Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Happy Solstice!

or, so that's where the 12 Days of Christmas came from...

I signed up for a free ebook last night. (I admit, even though I will never have time to read them all, I am seriously addicted to downloading every free ebook that crosses my path) This morning I got an interesting email from the author entitled Yule - The Pagan Holiday That Celebrates the Sun.
Celebrated on the winter solstice, Yule is a holiday dedicated to the return of the sun. Pagan deities associated with the celebration include: all newborn gods, sun gods and mother goddesses. Kris Kringle, the inspiration for Santa Claus, receive the honour of becoming the Germanic Pagan God of Yule. The winter solstice, as the first day of winter and the longest night of the year, has been celebrated for centuries. It signifies the return of the light, as the days become longer and the countdown to the life-giving spring begins. The Yule festival lasts for 12 days and involves great merriment and feasting, as well as many traditions each with its own meaning.  (read more)
I wasn't expecting that - guess I should check out that free book soon.

Dec 21

Seriously, I've known all my life that the origins of Christmas stem from paganism, though I don't really know all the details or haven't paid that much attention. Or actually care that much. It's enough for me that God gave us days to celebrate, and I have no need to look for replacements.

I have wondered what this 12 days of Christmas thing is when my calendar only has one day marked.  (and these days it seems that one day is stretched out more and more) Of course, the 12 days of Christmas come from the pagan holiday too. Why am I not surprised? (I think extending it beyond that is all retail)

Of course, there are many people who have celebrated Christmas all their lives with no clue that it has any meaning except for celebrating the birth of our Saviour. Others used to know the pagan origins and believed God when He said that He is not pleased when we attempt to honor Him by adopting the ways of the nations (pagans) around us, but somehow they have forgotten or decided it doesn't matter anymore. Or maybe God changed?

I'm pretty sure God hasn't changed. That would call into question a whole lot of other things besides holy days and whether or not pagan traditions can somehow be made acceptable and even honorable. So, I'm going to continue celebrating the days God set aside in the Bible - appointed times that remind us just who God is and what He has planned for us. Settling for pagan traditions painted and prettied up by man seems kind of hollow by comparison.

Monday, December 18, 2017

When You Need a Lawn Service

We currently take care of our own lawn, but many of our neighbors have a professional service come in and take care of theirs. They mow, they trim, they spread chemicals to take care of weeds, and whatever else needs to be done. I'm not sure we'll decide to hire a lawn care company anytime soon, but the following information may be helpful should we decide to look for one.

In order to find the best lawn service, you need to ask important questions and then compare several different lawn care companies to ensure that you get the highest quality lawn care all year long.  The following are five key things you should look at when searching for a reputable lawn care Tampa service.

This shot is a result of failure...
  1. Compare various standard lawn treatments from different companies
    Compare treatment programs offered by several different companies.  Are shrub and ornamental tree care offered along with turf care?  Do they tailor their lawn care treatments to the kind of turf you have?  For instance, your cool-season grass has different needs than the warm-season grass in your neighbor's lawn.
  2. Services go beyond basic yard maintenance
    Your yard's needs will vary from one season to the next.  You'll want to find a lawn care company that offers additional services beyond basic yard maintenance so that they will be available when you need them.  Some important services include service calls in between your regular lawn treatment appointments, diagnosing and treating pests and diseases, and aeration.
  3. Make sure the people treating your lawn are qualified
    The individuals who will be caring for your lawn need to know how to safely and properly apply grass treatments.  They also should be willing to answer any questions you might have regarding the treatments being used and the basic needs of your yard.  It is best to have the same dedicated technicians working on your yard if possible so that they become very knowledgeable about your yard and can keep up with any problems that may arise.
  4. Search for a preventative lawn care service
    Ask for information and tips from the lawn care service.  Depending on the area that you live in, there most likely will be certain lawn diseases, pests and other kinds of problems that arise with shrubs, trees, and lawns.  Once you know what to look out for, you will be able to give your lawn care service provider a call so they can come out and diagnose and treat any potential problems before extensive damage occurs.
  5. Check out customer reviews
    Customer reviews are a great way to get information on a lawn care company's customer satisfaction level and performance.  You can then contact the companies with the best reviews and interview them to ask additional questions so that you can determine which one best suits your needs for the finest lawn care service. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It Really Is the Doorway!

Have you heard that walking through a doorway can cause you to forget why you went into that room in the first place? Sounds crazy, right? Though I'd rather believe that than thinking it has anything with being old enough to have a couple grandchildren.

I just read this article that does a very nice job of explaining why walking through doorways makes us forget, and it actually makes sense. That doesn't make it any less annoying though!

I have figured out how to remember - walk back through that same door! At least it worked once, and I only discovered that accidentally. I ran upstairs to get something - I can't remember what it was now, and I could not remember what I was looking for when I got upstairs. I stood in the bedroom and looked around, but nothing jumped out at me. So, I gave up and went back downstairs. As soon as I walked back through the doorway into the kitchen, I remembered exactly what I had been upstairs looking for.

I immediately turned around and ran back upstairs to get whatever I went up there for in the first place - repeating over and over again in my mind what exactly it was I was going up there for. Success! And extra exercise.

No promises that it will work the next time, but it kind of makes sense - walk through a doorway and forget; walk back through that same doorway to call back to mind the thing you've forgotten. It's worth a try anyway. Either that or carry around a notepad and write everything down.

How's your memory?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

How to Keep Your Home Protected Through the Winter Months

With winter fast approaching, it's only natural that you'd want to make sure your house is fully prepared for all of the harshness that the weather can bring. Given all of the issues that can arise from an improperly maintained home, it's no wonder that many people are worried about how to make sure their house is as well protected as possible. With that in mind, here's a look at some of the best tips out there to make sure your house can handle everything that the winter brings and then some.


Although it's easy to think that the biggest problem with the winter is the coldness it brings, the dampness can actually be one of the biggest problems. For one thing, damp areas typically attract insects, and that's a fact that's no different in the winter than it is in the summer. If you want to avoid all manner of pests breeding in the area around your home, then you'll probably want to make sure that you invest in some kind of exterior waterproofing. This system can help ensure that your house doesn't get any unnecessary leaks and that you and your family aren't exposed to anything that might cause you to get sick.

