Monday, December 18, 2006

This Completely Rocks

If you haven't heard of FlyLady yet, you're in for a treat. FlyLady and her crew help folks help people develop routines to handle the mundane chores of life, so we can focus on what we *really* want to do. What's more, this is free. Sure, you can order great stuff from the Fly Tool Shop, but it's not necessary. (We especially like the feather dusters and the timers.) The proceeds from those sales support the website so it stays free.

As a creative and attention-challenged person, I have found FlyLady to be a *wonderful* help in making sure my kitchen sink is shiny, food's in the fridge, clean clothes are in the drawers, and the bathrooms are not scary gas-station places. Nothing beats staggering into the kitchen first thing in the morning and finding a clean counter and a shiny sink!

Here's a link to FlyLady's website so you can check her out for yourself:

A long while ago, I promised to post pix of the bookshelves in the office with my art they are in all their glory. It is really nice to have most, if not *all*, of my art stuff put on shelves where I can find what I'm looking for and get to it easily. Thank you very much Jerry!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

This Sucks (also filed under WTF?)

Qwest phone company management:
1. for not having a disaster plan in place prior to The Great Puget Sound Windstorm of '06, especially for LifeLine customers
2. the morning after the windstorm, when there were widespread power and phone outages, for sending employees out to install DSL lines instead of making sure little old ladies have working phones

This Rocks

Ecover - *great* brand of household cleaners - they make a lovely dish soap (I previously used Dawn brand, which I considered the best - Ecover's is better!), as well as dishwasher tablets and rinse aid. Their ecological cleaning products are very competitively priced, work well, and don't have weird chemicals in them. Check them out here:

My newfound appreciation for electricity

OK, so we had it pretty cush. I mean, one house around the corner from us had their roof blown off, down to the rafters. A tree fell on someone else's car, and another tree stabbed a 2" branch through someone elses' roof. OUCH! Last Thursday's huge windstorm knocked out power for 700,000 homes in Western Washington, and ours was one of them. We were without some of the conveniences of the modern age from 5:30 p.m. Thursday night (about 5 minutes after Jerry arrived home from work) to midnight, Saturday night.

In the 10+ years we've lived in Olympia, this is the first time we've been without power this long. I believe the longest we lost power prior to this was during the Ice Storm of '96. Back then, we were living in a dumpy duplex rental. About the only thing positive about that place was that it was on the hospital grid, and even if the power did go out, it was never for very long.

Though we now have a gas furnace, it requires electricity to actually blow the warm air into the house, so it got mighty chilly mighty quick. The coldest it got in the house was during the day on Saturday, when it got down to 45 degrees. At least our gas stove and gas water heater still worked, so at least we had hot meals and showers.

Our neighbors on each side of the house, Mark and David, each had generators, and very kindly let us tap into them to power the fridge so we didn't lose any food, and Saturday afternoon, David came over and wired the furnace so we could hook *it* up to the generator as well, enabling us to heat the house again.

I tell you, this was a real wake-up call for us. We're fairly self-sufficient, but we realized that we're pretty haphazard about disaster preparedness. Not good, especially when children and animals are depending on us for their survival. eeeek.

Last night, by the flickering light of candles, Jerry and I sat down and made a list of what we need to consider for our Disaster Plan. The first thing we did was make a list of our needs. I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that getting a disaster preparedness kit ready is our new number one priority project.