Thursday, July 8, 2010

Haiku Friday: Japanese Beetles

Little beast with shell,
Munching, crunching, destroying,
"Leaf"ing a lace path.

Smiles in my day:
- Library group was an animal guy and the kids loved it! It was so packed that we had to park at Walgreen's next door!
- K- did a great job writing her library book reports. She did a great job reading today.
- Hubs found K- a soccer goal at a local discount store. In the 93 degree heat, they were out having themselves a lovely game.

Haiku Friday

Why not have some fun on Fridays? I've decided to start Haiku Friday. I've never written one in my life or at least my adult life.

Wanna join? A Linky (or whatever it is called) will be up at midnight. Only original haiku's please. Don't want anyone getting mad.

Second post for the day. Read on.

Price check on aisle 2.

This past weekend, we were on our way back up from the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus. We stopped in some miscellaneous town to pick up a few odds and ends from their Super Wal. While we shopped, I found a display of full-sized Mitre soccer balls (yes, football to the folks elsewhere) marked to $5.00 each. Hubs accidentally over-inflated (exploded) K-'s soccer ball at Christmas when he was trying out the new air compressor that our lovely neighbor bought him. $5.00 was the perfect price for a daddy-oops replacement.

We went to the register and I was emptying the basket. Hubs went back to replace the box of plastic forks that exploded and asked when he came back what the soccer ball rang to. I hadn't paid attention, but told him that I was going to have the cashier check it after she was finished.

As she was ringing, the box of forks rang up to $2.50. They were on a big middle aisle display with a large sign above them saying $1.12. When I mentioned the price difference to the cashier, she huffed at me. (I was very polite.) She did change the price with a little extra attitude tossed in for fun.

At the end, our bill was markedly higher than we expected. Why was that? Because the soccer ball rang up at $18.86.

"I'm sorry Ma'am, but that soccer ball was supposed to be $5.00."

"Well I can't change THAT for you!"

"Oh, I don't expect that you could. That seems like more money than you can fix."

"Do you want me to take it off then?"

"Um, I'd really like it for $5.00."

(Insert look with eyes crossed.)

"Is there anyway you could do a price check?"

"No, I can't!"

"Is there anyone who could?"

So, she did some code thingy that called some miscellaneous person from the back halls somewhere who was just as enthusiastic about a price check as she was. After Hubs gave her specific directions as to where the ball was, it took her about 10 minutes to return.

Guess what? We were right. (I knew we were.) I apologized to the lady in line behind me (she came later in the ringing portion.) I told her, "Ma'am, I'm sorry but a $13.00 difference was just too much." She told me that she didn't blame me.

The cashier? She apologized for the price problem.

It's all good and now we have a new red soccer ball living at our house.

What irritates me, is that under or over ringing is against the law. Weights and Measures comes in on a periodic basis to check for scanning errors. If the price that it rings is not correct, it counts against you. (Over or under.) I worked at a grocery in high school and for the first few years of college. Their ringing was so off that Weights and Measures actually took their scanning rights away. (As a result, I can now run an adding machine probably faster than anyone I know.)

So, how are you with overcharges? Do you check your receipt before you get out to the car? There are plenty of overcharges out there. Believe me, I've stood in my fair share of customer service lines to get my money back.

An aside: How do you pronounce "Mitre?" I always thought it was "mit-er," but now I think that it could be "mit-ree." Help!

Smiles in my day:
- Though sad that our two days of play dates have been canceled due to stomach virus (the friend) and storms coming, it gives me two days of painting that I didn't have before.
- The animal guy is at the library tomorrow.
- Hubs' binoculars were returned from the Alaskan trip just fine. His boss insisted he was going to borrow them and they are nice binoculars that Hubs bought. They aren't 1000.00, but they are still very nice. Hubs was afraid that after seeing his boss' binoculars, his would come back trashed. He did take care of them and that made us very happy. He also brought us back some Musk Ox fur. Gee, well, I would have been good with skipping the fur.
- A/C when it is in the mid-90's.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Arbor Day Foundation is certainly not smiling.

