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domestic category

TWEET: @HomeDepot’s @MarthaStewart Xmas … | 11:02 pm | 12 November 2010

@HomeDepot’s @MarthaStewart Xmas lights don’t daisychain end-2-end. Porch 1/2 done & no idea where receipt is >.< photo

pantry renovation started | 7:22 am | 16 August 2010

A long time ago, the pantry used to be a bathroom. The refrigerator was in the middle of the kitchen, and the dishwasher rolled over to the sink. A day with a Sawzall and some new plumbing skills later, we had a somewhat serviceable pantry. Paint, the pegboard, and the hanging potrack helped a lot, but it’d still have been charitable to call it tolerably grim. Racks of shelves never really fit next to the fridge well—there was always too much space around them for things to fall; the garbage and litter boxes stood in front of the shelve bottoms, and were nasty to navigate; and, for all the space it seemed like we might have, it never really stored anything well or accessibly besides the pots. The first—and gnarliest—thing to tackle in finishing the pantry: the floor.

pantry re-vamp 1

The pantry’s previous life as a bathroom meant that there basically was no floor where the shower stall once stood; just plywood. The crappy installation job of the previous owner’s vinyl, plus the humidity, also meant it was curling up around the corners. Perfect places for dirt to hide forever, and perfect ways for mice to sneak in during the winter.

pantry floor

Over the new year holiday (yeah, this post is a little late) we took a week off to rip everything out and lay down a new bamboo floor. We got off pretty easy—unlike the bathroom, the base was pretty new and didn’t require more than a day’s work leveling and tinkering. A new floor and new shelves have made this space a lot more usable, and a lot less gross. There’s still more to be done, though: next up, we’re looking for a smaller fridge, and then we can put a counter across the back wall and bring the shelves around the corner.

TWEET: Hawk!! | 3:41 am | 18 December 2009

Hawk!! photo

whoosh | 8:09 am | 17 July 2008

We signed up for MG&E‘s wind power last month, and so far have not used 577 pounds of coal.

We also got a new air conditioner last week, after the forty-year old Carrier gave up the ghost. They figured the old unit’s SEER value was about three, and the new one is thirteen. It’s also so much nicer / more efficient that it needs to run a lot less, so it’ll be interesting to watch our usage over the summer. Then again, with the way the cost of energy has been going, the bill will probably stay the same even if the use plummets.

like ravelry for your garden | 2:16 pm | 25 May 2008

I think it’s a little newer, and I’m hoping to see more Ravelry-esque features, but is pretty danged neat way to keep track of your garden.

hotbox | 7:34 am | 17 March 2008

Watching John Adams last night, I loved the Adams’ bedcurtains. “How cozy and warm!” I thought—and later, when we were all curled up in bed, I realized: Yeah. Warm like a Dutch oven.

finally a grown-up (sorta) | 10:17 am | 20 January 2008

Luna chair from Hjellegjerde, designed by Odd KnutsenI bought my first furniture that isn’t used and didn’t come from Target! A few weeks ago we saw these funny-looking chairs (in way uglier colors), and I sat down. I thought, “hunh, that’s really comfortable,” and moved on… then slowly got obsessed. Yesterday we found them again at Century House Leather Gallery, and in the car on the way over to the other location that had the colors I wanted (OMG xanadu), I thought, “Wow. My ass actually misses that chair.” The guy at the store said they call it “the buttbucket,” which is probably easier to pronounce than “Hjellegjerde Luna.” I like its OMNOMNOM face.

also fixes broken Vortex Manipulators | 11:12 am | 14 September 2007

Even though it’s been a dream toy since I was ten years old, I was having a hard time justifying this most excellent sonic screwdriver — until I realized that it was a sonic screwdriver that could also detect cat pee. Spiffy! All those years, who knew the Doctor had a cat?

a failure to communicate, tool version | 8:40 am | 29 August 2007

Two staple guns, three boxes of staples, no love. Grrreaergh. If you’ve ever wondered why someone would throw three “perfectly good” boxes of staples in the trash, well, now you know.

my hoopty fantasy | 6:44 am | 12 July 2007

We’ve been able to manage being a 1.5-vehicle family for a few years now, with a driving car and a haul-shit truck (a giant gas-guzzling, back-firing, tweaky, exhausty 1986 Ford F150 that is horrible and yet awesome). Mr Dynagirl works out of town, so he drives; for about a year-and-a-half I worked along his route, so we could ride together, and for the last year I’ve been working on the opposite side of town but commuting with a friend. That luxury will probably be ending when Madison’s August Moving Party starts. Not only am I going to miss the drive-time company, we’re gonna need some wheels.

