Looking for answers to life's questions

Up to No Good

Up to no good. That’s the answer I usually give when someone asks me what I’m up to these days. Ask my daughter the same question and she will give the flip answer, “5’7”.  She’s kind of a smart a**. How do you answer a question like that quickly?  I can’t.

I’ve been almost busy and mostly lazy. Catching up on reading blogs, or more accurately, trying to, but they come in a lot faster than I can read and comment.

The work on the house had slowed for a while. In between rainstorms, my son built a side yard gate. I held pieces and parts while he put it together, then I stained it. Holding pieces and parts is important work.

I wanted it to look like it's always been there

I wanted it to look like it’s always been there

We started painting the house again. My son did the high stuff on the roof line. I took the rest. It’s slow work with a paintbrush. I finally got a small roller so I can move a bit faster on the rest but the cold rain slowed us down.

Everyone should have a kid on the roof. Take a look underneath.

Everyone should have a kid on the roof. Take a look underneath.

Not before we tried our hand at using the paint sprayer for the underside of the back porch roof. Talk about a messy job. We tented the whole area and he wore a respirator so as not to breathe in over-spray. Days later, he says he could still smell the paint. It’s the only way to paint large areas over your head. More progress soon.

I have pulled lots of weeds and will get to them again soon. The entire upper hill was covered in them but I managed to clear enough to plant 3 lilac bushes. Planted a few daisies and more ground cover including some a generous neighbor gave me. She was clearing something out of her perfect yard that is called Snow on the Mountain and it’s supposed to be a good ground cover as well. Some of my hyacinth bulbs are coming up in spite of the fact I may have planted them too late.

I’d be outside working or working on a sewing project but it all has to wait a bit longer. I had cataract surgery on Thursday in hopes of correcting the blurriness in the only eye that’s useful. So far so good. It will take a bit of time to heal but I should be able to resume my work in a couple of days so I’m watching the weather for the perfect temp to paint and weed. Meanwhile, quilting and writing are on the back burner, simmering, smoldering, ready to ignite. Since my glasses aren’t working now, a new pair will be ordered in about 6 weeks when the healing is complete Good thing I can make the print big so I can at least keep working here.

 

So what are you up too? I hope it’s something interesting and fun or at least tall.

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

Comments on: "Up to No Good" (70)

  1. Hey Marlene, the gate looks great and I like the brightness of the paint on the porch overhang. I would like to award you the 🏆 Super trooper Award! You constantly amaze me! Have a relaxing time until your eye is healed! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great that the surgery has been done and soon you will be seeing the world through a new eye 🙂 The painting is looking great – though it is smelly isn’t it – put out lots of onions! Your plantings are lovely Marlene, and it won’t be too long before your garden is lush most of the time – I love to see all that greenery beyond your new -old gate – it looks like you live in a forest! Thank heavens for the option to magnify the print – it’s better than a hand held magnifying glass for sure. You are doing a great job, no need to rush at all. Take care, look after yourself and enjoy your lovely home!

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    • Thank you, Pauline. It is going well. Even with old glasses that didn’t work well anyway. The blurriness is gone and that’s a big help. Fortunately, the paining is all outside but for some reason, I can’t smell it. My son can. My house does back up to forested area. There is a creek that runs through it. I’m heading out in a moment to take advantage of the early morning cool and I will work till my sister arrives at noon. Then I have drops to put in and rest until around 4 with hopefully a few more hours of work till time to come in for drops again. Little at a time. We are already getting August temps here so I’m going to have to work faster than planned. I am so grateful to be able to make print bigger. I picked my theme on Word Press for the size of the print. 🙂 It will take a few years to get the plantings looking like I want but there is no rush on that part. Just the stuff that they inspect in June. The kid is working on getting the handrails back on the deck and I’m painting the skirting around it. Thanks for stopping by. It’s always good to hear from you. I’ll be posting photos of the danglers as soon as I get the windows washed. :))

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      • Ha Marlene you should see my front window! It’s where the puppy and kitty both sit to watch the world go by and where the puppy bounces up and down excitedly and tries to throw himself through when he sees any body coming……. I was washing it every day and now I’m not and it’s a sticky mess ……. sigh!! 🙂

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      • I’m laughing with delight over the idea of those two in the window. What a site that must be? My windows need cleaning from the outside and are hard to access without a ladder. Or with a ladder. Inside is easy except for the sewing room as my machine and counter are in front of the window and can’t be moved easily. But it will get done! Soon. It’s on the list! 🙂 Hugs and squeezes to you and Daughter, chin scratches to fuzzy family.

