Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First Tech Support Guy

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dining Room

This is our dining room. Notice I didn't even PRETEND to TRY to pick up for the pictures. We keeps it real 'round here.

This is my new dry bar. I'm pretty sure that it's gray, not black, as I thought in the shop, given that the tag said it was black and the lighting was poor.
I'm also pretty sure that I want to paint it black, but I want to hear what you think, too, Internet. What say you? Also, keep the hardware, or replace with brushed nickel? It's from an antique store, but I don't think it's a real antique, so I'm pretty sure there's no actual monetary value to the current hardware.
Also, cute kid.
The table and chairs are also new. We bought them on craigslist. We're going to resell the table when the Husband finishes the one he made us. The chairs have already been colored on with orange marker. I haven't even bothered to try to wash it out yet. We believe in artistic expression 'round here, too.

So, vote below: to paint or not to paint? That is the first question. Then weigh in on the hardware. Pretty please.

CFLs versus Incandescents

Being the good greenies that we try to be, we have, by now, replaced every single incandescent bulb in our house with a CFL (except for appliances). But I'm noticing a disturbing trend, and I'm not the first to cite it: My CFLs are burning out at the same rate that my incandescents did!

Apparently, the problem is with our well-ingrained and well-meaning habit of turning off lights when we leave a room. The constant on/off wears down CFLs faster than just leaving them on for long lengths of time. Make no mistake, it's not the leaving on of the light that lengthens their lives. It's the lack of switching from on to off and back again. And I can't find any hard data in about 20 minutes of googling on how long is long enough to be gone from a room before the benefit is worth turning the light off: two minutes? five minutes? 30? I don't have an answer.

And how much does this reductions extend the life of the bulb? Are we talking an extra year? An extra couple of hours? There seems to be no way to know.

I've also heard/read that older light fixtures, such as are found in older homes like my own, are not entirely compatible with CFLs and thus result in a shorter life expectancy.

Does the brand matter? Popular Mechanics seems to think so.

Personally, I'm a big LED fan and can't wait until LED production is mainstreamed and I can replace all my CFLs with LEDs.

What do you think? What's been your experience with CFLs? Any tips on maximizing their performance?

Monday, May 11, 2009


Last Monday was one of the best days of my life. I feel mildly guilty saying that, like it has something directly to do with the fact that the Papoose wasn't with me. It does. And it doesn't. It's not so much an absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder thing. I couldn't get any fonder of anyone. "Fond" is, in fact, a ridiculous way to speak of your child. It's a balance thing. A wholeness. Reclaiming some of my life.

I am tempted to suggest that it's akin to when I started my PPD treatment. My overwhelming emotion then (well, one of them) was that I should have done it so much sooner. But putting the Papoose in day care was not like that. I did it at the perfect time. She went when she was ready.

I had truly forgotten that a bathroom could be cleaned so quickly without a toddler's "help." What usually took me a week (no joke) took about 15 minutes. I spent all of last Monday in a flurry of productivity. I have slowed down to a more sensible and sustainable pace since then, but Balance is the feeling I keep coming back to. It's pretty awesome.

My two days of Balance, while she was at day care, were followed my one of our best days together ever. We went to the zoo on a semi-rainy day and it was nearly empty, so I let her out of her stroller and she quite literally had the run of the place. She loves the cows, but is inexplicably scared of goats. She also loves the meercats, and is quite sensibly scared of the tigers. By the time we got to the giraffes and elephants she was exhausted and let me know by pointedly saying, "Bye-BYE, giraffe!"

That day was followed by one of our worst ever. All I can say is that I was in tears before it was even 8:00 am and that I don't know what happened. The clinging, the hanging, the was all just too much; I couldn't take it. I haven't felt that way since before my PPD meds, but it seems to have been a fluke, so I don't know what to make of it. I feel fine again now.

In completely unrelated news, the Husband has MRSA, which, frankly, sucks. He feels like a leper and I'm doing unending laundry and imagining our skyrocketing utility bills with all the hot water we're using. It's in his leg and he has a followup appointment tomorrow, so we'll see if there's any news. For now, he's being medicated within an inch of his life with antibiotics.

I have no way to wrap up such an all-over-the-place post except with promises of future pictures. I've got all kinds of projects in the pipeline now that I have some time to get things done. Two sewing projects coming up next post...

Monday, May 04, 2009


  • "The kit-uhn-us [kittens] are drinking their milk" (while looking at a picture of just that). Okay, brilliant though my child may be, I don't necessarily think she's mastered the participle, so let's presume that my brain filled in some of those words without me realizing it, but I swear that's exactly what I heard.
  • "No way!" All the time. Especially during tantrums. Ask Scarlet.
  • "Yiyi" [Lily]
  • "Get down"means both "I want to get down" and "I want to get up."
  • "Mum-mum" still is in vogue for food.
  • "gi-gi" (with a /g/ like in "giggle") means tv.
  • "My cell!" while pointing at her toy cell phone tonight before bed. Last night she insisted on going to bed with that thing. I immediately called Mr. Ouiser and warned him that I suspected our daughters were planning to try to sneak out that night. He confronted S and she admitted it was true. I think she's grounded now.