Thursday, June 30, 2011

For what it's worth...

Here's a crazy little household tip for you.

Why do I keep empty toilet paper tubes in my laundry cabinet, you might ask.  Well it's for a very good reason that I stumbled upon when I was making firestarters as a Christmas gift.  I was trying to collect as much lint as quickly as possible and stuff it into the empty tubes so that I could wrap them up and put them under the tree.

I accidentally discovered that holding the tube perpendicular to the filter and running its open end over the filter would remove even the smallest amount of lint.  The photo above is the lint from a load of towels...that's easy to get off with just your hand...but there are some loads that produce very little lint, and this tip works like a charm on those.  (Yes, I follow the manufacturers' direction to clean the filter after every dryer load.)

Since I've never heard this tip anywhere before, I decided to share it here.

In the summer I toss the tubes in the trash when they are full of lint. In the winter they can be kept near your fireplace to use when building a fire.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday...

photo credit:
HarperCollins Publishers

Before I Go To Sleep by S.J.Watson.  Just finished a few minutes ago.  Really good.  I love a surprise ending!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday snail mail...

I only got one card in the mail this week. 

It's been one of those weeks.  The kind that start out with good intentions for productivity, but ends up with little to show.  I feel like I've been busy.  I just can't remember doing exactly what.

accountability stats: 8 weeks / 15 cards

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday...

Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross is the most feel-good entertainment in book form I've read in quite awhile.  It is absolutely laugh-out-loud funny at times...maybe because I have hung around a lot of old Southern church-going ladies in my time, and I can just hear them speaking through this character's voice.  It's the first in a series, (so many of the books I've read lately are one in a series.  I think there are a lot more of them than there used to be...product marketing trend no doubt.), but this is one series that I absolutely want to read more of.  I will space them out in my reading I'll have something to look forward to when I fall into the literary doldrums.

Highly recommend!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


So...after work I took my shopping list and did the weekly shop at the mega-store.  I thought it was very energetic of me, considering I knew when I got home I'd be unloading them all by my lonesome.

So...after putting away all the groceries, I sit down to relax and chill, and the phone rings.  Now that the big event is behind us, Kasey wants to start walking in the evenings.  Do I want to start tonight?

So...I go through my closet, and I can't find my lace-up walking shoes.  Hmmm...when was the last time I saw them?  Well.  Must have been before the move I'm guessin'.

So...I decide that my best option were my Birks garden shoes.  Seriously, they have really great insoles.  I may not remember exactly how old these shoes are, but they do still support the arches and hug the heels.

So...I drive over to Kasey's, and we start out walking with the girls riding their bikes.  About two blocks into our walk Chloe decides she doesn't want to ride her bike anymore.  We manage to 'encourage' her to finish the walk/ride.

So...when we've made it about halfway I ask Kasey what distance the route is.  I thought she said three-quarters of a mile (but having finished it now, I'm pretty sure she must have said three and a quarter miles).

So...we've started our summer-evening walks, and I'm wondering if I still have an unpacked box of shoes somewhere.  I think I might as well invest in some new lace-ups.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday's snail mail...

card front

I like trivia; and I like to pass it on.  This is one of my magazine trivia cards.  I'm not really a magazine buyer except for my one subscription to Real Simple.  But twice a year or so one will call my name at the grocery checkout.  Usually they are the kinds that deliver tips or facts as stand-alone tidbits sprinkled throughout.  If I'm in a card-making mood when I'm ready to toss it in the recycle bin, then I cut out the good bits.

The card above is for my friend who is a science teacher.  I knew I wanted to make one of these cards for her when I found a beautiful magazine page of animal and insect drawings with their names in old script underneath their pictures...I layered them on cardstock and put some of them on the front of the card, some on the inside and back, and one on the envelope.

card inside

The inside isn't really pretty.  It includes some inside joke/teasing, some factoids, and a silly riddle.

card back

This is kind of a reader's digest of trivia.  Just to share for the fun of sending/receiving snail mail.

