Ten Things of Thankful, June 24th

It’s hard to believe another month is nearly gone! Next Friday we celebrate Canada Day here and over in the US I’m guessing you’ll be celebrating July 4th. It’s interesting to me how much more is made of July 4th in the US than us Canadians tend to make of Canada Day. Maybe we need to work on that here.

Happy #1)

Most of the garden centers in my area will be soon closing for the season. While I’m hopeful they’ve all had fantastic spring sales, I’m not going to miss the constant temptation they offer. I’ve already made and filled one new garden this year and judging by the number of unplanted plants still here, I think I’ll be starting another one.

Happy #2)

After cataloguing all of my new this year plants, along with some of the ones from last year, I do believe I’ve almost got a workable plan to get everything planted. Right now, I’ve got hardy hibiscus where they will end up blocking walkways and the color scheme is lacking something. It’s tricky to pull together a garden plan when a good part of it is sample plants for a few reasons.

  • The perennials come in singles, which usually gardens look nicer when there are multiples of each plant.
  • They aren’t colors I would necessarily choose. Usually they are all pinks and lavenders, I prefer strong colors heavy to the reds, oranges and yellows.
  • They aren’t selected for my heavily shaded yard.
  • There are always petunias in there, always! Petunias are not one of my favorite plants to grow, they usually poop out on me by mid-summer.

I have no idea what I’m going to do next year, I guess I better hurry up and get the back yard berm and dry creek bed ready. Although that won’t help much with any full-sun perennial samples I happen to get.

Happy #3)

Two weekends ago, I spent the entire weekend building a little garden fence to help keep the dogs out of my plants.

After pounding post inIt was a complete failure.

Fretwork Garden FenceLast weekend I started over, and while there where still some issues, it did end up working out. Which is good, because I’ve got a clematis to plant that will need that little fence for support. I bought that after swearing up and down that I was not going to buy anymore plants. But seriously it was half price!

In the interests of shameless self-promotion – you can see how I made it over at Gardening In The Shade by clicking here.

Happy #4)

Gardening In The Shade – I think I’ve finally hit my blogging stride with the new site. I have so many ideas rolling around in my head for over there that I think I’ll still be going on those ideas when next years gardening season rolls around!

Happy #5)

Succulent Turtle (2)

I made this adorable turtle topiary this week. I just love how he turned out and can’t wait to see how he looks as his shell starts to fill in. Ahem, a little more self-promotion – you can see how I made him over here. Honestly, you would not believe how easy it was to make that turtle. I call him Fred, and his mate is on my work table waiting for some finishing touches. I accidentally broke one of her legs, so I need to find another one.

Happy #6)

There were maple keys this year, but after last year’s bumper crop they were barely noticed. Of course where one thing is taken away, another is given. This year we’ve received a very generous helping of Mayflies!

Patio Door Screen covered in May FliesWhen I woke up Thursday morning, there were so many Mayflies on the front of my house, it looked as if it had grown bark.

Happy #7)

Mayflies are stinky, but way too big to fly in noses and eyes. They also don’t bite or sting.

Happy #8)

This is the time of year I bought a power washer for, and believe me once those mayflies are done for the season, I will be hauling it out to clean up the mess. Before power washers became attainable for home owners, I used to have to scrub all the siding by hand every year with a brush on an extension pole. It was a two day job and I don’t miss it at all now that I can do the same in a few hours with the power washer.

As a benefit there is just something about using a power washer that makes me feel like a bad ass. Except for when the pull start refuses to co-operate with me. Then I just get pissy and go mope somewhere.

Happy #9)

I’m so happy to have outdoor projects this year. Last spring I started out strong on the outside stuff and then had the wind knocked out of my sails with the neighbor issues. That’s not going to happen this year, I refuse to let it happen.

Happy #10)

That three-day weekend coming up and the four-day week before it.

So what are you thankful for this week?


Ten Things of Thankful, June 5th!

How amazing is it that it’s already June?

Happy #1)

Air conditioning for when it’s needed and lots of big windows with good screens for when it isn’t. The weather this week was a bit up and down, a couple of hot, humid still days when I am so grateful I have air conditioning. I grew up without it and at that time there were more households without it than there were with. Today though it’s off, we’ve got nice gusty door slamming breezes happening.

