Monthly Archives: June 2008

Using shared email accounts?

Something that I don’t quite understand is when two people use a shared email address for both of their email communications. Most often I see a husband and wife who have an account together. I know that several of our family members use such shared accounts, so I’m certainly not trying to pick on anyone. I’m more curious than anything. Why, when it’s so easy and free to sign up for an individual email account, do some people prefer to share one? I can think of some pros and cons to sharing an email account:

Pros:

  • Ensures that email messages sent to one person are always read by the other (avoids forgetting to tell your spouse about an email you received).
  • Provides a single point of contact for friends and family members wishing to get a hold of the entire family.
  • Only one place to look to find email messages sent to your family.
  • May provide some measure of accountability by not allowing spouse/family members to receive unauthorized/secret email (though they could always secretly sign up for a separate account if they wanted to).

Cons:

  • Lack of privacy/secrecy for reading email messages. What if you want to plan a surprise party, via email, for one spouse without the other one knowing? Or purchase a gift for the other person and receive the receipt in secret?
  • Confusion as to the intended recipient, both incoming and outgoing. If I’m reading your email, and you forgot to sign your name, how do I know who it’s coming from? And if you’re reading an email I sent to you, but I forgot to address it to someone, how do you know who it’s for? Contextual clues might help at times, but not always.
  • Clutter in the inbox. Takes extra time to sort through messages. May result in many messages being unnecessarily read twice.

I’d be interested to hear from anyone who does use a shared email account. Why do you do it, and how do you manage things?

As an aside, Rebecca and I do have separate email addresses, but we also have a separate third address that other people can use if they want to email both of us. However, it’s not a separate account that we both check; rather, it is an email forwarding alias, so it simply sends a copy of the message to each of our individual accounts.

Walls ‘n’ goop ‘n’ such

walls and goop
Walls and goop

Ken and Dianne came over on Friday of last week to help with some more work in the basement. They got a lot of the drywall “gooping” done, and filled in a few remaining spots where DriCore was needed. We’ll need one more coat of goop, then we’ll have to paint, put up the door and trim, and put down flooring. Once that is all done, we’ll have the electrician come back to do his finish work, then we can get our finish inspections and move in! You can see some more photos of the wallboard and goop work.

ikea flooring
IKEA flooring in the Legacy!

Speaking of flooring, we recently made a trip to IKEA to buy the flooring to use in the basement. We ended up buying 10 boxes of HEMSE oak-effect laminate flooring, which should cover just over 250 square feet, the size of the downstairs living room, landing, and laundry area. We were able to haul all of it in half of the cargo space in our station wagon. There are a few more photos from that trip.

I’m always amazed at how simple and hassle-free it is to buy stuff at IKEA. I can’t believe we can just walk into the store and drive away with 250 square feet of flooring without having to talk to a single person. I think it’s a testament to great design.

Summer Dress: the Sequel

The cute stripey dress I made last week (Yes, I think it is fabric from Ikea! Thanks, Kinda!) was really just a practice project for another dress that I’ve had in mind for some time now.

The story. (There’s always a story, isn’t there?) Way back in college…7 years ago… I bought a cute little skirt. I loved it and I wore it a lot and then all of a sudden I didn’t like it. I mean, I didn’t like it as a skirt anymore. I still loved the fabric and couldn’t bear to part with it.

From college, to my parents, to Beverly and finally to Danvers it traveled with no specific purpose in mind other than “someday I will use this fabric for something.” It survived massive rounds of purging and organizing and evaded many bags bound for the Salvation Army. “I will use this someday!” I continued to tell myself. The skirt’s saving grace was that it was small and light and easy to tuck into a box or drawer. By being so cute and being stealthy the skirt outlived all of its comrades.

dress front

With this dress as inspiration, I knew that my skirt was destined to become a summer dress for Catherine. Having already tested out my “trace the dress on the fabric, cut and sew” theory I went forward with confidence onto dress number two.

dress back

I was particularly careful with this dress, as I wanted to try and preserve the skirt’s original hem. I was successful and was also able to position the dress so that I could also make use of the original zipper right up the back! With this dress I only had to sew the side seams, finish the neck and arm holes and connect the shoulders. It really did work out quite nicely.

Reusable Tulle Produce Bags

Lately, I’ve been noticing that more and more people at our local Market Basket have been using reusable grocery bags. I think it is great! We’ve been using our cloth bags exclusively for some time now and have been very happy. Recently, I’ve decided that it is time to go whole hog and I’m no longer going to use those little plastic produce bags.

I’ve been putting larger or single items right in the top basket in my carriage, but it is hard to buy several lemons or green beans without putting them in a bag. Why not use a reusable bag for these items as well as the rest of my groceries? It’s a great idea and there are several mesh, gauze and tulle bags for sale out there specifically for this purpose.

