Condo Blues: July 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Epic AT AT Loft Bed

The first movie I remember having to stand in a line to buy a ticket (instead a walk up ticket counter) is Star Wars. And just like every other kid at the time, I was nuts for it.

Before we proceed with the rest of this post, point of order: Han shot first!

Moving on.

The closest I ever got to themed bedding was a set of Mickey Mouse sheets and Star Wars posters on my wall (a gift with purchase of a fast food kid's meal.) It was probably the most practical thing for my parent to do given most kids have fickle whims on what's hot and what's not in character room decor.

But I would throw that practical decorating out the window if I had a Star Wars loving kid (who because they are my kid and I have passed down the awesome would naturally despise Jar Jar Binks and everything but the Yoda scenes and Mace Windo in the first three movies) and that kid wanted me to build them an At At loft bed like The Dutilly Family did for their son.

Well done, I salute you sir!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Save Money: Use an Electric Razor

Summer is my favorite season! I take full advantage and wear skirts and shorts almost every day.

Learn how I made an Anthropologie knock off skirt from a tablecloth here 

 That means my legs are on display and are in need of occasional deforestation. 

Up until now, I’ve taken care of the fuzz with a disposable razor even though I’m not a great fan of throwaway disposables. Preserve sells a disposable razor they take back for recycling but I haven't tried it.

 Beth of My Plastic Free Life uses a metal safety razor with recyclable blades but I am chicken. I have a gift for nicking the crap out of my ankles and knees with just about every razor I use including the disposable razors that are supposed to be nick free.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Plastic Free How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and You Can Too

When I first stumbled upon Beth Terry’s blog My Plastic Free Life (formerly Fake Plastic Fish), I appreciated her trying to green her efforts and reduce waste but thought she was nuts for trying to get rid of all the plastic in her life because that’s what we have recycling for, right?

Well, four years later, I now know Beth is trying not to bring NEW plastic items in her life via plastic bottle, tube, tub, or bag (and surprisingly more stuff than I realized) and tries to find USED plastic alternatives if plastic is the only option such as a smart phone or a computer. I also now know that recycling isn’t always the answer to our trashy problems, but reducing and refusing may be.

I still think Beth Terry is nuts but now for an entirely different reason. We are friends and share the same sense of humor.

I think it is important that you know I know the author and one of my tips is featured in the book before you read my review of Plastic Free How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and You Can Too by Beth Terry even though I will try to be as objective as I can in this book review.

While recovering from surgery, Beth Terry read an article about the large amount of plastic polluting the ocean – which is practically her West Coast backyard. Beth saw various items from her daily life in the photos. She decided to reduce and later remove those new disposable plastic items from her life. Beth started a blog called My Plastic Free Life (formerly known as Fake Plastic Fish) as she started her plastic free journey and took the rest of us along for the ride. Now her blog is a book and includes more details about the how, when, and whys of living a plastic free life.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cinderella Coach Playhouse

My best friend's dad built her and her sister a wood playhouse that looks like a little red school house. It had sliding glass windows with bug screens, a locking door, and bench seats that doubled as daybeds for the most AWESOME LITTLE GIRL SLEEPOVERS EVER!

I was more than a little jealous because we rented at the time which meant no epic cool playhouse for me. Instead I made elaborate blanket forts in our rec room.

I've more than a little obsessed with playhouses ever since.

Especially when I see something like the La Belle Au Bois Dormant Coach playhouse. Just look at this thing!

I want one for my backyard

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Companion Planting

We have planting more sneaky  vegetables masquerading as landscaping on our 2012 DIY Project List like we did by accident last summer during our porch and landscaping rennovation. The results were delicious!

 This is one of my favorite photos of Blitzkrieg because he did a perfect sit stay while I turned my back and walked away from him to get everything in the photo.

One of the best things about the project is it an US hobby and not either a Lisa hobby or a Husband hobby. We both share in the gardening responsibilities although we like to say Lisa built it and Husband grew it.

Last January, when Husband and I were running errands, we saw vegetables seeds for sale! We let our stomachs be our guide and bought seeds on the spot.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I’m in a Magazine AND a Book!

I had to sit on this exciting news for way too long! The projects are out and I encourage you to run to your nearest bookstore…

…and turn the pages until you find your favorite green DIY blogger featured in This Old House Magazine!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Do You Have an Emergency Weather Plan?

Last week as my next door neighbors and I were outside and commented how the beautiful clear blue sky, quickly turned into a gray-purple-puke colored Tornado Sky.

