30. April 2008 · 4 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

Me: “I want an iPhone.”

Dave: “How can you be such a slave to technology?”

Me: “It’s cool and it takes care of many of the things I want to do in today’s wireless world. After all, my current cell phone is on the brink of death and if I lose it, I not only lose my phone, but also my MP3 player. So we can replace both the phone and MP3 player, or get it all-in-one with an iPhone!”

Dave: “It’s Skynet — it’s coming!”

I’ve already been to our local Apple store where they have banks of them with which you can log in to your own e-mail accounts and send messages, make phone calls, you can take photos/videos and you can surf the web. I thoroughly enjoyed playing with them, as did my boys, who immediately asked me to bring up the Peanut Butter Jelly video on You Tube!

Dave showed me this cartoon, which is pretty funny, but does a good job bringing to light one of my fears of getting a full-priced phone. I’ve been pretty brutal on my cell phones. I’d need to get insurance and one of those super-armored “skins” to protect it.

Since we have that IRS Economic Stimulus money coming to us later this month, and President Bush wants us to spend more money, I’m thinking our opportunity for me to get an iPhone couldn’t be better!

A valid concern I do have about having this iPhone is the, um, URGE I’ll have to want to be on the web all the time. Might I be trying to write e-mails at traffic lights? Or worse yet, while I’m cruising down I-40??? Do other people do that?

We’ll see whether I get one or not. So far I’m not completely sold, but I’m about 80% there.

-Patricia the Techno-Slave

29. April 2008 · 4 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,


Let me catch my breath…


The photographer just left — she was here to take pictures of our “staged” house for the MLS listing.

So now we can mess up the house again! Just kidding…

I will admit that I feel like if I BREATHE too sloppily, the house will get messed up again…I don’t think I can use my kitchen or bathrooms anymore!

Enjoy some pictures from my adventures in cleaning:

Here’s the UNDERSIDE of our stovetop. One of those places I never think about when doing ordinary cleaning.

Before (those white streaks are from Formula 409 working its way through the stains):

From 2008 04 26 Pr…


From 2008 04 26 Pr…

As you can see, the 409 did a pretty bang-up job!

So as not to steal my realtor’s thunder, enjoy a sampling of pics from our really clean house. I need to show this off, I’m so proud! I didn’t do it alone, though…Dave was very helpful with many of the outside items, keeping our trashcans empty, and for throwing out his old valet in our bedroom. He now has to drape his clothing somewhere else 🙂

Living Room:


Dining Room:

Master Bedroom:

Master Bath:

I’m going to pour myself some frozen Margarita. I have some leftover from my jewelry party last Thursday. I know it’s only 3pm but I think I deserve it!

27. April 2008 · 3 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

I’m stoopid tired again.

It started with another yard sale this morning. So once again I was up at 6am on a Saturday. It was lousy this time around: $20 in 3 hours. Compared to $300+ in 6 hours last Saturday. We ended up giving away our two largest items — Dave’s old model train layout benchwork and a La-z-Boy recliner, since they went to people we knew. I guess my double Baby Jogger’s goin’ on Craig’s List this week.

At 10:45am we took the boys to a birthday party at one of those bouncy-house centers, got them there a little after 11am, where the Bucklers (their daughter was also a guest at the party) kept the boys while Dave and I took off for…

Well, Dave did most of the drinking. He behaved very well, I’m proud of him! I enjoyed some tastes for the first 90 minutes or so…over 100 beers to taste! I was definitely most impressed with the Warsteiner flavored malt liquors. The lemon flavored “mix” tasted like Mountain Dew with a kick! Yum! I’m not as much a beer girl so I was okay wrapping things up early on so I could drive Dave home.

Got to enjoy some fried dill pickles! A distinctly North Carolina thing…

It was a great time, except for when I was buzzed I charged right into a porta-potty and went potty before realizing there was no toilet tissue! EEEWWW!

I did come out of there with a cool Blue Ridge Brewing Co. t-shirt featuring this pic of their Hurricane Hefeweizen label, which I thought was neat.

