Monthly Archives: August 2012

Relocating, Remodeling & Readjustments ~ The Continuing Saga…

Well, since the mishaps and misadventures with my mom’s floor we’ve gotten her all moved into her new room.  It’s not decorated or completely situated yet, but at least it’s in good enough order for her to have a nice nap with her cat…She’s probably gonna kill me when she sees that I posted a photo of her napping, so if you never hear from me again, you’ll know why.  😉

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I’m actually writing this post from my room, which I’ve just recently finished painting for the second time.  Here let me share my current view with you…Hmm, weird, it’s not really that dark in here.  I guess this isn’t really much to look at is it?  Can’t even see my paint job.  Oh well, I’ll try and take a better photo of it later.

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I’m sitting at a little make-shift “desk” that my mom brought in so that I could see what it feels like to sit and write in here, but now she and my daughter are hounding me to come watch a movie with them, so I probably won’t be in here very long and will have to finish writing this post later.  I just want to be in my room for a little while and enjoy the calm before the storm.  The storm being… finding out tomorrow what lies beneath this carpeting under my feet.

I’ve been up to my eyeballs in paint here for the past week.  This is usually a fun thing for me, but this too has ended up being more work than I had originally thought it would be.  Maybe I’m just getting old or out of shape.  One thing I am sure of is that all the paint fumes are definitely affecting my mental capabilities.  😉

First up was painting my daughter’s room.  But we couldn’t pick out paint colors until she chose some new draperies for the sliding glass door in her room.

These are what were hanging in there…Now although these may be considered somewhat hideous according to today’s home decor trends, they were actually quite fashionable in the 70’s, and I’m going to save some of this fabric.   I have no idea what I’ll ever do with it, but you just never know ~ I could come up with something totally unique and amazing to do with it one day. 😀

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After shopping until I was dropping, my daughter finally found some lovely draperies.  I don’t have a photo of her new drapes yet, but I’m sure I’ll include one in a future post once they get hung up.

So, it was a bit of a fiasco painting my daughter’s room because she didn’t like the blue color that she picked out for her contrasting wall (the rest of the walls are a green tone).  So we went back and got a different shade of blue, but she’s not sure she likes that color either.  After her carpet and drapes get in there she’s going to see how she likes it, but I have a feeling we (I) may end up just painting that wall the same color as the rest of the room.The color looks worse in this photo than it really is.  And yes, yes I do paint in my bare feet.  😀  Just don’t look too closely at them, they’re in terrible need of a pedicure, and I banged my left foot so it’s all puffy and swollen ~ guess I shouldn’t do things in my bare feet huh?  😉

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The painting of my room went even worse and I was all up in tears over it.  Literally.  😦  My sis came to the rescue, talked me in off the ledge, and helped me re-paint it.  Sometimes I wonder what I would ever do without her.  ♥   I think I just had a bit of an emotional meltdown because I’ve been working soo hard and I’m exhausted.  I’ve put so much work into making my mom’s and my daughter’s rooms nice for them that then when I finally get to my own room only to have it not turn out right, just made me overly emotional.  But hey, you might have been overly emotional too if the restful, peaceful, ocean color you picked out ended up being a putrid mint colored version of Pepto Bismol!

The color on my walls now is still not what I was going for ~ it’s more of a gray shade than what I had wanted, but it’s a restful enough color and it’ll do for now.  All I know is that I’m not painting this room a 3rd time!  I’ll have a better idea of how it’s going to look after this golden carpet gets out of here tomorrow.

Won’t be sad to see this go.But like I said, I am nervous about what’s underneath it…

~

Oh hey, it’s tomorrow!  I knew I wasn’t going to be able to finish writing this last night.  Well… My daughter’s new carpet is in and it looks great!

This isn’t the greatest shot of it, but her dog Teddy sure looks cute enjoying the view out the window…~

The carpet installers got to my mom’s at the crack of dawn this morning and I didn’t make it over there until they had nearly finished with my daughter’s room, but my mom snapped this photo of the hardwood floors that are under her carpeting.  Sure am glad my daughter wasn’t wanting to try and have wood floors in her room because this looks absolutely horrible … ~

Unfortunately, remember that storm I mentioned earlier when expressing my fears about my own wood floors?  Well…

On the bright side… at least there isn’t a bunch of old linoleum and black tar to scrape up.

