Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Channeling Scarlett

Not to sound all Scarlett O'Hara or anything, but...As God is my witness, I will finish painting the trim in the second parlor soon, if only because my blog's starting to sound like this:

Wish me luck.

Monday, August 22, 2011


My friend Jill and I agreed some weeks back that more nouns ought to be made into verbs.  There's actually a linguistic term for this:  verbing.  Apparently verbing is a growing trend and Jill and I did not, in fact, think of it ourselves.  Therefore, because we are nothing if not trendy girls (snicker), we've decided that "porch-sitting" shall now and forevermore be known instead as "porching".

Y'all know my fondness for porching.  I porch nearly year-round, except when freezing cold keeps me from it.  My favorite porching season--indeed, my favorite season, period--is summer.  As far as I'm concerned, baseball, porching, and peaches are the Holy Trinity of summer.  Late afternoon porching with my ever-dapper and gracious neighbor Carl is the best.  (And not just because he provides rum & Cokes.)  A close second, though, is middle-of-the-night porching.  That's when the furbabies and I sit amiably together on the porch with almost no noise but the crickets and the frogs.  It's lovely.  Still, practical considerations have to be made, and one of those is the need for at least a little light.  Sometimes I turn on the ceiling fixture in the brown parlor so that the light spills out onto the front porch, but I really prefer candlelight.  Candlelight requires matches, of course, and I'm forever misplacing the matches, or leaving them on the porch so that they get rained on or the box gets floppy from the Missouri humidity.

Then I spied this great little idea on Pinterest.
A Mason jar with matches in it.  Brilliant.  It keeps the matches dry and looks cute to boot.  The original idea used a Mason jar with the ring, and the flat lid had sandpaper glued onto it.  I tried that but the only sandpaper I had was 80-grit, which pretty much tore the head off the match as I tried to strike it.  So, I got one of my other jars with the zinc lid, cut the strike strip off the side of the matchbox, and fitted it inside the lid.  Wabam!  A weatherproof and cute container for porch matches.  And since I mentioned Pinterest, I must tell you that if you haven't already discovered this website, you really ought to go there.  It's a ginormous pinboard (thousands of pinboards, actually) of craft ideas, home decor, fashion, recipes, photos....almost anything you can think of that you like, you'll find on Pinterest.  I will not be held responsible if you become hopelessly addicted to this website.   If you can tear yourself away from Pinterest, and you have an Android phone, then you really ought to download the photo app Vignette for it.  The demo version (which is free) has so many filters and effects that you may never upgrade to the full version.  (The photo in this post was processed through Vignette,)   Now make no mistake, I doubt seriously that anyone will become the next Annie Liebowitz with just a camera phone and Vignette, but it sure does make taking photos with your phone a lot more fun.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Yes, I did manage to accomplish something before coming back to work this week.  Progress has been made.

Tuesday afternoon, as I walked through the back porch/laundry room with a hammer in my hand, I reached out with the claw of the hammer, snagged a shingle on the wall that surrounds the shower and tore that sucker right off the wall.  It fell onto the floor.  It's still there.  I care not. 

I know what you're thinking:  Yes, a Sucky Previous Owner really did shingle two interior walls with the same fugly cedar shingles they covered the outside of the house with.

And also:  Yes, the shower stall juts out into the back porch/laundry room in a way that's extraordinarily awkward and ugly.  This is one of the big reasons I want to destroy the shower and remodel the bathrooms.  That, and the fact that the back door doesn't line up with the walkway through the backyard anymore because the SPOs moved the back door when they installed the shingled shower.

And finally:  No, I'm not starting the bathroom remodel yet.  I just tore a shingle off the wall so I'd be able to say I got something done on the house this week.  To paraphrase Dr. Seuss, progress is progress, no matter how small.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


This past week has been crazy.  Downright insane.  Crazy weather, crazy man at the gas station telling me I've brought the Gates of Hell upon myself, crazy work schedule, crazy flea medicine that caused Libbi to actually have more fleas than she did before I used it, crazy yard light at the neighbors flashing off and on constantly for five days now...craziness. 

And because of all that, I've gotten nothing done on the house since the last time I posted.  As my friend Sharon would say, "GAH!"   My greatest accomplishment in the past eleven days has been to maintain the house's usual level of dust and cat hair without it getting any worse. 

Tonight I work a very odd 5-hour shift in the wee hours, then a nap, then a road trip during which I might possibly allow myself to feel the teensiest bit of self-pity because the 13th was supposed to be my wedding day.  Back by suppertime Monday night for burgers, beers and shenanigans at Westport Flea Market with the inimitable Dougar. 

And maybe, just maybe, something will be accomplished on the house before I go back to work on Tuesday night....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

So Far, So Good

With slightly over an hour left until it's officially Wednesday, things are lookin pretty good on the ol' to-do list.
  • Haul all the Christmas decorations & assorted junk out of the closet in the second parlor.
  • Tear up the carpet in said closet. (I forgot it had carpet until I started painting the trim.)
  • Remember to wear decent shoes (i.e., not flip flops) whilst tearing up said carpet.
  • Take up tack strip in closet and around ginormous return vent in floor.
  • Put all the stuff back in the closet in some semblance of order.
  • Donate junk as necessary.  I actually got rid of the treadmill that neither Mrs. WTB nor I want.  WTB was going to throw it away last fall until I protested and WTB rolled it across the street to my front porch.  I intended to use it, but the dang thing makes my knees hurt.  Mrs. WTB has a new one and didn't want this one back, so it's been taking up space in my parlor ever since.  The treadmill will find a new home at my friend Lisa's house come Sunday.
  • Call WTB and ask him to take decent pics of hardware marks. You'd think I might've remembered this, what with the whole treadmill issue.  But no.
  • Remove transom hardware from parlor/bedroom door.
  • Strip paint from hardware. Say bad swears as necessary.
  • Paint door trim. I'll probably do this sometime tonight.
  • Replace transom hardware.  See above.
  • Throw away dead plants on front porch and admit utter failure there.  Those things were crispy-fried.  Next spring, I'm turning those urns into the self-watering kind.  For reals.  Then I can water every 3 days instead of 3 times a day.
  • Paint other trim in parlor. (Some, probably not all.)
  • Take other bottom door off closet.
  • Strip door hinges.
  • Paint closet door.
  • Re-hang closet door.
  • Remember that Tuesday is Taco Night.  I remembered at 9:35 p.m.  They stop serving tacos at 8:00 p.m.  Rats.
  • Remember that Tuesday is Taco Night in time to actually buy & consume tacos.  Fail.  But since my friend Ron so kindly pointed out that I weigh more than Micky Ward (at least at his fightin' weight) maybe I really don't need those tacos anyway.