Some drought relief in California

The average snowpack across California hit 173% above average Thursday thanks to eagerly awaited drought relief from several strong storms, according to a report from state water monitors. The news is welcome relief for officials in a state that has spent the last five years combatting the effects of an intense drought. Drought stretched across…

via There’s So Much Snow in California That It’s Helping the Drought — TIME

Snow Day

Our first snow is happening right now. It started lightly blowing flurries around noon and has since gotten heavier and is collecting on the ground.

I got the Christmas decor put away a few days ago and I am waiting for the predicted warmer weather in a few days. For now, it’s hibernate and stay warm, with a very nice homemade vegetable soup cooking in the crockpot.

I also got myself a Christmas present when I adopted a rescue dog from the local shelter. I wasn’t sure if, after our 15 1/2 year old dog died, I could find one suitable for me. But after looking on Petfinder, a real cutie showed up on their site, and not far from me. So I went over and looked at two dogs I was considering. I was allowed a good amount of time to get to know them both individually, but Violet won me over. She is a (guessing) Beagle/Pointer mix and about a year old, and at the shelter for about a month. At first I thought she could be a Jack Russell/Beagle mix, but  her mannerisms when we walk on the property would tell me she is a pointer mix (she does point when she is pausing to check something out or listen to sounds). It really doesn’t matter, but she is the right size for me at about 24 lbs. (I can easily lift  her in and out of the SUV into her kennel when she needs to go to the vet or boarding).

We walk all over my property, 26 acres, and that’s good for her and me, both.  I try to do that twice a day when it’s nice and we both miss it when it’s not nice, like today. I still try to at least get her for a quick walk around the house, which is about 4 acres, so that’s something.  She loves being outside.

If you need to adopt or just see what they have (all kinds of animals, not just dogs and cats), Petfinder is a great online tool.  You can filter down to get a probable match that will work for you. My fee paid for her spaying, microchipping, all her vet visits for deworm/rabies/parvo vaccines, and I got a free six months of heartworm/parasite tabs.  Needless to say, I have spoiled her with attention and Violet is very gladly accepting it all.

https://www.petfinder.com/

 

 

Blustery weather

Our winter-ish weather finally got here. It turned cold down into low 40’s day and 30’s night, just in time for decorations to be put up. Now it feels like Christmas weather. Today it’s a little confusing out, as it has high humidity and is warmer in the 50’s, but very windy.

I have a few small projects I am working on, just to stay busy and they are small enough I can work them inside. The repurposed buffet in the master bath, and the repurposed pretty little dresser in the powder need the drawer insides painted to make them look “finished”. I have started on the powder today. The drawers were reconfigured by the cabinet man to fit around the plumbing so all of that is new wood.  I am leaving the fronts as is, they are nice wood and look great.

I can’t decide what to do with them to dress them up a bit when open, so first I am just painting to start the process.  I am painting the powder vanity drawer interior black, as I have a lot of that as accent in that space.  The master will be painted aqua as that is my accent color in there. I’ll be using some stencils for pattern and I haven’t decided on those yet.  I’ll post photos of start to finish when done, and those quick projects give me a sense of accomplishment when I get to mark them off my to-do list.

 

Months ago, I painted the inside aqua of this little washstand in the master bath, and it creates a fun look when opened. I’ll do the same for the buffet.  It was owned by my husband’s grandparents, and so it has covered many miles over the years and we designed the bath space to accommodate it.

master bath washstand

 

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone enjoys the holiday. My children and grandsons will be here to visit, and we’ll visit the cemetery and have dinner at a favorite restaurant, TaMolly’s in Greenville. My husband passed away two years ago. We miss him always.

I finally got up the courage to tackle the workshop and the garage spaces.  It is so embarrassing to see what it looked like, and I forced myself to take photos so I could see just what I had to tackle to end up with a happy place.  It turned out great and I am enjoying finding what I need in a second, and have an enjoyable place to work in.  I am still doing some tweaking to get it all as I want.  It’s now down to sorting through all the stash of nails, nuts and bolts to get them into easy to store and easy to see containers.  Right now they are all contained behind the cabinet doors, although easy to find.

