Monday, September 15, 2014

Adventures in Homeownership: Winter Prep List

Since the rumors are flying that this coming winter will put last winter to shame on the East Coast, the husband and I devised a list to prep for (action items/things to stock up on/etc.)

*Disclaimer-I actually enjoy snow and the winter season. Snow is fluffy. I like fluffy things. However, when it's regularly below 20 degrees and my parts are actually in danger of freezing off and we get weekly snowstorms, I have a problem.


 (Our driveway last winter. It looked like this from December to early April.)

Action Items:

-Insulate water heater pipes (our water heater doesn't get that warm, so the pipes are the better bet to cover)

-Clean out gutters (especially if we get hit with the snow they are calling for)

-Trim trees (see cleaning gutters-not trying to have my roof cave in)

-Purchase cheap toboggan (in case we need to move things around our backyard)

-Make a cover for outdoor kitties food dishes (I worry about the outdoor kitties who roam around)

-Getting fort materials (we have high ceilings and with baseboard electric heat, it costs a fortune to heat half of the house. So we are going to make a small fort that we can set up in the living room and just use a space heater to heat.)


-Which car’s alternator has most power/what can we run on an alternator? (We can use our cars as back up power sources in the event of an outage.)


-Test refrigerator in garage (see outages)


-Tinting on upper windows in living room (help with heat escaping)

-Seal front door/reset (our front door/screen were never hung properly so heat leaks out)

-Turn off rear water spigot valve in subfloor (to prevent pipes from freezing)

-Demolish hill by shed by culling sand for cars (there is a small hill of dirt/sand that was just dumped by previous owners so to kill two birds, we need sand in our cars anyway for ice/snowy drives)

-Make door drafts with old socks for sliding glass door (keeping out the cold! Plus, I can get old socks at the thrift store.)

-Finish t-shirt quilt (it's multi-layered, so it will be great for keeping us warm)

-Finish adding lining to living room curtains (we need to add lining to four more panels and that will help insulate the living room)

-Hang three sets of curtains in the husband's office (all windows have old metal slat blinds, which don't provide much help against temperature loss-we have two sets already, just need to take 10 minutes to hang them)

-Lay down compost in garden areas (prep for spring)

-Fix roof leaks (there are two small leaks that despite investigation, we can't find the source. I aim to change that.)

-Make another box for the outdoor kitties (we have one plastic tub that I cut a hole in and lined with a blanket. The kitties seemed to like it, so I plan to make another.)


-Thermally isolate guest bathroom or cover window with mylar/emergency blanket and outside wall with a packing blanket (for insulation)


Items to Buy:

-I inventoried our fall/winter gear and I have a small list of items we need: new snowboots, a new parka and some more long sleeve shirts.

-Get some solar panels and a battery storage system up and running (for outages)

-Stock up on frozen & canned meats (we have a grill outside we can use)

-Get curtain liner for office window (I had to tuck in my curtain last winter because it was very drafty. We sealed it with caulk, but just for added insulation.)

-Stock up: rice/pasta/beans/canned soup/ice

-Fill freezer with extra bread/butter (empty fridges/freezers use more electricity)

-Get two space heaters (infinitely better to heat small spaces than our old baseboard heaters)

-Stock up on toiletries for us & the cats (shampoo/conditioner/soap/vitamins/extra food/litter-better than having to run out in the middle of a snowstorm for toilet paper)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Snippets: Mmm, fall.

So freaking true

Plus, and more prosaically, it is just much harder to concentrate when you read online. Email, IM, social media, and spiral-arms of infinite, alluring content are a click away. Once you pick a page, ads and hyperlinks beckon. In their 2014 paper, Hooper and Herath suggested that people’s comprehension suffered when they read the Internet because the barrage of extraneous stimuli interrupted the transfer of information from sensory to working memory, and from working to long-term memory. Experts have posited the extinction of the “deep reading brain” if we do not learn to tune out the Web’s distractions.
I remember sitting for hours reading and now my brain just won't focus.

#thefuck?? Really? Someone decided this was a good idea?

Awwww!!! So cute

Damn.

I'm 28 years old and I've been suffering with these things my entire life. I talk for hours with my roommate about not answering my mother's texts and just the sight of one spirals me into a madness of calling myself all sorts of vitriol for being a bad daughter. I'm a bossy bitch in the streets of New York but my crippling secret and silence about my abuse still brings me to tears more days than not.

I know that feeling. I used to have panic attacks driving near the exit where my father lives. I was guilted by strangers, for the estrangement between my father and I. 


