Lori Deana Luza | Emil Luza | Marble, Purrrrrl, & Turtleor Luza

Texas Blue Lime Productions

Luzas. Goings on. Stuff. Life.

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Merry Gift-giving Time to Us!

December 3rd, 2013 · 1 Comment · Lori, projects

We got presents for #DomaLuza on Tuesday! Merry gift-giving time to us!

The new fridge/dryer/microwave were supposed to arrive between 12noon and 4pm, but they called and asked if they could come early due to some cancellations. So, I hurried to haul all the stuff out of the soon-to-be-old fridge while they worked on the microwave. In less than 2 hours, we had a new set.

Microwave

Our cheaply-made refaced cabinets weren’t sturdy enough to support the top bracing (something our other one didn’t have), but Emil found a piece of wood to reinforce the joints and the problem was quickly solved.

Dryer

The Home Depot guy gave us all the specs on all the installs but one: he didn’t ask if the dryer was in a garage. Technically, it needs to be on a platform to keep it and the car from being on the same plane. Since we were $6 shy of saving another $100 with our purchase, that would have been an easy add-on. I’d go back, now, and ask them to retroactively add it to our purchase, but I don’t want to get the installation guys in trouble for installing it without. And, after using it just one time, I realize we need some height, so we might build something…maybe.

Refrigerator

Oh it’s so pretty! I’m learning how to arrange our stuff differently in the new shape, but it’s a nice unit. We had to call a plumber to come fix the water valve. Today, Emil hooked up the long water line we bought. We’re putting the new fridge along the wall of the kitchen because it’s too big for the nook, so we also have some conduit running along the baseboard. We just need to pull three pitchers of water and three batches of ice to flush all the new out. We turned the pantry back to the cooking side of the fridge. And, some of the “loose” stuff we had in the kitchen are now in the nook that the old fridge left behind. Bonus: I can reach/use those upper cabinets.

Bonus: Water Test

Because we agreed to let some company test our water, we’ll get a $20 gift card to Home Depot. Maybe we’ll also find out why our water tastes so bad.

"they're here!"

“they’re here!”

rearranging

rearranging

The final setup...for now.

The final setup…for now.

 

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Sony Sound Bar

December 2nd, 2013 · No Comments · Blue Lime

A this year’s #gdgt event at South By Southwest, we saw a couple of brands of wireless sound bars. They are sleek and powerful. Not only to they emit great sound, but they also eliminate a few cables.

For Emil’s birthday he picked out an affordable model that was also on sale for Black Friday weekend.

Media wise, we lost three speakers–left/right & center–the receiver I hate, the CD player we never used, and one remote. Furniture wise, we lost one media cube and came real close to losing the small media tower, too. We also lost approximately eight wires.

We gained the bar itself, one wire, and one remote. Pretty neat trade. I think we gained one wire.

The new sound comes with some very handy settings: “night” balances loud action with quiet dialogue; another keeps commercial volume down. Most importantly, the little detail sounds are far more apparent, painting a better picture of what’s going on in the scene. We watched part of The Thing (the prequel) last night and already like this so much better than the setup we had…..which is now on Craig’s List.

after we took out some stuff...and too far to the right to see the small media tower we have

after we took out some stuff…and too far to the right to see the small media tower we have

all done!

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Let There Be (Automatic) Light

November 19th, 2013 · 3 Comments · Blue Lime

We have several motion activated lights around #DomaLuza . I like them in places like the staircase and bathrooms. It’s nicer than turning on a light. The tiny little LEDs are perfect. Battery power keeps them small.

Our closet light, however, was a caged, bare-bulb, pull-chain. On one if our many recent trips to Lowe’s or Home Depot, we found a motion light for only $12. It’s now our closet light. So, we upgraded from one bulb to two. And, we can adjust it for only when we’re in the closet. It even sets for as little as 5 seconds or as long as 8 minutes. Perfect!

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Relocating the cat box and Black Friday comes early

November 18th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Lori, projects

Relocating the cat box

Our cats have a “house” for their litter boxes. They go in on the side, but we can remove the top for scooping. We built this setup when we moved to Austin because our balcony at Riata was rails instead of walls…and we didn’t think Sosta or Purrrrrl would go. We also wanted to use the patio, so we wanted to cover them. And, there are rules about what can/can’t be on the patio, so we had to make it look like furniture. It’s been a great box everywhere we’ve lived since.