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  3. what am I up to? 4’10 and shrinking!
    Congrats on all the work on the house – the garden is coming on a treat. There’s not much in ours, but some splendid irises are delighting the eye against the wall of the house now the weather had turned a little warmer.
    I hope your eye heals well and the new glasses are helpful. My cataracts are maturing quickly recently, so I daresay I’ll have to get them done soon. Your giant print is great for me! Don’t work TOO hard!
    love,
    ViV x

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  4. Love that answer, Up to no good! My mother accused me of that frequently. It would be great to be up to no good again. Nowadays she complains of being bored, to which I give her the answer she gave me as a child To go and find something to do! Anyway hope your eye heals well and quickly so you can be up to no good again very soon

    Liked by 1 person

    • You made me smile. I’d like to be up to no good again. That’s where the fun is. Thank you for the good wishes and for stopping by. Have a wonderfilled week ahead.

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  5. Spring is SUCH a busy time of year! My house looks like it needs some painting, too, and there are lots of weeds. Maybe seeing all your progress has inspired me . . . .

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    • I have to watch the weather channel every day to see when the temps are right for the paint to work properly. My list of to do’s is LONG. I have curtains to make and I want to make some placemats too for starters. I’m no different than most though. Good luck getting your list done. We have inspection here the first of June so I’m in a hurry. Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderfilled week ahead.

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  6. That’s wonderful news about the surgery, Marlene. You’re making a lot of progress with the house…your son is a hard worker. 🙂

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  7. Marlene, thanks for catching us all up on your life! Best of luck with the house painting. Your yard looks beautiful! Enjoy every moment! Thanks for keeping us in the loop of your life! ♥

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  8. I wish I had your energy, Marlene. Your house is looking so good. Mine needs work so much but I just can’t do it. Too much other stuff to do. Then if I try to do something the husband feels like he needs to help….and he can’t. Can I borrow your son for a bit? hahaha! I’m sure you will pass the home inspection with flying colors my friend. Big hugs!

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Jackie. I run out of steam quicker than before and have to take it easy till the eye heals. And yes, having the kid does make it easier to get things done. His ex has dibs on him next. I had a hitch in the inspection last year so I want all the jobs done by this year. Then I can focus on more personal things like writing and sewing. I wish we were closer so we could help. I love to do this kind of work and see things look better.

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    • Yes, we would all like to borrow TS for a few weeks. That man is worth his weight in gold.

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  9. I love your side garden! YAY! for handy sons!

    Linda

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    • Don’t leave home without your handy son. 🙂 Thanks, Linda. It’s coming along nicely. Hopefully, by next summer, I can actually enjoy all the work from these last 2 years.

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  10. Carol Ferenc said:

    You gate and flowers look great, Marlene. Lucky you, having that handy son to help out. Glad to hear the cataract surgery went well. I know that’s somewhere down the road in my future, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Carol. Yes, I am one very lucky woman to have this handy, helpful son. I know many that are not so fortunate. Without him, so much of this wouldn’t be possible. The surgery itself wasn’t so bad. It’s the waiting for new glasses so I can see that’s hard. 😦 I have very little patience. But it’s already better than it was before the surgery. Who woulda thunk it? 🙂

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  11. Marlene, I am so happy to hear your surgery went well and things are looking up. I’m sure its hard to wait on the healing to see just how improved your vision will be so take it easy while you can.

    The house is looking fantastic and I love the gate.

    My outside work has come to a screeching halt now that its returned to chilly wet weather. The handyman confirmed today that he thinks he will be here this weekend to run the plumbing for my washing machine so that’s cheered me a bit.

    All we have in this life is time and so I’ll just try to pace the work with that in mind.

