One woman’s trash

Wall heaterA major victory was accomplished last week.

The old Peerless wall heater that has been haunting my basement is out the door and on to a new life.

This heater ran on natural gas. I had it disconnected by professionals about a year ago.

Finally, my partner-in-crime and I wrenched it from its wall, used a Shop Vac to blow out years of dust, dog fur and dreadfulness, hauled it up to the garage, and listed it on Bis-Man online.

I didn’t know if it worked. I asked $25. And I sold it in a couple of days.

The man who wanted it was hot-to-trot. I could tell he was worried somebody else would get to it before him. He planned to use it in his garage. I really hope it worked for him.

Wall heater

Wall heater in the basement bedroom where the kitties live.

The biggest reason I was so ready to finally get rid of it was because the kitties had learned how to escape their room through the hole below it.

I awoke one morning a couple months ago to a very scared and mournful screaming. Sweet Pea had gotten out and apparently couldn’t remember how to get back into the room with Basil. So, I reinforced the cardboard that had been keeping them in, and went about my life.

A couple weeks ago, two days before their surgeries, I went downstairs to check on them. Normally when I open the door to their room, they both come bursting out ready for food and pets.

This time, only Basil was there. I looked in the room, fearful that Sweet Pea had found the wire underneath the heater and had chewed her way to an electrocution.

No Sweet Pea.

I went into the laundry room, which was the room to which the hole would lead. The door was closed, which meant if Sweet Pea was in there, there was nowhere for her to go. My laundry, etc., was scattered everywhere. No Sweet Pea.

I looked to the ceiling. I had been hearing weird sounds in the furnace ducts. Did she somehow find her way there? No way.

I went out of the laundry room and back to their room. On the way, I found Sweet Pea.

I reinforced the cardboard, and went to the laundry room to see how long it would take her to escape once again.

Less than two minutes.

Wall heater

You can see the rug.

So I shoved an old rug in the hole and hoped for the best.

That worked, but I knew it wouldn’t work forever.

Now, the heater is gone, the entire hole is filled with impenetrable sheet rock, and the room is secured.


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Sweet Pea and Basil (not a garden post)

There is a new chapter in life.

I added two kitties to my home, for better or for worse.

Skol! Sweet Pea and Basil

Sweet Pea and Basil watch the Vikings. Skol!

Sweet Pea and Basil first came to me as fosters. Their mother, reportedly an excellent mouser, was tragically killed. She left behind five hungry little offspring, who may have gone days without a meal until they were discovered.

They were born on a horse farm. A very loving horse farm, in that the matriarch desperately fed all the kitties every four to six hours until she couldn’t do it any longer. A plea went out on Facebook, to see if any foster families were available.

I grew up on a farm, with a steady stream of kittens to entertain me. I hadn’t really been around kittens for an extended period of time in about 15 years. So I decided, yes, I would take two little ones in, feed them until they were strong, and then send them back to the farm.

Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea, being sweet.

I couldn’t follow through on that last step.

After asking several people to see if they would like a couple kitties – and after having several come to the tough decision that they couldn’t take in two little furballs – I decided they would be mine.

Despite not wanting fur on anything.

Despite not wanting scratches on anything.

Despite not wanting to clean out a litter box.

Despite my partner-in-crime being allergic. And despite finding out that I’m more-than-likely allergic, too.

Despite all that, they became part of my home.


Basil loves to watch cars.

They spend their days while I’m away locked in a basement room. It’s not as bad as it sounds. I have a walk-out basement, so they get a ton of sunlight every day. When I get home from work, they are free to roam my house, minus my bedroom, bathrooms and laundry room. And on the weekends, they get many hours of roaming.

I think I will soon put a door on the entrance to my basement so that they get a little more space as they get bigger.

They have grown so much already. They feel like full-grown cats, through at only about four months now, I realize they will get much bigger yet.

Sweet Pea and Basil. My little sillies.

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Tribute to a neighbor

Yesterday, you saw a wave of snow on my neighbor-to-the-north’s home: snOMG.