But,before I buy anything I look to see if I have something that can serve the same purpose, or can be crafted to my needs. (then I try to find it secondhand from Freecycle or a Thrift Shop and lastly, I buy it new) In this case, I knew that I had some tulle in my fabric box that would fit the bill. It is a dark, hunter green tulle that I was especially happy to reuse. In fact, it has lived a couple lives already! It started out as a little shawl for my friend Joanna’s wedding. I wound up with three bridesmaid’s shawls and once we got back home they shawls quickly became window valances in our ‘office/sewing room/ nursery. They hung in the windows for the next five years! One of the three had a brief career as the arms of my Princess Fiona costume, Halloween 2006. They’ve been in a box since we moved just waiting for the perfect opportunity to be used again.

veggies

I made myself several little drawstring bags from the shawl/curtain/sleeves. Then I tucked them into my shopping bag where they sat until their maiden voyage today. I am happy to report that my new produce bags worked out quite nicely. The cashier didn’t even bat an eye as she rang up my tomatoes and other veggies. The tulle is strong enough to carry produce in and translucent enough to read the PLU numbers on the veggies’ stickers. Nice.

veggies2

It will probably take a few more shopping trips before using these bags becomes second nature. I’m sure, though, that like recycling, shutting off the water while I brush and using canvas shopping bags, soon I’ll have forgotten how ‘new’ it was to bring my own produce bags.

Endicott Park Day

The Danvers Family Festival is underway here in the Town of Danvers, and today we started off with Endicott Park Day. There was a firemen’s muster in the morning, which actually turned out to be regular folks competing in a number of games involving fire equipment, but supervised by firemen. There was also a little carnival, with food, crafts, kids’ games, and entertainment. We enjoyed walking around and seeing the various activities, and also enjoyed some fairly inexpensive food. Hot dogs, sausages, and hamburgers (sponsored by Kelly’s Roast Beef) were only $1 each, including chips! And they were delicious! Catherine and I also enjoyed some ice cream from Goodie’s. Yum.

Fire hose!

More photos here

Father’s Day Weekend, 2008

This past weekend, Rebecca, Catherine and I traveled up to Quechee, Vermont to see the Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival. We camped out at Ascutney State Park, as the Quechee campground was full, but most of our time was spent in and around Quechee and Woodstock. It proved to be a very enjoyable weekend for all of us! Read on for more details and photos!

Continue reading

Homecoming Day

Today marks two years since we were able to bring Catherine home from the hospital.

Here we are on June 10, 2006
6.10.06

and now, June 10, 2008
6.10.08

In celebration, I spent her naptime sewing her a new dress. She has this dress that I love and have been wanting to copy and make her more of. I came across a great piece of fabric at the Beverly Bootstraps Thrift Shop and knew it would be perfect. I traced the original dress onto the new fabric and an hour later Catherine had a new dress. And it only cost a mere 25¢ !

Here she is modeling her new frock!
new frock

An update on our basement project

For those who may just be joining us, we’re nearing the end of a project to turn our not-so-finished basement into a finished, livable space. We are doing most of the work ourselves, with help from my father-in-law Ken. Since my last post on the project (wow, over a month), the following has happened:

  • We hired an electrician to do the electrical wiring for our basement.
  • The electrician did all of the rough wiring. This includes running electrical cable, installing ‘cans’ for the recessed lighting, boxes for light switches, light fixtures, and power outlets. He also had the rough electrical inspection done.
  • Our plumber moved a few pipes that were in the way of putting up ceiling tiles.
  • We had the rough building inspection done, and it passed. This was much less painful than I was expecting.

Today, Ken came over to join us for another big work day. I ran and stapled all of the coaxial cable that runs upstairs, as well as the new cable for downstairs. That needed to be done before we started putting up ceiling tiles. While I did that, Ken finished up some strapping for the ceiling panels. Then Ken and Rebecca worked on putting up drywall on the ceiling, aided by a PanelLift that we rented from Home Depot (or “Ho Po” as Catherine has been calling it). I am told that it made things much easier.

PanelLift

After that, K and R started working on hanging drywall on the walls, and put in some of the last bits of DriCore before Ken had to call it a day. You can see all of the photos I took today, as well as revisit photos from day one and day two.

As for what’s left:

  • Working in some small random bits of ceiling panel.
  • Finishing the wall panels.
  • “Gooping” the drywall.
  • Having the electrician finish his work and get the finish electrical inspection.
  • Putting up the doorway into the new living room.
  • Putting up moldings and putting down the top layers of flooring.
  • Painting and doing other finishing touches.
  • Getting the final building inspection.
  • Moving in!

We’re all very much looking forward to that last item!

Another birthday party!

On Saturday, we had another birthday party for Catherine; this time, Ken, Dianne, Corey and Vicky came. There was more cake, more presents, and more fun. It was also good to see everyone after nearly a month! Catherine got a nice kids’ size folding picnic table, a nice new dress, as well as a play tea set and dinner set. She also got a couple new books. This girl has plenty of things to keep her occupied, but more importantly, plenty of people!

Mmm, cake!

You can see more pictures from the day here.