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Glutton for Punishment

20141004_120106I am still working in the New Room. I should soon start to call it the den because it’s far from new. I finished stripping the wallpaper and am now firmly convinced that menopausal women should have a mandatory stopping point on wallpaper peeling at somewhere less than 8 solid hours, or insanity sets in.

Next, I had to assess the order of painting, and the colors I wanted to use. I wanted the wainscoting to be a solid color, chair and base rails to be white, and the upper previously-papered portion painted with a decorative wash. I like solid color, but there are so many imperfections in these walls, and I have so many different colors to incorporate, that the mottling seems to be the way to go. I can always change it if I want.

Because the wainscoting requires that I really push the brush into the crevices, I did that first, on Friday right after work, in a purple-grey taupe (purchased at BigBox) to match the carpet. I used Construction Gear’s new premium 4” paint brush for greater control. The edge on this brush is so precise that I cut in the wainscoting without needing tape – the bristles went to the very edges and I gently pushed the paint right to the trim. I am impressed. For my white, I mixed the rest of the Bullseye Primer with all the leftover white paint I found in the basement. While allowing the wainscoting to sufficiently dry, I spackled and sanded the walls smooth best I could. I then painted the rails with this white, using the great brush again. I extended the white to the patched upper walls using Construction Gear’s Purdy paint rollers.


Saturday was too beautiful to be indoors, and Andy and I enjoyed one of the best days, ever. I started the morning with about 6 hours of painting, then we went for a 5k hike along Lucy’s steep cross country training course and truly appreciated her running. After we caught our breath, I treated Andy at a nearby coffeehouse. We sat outside under an umbrella and talked leisurely and even got refills! In the frenetic pace of our lives, this felt incredibly decadent. Then he was back to shuttling the girls while I painted, and we touched base again in the evening for the game on TV.

On Sunday I started the decorative painting over the white walls. I applied the taupe using a dry brush and damp rag to smooth it all, bringing out the texture of the wall. I allowed that to dry, then went back and did the same with a satin beige (a quart found in the basement). I like the organic look of it all being very well-blended, like a fine leather.

20141011_110517I finished almost all of this over the weekend, but on Sunday, while I was waiting for a visit from Mo, I got a call from the hospital, that she had been taken in for being dizzy (ok, she and I are both dizzy, but this was the bad kind of dizzy!). In a nutshell, she had missed one of her medications for about a month. I will need to start checking in on her more often, in her apartment. On  my way home from that, I had time to stop at Andy’s for about ten minutes, to rest in him and end the weekend on a relaxing note.

Andy suggested that I paint the window frames and sills white to update the room further. I will do that, as well as add the final coats to all paint, this weekend, and call it a light weekend. I need one of those!

Sabre Pepper Sprays To Fit Your Needs

Looking for a pepper spray that delivers a powerful and reliable blast and fits your individual needs? Look no further than Safety Girl’s incredible selection of Sabre pepper sprays. Known for its power and reliability, Sabre offers pepper sprays for runners, cyclists, for your home, and your purse or pocket. Safety Girl sells these powerful self-defense tools at incredibly low prices, so get to the website and order yours today!

The Sabre Jogger Self Defense Spray for Runners features 35 ballistic shots of Sabre’s powerful pepper formula. An adjustable hand strap makes it easy to carry during a walk or jog. Whether you jog in a big city, on country roads, or in your suburban neighborhood, jogging makes you a vulnerable target for attackers. We all know it’s difficult to carry anything on your run—including important identification or a cell phone—but having a method of protecting yourself from attackers is of utmost importance. Make this small investment in your jogging safety and order one today!

Female cyclists are also vulnerable to attackers. Although cyclists travel at faster speeds than joggers, female cyclists are vulnerable to attackers in cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other bikes. Like joggers, cyclists often find it cumbersome to carry anything on a ride, including personal identification. Never fear, however! Sabre has created the Sabre Cyclist Self Defense Spray, designed specifically for bikers. The pepper spray container easily attaches to the bicycle frame, but removes easily for immediate access and reliability. The 1.25-ounce canister of Sabre’s powerful pepper formula contains sixty ballistic shots.