First, I decided what storage organizing supplies I needed to get started. I ordered those through Amazon: a set of lumber racks that mount in wall studs, each row holds 150 lbs., and some galvanized peg board.  I can always get more if needed. After those arrived, I started the next stage.

My next obstacle was finding someone to take the stuff I no longer wanted. I found out a local donation store I always take our no longer needed things to, also has free pickup of larger items. Perfect as I had an armoire, a dresser and some side tables, and a very heavy oak computer desk. I also needed my local trash company to do a bulk pickup of any non-trash items I had. That turned out to be so easy and very cheap for me to have them do. Once those had been scheduled, it meant I had to get my work done to meet my self-imposed deadline of two weeks, and I did it.  The weather even cooled down and was very pleasant.

So here are my before and after photos of my husband’s workshop space, from the double door entry that opens from the garage space.  I worked every day for two weeks, for six to eight hours. I had to sort, move, sweep and clean,  paint and let dry and paint again and dry, haul, toss, attach to walls,  and re-arrange until everything fit. I enjoyed being able to re-purpose some things to use in these spaces.

Before:

After:

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I painted and used a set of bookcases my husband had made for our daughter for college; she didn’t need them any more so I repainted and re-purposed those on the left wall. They are interchangeable and bolt together any which way.   I even got to put up the old, and very heavy oak, wall phone that didn’t have a place in the house. The old school desk was saved many years ago from a classroom in Salina, Kansas by my husband’s carpenter grandfather, a son of immigrant Russian Mennonite parents, whose company had a contract with the schools to make, fix, and mend, as needed. The old inkwell cutout in the desktop has been filled in with a wood circle, but still visible. The old Coca Cola crate with bottles found a place on top of a shelf. The “Dad’s Workshop” was handmade for him by our daughter  several years back for Christmas. She bought the wood slice and hand-painted everything on it. She is now also an architect, following in her father’s footsteps.

The following week I attacked the garage.

This is the before photo with all the furniture donations piled to the side. The double doors leading into the workshop are somewhat visible to the right, behind all the furniture:

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and then after, it is neat and tidy:

 

I ordered a much needed boot rack that fixes into wall studs. I moved and re-arranged the tools and the wire shelving. The very old, but working, 1950 refrig is waiting to either be sold or rewired and updated and kept. It is so heavy I couldn’t move it by myself, even with furniture slides, and back then they didn’t put wheels on the bottom. I really wanted to put it over in the corner, and later I can with some help and switch places with the wire shelving. The wire shelving is hooked into the wall studs so it won’t topple.

I really didn’t have to throw out much of anything, both spaces just needed attention.

Now I have some cushions to make for our diner booth in the house which is another long overdue update that I think I have an idea on how I want those to look. For now though, I am enjoying my tidy garage and workshop. Enjoy the holiday.

 

 

 

Simple upgrades

Little things that can be done to make something look better is always a goal, it’s just choosing which ones to work on.

This week, really less than an hour one evening, I switched out the toilet handles in the three bathrooms. It really was something simple that improved the look and kind of “finished off” the fixtures.

I had decided which handles I wanted and searched for best prices, and found what I needed on Amazon. They were delivered in fine shape and one evening I just decided to get it done. An adjustable wrench was key in getting the old handles loosened up and key to getting the new handles secured tightly.  All fixtures by Moen, and it was done quicker than I imagined. The new handles look awesome. The old cheap-looking plastic ones are in the recycling bin.

Here is what I ordered for the master,  which has all chrome fixtures and a “country” vibe.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004M3NPIA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s03?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This brushed nickel Moen handle was used in the other two bathrooms that have the same finish.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EHTOMS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s03?ie=UTF8&psc=1

What a difference this upgrade made.

