Monday, June 27, 2011

Being a DIY-er isn't easy

As always, I have too many projects and not enough time. It's easy to have too many projects when your house is over 100 years old. And it's hard to have enough time when you work at 2 jobs six days a week. But I do my best.

I decided this week that I might be getting better sleep if I had a new mattress. When I did the math, I was honestly surprised to find out that my existing mattress is at least 30 years old. Good grief. Time goes by fast without you even knowing it. Anyway, I decided it's time for a new mattress. And because I've been sleeping single (if you don't count the dogs) in a queen size bed for five years, I have decided to downgrade my mattress size to a twin. This is going to come as a big shock to Molly and Sammie, who each take up more than their share of bed space. In fact, I've come to the startling realization that it's time they sleep on their own beds ON THE FLOOR. Whew. I can't believe I've said that.

Getting back to the point however: not only am I going to get a new, twin sized mattress, but I'm going to make myself a new headboard and footboard for my new wonderful mattresses (which I'm picking out next week). Today I posted a classified ad in the paper to get rid of my old queen size bed and mattresses. Sure hope I get some calls on it. I'm asking $115, but I'll give it away free if I have to. Time to move on.  I have my new headboard project (a vintage door) propped up on my front porch. Hopefully I'll get to it this weekend. Meanwhile, tonight I decided I had better step up my game plan for scraping the wallpaper off my bedroom walls and smoothing on some kind of plaster to cover up the rough and bumpy spots. Oh the joys of an old house. My plan is to spend 30 minutes a night working on them. Unfortunately, tonight I got sidetracked by my kitchen wall project and spent an hour scraping wallpaper in that room. What in the world ever possessed me to put up burgundy textured wallpaper 15 years ago? It has always looked like a pizza parlor from the 1970's. I'm getting close to removing all traces of that unfortunate decor decision.

So tonight I worked in the kitchen instead of the bedroom. But tomorrow is another day and I'm definitely going to get back to work on the bedroom project. Oh darn. I just remembered that my sister Anne is coming over tomorrow after work to help me with my out-of-control flower beds. She assures me that Round-up is the answer. I'm pretty leery because of my dogs, but they don't get out in the front yard, so maybe it will work. That's what I get for begging her to take my yard on as a project and be my garden mentor. I don't want to blow it with her.... it's the first time I've asked her for help with a yard make-over. Of course, she probably accepted because her yard is the best in town, and I'm sure my sad-looking yard is an embarrassment to her. But hey, whatever works.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


One of the greatest joys in my life is my granddaughters, ages 8, 10 and 14. The middle one, Shyla, is currently obsessed with all things Titanic. (Oh, and Leonardo DiCaprio.) She owns two non-fiction books with accounts of the building and sinking of the Titanic and loves to grill her family about every known fact about the ship. When I came home from work tonight, there was a note from her instructing me to look up Simon Crane, Ewan Stewart and Victor Garber on the internet and to write a report about them, then to mail the report to her so she can check my work. I'm assuming that these three guys were passengers or deck hands or something to do with the Titanic. I don't know yet because I haven't had time to look them up. But I'm going to. Tonight. Because she has already called me to see if I have the answers yet. I'm pretty sure that 30 years from now she will be one of the world's foremost authorities about the sinking of the Titanic.

The family

I live in a rural town, in the far northeast corner of Oregon. Cowboys, hippies, and now wolves. Oh, and rattlesnakes. Although those aren't to be found in my immediate vicinity. Thirty miles away, where my son and his family live, rattlesnakes are not uncommon. Which is why I hate to visit them. When I do brave it to their house, I pull up and park as close as possible to their back door. Then I run for my life for that door, praying all the way. I don't walk around their yard. Any admiring that I do of their extensive garden comes from looking out their windows. I've never seen a rattlesnake yet, but I know they're there. And I'm convinced that they know that I'm there. So it's a stand-off, at least so far.

I've owned my house for 20 years now. It's 100 years old this year. And definitely not without it's problems, most financial. For example, the roof. I realized back in December that the roof needed replaced. I managed to get a home equity loan (another one) and called the roofers. They put me on their waiting list and guess what?? Today, 6 months later, I got the call from them saying that I'm at the top of the list and Monday they'll start the re-roof project! I am so excited. Mostly I'm relieved. Four days ago the ceiling in my sewing room starting leaking. So there's another project waiting for me -- repairing the ceiling and a good sized portion of one of the walls. It never ends, does it?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Well, here goes. I've been thinking about doing this for some time but keep putting it off. This seems like a good night to get started. It's June 1st and it's cold out and the temperature in the house is 58 degrees. Which isn't warm enough. But my 100 year old house is heated by wood, and it's too late to go out to the woodshed and cut kindling and get the woodstove going. So I'm in bed with the electric blanket warming the sheets and my two dogs sprawled out and taking up most of the queen size bed.

So, to introductions: I'm a 60 year old woman, divorced five years now from a man who left me for another woman after 35 years of what I thought was a happy marriage. Guess I was the last to know that it wasn't so happy after all. It was excrutiatingly hard to find myself alone at age 55. In fact, I still don't know how I've made it through the past four years. It's been a roller coaster ride, period. More about that later.

Actually, I do know how I've made it through the rough times -- Molly and Sammie, my "pack". Both were rescue dogs, but they in fact rescued me. Which is often how it works out. Molly is a bossy, know-it-all five year old Border Collie, and Sammie is a four year old Pit Bull mix with the sweetest heart you'll ever come across. Together we are a pack of three. I don't know what I'd do without them.