Snowy RoofReinforcing Your Roof

You'll also want to do something to make sure you're not letting go of any of that valuable heat you have. If you find yourself running an incredibly high energy bill, then it's likely that the issue lies with how your heating is being handled by your house. More specifically, your roofing might be to blame. If you can hire a contractor to take care of your roofing needs, then you should be able to help keep your heat contained so that it won't become a bigger issue when the winter really picks up in ferocity. Similarly, if you have a fireplace, you should consider investing in some kind of maintenance service for that as well, as you can never be too careful.

Getting Your Furnace Checked

Consider hiring a professional to check your furnace at the beginning of the cold weather season to ensure that it is working at full capacity. Sometimes just a small thing can make a huge difference in the efficiency of your furnace, and in your power bill. If you can't hire a professional, at least be sure to change the filter regularly.

While protecting your home may require an investment of both time and money, it will ultimately be worth it in the long run. No one wants to see their home fail to provide proper shelter for their family, and these steps will hopefully ensure that you keep the cold outside where it belongs and the heat inside with you and your family.

home again, home again

Thursday, November 16, 2017

How to Genuinely Enjoy a Road Trip

Lots of people have planned a road trip absolutely thinking that they will enjoy every second of the trip, only to actually get out on the road and find out things aren't exactly as they envisioned. Now the only thing they want is to get to their destination as quickly as possible and just get this trip over with.

Here are a few things that can help you genuinely enjoy a road trip:

It is important to strike a balance between planning too much and not planning enough. If you over-plan, you will get frustrated if everything doesn't work out according to the plan you have set up. However, if you do not plan enough, you may end up having to stay in nasty hotels, eat unhealthy and gross food, or even get lost on the way to your destination. It is good to have an overall idea of which route you will take, which hotel and restaurant options are available, and also what kind of entertainment you could enjoy along the way while still being flexible and able to take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves.
The amount of time that you have designated for the road trip (and other factors) will determine how much you can see along the way. No matter how much or how little time you have, it is always a good idea to take a little bit of time to relax, see something new, and enjoy yourself. This will make the road trip genuinely enjoyable. It may be something like taking a detour and staying in a relaxing hotel for a couple of days. Or it may be as simple as stopping at a unique bakery Chicago IL in order to enjoy a fresh doughnut - as opposed to just stopping at any old convenience store to grab a snack. Do at least a couple of things along the way that you will truly enjoy and that will make the road trip memorable.

are we there yet?
Consider the individuals who will be traveling with you. If this is a family road trip, make sure that there is plenty of entertainment (and plenty of snacks) for the children. Otherwise, you are practically guaranteed to hear, "Are we there yet?" coming repeatedly from the back seat. Many vehicles nowadays come equipped with DVD players, so don't forget to pack the movies! Or, for some family fun, check out this handy list of games to play in the car.  If you need to get to a destination quickly, consider driving at night so that the kids can sleep most of the way. Take into consideration the preferences of each individual in the car so that everyone stays happy and enjoys the trip.

And last but definitely not least, make sure your vehicle is in good condition.  This cannot be overstated. Dealing with car trouble along the way can turn a trip that could have been quite enjoyable into a nightmare. A few weeks before your trip, have your mechanic check the vehicle over. If you do all you can to prepare your car beforehand, you will likely avoid car issues along the way.

So, who's ready for a road trip?

Sunday, October 29, 2017

When Did Everybody Else Get So Old?

I recently finished one of the books on my reading list - When Did Everybody Else Get So Old?: Indignities, Compromises, and the Unexpected Grace of Midlife by Jennifer Grant.
Jennifer Grant is a writer, editor, and speaker. A former health and family columnist for the Chicago Tribune, she is the author of four previous books, including the adoption memoir Love You More. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, four children, and two rescue dogs. Find her online at or on Twitter @jennifercgrant.
I received this one in exchange for a review, so I bumped it to the top of my ever-growing reading list.

This is a fairly quick read, and I saw glimpses of myself and my life in Jennifer Grant's. No, we're not all the same, but chances are if you're in that same time of life, you'll find glimpses of yourself in there too.

She takes us through the changes as our children grow up and get ready to move on into their own lives, starting college and moving out. After all that time of singular focus on the children, the questions emerge - What now? Who am I besides mom? 

Jennifer shares her insights and the things she learned, simply by living it, not without a bit of humor thrown in, sometimes at her own expense. And, yes, she even talks about S-E-X.

I read some reviews from people who laughed out loud and cried when reading this book. I didn't experience any of that, but I did come away with a strong sense that everything is going to be OK as perhaps we're all old (and wise) enough to accept our lives and ourselves as we are. And maybe this next phase has plenty to offer, too. 

Overall, a very enjoyable book, and I especially liked many of the quotes from books she had read and her special take on them. I plan to troll her Notes section for some additional reading. (like I really need any more books on my to-read list)

Thanks to Herald Press for the review copy of the book.

What Should I Look For In A Landscaping Company?

