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............


CAT "CATIO"....

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!

NEW PROJECT:

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.

CROCHET AND FABRIC:

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.

THAT'S THE NEWS FOR NOW....

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???

TA DA!!!!!!  NO, IT'S NOT PINK!

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!


Voila!


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........

Hugs.........Marilyn

Monday, September 11, 2017

Alot happening..............

Oh my! Has it been 3 weeks since I last posted??? SO MUCH is going on around here (and has gone on) that time is speeding by like the trains that chug through Madras in the wee hours of the morning! 

I'm feeling pretty good now but have had kind of a rough month. The total eclipse here on August 21st just did me in for some reason. I don't know if it was the actual eclipse that was going to take place, or all the media hype leading up to the eclipse, making it sound like Madras, Oregon was going to become a catastrophic place to be with over 170,000 people here! About two weeks before the eclipse, I started having anxiety attacks and started dreading the event... I felt like doomsday was coming! 


Friday, August 18, 2017

It's still a little wonky but it's done!

It's done! It's done! she cried in excitement! My old blue hutch has her new (many) coats of white..... uh.. I mean FIVE coats of white.......


Here's the old tired ugly girl BEFORE I got started (above).  But nothing that is vintage is ugly right? Just needs some TLC..........  Below is after first coat of white spray paint. I had to put paper on the house as this thing takes about 3 people to move it.. and I had it right where I wanted it so wasn't about to move it again! (I did later level it up more).


I took no progress pictures ... go figure...... it got done in bits and pieces.... a little here... a little there..... ran out of spray paint... got two more cans... but wasn't covering real well.. so found an old can of primer I had that was all chunky and thick.... and doctored it up..... stirred and stirred.... and added water...... and put two coats of that primer on it! Then added two more coats of white spray paint.

So voila! Here she is! I'm been so anxious to get it done so I could show you!  She's pretty "rough"... a little wonky and crooked, but I love her anyway!


She's all dressed up for company.......

New pink glass knobs for the drawers....


Pretty pink hat mailbox that was my hubby's and mine at previous houses.... the I "heart" country banner was from our local thrift store.. just happened to see it as I was walking out the other day.

The "potting shed" sign used to be on my fence above that yellow bench I painted last year!  but hubby decided it should have a new home here. It's worn and faded so needs a new uplift (one of these days)......


What a pretty yellow "teacup" to hang on the side... I got it from the lady who gave me the hutch. I couldn't see throwing it away (as she was doing) so grabbed it up. My hubby got me the little green basket to hold my seeds and such.


Those darling birdhouses, yellow candle lamp, yellow bird, mug, two white and pink ceramic candle holders (on top) and flower pots.... also from thrift stores here in town. I want to hang the yellow bird with a little plant in it.


I think I actually squealed when I saw this little pink "ice cream chair" at an antique store the other day (about 20 miles from here)!! Can you believe it was already pink? It's really meant for my garden somewhere, but it looked so cute sitting here... just for a short time... and my little terrarium with the "air plants" just fits there, right? the chair may have to stay.

These are two little air plants I found at the local Fred Meyers store about 25 miles from here. They don't need water ladies! You just mist them every few dayswhen you feel like it, and they are good to go. The gal said they are meant for indoors, but they are dong fine in this 100 degree heat outside. Instant love.  I got the sand and rock pebbles and moss from the local Dollar Tree.. easy deal.

The little chair does look sweet sitting on the ground too, with my new (free) shrubs, thrift find watering can and green tin planter.  Yes, Bi-Mart gave away ALL of their flowers and plants about two weeks ago, right before this big heat wave hit! Most were really wilted and they just didn't want to deal with them anymore, so I got a few Ivy Geraniums (on their last legs), two lilac bushes and two Snowberry bushes, and they are all doing well and very happy in their new home. (Note to self:  tell hubby to remove that horrible ugly black cord that goes up the side of the house to the TV "dish"!!! We don't even have dish TV or anything, so get rid of it!)


There was a big empty hole on the hutch surface top. I think a little door used to be there.... so I added a little curtain to cover it up... tacked on with decorative tacks.. and now behind it I can store my little not so pretty (practical) things.  I stacked a few garden books with another little tin planter hubby found for me.. and bought a little cactus to put in it..... the pink birdy is compliments of the Dollar Tree... and the little aqua blue jar holds my plant fertilizer!

So here she is in all her glory! She's too pretty now to use for a planting table, isn't she? 


I had so much fun decorating her. And yes... I really HAVE used her as a work bench for planting my free plants from Bi Mart. The surface gets dirty but I just let it dry, and then sweep it right off. 

Of course, when it rains, I'll have to take a few things in! And in the winter, I'll remove everything and tarp it for the winter. But for now.... she's such a joy to look at..........

OTHER GARDEN THINGS:

I found a few more darling goodies for my garden at that antique store about 20 miles from Madras... I'm going to place them throughout my tubs and pots of flowers....... and I actually NEED the watering can for my front flower pots.


I think the pink chair might have already found a home at the hutch! (Rudy loved that chair.....) The galvanized watering can was in perfect condition... no holes... no rust.. for only $10! I was thrilled.

The little red bench/chair I just had to have.... just because it was so cute.... and the lid comes off to store goodies inside.... it'll sit amongst my flowers somewhere... and the chicken wire frame... already hanging on my fence!

And our "catio" is almost done! More on that soon............

Have a nice week everyone.... the solar eclipse here is fast approaching... and I"m dreading it to say the least.. our little town of 6,000 people is supposed to grow to close to 200,000 people.. who are all coming to view the (2 minute) total eclipse! Oh boy..........

Hugs to all............



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