She is no longer living there. The home is vacant.

Pam was a great neighbor, not only in that she was quiet, clean and kept to herself. She took great care of her yard.

Her backyard was a haven for honey bees and bumblebees. Her flowers brought all the bees to the yard.

She had inherited her home from her mother, who set up the beautiful landscaping. Pam was quick to point out that she was just taking care of what her mother had started.

She had tiered layers of gorgeous perennials. She had a wonderful flowering tree, in which I saw my first — and only, so far — blue bird. She had so many knick-knacks and gnomes and doo-dads, I think she moved them around her yard every day.

One day a couple months ago, as she and her daughter were selling Girl Scout cookies, my neighbor-across-the-street asked if I had seen Pam lately. I hadn’t. I had been on a week-long trip, and since home, had been sick. She pointed out that Pam’s car had been sitting in the driveway for a few days.

The next night, we found out Pam had died, when Pam’s friends stopped by to check on her and called the police.

Her family started visiting the house a couple days later, and for many weekends after that, to clean things out and get the house ready for sale.

Just this last week, the listing went up. And though I was only home for a few hours, I saw at least five groups of people come to check it out. One of them, I know, which is pretty cool. As long as everything goes through, they will be my new neighbors.

My only wish was that the new owner would take care of Pam’s flowers, and I believe my new neighbors will. Pam and her mother left a legacy that will live with this house for years to come.

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Today is definitely a snow day. The TV weather people had been forecasting it for a couple days, to start Saturday night and dump 6-13 inches through Sunday night.

Last night at midnight, there were only a couple flakes. When I got out of bed at 9 a.m., there was at least a half foot, blown into drifts. Now mid-afternoon, I would guess there is a foot of snow.

I will tell this story via Tweets, since that’s easier. And Lord knows, I haven’t been blogging unless it’s easy.

The other big Twitter news today was Justin Bieber’s thoughts on Anne Frank.

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Everyday happiness

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As in the time of Franklin

Tomorrow something monumental will happen in my home.

I will have, before noon, a reasonable electrical outlet in my bathroom. To me, it’s almost like the discovery of electricity itself.

Since 1964, the occupants of this residence have resorted to extreme measures to use a blow dryer, curling iron or radio.


The only outlet, in the light fixture above the mirror.


The cord, strewn across the mirror.


The sad outlet, hanging near the grotesque bathroom floor.

This is something that should’ve happened before I even moved in. It was listed in the conditions under which I would buy my home. But somehow, it was too difficult to get this done.

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Clean up and abandonment



This is a story that began one-and-a-half years ago. I chose today’s topic because of what I’m wearing.

You may remember The Rent is Too Damn High party. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you understand why I identified with name of the party, if not its champion, Jimmy McMillan’s, ideology.

One of my favorite websites,, offered a T-shirt that was made for me. I bought it in the midst of my house hunt, and swore to wear it on the day I left my apartment for good.

I wore the T-shirt on the day I finally turned over the keys on an apartment I had lived in for eight years.

You may note I’m wearing a winter coat in that photo. It was New Year’s Eve 2010. I took that photo inside my new house, already anticipating this particular blog post.

temp and time

It was a cold and snowy winter.

new blinds

I even replaced the blinds in my bedroom with new ones from Walmart. They cost less than $10. The originals were extremely dusty.

I spent quite a bit of time cleaning my apartment. I was so worried they wouldn’t give me my full deposit because something was dirty.

I had felt so taken advantage of by Goldmark that I didn’t want to give them any reason to keep any of my money. I cleaned every square inch, including the walls.

I hired my own carpet cleaner because they were going to take $100 out of my deposit to hire one for me. I vowed to find a carpet cleaner for cheaper than that.

Remember the note I posted in this post?

On the Spot Carpet Cleaning actually cleaned my carpets for less than they had quoted because my carpets were so clean to begin with. I believe I paid $60. Read the rest of this entry »

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