But on the dark side… a large portion on one half of the room is plywood, not hardwood.  😦

And there are a few black stain splatters of I don’t know what.

There are also some terrible cut marks about 4 feet long in the entryway.  This photo doesn’t show it, but these cuts are actually pretty deep.  😦 

And I don’t even know what to do about this total hack job someone did around the vents.~

Yep, it’s gonna take quite a bit of continued elbow grease to get all this cleaned and fixed up.  And on that I’m in short supply.  Makes me tired even contemplating it.  Well, it is after midnight as I wrap this up.

Wish me luck…

Ahh Nature…

I went to sleep last night to the sound of the wind rustling through the leaves on the trees.  As I lay there in the dark listening, feeling the sensation of a cool breeze coming in through my open window and lightly brushing up against my skin, I imagined the boughs of the tree branches swaying back and forth in the wind against the night sky.  It was one of the most peaceful feelings I’ve had in a long time.

Of course, wouldn’t you know that as I’m writing this… I’m hearing not only one, but two yapping dogs, a noisy garbage truck, and a train going by.  Kinda wrecks the mood here I’m trying to elaborate on.  Wait, this might help…

It’s not exactly the visual I’m going for here, but the audio is pretty accurate.  🙂

If there is one thing that I really get off on, it’s the sounds and sights of nature.  Somehow it has a way of not only relaxing me, but also giving me an acute heightened sense of awareness.  And I love it.

I feel like I’ve been so busy lately.  Some people thrive on it, but I hate being busy.  I am the type of person who really needs my down time to sit and contemplate and reflect on things.  Unfortunately, right now all I’m reflecting on is how much I want the neighbor’s dog to stop yapping so I can write, and contemplating how to make it stop.  Not even my headphones are drowning out the sound…

Ugh, I can see this just isn’t going to work right now, I’ll have to get back to you at another time on all of the inspiring epiphanies I had about the wind last night.

~

But before I go…

How’s this for the “sights” of nature?  Here’s a photo of the gigantic spider that I found in my garden last night.  Eek!My daughter was completely mesmerized watching this thing construct its web (from inside the house) and then faced her fears and went out to take this photo of it.

I, on the other hand, while usually inspired and in awe of all types of nature, could only think of one thing… how am I going to get to my garden goodies with this monstrosity setting up its hunting grounds in my garden?  Yes, yes, I know it’s a wonderful thing to have spiders in your garden blah, blah, blah, but I happen to be completely and utterly terrified of them.  I am not joking, this is serious, I’m talking arachnophobia here ~ it’s a little hard for me to even look at this photo.

After posting a cry for help on Facebook (because all three of us were too afraid to go near it), a good friend of mine came over and rescued me.  She took “Jack” (the name my daughter had given the spider) and gently deposited him on some lovely plantings in the parking lot of the store across the street.  Even she was surprised at the size of it, but she was fearless and handled that thing like boss!  She’s my hero!

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Things have quieted down here now.  No more barking dogs, the garbage has been picked up, and the train has moved on further down the tracks toward its destination, but I’m hungry, so I’m off to try and scrounge up some food around here.  I’m not hopeful of finding much, as all I really do at my apartment anymore is sleep and shower.  And try to write…  😉

Y’all have a wonderful day!

A Birthday of Ducks, Roses, Lakes, Zombies and The Loch Ness Monster

It was my birthday this past week.

I didn’t have any specific plans, but I knew I wanted to spend the day outdoors, so I grabbed my little family and we took off for a drive around some of the wonderful lakes we have here in the Twin Cities along the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway.

We found this awesome spot on Lake Nokomis and stopped for a picnic.~

And we had a little company.  These ducks came to join in on our festivities/to beg for food.  😉

So we decided to share.  When I was little, my dad used to take us kids to the park to feed the squirrels and ducks. ♥  If you’ve followed my blog for long, you already know how I feel about squirrels, but I love ducks!

