A Sign of the Times



For several years now, IHOP has been sending mother and me “happy birthday” coupons for a free meal.  Today I went to pick her up so that we could have breakfast together.  When I pulled up into her driveway, my “low tire pressure” light came on.  After we ate, I took her back home and downloaded all her birthday pictures off her camera onto her computer for her.

On my way home, I stopped off at my oil change place to have them check my tires and fill the culprit(s) to recommended pressure.  While I was waiting my turn, I noticed a sign on their waiting room door:

Guns are Welcome on Premises
Please keep all weapons holstered unless need arises.
In such case, judicious marksmanship is appreciated.

Oh, did I mention that I live in Texas?

Resting Up and a Bittersweet Dream.


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After the party Friday evening, it took me about half an hour to clean up after the party, and to put the living room and dining room back to “normal,” and then me and the fat(cat)boy hit the hay.  I took it easy yesterday, slept in and did some reading, and otherwise lounged around.  It felt good to just kick back and relax.

2015_02_27-03Last night, I dreamed about the last two kitties I lost, Gobi (below) and Stormie (left). I was in this sunny, carpeted room with a large multi-paned window sitting on the floor with the fat(cat)boy, scritching him, looked over, and there was Gobi, the white one.  I petted him and scritched him and was so glad to see him again.  2014_10_24-06I said I wished that my baby girl was there, too, looked up, and she was walking in through the window glass.  I called to her but I couldn’t get her to come down to me so I could pet her.  Still, it was so good to see them both again, if only in my dreams.  I miss my sweet little baby girl and that obnoxious little white boy. . .

I’m going to be taking it easy for a while, now that I’m finally (99%*) all moved in.  I’ve got a couple of knitting patterns I want to write — a hat to match JT’s Cabled Man Cowl, and fingerless gloves with an owl on to match WOL’s Owl hat, cowl and scarf.  I’ve got a gazillion UFO**’s to finish, I’m way behind on my TV watching. . . Busy. . . busy. . .

*Two boxes of pots and pans left to unpack and those three small kitchen cupboards to clean.  I’ll be unpacking those boxes soon as my pasta pot is in one of them and I’m getting hungry for pasta salad again. . .
** UnFinished Objects — uncompleted knitting projects

A Good Time Was Had By Almost All*


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2016_09_23-01*The fat(cat)boy was not thrilled with being confined to my office for the duration of the party, even if his eaties and drinkies (at left) came with, but I did a lot less worrying about him as everybody else came and went and nipped outside to show off cars and visited and ate and drank and had a good time.   One couple did not make it to the party as they are on vacation and weren’t going to get back in town in time to come, but as much as we wanted them to be there, it was probably just as well, as there were 11 people at the party, including the hostess, and we would probably have had to suspend them from the ceiling to fit them in!

2016_09_23-02I had seating for 10, and I knew I wasn’t going to be doing much sitting, so that worked out just right.   I pushed my table up against my china cabinet and put my (plastic) Battenburg lace table cloth on it, which looked very special.  I found some red plastic bowls of two sizes for the munchies and I put my ottoman tray on top of 2016_09_23-06my ottoman for a coffee table.

We had wine and chips and dips and nuts and Goldfish crackers for munchies, but the pièce de résistance was the cake, which fit right in with the decor.  I was able to find the right digits of those candles for kiddies so we could have the right number of candles without setting off the smoke alarms!  It was a plain white cake but quite delicious all the same.  Then the birthday girl blew out the candles.

The Birthday Girl

The Birthday Girl


My BFF and JT of JT’s man cowl fame. . .


The birthday girl, JH and AS, two dear, long-time friends










From left: DK, AS, JH and DK’s wife CK


From left: LR, my SIL and Bro













JH’s husband SH was out of town but due back on Friday.  Unfortunately, he was not able to get an afternoon flight, but he did make it in early enough to come by for a little while later in the evening.

2016_09_23-10Even though we’d said “no gifts, please,” DK and CK brought my mother one.  CK had noticed that my mother’s wallet was falling apart and was held together in places with tape!  My mom had gotten it as a gift from her late sister sometime in the late 1990’s and — oddly enough! — it was showing signs of wear.  The style of wallet that my mom likes includes a space for a check book and credit cards as well as places for both forms of money — a kind of all in one.  What with the advent of debit cards and smaller purses, such styles are unfortunately very hard to find, but CK managed to find a lovely one that was just the kind she likes.  CK and DK have been dear friends for many years now, and it was just like them to come up with such a perfect gift. (The gift wrapping had included a little nylon net pouf as part of the decoration, which my mom put on her head — We’d been through three bottles of wine by that point in the party!)

