not dead yet…

it’s been over two months since I’ve written.  

ironically, in my side job– when not being general contractor and day laborer for this house– I write to maintain another person’s blog, and this summer I hope to have a rousing success of a kid’s fiction blog.

At any rate, all is standard-standard, here.  I’ve finished redoing the kid-bath (aka main bath) cabinetry in a white-ish (called Lychee, a Benjamin Moore color) that recalls the existing wall color (think, hint of pink)

...with flash


...and natural, evening light...


…after a chartreuse disaster nearly unmade all the inroads I had made on the man’s preconceived notions on color. In addition, I sanded, prepped, and painted the front door a color called “poppy” (light, bright orange that was, in point of fact, a Pratt & Lambert color tinted in a Benjamin Moore Paint) — the P&L was a less-saturated version of the original “Field Poppy”(BM) I wanted, but on the door in evening sunshine it’s HOLY COW bright.  I like it.  But to lessen its impact, I bought a gallon of trim color, a deep brown (also Pratt & Lambert color mixed in Benjamin Moore) with a hint of raisin.  Or so I thought.

poppy and holy cow concord grape brown (actual name differs.)


 On the trim, I went, HOLY DOUBLE COW POOP, it’s Concord Grape Purple.  

And so I painted the whole carport wall, again with the same panic that compelled me to complete the bath project in one day (b/c it’d have done no good for The Man to have doubted that I was Subject Matter Expert on All Matters Paint.)  –The wall, on Pratt & Lambert Sample, was to have been a deep, deep teal-ish blue-green.

On my wall, knock-yer-eye-out-turquoise.

Okay, really.  Now I doubt my own flawless color sense, and yet…  I guess it all worked out.  I wanted, and got, “brighter.”  

The Wall.

Earlier this week, I completed the sweaty, heavy-breathing task of hand-sanding the interior of the front door.  Now I need to do the trim, so that I can get a tabulae rasa (“clean slate”, did I slaughter the Latin?)  finish on the door AND trim.  I hope to get it all complete –to include stripping and re-waxing the old-school slate floors– before we do a family trip to Maui next week –My original thought in this big-push, painting-project-palooza, was that when I come home from HI, I want to rest and   regain strength before The Kid’s summer vakay.  Then no doubt more projects await (like gardening, but there’s a soil study going on in the next few weeks, no point in knocking myself out before the sampling and results come back… right??)

Even still… Between front door & trim interior, office org overhaul, and trip preparation, then trip…  Y’all will excuse me if I’m quiet again for a while, right??

onward and upward, with a hefty to-do list in hand…

…sooooo, the house sold. Thankfully, it’s been a fairly fast process, with Lovely Rita (no, not meter maid– fabulous Real Estate Pro) keeping us informed along the process.  I guess the funds should transfer today, it’ll be a closed, done deal. 

In other house-y-ness-news, I’ve been –surprise!– busy.  The man *cave* is coming together, with a pool table filling the space nicely, and a “Hawaiian Gun Rack” (not yet installed, since it’s a man-job) offering up a chunk of design help –well, once it’s up, it will.

I spent some quality time in the shower last weekend, me, a spray bottle of bleach, a steamer/cleaner thing, and a teeny tiny hand-grout-saw.  Turns out, the steam cleaner is also a champ at cleaning the gunge of ages from window tracks, as well as the funky-nasty-horrible area in front of the oven (covered by a little metal door, for sure, but MAN was it nasty. Imagine a toaster-trp door filled with crumbs, grease, blackness, and lord-only-knows what else…  *shudder*).

Back to the shower, though: once I finished  bleaching/steaming/scraping, I re-grouted with a non-sanded grout (horrible stuff that wanted to come out too easily as I tried to wipe it down first, then needed to be aggressively scrubbed after I left it overnight.) (ugh.) along with regrouting the counter and sill… Now, I need to caulk, and then I will set my sights on the kitchen grout.  Not looking forward to it, but it’s one of those, “needs to be done” things.  AS long as I’m doing one thing, I might as well get to the rest of it…

Which brings me up to my new house-mantra:  “In for a penny, in for a pound.”  On Wednesday, I was in the front, trying to scrape out moss patches on the lawn so I could then spread a mulch/fertilizer/seed product by Scotts –good stuff, Maynard!– well, hell, I thought, I’m out here anyway — In for a penny, in for a pound, might as well pick weeds.  My sweet little British-ism was replaced by an American version of my own making as the weather turned windy, rainy, nasty, cold: “Just Fucking Do It.” 

