white doors

doubledoors1For a tiny kitchen, it sure has a lot of doors…or doorways rather. The door to the second floor was removed by a previous owner…another thing on my TO DO LIST from a year ago, add a door. It wasn’t until recently that i figure out how to build one that was inside my skillset. I used some shiplap boards and some cheap bar clamps from Harbor Freight. It would have been easier with a table saw, all my edges are uneven..but then the door frame isn’t exactly perfect and there’s a definite hump in the floor to deal with, so the edges are a little effed up. It does what it needs to do, it keeps the cats from going upstairs. Come winter I will insulate the shit out of the back of it.

unpainteddoor2The door had to be in place before i started painting the kitchen..so today I did doors. I am partial to high gloss rustoleum for things that get a lot of TOUCHING, like doors and door jambs, but I was actually pretty shocked at how much brighter the room is already just doing these doors and the front door in ultra bright white, more than ever I am pleased with choosing high gloss for the blue trim and cabinets. I may never have to turn on a light again. I do have one gallon of semi gloss for the ceiling and walls, though I am certain I will need another, next pay day.

There is no such thing as a little painting, after I did the doors, I still had some of the quart left, so i did the threshold and around one of the cellar windows. I’m on a roll now… I will need more paint for a couple of bookcases that I primed. I also have my eye on a couple of trunks and another bookcase, i still have most of a gallon of primer left. I have made the decision to PUSH the country cottage look to the joint. Not traditionally my personal style, but since it is such a tiny house, light colors will make it look less cluttered and close. It will also tie in all my mismatched curb furniture.

painteddoor1With the kitchen table covered in tools again, I fixed a towel rack, rehabbed a footstool, painted the threshold, and put gliders under the table and chairs. It may be the  good weather or it maybe that i’m just sick of the to do list just getting longer.   I think i have decided to move my work bench from the basement to the porch.  I will be unusable in winter when it’s so cold, but it will make my tools one step away, instead of being in the basement which will be too cold in winter as well.   And of course the workbench will be painted ultra white too.

I am quite pleased with how the door turned out… I am also missing two doors in the living room..one into the back of closet and one into the bedroom.  I can do without a whole door to the bedroom… but the closet is another matter.  I have the feeling it was removed for heat circulation.  Since I bought the house I have been thinking a lot about internal screen doors.  After all my doors only have to be cat proof.  I’m thinking of a screen door with chicken wire…painted white of course.

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spread thin

door2 I can’t be trusted with money, i really can’t. I think this weeks’ tiny paycheck was gone by Friday PM. I absolutely needed to build the new kitchen door before I start painting. Going into Home Depot for one thing, I came out with the materials to build the door…i knew i would I was just in denial. I have a make shift barricade up right now basically an old screen door covered in insulation..but the cats have shredded it to bits trying to get upstairs for no damn good reason… I need an actual cat proof door so i don’t have to listen to them terrorize mice upstairs all night long. this door should sit snuggly opening into the stairwell and not into the kitchen. Well at least that’s my plan. I have never built a door before, but like all other things I have an idea in mind of what it is SUPPOSED to be. In this case I bought some not inexpensive shiplap boards $28 and 1x3s $12…and today I bought some cheap bar clamps (table clamps) from Harbor Freight $12. It will be your basic attic door, not sound or weather proof just cat proof. Once the weather turns I will pad the backside of it really good with the cheap felt insulation from the rug place. And before you ask, no…i couldn’t just BUY a door..the damn thing has to be 24″ wide and about 75″ tall..not your average door. Besides I want it to be easy for me to remove if and when the time comes for me to haul shit upstairs…i don’t want to destroy a perfectly good door.

door72If all turns out well, I have a couple of other doors that are missing in my house. The rule of thumb is that if you remove something structural like that, you are supposed to leave it in the basement for the next owner to put back or not..but alas I didn’t see it. though the previous owner may have tossed it away when we told her to clean the basement out..right when she flushed 20 gallons of paint down the lav.
Speaking of paint, I exchanged the can of flat ceiling white paint I bought last summer for a can of blue semi gloss for the cabinets. Now that there’s a porch on the other side of the kitchen sink, i need to reflect what little ambient light there is. I think I still need another $30 gallon of semigloss for the walls too, we’ll see what’s left after I do the ceiling. This was on my to do list from last August..but since I moved  in painting rooms filled of stuff wasn’t high on my list. it’s taken me a week to clear non essential items out of the kitchen – READ- tools. Once the kitchen is done, i will move on to the living room, which is going to get a lot more crowded after I paint it. I decided to pull half the shit out of my ‘office’ and put it into what i laughingly call the living room. And since I have to move these bookcases and such, I will be painting those as well – more high gloss paint please – i’m fonder of Rustoleum but the clean up is a bitch. So another gallon of high gloss $30 won’t hurt, and lets not forget the ceiling…cha ching $30. And I won’t even BEGIN to talk about the floor… the best I can afford are the self adhesive vinyl tiles.. the cheapest is .89 a square…137 dollars…eghad…that i don’t have..perhaps a $30 box at a time.

