Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thankful Thursday

It's the little things in life that really matter.

For the newly brave Louis, it's having a not-too-tall dogwood tree to climb.

For Liberty, it's being able to stretch out in the sun with a new rawhide chewie.
 For Christopher, it's crawling through the yard like a jungle cat.
 And for anti-social Little Marie, it's being blessedly alone in the house with a big bowl of kibble.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Will Sit

The yellow part of the house is done.  Finally.

I still need to paint the windows and trim on the back of the house, straighten up the patio, and rehang the yard light that's dangling there to the right of the little window.  (Although having it hanging down loose does make it easier to find the kitties at night because I can pick it up and use it as a spotlight.)  Then I'll carefully check the rest of the house for places I missed painting last summer.  Two windows on the east side are still not painted and I think I missed the corner of the side porch trim.  I have no explanation for how I didn't notice that two great big windows are still white instead of black and cream.  It baffles me. 

And after that?  After that I will sit in one of those blue chairs, possibly drinking a tall G&T, but most definitely with my back to those mismatched clapboards where the door used to be.  That bugs me.  It really does.  It bugs me almost as much as the door not lining up with the sidewalk.  I have neither the money nor the desire to do all the other stuff that has to be done before I can move the door to its proper place, so for now it will stay.  And I will sit.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I Wish

 I wish...

How many times have we all said that?  And how many times do the things we idly wish for actually happen?  Pretty rarely, right?  Well, today and tomorrow I am doing my best to see that some of the little wishes come true for two of the people I love most in the world, my son and daughter-in-law.  Dylan and Sarah's first anniversary was yesterday.  Today is Sarah's 21st birthday.  I wanted to buy them something special, but they both mumbled "I dunno" in answer to my asking them what gifts they'd like. 

So instead of buying something, I am doing something.  While Dylan and Sarah are gone on vacation, I am taking care of a couple things on their wish lists. (And okay, some of the doing involves buying, but I think it'll be okay.)

Sarah's dad fixed their porch posts a few weeks ago but they remained unpainted.  Sarah had said, "I wish those porch posts would just paint themselves."  Today, I painted them.  I painted the rail by the steps, too, because Sarah had said, "I wish that rail wasn't burgundy.  Yuck."  Now the porch posts and the rail are white.

Dylan had said to me a week or so ago, "I wish we had a decent mailbox."  Now they do.  A shiny black mailbox replaces the rusty and dented one they used to have.

When I made the little flower bed in my back yard Dylan had said, "I wish we had something growing in our yard besides weeds."  Today and tomorrow, my mom and I are turning part of their weedy front yard into two flower beds.  

And here I must tell you that today I had a wish of my own.  Today's weather felt more like July than May.  It was 84 by 11 a.m. and the humidity was somewhere close to 80 percent.  Fifteen minutes into the yard work, my mom and I were wringing wet.  She told me as we were gulping Gatorade that back when she first started working at the County courthouse, in the mid 1950s and before air conditioning, the rule was that when the temperature plus the humidity equaled 150 or more the courthouse shut down.  I said, "I wish that was the rule for yardwork today."  My wish did not come true.  We continued on and finished one flower bed completely and half of the other one before we threw the spade to the side and headed to Sonic for a couple of cranberry limeades.  Tomorrow we'll go back over there and finish the rest of the flower bed before Dylan and Sarah get home mid-afternoon.

I wish I could be there to see their faces when they come home and find flowers in their front yard where weeds and rocks used to be.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Every year there's a scream-worthy portion of the house that needs painting.  Last year it was the front of the house above the parlor windows.  (Remember, I climbed up there and then was too scared to get back down, causing Carl and White Trash Bob to have to talk me down.)  This year it's the back of the house near those power lines.  I was assured by my neighbor Floyd and an electrician friend that those power lines would not kill me.  But then Floyd quipped, "If I hear a big ZAP I'll call 911" and Mark said, "Whatever you do, don't touch 'em".  Neither comment gave me much confidence.  Happily, I am now finished painting that part of the house and remain alive and well.  I do think my heart briefly stopped beating when I nudged the power line with my elbow, but that was probably from sheer terror rather than any actual electrical current.  Tomorrow I move on to infinitely less terrifying areas of the house, like that big window and the other half of the house not shown in this photo. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Catch Y'all Tomorrow

First coat of yellow paint done.

Second coat of green paint done.

 Still an hour or so of daylight left.

But, in the words of Paul Westerberg, "Somewhere there's a beer with my name on it."

So I'll catch y'all tomorrow.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

This Weekend...

Love this commercial!
NOTE:  I have no affiliation with Ace Hardware and was not compensated in any way for sharing their advertisement with you...blah blah know the rest.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

At Last

At last, yellow paint on the back of the house!
Sorry I didn't get this photo posted Tuesday like I promised and so to make it up to you, a bonus photo taken from the other side of the yard.
 And, a photo of something odd:
Can you see it, the little drawing of a house?  I have no idea what the heck it is, but I just had to take a photo before I painted over it.  White Trash Bob and I found it last fall when we were taking off shingles.  WTB's theory is that it's a diagram:  "Looky here, now this is how we're gonna screw up the house."  I don't get it. 