2016_09_23-09Toward the very end of the evening, we let the fat(cat)boy out of durance vile (my office) so he could mingle with the four remaining guests.  He is the most outgoing of all the cats I’ve had, and he is quite happy to approach and be petted by complete strangers. . . .

It was sneaking up on 11 o’clock by the time I helped my mom carry things to the car.  We’re already planning her 100th birthday party . . .

The Home Stretch


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2016_09_22-04Or, since I’m referring to housecleaning, would that be the house stretch?  Of the six items I had on my To-Do list, I’m down to three:

  • Two big kitchen boxes left to unpack.
  • Two last kitchen cabinets and a drawer still to clean. (not going to happen this week!)
  • Finish hanging pictures.

You’ll notice cleaning the  bathroom’s off the list.  That got ticked off the list this evening.  It’s now as cleaned as I can get it and de-scaled (our water here is hard as a rock), and pictures hung to cover the splotches on 2016_09_22-01the wallpaper.  I’ve earned every bite of my reward (see above).

The party’s tomorrow.  I’ve got the living room and dining room configured for “party” with seating for 10.   I’ve cleaned and dusted and gotten all the pictures hung everywhere but in my office, where I still have some to hang, and in my bedroom where I have some to hang.  That will happen tomorrow.  I’ll take out the trash, change my bed and do probably two loads of wash (one of sheets and towels, and one of clothes), vacuum my bedroom carpet, and that will finish things up.

2016_09_22-02The bathroom actually looks pretty nice, considering the cabinets need painting badly and whoever calked around the bull-nose tiles at the top of the tub surround wiped calk off onto the wallpaper all the way around.  There’s also this large smear of something on the wallpaper above the tub, but I’ve covered it with a picture.

The light fixtures over the sink are so weird. They’re swagged on chains, but the chains are so long they were hanging down over the mirror.  I’m sure the lights were supposed to hang about 18 inches lower than I’ve got them, but then they would be right in your eye when you stand at the sink. In order to get them up high enough where they’re not in your face, I had to loop the chains.

2016_09_22-03At some point down the road — after I’ve found the circuit breaker box — I’m going to shorten the chains. I’ll need to throw the circuit breaker to turn off the electricity to the bathroom.  Once the electricity is off, I’ll have to take the electrical wires off the light sockets, unhook the pendants and pull them off, take about 2 feet of excess chain off the end, hook the pendants back on to the chain, feed the electrical wire back through the pendant, shorten it and reattach it to the light socket.  It’s actually no more complicated than rewiring a lamp, which I’ve done multiple times.

img_0001Oh, and the crowning touch to the bathroom transformation — a “spare roll holder” — just finished it tonight.  Nothing fancy, just cute, and in matching colors.

2016_09_21-02 The living room has come together nicely.   I will be so glad to get rid of that armoire and TV.  They’re such space hogs.  I’ve had to reconfigure the seating slightly, and put some of my dining room chairs out.  I’ve got one of those big ottoman trays that lets your ottoman2016_09_21-04 do double duty as a coffee table when you need it to.

I’ve hung pictures and accessorized.  I’ve moved my little reader’s table into the office for the duration, which is where the fat(cat)boy will be, too.  His fountain and food dish are on this large plastic tray, which I can just unplug (the fountain) and move into the office and plug in there.  That’s where his poop box is.   I don’t mind him being out while the party is going on, as he’s quite friendly — he’s convinced that the only reason people come to my house is to pet him!  What concerns me is people coming and going through the front door.  I’d be terrified of him getting out.  I live on a very busy street and he is strictly an indoor cat.  So into the office he goes, where he’ll be safe.

With all the rain we’ve been having, the front flower bed needed weeding badly.  The landlady suggested a guy to call.  I called him on Saturday, and he said they’d be out to look at it in about an hour to agree on the price.  I knew from his name he would be Hispanic, but he also proved to be rather elderly.  We agreed on a price, and he and his wife promptly set to work.  It looks nice now.  I’m looking forward to planting things in it.  There’s nothing in it now but two rose bushes.  I want to get some kind of flowering bushes, some bearded iris, some English lavender,  and some kind of low ground cover for along the walkway.  I also need to get some 18 x 18 pavers, perhaps two for the back and at least one for the front so I’ll have something to stand on when I turn on the faucet to water.  I did get the hose hanger hung up by the front spigot so I don’t have to coil the hose on the front porch by the door. (I’ve got one for the back, but haven’t hung it yet. ) It looks nice, if I say so myself.  Now, if the yard guy would just mow the yard tomorrow, that would be excellent.

I’ve been looking forward to the party and showing off my new digs, and visiting with all the guests, but I have to confess, I’ll be glad when it’s over, too, and I can rest up.

