Plan 2013…

So, I’ve given up on resolutions for me, but I have a plan. Famous last words, right?  I’d rather have a plan for change than a few resolutions that are forgotten by February 1st.


For 2013, I am going to continue the good habits I started at the end of 2012, and add a few new ones too. Last year, I realized that I need to take care of me, so that I can be there for everyone else.

So, here’s a basic sketch of my plan…

– Health and fitness (eat better and exercise daily)
– Writing (Rewrites for NaNo ’09, finish other WIP)
– House projects (laundry redo, build bookshelves, etc.)
– Yard projects (fix sprinklers, grass in back yard, etc.)
– Fun stuff (bellydancing and craft projects)

I am feeling good about this year. Good times ahead!

Happy New Year!



Counter this…

I‘ve been thinking about my new washer and dryer and the little alcove it’s in since they were delivered yesterday afternoon.  There are quite a few ideas online that caught my eye.

Here is a very stylish laundry space I found on Heather Bullard’s Lifestyle blog. 

laundry room heather



This is a really pretty space.  If I had a window near this area I would probably mimic this idea.  My little laundry alcove is poorly lit and is already crowded with shelves.  I really like it though and wanted to share it here.






I liked this country curtain idea found at Southern Living.

Laundry room southern living


I really like how this looks.  Everything is neat, as well as functional.  I didn’t get the pedestal drawers so I will need to have a place for the detergent and other laundry related supplies, including the ironing accessories.






At the Better Homes and Gardens website they had a great idea for covering up the shelves above the washer and dryer.

laundry room shade


I liked this idea of hiding the shelves above the washer and dryer and drawing the focus to the frames on the counter top.  They haven’t even attempted to hide the washer and dryer.  It doesn’t seem to matter though since the area on the counter top looks so nice and coordinates with the shades so well.  






I definitely want to put in something to make a counter.  I like the shade idea, but fabric will match better with the decor around the laundry alcove.   I also need to think about some sort of container for the detergent and other supplies.  That may end up being a set of baskets, a counter top cabinet, plastic bins or something else entirely.  I suppose I will worry about that after Christmas.


Perfect timing…

I got my new washer and dryer today.  I am so excited, which probably sounds a little looney, but I got to actually pick out what I wanted.  Not what was cheapest, not what would be practical, but the set that I actually wanted.   I will be eternally grateful to Sully’s mom for such a generous and thoughtful gift.  She suggested it a few weeks ago but with my brother in law in the hospital recovering from a stroke we had put off our shopping trip.  Last Friday, we decided to just get it done.  (My brother in law is still in the neurological ICU but he is stable we are waiting and hoping for him to heal and come back to us.)  It was a nice surprise, going shopping on Friday.  It turned out to be the perfect week to have them delivered.  Boo and I started our Christmas break this week so I had some extra time.  We just have Christmas crafts and general housekeeping stuff to do this week.  I had plenty of time yesterday to work on crafts and clear out the laundry area.  Definitely perfect timing, I am ready for a great week.

This is the set that I got…

samsung wd set

It was delivered this afternoon and it looks great.

I spent most of yesterday moving stuff out of the laundry area, which is just a 6 foot by 3 foot closet, give or take a few inches.  I had some shelves on the back of the unit that held my detergent and other cleaning items as well as a rolling cart that slid in between the washer and dryer.  After cleaning everything else out I started moving the old washer and dryer.  My old set works great and I actually feel bad for replacing them they work so well.  I am planning on donating the set so that someone that needs it can make use of it.  The dryer was easy, unplug, disconnect the vent hose and wheel it away.  The washer was a bit more complicated as I couldn’t get the cold water to turn off.  I ended up leaving it in the closet for the delivery people to deal with.

I was glad that I got the dryer out though so that I could clean the floor, there was a mat of lint that matched the footprint of the dryer exactly.  I had to use a scraper to get it all up, swept and mopped twice.  Moving the dryer and mucking around with the washer also helped me figure out that the new set wasn’t going to fit like the other set did.  The depth of the closet is 32 inches, the new set is 31.125 inches deep, I didn’t even think about the hookups in the back.  Oy…  Well, at least there is a finished doorway that adds another five inches to the depth of the closet.  Of course, that means that the ugly bifold doors had to come off.  I wasn’t exactly upset about that but now it would be an open space and that I might be upset about.

