Under construction.

It's an exciting time around the D household. We have many home improvement projects in the works, which is excellent for a HGTV-loving (read: obsessed) woman such as myself.

  • This week we got our basement ceiling drywalled so that we can have a finished basement. I've always wanted one of those. I will probably only go down there to play the Wii or to lose at darts, but it's nice to have nonetheless.

  • Then in early February we are getting our fireplace tiled. This is project that we are doing out of necessity thanks to a lovely fire in the fireplace that went wrong. Way wrong. Like, burning log fell OUT OF THE FIREPLACE and onto the what-we-thought-was-marble-but-turned-out-to-be-not-marble-because-it-burned wrong. Thanks to some quick moves by my husband who ripped off and sacrificed his sweatshirt to smother the flames, the fire didn't extend to the new carpet we have in the family room. That would have made me flaming angry. (sorry.) So we have a toasted not-marble hearth that needs removed and we are putting tile in its place.
  • And we're getting new carpet in 2 of the bedrooms, including the master boudoir. Nothing turns me on more than new carpet smell.
Everything should be done by early February. It's so fun. I could home improve until we ended up in the Poor House. And even then, I would probably want to redo the Poor House.

I would invite you over to see all of our improvements and enjoy a glass of wine, but you'd probably spill it on our new carpet, so I'll just post pics instead.


Suze Orman would be proud.

In these tough economic times, it's wise to know just how much you owe people out there. By people, I mean creditors. I admit, I was one who would open a credit card at a store to save the extra 10% on my purchases that day. But then I would never use the card again. BUT, I also never canceled the card. Not a good idea. Luckily I carried zero balances on almost all of those cards, but to those who you may be asking to give you a loan, it don't look good.

So my husband ran credit reports for us both. Not on F-R-E-E, that spells free, credit report.com, baby but on A-N-N-U-A-L credit report.com, tootse. Go here if you want one. Apparently Free Credit Report.com, while darn catchy and fun, charges your credit card for using them. WTF!? Annual Credit Report does nothing of the sort for your basic credit report. Like, where do you have cards to, when did you open it, what's your balance, what's the amount of your last payment, and the date the card was last used.

I guess somewhere along the line I had opened about 17 credit cards. Yowza! Some of those were for furniture that I bought and had financed or for my car or for my freakin basement waterproofing, things of that nature. So they weren't ALL The Limited-type cards. But a decent amount of them were. We are considering refinancing our house and in order to show them that I'm not going on some crazy shopping spree at Lerner (which isn't even called that anymore!), I canceled them. And even if we weren't thinking about refinancing, they needed to be closed. I never used them. Now I only have one general credit card - it's recommended that you keep open the card you have had the longest to show that you have established credit.

I think it took all of a half an hour to close them. It was so easy! Once you finally get to talk to someone and they try to throw coupons and discounts at you to try and keep you and you politely decline (although you desperately would love to have 30% off a new outfit) , it takes them all of 25 seconds to close your account. But then it takes 30 days for notice of the closing to be sent to creditors and show up on your report. It was time well spent.

This is just my public service announcement to all of you who may be in the same situation. It's something to think about doing and really it takes little to no effort at all.


No ceramic goose for my Grandma!

In the past I've mentioned my 82-year-old Grandma and how small and feisty and hilarious she is, but I don't think I've mentioned how VERY politically opinionated she is. Behold the doormat on her front porch:

This was a Christmas gift she bought herself. A CHRISTMAS gift, NOT a 'Holiday' gift, she was careful to point out. For those of you not aware, this is Bill O'Reilly's (from FOX News) "catchphrase". My Grandma loves this man and wants all who visit her to know it. In normal conversation, she's not overly aggressive with her political views but you certainly don't want to enter into a discussion with her if you take the opposing side. She and my Dad got into some pretty hairy debates before the election.

Some may agree with her, some may not. But I think it's pretty cool that she is as informed and 'with it' as she is.

This is one Grandma who won't be shopping at the local craft store for a Christmas dress for her porch goose. This decor is more her style.



Over my Christmas break, I was diagnosed with Small Ear Lobe syndrome. A problem that has resulted in tear in my pierced left ear. It's a woe that I've lived with for the last 10 years or so. It's prevented me from wearing any earrings heavier than a small post and I've worn the same ones every day for the last 10 years. I even wore the few cute clip-ons they make for ladies under 60. Trust me, I've searched far and wide, they are hard to come by. (The best place to find some - Francesca's.) I even tried the stickers that Turtle Parade got for me, they worked pretty well, but I can't wear them forever. So I decided to have surgery to fix the problem.

Did I need the surgery? Probably not. Am I tired of wearing the same earrings every day for 10 years? Hell yes! Do I think people are tired of seeing me wear the same earrings every day for 10 years? I'm sure of it. Do I really think people care what earrings I wear? Duh, of course they do.

Ultimately, what it comes down to, I am bored. And insurance covered it.

So the day after Christmas, I went under the knife. The procedure took all of 30 minutes. They gave me the option of being put under or getting a local. Being such a tough cookie, I went with the local. (Please. I knew why I was there, I wasn't receiving anything serious. The 3 needle pricks in my ear were my punishment for having this self-fulfilling surgery.) They sliced all the way through the hole in my ear and then sewed it back up with 3 stitches. After a few months, I'll have to get it repierced, this time only higher up on my small lobe. And a few months after that, I can wear cute and fun earrings like all of you with healthy, well-pierced ears.

In the meantime, however, I will be wearing one earring. It doesn't feel right not to wear any. So I wear one in my right ear. My hair covers up my left ear pretty well, so you really can't tell, but I do feel slightly off balance. It's totally worth it.


Boy, you give a girl 12 days off and she forgets all semblance of real life.

I resolve to be bloggier in 2009.

Happy New Year everyone!