Summer Projects 1 & 2 -Almost done!


It’s been a full week full of home improvement, and having company. I took some time off to deal with Project #1 (getting a new shed), and Project #2, which is renovating my spare bedroom.

The shed is in, and The Flirt has been busy filling it up and organizing all the stuff that has to go back in it.

The spare room is almost done. The walls are painted, and the floor has been sanded down and clear coated. It looks so nice, and feels so fabulous under bare feet!

This old floor is full of imperfections, but it has so much personality. I had no idea just clear coating it would give it such a rich color. I’m so glad we didn’t stain it!

The floor extended from the room down the hallway, so we sanded the glue off of that too. I’m so happy with the result!

It’s hard to believe we got such a beautiful floor out of something that had been so damaged.

So, we went from this:

To this!

You might wonder why it looks like I am putting the bed back into the room before the wainscoting and trim molding is put on. Well, the short answer is that I am so completely done, I just need to get stuff out back in this room and get the rest of my house put back in order.

There’s sawdust everywhere, and my kitchen and living room are full of all the things that have to go back into that room.

Not only that, but my budget for these two projects is cooked. Time to regroup and save up some money for finishing up the room later. It will be functional enough until then.

Here’s wishing you all well in whatever projects you have going on. It feels so good to get these big projects done!

Blessings all!

Summer Project #2 update


Good morning Faithful Readers!

Yesterday I sanded off the last bit of floor glue, and now the cleaning begins.

Every single thing in my house is covered in dust, and I need to get going with the cleaning because I have company coming today. Not the greatest timing in my part. But my friend who’s coming to visit is really good at home improvement projects, and is going to give me some help with sealing the floor.

I think I’m going to ask her for some help hanging some pictures too. She has that Martha Stewart gene that gives her that special eye for what looks good that I just don’t have. Thank goodness she is coming because I need all the help I can get!

We did quite a lot of surface cleaning last night, but now I need to deep clean the living room, bathroom and kitchen.

But first, coffee!

At noon I am going to stop to take a shower and then off to get a full body massage at 1. That’s going to feel fabulous!

Happy Friday all!

The ride I didn’t know I needed


Yesterday was a beautiful day. Not only did we get some more work done in the back yard, but we also attended two fund raisers.

The 2nd fundraiser was for a motorcyclist who had been injured in an accident. We went there on The Flirt’s motorcycle, and riding that motorcycle was something I didn’t know I needed.

On the way home we took a longer ride through the countryside around town, and it was lovely. Even though we are experiencing drought, the countryside of the High Plains is still beautiful.

I’m sore today, because I’m just not in good shape. I wouldn’t give that ride back, though. There is something about a ride in the country that can’t quite be compared to anything else. There’s no stress or worries, just the countryside, watching for wildlife, and the wind in your face. I look forward to the next one.

Now that I’ve finished my coffee, it’s time to get back out into the back yard and finish getting it cleaned up and organized. The next few weeks will go by quickly, and we need to be ready for the new shed to arrive.

Here’s wishing you a lovely Sunday. Blessings all!

Summer Projectpalooza 2021 – Project #1: New Shed


Yesterday I had some communications from my neighbor that were nebulous and unhelpful. We are going to put up a new shed at the end of the month, and we wanted to put it up on one side of the property that is next to his. The city rule is that any structure must be 6 ft from the property line.

That is why we have so many homes, new and old, crammed into small lots 12 feet from each other. Luckily my house isn’t that close to my neighbors’ homes. Thank goodness!

Anyway, this guy doesn’t know where is property line is (even though it’s clearly marked) and he said to me that he will talk to the surveyor next week, which is too late. We’ve been talking to him for a month and a half about this, and could only get the equipment to level out the ground this weekend.

Time for Plan B.

Plan B consisted of pulling everything out of the existing shed, taking that shed down, and preparing that ground for the new shed.

When we got home from work yesterday, The Flirt and I talked it over, and decided that Plan B was the only way to go, and we went outside to take stock of all the crap we’ve been storing in the current shed.

