Sunday, October 30, 2011

Power Outage. AGAIN

No cable.  No power.  No internet.  No phone.

No nuthin'!

I'm sending a few emails from a spot in downtown.  Laptop battery is dying.

I have so much crap to do this week, it's not even funny.

I do not have TIME for a power outage!!

Trick or treat is tonight (we do a night early.) It's been postponed to tomorrow night (which is when it should be, anyway.)

Trick or Treat, POSTPONED due to snow.  That just ain't right!  Handy Boy is not going to like this!

Handy Man is already cursing winter.  He's pacing around, muttering about moving to Hawaii.

I'm starting to pack.

Don't know when I'll be able to post again.  Just wanted to check in.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wicked Awesome Wednesday #35

Time for our 35th Wicked Awesome Wednesday.  Watcha got?
Here are some of the projects that caught my eye this week.

Sidetracked Sarah made a Welcome sign for a wedding reception:

As soon as I saw this project, I knew I had to feature it.  Two Thirty-Five Designs had a Geek-Squad themed birthday party for her son.  You have to see this!

Missy from Lookie What I Did made these unique chalk board inserts for the back of her door:

Maiden D'Shade spruced up her laundry chute door:

Crafted Niche bought an old spool and fashioned it into a cute side table:

kiwi chic has a great student bedroom reveal.  Love the colors she used:

D from The Shady Porch made these cute Halloween lanterns:

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Project Refinance

Well.  October is a wicked busy month here at Casa Handy Man.  We have a ton of activities scheduled for this month.  Most of them are fun, but we decided to add refinancing the house to the mix.

Interest rates have dropped, so we decided to refinance.  Our new rate has been reduced by two and an eighth percent.  That doesn't sound like a lot, but it makes a big difference in the life of a mortgage payment.  
Wish this pile of money belonged to me!
The process has been kind of a pain, but we managed.  We contacted one mortgage company, and had to get a house appraisal.  Bad news: the house appraisal didn't come in high enough.  Rob contacted a second company. They sent out another appraiser, and guess what?  Someone else said it's worth more!

Funny how that works, huh?

We had to cough up some money for this whole shebang; and Rob had to endure several phone calls and emails. (Notice I let him tackle this project.) But it finally worked out, and today we signed about 85 pieces of paper to make it official.  Now we are the proud owners of a smaller mortgage payment, and we'll save about eleventy-billion dollars in interest over the course of several years.  

All this from a measly two and an eighth percent difference in interest.  Go ahead, check an online mortgage calculator.  Enter some different interest rates, and you'll be amazed!

We plan to take the money we're saving every month and apply it to the mortgage.  We were used to paying $X anyway, might as well keep paying it, right?  This way, we'll (hopefully) be able to pay it off early.

If you're interested in refinancing, talk to a few different banks or mortgage companies to check out your options.  You can start by making phone calls to gather information, or you can gather info on the web.  Remember: you don't need to commit to anything up front, and don't let anyone tell you differently.

I know house prices have decreased significantly, but don't assume you don't have enough equity. You never know. 

I know it's boring, but read all the fine print to make sure you know what you're signing.  We've signed paperwork for three mortgages over the years, and this is our second refinance.  We're familiar with the paperwork now, but if you're not, ask someone to explain it to you.

Have you refinanced a home recently?  How did it go?

Back to October business.  School events, fall decorating (I haven't decorated yet, can you believe it?!) and of course, Halloween, a big favorite here.  See you for Wicked Awesome Wednesday!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Howdy, Ma'am

We live in New England, where people don't use formalities.  We don't tend to call people "Miss" or "Mister".  But I've noticed that people are calling me "Ma'am" more and more lately, and I don't like it.  

I'm 39.  Am I really a ma'am now?! 

I guess 39 qualifies for ma'am status. I remember the first time a cashier called me "ma'am."  It was soon after The Boy was born.  It was right around my 29th birthday.  I had a difficult labor and recovery, and The Boy would. not. sleep. He also cried a lot.  So, I'm sure I looked like death on a cracker.

But once I finally started getting more than two consecutive hours of sleep, this kept happening.  "Have a nice day, ma'am."  "Can I help you with that, ma'am?" 

I blame The Boy.

This photo was taken in 2010, so unless I've aged terribly in the past year (and I may have, for all I know), this is pretty much what I still look like:

According to The Free Dictionary, there is a second definition of ma'am:

ma'am [mæm mɑːm (unstressed) məm]
n
short for madam: used as a title of respect, esp for female royalty

Yeah, that's it.  They are referring to me as royalty.  (Never mind that ma'am is only used like this in England.)

Handy Man thinks this is funny.  He has a young face, so he got carded when buying alcohol until just a few years ago.  Of course, I reminded him that in New Hampshire, if you don't look like Yoda, you get carded at the liquor store. 

Once he stopped getting carded as often, he blamed facial hair.  "When I shave, I get carded.  When I look scruffy, I don't get carded," he said.

  Interesting.
Does this man look old enough to buy a bottle of vodka?  I say yes.

How about you?  Do you get called ma'am?  Do you live in a place where women are regularly called ma'am?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wicked Awesome Wednesday #34

Time for our 34th Wicked Awesome Wednesday.  Watcha got this week?
Here are some of the projects that caught my eye this week.

Momphotographer crocheted some cute mittens for her little one:

Johnnie from Saved by Love Creations made a bowl out of recycled magazines.  I want to make one of these!