I’m so tired of cleaning.  I cleaned that stupid kitchen floor on my hands and knees.  It was so filthy.  I didn’t like the pattern on the vinyl flooring to begin with — little squiggly bits of avocado green, harvest gold and burnt orange — and busier than a kicked over anthill!  Now that I’ve spent three hours up close and personal cleaning it, I’m sure I don’t like it.  It’s pitted and scarred and still looks dirty despite all my hard work, but that’s not really surprising. It’s original to the house, which was built in the 1970’s, which makes it almost 50 years old, and it looks its age.  I still have that one little corner of the kitchen to clean — two cabinet doors and the cabinet inside, but it’s not going to happen this week. I’ve still got those two boxes in the garage, which are pots and pans, to unpack, but that’s not going to happen this week either.

2016_09_21-01All the cleaning I’ve been doing has taken its toll.  My shoulders and arms are sore, my bad knee is sore, my hands are sore.  When I wasn’t down on my hands and knees scrubbing, I was up on a step stool  cleaning and vacuuming . . .  the dining room chandelier at left is a case in point.  I’m ready for some down time.  I want to sit down and write a knitting pattern for some fingerless gloves with an owl on to match the hat and cowl . . .

Knitting and Reading and Resting Up


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There’s a pint of Häagen-Dazsdulce de leche” flavor ice cream in the freezer which I may not eat until I have cleaned up the “company” bathroom.  That’s the carrot. It will happen probably Sunday.  In the meantime, I’m knocking off the little jobs one by one.  I will likely be spending all day Wednesday on my knees washing the kitchen floor.  I’m having a birthday party for my mom on the evening of 23 September, and all must be in readiness, shipshape and Bristol fashion!

In the meantime, I’ve read the new October Daye book, Once Broken Faith, by Seanan McGuire, which is so new she hasn’t got it up on her website yet. — This series has a strong female protagonist with agency, magic, the fae, San Francisco, and the king of the Cait Sidhe is named Tibalt.  What’s not to like?   I heartily recommend the series.

From the horse’s mouth, I’ve learned there will be three more books in the Foreigner series by C. J. Cherryh, and I’m very chuffed about that.  This is an excellent series.  Cherryh builds amazing worlds and peoples them with well-rounded, engrossing characters.  The Foreigner series is one of her best, and there’s 18 books in the series so far.

I also read Old Man’s War by John Scalzi just because I hadn’t ever read any of his books, and because I like the man and the causes he espouses within the literary world.  However, I won’t be reading any of the others in the series.  While Scalzi writes good books, he doesn’t write the kind I like to read. What can I say except chacun à son goût?  Old Man’s War is very much in the Heinlein tradition, and I don’t care for Heinlein either.

img_0002In the knitting news, I’ve finished two WOL’s Owl Cowls, and have started on the first of the two matching Owl Hats for my first cousin’s daughter and granddaughter.  They’re both made from Loops & Threads’ Charisma yarn, which is so very soft.

img_0001 img_0005I also finished the man cowl I’m making for my friend JT.  It’s made from Lion Brand Yarn’s Homespun Thick and Quick (color “Pearls”) which, while it has a nice hand, is the devil to knit up because of the way it’s made.  It turned out nicely, though, I thought with cables and ribbing in between.  I was really proud of the way the ribbing worked out.  I’m calling it “JT’s Cabled Man Cowl” in his honor.

I need to draw a diagram of how to put on and take off these tight fitting cowls without mussing your hair.  You grab them from the back, put that hand under your chin, and pull the front up and over the top of your head.  To remove them, you simply grasp it under your chin and pull it up and over your head.  The trick is always to pull it up and over from the chin.  This pulls it on and off in the same direction.

We had a brief spasm of excitement yesterday afternoon.  When I brought in yesterday’s mail, there was a moth secreted among the circulars who waited until I brought it inside to go fluttering about. (Moths are known in the family argot as “blumblumlies” because that’s what I decided they were when I was three years old.)  The fat(cat)boy was en garde in an instant and promptly went ballistic, chasing it up onto the dresser by the front window and into the window blinds.  He  stunned it, knocked it to the ground, pounced on it and promptly ate it before I could get to him to prevent it.  Obviously, his portly is a lot more portable than you’d think to look at him.   I waited all evening for him to barf it up, but he retained possession and remains unrepentant.

Two Down, Six to Go


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Two item scratched off the to-do list. Six items left:

  • Two big kitchen boxes left to unpack.
  • Two last kitchen cabinets and a drawer still to clean.
  • Kitchen floor to clean.
  • “Guest” bathroom to clean, including cleaning cabinets and drawers, and washing walls (a two-day job most likely).
  • Finish hanging pictures.
  • Finish sorting and arranging objets d’art in the various shelves and cabinets.