If you’re looking for personal protection at home and on the go, Sabre has created a Combo Home Pepper Foam and Away Self Defense Spray Protection Kit. This powerful kit contains a large, 2.5-ounce unit of Sabre’s powerful pepper formula. With a glow-in-the-dark safety and wall mount clip, you’ll be able to store your at-home canister out of reach of children or animals. The 0.54-ounce away unit features a black key chain with a quick-release key ring for accessibility and ease of use.

Don’t Push Your Luck with a SafetyGirl!

By Denamarie Ercolani

Pepper SprayAt Safety Girl, we want women to be ready for any situation, whether it’s a ripped blouse or an uninviting man who just keeps pushing his luck. Recently, we introduced you to our latest product, Safety Girl’s Maximum Strength Pepper Spray. This small yet powerful canister projects a ballistic stream of maximum strength pepper spray into the eyes of any aggressor. If you miss him the first time, have no fear because the canister contains 25 potent shots.

So you’re probably sitting there reading this blog and thinking, “Okay, so you already encouraged me to buy the pepper spray, which I did, but how does it work? What does it really do to the attacker? How do I use it effectively? What happens if it gets into my eyes?”

Well, we have the answers for you.

The active ingredient in pepper spray, or mace, is Oleoresin of Capsicum (OC). This is an inflammatory agent that causes temporary blindness, due to intense pain, causing the automatic closing of the eyes. The effects last from 30 minutes to two hours. OC may cause permanent damage if sprayed from less than six feet. For attackers under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they may feel minimal effects which may require you to continuously spray them in the eye. Before putting your pepper spray to use, practice utilizing it to avoid getting a face full yourself- which can be very counterproductive. When using the spray, make sure to aim for the attacker’s eyes, duck away to dodge any back spray, then, of course, run.

Pepper SprayIf the pepper spray inadvertently lands into your eyes, remain calm. Refrain from rubbing or touching the area affected. Pepper spray antidotes include milk, baking soda paste, or honey. Soap or detergent can help wash it away. To reduce the burning sensation, ice, cold water or a fan are most effective. Avoid applying oils to the irritated skin as this can trap the capsicum and lead to worsening burns and blistering.

When it comes to self-defense weapons such as pepper spray, they are most effective if already in hand and ready to use. It doesn’t help you if you have to rummage through your chaos of a purse when caught in a emergency situation. When walking alone in a parking lot, waiting for a train or bus on a dimly lit street corner or station, walking to your apartment, dormitory, or house, have it in your hand for quick and effective use.

Did you know that a woman is raped every 46 seconds in America? That’s 78 rapes each hour! Also, 75 percent of every rape is committed by a man that the victim knows. 25 percent of rapes take place in a public area or a parking garage. So be prepared with Safety Girl’s Maximum Strength Pink Pepper Spray.

Blast Knuckles

Blast KnucklesIf the nice weather has given you the urge to get outside and go for a walk or jog, but the area you live in poses a potential threat to your safety, Safety Girl has the perfect solution for you. Safety Girl’s Blast Knuckles are your most powerful line of defense, protecting you from any potential attacker.  These Blast Knuckles, upon contact with an attacker, deliver a whopping 950,000 volts that will leave any living thing defenseless and will allow you ample time to flee the scene before your attacker recovers.

These Blast Knuckles are coated with rubber and fit securely around each finger.  The soft contour grip allows for full control.  There is also a red LED on/off indicator light for safety.  The Blast Knuckles come with a heavy-duty nylon case and a belt clip for easy storage.  Two CR2 batteries are also included.  You’ll save nearly 20% off the list price.

As with any self-defense weapons, these Blast Knuckles are not a substitute for personal safety precautions.  If you live or work in a dangerous area, try not to walk alone, especially at night or in unpopulated areas such as alleyways.  If you do need to walk alone, be aware of your surroundings: don’t wear earphones, talk on your cell phone, or send text messages.  If you use public transportation, try to wait in a nearby store or restaurant instead of waiting outside on the street.  Wear shoes that you can move quickly in if you needed to flee a scene: avoid stiletto heals or open-backed shoes or sandals.

Even if you take the above precautions, however, carrying a compact but powerful self-defense weapon can be your ticket to safely fleeing a situation, and you won’t get a better bang for your buck than these Blast Knuckles!