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    • Waiting for a washer when you can’t get out to the laundry is a big deal. I would be chomping at the bit and hanging from the ceiling with frustration. I’m hoping for the best even though I had limited expectations for the surgery. I’ll give it the full 6 weeks and then glasses will take another 2 to receive. 😦 But it looks better than I’d hoped for. Glad you liked the gate. Does it kind of melt into the surroundings like I’d hoped? We had chilly weather, now it’s HOT. 86 again today! 88 next Saturday and it’s only May! 😦 Please make it snow.

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      • Yes, your gate does melt into the surroundings you did great and your HOA better acknowledge all the improvements you’ve made.

        I would gladly trade you weather. It’s hovering between 50s and 60s here and raining off and on almost every day. Me I love the heat. Just take your stink bugs with you. 🙂

        Yes, hanging from the ceiling is close to how I feel. My daughter-in-law has been kind enough to take my big items home to wash at her house but it can take two weeks to get them back and with no laundromat in town I just want my washer!!

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      • We are getting a few cool days before the heat comes back. The heat stroke eliminated the joy of warm. I never take my washer/dryer for granted anymore. I hope all goes well.

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  12. Marlene, I hope the cataract surgery does the trick and that you are seeing well again. My mom had both eyes done, a combined glaucoma and cataract surgery, and could see wonderfully after she healed. I’m hoping the same is true for you.

    I like that your daughter is a smart a**. That’s a great answer. I left comments on your garden photos, but will add that it is all filling in beautifully and looking fresh and inviting. The second year in a garden is always nice as things begin to establish a foot hold. I’ve always liked the look of ground cover and low growing plants pushing up against each other. There is something appealing about that, to me anyway.

    I was surprised to hear of an inspection in June. Is that something the HOA does? I’ve never heard anything like that. Best of luck, though it doesn’t look like you’ll need it. You’ve turned that place around in every way.

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    • Thanks you, Alys. Appreciate the hopeful wishes and the kind words regarding the front yard. It really is turning out nicely. Hopefully, I can get the same done in the back yard. The owners of the property initiated inspections 3 years ago before I moved in. Last year they were unhappy with the lumber in back saying it needed to go into the shed. Sheds not that big and we were still working on the new deck using the wood from the old one for other things. We’ve stashed what we haven’t used under the new deck and the skirting, once in place will hide it from site. I know I need to have the railing up and skirting on before they come this year. They check so homes are maintained and the entire property keeps it’s value. I don’t have a problem with that per se, they just are very selective how they apply the rules. 😦 Work is progressing but today was too warm. Tomorrow will be a work day. My daughter is my idol. I always tell her I want to grow up and be like her. 🙂

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      • I’ve heard horror stories about various HOA’s, some to the extreme. Here in San Jose for instance, we were all encouraged to let our lawns die or at a minimum dry out. HOA’s were fining people for doing that saying they had to maintain a green lawn. You need some degree of flexibility. Other’s were fined for trying to replace the lawn. It’s a bit crazy-making. The irony is that you are in the process of beautifying and improving your home, and with that, you get a bit of clutter. When our home was remodeled 12 years ago, we had a dumpster and a porta-potty in our driveway for six months. It wasn’t pretty, but when you’re tearing off part of a roof, extending walls, removing old pipes, etc., it gets worse before it gets better.

        Best of luck with all of it. I like your vision for the place and all the lovely touches. I admire the fact that you and your son can work together to get this work done. I feel like such a slouch when I read your posts.

        It’s so nice to catch up with you here.

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      • Thanks, Alys and I know slouch when I am it. 🙂 Many days I sit here reading blogs instead of doing things that need doing. Like now. 🙂 It is good the kid and I can work together. I’m pretty easy going about things and not too fussy. That helps. He’s a hard worker too. The HOA hasn’t been too awful here about it but had to let me know it needed to be dealt with. Like I didn’t know that. 🙂 I like things visually appealing more than they do and work constantly to get there. I’ll give them nothing to complain about this year. Now I need to move so the painting will get done. 🙂 Giant hugs.

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      • Giant hugs and happy painting, Marlene, like you I like things tidy, so I can completely relate to your situation.