When we moved here, the back corner of the shop/laundry area in the garage seemed like the best spot for it. It worked for a while, but it’s just not anymore. We had the idea to add an exhaust fan to it and vent the air from it out the front under the garage door (where there is a gap in the weatherstripping). Emil bought a fan, reducer, and vent hose online. We picked up a jig saw, and in one short afternoon, he assembled it all while I rearranged the rest of the stuff that had been in that spot in the garage.

It’s funny how moving a few boxes around can change the chi of a space, but it made a huge difference. And it’s just a garage! The cats don’t care much for the sound of the fan, but we think they’ll get used to it. And, it’s on a timer, so if they can hold it, they can avoid it.

Black Friday comes early

After the garage was finished, we headed up to our Home Depot for our second appliance-shopping trip. Home Depot started their Black Friday sales way early this year….so people could get their homes ready for Thanksgiving. Since they aren’t making it all Christmassy, I think it’s smart marketing. And, I guess it got Emil’s attention, too, because we bought a new fridge, a vented microwave, and a new dryer. We don’t need them for Thanksgiving, and he’s off a couple of days in early December, so we’re having them delivered on the 2nd.

The stainless refrigerator is a French Door setup with a huge tray for party platters. I don’t care much about the stainless microwave (they all function the same to me) and I hate the built-in vented kind, but we can’t afford to lose the counter space. The fancy-schmancy dryer is white….and we were about “this close” to getting the matching washer, too.

How all this came to be is that the microwave will die ~any day. We had hoped it would die while under warranty, but it’s been most of that time and isn’t seeming to behave any worse. It took over 3 minutes to heat a cup of soup today, but it works…it’s just old. The previous owner bought a fridge too small for the space, so it’s digging a hole in the wall and many of the drawers are cracked/chipped from being forced in and out for cleaning. Recently, it started making a growling sound. The dryer takes two cycles most times and it horrifically mangles fitted sheets. So, we figured one would die in the first year, but that hasn’t happened and this is the time of year to buy appliances at good deals.

We’ll have to switch the fridge and pantry locations in our kitchen. The notch for the fridge is just too limiting. Smaller fridges are actually more expensive. And, even our free-standing pantry that the previous owner gave us is too tall to fit in the nook. We’ll pick up another cabinet at Ikea or something.  It will look a little funny for a while, but if it functions better that is all we care about.

So, merry early xmas to the cats, to us, and to #DomaLuza

[I've almost given up on the dresser we bought with the idea of turning it into a kitchen island. I just can't see how I can make that one work. I'm still tinkering with the idea, but we'll probably have to sell that dresser and hopefully get back our money.]

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Winterizing

November 12th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Lori, projects

As the first cold front moves in , we are winterizing. We’ve already built a couple of fires. But to save money, we’ve opted for wood instead of using the gas that’s in our fireplace. Last night Emil ordered a quarter cord of wood; it will be delivered in the morning. Today I cleaned out the fireplace so that tonight we can remove the gas burner and cap off the gas line.

I also wrapped all the outside plants in plastic in hopes that that would serve as a greenhouse.

We also have plans to both vent and relocate the cats’ litter box.

Busy busy at #DomaLuza !

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Zoom-crush

October 10th, 2013 · 2 Comments · Blue Lime

  • So new that portraits were not yet made.
  • Not a scratch anywhere, yet.
  • The first payment hadn’t even come due.
  • We picked up the license plates on Wednesday, October 9th.
  • Though Emil determined that it was a “he”, we hadn’t even thought of a name.

Backstory: We got a new car about seven weeks ago. We were due for a service but the site showed a huge sale on 2013 models. We upgraded to some snazzy new features that our 2011 model didn’t have, got a smaller payment, and got back into warranty, too. We got the Zoom-zoom Mazda loyalty discount, again. It was truly a win-win-win-win….and a no-brainer decision.