Heartbreaking I hope these families can get the closure or some peace soon.
Living simply...in a dumpster? An interesting read.

*facepalm*  What the hell Vogue?

#Ferguson & More

& the other video about Michael Brown

When you put it that way....makes my stomach turn

#Ferguson Town Hall

9/11- Yup & Part of the reason I have an issue "remembering" 9/11 (Not to say it wasn't an awful awful day. But the Islamophobia that was ramped up is not okay.)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Snippets: I'm old

Went to my 10th high school reunion last night....and I'm two years away from 30.

I would like to say I'm shocked by this but not really

A silent protest in Love Park, downtown Philadelphia orchestrated by performance artists protesting the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The onslaught of passerby’s wanting to take photos with the LOVE statue exemplifies the disconnect in American society. Simply frame out the dead body, and it doesn’t exist. In this event, artist activists staged a scene where Kieth A. Wallace, an Actor, pretended to be dead for an hour in front of the statue while others took turns holding a sign with “Call Us By Our Names” written on it.

Beautiful, striking photo

I'm really trying to take the time to enjoy each season as it is around, so now I'm gearing up for fall. And colors like those.

The hell? Again, really wish I could be surprised.

While at the station, Mr. Davis agreed to give a blood sample as well, to prove he was not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. The results would later come back 100% negative. Davis’ attorney, Daniel Betts, told KVUE, “My reaction was just shock that this happened.”
TW-Heartbreaking

Bless you, Jon Oliver

He and John Stewart went in, but again, it's the same problem of once the white man says it, people pay attention.

Fucking preach

I wanna go play with them.

GAH

One of the cutest fucking things I've ever seen.

File under surprised, not surprised

Aww, damn

I really like this photo

GODDAMMIT, I WANT IT. THE FLUFF

#Ferguson Updates

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Ups and Downs of Dressing with Less

Project 333's blog offered a chance to write about your own personal experiences with the concept of capsule clothing projects.

I really enjoyed the challenge of downsizing. Always have. I was that person in college, who purged their paper pile before they went home for the holidays. And now, even with the fact that I live in a 1,500 sq foot house, I try to squelch any clutter as quickly as possible.

We bought an extra wardrobe when we first moved into our house because the closet in our bedroom is long and narrow. I also had a three drawer nightstand and a dresser to house clothes. Slowly, but surely, I began whittling down my clothes. (I really loathe doing laundry.)

I never sought to stick with 33 items for 3 months, so I only purchased two accessories, a pair of shoes and a shirt since July 1st. But I try to stick to the one in, one out method. For the aforementioned purchases, I am donating a pair of earrings to make room for the pair purchased and the pair of shoes were a pair of boots I'd been eyeing for awhile, from Modcloth, that went on super sale. I'm donating my old four year pair of boots that had become a bit faded in color.

Upsides of less:
-Laundry is so much easier. I do about two full loads a week (husband's and I clothing together).
-I don't have to paw through piles in the morning.
-Our closet usually looks like this (when there isn't stuff hanging to dry from laundry):


-I spend less overall, even though when I do buy, I may spend more per piece. Quality over quantity.
-I usually haunt thrift stores, so there are less new pieces (and waste from making of said new product) introduced overall.

Downsides:
-I still have the urge to splurge because ooh, shiny! when I'm out. But I've learned that very rarely do splurge purchases pay off. I usually end up hating them, honestly.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

#Ferguson

Beauty in the midst of ugliness The public library is a makeshift school.

Honoring #MikeBrown

Ferguson residents line a parade of roses down W Florissant, leading to where Mike Brown was taken from this world.

YES  This definitely needs to be a thing.

Truth

Yeah, because nothing could go wrong with this set up

On August 20th


(Photo credit: http://jessehimself.tumblr.com/post/95528806818/holding-up-a-mirror-to-a-riot-officer-ferguson)




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Adventures in Homeownership: Grown-up Curtains

We have large bay windows that open up to our backyard and while those are glorious, the treatments are not.


Yeah, that's some sexy stuff.


Found these at Lowe's, along with two 96 inch rods. They are both a gorgeous dark brown, which ended up working well with the wood panels.


The husband working on measuring. We got two rods instead of just one because a. we wouldn't have been able to fit a giant one in the car and b. we were worried about bowing.


Behold! It adds more light and boldness to the room, especially since we hung them much higher. The lining still needs to be added, so the old ones are still up, but hidden.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

More on #Ferguson

If you aren't reading Jesse Williams tumblr, I feel bad for you.

Pictures from 8/18

The last picture made my blood run cold. Here is a vine of it.

