Friday, November 3, 2017

Rock wall, catio and other news.....

Thought it was time for an update on our yard progress and our rock wall! Here it is November already and I can't seem to keep up with Father Time.. he gets way ahead of me and I can't keep up. I just realized why...... as we get older, we can't run as fast!  Oh boy........

I'm trying not to overload this post with photos, but I've taken so many and just like to share them, so I guess I WILL overload it with photos! 


Our front yard rock wall is almost completely done! I'm so happy! Thought I'd show you pictures now as I was so excited to take them on the day they finished up. All that's left is to put some different kind of sealer in some of the cracks left in the wall, and especially the big crack where the wall was almost falling down. It was pretty neat to watch them back a big truck into the wall and push it back towards the house about a foot!

They dug out behind, cut off some of the "dead men" to allow for pushing the wall back, and put LOTS of rebar in to hold it to the dead men... plus put rebar in to attach the front wall to the side wall that was falling down.

Look at all that dirt piled up on my pretty green lawn! eeeeekkkkk... but it went right back in the trench  fairly soon so didn't ruin the lawn.

Bolts in the front go way through to attach to the dead men.
Here is the wall right after they pushed it up.. had to brace it until they got the rebar and bolts in:

Wow.. it's standing straight and tall again!

Front view.............(hubby always seems to be in the picture - his legs anyway)
Wall to side of house (below).... pretty much repaired and straight.. still looks "rustic" but we wanted to keep that look. I think the two holes in the front got patched and painter guy is going to use some special sealer to make it look like rock.

He re-cemented the top of the side wall, and along the front too. Looks really nice.

Our catio is totally done now! It's attached to the garage so it won't blow away..... we raised it up on blocks and put a floor on the bottom. Carpet is in and snuggly blankets in the upstairs area. Ready for the kitties when (and if) we got on a little trip (which may be happening on Thanksgiving!).

Kitty door to the garage is by the little red bench. They like to come out and sit on the bench.

The whole purpose of the "catio" is to keep our cats locked in the garage if/when we go somewhere for more than a day.... and they can have their food and water in there and be safe from the neighborhood strays.... but they can also come outside for some fresh air. Boy what we don't do for our cats!! 


We managed to find time to take a little drive east of us, about 60 miles into the Ochoco Mountains. It was really pretty... a gorgeous Fall day (end of September) but I didn't take pictures! Bad me. There was a little bit of Fall foliage to see.. and of course stopped on the way back for some ice cream!

Just last week, I FINALLY got to drive west of us towards the Cascade Mountains. I've been wanting to do this since we moved here two years ago! I was craving big trees and water.. so off we went. I have been curious as to how far we would have to drive before we would some some actual "forests".

About 40 miles (and an hour and a half later), here is what we saw:

Can't tell you how thrilled I was! But..... the down side is.... the road to get there was horrible! Very washboardy and bumpy and not good at all. Poor hubby was sure our truck would fall apart. But it was worth it to see BIG trees, big Pines, huge Douglas Firs,  Hemlock and Cedar. We were also surprised to see the Tamarack changing colors to gold........ what a wonderful sight to behold!

The washboard road had some gorgeous views of Mt. Jefferson, but I didn't take pictures of that because a big forest fire had been through that area, and it was not a pretty sight. Very disappointing to see that area scarred like that.

My main objective for this drive, was to see some water! Here is "The river we didn't get to see, The Metolius":

Photo compliments of a website I found. Not mine.
And........... I thought we would see a river, so I held off taking pictures until we got to the river......... but...........darn it......... we took a wrong turn (due to the negligence of the navigator-me) and ended up not crossing the ridge we were supposed to cross to get to the river. I got totally turned around, so we ended up driving on THIS side of the ridge, rather on THAT side, so never did see the river. 

And it's a big beautiful river too.. the Metolius, which runs north of Sisters, Oregon up to the headwaters. There are campgrounds and beautiful spots to sit by the river, and cabins and well... just gorgeous. I was there many years ago. But we didn't get to see it.

We ended up in Sisters, which is a quaint, touristy, western town. I planned to end up there anyway, but would have been via the Metolius River. As it was, we had lunch there, and found a pretty little sitting area to take some "golden" pictures.

