Fixer Uppers: 5 Not-so-Easy Ways to Get the Look

Lisa: He’s just peddling a bunch of easy answers.
Carl: And how!

So I saw this on Pinterest:

fixer upper

My initial reaction was, “BUY A FIXER UPPER AND PUT IN THE TIME!” followed by some muttering about “Easy, you think it’s easy, well I’ll tell you a thing or two….” and so forth.

It didn’t take me long to realize it was actually talking about an HGTV show.

I didn’t think of this show when I saw “10 Easy Ways” because I cancelled HGTV years ago. Why? Because I was spending time watching it that I could have been spending on actually fixing up our home and garden. That rigamarole eats up some serious time.

Sisyphus cat

But I’m sure it’s a lovely program, and while that emotionally charged (for me) pin went nowhere, there are several articles out there about how to emulate the show’s signature style:

The hosts have their own old house and work on older homes for the show, but the decor style is often implemented in newer homes. People should do what they want with their own houses, but I’ll admit to some bemusement over rustic farmhouse style inside brand new homes. Having a house with character means having a house with age, and with age comes other people’s mistakes and constant maintenance. If you want a new place, embrace its compelling virtues, like HVAC systems that work and paint that actually adheres to the walls. The benefits and features are legion! I sometimes dream of what it would be like.

Anyway, tongue firmly in cheek, here’s my list:

Five Not-So-Easy Ways to Get a Fixer-Upper Look

1. Buy a Fixer-Upper. That gives you a leg up right there!



2. Play Hide and Seek. Search all the house’s nooks and crannies for doors, windows, hardware, and woodwork that was jettisoned by former owners (who, incidentally, wanted the house to look more modern because that was what people used to want).



3. Do Your Research. Find out what’s missing and what would have been in the house originally. Determine whether those items are functional enough for your real-life purposes (you still gotta live there!). Set up recurring eBay searches. Hunt through Craigslist. Haunt salvage places. Find the basic things you are missing (over the course of years).



4. Get Your Hands Dirty. All that stuff has to be cleaned up! Plus all the ongoing maintenance and painting and caulking and repairs.

law of repair

5. Love It. Love the place despite itself. A house with character can be lovable. It can also make you nuts. It’s like your great-uncle with the wonderful stories who smells a little weird and refuses to put in his teeth on the weekends.


Yeah, you can’t buy that sort of character. Even if you wanted to.

Posted in Decor | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Bathroom Floor Tiling Dos and Don’ts

Ned: Floor feels a little gritty here.
Moe: Yeah we ran out of floorboards there, so we painted the dirt. Pretty clever!

– The Simpsons


1. Plan the pattern.

For larger tiles, the experts say to start from the center. We were using smaller tiles in mosaic sheets, so centering wasn’t such a big deal.

Sausalito mosaic by American Olean (available at Lowes)

Sausalito mosaic tile by American Olean (available at Lowes)

What was a big deal was making sure that there wasn’t a weird sliver of tile running along any straight edge. I spent a fair bit of time fussing with the layout before starting. I was most concerned about how the tiles would line up against the edge of the shower and across the threshold, since those places would be most obvious, but I didn’t want less than a third of a tile on other walls. This is one thing that went relatively well on the job, so the fussing was worthwhile!

2. Use a straight edge and square.

Once you start slapping down tiles, it’s easy to get carried away (more on this below), and once you get carried away, it’s easy for the pattern to slip. A little error in spacing multiplies across the floor, with unsexy results. Religiously using a straight edge and a square to check how everything is lining up will avoid your having to pull up tiles later.

Using level as a straight edge to make sure all the points are equally pointy.

Using straight edge to make sure all points are equally pointy.

3. Go freestyle with mosaic sheets.

After following my “straight edge and square” advice assiduously for the majority of the floor, I got to the point where I believed that the mosaics were meshing just right and lining themselves up.




They were not lining themselves up. It wasn’t a problem until the last corner.

Can you see the issue?

Can you see the issue? From space?

For the squares to make it to the edge of the wall, they were off further out in the pattern.

Me: I’m pulling it up.

Kevin: Don’t. No one is going to notice. It’s fine.

[some days later]

Me: I pulled it up.

Kevin: I knew you would.

The issue was that the mosaic spaces the tiles out uniformly. If you get into a corner, you can’t pare down (or spread out, as necessary) the spacing a tiny bit to fix anything that is off.

