Bump in the night

After being away for just a couple of weeks it seems that the mice decided to make their way back into the house. Standard practice around here.

Another day of cleaning out the drawers and wishing the vacuum with the pokey thing was here instead of at the condo.

Sigh. Ah well. It look like they are also taking the bait so here is hoping that is our last visit for now.

Time to clean the f**K out of your closet: An infographic

When was the last time you were honest with your closet?
I did this a while back and a good purge is always a good way to start the year off strong. To paraphrase Philip Seymour Hoffman in Almost Famous, you wanna be a friend to your closet? Be honest and  unmerciful.

Uncf**k Your Closet

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

A tidy infographic

I’ve been putting off spring cleaning and its definitely starting to show.

Our condo is a total disaster and I can only imagine what awaits me in terms of cobwebs and other goodies at the schoolhouse. I’m sure I should be dusting and compiling my tax info instead of blogging but I am feeling particularly lazy about housework today. I’d rather just sit and watch the tumbleweeds of cat fur roll on by.

I did however, find this handy infographic that might help me tidy my house and finances. While it is US-based information, the general ideas still apply. Now where is my T4 and my duster?
Infographics: Spring Cleaning
Courtesy of: CreditDonkey

Just give me the light

I didn’t realize just how dark my home office was until this past weekend when I replaced the missing two lightbulbs from the overhead lamp.

Now I get more done, I’m not squinting and I haven’t stubbed my toe once since I shed some light on the situation. Oh and adding the light also highlighted the need to dust in a big way so I am no longer literally sitting in my own squalor so that’s a plus.


That got me thinking about lighting. Out at the schoolhouse, we’ve got huge windows and tons of light to live by. When the sun goes down we rely on several antique globe lights called, not by coincidence, schoolhouse lights. Smaller task lamps fill in the dark corners and I’ve never had any problems. Well there is this one ceramic rhinoceros lamp that someone gave my grandmother one year but might go in a future post about dealing with horrific gifts from friends and neighbours.

The Lighting Design Lab in Washington states that according to an American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) study 68 per cent of employees complain about the light in their offices.

They have some really interesting research on the website, though most of it deals in industrial lighting.

Lighting Design Lab

I also checked out the website of the US-based National Lighting Bureau. Who knew there was such a thing? Anyway this group claims good lighting can increase retail sales, improve productivity and provide better safety and security for workers. That’s a lot of work for a few lightbulbs.


So that’s the home office but what about the rest of the house?

In this 2010 article in the Telegraph, Nina Campbell says lighting in the home builds ambience. It needs to be thought about before your design your room and should consider the tasks that get done in any given room so that the appropriate type of light is used. That nice table lamp might look great but if you start wearing your camping headlamp in order to read a book, that pretty lamp probably isn’t up to the job at hand.

Interior design: Nina Campbell’s lighting tips

Well my three bulb overhead light/fan in the office doesn’t build much ambience but when adjusted to the right heights provides a bright, clear light with no glare. It also really highlights my A-Team shadow box on the wall above my desk but I will talk about that in a future post about combining the extremely tacky items of your childhood into chic designer items.

Pretty lamp

So I guess my office is in good shape here in the condo but the living room will come next. I’m tired of wearing that headlamp.

No flies on me

Just a quick update on a previous post.

A while back I was complaining about the fly situation (along with the mice) in this post.

My house in Rodentia

So I thought that I would try these fly traps I saw at Lee Valley.

I won’t go into gory detail but on a recent visit to the schoolhouse I tested them out. Last week I went to investigate and discovered that instead of the floor being littered with corpses like a scene out of Gone with the Wind, these tidy traps had done the trick. Come next spring I’ll just take them down and be done with the damned flies! Now the mice on the other hand…

It’s Christmas and the mice are getting candy canes

Who knew about peppermint?

I came across an interesting post at a site called Grandma’s Home Remedies. I had no idea about some of these ways to deter mice.

Home Remedies for Getting Rid of Mice

More Candy Canes!

Peppermint oil sounds like a great idea. It will smell nice and keep the critters away. We are headed up this weekend and I’ll be armed with candy canes, peppermint oil and some After Eights. Well maybe those are for me.

The greener cleaner

I don’t like using heavy-duty chemicals when I clean at the schoolhouse.

With two wells on the property and a conscience to boot I’ve been thinking about taking a good hard look at the ingredients of the stuff under the sink to see if what I’m using will make the green grade.

I did find this on the David Suzuki Foundation website:

Green cleaning recipes

All of those sounds pretty good. I also like being able to print out the labels. And let’s face it, when this place was built that’s probably what they cleaned it with anyway. Nothing wrong with a little Borax and elbow grease.

Some people prefer to purchase their cleaning supplies and that can be ok too. I do that as well but I often wonder if the labels are telling the whole story. I often check this website:

The Good Guide

This site provides a score for many products based on their impact on health, the environment as well as societal impact. That can include community relations, treatment of employees, their cop-operation with international labour and environmental law etc. A very useful tool.

So I hope this helps you. I need help too. I like using a mop type product that “jets” a “wet” liquid on the floor to then be cleaned with a disposable pad. I like the concept but not the chemical or the disposable mat. I’ve tried steam cleaners but don’t like final result and my beloved Murphy’s Oil Soap seems to be leaving a residue. Any suggestions?