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This little guy was our favorite!  He kept tilting his head to the side and looking at us with his one eye.  Sooo darn cute!  🙂~

These two are pretty cute too!  My mom and sis ~ love them so much!  ♥~

And this girl is the most precious thing in all the world to me!  ♥~

My sis gave me this gorgeous tie dyed caftan for my birthday.  😀~

After our picnic we stopped at Lyndale Park Rose Garden near Lake Harriet.~

And enjoyed row after row after row of fragrant beauty…

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Speaking of beauty… here’s my beauty of a daughter sitting among some of the Salvia plantings they had there. ~

You can’t tell from this photo, but this here is the most GIGANTIC bumble bee I’ve ever seen in my entire life!  It was seriously a freak of nature!  I wish I could have caught a better photo of it, but it was on the move ~ probably to go and chow down more nectar to try and sustain its massiveness.  😉~

Lyndale Park Peace Garden and Robert’s Bird Sanctuary are located across the road from the Rose Garden.  It was equally as lovely there, but we didn’t take many photos.  Although, my sis took this one with her cell.  There were some pretty cool rock formations situated here and there with little living things growing in the cracks and crevasses.~

  While we were exploring one of the paths, it wound along side a cemetery.  We noticed several places where the fence was torn.  It was sorta eerie.  Are people trying to get in?  Or out?~

Then my daughter noticed these mysterious markings on the path and was convinced that zombies were on the loose.  Such an imagination, I don’t know where she gets it from…~

As we continued our drive along Minneapolis’ Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway and Chain of Lakes we also saw Nessie!  So that’s why they can’t find her in Loch Ness… she’s hanging out in Cedar Lake in Minneapolis.  😉

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I  wrapped up my day with a family dinner at The Green Mill and then cake at my mom’s.  It was a very nice day.  Thanks for letting me share the highlights of it with you!  🙂

~

Adventures in Gardening Part 31 ~ That Thieving Squirrel: The Epic Battle Continues…

Well, my battle with that thieving squirrel continues.  He is still up to his evil diabolical schemes and clearly thinks my potting bench makes a nice dinner table.  It seems like every day when I go out to check on things, I find new and incriminating evidence of his evil deeds…Notice that plastic wrapper and little strip of paper laying nearby?  It’s from a fortune cookie.  Evidently he also enjoyed some Chinese take-out while sitting there chomping away on my cucumber!

I’m pretty sure he left this message just to stick it to me…Apparently, he sees my delicious garden vegetables as an “opportunity” to get a free meal, but I definitely don’t ever recall going and knocking on his door and inviting him over for dinner!  He’s just lucky I’ve had such a bountiful harvest of cucumbers and haven’t noticed much of an impact from his thievery, or he would notice the impact of my fiery wrath.

~

But he’s also eating all my tomatoes.  Yes, all!  And unlike my bumper crop of cucumbers, my tomatoes have been struggling quite a bit, so I’m not getting very many of them.  I think we’ve eaten one so far.  One!  And the squirrel… all the rest!  And it’s always just as they are starting to ripen.  Ew look at this disgusting fly!  Flies are so gross!   This is a pretty nice shot I got of one though…~

That thieving squirrel has also stolen the last 2 ripe strawberries off of my strawberry plant.  😦

I saw him the other day in another part of the yard and his tummy looked big and fat, so my daughter’s scenario of him being just a poor innocent hungry little creature trying to survive out there in the wild is totally inaccurate!  I know he’s out there rubbing his grubby little paws together plotting his next attack!

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But on the bright side ~ there’s always a bright side…

This special surprise arrived in my garden the other day ~ all the way from Kentucky!  Some dear long distance friends sent me a snippet from their Trumpet Vine to try growing here in Minnesota to help attract butterflies and hummingbirds to my garden.  🙂I put it in a pot temporarily and will plant it in the ground in the fall when the weather is a little cooler.  Hope it grows!  Thanks so much Patty & Allan!  ♥

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And even though she’s back in town now, I’m still enjoying plant sitting my sis’s outdoor plants ~ including her lovely Gazanias…

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I sure am glad squirrels don’t eat flowers…

~Gardening is my therapy~

Relocating, Remodeling, & Readjustments ~ Mishaps & Misadventures With My Mom’s Bedroom Floor

In my last post I said to stay tuned for:  “My Mom’s Bedroom Floor is Trying to Kill Me,” and I wasn’t exaggerating.  Well, not too much, anyway.  😉  The past couple of weeks working on it have been a nightmare!  To say that I was regretting pulling up the carpet in my mom’s bedroom would be a huge understatement.  I knew the floor wasn’t going to be in great condition, but I didn’t realize it was going to be so much work just getting it cleaned up good enough to be liveable.  My aching body…

The first issue at hand was trying to figure out the best way to pry up the tacking strips that were left from the carpeting.  After getting advice from a friend and a few of my readers, I went out to buy a Wonder Bar.  But when I got to the store I didn’t end up getting one because the thing weighed like 1000 lbs and was way too big and heavy for my weak little girlie hands.