And then I was mostly done: three hours and a hugely sore rump later (I had to work in primarily a dead-lift position, since my torn meniuscus started hurting me again last week after squatting too deep while doing “fern-cutting-palooza”, cutting back all the ferns to the fresh-growth bulbs in their center…)  

Today’s “Just Fucking Do It” revolves around dog-poop picking up, with a side order of house-pick-up (and hopefully, caulking) not to mention some minor admin-type bill-ish duties and transferring-house-over tasks.

Always, good times here Up The Hill.

Even so, it’s getting spring-ish, it’s feeling fresh and hopeful.  The house Down The Hill is now officially the past, and really… the future is now.

in search of “awesomeness.”

today was a weird sort of day.

I woke up tired after visiting a good friend who needed a shoulder; could be her dad has pancreatic cancer.  Heavy shit.  I wish I could lift all the sad-heavy-hard from that situ, but I can’t.  Her call to me followed an offer on the house down the hill, an offer I could look upon as insulting but prefer to look on as opportunistic.  Honestly, we asked a fair price initially on that house.  We came down over 10 K from that price, and this offer was about 20 K less than our lower offer, once we paid more than half their closing costs.  Daunting, to say the least.

So today, I woke up and did a silly mantra on my facebook, a sort of call for awesomeness in my day.

Did I find awesomeness as I worked crossing, or chatted with the Kid’s teacher about working up a class art-type-project?  Notsomuch.

Was awesomeness waiting for me as I worked on straightening the house, doing loads of laundry and spraying down new pee-puddles in the living room?  Nope.

Awesomeness also wasn’t lurking at Safeway, nor was it in my garden while I planted peonies and bleeding hearts and  it certainly was NOT anywhere near the stank piles of dog poop I gathered.  It might have been somewhere near the singing birds, the sunshine,  and the warmish fresh air streaming through open doors…  But I wasn’t able to feel it when I swept up mounds of dust bunnies or when I mopped, cleaned dishes, or prepped dinner.

Awesomeness was nearby when I looked out to the view, when I watched baby Poppy sleeping on the deck in a sun spot.  Awesomeness came really close as I sipped on wine in a clean house, looking out over cerulean water and bright pre-spring skies.

But I was thudded back to not-awesomeness as we signed counter-offer papers.   

I felt like the last two people –the only two people seriously offering on the house– didn’t “get” it.  

Our house down the hill was purchased more than ten years ago.  We got a more-than-fair price, but it took a lot of vision to make that house our home.  People walked into that home and loved what we did.  Carpet was ripped out, hardwood was refinished, new high-end carpet and ceramic tile were installed, a new kitchen was put into use, as was a new bath.  We did much work in the yard, though most of that was overridden by the ravages of moss and weeds and dogs.


I guess my last facebook update today says it best, as to how I feel right now:

Dear First-Time Homeowners: “Buyers Market” does not mean “rape the seller.” Many of us (sellers) were once first-time buyers, paying fair prices for our properties. We lived in our homes, loved our homes, and improved our homes so that one day a new family could come in and reap the rewards of our hard work. So please, don’t insult us with offers that say, effectively, “bend over, dude.”

(for tomorrow, awesomeness is off the agenda.  I’m thinking I’ll search for fabulousness, instead.  That might just be something I can embrace…)

When do-it-together projects go right…

The Man and I have been together for 16 years.

In that time we’ve learned a few things.

1.  We each have some powerful strengths.

2. We are each ever-so-slightly imperfect.

3. We each work really well on our own, as far as house projects go. Together? notsomuch.

And so with these truths in mind, we’ve had a good partnership in fixing up this house.  He does his things on his time, I do mine on mine, we consult each other on key issues (mostly where money is concerned) and in the end, things mostly get done with him staying out of my way and vice-versa.

I’ve mentioned, he started sanding the concrete in the basement after my birthday party.  I mentioned it was an ungodly mess.  Cleanup after that is still not complete. And I had expected that we’d be waiting a long time before concrete-in-man-den Phase Two was underway.  But I was wrong; he asked me to begin painting the ceiling pretty soon after the majority of the dust cleared, and all last week that was pretty much what I did.  It was a whole lot of no fun, with Satan’s Popcorn (as I dubbed the ceiling texture) stubbornly resisting me (when it wasn’t falling into my hair or dodging my glasses to get into my eyes).  A helpful Lowe’s employee suggested I use actual ceiling rollers (Novel, that! a roller, for popcorn!?  Gee, I wish the first five sales people had told me that, between the old house preparations and moving into this one…) –and Satan’s Popcorn Was Mine.  (now, I have the rest of the house to complete, minus the ceiling in the office.)

