Category Archives: home improvements

ONE MORE TIME…

I like this only slightly more than my last attempt at finding a new look for my blog.  It’s becoming clear to me that trying to customize someone else’s idea of how a blog should look isn’t working for me.  I truly wish I had the tools (read: smarts) to design and present you with the Real Me blog.  There’s one more item to add to my Bucket List : )

On another note and in the same creative vein, PD and I are hard at work trying to get our living room redone in time for the holidays.  I must say, it’s looking pretty good.  The living room, I mean… not necessarily meeting the deadline.  It’s becoming clear to me that some other holiday preps are going to suffer due to the time it’s taking… things like gifts and wrapping and baking and things.  The carpet is due to be installed on December 2nd so that doesn’t leave much time for putting up the tree and decorations.  BUT this pretty much happens to me every year, one thing or another puts a crimp in my time frame.  And just like every year, it will all get done and the Holiday WILL happen and we will be grateful for times spent with the family and all the joy that entails.

In the mean time, if any of you have any free time laying around, you’re more than welcome to deposit it into my bank.  Every single second will be greatly appreciated.  Remember, the real Joy is in the Giving : )  Kthxbai.

NEW LOOK

Got homesick for the old blog.  Came over and started playing around with some new themes, thinking that maybe in the process I would be inspired to actually write something of substance.

I was wrong.  And now here I am with this ghastly-looking purple monstrosity.

Oh well.  It still reads the same.  Old news.  Same old news.

One tidbit, though, that I do have to share.  PD and I have been hard at work giving our living room a face lift.  It’s a slow process, indeed… Considering that I am tired when I get home from work during the week and our weekends are usually crammed full of other responsibilities.  What we have accomplished so far is making us both happy at least, so hopefully by the time the holidays roll around we will have a nice shiny new place for entertaining.

SEARCHING FOR WALDO

I had no plans for yesterday, but I was feeling an urgency to be productive.  Next Friday is the end of my Summer 4-day work week.  My Fridays have been full of appointments and errands and being out of town so I felt compelled to spend the day at home doing something that I not only enjoyed but would make me feel like I accomplished something.  I decided to start a watercolor.

I walked into my studio with a feeling of excitement.  I haven’t painted or done any artwork  for way too long.  Over the past few years when that creative urge would hit me, there was always something pressing to take care of and I’d been stifled over and over and over again.  Part of me was terrified that the urge would disappear altogether after having squelched it for so long.

It became evident in the first five minutes that I was going to spend a great deal of time looking for paint, paper and brushes AND a clear spot on my desk.  There was really nothing that I could accomplish without first doing some organizing and clearing away.

So I spent the entire day yesterday, not painting, but working toward being able to.  But my, oh my, that was an experience.  I can’t say it was hard work.  Confusing maybe, and a little overwhelming at a couple points… but I enjoyed it.  After all, my studio is where I’m comfortable and surrounded by things that I love and which inspire me.  I found things that I’d lost long ago and/or forgotten that I even had.  I could write an entire post on that stuff alone.

I really should have taken some before pictures because you can’t really appreciate how hard I worked getting to the after part. As it is, the pictures look like a page out of Where’s Waldo? I would never believe that I could have accumulated so much stuff.  Some of it I need (supplies) but some of it I need (for inspiration, reference, etc.)

My Version of Where's Waldo?

You’re probly wondering what the heck it must have looked like before I spent hours filing away papers and labeling containers, right?  Well, let me tell you… it was a bit crazy in there.

By the time I stopped last night (and no, I’m not finished) it was ridiculous to even think of starting a project.  I have a bit more work to do in there, but at least I know that the next time the urge hits me, I can walk in, grab what I need and start painting.  And that’s a very good feeling.

Can You Say "Clutter?"

Do you have a place in your house where you keep all your stuff?  A place where you can relax and dream and be yourself and play?  We all need one.  And we need to go there often and not neglect it.  I’m vowing to spend more time there, maybe even go up right now.

YEARNING FOR THE SIMPLE

This weekend’s project is cleaning out and organizing the attic.  I’ve put it off for way too long.  In the interest of feeling more in control of  my life as well as looking forward at the prospect of my children resenting me after I’m gone, I decided it was TIME.