Happy #2)

Did I mention my neighbor from hell has his house up for sale?

Happy #3)

Silly dogs. Louie is a bit of an odd one, with a nose that’s usually dry and sometimes gets so chapped we have to intervene. The only chapsticks I could find were fruity scented ones so there was a brief frenzy of two dogs licking the same nose.

Happy #4)

A new wheelbarrow. My previous one gasped it’s last on a project my oldest was working on last year. With father’s day right around the corner (Dad’s may be hard to buy for, but the sales around their holiday are for way more useful things than the stuff on sale for Mother’s Day.) I managed to get one on sale. Wheelbarrows are not cheap.

Happy #5)

Visits with friends. It’s a simple pleasure, but one I had almost completely abandoned back in the days of the Twat. Now I can almost count on seeing my friends for a gossip and tea every Saturday.

Happy #6)

Two Chairs on a DeckEvenings sitting on my deck. I can’t see the lake from there anymore, but I can still hear the gentle hush of waves coming to shore. I sit out there with my phone and kindle app, but usually I spend more time with my own thoughts than I do reading. It ends up with fewer cigarettes smoked indoors – if only I could come up with a way to make part of the deck covered and screened so I could get even more use from it. A project to think about.

Happy #7)

2016-05-28 17.15.11 2016-06-03 12.33.46 2016-06-03 12.33.55All of my planters are filling in. I’m so happy with the plant choices I’ve made. Next week I have a new garden bed in the works, the grass is already killed off and waiting for a fresh layer of compost.

Happy #8)

Plans, plans and more plans! I’m not sure how many will reach fruition this year but it’s still exciting to have those plans. I’m thinking of a dry creek bed to manage surface water from my neigbor and hopefully divert it around the house. I’m also dreaming of a small potting shed to handle all things garden related and free up some space in our storage shed. It would be lovely to cover a portion of my deck too, even better if I can screen it in too.

Happy #9)

cement barricade with dead end checker-board signFreedom from the anxiety and stress of last summer. It’s also nice that the barricade is moved over against the troublemakers property, so we have the extra parking we need again. It’s so nice to not have to shuffle vehicles around just to leave my driveway.

Happy #10)

Iced Coffee. I’m still not 100% certain the payoff is worth the mess of cold brewing coffee, but it’s nice to have something different and just a little bit special for a Sunday afternoon.

Ten Things of Thankful

Ten Things of Thankful – December 25th!

I missed linking up last week, and I have no idea if there will be a TToT linkup this weekend, but I missed it for a very good reason. With it being the last weekend before Christmas, it was time to knuckle down and get my house company ready. I host the family dinner Christmas Eve, and I sometimes think the entire last six months was about getting ready for that one evening. Sure when that day came there was still some fluffing and stuffing that happened, and my bedroom door was firmly closed to hide the mess behind it but it didn’t stop me from feeling pride over my home and all that has been done this year either by my hand or by my will.

FlooredThe flooring that is finally installed in two rooms (there are still two more to go when I’m ready to start tearing apart rooms again.

From the front Finished Rattan Chair 2The comfy chairs that were made over by my hand.


The shelf that I painted and then filled with collected glassware (perhaps black isn’t the right color to show off green glassware) with the plants I’ve managed to keep alive and the telephone lamp that used to live on top of my great-grandmother’s TV.

Sofa and Coffee Table

The sofa that finally fits my home with the corner section removed (you know that corner section took up 12 square feet of floor space and only seated one?), the vintage coffee table purchased through a Facebook group in front, and my father’s grandmother’s paintings hanging above. The two on either end with their black frames look so much better than before.

Vintage Condiment or Relish server

The relish tray, a value village find, that I used for cream cheese and pepper jellies.

My tree

The tree, decorated with memories and origami paper stars made by my hand.

My family history

The family tree written in my grandmother’s schoolteacher hand, finally framed and displayed – even if it is only an old photocopy of the original.

I’m also loving this years unseasonably mild temperatures. Yes, I realize it’s an indication of global warming, but so were the past two years of extremely cold winters. Both are symptoms of the same problem but this year’s symptoms are far more pleasant.

