Sunday, August 30, 2009

The great renovation phase 1

So we have decided on doing a bit of upgrading around here. After much deliberation, a pile of phone calls and a few visits to home improvement type places we are ready to begin.

So I have offically picked out the paint colors that I will be giving to the painters for the inside of the least I think so. I have been using one of those on-line tools to help you see what a color actually looks like on the walls. I have picked and rejected a paint store's worth until I narrowed it down to one color for both bathrooms, the living/dining/kitchen area color and the three bedroom colors. Trim will be pure white of course. What looks good on a paint chip may not look good on broad surfaces, or with existing things like bedding. It has taken me several weeks just narrowing down my choices to ones I think we can all live with. WHEW!

I tried to pick colors that can go with a variety of accent colors, and that will blend well with the hardwood floors that will be our final and most expensive phase of this project. Now all I have to do is wait for the painting contractor to return my call for getting things started.

Phase 2 will, for us at least, involve moving all our furniture so the people can access all the walls, and taking down the window and wall treatments. The only big pieces I need to have help with will be the entertainment center and my massive bookshelf style headboard. That headboard will need to be disassembled for moving. I won't do that until absolutely necessary but hopefully soon.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I've written in another place

As I have written earlier, we celebrated my paternal grandmother's 95th birthday a few weeks ago. As part of the festivities I wrote a few words in her honor which appeared a few days on my Miss Mom column over at What I wrote was well recieved by the guests gathered and I was asked by one to write a few words in the local paper about the birthday girl. So I did.

Today I got a copy of the article and a nice thank you note in the mail from my Mama'. They didn't give me credit for the piece and there were a few changes made on some details I wasn't clear about. Everything else was verbatim what I had submitted. The paper had called Mama' and she had made those small corrections that needed to be made.

I looked at the Mitchell News-Journal's website to see if I could access the article there but their website is not that comprehensive. At least I got a hard copy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This is a test, this is only a test

A few months ago I wrote about toilet paper in my weekly Miss Mom column. A few weeks ago I was contacted by a marketing company asking if I would test a new version of the brand that I just so happened to mention in my column. I agreed and they sent it. They also wanted me to write a follow-up on this so here it is.

I was sent a package of Charmin's Ultra Soft toilet paper. It claims that it one will use much less of this product then the other brands, and that it is also softer then other brands. So my youngest and I decided to test it.

The reason I had written the original column was because we tended to go through tp at a rapid rate, at least when the kids used it. The promise of using less to get the same results as what my family was used to had appeal. After a week Megan and I compared notes.

We both agreed that the new toilet paper was softer. Megan gave it a hearty thumbs up for using less to get the job done. As I don't tend to use large segements of toilet paper squares to begin with, and yes I still leave the bathroom clean, I didn't notice as huge a difference as my daughter, but there was a small one.

We had also recieved a sample of a Febreeze product. This product acted like a burnless candle. IT is pretty, takes up little space, and again Megan LOVES it. I can't smell a thing so I have to take her word for it. I will probably buy another refill for her bathroom.

Would I buy this particular toilet paper on my own? Maybe if it is on sale and I am out of my regular stuff that I buy in bulk from Sam's. I know this is a quality product and I would recommend it, especially to people who's skin tends to be sensitive as the softness of the product is quite nice. I would have to do a price versus longivity study to see if switching would be good for my budget. I am a bit on the frugal side afterall.

For more on the experience of how and why I ended up being a product tester, visit MyMiss Mom column on that should be posted some time today.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

buying used cars at $4500 a pop

Six days after the program started the federal Cash for Clunkers program ran out of funding. Some are calling it a huge success, but only a little over 22,000 cars were sold during that time. 22,000 people got new cars, some dealerships got some business, and the US Government purchased 22,000+ used vehicles at several times their actual value.

Yet again, those who deem it best at how to spend out tax dollars at making savvy useful purchases have proven once again their skill at finding a bargain. This "tax credit" to boost the economy and help the auto industry is a prime example of this. While congress is trying to come up with more fundings for this spectacular deal on used cars, and new car buyers are anxiously awaiting the chance to buy a car at prices closer to "after depreciation" prices, and dealerships are hoping to get rid of some inventory, while the government is in such a spending mood, I am still wondering what the feds are going to be doing with all those late model Buicks they now own?

I am not seeing any answers yet, but here are a couple of ideas.

Recycle the components of the cars, selling off the parts to help cover the cost of the program. That should net the US a few mil, and China will get more raw material to sell back to us.

Add those used cars to the real estate the feds have aquired from the banking bailout. Offer these properties with a free used car with every purchase.

Make every member of congress who travels more then 500 miles a year for fund raising efforts drive these vehicles to said fund raising efforts. Make them pump their own gas out of their personal incomes if they do so on an election year.

We'll see how all this pans out, but sheesh what a stupid idea this was. At least I think it was.