Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm Apartment Therapy's Best of Creative Reuse!

Look at what I found waiting for me in my feed reader after the Christmas holiday. Apartment Therapy’s green blog Re-Nest choose my picture frame dog feeder as one of Re-Nest's Best Creative Reuse of 2008 projects!

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This is an amazing way to close out my first blogging year. As you may recall, Apartment Therapy’s Re-Nest featured two of my Condo Blues creative reuse projects on their blog in October, Blitzkrieg’s raised dog feeder, and my wine glass chandelier.

So, let’s see, that’s a big THREE stories featuring yours truly on Apartment Therapy this year. I blog I love and read even before I started blogging. Next goal – write an article or have a project featured in Readymade – another of my all time favorite magazines.

What a great way to end 2008! Have you had any unexpected good things come your way this year?

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Monday, December 22, 2008

A Quick and Easy Modern Christmas Decoration

As I was decorating The Condo for Christmas, I had a little problem. I needed an extra holiday something on one of my side tables. Something not so rustic folksy. Something more long the lines of the Retro Modern Bauhaus Contemporary Found and Funkified Da Da-Danish decorating style I’m striving for in The Condo.

I didn’t want to jump into the car and go to the store and buy something because honestly, I knew I wanted something on that side table, but I had no idea what. In other words, going to the store and trying find and buy the perfect holiday something was a kin to a multistore and multiday vision quest. And while fun, I just didn’t have time for that. Not that day.

So I scrounged around and came across my decorating standby – the giant martini glass. You may remember that I filled it with seedpods from a neighborhood park during the Fall.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Woven Danish Hearts and Junk Mail Snowflake Window Decor

Some of my neighbors hang wreaths or swags on their second floor windows. I really like this look, on the freestanding Cape Cod style condominiums in my neighborhood. I thought I’d do the same this year. It should be easy enough, I thought because I could hang the wreath by opening the windows and hanging the greenery from the inside. In theory, this would have worked well. However, in the alternative decorating universe that we call The Condo, I forgot that I sealed the inside of the windows in October for winter.


In order to hang the greens, I would either have to remove all of the rope caulk from the inside of the windows or get out a ladder and climb up on the roof of the porch and possibly fall off of the roof because I am. That. Talented. Neither of these tasks was very onerous but both lacked appeal since I wanted to do the outdoor decorating job quickly and immediately – it was cold outside!

Oh, and I had one other small problem.

I didn’t buy greenery for the windows.

A shopping trip changed all of that. No, I didn’t buy wreaths or boughs of holly. That would be too easy. I walked by Anthropology’s holiday windows and found them covered in paper snowflakes.

I got inspired.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How to Use and Make Cloth Napkins

PhotobucketI’m a recent cloth napkin convert. It’s not that I didn’t already have cloth napkins, quite the contrary. I already had two sets of cloth napkins that coordinated with my everyday tablecloths stashed in the back of a kitchen drawer. However, I rarely the casual cloth napkins because, using cloth napkins every day seems like a pain (as in the I’d always be doing laundry because we ran out of cloth napkins) and honestly, I could purchase a giagundo pack of paper napkins for a $1.00 at the store if I played my cards right.



Sure, we’d quickly tear through that huge pack of paper napkins because He Who Cooks My Dinner used to use them to clean the kitchen instead of the small army of wipes, towels, cleaners, and sponges that we store under the kitchen sink (Harrumph!) Annoying, but still cheap.

However on one snowy, icey, and all around cruddy December day we ran out of paper napkins. I didn’t want to slog through all of that yuck to drive to the store and buy just one pack of paper napkins. I pulled the cloth napkins out of the drawer. I figured I’d try using the cloth napkins for daily dinners until my next grocery shopping trip. Well, my laziness paid off. I found that the cloth napkins were easier, cheaper, and a whole lot classier to use than the paper napkins. Not quite the pain in the hoo-ha I originally imagined. And, yes, the cloth napkins are more environmentally friendly too. This goes double for me, because I already had them in that the-greenest-thing-you-can-do-is-use-the-stuff-you-already-have way. Bonus.


Monday, December 15, 2008

20% Home Utility Reduction Challenge: November Update & Tips

My goal is to lower my home’s natural gas and electricity use by 20% in 2008. I also want to 
reduce my utilities as inexpensively as possible. Our main focus is on changing habits instead of replacing all of our fairly new and still working appliances and items with Energy Star equivalents. If our stuff wears out beyond fixability then of course, we’ll consider Energy Star items as replacements if applicable. Now that it’s getting colder in Central Ohio, we’ve turned on our natural gas furnace and unfortunately, it’s supposed to be a colder than normal winter. Winter is when our natural gas usage is at its highest, so let’s see how we did for November 2008.



