Saturday, June 24, 2017

Next Up...Paint


That's all that's left to do now.  Paint everything.  Trim, the new hall doors, closet interiors, walls, ceilings.  Geez.  That sounds like so much.

Oh, the vanity drawers in the master now have "pulls".  And G's shower supplies are lined up in the little niche in the shower wall.  Making himself at home.  The toilet paper roll is on the window sill. I don't know why but that roll on the window sill in such a spiffy black and white modern bathroom--well, it makes me laugh.

Monday the guys are tearing apart the hall bathroom. ( shuttering)  They say it'll be "easy" as there is no construction. (Famous last words in Demo) Vanity replaces vanity.  Tub replaces tub.  etc.  There is new flooring (heated), new tile work in the bath surround,  and paint.  The new door is in but none of the trim work. Oh, and we'll need to order the new mirror once everything is in place and the granite and sink are in.......  see?  Easy.  Another 2 to 3 weeks.  I hope not into August.

I am still getting used to the kitchen counter height of the vanities.  The chair height toilet.  I feel "shorter" when I use the new things.  Then taller when in the hall bath with the old things.  Like Alice in Wonderland.  Growing and shrinking.

And with that Dear Readers, the construction project that began demo in Mid March will be completed.  Now, I started work on emptying and sorting etc in early February (or even January)  So, it's been a long time for me to be packing, moving, sorting, finding, not finding, moving, sorting etc.

In Other News:

My friend has found a commercial 80 foot hoop greenhouse for sale at a very good price.  It has to be taken apart and moved.  She can use 40 feet and asked if I could find a use for the other 40 feet and then we could split the cost.  I said, I think I could. (laughing)  Includes the plastic and the watering system.  I can picture it out behind the fenced veggie garden.  So, from the house I would be looking at the sideview.  

I wonder if the General Contractor and friends will be interested in helping us take it apart and transport it?  I don't have anymore classic roadsters to tempt them with. Darn it.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Guess It's Going To Rain All Day


The Gardener in me is pleased to see and hear the rain falling.  That means I don't have to haul hose and water.  And Rain is softer and absorbs into the earth so much easier.

The Reader in me is also pleased as I can settle into the couch and read my book.  G is going out with Riley to get the paper.  Morning News.  Riley may not enjoy the rain.  It always surprises him.

Last night, before bed, Riley and I went out to look at the stars.  The entire sky was filled.  So many layers of stars.  It was amazing.  Stars all the way to the ground.  And I was expecting a sun filled day today. I was wrong.

Construction continues.  The master bathroom is now complete.  Just needs those items that mean people are using it.  Towels, soap etc.  G has taken the first shower.  The mirrors went in yesterday. Now that I can see what the room looks like with the mirror I can judge what sort of lights would look good in there.  Lights that hang over the tall mirrors will reflect and look like double lights. Also up so high..... do we want to look up at lightbulbs?  The Electrician said it takes some new bathroom owners a year or more to decide on the lights.  So....no pressure.

Today, with the rain, I guess we might have the last of the trim work done around the new doors.  Closet and hall.  Or they may take the day off.  Or--horrors--they may decide to start taking apart the hall bath.  The Painter is coming to look at the situation.  This is Painter number two.  Number One is "no longer available".  I'm not sure if he decided he didn't want to paint here anymore or if we decided we didn't want him to paint here anymore.

Yesterday was a "Bad Day" for Riley here at home.  I was gone (working) and G was gone (working) and Riley was here destroying the kitchen and the breezeway.  Really.  The breezeway door looks like he clawed it.  Things were spilled.  Things were chewed up.  There was barking.  The General Contractor and Others did their best to clean up and then let Riley out.  And he was fine after that and then G got home.  Sort of a Hissy Fit.  Totally out of character.  Perhaps Riley has had enough construction noise and would like a quiet day?  Ten Year Old Dogs are different.  Especially when taking Prednisone.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Black & White Bathrooms


I guess I got it wrong.  The vanity in my remodeled bathroom is white.  I visited a Black and White Pinterest site and noticed more black in the combos than white.  Black walls, doors etc.  I had asked my general contractor about making the doors black---but he wasn't a fan.  Well, that is an understatement.