As I was rooting through “the Kids’ Corner,” I found myself rapt in memories of times long ago, good memories.  Memories of a simpler time.  Looking at special baby clothes that I’d saved made me hungry to hold a baby.  Not just any baby, but one of mine.  Michael and Jennifer were two of the World’s Greatest Babies.  Both were beautiful beyond imagination and joys to take care of.  Sure there were fussy times and scary times as there are with all babies.  But looking back, I’m beyond positive that I would do it all again.   Of course, times were different then.  There were not so many conveniences.  There were no vibrating baby chairs that would lull the baby to sleep while Mama took care of other things.  There were no microwaves to heat bottles.  There were disposable diapers but I was as stubborn then as I am now.  (And environmentally conscious too)  but real diapers didn’t work well for me and my babies each had the wicked diaper rashes as proof.  I caved in the interest of my children’s bums and used the cursed all-absorbent land-filling disposables.

But back to my thoughts of simpler times.  How did everything get so complicated in a span of just 20-30 years?  Everything has become so specialized.  Used to be if you were going to cook something, you just did it.  You grabbed a pan and turned on the stove.  Now there are tons of different kinds of cookware depending on if you’re grilling, nuking, using a convection oven, toaster oven, whatever.  It’s become a big old circus.  And yet so many of us opt for grabbing something out of the freezer, throwing a paper towel over it and blasting the living shit out of it in a microwave.  That includes vitamins, enzymes and all the other things that are supposed to be in food.  All in the interest of saving time.  And ultimately starving our bodies of much-needed stuff like nutrients.

Do you remember when soap was soap?  It was something you washed with.  Now when something needs cleaned, your choices are endless.  You have bath and shower gels, body bars, pump sprays, scrubs, liquids, lotions, beads, oils, scented, unscented, emollients, exfoliators, with and without sunscreen, vitamin-enriched, organic, yadda badda bing. I could go on but I won’t.

Used to be if you had a headache, you simply took a freakin’ aspirin.  Now, omigawd, by the time you decide what to take, either your headache is a) gone or b) has escalated to migraine level which necessitates a whole ‘nother kind of pain reliever with about a gazillion other options.

Yeah well, I was just taking a break from the attic thing and needed to let some thoughts out.  Back to the sifting and sorting.  Anyone interested in six large boxes of slightly used stuffed animals?

DEAR BLOG

Dear Blog,

So how have you been?  I know that you’re here because I stop in once or twice a day to make sure you’re still up and running…

I apologize for not taking the time to tend to you lately.  Things have been especially busy with work and getting the house in order.  The kids are coming today and I want to have everything ready so that PD and I can relax and enjoy their wonderful company. I will try my best to come back and at least answer the comments that my friends have been kind enough to leave.

Take care and hope to see you soon.

Sincerely,

One Wink

FULL AND EMPTY

I just spent about 20 minutes writing a newsy, introspective, albeit ranty post full of all the juicy categories you see up there.  I had just finished when the phone rang.  It was Juju and I was excited to talk to her, being that she and Mr. Juju were in Toronto last night to see U2 (and Snow Patrol.)  As we started our conversation I’d realized that I’d not published my post.  I clicked something- which I thought was Publish and sat back to enjoy the conversation.

Now I see that I did not click Publish.  Dagnabbit anyhow.  It’s G.O.N.E., GONE.  And of course the title makes no sense whatso EVER.

Excuse me while I go find a pigeon to kick.

QUICK CATCH UP

PD and I had a lovely weekend with my daughter JuJu and her terrific family.  We celebrated Juju’s birthday, my granddaughter’s birthday, Easter and Mother’s Day.  A lot to cram into less than 48 hours.  Saturday night we had a fire and ate popcorn and had “beverages.”  That didn’t last too long, as the little ones pooped out early and it actually got quite chilly rather quickly.  We also started to watch Bedtime Stories and laughed a lot but we quit for some reason and never got back to it.  Mostly we played and talked and ate.  But it was good, however short.  Seems that with all of our work schedules and my limited absence of driving skills, it gets harder and harder to get together.  And that makes me very sad.  Really makes hitting the lottery and buying a helicopter look appealing.

So my house is quiet now, but still relatively clean.  It was a bit of a wreck before the weekend.  PD isn’t quite finished with the front porch closing-in.  The outside wall in the living room looks like we took a wrecking ball to it but the new window is in and when the dry wall gets put up and the painting gets done, all will be good.  The new window looks out on to the new room window so we still have a wonderful view of the field across the road and the hills and trees beyond that.  I can still watch the sunrise and the colors of the seasons change in the trees.

Well, this is short and I’m tired.  Plus, I hear the music of the Good Humor truck outside.  I need to run.

WORKIN’ ON SATURDAY (at home)

Today I’m going to scrub down my back porch and outdoor furniture.  I can’t wait to enjoy weekend morning coffee out there and an occasional evening before bed.  Although I saw that the extended weather forecast for the coming week includes the possibility for snow on three consecutive days, in the event that next weekend should be nice also, I want to be ready.

