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Cabin Fever Daydreaming

March 1, 2014

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I know I’m speaking to most of the folks in the United States when I say this has been one long winter. I love this season, but when even I am sick of the brutal winds from the Arctic Circle and the never-ending trickle of lake effect snow from the Great Lakes, you KNOW it’s been long in tooth. Yeah, time for some sunshine, wouldn’t you say?

I usually don’t start my renovation daydreaming this early, but desperation has set in. In the past, we have always done some kind of major renovation project every other year. This is the year, if we are to do things as scheduled… but I’m not quite sure I can manage it. I’m still paying off the kitchen/dining room/insulation/electric renovation from 2010. That baby was expensive. The final projects won’t be as costly or intensive as all we have left to do is insulate and electrify the upstairs, gut and replace walls, and install flooring. But it will still take a large chunk out of my budget, that’s for sure.

We also would like to increase the living space in the house by converting the garage to a family room or bunch of bedrooms or utility rooms (not sure yet). The back door (which has not worked in years) would be the perfect spot for a huge glass door set and a pergola outside. Something like that is too large a DIY project for us, so I have been puttering around reading BuildDirect reviews and etc (check out their Facebook page, too). I’d also like to take advantage of the cathedral ceiling in there. What acoustics it could have!!! Alas, all a dream thus far.

But more practical things await us. Like replacing the original 1855 bedroom doors that no longer work. And ripping out the horrid 1970s linoleum flooring and installing warm carpeting upstairs.

Again, all dreams for now. Lord willing, I can pay off the kitchen loan and then FINALLY finish this place.

And by then, we’ll probably be ready to sell. :-p

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Summertime Slump

July 27, 2012



Oh it’s not that we’ve been lazy… not exactly…. it’s just that it’s been too hot and humid to do much renovation work. I had such grand plans once July hit. I can’t believe all we’ve done in get the new windows installed. Lack of rain and an explosion in the deer population ruined the garden. I haven’t even finished sewing curtains or installed the bookshelves or finished installing drywall in the kitchen closet… I’ve been very busy with work, though. I was accepted for a special project for a few days, and was paid well for that. A few tourist places want us to visit, and I have a ton of reviews to write including one on pet pheromone diffusers. I’m eager to see how that diffuser thing works. I have to leaves it plugged in for 30 days to see any results. Livvy’s been cranky and jumpy lately — I don’t think she likes all the noise from the fans — so we’ll see if this gadget helps any.

Over all, it’s been a quiet summer so far. I suppose we’ll get going on the renovation projects in August or maybe September when it’s cooler. It’s just too hot and miserable to wrangle with drywall and dust right now.

How has your summer been?

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Repair Man

June 6, 2012


All I wanted was for him to check the vacuum cleaner belt.


I suppose every family has one? The kid who loves to take stuff apart just to “see how it works.” He disassembled the ENTIRE vacuum. I tried to refrain from nagging and worrying. I think it’s terrific that he likes to tinker. He’s the one who now installs and assembles all my furniture, computers, and etc. I used to do all that stuff, for years… it’s So good to have a break from it all!

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I’ll Remember This

April 21, 2012


white trash repairs - 21st Century CD Cases

Well, well. Learn something new every day. LOL

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Our Review of the Amazing Cat Sitter “As Seen on TV!” DVD

April 12, 2012


Well, I know you’ve been waiting with BAITED BREATH our review of a cool cat video we picked up recently. It was vigorously advertised, claiming to entertain your cat for hours! Gee, you could almost leave your home for a week’s vacation and the cat would be riveted to the TV screen, right?!

We decided to get Livvy, our Tabby-Point Siamese cat, to give her personal opinion of the video. I won’t bore you with a text transcription of her review results, I’ll just post the video here. Enjoy!

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Face. Palm.

March 30, 2012

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I love this site “There I Fixed It.” It’s the only site that makes me feel good about my own rickety old house. Because no matter how bad I think my house is, there’s always something worse.

white trash repairs - It Could Use Some Rerouting

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Meanwhile, Back At the Ranch….

February 11, 2012





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Old House Blues

February 9, 2012


Whenever I have had a professional carpenter, plumber, electrician, or whoever over to the house, every one of them inevitably says, “Oh, new homes have problems, too!” That always surprised me because I assumed that new construction was more durable, cleaner, better built with better technology. According to many professionals out there, this is not true. I am appalled, because newer homes *should* be built better. With newer homes, you don’t have to hack into support beams to retrofit plumbing pipes or electric wiring. New homes are insulated and already have coaxial cable and new windows and bright, shiny roof decking with no mold. What makes new homes so shabby? Poor craftsmanship?

