Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Red House Furniture - Not Just for Red People in Red Houses on Red Hills

The commercial for Cullman Liquidation went over so well, The House on Red Hill would like to bring you this commercial for Red House Furniture:

What a colorful country we live in.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

They're Mobile Homes, not Mansions

I'm not looking for a mobile home, but if I were, that's what he's got.

He owns Cullman Liquidation:

Git y'self a home. Or don't. He don't care.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It Happened to Someone I Know!

Just this past week, a co-worker had to take his cat for emergency care after she got into an Asiatic lily. The kitty spent a night in the hospital, receiving a treatment of IV fluids. Fortunately, she will be fine and is now back home with her very relieved human parents.

A commentor, Dr. Farmer, provided a link to the ASPCA web site ( that includes this helpful YouTube video for an informative visual lesson on toxic plant identification:

Thanks, Dr. Farmer!

While the video is helpful, I don't think it is a thorough discussion so I would add that just because a plant was not included in the video presentation does not mean that is 100% safe for pets.

While we're on the subject, K and I have been planning to get health insurance for the Kitten. We just haven't gotten around to it yet but the ASPCA offers what seems to be a reasonable health plan:

I guess we'll do it this week.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Our Living Room - Part 2

The Details

In my quickie history of our living room, I forgot about the part where the floor was so uneven that no one wanted to install the hardwood floor but then someone did but then our wood was on backorder for ages and ages. For those who must know the gory details, you can read about the floor drama in this post.

But this post will be about the fun stuff. Like about that space above the front door that you may have noticed in the last post -

K thought it was a waste to not use the space above the porch. So he built in some plywood boxes under there -

and that's where we keep stuff we seldom need, like games. That's where we have Jenga and for some reason, Mousetrap.

And speakers for the CD player and radio (no iPods for us, kids) -

See this screen? We got it at a metal supply store -

here's a little close up of the cool pattern -

- a pattern that's repeated in this fence around the corner from us -

There must be a word for that pattern. I see it everywhere now.

Anyway, K spray painted the metal screen bronze, then he built this thing -

And now you know where we hide our games and our stereo speakers -

And this space -

hides our DVDs -

- that was space that opened up when the brick fireplace was removed.

And why is there a hole in the beam above the pocket doors?

for a flap that falls down?

and is held in place by a magnet latch?

What! Is that a screen for the projection TV that K bought at the Good Guys going out of business sale, even though I said we didn't need one?

Why yes! I believe that's exactly what that is! Actually, at the moment it's just a window shade. Once we test out the projection TV (which we haven't) we'll invest in a proper projection screen (maybe). I still don't think we need one. Real TV is good enough for me. But men like their movies big, even if their living rooms are small.

And what's with that wall? Are we going to finish it?

Nope. That's staying just like it is. The only part of the original 1909 construction that remains is the framework and the foundation. Let's pay them a little respect.

Actually, once the frame was exposed, the geometry of it seemed so beautiful, I thought we should leave it -

K liked the idea. He especially likes keeping the old knobs and tubes in. I like staying in touch with the original redwood. Who knows how old those trees were -

It's like an archaeological dig that leaves old pieces of bones and pottery exposed for the appreciation of contemporary viewers.

So now you know the secrets of our living room. Shhh. It's just between you and me.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our Living Room - A History

Anyone who doesn't like seeing Before and After pictures can stop reading right now.

It so happens that today was our Housiversary. We moved into The House on Red Hill seven years ago today. Happy Housiversary to us!

Over the years, I've taken a lot of pictures and the living room seems to be the favorite child. I took 'em so now I'll post 'em.

This one was snapped while the house was still in the hands of the previous owners. I think it was our inspection day:

Go ahead, click on it; make it bigger. Now, I beg you, do not fail to notice:

a) "decorative" beams, painted harsh Kelly Green.

b) paneling, painted glossy bright white (of course)

c) fluorescent light fixture, attached to the ceiling with string

d) electrical wires running to switch along wall's exterior

e) ceiling finished in two types of materials - ceiling tiles and drywall

f) stack of boxes on porch, not in anticipation of imminent move but because adult daughter kept her crafting supplies in boxes all over the house. I don't know what she had but she had a lot of it.

The plastic flowers along the top of the window seem anti-climactic at this point.

This is a picture of the opposite wall. You get a much better view of the light fixture and the Listerine green carpet -

The mirror must be a Feng Shui thing. Couldn't hurt.

We slept in that room for two years while K worked on the master bedroom (which had been a 2nd kitchen). Work took him on the road a lot in those days so the bedroom took a while. During that time, we heard everything on the street from the comfort of our bed. We heard midnight conversations of pedestrians as well as the neighbors who start their cars at 4 am, warming up the engine for 10 minutes or more before leaving for work. Is that really necessary in this climate?