I suspected that The Man would sit back and wait, once again, before beginning again on the floor, and I had half a mind to do my own thing with it.  I experimented in the storage area, and came up with this, based on his “I  want to do red and gold like my long board” color scheme suggestion.

concrete experiment

The idea was, take a polyurethane-type finish, mix it with a tint, and, like I did for the photo above, loosely brush it on and remove it with a crumpled plastic bag. When I talked to paint people in Lowes, Home Depot, and Sherwin Williams, they kinda’ looked at me like I was smokin’ high grade.  I don’t know if “we’re doing a color scheme based on a long board” that did it, or, “can I make my own glaze?” –but they didn’t like it, no sir, not one bit.

And so, we were heading into Lakewood anyway, so we stopped by Lakewood Paint and Hardware.
The variety of merchandise there is awesome.  The store is small-company awesome.  The workers there are freakin’ awesome.  The sold Devine, Prtt and Lambert, and much other paint-y gloriousness, and we were given information that was friendly, non-judgmental, and smart-as-hell. 

And so it was, I was swayed in my original thinking, and we walked out of there with Mason’s Select concrete stain and sealer and a garden sprayer for applying said stain.  We had arranged a sleep-over at grandma’s for The Kid, and we were set to embark on a project, together. 

*insert first cocktail.*  *and second.*  (for me.  for him, it was more like, insert beers one through four.)

The spraying of stain was initially a bit daunting; he was armed with garden sprayer, me with two regular ole’ spray bottles.  Getting the stain into the bottles was about the undoing of the togetherness: I had created a sort of long-handled cup out of a water bottle, he then cut the crap out of my cup trying to make it a funnel.  I freaked out, he said try it my way, his way didn’t work, my way did.  He gracefully conceded defeat.   Once the stain was in holders, we started in the back (not very well sanded) area, and it was stain-lake for a scary while.  At this point, I was on wine + Fresca number one, and together we steadfastly adopted the motto, “fuck it.”

As we worked, him spraying in squares small enough for me to reach into, then me spraying in a loose circular technique (swallowing/inhaling enough stain to have perma-stain-flavored wine + Fresca) we found that things were looking okay.  Mostly.  Except certain cat pee areas (left kindly by the house’s previous occupants) we’d apparently not treated well enough, and also the not-so-sanded areas, which were still lake-ish.  We smiled sloppily and went, “fuck it!”, by now relatively jovial.  

We stood at the railing of the stairwell when we finished the job and stared at the wet stain.  For a while.  A long while.  Waiting for it to show signs of  drying.  At one point I looked at him and said, “we have a sitter.  It’s 10 p.m. on a Friday night.  And we’re watching stain dry.”  and he said, “yup.” and took a swig of his beer.  

We both agreed it was a lovely date night.  Until the dumbest of the three dogs (that’d be Bill, the English Pointer), taken carefully through the side  yard to pee before bedtime, got into the room (helped, in part, by a sliding door left inadvertently open by The Man.) 

I was in bed, trying to hack stain-flavor out of my throat, when I heard the shouting. I smiled and went to sleep with smug, shrugging little thoughts of “fuck it.”

Until the next morning, when I saw that Bill had apparently done laps in the basement, and not pretty, well-placed, stencil-perfect laps.  The Kid needed to be picked up at grandmas, and then taken to gymnastics after which we had a busy day of must-do activities and birthdays and dinner parties; I was horrified by the thought that The Man would follow through on “fuck it” and seal over the paw prints. Initially, I sprayed spots of stain over the paw prints.  I thought it looked worse, The Man shrugged and said, ‘fuck it.”  Then he called me en route to picking up the Kid, apologetically saying, ” I wasn’t communicating well.  If you want to try to fix it, go ahead.”  I did want, as a matter of fact, and went through the whole garden-sprayer, double=spray-bottle routine all over again.

It looked better and I was relieved.

Until I got the call from a relatively nervous, no longer “fuck it” man, wondering what I thought about bubbling, milky sealer.  I asked how he was applying it.  He said, garden sprayer.  I went, oh.  Because I didn’t think he needed to hear, “what the HELL were you thinking?” right then.  He said that he had been going over it all with a rag, and things looked to be smoothing out.  “ah, well, carry on then!” I said chirpily.  My gut sank.