The answer was to cut apart a couple of sheets of mosaics and re-lay the corner with individual tiles. In order to avoid intra-tile interference, I shaved the adhesive bits off the edges as well (this after I tried laying them with the bits still attached and found them bumping into each other and generally thwarting me). After I had enough tiles, I set them one by one in the corner until I was happy with the spacing. Then, I mortared one row at a time into place, checking alignment as I went. As I should have done in the first place!

Same area, pre-grout.

Same area, pre-grout.


DON’T! Just don’t.

1. Get mortar all over (or above) your tiles.

I already moaned about this one. Just get a wet rag and wipe up drips and smudges as you go. I found out that glass cleaner and a kitchen scrubbing pad (with elbow grease) worked pretty well to get most of it off. If you use sanded grout (I used TEC sanded grout in “Pearl”), it has the great side effect of knocking down any remaining residue, then an eraser sponge helps finish it off before you seal the grout. What would have been easier? Keeping the mortar off the top of the tiles in the first place.


Good lord.

And don’t forget mortar that bulges up between tiles! Remove that excess while it’s wet, or you’ll end up scraping channels for the grout to go into. In that case, it helps if your mortar matches your grout. Ours did not.

2. Use a tile nipper where you are laying tiles.

Tile nippers are really useful. They aren’t precise enough for most wall tile cuts, but for thicker floor tiles, they are quicker for knocking off extra edges that will be covered up by trim tiles.

Tile nippers

Tile nippers

But the “nibbler” (which I generally call the thing) throws off tile shrapnel, which causes Problems. Thing one, tile shrapnel is sharp and painful on feet. Thing two, even though it’s often hard to see, tile shards are three-dimensional. If a piece lands where you are going to lay tile, things won’t be level. You’ll find yourself digging through mortar for tile fragments in order to get the floor to lie down flat. Little jagged bits of tile are not fun to extract from fingertips.

Use the tile nibbler in another room, possibly inside a trash bag.

3. Mix up too much mortar or grout at a time.

I had a huge bucket. It was a very useful huge bucket, with measuring lines and a comfortable handle. Now it’s a useless rock because I tried to mix an entire bag of mortar in it. As soon as I did it, I knew it was a mistake, so I tried to get through as much of it as possible, which was about a third of the mixture. Dang.

It does set up fast (via).

It does set up fast (via).

Better and easier, just mix up as much as you’re going to need for the next half-hour or so. Then mix more. I stopped doing the precise measurements, and just went for a peanut-butter consistency. Same concept works for grout. I haven’t thrown away any more buckets since I changed to this method. Progress!

Despite it all, I persevered. It’s a floor!


Done enough for the plumber to come back and put in the toilet and sink, anyway, which means we’re operational in half-bath form. As you can tell, the walls are still being tiled, so while the shower is plumbed, there’s no showering as yet.

And it only took 43 years! Check back in 2072 for how the wall tiling went.

Posted in Bathroom, D'oh!, Walls & Floors | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

My Bad

Things were said, mistakes were made. Let’s end this madness and get on with our lives.

– Homer Simpson

Best first line of a YouTube instructional video ever: “If you’re lookin’ at this video, that means you made a mistake like I did.”

Yep, that’s right. I was super-messy when putting down floor tiles, and I need to remove some mortar spots. (SOME?! Ok, several. MANY. Shut up! Like you never made a mistake. Pffffft.)

I went to YouTube because scraping off mortar with a razor blade is more punishment than I think I deserve (even though I’m pretty annoyed with myself). This short and sensible video covers dried grout, but I have high hopes.


Note that the guy says in the comments that a finer-grade nylon brush would have been a better choice. That’s the one I’m going to be looking for when I go out shopping tomorrow (along with some acetone as suggested by a commenter).

Anyway, the work continues…


Posted in Bathroom, D'oh!, Walls & Floors | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Picking White Paint

Paint my chicken coop!!!!!

– Abe Simpson

As the loft progressed, we decided to try soft white walls in the bedroom and reading room. I want to bask in all the fresh light.