2016_09_05-05All the dishes have now been through the dishwasher and have been put up in the cupboards.   All the teapot lids were found  and all the wrapping paper and boxes have been taken to the dumpsters.  I can actually see my kitchen table now.

Of course, I wanted to do this in stages because I knew there would be a lot of packing paper and 28 boxes which, even with the boxes collapsed, take up a lot of room in a dumpster, which was why I wanted to do it in stages in the first place, but, no, somebody was not going to be happy unless it was all done at once and over with.  As I knew would be the case, when I started taking stuff to the dumpster Monday morning, all three of the alley’s dumpsters were full or nearly so.  I did manage to squeeze in ten of the trash bags full of paper, but four trash bags of paper, and all the boxes had to be left on the back “patio” until they emptied the dumpsters on Tuesday.  Naturally, it rained Monday night, and I had to let the boxes dry out Tuesday before I could finally put them into the dumpster on Wednesday.  But all that’s done now.


Other side


Door side

In the office, the old curtain rod and tatty old drapes have been taken down, and a better rod and new drapes hung. The bifold doors on the office closet were proving problematic for the fact that at least one of them had to stay open all the time so the fat(cat)boy could get to his poop box.  That made the folded door stick out and get in the way.  The office is crowded enough what with 5 bookcases and a shelving unit, and having the one bifold closet door open all the time and sticking out wasn’t working.  The closet doors have now come down (not without a fight), have been put in the storeroom and replaced with drapes.  This arrangement works much better.  There’s a small gap at one end where the fat(cat)boy can slip through and get to his poop box, whilst the rest of the closet contents are safely behind closed drapes AND the closet drapes are an exact match for the window drapes.

After I got my first electricity bill (August’s), and it was $157 (yikes!), I had the HVAC guy out.  The unit ran almost constantly.  He discovered it was low on “cool juice” and he topped it up. I mentioned that I had discovered that the blower had been set to run all the time at one point until I turned it off, and that I thought this was part of the reason my electricity bill was high.

However, the HVAC guy said you should leave the “blower” part of the unit on all the time “to circulate the air” or else leave the ceiling fans on all the time (which I already do), and that the newest HVAC units are set to do that.  This keeps the air moving and prevents “temperature stratification” (the hot air rising to the ceiling and the cooler air sinking to the floor).

I have kept my ceiling fans on all the time for years now, having intuited this idea on my own.  Running the ceiling fans is much cheaper than running the HVAC “blower” all the time, energy-wise.  Important to this idea, however, is to reverse the direction of the ceiling fans when you switch over from cool to hot. (That’s why ceiling fans come with directional switches — DUH!).  When you have the AC on, the ceiling fans should spin in the direction that pulls cool air up from the floor and pushes the hot air along the ceiling and down the walls.  When the heater is on, the ceiling fans should be set to blow the hot air down from the ceiling and pull the cool air up the walls.  The take-away mnemonic is:  Ceiling fans should suck in the summer and blow in the winter.







2016_08_13-05In the living room, my accent colors are yellow (sunflowers) and oxblood red, which works nicely against the dark wood paneling.  (Yes, we are stuck in the ’70’s.) I took the green vase I had on the mantel (see right) and put it on the refrigerator.  I like it much better there.

2016_08_13-06Part of the problem with the living room is that entertainment armoire and the honking great TV in it, which I want gone yesterday and replaced with the sideboard and a flat screen TV.  I’ve got to decorate that wall as if the armoire wasn’t there and the sideboard was in its place, which makes final picture placement problematic.

2016_09_08-03The clock is probably not going to stay just there.  I just put it there because I needed to hang it somewhere and there was a nail already there.  The pair of lamps are going into the storeroom.  I won’t be able to have a lamp on the sideboard once there’s a flat screen TV there.  I have an odd lamp which is left over from a pair I had in my bedroom until one got broken.  It will go on the dresser under the window.

2016_09_05-07I still haven’t found anybody to replace the bedroom door with an el cheapo door I can put a cat flap in.  The temporary solution was to fold a blanket into a strip about six inches wide, drape it over the edge of the door to block the light and hold the door about 4 inches ajar, just wide enough for the fat(cat)boy to slip through, and put a door stop behind the door so it couldn’t open any farther.

I’ve come up with an interim solution that works pretty well.  I happened to still have a red velvet drapery panel (which plays into the color scheme  in the living room, BTW) that I got for a Christmas table runner back when I lived in the other duplex (2001-2014).  I almost got rid of it when I moved to the apartment, but thankfully I didn’t, as it’s exactly what I needed.  I now have it hung over the bedroom doorway on one of the tension rods I was using for kitchen curtains at the apartment.