All told, however, his “cinderella method of application” (and the purchase of a proper sprayer) all worked out in the end, the dogs stayed out of the area for the prescribed 72 hours, and, after putting all the goods back into the space (including a couple of new rugs found at IKEA) it looks good.  We’re not 100% done; he wants a pinball machine, I want a pool table, he’ll eventually do a fireplace insert, and who knows, maybe some day there will be a bar of some sort down there.  I hope that eventually, the downstairs kitchen will get a fridge and range (though I hate to lose perfectly good laundry space) and we’ll be as comfortable down there as we are up here.

For now, though, the dogs love the carpet, both The Kid and Man love the space, and we can finally say we *can* do a project together.

(I think, however, we’ll mostly keep up our old project ways.)

….and now, a photographic journey, then to now…

you had to be there for the "before" smell...

before, fireplace view


the curtains were cool (except for the dusty-musty-nastiness)

petrified rubber pad, and a cabinet-painting project

....after scraping petrified pad by hand with a 3" razor blade...

man-den, part one

the new floor (including masking)

man-den, part deux


man-den, "imagine a pool table" view

Poppy thinks the floor looks cool, and feels cold.

a couple of days in the life Up The Hill…

I emailed this to a friend I was doing work for, as a sort of “really, I tried to do what you needed but I couldn’t get to it” sort of thing and she suggested I publish it somewhere.

So I am.

Here it is, a glimpse into my glamorous life…

—–and just so you pity me: Monday, I had a simple to-do list.  But a simple morning visit with a sick person, a couple of favors for said sick person, and all the sudden I had only time to shop for kids’ projects for art class and food.  –so I was grumpy not to have gotten anything done. And then The Man and I started The Great Rug Debate.  Originally, I was thinking beige-ish rug for the concrete, big texture, but a friend recommended black.  We liked that idea.  But then he decided, he wants purple.  And he wants is Large.  And he wants it Cheap. He finally said words to the effect of, “so just buy something tomorrow.”

 And so, on with Tuesday.  Woke up at 5, when The Man threw Poppy on me as a sort of ‘good morning’, assuming (I guess?) she’d sleep.  Never mind she’d not been taken out all night.  So of course, she peed on me, on the down duvet, on the bed, through the mattress cover, through the mattress.  So much pee for such a leeetle leeetle body… I’m irritated AND on the rag, and in the process of taking care of  said OTR hygiene matters (sorry for TMI) when The Man gets out of the shower, all mortified, (because how dare I not know his shower timing!!???) “do you mind! Can you take care of that some place else??”  –so I do.   Flipping him off as I do so.

 SO THEN, it’s 5 am, I’m stripping the bed, bathing, taking out the dog (not in that order) and then trying to snuggle in with the kid…  only she’s a blanket hog and has no duvet since Poppy peed on it four days ago and my laundry room is in too much of a state for me to find the clean down comforter and all three dogs want to get involved with my wrestling-for-at-least-one-thin-blanket-efforts as I try for just 5 more minutes of rest.  

 But whatever, fine, I’m up.  I have to get ready for this meeting, a sort of interview-ish thing in Olympia, and then do my crossing guard (need to get The Kid to tumbling by 8:15, first), and then drive about an hour to Oly.  A guy smiles and motions me over in a vague sort of nodding way at the coffee shop meeting place and I think it’s interview dude, only it’s not, and then I feel like an idiot tool, only he’s got the one jack for the computer.  SO I can’t even work on anything productive while I wait.  Interview happens, and it’s this weird, like, do they like me despite my lack of skills they need? -kind of thing, and it’s all unsettling, and then it’s 11 am, I’ve been gone from the house longer than Poppy’s ever been crated but I think , screw her, I’m going to IKEA because I know that’s about the only place the words “purple rug” and “cheap” can be thought of in the same breath.   And I find a purple-ish rug, very purple under IKEA lights, and I shove all 6 feet of them–two of ’em–  into the very tiny Volvo and head home.

 Naturally, both rugs look very not-purple in our light.  Naturally, Poppy has peed in her crate (making me feel terrifically guilty.) and Naturally, the house is still a mess, there’s still a wet pee spot (un-stinked by Spot Shot for pets) on my bare-ass bed.  BUT I have to put clean dishes away, dirty dishes into the dishwasher, take care of hounds, and then get the kid to ballet.  I think, alright, I can do what I need to be work-productive at the coffee shop/bakery under the ballet studio.  Okeeeedokeeee. Nooooo worries.

