Up and Dusty, Not Down and Dirty

Like I mentioned yesterday, my sister and I decided in all our wisdom that we could replace the dropped ceiling in our basement.  We didn’t even research anything which is completely out of character for both of us. Why such a rash decision? Take a look at this:

Water Damage

Poop is raining from the ceiling

So we did what we do best. We handled it! She handled the removal of the original tiles while I wiped down the “angles, cross tees, and main tees” aka the metal slats that hold up the tiles. Here is my boyfriend and my sister “consulting” on how to get a particularly difficult tile down.

Serious Business

After cleaning off the nicotine stains as best I could (delicious), I hit those babies with two coats of Kilz primer with a tiny foam roller, the brush didn’t work so great.  Trust me when I say they needed it. Oh, you don’t trust me? Well take a look for yourself:


Love that attractive paneling, the color we painted over it is called Bone Folder by Martha Stewart. With sore arms and necks, we were starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Here is my sister installing the inaugural tile.

The beginning of a long road...

We thought that putting up the new, clean tiles would be pretting easy and we were very very wrong. For starters, make sure you are wearing a mask and safety glasses! This is one dusty project. If we even looked at a tile funny it send dust up our noses. We also learned that you should measure about 80 times before you put up a tile that needs to be cut to size.  Once you get the tile up in the ceiling and almost in place and you realize that is doesn’t fit quite right you are going to want to jump off the nearest cliff. Please don’t.

It was an incredibly dusty job, but it needed to be done. The basement is so much brighter! Between the new light bulbs, light covers, and ceiling tiles, there is no way you would know that we used to call the basement The Dungeon.

All(most) done!

Don’t Look Up

This weekend, my sister and I tackled replacing the dropped ceiling in our basement (detailed post to come). Part of that task involved replacing a bunch of burned out fluorescent tubes. Did you know they contain mercury? Good thing she broke one! After we carefully cleaned up the mess we were left wondering how to dispose of the bulbs.

So we got hunting on the internets.

And I found Earth911.com. What a resource! I easily found a bunch of locations where I could drop off the bulbs, and a few other items such as laquer or cleaning supplies.

We aren’t changing the lighting in the basement even though the required bulbs can be hazardous because they actually save energy, we know where to dispose of them, and we don’t have the money/skills/creativity to change them out for something different.

Current Events

Yesterday I had my yearly physical and 2 things are really getting me thinking.

First, I was vaccinated. I haven’t had a tetanus shot in I can’t remember how long so they gave me one. I’ve heard many different viewpoints on the topic of vaccines. They are good for society, they are giving our kids autism, they aren’t tested enough, etc. Obviously I’m mot dead set against them. I don’t think they are giving our children autism either. I do, however, think they need to be rigorously tested. The last thing that should happen when you get vaccinated is actually getting the disease you were avoiding. Also, (and this may just be me being crotchety before my time) I don’t think we need a chicken pox vaccine. I had chicken pox and I turned out fine. Everyone I know has had chicken pox and is just fine. We have immune systems for a reason and they can handle some things. If I got whooping cough it would suck, but I would probably survive. The only reason I got the vaccine is because I don’t want to pass that on to my family. Specifically, the babies or elderly relatives who couldn’t handle getting it. There are people out there with compromised immune systems who can’t receive vaccines. We (the vaccinated) provide a buffer for them. That is why I get vaccines.

Second, my doctor told me to lose 20 lbs. I am about 100 lbs overweight so this wasn’t news. What surprised me is she said 20 lbs and didn’t specify a deadline. Not 100 lbs? Not 20 lbs by Christmas? I know a few people who are told by their doctors to lose weight and they are always saying how harshly they receive the news. My doctor was matter-of-fact, but not harsh. I am (and have been) taking steps to lead a healthier life, some of which I outlined in a previous post. I’ve lost 20 lbs in the last year. I’m pretty proud of that, but obviously there is more to go.

It’s all just a part of the journey.

Breaking It Up

This morning in my hurry to get out the door, I grabbed a big brand cereal bar for breakfast. It was only 90 calories, so why do I feel guilty? Although it contains whole grains, it also contains BHA.  It’s a possible carcinogen.

I didn’t know it is added to mass produced baked goods to prevent spoiling. These bars are so easy, though! I’m not a morning person at all, so preparing breakfast in the morning isn’t going to happen. My plan of attack is to make my own. My aunt gave me a ludicrous amount of oatmeal so I think that will be the base.

I’m going to research a few recipes and see what I can do. Everyone in the house eats them, so I’ll be doing us all a favor.

So Far So Good

I think the national health intelligence is varied. Some people are health nuts, others frequent fast food restaurants. I think I’m somewhere in between. There have been a few things that I have changed as I’ve gotten older:

  1. Drastically reduced the amount of soft drinks I consume. I am addicted to Diet Coke and I know that I could make better drink choices without sacrificing flavor (which used to be my excuse).
  2. I changed from regular deodorant to Tom’s of Maine aluminum free deodorant.  I read somewhere that the fragrance in other deodorants can interrupt your endocrine system (hormones) and that’s just something I don’t need. Also, the aluminum in antiperspirants clog your pores, enter your body and can mimic estrogen. These things can lead to breast cancer. I decided that I just don’t needs those kinds of risks and I actually like the consistency and smell better than that of my old deodorant so win/win.
  3. I bake everything from scratch, and top those baked goods with frosting from scratch. It started just as a cathartic saturday activity.  Then my aunt sent me an ingredient list for a grocery store cake. Yeah, not pretty so I bake for myself and the people I love.
  4. When I shop, I try to leave with as few receipts as possible.  Some (but not all) receipt paper contains BPA, the same stuff that you can find in plastic.  According to this article, it’s possible that it can cause gasp worthy effects on fetuses and children. No thanks.

I’m by no means someone who completely lives sustainably or even very responsibly.  These are just the few of the things that got me thinking.