Stripping Wallpaper

The cost for this room so far is about $250 for the carpet remnant, $8 for the paper tiger, and $25 for the paint. I am going to use some white and beige paint I found in the basement, and I have an extra roller and some brushes. I will need carpet padding, which will cost about $107, and because I am so very much enjoying light in these rooms, I am not sure what to do for curtains, if anything. Those will add to the cost. So far, I expect the project to cost $400, which is over budget, but the laundry room didn’t cost anything. I’m doing ok so far.

This past week I used a screwdriver to remove about 30 hooks from the wall. I am not sure why I don’t want to look for the cordless screwdriver or drill with driver bits that I am certain my dad has in the basement. I tell myself it’s because I don’t want to strip the screws, but the truth is probably that I find this work therapeutic and connects me to my father. I found (true to his form) that the wall paper was used in lieu of corner bead and proper drywall seaming, so I will have to do a bit of spackle work before I paint, and use the trim he had covering some of it, that I really didn’t want to rehang.

I was so delighted with the first pull against the base coat of wallpaper. I really was going to paint over it but when I tugged, it came off like an old sticker, almost like contact paper. I will have to scrape some, but age did a great thing to some of this wall paper. I am including a photo of the three layers of wall – primed drywall and two passes of paper. Call this the before shot.

20140927_153150My friend Gale, who was supposed to come last month, surprised me Saturday morning – she brought lunch and some spare time. We used the paper tiger to score the vinyl paper, a squirt bottle to penetrate to soften the glue underneath, scraper to remove all the layers, and some elbow grease. As we worked, we caught each other up on our lives. We live two hours apart now and we both do all we can to maintain the friendship. The girl time was great! While we were peeling, my neighbor who happens to be an electrician, came to move my 220 service for my new stove, and Gale and I kept chatting. The gentleman and his son got an earful! He must have enjoyed the gossip because when he left, he refused my check. Said we were neighbors. This is the true legacy my dad left, and I decided that day I must continue it.

Andy was away again with Lucy, for a hockey tournament. She scored first, which is typical of this dynamo, and had a couple assists. I stopped by Sunday when they got back and they were arguing about the top ten modern marvels. Andy put air conditioning on the list and Lucy researched to present her opinions on why she did not agree. Wrapped in a verbal battle, she was learning to reason, debate, and defend. I swear that girl should be a lawyer. Grace was upstairs resting but later came down to play the piano. I’m a big fan.

I really didn’t use any of the blog items in simply unscrewing, peeling and assessing, so I wanted to just go over the First Aid Kit I will have at the ready for this project. Not that I hope to use it. It’s the perfect size and the case is durable plastic. It’s got bandages, towelettes, disposable gloves, and tape, as well as tweezers, burn cream, and a cold compress. Everything is single use so there is no risk of contamination. Now let’s put that away and see if I can go without using it!

Hunting Bear?

Bear SprayIf you camp for recreation or work for the U.S. or State Parks or Forests, there’s no better way to ward off bears than with Frontiersman Bear Spray. These Frontiersman Bear Sprays contain the maximum amount of Capsaicin and Related Capsaicinoids (CRC) allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure your safety against bears. At 2.0% CRC, Frontiersman sprays are 33% stronger than SafetyGirl’s Sabre personal defense sprays.

The Frontiersman Bear Spray and Attack Deterrent contains 7.9 onces of bear spray and is an excellent choice for an animal attack deterrent. The spray delivers a 30-foot range, has a glow-in-the-dark safety, and delivers a heavy fog sure to ward off even the fiercest bear.

If you’re looking for a little extra range, the Frontiersman also makes a 9.2-ounce bottle of Bear Spray and Attack Deterrent that delivers a 35-foot range.

The Frontiersman Bear Spray and Attacker Deterrent with Chest Holster includes the 7.9-ounce bottle of Bear Spray with an integrated chest holster. Having a chest holster allows for the quickest delivery of bear spray, saving you the trouble—and potential danger—of searching through your pack or tent for the glow-in-the-dark safety. The chest holster is highly recommended for anyone in danger of coming in contact with a bear. The Frontiersman 9.2-ounce Bear Spray and Attack Deterrent is also available with the chest holster.