November Natural Gas Usage

We use natural gas for heat, hot water, and a natural gas fireplace in our living room. Once the outside temperature dips to 40 degrees (F), we turn on the heat and switchover to some winter heat saving habits. Our habits and minor home improvements are paying off because in November 2008 we only used 28 CCF of natural gas dowm from the 37 CCF of natural gas we used in November of 20o7, that's a 9 CCF difference folks!

How I Lowered My Natural Gas Bill in November

Friday, December 12, 2008

3 Handmade Holiday Ornaments

I really enjoy Christmas tree ornaments. I’ve been collecting them since I was a teenager. Some were made for me as Christmas gifts from the crafty ladies in my family, some are store bought, and some I made myself. Let’s take a look at a few of my favorite handmade Christmas tree ornaments.

I still have my 12 inch bachelorette Christmas tree**. I put it up on the second floor landing of The Condo. This tree is now our Rennie Tree. It has some of the ornaments that Husband and I collected and displayed when we performed at renaissance festivals. Back in the day, our large tree was The Rennie Tree decked out in purple lights, gold ribbon, and Elizabethan animal ornaments. To fill in the holes in the that large tree, I bought some frame ornaments from Restoration Hardware and put photos of Husband and I in our many characters on the tree. For more filler, I string a few jingle bells on ribbon from my sewing stash. After all these years, they still look good. These ornaments sum up my personal decorating style -pair and pull off a combinaton of the expensive with the clever but very inexpensive.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

15 Habits That Lower Winter Utility Bills

During my 20% home energy reduction challenge, I quickly found that one of the best ways to lower my utility bills was to change my household habits according to the seasons. Seriously, folks, all of the energy efficient light bulbs and sealing of air leaks in the world won’t do much to p reduce your home’s electric and natural gas use if you keep every light in the house blazing and set the furnace to the highest temperature all day every day.


Here are some of the things I do that help me lower my winter electricity and natural gas usage and hopefully the bill (unless they raise my rates.) These habits will work also work for apartment dwellers and renters too.

15 Easy Ways to Lower Your Winter Heating Bill


Monday, December 8, 2008

10 Green Gifts That Suck

There are some great environmentally friendly gifts and some that are not. I suspect that these are the items that a Greenzilla would give. (You know, the zealot who raises the green living bar so high that pretty much every person who honestly tries to do their part still fails in the eyes of the Greenzilla because you haven’t met the Greenzilla’s specific expectations?)


On the other hand, if you’ve decided this holiday season not to give gifts not as a token of love and appreciation but as a way to force your recipients to live the green life by doing everything exactly like you doNO EXCEPTIONS then these sucky enviro-gifts may be for you. (Personally, I’m not into the Greenzilla line of thinking because I think that there’s always more than one way to do something and achieve the same goal, which in this case, is a living a more sustainable life.)


10 Green Gift No Nos


Friday, December 5, 2008

How to Make a Personalized Appliqué Fleece Dog Blanket

Last year, Blitzkrieg and I participated in a small dog sport gift exchange. Well, technically the dogs were the gift givers and recipients but their humans did all of the shopping, wrapping, and shipping of gifts. In other words, the dogs got the goods and the humans did all of the work. Seems only fair because in our sport of agility Blitzkrieg does all of the work of running up over and through the obstacles on the course while I just run beside him and point to what he has to do next. OK, dog sport people know that there’s more to it on the human side, but that’s not the point of this post.

Anywayz, my New Year’s resolution that year was to try to use up some of the stuff in craft stash that in some cases had been sitting around for more years than I like to admit. Some of the items languishing in my craft stash were pieces of fleece that were too big to throw away but not large enough to make anything out of. That is, until this gift exchange. Turns out the fleece squares I had were just the right size to turn into small dog blankets. This project was the perfect time to try my hand at a little hand appliqué as well.


Dog Blankets
My applogies for the poor photo quality. 
I had to use my PDA to take the photos.


How to make a personalized appliqué fleece dog blanket


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

10 Meaningful Holiday Gift Ideas

As my extended family gathered and opened presents one holiday eve, the Dad looked over at the gift his son just opened and said, “Hey, that’s cool! Who’s it from? I bet it’s a Lisa gift!” Then the mom got excited, “a Lisa gift! What is it? Let me see! Let me see!”

