Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Buffer Zone

... it's shrinking.

Crappy photo, taken with my phone

A few years ago, Tallulah was not allowed within 6 feet of Himself.  Lately, he's been allowing her closer and closer.  I'm pretty sure that it was Winter who lay down close to Tallulah this time.

That's not to say that when he fell asleep a few minutes later and then woke up to realize the poodle was touching him, there wasn't hissing involved.  Progress takes time around here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Things have been busy for me, like just about everybody else I know.  I have a list of things that I need to get done, and have been chipping away at them for a few weeks.  On Sunday, I cleaned my deep freeze (ie- defrosted all the ice buildup), organized the contents and then put everything back.

I realized today that I forgot to plug the freezer back in when I was done.

Oops.  Next item to add to the list - throw out contents of freezer.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Basement prep

The push is on to make all my decisions for the basement now.  I've hired a contractor, and when he's ready to start work, I want all the decisions to be made.

Keeping in mind my allergies and the likelihood that the basement might flood, I've considered everything but carpet for the floors... cork, laminate, vinyl... but ultimately decided on tiles.  They will be cold, but I'll plan to put down area rugs near my desk (and around the sofa when I finish furnishing the place).

My first choice, if I didn't have to worry about cold floors, would be to have a beige and cream checkboard floor.  I love that idea, but am worried it'd be too busy with everything else I plan (like area rugs).  Ditto if I used accent tiles, borders and/or a more complex layout of tiles.

Budget also comes into play here - I need to do this as cheaply as I can and still do it right - so heated floors aren't an option.  It'll be tile floors for their durability, and area rugs to warm/spice them up.

After visiting no less than 6 tile shops, I think I found the winner yesterday.
(Please don't judge me by the poor state of my baseboards.)

It's 13"x13" and costs $2.69 each.  Similar tile, found at another store, was 10"x13" and cost $3.79.  I liked the idea of the rectangle, but don't think it's worth another dollar a tile.

Question - does it go with the baseboard colour?  At first, it didn't seem to go at all, but the more I looked at it, the more I thought it might.  If I decide it doesn't go, I would have to decide between using a different trim colour in the basement or finding something new for the floor.  

I've already decided on a colour scheme for the walls, so I'm not sure which option I like less.

For that, as strange as it may seem, my colour scheme was based on a candy.  When I was in Las Vegas, I went to the M&M store, and got raspberry M&Ms.  After I got home, I was eating some and I realized I really liked that mix of colours together.

So, the walls will be a light cream colour - called Linen.   Area rugs will also be fairly light.  The couch will be red, chair and accents will mostly be a dark purple, with a few highlights in pink.  I scrounged around the house to find things in these colours and it'll look something like this:

I probably should have kept some of the M&Ms

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Space Saver

When I was in Italy, I saw something that I loved.  It's not Italian, necessarily, but I thought it was smart.  Over there, kitchens (homes) are smaller, and they don't have the room to store stuff on the counter.  I have had a knife block for years, but I thought it made a lot more sense to store knives on the wall with a metallic strip.

For about a year, I gave up almost a quarter of my counter space to a knife block and a bunch of glass jars that held whole grains.  I shifted things around in the pantry last weekend, and moved the jars in there.  Today, I put up a metallic knife strip on the wall.   I think it'll work out well.

I have some knives waiting to be cleaned that aren't there. When they are all in place it's a tight fit, so I stored three heavy duty knives (which I rarely if ever use) in safety sleeves in drawers.

Check out that counter space it freed up - the knife block and the jars used to fill most of that whole corner.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Tallulah Belle Poodle has always been very thin.  She's not skinny by any means, but she's a very healthy slim dog.

This year, the groomer and I have opted not to cut her hair, other than cleaning up around her face and feet to keep her looking smart.  She goes in to get bathed and combed out once a month, but there are no plans to cut her short until spring finally arrives.

Today, she was accused to being fat.

In case you were curious, this is fine specimen of a dog.  She's floofy, not fat.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Follow-up Calls

A friend of mine recently landed herself a job as a manager in the cosmetic department of a store that likes to think of itself as the place to go for high-end cosmetics, creams and so-forth.  This store has been the recipient of many complaints about their service in the past, and so is now trying very hard to turn things around.

She was telling me that one of the hardest parts of her jobs is the required callbacks.  You see, when people buy cosmetics, the salespeople are supposed to get the customer's phone number.  A few days after the sale, the salespeople are supposed to phone to thank the customer for choosing to make the purchase from them.  Then, a few weeks later, they are supposed to call again to inquire how the purchase is working out.    And then - Baby Jesus of Bethlehem - they are supposed to call again in a few months to remind the customer that their product is running low and should be replenished.... you know, because one can't see that the bottle is getting empty.


I suggested that, as one of her first actions as manager, she put a stop to this practice.  Personally, if I got three phone calls from a store because I bought foundation from them, I wouldn't step foot in the store again.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Free Time

I had some time at work that I had to use up by the end of March or lose it, so I made plans to go visit my sister and her boys in Kelowna this week.  Then a winter storm hit Alberta, and there was an avalanche on the road through BC that I would have been driving. I chickened out of the drive, and since Tallulah was going to come with me, buses and planes are out too.  I know it was probably the smart decision, but now I'm at home for a week with nothing to do.

I could clean the house, organize the garage, or do all sorts of things I'd rather not do, but so far none of that has called my name.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Today the Boy and I went couch shopping for his new apartment.  His lease is up next month, so he just signed a year lease at a much improved location. When he moves, his old furniture will be given away.

He wanted a black sectional.  I didn't.  I said I thought they are too masculine looking.  Then I saw a red sofa I liked and said I thought it'd be good to have a bright colour like that.    He bought a red sectional.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Dollar Store Crafts

I had an idea a few months back, to make a sign that I wanted to hang on the wall.  I managed to find all of the materials that I thought I'd need at a dollar store, so I was feeling pretty good about myself... until I tried to do it.

I started with a canvas, which I painted brown.  Then I tried to stencil a saying on it, but had trouble with the spacing and some leakage.  So, I painted the whole thing brown again and mulled it over for a while.

Last night, we had some time to kill before the movie started (Identity Theft - laugh out loud funny!) so we wandered another dollar store.  There, I found a package of letter stickers for $1.50.

After the movie, I used the stickers to write out the saying, and then I used a dollar store paint and brush to paint over the stickers.  I gave it a few minutes to think about drying and then peeled off the stickers.

It's not exactly fine art (I doubt I'll put it on the wall), but for $5 and ten minutes worth of work, I don't think it's half bad.