In today's world, many residential and commercial property owners find themselves in need of excellent landscaping services. If you're currently looking for landscapers in Toronto, it's important to know what to look for when choosing a service provider. To ensure that you obtain the cutting edge, customized landscaping services that will get your property in stellar condition, make sure that the company in question possesses all of the following attributes:
  1. Extensive Experience In The Landscaping Industry.
    One of the first attributes you should seek out in a landscaping company is extensive industry experience. This is immensely important because it ensures that the professionals of the firm will have a great deal of knowledge regarding the industry. It will also ensure that the landscapers in question have plenty of hands-on experience enabling them to handle a wide range of landscaping issues with ease and precision. Typically, you can learn how long a landscaping company has been in operation by reviewing their website.
  2. Stellar Feedback From Clients.
    In addition to seeking out a landscaping company that has been operating for an extended period of time, make sure that you find a team of professionals who regularly receive stellar feedback from their clients. Taking this step is important because it will ensure that you're selecting a team of professionals who are known for doing a great job. One great resource you can utilize to see what people are saying about a particular landscaping company is online reviews. Note that over 80% of consumers now believe that these online reviews are just as valuable and accurate as a conventional, word-of-mouth recommendation.
    In addition to reading through online reviews, be sure to take the time to look at the customer testimonials that appear on a landscaping company's website. These testimonials can provide you with even more information regarding the specific reasons that a certain team of professionals can be trusted. At the same time that you may find customer testimonials valuable and accurate, note that many businesses will refrain from posting testimonials that do not put their company in a positive light. Therefore, you may need to take these testimonials with a grain of salt.
  3. Comprehensive Services.
    Another trait you should seek out in a landscaping company is comprehensive services. This attribute is important because it ensures that you won't have to go through multiple companies to obtain all of the landscaping services you need to keep your residential or commercial property in exemplary condition. Some of the key services you may want to look for include:
  4. Up the garden path.
    • Interlocking Stone Installation
    • Flagstone Installation
    • Gardening Design
    • Fencing/Decking Installation and Repair
    • Sod Fertilization
    • Grass Trimming and Hedging
    • Snow Removal 
  5. A Great Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating.
    When you start looking for the right landscaping company, note that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a wonderful resource to use for the purpose of learning more about the organization in question. Specifically, the BBB is known for producing ratings about businesses that provide the public with a clear, accurate, up-to-date understanding of how effective they are in serving the public. If you find that a specific landscaping company has been rated and maintains a rating of A or higher, it's safe to say that you can count on attaining effective, expedient services from the organization. 
  6. Complimentary Consultations.
    One final attribute you should seek out in a landscaping firm is complimentary consultations. These consultations give you the opportunity to interface with the landscapers in a "real life" setting through which you can make determinations about things like their level of friendliness and how willing they are to listen and give you what you want. The live setting will also help you to determine whether the company culture is conducive to your own value system, personal preferences, temperament, etc. Finally, the complimentary consultation can be a wonderful time to request a free estimate for the specific landscaping services you're seeking! 
Find The Right Landscaping Company Now!
 If you're ready to obtain high-quality landscaping services that keep your property as pristine and perfect as possible, hopefully the information here will help you pick the perfect company for your project.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Walmart Doesn't Ad Match Anymore. What?

One of Walmart's most positive features has always been the fact that they will match competitor's ads. Why run all over town to do your shopping when you can just get everything (for the best prices) under one roof?

Ad Match

Imagine my surprise when I get to the checkout at my local Walmart last night to find out that they are no longer matching ads at the cash register. Seriously? When did that happen? Only last month according to our cashier, but still I guess I haven't been doing much shopping recently (I haven't) because I had no idea this was even coming.

We went to Menard's last night to pick up a couple toilet seats, because a couple of ours just broke - of course not last week when Menard's was running their 11% rebate on everything, or any one of those many previous weeks of 11% on everything. (Did anyone else think Menard's was just going to do the 11% back rebate from now on? It certainly seemed like it for a bit.) But, anyway, our toilet seats wait until there's no sale and no rebate, and then they break.

Since we were out anyway, I figured it was a good chance to grab a few things we needed and not have to go out another day. Meijer had some produce in their ad that I really wanted to get, and since Meijer is right by Menard's it just made sense. But I needed to go to Walmart too to grab some Borax and baking soda for the laundry (because Walmart always has the best price on those), so I decided that it would save time if I just took the Meijer ad to Walmart. I could grab the Borax and baking soda and the produce - and only have to go to one store. Which, in the past, would have worked perfectly - but now Walmart doesn't match competitor's ads.

So, instead of saving time, it actually took more time because we had to drive back to Meijer to get the stuff I thought I could get at Walmart.
When I asked the cashier about the new policy, he said that Walmart wants people to use their Savings Catcher. I've been using that for a while. If something I buy happens to be on sale at another store, Walmart lets me know and gives me a credit. Nice, huh? Except that there are a lot things that aren't included, produce being one of them. (and quite a few other things I've price matched in the past)
Savings Catcher currently does NOT apply to:
  • Any food, consumables, or health & wellness items that do not meet the eligibility criteria above (See section “Does Savings Catcher compare all items on my receipt?”)
  • Items purchased and paid for with WIC benefits
  • Produce
  • Items sold in the Bakery department
  • Fresh or variable weight meat
  • Items sold in the Deli department
  • Seafood
  • General merchandise items including, but not limited to, outdoor living consumables (such as such as fertilizer and bug spray), office supplies, apparel, DVD’s, electronics, CD and gaming media, toys, housewares, small appliances, sporting goods, home décor, bedding, books and magazines, shoes, jewelry, furniture and seasonal products
  • Non-branded items
  • Tobacco, alcohol, firearms, gasoline, tires, prescription drugs, optical and photo products and services, or products that require a service agreement such as wireless, automotive or financial products
Source: Savings Catcher FAQs

I did a bit of research today to see if I could find any info on this annoying policy change. It looks like not all Walmarts have stopped ad matching, but that doesn't mean they won't all soon follow. The Penny Hoarder has a list of Walmart stores who have stopped ad-matching along with a request for readers to let them know if their local Walmarts have changed policy. (I submitted mine!)

Is your Walmart on the list? If so, how annoyed are you?

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Natural Heat Sources for Your Home

HEATIn the last decade, more homeowners have become interested in heating their homes using something other than coal or fossil fuel as the source of power.  They do not want their homes to contribute to the depletion of the environment.

Thanks to technology that includes harvesting solar power, water, and geothermal heating Ottawa utility companies can now offer natural utility sources to people in the area.  You can decide if this technology is right for you by learning the benefits that may come from choosing this heating option.

Learning How Geothermal Energy Works

The premise of geothermal energy involves utilizing energy and heat generated by the earth.  As its name implies, the heat from the earth can be harvested and directed into your home, thus eliminating the need for coal, gasoline, propane, and other natural resources.

This way of heating your house calls for the technology to work with the earth rather than against it so that you get cleaner energy and a safer and warmer home.  You do not have to worry about paying for expensive monthly propane shipments, paying costly bills to the local coal-based energy company, or worrying that you are using more than your fair share of natural resources.

As appealing as this may sound to you, you might wonder if you can really afford to invest in it for your home.  How does it compare to coal-based power and does it heat better than gas or propane?

You can get answers to all of these questions and any others you think of when you visit the Porter's Refrigeration website (linked above).  They explain how the process works from drawing the heat from the earth to incorporating it into the system that heats your house.  There is plenty of information to help you decide whether geothermal heating is for you.

You can also get a free estimate from the company using the online form.  They can tell you what it will cost to invest in the system now and how soon it may pay itself off with cheaper utility bills and cleaner energy.  You can also find out if some or all of the costs may be covered by your homeowners' insurance policy. (wouldn't that be great? Or perhaps there are tax credits?)

