Saturday, November 28, 2009

Take that, overprotective parents!

Hah! Our nemesis, the stupid little plastic stick-figure child cutout with a little flag that was put out in the road all summer long to tell everyone that someone's oh-so-special kids might be playing in the road like idiots, has fallen over! Thanks to the wind. Thanks, wind!

I don't know why we've developed such a hatred for the stupid thing, but it's completely obnoxious and I can't wait for them to finally decide it's too cold and bring the dumb thing in. Once they put a large rock behind this thing - and put it in the middle of one lane of the road - which would have inflicted major damage on someone's car had they hit it. And I don't know about you, but seeing these types of idiotic things just makes me want to drive faster.

People - if you think the speed limit is too high in your neighborhood, go to a town meeting or get a petition started to commission a traffic study! Don't just put out a passive-aggressive fluorescent green creepy plastic kid imported from China, resulting in air and, eventually, water pollution that will be much more harmful to your kids than the occasional speeding motorist.

There, I've said my piece. Happy Thanksgiving! We're giving thanks for the smiting of our enemy, Traffic Child.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Diamonds: not a girl's best friend

Before everyone goes out holiday shopping, I wanted to point out this statistic published in this month's This Old House magazine: 85% of women would rather get $5,000 in home renovations than a set of equally valuable diamond earrings. I'm definitely in that majority!

So guys, if you buy your girl some jewels, don't be surprised if she hawks them to get a new deck, or have the floors refinished, or start a kitchen re-do. That is, unless you bought her a diamond-encrusted tile saw so she can do her tile project...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Our first bungalow DIY

All right, in between raking leaves all weekend, here's an entry to another contest (we could really use the $ for upcoming bedroom renovation slated for this winter).

The question is, what is the first thing we did as soon as we got the keys to our house? Well, after we had the lawyer kick out the grown son of the previous owner (who had broken in because his plane got in late and he didn't have keys, and needed to get a few last things from the house! Surprise! as he came up freshly showered from the basement bathroom when we arrived for our pre-closing walk-through!), we lugged over our sleeping bags, some champagne, and some snacks and we all planned to sack out in front of the fireplace - our favorite pigpile with cats & dog seemed in order.

Settling in by the fireplace with a desk lamp and extension cord (there were no lights in the living room), I realized there was no way I could sleep in front of the hideous 1970's-era brass fireplace screen. Ugh, I can hardly even look at this photo:

"Can we just rip this off right now?" Ken knew that it was kind of a rhetorical question. So, off it came (with all the wrong tools and a lot of swearing). Then we sat in the fireplace like Cinderella, scrubbing ages of crummy soot off until it looked reasonable. Here it is now, after lots more work:

Then, sleep. It's amazing we were able to wait another 48 hours before we tore the horrible green brain carpet off the stairs!

This post was written for as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by True Value.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I want this vacuum!

In our city, they come by and vacuum up the leaves in the fall & spring. Such service! Actually, it happens quite a lot in this neighborhood; when we lived in the ghetto section of town, I don't remember it at all. Hmmm. Maybe it was just that no one bothered to pile up their leaves.

At any rate, we got a bunch of leaves down to the curb in time for one of their passes, and I snapped a photo of the most awesome vacuum ever. Yes, that hose is big enough to engulf that guy. Can you imagine the dust bunnies you could suck up with this thing?

If the weekend's not a total washout, we hope to get the rest of the leaves to the curb for the next pass. This year they're paying special attention to the leaf removal because trees in our area had leaf Tar Spot, a fungus that was widespread because of our wet summer. Apparently if we compost the leaves or keep them around, it's more likely we'll get it again next year. So, removal it is this time.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Turn up the heat!

Apparently it's time to crank up the pellet stove, or so say these two heat-seekers:

Tomorrow is supposed to be pretty warm (in the 50s!), and it's a day we have to hike for work. Even though we really should be raking the yard, etc. instead. Hopefully we'll get that pesky raking done before it snows - again!