makita i am very glad to have bought up some tools when i had the money. I adore this little saw which I am not even sure they still make. It is PERFECTION itself for cutting up to 2″ wood…and 4″ if you flip it over. Someone donated a lovely pneumatic brad nailer to the cause but Until I find the $89 for a compressor, i will keep doing everything by hand. I won’t need it seriously until I move on to upstairs chores. that’s when a lot of things need to be nailed to a lot of other things. If i keep dwelling on all the things i DON’T have, like i have been doing for many months now…then I don’t get off my ass and DO ANYTHING at all. So I work with what i got. This weekend I got some wood and some paint and that should keep me out of trouble.

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lookout post

squirrel lunch_edited-1today is better, don’t know why. not much has changed, cept I have chores to do. I exchanged a can of ceiling paint i didn’t need for some high gloss color paint for the cabinets. Only in the last month have I even attempted to knock things off my TO DO list from last year. I decided to move what i laughingly call my office into the living room and make the little room downstairs an actual bedroom…the IKEA BED is still in a box upstairs, where it has been for a year. Who am i kidding? it’s going to be at least another year until I can start the upstairs. I don’t need a ‘living room’ no one comes here. If i have guests they can sit in the kitchen.  So I am painting the kitchen, and after the kitchen i start poking at the other rooms.    August is slow…so i am puttering… doing chores makes me feel like i’m moving forward. overhang_edited-1

What is high on my list, are the water diverters…i neglected to supervise my porch construction..hey at least i GOT the porch constructed…but there’s no overhang to protect the windows..and when it rains, it slides down the windows in sheets, regardless of what comes in the house, it’s rotting out the window casements, which were kinda rotten to begin with.   if i were a guy i could certainly get up on an extension ladder and do what needs doing, but i can’t climb.  today i priced out a rental on a 5 foot tall section of scaffolding.  $52.  not bad at all.  With that I can at least get up to the top of the windows, i will however need to put a step ladder on the platform so i can get the diverters up on the roof line… but i am also seriously thinking of adding a layer of shingles to add a couple of inches to coax the water away from the house.  I don’t care how it looks i only care that it doesn’t destroy anything.   I have penciled that in for ‘soon’  i need to borrow from peter to pay paul to find the money.  While up up there i will repaint the wooden parts of the window after I use some wood hardener to stop the rot.  they were free windows, i really can’t bitch.

I haven’t been feeding the squirrels too much…i am only getting two youngsters and they need to learn to find their own food. if they only eat what i put out they will never learn.  I couldn’t find any large manila rope to replace the older rotting one, so i bought three 100 foot lengths of a twisted polycore rope and spent a weekend braiding them together… it’s long enough to go from the fence to the feeder and then to the tree and then to the next 3 trees.  I still need to do another 100 foot length, i want to run them from tree to tree in the yard so they don’t ever have to come down in to the yard.  I swear I saw a bald patch on the back of this squirrel, usually the cats just chase them but never even get close, but i am certainly never positive, they have managed to do a job on the moles and i haven’t seen any chipmunks in MY yard.

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fuck august

11823039_10153663554010312_5772799502282801315_oSeriously large hail yesterday, shredded the garden.  I pulled any squash that was ready and secured some of the taller plants.  Completely dangerous, one could have gotten a concussion.   I wish i had one. I don’t want to get out of bed, yesterday was pretty awful, this entire month has been awful. Trying to keep the head above water, but its harder everyday. I’m becoming sullen and rude, I accidentally insulted someone yesterday, usually I only do that on purpose.11145177_10153663847170312_4857782518135203895_o

August is never good, sales are at the yearly low and I can never make them better. I am spending a lot of time wondering how i can close up shop for good and then i remember I am not cut out for any sort of real job. I will only end up in some job i hate, killing people and trying to dispose of the bodies. I really need to get out of my own head and get back to writing.