The shower had a few of the wrong parts but now (with additional purchases) it should be good to go today.  Showers for everyone!!!  Doors are going in in the hallway AND in the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms.  G ordered closet doors for both rooms.  I wasn't going to but he did.  Now all the doors in that wing of the house are the same.  Now we need to find a new painter.

This house was built in 1984 and has "settled" (I think that's the polite word for the swing and sway of the door frames) and a lot of shims are being used to get things leveled.  As they get closer to the front hallway--more swinging and swaying.  Right now the "pantry" which was actually meant to be the door to the basement stairs is being shimmed.  No basement due to high water at the time of construction.  Must have looked like they were digging a swimming pool.  We do have a 4 foot deep crawlspace.  The workers have been down there quite a bit--especially the electrician and plumber.--causing a shock to Riley when their heads pop up out of the opening in the pantry floor.  It's funny to us and not funny to Riley.

I am home today as the air quality doesn't suit my breathing situation.  And I feel "unwell" without any specific symptoms.  Need to rest on the couch until I feel able to get up again and do things.
I watered the plants on the porch and the shade garden plants.  And my two new peach trees.  Now I am resting.

Finished reading the new thriller by the author of "The Girl On The Train".  The new one is titled "Into The Water".   I bet there was lots of discussion of titling it "The Girl In The Water".  I was not "shocked" by the ending.  I was not really turning pages to find out the ending. It was certainly not like the first book.  In fact, I always suspect that the second book was actually the first book the author wrote and no one wanted to publish.  Then--fame with book 2 and suddenly book one looks like a money maker---cause we'll buy it expecting a thriller.  And we get--- well, not a thriller.  My book was a 7 day quick loan from my library.

I have two 10 ounce jars of Peach Blueberry Smoothie with frozen banana and a handful of raw cashews for creaminess in the fridge.  There is also some plain yogurt and a tiny bit of vanilla syrup in the mixture. I made and drank them last summer.  Better than trying to eat food.  I told you I was feeling odd.

That's about all I have to share today.  Library is holding the new Nesbo book "Thirst" for me and I think the grocery might have a four pack of brownies with my name on it in the bakery section.  I have to wait until I can get my car out of the driveway.  Blocked in with trucks.

Absolutely no interest by the neighbors in what has been going on over here for 3.5 months.  Not even the trucks hauling a total of 72 yards of fill for the side yard.  Not a peep.  Perhaps they think we are running a business out of the garage?????


Sunday, June 18, 2017

June Heats Up--The Reno & the Garden News


Still distant...but closer and closer.  Sinks have drains and water comes out of the faucets I bought back in March.  First time out of the boxes.  New chair height toilet connected--flushes.  Not in use yet.  (laughing)  The fourth carpet ordered and arriving.  For the Hall.

I had to get a carpet.  Hated to cover any part of the tile flooring but with the uncarpeted stairs--going way up to the second floor (glorious) the ECHO in there was LOUD.  I am hoping the carpet sucks up some of the noise.  It's still rolled and wrapped.  The way the FedEx man delivered it.  Safer that way--because the final layer here......is paint.  Always a danger.  A mess. And then finally--- complete.

At work.  A long day but not as chilly as expected (and dressed for) so some un-layering of clothing.
Some sun.  Not much.  Enough.  Soup for lunch.  Very good with the extra carrots I add to it.  Panera's Cheesy Broccoli.  Two very large cups of tea.  A nice brownie would have been welcome.

Now that I know the end of June ....... is the beginning of a work free summer... I am eager for June to come to an end. Tuesday  G and I are going to the Music Theater for Patsy Cline.  Love her songs.  Reviews say the two woman show is wonderful.

Email from someone I worked for last summer (after leaving work).  She is off to visit her sister and I will be watering her tomatoes and other assorted plantings while she is gone.  An hour a day for 8 to 10 days.  It's on the way into Town--so no trouble at all.  And it gets me warmed up for watering my own garden (laughing).

