Condo Blues: life in general




Showing posts with label life in general. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life in general. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How to Pad and Tape a Color Guard Rifle

The same band I marched with in in the Presidential Inauguration Parade last year has another amazing performance opportunity. I’m stoked to be spinning flag in a real blow and go drum and bugle corps style show since that is absolutely not the type of show my small town marching band did and my drum corps loving heart desired. YES! *fist pump*

Then I found out the color guard is twirling rifle too. I haven’t done that since high school winter color guard.

Gulp!

I bought a color guard rifle which is basically a big hunk of non firing wood in a rifle-esque shape. Before I practice throwing it in the air like I don’t care (as one does when spinning rifle) I need to reinforce the rifle with tape and pad the ends so it won’t break in two if when I drop it during practice.



Thursday, July 31, 2014

How to Purge and Recycle Old Electronics

I swear our house is shrinking. Once upon a time, had storage space to burn. (Don’t. It wastes a perfectly good space and might catch the rest of your house on fire.)

It didn’t take any great detective work to determine why our house is shrinking. The answer is easy.



We have stuff we don’t think/aren’t sure if there is a place to recycle or responsibly dispose of it. The last time I checked this wasn't the case, or if there was such an animal, it was only accepted those things on that one day during a full moon when cows do backward sneezes kind of thing. Hello hazardous household waste collection, I’m talking to you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How to Fix a Hole in Shorts without Sewing!

All of my summer shorts are too big after I met my weight loss goal. It is a nice problem to have.

Fortunately, I had a couple of pairs of pants lurking in the back of my closet that make better shorts than pants. It didn’t take much time or effort to cut and hem the pants into shorts (learn how I make pants into shorts here.) It is a trick my mom used when I blew out a knee on a pair of pants or jeans as a kid. Boom. I got a new pair of shorts.



Green. Cheap. And most importantly, I had the perfect pair of shorts that weren’t too short or too long. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

20 Super Fun Super Sized Outdoor Games

I played a lot of board games as a kid. Between my friends and I, we had and played all of the major games from Candyland to Ants in the Pants to Stratego. (Disclosure: I am included big bold affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

That’s why I love this trend of super sizing childhood games and playing them outside.  If you want ideas on what outdoor games to play at your next cookout or BBQ, think back to the board games you loved to play as a kid and make it giant size!

 Pin these backyard game ideas to your Pinterest boards for later! Share them with your friends!



20 Big Backyard Games


Friday, January 17, 2014

Grateful to Be Home, and Well, Alive

I grew up with a healthy respect for driving in Ohio snow and ice even before I got my driver's license. Every winter of my childhood, I watched the weather forecast on the evening news with my parents wishing with all of my might to hear those magical words, "snow day."

During the broadcast, and almost always before they showed the school closings, the weather people ran down the tips for safe driving in lake effect snow. After awhile, snow driving techniques become ingrained in your brain, like The Pledge of Allegiance (pump your brakes, drive slow and steady not stop and start, keep two car lengths ahead and behind you, etc.) I wish the rest of the state did it too.

Then maybe I wouldn't have gotten hit by three cars last night.

I put a rice bag into the freezer so I can use it as an ice pack on my sore neck. You can learn how to make a rice bag ice and heating pad here. 

Last night, I got into the car to run a couple of errands before the light snow that just started falling accumulated to the predicted 2 to 4 inches of not fun to drive in at all.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Do You Have a Thermostat War?

Do you have a winter thermostat war in your home?

I recently read a BlogHer post about a woman asking for advice on what to do because her husband keeps the thermostat set at 69 degrees. Here's a partial quote (You can read the entire article here.)

 "He says 69 degrees is warm enough and that I should just put on a sweater and stop complaining. It's making me really resent him and wonder why he's not concerned about my comfort. What can I do?"
Apparently this is a thing.

Especially when it came to the comments. They range from suck it up Buttercup to go behind this back and jack the heat to that's abusive! The comprise it to let the wife have her way.





Friday, November 15, 2013

Do Clothing Designers Hate Women?

I am so upset on what was supposed to be a happy occasion. Husband took me to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for my birthday. I used the birthday card to visit since I haven't been there which is practically criminal considering I live in Ohio, have family we visit nearby, and I named a dog after inductee The Ramones song Blitzkrieg Bop.

If you follow @condoblues on Instagram you might have already seen this photo.

