’s very nice– it’s cool that surge protectors are now coming with special organization; I hate cord clutter! This has colored tabs for the VCR, DVD, TV, etc. No more guessing what cord belongs to what appliance, either! Nice. It’s on sale for $40, down from the typical retail price of $130, which is a terrific price for a surge protector this big. It comes with data surge protection, and a nice guarantee!

Get a surge protector for your electrical appliances! Thunderstorm season is coming soon… not to mention that down the street, we had a transformer explode last week….

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Kitchen Shelving To Replace Cabinets

January 21, 2010

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I’m not 100% sold on installing kitchen cabinets when we renovate this spring. They are so darned-tootin’ expensive. Even the least expensive I can find will cost me about $2000. That’s a good chunk of change, and I loathe to part with it. I like cabinets, but why are they so costly??

I’ve pretty much set my heart on JUST having a ROOM again for a kitchen. If I have to live a while without cabinets and counters, I will. I’m SO looking forward to having electricity, non-leaky plumbing, a window that will give me some daylight into this cave, closed-up insulated WALLS, and a smooth floor. Cabinets and counters can wait a little bit, if necessary. I’m even open to having shelves built on the walls, if necessary.

I did some digging, and apparently, kitchen shelving is “in” right now. I saw these photos at Country Living online and the decor made my mouth water.

I do love that old-fashioned look.

I’m undecided about installing shelves being a permanent thing. I have nothing against an occasional shelf… but weren’t cabinets made for the purpose of keeping out the dust? My house is dusty. It’s plaster (well, less and less every time we renovate!) but we also have a bird and a cat… pretty dusty; enough to warrant allergy bedding in some cases… shelving would only make it worse, right? Plus, if I had only kitchen shelving to replace cabinets, I fear lest I be dusting those blasted shelves every day. I’d have to devote about an hour of washing shelves every evening! šŸ˜

Do you have kitchen shelves? Are they high-maintenance? I’m toodling with the thought of having a few to replace upper cabinets… whenever I get cabinets…. I just don’t know yet.

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Tree Cutting FAILs

January 21, 2010

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Ouch ouch ouch! We saw these, and ooo they made us cringe! I’ve taken down a few trees in the past– hint: use ropes! VERY long ropes, people!

Well this guy used ropes… but he used them the WRONG way!

Oh, and if you have a nice car… why not move it FAR FAR away before you cut your tree down?

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Offbeat Design is Right!

January 19, 2010

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When I was young– back in the late 70s and early 80s– there was a craze for families to get “back to nature.” Not to be swinging from the trees, mind you, but to leave the dirty urban centers with their high taxes, crime, and chaos, and live free in the wilderness. We moved away from suburbia in the mid-80s, to a very rural parcel of land on top of a mountain. My few years spent there deeply affected my viewpoint of homesteading. My family didn’t go far enough– I would have liked to live an almost sparse, Amish-type of life: devoid of DuranDuran, Cyndi Lauper *shudder*, weight loss products (and public schooling) and such, but my dad was an electronics man with his own shop… and therefore we didn’t live entirely off the land. But they had hopes of building an underground house (my dad was concerned about nuclear war- this was when things between the US and USSR were very heated). I think I would have loved that– a cozy cave to snuggle in!

So I spent a long time gazing at these photos when I found them at Dornob.com. This site is so cool! This is an underground home built in Switzerland, at the foothills of the Alps! Oh it’s so beautiful! But so unconventional!

I wouldn’t mind living in the ground one bit. It’s definitely more temperate. And you don’t have to worry about painting your wood siding every five years. :-p Would you do it?

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Paint Colors for the Kitchen

January 18, 2010

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I’m STILL working on a schematic for the electrical and plumbing for our Kitchen Renovation, well, actually, I haven’t started it yet.. :-S … but I can’t help flipping through the home magazines and color swatches, trying to envision what color my kitchen will be.

I hate white. It WON’T be white!

When we moved here, everything was painted white– the siding, the exterior trim, the porches, the rails. And the inside was all white– the walls, the trim, the doors. It is so ugly! Why do people use boring old white on everything! I like color. I have a study that is sage green, and a dining room that is red. And it’s mighty pretty.

Curtains

Red is very bold; done poorly it will look garish on plaster walls. But my dining room has four windows, six doors, and a stairwell– it’s a busy room! I needed a bold, solid color to reign in the chaos of it all, kind of like acne treatment for the bumpy plaster and confusing mass of doorways. The trim is a super-glossy white. I like it.

My Entry Hall is green, red, and beige, with acanthus leaves on the wallpaper border. The kids are standing in it, here:

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Because my home is Greek Revival, I’d like to stick with a general “Greek” theme, or at least a more old-fashioned kind of scheme. I painted my Living Room beige after we renovated it. I’ve never been fond of beige, but I like the luminous, light-filled look for the room.

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(I intend on replacing those old curtains with longer drapes in a brown/red pattern).

So I’m thinking of painting the kitchen red. My daughters are not keen on it– they think the room will be too dark with red. But the cabinets will be beige (like maple or a light oak color), and we’re going to add another window in the room… is red too unconventional for a kitchen? I don’t want green, and the cabinets are already beige….

Anyone have any ideas? What colors are your kitchens? Do you like them? If you could have your kitchen in ANY color, what would it be?

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OverGrading Your Upgrade

January 17, 2010

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When I bought this old house, I knew it needed work. I was actually thrilled to get a house that I could do “my” way. I envisioned solid-surface countertops, brass fixtures, a jacuzzi in the Master Bedroom Suite, a Family Room with a great big stone hearth, and solid oak flooring everywhere!

Whoa, Nellie. I have since learned a thing or two. One: There’s NO WAY I can afford that!! And Two: I’d never recoup my investment with such a glitzy upgrade, not in this neighborhood. I live in a depressed area (this is New York) and the average value of homes here (currently) is a miserable $90,000. I got my home for $63,000 twelve years ago. The appreciation STINKS around here. I could never dump $60,000 more into my home and expect to recoup it all, not in this area and certainly not at this time.

When you decide to upgrade, don’t go overboard, don’t overvalue your renovations more than your neighborhood allows. Unless of course, you have tons of money to burn and want to do so for the sheer enjoyment of it. That’s cool. But if you are looking at your property as a partial investment, then it’s not cool to dump a lot of money into your Money Pit.

So now that we have lived here for a few years, I’ve tempered my dreams. I guess you could say that, thanks to experience, they’ve undergone the best weight loss supplement treatment. Skip the Jacuzzi, I’d just like to have ELECTRICITY in the bathroom again. And solid surface countertops for $5,000? No way– give me laminate and I’ll use the rest of the money to plant a flower bed or make a few more windows.

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