Monday, April 27, 2015

More cabinet drama

Friday after work I hit two thrift stores and found five possible kittens for my friend searching for kittens and one possible cabinet.


I went to the store initially  because they said had this nice piece, which I would have bought on the spot.


Liars. This one was on Craigslist and I wanted it. They all ready sold it, and never removed it form the site. So customer friendly. They also can't answer their phones, deal with their email or be bothered with customer service. Lovely folks. They didn't have the one I came there for, but they did have one I could live with.


Its nice and it has some of texture I thought I wanted. But not enough and it was not really what I wanted. Also they never got back with me on a price and that cost them.

So. Saturday I was up at the crack of noon and on the road in the rain. All Day. I went to six different stores and trekked as far as Durham in search of the perfect cabinet. There are a lot of thrift stores out there, and if you are looking for some stunning mid-century lamps or some design textbook quality mid-century bedroom furniture, I can hook you up. I was not having luck finding my cabinet.

My first stop got my hopes up


It was certainly nice and it was in my price range and it would look great painted out. I had high hopes for this one - but I wanted to see what else was out there.

Answer? After hours and hours and a lot of miles, not a lot in my price range or to my taste. The one I really liked at the Durham Rescue Misson Thirft Mall, was all ready sold and the other one they had mad me sad.

So, the end of the day I went back to the first store and looked again. I still liked it but I saw another that I liked better. It was more than I wanted to spend, but they were open to negotiation and we made a great deal. Its gorgeous and solid mahogany. I'm not going to have to paint it or mess with it in anyway. Its just going to be pretty. I can't wait for it to be delivered. Yay!!!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Cat Blogging



Knows everything

Choices, choices

Today I decided that I am absolutely going to get a china cabinet or failing that, a curio, to hold my entire snow globe collection and if its large enough, also my little animals. I have disgracefully  neglected all of them  for far too long.

I have a lot of snow globes, not that anyone would know that,  because for years they have been hidden upstairs on the attic bookshelves, that are now, moving forward are  going to hold actual books. But first I have to find the right cabinet.

There are many choices. Among them :

 $85 (would get painted out, would look so amazing) no longer available

 $150 (would not get painted, probably, the best choice most likely, would have to negotiate a better price)

 $125 (would get painted, would also look amazing)
 $600! (would not get bought)

$129  So cool and so different, maybe too curved for the space? .(to paint or not to paint?)
(too small for my needs, sadly, took myself out of the running)

 

Does anyone have any input? They are all the correct size and I have contacted most of them.I will have to borrow my brother and his very large SUV to get most of these. Hi Broskey!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Disgruntled Employee

Happy Administrative Professional Day!, yesterday.

In years past, management has taken the secretaries to a nice lunch and handed out some office "thing" and you know, Go secretaries! Thanks for being so docile!

This year I got a African Violet in a plastic pot and note card from my boss thanking me for my service to the people of the state of North Carolina. Do I strike you as someone who wants  an African Violet? Did you know they are really hard to take care of? That they really can't live outside? They don't produce anything. They die if you don't use the right tone of voice with them.

I can't have plants inside! Cats eat plants! I don't think they can safely eat violets! One of the intake people took custody of it and is going to put special AV dirt in it and put it in a better pot. Its going to live in out in a common area in a window with nice Eastern exposure. It can't even stay in my office.

I feel so appreciated. I hate the teapartiers for making it so state workers can't even get their heads patted.

After work while Rocket and I were going downtown we ran across a rickshaw bike guy and he gave us a free ride down Fayetteville Street. Rocket and I really enjoyed it. That made me feel good. Yay Me!.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Garden Update 4 2015


I posted the After pictures yesterday, I kind of jumped ahead because I was excited. Today we see how it got from here to there.

We start



I am locked out of the closet of my shed and I can't get my rakes or shovels or anything else I needed to level the garden spaces post tilling. This was not ideal, I ended up going to Big Lotts to buy a rake - they only had leaf rakes, which while nice, but not what I needed. I had to go to Wally and hope they had something that wouldn't snap in my hands. Fortunately, they offered two levels of rakes and I went with the slightly less cheap version, its nicer than my existing one, to my memory, and it didn't snap in my hands! It did a nice job leveling the dirt and letting me get the weed barrier down.

This year I did not go with the drip irrigation for the first time since I started this gardening habit. I decided that it was just a huge amount of work to get set up and then to get un-set up and after throwing away yet another set of drip hoses, I decided that I needed to learn about my options.

I bought a very nice sprinkler last year for vacation coverage and it is a jewl. It worked very well and offered options and I said to myself that there was no reason to not move it up to the starting line up for this season. So I did.

It waters both gardens and the yard and the tree and hanging baskets to be named later. There is a lot covered in its reach. I have for years read that its very bad to get the plants wet when irrigating them. It brings bugs, the water can potentially knock off blooms and it wastes water. I get it.