And so it's back to work for me tonight, and no more paint until Saturday at least.  Sigh.

Monday, May 17, 2010


When I woke up Saturday afternoon, it was raining.  It rained Sunday, too.  And today, it rained some more.  Sigh.  And just when I was about to lose hope of ever being able to work outdoors again, today's rain became a drizzle, and then a mist, and then nothing.  So I got crack-a-lackin'.

All that rain made it easy to pull up weeds, and once I got started with the weeds I went kinda crazy and pulled up all the vinca in the front yard.  I hate that stuff.  Or at least, I hate(d) the big bed of it that grew all over the sidewalk, wrapped itself around the rose bush, twined across the front porch steps and threatened to take over the whole front yard.  I think I might like vinca that behaves itself.  Maybe.  This stuff had been allowed to grow wild for who knows how long.

So now, instead of ugly vinca in the front yard, I have a big ugly patch of nothing.  Not much of an improvement, right?  But just you wait.  I have big plans to turn this part of the front yard into a cottage-style garden.  As soon as I rake up all the junk that's there now and get the rest of the vinca roots out of there, I mean.

After I yanked up all that stuff I moved on to something a lot more fun.  A whole lot prettier, too.
I planted up this wall planter that I got at Hobby Lobby.  I used impatiens, alyssum, and that vine-y stuff I don't remember the name of.  Now that it's done, I wish I'd used something else in it that trails down a little more.  Oh well.  (By the way, the planter didn't come with a coco liner so I bought one and cut it myself.  There must be some trick to cutting those darn things.  I tried to use kitchen shears and it didn't go so well.  If y'all know a better way, please tell me.)  This planter is to the right of my front door.  I tried to back up and get a photo of the whole front porch so you can see it better, but the dog was hurling herself against the glass in the storm door and I was afraid she might actually break through it.  Libbi is a little wild.  Just a tad.

After that I stuck some petunias and some more alyssum (I really like alyssum) in a couple planters on the steps of my side porch.
Those steps really need some paint on them...and so does the porch floor.  Truthfully, the whole porch floor probably needs replacing, but that's a project for another time.  A time far from now, like right after I fall through it. 

And for the grand finale of the day, this:
I can just hear y'all saying, " looks just exactly like it has for the past month..."  It does.  In fact, I had to double-check to make sure I had the most recent photo of the back of the house because, well, they all really do look pretty much the same.  Hopefully, though, this will be the very last time we can say that. I finished the prep work.  Hooray!!  Which means that tomorrow I can put some new paint on the house!  Tune in tomorrow for a partly-yellow wall—at last!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

More of the Same

I did a little work on the back wall of the house during my days off.  A little.  And then, like a good blogger, I took a photo of the progress.  And then, like the ditz that I am, I left my camera at home when I came to work.  So I can't post a photo.  But that's okay...

Because the house this week looks remarkably like it did last week...
And the week before that...
If it ever stops raining (and I'm beginning to have my doubts about that) I'll get the rest of the prep-work finished.  All that's left is the area above and to the right of that little window.  Ideally, I'll get that done on Sunday and start painting on Monday.  Ideally.  If it doesn't rain, that is. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Greatly Exaggerated

Mark Twain once said, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." This was in reply to a reporter telling him that his obituary had been published in the New York Journal.

After finding a squashed possum near the trash cans at the end of my alley back in January, I somewhat gleefully reported that Mr. Possum had met his Maker.   I did indeed find a possum; however, it now appears that it was not the possum.  Carl told me that he saw Mr. Possum eating cat food out of little Cissy's dish on his patio just the other day.  Because of Mr. Possum's distinctive notched ear and his unusual personality, Carl's sure it's the same varmint. 

If Mr. Possum could talk, he'd quote Mark Twain too.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Six Hours; Three Days

Wow.  Amazing how the back wall of the house looks almost exactly the same as it did last week.  Except for the drift of paint chips on the patio, a few more bare spots, and a few less nail holes, you'd never know I worked on it at least...oh...six hours in the past three days.  Yep, six hours over three days.  Not even one good workday.  Hey, I had other things to do.  Like sleep late, and go out to supper with my mom (twice),  and take Libbi for walks, and read a really good book (The Devil's Punchbowl by Greg Iles) and sit on the front porch with a friend, and try to figure out why my dryer's not heating.

Oh yeah, I did this too:

I turned an ugly corner of my yard into a little flower bed.  The fountain is a Mother's Day present from my mom, and if it wasn't almost dusk when I snapped this photo you'd be able to see that it's a solar fountain that bubbles in the sunshine.  The trellis I found at a local antique and gift shop (shout out to Missouri River Antique Co. and its awesome proprietress, Sue McGraw) and it was my mom's idea to set it behind the fountain like that.  I divided some Stella D'Oro daylilies from elsewhere in the yard, bought three mallows to put in the back for some height, and filled in the bare spots with dianthus.  That's honeysuckle growing all over the fence behind everything.  (And some weeds.)  Christopher Cat thinks I made this flower bed just for him.  His favorite place to hide is back in the corner there, and now it's an even better hidey-hole, what with the trellis and the flowers. 

Now it's back to work for three nights...sigh...then home for four days!