Pretty soon we found ourselves taking the stuff out, and culling what needed throwing away or donating.

It wasn’t very long before we started looking at how the shed was put together, and then we were taking it apart. Holy cow, we were done in under three hours!

This morning we pulled all of the parts out to the curb for pick up, and before we knew it, someone was stopping by asking if the could have pieces of the plywood we were throwing away.

I love the curb. It’s a magic place where things you don’t want are picked up by people who do want it!

So, what started out as an 8×10 shed is now just a pile of stuff on the curb.

So opens Summer Projectpalooza 2021! More to come…

Decluttering, minimizing, and projects…oh my!


Recently, I joined a decluttering and minimizing group. They have been a tremendous help to me in that not only is it nice to feel not alone in my efforts to simplify my life, but people share some really great tips and tricks. I have also been able to share some ideas that have worked for me.

It’s astonishing how quickly I’ve been able to find a sense of community in a group I just joined last week. In fact, I’ve been inspired to get back on the decluttering horse, and have been successful in clearing out a few packed corners in my house.

Yesterday it was a book shelf. Today it will be some cube organizers that have been sitting in my living room, waiting for my spare room to get renovated. They have been a convenient place to put crap I haven’t had the time or will to deal with. Most especially pictures that need hanging up.

For those of you Faithful Readers who’ve been keeping up with my blog for awhile, you’ll recall that I painted my living room a couple of years ago. I still have not hung up the pictures yet. I have this strange fear that I will screw something up if I try to hang them myself.

Well, I just need to bite the bullet and get it done, damn the consequences!

Boy do I know how to live like a rebel, eh? LOL

Redoing the spare room is one of the many projects on the slate for this Spring. On the list are:

👉Repaint, reorganize, and declutter the spare room.

👉My china cupboard needs to be cleaned out and reorganized.

👉Repaint the bathroom, add new shelves and new decor, and recaulk the tub.

👉Paint and reorganize the pantry.

👉Prep the back yard for a new, bigger shed. We will then need to get rid of the old, small, crappy shed once the new one is delivered.

👉Once the old shed is gone, new compost bins will be built, and the ground will be prepared for a vegetable garden. The fence will also be repaired.

That’s quite a lot to get done this Spring, but I have some PTO to burn, so I will take time off from work to get the painting done. I can paint both rooms at the same time, so that will be fairly easy to knock out.

I feel fairly convinced this is all doable in the next couple of months, now I just need to keep a head of steam underneath me.

Now to go finish the laundry, and get started on the house work for the day. At some point, later on, the cube shelves will get cleared out and the pictures hung up. it’s going to be a good day!

Blessings all!

My Old House: Closet Fix-Day 2


This morning when I woke up the sun was shining in the window, and I knew I had overslept. Sure enough, it was 9am! I never sleep that late, but yesterday’s activities and sleeping by myself helped that I’m sure.

The 2nd thing I noticed was how lovely my closet looked with the new paint. But wait… what the heck is THAT?!

It’s hard to see in this picture, but there’s a dark smudge that looks like something is bleeding through the paint. Well, I could take time to paint it again, or I can get on with my project because daylight is burning and this HAS to be done before end of day.

Long story short, my clothing will cover that up once everything is back in the closet. I’m a firm believer in picking your battles, and this just isn’t a big enough problem to hold up progress. Moving on!

So, I got up and made coffee and breakfast, and then we got on with putting the closet back together.

The Flirt jumped into action and began assembling the shelving we cut to size the night before. As it turned out, I had to run to the local hardware store to pick up some different brackets. Once we got those, it was all down hill.

You’ll notice that there are bare patches where the door hinges used to be. There’s no room for a door in here, so that went away a long time ago. I’ll fill in and paint those bits this spring when we tear everything out of the spare room and closet for that major remodel. I may even put a curtain up just to give it a finished look.