Homeowners want to minimize the environmental impact that their homes have on the earth.  Once you've learned a bit about geothermal heating, what it is and what benefits it can offer, it may just be something you'd like to install in your house.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Keeping Water Out Of The Basement

We don't have a basement in this house, which makes me a bit nervous during tornado season. There was that one time in Wisconsin when a tornado went through our town...

While we don't have anywhere safe (besides our downstairs bathroom) to go in the event of a tornado, at least we don't have to worry about water in the basement. Some of the people in our neighborhood have some serious puddles in their yards when it rains, so I can just imagine what a basement might look like.

If you have a basement, you may find the following information useful.

If you walk downstairs and notice standing water in the basement, then you know that you have a problem. There are a few reasons as to why you would have water in the basement. If it's rained recently, then water could seep into the room under a door that doesn't meet the floor all the way. There could be a leak from the ceiling. You need to find the source of how the water is entering the basement as soon as possible and repair it before waterproofing the room. If there is any mold or mildew or any structural damage, you need to get these issues fixed before you begin waterproofing.

A basement waterproofing Erie PA company has the tools and supplies needed to keep water out of your basement if you don't want to worry about the work. There are a few things that you can do on your own if you want to tackle the job with the assistance of a waterproofing company. The first thing that you need to do is look around the basement to find any holes or cracks. These need to be filled in with cement so that there isn't a way for water to get into the basement.

Once the source of how water is getting inside is fixed, you need to apply a thin coat of masonry cement to the walls. Make sure it's waterproof cement so that it helps to keep water from getting inside the room. Examine the outside of the home. Attach gutters or extensions at the basement so that water has somewhere to go away from the home instead of settling around the base or getting inside the house. Another option would be to dig a trench around the basement. Put a plastic pipe that's about four inches round in the trench. This will also help to direct water away from the basement and other areas of the home so that there isn't as much of a risk for flooding. Examine the ceiling of the basement, applying a layer of masonry cement to this area as well. Fix any leaks that are present in the ceiling before the cement is applied.

We never had issues with water in our basement in Wisconsin, except for the occasional wet spot on one wall after a rain. We had our contractor come and do some kind of waterproofing, and we never had a problem after that. Oh, and there was the time they were removing the old siding from the house after the tornado and pulled the outside faucet loose - causing water to pour into the basement. Yeah, that was fun. Thankfully it was all clean water, and after some shop vacs, fans, and dehumidifiers, everything was as good as new.

Newspaper Delivery Options

As I mentioned, we recently went to Florida with our family. As always, when planning to be away from home for any length of time, I had our mail and newspaper held. Mail is easy - have it held at the Post Office, and then have it all delivered when we come home. But, when I go to have the newspaper held, I have a few options:

Looks logical, right? The only problem is that there is absolutely no reason for that first choice. When I missed a paper or went on vacation in Wisconsin, the amount for those papers we did not receive was deducted from our monthly charge. Simple, right? We did not get the papers; we did not have to pay for them.

Here it does not work that way. I was talking to one of the customer service representatives a while back and asked about the fact that my monthly charge never varied - even though I'd had some missed papers or vacation holds. She told me that once we built up an entire month's worth of credit, we wouldn't be charged for a month.

Well, that monthly charge just keeps coming.
What's new pussy cat?

We only get the paper Friday, Saturday, and Sunday - though we'd rather just get the Sunday paper and leave it at that, but that's not an option. For a few weeks in a row recently, our Friday paper was not being delivered, so I reported it online and asked that our account be credited. Eventually, I got a call from the newspaper telling me that they couldn't credit anymore that month - we apparently missed a lot of newspapers, not sure what was going on. It's a bit confusing, but when a paper is missed, they just extend the month a bit and charge the credit card on a later date than it would have been - or something like that. I'm honestly not sure if that's true or not because my credit card is charged automatically, and I haven't figured out exactly when the charge comes through. I probably should look at the history, but let's give them that...

Then, since I was already on the phone with someone from the newspaper, I asked about my vacation credits - because I've been choosing that first option every time we go away for a weekend, and now that we've lived here for 4 years, we should have built up at least enough credit for a free month. Right?


Apparently, if you go on vacation here and choose that first option, you just forfeit your newspapers, even though you've paid for them. No credit.  That just seems wrong on so many levels, but it's really frustrating that they even list that first option. Just leave it off and be clear and upfront about the fact that I can either donate my newspapers to a classroom (which I did this year and would have done in the past) or I can get them all delivered when I get home - but under no circumstances is that going to affect my subscription or the amount I will pay for the month.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Finding a Reputable Electrician

electrician_3Are you having some electrical difficulties in your home or apartment? If this is the case, it is essential that you are able to locate a reputable electrician in your area who will do a great job for you. Hiring an electrician can be very stressful if you are not familiar with any of the companies in your area. You should never simply hire an electrician at random. You need to be certain the company you call employs technicians who know what they are doing. This is the only way that you will be able to ensure you get high-quality work for the money you are spending. Patience is the key.

The following tips will be very useful when you are looking for an electrician in your city.
  1. Get references from people you trust.
    Talk to a lot of people you trust before hiring anyone. Get in touch with friends and family members via social media. Ask these people if they have hired an electrician in the past couple of years. If so, find out as much as you can about their experience. Basically, you need to ask them if the electrician was good or bad. Get the name of the electrician if they give him a positive recommendation. Find out how much they paid.
  2. Does the electrician have a good safety record?
    Working closely with electricity is very dangerous. It is even more dangerous if the proper safety regulations are not followed. This is why you need to take a look into the background of the electricians you are considering. Have they ever caused any serious accidents? How good is their safety record? Keep looking until you find someone with a flawless safety record.
  3. Look for an electrician who offers a 24-hour emergency service.
    You never know when something is going to go wrong with your electricity. You never really think about how important electricity is until you do not have it. You can't watch TV, use your desktop computer or cook a meal in your microwave without electricity. Therefore, it is critical that the problem gets fixed as soon as possible. You might lose your power in the middle of the night. You then need to find a Ponte Vedra electrician who is willing to come to your home in the wee hours of the morning. 

Enjoy the Near Maintenance-Free Value of a Chain Link Fence

A couple years after we had our first house built, Jeffrey (with a little help from Beth) fenced in our backyard with a chain link fence. If you've got small children or pets, which we did at the time, you'll know how nice it is to have a fenced in yard. I could let the dog and the children run without worrying about them too much. It was especially convenient to be able to keep an eye on them through my kitchen window while I made dinner or washed dishes.