I hung it Tuesday and Tuesday night, I left the bedroom door ajar with a door stop behind it. That’s not a perfect solution, as it turns out, because there’s no longer anything to prevent the AC from blowing the door closed to the point that the fat(cat)boy can’t get it open to get out.  He woke me up early this morning to tell me about it.  I think I know how to both solve that problem and eliminate the need for the doorstop if I can get hold of a sturdy cardboard tube or 6-inch piece of, say, wood molding or 1×1 and some cording.

I sat down to write this blog post yesterday, and the fluorescent bulb in my desk lamp went out.  I was able to track down a replacement (That’ll be $8, thank you very much) so I had to go get one.  When I had pulled the car back into the garage and turned the key off, I glanced down at my odometer and it read “6000.”  The Silver Beetil will be two years old on 21 November, and that odometer reading includes two trips to Pearland (roughly 2200 miles), two trips to Amarillo (about 400 miles), and a trip to Capitan, NM (around 490 miles).  I’m pretty much of a home body.  Don’t go out much, and that’s how I like it.  (I’m the one who had a 27-year-old Toyota Crayola with only 58,000 actual miles on it, remember?)

2016_09_08-04In the knitting news, I lack about 3 rows to finish the first WOL’s Owl Cowl.  I’m making two sets of the cowl and matching hat; one for KL, my first cousin once removed and one for her daughter, SL.  They are the daughter and granddaughter of my cousin who lives in Capitan, NM. These hats and cowls use bulky yarn and knit up fast.  I still need to get a bunch of little white buttons (64, in fact) for the owls’ eyes.  I also want to work up a pattern for fingerless gloves that has an owl on the back of the hand to match the cowl and hat.  That will complete the set.  I’m also working on a man cowl (and writing a pattern for it as I go) which will have braided cables.  I’m doing it for JT, my long-time friend.

Moving Along with Moving In


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My mom has been about to come unglued because I still don’t have my dishes put up.  She’s been going on and on about it.  She assures me she would have done it within the first week, but then she hasn’t had a closeup look at the state this kitchen was in, nor does she appreciate how much cleaning had to be done to get the cabinets in a fit state to store things I’m going to be eating food off of. I’m talking about layers and layers of grime, drips and splashes. Even though I’ve been wearing a face mask, eventually, the smell of the cleaning products gets to me — that and my arms give out on me and I have to stop for a day or two.

Part of it is that my mom has a very low “critical mess” threshold (unlike me!).  She not only wants her things neat; she wants everybody else’s things neat. If somebody on her block doesn’t keep up their house or yard the way she things they ought, it just drives her up a wall.  She likes everything picked up, cleaned up and put away all the time.  My dad used to say that if you didn’t catch the newspaper on the first bounce, it would be in the garbage before you got a chance to read it.

I have been making slow but steady progress on the kitchen.  I still have some lower corner cabinets to clean, but I’ve put the shelf liner in the ones where dishes and glasses will go and I started unpacking  boxes yesterday.  Got 20 unpacked, and have 8 left, plus two bigger boxes that I know are pots and pans.  I would have done it in stages — dishes, china cabinet, whatnot cabinet, etc., but the packer did not label the boxes and everything is all jumbled together.  However, no dishes are going into the cabinets until they’ve been through the dishwasher, and that’s a rather lengthy process, which is proving to be a bottleneck.

2016_09_03-022016_09_03-03I now have ten bags of packing paper and a stack of boxes in my back bedroom ready to go out to the alley.  (The back door is in the bedroom, and it’s a sliding glass door. . .) They would have gone out yesterday but I was determined to get four more boxes unpacked, and it was good and dark by the time I got it done.  I’m probably not going to start taking the stuff out to the dumpster until I get all the boxes unpacked.  (There’s two teapots I haven’t found lids for yet.)

I started another load in the dish washer a while ago (third load), but all this stuff on the table has yet to be washed. I was going to put the glass shelves in my china cabinet through the dish washer and get them nice and clean, but the dishwasher takes so long and I’m tired of hearing about it, so I just cleaned them with glass cleaner so I can put stuff away and to heck with it.

I have a lot of vases and knickknacks, and I’m just putting them in places until I get everything unpacked so I can sort through them and decide what I want to go where.

2016_08_27-02The two main tasks I still have left to do are to clean the kitchen floor (on my hands and knees with a scrub brush and rag — it’s just ghastly!) and I have yet to tackle the “company” bathroom (that’s probably a two-day job in itself).  I’ve got some mats that will go down on the kitchen floor — the pattern on the vinyl flooring in the kitchen is so ’70’s and so busy!  I’ve still got caulking to do in the en suite shower, but otherwise, all I have left is hanging pictures, hanging some drapes in the “office” (my books and CDs are all shelved) and deciding which “objets d’art” I want to put where.