Some of my seeds are germinating.  A few sunflowers.  Some arugula.  Collards?  Quite a few very tiny kale seedlings.  The celery plants I bought in a flat of 12 are doing good.  My new grape is doing good.  The two burpless cucumber plants are sending out tendrils--looking for something to grab hold of....ready to climb.  A friend gave the two to me in exchange for tomato seedlings.  I have a plan for the the last section of the herb garden.  Curves.

I repotted about 60 very tiny lavender seedlings.  Very tiny.  But already fragrant.  It will be fun watching them grow over the next year.  I also have some elderberry seedlings.  Some Boneset. Some Blue Salvia. Verbena Bonariensis (encourages visits of Monarchs) All very small.  Less than the size of a child's thimble.  This is the way it goes with perennial seeds.  Slow.

My Rumanian Tomato seedlings are doing well.  As are the Italian tomato seeds.  The pepper plants are growing--the ones from the flat I purchased at work and the ones from seeds that I started late.  At work, all the pepper seedlings are sold out.  There are no more.  I have yet to start my summer squash seeds.  Tomorrow I think.  Alongside more cucumbers.  Pickling ones.

I plan to mulch the vegetables with wet newspaper (to smother weeds) and top that with my composted leaves.  Chopped maple leaves about two or three years old. Did you know worms LOVE newspaper and wet cardboard?  Worms are the best garden helpers.  I am noticing more worms in the garden soil.  They have been in short supply up until now.  I've had more chipmunks than worms.

My potatoes are showing nice growth.  Excited about growing potatoes.  Overall, I am excited about this year's gardening adventures.  I made a lot of mistakes last summer so I hope I can learn from them and do better.  The garden does look neater.  And very empty.  But things happen fast---overnight sometimes.




Friday, June 16, 2017

Almost Summer


The Dog Days of August are still far away.  Today, here in Maine, we are having rain--drizzle rain--but rain..  I don't have to haul hose and water today.  A day off.  Good.

I found the second white duck slipcover.  In the Attic.  In with a pile of folded quilts.

The Electrician was here yesterday and things are lighting up in the bathroom.  And the master bedroom closets.  We also have the heated floor in the bathroom working.  Has a timer and a daily schedule of when to warm ups and when to cool down.  One more thing to learn how to program.

The Plumber is here today.  Attaching things to pipes and getting the water running in and out.  So, we'll see how the new walk in shower works (or doesn't) and the new sinks and toilet.  He has quite a bit to do.  The sinks alone look like quite a bit of work.  And we noticed the basement light shining upon thru the drain in front of the washer.  So, not attached to anything--down there.  I guess, if there had been a leak--it would have just drained straight into the basement????

Made a "straight up" Southern Peach Cobbler yesterday.  Used the full two cups of sugar.  The full stick of butter and regular milk in the batter.  I also followed the directions on my recipe card (circa 1970) to the letter.  I had been making it in a sort of  "relaxed" way for years.  Shortcuts.  I also used the full amount of peaches.  Six overflowing cups.  I think that was 8 or 9 peaches.  It's sweet. Next time only one cup of sugar.

Books from the library yesterday.  I went online looking for "recently released" and found a number of books by favorite authors.  Sigh.  Books.  Life is good.

I am off to transplant my tiny seedlings out of their milk jug "greenhouses" into a small cell planting tray.  Lots of tiny lavenders.  English and Provencal.  I have tape to stick on the edge of the cell tray so I can identify things--later as they get bigger.  It's nit-picky work but on a rainy day--a good time to get it done.

Love the puppy up top playing with the hose.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summertime And The White Slipcovered Couch


There is something so seductive about a fresh white slipcover on the couches.  Makes summer--SUMMER.  And the ceiling fan slowly revolving overhead is pretty sweet, too.

Here in Maine we have had three sticking hot days in a row.  Today promises to be be cooler and nicer.  I have books from the library to read, a pitcher of cucumber, lemon, mint water in the fridge, Things to make into a crisp salad plus leaves to saute in a pan with onion and red pepper flakes. These are just a "few of my favorite things..."

The mosquitos are NOT.

And back to those slipcovers.  I have one.  I am supposed to have TWO.

The search is on..........