I’m also grateful to have passed my emissions test. My birthday is right before Christmas and so it is also time to renew my license plate sticker ($108), but this year I needed to have an emissions test and my check engine light was on. Matt borrowed a device to read the codes, I replaced the Cam Position Sensor ($70) and the Intake and Exhaust Cam Position Actuator Sensors ($55 each) and then did not drive the car enough to pass the first test ($35) so had to go back the next day for a second test (half-price so only $17.50). All of that and my car runs exactly like it did before I started.

And now I get to enjoy a three day weekend with no family obligations and the bulk of my normal weekend chores already completed.


Ten Things of Thankful

Ten Things of Thankful, December 11

Here I sit at the computer with my coffee and all around me is chaos. The real reason I haven’t yet posted after pictures of my floors is because I am struggling to find homes for All The Stuff. Through the week, there are dishes, dinner to cook and more dishes. On the weekend there’s laundry to wash and fold and more laundry yet. When did my weeks turn into this endless drudgery of not keeping up?

I’m just going to blame it on these shorter days and see what I can do to make a dent in the squalor this weekend.

So with that in mind…

Happy #1)

My counters are in the same state they were at the end of last weekend, so anything I get done this weekend is progress.

Happy #2)

Filing. I’ve always hated filing, but I got the job started yesterday and should have it wrapped up pretty quick today.

Happy #3)

My laundry is almost caught up, and I’ve already gathered the hoarded wet towels from both boys rooms so no surprise laundry dump right after I finish the last load.

Happy #4)

Justin had work this week. Temporary work, but money is money, and I’m happy to not have to worry about his phone bill.

Happy #5)

Sorted EntryThis space is sorted – for now at least. It’s a sort of utility room off the front door. Odd in shape, it’s nearly impossible to keep tidy. We’ll see if the shelving helps.

Happy #6)

Matthew is finally awake so I can get started on the cleaning. I’ll focus on being grateful that he’s awake and try not to let the fact that he woke up bitching spoil my morning.

Happy #7)

A picture of a very naughty looking vegetable messaged to me by a friend.

Happy #8)

Upholstered OttomanThe makings of a “Doggy Daybed”. Currently our two dogs enjoy their bean-bag chairs. Me not so much. Whether they’re being used for seating or dog beds, bean bag chairs look like a pile of laundry on the floor and I already have real piles of laundry hanging around. Come outside and playAfter seeing how much they enjoyed lounging on Matt’s truck seat (yes, that really is the bench seat from a truck in my house) last winter, I’ve had the idea of making them an upholstered bench lurking in the back of my mind. Finding one that only needs to be re-upholstered for $14? I call that awesome – even if I really wasn’t planning to work on any “projects” this weekend.

Happy #9)

If I manage to get all of the rubble sorted enough to pull out my sewing machine and upholster the doggy daybed, I’ll be able to look after some mending at the same time.

Happy #10)

For now, the doggy daybed is a handy surface for sorting out the excess of crap I have.

Ten Things of Thankful, December 4th

No matter which day I type out my weekly list of thankfuls, I always use the Friday date. I suppose this means that technically on the weeks I write about things that happened over the weekend I’m actually writing next weeks list, but whatever. Also there will not be a “Ding Dong the Witch is gone listed as a happy here. Hopefully next week…

Happy #1)

Justin has work for a couple of weeks. It’s just a temporary thing, but money is money.

Happy #2)

Pre-lit Christmas TreeI bit the bullet and bought a pre-lit artificial tree this year. When I first set it up I agonized over how big it was and how crowded it made my living room. Then the light-bulb moment happened and the next morning I removed the bottom segment. It fits perfectly now.

It’s a flocked tree, and I know that some poor migrant worker in China spends his days covered in flocking so we can have a snowy looking Christmas tree, but it is pretty. Also since I have not bought a new ornament in about 20 years, this is my first contribution to that migrant workers terrible work days. Yep, I’m completely feeling guilty every time I look at the tree’s snowy branches.

Happy #2)

Organized spices – again.

Lots of spicesYou would think I was some kind of foody or something with all that. I tried to eliminate some of it but I honestly use all of it.