The Rock Hall part of the day was great. Husband and I appreciated how much space the museum devotes to the country, jazz, and blues legends that influenced and created what became rock and roll. Out of all of the museums I visited this one has the best soundtrack.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Highball Halloween Party!

Happy Halloween!

Today is one our favorite holidays because it is all about frivolous fun. I got my costumer on and made a rare set of matching costumes for Husband and I to wear to this year’s Highball Halloween party. We were Raving Rabbids!


RavingRabbidscostumes
BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!

I’m glad I made our full length Rabbid suits from fleece. It was freezing that night!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

One Eco Dress, Three Looks, and a $75 Giveaway!

Happy news! I met my weight loss goal! I am now back into what is considered thedressyOasisdress healthy range of my Body Mass Index (BMI.) I realize BMI measurements and numbers aren’t a perfect indication of health because there are other factors in play such as muscle mass that can skew BMI numbers to the overweight range of a perfectly healthy and fit person.

I’m using BMI as a healthier target range for my height instead of  picking an arbitrary weight or saying that I want be a size 2 like I was in high school. Not realistic and probably unhealthy skinny for my only slightly older than high school body. (I may not lie about my weight but age is fair game!)

Eating a whole foods, no trans fat, no hydrogenated oil, no processed food from a box diet to lose the weight wasn’t difficult. In fact, I’m following the same no bad stuff diet that made me gain the extra 25 pounds I had to lose. I’m proof that if you eat too much of anything, even very good for you things, and get little to no exercise you will gain weight.

Thanks to my trainer and high energy exercise buddy Lacey, I lost the last of those 25 extra pounds. I feel better (especially now that my waist is no longer larger than Husband’s.) I also have a new problem. My clothes don’t fit! I need new duds.


Monday, September 9, 2013

The Last of the Summer Fun and Lacey Update!

Oh Summer. I wait for you all year long and before you know it – poof! – you are gone.

Our summer got off to a weirdly slow start due to the constant heavy rain. Husband and I tag teamed a few necessary business trips so Lacey would not be face her greatest fear – being left behind. 

Lacey’s behavior is not consistent enough to earn the privilege of a vacation or to keep us from being kicked out because of her behavior. Husband and I took long weekend staycations instead because we still need time off to unplug, be silly, and recharge.

We started with short trips to the dog park. Lacey thinks she has to challenge other dogs and get them before they get her - a classic case of Little Dog Syndrome.  We keep the dog park trips short so Lacey won’t get overwhelmed.

LaceySummer2014
Some of Lacey's summer adventures!

Just like with human kids, there are well behaved dogs that play well with others and sometimes there are bullies who try to challenge the other dogs or dominate them. It is critical you keep an eye on your dogs at all times to head off any potential problems and be ready to leave to avoid them even if it means you are only there for 15 minutes.

Sometimes we had to leave the park shortly after we arrived with our tail between our legs because our kid was the one whipping the other dogs into a frenzy. It doesn't happen often, and it is part of the process as we puppy step her in the right direction.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to Deal with Allergy Face

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Zyrtec for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

My husband saw me leaning over my desk with my coffee mug pressed against my puffy left eye. "I didn't realize it was ragweed season yet, " he said.

"Yep," I replied.

I wake up most mornings during allergy season with puffy eyes and a hot mug of coffee next to my eye is the only thing I've found that makes it better. If I have to show my face in public, I wear sunglasses to avoid the "what happened to your FACE?!" questions until the Zyrtec kicks in. My introduction to Zyrtec was as a prescription, so I'm happy I can easily buy it over the counter now.


Looks like I am not alone in using the Allergy Face sunglasses trick.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I Got My Groove Back at BlogHer13

I spent last weekend at the Big Dance of female blogging conferences – BlogHer. While last year at BlogHer was good, I was determined to make this year even better because I am not grieving this year.

My goals were to learn from my fellow bloggers, network with brands to find ways to thank you for being The Best Community on the Internet, and take advantage of some the pampering and such to help me get my groove back as part of Project Me.

