December 2009

I wish I had more time/money.

My birthday was yesterday. I’m 2*.

I’m getting fired up about too many things.

I got lots of cool presents.

I have too many irons in the fire.

But in a good way.

Is this corny or what? I created a new tab called “I want to…” It’s one of those “I want to learn to play the violin before I die” things.

Some of my goals may seem to contradict each other (like 72, 73, and 74) so if you have any questions feel free to ask. 🙂

Hey, I can dream!

My brother sent an email trying to plan how we’re going to spend Christmas and Christmas Eve. Among suggestions of dune-buggying, eating, and shooting stuff (that was on there, right?) he suggested doing projects around my house. What a nice brother, right? That’s the way my family is- no, he doesn’t owe me anything, he just looks at me (probably with a pitying frownsmile) and thinks “That girl still hasn’t grouted ________ or painted _____ or cleaned up ________ .” And that stuff sort of makes its way onto his to-do list. My fam is hard to explain.

Anyhow, so I was saying “There really isn’t anything big that I need help on, we should do something else.” His response: “Oh really? Your back door needs a doorknob, your front door needs weatherstripping, you need to paint your fireplace, and your front door…” then I started realizing that yes, I need to hem all of my curtains that just lay bunched up on the floor, and fix the bathroom doorknob so it doesn’t lock you inside, and take that nasty old rug to the DI, and put on switchplate covers,  and do some more cleaning up… ahh, I discovered a to-do list that I didn’t even realize I had.

Oh and laundry.

Merry Christmas!

Thanks to Stan’s dad, who happens to be a licensed electrician, I got a lot of stuff done this week. Well, they got a lot of stuff done while I was at work. They replaced my whole electrical panel and installed a grounding system. Wow! Thanks guys!

I don’t have a “before” pic of the old panel (why would I?) but here it is lying defeated in the truck bed trailer.

Ta-dah- the macho new one!

OK in case you can’t tell, it’s much bigger, and there’s a lot of other stuff about it that’s better that I don’t really know about. It took Stan, Duncan, and their dad Brad about 4-5 hours to do this. Whew! I asked Brad how he felt about his line of work- you don’t really get to see a dramatic “after” or anything. He said it was actually pretty gratifying though, and he also likes to plan lighting so that part would be pretty cool.

Anyway, it’s important that it was bigger, because I plan on finishing the basement. Now there are lots of nice empty spots for future breakers to go. And since the basement will likely be a little mother-in-law apartment (supplemental income baby) it’s good that it’s in the stairwell so both parts of the house can access it when they blow a breaker blow-drying their hair while making toast and microwaving leftover Mexican food while they watch TV in the kitchen.

More stuff I don’t know about: They put in a grounding rod that looks like this:

Hard to believe that that thing is actually about 8 feet tall! I have no idea how they pounded it into the ground that far, and how they got so lucky as to not hit any rocks on the way down. So the grounding rod is important because if there’s some deviant electricity and you’re nearby then it would rather go down the grounding rod and into the ground instead of going through your body and into the ground. Or something like that.

An obstacle they faced when replacing the panel was the shower line- the plumbers had cleverly snaked it around the old panel, but since this one is much bigger, Brad had to cut it. But he very sweetly came back the next day and fixed it. It cracks me up how wonky it looks (and I’m definitely NOT criticizing because there really isn’t any other way!) and now every time I turn on the shower I’ll think of the water flowing around and around all those turns before it gets to me.

Oh and see that outlet just to the left of the panel? Yeah- that’s the one that used to be in the shower. My brother used his creative genius and just turned it around to get it out of there. Awesome.

Obviously I still need to patch the walls. I really couldn’t be more grateful for all their hard work! I didn’t even lift a finger on any of this.

And for fun, I’ll show you another Hidden Treasure like this one and this one. I guess they used to insulate wires with newspaper:

A 1 year-old car for $3697- yes please!

As a side note, for those who live in Utah and know that Larry Miller is a big car dealership- who is this Laury Miller character?

As always, I apologize for the bad photography. But I need some help! These are vaguely the colors in my guest room (the lovely quilt made by Aunt Soozie doesn’t have to stay there). So… basically black, white, and Desert Castle.

Here is the Desert Castle against white trim:

After I’d painted (of course) I found this picture in an old Domino magazine and I fell in love!

I never would have put mint green with red and black. Could my guest room pull it off? Can I keep the Desert Castle or does it have no place with the Domino colors? I welcome your suggestions!

PS- while this project is a ways off, meanwhile I’ve had some exciting pro-bono electrical work done that I will share with you when I’m able to photograph in daylight. Thanks Brad!

You may be reading my blog because you are thinking of buying a home, or because you already bought your first home. If you fit into the latter category, I’m just going to say a quick thing about getting your refund. You DON’T have to wait until April to file for the credit, unless you want to. If you want the money immediately (well, in 6 weeks which is about how long it takes to process), all you have to do is amend last year’s taxes.

If you know anything about taxes, or really anything about filling out forms, you could probably just download the 1040X form and the 5405 form and do it yourself. All the info you need will be in your closing documents and your 1040 from last year, and the forms have instructions that are pretty good.

However, I have about zero confidence in myself to not mess it up, so I paid an accountant $100 to fill them out instead. (I also didn’t file my taxes for three years, so that kind of demonstrates my level of competency on the subject, and maybe even on life itself).

Good luck getting your dough!

My inability to finish projects and remember to take pictures when it’s daylight is forcing me to blog about Christmas crafts. I don’t want to share too much because some of my giftees read my blog (I think) but I’ll give you a sneak peek.

These are the adorable fabrics I got from Piper’s in SLC.

I hope you like them as much as I do, because as for the house, I got nothin (except last night I tried chiseling away some plaster in the kitchen hoping to reveal brick, and sadly I was disappointed- no need for any pictures of that).

I picked up these adorable headbands for my nieces at my friend Astrid’s boutique, Sprout.

I hope they stay on their heads!

Here I am wistfully drinking tea from a cup that displays where I’d rather be, while crafin’ it up and listening to The Sing Off.

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