Happy 3, 4, and 5)

I finally got all of my pictures hung.

Great Grandmother's ArtThere’s my great-grandmothers art hung over the sofa.

Owl and Bird GroupMy owl and bird group. The shelf underneath still needs some work, but it’s coming.

Pictures and mirrorsSome pictures and mirrors to lighten up the darkest wall in my house.

Happy #6)

Our elected Premier got blasted this week by the Auditor General. Seems those of us who live in Ontario have been overcharged 37 billion dollars for electricity. Yes, you read that right – 37 billion dollars, with another 120 something billion dollars to come. The only bad part is with Christmas so close, I won’t get to see the Opposition hammer away at her over it very much.

Happy #7)

I’ve actually done some Christmas shopping already. Matthew, my oldest, is a cheapskate practical soul. I bought him new workboots for Christmas. They were on sale and I had a $10 off coupon so bonus! With his ankle full of pins and plates, I’m constantly nagging encouraging him to invest in good shoes and boots.

Happy #8)

While I was in there, I also picked up their boxers they always get from me. I’m glad I got that out of the way early or Matt may have been stuck with candy-canes and reindeer instead of the muted plaid/stripes he prefers.

Happy #9)

There might still be a lot to do around here, but I actually feel like I made some progress this weekend.

Happy #10)

Most of my dishes are done, and I’ve made some headway on the laundry, it would have been done if it hadn’t been foggy yesterday. The towels are even out on the clothesline to save on electricity. Besides – I kind of like scratchy line dried towels.

Ten Things of Thankful, November 27th.

Good grief! I am still in shock that the end of the year is so close.

This week proves that life has as many downs as ups, and this weeks post will be a hefty dose of ‘hypo-gratitude’ along with a lot of flat-out harsh and judgmental truth opinions.

Not-so-happy #1)

My youngest, Justin, has a new girlfriend. Before you get all ‘Oh, that’s so sweet’ let me explain that my youngest hasn’t always had the best taste in friends and has horrible taste in girlfriends. Terrible, horrible no-good taste in girlfriends. Every single one he has dated so far, has either  been kind of slutty or a whiny, bitchy, drama-queen. I wish it was just me being mean, but my oldest has dated really nice girls that I’ve liked, so I don’t think it’s me. It’s him, or them, or something – but honestly every one of them has been awful and this one takes first prize in awfulness.

Not-so-happy #2)

The psycho girl has no concept of phone etiquette. On Monday she called 5 or 6 or 10 times in rapid succession while Justin was in the shower. a) he has caller ID – he will see you called. b) yes, it is a cell phone and yes, he usually has it right at hand but c) sometimes people are busy doing shit or hey, maybe they’re even taking a shit, and can’t answer the phone.

Take a deep breath, go do something else for a few minutes and chill princess. While you’re at it, take a few minutes to be thankful you’re a part of the cell phone generation or you would have received a lesson in phone etiquette from me after the third speed dial. Obviously it is a lesson that is sorely needed.

My motherly “incoming psycho!” alert went from caution to code red.

Not-so-happy #3)

Psycho-twit repeated this pattern after Justin went to bed. Apparently psycho-twit does not have a job herself, and feels it’s perfectly acceptable to wake up an entire household by speed-dialing her new schmuck boyfriend for five-minute sessions every 15 minutes or so.

Did you know you can hear a cell phone vibrate through two walls and 40 feet?

Not-so-happy #4)

Once my son, the victim boyfriend is woken up by this BS, he puts her on speaker phone. He may have been in his bedroom with the door closed, but this house is small enough that I got to have a front-row seat to Psycho-bitch’s rantings and ravings – there were some real gems like “I HATE BOYS, THEY’RE ALL ASSHOLES!” For this happily single woman who makes a sincere effort to respect all humans, no matter which toys and equipment they come with, blanket statements against men are just as offensive as blanket statements against women or any other group of people. Hearing these things does NOT make a happy mom.

Not-so-happy #5)

After a couple of days of nagging explaining to my son, the schmuck boyfriend, about setting limits and all that other relationship babble, I did some Facebook creeping.

Not-so-happy #6)

Psycho-bitch has not even finished high-school – as in she dropped-out.

