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Wordless Wednesday: Feeling Like Hercules

April 25, 2012

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herculeaneffort

I came to the computer this morning and saw this.

*snort* !!!

Have a great week, friends.

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Chic-ifying a thrift store ottoman

March 24, 2012

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Guest post written by Robin Powers

I love going thrifting and finding all kinds of little things to go in my home that would otherwise cost way too much in a store. That’s how I’ve decorated most of my home and it’s an interior decorating tactic that I’m going to keep using. I recently picked up an ottoman that I knew had all kinds of potential that I couldn’t wait to uncover.

I went online to see if I could find some good ideas for refurbishing the ottoman and saw some HVAC Deals. Spring, or I guess I should say summer, is just around the corner and I think that it’s time to replace our current system. It was definitely on its last leg around August.

I’m so excited to see the final result of my little ottoman overhaul makeover. I bought some great upholstery fabric that matches our living room decor and I think it’s going to be perfect for some extra seating and a little place to put our feet when we’re watching TV.

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Rental Homes on the Rise

February 29, 2012

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Have you been seeing an increasing amount of homes for rent in your area? I have been reading news reports of increased rentals and other such phenomena (lol) across the board. I think it’s related to the “housing bust,” what say you?

Here, rentals are BIG. I live in a relatively “rural” area close to a big city. I say the area is relatively rural because it sure doesn’t seem very rural. The population is probably under 1,000, but there are no rural gaps between the neighboring townships. Way back when, when settlers were first building around here, they discovered the amazing power of hydropower, and built a ton of mills around the many fast-flowing creeks nearby. The mills brought workers, who needed homes, and so homes were built up and down the creek. After 200 years, you can imagine how crowded the creek areas got…. so it’s often difficult to tell where one town ends and another begins because there is no visual gap between the municipalities. As a matter of fact, some municipalities even share or double up on services— for example, our area gets mail delivered by TWO different post offices. :S It’s confusing.

My area also doesn’t seem very rural because there are a LOT of rental houses here. We see people coming from the big city, finding cheap apartments here. And of course, crime usually follows. Plus, the rental homes here are not anywhere near as attractive and well kept up as. These houses are usually one wind storm away from collapse, and yet landlords seem to make the money. ???

Personally, I greatly dislike the growing switch from home ownership to rental buildings. It’s not good for the country, politically, economically, and morally. I think that a top-heavy renting population generally feels less connected to the country and local events, and has less interest in community pride, voting, etc. America was once the land of dreams, where a person could OWN land and not be enslaved to the feudal system of Old Europe. What’s your opinion?

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Sedentary Exploits

July 9, 2011

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I’m doing a lot of armchair traveling this year, I tell you.

Sedentary Exploits

Exercise, what’s that?

Well, the Hubs just assembled, primed and painted two new Adirondack chairs and — let me tell you — they are some of the most comfortable chairs ever. I wrote an article on them last month. The history is fascinating. About a hundred years ago, a wealthy vacationer (to the Adirondacks, you guessed it!) named Thomas Lee suddenly found himself devoid of lawn chairs for his large family, and attempted to build his own. He created many prototypes, asking his 26-member family to try them all out and vote for the best. The family unanimously voted for this type of chair: the back reclines slightly and the knees are elevated above the hips. Wide armrests beg to hold big icy glasses of tea or lemonade. His chair was a hit. Lee gave his design to a local carpenter, Harry Bunnell, who needed some work for the winter. But the carpenter patented the design himself and started a business, building and selling the chairs, flourished with his own signature. Not very nice. Bunnell manufactured Adirondack chairs for 20 years, made from local hemlock and inscribing his name on each. I suppose the chairs, if any exist, are collector’s items, eh?

Mine are made in China from cheapo pine. But they are comfy nonetheless.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of lounging to do. Happy weekend. 🙂

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Sloooowly Starting to Rise Again

June 23, 2011

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It’s almost July. Ya think I should be getting back to the garden and home renovation projects yet? 😉

We purchased an air conditioner. Hurray! It’s the first air conditioner I’ve ever had. It’s the window kind, so we’ve been having *fun* trying to fit it into our old 1855 window frame…. more on that to come. We’re still working on a unique shelf that juts out from the window, upon which will sit the A/C’s bulky butt. Man, those things are bulky. I guess they have to be.