Me? I’m sitting there thinking,”Uh oh. I’ve totally done it again. The family I love but that has more Nos than Yeses when it comes to what’s allowed for their kids, is going to make my gift disappear because I screwed up their only-known-until-you-break-it kid gift rules. Oh no!”


Quite the contrary, the Dad told me. In their house, a Lisa Gift is something unusual, awesome, and something the giver didn’t know that they wanted or needed until they got the gift and used it – a lot.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Design Within Reach Black Friday Discounts!

Design Within Reach doesn’t hold many sales during the year, but when they do hold a sale, they do hold a sale. From Black Friday, November 28th to Cyber Monday, December 1st Design Within Reach is giving customers 15% any purchase in their stores or online. You must use the Black Friday discount code DWRFF8 for your online or in store purchase to get the 15% discount.

Design Within Reach is also having a Floor Sample Sale where you can save up to 50% off. The email I received from Design Within Reach says that their Floor Sample Sale starts November 28th but some stores may be marking down items and selling them early. Last weekend while Husband and I were doing some Christmas shopping recon we visited our local Design Within Reach Studio and saw that they had many floor samples already marked down. (And sweetie, if you’re reading this, it was the Nelson Crisscross Pendant that I repeatedly mentioned how nice it would look in the living room. Christmas is coming hint, hint!)

If you don’t live near a Design Within Reach Studio, or like me, some of the items you want to buy aren’t available in the brick and mortar store, the online store is holding a clearance sale.

Happy Shopping!

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Monday, November 24, 2008

The KOR ONE: Reusable Water Bottle or Swanky Hydration Vessel?

KOR set out to redesign the reusable water bottle and make it appealing to the nonsporty crowd because let’s face it most of the reusable water bottles out there are designed for the sporty folks. KOR managed to combine my teenage love of fashion with my adult love of product designs (seriously folks, I’ve geeked out over the posh design of an orange juice squeezer) and put it into one gorgeous looking water bottle. Wow. (OK. OK. They call it a Hydration Vessel when really it’s a reusable water bottle - but who am I to quibble with marketing semantics?) Imagine my delight when KOR sent me one of their BPA-free plastic Hydration Vessels for review.

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The KOR ONE is a one of the few water bottles I have that I can but in the dishwasher. Given the rounded bottom, the bottle is surprisingly sturdy and doesn’t tip over easily. And just for fun, the KOR ONE features a “stone” cap insert with inspirational sayings such as “Never Settle” or “Laugh Often.” They also include a blank stone so you can create your own message. I got all Alice in Wonderland and made a “Drink Me” stone for my - oh, geez, I’ll just say it - my Hydration Vessel’s lid.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Have You Ever Put An Active Dog On Complete Bed Rest? It’s Not Easy…



cat ball muzzle on
makes dog look like Spaceman Spiff
all to check his back



Blitzkrieg is a very active little dog. And he’s smart. He knows tons of tricks sit, speak, down, wait, shake, and high 5 with his left and right (blind side thankyouverymuch) paw and the favorite of the neighborhood kids, dance on his hind legs, which Peke people commonly refer to as The Pekingese Dance. Teaching Blitzkrieg these behaviors has helped us use positive reinforcement training turn the shy and fear aggressive abused dog we rescued into the confident and well-adjusted goofball we have today. One of the Blitzkrieg Rules is that if Blitzkrieg wants to join a human who is already sitting on the sofa then he has to “ask” permission by sitting first before the human (me) tells him “OK, hup”. This is Blitzkrieg’s cue to jump up on the sofa for a good snuggle.
As of last Saturday, Blitzkrieg couldn’t hup.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Skil Power Cutter Review

It’s no secret that I love high quality power tools. I know the big names and as I’m slowly building the tool collection in my DIY workshop, I tend to check those out first. That’s why I was very excited that the fine folks at Skil sent me their new Skil Power Cutter for review because up until now, the only experience I’ve had with Skil brand power tools is drooling over their XBench Portable Workstation in the hardware store. Unfortunately, the Power Cutter is such a specific tool that I could only use for maybe one or two specific DIY or craft jobs around The Condo, that I can’t justify drooling over it. Maybe you might though.