Friday morning, I got the 20,000 mile (or two years) service on my car. I noted as I pulled into the garage later, that I’m about 21 miles away from 6000.  Friday evening, I had dinner at my mom’s, but our good friend CK brought the food.  Her husband is staying on their “ranch” near Llano, where they have a house, but she has some health problems that require close monitoring, so she’s been staying at their house here.  She had been hungry for this particular casserole she makes, so she volunteered to bring the food if my mom would provide the accoutrements and beverage.  It was very tasty, and involved noodles, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese.

I’ve been listening to the Illinois Street Lounge channel of SomaFM on my internet radio while I’ve been cleaning and unpacking.  They play “lounge music” from the ’50’s and early ’60’s, back when the cha-cha-cha was all the rage.  This song is on their playlist.  I’ve always been partial to both Cole Porter and Peggy Lee.  it’s from the musical “Kiss Me Kate.”  I’ll leave you with it . . .

Slow But Steady Progress

2016_08_13-07I’ve made some progress on the kitchen, but I still have a long way to go.  This is what I’m up against.  Click on the picture to see it in all its messy glory.  It looks like they had a food(s) fight in the 2016_08_13-08kitchen. All that has to be cleaned up off the front of the kitchen cabinets, and then the spills and spots on the shelves have to be cleaned up and shelf paper put down.   Not all of the cabinets are this bad, but none of them had been cleaned in a while.

Saturday, I got all of one bank of drawers, and the cabinet doors under the sink done, and silverware, miscellaneous kitchen utensils, kitchen towels and hot pads put away.

I got a plug strip mounted up underneath the cabinet for my small appliances, and I got the stove top and backsplash (emphasis on the “splash”) behind the stove cleaned, and the new burner pans put in and all the counter tops on that side wiped down good.  That leaves all the top cabinets and the corner cabinets between the stove and dishwasher to go.  Once I get the cabinets cleaned and the shelves lined, and once I get the glass shelves in my china cabinet and bow front cabinet all cleaned, I can start in on the large stack of boxes in the garage.  I’ve been eating off plastic plates with plastic silverware for two weeks now, and I’m ready to get my dishes back.

2016_08_13-02Friday, I got all but one box of books shelved in the office, and all but one bookcase sorted.  The yarn bins are in the closet where they are going.  I still have to vacuum off the ceiling fan blades and figure out how to organize all my knitting accoutrements (needles, notions, gadgets, etc.), since the dresser where I was keeping them is now in the living room, but I think I know what I’m going to do with them.   I still have two boxes 2016_08_13-03to put in the closet, and a small piece of “surplus to requirement” furniture to move to the storeroom, but I think another half a day will see the office sorted.  I’ve gotten all the boxes but that last box from the office broken down and taken out to the dumpster.

I have the vanity in the master en suite cleaned and sorted.  There is still some “decorating” to do, but I can’t do that until I can unpack the stack of boxes still in the garage.  Apart from hanging pictures, the bedroom is done.  I still have cleaning to do in the en suite “water closet” and grouting/calking to do in the shower and along the baseboards of the floor.

2016_08_13-06 2016_08_13-05I still have not touched the “company” bathroom yet. That’ job is going to take at least a day if not a day and a half.   I think I’m leaving that room til last.  Sufficient unto the day . . .

The living room has had a little bit of decorating done.  As you can see, the big entertainment armoire dominates the space.  I want to get rid of it and replace the big hulking CRT TV it contains with a flat screen which will go on the sideboard to the right of it.  I can’t move that right-hand chair into a more realistic position relative to the fireplace until the armoire is gone because if I do, I can’t get the door of the armoire open.  Ideally, the two club chairs would flank the fireplace, with the ottoman between them.  I have a large wooden tray I can put on the ottoman so it can double as a coffee table in social situations.  The dresser under the window in the top of the two pictures is where I currently have my knitting accoutrements stored.

I think tomorrow I’ll back my car out of the garage and take pictures of the “surplus to requirements” furniture, drapes and rugs to list on Craigslist.  Then I can get the store room organized and move the bins of pictures into the house.  Our universities are about to start the Fall semester.  It’s a good time of year to try to sell furnishings.

This past Sunday, mom and I and our friend CK went to see “Florence Foster Jenkins” with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant.  It was a completely enjoyable movie.  We decided we also want to see the film “Sully” with Tom Hanks when it comes out

When I got into the car yesterday to go to the bank to change the address on my accounts and to get walked through their new on-line banking procedures, the Silver Beetil’s odometer read 5900.