See Classic Hollywood Through Sid Avery’s Lens — TIME

During the golden era that was Hollywood in the 1950s and ’60s, the work of photographer Sid Avery often appeared in the pages of outlets like LIFE and The Saturday Evening Post. But, though his subjects were already icons in their own time—stars like Frank Sinatra and Audrey Hepburn—his approach was something new. He would…

via See Classic Hollywood Through Sid Avery’s Lens — TIME

We love our elderly pets

I am sitting with my 15-1/2 year old pit mix dog who is in the last days of her life. I hope to help make it a peaceful journey. What is it about our pets that touch our hearts so much?

She started life as a throw away, dumped outside the vet clinic where our daughter worked in high school, and not even at weaning age. How could that happen?  The girls at the clinic took turns taking her home with them and she ended up being adopted by our daughter. We already had an elderly dog at home who didn’t much appreciate the high spirited playfulness of a new puppy, so we had to watch and intervene when the new puppy April was being too energetic with our beagle, Kokomo.  When April got too big for two dogs in the house, we built a nice fenced in area for her in back with a cozy dog house and she came in our house in bad weather.  She didn’t much like being inside and couldn’t wait to get back out.

After our daughter went off to college, of course my husband and I inherited her, but haven’t regretted it in the least. After Kokomo died, we had April to take her place.  We put her in a doggie training boot camp and she was there for a month to learn to be a good dog who listens to commands so she could live inside. She learned well.

At our other house, we discovered she had a talent for “mousing”. Those little suckers would sneak into the house if they could through the tiniest gap, but if she got their scent trail, she would track it down until she found it, usually cowering in a corner of a closet. We would follow her around and move things out of the way or else she would claw through herself.  She would pounce and snatch it so fast, but drop it when we told her. We could then dispose of the lifeless mouse. We usually had one or two sneak in during the changing temperatures in the Fall.

She has moved with us twice. When my husband was sick, she laid by his chair, close enough he could give a pat on her head. After he died, she would look for him. She is my eyes and ears for security; any car she can see or hear out on the road or in our driveway, she barks at, and still does, but now it’s more visual since her hearing has diminished.  She has three beds, one in the living room, one in the tv room and one in my bedroom where she sleeps at night.  We incorporated a special place in the kitchen for her food and water bowls when we designed the house so they would be out of our way and out of our sight.  She likes to walk up to the dining room windows which look out towards the driveway and road, and are the only low windows in the house she can see out of, and scan the view for anything unusual or out of place.

She’s been a healthy pet, without one bit of health concern until just a few months back and she had a bit of surgery and bounced right back.  She’s been a jumping dog and I’ve been amazed she has never had any kind of hip issues. The kennel we board her at had to figure out a cover for her kennel when she boarded.   She still likes to walk the driveway and find a rabbit trail, with some occasional pauses to rest. She loves to be outside, but is peaceful and quiet when inside.  She has never been a clingy, attention demanding dog. She does get anxious if I a getting ready to go somewhere, but settles into her kennel in the laundry room, a space we designed for her kennel and under the stairs out of the way.

Our grandson loves his “Apie” when he visits, and I’ve always been hyper-vigilant with a little one visiting in the house that she might get “territorial”, but she never did. She never once snapped or growled. She would go over to her bed and lay down out of the way and welcome the occasional loving swipe of a little hand petting her, under my supervision. He’s 5 years old now. He will miss her.

My daughter came over for a last visit last weekend.  She has her own pit mix now, that she rescued wandering the multi=level garage at her apartment several years back when it was probably a year and half old. Maverick is just the sweetest, but imposing looking, dog. An “American Staffordshire terrier”, which people still call a pit bull. He’s a truly spoiled, big baby of a dog.

This is the hardest part of owning a pet, making sure they are not in any pain or discomfort.  She’s not had any, and still is getting up and around, but has no interest in food now. Just drinks her water, goes outside, and rests quietly in her bed near me. I am surprised she has hung on this long, but I welcome each day she does.  I cannot imagine, yet, not having her here, so each day is a gift.