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i mowed the lawn

weedflowers. . . of course I picked the weeds before I did. I should be writing. I always should be writing. I did a good turn yesterday, I should be doing that much everyday. What I discovered years ago was that if I put a project down for more than a week, it is just as if I put a bullet in it. My life is a trail of unfinished quilts and unpainted steps behind me, like a toddler with a bowl of cheerios. It does seem as if I have been writing it forever. Many pieces are already set in my head and need to squeeze them out through my fingers.

One of the things that messes with my head is scope…how large a project should this be? If it’s too big and complicated, I fear that I will get bored with it and put it aside, then it will have been a waste of time.  I probably put more energy into that fussing than the actual contents.  It has gotten larger in scope, but I am less bothered by it.  Why do it, if I am not going to do it well?

2015-07-29 16.51.04I’ve been dragging that odd shaped glass jar around for at least 20 years, thinking ‘that would make a nice vase’. I swear I have actually thrown it in the recycling and picked it out again at least twice. It has survived when all the other actual vases have gone away.

I finally painted the little hutch I bought at Easter. I knew if I just let it filled up with crap on the porch it would have never made it into the kitchen. I may add larger work surface to to protect the paint. It’s not finely finished, just painted within an inch of it’s life.  I think it was knotty pine, and someone threw one coat of latex over it with no primer, so it looked like shit.  So now it has 3 undercoats and a thick layer of White Rustoleum.  It looks like it has been painted repeatedly for a century.  It actually looks like the kind of thing I would consider stripping the paint FROM.  And as much as I want to deny it… I now actually prefer the thickly painted look and surface.  It is easier to wash for certain, and the white sets off the actual objects on it.

11745837_10153633307245312_2419714658574256703_nNow that it is in the kitchen it emphasizes the need to paint the rest of the kitchen.  I will have to paint it in tiny sections, but I want to start with the ceiling which has NEVER been painted, seriously the ceiling tiles have just the primer they are sold with.   I also decided to exchange the unopened gallon of flat white I bought last summer for a semi gloss for the ceiling and I have picked out a high gloss for the blue cabinets. This will compound all the ambient light available and make it easier to SEE overall.  Now I just have to make a point of DOING it, and taking that much more time away from the writing.

The painting is just another thing in the long line of things that requires doing around here, but it IS something I can do and doesn’t cost much to make a dramatic change.   All the rooms need painting and some of the outside is starting to demand it too.  I made up my mind to move the bed into the office and the office into the living room.  The bed I bought last year i still in a box upstairs..where it will be for quite a while If i let it.  I think once I begin moving furniture around I will be able to paint some of the walls and trim.  It will be completely contrary to how I was always taught, no way would I be able to do an entire room or even ceiling. And I am sure I will end up with paint on things not scheduled to be painted.  But it’s an improvement that I can do without hiring anyone.  I did it for a living after college, with my uncle… and I can hear him critiquing me about sloppiness even now.

You get better at painting like anything else, from practice.  Writing also gets better if you do it a lot, but sadly I can’t find it getting any easier.

Once the sun goes down I will take another pass with the weedwacker, I don’t want all the neighbors to come back from their weekends away and think that my weeds are infecting their green carpets.

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finding your shady spot

shadeycatI haven’t spent as much time ‘writing’ my new book, just scribbling notes and collect more research material.  The book keeps changing shape, it’s final shape is hard to project, it’s like nailing jelly to a tree.  Some days I get more accomplished, others I just sit and THINK about what should be in it.   When I’m at work, I get all ambitious to sit down and WRITE, which lasts up until the moment I walk into the house. Then it’s all I can do to tear off my clothes and spend the afternoon in front of a fan waiting for the sun to go down.  I used to nap during the heat of the day and work at night.  So far I have only experienced a couple of overly hot evenings, certainly not enough to miss air conditioning. Perhaps if I ever get the second floor finished and have a bedroom up there a/c will be possible, it is still just naked insulation. I keep thinking if ONLY I finish writing this book I can address these things, but then I can’t all hang my needs around a new publication, what will happen when I get disappointed? The cats seem to like it here, half of them spend the day outside sleeping and terrorizing the neighborhood rodentia. I like it here. I tried spending a few days away this summer, I came back after 24 hours. I MOVED to VACATIONLAND for godsake. what the hell was I thinking?

The new book….the new book is about living alone.

