home improvement

Published on June 30 2008

I've been playing in mud puddles. And giving rocks a new home. I also loooove the sound of water running, so I added a little of that as well.
So. Whaddya think?

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Published on December 5 2007

Gore help me. I'm gonna need waaaaay more carbon offsets. The Associated Press: Ecologists Study Efficiency of Divorce
WASHINGTON AP — Divorce can be bad for the environment. In countries around the world divorce rates have been rising, and each time a family dissolves the result is two new households. "A married household actually uses resources more efficiently than a divorced household," said Jianguo Liu, an ecologist at Michigan State University whose analysis of the environmental impact of divorce appears in this weeks online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Published on #Current Affairs, #Home Improvement

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Published on August 10 2007

I happened to note that I never *did* put up a "post-fire floor pic" of how nice the floors turned out--after another day or two of cleaning up the scratches and marks from fire hoses and boots. Oh well. The purple rugs are down now, the furniture is in, and the only things left are the installation of the gas fireplace and something to fill that enormous empty spot on the wall in the fourth picture. I have one idea for it, but I will certainly accept any other suggestions!! { gallery [LR] }

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Published on July 7 2007

Now that the excitement over trying to BURN DOWN MY HOUSE is over.....it's back to this floor. Vacation is running out, and I *really* need to finish this before I start night shift. Not much gets accomplished when I'm working nights and trying to sleep days. So here I am on hands and knees, blocksanding down (240 grit!!) before the final finish. Sometimes I think I should have just paid the 2 grand to have somebody else do this for me. Next time.
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Besides, I need something to keep me out of the way while the cleaning and restoration crew is here working on the kitchen. I feel so *pampered* having somebody else clean my house, even though I keep wondering what they think when they open up those top cabinets that may not have been opened since about 1993. *I* don't even know what's up there in some of them!! I imagine the pampered feeling will end screech to a halt when I am presented with the bill, but... oh well. It's still fun to have somebody else cleaning my house, and I'm going to enjoy sitting, watching, and eating bon-bons while I can.

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Published on July 5 2007

"....My house Out of the ordinary Thats right Don't want to hurt nobody Some things sure can sweep me off my feet Burning down the house..."
Yeah, yeah, I know... What's really bad is that I was *singing* it while scrubbing soot this afternoon. Me. Singing. Not a picture any of you want in your heads, trust me. A note I wrote to a friend this afternoon:
It's a helluva way to get a new kitchen. I've been so damn careful with the sawdust, the stain cans, the brushes, etc. from doing the living room floor. I *know* the stuff self-ignites, I know this--- I've trained on it in fireschool! I know the chemical reaction, the oxidation, involved. I've put out this type of fire at work in fire brigade. I KNOW this stuff backwards and forwards. So what did I do? I threw a couple used rags from mopping stain in the garbage last night, and then was so tired from working on the floor all day that I forgot to haul the garbage out. End result was what would have been an extremely cool explosion if it hadn't been in my house. And one helluva lot of smoke damage throughout the whole downstairs-- the kitchen is absolutely black with layers of greasy soot. A damaged wall in the kitchen, as well. All of the painting, etc. I've done over the last few months will have to be redone. And if you can imagine what firemen and hoses, etc. can do to a freshly stained (but not sealed) maple floor.....well, I'm not the happiest camper right now. I'm just sick at my stupidity and my luck. About the only thing I did right was get the hell out as soon as my fire extinguisher went empty, but thankfully I managed to knock it down to basically smoke before I bailed out of here--only the wall was smoldering when the FD arrived, but the smoke was incredible. I've never seen a cloud so thick... I'm just covered in soot and CO2 dust. I need a shower (bad) and a nap. God, I'm tired, and it's only 3 in the afternoon.
And there you have it. I heard a loud snap and a strange whoosh from the kitchen as I was lying in bed this morning, and figured I'd better go see. As soon as I opened my bedroom door, I heard the flames, ran for the fire extinguisher next to the fireplace, and headed for the kitchen. I had the sense enough to not race in; but pulled the pin, flung it across the room, and stuck my arm around the corner to let 'er fly. I only had a few seconds of pressure before the extinguisher was empty-- the next one I buy will be much larger! I dropped the extinguisher, peeked around the door to see flames once again crawling up the wall, and decided it was time to get out. Back to the bedroom to throw on a pair of shorts and a tank top (I know, I know, but I doubt the neighborhood was ready for the sight of my unmentionables after they'd partied all night on the 4th!), grabbed the cellphone and the cat and ran... It's funny. We always talk about the "things we'll save in case of a fire", but as I ran barefoot through the cloud of greasy black smoke towards the door, only one word went through my head. "Out". Miraculously, I stayed calm while making the phone calls, even though I had seen the flames against the wall. I knew once they flashed to the freshly-stained living room floor, it would be all over. I believed in my heart that my house was gone. When I left, I thought I would never walk back up those steps. And I still stayed calm. I don't know how. Even more miraculously, during the short (but eternally long) five minutes or so that it took for the Fire Department (Hi Mike! Hi Glenn! How's the family?) to arrive, the fire died on its own. They gave it one small shot with the big hose to make sure, then opened all the windows and set up the big fan to clear the smoke. Standing outside, I could not believe it was over so fast, and that there was so little damage given the incredible cloud of smoke. A few pics of the aftermath..... { gallery [fire] } The first insurance agent took her pictures, told me I could do whatever immrdiate cleaning I needed, and told me that an adjuster would contact me. Still waiting on that, and I hope it doesn't portend a claim battle. I haven't a clue how this works--in all my years, I've never had to make a claim on house insurance, lol. All of my furniture was piled in the dining room about three feet from the fire, so I may be dealing with that smoke damage as well as the damage in the kitchen. Wish me luck. And join me in my little prayer of thanks that this was so much less than it could have been.