However. I had to run the drip hoses for long periods of time because I had to hook multiple hoses together and the longer your hose is the weaker the flow becomes. I had to have two hoses hooked up to have enough water pressure to get adequate water pressure to fill the monster hose enough to water anything - and then it was never balanced and some parts of the garden ended up soupy and others were barely damp. This is not great.

So, now I'm going to go with top down irrigation. Rain comes from the sky! The plants deal with it. We'll see if there is any change in the quality and quantity of the harvest this year.

The genuine rain from the sky finally stopped falling and I got the rest of  garden in the ground. This year I planted leeks for the first time, I had to look up how to do this and I'm glad because I would have just planted the pot they came in and waited for leeks to happen. They would have happened, but they would have been disappointing. They would have been leaky not Leeks.

I looked online and learned that unlike all the rest of the plants that company sells that you can't just plant the pot the pot they come in. You have to separate  all the individual baby leeks out of the leek bunch and plant them one at a time , and there are a lot of individual leeks! You make a tiny trench and you put the leeks in it, as time goes on you build a cone of dirt around your leeks so that they stay partially covered - like potatoes, this is called "blanching". Its to keep the greens flavorful and supple, unlike potatoes where you keep them covered so they don't turn green and poisonous. Viva la difference .

 some of the leeks, the pellets are alfalfa, I used them liberally.

 Corn, soil amended with store boat bag dirt, manure dirt, alfalfa pellets and coffee grounds

Everyone all together


Okay, totally off topic, I was trawling craigslist and I found this . I don't want this, I don't need this, I'm not sure if I would be comfortable using it  - but  isn't it cute? I mean, if you were into solo camping or just liked being able to go without having to make reservations and just wanted to be able stay where ever you end up or  didn't think it looked like a very well appointed coffin,   or went on over nights to somewhere that didn't have room for you for whatever reason...this would be ideal. It even has a tiny kitchen! I kind of wish I needed one.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Garden Update 2015 3

When I wasn't doing an extended dance of joy that the painting was done and the painters were finally gone and I had my house back, I put the garden in.

But first I had to get my veggies, to to decide which varieties to get. I stood there in the stands at the Farmers Market going from one to another checking out the plants and deciding what I needed (a few of each) and how many of each ( some of these and some of those and a few of them) this sauce variety verses that sauce variety and aren't all sauce varieties pretty much the same? I had been getting a super sized sauce variety from Burpee that grows a very large fruit, and I liked it and the tomatoes it produced, but it was expensive and took a looonnng time to reach maturity - which left it open to all kinds of harvest lightening predators.  Faster  to the freezer is better in a world full of things that steal my vegetables.

So now I a lot of small  sauce tomatoes. And I got them in the ground. And I saw I needed more. I changed the lay out this year and  that opened up a lot of new land for tomatoes. I had to go back to the Farmers Market to get more.

and I said "Hmmm. I like those for my uses, but I have people who like the other, bigger varieties. I found three different large, sandwich tomatoes and I got those in the ground. I have a lot of tomatoes now. A lot, a lot. More than I need. But, I use what I have and the more I have to put up, and if I end up with a lot to share, that's good too. I had to get more cages too, now I have all the cages.



And I did it all in the rain. It rained the whole time. It was a joy! The ground was nice and soft and my baby plants got a lovely, gentle start  (not too warm and overcast) and though all the digging, and there was a lot, because you need to bury tomato plants deeper than other vegetables- I only found one grub! This was fantastic news, one year I planted winter cover because I heard it was good for the soil and fed it over the winter, so I did it because lets hear it for healthy soil! What I got in the spring was a jammed tiller and a garden full of grubs and a terrible harvest. Now instead of winter cover, I amend, amend, amend. I feed the garden compost, bags of new dirt and as many alfalfa pellets as it can swallow.And I get no grubs and decent harvests.


I didn't  find  grubs but I did find worms by the handful! I decided  that this  spoke to happy, healthy, well airated soul that will produce bountiful happy vegetables. I found more  with the peppers than with  the tomatoes.


And then it was time for my peppers! I love peppers! I changed the lay out so that my peppers could have a better life away from the faster growing, taller, shade causing, sun hogging tomato plants. I also had to buy more of those than in years past. Darn.


I don't cage then because they don't get as big as the tomatoes and they seem to do better without their assistance.  Also note, still raining.

I also picked up some corn plants, I wasn't going to do corn but there it was and I saw it as a sign. While I was getting corn I wasn't planning on, I got some leaks. I'e never grown leeks so it will be a learning experience. They are not planted yet because the corn is going in a container and it needs to be filled with lots of dirt ( genuine store bought dirt, thank you very much) and very amended because corn is a big eater. I don't want to do all that in the rain. The onions I just haven't decided where they are going to go. Yay for learning!