On the Fence

While there are always home improvement projects to be done, installing a chain link fence is one project that is easy on the budget, lasts a long time and needs very little in the way of repairs and maintenance.  We didn't really consider other options, but reading through the following list, I see it was a good choice.

Some of the best reasons to consider chain link for your next fence purchase
  • Easy Cleaning
    There is very little work involved to keeping aq chain link fence clean. A garden hose is typically all that is needed unless you are in an area that allows for a build-up of mud and dirt. A small scrub brush will loosen dirt that can then be rinsed away. Your fence with stay looking new for a long time to come.
  • Corrosion Resistance
    The material that quality chain link is constructed of is both durable and resists corrosion from weather elements. This means your investment will last for decades. Wood has a tendency to weather rough and vinyl products get brittle with temperature changes over a short period of time. 
  • Simple Repair Process
    The repairs on a chain link fence are simpler than with many other types of fencing. Sagging and creases can happen over time, along with small areas of damage from accidental contact with vehicles and other heavy objects. Fixing these areas can be one of the more affordable things on your home to-do list.
  • Quick Gate Repairs
    Gates designed for chain link fences are attached with hardware that makes replacement easy and inexpensive. You can change styles or replace used and worn gates. There are a single panel or double-panel designs that can match the construction design of your home perfectly.
  • Affordable Damage Replacement
    There may come a point in which portions of the chain link fence need to be replaced. The great news is that replacement sections for this type of fencing are some of the more affordable on the market. It is an overall property securing investment you can feel confident about.
Contact experts in chain link fence Tampa like Family Fence and schedule an appointment for an estimate today!

Just out of curiosity, I looked our first house up on Google Maps. That chain link fence is still there - at least I'm going to assume it's the same one. Also, that tree is so tall. Did we even have that tree when we lived there? Of course, we did move out of that house more than 20 years ago (how has it even been that long?), so the trees have had some time to grow.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

So That's What I've Been Doing Wrong

I recently mentioned how far behind I am in my reading goals this year. I've made slight progress since then, and I'm only 7 books behind schedule, instead of 8. It's just a small victory, but I guess I'll take it.

Anyway, I finally figured out what I'm doing wrong when it comes to reading. My friend Ruth posted this handy list filled with tips for How to Read More Books, and I can confidently say that I am letting all kinds of reading opportunities pass me by. I have no kids in the house because they're all grown up and live on their own now. I do listen to audiobooks when I walk every morning, and I occasionally prop a book up (or read from my Kindle) while I'm washing dishes or otherwise working in the kitchen, but I'm pretty much ignoring all the other items on the list. I mean, who really needs sleep anyway?


My reading list just keeps getting longer -
  • I've got my friend Ruth's new book Collapsible to read. Yes, she's the one who posted the handy list of tips - possibly so we'd all find make time to read her book. Word is there are more coming!
  • I just started When Did Everybody Else Get So Old? by Jennifer Grant, and I need to get that one finished in the next few days because I agreed to post some reviews. So far I'm really enjoying it. But...
  • I'm reading Stephen King's Dark Tower series over again, and I just really want to sit and read that all the day, never mind all the other books. I'm currently about halfway through Wizard and Glass. If you haven't read these books, do yourself a favor and read them. All of them. Again I ask - who needs sleep?
  • Cory bought a copy of John Green's new book Turtles All the Way Down while we were in Florida. He's already read it so he left it here for me to read. Now if I can just get to it. Have you read John Green's books? So good. Also, I wish I could read as fast as Cory does.
  • And, I just got an advance copy of Catherine McKenzie's The Good Liar. I've loved all her books so far, so I'm super excited to read this one. 
Of course, this list doesn't include the 4 or 5 or 6 (or more, who's counting?) books on my Currently Reading list on GoodReads - all good books, and books I really want to finish, but it seems I'm easily distracted when the next shiny book comes along.

What does your reading list look like? And what's your excuse for not reading nearly as many books as you'd like?

Note: links to books on Amazon are affiliate links.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Beauty Of Vinyl Siding

Every house needs siding, and while there are some out there who will always prefer brick for the exterior of their home, there are a lot of exciting developments in vinyl siding that make it worth taking a look at. Before selecting the material for your home's exterior, it's a good idea to look at all the pros and cons of each.

Vinyl_sidingAce Home Improvements LLC, a siding company Bowie MD can depend on, has compiled the following list of reasons vinyl siding is one of their most popular products.

  1. Vinyl siding is, first off, incredibly affordable. Many people choose vinyl siding simply because it is what they can afford. However, those choosing vinyl siding just because it's economical will be pleased to know that there are many other perks to choosing it over other exteriors. Continue reading for just a few of the reasons that you can be happy with your selection of vinyl siding for your home. 
  2. Vinyl siding never needs to be painted. Love saving time? You're going to love the fact that your siding will never need to be painted over in order to keep it looking its best. Just install vinyl siding and it will continue looking great for years to come, provided you maintain it properly.
  3. Vinyl siding isn't completely maintenance free, but it is one of the exterior types that will be easiest to maintain. The bottom line is: vinyl siding can save you a lot of time if you're a busy person. You'll always need to do some routine maintenance but for the most part, you can let vinyl siding go a bit more than other exteriors. Just refer back to point #2 for a big time saver.
  4. Easier to install. Vinyl projects aren't going to take as long to install as other types of exteriors, so this can really cut down on labor expenses if you're not going to be doing it yourself. If you ARE doing it yourself, it's still a massive project but not nearly as much as other forms of siding.
House lamp
If you're excited about the prospect of installing vinyl siding, join the club! This type of siding continues to win over the hearts of homeowners year after year with its low cost and low maintenance properties.  32% of homeowners opt for vinyl siding for these particular reasons.

Watching Some Dancing

Our local ABC station decided we'd rather watch football last night than watch Dancing with the Stars. They were wrong. I don't mind attending the occasional Colts game, but when it comes to my Monday night television viewing, I really want to see DWTS. (and seriously, I saw on the news that the Colts stopped playing before the game was over and lost. Again. So we would have all been better off watching Disney night on Dancing with the Stars.)

Anyway, we're watching it now and I just fell in love with Lindsey and Mark's dance. It was just so good - and even earned that "10 from Len" - and in my opinion should have gotten all 10s.

