Home Improvement Archives

February 10, 2007


It's been a long time since I looked at wallpaper. (Wallpaper for the walls, not the desktop.) I'm thinking of wallpapering Emily's room. It's so small that it won't take very long to do and we could get really creative. I've called in the nation's top decorator for assistance. NO! Not Martha! Faith.

Creative Wallcoverings is a really neat site for wallpaper and accessories. I like the retro stuff. Funny how that happens. When I was a kid, we had green curtains and I just hated them. I bought new living room drapes last summer and I think they are the same shade as the ones I hated as a child.

February 13, 2007


Looking at home lighting fixtures to find a different light for Emily's room. Love this light but it's for outdoors and not exactly cool enough to be in a girl's room. Maybe this one. Anything would be an improvement over the 1970's ship wheel thing that is in there now. Maybe it's a wagon wheel. For sure, it's ugly and the hobnail glass globes only add to the ick factor. Maybe just a trendy lamp.

Maybe, I need more money.

February 18, 2007

Wild ideas

I just looked at Todd and said "I'm thinking about changing dining room chairs". He hates it when I say things like that. These are the ideas that hit me when I'm bored. We have his mom's antique dining room table and my more modern chairs.

(DAMMIT!! Tony Stewart just wrecked!!!)

So anyway, we have the antique table. I think it's called a gateleg. It has six leaves and can expand to the neighboring town. The chairs that go with it have leather covered seats that are worn and frayed. They are in the garage awaiting salvation. As I'm sitting here watching this boring race, I recall my mother recovering chair seats. I could actually do that while I sit here! I mean I could if Todd would get onboard. Doesn't look like he's going to so I'll have to think of something else to do.

March 5, 2007

Neat mortgage idea

This is a UK thing but what a cool idea. Combine your mortgage and your salary into one account and pay less interest. You always have access to your cash but what you do leave of your salary works against the mortgage like a payment. You can also pay extra money towards the mortgage without penalty or skip some payments if you are in a bind. Interesting concept.

March 12, 2007

Money, money, money, money... MONEY!

Mortgages have to be paid, braces have to be paid for, car licenses are due... but the good news is that I don't owe the IRS $600! I get $5 back. FIVE BUCKS!! hahaha Beats paying in. Of course I had to pay way more than $5 to find that out but still....

I hate having to worry about money but with the broken toe and last years tax situation, I've done little but worry lately. Every year I say I will put back money into savings but every year is another year of living check to check. Thankfully we live pretty well but do struggle when the unexpected pops up. We've been here six years and still haven't gotten a roof put on the house or Emily's room finished. Maybe next year.

If you find yourself struggling too, check out these financial links.


credit Cards

debt advice

home insurance

March 13, 2007

Awesome Weather

The weather has been absolutely amazing here! (Sorry Moosie!!) I have crocus up and tulips and iris' have poked through the ground. Today the thermometer in the truck said 78. I have been putting some things back outside for the season including the wind chimes that Faith sent me some years ago.

Have you ever heard of rain chains? I never had until looking over seasonal things at Online Discount Mart. I'm quite curious if they work. I'm easily amused by noises. Maybe tomorrow I will bore you with my story of how the lake sounded when the ice was breaking up.

Speaking of wind chimes (have I mentioned I love them?) they have a lot of them. Oh! This bell! I could hang that down in the hedge trees.

March 20, 2007

First day of Spring

Today is the first day of Spring so I am getting the itch to start my flowerbed. Looking though Coupon Chief for home and garden deals. They have bargain links to Henry Fields as well as other outdoor/garden related stores that are running special deals right now.

I really like that they categorize the links so well so it's easy to find what you are looking for. It's a good thing they've taken the time to do that as their list of all stores has grown quite lengthy. A few weeks ago when I was looking through Best Buy coupons, they didn't have near as many. It's good to see the internet grow like this. Job security for ME! ha.

March 25, 2007

Very long day

Today Em had a ball tournament (the last one!!) in Missouri, a little over an hour away. Her team ended up finishing third out of ten teams. On the way home, we stopped at Taco Bell where I had the following discussion with Ben.

Me: Benj, we should take a long trip this summer.
Ben: Yeah! We could go to Kansas City!! (KC is less than two hours away)
Me: Noooo, think BIIIGGGG, dude. Like Florida to the beach or something.
Ben: Oh, I could live with that.

Then I told him I wanted to go to Saint Augustine, the oldest colony in the US, blah blah blah and how it would be educational and fun. He said "Lisa, you lost me at educational." HA!

Tonight was the local Pheasant's Forever banquet and we decided to take C. since he's a teenager this year. We bought a bunch of raffle tickets and he bought one for a pellet gun. Todd bought some tickets to win the big Browning Gold Fusion something or other rifle. For all of our raffle tickets we ended up with a giant spray can of lubricating oil and a "hoot flute" turkey call thing. C. did win the pellet gun but that's it. No new rifle for Todd. Oh darn.