Our Wilson neighbor (as in the neighbor over the fence, but making a Home Improvement reference) came over last night to give us the scoop about taking 7 Locust trees down that are along or on the fence line. He wants to replace the fence (Glory Hallelujah!) and one of the trees was so bad that it broke the fence. It was only holding together by work that Hubs had done and continued to maintain. Goodness knows that the fence guy (real name Brian) wasn't doing anything about it.

Sunshiny and hot as it was, at 7:30 this morning, bucket truck on site, trees started coming down.

At 9:30 AM, Hubs called me on my cell. I was on my way to work. He was so upset. The lady with the lot directly behind us chose to have her big, beautiful and extremely healthy King Crimson cut down.


Our back yard is now completely bathed in sun. It isn't until 3:00 - 4:00 PM that the sun is far enough over that the house casts a shadow over the swing set. At least the trees off to the side gave us a place to have Spike (the resident very large Green Iguana) spend time and not turn into a shrivel of a lizard handbag.

Thank goodness I filled the back beds with dry weather loving perennials.

So, now that all of those trees are gone, my butterfly gardens will be intensely impacted. My butterflies flitted in and out of the trees, on over to the goodies I had waiting for them, then off and on to another tree.

Now, it should be said that Brian did retain the big trees in his yard. The trees that he took out were only those completely necessary, he apologized profusely and they were Locust trees. Those are the weed equivalent to trees. He does still have fairly large Maples.

The King Crimson? Well, what is funny about that story (not funny at all, but hear me as my heart sobs) is that the lady had such bad plumbing issues this past spring, that she had to have her entire front yard dug up. The front yard hasn't been leveled since and I believe that the source of her plumbing issues may be the other King Crimson in front of her house. That one she decided to keep. It was the one off to the side of the double lot that she had that was bothering no one and nothing that she had taken out.


So, now I have the lady at the 666 house with the dogs (affectionately known as the Hounds from Hell since they bark incessantly when left outside) who has a straight shot view from her back windows into the back yard and on into my back windows. That would be my studio window (no big thing) and my bedroom window (a potentially big thing.)

Yes, I have a blind.

A bonus to her story and the binoculars that I'm certain that she probably has, is that her Hounds from Hell would seek shelter from the sun under the shade of the King Crimson. Now she has a big blue tarp strung along the front of her dog corral.

Can I tell you how completely attractive that is? No, we don't have some type of neighborhood by-law's to prohibit such ugliness.

Oh, and apparently the owner of the Hounds from Hell had a tree taken out, too.

Are you keeping count? So far, fence guy took out 7. Double lot lady with the non-ailing King Crimson took out one very large tree and Hounds from Hell nosy neighbor took out one. That makes 9 right?


Last week the tree crew spent a couple of days 6 houses down on the other side of the street (yes, the same block), removing 2 overly large White Pines. The gentleman who lived in the home has since passed and I believe that the family is trying to sell the house. In need of renovation inside and out, the two towering White Pines were taken out probably to open up the property. Those were necessary. They were planted far too close to the house, were probably a couple of stories tall and made the house look like a Hot Wheel car was sitting next to them.

Now we're up to 11, right?


Add one more to your count. After the 2 White Pines met the chipper of death, 1 house 4 houses down and on the same block took out a traditional pine. There are two traditional pines in their front yard and they completely blocked the house from the street. Considering that our front yards aren't all that large, they were ridiculously large for the space. I believe that it was now considered a security concern (someone could easily hide in there and no one would ever know), so one was taken out. I understand it, but still . . .

Our block's tree death toll for 1 week? 12 trees. We're just a standard city block with standard city lots. That's a whole lot of tree death going on.

We're in mourning.