Monday, June 12, 2017

Balance Between Work And Not Working


Today.  I went to work and took care of two customers and then told my employer I was going home. 86 plus degrees outdoors and possibly over 100 inside the glass greenhouse.  Breathing alert. I was not doing well so called it a day after 36 minutes.

Also, employer asked if I was finishing the month and then taking July and August off again.  Not much oxygen getting to my brain.....but enough for me to and my head "yes".

Ordered library books for reading on the couch.  Until they get here I have strips of dyed and painted fabric to make into "something".......really don't care what.  It's the stitching by hand that calms and relaxes me.  Weaving the strips and then stitching them together.  It can be something to nothing.

Sold my little Z car.  Letting go is easier than I thought it would be.  Balance.  Takes practice but then it's almost effortless.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Not My Kitchen--But My Tile Floor


Yes, I trolled the internet and found my tile in a very nice photo.  This tile, laid just like it is here, in my bathrooms (well, only one of them so far) and in the entrance hallway.  I thought it was slate but it's actually ceramic.  From Italy.  I am very happy to have Italy under my feet.

I dislike the black cabinets with the tile floor in the photo--way too dark.  Perhaps it's a display kitchen as there are two different counter tops as well?

The tile guy suggested to G that we use a shower curtain in the hall/guest bath instead of a custom glass door.  It's what he would do.  I kind of like the idea.  We need the glass door in the big walk-in shower but not in the guest bath.  With the soaking tub.  So, we decided to "save money" which is laughable.  We aren't "saving money" on anything even as I try to do just that.

My 9 hour day at work today was way longer than I wanted it to be.  I was ready to go home at 2:30. Which was when I used my rescue inhaler.  My voice had gotten "thready" by then.  Three cubic bales of ProMix by 2:30.  That many large repots.  That much mixing of bone, dust dry peat (treated with wetting agent) with water.  Then scooping it into pots etc.  And all the walking to help customers out in the Perennial yard.  Walking, walking, walking.  Talking, talking, talking.  Mixing, mixing, mixing.  And then I was asked to water plants.

What the heck is wrong with me??????  But who would tell them how to get rid of ants? (Borax from grocery store) Brown tail caterpillars (Bt)  Mildew on pumpkin leaves (sour milk or whey and water in a spray bottle)  Cats in the garden beds (plastic forks--pointy sides up-- ouch!)  Start a new bed (cover grass and/or weeds with cardboard--soak in water and cover with mulch or soil).  Lilacs need pruning (remove 30% of oldest branches at ground level) when they stop flowering--not fertilizer.  Daylilies are good, sturdy plants for around the mailbox where the snow plow dumps 6 feet of snow in the Winter.

Now I am going to bed.

Friday, June 09, 2017

My Front Hallway Is Finished


Riley decided he had had enough of the door on it's side blocking his way into the hall then around the corner into the living room.  He'd been shut out long enough.  So he knocked the door down. We were supposed to wait for the caulking to dry a bit more. Riley didn't get the memo I guess.

Day One we walked on the plywood under flooring (not the word I want but spell check is deciding on the wrong words) and not on the tiles with adhesive under.  Day Two we leaped over the newly set tiles onto the ONE with blue tape and then a long step or jump into the hallway (where the bathroom and bedrooms are located).  Today we were all supposed to wait until late afternoon.  Riley didn't.  I think he has had enough of the construction--he wants to be able to sleep under our bed--like always.

My car--the 1998 BMW Z3 is going to live with a new person.  I haven't driven it in 9 or 10 years. Not since I brought home the little Honda Fit my dad purchased a month before he passed.  With black leather seats because he knew I liked leather seats. And he knew he wasn't going to be driving a car--anymore. It's the perfect car for me.  Easy on the knees.  The Beemer is tough on old knees.  Old hips.  Old people.  G said he wanted to drive it--but in the year since we brought it out of storage and had it tuned up (new battery etc) he has driven it twice--and that was the first week we had it.

A car like that needs to be driven, enjoyed and loved.  And I did all that for it's first 10 years.  Time to let go.

The news this week has put me over the "tipping point" as they say.  I think I am going to have to stop watching MSNBC for a while.  Till I calm down.  Even PBS is too much but I may watch the Friday Washington Report.  Then sign off.  I Am Not A Crook +  I Am Not A Liar.  Who protests too much?