Came home and opened the big box that Faith had sent to Em for her room makeover. Pink goodness inside that made Em very happy. The most important piece was broken so we have to figure out how to salvage that. The box was packed very, very well and I have never had UPS deliver anything broken before. Frustrating.

Received my first complaint(?) about justlisa being an informercial pimped out to sell links or something similar to that. It was from a friend who I've told to kiss my ass on many occasions. This time will be no exception. Anyone who doesn't like it is more than welcome to send $60 a month for the orthodontist payment and I'll stop pimping links. Simple as that. I do what I have to do and try to make up for it with interesting entries such as this one. haha

April 1, 2007

Bedroom Decorating

We have been working on Emily's room for a couple of months now. Too bad we didn't find this site sooner so we could have browsed the teen bedding.

Yesterday we bought a new mattress for C's bed so should probably get him some new bedding, too. He is too hot blooded for a nice comforter and would just kick it off to the floor for the dog to sleep on. I wish he were younger so we could look at the cute kid's bedding but he doesn't even seem to care for his sport themed curtains and bedding he has now.

April 7, 2007

Vacuums and Humidifiers

First, let me say how much I love an online company who provides free shipping. Most times the greatest bargain on the web isn't a bargain at all if the shipping costs bury you. is one of those companies that has free ground shipping so I checked them out. With two dogs, two birds and one indoor/outdoor cat living here, we do a lot of vacuuming. They are a Dyson dealer but I'll come back to that.

We run a humidifier about six months out of the year and I truly believe it helps our health. In looking at the air-o-swiss humidifiers, particularly the antimicrobial with the ionic silver stick, I'm curious about how that works. There is a easy to find link to a PDF with cute little water droplet icons that explains how the silver ions destroy bacteria therefore using up the ions and then the ions are replenished so the surface of the stick is always "new". How cool!

Back to vacuums, I have a Kirby and a "pig". The pig is actually a TriStar canister vacuum that is so old but it works quite well. Emily complains that the Kirby makes the room smell like dog. I suppose it does since it's a bag vac. The pig gets emptied after each time. My complaint about both is that they do not get all hair. I love my animals but I cannot stand the hair. I've been thinking about a Dyson Animal. I've read some really good reviews but then I've bought stuff based on online reviews before only to be left very disappointed. Anyone have one? Do they work?

April 11, 2007

When in Rome, design a shade

Okay, so that wasn't near as funny as it should have been but really, did the Romans design the roman blinds? I made one back when I was Suzie Homemaker. Turned out quite nice and was an excellent lesson in why I should not sew. Anyway...

It is much cheaper to buy blinds than it is to sew them. I've been looking to replace the one in Em's room that the cat destroyed. Maybe some wooden blinds would be cat proof. All of the blinds that came with the house are really thick slatted metal venetians except the one in Em's room which was the cheapo plastic.

Oooohhhhh, roman blind kits where you can use your own fabric choice! That would be awesome since Em's room is coming together in pink and orange and I don't think I've seen a hot pink blind since my best friends room way back in the 70s. Terry's Fabrics doesn't ship to the US, dang it.

June 21, 2007

Can you put these in the garage?

I kid you not, our garage is the most expensive shed in town. I even asked the assessor to re-assess it's worth as it has no electricity yet and is therefore a big, overpriced storage shed. About once a week I say "Honey, can you put this in the garage?" Right now there are three boxes of drinking glasses on the table that Todd's mom collected for him when he was little. Smurfs, Care Bears, Star Wars, etc. just waiting to get packed to the garage until such time they are worth a million bucks or I get a hankering to drink out of a Care Bears cup.

We have checked into garage organization and even bought a few things to organize garden tools and racks for fishing poles and that sort of thing. This 15 piece modular unit would come in quite handy to organize all of Todd's automotive stuff. A lifetime ago he was a mechanic and still has all of his tools and such from school. They are crammed into a couple of stacking SnapOn boxes but the big cabinet set would also serve to hide things like Smurf glasses.

I'm sure Todd would rather have the car lift. Wonder how many boxes I could pile on that thing... hmmmmmmm....

June 26, 2007

Since I can't afford a new couch

Several years ago we got it in our head that we needed a sectional. Well, actually I think I wanted a slipper sofa thing and a couch and maybe a nice side chair but we compromised and got the sectional that Todd wanted. It's pretty but it's big and can only go in the room one way. After all these years it's sorta like an elephant in the room. I change it up once in awhile if I find pillows on sale but otherwise it just sits there looking all big and tan.

If I knew someone who re-upholstered such monstrosities, I'd buy a variety of discount designer upholstery fabrics and have a whole new look. Maybe some purple.

This a fun site as you can skip around via type, brand, style, etc. and the best part is being able to choose how many thumbnails are viewable on the page at a time. At home on the cable connection I want to see as many as possible but that would be very painful on dialup at my mom's house. I appreciate it when site designers give users display options. I do wish they had a section explaining the terminology for us non-designer types who wouldn't know a Boucle from our breakfast oatmeal.

