Do you like digging through boxed rubbish at garage sales looking for that proverbial pearl among the oyster shells? (My mother once found an antique china doll head at the bottom of a mixed box of Tupperware and fabric. Cost – 50 cents. What a deal!) Anyway, if you enjoy digging through junk to find something of interest, this post is for you.
Per my garage sale analogy, let’s start digging. Feel free to skip topics that don’t appeal:
The Backyard Garden (Tupperware dish #1)
Fuzzy photo of potted plant that died in our recent freeze. Pretty ugly, right? Moss looks good though!
Cutting taken from the plant (Citronella) above before it died.
Basically, as most gardeners know, winter is a time of rest when it comes to gardening.
Other than coming up with garden ideas to implement this spring—installation of a new/used arbor, clean-up of dead foliage, weed removal, etc.–there is little to do in my backyard. Not only that, but I’m still prohibited from bending over more than 90 degrees because of the hip replacement. Thus, the henbit (Lamium amplexicaule), bed straw (Galium verum), and cherry laurel seedlings are able to wag their tongues at me with equanimity because I can’t pull them out.—YET! Just wait.
A close friend told me she needed an arbor and could get me a sturdy one for about $50.00. She had (emphasis past tense) connections to a cheap labor source that could weld one for next to nothing. Hey, I liked that idea!
Unfortunately, her labor source is leaving, so the idea fell through.
My next-door neighbor suggested I contact the local high school to see if they have students who would weld one for me. When I looked on-line, I didn’t see that this high school (or even the local community college) had any sort of welding classes so I’ve given up on the idea.
Pandora’s Box, a local store with a WIDE variety of antiques, junk, new & old stuff, and plants, will hold its annual end-of-the-year sale starting in the middle of February. I will go there to look for an arbor.
My Bathroom Reno. (Skein of yarn with knots)
I signed a contract to renovate my MAIN bathroom on November 11th with a completion date of December 9th. (Start and completion dates are written in the contract.) The primary goal was to add a shower in anticipation of my hip replacement. Secondary goals were to remove the awful chipped & missing pink floor tiles and to replace the ceramic tile that was falling off the wall above the bathtub.
Today is January 17th and the photo below shows where “we” are at this time.
Both BEFORE and AFTER my hip replacement, I have been “bathing” in the sink you see below.
This is the sink in my half bath, a former closet.
So what happened?
I’m a patient person, but we are now a month behind schedule, and the contractor hasn’t been showing up—a week here, three days there. He also doesn’t call. When I call him, he tells me he hasn’t abandoned the job. He tells me he lost my phone number. (Really?) He says he’s been sick (a cold, food poisoning after New Year’s, allergies, a muscle pull, a week-long migraine, etc.)
He must think I’m pretty stupid.
He also mentioned he won’t make money off of my job and that he will just breaking even…. but that’s not my fault. I didn’t bid the job nor was his bid the lowest.
On the positive side, I have most of the new construction material at my house—the floor and wall tile, the bathtub and bath fixtures, the vanity top, the mirror, and so forth. The new plumbing is installed and the bathroom has been rewired to code. Also, I don’t think I’ve paid the contractor more than where he’s “at” in the job.
Bottom-line: If he doesn’t get his a$$ in gear, I will type up a contract for him to sign stating he’s relinquishing the job, and that I don’t owe him anything. (I don’t think he’d want to go to arbitration and yes, I have experience with arbitration.)
I do have another contractor to replace him if this happens. Still, I’ll wait a little longer…
Bathroom floor tile above.
Front Porch (Tupperware dish #2)
I have what could be a very cute front porch if I put effort into fixing it up. When I first moved into this house, the porch held a bunch of stuff that had nowhere else to go. I’ve slowly worked to clear that stuff away. At one point my 10’ long-leaf pine potting bench sat under this porch. I’ve now re-purposed that bench, which has great shelves, for use inside my house. The bench is too nice to leave outside in the elements.
Contractor’s stuff is everywhere, but you get the idea.
New fan on front porch ceiling. Ceiling is old-fashioned bead board.
So what do you think? Should I add a cute seating area or a porch swing and some hanging plants when it warms up?
My Writing (Ugly green ashtray)
It’s probably obvious I like to write. Sometimes my writing reminds me of those people who can’t stop talking. (Help, I’m writing, and I can’t shut up!!!) Not good.
Some 15 years ago, I took college-level courses in writing and did well, but that was 15 years ago. My skills along with my brain have shriveled since then, what with a lack of practice, a heavy workload, an abundance of stress (dying husband), moving twice, and frankly my entrance into the post-menopausal years. I’m not as sharp as I once was.
BUT, I still want to write. I’ve been looking to join a writing group in my area. So far, I’ve come up empty-handed. Last night as an alternative, I looked at taking an on-line writing class to brush up on my skills. (Not cheap.)
Ironically, one of my sisters teaches online writing classes. (FYI -She has a book coming out soon, which I’ll let you know about when it’s on the market.)
My sister and I aren’t particularly close in age or outlook…Wonder what she’d do if I signed up for her course? Would she have a cow or kick me off the roster? Not to worry, her course is on flash prose and I that’s not where I need the help.
Fifteen years ago, I’d written a still unfinished 350-page fictitious novel loosely titled Fifty Ways to Kill Your Contractor based on the experience of losing 175K in a home renovation. No, I’m not kidding. This bathroom reno. isn’t my first rodeo with the unpredictable and sometimes seedy world of home remodeling contractors and builders.
Now, however, I want to write about child abuse. Something along the lines of The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.
If you’ve not read The Glass Castle, I highly recommend it. Most people who’ve read it can’t put it down.
The Garden Club (Two yards of colorful cotton fabric)
I’m still working actively to establish a new garden club in my little town. I’ve researched no less than three venues I can use for free—a room in the public library, the Ben E. Keith room, and a room in my church that boasts the added benefit of audio visual equipment. I’ve also created a mission statement and a survey/questionnaire. I want to touch base with a local master gardener to gain her input before I go further.
Book: Whiplash How to Survive our Faster Future by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe (Cell phone charger)
The lettering on the cover of Whiplash is intentionally fuzzy.
This book isn’t an easy read. If you have some science background it helps tremendously. Honestly, I’m a bit of a Luddite, but I need to at least stay abreast of what’s happening technologically and otherwise.
I am halfway finished with the book. Rather than giving you my “take” on it, here’s a link.
Miscellaneous photos below for your amusement (You’re now at the bottom of the garage sale box: Chewed up dog dish, paint roller, & key chain)
Sunset seen from my back deck.
Another sunset photo.
Photo taken from the front porch with side view of the Kolstad Inn, a Bed and Breakfast.
Cool basket purchased at a thrift store for $6.00. I will use it to gather produce from my garden.
Bought this basket last week when I had cabin fever and absolutely HAD TO get out of the house to maintain my sanity.
Thanks for reading!!!!