LsTiF: Vacation

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks here at Squalor on the River. The kids went to Arizona to visit their grandfather (back on Sunday, yay!) and Alastair and I had intended to take some real time off. We were going to take a week and drive to NY so I could show him the Finger Lakes vineyards and Syracuse University, my old stomping grounds.

We didn’t.

We thought we might take a few days and visit a friend in Indiana who invited us to her lake house.

We didn’t.

Instead, we worked. We worked our assess off. I have the Stacy book almost finished, have made huge progress, but that means writing 2-5 thousand words a day (which I can do on the back nine) and that means needing a lot of time to kind of stare at the walls and knit and watch TV and movies. While I was doing that, Alastair was keeping the house going and taking care of me, attending to StoryWonk and preparing the podcasts so all I have to do is show up and babble, and cleaning and rearranging the girls’ rooms so that they’d be exactly the way they wanted them when they got home. It’s been busy, busy, busy and the kids were coming back on Sunday and we never took a vacation.

Oh, well. Then, the storms hit and the power went out during a heatwave and we called the electric company and the automated system said the power would be out until 6pm on Friday. This was Thursday morning, and it was already hot and muggy. The storm was pretty serious, but still. Friday? I called and got someone live on the line and said, “Really, Friday,” and she said, “Yeah, you’re not getting your power back today. It’s bad.” So, we gathered our things, went to Panera for breakfast and internet, and looked at each other.

“Two days in a hotel,” I said. “No work. The Universe has spoken. We need a vacation.” Continue reading

LsTiF: Alchemy For Fun And Profit

Hello, ReFab! It’s Alastair again. Lani is still buried in the book — only a week or two left, and it will be done, done, done — so I jumped in to spread the good word about a magical elixer which has changed my life.

Please be upstanding for… vinegar.

We use vinegar for cleaning the windows, removing red wine stains, keeping the bathroom sparkly-clean, explosively unblocking the drains with baking soda, removing the sticky residue from the price sticker on my new Batman mug (see last week’s LsTiF for the saga of the manly mug), cleaning the coffee maker, making our custom all-purpose cleaner, removing old (and entirely accidental) pen marks on the kids’ bedroom furniture…

Oh, and Lani uses it for washing her hair. Continue reading

LsTiF: Manly Mugs

Okay, so here’s the thing about our house.

It’s a little girly. Which is totally okay, because most of us are girls. Which means glitter and polka dots and etcetera. Everywhere. And Alastair really doesn’t mind, but sometimes I look at him drinking out of a mug with polka dots and I think, “Poor guy.”

An actual picture from my actual kitchen. And this is not even the girliest stuff I have.

So, the goal recently has been to find something a little more manly for his coffee in the morning. Now, remember, Alastair doesn’t really care about any of this, and actively discouraged me from buying him a manly mug.

“It’s really not a big deal,” he said.

“You’re drinking out of a mug with a dancing happy cat on it,” I said.

“Yes, yes, I am.” He really didn’t care. The thing is the guy is surrounded by girly things, but he gets lots of sex, so really… he figures when it comes to the manly stuff that matters, he’s fine.  Continue reading

LsTiF: Fauxrange Julius

12:35 pm, Thursday afternoon.

Alastair and I were lounging around, enjoying our day off (well, sorta day off; the kids were at their dad’s, but we’d still been working most of the morning) and then I said, “Oh, crap.”

And he said, “What?”

And I said, “I don’t have a Try-It Friday.”

This, as you may have noticed, is a regular occurrence here. Pretty much, every Thursday, right around noontime.

So, we went online, and couldn’t find anything (except OMG how cute are these?) and then Alastair said, “Let’s just let it go for now, and we’ll figure something out.”

Five minutes later, we randomly came across friend-of-every-blog-I’ve-ever-done Sonja Foust’s Now, Pintester, for those of you not in the know, is like Try It Fridays, only oftener, and better. She takes things found on Pinterest, for which you all know I have much love, and she tries the DIY stuff there and does it for reals, to hilarious results. And so I scrolled through, looking for an idea to steal because she’s awesome and I’m lazy, and lo and behold…

“Oh my god,” said I. “They have fake Orange Julius!”

Continue reading

LsTiF: My FILDI is in Bed

I got hit by a bus in the form of some stupid virus. It took Alastair out for a few days earlier in the week and now it’s my turn. So I don’t have a TiF for this week. What I do have, however, is this video from Ze Frank. It’s the invocation he made when starting his new internet show. My favorite part; FILDI, which stands for, “Fuck it, Let’s Do It.” Ever since we first watched it, Alastair and I look at things we’re thinking about doing and say, “I don’t know. How’s your FILDI?” and the other usually answers, “My FILDI is strong.”

So, if there’s anything you’re thinking about doing, but you’re hesitant or self-conscious or lacking confidence, watch this, and then say, “My FILDI is strong,” and just do it.

Note: I tried to embed the video. WordPress thwarted me, and my FILDI is in bed. Here’s the link. Click. It’s worth it. Trust me.

L’sTiF: Tub Cleaning Stuff

Okay, ReFabbers. Today is Thursday, and my birthday, and Alastair made me margaritas and I am, as he likes to put it, “quite squiffy.” So please forgive my less-than-eloquent Try-It Friday. I wrote it while a little squiffy on my birthday. 🙂

So, I did this thing. Cleaning my tub. Which is gross, because I have kids and dogs. So I did this mix of 2 parts Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap and 1 part baking soda and 1 part washing soda (still Arm & Hammer, find it in the laundry aisle) because people all over the internets said, “Use this to clean your tub!” So I did.

Because I do whatever the internets says.

So, here’s the thing: It worked. Like OMG, amazingly well. Dig it:

First things first... ingredients!

Continue reading