Kelli Edwards from HGTV and I at the La-Z-Boy party, Miss Lori and I living it up at the SocialLuxe Lounge, Kim Moldofsky The Maker Mom and I in my favorite learning space – the hotel lobby. The fabulous Amy from Mod Podge Rocks and I meet in real life! Tamara Rubin of MisLead tests my wedding ring for lead and heavy metals at the Healthy Child Healthy World party, Leah Segedie of Mamavation demonstrates the benefits of healthy diet and exercise by lifting Ted Rubin of Collective Bias

Oh, and the goal of not puking in the Expo Hall because I over lactosed myself again. That one is important.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

House Tour: The Ohio State House

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Husband and I took a tour of the Ohio Statehouse with visiting German friends. While the ornament style isn't something I consider my personal decorating style and architecture but it is impressive. Especially when you consider they build the Ohio Statehouse before the Civil War. In fact, Abraham Lincoln visited the Ohio Statehouse when he campaigned for President! (which they mention eleventy billion times on the tour.)

Let's get inspired!

There is a surprising amount of natural light in the statehouse via skylights. You can tell the architect and designer took pride in their work and wanted to build a grand building for the ages. This domed painted ceiling and windows are one example.

That is gold gilding paint around the windows. All of the lighting is original to the building. 

While I think the gold damask is a little busy for a typical home, it is an excellent example of paint on architecture. They beefed up the look of these otherwise plain windows with a stencil and paint instead of framing the windows with costly molding.

This is the Ohio Senate Chamber. Again, the lighting is original but updated from gas to electric. The carpeting is the same pattern as the original. They have it on file and the company that made the original is still in business.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Father’s Day Gift to the Most Important Men in My Life

I’m lucky gal. When I see something I want or need, I am not afraid to go into my workshop, pull out my tools, and make it. If I don’t know how to do or use what I need to make my idea a reality, I’m not afraid to ask (especially my BFF Google) or take a class and learn how to do it.

I always thought if people couldn’t find what they liked or have a champagne taste on a (craft) beer budget like I do they just build or make over something to fit their vision. Stereotypical Man’s Work and Woman’s Work never existed in my world. It has always been You Have Two Hands And The Job Needs To Be Done So Do It work.



Do you know who I have to thank for this?

My Dad.

My Father in law too.

Collectively Husband and I call them The DIY Dads.  Without these two men in my life, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. This post is my tribute to them and their Father’s Day gift. Well, part of it anyway.

Thanks Dad for not kicking me out of the garage while you worked on something, especially when I was little. For teaching me if I want something and don't want to wait, it usually best if you build yourself like our first DIY project,  the scrap wood step stool we needed so toddler me could reach the bathroom sink and brush my teeth. I’m sure I didn’t help much except maybe to hand you something or stay out of the way but I will never forget that once the paint was dry you said we built it. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I Don't Play the Lottery Because Winning Just Leads to Fights About Faucets

I dreamed Husband and I won the lottery. Then strangers and scammers swarmed our house asking for money for shady reasons. We had to to move so the scammers wouldn't find us and we could donate cheese doodles to our favorite pet charities in peace. Dream logic = pet charities run on cheese doodles or something like that I guess but not really because cheese doodles make dogs gassy. Do you really want to work in a shelter full of gassy doodle dogs? My guess is no.

Then Husband and I got into a huge fight (unusual for us) because I wanted to take the Delta Faucet Company upgrades I made to our condo with us to  the Secret House. Husband said I couldn't take them with us because we could buy new ones BECAUSE WE WON THE LOTTERY LISA!



My Corrente toilet (read about it here.)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Socializing Miss Lacey - Our Fearful Rescue Dog

Lacey’s obedience and behavioral training is working! Lacey is consistently walking at our side 90% of the time on a loose leash. Yay Lacey!

We are now able to work on the next layer of Lacey’s behavioral issue onion – meeting other dogs and introducing her to new people and places.

Family time!

First, our behaviorist brought a fake dog into our yard and instructed Husband and I to give Lacey a verbal correction when she acted out. We use the sound AH AH because it has the force behind like a Momma Dog's You-Are-Not-Behaving-Stop-It-Right-Now bark unlike using the word NO.  The only people I knew who forcefully use NO consistently are toddlers and we are a smidge past that age.

On the one hand, it makes perfect safety sense to use a fake stuffed animal in this situation because you don’t know what reaction you are going to get from the real fearful dog. Poor fake dog has been growled at, attacked, and peed on in the line of duty. Sad fake dog face.

On the other hand, and in the crazy part of my brain that is not a responsible adult, it is funny seeing a grown man bounce a stuffed animal on a in leash in my backyard. However dedicated dog people know that sometimes you have to do strange things to help your dog learn how to be balanced and happy. Besides fake dog worked and we were able to work with his real dog on later appoints. Thank you fake dog!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Our Fearful Dog: Some Days I'm Not Sure How to Help Her

I am flattered when people complement Husband and I on the lengths we will go to rehabilitate a dog with behavioral issues. Sometimes they use nice words like Miracle Worker.