Frontiersman also makes a Bear Spray and Attack Deterrent with Holster. The holster can be easily slipped through a belt for ultimate access to this life-saving attack deterrent. The spray and holster combination is an excellent and convenient way to protect yourself against aggressive bears.

Healthy Eating Tips

Healthy Eating PyramidIn our media-centered society, it can be nearly impossible to keep up with the latest nutrition news and sort out the real advances in nutrition from the fad diets. And with so many of us leading very busy lifestyles, it can be even more difficult to eat healthy on the run.  This article will offer some basic tips that will help you develop and maintain a healthy diet and not get caught up in the latest fad diets.

To begin your healthy diet plan make sure you include all of the major food groups: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat and lean protein, and healthy fats.

Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that protect us from diseases and infections including stroke, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.  Fruits and vegetables also contain fiber to aid our digestive system and help us to feel full longer.

To maximize the vitamins and minerals from produce, try to eat five servings per day and eat a variety of colors throughout your day and week.  Some examples of nutrient-rich fruits include dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, apples, oranges, and bananas.  To avoid getting bored with your fruits and vegetables, try as many new ones as possible and eat in season for maximum flavor.

Whole grains: Whole grains are important because they give us energy in the form of carbohydrates.  They also contain dietary fiber that can help reduce blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease.  The fiber in whole grains also provides sustained energy and helps us to feel fuller longer.

Whole grains also contain B vitamins, folate, iron, magnesium, and selenium that support healthy metabolic, circulatory immune systems.  Most adult women need about 6 servings of whole grains per day, although requirements vary with activity level.

Avoid eating refined grains—i.e. foods made with enriched or white flour—as much as possible as refined grains do not supply the fiber and minerals that whole grains do and often contain high amounts of sugar.  To eat more whole grains, try whole wheat breads and pastas, brown rice, bulgur wheat, barley, quinoa, and oatmeal.

Protein: Proteins support healthy bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Proteins provide our bodies with important vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, iron, and magnesium; they also support hormone and enzyme production and support the metabolic, immune, and circulatory systems.

Most Americans get their protein from meat and dairy products.  If you eat meat and dairy products, be sure to choose low-fat dairy products such as skim milk and lean meats such as chicken and turkey over beef.  This reduces saturated fat intake, which lowers bad cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease.  In addition to meat and dairy, however, fish, nuts, seeds, and legumes such as tofu and beans can serve as excellent sources of protein and are naturally low in cholesterol and saturated fat.

Healthy fats: Fats provide energy and are vital for building and maintaining cell membranes and producing important hormones.  They slow down the body’s absorption of nutrients so that we can go longer without feeling hungry.  They are also carriers for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Try to reduce your saturated fat intake and increase your intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats by eating less animal fats—butter, cream, and fatty meats—and eating more olive oil, non-hydrogenated (expeller pressed) vegetable oil spreads such as Earth Balance, sesame oil, and natural nut butters.  Other healthy fat sources include avocados, almonds, and flaxseeds.

Here are a few more tips to establishing and maintaining a healthy diet.

Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is important for maintaining energy levels, body function, and a healthy body weight.

Limit your alcohol intake. Most women should drink no more than one alcoholic beverage per day.  Although a single glass of red wine provides some cardiovascular and metabolic health benefits, most other alcohols such as beer and liquor are detrimental to our health and contain “empty” calories.

Limit your intake of sugars, particularly refined sugars such as high fructose corn syrup. Sugar is highly caloric and does not contain much nutritional value.  It can contribute to tooth decay and high cholesterol and causes a sharp spike in energy levels in contrast to the prolonged energy levels we can obtain by consuming whole grains.

If you are trying to lose weight, don’t starve yourself. When you restrict calories suddenly, your body goes into “starvation” mode and will halt your metabolism, making it very difficult to lose weight.  Instead, eat several small meals per day to keep your metabolism functioning at maximum speed.

At each meal, try to include a complex carbohydrate—a fruit, vegetable, or whole grain—and a low-fat protein. This will provide your body with the most energy while consuming calories sensibly.