I found these nifty things and figured they’d work just as well for getting the job done and be much easier for me to maneuver and work with.  They worked like a charm and I was glad I got them because as it turns out, having a variety of sizes of these things came in handy. ~

I toiled long and hard prying up all those tacking strips and even with my handy dandy variety pack of pry bars, it was no easy task.  One of the times while I was in there slaving away, splinters flying everywhere, I thought of asking my daughter to come in and take a photo of me in the midst of “tackling the tacking,” but she was busy doing something else and couldn’t, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that it was excruciatingly laborious for me.

But as much work as prying up all those tacking strips was, that was nothing compared to the nightmare it has been trying to get up all of the tar-like substance that was underneath that old linoleum.  I looked online, asked friends, called around, and went back and forth to Home Depot more times than anyone would ever want to, and each time got a different suggestion on what to use.  Because we aren’t going to be actually “refinishing” the floors for quite some time, my mom wanted to try and preserve the original varnish and stain as well as possible, so that limited us significantly in how to go about it.

In the end, as impractical as it was, Goo Gone is what we used.  It took an enormous amount of elbow grease, but it was the thing that we found worked the best at dissolving the tar.It was extremely tedious ~ especially when using a plastic putty knife (to help keep ourselves from damaging the floor’s finish while scraping).

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I also picked up some mineral spirits to try to get up some of the old paint splotches that were on the floor.  That didn’t work as well as I had hoped it would.  Turns out it’s more for fresh paint clean-up, and not paint that’s 36 years old.  Even with letting it sit on there for a while, it was still very difficult getting it up.

My daughter was such a tremendous help ~ what a trooper!

And my mom even lent a hand.

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This is how it looked after all our scraping, scrubbing and toil.Pretty dang nice considering how it looked originally!  (Click here to see)

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There are still this rough patches around the perimeter of the room and one particularly stubborn area, but even after all three of us each spent a considerable amount of time working on it, none of us could penetrate through whatever that was.  It probably needs some sort of stripping or sanding done on it, but that is not something we are doing right now.~

Next step was figuring out something to cover these gaps that are in between the wood floor and the current molding that goes along the floor around the room.  ~

Since my sis was back early from her vacation I enlisted her assistance for this part.  Making yet another trip to Home Depot, we picked up some 12ft oak flooring strips that we thought would do the trick at covering the gaps and also help give it a bit of a “finished” looking edge.  We figured we could just lay it on top of the floor, press it up against the molding, tack it down in couple of places, stain it a neutral color, and call it good until the floor gets refinished properly.

This confusing mess of a photo is my sis pointing at the lousy hammering job that I was doing.  Apparently I was “doing it wrong.”Hey that hammer was heavy, I needed to have my hand that close to the head!  And besides… it’s kinda hard hammering correctly when your sis is tickling you behind the knee while you’re trying to hammer.  Just saying…

That’s how things like this happen…Yeah, totally her fault!  😉

~

Unfortunately, one of the walls of the room is pretty warped, so using the oak strips to cover the gap on that wall was practically worthless.  Off we went back to Home Depot again (good thing it’s close by) to get some wood putty to fill it in with.  My mom took this blurry photo trying to catch us in action as my sis and I were filling (glopping) it in.   As you can see, my side is much tidier.  😉  But maybe that was only because my sis was laying sprawled out on the floor while applying it hahahaha!  And she made fun of my hammering? But I shouldn’t poke too much fun at her “techniques” for applying wood putty because heck, she knows how to use a freaking miter saw (which she skillfully wielded to cut the ends of the oak strips at 45 degree angles for the corners) and that’s more than I can say for myself.  Besides… my sis helping made it fun, and hey, I’m all about the fun!  Bottom line is, I sincerely I appreciated her assistance and expertise ~ even if it was gloppy.  😉

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Before calling it “done” I took some Restor-A-Finish and went over the entire floor.  I also used it to touch up all of the existing woodwork (doors, windows etc.) in the whole room.  Talk about “My Mom’s Bedroom Floor is Trying to Kill Me” ~ there are all sorts of toxic chemicals in this stuff and frightening health warnings on the label, which scared this “keep everything natural and organic” girl, but I didn’t see any similar products that I could use that were any less dangerous.~

Well here it is… the final result of my near death experience…What do you think?