After a yummy fried seafood dinner with the boys, and the boys went to bed, I tackled cleaning closets. Stuffing linens and clothing into Space Bags and hauling them down into our near-cleaned out garage shelves. Just now finished. My closet looks pretty darned good now. Let’s hope potential home buyers think the same thing.

Tomorrow? Mowing the lawn, shampooing carpets, grocery shopping and helping Dave package up his model train layout to store it while the house is on the market.

Okay — while I was writing up this post, I must have downed about 10 Hershey’s Cookies & Cream Kisses. Oh so yummy in my tummy, but I must stop now!
23. April 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

That’s my fridge. I love it. I think stainless steel is sexy.

But…over the past 3 years, my boys have had a field day playing with their letter magnets, their Thomas and Friends magnets and their keeping-up-with-their-chores magnets.

So the front is now pretty beat up.

Again, in anticipation of the house going on the market next week, I’ve been cleaning up the clutter, which includes removing all the magnets and pictures. So I’m left with all these scratches on the front of the fridge in plain view:

The area in question is closest to the door handle. The other light further to the right spot is a reflection.

I’ve use these products to try to clean up those scratches, to no avail:

Yes, you even see a Scotch Brite pad and a 380-grit sanding block! Those were BAD.

The stainless steel cleaners do just that, clean.

The Scratch-Out in the yellow bottle is actually for automotive uses, it didn’t seem to make a difference on our big scratches. Maybe I’m not using it right?

The “winner” in this batch, unfortunately, is the WD-40, which merely cleans up the scratches enough that they aren’t so glaring. If you scrutinize the surface, all the scratches are still there.

If you have a personal favorite for keeping your stainless steel scratch-free, do tell!

22. April 2008 · Comments Off on Wax On, Wax Off! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

Today I was continuing to prepare for our house to hit the market by applying Olde English oil to all my wood furniture.

I guess this was the first time I had ever oiled all the furnishings at once, for I realized, 90 minutes later, that we have a LOT of wood furniture.

All of the living room, dining room, master bedroom, both kids’ bedrooms. All wood.

My arms are quite sore, which led me to think about this:

Enjoy the trip down memory lane…

21. April 2008 · Comments Off on My Kids Were "Borrowed" · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,


21. April 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

Okay, so I fell off the scope for a bit.

This week was pretty darned busy for me, so a couple things had to fall by the wayside, the blog being the first thing. Photographs of my life were next.

Then paying attention to my boys, the poor babies.

This past weekend I had a pretty big yard sale. So for the 10-14 days leading up, I had been working room-by-room, assessing and clearing out extraneous crap.

Sometimes they were old items, like books Dave and I had both read. Our Lazy Boy chair with a gaping hole in the upholstery right at the crotch. The too-small Crock Pot. The Rival 2-cup Hot Pot from college. Air Force BDUs, stripped of the patches (10 — count ’em — TEN sets!).

Sometimes they were things we’d outgrown: infant toys, size 2T clothing, double jogging stroller, diaper pail/changing pad (YES!), baby monitor

Some of our items were simply excessive: Did I really need 3 tricycles?

But many of our things for sale were items that I didn’t trust would make it through another move. Several of our Little People play sets, for example. They were large and I could see many of the plastic pieces getting crushed between here and Nebraska.

How about one of those garden hose wind-up reel thingies? Wouldn’t make it to Nebraska, either!

Anyway, Saturday was the big day, and we ended up making over $300! I was impressed! $50 of that is a wash because of my hefty advertising budget: online, print and signage in the neighborhood.

Next weekend is the neighborhood yard sale and I’ll put the remants of the stuff out this Saturday for a little bit…everything else will go to a local thrift store in Fuquay-Varina.

So I’ve been busy with all that.

The realtor was here over the weekend, also. She and her partner did a walk-through and made some suggestions on how to stage the house appropriately. I was disappointed to hear that they prefer all my horizontal surfaces (dresser tops, mantle, tabletops) EMPTY…I’m currently putting away my Asian knick-knacks and Hummel figurines.