I’m finally beginning to get better sleep — partly because I’m getting used to sleeping here now, partly because I’ve managed to darken the bedroom to a significant degree, and partly because the pain in my hands, particularly, and feet has eased up.  Longer periods of sleep have meant longer, more coherent dreams.  Friday night, I had a long, rambling dream about meeting Neil Gaiman and traveling with him for a while, and having a rather involved discussion with him about life, the universe and everything . . . . Saturday, I dreamed I was Sam Elliott’s daughter, and was back home again after having had a rather harrowing escape from some unknown danger.  Last night, I dreamed I was babysitting Amanda Soule’s children, and sewed a raincoat for her youngest daughter Annabell that involved clear vinyl material that was lined with sprigged muslin with little pink flowers on a white background.

Speaking of dreaming, I think I hear my beddy-boo calling my name.  I’d better go see what it wants . . .

Off Center



2016_08_10-04As I noted to the ladies of my knitting group, I’m moved, but I’m not moved in.  I’m making slow but steady progress, however.  I have cleaned and put shelf paper in all the vanity drawers in the master suite. I have all the drapes hung in the living room and my bow front cabinet moved into its final position. I have the UV/tinted film up on the sliding glass door (above).  (I can already tell it won’t make the room dark enough.  I will be putting aluminum foil over them to completely shut out the light.)

2016_08_02-10According to my landlady, this duplex was built to deluxe specifications by the builder who (presumably with his wife) lived in my side and rented out the other side.   She noted several times that the fact that the kitchen and bathroom cupboard doors are ash is evidence of this luxury. Many of the cabinet doors could use painting, but the paint/stain treatment would make them difficult to repaint without completely stripping them and reapplying the same finish.

"Master" unit

“Master” unit

"Slave" unit

“Slave” unit






Further evidence of the  level of luxury is an intercom system (with the main unit in the kitchen) that also allows one to “pipe” the AM or FM radio station selected on the master unit (above) into “slave” units in every other room of the house.  (Assuming the units still work — I haven’t bothered to test them.  I detest AM and FM radio.  Too much yacking.)

2016_08_10-05Whoever hung the towel rack in the kitchen (left) was (a) tall, and (b) wasn’t thinking about how much longer it would take a damp towel to dry out when the air couldn’t get at the side that was right up against the wood.  I’ll remove the higher one — just haven’t gotten to it yet.

2016_08_10-06This duplex was built in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s, judging from the fact that it has a telephone nook in the kitchen, hearkening back to the days when there would have only been one, centrally-located telephone in the house.  (Extension jacks have since been put in all the rooms.) The placement of the wall outlet/power point and the little desk (with a drawer for the phone book) made this the perfect place for the fat(cat)boy’s pet fountain and feeding dish.

The whole duplex (semidetatched) building, with its two parallel units, occupies roughly the same lot space as a detached single family house, so it’s no surprise that the floor plan is long and narrow.  The master suite is large, and is the whole width of the unit, with its curiously laid out en suite.  As you face that end of the room, the very large closet is on your left, the vanity is straight ahead, and the “water closet” is on your right.

2016_08_10-03I have noticed several design peculiarities about the en suite.  One would think that when one built a shower cubicle, one would put the shower head in the middle of the wall.  However, the shower head in the master shower is situated about 6 inches to the right of center, putting it uncomfortably close to the wall.  2016_08_10-02One would also think that if one built a “water closet,” one would center the toilet between the two walls.  However, the toilet is noticeably off center by about 6 inches.  Indeed it is so close to the right-hand wall that one is practically “up against the wall” on that side.  And with nearly four feet of width on the vanity counter, one would have thought the sink could have been set further to the left from the right-hand wall than the 3 inches of leeway it has, or at least be centered over the cabinets below.2016_08_10-082016_08_10-01






It makes me suspect that the builder (and/or his wife) was a southpaw.

Monday night, we had a right little thunderboomer and got a fair amount of rain out of it.  The “patio” outside the sliding glass doors was still wet when I woke up Tuesday morning.  After knitting group this evening, I stopped by Walmart to get a new alarm clock and some padlocks for the fence gates.

2016_08_02-11Tomorrow, I’m going to be hanging more drapes and probably make some inroads on the kitchen.  My dining room table is too big for the space, and my mom has finally convinced me to sell it, but in order to do so, I would need photographs of it, and right now, it’s pretty covered up with stuff that goes in drawers.  I also want to sell my TV and the armoire it goes in, and replace it with a larger flat screen TV that will go on the sideboard to the right of it.  At some point I need to finish transferring my “phone book” from my old cordless phone to the new one, and bag up the old phone for the upcoming garage sale I’ll be having for superfluous items and furniture.  August is a good time to try to sell furniture as the University fall session begins at the end of August and students will be returning to town to set up housekeeping.  I’ll list the dining table and chairs, and the TV and armoire on Craigslist as soon as I have some good pictures, as I want to sell them as soon as possible.




