Strange things I want to buy from Lee Valley

I love the Lee Valley catalog…there are always a ton of things in there that I never knew existed and now I desperately need. Or maybe desperately want to need, depending on the item.

bug clothingI mean, who doesn’t want bug clothing–and these are not clothes made out of bugs, despite the name.

You can buy individual pieces, like a jacket or pants, or the adorable headnet, and of course, mosquito gloves in small or large.

mosquite glove

Plus, you can buy complete sets of children’s bug clothing!


Now, since we’re thinking of bugs now and feeling itchy, you could also buy this adorable bug-safe mini tent to put around your chair at a soccer game (if you go to soccer games) or maybe at Shakespeare in the Park–though I’m not sure the people behind you would appreciate that!

And yes, it does have a floor (in case you were wondering since that was MY first question when I saw it).

I know this sounds like I’m making fun of Lee Valley and I’m really not. I really do think they have the coolest stuff–some of which I actually own. Like these corn forks–they are great, very sturdy and easy to hold. And only $8.50!

And these labels for leftovers…they dissolve in water when you wash the container! I can’t tell you how many nails I’ve split trying to peel off the masking tape I used to use!

I recently got this flat, write-on tape measure. I haven’t used it yet, but I’m really excited about it. You know, you measure something and don’t have a piece of paper–you can just use your pencil to make a mark on it. And the mark comes off just by rubbing it. Plus there’s a write-on spot on the side AND a pencil sharpener. I really feel they should have added a little pencil tho. It was just $8.95!

Some stuff I don’t own, but I would if I could figure out a reason. Like this berry scoop…and this is an example of how you REALLY must get the catalog as the page for the berry scoop does not do it justice and only shows the picture on the right.

berry scoop in catalog

Or this fruit and nut gatherer. How cool would that be if I had a pecan tree in my yard!?!

fruit and nut gatherer
There are even a few things I may buy soon. Like double pronged skewers for kebabs–my meats and veggies always spin around and these keep them from doing that.

Or this magnetic propane tank gauge–mine is always empty when I don’t realize it.

If I lived somewhere where these would last when I put them out, I’d love the ice lanterns. I do feel they need to be outside like for a Christmas party.

Aha, I finally found the thing I was actually looking for–I didn’t remember what it was, just that I had cut out a page from the catalog and saved it for when I was going to place an order. And it’s free shipping over $40 right now, so I wanted to order some things. I’ll need a lot more than this though, since these stay tied shoelaces are only $3.95.

Have I inspired you to go find your own cool Lee Valley items for an order? 😀 And they’re not even paying me! If you like to garden, or do woodworking, or love tools and gadgets, you’ll find even more exciting things. And really, I think their prices are very reasonable.




A new take on Easter egg hunting

So, anyone who knows me knows I loooove holidays. I love doing all of the things associated with holidays. Or…well, I used to. I think the enjoyment of the kids was a lot of my enjoyment of the holidays. And now that they’re older…and my granddaughters live too far away, it makes some of the things associated with holidays seem…well, kind of boring, a lot of work, and not as rewarding. Especially things like decorating for the holidays. Here’s a picture of how I used to decorate for Christmas and another representing what I do now. I know, lame right?

overkill christmascharlie brown tree







Possibly I’m exaggerating both the before and the after–just slightly. 😉

Anyway, although it is Good Friday and we have not decorated for Easter at all, I did come up with a new, exciting idea for hunting for Easter baskets. I mean, once you’ve lived in the same house for 15 years, there are only so many places you can hide eggs that have not already been used in previous years. So, this year, I’m doing treasure hunts for John and Jessie’s baskets. Each clue will be hidden in an egg and they will receive the first clue in an egg I hand to them.

The kids always loved treasure hunts–every now and then I would do one for their birthday or Christmas present, but never for the Easter basket! And I haven’t done a treasure hunt in quite a while. I’ll post the clues after Easter (in case anyone wants to steal my ideas for next year). I warn you though, the clues are bound to be slanted particularly for each of them, so you’ll probably need to do your own clues!

Confusion, unhappiness, and a general crazed feeling


I think we’ve hit a go/no go decision point. John and I are crazed, frantic, annoyed, upset, confused, unhappy, scared, irritated, and just go on naming other words that mean we want to pull our hair out, run screaming through the room, and then cry…a lot.

The lot is supposed to close by Monday–not happening. The pool people are concerned with the cost of building a pool behind the house. No one can think outside of the box and use any problem solving skills–like what if you swing the pool to the left side rather than the right. Since the right is where the slope starts heading down, down, down!

Then, Friday we get a price from the builder…it’s quite a bit more than we had expected. They act as if they never heard us give them our budget. To make matters worse, the builder’s nephew died on Friday (and I’m sympathetic, really I am) so we can’t meet to discuss options for lowering the price until Wednesday—after our option period expires. 😕

Luckily, our realtor (who had to have emergency surgery, but is still emailing and calling us from the hospital! Paula, rest up!) says we just have to provide them the extension on the option paperwork before Monday. It’s then not our problem that the sellers are out of town (again!). Why did we want to build a house?