Archive | July, 2010

New York Office Suites- wow!

July 14, 2010

Comments Off on New York Office Suites- wow!

You can learn a lot from studying office design.

While we’re working on the kitchen and dining room of the house, we are also trying to keep a mind on the future. We have an attached garage that we do not use, so I have intentions of converting it into a Conservatory (a family room with lots of glass windows) for the musicians in the family to play and listen to music, where we can read and pray together, and basically relax. It will have big plants, lots of light, comfortable chairs, and a very sweet audio sound system. NO television, no computer, no radio. It will be our quiet room.

Of course, that leaves me the living room to then tool around with. šŸ˜€ i work at home, but I have no office. Since I am a writer, I really need a quiet, non-interrupted atmosphere to write. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to do this in the living room– the cat, the bird, the kids, the schoolwork, the phone, the road traffic… UGH! I often stay up very late to do my work because it’s the only time I can THINK.

So I’m planning on building a small home office– I’ll probably get rid of the living room concept all together. We don’t watch TV, we don’t have parties…. if the kids have guests, they can go in the Conservatory. I want the living room to be my office space.

Oooo lala, offices are IN, baby! Home offices, yes, but all kinds of offices. They are making offices more “homey.” There are companies specifically hired to create offices, any kind. I think I would love that! It’s really great to see the cubicle disappearing, isn’t it? Skylights, soft chairs and couches, pretty decor, plants…. it’s all very inspiring.

So… while we restore the kitchen and dining room, here’s hoping the Conservatory and Office are not too far behind. Once we have the electrical and plumbing done, I think the rest of the house will be a breeze!

Continue reading...

R.I.P Daisy

July 12, 2010

8 Comments

Daisy Beagle

My sweet beagle died over the weekend. šŸ™ We got her about nine years ago from a family that had saved her from the dog pound (and certain death). She had the sweetest temperament that I’ve ever known in a dog, but she had some habits that annoyed some people (and that’s probably why she was placed in the pound). She loved dirt. LOVED IT. I’d bathe her, and next thing she’d do is run outside and roll around in the grass and dirt. Once I made the mistake of giving her a bone before a very soggy, rainy day (we have a lot of those in Upstate New York, these days), and she promptly went out and buried it, rain and mud notwithstanding.

Daisy the Mutt

She had a strong beagle instinct, and wanted to smell like the outdoors, so she could chase rabbits and cats. Unfortunately, she never got her wish to chase rabbits (although she did chase our cats on occasion)– we had to keep her tethered because we live on a busy street. Sometimes she would get loose though (almost ALWAYS at very inconvenient times!) but a kindly neighbor would catch her. She made friends wherever she went– the neighbors almost seemed happy to re-catch her after a escapade, and said, “Goodbye, Daisy!” when I took her back.

As a puppy, some previous owner had Daisy’s vocal cords removed. So she couldn’t bark. When the FedEx guy or UPS guy or mailman would come to the back door to deliver a package, she would raise her head and open her mouth to howl, but nothing would come out. The UPS man said to me, “I know she’s trying to say something, but I can’t figure it out!” He loved her. He would bring biscuits for her and pat her on the head when he came to deliver a package. She never bit anyone, ever. She loved everyone.

She also loved food, glorious food! Before she was old and sick, she would bounce up and down and scratch you on the legs to get to the food dish you carried for her. It took her a loooooong time to learn “Sit, Daisy!” She was a stubborn thing– when she didn’t want to do something, she didn’t do it. But she eventually learned to “sit,” and I was able to stop patching holes in our pants. Still, when she saw the food dish coming, she would hop and whirl around. It was really entertaining. We called it her “Chow Time Jig.” Boy, she was funny.

She stopped her Chow Time Jig about a year and half ago. Arthritis had set in, and she never got loose anymore. Then, her kidneys gave out.

Daisy and Livvy

We buried her in the backyard, under the spruce tree at the property line. That’s where the rabbits hide, in the tall grasses beyond the tree. We thought she’d like it back there. I was never much of a “dog person,” but Daisy was special. I didn’t realize how many millions of times I checked on her throughout the day, peeking through the windows to make sure she was there, and seeing her contentedly snoozing in the sunshine in the clover patch, until she was gone. I can’t seem to break the habit– I’m still looking out the window for her, dozens of times every day. I have yet to break the news to the UPS man. I don’t think I’ll order anything online for awhile, until I can tell him while keeping my composure.

Rest in peace, Daisy.

Continue reading...

Dusty Whiskers and Other Cat Photos

July 8, 2010

4 Comments

Apologies to all of Livvy’s ardent fans. Photos and stories of my darling Tabby Point Siamese have been few and far between, haven’t they? Well, Livvy was pestering helping me on my desk the other day, and I thought, “What a great time for a photo op!”

The Princess was not amused.

