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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Going Shopping

I'm not going anywhere today. I started cleaning our room, one thing lead to another, and I freakin' morphed into Granny Clampett in Spring Cleaning mode complete with shrilly screaming voice proclaiming no bellyaching and here's a toothbrush for the details.
 Young Sam is grateful to be at a cast party. Sucks to be him though; he's home with me all week.
So, huffing 409 and Clorox. BRB. 
If not back, avenge death.

Friday, April 29, 2011

So Why the Sudden Meltdown?

Those of you who have been here for a while know that we had a house fire 20 months ago, and that ever since, we've been repairing and painting almost every room and everything we own.

We're nowhere near done.

I have blog fodder for the next several years, trust me.

The last room to ever get new anything has always been Sam's and mine. It's been horribly abused and neglected. How badly, you ask? Come with me, I'll show you.
Warning: this is not for the faint of heart.
 Hurricane Wilma in November 2005. The air conditioner and a chunk of wall flew across the room. There was also a corner of the house missing on the other side of the house so that if you opened the boys' closet, you had a view of the yard, and there was some roof damage. That all got fixed. Right after that, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Don't get all maudlin on me. I just didn't have the energy to repair anything.
 Oh, and then we had a bee hive in our wall. We opened up the wall and got rid of them.
 Termites then attacked and ate a few things.
 And then there was this fire thing. We ended up as a storage room with barely enough space to maneuver.
 Mom moved in and space got tighter. The original plan was to fix her back and build a little cottage for her on the property. This hasn't been a possibility with her health, so we've been arranging the Florida room for her.
Arranging. Right.
 Yesterday was it for me. I'm an orderly, organized person, and the chaos had to go.
 If you have teenagers, you probably have access to a crew who will work for food.
 All of the furniture moving was done in short order, which meant I could now dig us out from under the mess.
 It's not a pretty job, but there are reasons we all do this kind of garbage, right?
Just remind yourself who you do it all for.
Yep, just ended a sentence with a preposition.
 I'm keeping that photo handy for frequent reminders.
If any of this crap is yours, kindly come remove it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

We Interrupt This Blog...Again

Crappy cell phone pic brought to you by dresser moving day.
Our room has been largely storage since the fire. It hasn't been tranquil, restful, romantic, or a haven.
Today, that transformation starts.
I know I promised a project, but I blew a gasket yesterday when I couldn't find my shoes.
Shoes are serious business.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What the &;^%$#@ Are You Wearing Wednesday!?!?

 There's been a lot of photo enhancement going on over here.
 We've been going through HUNDREDS of baby pictures. All taken in the pre-digital days.
 Does anyone remember those days? Point, click, hope for the best?
 Memories left to chance for most of us?
 Heck, we actually couldn't afford a camera and just bought disposables for most things.
 But after numerous committee type meetings and weeding through stacks of memories, we have our choices narrowed down, and now, through the magic of iPhoto, we're enlarging and sharpening these ancient glossy images.
 We're also turning them the right way, which the &^%$#@ Blogger photo loader refuses to do.
 Until tomorrow, please turn your computer on its side where applicable and enjoy a look back in time at the train wreck of personal attire that has been my family for 20 years.
 It was bad when I forced the minions to wear what I bought them, and it hasn't improved one bit.
 Sam? The guy with the fro? I've never had any contol over him.
(This is, by the way, us within an hour of Savannah being born. On the living room couch. Just like her siblings. Fear me.)
 Yeah, they've always been a trio.
 Sammy's very brief time as an only child.
 Well, they're on a Speeder in the Star Wars exhibit at MGM, so I suppose this could be the right angle.
 Halloween? Nah. This is how I dressed them for school.
 What? You've never tried to get something to eat your child?
 Her first car. And the last one I'm buying.
 Sammy trying to escape. Again
 She wouldn't be smiling if she'd known she was the third kid to wear that shirt.
Early computer hacking. With a Robin Hood hat to look the part.
Okay, back to editing

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Get the Kiddies! Baby Hawks are Hatching!

Watch live streaming video from nytnestcam at

A pair of red-tailed hawks, Violet and Bobby, have made a nest for Violet’s three eggs on the 12th-floor window ledge outside of the office of the president of New York University. The New York Times brings you live coverage from the top of Bobst Library, where the eggs are starting to hatch!

How's that for Spring?

