Archive | June, 2013

The Office

19 Jun

Until lately our “home office” looked like this:


But now we have a desk! That’s the big news. Josh brought it home from the armory because they were going to throw it away and we still haven’t found one we both like and we hadn’t made it priority because Josh hasn’t built his computer yet. The armory desk is quite sturdily constructed but was ugly with a lot of surface wear/defects, so we decided to make it over. I didn’t take a “before” picture until after we had taken the hutch off and removed the cabinet doors. But you get the idea:


After picking out the paint, I stood around aimlessly while Josh did a lot of sanding and priming and sanding and priming. Then I painted it Colonial White! And then Josh sanded and added a second coat while I was at work.


cat door

Folks were watching from the windows, everybody held their breath

Now our home office looks like this:



So I was playing around with push pins.


My dad drew the one on the top left. The rest are just internet things I have liked.

Until now I have not spent any time in this room. Before it can really be functional (and comfortable), a few more things have to happen. Here is my to-do/to-buy list:

– desk lamp where the pencil cup is
– new hardware for cabinet doors
– new fabric for bulletin board
– buy remaining parts for desktop computer (Josh’s project)
– pad to protect desktop paint and make writing more pleasant
– filing cabinet(s) for underneath or beside
– curtains for window
– extra seating: love seat?

Hopefully all of that will happen soon and I can put up an updated picture.

Ida is already at home in our new hangout. Maybe when her “cat bungalow” arrives I can put it up here instead of in my living room. :/



Hydrangea update! It continues to grow, very slowly. But my fuchsia plant may be dying from overexposure to the sun (whoops). It is chilling out in the dark guest room for a few days.




4 Jun

I bought gladiolus bulbs, strawberry plant roots, begonia bulbs and a hydrangea plant from the BX in early April. I planted all but the gladiolus around that time and none of them did anything. The hydrangea actually had green spots like the beginning of leaves and then they turned brown. Thanks, BX.

However, I noticed this yesterday:


I think that’s hydrangea and not a weed. This exciting development led me to plant the ten gladiolus bulbs that I had assumed were duds. When I took them out of their perforated plastic bag some of them had even begun to sprout. So when you see this next picture of my first ever flower bed, look past the six Asiatic lilies to envision the sword-like foliage of the ten gladiolus that will be there next year. You should also be picturing about 11-13 tulip plants, because yesterday Robert, Alex and I looted some from a location that will remain unspecified. And also, in the far left corner, picture five garlic plants, which I transplanted from the glasses on my kitchen windowsill. And feel free to imagine the evil bush about half its current size.

Asiatic lilies

I still have some rock arranging to do when the rain stops.

Are you picturing about thirty blooming plants and the subtle smell of garlic wafting here and there? I am. :)

next year

Next year, little flower bed. Next year.

Here is one of the looted tulips.


June Already

3 Jun

In a few short days we will have been married for one year! It’s hard to believe.

Once the flooding is past, warm weather in the plains means this:

lawn mower

and a lot of this:

mowing lawn

(and treating for dandelions 2x)

and some of this:


For the boy.

And it also means mosquitoes, but mosquitoes mean aerial spraying which means C-130s which are cool in my book.

Look at a our poor neglected dying tree.

dying tree

Josh spent hours pruning it and the shoots growing up around its base.


Robert and Alex came to visit. Ida has been getting near-constant attention and is acting out less.


I put them to work in my poor neglected flower bed full of rocks and a huge prickly shrub that until lately hung over the sidewalk and grass. Whoever lived here before us did nothing to the lawn or garden but leave some of their kids’ broken toys around.


The plan is to plant my Asiatic lilies and some red and yellow tulips I’m going to steal from abandoned housing.


Josh tamed the shrub but I’m tempted to poison it. It is so very sharp.

I also let them have fun sometimes.


Yesterday I made one quart of concentrated low-sud laundry detergent from a recipe I found on Pinterest. I used half a bar of Fels-Naptha soap and a half-cup each of Borax and Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda. Boil it down, cool it off, whip it.

fels-naptha soap

Fels-Naptha can be used as a stain remover or to treat contact dermatitis.



whipped laundry detergent

It has the consistency of lime chiffon.

jar of laundry detergent

One tbsp per load. I should make a cute label.

If we decide we like it enough to replace our normal combo of All Free & Clear + Oxy Clean, here is the breakdown in cost:

$0.49 1/2 bar Fels Naptha
$0.18 1/2 c. Borax 20 Mule Team
$0.24 1/2 c. Super Washing Soda
$0.91 / 64 loads or $0.01/load


$14.98 Oxy Clean
$13.98 All Free & Clear
28.96 / 146 loads or $0.20/load

Or to put it another way, $2.45 vs. $34.71 per year.
Or, when we have six kids, $7.35 vs. $104.13 per year. With the money we save, we can have our minivans detailed every month.

All I know for now is this new stuff smells very nice.

Josh bought Ida a “super scooper” at the dollar store and she absolutely loves it. Robert led her to believe that it is a brush and an exciting toy all in one. We haven’t taken it to the litter box yet. :/

super scooper

Coming soon: flower bed update; the real reason we went to the dollar store

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