I also sent a store-bought birthday card this week (with a hand-written letter tucked inside).  The recipient texted me this morning to let me know it arrived on time.  That's probably the first time in about twenty years I've gotten hers to her on schedule.

accountability stats:  7 weeks / 14 cards

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday...

My Name Is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira.  I'm enjoying this American Civil War historical fiction about a midwife who wants to be a surgeon.  Turned down by medical schools and for apprenticeships, she volunteers to be an army nurse.  So far I'm finding it well written...well researched...hate to put it down and can't wait to pick it back up.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another day...

Well, I'm in a better frame of mind today.  And may I just apologize for my whining last night.  I suffered today for being up so late last night, so I'm about to head off to begin my before-bed routine right this very minute.  I may even go for some of those bubble ears, like those that Caitlyn is sporting above.  :)

And I'm definitely not going to bed hungry tonight.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Scattered thoughts...

It is mighty quiet around here now that the kidlets have gone home.

Car is still not fixed...jackass repair guy hasn't even called...IF he has even ordered the windshield, he can eat the cost, because he hasn't answered or returned our calls alerting him to the fact that we've sought another option to get the work done.  I had to rent a car today so that I can get to work.  Grrrr.

Yea! Detested task is mostly completed for this month. 

I skipped dinner, and now I am starving, but it is bedtime.

**expletive deleted** I just thought about checking to see when the new season of Mad Men is set to start, and they have postponed it to March of 2012!  WHAT?!

Well, this has just turned into a list of negativity.  Sorry.  I'm going to bed now...hungry.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday's snail mail...

The snail mail skill is one that is best developed early.  (And we are deep into our week, and the natives are getting restless...not to mention that I am outnumbered!) So today we printed off some post cards from a template found here.  And we got out the stamps and stickers and crayons to make them beautiful.  On the back we wrote thank you notes and love notes.

And we put them out for the postman to whisk away and work his magic. 

Accountability stats: 6 weeks / 12 letters

Friday, June 10, 2011

A popular watering hole...

This is possibly my favorite spot in the house...have I said that before?  Well, it is.  And I'm not alone.  Those whirlpool jets make for AWESOME bubbles!  I usually forego the bubbles and opt for a book instead (hard to read with all those bubbles in the way), but the girlies are all about the bubbles.

We had plans to do fun stuff this week...movies, museums, and the like...but they were sidelined when we had to wait by the phone all week for the windshield repair guy to get back to us (yesterday afternoon) that he could fit us into his schedule (today between 1:00 and 3:00pm).  That was a bummer, but had to be the priority since I'll need the car ready to get to work next week.

So we took our fun where we could find it...on the home front.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Feeding boys...

So we took all the children out to eat tonight at a favorite local restaurant. The three boys ages nine and eleven are a little insulted by being limited to the children's menu selections. So what the heck, we don't have them all to ourselves very often, so we said the sky's the limit.  They all three chose authentic Texas-sized chicken fried steaks off of the adult menu.  Then there seemed to be a little male competition to see who could put away the largest volume.

We successfully dissuaded Chandler from ordering both mashed potatoes and french fries, so he relented and chose green beans to go along with his french fries and Texas toast.  Here he is lookin' big and me and my camera stepped between him and his plate or somethin'.  He did finish the entire steak, and in record time.  He left a fair amount of the sides on the plate however.

Diego dove in straight away, and surprised us with the amount he managed to put away.  His legs may be the shortest but they must be, as the saying goes, hollow.  He finished at least three-fourths of his steak.

Bobby made a strategic error in saving the best for last (his words).  He ate every bit of his sides before even tucking into the steak.  Once he had filled up thusly, he only managed to put away about a quarter of the steak.

A good time was had by all.  At least until the meal was almost over, and the girls needed to visit the ladies' room.  We were in the restroom before I realized that Chloe had kicked off her shoes and left them at the table.  So there she a public  Y. U. C. K.  After that all I could think about was getting them home and bathed. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What I'm reading Wednesday...

