Monday, June 30, 2014

Sunrise, Sunset

Sunrise, Sunset
Swiftly flow the days

More words from our sponsor...


This was the sunrise this morning.  Yes, I woke up specifically to see it.  I will every day. 
Yes, I went back to bed a 1/2 hour later.  :)  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Good Sistering

My sister is afraid of heights.  Always has been.  I don't remember if something happened that made her afraid of heights or if she was always like that. 

It's not an uncommon fear.  I know other people that are afraid of heights, too. 

Shortly after college, I went on vacation to the beach with a group of friends.  Several of us paid a small fee to climb to the top of a local lighthouse.  The stairwell inside was narrow, but wound around the inside of the lighthouse.  The view was beautiful.  

The husband of one of the ladies joined in the journey. He laughed was talking and joking on the climb up the stairs, but the moment we stepped out of the lantern room at the top (where the beacon is located) he totally freaked out and couldn't move away from the inside wall.  He couldn't look out, he couldn't look down, he couldn't even open his eyes.  He had to get down instantly.  The line of people climbing up behind us weren't thrilled about it either. 

It's not a big deal.  I don't mind heights, so if there is something high that my sister needs and I can help, I'm in for the job.  

She wanted to paint her foyer.  She has a split entry house, similar to the Cat Ranch and many houses in this area.  High foyer ceiling. She and Grammy could do the low spots and needed assistance with the high spots. 

Add 1 tall ladder, 1 long stick, and a painter.   

But because I don't have a fear of heights, I forget about those that do.  At least she can laugh about it. 

Then we just got silly and couldn't stop laughing about anything and everything.  Her kids thought we were nuts.  Painting will do that to a person. 

The foyer turned out nice. This is a photo before I finished the edge.  The paint had a sand added which gave the walls a really nice texture. 

On a side note, I learned a LOT on that vacation after college.  It rained 5 out of 7 days and was cloudy the other 2 days.  We did a lot of shopping and playing cards and reading.  It was relaxing, but not what I wanted from a vacation at the beach.

I learned who I enjoy traveling with and who I don't. 
I learned some people are terrible drivers, and being in the back seat of a warm car with a bad driver makes a person who doesn't get sick in the car carsick.
I learned you should be in the fun car, not the boring car. 
I learned you shouldn't be the only single person on vacation with 4 other married couples. 
I learned what some people think is clean is not what I consider clean. Especially in the kitchen.
I learned that video games and TV are what some consider vacation fun at the beach (rainy weather or not), but not what I consider beach vacation fun. 
I learned that when I go on vacation I want to go out to eat seafood, not stay home and cook spaghetti.  I do that everyday at home.
I learned that sleeping is the goal for some people during a beach vacation, but not me.
I learned to always have a backup plan in case of rain. 
I learned being a passenger with no transportation makes you dependent when you want to go to the store and nobody else does.
I learned that your friends will make fun of your big bottle of wine when you're packing, but then everybody will ask for a drink when you get there.

I learned to ask more questions before going on vacation. 

I learned I will always love the beach. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Knock Knock Two

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Cows who?
Cows don't go who, cows go moo!
Expect for the laundry (which Walt Kowalski started building the bulk head last night) the ceiling in the hall and the front foyer were the last two areas needing drywall.  Ceiling was completed this weekend. 
The front door is now completed.  We are a little behind our goal, but we're not too far off.   

Also, the clouds were beautiful last night.  The first storm in the afternoon passed us by, the second one made a direct hit, the third, scooted right around but gave us a beautiful cloud show.

The fourth storm was building on the horizon and aimed directly at us.  We decided to get before we got wet. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Teenage Colors

I mentioned I was tired of seams and screws.  If I didn't mention that, I am. So I took another detour. 

I know an 11-year-old young woman who wanted a more "teenage" room.  Easiest upgrade...paint. She picked the colors.  Green for the walls and a light pink for the ceiling and one wall will get a glitter topcoat.

