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Posts tagged ‘homeowning’

15 Steps to Eliminating a Yellow Jacket from that Area Between Your Blinds and Your Window

  1. What’s that sound? As you sit at your desk one sunny morning, grow alarmed by a buzzing coming from the window two feet away from your head. Stare at the blinds for at least five minutes. When nothing happens, open the blinds and see a yellow jacket.
  2. Scream
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  1. Reach for the can of compressed air. Why? You’re not sure. Read more

All is confusion and disorder!

I’ve had my semi-regular identity crisis and have changed the blog’s name.  Third Drafts is meant to capture the in-progress nature of most of the site’s posts.  I’ve always used the blog to record interests and practice styles in pieces that have seen various degrees of crafting and editing.  Now, almost four years into blogging, I’m pleased to have generated a body of work that is more, though sometimes only by a degree or two, than amusing ideas in my head or scribbles in my notebook.  One day, I hope to draw some of these disparate sketches together into larger wholes — smoothed and polished and not drafted but done.  For now, though, the blog will continue being mostly works in various stages of completion.

I’ve made some cosmetic changes, too, because I wanted to shake things up a bit and simplify the look of the site.

Also, tinkering with all that stuff is a great way to avoid the contents of the rest of your life.

The blog is not the only thing going through some upheaval.  Normally, this is the time of year I’d want to be wrapped up in a blanket with a mug of hot liquid and a good book.  But it’s hard to enjoy the pursuit of comfort when everything around you seems wrong.

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How to Get that Funky Smell out of Wooden Furniture

(hint: the sun)

When I moved, most of my furniture was hand-me-downs from my parents, which was great because it saved me the money and nuisance of having to buy new stuff during a broke and busy time.

One item was a rolltop desk.  I really like this desk, but it had that been-in-the-basement-for-decades odor.  For almost two years, I tried putting various sweet-smelling items into the drawers.  The result was that the desk and everything in it smelled like a yucky mix of must and flowery dryer sheets.

Then, I half-assedly tried gimmicky stuff endorsed by the internet.  (Example: I put one drawer in the freezer with baking soda.  When I took it out it didn’t smell.  Until the next morning when it was unfrozen.  This DOES NOT WORK.)

After extensive research, I cobbled together this week-long plan for killing that smell dead.  Warning:  this takes a lot of time and patience and sunny days.

Day 1: Wipe all drawers and the inside of the desk with a vinegar and tea tree oil mixture.  (I had tried this method months earlier and the bad smells eventually came back — but it did something, if only temporarily.) Read more


Right now, if you wanted to flush my toilet, you would have to fill a bucket from the tub and dump water into the tank a couple of times, because the “fluidmaster”” just spits and fizzes water, so it takes hours for the tank to fill up.

For months, my toilet was randomly flushing on its own.  I knew exactly nothing about what happens behind the toilet bowl and I sensed something was not quite right with all the flushing.  So, I asked my father.

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Goddess of the Hunt

Disposing of a mouse, which I had to do a week ago, was one of my more harrowing experiences, despite the bloodthirsty anger I had felt when I began discovering poop in my closets (including my shoes), along my walls, and on my couch.

The last 20 minutes of its life involved a lot of staring at it from a respectable distance, planning how to trap it, shaking with fear and adrenaline, and frantically considering who I could summon to help.  While all this was going on, it turned its poisoned body slowly in a half-circle.  What finally motivated me to actually do something toward capturing it was the realization that my cowardice might allow it to escape and then breed and/or die in my walls and stink up my otherwise fragrant condo.
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