Tag Archives: house things

Home Depot: You Can Do It. He Can Help.

Hi! I’m Jake—not from State Farm, ha ha—and would like to welcome you to Home Depot. I couldn’t help but notice you looked a little bit lost, so please allow me to show you around!

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First, I commend you for taking on this mission on a Saturday afternoon. That takes great courage in my book, as weekends can make for a rough climate around these here parts when all the home project “entre-manures” come out.

But remember, the “D” in “DIY” doesn’t have to stand for “Destruction!”

Just stick with me, kiddo. I’m trained and know the path that runs along the electrical aisles and merges into the lumber supplies. We can flow freely through baths and faucets and I can help with any of your organizational needs. The windows and doors? Merely entryways into the land of purchasing power and ease.

Heck, are you single and ready to shingle? I can be your personal stud finder—ha!

Anyway, I know the merits of preparation, so let’s grab a cart, devise a plan and get started. We’ll move swiftly, like a Swiffer on a linoleum floor—Aisle 5!—and we won’t wander off the path to sniff the Glade scented votives—Aisle 12!—or check out the area rugs—endcap on Aisle 7!—unless those are things on your list.

By the way, what is the first item there on your list? Weather stripping? If only that was as sexy as it sounds, am I right? Sorry. I’m very lonely. Let’s move on.

(Ahem.)

Though our impulse may say otherwise, we will not look directly at the 1,353 different paint sample cards or stop to ponder why there are also candy and beauty supplies mixed in with the screws and power tools. We will simply accept that this establishment is basically stocked with enough supplies to survive the zombie apocalypse.

You would never have to leave!

Now I realize this can be overwhelming and that the smell of lumber can be intoxicating, so it’s normal to panic at times. But instead of cowering down in the pre-assembled clubhouses or getting tangled in the hammocks on display in the outdoor furniture area, I suggest you accept failure to remember everything you need.

Don’t think of this as your only trip to the store. No, think of this as the first of many on a journey to not just home improvement, but PERSONAL improvement. We learn from our mistakes, and buying the wrong size furnace filter doesn’t just build up your bill—it builds knowledge and builds character.

And don’t forget that no matter what happens: You can do it. I can help.

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Things That Scare Me More Than Halloween

As the plethora of pumpkins and décor would indicate, we’re getting closer to Halloween. And while I’m not really a Scrooge, I’m also not that into the holiday anymore.

I write about Halloween five months out of the year for one of my magazines at work, and if I want candy, costumes and creepiness, I can go to WalMart and wander among the shoppers any day of the week.

Plus, a lot of the “scary” things associated with the day like skulls, witches and spiders—okay, I’ll give you that last one—don’t really scare me at all. Even the stray black cat that hangs out here crossing my path doesn’t spook me at all, (although mouthing “you’re screwed” and giving me the finger when it walked by just seemed rude.)

Anyway, I even did the haunted house thing a couple of years ago but decided that I would never again pay $20 for people to jump out and yell at me when there were things in my daily adult life that scare me even more—for free.

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Getting a notification that I’ve been tagged in a Facebook picture without having any idea what picture it is.

Sneezing while driving.

Seeing a picture of myself as a toddler in a bathing suit and realizing my boobs are still the same size.

Getting my mortgage statement.

Touching the remote control at the gym, or worse, being stuck on a cardio machine near someone who evidently marinated in Axe cologne.

Being selected as either Dr. Oz’s assistant of the day or “going to Flavortown” with Guy Fieri.

People without a sense of humor.

Seeing a bug inside, running to get a paper towel to dispose of the bug, and coming back to find the bug has since departed to regions now unknown.

Losing the Internet for more than five minutes.

Using a toilet away from home and having it refuse to flush.

Eating the last bite of something without realizing I just ate the last bite of something. I am never more emotionally unprepared.

Going to feed the birds and having a mouse jump out of the birdseed bag.

Three words: Company Teambuilding Activity

Accidentally hitting the switch for the garbage disposal instead of the light above the sink.

Trying on a shirt in a dressing room—scary enough as it is—but then getting stuck in said shirt, providing the security cameras with a panic-filled performance of attempted removal.

Typos.

Having to touch a bathroom door handle, noticing it’s wet, and not knowing if it’s because someone washed their hands or if they didn’t. (Thank god for hand sanitizer.)

My grandma trying to hook me up with the new 90-year-old resident at the home because, “I can’t afford to be picky anymore.”

Realizing more people will read a Buzzfeed quiz in one day to find out what their “Spirit Vegetable” is than will read my whole blog/books in a year.