What a pretty day and the leaves were really putting on a show for us! I did mange to find a creek outside of Sisters with a little exploring. I knew it was there "somewhere". So I got to see some water, plus a peek of Mt. Jefferson through the trees.

So my soul is refreshed for awhile longer now.


I'm very excited to say that I've re-opened my Esty shop! I pondered on it all summer after I closed it. I went through "Etsy withdrawals" for awhile too. I just didn't have the time to manage the shop over the summer. But..................... I've been on a crafting tizzy again, so figured I'd better have somewhere to share my projects. There's a widget link to my shop on the top right side bar. It should take you to all of my goodies there! 

I've added some new items. Here are a few:

Photo booklet.

Photo "flip flap" folio album with tags.

Smallish photo booklet.

Christmas photo booklet.

Digital "instant download" poem The Woodshed, that my husband wrote several years ago. I made the design with photos from his friend's woodshed and the snow backdrop is from our property in Washougal, WA.
I have alot of digital downloads in my shop. I just love making them and love adding quotes to my photography. I have so many that I haven't even added to my shop yet! All in good time I guess..........  Here's a link to my shop: My Pink Paper Cottage.


Well... not a whole lot as been done ON the camper, but we've bought a few things and had the tie downs put onto the truck so we can actually carry it! Hubby just got the botton plywood box (that slides into the truck) painted.

He has taken the two old leaking top vents out and the holes are ready for new ones to be installed. We're having that done next week. Hubby decided he really didn't want to attempt it, as he wants to be sure they are sealed really well. To go have the vents put in, we have to get the camper ONTO the truck! Keep your fingers crossed as we've never done it before.

He HAS been working inside, tearing out most of the water damaged paneling.... we've had about two garbage cans full of yucky pieces of paneling and 2x2's. I'm amazed though, that more areas are fine and not damaged by water. We mostly have to replace the paneling on the bed part that goes over the truck roof. That will come with time (and money).


I'm on a crafting roll lately as I said. I've made several photo books and albums that are different than the little pocket albums I usually make. They are now in my Etsy shop, and I have about 3 more almost done. It's so fun and addictive. 

I'm also loving purchasing little downloadable vintage tags from online places, like Etsy and I found a darling vintage luminary made from paper, that you fold up and glue and it's a cute tall birdhouse that stands up, and you put the little electric tealight inside. I love it!

Isn't it the cutest thing? The lady has it in different colors and themes. This is pink with a bird, and she has a similar one in blue, plus many for Christmas, Fall, birthdays, etc. The shop is Seneca Pond Crafts on It costs $2.50 to download this printable and the blue one. What a deal and so fun.

Although I decided not to make too many Christmas gifts this year, I did want to make a little tag album for one of my family members, so came up with this one and it was so fun to make. I used some cute Christmas tags I got from Seneca Pond Crafts. (I'm not being paid to give her a shout-out.... I just LOVE her vintage tags and 3-D paper projects!).

I'm still addicted to making these little tag photo albums. Now that I can download and print hundreds of different tags, I'm even more in love with them! 

I used one of my sweet little paper "rosettes" on the cover. I have a ton of these in my Etsy shop. They are so great to use on packages and gift bags, or even cards. 

Well... I guess that's enough photos and news for now. 

Have a good weekend everyone!


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Lull in the yard activities.... this and that..... and new project......

Hi blogging friends...... it's been almost a month since I've posted so thought I'd bring you up to date! Really though... not much has been happening around here. All the activity outside in the yard and on the house has seemed to come to (almost) a screeching halt.  It's kind of a letdown.......

Our painter guy got too busy..... he's so popular now that everyone wants him to do work for them. Darn....... but since he lives just down the block from us, he does come over now and then and works for a short time, an hour here, an hour there.  When he painted our house, he told us we need gutters.... well we knew that but hadn't been able to afford having them put on. He offered to put them on, which would be included with the price of fixing and repairing (and replacing?) our rock wall in the front yard. Wow.... that has been a bonus for us! So the front ones are almost done.

Our poor front yard is a mess (yet again). How many times this summer has it been torn up????

The wall is still there, leaning outward at a precarious tilt.. and he and/or his workers have been digging behind it so they can put drains there and gravel, and make the necessary repairs. To our and their surprise, there WERE some "dead men" behind it, holding it back. A "dead man" is a big cement thing that attaches to the wall and is buried in the yard behind the wall, to keep it from tilting outward and falling down. Well the dead men obviously have not worked!