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  13. Hello hello dearest Marvellous Marlene or Marvellene if you will (teehee)
    I’m so impressed with your ground covers, wow they’ve spread like mad. Is this only your second summer here? You’ve checked of a mountain of projects, way to go team. How awesome that your son is a handy guy and able to help. I’m dreadfully behind with the weeding and must kick it into gear.

    Mr B did get round to fixing our swayed fence, so now the sweetness will be planted (about two weeks late). I’ve been busy at work and setting things right around the house too. Spring is a busy time. We need rain here, something fierce.

    I may be a tad behind, I hear thru others visiting here that you had eye surgery. Gah! thank goodness for that bit to be behind you. I hope you’re getting better every day. I’m indoors for the most part because it will be 29C today. That’s absolutely bananas for spring here. That’s mid summer weather. Thankfully we’ll be back to normal by Thursday with some possible rain.

    Up early to get a start before the heat. Hope your day rocks, Hugs xox B

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by. I know how busy you are these days. I think everyone is behind. We are having the same weather. Way too hot for springtime. I’m up and ready to paint as soon as it reaches 60 degrees. Weeding must wait till the painting is done. I have 30 feet x 12 ft on one side to paint and then the driveway side that is 60 ft x 12. At least the driveway is covered. We have had highs of 86-88 degrees (30-31 c) and it’s continuing throughout the month with intermittent breaks. I have to come indoors when the heat gets that high too but there is no shortage of work inside either. But resting more than usual since the cataract removal. I mentioned it in that same post. It’s relatively simple procedure but the body does require rest to heal. This is your second summer too, correct? Maybe time got away from me and I don’t know it. 🙂 Glad you got your fence fixed too. I’m lucky the kid is so handy. He’s fixing the locking mechanism on my suburban trunk now. Can’t load and carry if we can’t open it. 😦 Now it’s time to get busy again. I see a paintbrush waving at me. Have a marvelous week and giant hugs.

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      • Thanks for the giant hugs Marlene-a-go-go. This will be our third summer now. We moved in Jun 22, 2014. So 2015 was our second summer. It’s all a blurrrrrrr, snicker xoxox

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      • I thought it was the third summer!! Thanks for the help. We did move the same year, right? I’m so confused about time but have always been that way. That’s why I journal. I can’t remember what happened when, just that it did. 🙂 Sending more hugs. 🙂

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  14. Wow I got exhausted just reading about all you’ve been doing. But well worth it your garden looks good. I think the yellow paint will brighten your house up. You have a good son. Wishing you a speedy recovery with your eye.

    I’m trying to catch up with reading blogs. There just aren’t enough hours in a day.

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    • Only 24 hours in the day and we need 48 to get it all done. I do have a wonderful son and a wonderful daughter who can’t work the physical work like we do but tries to help in other ways. We all help each other. Thank you for the good wishes and for stopping by. I’ve concluded I’ll never catch up on my reading. Right now the garden is calling me asking for water and the removal of weeds.:) Have a wonderfilled Wednesday. Hugs to you.

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  15. a home is not a home wihtout a bunch of dasies! they are so cheerful. Your place is looking pretty lovely. I need to use that answer when asked-no good, or my height. Pretty cleaver.
    I love your comment- I’ve been almost busy and mostly lazy-LOVE IT!
    You look pretty busy to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Robbie. You are welcome to the phrases. I am almost always busy doing something. My daughter brought me a sign that says “Don’t just do something, sit there. I tend to run circles around her. Yesterday I painted one side and half of the other on my house. 🙂

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  16. Marlene, I love the wit and humor that you use to tell life stories…and glad you are getting so much done! I think you’d run circles around me!

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  17. It looks so lovely! Love the flowers

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  18. Marlene, I’m feeling a bit embarrassed. You all are painting your house yourselves, and I just hired someone to do mine! That is a huge job!
    And pulling weeds, too. You’ve been so productive!
    I hope you are healing well and rapidly from your cataract surgery

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Laurie. I have no choice but to do it myself. My kid helped a lot. He doesn’t like his old tippy mom on a really high ladder, though he’s not great with heights. I just hold on tight. Pulling weeds is a meditative process for me. It does stretch the muscles a bit. We all do what we can. I have time, not money. So I paint. You have a career so no time. You get to pay someone and give them a job. That’s a good thing. Everything has an upside. I am healing well and will get new glasses next month. So far, I already see better so the news is good!! 🙂

