Condo Blues: travel




Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

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.

Monday, December 17, 2012

How to Make a Lush Christmas Garland for Free

I love big fat plush and lush Christmas garlands. I'm talking massive amounts of magazine worthy evergreen and boughs of holly. Sadly, I can't find anything like that for sale, real or fake. The one time I found something I liked, it cost scary money. Being a budget minded gal, I left the budget busting garland where I found it - at the store.


Keep reading! I'll teach you how to make this lush evergreen 
Christmas garland for little to no money!

I haven't seen anything like it since. All of the fake evergreen garland I see now looks anemic and hateful.

Friday, December 14, 2012

7 Dazzling Christmas Trees

Husband and I took a much needed vacation last week. We went to Frankenmuth Michigan, which is a lot like Brigadoon but with lederhosen. You can read about the first part of our trip on Lazy BudgetChef: I Ate My Way Around Frankenmuth, Michigan here.

The two things Frankenmuth has going for it are:

  1. It is a Bavarian town
  2. It is Christmas year round
There is a giant Christmas store in Frankenmuth called Bronner's. Husband described as, “It looks like Christmas threw up in here” although he meant it in a nice way. It is hard to impress upon anyone who hasn’t been there that Bronner's is not your typical pop up Christmas shop. 

 Examples of the items they sell to commercial customers are all around the store.

Friday, October 26, 2012

How to Hang a Heavy Picture without it Crashing to the Ground

 My new living room accent wall looks good but adding a few pictures to the wall will make it look better.



Especially if I rehang this amazing gift from Michael. He painted it as part of his senior show at Parsons (yes, that Parsons The New School for Design Project Runway fans.) Michael gave us the painting to remember him by before he moved -sniff!



Thursday, August 23, 2012

7 Tips for Buying a Comfortable Backpack

I like to use a backpack when I am traveling because it doesn’t scream, I HAVE AN EXPENSIVE CAMERA IN HERE PLEASE STEAL IT like my fancy camera bag does.

Unfortunately, once I switched to a heavier DSLR camera my current backpacks (I’ll get to that in a minute) didn’t work for me. The backpack straps sit on a knot I have in each shoulder.

The extra weight of the camera plus whatever else I want to carry (water bottle, etc.) rides the knots like a cowboy on rodeo night. I get a migraine. Dealing with a migraine is not the way I want to spend my vacation, or for that matter, a blogging conference.



As a green blogger, I get information about backpacks made from eco friendly materials all the time. I appreciate that but an ill fitting backpack made from eco friendly materials is useless because I will spend more time and resources replacing it with more backpacks that may or may not hurt my back. If I have to go with a  backpack made from not so eco friendly materials I’d rather it be made from material that takes a beating and lasts as long as my backpack from the 80’s that I still have and use.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Taking Risks at BlogHer 12

My personal and unintentional theme for this year’s BlogHer conference was Take a Risk. I am grieving my dear Blitzkrieg and worried about leaving Husband alone.

It took everything I had pry myself from the house, put on semi happy face, and join 5,000 people in New York for the conference. Husband lined up time out with friends so I wouldn’t worry. He reminded me how important it is to thank as many of you in person as I can for your love and support during our cancer journey. He reminded me I paid for my BlogHer conference expenses months before Blitzkrieg got sick and made the investment in myself long ago. I spent the moola. I had to go.

I brought a little security blanket with me. I made and wore a pin with Blitzkrieg on it backed by the canine lymphoma ribbon (red ribbon with paw prints) on my conference lanyard. The American Cancer Society saw it and asked me to add a pledge to their More Birthdays wall. 

Blitzkrieg donated tissue to the vet hospital’s research tissue bank where any researcher in the US can use it. Husband and I feel it is particularly important to donate because Blitzkrieg’s lymphoma did not play by any of the cancer rules. We hope our donation will keep another family from reliving our cancer story.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

4 DIY Twitter Handle Necklaces

When I go to a blog conference or am lucky enough to be invited to a blogger event, I notice several women wearing Twitter handle necklaces. This is a great way to let people you just met to know your Twitter handle so they can follow you after the conference or event.

Between going to Blissdom and prepping for BlogHer, my world turned upside down. I did not have the time or energy to have a Twitter necklace made even though I had paid for all of my BlogHer expenses pre-canine cancer and everyone insists I still go to BlogHer.

A free-to-every-customer-who-walks-through-the-door Mod Podge make and take event at Michael's (AKA not a blogger thing)  gave me the idea to try to make a Twitter necklace. 

Then I made three more. (It pays to tidy up your craft room, you find stuff to make stuff.)



Two of them use reclaimed materials because I gotta be me. 

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. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

How to Make a Photo Canvas that Won’t Put You in the Poorhouse

Many of my friends and family have my photography hanging in their houses.

Except me. 

Photography is our family hobby. My grandfather started the tradition. He passed the hobby onto his children, my father and my aunt. My dad passed it onto me.



One of the best photography classes I ever took was from my father in his kitchen. One by one, my Dad handed me a different type of camera lens, various telephoto, macro, and specialty lenses. I put them on my film camera body and looked through his kitchen window and at the same pot of flowers to  understand what each lens did to my subject.



Many of my family and friends have my photo hanging in their homes. I’ve been asked to shoot photos for others too.

Photography wise, it’s a cobbler’s kid doesn’t have any shoes situation around here. Here’s my photo collection. One photo of Husband and Blitzkrieg on my desk.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

One Small Green Change: Buy Shoes that Fit

Hi name is Lisa and I am a shoe gal, shoeaholic, shoe crazy, avid shoe shopper or whatever you want to call it. It’s genetic.