Janny from Que Linda Crafts spruced up her bathroom with bright colors and accessories:

Amy from One Artsy Momma made these cute little monster pillows:

Brittany from Crafty Mischief made a cute Halloween banner: 

Chad's Workshop shows us the perfectly organized garage.  Wow!  

Jessica at from the ground up made these pretty mason jar soap dispensers:

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Monday, October 17, 2011

The Shed Book is Here

The Shed Book Is Here!

Remember the book about sheds? 

The Pocket Guide to Sheds by Gordon Thornburn is out, and we have our copy!


There is a nice little chapter about Handy Man, and his shed.  Doesn't he look so cute and proud of himself?

Handy Man walked around smiling for days.  He's so excited!

No, we're not gonna show you more.  Go buy your own copy! ;-)  

It's a wicked interesting book about people (women, too, in this one) and their sheds.  People do some wicked fun stuff in their sheds.  Check it out, it's a great read.  I love reading books like this.

See you guys for Wicked Awesome Wednesday, and a new Free for All Friday this week.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wicked Awesome Wednesday #33

Time for Wicked Awesome Wednesday #33. 

Wow, loads of great projects this week.  One hundred and twenty two projects; that's a new record!

Here are some of the projects that caught my eye this week.

Kristy from 4 the love of wood made over some chairs: 

Love Sweet Love made the cutest Halloween craft.  A+ for creativity:

Katie at Wildwood Creek used some chalk paint in duck egg blue to fix up this table:

Suesan from Frou-FrouGal made over this dresser.  You've got to see the before photos:

Jessica at from the ground up shared a recipe for chocolate peanut butter bars.  Yum.  For fun, let's say it the New England way: 
Peanut Buttah Bahs

Lisa from Lazy Budget Chef showed us how to can strawberry peach jam:

Krista from Krista Artista made a chalkboard art gallery wall:

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Monday, October 10, 2011

How to Insulate Around a Window, Handy Man Style

It's been wicked warm here in New England, so we threw all the windows open.  Wheee!  Enjoy it while it lasts!

I've been pestering Handy Man about the window in the upstairs bathroom.  I thought maybe the weather stripping needed to be fixed. In cold weather, an icy breeze rips through that suckerTurns out, he needed to put some insulation around it. 

First, carefully take off the existing trim with a pry bar, so you don't break it and cause more work for yourself later.

Next, gaze in wonder at the huge gap around the window, and wonder why you never fixed it before.
Notice you can see the shed from this window

Gather some insulation from the basement that you've been storing for ages, telling your wife that you'd need it "someday."  Stuff it into crack.  Feel smug about finally using the insulation.
  
Take a pneumatic brad nailer, and nail the pieces of trim back up.

Leave a small pile of sawdust under the window for your wife to vacuum. 

Finally, smile and walk away when Crafty Woman says she has to fill the new holes and the cracks in the trim, 'cuz now she has something to add to her to-do list.

Edited to add: Handy Man informs me that he's been keeping that insulation since we lived in our first house...which was between 1996-2000!

Linking to: Not Just a Housewife

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wicked Awesome Wednesday #32

Time for Wicked Awesome Wednesday #32! 

I know I say this a lot, but how did it get to be Wednesday again?!

Here are some projects that caught my eye last week:

Cynthia at Simply Chic Treasures made a cute pencil holder out of a tin can:

Melissa from Shabby Love made over an old dresser:
 

Ashley from Domestic Imperfection made curtains for her dining room:

Katie from Wildwood Creek painted this interesting little octagonal table:

Mere and Ali from SewSweet made these snickerdoodle truffles.  Doesn't that sound mouth watering? I like the sound of them, never mind how good they look:

Jenny from Days of Chalk and Chocolate made a glam Halloween wreath (I guess it is October, whether I like it or not!):

Stephanie from My Creative Bright Side put on a baby shower for two friends that looks like something out of a magazine:

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Antique Finds

Whoops.  I worked on this post this morning, but instead of hitting eight something AM, I hit PM.  Then I went and did a bunch of stuff.  Then I came back tonight, and thought:

Where is my post?!

Oh.  Here it is.  Sitting in draft.

Also, for those who use Blogger: I'm having a lot of trouble with my "About Us" page.  It's mostly complete, but I wanted to add something to it.  Every time I try to edit the page, I get an error that says the number "500."  

Anyone know what that's about?  I've tried to edit the page, on and off for a couple of weeks now.  I can't find a reference to this error on sites about Blogger, either.  How annoying! 

I'm also having problems uploading photos today.  Guess I'm having a bad blogging day!


I wanted to show some things we found while antique shopping, recently.  

I love this little vignette.  Look at the wee little pumpkin tea set. 

Metal roller skates!! Raise your hand if you had these.  If you raise your hands, you're old.  

Yes, I actually had metal roller skates.  Not quite like this, but my first pair was metal.  I learned how to rollerskate on metal skates.  They made a terrible racket on the pavement

Look, a book about sheds!  Believe it or not, I love to buy old books for wicked cheap at antique stores.  Of course, you can find a lot of expensive, rare-ish books in antique stores.  But sometimes, you'll find books with nice photography and art work that are only about 10 or 20 years old.  Not really antiques, but you should check it out, if you like books.   
Yet more proof that I'm Old.  A doll I used to have, in an antique store.  I had the Ronald McDonald doll on the right.

Not the Burger King guy, he's just creepy.

I know clowns can be creepy, but I like Ronald. 
You KNOW you're old when you see toys from your childhood in antique shops

How about you?  Have you ever seen toys or items from your childhood in an antique store? 
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