Sometimes, Circumstances are Beyond Your Control

 So you probably recall we dragged home an old door from the neighbor's renovation trash heap.
 We taped it and cleaned it up and got it ready to transform.
 ...and then, the rain started.
 Bring it in, take it back out. Bring it in, take it back out.
Point is, this was scheduled as today's post. It's leaning in the dining room. It's painted now, but still taped, and I still have work to do on it, because its life as a door is over. Pop back by tomorrow and we'll see if I might manage to get it finished.

Tuesday Tangos!

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Today's Creative Blog

Monday, April 25, 2011

One Hot Torch Song

Outdoor lighting is sure sign of Spring and increased activities like barbecues and late night parks on the porch.
How about we do a little recycling and achieve a nice glow in the dark?
Michael, if you're reading this, close the window NOW.
 My best friend's birthday is in a couple weeks (I'm SERIOUS, Michael, close the window!), and since he has a winery, I thought this would be a fun gift. The original idea was totally swiped from Design Sponge and then tweaked a little.

I'm also going to help you out and tell you what aisle each of these bizarre ingredients is on.

1. Empty Wine Bottles (You can use any bottle you like as long as it’s glass and the neck is 1” in diameter. Be clever!) These are actually from Michael's Sylvan Run Winery
2. Teflon Tape 1/2”
(Plumbing aisle)
3. Top Plate Connector (threaded for 3/8”-16 thread rod) (Plumbing aisle)
4. 1” Split Ring Hanger (threaded for 3/8”-16 thread rod)
(Plumbing aisle)
5. 1/2” x 3/8” Copper Coupling (Plumbing aisle)
6. 1/2” Copper Cap (Plumbing aisle)
7. Two Hex Nuts (threaded for 3/8”-16 thread rod) (Hardware aisle)
8. Two #10 x 1” Zinc Plated Wood Screws (if you're mounting it to wood)
(Hardware aisle)
9. 3/8”-16 Zinc Plated Threaded Rod (I bought two 12" rods and cut it down to four 6" rods with a hacksaw. I made two of these for myself as well) (Hardware aisle. They will have the smaller lengths. You don't need the 10' rod from the electrical aisle)
10. Tiki Replacement Wicks (torch aisle)
11. Torch Fuel (For safety reasons, only use fuel made specifically for outdoor torches. i.e. Tiki brand) (Probably right next to the wicks)
12. Forest green spray paint (Michael's favorite color, and totally optional. You can go for the industrial look)
13. Clear spray sealer (If you want to leave the labels on the bottle)

 Okay, first up, prop your bottles label side up.
 With your gloss sealer, give the labels a few light coats, effectively sealing the edges. Or soak the bottles and remove the labels. I thought torches made from his vintages would be fun though.
 I didn't take into account that the bottle I'd saved from 6 years ago had a completely paper label that discolored. FAIL. Relax, we drank more than two bottles together.
 While that dries, thread the wicks through the copper coupling.
 The caps fit right over that to keep rain off the wicks. Cool, huh?
 Grab your safety goggles and a hack saw and cut your 12" threaded red into 2 pieces.
 The rest of this is a cinch.
 Put a hex nut on either end of your rod about 2 inches in.
 Screw the rod into the top plate connector.
 Tighten the nut against it.
 Screw the other end into the split ring and tighten that nut.
 If you like the way this looks naked, you're not in need of paint.
 Now, you'll notice the wick assembly is swimming in the neck of the bottle.
 Grab the Teflon tape.
 Wrap it tightly around the bottom of the copper piece.
 And we have a stopper.
 Perfect fit, right?

 Slip the ring over the bottle neck and tighten the rod against the bottle to secure.
 But I'm not done personally.

 Yeah, that's more like it. I also put a coat of sealer on it so it would be more resistant to the elements.
 Fill with lamp oil and light!

Obviously, this gets mounted to a wall or post, and only outdoors. Exercise the same caution you would with any small contained fire. Do not leave the flame unattended. For topical use only. Contents very hot. Post no bills. Now in COLOR! Barbie not included. Do not spray in eyes. Not microwave safe. Contents under pressure. Not for children under 3. Do not operate heavy machinery. Wear appropriate safety gear. Very sharp. Not for human consumption. Tell your doctor about alcohol use. May cause rectal bleeding or shortness of breath. Your call is very important to us. The balance shown may not include recent transactions. Please enter the email associated with your account and we will send you a temporary password. What is the name of your first pet? This product contains peanuts. Made with real salmon. Check tire pressure often. High fructose corn syrup. Just a friendly reminder, we have not received your payment. Do not remove under penalty of law. Point away from eyes. Not legal in all 50 states.