The Power Cutter’s designed to cut material that is up to ¼” thick such as carpeting, vinyl flooring, wallpaper, heavy fabric like canvas, window screens, plastic pond liners, or items that are a little too thick to cut with regular scissors like cardboard, foam core board, or heavy cardstock. I tested the Power Cutter on cutting cardboard, paper, canvas, and a remnant of vinyl flooring the builder left at our house and that I will someday make into a floor cloth. I found that the Power Cutter works best on straight cuts; it didn’t do too well on detailed curvy cuts. The Power Cutter didn’t take very long to charge up and they say keeps it charge up to 18 months (which due to deadlines for this review I can’t test that, so I’ll have to take Skil’s word for it.) That’s impressive because there’s nothing I hate more than to grab a rechargeable tool from my toolbox for a quick DIY task and find that the battery’s dead.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Three Easy, Natural, and Free Fall Centerpieces

Some people see raking autumn leaves as a chore. I look at it as an opportunity to redecorate my home with some unusual (and free!) natural fall elements.

My first centerpiece couldn’t be easier to make. I literally tossed a small collection of leaves, crabapples, seedpods, and a couple of buckeyes that I gathered from my yard and neighborhood park (always make sure that you have permission to take anything from property that isn’t yours first) around a paraffin free candle on an old tray.

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Since I’m working with natural and dried elements near an open flame, you’ll notice that I have the candle in a protective glass holder so I don’t accidently set my centerpiece on fire. I also make sure that I do not leave burning candles unattended.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

How to Winterize a Rain Barrel

If you live in an area that gets ice, snow, and/or freezing temperatures in winter, you should add one often overlooked task to your Fall Prepare for Winter Checklist: drain any standing water from your rain barrel.


During the winter, if the standing water you currently have in your rain barrel freezes, it could cause the rain barrel to crack or split, and well, then you’re out one rain barrel. Given the cost of those things, a rain barrel is not something that I personally would want to replace every spring or summer. Ouch.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

2 Rice Bags Turned into Shopping Tote Bags

Husband and I had some empty rice bags in our stash of reusable shopping tote bags. However, we rarely used them, or even worse, we got the passive aggressive stink eye from clerks at the grocery store because the rice bags were much smaller than the rest of our shopping tote bags.

I decided to make my small rice bags into larger shopping tote bags.

Shopping Tote Bag#1

I opened up the seams and removed the handles from this burlap rice bag with a seam ripper. Then I cut two 5 inch (3 inches wide + 1 inch seam allowances) rectangles out of a way too-faded-to-donate-to-charity 100% cotton curtain panel and sewed them to the sides of bag. I made and attached handles to the top of the bag for easy toting around town. I like how the green reclaimed curtain panel coordinates with the green lettering on the burlap rice bag.


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The zipper is not functional. I just left it in the side of the bag so everyone knows that yes, this was once a small Basmati rice bag.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I’m in Love with Earthlust Stainless Steel Water Bottles

We have several BPA free reusable plastic sport bottles hanging around The Condo largely due to Husband getting them as promotional freebies in his 5K, 10K, and ½ marathon race packs. I’m not a big fan of these bottles because of the sport tops – it’s just too hard to drink water through them. Either I have to squeeze the plastic bottle and/or suck like a manic baby on the sport top to get the water to come out of the bottle. Even then I still don’t’ get a decent drink of water. In most cases, I just unscrew the sports top and drink straight from the bottle because I like to live dangerously.

Since I have some freebies and I generally not a fan of the reusable plastic water bottles we currently have, I’ve been slow to jump on the metal reusable water bottle bandwagon. Especially when I saw that some of those supposed-to-be-better-for-you-and-the- environment metal water bottles have plastic liners. So if you want me to ditch my current #2 plastic-but-bad–reusable-water-bottle for your metal-but-supposed-to-be-greener-but-lined-with- #2 plastic-reusable-water-bottle you had better offer me something that’s much better than what I currently have sitting in my cupboard.

Earthlust did just that. They make a naturally safe stainless steel water bottle that is not only unlined (no plastic in this reusable metal water bottle!) but uses non-toxic paints, and looks good.

I got to try an Earthlust water bottle and I’m hooked. First, I like that the Earthlust bottles are just plainer prettier to look at than some of those other reusable metal water bottles. In fact, some Earthlust designs are inspired by what the owner sees around her during walks with her child. I love that. I’m a total sucker for something that has both good design and an interesting back story.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Seadog Cemetery Decor

One of the great things about buying our Condo is that Husband and I finally have a porch and yard of our very own to decorate for the holidays. The first year we decided to decorate for Halloween, we opened a bottle of wine and after a glass or so, decided “Hey - let’s put out the Halloween decorations!” This is what we came up with. A Seadog Cemetery. Granted it's a small cemetary. We confined it to our flower beds so we wouldn't have to deal with the HOA's lawn service mowing over our holiday decorations.

