EP89: Death of the Aluminum Christmas Tree, Painted Tin Ceiling, and Escape Room Debriefing!

So, if you are a child of the late 50’s or early 60’s, it’s likely you’ll remember the aluminum Christmas tree. But, if you were born after 1965, it’s entirely likely you’ve only seen pictures of them (or maybe in an antique store, if you’re lucky). The reason for this is the 1965 debut of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Yes, that’s right, Charlie Brown single-handedly brought down the aluminum Christmas tree industry. We’ve got the story of that and the reason for their comeback in the first segment.

We’re also taking a call from a listener, Ruth, who has an old farmhouse tin ceiling. The ceiling was painted quite a while ago and the paint is starting to peel in some areas. We’ll tell her why that is and what she needs to do next.

And finally, Jeff Rietveld from Out of the Box Games is dropping by to give us the results of our recent Escape Room challenge. He’s also going to do a short debriefing to tell us what we did well and what we need to work on for next time. And no matter how we did, these Escape Rooms are something we can’t recommend enough!

Listen here:

EP87: Hackley & Hume Homes, Giving to Furry Friends, and Results For Scuff-X

OK, now how often is there something we pass every day that we don’t think twice about? For us, the Hackley & Hume Homes were just such a place. We had passed them a number of times and thought they were cool but didn’t give it another thought…until this week.

Forget what you THINK you know about Victorian homes. These surpass that in leaps and bounds. And, right now, they are all decked out for Christmas. We just couldn’t contain our excitement so be prepared!

And, with Christmas coming, we’ve all been busy buying gifts for family and friends. But what about the four-legged friends who don’t have a home? We’ve got Jen Nuernberg and Sarah Shea from the Harbor Humane Society in the studio to talk about their wish list for the furry friends at the shelter. They’ll also tell us if it’s ok to buy a pet as a Christmas present.

And, if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, they have their annual Holiday Open House from 11-4 this Saturday, December 8. You can tour the shelter, decorate doggie “cookies” and get photos with Santa! Check out more details on Instagram!

And finally, we’ve talked about Scuff-X before but it just seems to be one of those products that people can never hear enough about. We’ve posted the videos as proof, but now we’ve got a local company who’s used it for a year. Did it do what we said? Are they still happy customers? We’ll tell you in our last segment.

 

Listen here:

NOTES:

Hackley & Hume Holiday Tours

  • December 8  4-8pm
  • December 15  4-8pm
  • December 27  4-8pm
  • December 28  1-4pm

 

Harbor Humane Society

The Harbor Humane Society also has a great program called Reading With Fido. Research shows that dogs who are read to in a shelter calm more quickly and become better with humans. Here is a quick video that Sarah took of some young kids reading to “Fido.”

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EP86: Paint Tools, Heat Vents, Laundry Room Transformation, and Christmas Gift Lists

So, there are some common tools that come to mind when people think of painting; brushes, roller covers, trays and liners, etc. But did you know there’s a whole other group of tools that will save you time and money? We’ve got a list of items you’ll want to consider the next time you paint.

And we’ve been hearing chatter about people closing heat vents in unused rooms to save money. That got us wondering if it really works. We talked to some experts and it turns out closing the vents could be a really terrible idea and actually COST you money! We’ll tell you what we learned.

We’ve also been thinking about laundry rooms. With holiday travel, sometimes the laundry really piles up. The problem is, many of us have laundry rooms that are less than inspiring. In fact, we may dread stepping foot in them, even if we aren’t doing laundry. Now, it’s time to change all that! We’ve got some great ways to make your laundry room just another room in your house.

And last but not least, we’ve got our lists of great Christmas gifts. Some are tools but some are just fun! Check out the notes below for links and videos for all of the items we talked about.

 

Listen here:

NOTES:

To Close or Not to Close the Vents?? Suggested Resources

Dan’s Recommended Gift List

Betsy’s Recommended Gift List

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EP74: Van Raalte Farm, Hammers, and Fall Home Maintenance

A while back, Betsy got involved with the restoration of the Van Raalte Farm in Holland. She worked with Carolina Marquis to choose wallpaper and paint for the main level, as well as paint colors for the exterior. It is an ongoing project and a true labor of love for everyone involved.

In the first two segments we talk to Steve Zwiep, the City of Holland Parks Supervisor. He has overseen the ongoing restoration of the Van Raalte Farm. He gives us a brief history and walks us through the many projects a historic restoration takes.

In segment 3 we talk about hammers. Now, this may seem boring, but there is so much more to consider when buying a hammer than we ever knew! It’s time to find the one that’s PERFECT for you!

And finally, Home Repair Services in Grand Rapids has a great Fall Home Maintenance class. And we are getting a sneak peek!

Listen here:

SHOW NOTES

SEGMENTS 1 & 2: VAN RAALTE FARM RESTORATION

This has been an amazing restoration project. Reproductions of historic wallpapers and historic paint colors now adorn the walls. The exterior has a fresh coat of paint and a new porch. It is a truly beautiful farm that is something you should really check out! CLICK HERE to see everything the farm has to offer!

SEGMENT 4: FALL HOME MAINTENANCE 

Now we’ve talked about this non-profit a lot, but for good reason. They have so much to offer homeowners. Mike Zamarron from Home Repair Services in Grand Rapids stops by to give us a sneak peek of the FREE Fall Home Maintenance class they’re holding today. And if you can’t make it to this class, check out some of the other free “Fix-It School” classes they offer that are open to anyone; even if you live in the U.P. or out of state and are willing to make the drive!

EP69: RepcoLite is Born, Bugs Be Gone!, Betsy’s Toolbox: 3rd Edition

On today’s show we are doing something a little different. You see, before we had this show, we had a podcast. And for one of our podcasts, we interviewed Dave and Dan Altena, the former and current President of RepcoLite. It was a GREAT interview but it was an hour long…and that’s too long for this show. So we’ve decided to share with you the first part of the interview. It covers how RepcoLite came to be, how the paint was made, and how we got our crazy name! It’s a very interesting listen!

And, after staring at the dead bugs plastered on the front of Betsy’s car, we decided to try out some of the methods from the internet and compare them with things you can buy off the shelf. Our results were very stunning! The stuff we thought would be great didn’t always work and the methods we thought couldn’t possible work really surprised us.

And last but not least, we have a 3rd installment of Betsy’s Toolbox. We discuss 6 tools Betsy just can’t live without. Most of them are tools that you might not use every day but they are ones you certainly want to have on hand when the need arises.

Listen here:

SEGMENT 3: Bugs Be Gone!

Just in case you’re looking for a list of our recommended methods for removing bugs from your grill, here it is:

First Place: The Bug Sponge!

Second Place: Used Dryer Sheets and Water!

 

Third Place: Turtlewax Power Foam Bug and Tar Remover!