& from over the weekend

Perspective indeed

THE fuck?!

Yes. & This is still a community People will still live, work, etc here after the cameras stop rolling.

Please do not fall prey to the media’s game. Anger at the actions of the police in Ferguson is totally justified, but in the midst of that we cannot allow the people who are living with the situation every day to be dehumanized. Despite all this tragedy and chaos going on around them, they’re still a community and in many ways they’re pulling through all of it together. They want peace. Anyone looting or burning things down is a very small portion of the community. The whole story is so much bigger.

A story doesn’t need tear gas to be interesting. We need to hear every side of this story, not just the horrific parts.


Yup


(photo credit: http://jessehimself.tumblr.com/post/95168502748/codyjohnston-90-year-old-holocaust-survivor)

90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein arrested for peacefully protesting today in Ferguson.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Snippets: Summertime

Almost the end of summer already. I'm glad for the warmth, and kinda wary about winter again.

How kick ass is this?

That’s precisely the situation facing San Francisco’s estimated 6,436 homeless residents, who currently have just seven places in the city where they can shower.

Motivated by the belief that everyone has the right to be clean, Doniece Sandoval founded LavaMae, a non-profit with an innovative idea: take old, unused city buses and retrofit them with fully functioning showers for homeless people to use. Last weekend, LavaMae, a play on the Spanish word for “wash me,” launched its first mobile bus.

The truth right here

My cat would be doing the same thing

Nope, no racism here  Disgusting. Marissa Alexander is still being denied justice.

Watch this and try not to smile

How beautiful is this view? Or this one?

Stupid AP for your victim blaming. Ugh

Absolutely disgusting My heart goes out to the families.

Their names and lives matter.

Simplicity I really need to try some of these tips. I hate feeling the need to catch up with so much.

May he rest in peace Our Genie.




Thursday, August 14, 2014

#Ferguson

Witness account to Mike Brown's murder

Solidarity, but damn

THE FUCK

The conflict on Monday wasn't just about Brown, but also the result of years of racial tension given a sudden shove. Likewise, tweets, videos and images from the scene on the ground demonstrate that the authorities in Ferguson did their part maintaining an atmosphere of mutual hostility.

This video caught by CNN shows a white officer telling Ferguson residents to "bring it, all you fucking animals"

From the Washington Post

He was illegally instructed to stop taking video of officers. Then he followed officers’ instructions to leave a McDonald’s — and after contradictory instructions on how to exit, he was slammed against a soda machine and then handcuffed. That behavior was wholly unwarranted and an assault on the freedom of the press to cover the news. The physical risk to Wesley himself is obvious and outrageous.

After being placed in a holding cell, he was released with no charges and no explanation. He was denied information about the names and badge numbers of those who arrested him.


More info

(Photo Credit: http://jessehimself.tumblr.com/post/94701868093)



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Review: The Big Tiny

The fact that I ended up checking out this book from my local library was a complete accident. Last year, I was looking up books on happiness and came across this book as a Recommended Read. I, on a whim, reserved it at the library. Loved it and she mentions frequently that Dee Williams was an inspiration for the changes she made in her life.

Clearly, I had to reserve The Big Tiny as soon as I could at the library.

Williams is living "the American Dream" like the rest of us; desk job, car and recently acquired homeownership status and all of the expenses/headaches that go along with it when she collapsed and discovered a very serious health issue.While at the doctor's office, she flipped open a magazine to read an article about a man who built his own house, but in miniature. After flying out to meet him, the author becomes inspired to do the same thing.

And does just that. Her house size? 84 square feet.

The Big Tiny traces Williams' journey from sketching plans for her eventual house, to buying a trailer from an interesting group of Russians, fighting with various pieces of wood, downsizing almost of all of her possessions, and then setting up shop in a dear friend's backyard.

A reader couldn't help but be slightly jealous of her daily routine, which involves waking up under a skylight and drinking coffee on the front porch to watch the sunrise. She doesn't have indoor plumbing and has a weak internet signal, which forces her to interact with her community and with nature, which begins about four feet from her head.

Williams' experiences aren't all pleasant, but she ends the book, asking, " Whose idea was it that we should all get jobs, work faster, work better, race from place to place with our brains stewing on tweets, blogs...when in the end, all any of us will have is our simple beating heart..."

A very good question to ask. This memoir was a lot of fun to read. Williams does not take herself seriously at all and when I finished this book, I realized the nearly 300 pages flew by because it felt like I was talking to a friend over drinks. A recommended read for anyone's bookshelf.

(Photo Credit: Amazon.com)