July 2, 2007

New vacuum

Bought a new vacuum the other day and love it enough to highly recommend it. It's a Eureka Capture. We have a Kirby and a TriStar and neither of them ever feel like they are getting all the dog hair. Christopher vacuumed for me Friday and on Saturday we tried the new one. It filled the cup twice. I did it again today and it filled the cup again. Dog hair and fine dust about the consistency of powdered sugar. It's gross to think that has been buried down in the old carpets for so long. Yuck.

July 22, 2007

Man Stuff

Some day our garage will be finished and not just a big shed sitting on thousands of dollars of concrete. When that happens, I want to install metal pegboard for the heavy stuff like our new Toro electric snowblower that we've never got to use yet. It's amazing how much more space you acquire when you hang things up out of the way.

These brushed aluminum ones are nice enough for the kitchen and would be handy for hanging up my utinsels. They currently reside in one big drawer and it's like a hunting game every time I need a spatula.

Speaking of spatulas, Todd fried up the best batch of fish last night and his lovely dog, Lucy, did some counter surfing and ate most of it. I had to laugh since Dozer ate a pound of bacon about five years ago and still hears about it. Dozer was tied out and missed the fish fest. I doubt he'd have participated anyway since he still is a bacon man.

August 9, 2007

Outdoor fans

My friends Pete & Justine just bought an old house in town and are renovating it. This includes removing the ceiling fans and replacing them with more modern fixtures. I suggested an outdoor ceiling fan for the porch. The house down on the corner of our house and the highway has ceiling fans on the front porch and says she can spend more time out there in the heat and the air flow also keeps flies away.

I found the perfect fan at Premier Lighting. If I am reading that correctly, both fans also rotate like a traditional ceiling fan. Pete won't be a fan of the school house globe and will undoubtedly come up with something clever to call it. I think it's cool and if I had an outdoor place to put such a thing and the money, I'd get it.

September 9, 2007

New bathroom

When I'm sick, things start piling up and I go nuts wishing we had a bigger house that would swallow the clutter a little more efficiently. Before we can get a bigger house, we have to take the next decade and fix up this one.

The most logical place to start is a small room with the most opportunity for return on the money. For us, that'd be the bathroom. We had just a tub when we moved in but have since put in a cheap tub surround and a hand held shower. It's long been my wish to have one of those large shower heads that is like standing in the rain. Looking through tub and shower faucets, I see there are plenty to choose from. Of course I gravitate towards the most expensive but the site allows you to sort from low to high price so you can try and avoid looking at the high end. I know you can't though. Go ahead, take a peek at 1k faucet. You can also sort by configuration, finish, brand or style.

September 23, 2007

Helping others

Yesterday we spent the day at "grandpas" farm, helping him get things back in order. Grandpa is 94 years old and still lives on his own. Until just a couple of years ago he farmed his land and is always so generous, never knowing a stranger. Lately he has started to feel bad that his farm has fallen into disrepair. Family started paying attention to this little things he'd wish he could get out and do and we made a list. Six of us started on that list yesterday.

We cut and hauled off at least fourteen big trailers of brush and tree sprouts from the fence rows and outbuildings. Ten hours later, fourteen hours for some, we had a quick supper and discussed what was left. Never have I felt more appreciated than when I said goodbye to grandpa. He said "I used to see old people and think I'll never be in that shape and now here I am.. in that shape." He kept saying "thank ya until you're better paid" and going on about how it sure was nice to not have so much to worry about. There is still a lot of work to do and I hope the help keeps coming until it's all done for winter.

If you have an extra bit of time, spend it on someone else and see how good you feel.

October 13, 2007

Who sleeps??

It's well documented that my body finds sleep overrated and resists. I wonder if it's true that people sleep better in a comfortable bedroom with no clutter? The only "nice" bedrooms I sleep in are in motels and a motel is too noisy. Our cabin in Tennessee had an awesome bedroom but couldn't sleep there because Todd snored.

My ideal bedroom would be this. How pretty!

Seems silly to look at furniture from a dallas furniture dealer but hey, free shipping!! Even on queen beds and king beds.

My mother used to have a sleigh bed that she bought at an auction. It was really old and I think it folded up into a couch. As a bed, it was very similar to this leather sleigh bed. I don't have my mom's gift for finding bargains, nor the time to go to auctions, but if I had $1300, I'd buy a bed online and have it shipped for free. Shipping terms say bonded delivery men, shipment is blanket wrapped, they assemble if needed and they take the shipping debris away.

November 23, 2007

Guys vs. Girls

While we are on the differences of how men and women perceive things....

I was with my friend PB the other night and he started telling me about his brothers' garage and how it had astroturf installed in it. What a man space! Astroturf, a wood stove, beer fridge, etc. His wife said she just didn't get it and he said it was like us women and our walls. We paint one wall red and then accentuate accordingly and go on about colors popping and such. That makes no sense to men at all so we should not expect to understand astroturf and the coolness that it is.

I do wish we'd have looked at products for garage floors when we poured our concrete. The contractor said "It's not a matter of IF it will crack; it's WHEN. This is Iowa." He was right and we have three big cracks now I think. Of course the garage is packed full now so emptying it out to improve the floor would be a daunting task.

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