Monday, April 20, 2015

My Own Private Eldon, Day 5-6 : The Finishing!


We started here, more or less.




I was hoping for some better before pictures but I either never took them or they are on my phone and I am too tired to go fetch them. Suffice to say, it looked different before.Once I get the whole room put back together, I'll do a real search and I'll post the before and afters.






The curtains are pretty crucial to the whole look and they won't be up for a bit. I am bit by bit going to reintroduce my pictures and chochkies back into the room but under very controlled circumstances. The painted surfaces need to cure for a while and its been pouring for days so I'm in no hurry to get them restocked. The same goes for the walls, I think there are going to be hard choices to be made with the redecorating of the spaces.

The end tables will be painted burnt orange soonish and in June, when it comes back in stock at Wayfair, I'm getting a fab new arc lamp that will really light up the room. I got very nice new curtain panels for the dining room at Wally and they are going to be lovely in the space.

Right now I'm just enjoying how pretty everything is and how happy I am to have my house back from Eldon. He was a very good worker ( not so  outstanding I don't have a punch list, his son is not the worker Eldon is, that's for sure), but after six days of them, I'm glad to be alone in  my house again.

I know a lot of the old stuff is not coming back because I am so looking forward to shopping for this new room! I have an artist I really like and I think I'm going to get a print of her work in honor of the rooms new look. Also, a new rug, because the old rug looks like utter shite now. 

I'm like Santa, making  my lists, setting my priorities, looking for bargains. Yay!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Cat Blogging


My own private Eldon, day 4/ Garden 2015 update 2


Today "we" are still sanding. Four days of sanding! They did paint the ceiling yesterday, so I know Eldon is sleeping better.  He is going to come to the house at lunch Friday to hopefully, finally get to painting, at last. He  also plans to be here at 8am Saturday morning.

Which means I am going to be up and moving at 8am Saturday morning too. I have to say that being up and ready to greet Eldon at 8am Saturday morning was not really on to-do list for Saturday. However, it does mean that I will be getting the garden in the ground this weekend. I could have bought plants this evening if I was not PARKED IN AGAIN ELDON.  Now, I will get them after work from the Farmers Market, at least, most of them. There are a couple of tomato varieties that they sell at Wally and they have worked well for me in the past and I'm not going to mess with what has worked.

I'm still up in the air about the corn. I'm not sure.

But first I have to get the weed barrier down, and I'll do that first thing. I still can't get into the broom storage so I can't get to my rake and I really need to rake the garden so its more flat and less not flat. I want it to be flat. No amount of weed barrier to going to correct the surface I am working with now . I'm going to have to do it by hand? I could use boards like they do for wet cement? That would work to smooth it out? Yes, I think it would. Hard work is good for us.

But back to Eldon. Today it finally occurred to me that they used a vast schmatta to cover the garbage on the dining room table but left my  couch and chair open to all the dust and debris  and now they are filthy and I'm going to have to vacuum the hell out of them whenever I get the space back.

Also. Should I paint the furniture this weekend? When I am not working like a dog on the garden? This is the best time, really when I think about it, they aren't in use, I have lots of nice daylight and they have plenty of time to dry before I really need then again. I would have also bought paint this evening IF I WASN'T PARKED IN AGAIN, ELDON. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Own Private Eldon, day 3


Tuesday I wore shorts when I walked the dog, because it was warm bordering on hot. I had planned on wearing a skirt to work on Wednesday because it had been so warm I didn't want to wear pants, but sadly my skirts,  no longer fit. Which is a good problem to have, but not at the last minute. I had to change to slacks that do fit- which turned out for the best because this morning when I picked up the paper it was cold!!  Not warm! Its April! And then it never got warmer, all day.

In Texas, once it got warm it was warm, it was contractual thing. It was warm, it got hot and that was how it went. It wasn't warm and then cold, and then warm again and then maybe in several months time it got cold, but none of this "warm on Tuesday, cold on Wednesday", this is nonsense. The weather was ugly mean and nasty, but it followed the rules like an adult. It did not screw around with us. If I put the long sleeves away I put them away because there was no chance in hell that I was going to be seeing them again until deep into fall.

Today, if I had walked the dog after work, I would have worn a coat. A coat. But I didn't walk the dog after work because it was raining. Again. Or still, it had stopped but it started again. But now its cooler than it was and that sucks. My plan for the week the painter was here was to take our walk early and get dinner downtown, I get my Chinese, and good walks and we get home in time to meet the painter. But. It insists on raining and raining makes my plans all soggy.

You can't eat outside in the rain, you can't walk the dog in the rain. You can't do a whole lot in the rain. This sucks. I did get my Chinese but it wasn't the Chinese food I had planned on and I had to leave the dog in the car.

And I didn't get a walk.