One day, I could no longer stand the bright white paneling. While K was out of town, I went to town with a can of paint. I figured I needed to test possible paint colors anyway. I think this is Majolica Green from Sherwin Williams' Art and Crafts Preservation Palette.

What a huge difference and much easier on the eyes and the soul. But while I liked the color, I didn't think I wanted to live with it on my walls. Good thing I tested.

In November 2007 we demolished all the public rooms.

I'll fast forward through the next 18 months: In goes some insulation -

Up goes the drywall -

Out go the old windows -

Here is my K, either prepping for the new window or just monkeying around. Could be either one -

On goes the paint -

I decided on Sherwin Williams' Tealight. We tested the darker Hubbard Squash on the area where the wainscoting would go. I decided against it for such a large surface. That was probably a mistake and I'll tell you why later.

Up go the red oak panels -

They remained un-stained for quite some time. Like from October of '08 to around May of '09.

But it finally happened -

and now we have this -

and this -

and this -

I think the Tealight color doesn't stand up to the darker paneling. It was fine when everything was white drywall and pale, clean oak. But now it seems to wash out. Depending on the light, it can seem almost white. No wonder all those Arts and Crafts colors are so dark. Oh well. It's fine for now.

Had enough? I'll be back tomorrow with the little details (like why that one wall seems unfinished - but isn't).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

More on Those Darned Day Lilies

There must be a reason my career as a scientist never took off. In my last post about the dangers of day lilies, I based my judgement of my flowers on a comparison of pictures I found online. On the other hand, Jan over at Gear Acres took the time to do research on exactly what type of flowers are a danger to cats.

Contrary to my understanding, Jan's research indicates that day lilies, members of the family Hemerocalidaceae, are not toxic to cats. My post linked to a web site that indicts plants of the family Lilium. I failed to make the distinction between the two families. I blame my ability to evade high school biology.

that same web site does state that ". . .some day lilies are toxic to cats causing acute kidney failure." And then that same article links to this web site that quotes a Veterinary Toxicologist at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center saying "Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum), Tiger lily (Lilium tigrinum), Rubrum lily (Lilium speciosum), Japanese show lily (Lilium lancifolium) and some species of the Day lily (Hemerocallis species) can cause kidney failure in cats."

I honestly don't know if our plants were day lilies or true lilies. Until about 12 hours ago I didn't know there was a difference. You may have noticed that I can't even decide if "day lily" is one word or two. I do know that my plants grew from rhizomes (I would guess that's why they grew so willingly) but the flowers seemed to last 2 or 3 days, not a single day as Jan said a day lily lasts (and as the colloquial name would indicate).

I agree with Jan that I would hate to see people pull up their day lilies based on mistaken identity. But, I would rather lose a few flowers than have my Kitten or a neighborhood cat suffer a horrible fate while I did a little more research.

Thanks to Jan (dynochick) for the feedback and for expanding the discussion.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Beware the Deadly Daylily!

In a post last July, I named the Orange Daylilies that grow in my front yard as something that makes me happy. Every once in a while they're just there, effortlessly blooming, all on their own . . .

When the flowers die and the long leaves become scraggly, I cut them back and before I know it, the flower is there again, as beautiful as before.

Well . . . yesterday the Husband takes the Kitten to the Vet for her annual visit. In the vet's office is a poster of plants poisonous to pets and pictured on that poster is our lovely friend, Orange Daylily or Hemerocalis fulva.

How poisonous is it? According to the Kitten's doctor, ingesting the leaves or flowers will kill a cat. But the plants have been our yard for years. The Kitten's roamed among them for over three years now. We've been lucky the vet says. In fact, a cat can be poisoned by just rubbing against the plant and later licking pollen from her fur. According to this article, without treatment, cats will quickly die of kidney failure. According to that same article, the whole lilium family is toxic to cats.

We've been very lucky indeed. Plus, we have a whole neighborhood of cat visitors that have also been lucky.

Today the daylilies were removed - they were in full bloom, too. I went to work in the morning and when I returned they were gone. The Husband is not one to waste time, especially when it comes to the Kitten.

I didn't even say goodbye.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Voting Begins at One Project Closer!

It's time to vote for your favorite Before & After home transformations at
One Project Closer. I won't ask for your vote. You can make up your own mind. I'll just ask you to check out the contestants and get an eyeful of great before and after photos all in one place.

And remember, the point of the contest is to raise donations and awareness for the work done by Habitat for Humanity. Check out their web site as well. I know you know what great work they do but every once in a while, we all need a reminder.