Pre-op prep at home.

I’m having back surgery this week. And in between freaking out and whining about the pain I’m currently in, I decided to try to make my house as back surgery post-op friendly as I’m able.

Now, I’d love to rip out one of the bathtubs and install a shower stall. Then put in some hospital grade rails that look Steampunk Chic. I’d also like to win a round the world cruise for me and a few of my favorite people. So yeah this is what I did instead.

1) Replaced my groovy brushed nickel shower curtain hooks with ones that close completely. Don’t wanna reenact the last bit of the shower scene in Psycho because the hooks came off & I tried to put ’em back on. Nossir.

Yes, they look like notebook rings. Yes, they're kinda growing on me.

2) Floofy bathmat switcheroo. Bought one with the foamy, springy stuff. And also with skid resistant backing. Neither of which my current mat has. Oops.

Oh Walmart. Sometimes you're a delight.

3) Grabbed a new shower head, one with a hand-held jobby. I think I’m gonna want something that lets me get only certain areas of the ol’ bod wet, or that I can use while sitting or something. This was my toughest decision; should I spring for a posh thing that would take a serious chomp out of the ol’ fundage, or one that’s cheap and will do the job? Neither. I scored a halfway decent one (read: under $100) for $14.98 at the as-is section of Bed Bath & Hooray For A Bargain. And hellz yeah I used a 20% off coupon! Not too shabby, and the plastic parts just serve to make it easier to maneuver. Which brings me to….


4) Put up a tension shelving unit thing. I was hoping for something with a razor holder and that would have round openings in the shelves so bottles can be stored upside-down. One out of two ain’t bad. Not for under $25.

I try to look at it as a fun, impromptu redecorate blitz, instead of a need-to for recuperating. If I squint, I can do that. Number 5, my only true pleasure item, helps with that.

5) Nab cute washcloths. So things seem festive and new, rather than mind numbingly hospital-esque and depressing. Bring forth the rubber duckies! On cloth.

Ikea! Just some ducks and some cotton and a handful of Norsemen.

Phew. Okay. Time to rest on my laurels. Seriously. My “radiating pain” is radiating. But I’m secure in the knowledge that I’ve done a few things that will hopefully make getting back up to snuff a bit easier. Or, in the case of the duckies, more fun. Hooray surgery! Or not.


What is Acrymax? Why should I care?

Energy Star.  Mmm, rebates.  But every time I think of doing something eco-friendly to my pad I realize that right now I probably would need to win the  lottery to do the things I’m dying to do (solar tube!  Tankless water heater!  Rooftop garden….)

Well, today I bit the bullet — because it seems that this is the year for bullet biting — and decided to get my roof coated.  Because they say that coated roofs are more energy efficient (“they” in this case being the NYTimes.  I’ll run with that.)  Since I love me some saving money, I have been wanting to get my roof coated for awhile now.

Today, I heard the clangy-jangle of roofers at my neighbor’s house.  They were clearing out his gutters, and when I saw them I trotted downstairs to ask if they did coated/white roofs.  They said they did “modified bitumen roofing“, which reflects heat and is Energy Star compliant.  The reflective goop is called Acrymax, and they could do it for half of what they usually charge, since they were in the neighborhood and had the stuff on their truck.

I said yes.

It took them about 20 minutes to coat the roof, using a spray-hose-nozzle thing.  It’ll take a day or two to dry, then the guys said they’d come back and take a picture for me so I could post it here.  Yayz!  Extra added bonus: they said that my roof was “very well done” and everything was “sealed tight”, which makes this the third contracting team that has complimented my roof.  I can haz happy.

Aaaaand so since I have no roof picture, here’s a few photos of plants.

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Happiness is a new shelf.

Scored a stainless steel shelf from the As-Is Dept of IKEA, and now my assorted kitchen sink stuff is no longer cluttering the countertop! Yay – finally! So it doesn’t really "go" with the cabinets? Bah. Me likey!

Yeah, so all that sink stuff is now cluttering the shelf…but it looks like an organized clutter. Boo-yah! I even managed to pack up the last bits of Halloween decor – *snif* – and pop up a bit of Xmas. But more on that later.

Now if I could swing fencing the backyard (and before that, having the yard/property lines officially marked; why that costs over $500 I’ll never understand). Mmmmm.

A gal has gotta have a dream. For now, I’m just gonna stare at this shelf and smile.

Tweaking the deck from Summer clearance

Finally, a bit of color on the deck! Man I love the end of season sales…. 75% off? Yes, please!

So, I picked up a kids sized Adirondack Chair. Because it’s cute, because it doesn’t overwhelm the deck, and because my tuchas fits in it perfectly. (That it matches the table I picked up earlier in the season? Bonus.)

