Morning Eye Candy: Orchid Architecture

It might not be structurally feasible, but aside from that tiny concern I can’t see why we’re not building everything with explosions of flowers.

Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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on Thursday, March 8th, 2012 at 6:00 am and is filed under Around the Garden, Photography, The Orchid Show.
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Kids Room: Thinking About Bunk Beds

When I was a kid, I really wanted a bunk bed, but since my brother and sisters were more than a decade older than me, it made it a bit of a moot point. It wasn’t until college that my bunk bed dream was finally realized.

I currently have three boys, all close in age, and I have been thinking about getting a bunk bed for the two oldest as a way to save some space. This has been a long time coming, but the decision wasn’t easy. I am not a kid anymore, and the safety of my children is my first concern.


Bunk beds save space in a room by stacking one bed on top of another. This creates a vertical space and significantly opens up a smaller room. You may even be able to consolidate two bedrooms into a single room and create a whole new room for toys, an office or a living area.


Every kid loves the idea of sleeping on the top bunk. Bunk beds are just awesome. The problem is that someone has to sleep on the bottom. My plan is to let the oldest sleep on the top bunk and tell my middle child that he can have the top bunk when he is older. If this doesn’t solve the dispute, then you can always create a schedule where they can switch bunks every few days or every week.


This is why I spent many hours debating with myself about a bunk bed. Every parent has fears about their child falling from the top bunk of the bed and crashing to the floor with a thud. The good news is that bunk bed makers have thought about this over the years and put in place certain safety parameters to keep them from rolling over and off the edge. It’s still nerve-wracking, but they are relatively safe.


Take your time in choosing a bunk bed, and let your kids get involved as well. Let them pick out the ones that they like best, but make sure it goes with the décor and feel of the room. Themed bunk beds are cool unless everything else in the room is completely different. A superhero bunk bed sounds great until you put it in a room decorated with Transformers.

I am excited about getting a bunk bed. It’s one of those childhood dreams that I never had fulfilled, and I get to pass it on to my kids, whether they actually want it or not. I’ll keep you posted on the search and how it ultimately goes over.

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Furnace Problems: Handling Freeze in the Winter

Just after I wrote an article about keeping your furnace in top shape for winter, I find myself sitting in my living room typing away with frozen fingers.

Yesterday, as my wife and I began watching an episode of “No Ordinary Family” on, I heard a strange sound coming from the vent. It was kind of like a “thunk,” followed by a smell like something was burning.

Yep, after living in this house for five years, the furnace gave out. Not only did it give out, but it gave out during a winter blizzard. The first thing that goes through your head is panic. I knew the temperature was going to drop rapidly, and my only thought was to getting my wife and children to some place safe.

I began calling up hotels and seeing how much it would cost to get a room for the night. I am a writer, so cost was a definite concern, especially considering the fact that I didn’t know how long it would take to get everything fixed.

I found a hotel, checked my family in and prepared to calling the landlord to see about getting the things fixed and me back in my home. So here I sit in my 37-degree home waiting for the heating and cooling people to get here and fix my furnace. Sitting in a freezing home, typing away, is not how I would like to spend an afternoon, but at least I know it will be fixed. Hopefully, it will be today, so I can get my family out of the hotel and back in our home.

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