LivvyWaiting

Livvyondesk

I have really got to learn how to use this camera better. She is so photogenic, but my pictures turn out rather poorly. She hates the flash (the reason for her sourpuss face is because she’s anticipating the flash), so I try not to use it.

Watching my pet cockatiel flutter in his cage. She would just love to get her polydactly paws on him.

WatchingBird

Dusty whiskers. Wonder what she was into….

Dusty Whiskers

*Le sigh.* Still waiting for Mom to put the camera down.

LeSighLivvy

Getting peevish, now.

PeevyLivvy

Later, I took this shot. LOL

IssssSOOOOOhot, mama.

LivvySOOOHOT

Don’t any cats go walking on tin roofs this week.. it’s a SCORCHER out there. I have definitely got to get this cat a Furminator someday… she must be steaming hot under all that fur. Lord knows, she’s shedding enough of it. :-p

Continue reading...

Rethinking My Air Conditioner Ban

July 8, 2010

3 Comments

As a kid, air conditioning was an extravagant luxury, meant for stores like Macy’s and really rich people. Back then, when it was 90, 100 degrees during the summer, we sweated it out. Yes, yes! I am now old enough to tell stories of how we “roughed it” when WE were youngsters!! I’ll spare you the stories of how we had to walk UPHILL 20 miles to school– BOTH ways!!

Anyway, I’ve lived without air conditioning all these years, and have survived! But now that I am updating the electric at the house, and now that I have a billion computers and electronics running in my home office every day, and now that it’s been in the mid-90s ALL WEEK and I am at the end of my tolerance level, lol…. oh, and now that Al Gore says global warming is practically HERE and will kill us all if we don’t DO SOMETHING– I am thinking of getting a small unit for the office. šŸ˜€ How cool is that? LOLOL

Problem is, all my local Big Box stores are sold out. Can you believe it?!?! They can’t keep these things in stock?! Hello, it’s summer! lol.. anyway… I am glad I am not at the mercy of the guy who orders the inventory at the local Big Box stores. Because I have Buy.com!!! Buy.com has stuff in stock! They have some really great prices, too, on name-brand air conditioners!

This is the Frigidaire FRA082AT7 Window Air Conditioner, providing 8,000 BTUs (enough to cool a 350 square foot room). I think it’s great! It plugs in to any three-prong outlet (although I recommend a dedicate circuit for something like this). It also has an anti-bacteria filter that helps prevent air-borne bacteria and odors. Nice! It’s $200 with shipping. And it’s IN STOCK. It fits in the window… which means I would have to fix my 100-year old window to get the thing open, yeah…. fun… it’s something I *have* to do, anyway.

I love Buy.com. They have everything, and lots of stuff is usually free shipping (and it’s very fast shipping, too). Plus, their prices are great. They are always having some sale or another– the electronics prices are incredible.

Continue reading...

We Passed the Electrical Inspection!!

July 6, 2010

6 Comments

Woooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!! Look at this!!

PassedElect Inspect

That is my official sticker, dear friends! The electrical inspector was here today, and he put that on my door. That sticker tells the world– the UPS man, the pizza delivery boy, the traveling salesman– that I have passed the first INSPECTION!! We did it!!

I crammed to finish the remainder of the wiring today, in the midst of the worst heat wave since 2001. Phew, it’s hot. Thank God it’s deliciously cool in the basement. šŸ™‚

So the inspector was able to pop in today. I’m suuuure he was very, very impressed with my beautiful electrical schematic of my kitchen.

ElectricalSChematic

He paid me a really, really nice compliment: “Everything looks really well done.” Yay! That is thanks to a couple of helpers who have worked on this project a LOT this summer.

The electrical inspector gave me an assignment, though. We have to install furring strips on the basement ceiling joists and staple the electrical cables to those. That won’t be too bad a project, actually. When we have done the furring strips, and have put up the walls and have installed all the electrical outlets and lights, he will come back to inspect again; and I get my certificate.

So now we are ready for Stage 2 in this project The Greatest Kitchen Renovation of All Time: I get to insulate the walls (get that inspected), install the outlet receptacles and fixtures, finish the plumbing, and PUT UP THE SHEETROCK!! Stage 3 is installing cabinets, countertops, and flooring. And then it will be done. *collapse*

Livvy is taking it easy in this heat. Look at her adorable face. I think I’m going to celebrate and put my feet up for an hour. Whew.

LivvyConkedOut

Continue reading...

ItssoHOT

July 5, 2010

3 Comments

LivvyHot

Gonna have a regular, old fashioned heat wave this week! Temps in the mid 90s are expected. Nice thing about old houses– if you keep the doors and windows closed, the temperature stays relatively cool.

Unfortunately, the attic is 1,000 degrees… and because the walls are still open, the smell of the attic insulation is throughout the house. Makes me gag, ugh. All the more motivation to close up these walls very soon!