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Half The Entrance Hall Has Tile


We have a slim path on which to walk to the bathroom and bedroom.  We have a door (on it's side) to keep the dog away.  He will have to sleep on one of his three dog beds tonight.  And tomorrow night.

The sprinklers are running outside.  I guess we are getting grass on the newly "graded" slope.  The carpenter has a Bobcat.  He also removed some trees and relocated my compost heaps of leaves and grass clippings.  I wasn't aware of needing more grass.

The picture above is one of three that caught my eye for it's clean lines and simplicity.  Things my eye and heart like.  But the reality of my life is piles and clutter.  I have to find a way to move more toward  what my eyes and heart like.  It takes a lot of work to declutter.  Lots of "letting go" but I am ready.  Estate planning gets one ready for the ultimate "letting go".

Work--on Wednesday--was better.  Still that unidentifiable "something" that is not quite right during the day.  No one can identify it but we all feel it.  We added another new person.  She felt it.  But perhaps she was enough of a difference to change the vibe?

I was not as busy as on Monday but still lots of things going on--- I ordered and ordered for the containers that were dropped off for me.  "Take them down to the lady in the white shirt--she'll take care of you" was what I heard before seeing another customer headed toward me.  Yes, I wore a white tee with a company sticker pasted on it.  Dark green is way too hot.  Monday stripes.  Loved wearing stripes.  I am hoping the things I am trying to get from other locations actually arrive.  Fingers crossed.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Georgia Peaches


My local grocery chain is advertising Georgia Peaches and I MUST go buy them.  My six years living in Georgia (outside Atlanta) was formative in my cooking history.  Going from college to married in a few weeks.  Then going to Georgia where both my babies were born and raised for awhile.  Georgia Peach Cobbler.  Peach Pie.  Peach Smoothies--- well, not in Georgia.

The grocery peaches are not ready to eat.  I have figured out a method to ripen them.  The cover I put over microwave dishes.  Plastic with an adjustable vent to let out steamy air.  Works beautifully with peaches.  Tuck them under (tricky to buy just the right number of peaches to fit) and then let them gas each other on the kitchen counter until ripe enough for you to eat.  And when you eat them be sure the juices run down your chin and onto your white linen shirt.   Just saying...........

I planted things on Friday.  Arugula.  Kale.  Collards (Georgia roots yet again).  My window boxes with an assortment of throw away plants from work-- nothing precious.  I have nasturtiums, basil, and sunflowers to plant today before it starts to rain.

And I want to pot up some of my abundant supply of Lily of the Valley for my neighbor.  The neighbor with the old dog G takes care of when she is away.  Lily of the Valley reminds her of her mother.  It will be a nice welcome back home gift.

Long time customers at work yesterday.  Hugs.  Happy to see them and be seen by them.  This is my strongest tie to work.  These sweet long time customers.  We are all growing old together and would miss seeing each other.  Knowing we are still walking the surface of the planet is a comfort.

The little solar powered birdbath pump is doing a good job.  Makes a nice tower of water when the sun is bright, shorter when the sun isn't and then stops when a stray cloud passes over.  The area where it was intended to go--too shady.  Well, too many stray clouds passing by.  So it is outside the window by Riley's kitchen dog bed.  No birds.  But I hope some come for a drink and a shower someday soon.  G and I enjoy looking at it spraying and spinning around the bird bath.

So many things are in blossom right now.  The rhodies--especially the big white one.  Full of blossoms and scent.  Not heavy but sweet on the breezes.  The Beauty Bush has lots of blossoms still closed.  The lilacs still hold their flowers but they are getting tired looking.  Both are French and deeply violet blue and perfumed.  The azaleas are in flower.  Mostly pink.  I purchased two new ones--in white.  It gets shady and white is nice.  The crab apple trees are done flowering and showering the yard with white and pink petals--like rain.  Next up are the viburnum.  The front bed is full of Lily of the Valley.  Wo Peng my reluctant Tree Peony has more leaves and stems than ever before but no evidence it will make it's first flower in over 15 years in my garden.  I can still hope a flower will appear in my lifetime.

How does your garden grow?


