Thursday, July 2, 2015

Happy 4th of July!!

Summer is definitely here!  It has been warm and they have been threatening over 100 for about two weeks.  It might get there today.  It is 95 in the shade in my backyard.  I AM SO GLAD I GOT A NEW AC.

I just came in from putting up my flag.  I can't believe I have lived here for 4 years and never got it up before now.  

But then I did break my ankle while moving in so no climbing ladders for me. Then there was the sprained ankle and the two torn achilles tendons and the surgery to correct them.  I CAN WALK AGAIN!  I have even gone over 10k steps several days in the last month.  I did say my goal was to be walking by the 4th of July.  Every now and then I get twinges in the right ankle but nothing bad.

OK enough of that.

Heard a story about where the saying "Keep Portland Weird" originated.  It was from the Y2K time.  For those who don't remember "everyone" thought that when the clock struck midnight on Dec 31 1999 the world would end.  All computers would shut down.  There were bumper stickers everywhere that said "Keep Portland Wired".  Either someone made a batch with a misspelled word or did it on purpose but "Keep Portland Weird" was coined.  I think it certainly fits.

Last Sunday was the annual naked bike ride in Portland.  Didn't participate!!  But over 10,000 did.

Then on Tuesday 30 June there were hundreds, thousands maybe on Burnside bridge counting down to midnight and 1 July.  Then they lit up. Bet anyone within a quarter mile got a contact high.  

But big deal. They were already smoking it on the streets.

Supposedly you can't do it in the open and I heard they were going to erect a tent for them to gather in. Guess it wasn't big enough.

Since Kaitlyn Jenner came "out" there have been cross dressers, transvestites all over.  Some with mustaches and beards, hairy legs, etc.

The "homeless" and street kids seem to be multiplying like rabbits.  Walking to work in the mornings I pass groups laying on the sidewalk in sleeping bags, wrapped up in blankets.  I just don't get it.

Tomorrow I will hopefully start my next and second to the last project in the house.  I have an appt with a builder to "tear down that wall".  I think I have the layout down and now I just have to finish figuring out the cabinet inserts.
Photos to come.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


Look at this:


Told you that this would be beautiful soon.  Unforturnately it won't last long.

I learned last week at the Yard, Garden & Patio show that they can be rooted from cuttings so I'll be trying that this summer to get some in other spots of in the yard.

I NEED a new camera with WIFI or at least one of those WIFI SD cards so I don't have to keep taking the card out of the camera when I take a few pictures.

Speaking of the YGP show here are a few of my favorite things:

 Nice way to hide a hot tub and  use it as a water feature except...where does the cover go to keep the bugs and dirt out?  And that would spoil the look when not in use.  Would only be a feature when you are using it or around it, wouldn't be something you could look out the window and admire.

This is the back side of the fireplace so you get two for the price of one.

Like this fire pit but I think I would move the seats in a little closer.  Maybe two half circles so you can talk across the fire.  Of course you could always put chairs on the other side.

Looks like it belongs at a fact most of these gardens looked like they belong at resorts and not someones backyard.  I'm sure the water would sound great just couldn't hear it in the large noisy room.

This I really like...especially the "side tables". Each person has a place to set their drink or cigar!  Or turn caddiewampus and put your feet up.

Koiless koi pond.  Nice but needs rocks in the bottom, running waterfall and of course Koi.

I really like these "planter".  I think I'll do one but I will have to save up lots of Styrofoam peanuts to fill it up half way or get the shorter washtubs. I think part of the draw is the height and these are half buried so why spend the extra money.

Nice kids playhouse, heck I'd like to play in it!

DID YOU NOTICE A THEME HERE?  I seem to find "fault" with just about everything.  But then again it is me making it my own (if it was mine that is).

Speaking of gardens...I'm going out to enjoy this beautiful day in mine and try out the hori-hori I bought.

Miss V    


It will be so nice to get home while the sun still shines!  Of course for the next few weeks it will be dark again when I head to the bus stop but if I don't work past 6 I should walk home in the light.

I was going to sleep an extra hour yesterday to make up for last night (not that I had anything pressing to get up early for today!) but ended up sleeping two hours and having to rush to my hair appointment.  Then I figured since I was half way to the outlet mall why not go the rest of the way!  I wanted to see what Clark's had on clearance for winter shoes.