Now it was time to Marie Kondo all of the clothing and only put back in the closet what sparked joy! Astonishingly, I only have a very few items I’m keeping for when I lose the 10 lbs I gained this year, and another 10 or so shirts that I just don’t like any more. I will donate those.

So, several trips back and forth from my spare room to my fabulously updated closet, and now it’s got everything in it and there’s room for more!

The thing I don’t like about remodeling projects is the mess and chaos it causes in my little house. However, you can’t have positive change without a little chaos, and this project was certainly worth it.

Here’s hoping you all have time and space for any little chaos you might need to deal with to generate progress. Sometimes the mess is worth the effort. Blessings all!

My Old House: Closet Fix-Day 1


For 20 years I’ve struggled with my closets. My old home only has 800 sq ft, and it’s got tiny closets to go with it. It wasn’t unusual for me to finish my laundry and have to hang some of my shirts on the door frame of the closet because there wasn’t any more room.

Not only is the closet small and poorly organized, but it still has a remnant of the nasty old carpet the house had when we moved in. I desperately needed a fresh coat of paint as well.

First thing to do on the list is get the closet empty. As I disgorged the entire contents of my closet onto the bed, The Flirt looked on in awe. He couldn’t believe I could have that much packed into that little closet. Not only is this an opportunity to refresh and reorganize my closet, but it’s also an opportunity to downsize the contents. There are so many things I keep shoving way over to the side and never wear. Time for those things to get donated and quit clogging up my space.

Now time to get rid of that crappy carpet. Your best tools for this are a good blade, a flat head screwdriver, pliers, and a hammer. Taking the staples out was easy, but it took longer to get the tack strips off from around the edges.

After getting all of that removed from the floor, I swept it up and got ready to paint. I got a stain and odor blocking paint/primer in as bright a white as I could get. A small brush and mini roller were all I needed to this job done.

It’s astonishing how quickly a little white paint can make such a big difference. It only took me a little over an hour to get the first coat on, and it was clear from the get-go that it would need two coats. I gave it two hours to dry, and then put on the 2nd coat.

By the time I got done putting on the last coat of paint it was bed time, so I cleaned up, took a shower and hit the sheets. Then I needed to move the giant pile of clothes to the spare bed. It took three trips!

Unfortunately, the paint I used was kind of smelly, so The Flirt ended up sleeping on the couch. I was so tired I didn’t notice he was gone. Tomorrow it will be time to put in the new shelves and put my clothes back onto the closet!

Tune in tomorrow for Day 2!

Kid art in strange places


I sat down to finish some curtains I’m sewing for my kitchen, and one of the first things I pulled out is my pin cushion. You just can’t sew much without pins to hold things in place.

It’s been awhile since I really took a look at it, and before I needed to sew myself some masks, I hadn’t pulled out my pincushion, or my sewing machine, for close to ten years.

This is one of those moments where I find something that my kids left behind, and it makes me happy and sad all at the same time. I remember one of the boys fiddling with my pincushion one day, and handing it to me with this little bit of kid art:

Of course, it had another eye back then. I left it that way, and didn’t use the pincushion again for so long I’d forgotten about it. I can’t even tell you if it was Older or Younger who made the design. I feel bad that I didn’t see it, and accidentally pulled off one of its eyes.

Oops…

That’s ok. I’ll probably fix it, and I might even get a different pincushion so I don’t accidentally pull out the other eye. Either way, it gives me all kinds of warm fuzzies to see it. I sure miss my kids. I sure missed sewing too.

One of my winter projects is to get my craft area going down stairs. Once that’s up and ready, I will be able to sew any time, rather than have to drag my machine and supplies out of the farthest corner of the spare bedroom and set it up in the kitchen. More to come on that…

Anyway, here’s hoping you all find heart warming items like this, in a forgotten nook or cranny, when you least expect it. It’s way better than finding money in last season’s jacket pocket. Blessings all!

Buh-bye Land Line


I’ve lived in my house for 20 years, 3 months. For that whole time I’ve had a land line in my home. Tonight it goes in the garbage.