But white paint is tricksy. What if it comes out too yellow? What if it’s too sterile? What if thinking about minor differences in paint colors is a control mechanism engineered by our insect overlords to distract us from impending doom? What if it looks dingy?!

seal in a dinghy

Dingy dinghy

I spent some quality time with Google, and found a gajillion opinions on white paint. Some articles list considerations for picking the right one:

And various interior decor blogs provide some good, brand-specific recommendations for different situations:

  • The Best White Paint Colors (from Kelly & Olive: “moonlight white OC-125 [Benjamin Moore] – a great white for more traditional homes where you may want the clean fresh feel of white walls [with] natural green undertones.”)
  • Ten Tried and True Decorating Rules (in Southern Living; Editor-in-Chief Lindsay Bierman: “When you just want a room to be “warm white,” meaning not too yellow or too peachy or too anything else, then go with Benjamin Moore Ivory White (925). . . . I’ve already done enough agonizing for everyone.”)
  • My Favorite White Paints (from The Hunted Interior; mainly warm-white faves including Moore’s White Dove, F&B Pointing, and SW’s Dover White and Alabaster)

The research helped–soon, I was down to either Benjamin Moore’s Moonlight White…

Benjamin Moore OC-125 Moonlight White

Benjamin Moore OC-125 Moonlight White

or Sherwin Williams’ Alabaster.

Alabaster (Sherwin Williams 7008)

Alabaster (Sherwin Williams 7008)

I also grabbed SW Dover White because everyone swears it’s delightful.

wpc dover white sw 6385

Dover White (Sherwin Williams 6385)

You can’t tell much from blobs on a monitor. Typically, I would buy several samples and paint them on boards or walls to compare (Kev calls this “when you paint stuff the same color and ask me to choose”). This time, though, I picked up (with paint shop permission) several chips of each white and taped them together into approximately s 7″ x 9″ sheet. This method is not the same as a fresh sample, but it’s close enough, especially since designers love these colors for being bullet-proof.

Kev held his tongue, but I agree that the samples looked pretty dang close, regardless of location or light. The camera did not capture the samples well, but here’s the Dover White:


It’s just a little too yellow. With all the shadows and skylight angles, it has dinginess potential in our space.

To choose between the others, I went to They have a “similar colors” page that allows you to pull up any shade and compare it against other brands the site covers.

easyrgb screen

The site shows the closest comparables on a grid. I started with Moonlight White, and…

easyrgb comparison

…it’s not just me — they really are very similar. I flipped a coin and picked Alabaster, which I bought in SW’s “Cashmere” paint. Cashmere self-levels for a nice finish (they say). Four gallons of that, and one gallon of the regular Super Paint in semi-gloss for the trim.

Totally too fancypants for us, but that's SW Alabaster on the walls. Looks good! (via)
Too fancypants for us, but that’s Alabaster on the walls. (via)

Now we just need to find time to paint (and to report back)!

If you are shopping Sherwin Williams, remember that they are always offering a coupon or having a sale. They had a 35% anniversary sale when I bought most of the paint; when I went back for more, they were having a 30% event. Don’t pay full price!

Posted in D'oh!, Decor, Walls & Floors | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Calculated Vintage Pan Light

It’s darker than a French chick’s armpit.

– Random Hoodlum

A while back, I picked up a paint-caked pan light off Craig’s List for $20. “FOR THE HALLWAY!” I told the Kev. “Of course it is!” he replied. He’s a good sport when it comes to my thing for old lights.


Coated in sickly green paint.

The hallway, of course, already HAS a light, but it’s a single light-bulb situation. The hallway has no direct natural light and much woodwork, so it is too dark. Or at least that’s my excuse for replacing it with this two-bulb fixture. An easier fix would be a lightbulb that isn’t 40 watts, but that wouldn’t get me a cool old fixture.

The CL seller said the fixture was “shabby chic.” When one already lives in an old house, one often finds that more shabbiness does not enhance the general level of chic. The gunky paint had to go. I used the slow cooker method and followed up with stripper on the more stubborn areas. And they were stubborn!

As God is my witness, I will never strip chain links again!

As God is my witness, I will never strip chain links again.

Choosing my battles, I decided to leave the painted-in shade screws in place and proceed with the generalized stripping. Eventually, I uncovered the original, weirdly shiny finish. I mean, 1991 fake-brass-chandelier shiny. I once ran across a finish like this on some unused fixtures in a vintage shop, but I thought they were reproductions. Now I realize they were new old stock, that this similarly shiny fixture was the fake brass chandelier of its era.

equationThis shininess was simply too dang shiny.


Actually shinier than this, but the camera freaked out at the glare.