Here’s my poorly lit pic of the new set in my little laundry area.  You can see on the sides how the closet cuts back out a bit on each side. 

washer and dryer

I am looking at ideas for covering the area or at least dressing it up.  I will keep you posted.  The dryer is singing a little tune to me now.  That load must be dry.


Plan 3 from…

Ok, I know that the movie is ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’ but I only needed three plans this time.  Maybe I only needed three because they are plans from the garage which is so much closer than outer space.

After Halloween, I talked in annoying detail about the garment bags and a garment rack to hold said bags.  I put together a make shift rack using two six foot ladders.  This rack idea worked great, until I realized that I needed my ladders to decorate the house.  With that in mind I searched the interwebs for an inexpensive garment rack that would be sturdy enough to hold a bunch of Halloween costumes.  Apparently, inexpensive and sturdy don’t go hand in hand.

Then I started looking at ideas to build a garment rack.  I saw a few made out of PVC pipe.  It seemed like a cheap and easy idea.  I drew up a design, made some measurements and then put together a supply list.  I checked some prices online and realized that my design was going to cost about twice as much as I had thought.  My design was kind of complicated already so back to the drawing board for the next plan.

I had originally thought about making the rack out of wood but I hesitated because most of my tools including my saw are inaccessible due to the current makeshift rack.  I thought maybe I could figure out something using 2×2’s, my jigsaw could make any cuts I might need.  Several years ago I built a desk and bookshelf made with 2×2’s so I know they are sturdy.  Since I’ve worked with them before I had some ideas on what I could do.  I got my graph paper out and sketched out a quick design.

So, here is my ultra crude drawing I put together on Paint.  On the left is the side view; two vertical 2×2’s with a 24 inch piece sandwiched in between leaving space at the top for the rod to drop into.   The 24 inch piece will be held in by 2 inch screws in several places which will make it more than strong enough to hold the weight of the costumes on the rod.

On the right is the front view, showing the rod and the feet.  I decided to use two 2×2’s for the feet to help keep the vertical pieces square.  Normally you would cut a few pieces at an angle to brace between the foot and the upright. I can’t get to my miter saw so this will have to do for now.

Garment rack 2x2


My plan is to buy five – 8 foot 2×2’s.  I will have 24 inches cut off of all of them.   I will also have another 24 inches cut off of one of them.  I will end up with …

4 – 6 foot pieces –> the vertical pieces

6 – 24 inch pieces –> 2 for the uprights, 4 for the feet

1 – 48 inch piece –> for the rod across the top

I went to Home Depot this morning, found five straight 2×2’s and had them cut.  Tomorrow I will assemble all of my pieces and I will post here how it turned out.


Go Figure…

When I first injured my foot I did some online research, that is how I discovered that it was a high ankle sprain.  I also got some information on treatment and recovery.  Pretty much everything I read claimed that it would take at least six weeks for it to heal.  I’ve sprained my ankle before and it’s taken only about 10 to 14 days to heal.  There might be some residual effects as my ankle strengthened but six weeks just seemed ridiculous.

Today was the first day that I didn’t wear my ankle brace all day and I did pretty well.  We walked all over Costco and then later Sam’s Club because we forgot to look for the gingerbread house at Costco.  Later, I put the brace on briefly while moving Christmas boxes out to Sully’s mom’s garage.  I was concerned about negotiating that step down into the garage while pulling a two wheel dollie.   I took it off afterward though and had no significant issues.  Once getting into the car I bent my ankle a bit and felt a twinge.

I was glad I was that I was finally feeling like my ankle was healing.  The ankle brace wasn’t an issue except when I was wearing shoes.  I mostly wear Crocs around the house and I didn’t have a lot of problems with the brace interfering with them.  My running shoes though were another matter, the shoes were not comfortable at all with the brace on.  I ended up wearing my hiking boots everywhere, although I think that turned out to be a really good idea.  The boots gave me extra support and didn’t interfere with the brace at all.  I’ll probably still keep the brace handy in case I am doing anything that might cause a relapse.