Her mom (my sister) cleaned out the room, did all the taping, and moved the furniture. 

The painting crew arrived and the room looks really nice.


It looks nice.  The most important part...the room's owner loves it.  (When did she become a teenager!?!)

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Little Hall, That's All

Except for the laundry room, the front entrance and hall are the last areas that need drywall.  (Walt Kowalski needs to do some pipes and a bulk head before we can finish the walls in the laundry.)

The hall ceiling also had come crooked to it. 

But now that crooked is disappearing.  *sigh* more seams and screws.  But it really makes a difference to make things look complete.  wow.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bits and Pieces

Nothing monumental.  Just finishing up some small things.

Using up the small leftover pieces of drywall in places we didn't finish. 

The hall ceiling is next.  Boxing in some of the support beams.

Adding corner bead.


Time for more seams and screws. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Detour in a Floor

We took a detour from House #1 to work on House #2.  The laundry room needed some attention.  The residents of the room have been helping to remove the floor.

These are the residents:

They were doing an excellent job of taking up the floor, but they needed our help. 

We have the power tools.  Up came the rest of the floor.  It is a cement foundation and floor.  It has been repaired, which is why the former residents put down tile and vinyl on top and more vinyl on top of that vinyl. 

Once we removed the floor, we could see the room had been flooded many times.  You could see where the bottom of all of the paneling was crumbling due to water damage.  This wasn't a one time water problem. 

The paneling had to go, it was one of the causes of the smell in the room and there was some mold (not the deadly kind) three inches up the entire way around the bottom of the room. 

But wait, there's more!

Behind the paneling was fiberboard drywall.  We hadn't even found the foundation yet!  The paneling didn't stop the water over the years.  The fiberboard had also wicked up water.  None of the boards were wet, but you could see the years of damage. 

Finally, the original foundation.  It's in good condition.  No major cracks.  Needs a good scraping and some paint.  The rest of the walls and ceiling need removed, too.

So we did.  That's a little bathroom to the right.  The walls need removed and the bathroom remodeled, too, but at this moment it can stay because it is functional.

The ceiling was more fiberboard and a whole lot of nasty, but no mouse droppings.  Just dirt and tap from the old roof above.

The original rafters of the room are in good condition, too.  (Although we aren't certain why a few extra supports were put in on the left side of the room.) With the closet gone and the fiberboard walls removed, the room is much larger. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Look how blue the sky is!

Now look even closer at that photo.  I'll give you a hint. 

See him now.  He's out local friendly humming bird.  He visits out feeder hourly. 

He is a beautiful blue and green.  I want to get a better photo of him at the feeder, but he's so fast! We noticed him sitting on the wire one day.  Just sitting, hanging out.  Kinda like he does at the feeder. 

Then this weekend, as we were taking a break from digging the new garden, we noticed him sitting on the wire again.  He flew away to the feeder in the back of the house and flew back to the wire. 

He doesn't mind coming to the feeder when we are working near or sitting outside. 

A few minutes later, a cardinal landed not far from him on the wire and the humming bird chased him away! Not once, but twice!

We think he's got a nest in the pine tree!  I can't imagine a baby humming bird. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

And Window Makes 10

Our weekend goal was to finish the windows.  We worked hard at this goal, too.  Saturday was a long day.  Walt Kowalski had the tricky work with the ladder.  I did the inside stuffs and the removal of the old windows. Not monumental, but important to the guy 30 feet up in the air. 

We dropped lots of screws and nails and a tape measure once.  Thank goodness it wasn't the drill.  Walt Kowalski still had hold of one end of the tape measure.  He just pulled it back up to him. 

Ok, so it wasn't 30 feet up. More like only 20.  Still steep.

You can see the neighbor's new fire pit. 

Ta Da! All windows and two doors replaced. Now we can finish drywall and move on to finalizing the plumbing.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Planting in the Rain

My sister gave me some hostas from her garden.  I love hostas.  So do the deer, but that's another story. 