This is Captain Twiggy. He’s the guy that started it all. For about 8 years, Captain Twiggy was our lone Halloween decoration because Husband and I were performing at the Ohio Renaissance Festival every weekend in October and honestly between the weekend acting job and our weekday professional jobs, a pirate skeleton on the door was about as much holiday décor that we could handle at the time. Now Captain Twiggy hangs out in our sea dog cemetery drinking his favorite brew – Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale.


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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Make a Halloween Witches Parking Sign

Made this Witches Parking sign out of an old decorative sign I picked up at Old Time Pottery. I liked the painted border of the original sign but I didn’t like the saying. So I painted the center with black craft paint. After the paint was dry, I painted my own saying, “Witches Parking Only: All Others Will Be Toad” in the center of the sign with white craft paint.

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I hung it on my porch next to a bamboo-handled broom. I tied the broom to the sign with raffia so it wouldn’t be tempted to fly away with any mischievous goblins or ghouls on Beggars Night.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How to Make Fake Horror Movie Vampire Blood

If you’re dressing up as a vampire for Halloween, chances are you will want to sport some fake blood dribbling from those vampire fangs or all over you if you’re occupying your favorite horror movie monster to a Halloween party as their favorite tasty snack latest victim. 




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In that case, you’ll need some fake blood. It’s easy to make, in fact, this is the same recipe that they use to make fake blood for movies and for television shows.


How to Make Halloween Blood From Kitchen Ingredients


Monday, October 20, 2008

DIY Scrubbing Bubbles!

I was skeptical about cleaning with vinegar, which is supposed to be a natural disinfectant. However, after Blitzkrieg entered my life I had to find a pet friendly floor-cleaning alternative. I was very surprised to find that a combination of vinegar, water, and a sploosh of dish soap did the job very nicely.

And it is butt cheap too - bonus!

After that, I tried a few more cleaning with vinegar experiments. I made my own green version of scrubbing bubbles to clean some baked on crud under my stovetop.

I sprinkled the crud with baking powder, then a bit of vinegar and let the foaming begin. After the foaming stopped, I easily wiped up the mess. This method worked much better than any other cleaner & loads of elbow grease I tried (and failed) on the job earlier that day.


“Hi, my name’s Lisa and I was a skeptic. Now I like to clean with foaming baking soda and vinegar volcanoes.”

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bruce Campbell Pumpkin Meet the Mac-O-Lantern

My brother-in-law likes, nay, is obsessed with horror movies and Halloween. In fact, most of the décor in my Evil Dead laundry room came courtesy of holiday gifts from him. I think most of these items where gifted to us under the my-wife-put-a-moratorium-on-me-buying-new-horror-movie-stuff-for-my-man-cave-so-I’m-buying-this-for-you-because-I-think-it’s-cool- and-I-know-you-like-Bruce-Campbell-movies clause of their marriage contract.

That’s why my laundry room looks like a dorm room.

BIL has a friendly competition with his neighbor on who carves the best pumpkin each Halloween. Both guys bought pumpkin carving kits at the store. After using the store bought templates, they both quickly ditched that idea the following year and have been doing their own thing every since.

As an homage to my Evil Dead laundry room, my brother in law carved this pumpkin for Halloween. Bruce Campbell as Ash in the movie The Evil Dead. On the other hand, it could be Ash in Evil Dead 2. Or possibly Ash in Army of Darkness? Anyway, here is his masterpiece.


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Friday, October 10, 2008

Help Me Pick a Halloween Costume!

I love dressing up for Halloween. It's the one time of year that I can please my inner child and play dress up. Because if you're an adult and if you don't have a kid, playing dress up at any other time of the year could be all shades of creepy, scary, fetishy or all three (your choice - you pick!)

Husband and I are going to a Halloween party. The theme is Scary. After rooting around what costume pieces we had around the house (not only a budget conscious costume but environmentally friendly too), I put together three options. I'm not sure which one I should do. Will you help me decide?