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  19. I hope by the time you read this your eye sight will have improved so you can resume your projects. As usual I am behind on catching up on reading posts!. You seem to be staying very busy, as usual, but glad you squeezed in a bit of rest (even if not by choice😕). Loving all of the outdoor accomplishments and the place must be looking good! Don’t over do! Hugs, Jan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Jan. I know how busy you stay as well. The vision will improve every day over the next 3 weeks and then the new glasses will be ordered. If I can see well enough to still drive myself to the store and sew, I’ll be happy. I get plenty of rest. I work hard early in the day and late in the day, the middle is relaxing and also evenings. We are so close to getting the outside projects completed that I’m almost giddy. Making this place my own has certainly taken a lot of time, energy and money. 😦 It’s been fun though. Hope you are doing well also. Miss hearing from you. Hugs. Marlene

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  20. Looks and sounds like a lot of work. Nice that you have someone (your son) to help with the majority of it. Going to be nice once it’s finished though. Bet you (and him) can’t wait that time to come. What year was that?

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    • I plan to have the most important parts done by June first when our inspections start. 🙂 We are on target with leeway for the inconveniences of life, like oppressive heat or company. It all works out in the end so I don’t worry about it. I am grateful every single moment for the help and the home. It’s my first. I always like to leave things better than I found them. Thank you so much for stopping by. When he’s done helping me, he’s going to help his ex-wife with some of her projects. It’s what you do when your job of 35 years leaves you. At least for awhile. 🙂

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  21. So good to at last catch up with you Marlene.. and so good to have a Handy Son who can get to do those difficult paint jobs.. Lovely job you have made.. and I am impressed with the underside of the porch..
    I had a paint brush in hand too on Monday.. Painting the shed in the allotments with wood preserve.. two coats and aching arms later.. But enjoyed.. I think my arms ached more from weeding, As I have to catch up with weeds as well as blogs LOL..

    SOOOOOooooooo love the pictures of your garden.. So lovely to see Spring is well and truly here.. 🙂
    Hope all keeps blooming..
    And after all of that Hope you are resting up this weekend.. xxx
    Love Sue

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Sue. You do get the ache that comes with painting. The entire house now has 2 coats of good paint and is a cheery yellow. I am attacking weeds at every opportunity now and waiting to help with the rest of the projects that must be done. We have rain coming in today so rest will be on the agenda. Have a lovely weekend too.

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      • Yes my arm muscles, tendons ache, and my finger swelled due to weeding.. Pulling too hard on them lol.. Hubby told me off 🙂 and gave me the garden fork and said dig them out.. Then my knees hurt LOL.. But still smiling.. I was glad of my acupuncture though 🙂 LOL.. Enjoy your weekend Marlene.. and all that hard work was worth it.. Your home is looking lovely xxx

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      • Thank you, Sue. I would go again for acupuncture, but it’s just too expensive. 😦

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      • Yes it is expensive.. here I pay£40 per session.. so you would have to convert to $.. 🙂

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  22. I love what you are doing. Looks like so much is going on and so much to do…ahhhh home ownership, work is never done. We are always tweaking something. Your house color is so pretty! Everything I do here is predicated on the weather. Yesterday I got a lot of gardening in. Transplanted some starter plants. Today looks like the weather is preparing for a storm. Very windy out. Burr. The sun goes in and out of hiding. I wish you well with your eye and you are back to seeing good. Take care! Koko:)

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Koko. I’m kind of a do it myselfer too. I popped over to have a quick look before replying to your comment. I love the happy yellow color much better than the dull putty color it was. I’ve been working on this place for 2 years now and hopefully soon it will just be maintenance. We had to have the AC on yesterday and today we need heat. 30 degree difference in one day. I guess it’s good the rain came in since the green waste is too full to put one more weed in it. 🙂 Thanks for the good wishes. I’m hoping for the best too. I’ll pop over to see you.

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  23. Dear heart…I send you bunches of healing energy!! Hope by now that your vision is totally clear…just like the vision in your soul 😉 The house is looking great!! ♡♡

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    • Thanks so much, Lorrie. Next week I’ll go to get a new prescription for glasses and then we shall see what we can see. :)) It all went quite well. Have a wonderfilled weekend.

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  24. You succeeded in making the side fence look like it’s always been there. I had to do a double-take. Spraying the ceiling was the only option in this case. All those separate board pieces? Ug, it would have taken 7 months with a brush. I’m glad TS keeps you off the roof. My mom put me to work on the roof once when I came for a visit. I was a little nervous, but SO glad for the chance to keep her off the roof. I’m sure your son feels the same.

    We had just one week of August temps, and now we’re back to Spring. I admit, I am relieved. Though I am unlike you and *love* the hot dry weather best. Still, I am not yet ready for summer. I prefer a gradual step through the seasons. I want to fully embrace Spring while she is here.

    I don’t have to ask what you’re up to. 1) I know without asking you are up to a million projects, and somehow get astonishing amounts of things done even when you can’t see. 2) You do a great job of documenting your progress on the house, and your crafts, and your books, and your travels, and your family. Your life is beautiful and full.

    As for what I’m doing – I have not been so diligent at documenting lately. A bit sad to realize I am not out hiking as much as I wish to. It occurred to me that it could be related to living out here. I don’t go mental over people-overload anymore. My hikes used to be my only way to touch Mother Nature fully, but now She’s living right here with me. It’s not the same though, and I need to get out more often. My camping trip with Tara was especially good because of that.

    My chicken fence is done – yay!! The Hussies are penned up and don’t like it periodically, but they get over it quickly and stay happy for another couple hours till they remember again that they are penned up. Jamie is not faring so well, and is insisting on setting even though I have been patiently explaining to her that there is no rooster, therefore her efforts are in vain. Not to mention I steal the eggs from her every couple days. She stopped laying and sits in the box all day long. I keep taking her out and putting her beside the water bowl, where she gulps it down because she gets completely dehydrated. Then she goes back. Silly girl.

    My new man is still with me and that is something. We have fun out here working on the land. I spent a weekend on the coast with him and his friends recently. I’ll have to blog it.

    Tara changes their plans for life about every two weeks, then gets distressed about not having life all figured out already. No amount of reassurance seems to help. Poor kid. I wish I could say, “It will all work out just fine. Relax!” and have it be taken as gospel. Those days ended a decade ago. 🙂

    Anyway, that’s some of my news. Miss you guys.

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    • Thanks for sharing all the good news and the almost good news. Tara sounds like me. I still vacilate daily about what I want to do when I grow up. 🙂 Tell her we get to change our minds until we are dead then get to try more good stuff the next 100 times around. It’s supposed to be fun and interesting. You can’t do it wrong. I’ve been around a long time and just now getting that. I’m happy your man is still in the picture. It’s always nice to have someone to share with. I miss that but it’s not meant to happen for me. Sorry to hear Jamie is having a hard time. Guess chickens have the same problems people do. It’s great that you have them safely penned up though.
      I wish I could physically handle the heat, but the heatstroke I had as a child made that impossible. I get very ill when I get too warm. As for documenting my projects, I still journal every night where I write down everything I did during the day. My mind is a sieve so writing is essential. By hand in a journal with dates and time and weather helps it stick better. I don’t blog about everything but I do journal about everything. It usually takes 20 minutes before I go to sleep to get a page full of the day. Have a wonderful weekend. Miss you too.

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      • That is great advice for Tara. I am going to pass it on. I think it would not come off as a lecture. It sounds more like “I’ve been there, done that, and this is what I learned.”

        I used to journal, but switched to blog. I only have to leave a few things out that are too personal, and I guess those get lost because my brain can’t hold things either. But at least I’ve got the blog to refer to. A retirement project could be to collect all my hand written journals and organize them! It would be so interesting to read over things I said in my twenties. Usually I just shake my head and think, “Gosh I was terribly naive.” ha ha

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      • I look back on mine now and see that I’m still solving the same problems. They are just wrapped in different packaging. 😦 There is no time in retirement if you do it right. I have never been so busy. Thank goodness I don’t have a 9-5. Actually, come to think about it, I got more done then and had 3 teenagers at home !! Where did that energy go?? 😉

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