Why, you ask incredulously, would I have kept a land line in my house for so long? That seems weird given that everyone who has had cell phones has have given up the land lines in their homes for the last ten+ years, or so.

Well, at first I kept the land line because it just felt safer to do so. It was only $20 a month, so it’s an easy enough safety blanket to justify. I was a little worried that we wouldn’t be able to afford the cell phones at some point, and we’d need a phone.

I got into reading Prepper blogs and there was some chatter about rigging your phone jack to get electricity from it if the electricity went out. Well, that sounds helpful, right?

Then there was the issue of identity. I come from a series of small towns, and your phone number was as much a part of who you were as your address. This home was the first time I’d lived in the same place for more than four years at a time, and it seemed a natural part of the house, my family, and me.

The last reason I kept the number is because Younger Son left home to join the Navy, and he put the land line on all of his paper work as an emergency contact number. If the number is a concrete part of the house, it makes sense, right?

Fast forward to today, 6 years after Younger Son left home, and I am paying $42 per month for my land line. I never use it, and it seems it’s only function these days is to help me find my cell phone when I’ve misplaced it, as well as having become a collector of vocal spam.

I haven’t given my landline number out to anyone in years, so nobody knows me by that number. At some point the phone lines went to fiber optic cable, so there aren’t any wires to carry a current anymore. Younger Son let me know that he’s been putting my cell number on all of his contact paperwork, so he doesn’t need it either.

The last nail in the coffin has been all of the spam calls I’ve been getting due to the election. my landline has been ringing non stop, and I’m done with it.

So, buh-bye land line. Hello $42 extra in my pocket every month!

Letting go of unnecessary things is hard, but feels good when you finally get around to it. It feels very good. Blessings all!

It’s better than screaming and throwing things.


Life has been crazy and weird here on the High Plains. We have had relatively few cases of COVID-19 in ND, but two weeks out from our Governor opening our state back up, our numbers are exploding. Yesterday we had 102 new cases reported, and today there were 134.

I called my Mom to talk about what’s going on with Younger Nephew’s graduation ceremony, which we won’t be able to attend, and she let me know she and Dad were on the way out to take her to get tested for the virus.

In ND, unless they are mass testing particular populations of people, you can’t get tested unless you have any of the symptoms. I’m hoping she just has a cold.

More on that later.

In other news, I’ve had a lot of time off being partially furloughed. I managed to get my kitchen painted a nice shade of blue, swapped out the old fridge for a new one, and got some projects done in my yard. I have a whole truckload of projects on deck, but now I’ve been told I am going back to work full time next week. Yay!

It’s going to be kind of rocky, as a condition of our return is that we are going to have to fill in for others who either can’t, or won’t, come back to work. Some tasks I’m qualified for, and some I’m not. I’ve had to push back on being asked to do some things that I just know I’m not qualified for. Sometimes you just have to put your foot down for what you believe in.

Today I worked a few hours, and I will work a few more tomorrow. This will be my last opportunity to get any of my projects done. No more weekends as I’ll be working Sundays going forward. That’s ok. Sundays are good, quiet days to get a lot of work done, for the office at least.

It’s been stressful, and weird, and I don’t like any of this. Sometimes I get so wound up about all of this crap, I find myself crying over stupid things. I’m guessing that I get just too full up with the stress of all of this, and it has to leak out somewhere. I guess it’s better than screaming and throwing things.

The other day I went out to mow my lawn, and I noticed all of the dandelions in the neighboring lot.

The site of all of these happy little flowers made me take a deep breath and just relax, even if it was for a few minutes.

It’s good to stop and notice the flowers. Take a walk outside and get some fresh air. Open your windows and get some fresh air in. Do something that makes you happy. Just make sure to do something for you. Little things matter. Mental health matters. You matter.

Here’s hoping that this note finds you all well and thriving. Remember to take care of yourself. Blessings all!

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