This week I'm reading Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald aloud to the girls.  I thought they might be old enough to listen to a chapter book rather than a picture book, and they are doing really well.  We're reading one chapter at bed time, and one chapter sometime during the day...usually when Grandma needs some quiet time.  :)

This was one of my favorite book series when I was little.  I think I checked out every one that was available in our library about ten times.  So it is super fun to be reading it now to the girls.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day two with the kiddles...

The fun moved back to our house today.  After a couple of nights in the children's beds, my back was screaming for a muscle relaxer, a soak in the whirlpool tub, and its own comfy bed.  Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE living just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the kids' house?

I found and bought this little color-me playhouse back in December, and put it away for this week.  I got it out this afternoon, and Jared and I had it set up in about five minutes.  These photos were taken before they took the crayons to it.  Cute idea.  Yes, it is just a glorified cardboard box, and could be done with an appliance carton or something similar.   But for twenty dollars this one had all the doors and windows already cut and gabled roof etc.

And big brothers weren't too jaded to be lured into the fun of it either.

Monday, June 6, 2011


There is a national insurance company that has a series of commercials running these days with a character called 'Mayhem.'  I received a very personal visit from him this morning.

I'm staying with the kiddoes this week while Kasey and Beau are on a romantic island getaway.  We walked outside this morning and found this.

Ah well.  Better my windshield than one of the kiddoes!

The weekend event was wonderful.  The company brief.  The house clean (enough).  :)  I'll be posting some photos soon hopefully.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Channelling my inner Red Green...

I came across this tissue box under an end table while moving stuff around in the living room a little while ago.  It's been lingering around since Christmas...hence the decor.  We can't have holiday tissue out for guests this weekend...but they might need a tissue...oh, what to do, what to do?

Ever heard of Red Green ?

As Red says, "Spare the duct tape; spoil the job."

Okay, I know it's tacky.  But it's funny.  And I needed to take a break to amuse myself.  Hey, at least I had a roll of white and not just the classic gray!  :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What I'm reading (again) Wednesday...

Well, I am back at this one...again

This is a new book at the library, so it has to be reserved, and cannot be rechecked if there are more people waiting on the list.  When my first turn came up, it was a week when I didn't have a lot of spare time, so I only got a little less than half of it read.  But knowing that there was someone else waiting for it, my conscience wouldn't allow me to just keep it overdue till I finished it.  So I turned it back in, and put my name back on the reserve list to wait.

Last week I got an email letting me know that it was my turn again.  groan  This time I have even less time to read than I did last time.  I'm plugging away a few minutes at a time, but not making much headway.  Maybe after Sunday when the company leaves.

Today I have been trying to get ready for house guests.

I need to:
clean out closet
go through large box of out of season clothes
quick run through the house gathering up donatables
make a donation run to Goodwill
dust living room
change out mantel decor
iron remaining curtains
hem remaining curtains
hang remaining curtains
clean off and wipe down kitchen counters
clean toilets
put away sewing machine
hang some plates
recover dining room cushions (temp job)
clean off my bathroom vanity
clean the bathtub (delegate)
clean off kitchen desk area
put up magnet strip above desk
try on special outfit and hem if necessary
make flower headbands for the girlies
water plants
change bed
rearrange traffic obstacles in play/guest room
relocate some still unpacked boxes to garage
scrub the kitchen sink (delegate)
rearrange living room?

plan menus
shop for groceries
dust mop wood floors (delegate)

Here's an oddity of our house:  each of the bathrooms can only be accessed by walking through a private room.  That's access from a hallway or public room.  The most logical bathroom for company to use is in the office.  UGH!  You have no idea what a disaster area my office is perpetually in!!!  It is appalling.  The last time these guests came I had the excuse that we were still in the process of moving.  Six months later, they are not going to fall for the same story.  Oh well...what can get done, will get done.  The rest will just haunt me.

Some company says not to bother cleaning for them...but they are the ones that you don't want to show your bad habits to.  Some company you don't care what they see, because you know it won't phase their opinion of you in the least.  I love that kind of company.  :)
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