primsong: (threejo hug)
2017-09-03 08:46 am
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Home times are very welcome

Hubby is home for the long Labor Day weekend plus a couple extra days on either side of it, nice to have him around at least for a bit. Too bad I have so many things that need fixing on the house before the rains come back that he's kind of just having to be a drive-by handyman. I am so grateful for every bit of it, though - he even went up and cleaned all the needles off the roof yesterday and didn't seem to mind while I would have been a bit freaked out running around up there.

Today is Fix the Leaky Outdoor Faucet day, which will be a great disappointment to the little patch of green plants around it in this summer heat. I potted a volunteer Rose of Sharon and was pleased to find it was a survivor of one that died last year so it's a different color than my surviving shrub.

Also, my Italian plums are definitely ripening up like mad. Got my spiced plums put up, taking a huge metal bowl of them to church this morning for folks to take some home. Yum! I felt very picturesque picking plums in the sunrise, gathering them into my grandmother's old calico apron over my church dress.
primsong: (penguin question)
2017-08-28 04:03 pm
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Amazing disappearing dirt

Wow, that dip at the corner of the house where the broken gutter washed everything out this past winter is even bigger than I thought. It didn't look like that much to fill and tamp down when I started in on it but I've now fed THIRTEEN buckets of dirt into it and I'm not sure it won't need more after I tamp some more and level it. Holy cow. It was like a funnel right into my foundation. Thank goodness I have a friend working on a deck who let me have clean fill dirt.

It looks like SO much dirt but when I put it in there and spread it around it's amazing how it all just kind of disappears and then there you are, still with a hole to fill. Now I get to figure out how to fix the gutter itself, adventures in home ownership never cease.
primsong: (snoopy wag)
2017-08-27 07:03 am

New Steps for house and for moi

One of those miraculous amazing old gentle men from my church came and helped me install the boards for my front steps because I was concerned I'd get them crooked and someone would trip. They look fabulous! And golly he was fast - I'm still carefully tap-tap-tapping away at the nails to tack down one end of the boards and there he is with over half of his side done already. I am SO grateful!

Also, "I did the thing!" and pat myself on the back, which was performing a solo dance up in Ilwaco and it went beautifully. My daughter filmed it on her phone - not perfect, of course, but I'm surprisingly pleased with it. She got me to put it onto facebook (I rarely use fb) so she could share it. The Lavender Festival folks even transformed a tool shed into an amazing dressing room for the dancers and all the quaint outbuildings were decorated with beads, drapes, persian rugs, etc.

primsong: (tarzan)
2017-08-15 05:27 pm
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Rotten boards and Dip in Road

Still poking away at repairing my house for eventual sale, learning all kinds of stuff - with Hubby down in CA I am free to run amok with power tools unsupervised, hee hee....

Finished replacing the rotten boards on the back deck with some caveats on it being 'successful' - I can't figure out why some of them refuse to lay flat when the boards themselves are not bent and the under structure was still sound. Better luck, I hope, with the rotten boards in the front steps that are next, I have them cut, sanded and half-stained in the garage at this point. Woot!

Busy chipping away at our very hard soil trying dredge up enough dirt to fill a dip the torrential rains this last spring dug by one corner of the house. Got a chunk of new gutter so I can do my best to replace the bad gutter section responsible for that - hope I can figure that one out, as the October Rains will be here before I know it. Also learned how to play with the air compressor so I could get the car's tires back up to snuff. ;-) Learned air compressors are fun!

Hope everyone else is also getting some of those summer projects out of the way while they can.
primsong: (percy lud love me)
2017-07-03 09:06 am
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Perhaps a Trebuchet would Help

Well, my grown son adapted to mostly having to buy his own food so far by mostly just eating what he still has access to - in this case, he is essentially living off scrambled eggs and rice and strangely content doing so. Still no job, little signs of actively looking for one. He had one lined up and muffed it by missing the deadlines for their background check info - I am ready to stick a 4th of July rocket in his rear and send him out the door that way at this point.

On a better note, today I get to teach myself to cut tiles so I can finally fix the surround on my fireplace that has had two blank spots where cut tiles fell off over the years. I did also let my son know that this house might be on the market as early as next year and he will not get to move with us wherever we go. :-p
primsong: (flower)
2017-05-29 09:43 am
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Greenhouse Project nearly done!

Almost there, all I need in a second coat around the base and cleaning off the roof, plus fixing a couple cracks in the roof panels. Yay!

