Monday, May 3, 2010

The Boring Ceiling Story Final

I hope this is the last of the ceiling anyway!  After biting through my tongue, I finally insisted that the contractor fix a corner that was just way too messed up as well as a couple of other things including the hole in the house they left after moving the dryer vent.

He fixed it and after listening to me tell him how I wanted it fix and why, he hasn't given me that "look" again.  I know it's hard to believe that we three have been flipping houses for so many years.  And ... we've been doing it without male assistance.  I realize that's hard enough to believe but for a contractor to believe it too... well, that's just pushing it.  Today, they finish the final sanding on the mud job they did.  They actually did a decent job on that!  Of course, how hard is that to do anyway?  lol!

My beads are calling my name.  I have a Navy hat that is begging for anchors on it that is will be a gift to my Uncle for his 90th birthday.  I did get the design and the counts figured out and a practice one or two beaded but I haven't yet started it on his hat.  I'll get that done in the next week or two. 

With the good weather here, it's hard to find time in the house to sit and bead.  I must, after all, get out there and check to see if the Peonies have bloomed, the choleus has grown and if the clematis is budding!  

Here's a couple of my favorites!  The striped tulip and the fuschia never fail to amaze me!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Ceiling Saga Continues!

Yes the celing saga continues and needless to say, we are not happy campers!  For those of you that don't know us three "willow's", we've been making our way together for years.  Every now and again one of us branches out on their own but we've always ended up back together.  Mother has more experience with more things than she can remember!  (Very small play on words considering she is 89 and a tad forgetful sometimes)  My sister is a fine craftsman.  She just has a talent for making things work, fit and look professionally done.  I have a knack for color and for doing what I am told - which led to me becoming the "caulking queen" in our little threesome.  Yes, I can lay out a bead of caulk like any man's dream!  lol!

Our contracter, on the other hand, is not nearly as professional as we are.  Boy is my sister mad!  We thought we made it clear that we hired them NOT because we didn't know how, but because we are older and time challenged and didn't want to do it ourselves anymore!  But like so many men, they get a look at three sets of boobs, nice hair cuts and fingernail polish and immediately exude that testosterone laden behaviour that screams, "You'll accept what I say and do as law and perfection because you are women and won't know the difference anyway!"

We have removed no less than three items of agreement from his contract, simply because we do not have faith in his ability to do them.  In exchange for those items,  the contracter said he'd haul some concrete off for us.  Somehow, I don't think that's going to happen either.  He let us know yesterday that he will be finishing up on Monday morning.  He also let us know that the ragged edge of the old sheetrock on one wall  could be covered with a strip of baseboard.  Now considering that it's at the top, I'm am hoping he meant crown molding but somehow, I don't think so.  And given that the lip on that wall is not equal to the non-existing lip at the end of it where he put up a sheetrock "patch".... I don't think molding will work anyway.  But I wear a bra so what do I know?  right?

We lost about four inches more of our beams than planned too.  He chose to fur with 2 x 4's instead of 1 x 2's.  He also left a small piece of a 2 x 4 holding up a drain pipe in the rather than band it properly as requested.  Of course I discovered this just as they were putting up the sheetrock in that section on my way to let the dogs out.  He said, "It's worked this long, it'll keep working and it ain't hurtin' nothin'."    Then I got the look.  You ladies know the look.  It's the one that say's, "Go back to your fingernail polish honey, this is man's work."

So, the plan is to let him finish what he can, see if he meets the rest of his contract and gets the concrete out.  Then we'll tear out the messed up stuff and fix it ourselves.  At least it will be done correctly and the way we want it.  I've got plenty of emery boards and fingernail polish to repair the rest of the damage. 

Friday, April 30, 2010

Stop it! Get outta there!

That is what Mr. Boo yelled for most of the day yesterday.  Apparently he does not like the sound of hammering.  When he first started yelling, one of the workers came in and looked at me like "What?"  I pointed to the bird and said, "It's him."  He couldn't believe that bird could sound so human.  lol!

Mr Boo DOES like the drill though.  He's been working on getting the "rrrrr" sound just right.  If you like a nice, quiet home life, don't get an African Grey Parrot.

One of the workers nearly got bit yesterday.  I felt a little bad but not entirely.  I told them, during a work lag, to please stand still so I could let Elvis out.  This one guy decides to turn, with his arms up, towards me as we walked by him.  Elvis took it as an act of aggression right away and teeth bared, lunged at him.  I snagged his collar right away because I knew when the guy moved that Elvis wasn't going to like it. 

The guy says, "wow, I didn't think he'd react like that!" 

I said... "You don't have any business in this house if you were purposely trying to get a reaction out of this dog.  I TOLD you upfront he was brain damaged and might bite if you appear to be aggressive!  AND I told you stand still while I let him out.  You would of deserved it if I hadn't grabbed him in time."

Deliver me from the idiots of the world that won't listen to plain spoken warnings.

He's also the same idiot that kept trying to tell me what I wanted done in the kitchen remodel.  I finally had to tell that this wasn't my first rodeo and we had been doing remodels since he was a twinkle in his daddy's eye.  Men that don't think women have experience outside of making coffee and wiping up the spills they make just really disgust me.  Hopefully this one won't be part of the crew today.

Speaking of which.... here they are.  Time to go get the dogs in, the bird caged and my tongue tied down.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The kitchen ceiling!