So far Lindsey is definitely my favorite. I'm also really liking Drew from Property Brothers. I wasn't so sure at first, but he's really improved and really seems to be having a great time out there.

Who's your favorite this season? Have you started voting yet? I often don't start until later in the season, waiting to see how everyone will do - and obviously I could not have (knowledgeably) voted last night since I wasn't even able to watch. </pout>

Keep Your Fridge Running Smoothly

AGA APRO36FDSS RefrigeratorYou might think that appliance repair has gone out of style since there are so many cheap economical options for appliances, but you would be wrong. When given the choice, the majority of Americans would still rather buy very expensive appliances that function perfectly and last decades instead of near disposable models that can be replaced at the drop of a hat. Considering that the average refrigerator can run over $3000 even in residential home stores, it's no wonder that refrigerator repair services still exist and thrive in today's world.

When someone has invested thousands of dollars in a refrigerator, it's common sense that they need a place like Sub Zero repair Ft Lauderdale based. Sub Zero is an old pro at taking care of appliances both before and after they break down. Believe it or not, there's more routine maintenance on a fridge than you might think. Having it inspected once in awhile to see what kind of parts or products it needs to run smoothly is still a common thing when people buy more expensive appliances. These services work on a host of common refrigerator issues.

Here are but a few of today's most common issues with a fridge:
  • The fridge stops cooling and the food begins to warm (spoil)
  • Ice maker doesn't produce ice or it's not as cold as it should be
  • Defrost drain becomes clogged
  • Freezer is still working but the fridge begins to warm
  • Noise issues (It might rattle or run too loud)
These are just a few of the things that can go wrong with today's refrigerator. If you've invested a lot of money in your fridge, you don't want to go out and replace it every time something doesn't work. Instead, hire one of today's certified technicians to come inside your home and inspect your refrigerator. Nine times out of ten, they'll be able to get your fridge up and running again for a lot less than the price of a new refrigerator.

Repair services like Sub Zero are capable of performing both maintenance and repair on today's most popular brands of refrigerators. Routine maintenance, as well as periodic inspections, can help you avoid unexpected and costly repairs.

Monday, October 16, 2017

I've Been a Bit Buried

Well, actually it was Jason who was a bit buried:

Me, I've just been a bit busy. We just got back from Florida where we enjoyed spending time with our kids and grandson and spending time on the beach. We even survived Nate - though the storm pretty much missed us where we were. Still the waves and the wind were pretty amazing to experience.

Now that we're back, I've got quite a bit of catching up to do, IF there's such a thing as ever actually getting caught up. It seems like a lot of things fell by the wayside before we left because I was concentrating on packing to go - and now I've got to get everything unpacked and put away. Thankfully all that laundry is done, and tomorrow I can move on to the next project(s).

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Some Ideas For Kitchen Countertops

If you get the urge to make changes to your kitchen but don't want to spend a fortune, then maybe you should consider just updating your countertops. When you redo all of your kitchen countertops, the whole kitchen is going to look like it was remodeled to your family and friends. It can take some work to redo your countertops, but the end result will make all of the work worth it.

Album 26 - San Bruno Remodel - Traditional - KraftMaid - after-10.jpgHere are some ideas for updating those countertops:

  • Painting Your Countertops
    One of the simplest ways to change the look of your countertops is to paint them. It is important to understand that you cannot just buy any paint off the shelf and use it on your kitchen countertops. You need to buy a special kit that has the primer and paint that you need to get the job done. Prior to putting on the primer, you should also fill in any cracks or holes in your counters to get a result that is smooth and spotless.
  • Resurfacing Your Countertops
    In the last few years, new kits have come available that homeowners can use to cover their kitchen countertops in a new vinyl covering. The covering is extremely durable and there is a wide variety of colors and patterns to choose from. It takes a little effort and some precise cutting to get this job done, but you will have new countertops that will last for years and look great at the same time.
  • Replacing Your Countertops
    If you do some diligent searching, you can find durable and beautiful countertop material at discount prices. Imagine finding a low-priced marble slab and using it to create the countertops you have always wanted. This counter refurbishing project will probably require the services of an expert contractor, but the end result can completely change the look of your kitchen and possibly the entire first floor of your home.
Any remodeling work you do in your kitchen is going to improve the overall look of your home in some way. When you give your kitchen countertops an overhaul, you are going to add plenty of new life to your kitchen that your guests and family will notice.

The Latest Laundry Technology

I've been drying some of our laundry lately using the latest technology.

I saw this on Facebook, and I thought it was fun.

I wanted a clothesline when we lived in our first house because the neighbor across the street had one, and it reminded me of how much I love the smell of freshly dried clothes. My mom used a clothesline a lot when I was growing up. But, I never got one while we lived there. I would have been quite convenient since the washer and dryer were in a little room that opened to the backyard, and the garage.

Then in Wisconsin, my laundry room was in the basement, and I really didn't give the clothesline too much thought, so it has taken me until this summer to start drying some of the clothes outside in the sunshine. There really is nothing like freshly washed and line dried sheets!

Jeffrey is planning to put a real clothesline in behind the awesome garden he built me. He has the post built but still needs to put it in the ground and add the line. So, in the meantime, I ordered some of these portable clotheslines, and we have one strung between the shed and the garden so I've been using that. I can only dry one king-size sheet at a time, but they dry pretty quickly in the sunshine.  It's been working well for shirts and shorts. To dry several at a time, I put them on plastic hangers (the ones we get at Kohl's when we shop there) and use the notches in the line to hang the hangers so they stay in place on the line.

Have you upgraded your laundry technology recently?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

What Should You Update in Your Home?

I was talking to a friend this past weekend, and he was telling me about some improvements he'd been making to his house. It seems there's always something to be improved, doesn't it? What gets done and how soon all depends on time, money, and priorities. His home improvements involved pulling the carpet out of a couple bedrooms to expose the hardwood floors underneath, which sounds like a project that mainly takes time and manpower, but not a lot of investment. That's my kind of improvement. I was especially interested because we have a wood floor underneath the carpet in our bedroom, and I would love to pull that carpet out and expose the wood. The upstairs carpet is in decent shape, so it's not a huge priority, but it would be nice. We've been a bit worried about how the staples that hold the carpet down may have damaged the floor, but my friend said it wasn't a big problem on his floor and reminded me that the tack strips for the carpets are only around the edges. We may have to think about pulling that carpet out one of these days.