The guys are painting and so far they haven't unplugged my sat - but this time I have a plan, I have my computer and I have a movie and I am good. I might even finally figure out how to stream that new Tina Fey show on Netflix. I am not helpless, I am trapped in the office and there are strangers in my house, but I have  a plan, and in a few days, I'll have my house back.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My own private Eldon, Day 2


Today Eldon brought reinforcements!  . His son. They are sanding with sanders. They also unplugged my sat again so I am at a loss. I did my homework for him  though, he was quite horrified at all the paint we got on the ceiling during its last painting - he hates the popcorn and really, really wants me to pay him to remove it. I told him I don't see that well and the popcorn ceiling isn't the visual roadblock that it is for some people. However, I did spring for ceiling paint to cover up the sloppy traces of yellow paint on it  that add to his all ready deeply offended sense of aesthetics.

Sanding, sanding, sanding.

It rained, but it waited until Dog and I had just started our walk, so we went to Wally instead. When I came back, the painter was waiting, I hurried up to turn off the alarm on my phone and got bags out of the car and sprinted inside - The alarm wasn't ready yet.

It always wants me to test it . It passed! It passed and I got to the control panel before it called the cops.  I didn't feel too dopey. It was a test! I tested it!

The painters son drives a truck with a confederate flag where the front licence plate would be if this were a real state. I think I'm going to get a Hilary sign for my front yard. He is also singing and was playing a radio. I can't watch my TV and he gets a radio? I am annoyed. I hope someone eggs his truck.

Sanding, sanding, sanding. I didn't know I had that many surfaces.

Rocket and I eventually got a real walk and it was nice. On our failed walk earlier, we met one of his little friends and the friend snarled at him and jumped at him! It was not fun. The dogs person was horrified, but everyone was okay and we went on our way. The other dog is an Akita and as pretty as they are, they aren't the friendliest dogs and I wasn't really surprised, frankly, I'm surprised when we run across an Akita and we don't get snapped at.  The guy is really nice and he was thoroughly mortified by it.  I felt him, I knew exactly what was going through his mind and how scared he was. It sucks.

Sanding.

On our  more successful walk later after it stopped pouring,  we met two guys walking four dogs and it was a much better meeting. I did notice that Rocket had his hackles up and I think its because it was remembering his earlier run in with his friend. These new dogs were very nice and it ended much better.

Did I mention I can't watch my TV?

Good God! With the  Sanding! Shite.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My own private Eldon


The Paint is happening. Its the Painter-ing! Tonight in our first installment, Eldon showed up on time, which was a good start. And then he threw up in my yard.

I know this because I had to go to Wally to get the dogs meds - Now $40 less then I was paying before plus the added benefit only being one pill instead of four. And this time I didn't leave in a huff, and I remembered to pick up protean bars. I still need wet dog food, but I can get that tomorrow when I make my daily trip to Wally, because doesn't everyone go to Wally every day?

Before the painter blew chunks, it turns out to be a case of Dinner at Hardys, so he's not hung over or packing illness, but just a bit of bad dinner judgment. A slab of the plaster next to my  front window collapsed ( would be covered by curtains, he's going to fix it up to make it smooth). Water damage, there is more of it around the other windows too. I told him the woodwork was in tough shape, I guess I failed to disclose the plaster was a little fragile in places. The fact I didn't know it was fragile in places probably isn't the best defense. Its an old house, shit happens.

I for got to mention yesterday that I have a new hero. It is my wheel barrow.

I heart my wheel barrow! Thanks to it I was able to unload and transport ten  forty pound bags of dirt from my car to the backyard. This would have killed me if I had to do it myself, with the wheel barrow, I hardly broke a sweat. I did discover that it could only carry two bags at a time, but it got the job done. If you don't have one, get one, they are life savers. Even if you don't use it all the time, its like the tiller - a super useful tool that you will use for years.

Speaking of gardening, I came to a descion about the watering. I'm going to use the sprikler instead of going with the soaker hoses again. Its just so much work getting them in place and I have this really great sprinkler that works like gangbusters and I have been happy with it when used elsewhere in the yard. It will water both garden areas and limit the number of hoses I have scattered all over the yard.

I will be interested to see how the as-yet-unpurchased plants feel about it long haul.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

New Curtains



Ta Da! New Curtains! Aren't they awesome? I am so happy with the way they turned out. They will be re-hung after the painting is finished, so they will be long enough When the walls are gray  - sometime this week! Everything will really come together.

I did a lot of work this weekend and I still didn't get everything done. I spent Saturday on a historic home tour in New Bern and it was really fun, I love those house tours. I spent Sunday trying to get as much done at my own semi-historic home as I could. I  vacuumed the downstairs, mowed the back yard, amended and tilled the gardens and took the curtain hardware down.

I'm still not done. The bathroom needs my attention and I should clean the kitchen, I'm not going to get to it, but I can try to make it less embarrassing.