…and then after a little break at Opal Divine’s, we headed home for the evening. The sun was very bright just before sunset, so I reclined my seat. We were sitting at a red light when I felt immediate back pain and Emil’s glasses flew off his face, folded “closed”, and landed in the floor in front of my feet. We also had two gift cards and a name tag in different “cubbies” and they went all over the car.

A woman who spoke so little English she didn’t know hazards/flashers/blinkers or lights hit us with no brakes. Her excuse: the sun was in her eyes. Well, then brake. I feel a little bad for being mad at her, but did I mention the car is brand new? She knew better than to ask/tell me anything. Weird thing was: the very moment was likely the angriest I’ve ever seen Emil. …but she politely asked him if she could call her sister. He told her to call whomever–with an implied “the fuck”–she wanted.

The accident comes eerily close to the 1-year anniversary of when LG gave her life for me. State Farm was on top of what they can do until Geico connects with them; Dusty called us this morning just to make sure we were okay and to see if we needed anything.

Of course, the pictures don’t do it justice:
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I’m sure we’ll know some kind of damage number by Friday or Monday depending on how busy the body shop is. Judging by the parking lot, I’d say Friday. There were a lot of cars ready to go home.

Her car:
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All her air bags deployed…so I guess she hit us at at least 25-30mph. It sure felt like more than that. Her side airbag/curtain did not deflate. I had to hold it out of the way tot turn on her hazard lights.

The car in front of us:
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You can never go home again

August 7th, 2013 · 1 Comment · family S, Lori

It’s been a year (& little) since my grandfather passed and since our vacation this direction last summer…and thus since we’d been “home”. Of course, Paris has never felt homey to me and hasn’t been my home since the day I left for college…other than a couple of very-temporary summers.

This trip is for my grandmother, Mama Bee. We arrived surprised to find my mom in attendance. Last time we were here, she either forgot we were coming or didn’t care to see us. I never heard from her, so I assumed she not only forgot, but also never had the “oh shit!” moment after the fact.

Anyway, dinner prep/post caused me more concern for my mom’s physical health. Neither Emil nor Mama Bee noticed what I did, so maybe I read too much into her trembling while carrying a plate of rolls. She was polite & seemed to be distracted-at-worst…I’m sure by the permanent elephant-in-the-room.

After she left, Mama Bee showed me some keepsakes, including the shadow box that was her Xmas gift to herself. It contains all of my grandfather’s military insignia & medals.

We talked until midnight…trying to solve all the problems…& then when I went to shower, I found the beaded bluebonnet ornament she hung in the guest bath. It’s from around the time we got married, so it’s been in there a long time, but I always forget about it & seeing it mis-matched against the wallpaper she picked when they built this house alway makes me smile…

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$300 cash!

August 2nd, 2013 · 3 Comments · Lori, projects

Today, we sold our dining table. It was the wrong size and shape for our new home so we got rid of it. Plus, we never-ever-not-once seated 8 people for dinner.

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I have $300 cash in my pocket! …and a plan.

The Questions

Where will you sit to eat? – On the couch with TV trays like we almost always do.

What will you do for table space? & What will you put in that spot in your kitchen? – a kitchen dresser!

What is a kitchen dresser? – You aren’t on Pinterest, are you?

Kitchen Dresser

The plan is to convert an old dresser into a kitchen island. We already bought a dresser from Craigslist. It will give us the badly-needed additional storage. Plus, we could use a little more counter space. Finally, it will have a top larger than the footprint of the dresser. So, we can tuck some barstools under the overhang and have seating for two. It will also give us a place to put food when we have people over.

Our Kitchen Dresser Island

You can see my favorite ones our our Kitchen board.

Our’s won’t be green (and would never be that icky shade of green!), but will probably be a glossy black like the pantry and our appliances. Our casters will need to be large, 4″ kitchen casters with rubber wheels because small wheels will only get lost in the grout between our tiles. (And, our dresser has a “skirt” so only about an inch of the wheels will show.) There is a granite store near here that I’m hoping will have some remnants we can afford/like. Oh, and the dresser is pretty light. I’m not sure it can support an overhang that is as heavy as granite. So, we might have to get creative about the countertop. Finally, I want plain barstools that we can “hang” under the countertop in the same way that bars store wine glasses on racks.

