Sunday, February 26, 2012

police log - bugs

I just could not resist sharing this with you all...

From The Item, February 24, 2012 Sterling Police Log


Thursday, Feb. 16

6:33 a.m., person is petrified of a long wiggly bug in her closet, transferred call to animal control.  It was recommended using a vacuum cleaner to remove it, but she didn't want to go near it.  An officer will assist when available.  The bug was not found and she will call if it returns.

Wow.  It never would have occurred to me to call the police on a bug.   It's a bug, not a criminal.  I have yet to meet one that can best the shoe - just step on the wiggly thing already.  If you have to be all girly about it, get your cat or call your husband/boyfriend/ son/ male neighbor/brave girl friend to rescue you from the scary bug, but leave the police alone.

We have been seeing stink bugs in J's room lately.  At least I think they are stink bugs.  I had to look up the scoop on the name and apparently if you surprise them they make a stinky smell.  Hmm..I know some people who do that.  I am going to put the 10-year-old scientist on the task of scaring a bug to make it stink and report back to you.  To think some people call the police instead.  Shameless.

Did you know that you can go to What's That Bug and submit a picture of your bug and they will tell you what it is?  I love the Internet!  Check out your scary closet bugs at What's That Bug?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dinner and Hammer Drills...

[caption id="attachment_780" align="alignleft" width="224" caption="Bring it on!"][/caption]

Good news, the basement supporting post project has begun!

On Sunday we had some friends over for dinner and after dessert we decided to go down in the basement and take turns with the hammer drill.  What??!!  Well what do you do on a Sunday night?

On the menu:

  • Chicken Cacciatore

  • Roasted orange veggies (butternut squash and sweet potatoes)

  • Salad with roasted beets, goat cheese and walnuts

  • Shortbread cookies with whipped cream

AND a trip to the basement to hammer through concrete.  Woo-hoo! Forget Wii dancing, you need a basement dinner party

Click here to view the exciting anatomy of a hammer drill

[caption id="attachment_725" align="alignleft" width="134" caption="Putting my $5 clearance disco ball to good use!"]Target Disco Ball[/caption]

Oh and did I mention that while the boys left to go and pick up some donated sheet rock, we girls decided to crank up the tunes and hang a disco ball in the kitchen.  Don't worry, it's still there. The sunlight hits it and it flashes all these dots all over the kitchen that really confuse my cat.  I do think everyone should have one.  My kitchen may be ugly, but hey, now it really rocks!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bathroom schmathroom...

Do you remember way back in the summer of 2010 when I said "there is no way we can live with one bathroom?!" and the consensus was that the first thing we would do would be to add another one..

Well, it has been 17 months now and wait! before you get too excited, no we still don't have another bathroom.  I would like to think we are making progress towards that goal, but we have hit yet another hurdle...

T realized that his plan to re-support the beam holding up the big metal trestle that is holding up up the house involved jacking up the hallway.  It is probably not a very smart idea to tile the bathroom floor and then jack up the wall next to it.  He has a point.

So he was in the basement today squirting fire-retardant foam insulation around the new electrical wires and I thought digging through the concrete for the cement footing to anchor the new beam to.  However, when I went down there I found this:

[caption id="attachment_658" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="What? This doesn't look bathroom related to you?"][/caption]

Apparently while foaming wires he decided that it was a good idea to rip out all the existing insulation in the basement and clean it up.  I took a very deep calming breath and said, "I am not sure I agree with your timing here.  Do you think February is a good time to take out insulation?".

He said it wasn't doing much anyway, was all mice nests and filthy.  To be fair, the way they attached the insulation was to nail strips of lath to it.  The last thing you want to do is compress bats of insulation.  Very inefficient, but still it might have been doing a little something.

[caption id="attachment_659" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The piles of lath used to hold up insulation"][/caption]

So I guess once he picks up this mess and finishes with the foam he can call the building inspector to inspect the windows, siding, and insulation.  Once that is signed off on we could start back on the bathroom, but wait! first we must fix the beam.

Oh and the very excellent news is that once he removed the insulation he found some very badly rotted sills.  OF COURSE HE DID.  Don't worry, to fix that all we have to do is replace the sill boards and rebuild the porch.  Piece of cake.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Our new kitchen...I mean truck

The truck chapter.

We got the diagnosis on the Dakota and it was not good.  Blown engine I believe is what they called it.  After weighing what it would cost to put in another one vs. what the truck was worth and the fact that we have outgrown it (my knees are on the dashboard when the kids are in the back) we decided to do some truck shopping.

We spent hours on the internet, visited three dealerships, test drove three trucks and stuffed our kids in five different vehicles.  Our criteria were simple:  four doors, 4wd, v6 engine, at least a 5.5 foot bed, sliding back window and as new with as low miles as we could afford.

I would say that I am pretty much a mid-sized truck expert by about now.  I can tell you that the best deal price-wise is a Chevy Colorado.  However, they are small (width and bed length) and have a 5 cylinder inline engine.  Just too squishy for a family of five.  The Tacoma worked, but tended to be pricy.  It also comes standard with at 5.5 foot bed and is hard to find the 6 foot bed.  The Dodge Dakotas are no longer being made and they have rust issues.  The Ford F-150 started making an eco-boost V6 engine in 2011, but they start at $38K new and it is fairly impossible to find a used one.  We didn't quite get to the Nissan Frontier.

As luck would have it, we found a 2011 Tacoma with under 8K miles on it, complete with tow package, 6 foot bed and sliding rear window.  It didn't have the cool back-up camera or temperature/compass reading on the rear view mirror, but we think we can live without that.   Honestly, the automatic windows will be treat enough.

I was hoping for a more muted shade, forest green or navy blue being my first choices.  T said he actually liked that his truck was metallic blue and easy to spot because everyone knew it was him... !!!  Well, no worries there folks because our new truck is Barcelona Red.  I had it confused with Fire Engine Red, but I was wrong.  I think we will still be able to see him coming!