Friday, June 02, 2017

Getting Past The Nonsense


The lack of sense.  It is all around us these days.  I have left several pages in my journal open so I can add things from the newspaper.  Make notes of things being said.  Laws trying to be passed-or not.  A history of non-sense.  What will become of this great country which is no longer "great"?

I am calmed by simple black and white.  Today the master bedroom closets are being made into custom closets with shelving and rods the way we want them.  They are lovely.  And the white closet doors now have their permanent black "dummy" knobs.  Perfect.

The temporary bedroom has fresh sheets.  Open windows for fresh breezes.  Clean clothes fresh from the dryer in the new master bath--dried with wool dryer balls.  So nice.

I planted my pieces of potato into the garden bed prepped from potatoes--a bit late but the soil has been too wet until now.  Riley guards me as I work. Pulled up the raspberry volunteers.  Everywhere.  I intend to fill the window boxes on the shed. And sprinkle seeds for arugula and kale into the garden.
My intentions are sometimes better than what actually happens.

G and I cleared all the weeds and leaves out of the blueberry bed yesterday.  Filled a very large wheelbarrow.  Weeds just know how to grow.  Blueberries are heavy with berry flowers.  I went to look at the grapes and my friend was right--tiny little baby grapes already there-  if you look closely.

Well, lunch is before me--roasted, chilled beets with olive oil and vinegar mixed with diced fresh mozzarella.  A good meal.  Let's see if I can NOT drop any on my shirt and stain the front with red beet juice which washes out to gray.  G is off site mowing grass--- before it starts raining again. And then-- planting beet seeds?


Thursday, June 01, 2017

Wednesday--Used To Be My Favorite Day Of The Week

Another black and white room--the foyer of this house (not mine) The door is almost like the new closet doors--only a panel at the top--not glass.  Black hinges.  Black tile floor.  I may look for that light fixture on Houzz.com.  My new front door has more panes of glass--lets in more light.  Quite a change from the past 26 years of a dark, dark hall.

 So, Wednesday at work not being my favorite day of the week.

 Three--or is it 100?--weeks ago my schedule changed at work.  "Something" happened at work--On a Wednesday-- and my employer had to "bring in an influence" to correct things.  That might be me--or not.  Nothing much has changed. Or it has and THIS is better?

Things.  Were.  Awful.  Today.   (well, yesterday because it's after midnight)

It's hard to believe.  Monday was a great day.  Saturday was long but a good day.  Today---I just wanted it to end before I was tempted to dive into the path of the tractor..

What makes Wednesday an awful day?  The combination of people working (or more correctly-not working).  I heard so much complaining.  So much agony over events during the day (who moved my cheese sort of things).  So much "it's not my problem--you fix it".  We even locked a customer and her car into the parking lot at closing.  That's the royal "we"--  I didn't lock anyone into the parking lot.  My lips were locked in the "oh, no" position.

And the phone.  It would ring for like 20 to 30 rings and no one at the front would pick it up.  They just couldn't care less.  And it wasn't that they were "busy".  It was cold and overcast with rain threatening.......... they just could not be bothered to interrupt their conversations to answer the phone.

Customer Service at it's worst.  And the boss was in the building.

There is really nothing more to say.

But the new trim molding was up around the closets at home.  And the new wider baseboards--awesome.  And new black hinges in the doors (check out the picture above for the black hinges in that foyer-just that little line of black), and the black door knobs.  The little washer/dryer closet has a door and door knob--today and so does the bathroom itself.  For the first time since construction began.  Doors. And my closets are getting built in shelving.  Tomorrow the new vanity gets a "dry fitting".  OMG.  That is going to be something.  I will try and get a picture.  Still no usable plumbing.

I purchased a hallway runner on Houzz.com yesterday--it will arrive by the end of the week.  For Riley as he doesn't like walking on bare floors at age 10.  2.3 by 12 feet.  Hot pink and other vivid colors.  Tufted cotton.  In a zigzag pattern.  The bedroom rugs (4 by 8) are tufted cotton in circles in the same hot pink vivid colors.  One for each side of the bed.  They are already here.  In the closet--waiting.  So pretty.  So me.