We've already done quite a few improvements around here since we moved in, the major one being pulling all of the carpet out of the downstairs and putting in wood floors, and replacing the laminate floor in the kitchen with ceramic tile. We certainly like it better, even if it isn't one of the things listed in this HGTV article entitled Which Home Improvements Pay Off?

Unsurprisingly, kitchens and baths made the list.
So exactly what should you improve when you redo your kitchen or bathroom?  Think traditional: all-wood cabinets, commercial-look appliances, natural wood or stone floors and stone countertops.
I certainly can't argue with that. One of the big pluses in this house was that the kitchen had been remodeled a few years back. I may not have chosen the exact marble slab or granite counter top they chose, and I never would have chosen the light cabinets they chose, but I got a great kitchen, and I didn't have to make all those decisions and live through the tumult of a kitchen remodel. The few days I couldn't get into or use my kitchen while the tile was installed were hard enough. I use my kitchen a lot.

If you're planning an update to your kitchen, I say definitely go for it. I think the kitchen is the most important room in the house, so every house deserves a great kitchen. Get some expert advice on which counter materials will work best for what you want and how you use your kitchen. As the HGTV article says, "if you're not planning to move in the near future, spend your money remodeling in a way that you'll most enjoy... Even if you get less than 100 percent of your money back, you're really ahead of the game over time because you get the use of all that space"

What kind of improvements have you made to your home? Did you do them with the idea of increasing the value of your home, or to increase your enjoyment in your home?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Drop Everything and Read

This phrase keeps running through my head. It's something the kids used to do in school. I'll have to ask Jason if they still do during the school day. I know he has a certain amount of reading he has to do at home. I'm not doing a very good job of actually listening to that voice in my head, though, no matter how much I might like to take a day and spend it reading. Or even just finish some of the books I've got started. Maybe next rainy day...

Except there will always be something else to do, and I always feel that I need to get all that other stuff done before I can actually sit down. I may just have to start making to-do lists (something I really need to do anyway), and put reading time on the list. If it's on the list, I have to do it, right?

Also, I set a goal on GoodReads of reading 40 books this year, which isn't a lot when I compare with some other people I know, but I thought it was reasonable. And I still read more books in a year than a lot of other people. But now here we are in September with only about 3 months left in the year, and I'm only 50% of the way to that goal. Either I'm going to have to count some of the books Jason and I read together when he was here, or I'm going to have to make a lot more time to read.

Or just accept failure.

Not sure this actually applies here, but I saw it on Facebook...

Monday, September 18, 2017

Three Reasons to Sell Your Timeshare

CondoOwning a timeshare is like owning a vacation home or property. The resorts behind these homes offer larger units with enough space for your family and friends and smaller units that are suitable for just two people. Though some function more as vacation clubs and let you visit different destinations and book different unit types, many require that you stay in the same place and the same unit year after year. Even if the resort makes it hard for you to terminate your contract, you may still want to sell your timeshare and end that contract for a few clear reasons.

  • Your Lifestyle Changes
    A common reason to get rid of your timeshare is that your lifestyle changes. While a small timeshare in a romantic destination might be great during the early days of your marriage, you may need more space once you begin having children. If you own a timeshare in a party city, you'll also want to sell because that resort doesn't offer opportunities or activities for kids. Timeshare termination can also happen because you recently separated or went through a divorce and no longer want to visit the same place you visited with your former spouse.
  • Medical Issues
    When you learn that you have a serious medical issue, you may want to stay home and care for yourself rather than travel to another part of the country. The same thing is true when your spouse receives a diagnosis of a serious medical condition. Caring for your loved one is more important than taking a vacation. Medical conditions can also limit the amount of money that you have to spend on your travels too. You'll need to pay for hospital visits and medications and won't have the money to fly to your timeshare resort.
  • Loss of Income
    Another reason why you might want to sell your timeshare is that you lose your job, take on a new job or have your hours cut back at work. As you make less money, you need to prioritize how you spend money. Paying for a timeshare and a luxury vacation will take a backseat to paying your mortgage and putting food on the table. 
Depending on the contract that you signed, timeshare termination can be easy or it can be really hard. Thankfully there are experts who can help you terminate your contract or find a buyer willing to take over your timeshare.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Is it Too Early for a Fire?

I know summer isn't quite finished, but I've been seeing signs of fall all over the place. Suddenly the leaves on the trees are starting to turn yellow and red and even falling to the ground. It won't be long until they're all brilliant and gorgeous like this picture from last year. Mornings are cool, and I need to wear a long sleeved shirt when I go for my morning walks.

It seems like it happened overnight. One day it was summer and the next fall had arrived. (Let's just ignore the fact that the temperature is supposed to be in the 80s by the weekend)

These cool evenings have me pulling out the cozy flannel pants and wondering if it's too early for a fire in the fireplace.  Our fireplace isn't really a source of heat, but it's just enjoyable to have a fire going. We enjoy a fire many evenings when the weather turns cool. Since it's a gas fireplace, it's fairly easy to get a fire going, and put it out at the end of the night.
Dec 21
When I was growing up we heated our house with a wood stove, and I use that term 'heated' very loosely because we really only tried to heat a couple rooms in the house while the rest of the house was closed off and very cold at times. I still appreciate being able to get warm when I go to bed at night and not waking up with snow on my pillow some mornings. But we did survive, and I guess we have memories and stories to tell because of it.

I did not have much responsibility for the fire except for carrying in wood quite often after school. The boys may have played with the fire a bit more. Isn't that a guy thing? I remember one time us kids were home alone and the chimney behind the stove started getting hot, and the cover in the next room started turning black. We were terrified that the house was going to burn down and ended up calling the fire department. Everything turned out fine, but it was very scary. I think it was something as simple as the damper on the stove not being closed so all the heat from the stove was going up the chimney instead of staying in the stove where it belonged. I know it could have been a lot worse.

I've been reading about how birds' nests and other debris like weeds, twigs, and grass can accumulate in a chimney during the summer when the fireplace or wood stove isn't being used, meaning that the first fire of the season could inadvertently spark a blaze that could spread to the rooftop. It sounds like it's not a bad idea to hire a DC chimney sweep, or general handyman to inspect and clean the chimney and roof before that first fire of the season.