The winds kicked up unexpectedly, rain, thunder, and lightening pounded down. Over 300, 000 people in Ohio lost electricity as Mother Nature tossed around trees and power lines with the force of a full on toddler kicking and screaming mega meltdown.

Fortunately, we were one of the lucky few that had electricityThis is surprising because if there is a blackout, we are almost always in it. Often for several days at a time. 

We did not experience a tornado because even those some areas estimated 75+ mile an hour winds, there wasn't any rotation. The crazy, unexpected, snuck up on everyone including the weather service experts, was a derecho.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lantern Hummingbird Feeder

Husband asked me if I was into getting a bird feeder a few weeks ago when we were standing in the checkout line at the garden center.  I smiled to myself because it was yet another sign of Husband getting into our new gardening hobby. I suggested a hummingbird feeder because our lavender attracted hummingbirds until the big fat bumble bees found it and hog all the polleny goodness. 

Husband said we should think on it because a bird feeder is an impulse purchase and we never know what lymphoma side effect Blitzkrieg will have each week with or without an extra expensive expense. We're very conscious about spending money that might look extravagant or  that we are using your generous Blitzkrieg Cancer Treatment Fund donations to buy bird feeders instead of canine chemotherapy. Trust me, everything you donate to the Blitzkrieg Cancer Treatment Fund pays for Blitzkrieg's mounting medical bills. The poor guy keeps getting side effects that require more medical attention than was first estimated. ( Edited by Lisa: The final bill was $4 to $5K in threee months time when we were finished because of the side effects and remissions and extra treatment they required instead of initial estimate of $3K spread over 6 months time.)

I decided to make Husband a hummingbird feeder for Father’s Day or as it is known in these parts, Doggy Daddy Day.

My first five attempts were big, fat FAILs.
  • My original plan was to buy a glass hummingbird feeder tube, stick it on an empty painted by me wine bottle, and make a holder from copper wire. It would have worked if my craftypaintaphobia didn’t mess up the project. My ready made stencil stenciling attempt bled under the stencil. It made blobs not flowers.
  • My punch circles from leftover contact paper to make a stick on stencil attempt bled under the stenicl because the contact paper I used has been rolled up/mashed in drawer since we moved in. I had more bad blobs.
  • I liked Round One of using a round stenciling pouncer to paint circles on the bottle. Unfortunately, I hated the other layers and colors I used on the bottle. Can I put out here it is a very good thing Martha Stewart craft paint doesn't cure immediately when it dries on glass and makes it easier wash after five failed attempts of painting?
  • I decided to paint the hummingbird feeder test tube that came with the feeding tubes, and add red wire wrap glass stones to it to attract hummingbirds. The glass stones looked like red welts. I hated it.
I was frustrated. I gave up and went with what I knew – power tools.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blitzkrieg: Forever in Our Hearts

Blitzkrieg lost the war we waged on canine cancer last week. When I try to write about it, all the words and nothing come to mind. 

My page is blank. 

The cursor blinks at me. 


Husband wrote this tribute about Blitzkrieg’s life and our love for him. I cannot find better words than his to describe our boy, his journey, and our heartache. 


I need to explain this because not everyone will completely understand our sadness right now.

Many people who have known Blitzkrieg will understand this, but some will not. But that's okay. It's unusual to experience this much loss over a pet. I just hope I can explain this in a way that will make it easier to understand our grief.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Plastic Free Picnic

We are staycating, picnicking, and Cooking Food with Fire (you may call it BBQing) at every opportunity as part of Operation: Best Darn Doggie Summer Ever.

We got our original picnic basket, cloth tablecloth and napkins, and dishes as a wedding present. When wore out the first picnic basket from constant use, Husband bought me a new one from Cost Plus World Market  as a birthday gift because he knows I have a thing for baskets, picnic baskets in particular. What a guy! 

A tisket. A tasket. This is my picnic basket.    

We have friends coming over. We don’t have room at our patio table for more than four people. No problem. I’ll pull out the picnic stuff and have the kiddies picnic in the yard while the adults claim the table and chairs. Adulthood has its privileges ya know. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blitzkrieg is Losing the Lymphoma Fight

We are losing the cancer fight. We put Blitzkrieg on a different chemo protocol after the our first protocol of the aggressive Kick Cancer's Ass and Take Names CHOP protocol failed to keep Blitzkrieg’s cancer in remission.

I totally play the cute dog with cancer card to convince Lisa to l stay home from band practice and stuff me full of salmon steaks - doctor's orders! Sitting on her practice flag also helps.

If Blitzkrieg responded to the second chemo protocol we were looking at months with him instead of up to a year like we might have had with CHOP.

The second chemo protocol failed.