To make matters worse, our painter guy's two sons were in a car accident. One broke his leg in 7 places, and the other hurt his knee! Oh boy... that will put a kibosh in the work activities, for sure. So I don't know now WHEN the work will be finished on our wall! Frustrating to say the least, but I'm glad his sons are OK.

Here's a pretty picture to make me feel better..... Mt. Jefferson as seen from just up the street from our house.  I drive up there and just sit awhile.. when I'm feeling frustrated or overwhelmed... it helps to calm me.

And I've started doing a little crafting again..... I have a new "craft corner" in our living room. It's my house and I can do what I want, right? We got a new little (used) dining set that has more comfortable chairs, with cushions and arms and on casters. We really like it.... but what to do with the older set? We were going to sell it, but I decided to try it out in the corner of our living room, right by our electric fireplace, and beside the TV, so I can sit and watch  YouTube videos and craft at the same time! I love it there and I feel like doing more when I sit in the living room by the fire.

So I now have a new............


Our catio is almost ready to use! Did I show you this before? I can't remember now, so will show you again. It's a chicken coup, but we are going to use it for our 3 cats if we go somewhere more than 1 night. For one night, we can leave them in the house, but for longer, we wanted a way to leave them in the garage, but with a way to be outside also. So we now have the cat door installed on the side of the garage, and it goes outside into the "catio" where they can get some daylight and fresh air. The garage is dark, no windows at the moment (that's on the "to do" list)............. so they can have their food and water in the garage when we're gone, without all the neighborhood cats coming inside and eating it (and sleeping in there!)..... and still be able to go outside and lounge on the catio. 

This isn't quite done yet. We are raising it off the ground. We've cut the plywood piece for the floor, I've bought the blocks for under it, and we just have to raise it up and put it on the blocks, and attach it to the house somehow. We'll have a nice rug inside and some stools/platforms for them to sit on. The litter box will be inside the garage. We can't just leave the cats "loose" when we're gone, as there are too many neighborhood feral cats that fight with ours.  I'll show you another picture when it's totally done, which will be soon I hope!


Hubby has a new project to keep him busy for awhile.......

HE wanted it, so it's HIS project! He promised. I don't want to deal with it (well not too much anyway). But.... I DO want the end result!  It's a 1980 Perris Valley camper made for a small truck. Pretty decent shape, but needs alot of work too, such as resealing, new vents on top, one new window, door repaired, and inside, though fairly good, needs new cushions, foam, etc. Lots of cosmetic stuff too. 

I want to get rid of the brown plaid cushions. He wants the theme to be cowboy/southwestern so I plan to recover the cushions in a western theme, using greens. And although I love lace curtains, these will have to go! I'll make some new ones. We/I also plan to paint that dark paneling to a nice off white.

Hopefully it'll be done enough by next summer to take a few short road trips. We've wanted a little travel trailer for years, but this is about all we could afford... was practically free, so that's a good price. 

The gold stripes will be painted black to match our truck. I think it will look really nice. Since these pictures, he's washed it thoroughly and it looks like new! The inside had a couple of leaks so we need to re-do the paneling in those spots.


I got to go visit our neighbor's mother 2 weeks ago, who has quilted for many many years. She was getting rid of most of her fabric and she knew that I sewed. She showed me the quilts she has in her home. She has made EVERY one, all by hand, the piecing and the quilting. Wow. She said she has too much arthritis in her hands now which is sad. I suggested maybe she could do the piecing by machine instead of by hand, but she said she feels that is "cheating"! 

Boy did I ever hit the jackpot! I now have bags and bags of beautiful fabric, embroidered quilt squares, some partial quilt blocks, tons of whites and off whites and some flannel! This all precipitated me deciding we need to get rid of our huge futon that takes up half of my craftroom! So that's for sale, and I've already found a nice tall bookshelf to put on the empty wall once the futon is gone. I need more room for all that fabric!  What's a girl to do?

This sweet woman (we talked for hours) also crochets, and has made GORGEOUS doilies. She had a trunk full of doily sets using that teeny tiny thread! She said she's still able to crochet. She has inspired me to start crocheting again. 