Eat breakfast. Eating breakfast supports a healthy body weight, sustained energy levels throughout the day, and an active mind.

There are lots of great resources for eating healthfully.  Here are a few helpful links:

Health Magazine

Cooking Light

Replacing a tub spigot would be easy for anyone but me

20141005_19444420141005_195153When I was redoing the bathroom, I found an extra tub spout, with adapter. It sure looked better than the old one! So last night I decided to make the swap. It’s a threaded kind, so if I had a charmed or even normal life, it would be a matter of unscrewing the old, wrapping the threaded connection with teflon (or plumber’s) tape, and screwing the new one on, as shown. Unfortunately, neither the original threads or the adapter’s threads matched my connector so now I just have an empty spout sticking out of my wall until I can find the right spout at BigBox (if it exists) or get a plumber in to put a standard connector onto my copper plumbing. I tried to put the old spout back on, but it was so corroded that it literally fell apart when I took it off.20141005_194355

New Name for an Old Room

20140719_132630I thought the laundry room would be the most disgusting room, but when I moved to the New Room, I saw I was wrong. Apparently the entire house is going to be a surprise like this. My parents had 3 birds and there were peanut shells and bird food under every single piece of furniture I moved in this room.

20140719_132626As I mentioned in the introduction to this year-long project, Daddy enclosed the porch after about 3-5 years and we started calling this the “new room.” It’s been probably 35-40 years being new. Over the years it’s been a TV room, craft room, office. It was the room in which Daddy spent his last month, and died peacefully in his mother’s chair. It’s really not a new room anymore. I plan to move my piano in here, as well as a table that can be used for crafting or surplus guests for a holiday. Would it be a parlour? Does anyone have any suggestions on its new name?

In this room, my tasks are removing the furniture and cleaning the room out, removing two coats of wallpaper that have been on the walls for probably 30 years, painting the wainscoting and chair rail, rag rolling the walls, adding trim, replacing the carpet and padding, and then decorating. I would like to give this room a new name (finally) but I’m not sure what that should be. I would also like to give this room a contemporary and elegant look. The carpet I got as a remnant the other weekend, in a subtle taupe. I need to mottle the walls with a combination of silver, beige, and white, to tie all the colors together. Right now the colors are a tealy-mint green under taped-on industrial grey carpet, and the latest pass of wallpaper is about 15 years old.

I’ve been using the sticky knee pads, gloves, respirator, and coveralls faithfully, and I like the products. But you probably would like to hear about some different ones, so I will dig back into my box of goodies. I’ll use the disposable face mask for patching the walls when I sand them and be sure I have the First Aid Kit on hand.

20140719_132651To get started on this room, I tried to clean it out of furniture. The local AmVets are getting the entertainment system and bookcases that I am getting rid of – unless they are too big to take. If that’s the case, I suppose they are just going to sit in my car port for awhile. I started randomly pulling wallpaper off the wall (and some of it is coming off very well!). I picked up paint chips and a paper tiger at my local BigBox. My dad had a comprehensive collection of railroad lanterns that he kept in this room, so my first task this week is to unscrew all of the old hooks that held his collection and continue cleaning enough so there is room to work and start to methodically use that paper tiger on the walls.

Until we meet again…

Home Remodel – detour along the way

20140928_133230 I need to add a couple side projects on this home project. Remember in the bathroom, I was unhappy with the old sink base hardware, but the new hardware came with screws that didn’t fit? This weekend I got the new hardware anyway and found my dad’s bolt cutters in the garage. Result? Screws that fit! I am adding $25 in cost to this room. I can sit back and call it done, thanks to many of the great construction and safety products at SafetyGirl, Discount Safety Gear, and Construction Gear.

20140927_185952Additionally, in preparing to start work on the New Room (I’m not sure if I will change the room’s name, or not), I had to get rid of all the furniture I didn’t want. Andy claimed one of the bookcases, and while the gross carpet was still down, I deglossed it and slapped 3 coats of black paint on it for him. 20140927_074223He came and got it yesterday and I hope it was dry enough that it didn’t ruin the upholstery in his van. I used the disposable coveralls and gloves that I’ve been using, for this, too. I am finding disposable gloves are indispensable for pretty much everything in the house.