We also took down our swingset. It was an illegal swingset. We bought the house with the illegal swingset, then about a year after we bought the house, we received a letter from the property manager indicating we had an illegal “improvement” to our property and it had to be removed immediately. Dave appealed the letter and eventually got approval for the structure, but the letter of approval states that the swingset needs to be removed when we sell the house.

So as not to mislead any potential owners, Dave solicited to some of our yard sale customers that the swingset was theirs for the taking if they could help remove it and haul it away. In about an hour on Saturday afternoon, it was gone! Wow!

What of the Weather Station that was mounted on the swingset? It’s still in our backyard in an alternate location. The data is still pretty accurate, except the wind measurements are taken about 2 feet closer to the ground than before.

As of today, I’m finally calming down a little. This week I can relax some…it’s too soon to start the uber-cleaning cycle before the house goes on the market (why bother? the kids will dirty it up again!). By this weekend I’ll be ramping up again…


16. April 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:


“Eeewwww….doesn’t that defeat the purpose of chocolate chip cookies? Sinful bliss?”

Well, does it HAVE to be so sinful?

Okay, a little truth time here. I had everything to make chocolate chip cookies for the family, you know, that recipe on the back of the bag of the 12 oz. Nestle Chocolate Chips.

Except for white flour. I go through about 5 lbs. of all purpose flour per month on all the assorted things I make for the family: pancakes, waffles, cake, pie crusts, rolls, biscuits, etc.

But I had plenty of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, which has a similar gluten content to all-purpose flour and can be used nearly interchangably.

So in this case, I made a Betty Crocker Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.

And my kids didn’t know any better — happy faces all around. With 1g of fiber per cookie to boot!
13. April 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Hey — if anyone knows how I can break into the blog-format code so I can maximize the blank space on the left and right sides of my blog, please send me a note or leave me a comment. I’d be happy to send you the blog code and you can edit it for me.

I could be filling that space with so much more junky information, Air Force pitches, etc.

Ideally, I’d like a 3rd column on the left, the same width as the one on the right.


13. April 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Need a house?

For those unaware, I’ve been going crazy since early March getting our house ready to sell. Unlike in Florida, where we didn’t have to do jack squat for the house to sell in summer 2005, this time around we’re making this place look like a museum, new paint all around, repairs, powerwashing, new landscaping, as much as we’re willing to budget.

Since we can’t currently guarantee we’re going to make any money on the house, we can’t go too nuts. No new appliances, no new flooring, carpeting, roof, etc. The most we’re investing in is an exterior trim paint job.

But there’s this show on HGTV called “Get It Sold” and we’ve been enjoying learning about these little low-cost tips to “stage” the house. One of the recommendations is that we remove personal pictures and replace those picture frames with more neutral artwork.

Dave and I had prided ourselves in our living room, filled with black-and-white 8 x 10 portraits of the family, with the only color picture being the full-sized family portrait over the fireplace. You can see what I’m talking about in this picture from Easter morning (yes, Dave’s wearing bunny ears, what a trooper!):

We didn’t want to run out to Bed Bath and Beyond or some art store to spend money on neutral stuff that we wouldn’t even want to take to Nebraska.

Dave came up with the idea to make some 8 x 10 black and white prints of some of the less personal photography we might have on our computers. He and I spent the better part of an evening browsing our digital photo collection (about 19,000 pictures, going back to 2002) looking for something worth blowing up and hanging on our wall. Oh yeah, it has to look good in black and white!

After Dave campaigned (and lost) for a picture of a calf, and I campaigned (and lost) for a picture of Mount Washington, NH we settled on 5 very nice pictures, that we had Shutterfly blow up for us for a grand total of $20.02! I’m in the middle of re-framing the black and whites right now and it’s looking very impressive.

The picture of the tall ship goes into our bedroom, while the other 4 pictures will be in the living room, in black “floating” frames.