 I get to ballet to find out, I need to pay for tuition and tutu.    I discover, I have no checkbook.


 I drive home, deal with pathetic, guilt-inducing hounds, do the frantic whole-house search for check-book….  and then back to ballet.

 Then it’s pick up kid, come home, make lame-ass corn-dog and french-fry dinner, get passive-aggressively bitched at by The Man for lame assedness of said dinner, then get asked to help move furniture into his man-den.  Naturally, I have a vested interest in getting his shit out of my laundry room, especially since baby dog has just soiled about three loads single-squattedly this morning, and I have no laundering room.  SO I help him.  And he’s looking distressingly as though he’s about to put the shit all in the entertainment center WITHOUT DUSTING.  did I mention the dust he created with the sanding of concrete?  I start dusting, I’m progressively pissed-er, he’s all, “I’ll do it, Jess” –as he wipes a speaker with his shirt– (sure, you’ll do it, JackAss)  –AND THEN I can start dressing both bare-ass beds, The Kid’s (where I suspect I might sleep) and ours…

 –So then FINALLY I get to my computer, and The Kid is on her Moshi Monsters and she’s all emo because she’s changed its color forever, and I’m like, “guh!?” and she’s crying, “you don’t care and you just can’t understand because You’re NOT A Kid.”

 Umm.  Right.  

 SO I’m on the computer and he’s hooking up his SURROUNDSOUND!!!!! and it’s like I’m in a bad apartment with neighbors from hell and then Abby comes upstairs and says, in a kind of, “hmmmph” tone, “Dad knows just what to say to make me feel better.”


 …and with all that, I knew I needed a big, fat glass of wine and bedtime.

with the peeing little dog.

because she knows just how to snore to make me feel better.

a month of housey fun and games…

I can’t believe it’s been that long since my last post.

Oh wait, yes I can.  I’ve been super busy.  My office project culminated in  office window-covering creation, which spurred on more window-covering creation, bathroom-type:

office curtain, open

curtain, closed

bathroom valance

Once my windows were nice and foo-fooed up, I needed to get back outside (yay! Nice weather!)  –and also, I needed to do the standard, mom with kid running around like a headless chook-stuff (to include working on the house down the hill, alas still not sold but looking nicer, after helpers came to stage the yard and help paint the recently-repaired chimney.)

The back yard needed weeding (and poop control) and the front needed the same; to do more thorough weeding in the front I moved around the stones my mom had set in a mound, all singly sticking up a bit like tombstones, and I grouped ’em together in a way I found a little more logical and aesthetically pleasing.  I have determined, I’m a compulsive grouper.  I had also taken some river rocks and other pebbles and made a sort of mini-dry creek for the down spout extender to flow into, and while I was at it, I extended out the area of pebbles just beyond the concrete pad/patio under the deck, creating…  I dunno.  Something better than a weed-and-moss infested drop-off.  I also planted roughly 100 (or so?) bulbs, ranging form ixia to fairy lilies, gladioulus and anemones…  should be fun to see what sprouts as the weather improves (and to try to figure what the critters have eaten to tide themselves through the cold season.)  00 I was thinking it seemed cold to be planting, but the instructions on the containers were very adamant “PLANT IMMEDIATELY.”  so I did.

At any rate, some pix of yard-y stuff:

(I’ve added  a few “before” shots as reminders)

front yard, before

front, before

front, after #1

front, early spring '10

…and on to the back:

back yard, June of '09 (pre purchase)

back yard, post-pruning frenzy

back yard from above

on-deck vegetable gardening

back yard, early spring '10

North end back yard, early spring '10

….and so it’s feeling pretty good in here, heading into spring, but there’s always something major to be done (and a big project being undertaken currently, which I’ll write about in a different post…)

omg, it’s an OFFICE!

So I’m sitting here watching crows groom each-other outside the eight-foot window of my office.  

Yes, my office! 

After months of putting this room off as the-pit-into-which-things-disappear-and-rarely-emerge, and after several not-so warm & fuzzy interactions with The Man about the sad state of this hole, I settled in and tackled the space (spurred on, truth be told, by the loss of the trestle sawhorses holding up my holiday-time work table because the other two walls of work table were stacked high with loads upon loads of crap.)

