Living the Luxe Life

La Casa de Tontería is not just a nice little place to rest my weary head; it’s a casually elegant domicile in a historically undervalued neighborhood.

In other words, the talk with the tax assessor didn’t go well.  Continue reading


Freebies and Fails

I’m putting the Freebies right here for the TL/DR crowd:

  1. The SFFwaudio Podcast. I like SF and I love G.K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday, so I’m enjoying listening to the audio version and looking forward to hearing the podcast discussing it.
  2. Instant Pot Recipes at is giving me an overview of my intimidating birthday gift, which I haven’t used yet.

The recent three days of snow have made me grateful (yet again) for kind neighbors and profoundly covetous of their garages. I have to remind myself that I can survive another winter without one, unlike a furnace or a water heater. Continue reading

Blogging schedule

I will be writing posts (or post) on Sunday mornings. I’m doing this for two reasons: The Factory work is draining my intellectual capacity and my drafts folder is full of as-yet-unresolved situations. No example of the latter would be the current Son of Jerkface MacGuyver affair. (Not love affair, mind you. More like a detective case – or defective case.)

Fetishizing the Poor?

I received a message that was out-of-the-blue and full of vulgar putdowns. Someone read my recent posts and decided I was “just like Ann Pratchett” and “fetishized the poor”.

I figured out that the American author Pratchett had written an op-ed in the New York Times called “My Year of No Spending”. (It’s behind a paywall, but here is the NPR interview.) After listening to it, I understood that my correspondent thinks I’m a well-off white woman with first-world problems of over-abundance, playing at being poor.  And I may own multiple Chapstick lip balms.*

My correspondent is ridiculous. My interest in frugality is because I have two financial concerns.
Continue reading

Of Hoarders and Drug Dealers

La Casa de Tontería will celebrate its 20th birthday this summer (I’m the third or fourth owner). It’s located in a working class neighborhood with little traffic and a plethora of kids. Usually the worst things about life here are the air pollution created by burning yard waste and the petty crimes committed by the Middle School Mafia.

But recent months don’t bode well. Continue reading

More Dastardly Deeds by My Nemesis…!

…the builder of La Casa de Tontería, aka Jerkface MacGuyver, whose greatest work was hiding his laziness and cheapness.

I knew that he didn’t put a subfloor under the bathroom tile. There is a slight step-down from the threshold. However, I had no idea that the whole bathroom had been laid out directly on the floor. That means bathtub splashes, condensation on the toilet, and any leaks went straight to the wood.

Imagine my reaction when I came home Tuesday to this:

Rotten Flooring

The jagged hole was surrounded by brittle, flaking water-damaged wood.

As an added bonus, the tub wasn’t secured to anything. After the demo crew took off the existing tile, they just pulled the tub away from the wall and picked it up.  No wonder I keep having to patch cracked grout around the edge of the tub – it was moving!

Happily I saw the damaged wood was thoroughly dry, and when the crew checked the crawl space the next day, they found no wetness under the house.  One of them even told me, “Yours is the nicest crawl space I’ve seen – not that crawl spaces are nice.”

The floor was repaired with about $55 worth of plywood, so no great overage on the project estimate.  However, I continue to be appalled by the horrible things Mr. MacGuyver did to La Casa de Tontería.