I’m also loving the tall umbrella, since it has so many colors, yet isn’t too busy. But it is tiny; it’s a 5′ umbrella, and it’s so tall it’s not the best as far as shade. But the 9′ size was too big…what I’d like to find is a 7′. But for $12? I can handle it for now.

I know that I’ll have to take it all down tonight, pre-Irene, but for now I just like looking at my under $50 deck design. Hooray for stores that over order! I thank you.

Hooking up.

Thanks to the IKEA as-is department, I have a rail! And I used it to hang up the little pig kitchen stuff I’ve been grabbing up (thanks, HomeGoods).

I also put up a Grundtal tp holder, but mounted it vertically, so I can use it as a paper towel holder.

Now I feel a little more put together. For me, that’s a big thing.

Next up? Another rail – maybe the thinner ones, so I can hang up the little wire baskets and get ’em off the counter….

Billy #2 in da house!

Thank you IKEA as-is department! Found the other half of my ManCave storage bookcase-ness. And it was good. Well, goodish, as I didn’t double check the Billy until I got home. So the right side of my new bookcase is au naturel, with no white veneer. Egads – how’d I miss that? Ah well.  Coming soon: my post about hi-gloss paint as a veneer replacement.

And yes that’s a Jack-o-lantern pillow. It’s just to cute to put away. What?

Weatherstripping paranoia & Baltimore elections

Since there’s nothing I like better than to freak myself out about projects around the house/money I’ll be spending on the house (*cough*brokenjacuzzijetsdagnaibit*cough*), I figured I’d research eco-friendly/energy saving options for the home now that the cooler weather is creeping in.  I figure start small, with weatherstripping and window films.

All this started because the Depot sent me a how-to video on weatherstripping.  Now I’m roaming the house, checking windows and doors.  Earlier this month I tried to do some of that foam sealant-in-a-can stuff, and all I can say is: ew.  Sticky, ooky, not-cooperative ew.  Now I have weird shaving-cream like stuff all over the front window, except it’s rock-hard(ish).  I figure I’ll get a stiff brush and scrub as much of it off of the window sill as I’m able (yes, I got it on the window sill.  I’m me, and that means I’m not exactly accurate with a spray can).  And then I’ll pay someone to caulk for me.  Why?  Because I figure I’ll need to have the top two windows done too — the back windows are done thanks to the vinyl siding I had put up earlier this year — so why not pay someone to do ’em all?  She asked naively.

I’m also considering plastic inside-sealing on the windows but I wonder about my ability to open the windows.  Yeah, I know; it’s winter, why would I open a window?  But you never know.  Once I get over that paranoia, I’m sure I’ll be fine.  And I’ll come back to this window weatherstripping video to help me with that.  (Though I won’t be doing the sliding glass door, since that’s my only door to the back….)  There’s a ton of weather-seal stuff on the market, and I start to drool every time I see a list.

As far as window films go, my main drool-worthy item is a privacy film.  Y’know, one that lets you see out, but gives folks a nice view of themselves/a black box when they look at your window.  I prefer the mirrored look to the all-black window, but if the black is more energy efficient I may just go with that.  I’d also like UV protection, since I almost never put on sunscreen when I spend a day reading in my room with the windows open.  (Oops.)

There are many, many, MANY window films, from clear to frosted to “stained glass” .  I love the idea of the “bomb blast” film, though unless Michael Bay ends up visiting I think I’m okay with the basic home products.  Some guides tell you to put the film on the outside of the window, and some folks tell you to put it inside.  My question; if you put it outside, what’s to stop folks from ripping off your film from your first floor windows?  Again, I’d like to thank Paranoia for coming in today and helping me with this post.

Now, before I lose all perspective and start storing bodily fluids in jars, on to voting in my new ci-tay.  As usual I can’t understand 90% of the ballot measures (aka “the questions we vote on”).  But now, thanks to the interweb, I found Ballotpedia.  Though it isn’t as thorough as the Gazette I used to get back in MoCo, it does break down the Maryland “questions” pretty well.  I only wish there was a site that showed me the Baltimore City measures!  Because all this borrowing the City wants to do?  Worries me.  But if I don’t vote for ’em, museums, parks and the National Aquarium get gypped.  Decisions, decisions!

I know what’ll help; more Halloween candy.  It’s not just for breakfast anymore.  And, if things go well, I may get some more for free tomorrow, courtesy of the Baltimore Sun….  Okay, they’re looking for folks to play dress-up tomorrow for the Halloween issue.  And I’m all for it!  Fingers crossed they’ll contact me, because I’m game for anything.

Oh — one more thing!  My to-die-for thingamabob of the week?  A wall-mount fireplace.  It’d go right on the “wall” of my ManCave shelf, underneath where a flat-screen will be one of these days.  So groovy, aren’t they?  And after last winter?  I know I’ll need one.  Screw preventing energy leaks; off to drool!