I’m also starting to take more time off from work. I try to get my writing assignments done by the time I have to cook dinner. I don’t always make my goals, and sometimes I wind up staying up much later than I like. But at least I’m not working non-stop anymore.

Gardening is on my mind lately. I bought some hostas and a few blackberry bare roots (all died but one). I have to plug them in sometime.

And of course, I have a lot of loose ends to finish up after last year’s renovation. I still haven’t completed that kitchen bench. And my living room/office needs a lot of decorating help. I have Ethernet and cables strung about everywhere. I dislike cords all over the floor. :-p My intention is to build a very nice modern office with updated equipment (i.e., an i7 core computer with slick video graphics array or DVI cables, and… *sigh* yeah) with nice furniture and orderly shelves! I can see it all in my mind’s eye. Reality is another matter, lol.

All in good time.

How are your summer projects going? Or are you one of those lucky persons that have no projects??? 😀

homework

*sigh* To Do Lists....

 

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Tax Time Draws to a Deadline….

April 4, 2011

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Oh my gosh, it’s April already. APRIL! We haven’t got our taxes done yet. Usually the husband gets them done in the first few weeks if February. But this year, we might actually owe money. So, haha, we’re putting it off until the bitter end.

Because I am self-employed, the sheer amount of paperwork is overwhelming. Then there are the deductions, the interest calculations, the child credit, the charitable giving, the blahblahblah and blahblahblah. WHY does it have to be so stinkin’ complicated?! I am all in favor of a flat tax, across the board. It would simplify everything and would enable each citizen to be an active part in the government. Plus, it would lower taxes. And federal salaries. It’s just a good thing all around! lol!

Here in New York State, we are taxed to the hilt, several times over. We’re taxed on our income. Then if we buy something with the income we have left over, we have to pay sales tax. And if we buy a service with the product we purchased, we have to pay tax on that. So when all is said and done, we’ve paid taxes multiple times on the same chain of products or services. There’s something evil about that….

My area of Upstate New York is a popular “senior citizen” hub. I’m not sure why– winters are bad here and you figure they’d all move to warmer climates. It sure isn’t for the weather or the political climate…. I don’t know much about the quality of life for the older folks here. Eons ago, when my husband was working in insurance, there was a new kind of insurance marketed to folks– extended care insurance (I think that’s what it was called). It was insurance for when you had to go into a nursing home. It was REALLY popular at the time.

But senior citizenry for me is a long way off. If I make it that long. Because I have to get through the income taxes first…. *sigh*

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BYOS: Buy Your Own Sofas

April 4, 2011

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Thinking about it makes me very queasy, but the topic must be covered. Bedbugs. *gag* *wretch* And I thought fleas were bad.

Bedbugs are making a comeback, especially in New York. Bedbugs were practically wiped out from the industrialized nations thanks to DDT. But DDT is now banned, and critters like malaria-bearing mosquitoes and bedbugs are coming back. The nasty disgusting creatures are spreading like wildfire in schools, hotels, even lawyer’s offices. YUK!!!!

I am a bit of a bug-o-phobe. I hate bugs, HATE the disgusting, dirty little creatures. The family is on quarantine— that is, no more thrift store clothing, and no more curbside or hand-me-down furniture. Not unless it’s fumigated!

We have some very nice furniture, some are pretty hand-me-downs from family members. But the sofas are much too large for my living room (which is crammed with desks and office equipment). We are thinking about downgrading to a smaller living room set. And to be honest, I’m very hesitant to take another hand-me-down, just because of bedbugs. Oh it would be horrible to have them, horrible! So no more second-hand anything. I’m going to have to be a very savvy shopper and get my discounts from the retail or online stores and etc. I’m not taking any chances.

How about you? Has news about bedbugs changed the way you do things? I am not 100% sure that bedbugs have been discovered in my county, but I don’t live dangerously. I’m allergic to fleas and God forbid a nasty bedbug touches my skin! From now on it’s BYOS– Buy Your Own Sofa!

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Home Entertainment Ideas

March 31, 2011

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Is it any surprise that home entertainment has made tremendous advances in the past ten years. Remember WAY BACK when, about 15 years ago, when we all had one of these?