I’ll need to finish the back of our dresser. I’m thinking a piece of plain panelling. It will also need some minor repairs. I also another fun idea or two. I’ll know more when I get into the project.

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If my vagina was a gun…

July 9th, 2013 · No Comments · Lori

“If my vagina was a gun, you would stand for its rights,
You would ride on buses and fight all the fights.
If my vagina was a gun, you would treat it with care,
You wouldn’t spill all its secrets because, well, why go there.
If my vagina was a gun, you’d say what it holds is private
From cold dead hands we could pry, you surely would riot.
If my vagina was a gun, its rights would all be protected,
no matter the body count or the children affected.
If my vagina was a gun, I could bypass security,
concealed carry laws would ensure I’d have impunity.
If my vagina was a gun, I wouldn’t have to beg you,
I could hunt this great land and do all the things men do.
But my vagina is not a gun, it is a mightier thing,
With a voice that rings true making lawmakers’ ears ring.
Vaginas are not delicate, they are muscular and magic,
So stop messing with mine, with legislation that’s tragic.
My vagina’s here to demand from the source,
Listen to the voices of thousands or feel their full force.

–Katie Heim, Austin, TX

Hear the whole thing at jessicawluther.com

Yes, I am pro-choice. Yes, I am angry as-can-be at the straight/white/”christian”/republican/MEN who are trying to make these decisions for women of all races/colors/religions. Men have no dog in this fight; they can’t possibly know what it’s like. Breast vs. Prostate cancer, yes, we can find common ground. Unwanted pregnancies, we can not. In the same way that a male ObGyn can not be as effective as a biological mother who is an ObGyn, male opinions simply are less valid. Yes, it’s sexist. Yes, men can render an opinion. It’s about as worthy as any opinion I’d have on Cricket. I’m far less qualified than someone who has grown up around the sport. Men don’t have a hoo ha and haven’t bled from it every month of their mostly-adult lives.

Pregnancy is a severe physical risk to the body. Unwanted pregnancies are a severe emotional, financial, and physical burden. Note, this is not an “inconvenience”; it’s a burden. Others, men especially, have no right to ask any woman to endure this burden.

For every man who supported a mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasound, I think he should be subject to the same…in whatever orifice he chooses! Open wide, misogynists!

Anyone who wants to tell a woman she “should” carry a child to term, even if her life is at risk, needs to be subjected to a moment of something that is truly terminally-ill. My grandmother would have died if she had tried to carry a second fetus to term and then delivery. If my mom had gotten pregnant a second time, she would have suffered severe complications and the baby would have likely died, too. Forcing either of them to endure a life-risking process for the sake of a blob of cells is inhumane. We don’t even treat animals this way; we put them out of their misery when no other option is reasonable.

Those who oppose the current state of safe/legal abortions do not also support increased benefits in foster care, pre/post natal care, education, or any of the other programs that will benefit the additional unwanted babies. Yes, not all babies are wanted. No, that is not for someone other than the pregnant woman to decide.

On  the very day that Rick Perry demanded the second special session of our legislature, he allowed Texas’ 500th inmate to die by the hand of man.

Pro-life, my ass.

Texas hath no fury like a woman ripped of her own bodily rights. Vote, bitches.

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Happy Anniversary, #Kenise25

June 16th, 2013 · 2 Comments · friends, Lori

We went to Tyler this weekend to be with Ken & Denis Hawk to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Emil has known Denise since they were kids. He was one of ~5 people at their Catholic ceremony 25 years ago.

We had a blast! Team Hawk threw a lovely party at a cool Mediterranean-looking terrazzo complete with a lovely vow renewal including statements from each of their 5 children, a 3-course meal, a video produced by the youngest 5 members of Team Hawk (ages ~8 through ~19), and a night filled with dancing.

I took the camera, so as soon as I have my pictures processed (and permission from Team Hawk), I’ll post a few.

Ken & Denise, thank you for a lovely party! Congratulations on a quarter century of wedded bliss! Thank you for your contribution of 5(+1) additional humane and kind humans to our society. Thank you for sharing your kindness with the world.

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