Sunday, January 30, 2011

No Sampling Allowed…



This sign in a Marshall’s Store caught my eye when I was wandering down the food aisle.


Marshalls sign


Sorry for the blurriness, I snapped both signs rather fast before some muncher could figure out what I was doing.




Apparently the store is having an issue with customers opening packages and sampling the goods.   I asked a sales person about the sign and she confirmed that the staff is always finding half-eaten packages of candy, cookies, and nuts. Sometimes, completely empty bags are found tucked in among the towels or rugs!

Now, I can’t for the life of me understand why some people feel entitled to do this, and I hardly think that any kind of signage is really going to deter them, but I guess some folks have rationalized that a quick sample really isn’t stealing!  In my mind, this is still a type of theft and is a situation worthy of calling the cops.   If someone had snitched anything else in the store, whether it held a small or a large value,  that person would be held until the law showed up. Why should this be any different?   What do you think?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dirty Little Secret


I have a dirty little secret….   I’ve always thought of myself as a very clean person and a good housekeeper. Heck, I don’t even own a mop- I wash floors on my hands and knees!   Does anybody else even do that anymore? So after wondering why the grout between the kitchen tiles kept getting darker and darker, I finally realized the problem- the installer didn’t seal the grout! Translation- Dirty Grout Lines!!!   


discolored grout

Now, while this may not look dirty to you, the grout was originally a medium colored brown against a variegated light brown/gold porcelain tile. It is now dark brown like what’s shown in this picture, which is in the area around the food prep area  and the island. Other areas throughout the rooms aren’t quite as bad.


old color

The only places the grout is the original color are the areas that have never gotten any wear- the pantries, the linen closet, and under the hutch. The lighting is different in this photo vs. the one above, but this is an example of the original color of the grout. It’s not a true color, since it is showing  up a little lighter than its original color, but I think you get the idea- it is clean!

I did an internet search to see how to clean the grout, and after much reading, I decided that the easiest and most economical way to do it was to use a steam cleaner.  So yesterday I began the work.   I stayed at it for an hour before taking my first break.  I quickly found out that this was not going to be an easy job! And certainly not as fun as a decorating project, that’s for sure.



It will be a bear of a job and will take me forever, I just know it! Each and every one of the grout lines surrounding approximately 600  square feet of tile in the kitchen, bath, hall, and laundry room will have to be steamed and then scrubbed with a brush.  Now you know why  my knees and wrist are sore today.



My hand-held  Shark steamer holds about two cups of water. That’s give me enough steam to clean a 4x5 area two times. I began by steaming the grout around each row then started scrubbing it with the brush. I finished by wiping it all down with a clear water rinse.  Then I repeated the entire process one more time. I was really surprised at what I was missing in the first pass, so I’m hoping the two-step process will be good enough. We’ll have to wait and see if I’m satisfied once I’m done. Knowing my OCD, I may steam it a third time!


knee pads

I’m wearing a set of knee pads to help cushion these joints of mine that have been abused by years and years of high impact aerobics. Even still, I have to get up and stretch.  Contrary to how I perceive myself, I guess I am not a spring chicken any longer!  You can see that the grout is looking lighter in this photo.  And yikes- it looks like I have thunder thighs here!  I blame the camera angle, cuz they really aren’t THIS big. 



grout line

Here’s the difference between a clean and a dirty grout line in an area that isn’t too dirty.  The vertical grout line on the left is clean, while the one on the right hasn’t been done yet.  The clean grout looks amazingly as clean as the unworn grout in the pantries. I tackled the worst spots yesterday- the ones around the sink and the island.

So, even though I’m only about 1/4 of the way into the job, it’s very satisfying to know that I’m erasing a few year’s worth of grime. And you know that when I get the floor completely done, I’ll be applying a grout sealer on it so I’ll never have to scrub like this again!  It’s my understanding that the floor should be re-sealed every year.  At about $48 a gallon, that’s a very small price to pay in order to avoid the aggravation I’m going through right now!  And that gallon should last me a while, too!


Well, I’m off to start  working on it again. I just spent two hours with the Pella window salesman and found out how much 32 replacement windows are going to cost us.  I have a bit of sticker shock right now! The only saving grace is that we can save 30% off the quoted price if we contract with them before Feb. 1.  Can you say very loudly, “Revamp the budget, Sue!”


I guess this qualifies as a before and after, even though it is kinda lame!  Visit Kim to see some real “decorating” boring to better projects!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How Did This Happen?


I recently received these pictures in an e-mail from a friend. How DID these animals get into their predicaments, I wonder?


how did this happen

This poor fellow was probably just peeking out from behind this cinder block wall when he saw a cat and decided to give chase.




One little hole and one big elephant doesn’t make for a good situation.




This donkey didn’t watch where he was going, either…




Rest break after a long climb up.




“Care to take  a drive with me?”




“The view from here really isn’t all I thought it would be.”




Bah, bah blue chair, I think you have some wool….




Do you  think he’s looking for Pooh’s hidden honey pot?




No room for a U-turn here!




I thought pigs liked to wallow in the mud…




Gives new meaning to having a spare tire around the middle.


I’ll be stuck inside today, anticipating the snow that started coming down about an hour ago. We’re supposed to get about six inches or so, but I never trust the weather service. The husband took my SUV to work today, and no way I’m driving his car in this weather. I’d be sliding into a ditch after rounding the first corner! So, I guess I’ll organize my  desk and contemplate an upcoming project.  Stay warm, those of you who are experiencing this same type of winter weather. And for those of you who are basking in temps above freezing,  just count your blessings and know that you’re lucky.  

                                                                                 ‘Cause, baby- it’s cold outside!


Saturday, January 8, 2011

De-cluttering, cleaning, and looking for the light at the end of the tunnel…





Now I know some of you remember that I said I was going to keep my holiday decor up a little longer  than usual, but I couldn’t take it any longer and I actually started taking down the holiday decor two days after Christmas. Problem is that I just finished today!   How could it have possibly taken this long? 

It’s been one heckuva time-consuming job over the course of the last 13 days.  Considering that it took about three weeks to put out, I knew that it would take a while to pack up.  But this long?  Whew- after the 33rd box was packed up this afternoon, you can bet that I let out one major sigh of relief.  Except that I’m not quite done yet- all those boxes and bins still need to be hauled up to the attic. Guess I’d better tell the husband that is what he’ll be helping me with tomorrow morning, shouldn’t I?   I think I’ll wait til tonight to spring that on him!

It hasn’t just been packing things up that has been keeping me busy non-stop.  If I had just been doing that, it would have taken me about three or four days.  But  no….   in between packing things up, I’ve been  cleaning, re-organizing, and purging the house of everything that I’ve decided is just plain clutter- one room at a time!   Cabinets, closets, drawers, shelves……..   aaaggghhhh!!   I knew I had a lot of things, but oh baby…… I just own too much stuff!!!   I’m at the point that I am contemplating a booth at a local re-sale shop or one humongous tag sale. 

But since there is no space at the shop I’d like to rent a space from and the winter weather in Ohio is not exactly conducive to having a yard sale, I am now stuck with the garage storage room and an entire extra bedroom piled high with things that I once thought I couldn’t live without.  What’s a girl to do?   I’m looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, and so far, it’s really dark in here!!!