Experimentally, I mixed Grecian Gold and Spanish Copper Rub-n-Buff (both on hand, figuratively and literally) and tried it on the fixture.


One layer, pre-buffing

Yeah, that’s more what I was thinking. But there were a couple of places that just would not hold the wax. I cleaned to remove oils, I applied mild abrasives, but still no sticking.

Many layers and much buffing later; bald spots remain.

Many layers and much buffing later; bald spots remain.

Finally, I coated these spots with some copper-colored acrylic paint and then the wax stuck. I can’t explain it, but this fix worked.


I also buffed the high spots a little for contrast.

I rewired it (including reproduction “key” sockets like the original). I tested the wiring, and then tried to attach the glass shades. Remember I’d left the screws in place? I thought they would loosen up with some WD-40, but no. The threaded collars for each screw spun in place with the screws, so the screws didn’t progress, leaving no way to hang the shades.

These things

These things

Fortunately, Dad was in town. When he asked if he could help us with anything, I brought forth my dumb 98%-complete light. “Easy!” he declared, and he took it away with him. About 20 minutes later, he called and said it was fixed.


Apparently, it wasn’t paint — someone had caulked the screws in place. He held the collars still with vise grips, and unscrewed the fasteners with yet more vise grips. Then he replaced the caulked screws with others he had on hand. I should have done something of the sort earlier in the process.


With that crisis averted, I readied the fixture for install. I wanted this fixture to nod toward a steampunk look (ergo the key sockets and the patina), so I’m using these cool Edison bulbs I found that are actually LEDs. I also bought some scalloped glass shades at the Habitat Restore for a buck each.


I got to this point and thought…maybe NOT the hallway. Maybe the new bedroom instead. Of course, I already installed a light in the new bedroom, but it seemed like that one would work better in the reading room, so we did a swap. (Having more options for where to put my obsessive lighting projects almost makes the loft remodel worth it all on its own.)

Anyway here it is:



Kev: “That’s good.”

Me: “I was going for a slightly steampunk effect.”

Kev: “Were you?”

eq 3

Ok, last word: If you use reproduction key sockets for verisimilitude, remember that when you wire it and turn the lights back on, the keys are actually operational. Check that the socket switches are on before deciding there’s a bad connection and taking everything down to re-install.

Posted in Before & After, D'oh!, Decor, Electrical | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Decidedly Dumb Thing I’ll Never Do Again

Keep squirming & there’s going to be a little bald girl with no lollipop.

– Lisa’s stylist, dealing with gum

Here’s a new opportunity for y’all to learn from/laugh at my failings.

Over the weekend, I was Dremelling a bad finish off a vintage chandelier. In the interest of safety, I was wearing a dust mask and safety glasses. Said glasses slipped down my nose, and in response, I made a really bad automatic decision.

The big, dumb mistake: I used the back of my right hand to push the glasses up. My right hand was holding the Dremel, which caught my hair, reeling in my hand at high speed and causing me to PUNCH MYSELF IN THE FACE.

I attempted to turn the tool (still running, loudly) off at the switch. The switch was pretty firmly wedged against my skull, so I pulled the cord out of the wall with my left hand. (The irony of my left hand’s usefulness at this juncture is not lost on me.) I proceeded upstairs with my new Dremel-hat, already keenly aware of my seriously dumb appearance.


I sat on the floor while the Kev attempted to make sense of this fresh ridiculousness. I took off the wayward safety goggles, which, apparently, had been holding in all my blood.


“Where are you bleeding from??” Kev demanded.

“I dunno — my head somewhere?” I replied

Kev cut the Dremel out of my hair to administer first aid, leaving me with a bald spot and bleeding coordinates — an impact wound on my forehead. Luckily, I’d been using a nylon brush rather than a cutting wheel, or things could have been much worse, scalp-wise.


Kind to scalps, not so gentle on your hair.

Good news was that I didn’t even need stitches. The bad: my hair was not exactly a Pre-Raphaelite-level tangle hazard before the incident, but I am now left with the quandary of how to deal with an unexpected bald spot right above my face.


One option.

Eventually, I arrived at to a two-part solution — a way to corral hair during Dremel use, as well as a means to cover DIY-pattern baldness.