I feel weird about that because I do not think we perform miracles. I think it is more Husband and I being too stubborn to let a pup wallow in fear and act out because of it because we know they have an inner awesome they haven’t discovered yet.

 We read tons of dog behavior books. When we take classes, we pester dog experts with tons of questions. We put together a team of professionals who know more about dogs than we ever will to train us AND our dog. Husband and I aren’t afraid to be wrong and we often are.


The green collar is a calming dog collar. It has mother dog phermones, lavender, and chamomile essential oils to help Lacey stay calm in stressful situations. Our behaviorist recommended it because it goes where Lacey is when she is stressing unlike the phermone plug ins I used with Blitzkrieg. 
The collar lasts 30 days. I bought mine from Amazon here.


Besides teaching basic manners and obedience, our first task is for Lacey to learn it is her humans' job to be the leader and protect the pack, not hers. She does not have to bark and act like a tough girl because she is scared and thinks she should “get them before they get her." Once Lacey learns that, then and only then we will teach her jujitsu and allow her to eat any robbers that try to break into the house while we call the police but this is a long ways away.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I Marched in the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Parade

My feet hurt. I was tired. My hands in their it-was-supposed-to-be-colder-than-this fleece gloves were starting to overheat. My frustration grew. I could not always hear the cadence from my band to stay in step due to the drum corps in front of us, the echo from the buildings, and the parade announcers over the loudspeakers. Out all of the parades I have ever marched or will ever march, this parade had to be perfect.

Then I saw it. I sucked in my breath like an excited child seeing for the first time what Santa placed under the tree on Christmas morning.

The Presidential box.

I am marching as an ally in the Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA) marching band. Two hundred and fifteen people strong we are the largest civilian marching band in the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Parade.

Everything I was feeling vanished except patriotism, pride in my band, and the profound responsibility that I am there for something greater than myself.
  

Photo courtesy of MSN

Friday, January 11, 2013

I'm Marching on Washington! The President Asked Me! (Sorta)

I have news. Big, BigBIG news!

I have been sitting on this for a bit because it involves politics. I try to keep politics off my blog because I work hard to build this little community of mine with people who are from the right, left, and center on issues just like in my real life.

While politics are important and I hope all of you give careful thought and research on the issues you hold dear, politics doesn’t really go with posts on what type of wood filler to use.  Well, unless wood filler has some sort of political affiliation I don’t know about. Maybe it does. I never asked. We put our differences aside (me being human and wood filler being a mute, inanimate object) and  get the job done.
  
We good?

OK, here's the news.

I am marching in the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Parade!

I am carrying the state of Ohio flag (technically it is a pennant) as an ally in the honor guard of the Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA) marching band. Our unit will be comprised of LGBA member bands, including my band the Capital Pride Band of Columbus. There will be over 200 of us marching down Pennsylvania Avenue to celebrate democracy.


The Capital Pride color guard and honor guard.
This is when I found out cargo shorts add way more 
badunk to my badunka dunk than I like.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Renaissance Christmas Tree

I like Christmas and the excuse to dress up the house in its party clothes. This year it all seemed like work I had to do instead of work I wanted to do because Husband and I are feeling the loss of the biggest Christmas lover of all - Blitzkrieg.

Blitzkrieg didn't know anything about oil lamps burning longer than they should, or a baby being born in a barn, or if a special hunk of tree is burning in the fireplace. All he knew is when I brought certain boxes and tubs in from the garage (Blitzkrieg knew the difference. I moved some tubs into the house when cleaning the garage one summer. Blitzkrieg got excited and did the Pekingese Dance only when he saw me move the Christmas tree box into the house during the project), the Christmas tree was going up with a special soft blanket underneath to sit on. The Pack Leaders put things under the tree (but not in the special space we eventually left for Blitzkrieg to sit under the tree.) Then a special day comes when the humans divide the spoils to the pack and you go to bed with a belly full of homemade dried sweet potato treats.

Blitzkrieg photo bombing by cloth gift bag tutorial post.

Yeah, so basically, if you have a pet that clues in about the holidays, their understanding is all on a purely materialistic level despite your best efforts.