Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bridge Down!

Well, all this rain and snow has caused a little havoc on our stream.

It swelled so much that it picked up an old bridge somewhere up stream of us, carried it downstream, and rammed the legs out from under our bridge!

See the two pieces there? If you click on the picture it should get big enough that you can see the remnant of the bridge that took ours out. Sad, isn't it?
But understandable considering where the water level normally is:

That's from last winter (no bridge!) But see that leaning tree on the far side just before the bend? See how that's about 3 feet outside the water's edge?

See it now?! That's from yesterday, and it's actually gone up overnight! What wacky winter weather we're having here- so much rain!
Well, at least we don't have to shovel rain!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rant: What's with Pro-Stupidity?

I was reading through the March issue of Lucky magazine last week and came upon an ad that just pissed me off:

Aside from the fact that the ad itself doesn't quite make sense...
Be Stupid? Really Diesel, that's the tagline you're going with now? (It's on the lower right corner of the page there.) Are you trying to say that in this economy it might be stupid to spend as much money as you charge for your products, but that's ok because we should really be striving to be stupid? I think I'll pass.

But what's really disturbing about this to me is that for a while the US seemed to be leaning toward a "be stupid" tagline for itself. All politics aside, nobody seemed to care much that President Bush (W) made up words like "nucular", regularly mispronounced the names of countries, (I-ran instead of Ee-rahn,) and generally had trouble putting a sentence together. That made people feel like he was approachable, they wanted to have a beer with him.

Meanwhile, when Barack Obama hit the scene and began giving some of the best speeches I've ever heard, people criticized him for speaking TOO well. Because he sounded intelligent he was called elitist, and accused of not being able to understand the problems of "real" Americans. The word "intellectual" was used in negative connotation.

But I thought in the last year or so we'd moved beyond that. As verbal flubs exited the headlines, I assumed they also left the realm of desirable attributes.
And now this?!

Come on.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Easy, Elegant Mantle Decor

The simplest mantle display I know is also a no-fail go-to.

Most people already have either a large mirror or piece of art over their mantle.

Add a couple of classic candle sticks with white or cream tapers. I used crystal holders, but silver, gold or wood work just as well!

Arrange a bunch of tulips in low container, round or square works best. (Other flowers work also, but none are quite as graceful as tulips!) Here I used a turquoise teapot.

I also left a couple of mercury glass votive holders up to balance the lamp I have near the other end, but you really don't need anything else up there!

Light your candles, sit back and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Eulogy for Skittles

Dear Skittles,

So Curious

So Communicative

So Sweet

And So Tolerant

Who will follow me when I'm doing nutty things in the backyard?
Or hang out with me in the garden?

And who will snuggle with me on the couch, oh so awkwardly?

Who will teach Toby how to be a proper cat?

You, the Strong One with the Soulful Eyes

You will be missed.

I miss you already.

Goodbye, My Kitty.

Rest In Peace 2/10/2010.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Shattered Nails No More!

A couple of winters ago my nails started performing this new and obnoxious trick where almost the moment they grew beyond the quick, they split and chipped right back down. Not fun.

About a month ago SlimPaley complained about the same affliction on her blog, (which is pretty great, by the way) to which one of her readers responded by recommending a Biotin supplement. She swore by it, and I thought, why not?
The next time I was in Target I swung by the pharmacy aisle to see what the price was and whether it was worth the gamble. Well, let me tell you, 100 pills, one a day, at $1.94? That's a price I'm willing to bet on! So I bought this one:

And I have to say that it's been a little miracle worker! In just about a month and a half, my nails went from 12-year-old-boy-like, to this:

You know, it's really hard to take a picture of your own nails without looking all wrinkly...

These babies have even been filed down shorter! Without even the extra help of clear polish (let alone the number of hard-as-nails type products I'd been trying for a couple of years), the Biotin supplement worked wonders. I'm hoping that once they've had time to completely grow out that the little ridges in the last two nails will go away. But even if they don't, I'm pretty darn happy!

So, seriously, if you have this problem (Mom!), go out and get yourself some Biotin supplements!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Living Room Paint Options

As a result of our new couches, which are a lovely cream and taupe jacquard, the pink walls in my living room had to go.

I wanted to go for a cream color that would be kind of tone-on-tone with the couches (I thought that might make their petite stature a little less odd looking!) Or a light gray that would make all the gold tones I have in the room really pop.

Somehow, however, this was remarkably difficult to do. The wall over the couch gets lots of direct sunlight during the day, and is flanked by two lamps with fluorescent bulbs at night, which does really strange things to colors! Things kept looking very blue during the day, or strangely green at night.

Here they are in daylight:

1) Bronzed Beige- Benjamin Moore
2) Gilded Linen- Valspar
3) Frosted Shadow- Valspar
4) Ballet White- Benjamin Moore
5) Montpelier Madison White- Valspar
6) Timid White- Benjamin Moore
7) Montpelier Madison White with 50% White added- Valspar
8) Luna- Valspar
9) Churchill Hotel Vanilla- Valspar
10) Saffron Ivory- Valspar
I also tested Pirate Coast and Pearl Ash, both Valspar, but those got painted over!

And the same colors at night:

Check out number 1- it went from Coffee Ice Cream to Pea Soup! And 2, Gilded Linen, in any other light looked almost gold, but here it looks steel grey. 7 and 8 also really had no blue in them, but looked very blue in daylight. Go figure. I really liked #4, but it was a little dark, and tended toward maroon at night.
But number 6, that's looking promising! Silvery during the day and gold-ish at night, it might just work!
So now I'm off to prime the heck out of that wall... stand by to see what happens next!