David Foster Wallace world copyright Giovanni Giovannetti/effigie

David Foster Wallace
world copyright Giovanni Giovannetti/effigie

Let it not be said that one of the great literary minds of my generation did not also provide practical fashion guidance (as well as post title ideas). Wallace first used bandanas to deal with sweating, but they would also keep one’s hair out of power tools. I’ve often used scarves while gardening (not that I sweat, of course — lady gardeners glow). Now that I’ve been upsold on the need for hair control indoors, it’s time to introduce my goggles and mask to their new friend, Tightly Wrapped Scarf.

The same basic concept (in girlier headband form) is also serving to hide my attractive bald spot, something like this:

Picture/Product via Bolder Band

Picture/Product via Bolder Band

So sporty, right?? I don’t look this confident about it. Grow, hair, grow!!!

The actual moral of this story: Don’t do what I did! Or more specifically, stay focused while using power tools. Even a lightweight tool like a Dremel can mess you up far worse than the love-bite I received. Always maintain a healthy respect for the tools, and use them in a deliberate and careful manner.

(Also, one sub-moral: Never — ever — do an image search for “power tool stuck to head”.)

Posted in D'oh! | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Remodel Progress

Ben and Lois are here! Well, right now, they are in Chicago, but they are “here” in general. The house will wait!

Since they are out of town, I thought I’d show where we stopped (and will be picking up).

The drywalling is done, and the whole clan rallied to prime the new walls.

Dad priming the bathroom. Sis-in-law Mary was also on the scene.

Dad priming the bathroom. Sis-in-law Mary was also on the scene.

I’ve also bought the paint. It’s white paint. White paint is ridiculously difficult to pick out, so fingers crossed that we decide we chose something vaguely acceptable once it’s up on the walls.

We started finishing the floor in the bathroom, including installing the in-floor heat. That saga is ongoing, and the bathroom is not operational yet. Much more on all that later.

Electric heat in goop.

Electric heat in goop.

We hung some curtains since we are sleeping up there, so that’s windows semi-managed for now.

These are too short. The ones in the bedroom are too long.

These are too short. The ones in the bedroom are too long.

I started stripping the doors we’re going to reuse. Once all the stripping is done, there will be hinge-flipping and refinishing, and eventually hanging.

This door took a ridiculous amount of stripping.

This door took a ridiculous amount of stripping.

There’s a door at the bottom of the stairs, but no door on the bedroom yet (pending refinishing and everything), so early morning light intrudes through the reading room skylight. As a temporary fix, I grabbed a twin mattress and propped it up monolith-style between the skylight and the bedroom.

"Oh my's full of stuffing!"

“Oh my god…it’s full of stuffing!”

Besides that mattress, two men and a boy also moved a queen-sized mattress up the stairs. There are no pictures because there are really no leisurely moments during such an endeavour. Here’s a video metaphor for getting a queen-sized mattress through a narrow door to some steep stairs:


Once done, Mayya took advantage.


We also got some lights put up and the electricity working. Of course, some of the lights are vintage or salvaged, so more on those projects another time.

We’re sort of living up there!


Some progress makes the time off feel well-deserved.

Posted in Construction, Family | 2 Comments


Welcome to Rock-n-Roll Fantasy Camp, where you’ll experience the complete rock-n-roll lifestyle without the lawsuits and STDs. And remember rule #1: There are no rules! Rule #2, no outside food.

– Mick Jagger

When I was in high school theater, we made liberal use of whitening hair spray when playing old folks. We looked completely ludicrous. RIP our faculty advisor, who thought teenagers could do Ionesco — he was surely the world’s most optimistic (or deluded) man.

The sheetrock guys started on Friday afternoon. Not only were they dressed in white, they looked like they had been into the hair spray. Or a massive amount of coke. They were immediately followed by a truck with a lift to take the drywall in through the window.


No idea how he threaded this apparatus over the fence and between the power line and the tree.

After unloading the boards, they jumped right to it, and had the ceiling panels up by 4:00.

From the bottom of the stairs

From the bottom of the stairs

Ceiling in the bathroom

Ceiling in the bathroom

So now it’s Thursday the following week, and it’s still happening. The drywallers certainly aren’t being lazy — it just takes this long. They have to cut it and hang it, then tape all the joints. Then the joints get mudded (joint compound application) once, and that has to dry. Then they put on a further coat, which also has to dry. That’s where we are at now.