I'm not a shoe horse nor am I rough on the outside of shoes but since I wear custom orthodontics for the broken arches I got in the Air Force I am rough on the inside, plus they get stretched out and don't fit the heel after a while.  I found a couple of pairs of boots and tennis (hmm I'm not playing tennis in them) or athletic (I'm not playing sports!), ok casual shoes.  I hit up Christopher and Bank for a few tops and can you believe it...I DID NOT GO TO THE COACH OUTLET!  Got enough purses.

One of my friends commented that I don't like the freeway.  It isn't that it is just that it is so boring...concrete wall, industrial park, back of strip mall, concrete wall, strip mall, parking lot, etc, etc.  If I take the surface streets I see store fronts, houses, yards, people (panhandlers).  Going to the mall I took the street in front of the beauty shop until it dead ended.  Then it was either go south a while, east a while, north a while to get to it jump on the freeway and get off at the next exit.  Which I did, plus that took me by a Micky Dees so I could grab a McChicken sandwich and cup of water (since I hadn't eaten).

Leaving the outlet mall  I could take the freeway (boring) or head toward Boring (Oregon) then go west to home.  I took the scenic route.  I was on a street that I usually take a right turn off of but decided to stay on it and see where it went (I had just filled up at Costco so I had lots of gas).  When I got to the community of Orient there was a nursery on the right side I wanted to check out but missed the turn so I drove on.  On the left was a junk store, something else to check out.  I drove on for a few more miles toward the mountain (Mt Hood that is) looming large before me before I turned around.

The junk store was amazing, and a maze.  I felt like I needed to drop rose pedals as I wandered through it so I could find my way out.  "The Worlds Largest Antique and Collectable Show" (wonder how they figured that out?) is being held this weekend at the Portland Expo center but I liked this place better.  I asked the owner about why he wasn't there and he said a lot of his stuff was there.  There had been two couples in buying when I arrived, one local and one not.  I commented that I bet a lot of the vendors came to visit him while they were in the area and he say yes.  I didn't need anything, had nothing in mind when I stopped to ramble but did find two pepper mills for Cara (we had looked at a Tuesday Morning and a couple of other places but couldn't find any a few weeks ago).  Paid my $10 bucks and as I was leaving asked him if they really had auctions there and he said every Tuesday...something to check out later.

Down the road to the nursery.  They didn't have the Passion Flower plant I was looking for but he had me leave my name and number and will call me when they come in.  Their prices were great!  Being in the middle of nowhere and Clackamas county to boot their overhead is probably way low.  I drove through their tree fields as I left to see where that road went.  Beautiful blooming trees on both sides (I'll have to check those out later).

That narrow hairpin turn road took me out to a main (5 wide lanes) highway and I headed back west. I took some other twists and turns to see what was new on roads I used to drive to and from work when I lived out that way.  Finally I hit town and stopped to pick up a few groceries.

A 10 mile 2 hour beauty shop appointment ended up being a 6 hour and 60 mile trip of discovery.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Good Bye February

Good Bye February

I'm sure my friends and family on the east coast will say good riddance to February but it has been MARVELOUS DARRLIN' in the northwest.  I have a whiteboard on my desk that I track important things on.  Since the beginning of the year it has been a countdown to spring but I haven't been very good at keeping up with it.  Probably because it has been spring for the last month.

A few weeks ago I walked toward the front door coming home from work and was hit with the smell of sweet perfume.  I went to investigate and around the corner was my daphne beginning to bloom.  The next day I clipped off a twig and took to our mail room lady; she and I were just discussing it a few days before and she was lamenting that she didn't have one at her new house.  Every morning and afternoon it greets me.  On Monday I snipped off three clumps and took to work.  The smell filled the office and they were still fragrant (but a little brown) when I threw them away yesterday.

A few days ago I posted this photo on my Facebook page.  
I'm sure they had been in bloom for several days before I noticed (how did I miss them!?).

Last week while walking around the yard I noticed that my evergreen Apple Blossom Clematis was ready to bloom.  This was what I saw from my bed this morning
 (of course I had to get up and open the door since I didn't sleep with it open).  

And this is the view from my desk.  Hope I can get some telework days in the next week or two so I can enjoy them while they are blooming.

I put up the cages for my peonies last weekend.  They were starting to peek up.  I am usually late with that and they are all droopy before I get around to it.

Even the lawn care guys think it is spring.  I came home last Friday to a freshly mowed and edged yard.   

