Leaping For the Frog

Y’know how suddenly, you (or more likely, your better half) decide that you desperately “need” to redo a wall with that trendy new “Frosted Mojito,” “Dried Plantain,” or “Hula Blue” color? Yeah, those diabolical little paint swatch strips practically leap off the endcap featured prominently at the home improvement store to snare you as you unwittingly try to make it to the checkout with wallet intact.

Ok sure, a couple of your walls could use a little freshening up, but it’s such a hassle because you don’t want new paint slathered all over your pristine door trim, crown molding, or cabinetry. So what do you do? Well, you could try to be like those smarmy designer guys on HGTV and just cut in free-hand to get that perfectly clean, straight edge. Um, yeah. No, you grit your teeth and reach for the dreaded blue tape.

Oh yeah, we’ve all been there—you lay on the blue painter’s tape with meticulous precision to mask off the baseboards or windowsills, only to find that when you peel off the blue tape, the new paint has seeped right unerneath it in spite of your good intentions and tedious prepwork. Worse yet, as you’re removing the blue evil, you find that it has latched onto the trim paint that it was supposed to be protecting and peels chunks of it right off! You can almost hear the wicked cackle of the evil scientist who brewed this stuff up.

Well, good news is, you may never have to buy another roll of that aggravating adhesive tape from Hell again. Forget the blue, think green!
FrogTape logoFrogTape is a new painter’s masking tape with ‘PaintBlock Technology’ that activates When latex paint comes into contact, creating a micro barrier along the edges of the tape that helps prevent paint from bleeding underneath. No, really. In fact, the “sodium-based super-absorbent polymer” in FrogTape creating that barrier is the same chemical compound that causes diapers to gel when wet. No, really! And FrogTape won’t tear off the paint it’s protecting when you remove it. No, really!!

Just smooth the tape down as you apply it and you’ll end up with clean, crisp paint lines afterward. Yup, it’s that simple. Okay, it is a bit pricey at $5 for a roll (wider widths ratchet the price up another buck or two). I know, I know… You’re screaming “$5 for some masking tape?! What kinda crack ya smoking over there?” But this stuff is fantastic! Splurge on a roll and you’ll never go back to the blue junk again.

Note that FrogTape comes in a plastic canister and it’s not just for looks. You want to keep the tape stored there to help maintain its freshness and keep the roll from getting dinged along the edges. And when the roll is all gone, the empty container can be used for storing spare parts or pitched in your recycle can. (You do have a can in the garage for recyclable plastics, doncha?)

Green Fleas

lamb by Sandra BoyntonLast night Liam was belting out “Mary Had a Little Lamb” all through his bath time. And his version had a lot more to it than I remember the song having. (In fact, according to Wikipedia, the song has 4 verses!) After his bath, we had a long discussion about Mary’s lamb and it turns out that she had 4 of them named Maryolia, Elmolia, Hugolia & Oscarolia.

Oscarolia has green “fleas” because he likes to drink pickle juice. 😉  There’s nothing like the mind of a 4 year old!

14 Years of Gifts & Marriagement

Rob & I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary last week.  It’s amazing how quickly the years go by and also amazing the things you accumulate over the years.

Earlier this year we had an opportunity to clear out some of the clutter when we moved but there are still plenty of things still boxed up around here that are being evaluated.  Also, in the midst of us trying to thin out our own clutter, we have had to bring in some of my brother’s things and my mother’s things.  Good thing we bought a bigger house!

As we were unpacking our kitchen a few months back, I started thinking about this post that I wanted to do.  Here we are 14 years later and we still have wedding gifts that we use on a daily basis.  These are truly gifts that keep giving, not to mention are well-made to hold up this long! That’s pretty much the reason why I tell people to get their stuff from www.kitchencapital.com.au/ and to just play it safe. I’ll bet the people who gave us these great gifts don’t even remember, but we do think of them each time we use these.

Here are a few of the best wedding gifts we received that’re still with us, all these years later:

  • Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker
  • Chicago Cutlery knife block set
  • Giant Pyrex measuring cup/mixing bowl
  • Pyrex Bowl Set
  • Crystal candlesticks
  • Ratcheting driver set toolkit

Although we no longer have it, I’ve gotta say that the most unusual wedding gift we received was an aquarium (thanks Buddy & Topper!) and most of the first fish we bought for it lasted several years.

What are some of your most-used wedding gifts?

The Year of Change Continues

Back at the first of the year, Rob predicted that .

Well, sure enough, 2010 has been eventful!  If you’ve been following our blog, you know our family has been through some doozies this year.  First was a new car, a new house, then a new job and even our blog platform changed.  Those were all good, although stressful, changes.

But I suppose you can’t expect all changes to be good ones though…  My brother Bob (a.k.a. James, Jim, Rio) passed away suddenly, unexpectedly in June.  Here’s a picture that was taken just days before he passed away:

Bob - June 2010

Bob - 1955-2010

Bob lived in Seattle and had taken our Mom to live up there with him back in January ’09. At that time, she was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and we felt she was nearing the point where she could no longer live alone. After my brother’s death, I had to quickly get to Seattle and relocate my mother home. Unfortunately, her Alzheimer’s has progressed rapidly and she no longer recognizes me or knows where she is.

It’s been a tough couple of months getting things finalized with my brother and getting Mom settled into a nursing home here. It’s tough seeing her this way but the one good thing about the Alzheimer’s is that it has spared her knowing about, and going through the pain of, losing another son.

Hopefully, whatever changes the second half of this year brings will all be positive ones!