Monthly Archives: January 2012

Separate but Equal on the Bus Works for Me

school bus made of LegosSometime separate but equal works. For example, our house is located between two school bus stops that are part of separate routes. My boys have decided to take different buses and that’s just fine with me. No more tales or whining about what goofy/stupid/embarrassing things the other boy was during on the ride to or from school and they both get delivered where they need to go.

When the weather warms, perhaps they will walk. Not sure how we’re going to split them up for that.

photo credit: Bill Ward’s Brickpile via photopin cc

Waste Water Wednesday: The Meme that Just Won’t Quit

kohler square toilet

The toilet DH wishes we got at the Kohler store.

Sure it’s the least popular meme on the internets, but Waste Water Wednesday is back. This week we’re getting serious. Which is to say I’m taking a break from my first world struggles with plumbing and such (my gosh, I had no idea how much chrome I’d be cleaning in the master bath!) to provide a peek into some very serious toilet issues (hint: lack of them) in developing nations.

Give a listen to this Latitudes special that played earlier this week on WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio. The story starts around the 32 minute mark. For the feminists in my audience, take note of the fact that lack of access to toilets prevents girls from going to school. It’s not just a hygiene-for-all thing, though of course that aspect is huge, too.

Now back to my concerns about how to get my all-American boys to pee a bit more directly into the toilets in our house. Hygiene, indeed.

I Used to Be Anti-Pot

cast iron pan no teflonI used to be anti-pot, but now I’m reconsidering. I was all about my new cast iron pan to the exclusion of all other stove-top cooking vessels, except for the one pot that remained after our last move, a ginourmous beast of a thing that’s large enough to bathe a set of twins.

It worked for a few days. I made enough chicken soup for a small army, but the matzo balls were a challenge because I didn’t want to cook them directly in the soup. (Does anybody do that? Seems like the soup would get too starchy.)

I pulled my crockpot into action when I needed to boil a smaller amount of something, but I can foresee quite a bit of unnecessary kitchen gymnastics unless I get myself a proper pot.

Or two.

Or one small saucepan and something like a Le Creuset dutch oven?

I’m not sure which size or what brand (any recommendations?), I just need some pot(s).

So This is What the House Looks Like

boxes everywhere

This is the tween's room. To be fair, the dresser for the empty drawers up front is still at my parent's and the large boxes in the background are part of a fort system, but much of what I classify as crap really does belong to him.

The house is amazing. Setting up and settling into the house? Not so much fun, but a joy nonetheless. Our move-in is a process rather than an event because we are doing most of it ourselves, bringing box after box after box from my parents’ house into ours.

I’ve been referring to much of the stuff we are moving as crap, but I’m trying to put the kabosh on that. If it’s crap, why bother bringing it over?

So I’m trying to appreciate our many possessions. At the same time, because we’ve been living with my parents for so long (over 3 years!), we’ve accumulated quite a bit since we pared down our stuff for that transition in 2008.

We must have 30 board games, 5-6 of which actually get played more than twice a year. So it’s either time to eliminate or start holding more family and friend game nights.

And our wedding crystal and fine china? As much of a virgin as I was on our wedding night. Wait, no, that’s not the right analogy. Let’s just say we’re both gently used, okay?

We have several small kitchen appliances: rice cooker, ice cream maker, bread maker, crock pot, coffee maker, but in the week or so we’ve been in the house, all have been used multiple times, so it’s just a matter of figuring out how to store these away for easy use.

That’s the issue right now, simply finding right place to keep things at least on a temporary basis. I can assure you the right place is not in boxes scattered throughout the house.

Which is why I’ve yet to share the big reveal- boxes are scattered throughout the house.

I’m not putting too many photos of our messy house online, but if you’re up for it, I am entertaining visitors and offering tours. I promise I’m working on getting the place clean and organized. I can’t wait to show it off.


Here's a similar view from back in June. We squared off the roof and bumped out the wall with the window. Larger room= larger mess. *sigh*



shattered dishIf a picture says a thousand words, then this photo will tell you a lot about why I am able to resist the allure of shiny new objects and am (often) happy enough with hand-me-downs. We haven’t even finished unpacking all of our boxes and I’ve already broken a one of our new plates. By the way, the plate broke when a mug I was washing slipped out of my hand. It wasn’t anything exciting. Like this.

We gave our old dishes away when we cleared out our previous house. It wasn’t quite a set given that they were the ones we purchased when DH and I first moved in together back in the late 1980s. We lost a bowl here, a saucer there, but we had enough to keep going.

When does one traditionally buy a new set of plates? Is that the kind of purchase that is tied to redecorating? A life event? Or is there a period of time that passes when it is suddenly acceptable to start fresh?

At any rate, our start is suddenly a little less fresh. One the bright side, I still have table settings for 15.75 people. If only my dining room table could fit them all.

See Me in Action!

You always need the right tools for the job. In this case, the right tools were, well you’ll see in the video.


I only wish this post was sponsored by Q-tips, but no, my eyes simply fell upon the multipack of nearly 2,000 cotton swabs during a vulnerable moment at Costco and I knew I had to make them mine.

On the bright side, I won’t have to buy Q-tips again until 2013.

I’m buying coffee for two people who comment below on at least one change to our interior. Not changed are the doors on the main floor. Likely, I’ll get a new front hall closet door Valentine’s Day, DH will get a basement door for Father’s Day and so on. We have lovely, new, matchy doors in the upper part of the house, with one exception, to be revealed at a later date.

Also unchanged is the banister (pricey!) and the wooden runners on the stairs. I imagine at some point we’ll paint these. We need to do something with the stairs, too, but maybe that will happen after someone slips and breaks a few bones. (God forbid.) Carpet? Stick-on treads? What do you think?