The contracter's here to start the kitchen ceiling.  This poor old house has had some lovely details covered up!  We knew we wanted to do away with that ugly drop ceiling but had planned to do it next year.  However, a leaking pipe put this project on the front burner instead of the back.  We had never looked up under the drop tiles too much, just enough to see the upstair's laundry room and bathroom pipes were up there.  When we investigated the leak, we found beautiful beams up there! 
Can you believe these were hiding up there?  We estimate them to have been covered up since the early 1980's or longer.  We have pictures of the house's makeover that came with the purchase, that date back at least that far.  

We decided to go ahead and take out the rest of the drop tiles and found this!

This is the original curve that went around the landing that leads to the servant's stairway and the outside backyard.  Needless to say, we couldn't cover it back up!  So all the tile grid rails are down and the contracter is here to put up new sheetrock and a few other tasks such as installing our antique kitchen chandaliers.  We can hardly wait to strip that wood and stain it! 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Idoewanna Ceremony

My father was a Native American.  He used to tell us wonderful stories when we were kids.  They were usually pretty short and informative stories but they were always enough to keep my attention and make me hunger for more.  He used to tell us about ceremonies sometimes that were so mysterious and always provoked my curiosity.  He also used to lay on the couch on Sundays watching golf with his eyes closed. 

Sometimes when he did this I would ask him if he'd help me saddle my horse.  He'd reply "Idoewanna."
Sometimes I'd ask him why he was laying down and would he like to go ride with us or do something to which he would reply again "Idoewanna."

In my young mind I always questioned this word.  Is this some ceremony that he hasn't taught us about?  If so, I wanted to learn more about it!  So I would again question him but he'd never reply with more than that one word  - Idoewanna - and continue to lie on the couch with his eyes closed a the t.v. announcer talked in hushed tones about birdies and slices.  I figured that he always did this during golf because it allowed him a quiet background that he could perform this curious ceremony in a calm and quiet way.

Of course, I grew up and realization set in about this mysterious ceremony that he didn't talk about.  When that happened, I thought that I must have been the most clueless kid in the country!  How could I not realize what that was all about!?!?

But adulthood taught me another lesson.... there's something really special about the Idoewanna ceremony.  I learned that it was a very nice thing to utter when my kids were interrupting me on a quiet Sunday afternoon on the couch (sans the golf).  So instead of vacuuming today, I think I'll go indulge in a little ceremony!

Have a great Idoewanna day of your own soon! It's very refreshing.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Vibrant Colors - are they important really?

As I age I tend to wear less and less color.  I don't like the "old lady" shirts with their yoke displays of flowers and birdhouses or declarations of how much my grand kids love me.   ugh... If I could, I'd still wear brilliant purple peasant tops and jewel toned poetry shirts with flowers braided into my hair and the appropriately bright sandals to match! 

I gave up the hair for Locks of Love.  That's o.k., I like my short hair and I have cut it a number of times.  But now I don't seem to want to wear daisies or roses in it anymore.  These things all call too much attention to myself and my looks which have paled significantly as I have grown older.  I still love jeans and jewel tones, I just don't wear them as brilliantly as before.

Except my underwear.  My love of color hasn't stopped there!  And now that I actually wear underwear all the time... (yeah, remember when we were young and didn't? - yeah right, admit it.) I like to wear them as bright and as varied as I can.  So I buy popping purple, lime green, hot pink, vivid red, electric yellow and any other loud colors I can find, for my underwear selections.  Somehow, it doesn't feel like I've lost the color in my life when I wear my vibrantly colored underwear.  I don't care if they don't show, I know they are there!

And then along comes Mom.  Oh yeah, you knew there had to be a catch right?  uh huh.  Mother taught us to sort our laundry and not to use bleach on our bright colors.  When that all changed, I am not sure.  I do know that when I see her headed to the laundry room with a bottle of  bleach, that my underwear are about to undergo another change of color.  Yup, all those wonderfully bright and vibrant colors are going to go down the drain right along with sweat marks, body odor and the drippings of my last meal. 

Lime green has turned to pea green, hot pink is just a blush, vivid reds are smears and blotches of long gone color.  Those lovely daisy yellow ones are almost white now. 

I now just pretend that my underwear are those wonderfully brilliant colors that I so love.  But I can't complain... after all, my mom IS doing my laundry!  So maybe I'll just stick a flower in my super short hair after all!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mixed Blessings

Do you ever think about your blessings?  And what they mean?  I do sometimes, not nearly enough - but sometimes.  I also think about that old adage "Mixed blessings" and what it means.  I am pretty sure it doesn't mean the same thing to all of us.

Mom said that about today's rain.  "It's raining."  she said.  "That's a mixed blessing.  My flowers need it but I can't work outside in it."

"hmmmm," I thought to myself. "Does everyone interprate mixed blessings as a ying yang sort of thing?  Or do other's also think of it as more than one blessing all at once?"

 I grew up understanding it to be one opposed to the other.  But I have often wondered if that is what it is supposed to mean.

  Mom made a bunch of various types of floral flowers.  I got them cropped and ready to list in supplies at Etsy. 

She also finished some more decorator pillows.  They are so sweet! I just love her pillows!  She has a knack for putting the right flowers together with the right colors. 

So, now I have to list them.  Now is that a mixed blessing because they are wonderful but I have to do some work and pay a few coins to that?   or.... is a mix of they are wonderful, lovely to look at, someone will buy them and my mom made them!.....?                                                                                                      

I've decided to let Mom have her Ying and Yang and not say anything about it.  But for me, well... I decided I will just consider all the positives in the Mix!   So that said, I am going to go take some more pictures in this perfect ambient light, (thanks to the rainy day) and edit them to list in Etsy, our website and maybe put a few on Facebook too!