She gave me two of her all cotton dish clothes that she made, and I love them! I must admit, I've felt for years that a handmade cotton dishcloth was more for just something pretty to look at, and not using. But I was so wrong. They work so much better than those store bought things, and they dry so fast that they stay clean longer. Now I want to make some dishcloths for gifts....... so of course, I had to immediately go to the store and buy several skeins of the pretty Sugar & Spice cotton yarns. Oh me........I need two more "me's" to do all the projects I want to.


Lot's to do as usual. Never a dull moment around here. I did get all my back yard pots and tubs cleaned out and all the dead stuff cut down and thrown away. I was dreading that so glad it's done!

Now I can get back to my crafting. More on that later.....

Monday, September 18, 2017

Painted lady.........

She's done! She's not blah anymore!  She looks so pretty... she's bright and really stands out.... can you guess what she is???

She welcomes us every time we drive into our yard..... we love her!

Oh that POOR garage door! What's a gal to do????

Now cover your eyes...............are ya ready???


I know, I know.. it's bright, but it grows on  you... even the neighbors told us that at first they thought it was awfully bright, but they really like it now. It looks different colors in different light... sometimes soft light green, sometimes bright and sometimes yellow.

New garage door???????? NO.... painted garage door with Peel Bond underneath... looks almost new again. She's so happy now! (me too......)
Painter guy put Peel Bond on our entire house! It really seals the older wood and protects it from moisture.. covers up imperfections and cracks.... we had never heard of it, but sure makes her look new again.

When we bought this house 2 years ago, it had a "non working fireplace"..... an ourdoor square "chimney" that looked really funky... and weather worn....

 ......covered with some sort of siding horizontally and it was all peeling paint and rot.... what was a gal to do? We thought it was a block chimney covered with wood...... what a surprise when the painter tore it off.......

uh oh..........

.....not a block chimney at all! Was a (very poorly) framed stove pipe! The good thing is, it's triple wall stove pipe, and goes into a steel firebox that is in good shape. It had leaked somewhere into the firebox in the house and that's why the realtor said it was nonworking..... well.... the painter guy who is also a licensed contractor, said there was a leak up at the top where the water was running into the firebox, but he sealed that up.......... and his son, who is a certified welder, is going to replace that rusty old firebox with a new one... and it WILL be a working fireplace again! We are thrilled!

You won't believe what was inside.............. it was FULL of old pieces of sheetrock and old insulation and PAPER (yes paper!) stuffed in behind the pipe! We were shocked... so was the painter guy!

Paper that he pulled out from inside.

Rotted wood.............

Sheetrock pieces and gravel!

Siding was totally rotting out.
So... the painter guy cleaned it all up and reframed it, leveled it (was crooked and leaning down towards the ground) and caulked it and painted it..... now the lady has a proper chimney... and we may just have a working fireplace in the near future..... we are very happy about that, as temps here in Madras get down to 20 to 30 below (but then of course, we need a place to store our firewood.........hubby?).

And painter guy's sons removed our front raised rock flowerbed wall for us and dug out all the dirt and hauled it into our back yard (for a raised flower bed) - bless their hearts - so we can level the area and have cement put in there, or bricks or pretty rocks.... so we'll have a nice little front entry covered porch area to put out my wicker chairs and my bench, potted flowers and a table. Hubby loves to sit out there in the mornings..(he gets up way earlier than I do).  I LOVE front porches where I can watch the neighborhood goings on... don't you?  I like sitting out there in the evenings.........

This is the flower bed last year (below), full of chrysanthemums which looked beautiful, but......... and a big "but".........being close to the house and sheltered, I always had to water by hand, plus it was an ear wig, ant and spider attraction, which I hated, and could not get rid of the ear wigs and ants there! It also made our front walkway seem narrow and we couldn't sit there and be out of the rain... so it had to go!


We are even thinking of putting a deck across the front of the house,....... so this area will all be covered anyway.... not sure when that will get done, but it feels so much cleaner now and at least for a temporary fix,  we'll put down some plastic and pretty rocks for the time being, or maybe some bricks? What do you think? I really wouldn't mind cement there either, as it would widen our sitting area. 

Although....... painter guy says he can put a nice deck in there for us......... hum.m.m.m.m.m...... painter guy can do just about anything!

I think our painted lady is very happy now, don't you?

Next post..............we're hubby is undertaking a NEW project! Oh boy............ but the end results will be awesome. Stay tuned........

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