Option 1: Witch
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These costume pieces have evolved into what you see now. Originally I bought the vest at Rag O Rama (hands down the best thrift store in the city!) and wore it with black boots and leggings for a couple of sword fighting shows. Later I needed an Elizabethan gown to do a hand to hand stage combat show and made the black skirt. A few years later I developed an on-line training course and needed a photo of an 1898 woman. I added sleeves to the vest and a walking bustle to the skirt. Then after seeing Wicked and channeling the latest Harry Potter film I added the conical hat. It’s not as good as Professor McGonagall’s (oh how I love the hats they built for the character in the Harry Potter movies!) but I didn't have to time to beef up the store bought hat with feathers et al. at the time) and was a witch. I use the broom as a decoration on my front porch. I like the texture of the bamboo handle and that it's beat up a bit. Like it's defied gravity and flown many, many miles into the night.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Kitchen Décor That Only Norman Bates Could Love

Haiku Friday

Bad Idea Bears visit
while I drool at décor ideas
Look! Norman Bates’ house

I’m absent-mindedly looking around online for items that I could use to decorate The Condo for Halloween. And wouldn’t you know it, the Bad Idea Bears showed up and tried to convince me to buy a bunch of weird stuff and redecorate.



Bad Idea Bears: These items all go together; you could use them all to decorate your kitchen! Don’t pay attention to what Kenneth Brown says in his TV show Over Designed. Theme kitchens are very in this year.

Me: Well yeah, if you’re some homicidal nutcase like Serial Mom or Norman Bates from the movie Psycho! No. I’m not doing a CSI kitchen theme in the Condo.

Bad Idea Bears: (Batting their eyelashes and looking excessively cute) Pleeeeeese!

Me: Weeeell. I suppose I could blog about it. I haven’t done a design-centered post in awhile. It’s October and time to plan for Halloween. And I am feeling kinda cheeky…

Bad Idea Bears: Yaaaaaay!

So let’s take a look at how Norman Bates may decorate his kitchen if we wanted to proudly proclaim to the world that he is in fact, a psycho nut job. (And before you ask, no. I don’t seriously recommend decorating a house in this theme. I’m just trying to appease the Bad Idea Bears and my Inner Brat after having a not so great week.)

Let’s have some fun, shall we?

Scene: Day

Setting: The kitchen of the Psycho house on the Universal Studios lot. Where else?


(Norman Bates walks into the back door of his house and into the kitchen after a hard day of work at the Bates hotel. Norman fumbles in the dark for the Hanging Harry Light Pull and turns on the overhead kitchen light.)

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(Then Norman puts on a manly black chef’s apron and begins to prepare a sumptuous meal for his mother.)

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He decides to make stir fry. That involves chopping a lot of vegetables. Fortunately, for Norman he has a fondness for kitchen knives and the Ex Knife Holder.

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In fact, Norman likes to chop things up so much that keeps around two sets of knives in his kitchen! When a situation demands a good hack, slash, or chop, he knows he can count on the knives in his Throwzini knife holder.

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Norman thinks Mother may be a little peckish after sitting in the basement all day. He decides to make her some hors d'oeuvres and looks for the Pound party picks.

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Norman: Oh goodness! The party picks are in the dishwasher. I can’t use dirty party picks. Mother would not approve. I suppose I’ll serve her a plate of cheese cubes instead. Now, where did I put the OUCH! Voodoo doll toothpick holder? Oh there it is!


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SFX: the telephone rings. (Norman puts his cup of tea (hemlock, perhaps?) on a Splat Stan Coaster. He answers the telephone.)

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(Norman grabs a pen from his Dead Fred Penholder, writes something on a piece of paper, and hangs up the telephone.)

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Norman: (calling to his Mother off screen) Mother! I have to go. Janet Leigh is going to check into the hotel tonight. After I deal with her, we’ll set down to a nice dinner and watch a nice wholesome family movie like Grindhouse, OK?
End of Scene

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind. For the record, no amount of prescription medication or therapy makes the Bad Idea Bears go away. Sometimes you just gotta roll with it. That’s a fact.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Save Some Bucks – How to Seal Heating Ducts!

I am on a mission to seek out and destroy air leaks in The Condo so I can save money on my heating and cooling bills this year. According to energystar.gov it will be worth it too:
“EPA estimates that homeowners can typically save up to 20% of heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% of total energy costs) by air sealing their homes
and adding insulation in attics, floors over crawl spaces, and accessible basement rim joists.”

One place to look for air leaks is in the heating and air-conditioning (also known as HVAC) ducts in your home (or Condo.) Air leaks make your HVAC system use more fuel and work harder to do the job it’s supposed to do. And that can cost you money. Especially if those air leaks are in the unheated/uncooled areas of your home such as a basement, or in my case, in an unheated utility room.

There are generally two places where air leaks occur and that you need to seal: