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Posts tagged ‘painting’

Spring, Sprang, Sprung

It’s here today and gone tomorrow. Spring finally showed up and I put out my welcome sign. In the next moment, we went back to winter then summer and finally spring again. What we had of spring was lovely  Everything is confused except the bees. I’m listening to them.

 

Dressing in layers is the only way to go these days. We get a cold rainy day then a scorcher.  One day I have lots of energy to put into the yard  The next day I’m spinning my wheels and sitting trying to decide if I can do anything of use.  I’ve been here in my cozy home for four years at the end of this month and made so many changes.

 

Spring is the month I can get the most work done outside and even inside. Once I could open all the windows, I took a day to clean my oven. Four years ago, it took 4 hours to clean that nasty mess the previous owner left for me. Now it’s taking me a whole day to clean a rarely used oven. Looks like some of my spring, sprang.

Ground cover spreading and front porch in need of serious help.

Weeding on the hill and the front yard took lots of rest periods that would never have happened four years ago. But the end result was worth it.

 

The entire top of the hill was covered in these sticker weeds. Birds carry the seeds everywhere as does the wind.

 

 

beginning of the weeding

 

Still more work to do but a good start. Lower bed is the Oregano and Thyme.

I have been gifted with pieces of many plants from friends around here. I take those gifts seriously and nurture them to the best of my ability. Of course, I gift in return. A neighbor came looking for Thyme to cook his dinner.He said what I gave would have cost him $5 for a small bundle, he wound up with triple for a thank you. I’ve offered my Oregano as well to anyone that wants fresh. I’ve passed on ground cover and anything that I’m growing that can be split. It’s how the world should work. I get a lot of my plants from a fellow blogger and photographer, Sabine.

There are lots of projects on the list. This week I had the distinct urge to take care of my window trim as it was the last cool, cloudy day on the sunny side of the house. If the butterfly bush blooms, it will be covered in bees which are not conducive to standing on the ladder with black paint. I’m embarrassed to say it’s taken two years to get to this. I’ll do the one on the front porch tomorrow. Then I must sand the stairs and railing on the front porch and re-stain. Today I can’t move. Old feet on ladders takes its toll. I’ll wait for the next surge of energy.  They don’t come so often anymore.

So I’ve hung up the Welcome Summer sign since my spring is sprung anyway. How about you? Are you ready to welcome the next season or is there still a spring in your step?

This one goes up Memorial Day and stays until after Labor Day.

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

 

Summer Vacation?

August is just beginning and I’ve let two months go by without a post. I wasn’t sure I had another one in me. I think it’s because I’ve had so much going on that I didn’t have the brain energy to do more than journal about it at night. If I didn’t, I couldn’t remember what all I had done that day. I’m supposed to be retired and I guess that’s true, I’m re-tired. Over and over again. Tired when I get up, and beat when I fall into bed. It’s summer vacation time, right? I think I’ll declare today a vacation day.

So far my son, with my second pair of hands holding and fetching, completed the replacing of the old deck adding a second set of stairs. Stairs are not easy.

I painted three sides of my house and all the trim. He did the really high spots. He built two gates, I painted or stained them.

He used up some of the old wood from the old deck to build planter boxes.

I painted, with several coats the driveway divider between my place and my neighbors. It makes the driveway area much lighter. I planted the boxes to try my hand at gardening. Then there was the cleanup work of stuffing leftover lumber under the deck out of sight and putting up the skirting I painted.

two coats of sealer and two of outdoor paint barely covered this awful wood. For neighbors privacy

two coats of sealer and two of outdoor paint barely covered this awful wood. For neighbors privacy

We were shooting for a June first completion date with the expectation of this year’s inspection on the property. As life or luck would have it, we now have new property managers and so far, there has been no word of inspections…yet. We were also hurrying to get everything done including inside projects as my son was leaving to go help someone else out-of-state. He put up new outside light fixtures and curtain rods so I could get the curtains made later ( you’ll see those next time), then cleaned out his room on the off-chance of guests.

A little more girly now.

A little more girly now.

We have been moving stuff all spring and summer. I’m ready for a day or two at the beach. Instead, I pressure washed the deck, patio, and driveway.

 

cleaned driveway, deck and back patio.

cleaned driveway, deck and back patio.

 

If they want to inspect, I’m ready. Maybe now I can think straight enough to get some pictures together to go with this rambling. This isn’t all I did this summer. The rest will come shortly, I promise. The brain is starting to work again.

Have you had anything that looks like a summer vacation? I can live vicariously. Please share.

 

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

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One Size Fits All

Last Wednesday found me once again in the ophthalmologists’ office. A different doctor this time, checking to make sure cataract surgery was healing as it should.

First the young (by my standards) technician came in to do the pre-exam work. What could I see? Not a lot yet but what I could see was more clear.

As she donned her pretty purple surgical gloves, I voiced my envy. I had just been to the hardware store to get more disposable gloves for painting my house. I’m a very messy painter but the job gets done. I could only find gloves that said “one size fits all.” How can that be?

Took these back to the store.

Took these back to the store.

I put them on and the gloves from the hardware store fell off. Well that wouldn’t work. How can a glove made to fit a much larger man, fit me?

I told the technician about my dilemma. She told me I could buy the kind they used there, at their pharmacy. What size did I need? I replied I thought a small would work. She handed me one. Yes, it did. She gave me a second so I had a pair. Off we went to the pharmacy and purchased a whole box of these lovelies. The cost was less than what I paid at the hardware or grocery for half as many. Just to let you know how messy I am, I buy an outfit at the thrift store for painting only. At the end of the seasons painting, it usually is so covered in paint, it just goes in the waste bin. Yes, I wash them in between. Painting is hot work.

I love these. Perfect color and they don't fall off.

I love these. Perfect color and they don’t fall off.

How many areas in life are we accepting the notion of one size fits all? Many clothes are made that way. How about one size fits some.

Education is designed to have one method of teaching for all the children in a class. All teachers must follow the one set of standards. If we only had one sized car, we either all drive a big beast of a vehicle or a family of 6 or 8 would have to cram into a Mini Cooper.

Different vehicles for different applications.

Different vehicles for different applications.

 

This would be a great one for short trips to the market. You couldn't buy much though.

This would be a great one for short trips to the market. You couldn’t buy much though.

They don’t make one sized can of paint or one brand. Why just one size glove? How would one genre of book work for everyone? We are all such unique human beings that nothing should be one size fits all. Who came up with this hair-brained idea? I think they need a smack on the back of the head.

Even thoughts don't come in one size

Even thoughts don’t come in one size

 

How many areas have you seen the “one size fits all” attitude inflicted on you?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

 

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

In Search of An End To This Madness

It’s been two weeks already. The photos I have taken make it look like it’s till Halloween. We didn’t dress up for Halloween but any of these get-ups would have worked quite well.

I'm the holder of the balance pole. I

I’m the holder of the balance pole. I

Ninja painter? Scary job

Ninja painter? Scary job

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have moved a great deal. I forgot to mention that many of those times my children moved with me. It’s become contagious. They have moved more than most of their friends too. Obviously, I don’t think they are done either.

What is it about moving that stirs up so many contrasting emotions? Delight at new possibilities, fear of the unknown, grief over lost friendships and familiar surroundings are all part of those emotions.

My son did the entire job by himself. There was no tub in the master bath.

My son did the entire job by himself. There was no tub in the master bath.

He had a good start before I got here with the important stuff...books

He had a good start before I got here with the important stuff…books

I was discussing with my son the other night after packing his glassware under layers of baking pans that I should hire myself out as a packer. I pack to get stuff where it’s going undamaged. He reminded me of all the times I helped to move him and his sister as well as my own sister from their places of residence.

In the beginning. The top started out backwards.

In the beginning. The top started out backwards.

It's complete now but no photo.

It’s complete now but no photo.

How do two small women move an extra heavy king sized mattress down the stairs and across the parking lot to a waiting rental truck? My daughter and I couldn’t lift it so we slid it down the stairs to the front door. Then I started laying out cardboard boxes one in front of the other. As we slid the mattress over one set of flattened boxes, I’d pick them up and place them in front of the mattress again and keep sliding. Then we tipped the mattress into the truck with brute force. Yes, two little women can conjure up brute force when the conditions are right. That was another long story that I will tell one day.

Spray painting is the way to go in very high places

Spray painting is the way to go in very high places

Here’s how I pack artwork without paying for expensive packing. They always make it to their destination safe if properly wedged in somewhere.

Painting slid into still flat box and all the edges taped.

Painting slid into still flat box and all the edges taped.

When my last husband and I moved from the home he originally shared with his first wife, we moved a 58 foot 18 wheeled truck jammed full of stuff. They put an 8 foot box on the back of the trailer and we drove a pickup and car…filled. That was the pared down version of my ex’s collection of stuff. I’m living a much simpler life now and never moving it again… I hope. My books are happy just where they are.

So our next project before inspection and appraisal is the moldings around the doors and floors. The main bathroom has had the slow drain problem repaired after the wall had to be cut open. The plumbers installed a clean-out valve so the new owners don’t have to go through that again. It was 90 degrees here today. I’m ready to go home and watch it rain. And rain. And rain.

The hole in the wall bandit at work.

The hole in the wall bandit at work.

We took the slow way home so nothing blew off. The box lifted molding up for better visibility and we needed one that size.

We took the slow way home so nothing blew off. The box lifted molding up for better visibility and we needed one that size.

Moving is madness but sometimes it’s a must. Things happen and we must adjust. Are you dug in deep or still feeling the pull of wanderlust? Can we bring an end to this madness or must we go bust?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of One Less Thing.

Two other posts have gone on the shelf and I couldn’t hit the publish button. I just can’t think these days. I made the mistake of signing up for Blogging 101 and have an inkling that once again, I’ve bitten off more than I can chew at this moment. The clue came after day three and I was already behind and couldn’t figure out the technology parts.

My intentions were good

My intentions were good

I got a call today to find out if I was planning on joining the embroidery club group this afternoon. Since the date had changed due to instructors circumstances, I opted out. Portland had a nice day with perfect temperatures to paint, pressure wash and plant. That was all I could handle. I answered the call with a paintbrush in one hand, the roller in the other and had fortunately just stepped off the ladder. Don’t tell my kids. I’m not supposed to be on ladders.

Side two almost sealed. It will be yellow soon

Side two almost sealed. It will be yellow soon

I managed to get a coat of sealer on three sides of the storage building, (one side is against the fence which was poor planning in my opinion) plant two Black Eyed Susan vines and pressure wash part of the fence. Had to stop because the lady next door came home sick and she needed to rest. The machine is loud.

I didn't know Black Eyed Susan's could be a vine. They will need a trellis I think.

I didn’t know Black Eyed Susan’s could be a vine. They will need a trellis I think.


These flowers won my heart. I love the color

These flowers won my heart. I love the color

Last Wednesday we had a pot luck for the writing class that only 4 of us showed up for so I decided that was a sign and unregistered. That was the subject of one of the unpublished posts. My intent is to keep things upbeat here. Tuesday was quilt group all day and they helped me learn something new. It was so much fun. I want to get back to it but I’m racing the rain to get the work outside done.
For an old woman, I have a lot going on and right now it looks like this house is at the top of the to-do list. Once the rains come, I will no longer be able to get outside work done and can concentrate on the indoor creativity. Pictures have been hung, Books are on their shelves and the piles of stuff on the tables has mostly found a home.

Just the beginning of what I hope will be a wonderful quilt

Just the beginning of what I hope will be a wonderful quilt

old green mold going away with pressure washing. Lots of fence to cover.

old green mold going away with pressure washing. Lots of fence to cover.

The interior is completely painted. Finished the kitchen and guest bath after my birthday. I have two squares to make for quilt group by mid-October; come on rain! Wait a minute, did I just say come on, when I’m trying to get ahead of it? No wonder I’m in trouble!

I loved the yellow but even with washing, it still smelled and looked dingy.  Fresh and clean now.

I loved the yellow but even with washing, it still smelled and looked dingy. Fresh and clean now.


My daughter loved the lavender. The room was just too small for it. More white.

My daughter loved the lavender. The room was just too small for it. More white.

Something has to give. I’m enjoying every moment of the work and the learning but I have a lunch date next week with a new neighbor and a quilt show to go to so what’s a gal to do? I’m thinking it’s time for one less thing to do and just enjoy a bit more. There are stacks of things I want to read along with blogs to catch up on.

Finally, one red tomato before season's end.

Finally, one red tomato before seasons end.

So what do I put aside for now? Bet you’ve NEVER had this dilemma. How did you handle it?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of a Silk Purse

I know you’ve heard the old cliche, “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” Well, I beg to differ with that comment. I’ve done it and will do it again. How did I get hold of a sow’s ear in the first place? The price was right.

Good bones equals skylights in the kitchen. White paint reflects light and you can wash it now.

Good bones equals skylights in the kitchen. White paint reflects light and you can wash it now.

I was looking for bones, good bones. This place has them and somehow, they managed to cover the smell. I’d like to know how it was done and patent it. It had a musty smell but I think the realtor opened it up way before I got there and it was a dark house. All it needed was some white paint, right?

My son wanted a clearer view so he went on the roof and washed the outside. What a view from the kitchen ceiling.

My son wanted a clearer view so he went on the roof and washed the outside. What a view from the kitchen ceiling.

I’ve been working on this place since June 14th and the work will continue for months if not years to come. The list kept getting longer as we worked. My son and daughter are both weary from helping. They were both more than generous with their time and muscle. I’ve moved in some of my sister’s furniture as she will be staying awhile till she regroups and this will save her some storage costs. Somehow, it all works, I hope. I just go with the flow.

I have more of this to do. Like the rest of the house.

I have more of this to do. Like the rest of the house.

My daughter did all the prep work and a lot of the painting. She doesn't like her picture taken.

My daughter did all the prep work and a lot of the painting. She doesn’t like her picture taken.

Once, many years ago when I was young and strong, I moved into a house that had been previously occupied by a classic hoarder. It took YEARS to transform that place from the sub-floors up to the roof and the yard. Many old friends drove right by the house because it became unrecognizable from its previous life.

The color on the walls was watered down (alot) paint. No washing this stuff

The color on the walls was watered down (alot) paint. No washing this stuff

Happy laundry room. I can work in here now and not be depressed by it.

Happy laundry room. I can work in here now and not be depressed by it.

I find the process of transforming a house a true labor of love. This one is no exception. It felt sad and worn. Somehow, I feel the need to revitalize this house into the home it wants to be. The contractor thought I was a bit off when I said I need to take things slow and let the house tell me where it wants things and what it needs. Yup, I’m a hippy-dippy-woo-woo kinda girl. We are doing the Feng Shui treatments for the house as it sits on the lot sideways. (that’s not ideal) It’s all about the energy.

I really don't know where to start. It got away from us.

I really don’t know where to start. It got away from us.

When we finished the hoarder house, it sold for so much more than anyone thought we’d get for it. The new owners had decided to buy before they ever walked inside. Don’t think curb appeal doesn’t matter. My husband (last) couldn’t understand why I’d leave that house after all the work I put into it. It was never meant to be my home but it was happy for the facelift. Homes have energy and I think they are living things. Oddly, neither my sister nor daughter could remember my address at the apartment even though it was a lovely place. They both know this address already. It feels right to them.

It just looked too sad and blocked the way from the carport to the front door.

It just looked too sad and blocked the way from the carport to the front door.

Landscaping will be important here. The first thing we had to do was take out a tree. I know, I hated to do it but the roots were in the water lines and it was an invasive variety. It looked so sad in front of the house. We are going to make a lovely path from the carport to the front door and give the roses that are there a chance to shine. They were hidden and too wet. To me, this is as much a creative endeavor as sewing, quilting or my embroidery. I hope to get back to some of them real soon but this place was rolling in something that needed to be cleaned

Yuck and double yuck. There was a lot of this hiding in plain sight.

Yuck and double yuck. There was a lot of this hiding in plain sight.


and I really hope to make the house smile and welcome everyone more and more with each project done. This house and I are breathing life into each other and I know that silk purse is around here somewhere.

Do you think houses are living things? Do they speak to you?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself