Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I don't quite understand how my electronic furnace filter is supposed to work. It doesn't really seem to trap much dirt; it just makes a zapping noise a lot (much like a bug zapper). When I went to clean the filter yesterday, despite having the thing switched off, it sent a nice deep shock up my arm. It felt like I had slammed my funny bone into a 2x4. I finished the job wearing rubber kitchen gloves (mine are pink).

That's not my arm, nor my furnace. This image is from FilterUSA.com and this gentleman is doing the smart thing -- converting the evil electronic filter to a regular one.


As a woman who relies on public transportation to get to and from work, it can be expected that I'll miss the bus from time to time. But, the last bus of the evening (on my route)? On one of the coldest days of the year? That just figures.

Luckily, I had a contingency plan (aside from calling my friends to come fetch me). I took a different bus route that got me to my neighborhood, but required me to walk triple the distance home. On a warm spring day, that walk would be enjoyable, but on a day with bone-chilling winds, it's pretty much unbearable. Needless to say, I was very relieved to get to my house to thaw.

The red line indicates my regular route from the bus stop. The periwinkle line indicates the sucky route I had to take today. (Note: For all you internet stalking sleuths, this isn't my real house location; it's just a sample map.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

31 years

Happy anniversary to my mom and dad. Today, they've been married 31 years and counting. They are pretty cool and I think they have nice kids.

Bob-o and Be-bop

P.S. Mom and Dad, I made you guys a peach cobbler for your big day, but you didn't seem interested in it, so I ate it myself.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Peachy-Keen Peach Cobbler

This peach cobbler recipe from m.writes is very delicious and very easy to make. I was a bit skeptical when the recipe said to just dump the batter, melted butter and peaches into a casserole dish without stirring, but it turned out beautiful. The batter baked up and enveloped the peaches so it had a nice golden brown crust. Brilliant!

Yummy! Look at that crust!

  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • pinch of Salt
  • 1 T Baking powder
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 large can of peaches, drained
Pour peaches in a bowl and add:
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 tsp. Ginger
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Nutmeg
Mix well until all peaches are coated. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients with the milk; pour into deep casserole dish (well greased). Pour melted butter on top of the batter within the dish. Without mixing, dump the peaches right in the middle of the dish. DO NOT STIR!

Bake 40-45 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Note: I only used a 3/4 stick of butter and thought that seemed like more than enough. Next time, I'm going to scale it back to half a stick. I'm not a huge fan of nutmeg, so I might nix it or at least half it next time. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Adios, Kitschy Kitchen

During this glorious three-day weekend, I'm getting a jump on my kitchen makeover. Yesterday, I managed to remove most of the kitschy wallpaper (Chicken and chives border, anyone?). Now, I just need to scrape off the rest of the papery residue and recruit someone with big muscles to help me move my stove and fridge so I can get at the remaining paper.

As far as re-design goes, I'm feeling a warm, spicy orange for paint and a black and white checkered floor (like this stranger's). Also, at some point, I hope to add some more cabinets and a range hood to the stove side of the room.

Before and after

Before and after

Paint from Behr, floor from Mannington

Et tu, garage door?

How many more things can act up this month? First the plumbing, then my car and now, the garage door. Late last night, it started to close, but then after about 18 inches, it would reverse. I checked the sensors, but nothing was blocking them, so I just ended up unplugging the opener and shutting the door by hand. I shoved some firewood under the door so it wouldn't close all the way.

Since none of my go-to handymen were around at midnight, I put my faith in the Internet. Yahoo! answered the call. The verdict: the extreme cold weather was to blame and increasing the downward pressure should fix the problem. I wasn't really able to test that theory though, because today's slightly warmer temps have the door working like a charm. I adjusted the pressure anyway, just in case.

Et tu, garage door?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Indoor Smores

Surely I can't be the only one who does this. Now that I have a gas stove, I find it really convenient to make indoor smores by roasting marshmallows over the open flame. Maybe this is dangerous, but it's definitely a tasty way to inject a little summer into my life.

Photo from flickr

Monday, January 14, 2008

Tawian '08

After the contestants on the Amazing Race* (my favorite show ever, by the way) spent a leg of the race in Taiwan, I've been nostalgic for the motherland (my mother's land, rather). Good thing I'm going in the Spring! Even though the trip is still months away, I keep mentally going over my packing list and the list of things I need to do around my house before I go -- mow the lawn, stop the mail, etc.


My great aunt insisted we go for a ride in this rickshaw. I felt so bad for the driver.

My cousins and Brian

*I want Ron and Christina to win season 12. And I'm convinced Brian and I should try out for the show.


I love, love, love this. My coworker Gene gave it to me. It's actually a screen print from a series of T-shirt designs he created in the late 1980's. It is going to go in my kitchen...once I get around to removing the wallpaper and painting it a warm, spicy orange.

En Pointe

A couple of months ago, I saw a great coat in an Anthropologie catalog. I saved the catalog not because I want to buy the coat, but because I want to replicate the design on the coat to create some art for my dining room.

I don't think the project should be too hard. It's basically very simple pointillism using orange paint. If I prove to have a really steady hand, I might even throw a dash of red-orange in here and there. I picked up some painting supplies a few weeks ago, so now I just need to actually take the time to make it.

Close-up of the coat/my soon-to-be wall art

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Shake Awake Alarm Clock

Sleeping soundly is my God-given talent. I do it very well, too well perhaps. Over the years, I've become desensitized to my alarms. I had four alarms going off every morning -- the radio and buzzer alarms on my alarm clock and two alarms on my cell phone -- and sometimes, I would still sleep late.

So, I requested a vibrating alarm clock for Christmas. Both my dad and Chad told me I didn't need the clock; I just needed discipline. Needless to say, I got the clock. It has a vibrating pod that goes under my pillow or mattress to shake me awake in the morning. I've been using mine since Monday and really like it.

Get yours at amazon.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Hooray for AutoZone

The check engine light came on in my car earlier this week. After checking the usual suspects, it seemed the only way I was going to find out was wrong with my car was to bite the bullet and take it to the dealer so they could hook it up to their computer.

As I bemoaned the thought of spending an extra $100, Chad suggested I take it to AutoZone
where they'll diagnose it for free. One no-cost computer hook-up later, the culprit was revealed: My gas cap wasn't tightened enough. How embarrassing. Although, not quite as embarrassing as spending $100 for that same information.

Image from flickr

Walgreens Ink Refills

Walgreens can do no wrong in my book. Today I tried their printer ink cartridge refill service and couldn't be happier. It cost me $10 and a 20 minute wait to have my black ink cartridge refilled ($15 for a color cartridge). That's at least a 50 percent savings over buying a new cartridge and it upholds the three R's: reduce, reuse, recycle.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Leaky Schmeaky - UPDATE

The leak is fixed! A very friendly plumber (or as the company calls him, "technician") took care of the problem this morning. Just for the record, Chad initially pinpointed the source of the leak but we were unable to find the right replacement part.

I'm looking forward to spending my weekend cooking, cleaning, bathing, flushing the toilet and doing laundry.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Leaky Schmeaky

Not that my posts are ever overly abundant, but they may be particularly sparse for a while. My bathtub pipes started leaking into my basement on New Year's day, forcing me to turn off all the water to the house and set up camp in my aunt and uncle's basement. I have a home warranty that I'm trying to use to get this thing repaired, but so far nothing has happened and I'm getting a wee bit irate.

Image from flickr. My leak is not so pretty.