Walt Kowalski bought me some new plants for my birthday.  He has good taste in plants. Not the same as the deer.

We have hostas on two sides of the Cat Ranch, with the majority on the wall behind the house.  The wall that needs weeding.  Also another story. 

There is a big garden on the side yard.  I call it a holding garden.  It's where things end up when they are removed from one location (on hold) and a new location has yet to be determined.  The plants are a mismatched variety.  All plants are in the ground, not in pots, so they have a better chance of living.  All are healthy.  So are the weeds.  That's another story.

It's also a garden that has been robbed.  I robbed all the hostas from this garden for the rock garden on the other side of the house.  Grammy robbed this garden of many iris plants.  The groundhog and deer robbed this garden of the broccoli and beans a few years ago. 

So right now it's full of an abundance of daylilies and peonies and a few iris flowers.  All of these will be relocated in the future.  We'd like to move the daylilies to the downhill portion of the driveway and the peonies along the wall.  That's for next year. 

Walt Kowalski was feeling sick in the morning, but he's such a trooper and turned the soil alongside of the house. 

As the rain clouds formed around us, we dug and dug and dug.  Then the rain drops came, but I was determined to finish planting.  I made it just in time as the skies opened and rain poured down. 


We left room for a few other plants in the middle.  A couple I want to move from the holding garden and maybe something new. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014


The other day I looked out the back door and noticed the neighbor's tree.  At first glance, I thought the tree was brushing up against the power wires and was smoking because it was on fire. 

Then, upon second glance I realized the wires weren't even close to the tree.  It was pollen! 

It's a big tree.

I'm in big trouble.  Send tissues.  Truckloads. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Kink in the Neck

More outside painting!  No rain, just humididididty. 

The goal: a final coat of paint on the new siding on the front porch and a primer coat of paint on the ceiling of the front porch.  The ceiling was stained and varnished, but the wood was in good condition.  I just needed a little love. 

It was a big ceiling with lots of grooves.  So was the siding. 

There was a piece of trim around the top.  When I removed it, it was full of black coal dust.  Every time I think I'm done with black boogers, I get more. 

Walt Kowalski hauled all of the old window frames to the backyard. (We just get it cleaned up and make a new pile.)

It looks good.  The with white trim, the gray will look very nice. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Odds and Ends

The front corner of the basement, not far from where the new electrical panel is located, is damp.  No, when it rains, there is a stream that trickles through.  When it rains, the water pools in this corner outside.  First, the water in the gutter in this area doesn't go down the spout, it pours over the side of the gutter.  Then the plastic downspout extension goes back into a smaller piece of metal downspout that goes into a smaller broken pipe.  The water is running over the pipes, not into the pipes.
The other day I was looking out the window on the second floor .  I just happened to notice the gutter was totally full of water and it hadn't rained in a few days.  No wonder the water pours over, the gutter must be clogged!  Easy fix.  I shimmied out onto the roof, empty plastic bags in hand, to clean the gutter.
The gutter wasn't clogged.  The downspout extended 3 inches up into the gutter.  The rainwater from the roof had to rise more than 3 inches to get into the downspout.  It never had time to get that high before it ran over the side of the gutter and poured onto the front porch and into the basement  There was no clog, it was put together wrong.  *sigh*
A quick snip with the tin snips, and now the rain water can drain out of the gutter and down the spout. 
Add 50feet of new pipe, put the downspout together properly, smaller pieces into larger fittings to catch the water.  And a realization that part of the problem is the neighbor's rain pipe isn't connected either.  It's pour their roof water into our basement.  We'll be good neighbors and fix that for them.  Walt Kowalski said he'd even use some glue to keep the pipe together.

The new pipe needs buried.  This side of the house is low.  We might be able to get away with removing the old broken pipe in the ground, setting the new one in place, and covering the entire area with stone and dirt. 

We also finished the drywall in the back bedroom. Once we closed in the window, all that was left was insulation in the wall.

Seams and screws and seams and screws and seams and screws.