  And what a difference a tree makes, well actually the lack 
Taken 4 years ago and
it was much bigger when
cut down in November.
of a tree. 
 I had a love hate relationship with this tree.  It was a   Giant Sequoia, It was beautiful, it had no business being planted alone in an urban backyard! Looking back at old aerial photos I’m guessing it has been in the ground for less than 15 years.  The house has only been here for 22.  

 I thought about "limbing it up" so you could at least walk under it but realized that it wasn't in its natural habitat and was endangering me and other.
 Giant Sequoias NEED each other.  They have shallow roots and probably even more shallow where it wasn't having to search for water having sprinkler heads surrounding it (and the usual high volume of rain here).  In nature they grow in clumps with their roots intertwining to support each other.  With the winds we have here hardly a big blow goes by that huge trees aren't toppled, even deciduous trees lose large branches or give way.  I planted two new trees in the yard that will provide shade and animal habitat but hopefully won't kill anyone.
 I have a guy coming to cut some "stools" and some rounds for the garden and haul away the rest...then I'll have to tackle the stump or
figure out a way to make it a garden accent! I know have it carved into+ a hedgehog (John) and an owl (Andrew) leaning on each other!

I told John I wasn't going to any more home shows because it makes me want to do things, spend money, etc.  But the Yard, Garden and Patio show is this week and Joyce, working for us temporarily from Walla Walla talked me into it.  That is where I got my Apple Blossom Clematis three years ago..maybe I'll find something else interesting OR a passion flower plant to replace the one I killed last year!  I have learned that daphnes and passion flowers don't like to be moved. Unfortunately for the passion flower it was after I moved it and fortunately a landscaper told me NOT to mess with daphne.

That isn't all I have on my mind right now but it is enough for the moment.

Miss V    

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Update on the Barn Door and thoughts on Remodeling shows.

Today I was looking on Houzz and started to notice the wood behind the rail!  Guess that is just one of the steps they always leave out on the remodeling magic shows. 

Like how this one has blocks at the ends of the rail

Speaking of remodeling magic shows.  Last night I was watching The Suze Orman Show and someone wanted to spend $10 to 15k on a kitchen AND bath remodel.  Suze asked if they were using the HGTV method of costing the project saying she couldn't figure out how they can do a project so cheaply when it cost normal people three times that.

I must say I agree with her.  Of course they don't charge for their labor or include it since they are being paid by the advertisers.  They do provide a public service though.

The flipping shows revealed to home buyers that they needed to look below the surface to see what was being covered up.  I loved Holmes on Homes and other Mike Holmes shows where you saw the shoddy work done by flippers and fly-by-night contractors.  

I was always amazed at the people who purchased a home without an inspection because the SELLER didn't want one as part of the purchase contract and were surprised when they discovered major problems.  SURPRISE, why would they care about an inspection unless they are hiding something.  If you aren't going to pay an expert you better be one yourself or not cry when you find out you bought a pig in a poke.  If the seller doesn't want one insist on it or RUN.

Another show I don't quite understand is Fixer Upper.  OK I understand remodeling the house but why is JoJo buying them all new furniture?  Don't these people have furnished homes now?  Where are the photos, Great aunt June's rocker, the bookcase dad built for when you were three?  Someone said it was just staging...but they show the family entertaining with that furniture.  So stupid!  

Drama...what would a remodeling show be without it!  OH, here is a vent in the wall we are removing, it is going to cost $250 to move it...better call the homeowner we didn't see this coming, will they approve it!  OH MY!  Whew, they approved , now everything is done! I guess most viewers expect that.  Remodeling...expect the unexpected, budget 10 to 15% for it.  Maybe if Jo wasn't buying antiques it wouldn't be an issue.  Sorry I want to pick out my own antiques and furniture.

One remodeling show I REALLY like is Rehab Addict, but it isn't really a remodeling show it is a rehab show.  I love how Nicole finds old stuff to put back in the house, including reclaimed old glass in cabinets.  I love that she brings back houses that many would tear down and in neighborhoods that people have given up on.  It makes me want to hurry back to Montana and do the same things to my 110 year old house.  Well as close as I can with the changes made in it about 20 years ago (third bedroom taken out on second floor leaving a two story entry).

Well that's what's on my mind this week.

Miss V    

Monday, February 16, 2015

"Barn Door" for bathroom

 For my Valentine's Day present I asked John, my oldest son, for four hours of his time to get some things done.
The first thing was to FINALLY get around to working on the bathroom door. This project has been going on FOREVER.  But I think that I am putting off finishing it because then what will I have to do?  (HUMMM lets see...caulk and paint the baseboards, finish installing baseboards, touch up paint everywhere, repaint the front door, etc.)