I have forced two boys through an educational system that was stacked against boys and the way they learn, with sheer will, luck, prayers, crossed fingers and toes and a hefty dose of the mom-force. Along the way I’ve celebrated those educators who actually cared, while enduring the ones who really need to reconsider their life plan, along with some very paternalistic pats on the head.

You know who you are Mr. “I find people who have only had a little education are the ones who struggle with the curriculum. If you had no education you would just do this grade 4 math and if you had a university education, you would understand it”, and yes I laughed at you when Matthew revealed he had mixed the batteries in your ‘charged’ bin with the ones in your ‘not charged’ bin. Take that you Putz.


Not-so-happy #7)

Psycho-bitch has a baby. Now first off – my son is only 20 and he is a very immature young 20. Think more like 17 and that is where he is at in life. He is in no way mature enough to act as a father figure, nor is he in any way equipped to take on the role. He doesn’t even have his driver’s license yet FFS!

My second concern would be – who exactly is looking after this baby while she spends all this time ranting at my son on the phone? I raised two children and there was no way I had time for that nonsense when they were babies or toddlers. They’re 20 and 24 now and still sometimes I have to let my mother go so I can mediate a conflict and make sure my stuff doesn’t get wrecked if it evolves into a brawl. I’m seriously thinking this baby is stuffed in its crib and sitting in its own shit while mommy acts like a fool, looks for a daddy.

By the sounds of what I’ve overheard – this baby needs a far more mature and solid adult in its life than I feel my son is capable of being at this point in his own life. Certainly the mother has indicated she isn’t the mature one.

Not-so-happy #8)

That dream job that Justin started last week? Well he got fired from it on Wednesday. He told me his boss told him he wasn’t getting the trucks clean enough.

The boy was crushed, absolutely crushed.

Given that he was there every day 15 minutes early and happy he was there, my guess is psycho-twat was playing her speed-dial game. I have only instinct to guide me because ever since he could talk, Justin has been willing to lie when it suits him.

Happy #9)

Justin still needs me – a lot. He needs me to get him back and forth to work. He needs me to keep a roof over his head and food in his belly. Which is why there are no holds barred on the next item in my list.

Happy #10)

I don’t play the dignified, long-suffering mother well at all. I’ve always been the mom that’s willing to go to the mat for my boys while slinging the f-bombs and all the other words that are in my arsenal, to defend my boys to non-family. Nor have I ever been shy about giving my boys a love tap up the back of the head for stupidity along with the love, hugs and praise for their accomplishments.

I dote on my boys, but I don’t suffer quietly or patiently when they’re being twits. I’ve teased, cajoled, joked, wrestled, consoled and swatted. Whatever it takes to reach my goal of raising adults. It’s a very testosterone laden, rough-and-tumble household, and always at home we are blunt with each other.

So naturally I’ve told him exactly what I think of this girl. I’ve told him that if it’s that bad less than two weeks in, it will only go downhill from here. I also bluntly said that the stupid bitch will never be allowed in my house because I have no use for silly, selfish drama-queens who have no clue how to care for the people in their lives. I’ve had to bite my tongue while two of my Aunts get treated horribly by their daughter-in-laws these past couple of years, I’m sure as hell not biting my tongue and giving this twit idiot bitch girl a chance to sink her claws any deeper into my boy that I’ve been caring for and guiding into adulthood for twenty years. Nor will I stand quietly by while someone treats him badly.

My brother, whose own youthful experience with a psycho took two years to reach this level of cray-cray, put it even more bluntly and said “Don’t you know you should never stick your dick in crazy?”

My son is still here with his mom, and has confided that he’s pretty close to done with it. I haven’t heard her on speaker phone yet today, and believe me when it comes to protecting my boys I have no qualms about shamelessly eavesdropping when I think it’s necessary.

But I did get to hear my two boys spend an amicable hour or two together tonight, and that makes my heart sing.

Hopefully in a week or two, I’ll be singing that the witch is gone and not that I’m going to be a gramma.

Ten Things of Thankful

Ten Things of Thankful, November 20th

I missed participating in the TToT last week, in fact it’s been 2 weeks since I last paid any real attention to this space. I’ve thought about it, but the real life spaces have been so needy.