 These are two of few pairs of shoes that I kept that  fit.
Vowing to only buy shoes that fit my small and wide feet may seem like I’m reaching for a March One Small Green Change.

Not if you saw the large number of shoes on my shoe rack. 

Or saw the blisters on my feet from a day of heavy walking in shoes I bought that are the perfect width for the ball of my foot but technically too big in the foot bed or for my narrow heel.

There are many wasted resources in my closet. I have ill fitting shoes I settled for because I needed a dress shoe or whatever and was fed up shopping two malls and half a dozen shoes stores in between. I also have a big box of insoles and doodads to try to make those shoes fit my wonky feet with varying results. High end, low end, green materials, and not I have ‘em and I’m not wearing a bunch of them. Or I regret it when I do. This starts the shoe search all over again.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Glitter Tennis Shoes

 For Valentines Day I got:
  • A dozen sustainability grown roses 
  • A half dozen Godiva dark chocolate covered strawberries as big as a baby’s fist 
  • And a kidney stone 

That explains why I’ve been carrying this kidney infection around like luggage for the last month. It won’t be gone in time for my Blissdom conference trip.

 Boo.

Needless to say, preparing for this conference is a little difficult because I feel like I’ve been kicked in the kidneys all day every day.

On the upside, it has kept me from being too nervous about my Newcomer Community Leader duties and the session discussions I will be leading for the Food niche bloggers.

I'm trying to conserve my personal energy to try to be well enough to be at my very best for Blissdom. I don't want to let everyone down! To reduce my running around, I shopped my closet for clothes to wear to the conference.


I still needed some cute and comfortable shoes to wear because the Gaylord Opryrland Hotel is ginormous! It's about the same size as an airport terminal. I don’t want to relive last year’s blisterfest which left my feet covered in swag SpongeBob Squarepants band aids. Which I rocked, of course :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Free Hugs T Shirt

Learn how to make this shirt!
My big 2011 blog goal was to speak at a blogging conference. I have been working my tail off. There many talented speakers and not as many blog conference speaking slots.

I did back flips when I got the notice Blissdom 2012 selected me to be one of the Newcomer Community Leaders!  

What does a Community Leader do at Blissdom? This year, Blissdom changed their session format. Instead of doing a panel discussion with Q and A at the end, each session will have one speaker. Then we will divide into groups by blogging niche. The Community Leaders will lead discussions about how to translate the speaker’s information to fit each blogger’s situation and specific niche needs and quirks.

You can read my bio here. They make me sound very smart. 
(Smart like I know stuff, not smart as in Alec.)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What is the Strangest Thing You Do to Save Money?

I watched the Extreme Cheapskates special on TLC. True to reality TV, they presented and edited the people featured as weird in the lengths they go to save money even though I read many of those tips, like washing and reusing plastic zipper baggies (heck! I do it myself) on blogs and in The Tightwad Gazette books long before this show was a twinkle in a producer's eye.

Our green and frugal ways mean the amount of our weekly household trash is usually one small plastic bag of trash. 

Frugality, just like green living, is all about balance. What works and is normal for some, others just can’t go there. I’m all for boxing up and taking my restaurant leftovers home with me (a quick, easy, and cheap lunch option for the following day!) but I personally draw the line at asking other people for their leftovers at the restaurant, while one guy on the show does it all the time – to his wife’s embarrassment which makes good TV.

If I left these amazing homemade tortillas at the restaurant it would have been a crime!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How to Make a Tabletop Cornhole Game

I build a regulation size Cornhole game for Husband’s family reunion last summer.  The game works great for home. It is too big for us to take with us in our small car if we also want to take frivolous things like food to day long summer festivals and picnics.

I drew plans for a tabletop Cornhole game.

Craftsman Blogger Summit
 Build me!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sew a Luggage Tag from an Conference Badge Holder

I needed to replace a few luggage tags for a plane trip. I like covered luggage tags for security reasons.

I couldn’t find a style I liked and that was unique enough to distinguish my suitcase from everyone else’s  suitcase in the airport.


Pin this tutorial for your next trip or vacation!


Blitzkrieg offered to help in the bag identification and security department. I think he was trying to get a free trip and told him he couldn't go. I hate making Blitzkrieg sad. I told him he can eat any robbers that try to break into the house while I am gone. I thought that might make up for being left behind.


 I packed the most important stuff for your trip Lisa. 
By the way, you could use a luggage tag on this suitcase.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I Got Down and Dirty with Frank Fontana

NO!

Not like THAT!


I’ll write a more detailed post on everything we did and all of the new toys tools I saw at the Craftsman DIY Blogger Summit in The Craftsman Experience later. However, if I don’t post something about the event as soon as I get home my dad and father in law might explode with curiosity! 

You don't want exploding Dads so close to Father's Day, BTW.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I Built a Birdhouse. It's Kinda Insane.

I’ve been sitting on this news for so long, I’m surprised I haven’t burst by now! Craftsman tools asked me to teach a group of mom and dad bloggers how to use power tools at the Craftsman Blogger Summit this week!

Little ol’ ME!?

*Faints*

It’s part of my lifelong campaign to get women to stop making Honey Do lists and start making Do It Yourself Honey! lists.

Blitzkrieg thinks this is a silly goal and I should put my efforts into something nobler like world domination. *sigh* I really wish he would use his powers for good and not evil. I’m trying to teach him but it’s hard…

Enough about our family drama. You want to see my birdhouse, right?