Once again they make it look so EASY on TV.  We started by putting the door my sister and I picked up at the Rebuilding Center here in Portland up to the opening.  Good it covers the door opening.  Then we read the instructions for the door hardware.   He made a mark on the molding where the rail would run...humm.  Then we took the molding down.  The nails in it barely attached to the drywall there was such a large gap between it and the door frame.  Read the instructions, rail needs to be two inches above the opening in the drywall, good thing we took the molding down or we would have been attaching to nothing!  That means the door is going to be too short!
Can you see the next hole at the 16" mark?
Didn't think so.

We decide to go ahead and install the rail then worry about the door.  John starts marking the wall studs then I notice that the holes in the rail are NOT 16 inches on center!

Now back to the instructions...It shows a strip installed horizontally in the framing or attached to the drywall.  Out to the garage and scrap pile to see if we need to make a trip to the store.  Glory be there is a perfect piece, same width as the rail and about 6 inches longer.  Chop, predrill, countersink, level and attach to studs.  (ugly brown wood on the wall now)
Strip required to attach to wall
since you can't hit the studs.

Then put the rail up, mark, level, drill, attach, level, drill, attach, etc.

Then I said even if the door needs work lets hang it then we know how much we will need to add to the bottom to get the right height.

Two + a smidge inches at the bottom for
a perfect fit.
The kit came with bolts in the hanger for a thicker door and a set for the thickness I have.  Measure, mark, remeasure, remark, drill and attach.  Lift the door up and put it on the rails.

TA DA.  It needs about two inches added so we are going to create a tongue and grove in the bottom and on a 2x4 to get the extra length. I think someone cut it down because the bottom wasn't rocked when you stood it up.  And the graffiti needs to be cleaned off the glass.  And it needs to be painted.

Left side too high or right side too low?
It is a little wonky.  One of the hangers is slightly off.  I think that if we loosen the bolts and let the door hang we will be able to correct it since there is a little play in the holes.

I have some glass paint, and some glass film that I can use to obscure some of the panes.  I had some art on the wall that will be behind the door and I think I am going to hang that on the door so it can be seen open and closed.
Oil painting on right by my wonderful
 DIL and  John's wife Cara.
Then he moved on to the second project of getting my security camera to connect wirelessly and set up to record the package and flower pot thieves we have in the neighborhood...which actually turned out to be tougher than the door!  (My large Mexican clay pot was stolen a few weeks ago...the neighbor saw but couldn't get description or license plate.)

Part of a project down and more to go...

Miss V    

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bla(g), Bla(g), Bla(g)

HUM.  Didn't think I would ever do this but I'll give it a go.  What will I do here?  Oh, probably a little bit of, opinion, crafts, etc.

I gave myself a Christmas present of work done around the homestead:  New window, new 15 light door, redesigned hall closet, closet organizer, deck, and updated light in the kitchen

SOMETHING had to be done to the 70's lighting in the kitchen.  Didn't want to do anything really expensive since eventually I would like to redo the kitchen, take out the soffits and raise the ceiling.  My sister, a designer and lighting specialist, suggested that I purchase colorful panels to go in the spaces and sent me a link.  Alas, at $130 a panel it was way out of my price range especially for something temporary.  I'd seen these before at my dentist office, when you are leaning back in the chair you can see clouds or fish.  The web site also showed stained glass patterns.  I decided "why not make my own."

In the past I have done faux stained glass in old window panels and still have the supplies in the closet and it would probably work.  I liked the idea of the clouds best and they would be quick.  Went to orange box store and purchased three cracked ice panels for less than $7 each.  Spread out the drop cloth and got busy.

Thinking back I probably should have done something (liquid sandpaper maybe) to the smooth side to give it some tooth.  I started by squeezing white where I wanted the clouds and dabbing it with a sea sponge.  Then I used two blues (morning glory &  blue diamond) for the under coat, just squeezed on and dabbed.  Worked on the white some more then added the final blue (royal blue).  I would suggest wearing gloves when doing this project but it peeled off fairly easy (just left blue stains around the nails for a few days).  I would also suggest locking up the cats, although once Izzy touched the wet paint she jumped back and ran.

Stay tuned and I'll show you what the other projects look like...

UHg not a lot of color there

Doesn't do much for it with the lights on.
But looks great with the lights off!