Happy #1)

For now the patching, sanding, painting and gluing are done. I still have my kitchen and bedroom to look after but the chaos from the last round needs to be sorted first. I know some of you are anxious for a before & after post. I promise it will happen, just not today. I’m proud enough of the results that I would like to have the aforementioned chaos dealt with before I start taking pictures and sharing them on-line. There are also the odds & ends still to deal with in the two rooms I’ve already done. Things like finishing up the wiring that will take internet into my eldest’s room, replacing receptacle covers and switchplates (that haven’t been on the wall since my last round of painting six years ago) and hanging pictures. I may also crawl around under the house one more time to add a phone jack where I want it, rather than having my house phone placed beside the TV.

Happy #2)

Picture with pale matting and frameThis is one that will probably irk my mother a titch. When it comes to pictures, I have three that I treasure. One is a watercolor of a handbag painted by my father’s grandmother in the late 1800’s. It is framed just as it was originally and in some ways shows it’s great age. The other two are high quality color photographs of two other pieces she painted. My mother had them professionally framed for me as a gift one year and I was pleased to have them.

Because I’m well aware of the value of professional matting and framing I never once let it slip that I intensely disliked the color of the frames – they are blue and an odd shade of pink, with the pink being most prominent.One of the photos has a blue mat which is definitely not exciting, but okay. The other one has a mat that exactly matches that odd pink color, and since it’s a photo of a watercolor the combination of muted colors in the picture and the muted colors in the mat & frame were not at all appealing to me. I said thank you and hung them even though neither of them were something I loved as much as I should have.

With my formerly blue walls the pictures were okay, not my taste but okay. With the new yellow walls, that odd shade of pink went from ‘meh’ to ‘blecch’ and I did not want to hang them. So I slipped them out of the frames and spray painted the frames black. While I am sorry that I may hurt my mother’s feelings, the results are pleasing to me.

Three pictures painted by my grandmotherWhile that odd shade of pink matting is still kind of ‘meh’ the black frame shows the painting to much better effect (I would have chosen either white or the color of the yarn in the picture) and the one with the blue matting looks much crisper. Not only that, but now all three paintings feel more cohesive to me. I hope to frame another piece of my family history and hang them all as a group.

Happy #3

New jobs. A couple of weeks ago my son was suddenly dismissed from his job. While the dismissal itself was improper he still lives at home with few bills so we let it go. I updated his resume for him and uploaded it to indeed.com – a jobs listing site. With little hope that he would be ambitious on his own I applied for some jobs on his behalf. My lack of faith in his ambition was misplaced as he applied for some jobs on his own that interested him. He had two solid job prospects when he received a call about the one he most wanted but never expected to get – and got it! While it’s a general labour position washing semi trucks, it has the potential to lead to a mechanic’s apprenticeship which is his end goal, so he is very happy with the work.

My oldest is also working a new job within the same company he’s worked at for a few years. He’s more than happy with the job change, which just goes to prove the old saying that sometimes a change is as good as a rest. Now I just need to keep my fingers crossed for my sister-in-law.

Happy #4

Half-price boots! Earlier this year I signed up for TSC’s email list. They send a couple of emails a week with exclusive offers. Yesterday’s offers included half-priced steel-toed rubber boots which Justin now needs for his job. While it seems odd to me to order the boots on-line so they can ship them to the store that already has the boots we need, the $30 savings is nice to have.

Happy #5

Snow. Not that I’m fond of the stuff myself, but Jackson adores snow. Watching him romping around in it made me smile. I’m also not minding that mother nature has provided me with a handy excuse to put off cleaning up leaves for another weekend. Late harvest peppers.It’s hard to believe by looking outside now, but earlier this week I picked quite a few peppers and my begonias were still flowering.

Happy #6

Frozen pie shells. While I’m more than capable of making pie dough it’s not something I do often enough to master the art of rolling out a pie shell. Buying them pre-made gave me the opportunity to treat my boys to mostly home-made tourtieres. They were a big hit and I watched two vanish in record time. I may sometimes wish for a break from meal preparation, but making something that’s so obviously appreciated is very satisfying.