Next weekend we have plans to visit the Juju Clan to celebrate Juju’s birthday and Maddie’s as well.  Little Maddie will be four years old and I’m still pinching myself in an effort to accept that as reality.  She was just born a couple weeks ago, it seems.  I’ll post pictures of our visit/celebration.

I’m thinking of joining the Twitter brigade.  (No, Ashton had nothing to do with it.)  I’m always late to the table, that’s no big newsflash.  But being that I seem to struggle to find time for posting these days, I think it might be a more reasonable way for me to stay connected.  At least to those of you who tweet.  Later today I will get signed on and I see on my WordPress page that you can put your Twitter on your blog.  So maybe it will show up in my sidebar in the next day or so and I can commence to recruit some sort of following.

Anything interesting happen this past week?  Not really.  Had some family health drama that turned out less serious than originally thought, so I’m grateful for that.  PD has started work on enclosing our front porch.  His “help” is here now and I’m enjoying the sounds of the bandsaw and all that.  Going shawpin’ tomorrow for the Birthday Girls with my mom in the rain, most likely.  Other than that, nada.

I’ve been listening to this and loving it:

K, I’m outta here.  Have a terrific weekend 🙂

COMPLETELY RANDOM

Not much going on around here.  Rather depressing but it seems the temperatures are expected to rise and we did have some much-appreciated sunshine today.

I swore my blogging efforts would never fall to the point where I would discuss the weather.  That was before I became a zombie.

I went to the drugstore today and grabbed up some discounted Valentine candy.  Sheesh, my quality of life is plummeting.  I buy my clothes at the thrift store,  my snacks on the clearance table.  Next I’ll be… what do they call that?  Dumpster diving?

PD is rewiring the electrical outlets in the downstairs.  I have no idea why.  They seemed perfectly fine before.  I think he was really excited that the price of 12-2 wiring finally came down and he bought a bunch.  You should see my downstairs, furniture (and plaster) all over the place.  Not that that’s such an unusual occurrence… 😉  I really should take the time and get the Christmas tree down.  No, you didn’t really just read that.

We got a little reprieve at work this week.  8 mandatory hours of over time instead of the usual 10.  They thought we’d appreciate the break.  That’s all I have to say about that.  Except that, yeah,  I appreciate those 2 hours.  I’ve already used them up cleaning snow off my car.  That’s not counting the time PD was kind enough to spend doing it too.  Love that man.

I have a little time before bed.  I’m going to go play around with some photo editing.  No, I don’t have PhotoShop but I’m going to pretend.  If I come up with anything interesting, you’ll be sure to know.

BRAIN DRAINO

I’ve been working on a post but I need the video from YouTube to accompany the post. Yet another reason why I never “work on a post.” I may have done it a couple of times over the years but normally I sit down, write, and click “Publish.” That explains a lot, doesn’t it? It comes out of my brain and into your eyes. Direct shot. Mostly I have an idea, at least, of what I’m going to talk about. And if I don’t, something usually forms in the way of a topic. Or I’ll just spew a bunch of whatever is floundering around in this vast wasteland of a head of mine.

Like now.

Before I forget, Raino commented here a day or so ago and referred to my recovering alcoholism. Just to clear up any confusion, I have never been (and hopefully never become) an alcoholic. I would never have the strength to recover from an addiction of that magnitude. Which is why I have tremendous respect for anyone who is and has. So, Raino, if you’re reading, I’m sorry if I said something that gave you that impression.

This week has been especially hard on me. Haven’t been sleeping and work was more taxing than usual, facing the threat of overtime has a way of inspiring me to work harder than normal. Too bad everyone I work with isn’t affected the same way. But I don’t talk about work here so enough of that. I’m kind of worn out physically and mentally. Seems like there is more that needs done every day and bad news at every turn. Actually, I’m probly more emotionally drained than anything. I’m not looking for sympathy or advice, just venting. What I’m going to do about it is this~ I’m retiring to my room after a nice hot shower with my laptop or a movie or a book and some new music and enjoy my own company for the rest of the evening. I’m also going to savor the fact that today was the last 10 hour day I’ll be working for awhile, until the big OT at least, if and when it comes. :-S

Happy Friday and have a great Labor Day weekend, Friends! Safe travels and good food are my wishes for y’all.

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*Update: Just read that Steve Foley, one-time drummer for the Replacements, died Monday. That hurts.

Thanks, Steve, for helping the ‘Mats find a home in my heart, for always.  Happy Trails.