Roger Cook? Do you need a project for Ask This Old House? If you would be wonderful enough to bring a big ole tree to my house and plant it in my back yard to make up for the tree destruction that my neighborhood has wreaked over the last week, I'll bake you some rockin' brownies and make you a really great dinner! I promise!

Smiles in my day:
- That after all of these years, the man of my life still finds me to be "one hot mama." (His words, not mine.) It makes me giggle, that man of mine.
- I came home after my school board meeting and found K- downstairs organizing her toys in the play area. I should say that she had it a complete disaster and as a result, I took all of her flipped toys and put them into a giant pile in the middle of her area. She was absolutely horrified. I told her that they needed to be tidied and put away properly before she could watch TV again. She's found toys she's forgotten about and is now determined to keep a clean play area. I told her that the yard sale is coming and there are lots of children out there who would love some great toys to play with. She took me completely seriously and that is a very good thing. I helped her start, but she's on the way to getting it all turned around now. Hooray!

Have a shady, tree-filled day!

To find more information out about the Arbor Day Foundation, click here.

Hubs said that in the fall, we'll be buying a more mature Sweet Gum (I know, Sissy-- the Sweet Gum fruits can be a killer, but we love the tree!) and lovingly planting it in our back yard. We can't make up for the 12 trees that the neighborhood has taken out, but we'll do what we can.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tales from the Trenches: The thirsty walls.

This weekend, I began the kitchen repaint. We're not calling it remodeling, as we aren't replacing anything major. I'll be painting the ceiling, walls and cabinets.

I should have probably started on the ceiling first, but I was dying to see color on the walls, so I started with priming them.

In the photos they look pink.

I am not painting the kitchen pink.

What I was painting the kitchen was called La Fonda Deep Clay Red. On Friday, I started having a heart attack. That dark of a terra cotta with Chocolate Cherry cabinets will be too much dark in my 12 x 16 kitchen. I decided to go back and buy La Fonda Terra Cotta. It is a couple shades darker than our living room, but a couple of shades lighter than the Clay Red. I still used the primer that I bought for the darker color because I figured it didn't matter.

Thank God I primed the walls, though. Geeze! The walls have never been properly painted, thus they are drinking the paint in like a sponge. I had to go back to Lowe's today to get another can. The paint guy recognized me from Saturday. We're becoming like old friends! ;S

So, I sit here now very tired. I washed the walls on Friday and started to prime the walls. Hubs had some drywall finishing to do (spackling), he sanded the walls and I re-washed the walls before getting back to priming them.

I know. I should have waited, but I just couldn't wait anymore. That's why I started painting on Friday evening at about 6:30 PM. Hubs thought I was nuts.

Below I have before and during photos for you. Just for your enjoyment, I thought I would include the wall wash recipe that I've been using, too.

Wall Wash
1 cup baking soda
1 cup vinegar
1/2 cup ammonia (I used sudsy lemon)
1 gallon water

Start at the bottom and work to the top with a damp-- not wet-- sponge.

That would be the backside of Hubs. He was sanding the remaining part of the wall before taking off to go fishing with K- today.

I'm scrubbing the walls all with the power of my 1 Diet Coke a day.

I'm sure that the back door is filthy. I wash it a few times a week. My mom tells me to be glad that I have the hand prints. Believe me, I am.

My garden window had become the kitchen tool keeping station. Well, that and the kitchen table in the middle of the floor.

My in-process priming. My disgustingly ugly kitchen floor. It has always been rather gross looking and when we bought the house, Hubs made me promise not to strip it. (Our bathroom took me 4 hours to strip the years of Mop N' Glo off the floor.) Turns out, Hubs will be installing a new floor in our kitchen, living room and down our hall in September. Happy Vacation, Hubs! (Berkshire Cherry 30 year Pergo.)

Fully primed walls. Now I'm going to roll backwards and paint the ceiling. I swear, I couldn't take a day longer of no color!

Smiles in my weekend:
- Many!

Have a great day!