 

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the dirt

garden1 I did manage to get in a garden this year. So far I have produced two small yet ludicrously expensive zucchini. I got two raised beds put in and I was planning on a couple more…I don’t have a lot of sunny spots, so I have to make do with what I got. I like a messy little garden where all the plants are cheek to cheek.

hubbard1 I only planted one of the beds with seedlings from Home Depot, the other bed was planted entirely by squirrels. The squirrels took the seeds from the hubbard squash I gave them last thanksgiving and planted them around the yard, so i transplanted them into the bed along with a few peanut plants. I doubt I will see squash or peanuts but I am willing to take the chance. I think I should have thinned out the squash plants,I just sort of have them all a chance and they are taking over the yard in a really scary way. It will be interesting to see where this gets to.

peanut1

cheeky monkey

cheeky72 About a month after Spider died, an ACO friend in Massachusetts offered me a dog she confiscated from a less than desirable home; not abused just your typical white trash gun nut with too many dogs.   Cheeky Monkey is a bit of a smart ass. She gets along with the cats to a point, I think she misses having other dogs to chase.    She sleeps deep under the covers and dumps out all the recycling and licks out all the cans and follows me around from room to room as if she will miss something important.  She’s a funny little goofball, I wish I was a better doggie mama. I really only speak cat.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up –

clematis72
After all these years I took my longest break ever from this website….too many bad things were happening to me …and are still happening…and writing about them only made them worse instead of better. The editing job blew up in my face, and it took me AGES to get paid half of what I was owed for all the work I did… There was a huge flood in the basement that killed the drier and a lot of other things…. and then I got bitten by a friends cat and it went very very badly and I got the medical bills to prove it…the website got all virus infected…all the investment in my online business has not paid for itself, so I am exactly as broke as I was before I sold the Methuen house..and now I am in the middle of the summer doldrums where no one buys anything…all very familiar territory.

On the bright side I am writing a new book…I kinda of had to, if i didn’t find SOMETHING to do with my brain I was going to off myself and … there was a couple of low blood sugar days there when that was no joke. I am not sure if writing the blog again will suck up all my creativity, or if i am just writing this post to avoid writing something else. Who knows? let see where it goes.

snow happens

11068368_10153365844485312_6750912768624404024_n oh for fuck’s sake…. another 4 inches of snow this morning, granted by the end of the day it had mostly melted away. But I am getting sick of waiting for the day when I am NOT sick AND the weather is warm enough for me to be active outside. I am still coughing for some reason..who knows why? maybe I’ll die. hell Monday I slept for 12 hours and I got up tired. Glad I don’t have a real job, I need my naps.

I am in the mood to start the renovations in the yard, but until I can do it without getting sicker.  the only things I have managed to do is start sketching out the yard.  and figured out the cost for the wood for the raised beds.  Since I am seriously broke again…ah…back to my natural state….. I will pace myself and perhaps build one a week.   But first I have to dig up all the flat stones and bricks in the yard and put them where they will do the most good.  Didn’t I BUY this place because the yard was nice…well basically it’s not that nice.  It’s just green.

2015-04-09 18.50.22 The only other thing I accomplished was to drag the bike in from the shed. It needs a tune up at the very least….and the porch is another problem. Over Easter I was reminded that I have to make room for guests someplace in this squalid mess. Another thing I am waiting for warm weather for. When it’s warm enough to open all the doors in the place, I will do some serious cleaning and rearranging….and strangely I’m thinking of hammocks attached to the rafters…. doesn’t require any floor space, and it won’t matter where the cat boxes are… huh? huh? good idea right? yeah well we’ll see, never could sleep in them myself. can’t hardly sleep in the piece of shit futon/bunk I have now.

I have an idea about some reflective insulation fabric upstairs…it’s not paneling, but it will cover up the fiberglass insulation enough to sleep up there and not die right? well, see, it all hinges on money. All the money I invested in the business was pretty much a waste…4K for the website and 5K in products and sales are about the same as last year, i’m pretty much fucked, i should have sold out and just gotten a real job. It would take at least 3 or 4 years before I go postal and want to kill everyone I know. nah, not really…at least if the tiniest bit of sales come in, it more money than i would make after I quit whatever job I currently hate.

2015-04-09 18.48.33 and if it continue to snow like this, i’m gonna get even more openly hostile and suicidal. I need to get out of the house. Even if to root around in the mud. If the air is warm enough I am sure my cough will get burnt out of me. I washed the panniers and got a new backpack just for biking to work. I am spending a lot of time THINKING about getting out, that’s gotta count for something.

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