Happy #7

A defrosted freezer. I had not defrosted my freezer in about six years. I’m sure you can imagine the build up of ice and the overall dirtiness of it. This week I took the time to defrost it and clean it out. While there were two or three freeze-dried hamburg patties at the bottom, there was surprisingly little freezer burnt meat kicking around. My freezer looks twice as big and I’ll have room for a couple of turkeys the next time they go on sale.

I also took the time to properly set the temperature which will hopefully save some electricity. Our electricity rates here in Ontario are a mess and thanks to time-of-use billing, last January I paid $300 for the month even though I heat my water and my house with natural gas. Since then we’ve had a couple of increases with a big 10% one still  to hit in January so any savings is a good thing. I’ll be scrounging for even more and probably hanging laundry outside even while the snow flies.

Happy #8

Finding out that next month when my cell phone contract is up I’m eligible for a very economical plan that has everything I need. My phone bill will go from $60 to $30. Since I have no desire to replace a working phone just because, I’m thrilled with that.

Happy #9

Weekends and empty trash cans. I think I’ve mentioned I have a lot of cleaning to do. Last weekend my trash cans were to full (from forgetting to take them our the week prior) to throw much away. No excuses this weekend!

Happy #10

Birthdays. Tomorrow is Matt’s birthday. We’ll have dinner at my parents and there will be cake. Even better – it will be the cake with the coconut center. Yummy.

Ten Things of Thankful

What are you grateful for this week?

Ten Things of Thankful, November 6th

My flooring adventure started mid-week, and it started badly! I had laid a small section before starting work, a few hours later it was plainly not sticking to the floor.Lifting Tiles 3I’ve overcome the issue and moved on, but here are ten things I’ve learned this week.


I am convinced dog hair never really goes away – it just floats around until it can join up with others and make tumbleweeds.


Dogs are extremely attracted to wet things on the floor. I’m talking levelling compound here, and a second coat has been necessary every single time to level out the paw prints.

2015-11-08 11.00.50I have strategically placed chairs over the latest attempt to fill in paw prints. Hopefully this works because waiting days for small sections to dry is getting tedious.


Peel and stick tiles are not what they used to be, or at least this particular brand isn’t. I wouldn’t in good conscience recommend it to anyone. In the past I’ve used Armstrong tiles and they’ve been a fantastic quick update and installed easily.

This brand required me to use flooring adhesive.


Flooring adhesive exists in two states – wet or sticky. Once it’s dry it stays sticky.


I do not enjoy touching sticky things or having sticky stuff on my hands.

Flooring adhesive has also been the final straw for my working around the house on the weekend pants. The knees now stick to everything. I guess the fine people at the Hardware store will have to get used to me dressing slightly better on my forty trips there every weekend.


2015-11-08 11.00.39Even cheap peel and stick flooring can transform a room.


Heat guns are awesome. I have to remove old tiles and the process goes a lot faster with a heat gun.


Cats still don’t enjoy having sticky feet. Years ago when my ex-husband and I were young and slightly assholeish, we laughed ourselves silly tossing the cat into the middle of the sticky floor and watching him try to shake off each paw before placing it down. When Miss Kitty ran through a patch of dried but sticky glue the effect was just as funny.


For the number of paw prints I’ve had to fill and level this week, watching Jackson try to shake off my glue spreader that stuck to his heel was just as funny.


Jumbled FurnitureOnce these two rooms are finished, I’m taking a break before starting the next room. The current mess is getting on my last nerve.

Ten Things of Thankful

Ten Things of Thankful, October 30th

The mess that goes along with painting is not my favorite thing. My house wasn’t very clean before I started and since someone was impatient about hand sanding, and may or may not have used the palm sander on a section of wall, everything has a layer of drywall dust on it. Palm SanderEh, it would have been everywhere no matter what and my shoulders thanked me for making that chore go faster.

Happy #1)

If all goes as planned, I’ll get the last two coats of paint up on my living room walls and then start laying floor tiles today. More Jumbled FurnitureAfter 6 years of walking on gritty painted plywood I can’t begin to tell you how exciting that is for me.

