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Month: September 2016

Family is Everything

Posted in Family Updates

If you ask the average person about their priorities, they will say that family is everything. Hands down, this is the answer. Many families have a built-in reciprocal understanding and respect and woe be to those who don’t. Arguments and conflict can never be resolved. It is far better to have a family structure that allows for personal differences and opinions. In my family, it fortunately has always been that way for siblings and parents alike. If someone is requested to help out with an errand, a chore, or a project, you get willing volunteers. When I hear about family feuds and parents and children who never speak, I feel very sorry for them. I would happily go out of my way to do something for anyone in the family in need. If it means taking the car for repairs, so be it. If it means mowing the lawn, I’m there. If it means delivering a package, visiting a friend, attending a meeting, or driving someone to a ball game—yes, I’m there. I look for special things to do to show my love and appreciation for my parents. It’s hard to find something. A gift isn’t what I have in mind. Not long ago we were all discussing how dowdy the house looks and I got the idea that we could repaint it as a family.

I let my parents choose their own house color and trim. It was decided that a two-toned appearance would be ideal. We all chipped in and bought the paint. Then there was the matter of application. You have your choice of brushes, a roller, and an airless paint sprayer. The spray by far would be the fastest way to go. Brushes are good for small areas and a roller for interior walls. I see the professionals use their sprayers and I know for a fact they are right: this is the best mode of repainting a house if you know how to use it.

After a long weekend of group painting, the house was finished and looked fabulous. I tried not to get my parents too involved so it would be a treat for them to stand by and watch only. They made their little comments, “don’t forget this area; don’t forget that one.” Most of the time it was sheer adulation at our expert handiwork. I can’t imagine the days when people used brushed and not airless sprayers. One day someone probably got wise to modern methods. It was a great boon to the house painting industry. It is easy, quick, and functional. It cuts down on valuable time. I like that we own our sprayer so we can do touch ups now and then. Most people borrow them and have to clean them up before you return it. Now we had all the time in the world to attend to such matters. We just had to take a break from admiring our skill.

I Love My Dog, But…

Posted in Family Updates

I love the commercial for Swiffer projects that shows a little white dog named Lulu whose hair practically floats the owner says. It is all over the house and under the chairs and the sofa. It is thick as dust. The owner discovers that cleaning it up just takes a wet mop that suddenly arrived at the front door sent by Swiffer. Don’t we all relate to this scenario? So many of our dogs shed volumes of hair no matter how much we brush them on a regular basis. Many breeds shed and you might want to explore what kinds are the worst. A dog is man’s best friend but he requires a lot of care and effort. If you want a clean house, don’t get one who sheds like my pet husky. He is my constant companion. I love him dearly but there is a price to pay. Part of the price is a new vacuum cleaner that is light weight and portable enough to carry around to get all the hair in nooks, crannies, and corners. And believe me, like the TV commercial, the hair goes everywhere.

A dog may be man’s best friend, but the vacuum is my home’s best friend right now, more than my new electric grill. The housekeeper can stop complaining now that I have a vacuum for pet hair to resolve the biggest problem she was always moaning about. What do people do who have more than one dog? The hair gets on shelves and the surface of the furniture. It takes constant dusting or it stays visible. You could write your name in it. But the bulk of it is on the floor where the vacuum part of the process comes into play. I can easily switch attachments so I can go from wood floor to tile in seconds. The carpet also needs a once over even though the pet hair doesn’t show as much there. But trust me, it is.

Pet hair is all part of owning an indoor dog or even a cat. While most animals like to be outside all the time and love long walks, they also want to be your companion when you are home. Some get so excited at your arrival that they roll around on the nice clean floor. You put up with it. It’s your beloved pet and you missed him, too. A good vacuum saves the day. You don’t have to get the most expensive and elaborate model, just one powerful enough to suck up the hair. You probably will have to empty the bag or the inside of the machine quite often so the pet hair doesn’t not over accumulate and spill out re-soiling the floor. Okay, as I said, it takes work. Who would get rid of a pet they adored just because they had to vacuum a couple times a week. You can do it in a jiffy—ten minutes tops.

Creating a Good Home Workspace

Posted in History

I love to do genealogical research and have created a home office for such a purpose along with all the other online projects I undertake. I like privacy and quiet while I work and great natural lighting. When I work during the day, the bright sun shines through the window and stimulates my mind. At night I have a floor lamp near my computer station and there is also an overhead fixture with a dimmer if that isn’t enough. I had given great thought to what I needed and where it was to go. The printer needed da stand and I desired shelves for storage. My desk has drawers for software and odds and ends. I have a container filled with pens and pencils so they are always within reach. What lacks is a touch of luxury. If I want something to eat or drink, I have to get up and go to the kitchen and raid the fridge.

So I decided to refashion my home office and make the workspace more comfortable. One of the big requirements was having the printer within closer reach. All the mistakes I made with the first workspace were going to be corrected. A big plus was to add a beer fridge so a cool brew would be readily on hand when I needed it. When you are deep into research, it is wonderful to sit back, take a break, and relax. The fridge was an inspiration I got from visiting the man cave of a friend. We were watching football and all of a sudden I had a beer in my hand. Now that is luxury and this is what my room needed. You don’t even have to have guests to merit a beer fridge. It can be just for you. Why not make life a bit more comfortable and enjoyable, especially when you are active doing something you are accustomed to doing.

The beer fridge is not huge and it fits nicely in a corner of the closet where I had cleared out some space by moving some storage boxes to the garage. It holds plenty of beer so I don’t often refill it. How many people have such an item in their home office? I venture to guess not too many. Now I am ready to say that my remodeling project is complete. I have everything I want. I reconfigured the location of the computer and printer and made storage items on the shelves above easier to reach. It is a room of convenience and functionality. Now I can go back to my genealogy and find out more interesting facts about my family’s history. They all love the information and gobble up every detail and photo I find. I am compiling the history so it is in a form easy for people to consume. It is my number one favorite pastime and no doubt will remain as such for some time. Once I got started, I was hooked.