There is, of course, still much work to be done.  I need to sort the filing out; now that we’ve weeded out about 3 reams of old trash it’ll be about keeping important documents where they can easily be found when needed but to get there I need to revise my filing system.  Before, I had always kept old invoices, bills, and statements but now with all that info online and readily available, it would seem that we don’t need all that hard copy documentation anymore (or so he says)(he’s probably right, and I need to release my urge to hoard.)

I need to sort through important-but-messy papers and desk top clutter.  I need to get archive-file boxes into the basement, need to figure a place for my bags to live, need to organize my contacts both in hard copy Rolodex form and virtually.  I need to re-label the craft boxes,  sort my fabrics, and keep on top of my kid’s creative messes.  I need to devise some sort of light-control for the huge window, which gets a fairly blinding amount of afternoon sun (and will more-so, in the summer) 

Still and all, we’ve made great progress: I have a workspace where, for now at least, I can work.

And golly gee, Beav, that feels good.

(…and now some pictures to feel all nostalgic with)

Sistine ceiling, sort-of.


Moving in.


first attempt at a workable space


getting better all the time...


another view...


one office storage corner...


...and another office storage corner

(the difference 5 months makes!)

the house down the hill…

So, the tenants moved out a week ago.  In that time I’ve done some work on the old house, a little bit of yard spruce-up, some slight staging and cleaning, and now today’s the big Open House.

The Kid’s really upset we’re selling that house: upon moving in here she whined, “that’s where all my memories are!” Today as we brought cookies and a door mat, she was whining more. Feeling like the last house had more space, feeling like the last space had a better front yard.  

Mostly, I think she’s feeling like we’re moving away from a substantial part of our past, and I share that feeling.  I’m okay with that, for the most part, but I really want to find a buyer who will love the house and find it home; appreciate what we’ve done to it while also making it their own…

It’s a nervous, scared feeling, what kinds of bad things are being said?  Then there’s  hope, that we get a good offer, a good amount, a good buyer…  Sorrow, that nearly twelve years of the book of us are now formally past… 

oh well.  Might as well wait out the offers (if they come) and the “sold” sign before mulling too much about it…

accomplishments, sort of…

You’ve cleaned your house, or completed all your laundry, or washed all your dishes.  You feel good about that, real good.  You look around, and then realize the rest of the house is a mess.  

Or, let’s say you’ve done any of these tasks, felt good, and then thirteen minutes later, a sock appears on your clean floor with a patch of dirt, or a dish, a saute pans, and several cups appear, or you wash three dogs and the mountain of dirty clothes reappears.

Kinda’, that’s how I’m feeling about the yard.

Yesterday was a frenzy of work, I repaved the second walk, which needed more work because it seemed like all the areas where my mom and repaved needed re-digging.  Unfortunately, I did such a good job (in my own mind) on the second walk, that I needed to improve the first one.  Which really wasn’t fun.  The best neighbors on the planet let me have some of their sand from a deck-building project, which I used for the walk, then I borrowed two of their yard bins and picked up the last two piles of yard-crud.  

Yeah, big accomplishments, to have taken out a huge amount of pavers and blocks and rocks; to have raked a substantial yardfull of long pine needles and years of ick and sticks; to have re-paved bricks….    And yet, now that it’s done I look around and think, gah.  I need to weed many areas, make a sort of dry creek of pebbles under the gutter-of-much-water in the back, cut down and dab killer on areas of volunteer lilacs and plums in a space that might become grass in the back, *we* need to top the two tallest trees back there, our screw maple and a really pretty pine (almost primordial in its draping foliage), and more, I’m sure… much much more.  I’d like to make sense of my mom’s mini-rock monuments, would like to add some plantings (to include a salvaged bit of lilac from the old house as well as two clumps of poppies from the old house…)

breathing, now…

…the big trouble with getting anything “done” is, it never stays that way.  But I guess, that keeps things fun?

wet, wet, wet.

At least I managed to finish a fair amount of the work I wanted to do… There are still two large piles of pine needles, sticks, leaves, and who-knows-what in the back yard, but brick walk number one –the more difficult, curving and hilly one– is re-bricked, and all the pebbles have been removed from the perimeter of the front yard (seemed like a good idea at the time, mom, until we get around to raking, and considerations of edging…)

So now my body aches, and I’m very damp from the morning’s crossing guard, but I have fine plans to shower (novel, I know!) and then set to work on the laundry mountain (all clean, none folded, with hampers full of dirty) and then to organize the craft/art room/ office.  

not so thrilling, but that’s my life…

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