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Published on #'Sconsin stuff, #Home Improvement, #Photos

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Published on July 5 2007

My house caught fire this morning. What a fun vacation this is turning out to be. Sitting on the hood of a pickup truck down the street, watching firetrucks and firemen in SCBA, dragging hoses into my house, all I could think was "I am so blogging this"!! Am I hooked, or what? Story at Eleven.....oh yuck, I bet this makes the local news. Pics will follow, but Rudy and I are okay. I'm just not in a very good mood right now, lol.

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Published on #'Sconsin stuff, #Home Improvement

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Published on July 2 2007

It's always fun when one gets to operate big noisy dusty machines. Oh wait.... I do that for a living don't I?
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I knew the old maple floors were in rough shape and I've been threatening to sand them for years, but this photo really shows up just how badly it was needed. Once I took up the rugs, I just couldn't ignore this anymore.
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So, since I have to do the fine sanding coat tomorrow, I figured I'd throw down some stain samples here in the closet to see if I could decide which one I want. I'm partial to the second one from the right, called "traditional pecan". I really dislike the one in the center, and the other three read a little too dark to suit this house, even though I love a dark wood floor.
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But first things first, while I wait for the sawdust in the living room to settle. It's the beginning of July, which means only one thing in northern Wisconsin.Yeah. The farm is open for picking. It's Strawberry Season. :-D
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And we know exactly what to do with them, lol.
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Published on June 13 2007

In which our heroine discovers that, although she has always thought being six feet tall was an incredibly lucky wonderful thing and that her view of the world would always be a good one from this altitude, she can no longer get into her bed without a ladder. Or one helluva running jump. s4012021.JPG Please tune out the camo-patterned green and brown carpeting; I am *not* the one responsible for it. For reference, the top of the headboard is 60" from the floor. This is great for somebody who has a teensy problem with heights, eh? s4012023.JPG View from eye level. No, really. Well, there is one benefit. Rudy hasn't figured out how to jump quite that high yet. He may yet become the world's first pole-vaulting kitten. [Update: Like sleeping on a cloud. Well, maybe that's because I'm sleeping IN the clouds, but.....]

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Published on June 11 2007

Since none of you are opining on the Flickr pics, I'll ask it here instead. So the furniture-blogging is all YOUR fault. I loooove going furniture shopping. It's right up there with hitting my head against a wall repeatedly until I black out. s4012005.JPG So. I bought these yesterday. Think I should order the ottoman to go along with the glider on the left? s4012006.JPG WooHOOO!!! /me gets a bed that my feet don't hang over the end of! (Yes, my grammar goes right down the tubes when I'm whooping). And I already asked-- the breakfast (bagel au varnish avec foam-resembling-cream-cheese) and the orange juice in the display don't go with the bed. Damn. Closest I can get to breakfast in bed!

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Published on April 21 2007

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