Highs and Lows of October

October highs and lowsCan’t believe it’s almost November – and the holiday season.  October was one of the busiest months ever!

Good things

1) Had the best massage of my life. OMG.

2) Went to a fun and relaxing weekend scrapbook retreat, right in town — and made 46 scrapbook pages! Continue reading

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Cringe-Worthy Household Mistakes — and Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

Cringe-Worthy Household Mistakes and Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

Memories from one of my DIY experiences will last forever — on the garage floor

Everyone does dumb things, right?  Over the years, I’ve learned lessons the hard way from these harmful household experiences.

1) Not cleaning the bottom of the stove right after a lot of food ran over the edge of the baking sheet and spilled over. The next time I used the oven, smoke billowed through the house and set off all the smoke alarms!

2) Not using larger, sturdier drop cloths the first time I tried to stain a piece of furniture in the garage. Permanent brown stain ran over the edge of the cloth and pooled beneath it while I was in the house waiting for everything to dry, and now – 12 years later – I still have big brown spots on my garage floor that will never come off. (Tried various cleaning products on it right afterward, to no avail…) And, on top of that,  the project looked horrible and I ended up throwing the piece of furniture away!

3) Not being careful coloring my hair. Spots of red hair color got all over the bathroom walls and on my favorite shower curtain (looked like a scene from Psycho!)

4) Allowing my son’s then-teenaged friends to drink cans of soda in the living room during a youth group meeting there. A girl overturned a full can of red soda right in front of my fireplace, which permanently stained the wall-to-wall carpet there. Had to use a big throw rug over the spot for years until I eventually replaced the carpet!

5) Using a thick piece of plastic (instead of fabric) as a drop cloth at the top of a staircase. While home alone, straining my arm to hold a roller on a super-long rod to paint the ceiling at the top of a long staircase, my foot slid on the slick surface and my body wavered precariously back and forth. Thank God I ended up backwards instead of forwards — cause I came very close to falling down a long staircase!

6) Using a bucket for a ladder. While standing on it to reach up and fix a garage door that wouldn’t close, I slid off and broke my foot, resulting in surgery, a pin in the foot, and five months in a wheelchair. (A ladder was right next to me, but I was in a hurry to get to work on time and too lazy to use it…)

7) Dripping bleach on the carpet. After we lost everything in Hurricane Hugo, we rented a furnished house an hour and a half from home, since everything closer was rented by other displayed hurricane victims. We’d recovered only a few possessions after our apartment a block from the beach was destroyed — and every day for weeks, when my toddler took a nap each afternoon, I’d go outside and bleach the few items we salvaged, trying to save anything I could. One day, I must’ve had bleach on something I carried in to the house, and when I looked behind me, there was a trail of golf-ball sized white bleach spots that had removed the color from the dark green wall-to-wall living room rug. I was horrified!

Made a frantic drive 25 miles in to town the next day and bought every dark green marker I could find, to try to match the carpet color. One of them worked, and I  “colored in” the white spots so the carpet looked normal again. I was an at-home mom, we were dirt poor, we’d lost everything we owned and the insurance company refused to pay, and we couldn’t possibly tell the landlord what happened and pay to have the carpet professionally recolored or replaced. That incident has always bothered me, since I’m a pretty honest person. But sometimes you have to do what you have to do… and I did learn from the experience.

What household mistakes have led you to learn things the hard way?

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Appreciating the Little Happy Moments

Appreciating the Little Happy MomentsDid you ever do some simple thing and then realize, “Wow. That was really nice.” A couple of little happy moments I’ve had lately were:

1) Coming home from work early and sitting on the front porch reading for an hour in the sunlight and fall weather. Really heavenly after months of 99 degree, high-humidity days. Continue reading

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Cute Halloween Window Decorations for Only $1

Cute Halloween Window Decorations for only $1Love the cute Halloween window decorations from the dollar store that Continue reading

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Easiest Leaf Raking Ever: Use a Jumbo Dustpan

Easiest Leaf Raking Ever: Use a Jumbo DustpanFor many years, I was on a quest to find the easiest possible way to rake leaves in my yard — bought and tried numerous tools and used different methods along the way.

Continue reading

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Weird News: Toys R Us Sold Breaking Bad Dolls with Bags of Meth

Breaking Bad Characters: Source USAToday

Source: USAToday

I rarely watch TV, but Breaking Bad was the best TV series I’ve ever seen in my life. The story about Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who turns into a meth dealer, had me spellbound. I especially enjoyed his love/hate relationship with his partner, Jesse Pinkman, and Walter’s transformation during the series.

Of course, I’m a mature (age-wise, at least) adult. Continue reading

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Things NOT to Sell at a Yard Sale

Things  NOT to Sell at a Yard SaleI’ve been to hundreds of yard sales over the years and have held more than 20 yard sales, too — and realize that there are just some things nobody wants to buy! Check the list below for things NOT to sell at a yard sale: Continue reading

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You Can Make Someone You Love The Best Gift Ever — at No Cost

You Can Make Someone You Love the Best Gift Ever -- at No CostFor my birthday, my son and his wife gave me a one-of-a-kind typed book, printed on pretty paper and tied with ribbon. It was titled “Things We Love about Diane.” Continue reading

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Quote to Remember

A qutoe to remember

“It is not good for all our wishes to be filled;

through sickness we recognize the value of health;

through evil, the value of good;

through hunger, the value of food;

through exertion, the value of rest.”

—Dorothy Canfield Fisher, American author and essayist (1879-1958)

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Things I’ve Learned This Week

Things I've Learned This Week1) That my new car’s side-view mirrors do fold in (if only I’d known that earlier…)

2) That a website called Nextdoor is a free and private social network for people living in specific neighborhoods. Locate your neighborhood, join at no cost and get emergency notifications, crime alerts, details for community events and services, notices about lost pet, and updates on activities affecting the local area. Sounds great – sign me up! (Now if only it could only locate Mr. Right within a couple of blocks…)

3) That it does pay to step outside your comfort zone and take action on “crazy ideas”  sometimes. I somehow ended up running the local part of my company’s annual charity campaign involving 2,000+ employees and am coordinating a lot of wacky fundraisers. The first three have been very successful and participants seem to really enjoy them. The most successful one so far involved a bunch of professional people tossing ping pong balls over the balcony to try to get them in a cup in a bucket in a kiddie pool on the floor below. It raised $140 (at $1 a toss). Got the idea because every time I walk on that balcony I get an overwhelming urge to throw something over it…

I bought a gross of ping pong balls for the event (only $9.01, including shipping, on EBay) and only had four left. That was the fundraising idea that people looked most skeptical about when I suggested it — and it turned out great! It brought out the kid in everyone — and it certainly was something different. In fact, two people told me today how much they liked it!

4) That the movie “Gone Girl” is good, but not as good as the book!

5) That Scotch brand makes duct-like tape with a chalk surface and with a whiteboard surface. Can’t wait to locate some and find ways to use them! Sounds like both have potential for labeling things, making lists on random items, and who knows what else…

6) That there are still honest people. I was trying to do way too many things one day and got home and realized, after searching everywhere, that I’d left my purse at Walmart — either in the store or in the cart in the  parking lot. I raced back — and my purse was intact in the manager’s office; a kind person had turned it in.

What have you learned this week?

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