Moving and Associated Suckage

In CategoryAdventure

So we were able to get the key to the new house on Friday instead of Monday, which THANK GOODNESS, because the amount of work that has to be done is absolutely breathtaking.

Jim took Friday afternoon off so we could head over and start cleaning. Again, THANK GOODNESS, because that house was so filthy it was almost unsanitary. As in, I had to go buy a special brush to de-gunk the stove knobs because my regular kitchen sponge didn’t make a dent in the grease build-up, even after a good long soak in vinegar and dish soap.

I went to WalMart armed with a list of Pinterest’s make-it-yourself cleaning solution recipes, and attacked the grime with enthusiasm.

Well. I was enthusiastic about trying all these Pinterest recipes, anyway.

First up: Cleaning the dishwasher with a vinegar wash, then a baking soda wash. This worked great! The dishwasher is sparkling, and it smells fresh. I could tell it made a difference because I had a bowl in the top rack and a bunch of crap had collected in it by the time all the washing cycles were finished.

Second: Cleaning the washing machine. No sweat. This technique also worked great, and I was super proud of my accomplishment. I was just finishing up wiping the lid and all the outside surfaces when it occurred to me to see if I could pry off the top of the agitator thingamajig and clean in there.

Oh. My. Gosh.

You don’t even want to know. I regret bitterly not taking a picture, because you would not believe how disgusting it was in there. Jim and I had to find a wire coat hanger and SCRAPE off the gunk poo nastiness WHATEVER the heck that was. It took like an hour, I’m not even kidding.

Go pry the lid off your agitator and report back. Srsly.

Third: Soap scum on the shower and tubs. This recipe was AMAZING. I followed it to the T, even buying the dishwashing sponge thingy recommended. All the tubs and showers are now sparkling, and it was cheap and non-toxic. Win!

Speaking of cleaning the showers, I conned the kids into helping me. At one point Big complained that he was bored and that he didn’t know cleaning was so much work.


Now he’s going to be doing a whole lot more cleaning, I can tell you that right now. People need to get an appreciation of what Mom does around here, you feel me?

I have not yet tried the floor washing formula, but I have great hopes.

I shall report back.

(Don’t forget to check under your agitator.)

Here, have a palate-cleansing ocean picture:


Speaking of Moving

In CategoryNavel Gazing


Construction Geek Pet Peeve and Related Complaining

After being house-less for 16 months, I am practically vibrating with plans for decorating the new house. 

Soon you will be inundated with all sorts of posts where I wax poetic about being reunited with my stuff. I can practically see the eyerolling from here, “yes, Deb, that is a truly wonderful skillet, now shut UP already. Don’t you need to homeschool math or something?”

Naturally, all this nesting instinct has necessitated many hours on Pinterest, where I have been pinning ideas like crazy, whether they are relevant to me or not. This one, called “Storage Between the Studs” or something, and which I have seen in various, um, variations, is slightly annoying:


Listen up, people. That thing is lovely and practical and very nice and all, but you can’t just go hacking into your walls all willy nilly and create that. Studs are 16″ from center to center. That means that there is around 14 1/2″ between two studs. This china cabinet is clearly wider than 14″ (and it looks to me like it’s deeper than 4″, but that’s another conversation).

That’s not to say a recessed cabinet couldn’t be created, but if you are going to remove studs, please make sure you are not hacking up a load-bearing wall, otherwise you are going to need a header above the opening. You know. To hold up your roof and stuff. And probably making any structural changes to your house requires a permit. Furthermore, if you DO hack open your walls (and miraculously miss any plumbing or wiring), the back side of your opening is going to be sheetrock, and that will have to be beefed up too (which they did in the picture, I’m just saying).

I suggest a carpenter.

There you go. Snarky, condescending, remodeling advice: Just another service I offer.

Fashion Wrap Up

In CategoryNavel Gazing

We watched part of The Grammy Awards on Sunday night.

Here’s the thing. All these people have stylists, and have been refining their Grammy outfits for probably weeks.

They are all styled to within an inch of their lives, a realization that heightened the ridiculousness when I, erm, realized it.


Johhny Depp

Okay. We’ve got the scarf and the three necklaces and the moody blue glasses, and I really love the random coin things on the chain on your belt loop, but we’ve GOT to come to a decision on the hanky in your pocket. Blue? Really? Is that gangsta enough? I don’t know….


The Guy with the Two Hats

Frank Ocean looks unsure of himself because he forgot to wear two hats and now he feels stupid.


Banana Yellow Suit

So we’ve nailed down banana yellow for your suit, but something’s missing…something…
what else….we need…HEADBAND!


LL Cool J 2

Lookit. Ladies Love Cool James and I’m one of them, but please, I’m begging you,

Ooh, or, OR! just take your shirt off and then I won’t notice.


Tattoo Guy

Whatever the hell this is.

I didn’t understand Jack White at all, his music or anything else. He had an all-girl band wearing long, sparkly, sister-wife-ish dresses and playing the rock & roll version of RiverDance. And he wore an old Elvis costume with jeweled peacock feathers. I regret bitterly not being able to find a picture.

I don’t have anything bad to say about Justin Timberlake. He’s pretty and he brought sexy back.

photo credits

Random Monday – Whiny Edition

In CategoryRandom Monday


• We are moving one week from today.

I am finding this stressful. All day, every day, little thoughts ping around in my head – “don’t forget to file the taxes” “don’t forget the intent to homeschool letter” “get the mail forwarded” “don’t spend any money!”

It’s exhausting.

• My mother-in-law decided that the week before we are going to move and while we are in cramped temporary housing trying to organize the aforementioned move would be a good time to visit.

I could write a whole, long, whiny post about the last 4 days. A LONG post. But I won’t. Because Jim.

(see that? don’t say I never did nothing for you, sweetie)

• I discovered Craig’s List. I’ve never bought anything on Craig’s List before and I have clearly been missing out. There’s a TON of stuff out there! It’s all very exciting, because we need to furnish a house on like, four dollars. I am waiting for a guy to call me back about a gorgeous, mid-century, solid pecan bed frame for Big right now.

• Speaking of bed frames, I have a plan to make my own king-sized bed frame for Jim and I. I drew a sketch and everything. I vacillate between thinking it will be cool and envy-inducing, and thinking it will be 900 pounds and hideous. Who know? It’s all an adventure at my house, people.

• I am a chronic DIYer. I can’t help myself. In our last house (which was built in 1979), we had a GIANT brick fireplace. It was eleven feet wide and over six feet tall. It was an eyesore. A big, giant, eyesore. Jim wouldn’t let me paint it, because he did not understand that painted brick would have been WAY LESS UGLY than that behemoth.

Jim won that one. Make a note.

I got this idea that at least we could shorten it a little, and put a new wooden mantel on the top.

So one weekend, we got some hammers and drop cloths and started chipping away at the bricks. We chipped and chipped and chipped… everything was going along just fine until we chipped one more row off and suddenly we could see the backyard from inside the house.

Home renovation!

• Happy Monday, y’all! Link up your own Randomness below! Feel free to whine!