Old homes are built well, I’ll give you that. 150-year old houses were built at a time before the spotted owl goons could shut down entire forests, when home builders could carve 12-inch beams out of home grown oak and walnut woods.

But when it comes to “modern” comforts (like central heating!), old homes are woefully lacking. If you have always loved in a newly built home, you don’t have any idea of the drafts that blow your napkins off the table, of the icicles that form on the INSIDE of the house… here are a couple typical Old House problems. I also offer my opinions and/or advice, for kicks. šŸ™‚

1. Critters
Old homes almost always have critters– bats, squirrels, mice, chinch bugs, ants, carpenter bees. We have pretty much seen it all. An owl in the hot water exhaust pipe, possums in the basement, raccoons in the garage, bats in the house, mice and honeybees in the walls…. yep. How i wish I had been blogging when we discovered bees in the wall! One day, I looked out my window and saw a tornado-like swarm of bees swirling around an upstairs window. All of a sudden, the wall was covered in bees, all squirming to enter a rather large hole in the siding. I found out later that some brilliant National Grid guy had replaced my power cable anchor, screwing in the new anchor to a new area on the siding but NEVER CLOSING UP THE ORIGINAL HOLE. It became a nesting place for all sorts of creatures.


Barn owl in the water tank pipe.


We had no idea how to get rid of the bees…. when we pounded the wall in the bedroom, 20,000 bees erupted in angry buzzes. We eventually had to rip open the walls on a frosty autumn day (the bees were stupid in the cold). We vacuumed them up and tore out the honeycomb. A lot of the comb was still good, so we ate it. šŸ˜€

2. Mold
Old homes have mold. I HATE mold. Mold comes from leaks, and old homes have lots of leaks. We’ve had our share of mold from chimney leaks, ice dams, holes in the walls, etc. Mold is tough to remove. I quit trying to clean it when it invaded the wall cavities– instead, I gutted the living room and replaced everything. Sometimes, I still smell the faint odor of mold…


Ice dam damage. These leaks create mold inside wall cavities.


3. Plaster dust
As long as there’s 1 square foot of plaster in an old house, the place will be dusty. Eep, I dislike plaster very much. I dislike dusting, too…


Attic cellulose insualtion also creates a ton of dust.


4. Crooked walls, crooked floors
This doesn’t bother me as much, unless I am renovating and I need to somehow wedge a perfect 90 degree section of drywall into a 85 degree corner! I don’t mind that all my pictures tilt a little. I do not like my bookshelves tilting so noticeably, though!

5. Bouncy floors
Bouncy floors make me nervous. There’s something very creepy about bopping up and down in my desk chair when one of the kids walks by. So far, the floor seems none of the worse for wear, but I have detected some cracks in the joists below. If I ever get another house, maybe I’ll choose one that has solid concrete floors. ANYTHING that doesn’t feel like you’re walking on a waterbed as you cross the room, lol.


Support posts help alleviate bouncy floors.


What could you add to the list? I’m sure there are more quaint little things about old homes that I have missed here. Feel free to add your own two cents.

In the next post or so, I’ll talk about the benefits of living in an old house!

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January 31, 2012


I just looked at the clock. Aghast! I have wasted 1 entire hour!!!

Where? HERE. It’s the latest “Cheezeburger” site. Like we needed another one. Egads, i waste enough time on the LOL Cats and LOL Dogs and “There I Fixed It” sites! LOL.

This one made me crack up.

funny real estate - Just Take the Stairs


funny real estate - Wait, No, That Doesn't Go There

Do you think anyone will notice the real estate photo has been touched up a little?

funny real estate - Ooh, So Avant Garde!

Are your eyes twitching, too?

funny real estate - Static Disorder

THIS. IS. SO. COOL. But I live near the Adirondacks, so maybe it’s just a local “thing.”

funny real estate - The Missing Ingredient

I actually think this is pretty neat.

funny real estate - Is the Tripping Hazard Worth It?

The caption read “Time to Purge.” Bwahahahha!!

funny real estate - Time to Purge

OK I’ve wasted enough of your time, too. Some of these are pretty funny. MUST. GET. To. WORK.

Have a great week!

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Livvy Meets Goofy

January 19, 2012


Goofy is my mascot. He’s a small resin character and he sits in my desk. He tends to flop over easily. But I still love him.

This morning, Livvy hopped onto my desk and sat in front of my computer monitor as she usually does 200 times a day.


Goofy seemed a little miffed. He trotted from his place at the back of the desk to oppose Livvy.


Humph says Livvy. I belong here, she says. Move.


Livvy 1, Goofy 0.


A glutton for punishment, Goofy made another stance to defend his territory.



So guess who’s king of the desk now? I miss Goofy. He was a lot smaller and I could see the monitor when he was here…..

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