Unless you want to climb up there yourself, which isn't exactly the best idea because it can be nearly impossible for the typical homeowner to figure out how to sweep out the chimney.  It also takes special equipment long enough to reach past the stack at the very top and vacuum hoses that can extend far enough down the chute to reach everything embedded inside. Professional sweeps come to your home with all of this equipment on hand and ready to use.  Before they get started, they inspect the chimney to make sure live creatures like squirrels or raccoons are removed safely.  They can then start removing nests, grass, weeds, and other debris from inside the chimney.

I don't think we ever had any such thing done to our old farmhouse in the country. Thankfully, we survived to tell the stories anyway.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

First Days

I had a memory pop up on Facebook this morning - some pictures I'd scanned in a while back. There was a really cute one of my precious daughter Beth. It was kind of weird to realize that she was not that much older in that picture than her son is now. How did that happen?

And that's when I thought it would be fun to put some pictures side by side. Jason started first grade this week. What if I put his first day of first grade picture next to his mom's first day picture?

Aren't they cute?

Here's what my baby girl looks like today (with a brand new first grader of her own):

I think we're pretty blessed to have both of them. <3

Friday, August 25, 2017

Wellness Tips for Great Health

Many people want to get healthy, but then they engage in behaviors that are diametrically opposed to the realization of that goal. If you realize that getting healthy takes work and are ready to put in the required effort, here are some tips for you. Utilize some or all of the information found here to make great health yours:
  1. Stop Watching Television And Become More Active.
    Research studies have indicated that people who watch more than three hours of TV may be compromising their brain health. As indicated in a LiveScience article, one study found that individuals who watched a lot of television performed more poorly on cognitive tests than those who didn't. Thus to promote not only your physical health but also your brain health, put that remote control down and become more physically active. You'll reap a wide range of brain benefits when you engage in exercise, some of which include improved memory and enhanced cognitive function.
    Some of the other great benefits of exercise include:
      • increased pulmonary ventilation
      • increased cardiac output 
      • increased respiratory capacity
      • improved body composition
      • increased aerobic capacity
    Note that the ideal exercise routine will include stretching, cardiovascular activity, and weight-bearing exercise. Also keep in mind that if you don't like lifting weights, you can do resistance exercises using your own body weight. If you haven't exercised in a long time, it is a good idea to speak with a physician like one of the professionals at Cypress Family Medicine before you begin.
  2. Get Off The Standard American Diet (SAD) Right Now. junk food
    If you eat like most Americans, know that your food habits are not conducive to optimal health. In fact, the SAD is chock full of harmful processed goods and sodium-rich items that can take a toll on your heart and weight. To really eat in a manner that is conducive to wellness, be sure to incorporate more leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale into your diet. Also consume a wide range of delicious fruits such as apples, bananas, pears, cherries, and peaches. Finally, make a point to educate yourself about nutrition. For example, note that vitamins perform specific physiological functions that enhance your level of well-being. Vitamin E is responsible for protecting blood cells and fatty acids from destruction within your body. You can obtain vitamin E through foods such as nuts and green leafy vegetables.

So, basically - get off your butt, get moving, and stop eating all that junk food!

Turning the television off, exercising regularly, and abandoning the traditional American diet are three keys to attaining optimal health. Make these lifestyle changes immediately so you can begin to thrive inside! I promise it will all be worth it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Best Storage Option

2012_212X_11I thought it was awesome when my Dad bought a boat. What I didn’t realize was that he would have nowhere to park it.  So it sat and sat until it killed some grass.  The thing also got covered with leaves in the fall.  Then he decided that it needed a place to live permanently.  So we did some research into how he could store it.

Self Storage
The first idea we investigated was a self-storage unit, but those are really expensive.  Plus you don’t have ready access to your boat. Say it's a nice day, and Dad wants to go out on the lake and take my kids with him. That’s a win-win for me, but first he has to go and pick the boat up at the storage place, and by then the kids are cranky and tired of waiting.  Paying a monthly fee for someone to keep your boat locked up just doesn’t make sense.

New Garage
Then we looked into building onto his house.  This was his idea not mine. I already knew I couldn’t afford it, and I doubted that he could. Sure enough, the quotes he got for building a new garage were over $20,000.  He could buy another boat for that! What’s more, there would be a lot of turmoil during the process. A foundation would have to be dug. Heavy equipment would run all over the yard.  I saw that happen with a renovation a few years ago at a neighbor’s house. In the end, they spent another $1,000 just to reseed and replant their yard.   

Free-standing Carport
So then we looked into getting a free-standing carport.  I was surprised that a metal carport was such an affordable option.  It wouldn’t disturb the yard or require much in the way of installation.  Sure enough, Dad went for it.  The new carport was installed quickly. Mom was happy because it was a no-mess, no-fuss solution. Dad was very happy because it cost a tiny fraction of what a garage would have cost, and it protects his boat. This seems like a good option for cars and campers, too. You protect your investment from the worst of the weather, but you don't spend a fortune doing it.

Disclaimer: This is a guest post. My dad did not buy a boat, though it would be cool if he did. He did build a carport, though.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Because I Have So Much Free Time

When I first started blogging, I used Photobucket to host a lot of my images. Thinking about it now, I'm not sure why. I've used Blogger for ages, and I can just use Google for all the images I need for my blog. They even make it super easy to add photos from my phone - which happen to be pretty much the only pictures I seem to take these days. (see example 'eclipse' photo on the right)

And now, after all this time, Photobucket has decided to change things (read: they want money) so that I can no longer use my Photobucket images on my blog - not only all images going forward, which would be OK since I haven't actually used them to host any blog images in ages (did I mention how easy it is to use Google?) - but every single image that I have ever used. So, everywhere that I have an image I hosted on Photobucket (and included in my post with code provided by Photobucket), I now have this super ugly graphic telling me that I need to upgrade my account. Oh Yay.

So now I have to go back through every post looking for those ugly graphics, figure out what image was supposed to be there, and then get them downloaded from there and re-uploaded (to Blogger and Google), and then fix the code so that the images display properly. Because, of course, I have nothing else to do with my life...

Thanks, Photobucket. I love you too. (jerks)

And, yes, if I wasn't such a perfectionist, I'd just let it go. They're all old posts anyway. Except for those things in the sidebar - what were those, anyway? And the background on my recipe blog. That is the final straw! (or was - got that one fixed at least)