I’m scrambling to finish the electrical wiring today (heat or no heat). Hopefully, we’ll have an inspector here later this week, and I can finally install the insulation. After that, it’s SHEETROCK time! Woooo!

Continue reading...

Home Depot Coupons and More!

July 3, 2010

1 Comment

Ooo here’s a very nice online coupon site for you frugal folks: Savings.com. They even have promo codes for Home Depot! Home Depot coupons, codes, and discounts are very, very hard to come by. I have already spent $3,000 at the blasted place. It WOULD HAVE been nice to have saved a couple of bucks there had I known about promo codes earlier!! Oh well, my purchases aren’t all done yet (we do have to get sheetrock, cabinets, countertops, and flooring yet). So I’m glad I found this website. There’s a really nice promo code for free shipping for Home Depot on purchases over $249– that’s a great savings because shipping is EXPENSIVE. I ordered a 100-pound, cast iron sink and it cost a pretty penny to get here. And I haven’t been looking forward to picking up my own 100 sheets of sheetrock.. so now I can have it delivered. šŸ˜€

Continue reading...

It’s Too Beautiful Outside To Do Anything…

July 3, 2010

3 Comments

funny pictures of cats with captions

All I want to do is fool around and snap photos outside…

Continue reading...

Gardening Update

July 3, 2010

1 Comment

I have been as negligent of my gardens this year as I have been about blogging about them. Thank God, plants require very little care and attention. Unfortunately, the weeds also thrive on negligence. :-p But it looks like my vegetables are holding their own. The snow peas are on the brink of harvesting (I just love them raw); we also have cucumbers, which are not doing so well (never do, really); loads of kale, lettuce, spinach which is overwhelming in its production; the red cabbage is coming (yay!), yellow squash is starting to produce fruit… I love vegetable gardening! There is nothing like fresh, clean food that you have grown yourself.

Here is my chorus of onions in the late afternoon sun:

Chorus of Onions

The zucchini has a few babies!

Zucchini Baby

The cantaloupe is doing poorly, due to a cold spell in April, a very dry May, and a totally soggy June. The apple tree is producing little– I only spotted THREE apples so far– but the grapes and berries are doing well.

Berry Harvest

Baby Grapes

The native, wild stuff seems to be doing very well in Upstate this year. Plants that I usually have to pamper, such as tomatoes, melons, and cukes, are doing very poorly. It does not fare well for our emphasis on the raw food diet, but I am grateful for the stuff that we are getting.

June is really a crucial month for us, and it was very disappointing this year. We got SEVEN inches of rain in June. Way, way too much. Everything is soggy, and the pests breed in the wet weather. So even my flower gardens are rather limpid this year.

Still, it is good to see my fruit plants producing, such as the berries and grapes. They get better every year.

Continue reading...

Buying for the Home Business

July 2, 2010

Comments Off on Buying for the Home Business

I have a home business. Somewhere in here, lol. It’s kind of in limbo right now, because of our ongoing renovations… but I DO actually have a home office here at home. I am realizing how very, very important it is to have a quiet, tidy, and organized home office, because mine is always dirty and chaotic right now. If it’s not filling up with plaster dust wafting in from the demolished kitchen, then it’s full of sneakers, dishes, boxes, pet supplies, and more…. wow I sure miss my tidy, organized space! I will have it, soon, once the kitchen and dining room are rebuilt and organized again.

I’m rethinking a lot of the organization here. My house has no storage space– there’s no attic (not for storage, anyway!) and the basement floods. So the only space I have is the attached garage… and the small bedroom closets.. and my office here in the living room. :-p Thank God that Buy.com has a special section for office storage and desk workstations. I’ve been looking into getting a corner desk (those are such great space savers), and other things like bookshelves and carts. This Kathy Ireland Huntington Club Executive Desk is absolutely gorgeous. Wow, this would look SO good in my living room. At $1300 and some change, it had better! It’s not in my budget right now, but it’s definitely what I’m looking for in a desk: warm wood tones, a furniture-like appearance, and lots of drawers.

If you;re inthe market for office supplies, or even school supplies since school is right around the corner, you should definitely check out Buy.com. They have loads and loads of stuff for the office and school: binders, storage boxes, desk organizers, pens and pencils and everything that goes with them, file cabinets, desk chairs, printers, tape, staplers, everything! The prices are very good, and Buy.com’s shipping is SUPERB bar none. When I order stuff from Buy.com, it is always here in a matter of a day or two, even with free shipping. They are just amazing with their customer service. I haven’t found anyone better than Buy.com, and I do a lot of online shopping, believe me.

Anyway, do check them out. Buy.com is renowned for their exceptional electronics deals– they have them every week and weekend– but they are also a great place to get everything else, like household goods, clothing, books, household supplies, and more.

Continue reading...