(For the record, I would be a Brussels sprout—often steamed and rather bitter.)

So as you can see, Halloween really has nothing on my general day-to-day neurosis. Bring it on, Freddy Krueger. Bring it on.

What would you add to your list?

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Out With the Old

Remember that trip to Kohl’s in which I actually found shoes?  Well, you know where those shoes are now?

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Still in the box in my dining room—a month later.

Now do you see these shoes?

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These are the old janky ones I’ve had for around six months, and I can’t tell you how many miles I’ve logged in these suckers.

From going to the gym, for walks or to work, they’re basically my go-to footwear every single day. But as my stellar photography attempted to display, you can see that they’re not exactly in the best of condition.

I’m not blind. I can see that.

I can also see the box with the new shoes sitting right there on the floor.

I’ve walked by the box a million times, usually after taking off my worn-out shoes above, and the rational thought crossed my mind that I should just make the switch. I should demote the old pair to my “garden” shoes and lace up the new ones for every day use.

But yet…the old pair isn’t dead! There’s still some life in those laces!

I realized I do this with quite a few things, and perhaps this is simply a cry for help or an intervention that necessitates multiple snacks and a cocktail or two.

I start running out of something or fear I’m wearing things out, so I buy another new (insert anything here—vegetable steamer, pair of yoga pants, etc.) that will end up sitting around until whatever I’m replacing has simply just given up hope.

  • I will buy a new stick of deodorant, but use the old one until the container scrapes the inside of my armpits.
  • I will squeeze every last drop of a 99-cent tube of toothpaste like it cost me $20.
  • If the Kleenex box perfectly matches my bathroom, I will leave one tissue in there until I get tired of walking to the other bathroom to blow my nose.
  • I would use a tube of ChapStick until the plastic hurts my lips, but I still maintain that anyone who can keep a tube of ChapStick around until it’s gone without losing it is some sort of genius.

And while some of these practices are, well, practical—it’s good to use all of a product and makes financial sense not to waste things—some of it’s clearly insane.

What’s even more ridiculous is that sometimes I’ll notice that something like a bottle of body wash or dish soap is low and buy a new thing of the stuff. I want the backup—just in case—but then resent that I have to use up the old crap instead the “new scent” of said purchased product. I want my dishes to smell like a peaceful seaside escape!!!

Sigh.

I guess the conclusion is that even though more people see my footwear than smell my dishes and cups, I’m more excited to use a new scent of dish soap than I am to wear a new pair of shoes for some reason.

However, change is all about baby steps, and I did throw away my old bath towel the second I bought a new one. Now the next baby step that I take should probably be in that new pair of shoes…

But first, I have to do the dishes.

That soap isn’t going to use itself up.

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A Major Award

I have to admit that lately I haven’t been feeling that confident. But then one morning I looked at the number of staplers on my desk at work—two—and thought, “Abby, you lucky bastard. You’ve really made something of yourself.”

So with that said, I decided to think of other things that should earn A Major Award. Congrats to you!

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Not only remembering to put your reusable grocery bag in your car, but remembering to actually bring it in with you before you’re checking out in the store.

Spelling “definitely,” “vacuum” or “conscientious” right on the first try.

Actually using the OveGlove on your hand instead of grabbing the hot pan with the hand not wearing the OveGlove.

Making a list before going to the store and remembering to take it with you instead of coming home to be reminded about what you forgot to buy.

Realizing you’re out of toilet paper but finding you stocked an extra roll in the cabinet next to the toilet.

Getting less than 15 tissues out on the first pull from a new box of Kleenex.

Perfectly timing use of the automatic soap dispenser instead of putting your hand under there, waiting, pulling hand away and then having soap shoot out onto the counter.

Pumping gas and stopping on the exact dollar amount instead of spending an extra $10 trying to get it to stop on an even dollar amount.

Remembering the names of your neighbors and not just the names of your neighbors’ dogs.

Unpeeling a banana and getting all those stringy things off in the process (bonus points if you can rip a banana off the bunch without feeling like you’re ripping it away from its family, creating an orphan banana, of sorts.)

Dropping a piece of buttered/cheesy/messy toast and for once, not having the buttered/cheesy/messy side hit the carpet.

Not saying what you’re thinking out loud two seconds after your brain says, “Don’t say that out loud.”

Remembering to take out both trash and recycle on the same day.

Catching something as it falls off the table without knocking something else off the table.

Putting away the clean laundry on the same day it was washed.

When someone tells you, “Great question!” actually hearing their answer because you’re not busy congratulating yourself for asking such a great question.

And of course, for commenting below on what you deserve A Major Award for today.

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