Happy #2)

If all goes as planned, I will get to start arranging furniture this weekend. Jumbled FurnitureI’ve got so many ideas rolling around in my head of what to put where, but until I actually place the furniture I can’t visualize if it will really work or not. I’m looking forward to playing around a bit and creating some happy spaces.

Happy #3)

Not having to take children trick-or-treating! No matter how nice the weather is for the other 30 days of October, the 31st is always cold and wet so as much as I used to love raiding their candy stash, the actual walking around the neighborhood was never my idea of fun. Except for maybe the last year I took them around when a group of us went together and all of us adults had to-go cups (that did not contain coffee) to keep us warm.

Happy #4)

Swatches with final choiceDid I mention I finally get to start laying floor tiles this weekend?

Happy #5)

Spray paint! All of my floor registers are white or brown and will look horrible with the new floor. A couple of cans of spray paint will fix that problem.

Happy #6)

No crawling around in the crawl space this weekend. I’ll have to go back under there soon and replace the furnace filter but not this weekend.

Happy #7)

All of my favorite coupon sites have finally ironed out the issues that were making it too tedious to try and print them. I had pretty much given up on coupons because it was taking hours to try and print a couple of coupons, but now that I know it’s gotten easier I’ll get back into it. As 2015 is drawing to a close my thoughts are on budgeting again and coupons can help on the grocery bill.

Happy #8)

Back to Standard Time! Okay I’m not totally happy with it, I hate it when it’s dark by 6pm but I don’t like it when it’s dark until almost 8 am either. I will probably try to avoid talking to my mom as much as I can for the next couple of weeks – she hates Standard Time.

Happy #9

I am really looking forward to the cleaning as I put my rooms back together. There is never a time any room in my house is as clean as a freshly painted room. Something about moving everything around means it all gets cleaned as it’s put back. Things may or may not get cleaned again before the next time I paint, but it’s the only time everything in a room from floor to ceiling gets cleaned on the same day.

Happy #10)

In between typing the beginning of the post and now, I’ve finished coats 3 & 4, which means the painting is done. At least until the next room.

Ten Things of Thankful, October 23rd.

Happy #1, 2, 3 & 4

Matt went fishing with his dad, and he took Jackson with him. They left on Friday after work. For a very brief 30 minutes I laid around thinking about taking a nap. Until I realized that I had one less dog in the house to trip over and for the weekend an unused bedroom to cram stuff in. Plus with only one of my boys home – no bickering and squabbling to settle. Sounds like perfect painting conditions to me! I cleared as much as I could out of the room and got started.

Happy #5

On Saturday my father came over and gave me a hand. He fixed the 4″ hole in the corner of my floor where at one time ductwork had come up through. He also filled in the strip of floor that was missing underlayment, which gets my floors that much closer to being ready for flooring.

Happy #6

I’m going to have floors soon! With the two dogs, trying to keep painted plywood swept so that it doesn’t feel like we’re walking on the beach, is nearly impossible. I am so looking forward to walking on flooring – instead of the beachy feel.

Happy #7

Spaghetti factory.This was actually the biggest job of the day. When the cable people installed my internet, they just ran it through the floor. I wanted it to come up to a box/coverplate in the wall. I also wanted to move it to where I plan on having my TV moving forward. The other problem was one bedroom does not get a good wi-fi signal from the middle of the house – too many walls and other obstructions. So I wanted to run a network cable from the living room to that bedroom.

Happy #8

Coax and network cable - in a box on the wallSo maybe it isn’t all wired to the connectors like it should be yet, but it’s coming through the wall at least! That grey cable is the new network cable that will give my oldest better internet in his room – all he needs to do is add his own wireless router. In the living room it will be physically plugged into the main router. I think it will work anyway.

Happy #9

My CrawlspaceAll of that involved me crawling around under my house to get wires fed up through the walls because that was the deal. My father’s expertise with getting wires through walls and I would take on the nasty crawlspace. The side you see in the photo is actually the nice part of my crawlspace. To get to the back half, you have to crawl under the furnace face up – because there is no room to flip over on the other side – and then scoot along on your back. Coming out, is feet first, face up.

Happy #10

CobwebThere was no spider on that piece of cobweb when I pulled it out of the back of my shirt.