Reading room

Reading room



Sheetrock, gypsum board, plasterboard, wallboard, drywall — they are all basically the same thing. Many of the terms are just former brand names that have become generic over time (as happened with escalator,  trampoline, and heroin). The high number of brands suggests to me that there’s a large profit margin in drywall production.

Drywall installation, though, is labor-intensive. They’ll be back today to sand, so we hope to be priming and painting this weekend. That will give me a day to recover from priming the exterior trim on the new windows, which I did from inside the house for lack of a suitable ladder. Some kids on the street thought it was hilarious. Stupid kids! Then, when I went out afterwards to pick up some beer, the guy asked me for my ID. “Are you joking? I’m, like, 106!” I muttered indignantly.

Maybe remodeling years are like dog years. I am feeling pretty old and cranky.

Give one one's booze, or the dog gets it!

Give one one’s booze, or the dog gets it!

Posted in American vs English, Construction, Walls & Floors | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Behold the Awesomeness of My Man

Oh, Homie!

– Marge Simpson

Quick like a bunny before he notices this post title and changes it*, take a look at what the Kev did. Remember the knee walls were pushed back, leaving gaps in the floor?


Think anyone will notice?

We pulled up some of the floor elsewhere and Kev wove it into the existing bedroom floor to cover the gap. Like a boss!

Patched in floor? Where?

Patched in floor? Where?

There are a fair few videos and guides out there for how to do this job, but you’ll need patience, determination, and attention to detail to be successful (which is why I was not involved). Check out these references for detailed instructions:

First thing, he randomized the existing boards by cutting them into strips with a circular saw.


He chiseled in an edge and pried out the pieces.


Eventually, the whole edge was randomized and ready for added boards.

This project killed our Shop Vac; this one is the replacement.

This project killed our prior Shop Vac; this one is the shiny replacement.

Kevin de-nailed the salvaged boards and cut them each to length, used a mallet to push them up tight against the other edge and the side boards, then face-nailed them, long into the night.


Immediately after he finished, the drywallers started, so this is the best picture I have of the entire finished product so far:

Bottom left corner is where we pulled boards that were installed around closet walls; the fancy patches are set off nicely by the drywall dust.

In the bottom left corner, you can see where we pulled boards that were installed around closet walls and relocated; the fancy patching in the bedroom is set off nicely by the drywall dust.

But here’s another look at the first finished corner, which gives a better idea:


This looks so great that I want to find more of this stuff and add to it in the reading room too! Hot tip for locals: flooring is in the basement at Bauer Brothers (but look out for nail-studded pieces on the floor waiting for you to step on them; don’t take your kids).

Yay, Kev!

* I asked him if he wanted to change the post title, and he said, “Well, it’s out there now.” I asked if he liked my bragging about him, and he said he did not. So expect less effusiveness in future!

Posted in Before & After, Romance, Salvage, Walls & Floors | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Had It

Honey, let me explain what happened tonight. Sometimes when your mom has half a glass of wine, she goes cuckoo bananas.

– Marge Simpson

I’m a stress puppy from a family of stress puppies, but I thought I was dealing with the remodel pretty well. “It will all get done eventually!” I’d say. “There’s no point losing our minds over it!” The Kev was more stressed than I was, and THAT, my friends, is an unusual state of affairs.

Kevin's spirit animal.

The Kev’s spirit animal.

Those days are over.

One of the oddest ways I exhibit stress is to seek out an additional project. As if work isn’t full-on right now and there isn’t enough to do with the remodel. I can’t explain it, but I tend to find something completely unnecessary and decide it needs to be done. NOW.

Here’s what I decided needed doing:

fainting couch

Ok, hang in there with me. First, reupholstery would be a given. Obviously. Second, I would get rid of the horns. But doesn’t a reading room need a cool couch or something to curl up on? Look at the carving!

fainting couch head

The Craigslister who has never been to a zoo described this as a lion’s head. Regardless of the head’s origin, though, is that not utterly wonderful?



Shut up, crickets!

And also shut up, co-worker who, when shown the picture, responded simply that fleas sometimes still carry the plague.

Can no one see how much potential that thing has?!?



There are healthy ways to deal with stress. Spend time away from the house. Get some exercise. Get some bloody perspective, for that matter. But sometimes, all you can do is sprinkle Xanax on your ice cream and hope for the best. And pass on the fainting couch.

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Posted in Construction, D'oh!, Furniture | Tagged , | 4 Comments