Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Tale of Two Catalogs

These two catalogs arrived in the mail today.

They pretty much sum up how my life has changed since owning an old house.

My old life = jewelry and nice girl stuff. My new life = men's catalogs selling clothing to cover plumber's butt.

Be sure to read the fine print in the second ad to get the full story.

I don't know whether to think its funny or a tiny bit sad.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Changing Channels

I'm one of the last 12 people on the face of the earth that still has an analog tv. So, I went out and bought a converter box at Radio Shack and hooked it up to my tv. In attaching the converter box, I gained 5 or 6 channels I didn't have before. One of them is the Create channel (17-4 here).

I've become moderately addicted to their cooking/travel/crafts shows.

Most of the hosts are wildly annoying (Rick Steves makes my skin crawl), however I've managed to put together a viewing list that includes an overly cheery host named Daisy who has a Hispanic cooking show, a lady named Lidia that has an Italian one, and some ditsy soaps actress that has a knitting/crocheting show. The cooking shows are a little tragic as I have no working oven. But I did make homemade pasta sauce from my frozen garden tomatoes last week.

And I have been crocheting. Be kind as it's been a long while since I've crocheted with yarn (I usually do lace). I'm going to try to felt the blue & brown scarf this afternoon. I'll probably finish the pink one this evening (it's bamboo yarn).

Then, I promise I'll get back to house stuff. Yes, the Tappan is still in my living room.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fire King

I don't think I've posted about it before, but I have a thing for dishes. It's a little ironic because I never throw dinner parties and eat out a lot. Nevertheless, I have quite a few sets.

The dishes I use for "everyday" are a 1950's set of turquoise Fire King. I pick up pieces as I run into them at antique stores. My arbitrary rules say that I can't buy more than two pieces in one store at a time and each piece can't be over $20. It keeps collecting a challenge.

A couple of times a year I stop into Swank. It's not very far from my house and makes for a nice afternoon break when I need one. They specialize in vintage stuff from the 50's, 60's & 70's. Their back room is essentially my 6th grade bedroom....down to the funky, round, bright yellow Panasonic radio. Every now and then I run across a hard to find piece of my Fire King.

On Saturday I found two of the mixing bowls I need for my set. They were $22, but 15% on sale....bring me into the sub-$20 territory.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fake Green

Well, I finally was able to get about 2/3 of my leaves mulched and in my compost bin. I should probably pretend like I am uber green and mulch to save the world's land fills, avoid using plastic bags, etc., etc., etc.

In all honesty, it's because I missed the last city leaf pick-up. I'll get the remaining third mulched this coming weekend, assuming we don't have snow.

I have been pleasantly surprised that I am not the last one on my block with leaves still on the ground. It makes me feel like less of a slacker. Lawn stuff is just not my thing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Near Miss

Those of you living in Minneapolis will probably relate to this story.

I was laying in bed early this morning. 1% awake; 99% asleep. I listened to a plane fly overhead. Then I hear a loud noise in the street in front of my house. I lazily tried to figure out what that noise was when it occurred to me that is was the city leaf clean-up. Signs had been posted on my block earlier in the week. Then my mind began to focus.


I had my car towed once at my old house during a snow storm when the city was plowing. It took 78 bus transfers and a long walk through a bad neighborhood carrying $200+ in cash to pay as ransom to the city to get my car out of the impound lot. It's not an experience that I ever want to repeat.

So, I threw a sweatshirt over my pajamas, grabbed my keys, put on a pair of boots and flew from my house like a bat out of hell. I ran down my front steps and to my car. All of the huge city trucks where parked at the end of my block with their lights turned on and shining on my car. I'm pretty sure they were either dabating what to do about my car or waiting on the tow truck.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Letter to the Editor

Last August I sent off a quick email to Old House Journal about a doorknob featured in an article in their August issue. I had inherited an identical door knob and was curious if they had more information. When I didn't hear back from them, I assumed my email had hit a dead end.

Then one afternoon, I noticed an email from the Editor of Old House Journal. She told me that the photographer of the door knob didn't have much information about her dooknob - other than the interesting fact that her's was also handed down from German immigrants. The Editor asked me if she could print my email in their Letters section of the December issue. I told her to go ahead.

This afternoon, I picked up the December issue and it includes the original magazine photo, my photo, my email and the photographer's response. We are now hoping that one of the readers will see this and respond with more historical information. It's just such an odd coincidence.

Bargaining Gone Awry

I laid in bed each morning for the past two weeks bargaining with God. I desperately wanted out of raking the leaves in my yard. I was thinking it would be quite convenient if divine intervention would produce a couple of neighborhood kids knocking on my door asking to rake my lawn for extra cash.

Here's what I learned about bargaining with God. You need to spell things out. You need to be specific and very clear.

I really have no one to blame but myself. I was too vague. I certainly got out of raking leaves. By contracting double (walking) pneumonia. Ugh. So, now by the time I get back up & running, I will be raking snow & leaves in the cold.

Lesson learned (violins softly playing in the background).

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