While I want to put this off as long as possible — I always find it nicer to spend new mone — this is kind of exciting. The last time I bought a car was 1994 (Holy shit, that thirteen years ago? No WAY). I’ve got some added needs/wants since my Saturn SL1. I learned how to drive stick in the parking lot of the dealer, and now… I can’t figure out how to drive an automatic. That’s probably a mental block, since, duh, it’s easy, and stick is just way more fun to drive. I’ve also gotten spoiled by the fahrfegnügen of our 2000 Passat (six cylinder). Seriously, that thing is like a dog when it hears the keys. “We’re going for a drive? Wanna go? Let’s go!!! Wrrroof!” Love love love it.

You can easily guess that I like cars that get awesome gas mileage (the SL1 got ~35mpg, back in ’94! I was a dork and kept a little notebook) and run forever. No matter what I get, I’m going to have to do something to be able to get my iPod hooked up to it, so that’s not really an issue; air-conditioning goes without saying.

I’d like a used car for a number of reasons besides up-front cost. It’s ridiculous that such a large machine as a car, with so much manufacturing technology and industry behind it, is so disposable. Why is something considered high-mileage already at only nearing 100,000 miles? Metal is good. Try getting a dent out of bondo. Oh, wait, it doesn’t dent, it shatters. I like the idea of a car that can be fixed without the aid of a computer. Cars shouldn’t come with operating systems; oh, hell no. My husband is great at fixing either, and, as cute as he is when he’s geeky, I do like seeing him sweated up working and on a car. (Oh! Banana*!! Sorry.) Plus, when the end times come, it’ll be good to have something more independently workable.**

So, here’s what I need:

  • manual
  • fahrfegnügen / low-end of “luxury”
  • awesome fuel efficiency
  • durable
  • $5-8k
  • dark blue, black, or dark grey preferred

Which brings me to a short-list of a (bio)diesel Volkswagen, Audi, or Mercedes. I love Volkswagens, I put Audi in the list only because they’re basically Volkswagens gone bland; Mercedes is unknown to me and quite alluring. Did you know that they have free roadside assistance for the life of the vehicle? No matter where you got it or when, you get a flat tire? Call ‘em up. That’s pretty rad. Also, I want to earn one of these:mercedes million mile plaque

*our safeword at work for TMI.
** kidding! really!!

Blogging, kids, and privacy | 10:05 am | 1 July 2006

A question over on Soopermomz, which I hope gets discussed further.

the dirt under my nails | 11:06 am | 31 May 2006

the garden at the end of May
Garden: 31 May 2006, wide

Whenever someone’s asked what I’ve been up to lately, it seems the only thing I can say is, “gardening.” Well, here’s why. From the window, and stitched up in Photoshop.

New things this year:

  • sod
  • bamboo fencing cover
  • bricks finished
  • compost contained
  • clematis
  • rehabilitated front bed #4
  • added bed along the side of the house
  • added and rearranged some stuff in the other front beds

It doesn’t sound like that much when it’s listed out like that, but believe me, there’s probably seven solid days of work in there. And the tricky thing is that it’s never “done,” even though you may think so at the time. I’ve been to the greenhouse THREE TIMES thinking, “OK! That should do it for this year, save the weeding.” And, yes, there will be another trip in a week. Fooey.

Rosa Floribunda Julia Child | 12:42 pm | 17 April 2006

rose julia childI love roses*, and how could I not plant this lovely bush with petals that –hunh! imagine that– are the color of butter? She should be arriving May the fifth, which is a good incentive for me to get the bed on the south side of the house finished (started, too).

*hardy, no-maintenance, wild and lush and smelly and bordering on invasive roses; not the huge fucking pain in the ass, must be painstakingly cultivated and pruned and covered and sprayed and coddled roses that barely bloom, and when they do they have no fragrance roses, so preferred by other people I know, who though they may be blood relations are not spoken to or about.

good fences | 11:27 am | 3 April 2006

garden fencing, before and afterclick for larger
Ta-da! This weekend’s garden project was the installation of split-bamboo fencing cover over the ugly cyclone fencing around the garden. This was a snap to put up; I did the whole thing by myself in about five hours. Just a lot of putzy wiring. It’s a bit higher than the cyclone fence, and screens the view of the neighbor’s driveway and garbage cans. It also gives the garden a much better sense of space. I didn’t do the whole perimeter, as there’s a twelve-foot span across the back that has a number of tall grapevines that are quite enmeshed in the fence. Next up: finish the brickwork, and lay gravel on the path.

open a new window, open a new door | 9:49 am | 28 October 2005

new doorIf a steel-clad, foam-core door is five times more energy-efficient than a solid-wood exterior door, how much more efficient would that be compared to a HOLLOW, crappy, nasty interior door that also had quite a wide gap on the side, and no insulation in the space between the studs and the door frame?