Here's some pictures just 'cause I'm happy about it )

Much more presentable - and functional - than before.
primsong: Danny Kaye and Basil Rathbone (jester get it)
2017-04-29 06:57 pm
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Greenhouse Project continues

My old greenhouse is slowly rotting into the ground, so I'm working on bringing it back from the dead. So far I've located the siding paneling I needed and got the guy at Home Depot to cut it into thirds for me, then cut the smaller bits I needed at home - only working saw I had besides a hacksaw was a jigsaw, so the cuts are a bit wobbly in shape, oh well.. .that's why the Good Lord made caulking, right?

Was very pleased with myself for managing to bevel all the 2x4 ends I needed with the miter box, now those pieces have been sealed and stained and are drying in the garage. Next is prying off a lot of rotten wood and using wood-hardener on some of it as there are parts of the support structure underneath that are in such bad shape I can't even nail something into it, it's like nailing into spongecake. Learning as I go! I read that Bondo (like you use for auto body repair) is essentially the same thing as the fancy wood fillers that are sold for way more just because they are brown instead of the weird salmon color of Bondo.

Now if it would just stop raining long enough to dry everything out!
primsong: Scan from an old Dr. Who magazine (find tardis win game)
2017-04-14 09:25 am

Hoorah for cheap furniture

Went to reassemble the bed in our guest room after my son and I wrestled it back into the house from the garage, just one of those basic metal frames. No bolts. Son: "It was wired together, Dad had me cut it apart with my wire cutters when we moved it."

I go fish around in the garage and locate four bolts about the right size. Assemble bed. It doesn't fit the boxspring. What the heck? It's a king sized frame? No wonder it was wired together. Go to Habitat for Humanity to drop off king frame and pick up a nicer queen one for only ten bucks. Yay! While there I notice 2 lovely green chairs and a small table to go with them. Chalkboard sign says chairs are 50% off today. Hm.

Go home and assemble bed, turn around and go back to Habitat. Now I have a new dining set! The chairs were only $12 and the table $14. Gosh I love that place! Woo!
primsong: (flower)
2017-04-01 09:28 pm
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Greeenhouse Fixin' Time

Spring brings me a learning curve adventure I'm kind of enjoying - My little greenhouse has been pretty neglected, I've used it but really done very little in the way of maintenance in the past 12+ years so I'm rolling up my sleeves and giving fixing it a whirl.   Pulled off big mats of moss (inside and out), scrubbed moss off windows (inside and out), scraped lichen off (the kind that looks like it has miniature Shrek ears), scraped old paint off, chipped away old caulking and ripped out whole pieces of spongy wood that were too rotten to clean up.   Whew!

Now I get to re-caulk the loose and/or broken windows before figuring out how to fix the rotten siding - most of it is okay, but the shadiest side is beyond help, it was at the point I could poke holes right through it and if I pulled it up there were literally earthworms having a party in there because the inside of the boards had composted.  Whoo-hoo, wormies!  But not IN the wall of the greenhouse, thanks!  I'm going to try piecing a couple of the cracked windows together with some clear caulking, hope it works.

Habitat for Humanity yielded super cheap paint for the door, a can of wood preservative for when I find the new siding and some pieces of wood that fit a couple of the needs for only a couple bucks more.  Love that place.  This is going to take a while, but it'll be SO nice when it's done.
primsong: (fivey silly)
2017-03-03 09:33 am
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Carpet color names are ridiculous

I have a new dream job:  I want to be the person who gets to name all the carpet colors for some carpet company out there.  Seriously, there are like fifty-gazillion shades of brown and the exact same one will have a different name at every store I find it in.  It's a veritable endless gushing fountain of quasi-poetic labels.

Biscuit, briar, sandswept, oatmeal, latte, fawn, cashmere, spice-is-nice, birch, quiet-afternoon, chai, antique lace...

Sometimes they get on a roll and don't know when to get off - I found one entire set of carpet colors that started off with vaguely 'retro' names and just kept going until there were random blends of berber being called "Fonz," "Love Bug" and "Kotter"... another where it was all kinds of candy with seemingly no association with the shades at all.

I want to do a series for boys rooms with names like "old socks" and 'boogers" just for the fun of it - I bet it would sell!
primsong: (penguin question)
2017-02-15 08:39 pm
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Drying out Time

First of all, a thank you and hugs to everyone who has expressed sympathy - bless you, I know this happens to a lot of people at varying times but it sure it tiring when it does.