But now, there are these:

Yow. I have the first TV but certainly not the second. Actually, I’d purchased a newer, fancier model with a flat screen just a few years ago, only to be completely outdated by the plasma, HDTV, super fancified models. I feel so old.

TV really isn’t all that important to us. I still have a barebones tube TV (we picked it up off the curb, for pete’s sake), but I have a very high-end, high octane computer and an iPad for watching stuff. It’s all a matter of priorities.

As a family, we like to watch DVDs and Internet documentaries during dinner, but since we have no television reception, we are limited to watching movies on my small laptop screen. I’ve been investigating my choice for a few months (I take forever to make sure decisions), and am leaning more toward optimization-world.com HDMI cables or a converter to rig the laptop to the TV. Getting the cables or converter at Optimization-World.com is WAY cheaper than buying a digital TV. They also sell nice VGA cables for computer to monitor connections.

So I’m pleased as punch that there are affordable options out there for old fogies like me. 😀 Maybe I’ll even write a tutorial once I finally get the ball rolling on the project….

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Very Cool Signs!

March 15, 2011

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Besides being a clock freak, I LOVE signs. I love retro signs, safety signs, traffic signs, goofy posters, everything. I’m just as happy having a framed copy of the U.S. Constitution next to my tin sign “DRINK COFFEE! Do stupid things faster with more energy!” 😀

Finding funny signs is another matter, though. I have located a very few online stores that sell retro signs, but they charge an arm and a leg!! But I just found a new website called safetysign.com. This is neat! They have EVERYTHING– parking signs, stop signs, facility signs, recreation signs, OMG the lists are endless. AND I can create my own sign! *snicker* So I can be as eccentric as I want, and they’ll make it for me. This is very cool. Hm, I’m currently looking for a “Toxic Waste” sign for my kitchen, lol. Or maybe hang it over the dog’s area. :-p

I liked this one. Ha!

Oh, this would be PERFECT over my desk!

And I’d put this in all the kids’ rooms. (And in mine, ai chihuahua).

So there’s a sign for every body for every situation, lol. I there are a gadzillion different signs. The prices are actually pretty good, and you can order U-Channels Posts with mounting hardware in different colors. VERY COOL! Because I need to place a few “DO NOT PARK IN PRIVATE DRIVE” in my front yard. I live near a popular ice cream store, and all summer long I am asking people to please move their cars so I can get out of my driveway.

Check out the site! It’s cute. The site has mostly safety signs and such, but if you like quirky decor, or are in need a of gentle reminder for traffic passers-by, it’s a great place to get some signs!

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Amazing Treehouses

February 22, 2011

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Did you ever have a treehouse when you were a kid? We didn’t. We had an old shack (“the fort” we called it) made out of scrap wood from my stepdad’s building projects. It was a pretty cool little shed. But I always wanted a treehouse. My neighbors’ dad built one for his boys, and WOW did I love that. I think I spent more time in that than they did!

I always wanted to built a treehouse for my kids here, but there were no suitable trees. Still, we may just built one, anyway, even though we are all older. I don’t think I will ever outgrow a treehouse, would you? And here are some very, very cool treehouses I found on the web!

This is interesting, and it brings up a good point– what about winter?

The next treehouse is lovely. They are “prefab” houses– all the parts are pre-made, all you do is snap it together, kind of like those cheapo laminate board shelves from Walmart, eh? I love the spacious feel and the colors of the wood. I think I would love one of these in my yard!

Photo courtesy Freshome.com

Photo courtesy Freshome.com

This is a video of a Free Spirit Sphere, designed to fit seamlessly and naturally within a forest environment. It’s pretty cool, but it looks way too cramped for me. And I don’t like the idea of a porta-potty 50 feet from the house– what if it’s raining at night and ya gotta go? You’d have to slog through the mud and snakes and bugs! No thanks. And what about the “natives,” huh? And I like electricity and running water as much as any gal, too. So while I would love to live in a treehouse, it doesn’t mean I want to live like a monkey.

Still, the design is cool. It would be nice to stay for a day. Maybe two.

So what do you think? Would you build a treehouse just to play in it when you felt like it, or maybe build something lrger and live in one? I always admired The Swiss Family Robinson– their treehouse was COOL. I think I would do both. JUST as long as there was a bathroom in the house. And NO snakes.

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