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All I know is, I’m filled with dread at what horrendous amount of work may be lurking underneath my bedroom carpet.  Dear Lord, please let it be in halfway decent shape.  We’ll find out shortly because once my mom is all moved into her new room, we’ll be painting mine and my daughter’s rooms, and then the carpet people will be coming to install the new carpet in my daughter’s room and rip out the carpet that is in mine.  Yeah, my carpeting and tacking strip removal days are over.  It’s costing us all of $72 for them to do it for us while they’re here installing my daughter’s carpet.  Totally worth it!

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And I leave you with this…

Even though my mom’s bedroom floor may not have really been trying to kill me, being over there working on it has been detrimental to the health of my house plants at my apartment.  Basically all I do here anymore is sleep and shower, so I haven’t given them much TLC.

My poor Peace Lily looks anything but “peaceful.”  Pay no attention to those dust bunnies that are congregating for a family reunion there on the floor.  Unfortunately, they’ve been busy producing several generations of offspring while I’ve been busy with my mom’s floor.

And I’m pretty sure my Weeping Ficus isn’t supposed to literally weep.  Pathetic looking thing is even dropping its leaves.

And I’m only guessing here, but I don’t think the ends of this plant are supposed to be brown or have dry, dead, undergrowth.My cats miss me too.  😦

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Oh Those Pet Peeves…

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming of gardening adventures and remodeling projects to bring you this special report…

Well, it’s not really that special.  😉

Ordinarily, I’m not the type of person who gets easily annoyed.  There are the important things in life and then are the insignificant things, and I know the difference between the two.  But we all have those pet peeves and thanks to the plethora of memes and funny internet pics, this post is going to express a few of mine…

Hey, people can dress however they like (I do), but I just think this is the most ridiculous “style” I have ever seen.  The other night while my daughter and I were waiting at a stop light, this guy walks by (if that’s what you call it), he was sort of hobbling and was all bent over to one side.  My daughter let out a small gasp and said “Oh my gosh is he okay?”  As we continued to watch him cross the street in front of us, we realized he was just trying to reach down into his pocket (which was at his freaking ankles) to get out his phone.  Wow, what an idiot!  We laughed the rest of the way home…

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I’ve realized that quite a few of my pet peeves are in regard to grammar and punctuation.  Not that I’m an expert by any means, I use tons of tilde (~) and ellipsis (…) when I write (and not properly, mind you ;)), but these two just really bug me…Seriously, it’s really not.

Oops this one has a bad word in it.  But you get the point.  I must confess, when texting in a hurry, I’m guilty of sometimes using ‘ur’ for both meanings.  Don’t hate me because I’m in a hurry ~ or because I used a bad word.  😉

And this one isn’t really a pet peeve, but when I saw it I thought it was funny.IT SAVES LIVES!!!  😀

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This one is HUGE!  I’m sorry but this is just sooo frustrating to me!  People who are in the customer service field really need to be capable of pronouncing the English language in a clear and concise manner!

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This one isn’t really a “pet peeve” just one of those ridiculous things that sort of annoys me.  I mean, most scary movies are stupid enough without adding to the stupidity.

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Grrr politicians!  I hate listening to any of them.  I just don’t buy anything they are saying.  All I hear is Charlie Brown’s teacher’s voice.  Wha wha wha wha…

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THERE IS A CAR RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, where exactly is it that you expect me to go for crying out loud?!

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Here’s another biggie for me.  Some people love to cry out about all of the intolerance of certain groups of people, but more often than not they are guilty of being that exact same thing themselves.

Dontcha just love Morpheus?!

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Nearly every time I have to buy toilet paper, I am completely disgusted at the price!  It is literally just flushing money down the toilet.  Gah!  And being a girl, I want the soft stuff and that’s usually the most expensive.  It’s so annoying!

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Well, thank you for joining me today and allowing me to express these pet peeves and certain annoyances.

“We now return you to your regular scheduled programming…”

Stay tuned for:

My Mom’s Bedroom Floor is Trying to Kill Me

and

A Storm Destroyed My Bell Peppers

~