Thankfully we do not live by a river, we're just dealing with an unusual amount of snowmelt and rain until the ground was completely saturated - I lived by a river once in my life and we had it lapping right at our back steps during a spring flood once, not an experience I would ever recommend.  This isn't nearly as traumatic as that.

The dehydrator and its attendant flock of fans are all whirring along, doing their thing so the rooms are smelling less like a wet dog and more like a regular damp day in a basement, so there is hope.  I've used the opportunity to sort old papers and magazines, hauled away an old tv etc. so that's good - and I get to go shopping for new carpet once it's all the way dry!  I'll take any silver lining that presents itself.  Crazy times.
primsong: (gadgets)
2017-02-13 03:49 pm
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Hooray for dehumidifiers

Some inventions are brilliant things.  Rented a big dehumidifier from Home Depot and it's whirring away down in my damp basement now - most of the store around here were OUT of them, but I was able to get the next-to-last one at the next town over, obviously lots of people dealing with this right now.

En route I noted the rivers are really swollen, some right up to the bottoms of the bridges going over them.  Wow!  I think it's been 20 years since it was like this.
primsong: (freshly dead)
2017-02-10 10:44 pm
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Wet Library and other Adventures

Where yesterday was spent in a never-ending cycle of battling the incoming rainwater, today was a never-ending packing, hauling and moving furniture to pull up the carpet.  36 u-haul boxes of books later we wrangled the bookcases into the garage and then started in on furnishings.  More to do tomorrow.  Every muscle in my body aches and I had to crawl up the stairs to go to bed, this is ridiculous. 

Wherever I go in the future, I hope it will NOT have a basement.  Or be by a river.  Or under a waterfall.  Or in a fishbowl.
primsong: (percy lud love me)
2017-02-10 03:07 pm
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Books and Water do not Mix

Apparently a huge snow melt immediately followed by large quantities of endless rain was too much for my basement - got up early yesterday to find all the carpets going squishy and water seeping from parts of the walls in the laundry room. 0.o  Ran a marathon until bedtime of "put down towels - spin other towels dry in washer - pull up wet towels and replace with spun ones - rinse and repeat".  Thank God my sump pump and washing machine kept up.  At one point my son said "Did you just pat the sump pump on the head?" "Yes, yes I did.  He's a Good Boy."

Water seepage included my library, we were scrambling to put all the lower level books into plastic bags because that's all we could do at that point, I was like the Little Dutch Boy with the finger in the dyke between towels and the wet-vac and couldn't stop.  Today we've spent all day packing and moving things upstairs because we'll have to pull up the carpet, it's horrible... BUT I only lost ONE book, a big timeline book with history fold-outs, it was too big to be on a regular shelf and by the time we found it there was no saving it.

What a job. Ugh. On the good side, this is the only time we've had this happen in the entire time we've lived here.
primsong: (headless news)
2017-01-22 09:55 pm
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Transitions sure aren't cheap

Hubby's new job down in San Diego is going well and he managed to get his car registered, set up a PO Box and find his way around the fancy-schmancy coffee machine at this work ("It even grinds the beans! I love this thing!").  Now we get to the super-expensive part of this and that means housing.  He's now shopping for a small condo that we can re-sell later on to try to get some of our money back out after this southern adventure - and YOIKS housing is predictably expensive no matter what you do.

We have one likely one he's going to try for tomorrow, a one-bedroom in a reasonable neighborhood with the bonus of a small garage that can be closed and locked instead of only a carport, I really, really, really, really hate going into debt with another mortgage but it is still way cheaper than trying to rent.  Bleah!  On the good side, he's content with a classic Guy place - he doesn't care what color the carpet is, is happy with whatever window coverings it comes with and needs only minimal furniture which he plans to get cheap or free where he can.

Now we have to learn how the government views it taxwise - is this a "vacation home" or a "second home" or what? It's not a "rental" I should think unless we are renting to ourselves?   How large of a bite will they be taking from it so we can make sure we can afford the taxes?  Time to research the taxation labyrinth.  :-p 
primsong: (grog)
2016-09-28 11:54 am
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Dethatching time

Picked up a power rake this morning, I've been killing weeds and sharp invasive grasses out there since spring and the big lawn (we have three lawns, bleah!) is really looking like Mother Earth has mange.   Running it to de-thatch today, what a crazy mess of dead moss and grasses piling up already, mounds and mounds - we're making hay while the sun shines!  Really hard to do with our uneven and neglected turf, my son managed half of it so far, I think we'll all have to take turns.  Still, I just keep thinking how nice the lawn (might) look this next spring, and how I won't have to worry about having cuts on my feet from the marsh grasses anymore. 

