Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in Review

I can honestly say I will be glad to start a new year. With Max's surgery, Grandma Mary V.'s death, and the economy tanking, this hasn't been a great year. On top of that, Mary V's eldest son fell down the stairs on Christmas eve and refused to go to the hospital until Monday, when they found he had a broken neck. Not a good year.

However, we did have a good garden year, a new greenhouse, a refi on the house to get enough equity out to build a new garage (this spring/summer), and the driveway got pulled up and redirected with new stone down. So, it wasn't a total bust.

Enjoy the following video, and be sure to click on the 'View in HD' link at the bottom right of the image. Have a happy and safe New Year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

One inch at a time...

LOVE this video, hope you like it, too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The FUNNIEST thing I've heard in a long time...

I was in the cafeteria on the campus I work at for breakfast this morning. I was standing there, waiting for my bagel to finish toasting. There was a student standing about 6 feet away. Big, burly in a muscular way (not fat), nice suit and tie. He had a Marine high & tight haircut. He had a bag over his shoulder, probably had a laptop in it.

Another guy came up, they obviously knew each other and I assume they were in the same class.

The burly guy pointed at what was on the table in front of him.

Burly: "Is that a banana?"
Guy: "Yes! Take one!"

I still can't believe it.....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chilly, warmish Wednesday

Nothing much going on, so I thought I'd write a boring update post.

Going to an Ergonomics workshop at work this afternoon. Should be interesting.

Max is doing well, no problems. His eye is a little more cloudy than it had been but I'm blaming it on the cooler weather. He's sleeping a lot more, and he may be a bit depressed so we're trying to play with him more. We took him down to the campus I work at to run around a few weekends ago, and maybe we'll do it again this weekend.

Matthew has been on call every third day which wreaks havoc with planning anything. He's had to run out on quite a few calls, too. I hate this time of year because of that.

Nothing selling on Etsy, I'm going to be probably using it primarily as an online portfolio. I'm also planning on approaching some local shops soon. I've made a portfolio to put jewelry in to take to shops.

Christmas is slim this year, of course. Some handmade stuff thrown in for good measure.

And that's about it. Hope you are having a more exciting December! The picture is of the Natural Bridge in Virginia, which we visited back at the end of September.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Draft Dodgers

I learned this from dear old dad. One of my chores as a kid was to help him seal up the windows for winter. This is a great tip for those of you who live in northern climate, and it really REALLY makes a difference in drafty older houses. It is also great to do with the kids.

Go to your local fabric store and buy some of the cording they use in upholstery. It is white, very flexible and looks woven. It may come in various thicknesses, and you may need to experiment to find the right size for your windows.

Now, take a thin flathead screwdriver and start pushing the cord into the gaps around your windows (see left). It is time consuming and a little tedious, make sure you have some fun, loud music on while you do this. It helps time go by faster.

Some of the gaps around our windows are too tight for cording, but still let cold air into the house. In this case, we purchased something called Fingertip Rope Caulk (my dad calls it 'rope putty'). It has the consistency of thick play dough. I get mine at Lowes, one pack lasts me a couple years or so and costs around $4.50.

This is where the kids come in. You want to press this stuff into the cracks that are really thin, and their little fingers can be great for this. They (or you) really need to press, though, to make a good seal (so be sure to check their work).

I also use cotton balls where necessary to fill in the deep tracks where the windows ride up and down.

In the end, though, you have nice, sealed windows for winter. We have seen a noticable difference in our drafty older house.

One tip, though: when the weather starts to warm up don't wait too long to take out the putty. In the heat, it can get really messy. You want to take it out while it is still relatively cool.

We actually leave some of our windows sealed through the summer. There are some windows we just never open, and this method keeps the heat out, too, thereby keeping our cooling bills lower, too!