D’oh, a deer! | 8:05 am | 17 July 2005

deer headRuss found him via a “we’re moving, come take what’s left” post on Freecycle. Astute fans will notice that Buck Mulligan is hung in the Wisconsin Room, near Lamont, the Rubber Tree (who has moved locations since that photo). Sweet!

Rubbermaid Paint Buddy | 8:21 am | 30 June 2005

This looks so cool – store your leftover paint, in a roller-tube for quick touch-ups.
Via Boing Boing

cotton anniversary mash note | 11:11 am | 14 June 2005

Happy anniversary, darling! Thank you for two wonderful years :), and I look forward to many more with you.

*&@#*!!!!! | 10:27 am | 30 September 2004

I HATE GAS OVENS. I wouldn’t have electric burners but this crap-ass cheapo stove thingy I bought for a hundred bucks (from the previous tenant) when I was moving into an appliance-free flat sucks so much goddamn cock I can’t stand it. Miss Thang is dearly afraid of unlit pilot-lights, and the motherfucking oven light has gone out TWICE THIS WEEK, leaving her to reach wincingly under into the broiler with a long, lit bamboo skewer, confident THAT HER ENTIRE ARM WILL BURN. And now today, it is out and IT WON’T FUCKING RELIGHT. Hallelujah, my arm isn’t a cinder, but I’M GOING TO DIE OF POISON GAS.

Fuck fuck fuck. I have some errands to run on the west side today and I think I’ll stop at the fancy-ass new GE store, because sticker shock is more fun than DYING LIKE SOME SHIT POET. Bah!

new tenants | 8:08 am | 15 September 2004

fish tank


Ada B. up and left Madison, and bequeathed her aquarium to us. We did a little renovation and now have new tenants here at The Bungalow of Love! It’s quite peaceful. There are fish in there, a loach (kind of a small eely fish) that lived there before, and five neon tetras that Himself brought home last night.

neon tetras


Call me Lamont | 8:49 am | 9 September 2004

rubber tree from curb
I found this lovely on the curb in Milwaukee as its former owner was hauling it out. In it’s honor, there’s new music in the sidebar (it’s the long version!).


Truth In Marketing | 4:03 pm | 8 June 2004

Fish & Poop!
Via Reenhead

Mellllllting…. I’m meellllting | 3:56 pm |

91.8°F outside, 85.7°F inside — WITH the A/C running all day. Time to call the repairman. Update: Next Friday!!!!

Mischeif. Mayhem. Soap. | 10:50 am | 2 June 2004

I hate the standard bathsoaps, they’re way too harsh for me — and I was obsessed with the idea of trying goatsmilk soap so I got a beautiful bar of lavender-rosemary soap from the overpriced hippie grocery store. It’s wonderful but I’m not obsessed with the idea of paying $4-$5 per bar for soap that doesn’t last all that long. I don’t have the time to deal with this sort of project right now… but I foresee myself experimenting with soapmaking soon. Fire up the Dust Brothers, baby.

send ark | 7:17 am | 31 May 2004

It can stop raining, like, any week now. We’d planned to lay in two more perennial beds in front of the house this weekend, but the ~two inches and more today killed that idea…

Allez Cuisine! | 2:59 pm | 21 May 2004

the new kitchenWe have a ceiling in the kitchen! No longer is there an undocumented entrance to hell above my sink, threatening to spew demons upon my head whilst doing the washing up and/or scaring the dinner guests away. No longer is there nasty florescent lighting, making hostesses look sickly and wan. No longer is there an ill-chosen color aiding and abetting the bad lighting. HUH-FUCKING-ZAH and hooray for Uncle Kenny, Chi, Paul, and Jason for their help.

t-shirt fu | 10:14 am | 14 May 2004

How to properly fold a T-shirt. Like the folks at reenhead, I’ve watched it a binch of times and can’t figure it out. Of course, the question is moot as Mr Dynagirl is also Mr Laundry.

Who knew it was so complicated? | 10:05 am | 8 April 2004

How to sweep a floor.

new dining room! | 6:09 pm | 3 January 2004

dining roomAfter TWO years of living with a demolition & remodel project, we no longer have to crouch over the coffee table for dinner. We still need curtains, a chandelier, and 75% of the baseboards, but we have a dining room! It’s hard to not sleep on the table at night, I love it so much. The table and buffet belonged to my grandparents (the good ones) and then it was my parents. I grew up playing underneath it. That is very, very cool.

dining room update | 8:09 am | 30 December 2003

It wasn’t the mitre saw, it was the sander; no baseboards yet. Pictures from the new digital later today. We ate in the new dining room last night, wooo! There’s no chandelier yet, but what with the leftovers from the wedding and the two boxes my mother-in-law found on insanity closeout, we can dine by candlelight until hell freezes over.

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