Of course, looking at the calendar I find that the six week prognosis is spot on and not ridiculous in the least.  Go figure…

running shoes


Rack ’em up…

I’ve got my costumes hung and bagged but I don’t have any place to put them.  I’ve looked at inexpensive garment racks but I’d rather not spend a lot of money on anything until I know what I really need and where I am going to put the rack.  I looked around online and read several different suggestions for garment racks.  There was the usual plans for building out of wood, metal pipe, PVC pipe as well as a temporary solution using ladders.

I chose the temporary solution.  Here’s a picture of a cozy and stylish version.

The nice clean wooden ladders look pretty.  The clothes rod appears to be a metal pipe.  A wooden closet rod could also be used.

Mine is much less cozy and stylish.  I am using two utility type ladders that look more like this one.  Even better, I have one green ladder and one orange ladder which adds to the lack of cozy.  I am also using a plain 2″x 2″ that is 8 feet long.  

I would add a picture of my rack (I can hear Sully snickering, a picture of the garment rack.  Sheesh!).  Anyway, no picture, my garage is a mess and I don’t want photographic proof.

I set up the ladders and they take up a fair amount of room but that’s not an issue  at this point.  I used zip ties to secure the 2×2 board to the tops of the ladders.  the hangers hung well on the square rod, they don’t slide but I don’t need that right now.  I’ve hung our costumes from this year, our vampire year, most of Boo’s dance recital costumes and the costumes I decorated with.  There might be a few more in the storage box that can be hung but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Today, I am thankful for the internet.  I enjoy researching projects and getting fifty different ideas on how to do it.  It’s fun to look at everything and then come up with my own version.  I am also thankful that today was a pretty stress free day.  I needed one of those.  🙂


Addicted to Velcro…

I’ve always liked Velcro.  When I was a kid I loved that ripping sound it makes when you pull the two pieces apart.  It was great on bags, wallets and I remember being terribly excited that there was Velcro on my Trapper Keeper.

Now that I am older, I have found myself once again loving the Velcro.  I use it all over the house.

We use these Velcro straps to wrap up cords around the house.  It’s great for the powercords for the camera, GPS and other things that aren’t charged every week.  It keeps everything together and saves a lot of room in the drawer or container.  We also use them to bundle up the excess length of cord on stuff like the computer, where there are multiple cords in the same area.  It alleviates all of the tangling and neatens it all up.






I use Velcro dots for sewing and around the house.  You can find them in various colors, sizes and shapes.  I used one in my iPad case to keep the flap tight so that my iPad doesn’t slide around.  I added a detachable pocket to a bag using these larger oval dots.




I use nametag sleeves to hold labels on containers, that way I can just pull the label out and put a new one in, or move the label to another box.  The industrial strength Velcro is perfect for attaching the sleeves to the containers.  This Velcro is made to withstand heavy weights but I use itbecause it also does really well in the heat.




I use nametag sleeves to hold labels on containers, that way I can just pull the label out and put a new one in, or move the label to another box.  The industrial strength Velcro is perfect for attaching the sleeves to the containers.  This Velcro is made to withstand heavy weights but I use it because it also does really well in the heat.  In Arizona, our garage gets super hot, the adhesive on normal Velcro just melts and I find my labels on the floor.  I’ve never had a problem with the industrial strength Velcro.







Here is my latest favorite thing.  These picture hanging strips are great.  I’ve used these so much in the past few months.  I hung a whole wall of picture frames last month, ranging from 3×5″ to 24 x 36″. Then I used them to attach my USB hub, USB router and surge protector on the wall so that I have more desk space.  I haven’t had any issues with them at all.  The packages have a guide on the back indicating which strips and how many to use on the different frame sizes.



I’ve used them to hang a calendar, two dry erase boards, my earring holder and probably ten other things that are not coming to mind right now.