On A Pedestal

Last year we saved up enough money to buy ourselves a new high-efficiency washer and dryer.  So, we did a bunch of research on which brands and options were the best for us - keeping our budget in mind, of course.  And since getting a deal is an obligation in this family, we store-shopped until we found the best price.  We ended up buying two Frigidaire beauties at Sears who price-matched a lower price found at another store, plus gave us an extra 10% off the difference.  (We love supporting Sears because of all the material love they give to families in need on Extreme Home Makeover.) 

Everything was great until we started looking at a couple of pedestals to add to the bunch.  Okay...$400 for two metal boxes with a drawer...I don't think so.  If we had the money in our budget...maybe.  But, we didn't.  However, we were told by an unnamed person (the great salesman) that it's pretty easy to build your own if you can't afford to shell out the cash for the pre-made ones.  With the D.I.Y. bell ringing in our ears, we stashed that idea into our brains for later use and made off with our new cleaning machines.  Well it's later and we haven't had the time to build our pedestals yet but I thought I'd write about doing it anyway in case anyone out there wants to try it.  
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This instructables.com web page gives pretty detailed instructions on how to build two pedestals.  They're open in the front but with a drawer hardware kit and some more lumber, you'd probably be able to put in a drawer pretty easily.  You could also buy a small tension rod and snazzy up your laundry room with a little custom-made curtain to cover the opening.  Of course, you really wouldn't need anything at all and it could just be left open.  Whatever floats your boat!

This eHow article also gives some instructions but with less pictures.

Click here if you're a visual person and you'd like to see a video at www.washerdryerpedestal.net on how to make a pedestal.
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If you've found another way to put your machines up on pedestals, let us know!  Once we get to that project (a.k.a. once Anthony is done studying for his Masters') we'd love to have ideas on how to make ours from experienced pedestal builders!

(P.S. If you want a little chuckle and a lesson, read about my detergent deluge.)

A Birthday Dedication

It's my little (but big) brother's birthday and to commemorate his day, I put together clips of his life to a song that he loved growing up.  He was born after three sisters which, as you can guess, put him into quite a predicament sometimes, including some dresses and lipstick (sorry about that Prez).  Nonetheless, he's one of three hunks in the family and I love him! 

Here's to you Preston! 


"Learn from my mistakes."  That's what my mom used to tell me and even though I think sometimes making your own mistakes and learning from them serves up a bigger life lesson, I'm gonna repeat her words to you and say "learn from my mistakes" this time.
Let me begin with a little background information.  A few weeks ago I noticed we were running low on laundry detergent, so naturally, I made my way over to the store to pick up some more.  Walking through the detergent aisle I laid my eyes on Era.  You see, until now, I've never seen Era sold down here in any store so I got really excited!  My mom used to use Era when I was growing up and I loved the smell it left in our laundry room and on my clothes.  Painting pictures in my head of my childhood days, I grabbed it and went on my merry way.  Here's the problem:  we have a high-efficiency washing machine and since I was in another world staring at the Era, I forgot to check to see if it was 'high-efficiency machine detergent'.  Oops!  Well, I noticed it wasn't today when I put in a load of laundry.

Usually you can actually SEE the laundry spinning around and around.

My clothes do smell really good though...after having to run through an extra cycle of just water to get all the suds out.

Lesson:  If you have a high-efficiency washing machine, make sure to use detergent made for he machines to minimize sudsing...either that or make sure you're not in la-la-land while picking out detergent like I was!


Whew!  The Bean Team has been through a whirlwind of fun this past week...a friend visiting, a cupcake-decorating birthday party, a beautiful wedding in South Carolina, and lots of other little things.  But, we're back now and hoping to get back on track with some D.I.O.s (Doing It Ourselves).  The canopy over our bed has become a when-we-have-a-few-minutes job and we're now focusing on changing up a cabinet to accommodate our new microwave!  It's not here quite yet but will be Thursday, along with all of our other appliances.  Read about our recent appliance woes here

Here's the future home of the soon-to-be-here microwave:
The only problem is that, once we remove the hood vent, the space between the bottom of the microwave and the top of the stove won't be large enough.  It's recommended you leave 18 inches so that you have room to use the back burners comfortably...and so you don't over-heat the bottom of your microwave.

We actually had this same problem in our first house.  We fixed it there by having a carpenter-friend shorten the cabinet.  We then went to the store where our cabinets were made/purchased, and had some new doors that fit our shortened cabinet made.  Our cabinets were a lot nicer and so we spent a little extra time and money into making our cooking niche look nice.

Well, in this house, since we'd like to replace the cabinets someday (and because the cabinets aren't made anymore), we're not going to go through all the trouble of having doors custom-made and then painting them to match the existing cabinets.  The plan we've devised then, is to remove the doors, hinges, and middle piece, shorten the cabinet, and make a decorative shelf above our microwave.  
We love having the doors to enclose our cookbook, coffeemaker, and blender storage, but the options are nill so those things will have to find another home.

Between educating ourselves on carpentry and Anthony's studies, we hope to have this finished next weekend but we'll see what time brings us.  Hopefully we'll be suffering from joyful success and not "cabinet fever" after this one! 

The Feast of the Assumption

Tomorrow, we as Catholics celebrate the Assumption of Mary, the mother of God.  That is, we celebrate the day she rose into heaven, body and soul.  And now, I'll turn it over to "the man of many words"...a.k.a. Anthony to explain:

"In Genesis 3:15, we see God say to the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed…”  The serpent represents Satan and his seed is sin, evil, and all evil humans and angels.  The Woman represents Mary and Jesus her seed.  The Church defines this enmity as an absolute and complete opposition to sin and evil.  Thus, Mary was granted, as a gift from God, an immaculate (sinless) nature at the moment of her conception – the Immaculate Conception.  Naturally flowing from this truth, Mary then would not suffer the effects of original sin, one being death and corruption of the body.   Therefore, this absolute and complete opposition prophesized in Gen 3:15 is opposition to sin and the effects of sin, death (Rom 5-8). Also, proceeding from the Assumption is the Coronation, which is Mary being crowned Queen of heaven and of earth.  We see this in Rev 12:1, and this presumes Mary being assumed bodily into heaven.

Because this is a gift granted to Mary by God, and therefore declared that by the Catholic Church in the form of dogma (the highest truth), acceptance of Mary can not be arbitrary nor extraordinary.  It is appropriate that we come to Jesus the same way he came to us, and that is through Mary the Mother of God.  We as Catholics do not worship Mary, we only worship and adore God.  We give Mary the highest honor and veneration over all creatures ever created, because God did first!  We see in 1 Kings 2:19 Bathsheba, the Queen Mother, and her role in the Davidic Kingdom.  She enjoyed a position superior to all other women, was crowned, and sat in a throne at the right hand of the king.  (see also 1 Kgs 15:13, 2 Chr 15:16, Jer 13:18, 29:2)
Therefore, it is essential that we find a place in our hearts for Mary.  We must honor her because God honored her and crowned her Queen of heaven and earth.  Because of Mary we have received the Word of God made flesh.  On this feast of the Assumption may we truly take Mary into our homes and hearts just as Christ, using His last few breaths on the cross, commanded us to do (Jn 19:26-27)."

Mary, Mother of God...Pray for us!