At about 8 p.m. Sunday night I shut the car door on the last load, put a check for the last water bill and the keys in an envelope, sealed it and dropped it through the mail slot into the apartment manager’s office.   I was so tired, I didn’t even bother to unload the car, but just came in, took a shower and washed my hair, called in a pizza strike, and sat in front of the TV and chilled.   I’d been on my feet bustling around from 7 am to nearly midnight pretty much since last Tuesday, my feet were killing me, my ankles were swollen, I’d been doing hard work in punishing heat (90+F/32+C) for days and I was just exhausted.  But all my stuff is at the new place now, and I can sort everything out at my leisure now that I’m no longer under a deadline.

2016_08_02-09Everything is piled everywhere and can’t be put away until drawers and cabinets are cleaned out and shelf paper put down.  It’s a good thing my “critical mess” threshold is rather high.  The people who lived here before me had to move to assisted living because they could no longer care for themselves, so you know how much housekeeping they did. Tuesday afternoon I was going to lay down shelf paper and hang some drapes, and ended up spending the whole time vacuuming quite an impressive amount of dust from baseboards and window sills and hung curtains in exactly two windows.

2016_08_02-08I wasn’t going to take the fat(cat)boy to the pet hotel until Thursday when the movers came, but Tuesday morning having him shut away in the bedrooms crying to be let out while the packers came, and while I came and went loading up the car convinced me he needed to go early Wednesday morning.  There are two “kitty cottages” at the pet hotel that have a large window where they can watch what goes on in the store, and they put him in one this time.  Poor little guy.  He was already clingy before I took him because of all the disruption and everything being changed and shifted around.

2016_08_02-03Not having to gate-keep the cat, made it easier to come and go loading up the car.  I was able to make three runs Wednesday, unloading bins at the new place and loading them up again in the old place. The movers didn’t come until nearly noon on Thursday, which gave me time to load up the car again.  My furniture has another layer of nicks and dents and scratches, but it all got here and with one exception ended up where I thought it would work best.  For some reason, my “good” alarm clock (corded, not battery operated) died after having been in my hot car for four or five hours, which reminds me I need to get another one.  Thursday night I spent my first night in the new place. Fortunately, the sunlight woke me up before the anemic alarm clock I was having to use.

2016_08_02-04Bright and early Friday morning, I went to get the fat(cat)boy to bring him to our new home.  He was only a little furtive coming out of his crate, but then he was exploring.  The cable guy came and got my TV, phone and internet hooked up.  Then I went back to the old place and put another load in the car and waited for the water guy to come uninstall the reverse osmosis gear from the old place and install it to the new place.  I made one more run after he left.

Saturday and Sunday it was a big push to get out by Sunday night.  The heat and unaccustomed exertion was taking its toll and by the time I turned the keys in I was pretty much worn out.

2016_08_02-05Yesterday, I pottered.  I moved one towel bar from the bathroom to the “water closet”* where it was handy to the shower door, and hung one that matched the toilet paper holder in its place.  Then I hung a toilet paper holder in the WC.  I took down the slatted blinds above the sliding glass door (!) in the bedroom (!) and hung blackout curtains.  I had to use the double rod for that, as one set of blackout curtains wasn’t sufficiently opaque.  I had to wash the old ice blue curtains from the apartment living room and hang them behind the new curtains to get better opacity.

At the old place, there was a wall to the right of my computer desk.  Here there is a wall to the left.  At the old place the side of the double sink with the disposal on was on the left.  Here, it’s on the right.  The shower pipe is about a foot from the back wall of the shower, which makes an already small shower (about 3 feet x 3 feet) feel even more crowded. The fridge door squalls each time it’s opened. (I’ve invested in a can of WD-40.)

2016_08_02-07I forgot to set my alarm last night and it was almost 8:45 before the light through the gaps between the drape panels woke me up (the panels have since been pinned together).  I may clean out the vanity drawers in the en suite and line the drawers and put some stuff away later, but then again, I may not.  I’m still trying to get the swelling down in my ankles.  I may lie in the bed and read for a while.  Or not.

When I went into the kitchen in search of breakfast this morning, the fat(cat)boy was haring around playing with a cat toy.  I’ve caught him several times playing with the toys that were discovered when furniture was removed.  They are slowly but surely disappearing . . . again . . .

2016_08_02-01But we’re here, all the stuff is out of the car.  Things are beginning to get sorted.

*The way the en suit is configured is unusual in that the sink, vanity, and mirror is actually at one end of the bedroom proper, while the shower and toilet are behind a sliding door off to the side, rather like the “water closets” of old.