Ugh. I love this house, but I'm getting pretty tired of taking care of this much land - whenever we move, I'll definitely be looking for something that is either smaller or mostly a wild woodlot or something. 
primsong: (fireplace)
2016-09-17 08:03 am
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Happy Fire-pit time

Yay! I landed a nice fire pit online when the Labor Day sales were going by and it arrived this past week.  It's a 'heat wave' which is a portable fire pit with wheels and a top lid, something very important here where the continually falling fir needles and rain are an issue.  Also, if we move I can take it with me that way.

Now that they are unfortunately made in China they do take some extra tweaking - I replaced the cheap hollow plastic wheels with nice steel ones (reviewers said the wheels MELT), and sprayed it with 2 coats of high-heat bbq paint (otherwise it will rust away, apparently).  Drilled drainage holes in the bottom also (this is Oregon here...) and got a cover for it.  Added L brackets to raise the cooking grill to a level it can actually be used, though I don't really plan to use it for cooking, as otherwise the grill would sit right on the firewood.

Then there's where to put it - Spent a couple days leveling a nice space in the yard with my son's help and placed pavers to make a mini patio for it to sit on. Got paver sand packed between the pavers. Whew! 

Been a bit of work, but now it's ready to go - once the current batch of rain goes by - maybe have a nice fire to sit around in a couple days.  I've always wanted one of these, so happy to actually get one. Ah, ambiance and camp fire smoke!  Marshmallow roast, anyone?   ^_^
primsong: (starry sky)
2016-07-23 11:29 am
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In which I make a Studio

When Starflower moved out this past fall I thought "Oh boy, her bedroom has the best windows, maybe I can make a little corner for Art and Arting and stuff!"
Then hubby filled it up with his whatnot instead.  Boxes of...??  Partially functioning computer stuff, audio recording stuff, barbershop costumes on a rack, suitcases, etc. etc.... and being the sort that is easily dissuaded from stuff that only benefits me personally, I let it go.

This week I rolled up my figurative sleeves, went in there and did some serious rearranging and stacking.  Put up a card table near the windows, set out all my watercolor supplies.  Did three pieces of amateur Art and left them there to dry.  This morning I heard my hubby tell my son "Could you close the windows in the studio? I'm turning on the A/C." 

I ran that back in my head with great satisfaction - "Close the windows in the STUDIO...."  Yeeee!
^_^
primsong: Mr. Morton (morton)
2016-07-13 06:05 pm

Garage sale time

The church parking lot sale I'm organizing is this Saturday, so I'm slowly migrating my massive mound of whatnot to the church building as I come and go, mostly squirreling it into my library so it isn't too visible beforehand.  Looks like I'll have maybe 7 people selling which isn't as many as I hoped for but at least I'm not out there by myself.

Just have to do the craigslist ads and finish up the signs... I taped old christmas tinsel to them so they sparkle in the sun to catch people's eyes, maybe I'll toss in some cheap happy face balloons as well to add some motion and color.  It's a bit of work, but it will be SO nice to have it done!    Also if we do end up moving because of the whole jobs thing I've gotten to do the first round of junk-removal with good weather.
primsong: Mr. Morton (morton)
2016-07-07 10:15 pm
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Spiffing up the place

Finished re-staining both the back and front decks, including steps and railing.  Added new spiffy no-slip strips to the steps and re-painted the railing so it's a slightly metallic chocolate brown instead of weird faded chipped peach and rust color.  My guess is about 50 years ago when the house was built that railing probably was painted to match the cedar siding but time has not been kind to it.  Much, much nicer now.

Between all that and the new mulch, the place is looking a bit jazzed up, I'm quite pleased.

My son is moving back in tomorrow, looks like he may be able to informally apprentice with our church custodian to learn custodial stuff, then hopefully get his foot in the door with the custodial company he works for before summer is out.  Here's hoping!  He's got to get started somehow and he hasn't had any callbacks on anything legitimate yet.  Not that he's looking forward to helping strip the wax off the gym floor - the current project at hand - but at least he's still game to do what needs doing.