Can I Take a Rain Check


I got a new toy today.


A Black&Decker lawn edger.

I’m not normally a B&D fan, but the price was right.


I can hear my neighbors cheering already (and thinking maybe now her front yard won’t look so decrepit!)

I got started right away - the sun was shining, and the baby (Little Man) was happily sitting in his high chair by the open front door watching me.


Perfect right?  Ummm, I guess I forgot to knock on wood!!


After the first pass along only one side of the walkway, it began to drizzle (what happened to my sun!)


Next thing I know, I’m caught in a sudden torrential downpour at the same instant Little Man begins a screaming wail that threatens to strip paint.


I packed away the tools and glanced back out at the lawn which had that hopeful look that said Please don’t leave me like this!

So… I didn’t get to spend much time with my new toy,

Little Man is screaming, and


it took 5 minutes before I realized…



I had stepped in dog crap.


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A Diaper for my Table Saw

From the sheer amount of time I spend with my table saw you would think it’s like my 3rd baby… and it’s as messy as one too.

This li’l stinker needed a diaper (you might call it a dust bag).  Only $5.99 at Harbor Freight – my day is made!

Drilled holes into the stand…

And screwed in the snaps.  Took me about 10 minutes total.

And now my much loved, used (and abused) table saw picks up after itself just a little better!  (Wish my boys did too)…

I’m still in the market for a small dust collection system, but until I scrape together the dough for that, I’ll have a (slightly) cleaner garage!!!

What do you think of my XLarge diaper? ;)

or my filthy little sweetheart?

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DIY Book Nook for the Kids

I’m pleased with the new book nook in the playroom.

It was maybe the cheapest build I have ever done – most of the lumber was from MDF scraps left over after other projects. 

At just 3.5 inches deep – it doesn’t use a lot of wood.   A 3/4” spade bit cut the sides for the dowels.

The wall is a different kind of square at the top and bottom, so I used copious amounts of caulk at the edge to hide the gap.

My handy dandy Dremel MultiMax cut holes in the 1/8” hardboard back for the outlet and light switch.  I used box extenders to “extend” the outlet and switch box to their new depth with the bookcase in place (see this post for more on box extenders).

I also used it to cut down the outlet cover so it would fit (a little sanding cleaned the edge right up).  Don’t use your table saw for this – it will shatter the plastic (I learned that the hard way ;)

Now, the playroom is still messy – this doesn’t help the kids pick up their books (yet!), but they don’t dump them in a pile just ‘cause anymore.

For the uninitiated, the light switch can be a fun treasure hunt (but since the room has a skylight, it only matters at night).

Now I just need to build a little sofa or couch, and I can see sitting here reading to the boys “all day long” (as Bamm Bamm would say).

What are your favorite playroom or kids’ room storage?  Favorite kid’s book?  I like Where’s My Cow, by Terry Pratchett!

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Challenge Organization: Week 1 - Kitchen

Thank you Laura @ Organizing Junkie and Maryann@ Domestically Speaking for giving me some incentive to clean and organize my house (my husband thanks you too).


This week’s challenge – the kitchen.  I don’t do the cooking, but that doesn’t mean keeping a tidy kitchen isn’t my responsibility (he cooks – I clean – most women would agree it’s a fair trade).


So I dove in… and I’m not done by a long shot, but things are starting to get better!


1.  I don’t have to do it all this week (I have 52 weeks to organize the whole house – so I’ll pace myself! ;)


This cabinet wasn’t terrible, but there was a little of everything – no overarching theme here (except messy).

2.  To organize sometimes it gets messier before it gets tidier.  So true – I’ve still got stuff all over my counters.


Now, I’ve got medicines in a basket at the top, flours in the middle, and oils/vinegars on the bottom.

3.  Put like with like, and place it near where you use it.   A drawer becomes dedicated to vitamins.  Baskets for medicines and flours.  I used to have these things scattered all over the kitchen!


And I learned something.  I had some of these exceptional gluten-free flours from Norway – being saved for a special day.  When I had gathered them together, I had more than I thought.  I also realized that I was hoarding them!  There’s no point in having something special if it never gets used because it is too special.  I am going to use these flours – they aren’t doing me any good in the cupboard!


Oh my goodness I can NOT wait to see everyone’s organized kitchen projects!

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Domestically Speaking

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52 Weeks


of Organizing starts here…


with the Recycling Center I built over the holidays!

Since we started using this, the change at our house has been amazing.


Junk mail used to pile up on the table.  Empty milk cartons and yogurt cups sat on the counter until I got around to taking them outside.  Aahhh!

Now, into the handsome cabinet bin they go, hidden until I take out the trash.  Plenty of room for 13 gallons each of trash and recycling… this has been the perfect way to kick off Laura’s 52 Weeks of Organizing Challenge!


Now I’m working on week 2’s project (book storage for my kids’ playroom), and the other 50 weeks of organizing.

Doing a little every week (with the occasional big project), will help keep me from becoming overwhelmed.  This year I’m getting organized!


Are you getting organized this year?

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DIY To Do List for 2011


I’m so looking forward to checking some new DIY off my 2011 to do list.


Here’s some of the high points I’m looking forward to this year (plus pictures to give you an idea of what I want to do).


1.  Book Storage for the Playroom



2.  Shelves in Bamm-Bamm’s Bedroom

I couldn’t find a picture of what I want to do in Bamm-Bamm’s room.  Which is great - ‘cause you’ll all be surprised then ;)


3.  Built-in Bench for the Kitchen Island

also unknown


4.  Backyard Deck (complete with DIY brick oven)

The Family Handyman


5.  Murphy Bed in the Guestroom



Guess those are the big ones, and who knows when I’ll be working on them (a girl’s gotta dream big right?!)


What are your plans for this glorious new year?

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